Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Kicking Against the Pricks
It is a beautiful day here in Manhattan in terms of its pastoral-like splendor in the concrete grass of this old city called New York. Why am I gloomy then? Dammit, I woke up gloomy. I'm in great health and have great potential energies at the ready, so why the hell am I gloomy? Could it be this rent increase notice I have in my hand? The world is standing at the brink of Chaos--the stock market dropped yesterday 799 points--yet, I still got a rent increase today. In my case it's chicken feed, amounting to an increase of $17.00-a-month in my low rent, but that's not the point. The point is, shouldn't rents be frozen at a time like this? Shouldn't prices be frozen? Why can't Congress freeze gasoline and heating oil prices? They are currently debating whether to give an openly crooked bunch of Wall Street losers 700 billion dollars in bailout money...! Jesus, it's all so revolting! Our New York City billionaire mayor says he's raising property taxes! You see what I mean about the ironies in all of this? I have to start thinking in the blues idiom again (see Albert Murray's writings on the blues idiom--and train whistle guitars and harmonicas). I grew up thinking in the Beat, the Bop, and the Blues idioms! I grew up a contrarian. I grew up a nonconformist. Paying this rent increase at a time like this seems like cowardly conformity to me.
So Paul Newman died, so what? Paul was rich beyond his needs and he was 83 years old--what a life! So, fuck pining for Paul--I never thought he was that great an actor anyway--nice guy maybe--at least he was nice to Martha Stewart, the ex-con felon who's career has never been better since she served a little jail time. Newman was one of those James-Dean replacements of the mid-1950s, after Dean spent the excess monies he made on the movie Giant on a new silver Porshe Spider, the car in which he was killed a few days later--and I never thought James Dean was a great actor either. I watched Giant the other night and laughed my ass off at the bad acting in that sorry movie. I mean there was Rock "Bad Meat in the Can" Hudson butchering his attempt at a Texian accent and at playing anything but his Rock persona. And there was Elizabeth Taylor doing her made-up "honeychile" Old South accent--looking good, though--Liz at that time--looking really good. And there was James Dean squealing and whining his phony Richard-Widmark best--from whence, too, came Marlon Brando! The only great actor in Giant was Chill Wills, from Seagoville, Texas; at least his Texian accent is real! And I love the Mexicans in that movie! Hat-in-hand Hollywood type Messkins! Again, the movie's worth watching to laugh at Rock Hudson and the overall bad acting and to check out little grown-up Liz Taylor's well-developing twentiesish body. I did hear Paul Newman talking about acting one time and he was cool about it--he said most actors were guilty of overacting--then saying the most successful actors were the more natural actors like Hank Fonda, Jimmy Stewart, those stage-trained acting dudes. I think Joanne Woodward was a better actor than Paul--hey, gigolos, Joanne's a rich widow now.
I can't mourn for Paul Newman while I'm sitting here gloomy on this ironically beautiful fall day holding a rent increase notice in my hand and the rent's due tomorrow!
The Wall Street bailout didn't pass the House. Is that good? Probably not. Probably it will still pass. Ironically, while Congress was withholding the 700 billion dollars from the Wall Street hustlers, they unanimously gave the Pentagon (through the defense budget) 1 trillion dollars--without batting an eye--without any debate!
"Hypocrites!" I yell, yet here I am a hypocrite sitting here gloomy holding a rent increase notice, a hypocrite, a sheep wearing wolves's clothing, a nonconformist conforming. "But my government is waterboarding my ass," I protest!
If I don't pay this rent increase--and according to the Rent Guidelines Board of New York City this rent increase shouldn't apply to me--what will happen? And that's where my Cowardly Lion fear comes in--and it's where fear always comes in in we mortal animals's lives--and already I'm getting tired of this fear shit. My landlord, a foreigner, is, I am sure, two-faced! Fuck me, I am sure, is his basic attitude toward me and all "renters," though on the elevator or in the office he's a friendly-as-hell son of a bitch--'cause, you see, no matter how friendly he is, he's still the landlord, and all New York City landlords are anti-Renter now--they are anti-Rent-control--they are free market traders! They are speculators! Fuck tenants! Fuck even condo-owners! Fuck the poor for sure! But all these Wall Street pups are losing their jobs--so whose gonna be able to afford these constant rent increases or even condo-maintenance increases! I remember when the condo-coop craze hit New York City. Everyone scrambled to buy their own apartments--then they found out that what buying a condo meant was that you were not only paying what you used to pay for rent but now on top of that you had to pay a maintenance fee equal to your rent to the management company chosen by your condo-board to run the condo (provide supers, maintenance crew, doormen, etc.)! That never made sense to me--plus you had to pay your mortgage off, too!
The economy is falling. Foreclosures are piling up into the multimillions. Tent cities are popping up in public parks and parking lots all over the country. The stock market is crashing. China's now not going to negotiate with US banks anymore. And, by the way, with all these banks buying each other and merging and shit, Wachovia got saved yesterday by CitiCorp (CitiBank was on the verge of bankrupcy months ago but you don't hear about that anymore), and WaMu was bailed out by JPMorgan-Chase (two great Wall Street crooks, Morgan, the ugliest man ever it was said, and Samuel Chase who was legally insane), leaving us now with three huge banks, the Bank of America, Morgan-Chase, and Citicorp! But MY RENT IS STILL GOING UP!
I'm the one who brags how he desires to experience the eye of a Chaos storm--like the chaotic mess that is swirling in a mad whirlpool sucking up itself like a black hole sucks up galaxies in the USA today. The wealthy are NOT jumping out of high-floor windows yet--Rockefeller Center still has high-floor office windows that OPEN! Construction in Manhattan is still going on roaringly and in stereophonic noises--throwing tons of asbestoes dust into the already sordid Manhattan air--and then here suddenly there ironically is a most refreshing little breeze whipping in through my ocean-facing windows--though I can't see the Atlantic from my windows, I am certainly getting a face full of its breezes--sweet breezes--cool breezes--"She floats along like a soft summer breeze...." [from Chuck Berry's classic "Nadine"]--and these breezes are leaving me balmy! Barmy! Smarmy!
And it's a sorry feeling for a New York City renter to be sitting gloomy on a beautiful fall day holding a rent increase notice in his hand.
for The Daily Growler
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wall Street Trickery Steals 700 Billion Dollars From We the People...or Did It?
WASHINGTON - In a stunning vote that shocked the capital and worldwide markets, the House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation's financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive without it.
Also: Check Out At End of Wolf Man's Growl: Mr. Met Responds!
[Now On to the Wolf Man's Yowlings and Growlings]
A Scheme as Clever as Osama Bin Ladin's Attack on the World Trade Center (9/11)
How cool is it to steal 700 billion bucks from right out from under the noses of the fools who are posing as We the People's representatives in Washington, District of Corruption? Let's take this one a step further and ask, how cool is it for an administration to steal two elections right out from under the stupid gullible Dumbocrats's noses in 2000 and 2004; to be in power when a "Pearl Harbor"-type attack (as defined in the early '90s by the Neo-Con (former Trotsky Socialists) Manifesto--citing how a "Pearl Harbor"-type attack was needed on the USA for the Neo-Con AntiDemocracy ("AntiNew Deal") Forces to take control of the US government lock, stock, and barrel) is staged by 20-or-so Saudi nationals carrying boxcutters and still a little heavy headed from the night of partying and whoring the night before and brings down four or five of the world's tallest buildings in Downtown Manhattan right at the entrance to Wall Street--the World Trade Center home to some of the largest brokerage and investment banking establishments in the world--a lot of the people killed in the 9/11 tragedy were foreign-born business and financial people--plus the WTC housed the CIA's largest databank of information; plus the WTC was home to Rudolph Mussolini Guiliani's 40-million-dollar bunker; plus the head of security at the WTC who resigned from his job on 9/11/01 was Marvin Bush--who resigned while his father, our ex-Wimp-President, Pappy Bush, was watching the whole thing on teevee with his favorite adopted son, Prince Bandar Bush...and from 9/11 on, Georgie Porgie Bush, a man who has ruined everything he's ever been an executive on ran like the coward he is to the SAC headquarters in Nebraska--and check out Baby Bush's record as Governor of Texas; check out his military service record; check out his failed oil business with a Saudi-Royal-Family spoiled-brat-son who later was found dead with a shotgun blast dead into his back; check out how Bush Baby stole land and tax monies from the City of Arlington, Texas, to build his on-the-brink-of-ruin Texas Rangers MLB baseball team a fancy ballpark dedicated to the comfort of its millionaire or better boxseat holders and even-richer luxury boxholders; check out how this pipsqueak, ex-Wimp-Pres.-spoiled-brat son executed 157 mostly black death-row residents, guilty or not, even the first woman executed in Texas in tons of years, Bush saying as he attended some of these executions that he didn't give a shit if these bastards had pleas of innocence floating about, "Hell, all prisoners say they're not guilty--besides, even if they aren't guilty of what I'm executin' 'em for, they're guilty of somethin'--hah-hah, ain't we all?"--and this bungling child-book-reader while his country was under attack--this spoiled-brat, rich, failed-Offshore-oilman's son lied, constantly lied, and lied us into two wars, the one in Afghanistan, which is now considered a righteous war by even anti-War protesters--and the totally illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq--in revenge for Saddam Hussein "threatening to kill my old daddy"--and for his old Pappy's chicken-shit way of handling the end of Pappy's precious Persian Gulf War--our true big war win after we were beginning to believe we really lost the VietNam War, that embarrassing affair that originally ruined the coward Dumbocrats and put the original Neo-Cons (Nixon and Raygun Reagan) in power for the next number of seemingly infinite years--you see, folks, I consider Slick Willie Clinton a Neo-Con president--baloney, baloney, baloney!
I know, I know, it's hard to read this shit--it seems like it's just as hard to read as these bills that keep popping up for Congress to vote on--these bills that steal more and more money from our Treasury--
My point in all this drivel is that these fucking CROOKS are FLIM-FLAMMING We the People's representatives--and I've written over and over about the southern phenomenon called "The Flim-Flam Man"--and how crooks use the flim-flam to pull the wool over our eyes while they rob us blind--of house and home--and that is just what these Wall Street Flim-Flammers are doing as I type this, they are scaring the hell out of our Congressional representatives--they are flim-flamming like motherfuckers We the People of the United States of America, the easiest people in the world to BILK! The most superstitious cowardly people in the world--the people who believe we have total FEAR--FEAR of WHAT? Why NADA! Remember that word? NADA means NOTHING and NOTHING FROM NOTHING LEAVES DEBT--more DEBT! And that has the Neo-Cons beaming with glee as our stock market is propped up by money that really doesn't exist except in the minds of creative accountants and schemer champions, Wall Street CEOs, especially those from belly-upping Goldman-Sachs, like Sec'y Paulsen, Barack's Economic adviser Robert Ruben, and New Jersey Governor John "Always Smilin'" Corsine...
To me this is all a big FARCE! It's all bad acting. A bad play written by a bad playwright! A big LOSING deal--a total RIP OFF...
And Congress is giving in to these CHEATS! Why? Why check out these assholes's pension plans and stock portfolios--come on, nearly every member of Congress is RICH--especially Nancy "Rich Bitch" Pelosi--even the Clintons are multimillionaires now, don't forget; even Barack Obama admits to being a low-end millionaire but a millionaire just the same--John "Nutjob" McCain being worth 300 million bucks--with 12 houses, non of which are being foreclosed upon. These people are all shareholders--so are the various State government pension funds, the City of New York pension fund, and these people have 401Ks and IRAs and tax-free bonds--they have the best health-care possible in this country--thanks to We the People--and they are immune from prosecution in a lot of instances--and they are robbing us blind--herding all of us into poor houses--Concentration Camps--what the Nazis politely called "Work Camps."
The Fascists are mean sons of bitches. They'd horsewhip and then gas their own mothers for a chance at unmitigated power (they read Machiavelli over and over)--the power to commit genocide--to murder over 8 million Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, cripples, mentally challenged--though the more insane you were in Germany and Italy in those days, the higher you rose in authority! Cruelty controls cowards.
And still 46% of Amuricans polled say they like John McCain-and-Paleface Palin and would trust them as president and vice president--will Sweet Saintly Sarah pose for Playboy?--I say boy I bet she wants to real bad! She reminds me now of Bill Clinton's speckled pecker lover Paula "Whack Nose" Jones--remember her? Bill paid her $75,000 damages anyway even though he contended he'd never fucked her. Amazing what these clowns get away with--but that ain't nothing compared to what these Wall Street clowns are doing to us--BEND OVER, folks, they're gonna shove a Long Dong Silver up our asses!
--and yes I was just informed that our Congress, the House actually, voted down the Wall Street "bail out" 228 to 208! 20 Reps, probably Neo-Con artists, voted it down--though Nancy Pelosi is tooting a horn saying "the party's over" for the Bush Crooks and CEO cowboys! I stand amazed if this vote-down was for "progressive" reasons--that's where my doubts run--the House is a mixed-bag nuthouse! We shall see--WATCH, that is!
In the meantime, I'm diggin' Duke--Duke Ellington, that is--listening to his filmscore to Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder--almost an hour of so-cool Duke Ellington arrangements--cool, so laid back by the original cool man of jazz--and those off-the-wall harmonies and shout-outs and breaks and off-minor chorusing by that mellow brass section drumming a riff against the drumhead of the reed section's romps through the broad fields of the measures being led by the pied-piper's "frantic," as Albert Murray called it: jab-drumming piano coming from the man-at-the-piano himself, the Master Drummer, the Duke of Ellington!
When I get the blues these days, I go way back into Duke and Mingus and Monk and have a rebirth--and Miles and Dizzy and Bird is still living--and jazz is such a cool way to divorce yourself from that tramp-whore-bitch called reality--it's cool to go into Duke's Dreamworld and dig the way life really should be and could be if we all would be COOL!
for The Daily Growler
Comment From Mr. Met:
"Hey, come on, you spongeheads, the fans weren't booing me, they were saying, and you had to be there to hear it, 'Yooooooooooooo, are the man, Mr. Met!' They said that last part really fast like the Spanish boys on the Mets talk; so fast, like that, so you see what I mean when I say you had to be there to really understand that the fans, and we have a lot of Spanish-speaking fans, were saying, 'Without, Yoooooooooooooooooo, Mr. Met, we wouldn't have done as good as we did.' Nope, you lying bastards, it isn't true that the Mets fans booed me on closing-forever day at Shea; nope, they cheered me and kept hi-fiving me and saying, 'Wait'll next year, Mr. Met!.' Go Mets Next Year!"
The FINAL word from former The Daily Growler columnist, Mr. Met.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The Photography of Carl Van Vechten, ETC!
The Daily Growler American Culture Division Presents:
Some Photographs by Carl Van Vechten
"Mary Martin" from 1950 when Mary had just scored big on Broadway in "Peter Pan." [now in private collection in Iowa City, Iowa]
"Chester Dale" 1940. Wall St. Wizard and Modern Art Collector, patron of Frida Kahlo [now in private collection in Texas]
"Peach Trees at Armonk" 1936 [now in private collection in Montreal, Quebec]
"Bosque House" 1936, New Orleans [now in private collection in Iowa City, Iowa]
"Self Portrait" (Carl Van Vechten) 1934 [now in private collection, New York City]
"Self Portrait" (Carl Van Vechten) 1934 [now in private collection, Ithaca, New York]
Metallica Lyrics to "Of Wolf and Man"
+Off through the new day's mist I run
Out from the new day's mist i have come
Therefore I am
Harvest the land
Taking of the fallen lamb
Off through the new day's mist i run
out from the new day's mist I have come
pulsing with the earth
company we keep
roaming the land while you sleep
(shape shift) nose to the wind
(shape shift) feeling I've been
(move swift) all senses clean
(earth's gift)back to the meaning, Back to the meaning of... LIFE
bright is the moon high in starlight
chill in the air cold as steel tonight
call of the wild
fear in your eyes
it's later than you realized
(shape shift) nose to the wind
(shape shift) feeling I've been
(move swift) all senses clean
(earth's gift) back to the meaning, Back to the meaning of...LIFE
I feel a change
back to a better day
hair stands on the back of my neck
in wildness is the preservation of the world
so seek the wolf in thyself
(shape shift) nose to the wind
(shape shift) feeling I have been
(move swift) all senses clean
(earth's gift)back to the meaning, back to the meaning of wolf and man
Larry Talbott transfixed by Luna, the Moon ____________________________________________________________
From Philip Wylie:
--If liberty has any meaning it means freedom to improve.
--Ignorance is not bliss - it is oblivion.
From Ernest Hemingway:
--All my life I've looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.
for The Daily Growler
Goodbye, House That Ruth Built and Shea Stadium
Never to be seen again--and look at those stands full of real baseball fans!
Shea Stadium--back in its glory days!
For an Added Entertainment, Check Out This YouTube Performance by The Otis Brothers: www.youtube.com/watch?v=17l7R-RyouM&feature=related
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Come, Let Us Reason Together
I Have Been Called "Stupid" By a Jane
Hey, I'm giggling with glee right now, the same, I'm sure, as Osama Bin Ladin and his Jihad cohorts, as I watch Georgie Porgie "Ruination" Bush bring the rest of the world down around him--standing like Nero stood with his fiddle, except our Nero is fiddleless, he's air-fiddling, fiddling away with smirky glee as he brings down the whole fucking USA and surely the world down around his so-stupid but meanly revengeful ass (which is his head). Nancy "Rich Bitch" Pelosi and her pack of Phony Liberals, as The Daily Howler calls 'em, that make believe Dumbocrat-majority in Congress, refused to consider, hell, they even refused to discuss impeaching this imbecilic, self-centered, hardheaded, prissy little spoiled-brat rich boy, little privileged worthless son of our ex-Wimp-president--remember how Bush Baby's supporters touted him as our first "business" school grad (and ex-cheerleader) "president," a man who knows how to run a government like a CEO runs a business? Remember that?--NOW LOOK AT THE MESS THIS LITTLE PRICK BUSINESS-SCHOOL CLOWN HAS GOTTEN US INTO. And the crooked balls on this openly crooked son of a bitch Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson! How embarrassed are you watching this Wall Street Bastard standing before We the People's representatives today threatening them with economic blackmail if they don't help this CROOKED son of a bitch bail his pals in crime out--this crooked bastard is from the Nixon years; a buddy of convicted criminal and jail-time server, Watergate hero, John Erlichman; Hank Paulson, a son of a bitch who when he was CEO of Goldman-Sachs took their investment debt from 2.1 billion to over 4 billion only to then cash in to the tune of several millions of dollars in golden parachute monies to then go on and become Baby "Bad Boy" Bush's Sec'y of Treasury, an agency that has no right under our Constitution (which, as Ralph Nader says, has almost been pulled up by its roots it's so worthless now) to be bailing out banks and securities firms. Yet, here this well-heeled Wall Street snakeoil salesman is blackmailing Congress with threats of total economic collapse--backed by our LYING son-of-a-bitch faux "president" (The Daily Growler has always been certain beyond any doubt that Bush's criminal sidekicks stole the 2000 and the 2004 elections from two boring Dumbocrat candy-dates who gave up without even a whimper of a protest--one a long-time political hack, Al Gore, and the other a Vietnam Nutjob (who reminds me so much of McCain) John "Heinz Catsup" Kerry--sorry, Daily Howler, but I just can't take these guys serious). Only a few weeks ago, Georgie Porgie (remember, he's ruined every business he's ever attempted--his last partner in his failed oil business, remember, was blown away with a shotgun later--he was a Saudi prince or something; plus, he's our first-ever Commander-in-Chief who's military service record has an AWOL charge on it) was lying to us saying our economy was fine and the stock market was zooming on up and hey so the job market wasn't so hot and, yes, people are losing there homes and their savings and their pensions and their health care, but other than that, every thing was fine and the stock market would soon "correct" itself--bullshit on top of bullshit--the layers risin'--the bullshit almost encastling us--and then yesterday, Georgie Porgie does a 360 and says if we don't bail out Wall Street, Main Street's gonna suffer disaster--small businesses will fold; public services will be cut; taxes will go up; farmers (what farmers?, I asked sarcastically) will lose their farms; workers will lose their jobs (what's new?), blah, blah, blah, blah, and the bullshit by the end of the day was so high and the smell was so thick in the air, I got to laughing like a crazed wolf who thinks he's a hyena suddenly. They are bringing us DOWN, I'm growling and snapping, and we're going down with THEM forgivingly. It's called "FASCISM," folks, what these royal-ass bastards are doing--when the state works hand-in-hand with corporations to incorporate it's own people--that's the only way a fool like Adolf Hitler or a pompous fool like Benito Mussolini could have ever achieved what they politically achieved--and the corporations that put Hitler and Mussolini in power are still around today: Mercedes, Daimler-Benz, Krupp, Eberhart-Faber (yep, they made our pencils for a century), Siemans--and, I might add, on the other side of the coin, the corporations that made the Imperial Japanese Emperor believe he was God Almighty and therefore his Imperial Armies and Navies were invincible--Rising Sun invincible--are still around today, too--one of them one year, Datsun, so embarrassed by its name being ID'd with World War II Imperial Japan, changed its name to Nissan. And how 'bout Volkswagen actually being started by Hitler? Some historians say Hitler personally designed the first People's Car, "The Bug," as it was post-war euphemistically called when it was introduced into the US and became the hottest selling import car ever at that time, a time when Detroit was selling us huge, heavy, gas-guzzling behemoth cars (Detroit iron)(my Cadillac in those days weighed 2 tons and got 12 miles per gallon) and the price of gas was going up, up, up--so cars that got over 25 miles-per-gallon (and Volkswagens got over 30 miles to the gallon) got very popular--and we began to have what were called "Gas Wars"--and this was at a time when there were a lot of oil companies around and they were competitive as hell and one would test the water by raising its prices and then the others along with the independents would start these gas wars--say a Gulf station on the corner raised its price from 15 cents a gallon to 18 cents a gallon--the Fina station right across the street would then start advertising they weren't raising their price but keeping it at 15 cents a gallon--or they might raise their price, too, but only to say 16 cents a gallon. In those days of post-WWII premerger competition I can remember when I was working in Dallas and driving a car every day how there were filling stations on every corner and in the middle of the block (like Starbucks are now): Gulf, Sinclair, Texaco, Conoco, Cities Services, Fina, Magnolia (Mobil), Esso, Humble, Sohio, Cosden, Shell, Phillips 66, etc. All of them offered regular and ethyl (a lead additive made by Esso in Baton Rouge)--and diesel if you were at a truck stop.
What the hell has this got to do with Wall Street? History sheds a light on what's happening on Wall Street today because it's the same thing that's been going on on Wall Street since Wall Street began--and how many people know the history of Wall Street?--or the history of the Vanderbilts and the Morgans and the Harrimans and all the self-titled Colonels and immigrant hustlers, leftovers from the Dutch West Indies Company or the Dutch East Indies Company or the London Trading Company--the same old Wall Street!
By the bye, as a funny aside, the Governor of New Jersey, His Dishonor Jungle Jim Corsine, is wisecracking how now's the chance for New Jersey to lure Wall Street over to New Jersey-- Jersey City or maybe Hoboken! What's quaint about this is, Big Jim Corsine made his fortune at--WHERE?--shout it out: GOLDMAN-SACHS!!! Throw him in jail with Paulson and Robert Ruben and Allan Greenspan and this Benneke dude or whatever his name is and the corpse of Milton Friedman--that's the solution to this Wall Street problem--throw them in jail and takeaway all their worldly goods like they do when they throw dope dealers in prison--take all their possessions and confiscate all their offshore bank accounts and properties and sell them at auction and pool the money and pay off We the People's mortgages. Instead, like the Germans, the Italians, and the Japanese, we are craving royal leadership so much we're willing to follow a fool of a man over the clifts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness right into the open, hungry jaws of Corporate rule! CHEAP LABOR! that's their goal.
Look what our picture researcher found: Hank and Big Jim together at Goldman-Sacked...er-ah, we mean Goldman-Sucks--in the good old days
I was watching one of those FOOL Fundie Christ-Sellers on teevee the other day, Kenneth Copeland or the Amazin' Benny Hinn, one of them, and he was ballyhooing "Praise the Lordy Lards" all over this huge barnlike auditorium just packed full of men and women boys and girls blacks and whites and Asians with grimaces on their faces and their arms waving up in the air so I thought I'd see what would drive common ordinary looking human beings to such a state of ecstasy--some women looking as though they were involved in a constant orgasm. I stopped a moment and listened to Brother Kenneth or Brother Hinn (I crack up when I see Benny Hinn working the ship of fools he has under his command) and soon, though he was coming at it from a way-long way around through the Old Testament (I'm speaking Christianity Holy Book now and not the Talmud) with all these verses--he'd obviously memorized his "sermon"--in that old holy book that dealt with covenants and God's (Yahweh/Jehovah) assurances of blessings--and the first hint of the direction this Man of Gawd was going came when in talking about God having a desert conversation with Abraham, you suddenly heard Brother So and So say the word "tithe." Whoaaaa! Then you know: here's another god-damn sales pitch trying to get some bucks out of the stupid faithful--and I thought how many millions of dollars these fools and hypocrites get out of these so-called faithful--it's the same as when you go to a gambling casino--it's the same crowd--they're looking for salvation to come from the sky--because even in the gambling casinos the Christians are praying to their God to let them win at the Devil's tables--didn't Jesus take a whip to the money lenders and securities sellers and such that were doing a great business in the holy temple of Nazareth? And I got to thinking, why the hell do God and Jesus need money? I mean US solid dollars and checks and shit? Does God have a bank up in Heaven? Does his bank take all kinds of secular money or is there a particularly preferred form of exchange, like gold? And the Christian Heaven does have gold and precious stones, it says so in the Christian Holy Book. Can we then assume there are mines on Heaven--and does somebody have to work in those mines! But then here I go thinking like a heretic--using my mind to reason my way through this horrid maze called "life"--that is better expressed as reality--our Universe is bigger than any imaginary man-made God--I don't give a shit which god you trot out. Hurricane Ike wrecked churches and cathedrals and holy places and sacred forests and hills in a matter of minutes. The Gods couldn't stop Ike. Voodoo in Cuba and Haiti couldn't stop Ike. Nor could the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Pentecostals, Devil Worshippers, Snake Handlers railing and ranting to their gods in supernatural cries of help along the Texas Gulf Coast--on Galveston Island now churches, synagogues, cathedrals, and mosques are all one entangled mess--you can't tell any of them from the other now--and if you happened to have gone to one of those holy places for salvation during Ike--too fucking bad; Ike was bigger than any god--so then think about how awesome our Universe is--and how uncaring for human beings it is!
And Obama has his back against the Wall Street mess because his main economic adviser is one of the culprits along with Hank "the Pure" Paulson responsible for this mess--Robert Ruben, former Goldman-Sachs bigshot, then Clinton's T-Man, the man who deregulated our banking and securities system--who said it was OK for insurance companies to go into the real estate and mortgage business; it was OK for banks to offer insurance and investment advice and to speculate with their capital; it was just fine for securities firms to go into the insurance and credit card business (Merrill-Lynch became a big real estate investment participant)--the Travelers Insurance Co. and American Express and Shearson-Lehman Brothers and Goldman and Sachs, and it was fine for all of them to merge, CitiBank becoming CitiCorp, Chase Bank and Morgan Stanley investments merging to form Chase-Morgan Stanley--and investing in New York City real estate and building huge 30-story office buildings in Brooklyn and Queens--Robert Ruben convinced Slick Willie to deregulate all of that--and Slick Willie also allowed newspapers and radio stations and teevee stations to buy up each other and merge and shit--allowing Rupert Murdoch to come to dominate world news--remember, this Australian illegal immigrant for years, just bought the Wall Street Journal--how ironic--and it was Robert Ruben who did away with Glass-Spiegel and it was Robert Ruben who talked Slick Willie into forcing NAFTA on us and new agreements with the World Bank and GATT and the IMF--yep, ex-Goldman-Sachs rich boy Robert Ruben who is currently advising Barack Obama to go along with this absolutely, as Ralph Nader is saying, unConstitutional bailout of Wall Street by the very men who caused this collapse in the first place. It's the same fear tactics as when Bush Baby lied like a dog about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam and Osama were hand-in-hand in brotherly love with each other and that Iraq was a breeding ground of more 9/11s, a military tactic that is now looking like one of the greatest military (guerrilla) tactics in military history--two commercial airliners were their missiles--the World Trade Center towers their targets--and even to Obama this feat was amazing--two jetliners and a handful of Saudi nationals with boxcutters, still drunk from their heavy partying the night before aiming those huge jetliners perfectly into those towers--at the exact spots that would bring those towers tumbling down in record building-tumbling-down time--That is if you believe that story! Aha, there's a catch to everything.
And speaking of Catch-22--doesn't it seem like We the People of the USA are being royally placed in a Catch-22 situation? A situation that is going to be kept a Catch-22 situation by this Wall Street bailout--and this coming war with Pakistan that nobody's focused on--like what's happening in Georgia now?--or why were those world leaders at the UN last week?--just to hear Georgie Porgie's lame speech? We don't know dick shit--that's why I say we're stupid.
And commenter "Jane" (of Dick, Jane, and Spot fame--I'm waiting for a comment from Spot--I've already had one from Dick) says The Daily Growler and its various peeves, quirks, and culturally starving attitudes are stupid beyond the definition of stupidity. Like most stupid commenters, Jane doesn't clarify her point, merely referencing her agreement with some dude named Rex who claims he's "humped" The Daily Growler--marked us like a dog marks a fireplug--hey, maybe Rex is Spot rather than Dick--marked us on the Internet as "Stupid."
I myself am proud of being humped by Rex--Rex, you're fixing to get humped by this government and the big corporations you so conservatively defend--I think they're hump is gonna be much worse on your ass than you're humping The Daily Growler was on our ass.
Oh, what would we folks do in life without our basic Dick, Jane, and Spot intelligence?
It's a great time in the world of Chaos. Look at how Chaotic our government is becoming hour-by-hour! Look at the Chaos in the Nutjob McCain-Paleface Palin camp! Look at the glorious Chaos in the Obama camp. Listen to the hyena-laughing of Osama Bin Ladin and his Islam Jihad goons as they sit around the fire in Osama's Tiger-Hunting Lodge in Pakistan--probably with some Dubai Royal Family supping with him--maybe some Pakistani local officials there enjoying the Nautch dancers and the Whirling Dervish dudes--and they're praising Allah (same as El'Al or Jehovah) and beaming with smiles of Al-Queda satisfaction--"We've brought down the whole EVIL USA!" "Bring 'em on!" Bush said--showing he wasn't a wimp like his Pappy--and here they came--and it turned out to be a desert mirage: the terrorists weren't Islam Jihad, they were the Big Corporations--and they all bellied up to that Iraq War Trough--and they gobbled up billions of We the People's money in Iraq--Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, the Halliburton spin-off KRB (once Kellogg-Root-Brown), Bechtol, the Carlyle Group, the Hummer Company, Blackwater (one man's private army), Boeing, all these pipsqueak private security firms--like Marvin Bush's security firm--why that's right, have we forgotten Marvin Bush's security firm ran the security at the World Trade Center!!!
And Jane says we're stupid! Come on, Jane--Spot's got more sense!
for The Daily Growler
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Kevin Phillips Suddenly Appears From Stage Right
"Derivatives"--that' s the word of the day. I listened to all the new economics experts who are suddenly tumbling out of the woodwork on the most worthless place to get information, the commercial television channels. They are now experts on what's gone wrong with our economy. Where were they in the past? Why, writing columns of Wall Street praise for the respective newspapers they write for, and well, hey, most of the economic experts I heard on teevee this morning (another John McCain Sunday), yes, were journalists--pretending know-it-alls, like most journalists think of themselves--and their journalistic view was "gloomy" (and this was a Gloomy Sunday), but they weren't gloomy (Chaotic) enough for me.
Then tonight, after sleeping off a "pass out" that occurred after I overinvested in several shots of Michael Collins Irish Whiskey, a new Irish whiskey I had overinvested in at $35 a bottle, I accidentally discovered old Brother Bill "Preacher Boy" Moyers (Baptist ministerial student turned journalist)--his teevee show, The Reverend Bill Moyers's Journal--Bill's PBS-teevee blog--and suddenly out of the woodwork of Old Bill's show stepped old-time Neo-Connish rightwinger transformed Kevin Phillips. "MY GOSH," I thought, "it's old right-winger Kevin Phillips--from back in the days of 'Read My Lips' Pappy Bush and David 'Free Trade' Stockman." And that's who Brother Bill's guest was tonight, Kevin Phillips, and Brother Bill and Kevin then trotted out one of Kevin's books, Bad Money--and I'd totally forgotten about Kevin Phillips and I'd totally forgotten about Kevin's book Bad Money--I was busy looking for level heads like that of Robert Reno, who is an economist, yes, Janet Reno's brother, who used to write an economics column for the New York Post, before Rupert Murdoch turned The Post into surplus toilet paper or a substitute umbrella--a cheap 35-cent umbrella on a rainy New York City day. The Post before Murdoch was a Murray Kempton-edited "liberal" newspaper for leftie-leaning New Yorkers, and Robert Reno's columns were always on-target, intelligent, and between-the-lines satirical about the goings on in the nation's economy.
Now here sat old-timer Kevin Phillips answering Brother Bill's questions about "What is going on with this 700-billion-dollar bailout of our banks and Wall Street institutions, Kevin?"--and, I add, the bailout amount grows a hundred billion or so every time some government goon tries to explain why these bailouts are necessary--it started at 500 billion but became 700 billion when our faux president, Georgie Porgie Bush, said he was rushing to do something about it, which to him means driving us further into debt--GWB is the man who fucked us all up in the first place; yet, this bastard is gonna get away with it free and clear--just like the CEOs of all these failed "securities" companies and banks--CEOs who, by the way, are bailing out even under bankrupt conditions with millions and millions of dollars--the CEO of Lehman Brothers, for instance, is taking off in his private yacht for his private island with 475 million dollars in his saddle bags. That makes me want to revolt, doesn't it, you, too? It should make us all want to revolt. As Riley of The Life of Riley used to say, "What a revoltin' development this is!" And Kevin Phillips answered Brother Bill with sarcasm. Here's an excerpt from Kevin's book, Bad Money--it came out in April of 2008 in case you are wondering why the hell this book has attracted my eyes:
What’s securitization? some will ask. A pompous six-syllable word, to begin with, but also a humongous new business launched by Wall Street in the 1990s. To oversimplify somewhat, sophisticated financial institutions discovered gold in tying together five hundred or five thousand loans, mortgages, or whatever, and then selling fresh securities based and valued on the new assemblage. These securities, issued in pricey amounts, were cut into separate slices, or tranches (French, and suitably expensive sounding), according to degrees of risk. Sure, some of the slices had lower credit ratings, but risk could be spread out and the affected bits of patisserie sold more cheaply. In practice, however, there was less clarity and candor—sometimes considerably less. These ambitious financial organizations were not exactly the brokerages and First National Banks of our parents’ era. But that’s part of the staggering transformation, one of the greatest stories never really told. Between 1987 and 2007, debt—in all flavors, from credit card and mortgage to staid U.S. treasury and exotic Wall Street—became one of the nation’s largest, fastest-growing businesses. Over those two decades, so-called credit market debt roughly quadrupled from nearly $11 trillion to $48 trillion. This was abetted by a revolution in marketing, packaging, and propaganda—in reality, public debt wasn’t the big ballooner, private debt was. Without much publicity, the financial services sector—banks, broker-dealers, consumer finance, insurance, and mortgage finance— muscled past manufacturing in the 1990s to become the largest sector of the U.S. private economy. By 2004–6, financial services represented 20 to 21 percent of gross domestic product, manufacturing just 12 to 13 percent. And finance enjoyed an even bigger share of corporate profits. [This excerpt was copied from: www.bad-money.com/excerpt ]
As I heard a French economist say this morning, "If this had happened in France, the government wouldn't have bailed these businesses out; they would have arrested all the company officials and thrown them in jail." I don't know if this is true or not, I'm sure French bankers and investment businesses are just as crooked as US ones, but it sure seems the right thing to do in this case. Why aren't the officials of these institutions being carted off to jail?--I mean Bush eventually even gave up defending his old pal Kenny Boy Lay, a jake-leg economist, by the way, and let him slip-slide-away to prison where the Wrath of Khan got him and shot a proton torpedo into his crooked heart.
Allan Greenspan, too, that docile, senile, old fool; he could have stopped all of this, but, no, that old fool had power to rule under no regulatory or accountability oversite whatsoever--Allan Greenspan, a true economist fool, should be shipped off to prison with the rest of these smarter-than-the-average-bear crooks--I say, in fact, let's put Congress and the whole government into prison, too--and that includes Nutjob McCain and Barack Obama. Obama's top advisor is Robert Rubin who killed the Glass-Spiegel Bill that would have thrown a wedge into these bastards's "securitization" bullshit schemes--but, no, Robert Rubin (of Goldman-Sachs, also soon to go belly up, I'm sure--and guess where Treasury Sec'y Paulsen worked before Bush picked him for T Sec'y? If you said Goldman-Sachs, you are right) killed that bill and advised Clinton to bail out his securities and investment buddies if they got into trouble. How quickly we forget, but under Clinton, it was Rubin who advised Clinton to bail out the Mexican peso and thus save the Mexican economy--remember when the Mexican economy was collapsing and Bill Clinton bailed 'em out with big-buck bailouts--plus, it was Robert Rubin who helped the New Russia save it's own bucks from becoming worthless--and yet this fool is advising Barack Obama now. [One of the foreign banks Paulsen wants to bail out is USB, a Swiss Bank--and guess who works for USB? If you said Phil Gramm (once a McCain advisor and who McCain said would be his Sec'y of Treasury (and it's a treasure, too)), you were correct; Phil's wife once worked for Kenny Boy Lay and the amazing gaggle of crooked motherfuckers he called Enron. They are all in cahoots! They all know each other very personally--we are being robbed by the robbers--we have given these robbing sons of bitches the keys to the treasury--Paulsen wants dictatorial powers over this 700 billion-dollar bail out. Fuck him, I say; then put him in prison--and throw Robert Rubin in there with him--and Phil and Mrs. Gramm.]
Holy shit, we're doomed. And that's what Kevin Phillips says, not only in his book, but in person, too. Kevin, whatever you think of him, knows the Repugnicans--he was there during the Reagan years, during the Pappy Bush "Read-My-Lips" years--the David Stockman years--he knows; he knows neo-conservative theory, too--though I do know, like David Stockman, Kevin Phillips became more socialistically responsible sometime in the 90s--like when David Stockman finally came out and admitted, as did its inventor, the fool Milton Friedman (the U of Chicago wanted to name a building after Milton, a U-Chi grad, and the students and teachers protested it) that "trickle-down" economics had failed; Stockman said it didn't work, case closed. Oh, it worked alright, though, boyz. Yeah, it worked. It drove the dollar down, wrecked our economy, forced down wages and styles of life, cut out government bailouts for the people (oh, no, that's Socialism) in favor of the Government for Big Business by Big Business--and this, today, is the result of oh those many, many years of trying to bring this average-Joe country to its worshipful knees--these bastards, like Unka Dick Cheney, think they're gods--they demand worship or they chastise--and boy have these bastards chastised the hell out of us!
Of course most of our Congress are wealthy people--John McCain owns so many homes he can't remember how many, has 9 or ten private cars, prefers shoes costing $500-a-pair, and is worth 300 million bucks (thanks to his wife's beer-and-liquor-money inheritance)--so all of this shit ain't gonna hurt them one bit.
In the meantime, New Orleans sits still wrecked and needing a bailout; the Texas Gulf Coast needs billions of dollars of bailout money, too; the nation of Haiti, a majority of whose citizens live in the USA now, has been so devastated by Gustav and Ike (hurricanes, in case you've forgotten), some Haitian observers are saying there may soon no longer be a viable nation of Haiti--Haiti is ruined--its whole northern area, including its 4th largest city, Gonaives, is under waist-high water--the women wading in that polluted water are getting vaginal diseases (typhoid, for instance) because there vaginas are not protected by shields or creams against the pollutants in that foul water--plus, all the hospitals in those northern parts are ruined--the bridges that led into that area have all been washed away--the nation of Haiti has only ONE helicopter and is dependent on US and UN helicopters and boats in getting supplies into these flooded zones--there is flooding in the southern part of Haiti, too, though Port-au-Prince wasn't hit that bad, still even there they have no supplies, no food, and no water.
Gonaives, Haiti, under Ike's waters (Gonaives is the place where Haitian Independence was declared in 1804)
I have a genuine affection for Haiti. I lived there for three months back in the mid-70s. The poor people of Haiti are the nicest people--no, not the politicos or military types--I was there during Baby Doc's reign and heavily armed Tonton Macoutes were every few hundred feet all up and down the streets and roads and shit) and on the way up to my hotel in Petionville, on a mountain road, between Tonton Macoutes, I saw a little girl child, tiny back off the highway in some woods, and she was squatting over a small fire that had a tin can sitting in it--and then I acquired a cabdriver, Danny, and Danny took me all over the country just because he liked me and had lived in New York City, and Danny took me home and I met his family, and I fell for his sister, Nancee, and he took me to Cite Soleil, and I drank Presidente beers with him in a Cite Soleil bar under a huge poster of Dutty Boukman, the Haitian voodoo priest, and Danny looked up at that poster and he told me, "The white man hates Haitians because we fought and won our independence from Napoleon's best army and we got our independence through the divine inspiration of that man up there, Dutty Boukman--and Dutty held a voodoo ceremony at the Alligator Woods (Bois Caiman) and declared the slaves would overthrow our oppressors, the French. Haiti was established by French pirates and these pirates brought slaves from Guinea and Dahomey and we were treated, why, Wolf-man-friend, you wouldn't believe what the French did to my ancestors." "Why do you have a statue of Columbus in Port-au-Prince?" "I think the US Marines must have put that up when they ruled us back in your 1920s and 30s, our Year 100 and so forth. The white man hates it that blacks gained their independence through fierce fighting and the Father of our country, Toussaint L'ouverture, who lived in the USA while you were fighting for your independence and is said to have even fought on your side against the British." And I took a liking to Haiti's people, friendly, proud, poor as hell, though filled with smiles and laughter--living in what Albert Murray calls "the briarpatch," and though these Haitians are resilient like the rabbits that live in the briarpatches, still I felt how fatalistic that society was--the first time I was there with my wife way back in the 60s, they still had woodsy mountainsides. The second time I was there, living there in the 70s, those trees had been thinned out but were still lush around Port-au-Prince up to Petionville--soon, however, all those trees were cut down to make charcoal for China--and today Haiti has no forest covering, one reason it flooded so drastically and catastrophically. Can you imagine, Haitians in the northern area are going for 4 and 5 days without food or water--"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!" And if you get so thirsty you can't stand it, you drink the flood waters, and soon you are dead floating belly up in the water you sought salvation through.
I get carried away when I think of Haiti and the US's treatment of that Black Republic. Remember how ruthless Big Daddy Bill Clinton was toward the Haitians, jailing them in Guantanamo when they tried to float on innertube rafts across the Caribbean to come here, then putting a navy flotilla all around Hispaniola so Haitians couldn't get the rubber rafts past them--what an asshole Bill Clinton was and still is. I love Haiti but I haven't been back...and I've had opportunity to go back many times but I refused.
And to think, while Haitians are starving and thirsting to death, some fat-cat asshole is sailing off on his fucking yacht to go to his private island with 400-million-dollars of stolen money tucked safely away in an offshore bank account (thanks to Brit banks like Barclay's). Bush has offered a million or so in aid to Haiti--and the UN is there, but, still--I heard a Haitian say today that Haiti as a nation may not survive this hurricane season, which in case you all don't know it, lasts until the end of December, so Haitians are facing perhaps more hurricanes this year--one more hurricane of the magnitude of Ike and there may not be a Haiti anymore--maybe some corporation will buy it and name it after them, like we name our sports arenas after corporations now! Do corporations rule us? Rule us, hell, they OWN us.
This bailout is wrong. Case closed.
for The Daily Growler
Dutty Boukman was a houngan, or vodoun priest whose death was considered a catalyst to the slave uprising that marked the beginning of the Haïtian Revolution. Boukman was born in Jamaica.
In late August of 1791, Boukman conducted a ceremony at the Bois Caïman and prophesied that the slaves Jean François, Biassou, and Jeannot would be leaders of a slave revolt that would free the slaves of Saint-Domingue.
Soon after the uprising began, French authorities captured Boukman and executed him by beheading. The French then publicly displayed Boukman's head in an attempt to dispel the aura of invincibility that Boukman had cultivated. The attempt failed.Haitians honored Boukman by admitting him into the pantheon of loa (Vodou spirits)
Saturday, September 20, 2008
After a long night struggling with arranging my own words on several pages of virtual paper, I awoke at 7 am to the dulcet tones of Simon Loehkle, a local Saturday-morning radio personality here in New York City and reverend of the "Stand-up Academy" held on certain Monday nights of a month at the Swift Hibernian Lounge in downtown New York City. And this morning, sleep was demanding I resnuggle down into my pallet-on-the-floor (Faites-moi une palette à l'étage as the old Cajun song says) in the sky--I sleep in a very high loft bed--I like being high!--and cop some more Zs--but then Simon's dulcet tones hit the awake button on my biological clock when he started reading--and I had not heard him announce what he was reading, but with the first tones of his reading I knew he was reading Kafka's great story about the professional faster! I bolted awake and sat there stunned for over 45 minutes listening to Simon relate this fabulous story of the Fasting Man (The Hunger Artist), the professional faster, the man who is placed in an iron-barred cage--like a zoo cage--and he sits in his cage on his straw pallet morning, noon, and night doing his fasting act, with 'round-the-clock observers and attendants keeping eyes on him to see that he doesn't some how get nourishment through trickery and beguile. The Fasting Man usually is good for a performance of about 40 days and nights--and then people begin losing interest in his act and he is forced by officials--with a military band blasting away near his cage--to leave his fasting pen and be carried by two maidens down to a table full of tasty morsels, where the professional faster has to be forced to eat. Then his manager books him into another village square and he moves on to his next gig.
Kafka at his best carries the reader through the professional faster's career--though he's usually "force quit" at around 40 days and nights, the fasting man always feels he could go on fasting for another 40 days, setting world records, breaking his own world records, except he never gets his opportunity to continue on--until one day when the profession is petering out in terms of public interest and the best the manager can get him is a gig where they sneak the Hunger Artist's cage just inside the gate to a new menagerie--a new zoo--and the professional faster's cage sits first in a row of further cages containing wild animals of all sorts and sounds. At first the huge lines to the menagerie are clogged into a dragging state due to the first flood of the public entering the zoo stopping at the fasting man's cage out of curiosity before being driven on by the maddening crowd following them to the zoo's main attractions, until that maddening crowd gets up to the fasting man's cage and then they, too, stop out of curiosity before moving on into the main action of the other caged animals. This goes on for 26 days and then one day, the observers quit observing, the counters quit changing the days on the fasting man's "number of days of fasting" board, and soon even the zoo visitors quit stopping at his cage--breezing on by him--his advertising signs then fading and falling into disrepair--leaving the fasting man left alone and forgotten in his zoo cage. One day an observer looks at the cage and can't see the fasting man, only the bed of thick straw he resides on during his act. The observer goes over to the cage and takes a stick and pokes into the straw--and sure enough, damn, the fasting man is in there among the straw, thin as a straw himself by now. The observer speaks to the fasting man--the fasting man whispers in reply--the observer asks, "Why do you do this? Why do you fast? Why don't you eat and get merry fat like the rest of us?" To which the fasting man replies just before he dies, "Because I never found any food I wanted to eat" ("Ich fand nie jedes Essen, das ich essen wollte"). Then the fasting man dies and is buried with the straw from his cage. After the fasting man is dead, the zoo authorities see no sense in his cage going to waste and it soon becomes the home of a panther who proves much more popular than the fasting man ever was! There is nothing like a good Kafka story!
I'm not a hip up-to-date reader. There's too much out of my past I haven't ventured into reading yet--I mean I just discovered all these writers from the 1970s, like Albert Murray, that I'd never read before--and though I can see where something written 38 years ago is somewhat obsolete now (and obsolescence is the marketing word of the NOW) still I enjoy devouring them--because the 70s were my greatest years of moments to remember and work off of--and I am thoroughly enjoying reading Murray's great book on the blues idiom, Stompin' the Blues--or Sam Charters great little book The Legacy of the Blues--containing a great bio of Juke Boy Bonner, the Houston blues man who thought of himself first as a poet then as a bluesman--and all of the great inspiration in those two "blues" books is now diluted by time--and today, I doubt if there are but a handful of people who've ever even heard of Juke Boy Bonner or have certainly not heard a Juke Boy Bonner record--or a Bukka White record; or who have never heard of Big Joe Williams, J.D. Short, Robert Pete Williams, the great blind New Orleans singer and whiz guitarist Snooks Eaglin, Champion Jack Dupree, Sunnyland Slim, Memphis Slim, Eddie Boyd, Mighty Joe Young...and these are only the bluesmen mentioned in Sam Charters book (published in 1977 by DeCapo).
A Juke Boy Bonner poem:
Lonesome Ride Back Home
There's gonna be a long, long lonesome ride back home.
There's gonna be a long, long lonesome ride back home.
What hurts me so bad, ain't nobody missed me since I been gone.
Can't get no letter, telephone don't never ring,
Can't get no letter, telephone don't never ring.
It's gonna be a long lonesome ride back home, goin' back home again.
Sam Charters said Juke Boy Bonner represented the African griot in the legacy of the blues.
Funny Money (written by Juke Boy Bonner after President Nixon (a crook) in his first term in office put a freeze on prices and salaries)
Doctor, take me off penicillin because it give me a rash,
Now the president took me off cash,
All the money got funny,
Man, my money got funny,
I ain't jivin' you baby, sure make my money get funny.
I couldn't get the raise I been waitin' on so long,
Nixon told me the freeze was on,
Yeah, money got funny,
Money got real funny,
I ain't jivin', man, my money gets real funny.
Charters writes about Juke Boy Bonner: "What's all this gotten Juke Boy? Not much, so far. If you want to listen to him play and you don't happen to be near a festival or a concert when he's making an appearance, you have to look around the black clubs for him. In some towns blues is still the neighborhood music.... This is where Juke Boy's liable to be. He still has to keep his household going, though the children are almost old enough to be own their own.
"In a small club, sometimes with a drummer, usually by himself, working behind his guitar and his harmonica rack, a nervous, thin man, dressed in casual clothes--you'll find Juke Boy Bonner. He does the songs as they come to him, working over personal versions of the newest hit records if the songs interest him. He's loose and irregular about the chord changes and the phrase lengths--as Lightnin' Hopkins is--but the rhythm's always there. If it's a medium shuffle it stays a medium shuffle. People can get up and dance to it--and in the clubs he works people usually do." [Samuel Charters, The Legacy of the Blues, "A Partly Made World--Juke Boy Bonner," p. 61.]
Weldon Juke Boy Bonner, the griot of the blues.
And these bluesmen remind me of "The Hunger Artist"--starving to death in order to keep on playing the blues--resulting in the "death" of the bluesmen--after disco came into our culture and pretty much put an end to LIVE music--by the end of the 90s, blues was pretty much as dead as jazz--such a shame! The death of a US-original culture based on musics remembered from an ancient past, a past in which the griots told the news of the tribes and communities with their story songs--which along with the multirhythms and polytonalities mixed with the American white (European) forms to become the blues, r 'n b, jump, swing, be-bop--from whence came Gospel music, too (Thomas A. Dorsey started as a bluesman), to come up with a true American idiomatic music!
Wow, what a day! Kafka all morning...the blues the rest of the morning!
Good mornin', blues, blues how do ya do?
I'm doin' alright, son, so how's'a 'bout you?
I loved the blues so much after I first heard my first blues that even to this day they dominate my musical tastes and personal efforts at composition. The first true blues I ever heard was by St. Louis Jimmy Odum and he was playing and singing his own blues classic "Goin' Down Slow" on John R-ah's "Record Review" radio show coming out of WLAC (the radio station of the Western Life and Casualty Company) in Nashville, Tennessee, late one deep midnight night in 1950 when I was but a kid, a kid with no "color" awareness--not thinking of the blues as the black man's private music, but thinking instead that I seemed to naturally take to this music; therefore, perhaps somewhere deep inside me (where all blues exist) I was a true inheritor of this blues music tradition that started so many years ago in Africa with the griots singing the news of the day--whether hard times or good times! The blues in America is a series of train stops leading up from Congo Square in New Orleans, up past Greenville, Mississippi, and the Mississippi Delta, to Memphis, to West Memphis, Arkansas, to St. Louis, to East Saint Louis, Illinois, eventually ending up on the Southside and Westside of Chicago and the Southside of Detroit...why, there were even bluesmen in Cleveland and New York City--and now I'm completely satisfied--it's been a great day so far.
Sad, but great. Sad because this is a cultural part of the America I wanted to love forever and sustain like a good marriage that I sense has been forced into the obsolescent zone--now dead and buried--unless you listen close to black rap and homey shit and white rockers--especially white guitar players--you see, white boys imitating black singers was an abomination (and the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger are the consummate white boy black mimickers)--but white boyz playing guitars could presumably pass for black--and all white guitar players when they play whatever kind of rock whites were able to imperially conquer and call their own, still play blues riffs on their guitars--if you hear a white guitar player warming up, I'll guarantee you he'll be running blues chords or progressions as his warm up. White guitar players and singers started rockabilly, hillbilly rock, or just plain ol' rock 'n roll (a black invention though and don't ever forget that--Ike Turner, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino--do I need to keep naming more?)--to the point that some white kids really do believe Eric Clapton is the greatest guitar player ever! Holy shit. White prejudice! Eric Clapton is maybe the best WHITE guitarist but he's no comparison with the truly brilliant blues guitar playing of say Lightnin' Hopkins, or the finger-picking style of the great Texas son of an emancipated slave guitarist and singer Mance Lipscomb, or John Lee Hooker (and I know several NYC blues aficionados who contend
Manse Lipscomb at 65 years of age sittin' on his front porch down in Texas.
JL Hooker was the most fascinating guitar player to ever come down one of those Detroit blues freeways--and I know, I know, Jimi Hendrix defined rock guitar playing--and Little Richard knew that when Jimi was in his band).
And a bluesman today's got no home to go back to--no lonesome ride home anymore for the bluesman--nor the Hunger Artist.
for The Daily Growler
Friday, September 19, 2008
Joe Torre, Best Manager in Baseball
L.A. was predicted to have trouble winning this year--they were young and the oldtimers they had were injured or taking options, so it didn't look good for the Dodgers...that is until George Steinbrenner did L.A. the biggest favor since they got the Brooklyn Dodgers franchise--George decided Joe Torre was finished as a manager but he didn't fire Joe but rather offered him a cut in salary and a very tentative renewal contract and Joe told George to go fuck himself and quit the Yankees and went home to Jersey. It wasn't long before we baseball freaks heard that L.A. had made Joe an offer--and Joe had accepted it--a beautiful deal, plus a chance to live in L.A. and get the glory and attention Joe needed to come up out of the doldrums George Steinbrenner had put him in. So what does Joe Torre do with the L.A. "Low Life" Dodgers this year?
Here ya go:
|National League West|
|L.A. Dodgers||80||73||.523||-||45-30||35-43||16-18||23-18||36-27||7-3||W 1|
|Arizona (7)||76||76||.500||3½||45-33||31-43||15-21||16-19||39-27||5-5||W 4|
|Colorado (E)||70||83||.458||10||42-36||28-47||15-21||21-18||27-36||3-7||W 2|
|San Francisco (E)||68||85||.444||12||35-40||33-45||19-13||11-29||32-31||5-5||L 4|
|San Diego (E)||58||95||.379||22||34-44||24-51||12-16||15-23||28-41||3-7||L 2|
Joe Girardi, Joe's replacement--"youth" that's what George said the Yankees needed--and all would be solved--except Joe Girardi is 9 games behind Boston and Tampa Bay now--no chance for the playoffs this year--and how many years has it been since the Yankees have missed a playoff?
Boo-hoo to Jerry Manuel, too. He didn't do so hot with the Mets, though they may make the Wild Card--currently they are a game and a half behind to folding Phillies--and they are ahead of Milwaukee in the Wild Card chase. So Manuel may get to the playoffs this year, but he didn't do much better than Willie last year, his team doing the same thing this year they did last year--Pedro didn't have anything and the bullpen let Manuel down as usual--plus they lost Billy Wagner to injury. Seems to me they could have just as well given Willie another chance this year, but then what the hell do I know about baseball?
The irony concerning the Yankees's flop year is that they flopped with a .538 winning percentage, better than Joe's Dodgers.
I watched the Yankees-Orioles game on local teevee tonight. It was exciting. Carl "I'm Sick" Pavano pitched for the Yanks--and damned if he didn't pitch 5 fairly good innings. The score early was 2-0, Orioles, but then the Yanks got 2 on a homer from Cano and tied it up. The Yanks went ahead 3-2 and stayed that way until Jabo "Jawbone" Chamberlain came in the top of the 8th and struck out the side. Mariano closed it in the ninth and it was wild and woolly and the Orioles got two on and then Mariano got Brian Roberts, the best Oriole, to pop out and the Yanks won a great game. Still it was sad to know they're not going anywhere this year--and this is the last year they're playing in the "real" Yankee Stadium--can you imagine desecrating that sacred baseball ground for a 2.1 billion dollar replacement stadium that replicas the old stadium with the exception it has no cheap seats anymore--I mean is $45 cheap!
New York City suddenly has a mosquito problem again. The Lords and Ladies who run the city are beginning the big West Nile virus scare and in the hinterlands, like Suffolk County, they are aerial spraying from helicopters at the risk of that being a bigger health hazard than West Nile. Two elders have died this year from West Nile and that triggers this big mosquito scare where people will let themselves be drenched in DDT. People are so stupid. I can remember a time not that too long ago either when nobody in New York City had ever heard of West Nile disease.
Good News for New York Citians
Our connection to the New York City real estate market tells us--over a chilled bottle of Moet champagne, the Wolf Man's favorite when it comes to bubbly--that in about a week or two the bottom is going to drop out of the City real estate market. Already apartments selling for 5 million bucks have dropped to 2.5 million--and mansions on Long Island are up for sale at "going-down" prices--formerly 50 million dollar trophy houses down to whatever the hell they can recoup from their expenses--like big celebrities are getting screwed big time out in the Hamptons with these overpriced houses. And still our billionaire mayor keeps telling us it was never better in New York City--why, a building boom is on, the tax rate is at its highest ever (especially on the poor), and his developer pals are still looking to steal as much land from the city as they can so they can build some more unaffordable housing and fancy hotels.
I can't wait for all these foreign-money-backed landlords to go belly up! Oh what a glorious Chaotic day that will be when people are jumping out of their hi-rise overpriced luxury apartments. Still an 18-story hotel is continuing to be built right up next to my apartment building--we already have 2 hotels in my block, plus a 2000-room job--62 stories--is going up just up the block--it's sad, folks, downright sad to see this city being gutted of its communities in favor for hi-rise luxury hotels and apartment buildings--all financed by foreign money. You can tell who finances hotels by the people who are running the hotels; the two hotels already operating in my block are hosted by Injah-type Indians--those from the real India, the country in which Colombo thought he had landed when he got to Santo Domingo and begin purging the area of its "Indian" population--and old Colombo did a good job of wiping out the Caribbean Aborigines--through infecting them with white man's diseases or just outright murdering them by the droves. Ah, those loving conquistadores.
And Mexican Independence passed and I was sick on the day I was supposed to party hearty at a mariachi concert with free food and drink--Viva Mexico! Like the Yankees, now I have to wait 'til next year.
for The Daily Growler
Crooked Government Bails Out Crooked Banks; We the People Are Left to Sink or Swim
In my family, as far back as the 1880s, the word "Banker" has meant crook. Thanks to that tradition in my family, to this day I don't trust bankers and their banks. Just think, what would you do if people started coming by in the droves bringing their monies to you for safekeeping and you woke up one morning with your safe filled to the brim with bucks. Those bucks become your assets when you are a banker. Let's say your community has given you 500,000 bucks. A banker can't just let that money sit in his vault. Why, hell, with that much capital behind him, the banker starts loaning out that money, the community's money, reaping fairly large interest payments off his loans. He's banking on the community not hitting him all at once for their money back. The percentages are in his favor that this is not going to happen so loaning out the money carefully becomes the essential way banks make money. When the interest off the loans accumulates in their coffers, then the bank suddenly becomes not a commercial bank but an investment bank. Same thing happens with stock brokerage houses, like Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Bean. Once they begin buying and selling stocks they soon will accumulate huge funds in their coffers--funds which soon they are speculating with. One thing most people don't realize when they invest in the stock market: the stocks you buy are not your stocks--you are buying stocks brokerage houses are given to sell by the corporations or the bonds they are given to sell by the governments. (Also, what ever happened to Shearson-Lehman?)
Here's what happened to Shearson-Lehman:
Shearson Lehman Brothers
Part of a bewildering M&A trail. American Express acquired Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb & Co. in 1984 for $360M, becoming Shearson Lehman/American Express. Internally the company merged with E. F. Hutton in 1988, becoming Shearson Lehman Hutton. But Hutton was pried off once again and this entity became Shearson Lehman Brothers, which American Express sold to Travelers Group in 1993. Travelers then spun off Lehman Brothers without Shearson in 1994.
|Peter A. Cohen||CEO of Shearson Lehman, 1983-90|
|James M. Cracchiolo||CEO of Ameriprise Financial|
|Jay S. Fishman||CEO of Travelers|
|Richard S. Fuld, Jr.||CEO of Lehman Brothers|
|Daniel J. Good||Good Capital Co.|
|J. Tomilson Hill||Vice Chairman of Blackstone Group|
|Jonathan S. Linen||Vice Chairman of American Express, 1993-2005|
|Richard Spring||British MP, West Suffolk|
PAST BOARD MEMBERS OR DIRECTORS
|James R. Boris||CEO of EVEREN Securities, 1990-99|
|Peter A. Cohen||CEO of Shearson Lehman, 1983-90|
|Sanford I. Weill||CEO of Citigroup, 1998-2003|
You want to break the banks, then run down right now and take all your money out of them.
I've often wondered why communities or trade unions, folks like that, don't start their own banks (like the merchants of old). Every government agency I've ever worked at had huge credit unions and huge pension fund accumulations. Or, hell, like Alexander Hamilton recommended, and he was a banker, why not a Central Bank?
We the People of the USA are such uninformed boobs we let our government and all these speculators rule us as lords and ladies rather than as our representatives. To me, this country bailing out these banks and investment houses is a Constitutional sin. 600 billion dollars of bailing out--100 billion going to save FOREIGN BANKS! Couldn't the government take that 600 billion bucks and pay off every Americans's foreclosure debt; their credit debt; wipe out debt in this country and let these banks and investment houses go to HELL! But then, the USA is a trillion and some-odd dollars in debt itself--so isn't this bailout money simply just more debt for us as a country?
The Neo-Con Manifesto proclaims its intention to drive the dollar down as low as it can go, which they've successfully done. The Neo-Con Manifesto also proclaims its intention to put the nation into debt, which they have successfully done also. Why? Because their goal is CHEAP LABOR! This is the whole schmeer, folks, CHEAP LABOR--and it's working. The hourly wage increase in this country at the present is the lowest ever! The GNP is dropping like a Mafia victim wearing concrete overshoes drops when he's flung into the East River. More than 12 million homes will be foreclosed on this year. More local banks, like the Silver Bank of Nevada, will be going belly up.
Such bullshit--and it's arm-in-arm bullshit, because there was Nancy Pelosi standing up there with the Neo-Cons praising this 600-billion-dollar bailout as salvation for all! By the bye, don't go by the stock market--the stock market doesn't represent the truth--the stock market goes up and down due to speculations--on futures, on warrants, on sells and buys! Wall Street, to me, is the same as Las Vegas.
In the meantime, New Orleans still suffers from neglect, and now, they have almost all the Gulf Coast needing billions of dollars of attention--the Mayor of Galveston, Texas, is pretty much saying Galveston is a lost city now--worse than New Orleans--even Houston, the home of most oil conglomerates in this country, the fourth largest US city, will be in need of billions of dollars--as will Beaumont, Port Arthur, Bolivar Island, plus the coast of western Louisiana. Where will we come up with these dollars? Exxon-Mobil could bail out Houston with just a smidgen of the enormous profits they've made over the past two years. And also, wouldn't it be nice if we weren't spending like 20 billion dollars a day in Iraq and Afghanistan--and now it looks like we are at war with Pakistan and Pakistan has nuclear weapons thanks to us--and so here go the Neo-Cons still looking and hoping for World War Three!
We've all been robbed. No jobs. No manufacturing. We depend on imports for everything now. Even the new television technology being forced on us, television technology manufactured by Asian Rim conglomerates that we gave our television industry to back when the Japanese business model was the model of the future--that came tumbling down when Japanese banks bought Rockefeller Center and then failed to make any payments, the Center reverting to the criminal Rockefeller family--and according to the teevee industry, this new digital teevee technology is now forced on us due to a government decree, as teevee talking heads keep explaining over and over--I'd like to know who wrote that law? I smell a lobbyist in the woodpile. What if none of us converted to high-D teevee? Of course, like the lemmings we are, every one will convert--and just think of the boon to the teevee manufacturers--everybody will either have to buy new teevees or converter boxes--what a boondoggle for the teevee industry, the industry already with the lowest overhead of all industries.
And lobbyists are our downfall.
And downfall is inevitable.
Study the Theory of Chaos.
for The Daily Growler
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Economics Know Nothings Ruining Our Economy
Economics to a Sociologist, and Sociology promoted Economics as an empirical science, is simply a study of a nation or a state or a county or a city's wealth in terms of the natural sources of wealth, a la Adam Smith and The Wealth of Nations--statistically evaluating wealth, you know, observing the use of the wealth (land usage, the establishing of capital, establishing the worth of the wealth, how it is produced, what's needed in terms of labor to produce it, then establishing a way to exchange the goods--you dig where I'm going?
What's going on in this country right now, We the People aren't really bailing out these failing corporations (Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Lehman Brothers, Merrill-Lynch, AIG), oh no, we're simply resuming responsibility for paying off their debts, debts they accumulated (and all of the above bailouts did it) through failed gambling--speculating as hedge funds and all of them losing their asses--buying up these unpayable mortgages that has caused the US housing market to collapse and millions of We the People losing their homes because they are stuck with unrepayable mortgages and credit debts--that's why these usury companies are going belly up--by bailing them out, we're simply taking over those unrepayable mortgages and credit debts and We the People are now the super-collection agency for these crooked assholes. Instead of our government stepping up and forcing these debts down to a payable level, We the People are now going to foreclose on ourselves, the government will now be taking our homes from us and foreclosing on us and collecting on our credit debts--putting us as a nation into DEBT! Unrepayable DEBT! And these cheesy mergers we're allowing, like the Bank of America (once owned by the Jesuits) buying Merrill-Lynch for pennies on the dollar with tons of billions of dollars in guarantees from We the People going along with the deal--expect the Bank of America to soon go belly up, too, since they're buying Merrill-Lynch on speculation, gambling that with the government backing they can start collecting monies again--it's complicated, folks, too complicated for even most Economists--and certainly too complicated for the likes of John "Nutjob" McCain...and Barack Obama, whose top advisor is that Robert Ruben dude (a Goldman Sachs dunderhead) who was Bill Clinton's Treasury secretary--and it was during the Clinton Administration that the Glass-Spiegel Bill was proposed and it would have stopped all this Wall Street speculation by separating commercial banks and investment "banks" from speculative banks and investment schemes--speculation is gambling! These Wall Street failures are gamblers, they can't help themselves they have so much of We the People's billions behind them, both in government-backing monies but also in We the People's pension funds that state and federal officials are speculating with on Wall Street--and to think, these sleazy bastards wanted (and they almost did it) to privatize Social Security (and Medicare and Medicaid)--and look in what a crisis Social Security would be today (the Stock Market dropped to 10,500 on the day it skidded down the garbage chute 550 points--and it should really fall back to about 4,000 if it really wants to correct its overblown self. Of course, Bush and his Renegades (his Mavericks) have already emptied out the Social Security coffers replacing the money with IOUs, monies that will never be paid back--so Social Security is bankrupt already, but the next president will find all this out, though these birds are so dumb in terms of Economics 101, they're not going to do anything revolutionary about it--they'll simply go along with the gamblers--be on the side of the corporate criminal world against We the People--they can't help it--they are in DEBT themselves to the corporations and the fat cats who gave them offerings of right now between Obama and Nutjob McCain of over 500 million dollars--half-a-billion bucks--and you think there are no strings attached to those contributions? Bullshit. Uncle Joe Biden tried to get a parapelegic to stand up like a man in Uncle Joe's act to show what a tough cookie he is and then he realized the man was in a wheelchair, one of those motorized ones to boot--and like the silly fool he is he joked his way out of it--leaving the paralyzed man I guess thinking, Jesus, if Uncle Joe Biden is so self-centered he can't see that a man is in a wheelchair, maybe he'll just vote for McCain for the old soldiers's sakes--besides, he d'rather fantasize about sex with Sarah Palin than he would marvel at how slick and stupid Uncle Joe Biden is.
As Adam Smith said way back when, a government never pays off its debt.
for The Daily Growler