Who Says We Have to Have a President?
I've been in the briarpatch with Brother Albert Murray--reading some "live written [typed]" Louis Armstrong. Translation: Louis Armstrong when he first got rich in the 1930s in Chicago, bought himself a typewriter. Then he bought himself a dictionary. He carried the typewriter and the dictionary with him from then on everywhere he went in the world and he sat at it every day and typed letters, a lot of letters, but then, too, he typed down his observations on life and how he was living it as a Black man having to cater to the whims of The White Man, blah, blah, blah, you know the story. Anyway, I was reading some of Louis's writings--Louis writes as though he were trying to talk through his typing. Albert Murray in a respectful criticism of Louis's writings says that Louis should have learned to write on his typewriter and with his dictionary as well as he learned to play the trumpet otherwise he should have stuck to playing the trumpet and letting others who know how to write write his story for him, like Mezz Mezzrow did with his collaboration book called Really the Blues, a really good book, too; yes, Mezz was full of a lot of shit--he was a Chitown Jewish boy who loved blacks so much he decided one day he was going to pass as black--to the point that when Mezz came to NYC, he moved to Harlem. But Mezz was an observer, same as Louis, and Mezz observed through the jazzman's language and his observations are cast in "scat" terminology (it comes from "scatology," ya know) and hipster lingo but the observations when seen from that cat's eyes are true observations about the "new" music scene in Chicago in the 20s and 30s when the bands from New Orleans followed Tony Jackson and Jelly Roll to Chicago, and Mezz was there heavy in the action both as a clarinet player and a dope peddler, tryin' to get it right on his licorice stick and make it money-right with his gage peddlin'--and then Mezz was there with his observations when the Chicagoans hit the music and club scene in NYC. An interesting side about ole Mezz: he was Louis Armstrong's personal pot dealer--gettin' Louis his daily supply of muggles after Louis picked up puffing on the holy weed while working at the Cotton Club in Culver City, California, during his time in L.A. back in 1930.
Mobsters ran the entertainment world then and mostly still do (you say, "Come on, surely these days the mob is weaker" but then you've never been a musician working dives and joints and small clubs--especially in Jersey--and gone in to get your money and there's a goon smokin' a illegal Cuban cigar, wearing specks and a green eyeshade, with a .44 Special sitting loaded and cocked in front of him on a table--and he looks up at you when you go to him your band's money and says, "What'a you want?" "I'm here for the band money." "Yeah, $80, right?" "Eighty, my ass, you said $175, man." "When did I say $175? We ain't never paid no band $175! I said $85; take it or leave it." "You son of a bitch, you told me 1-7-5, Slick, and I ain't leavin' 'til I get my money." "Smart ass, huh?" "Hey, man, I'm like you, a businessman, with 3 dudes out there depending on me, like you got a wife and kids, right...." "Shut the fuck up. I'll give you $125 and that's it." You take the $125 and then you run like hell and get the hell out'a town and head over to the Oranges where you hear there's a new club booking bands--oh shit, when you get there, it's an Italian bar and restaurant--shit, another goombah's side business.
Most people don't think the mob is still very active in places like Vegas and Atlantic City and that's pretty naive. I've heard in Atlantic City the hotel maid service and all the food supplies and shit like that is run by the Philadelphia mob. I've heard the mob controls milk deliveries, beer and liquor distributors, and building materials in New York City. This has always been a mob-ruled country. Now that's a bold statement, isn't it? But it's true. Hey, aren't Pinkerton agents mobsters? Isn't the FBI mobsters (it was founded by J. Edgar Hoover (a man who wore women's clothes as a perversion--and lived with a man friend for most of his life) in order to fight mobsters and gangsters and outlaws)? Isn't the CIA a mob? Certainly Blackwater has a mob mentality when it comes to their shenanigans--they were certainly an unruly mob when they wiped out those 17 Iraqi civilians, including a couple'a kids (insurgents!!), one a doctor-mother and her son driving down the street--first they shot the son through the chest and he was bleeding to death--then, when the mother rather than getting out of the car as ordered stayed with her son trying to help stop his bleeding, they shot her, killing her instantly as her face fell over into her son's bloody wound--he was already dead by then, by the way. And these faux-military mobs (made up mostly of South American ex-soldiers) kill with impunity. You can't take them to court; Bush and Co. won't allow that. Blackwater is protected by National Security rules and regulations--rules and regulations that Congress and the Administration pass on a daily basis, so many rules and regulations, all geared at taxing We the People or putting roadblocks in our way to trying to wake up from this American Dream that ain't real but is still trumpeted as being an actuality. When I was a kid, the parental bullshit said, "Hell, son, keep yourself clean, do well in college, and who knows, you could be president one day." And that was bullshit then but it's especially bullshit today.
Mobs rule--so what does this have to do with our really not needing a President?
Like why does New York City need a mayor? What happened to the City Management form of government my generation came up with--a City Manager not a Mayor.
Why not have like a City Council-type situation in Washington, District of Corruption, you know, a kind of a huge Internet Town Hall set up where different councils review submitted ideas--shit, even as I type this I know it's an impossibility, but I just can't believe We the People of the USA are so tolerant of so terrible a government situation we currently are supporting with more and more of our earnings or our savings or our futures--you know Bush and Co. have devastated the Social Security pool--one day we'll find that out--I mean during Bush and Co.'s first phony term as "faux" president this schnook somehow lost 40 trillion bucks [never accounted for]! Am I exaggerating? I don't think so. I don't quickly forget--I know there was a huge sum of money lost--and certainly We the People should want to know what happened to the surplus Bill Clinton was trumpeting about when he left office. I mean, come on, these guys are openly two-faced--all of them talking out the corners of their mouths--spewing forth anything written for them and put before them--babbling the same-old bullshit--just babbling it with different versions of the same Double Speak bullshit.
New York City has a little cocky billionaire mayor (born in Boston) who has the commercial media bullshitting us with praise of this spoiled-brat little fellow who right under our noses has sold most of Manhattan to foreign-moneyed developers or to his own personal developer friends. Like how the hell does Donald "White Trash" Trump get permission to totally ruin a whole huge West Side area?--with his tacky, max-tacky Trump City shit--building after building exactly the same (a commercial PROJECT for the twenty-somethings), all of them emblazoned with the word TRUMP over every doorway, every top of every building, and you never saw so many god-damn luxury apartments--where does Trump find the twenty-something Yuppy Amuricans and the middle-class foreigners who can afford to rent or buy his cheaply and tacky constructed crummy buildings. This son of a bitch is going all over the world ripping land away from people--recently the Scottish put up a big stink over the Donald deciding he was gonna build a huge Trump City on a wonderfully naturally preserved part of the Scottish coastline--too many golf courses and hotels and luxury condos Trump wants to build--I mean, who are these people that are taking over New York City? This was once the place all Americans with creative talent had to come to to test themselves against the rest of the best--now our Broadway shows are totally tourist oriented--remakes of remakes of South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, etc., etc.--and a lot of shows are simply celebrity in-and-out shows, you know, Matthew Broderick one week and Justin Timberlake the next week--or bringing big-mouthed Patty Lapone out of mothballs and putting her in South Pacific--and what the hell does South Pacific mean to some gawking goofball tourist and his or her toe-head families? A bunch of horny sailors being invaded by a troopship-load of hot Navy nurse mamas--"Dames," as Michener knew sailors called 'em in the South Pacific tour of duty--"I Enjoy Being a Girl"--in New Orleans when I lived there this South Pacific song was the theme song at the My O' My Club out on Lake Pontchartrain, ah the shennanigans of good ole New Orleans in those pre-Katrina-ruin days--boiled crabs by the tons at Fitzgeralds on the Lake and then over to the My O' My Club for some switcheroony tranny stripping and Judy Garland impersonators.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE ARE TAXED? Here in New York City, we have four different taxes taken automatically out of our paychecks--a Fed withholding tax, a FICA tax (yes, folks, Social Security is a form of forced deduction, which to me is a tax (anything that taxes you is a tax)), a NY State tax, and a NY City tax. On top of that, if you own property in New York City you have sky-high property taxes. You have extremely high utilities bills on which you are taxed several different ways. Every time you buy groceries you pay 3 different taxes on every tab. When you eat out at a restaurant, they add on taxes to your meal. When you buy anything, you pay several taxes on it--8.5% sales tax here in NYC. Plus, tourists pay a 14% hotel tax on top of their $200-plus-a-day room rate, which is subject to sales tax as well. Amazing how taxed we are and we just tolerate it with dumb cliches like "hey, you can't beat taxes and death." Why can't you beat 'em both? Why can't we en masse just stop paying taxes? Pool our taxes in a community nonprofit account--just not give it to those crooked-as-snakes-at-night con artists in Washington, District of Corruption? Why do we pay City taxes here in NYC? The city every year I've lived here has at one time or another during a mayor's term in office claimed it was broke. The MTA is constantly needing more and more money. These rich assholes can make themselves fortunes easy as pie but they can't make a huge transportation system profitable--or even break-even--and they always lie about what things are going to cost and they are always raising tolls, they're always raising fares, they're always raising taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, beer, and they're always needing MORE money--the states all claim they're broke! All our cities are broke! The counties are broke! New Orleans is still left to rot after all these years now--why's that? How come nobody's concerned about that? Seems like of all people, Obama should make his headquarters in New Orleans, fighting for those people's properties and their being able to return to their hometown--but then Obama's only half-black, ain't he?
I'm sorry, folks, but I heard Ralph Nader this mornin' on Amy Goodman's "Good" "Democracy Now" show [This is publishing a day late thanks to letting Mr. Ed, a horse, run the operation for a day--never trust an editing horse]--and, folks, I know, we all hate Ralph, but, dammit, he's absolutely right about what we should be doing and what we're not doing. Ralph was very hard on Barack Obama. I am, too, now. Obama is a patsy for the big-money boys on the Beltway! He's being managed by the same old boys who've been in every smokefilled backroom since politics began--he's still controlled by the big bucks--he voted against mining safety measures--I didn't know that, did you? He's for "partial" privatization of our Social Security. His healthcare plan isn't universal; it's the same as Hillary's--kowtowing to the big money HMOs--Tom "Born Crooked" DeLay's family owns one of the biggest. It's just scandalous what we're letting these pretenders get away with without defining concisely how they are really going to VOTE (yep, they vote in Congress)--like Obama is proWar all the way--at no time has he said he'll withdraw all our troops from Iraq--and he's already said he'll deploy more troops to Afghanistan, threatening to attack Pakistan if he has to--and he's also going to defend Israel to the death of all of us--and he's guaranteed the Israelis that Jerusalem will be their capital--and he's had to backtrack on that one though! Nader says Obama's speech before the American Jews was one of the dumbest speeches he's ever heard--and I agree--I ran it on The Daily Growler several posts ago--it's a scary speech--same as the speech where he says he's gonna use force against Iran! My question is this: What the hell would Iran's reasoning be to use a nuclear weapon on Israel unless it was to use one on them before they used one on them? Israel already has over 200 nuclear weapons of mass destruction--but that's a good thing (using a Martha "Privileged Felon" Stewart cliche)--why would Israel fear an Iranian nutjob with a canfull of unrefined uranium?--hey, the Russians sneaked plutonium into Britain and nothing happened to them.
Fuck it, I keep saying I'm giving up on politics--it's just--I mean, I'm looking at my stupid dial-up phone bill--the total is $64. $17 of that is taxes and wire charges and other tricky subtractions explained by asterisks. We are still paying for the Vietnam War on our phone bills--did you remember that? How many people born after the Vietnam War realize how they're still paying for that war? None, I'll betcha.
Another scary thing I heard was Britain's prime minister talking about how nuclear energy and using more coal was the answer to the oil-profits-gouging-prices (they could be regulated by governments except that most politicians are reaping fortunes off investing in the very industries they're supposed to control)--then old Gordie Brown said he intended to bring over 1000 nuclear power plants on-line in Britain soon--amazing! Can human beings not wait for their own annihilation? Was Freud right, we suffer from a collective death wish? Not me, pals; I love this planet; I love scenery; natural beauty--yes, I hate mosquitoes and gnats and lice and rats and mice and palmetto bugs and shit like that--and giant bears--but not wolves--though they are a part of the beauty of nature! I love remembering the first time I drove through Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona; or the time I went to the top of the Empire State Building and looked out over the wonder that is this city and the wonder-aura that seems to hover greenly on the horizon all around this area--
I still don't know why we need a president.
for The Daily Growler