Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Day Off

No Such Thing
For a head like me, a discombobulated head like me, a fountainhead head like me, a speed head like me, there is no day off. What the hell is a day? A day-O. And so far my day off, which isn't a day off at all, started with having to listen to Simon Loekle reading 11 pages of Finnegan's Wake, where the pub owner is closing his Dublin pub and he's thrown the guzzlers out in the street in front of the bar where they are blabbingly talking about him; that was on WBAI-FM this morning at the break o'day, remember Anita O'Day and Daddy-O Daley (Daddio on the Raddio), and Dennis O'Day?--okay, I don't expect anybody to remember Dennis O'Day, except it's good to tax your memory on long lost subjects like Dennis O'Day, who shortened it to Dennis Day--you need to constantly test yourself to keep the dopamine flowing across the thresholds of your brain's memory side, the good old brain--to keep the seratonin flowing and the dopamine shooting across the breach and making it to the left side or right side whichever side, needed to keep your brain from drying up and leaving you as viable as Ronnie Raygun Reagan was during the last term of his legendary presidency when he was totally working under the influence of Alzheimer's disease and of his astrology-believing wife and her guru the late fake Jeanne Dixon who visited the White House regularly--isn't that unbelievable? But it's true and truth is stranger than fiction, by jesus, it is now, except it's hard to believe truth can top Finnegan's Wake for strangeness. And Simon Loekle grand thinking declaimer that he is read this 11 pages from Finnegan's Wake almost perfectly--he stumbled once that I caught--and he read it with a thick Irish brogue, too. Amazin' dude this Loekle kid. he is: Dennis Day. I told you you wouldn't remember him.

Confession: I've never even attempted to read Finnegan's Wake and Wakers who do read this grand farce of a book are as weird as the book (old myth-nut Joe Campbell was one of them). I then think of Nabokov--see today for a little conversation concerning Nabokov's use of a Russian word--L Hat's the man for such conversation, too, like me, thinking Nabokov's Lolita is one of the best damn books ever written and I've read it many a time but not Finnegan's Wake, which to Wakers is a hilariously funny book. Hey, I've read Ulysses 1 and 1/2 times and I think it's a god-damn funny book, too; oh those Irish scoundrels! In fact, I'll put Ulysses above Lolita in the all 'round genius of the writing, but, hey, writers write to be famous, according to Tom Wolfe (Right Stuff Tom and not the great American writer of long sentences that turn into long books, Thomas Wolfe), who I also had to endure this morning during his being interviewed on old right-wing goombah Ben Wattenburg's usually boring and right-wing nutjob opinionated PBS show--Ben won't let anybody get a word in edgewise without a tooting of his right-wing nutjob horn--and good ole Tom Wolfe, still wearing his old Deep South plantation white shit, definitely Tom had a Miss Anne for a mother, agreed with Ben all the way to the right-wing bank--oh how fucking boring. I put a DVD of Oscar Peterson and his trio backing up Little Jazz in Montreux in 1977 on and turned whacko Ben off; and this Montreux video was made thirty fucking years ago, folks, that time of huge wide shirt collars you left tieless and outside the lapels of your loud suit coat, in Oscar's case during this filming, a baby blue suit with matching wide-collared baby blue shirt and matching baby blue silk handkerchief in the coat pocket, with the baby blue suit pants tailing off over Oscar's big size-14 Bally half boots. In the meantime the noise of progress is wrecking my day off's sweet air; they are beginning the demolishing of a small building right down the airshaft alley from my east window, and a dude with a metal-cutting saw, all by himself, is sawing the roof off this building today. They are going to build a hotel there. Oh, just what we need in this neighborhood, another god-damn hotel--a cheap-ass Indian-owned-and-run small hotel--who gives a shit that there are two other Indian-owned-and-run hotels in front of this one and to the east of this one--yeah, these Indians learned a lot from being under British rule--at least they learned how to be a perfect servant class, especially good at running hotels that cater to white people. And white people are taking over my neighborhood, formerly a Little Korea, though gradually these foreign developers are buying the Koreans out and moving in the rich whites and the Euro tourists, whose Euro dollars are now worth more than the US dollar, which Bush and the Milton Friedman-ass-kissing Neo-Nuts encourage since driving down the dollar is one of the goals of the old-Trotskyite Neo-Cons--read Leo Strauss if you want to know what these nutjobs are up to.

I got so sick of trying to take a day off I came down to my computer and started venting my spleen on these old tried and true Growler pages where I can growl away sensing how bland and boring the future is going to be as I endure two developments now on either side of my open-to-the-south windows--the 2,000-room monstrosity hotel to the west of me--it will one day block out the setting sun from my view--and now the construction of this dinky Indian hotel, 11 floors I think it's gonna be--NOISE, the music of progress, or what the developers call progress; I call it ripping New Yorkers off--selling Manhattan to the foreigners--the Saudis, the Dubai Royal Family, the Commie Chinese (now the most successful Capitalist economy in the world--isn't irony so wonderful? it's one of the great senses we've developed as overreasoning animals--just goes to show you that Capitalism isn't synonymous with "democracy" but rather more synonymous with a controlled state--why Germany took to Captialism whole hog after WWII), the Israelis, the Brits, and now the French and the Spaniards are rolling into town with fistfuls of Euro bucks and buying up buildings right and left.

Fuck 'em all. My day off is ruined, so theoretically I've decided to forgo even expecting a day off--nobody gets a day off really, I decide. So it's business as usual today, a Saturday, a Sabbath, and all the Jewish businesses are closed--on my way to get coffee on Fifth Avenue, I saw a German tourist in front of the Jewish-run camera store up there and he asked me in broken English when the store opened and I told him "Just stand there, dude, they'll open any minute now." Ah, I felt like an old grumpy New Yorker of the past when asked directions by tourists. I hate tourists. I don't even like being a tourist, why I don't travel like most Amuricans do--I like to live in countries when I "visit" them--that's why I married a Tex-Mex chick when I was young and fantasizing about living in Cuidad Mexico--and I "visited" Mexico to live there--and I did live there for over a year, and still I was called mockingly "un turista norteamericano"--"Hey, Gringo, you want shoeshine?" Damn, I hate tourists.

And the idiot is still sawing the roof off this building down the alley from me. Foreigners are putting up a hotel right next to a Con-Ed dioxin-and-mercury-spewing power plant--and there is a hotel right in front of it--and there is another hotel on its east side and behind it is an apartment house. Con-Ed doesn't give a shit that they are fouling up the air of a neighborhood peopled with people and children and invalids and such. This power station was first supposed to be built in Chelsea (over on the west side of Manhattan) but they have a strong neighborhood association over there so they ran Con-Ed off from over there and our billionaire mayor gave Con-Ed permission to build its shit-spewing substation in this neighborhood--it's vital to his big Bloomberg Mall project over on the west side and the proposed 72-story monster of a building that is soon going up on the corner of 32nd and Sixth Avenue and a new Madison Square Garden--oh the mayor is leaving his monument, the Bloomberg Mall--totally unnecessary--like Ed Koch's monument to himself, the Jacob Javitts Center--what a waste of space, time, and city money. Koch, now an old wheezing geezer, still believes he was NYC's best-ever mayor, and this old once-Village Democratic lefty--and gay to boot--is now trumpeting his love of the right-wing, especially Rude Boy Rudi "Mussolini" Guiliani--I wonder if Rudi and Ed ever had an affair? Remember when Ed Krotch tried to hide his gayness by dating true nutjob Bess Meyerson, the first Jewish Miss America, by the way? And she did used to be a talented beauty, played the flute really well, and I once was in love with a classical flute player, from Oregon, named Bess, too.

Memory. Most people I know don't use their memories for nostalgia. I agree but then I'm a writer, I have to write, so hell I use nostalgia as a garden for gathering stories--I don't have a memory of Shakespeare for instance--but I can remember conversations I had at 3 years of age. You heard me. As a band singer I had to have a good memory. I had to learn the lyrics to over 25 or 30 tunes for one band I was in. Plus, as a songwriter I've written way over 1000 tunes and most of them I can remember fairly well. I still remember clearly what my mother looked like and sounded like and how she drove her car and how she did her washing and how she cooked chicken-fried steaks pretty good and how from her job she brought home big tin drums of Morton's Potato Chips and left over pizza friends think I dwell too much in the past. Maybe I do. Right now I'm listening to a Thelonious Monk recording made in 1954--53 years ago, and yet, it's, to me, as up-to-date as anything I hear that's supposedly modern and innovative today. And really I don't hear much music today that impresses me--none; I don't give a shit who you pitch at me; they all sound like robots to me--nothing challenging in anything they do. White boys mostly--using black drummers--white boys--using Latin deejays--and the Latinos are taking over rap and hip-hop--I mean these mothers can rap--and in Spanish. Motor mouths. But I do very much like a Mexican chick singer these days--I don't know her name--she wears the same clothes in both videos of hers I've seen--she plays an accordion, too.

Just listened to 5 and 1/2 minutes of Duke Ellington's band playing the unbelievably great Rockin' in Rhythm--what a pleasure.

for The Daily Growler--I'm takin' meself to me favorite Irish pub--adios.


Marybeth said...

You sure do growl a lot Mister Growly. GRRRRRRRR!!!! But maybe that's why I like you. I took a day off today too, and it just drizzled all day and my mother blabbed at me on the phone from NYC-- she's lonely as all hell without my father to kick around-- and I panicked because I thought I must have killed the cats I'm cat sitting for-- they were just hiding under the bed but I hadn't seen them in days-- and I felt grumpy because life stinks and my father wasn't supposed to up and die on me so soon without any warning like that and I miss him like crazy too and it just keeps raining here in the darkest dark of the year and it's so fucking gloomy I don't want to be awake but I can't sleep either and so I logged in to read the Growler and my! you're in joyful state too. So there. But I agree with you about Thelonious Monk and I think I'll listen to an old recording I have of Sonny Rollins with Thelonious Monk and Paul Chmbers and Art Blakey from April of 1957. Maybe that will ease my misery a little. Yeah, Monk, I haven't listened to him in a while. Music is the only therapy that works. I feel sorry for the idiot sawing the roof off the building. I could cry just for him. That sound track is muderous up close like that. But I don't agree with you about memory. I think everybody uses their memory for nostalgia. It's the thing that feels the best. I'm swimming is a million memories of my father going back to when I was 18 months old. In my first clear memory of him I was 18 months old. He was my favorite thing in the whole wide world back then. In fact, he practically was the whole wide world back then.

Marybeth said...

Boozing is good too. In fact you remind me a lot of my favorite Irish pub-trawling buddy out here, an Irish bloke named Brendan Kelly. Now there's a name for you. Right out of a book, or it should be. Brendan grew up on a rock in the middle of the ocean, well, actually on Rathlin Island which is in the North Channel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. His father was a light house keeper. So Brendan knows the interior life, the deep profound well of the self, just as you obviously do, but he also knows the world, has fucked a million women in a zillion countries and done all manner of living in the big largeness of the outside world, like you too. And he's read everything, or so it seems. He always knows everybody I show up at the pubs with. I show up not with people but with volumes, volumes of poetry mostly, and Brendan knows all of them: Seamus Heaney, Charles Bukowski, Yeats, etc. And he knows all about Celtic music, knows the contributions of Junior Creehan, Tommy Peeples, everybody. And he's a grump. He even wears a hat emblazoned with the word "Grumpy". So I have the invisible Mr. Growly on one coast and the very visible Mr. Grumpy on the other. And they both appreciate the finer things in life like complaining and good Irish booze. So a glass to you Mr. Grrr in advance of the New Year.