Foto by tgw, Penn Central Building, 34th Street, New York City, 2008
Originator of a Great American Accusation
Thanks to thewomantrumpetplayer we've been clued in as to the originator of that great Spiro T. Agnew "accusation": Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. Oh my Gawd! the hero screams, it's William Safire . I remember an old statistical legend that said at any one time you are just 4 people away from knowing some highly respected human being--it corresponds to my "Debbie Harry" theory of us being on parallel lines with some human animals as well as even some wild animals--like Roy (of Siegfried and Roy) forgiving the very expensive white circus tiger that almost bit Roy's dumbass human monkey head off--yes tigers will eat monkeys if they get hungry enough, though like wolves they like the still-breathing belly meats of young antelope calves. A baby monkey's belly meats ain't worth the efforts to a hungry tiger. In the case of Bill Safire, thanks to L Hat, I'm just one person away from maybe having met him or maybe listened in to L Hat talking with him on the phone. L. Hat worked as Bill's editor on his last book, the reengineering of Safire's Political Dictionary, from the Oxford Press, before Bill kicked the bucket in 2009. Young Bill Safire was Tricky Dick's speech writer--and naturally he would have written Dumbo Agnew's speeches for him--oh the power of a writer--Bill Safire proved that.
Speaking of being 4 people away from somebody famous, a little tale of further irony, through my wife I once found myself on the Queen Elizabeth II on our way up to Newfoundland to open a huge new jet fuel refinery my wife's boss had negotiated into existence on moneys he finagled out of the Canadian government and his old asshole pal Adnan Kashoggi and his connection with the Saudi Royal Family. And Richard Nixon was supposed to be the special guest to join the boat while at sea via helicopter. Nixon, at the last minute, couldn't make it--so who did they send: how about Spiro T. Agnew!
Adnan Kashoggi, in case you've forgotten, was once the richest man in the world. He was a devious motherfucker (he comes from a Turkish-Saudi family) of the shiftiest kind: making most of his wealth off phony corporations that cover up his international arms dealings--like front companies he set up in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Here's a little known fact: check out the fact that old shifty Adnan met with Richard Perle (anybody remember this bird?) right before our invasion and occupation of Iraq. Kashoggi was born in Mecca--his father was personal physician to the Saudi Royal Family--Kashoggi's sister married into the Saudi Royal Family. I just thought about it, but I was literally just one person, my wife, away from Adnan Kashoggi in those days. I've sat only a few people away from Adnan at more than one banquet and dinner. He once offered my wife a job in Riyadh or a job in Beirut where we would have had use of his hilltop villa overlooking Beirut and the Beirut harbor (this was just prior to the takeover of Beirut by the Syria Army that led to the invasion of the Israeli Army into Beirut and the eventual massacre of 2000 Arabs by old Never Again Sharon--is he still in a coma?).
Adnan is still with us, leading a very comfortable and easy-living leisure-class life in the Principality of Monaco, a haven for over-the-hill filthy rich criminals. Just think, all of Prince Ranier's wasted wealth came from casino gambling.
Staying on our parallel line with Bill Safire, there's a new book out saying that Tricky Dick had a big trick played on him by the same anti-Castro Cuban mugs who probably really did assassinate President Kennedy in the happening and then evolution of the story of the Watergate incident. The new book says old Dick had no idea what he was approving or disapproving during the Watergate happenings--that the whole Watergate incident was set up to bring Nixon down. A big bevy of these Watergate birds were ex-Cubanos who fled Cuba ahead of Castro's Revolutionary forces entering Habana and taking it over. Castro by the way drove out of power one of the most asshole dictators in Cuba's history of being dominated either by Spain, the USA, or those Cubans who became puppets of the US corporate and criminal world that ruled Cuba before Castro--this puppet a Cubano military man named Batista--a criminal dictator living like a duke while his native Cubanos starved to death or were working as slaves for the big US sugar companies down there to drain Cuba of its wealth--leave the natives slaves, thus a cheap labor force just 90 miles from where the US's own Black slaves used to work for free our Old South sugar cane industry that spread all across the South but especially in Louisiana and Texas. So when we Christian White people finally decided that maybe our slaves weren't just jungle animals after all, maybe they were kind of human--anyway, with guilty consciences some of the more "righteous" White men freed our slaves--why, blacks that once worked the sugar cane plantations for free now wanted to be paid wages for their work--they wanted EQUALITY! How dare them! So when Teddy Roosevelt led his phony Edison-rigged-for-filming charge up San Juan Hill and declared Cuba's independence from Spain what he was actually doing was occupying Cuba--why Cuban sugar cane workers worked for chump change compared to our snooty newly freed Blacks--why they were easily cheated out of their money, too--and our big sugar companies learned how to fuck 'em dry--keeping them in the fields for slave hours--there you go.
My friends, who don't know the wolf in me, say I waste too much of my writing time on politics and the critters who I so despise and who I want to ridicule with consistent pestering as if my words are bullets being fired from a wild and out-of-control machinegun, one being activated by a wolf in human clothing. I mean these characters, and that's what they are (Gore Vidal calls them entertainers), they are novel characters, and they are given full pages full of their words, videos of their spiels, constant reminders of their projections, their predictions. Never any substantial solutions. Never any resolutions. Always arguments. No real debates. Only edicts. Like this healthcare bullshit President Obama is trying to shove down Congress's throat. It's not the right healthcare bill. It's not what our President promised in his brilliant and encouraging campaign speeches. It's a bill that benefits the healthcare insurance and HMO industries. Premiums are going up in anticipation of this bill not being passed but if it is passed, premiums will go up even further; healthcare insurance companies will continue to reap so many profits they give billions of them away as prizes for being good little crooks. It doesn't seem to bother people that every employee at one of these financial pirates we bailed out--Goldman-Sachs or AIG probably--the biggest of those pirates--both in the process of building new office towers in Manhattan by the bye--got an average of $400,000 in bonus moneys last year. Amazing. And they continue to rob us blind with no backlash from We the People. President Obama continues to trust these bastards. Why didn't Obama fire everybody who was left over from George W. Bush's administration? Why? I am amazed at how powerful in defeat the Repugnican Party has become. I mean those bastards lost the election so why is our Congress still controlled by them? Vexing, isn't it? Like Joe LIEberman? Why is this asshole still so powerful in Congress?
That's what drives me wolf crazy as a thinker, as a writer, as an empiricist--it's all wrong--they're all headed down the wrong path--at least Bill Safire got his words read and revered by millions--and I assume he made money off his books. That son of a bitch has to be a new idol of mine. Think of it, William Safire put these words in Spiro T. Agnew's mouth: Nattering Nabobs of Negativity.
A Year Ago--to Remember:
It was a year ago this month that one of my best-ever friends in life dropped straight flat face down dead from a heart attack setting up for an evening's gig. theryefarmerfromqueens --Brother Robert Francis Guida--Cadillac Slim--Raoul Otis--or just plain Bob. Our parallel lines ran side by side from the moment I met the man until he died--there were times when we were playing music together where I'll be damned if our parallel lines didn't meet, though I know that's impossible--ask Debbie Harry--she got it from Isaac Newton.
So I'll be lifting a big bottle of Diet Pepsi (Bob didn't drink booze) to the honor of one of the truest and bluest friends and musicians and finest of men I ever had the privilege of knowing. "The car I drive is a V8 Ford/ I don't claim to be no chauffeur but I can hold it in the road/Hey, baby, let me ride in your little automobile/You got a nice little car, honey/There's just too many drivers at the wheel." Bob was a Cool Driver. Bob's favorite old blues--and he owned one of the rare 1st edition 78s of it--was Skip James's "Cool Driver."
The automobile had been very important in Bob's and my life--especially Cadillacs--we both loved old Caddys. Especially Cadillacs, too, because our blues mentors had desired and cherished and sang about Cadillacs--when you were a Black blues singer and you had your first hit, you sold your V8 Ford and bought a new Cadillac, a sign you were NOW something special. The Cadillac became such a symbol of Black success Whites bailed out and went over to Lincolns (except old Elvis stuck with Cadillacs all his life)--Lyndon Johnson championed the Lincoln as the White man's car of success--he used to drive his Continental lickety split around his Perdenales Ranch with a cold can of beer between his legs.
Several times in my life I was proud to be a member of Bob's Cool Drivers band--I was very proud the day Bob designated me a Cool Driver. "You runnin' down the highway/You runnin' down the road/My baby's doin' the shim-sham-shimmy on the running board/Hey, baby, let me ride in your little automobile/You got a standard carburetor/So you must be burnin' some bad gasoline."
I can still hear Bob's booming voice now calling off our theme, that tune, "'Automobile Blues' in G, boyz, from the 5, ah one, two, ah one, two, three, four...." And off we'd go on another Cool Drive. Bob and I would have never set foot in a Lincoln.
Willie Davis, 69, American baseball player (Los Angeles Dodgers), natural causes
died a couple a days ago. Yeah, I remember Willie Davis--good hitter--beat the Yankees in the World Series one year--when the Dodgers were managed by Tommy LaSorta--who's still kicking and fat and sassy--a baseball genius but otherwise dumb as a fence post. One question I have about Willie's death--how did he die of natural causes at 69? What are the natural causes of death? Where's William Safire when we need his wordy wisdom.
You Talk About Coincidence
On March 7th these two women died:
Mary Josephine Ray, 114, Canadian-born American supercentenarian, oldest person in U.S. and second-oldest in world...
Daisey Bailey, 113, American supercentenarian, second-oldest person in U.S. and fourth-oldest in world.
With that, I slither back into my den,
for The Daily Growler