"Sittin' Here Thinkin'" ("And my thoughts make me feel so sad....")
I've been sittin' here listening to my old pal Bob Guida sing what seems like at least a dozen versions of blues star Herman Parker's old blues standard on tapes recorded 25 years ago. It's been one month since Brother Bob walked up the steps of that library where he was scheduled to play and dropped down, Mama, flat dead...face down...dead on the spot...that quick, like he'd counted off the tune in his head, a one, two, three, four...then on the one, BOOM. DEAD. GONE in life. But still alive in my life...tune after tune of Bob singing and playing with such big-man depth and booming presence, rockin' my brain on the dancefloor of my medulla oblongato.
And thinking of Bob and Bob's being gone--"So long, I've got to be goin'"--made me consider myself in the role of fundie wacko preachers. Like they yell it out from their Bible, I preach mine out in the blues idiom, all my thinkings being backed up by a blues lyric from an old blues etched in memory within my mind's multivolumed lyrics library--the old blues lyrics becoming verses out of my Blues Bible--"Turn with me now to the second verse of Herman Parker's 'Sittin' Here Thinkin' where we sing and shout...'Like the old folks say, "All that shines is not gold."'" Doesn't that sound like a "Bible" verse? a blues sermon, with choir accompanyment and a swinging pianist at a 10-foot grand comping behind my verses and scriptures as I emote and declare the blues gospel. "All that shines is not gold...." and "....You've got to reap just what you sow...." Come on, you live by those two principles right there and you're gonna be ahead of the game.
And thinking like this is my calling, a calling today inflamed by the eternal light that glows off old Bob Guida's final resting place out in Queens, New York, right nearby Louis Armstrong's, John Coltrane's, and Dizzy Gillespie's graves I hope. Bob had been to all three of those gravesites and paid homage and knew their locations in terms of meridians and Mecca and all that kind of shit as though cosmic blues-idiom energies flowed up from their final blues-idiom states of rest--their persons gone but their left-behind creations still flowing forth--flowing forth from life's stereo speakers...continuing on in spite of the neglect of this "natural" music that flows from within us to the without now taking a far backseat on the music bus in favor of the instant music that is now sitting in the front seats--instant music with instant lyrics (in a can); and instant songs written by computer music programs; musicians whose instruments are their techno toys who make robotic musics OR musicians who know their instruments inside and out and are fingering wizards when it comes to virtuosity; yet, when they play "jazz" or try their hand at improvisation all they can do is run the scales they've gotten virtuosic on--in their "jazz," I don't hear IT! I don't hear any individuality; any style; or if I hear a style, I recognize it as a copycat style a la "Miles" or a la "Trane" or a la "Dizzy".... I hear these young people "living" as stars from birth, with no Sittin' Here Thinkin' involved in what they're learning; no hearing original things in their heads as they learn with superb perfection the rudiments of their instruments--no individual style developing, only the textbook style. Everything old jazz has evolved into "orchestrational" jazz. Taught jazz. Ensemble jazz. Solos becoming filler for the continuing orchestrated score. Example: Wynton Marsalas's Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. An orchestra of who Wynton (a very smart man, don't get me wrong--and a brilliant musician) picks as his favorite "readers," their writings complicated scores, except these complicated scores usually lead to very boring and uninspiring solos within the drapes of the surrounding orchestra's wings--whereas, in the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, yes, you had complicated scores, but those scores whipped each player up to what would be an original wild solo--amidst a choir of brass and wood and skins and strings banging up behind them driving them on to solo glory; not the orchestra itself the focus but the soloists it creates from among its being a living unit. Basie's 1938 band without Lester Young? Forget it.
Backward Thinking, part 4 (continued as is continually continued in a continuing stream of continuence that is continually constant in our continuing to exist)
See how confusing "forward" thinking can be? Like put one stanza of an Ezra Pound poem in front of a common old ordinary member of the species and you're going to get a unanimous "DUH?" The I-don't-get-it-crowd is who you're dealing with when it comes to forward reasoning, or the expectations of forward reasoning. Those who don't get it are a wacky bunch. They are diverse except in one area: FEAR. They are afraid of their own shadows. They look to soothsayers for answers to the most imposing questions they face, like, "How in the fucking hell am I gonna pay these fucking bills?...look at that phone bill, Jesus Christ...." Or "Why can't I have a baby?" Or "Why am I being laid off and these illegal immigrants are being given free food, free education, and they're taking away my job, god-dammit?"
You must approach these "backward thinkers" as a common denominator--they are afraid to death of change (change means readjusting--it's like making a dog give up his favorite place to sleep: the middle of a four-lane highway or in the middle of your bed! That's where they feel the safest and most protected)--or put another way, they are scared to death of forward thinking and what changes it might ask of them. Remember, this is the I-don't-get-it crowd.
I have been listening to Noam Chomsky talking about the Obama administration and how, yep, Noam, too, says Obama is not really a very forward-thinking president, though he doesn't go as far as I do in saying Obama has tricked bagged our expectational asses just to get into the outer limits (maybe) of the Power Elite, the political Power Elite, that body of wealthy White men who govern We the People, manipulators of our Congress that passes laws every session that are mostly against We the People in favor of our adversaries who are their nest-egg suppliers; a Power Elite that handles our money with flamboyant flagrance in spending it, in wasting it, in stealing it from us, and in handing it out among themselves.
Noam Chomsky says we still have a ONE party system in this country. He calls it the Business Party. Noam says the Dumbocrats and the Repugnicans are simply diverse branches of this Business Party. Noam says Barack Obama is a Dumbocrat Centrist and is going to continue most of G.W. Bush's policies, which Chomsky said were to these birds too far-right-of-the-established-center and failed not because they were "wrong" but because they were handled much more arrogantly than previous presidents, though our previous presidents bucked for the same policies, going back to Jimmah Cahter, the peanut farmer rocket scientist, whose economic policies weren't so much different from those of Ronnie Raygun Reagan's that followed Jimmah's (Jimmy "Now Peacemaker" Carter fucked up an attempt to rescue the famous Iranian hostages--those that Iran released after Raygun had made a deal with them through who, was it Pappy Bush maybe?)--politics as usual.
Chomsky said Obama didn't lie to us during the campaign but that he's always said he was a Centrist Dumbo and that his intentions weren't to repair the past but leave the past behind to focus on a new future, a future using insider (Beltway talk) ways of "correcting" Bush's "wrongs"--the same as Lincoln's so-called "freeing of the slaves," rich-boy Roosevelt's New Deal, Ronnie Reagan's "free-market Capitalism," and G.W. Bush's powerful extension of executive privileges, a lot of which Obama is not giving up, like the protecting of AT&T against "invasion of privacy" charges being brought against them by mainly the ACLU--Obama's Justice Department under his corporate-designed-buddy Eric Holder (a very rich man) has just decided to keep in place not only G.W.'s saying the media giants who spied on American citizens for him and Unka Dickless Cheney could not be sued but also keeping extraordinary rendition flights and the torture that awaits these poor buggers after they get to Syria or Egypt or Morocco--where beatings and waterboarding and beheading are tolerated by Islamic law--Egypt said to now be the most brutal government in the Middle East--where torture is professionally practiced--and where at any moment Mubarak and his ilk could be blown away by their own guards! Obama has condoned these CIA-sponsored flights. His Justice Department has also just decided that prisoners held in foreign prisons, like the prison in Afghanistan at Bagrum Air Base, have no rights under U.S. Constitutional law--EVEN if they are US CITIZENS. Obama is also refusing to lift the "enemy combatant" status off the poor, by now a nutjob, shoe bomber, a US citizen who's been held without charges and legal defense for 7 years--5 of those years in solitary confinement, with no windows, with no mattress, no covers, with the lights in his cell on 24 hours a day, with loud rock 'n roll (horrible punk rock shit) boomed from speakers directed at his cell 24/7, and when he would pass out, they would come in and wake him up, throw water on him, punch him, and kick him awake.... Obama says that's OK. Obama, I sadly noticed, too, is continuing the G.W. Bush practice of using an Air Force cargo plane to carry the big specially built for Obama "Ironsides" Caddie limo along with him on his globe trekking at a cost of millions a flight. Plus, notice how Obama is just as much a globe-trekking fool as G.W. Bush became, like popping in unexpected in Iraq--and then not leaving the Green Zone--staying behind several walls that separates the keiko-muckity-muck, God-blessed precious US assholes from the scumbag smelly Iraqis, or what's left of them. Walls protecting all the USA political junket junkies, and professional gunrunners and black-market manipulators, and the big starched-stiff generals like this fool Petraus that Obama thinks is a great American soldier--Obama's already said he admired the guy and respected his military decisions--when in fact, Petraus is a big dumbass ox who was really taking orders from death-squad-designer and instigating culprit John Negroponte--who G.W. Bush at the last minute made Death-Squad John (son of a hugely rich Greek shipping magnate, born in London, not born an American citizen) step down as National Security boss and go forthwith to Iraq, right after which, "the surge" military strategy of the great Commander and Thief G.W. "Bunnywagon" Bush was put into action under General Betrayus--and soon after that, just like his "Mission Accomplished" declaration on the deck of the Abe Lincoln, General Bush announced that his "surge" strategy had been such a success that, hell, he was sure enough to announce that though the War in Iraq would go on another 20 years or so, the occupation was at last a success--Bush eventually saying he thought his use of "the surge" in Iraq was his greatest achievement he had as president, though he really never was "honestly" elected president--and isn't it amazing how we know all this shit on this little weasel bastard who got us in every mess we're in now, all of this caused by this bastard's two illegal invasions and occupations that are still costing us billions a month and which have led to not only death and destruction in both Iraq and Afghanistan but whose squandering of money has led us into the a Depression (and Obama insists it's a recession) that looks like it's gonna be greater than the Great Depression, and this little Bush jackoff is allowed to roam free as a bird, live a great life, well protected, with the best healthcare taxpayer money can buy--isn't it amazing how he's not seen as such a bad guy by the Power Elite?--and even Obama said that about him when they met so Bush could turn over the White (Man's) House keys--"Why heckfire," Obama (sort of) said, "he's a really nice easy-t0-get-along-with fellow, quite jovial"--and Obama doesn't want to talk about charging this sorry bastard with any crimes--that's because Obama plans on continuing those crimes! How 'bout that, folks?
Why is Obama following such backward logic? According to Noam, it's because Obama is politically controlled by the financial industry--he's in "politics" now and Politics is controlled by the Power Elite that controls the wealth, which are bankers, financial institutions, insurance companies, pharmaceutical drug companies, Exxon-Mobil, those companies and institutions that are so-called "too big to fail," a political term meaning, "Go ahead, boys, invest wildly and foolishly without worry, because, hell, if you fail, We the People of the USA will bail your worthless asses out...they'll bail you out every time. Remember, Jimmy Carter bailed out CitiBank when it wasn't CitiGroup back in the late 70s."
Chomsky when asked why did Obama pick the very people who caused the financial problem: Larry Summers and Robert Ruben and Tim Geithner and Paul Voulker for his financial advisers--for his Sec'y of the Treasury--and also why did he keep on Bush's head of the Federal Reserve? Chomsky's answer was because Obama had no choice because these guys are the guys that got him elected! These are the guys he admires and trusts. These are Harvard boys, Skull and Bones Yalies, Dartmouth boys, boys trained to be politicians of the most finagling kind! Money rules these birds! And it was their monies and the monies of their asshole buddies who put Obama in the White (Man's) House and not the money he raised off the Internet and from his populist backers. Remember, Obama spent the most money ever in the history of a presidential campaign--G.W. Bush before him had the record--Obama outspent Bush! After final count, and they haven't ever issued what he really spent yet--some say it'll be around 1 billion dollars when it's all added up--and most of that money came from the very people he's currently bailing out--excusing himself by saying these institutions are "too big to fail." Such bullshit! But it's pure-dee old Backwards Thinking.
So when you hear Obama say, "It looks like our bail-out package is having some results," after the Stock Market has, say, surged up over 8,000 again, turn it around backwards and read "Looks like we need to give these guys more bail-out money...why look what our stimulus package did for Wells-Fargo." This right after old Warren "Junk Bond" Buffett's Wells-Fargo Highway Robbers said they made record profits just recently! But when Obama should be saying, "OK, boys, I'll take those profits in the name of We the People of the USA and boy howdy that will really actually stimulate the economy," he will be saying "Give them more money; they're too big to fail." What you can say, using Backward Thinking, is that Wells-Fargo not only probably didn't make any real profits at all but phony profits like Warren Buffett made off his phony junk bonds and Wells-Fargo will soon be back at the trough looking for some more bailout scraps to feast on.
What a shame. But that's life, folks.
The scary thing is, what Obama's doing is in-line with National State Socialism, what was called Nazism back in its heyday under Adolph Hitler. As Chomsky says, at one moment after WWI, Germany was the most advanced state in terms of art and science and democracy. However, in a matter of 10 years, Germany was suddenly taken back to a Barbaric state...brought on by what? FEAR! The White Man's fearing his own demise--having to blame it on someone--blaming it on the Jews and the Bolsheviks in the case of the very White Germans!
The recent G20 meeting! Declared a success! Read it really as saying, there was no unity at that meeting at all. However, they had to show unity and they did so by agreeing to shore up the IMF--the International Monetary Fund (a branch of the US Government headed up by a European dude) with billions of dollars. And, of course, using Forward Thinking, the IMF is the very last institution that should be shored up, but using Backwards Thinking the worst is the best. Hell, it's the rules the IMF sets on its forced loans that have caused Third World countries to find themselves in debts so deep they must follow the orders of the IMF and privatize everything and sell off all their wealth and put their populations into poverty in order to pay back the IMF. It was the IMF that allowed toxic waste to be dumped off Somalia's coastline that put Somalian fishermen out of business and turned them to piracy! One of the pirates the US Navy froggies captured instead of killing was a teenager.
for The Daily Growler
Here's a great photo I found of Dizzy Gillespie blowing his trumpet over the grave of Tom Wiggins, better known as the famous black pianist and composer Blind Tom