Monday, October 31, 2011

Existing in New York City: Fulfilling My Destiny

Foto by tgw, New York City 2011
The Psyche; the Soul: Fiction or Fact

James Hillman just died. Who the heck is James Hillman? Well, James was a remarkable human being, a Four-Square Jungian whose tome of important recognition almost won him a Pulitzer Prize. James was the founder and high-priest of Archetypal Psychology.

James was born in 1926. After serving in the Navy in WWII, he went to the Sorbonne first, then Trinity College in Dublin, ending up getting his PhD from the University of Zurich where he studied with Carl Jung and that way got involved with the Carl Jung Institute from which he earned his analyst's diploma and then became the first Director of Studies, a position he held until 1980 when he came back to the USA and settled in Texas.

What is Archetypal Psychology? It's a wee bit beyond Jungian psychology--far out in the world of the soul, or as Hillman used it, the psyche.

From Hillman's Wikipedia entry:

"Archetypal psychology is a polytheistic psychology, in that it attempts to recognize the myriad fantasies and myths (gods, goddesses, demigods, mortals and animals) that shape and are shaped by our psychological lives [pure Jungian thinking]. The ego is but one psychological fantasy within an assemblage of fantasies. It is part of the Jungian psychology tradition and related to Jung's original Analytical psychology but is also a radical departure from it in some respects.

"Whereas Jung’s psychology focused on the Self, its dynamics and its constellations (ego, anima, animus, shadow), Hillman’s Archetypal psychology relativizes and deliteralizes the ego and focuses on psyche, or soul, and the archai, the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, "the fundamental fantasies that animate all life" (Moore, in Hillman, 1991)."

I love that: "the archai, the deepest patterns of psychic functioning, 'the fundamental fantasies that animate all life.'" Human beings searching for this thing they call the soul. And Hillman comes to the soul the right way, through Western philosophy, of course going back to Plato. Plato insisted the "good" in man was what led him toward a god (perfection), what led him toward higher planes, what led him toward heaven--a simple ancient way of explaining the superior nature of some MEN--Plato's world was a male world--and the inferior nature of others. Plato owned slaves. Slaves were necessary in those days in order for the capturers of slaves to progress, build their cities, etc.--just like slaves built early New Amsterdam and eventually early New York City.

Some things Hillman taught were brilliant in terms of Jungian progressive thinking. From an interview with Scott London (see, Hillman brilliantly deduces the current situation in psychotherapy:

I'm not critical of the people who do psychotherapy. The therapists in the trenches have to face an awful lot of the social, political, and economic failures of capitalism. They have to take care of all the rejects and failures. They are sincere and work hard with very little credit, and the HMOs and the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are trying to wipe them out. So certainly I am not attacking them. I am attacking the theories of psychotherapy. You don't attack the grunts of Vietnam; you blame the theory behind the war. Nobody who fought in that war was at fault. It was the war itself that was at fault. It's the same thing with psychotherapy. It makes every problem a subjective, inner problem. And that's not where the problems come from. They come from the environment, the cities, the economy, the racism. They come from architecture, school systems, capitalism, exploitation. They come from many places that psychotherapy does not address. Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong. What I'm trying to say is that, if a kid is having trouble or is discouraged, the problem is not just inside the kid; it's also in the system, the society."

Yes, Hillman is right, the problem is not YOU--the problem is SOCIETY.

Before I got into Sociology (the "science" of common sense), I dabbled in Psychology--especially a course in Experimental Psychology. Due to the teacher I had, I found the course boring as hell. First of all, the environment was a factor: the class room was hot, stuffy--this in the days before every building and home had to have air-conditioning--plus the decor of the classroom was what in those days was called "eye-ease" green, which in my way of thinking meant the color "eased the eyes" into sleepiness. Plus the professor spoke so softly it was truly hard to endure one of his lectures without at some point in it, finding yourself wandering off into dreamland (it could well have been a dream analysis class). I used to have to take 2 caffeine tablets (No Doze tablets they were branded) before each class and even then, it was hard to stay awake. What I did learn in Experimental Psychology was one experiment where what you see is not what somebody else sees. In regards to this statement, one experiment involved colors and their influence on our desires. You know, for instance, that red is a very influential color in many aspects of our lives: Satan, for instance, is red--from the fires of his environment, one assumes. The current drink: Red Bull, emphasizes the fact that if you down one of these little cans of reconstituted Gator Ade, you'll have the energy of not just a bull, but of a red bull, a charging bull, a bull snorting fire. How I wish I had been under the tutelage of a thinker like James Hillman.

Here's some more brilliant thinking from Hillman via the Scott London interview:

"Hillman: I've found that contemporary psychology enrages me with its simplistic ideas of human life, and also its emptiness. In the cosmology that's behind psychology, there is no reason for anyone to be here or do anything. We are driven by the results of the Big Bang, billions of years ago, which eventually produced life, which eventually produced human beings, and so on. But me? I'm an accident — a result — and therefore a victim."

From whence comes trauma?

Now dig this from Hillman:

"Hillman: Yes, we worship the idea of the "self-made man" — otherwise we'd go on strike against Bill Gates having all that money! We worship that idea. We vote for Perot. We think he's a great, marvelous, honest man. We send money to his campaign, even though he is one of the richest capitalists in our culture. Imagine, sending money to Perot! It's unbelievable, yet it's part of that worship of individuality.

"But the culture is going into a psychological depression. We are concerned about our place in the world, about being competitive: Will my children have as much as I have? Will I ever own my own home? How can I pay for a new car? Are immigrants taking away my white world? All of this anxiety and depression casts doubt on whether I can make it as a heroic John Wayne-style individual."

Hillman's gift to American Psychology he called "the acorn theory." From the tiny acorn comes the mighty oak. This he conceived as a myth, based on Plato's saying all men are born with a destiny--or what Plato called a paradigm. The soul to Hillman like Plato is the prime mover in that destiny--which in some instances is called "the calling." A calling within your character that supposedly leads you to your destiny and from which the beauty within you is revealed.

One final gem from Scott London's interview with Hillman:

"Hillman: I think we're miserable partly because we have only one god, and that's economics. Economics is a slave-driver. No one has free time; no one has any leisure. The whole culture is under terrible pressure and fraught with worry. It's hard to get out of that box. That's the dominant situation all over the world.

"Also, I see happiness as a by-product, not something you pursue directly. I don't think you can pursue happiness. I think that phrase is one of the very few mistakes the Founding Fathers made. Maybe they meant something a little different from what we mean today — happiness as one's well-being on earth."

Yes, Amen, and all of that, Mr. Hillman. Economics and Economists are fucking up all our destinies no matter where we find ourselves existing. Even in the pits of the worst society in the world there is still that calling, that acorn within us that wants to grow into a mighty oak, that which is our destiny.

I studied Economics on the college level and later over at the Henry George School. As a Sociologist, I found Economics so deceiving. Economics (and Sociology for that matter) is based on statistics and oh how statistics can be made to lie. And I refer you back to my post on the deceitfulness of clinical trials in the establishment of new medicines--and all clinical trials are are statistics--measuring values. That the end result is "sort of true" means the whole concept is false from the very beginning.

I have always known my calling. I've known I wanted to be a writer from childhood. Did I want to be a successful writer? Not necessarily. I just wanted to write. I'm driven to write. The New Age is against me, of course, since today's young writers are totally off my page with these electronic books and these graphic novels and multilingual poetry. If I've failed as a published and self-sustaining writer, I succeeded in fulfilling my destiny. From my acorn has evolved the mighty oak that I am in my own imagination--like this blog--a novel blog whose main character is me,

for The Daily Growler

A Little Taste of American Art:
Just Swing, 2001
Just Swing, 2001, by Lauren Camp (1966- ).
"Why do I make art about jazz? Because I love the way the music makes me feel.

"I am intrigued by the complete sound that comes from several instruments collaborating. I love the education I've gotten from listening and reading and looking with a critical ear and eye. When I listen, I hear colors and shapes. The sounds I hear are the designs I make with my threadwork. The colors I hear sometimes take my breath away. I like the friction of the colors and the way they sparkle like the music. My art form gives me a way to "play" what I hear – a chance to doodle and delight.

"When you think about it, jazz is just like me – creative, improvisational, sometimes moody, sometimes whimsical, curious, demanding, constantly in motion, roots in the blues but head in the clouds, fearless, fanciful, free."

Lauren Camp

Friday, October 28, 2011

Existing in New York City: Bare Minimum Existence

Foto by tgw, the Sky Above New York City, Anytime; at Any Moment
Bulletin: As we have said:
Obama is withdrawing the troops from Iraq but that doesn't mean that insane war is over. Nope, not by a long shot. The Iraqi people want us out of Iraq--we don't want to leave, but their parliament is kicking us out--except there'll still be 100,000 contractors there and the world's largest embassy will be guarded by Hillary Clinton's private State Department army of 12,000 troops--but as Obama said in his political campaign speech the other night, he's bringing the Iraqi troops home. WELL, not quite. The Pentagon is now planning to keep troops in Kuwait. AHA! Plus, the Pentagon is proposing sending Navy ships and Air Force reconnaissance planes and drones and shit to the Persian Gulf. Leon Panetta, a Clintonista, says we must not only keep troops close to Iraq in case the Iraqis decide to become belligerent and anti-American again, but MAINLY, we are in the throes of planning for the big war with Iran, our new nation of anti-American devils. Now say the USA was surrounded by Iran's troops--say Iran had 200,000 troops in Canada--you catch our drift? Wouldn't we be paranoid and crazy as hell, same as the Iranians are now? Plus, Obama's administration is finally grooving its military way into Africa with a series of secret CIA drone bases within Kenya (where corruption is so blatant it is causing a food shortage and Kenyans are beginning to starve to death) and Ethiopia (now seemingly our dickboys in that area) and probably in the Sudan. Get ready for another WAR, We the People of the USA. Another expensive venture that will end up killing more and more just plain folks--and the bullshit keeps piling up.
Say goodbye to: Roy Smalley, Jr.--I remember Roy as the Cubs's shortstop prior to Ernie Banks arrival on the MLB scene when Roy was traded to the Milwaukee Braves. Last I remember Roy, he was with the Phillies. His son, Roy, was a shortstop later with the Minnesota Twins. Roy Smalley, Jr., 85, American baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves, Philadelphia Phillies)
Say goodbye to: Emery Gulash, one of the great and early railroad filmmakers--shooting railroad videos from the age of Steam on into the diesel era:
DEARBORN, Mich. — Emery J. Gulash, 88, a prolific railroad photographer whose work lives on in dozens of books and video programs, died Friday, February 24. A Lansing, Mich., native who went on to a career with in drafting and management in the Detroit area with General Motors’ Fisher Body Division, Gulash was an early 35mm color-slide photographer, dating from his Army training days in Texas; he served in the Army Air Corps 1944-1946.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, Gulash traveled widely, shooting slides as well as 16mm color movies. Several years ago, as his health began to fail, he summoned publisher Bob Yanosey of Morning Sun Books to Michigan to turn over his slide collection, “so it has a good home,” and Gulash’s photos grace dozens of Morning Sun publications. Earlier, Gulash’s movies formed the basis for numerous video programs issued by John Koch’s Green Frog Productions.
"There is no secret in fortune making. All you have to do is buy cheap and sell dear, act with thrift and shrewdness and be persistent," Hetty Green (she inherited her father's fortune when she was 31. She became the richest woman in the USA from the 1860s until her death in 1916, worth in today's values at over 1 billion bucks).

Being a Descendant of "The Witch of Wall Street"

My father, an honest man, often told tales of what he declared to be our distant-past relative, Hetty Green, known around New York City and the Financial District as "The Witch of Wall Street." My father, this honest man, always ended his tales of this 19th-Century multimillionaire woman by emphasizing that Aunt Hetty's greatest piece of advice to the world was "NEVER trust bankers!" [This not quite true; Hetty kept her money in the Chemical Bank of New York--she had her own vault there, which the Chemical folks let her use as an office.] And, yes, my father, that honest man, had a coffee-can stash of cash. As a kid, I was just sure as hell he had hidden large sums of money somewhere because every time the bank statements came and my mother tried to balance the family books, inevitably I'd hear her asking him, "Karl, what is this, you only put three hundred dollars in the bank again this month? What the hell happened to that check Mr. Murphy gave you the other day?" And my dad inevitably had a sudden memory loss, like "What check?...Walter Murphy gave me a check? He didn't give me a check, that was only an order for some more work." Then my mother would accuse my dad of lyin' like a dog. Surely she was wrong, my father, the honest man, a lyin' man?...but then surely he was when it came to his finances. Remember, it wasn't Honest Abe who said "I can never tell a lie." And honesty to We the People of the USA is to turn found fortunes in to the local police precinct rather than hiding them in your attic until the coast is clear to spend them. In that Honest Abe sense of honesty, my father, the honest man, fit the bill to a tee. He once found on the sidewalk in front of his store a leather pouch with around fifty-thousand dollars in small bills along with a bank deposit slip. And rather than letting the evil Wolfe inside him rule, his sense of Honest Abe honesty prevailed and he took the leather pouch to its intended bank and turned it in. What did his honesty get for him? Zero. That's what. His honest way of thinking suspecting he was in line for a big reward. All he got was a systematic "Thanks a lot, see ya later"--that his only reward. I swore right then and there that if such an occasion happened in my life, I'd be damned if I'd turn it in. Fifty-thousand bucks in cash! Whooo-boy. That was a dream find for a poor boy like me--to hell with honesty.

My father and mother had a lot of banker friends. One couple in particular. A rancher couple on whose ranch oil was discovered. So much oil and a return of so much money, this couple decided to open their own bank. Which they did, The First State Bank of my hometown. This was a close friendship, especially between my mother and the woman, "Miss Addie," who I remember as fat, jolly, and very satisfied with life.

Also one of my dad's closest high school friends became president of my hometown's largest bank, the Farmers & Merchants Bank, where my father, the honest man, evidently allowed old Aunt Hetty's warning to go unheeded. It's where he banked all of his life. My mother, on the other hand, whose own mother and her mother never trusted anybody much less bankers, couldn't stand my father's bank-president friend, and kept her money in the other of the largest banks in my hometown, the Citizen's National Bank.

Another tale my father would tell at times had to do with checks. He swore up and down he'd written checks on everything from paper sacks, pieces of wallpaper, flour sacks, the back of one of his dress shirts, on a sheet of schoolboy writing name it, he'd written a check on it. "The bank has to respect it as long as your signature matches your signature they have on file."

I was taught that banks originated in the business of the businessman in a town who had the largest safe. That these guys began to allow customers to store their savings in their safes for a fee. The idea grew so rapidly, that soon these businessmen had to set aside a whole other building for this "banking" business; thus the origin of banks. I know now this much later in life that the origin of banks came along with the dawning of time--the idea evolving out of the Mesopotamian Ziggerats (the first pyramidal skyscrapers) and the ancient priest accountants and keepers of the city-state's wealth and assets (that given unto the heaven-dwelling gods). Math must have originated in the accounting world of those days.

So where did banks get their original monies? From depositors. Especially from the concept of the savings account where depositors could stash any excess monies they might make where it could be held safely in the bank's vault for them any time they needed it. Thus bankers became crooks when they realized they had all this cash in their vaults--they were paying interest on it--banks did pay interest on even checking accounts in those early days--so why couldn't they take that money and turn it into IOUs--the banker figuring out how to use the money in his vaults as investment capital. Also, the concept of using depositors's money to loan out to other depositors--MY POINT--I know, I'm over explanatory--what!--but anyway, my point is, banks would go broke over night if depositors withdrew their money, shut down their savings accounts--then quit paying on their loans, etc. Wow, the power of the people! Remember the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War cry of "Power to the People!"--and the People's Parks that were generation...and what happened to those revolutionaries? I remember hearing J. Edgar Hoover, that cross-dressing pervert of a cowardly man, say that even though it might take 20 years, the FBI would eventually get every one of those revolutionary punks--and, by God, that old perverted cross-dressing queen was telling it like it is--and sure enough, 20 or so years later, the FBI had gotten and put out of business, Eldridge Cleaver, H. Rapp Brown, Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Timothy Leary, Abbie Hoffman, Fred Hampton, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy...think about it.

Of course governments don't want their people to have any power. Of course the 1% who own us lock, stock, and barrel don't want us occupying any space near their space! Of course the CEO of General Electric (an Obama pal) doesn't want the Occupy Wall Streeters occupying any space near him, even the space across the street from the GE Building, which is the old RCA Building, John D. Rockefeller's proudest tower in his private empire in the very heart of Manhattan. The RCA Building once the home castle of a man they called General Sarnoff, the Russian immigrant who not only stole radio from Marconi but also stole television from Philo Farnsworth, the Utah inventor.

When we think of the Rockefellers, we think of oil, but oil wasn't where the Rockefellers did their crookedest best. Here's a 1976 article from entitled "The Family That Preys Together Stays Together." An article on at that time just how the Rockefellers stole most of their wealth and their Power-Elite control over most of the major corporations of this country (think about it--the Rockefellers held 5% stock still in Exxon (originally Esso (Eastern States Standard Oil)) in 1975 before this Standard Oil company combined with another Standard Oil company, Mobil (Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York)-Mobil (originally Magnolia Oil Company of Texas)--remember that scam when Exxon and Mobil were threatening to go out of business if they couldn't merge! So We the People of the USA amazingly put up no argument when our cowardly lion Congress and Justice Department said sure, go ahead, merge--so today what's the biggest Capitalist-pig company in the world? Anyway, read all about this family of money hoarders, worshipers of Mammon--those who know that MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL POWER! A fictional root according to true Economics laws since money is simply a means of exchange. From "The Family That Preys Together Stays Together" (1976):

And yet, incredibly, oil is not even the Rockefellers' biggest business. That honor is reserved for international banking. The Rockefeller family banks are the First National City Bank and the Chase Manhattan Bank. The Chase Manhattan is the third largest banking establishment in the world; and while only number three', it is by far the most influential.

The largest bank in the world is Bank of America in California, inventor of the bank credit card, Bank Americard, which now has 39 million cardholders worldwide. Bank of America became a giant through branch banking in California, where it has over 1,000 offices. Until recently, however, when it linked is overseas operations with the Rothschilds of Europe, the Bank of America lacked international horsepower. Now it too has joined the internationalists' crusade for World Government.

Chase Manhattan was created by the union of the Rockefeller-owned Chase Bank with the Kuhn, Loeb controlled Manhattan Bank. The marriage has been a huge success for both families; in 1971 Chase Manhattan claimed $36 billion in assets. This is impressive enough, but the New York Times has pointed out that it is not the whole story:

". . a major portion of their [Chase Manhattan's business carried on through affiliated banks overseas is not consolidated on the balance sheet."

Time also emphasizes the immense power of the Chase Manhattan, noting that "The Chase has 28 foreign branches of its own, but more important, it has a globe encircling string of 50,000 correspondent banking offices."Fifty thousand correspondent banks around the world! if each correspondent bank were worth only a paltry $10 million, it would give Chase potential world wide clout of five hundred billion dollars ! Such a figure is simply incomprehensible. Unfortunately, it is probably a conservative estimate of Chase's power and influence.

Such financial clout would give the Rockefellers the ability to create an international monetary crisis over, night. Could it be that it is they who have been yo-yoing the price of gold, dollars and foreign currencies during the past few years-creating panics for most investors, but profits for themselves?

Every time an international monetary storm blows up hundreds of millions of dollars flow into European banks. When the storm subsides, those who were 'in the know' at the beginning have made enormous sums of money, That the Rockefellers have been very profitably involved through the Chase Manhattan Bank and its overseas facilities, seems more than reasonable.

By almost any standard, Chase Manhattan has become virtually a sovereign state. Except it has more money, than most. lt even employs a full-time envoy to the United Nations.

As just one illuminating statistic, during 1973 Chase board chairman David Rockefeller met with 27 heads of state, including the rulers of Russia and Red China, plus scores of lesser dignitaries. Not even Henry Kissinger, he of the - shuttle diplomacy - and much- publicized state dinners, can match Rockefeller's influence with the men at the top.

Chase Manhattan's annual reports contain much information detailing the worldwide expansion of the bank. lt has gone international on the grand scale. And it shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Chase Manhattan is the undisputed world heavyweight champion when it comes to international banking.

The damn Power Elite know where the money flows like wine: in the financial world, the world of money trading and money exchanging and basing our whole economy on how the fucking New York Stock Exchange's daily auctioning off of millions upon millions of shares of every company rich enough to buy a seat on this Power Elitist-controlled bourse--trading floor--gambling casino--where millions and millions of shares are traded daily tax-free--yep, no stock transfer tax on any of these trades.

We the People of the USA can't buy groceries without paying a tax on them. We're even taxed on the food we eat when we eat out in restaurants. And the booze we drink. We are taxed on the property we own--a tax that is supposed to support our public school systems but doesn't. A nickel-a-trade stock transfer tax on stock trades would pay off the fucking national debt in a matter of a year or so.

We the Citizens of New York City pay taxes out our tired asses--in terms of payroll (earnings) tax, we're hit with a three-way slice out of our earnings right off the bat--the Federal government, the State of New York, and the City of New York slicing up our little pies. Plus, we pay a sales tax--now up around 9% now; plus if we have automobiles we pay outrageous bridge and tunnel tolls and highway tolls, which are taxes--here in New York City, the George Washington Bridge alone collects millions upon millions of dollars a day--money that is transferred by helicopter to the Port Authority counting room--this crooked as a snake at night New York-New Jersey Port Authority the Power-Elitist-controlled outfit that is wasting 20 billion of New Yorkers and New Jersyans tax dollars on this architectural embarrassment, #1 World Trade Center pink elephant, that so far has only two occupants, Conde Nast--given what amounts to free rent just to get them to commit to the building and the People's Republic of China (that's the old Red China...that's Communist China to you Baby Boomers). Plus we are insulted by the Bank of America and AIG Insurance building brand new skyscrapers up right in our tax-ripped-off faces--these crooked companies who pay no taxes; in fact, they get huge tax refunds every year; plus their well-heeled CEOs have their taxes so creatively accounted for, they pay only about 5% of their incomes in taxes while people working under them are paying 25% of their incomes on taxes. Working stiffs are still working the first 4 months of the year for the various governments into which they pay taxes.

The next revolution is the one begun already--a revolution against these world-ruling Power-Elite-owned (check out their foundations) financial institutions and banks.

By the way, last night's World Series game, #6, was one of the damndest, wildest, best baseball games I've ever seen. What a great sport baseball is, though it so pisses me off to see all the Bank of America advertisements all over both the Rangers and the Cardinals's stenciled on all the railings around the dugouts--same thing stenciled along the back walls of the dugouts--then huge outfield signs declaring Bank of America as a sponsor of Major League Baseball.

for The Daily Growler

A Little Taste of American Art:

Spring Landscape, 1910, by Chauncey Foster Ryder

American Tonalist landscape painter, Chauncey Foster Ryder, was born in Danbury, Connecticut in 1868. In 1891, he moved to Chicago and began his artistic training at the Art Institute and at Smith's Art Academy.

After moving to Paris in 1901, Ryder enrolled at the Académie Julian, where he studied under Jean-Paul Laurens and Raphael Collin. He showed at the Paris Salon for the first time in 1903. During the four years that followed, he exhibited annually at the Salon. Although Ryder maintained a studio in Paris until 1910, he returned to America in 1907 and settled in New York, where he began to show at Macbeth Galleries.

Like many of his contemporaries, Ryder traveled during the summer months. Among his favorite haunts was the artists’ colony of Old Lyme, Connecticut, where he often stayed at the home of Miss Florence Griswold, a gathering place for artists working in the area. Ryder exhibited with the Lyme artists in 1910 and 1911 and was given the honor of painting one of the panels in the Griswold house dining room. During a stay in Old Lyme, he sold a painting to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson. In 1910, he established a home and studio in Wilton, New Hampshire, where he spent summers for the rest of his life. Wilton was also a base for Ryder to travel to sites in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire in search of painting subjects.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Existing in New York City: the World Series Going On While the World's in Serious Trouble

Foto by tgw, New York City 2011
Watching Baseball

For a private reason I'm watching the World Series this year. So far, in terms of baseball, I've enjoyed it. Two good managers, Ron Washington and Tony LaRusso. Ron Washington is a New Orleans native who was a shortstop with the Minnesota Twins back in the 80s--Ron admitted to using cocaine last year--so I'm new to him, though he's now taken the Rangers to the World Series two seasons in a row (they lost to the SF Giants last year). I've been aware of Tony LaRusso for many years now. When he was at Oakland, I couldn't stand him; he played Billy Ball out there--and then when he went to the Cardinals, I said good riddance and thought I'd never have to worry about him again--me being a dyed-in-the-wool American League aficianado since my youth. I didn't start as a Yankee fan. First I was a Philadelphia Athletics fan. I loved Connie Mack. But the Athletics during my youth were losers, Connie Mack being notorious for building up a championship team and then selling it off the next season to make money. I grew up with an older friend, his father called him Chinky, his name was Charles, who was an absolute Cardinals adorer. When we played kid baseball in his backyard (with a Spall-Ding and a miniature souvenir bat Chinky had gotten at a Fort Worth Cats game), he was always the Cardinals and I was always the Athletics--though Chinky tried to teach me that if I insisted on being an American League fan, I should drop the worthless Athletics and become a Yankees fan. Because of Chinky, that's exactly what I did: I dropped the Athletics and became a Yankees fan--and was a true Yankees fan up until George "Alzheimer's Poster Boy" Steinbrenner and his lucky general manager (really one of the worst in baseball) and his worthless son, Hank, trick-bagged Joe Torre, insulted him, told him if he stayed on he'd have to take a big cut in salary--Joe one of the greatest, if not the greatest, manager in baseball at the time. But, you see, George couldn't stand losers dammit and for the first time in many years, Joe and the Yankees lost to Cleveland in the seventh game of the AL Playoff game--Manny Rivera blowing the save--and the Yankees didn't make it to the World Series. Poor Joe. That year had been a tough one for him--especially after he was saddled with a bunch of old has-beens--like over-the-hill Johnny Damon and long-in-the-tooth Randy Johnson and finally steroid-loaded Roger Clemens--plus, Joe was also saddled with a bunch of Double-A ball pitchers, like Jabo Chamberlain (what happened to him?) and Phil Hughes--but don't get me started on that--besides, Joe's retired now and is living comfortably over in the New Jersey woods.

But, like I said, for private reasons, involving a woman I truly dig, I have watched every game of this year's World Series--and, believe it or not, though I like Ron Washington as a manager, I'm rooting for the Cardinals.

All us true baseball fans know it's all about pitching--steady pitching. Scoring is up to the hitters and so far, as is usual, these games have had both excellent and not-so-excellent-at-all pitching. Pitchers adjust after terrible outings and one way they adjust is by watching films of their games and seeing exactly where they made mistakes pitching to the opposing batters. Saturday night, the Cardinals totally clobbered the Rangers. Alfred Pujols, who there's no doubt is the best all-round hitter in baseball, hit three home runs in that game that ended 16-7 Cardinals trouncing of the Rangers. In the next two games (including tonight's), the Ranger pitchers figured Pujols out and he's gone 0-8, striking out tonight in the 9th inning with the tying run on base. The Cardinals were badly managed tonight--I mean, they left 13 or 14 dudes on base, their big hitters unable to come through--the Rangers turning awesome on them and taking a 3-2 lead in the Series as they go back to Saint Louis and have the sixth game--do or die for the Cards--Wednesday night (which is actually now, tomorrow night).

And oh how time doth fly.

What I've noticed watching the Series that has struck me as odd is the fact that neither of these teams has a Black star on it--they are both Latino-White teams--of course, I know, a lot of those Latinos, especially the Dominican Republicans, are really Blacks, but in the White man's baseball categorizing, they are considered Latins. The only Blacks on the Texans, for instance, are ancient bullpen ace, Don Oliver, and another ancient bullpenner, Arthur Rhodes. On the Cardinals? I swear, I didn't see one Black--that is, unless you consider all those Latinos Blacks.

I hate the Texas Rangers with a passion because of their total respect for that little asshole, G.W. Bush. I mean that killer creep threw out the first ball in Sunday night's game and he and Pickles have been there right behind home plate in the good seats with Nelson Ryan, who is now the Rangers's CEO.

Another curious thing I'm finding in baseball today is how when the seventh-inning stretch rolls around and they used to sing or play "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," they now play or have a soloist sing "God Bless America," all done up with military geeks standing at attention and American flags proudly waving about--and I'm wondering, what the hell does the military and some geeky man in a military uniform singing "God Bless America" have to do with baseball? Could it be millionaire baseball owners and their millionaire wives and sons and daughters and all the millionaire players (and they all are millionaires, even the second-raters) feel guilty about not having to worry about their fucking asses having to be put on the firing line in all the stupid wars we are currently involved in? And what has yowling up to this White Man's God asking him to bless America done for We the People of the USA? Is this failing and rapidly falling economy this God's way of blessing us? Is the ruthless running over us by our ruling Power Elite this God blessing us? Is our getting our asses clobbered in 5 or 6 warring fronts this God blessing us? Plus, as I always ask whoever these people are who come up with this patriotic shit, what God is this God that is supposed to be blessing America? And does this America include Latin Americans? Mexicans? Dominican Republicans? Venezuelans? The Japanese ballplayers?--is this their God blessing us? How utterly moronic this aspect of baseball is. This was started I think by that god-damn George Steinbrenner who after 9/11 in a grand show of his personal patriotism started playing that god-damn awful Kate Smith singing that God-awful song during the seventh inning stretch.

I pray, "Please, God, whichever one you are, please quit blessing America."

Also, in terms of commercials during the game: first off, I was surprised that one of the big sponsers of this year's series is something called Jenny O--a turkey meat company--though it's hard to figure out just what Jenny is--she seems to be promoting turkey burgers, but what she is and where she comes from is beyond me. Also, I'm insulted by the Bank of America proudly touted as a World Series sponsor--using the money they stole from We the People to blow it advertising during the World Series--they advertise and still they are bankrupt--with President Obama recently guaranteeing these thieving bastards a 75 billion-dollar backing of these bastards still doing this fucking derivatives scheme shit--foreclosing like madmen on poor people's homes and car loans and going after their kids when these kids and these families can't keep up with the ever-increasing interest on those ungodly student loans.

I thought it kind of cute today to find out that Wal-Mart was cutting back on their workers's health-care benefits (I didn't know Wal-Mart (and Wal-Mart of China) gave health-care benefits). I also heard, and I don't know if it's true, that Wal-Mart pays such low wages they give their new employees food stamp applications as part of the coming-on-board package. Come on, folks, STOP BUYING ALL THAT CRAPPY COMMUNIST-CHINESE-PRODUCED CRAP THAT WAL-MART SELLS! Do you know how many American businesses Wal-Mart has put out of business through their Chinese branch? Rubbermaid is one I know of. Remember Rubbermaid products? Wal-Mart went after them and drove them under. Now all those products are made in Commie China.

Another curious thing about the commercials during the World Series--the number of foreign-made products galore--especially the automobile ads. I'm especially pissed at Jennifer Lopez (what a waste of talent) doing these Fiat commercials. We the People of the USA lost 2 billion dollars bailing out Chrysler Motors, which had been driven into the ground by being owned by the Nazi car company Daimler-Benz, only to find out after our President announced Chrysler had paid back its bail-out money--all but 2 billion dollars--he further announced that Chrysler Motors was now owned lock, stock, and barrel by Fiat, the Italian car company. Fiat and, of all things, the Canadian government had been involved in this bail-out. (Shouldn't that puzzle We the People?) That should really piss off We the People. And there's Jennifer Lopez boogie-ing around her old Bronx neighborhood in this little piece of Fiat shit car--the worst cars made--a car you know damn good and well Jennifer Lopez wouldn't be caught dead in in real life!

I love the new Volkswagen (Herr Hitler's own design) commercials--"Das Auto," they now call their little tin-fiberglass cars.

I also find car commercials that are bragging now how they get 35 mpg on the road interesting. Especially since I had a 1962 Renault back in the late sixties that got 35 mpg in town and 40 mpg on the road. They've had a carburator for a hundred years that could get up to 100 mpg--some motorcycles used to get 100 mpg easily.

Another commercial that pisses me off is the Viagra commercial that uses Chester Burnett (the Howling Wolf)'s "Smokestack Lightnin'" as its background music. This handsome actor stud, who obviously can't get it up, is seen commandeering this very fancy sail boat--now you're thinking if you're a man, any dude that handsome and with that big a sail boat surely gets more than his share of seafaring cuckoos's nests, so, poor bastard if he suffers from erectile dysfunction! So, yes, it is worth his chancing blindness by taking Viagra--as long as he doesn't suffer from one of those 4-hour-long erections the Viagra folks warn us men about at the end of that stupid commercial. I don't think the Howlin' Wolf had any trouble getting it up.

Anyway, I have a night off from the World Series tonight--so I'll just let baseball drift off out of my head today and lay back and dig some Pee Wee Russell, a musician long dead now, who I am finding more and more fascinating day by day.
Pee Wee Russell
(from Bill Crow's Website--see it in The Daily Growler blog list)

Here's what Gunther Schuller wrote about Russell: "Clarinetist Pee Wee Russell...was one of the most original figures in jazz history; he never did quite fit into any of the established stylistic molds, and he maintained his unique identity throughout a long career, covering at least three major periods in jazz." Later, in reviewing Russell's playing on a certain record, Schuller wrote: "At first hearing one of these Russell solos tended to give the impression of a somewhat inept musician, awkward and shy, stumbling and muttering along in a rather directionless fashion. It turns out, however, upon closer inspection that such peculiarities--the unorthodox tone, the halting continuity, the odd note choices--are manifestations of a unique, wondrously self-contained musical personality, which operated almost entirely on its own artistic laws. ... To which one needs to add, for those uninitiated into the special world of Pee Wee Russel's music, that he was not just some intriguing, freak, oddball eccentric: he was also one of the most touching and human players jazz has ever known."

for The Daily Growler

A Little Taste of American Art:
Oil on Canvas, by Charles Ellsworth "Pee Wee" Russell (1906-1969)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Existing in New York City: Listening to LIES

Foto by tgw, New York City 2011
Advertising Is All Lies

One of the things I learned working in the pharmaceutical advertising game--my office was on Madison Avenue, too--was when you are writing any kind of ad copy, you are exaggerating the importance, utility, and value of the product you are actually SELLING. I worked for many decades in back-office advertising situations, back where all the crunching work is done. Back where the concepts are thought up. Back where the product is given a brand--yes, it comes from branding cattle. Marking your possessions. Putting your brand on your possessions. Possessions you intend one day on SELLING. From the brand comes the product itself--giving the brand a physical body. In terms of pharmaceutical advertising, the brand's physical body is the drug. This is a drug that has been formulated in a biochemical laboratory. It comes to light as a chemical formula. That chemical formula has a name depending on the chemicals biochemically blended into what these biochemists intended it to do in terms of its mechanism of action influence on what has been diagnosed as a disease of a particular type whether organic or systemic, blah, blah, blah. The pharmaceutical ad writer is given this chemical formula along with all of the clinical trials (pharmaceutical companies keep active a team of doctors they pay big bucks to conduct these clinical trials, blind studies, where a group of people suffering from a certain disease are given either this experimental drug or a sugar pill, a placebo). From all of this biochemical and clinical trial information, the pharmaceutical ad writer and his team go about giving this drug a reason for being, an efficacy, a brand name and in parentheses its biochemical (generic) name--i.e.:

ZOLOFT® (sertraline hydrochloride) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) for oral administration. It has a molecular weight of 342.7. Sertraline hydrochloride has the following chemical name: (1 S-cis)-4-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-l,2,3,4-tetrahydro-N-methyl-l-naphthalenamine hydrochloride. The empirical formula C17H17NCl2•HCl is represented by the following structural formula:

ZOLOFT®   (&<span class=

The hydrochloride [HCl] in the formula, by the way, is the salt that weighs the sertraline down to where it stays in the system long enough to attack what it's chemically formulated to attack, in the case of Zoloft its mechanism of action works on the brain's manufacturing of serotonin, Zoloft supposedly giving an energetic shot to that manufacturing.

Following the above formula comes a fine-printed information sheet that gives a total description of Zoloft: how it works, or is supposed to work; how it came out in terms of its clinical trials (the drug versus the sugar pill (placebo)); its efficacy in terms of how it came out in the clinical trails; how to dose the drug; then the WARNINGS section, followed by a CONTRAINDICATIONS section (meaning other drugs it might clash with causing great harm to the partaker). This massive little fine-print tome is what comes with your meds when you pick them up at the drug store--is called the P.I., short for Prescribing Information.

Sertraline hydrochloride
is the generic name of Zoloft, an antidepressant that has recently been shown when taken by pregnant women to be responsible for babies born with cleft palates and heart problems, etc. You see, clinical trials don't involve children and pregnant women (for ethical reasons), so a doctor who prescribes Zoloft to a pregnant woman suffering from depression is doing so against the advice of the prescribing information which warns the doctors that Zoloft has not been clinically trialed (tested) on children or pregnant women so this excuses the drug company, in the case of Zoloft, Pfizer, from any responsibility for any problems evolving from doctors prescribing Zoloft to children or pregnant women, which also includes nursing (or breast-feeding) mothers, too.

So from the above complicated scheme of things, you can imagine the difficulty a pharmaceutical ad writer has when trying to promote Zoloft.

First of all, in spite of many clinical trials, there is no real proof that antidepressants work at all compared to placebos. Every clinical trial has its failures. It's deaths. Though these deaths may not show up in the final test results. Deaths or other ill-effects of antidepressants fall outside the random sampled middle of the trials--in the business we call these "ouliers." In a clinical trial of say 1100 depressed patients, say 6 die during the clinical trial--out of those 1100 patients, these 6 deaths will show up far outside the average--therefore as outliers they won't affect the results of the clinical trial.

I worked on a drug similar to Zoloft when I was in the business. I was a medical editor on this product. My job was to make sure the copywriters used good grammar (made sense), but that they also were staying within the Federal Drug Administration's so-called regulations in terms of medical advertising--like nowhere in a drug ad are you allowed to use the term "Cure." These drugs are not curatives; they are inhibitors. Most of their mechanisms of actions are the same as you'd find in the caution statements that come along with any TOXIC (POISON) substance, and that's all these drugs all are, toxics. They can be easily compared to rat poison or insect spray and their effects on the biological systems of these pests are the same effects that work in the human body as well. These drugs for humans effectiveness is in the control of the dosage. You put just enough poison into a human's body to do the trick--in the case of the antidepressant I worked on, the trick was to toxically knock out the culprit responsible for the slowing down of the reuptake of the brain of seratonin.

In order to sell a product like Zoloft to depressed people, you have to LIE. You have to exaggerate Zoloft's power. You have to warn subtly that once you start taking Zoloft, you have to keep taking it--it's actually you have to keep taking it forever--but the copy will say as your health-care provider has prescribed--the warning gets boldest when the copy says if you do go off your antidepressant meds, there is a strong possibility whatever good the drug did you is now reversed and you'll be subject to a depression like you never knew could exist--one so powerful, it might drive you to suicide. Those voices in your schizophrenic head telling you the easy way out--and while you're taking your own life, why not take your family or your friends with you.

All of this to say that at a quorum meeting at an uptown Manhattan Irish pub--ruled over by the glorious Paula--while watching a newsclip of President Obama saying he was bringing the troops home from Iraq by the end of the year, a realization popped into my head. And, yes, I did listen to this speech with my backwards thinking theory in mind--that theory that tells me what Obama says he's going to do is exactly what he's not going to do. Which led me to recall that this is ELECTION CAMPAIGNING TIME--and President Obama, I just read, has already gotten most of the billion bucks he's gonna need to rerun--remember Rerun on teevee?--from WHO? If you guessed Wall Street, the hedge funders, the bailed-out failed banks, Goldman-Sachs, AIG, the Bank of America you are correct, sir or madame--the crookedest bastards in the old Capitalist ballgame--and they're backing their BOY Obama with all the bucks he needs. And I said outloud, "Every speech President Obama makes now is a fucking advertisement--he's running for president--he's advertising how he is an action president--why, lookie-lookie, I'm bringing home the troops from Iraq [the reason we're bringing the Iraq troops home? Because the Iraqi Parliament voted to not give US troopers impunity for their criminal actions! Besides, we're leaving 100,000 contractors there and at the world's largest embassy, Hillbilly Hillary will house her private army of 7,000 troops. Plus, too, we'll just move our troops into Kuwait, somewhere like that. NOW, via the idiot babbling of John "Failed Mission" McCain, We the People are promoting sending US troops into Syria--remember, the CIA is behind the rebellion in Syria! They were also behind the rebellion in Libya!]--wait a minute, I thought we'd already withdrawn troops from Iraq--didn't he take a bunch of troops out of Iraq when he took General Betrayus out of Iraq and sent him over to that horrible mistake of a war in Afghanistan? That horrible dastardly war still going on after TEN fucking years. Can you imagine if this country were under constant military rule, constant threats of daily bombings, of daily gunfire in the streets, of military forces and vehicles and military police and CIA agents and UN and NATO troops and big shots all up and down every one of your streets, taking over your tourist spots, taking over you governing bodies, taking over your police, your rights--death everyday--death from rocket attacks--death from firing squads, death drone aircraft, death from US Army helicoptors--death to men, women, children, daily, dead bodies in the streets of Afghanistan's cities for ten long fucking years?--can you imagine the whining and whimpering and police brutality and military takeover that would cause in this country?--and look at the death and destruction we've imposed on those poor Afghan people--the Afghan-Americans I know are great witty people full of laughter and peace--for ten long fucking years! And all the while that little wormy bastard, G.W. Bush, is living it up like the spoiled brat he is, living off the dole--lecturing recently in British Columbia--I can't imagine who the fuck in their right mind would pay that little spoiled brat prick $500,000 to make a speech--about what for god's sake? And watching the Texas-Detroit American League Championship series, how pissed I got seeing that like prick and Pickles being treated with such privilege and respect--front row seats, alongside Nolan Ryan and his wife, G.W. vaunted as the ex-owner of the Texas Rangers; vaunted as the little prick who tricked the citizens of Arlington, Texas, into building that, and I'll admit, very impressive little MLB ballyard. Chills of total spite ran up and down my spine as I watched that little murdering phony Texan (he was born in Connecticut) and Potsmoking Pickles sitting there dumbass with both teams's managers going over and fawning over this little killer, this ex-faux-president who through the wiles of his father's and his Unka Dick's and his brother Jeb's cronies and goons stole two elections right out from under a couple of wimpy Democrats (Gore the Bore and Kerry the Poor Little Rich Boy Phony AntiVietnam War Hero), who rather than fight back, cowardly tucked the quivering tales and went to bed losers.

All advertisements are LIES. That's all I'm saying.

for The Daily Growler

A Little Taste of American Art:
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Madame Butterfly, by Helen Frankenthaler (December 12, 1928)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh That There Were a Real God of Wrath

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2010
Say goodbye to: Norman Corwin, one of the great radio script writers of all radio time: Norman Corwin, 101, American radio writer, director and producer

Bulletin: Keeping Up With the Kurds:

Bulletin 2: 42 Campaign Promises President Obama Lied About:

A The Daily Growler Repeat Performance from November 2010:

Behold Ourselves...the George W. Bush Interview With Prince Charmin' Matt Lauer
America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
George W. Bush
Ex-Faux-President George W. Bush has to be one of the strangest dumbest idiots in the Universe. How dumb can dumb get? I dared to watch a bit of plastic newsman (sic) Matt Lauer's interview with Georgie Porgie. Twice I turned it off after the Most-Idiot-Bush among the Idiot Family of Bushes started explaining why he authorized waterboarding, as he so proudly dumbly is admitting to as he goes about book touring, peddling his worthless, waste-of-trees, sweet-fucking-though-moneymaking memoirs, How I Stole Two, we jest, of course--Decision Points. Can you imagine the PR firm dude who came up with that title for the ghostwriter to work off of? There must have been a ghostwriter because there's no way in hell George W. Bush, that crap-for-brain, could write a book, no matter how juvenile it was written. So there has to be a ghostwriter. Maybe Pickles?

It was both maddening--oh the growling I did--and gratifying--in an "I told you so" sense--watching and listening to this American embarrassment of a human monkey--though even monkeys don't want me claiming that miscreant's kin to them. "He didn't come from no monkeys I know," one jibed at me when I mentioned I might write a blog post about our ex-Faux-President in which I would compare him to maybe a chimpanzee. Another monkey howled at me, "Come on, Wolf Man, Cheeta's ten times smarter than that poor excuse of a misfire. Too bad it wasn't his fetus in that jar his mother showed him."

Monkeys can be cruel. But then so can such dumb men like G.W. Bush. Yet, I looked at him perhaps from a different angle than others--from my angle, I could see the many arms going up this poor little spoiled rich brat's ass, assuming as I did those arms were working the many different working parts of this dummy--like making his mouth move in sync with the dumb shit coming out of it. Jerry Mahoney had more wit than this little wooden man.

I mean he authorized waterboarding 'cause a lawyer told him it was not torture. "I'm not a lawyer, so...." G.W. tried to explain to equally confused Matinee Matt Lauer, who actually seemed to try and pin old Georgie Porgie down, but then Georgie got a pout on and said he wasn't going to say anymore about it and then went into his explaining how his mother had showed him a fetus in a jar...WHOAAAAAAA. Right then and there I slapped my forehead. The word "dunderhead" kept cruising through my growl-fevered brain. What is the fascination with this fool? Later today (it has already happened), I'm told, Okra, er-ah, sorry, I mean, Oprah, I call her Okra 'cause she ain't that bright a woman though she is very rich so to hell with what I think of her--and I say more Power to her 'cause she's getting so fat she's not gonna be around with us much longer after she retires and gets the gout and then puffs up until her blood pressure blows her fuses.... So later today (it happened already), Okra, there I go again, Oprah's going to interview Georgie Porgie Puddin' Head along with old Pappy himself...and damn, Mammy Babs, too. I wonder if Mammy will bring along that jar with that fetus in it? Wouldn't that be cool?--oh what ratings that would get Okra! "Oh, now word up here," Mammy will up and say suddenly. "You know, Okra honey, I've always admired your people, let me say that from the very bottom of my cold, cold heartless heart. That's why I thought I'd do you a favor, in terms of ratings, babe." "Oh, Mammy Babs, what you got in yo' purse, girl?" I'm not good at doing Oprah, I'll admit it, but, hey, I've started this, now I've got to finish it. So anyway, Oprah will carry on about how proud and privileged she is to have two ex-Presidents, both idiots, but also to have the first mother..."Oh, Mammy, what the hell you pullin' on my show?" "Okra, I'm pullin' this...." With that she pulls out this fruit jar. "Oh, my Lawdy-Lawd, Mammy, is that what I think it is?" Little Georgie joins in, "Oh, mommy, not that damn that dang thang still floatin' around in that thar jar?"

Oh what a show. I will miss it. I'm too brilliant a mind to waste it on taking verbal pokes at this waddling threesome who combined have brought such crass overseering pain to this whole country. This little dumbass man sitting there in front of the cameras saying the stupidest bullshit you've ever heard and instead of being here and challenging this idiot and what he says and giving us a review of this idiot's memoirs, our President is off hustling arms to Indonesia today--the world's largest Muslim nation. One rightwing commercial press headline said, "Obama at Home, Holds Hand Out to Muslims." There ya go, the Indonesian-Muslim is finally showing his true allegiance--he is a Muslim and he is now an Indonesian. Poor old Obama. He's too damn dumb to get off his "Forget the past, I'm looking toward the future," a future we've been denied by this little evil bastard and his evil-bastard family--parasites they are--sucking We the People's national blood dry. I say throw the book at the whole Bush Family.

for The Daily Growler

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Existing in New York City: We're All Gonna Die Anyway

Foto by tgw, New York City 2011
Bulletin: HOT DAMN! We're pulling our troops out of Iraq! But guess where the poor bastards are heading--not home, but how about the WAR WITH IRAN, the NEW EVIL threat against We the People of the USA. This will be a nuclear war--that is: IF WE BLOOD-THIRSTY ASSHOLE COLONIZERS ARE READY TO WIPE OUT THESE EVIL ANTI-CHRISTIAN/ANTI-JUDAIC/ANTI-AMERICAN BASTARDS ONCE AND FOR ALL!! [THE OCCUPY WALL STREETERS CAME TO TIMES SQUARE TODAY--they are getting attention--though that attention always tries to find ways to discredit this merry band of pissed off young Americans, though today they were joined by a lot of old bastards and famous folks, too--IT'S GROWING! IT'S MOVING! IT'S THE ONLY THING WE THE PEOPLE HAVE GOING FOR US]--read on...
Bulletin: HOT DAMN, a trumped up reason to go to WAR WITH IRAN--wait a minute, didn't Reagan rig his first win by dealing with Iran? Obama thinks he's Reagan, so...WOW! HOT DAMN! ANOTHER WAR! You think we're broke now! Wait'll this WAR gets going good. Wait'll the Department of Defense asks for 300 billion bucks. Will the Red Chinese financially back us in this war? Will Commander in Chief Obama USE NUKES on these Sand N-word Devils?--these proud ancient people who can't help it their politics and their religion is so intwined and they are ruled by so stupid and so worldly ignorant MEN--WOE IS THE WORLD! All of this because Abraham knocked up his Arab (a Palestinian, we assume) hand-job maid (servant? slave?) and together this odd couple bore that little bastard Ismael and another fairy-tale of competing cultures came into this totally imaginary world of competing man-made deities who still today are wreaking through the militant natures of their true believers such inhumane and cruel havoc on the real world, this heavenly orbit, we human beings's true mother land, mother earth, from whence we sprang--and we did not spring from the semen of one of our man-made ghostly gods--this heavenly beautiful planet that is the only real heaven and should be treated as a paradise before it's too late for us to realize as mother earth's children, we're responsible for taking care of her in her old age--for our mother is dying because our father, the Sun, is dying--and death is simply the price humans have to pay for getting to be men and women and have sex and procreate, as Philip Wylie so analytically put it in his little in-praise-of-Jung book, An Essay on Morals.
[Please excuse this hastily and mostly unedited posted new edition of The Daily Growler]
Globalization Wins Out Once More to the Detriment of We the People of the US
Those devastating free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama passed through Congress with flying colors and a lot of gleeful smiles on the faces of the richest of the rich and the CEOs of the global corporations--"world" corporations that have no allegiance to any NATION--their global extremities outbound national boundaries--they have their own laws and rules and police forces--they are global corporations and no longer consider themselves bound by any national laws or regulations or taxations. President Obama is simply continuing on what started seriously with Reagan, and continued on through the Bushes, though really blossoming out into Venus flytrap proportions under Clinton, and continued faithfully on now by Reagan-loving Obama. The globalization of the world continues. And it was Slick Willie Clinton who really went hog wild with these free-trade giveaways that President Obama, though they are disastrous programs in terms of our current economy problems, assures us are working on our behalf, even though the free-trade deal with South Korea alone is going to cost We the People of the US hundreds of thousands of jobs and a loss of millions in tax revenues--but oh what a boon to South Korea's automobile industry, its green-energy industry, its television-set-making industry, and its computer-assembling industry.

And adding insult to injury, I read this morning that President Obama has just added 70 million dollars to his campaign kitty, a campaign kitty that eventually will need over 1 billion dollars in contributions to be there during the continuing of this year-long presidential race to the finish line (Obama's presidential campaign kitties have now collected way over a billion and a half dollars). These enormous amounts of money these already millionaires cash in on in order to be seated in the private boxes of our Power Elite (what becoming president assures them) are to me is an insult to the intelligence of We the People, who, from my vantage point, since they don't seem to object to these sums of monies these mediocre men are spending in order to get a job that pays a measly $400,000-a-year--chicken feed to multimillionaire criminals like Mitt Romney (and you don't think he's a crook?--then check out what his business was in Boston that made him even richer than he already was with his inherited money)--are the dumbest most easily seduced and suckered in people in the world. This statement in spite of the Occupy Wall Street effort of those brave mostly young dumb middle-class kids valiantly protesting against our corrupt and totally controlling corporate citizens (and corporations are US citizens and have been since back in the late 19th Century) who are robbing We the People blind through their twisting the nuts of our cowardly Congress while their dickboy, their houseboy, the guy that shines their shoes and kisses their smelly White asses, our President, defends their crookedness and continues to staunchly defend their "too big to fail" rights to rob us blind--telling the Occupy Wall Street bunch that though he understands their frustrations (no he doesn't), we still must keep our financial institutions afloat and respect them--he said We the People must sacrifice our own lives so that these global giants can continue to roam the world wrecking economies while raking in billions upon billions of criminally obtained monies--wrecking the economies of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the USA, with the UK and Germany not far behind--with the glowing approval of Slick Willie Clinton, that Arkie bum, that philanderer, and his two-bit lawyer wife and that gaggle of Clintonistas that have invaded and occupied President Obama's Oval Office--like the ex-CEO of General Electric who Obama chose as his jobs-creation expert--yeah, this jerk creates jobs alright, in Singapore, in Malaysia, in Red China (oh we don't call it that anymore do we, we hypocritical fools), in Vietnam, in India, and now in South Korea.

It would be nice if We the People could unify and throw all these bastards out on their ears--but, no, that won't happen. If we're sort of lucky, Ron Paul will be our next president; if we're our normal unlucky stupid selves, we'll get Herb Kain as our new worthless mediocre-at-best president.

It seems to us, like it always has, that President Obama was forced (through deals with Slick Willie and Hillbilly Hillary when he was shellacking them with his campaign run) to bring into his administration as advisers and campaign managers and members of his supercommittee, the worthless likes of Timmy Geithner (Obama's mother worked for Timmy's father in Indonesia (I keep harping on that) whose job with the Ford Foundation was gotten him by one of his wife's family who was a big shot at Ford--these bastards are all related in more than one or two ways), David Axelrod, the sleazy and stupid Larry Summers, the pig-headed asshole Emanuel Rahm, who now we see used Obama as a stepping stone on his way from a stooge of the nuclear industry right into being mayor of Chicago (really in ways more powerful than the President of the US), and as many corporate CEOs as his advisers advised him to bring on board. Obama, the "Yes, We Can" president of great and hopeful promise (remember, too, he won the Nobel Peace Prize), has lowered himself to being Whitey's dickboy and the White Man's House's houseboy president--so why not replace Obama with an even dumber of the dumbest of Black men?

Surviving, That's All We're Doing
My next door neighbor is a sad sort of man. He's retired though he's still very young looking. He's either Puerto Rican, he has a Spanish last name, or he's Black--or he's both. You see it's hard to tell in New York City just what the hell people are. If they reside in New York City they are New Yorkers, but is that the only thing that makes them New Yorkers? If you are born and raised in New York City, aren't you more a New Yorker than someone who moved here when they were in their mid-twenties and who never left? There are some who claim blood rights to being New Yorkers not just residential rights.

My next door neighbor is overweight. He walks with a cane. A couple of years ago he was on the verge of demise after what appears to be a problem with his taking street-marketed Viagra. You see, like I say, this guy is very young looking. Women, especially Black women, find him very attractive. But it's not just his looks. He must also pack a packed wallet and he must have a very broad-spanning bank account--he is a retired building superintendent--he also is supposedly an electrical engineer. Though I don't think he drinks, he acts like he's drunk all the time.

He comes out of his apartment at odd hours of the day and night. In the hallways, no matter the hour, he talks loudly to himself, language always punctuated with fiercely vile expletives, his favorite being, of course, the world's favorite, "Fuck," and its many variations--a sample of his hallway self-conversing, "God-damn, motherfucker, oooh--ummm, son of a bitch, er-ah, ummm, what the fuck? Well, I'll be god-damn...."

I don't think of my neighbor as being much of a philosopher. In thirty years of living by this human being, I've only been in his apartment one time, and I've never had more than an "Hey, man, how's it going?" conversation with him. He's hard to talk to. He rambles when he does enjoin you in conversation. He mumbles. "How ya doin'?" "Ah, urrr, don'know, same, you know, things come in boxes...god-damn boxes...." He's double-jointed when it comes to conversation. Though I've had hundreds of perfunctory conversations with him over the years, not once have I fully understood his responses. "How's the weather out there?" "Ohh, like--mumble-mumble--crossing the motherfuckin'--mumble-mumble--I don't see that far...." I swear, interpreting his replies is beyond my ability at comprehending.

When I found myself on the elevator with him just a few days ago, I said, "Damn, S. S., looks like you and I are going to die in this building." To which he clearly replied, I mean, I've never heard him speak so clearly, "Hell, next year, we're all going to die no matter where we live."

He was of course referring to Doomsday, December 12, 2012.

Racing Through Life: Racing Toward a Future
Yes, life is a race. It's further defined as "a rat race." Racing rats. Have you ever raced rats? They are unpredictable. Their instinct is to directionalize themselves via smell and not via their "eye on the prize." One could say their "nose is on the prize." You put the cheese (seduction) in the trap, the rat smells it, it triggers off a natural hunger in his belly, and soon you hear the trap snap shut and next you check it out and sure enough, there is a garroted rat freshly dead caught under the steel wire garroting device. (And trust me, I'm an expert at this, nothing in the way of rat traps or mouse traps can beat the original old wooden-based ones with the steel-spring trap device--you put the cheese in the tin tongue gizmo, you cock the trap by pulling the garroting wire back to hook it with care into the tin tongue with the cheese in it, that cheese that is letting off that special stink that drives a rat or mouse batty with hungering desires, and then you go on about your business, confident at sometime in the near future you'll whack the hell out of a rat or mouse. I've recently tried the Tom Cat traps that come with a little bottle of liquid that supposedly gives off that special odor that revs up a male rat's or mouse's testosteronic impulses or sets loose a female rat's or mouse's instinctual desire to get laid. Good idea? Nope. I've got two Tom Cats sitting dormant now for over a year, both chocked full of this sex-enticement liquid, both having never trapped and thus never killed either a rat or a mouse. A live tom cat, a mouser, would be a better buy.)

The Race of Life
All summer long I've watched the Diamond League Track and Field competitions and other track and field events (like the U.S. National Championship) culminating in the World Track and Field Championships held this year in South Korea. With each competition, I noticed, there are runners always showing up for these events who never win a damn thing. There are an average of 10 participants per event--sometimes as many as 15 in the distance events. In fact, in every one of these competitive events, there are always 3 winners, but dozens upon dozens of losers, some racers and field competitors who are never able to get better than LAST place ever!

In every competition, it's usually the same top-3 event specialists who always win. The competition is limited to a top 3 or 4 persons in every event (including the qualifying heats), one of whom is usually the world record holder in the event--or at least, holding the fastest time in the event for the year. Like the 100-meter dash. Without a doubt, the greatest 100-meter-dash man is Usain Bolt of Jamaica (he holds the World's Record at 9.58 seconds). This guy, unless he's stoned or four sheets to the wind or sick as a junkyard dog stuffed full of tainted rat meat, doesn't lose. The only man to beat him this year (and, remember, Bolt doesn't compete in every event) was a Jamaican rival who trains with him down home (the young man who won the World Championship when Bolt bolted too early (jumped the gun) and was disqualified). Yet in every 100-meter event during the whole of the Diamond League season, there are the perpetual losers, those who if they're lucky come in fourth, though there are steady competitors in these races who inevitably come in dead last. And this is true of the field events also.

I marvel at these losers. In the hurdling events especially they are so noticeable, not for their "almost" winning, but for the way they lose. I mean you know the last-place hurdlers almost the minute they're off the blocks--as they approach that first hurdle, which either they barely clear, or they knock down, or, in the worse-case scenario, they trip over and fall to the cinders and are disqualified. And in the distance races, too, there are your "sure" winners (distance races, mens and womens, these days are dominated by Ethiopians and Kenyans), but, and you can usually pick them out before the race starts, there are those in every race (and they show up in every Diamond League event) who you know are going to end up dead last or only a few notches above being dead last. Like there's this US woman distance runner, our greatest Olympic hopeful, who before every race shows confidence that this time she's gonna go it all out and beat the Ethiopians and Kenyans and as the race takes off, she's right up there with the best of them--galloping along just behind the "rabbits," the runners hired by the race events whose job it is to pace the event runners, set the tempo for the races on world's record pace (they don't use the rabbits in world championship or Olympic events))--and this US hopeful runs elbow to elbow with the Ethiopians and Kenyans--looking sharp--staying within a few steps of the favorites--UNTIL..the rabbits drop off the course and the Ethiopians and Kenyans put their pedals to the metal and then back sails this US woman--and back further she sails--the strain on her face and body increasing as the Ethiopians and the Kenyans sprint off up the track toward GLORY, while our US hopeful falls further and further back UNTIL...race is over, same old Ethiopian or Kenyan wins the race, and the same old second-place and third-place Ethiopians or Kenyans come in 2nd or 3rd, and our US hopeful--well, she ends up either last, almost last, or at best middle-of-the-pack, like 8th or 9th.

There can't be much money being made at these events by these losers; yet, they show up at every race--somebody sponsoring them--usually their countries, I suppose--some of these losers are their country's (or nation's) champions. The conclusion: You can't have winners without losers. Another conclusion: There are always more losers than winners in any competition.

I was both a runner and field event competitor in high school. I was fast. I ran the fastest qualifying 220-yard (in the days before meters) dash my final year in track and field; yet when the coach put me in my first full-fledged competition, I got a lousy jump off the blocks, and soon was flying, but flying behind, over-trying, ruining my rhythm, my breathing pattern, suffering anxiety pangs, and coming in a disgraceful 5th out of 8 runners, one of my teammates winning the race, a teammate I had beaten easily during team qualifying trials. As a broad jumper (now called "the long jump"), I jumped consistently around 19-feet 5-inches--a good distance for a high schooler, but a consistently losing distance when it came to competitors who were jumping 20-feet and 21-feet, one little guy from Dallas who could jump 23-feet. As hard as I tried, I could never jump 20-feet; I couldn't improve on my 19-foot-5-inch best; therefore, I was a loser broad jumper. The next year, I dropped track and field and joined the high school golf team, where I also was a loser, but a good loser, a fun loser. My best golf talent? As a teacher. I became a good golf instructor. I got to go to all the tournaments in that capacity--I could see immediately what my better teammates were doing wrong--I was better at this than the coach--and he used me as an assistant coach all my senior year in high school. Later I played awhile on the Texas Pro-Am tour but to no winning avail. In a pro-am match where I was paired with Charles Coody (from my hometown)--Charles would later go on to win the 1971
Masters. After playing a few holes with me, he said to me, "You know, you'd be a damn great golfer except you have no concentration whatsoever. You're looking all over the fucking place instead of concentrating on your're especially hung up on that cute girl that's following us around. You'll find one day that concentration is the key to any kind of competitive success." And oh how true that proved to be--and how Charles Coody hit my problem dead on the head. Concentration is the key to success. Concentration, a state where you blot out everything except the task at hand, whether to hit a golf ball steadily accurately tournament after tournament or whether running at a winning speed race after race or whether winning 20 games pitching baseball or hitting .330 batting a baseball. Individual concentration is difficult no matter the competition you are in. Even that competition we all face in the workplace--in whatever rat race we're entered. Holding one's concentration is the meanest part of being a consistent winner--otherwise with all the worries of the world on your shoulders you're sure to fail. Look how expensive whores ruined the great Tiger Woods's golf career--fucked his concentration up so badly he went from the world's greatest golfer to a common old everyday hacker in a matter of weeks (Golf has been a globalized sport for many years now).

Baseball, though trying like hell to go global--some team owners want to bring Japanese teams into our Major Leagues, hasn't managed, too, yet. The minor league International League once was about as global as you can get with teams in Canada--the Montreal Royals--and teams in Havana, Cuba, the Havana Sugar Kings.

Remember when football tried to go global with the World Football League?--teams in Europe--though that has since fizzled out--our football can't compete with the true global sport of soccer, called football in most world cultures. Other global sports include Track & Field, cycling, swimming, skiing, rowing, cricket, field hockey, weightlifting, gymnastics, hockey, water polo, horseback riding, basketball, etc.

A true American sport: La Crosse.

So We May As Well Get Used to Globalization
Can the world be unified? Probably not, but it looks like our rulers and lawmakers and corporate power brokers and our Power Elite are determined to make us global whether we want to be or not. Get used to shoddy products--like all the clothes that come from China--like even all the computers that come from China--the Apple Mac G5 desktops running Leopard (OS 10.5) for instance (thousands of them were recalled by Apple)--a total failure as a computer since its capacitors were no good and blew up and ruined all your graphics cards and video cards and screen resolution and then caused them to refuse to boot up or when you did get them booted up, they fell asleep immediately not to be awakened. Shoddy products made with the cheapest of plastics and refurbished parts--like hard drives from China are totally refurbished from the millions of junked computers and junked parts We the People of the US send illegally to China every year.

Yes, we're in a mess, but we were warned years ago that this was happening. It's called offshoring now; back then it was called globalization via free trade--the Neo-Con Manifesto (by Paul Wolfowitz--what happened to old Paul, anybody know?) declaring the Neo-Con's goal to drive the dollar down as well as our too high standard of living--declaring products have to be made as cheaply as possible for corporate profits to continue to grow--somebody has to lose in the process and that somebody IS We the People of the USA. We got, as my old folks used to say, "too big for a britches." From the get go, this economics has always been about CHEAP LABOR. And from cheap labor you get cheap goods! But if labor continues to get cheaper and cheaper--one day we'll wake up and our president will announce that the owning of slaves is once again legal...because our new plantations via globalization are just too god-damn big to fail, so we all, men, women, and children, must sacrifice our free lives so that our corporate citizens can continue to enjoy the lives they as Power Elitists feel have been divinely bestowed upon them. Otherwise, why are they so much richer than the wide majority of us?

for The Daily Growler

A Little Taste of American Art:
Sarah in the Summertime, 1940, by Tom Lea (1907-2001)
Tom Lea was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. Sarah Lea, the subject of Sarah in Summertime, was a young woman from Illinois who, on a visit to a friend of hers who had married and moved to El Paso, spotted Tom Lea painting a mural in the El Paso post office. It was love at first sight, she told her mom. The mother asked, "How are you going to live on the meager income of an artist?" to which Sarah replied, "You just watch me." Tom Lea climbed to fame in the art world as a World War II army illustrator. After World War II, he became very famous as a painter of murals--murals of his stampeding bulls were especially intriguing--as were his many books that he illustrated himself.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Existing in New York City: Loathing One's Looks

Foto by tgw, "Camera's Take on a Lamp," New York City 2011
A The Daily Growler Political Intrusion (WARNING):
TODAY!!! (Wednesday, the 12th): Congress is voting on 3 free trade deals--absolutely the worst free trade deals in this wild-spree of free-trade agreements started by the Clintons and now perpetuated by Hillbilly Hillary Clinton, our most unqualified Secretary of State ever (remember she has her own army in the Green Zone in Iraq (the world's largest embassy, in case you've forgotten; all embassies under Hillary's command)). And awful agreements are going to fly through this Fascist Congress since it's doubtful that this Reaganistic Congress and this Reaganistic President (Obama the Far Rightwinger) will stop them--UNLESS We the People pick up our phones or take them out of our purses and pockets and dial 1-800-718-1008 and yell at 'em and tell 'em We the People don't want these free trade deals that will (the one with Korea alone will cost us 180,000 jobs), lose We the People hundreds of thousands of jobs (in the green energy, automobile, computer, television industries, along with major tax revenue losses in the case of the deal with Panama). These are three fair trade agreements: 1) with Korea! This is the big one that will really cost our economy, especially in the area of industry losses, job losses, and tax-revenue losses. 2) with Panama: this one is evil because Panama is one of the world's biggest tax havens--so by opening up free trade with Panama will mean our major corporations will flock down there to open up headquarters and distribution centers and We the People will lose more and more of our tax revenues with our loyal corporations going offshore. And 3) the free-trade deal with Colombia! Come on, free trade in what, cocaine? assassinations? (more Unionists are assassinated in Colombia every year (51 last year; already 22 this year) than anywhere else on earth, including Communist China, who, in case you've forgotten, own our asses lock, stock, and barrel).

These free-trade deals are simply Globalization deals that favor our Global Corporations, those who have their bootheels on our necks! Those true inhumane materialistic bastards who care nothing about who starves to death, whose bombed to death, who perishes in disasters; these are the same predator bastards who have robbed We the People blind of all our possessions, including our land, our houses, our cars, our savings, our pensions, OUR JOBS, our health, our RIGHTS--go read the Bill of Rights and see just how many Rights have been denied us by our last three presidents, starting with Slick Willie Clinton, the Arkie hillbilly who with his slick $75,000-a-year lawyer wife, rose from being a $30,000-dollar-a-year Governor of the Backward State of Arkansas (home of the big Iran-Contra cocaine-for-guns airbase at Mena, Arkansas, during the Reagan Administration when Willie was Governor of Arkansas) to now reigning as our wealthiest-ever worth, and listen to this, say it outloud three or four times: 200 million bucks. Do you believe that? This son of a bitch is a Global Corporate Puppet now--these Global Corporations have made this man rich because of the big favors he did for them when he was President and deregulated the banks and mortgage houses and bond houses and the insurance companies and privatized our health industry (after the Big Dog's National Healthcare plan was so badly handled by his wife, what's her name?, they finally gave up on it and capitulated to the privatized health industry (the pay-or-die healthcare industry (of which cancer alone is a multibillion-dollar industry--you think they want to find a cure for it?))--and one reason Slick Willie got elected in the first place was because of the debt and wrecked economy left behind by Pappy Bush, who ironically is now Slick Willie's best pal (and don't forget, they were partners in that billion-dollar Southeast-Asia-tsunami-fund scheme many years ago now--time having erased it in our minds and news). And Slick Willie deregulated like a madman after being advised to deregulate and create NAFTA and GATT and GAP by the likes of true nutjob Larry Summers (who proposed dumping our nuclear waste in Africa--which We the People did--check out why there is piracy off the Somalian coast) and Robert Rubin (Goldman-Sachs) and Little Timmy Geithner (a Wall Street handpuppet)--and now, adding insult to injury, Obama's new jobs creator expert, and this isn't a joke, is none other but the former Republican CEO of General Electric!!!--the offshore kings of Global Corporations; the world's largest nuclear power plant constructors--guess who constructed Fukashima? guess who's in India right now instructing them on how to build a nuclear way of existence?--and We the People have to kiss India's smelly ass because they have nuclear weapons and hate the Pakis who though We the People support these Pakis with billions of dollars of aid and military weapons every year, we don't trust them as far as an Indian soldier can throw one of them--yet, Pakistan is the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons, so until through some undercover invasion and occupation skulduggery on our part takes over their nuclear arsenal, we've got to handle their asses with care, though recently one of President Obama's leftover Bush Administration generals or admirals in Afghanistan has been shooting his mouth off about how the Pakis are responsible for backing the recent bombings in Kabul that have taken a lot of US and NATO and UN lives--Kabul, a place where most of the citizens stay out of the way of US and NATO troops and contractor big shots and the many advisors while secretly wishing like hell these invading bastards would all get blown to smithereens so the Afghans can have their country back. (PS: We assume Pakistan is the only Islamic country to have nuclear weapons, though we wouldn't be surprised to find out we've sold a handful of nukes to our pals, the Royal Family of Saudi-Arabia--hey, where women can now drive cars--that is or so his Royal HighAss has said in a brief period of human kindness on his part--though some hidebound believing husbands may certainly stone their wives to death should they catch their wives driving cars.)
My Time of Fear and Loathing
I just chipped off a front tooth eating a Greek salad. One of the pitted Greek olives in the salad did it. Great little Greek olives. I felt a pop in my mouth, yes, but it was several minutes afterwards that suddenly, out of nowhere, the way calamities and accidents and crises happen, with my tongue I felt something different along the row of my upper front teeth. Something was different...very different. Then, yipes, in terms of being able to apply my tongue to a major crevice...and then feeling the front of the tooth missing...MISSING! I ran to the bathroom and yawned before my crystal-clearly-reflecting mirror and OH MY CHASTISING GOD! I looked so creepy! I chipped off half a tooth and it was the tooth that flashes when I talk. I'm cursing. Shit. God-damn. Jesus X. Christ (one of my favorite expletives). Now I thought, it's going to soon start erupting with that demonic pain teeth punish us with when we chip them and expose a NERVE PERHAPS. But, so far, so good. Only embarrassment now about opening my mouth--like how am I going to hide this infraction to the golden rule of perfect teeth?--I mean, I now look like a hayseed from the Ozarks...or, worse, like one of the alkies over at the Men's Shelter on the Lower East Side.

Now I'm writing cathartically. To keep from going back into my bathroom and scaring myself to the point I'm loathing myself. Of course, my next problem is--it's not that I hate dentists themselves--don't get me wrong--one of my best friends years ago in New Orleans was a dentist. It's just that I've had some traumatic moments with dentists. Even my dentist friend in New Orleans. Like I was in his chair that overlooked upper Canal Street, it was a Boulevard by then, and it was while the bastards who ruled New Orleans at the time were digging up the Canal Street street car line--it ran from Lower Canal and the riverfront all the way uptown to the Fair Grounds and the Fair Grounds Race Track. They were replacing these beautiful old trolleys with trolley buses! General Motors, those bastards, caused this to happen--starting in the 1940s, they started convincing cities that buses and automobiles were the transportation of the future--GMC buses and General Motors automobiles, of course--and all over the country cities started pulling up the trolley tracks and junking the trolley cars--L.A. did it...and when I was a kid in Dallas, Dallas did it...every city did it...New York City did favor of trolley buses (they were electric powered same as the old rail trolleys and using the same overhead juice wires the old trolleys used) and eventually just plain ole buses. Yep, so while outside on Canal Street these guys were ripping up the street car tracks, my dentist friend was digging in my gums saying he'd broken off the tooth he was extracting and he was having to dig the roots out and the fragments left behind by the tooth breaking, saying this particular tooth had three roots rather than the normal two and was quite a dentistry task to clean out what should have been by then a dry socket. Though my jaw and mouth and all were heavily sedated, numb, I still could imagine I felt this guy digging down in that hole with that little pick device, then his lugging hard, I could feel his tension as he lugged away, at the roots left down in there...I get jittery writing about it. I was very young then and virile so I bore pain the macho way--"Does that hurt, Mr. Wolfe?" "Naw, Doc, are you kidding? I don't feel a damn thing...." And it's all I could do to hold back the tears and twinges.

Then here in New York City, Manhattan dentists got so expensive, so when I lost a filling one night while feasting on Chateaubriand at a Midtown French restaurant, my friend who was treating me to the feast clued me in to his dentist in Middle Village, Queens, saying, hey, the guy was cheap and he was a nice man and a gentleman and a painless-type dentist, repeating that he was cheap. And that did it and out to Middle Village, Queens, I trucked. His office was in a little one-story Main Street building. The waiting room was clean and cheery and the nurse was friendly and motherly and she took me in and I met yet another dentist, and, yes, he was the nicest guy and a gentleman to boot, and all that my friend had said of him. And, in terms of refilling my tooth, he did a very good job. And, yes, he was cheap, too. And I left out of his office feeling back-to-normal enough I bought a canole from an Italian bakery--it's an Italian neighborhood--and gobbled it down on the way back to the subway and my painless trip back to Manhattan.

During that first session, this Middle Village dentist had mentioned a lot about how much his malpractice insurance was costing him. And it was some ungodly figure, like $80,000-a-year, I think, I kid you not, it was something gawking like that. And he did mention it over and over again, but, like I said, he did a good job, good enough that several months after that I had need again for his services and I traipsed out to Middle Village from my Manhattan abode to let him do his thing--this time it was an extraction.

He greeted me with a friendly handshake and acted as though he truly remembered me from six months back. After this friendly confab, he then sat me down in his chair, immediately excused himself, and left the room. I sat in that chair uncared for for what seemed like forever--I mean so long I was getting itchy and ready to jump out of the chair and go look for him--when, like a set off Jack-in-the-Box, he stuck his head in the door and said, "Oh, my god, I'm so sorry, I got distracted and forgot you were here." And he comes in and does his thing of examining the tooth with the little mirror on the end of the long stainless steel handle and prying around my teeth with that little tool with the steel prong on its end and then he was hemming and hawing then finally agreeing with himself out loud that, "Yes sir-ree, that tooth has to come out." Then he went naturally about prepping me for the pull, you know, propping my mouth open with that device and packing stuff in my cheeks and then sticking the suction thing in my mouth to suck my saliva and spit out, a procedure that got me to wondering how they cleaned and sterilized that thing after they'd used it--or, horrors, if they even ever did clean it after each patient. Then, quick as a wink, he again excused himself and left the room.

And he was gone this time a miserably-for-me long period of discomforting time. By now I was thinking he was acting very strange (you know like a "come to think of it" moment), and then it was made moreso strange when once again he Jack-in-the-Boxed his head into room and once again started apologizing, came in, and once again got professional; in fact, he immediately set to work extracting my tooth.

There was one slight thing that had passed totally by us both without either one of us thinking about it. What that was became evident as he started to pull my tooth. Remember, my teeth are hard to pull. At the first wrench he put on his pulling pliers, a bolt of fire shot up that tooth and burnt a hole in my middle brain--a burning pain so electric and so fiery my eyes teared up and I started crying...and then he jerked with the might of Hercules and the tooth starting coming loose and it felt like, literally, my whole brain was being drawn out with that tooth through that tiny hole. I never felt such pain in my life--I mean you talk about intense--think of feeling like your brain is being ripped out of your skull, bringing along with it your eyebrows and your eyes and your nasal passages, the whole front of your face. BUT...alas, when the tooth finally popped out, the pain vanished and I was enveloped in an instant peace--that same peace, if I may be so honest, I feel after I cum while having good sex.

The doc remembered what he did wrong before I did: "Did I give you Novacaine?...did I even deaden...oh my god, I'm so sorry." And then it hit me: "Holy shit, doc, I felt like you were scalping me there one time--Jesus X....." He'd not only forgotten to use the big needle loaded with the Novacaine but he'd forgotten to give me that little needle they shoot you with first to deaden the area where they're going to stick the big needle.

A few weeks later the friend of mine who'd clued me into this guy just happened to say, "Did I tell you that Doc So-and-So went stark-raving mad one afternoon in the office--he was screaming about his malpractice insurance premium that was due, how he couldn't pay it, and if he didn't have malpractice insurance he couldn't practice--and they had to straitjacket him and now he's in a rest home down in Florida."

The last time I visited a Manhattan dentist, one of the guys who worked for me clued me in to his dentist--he knew the guy from working with him in the NY Philharmonic choral organization. He guaranteed me this guy was a cool dude and absolutely was a great dentist. Besides he had a cool office in the Flatiron Building, which was in walking distance from my apartment. So I got an appointment with this dentist with a great voice, and, yes, he was everything my man had said about him--a really cool dude, with a cool Flatiron Building office, with a supercool nurse who looked like Halle Berry, and later his supercool daughter who also looked like Halle Berry and who was going to Columbia dropped by--and I was happy with the guy's work and his manner and enjoyed ogling his nurse and his daughter and blah, blah, blah, happy dentistry days are here again.

After he had finished, he told me he had only temporarily fixed my situation--this tooth had been killing me with pain is the reason I had needed him. He said for now he had put a temporary filling in the tooth to stop the pain, but that eventually he was going to have to extract it. After a free teeth cleaning by a rough-ass little Italian woman, the doc scheduled me for a day later in the month.

I eagerly went for my second appointment with this guy when the day arrived, but as I went by his partner's office door, I saw a wreath hanging on it. I asked the nurse what happened to the partner. He died, she told me. He died very sadly, she said. She continued saying it was especially bad for my dentist because he and his partner had been a couple for so long and things had been going so well for them.

So my dentist was Gay...that didn't bother me. What bothered me was when I got to my office the next day and confronted my worker with the news that this dude's partner had died and he said, "Yeah, I knew he died. And did they tell you how he died?" I said no. He said, "He died of AIDS...."

That's the last time I have been to a dentist. Not that I was afraid of getting AIDS from this Gay dentist. The whole situation seemed so damn tragic to me--and, to be quite honest, it turned me off that scene, not in a disgusting way, but in a "why didn't they admit it to me?" way--and yes in a heterosexual way, too, I'm sure.

Now here I am disfigured! Snaggle toothed. I look frightening. It's close to Halloween. I can hire myself out as a scary man, a scary geek, a toothless male hag. And now I'm feeling it constantly with my tongue and in my mind I'm anxiously nervous as to what if it starts to throbbing with hurt--and oh how I would dread that pain--the worst pain in the world--but I do have some White Lightnin' left from that pint my doorman brought me back from Mississippi--it's powerful stuff--swish it around over the tooth if it starts griping--deaden it enough I can get up the strength to go looking for another dentist--except this time I may go out looking for some welfare dentistry--like over at the NYU School of brutal could a first-year dental student be? Yeah, sure.

for The Daily Growler