Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Two old familiar (I emphasize the "liar" in that word) faces came out wearing their scariest Hollowhead...er-ah, I mean Halloween costumes, today.
First, VietNam-Swift Boat hero, John "Loser" Kerry, got pissed off at Tony Snow--our "president's" lapdog press secretary--for misinterpreting what John said was a "botched" joke on his part. Here's the joke as reported or reedited by NBC or one of those toady network dworks, but anyway, here's the joke:
A source close to Kerry tells NBC News that he was trying to make a "tough and honest joke" about Bush and that in the process he omitted two words which changed the intended meaning. Per the source, Kerry meant to say that he can't "overstress the importance of a great education" and that "if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy... You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq." Kerry mistakenly dropped the "getting us" from his initial remarks.
Well, the Internet Libs are tooting old Kerry's horn like he's finally out and standing on his true hindlegs instead of his comfy Heinz-fortune legs--those he stood on when he had a real chance to combat Georgie Porgie the vote-stealin' phony president--our never-honestly-elected president and our first president ever to be appointed to office by the Supreme Court--a court led by Master John Bircher William Remquist from that glorious whacked out State of Arizona, who has since been stricken with cancer and taken away from us. Boo-hoo. Yep, so Loser Kerry had his chance--where was he then. God-damn, he didn't lose by much and people were hollering at him, "Hey, John, it's VietNam all over again, you idiot, come on, combat this AWOL jerk!!" Instead, John conceded he lost and went to bed in his Heinz-paid-for mansion before the clock struck eleven. Same as old Global Warmedover Al Gore did when he wimped out against the Drugstore Cowboy and Executioner whose highest elected office so far has been goobernor of Texas--and wow, what a record that silly bastard left behind in backwarder that backwards Texas. Hey, I can talk about Texas; I'm one of 'em.
Kerry is so feeble. His attack was as clownish as Georgie Porgie's "nanner-nanner" response, which was aired on all the god-damn networks, though just like NBC did in the above excerpt, Kerry's statement wasn't broadcast at all but was paraphrased.
Kerry is a joke himself. God he's a loser. Why won't people accept that these war veterans are nuts? John McCain is nutty as a fruitcake, but who wouldn't be who went through the torture he went through--torture, which ironically, he now supports--I say put John back in a tiger cage; seems, just like our government, he didn't learn a GD thing from his VietNam War experience--just used it to get himself a successful, well-paid job in politics; why, that's the same as J0hn "Loser" Kerry--except John was already rich as sin and then married the widow of old Catchup King Charlie Heinz--a babe who tried to come on tough rich bitch cookie and ended up ridiculed by the skankiest of Repugnican bimbos.
Oh if the tough talking (he talks like he does have a mouth full of spent shells) Kerry were only still on active duty. I say put him in the tiger cage with McCain.
I'm sorry; he and Al Gore, dammit, they had a chance and they chickened out against this herd of human-animal hybrids who have confiscated We the People's rights and our money. Social Security is in trouble; it sure is, because Georgie Porgie's borrowing it all to pay for his wars.
I only heard a fragment of Cowboy Georgie Porgie's AWOL-hero retort to Mumbles Kerry's bumbled joke but what I heard was so child-like and off-the-wall--I mean, come on, you rich bastards; go live in your gated communities and leave us the F alone.
Oh the poor Dumbocrats. Eight days to the election and Kerry's hurt feelings are so far the only true growling I heard aimed at Georgie Porgie's Chihuahua puppy ears. Hillary's braggin' about saving kids from porn or somesuch total crap bullshit--Hillary doesn't say much about Georgie Porgie stealing two elections; bailing out to the safety of the SAC base in Nebraska while our country was under attack--even while Washington, District of Corruption, was under the same attack; totally fabricating a reason to attack Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with whoever attacked us on 9/11--I to this day still can't see why we started a war-we-couldn't-finish in Afghanistan, a country that also had nothing to do with 9/11, except Georgie Porgie and Slick Willie claim the Taliban were hiding and aiding Bin Laden, a creation of our own CIA; nothing to contradict Bush's claiming our economy is growing by leaps and bounds when our economy, the one not based on the Dow Jones Average and not on the GNP but the one based on an outrageous national debt and a mounting interest bill--most of which we owe to Commie China, good ole heart of democracy Saudi Arabia, is headed for the doldrums. Bush knows we need that oil in Iraq worse than ever now. That's the gold in his cross of gold.
Bush is a joke.
I'm not gonna vote. I'm too dignified to appear at a polling place. OK, I'll vote if I get to wear one of those Richard Nixon masks? Or how about a Dick Cheney mask? Whooo, that's a scary one. Carry a loaded shotgun when you're wearing that mask. Or how about a Condo-Leasing Rice mask--kind'a dyke her up a bit, dig? Or how about a Karl Rove mask? With that baldhead gleaming silvery in the moonlight. Or how about an Arnold Schwarzenegger mask---you could borrow Prince Harry's full-dress Nazi uniform and really be authentically scary. I'll vote with my powers of persuasion.
They're all the same. I would sweep the whole lot of 'em out of Washington--send all of 'em, even their pages and limo drivers and private chefs and trainers and shit, off to Gitmo or Dubai--or give 'em all one-way Greyhound tickets back to Podunk and Blabberville and Hicksville and Yahoo City--let 'em go back to being ambulance-chasing attorneys, double-booking CPAs, or pest controllers.
Idiots rule us and want to rule us.
Millionaires versus millionaires. All of 'em wanting to add another couple'a million to their already overflowing stolen coffers. Just think, once a lowly first lady from hillbilly Arkansas was Hillary RodHAM Clinton--down thar in little ole Little Rock where the most she ever made was that 75,000 bucks she made on that hot tip in the commodities market she got from one of her admirers down thar in the Rose Law Firm. Now, that little ole first lady/cum Senator is now a multimillionaire--her book deals made her rich if not her campaign finance chest--you ever read any of her stupid books? Not worth reading; same as Slick Willie's multimillion-dollar-earning contribution to literature. Not worth reading. Gobbly-gook. Do you speak Gobbly-gook? No, I didn't think so; so that's why you don't understand any of these politicians, you don't understand Gobbly-gook.
Hey, how about thegrowlingwolf for President in 2008?
for The Daily Growler
Monday, October 30, 2006
Hillary Clinton Rodham Hodcarrier, whatever her legal name is, has this black church in Bed-Stuy she loves to go to and preach a little sermon about how great she is as a representative of the people--and though she hasn't done one damn thing for the people--ONLY HERSELF--am I sayin' it loud enough?, the brothers and sisters overthere give her the pulpit and they give her hellashus cheer and Amens galore, too. They love her, and she can't even preach good. Hell, the old Wolfman can do a little preachin'--and a hell of a lot of it too, no hooey, just some good old bald prairie preachin'--Amen. Selah. Whatever's proper.
So I was watchin' some sound bytes of Hill over in front of the black folks, and they had teary eyes of love for her and I thought it ain't her they love, it's old Slick Willie they love--you know the rumor that the Slick One has a black chile down thar in Arkensaw.
Oh Gawd, if you all only knew how hillbilly, backwoods, backwards, free-white-and-21 true old Arkansas is, has been, and I suppose always will be. I mean the Slick Willie Museum (I think our Presidents call these things their "Libraries") in Little Rock is such modern architecture the hillbillies haven't figured out what the hell it is yet--a lot of 'em go there tryin' to catch a Greyhound. You bet the Slick Willie Museum was paid for with We the People's hard-earned money--and the last time I worked it was damn hard-earned money, too--I was supposed to sell my old Wolf soul to the damn Corporate Devil for a fabby liveable wage--always workin'--always workin' for the BIG DADDY Corporation, the Umbrella Company--always workin' your ass off--they call it teamwork--and when you hear a corporation start talking about teamwork--like silly, stupid, assinine, Team Wal-Mart (an Arkansas company, by the way) meetings--that means you gonna have to work some double-time ass off--and if you don't, then it's the old outplacement trick for your ass.
Well, hell, I detoured there. I remember the days when driving through Arkansas was one long series of detours. "Deee-tour, there's a muddy road ahead/Deee-tour, paid no matter what it said/ Deee-tour, there's a muddy road ahead/Should have read that dee-tour sign." Bad roads. Hell, Orville Faubus was once governor of Ark-ken-saw. It took hundreds of National Guard troops to get one double-brave-hearted and determined little black girl into the Little (White) Rock Public (White) School system back in the All-White fifties. Old Dwight David Eisenhower hated to do it, hated to impose "inter-gration" on those Arkies, but he was a military man and he was trained to follow orders and the Supreme Court had given him his orders--integrate the schools by...(the Supreme Court was much more "supreme" in those days than it is today--and I think it included a former member of the Ku Klux Klan on it, too--Judge Black--was he still on the Court then?
(Irony: Judge Black, a honky, ruling on whether blacks were human beings afterall and not just 1/4 human as the Constitution says--that is in terms of their children going to the sacred White Public Schools on an equal basis.)
Yep, Arkansas elected Orville Faubus ("Who's the eviliest man to ever live, Danny?"). Then they turned around and elected the most worthless-ever Rockefeller son, Winthrop, as their governor. Winthrop Rockefeller. A sad man really. A stone drunk. He always had a bottle in one hand and his other hand in the Rockefeller Family till. It got so bad, John D. Rock Jr. sent him staggering off to a large farm the family owned down there in the heart of hayseed country--and he became the drunk squire head of the Yeehawin'est Yahoos in the country--except the way they say it it's "cunch'ry" down thar--in them old Arkansas hills from whence came Slick Willie Clinton, from old Mammy Clinton and an unknown father--or was he known? I know the Slick One had a stepfather--Roger's daddy, wasn't it? I don't know; Arkansas family trees have a hell of a lot of entangled branches. Slick Willie's from Hope, Arkansas. One of the prides of Hope back in Slick Willie's little boy days was their "Welcome to Hope" sign at each end of the city limits on the big US Highway. It showed a huge big slice of red meat green rind good ole shinery-land watermelon with the head of a "pickaninny-style" (an art-deco-era White style of drawing black kids) black boy with big flashing white-with-black eyes face grinning over his minstrelsy whitewashed lips as they opened wide to let big flashing white upper teeth chomp out a bite of that juicy Hope-grown watermelon. "Welcome to Hope." Yee-dogies! The Beverly Hillbillies were a pretty good teevee representation of Arkansas's first-family types.
The only thing good I know of to come out of Arkansas was my first wife--and she was from Texarkana, which is in both Texas and Arkansas. "She's my Texarkana Baby/I love her, lawdy-lawd/Her Pappy came from Texas/And her Ma from Arkansas."
But, like I was sayin' 'fore I drifted off on Arkansas--one of my best friends in life, by the bye, has Arkansas in his immediate blood, though I'm certain if he had a choice between Arkansas and Hades, he'd pick Hades--anyway, like I was growling, blacks like Slick Willie and in return they love old Hillary, too.
Hillary is looking better. Someone has fixed her makeup and her hair and it really improved her immensely. Hillary's a hippy girl, you know, at heart. Oh, yeah; Hillary's pure Woodstock--and I could hazard some guesses as to what she's experienced in her life--in her casual moments--in those college partying days. There's a cute little college pic of Hillary posing on a rock in a miniskirt--hell yeah you'd chase her if you were a big Arkansas hick and saw little Hill slopping down the walk on her way to Moots & Tarts.
But what qualifies Hillary to be a Senator? A Senator from the State of New York?--making more money than she ever made as a lawyer down in Arky Land. Do first ladies get salaries?--I wouldn't doubt it the way these Presidents these days (hell, throughout our sordid history) rip us off--or "president" in the case of this current clown who's playing dumb as he steals us blind.
And what qualifies Hillary to be thought of as a potential President? The first woman president? I mean, OK, was she a good mother? And where is little Chelsea, by the bye?--named after an old Hippy song, if might may say so. You don't hear much about semi-beautiful Chelsea these days--just like it seems like Georgie Porgie has finally found a way to pen up the twins--or are they over in Dubai doing good will work?
As far as that goes, what qualifies any of these bastards to serve We the People? Their ability to come up with billions of dollars to run for a $150,000-a-year job? Amazin', amazin', amazin'.
I stopped this manure spreading for about an hour and went up and watched a new video I got on eBay, a vhs tape, remember those? of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Billy Cobham playing in Switzerland in 1987--and Jesus, I thought, that's 20 years ago now; these guys are as old as the hills now--but anyway, that's not my point--the music I saw being performed and heard being performed on that tape sent me high, wide, and handsome above all the ugly hustling that makes up the everyday bullshit of the reality we have to wake up to everyday. I mean it elevated me. It elevated me to heights where what is going on in this crooked world has absolutely nothing to do with me. I'm utterly spaced-out listening and watching Herbie and Ron--an absolute bassmeister general, man-o-man--and Billy--I mean Cobham has woven himself into his multiimplemented drum set--they ended the concert with an up-tempo rendition of Richard Carpenter's great jazz classical piece called "Walkin'"--the opening riff and then into the "walkin'" except Herbie and the Hurricane weren't walkin'--no, man, they were gliding. Dig?
I now know why I wanted to be a musician when I was young. I mean--to be able to get up on stage and perform any damn way you please, to play the music you were born to play the way you were born to hear it in your big ears--Wow, what a thrill.
These three gentlemen set my thoughts afire as I watched them perform with their easy brilliance. I mean they play these complicated instruments as though they were bodily appendages--and they are extensions of themselves--INSTRUMENT--look it up. I mean Herbie's sitting there in total control of the Bosendorfer he was playing (I prefer an old Steinway myself) on which he was weaving his improvisational tapestries--Picasso tapestries--or is Picasso forgotten now?--like Steve Wynne running his elbow through one of his many Picasso's as he was trying to sell it to another casino-read-mob-success-owner for 113 million--"Ah shucks; guess I'll keep this one," Steve said, with a little smirk, "but, hell, would you be interested in one of my others; I own 14 Picassos." What a lovely game.
I do not want Hillary Clinton to be my president. Not because she's a woman. Hell, I can come up with at least 10 women who I would like to see President--how about Dolly Parton? Or, hell, how about Chelsea? But not Hillary. She's a scorned woman. She's bitter. She's a bitch now and you can't trust her; she has a vendetta--is that the word? All of this because Slick Willie got a blowjob in the Oval Office. Still Slick Willie goes about being honored and praised and swooned over and given credit as being a Democrat-Liberal all-round wonderful guy--which is not why he got the handle Slick Willie--nope, and the boy is slick, like a West Texas prairieland preacher or hell a Hope, Arkansas, watermelon-eatin' good ole boy political preacher, which is what Bill is, a white preacher, though Billy Jeff wishes he were a black preacher--though hell no he wouldn't become one if you told him you could make him one in a jiffy. "Why, I was jest a jokin', brother...let's go grab a quick blowjob...I know this chick works for the FBI..., then I'll give you one of my new Cuban stogies that came in with the Canadian prime minister last week and we'll go get a Big Mac and some R-O-see colas...."
God-damn that Herbie Hancock is a masterer--you know what I mean? Like, there isn't anything about those piano keys old Herbie doesn't know how to put the correct finger on--even when he's clowning around; he's masterful, I tell ya--plus the son of a bitch has THE LOOK, too.
You gotta have THE LOOK. Hillary didn't have THE LOOK until recently; still you get up close to her and you see she's got bad hair, bad skin, a big broad ass, flat feet, thick ankles--my brother told me one time, "Never marry a woman with thick ankles. It means she's gonna be sickly all her life." Thing is, his wife, a gorgeous creature, too, don't get me wrong, had thick ankles, and sure 'nuff, she died young of liver cancer.
Hey, I just got hit by a truck--I gotta right to mock death and tragedy and shit; just like I've got a right to mock fools--Yahoos. God, I'm surrounded by Yahoos. I'm ruled by Yahoos.
Oh, yeah, the elections coming up? Who the hell cares? Dumbocrats. Plutocrats. Repugnicans. They're all scalliwags. They're all nest-egg stealers. They're all second-rate lawyers--hacks. They're all gamblers, except they're using We the People's hard-earned bucks to cover their bets.
As I look over Dumbocrats and Repugnican candidates--they're all rich assholes--even Slick Willie and Hillary Rod-on are multimillionaires now. Gore's a millionaire. Kerry's a millionaire--ex-Yaley. Ned Lamont's a millionaire. Joel Lieberman's a millionaire. The guys who will be reporting on the elections are millionaires. It's all a game. However, it's not as good a game as baseball; and it never ever will be either.
I predict: THE SAME OLD THING.
Like old millionaire bullshit expert Charlie Rangel--he's going around swearing, "Hey, you all, if I become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I'm not gonna roll back those tax deductions Georgie Porgie gave us rich folks. Common', you all, I'm still one of you first and a black crook second." Old backstabbing asshole. Sorry. I know Rangel's a black man and I'm not qualified to criticize him, but he looks phony to me--plus, he's been in Congress for 30 years; what the hell has he done for New Yorkers?; for Manhattanites?; for black people? The answer: Nothing. What's he done for himself? The answer: A whole Hell of a lot. He's set for life; that's more than you or I can say, isn't it? If you're fabulously rich, why are you reading a stupid blog like this on the blogosphere?
This blog is my yacht.
for The Daily Growler
And So You'll Be Proud to Be an Amurican, Here's Some News From Hell
Baghdad - A bomb ripped through a crowd of Shi'ite labourers on Monday, one of six attacks in Baghdad that killed at least 36 people, as the monthly death toll for the US-led coalition in Iraq hit 105.
The blasts came as Britain evacuated its large consulate in the southern city of Basra after it came under repeated mortar attack, and one day after 17 Iraqi police were murdered when they left a nearby British training base.
Meanwhile, the US military said October had seen 96 US troops, four coalition soldiers from other countries and five American contractors killed, confirming it as the bloodiest month for the allies since January 2005.
The violence raging around the country will deepen Iraq's bitter sectarian divide and undermine efforts by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government and his US and British allies to end Iraq's 44-month-old war.From News 24 (South Africa)
Sunday, October 29, 2006
"OH! THE HORRIBLE VOYAGES I've had to take across the country and back with gloomy railroads and stations you never dreamed of--one of em a horrible pest of bats and crap holes and incomprehensible parks and rains, I can't see the end of it on all horizons, this is the book of dreams. Jesus life is dreary, how can a man live let alone work--sleeps and dreams himself to the other side--and that's where your Wolf is ten times worse than preetypop knows--and how, look, I stopped--how can a man lie and say shit when he has gold in his mouth."
(from Jack Kerouac's Book of Dreams, 1961, City Lights Books)
I always like old Jack Kerouac. I never tire of him even when he's bad, like the crap he wrote near the end of his life, October of 1969, in Florida, his wife, a woman from Lowell, Massachusetts, Jack's sacred hometown, who was a nurse, older than Jack who was all bloated and puffy by then and looking older than her, solid drunk and plastered most of the time--Jack once called the nightmares he had after drinking beers all night in the Village "beermares" and I understood that because I had beermares, too, in those days--found Jack dead with his head in the toilet bowl, just like Elvis less than ten years later.
So many of the writers I came to iconicize in terms of my own style of life were of the same character as Jack, a character ruled by all sorts of imaginable escapes from the ennui of life--Oscar Wilde called it tedium vitae-- a lot of those escapes made more possible by sipping steadily from some kind of can or bottle containing some form of alcoholic beverage.
So many writers I love did the same thing. Malcolm Lowry, for instance. What a wonderful study he is. A man driven mad by wanting to be a writer. Same as Kerouac. Hell, same as D.H. Lawrence, a hero of mine who now seems so distant and out of touch--I haven't read Lorenz in years. Or Henry Miller, another writer so bound by writing he became his own character. All of these writers are their main characters. Except, all writers are their main characters, aren't they? Certainly the writer that most influenced me--the writer within me's mother--Gertrude Stein-- had to write--driven to writing, and writing like a unraveling dream-machine, writing from the inward self out, writing out the adventures of the dreams that boiled in her head constantly and consistently just like a book of short stories kept on being a book by the expansion of each story into its own story, its novel reason for being, writing being an unfolding of a man or woman and great writers write from another plane--like Hilda Doolittle, and her strange magnificent Moravian-influenced arrangements of words into sensical or nonsensical exposures of something real and really evident in a whole unraveling of dream after dream after dream, until the weave is so strong it becomes almost impossible to tell the dream from the reality, unless of course this whole thing is transcendentally controlled from within like those grand old American writers Hawthorne and Melville knew--their gods writing from within their own solar plexuses since any god there is is our own god, the god of our self, our supermanegos, and writers are writing Gospels--that's all, just like the storytellers of old Mesopotamia wrote Gospels. BOOKS are Gospels.
Malcolm Lowry had sexual problems. First of all, he had a small pecker. That may have been the problem with a lot of my hero writers. Many of them probably had small peckers. This is a generalization now; same as a literary critic or biographer makes generalizations. Like Ernest Hemingway, for instance. He reveals in The Sun Also Rises that that fine book's hero, Jake Barnes, has been injured in WWI. Shot between the legs. The bullet whizzing in from the front, meeting a slight resistance and then exiting fiercely out the other side--passing right between his legs missing him but not missing him really since as it missed him it took a souvenir of him with it--the bullet with surgical precision clipping off his pecker at the root just above his balls. So Jake Barnes (and I read that "Ernest Hemingway") had everything down there...except--he still had his testicles, both still fiery and churning and ready to semenally explode like a supernova; the desires in his solar plexus still the same, still rambunctious with a need to breed--and, of course, given the ironies that writers live and dream for, the most beautiful woman in Spain is madly in love with him and wants to go to bed with him in every scene and yet poor old Jake can't go through with anything involving penetration when it came to, "Oh, Jake, give it to me deep..." Oh shit. Poor Jake.
See what I mean? A small pecker alert goes up in my mind even when it comes to old Papa, the man's man writer who pulls no punches, or paunches either.
Little Bill Faulkner, another one. Weird sex in his books; especially his potboiler, one of the best novels I've ever read, Sanctuary. Popeye's problem in Sanctuary--a young tempting child-woman ready for that Popeye Priapus only to find it has been transcendentalized into a corncob handily available in the old corn crib. What a salacious book that is.
Malcolm Lowry had many sexual problems. First of all, small pecker; second of all, inexperienced; third of all, attended a Brit boy's school; fourth of all, scared to death of getting syphilis after visiting the Liverpool Police Venereal Disease Museum and seeing syphilis-eaten genitals preserved in glass jars; and fifth, once he got the chance--and some exciting Brit literary babes loved this drunken dreamer--Charlotte Haldane, for one--and once he got the chance--and these London freeswinging babes offered him their bodies and their love--and finally a beautiful--I mean scary beautiful-- American young girl writer fell in love with the sober-handsome/drunk-bloated Malcolm and MARRIED him!--and once he got the chance to be what he was in his dreams--he suffered from premature ejaculation. Ironies. Ironies. Writers depend on ironies.
On the other hand, Henry Miller claimed his was mucho grande--so mucho grande it got hard to control, you know, from overheating; in Sexus, Henry has to take it out on the street, he's walking home after a frustrating evening of revelations with his dreamgirl Mona, and give it some air--risky, but, according to Henry, necessary for a man of such proportions--all the while thinking of the beautiful woman he loved and who at he flaunted his large organ and, and here's Henry's irony, she rejects it, one time for a Japanese guy who Henry said, "had a barely perceptible prick" and bragged about how his hand was much more loving than any of the women he seduced.
And that brings to mind the incident Papa reported in his farewell book, a great small wonder of a book, A Movable Feast, where Scotty Fitzgerald asks Papa for a private evaluation concerning the size of Scotty's rod in the bar of the Ritz Hotel in Paris and Papa takes Scotty into the men's room and checks it out coming to the conclusion that Scotty matched up with Michelangelo's David who stands "barely" exposed in the Grand Plaza in Florence (an artist friend of mine said Florence was without a doubt the most beautiful city he'd ever been in and tried to live in--and he was from San Francisco, too--I've never been there except in books--Nathaniel Hawthorne's Marble Faun, weird damn psycho-transcendental novel--Hawthorne was writing like Freud before Freud was born!--was my first trip to Florence). If you've ever checked out Mickey Angelo's big David, though big in stature, peckerwise: a little on the wee-wee side, don't you think? So, OK, I see Papa's praise--at least David's not ashamed of his and displays it wee or no wee.
Except I don't dream. I have dreamed, but not in a long time; usually when I'm mired deeply in romantic love with one of the stranger-than-truth women that have been in and out of my life for all of my life I dream--if that love is, you know, of the fiery kind, the highly romantic kind that sets my instincts on fire, then I may dream one or two heavy complicated overstaged dreams usually involving a big huge house full of rooms full of men and my true love going in and out of those rooms and jiving with all those strange men while I chase through the house looking for her, frustrated, of course, by never finding her, though hearing her talking and jiving--and I'm searching for her, trying to attract her--trying to convince her that she should be coming to my room and my room only since I am the only man for her and how I only have room for her, "oh, you dreamer"--I'll have a couple of potboiler dreams, but then that woman will up and exit my stage and another prima donna enters from opposite stage and here we go again.
Freud says we all dream and dream deeply and complicatedly every night and those of us who claim we don't dream are simply suppressing our dreams, hiding them away in the back confines of our subconscious--down deep in the solar plexus--uh-oh, I'm talking Lawrencian psychoanalysis now, not Freudian.
Yesterday I got hit by a truck. You know the old joke, "Did anybody get the license number of that truck that just hit me." Sometimes those people are just waking up from a stone drunk. Or maybe they're coming down off a quartet of Blind Pig tabs (that's LSD to you younger brats). "Was that the Polish Army that just marched across my tongue?"
Jack Kerouac had terrible dreams--constant dreams--LSD dreams without taking LSD, though Jack and Allan Ginsberg were two of the great minds Timothy Leary sent his first samples of LSD to for them to take it and then write a report on its effects on them. Tim sent a couple of blotters to Lennie Bernstein, artists especially, Bobby Dylan, but also to math geniuses and Nobel Prize winners. [The first time I experienced an LSD trip I took five spots off a Captain America blotter--I ended up taking a five-hour shower--I swear--it was the greatest shower ever the history of me being me--and I remember great showers, all of them--many imaginational things happened to me during that five-hour shower. I think I'll write a novel called The Five-Hour Shower.
And I'm avoiding writing about getting hit by that truck yesterday because, I don't know, I'm American enough to have desires to sue in my commercialized head. That bothers me. I despise lawyers--lawyers and I have never gotten along--except when I was in the Army and there two of my best Army comrades were two nice Jewish-boy lawyers from Chi-town--great men--the most brilliant, D.H. (wow, a coincidence, D.H. Lawrence--and D.H. the lawyer), was so brilliant he'd graduated from Yale Law in a matter of months--and they kicked him out once--you know, Yale; the professors there hate students who are brighter than they are, which are most of the students at Yale. I love Yale women--a confession being a confession based on a confession made in New Haven one day near the Elm City Diner and then I looked, I saw, I followed, and then I confessed and confessed admiration and desire for a Yale woman, a woman who walked as though on stilts--I dreamed of her that night after playing blues in a club right around the corner from the Schubert.
Thanks to my friends who read about me getting hit by the truck yesterday; especially my friend who himself last year got hit by a car--you know, the friend I write about in yesterday's "Just Another Day in NYC" post. "...and that's where your Wolf is ten times worse than preetypop knows...."
for The Daily Growler
Is Bush not a fool?
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Only a few minutes ago, I, thegrowlingwolf, was lyin' flat on my back square-dab in the middle of Broadway, yep, that Broadway, right at the tip of Horace Greeley Park, just after a pourin' rain, flat on my back and lookin' up into the grey boiling sky into the stainless steel eyes of the west side of the Empire State Building, judgmentally looking down at me, looking to me like it was scolding me, meanly telling me to haul my ass up off the damn street and stand up like a real tough man and do a couple'a hundred jumping jacks (named for Jack LaLanne) to show my vim and vigor.
Why was I lyin' flat on my back in the middle of Broadway, on one of the busiest corners in mighty old gridlocked NYC? No, I wasn't sloppy drunk--like I'd rather be sometimes--"I'd rather be sloppy drunk and driftin' in the sand..." than to be lyin' on my back in the middle of Broadway.
About six months ago, maybe longer now, an old pal o'mine I've known a couple'a decades now, once a drummer of astute drive and now a crack med-ed in the advertising racket--know his wife, know his kid--and he emailed me one bright day and said that one bright and early morning he was crossing a Queens street to catch his Queens Surface bus to come into Manhattan when suddenly he was propelled high up into the air and came smashing down, body slammed down, into a car windshield. Next he remembered he said was waking up in a hospital emergency room, his head bandaged up and not much feeling in his lower body. Groggy as hell, too; head spinning like a top; hurting like Francesca di Remini in the lowest pits of Dante's poetic Hell.
He was crossing the street with the light; he had looked both ways; he had learned safety in grade school. Of course, as a New Yorker of many moons now, he knows the most unsafe place to cross a New York City street is at the corner, at the light, in the crosswalk. "Screw the law, play it safe, jay walk"--that's a given little safety tip for crossing a street here in NYC. Here's a little article about pedestrian fatalities in NYC from the Dept. of Transportation:
Tucked away inside a routine October 2nd press release from the Department of Transportation was the startling announcement that, according to preliminary figures, motorists killed 102 pedestrians in New York City during the first nine months of this year.
Although it is unquestionably a grievous loss of human life, the fatality figure is significantly lower than ever before and far lower than a decade ago.
In 1993, motorists killed 214 pedestrians during the same period. If this year's trend continues, New York City will finish 2003 with fewer than 140 pedestrian fatalities. The previous historic low was in 1998, when police reported 183 pedestrians killed.
Pedestrian fatalities have declined steadily since about 1990, when motorists killed 365 pedestrians. Since then, the Department of Transportation has improved safety at the 100 most dangerous pedestrian crossings.
My old friend was hit by a small compact car drivin' by a sweet little old lady--"Careful, dearie, or you'll hit that nice man...ohhh, now look what you've done?"
He was fortunate, he said, that the car's bumper was low to the ground and as such clipped him at his lower legs and flipped him up onto the windshield--a higher bumper and he'd'a been clobbered down and thrown under the car and then...BUMP, BUMP..."Oh, dearie, I think you just ran over that nice man...oh dear."
Well, anyway, last I heard from the dude, he was beginning get a grip on his balance though he still trouble walking and still suffered some pain, which the doctors tell him to hang on it's a pain'at's gonna be with him for many a moon to come.
Well--OK, I didn't wake up in an emergency room with my head bandaged and no feelings in my lower body. Nope; I never went out. Not me. That's a sign of weakness--which is a joke my old pal who's still trying to get his balance and is in pain and therapy understands, having heard me utter it in healthy brag so many a time when people were sneezing, phlegm-hawking, and nose blasting into already snotty tissues all around me--"I never get a cold," yowled I, "that's a sign of weakness." And I have not had a cold in at least 5 years; so long since I had a cold, I can't pinpoint it in any recent or distant past, it's been that long since I've even had the sniffles.
Suffering in my family--oh yes; tragic suffering; yes; suffering like no one wants to endure--and my best friends in life have died long ago--my God, I've outlived my mother, father, brother, first wife, my favorite writers...but for one brief, quick-as-lightning moment today, I almost gave in to my family tradition and suffered--perhaps a fate worse than death, except I'm a "Live and Let Live" survivor. I carry a built-in rabbit's foot; it's that pioneer white woman stock I come from. Western White Women--leather skinned, slim, long multistroked-combed hair--beautiful like Georgia O'Keefe was beautiful when she was old; my grandmother looked like Georgia O'Keefe when she was old, slim, pretty of face, long of multistroked-combed hair; beautiful but old tough women--like female eagles.
Here's what happened. Around 2 pm, it stopped raining cats and dogs and got even sunny, sweet enough I decided it would be an opportune moment to boogie out and buy some god-damn ink for my printer--I gotta have that printer--I hate them; they are so foreignly shoddily made and they run out of ink more rapidly than a mad squid--and they go out of style and worth the minute you buy them and hook them up--same with software; car designs; packaging; logos...I'm driftin' off into the winter snows of a wolf's growling territory--and I've been so domesticated since this afternoon, too.
So, let's say, about 2:10 pm, I loped out of my building, whipped across my street and meandered over to Broadway where I tucked my head against a Fauvist wind and spread my wings north up Broadway, up to the next corner, up by the Martinique Hotel--I go that way all the time--it's a way to the 34th Street Subway Station entrance, but it's a risky street crossing, traffic coming at you from 3 directions, always jammed, no direction, cars jammed bumper to bumper, even when the pedestrian has the walk sign you have to be a pretty good dodger and hurdler to get a break through to the other kerb. When it rains, traffic thins out, and it had just been raining one of those mad-god special rains and had just stopped but had left a wavering of thin wetness all over the sidewalks and streets, and when I started across this risky corner, the street was clear of traffic, except for an SUV that barged his way in front of me; no big deal; I saw him in time and let him pass and started on across.
I saw the truck, a black SUV-like pickup, one of those monster-looking pickups, all fancy with a lot of chrome, and black like those black helicopters, but he surely wasn't coming on--you know, I had the right-of-way, so hell he would stop, but he didn't stop and he kept coming and then it suddenly hit me, this motherf-ing butt-F-ing asswipe is going to run my ass down. My life did not pass in front of my eyes. Nope. I was cool as hell. As the truck hit me, it popped my head up and I looked right in the eyes of the truck driver and just as I looked in his eyes they went wide as pies and he saw me and he saw he had hit me and he hit the brakes. That's what saved me--his hitting those truck brakes so fast. Just as the truck hit me, he stopped it in its tracks and the force threw me backwards on my back.
I lay on the street. I didn't move. I was thinking, Jesus, is this the gold mine I've been looking for? But when I moved I knew I was invincible; I was unscathed. Still I lay there. Suddenly I raised up on an elbow and yelled, "Are any of you lawyers?" I got no answer, only young women asking me if I were alright. I said, "Ah, to hell with acting; I'm too damn real and invincible to be an actor; I've gotta get up and show these bastards what a real wolfman's like--invincible, I tell you. I stood up. No pains. No torn pants. The back of my pants were wet; my US Army camou-jacket's back was wet, too, but I was frisky, peppy, happy, filled with joy--THE JOY OF BEING ALIVE. As I stood up and went to the kerb, suddenly two cops were there--they had seen the whole thing--they were right behind the truck, their lights flashing and a couple of wails from the siren and then there they were. "Do you want'a ambulance," the male cop asked me, "Are you OK? Are you sure? Are you sure you don't want an ambulance?" "Naw, man, I'm a human-animal hybrid; I'm invincible." The woman cop asked me if I were all right, too. "Did I want to file charges on this guy?" The guy was a Korean dude; a paint contractor; probably worth some bucks--papersacks of cash maybe. I mean, come on; didn't I have the perfect ambulance-chaser lawsuit and yet I forgave the poor bastard. He was all shook up and well he should be.
Finally, I told the cops to let it ride. You know, F filing on his poor ass. The male cop told me he had written the guy up with a citation--"failing to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk"--I said, "I'd rather just go over and punch the son of a bitch out...." And the woman cop said, "Well, I can't let you do that, but I know how you feel." She looked like Lynndie England; hell, I was getting growly for her.
Then, to hell with it, I had the story, and now it was time for me to move on into time and go on about my chores. In fact, the whole drama left me feeling happy as hell; chirpy, rather arrogant--"Hell, you bastards, you all just saw the Invincible Man take on a god-damn tank-like truck and kick ass.
My hip did hurt a bit as I started walking toward the office supply store to get my printer ink. Then somebody grabbed my sleeve. It was the guy who hit me. "Are you OK, sir." He looked like shit warmed over; he was scared to death almost--I yelled BOO right in his face, "You bastard, do you know what shit you'd be in if you'd'a killed me? You rat bastard. Do you know I could sue your ass for every penny you got?" "Let me take you to dinner." "Dinner! Bullshit on that." "Call me, please call me; I want you to call me." He gave me his business card.
I've been wanting to go out to California for a while; you know, bask in a little Santa Monica sun--or maybe wander up into the mountains up around Mojave--maybe I'll have dinner with this poor bastard and during dinner I'll say, "Hey, dude, my lawyer tells me I'm a fool for not suing your ass for at least half your business. So I'll tell ya what I'll do. I been thinkin' of maybe a month's vacation out in the vineyards of California, you know--I mean a cool vacation--the works, massages, a little golf, maybe some hanggliding with my nephew--hey, he studied hanggliding in Brazil...blah, blah, blah--so, what say to 20 grand or so say; I might even be able to go over to Vegas with that--you know, unjangle my nerves." OK, he was Korean so he wouldn't know what the hell I meant by "unjangle my nerves," though I'll bet he'll pick up the drift pretty quick. "Sir, I have a papersack full of twenty dollar bills--20 grand--how 'bout I kick in another 5 grand for sweetners, how 'bout that?"
So, hell, another day, another story, another post. If I keep going like this, I'll make a year-straight with this blog easy as pie.
As Pooh creator, AA Milne, said:
They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them.
for The Daily Growler
Friday, October 27, 2006
I'm sitting here, I just got in from taking my laundry around the corner, listening to a Brit journalist who though I admit to being an anglophobe and usually very cynical about Brits and their thinking is saying some ear-capturing things about a book on the Middle East he's just written, things (thoughts) I've been thinking since I studied world history in college--something I noted ravenously in the early posts of The Daily Growler and things I am still snarling about--things having to do with who is to blame for the mess in the Middle East--and I give you three guesses and, as usual, 2 of 'em don't count...er...ah, well? Do I have to do the old "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?" trick on you? It's a pity if you can't answer that question right off the bat. This Brit, Robert Fisk is his name, can answer that question, quick, precisely, with his long finger poking the blame right in the face of who is to blame.
Fisk's book is called The Great War for Civilisation --as a gung-ho Amurican, I should'a changed that sissy "s" to a manly "z," the Amurican way--but, nope, I allow the Brit his Anglo-Saxonized spelling. [Does a true Brit spell New Zealand with an "S"? New Sealand. Jesus, that makes much more Amurican sense to me than spelling it with a "Z"--but wait a bloody minute--the "Z" is Amurican isn't it. So confusing these languages we speak; these languages that are really saying the same petty things all languages say and are saying; the same cliches; the same tired old--"You better make hay while the God Ra is in the sky"--adages, aphorisms, grunts, groans, growls.]
Fisk is a knowledgeable and very experienced journalist; admitedly he's a war correspondent; and he's a war correspondent because of the Alfred Hitchcock film he saw when he was 12, Foreign Correspondent, a Hitchcock thriller about an American journalist who is made the first war correspondent of a New York daily newspaper and he's sent to Europe to cover the war.
Being a war correspondent is alluring work, especially to the highly romantic, and believe me, to be any kind of real correspondent, you've got to be highly romantic--think highly of yourself, of course, and be totally without obvious fear (the "never let 'em see ya sweat" of comedian law).
Fisk is a jolly looking guy; he looks like the kind'a Brit you'd love go to a pub with and sit for hours tossing back growlers of ales and tossing out growlings and dramatic growlings of experiential tale-telling and argument. Fisk is a real man--a true war correspondent, active in Middle East affairs for 30 years, going anywhere and everywhere there was war there, really making a name for himself in Bosnia (another war involving Muslims vs. Slavic Christians) and then going to Israel and getting Israel's side of their attacks on Gaza Strip cities or Palestinian refugee camps or lately their attacks on Southern Lebanon--and then going to the Gaza Strip and then into Southern Lebanon and eventually with the Hezbollah to have them tell their side of this story chapter-after-chapter-after-chapter long.
The important thing to a journalist, Fisk says loudly and rightly, is "THE STORY." And why the story? Because that's a journalist's way to fame and then more stories. That's why he eagerly risks his life for a certain story that he knows the world's eyes will be on when it's published, and if he's done his job well enough, it will be the first time anyone will have ever heard the story and the story has the potential of causing controversy, debate, and eventually maybe even a change in world affairs--whooooo-boy, Fisk knows how to powertrip, but he's right and it's the truth.
My brother was a newspaperman and that quest for "the story" was constantly nagging at him in his head--he was everyday aggressively looking for a new story, HIS story, and my brother got good enough at it he found enough good stories to eventually publish 29 books while he was still alive and two after he'd left the coil.
Journalism. A daily log. Like a daily web log. "Hey, folks, theoldgrowlingwolf is a journalist!"--and you damn right I am. I took a year of Journalism in college. The girl I dated in college was a newspaper editor--OK, her high school newspaper, but what the hell, it was a newspaper. Levity, folks; please, I'm a comedic journalist.
So this guy Fisk I highly recommend checking out. He traces his feelings about the Middle East back to before WWI--and he's right in that. He traces it back to Britain's attempt to overthrow the Ottoman Empire, which Fisk says--and again he's right because we shouldn't be fooled by assassinated dukes in Sarajevo (is there still a Sarajevo?)--that duke was a Hapsburg and the Ottoman Empire was partially carved out of the Hapsburg Empire--why Serbs still think they are Hapsburgs--and that was the true cause of WWI. The Turks. The vicious Turks. As the Ottomans, they were as ruthless as any imperially minded tribe of Yahoos with power enough to ride out and ravage and pillage and war and whore and enslave and conquer and spoil.
[And so does Neo-Conservatism go back to those same days--the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution and the sudden need for ENERGY--POWER!!!
So who to blame for all the mess in the Middle East today? The answer is in the following copy-and-paste I excerpted from the BBC History of the Middle East Website--notice where this all took place:
As the Gallipoli campaign wound down, an Anglo-Indian force was cut off and surrounded at Kut-el-Amara, a town about 100 miles south of Baghdad. The limited, defensive stance at Basra had evolved into a distant and risky advance up the Tigris toward Baghdad, and this had been the result.
Who did the Turks defeat (the Muslim Turks don't forget) at Gallipoli--in what was then called Mesopotamia but is today called Iraq?
And this all started in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago--which you would know if you'd been an ardent student of The Daily Growler. I blame the Brits for all our problems--ever, in the history of this nation especially. We are still a nation led by either White Colonists or White Tories--as is the present government. We have never been led by a Native American; we have never been led by a black; we have never been led by a Jew; we have never been led by a Mexican-American; we've only once been led by an Irish-Catholic, and you see what happened to him.
The safest church to say you're a member of in this country--even if you're a Muslim--is the Episcopal Church--the Amurican Church of England, the Anglican Church. The Bush Family is Anglican; from the old pastures of the greener side of Connecticut. It was recently noted in the local Connecticut rags that the music director at the old Bush Family Church in Greenwich--Billionaire Heaven--and they always check every church music director out--come on, darling--but anyway, they just caught this dude with tons of child porno in his home and office. The Parishioners were shocked.
Our three instincts for surviving: 1) the quenching of thirst and the satisfying of hunger; 2) relaxation after work (toil/slavery)--entertainment; 3) and SEX. Sex before sleep, folks. Sleep ain't no instinct; it's a biological function. So's death. Instincts are urges to survive, to live. All men secretly crave a pornographic situation--it helps them get Viagra-bly able to have sex. It's frustrating, isn't it?
Remember, it's impolite to talk about IMPEACHING all of those creeps in Washington, District of Corruption. It's We the People's means of overthrowing any of OUR governments that try to take away our Bill of Rights--much more important than the Constitution, which is just a set of grounded rules on how to run this country as close to that idealized by John Locke...oh, hell, here I go, off on another starflight--except I dance among the moons--I'm howlin' for joy--"Hoy, hoy, I'm your boy/three hundred pounds of heavenly joy."
for The Daily Growler
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Let me start with a question: What do Nicaragua and Nicaraguan presidential candidate Daniel Ortega and Rummy Rumsfeld, Unka Dick, John Negroponte, Good Old Pappy GWH Bush, the Neo-Cons (especially Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby), cocaine, and the cry of "Communists!" have in common?
It's a cryin' shame I have to ask such a question, but I do. We just aren't historians by instinct. Understand? As survivalists, in the Darwinian sense, yes, we live day-to-day; the only thing of the past we keep with us are those things that happened in the past that made hard impressions upon our psyches, our characters, our gut (solar plexus) feelings, like first of all how to solve the problems of thirst and hunger--both coming from the solar plexus into the brain, our calculator, our statistician in residence, which gets our characters to movin' and huntin' and prayin' and lyin' and stealin' and swindlin' and representin'...
[Interruption: I'm hearin' this rapper dude on Amy Goodman's mornin' show and he's grabbin' my attention, my wolf ears are perked up. This guy is talkin' about the Grass Roots Music Movement--oh yeah, and this dude, I didn't get his moniker nor his group's name--but he's cool and sayin' things like musicians from my innovational past were sayin', being very political as well as poetic, using our natural wit to scream at the freaks who force us into their conformity--they hate NONCONFORMISTS and the musicians of my day were total nonconformists--check out Charles Parker, Jr.; check out Charles Mingus; check out Thelonious Monk--can you imagine Monk conforming?]
...and legalizin' and rulin' and warin'--the evolution of our egos. So, the way it began to work is we took the easiest paths, you see, to survive, throwing the most traumatic horrors into the pits of our subconsciouses--the huge databanks maintained by our brains. History became fabulous to us; history became whatever the storyteller told around those night fires after big meals--the storyteller...evolving, finding music, finding a reed flute to accompany his narration or finding he could stretch a goat or lamb skin tightly over a hollow log or a ceramic jug and start getting music out of it by hitting it with his hands. Or finding by pursing his lips and blowing hard through them he could make sounds, making those sounds while searching the ground, looking then spotting some old ramshorns, seeing how at the tip of those horns was a mouthpiece and at the other ends of those horns, where they once attached to the ram's head, were bells, meaning sound exaggeraters--and one of us musicians reached down, picked up one of those horns, clipped off the horn tip, put it to his pursed lips, and blew hard through those lips into that horn. The resulting sound must have scared the hell out of this dude--and it probably was a man, though ancient potteries and wall murals show women playing harps and dancing. Women invented dance. I can see it--an invitation for the male to join in--all for pleasure after a huge meal after a hard day of surviving--the meal, then the storytelling, then the dancing, then the sex--all happy things, easily remembered things, things surpassing the horrors of the survival hours, the hours of work, the hours of toil, the hours of conformity.
Any history that has to do with the Bush Family is meant to be forgotten. Old Pappy Bush's father taught him well how to play both ends against the middle. Prescott Bush was a very successful aristocratic Connecticut swashbuckler--remember, Bob Hope used to brag about playing golf with "ole Prescott Bush"--with bales of Bush and Walker money behind him, a lot of that money made by playing both ends against the middle.
What I'm driving at is what all these clowns have in common with Daniel Ortega and the nation of Nicaragua--they were there when Daniel Ortega and his Sandinista Party (Communistas! Communistas! Fidelistas! Fidelistas!) overthrew Our Boy Somosa, formed a junta, then held an election and became president of Nicaragua in 1985, a title he held until 1990 when--a whole lotta shakin' was goin' on and I don't just mean an earthquake that almost destroyed Managua, either. Our involvement with Nicaraguan politics goes back to Ronnie Raygun's administration, right after star-struck Hinckley shot Perpetual Redhead Ronnie and hit him, too--and Ronnie was never the same after that--not the affable old Grade B actor anymore--not the Great Communicator anymore (can you believe dumbass Ronbo Raygun was called "The Great Communicator"? Not by me he wasn't--he talked like his mouth was full of jelly beans--and it probably was--this second banana to a chimp in his best movie (Ronnie's that is; the chimp may have had an Academy Award already): Bedtime for Bonzo --it's still hard for me to believe that fool got himself made president of the US of A (again Ronnie Raygun and not Bonzo). Holy Christ! That fool is the champion of all Amurican fools, the majority of us, I'm sorry to say. It has to be that maybe way over 50% of US, Amuricans, Amerikans, Americans, Americanos-as, are fools--my wolfself included, folks--I'm guilty of being lazy ass tired after working hard all day making some already-rich asshole richer--in my case: my landlord, my government, my ISP provider, the god-damn phone company, and computer companies (I just bought a Toshiba laptop to replace the one I kicked off my loftbed and Humpty-Dumpty-cracked to irreparable smithereens)--all of us fools working for piddling earnings, a third of which the IRS grabs right straight out of our checks. Companies used to have to pay their workers in cash--but then one of those creative accountants came up with the payroll check idea and no more pay window open and cash on the palm of the workingman's hand. Payroll checks must have come about for real during WWII, when another aristocrato president once again because of war screwed up our money system and printed bales of war dollars, same as Georgie Porgie's Treasury dude bragged about when he said if we ran out of money, not to worry, he'd just print some more--and old Roosevelt and his Keynesian Krew printed tons of war money and pushed us into deficit-spending economics.
An Economics prof of mine used to say that deficit spending was fine as long as we had the production and capital assets to eventually get back on even keel--you know, through selling shares in the country, which bonds are and T-bills and T-notes are. That's this nation's real economic security, in its own shares, the profits of which go to pay off its deficit spending, which is all old Georgie Porgie is doing except he's selling our souls to the wealthiest bastards in the world, no matter their headquarters--"Hell, here Commie China, take a billion or so shares in the good ole US of A; it'll give you the right to force us to buy your cheap-ass Wal-Mart-quality goods made by the worst slave labor in the world--especially around in the squalid slums of Shanghai and Hong-Kong and it'll give you the right to come to our country and buy up our land or development rights"--Lardy Mercy, folks--We've done sold our collective soul to the true Devil, that big red-tailed, horned Capitalist devil called the Plutocrat.
And on November 5, once again Nicaragua is having an election and once again Daniel Ortega is leading in the polls--he ran in 2001 but was defeated--suspiciously, yeah, but he didn't cause any trouble--he's still head of the FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional)--that's the revolutionary front that overthrew Somosa. Again, the Bush Family is sticking its nose in the elections--why, they even sent Ollie ("Hey, Ollie, what's that that refuses to get hard between your legs and keeps rising up limp between your shoulders?") North down there to rekindle good feelings. There's not much mention of this in the local-yokel press, those dimwits--like Katie Couric--do you really buy that she's one of our top journalists? Get outta heah. She'd be running a cheerleader school in Marion, Ohio, if it hadn't a been she was cute and attracted the attention of a network exec. Ask Julie Chen about how to succeed as a teevee news anchor by going beyond the call of duty.
No mention either of the Contras. Pappy Bush was involved in it. Rummy Rumhead was involved in it. John Negroponte (not a native American, a native of Greece whose father was a Greek shipping magnate--let's see you climb that high in American politics being a naturalized citizen--like Rupert Murdoch--and John Boy's now head of our entire security forces, including Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA, you name it, old Johnny Boy is head of it, 'cause you see, undercover shennanigans are his speciality--he made his name and left his bootheel mark down in the democratic jungles of Honduras and Guatemala, you know those national epitomes of True Democracy down there in Central America? Old Smedley Butler, the most decorated soldier ever, wrote a whole book about our armed forces's involvement in Central America and being the army of the corporate hold on the resources of those countries--bananas, coffee, nuts, pineapples, grapes, hay, hay, hay! And Johnny Boy was in Nicaragua and Johnny Boy is already warning the Nicaraguans not to get uppity with their padres del norte by putting this "terrerist" Daniel Ortega in power--hell no; Bushy Baby says we ain't gonna let it happen--on the other hand, Georgie Porgie has his head up his Iraq-mistake-making ass--you know, the ass that does all his thinking for him.
Same show; same characters.
for The Daily Growler
A Daily Growler Moment of Reality (Read It and Weep)
Fighting continued Thursday with fresh clashes between Iraqi security forces and militia groups linked to major Shiite political parties, part of an ominous new trend adding to the violence wrought by the Sunni-led insurgency against U.S. coalition forces and their Iraqi allies.
At least 12 policemen were killed in fighting near Baqouba pitting Iraqi security forces against gunmen of the Mahdi Army militia, who are loyal to fiery anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. At least 18 militants also were killed, said Ghassan al-Bawi, police chief of surrounding Diyala province.
Mahdi militiamen have flooded into the area 35 miles northeast of Baghdad, forcing large numbers of residents belonging to Iraq's Sunni Arab minority to flee their homes. Mahdi fighters killed scores of Sunnis in massacres last week in the nearby city of Balad, forcing U.S. troops to return to the area after Iraqi security forces were unable to stem the bloodshed.
The U.S. military said the five service members killed in volatile Anbar province included a sailor assigned to the 3rd Naval Construction Regiment. Two of the Marines were attached to Regimental Combat Team 5, and two others to Regimental Combat Team 7. All died from wounds suffered in attacks Wednesday in Anbar province, a hotbed of the Sunni insurgency.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Today was my lazy day. I woke up around 5 am, read some Hilda Doolittle (quiet a writer; everyone should read a little HD before they die), thought about the heavy day I had ahead of me--when one lives in New York City, one must figure out how to make at least 50 bucks a day--every day; nothing gets cheaper here (except the construction materials they're using to build this amazin' gaggle of 50-story luxury apartment buildings popping up like weeds all over this crazy mixed up island), especially the cost of essentials, like food and shelter. New Yorkers just don't get to have lazy days. This morning there was nothing I could do about it. Around 8 when I tried to get out of bed, my body and mind said, "No thanks, Wolfie, we ain't budgin' today." No matter what I did--even promising them some strong black coffee from the Chocked Full O'Nuts stand in Greeley Park-- did no good; my body and mind had decided they were staying in bed whether I did or not.
That song, My Lazy Day, used to amuse me when I was a young, young kid. I loved it. I sang it morning, noon, and night, to the point that one time my mother almost sent me to a shrink. She couldn't get me to quit singing that song. One reason she didn't like the song was because of the man who wrote it, one Smiley Burnette. She hated Smiley because he looked like one of my father's true white trash uncles--Uncle Fatsy--and, yes, Smiley did look and act like Uncle Fatsy, except Smiley didn't live in a converted chicken coop in a place called Donkey Flats.
Smiley Burnette was the goofball sidekick to Gene Autry, the "Singing Cowboy," who really was never a cowboy until he made successful western Grade B movies--he had been a telegrapher with the old St. Louis & Southwestern Railroad back in his early Oklahoma days before he was discovered singing on the radio. Gene had his first hit with "That Silverhaired Daddy of Mine" in like '31, then went up to Chicago and became a radio star with The National Barn Dance. It was on that show that Gene met Smiley Burnette who soon became "Mister Art-er-ree's" (Smiley's way of pronouncing Autry) lifelong sidekick, coming on along with Gene through the movies, the radio shows, right on into teevee with the Gene Autry teevee show that was filmed at Gene's Melody Ranch Studios--a 60-acre ranch outside L.A. that the finally real cowboy turned into a horse farm and movie lot.
Well, I might-a gone fishin' - I been thinkin' it over
the road to the river - is a mighty long way
It must be the season - no rhyme or no reason
Just takin' it easy ... it's my lazy day.
Well, never mind callin' - 'cause I ain't a-comin'
Just pass on by me - stay out of my way
'Cause a little deep thinkin' - might drive me to drinkin'
Just takin' it easy - it's my lazy day.
I'm findin' it easy - to mind my own business
I'm keepin' my nose out - of ev'ryone's way
I'm takin' no orders - ain't hirin' no people
Just takin' it easy - it's my lazy day.
Just takin' it easy - it's my lazy day.
Now I know why I liked that song so much. It's a song of defiance. He ain't really lazy; he's just tired of dealing with people. Leave me alone! at least for this fine day. And that's the way I felt this morning; I just didn't want to deal with people today. Oh, I had to eventually; my lazy day didn't last all day, but it lasted until noon. Then I had to get up and go to the bank; going to the bank is also very important when you live in NYC. You've gotta always have money in that bank, man; no money in the bank, no bank account, no bank account, no place to live in this burg. So I had to get down to 14th Street to the bank but it was no fun trip, that I guarantee you.
Even on the subway rockin' down the line to 14th I was still lazy. My body was not functioning properly in terms of motivations to walk or run or to make any hay while the sun was shining--or to be excited about taking me to the bank where there happened to be for me a nice slug of money ensconced. My mind joined my body in not wanting anything to do with anything motivational. In fact, I think my mind slept the whole way to the bank and almost back. I didn't come straight back home and to bed; I stopped off at my favorite Irish pub--it was nearly 2 in the afternoon and there I tossed back a couple of cold wake-up Heinekens before bumbling home and settling down to some serious laziness.
I don't no really know how the hell I'm making it to write this post. My body is still rebelling; I'm doing huge yawns, of the almost-lockjaw state, that affect my concentration at staying awake and accomplishing something. My body is demanding to be in a reclining position. My mind; Jesus, I don't know where that pile of grey mess is; it doesn't seem to be anywhere near my body--"Hey, mind, where the hell are you?" I hear the lyrics to Smiley Burnette's song coming back over the ethereal toward me: "Well, never mind'a callin', 'cause I ain't a comin'."
It still is my lazy day.
for The Daily Growler
Check Out Smiley Burnette's Website--run by his son:
Smiley also wrote a song entitled, "Minnie the Moocher at the Morgue."
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Like the finale of Le sacre du printemps where the dancer dances herself to death--that's life.
A woman friend of mine just left my apartment. She comes over whenever she's in my neighborhood, drops in, and she always brings me these chocolate chip cookies they make in the company she works for's cafeteria.
She wants to talk; I'm an ex-social worker so I know how to listen--plus I'm a good situational evaluator and good at giving advice, calming advice, advice based on fiction and fact, from the deepest knowledges formulated while my butt is stuffed deep in an armchair as I hedonistically contemplate other people's lives and dreams while charmed by the glowing white ash of my handrolled Havana-seed Rothchild-style stogie.
The cookie woman has a problem. The IRS has called her in. She's a senior vice president of the big giant conglom for which she works, a lot of different money-saving schemes and pension planning and 401K-ing going on--and she's a big property owner back in her hometown, a beautiful little Midwest city that sits on a bluff up over the old Mississippi River--"Mississippi River so brown, deep, and wide...Lookin' for my good gal on the other side...." So her taxes ain't simple; in fact, her taxes are so complicated she has them done by professionals. And there's the drag.
See I used to work in the "accounting" industry, a Big Eight firm--Big Eight before they all merged and combined and went global and now there are Big Ones all over the world...and these big boys do not like to be called "accountants," though that's what they are no matter if they do call themselves "consultants," "planners," "finance managers," or "executive management experts"--all they are are CPAs trying to get out of that second-story office and move on up to one of those penthouse board rooms where the lowest slob in the room is just barely a millionaire--just today I read where executive salaries are now running about 450 to 1 to the salaries of the people who produce the goods or the paperwork that makes these companies rich.
Accountants are devious--that's the main part of their job, especially when it comes to doing taxes--tax consulting, they call it. Most tax accountants these days leave peone accounting to plebes like H&R Block (the very crooked Block boys--check out their criminal indictments over the years) or Sears-Roebuck; most CPAs who deal with taxes aspire to becoming executive management consultants and become so good at it they may have a chance of one day getting appointed head of the IRS, about as high as these bookkeepers can go. That means they get into doing executive taxes, corporate books, etc. The "cooking" these birds do they now call "creative accounting," done to avoid paying taxes, penalites, fines, filing papers, etc, for big shots and big corrupt corporations (all of them really).
So this really swell young woman who brings me these wonderfully rich and vulgarly fattening cookies at least once a week has such complicated taxes that a few years back she turned them over to a nice Jewish boy tax consultant from Queens, New York--everybody in NYC knows you go to nice-Jewish-boy accountants when you want those big juicy "legal" refunds--a no worry, done-in-a-flash type Jewish accountant--"Not to worry, no problem, give me your papers, I'll send you my bill...no problem...move on, please, I'm velly bizzy tonight, darlink." Everything was hunky dory--3 years now and the dude's done wonders for her--the refunds get bigger and juicier every year, this year especially. She went off to the Caribbean somewhere for a month with this year's refund check.
She was reading the paper one day a couple of weeks ago--and an article in the business section of the New York Times caught her eye--and she saw a headline, "Queens Accountants Sought by IRS Agents for Fraudulent Filing Practices; One Suspect Has Already Turned Up in Israel, the Other Is Still Being Sought." The story went on to say the IRS was claiming these nice Jewish boys had bilked the IRS through their clients of 40 million bucks. The cookie woman saw one of the nice Jewish boys's name--recognized it immediately. Holy crap. It was her nice Jewish boy. Further into the article it said that the clients of these accountants were being sent letters by the IRS asking them to report to an IRS office with the proper receipts, etc., to prove all the deductions on their returns these guys did over the past 5 years were legit. The cookie woman is scared; she said the deductions they are wanting to know about she has no idea what the hell they're talking about--an $11,000 charitable deduction--she says she never made such a contribution. I tried to calm her down. She's not worried about being hauled off to the IRS hoosegow but she is worried about how much moulah this government collection agency is gonna say she owes, back, three years. That's what's scaring her; hell, the IRS can take all your properties, they can garnish your pension monies, your 401K account, your savings account...it ain't somethin' to joke off on, though that's what I did--made it humorous. It seemed to work. She calmed down and actually started smiling, then laughing.
So she was depressed because of that. She got the letter from the IRS and she called and made an appointment but most of us are scared to death of the IRS and yes the IRS is a terribly mean corporation (chartered in Puerto Rico) that is only interested in taking as much of our earnings as they can devour--all of our earnings if they could. Facing the IRS and facing whatever decision they come to as to what you owe them or don't owe them is hairraising. Yes, they can ruin your life. Yes, they can throw you in a Gitmo-like place for the rest of your life if they think you're holding out on them.
It's funny isn't it how we have to account for every damn penny we earn and yet the IRS doesn't have to account for any of their spending, wastes, mistakes, out-of-date computer systems--funny, isn't it?
So I consoled her and she just left here laughing, feeling really lighthearted, smiling, pretty as a picture, and I got a nice long sweet-hot kiss on the elevator in appreciation for my social work. Plus the cookies. I am good at assuaging things; that I admit.
As I was talking out her problem with her, I got to thinking, this charming, beautiful, successful businesswoman could give a shit about what's going on in Iraq today. Iraq is as far from her mind as it is from her apartment. When she's not working, she's dealing with her new apartment, staying on her diet, dealing with her boyfriend, shopping, etc. She has no idea what is going on in Washington, District of Corruption. She knows nothing about any of the politicians running for office next month...I mean, she votes, but she votes straight whatever she voted for the last time she voted--and if you ask her how she voted, she might shrug and say, "Oh, I voted straight Dumbocrat, whoever they are"...I think she's a Dumbocrat, but I don't know; she just never talks politically--always romantically--and believe me, there is nothing romantic about politics, not to me there isn't--unless it's flirting with the page boys a la Mark Foley. Foley's Folly: young boys. Hey, giraffes are naturally bisexual.
I think the cookie woman is like most Amuricans. They are working hard; they are working hard for nest eggs for that day when they can retire and live that good life they've been told is due them, if they're still in good health when that day comes or if they don't get fired suddenly or downsized or outplaced or forced to take an early retirement unexpectedly. This never knowing from day-to-day anything outside your own realm of problems is the reason an incompetent idiot like Georgie Porgie can steal his way into the White House and get away with all this ruthless inhumane skullduggery and lying and turning Plutocrat on our asses. Screw the little buggers; education is natural to them, but adults--after they get out of college or high school or grade school, that's it--their education ceases and they go into work modes--all they do is work, and all their social whirl is based around work, their schedules, their free time, all based on WORK. They quite educating themselves to the true reality. They stay dumb to the great fraud being perpetrated on all of us by these Neo-Con felons and if we sent these birds a letter and said we wanted them to bring all their papers and receipts and stuff down to We the People's office for an audit--they'd send the FBI goons out to get our asses prepared for a trip to the beautiful coastline of Cuba. [I've always thought it funny that Guantanamo is owned by Communist Cuba--the US pays rent on the place--and most of the staff there are Cuban citizens. Ironies make life interesting. How many times have I said that?]
One guy who seems pretty hip to the bullshit going on around us these is this Scott Ritter, a strange man of all seasons who is currently peddling a book in which he says we are doing the bidding of Israel in eventually going to war with Iran. Israel is the one spreading the false facts that Iran has the ability to make nuclear weapons. Israel has already said that they will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons--or any Middle Eastern neighbor of theirs. Ritter was one of the inspectors in Iraq looking for Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction back before Georgie Porgie took "freedom on the march" in revenge for Saddam trying to "kill my pappy"--CIA report: "Oh, there go Sad-dham's WMDs-- in those specially built buses--or no, those are Brit weather-station trucks, damn, but, wait, hold on, we now have infrared proof Saddam has a massive system of tunnels under the desert where he's hiding his WMDs--yahoo, that's it."--Ritter says Saddam had no WMDs, and that we knew that, Georgie Porgie knew that, old Unka Dick knew that, and Rummy Rumhead knew that, and old Your Colon's Pal knew that, and Condo-Leasing Rice knew that, but Ritter says the agenda was already set by Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby, remember him?, and the agenda was to do Israel's bidding in terms of Middle East policy. If you don't know where Scooter is now, by the bye, he's servin' a little time after taking the rap for Unka Dick's sins and Cousin Karl Siegheil Rove's outright treason for outing a CIA agent.
Ritter is a brilliant dude; very wise. Along the line of some CIA dudes being very well up on intellectual matters, I saw a dude the other night on teevee talking about he was recruited by the CIA when he was a young college history teacher--they recruit college smartasses who've been in the military and piled up a good record there--the CIA starts tracing you when you join one of the armed services, in my case the U.S. Army, and I got a letter one day from Kansas City, Missouri, saying because they noticed I had a degree in Sociology-Economics, they had a job for me--the letterhead read "Central Intelligence Agency" with this Kansas City address. As a be-bop dude just getting out of the Army, I had no idea what the Central Intelligence Agency was. I was so young and dumb I didn't even make the anacronym out of it--CIA--because I certainly knew about the CIA and Allen Dulles and John Foster Duller, his brother, the Sec'y of State under good ole golf-playing goofy Dwight David Eisenhower (he had a brother, Milton, who was also a president, a college president, University of Pennsylvania, I think--an old Ike story goes that Columbia University wanted Milton for their president but Ike got the letter by mistake, thought they meant him, and became president of Columbia--though they really wanted Milton. In the meantime, Mamie Eisenhower was drunk as a lord and lady back on the isolated Eisenhower farm just off the Gettysburg Battlefield. [Presidents's alcoholic wives: Mamie Eisenhower; Pat Nixon; Betty Ford...in recent history. They say Pickles favors pot over alcohol, though I'm sure she's downed a few slugs of Jim Beam with Georgie Porgie back in the good ole days when he was a coke-snortin', heavy drinkin' drugstore cowboy, just after he took advantage of being the son of a privileged rich man and went, what's that called when you don't report to a military base for a tour of duty? Absent Without Leave?; isn't that what it's called? Anacronym: AWOL. A court-martial offense.
Speaking of anacronyms, here's a fun little site I found tooling around the Internet today:
Wordspy. Doesn't that look like a great site to go digging around in?
Where I Hang My Hat
I just checked languagehat as I always do everyday and my man, l hat, has a bee-stinging little blurb mocking the now-pretentious New Yorker (Brit spellings, l hat, because they gave it over to a Brit editor/publisher years ago, didn't they? You think old crude-ass Harold Ross is rolling over in his cigar-ash and bourbon-bottle trashed grave?). l hat's the best when it comes to sword-like wit--touche, New Yorkre--up your "imperial" you-know-what with a jeroboam of classic put down. Have a little taste of l hat:
In the "Talk of the Town" section of last week's New Yorker, there's a story about an incident in which rich person Steve Wynn decided to sell a Picasso to rich person Steven Cohen for $139 million, but in the course of showing off his prize possession to a bunch of other rich people he accidentally put his elbow through the painting and decided to keep it after all. This being a language blog, I don't have to try to express exactly how I feel about these rich people and their art deals, but I do want to comment on one phrase in the story, which I have put in bold: "Mary Boies ordered a six-litre bottle of Bordeaux, and when it was empty she had everyone sign the label, to commemorate the calamitous afternoon." Now, there is a well-established system of nomenclature for wine bottles, and the correct term for a six-liter* bottle of Bordeaux is imperial (image). I find it baffling that when the rare occasion arises for talking about such a bottle you would scorn the chance to use a wonderful word like imperial (not quite as imposing as methuselah, the word for a six-liter bottle of Burgundy or champagne, but splendid enough). I'm guessing that the rich person ordering the bottle did not use the mot juste ("Bring us your biggest bottle of Petrus!" is more likely), but it saddens me that the magazine did not choose lexicographic precision over the mathematical variety.
*Why on earth is the New Yorker using the British spelling of liter? Nothing against British spellings, but they do not belong in New York publications.In case you've let it slip your mind:
Almost 100 people a day a being killed in Iraq this month. 90 today.
Look's like it's "dump and run" time with Bush. We're headed for Iran, according to Scott Ritter.
for The Daily Growler
Monday, October 23, 2006
From USA Today:
Officer Dan Picagli, a 17-year veteran of the force, was hit while directing traffic in the rain Tuesday night. He had been wearing a black raincoat and a reflective vest.
The SUV was driven by John M. Walker Jr., a senior judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, who maintains court chambers in New Haven. He was leaving work when the accident happened, police said.
No charges have been filed.
Police Chief Francisco Ortiz said the accident remained under investigation, but officers did not feel it was necessary to test Walker for drugs or alcohol.
Walker, 65, voluntarily stepped down this month as chief judge of the court. He was appointed to the court in 1989 by President George H.W. Bush, who is a cousin of the judge.
"Officer Picagli was more than a cop," Mayor John DeStefano said in a statement Saturday. "He was someone who brought people together, who created a sense of community. He was a life enhancer to all with whom he came in contact. More than any memorial, his basic decency will keep his memory vibrant in our city."The good judge (must be nice if your cousin is President--that's ole Pappy Bush and not Georgie Porgie, our only never-elected "president" and also the ONLY PRESIDENT EVER APPOINTED BY THE SUPREME (IDIOT) COURT) was a little tired from a hard day's drinkin' at the office, we'd assume.
The Daily Growler predicts: This Walker-Bush will like all crooked Bush Family members, and that's all of 'em, folks, never do one damn ounce of time--not even community service. In fact, he'll probably be the next appointee to the Supreme Court of Idiots--who knows. He wasn't tested for drugs or alcohol--did you notice that? If you or I ran down and killed a cop with our SUV not only would we have been tested for drugs and alcohol we'd be in the slammer awaiting a hearing--unless they sent us to Gitmo and then, well, maybe we'll see you in the next life.
These rich assholes love their SUVs, don't they? Like Lizzy Grubman--they like to run peasants down with them, too. What fun! To the Bush Family, don't you know, cops are peasants--or did you know that?
Speaking of Neil Bush
From the Baltimore Sun:
WASHINGTON // A company led by President Bush's brother and partly owned by his parents is benefiting from Republican connections and federal money targeted for economically disadvantaged students under the No Child Left Behind Act.
With investments from his parents, George and Barbara Bush, and other backers, Neil Bush's company, Ignite Learning, has placed its products in 40 U.S. school districts and plans to market internationally.
Here's the whole article in case you were worried about Neil running low on funds:
Ah, at least one of the Bush babies is enterprising thanks to Pappy and Mammy helping him out; plus a little aid from We the People. Surely somebody has the figures on how much money the Bush Family has made off Georgie Porgie being the "decider"?
Hey, Amurican soldiers, why don't you do like your commander in chief and just go AWOL? What, you don't have an old gnarly Pappy as president to get your cowardly ass off the meathook? Too bad. Get ready to die for this AWOL National Guard wimp and his God-driven desire to destroy the world--the Thousand Points of Light are from the nuclear war he's trying to drive us into. We say send old Judge Walker--the New York judge with his court in New Haven--how do you get that to happen?--and his killer SUV to Iraq and let him chauffeur the troops over the top--hey, you can run down Iraqi traffic cops with impunity, Judge--"Go ahead, Judge, run down that towelhead cop over there. It's easier than hittin' one of those New Haven cops."
Marvin Bush--if you were concerned about Marvin Bush maybe not having a steady cash flow--hell, Marv's doin' fine--he's still got millions from when he was Security Chief for the World Trade Center right before it flopped to the ground, that wimp building--oh, and 9/11? Why that's the day Marvin's WTC Security contract ended. Books closed. Marvin's home bank--it's in the Cayman Islands, we betcha.
Georgie Porgie "Gently Admonishes" Ole Pappy Bush--A Little Bush Family Insight
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush gently admonished his father for saying he hates to think what life would be like for his son if the Democrats win control of Congress in the November 7 election.
It was the latest sign of possible strain in the relationship between the two men.
"He shouldn't be speculating like this, because -- he should have called me ahead of time and I'd tell him they're not going to (win)," a smiling Bush told ABC "This Week" in an interview broadcast on Sunday.It follows the recent release of a book, "State of Denial," by journalist Bob Woodward, that says the 82-year-old former president was "anguished" over how the Iraq war has played out, although he has dismissed that account.
Old Pappy Bush--82-year-old geeky white man--power let's you live forever.
for The Daily Growler
Sunday, October 22, 2006
My Ballyard Is Dark
I did not watch the World Series tonight. I looked in occasionally. Saint Louis was whacking the Tigers--like in the Indian bush where beaters beat the brush and scare the tigers out into the open so the big, fat, pompous rajahs can blow them away with high-powered hunting rifles like the one Ernest Hemingway used to blow the whole top of his aching head off back in 1961.
It's hard for me to believe Papa's been dead for 45 years. God, it seems like only yesterday as a young man wanting to be a writer I was reading of his death in the papers and then about his funeral in Life Magazine and that magazine, with Papa's picture on the cover, had in the dead middle of the magazine, where the Playboy centerfolds are attached, was a two-page spread showing a wide-angled photograph of Papa's graveside funeral in the Ketchum, Idaho, cemetery, shot from way back up west of the cemetery and shot so that you were looking down at the cemetery in a valley below, a valley overwhelmed by the presence of the Sawtooth Mountains looming over that cemetery like huge sleeping elephants dwarfing that small cemetery and the small gathering of people around the gravesite, the priest standing at the head of the open grave with Papa's casket made a toy by that dwarfing, and the string of cars parked on the cemetery road in the distant foreground, one of them a Lincoln Continental, not a new one, but a classic 1940s original with the spare tire mounted on the outside of the trunk and what came to be known in the car customizing world after that as a "Continental spare," a much more continental car than the later versions of it. My brother had an 1980s Continental, the one with the Cartier signed windows in it but it wasn't as elegant as those originals, Cartier-signed windows and butter-soft leather interior or not. That photo of Papa's funeral so captured my imagination it led me on a huge thirst to in a binge of reading read every Hemingway book I could get my mits on. I went to a small bookstore in Abilene, Texas, on Cypress Street in that prairie town, and there on a rack display were all of Hemingway's Scribner's books in paperback, very expensive paperbacks, all over a $1.50 and some of them $1.95. I had a twenty dollar bill I had earned working on a highway building project up north of Abilene--I rode on the back of the asphalt machine and controlled the spray bar, which in the upright position was turned off but when you lowered it, it began spraying liquid asphalt all over the caliche gravel base the scrubs had spread out with shovels as they slow trailed a dumping dump truck as it jerked along with its bed raised high in the air like a skyscraper to make the caliche stones roll down in big gulps to empty onto the graded roadbed where the shovelers, poor bastards, had to spread it out fast because the Barber-Greene asphalt spreader on which I was controlling the spreader bar was coming right behind them slowly but surely.
I rode on a little steel step on the back of that spreader that placed me just above this seven-foot wide iron tube capped at each end with a lot of holes drilled in circles around it so that when the hot liquid asphalt from the asphalt cooker was pressured into it that mad-hot asphalt pissed out of that bar all over the damn place and it was up to me to get that damn bar lowered all the way down near the ground fast or it would explode all over everywhere and piss all over me and that's what it felt like when it rained up onto me--like hot piss--and I've pissed on myself, and we all have, come on, so I know that feeling and that's what that hot asphalt spurting out of that pipe and hitting me felt like. I had to let the asphalt flow until I was told by the foreman to pull the bar up and shut off the flow, and then I had to slam that bar up fast as hell or I got pissed on again.
Then after that devilish drill, I had to take this filthy mop-like thing and wipe that bar clean for the next spraying, which meant, to be faster, that I had to jump down off my step and right straight down into the hot tar we'd just spread and run with my mop along that pipe as quickly as possible up and back down it with that mop, then lope back leap up on my step and stash that bloody tarry mop back in the bucket full of gasoline I kept it in between spreadings. All the time your job is like being in Holy Hell, that big cooker just in front of you is boiling that asphalt with a rumbling roar and you can feel its intensive heat coming at you and you dare not lose your balance and fall against it or you know you'll get your ass baked and, too, it's spewing that thick tar smell out to engulf the air you're breathing--and that asphalt cooker is hot and being around it is like facing a furnace and it's West Texas in the summer so the temperature is in the 90s and the sun is monstrously close to you in that high open sky out there--so Hell hath no fury like laying an asphalt highway on the bald-open prairie of West Texas in the middle of summer, high July, half naked (only a thin throwaway jersey type shirt) under the scalding glory of that magnificent Sun--the first God ever!
But I was a cool asphalt spreader operator and the boss paid me a twenty-dollar bill every afternoon late we stopped for the day, though sometimes we set up our generators and our spotlights and worked all night--in order to complete the job in the time we'd contracted to finish it. On those days, I got 2 twenties, pretty good for a college kid.
So that day in that bookstore with that twenty bucks I'd made off laying that asphalt, I bought A Farewell to Arms, The Torrents of Spring, The Sun Also Rises, In Our Time, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.
I knew nothing about Hemingway's writing at that time. I had read excerpts from A Farewell to Arms in a college composition class, but the only part of the book I remember was that wonderful opening paragraph and I read it so many times I memorized it it was so powerful to me as a would-be writer.
And that's what I was, a would-be writer. My grandmother was a published writer; by then my brother had published a couple of articles in The Atlantic Monthly, plus my college roommate had already published--he wrote potboilers, like Trailer Camp Trash and The Hollywood Vixen, that were published by a paperback publisher in Ohio that specialized in such literary garbage, though I thought The Hollywood Vixen was a great book, and it was all about a real aunt he really really had who really really lived in L.A. and who really really worked for a studio in really real Hollywood.
So when my roommate and I were celebrating our graduating from college, with me I had to do a term paper in 5 days and make at least a B on it before they would let me graduate, and he had struggled his last year after discovering the delights of a young woman schoolteacher who kept his head in romance rather than in studies, so we graduated by the skin of our teeth. The week after the graduation ceremony, I drove back over to college to get my stuff out of my room and my roommate was there, too, and we packed his stuff in my car and told our landlady goodbye and headed toward his hometown, a few miles west and on the way to my hometown. When we were approaching the turnoff to his home, he suddenly said, "Wanna keep on driving?" I said, "Wha?" He said, "Keep on drivin' west. Let's go see my aunt in California, man. Let's get some cold beer and hit the highway like Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, man. On the Road, baby." What a great idea, I chirped, and pointed my '53 Chevvy due west toward La-La Land, to hell with Texas and our parents and girlfriends and friends who were waiting for our triumphant return this time as Masters of Arts. In three days we were standing on the corner of Hollywood and Vine right smack-dab in the middle of Glitter and Glitz--"Jesus Christ, JP, look over there...is that Natalie Wood?" And I was in total love with Natalie Wood, and then even more seeing her up close and in the flesh-- one of the most lusciously beautiful women of all time--even to this day, she still rings uniquely beautiful in my mind, even though when she died the good life was beginning to sag her and put alcoholic bags under her eyes; then one night while partying with her husband, Robert Wagner (who's ironically still very much alive doing old fogey ads on teevee these days), and his lucky bastard Hollywood friends, she ended up in the drink having fallen off their yacht--or so old Bob Wagner said. An accident? She died holding an empty champagne glass in her hand. And then the joke was "What do you call a dead woman's body holding a champagne glass and floating in San Pedro Harbor?" The answer, of course, is "Natalie Wood."
Rebel Without a Cause was the movie that caused me to fall in love with Natalie--God, she was pure sexual in that movie. Later, the book the movie came from, by Dr. Robert Lindner, and his other truly great book, The Fifty-Minute Hour, opened my eyes to psychiatry--I was already steeped in Freud but not analysis--these books opened up my eyes to analysis and how it could work. F James Dean, by the way; I never liked him; he was a Bogart copycat, nothing more; and now, every Hollywood joy-boy copies old Jimmy. All high-minded young men in my day were cooler than James Dean, a hayseed from some Midwest cornfield--we were Beat; James Dean was not Beat, which comes from the word "beatific."
So, I didn't watch the World Series game. Just couldn't. Once the Yankees were out of it, and that's how pompous we Yankee fans are, it means nothing to me. Saint Louis? Detroit? Who cares. Except a lot of my friends are from Detroit so I don't mind cheering for Detroit--though my best Michigan friend cares nothing at all about baseball so I'm sure he gives not one damn iota whether I cheer for Detroit or not. [By the bye, I was wrong in saying in a past post that Detroit set a record by losing over 90 games three years ago--90 my ass; they lost 119 games three years ago and 90 something the next year. How dare the Yankees lose to the Tigers--who are paper tigers this year, I guarantee ya.]
Instead, I read Hemingway. Men Without Women. The only Hemingway I could find in my apartment, though I do see a pile of books on a high bookshelf in that corner of my room that could have a couple of Hemingways in it--though that stack of books is so covered with good old NYC grime I can't see any of the titles. But Men Without Women is a fun book and I gobbled it down and missed the end of the World Series.
By the way, here's what Ernest Hemingway thought of war:
I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a method of settling international disputes.
for The Daily Growler
NOTE: This was Yesterday's Post. Our only missed day in quite a while.