Thursday, November 29, 2007

Watchin' McKinley Morganfield

Or, Watchin' Muddy "Mississippi" Waters
Watchin' Muddy Waters!
Great God Almighty!
And at the time I was watchin' him he was sixty-six; he had about 3 more years to live before he would die in his sleep in Westmont, Illinois, right outside of Sweet Home Chicago.
Muddy was sittin' on a stool to play by then but he was still playing the guitar still in his wild way, his wild way not stilled yet, his pure-field-holler-hollerer way of pickin' and slide'n the amplified guitar to accompany himself on his shur' 'nuff way of singin' the blues.
As Muddy said then, "I'm a true blues singer. I'm 66 years old now and I been singin' the blues and playin' the guitar since I was 3, so don't that make me a true blue singer?"
What else would?
Muddy left out he was black since he was born.
So why would anybody want to go up against Muddy Waters in any way?
According to Rolling Stone, Muddy only made it up to #15 in their 100 Greatest Musicians of All Time. Wow, only #15!
Muddy'd be up close to #1 in my way of thinking--certainly right up there with Robert Johnson, Big Joe Turner, Mingus, and Thelonious Monk.
They say Muddy had champagne every morning with breakfast. They say he had a special silk smoking jacket he wore while he sipped his cold champagne and ate his steak and grits and runny eggs.
Muddy liked to cook. Ham hocks. Fried bologna snacks. Breaded pork chops.
Tough life before arriving? Arriving? Being discovered by white people?
(I found it strange back in them thar days that it seemed OK for the Brit white boys to mimick black-American blues singers--and all of them did it; Mick Jaegger sings mock-black; Eric Clapton plays mock-black; even poor old anemic Elton John struggles to sing mock-black. I find that very strange.)
So hell yeah Muddy had a tough life gettin' to where he got to.
Born as a sharecropper's kid on a plantation in Mississippi. Raised by his grandmother. From the same hot-spot of the blues as Charlie Patton and Tommy Johnson and Son House and Robert Johnson--hell, the same area all of them to come were from, including B.B. King, Alec "Rice" Miller, all of 'em, Jimmy Reed, except they all came after Muddy.
Muddy was the first after Robert Johnson.
From that Mississippi Delta of horrid cotton fields and levees, the home of King Cotton and his bossman, Mr. Charley, cotton the product which made Southern planters aristocrats (plantation owners were planters--where the name Planters peanuts comes from, too; plants; row after row after row after row of cotton plants; row after black earth row of King Cotton and row after row of the King's slaves, men, women, children, pickin' it; and little Muddy was sittin' on the porch of his grandmother's shack pickin' the blues out like the slaves were pickin' the cotton bolls out, 'cept by the time of Muddy's time original slavery was over but sharecroppin' slavery was in--Jim Crow's world of white denial of fellow human beings being human beings because the white man (the Planter) had to keep them savages--base animals--remember the Constitution, written by a Virginia planter and slave holder, said blacks were only 3/5th human beings--lower than the sorriest of worthless animals--like a strong black man was a buck not a man, or just a "boy" if not a buck--same as a mule to a Planter.
I'm sure many a Planter for sport used slaves as mules--human beings pulling huge ploughs.

That's what Muddy came singin' the blues out of.
A white man can't imagine it really--no matter how close he or she may feel to the African-American situation,
No matter if you grew up with a family of blacks living next door to you as I grew up in Enid, Oklahoma; no, growing up living next door to a black family did not give me any understanding whatsoever about being black because even though blacks lived next door to my family and other white families, the whites shunned them on the grounds they were cursed by the white god, Jehovah, a very racially prejudiced god.
I remember to this day teasing the little black neighbor girl while I played in a sandbox with a couple'a white girls who weren't near as attractive as the black girl.
Uh-oh, I should have thought when as a little child I looked admirably on that pretty little black neighbor I had, what a chance, right?, but, nope, I followed my white mores and looked down my tacky white nose at her--just because she was black.
Of course, I had no idea why I had to treat this girl like that; my parents didn't help either--in Texas it was the law (racial prejudice) and in Oklahoma it wasn't a law but the Oklahoma whites followed Texas law, so, that was my parents response to my wanting to "love" the little black girl next door (she couldn't have lived next door to me in Texas).

Remember my parallel lines reasoning?--parallel lines can never connect and this is a country of parallel lines that can never connect (and fuck fractile geometry here, too, M set be damned)--there are parallel lines running even through black society--none of We the People will ever connect.
Perhaps that's why religions are so popular: they give people the illusion that parallel lines are connecting or if not on earth surely in this fabulous place called "Glory" that place all religious paths supposedly lead us to.

As a little white boy I took white piano lessons in Dallas "Right Wing Heaven" Texas after WWII when my family were finally on their feet enough to afford a used upright piano.
First I learned piano basics, then a little Bach and then onto beginner's Chopin (I played a Chopin Etude my first recital--I still remember it and can play it).
I wasn't happy playin' that shit (I didn't know it as "European" music then, just "classical" music).
I wasn't happy with that slow draggy music, 2/4 shit just didn't rock it for me, because I'd suddenly discovered late night radio don't ya see--late night, my time, after my parents were sound asleep.
And I would creep up out of bed quietly and very quietly tip-toe and then shut my room door (a sin that wasn't allowed by my mother).
Then I would hustle into bed under the covers with my little Emerson Bakelite radio my brother'd left for me after he returned from China.
I would surf all over that compact AM dial looking for a particular kind of music I'd started hearing and digging--getting infected by it--the first "star" I remember diggin' was Joe Liggins, the Honeydripper, and the tune "The Honeydripper," and I still remember that tune, too--and he also had a hit with "Siboney," a tune long lost in the historical dumpster of time along with "Frenesi," "Begin the Beguine," "Canadian Sunset," and "I Cover the Waterfront" (Louis Armstrong introduced me to that old tune on that great film of him singing it in Holland in a time so long ago now)--
And "tune" is where "toon" comes from, or did you know that? Cartoons are simply "drawn" (French carton) + "tunes"--and that's what the early Loony Toons and Merry Melody cartoons were, drawings of tunes--I remember one where a bunch of funny dog-like characters sing, "A Boy's Best Friend Is His Mother" while a little ball bounces along keeping time over the words.

One night, out of Nashville, Tennessee, a big-watted radio station town with WLAC (Western Life and Casualty Insurance Co.), I heard this next-step-up-from-Joe-Liggins music comin' through the speaker, monaural, baby, mono--Wow--and my little boy's heart was pumpin' 12/4--kind'a slow and mule-walkin' like--you know, that kind'a slow drag beat, now called "a shuffle"--but we didn't call it shufflin' yet--shufflin' was still a white view of the way blacks moved--remember old Step'n Fetchit, the best shuffler there was--Step'n once drove around Hollywood by lining his 12 Rolls Royces up in a row and then driving one up a few feet, going back to the next one and driving it up behind the first one, and then on and on until he got to his location.
And on that WLAC-AM radio station out of Nashville, Tennessee, I first heard Muddy "Mississippi" Waters.
The blues. But I knew the blues. My brother was a hepcat and he had all kinds of records, swing, jazz, be-bop, all blues, but night-club blues, big-band blues, Fats Waller, Woody Herman, Count Basie playing jump blues on piano with Freddie Greene, Jo Jones, and Walter Page, the "All American Rhythm Section," on the Decca label...
So I knew the blues.
I knew boogie-woogie. Albert Ammons. Roll 'Em Pete Johnson. Meade "Lux" Lewis.
Did'ja ever hear Pete Johnson's "Minuet Boogie." Whoooa.
And boogie-woogie was just blues banged out smoothly eight to the bar and soon I had developed a boogie-woogie left hand and soon as a little tyke I was pushing boogie woogie all over my Jesus-loves-even-boogie-woogie white Christian home, my "heavenly" music, their "Hell" music; my blessed music; their Devil music.
But boogie-woogie was the blues. A hustling blues that boiled up out of the big-city streets.
And then I heard Muddy Waters.
The blues boilin' right up out of the ground.
Pass me some breaded pork chops and some ham-hock-jammed red beans over some of that nasty rice.
And, yes, I'll have a glass of that champagne, too, if you please.

And I was watchin' this video of Muddy Waters back when he was 66 years old, in 1981, made in Iowa by Iowa Public Television, "Maintenance Shop Blues" the show was called, and there was muddy in Iowa with a pick-up band of locals it looks like, one a red-headed white boy sticking out sore-thumb-like among them.
But when you get a chance to play with Muddy Waters you suddenly turn very hip and cool and alert and shit and you play way above your head.
And there was Muddy "Mississippi" Waters and he started off singing about how he was goin' back to the Delta...and then he stayed in the Delta and did James Moore's "I'm a King Bee"--and by then I'm socked in and caught in the twangs of Muddy's blastin' guitar overrulin' the pick-up boys and Muddy's calm voice just spellin' things out for me.
And I looked into Muddy's thick-volumes-of-blues-history face and watched him easily sing, "I'm a King Bee/Always buzzin' 'round your hive...." Tumblin' right along ("Rollin' and tumblin'" a real old-good-ole-good-way of kickin' ass blues back beatin'). "And we can make honey, baby/If you'll let me come inside." And by now I'm pray-zin the lardy lard and kickin' off my shoes and jitter dancin' all around my room.
That's real music to me, folks.
That's where I come from.
From Muddy I heard it real.
From Muddy I learned how to phrase it my way.
From Muddy I learned how to let my natural thing shine through; let it write and arrange the music as it's being performed.
You've got the beat given to you.
You've got the clue to how to feel the blues's hard-drivin' softly bumpin' back-beat.
The blues are too subtle and simple for high-speed, complicated, neurotic white brains.
Blacks know how to pace themselves--
I mean blacks know high blood pressure--
"The pressure drop, mon"
Don't let the pressure drop on you...
No, just roll and tumble with the blues.
Muddy Waters in Iowa.
Find it. It was issued originally in VHS.
1981, when Muddy was 66.
April 4, 1915 Muddy was born.

Lost Another Master
I only learned tonight that Jay McShann had died a year ago, December 2006, at 91.
Jay McShann was a typical rollin' and tumblin' blues and boogie piano-playing bandleader out of Kansas City at the same time the Basie Band was forming at the Reno Club.
And what made Jay McShann so special? He had Charles Parker, Jr., in his band at one time. He had one hell of a great band at one time.
A great man, too. A wizard.
"Confessin' the Blues," by Walter Brown out of Jay's band, is one of the great ole great ones, as Louis Armstrong would say. of all jazz time.
So, Goodbye, Jay McShann.

for The Daily Growler

Pianist, singer and bandleader Jay McShann died Thursday, one month before his 91st birthday. Fittingly, he passed away in Kansas City, Missouri, his adopted hometown and one of the most significant incubators of modern jazz.

Born in Oklahoma, where he taught himself piano, McShann moved to Kansas City in late 1936.

Eventually, McShann would fill the void Basie left in Kansas City with a swing orchestra assembled from local musicians, including, most notably, a teenaged Kansas City native and budding alto saxophonist named Charles Parker, Jr. In the opinion of many jazz aficionados—including this writer—Parker would become the greatest improviser in jazz history and the largest single influence on its subsequent development, despite his struggle with substance abuse and premature demise at the age of 34.

In later interviews, McShann relished telling his version of how Parker got his famous nickname “Yardbird”—later shortened to “Bird. “ Supposedly, a car in which they were both riding to an engagement killed a chicken, and Parker insisted they pull over, so he could retrieve the “yardbird” and have it cooked for his dinner.

The Jay McShann Orchestra made its first recordings—without Parker—in late 1939. Parker rejoined McShann the next year and stayed until he became a member of pianist Earl Hines’ band in 1943, a group that included Dizzy Gillespie and several other jazz modernists. In 1945, Parker and Gillespie made the seminal early recordings of bebop-style jazz, which overwhelmed the conventions of the large swing orchestras and transformed jazz into its modern form.

The five 78 rpm records of the McShann band featuring Charlie Parker solos—made for Decca Records’ “Sepia” series, aimed specifically at black audiences—are among the most important in jazz history because of Parker’s tremendous impact on his peers. They make great listening today. “Hootie Blues” (the title refers to McShann’s nickname), for example, includes all the best elements of the Kansas City style, McShann’s skillful piano introduction, a chorus of riffs from the band, Parker’s passionate blues solo, an excellent vocal by bluesman Walter Brown (“Well, hello little girl, don’t you remember me?”) and a final riff chorus.

Unfortunately, although the Jay McShann Orchestra excelled at popular songs, the success of Brown’s vocal on “Confessin’ the Blues” led Decca management to pigeon-hole the band as “The Band that Plays the Blues.” Live recordings, unearthed decades later by collectors Frank Driggs and Norman Saks, reveal a much broader repertoire than those on the commercial recordings, exemplified by an astounding Savoy Ballroom performance of “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” a hoary 1919 popular song featuring an extended, and extremely modern, Parker solo.

McShann was drafted in 1943, bringing his classic swing band to an end. He unsuccessfully attempted to establish a viable jazz orchestra after his discharge, but times had changed. While bebop took leadership of the jazz world, McShann became a more commercially oriented rhythm-and-blues performer. He scored a huge hit backing vocalist Jimmy Witherspoon on a cover recording of “Ain’t Nobody’s Business.”

McShann returned to Kansas City in 1950, where he raised his three daughters and performed regularly in local establishments. He toured sporadically, including a highly rewarding 1969 European trip, made occasional recordings and settled comfortably into the role of an elder statesman. He was prominently featured in the excellent 1980 homage to the Kansas City golden age, “Last of the Blue Devils,” was interviewed in Ken Burns’ uneven 2001documentary “Jazz,” and performed during the piano segment of Clint Eastwood’s 2003 PBS mini-series “The Blues.”

On recordings, McShann displayed a high degree of piano skill, with elements of boogie-woogie underlying his always imaginative melodic improvisations. He never developed the more modern sound of his Kansas City contemporary, Mary Lou Williams, however, and sounded increasingly dated as the years rolled on. Eventually, he began singing as well, sounding remarkably like Walter Brown.

McShann was a tireless advocate of his musical tradition. “You’d just have some people sitting around, and you’d hear some cat play, and somebody would say, ‘This cat, he sounds like he’s from Kansas City,’” the Associated Press quoted McShann as saying in a 2003 interview promoting his CD “Goin’ to Kansas City,” which received a Grammy nomination in the traditional blues category. “It was the Kansas City style. They knew it on the East Coast. They knew it on the West Coast. They knew it up north, and they knew it down south.”

McShann performed live until last year, when deteriorating health made it impossible for him to continue. It was only a few days before his death, however, when he entered St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City complaining of a respiratory infection.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hard Times, a short story by a The Daily Growler contributor:

I was sittin’ around doin’ nothin’, my normal daily duties, when my pal Screamy came running up screaming, “Hey, Lug, you wanna get rich quick?”

“Scream, my man, that’s an absolutely asinine question, you know I gotta get rich quick ‘cause that’s the only way I’m ever gonna get rich.”

“OK, dude, OK, but listen to this. Would you grab a chance to possibly—and I say possibly because possibly there may be days when your chances aren’t as great as say a day when your chances will come by the bowlsful….”

“Screamy, for God’s god-damn sake, I’m gonna ring your neck like my ole daddy used to ring the necks of them damn devil chickens we ate every Sunday after church if you don’t get on with your get rich quick shit quick….”

“I’m glad you put it ‘get rich quick shit quick’—I knew you were a great PR bullshitter but you still surprise me sometimes.”


“OK, my friend, listen to this. Blarmey’s old man’s getting’ up in years, you know, plus, as the years have passed the old man’s put on more and more weight—he loves his pasta and peppers and sausages and all that nasty shit them Italians eat though Blarmey’s not Italian, they’re Irish as shanty hell, but anyway, you see, the old man weighs about 500 pounds now and he can’t get outta bed, you see, so what happens is, they’ve had to kind’a design his bed where he can just vegetate in bed and not really have to move a muscle, which if he has any muscles left are buried under those tons of fat—I mean he has titties like a grown woman, man; I’ve see ‘em bathin’ him one day when I was over there messin’ with Blarmey’s sister.”

“Eagle Breath! You were messin’ with Eagle Breath?”

“Hell, come on, Luggie, she ain’t bad once you get passed the breath and the cross eyes. ‘Sides, she has a killer body, man, oooh, a luscious rack—I cant’ wait….”

“Down, Screamy, down boy.”

“Thanks. But damn, I like the ladies, Lug, you know that…and damn if I don’t have some good stories for you, but anyway, let me get back to this job Blarmey’s old man’s offerin’.”

“Shoot the shit to me.”

“I like how you’re approaching this because you’re relating in the right direction….”

“God-damn you, Screamy, I’m about to….”

“OK, cool it, now. So here’s the deal. Blarmey’s old man is confined to this custom-made bed twenty-four/seven. He’s got three ‘round-the-clock nurses that handle all the shit that goes on on top of the bed, like feeding him, combing his hair, dig, sponge bathing his old blubbery smelly body—he smells like rancid fat, man, I swear he does—I mean the nurses have to wear masks sometimes….”


”No, man, I’m pullin’ your God-damn leg, Luggie boy, but, anyway, here’s the deal. The old man can’t move a lick, like he can’t roll over or shit like that, see, and that means he can’t get outta bed to do his bodily functioning, dig? So they’ve rigged up a tube thing tied onto his dick that he pisses into and it goes into a big water jug by his bed. The nurses don’t mind emptying the piss tank—so that’s no problem. The problem, and here’s where your job comes in—the problem is, they’ve devised a hole in the bed under his ass—and I mean his ass must be—I’ve never seen it, but it has to be, man, like a land mass, you know, an island unto itself on his enormous fuckin’ body.”

“Jesus, man, it sounds vile as Hell.”

“Hey, I ain’t gonna kid you, kid, it ain’t a bed of roses around this big gob of blubber.”

“So the job is?”

“OK, OK, hold your horses, the job is—you see, the dude has to shit….”


“Hold on, man, let me finish. The dude has to shit, so he just lets go when he has to and it’s cool since he’s stuck with his butt through this hole in his custom-made bed—you know, the urge, so boom, he let’s fly, man—and down into this big stainless steel bedpan of a thing all this shit goes.”

“So the job is hauling out the bedpan and emptying it?”

“Well, yes and no—no, all you have to do on the job is yeah cover the mess with plastic wrap and then slide it out from under the bed and the nurse doesn’t mind taking it and the pisspot and emptying them the big-size toilet in the bathroom there.”

“So far, yes, a vile, nasty job, though why can’t the nurse just reach under the dude and slide the shitpot out….”

“No, man, it’s more complicated than that. You see, the problem is, and this is the crux of the job, after this dude shits, somebody needs to crawl under the bed and wipe his ass clean.”

“Jesus Christ, man; who the hell would wanna do that? Why not Blarmey or Eagle Breath?”

“Oh hell no; besides, they hate the old man; they never even go in his room.”

“So how do you get rich quick off wiping this old sorry bastard’s big fat asshole after he’s dumped a ton into his stainless steel shitpot?”

“Listen to this, my friend, and believe it, too, ‘cause it’s true.”

“I’m listening.”

“Well, you know Blarmey’s old man is rich as sin, with the three bars and the hotel back in the old country, plus Blarmey’s mother’s father was a bar owner big shot, too, so they got plenty of bucks, baby.”

“OK, so Blarmey’s old man’s rich, so what?”

“So what is, they’re offering 500 smackers a pop every time you successfully wipe his ass and refresh the bedpan—you know, put it back under his ass.”

“Five hundred smackers a wipe?”

“Yep, you said it, 500 bucks a wipe…and the nurse told me he sometimes goes 5 or 6 times a day—that’s 3000 smackers a day, baby, 3000 big ones a day! Twenty-one thousand somolians a week, Buster.”

“You gotta be bullshittin’ me. Come on, Screamy, you can’t bullshit the bullshitter, you know that.”

“I ain’t shittin’ you, Lug. They’re willing to pop for 21,000 a week to keep his old ass clean as a whistle.”

“I just can’t believe that! That would be eighty-four thousand dollars a month!”

“Yep. And forget about a year. See what I mean, get rich quick…and god knows how long that old blimp is gonna live—he seems frisky as hell every time I go in to see him—he likes me ‘cause I muled some you know what for him one time and knew at that time about his little side business—hey, I made twenty-thousand doing that mulin’ for him—and he likes me ‘cause I kept my mouth shut.”

“So, there you go, Screamy, it’s the job just for you, buddy.”

“No, man, no, I can’t, I gotta bail down to Florida; the Feds are after me, man; tax bullshit, so I gotta flee town. That’s why I’m given you the opportunity of a lifetime, Lug, old buddy. And you need a job, too. That severance money ain’t gonna last forever. Just think, just wipin’ his old filthy ass for a month will make you eighty-four thousand smackers richer. Then you can quit it and come down to Florida and hang with me on South Beach, baby.”

After Screamy hit the streets, I stared at the address on the piece of paper he’d left me. I read the name over and over “Batista Bonzini”—Mafia, had to be; where else could that old fat fool get enough money to pay a man, and that Blarmey, he wasn’t Irish, they called him that because he was always saying it, “Blarmey this and Blarmey that.” I assumed he was saying “Blarney,” though people called him “Blarmey” so I guess that’s what he wanted to be called, Blarmey Bonzini, Jesus, what a bunch of nutjob friends I have; only idiots like Screamy and Blarmey could come up with wiping a fat man’s ass as a way to fame and fortune. “And just how did you get so rich, Mr. Lug Leger?” “I got rich, Mr. Letterman, by wiping a fat ass’s ass five times a day for 7 years; I thought the fat slob motherfucker was gonna live forever…sorry, I can’t say ‘fat ass’ on teevee? Jesus, I would’a thought motherfucker’d been the word….” Blah, blah, blah.

Still, endurance was one of my challenges; I loved running in marathons and was thinking of getting in supershape to try a triathlon. One of the guys I was working out with in my marathon runners club is a triathlon champ and he thinks he can get me in shape for a triathlon in California later this year; so I think I’m mentally able to endure just about any kind of challenge be it the smell of roses or the smell of human shit. So I stared at that card.

Wasn’t I just too classy to be wiping a man’s ass for a living? Hell, I had published a minor classic, you know one of those books people talk about but have never read (or bought, I might add), but I’m proud of it and I’m proud of my mind and my talents but truth out, I am broke; I have just been fired; and I am living up all the severance money I got, my savings long gone; OK, I’m desperate for money; and my rent’s going up and my landlord is soon going to get all rents in my building up to enormous heights, as high as two thousand smackers a month—so, yes, I kept staring at that name on that card, avoiding the phone number; actually Screamy indicated I could just go to the address and go right to work. Five wipes a day. Well, at least that’s what Screamy averaged after talking to the ‘round-the-clock nurses about it. Besides, they dumped the honey pot and not me. But then I’d imagine having to slide under this special-made bed until my face was directly under this dying man’s enormous cheeks and right into the middle of his filthy brown eye—up close to it, my nose almost touching it—and then having to take the tissue and reach up into that crack and wipe that dirty, filthy asshole clean as a baby’s butt. I must admit I feel like gagging until I vomit thinking about it; yet, five wipes at five hundred bucks a wipe, two thousand five hundred dollars after the first day—shit, I could surely endure that for a week at least; I mean, seven days, seventeen thousand and five a week; but, shit, that’s not enough either.

I got up and made myself a sandwich. As I made the sandwich I started thinking about that old codger’s ass and then I couldn’t eat the sandwich—and it was a great sandwich, too. Dammit.

I went over and over my money all that night. Screamy called about ten and said he was at the airport and headin’ toward Miami in about 15 minutes. He said I could just show up there in the morning and tell the nurse I was there to do the wipe job. “She’s cool,” he said, “in fact, you might get some action out of her; she’s your type.” He couldn’t imagine a nurse going out with him—“Oh, you met your new boyfriend on your job—he’s a doctor? No? He wipes a fat man’s ass? That’s his profession?” Yeah, sure; yet, the nurses have to empty the honey pot and the piss pot, and they have to sponge bath the old cursed bastard—sponge bathe his old genitals—but at least they don’t have to sponge bathe his asshole. God, he wanted to puke again.

He couldn’t sleep that night. The morning kept looming closer—and so did his eminent poverty, too—the morning offered him salvation or….

The next morning as he stood before the mirror in his bathroom after he’d showered he was wondering, "Should I wear a suit and tie or will jeans do? "

for The Daily Growler

This was published off our The Daily Growler PC Laptop!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Aloofness of a Wolf

Led Into by The Invisible Man
I'm stuck reading Ralph (his middle name was Waldo) Ellison these past few days--one time on an airliner and I hate flying--wolves don't fly, unless they're leaping up to phenom heights to catch a fat swan's sweet-meat ass for a little light snack and howl before the serious hunting begins--wolves remain aloof, especially Alpha wolves--and see how aloof I'm getting in just describing my wolf side, my yang side? or my yin side? I forget my Chinese "good" and "evil" nomenclature but I do know the yin and yang symbol (did you ever work in advertising and use semiotics to lure the gullible?) but I'm so damn dumb and lazy because I'm just a Google step away from a dump just full of yin and yang signs both ancient and modern and 1000-page essays on their semiotic significance in everything from abacus use to zen realization but especially in their symbolic uses in Chinese cooking.

But I'm wandering away from my destination point--so back to it and reading Ralph Ellison and I just can't stop reading this guy; he writes and thinks and reads like an old Cadillac Coupe de Ville used to ride the good highways in "the old days" at high speeds. This reply to an interviewer's question (unimportant), for instance, really grabbed my solar plexus and made me growl for just the joy of reading what this man said: "ELLISON: Put it this way: I learned very early that in the realm of the imagination all people and their ambitions and their interests could meet." "We all meet in imagination," I wrote in the margin of my copy of Shadow and Act, page 12.

What I'm driving at in my Coupe de Ville down the lone highway I'm constantly on is that all of my friends are imaginary--I made 'em up in my daydreams--even my very best friend--let's see, that might be thedailygrowlerhousepianist, who is a real person outside of this blog, but inside this blog--I don't know how real he is--he's only contributed one piece to this blog in the over a year and almost two years this Rabelais blog has been broadcasting out to the very thoughts of "youse" all through the fly-by-night OLD blackface pages of The Daily Growler now changed. Have I noticed? Yes. Do I like the new look? I do, I think--I think, therefore I do like it. It's a lot more civilized (culturally evolved) and easier to read than the old black-backgrounded one--the babble, the ranting, my full moon growlings as I go for the throats of these imaginary "demons" that I fight trying to kick them out of my imagination--my daydreams as Ralph Waldo Ellison said--my intuitions as Hakim Bey might say--my continual present as Gertrude Stein hath ordered me to say that that is what it is that I live in, that that is a continuous and therefore continuing as is continuing present and presence of mind and physique and being, existential yes, but also transcendental in that good ole American way that Ralph Ellison says is the way out of "the blues" or the condition the blues has put you in, especially the blues the black people of this country have had to bear since those European global enterprises enslaved them in their African real past and forced them into becoming Amuricans, except not full Amuricans, only a white man who owns land is the only "full" Amurican. Same with the blues Native Americans had to learn to sing or counter with a hymn--just think, we forced Native Americans onto reservations and denied them the vote but forced them to join the US Army--a tragedy that is seldom mentioned in any of our crack news-reporting presses and broadcasts--the tragedy of our aboriginal people, like maybe an in-depth reporting of their present situation--these are people who are instinctually much closer to Nature (plus they'd never read Adam Smith) than the Great White Father and his boatloads of indentured-servant white trash and white religious nutjobs fleeing the harsh authorities of France and England and Greece and Italy and Spain--fleeing monarch-ruled Europe for the supposed "freedom" to be found in the New World--which wasn't a New World to the Native Americans; which wasn't a New World to the indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, South America (Bolivia with the first-ever indigenous el presidente in the Americas), the Caribbean--or what's left of them--some of them decimated and left to turn to bones and dust in the places where they were massacred or killed from the strange diseases--like syphilis--old red-blooded Christofer Colombo and his gang of ruddy sailor boys brought with them on the Nina, Pinta, y Santa Maria. "Columbus had a one-eyed mate/He loved him like a brother/And every night at half-past eight/They buggered one another/Ohhhhhhhhh/He knew the world was round-O/His balls hung to the ground-O/That navigatin', calculatin', son of a bitch, Colombo." Damn, I love the old bawdy songs and backroom ballads--the creme de la hoot of folk music, brought into my ears by the still-surviving wonderful raunchy singer Oscar Brand.

And now I have drifted way off course from my destination point--maybe I'm avoiding IT (or Id)...

What I'm trying to preamble here is that I consider thegrowlingwolf a real person. I've often written here that none of THIS is real; it's all just one long piece of fiction, just as everything is to me, both in my real I and in my wolf I. Just as through writing Ralph Waldo Ellison was able to transcend his black situation--as a boy in segregated Oklahoma City and then later as a successful writer in Paris and New York City--tossing off the mask the whites forced him to wear (whites think of blacks as "funny" people, both in their looks, actions, and ways of thinking (there clever use of syntax)--it comes from the old days of white minstrelsy where a bunch of goony white musicians and tricksters went about bringing the "true darkey" to the eyes and ears of the wanting-to-be-meanly entertained white audiences around the 100-year-old USA--and Ellison is so thorough on this subject. He transcended his growing-up situation through music, through reading, through learning, through language, through appreciation of "higher" things, things you have to reach UP for. I mean, have you noticed, escape from this planet is always UP?--cathedral steeples point the way out--skyscrapers loom upwards searching the skies for places of heavenly safety from the riff-raff that prowls the lowest depths of mankind, street-level mankind, shit-cleaning mankind, ditchdigging and jackhammering mankind, criminal mankind--whoaaaaaa, I correct myself, the successful criminals live up in the clouds with the wealthy who are criminals, too--but anyway, our quest for higher floors to live on is like being in a race to some imaginary finish line--the higher you get the safer you feel--"Movin' on up"--the further away from the harshness of chaotic (as Hakim Bey said) reality the better. What is real?

I am not a real wolf; yet I am in my imagination. I am not a real writer because I'm but a character in a continually written book, a book spoken out in thoughts, or in some instances I'm a character who you might find singing in front of a band that transcends "normal" music and rhythms--or I might be that well-dressed fellow playing the piano and singin' the blues in some blues dump or blues lounge or I might be playing a little jazz piano with Manfred Percy Mann or theryefarmerfromqueens, who is a real person, too, in some rosy little noisy Lower East Side club where the cockroaches are hidden behind the plastic veneers.

All of this because of a comment from thewomantrumpetplayer from the other coast a few posts back, though, as irony would have it, she's a native New Yorker, which means to me she's a native New York citian even though she may be from Brooklyn--and I've known a couple of Brooklyn babes who I've cuddled and coddled for several moons of old time--one on State Street in a brownstone garden apartment I should'a stayed attuned to, an ex-convent Italian girl with eburline skin like one suspects in fantasies all nuns have under their habits, a gal reporter who took me to Sam Shepard's True West at the Cherry Lane and then to a Frida Kahlo showing--she looked like Frida Kahlo in fact, with dark heavy eyebrows above blazing brown eyes all on that nun-like-colorless-hairless flesh. Hair is considered sinful because it makes us look too much like the animals we are--"hairy" beasts--also, I forgot, shaving heads in the old Catholic church was a sign of humility--like what fun it must have been shaving the heads of the French, Belgium, or Dutch women who sexually caved in to Nazi Achtung-love--hey, they were horny and what better lovemaking than with the enemy, who deep down you might secretly admire over your own men who in not being able to stand up to the Nazi wild animals became namby-pambies in these desperate babes's sexual fantasies?--how lonesome and horny at the same time it must have been in any city where the Nazi assholes came goosestepping in so full of themselves and their legendary Aryan blood and virility and imposing their rule on an already culturally evolved society and to then turn it into a Nazi jungle camp where savagery goes without punishment and death by flame awaits those who don't know the secret codes of Aryan purity or whose noses don't measure up to Aryan standards. [To my friend languagehat, I must apologize for my fascination with Freud and his Freudian novels. When you think of Freud's work as fiction, can you then maybe appreciate him a Big Tiny Little bit? Like his piece on the Ratman!]

Fucking instincts rule us; I know this; this is why Ralph Ellison had to write; why all writers have to write, in spite of disappearing places to publish--EXCEPT...and you know I love sticking these "EXCEPTs" in all the time--like a bandelero at a bullfight sticking those colored-ribbon infested barbed insults into the bull's humped-up-in-anger neck, to weaken his shoulder muscles, to make sure he can no longer use his horns instinctually, to keep his head forced low, low enough to where el matador, el torrero, el macho can stick his sword (his deadly penis) into that one vulnerable place just in back of the bull's lowered brain (the back of his skull)(the entrance to the male's feminine regulators) where if hit just right the sword blade is swallowed up through that soft spot and pulled point-blank smack dab into the bull's heart--soon blood (life to the Spaniards--Hemingway writes in For Whom the Bell Tolls about the old hags lined up outside the Spanish abattoirs with their buckets waiting to fill them up with blood that they drink and then cook with--how 'bout some blood sausage, baby?) is spurting and then cataracting out of the bull's nose and mouth and out of the wound. Then the bull slumps down to it's knees still trying to gasp in a little more life until the little man in the Babe Ruth cap comes out and finishes el toro off with his little dagger. Then el presidente has the dude cut off a couple'a ears, a team of mules come in and el toro muerto is dragged off to be butchered to supply meat (T-bones and KC 7s) to the orphanages--thus justifying such a Dark Ages way of proving how man is superior to DEATH, the one thing we as a collective fear the most.
Dead bullfighter - Edouard Manet, c. 1864-65.
Aha, as Manet showed, the bull doesn't always lose.

This Has Been Difficult to Write
What my intentions were in this piece (post) was to justify my being rather aloof when it came to thewomantrumpetplayer's request to get together with thegrowlingwolf while she was back in NYC to celebrate the Holy Days with her family, I assume. thegrowlingwolf slinked over into his "contemplation corner" and began a steady growling into the wall there when one of the staff showed him her comment in which she excitedly suggested a "get together"--the Wolf Man's problem? He's not real. He couldn't respond to such respect and actually appreciation, which thewomantrumpetplayer has shown for Wolfie's One Spring Morning Off Spring Street, which ran through 33 episodes recently on The Daily Growler.

Is Wolfie shy, you ask. Shy in the sense a shadow is shy.

My intentions in writing this blog--and in the help I get, elfin help yes but help just the same, in putting this cumbersome chaotic blog to pieces every damn day--except the past few days when my timing has been totally warped and sent me into a mach-speed nosedive as my molecules turned into time-drugged wobblies and went into a massive series of comas (or a massive series of commas, even worse)--it was hard for me to get out of bed since our spirits flew back from the eastern sandy vastlands of the upper Mojave.

And the Wolf Man wrote thewomantrumpetplayer an answer to her request--and then, back in his den he began to ponder whether or not he was too aloof in explaining to this wonderful (obviously) woman who plays the trumpet on the other coast why he couldn't bring himself to be real enough long enough to meet her and reveal who he really is.

Does this make sense? No. But what does make sense in this world these days? Only the past? The past is the pool of garbled facts and fictions that writers try and make sense out of and turn into an entertaining play (book, same thing), for all we are are entertainers at our highest peaks--hoping to become celebrities though most of us remaining on the carnival circuits most of our entertaining lives. A writer is bound by the perimeters of his blank spaces, whether a blank piece of paper in a notebook or in a typewriter or on the screen of a computer--as long as he leaves these spaces blank he's safe--the minute he puts the first words down--"Once upon a time..."--then he's in trouble--the writing actually becomes a process of living all over again--a second coming--and that is powerful and what Ralph Waldo Ellison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hakim Bey, Philip Wylie, and all my other writing maestros have tried to impart to me in their guidance of my trip into a totally blank future--EXCEPT not Gertrude Stein--she just taught me how to write not how to live as a writer or then how to step out of your writing and be real. As thegrowlingwolf, I have not learned how to reach that last step.

for The Daily Growler


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tricksters & the Blues

From the Deep-Thinking Pen (or Typewriter) of Ralph Ellison
A great bit of writing from Mr. Ellison's Shadow and Act, from the chapter "The Seer and the Seen/Change the Joke and Slip the Yoke," The Quality Paperback Book Club, 1994.

"From a proper distance all archetypes would appear to be tricksters and confidence men; part-God, part-man, no one seems to know he-she-its true name, because he-she-it is protean with changes of pace, location and identity. Further, the trickster is everywhere and anywhere at one and the same time, and, like the parts of some dismembered god, is likely to be found on stony as well as on fertile ground."

That is such a soothing passage to read. It comes from one of the now mostly forgotten writing innovators of the great American cultural evolutionary time right after WWII, that war giving a lot of these guys incentive to try and promote cultural change--like the acceptance of blacks and their bales of innovations they had brought to the culture out of being slaves to the white wealthy class that preemptively attacked this continent and began stealing all the land out from under the Native Americans's feet--just what the white wealthy class developers are currently trying to do all over the world (buying up world land) as I slave away typing at this burdening volunteer-slavery blog assignment. Check out the miraculous musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk for the musical definition of "volunteer slavery"--that's the title of one of his compositions--I also recommend a movie by Dick Fontaine called Sound?? that stars Rahsaan and John Cage (though they never meet in the movie)--it's full of unbelievable scenes of Rahsaan walking about London with his special blind-man's cane on wheels playing that conglomeration of sound-making devices that seemed to grow naturally around his neck, their mouthpieces specially stabilized so that they were right there at Rahsaan's circular-breathing mouth's immediate desire to play and hear whichever one Rahsaan's playing-ahead brain needed at any given moment in his walking around London and playing whatever comes to his mind--like a certain bird he hears and starts mimicking with his nose flute--or the great sequence of Rahsaan at the London Zoo with his young daughter--WOW, watch him tame these wild jungle beasts, the zoo's "inmates" as Rahsaan thinks of them and hears them as. Rahsaan was blind but not blind--he was antiblind--and in that sense he could see more purely than the sight given us by our regular eyes--sights that are so mundane and so commonly real, whereas Rahsaan's visual images were purely inventions of his mind, he as his own god creating his own images of the world in which he existed and heard and formed his images through those SOUNDS. This is why blind men and women are so sensitive to the meaning of music and rhythms--they sense the world in motion--they can feel it turning and spinning them around at a heartbeat rate--we who can see are too distracted by everyday sights and sounds to feel our "within" sensations, those only blind people know--think of being blind and making love for the first time--WOW, what wonderful dreamland images of what a woman or man naked feels like or looks like--Whooooo, what a sensation. I think that's why Shakespeare's Oedipus blinded himself after he found out he'd been banging his mom.... Archetypes are such tricksters from so far away. Just think how different Rahsaan Roland Kirk's archetypes must have looked from ours!!

The Blues
Right these final hours on eBay are being auctioned a whole set of blues innovator Robert Johnson's old 78 RPM records--except these are rare test pressings--the ones I know about were in a dude's collection he sold to the Smithsonian a few years back and were made by a recording engineer in the 1960s--these are one-sided test pressings of Johnson's original 78 rpm recordings (most of which were recorded in hotel rooms with Robert facing into a corner of the room and playing with his back to the recording guy--he was that shy it was legended); engineers are always making test pressings--I recently bought a test pressing made in the 90s by a famous upstate New York recording engineer of a Miles Davis 1950s Prestige LP--and I just recently bought an recording-company test pressing (made before the issue) of one of my childhood favs, Al Dexter, and his hit "Pistol Packin' Mama," a tune I still do in my retro act, the words I've known since I was five or so. My mother hated Al Dexter who lived and did his honky-tonking in Dallas, Texas, during WWII and a few years afterwards--Al's biggest hit ever, "Pistol Packin' Mama" horrified my mother and for that reason every time it came up on the radio I'd spin up the volume pot to loud and drive my mother momentarily insane--her TAZ was constantly being rifled by my rebellions. PPM starts out, "Drinkin' beer in a cabaret/And was I having fun/Till one night she caught me right/And now I'm on the run/CHORUS: Lay that pistol down, babe/ Lay that pistol down/ Pistol packin' mama/ Lay that pistol down." Al's other big hit was "I'm Sending Roses to My Lawyer" about how Al's lawyer had gotten him off clean in his last divorce and deserved some roses--I mean Al really loved the guy.

But anyway, here's "Cross Roads Blues" Robert Johnson test pressing as it sits now on eBay:

Note: Mr. Ed deleted the eBay link here--it revealed private info--an editorial repression on our distrustful part.

I'd love to own a couple but they're slowly moving out of my price range--there are at least 10 being offered--by a guy in Toronto--says he gets these from the US. Man, what you can find on eBay; amazin'--but we are not advertising for eBay--Fuck eBay--if you'd a bought their stupid stock...but you don't want to hear that, do you?

for The Daily Growler
Look in his eyes--that's where the feelin' comes from--Robert went down to the crossroads; all
the guys did; that's how you learned the blues, you met the devil down at the crossroads. An archetypical legend--it's in Stravinsky's Histoire du soldat and Tartini's The Devil's Trill--and one of the great and now forgotten bluesmen and songwriters of this time after WWII and one of the great influences on Ray Charles's life (Ray recorded Percy's last album on his Tangerine label), Mr. Percy Mayfield, sang "Dirty Work at the Crossroads" and told all about it. I think the crossroads was in Mississippi--about where the Yellow Dog Crossed the Southern Cross near the Yazoo.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Anti-Writing of Hakim Bey

Perhaps Parallel Lines Can Connect
We have just discovered Hakim Bey (not his real name--what is a real name?) who calls himself a Sufi-Anarchist and that's how we came across him, thinking anarchistically yesterday afternoon during a The Daily Growler staff self-boredom session where we were discussing a continuation of the "dinner party" metaphor of Anarchy--the model for the 19th Century Anarchists and thus, and through the insisting-we-watch-it pestering of thegrowlingwolf who discovered this video, we watched a YouTube interview with this babbler/writer Hakim Bey, which we'd link here but the interview isn't very interesting and is cockamamie and badly conducted by a guy who sounds like a fop--though on further pestering from the Wolf Man we Googled the man and found his writings. Whoooo boy, right up our alley. What attracted us to this heathen?--OK, we're not that excited about the "magical" and occultish aspects of H.B., but then he is a Sufi, but we are attracted to his "pirated" concept of "Temporary Autonomous Zones" ("It happens," as Bey says) (we are Gestaltists already), a concept conceived as a spontaneous space (a magical community) from which we all should run for and hide in as we recognize the ultimate Utter Chaos into which we are drifting (Praise the Lard) and trying to answer the question does the isolation of oneself with others of the same accord give you a bubble in which to swim against the coming tide of Utter Chaos. Isolation can't be reached by fiat (the Pirate metaphor in Anarchy) not in these days of crooked governments and corporate rule with private armies and gung ho anti-individual assassins--and of course Anarchy is antigovernment and anticorporate, which is against the law today, isn't it?

So, here, take a little Sufi-Anarchist trip into Chaos with Hakim Bey--it's a whirligig ride through a wordy airspace clogged with conflicting thoughts and anticommunications, very anticivilization and pro-poetry. Hakim Bey, Praise the Lard, could be the Anti-Christ! How can we not like this dude?


(Dedicated to Ustad Mahmud Ali Abd al-Khabir)


CHAOS NEVER DIED. Primordial uncarved block, sole worshipful monster, inert & spontaneous, more ultraviolet than any mythology (like the shadows before Babylon), the original undifferentiated oneness-of-being still radiates serene as the black pennants of Assassins, random & perpetually intoxicated.

Chaos comes before all principles of order & entropy, it's neither a god nor a maggot, its idiotic desires encompass & define every possible choreography, all meaningless aethers & phlogistons: its masks are crystallizations of its own facelessness, like clouds.

Everything in nature is perfectly real including consciousness, there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Not only have the chains of the Law been broken, they never existed; demons never guarded the stars, the Empire never got started, Eros never grew a beard.

No, listen, what happened was this: they lied to you, sold you ideas of good & evil, gave you distrust of your body & shame for your prophethood of chaos, invented words of disgust for your molecular love, mesmerized you with inattention, bored you with civilization & all its usurious emotions.

There is no becoming, no revolution, no struggle, no path; already you're the monarch of your own skin--your inviolable freedom waits to be completed only by the love of other monarchs: a politics of dream, urgent as the blueness of sky.

To shed all the illusory rights & hesitations of history demands the economy of some legendary Stone Age--shamans not priests, bards not lords, hunters not police, gatherers of paleolithic laziness, gentle as blood, going naked for a sign or painted as birds, poised on the wave of explicit presence, the clockless nowever.

Agents of chaos cast burning glances at anything or anyone capable of bearing witness to their condition, their fever of lux et voluptas. I am awake only in what I love & desire to the point of terror--everything else is just shrouded furniture, quotidian anaesthesia, shit-for-brains, sub-reptilian ennui of totalitarian regimes, banal censorship & useless pain.

Avatars of chaos act as spies, saboteurs, criminals of amour fou, neither selfless nor selfish, accessible as children, mannered as barbarians, chafed with obsessions, unemployed, sensually deranged, wolfangels, mirrors for contemplation, eyes like flowers, pirates of all signs & meanings.

Here we are crawling the cracks between walls of church state school & factory, all the paranoid monoliths. Cut off from the tribe by feral nostalgia we tunnel after lost words, imaginary bombs.

The last possible deed is that which defines perception itself, an invisible golden cord that connects us: illegal dancing in the courthouse corridors. If I were to kiss you here they'd call it an act of terrorism--so let's take our pistols to bed & wake up the city at midnight like drunken bandits celebrating with a fusillade, the message of the taste of chaos.

A monolithical approach to "Why we are HERE & NOW." Isn't that word "NOWEVER" great? And notice and be careful, there are WOLFANGELS in Chaos.

Here's another little excerpt from what Bey calls "Pornography." Everything is ANTI-. We love it; a whirlpool of words smashed into rabid/real/sane/NOW thinking and writing.


IN PERSIA I SAW that poetry is meant to be set to music & chanted or sung--for one reason alone--because it works.

A right combination of image & tune plunges the audience into a hal (something between emotional/aesthetic mood & trance of hyperawareness), outbursts of weeping, fits of dancing--measurable physical response to art. For us the link between poetry & body died with the bardic era--we read under the influence of a cartesian anaesthetic gas.

In N. India even non-musical recitation provokes noise & motion, each good couplet applauded, "Wa! Wa!" with elegant hand-jive, tossing of rupees--whereas we listen to poetry like some SciFi brain in a jar--at best a wry chuckle or grimace, vestige of simian rictus--the rest of the body off on some other planet.

In the East poets are sometimes thrown in prison--a sort of compliment, since it suggests the author has done something at least as real as theft or rape or revolution. Here poets are allowed to publish anything at all--a sort of punishment in effect, prison without walls, without echoes, without palpable existence--shadow-realm of print, or of abstract thought--world without risk or eros.

So poetry is dead again--& even if the mumia from its corpse retains some healing properties, auto-resurrection isn't one of them.

If rulers refuse to consider poems as crimes, then someone must commit crimes that serve the function of poetry, or texts that possess the resonance of terrorism. At any cost re-connect poetry to the body. Not crimes against bodies, but against Ideas (& Ideas-in-things) which are deadly & suffocating. Not stupid libertinage but exemplary crimes, aesthetic crimes, crimes for love. In England some pornographic books are still banned. Pornography has a measurable physical effect on its readers. Like propaganda it sometimes changes lives because it uncovers true desires.

Our culture produces most of its porn out of body-hatred-- but erotic art in itself makes a better vehicle for enhancement of being/consciousness/bliss--as in certain oriental works. A sort of Western tantrik porn might help galvanize the corpse, make it shine with some of the glamor of crime.

America has freedom of speech because all words are considered equally vapid. Only images count--the censors love snaps of death & mutilation but recoil in horror at the sight of a child masturbating--apparently they experience this as an invasion of their existential validity, their identification with the Empire & its subtlest gestures.

No doubt even the most poetic porn would never revive the faceless corpse to dance & sing (like the Chinese Chaos- bird)--but...imagine a script for a three-minute film set on a mythical isle of runaway children who inhabit ruins of old castles or build totem-huts & junk-assemblage nests--mixture of animation, special-effects, compugraphix & color tape-- edited tight as a fastfood commercial...

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Hakim Bey, not his real name (is he in Baltimore, a seedy hotel in China, or the mythical Babylon?)

for The Daily Growler

Does the name Woodrow Wilson Day mean anything to anybody?

Hakim Bey believes all creativity is STOLEN from somewhere else--or pirated--so it's alright to plagiarize--it's alright to commingle ideas without referencing them because once you incorporate them into your TAZ and put them into your words they become yours anyway--fuck copyrights.

Recommended food for your ears and thus your inner mechanisms: Charles Ives Piano Sonata No. 1 performed by a Brit lad named Philip Mead--Mead plays this the hardy high-flung virtuosic way of the master Charlie Ives himself--not the namby-pamby ways overClassicalized "learned" performers interpret it--Virgil Thomson called classical performers "executioners." So "We have come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves...." and Mr. Mead sounds American to we ethnoeccentric assholes.

Rest in War.


for The Daily Growler

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey Day Observations

From Over the Rim of a Half-full Whiskey Glass Looking Right at the Pope's Nose
"What's the Pope's nose, pops?" "That's the south end of a turkey that's headed north, sonny boy." "Oh, ho, ho, I get it. So, why's it called the Pope's nose, pops?" "You ever seen the Pope's nose?"

We made observations on Turkey Day this year:

1) First of all, every teevee network and CABLE dipstick news flush (it's like they're flushing so much bullshit down the toilets of our minds) seemed to determine that this "Thanksgiving" day was devoted to our U.S. troops in Iraq--how all the Hollywood humper-stars and the graciousness of phony "president" Bush were taking these goofy kids turkey dinners and flashpoint entertaining them--it didn't seem to involve very many soldiers really, the rest of the troops we assumed were out on patrol getting their asses shot off--a bomb went off in Northern Iraq and killed 30 or 40 people yesterday but that didn't get one mention on the news. No one is dying in Iraq according to yesterday's teevee coverage of life. Soldiers in Iraq eating tinfoiled turkey and trimmings was all they showed; no mention was given on what our troops in Afghanistan were eating--"dust, dirt, and more dust and dirt" probably--but then we forget, those are NATO forces causing Holy Havoc in Afghanistan right now so no mention is made ever of that war--and we keep forgetting that Afghanistan is the "righteous" Bush war.

2) A propaganda story that thousands of Iraqis were flocking back into Baghdad was back prominently in yesterday's "snooze news"--the story states these Iraqis are mostly coming back from camps in Syria. This story started running about two weeks ago--we first saw it headlined in Yahoo news--and it was trumpeted regally all during yesterday's "Thanksgiving Day" bullshit blasting--amidst scenes of Hollywooders and snarky looking private goons airlifting turkey dinners to the happy, happy soldiers in Irak--and a lot of re-upping soldiers, too, were interviewed, gung ho dudes and dudettes, most of them goofball kids saying they were starting, happily it was always shoveled at us, their second and third tours of duty in Iraq--oh such young and innocent fools--this war should have never happened--yet that is never mentioned in any WAR reporting--always the message is that WAR is good and the war on terrerism is a serious matter and the fact that we haven't been attacked again since 9/11 is proof that Bush's WARs are working. Along with this "good" Iraq news, the Neo-Con networks were heralding our Phony "president" Bush as just one of the greatest guys we've never legally elected president--one of the boy's retiring goons, with sparklings of love in her eyes, went in public and compared the little "spoiled rich brat" (the rascally Yaley) to George "First Daddy" Washington. Do you think Georgie Porgie has some slaves hidden away on his faux ranch down in Craw-full-of-shit, Texas?

3) We were surprised to find out that Gov. Mike Huckabee (nutjob rightwing governor of the great progressive state of Arkansas) is an ordained Bible-babbling Christian fundy minister--Praise the Hellfire Lard (yeah, you get it from boiling down pig fat).

4) The Holy Networks were still giving detailed overviews of the various Repugnican candidates's poll figures and then a deep analysis of their chances in the year-away horse's ass presidential "election." Only a modicum of interest was given the Dumbocrats--usually how Obama and Mother Hillary are "mudslinging" at each other. All the presidential candidates look like fools to us.

5) Even the stupid network game shows all had stupid troopers on them yesterday--soldiers were everywhere--at the football games--"God Bless America" wafting mightily up to the Christian God through the huge stadium sound systems--the American flag flying majestically all over everywhere. Even Macy's stupid Thanksgiving Day parade trotted out all the military services--wahooo! were we War crazy as hell yesterday!--THANK the Christian God for WAR! America's true salvation! WAR! KILLING--most of our televised thankfulness going to advertisers first and WAR and the WAR industries second.

6) Did you know that John McCain is still a viable Repugnican candidate? Who cares, you are saying.

7) And again in spite of all his shortcomings, Rudi Guiliani "Amurica's Mayor" is still trumpeted as "perhaps" the next president of this jungle we call the USA (and most of Rudi's cums are short and sweet--one of his slow seeds getting through to Donna Hanover's star egg and producing Rudi's loopy-looking male child, a kid that doesn't even speak to his old pappy anymore--"Oops, sorwy, third wife, I cummed already. Bernie, baby, how the hell do you hold your cums back so well, at least according to Judith Regan"--and how sloppy ruined is Judy's fab career now? Don't worry, though, Judy's socked away several mil down in Bernie Keric's Cayman Island offshore account--we think Rudi probably has an offshore account in the same bank, where else has he stashed all those millions he made off his 9/11 fund, which the survivors say they never saw a nickel of?--plus, back to Judith R, she'll be coming out with a million-buck book deal on the whole affair soon.

8) And Slick Willie Clinton has "written" another book; this one on "Giving." Bill's turned fundy Christian preacher, which is what he'd a been had he not gotten into politics, and is promoting "giving" (giving up your money) as a way to make progressive change happen in this country. Bill got this holy message when he hooked up with his best pal, Old Gnarly Pappy Bush, "I love that man," Bill bleats consistently now, and gleaned millions of bucks for the tsunami victims (Bill and Old Pappy weren't interested in New Orleans; I mean FEMA did such a "heck of a job" down there--besides, Bill barked, "That's a bunch of wooly boogers down there")--remember that tsunami that wiped out a lot of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Southern India--remember that? What happened to all these millions of bucks these clowns claim they garnered? Ah Sweet Charity!

So another Turkey Day has passed and today the ignorant America people are out blowing their dwindling worthless US bucks on crappily made Commie Chinese and Asian Rim products, especially off-brands that these dumbass conglomerate-owned department stores are shoveling off the shelves while their top-brand items have been marked up ten percent! God the American people are stupid--and just look at the mess our stupidity has left us grovelling in.

Happy Bullshit,

for The Daily Growler

Dennis Kucinich--Never Mentioned as a Presidential Candidate on Network Teevee; Never Given a Chance in the Staged Debates--From New Hampshire:

Standing in front of a poster that had the preamble to the U.S. Constitution grafted over a painting of George Washington — the theme of his visit to UNH was the Constitution — Kucinich said Cheney has violated his oath of office and should be impeached under the Constitution for "leading the country into an illegal war with Iraq" and "beating the drums of war against Iran."

"The Constitution is our protection," he said, and impeachment "is a process that's put into the Constitution to have a balance of power."

Aaron Leclerc/Staff photographer Dennis Kucinich, Democratic presidential hopeful, speaks to a gathering of UNH students and faculty on Wednesday in the MUB.

On Nov. 6, Kucinich introduced an impeachment resolution to the House of Representatives.

"It was not done lightly," Kucinich said.

The House voted for the resolution to be referred for review by the Judicial Committee.

"If Democrats really stood for the Constitution, we could have impeached the vice president," he said.

Kucinich is preparing another impeachment resolution he said is more than 300 pages long.

"It's gonna go down with a (bang) ... " Kucinich said, pounding the podium for emphasis.

Throughout his hourlong speech, Kucinch spoke of the country in terms of disorder and fear.

"Things are out of control now," he said. "This is a very dangerous period."

Americans are covered in a "cloak of fear," he said.

Kucinich cited a line from "The Second Coming" by Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe the state of the country: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.

"We were dragged into a war in Iraq based on lies and we're about to be dragged into another war with Iran," he said.

After his initial discussion of the Constitution and impeachment, Kucinich fielded questions from the audience and discussed topics ranging from other presidential candidates to the state of the American media.

Kucinich said he admires Republican candidate Ron Paul and wishes Mike Gravel would be included in more Democratic debates. He said he himself is often passed over for questions in debates, such as the one in Las Vegas Nov. 15.

Kucinich said he gets overlooked because he's "underestimated" by the American media.

"As far as (the media) is concerned, there's only three candidates (Hilary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards). If I break into third place, then there will be two," he joked.

Kucinich said there is a lack of unique voices in the American media and called some reporters who covered Washington in the run-up to the Iraq war "stenographers" for the White House.

"The press can play a vital role if it questions the government," he said, emphasizing the word "if."

Leah Baver, a senior at Oyster River High School, attended the talk with her friend, Nora Armstrong.

"I came in knowing nothing. I had a tendency to write (Kucinich) off," said Baver, who also has heard John Edwards and Ron Paul speak. "I thought I liked Edwards but know I like Kucinich."

Baver said Kucinich "didn't reek of politician" and "seemed more human" than other candidates.

"I think he was the most sincere (candidate)," said Jessica Locke, who lives in Cambridge, Mass. "He walks his talk."

As for impeaching Cheney, Jesse Beightol, who lives in Dover, said "it's a worthwhile cause" that would "set a precedent for future administrations."

Vanessa Bennett, a member of the Students for Kucinch group at UNH that organized the event, said Kucinich has "a lot of support on campus."

She feels good about Kucinch's chances to win the primary, even though he's currently fourth in the New Hampshire polls.

"I support him so much I have to believe he can do it," she said.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Best of The Daily Growler--a Rerun

From Out of the Past Come the Thundering Hoofbeats...
Hey, it's a big WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) holiday, a holy day to illegal immigrant white Americans honoring one fall dinner where a bunch of white Pilgrims lured a bunch of friendly Native Americans into an opening--offering them badly cooked versions of their own native foods and friendly outstretched hands as the bait--remember, these Pilgrims were from England--boiled innards eaters in those days--the worst cooks in the world--so can you imagine a Native American dinner cooked by a bunch of illegal immigrant Brits? So the Pilgrims lured these Native Americans in for what you might call a "Last Supper" before they then systematically tried to annihilate them. But anyway, Growlerites are holiday takers--we don't give a damn the reason for the holiday--we see them as days when the bullshit shuts down for, in this case, 4 straight days--a few days to shovel the excess bullshit leftover from the previous year into the honeywagons so we can start off the end of this yet another year gone by with our noses somewhat up out of the excessive bullshit--it's a day when nobody has to worry about the IRS kicking in your door or the Repo man hauling off your wheels in the dead middle of the night or George W. Bush starting World War III--nope, he'll be eatin' high on the hog this holiday--all paid for by US, We the People of the US.

So there's no one here to ladle the gravy over the raw The Daily Growler--they're all spread out all over the US of A--so we hit the auto pilot button and bring you an old post from April 2006, the first month of The Daily Growler's existence--a post that got a lot of raves for the writer that wrote it--his Growler handle we've forgotten--how quickly the characters in this daily posted fictional reality can be forgotten or take on other identities--AMAZIN'.

Here's your Growler rerun--enjoy--and watch out for those turkeys from Commie China--they're deadly!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

From Dust to Dust

The first thing I think of when I think of Texas is earth. Is that really the first thing I should think of when I think of Texas? Maybe I should have said dirt instead of earth. Or maybe I should say dust instead of dirt. The most important book in Texas has a character in it who says that man simply exists from dust to dust. That's a horrible statement to me, especially if I reminisce
on it for any stretch of time.

Like how once upon a time I stood in the middle of a certain part of Texas, the part of the state that faces square into the face of the sun during the day and is absorbed into the face of the moon at night, in a certain early season on into summer's flames.

And I've been standing there facing into that sun's sparkling heatwaves and I have been standing there just watching...daydreaming...inwardly thinking, when all of a sudden I was cold. Yes. Cold. In the middle of a certain part of Texas, standing there in the direct stare of the sun and feeling cold.

Then the extremely dry air that was frozen in stillness by the essence of its own heat around me started moving. Slightly at first, little wisps whipping at me with cold small licks. Then those licks turned to bitings. I know it immediately. I know what those bitings mean. Those bitings that precede it...and then I look up and there IT is.

First, I see a low bluish line on the flat horizon, the shimmering of the remaining dangling glass slivers of the full-faced sun's heat still boldly dancing in gestures of defiance at what is coming.

The wind is now just flat-dab cold. And now the wind throws grains of what's coming in my face and I breathe in and taste the first of what's coming in my face and what's coming in my face tastes like earth, or should I say dirt? or should I say dust?

I turn and face that rising bluish line and look it directly in its billions of eyes. I watch it rising and becoming a dark deep blue hulk raising up before me, coming at me as if coming straight up out of that earth just in front of me a few miles, though in actuality it really had started a hundred miles out to the west, out on the flattest of the flattest prairie plains, crunchy with hot sands and scraggly with low brush, suddenly spanked by a swooping down of a huge hand of wind.

Then my eyes widened as this dark blue bald hulk with the billion eyes hooded up, rising up like a thunderheaded cobra slowly straight up before me, its hood flaring wide, its body arched, its purpose to strike right at me, to come at me, to overwhelm me, to bite me.

Up, up, up, building up, rising darker and more blue, licking out with now stiff tongues of hard dirty bites, gradually coming up, its hood flaring wider and coming higher, now roiling and rolling up. As it rolls toward me, as it dances toward me, it turns from blue to red as it flares up square into the staring face of the sun.

And THEN! just like that, the face of the sun was gone. Blotted out.

There is a pain I suffer as I stand there in the middle of that certain part of Texas, in that certain early season on into summer's flames, in the middle of what once faced into the shimmering heat caused by that sun that had disappeared into those acres and acres of dust scooped up and set aroll a hundred miles west in front of me by a swooping down huge hand of wind. The pain is in the dry bath given me by those rolling, boiling rifled grains of that borne aloft sandy desert loam hurting as they shower me.

We exist from dust to dust. How many of those who had already turned to dust, from the ancient days until a recent time, had overwhelmed me that day in the middle of that particular part of Texas, in that part of Texas that faces into the face of the sun during the day...until another huge hand of wind swoops down to stir the earth a hundred miles west of where I stood there once upon a time. Had I breathed back within me the remains of my ancestors?...or other ancestors, like the ancient Clovis people, the ancient Aztecs, or the other nomadic tribes of Native Americans who once roamed these flatter than flat prairies once lush with grass and bison, with people living on the sandstone mesas, along the rivers and the creeks, following the herds of bison, across those now barren prairies to make their beds for another night under that high, high sky in the middle of that certain part of Texas, that part of Texas that faces straight into the face of the sun during the day and is absorbed by the face of that beautiful silver crying moon during the night and to wake up the next morning to face the rising sun, to cook their buffalo meat over buffalo chip coals, to eat their prairie wheat breads and mushes, then while the women struck the camp, the men sharpened their flint arrowheads as they prepared to head out across those lush grasslands to go after another buffalo, to go after another day in the face of that sun in that time when there were no dust storms. Not in that particular part of Texas, not in those certain oh-so primitive days when man did not attempt to conquer the earth but rather to go along with its moods, living within the will of this planet that spins away day by day, swirling its face dead into the face the sun during its many days and being absorbed into the silver face of the silvery moon during its many nights.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, White Man! Why Not Come Up and Gamble With Us at the Mohegan Sun! Welcome, Holiday Loving, White Man. Bring Plenty Wampum.


for The Daily Growler

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lester Bangs Lives Again!

Lester's Intro to His and Paul Nelson's Rod Stewart
"I have always believed that rock 'n' roll comes down to myth. There are no 'facts.' When Rolling Stone avers it's printing 'All the News That Fits,' it's not talking about news, it's talking about hype. Which is what the rock press comes down to.

"Rod Stewart knows this; that's why all his early bios/profiles are hopelessly confusing--like Dylan and so many others, he deliberately filled them with contradictory fabrications, because he knew that rock 'n' roll is about reinventing yourself, and succeeded brilliantly.

"Take this book in that spirit. Some of it is 'true'--exhaustively researched, and most of those sections involving quotes from previously published materials, especially attributed ones, may be regarded as the 'truth.' I made up the rest, with the exception of the first chapter, which is a genuine account about two friends, and the 'Jewish Mothers' dialog between Paul and myself, and Paul's record critique sections.

"So believe what you choose to; ultimately, it makes no difference. Rod will continue to sell records no matter what happens here. The purpose of this book is not to sell records: it is to entertain--and never the twain shall meet. And to play with the myth of Rod Stewart, as built up over all these years.

"Enjoy. I did.
"Lester Bangs

"June 28, 1981."
[Preface to Rod Stewart, Lester Bangs & Paul Nelson, Delilah Books, 1981.]

And From the Epilogue to Rod Stewart
"To be ENGLISH is TO BE CONSCIOUS of TWO THINGS: (1) YOU USED TO RULE THE world, and (2) All your current rock 'n' roll bands stink, but the liberal or Left-leaning fan is obliged to like them even though they all sound either like old tarpaulins being dropped in a well while a sickly whelp mewls piteously; or they sound like seven college students hoping for at least a C+ even though they are dashing off a project entitled 'Twitch of the Miscreant' in between beer busts.

"I ask you, is this any way to conduct a social system, much less a rock 'n' roll scene?

"The reason you will probably find yourself strongarmed into sitting through whole LP sides of these ghastly sonics, equivalent to the air in Greyhound bus stations, is that all of these 'bands' are politically correct. None of them are Nazis. Many, in fact, have read the first three chapters of Capital. Influenced by a certain sentence therein which they misinterpreted due to convoluted mental workings which accompany amphetamine-assisted 3 A.M. cramming for finals, they have seen it as their duty to do away with Imperialism. The 'dialectical materialistic' lyrics on their albums are rendered intentionally indecipherable because, owing to the nature of the music itself, they feel it only behooving to mix it in such a way that the whole thing sounds suffused by a blanket of exceedingly heavy smog."
[From Epilogue "Rod vs. the Punks: A Duel to the Death; Or, Before You, My Dear Gaston," Rod Stewart, page 158.]

I just simply love the way this guy thinks and writes--all of that great writing about so dull a rich human as Rod Stewart, whose still bopping around seeding ladies around the world and fathering a host of little bastards several of which are now grown and have maybe lived longer than Lester Bangs--he died only 10 months or so after writing this book. Beautiful crazy thinking; beautiful self-expressionistic writing; mouthings made literature.

Mouthings made literature.

Ez Sez
I got this book, Shih-ching, by Ezra Pound in the mail today. It's Ez's taking the Odes as sung by Confucius and making them poetry. Achilles Fang, the late Harvard Chinese expert, wrote the intro to this book. In it he writes, "As the translator of the Classic Anthology Pound now emerges as a Confucian poet. ... In this translation Pound, the Confucian, 'the old hand as stylist still holding its cunning,' is intent on fusing words and music. For this purpose the choice of the ballad meter is a happy one, as it not only makes the translation readable but accurately brings out the original rhythm of the Odes. For the Odes are essentially ballads; they were all sung, and some of them were probably dance-songs as well." [Introduction to Shih-ching, Ezra Pound, Harvard University Press, 3rd printing, 1976. Introduction written by Achilles Fang.]

I knew Ez was a musician--yes, he was, a composer I should say, though I used to have a recording made by two California musicians of some of Ezra's music, and on one take Ez is playing the bass drum, but I didn't know Confucius was a musician--he carried a lute with him everywhere he went and loved singing the Odes wherever he went. [Like Ginsberg playing the harmonium and singing his Blake poems! Ginsberg who idolized Ez and went to visit him while the U.S. Army (our protectors) had him jailed in Saint Elizabeth's Nuthouse down in the District of Corruption.]

Reading a little more of Fang's intro and I see some fascinating study developing--Fang writes, "The Odes are said to give expression to chy. But the statement shy yen chy is essentially an etymological definition; the ideogram shy (Odes) is composed of yen (speech, to speak, to express) and chy (feeling, aim, wish, will). Even so, Chinese poetics has been dominated by this definition since the second century B.C., just as European poetics used to be dominated by the Aristotelian terms mimesis and katharsis. For the word shy soon came to mean, by extension, poetry par excellence." [Introduction, p xv.]

Neat stuff--speech vs. song. Rod Stewart vs. the Punkers.

From the Odes, Book I, Chou and the South, here's poem VIII:

Pluck, pluck, pluck, the thick plantain;
pluck, pick, pluck, then pluck again.

Oh pick, pluck the thick plantain,
Here be seeds for sturdy men.

Pluck the leaf and fill the flap,
Skirts were made to hide the lap.

Sounds like ole Ez to me. Reminds me of Winter is icummen in...that last verse: "Goddamm, Goddamm, tis why I am Goddamm, So 'gainst this winter's balm, Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM."

Ah Ez--maker of masterpieces and Hilda Doolittle--I think Ez took her virginity, by damm.

for The Daily Growler