Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Wolf-Man Trapped on the Observation Deck

And It's Not Larry Talbot Either
I came up here for fresh air; yeah sure! Instead, I got steeped in displaying my ridicule of my feller Amuricans on seeing them gloating over so dull and wrong a person to be president of this corrupt land, military geek and now being touted as a War Hero, Cap'n John "Gung Ho" McCain. I mean this idiot is bragging about staying in Iraq for 100 years!

Then I got ridiculed right back by a colleague last eventide who scorned me for wasting my time and energy and words on something as moveable as politics and politicians, his argument being that politics and politicians change overnight but good literature and good music are lasting and gaining in value the longer they are appreciated--this person was putting me down for growling over the "passing mundane" to the neglect of his love of classical things like ancient Chinese poetry for instance. He spotted my copy of Ezra's Shih-ching, Ez's rendering of the anthology of odes collected by Confucius--"No man is truly educated until he has studied the odes." That set my colleague off: "Have you read Hinton's translations, or William Carlos Williams's? Are you familiar with Whaley's work?" I told him about my wife becoming friends with Witter Bynner after he became a vegetable and that didn't amuse him--re: Witter Bynner, American poet and essayist who was into classic Chinese verse and knew Arthur Whaley personally. Then I told him I had published 22 poems as a young man, the last one a poem about a Persian rug that eats a woman's baby when she puts his little ass down on the carpet to go answer the door...or the phone--I haven't seen that poem in 25 years or more since one of my many paramours totally destroyed all my personal possessions including all my manuscripts and journals I'd published in since I was 18 in college claiming they were ruined when her garage flooded and she had an Italian yard guy take them out to the Westchester County dump--where, I assume, they are still degenerating under tons of garbage dumped since. "Too bad," he momentarily bemoaned and then went off into a tangent about how Ez translated the odes while he was in Saint Elizabeth's nuthatch down in the District of Corruption and some people associated them as being translated during a time when Ez was a little short on sanity. He ended up reading me several odes from Ez's interpretations. "It's like reading a piece of music, you interpret it your way naturally, no matter the language it's written in." "Are you saying music can be universally understood because it is in only one language?" "Wow, you're leading me all over the place; no, there are languages in music--the Chinese, for instance, don't play the same scales or anything like we Westerners do; yet, they can become great interpreters of Western music--though I think of Chinese and Japanese as tape-recorder-type minds--they put a lot more to memory than I've ever done--and putting tons to memory works if you're looking for the Holy Grail." "Damn, Wolfie, you're as enigmatic as some of Pound's translations." "I'm just an imagiste, friend." He laughed at that, shut the Ez book, and we toasted each other with jiggers of Jameson's Irish Gold! After he'd had several shots of "me Gold" down his gullet, he then began to talk about Yeats--"Didja know" he even took on an Irish brogue, "didja know now that Yeat's father himself hung down in the Village...." "Yes, that's old knowledge, pal." That shut him up.

Then I began asking myself, "Why do you waste so much time on politics?" Because I find it so plebian and dimwitted and just-plain phony that I find it fascinating, like a clown making fun of a dead person in front of his grieving widow or her widower; or a mortician dressing a body out in a clown outfit--when the family opens the casket will their loved one dressed up in a Bozo the Clown outfit cause them to break out in joyous laughter or will they burn down the funeral home? That's sort of the realm I get into when I start seeing these goony politicians, blowing millions and millions of dollars trying to get a job that pays $300,000 a year--I think the government-spending-limit Repugnicans have raised it to that level by now--just as the Repugnicans when in power always raise the price of postage stamps and wreck the economy. Our economy is wrecked already; businesses here in New York City are now proudly saying they accept and prefer Euro dollars to US dollars. I joked about my foreign landlord one day demanding we pay our rents in Euro dollars but hell I think it's more than likely possible given this current leaning toward global everything attitude that is trying to put us under international corporate control (that is Nazism, folks). Sure, I'd rather be reading Ez's translations of the Shih-ching, but I can't--I'm gagging on all the political bullshit that is rising up around me on all sides, everything, the high rents, the high price of gasoline and heating fuel, the high price of property taxes, the high price of the corrupt politicians we just keep putting back into office, the audacious credit card interests charges, or the high price of love of anything--and like Huey Newton said, "Everything's politics, including the food we eat." Huey Newton couldn't ignore politics to read Ez's Shih-ching; Huey gave his life for his political beliefs not because of the poetry he read or wrote. Huey, by the way, was shot dead one night while walking back to his house out in California. It was rumored that he'd been assassinated by the FBI, who back at the beginning of the Viet Nam War resistance and its joining with the Civil Rights activists like Huey always told these guys when they busted them that even if it took them forever they would one day bring all of 'em down--and they did: they brought down Tim Leary, they brought down Eldridge Cleaver, they'd already assassinated Malcolm, then they got Martin...and then they got Huey...and they got H. Rapp Brown, too, but he's still alive--his brilliant mind now rotting away in the far back end of some privatized prison.

Politics do change overnight, but my theory is politics like great literature doesn't change over time really either--the politics we're experiencing today has already been experienced in our collective pasts: historically politicians have always been great bullshitters, great deceivers, machinators, wheeler-dealers, and purveyors of government favors to the rich and powerful and a pushing down of the workingclass to the point of slavery--CHEAP LABOR--that's the cry of both parties: WE NEED CHEAP LABOR!! Politicians hate labor unions. While Hillary was on the Wal-Mart board, she did nothing to help to poor pimple-faced teens and old crotchedy retired people organize against the openly defiant anti-worker benefits stand of the hillbilly Walton Family that control 5% of our nation's wealth. Yet we keep on shopping at Wal-Mart, making them richer and richer and more powerful and committing more and more Asian Rim poor to slave conditions and wages producing cheap, polyester, tacky goods that Wal-Mart ships over here by the gross tons to sell to the overworked, underpaid idiots who flock to Wal-Marts in their Mickey Mouse tee shirts and bulbous asses bloating out hideously obvious in their tight sloppy clothing. There is nothing that brings me down faster than an overweight hillbilly woman who thinks she's sexy. I've seen trailer house tramps who weighed near 300 pounds wearing hot pants and a halter top, slopping along, multiplex butt sloshing like a drunk on ice skates as they walk and expect all those hillbilly men to start whistling like a Hollywood & Vine wolf used to do in those golden days of Hollywood and Vine.

It's all politics. I'm sorry. You can't avoid it. Even getting published as a writer is politics. That was the case in the days of Shakespeare, too. In the days of Cervantes. In the days of Dostoyevski. Even in the days of Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, etc., getting published is still politics. Look at the trouble D.H. Lawrence had in getting published! Henry Miller! William Faulkner.

And there's no fresh air up here on this observation deck either; not like I'd thought there would be. I was politically fooled into thinking the higher up you got the fresher the air.

Hey, check this out: from medical wearing apparel with "inside the wolf den" fabric design:
Dr. Wolf-Man's favorite scrubs.

for (better or worse) The Daily Growler

NOTE: WOW, we really have gotten some good hits here lately--thank-eee from the Growler Staff--especially every time we mention Pastor Melissa Scott's name--we get floods of comments most we can't print, not because they're X-rated but because some of them read like a schizophrenic talking to themselves. Cheers to all Growlerites! Growl on. Let us do the bitchin'! We might add that The Daily Howler is getting a little more bitterly biting in his comments these days--hey, Bob, you been readin' The Growler?


for The Daily Growler

We Leave You With Graphic Art From the Amazin' Nick Jainschigg

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Raising the price of postage stamps, is that what wrecks the economy? I love these rants but also I love that you turned me on to Nick Jainschigg. I noticed that you had added him as a link recently and checked him out. I love his painting-a-day exercise. It's inspiring me to do something similar. (Not on the web on anything. Just doing a quick drawing every day.)

I personally never read the newpapers or watch the boob tube or listen to the radio. One of my friends exclaimed "How do you know what's going on?" to which I replied "The world is the same miserable thing it has always been." And isn't it?