Monday, April 05, 2010

New York City Living: Getting Rich Quick While Rewriting History

Get Rich Quick: President Obama's Healthcare Reform, his recent decision to go against the wishes of the American people and drill the hell out of Eastern seacoast and around Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico and up in the Alaskan wilderness, and his ordering our rolling back a 30-year ban on new nuclear power plants in favor of a wild-spree of plant constructions* starting with an 8 billion-dollar boondoggle to an Atlanta construction company with no nuclear power plant-building experience, that 8 billion bucks actually covering the predicted cost (which we know will develop into another 8 billion of cost overruns) of this new nuclear facility for the Atlanta, Georgia, area, which is also the home of Newtie Gingrich who is starting up his Neo-Con Ten Commandments Family-Values bullshit again--joining with the racist, murderous, truly terrorists teabagging Tea Party reactionaries--also luring back into the contaminated Neo-Con spotlite the likes of Vietnam-tortured nutjob John "Jawin' Jawn" McCain and Sarah "First Woman President" Palin. By the way, don't worry about the rumors: Nutjob John won't divorce his billionaire wife to fuck Sarah Palin--he ain't that big a'nut. This old battered Vietnam-mission-failure John knows who buttered his fucking two-timing bread (Mrs. McCain's alcohol-peddling daddy)--besides, I'll tell you, Sarah Palin's a terrible fuck--she's into bondage, I'll guarantee you--I can see her wearing leather tied to a big gaudy Roma-of-Italy bed bearing red satin sheets and being bullwhipped into ecstasy by a man wearing a Lone Ranger mask and nothing else--maybe I'm wrong--I would suppose also there is a loaded gun present somewhere around the bed when you're bangin' "Drill, drill, drill" Palin (it's the drilling she's after).

So here's your The Daily Growler investment tip of the day: These Obama boondoggles and giveaways are going to prop up the profits of the healthcare insurance industry and the big pharmaceuticals (just today it is being announced that our government secretly bailed out Pfizer Pharmaceuticals from going belly up--our big pharmas are "too big to fail, too"--but We the People are too small to save--you get it?)--their stocks already are advancing faster than the average bulls. Next, the offshore drilling boondoggle is not really going to help our dependence on OIL (the Power Elite's desperation for OIL and more OIL the reason for these stupid wars and all our ills--even the healthcare issue)--drilling offshore is very expensive, plus the amount of oil or gas you finally extract is minimal to say the least. In the meantime, the damage you've done to our East coast ecosystem will be eternally devastating. Remember, Obama's ordering drilling in our most violent hurricane zones. Some say that Katrina had such devastating affects on New Orleans due to the deep channel the oil companies and our Corps of 2nd-rate Engineers dug so that huge oil supertankers could make it up the Mississippi to the refineries in Baton Rouge--that deep channel fucking up the Mississippi Delta (the mouth of the Mississippi as it widely floods into the Gulf of Mexico) thus destroying the natural flood protections of the many marshland channels, grasses, sandbars, out there--that deep-wide channel allowed Katrina an open path right into the 9th Ward and the whole north end of dear old New Orleans. My latest report on today's New Orleans comes from a friend of mine who like me was once a New Orleanian deluxe, both resident and frequent visitor, before his recent trip down there to check on things. Now he says New Orleans sucks. "Wolfie, I'm never going back. It's ruined beyond recovery, man, totally ruined."

BUT, what this offshore oil drilling boondoggle will do, it will make the already filthy rich oil companies even richer--especially Shell (a Dutch oil company), who Obama is already guaranteeing drilling rights to, big time--especially in the Alaskan Wilderness area--that area We the People denied George W. Bush the privilege of allowing his old pappy's oil-stealing criminal friends the right to destroy it ecologically--all for the mere "drops" of oil that will be the result of such carnage. So sell the house, the car, the dog, whatever else of immediate value you have left after the recession rip-offs and invest in Exxon-Mobil, Shell, BP, Texaco-Chevron--you bet. Also remember, Halliburton and KBR (both old Texas oil firms) are still going strong living off government contracts--KBR recently was given a new billion-dollar-guaranteed war contract--plus, Halliburton and KBR will soon be involved in the reconstruction of Haiti--a Bill Clinton-G.W. Bush enterprise so you know it's gonna fuck up Haiti for good--why, I'll predict right here and now that the US declares itself the occupier and interim governing body in Haiti not too long from now--wouldn't that be funny if G.W. Bush was elected the first interim occupying president of New Haiti?--We the People of the US will rebuild Haiti in our image--Port au Prince will become Clinton-Bush City--or maybe Barack Obama City--though I don't think Bill and G.W. are going to let Obama take the spotlite away from them in this Haiti gold-mining situation. So consider putting some of your money in Halliburton of Dubai and KBR (formerly Kellogg, Brown, & Root). To me it is a win/win situation. Hell, you may as well get some filthy lucre, too, out of these corporate gold mines same as all your representatives and presidential advisors and Supreme Court justices and Appellate Court justices and Hillary and Bill and Warren Buffett and his pals Billy Boy Gates and the lovely Melinda Gates--hell, check out Tiger Woods's portfolios--Tiger's on a comeback so you know he needs winners right now. Congrats, by the way, to Tiger. He's coming back out into the unreal world at The Master's this week. He looks good--has a beard now--the new Tiger--hell, this son of a btich looks better than ever now--I'll predict he will clean clocks at the Master's--he knows that once-segregated course like the back of his old daddy's departed hand.

And in nuclear energy? I'd suggest you check out General Electric stock--they just got that giving India nuclear secrets for mangoes deal that Obama allowed to go on through--as though Obama really was impressed with G.W. Bush when he met him for the first time--remember--he met with G.W. right before his big expensive inauguration? He came out of that saying old Georgie Porgie wasn't such a bad feller after all; in fact, he was a very likable dude. Hot damn! But then Obama thinks Larry Summers and Timmy Geithner are likable criminal dudes, too. And Ben Bernanke--why, it's all of old G.W.'s sidekicks--and all of Slick Willie's sidekicks--yeah, that's how you bring about change--by giving us the same old shit over and over again, though all of these schemes eventually lead to failures--like we're failing in both Iraq and Afghanistan now--we are losing those wars! (Word out of Pakistan today, a suicide bomber at the US Embassy in Peshawar (isn't Osama bin Laden a resident of Peshawar's finest neighborhood?) killed four US Marine guards there though no one else of importance was killed; also, that great humanitarian freedom-bringer General McCrystal-Meth said today he was sorry but yes American forces a day or so ago did assassinate two pregnant mothers and a small girl child in a night raid on Pakistan by our courageous freedom-delivering drones--one mother was the mother of ten; the other mother was the mother of 6, so by killing these two women, they took the mothers away from 16 Paki children (little savage urchins to We the People's armed occupiers over there). McCrystal-Meth said he was sorry but that was war and by God we got war whether we want it or not. Find out what company makes those drones and invest heavily in it.

I wish Obama would handle these idiot teabaggers tough--like a good boxer--go after them dancing like a butterfly but stinging like a bee. You go right up to their sorry asses and you say, "Look, you stupid assholes, it was your way of thinking that got us into all this crazy shit and it was the majority of the American people who elected me because I impressed them as a presidential candidate who was going to CHANGE this country in spite of your terrorist-like oppositions. They thought I was going to put this country back on its feet, bring our manufacturing base home, get us out of those two stupid and illegal (universally) wars, blah, blah, blah." But NO. Obama it turns out is a right-of-center centrist--following in the footsteps of his idol Ronnie Raygun Reagan. It's just hard to believe this man who had so much potential has sided with the get-rich-quick schemers--and this Black man (that's what he put on his census return they say) is content to let his Corporate Law degree guide him even over his Blackness--he's posing as a Black man when in actuality he's half White--selling his own people into Corporate slavery--by bailing out the crooks, by kissing the big White asses of the Corporate Oligarchies--and phony government statistics are telling us everything's hunky-dory--why there were 100,000 new jobs created this past whenever (they never give you exact dates and exact figures--only guesstimations)--yet, President Obama, dear Ivy-League-trained man, the unemployment figures didn't shrink--they stayed steady at 9.7 (your figures)--while your own Black people were suffering 15% (some say 17%) unemployment--plus your own Black people are suffering most for lack of health insurance (an poor Whites, too); Blacks are suffering most from the foreclosure booming market and the derivatives schemes that stole their property and life right out from under them. I'm not a teabagger--and I hate bashing Obama because that means I am a teabagger to those who still have faith in Obama--43% of us--but god-dammit, I can't sit still and watch this guy continue G.W. Bush's disastrous course--continuing the executive privileges he arbitrarily gave himself. It's as though if you checked Obama's ass you'd find old Unka Dick's gnarly old bony hand up in there working Obama's way of thinking and the direction he's taking us in.

So there you go, folks, the The Daily Growler way of getting rich quick--the only way most of us are ever going to get rich--unless you hit one of the plethora of gaming devices our state's now sponsor, like Lottoes and Mega-Bucks--gambling being the biggest industry in Capitalism--it's called "speculating" among the rich and famous. Of course, they've got the excess dollars with which to speculate--but, it don't matter, like I say, get as much capital assets together--sell the gold out of your teeth--and bank it in OIL, Healthcare Industry, Insurance Industry, Pharmaceutical, and Nuclear Energy stocks--fuck green investing--the big OIL companies are going to take that over soon--so stick with Exxon-Mobil--as a corporation, they have more money than most of the countries of the world combined.

Another good stock area to check out is the Military Industrial Complex--which also includes General Electric--but also Raytheon, Gruman-Northrup, Lockheed-Martin (in Newtie's bailiwick), and Boeing as potential gold mines. Obama is discussing using drones to patrol La Frontera--our border with our good neighbors Mexico (White Americans hate Mexicans remember)--so, like I hinted at above, whoever builds drones should provide you with a nice little nestegg--if you follow the money and get in and get out based on a percentage basis at the right moments--same as you play when you play blackjack at a casino.

[*There's good news (for the moment) for New Yorkers; a court has recently thrown a monkey wrench into the corporate works at the disaster-waiting-to-happen Indian Point nuclear facility that has for years been a cause for concern due to its age and frequent leaks and now the discovery that the plant has been leaking radio-active waters into the ground that then drains off into the Hudson--thereby breaking environmental protection laws. The court has refused to allow the plant to fire back up to full capacity due to this water-pollution problem. This on the heels of the Vermont legislature shutting down the Yankee nuclear facility on the Connecticut River for the same reasons--the plant was old and leaked and was leaking radio-active water into the ground polluting waters for miles around that plant.]

Foto by tgw, "Moon Over Manhattan #4," New York City, 2010.
"The Hipster Is Dead"
I was reading a Salon piece by a hip young thirtyish writer, a journalist pretending to be a Sociologist and Economist, but a journalist, you can tell by the way they automatically write. You know what I mean? Here's a for instance from a article by Thomas Rogers:

Mention the word "hipster" these days, and a few things come to mind: Young, white 20-somethings dressed in skinny jeans and lumberjack shirts, and wearing thick-rimmed glasses; neighborhoods like Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, and Silver Lake in Los Angeles; trust-fund kids; Chloë Sevigny; cocaine; ironic mustaches; and likely some mixture of contempt and hatred.

Of course, this is just the latest iteration of the term "hipster." Norman Mailer famously used the word to describe the middle-class whites who fetishized jazz culture in the 1920s, 30s and 40s, and in 1958 Jack Kerouac applied it to the members of the Beat Generation. For most of the twentieth century, it was used as a vague and usually pejorative term for a person with trendy countercultural interests.

First of all, neither Norman Mailer nor Jack Kerouac used "hipster" for any of the reasons Rogers states in his piece of fluff writing's introduction. The hipster appeared back when Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, the backbone of the Beats (Jack Kerouac said he hated the word "Beat Generation") were still in high school--the Beat did not mean the beat of the music or the beat of a drum or the beat in a line of poetry but rather came from Jack Kerouac's French-Canuke Catholic upbringing in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his poetically falling in philosophical love with "the Beatitudes"--as he tried to express in his Dharma Bums. Then drunken, drug-addict, bum, true first hippy, Herbert Huncke came along and said it meant "Beat Down" generation, Herbert making it analogous to "The Beat" in his world, the beat of the cop through the crime streets--his billy club the symbol of the Beatin' Down you got when the Fuzz hauled you in on a drug charge or a robbery charge--and Herbert had been in the slammer and Herbert could write fairly well and Herbert was the perfect hippy character who found a home with Burroughs and Kerouac and Ginsberg. John Clelon Holmes wrote Go, a novel of the Beat Generation. The Beats in actuality were of the Swing Generation, kids who were in high school at the start of World War II--the "Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar" generation.

This was the generation of kids who would either survive WWII whole or they would suffer great losses of life and a chance to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These were rebellious kids who were tired of war and the hot air of politics and the commericialization of art, especially of music and literature. The fiction of the Holy Bible outsold all our best writers--in fact, our best writers didn't get rich off their books but off their self-promoted characters, characters of their own posings --like Hemingway using his own fabulous life as the source of subjects for his novels and short stories--Faulkner got his fame from Sanctuary, a very great book to me, but scandalously vulgar to the critics at the time it was published. Faulkner admitted he needed a "potboiler" to really get readers's attention. Faulkner didn't have a successful book until the late forties, the great Intruder in the Dust, what a great book; then the Snopes novels came out and Little Bill was set.

Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs, the Beatniks, hit fame and what fortune they made right off the bat. Kerouac's On the Road and then his Subterraneans became the influential novels to the young hipsters who devoured those books like the Lost Generation had devoured Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises or Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. And the Beats became an extension of Hemingway and Faulkner and an extension of Robinson Jeffers and Kenneth Patchen and were promoted by Larry Ferlinghetti and the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, where the Subterraneans took place--and guess what that led to--Bill Graham may have been at that famous reading of Howl where Kerouac was drunk out of his mind and Howl rolled out of Ginsberg like thunder rolling in over the West New Jersey hills to eventually cause rain to flood Paterson--Howl by the way was dedicated to Carl Solomon one of the characters who roams through all the Beat writings--himself a poet of great magnitude but also a self-abuser in the sense he desired to be insane and kept checking himself into mental institutions, saying he got his greatest inspirations from being in the loony bin.

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,/dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,/angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,/who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking/in supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating/across the tops of cities contemplating jazz...." That's the opening of Howl (from Howl, City Lights Books, 16th printing, 1966, p. 9). The angelheaded hipsters--that's what the Beats really were, Angelheaded Hipsters, trying like Jack Kerouac, to invent a new religion, a secular religion based on the Beatitudes.

And here they are, from Jesus's "Sermon on the Mount," from the Gospel of Saint Matthew (the tax collector):

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Kerouac grew up under those Beatitudes.

"Are we fallen angels who didn't want to believe that nothing is nothing and so were born to lose our loved ones and dear friends one by one and finally our own life, to see it proved?"
Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)

This was the time when Jean Paul Sartre published Being and Nothingness, the book that explained true Existentialism, that there is only NOW, otherwise there is nothing. Existence is NOW, right this minute--Existence is there one minute and gone the next. As Hemingway rewrote the "Lord's Prayer," "Our Nada which art in Nada, hallowed would be Thy Nada/Thy Nada come/Thy Nada be done/on Nada as it is in Nada." I'm paraphrasing it but you can hear Hemingway say it on the old Caedmon LP of Hemingway Live put out in the 1960s.

To a jazz musician, "I'm beat, man," meant, "this gig has worn me to a frazzle, I'm goin' back to the hotel and catch some Zs." Jazz slang. But not what the Beats represented. Herb Cahn, the San Francisco columnist (a journalist), started calling them Beatniks. It was a sarcastic reference. The Beatniks shook up the post-WWII world by taking reality into US outer spaces previously considered taboo by the Neo-Conservatives of the day--White people--especially White parents--even supposedly hip parents like Ginsberg had, though his mother was totally insane and his father was a wimp. These were boring times--the Eisenhower Years--Ike played golf all day while the Congress tried to reinvent some war fears by trumping up the Cold War that finally led to the VietNam War, the war that brought the Beatniks's philosophy (the Beatitudes) to the forefront and created the Hippies and Yippies, etc.

Like I said, hipsters had been around a long time before the Beats. Back in the late forties they became known as Hep-Cats. "I'm Hep," was the cry of the jazz babies. Hep, in case you are wondering, comes from the US Army, WWI/WWII. "Hep" was the "One" in march-time cadence counting: "Hep, 2, 3, 4." Some interpret it as "Hup" but it was Hep--from drills, from march steps--and march steps were 4/4, and the first jazz bands in New Orleans were marching bands; even the Buddy Bolden Band appeared in marches, marches to funerals, marches to seasonal events, and marches in the Zulu portion of the Mardi-Gras parades every year. Old time jazz guys like Henry "Red" Allen used to call off their tunes with a "Hep" that came out like a low-throat growl. Red was a native of Algiers, Louisiana, whose father had a family marching band--Allen's father knew Billy Young, Lester Young's father, who also had a family band--Lester admitting that he was influenced to become a musician by following the parades and tailgaters around the streets of New Orleans when he was around 10. Later at 12, Lester became the drummer in his father's band.

Hep cats started getting associated with jazz men--the jazz women were simply known as Kittens or Kitties. Hep cats were men. They were "hip" to life, to life's sounds, to life's beats, to life's wisdoms--Hep cats became Hip Cats, then just Hip--"I'm hip," meaning I understand jazz and the jazz lifestyle. Soon Hip Cats was shortened to "Cats." The jazzmen became cats. There was a comic book hero-type in the early forties, too, known as Cat-Man--his symbol was a black cat head--similar to Batman's bat symbol.

The hepsters-hipsters followers became known as hipsters. Hipsters were mostly Whites. It was only natural that their offspring would become Hippies and certainly the Hippies were mostly White. These were cats Norman Mailer tagged "Wiggers" or White Niggers--and, yes, I was there, and Norman was right, we were White kids intrigued by the new and upcoming Black culture that was feeding us our own beats, our own music, and offering us a new spoken language to attempt to learn. Blacks inventing the true American music--starting with the Blues men of the 20s--and Blues men were never referred to as Cats--that was for the jazzmen that came after them: Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Tommy Johnson, Cow-Cow Davenport, Big Maceo, Roosevelt Sykes, John Lee Williamson, and then McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters) in the early 40s when Muddy was discovered by John Lomax on a plantation down in Mississippi and at first he was known as Mississippi Muddy Waters.

The be-boppers (Dizzy Gillespie and Charles Parker, Jr., et al.) brought in a whole new lingo--and Dizzy was a cat alright, but Parker--I never thought of him as a Cat--hell no, he was the BIRD--what the cat pursued--what the cat tried to catch.

So with the coming of the be-boppers--and they were a direct influence on the Beats--Blacks invented a whole new jazz language for the Hip Cats to trend toward--and soon White Rock 'n Roll had taken over the Whites and White rockers became the Hipsters, and their followers were called Hippies--and like I said afore, Bill Graham must have been at that famous reading of Howl in San Francisco because soon after that hippies took over the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco and soon the Filmore had opened and soon hippy bands were everywhere--Big Brother and the Holding Company with Bessie Smith imitator Janis Joplin (a Texan) singing the White blues about wanting Mercedes-Benzes and expensive bottles of single-malt Scotch and new styles of free-flowing clothes and makeup-less countenances--like angels never wore make-up.

The Earth's Angels became the White hippies. Jazz went on evolving in spite of the hippies and the folk music revival and then the coming of Cool Jazz--a White movement started on the West Coast by baritone saxist Gerry Mulligan who saw the value in a be-bopper like Miles Davis who was in L.A. at the time and who had taken his jazz from Dizzy and had cooled it down--so Dizzy blew HOT while Miles blew COOL. And thus the Whites became the Cool Cats of jazz while the HOTs became the funksters, like Horace Silver who started Funk bands in the fifties with his big hits "Sister Sadie," "Filthy McNasty," "Senor Blue," "Doodlin'"--then came along the White Third-Streamers, the Gunther Schuller crowd, the George Russell crowd--White classically trained musicians who were bowled over by how jazz was even more inventive than Bach--why jazz was even more improvisational than Bach.

The 3 Bs became Boogie/Blues/and Bop--all based on the beating of the human heart. So now, even the Liberals are rewriting history. What is history but NADA! Only vague memories; only circumstantial evidence; most history is fiction.

So is this true?

for The Daily Growler

An Ezra Pound Poem:

The Rest

O helpless few in my country,
O remnant enslaved!

Artists broken against her,
A-stray, lost in the villages,
Mistrusted, spoken-against,

Lovers of beauty, starved,
Thwarted with systems,
Helpless against the control;

You who can not wear yourselves out
By persisting to successes,
You who can only speak,
Who can not steel yourselves into reiteration;

You of the finer sense,
Broken against false knowledge,
You who can know at first hand,
Hated, shut in, mistrusted;

Take thought:
I have weathered the storm,
I have beaten out my exile.
From Selected Poems of Ezra Pound, New Directions, 1957, 25th Printing!, p. 29.

Ezra Pound, and yes we know his many sins, has always represented to me the honest American. I know, that's hard to swallow, but Ezra was too advanced and creative to become a hill of beans in this country at the time he was blossoming as a serious genius (as opposed to a comic genius, though I think Ez was a comic genius, too). England at the time was fascinated with "Colony" things and especially fascinated by American Colony things, like our writers and poets and musicians--and from London Ez went to Paris and from Paris to Rappolo and from Rappolo to being imprisoned in an open-air chicken-wire cage by the US Army on the grounds Ez was a traitor and had broadcast traitorous and salacious and antiSemitic remarks over Italian radio at the height of the war--referring to Roosevelt as Jewsevelt--that sort of shit. Yeah, the US threw that shit back in Ez's face, but like I said right off, Ez was too advanced and creative to be understood by especially his own people. The poem above, The Rest, shows that like a lot of creative Americans, both White and Black, find only hostility against their creativeness in their own country, so, too, did Ez and he carried that resentment with him for the rest of his life--and this same idea can apply to Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Hilda Doolittle, George Anthiel, Man Ray, Henry Miller, Sidney Bechet, Bill Coleman, Brick Feagle, Josephine Baker, and Ez--the list goes on and on. Our expatriates. And most of these found once they escaped the "doldrums" of US creativeness for the fertile fields begging for new seeds of new art--new entertainments for Europeans--before WWII, it was very difficult to return. In Europe, these artists found acceptance and praise and legendary status, though all the while they wanted to be accepted in their native country more than anything. They all tried to come back home but once back home they found out why they had escaped the US in the first place. Ez never came back (yes, he did return to enter the Saint Elizabeth's Loony Bin (the government-run loony bin) down in the District of Corruption. He realized he wasn't really the kind of American the Power Elite that ruled the US even back then cared anything about--and that included the publishing and filmmaking Power Elites, too--the rich--who artists have depended on for their sustenance since the cave painters of the early days when the best and brightest chimpanzees began to walk upright so they could get down out of the treetops and discover the treasures on the jungle floor--only then to reason the only hope for this new kind of chimpanzee was to find his and her way out of the jungle, this new species of chimp whose various utterances were developing into semi-language and whose inner feelings were being expressed through stick drawings--drawings in the dust to explain a direction of a fellow traveler--"Ugh, grrr. yaaayyaaa...uh-huh...n0rrr, nooo, grrrr"--meaning, "Here, dude, let me draw you a map--this is North--dig, the direction of the North Star, dig? That's north, see that way--toward that mesa off over there, you see? You, clout, look, see in the dirt here, this line is going North--to the right--this is right over here, this side, see? That's East...but you don't wanna go East, you imbecile...." This is the chimp who later identified himself as a Child of God to distinguish himself from his backward ancestors--his jungle-tree-top-trapped ancestors--early men who resembled Cheetah more than they did Tarzan--and to realize now that he was walking upright and beginning to draw examples of what his grunts, groans, moans, yowls, barks, ululations, mopes, growls, grimaces, excitements were insisting upon or resisting on the other appendage. Can you imagine being a best and brightest in those early dawn days of human monkeydom? Being the artist, the linguist, the musician, the teacher, the doctor--all of your art leading you to ways of communicating--the best and brightest being the most complex of communicators who seemed to understand each other and who combined to become our first tribal presidents and heads of state, our elites. Wow, how optimistic I am to believe the human chimpanzee rode from the jungle--the Natural state of existence--and into the Civilized world under the leadership of artists! Civilization is manmade--the first man-made thorn in the earth's tender flesh.

Gertrude Stein tried to come back the USA she loved so dearly and though she was welcomed with open arms, she never felt "at home" here--why Gertie was a Lesbian to boot--a Lesbian Harvard-trained pragmatist who invented a way of writing nobody since has been able to really understand though many, including Hemingway and Ez, have tried to emulate. Ez, by the way, according to Hemingway, got the boot from Gertie the first time he visited her salon when he sat in one of her precious moderne chairs and it collapsed under his bohemian weight. "Out, damn Spot," hollered Gertie and she and Ez never again were friendly, though Hemingway remained loyal to Gertrude right up to the day he blew his brains out all over the entrance-way mirror at his home in Ketchum, Idaho, just 13 miles up the road north of Hailey where Ez was born.

Hemingway was never happy in the US. He said the best places he'd found to write were first in a hotel room in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War when the Fascists were shelling that Republican-held city day and night using Nazi-supplied and -flown bombers and later on his finca in Santiago, Cuba. The worst place to write in the world he said?: New York City. I love For Whom the Bell Tolls. It's a revolutionary novel to me. I see Ez's ideas all through it; and Hemingway remained loyal to Ez right up until that day he blew his brains out, too--though he did write a poem about Ez (there's a City Lights paperback of the Poems of Ernest Hemingway) that implied Ez was full of shit, but Hemingway thought that same thing while he was seeing Ez every day in Paris, fascinated by him, his poetry, and his intelligence, but at the same time questioning some of his eccentric ways--like his experimenting with opium for a while--and his following the economic theories that were anti-American banking and leaned toward Mussolini Fascism (the Fascism of Italian economists and Sociologists, Mosca and Pareto)--the big American banking sin was in Ez's terms "usury." This started with a problem Ez had with US Customs that considered a certain rare diamond as "art" but not Ez's books and the magazine Blast that Ez's pal Wyndham Lewis had started. Ez denounced the US's system of taxation and interest charging, which he believed were unnecessary in the great society Ez envisioned. As a result of Ez's being pissed off at the US, he turned to a U.S.'s enemy's economic system, the one backed by Mussolini--who Ez met one time (and Hemingway, too). Ez's backers say he wasn't pro-Nazi or truly anti-Russian Communism but that because of these banking/usury theories of Ez's he of course related it to the Jews, who, of course, were in the banking business, the mercantile business, and who were diamond dealers and loan sharks and lawyers--which led Ez to his antiSemitic statements over Italian radio (whose shortwave signal was so limited no one in the US ever heard one of Ez's broadcasts (US intelligence service transcribed those broadcasts that are now in the stacks of the Smithsonian Institute (boy there's a lot of American genius locked up down there in that Smithsonian Institute)), statements that got so vitrolic, Ez in one broadcast praised the extermination of Eastern European Jews and warned American Jews that their time was coming. Ez later admitted, in his own way, that that was a big mistake on his part--though the way Ez worded his regret wasn't that he didn't feel the same way about Jewish usury and the Jews role in "ruining" Europe and the United States but that he was regretful that he had made them public during WWII.

It's interesting to note to me how Ez was quite a ladies' man. The ladies loved him but the men were all jealous of him. Ez after graduating Penn with a degree in Philology (linguistics, folks; a branch of Sociology), he got a job teaching at Wabash College in Indiana. One night Ez "befriended" a "stranded" actress and let her stay in his room all night. This defiance of Wabash College's social mores got Ez fired, which is one reason he ended up first in Venice--always partial to Italy from the very beginning--and then in London. Ez had a marvelous sex life--first having an in-and-out sexual relationship with H.D. (his Pennsylvania girlfriend)--he turned her into a bisexual--then later after he'd shacked up with Dorothy Shakespear he seduced a young violinist, Olga Rudge, and Ez stayed "true" to this menage-a-trois right up until he died (in 1972 at 88 (?). One reason, Ez stayed in Italy after WWII started is that he had a daughter with Olga who was 13 years old and had never known anything but living in Italy--plus, another reason, Ez's ancient parents had retired to Italy and lived with Ez and were too old and feeble to be moved--besides they'd sold everything they possessed in the US and had moved to Italy to die there.

In 1949, Ez won the Yale U. Bollinger Prize for Poetry. The election committee for the prize considered Ez's treasonous and antiSemitic ways but found in favor of ART over politics and said Ez's poems were too important on their own to not be rewarded with prize-given praise and adoration. They were on another plane from Ez's politics and economics, though Ez died believing all wars were started over economic matters.

for The Daily Growler


Marybeth said...

For Lhat: See what happens when you brag about the Mets!

Language said...

I wasn't bragging, I was bitching and moaning! As a Mets fan, I haven't had anything to brag about since 1986! (The Wolf was with me at Shea the very evening their fortunes took an irretrievable turn for the worse two years later, as Davey failed to take Doc out soon enough and he blew a lead and the Dodgers won the game and the series and then the Series -- that was the famous Crippled Kirk Gibson Miracle Homer, which I see has its own huge Wikipedia article. What a world.)

Marybeth said...

Hey Lhat, I was briefly a fan of the Mets when I was a kid, back in the 1960's when were so terrible that you couldn't help but love them. Their fielding errors were hilarious. Three guys would all go for the same ball and slam into each other, knock each other down and the ball would just roll unimpeded to the fence. I felt that I was a better ball player than those guys and I was just a nine year old girl-- and a little skinny one at that. Then suddenly the Mets started to get good-- real good, with Tom Seaver, etc., and they took the Series in '69. I was in the eighth grade and all the NYC public schools closed that day in celebration. I remember that so well, that pure innocent joy.

Mostly I've been a Giants fan because it runs in the family. My father and his father before him were Giants fans when they played at the Polo Grounds. Around the time I was busy being born the Giants moved to SF and my father's allegiance followed them. So I grew up following the SF Giants. You don't know what it means to be a fan until you've been an SF Giants fan. They took the pennant in '62 but not the Series. My mother said "there's always next year". And next year and next year... The fuckers still haven't won the Series, 48 years later. You think they could win once in my lifetime? Geez. Talk about the Red Sox and the curse of the Bambino. The Giant should never have left the Polo Grounds! So, yeah, I know all about loving a losing team.

Marybeth said...

p.s. Lhat, Things like the Crippled Kirk Gibson Miracle Homer are what make baseball such a fun game to watch. All kinds of crazy shit can at any moment and especially the last moment!

Language said...

No kidding -- witness the fact that the Mets are now in first! (I'm enjoying the moment knowing exactly how unlikely it is to last.)

Marybeth said...

Indeed! (Go Mets!)