Thursday, December 27, 2012

Existing in Billionaire Heaven as a Poor Person: A Life in New York City

Foto by tgw, New York City, December 2012
Continuing on in the Footsteps of Baby George W. Bush, President Barry Obama is appointing the extremely evil John Brennan, called the "Assassin" by his detractors to become the new head of the extremely evil and wasteful CIA.  John Brennan is a stone-cold lying son of a bitch who is currently Barry's Terrorism advisor, the man who is the champion of drone warfare and the killing of American citizens on Barry's Terrorist Watch List.  A truly sorry bastard.  Way to go, George W. Obama...way to go.
Say Goodbye to: Patti Page...Gawd how I hated "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window"---yet, it made Patti rich...that and "The Tennessee Waltz," which wasn't that bad a song. Patti Page, 85, American singer ("Tennessee Waltz", "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?"
The Best Explanation of the US's Current Fiscal Crisis as I've Read: by Paul Craig Roberts on Counterpunch:
President Obama Insults the American People
From Truth Dig:
Looking for a job where being unproductive and ineffective won’t hurt your chances of getting a raise? Try being a member of Congress!
Despite getting less done than any previous Congress since the 1940s, President Obama issued an executive order Thursday that would give pay raises to every member of the House and Senate, as well as federal workers, beginning March 27, 2013. This marks the first pay increase for Congress in more than three years. 
Great Scary Article by Mark Ames on the NRA and the Hick Pro-Fascists Who Have Run It Since the Ronnie "Grade B Actor" Reagan Era:
Say Goodbye to: Fontella Bass--who started as a blues singer in Little Milton's Blues Revue with bandleader Oliver Sain, who had the second million seller after Chuck Berry had the first on the Chess label with "Rescue Me" and then married jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and in Paris recorded one of the weirdest tunes ever, "Theme de YoYo," a tune I can say I myself have covered and can prove it with a DVD of my performance. Fontella Bass, 72, American singer ("Rescue Me"), complications from a heart attack.

Here's Fontella w/Art Ensemble of Chicago doing "Theme de Yo-Yo" on Youtube 
After Mafficking, Now Seriousness 
Living in New York City can be both gregarious and isolating.  It's gregarious when your pockets are bulging with cash and you are out on the town.  On every block are places in which to spend your cash.  And when your cash is all gone or you've spent what you've budgeted to spend, then you withdraw to your living space where you are then forced to create...WHAT?  WORTH, that's what.  Your creative worth is your wealth.

Inspiration is an easy source of potential wealth in so widespread a cultural dump as New York City.  Like on this cold and rainy (turning to snow) day for me.  The inspiration encircled me.  First, over at the Musicians Union Hall on West 48th.  I was over there rehearsing with a trio of musician friends, one thedailygrowlerhousepianist, one a drummer friend of many moons, and one a bass playing friend (more casual than the other two) of the same many moons as the drummer, who introduced me to this Illinois-born bassist back in the late 70s when we were all young, a little naive, but extremely hopeful.  These musician friends exude a brilliance that not only amuses me but inspires me, too.  These are extremely smart men both in terms of music and everyday life.  Their ability to compose and read music truly amazes me, an autodidactic musician who arose unlike them not from an academic base but from an improvisational base, meaning my composing and reading music is baby-like compared to their mature abilities.  This doesn't mean I can't once on stage not show a brilliance.  I have what musicians refer to as "a good ear."  By my limited sight reading but exact memorization, I can learn the most complicated tunes or compositions--I have been performing with these guys for 25 or more years--a lot of those times doing tunes or compositions they wrote, in a lot of instances tunes or compositions they wrote especially for me.

This morning during this rehearsal I watched these friends working out to "gettin' 'em down" intricate jazz compositions especially a Chick Corea tune, "Litha."  I marvel watching them discussing the notational aspects of a tune, with the bass player saying, "I think that B-flat seventh is just doesn't fit...."  And the drummer going over and seeing right off the bat what he's talking about.  "It should be an A-flat seventh, man, I think."  "Yeah, that works...yeah," says the bass player.

Then they call me up to do my thing and my thing is so simple, "Boys, you know 'I Can't Get Started'?"  Yes, comes a trio of agreements.  Then I work with thedailygrowlerhousepianist on the right key for me ending up agreeing on F.  And we do Ira Gershwin's and Vernon Duke's old tune from the 1930s, a tune I never liked until I heard it sung by tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims off an LP he made with Bob Brookmeyer, Hank Jones, Bill Crow, and Papa Jo Jones called Morning Fun on George Wein's old Storyville label out of Boston--way back when I was a freshman in college.  After that, they all wanted me to do a blues, my specialty, and we did a sterling version of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday," which brought a bunch of other musicians into the room to dig us.  I'm in very impressive voice these days and like I say I'm very impressive once I nail a tune down.

After an hour and a half rehearsal, three of us, the bass player had to go get his iPhone repaired (yes, the warranty had just run out), busted a move down to Hurley's Bar where we had a bull session over pints of ale and beer, a bull session full of our life observations on the meaning of Plato, women, our college degrees, and reminiscing about "the good ole days" when we were working musicians, bon vivants, lovers, and still naively hopeful.

From there we headed to the different subways to make our ways back to our residences where in isolation we would mull over what we'd amused each other with during the rehearsal.

I, out of hunger, stopped off at my favorite Irish pub and had a humongous dinner, steak smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms with a side of veggies all washed down with a pint of Bass ale and topped off with a dish of vanilla ice cream.

I'm now back in isolation and listening to an iTunes slew of my own musical compositions and thinking how I've got to---it's an itch within me---get back to work on this damn novel I'm writing---I'm currently proudly pecking at the 60,000-word mark.  After writing, I will then read the rest of the day, reading Gore Vidal's Lincoln, a book on a psychoanalytic study of Charles Ives by Stuart Feder, a book of the essays of Gunther Schuller, all inspiring me, keeping the fires of endeavor alive in me, stirring me up since isolation can sometimes push you to the brink of boredom and there is nothing more depressing than being bored in New York City.
Say Goodbye to: Dennis O'Driscoll
someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie
eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea
scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last
shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out
spraying with deodorant her coarse armpit grass
someone today is leaving home on business
saluting, terminally, the neighbours who will join in the cortege
someone is paring his nails for the last time, a precious moment
someone’s waist will not be marked with elastic in the future
someone is putting out milkbottles for a day that will not come
someone’s fresh breath is about to be taken clean away
someone is writing a cheque that will be rejected as ‘drawer deceased’
someone is circling posthumous dates on a calendar
someone is listening to an irrelevant weather forecast
someone is making rash promises to friends
someone’s coffin is being sanded, laminated, shined
who feels this morning quite as well as ever
someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date
perfume and goodbyes her final will and testament
someone today is seeing the world for the last time
as innocently as he had seen it first
This poem: thanks to John Baker's blog

Well, here we go over what some D.C. PR dude made up "the fiscal cliff."  But, I say, don't worry, folks, it's all bullshit.  Remember my theory that everything coming out of the District of Corruption is backward thinking and what you do is simply reverse their statements and you'll be pretty much close to the truth, whatever the hell that is.  We're not going over any fiscal cliff.  I mean come on, folks, if we can come up with 14 trillion dollars to bail out those damn crooked financial institutions these lyin' bastards will come up with something (new taxes on the poor, for instance) to save their high-priced salaries and guaranteed health care (our financial institutions are still openly being crooks, by the way)(it amazes me how here in New York City, two of our big sporting venues, CitiField where the worthless Mets play and the Barclays Center where the worthless Russian-owned Brooklyn Nets play, are named after two of the biggest crooks in the banking scam business).  There are easy solutions to our problems---a stock transfer tax, for instance; or cutting drastically the Defense Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex budgets.  But remember, these guys are backwards makes me want to puke to write about these millionaire jackals we keep electing, which means when it's all boiled down it's We the People of the US's fault.  When you keep electing a bunch of skunks you get a bad smell in the chicken coop, plus a bunch of dead chickens.

From the Wisdom of C. Wright Mills:

Their private decisions, responsibly made in the interests of the feudal-like world of private property and income, determine the size and shape of the national economy, the level of employment, the purchasing power of the consumer, the prices that are advertised, the investments that are channeled. Not 'Wall Street financiers' or bankers, but large owners and executives in their self-financing corporations hold the keys of economic power. Not the politicians of the visible government, but the chief executives who sit in the political directorate ... hold the power and the means of defending the privileges of their corporate world. If they do not reign, they do govern at many of the vital points of everyday life in America, and no powers effectively and consistently countervail against them, nor have they as corporate-made men developed any effectively restraining conscience .


for The Daily Growler


1 comment:

Marybeth said...

Yeah, the political world sucks, but music is always fun. Play away. Nero had the right idea.