Wednesday, October 06, 2010

thegrowlingwolf on Determination

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2010
October 10, 2010: Thelonious Monk's Birthday
Our Blessings on wood s lot on Its Tenth Birthday
Yep, we're giving a shout out to Brother Mark Woods and the absolutely wonderful and fun wood s lot Website. Brother Woods is a remarkable Canadian who lives in the splendor of what's beautiful about Canada, its Nature--that which the Canadians haven't paved over with parking lots and malls, like we have here in the Good Ole USA. He's a damn fine photographer, too. He's just an appreciator of the best we human monkeys think and visualize and create. TEN YEARS and the remarkable thing about Brother Woods is he puts wood s lot out new every day. Raise a glass of good cheer to wood s lot (Woods' Lot--Woods' Wood Lot)--it's at the top of our Blog List. A wander through Mark's site is a wonder of wonderful adventure in art...that which defines our civilization.
I once told a young woman who was wanting me to help her become a recording star to study herself in the mirror and that way find her best overall qualities and then learn how to use those qualities and control them to inflate her self-confidence enough that she would eventually develop determination. You see, that's the key to success--determination. But determination has to be backed up with talent of some kind. You can be a goof and find success, though that success will always be second best or runner up, never the winner. I mean you can have gall and have some success but unless you can compete as a total package, forget success, or else be happy with second-best success. I mean many a cat has become independently wealthy by keeping his second-best nose in the ass of a total-package success.

This star-seeker was confused by what I was saying. I told her she had talent. She had a great young black girl voice, and I qualified it that way because that's the way it is in the recording business...there's a singing style unique to Black women that White women dig and are jealous of and try to imitate and White men find extremely sexual. But, I continued, you have to package your great voice in the correct package--plus, and here's where I spouted out something that later got me in a peck of trouble. I told her I thought she had to develop along with determination a kind of determinational conceit. And what I meant was I felt someone going into so vicious a place as the recording world to find fame and fortune had to have belief in herself and confidence in her stage persona that she had no fear when facing meanly depreciating mainly White guys--meanly depreciating in the sense they'll try and pick her confidence apart, unless she faces them with such pride they can't provoke her to tears--and that's what it is, PRIDE. Pride in what you've managed to develop yourself into.

My pupil I was trying to aim toward the stars told me that she wasn't a conceited person. She couldn't be because she hadn't been raised that way. She cared about other people. She was a church lady. She came from a good family. I replied that she should check out the biggest female recording stars. What did they all have in common? Not necessarily beauty. I mean, come on, a lot of big stars aren't beautiful. But they are conceited in this determined prideful way that is based on their self-confidence but also on the reach of their talent. Look at the way they dress. Look at the way they come out of the darkness and into the light on stage--everything that is entertaining evolves out of darkness and into the light. The star being the one who gets to be in the SPOTLITE!

I told my wife at the time what I'd told this blossoming young star and she turned on me with a vengeance. "Extraordinary talent doesn't need to be conceited," she rebuffed me. But, I squeamishly tried to butt into her chain of thoughts to say, but once an extraordinary talent realizes how extraordinary it is.... "Like Stevie Wonder," she interrupted my rebuttal, "Stevie Wonder isn't conceited." I slammed back, "Yes, he is. He's so conceited the kind and considerate little blind boy persona is a part of the act he was taught to follow, an act that demands Stevie Wonder act a part, a part designed for him by the Motown staging team when he was Little Stevie Wonder--I mean, come on, his very stage name is conceited, Stevie WONDER!" She shot me the bird and went on about her grappling with her own desires for moving mountains.

Is it vanity? Vanity definitions are very negative...offensive; yet, I'm sorry to say, we all thrive on a vanity of some sort. We all can't resist, for instance, looking in mirrors--checking out our reflections. That's why mirrors are so necessary to us. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall." And when we look in our mirrors we see who we want to be. "Oh god, my nose is so awful, but then, I do have great eyes--and if I comb my hair this way--oh, yeah, now my nose is overshadowed by my great eyes and stylish hairdo...damn I look good." Even the ugliest poor woman or man finds something of quality about themselves when they look in their mirrors.

Make up. And make up is a part of becoming successful. You need a good make-up artist...I mean, come on, every successful girl singer you see is extremely well groomed and custom-made-well-trendy dressed, but also wearing heavy make up--and trust me, I lived with a striving young actress for a year--and the make up she put on and the care she took in putting it on was gruelling--and I watched it every morning for over a year--though on her weekends when she didn't wear make up at all--she was flat-dab naturally beautiful--yet, as she said, on stage or in front of a camera, beauty lies in the amount color you emit--colors that highlight your beauty lines in terms of working under hot lights.

But if you don't think these people are conceited then you don't know why you yourself are conceited in the same way. A part of that conceit has to do with keeping up your act, but a lot of it, too, stems from those stage personalities knowing who they really are--and what they were running from to get to where they are today, even if it meant totally giving up their true selves in favor of their stage selves.

Yes, we're all chasing a prize. Usually a monetary sum. Though the truly successful of us aren't really interested in the money. Money to them is a casual plaything--I mean a dollar bill to Bill Gates is Monopoly money. The old-fashioned pompous-ass rich men used to light their cigars with money. Today's overwealthy blow big bucks in conspicuous consumption on things they don't really need--like why does an idiot like John McCain need 12 homes and an untold number of automobiles?--remember when John couldn't remember how many cars he owned? Thorstein Veblen, an American genius, wrote a whole book on these people--The Theory of the Leisure Class. You see, where we peones are bamboozled is when we get it in our skulls that once so and so gets wealthy (rich) he or she is gonna give it all back to us eventually--in trickles, yes, but collect enough trickles, they say.... And I say that's all BULLSHIT! Wealthy people don't give back nothing. When Bill Gates puts a billion bucks into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and labels it charity, he ain't doing that due to his giving something back to anybody but him and Melinda and their worthless children. And while I'm on the subject, just who does someone like Bill Gates give his trickle-downs back to? Oh, yes, he'll take care of his family--DAMMIT, these overwealthy creeps drive me to joining a wolfpack and going after some throats and bellies. Being human is so phony; being a wolf is so natural and real. Wolves evolve into man's best friend, don't forget; that is unless you believe a boy's best friend is his mother. I never heard a song about a girl's best friend, but surely it's her mother, too; or perhaps it's her dog.

Karl Rove, a Successful American Criminal, Is Back
Let me be conspiratorial and right off the bat say that I think the reemergence of Karl Rove and the really buffoonish Ed Gillespie into the political contribution world is so easily pinpointed as an attempt to bring big bucks into the shrinking coffers of the Republican Party in its new role as the Teabagger Party. The world of political contributions is getting extraordinarily extravagant in terms of both parties contending for the same pools of big bucks in a political environment now made totally uncontrolled or unregulated when our right-wing-dominant Supreme(ly idiotic) Court said corporations were people, too (according to an earlier Supreme(ly idiotic) Court ruling of the 19th Century), and thereby could give as much money as they cared to part with to help their favorite right-wing, anti-democratic, anti-justice, openly criminal candidates take back Congress so this New World Order crowd can continue on with driving our economy down to the bottom, which means getting us back on track with Reaganomic disaster.

The first huge budget deficit in US history happened during Ronnie "Alzheimer's" Reagan's two administrations. The next budget deficit, even bigger than Ronnie's, happened during the administration of old G.W.H. "Pappy" Bush (also ex-head of the CIA; also ex-ambassador to China (remember Pappy's rumored Chinese mistress?)). And our current budget deficit, the absolute deepest into debt any president ever got us into happened under Junior Bush, the extremely dumb and thereby easily manipulatable little lie-minded bastard, his father's playboy...and dammit, I still contend that Pappy Bush is behind all this shit being dumped on us now--Pappy said it in his 1000 Points of Light speech--he is the master of his own invention, the New World Order--plus he is totally connected to the Texas Oil Empire (from whence came Texaco, Gulf, Mobil, Exxon, Halliburton, Kellogg-Brown-Root (KBR), Enron (remember that fucking Bush-backed energy company?)--even BP's US headquarters are in Houston). Pappy Bush. He's tottering these days. Not going to be around much longer...and who will takeover for old Pappy? Mammy Bush? But then Mammy Babs ain't that young either, plus she's not that healthy either--she just had heart surgery, so she'll concede her rule to one of her worthless sons after Pappy buys the farm and leaves the mortal coil. Just think, both Pappy and Mammy Bush have the best healthcare on earth thanks to We the People who generously provide the best of FREE healthcare for our ex-Presidents and their wives (and what's more demoralizing is that one of this pairs's worthless sons is an ex-President now, too)--provided by We the People, who really are supposed to be the Government of the USA--a "government for the people, by the people"--and these New World Order creeps like criminal Karl Rove (a Neo-Bush-Nazi) keep referring to our government as if it doesn't belong to We the People but to some Liberal, Socialistic, Communistic, antiChrist Movement of internal terrorists out to turn control of us over to Gays and Lesbians, Islamic extremists, humanitarians, Atheists, BLACK MEN...aha! Aha! Black men.

The current head of the Republican Party is Michael Steele, a Black man. Imagine the kind of a Black man who would believe in any of the policies of the Republican Party; believe them enough to become the head of the Republican Party? A party so obviously based on White Superiority thinking--and these backwards-thinking and -planning fools's economic policies will push Blacks back into a slavery situation--maybe not open slavery but certainly the same kind of slavery the Southern tenant farmers found themselves in after Reconstruction failed and the Democrat Whites approved of Jim Crow--separate but equal (another ignorant ruling from our Supreme(ly idiotic) Court). Oh how Whitely righteous separate but equal is. It is still the leading attitude in this still-White-majority nation. Yes, it may be turning Brown, but right now it's still White-ruled and it will be White voters who put these absolutely self-destructive and conceited asshole Republicans back into Congressional power with John Bonehead Boehner as the new Speaker of the House. Whooooopeee. Oh boy oh boy. Guess what? President Obama will have the fight of his life for the next two years--plus, and here he should be talking big time with Slick Willie Clinton about how these White sons of bitches will be looking for ways to impeach him or at least besmirch him with rumors--remember, the pure-and-simple political maneuvers of Lyndon Johnson who advised his Dumbocrat office seekers to go about calling their opponents pig fuckers and letting them prove they weren't. That's exactly the politics both these stupid parties still adhere to--the Dumbos taking on the polite side--President Obama truly believing that he could bring these still-Civil-War-divided political camps into a reunion. Please, Mr. President, FORGET ABOUT THAT! No one can bring We the People together in this country. This country is too multicultural now to give it over to the obnoxious side of the White Power Elite, the White Trash side of it, the worst side of being White; yet, disgruntled White folks, out of work, paying out the nose for insurances of all kinds, struggling to keep their property, struggling to survive after losing their homes and their properties and their savings and their pensions--yet, they still believe in the politics of Ronald Reagan--still believing that the NONWHITES are to blame for the falling apart of our country. The heathen to Christian Whites: all Blacks; all Latinos--South of the Border types--Mestizo-Catholic types, too, don't you know; Latinos who are especially Mexican, whether illegal or not; and, of course, the most heathen of all, the Arabs (and most US Whites believe the Iranians are Arabs, too)--Muslims, Islamic, Jihaders, haters of Israel--therefore haters of the USA (meaning haters of the White majority of the USA). To fanatico Christian fools the antiChrist is going to be an Arab. Reverend Jack Van Impe, of Troy, Michigan, spouts out on his constantly running on the cheap channels television shows that President Barack Hussein Obama is the antiChrist...and that OBAMA is going to head the New World Order! And, hey, Brother Jack talks directly back and forth to God so you know he knows what's coming in our future...Brother Jack talks to Jehovah that is; Jehovah Gyro, these fools now call their God, who, by the bye, let me reemphasize, is the same God the Arabs, Persians, and Urdus call Allah. In fact, the Jews and the Arabs are Semites--related--the Koran teaching the same practices of sanitary law the Torah teaches--I mean throw pig grease on a Jew and it's supposed to immediately heathenize him same as throwing pig grease on an Arab heathenizes him--or one of the Muslim faith. Judaism is a religion. Jews are members of the Judaic faith. Islam is a religion. Arabs are members of the Islamic faith. Jews go to temples. Arabs, Persians, Urdus, etc., go to masjid (mosque), their temples--both words meaning "house of worship" or "place where one prostrates oneself in prayerful worship of one's God." Muslims bow toward Mecca when they pray; Jews bow into the Temple Wall in Jerusalem when they pray. We all bow before our betters! That's why old Uncle Tom had to take his hat off and keep his head bowed before Miss Anne and Mister Charley back in those great old days of slavery in this country. Why if old Tom got defiant and kept his hat on and looked Miss Anne over directly with his eyes, Mister Charley got the rope out and soon old Defiant Tom was hanging from a tree of some kind--perhaps maybe setting his body on fire to make the hanging more magnificent in its message. Yep, slavery was a part of the religion of the Old South.

Perhaps there is a large bloc of progressive voters in this country--the new silent majority. Most of the people I know are still optimistic but confused. They still have faith in Obama. He is in a progressive sense our only hope for a reemergence of what was happening in the 1960s when young people became so tired of the same-old shit, the same old conformities imposed on us by the same old set of backwards-thinking old fogies. My generation went another way from the way we were supposed to go. We didn't follow the Protestant Ethic--work your ass off while on earth so you'll amass a fortune once you get to Heaven and De Lawd hands you the keys to your heavenly mansion (in the Hamptons of Heaven...or maybe the Beverly Hills of Heaven). We didn't go for the old ways. We considered ourselves an avant-garde. Kennedy offered us New Frontiers.

Plus, my generation was discovering how valuable the Black culture was to this country's personality--how the music affected all of us, yes, but also Black poetry and philosophy was so sound--the words of Frederick Douglas so profound; the words of George Washington Carver so profound; the words of Booker T. Washington so profound; the words of E. Franklin Frazier so profound; the words of W.E.B. DuBois so profound; the words of George Washington Williams so profound; the words of Carter G. Woodson so profound; the words of John Henryk Clark so profound; et. al. And the music...ah that wonderful music...that music that takes us all all the way back to all OUR beginnings in Mother Africa. That's right, White people evolved out of Africa--sure they did. That's why Black culture seems so familiar to a White boy like me. Sure I have trouble with getting it right--the beat, the rhythm, the polyrhythms, the polytones, the harmonics--but once a White kid has it down, it elevates him or her above the ordinary and into a heaven full of real aboriginal stars.

In trying to shake off this Protestant Ethic crap I was reared in, I tried reading the Koran; the
Bhagavad Gita; the Way (Lao Tzu); Confucious; I even got involved with a couple of Shinto Buddhist babes and with a girl from what was then called Siam who convinced me that spirits lived in bells. Out of all that shaking off of the shackles of Protestantism (Puritanism; Pilgrimism) through trying to find "the Way" through those other religious writings, what wonderfully happened was I shook loose from all religions. I became an A. That's an Atheist without any God at A. An A human. You make anarchy out of A. I'm an A. "Er-ah, boy, I gotta put down a religion here on your job application." "OK, put down that I'm an A." "A what?" "An A. Just put an A there where it says religion." "I can't do that. A? What kind of religion is that? I never heard of it." "A stands for Anything you want it to. To me it's my religion...I'm an A. One could interpret it as being the A in Atheist without the theist part." "You're nuts. I could never hire you whatever the hell you mean by being an A. And some good advice, you'd better come up with a legitimate religion at the next place you try to get a job." "I'll keep that in mind--how 'bout I say I'm a Moravian. I rather love their macabre hymns and the fact they gave us the poet Hilda Doolittle and her wonderful Moravian-way-of-thinking poetry." "God-damn, you are nuts. Get the hell out'a here and stay out." "May I ask which god you are damning when you say 'God-damn'." "No, you got it wrong, A, I'm asking my God to damn you." "Then you should have said, 'God, damn you.'" "Hmmmmm, good point. You do have a good editorial, I like your, I changed my mind, you're hired. You're our new proofreader!"

for The Daily Growler

1 comment:

Marybeth said...

I love wood s lot. Happy that he's out there and is celebrating ten years!! Wow. Impressive. And thank you Growly One for turning me on to him. I have learned some truly wonderful things from wood s lot-- the art, the poetry, etc. Just love that site. It's very nourishing.