Friday, June 23, 2006

Surviving Yet Another Day

Terrorists Abound
Wow, all of a sudden, the FBI is finding terrorists under every stone in this country. Wow. What an organization. I feel so safe. I did wonder why anyone would want to blow up the Sears Tower, but then, maybe they once bought a shoddy product out of the Sears Catalog...oh, that's right, Sears is no longer a mail-order outfit out of Chicago. Maybe Sears is involved in some scheme in Islamicland. Maybe Bin Laden bought some shorts from Sears and they're too tight in his crotch. Remember the joke about the man whose testicles hurt and he went to the doctor? At least the males in the audience know that old joke.

Seems Bin Laden's sidekick, Omar, is that his name?, who I think same as Zarqawi has been killed, blown up, captured, killed again in the past, but, anyway, it seems he's making videos again so he's alive and well in Pakistan. That's good news. Bigger and better than ever; they have no live footage of Omar this time, only his voice, with what he's saying in Arabic as well as English, which means the networks news feeder is picking it up off an Arab television feed--is it Al Jareeza? Is that the Arab television news outfit? I'm so numbed by this stupid war the characters in it are like the cartoon characters to me. Since I was a kid I've sort of felt like maybe this life is a big cosmic joke. Like Eugene O'Neill looking in the eyes of the madman and realizing it was he who was crazy not the madman. I, too, am looking into the eyes of madmen all day, I can still see them when I writing on this, and I am realizing, thus the growling, it is I who am crazy, man...crazy as a bedbug.

But continuing on with the sanity, notice, too, how suddenly reorganized and bigger and better than ever Al Qaeda is after the Iraqis or whoever, you never know for sure, found all those secret documents? And, yes, the Taliban is gaining strength and making headways back into Afghanistan--wasn't "mission accomplish" there right after we used the Northern Afghani rebel forces to drive the Taliban out of Kabul?

Big news from the FBI, Pakistan is hiding most of what's left of Al Qaeda. Duh! How come I've known Pakistan was hiding all kinds of war-type criminals since before 9/11 and the FBI is just now finding it out? Since everything the FBI says is a lie, I assume they're lying about this, too. Why not? It's a part of the job. "You FBI liars are doin' a heck of a job in MY war on terror."

Like, whatever happened to those "terrorists" (mostly teenagers) who were going to blow hell out of the Peace Tower in Toronto rounded up by the Canadian Mounties a few weeks ago? Another false alarm?

I notice a judge in the Padilla trial has said the prosecutors in this case didn't really have any evidence to prove their case against this poor self-tortured and state-tortured slob.

"It's a cruel world we all have to live in to live out our lives; one thing's for sure, one day we're all gonna die" (from a tune I once heard Ray Charles sing in a Toronto concert that I think he wrote--he always prefaced it with, "You know, the boys in the band are always asking, what's Ray really like..." then he says, "Here's a little song I wrote about it," and he sings 3/4 Time).

Slogging Through Some Blogs
Hey, I decided to give other bloggers a chance thanks to enjoying a little time on wood s lot. First, before I start my slogging, I have to show you what I found on wood s lot:

Pull A String, A Puppet Moves
Charles Bukowski

each man must realize
that it can all disappear very
the cat, the woman, the job,
the front tire,
the bed, the walls, the
room; all our necessities
including love,
rest on foundations of sand -
and any given cause,
no matter how unrelated:
the death of a boy in Hong Kong
or a blizzard in Omaha ...
can serve as your undoing.
all your chinaware crashing to the
kitchen floor, your girl will enter
and you'll be standing, drunk,
in the center of it and she'll ask:
my god, what's the matter?
and you'll answer: I don't know,
I don't know ...

From the master, Charles Bukowski.

From wood s lot, I ventured to:

I tried this blog; I liked the name. To me a "blowhard" is "a bragging asshole"; however, for braggadocio, this blog is rather tame. I suppose their main character, Michael Blowhard, is constantly bragging, but he's mostly bragging about things going on in his part of California--seems to be around Sacramento. MB is very bloggy, and he seems to have a lot of blogging buddies that he likes to throw laurels to in his brief meanderings through his likes and dislikes. He toots a bit about the painter Howard Hodgkins and shows some examples of his work from the Tate Gallery in London. Sorry, Blowhard, I don't get this guy. There is something "kiddie coloring book" that turns me off to this "much too full" minimalism. I apologize to the "intellectual" Blowhard for my -ism misnomer, if that's what it is.

However, there was an interesting article leading off this blog when I dropped in on it. It was a message from Western writer Richard Wheeler writing as a participant in a Western Writers of America convention he attended. What's interesting about the article is Wheeler's rather disgusting look at a group that is supposed to be representing serious writers who live their fantasies out in Old West environments and characters. He says this is a prosperous and well-attended convention but that its success has been gained by kowtowing to just about anybody who thinks they are Western anything and in doing so the group has lost track of the Western writer in favor of the Western fan, some of whom are self-published, especially self-published through a couple of electronic publishers on the Internet. Compared to the Mystery Writers and the Sci-Fi Writers organizations, the Western Writers of America has become slutified by prostituting to second-rate hacks willing to pay their fees but who now demand a lot of extra entertainments--like more and varied "Spurs," what their annual awards are called, and that there are so many Spurs being given out now, they have lost their meritous meaning, plus they now seem to have more to do with commercialism than with excellent writing. Wheeler says New York editors, publishers, or agents no longer attend the Western Writers of America events. Wheeler blames their whoring on their not being restrictive enough in their membership qualifications. Wheeler says no writers are showing up at these conventions, only characters, like participants dressed up as Wild Bill Hickok, or Buffalo Bill, that kind of Western fan shit.

He says the Mystery writers and the Sci-Fi writers have very strict rules about who can belong to their organizations. First of all, Wheeler says, you have to been published by a royalty-paying publisher and not some on-line electronic hustler who charges you to publish your work. I once worked for the Vantage Press, the ultimate vanity publisher, absolutely crooked as a snake at night in their self-publishing deals; yet they do millions of dollars in business every year by publishing the total crap and bullshit of people with assbackwards abilities to communicate with idiots must less people who can actually read and who definitely have not graduated past a letter-writing class in terms of a knowledge of the art of writing.

The next blog to which I ventured was called "Bemsha Swing." I know where Bemsha Swing comes from, it's a Thelonious Monk composition and can be found on a brilliant old Riverside LP--and I'm sure now on a reissue CD, called Brilliant Corners, featuring Monk, Roach, Sonny Rollins and Ernie Henry. Bemsha Swing is interpreted by Max Roach playing the kettle drums. I expected a jazzy blog, but, boy, was I surprised. Here 'tis:

It's a blogger-type blog. A journal. A log. That's what a blog is supposed to be, though those of us, like The Daily Growler, consider ourselves more MONUMENTAL than a journal; how Blowhard of us.

Jonathan Mayhew, and I never heard of him before today, was blogging in from Madrid when I happened by his URL for a visit. He's very confident with light conversation about poetry, the glue that holds his blog together. He seems to like the usual bunch of hip poets, like Ginsberg, Koch, Zukovsky, etc. On further reading, Jonathan turns into a commentator on how to write. As a writer, I always chortle at guys who try and define writing; try to teach you, the interested, on how to do it and how to read it once somebody else has done it. They write a lot about the "act" of writing but not much about the genetic drive that propels one at an early age to be a writer. I had a course on American Literature in high school; I also took an English composition class in high school. Not after I got to college though. I was too into JackKerouac and the real Thomas Wolfe and Nelson Algren and Henry Miller and Ernest Hemingway and Jack Spicer and Rockwell Kent and John Dickson Carr by then, corrupted by the time I got to college into thinking I was already geared to be a writer; besides I had learned to type when I was eleven. How's that for separating myself from academically trained writers?

But Jonathan's a smart cookie and up on his old-time as well as modern poetry; I saw him discussing the alexandrine in one of his posts. Hear, hear; that's the first thing about poetry I remember learning--the alexandrine verse--its soft and hard accents--"aloft, I laughed."

In earlier posts, John gets deeply into narrative (he's evidently hip to linguistics), writer intent, and analyzing what writers really mean by what they have written. One person's opinion, of course. Jonathan seems like a very bright individual who you could probably engage in some delightful intellectual chit-chat, just like he speaks on his blog. I recommend giving old John a shot; he's, like I said, a smart cookie; whether he's an animal cracker or a Pepperidge Farm Milano, that's up to you to decide. As to why he calls his blog "Bemsha Swing," I didn't find a clue to it in his blog.

And now for some real journal writing, I direct you to:

This is a hell of an effort. To put all of Kafka's works on-line, and in his original German and translated into English, too. Wow, I'm impressed. I suppose Kafka will drive you mad enough to tackle such a enormous task. Cheers to these Kafkaites. Look in here and see they are publishing Kafka's journals as though it were a blog. Cool.

I went on several other blogs...BUT THEY WERE BORING and mostly irrelevant to my interests.


for The Daily Growler

The Daily Growler Quote of the Day
"Poetry: the best words in the best order." Samuel Coleridge Taylor.

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