Deja Vu All Over Again
Down in the District of Corruption, the home of our corporate government, you know, run by head honcho, Georgie Porgie, our boy pretender "president," never elected, first president ever appointed by the Supreme Court--you have to keep this in mind when you're considering what this illegal Congress is up to--the good ole boys with their noses up the cold, hard assholes of the thousands of lobbyists who have actually been running this country since lobbying was first allowed--this is a government still based on a Constitution written by white aristocrats, most of them slave-holding plantation owners, even the Great White Father of this country, good ole General George Washington--who, by the way, argued the same as old Dwight David Eisenhower, against too large'a military and military industrial complex--yeah, George made a great speech on this matter, great LIBERAL speech if I might defend the guy as a fairly raw but intelligent thinker.
What's my point? I'm never pointless no matter how pointless I seem. I'm an actor; all writers are actors, living through the characterizations of their many selves through their multiword dramas based on events from their grueling lives or at least lives stolen out of the headlines or from some biography of say like the world's unluckiest man who just died in Scotland, Michael Mosey (see Growler post two or three days back), and developing that character into one of their own.
Most successful writers plagiarize their hero influences, like Malcolm Lowry openly admitted he stole huge chunks from Conrad Aiken and that Norwegian novelist he so admired, Nordahl Grieg, in writing his first published short stories and later his first novel Ultramarine--even that name stolen from Conrad Aiken's Blue Voyage, a novel about the same thing, the hell of working below decks on a transoceanic freighter--remember Eugene O'Neill's Hairy Ape? same story--the play much better than the movie since William Bendix was miscast in the movie and in miscasting him as the Hairy Ape, as usual, Hollywood ruined the meaning of the story--but it was the same story: the hell of working below decks--the lowest of the low in the on-board class system on a ship.
Funny thing about Lowry. He sought out and forced himself on these two writers he plagiarized so openly, coming to America and finding Aiken mafficking wildly and successful as hell in Cambridge, Mass.; and then getting on a Norwegian freighter and traipsing to Oslo to find Nordahl Grieg--and then developing close relations with both these guys--Aiken actually coming to England and living off helping Lowry, whose father was a rich Liverpool cotton broker, get through his Cambridge trials--Lowry attended Saint Catharine's. Nordahl Grieg then eventually came to Oxford to do research on a novel he was writing and again hooked up a relationship with Lowry--both Aiken and Grieg going out drinking with the sottish Lowry--he became a stone alcoholic as a teenager--and helping him with his writing--Lowry proudly admitting to both these guys how much of his work was actually their work, hell, word-for-word in most intances. Lowry was kind'a disappointed when neither author seemed to give a shit about it--except Aiken cleverly in reading over the MS of what would eventually be Ultramarine would edit out all of his stuff Lowry plagiarized. Grieg on the other hand didn't seem to even give that much of a dick shit about it and kind'a knew how to ignore Lowry and certainly never depended on Lowry's rich father for subsistence like Aiken did (Aiken lost his fortune gambling on the stock market in the early days of the Jazz Age--he was very rich until 1929 when instead of jumping out an upper-floor skyscraper window, he went to England and looked up Malcolm Lowry).
Henry Miller told young writers if they wanted to start getting published right away to just go back in literary publications or magazines that carried short stories (like Redbook, Atlantic Monthly, McCalls, etc.) twenty years and start rewriting the stories they published then, successful stories in the sense they were published by highly visible publications. Henry said, soon you'll see acceptance slips coming in your mail rather than those charming rejection slips young writers used to paper the walls of their "rooms of their own" with. I remember meeting in Santa Fe one time Richard Bradford who wrote a pretty good New Mexican novel called Red Sky at Morning (you know, the old sailors's warning)--and he told me he'd sent that MS out 75 times before he got it acquired--and he had an agent, too; of course, he had an agent, some times absolutely no help at all if you aren't already famous. That's what I love about most entertainment agents--unless they discover you raw they demand you already be famous. An irritating irony to a just-starting-out artist.
So as Tom Lehrer, the entertaining math genius from MIT, used to sing, "so go on and plagiarize, that's why the Good Lord made your eyes...."
You see my point? Even novels are deja vu all over again.
Which brings me back to what's going on in the District of Corruption as I type this. Yesterday the nest-egg-building, lobbyist-money-grabbing pack of crooks that call themselves Congress gave AT&T permission to buy BellSouth for a googling sum of a google of billions of clams. AT&T has bought Congressional favors recently for millions of bucks in their attempt to get control of the Internet, which they will soon get unless dumbass Amuricans vote the Repugnicans totally out of the picture this coming November--now only three and a half weeks away, right?
AT&T, you remember them don't ya? The American Telephone & Telegraph Company, originally chartered as the Bell Telephone Company, named after its so-called "inventor," Alexander Graham Bell--and I put inventor in quotes because I'm pretty sure there's evidence that like Thomas A. Edison, Bell was given to plagiarizing other inventors.
Alexander Graham Bell and his father-in-law, a man named Greene Hubbard, unified a whole bunch of their smaller phone company startups into what they called the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, which also included Western Electric (aha! how many of you remember Western Electric? They used to make all telephone equipment--phones, wires, poles, repairs, all that sort of production--they also made amplified sound systems for sports stadiums, political rallies, even Hollywood films--this is when you were given your phone by the phone company--you rented it from them; that was what your basic monthly charge was based on and not how many times you used the phone--except for long distance calls, which were based on per-minute charges that would appear on your Bell bill and not as a charge from a separate telephone company). Bell was definitely a MONOPOLY. There were other phone companies, yeah, like General Telephone, but they were pipsqueaks compared to Ma Bell, mere pimples on her enormously broad ass.
Rather than bore you with my recall of Ma Bell and her many children, here, check out Wikipedia--the whole murky history of Ma is here, the 1980s break up of the family, and how since they have disguised the fact that they weren't really broken up but were just like inheriting children, you dig, and how they became what were called Baby Bells. Here ya go, check it out:
Anyway, so Georgie Porgie and his whole crew of rich-son failures are letting Ma come back alive. I thought it funny how Verizon still uses the Bell logo on their trucks (and I'm curious how the ad spinners came up with the name Verizon--what does it mean? I can't even figure it out in an acronymal sense (Holy Noam Chomsky!) unless it's "horizon" and "vertical" combined--whatever the hell that symbolizes--semiotics is not one of my specialities, even though I worked in advertising for many moons and semiotics is one of their mind-boggling metiers.
Deja Vu All Over Again in Georgie Porgie's Press Conference Yesterday
When asked about the MIT-Johns Hopkins report, published yesterday by the New England Journal of Medicine, that said since We the People of the good ole US of A invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq--WAIT, you remember "Mission Accomplished!" "Freedom on the March!" all done in the name of that anonymous God our "president" and Tamarlane-minded commander and chief of the armed forces says is always talking to him in Godspeak and telling him he's "connecting the dots" correctly--and performing his dog-and-pony "decidermeister" show to a bumbling, stuttering tee--since We the People invaded the sovereign nation of Iraq--a nation that had been under an embargo since old Pappy Bush had led his 600,000 of We the People's troops to Baghdad's back door and then pulled out (WIMPED out) declaring a victory in his great Amurican war, the Persian Gulf War--and, by the way, Pappy's Great Gulf War was a trick-job, too. Pappy encouraged Saddam Hussein, Rummy's old pal, to go into Kuwait--"Why," Pappy said, "you, Sa-damm Hoo-sane, have my blessing; why go right ahead and attack those towelheads in Kuwait--don't worry, we'll spin it your way, Saa-dam, old buddy." Beware when making deals with Pappy Bush! So then Saddam crosses over into Kuwait--Iraq has always claimed Kuwait as their territory, a country made up by the British after WWI in order to steal all that Iraqi oil that lies (LIES) under little old filthy rich, Mercedes driving, sheik-paradise, indentured slave cheap labor Kuwait--and WHA! Pappy Bush breaks his promise and gathers up 600,000 troops, just back by the way from bombing the Holy Hell out of Panama City where they helped Pappy dupe another one of his old buddy's, his cocaine-wholesaler pal, General Noriega--HI HO, remember him? Remember the photo of Pappy and his old general pal sitting on a sofa down in tropical Panama, drinking some kind of fine tropical fruit stuff and smiling like possums eating shit or monkies whacking off? Remember, too, the photo of old all-teeth Cheshire Cat Rummy Rumsfeld over in Baghdad shaking the hell out of Saddam Hussein's puffy old itchy tyrannical hand? Have you forgotten, too, Unka Dick's involvement in selling nuclear capability to---WHO? Have you forgotten? Through Unka Dick's investment and board membership of a Swedish nuclear company? Remember now? Remember the country? Was it North Korea maybe?
--YES, SINCE WE INVADED IRAQ 3 YEARS AGO, WE HAVE KILLED 650,000 IRAQIS! Can you fathom that many Amuricans being bombed to smithereens by an Al Queda invasion within a three-year period? Georgie Porgie's response through my ears: "Hell, we showed those sand turkeys--they blew away 2,900 of our precious Amurican citizens--so hell, we blew away 650,000 of them. That jest goes to emphasize that we mean bizniss in this War on Terrerism. You blow us away, we blow you away; let's see, I have Colon Pal's revamped death figures for Iraq here somewhere--you know that's what, I call him my Uncle Tom-boy, same as that guy Kenny Boy Lay, who I have no idea who the hell he is, heh-heh-heh--see how nat'rell I am as your President and CEO?--I'm jest a good ole boy from good ole Texas, but hell, you don't mess with me when I think I'm right. F how many Iraqis we killed over there. That jest shows me how many of them are willing to die to get this Freedom I'm marchin' in on them."
Actually, Bush's actual response to a reporter asking him what he thought of that report was "I don't accept it. It's been proven to be based on untenable data, so I don't accept it. I go on what General Casey tells me...." The reporter, a black woman asked: "Are you sticking with 30,000 dead?" "Who the hell let Aunt Jemima in overhere...heh-heh...." Sorry, he didn't say that; but what he did say was just as bad; he said he had such compassion for those dead Iraqis--why it almost brought his doggedhead to tears--he got choked up when he patriotically cackled "I think that just shows how bad they want the freedom we're staying the course there to bring them--that moves me that they are suffering how ever many of 'em have been killed for freedom." That's how this idiot sees killing 650,000 Iraqis.
"War is hell," remember. Old Phil Sheridan taught us that; old Phil who also said "the best Injun is a dead Injun." And old Phil has a statue of himself riding his favorite show horse right at the entrance to old Central Park in New York City--he also has a square named after him down in NYC's Greenwich Village, a gateway to NYC's Gay community.
We love war and killing. A figure like 6 million Jews being irradicated in WWII by Christian Hitler no long phases us--or the Turks wiping out maybe that many Armenians in WWI--who the hell knows nor gives a shit anymore? Nor did the nuking of 300,000 Japanese innocents bother us one bit. We justified it by running down the old propaganda line that it saved 2 million Amurican boys lives--and we all know, killing 300,000 innocent Japs is certainly justifiable when seen in those Christian terms (our military is prejudicially Christian, or did you already know that? Nobody is bothered by horrifying figures of war dead, men, women, kids, babies, they're just numbers to us. We're too busy reaping the rewards of this Bush rejuvenated economy to bother over dead human beings wherever they are--even if they are right down there in the Land of Dreams, New Orleans, Iraq. By the bye, the economy is what Bushy Boy is gonna spin at you as his greatest and most important success--which is a lie, too.
Whoa, look here, over in the Sudan right now hundreds of thousands of poor homeless refugeed Africans are starving to death or being attacked and murdered at night in their sleep-- these people outcasts in their own country because of their tribal connections and religious beliefs--I think they're all Muslims, aren't they? Just the wrong kind of Muslims as far as the sheiks of the Sudan are concerned.
Hey, the final solution works, folks. When I was a kid I was taught falsely, like everything else about existence I was taught in those days, that this country was set up so oppressed people, people on the verge of being annihilated could come here and find a manifestation of pure democracy, why hell, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. They were way off on that teaching--the great melting pot is a melting pot all right, 'cept the pot tries to melt you free, white, Protestant, and twenty-one--that's the big problem with it. We "whitey" Amuricans hate our "cullered" neighbors more than we love them; hell and we're not even too sure about our "whitey" Canadian neighbors--there's an awful lot of "cullerds" moving into big Canadian cities now; a lot of Wogs, Gooks, and African-whatevers--still Canada's Tory enough in its parliament and except for selling our old folks cheap drugs they seem to be towing the line Bush style--why look at the terrerists they've recently rounded up for US--oh, no, one guy they turned into us turned out to be not a member of Al Queda and now he's suing the shit out of Bush, Amurika, and Canada--seems like the US flew him free-of-charge to one of their spas in Syria where he was beaten to within an inch of his life--of course sexually harassed--our Coalition buddies are mean sons of bitches when it comes to sexual harassment--but wait a minute, isn't Syria a member of the Axis of Evil?
Warning, never trust a promise made by a member of this Bush family--they are a pack of cowards, and as such they are natural-born liars. Freud said there is a great truthfulness to be found from analyzing natural-born liars--our fantasies can eventually strangle us, especially when they are the fantasies of children who never mature, who go around crying in their wee little voices, "Love me, Daddy. Love me or I'll take us all to Hell in this nuclear handbasket I got the controls to."
God-damn I wish this phony president was as scary to Amuricans as he is to me. Why am I afraid? Listen to this: a pampered second-rate still-millionaire baseball player bought himself a new super trendy piece-of-shit toy airplane with the millions he'd just gotten a month or so ago after getting the break of his long baseball life by coming over to the Yankees in a trade with the low-life going nowhere Philadelphia Phillies--on the advice of nutjob Lucious Larry Bowa, a totally failed manager for two National League teams, now a Yankee coach--he took Willie Randolph's place on the Yankee coaching staff.
This 34-year-old second-rate millionaire pitcher, Cory Litle by name, bought this $200,000 plane and started taking flying lessons and was only to the point in terms of instructional hours he could only fly his new toy with a certified instructor along, that's how super dumb about flying a plane he was. But, hey, he was a millionaire and he liked being able to buy stuff conspicuously--otherwise how would anybody know this California older kid was a millionaire?
Now we get to the real culprits in this sordid story. It wasn't really this poor dopey baseball player's fault.
Here's what our Homeland Security knuckleheads just recently allowed. After 9/11 all airplane flights of any type were stopped over Manhattan Island. Certainly no plane of any kind could fly over Manhattan, nor could they fly around the river routes either. So what had this bunch of Homeland Insecurity creeps done just recently?--why they just recently decided in Federal court that it was now perfectly fine for private planes, jetliners or propeller-driven jobs, to fly at will over Manhattan Island--which, by the way, has no places to land airplanes--no runways on Manhattan Island--helicopter pads, yes, but no runways--in fact, these birds could fly anywhere over or under Manhattan Island they cared to fly. The NYC City Council protested this decision. Even old Governor Potato Head Pataki didn't want it and protested it. But, we New Yorkers were told the airways are none of our business; opening airways to private flights is a Federal decision. So the Feds decided, well, since there are no longer any "terrerist" targets in New York City, then, hell, it's perfectly OK for spoiled rich assholes to fly their toy planes all over the damn island; who the hell cares anymore, certainly not Homeland Security, those guys doin' such a heck of a job. Besides, they said, there's a whole new tourist industry in town--flying tourists over that hole in the ground at the southern end of Manhattan they call Ground Zero--hey, these out-a-towner saps want to have a gawk at that great patroitic hole in the ground--they want to swoon over it--take a billion cheap photos of it--so these fools are willing to pay big bucks for tickets to fly over any part of Manhattan they like either in big tourist helicopters--there are 100s and 100s of helicopters flying over Manhattan and along the rivers every damn day and night--or in private planes, like executive jets or just plain ole rich folks flying their private toy planes all over the damn place.
So this new ruling made it perfectly OK for this millionaire pampered baseball pitcher to fly his toy plane down the Hudson River from Teterboro Airport (one of the most dangerous airports in the world) over in New Jersey--it used to be a New York City major airport before Idlewild, or Kennedy, was built out in Jamaica Bay--a wildlife preserve by the way--perfect place for an airport, especially when Robert "Mr. Bullshit" Moses decided he wanted it there--then fly by the seat of his pants--using landmarks rather than radio beams to fly by--into New York Harbor, over, up close, and around the Statue of Liberty--the Weather Underground always threatened to blow up the Statue of Liberty in the early seventies saying it no longer represented what this country actually is--no Land of Liberty--that's for sure. So he and his well-paid instructor flew this toy plane around the Statue of Liberty, then straight over you know where? Yep, straight over that hole down there where our greedy politicians and land speculators are going to build the world's tallest building--the Freedom Tower---Oh Damn, I'm started again--I'm on a runaway growl--it's mooning up toward the lycophantic moon and making me want to not howl but go for the throat of something stupid, like our....
Anyway, this baseball player boob's joy ride in his toy airplane ended up with his flying up the East River, just making it over the 59th Street Bridge--"The Bridge Over Troubled Waters"--and then over those waters, which must have really been troubling yesterday afternoon 'cause when precious millionaire baseball player Cody Litle tried some wheelies in the air--his toy airplane--it had its own parachute--can you believe such bullshit?--got out of his control--just like his fast balls and sliders were out of his control the last time he pitched-- in the game the Yankees had to win against Detroit to come back to NYC and continue the playoffs, and ole Cory couldn't save it and instead gave up a ton of runs to the Tigers who went on and are now the darlings of the American League. So the wheely failed badly and the toy plane slammed dead ahead into a 50-story hi-rise condo (as in "Condo-Leasing Rice") building full of millionaires--burning the hell out of two floors of it and doing who knows what kind of structural damage to it. Cody, his instructor, and pieces of his toy plane, leaving the motor behind in one of the apartments, fell to the street below--and Cory was traded away forever, we hope to Jesus and the Boys from Heaven, though knowing George Steinbrenner, poor ole Cody probably got traded to old Red Devil and the Boys from You Know Where. So long, Cody; hey, it was good while it lasted; and you could'a been killed in Iraq if baseball hadn't'a saved your ass.
Remember now, NYC has nothing of interest to the terrerists anymore, according to the new handout dolings of the Department of Homeland Insecurity, so fly away, rich boys, as long as you don't fly over that doughnut shop in Podunk, Indiana. Besides, you know what our "president's" take on this was--"Hey, some big political contributors should be able to take tourist flights over that sacred ground down there; they've paid for that privilege--and while they're at it, why not let 'em do a little sightseeing right over the top of Manhattan as well. Hey, if one of 'em accidentally hits a building, it ain't like it's a terrerist attack."
Oh how utterly stupid. So stupid I rebel and turn my back on it.
I've seen it all before--it is "deja vu all over again."
I retired to my loft bed in stupified anger, panting ferociously as a mad, hungry wolf's subject to doing, and while digging around in a pile of ancient video tapes, I came up with an unmarked cassette. When I put it in the VCR player, I found out it was my copy of The Spanish Earth. This film is a masterpiece of early war filming. It was made by Joris Ivens, shot by John Ferno, narrated by Orson Welles, with a running commentary by Old Papa himself, Ernest Hemingway. It's a crude black and white, cinema noir actually, film that was made right in the middle of the Spanish Civil War around 1937, amongst the Republican people and troops, the true Spanish people, as they fought the Spanish military under the command of that pompous peasant asshole Francisco Franco, who was 100% backed by actual Nazi forces, the Nazi airforce (Junkers--great heavy bombers), and also troops from Mussolini's wonderfully Fascist Italy (hey, he's'a made the trains'a run on time) and his African Corp, you know, that bunch of Italian whackos that invaded Ethiopia and Somalia for the Axis cause--so the poor old Spanish Republicans were totally outnumbered and outarmed--and this film is just wonderful in how solemn and how futilely but truly heroic these Republican Spanish and the Liberals of the world who went to help their cause to be.
In those days filming real dead bodies on battlefields was verboten in Hollywood films--so in looking at this film now, which shows dead people all over the place, both whole and in pieces, I found how unmoved I was seeing those dead bodies. Seeing them, no matter how macabre they looked, didn't make me shudder or shiver one bit. I just took it all naturally. I just looked at them and they were like props on a set to me.
Now 70 years after the Spanish Civil War, seeing dead bodies on a television or movie screen is as normal watching horrible car crashes and police chases and mean cop shows and shit like that--not shocking at all to see bodies blown apart or to see guns pointed at teevee character heads and then guns blowing one and all away, with great graphic-art bloody, gutsy clarity. Death everywhere and our heroes finding those murderers at the end of every excitied death-and-murder-filled episode. Blood and guts. We love it. Hell, I watched one of those corny CSI teevee shows that's so big now t'other eve and shit, a loony was killing people in revenge for their killing his innocent brother every strange whichway he could figure out--digging out one dude's eyeballs and then driving railroad spikes through the empty sockets to pin his head onto a tree trunk.
I saw a statistic today: since 9/11 and Rudi Guiliani declaring everything in NYC was back to normal, the NYPD has shot and killed 160 people, a huge lot of them kids. One kid was holding a candy bar in a shiny wrapper--the cops blew him away saying they thought he was holding a weapon. Yeah, sure. Ever notice how it takes thirty-six cops to bring one poor old doped black guy to the ground, and then another ten or fifteen to get the cuffs on the perpetrator? Usually some gunslinger fires off his weapon in one of these massive cop attacks on individuals. Yep, things are back to normal all right. As a New Yorker, I feel safer, much safer, now that I know it was simply a rich man out tripping flying his new expensive toy airplane who flew it into that condo building just a few blocks up town from me and that for sure it wasn't one of those Al Queda terrerists who even with hangovers and the stink of strippers and whores still on their heavy breaths and heads managed to fly with more accuracy than Cory Litle did the day he crashed into his NYC tower.
650,000 Iraqis blown to bits. No big deal. I see that many people killed on teevee every night. No love; just war, folks. Remember, that "Make Love Not War" hippy bullshit didn't catch on in this country anymore than old fabulous Jesus saying he had only one commandment his true believers had to obey and that was "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself"--unless he or she is a Muslim? a Messkin? an Injun? a Gook? an African-American (I know, that's not what they call black folks), come on, Jesus, level with us, there are exceptions to your commandment?
Yeah, and this post is "deja vu all over again." Is that the fat lady I hear singing?--Yes, it's big fat Kate "Nuttier Than a Fruitcake" Smith singing "Jehovah Bless Amurika." Praise the Lard and pass that ammunition--so we'll all be FREE.
for The Daily Growler