I used to read several blogs every day--Alexander Cockburn's Counterpoint, the Thomas Paine site, BuzzFlash (Mark sez he's going under due to money coming in too slow), wood s lot (another Mark--I've always said this is one of the best sites on the Internet--he's a Canadian, too, ay?), languagehat.com (I'm loyal to mi compadres; plus LH's site is way-above-average interesting and decidedly informing), antifascist-calling, Truthdig, J. Orlin Grabbe (somebody is keeping his site going)...I mean there's such a plethora of good blogs up my alley on the Internet...but I find myself just not reading any of them anymore, unless they relate to what I'm writing about at the moment when I'm looking for information while writing in my continuing present state of mind.
I'm just maybe sloggin' bloggin' these days. I write and write and write and then read and read and read and I get pompous and think I've got things figured out and I figured them out much Quicker than these other "preaching to the choir" bloggers. I ain't preachin' to no known choir. I'm not into choirs. I'm into long solos, unaccompanied solos if need be. I once was in attendance at the Whitney Museum (we sat on the floor of the room--there were no chairs) when Sonny Rollins blew by himself for over 1 and 1/2 hours, a medley of his tunes all embroidered together into a mural blown with free-form coloring and much glee--with Sonny moving first around the little stage area--going back and blowing up against the back wall, then moving off the stage and going up one side of the room then down the other side, returning then to the very back of the room, where he then opened a door and went into a small room and kept blowing--it was a solo performance tour de force (the name of one of Sonny's early albums)--a free association of the melodies that had been cruising through his head for nearly thirty years at that time, melody strands all mixed into a spontaneous hour and a half living and breathing tapestry of Sonny's sounds--and though, yes, you could spot his stuff within this playing..."There's 'St. Thomas!'" "Hey, that's 'Sonnymoon for Two,' man." "That was 'Oleo'; did you catch that?" "Wow, there's 'Doxy'!" "Was that 'B Swift'?" "Man, I'd know 'Eh-Ah' anywhere, anytime!" "If that wasn't 'Paul's Pal,' I'll eat my Kangol."
That's the way I like to write, like Sonny Rollins playing solo for an hour and a half--just letting the words all fall where they may, recognizing some of my own cliches, rementions, restoried stories, all under my control (my breathing), my ginning it out into the spacious (or specious) lines gelling as Dan Yak-long sentences, unraveling the twine of time and space and interpreting the symbols that form meaningful stretches in the extending of that twine time, shaking words off the keyboard of my PowerMac G4 and onto the virtual pages of those sloggy blogs like craps players rolling the dice and letting them come-to-Papa as they may. "Play 'em as they lay," as Joan Didion would say.
I'm a contrarian all my life. A nonconformist. I can't conform. I don't like my fellow human beings that much. I don't see much use in say a man who's worth a billion dollars! I know I've been around men during my time who were billionaires or close to being billionaires, but like God nor Jesus, not one has ever impressed me. Like Angus Wynne, a friend of my brothers. Angus's family founded the Wynnewood housing development in Dallas during WWI. Then the family left it to Angus after he got out of the Navy after WWII, and he turned this real estate development, Wynnewood, into one of the most successful urban planned communities in the post-WWII US--his Wynnewood Shopping Mall was one of the first all inclusive shopping centers in the US, besides stores of all kinds, it also contained hotels, golf courses, and amusement centers. By the early 1950s, Angus found himself worth 65 million bucks--it's got to be equivalent to several billion bucks in today's worthless bucks. Finding himself with all this money, he went to L.A., saw DisneyLand, came back to Dallas and started developing the Six Flags Over Texas theme park in Arlington, Texas, then later expanded the Six Flags theme into Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey (he took over Great Adventure), and finally California--I was surprised to learn Angus Wynne owned Magic Mountain near the end of his life. Six Flags, by the bye, after Angus's death was taken over by his son. Guess what happens when a rich man's son inherits his business? Six Flags has recently filed for bankruptcy. Angus Wynne wouldn't have known me from a piece of Dick's shit, but I've been around him more than once, I've met him, shaken hands with him--I also drank a beer with his brother one night--the brother who founded the Dallas Cowboys! (The original Dallas pro football team had originally been the New York Titans. Bunker Hunt, one of H.L. Hunt's worthless sons, bought the Titans and brought them to Dallas where they became the Dallas Texans. The Texans soon failed in Dallas and Hunt moved the team to Kansas City where they became the Kansas City Chiefs--and won the first-ever Super Bowl under former Dallas Texan quarterback, Len Dawson.)
Six Flags Over Texas
Following a visit to the recently opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, [Angus] Wynne decided that his home state of Texas should have a local park for entertainment. Planning for such a place began in 1959, under the leadership of Wynne and the Great Southwest Corporation, along with the backing of various New York investors. Construction on the park, and its next door neighbor, the Great Southwest Industrial Park, began in August, 1960. Wynne first intended to name the park "Texas Under Six Flags" until his wife notified him that Texas was never "under anything."
Wynne subsequently expanded Six Flags in 1967 with a second original park, Six Flags Over Georgia, which is located just outside Atlanta, Georgia, and finally Six Flags over Mid America, in Eureka Missouri, just outside of Saint Louis in 1971.
The Six Flags company eventually acquired numerous other properties and is currently the world's largest regional theme park chain.
With the significant cost of developing a park from the ground up becoming prohibitive, the company began acquiring parks with significant potential, but to date, had been less successful than those of Six Flags. AstroWorld, built by Judge Roy Hofheinz in Houston, Texas, was the first park to be acquired in 1975. Two years later, the company went on to purchase a New Jersey park developed by the Hardwicke Companies and designed by Warner LeRoy (son of Wizard of Oz director, Mervyn LeRoy), called Great Adventure. The last park that Wynne would see acquired in his lifetime under the Six Flags name was California's Magic Mountain (outside Los Angeles) in 1979. Wynne died that same year and although he was no longer associated with the company at the time of his death, Six Flags would eventually acquire numerous other properties and become the world's largest regional theme park chain.
From Wikipedia "Angus Wynne" "Wynnewood" "Six Flags Over Texas"
How about a "pansy" from D.H. Lawrence's Pansies, specially published by Lawrence in private printing, 1929:
As a plant becomes pot-bound
man becomes ego-bound
enclosed in his own limited mental consciousness.
Then he can't feel any more
or love, or rejoice or even grieve any more,
he is ego-bound,
in the pot of his own conceit
and he can only slowly die.
Unless he is a sturdy plant.
Then he can burst the pot,
shell off his ego
and get his roots in earth again,
And that's my wild mission, to plant my roots in EARTH over and over. RAW EARTH! Yes, D.H. is so right. D.H. was a weird little thinking man who was a woman with a man's nature, a pansy of a man who women tumbled over each other to get to, to woo him, to steal him away from his Brunhilda, his Teutonic Frieda--and Frieda cheated on D.H., first with his male friends in England, and later with an Italian lieutenant who after D.H.'s death she married, after the lieutenant helped her move D.H. from Italy to the Lawrence Ranch in Taos, New Mexico (now owned by the Univ. of New Mexico), where she buried him in a mausoleum of his own design, his little casket containing his Phoenix ashes with DHL handpainted on it sitting in front of a Mexican-style altar! D.H. was amused by Mexico's love of legendary plumed serpents--in fact, he wrote a whole book about the impact of Mexican legend on a traveling investigating fiction writer.
Oh how I cry for raw earth. It's hard to find in New York City. Even the earth dug up when they are excavating for these new hi-rise luxury buildings going up like mushrooms around me is long-since-dead-and-redead earth--not fresh earth; not raw earth; it's graveyard dirt, dirt dug up and reburied several times since the late 19th Century or at least the early 20th Century.
What an embarrassing sham the Fourth of July has become. Honoring our service men. Since when did July 4th become a day in which we Salute Our Armed Forces? Our current soliders are not the revolutionary soldiers that gave us our White independence back in 1776. Our current soldiers are not the conscripted soldiers of WWI and WWII, the Korean Police Action, or the lied-about Vietnam War. These soldiers are volunteers. They are a preemptive invading and occupying force. More and more since the economy has failed young kids are joining the armed forces out of desperation for work. These are the soldiers who are now getting car bombed in our-created Free Iraq and getting bushwhacked in Afghanistan where the Man of Change, President Obama, is getting us bogged down in even a broader war, a war he is now taking into Pakistan. Pakistan stands on the brink of ruin as Obama relies on the absolutely stupid and ignorant likes of General Petraus (Betrayus) and the wildman of the military, the total nutjob General Stanley McCrystal. Obama is now expanding the war in Afghanistan. How many US soldiers have died now fighting in these two insane and ruinous wars? You don't see any casuality totals anymore. By all additions, it looks like they are using Colon's Pal's method of counting dead in the Vietnam War. "Hey," says General Betrayus, "I'm a winning kind'a killer general," and now he's considered a genius general like the level Norman Schwarzkopt was raised to by Pappy Bush's New World Order during Pappy's Persian Gulf War, which Pappy the Wimp declared we won, our first brilliant victory since WWII. General Betrayus is the designer of the great military genius tactic called the "Surge," the tactic that won us the War in Iraq, a war we'll soon declare we've won even though Iraq is primed and ready for a future explosion and a reassignment by Obama of 100,000 troops reoccupying the place--maybe we will lose another 4,000 troops there--come on, let's break the record for war dead--these are mostly hillbilly hick soldiers, numbskull kids out of high school, a lot of Latinos and blacks--some of the Latinos illegal immigrants or kids who come from South America up here and join the army ("join"'s not the best word; it should be "get a job" with the US Army), so nobody will miss them. Obama will justify the reoccupation of Iraq for national security's sake. There's no way this puppet government of ours in Iraq is going to remain stable enough to rule that ruined nation. Oh yeah, you bet Exxon-Mobil and the criminal Royal Dutch Shell are there to steal Iraqi oil, why we went there in the first place--the weapons of mass destruction Hussein had was all that OIL!--haven't all of us nonconformists/half-ass anarchists been telling the confused and scared Amuricans that everything these days is about OIL or OIL PRODUCTS--like PLASTICS--even Osama bin Laden and Al-Queda are about OIL. Royal Dutch Shell, by the way, is murdering indigenous people in Nigeria right now in order to steal their oil from them--oil to these Shell assholes is more important than the lives of any ordinary (unprivileged) (untouchables) (mestizos; peones)(those intended to be slaves) human beings--oil is one way our Power Elite stay conspicuously rich and with plenty of leisure time on their nonproductive hands to eventually ruin the earth and end human existence forever. That's how powerful the Power Elite is! Don't you think we will eventually nuclear bomb the world in our final show of Great White Father Power! We worship a God of War and Disaster; a wrathful, hateful, beast-like God. A God of Destruction and ruin. The God we sing to when we sing that Great White Father anthem "God Bless America."
Our soldiers are simply employees of the various armed forces, which means they are in the employ of We the People. We've currently got our troops deployed in the four corners of the earth at an outrageously ruinous expense and waste.
Just like, too, I don't see cops as heroes--especially dead cops--I see them as guys employed to protect and serve the citizens who pay their salaries. If they fuck up and get whacked in the line of duty, how does that make them heroes? If a soldier is blown to bits in Iraq, how does that make him or her a hero? Seems to me, if there are heroes in our armed forces they're the ones who have figured out the sham and shameful war they're involved in and in such a state refuse to serve in these two pieces of lying shit wars! Those who stand up to ignorant authority, those are my soldier heroes. Or those who take the fall for the Power Elite, like Lynndie England, remember her? She's a hero to me since she took the brunt of blame in the Abu Ghraib depravities.
A real hero soldier; she took the fall and served time for Unka Dickless Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, G.W. Bush, that criminal ilk who are all free as birds out in the world enjoying life at their hunting lodges and faux ranches and their heavy drinking and farting and drooling over underage girls; what a bunch of White Trash assholes! [see below for Lynndie's talking now that she's out of prison]
Commercial television aired all the dumbest of the Fourth of July celebrations. How about trotting out old wrinkled and freaky looking Neil Diamond, a fucking Canadian, to perform an Independence Day and God Bless America Day bash with the Boston Pops Ork, the whole program under the star-control of a Grade B fucking Scottish actor named Craig Ferguson--what a revolting display of other-country has-been talent--to me it was guffaw-type laughable it was so fucking jokey. Except, you god-damn right, that fucking limpbrained Canadian boring musician, guitar player, singer, songwriter, Neil Young owes his all to Black American Music and the White kids who buy White boring pop music. He looks like a chunk of spoiled Swiss cheese now he's such an old and wrinkly has-been. I know, I'll be blasted by Neil Young fanatics! Fuck Neil Young, he can kiss my ass!
Then PBS, our Brit-loving high-brow teevee, trotted out a truly one-foot-in-the-grave-looking still untalented Barry Manilow--did he copy Elton John or did that little Brit Twerp rip off Barry? And Barry was warbling his same-old-same-old drag queen songs and diddies--and then they rolled (literally) out Big Shiny Stockings Aretha Franklin (she looks like Two Tons of Fun rolled into one gigantic woman now) who did a ho-hum-here-we-go-again sort of down-her-nose routine performance of "R-E-S-P-E-C-T"--she's sang it so much she sort of slings it out at you now as though she were serving you very sloppy servings of a sloppy corned beef hash. Aretha literally is blowing up. How 'bout a gigantic Aretha blow-up doll! Then came out the new blood--performers I have no idea who the hell they are. On NBC, some airhead blonde freaky twentyish White chick was doing her impression of how her White ass thinks Black female singers should really sound--squeezing out her affected Black-imitation modulations in off-key crescendos that ended up piercing even a tune-deaf idiot's ears and driving him off a bluff with the tone-deaf lemmings and into the silent sea!
I was a serious improvisational musician for years. I specialized in my own music--yes, I was heavily influenced by Black music, blues, jazz, boogie--my Three Bs were not Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms but rather Boogie, Blues, and Be-Bop. But I always, except on one album I'm on, tried to not affect a Black accent in approaching say a John Lee Williamson blues or a J.B. Lenoir blues like "Let It Roll" ("All Night Long") but rather trying to do it my way--a White way, but a customized White way--a White way of improvising Black-influenced music--not a mocking way--but an original way. Then I gave up working with White bands (it's been 4 years since I worked with a White traveling band) and got into my own composing and recording--I called my virtual band the AI Boys From Osaka--and with that band I created a whole series of recordings I called Me Being Me in NYC--I'm up to Volume 16 right now--all sixteen volumes containing nearly two hundred original compositions. No brag just fact: I've written--lyrics and music--to over 2,000 titles since 1983, the year I wrote my first tune, a tune I called "Louisiana Song," a tune I later recorded for an album that was never released--I still have a master cassette tape of that album. When I recorded "Louisiana Song," this chick from Wisconsin I called the Dairy Maid was sitting on the piano bench with me and you can hear her sighing and trying to tickle me a couple of times as I'm singing and playing while recording that track....
Nostalgia! Is nostalgia actually history? I hate nostalgia but I catch myself getting entangled in it all the time. That's why I try and turn it into fiction where at least it can get a fresh start and develop as a meaningful aspect of a narrative. Things that just happened to me are nostalgic already, aren't they?
The fireworks extravaganza (what a waste of money) this year here in New York City was moved from the East River to the Hudson River (also known as the North River). Our police commish, Shanty Irish Ray Kelly, tried to spin it like it would be harder for Al-Queda to attack it in the Hudson rather than the heavily populated East River, between the Brooklyn Bridge downtown and the 59th Street Bridge (the Bridge to Queens over troubled waters) uptown. I viewed that celebration time one year from the Waterside Apartments built out over the East River and the experience was like being in a war zone it was so fucking close, loud, and bombastic--and the smell of gunpowder was also sickening thick in the air--and the high bursts sounded exactly like aerial bombs going off--some of them screaming in just like shells coming in from enemy artillery fire right before they explode!
This year I heard the fireworks in the Hudson but I couldn't see them because of this new 62-story worthless hi-rise luxury hotel that has now risen up high enough to block out my western views. If that fucking building hadn't of been there, I'd a had a front row seat to this year's shebang! I would have gone up on my roof, but I heard it was full of families with their curtainclimbers and shit so I avoided it and wrote on this fucking blog instead.
Happy Independence Day,
for The Daily Growler
The face of Abu Ghraib abuse: Lynndie England offers her account
Keyser, W.Va. » More than two years since leaving her prison cell, the woman who became the grinning face of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal spends most of her days confined to the four walls of her home.
Former Army reservist Lynndie England hasn't landed a job in numerous tries: When one restaurant manager considered hiring her, other employees threatened to quit.
She doesn't like to travel: Strangers point and whisper, "That's her!"
In fact, she doesn't leave the house much at all, limiting her outings mostly to grocery runs.
"I don't have a social life," she says. " ... I sit at home all day."
She's tried dyeing her dark brown hair, wearing sunglasses and ball caps. She even thought about changing her name. But "it's my face that's always recognized," she says, "and I can't really change that."
England hopes a biography released this month and a book tour starting in July will help rehabilitate an image indelibly associated with the plight of the mistreated prisoners.