Saturday, February 09, 2013

Existing in New York City: Where We're All Walking Targets

Foto by tgw, "Flatiron Building from Madison Sq. Park," New York City, 2013
Say Goodbye to: Donald Byrd, jazz trumpeter who I first dug on an album called Free Form (1961) on the Blue Note label.  Donald was one of the many, many native Detroiters who were a part of the post-bop jazzmen who left their mark of redefining jazz in terms of freeing it up from its sort of frozen state after Charles Parker, Jr., died.  Donald Byrd, 80, American jazz trumpeter.

We Are in the Process of Recolonizing Africa 
From John Pilger's Website (
"Long planned as a "mission" for Nato, not to mention the ever-zealous French, whose colonial lost causes remain on permanent standby, the war on Africa became urgent in 2011 when the Arab world appeared to be liberating itself from the Mubaraks and other clients of Washington and Europe. The hysteria this caused in imperial capitals cannot be exaggerated. Nato bombers were dispatched not to Tunis or Cairo but Libya, where  Muammar Gaddafi ruled over Africa's largest oil reserves. With the Libyan city of Sirte reduced to rubble, the British SAS directed the "rebel" militias in what has since been exposed as a racist bloodbath.

"The indigenous people of the Sahara, the Tuareg, whose Berber fighters Gaddafi had protected, fled home across Algeria to Mali, where the Tuareg have been claiming a separate state since the 1960s. As the ever watchful Patrick Cockburn points out, it is this local dispute, not al-Qaida, that the West fears most in northwest Africa... "poor though the Tuareg may be, they are often living on top of great reserves of oil, gas, uranium and other valuable minerals".

"Almost certainly the consequence of a French/US attack on Mali on 13 January, a siege at a gas complex in Algeria ended bloodily, inspiring a 9/11 moment in David Cameron. The former Carlton TV PR man raged about a "global threat" requiring "decades" of western violence. He meant implantation of the west's business plan for Africa, together with the rape of multi-ethnic Syria and the conquest of independent Iran.

"Cameron has now ordered British troops to Mali, and sent an RAF drone,  while his verbose military chief, General Sir David Richards, has addressed "a very clear message to jihadists worldwide: don't dangle and tangle with us. We will deal with it robustly" - exactly what jihadists want to hear. The trail of blood of British army terror victims, all Muslims, their "systemic" torture cases currently heading to court, add necessary irony to the general's words. I once experienced Sir David's "robust" ways when I asked him if he had read the courageous Afghan feminist Malalai Joya's description of the barbaric behaviour of westerners and their clients in her country. "You are an apologist for the Taliban" was his reply. (He later apologised).

"These bleak comedians are straight out of Evelyn Waugh and allow us to feel the bracing breeze of history and hypocrisy. The "Islamic terrorism" that is their excuse for the enduring theft of Africa's riches was all but invented by them. There is no longer any excuse to swallow the BBC/CNN line and not know the truth. Read Mark Curtis's Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam (Serpent's Tail) or John Cooley's Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism (Pluto Press) or The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski (HarperCollins) who was midwife to the birth of modern fundamentalist terror. In effect, the mujahedin of al-Qaida and the Taliban were created by the CIA, its Pakistani equivalent, the Inter-Services Intelligence, and Britain's MI6.

"Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser, describes a secret presidential directive in 1979 that began what became the current "war on terror". For 17 years, the US deliberately cultivated, bank-rolled, armed and brainwashed jihadi extremists that "steeped a generation in violence". Code-named Operation Cyclone, this was the "great game" to bring down the Soviet Union but brought down the Twin Towers."
Sad Ending of a Military-trained Gun Nutjob
Christopher Kyle bragged of being the military's most successful sniper of all time.  He bragged of over 200 long-range kills, one an Iraqi woman holding a hand grenade, one an Iraqi holding a rocket launcher who Kyle shot with a long-range high-powered rifle from over 2,000 feet.  Kyle was the perfect gun-toting stooge for the U.S. military who teaches you from day-one even before you are issued your first weapon their "kill or be killed" attitude.

Chris's Jesus-lovin' West Texas daddy had him shootin' weapons starting when he was eight years old.  Many a Texas eight-year-old has had the same experience.  One of my old friends from West Texas high school days who recently died had this experience.  His mother and father were totally enmeshed in the arms of their Jesus; yet, this family had a private arsenal of multiple rifles and two handguns.  I myself on many occasions joined this guy and his brother going out on the backroads along the Callahan Divide shooting their rifles at jackrabbits.  (These brothers were also into collecting snakes, especially rattlesnakes, of which there were plenty in the wilds around our hometown.) The first time I ever shot a pistol was with this guy.

Later, in the U.S. Army I learned to shoot many weapons, the M-1 and M-15 rifles, a Browning Automatic Rifle (a BAR), a submachinegun, a .44 caliber pistol (a sidearm), and as an artillery officer I got to shoot really big guns, Howitzers; I was even involved with shooting off a Long John missile down at Fort Hood, Texas, one disgustingly hot summer.  Since the army, I've never owned any weapon.  My dad rather than teaching me how to hunt taught me that usually if you owned a gun you were going to have to use a gun.  My dad's choice of self-protecting weapon was the butcher knife, which was also my mother's favorite weapon.  I've seen both my parents wielding butcher knives, my dad attacking a pestering IRS agent with one and my mother actually poised with one in defense against her attacking sister.

So good ole gun-toting hero Chris Kyle was taught by his Christ-lovin' daddy and the U.S. Navy to kill or be killed and Chris killed a lot with his superrifles (over 200 kills in Iraq) only ironically he and one of his guntoting buddies were killed by another military-trained guntoter at a shooting range in Erath County, Texas (right up the road from my hometown).

"[Eddie] Routh, 25, of Lancaster, Texas, was arraigned Saturday, February 2, 2013, on two counts of capital murder, according to Sgt. Lonny Haschel of the Texas Department of Public Safety. He was taken to the Erath County Jail for holding under a $3 million bond.[22] A friend of Kyle said the suspect was a veteran struggling with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[23] Kyle and Littlefield had purportedly taken Routh to the gun range in an effort to help him with his PTSD." [I assume such therapy for military guys with PTSD backfired on Chris and his pal.]

Two Artists I Never Heard of But Are Now a Couple of My Favorites
The first artist, Clovis Trouille, I was introduced to by my old friend, L Hat, of fame.  From comes this dude's story:
Clovis Trouille, Religieuse italienne fumant la cigarette, 1944

"Camille Clovis Trouille (1889-1975) was born in La Fère, in the Picardie region of France. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts of Amiens from 1905 to 1910. With a name worthy of a pseudonym (to have "la trouille" means to be afraid in French), Trouille paddled upstream in a river of Christian morality, military patriotism and bourgeois ostentation with lightness, irony and obstinacy. His erotic and gaudy work delivered a slap in the face to both religion and war (Trouille considered war to be an "infamy", one which had permanently traumatised him). He was drafted on 2 August, 1914. The First World War made him an anarchist and his painting followed suit."

More! More! The Daily Growler Art Lovers Cried

"Trouille always wanted to stay independent. He never wanted to depend on galleries. Almost all of his life, he worked as a restorer and decorator of department store mannequins in Paris. He only painted in his spare time. His work consists of only a hundred paintings which he reworked, sometimes for years. Trouille would probably be surprised to see that his paintings are currently trading between 250.000 and 300.000 Euros.

Clovis Trouille, My Funeral, 1940

"Fascinated or amused by his own mortality Trouille painted a triptych of paintings entitled: My Funeral, (above), My Burial, (1945) and My Grave (below). My Funeral displays a magnificent carriage passing through the streets of Paris followed by a parade of bishops, soldiers and dogs.

Clovis Trouille, My Grave, 1947

"In My Grave ghostly women lurk around the cemetery wearing bats as loin cloths, on the gravestone we can read "Here lies the artist who lost his life while earning it". At the top of the vault the face of Jesus Christ appears. Clovis Trouille laughed to the very end. He died on 24 September 1975 in Paris. You can see more of Trouille's work here."

And How About Alden Mason...Ever Heard of HIm?

Alden Mason (1919 - February 6, 2013) was a widely traveled American painter, particularly noted for his controversial murals. 

"Low Tide"

Mason taught at the University of Washington...he was a native of Seattle.  The fact that I never heard of the man until I read of his dying (on February 6th) doesn't mean he wasn't known.  There are so many great individualist artists that don't get known in this world.

"Whatsit" from 2009

for The Daily Growler 

The Art of (my old friend) Will Shuster:
 "Tio Vivo"

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