Head Full of Zinging Ideas; "There's NOT Enough Space!"
The Daily Growler really wasn't my idea: it became a blog more due to the encouragement...no, the challenges of thedailygrowlerhousepianist and my old pal L Hat of www.languagehat.com. Four years ago I was in a contumacious situation (in the sense of two obstinate and argumentative beings trying to live peacefully together). I was trying to live with a woman of 30-years's acquaintance. A brilliantly sharp woman. A woman with many sharp-as-a-tack talents. Talents she kept hidden. Talents that if you encouraged her to continue them she'd accuse you of wanting to steal them. You know, like she was being possessive about them. Like she became very competent using PhotoShop to create very surprising and interesting, and I thought futuristic, designs, which the more she worked on them became more and more abstractly intriguing. But self-confidence! She had none. And then she began to project her lack of confidence onto me.
During this period of freaky frustration on my part--I mean I was dead-ended on every avenue via which I tried to get inside this woman's turning-on-me head. At the peak (highest point of peaceful compatibility) of our 30-year relationship we were a highly romantic couple. We stood out in crowds. We stood out at parties. She was pretty and socially invincible but behind that prettiness and that social gladhanding was a bitterly determined and self-protective woman--horribly defensive against criticism--or her worst fear: REJECTION; FAILURE; or DOMINANCE.
I knew what she was feeling. I knew her fears. As a young and naive writer I had already passed through the stage she was hanging herself up in. I had to go through it to get to it. I had already experienced rejection slip after rejection slip for my early efforts. But I stayed the course. Each rejection slip became a challenge to me to beat the system. To hone up my style, to free myself from a single identifiable identity into a hydra-headed beast of multiman + multiwolf--a man of many names, each name with a different talent. My writing still got rejection slips, but they started gradually showing me I was going in the right direction in my multipersonality way of writing in what I was developing as my own "continuing present" mode of thinking things out and then writing them down fast, rapidly, while they're still rather wiggly alive. Not stream of consciousness writing like Faulkner had conquered but more of a NOW continuance over and over of the same thing as is and then as will be or as already has become. It turned out to be more like the extended day Joyce conquered in Ulysses. Like I started getting rejection slips with a handwritten note on them--one I got: "Our editorial staff was quite taken with 'The Submarine That Would Not Submerge,' though in the end we felt it was not a style our readers could comprehend and for that reason we return it to you, though with sincere regrets. We are certain it is the kind of story you will be able to place once you find the right publication for it. Good luck, John Blow, senior editor." Then one spring I got several of these encouraging rejection slips in a fast row. These stories I immediately rewrote the night of the day I got the rejections and then immediately sent them out the next afternoon after my wife had typed 'em up into clean manuscript copy.
And then finally one glowingly sunny July afternoon in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I went out to El Camino del Monte Sol (the road on which I lived) and my mailbox (out by the side of that road). The mailbox was so full mail was almost falling out the front. The box was so full the lid wouldn't close. I hoisted out the bulky mail. My wife and I got a lot of mail in those days of youthful curiosity about world events and cultures. We subscribed to a dozen or so magazines. We were on the mailing lists of many anti-War, Peace, and Civil Rights organizations. I at that time had started collecting first editions. A constant stream of auction catalogs and letters from antiquarian booksellers offering me books they thought I'd be interested in were always piling in.
Among our plethora of mail that high-sky sunny July day in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at my mailbox out on the Camino del Monte Sol, was a business envelope from a publication I recognized as one I'd sent an ms. to several months back. In it was a check [HOLY JESUS!, I'm sure I shouted, though more probably it would have been HOLY MOTHERFUCKER--Jesus not having yet become a vital part of my expletive nature]. A check for $600. A "man's" magazine--yes, it was a girly magazine--naked babes made art by being surrounded by an attempt at presenting serious literature--had bought the story I'd sent them: "Cuando es bueno matara" ("When It's Alright to Kill"). This was a story about a party on a Mexico City hotel roof during which one of the players is determined by a group of macho men to be a homosexual (Gore Vidal used to say he preferred being called a homosexualist). The story opaquely hints at these macho players planning to murder this supposedly gay guy. It was a great story. I wrote it in about an hour and a half. In Mexico City. In my penthouse suite in the Hotel Sevilla on Calle Serapio Rendon. In bed. My portable typewriter on my lap. While guzzling cervezas Carta Blanca--a six pack before I finished the story. I knew the story was good when I finished it--I told my wife, after I'd surprised her while she was reading and had lured her into a mad and extremely sweaty sex session, while we lay back on my bed letting the afternoon rains blow their cool air in on our naked bodies, that this story was the best story I'd ever written. "This one will sell, Toots. It will sell, I guarantee it." We did it again she regained so much confidence in me as a writer back after typing all my stuff over and over for the year we'd been married.
After I took a shower, I called up my old Time Magazine stringer pal and his wife and told them to meet my typist wife and me at Czardi's Restaurant for a celebration over the "greatest story ever told"--in fact, by God, I told a bunch of people I was going to read the greatest story ever told out loud after we had pigged out and were topping everything off with juicy-fiery libations. At Czardi's after a splendid venison ragout, I predicted loudly to anyone who'd listen that this story I was fixing to spiel forth would soon zoom me up to literary fame and potential Hollywood millions. I spewed forth my story con palabras de magnífica brillantez de aguas decreciente. The story rolled out of my mouth splendidly, a la Vachel Lindsay singing forth his poem Congo, that soon I was getting encouraging hoots of "Salud, Escritor de señor de gran expectativa," and around the restaurant up went dozens of glasses raised toward my raised glass. Ah, my Mexico City compadres, what a splendid crew they were.
Besides the Time stringer and his wife, and Bill the Sad Pianist and Lady Sconce his mistress, and Chuckie the trumpet player and his wife, Taffy Wang, we accidentally ran across the Mexican Air Force lieutenant who was madly in love with my wife (my Tex-Mex-Choctaw-Welsh raven-haired, very young, glamour girl). I called him the Mexican Red Baron, though he was a cargo plane pilot and not a combat pilot. My wife and I had met him at the Mexico City airport while I was looking over a beautiful Lockheed Constellation airliner that a used airplane dealer from the States had for sale out there. The Mexican lieutenant was looking at it, too, not to buy but out of admiration. "Senor, you are looking to buy this beautiful plane?" "Yes, I am. I'm considering teaming it up with another Constellation I saw for sale in Dallas, Texas, and turning them into oil supply haulers--I have this filthy rich friend in New Orleans who has the holy hots for my wife--er-ah, Lieutenant Martinez, this is Mrs. Wolf...." His eyes started sparkling under the radiating heat from the hot Latin passion that was, can I dare say, "boiling" up in his chest. He went through all the proper muy romantico fol-de-rol. He kissed her hand. Then he said something to her in Spanish that made her blush. "What did this motherfucker say to you?" "I told her she her beauty reminded me of my beautiful mother--it's her hair, it's the way she wears her hair. How, Senor, did you ever attract so beautiful a Mexican lady?" "She ain't Mexican, my friend, she's Tex-Mex and Choctaw, indio, comprende Vd? And her father's a Baptist Welshman with the temper of God himself."
The lieutenant and I became good amigos he became so impressed with my improvisational way of life. The way I took things second-per-second. Plus, I was too witty for him. "I'm in love with your wife, amigo. She's the most charming and beautiful woman I've ever come across in my 33 years of coming across beautiful women. But, I can only love her from afar. With no hope of taking her away from you. I fly airplanes. But my flying airplanes is not as impressive as the stories you write and relate and the libertarian lifestyle your wife seems to love more than she could ever love the lifestyle of a man like me." "You see, Martinez, old pal, I'll tell you like I told this rich bastard who's gonna back me in this airline business. Who loves my wife and who she loves in return is up to her. Pitch as much woo at her as you like. I wish you luck, but I forewarn you, she attracts lovers like you everywhere we go--and we've been all over the place, my friend--yet, check it out who she's with. She's still with me. Right, baby?" I was acting totally uppity and smart-ass and cocky and bulking up with pomposity. But hell, I'd just written the best damn story ever--and damn right I had a beautiful wife. 'Cept, a few nights later at Chips Jazz Bar, I caught the two of them sitting close and whispering things in Spanish to each other.
So it was while this other woman, this woman of 30-years's friendship, was driving me up the wall that out of fleeing insanity I started The Daily Growler. I kept trying to encourage this woman to create and she kept backbiting at me. "Leave me alone," she would scream when I'd try to get close to her. "I can't," I screamed back, "you're living with me in MY apartment--how can I leave you alone?--move out of MY own place?" "You can do that. That would suit me fine." I was squashed back into myself most times--afraid to even roll over in my bed because the noise of my rolling disturbed her--I slept in my loft bed; she slept on a cot under my loft bed. My loft bed is 7-feet off the floor and can be quite a scary place to sleep. For that reason she refused to sleep in the more comfortable loft bed--I would have been miserable on that damn cot. But there's no railing around my loft bed's bed part. It is a scary place to sleep for someone who's not use to it. I'm use to it, still I've fallen off it more than once--in fact 5 times, 3 in one night (oh what a night!)--and it's quite a thrill to fall off of it--especially if you survive the fall unscathed. The last time I fell off of it, I was coming down the ladder and missed the first step and fell head first from the top of the ladder down 7 feet to eventually end up ploughing my hard head directly down onto my telephone answering machine. I used to say when I'd get in fist fights, "Whatever you do, don't hit me in my head, pal," and they would immediately start wailing the bejesus out of my head and that was what I wanted because my head is so fucking hard. A professional boxer one time got pissed off at me after I had put a cigarette out in his snooty girlfriend's lap and burned a big hole in her new silk dress. Boo-hoo-hoo, I smugly mocked her Neiman-Marcus tears, to the point the boxer pulled me out of the car and started rapidly powwing his fists like pistons onto my head, trying to punch out my lights. He must have hit me a series of 20 rapid rights and lefts but they didn't phase me--I smiled all the way through the beating. The next morning when I woke up I didn't remember anything about the night before until I went into the bathroom and happened to look in the mirror. My face was a blue-black mess--two blackened eyes looking puffedly out of rotten-egg-like black bruises. But there was no pain only the fright of looking at such a beat-up face. The boxer came in the bathroom and I was joking about what truck had run me down last night--I had been so drunk--we'd been drinking and dancing all night at Louann's to this Chris Rodriquez dude's band we all liked. In the bathroom, the boxer said, "My man, I'm known for my punches--I mean I have had 8 pro fights and I KO'd everyone of those guys, but you. I was amazed last night. The more I hit you the more you laughed in my face--daring me to take another shot--'Is that all ya got?' you kept saying." Then he looked at me sincerely. "Man, I'm sorry about this shit. Come on, let me make it up to you." We went out to this great little steakhouse and the boxer bought me a filet mignon dinner--he kept apologizing all during the dinner and I kept saying, "If you don't quit apologizing, you son of a bitch, I'm gonna take you out in the alley and whip your ass."
So one day in April of 2006, after having another of what seemed like everyday-long contumacious bouts of rapid-fire accusations and pejorative uncompliments, I went on blogspot.com and found out how easy it was to start a blog--and how great their templates were--their custom designs--and how blogs published amazingly professionally--and I wrote my first post introducing myself as this character called thegrowlingwolf --one lowercase name--in it is grow that turns into growl--and I meant for The Daily Growler to be a fictional spoof of reality as presented from a same dozen or so heads of one character broken down into other characters--such as Franny & Zoey our two-headed girl reporter--she's a real person, with only one head, but she's fictionalized in The Growler as having two girl heads that compete with one another for personality attraction and gazing attention.
I've admitted I based the name as an opposite side of a wolf from The Daily Howler's side of a wolf--me thinking of the Howlin' Wolf when I think of a wolf howling--and I thought, why can't I be the Growlin' Wolf? I've paid my dues as a White bluesman; I've paid my dues as a White jazz pianist; I've paid my dues as a published poet, writer; why, hell, I've even paid dues as a playwright, having had one of my youth-wide-eyed plays produced out in San Francisco--so why not thegrowlingwolf?
The Howlin' Wolf made his famous "Coon on the Moon" in 1973, after he'd gone to England and made a record with the Brit White blues-copycats that he said was dog-shit music.
Here's the original Wolf Man singing his classic spitting in the White man's face by jesting that one day, by God, the Wolf Man smirked, Whitey, there's gonna be a Black man in the White House and a Black man on the Moon. Hey, Obama, meet Mr. Chester Burnett who predicted your presidency back in 1973
Howlin’ Wolf predicted the first black President 35 years ago:
“You know, they called us ‘coons’—said we didn’t have no sense.
You gonna wake up one morning, and a coon’s gonna be the President.
Things have changed. We’re on the move now.
You’re gonna wake up one morning, and it’ll be a coon sittin’ on the moon!”
—“Coon on the Moon,” from Howlin’ Wolf’s last album, The Back Door Wolf, recorded in 1973
From this site: The Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett) on WAR:
“Somebody has been cashing checks and they’ve been bouncing back on us. And these people, the poor class of Negroes and the poor class of white people, they’re getting tired of it. And sooner or later it’s going to bring on a disease on this country, a disease that’s going to spring from mid-air, and it’s going to be bad. It’s like a spirit from some dark valley, something that sprung up from the ocean—like Lucifer is on the earth telling people these obvious things, causing a lot of the people to get irritated. But we can’t afford what’s going to happen. A lot of innocent people is going to get killed unless they get some kind of satisfaction...The black people fighting in Vietnam now, when they come back they ain’t going to settle for these little offers and these back-door handouts like they been doing. They ain’t going to take it ’cause they realize they been cheated. We’re going to have to make a sacrifice to stop what’s going to come to this country. Somebody has got to get up and try to drive this into people’s head. They’re going to have to hand things out or we’re going to take ’em. They’ll bring in some kind of persuader and get some kind of satisfaction.”----------------------------------------------------------------------------
—Interviewed in 1968 at the Ash Grove, Los Angeles
I've been "blogging" now for over 4 years--HOLY JESUS! The Daily Growler hasn't gotten me any fame. For all I know, not one soul reads it. I've posted over 1061 times in those 4 years. Back when I started posting no one was telling it like my fictional staff (selves) was--no one was doubting President Obama during the hoopla leading up to his being elected President. No one was telling the truth about why We the People were embroiled in two nation-ruining wars. No one was standing up to our Power Elite, mocking them, calling them crooked assholes and lying demons of flimsy deceit; nobody dared call old Slick Willie a racist; nobody dared call Al Gore a bore; no one dared call John Kerry a spoiled brat weasel of a shrimpy man--a man who though he knew, like Al Gore, his chance at being president was being stolen from him didn't stand his ground and fight back. Both Dumbocratic contenders asswhipped by a bunch of Neo-Con terrorists who foisted on us the dumbest spoiled little rich brat privileged little son of a bitch who had ruined everything he had managed up until then so why not steal his ass into the White House and see how bad he could wreck that. The Shrimp-Wimp Kerry gave up and went to bed early the night G.W.B. stole Kerry's win from him. Trick-bagged by a fellow Skull & Bones jerk, a little jive-ass asshole who got his cocaine-pumped shenanigans excused through a Congress with its nose way up the Bush Family Empire's colon; a spoiled rich brat who snobbishly dared to go AWOL as a military officer in training; this worst of all military offenses was excused worst of all by We the People--in fact, all the papers regarding this disgusting episode in this little asshole's life were destroyed--most of the Texas National Guard officers who knew the truth ended up dead--and yet this little pompous rat managed as our commander-in-chief to get us up-to-our-necks involved in the longest wars We the People have ever lost our kids to and had to pay out the ass for. This little scaredy-cat little AWOL chickenshit is now responsible for the deaths of over 5,000 American troops, millions of innocent civilians, and the displacement of millions of others.
[The Daily Growler has already alerted readers to why we think President Obama is intent upon continuing to drone-bomb into Pakistan, to carry his end of this stupid Afghanistan War on into Pakistan--that maybe perhaps his intentions are to bring this war that We the People have defined now as HIS WAR (though it's not his war; and The Daily Growler has questioned why was he so eager for it to be HIS WAR) because his military intentions are to capture Pakistan's nuclear arsenal--even eventually attacking Pakistan through India via the Indian Ocean from our big base in Diego Garcia.]
These wars that G.W. Bush started by lying and deceit and criminal intent (to steal Iraq's oil and to build an oil pipeline across Afghanistan so Karsai-Rice's Chevron Oil (they both worked for Chevron at one time) can pump Central Asian oil down that shute for the lamps of oil-less Europe) look like interminable wars. Yet, and this to me is sickening, G.W. "Little Asshole" Bushbaby today is living a damn-fine leisurely ultraprivileged life down in Big D, Texas. Living in his mansion he stole off the foreclosure market. Still getting his faux-presidential salary of $300,000-a-year guaranteed by We the People's always rising taxes. Sipping his bourbon and branch waters, snortin' a little pure rock occasionally, watching teevee, or maybe running out to make a luxury box appearance at a Dallas Cowboys game--or how about being honored by President Obama (who said after meeting Georgie Porgie that he wasn't a bad fellow at all; in fact, Obama said he got along fine with him) by being made the New Emperor of Haiti along with his old Pappy's new best friend Sir William Jefferson Clinton.
[Big Mama Babs Bush recently had a little heart trouble; however, she, as an ex-first lady, got excellent care from the best heart surgeons We the People's tax money can buy at the leading heart hospital in the USA--and by golly, we're proud to announce, Babs was released almost back to normal so she can hit the Power Elite social circuit again--maybe found some new Babs Bush Foundation--like old Gerald "Chewing Gum or Walking; He Can't DO Both at the Same Time" Ford's first lady started her fabby-celebrity-rip-off Betty Ford Clinic--close by the Palm Springs Golf Course where her husband lived splendidly off his Presidential (he was never elected president) salary-for-life playing golf nearly every day for the rest of his long, long, very healthy, well-cared-for thanks to the healthcare We the People provide for these sleazy bastards--living to be 90. And while I'm at it, let's don't forget Jim-mee Cahter and Slick Willie Clinton are living a hell of a good life, too, on We the People. Isn't it interesting how these sleazy politicians seem to live forever in spite of like Dickless Cheney having 5 heart attacks and bypass surgeries and pacemakers. I'd like to see just how much in healthcare expenses these old crummy politicians have cost We the People? Like Teddy Kennedy. Did his Congressional healthcare coverage provide him with his brain surgery near the end of his life? Even an old asshole like Dickless Cheney lives forever, an old decaying asshole who I'm sure is thrilled by the way the Ku Klux Klan is gaining...er-ah, I'm sorry, I mean the way the Teabaggers are being such pansy assholes--sorry, that's improper journalism, isn't it? BUT THAT'S MY POINT: The Daily Growler isn't a deposit of PROPER journalism--it's a deposit of LIKE IT IS views; of WAKE-UP-AND-SMELL-THE-DEAD-BODIES views--PRODS--that's it, The Daily Growler is a cattle prod for Liberty--LIBERTY as it offers individual freedom is all The Daily Growler stands for.]
That's the attitude "we" have been posting in The Daily Growler o'er these many years. Forked tongue-in-cheek. Four-way slices with knife-sharp words. The pen is mightier than the ______________________ (fill in the blank) no matter who you attack with it, friend or foe.
Yet, suddenly Glenn Greenwald has seen the light and he's highly praised for it; Thom Hartmann has seen the light and BuzzFlash calls him the most incisive political journalist writing today--to me repeating the same old Neo-Liberal bullshit over and over, rehashing the already hashed--preaching to the choir, as Grandpa Al Lewis used to put it. Who reads Thom Hartmann's books? Or there's my two look-alikes, Joe Bageant and Len Wall (the Existentialist Cowboy). Joe Bageant is closest to The Daily Growler in terms of seeing things through the eyes of a realist. Joe occasionally throws a good strong roundhouse punch containing down-to-earth language, but he seems to be wearing out as an old journalist--recently admitting not only did he hate blog writing and other bloggers but he's written his last book, too (he passes on the "rumor" that bloggers are simply dumbass unprofessional twits trying to be top-wrung journalists like those who write for the New Jerk Times, or those who write for the Nation (hey, Nation, Katherine Vanden(r)(sic) Heuvel is writing for the Washinton Post now--isn't that crapping out to the enemy?--or is Katherine as desperate for money coming in same as the rest of us poor writing/opinionated jerks?) or those who once had a good little journalistic career going but are now caught in the river rapids that lead to the RAT HOLE (from a novel that my best old friend the Quantitative Management professor sent me years ago called Bloodsport). One problem I have reading Joe Blageant's blog (and believe me, it's a fine blog and Joe's a good writer with a sharp eye on the wrongs of our Capitalist system) is that he starts his posts with a letter from a fan. Only problem is the letters read like Joe's writing them to himself. They all have the same sort of question for Joe: "Hey, Joe, you tell us the situation's getting worse; yet you run off to Mexico and are staying drunk...blah, blah, blah." But Joe gets a lot of hits; has a well-done managed Website; and can back his brag up with being interviewed on some obscure television show or touting his book, Deer Hunting With Jesus (remember the movie "The Deer Hunter"?) (Also remember Norman Mailer's novel Why Are We in Vietnam?).
Am I jealous? Yes and no. Yes, I'm envious that their words are poured over and praised as inciteful analysis while my words--and I'm not preaching to a choir, I'm wrangling with the whole fucking world--going out into the space of neglect, knowing in my fictionalized heart that I'm a finer soothsayer than any of the above-mentioned writers--
Which leads me to a discussion I had this morning while hopped up on Lemon Zinger tea with thedailygrowlerhousepianist concerning reconstructing life through treading in and out of our mind's memory banks. But that's a story for another day--IF THERE IS ONE!
for The Daily Growler
It's the Howlin' Wolf's 100th Anniversary. The Wolf Man would be 100 now. "Hey, Wolf Man, is that you I see on the Moon there?"