12th Street Rag
Twelfth Street is in Kansas City. "The 12th Street Rag," however, was written by a guy from Fort Worth, Texas, named Euday L. Bowman, who was making his living in Kansas City at the time he wrote his famous rag, 1914. Euday also wrote "The 11th Street Rag." Why this info at this time? you ask. Because I'm reading Count Basie's autobiography: he spoke it and Albert Murray wrote it and called it, Good Mornin' Blues--and I'm always quoting the line from that blues, "'Good mornin', blues, blues, how do you do?'/'I'm doin' alright, son, so's how 'bout you?'"--and that's the whole basic (Basie) meaning of the blues--you wake up one morning and there's the blues sittin' on your bed--and it's how you handle Mister Blues--you see he's a friendly fellow really--he's there to wake you up to reality. That's the blues idiom. Albert Murray has based a whole series of novels on the blues idiom. Albert grew up in the heart and soul of the blues idiom in Mobile, Alabama, in the briarpatch where you needed the skills of a wild rabbit to live in it without it overwhelming you. Being overwhelmed is the biggest problem in life most of us have to face! Even a big blowhard phony like Donald Trump (what a hickish man this clown is) is sometimes overwhelmed (he's bailed himself out with bankruptcies many times)! Poor people are constantly overwhelmed. You think Hank Paulson and all his Goldman-Sachs buddies aren't overwhelmed these days! I'm surprised one of them hasn't bailed out by jumping out his high-floor office window, except the new plexiglas-plain and tacky office boxes have no windows that will open. The bigshots who want to end it all have to go to Rockefeller Center, to the old RCA Building (I refuse to call it the GE Building, that's over on Lexington with its tower of electric lights), where the high-office windows still open to the freedom and safety of jumpable space--clear forty-floor dives--uninhibited until you land busted on the street.
When we are overwhelmed we tense up. We heat up. We get headaches and backaches and twitches and tics and hives and shingles. We fret. We walk around hollering "Woe is me" because we are overwhelmed with rules and laws and fees and fines and accusations and debts and threats and lack of funds, stiffly afraid of losing our jobs (our income), all the time doling our money out to hucksters, like our CEOs, our favorite entertainers, our favorite celebrities, our landlords or bankers that hold our mortgages, the phone companies, making these bastards richer than rich--these filthy rich bastards! But they are overwhelmed, too, and especially right now when their big dream may be blowing sky high on them. We are all overwhelmed by something at some time or another.
You see, when you wake up and Mister Blues is sitting there, don't get scared--he's not the boogieman really--he's just there to remind you life ain't a bowl of cherries--and even cherries have pits inside that sweet interior. The Pits. And we've all hit the pits before. Remember in life when you have to hit The Pits you need attention--repair! new tires! fuel! encouragement! And then Lester Young enters the scene and blows your blues away with a whole enfilade of riffs and comps and lines and soon you're up dancing your cares away. And that's the blues idiom, folks.
And Count Basie's band recorded "The Twelfth Street Rag" in April of 1939, and after stating the intro and setting up the theme, in comes Lester Young--and Lester blows the blues off down 12th Street and soon the whole street is raggin' and swingin' and everybody is Saturday-Night celebrating (Saturday the day for losin' your blues--the free-from-work day; the day after pay day; the day before the Lord's Day--the Lord's Day the day a musician sleeps late after a greasy spoon breakfast, a toke, a shot of bourbon, and at last sleep), the blues are gone away until probably the next morning, which after Saturday is Sunday and that's when you let the Holy Spirit deal with the Sunday blues. Mr. Blues goes to church, you know.
The Count of Basie doin' his thing, "Comping."
It is interesting to note that on a lot of Internet sites, Count Basie is defined as "a swing-era musician"--that pretty much eliminates most of Count's later work--Count got very big in the fifties and sixties by covering pop tunes and writing teevee show themes and recording with Ella and Old Blue Eyes and Tony "Rags to Riches" Bennett and Teresa Brewer (her husband was recording co. president, Bob Thiele) and Rosemary Clooney--in fact, recording with Count Basie pretty much got these pop singers their "jazz" singing attributions. When I was a kid nobody I knew thought of Tony Bennett and Rosemary "Come on'a My House" Clooney as jazz singers. The words, by the bye, to "Come on'a My House" were written by William Saroyan--I know, "Who?"--but William Saroyan taught me a hell of a lot about writing--he once wrote a book of short stories about his looking out his living room window and seeing the various stories he was writing, one a day, developing before him in the actions of that street for over a year. Saroyan said if you really seriously want to be a writer you have to put a sheet of paper in the typewriter every morning and fill it with type even if it's gibberish--at the end of a year you'll have a 365-page book--maybe all gibberish but at least a book! Makes sense to me.
William Saroyan's son, Aram, wrote a book of poems and got it published where some of the poems were blank pages! You gotta like that kind of moxie.
Po' Lil' Rich Boy, Our Faux President Solves the World's Money Crisis
The 700 billion dollar bailout proposed and given to the Goldman-Sachs bandits turned out to NOT be the solution to the problem, though our coward Congress went ahead and approved it. And even after Barney "Rubble" Franks and the Dumbocrats, Rich Bitch Nancy Pelosi, said now this was a bipartisan solution, even though it was still giving away 850 billion this time around to the Goldman-Sachs bandits--letting a Goldman-Sachs screwball just six years out of business school, this kid whose name sounds like "Cash'ncarry," manage this lucky win for the Wall Street greed-goons ("Profits" over business ethics--fuck the customer!) G.W. Bush, remember, gave these bastards their fucking government-dole jobs--this nutjob crook, Hank Paulson, a Bush crony--all these birds, Bush's cronies--and again this 700 billion now 850 billion bailout of Bush's Wall Street and K Street buddies didn't work--failed, and we had the deepest drop in the history of the Squeamish Dow--the original Dow Theory (by Charles Dow) was based on the phases of the moon and the ocean tides--resulting in the very Dow-Jones Inc. that once owned and published their bullshit tip rag, The Wall Street Journal, which was the same kind of paper as the Racing Form--owned by old Walter Annenberg who made his fortune off horse betters, and you now see Walter's name all over PBS--Walter feeling a little guilty from making all that money off poor old Depression Era horsebetters--selling them all those racing newspapers full of stupid statistics and facts and speed ratings and time-trial results and all the tipster picks: Racehorse Harry at Hialeah; Trackside Jerry at Aquaduct; Pete on the Rail at Santa Anita--and old Walter felt so guilty about how he made his fortune he did what a lot of filthy rich do, he created the Walter Annenberg Foundation--if you get rich, fuck giving your riches to your college or leaving it to your worthless kids or a pet, create a Foundation--put millions into it--put all your excess profits you stole in there--and old Walter got into education--and you'll see his foundation's name on a lot of PBS educational programs!--
My asides hurt!
So the twice attempts at using the 850 billion dollar money to bail the failure boyz out have failed--so what THEN happens? Why Little G.W. Bush gets on teevee (remember now, he'd just been on teevee a few days before telling us this Wall Street bailout was THE thing to do and we should all just sit on our hands and wait--"Ever'thang's gonna be fine") and now he tells us, fuck the 850 billion dollar bailout failed attempts, that's over, now brilliant businessman that he is, he's come up with a new bailout strategy--this one's gonna involve a world coalition--and G.W. Bush and his old Pappy love this world coalition bullshit--you know, Pappy's New World Order--his famous "Thousand Points of Light" speech, and that's all this is, the same kind of reasoning--Unka Dick was there then, too! This is still all about oil. Bush knows his pals aren't suffering one damn bit--the oil companies are making insulting profits--they aren't crashing--they aren't having anything foreclosed on --and Bush believes that if he can get his hands on that huge pool of Iraqi oil, the crises are all over--he'll steal that oil, give it a value, and case closed, he'll pay off his Iraq War debt and pay off his 40 trillion-dollar just plain-old debt and he'll even up the 20 trillion dollar trade deficit--you see where this is going? Do you see the next crash coming already? Oil Empires still flopping madly as their once running-over cups are now trickling down toward the empty symbol--we once were THE Oil Empire but now we've lost our oil and we're pissed off and wanting OUR oil back! This Wall Street fiasco was started in Slick Willie Clinton's deregulation-wild-spree days when Wall Street had a ring in his nose and he was led around economically by Robert "Free Market Capitalism" Ruben (ex-Goldman-Sachs)--and isn't it bothersome to read that all these bastards know each other since college and most of them have held government jobs under Reagan, Pappy Bush, and now Baby Boy Bush--these are the "race to the bottom" boys--they're still workin' like a son of a bitch on steroids trying to bottom our economy out--then start WWIII--and keep power by decree--they have already brought some troopers back from Iraq and given them a tour of duty in the good ole USA--that's right, for the first time ever, there is a division of the US Army that is stationed in the USA, under Pentagon command, whose duty it is is to ferret out terrorists and other no-gooders from amongst us--that's right, a military unit now working like an Iraq "surge" battalion is stationed on active duty for "fighting" in the USA, willing to gun down should they ferret out an Al Queda cell working out of some pizza joint in your neighborhood! And now, this bumbling fool of a rich boy president is claiming he suddenly knows how to save "our economy," which means Wall Street. How's he doin' it? Why by nationalizing all our banks, which, folks, and remember, I think the American people for the most part are total idiots when it comes to this Wall Street gobblygook, which is all it is, folks, but anyway, what this failed little rich-boy bastard has done in nationalizing these banks--here's what he's done--I don't care what Nobel Prize-winning Paul Krugman says (he said this morning this bank nationalization was at least a move in the right direction): Bush has made We the People now responsible for the debts of all these crooked sons of bitches--We the People taxpayers--and all of us are taxpayers whether we file or not--you are paying federal taxes every day, all day long, when you use your cell phone, when you eat in a restaurant, when you buy groceries, when you have a beer or buy a six pack, when you go out for a drive and fill your car up with overpriced gasoline (thanks to the Royal Families of Saudi-Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Oman and our involvement in the invasion and continuous occupation of Iraq), or certainly on your job when they are jerking out 30% of your earnings whether you file on it or not--and you brag about how you're a taxpayer! Big deal! I'm a taxpayer, too, so the fuck what? So, now, you see, we are invested in all these failed banks--so if they continue to fail, then we gonna fail, too. Our taxes will go up; the price of everything will go up! It's a mess, folks. And don't be fooled by the stock market soaring back up 1000s of points--that's normal for a percentaged-based gambling casino like the NY Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, which I think was once the American Stock Exchange--how many remember that great gambling board? There was a Pacific Stock Exchange, too--name-changing is a big thing with these CEO and Board-run corporations. It's the same with individual criminals--they're always changing their names, too--oh, don't worry, everything they do is perfectly legal--but look at Lehman Bros., for instance, it's changed it's name several times in the past 10 years.
And who got rich today on today's surging up stock market? The same people who are always rich--the same people who control our money and our wealth--the state treasurers who control vast pools of state pension monies, the union financial officers who are in control of the big union pensions, and these people invest wildly all they want to in the stock market--it's as if that money is their money.
Eliot Spitzer was going after these subprime mortgage loaning bastards ten or so years ago when he was NY State Attorney General. He knew what these creeps were up to--and in NY State he brought suits against these bastards and boy howdy did those Wall Street goons hate rich-boy Spitzer (and he, too, is a spoiled-brat rich boy)--and he became governor and suddenly he cooled off on putting the heat under the asses of the Wall Street speculatin' fools! Suddenly he became just an ordinary old-line-legal-reserve governor-type--and soon you found out why old Eliot had cooled his revolutionary heels--why Eliot had an addiction--he liked fucking young girls or masturbating to them dancing naked or getting themselves off with a pickle or something--like Slick Willie using his illegal Cuban cigars to diddle Monica Lewd-in-sky--or "Here, hon, let me cum on that cute little blue dress"--and Albany, New York, is so full of young girls and boys working--same as the District of Corruption--all these young, young babes, so naive but so easily impressed--and Eliot got on his computer late at night--his wife was sound asleep--I mean when Eliot tried to get her to wear a Girl Scout uniform that time--or that little girl dress he brought home--why she rebuked him saying she was a governor's wife and a mother, not a whore! And that was it! A WHORE! And Eliot got on his computer and soon he'd found these New York City escort service listings--with the girls's pictures--and the girls's strip down in the last photo of their set if they're the hookin' kind of escorts--and Eliot found the Jersey girl and then Wall Street brought his old sleazy ass down--and now we have a blind governor who's not very concerned about anything but just enjoying being governor and ruling over the assembly and not really doing much as a governor except saying we've got budget problems--what every governor of New York State has always said--and deficit spending following the economics principles of John Keynes used to be the way we got out of a Wall Street crash--and the people back in those days heard the same old bullshit--"Don't panick" "Nothing to fear but fear itself" "Don't be cowards" "The eventual solution to all our problems is WWIII."
And the stock market is zooming up--and all the broker boyz and girlz are dancin' and makin' money enough to pay the mortgage on their hi-floor several-million-dollar luxury apartments this month--and they'll see about next month next month when that god-damn Dow's liable to just suddenly drop back 2000 points and banks start failing again. Like I think the Dow should fall back around 4000 as far as I'm concerned--but I never won a Nobel Prize so what the fuck do I know?
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Note: Don't worry, reader(s?), the Wolf Man is not doing all of this on his own, by his lonesome--nope, there's Sally the Intern working her cute butt off Word-ing up the Wolf Man's paw-scrawls he calls writing--yes, he writes on a computer but he sends his copy in with penned corrections and notes all over it. And there's Handy Andy the guy that goes to Staples and keeps us supplied with supplies. And there's the Candy Girl who plays her guitar and sings songs on a corner of the Growler office floor but who'll run out and get you a cup of Java if you ask her sweetly enough--she says she's the next Madonna! And there's Dick the Dickerer who keeps the computers up-to-date. Huzzahs for the Prowling Growlers, those who are in and out of here like flies...we have no screens or screening processes--we still use fly swatters sometimes, though!
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