From the Fetid Green Waters of Tarnished Lake Flaccid, New York, Comes the thedailygrowlerjots&tittlesman: Barabbus Munn-Dayne..................................
Now where in the heck did you get that photo? Is that an aerial shot of Charlie Hooch's cigarette boat churning up the crap at the bottom of our dearly beloved lake?
Cecil the Dog-face Boy III is back home. I had a lovely fresh crab dinner with him the other night. He doesn't suspect anything improper that went on between myself and his sister while he was down in Miami judging that freak show. He was in good spirits since he'd cast the deciding vote for this year's "Best Freak in the Business" Award--a gold image of one of the pinhead girls from Todd Browning's freak's favorite movie "Freaks." "I thought Donny the Swan Man was the best damn freak I'd seen in many a half-moon. Wanda Lumbodowsky was a close second--she's the girl whose head was twisted around somehow in the womb to where it looks like its growing out of her back...." I showed awe. "No, seriously, it looks as though her head is growing out of her backbone. She has to walk backwards to see where she's going." "I would think," I injected, "she could easily outfreak Donny the Swan Man." "Oh, you'd be wrong there. You have to see Donny to believe him. He has bird feathers for hair!"
The fresh crabs--Cecil had 'em flown up from Louisiana--were absolutely wonderful. We washed them down with a crispy cold Sauterne. One thing I can say about old Cecil, he puts on a good feast. Nothing but the best for him. "How much did they pay you to judge that freak show, Cecil?" I asked him casually. Like I'm trying to find out how Cecil lives so conspicuously consuming like he does. He looks at me and doesn't answer me. I don't ask him again. His business is none of my business.
But I'm still curious. I mean, come on, how many of your friends have the facial features of a dog (though, remember, I've never seen Cecil without his custom-made hood), live in a mansion built out of logs, and have a Rolls Silver Cloud sitting in their garage with a Chinese-American chauffeur living in a huge apartment on the back of the property, and their own chef on staff who flies up from New York City on request to prepare their special meals? None I'm sure. That takes beaucoup wheelbarrows of money. It's even more curious when you think that no one gets invited to Cecil's special feasts except me. When I'm not there he dines alone.
I'm Cece's best friend here in Lake Flaccid--hell, I'm his only friend here in Lake Flaccid--most of the people around here consider Cecil a weirdo--they consider him a freak, what the hell am I avoiding saying? However, I have to be very careful with actions and words and gestures and facial expressions around Cecil. He is a bit more dog than man in the sense of getting his feelings hurt or tucking his tail (no Cecil doesn't have a tail--not one that I know of) and drooping his eyes--dog like, you understand.
I sit here this Saturday morning sipping on a green tea while eating my morning breakfast--stale Cheerios covered in honey--Native American style--with a bowl of fresh raspberries (though it says "Product of Chile" on the carton here so I don't know exactly what the word "fresh" means on the label).
Not much happening up here in Lake Flaccid except me and Cecil the Dog-face Boy III. I haven't seen Charlie Hooch in over a week. I saw Mrs. Thompson-Pinch, the Canadian diplomat's wife who lives up near John Brown's old farm just south of Lake Placid, the other day, buying rock salt up at Mooney Lou's jot-'em-down store. The Lake Flaccid center city is pretty much shut down--winter sends all the nonnatives packing to warmer climes--it gets cold as hell up here--though it hasn't snowed snow-plow-deep yet. Buffalo had a couple of snow storms, one bad one last week and we soon get Buffalo's weather, so I'm chopping some extra wood--got to keep my cabin warm. Gets 20 below up here sometimes.
The local teevee weather people are smiling broadly and talking about what a mild winter we're having this year. "At least we're not in Haiti tonight," I heard one of them chirp the other night before the Letterman Show came on.
A little drab news from Lake Flaccid, so I'll move on to some serious jots & tittles:
Jots & Tittles
--First of all, I hadn't heard that Ed Beach had died this past X-mas Day until this morning. He died out in Oregon where he had moved after the radio station, WRVR in New York City (RVR standing for Riverside Radio--it being the radio station of the Riverside Church), over which he had broadcast a show called "Just Jazz" for dozens of years was sold to the commercial radio folks for many millions and became a "Lite FM" station.
Growing up in New York City and beginning to dig jazz when you were a teenager you had access to many a jazz program, but none was as much fun as old Ed Beach's "Just Jazz" shows. Ed was one of the cool school of jazz dejays. He was laid back. Soft spoken. Very deliberate in his statements. Very hip to the bends and turns and trends of jazz, a young art at the beginning of Ed's jazz broadcasting career, an almost dead art at the end of his jazz broadcasting career. He started as what is called in the biz a "Classical" announcer, meaning he was qualified to host classical music shows--you know, he could pronounce all the many different language titles phonetically correctly and artists names correctly--with the proper clip in his way of pronouncing these "foreign-to-Americans" words all that iced over with a learned history of the music he was playing. He brought this classical radio attitude with him over into his love of jazz in his cool radio show--"Just Jazz." So Ed's left the control room for good.
--Another death caught my attention, too. Bobby Bragan died yesterday or so. He was 92. I remember Bobby as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1948--I was just a bambino but old enough to be into baseball and remembering the following incidents quite clearly. Bobby Bragan, a "hind catcher," was a pet of the Brooklyn General Manager Branch Rickey. Bobby was an Alabama boy who'd been playing most of his minor league baseball down in Texas. When Branch Rickey decided to break the color barrier and bring Jackie Robinson from Montreal to the Brooklyn Dodgers, Bobby was one of the Southern white boys who signed a petition asking Rickey not to hire Robinson. Then when Branch said sorry, boys, I'm bringing him to Brooklyn whether you like it or not, Bobby ask Rickey to trade him but Rickey wouldn't do it and forced Bobby to play with Robinson. Bobby later, after a week of playing with Robinson and seeing what a truly great baseball player he was, repented the sins of his racist heart and retracted his petition and wanting to be traded. Branch Rickey, however, sent him out of Brooklyn anyway and took a chance and made Bobby manager of Brooklyn's Texas League farm team, the Fort Worth Cats (they originally were the Panthers). Rickey's intentions in sending Bobby to Fort Worth ironically were in order for him to replace Bobby as Brooklyn's catcher with Roy Campanella.
Bobby became a very successful player/manager at Fort Worth. Bobby was also sent by Rickey, after Rickey left the Dodgers, to play for the Hollywood Stars of the old Pacific Coast League--the year the Stars came out wearing uniforms that sported Bermuda shorts for pants. From there Rickey took Bobby with him to Pittsburgh. Bobby ended up managing at Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and finally the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (he was Atlanta's first manager) (Bobby managed Eddie Matthews and Hank Aaron when the Milwaukee Braves who had once been the Boston Braves became the Atlanta Braves). Bobby's Major League managerial times were all short lived. Bobby was fired midseason from all three MLB manager jobs. Bobby ended up moving to Fort Worth, Texas, for good, managing the Fort Worth Cats--one of the most successful teams in the old Texas League--and to eventually become President of the Texas League. He ended up his baseball career as a Major League coach. Quite a character--and from quite a family of baseball players, check out the Five Bragan Brothers:
BOBBY - Played in big leagues (as a catcher) with Philadelphia Phillies and Brooklyn. Coached for LA Dodgers and Houston Colt 45s. Manager for Pirates, Indians and Braves. First Manager of the Atlanta Braves. Established the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation in Fort Worth in 1991, providing scholarships for 8th graders.
JIMMY - Spent 44 years in pro baseball (1950-1993). Minor league player and manager. Served as major league scout for Reds, Expos and Indians, coach for Reds, Expos, and Brewers. President of Southern League 14 years. Now retired and enjoys visits to his small farm from children, grandchildren and friends.
PETER - Semi-pro player in Birmingham and Philadelphia before entering Army in WWII where he served in General Patton's 3rd Army in France and Germany. Operated car dealership in Birmingham 35 years. Has owned Southern League Jacksonville Suns since 1985.
FRANK - Attended Mississippi State on baseball scholarship where he earned his BS. Later received MBA from Texas A&M. Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in US Army. Played proball for AA Memphis Chicks where Hall-of-Famer Luke Appling was his manager.
LIONEL - Signed pro contract with Pittsburgh Pirates organization after graduation from Phillips HS in 1939. Reported to Valdosta of the Alabama-Florida League. Drafted into Armed Forces where he spent 3 1/2 years in US Navy. Lionel retired as Chief Deputy of the Birmingham Jail in 1987 after 35 years of service.
Old Lionel Bragan, think about it, was there when they put Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the Birmingham jail! Old Lionel, think about it, worked for Bull Connor! Ironies galore in the Bragan family history. Remember, Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella's coming to the Brooklyn Dodgers made it possible for Bobby Bragan to be launched on his very successful baseball career.
--Speaking of death, I did happen to watch an old PBS special on Charles Schulz last night. Come on, the "Peanuts" creator. What a weird dude. And oh what ironies pop up all over in his life. He was a "good Christian." Why he taught Sunday School and tithed and was faithful to God. Yet, God consistently let him down regarding the innermost problems going on in Charlie's brain since early childhood, but especially since he'd been by his mother's bedside when she died of colon cancer--a horrible death--and little Charlie had to suffer it--his mother's dying in front of him heckling him the rest of his life in terms of his faithfulness to God. Like why did God allow his mother to die in such a wretched way?
This show was also interesting in that it related what old Charlie drew in "Peanuts" to his own problems. He related all the characters in "Peanuts" to children in his past. He expressed his problems with life in the character of Charlie Brown--the whole scenario of the whole cartoon being Charlie Brown never being able to kick a football. This morbid sense of Christian devotion with a gut full of doubts led to a divorce in the 70s and then a remarriage to a younger woman in 1973--a very pretty young woman who looked even younger around old graying Charlie. Charlie moved to Santa Rosa, California, after "Peanuts" took off and started making him money. At the end of his life, it was stated, Charlie had amassed a fortune estimated worth a billion dollars! Yet, Charlie lived frugal and didn't get out of the house much. His wife said when he wasn't working, he would just sit in front of the teevee flipping through the channels--flipping from one to the other--showing love only to his dog. His wife said Charlie was so in love with his dog that if the dog got up on his lap and fell asleep, Charlie wouldn't budge or do anything as long as the dog slept. He'd sit paralyzed until the dog woke up and hopped off his lap.
Then one day in his 76th year, after a major stomach ache, Charlie did something he hated to do; in fact, he did something he'd never done: he went to see a doctor. He had never worried about his health--and he was 76 years old--he had never gone to a doctor--had never had any kind of check ups. Sure enough, Charlie's first-ever trip to the doctor was a fatal one. The doc after doing all kinds of tests on Charlie said the billionaire "Peanuts" cartoonist had an incurable cancer! What kind of cancer? The same kind of cancer that had killed his mother: Colon cancer. And, the cancer was too far along to operate on him. The doctor dryly told Charlie he was dying and that was that, the End, Charlie Brown.
Old dying Charlie Schulz was interviewed by NBC's Al Roker out in California after the cancer was killing him and he'd even suffered a stroke. The interview was held in order for Charlie to announce he was retiring from drawing "Peanuts." The interview is very raggedy. Schulz is obviously medicated. He's blurry eyed, hesitant, etc. Then at the end Schulz breaks down and starts crying. There would be no more Charlie Brown--alas, Charlie would NEVER get to kick the football.
The question that was lingering in old Charlie's mind as he lay dying went with him to his grave: "Why, since I have been such a faithful Christian is God doing this to me?"
It was a sad documentary of a man most Americans thought was this wide-eyed wonderful brilliant family man who understood children so well and whose depictions were so real and natural and all-American. But he really was a man in turmoil, a man with his troubles nestled in his gut. His stresses centered in his colon. The cancer cells swarming hungrily to that stress spot, eating at it for 77 years--finally taking the final bite in 2002 when old Charlie Schulz left the mortal coil.
Charles Schulz near the end.
It got me, unfortunately, thinking about my own death. It's coming. I know it's coming. How will it come? I want to be surprised. Like Charles Schultz, I, too, don't go get check ups. I feel fine. But unlike Charles Schultz, I don't have any past haunting my gut. I am perfectly contented. My mother died of natural causes. She was 80. My father died of a heart attack. He was 85. That's a pretty good track record for my parents. I'm confident I'll make it to 80 at least.. We'll see. If I wake up one morning with a terrible stomach ache, well, we'll see then if I get to kick the football or not.
--Down in Haiti they've announced they given up searching the rubbles for people still alive. Fuck them. If they're still alive under all that crap after two weeks, then, it's more dangerous looking for them due to the stench of the rotting corpses--they are saying maybe way over 200,000 dead in this 7.0 earthquake. Just think, that's a few less than were killed in that devastating tsunami back in 2008 was it? The Wolf Man's been writing about Bill Clinton and George Herbert W. Bush being palsy-walsies. That's when I can testify to hearing Bill Clinton say GHW Bush was his new best friend at the time they teamed up with the Tsunami Aid Fund--they gathered in several hundred million. Right after that, Bill started his own foundation and World Peace Forum or something like that, which Bill says he started with money he made on his great tell-all (yeah sure) bestselling book. Now Bill is teaming up with GHW's rascal son G.W. Bush with President Obama's insistence to overseer and give critique to the Haitian disaster situation. Both Bill and Hillary were in Haiti at the same time. You notice, they don't do photo-ops together. I assume Bill since his heart condition can't hump around on Hillary any more--yet Bill looks healthy as hell--well-coiffed in the hair department--well-heeled in the "nice" clothes department--plus, remember, at his big birthday bash in Lost Wages he was eating $250 Kobe steaks with his bigshot friends--come on, there must have been some whores giving old Bill a little company while he was in Vegas.
Since they've quit rescuing people from the rubble, they are moving Haitians in droves out of Port au Prince and into tent cities they've set up in the level fields outside Port au Prince. Instead of Port au Prince they're now living in Port au Pottyville. When they are all out of Port au Prince, then the US developers and contractors including Halliburton and KBR and Boeing and Latino cheap labor shipped in (they can't use Haitians because of "security" problems), along with Blackwater and Dimecorp will be down their leveling that old city--leveling it to the ground. The Haitians no longer have a capital city--hell, 2,000,000 of them no longer have homes or property. By the time the Capitalist Pigs get through razing Port au Prince, there'll be no property lines or proof of property ownership left--all the records were destroyed in the National Palace we assume. So Haiti is no longer even a nation--except Cap Haitien is a large city--so there are places in Haiti still in place. Northern Haiti--except that's close to the Dominican Republic--and they are not the closest of friends.
So what's next for Haiti? Statehood maybe? Naw. Like Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, it'll become a Territory. Hot damn. We've finally found a way to own Haiti outright. I love the way the IMF right after the earthquake hit was right there handing Haiti a bill for their debt and saying the only way the IMF would give up any money aid was as a loan, adding that onto Haiti's already unpayable debt to the IMF, the US-controlled world organization that is criminally going about the world getting Third-World countries into debt and then selling those debts to private hedge funds and equity funds to collect--like the private equity bunch that bought South Africa's debt and then sent them a bill for twice what they owed.
Bolivia recently told the IMF to go screw itself when they refused to pay any more on their IMF loan bill.
[Mr. Ed: I wouldn't call the above entries anywhere near a Jot or a Tittle. Come on, Munn-Dayne; you're getting prolixy.]
Instead of "beating a dead horse," let me continue with MY POST! Here's a little tittle that should titilate your broke and hungry and overcharged situation. I call it, "A BOO-HOO (without the Hoo) for POOR LITTLE OL' EXXON-MOBIL." From Reuters news:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) said on Thursday rising profits from gasoline sales and its chemicals unit drove its first-quarter earnings up over 10 percent, offsetting lower oil and gas prices.
It was yet another massive profit for Exxon Mobil -- the world's largest publicly traded company -- which has seen its coffers swell due to soaring oil prices over the last few years.
The company earned $39.5 billion in 2006, the largest profit in U.S. history.
Net income rose to $9.28 billion, or $1.62 a share, in the quarter, from $8.4 billion, or $1.37 a share, last year.
--Has anybody but me ever asked what the hell oil is in terms of the planet's make up? We know what causes oil but why is it where it is in the belly of the earth? And what are huge underground water reservoirs for? And why don't oil and water mix? And what happened to G.W. Bush's hydrogen car? Rhetorical questions? Whyever the earth produces oil, surely it was not for humans to suck out and burn up and thus ruin our atmosphere, pollute our air, or for us to make plastic bags out of it and plastic cups and all those petroleum-based products that we can't live without. OIL. That spells disaster. Thomas Gold, by the way, is the nut scientist who said that the earth reproduces oil all the time--Abiotic theory, I think it's called.
--Here are two new companies I'd never heard of before this week:
1) The General (they use a cartoon-character general as there mascot)--an auto insurance
company--a brokerage house I suppose;
2) how about this one whose commercial I saw while watching the Big East basketball game
of the week--Connecticut beat #1 Texas--easily. The UConn Huskies. Come on, that's so
collegiately clever--so during the game I saw a commercial for Quicken Loans.
Wonder where Quicken Loans gets its capital?
--Did you know that in 1941 an earthquake destroyed Cap Haitien, Haiti?
--Did you know that there were 587 earthquakes registered in California and Nevada this
past week? Check out this site: quake.usgs.gov/recenteqs/latest.htm
--Largest earthquake in New York State history:
This severe earthquake was felt from Canada south to Maryland and from Maine west to Indiana. It caused property damage estimated at $2 million at Massena and Cornwall. Many chimneys in that area required rebuilding, and several structures were unsafe for occupancy until repaired. Residents of St. Lawrence County reported that many water wells went dry.
At Massena, in northern St. Lawrence County, 90 percent of the chimneys were destroyed or damaged and house foundations, plumbing, and masonry were damaged severely. Similar effects were reported at Cornwall. Cracks formed in the ground at Hogansburg, and brick-masonry and concrete structures were damaged. Chimneys were downed in several towns in New York, including Fort Covington, Keeseville, Malone, Norfolk, Ogdensburg, and Waddington.From USGS Website
--Old farts on SupremeJerk Court have simply reinstated the old known fact that a corporation is the same as you or I--a corporation is considered a citizen--and the old farts simply underlined the fact by saying they had first amendment rights same as you or I do--in fact, they have more rights than you or I have. Campaign financing will still go through the roof whether We the People deny corporations individual citizenship or not. They'll get the money to these chisling criminals one way or another--or by "hook or crook" as the old hustlers (Republicans) around here are fond of saying.
Actress Jean Simmons is dead at 92! She the Aimee Simple McPherson character in the movie "Elmer Gantry"--that great vehicle for the great Burt Lancaster.
And the great old pianist Earl Wild died just today at 94. Earl could play the piano, brother. I heard him play a Liszt recital once--he played Chopin for an encore.
A lot of DEATH this week in the Jots & Tittles...
Death makes me thirsty. I think I'll pop a Genessee Ale and lay back in my easy chair and enjoy a rapture.
for The Saturday Evening Daily Growler Post (Toasties)