Friday, June 30, 2006

All This Muck, but Not Many Rakes

Japs Invade Graceland
Elvis, he's buried with his head in a toilet, isn't he? is so proud today, oh boy is he. Georgie Porgie, our "president," is planning a big thrill for the visiting Japanese keiko-muckity-muck (don't most Japanese prime ministers trot in and out of office at a pretty rapid pace--most of them having to leave office due to money and whore scandals?). Our Great Decider is taking Prime Minister ______________ (fill in with whatever Japanese prime minister's name you've ever known; mine's Prime Minister Tojo, but my memory goes back a long way and that's why I hate my memory) to Graceland! Hot diggity damn! "Hey, Georgie Porgie," we growl from the bushes, "why don't you take him to the Atomic Bomb Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and show him what we used to decimate Hiroshima and Nagasaki?" On the other hand, Graceland's probably the best place to take him. Elvis is really really big on the karaoke ("empty orchestra" in Japanese) circuit in Tokyo. That'll be a great photo-op for Georgie Porgie; maybe he can duet up with Prime Minister Tojo Jr. on "You Ain't Nothin' but a Hound Dog"*--maybe play a little air guitar with the PM or do one of those Colon Powell "hootchie" dances that the big general did in Indonesia back in his more glorious days before he disgraced himself going before the UN with schoolkid drawings of the site where Saddam Hussein kept his massive collection of weapons of mass destruction. [I suppose you've read by now that a general in Iraq says he's found what "may be" evidence of Saddam's WMDs (that's what they call them now in that land of holy acronyms)--What's that? we ask, naked photos of the twins, like Saddam's sons had in their porn palace? Saddam tried to kill Georgie Porgie's wimpy old Pappy, so Georgie Porgie killed Saddam's ne'er-do-well sons, who were simply growing up living off their dad's oil money same as Georgie Porgie had done afore he was appointed our "president").]

*"Hound Dog," was written for Willie Mae Thornton by Leiber and Stoller when she was part of Johnny Otis's touring blues revue. Johnny brought her to New York City and into the Apollo; the first night Willie Mae Thornton stole the show, got her nickname "Big Mama" when an Apollo audience member shouted it out after she finished her set, and got signed by the Apollo as the headline act for the next night. The most she ever got for "Hound Dog" was $500. Willie Mae moved to Houston where she was signed by Don Robey for his Peacock label. Down in Houston she met Larry Williams the great bandleader, pianist, songwriter (he wrote "Slow Down" a tune the Beatles covered and now most Beatlemaniacs think they wrote it. "Larry who?" they asked). While in Houston she wrote "Ball and Chain," which Big Brother of the Holding Company turned into a slow blues for his lead singer, Janis Joplin, a white Bessie Smith impersonator from Port Arthur, Texas, same place Johnny Winter's from, who made a hit out of it. Big Mama made it a hit in the black community, but she never got a red cent from Janis Joplin's rip-off. Willie Mae died out in L.A. in 1984 of a heart attack, still singing the blues. Big Mama also played the harmonica and the drums.

Meanwhile, Back at Graceland
So while Georgie Porgie, our "president," is karaoke-ing around with PM Tojo Jr. at Graceland, then I suppose it's over to the ranch at Crawford for some We the People-paid-for barbecue, the world goes on burning and being flooded and thousands of people are dying every damn day from intrusive killing operations from some outsider assholes bringing searching and destroying into their lives, like Israel willing to blow the Gaza Palestinians--don't ask yourself why those Palestinians are in Gaza in the first place--to several different kingdoms come to make a point about "you don't kidnap an Israeli soldier goddammit and get away with it." Nationalism. What stupidity to think you are a "Chosen People"--and don't come down too hard on the poor stupid Israelis, the Islamics believe they're "chosen," too, and so do the ignorant Protestant and Catholic Christians believe they're "chosen." Why these Amurican Christian assholes are so "chosen," they're just one day gonna disappear, "be gathered up," as they like to trumpet it, leaving us Mother Nature lovers BEHIND. "OH, GODS, I PRAY, AND I PRAY TO ALL YOU HOLY BASTARDS, PLEASE TAKE YOUR TRUE BELIEVERS AWAY FROM THIS BEAUTIFUL EARTH SO WE MOTHER NATURE LOVERS CAN MAYBE DEVELOP A PEACEFUL COALITION IN WHICH WE THE EARTH'S PEOPLE ARE OUR OWN GODS, ALREADY LIVING IN OUR MANSIONS IN OUR HEAVEN. SO, ALLAH, PLEASE TAKE ALL YOUR JIHAD-FAITHFUL UP TO THAT BIG WHOREHOUSE IN THE SKY SO THEY CAN HAVE THEIR 10,000 VIRGINS AND ALL THE BUDWEISER THEY CAN DRINK. AND JEHOVAH, OH PLEASE, JEHOVAH, TAKE ALL THESE THY CHILDREN HOME, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU...LEAVE US BEHIND QUICK, ALL YOU GODS, LEAVE US BEHIND TO ENJOY THIS OUR ONLY PARADISE."

And that's my war prayer. And if you'd like to read Mark Twain's classic, go here:

Of course, "leaving us behind" is not the objective of these religious A-holes. They want to take us with them. See? That's the whole purpose of these "left behind" pieces of crap books, not to actually leave us crusty old atheists (and I speak for myself) behind, but to scare the bejesus out of us so we'll belly up to their pig troughs and eat of their Savior's holy slop, which to these geeks is his flesh and blood. God, that sounds disgusting to me. See? Conversion. That's their goal. It won't work with me because I'm not superstitious. Horror movies don't scare me. Reality scares me and what's so frightening about the left behind books is not their message but that they sell so well. They are selling better than the Christian "words of Jehovah" book.

I've been singing Gershwin's great old song, "It Ain't Necessarily So," [from Porgie and Bess] all morning. Yet, another morning of the same old bullshit reality I faced successfully yesterday.

It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
De things dat yo' liable to read in de Bible
It ain't necessarily so

/ Am D Am D / Am D Am - / D7 Eb7 D7 Eb7 / B7 E7 Am - /

Li'l David was small but oh my
Li'l David was small but oh my
He fought big Goliath who lay down and dieth
Li'l David was small but oh my

Oh Jonah he lived in de whale
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale
For he made his home in dat fish's abdomen
Oh Jonah he lived in de whale

Li'l Moses was found in a stream
Li'l Moses was found in a stream
He floated on water 'til ole Pharaoh's daughter
She fished him she says from that stream

It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
Dey tell all you chillun de debble's a villain
But 'taint necessarily so

To get into Hebben don' snap for a sebben
Live clean, don' have no fault
Oh I takes dat gospel whenever it's pos'ble
But wid a grain of salt

/ F7 Bb - - / Bm7 E7 A6 A7 / D7 - G G6 / B7sus4 B7 D7 - /

Methus'lah lived nine hundred years
Methus'lah lived nine hundred years
But who calls dat livin' when no gal'll give in
To no man what's nine hundred years

I'm preachin' dis sermon to show
It ain't nessa, ain't nessa
Ain't nessa, ain't nessa
It ain't necessarily so

/ Dm6 - A E7 / D C#7 / F#m Dm6 / A E7 A - /

Meanwhile, Back Where It Is So
So while Georgie Porgie and Tojo Jr. are whompin' it up in Elvis's African Room at Graceland, some Palestinians, Baghdadians (guaranteed), East Timorans, Sri Lankans, Sudanese, Congolese, Ugandians, other Iraqis (guaranteed), Afghanis (guaranteed), Amurican soldiers (guaranteed), Iraqi insurgents (you catch my drift)...WILL BE BLOWN TO BITS as our truly "other" world "president" photo-ops his way merrily down the path of total destruction with his Japanese sidekick. "Oh, by the way, Mr. "President,' show Prime Minister Tojo Jr. the sacred toilet bowl in which Elvis died pitching up his haunted guts after overdosing on a couple'a handfuls of Doctor Nick's special little pills. I think it's one of those toilets that plays the 'Star Strangled Banner' when you take a crap in it." "Damn, now I see; you don't really have to stand up when that damn thing plays that damn song...what's it called again? A man could get a mess of shit on him if that damn thing went off during a good old-fashioned crap, right, Tojo?" the "president" goofily chirped.

Did you see where Georgie Porgie, our "president," is going to defy his own handpicked Supreme Court? Yeah, he's gonna hold them Gitmo trials anyway, fuck those phony judges.

Are these distractions being foisted on us by Karl "Goebbels" Rove as the "progressive" media wants us to believe? I don't view it that way; I think these fools are like chickens with their heads cut off? I don't think they know their asses from holes in the ground. Their bullshit Neo-Con world enslavement isn't working the way they intellectualized it; they couldn't shoot their wads with it and now they're broke, remember?; they're wimps just like Pappy Bush. Another bunch of wimps trying to rule us.

I was looking at the broadest definition of "liberal" and as broad a definition of "progressive" I could find and damn liberal is a mean damn word. One of the meanings of liberal is "to be of free birth." Wow. That means as a liberal I can never be a slave. I'm a Liberal, god-dammit; a f-ing LIBERAL. Screw being a progressive; hell a staunch Bircher Conservative can be a progressive, but he can't be a broadly defined Liberal no matter what. Progressives will never beat the Bush Babies. See, the Bush Babies, they ain't nothin' but demagogs with a self-aggrandizement-based purpose. Their purpose: the conquest of the world's natural resources and then turn the world into a Plantation with them playing all the Mr. Charlie roles. [Hillary was right, but coward that she is, she had to apologize for it because the Repugnicans, who are out-and-out racists, even the black Repugnicans--don't you bet Clarence Thomas hates his blackness?--that's why he has his nose up the white man's ass, the true hole of his birth--claimed she was using "the race card," which is a no-no in good clean fun Amurican politicking.]

I might add the fight to save the Internet is not over. The Repugnicans seem to be determined to wreck it; they are belly-to-belly with the big-buck-bribing Telecoms, taking their bucks greedily without any thought to the consequences. We the People's Internet is being given to a handful of telecommunications giants, all of them remerging into that original old Ma Bell monopoly. It's time for some trust bustin', but I don't see it coming any time soon. We could save this country if we'd simply tax all the churches. Then take some of our economy back by taxing extreme wealth. Kings have come about in our human past when the princes, priests, property owners, controllers of the wealth get together and pick one of their own to make divine and thereby monarchical rulings always in their favor and at a hell of an expense to the proletariat. I don't want a fool like Jolly Prince Charlie ruling me, do you? Or old fool Nazi-relative Queen "Grandma-looking" Elizabeth, a scotch drinker, ruling me either, do you? Or how about Prince Ranier ruling your ass? How about a whore movie star as your Queen? Or how about the monarch of Brunei ruling you? Check out all the kings in the world and decide which kind of king you want ruling your ass. How about Prince Harry in his Nazi uniform--"Hell, I found that in dad's closet; he said it belonged to one of granny's uncles"--ruling you? Think about it. Not me; that's not what I want. If Georgie Porgie is going to be my monarch, F-it, I'm headin' for the toolies of Canada...oh, shit, those fools still give knee-bowing honor to that F-ing old bag Queen of the Commonwealth.

"Off with their heads!"

for The Daily Growler

From BuzzFlash, a Pretty Damn Good Editorial (It's Gotta Lotta Growl in It)

Marvbackbiter's Sports Extra
Marv Backbiter was last seen getting aboard a train headed for Morristown, New Jersey; there's a bar out there right across from the train station, so we suppose that's where Marv is hunkered low on a high barstool out there, slinkily arched over the bar asking the Irish bartender the race results from Monmouth, basking in the glory of his having been yeah verily almost yeah verily perfect in his World Cup picks for today's matches:

Marv said:

Germany and Argentina was a tough one; he predicted it would result in a shootout; which it did; 1-1 deadlocked through the two regular time periods, then through a couple of extratime periods, finally ENDING IN A SHOOTOUT, which Germany won 4-2. The Germany goalkeeper stopped two very weak kicks of Argentina's. So Argentina is gone and Germany moves on.

Italy and the Ukraine--Marv flat out said Italy was lucky and said it would end 2 - 0. OK, Marv missed was Italy 3 Ukraine, come on, sports fans, that's pretty damn good. We're giving Marv a 100% rating right this minute. Marv Backbiter deserves as many black and tans as he can chug-a-lug out in there in those ancient woods of western New Jersey.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Catchin' Up on da-Noozzzz

AMLO Wins en Mexico
Watch out! We may be going to war with Mexico any day now if the new politics brewing down there isn't stopped some other way, like by maybe some CIA-led assassinations. There ya go; now you're thinkin' patriotic Amurican. Wave that "Old Whory" high wide and handsome--what color's the most important in that flag? Red...blah...and blue, right? Right wing, right? We're intoxicated this morning on the hair of the dog that bit our asses last night as we celebrated Obrador's victory south of the border. Viva Obrador! He's talkin' old-time Mexican Revolutionary palabras; like running the ricos out of politics, like billionaire Vincente "Coke & Cola" Fox; tightening foreign trade in favor of the Mexican farmers and workers; and creating a government-sponsored works project program to put the below-poverty peones to work.

Mexico's a big country--and we mean "big" like mucho grande, as well as "grand" "magnificent"--but Mexico really is a big country, a "Mister Five by Five" of a country, covering thousands and thousands of square miles of all terrains, all climates. It's a rich country, too; from its oil production alone it is wealthy. It also has thousands upon thousands of acres of lava-fertile soil, lush jungles, thundering high mountain ranges, big-bad deserts. Mexico is at least as rich as the U.S. if it wanted to be; if it could ever get unified. Obrador, a Tabascan from the Zapatista farmlands of Estado Tabasco. Those people are Mayan, Toltec, ancient, from brilliant societies of engineers, astronomers, city planners, artisans, but who were ruled by men named after animals who put their power in the hands of their priesthood, who always thirst for war and captives and slaves and more fresh extracted enemy hearts (the ancient organ of life and thus the source of human strength and spirit) to be offered up in burnt offerings to their wrathfully raging human-animal-hybrid gods and goddesses--especially the God of Rain, the god they had to have to survive. And then the Great White Father came along...and it has taken the Mexican people many revolutions and many political uprisings and many wars to hang on to their position in Norteamerica against the missionary wrath of the invading White Devils (Cortez, that tricky bastard, looked like the spittin' image of the Aztec messiah, that great white man that would one day descend from the clouds on a white horse--doesn't this story sound familar, all ye Christians? Wouldn't you know Cortez's holy men knew all the Aztec lore and stuff and wouldn't you also know, Cortez always demanded a big white horse as his Pegasus).

Atrios Is Given Credit for Warning Against John Murtha's Conservatism
God-dammit, The Daily Growler's been warning about putting Dumbocratic hopes in the hands of ex-army vets like Murtha for weeks now. We've been especially picking on Murtha as a nutjob and not to be trusted simply because he's an ex-Nam vet. Now Atrios comes along and publishes Murtha's Congressional voting record and progressive rating and shows Murtha is more Republican than he is Democrat and we're reading it with vitriolic sneer but digging it, too; he's gung ho on all NRA issues; he was gung ho for the Iraq War until recently; he was a supporter of the John Birch Society. Plus, he's a Vietnam vet, and we keep harping on that. So, there ya go; listen to the Growler, boys and girls, we're several jumps ahead of the communications majors or the homegrown and hand-rolled boy-wonder bloggers because we live in the NOW.

Supreme Court OKs Georgia's New Poll Tax
Hey, Georgia black folks, here comes the poll tax back except this time it's in the form of an ID. Yep, you've gotta have an ID, a special voter's ID on top of all the other ID you now must carry in this land of the "nothin' free," to vote down in the Old Time Plantation state of Jawjah; and I'm sorry to say the patriarchical side of my family comes from the beautiful old city of Savannah, Gee A; yep, I'm downright ashamed of having Jawjah roots. The ruling whites in the great backwards state of Georgia have to stop these uppity black folks from votin' too heavy like. You know Georgia is a black state now population-wise, so the white legislators came up with this one, don't you just know it? "We'll make it difficult for them niggrows to vote, ya see. Them dumb peckers'll never know what we puttin' on these heah voter ID cards; we gonna make 'em all felons maybe. Hot damn, it's just like the old poll tax days; we gonna keep the niggrows in thar place, especially that uppity Cynthia McKinney negress overthere in Atlanta."

Also, the Supreme Court Has Upheld State Political Parties the right to Redistrict the Hell Out of a State All They Want--Of Course, Dumbocrats Can Do It, Too.
I say, Let's impeach the Supreme Court along with Georgie Porgie, our "president," and his whole crooked administration. Let's send 'em all to Guantanamo!

Senate Democrat Has Successfully Momentarily Put a Hold on the New Communications Bill That Would Allow the Telecom Oligarchy to Rule Over the Internet Just Passed by the Commerce Committee
A Bell-South executive says he wants to turn the Internet into a "Pay-for-performance marketplace," whatever the hell that means. A Verizon genius says he wants to take away "Google's free lunch." Oh they can't stand to see Google making millions; or eBay making millions and they have no control over it. That's what's pissing them off. Why don't Yahoo and Google combine and start their own fiber optic system?--hell, start their own telephone and cable companies; have Bill, Melinda, and Warren buy We the People our own satellite and put the Internet on that; F the telecoms.

Such a shame how easily the wealthy of this world are taking it over; buying up all the land, the air rights, the water rights, the minerals...and I am sure they are working right now on charging us some way for breathing. "Coca Cola announced today that it has signed an agreement with Allah, Jehovah, Zeus, Baal, and the Devil (Zoroaster and the Buddha were the only holdouts) and now has all rights to the air we all breathe." "Coca Cola proudly announced today its new special Classic Coke air container, a 25-pound backpack-carryable tank of pure Rocky Mountain air that will last most of a day and will sell for $5 a pound; only $75 for a full tank. All tanks can be refilled quickly at any Coca Cola air station located conveniently in all Starbuck's around most cities in the US and hopefully soon the world. A Coca Cola spokesperson said, 'That's pretty damn cheap when you consider what Pepsi's going to charge for their tanks of air. It's a great day for Coca Cola; we're breathing a lot easier now that we control 75% of the air people will breathe from now on.'"

Corporate ingenuity will be the death of us all.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Still Going Disastrously
That's about all that needs to be said on the subject of these illegal wars on countries that did nothing to us. All Afghanistan did to us, and it is the "justified" war, though it's as illegal as the Iraqi farce, was harbor Bin Laden, supposedly--or, let's see, I believe it's officially stated "they sheltered Al Qaeda and allowed its training camps within their borders." That's what the Taliban did to us; they allowed Al Qaeda to train there. We told them to kick all Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan--of course we had put Al Qaeda there when we backed the Taliban against the Russkies, then the Soviets, now the Russian Federation. So the Taliban told us to go to hell and that's why we attack them. There were no Afghanis involved in 9/11. There were not any Talibanis involved in 9/11. Hell, like I've said, Bin Laden denied responsibility for 9/11 when he was first accused of masterminding it. Also, do you recall how fast the CIA identified all the Saudis involved in 9/11; they had their names and then their photos it seems like to me pretty damn fast. That's like in Dallas after the Kennedy Assassination when they tagged Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone shooter in what seemed like a matter of hours. [Let me remind you again that the powers that be flew all the Bin Ladens out of this country while the World Trade Center was still smoking out its toxic filth upon us all--even you folks on the West Coast, dig? Why there wasn't a damn Bin Laden left in this country--most Osama's brothers, sisters, and in-laws--hell, they all knew him well enough to call him Osama--Osama was at several of their weddings--and this gaggle of Bin Ladens, weren't there over 20 of them? were back home in Riyahd even before Georgie Porgie, our "president," had finished reading My Pet Goat to those school kiddies in Florida; that's almost thirty minutes before they jetted his cowardly ass out to Des Moines, Iowa, to the big superSac base out there. That son of a bitch didn't want to be anywhere near Washington, District of Corruption, that day. Unka Dick was already in his bunker when 9/11 happened and ain't that lucky of him? Did he had prior knowledge, I wonder?

I just thought, maybe the Bin Ladens were interrogated and maybe they gave up the identities and photos of their operatives in return for safe passage outta here. Who the hell knows?

As I was hallucinating about the Bin Ladens just NOW, nine Iraqis were just blown sky high at a funeral they were attending in Baghdad. You know? That was going on as I was privileged enough to be able to while away my time typing on this stupid blog. I've seen some sneaked out photos of lovely Baghdad these days and every block of that once fair city now looks like the streets in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans--a disastrous mess. How snobbish of us to be in that country devastating it--simply because our national skin is white and our national religion is anti-Islamic Christianity, which is also anti-Zionist, too, but that's conveniently overlooked when it comes to approving of every mess Israel gets us into, like how they are totally fucking up their peace with Palestine by now, it looks like, decimating Gaza over the execution of one young Israeli soldier who shouldn't have been in Gaza messin' around in the first place. F these son of a bitchin' countries whose only recourse against people fighting for their stinking rights is devastation--death and devastation. Hamas wants Israel devastated and Israel wants Gaza devastated. All hail stupid Nationalism, especially when it's combined with a stupid religion that makes these people believe they are God's or Allah's chosen people. Fuck all you all Chosen People; I choose you to just up and get the hell off the planet you hate it so much. Why do atheists have to endure such barbaric ignorance? That's a damn good question there, folks.

Tis a very cruel and unfair world we live in. The only guaranteed right we all have in common is the right to DIE and unless you commit suicide, you have no choices in how you want to die either. The corporations will decide that. Wait until you get diagnosed with cancer and you haven't got a sou left in the till. Death ain't gonna be easy; not in this country. It might be easier over in Iraq. Wouldn't that be funny; give yourself up to the Iraqis and say you're looking for political asylum.

for The Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Sports Extra With Marv Backbiter
OK, we're getting down to the soccer nitty-gitty here now, going into the quarterfinals and a big one coming up tomorrow, Germany vs. Argentina--old buddies meet for a shot at the Copa Mundial. Italy lucked out, they play the Ukraine who are still in it. Jesus, why? Portugal has a good shot at it against England, who is the luckiest team in the tournement. Brasil gets France--that might be a good one. So let's see, here goes my predictions:

Germany-Argentina--a close one; could be decided with a shootout.
Portugal over England by 1.
Italy over the Ukraine by 2.
Brasil over France by 1 or this one, too, could be decided by a shootout. I was really impressed with France beating Spain.

We shall see.

for The Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Quote of the Day
"Consideration for the dead, who no longer need it, is dearer to us than the truth, and certainly, for most of us, is dearer also than consideration for the living." Sigmund Freud, On Creativity and Unconscious, Harper Torchbook, 1958.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Time Waits for No Man

Carl Sandburg wrote:

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.

I always liked Carl Sandburg's stuff. I used to have a record of him reading his poems and I loved it. He considered himself a true American balladeer and he lived bohemianally well in the North Carolina hills playing his guitar and singing ancient American songs.

American white poets were troubadours. Isn't it a shame I have to stress that Carl Sandburg is a white poet; but I have to because though the feeling of poetry knows only its own color and comes to fruition in the plain ole human solar plexus, though the poetry is the same. the language, the rhythm, and the meaning in white poetry is different from that of black poetry. Carl Sandburg probably wasn't intellectually a racist--certainly not as a poet, but he probably was a racist. See what I mean?

Vachel Lindsay, for instance, is a very wonderful early American white poet, a troubadour of the ilk I love and imitate, a tragic entertainer who would act out his poems on stages and he would emote them with the thunderous virtuosity of Franz Liszt playing his own B-mol Sonata. But his most famous poem is his interpretation of the black man's race and how it's only hope is the black interpretation of the white man's "saving" religion--and I can see how a black man wouldn't really be interested in it; it's so wrongly white yet it's a good poem as far as I'm concerned, though I can hear a black poet tearing it to shreds. Was Vachel Lindsay a racist?

Here's the final section of Lindsay's The Congo: a Study of the Negro Race. The first two sections delve into what makes blacks "savages" and he finds that's due to the echoes of the Congo still ravaging their blood with its ancient rhythms and voodoo ululations and the devil drums that talk that talk from out of their aboriginal past. The second section describes the "negro's" "high spirits" and this Congo mysticism flooding into them from out of their pasts and how that is interpreted in America in dice shooting, wild juba dancing, and the calling in of witch doctors and ancient potions and chants to put a hoodoo on us all. But then comes Vachel's salvation for the black man: his new American religion; how he turned his jungle voodoo into the Holy Spirit of the white man's religion, his only hope:


A good old negro in the slums of the town
Heavy bass. With a literal imitation of camp-meeting racket, and trance.
Preached at a sister for her velvet gown.
Howled at a brother for his low-down ways,
His prowling, guzzling, sneak-thief days.
Beat on the Bible till he wore it out
Starting the jubilee revival shout.
And some had visions, as they stood on chairs,
And sang of Jacob, and the golden stairs,
And they all repented, a thousand strong
From their stupor and savagery and sin and wrong
And slammed with their hymn books till they shook the room
With "glory, glory, glory,"
And "Boom, boom, BOOM."
Exactly as in the first section. Begin with terror and power, end with joy.
And the gray sky opened like a new-rent veil
And showed the Apostles with their coats of mail.
In bright white steel they were seated round
And their fire-eyes watched where the Congo wound.
And the twelve Apostles, from their thrones on high
Thrilled all the forest with their heavenly cry: --
"Mumbo-Jumbo will die in the jungle;
Sung to the tune of "Hark, ten thousand harps and voices."
Never again will he hoo-doo you,
Never again will he hoo-doo you."

Then along that river, a thousand miles
With growing deliberation and joy.
The vine-snared trees fell down in files.
Pioneer angels cleared the way
For a Congo paradise, for babes at play,
For sacred capitals, for temples clean.
Gone were the skull-faced witch-men lean.
There, where the wild ghost-gods had wailed
In a rather high key -- as delicately as possible.
A million boats of the angels sailed
With oars of silver, and prows of blue
And silken pennants that the sun shone through.
'Twas a land transfigured, 'twas a new creation.
Oh, a singing wind swept the negro nation
And on through the backwoods clearing flew: --
"Mumbo-Jumbo is dead in the jungle.
To the tune of "Hark, ten thousand harps and voices."
Never again will he hoo-doo you.
Never again will he hoo-doo you.

Redeemed were the forests, the beasts and the men,
And only the vulture dared again
By the far, lone mountains of the moon
To cry, in the silence, the Congo tune: --
"Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you,
Dying down into a penetrating, terrified whisper.
"Mumbo-Jumbo will hoo-doo you.
Mumbo ... Jumbo ... will ... hoo-doo ... you."

Sounds like Vachel wants to send all these new-born blacks back to the Congo (and Old Honest Abe "Ship 'Em Back to Africa" Lincoln was one of Vachel's heroes) now that they all turned their voodoo savagery into the purety and whiteness of Christian worship, except for those damn vultures who keep the old ways alive from under the pure white veil of the new black hymns you can still hear their ancestry chanting, "Mumbo-jumbo will hoo-doo you./Mumbo...Jumbo...will...hoo-doo... you."

When I was young, I, and a lot of my generation, the "forgotten" generation I call us, had a hope going around that one day we would be a "unified" world, meaning a unisex world with its own unisex styles and fashions and appliances and hairstyles--Unisex hair salons actually came into existence just after Kennedy's New Frontier ideas sexed us up in terms of a coming peaceful unified world, which also meant to us a "tan" world. A mixing of colors into a unified world of tan people wearing unisex clothes (they were very NASA in their designs--like the kind of clothes Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Uruhu, the Star Trek characters wore). That's what my generation envisioned, at least those of us who felt an urge in our solar plexuses to become troubadours, a collective of storytellers and imaginative dramatists improvising on the spot an art that impressionistically helped us find a new vision of the panorama of views we live within and songs that can be sung in any language with any accent, a mixing of cultures into a spheric culture. Our music included the songs of whales as well as the sounds of stars singing far out into outer space, those outbacks that border on that Great Chaos of what was behind the Big Bang.

In Sociology in my day, we read a book by Theodore Dobzhansky (with LC Dunn) called Heredity, Race, and Society, published by the great New American Library in 1946. In that book, Dobzhansky, a brilliant biologist-geneticist, had originally studied the fruit fly in terms of evolutionary biology, he being a Darwinist and famous for his statement "You can't explain anything in biology without evolution." In this wonderful little volume, Dobzshansky and Dunn show scientifically that "race" is mythology and not fact, proving to me "beyond the shadow of any doubt" through genetics that judging people on the basis of their skin color is a total bunch of hooey straight out of our various myth systems (see Sir James Fraser's The Golden Bough) and how skin color was a natural evolutionary phenomenon and the color of a human being's skin had nothing whatsoever to do with his humanness; under the skin we are all the same people. And according to the African Origin theories, and I see nothing wrong with them, we are all Africans.

What a shame white people chose skin color as symbolic proof of their superiority. But it seems our cultures are based on skin color; therefore, our musics, our paintings, our poetry, our novels, our folkness, our personas are based on skin color, too. It's gotten so unintelligent it now determines even the way we speak--black folks speak like the skin signals, like black folks. Whites speak and read and act like whites. When they try to act like blacks they look like fools; simply because their skin is white. God-damn, we are judged throughout our lives here in white America by the color of our skin. Yes, if you are white right now you are privileged right off the bat. I can understand how a black person does not want to act like a white person. Nor do Mexicans, who are brown people. Nor do yellow people. Nor do red people. They want to be themselves not based on skin color; except, they can't, we can't, because all of our white thinking and history is all based on skin color. Then next comes religion. Ain't that a shame, Fats Domino used to sing, "and you're the one to blame." I don't see any way out of this skin division labyrinth. I really don't.

Not right now anyway. Georgie Porgie, our "president," I guaran-damn-tee you, is a racist.

the Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Quote of the Day:
"I have with much practice been able to keep five, and even six, rhythms going in mind at once, so that I can hear each one naturally by leaning toward it, changing the ear in each measure--and I think this is the more natural way of hearing and learning the use of and feeling for rhythms, than by writing them and playing from them on paper, which shows the exact position of each note in relation to each other, in the eye. The way I did it was to take, for instance, in the left hand a 5--with the left foot, beat a 2--with the right foot, beat a 3--with the right hand, play an 11--and sing a 7. Various other rhythms can be held in the mind in this way, and after a while they become as natural as it is for Toscanini to beat down-left-right-up as evenly as a metronome for two hours steadily, and do it nice, with the ladies all tapping time with their feet..." Charles Ives, from From the Steeples and Mountains, Donald Wooldridge, Knopf, 1974.

The Daily Growler finds the above very American; very nonracial, though perhaps our hero Charles Ives may have been a racist, but we don't like to think so. His actions and music speak louder than his white skin. His wife, Harmony Ives, was a founder and patron of the Fresh Air Fund of New York which sent (and still exists, we think) families from the ghettoes of NYC on two-week paid vacations in the country, conceiving the idea from her volunteering at the Henry Street Settlement. Through her Fresh Air Fund, Harmony Ives met the slum-dwelling, impoverished, sweatshop-working Osburne family and their youngest child, 15-month-old Edith, "weakly and dark eyed from squatting beside her mother for 10 hours a day in an ill-lit New York sweatshop." Later, the Iveses convinced the Osburnes to allow them to adopt Edith, and on October 18, 1916, Harmony wrote in her diary, "Edith is now our own." Ives had a daughter. Still, Ives might have been a racist if judged by today's terms. He certainly lived in a society that only had blacks as servants, though in New York City during those years black music was certainly heard all around from the minstrels, vaudeville, and certainly the stories of the many white cruelties against freed blacks going on in the "emancipated" South and even in New York City--"Another black man was lynched today" was in the news every day in those days--except, Ives very seldom read newspapers. But he knew. He knew the music of Stephen Foster who was very sympathetic to the Abolitionist Movement. Hell, Charles Ives's father when he was 16 "finds Foster outside a Harlem bar, late at night, a derelict, penniless alcoholic. No one knew what he was doing so far from his rooming house on the Bowery. George Ives helped him to a nearby house and never saw him again." You've got to know Charles Ives grew up knowing all about Stephen Foster his life and certainly his music. We like to think, in our white-guilt-tripping way, Ives was not a racist, though, maybe he was just because he was a white American. That's a shame, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Madness and Survival, the Continuing Drama

Relief Is Just a Swallow Away
I saw a swallow this morning. I kid you not. On the top of the water tank on the roof of the building I look across when I look out my bay window toward downtown Manhattan, the New York Harbor, and on a clear day all the way out into the pelagic of the mountainous Atlantic O'Cean, ridin' high in the ocean sky. A damn swallow. I lived in California once and I don't ever remember seeing any swallows, not even around Capistrano, and I went there once half-bombed on Burgermeisters, ah those little Burgies, wonderful moments in highway beer drinking, heading down the Ortega Highway to lovely Tijuana mia, for some fiesta tiempo--I was into bullfights in those days (remember, I once was a Hemingway idolizer) and the Tijuana Plaza del Toros was an old beauty from back in the revolutionary days of Mexico Viejo, which we learned to call it in Tejas because of New Mexico being just across a desert prairie from my hometown, closer to us than Mexico Viejo, which was 500 miles south of me then and existed mostly in my "one day I'll go to Mexico" dreams.

So I saw a swallow, OK, it could have been a damn swift, I'm not a birder--my only ornithological knowledge is of the Yardbird, a Bird of marvelous flights of virtuosic high grooves whose song swings a mood from down to the upward mobility of a crescendo-ing right through the big pearly gates of Utter Chaos, my fabulous Heaven. Chaos makes me special, don't you see? So I saw a swallow and then I got a phone call from a woman with a thick Chinese accent who informed me I was going to receive a lump-sum check in about two weeks I had no idea was coming my way. Praise the Lard, I hollered in my best glory hallelujah voice--Hot damn, I was saved from the pits of eating scrapple in the Apple and selling lead pencils and rotten Hunt's Point fruit at subway entrances, maybe doing my one-man band thing, too--BUT NOT NOW! I throw the BIRD at the hellhounds--and I love the NOW,`like old Mose Allison once sang, "I love the NOW I'm in and like the NOW I love," and don't worry Mose fans (are there any?), to me the NOW is LIFE, so Mose and I are singing about the same thing. It's the only time for me. Right NOW. Right this second. Boom, did you feel it? Time is so much fun when you're saved by a Messiah, mine was Timothy Leary, who was yours? Like this phone call I got from this Asian swallow this morning--she could have been a Moonie, or she could have been Timothy calling from outer space disguising his voice to sound Asian to throw off the CIA who were prone to capture Timothy, throw him in an open pen after they lobotomized him, like the US Army and then his own government did Ezra Pound in Italy after WWII, 'cause old crazy opiated Ez had called old aristocrat Roosevelt Jewsevelt, and ah come on, it's so silly NOW especially with Georgie Porgie, our "president," doing all the murderous inhuman shit he's doing in the name of Capitalist Greed and acting like one of Ez's poem characters. OK, so Ez was bullhorning all this shit over his Italian Mussolini Network radio show, otherwise a jolly show of many weird Ezraisms; so old Ez was a Fascist when it came to money, except he had a different kind of industry in mind in his ABCs of Economics. So, hell, I said, "Tim, is that you, you bastard, calling me on the Royal Telephone? How's the LSD in the Heavens? How's Baba Ram Dass? You seen Abbie around in space? Hell no, I don't know what happened to his kid. The kid and the wife turned American on us and disappeared into the woodwork, Timothy. Remember when you used to trash people's apartments--but you weren't involved in that East Village shit--though you were when you sent that LSD to Ginsberg"--and "trashing" was Abby and Mrs. Abby, wadding up paper, or emptying garbage cans, maybe full of wadded up Yippie manifestos, stuffing some schnook's apartment full of trash while you're high as hell on marijuana and red wine, compacted into the room by human force. And the schnook comes home, open his/her front door and...SHIT, they face a wall of packed trash. [I once knew a writer who was also an artist, hell, he did every damn thing, like me, quite a guy, but one of his best-loved pieces consisted of his collection of Sunday New York Times, about 10,000 of them, and I may not be exaggerating, spread out all over the floor of a gallery, pyramiding up from a solid floor of them to a sun temple-like strange place made out of those damn Sunday Times.]

So I swallow my pride and give a period of grace to that swallow, or maybe it was a swift, I saw this morning; that little split-tailed bugger brought me LUCK, a wheel spun and, YEP, "Youl numbel, Sil, you hit jack's pot." Praise the Lard, or did I shout that already? A happy wolf is still a dangerous wolf.

Have you ever seen a happy wolf, like right after wolfing down several pounds of young female elk meat. I mean they are like children, frisky, full o'pep*, dancing about in glee, maybe stopping and suddenly just F-ing ululating into the cold sweet sky.

* (the second-ever Daily Growler footnote): There used to be an old cereal called Pep. It sponsored a lot of good kid radio dramas back in the yesteryears, like "Hop Harrigan," "Captain Midnight," or "Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy" (white as a white sheet, I might add). "Full O'Pep" was their brand tagline on their packaging and as tags to their spots on the radio. I don't remember Pep being around for television.]

That's the kind of wolf I am today thanks to my sacred swallow, my Asian Savior--oh my God, what if I owe allegiance now to the Reverend Moon? I don't give a damn; I'm like Jerry Foolwell and "Doctor" Billy Graham-Cracker, I'll take your damn money I don't give a shit who you are. It's kinda like Pappy Bush's old Big Daddy and Prescott Bush's Big Daddy, too; they took money from Adolph Hitler; they didn't give a shit. Just think, a part of our "president's" family inheritance is money made off Adolph Hitler. They even made money off the construction of concentration camps! Isn't that amazing that they are now almost domitrix-like trying to rule the world Masochistically? Hey, torture's a form of sexual gratification to these human animal hybrids. Ask that Lyndie stupid dumb hillbilly girl soldier who took the rap for all the Rumsfeld-approved torture at Abu Ghraib and is doing time with her boyfriend who knocked her up while they were on duty in Iraq. That's amazing, too. But to hell with all of that; to hell with politicians; to hell with global warming; to hell with whichever movie stars commited adultery today; to hell with whatever murders happened; to hell with my rent going up in a few months; to hell with the government spying on me--go ahead--my privacy says, "Bring 'em on"; and to hell with POVERTY.

If Warren Buffett and his suck buddy Little Billy Gates can pool their fortunes into tax-free foundations then why can't I pool mine into something?--OK, Bill and Melinda (is she the luckiest woman to ever succeed?) want to end disease in the world--which is caca and anybody knows that who has ever hung around really rich folks for a long time. These foundations are set up so they can shovel a hell of a lot of money into them and it sits there making more money for them, same as the old junk bond scheme that Warren Buffett, that crooked bastard, made his billions off of, and in the meantime they only have to spend a modicum of it on ridding the world of disease--I read where it would only take about 11 billion bucks to give everybody in the world at least basic health care. See what I'm saying? Seeing Bill and Melinda amongst those flies-flying-around-their-heads African children, acting so sweet and goody-goody two shoes, gives me the willies. I know they're full of shit, but it works; I criticized Bill the other day and boy did I get chastised back..."Hey, he's trying to stop disease in the world, man, how can you talk bad about a man who's that benevolent, you bastard?"

It's also creepy to think that Bill, Melinda, and Warren could personally save the whole city of New Orleans out of their pocket change. Bill's concerned about those poor Africans; "Hey, Bill, how about your own country's Africans, you bastard?" Nope, folks, Warren and Bill are simply keeping you and me from grabbing their excessive wealth through taxes and fees and tariffs--like in the old days when Bill's and Warren's fortunes would have been subjected to a 90% income tax on everything they made over a certain amount, say 1 million bucks. That's why Bush baby wants to do away with estate taxes and keeps lowering the capital gains taxes. Shit yeah. You better believe the Bush Family has plenty of foundations and hidden money all over the globe, especially in Dubai, I'll betcha anything. Think about this: if you are head of a nonprofit organization, like Bill and Melinda's Foundation, you get charity breaks on your personal fortune, which is set up outside of the foundations, trust me; plus you can legally give yourself and Melinda a salary out of that foundation money--plus you can buy properties in the name of the foundation...need I go on? Remember, I put in several years at the "accounting" firm involved in the BCCI scandal a few years back--totally forgotten by the media now--and I've worked on white papers explaining to billionaires how they can beat taxes all over the world and set up limited partnerships and pool their fortunes into foundations--it's all to protect their fortunes and has nothing to do with their humanitarian bent, I don't give a shit how sincere these trolley dodgers appear to be. Bill Gates is a master actor; he's cool for a man who controls more wealth than half the nations of the world. Sure, he can act low keyed, like one of us, but that's a scam. Trust me, a man that rich ain't concerned one damn pile of shit about you and me and not even really about those poor suffering souls not only in Africa but all over the world including right down there in the Ninth Ward in New Orleans, Louisiana. Maybe we should give Bill and Melinda all those worthless FEMA trailers...those wealthy assholes could build most of the Ninth Ward people new houses, do abstract and paper work for them to help them save their properties or help them pay up their something of true altruistic value like that. But, oh no, not rich people; they don't think further out than their on ego dimensions. God, rich people just chill my ass. Bill Gates has too much F-ing power and now even more that he's hooked up with Warren Buffett, the Jimmy Buffett of finance. Two Dumbo human beings with that much power have got to gloat more over their own good deeds than they really care about their fellow human beings, especially those starving, diseased, and unfairly punished, horribly mistreated African children, African women (mothers), African fathers, African grandparents, the African land. Hell, men, women, and children are being routinely butchered with machettes and brutally beaten with baseball bats just sometimes out of suddenly wanting to kill a whole family who you've otherwise lived peacefully with for years--that's what's going on in some of those African countries Bill, Melinda, and Warren are going to curb diseases in--so you stop tuberculosis in Africa, you still haven't solved the main problem with Africa, the fact that it's having its wealth stolen right out from under it even as Bill and Melinda are overthere photo-opting with the kids with the flies flying perpetually around their heads. Did anybody ever think Bill sees all those Africans he's saving from diseases as potential Windows users. I'm sorry; that's so unphilantropic of me.

But then, F Bill and Warren, hell, I'm more powerful than they are this morning. Aha, relief was just a swallow away.

for The Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Sports Extra With Marv Backbiter
Shit, I'm not even a soccer lover and I loved the games I saw today. Especially France and Spain. Whew, that was some good soccer. France convinced me. Where the hell were they earlier--tying those slob teams? I'm confused, but I can't wait for Germany and Argentina coming up--Fatherland vs. Das Bruderland (Argentina) (I make a WWII jest; Argentina having a Swastika doormat there for awhile--I mean some of the great old Nazi characters ended up in tangoing Argentina. Also they lost to Britain in the Falkland Island fiasco--though the Argentinian Air Force did sink a big Brit ship didn't it? So hot damn, New Germany versus the New Argentina--and let 'em go at it; I can't wait.

Spain's problem: they're just too little. Now those Portugal dudes were hefty boys. So are the French up close. The Germans, too. The Brasilians are big dudes, too; that Raynaldo, or whatever his name is, he's a big Shaq-looking brute. Soccer's a weird game. I know a lot about it but I don't understand some of it. Like I don't understand some of the faltos [remember, I watch my soccer on Telemundo, the Mexico channel]. Like poor Ghana. Jesus, every block or steal they tried to make they got whistled. Great games today though.

Mets lost to the unbeatable Red Sox tonight. I don't get it. Boston? They were 12-1 against the National League--in fact, the American League mostly beat the shit out of the National League in interleague play so far this year--St. Louis has lost 7 in a row to the American League. Minnesota is 11-1 against the National teams. Only Cleveland can't beat the National League teams. American League announcers are having a ball. They hate the National League because of the DH, even though these two-faced announcers talk a different game when they broadcast for National League teams. But then, you ain't an American if you ain't a hypocrite.

for The Daily Growler

Monday, June 26, 2006

More From This Crazy World

I first heard jazz when I was a child. I can't put an exact age on it because my father used to play Fats Waller records by my crib, my "baby bed," as my parents called it, so I was listening to jazz before I was even cognizant of what I was and certainly I had no idea what time it was or how old I was. I do remember those records, however--"Your Feets Too Big" was my dad's favorite and he played that the most around me. He would bring his portable Victrola in from the livingroom and put it on a diningroom chair. His Victrola was a machine first manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) using the word Victor in their recording field products because of the US's "victory" in WWI, "the war to end all wars" (yeah sure!). The Victrola was great because it was small, lightweight, and easy to carry about, thus giving it its "portable" designation. Victrolas, like the Edison machines, the first record players, worked by winding them up with a crank, like you wind a manual-wind watch, and then controlling their speed. The speed of their turntables at full wind was 78 revolutions per minute. Usually, one full wind would play one record easily; you knew when it was time to rewind because the record would start slowing down until every instrument and voice on it, no matter if it were Mary Garden's voice, would slowly go deeper and deeper into the bass clef until alas the whole sound would melt deeper into nothing...NADA.

The Fats Waller records my dad played were made for RCA Victor, and were made to be played on one of RCA's Victrolas.

So I listened to jazz in my crib, which ironically later became "jazz" for where you lived, your "pad," or your "crib." The word "jazz" was originally used in the Storeyville whorehouses in old New Orleans, and "to jazz" meant "to fuck" and "jazzin'" was "fuckin'" and you jazzed where? Why in a crib, a whore's stall, a small cell in the whorehouse containing a bed and a shelf for the whore's personal items, like always a candle to a saint, or maybe even a photo of their mother, but anyway, that was where you jazzed a whore, in her crib, so it was only natural that crib came to mean in jazz lingo "your room" or "your pad," for "padded cell," dig, since a lot of early jazz dudes, like Buddy Bolden, were legally insane or being driven insane by having to always be lookin' out for the cops and the paddy wagon (which means it's full of "Paddies," or Patricks, you know, the bloody Irish, who came over here during the Potato Famine without a bloody Queen's penny to their names and they took whatever jobs they could, especially the low-labor ones that needed mostly brawn and very little brains, though a bit of wit and a lot of Paddy's best to give 'em courage, so they took the cop and fireman jobs in this Great White Father nation's biggest cities, especially its port cities because most of the dockworkers were Irish after the Civil War, so the port cities filled to the gills with immigrant Irish. Irish cops were crooked as snakes at night but so were the New Orleans madames, and, besides, the backdoors were always open to the most respectable white men in the whole Gulf Coast area, judges, doctors, lawyers, capitalists, and, oh yeah, politicians and their appointees, which always including the police commissioners on down to precinct captains..."Come on in, boys, the high-yellow gals are expectin' y'all, but first, how 'bout a bottle'a champagne in the parlor...we got the Jelly man playing in there tonight--Jelly Roll Morton himself." "Ah, yes mam, Miss Josie, we know Jelly; why it's hard to tell he's a neegrow boy he's so high yeller himself he could pass back East, I swear."

And it came on down to me through my dad. He thought Fats Waller hung the moon on his piano, plus my dad, a clown of a man himself, loved Fats's repartee, his quick witted retorts to sexual innuendo situations, and his out-and-out love of shimmying women, the younger the better. And one afternoon, while my dad was playing his Fats Waller records by my crib, during one of them, during one of Herman Autry's trumpet solos, I started blowing out my puckered lips a sound that to my dad was a sign of my coming musical prominence, "Listen, VV, this boy's gonna be a musician;look he's blowin' his little trumpet just like the cat in Fats's band. Look at him go."

That was my first contact with jazz, with that kind of music. And it did, it stuck in my craw and stayed with me as I grew up, as my ear developed and groped for the right sounds of music it liked and attached to, stopped at, and did some concentrated listening to--and the sound it always stopped on most and listened to the most was jazz, and any music I associated with jazz, boogie-woogie, acoustic blues, field hollers, W.C. Handy--that was the music I began to crave, man, crave, craving it deep down in my solar plexus. And I began absorbing this music into my energies, trying to make it a part of my everyday life. And that's what it became, especially after I started taking piano lessons in Dallas, Texas, when I was 9 years old, out of the John Schaum theory books, and there were a whole set of them, the early ones with the green covers, the more advanced ones with the orange and red covers, and the Schaum method [I have an autographed photo of John Schaum hanging in my music studio] was easy as pie to me and I learned his theories of reading music and then composing music--his composition books were fun to me--and then I advanced into performing on the piano, first by having to memorize a Czerny Book of Scales and and over, moving up a note, C scale, C# scale, D scale, over and over, starting with your little finger in your left hand, your 5 finger, and starting with your thumb in your right hand, your 1 finger, and then you went, in your left hand 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and 1,2,3,4, 5 in your right hand, over and over, then complete 12-note scales, using your fingers correctly on a full do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do-ti-la-so-fa-mi-re-do--or 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3,2,1, 2,3,1,2,3,4,5 in the left hand and blah, blah, blah, over and over. Practice makes perfect and practice allowed me to play jumbo-noted Chopin etudes, even the Grand Polonaiase, then moving on up to Bach WTKs in regular notation with the fingers marked over each note--difficult shit, like crossing hand playing, difficult fuging, with both hands interacting as Bach progressed note and scale and measure by blah, blah, blah. And that's when I rebelled and told my teacher, "I wanna learn to play like Fats Waller, lady, not Freddie Chopin...I wanna play like that Art Tatum cat, man, not like Johannes Sebastian Bach, nor that silly von Weber thing you want me play at my recital, which I will do because of your hot girl students I like, especially that tall wondeful brunette Dorothy whose name reflects the Keys of the piano and I love watching her strong arms blast out the 'Moonlight' sonata--God, she's hot looking when she's playing Beethoven...and that Sally, that little blonde transfer from Michigan...God, I could watch her play the piano all night, so that's it, I do this silly von Weber waltz at this recital and then it's 'quits' for me; I'm gonna start playin' like Nat 'King' Cole plays the piano on this Lionel Hampton 78 rpm my aunt just bought me, with 'Jack the Bellboy' on one side and 'Central Avenue Breakdown' on the other side, with the King Cole Trio backing up Lionel who plays the drums on 'Jack the Bellboy' and two-fingered piano on 'Central Avenue Breakdown,' that's the way I wanna play." And she started crying and said, "Oh, but you're so talented and I want Mrs. Cliburn to hear you and maybe Little Van will come over with her and I think you have the same potential as he does and he's absolutely breathtaking playing Chopin and I wish you would play Chopin at your recital, but oh, I can't believe you want to play that 'neeegrow' music, that degenerate whorehouse and cathouse and roadside juke joint music..." "Sorry, mamma, but I'm hip and jive and not square like Choppin'--no siree, babes, I'm bookin'." And I did. Gave up the Euro Classics for what I thought was my music, shit, it was my music roots, so I had no trouble playing the piano just like I thought Fats Waller played it, then Art Tatum, lucid playing, crisp swinging playing, broad-scopeful playing, building, slow crescendo-ing music that let you solo and solo, more free than a Bach cadenza, to improvise and fly as far out as you could on that slow crescendo until, BANG, you hit the wall and the melody line came back in to bail you out of the section of Chaos you had chanced into. All jazz solos end in Chaos--the Utter Chaos. God, there's Duke Ellington's 50s vehicle called "The Happy-Go-Lucky Special," a reversion of Jimmy Forrest's jazz standard train riff, "Night Train." And when that Happy-Go-Lucky Special reaches the station at the end of the line, the station becomes Utter Chaos when Cat Anderson extends his cadenza solo into an unknown height, a range only trumpetable in Utter Chaos.

Jazz is the most wonderful music ever invented by Americans, black Americans, yes, Americans with the rhythms and riffs, beats and measurements of African musics from all over Africa still reverberating in their memories and instincts, naturally blending with the melodies of all-America, taking white church music and swinging it closer to heaven than any white musician had ever been able to take it. I mean when you were standing on the Jordan River banks with Brother Joe May the Thunderbolt of the Midwest, you were standing on the same banks Jesus stood on when he got the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove coming out of Heaven's brilliant spot lite--and there wasn't nothing like standing in a spotlite and being on the banks of the Jordan River and singing and playing about it as thought you were walking right smack-dab on those peaceful river waters--and the Sallie Martin Singers were there, too, and so was Fats Waller playing his pipe organ, and so was Raashan Roland Kirk playing "Just a Closer Walk With Thee," or Stevland Morris playing "Fingertips" parts 1 and 2...Lard have mercy, mercy, can you not want to learn how to play so freely and imaginatively and intellectually a music! Damn right jazz is intellectual music. Jazz players are their own composers; their compositions sit tight in their heads, their head arrangements are their charts, their sheet music...Lester Young said you had to know the lyrics to the songs you were playing since lyrics are a part of every piece of music, even the instrumentals--yes, instrumentals have words connected with them, even if it's simply their titles, like Dizzy's classic "A Night in Tunisia." You can put lyrics to that easy; in fact, Carmine McCrae did put lyrics to it. Music is MATHMATICS but its PHYSICS and LANGUAGE, too! It can only be described via language, the language of the lyrics or the language of the instruments. Bee-oodly-be-bop, be-bop, be-bop/da-scooby-oooby/bop, beee-bopppp-beee-bopppp/ bloomdido, bloomdido, bloooommmm-deee-do.

I scat therefore I scat. A scat is a scat is a scat.

But Then I Read
One day, a drummer friend of mine asked me if I'd ever read Art Taylor's Notes and Tones and I had to say I hadn't, so he gave me a copy for Xmas or my birthday or something.

Art Taylor was a very way-back be-bop drummer in the J.C. Heard-kind-of playing who worked with everybody in the early days, especially on Blue Note records with Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Monk, Horace Silver--I could keep mentioning stars's names that Art worked with, but then, like a lot of black jazz artists, Johnny Griffin, Kenny Clarke, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon, Benny Bailey, Bill Coleman, he up and expatriated to Europe, Paris in particular, though they all made it to Copenhagen, too, a sanctuary for American black artists--Kenny Drew the pianist; Jimmy Gorley, a guitar player; Jimmy Woode, a bass player; I could go on and on.

While in Europe, Art Taylor decided since he was working with and in contact with every great black jazz musician there was alive at that moment, including Miles, Dexter, Ornette, Philly Joe, Don Byas, Erroll Garner, Max, Dizzy, Nina Simone, Sonny Rollins, Klook, Mother Hubbard, Elvin Jones...there's too many to name them all, he'd start cornering them at clubs, after gigs, at concerts, or at his own gigs and asking them if they'd mind him interviewing them--I'm sure he used a tape recorder but then maybe he didn't. He had a set of stock questions he asked each of these jazz greats having to do with influences, first gigs, stars you got to play with, union stuff, music stuff, but inevitably the questioning bagging it all up in black versus white terms of who plays jazz and who controls it--the result that all of these stars say is that "It's our music but the whites think they own it..."

Here's some excerpts from A.T.'s interview with Randy Weston, a pianist who was born in Brooklyn and grew up with Max Roach, and at first was simply a blues pianist, but then he went to live in North Africa, in Morocco, and began playing with more African influence culminating in an album called Uruhu Africa in which he used musicians from Africa, Cuba, and the USA, with lyrics by Langston Hughes and arrangements by Melba Liston and readings and vocals by Brock Peters and Martha Flowers, an concert singer, because he said his intention was "to show that all the black people of African descent are related to one another." This album came out in 1961 amidst controversy because the Roulette people didn't like it because it didn't fit what they thought jazz should be--especially the fact that there were no standards on it and all the tunes were Weston originals. Randy says, "At the time it [the album] was a bit unpopular, especially with white people--even white people who were friendly to me." Then Art asks him "How do you like the Beatles' music?" Randy says, "I don't listen to the Beatles because I don't like what happened to the music called blues when the white artists got involved in it. I just sort of cut myself off from the whole rock'n'roll scene. I've been told by people that the Beatles have produced some very beautiful things, but when the white man starts singing the blues, I just cut him out. Because I know that all he can do is imitate."

Or here's an excerpt from A.T.'s talking to Johnny Griffin, master saxophonist who replaced John Coltrane in the Thelonious Monk quartet and recorded live with Monk from the Five Spot in 1958, that utterly breathtaking album called "Misterioso" on Riverside Records with Abdul Malik on bass and Roy Haynes on drums. One of the best god-damn live albums ever made to me--especially "In Walked Bud." Here's a quote from A.T.'s interview with Johnny, "They got all black musicians on the run [Johnny expatriated to Europe because the American jazz scene was killing him...drugs, drinking...the life]. Black musicians all over Europe [the year is 1969--jazz was on its last legs in the USA in '69], running away from America. But that's part of the white power structure that's killing us and our music. Just like they killed it with all that so-called cool school. West Coast jive. They sold us down the line. Took the music out of Harlem and put it in Carnegie Hall and downtown in those joints where you got to be quiet. The black people split and went back to Harlem, back to rhythm and blues, so they could have a good time." Then he goes on talking about "avant-garde whites," "Those poor boys can't blow their way out of a paper bag musically. But the white power structure said they were geniuses."

Reading that sort of criticism makes me feel bad. I didn't realize jazz was black music until the early fifties when I started reading Downbeat and Metronome magazines, both all white publications that featured all white writers and critics discussing jazz and what was jazz and who was who in jazz and who knew more about jazz than anyone else and then one little running argument, "Can you tell the difference between a black and a white the way they play jazz?" "Can a white person play jazz as well as a black person?" "Should whites play jazz?" Later Metronome went under and Downbeat became the official jazz publication until the Beatles came along and put jazz out of business and Downbeat, like good little Capitalist assholes turned their jazz magazine into basically a "rock" magazine--yeah, they kept a jazz core to their leanings but gradually even that gave way to white musics, like the horrible Spiro Gyro or the rock band Chicago trying to play jazz; or even Frank Zappa trying to play jazz.

I never liked singing blues. I never felt comfortable singing the blues. My most success in music has come from singing the blues though I consider myself more a free-form "jazz-based" composer and if I sing I like to sing my own songs...or I like to put poetry to music, like I've done a whole CD of putting some Charles Bukowski poems and just recently I put some Jack Spicer poems to piano music. But if I get gigs these days, it's with a blues band, a white blues band, yes, and, yes also, there are never any black people at these gigs, and I've gigged up in the Boston area all the way down to Baltimore, and there are never any black people digging the blues in these basically blues clubs but with basically all-white blues bands. Black bands if they're famous, like Walter Washington out of New Orleans, or any of the old Chicago guys that are left alive--and I can't think of any still alive now that I found out R.L. Burnside died. Most of the white boys who play the blues are serious about it. They certainly know a hell of a lot of tunes and this one band I work with has a book, arranged blues originals and covers, including reggae and Bob Dylan, but nobody comes to hear this band and we play to empty houses or we play to packed houses that unpack the minute we take the stage.

It pains me to know blacks don't want me even trying to play their music. I understand it. Everybody knows I hate the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Everybody also knows I'm an American music purist and that includes all musics I consider American, like Cajun, Nortena, C&W, hillbilly, rock, r and b, hip-hop, salsa, cumbia...hell, it's all American music; all music is American music.

I'm going absolutely hebephrenic and turning into a white wolf to boot.

But it hurts me to read that blacks can't listen when they hear me trying to sing the blues...or play jazz piano, I guess, too. And I so love Monk, Mingus, but I'm sure they wouldn't of loved me. I'm seen Mingus dumped a glass of booze on an adoring white couple; and I've heard that Miles loved insulting white people at parties and things...but surely not if they knew me better. My second most-dearest friend ever in life was a black man, a photographer, a beautiful man who women of all races swooned over, but I know how he hated white people, especially white men, and how he ridiculed white women he dated saying they had a sour taste to them whereas black women were sweet and chocolatey--and he was absolutely right about that and I had just been involved in a divorce where I lost interest in my sweet young, young wife of ten years and therefore fell out of love with her simply because of her body odor.

I am too embroiled in this subject...I think I'll go stick my head in a bucket of ice water and write somemore about it tomorrow, though one never knows, do one?

for The Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Sports Extra With Marv Backbiter
I'm almost at the point where I'm sayin' F soccer. I watched Switzerland and the Ukraine playing today and I didn't give a shit. You know what I mean? I didn't even know Switzerland and the Ukraine were still in the rounds. I did see how good Portugal is; the Nederlanders were mean but no match for the Tawney Port drinkers. I liked their playing a lot.

My list:

1) Brasil, Argentina--they beat Mexico, that's good enough for me, Germany
2) Portugal
3) England--Beckham sucks, by the way, I don't care how much trumpeting they give the bastard.
4)Spain? Italy? I'm confused. I'll catch up because I can't wait to see Brasil and Ghana; that'll decide me one way or another about Brasil.

for The Daily Growler

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Madness and Survival

Life in Catatonia
Two of my favorite subjects, Madness and Survival. I believe in evolution and I believe in two sides of evolutionary being, both sides attempting to survive against the odds all living things face. Still it is paradise; the best evolution has to offer us; to enjoy it, YOU must survive it. You have to do it alone--that means only you can learn how to face things first as your self then as a compadre or as a gang member, cop, a writer, a militant, a religious fanatic, whatever social position you decide to take within the society evolution has pitched you into without a map, with only these genetic carriers who call themselves your parents as your guides. You face so many guides. Before you walk there are hundreds of rules you have to learn. Life suddenly becomes switching on and switching off, just like a computer. We face a million switches a day and we have to automatically know which ones to turn on and which ones to turn off and which gates to enter and which gates are locked to us unless we are privileged to have a password...and now, of course, it's easy to see how some of us may just fucking give up on switching these switches on and off--"F-it!" their psyches shout giving voice to the twisted desires in the belly of their solar plexus--the nerve plexus in front of the diaphragm but also the pit of the stomach.

What makes a person go mad? I've thought about that a lot. Henry Miller says in The Rosy Crucifixion he's too sane to go mad; he wants to go mad; at the end of Sexus, he's crawling around on the floor of his apartment going "Woof, woof, woof"; yet, still he's sane; he's certainly sane enough to write about trying to be insane sanely. Eugene O'Neill looking into the eyes of the mad and seeing it's he that is really mad for not giving up and letting society take care of him. But he cries, "No, I don't want you cutting out a part of my frontal lobotomy! Mutate, don't mutilate, dammit." I like figuring out how to stay sane. Doctor Hunter Thompson gave up to it. Hemingway gave up to it. John Berryman gave up to it. Writers love committing suicide; their "easy way" out. Yet, Henry Miller stayed sane and went through a hell of a lot worse times as a writer than Doc Thompson or Il Papa, living to be an old man, satisfied, living a life of being idolized and watched over by bevies of babes and admirers, his books selling, his art respected and selling; DAMN, perfectly sane all the way to the end. Woof, woof, woof.

We're told, especially now by the pharmaceutical oligarchy, the only hope for a madman is to give himself or herself up to society and let society's vaunted institutions fix the situation; oh yeah, electro-shock, dope, lead enemas--yeah, that's how society deals with something it denies is the opposite reason for the dark side of living--SURVIVING. They go mad to survive. Get it?

Then I saw this dude, Jay Neugeboren, on teevee being interviewed and he's written a book Imaging Robert, My Brother, subtitled, of all things, Madness and Survival, a sentimental book about coping with a schizophrenic brother who was fine until he got 19 and went catatonic. I never heard of this writer, but, by God, he's pretty successful, especially having good luck with this book (a genre very popular these days, ie, A Beautiful Mind-- he got a movie out of it, plus a teaching job at UMass, which impresses me, having a fondness for UMass at Amherst because it set up a top jazz program back in the used-to-be and hired some of my favorites, like Max Roach, to teach there; also one of my favorite Civil Rights workers, Julius Lester, who I first came across when my wife and I joined the first CORE organization formed in New Orleans by one of my wife's boss's, and we had two field reps assigned to us, Huey Newton and Julius Lester. Julius was a folk singer in those days, but he was our field rep, and showed up with Dick Gregory at the first CORE meeting held in New Orleans, over in the Garden District at this guy's really nice house. I think my wife's boss's friend's wife was more the humanist than he was.

Julius Lester was the morning guy on NYC's Pacifica station, WBAI, for many wonderful years in the early seventies (those wonderfully free years for LIBERALS), until he read a anti-Jewish Harlem landlords and storeowners put-down poem written by a Harlem schoolgirl, like 12 years old, who in her quaint way said landlords and storeowners were a bunch of money-fleecing Jewish scumbags and openly prejudice against the very people they made their incomes off of--oh hell, so it was true, but, you know, we can't be anti-Semetic unless the Semite is Islamic, then it's Katie bar the damn door. That radio incident got Julius kicked off BAI, but he survived by landing a good job at UMass, where he was for many years. Here's a site that has some of Neugeboren's writings available:

I studied Social Psychiatry when I was a college kid and catatonic schizophrenia fascinated me. I have actually observed catatonic schizophrenics in both the Austin, Texas, State Psychiatric Hospital and in handling many cases of socially disordered juveniles as an intake officer for a juvenile court. Catatonics still amaze me. Also, I am fascinated by hebephrenic schizophrenics the most. Hebephrenics are my kind of madfolks. I offer a definition:

A form of schizophrenia in which affective changes are prominent, delusions and hallucinations fleeting and fragmentary, behaviour irresponsible and unpredictable, and mannerisms common. The mood is shallow and inappropirate and often accompanied by giggling or self-satisfied, self-absorbed smiling, or by a lofty manner, grimaces, mannerisms, pranks, hypochondriacal complaints, and reiterated phrases. Thought is disorganized and speech rambling and incoherent. There is a tendency to remain solitary, and behaviour seems empty of purpose and feeling. This form of schizphrenia usually starts between the ages of 15 and 25 years and tends to have a poor prognosis because of the rapid development of "negative" symptoms, particularly flattening of affect and loss of volition.

In addition, disturbances of affect and volition, and thought disorder are usually prominent. Hallucinations and delusions may be present but are not usually prominent. Drive and determination are lost and goals abandoned, so that the patient's behaviour becomes characteristically aimless and empty of purpose. A superficial and manneristic preoccupation with religion, philosophy, and other abstract themes may add to the listener's difficulty in following the train of thought.

There have been quite a few madmen in my family background, though for the most part, they were a pretty sane bunch considering how hard life was for especially the elder and ancient women of my past--MAD, most of them, yes, but insane, no. I did have a great-grandmother, who was definitely a witchy woman, who opted out for madness, I think, because she saw the end of the road and had rather suffer it out of her mind than be cognizant of how fast it was diminishing ("At least she had the good sense to go mad")--like Frank Harris of My Life and Loves fame in the last chapter of his singular tome--a huge autobiography in 4 volumes of over 400 pages per volume; the fourth volume and last chapter marking the end of his LOVES and the beginning of him becoming fully and alertly aware that the end of his LIFE is nauseatingly near; he's in his seventies and is beginning to suffer from his chain-smoking cigarettes all his lusty life, and this chapter becomes his most morbid chapter and the saddest chapter of an otherwise lighthearted and rather wittily whimsical book. Hell, his writing in that damned last chapter made me cringe. In this chapter, Frank looks down this road he suddenly finds himself declining down and he can't help but look up ahead on that road, and he does and he sees and what he sees is what he sees at the end of this road, and he sees it clearly, and what he clearly sees is his f-ing tombstone! It blows Frank's mind and the final words in the chapter fall off into a pit of total mental depression told with the bluest of blue words.

When Frank was frisky and full of bravado and full of lusty life, he became obsessed by 12-year-old girls and they became his male seduction objects. As he aristocratically admitted in Life and Loves (he was a Brit, now), he found he had no sexual interest in women after they passed the age of twelve. Sounds like old Polish art-movement celebrant Roman Polansky (remember when the Poles suddenly were on the cutting edge of writing and performance art and filmmaking--Polanski the only one to reach celebrity? Unless you count that plagiarizer Jerzy Kozinsky and the literature of violation) who admitted, safely tucked away in France where it's perfectly all right to seduce and bang a 14-year-old girl (and boy, too, I'd suppose--equality being a big deal to the French), that he could only get it up for 14-year-old girls and he didn't consider that in the least abnormal. Hell, he's right; kings used to could screw when they were 4 and 5, marrying little princesses at that age. And god help the many catamounts over the years who've known young-age sex with old dwadling reprobates. All through the Holy Books of all the stupid religions you find the ancient ones were particularly erected to prolific heights by very young girls; King David even got to bang, with the Lard's impunity, his own daughter--and he said she was splendid in bed, too. Rues. That's what these guys are. Rues. Howard Stern, who used to be one of the funniest guys I've ever heard, that is until he made it, got rich, got powerful, and became simply a purveyor of juvenile rascality, used to do a parody of "sweet ole" Meester Rogers called "Mr. Rue's Neighborhood." Funniest shit ever in those late eighties times of unbounded radio freedoms, long gone now, mostly thanks to the FCC's and the religious nutjobs's smashing down on Howard's kind of original humor in the early days of the new century, driving the man out of commercial radio and onto satellite radio. And this is the radio guy who made Infinity Broadcasting so big it took over Viacom and Paramount and eventually CBS. All thanks to Howard Stern.

The world is full of rues. Check out the rectumry of most Catholic dioceses and check out the number of young men going in and out of those sacred backdoors. Oh those manly priests! Remember Giovanni Boccaccio's tale about the priest "Putting the Devil Into Hell." Ah, the ribald pleasures of those days of rowdy jongleurs going along the roads telling their tales of ribaldry. I was proud to have a poem of mine published back in the glorious "New Frontier" sixties in a small-press journal called the Galliard. I was so impressed when I found out a Galliard was a dance created by the jongleurs in ancient Europe, a pavane of sorts that contains hops and stuff like that. I'll bet Hoptoad could do the Galliard with much grace and ease.

Mexico's Coming Presidential Elections
I see that ALMO is back in the race for El Presidente del Mexico. Wasn't he imprisoned by Vicente "Fuck My People I Love Coca Cola Best" Fox recently? Anyway, he's Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, and he's a character who says he's on the side of the true Mexican, los mestizos, los pobrecitos, los peones, los gentes, los mexicanos y mexicanas and who is going to bring the prosperity of Mexico back home to the real people of Mexico. Mexico pumps a hell of a lot of state-owned oil, millions of dollars a day going into the Mexican coffers, little of it ever reaching the true people of Mexico, los companeros, the struggling workers and farmers all over the country. Where maize (CORN) comes from; yet now Mexico imports corn from the U.S. because of NAFTA and the GATT-imposed trade rules set up by and ruled on by the WTO that has its headquarters in Europe but is dominated by the U.S. controlled World Bank, home now of Paul Wolf O'Witz, the kind of wolf you don't want blowing down your door if you live in a straw house--which are the kind of houses most of the world lives in.

ALMO is a Rooseveltian of all things. Yep, he wants to bring a Works Project-type of system to Mexico, to put the people to work in Mexico and thus keep them from running off to America looking for that mountain of gold the Chinese immigrants also are looking for when they immigrate overhere by any means possible, some of them willing to suffer the utmost of humiliations hiding in the bellies of rusted Chinese cargo vessels or sealed up in airless cargo containers risking life and limb to get here. Did you know that the Mexicans working in America send over 2 billion dollars a year of the money they make here back to Mexico?

ALMO's backers go around dressed as cockerels, the chickens used in "cock" fighting. Obrador in defending himself against Vicente Fox calling him a crook in return called Fox una chachalaca, which means what Vicente Fox says is like the racous call of the chachalaca bird, a mocking call, and called a "mockingbird" in my old neck of the woods--a dirty rascal of a bird that steals other birds's calls and mimicks them. "Listen to the mockingbird, listen to the mockingbird, the mockingbird is singing all the day!" The mockingbird is the state bird of Texas.

Vivo ALMO! It is said to be a very close race, with ALMO leading the popularity polls by just 2 lousy points over Felipe Calderon leader of the National Action Party, a conservative party. Here's a well-written article about ALMO:

for The Daily Growler

A Daily Growler Sports Final With Marv Backbiter

The Brits are the luckiest team in the World Cup. Ecuador played like champs in the first period holding the Brits to only one or two shots on goal to their 4. Then came the second period. You'd'a thought the Brits went in and drank a gallon or two of liquid steroids at the between periods while Ecuador, on the other hand, seems to have taken a ton of saltpeter. Suddenly the Brits were shooting on goal like hell, missing wide, especially Beckham, who a couple of times made some, I thought, stupid plays, twice on penalty kicks, but then, he got lucky and bent one around the Ecuadorians and just into the tight left edge of the goal just passed Mora, a damn good goalkeeper. Shit, I hollered. And after that, the Ecuadorians looked like Togo and though they got two wide-open shots of goal in the second period, they blew both of them. I'd say in the game, Ecuador had at least 5 shots on goal that missed by a crossbar or a hair. Oh well, I take this loss personally I am so opposed to those lousy Brits going on and a fine team like Ecuador having to fade into the history books and better luck next time.

And then the pesky Portuguese, Wow, they surprised me and ground one out against the equally pesky and a bit F-ing rude Nederlanders (Lowlanders)--what's the old song, "the lowland Dutch and the highland Dutch, the Rotterdam Dutch and the God-damn Dutch...." 'Cept Portugal proved to be a tougher team and won 1-0.

So here we go. On to the next round. You have Brasil and Ghana coming up Tuesday. Then Germany and the, the Germans are a lucky team, too, plus they have the refs on their side. Italy's still in it; so's Spain; Argentina; Switzerland!?, Ghana...I'm so unfocused on this. So, here's the list now:

1)Brasil, Argentina, Portugal, Germany
2)England, Spain
3)Whoever's left, Ghana, that bunch, all long shots.

I'm losing interest in the World Cup now.

The Amazing Mets are still charming the hell out of me this year, with the fine managing of Willie Randolph and the excellent pitching of Tom "Amazin', Amazin', Amazin'" Glavine and the great hitting of Wright and Delgado--pretty saavy trading after last year's ho-hum team.

The Yankees? They're still in there, though they lost Robinson Cano today to a pulled hamstring in an interleague game against the loser Marlins, which now means, the Yankees have three of their top players, Sheffield, Matsui, and Cano, on the disabled list. Plus, their bullpen is shot to pieces and they're having to use Double A minor league stars as relievers now. Plus, the Yankees's starting pitchers are a wreck continuing to happen; Chacon pitched today and quickly started giving up hits and walking batters and then giving up 5 runs in 7 innings; hell, this millionaire loser has a 5.03 ERA this year; inexcusable for a Yankee starting pitcher.

Mets are the best team in baseball right now; 10 games ahead of Atlanta; that's something right there to shout about! Still you can't trust Bobby Cox and the Braves; they can easily come back from 10 behind; the Mets are usually the team that has to win 13 in row to beat the Braves, but now the shoe's on the other foot, Jackson.

Yankees are tooting they could be the first baseball team to top 4 million in one year's attendance. Oh, that's why they need a new stadium so badly.

Still banking on a Subway series, baby; though the Yankees may be the team to let me down this year. Again, the damn BoSox can't seem to lose no matter how stupidly they shake their teams up. Detroit still hanging in there--what a race that division is--White Sox still looking good. Also, Toronto is hanging tough, too, with the BoSox and Yankees. The National League? Who the hell knows, except the Mets shall surely not take a nosedive this year. Come on, Mets, old Casey's expectin' the best from you and now you're finally as good as the '69 team maybe--and what a team that was. That was a great year for New York City sports, plus Woodstock happened that summer. Tommy Agee! What a player. Almost forgotten now, I'll betcha.

for The Daily Growler