I first stumbled across J. Orlin Grabbe years ago when I got use of my first computer at this pharma ad joint I worked at--an iMac Blueberry--remember those? I still have one; it's sitting idle just behind this computer, a Big Mac G4 (still the best); I use it to print labels for my home-grown recordings--it contains a labeling program I like--so anyway, one day I'm toolin' around the Internet lookin' up things and suddenly I came across this site--the first thing I saw on the site was a naked woman and many references to sex in the site's index--and there were some other interesting things on the site, too, great complicated articles on quantum physics, contemplations on using digital monies in digital banks based on a digital gold standard, long-worded articles on fractals and the building of such, a pretty rigorously defense of Libertarianism a la Frederich Hayek and Ludwig Von Mises--a Libertarianism that attracted me in college when I was leaning very far left, though I never understood Joe Stalin's communism--I became much more involved intellectually with Mao Tse-tung's interpretations of Leninism than I did Joe's ruthless and rather bureaucratic communism. When I take a Libertarianism test today I come out a "left wing" Libertarian, which means really I'm more an anarchist than I am anything, though if I had to be politically correct, I'd choose some form of radical socialism--maybe societies of likes! Grabbe, however, was a hardline anti-Iraq-War Libertarian, anit-big-government, anti-local-governments, anti-police, blah-blah-blah, along the lines of one of Grabbe's favorite political pundits, Justin Raimondo--you can peruse his views at www.antiwar.com/justin/
Grabbe was deeply anti-Bush; called him a fool; he was also deeply anti-Iraq-Afghanistan-wars; he believed in conspiracies, and promoted 9/11 as a conspiracy between the Israeli secret police and the US CIA; he believed the "plane crash" into the Pentagon on 9/11 was really a missile and not a huge aircraft. At the time I first started reading Grabbe, he was living the good life in Abu Dhabi in the Arab Emirates; he talked about sitting in a sidewalk cafe drinking coffee and watching all types of human beings traipsing about through the streets of Abu Dhabi and the shenanigans going on in that part of the world. One thing Grabbe totally believed was that Hillary Clinton had something to do with Vince Foster and his untimely demise (Grabbe's investigation proved to him that Vince and Hill were lovers). When poor ole lovestruck Vince was found with a bullet in his forehead slumped over the steering wheel of his car in a Washington, District of Corruption, park, Grabbe in detail proved Foster couldn't possibly have committed suicide. Grabbe was also very interested in this Charles Wilson character who the recent movie Charlie's War was all about--a very oddball character who had a lot to do with our role in Afghanistan--with our role in creating Osama bin Ladin (Grabbe believed Osama was really Tom Osmand or something like that) as the NEW DEVIL after Ronnie Raygun made Gorbachev "tear down that wall" (said while Ronbo was flying to Tokyo in 3 1/2 hours) and the so-called US-invented Cold War ended. Grabbe was also into spying and the intrigue surrounding spying--encryptions--that sort of thing--especially when it came to Putin and the NEW democratic Russia (hah). Grabbe's sense of humor was shown in the many "sex" articles and naked-girl photos he put on his site. Grabbe was highly condemned by his enemies as running a "pornography" site--Grabbe actually showed those "nekkid" pictures where the bold and coked-up girls actually spread their legs (we used to call it "spread-eagle-ing") and put their sweet-dripping Yass-Yass-Yasses right in the viewer's F-ing face! It was a part of his Homerian humor--to laugh at it all in reflection.
Grabbe, it turns out, was from Briscoe, Texas, out past where I'm from, further up on the Lone Prairie up on the Cap Rock in what is called the Texas Panhandle. He attended college first at the infamous Ambassador College in Pasadena, California (the invention of the late great ex-shoe salesman Herbert W. Armstrong). After Pasadena, James Orlin Grabbe went on to obtain degrees in financial management from Harvard and then the U of Penn, the Wharton School, where Grabbe then became a professor for a while, his speciality the international finance markets--he wrote a book on this--banking, all that shit. For a while Grabbe lived in New York City in Greenwich Village--Holy Cow, I've probably been right next to him drinking away somewhere near the Village--who knows, Grabbe could have been in the audience when I used to be a downtown band singer heading a band that was the hottest band in the land at that time--well known all over the Village. Grabbe went on to found Kalliste Inc. in Reno, Nevada. Finally, there is a huge bio on J. Orlin at Wikipedia.com. (I was surprised at how many fans the man had.)
About two months ago, I tried to check out J. Orlin Grabbe's site--it bannered a message saying Grabbe's site had been temporarily frozen--and that unless Grabbe got more financial support, he would be unable to continue the site--was J. Orlin Grabbe broke? I wondered. How could that be? About a year or so ago, Grabbe had moved to Costa Rica--San Jose--in beautiful Costa Rica, the place where all the great American frauds used to go hide out. Though Grabbe at one time gave a Nevada address on his site, that soon long disappeared, and his site was always by-lined that it was coming from San Jose, Costa Rica, of late. I was thinking that maybe Grabbe was a man on the run and he had run out of funds.
Just this morning (it's early Friday, June the 13th (how appropriate that it's Black Cat Day)) I decided to check on J. Orlin Grabbe one more time to see if he was back online yet. How surprised was I to find the following message on his site:
We are sorry to inform you that James Orlin Grabbe passed away in his home in Costa Rica on March 15th, 2008.
He will be missed, Godspeed Orlin.
That's a shocker, folks. The staff here at The Daily Growler is in shock. I'm shocked, too. I loved old J. Orlin Grabbe--I nominated him for The Daily Growler Hall of Fame years ago--now, for sure, he's in it.
There's one thing that wouldn't surprise me, though. I one time published several long poems in a small-press journal out of some obscure Virginia college--as a result, they asked me if I'd like for them to publish a book of my poems for me--for $500. I sent them a poetry manuscript along with a check for $500 and signed it "Anonymous"--I worked all night for three nights coming up with this bogus ms--in it I wrote poems predicting "my" death--I don't remember the pseudonym I used on these but I do know at that time I was sarcastically publishing poems under many names, one I do remember, Elizabeth Raintree Mitchell--this one, however, was using one of my male names, perhaps Pedro Maldonado--and I think it was Pedro's poems now that I reflect on it. On the cover of the manuscript (it was total bullshit--full of half-baked goofball soapopera poems--like "When whining I'm twining on dining with my pining soul"--quick-jotted poems like that) I wrote in green ink: "Senor Maldonado unfortunately was killed in a horrible automobile accident at the Bridge of San Luis Rey near the ancient ruins of Machu Pichu." Tis possible J. Orlin Grabbe is pulling something like that on us--though I doubt it--that death statement looks pretty real, doesn't it? Also, pretty reliable Internet sources say he died of a heart attack sometime around March 15th.
So goodbye, J. Orlin Grabbe--hope you're trapped in one of those Black Holes and broadcasting on forevermore, those universal complexities (CHAOS) you so loved to ponder on. Maybe one of Grabbe's UFOs came and got him. Anyway, so long to a real, tried-and-true Growler of the first kind of class. A true world citizen.
for The Daily Growler