Thursday, February 17, 2011

thegrowlingwolf Julie Flips Through Remnants of His Past

Foto by tgw, New York City, February 2011 (shot through a filthy plate of glass)
Julie Flipping Around in My Past
I first heard the use of the word "Julie flipping" in a head-arranged blues called "Osie's Blues." It's on an old Vanguard LP that was attempting to revitalize the old Basie Kansas City Seven sound. The tune took up 2 minutes and 26 seconds on the album. It was sung by Osie Johnson, who was the drummer on the album that featured Al Cohn, Joe Newman, Urbie Green, Frank Rehak, Milt Hinton, Freddie Green, and Nat Pierce (if you aren't familiar with these guys, too bad; I don't have time to give you their bios). The chorus to this blues is: "Stop lollygagging, baby; Stop finger poppin', baby; Stop julie flippin', baby...." I'm remembering this from memory--I haven't had the album since the 1970s when I sold all my jazz LPs at a flea market that used to be down on Canal and Greene streets here in NYC--so I haven't heard the tune in 30-odd years. "Lollygagging" was definable. I knew it meant wasting time. It's in the dictionary. "Finger popping," too was easily defined as "wasting time"--you know, like you waste time cracking your knuckles. (Modern lingo also defines "finger popping" as "popping a woman's cherry with your finger" [consult the Urban Dictionary in our Blog List].) But Julie flipping. What the hell did Osie mean by that term? I suppose I'd have to know what a Julie was. Of course if say Julie Andrews flipped somebody the bird...but Osie didn't know anything about Julie Andrews flipping anybody the bird since this album was made shortly before Julie Andrews came on the scene in Lerner and Lowe's My Fair Lady.

When I thought of Julie flipping, I was lollygagging about trying to find something to start my writing juices flowing. I had just finished reading my old pal L Hat's latest post. His opening sentence was an L Hat masterpiece: "There are books in my collection which I've owned for decades and which spend most of their working lives sitting quietly on a shelf, usually in a back row, thinking their dusty thoughts until, once every five or ten years, I need to consult them, at which point, having determined after some trial and error behind which of the limelight-hogging volumes they are to be found, I pull them out and locate the desired information" (see ). I've always been after Mr. L Hat to write--he's a damn good writer with a beautiful underlying devilish sense of humor, as has he been after me for decades to put my own writing into a publishable form--could it be we are both similarly unambitious when it comes to kicking against the pricks. It was good ole Saint Paul (Saul of Tarsus) who used "kicking against the pricks," according to the Good King James's translation of the Holy Book of Christian Babble. Here's an interesting explanation of the phrase according to a Christian theological site:

"It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks", is a proverb that was used often by both Latin and Greek writers. The word for "pricks" in the Greek is kentron {ken'-tron}, which means a point or goad. In fact, in other translations (such as the NIV) the word "goads" is used.

A goad is a stick with a pointed piece of iron fastened to the end of it. This instrument is used to prod the oxen on when they are plowing. When a stubborn ox attempted to kick back against the goads (pricks), he would actually wound himself. The proverb was often used to teach the lesson that it is foolish to rebel against a powerful authority. Any attempt to do so would result in much greater difficulties.


Notes From My Past (That in Which I've Been Julie Flipping)
I am a journalist in that I do keep notebooks. Like I'm reading along in whatever book and I see an interesting point or conclusion or insightful deduction, I have to write it down no matter how long it is. Usually, I am reading 10 or 15 books at once: currently, for instance, I'm reading in this order: David Woolbridge's From Steeples and Mountains on Charles Ives; Albert Murray's Train Whistle Guitar (a very difficult book to read--his writing reminds me of Toni Morrison's writing); Toni Morrison's Jazz; Charles Bukowski's fun book Ham on Rye; Gunther Schuller's The Swing Era (using Gunther's autograph on a 4 x 5 file card as my bookmark); Lewis Porter's The Lester Young Reader (I'm trying to get a feel for Prez's language and attitudes and habits and considerations for a stage show, Leave Me Alone, I've been writing on for several years now); I'm always reading, too, from my constant by-my-side Bibles: Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class; Perls and Goodman's Gestalt Therapy; several of old Sigmund Freud's books; always a book of Ez's poetry; Henry Miller's Books in My Life and Nexus; Neil Smelser's The Problematics of Sociology; C Wright Mills's The Power Elite; and my little pocket New Testament, Philip Wylie's An Essay on Morals.

I open a notebook from 2007, begun October 8th. The first notation I come across that grabs my Julie-flipping attention is "Elephants eat 16 hours a day." Next I come across Ez's well-known statement: "Don't translate the words; translate the meaning." Then I stumble onto: "The word 'vaccine' comes from 'cow pox,' a weak form of small pox, the vaccine that fights against small pox." A quote from G.W. Bush: "You can't be president and head of the military at the same time." Hmmmm. There's something to contemplate. Then here's a note: "Africa supplies 24% of US oil." Philip Wylie on Sex: " the chief vested interest of religion. It is a principal concern of government. When law and religion were embodied together in tribal customs, the administration of sex, next to traffic in ghosts, constituted the main means of continuum for those in authority. Machinations of tabu and privilege, unconscious and traditional though they were and usually still are, capture the libido (the psychic energies) of the many, and hold them subject to the authority of the few" (p. 33, An Essay on Morals, Giant Cardinal Edition, 1960).

How's that for Julie flipping about?

Here's a note in my own hand: "I never thought about it--it's just something amusing to me really--but I just realized how Jesus X. Christ in order to be the Jewish Messiah had to perform miracles, healings, and the casting out of demons." He had to do these things in order to fulfill the prophecies in the Torah.

"SNIPS--points in your DNA genome that give you your personal gene profile."

"Mercury turns into methyl mercury (or methylmercury) (deadly) when it's under water. That's the mercury that is poisoning our fish. Plants with huge long root systems can live in lead, motor oil, etc., but not in methyl mercury."

"The normal meal for a Barbarian was porridge and beer."

"Putting hands together comes from medieval times. Vassals held their hands together in homage to their fiefdom lords. Out of its secular form came the Christian method of praying--which in actuality is the Christian giving homage to his or her fiefdom lord and master, Jesus H. Christ."

I'm julie flipping away now. It's like I'm stealing Barabbas Munn-Dayne's "jots and tittles" style. I'm writing like Larry King used to write. And god how I despise Larry King, the lying bastard; the henna-haired creep who claimed he was best friends with Sandy Koufax when he was a young man in Brooklyn. Sandy when asked if he remembered Larry King from the old neighborhood, he replied a simple, "No."

From my notebook: "Peace has never been profitable throughout European history. Always the lords made their best money off going to war." This is still true today.

On another notebook page I'm stating that "Pretty" is a word found in the dictionary between "Pretor" (Praetorian) and "Pretzel." Then I started using it in its tone-down forms: "She's pretty ugly." "It's pretty bad out today." "He's pretty much crazy as a bedbug." "ME: praty or prety meaning 'artful,' 'clever,' 'pat,' and 'apt.'" "I've got it down pat." Which reminds me of one of my old girlfriends. "She's pretty ugly," my notes say, "is used to tone down a statement." "OE: priettig = 'tricky'; from F: priett -- 'to trick.'" "Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, 'Pretty words that make no sense.'" "In Scotland, 'pretty' means 'stout' as in 'a very pretty profit' or 'it costs a pretty penny.'" "'Pretties' is another word for 'dainties,' or women's panties."

"Mark Twain said, 'You go to Heaven for the climate; you go to Hell for the company.'" And this note led to a bevy of notes concerning a novel I was writing on called Marilyn in Hell.

The last entries in this little "my" notebook are: "Gin-soaked raisins for arthritis"/ "What good is life without a woman?" A ululation from the Wolf Man.

for The Daily Growler

From wood s lot: MW (the Wood in wood s lot) is a fine photographer. I must admit he is the reason I started putting my own photography up on The Daily Growler. As proven by his photos, he's a hell of a lot more accomplished photographer than I am--and surely he uses a better camera than I do (I'm an old obsolete Toshiba 400 man)--here's one of Mark's photos from his latest posting at the Wood Lot:

February 4 to 21, 2011

1 comment:

Language said...

Damn, I thought everything was on YouTube by now, but not "Osie's Blues." Great post, and if I find out about Julie you'll be the first to know. (Didn't we have a proofreading Julie?)