Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Living in New York City: Where Nobody Seems Worried

Foto by tgw, New York City, May 2011
Say goodbye to: Harmon Killebrew, one of the great home run hitters of all time, hitting his 573 home runs in the dead-ball-nonsteroidal era--7th on the all-time HR list--check it out:
40 Major League players have hit 400 or more home runs. Hank Aaron--755 Babe Ruth--714-- Barry Bonds--708 Willie Mays--660 Sammy Sosa--588 Frank Robinson--586 Mark McGwire--583 Harmon Killebrew--573 Rafael Palmeiro--569 Reggie Jackson--563 Mike Schmidt--548 Ken Griffy Jr.--536 Mickey Mantle--536 Jimmie Foxx--534 Willie McCovey--521 Ted Williams--521 Ernie Banks--512 Eddie Mathews--512 Mel Ott--511 Eddie Murray--504 Lou Gehrig--493 Fred McGriff--493 Stan Musial--475 Willie Stargell--475 Dave Winfield--465 Jose Canseco--462 Carl Yastrzemski--452 Jeff Bagwell--449 Gary Scheffield--449 Frank Thomas--448 Dave Kingman--442 Andre Dawson--438 Manny Ramirez--435 Juan Gonzalez--434 Cal Ripken Jr.--431 Jim Thome--430 Alex Rodriguez--429 Billy Williams--426 Darrell Evans--414 Duke Snider--407
from Wiki's
Harmon Killebrew, 74, American Hall of Fame baseball player (Minnesota Twins), esophageal cancer
And say goodbye to: Bruce Ricker, 68, American film documentarian and producer. Producer of one of the great jazz films, Thelonious Monk, Straight No Chaser.
And say goodbye to:
Snooky Young, 92, American jazz trumpeter--ex-Basie trumpeter; ex-Tonight Show Band trumpeter.
And say goodbye to: Mel Queen, 69, American baseball player (Reds, Angels) and pitching coach (Blue Jays)
---------------------------And that's enough about DEATH..................................................................

Not a Worry in the World
My landlord has three worthless sons who have now managed to get themselves involved in "property management," and the property they are managing is my home. One of them is gay and double worthless. One of them has a beer in his hands 24/7 and is relatively worthless. The other is the youngest. He's at least the least worthless of the three. Of course they all have apartments in their daddy's building plus they run the basement business office for daddy.

My landlord? He worries all the time. His face is measured in worry. The pressure is on him. He's got back trouble. He's got a hip problem. He talks about money 24/7. He's constantly saying he's broke; yet we then find out he's bought another building here in Manhattan. He now owns 4 buildings in Manhattan and several buildings in the Bronx. So he's not broke. Well, he may be on paper. I'm sure his buildings have all been remortgaged several times by now; plus this building is a landmark building and he gets all kinds of landmark society aid money to restore the building to its original "grand" glory.

His worthless sons? They haven't a worry in the world. Fathers always bear the sins of their fathers. Successful fathers have worthless children. When successful fathers die, their worthless children get the spoils. When this landlord dies, I'm quite sure his worthless sons will destroy the property in terms of divesting themselves of it.

The other night I was at a party in the Bronx. Some of the guests were members of my family. Two young kids included, a boy and a girl. Nice kids. I'm proud to say they are of my bloodline. I see the handsomeness of my mother's brother in the boy's face, after whom he's named, by the bye. I see the same family traits in the girl, too. Such bright and open kids. Open to learning. Open to knowledge. Open to inspirations. Open to what they discover through curiosity. They know nothing at all yet about what awaits them in terms of reality and existence.

All at the party were optimistic. EXCEPT me. I kept wanting to talk about the fact that for the first time in the history of this nation, We the People of the USA may be reneging on the payment of the loans we've borrowed from more successful Capitalist nations, like Communist China. I still can't get over the irony of that oxymoron. Oxymoron (it sounds like something from the Urban Dictionary ("an Oxycontin-taking freak")) comes from the Greek, ὀξύμωρον, which translates into English as "sharp dull." And, yes, the sharp can be dull and need resharpening.

Ironies. From ironies comes ire. From ire comes contradiction. From contradiction comes our current dilemma. False beliefs. Like the belief in gods and holy scriptures and ancient history being prophetic! Nothing is prophetic. Nothing is discernible in terms of the next minute much less the future. Even beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The party was full of optimists. EXCEPT for me. Optimism to me is like hope: there's no such thing. Optimism is like being high on drugs or self-esteem or power. Pessimism is natural. Without pessimism no one is safe. As I kept trying to bring up the fact We the People were for the first time ever going into default on our loans, I was shouting things like, "Will the Communist Chinese foreclose on us? Or the Japanese, who now need money so desperately?"

And speaking of Japan, isn't it interesting to note that the greatest nuclear disaster in the history of the world is now relegated to the forgotten pages of world history? Maybe in Japan they are still involved with the nuclear tragedy, but in this country--hey, ironically, we claim our nuclear facilities are all like our gods: omnipotent and omnipresent. We deny any of our nuclear facilities, no matter their age, are in big trouble. Such denial leads to paranoia. And our pill-pushing psychiatrists know how easily neurotics can become paranoid and thereby easily controlled--like you control a bull by putting a ring in his nose and attaching a lead rope to it. Then when he tries to pull away from your control, the pain of his ripping that ring out of the deep flesh separating his nostrils in which it has been clamped shut brings him back to the reality that his ass is under your control.

One way we deny our problems is to ignore them. Like New Orleans. Does anybody care about the current situation in New Orleans? Now down on the old Mississippi (it has been naturally overflowing its banks for millenniums--only man takes offense at this river acting naturally), the powers that be in order to save the cities and wealthy people that border on the reaching-toward-the-delta end of the Mississippi, they are having to blow open flood gates that will flood out several thousand acres of adjacent lands and farms and towns and villages and residences and businesses--most of whom are poor people--poor Cajuns.

Ironically the Corps of Army Engineers (the worst) had just reopened the broad channel that lets these huge tankers trundle up the Mississippi to the refineries and chemical plants around Baton Rouge (a filthy city). This is the same channel hurricanes Katrina and Rita rumbled down with unimpeded progress since this channel has murdered the natural marshes and naturally protective channels to the wide mouth of the Mighty Mississippi.

Currently there is flaming lightning scattering about the dundrearied sky over Manhattan this morning. The weather girls say we're in for five days of dirty cold rain--and this in the merry month of May.

Nobody I know is at all concerned about the weather and the changing weather patterns. "Hey, the weather is God's business, not ours." "But, what if you don't believe in God? What if you only believe in Nature and that man is an animal, an extended branch of the monkey family, and as an animal man must conform to Nature rather than rise up against it?"

Nature is omnipotent. Nature is omnipresent. Why, what do you think? Could Nature be our God?

But nobody here in New York City seems worried about much of anything that has anything to do about anything. But then there have to be some people down and out in this town, though Giuliani's and Bloomberg's ridding the streets of our homeless has been pretty successful--for instance there is now only one bum living in my neighborhood where there used to be a multitude of them. Plus the unemployment rate in NYC is above the national average. Among Blacks the unemployment rate is around 20%. But where are these people?

I see people of all races everyday flocking to this apartment building in which I've resided for 30 years eagerly seeking a place to live, either coming on their own in response to a newspaper or Internet ad or with a real estate agent. These people seem eagerly willing to plop down $1850-a-month per room for an apartment ($22,000-a-year for rent)(that also includes a high deposit and a key fee and a real-estate-agency fee), which means the people taking apartments in this building had better at least make $50,000-a-year. It is hard for me to believe that the people I see taking apartments in this building make $50,000-a-year.

As to complaints about these high outrageous rents, if there are any, I don't hear them. And are these rents outrageous? That $1850-a-month apartment in this building is a room that may be as tiny as 10' x 10'--or some are maybe 7' x 20'--whatever, they are tight little boxy studio apartments, some with only one window, some inside apartments with windows though they may be blocked out by the hotel that is still being constructed next door to us--a building that has been under construction for over 4 years now and is still several months away from being completed. The construction business in this town is supposed to be almost nonexistent. Most of the construction sites still active are using nonunion illegal immigrant labor for the shit work and roving nonunion foremen and specialists (like plumbers) who travel the country looking for nonunion work.

Here in New York City you walk around and no one seems worried at all. If they are piled with troubles enough to maybe force them to commit suicide you'd never know it. Last night the trendy wine and chocolate tiny restaurant just up the street from me was packed to its pricey gills--even with a white boy singing white-boy blues under an outside awning to the outdoor crowd--and it was pouring rain but the outdoor part of the restaurant was packed with chattering posing pompous pretenders--pretending that not a god-damn thing was wrong with the world.

In New York City (and all over the US) teachers are being laid off by the thousands; yet teachers aren't protesting. New York City schools are being closed or the ones still open charterized or privatized; yet parents aren't protesting. New York City's government is closing fire houses and firing firemen; yet there is no protest from either the firemen or the police, who are also losing monies and jobs. Andrew Cuomo, our new Dumbocratic governor, the son of the prison-building Mario "I Married a Mafia Daughter" Cuomo, a worthless piece of shit governor when you check out his record compared to his flowery promising speeches, is currently lowering taxes on the rich, a class to which he and his family belong. Why do we think millionaires are going to raise taxes on themselves?

Taxes are shackles that keep the workingman working. Taxes are unfair and always have been. Yet, we have under all the gobblygook legalese and creative accounting loopholes a progressive tax system--the poor taxed the least; the rich taxed the most. At one time the rich paid 50% in income taxes. The poor paid more like 18%--paying progressively more as you earn more or reap more capital gains. The capital gains tax at one time was around 30%--now it is around 15%. New York City once had a stock transfer tax--a penny of tax for each share traded on the New York Stock Exchange. This is a tax Good Ole "How'm I Doin'?" Ed Crotch (Koch) repealed when Wall Street was threatening to move to Jersey City, New Jersey. I said let 'em move to Jersey City; but they never had any intentions of moving to New Jersey. But old quivering Ed gave in to Wall Street and did away with that tax.

Every new building in Manhattan gets tax breaks and abatements that excuse these sites from paying taxes for dozens and dozens of years.

Everybody around me is whistling Dixie as they breeze past me in their BMWs and Lexuses and Caddy SUVs and Jeep Cherokees (what do the Cherokees have to do with the performance of a Jeep?). The trendy Euro-trash bistros are packed with junior execs and twentyish babes who seem to be taking life flippantly fooltishly and who seem to be doing cell phoning and text messaging 24/7--eagerly racing their prize toy rats in the big seriously imposed upon us all rat race.

Am I jealous? No. What pisses me off is I'm condemned as a doomsayer or a conspiracy freak. Even serious progressives pooh-pooh conspiracy theories--like the assassination of Osama bin Laden. There is no body. Yes, one of his sons says it was him. He's suing the USA in the name of his branch of Osama's widespread family--this extended family due to the evil bin Laden's bevy of young wives and the many offspring they've bounced out of their wombs after being inseminated by his wrathful seed--assuming Osama still had the vim and vigor to keep his bevy of babes preggers and in the kitchen. But can we trust the word of one of his sons? Or one of his widows? Can we trust the word of the Navy Seals who are now crybabying about their needing heavy protection since they are now a target of Taliban and al-Queda revenge schemes--though there is no proof that Osama didn't have a twin like Saddam Hussein--remember when Bush claimed that Saddam hired actors who looked like him? Such bullshit, and, yet, if I call all of this crap bullshit, I'm called a conspiratorial nut.

B.B. King sang, "I don't trust nobody but my mother/And sometimes I wonder about her, too." That's the way I operate. Not distrust. Just no trust at all. Everyone is out to beat paying taxes, bills, dues, penalties, etc.; yet in a capitalist system...that's how you make profits. The Neo-Con conspiracy's intent is to drive the economy down--and the dollar down with it--to the point where every worker in this country will eagerly work for near slave wages. CHEAP LABOR! That's the whole idea. It could be as soon as August. What?, you ask. The beginning of the next Great Depression! When our government takes us into default on the repayments of our many loans--from China, India, Japan, Israel--those who have bought our debt to keep us afloat.

For instance, is it conspiratorial to claim G.W. Bush borrowed all the Social Security money and that Social Security is now a pile of IOUs?

I retreat into my carapacial mansion.

for The Daily Growler
Please Note: Our own Growler pal, Nicholas Egon Jainschigg, a master painter, illustrator, and teacher, has started back up once again his Painting-a-Day efforts--
this is where Nick takes a small canvas, puts it on an easel, gets his paints ready, sets a kitchen timer to 30 minutes, and then sets out to painting a painting, which finished or unfinished, bad or good (in his eye), he stops working on when the timer goes off. It'll amaze you what this contemporary master can do to a blank canvas in thirty minutes. Best thing is, YOU CAN BUY THEM FROM THE MASTER for $100 each. Very much worth the money. Get there in a hurry, however, because these little paintings sell like hotcakes once the word gets out. See Nick Jainschigg's Website and Blog listed in the The Daily Growler "My Blog List" (ooooh, what a cutesey-wootsie title). Go to:

In other news: the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Brooklyn has just released on their Jalopy Records label, a vinyl LP--33 1/3 rpm--it imitates the old Smithsonian LPs of the distant vinyl past--entitled Folk Music of the United States: American Songs with Fiddle and Banjo. This album features Growler musical friend, Pat Conte (once known as Major Contay of Canebrake Rattler fame--also proprietor and director of the Secret Museum). We're sure you can order these unique LPs via the Jalopy's Website--Google: Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, Brooklyn, New York--and we're sure you'll find it there--and all about Pat there, too--and his art.


Marybeth said...

Hello pessimist. Here are two silly pessimist jokes for you:

The difference between a pessimist and and optimist: a pessimist says "things couldn't possible get worse" but an optimist says, "oh yes they can".

Pessimists are happier than optimists because they are disappointed less frequently.

Language said...

Killebrew was the hero of my youth and a good guy to boot. RIP.

/a fellow pessimist