Monday, March 03, 2008


How to Drive the Poor and Helpless From Your City
I watched a special program on early-morning teevee about urban development in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, of all places. It was explaining how private investors have hit town there and how Phnom Penh is undergoing drastic CHANGE! "Especially in their skyline," as the cutsey-wootsie but trying-to-act very serious teevee reporter said as she turned it over to a correspondent dude in Phnom Penh. And what is this change these private investors are bringing to Phnom Penh? Why the destruction of low-level mostly affordable housing in favor of hi-rise luxury skyscrapers and palatially lobbied hotels ("Yes, memsahib, those are real swans in our Steve-Wynne-designed fountain. Er-ah, what, memsahib? Are those women 'nekkid' in the fountain? And my answer, memsahib, is yes, very definitely yes. Should I reserve you a table for our afternoon champagne and rare cheese tasting in the Pol Pot Lounge?"

So they have gone skyscraper mad in Phnom Penh, building these fabby "towers" with names the same as the ones they are building all over New York City, names like Golden Tower 22, one of the names they showed on teevee. The new skyscraper east of me here in NYC is called "Tower 33" and the one west of me is called "Sky Tower"--"tower" being the key word.

So towers are coming to Phnom Penh--so maybe that's why Nixon wanted to bomb Cambodia back to the stone age during the Viet Nam War, you know, so they could level the poor people's villages and confiscate their land, agent orange everything--clear the jungles and get them ready for full-blown Capitalism American style, you know turn all those rich Cambodian rice paddies over to Archer-Daniels-Midland so they can then tear out all the old Cambodian heritage seeds and replace them with Monsanto's one-crop per planting-type seeds. And, hey, what about those Killing Fields of Cambodia? What if the developers fill those fields with hi-rise luxury office and apartment buildings, you know turn them into a world trade zone and surround it with plenty of estate lands for sale to the foreign rich who want to come to Cambodia to live exotically for awhile on one of their oh so many vacations they have to take every year--or how 'bout all those corporate sales meetings and conventions you could cater to--waaaahooo, Cambodia's finally being Reaganized--I mean, they need Coca Cola and Disney and McDonald's to hurry over and start Globalizing the place--it used to be we were Americanizing the place but now we're Globalizing it. How brilliant of rich people to figure out how to pool their monies and then go around the world buying land out from under its rightful owners--or buying up old garbage dumps like Donald Trump is currently doing or park lakes or swampy areas, fill them in, there's plenty of fill being created by the rush to build more and more skyscrapers so it costs almost nothing to fill in huge areas and then build man-made paradise-type hotels, you know "theme" hotels there and some private-club-type hotels (where you can hire twelve-year-old girl and boy prostitutes for your really hip global parties you're gonna be throwin' once you're exotically vacationing there or time-sharing there)--plus we know soon Cambodia will need tons of PGA Tour-type golf courses--oh I see a Mountain of Gold future for the many crooked businessmen and child-labor brokers rubbing their greedy hands together in Phnom Penh as they welcome the Global Market Kings into their welcoming arms. It's happening all over the world. I used to have a Venice camera bookmarked on my office computer (when I worked in advertising)--the camcorder was located at one of the vaporetta stations on the Grand Canal, looking east down the canal and over the skyline you could see at least 5 of these huge cranes they use to put up the skyscrapers in record times, too, I might add--and they are named well, "cranes," though you could call them storks, too--storks stand on one leg, too, just like a crane-- all across the Venice horizon, so it's going on everywhere. Change. Progress. Is change always progress? No, but here's something I've learned, change is as inevitable as death.

Right now in New York City, in Harlem, a private investment group has bought a whole row of subsidized apartment buildings and just day before yesterday they started kicking tenants out--"Out, damn Spot!"--taping eviction notices to their doors--and one woman, a single mother, said she'd raised her 4 children there, it was her home and her kids's home and now they told her she had no choice but to get her ass out in the street if need by a certain time because the new owners (a private investment group (read: rich men, usually rich white men)) had the right under the city housing laws to declare the buildings no longer subsidized and therefore no longer available to rent at $220 a month protected rents--nope, now this private investment group is gonna kick all the old tenants out--the woman above says she'll have to go into the shelter system, which is OK, since rich white men jokingly think that's where savage-like, babymaking, welfare-bilking, single BLACK mothers belong anyway--"That's why we built those shelters! For those drug addicts and whores who if it hadn't'a been for Rudi Mussolini and his gettin' cop tough on these goldbricking bastards they would be ridin' around in Lexuses and having wall-screen HD teevees in every room."--After these poor tenants are heaved out, the welcome-to-America investment group will go in and gut these buildings and rebuild them as all new apartments with all new everything in them and then the buildings will qualify to go "market value" they call it, which in Manhattan now means $2000-a-month-per-room per apartment--that's the new rent base in Manhattan, a rent base Mayor Bloomingrichidiotburg (a billionaire little short dude--such anger he carries around with him--the ridicule he bore as a scrawny Jewish kid in Boston--I mean think of what Ray Kelly's kind of Irish kids did to our little Mayor) is so proud of and on which he bases his healthy New York economy statements--they create a new tax base--aha, now do you see what these assholes have come up with?--they've first of all rezoned most areas (old neighborhoods) of Manhattan now, rezoned former low-level neighborhoods for these hi-rise luxury apartments and hi-rise luxury hotels, the hotels popping up all over the city, like a huge Marriott hotel being built in a residential neighborhood in Queens, because our pompous filthy rich mayor has declared officially that New York City's major industry is now tourism. And we old-time New Yorkers are told to "love it or leave it" or else get jobs in this tourist industry and learn to kiss tourist asses and gyp them on room charges and room services and telephone charges and extra-bed charges and city hotel room charges and overpriced food in the trendy Brit-chef-owned same-looking, Asian-leaning restaurants--and that's where the jobs are now--of course, you're gonna have to compete with Latinos and Pakistanis and Albanians and ex-Soviets and always Irish men and women over here to strike it rich--all illegal, of course--"Immigrations coming!" and your whole staff's out the back door, but we have to accept Bloomburg as a business genius in his creating this new industry for NYC. And whoaaaa, somebody's gonna have to clean the bathrooms in all these new hotel rooms (200,000 new rooms the mayor says we need)--I mean here ya go, these single black mothers from up in Harlem can clean the cans in all these new hotels! Well, wait a minute, no you'd have to pay that black mother minimum wage, something you don't have to worry about paying when you hire all the good illegal help out there to whom $3 an hour is a fortune. The black mother and her kids will be better off in the shelter--like Mammy Bush told the New Orleans Katrina refugees being stored in the Astrodome as she walked among them with her idiot son our never-elected fairly "president" saying, "Oh look how much better off you are now than you were before Katrina!" As an aside: I've noticed lately that among the political pundits these days Bush is given credit as being our "elected" president. I notice too that neither of the Dumbocratic front runners, Hill and Obama, have commented on the stolen votes in the last election, especially in Ohio where they are now.

Change. Chump change for the poor to live on. Progress for the world's wealthy class--remember, about 1% of the world's population rules us because it owns us. Manhattan is being made elitist. Soon there will be million-dollar apartments in the Statue of Liberty's crown. Soon they'll get their mitts on Governor's Island, a beautiful parkish island in New York Harbor that was a fort for hundreds of years, ending being run by the Coast Guard, then abandoned by the Feds--We the People owned it but we have nothing to say about it when the government decides to abandon these places--the City of New York bought it for $1 I think and already developers are submitting bids for it--one guy wants to make it an amusement park and gambling haven--it probably really still belongs to the Manhattan Native Americans if some of them would go back over the various treaties over the years they've been subjected to--treaties made to be broken by We the White People of the USA--treaties we've consistently broken since we whiteys opened up the savage Wild West to civilization--and boy howdy is civilization expensive!

And someday all these new buildings will be so shabby looking. They already are. They're all built with these new plexiglas or heavy-duty plastic outer panels, most of which are eyesore greens and light blues. There is no aesthetics to any of these buildings--they are built strictly for profits out of the cheapest cement, sheetrock, aluminum studdings, plastic pipes and wiring tubes--even the most queerly designed superglam apartments when you get up close to their features you see badly fitted corners or joints, patched moldings, bad one-coat paint jobs, improperly working showers and toilets--always leaks--water leaking from up above you--and you look closely at the bathroom fixtures and stainless steel kitchens you see they have that Home Depot look to them--yet, young people moving to New York City and taking entry level jobs on Wall Street, in law firms, and with advertising agencies, with the UN, with insurance companies, in medical research, biochemists--they come into the NYC commerical force making over $50,000-a-year to start, and hey, 2000-a-room is cheap to their little spoiled brat asses--besides they got their families to back them up should they fail here. Wall Street hires a lot of little snots to do the shit work on the floor and in the counting rooms, but they pay them well and these little young Repugnicans make commissions coming and going if they're buying and selling on the floor--and they make superbucks and buy BMW sports cars and Ferraris and then they buy the most expensive fabby apartment they can afford. Money means nothing to our young people; and by golly it meant nothing to me either when I was young; and it means nothing to me now that I believe in individual liberty and the right to mind my own business and to live and let live. Of course, I'm not mean enough to kick a single mother with four kids out of her apartment and into the gutter--think of how ruthlessly inhuman rich men are--rich bitches, too, don't get me wrong, I just like women better than men, remember?

So the private investment developers have discovered Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cheap land. Easy land takeover. The government will give them anything they want. Right in the center of Phnom Penh is an ancient lake on which the poorest of the Phnom Penh poor live--around its shores and on islands in its middle. Not for long. A private investment group have bought the whole damn lake and they're going to fill it in and build high-rise skyscrapers on it. What will happen to Phnom Penh's poor? The same thing that has happened to New Orleans poor; the same thing happening to New York City poor. They are being driven out off their lands and sent scurrying to the outlands--who cares, as long as they get the fuck out of town so the hoi-poloi (read: foreign tourists and investors: read: Commie Chinese, Israelis, Japanese, and good ole Amuricans) can have modern "high-in-the-sky" apartments to live and luxuriate in. "I say, you have no pool on the roof! How grossly inappropriate. I think I'll look over at Big Fucking Tower 69 over there. I'll bet they have a pool on their roof." I remember Harry Helmsley's penthouse apartment in the Essex House, which he owned, on Central Park South, had a full-size swimming pool on one of its floors. This is the same apartment where Leona said one of Harry's favorite things to do with guests was to take them out on the apartment's balcony facing Central Park and up 5th Avenue and Central Park West and start pointing out to them all the buildings he owned around Central Park. Leona said it was 250 buildings. Hey, why not one man own every fucking building in New York City? I'll bet the Royal Family of Dubai could do it. I'll take a 100 grand to bail out of my apartment, Shiek, Shah, whatever the hell you call the Royal Family of Dubai.

Getting rid of the poor. That is the major mission of the Global Marketplace land grabbers and land developers. They rid a large central city of their poor--land development trucks these unwanted human beings to the far outskirts and dumps them--in Africa they run them out into the desert and let 'em live in tents--or like in Manila where they let the poor live in the garbage dumps--with no running water, with no bathrooms, with no electricity, with human shit running freely in the street gutters. Fuck the poor. Rich people hate poor people--usually because they feel they are spiritually blessed because they are rich--they are rich because they are almost divine, don't you see? Maybe in their minds they are divine. That's why it's so easy to hire private armies to kill for you when you're a global corporation. "We need your land for development." "Fuck you." "Then we'll have to have you killed."

It's easy to get somebody to kill for you--look just recently all the stories of guys killing women's husbands for them--or guys killing whole families just for the thrill of it, and facing death is the most thrilling thing Americans can think of to do--like bungie jumping and now extreme snowboarding or skiiing--go ahead and kill yourself, but don't kill me--as Chester Burnett said when asked by Freddie King why he carried a 007 knife in a special sheath hidden under this clothes, "I'd rather see you killed than you kill me." But now with guns there's no time to think--like a cop, you shoot first with a gun and worry about the consequences later. Kill or be killed. That's what they teach you in the army; that's how they keep you humping and putting your ass on the line. And speaking of the success of the famous Commander G.W. Bush's "splurge" tactic in the War in Iraq (with the Iraqi people--"Hell, they all look alike to us"), since January of this year, over 700 people have died in Baghdad violence and US military strikes. Success in death. And Israel is justfying killing 50 A-rabb Palestinian dogs (that's what Israelis call Palestinians) a day because 4 Israelis have been killed, one a soldier, by Palestinian Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli settlements on land that used to belong to the nation of Palestine. Could Hitler's "final solution" idea be maybe what the Israelis want to practice? I know, I know, I'm not allowed to criticize any Jews but hey, these bastards are ruthless in their believing Jehovah their desert god deeded them this land in a covenant he made with Abraham, the poppy of the Jews who's also the poppy of the Arabs (oh that's right, old Abe the Semite fucked his handmaiden and knocked her up--I mean, come on, there's nothing hotter than an young Arab bitch when it's a hot night and your wife is a 90-year-old hag with a calcified cunt--but then Abe was forgiven for that act of adultery--Moses hadn't had the stone tablets printed up yet--that would come years later--sorry, I'm off on another of my anti-religious rampages again. But back to Israel's condoning "final solution" methods, remember Sharon and his glorious little massacre of what was it 2,000 Arab dogs back in those good ole days of hot fun war in Beirut and in Lebanon--oh, that's right, that's long forgotten, that's right. I'm sorry. I'm not paying attention to the truth here I'm so busy checking out the floor plans of my new Phnom Penh penthouse in Golden Tower 22. "Out of my way, you untouchables."

I took this Israeli girl out to dinner one night; she'd been in the Israeli army only a couple of years before, and I ask her all about living in Israel and being in the army and what did she think of the Palestinian people and what should happen to them and she told me she hated Arabs so much, it was instilled in her, that she had no respect for them whether dead or alive. "They want to annihilate Israel." That's what she believed; that's what she was immoveable on.

The Daily Growler Hall of Fame Welcomes a New Member
Yep, ladies and gents, I've found this great site honoring a man who definitely belongs in The Daily Growler Hall of Fame--the great Curtis Howe Springer--you bet, the designer and founder of the Zzyzx Mineral Springs Resort (it was originally called Soda Springs) out in the middle of the Mojave Desert where Brother Curtis, a huckster from the good ole school of the great flim-flam, had first filed a mining claim on the land that had been a fancy hotel at one time but needed a lot of work, which Curtis got by going into Los Angeles and loading up all the winos he could fit in one of his famous shuttle buses that went from downtown L.A. out to Curtis's resort. Well, hell, read all about him here:

By Greg Bishop of Weird California
With the addition of a few numbers and Greek letters, the name “Zzyzx” (pronounced zeye-zix) might be a complicated equation to orbit rockets around Mars, but the site has a colorful history that stretches back almost two centuries. A rare and bountiful desert spring situated at the base of chocolate-colored mountains attracted the first Spanish expeditions through eastern California in the late 18th century. In 1860, the U.S. Army maintained a fort at the site named Hannock’s Redoubt, but a 20th century maverick give it its lasting epitaph.

The enduring legacy of Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Resort is a testimony to the extraordinary vision of a self-proclaimed evangelist and health guru who moved out to the ass-end of nowhere on the shore of a dry salt flat, and proceeded to make a Utopia in his image—part religion and part hucksterism. Ingenuity and a lot of fast talk made this spot on the map shine for thirty years, and for awhile even made the nearby post office in Baker one of the busiest in Southern California.

Millions of travelers on Interstate 15 have passed the remote exit a few miles west of the Death Valley highway, possibly noting the unusual name, but too busy getting to one Sin City or another to bother with it. Four and a half miles south over a gravel road lay the ruins of the dream of one of the Mojave Desert’s most legendary characters.

Curtis Howe Springer had made a name for himself as a radio evangelist in the 1930s, beginning at radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh. Like many of his ilk, he eventually pointed his roaming crusade towards the West coast, where spiritual fads and miracle cures were starting to find a willing and gullible audience. Like his predecessor, Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, Springer put down new roots in fertile soil and set about expanding his vision.

Springer was no spring chicken when it came to managing vacation retreats. He had founded and/or managed six resorts in other states before he and his fiancée Helen, with their (gasp) daughter in tow arrived at what he called “a mosquito swamp” in the Eastern Mojave in 1944. He filed a mining claim on 12,000 acres and began building his new base of operations. Three days a week, he lived in a hotel suite in Los Angeles, where he made tapes for his national broadcasts and conducted other business. He would then board his crusading bus and round up derelicts on skid row, offering them meals and shelter in exchange for construction work with his new desert outfit. Some of them left immediately when the no-alcohol policy was revealed, but many stayed—some for years, and a few for the rest of their lives.

When Springer was done, the new town on at the foot of Soda Mountain boasted a chapel, a cross-shaped pool with soaking tubs, an artificial lake, a two-story/60-room hotel and even an airstrip he named Zyport. With some assuredly high-falutin’ wrangling, Springer managed to buy an old seagoing freighter, and dismantled it for parts to add to his growing compound. A launch or lifeboat from the project still sits at the site, high and dry and rusting, but so far preserved in the desiccating desert sun.

The main drag was dubbed the “Boulevard of Dreams.” Springer then went into high gear, promoting his new retreat on his international radio sermons. People calling in to his Los Angeles phone number heard a recorded voice beckoning them with, "Hello, this is your old friend Curtis Springer coming to you from Zzyzx Mineral Springs out in the heart of the great Mojave Desert." He touted the place as the “last word” in health and vitality. Free bus rides left every Wednesday from the Olympic Hotel on Figueroa Street in L.A., ferrying the hopeful out in droves.

A day at Zzyzx included a hearty breakfast of goat milk and Springer’s popular Antedeluvian Tea, said to prolong life. Though he tried to be relatively self-sufficient, the only livestock that could be sustained on the alkali flats besides the goats were rabbits, which formed the bulk of the meat served. All of the veggies were trucked in a couple of times each week. Guests stayed for a reasonable sum, but were also heavily encouraged to make free-will “donations” to the Springer Foundation. They were also subjected to rousing sermons delivered twice daily by Springer over a booming PA system.

Springer built a printing plant and functioning radio station on his humble mining claim to better deliver his message of folksy Christianity and market his miraculous cures, which included the aforementioned tea, the “Hollywood Cocktail,” and a $25.00 do-it-yourself hemorrhoid cure kit. One of his most successful remedies was “Mo-Hair”—a baldness cure. Springer instructed the soon-to-be hairy to rub the concoction vigorously into the scalp, then to double over and hold their breath for as long as possible. The resulting flush to the cheeks and scalp was proof, he said, of the virtues of his discovery. One man who took Springer to court over his continued baldness after extensive use of Mo-Hair watched in astonishment as the preacher reached into his pocket and peeled off the $2,500.00 fine “as casually as if he was taking care of a $2 traffic ticket.”

Well after Zzyzx was established, Springer began to offer lots for sale on the adjacent property, so that the well-to-do faithful might take 24-hour advantage of the healing waters and lifestyle he had so generously made available to the world. This act, along with occasional complaints to the authorities about his “cures,” eventually focused government attention on his operation. In 1974, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed Springer that he could not sell land that he didn’t own. He counter-offered to the tune of $34,187, which he claimed would cover the “back rent,” but the feds didn’t buy it. He was evicted off the property that was never his, along with a few hundred followers. Curtis Howe Springer died in Las Vegas in 1986 at the age of 90, after he had served several jail terms for sundry felonies.

In 1976, the California State University system entered into an agreement with the BLM to use the site, and it remains so to this day. The Desert Studies Center is a research facility that draws thousands of scientists and students year-round. The center used the existing buildings and transformed them for their use, adding a water purification system and solar and wind-powered generating stations. Although z+z=yz∫x won’t get anyone into orbit, NASA did use the area near Soda Lake for testing the Mars Rover vehicles.

Zzyzx was finally entered as an official geographic name in 1984, proving that Curtis Springer did indeed have the last word.

Zzyzx Road exit—eight miles west of Baker on Interstate 15, then south on a paved road, which soon ends at a graded gravel road.

Wow, the Fountain of Youth, there it is above. So, welcome, Brother Curtis Howe Springer, inventor of the Hollywood Pep Cocktail (not just Hollywood Cocktail like the story says) and Antediluvian tea, to The Daily Growler Hall of Fame.


for The Daily Growler

PS: Another Little Known Fact About The Daily Growler Hall of Famer Curtis Howe Springer

The Mohave tui chub were thought to have bred with the Arroyo Chub, an introduced species, and no longer exist in a pure form. However, a little luck and the development of the field of genetics have proven that to be untrue. A small population of fish were discovered by Curtis Springer, the founder of the Zzyzx Mineral Springs and Health Spa, in the nearby waters in the 1940s. Springer then introduced some of those fish into his manmade Lake Tuendae at Zzyzx. Sixty years later genetic testing proved that the fish Springer found were pure Mohave tui chub.

It is believed that one of the times the Mojave River flooded a group of Mohave tui chub were carried into the Zzyzx area, and were stranded there as the waters receded creating the refuge. All Mohave tui chub in existence today are descendants of the fish Springer found.

“It is pure chance that Springer took care of the Mohave,” Hughson said. “The introduction of the Arroyo chub pushed them out of the river. Curtis Springer saved them from complete extinction without knowing what he was doing.” [this is from a California student's posting on a college net site]

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