I don't have CABLE. I still have a stupid totally outmoded analog teevee, about 20 years old, made in Malaysia under the name Gold Star. It works. It's color. I get more channels than I need--did anybody around New York City ever hear of Channel 34, "Caribe TV"?
Observance 1: I never heard so much Spanish on teevee in my life; Channels 41 and 47 and 68 are Spanish channels; the Caribe channel is in Spanish--and then there is the weird Channel 63 that is mostly in Spanish, too. The Caribe channel is odd, too, because it runs mostly the same old-old Jack LaLanne juice machine infomercials all day and night long. Jack was 92 when he made this infomercial the Caribe bunch is running marathonly and in this one Jack looks as though he's about ready for real-time beddie-bye--his eyes have that faraway look in them; a lot of older-than-the-hills people get that sort of "now where am I going?" look in their eyes the older they get. Plus Jack doesn't look near as pliable as he once did--Jack was at one time a very good-looking dude. He had a pretty good voice, too, and on some of his shows he would belt out a song every now and then accompanied by his "studio" organist while his white German shepherds, Happy and Chuckles, roamed the studio at will, walking in front of Jack while he was maybe doing his patented "jumping Jacks" or with tails wagging just walking up to Jack and smelling his crotch. Jack would also cook on some of his shows in those days. I've seen him make a chicken breast covered with pecans--I made it in my kitchen and it was pretty good. I also heard Jack say one time that a hamburger was the perfect food because it contained all the food elements we need for good health, protein, leafy veggie, red tomato, onion, a slice of good ole pure Amurican cheese (from Kraft), and then the grain of the buns. I've seen Jack's old show--he started on teevee in 1950--a lot of times and never once did I in all those years hear Jack say anything about "juicing." Jack was an antihero of mine in grade school and junior high (middle school), along with a guy who called himself Icky Twerp who ran the "Slam-bang Theater" on Fort Worth teevee, and a black actor whose character name was Bill on "The Beulah Show," a radio drama starring Hattie McDaniel as Beulah. Bill was Beulah's boyfriend and all my male peers would go around the schoolgrounds and hallways hollering "Bewwwwww-LAH!" just like Bill did when he was tryin' to get in good with Beulah, you know, after they'd had an argument. Which brings this question to mind, whatever happened to the Juice Man, the original juicer guy; remember him? He was 72 years old then and he used to trot out a young blonde trophy wife and a couple of bouncing blond kids to prove how well juicing kept you fit as a fiddle. Let's see, the Juice Man might be about 80+ by now so he could be out in that big Forest of Alzheimer with Moses and Charlton Heston. It looks like Jack LaLanne may be headin' into that forest soon, too--they may be keeping Jack hustling his juice machines by pumping him full of growth hormones and steroids. Maybe Congress should spend a couple of billion dollars investigating Jack's steroid use.
Observance 2: The Mets and the Dodgers played yesterday afternoon--a great game--and Joe Torre and Willie Randolph were huggin' each other happy as larks in a mess of cattails--and the game was zip-zip until the bottom of the ninth, the Mets up, bases loaded, two outs, and the Dodger pitcher hit the Mets's batter and forced in the winning run. Mets 1-0.
Yankees beat the Phillies yesterday very impressively--9-3--A-Rod poled one.
I noted that the stupid Mets organization have reproduced their new Citi Stadium ballpark just outside their regular spring training ballpark in Port St. Lucie; the new Citi Stadium that the citizens of New York City are building for the Mets out in what used to be the parking lot of Shea Stadium. Isn't it ironic they're naming that stadium after CitiBank--the biggest hit bank in the cheap loan fraud schemes in the housing market--if We the People and the People's Republic of China (yep, the new Capitalist power, Commie China (how ironic is that?)) hadn't of temporarily bailed them out of debt they were on the verge of total collapse.
Hey, I've got an idea for little towns that have no money--sell the name of your town to a big corporation--wow, how about instead of Newark it becomes Halliburton, New Jersey. Or, hell, Corzine's in money trouble in New Jersey--can you believe a state like New Jersey with all the big pharma companies and insurance companies and oil companies headquartered within its borders, again according to stock-broker billionaire Corzine, is broke and in terrible debt--so much so Corzine, who made all kinds of wild promises of property tax rebates and reductions, etc., to get elected, tried to raise gasoline and cigarette taxes--the people booed his ass; so then he proposed selling the turnpikes and roadways to the Royal Family of Dubai (remember when Bush was giving them all our ports to run?)--and the people booed his ass on that one, too; so then he got tough and said he'd then have to raise tolls on all Jersey highways to some outrageous price, like $8 to $16 a hit to drive on Jersey turnpikes and major highways--and he really got his ass booed for that one? Hey, Corzine, sell the state to Exxon-Mobil--they have plenty of money--maybe just sell the name of the state--I can see Trenton, Exxon-Mobil--or even better, how 'bout Countrywide, Exxon-Mobil, for Trenton, New Jersey, and then it would be Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, for Newark, New Jersey. Hey, I may have something here; let me get Corzine on the phone.
Observance 3: I watched a lot of entertainment last night on late-night teevee--the blacks were giving each other something called a Trumpet Award--mostly actors got them--I know Halle Berry got one, though for what I can't imagine--maybe just being a god-damn hot black woman with a body males of all races rut over. In between these awards, black entertainers came out and did some of those Barry-White-type male romance hits that make black people go ape and black women scream and shake their heads positively as if in agreement with every damn word of every song and every move.... This dude Keith Sweat--is that his name?--came out and did one of his things--it was half-ass--Joe Williams was a better singer (yeah, I know, who?)--but Mr. Sweat is tall and terribly handsome and he was wearing a tux the right way--the black way--but I wasn't impressed at all by him. Billy Eckstein was a better singer (yeah, I know, who?). Then this India Arie comes out and her band is simply just a porky-David-Crosby-looking white guy playing an amplified acoustic guitar in cojunto with a very handsome, cooly dressed black dude playing his drums with his hands--like a congero--hitting the five strokes with subtle precision--the rest of Arie's organization were three back-up singers--an older black man and two black women, one of whom looked like Big Maybelle or Jessie Hemphill--and India stole the show for me--the best music I heard on that show and certainly better music than I heard on an all-white rock show on NBC late night later. White guitar bands have not changed one god-damn iota from the garage band days of primitive rock 'n roll, kiddy rock, heavy metal bubblegum rock that emerged after the Beatles showed all amateur musicians it was possible to hit stardom without half trying, as long as you looked precious and sweetly cute to the diaper-wearing, estrogen-drooling bimbos who wallowed all over themselves over the naive Beatles (they did a version of "Your Feets Too Big" on the album they made in Germany--where Little Richard said he discovered them).
White bands are still pathetically inept to do anything but over strum their guitars, overuse the wang and wah-wah effects, and generally play cliches with a bit of dramatic verve--one guy in this supergarage band I saw last night used a piece of metal to run it up and down his guitar strings (duh, how original)--no melody, only that same guitar whing-dinging, that wall of guitar-smearing sounds, to the jalopy-backfiring garage-drum back beat--like a halfway house mental patient slugging a plastic bucket with a sledge hammer--the white lead singer inevitably ending up screaming and acting frustrated and this lead singer I saw last night ended up screaming and then just threw his guitar out to the side of the stage and fell on the stage floor in an humble lump--I assumed he was exhausted from expending so much "raw" talent. It was raw meat to me; I like my meat well-done; my music, too.
India Arie wadin' in the water.
So India Arie got my most attention--I watched her whole song--it was a little too long--started dragging and getting repetitious near the long ending--she's a combo Anita Baker-Macy Gray-type--she looks damn good and she plays guitar and piano, and, yes, she plays the piano girl-style--like Alicia Keyes, very elementary, though she chords nicely and has enough arpeggios in her right hand to make her playing seem righteous at least, though amateurish at best.
Observance 4: My god there was a whole herd of new Christian fundie nutjob preachers on teevee this early morn. Of course, I checked in with Paula White. She had "Doctor" Mike Murdoch on today spreadin' his gospel of God wantin' to make you rich and his 32 ways to get those hundredfold returns out of God, which simply means, Mike needs you to send him as much money as you can tap out of your withering bank account on a rather regular basis, too, if I'm reading Mike's bullshit correctly--Mike prefers you give a thousand bucks, but, hell, he'll take a couple'a hundred if that's all you have. I love these Christian infomercials--hustling god and Joshua ben Joseph--begging and begging throughout these ads for Jesus for money, money, and more money, which is what these Jesus infomercials are really about, nothing to do with Jesus at all but about whatever Christian personality needs your bucks the most--this morning it was Paula White--and god knows she needs all the money you can send her to keep her in those nice clothes and to build her her own television studio at her church in Mickey Mouse, Florida--I think Paula's in Tampa. I've told you, what I love about Paula, she divorced her husband on stage at her church one Sunday. Paula does have a hot Hillbilly Daisy-Mae body, too (she's from Eureka! Springs, Arkie-saw, in the Ozark foothills)--really nice ass and big bosom, Praise the Lard--and she works her hillbilly sexuality to the max during her hillbilly sermons--in some of her sermons--and since about half of her audiences are black folks--Paula falls into that old heavy-breathin' way of preachin' made famous by a whole host of Old Deep South eeee-van-gel-ists like A.A. Allen (he drank himself to death in a San Francisco hotel room), the ex-drunkard Sam Morris and his constant whining about the sins of alcohol, the great Lester Roloff (he rolled off the planet in 1982), and the infamous J. Charles Jessup, one of my favs as a Mexican-radio-listening kid. Jessup was doin' fine until he married a 13-year-old while he was still married to another woman. Later Charles had to do some jail time for tax evasion and mail fraud. Paula gets into her Jessup-black delivery and she's a pantin' and breathin' heavy and using words like "you know what I mean" and "you'll be shifting those hips the wrong way" and "look out, bro, and look out, sis, it's time to overcome." With Paula, it's all about her version of Christian sophistication, all based on her grabbing as many of those gawd almighty dollars as she can finagle out of her stupider-than-hell fans.
As everyone should know, The Daily Growler's spiritual adviser and holy sexual object is Pastor Melissa Scott--she is so much more urbane than Hillbilly Paula. Besides, Melissa tells you not to send her money. Hell, if she inherited old Dr. Gene's mess of offshore monies, she's loaded, and I mean Pasadena loaded--like Beverly Hills savvy, too; very well known among the shops on Rodeo Drive, baby. Praise the Lard and bless my soul, Melissa.
Observance 5: I refound the poetry of Charles Plymell (I know, who?):
Was Poe Afraid?
On these same old brick streets of
Baltimore tonight--was Poe afraid?
Of all night rusting sign patent verse;
new neon juice from foggy tavern door.
Afraid of the florescent eyes of dogs,
the raven's reflection, the rats scat
through sawdust in Hollins Market,
the smell of rot and burlap thick as fur.
Afraid of roaches, disease, of poverty,
loud poverty boom-box crackle crack whip
poor ponies pulling carts full of greens
up Greene Street - overloaded with greed.
Afraid of the thick fast sky over
Cross Street's cloud draped rummage day
crimson cloak, threaded from the hill
down to the curling dark water bay.
Black statues swirling great pleated sheets
when street lights go dim, losing the stars,
Like partygoers streaming to their last car...
some on twilight's slightly twisted cane.
Afraid of the beer, the drugs, the vault
of shoreline's fractal ragged fault
floating in a dream grave afraid to yell
disciples repeating smug versions of hell.
sets and alarm that turns to dread
makes the vision flow instead to
creation and how such grace is fed.
from 1996 by Charles Plymell
And with that, I head out to the shoreline's fractal ragged fault to do a little floating in a dream grave.
for The Daily Growler "Sunday Edition"