Monday, May 28, 2012

Existing in the Fascist State of New York City: We Are Now Under Fascist Rule

Foto by tgw, "Penn Terminal Building," New York City, 2005
Our Future Looks Hopeless

I just heard Gary Null saying we don't need reforming, we need transforming. Gary Null's a smart man but he's totally ridiculed by the corporate-controlled press and Websites as a quack. But whether you think Gary's a quack or serious or not, he's absolutely right about reforming and transforming in this country. Like our current economy crisis. We don't need reforms. How can you reform a corrupt system? Like Capitalism gone fascist? What would reform it? We need to transform it. We need to go back to the founding of this White Man's Nation and read like Thomas Paine. Paine wasn't for reforming the British monarchy's rule over its colony; he was for totally transforming this country from being under the wing of a monarch to being set free to go in a totally opposite direction.

Currently, we are definitely under the control of global corporations. They rule us. Corporate goons write our laws, laws that are becoming more and more draconian; laws that since 9/11 have taken away more of our freedoms than any other laws that have besieged us before. Even during the advent of World War II, Congress didn't dare take away our right to protest; why they even allowed a pro-Nazi Bund movement to continue; why they even allowed the US Communist Party to freely preach its philosophy. Our Power Elites didn't dare take our Freedom of Speech away from us. But since 9/11, we are gradually losing our Freedom of Speech, which includes our right to protest and dissent.

We've just added another Website to our Blessed Blog List over in the right-hand sidebar of The Growler. It's a site I discovered while Googling "fascism" on the internet. That Website's first page revealed some very interesting quotes, like this one from Benito Mussolini:

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power." Benito Mussolini, Fascist dictator of Italy.

Or how about this one from Huey Long,

"Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism'. I'm afraid, based on my own long experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security." Sen. Huey Long.

On this site, too, I found an interesting quote attributed to Jeb Bush, one of George H.W. "Pappy" Bush's worthless sons who just could be our next Vice-President under Mitt "The Mormon" Romney's regime--in fact there is a movement in the Republican Party to root for Jeb's being the Repugnican presidential candidate over Mitt the Mormon--listen to what Jeb said:

"The truth is useless. You have to understand this right now. You can't deposit the truth in a bank. You can't buy groceries with the truth. You can't pay rent with the truth. The truth is a useless commodity that will hang around your neck like an albatross -- all the way to the homeless shelter. And if you think that the million or so people in this country that are really interested in the truth about their government can support people who would tell them the truth, you got another think coming. Because the million or so people in this country that are truly interested in the truth don't have any money."

And Jeb should know since he's seldom told the truth his whole privileged little rich boy life. His pants are constantly on fire, as are the pants of the rest of his worthless brothers (and his sister and his mother's pants to boot) and his old Pappy's, too.

This Website closes with a photo of Woody Guthrie and what Woody wrote on his guitar:

Is Obama a fascist? Yes, I think he is. He's certainly giving us over to the global corporations's designs; he's taken more of our freedoms away from us than Georgie Porgie "Lying Dog" Bush did. [And now we learn President Obama keeps a DEATH LIST...and, yes, he does kill American citizens he thinks deserve to die--FOR NATIONAL SECURITY (see the Huey Long quote up above).]

I close this post by once again bringing you Agnes George DeMille's epilogue to her grandfather Henry George's great book, Progress and Poverty, she wrote in 1979--there are so many truths to be found in it--truths which Jeb Bush despises:

Who Was Henry George?

by Agnes George deMille

A HUNDRED YEARS AGO a young unknown printer in San Francisco wrote a book he called Progress and Poverty. He wrote after his daily working hours, in the only leisure open to him for writing. He had no real training in political economy. Indeed he had stopped schooling in the seventh grade in his native Philadelphia, and shipped before the mast as a cabin boy, making a complete voyage around the world. Three years later, he was halfway through a second voyage as able seaman when he left the ship in San Francisco and went to work as a journeyman printer. After that he took whatever honest job came to hand. All he knew of economics were the basic rules of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and other economists, and the new philosophies of Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill, much of which he gleaned from reading in public libraries and from his own painstakingly amassed library. Marx was yet to be translated into English.

George was endowed for his job. He was curious and he was alertly attentive to all that went on around him. He had that rarest of all attributes in the scholar and historian that gift without which all education is useless. He had mother wit. He read what he needed to read, and he understood what he read. And he was fortunate; he lived and worked in a rapidly developing society. George had the unique opportunity of studying the formation of a civilization -- the change of an encampment into a thriving metropolis. He saw a city of tents and mud change into a fine town of paved streets and decent housing, with tramways and buses. And as he saw the beginning of wealth, he noted the first appearance of pauperism. He saw degradation forming as he saw the advent of leisure and affluence, and he felt compelled to discover why they arose concurrently.

The result of his inquiry, Progress and Poverty, is written simply, but so beautifully that it has been compared to the very greatest works of the English language. But George was totally unknown, and so no one would print his book. He and his friends, also printers, set the type themselves and ran off an author's edition which eventually found its way into the hands of a New York publisher, D. Appleton & Co. An English edition soon followed which aroused enormous interest. Alfred Russel Wallace, the English scientist and writer, pronounced it "the most remarkable and important book of the present century." It was not long before George was known internationally.

During his lifetime, he became the third most famous man in the United States, only surpassed in public acclaim by Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. George was translated into almost every language that knew print, and some of the greatest, most influential thinkers of his time paid tribute. Leo Tolstoy's appreciation stressed the logic of George's exposition: "The chief weapon against the teaching of Henry George was that which is always used against irrefutable and self-evident truths. This method, which is still being applied in relation to George, was that of hushing up .... People do not argue with the teaching of George, they simply do not know it." John Dewey fervently stressed the originality of George's work, stating that, "Henry George is one of a small number of definitely original social philosophers that the world has produced," and "It would require less than the fingers of the two hands to enumerate those who, from Plato down, rank with Henry George among the world's social philosophers." And Bernard Shaw, in a letter to my mother, Anna George, years later wrote, "Your father found me a literary dilettante and militant rationalist in religion, and a barren rascal at that. By turning my mind to economics he made a man of me...."

Inevitably he was reviled as well as idolized. The men who believed in what he advocated called themselves disciples, and they were in fact nothing less: working to the death, proclaiming, advocating, haranguing, and proselytizing the idea. But it was not implemented by blood, as was communism, and so was not forced on people's attention. Shortly after George's death, it dropped out of the political field. Once a badge of honor, the title, "Single Taxer," came into general disuse. Except in Australia and New Zealand, Taiwan and Hong Kong and scattered cities around the world, his plan of social action has been neglected while those of Marx, Keynes, Galbraith and Friedman have won great attention, and Marx's has been given partial implementation, for a time, at least, in large areas of the globe.

But nothing that has been tried satisfies. We, the people, are locked in a death grapple and nothing our leaders offer, or are willing to offer, mitigates our troubles. George said, "The people must think because the people alone can act."

We have reached the deplorable circumstance where in large measure a very powerful few are in possession of the earth's resources, the land and its riches and all the franchises and other privileges that yield a return. These positions are maintained virtually without taxation; they are immune to the demands made on others. The very poor, who have nothing, are the object of compulsory charity. And the rest -- the workers, the middle-class, the backbone of the country -- are made to support the lot by their labor.

We are taxed at every point of our lives, on everything we earn, on everything we save, on much that we inherit, on much that we buy at every stage of the manufacture and on the final purchase. The taxes are punishing, crippling, demoralizing. Also they are, to a great extent, unnecessary.

But our system, in which state and federal taxes are interlocked, is deeply entrenched and hard to correct. Moreover, it survives because it is based on bewilderment; it is maintained in a manner so bizarre and intricate that it is impossible for the ordinary citizen to know what he owes his government except with highly paid help. We support a large section of our government (the Internal Revenue Service) to prove that we are breaking our own laws. And we support a large profession (tax lawyers) to protect us from our own employees. College courses are given to explain the tax forms which would otherwise be quite unintelligible.

All this is galling and destructive, but it is still, in a measure, superficial. The great sinister fact, the one that we must live with, is that we are yielding up sovereignty. The nation is no longer comprised of the thirteen original states, nor of the thirty-seven younger sister states, but of the real powers: the cartels, the corporations. Owning the bulk of our productive resources, they are the issue of that concentration of ownership that George saw evolving, and warned against.

These multinationals are not American any more. Transcending nations, they serve not their country's interests, but their own. They manipulate our tax policies to help themselves. They determine our statecraft. They are autonomous. They do not need to coin money or raise armies. They use ours.
And in opposition rise up the great labor unions. In the meantime, the bureaucracy, both federal and local, supported by the deadly opposing factions, legislate themselves mounting power never originally intended for our government and exert a ubiquitous influence which can be, and often is, corrupt.

I do not wish to be misunderstood as falling into the trap of the socialists and communists who condemn all privately owned business, all factories, all machinery and organizations for producing wealth. There is nothing wrong with private corporations owning the means of producing wealth. Georgists believe in private enterprise, and in its virtues and incentives to produce at maximum efficiency. It is the insidious linking together of special privilege, the unjust outright private ownership of natural or public resources, monopolies, franchises, that produce unfair domination and autocracy.

The means of producing wealth differ at the root: some is thieved from the people and some is honestly earned. George differentiated; Marx did not. The consequences of our failure to discern lie at the heart of our trouble.

This clown civilization is ours. We chose this of our own free will, in our own free democracy, with all the means to legislate intelligently readily at hand. We chose this because it suited a few people to have us do so. They counted on our mental indolence and we freely and obediently conformed. We chose not to think.
Henry George was a lucid voice, direct and bold, that pointed out basic truths, that cut through the confusion which developed like rot. Each age has known such diseases and each age has gone down for lack of understanding. It is not valid to say that our times are more complex than ages past and therefore the solution must be more complex. The problems are, on the whole, the same. The fact that we now have electricity and computers does not in any way controvert the fact that we can succumb to the injustices that toppled Rome.

To avert such a calamity, to eliminate involuntary poverty and unemployment, and to enable each individual to attain his maximum potential, George wrote his extraordinary treatise a hundred years ago. His ideas stand: he who makes should have; he who saves should enjoy; what the community produces belongs to the community for communal uses; and God's earth, all of it, is the right of the people who inhabit the earth. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, "The earth belongs in usufruct to the living."
This is simple and this is unanswerable. The ramifications may not be simple but they do not alter the fundamental logic.

There never has been a time in our history when we have needed so sorely to hear good sense, to learn to define terms exactly, to draw reasonable conclusions. As George said, "The truth that I have tried to make clear will not find easy acceptance. If that could be, it would have been accepted long ago. If that could be, it would never have been obscured."
We are on the brink. It is possible to have another Dark Ages. But in George there is a voice of hope.

Agnes George de Mille
New York, January, 1979

Agnes George de Mille was the granddaughter of Henry George. Famous in her own right as a choreographer and the founder of the Agnes de Mille Heritage Dance Theater, she received the Handel Medallion, New York's highest award for achievement in the arts. She was the author of thirteen books.

for The Daily Growler

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Existing in New York City: My Dog's Bigger Than Your Dog

Foto by tgw, New York City, 2003
Old Photos Like Old Wine

Aren't photos better when they're old? I've run out of current photos and I'm delving back into my old stockpile. I photographed off roofs for years but now I've been barred from most of the roofs I used to shoot off of. Still I am using the same out-of-date-and-fashion Toshiba digital. I've had it for many a moon now. It's reliable. I'll tell you one thing from a photographer's point and shooting: the afternoon skies have changed here in New York City.

I could call it New York. That's its real name. It's New York, New York, but I like adding the City on it to distinguish it from the state. The state outside of the City is pretty nothing. Pretty common. Like Texas in some parts. I used to live in Freehold, New York, and I swear this all-White part of the state so reminded me of Texas it gave me the willies. I was buying a beautiful 42-acre farm on Catskill Creek, a larger-than-your-ordinary-creek creek that crescent-bent around my farm and in the elbow of that bend was a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach. A little stretch, but a beach still, with large boulders set about in the creek, some high and flat and sit-on-able while others created barricades enough that the creek waterfalled over them and you could sit on the flat exposed rocks in the sun and feel magnificent, like you were the only human on earth. There was a peace involved in the space during the summer but come fall that all changed, especially when deer season came along. During deer season, the local yokels pompously violated my "No Trespassing" signs and when I tried to stop them they defied me. I put a huge chain across my private road--and in what sounded to me like Texas drawls, local rubes would holler at me from behind that chain, saying, "We'in's been huntin' on this here property for years...Miz Lucy used to let us hunt here...." When I told them I didn't want my deers slaughtered they got rambunctious and one bunch tried to run through my chain in a Jeep but the chain broke one of their headlights and swung up and almost cracked their windshield.

There was a large deer park on my property. Just off in a short distance out behind my house. I had to stay alert at night for high-powered flashlights in those woods as local yokels tried to sneak through my posted fences via the eastern entrance of Catskill Creek onto my property. One night a ringing out of shots came close to my house. I had rigged up powerful spotlights on all sides of the house and when I switched the back ones on, there were three local yokels carrying rifles headed for the deer park.

I'm not one to mess with when I'm angry. It's not that I'm a big guy, but I have one of the meanest and foulest mouths on the planet. When I come at you cussing you'd be better off shooting me and facing murder charges than you would letting me get close enough to you to tongue lash you. My bark is worse than my bite, but these local yokels didn't know that. They began to spread the word that I was crazy as a loon and pretty dangerous. I thought about buying a rifle, and you can easily by guns in that part of the state, especially rifles, but pistols, too. I, however, never have been a gun enthusiast. I had a friend in high school who was and we used to go out into the wilds around town and shoot his rifles and hand guns. One sport we liked was shooting at jackrabbits off the front fenders of his dad's pick-up truck, which also had a military spotlight attached to the driver's side. That was fashionable in those days in Texas. Even some cars had military spots on their driver's side. These spotlights on pick-ups became as common as gun racks in the back windows of those trucks.

So we'd take my friend's dad's pick up out on the out-in-no-man's land back roads at night and two of us would lay out flat on those front fenders with our rifles loaded and ready and whoever was driving would drive along until he saw a jackrabbit in the road. Then he would hit that jack with the spot and these jacks would then take off like greased lightning down the beam of that spot, too scared to dart into the black darkness on either side. While they were running, zig-zag running, those of us on the fenders would start popping away at them. Senseless killing since jackrabbits are no good to eat. Just killing them for killing's sake.

The friend who was the gun nut and had the pick up also collected venomous snakes, which he kept in a garage apartment at the back of the family home. While out on these back roads shooting at rabbits, they were dirt roads, seldom used, very lonely at night, we'd occasionally spot on a huge rattler crossing the road. When we did, my friend would jump out of the truck and with his snake catcher go after the critter--his snake catcher a metal rod with a looped rope device at its end that you looped over the rattler's head and then cinched it tight around the head, then whipped him up and stashed him in a burlap bag--or even a pillow case--which you secured tightly and threw in the back of the pick up. I was with them one night when we collected five giant rattlers, each over six-to-ten-feet long.

One night on one of these runs we spotted on the biggest and ugliest centipede I'd ever and still ever seen in my life. I mean this baby was huge, at least a foot long, I swear.

One night while shooting jackrabbits, I was out on the right front fender with a Remington rapid fire and the driver caught a jack in the spotlight except this jack didn't react right and zig-zagged his way out of the light and into the darkness to lope out across this weedy field with me shooting at him, following his form out and out and still I shot at him until suddenly a light came on across that field and we realized I had been shooting at and hitting some farmer's house. We got the hell out of there fast and after that, I stopped going on those adventures.

Since those days I've not owned a gun ever nor have I known any more gun enthusiasts.

Knives, yeah.  Knives are another subject.  I carried a knife all through high school.  I learned to and practiced knife fighting.  This knife of choice in those days was a stiletto, a switch-blade one especially.  You carried them in your back pocket.  You were sensitive to it being back there and when you got in a tight spot, you knew you could reach in and whip it out snapping the blade open as you whipped.  I've whipped a knife out on adversaries many a time.  It quieted them down, especially when you whipped it out right in their face.  The surprise was too much for them.  "Whoa, pal, wait a minute, let's talk this over." 

When I got to New York City the knife of choice was the 007, a scary knife even when it was enfolded.  Looked like a streamlined butcher knife when opened.  You carried 007s strapped inside your lower leg.  I was with a friend of mine going into the downtown Municipal Court Building when bells and whistles went off, crazy sounds that brought a guard over.  It was my friend's 007 that had set off the alarms.  The guard told him to unpack it and leave it outside--my friend handed it to me and told me to wait for him--"I'll never abandon my 007," he told the guard.  The guard replied, "I know what you mean, brother."

Nowadays, I have protective devices around my apartment door--two stainless steel butcher knives and some old golf clubs.  Nothing like whacking an intruder with a golf club; they're splendid weapons when wielded properly.

Thoughts evolving off old photographs.  Can't paragraphs be photographs?

for The Daily Growler

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Existing in New York City: Poverty Among Wealth

Foto by tgw, New York City, 2003

Say Goodbye to: Paul Fussell, who wrote one of the best books I've ever read: The Great War and Modern Memory. World War I told from the point of view of poets and writers. Paul Fussell, 88, American literary scholar and social critic, natural causes.
Check Out What This Old Fart Alan Simpson (He's Intent on Cutting Social Security Payments in Order to Balance the Budget) Thinks About Seniors on Social Security, a Plan They Paid Into--Meaning, You Old Fart, It's Their Money Not Yours or The Government's--God-Damn I Hate Alan Simpson--He's an 80-Year-Old Idiot From the Great Backward State of Wyoming Who's Never Had to Work Honestly a Day in His Privileged Life. Read His Obscene Note to California Seniors, Who Also Hate His Old Rotten Guts:
To Whom It May Concern:
Erskine Bowles and I thoroughly enjoyed our time on the West Coast and received an excellent reception from folks — at least those who are using their heads and have given up using emotion, fear, guilt or racism to juice up their troops. Your little flyer entitled “Bowles! Simpson! Stop using the deficit as a phony excuse to gut our Social Security!” is one of the phoniest excuses for a “flyer” I have ever seen. You use the faces of young people, who are the ones who are going to get gutted while you continue to push out your blather and drivel. My suggestion to you — an honest one — read the damn report. The Moment of Truth — 67 pages, and then tell me if we’re not doing the right thing with Social Security. What a wretched group of seniors you must be to use the faces of the very people that we are trying to save, while the “greedy geezers” like you use them as a tool and a front for your nefarious bunch of crap. You must feel some sense of shame for shoveling out this bulls**t. Read the latest news from the Social Security Trustees. The Social Security System will not “hit the skids” in 2033 instead of 2036. If you can’t understand all of this you need a pane of glass in your naval so you can see out during the day! Read the report. Get back to me. My address is below.
If you don’t read the report, — as Ebenezer Scrooge said in the Christmas Carol, “Haunt me no longer!”
Best regards,
Alan Simpson
Hey, Alan, Those Young People You Are Trying to Save Are Idiots--If They're Not Working (Due to High Unemployment) and Paying Into Social Security, How Is It That Seniors Currently on Social Security Are Stealing Future SS Money From Them?--Why Aren't Our Young People Working? Or If They Are Working, Why Are Their Incomes So Low They Are Paying Less Into Social Security Than Seniors Currently on Social Security Did? Why Are Seniors Currently on Social Security, Which Is Not in Any Trouble of Running Out, Taking Monies Away From These Young People? Young People, By the Way, Who You Care Not One Plugged Nickel About If the Truth Be Known--You Are Simply Asserting What Power You Have Left to Make a Name for Yourself--Seems Like It's Old Congressional Farts Like You Who Have Turned This Nation Into a Corporate-Fascist State Who Are Out to Gut Social Security In Order to Repair a Deficit G.W. Bush, That Little Rat Bastard, Got Us Into With His Endless War on Terror and His Tax Breaks For Millionaires and Billionaires Like Yourself--You've Lived Off the Public All Your Worthless Life, You Phony Old Asshole, As Did Your Father Before You. Why Don't You Drop Dead and Get Out of the Lives of We the People of the USA Who've Paid Your Salary All Your Worthless Life? Go Back to the Backward "Little" Pissant State of Wyoming and Croak Already.

Question to President Obama
: Why in the hell did you pick this old goat for your economic recovery committee?--and why in the next hell don't you throw him out on his old-fart ear? Send him back to Wyoming and get him out of We the People's hair. Come on, Obama, listen to the American people and not these old farts who've never held a decent job in their lives--and that includes that fop Erskine Bowles, too. The way to recover the economy is to end this stupid War on Terror--cut the budget of the Defense Department; cut the budget of the Pentagon; gut the budgets of Homeland Security and the National Defense Agency and the FBI and the CIA. Those cuts would solve our economic problems overnight.

Awakened By a Strange Noise in My Room
I take seven different pharmaceutical drugs during my days these days. I pass out usually after taking them. I sleep pretty soundly at night and was sleeping that way this morning when something, a noise, bothered me while I was still asleep, bothered me so much I came up into a half-sleep, and then woke solidly awake on clearly hearing it, a tapping sort of noise, like the sound perhaps a mouse makes gnawing on something. I have mice problems this time of year. For some reason mice race across my room diagonally following what must be a mouse trail. They have been doing it for years. Not often but let's say maybe three times a year I'll see one skipping friskily along that trail. I'll be working at my computer and my eye will catch a movement and next thing I know I'll see one of the dirty filthy creatures sprinting like mad down this trail that originates under my radiator, an old iron radiator with a prominent hole under it. I have filled the hole with steel wool; I have laid a layer of bricks over it; I have put a board over it; yet, the mice still manage to exit it and dash across my room. So naturally this morning on being awakened by this strange noise, the first thing I thought of was, "oh crap, a god-damn mouse is in the room."

Before yesterday morning (May 21, 2012), I had been working on a beautifully raw diatribe against the whole Kennedy clan. It was brought on by the hanging death of Bobby, Jr's, estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy. What got me pissed off and on the backs of the (worthless, spoiled brat) Kennedys was the fact that when you clicked on Mary's Wikipedia Death List entry, you got Bobby, Jr's Wikipedia encyclopedia entry. I began to hunt for information on Mary and found out she was born in Dublin, Ireland, and before getting involved with a Kennedy (spoiled brat but handsome devil) man, she had been a teacher in France and then a television personality in Dublin. That led me to investigating just how many women all the Kennedy men went through in the course of their privileged freely mafficking lives. Women by the scores and after marrying some of them and knocking them up several times (they're Catholics, you know) they usually leave them (estranged) abandoned to drink and drugs. Kennedy men, including Bobby, Jr., have problems with drink and drugs, too, but they seem to get away with it unscathed. One might say they come out of their drug and drink dilemmas smelling like a Kennedy. Bobby, Jr., after being caught with a bagfull of his personal drug supply (heroin?) in South Dakota got off by doing community service as an environmentalist. None of the Kennedy drug and drink abusing men have ever had to go to prison. Anyway, to make a long story short, my Kennedy post got so involved I was preparing to turn it into a book when I went to my mail box yesterday (May 21, 2012) morning and discovered a piece of mail that suddenly moved my focus off the "scumbag" Kennedy men and turned it instead to face a brick wall, a brick wall so high, I am now spending most of my "literary" time trying to figure out how the hell I'm going to get over it. The brick wall was a multithousand-dollar bill from Bellevue Hospital for outpatient services (like liver tests, blood work ups, clinics, etc.), all due to my recent heart attack. I now seem to be burdened with a $2,000-a-month bill every three months.

I sat in the Coumadin clinic waiting room for four hours Monday (May 21, 2012). Usually on a Monday there aren't that many patients around but this Monday, a wild rainy Monday to boot, something must have been in the air because every chair in the waiting area was packed and new patients were coming in by the droves. At the peak of the action I counted at least 100 patients either sitting or standing around waiting to be called by the nurses or assistant nurses. Because I'm an advanced patient I had to sit and wait while all the newer patients were seen first. I began to characterize all these characters who were sitting around waiting with me.

The majority of them are Black and Latino; even some of the Black folks turn out to be Latinos. Nearly every name called out is a Latino name. When an English-sounding name is called it's usually a Black person. Some of these characters I knew from my many past Coumadin-clinic adventures. Like the elderly geezer-looking White man with the huge extended belly who plugs his cell phone into one of the wifi sockets that are all over the floor and plays games for hours at a time. This time he was having to sit without being called for the same amount of hours as I was and it began to bother him and he started talking out loud. "When in Jesus name are you calling me?" he asked, not loud enough for the nurses to hear him. The nurses don't tolerate complainers. Like if he'd'a said that loudly, a nurse would have mean-stared him down. When he finally got called, the nurse that called him I knew and I simply shrugged my shoulders and pointed to myself. That didn't make her mad and she said, "You'll be after this man," as she led the big bellied game player off for his blood pressure test, the first test you get once they call you into the clinic area.

There are a lot of huge fat Black women always in this waiting area. One sitting on her walker was also being ignored, though she never complains. She is so fat she lobs all over that thin-metal-looking walker that looks as if it's gonna collapse under her enormous weight at any minute.

There was a new fat Black woman, a little woman with a huge ass, who I'd never seen there before. She had a caretaker with her but she wouldn't sit with the caretaker and instead started wobbling up and down, eventually coming over and sitting by me. As she sat there she started making animal noises. A kind of mushy mouthed mumbling that sounded as if she didn't have a tongue and was trying to talk but couldn't. I avoided contact with her. Then she got up and wobbled off up the floor a bit and a huge tall fat Black woman came and sat where she'd been sitting. When she wobbled back down towards her old seat she noticed the huge tall fat Black woman had got her seat and she froze in wobble, looking right at the woman, and started fumble-mumbling with vindictive rapidity at this woman.

The Latinos, except for the extremely sick ones, are very vociferous. They gang together and they spiel long lines of Spanish conversation amongst each other. That is when they aren't on their cell phones. The great majority of these people have cell phones. Even the smattering of Muslims among us have cell phones. There was a confrontation due to a Latino guy jabbering away loudly on his cell phone. A plump and scraggly looking White woman got up and angrily told this gentleman to move away from her, which he did, moving across the walkway to the railing that hangs precariously high over the Bellevue modern vast entrance area or lobby to continue jabbering away on his cell phone, a conversation that extended on for nearly twenty minutes, me getting my call and going inside the clinic to get my blood pressure taken and then coming back out and taking the seat he formerly occupied when the White woman made him move...and he was still jabbering away.

There are your crazies in the mix. Nearly every Coumadin clinic I've attended this one crazy has showed up. She's a White woman, a little on the plump side, who walks with a limp. She wears jogging suits and at times appears wearing a white nurse's smock, though she's a patient and not a nurse. She has the privilege of knowing a lot of the staff and of going up to them and saying things like, "Hey, I like those shoes. Are they new?" One day she suddenly plopped herself down across from me and got out her cell phone and fiddled around with it, mumbling to herself as she did for a considerable length of time. Then she got up and wandered off and I didn't see her again. She's never called into one of the clinics so I assume she just wanders the hallways of the Ambucare units. She maybe one of the permanent residents of the hospital--from the psycho ward, I unfairly assume. There are a lot of familiar wanderers I see, one guy on a walker who wears a Marlboro jacket who comes and goes up and down the walkway continuously.

And then there's this crazy White guy I call Disco Stu. He has a boombox built into his walker and sometimes he lets it boom away, always playing the same disco classics--his special favorite being K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way I Like It," which he seems to have looped to where it plays in continuous stretches while he occasionally gives out with a whoop and then smacks his hands loudly together while carrying out some disco steps. He, too, wears jogging suits, a very popular apparel in this particular clinic area. When his boombox is turned down, or he's using his earphones, he still gives out his whoops and his hand claps, some coming when you least expect them, catching you by surprise, his booming hand claps sometimes even shocking you nervously--you know, making you jump from not expecting them. He has another habit of repeating the names when the nurses come out and call out the names of the next patients they are ready to see (or "care for," as the nurses put it).

Mostly though most of these weary patients who sit for hours waiting for their names to be called sit like zombies, stunned sort of, not talking. Asian men, and there are usually one or two of them in attendance, tend to pass out and sleep while waiting for their names to be called. One Asian guy, Mr. Bong Bap I call him because that's what his name sounds like, has slept through his name being called a couple of times, snoring loudly away, missing his turn.

I sit there not laughing at these people but rather getting angry at a nation full of billionaires and multibillion dollar corporations with money to waste and a bunch of well-paid politicians who give themselves raises quit regularly and who and their families get the finest healthcare known to man--these politicians paid by our tax monies--and we are taxed throughout every day on the food we buy, on the bridges we use, on the throughways we use, on the beers we drink, on the tunnels we use, on the property we own, on the clothes we buy, on the cars we buy, on our phone bills--and in return for our generosity to them these public servants slam us back by using the enormous privileges and powers we give them to make laws against us--and my train of thought here is on track to ask the question why don't we have universal healthcare in this country, this Land of the Free (Hell) and Home of the Brave? Why? Why are we burdened with this pay-or-die healthcare? Why are we burdened with hospitals trying to make huge profits off our sicknesses? Hospitals practicing pharmaceutical solutional medicine [Fact: one of the drugs I'm having to take, warfarin (Coumadin's its brand name), is rat poison] rather than preventive medicine? I mean though Bellevue doctors and nurses saved my life, Bellevue finance is going to take my life back. My outpatient bill right now is running $2,000 a month! Doesn't that sound ridiculous? And there are thousands upon thousands of New York City just-plain-folks sitting in the waiting rooms of city hospitals all over the 5 boroughs being drained of their time and life and incomes, some being ruined; yet this city's ruled by a sorry-ass billionaire who hates poor people and who was recently caught using a city-owned helicopter pad for his own private helicopter's use, taking off on personal trips with his gal pal and his pedigreed dogs in the middle of the night, which is illegal according to a New York City law that says helicopters can't use that pad after the sun goes down--this is the same mayor who recently fought tooth-and-nail against giving the city workers who do the shit work a $2.00-an-hour raise, from $8-an-hour to $10-an-hour, saying such a raise would put the city into debt. In the meantime, this bastard has a staff and all kinds of city administration workers making hundreds of thousands a year. Even his worthless daughter is on the city payroll as the city's ambassador to the UN, a job that sounds superfluous to me. This is what I'm thinking of as I sit in Bellevue Hospital's Ambucare clinic waiting areas for hours upon hours amongst the other poor ripped off souls of the down and out.

I'm currently sitting here listening to Beethoven's 6th Symphony trying to find peace in my disrupted life.

for The Daily Growler

From nasa/ :
Black Holes
Artists concept of a black hole
Artist's concept of a black hole.
A black hole is an object whose gravitational pull is so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape it once inside a certain region called the event horizon. As gas and dust (or even entire stars) are sucked in, the material is accelerated and heated to very high temperatures. This in turn results in the emission of X-ray light. Black holes containing lots of nearby gas and dust such as this Perseus cluster galaxy produce tremendous amounts of X-ray light.
Still more X-ray light is generated when some of the material swirling into the black hole doesn't fall in but rather is spit out at incredibly fast speeds (close to the speed of light). To understand why some material is spit out, think of the analogy of someone trying to eat too much food at once. Such a messy eater will have food fall from their mouth.
Black holes are like such messy eaters. Some material won't reach the event horizon but instead is caught up in powerful magnetic fields existing around the black hole. These "jets" not only shoot some material away. They also emit prolific amounts of energy from radio waves to visible light to X-ray light.
The jets of material shooting out from the central black hole of the Perseus cluster have blown out large holes (cavities) in the nearby gaseous medium and -- like waves propagating on a pond surface -- have set up ripples throughout the entire cluster medium. These ripples are the sound waves.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Existing in New York City: Is That Goose-Stepping I Hear Outside in the Street?

Foto by tgw, New York City, 2003

Say Goodbye to: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, one of the great voices of the 20th Century--Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, 86, German baritone and conductor.
Is That Goose-Stepping I Hear Outside in the Street?
Scott Walker is leading the Dumbocrat in the recall vote in Wisconsin by 4 points, according to Marquette U pollsters (is it just me or do Catholic colleges run a lot of polls?). Looks like it turns out George Zimmerman had a right to blow Trayvon Martin away--hey, Trayvon had been smoking marijuana! Those damn Black kids! Wonder what dope Zimmerman had in his system? And out in stone-broke California, that flip-flopping fop, Jerry Brown, is going to use draconian austerity measures to try and reverse California's 16 billion dollar debt ("Hey, Jerry, why don't you raise taxes on the wealthy?" "Hey, Jerry, why don't you raise taxes on the foreign corporations making billions in your state?). And in the world of continuing crooked Wall Street financial firms, turns out Jamie-Boy Dimon and his scheming J.P. Morgan-Chase crooks blew more billions than they first revealed--now it's up to 3 billion (a drop in the bucket for too-big-to-fail (bailed out) J.P. Morgan (the Pirate)-Chase); these pirates still playing the derivatives game, knowing they are still too big to fail and We the People of the USA will bail them out. President Obama, however, loves Jamie-Boy; why, Obama invests his newly gained millions with J.P. Morgan-Chase. Declares it the best-run financial pirate gang among our many crooked banks. You don't think they have Obama's nuts in a fist-grip do you? After all, he admitted in his book that they are his heroes. Jamie is also on the NY Federal Reserve Board. Jamie is also head honcho (CEO) and chairman of the Board at J.P. Morgan-Chase Piracy Institution--in other words he's his own boss. Word is out that Warren Buffett, that old sleazy two-faced crook, is buying up a bunch of Old South newspapers. And there's right-wing brag that Mitt "the Mormon" Romney who is a spoiled-brat rich bastard who is also an idiot is tied with Obama in several polls. And plans were revealed today while Hillbilly Hillary was entertaining some Israeli big shot that yes we are ready militarily to try and invade and occupy Iran. Plus, Hillbilly proudly announced we are giving the Neo-Nazi Israelis millions of more bucks so they can build a missile system--called the Dome--around themselves as protection from the evil Iranians and those lower-than-dog Palestinians (Israel's "Jews" in terms of their Nazi leanings).

Ah, sweet Chaos. And the world is in Chaos, folks. Europe is crumbling under Germany's rule once again. The Greeks are sweetly revolting against the Goldman-Sachs austerity measures--following in the footsteps of the Icelanders! Fuck Goldman-Sachs--let's bust their asses instead of letting them take over our country. And in Spain hundreds of thousands are sick and tired of these austerity measures that take it out on the workingclass. Wasn't the idea of the European Union to create a level playing field in Europe?

As Marx said revolution won't come from the lumpenprolitariat (the peasant classes). Nope, it comes from the intellectual classes.

I remind Growler readers of what my hero, C. Wright Mills, wrote back in 1956 in his prophetic book, The Power Elite:

"The powers of ordinary men are circumscribed by the everyday worlds in which they live, yet even in these rounds of job, family, and neighborhood they often seem driven by forces they can neither understand nor govern. 'Great changes' are beyond their control, but affect their conduct and outlook none the less. The very framework of modern society confines them to projects not their own, but from every side, such changes now press upon the men and womenof the mass society, who accordingly feel that they are without purpose in an epoch in which they are without power."

The G-8 power elites met at Camp David (named for Eisenhower's grandson who married one of Nixon's daughters) today to decide on the best way to take over Africa's food supply. The guest speakers were from Monsanto (promoting genetically modified foods as they try to take over the world's food supply) and DuPont (inventors of Agent Orange and owners of Union Carbide, which they bought cheap after the Union Carbide plant in Bopol, India, blew sky high and killed a huge number of Indians (no one went to jail for murder in that incident), and I'm sure Jamie-Boy Dimon will be there amongst his fellow crooks; remember, he's one of President Obama's dearest friends now--Obama invests his newly gained millions with Jamie at the crooked firm of J.P. Morgan-Chase (Chase Bank originally a Rockefeller bank run by David Rockefeller--Chase Bank was going flat-dab bankrupt until We the People of the USA bailed it out--J.P. Morgan, also going bankrupt, was allowed to merge with Chase so they could be too big to fail)--these are the crooked, swindling jerks that are bringing the world's economies down around our necks--they should all be hauled off to jail, but of course they won't be--instead they'll continue to rule over us. These are the underhanded jiveass turkeys who are draining our economy dry. Remember, the whole idea behind this and any Neo-Con scheme is CHEAP LABOR!!!

And Monday, Chicago, under Emanuel "Mussolini" Rahm (Chicagoans elected this joker as their mayor so don't really blame Emanuel for simply being himself), turns into a war zone when the stupid NATO funky butts hit town to decide where next to cause Chaos. Remember this bunch of fools was originally the North Atlantic Treaty Organization formed in WWII by Grrrreat Britain and the US so they could rule the north Atlantic sea lanes. Remember, too, G.W. Bush, that little asshole, washed his hands of the Afghanistan folly by turning that war over to NATO back before he passed his rule on to Barack "Executive Order" Obama. Who's a bigger fool in all of this than Barack? This man had a chance to become our greatest-ever President and he gave that chance away when the Clintonista clan (including Emanuel "Mussolini" Rahm and David Axelrod, Chicagoans) got ahold of his nuts and got their hands up his ass.

Ah, sweet Chaos.

I give C. Wright Mills the last word:

The power elite is composed of men whose positions enable them to transcend the ordinary environments of ordinary men and women; they are in positions to make decisions having major consequences. Whether they do or do not make such decisions is less important than the fact that they do occupy such pivotal positions: their failure to act, their failure to make decisions, is itself an act that is often of greater consequence than the decisions they do make. For they are in command of the major hierarchies and organizations of modern society. They rule the big corporations. They run the machinery of the state and claim its prerogatives. They direct the military establishment. They occupy the strategic command posts of the social structure, in which are now centered the effective means of the power and the wealth and the celebrity which they enjoy.

Hey, enjoy life while you still have it,

for The Daily Growler

What's New From New York City's Billionaire Mayor?
What this rich fool had to say about living wages:

New York's billionaire mayor is so opposed to a tiny raise for workers at companies that get public money that he's vowed to sue. What's the deal with living wage laws anyway?
Photo Credit: shutterstock
To a few hundred New York workers laboring for $8 or $9 an hour, a living wage bill recently passed by the city council means a raise, a few dollars more a week to help feed their families.

To billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg, it's a wedge to open the door to communism. That's right -- the mayor told a local radio program that requiring businesses that get taxpayer subsidies to pay their workers a little bit more is just like a centrally planned economy. “The last time we really had a big managed economy was the USSR, and that didn’t work out so well,” Bloomberg said.

Picasso's Guernica, 1937 (as the Fascists were taking over his beloved Spain)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Existing in New York City: Remembering My Mother on Mother's Day

Mom and Apple Pie Painting  - Mom and Apple Pie Fine Art Print
Mom and Apple Pie by Robert Bissett

Not My Mom
My mother wasn't a Mom. Nor was she a Ma. I called her Mother from the get go. I recently wrote a song called "Mom," in which I asked, "Who was my mother?" to which I replied, "I never knew," and that is the truth. I really never knew my mother, though I lived with her for 18 years of my life and then certainly saw her on trips home after I left home to go to college and eventually to move out on my own 200 miles east of her, and then after I got married (to a woman who had no desire to be a Mom), over 600 miles away from her, to New Orleans, that move spelling her doom, which I will explain later.

My mother was born in Beaumont, Texas, on August 24, 1906. My mother would be 105 years old on this Mother's Day had she lived. As a little kid, I don't remember my mother except as a warden. She seemed to be the adult who was around to keep an eye on me. I was a rascal of a little kid. Curious. Challenging. Always acting in ways my mother didn't approve of. I thought of my mother then as one thinks of a corrections officer. And my mother was constantly correcting me. My dad? I remember her as his corrections officer, too, as she was jumping on his poor ass most of the time he was home, except on Sunday, which was her day to be sweet and kind and the one responsible for cooking our Sunday dinners. The only time I remember my mother as a good cook was on Sundays, though in reflecting now about those Sunday dinners, they were mostly fried chicken, lumpy mash potatoes, green beans, fried okra, and an occasional avocado salad, things that my mother liked and, with the exception of fried chicken, things I hated.

My mother did bake pies, though I don't remember them as being prize-winners. Except she could make a damn good peach cobbler...and she made chocolate pies, My-T-Fine chocolate pudding in a pie shell and topped with meringue.

And remembering her baking pies reminds me that I did hang around my mother a lot as a youngster especially in the kitchen. Especially when she baked pies or cakes. Hanging around not in order to be with my mother, but to get to lick the mixing bowl or to get fingersful of icings and my mitts on the excess pie crust, which she would bake in strips for me while the pies were baking.

I also remember my mother on laundry day. I remember her ordering me to separate my clothes, the whites from the colored, on that day.  And I remember first the old ringer-type washing machine she had for the first part of my life and then the Bendix front-loading automatic washer she got from my father one Mother's Day when I was getting at an age where I was beginning to be ashamed of my mother. Why ashamed? Because I thought of her as being old. Most of my friends's mothers were young, a couple of them even "hot" in male sexual terms. I never thought of my mother as hot. I never had any sexual feelings for my mother, though I do remember one incident where she was bathing me--yes, please, I was a very little child then--where I raised my hips up out of the water to poke my little hard-as-nails penis up toward her face. My mother's advice to me on how to control my little hard penises: "Put it between your legs and squeeze your legs'll go down then." And this was the vise-device I used over and over when I got what seems now like constant erections from the time I was around 5 up until the time when I was a teenager and realized what those hard penises really meant, the reason that damn thing got so hard--girls! One advantage my mother's deharding of my erections got me was my penis was bent a certain special way, which women later found very fascinating. How's that for thanking your mother for her advice?

My mother was in her late 30s when she had me. My brother always told me I would have never been perceived or conceived had it not been for her second child, my brother John dying, a brother I never knew except from a photo of my mother holding him that I had in my possession and the fact that for years for some strange reason I had his original birth certificate that I carried around with me until my third wife destroyed all of my possessions (including the photograph) one summer by having her Italian yard man dump 'em on the Westchester, New York, County dump. My big brother, my brother the writer, was born when my mother was 16 years old. Then ten years later, my second brother, John, was born. To my mother's horror, John only lived 6 months. He was born, as they said in those ancient days, a yellow baby, which meant he was born with jaundice, a condition now easily fixable, but a condition in those days that was a death sentence.

After John's death, my mother flipped out. I think I would have liked my mother had she not flipped out over his death. My brother who lived with them at that time said mother and dad were good dancers, especially they were great Lindy Hoppers and executioners of the Charleston. My mother at that time, in the middle of the Jazz Age, was a flapper girl, wearing her hair bobbed and wearing short skirts showing her BARE legs. Plus my musically educated mother was a great stride pianist who knew the W.C. Handy Book by heart, all of Handy's most famous blues; and at one time she was a fairly good violinist. But with the death of my brother John she disposed of that life, blaming the death of her second born on God punishing her for so secular a life. This guilt led my mother to check herself in to a sanitarium where she stayed for 6 months "getting right with God and his son Jesus Christ."

My brother further informed me that I was a love child, meaning my birth wasn't planned but was accidental, my dad, a man who never quite conformed to my mother's devotion to God and Jesus Christ, having departed on one of his sudden disappearances and returning one night to knock on the backdoor and being met there and being forgiven by his righteous wife. I was the result of that reunion and the night of conjugal pleasure it afforded my dad and mother--make-up sex--I was the result of make-up sex.

My mother wasn't a dumb woman. Not even in her falling into the trap of Christianity was she at any time dumb. I was taught, yes, to respect God and to believe on his Son Jesus as my personal savior but she didn't force this on me. From a very young child on into manhood, in spite of my father forcing me to read the Christian Bible from front to back, and in spite of my mother holding salvation over my head, I just never could believe the whole Christ and God story.  It was too fabulous for me to believe--a baby born of a virgin!  Come on, I couldn't believe that. My mother never preached to me though she became excited when as a young kid, say when I was 8 or 9 years old, I started preaching as a way of entertaining my parents. I would get a large cardboard box that I used as my pulpit and I would preach my sermons to them, sermons that I don't recall and certainly sermons that must have been so elementary as to be nonsense in terms of their theological value, sermons that to me were simply a chance to let the entertainer come out of me. Even to this day I consider Christian preachers to be entertainers. It was about at this same age that I started wanting to play the piano.

My first instrument was an antique organ, a pump organ, my mother bought from a Dallas antique shop. It was a Beethoven organ manufactured in Paterson, New Jersey, in the 1880s. It was a divine instrument and I immediately, though I knew nothing about playing it, started sitting at it and playing at it. Composing on it; thinking of it as my own symphony orchestra. And at that age, 7, 8, somewhere in there, I got into symphony orchestras, listening to symphony concerts on the radio first, then going to symphony concerts in Dallas, the Dallas Symphony at that time emerging as one of the finer symphony orchestras in the US, competing with the Houston Symphony Orchestra for national attention, though the Houston Symphony had more money behind it and at that time hired Leopold Stokowski as its main conductor while Dallas hired a brilliant Hungarian, Anatole Dorati, as their conductor. And my mother, the musician, found pride in my taking to symphonic music and she took me down to the State Fair (of Texas) Auditorium to Anatole Dorati's Dallas Symphony children's programs which I enjoyed with my eyes wide in amazement as I watched and listened intently as Mr. Dorati explained music to me--I to this day recall those several programs--I recall his doing Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf and its using various instruments in an orchestra to represent the various characters in this Russian folk tale Prokofiev so brilliantly put to music. I attended all the Dallas Symphony's children's concerts that year thanks to my mother; and I continued making that old Beethoven pump organ my own personal symphony orchestra to the point where one day my brother hearing me doing one of my symphonic compositions on that organ decided I needed piano lessons and with his GI Bill money from his service in World War II paying for them, when I was 10, I started taking piano lessons in Urban Park, Texas, from Mrs. Kirby--lessons I eventually denounced, just as at the same time I denounced Christianity--piano lessons I denounced because at about this same time I heard on the radio one late night the music of Lucky Millinder, Lucious Venable Millinder, a unique musical man who could not read or write music, who played no instrument, and sang very little, but who fronted what was at one time the most popular swing band during the 1940s, a band that many people consider the first r and b band, a band that at different times had Henry "Red" Allen, Charlie Shavers and Dizzy Gillespie in its trumpet section, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Bull Moose Jackson in its sax section, Bill Doggett and Sir Charles Thompson as its pianists, Wynonie Harris and Ruth Brown as its lead singers; Lucky, too, the bandleader credited with discovering Sister Rosetta Tharpe, with whom Lucky had a major hit in the early 40s with "Trouble in Mind."

Lucky Millinder's music changed the direction of my musical taste and led me into the world of jazz and blues, a world I to this day consider myself a member of, though like so much that I've learned to cherish in my life is passing by the wayside of our cultural life.

When my mother found out I was drifting away from my little preaching episodes and drifting away from my love of symphony orchestras and when she first heard me playing boogie-woogie instead of my Chopin or Bach exercises on the piano she began to lecture me on the difference between the accepted music of the Christian God and music that in her limited Christian mind was considered "Devil Music." [I note here that this concept of jazz and blues as being the Devil's music wasn't just limited to Christian White thinking; I got the same rationalization once from a Black woman friend of mine named Alberta who when I put on Hudie Ledbetter's song called "Alberta" to impress her told me to "turn that old Devil music off, Wolfie, we Black people don't care nothin' about going back to those days." She associated jazz and blues with Jim Crow times down South, a time she and her family had escaped by migrating North, in her family's case north to Connecticut where she was raised.]

But, let me put in here, my mother was tolerant. She didn't forbid me to play jazz and blues because deep down in her own cultural soul, she loved that music, too. Like I said, my mother was a damn good stride pianist and even during her most solid Christian times, she could be encouraged, in a strictly secular setting, to get up and play her favorite blues, W.C. Handy's "Memphis Blues," which I've heard my mother play many a times at "get-togethers."

When I became a high-schooler, I purposely separated myself from both my parents, but especially from my mother. I had my own room and that's where I camped out even to the point of eating my meals in that room. In that "room of my own," I developed a style of life and a life philosophy totally opposite to "the way" my mother prayed to her God I would go. In that room I had my own radio, my own record player, my own books, a typewriter on which I started learning to write my own stories--why, I even had my own coffee pot in that room and started buying my own coffee, French Market coffee, and brewing it--and I started having my own sexual phantasies in that room--and I started developing plans to pursue certain young ladies I lusted after--there was only one thing I needed from my parents then: the use of their cars. My dad at that time drove a beautiful big Cadillac Sedan de Ville and my mother's car was a Nash Custom that was Italian designed and boasted a genuine Vargas girl hood ornament--a cool little car whose right front seat could be made into a bed.
In order to pursue my sexual fantasies, I needed one of those cars to use, to use on dates, but also to use as escapes when the urge to travel hit me and I would borrow one of those cars and go for long drives out into the distant lands that surrounded my West Texas hometown, off out into those distant backroads that led out onto the Callahan Divide or way off into the wilds of Mulberry Canyon, where I would drive wrecklessly while blasting the radio up to uncouth decibels and do my serious thinking, but also finding distant isolated spots of my own possession where I would eventually bring my girlfriends for passionate make-out sessions, sessions that would surely have shocked my mother into constant prayer vigils with her God asking him to please save my soul from surely the burning pits of the deepest of the holiest hells.

I drifted away from my mother until one day after I talked my parents into paying for me to attend a state college, and though she wanted me to go to a Christian bible college, she consented to let me go to North Texas State University in Denton, Texas, where after she and dad drove me over there and as they were leaving to go back home, she warned me that at this old state college I would be subject to the worst kind of temptations by the Devil in terms of learning about evolution and the atheistic teachings of modernistic secular humanism. After I went off to college, 200 miles from my home, the only time I even talked to my mother was in arguments over whether there was a God or in defending one of my text books or philosophical books against my mother's threatening to toss it in the garbage where she considered it belonged. Like I said, my mother wasn't dumb. My mother would sneak into my room--I came from a pack of snoopers--and read my books, one time reading a whole big philosophy book, 700 pages, on the philosophy of Sociology, which had become my major in college, a book that for years carried along with it a handwritten critique of the book my mother wrote out condemning the book as the work of a man surely who was the Devil himself in anthropomorphical disguise.

My mother saw perhaps a last-minute hope for me when I announced to her that I was marrying a Baptist preacher's daughter, a good young lady who bore the same first name as my mother. Yes, my mother was concerned about Baptists. They were a bit too modern for her brand of Christianity, but at least they were Protestants and they did believe in the act of immersion as the true sign you were accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Her mother had been an Anabaptist before she converted to my hometown's own invented religion that went under the banner of the Church of Christ, a religion headquartered in my hometown in the Highland Church of Christ and in Abilene Christian College (now Abilene Christian University).

Little did my mother know that my soon-to-be wife smoked cigarettes, had had illicit sex before marrying, and due to the ignorance of her Baptist preacher father denounced her belief in God and his fictional son Jesus, traits my wife and I kept from both our parents.

My mother attended my wedding to this charming and very beautiful young woman--she was 18 when we married--and my mother sat thrilled during the ceremony when my wife's Baptist preacher father was marrying us, Praise the Lord. Oh how proud my mother was that perhaps alas by marrying this preacher's daughter I would somehow be led back into the fold of the Good Shepherd; perhaps contact with this preacher's daughter would save me from what by then my mother was sure was a path that was leading me straight down into the Devil's worst portion of Hell. Little did my mother know that my marriage to this Baptist preacher's daughter was eventually spelling her own doom.

At the age of 48, my mother had to get a job. My father's final business attempt, a picture frame and fancy mirror shop was all but bankrupt. Through a good friend of hers she got a job as a school lunchroom worker with our hometown's school system. I was in high school at the time and loved the fact that my mother was working and not getting home from her job until 5 o'clock in the afternoon, which meant that if I hurried home from school, I could have at least an hour all to myself, to do as I pleased.

It wasn't long before the school board announced that they were offering certain lunchroom workers a scholarship to attend a summer program at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, which after two summers would allow them to obtain an associate degree in nutrition, which would then entitle them to be nutritionists and as such become heads of school lunchroom programs within the school system. My mother was one of the workers who won one of the scholarships and after two summers of study at Texas Tech she obtained her nutritionist degree and was put in charge of the lunchroom programs at the Dyess Air Force Base high school and elementary school.

By this time I had finished college and had been discharged from the U.S. Army and had moved to Dallas where I got my first job and had begun dating a variety of women having found out I was very attractive to certain women whether they were married or not. During this time I didn't return home at all so for several years I didn't see my mother. The only contact I had with her was an occasional phone call. My mother would have been appalled had she known of the kind of life I was living in Dallas. Like when I ended up marrying my first wife while drunk as a Lord, both of us, on a free-love adventure in Monterey, Mexico, and the eventual annulling of the marriage by her father's attorney. Or if she had known how many sexual affairs I was having with married women, one being my best friend's wife. And then when she found out I was marrying my second wife, a Baptist preacher's daughter, though she didn't trust Baptists as being truly fundamental Christians--to her Baptists had what she called "modernist" ways--they allowed too many secular affairs to go on in their churches--like dancing and bowling and stuff like that--still it rejoiced her soul to know that I was at least marrying a Protestant preacher's daughter. I mean to my mother surely a preacher's daughter was saved and on her way to Heaven, thus enabling her to rescue me from the path leading straight down to the depths of Hell to at least getting me back on the road to Heaven.

So the next time I saw my mother was at my wedding to this preacher's daughter. Little did my mother know that this preacher's daughter had rebuked her Christianity and was a worse Atheist than I was--and that we had even had premarital sex with ourselves and with other partners. My mother was all beamy and spiritual as the preacher's daughter's father married us and my brother was my best man and my best friend and his wife with whom I had had an affair were my witnesses--in fact, my affair was still going on with this wife even after I was married. But soon after the wedding, I stole away with my new bride and with the one hundred bucks my new father-in-law had handed me as my new wife's dowry, I assumed, we headed out for a huge steak dinner at a local steak house to then go to a fancy Dallas hotel where we consummated the marriage for two days. When we returned to civilization, my parents had gone back to my hometown without getting to know their new daughter-in-law.

Soon after we were married, the preacher's daughter and I moved to New Orleans. Over 600 miles from my hometown and my mother. And one fine day after we had settled in New Orleans, both of us working at good jobs, living the good life, eating out every night, with a fully stocked bar in our fabby Vieux Carre apartment, my wife and I though having some marital problems, at least acting like we were compatible--my problem as always was finding myself attracting women, one of whom I worked with who truly giving me a hard time, and I mean that in more ways than one--I got a call from my mother.  It seems she had just bought a brand new Mercury Comet and in order to break it in, she said, she and my father were coming to New Orleans to visit with us and get better acquainted with their new daughter-in-law.  School was out and she said they had time to come see us around July 4th and that they couldn't stay but a few days because my dad's business had suddenly picked up and he couldn't keep his shop closed long...and besides in August she was going to California to a nutritionists convention in Laguna Beach--where she had gone the year before and had learned how to body surf in the Pacific there--and blah, blah, blah, and she hoped we hadn't planned anything for that weekend.

No, I wasn't looking forward to my parents visiting their new daughter-in-law.  No, I wasn't excited that they were coming down.  I was finally on my own now; had my own life; wanted to be left alone.  Besides I was enjoying New Orleans.  Drinking heavily; partying hearty; having affairs galore, one with my wife's coworker and best friend and another with a friend of my wife's from her hometown who had popped in unexpectedly to stay with us until she found a job--a pain in the butt but one who eventually paid for her stay with us by entertaining my sexual lusts several mornings in a row after my wife had gone to work.  God, what joyful sinning I was doing in the Crescent City.  What a life I was leading.  With my parents coming, I was going to have to shape up.  First of all I got right with my wife.  Second of all I had to hide all the liquor in the bar.  Third I had to take off from work for a week.  And fourth, I had to make sure all my paramours knew my parents were coming and to cool it with surprise visits.  I had to at least act like I was on a road to heaven and not still on that six-lane highway to Hell with the knowledge my mother was coming down to New Orleans to find out if somehow her new daughter-in-law, the preacher's daughter, had set me on the proper path, that straight and narrow path Jesus said it was essential for us to tread on in order to join him in his celestial kingdom.  To be philosophically correct, I didn't believe in either heaven or hell; and neither did the preacher's daughter, who after one incident where she caught me mafficking about with a Cuban Ballet refugee star in a neighborhood bar had threatened to leave me and fly back to her parents--she emphasized she was flying back to her mother, by the way--if I didn't straighten up and start flying right.

I clearly remember the day my parents arrived in New Orleans.  They had stopped in Beaumont, Texas, and had picked up my Aunt G, my mother's sister.  As I led them up to my apartment, the liquor was safely stored away, my wife was up and fully dressed in a righteous dress and not running around naked like I liked her to do when we were compatible--and I felt like all was well with my soul and I would grin and bear my parents's visit...sobeit.  And up in the apartment we greeted and kissed and hugged and my mother's natural nosiness was checking out to see if she could see evidence of any sin going on.  My wife even stowed her Salems and the dirty ashtrays out of sight though I could see she was nervously dying for a cigarette as she was being inspected by my mother and ogled by my profligate dad who I could tell heartily approved of his new daughter-in-law.

We took them all out to dinner that night to Victor's Restaurant where my wife and I were regally treated and my mother was very impressed with the service there and the fact that there wasn't a bar evident, though Victor's did serve alcohol--I didn't know a restaurant in New Orleans at that time that didn't serve alcohol.  After cups of wonderful strong French Market coffee we returned to my apartment and after the gang was snuggled down and sound asleep in bed, my wife and I treked out onto our balcony and while she sucked down a Salem, I sipped on a Planter's Punch.

The next morning, out of a clear blue sky, I suggested we take a little drive over to Florida.  All the gang was for it, my mother rejoicing over it by saying she and my dad had never been to Florida and were eager to see what it was like.  We decided to take their new car since at that time my wife and I were driving an MG 1600A sports car that barely held two people much less five.

Since I knew the way over there, they decided to let me drive.  A big mistake since I was used to driving that MG helter-skelterly and as fast as it would go either in city or on the road.  I did alright until we got to Gulfport, Mississippi.  I was cruising through Gulfport, a little fast, but not fast enough it was causing any worry from the passengers in the back seat when on turning to say something nasty to my wife and taking my eyes off the road, there came a horrid scream from my aunt in the backseat.  "Oh, Wolfie, LOOK OUT!"  I turned my attention back to the road just in time to hit the brakes and stop the new car just short of the back end of a Greyhound bus.  "My goodness gracious," my mother exclaimed, "you're going to kill us all driving like that...let your father drive."  I told them all to relax and not to worry, though I had had many wrecks, I'd never killed anybody and with that, I laughed the incident off.  Though throughout the rest of the trip I was constantly badgered by the two women--sisters--backseat drivers we made it to Pensacola, Florida, without further incident.  My dad was being his normal contented self, sort of glad it wasn't him driving and suffering such backseat-driver abuse from his wife and her mean sister.

My mother had always been a worry wart when traveling in a car that she wasn't driving.  My poor dad always suffered her commands when he was driving, and really my dad was a pretty good driver, though, yes, he had had a very bad wreck during WWII in the family's big Oldsmobile, a wreck caused according to the passenger in the car with him due to they're having spotted what appeared to be a woman working topless in a field right up close to the road on which they were traveling.

We made it finally over to Pensacola, Florida, and checked into the San Carlos Hotel.  My wife and I quickly closed ourselves off in our room and ordered a couple of strong drinks sent up by room service.  My wife smoked half a pack of Salems while I downed my rum and coke and was ordering another round of drinks sent up.  A little sloshed we had lunch in the hotel coffee shop, during which time my wife and I got into a tiff and I threw my pastrami sandwich at her.  My mother was aghast that I should treat her new daughter-in-law, the preacher's daughter, that way.  I apologized and we then drove out to the beach south of Pensacola, a truly beautiful beach, and while my parents and my aunt enjoyed themselves sitting in the sand, my wife and I sat up on the boardwalk and talked about them.

We made it back to New Orleans without any incidents except my mother did corner me and give me a lecture on how unfairly I treated my poor little defenseless wife.  And then came the morning they were leaving.  Mother was insistent they leave early as it seems my dad's failing business had had a sudden boast in business and she didn't want him keeping his shop closed much longer than that July 4th weekend, plus she had to get ready for her August trip to California with her lunchroom supervisory gang.

The morning they all left us was kind of sad for me.  My dad looked like he really didn't want to go.  I remember him so vividly wearing his yellow corduroy jacket and his brand new Miller hat and my mother dressed in a bright-colored dress with her knit-cotton button-up sweater over it and my Aunt G, still very cute and petite though with her constantly grimaced face--and she had had a very tough life--and soon they were all piled in that new Mercury Comet and were headed off toward Beaumont, first, to drop off my aunt, and then on up through East Texas headed back home to far West Texas.

I had to admit I felt sort of sad.  It was like...something inside of me was telling me I might not ever see them again.  I told my wife about it that night after we had made terrific make-up sex--my wife telling me nobody had ever fucked her like I fucked her, a hint that she understood why so many other women were interested in me.  And while laying in bed together, all sweaty and sex-smelly, her smoking a Salem and me rubbing her mons venus with my left hand, I confessed that though I still was uncomfortable around my mother especially, I felt sad at their their being gone after what seemed so little time with us, even though we had gotten them over to Florida for their first visit to that state (my mother and dad were big travelers and they kept a record of the states they had visited over the years, a goodly number really considering where they were from and how many miles away from most states they were in far West Texas, or "out in the middle of nowhere," as my dad liked to put it).

It was early the next morning after they had left that the phone rang.  My wife answered it.  After talking a while to whoever it was calling, she turned toward me, a sullen look on her face, "It's your brother...." I was at the bar mixing me a Bloody Mary in order to wake up from sleeping a little late into the morning.  "What the hell does he want?" I asked taking the phone from her.  "Hey, bro, what's up?"  "I'm in Rusk...."  I knew he meant Rusk, Texas.  "What the hell are you doing in Rusk?" I asked, a bit of sarcasm in my voice.  "It's mother and dad...."  "What?  What about them?"  "They're dead, Wolfie...."  "What!" I shouted.  "They're dead," he repeated.  "They're dead, come on, what the hell are you talking about?"  "They were killed yesterday afternoon...they were pulling out of a roadside park and were hit by an 18-wheeler asphalt truck doing 80 miles an hour.  The driver said he blew his airhorns and tried to stop but dad pulled right out in front of him.  They were killed instantly the coroner said."

I stoically acted like I wasn't upset by this news, but I was.  I pretended all the rest of the day that in a way I was glad they were dead...yes, it sounds horrible, but that's the way I was keeping from breaking down--I had been taught through experiencing beatings that a real man didn't cry even when in terrible pain.  I was in terrible pain deep inside but my asshole attitude wouldn't let me show it.

At the funeral I kept up my macho attitude, sitting on the front row of the immediate family seats wearing my shades and refusing to show any sign of grief, my brother beside himself, the house packed, with women coming up and throwing themselves on my father's closed casket.  My brother said there were requests for us to open the caskets but I madly protested against such a macabre thing--my parents were both thrown 20 feet into the air and crushed in terms of broken bones including facial bones.  My brother would have succumbed to those requests had I not been there.

After the funeral, my best friend from my hometown and his wife and I and my wife drove out to Lowake, Texas, where we indulged in a huge steak dinner that included huge frosted mugs of ice cold beer, all during which I cursed my mother as a hindrance to my fulfilling any of my dreams, the last unforgivable thing she had done was to burn my copy of Thomas Paine's Age of Reason--ranting on like that until my wife and I left the next day and ended up in Dallas at a party thrown for us by my ex-wife and her husband--and the night ended with me being drunk and hitting on my ex-wife and my best friend in Dallas's wife, kissing them both in the kitchen and then when my wife was ready to go me hanging on to my ex-wife and telling my wife I wanted to be with her instead of her...and my wife left me and I spent the rest of the night trying to get in my ex-wife's pants with her finally calling a cab and throwing me in it and sending me off to my brother-in-law's house and to my wife, who forgave me, saying she understood that I was fucked up inside--sweet forgiving woman that she was, and that next day we flew back to New Orleans where we then planned on quitting our jobs and flying off to live in Mexico.

At the reading of the will, I was surprised out of my mind, my mother always claiming she and dad were on the brink of being in the street without a sou to their names, when my brother and I inherited two paid-for homes (my late grandmother's house being one of them) and a tract of land in a new industrial park south of my hometown plus a bankful of money in a savings account plus my mother had taken out a triple indemnity insurance policy on that new car right before they came to New Orleans.  My brother and I inherited enough property and money that after we sold the houses and the land and got the check from the insurance company we were left modestly rich, but rich enough we both quit our day gigs to pursue our dreams, he becoming a successful writer, and me traveling to Mexico to live in Mexico City and there trying my hand at writing, too, me not becoming a successful writer but a writer just the same.

I don't ever remember buying my mother anything on any Mother's Day--I think my dad would maybe give me a couple of bucks and send me out to at least buy her a box of chocolate-covered cherries, though I don't even remember my doing that.  I convinced myself that my mother was my enemy and I kept that opinion until later in life when time itself caused me to retreat from that opinion and actually see where my mother had influenced me, though like I said in the song I wrote about her, I really never knew my mother, nor did I think anybody else really knew her either.  While going through her personal things after the funeral, I ran across a notebook in which my mother had tried her hand at writing poetry.   On one page, she noted that that particular poem had been published in her lunchroom supervisors national newsletter.  The poem was simple, a respect for life and God and family, but a poem just the same.

My mother was 58 years old when she was killed.  My wife, the preacher's daughter, was also 58 years old when she died of lung cancer only a few years ago now.

for The Mother's Day Edition of The Daily Growler
Say goodbye, bye the way, to Donald "Duck" Dunn, bass player extraordinaire while on tour in Japan, the way musicians hope to die.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Existing in New York City: White People Scared They're Losing Their Supremacy, That Granted Them By God

Foto by tgw, New York City, 2003
White Folks Fearing Their White God's Country Is Turning Brown

I have said all along that White folks, my people, will divide this country before they let it go all Black or Brown or Tan or Yellow...any color but White. Even though Barack Obama got elected in 2008, it wasn't White people in general who put him in the presidency, though once he got there he found out it was White Power Elitists who had their hands up his ass and were working his brain and mouth. He became a Whiter president than privileged White boy G.W. Bush and I said at the time of his inauguration that he was being told what to do by the Clinton-Pappy Bush coalition--I remembering that Slick Willie Clinton stated before the election that old Pappy Bush was his new best friend. And remember, the Slick One and Pappy became partners in the billion-dollar tsunami hoax--at least I believe Slick Willie and old Pappy scraped several million off the top of that fund. Explain to me how Slick Willie became an ex-president suddenly worth over 200 million dollars? There had to be some fixin' goin' on somewhere in that pile of loose money. Also, remember, Obama chose of all people the Slick One and G.W. Bush to rule over Haiti--and look what a splendid job those two knuckleheads did for that country, still in a shambles to this day, Port au Prince still a ruined city, still with people living in tents, still with people in need of medical supplies and doctors--300,000 wiped out by the earthquake and another 100,000 wiped out by the cholera epidemic.

Yesterday in North Carolina, in the largest turnout of voters in the history of the state, the White folks of that hillbilly backward state voted overwhelmingly to ban gay marriage; in fact, to ban even civil marriages and common-law unions with a state law that now says only man-woman marriages approved by God (that's the Christian God Jehovah, folks, in case you get confused about what God it is that decides on who can marry who) are the only marriages that count. Only stupid hillbillies could come up with so stupid a law. And North Carolina is a damn stupid state where the Dumbocrats are holding their stupid convention this year, in Charlotte, hillbilly home of the Bank of America, the crookedest of the most crooked US banks, a place where Barack Obama will deliver his automatic acceptance speech in the Bank of America stadium--what a god-damn stupid move on his part, EXCEPT, this foolish man is dependent on Bank of America bucks to run his near-billion-dollar presidential campaign against the Repugnican idiot, Mitt "the Mormon" Romney, a spoiled brat lyin' son of a bitch who's never had to work a day in his privileged life, an idiot of a man who you would think would not get one vote running for dog catcher but who managed to convince the so-called progressive state of Massachusetts (it is a stupid backward state in my opinion) to elect him their governor.

And in Indiana, those backward-thinking hillbillies threw moderate old Dick Lugar out, a Repugnican nutjob, and put in his place a truer nutjob than he, the State Treasurer and idiot Teabagger, Richard Mourdoch (rhymes with Rupert Murdoch), a White racist who now brings the Senate down another notch in terms of ignorance, an ignorance even lower than old Dick Lugar's. But then Indiana ain't one of our brightest states.

Isn't it funny to you how these backwards hillbilly states are dominating us with their stupid backwards laws? I say let these states withdraw from the Union--we wouldn't miss a state like Indiana at all (remember Dan Quayle?); we wouldn't miss Gawjah, or Old South Carolina, or North Carolina, or Florida, or Alabama, or Mississippi, or Oklahoma, or Texas, or God-damn there are a hell of a lot of these backward states, even Arizona, Colorado, the Dakotas, even Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Michigan, let 'em all drop out and form the New Confederacy--ban all but White people from being residents--put all Blacks back into slavery. Send all Messkins back to Mexico. Annihilate all Jews--and yes these White people basically hate Jews. The recent White Supremacists arrested in the great backward state of Florida had Jews along with Blacks and Messkins at the top of their "KILL" list.

Don't be surprised if Obama isn't beaten by Mitt "the Mormon" Romney--White backlash doesn't give a shit if Mitt is a stupid dick Mormon privileged little spoiled brat rich boy; in fact because he's rich shows God is on his side to these jokers, these Jukes, these Snopes.

Like I say, I'm White, from Texas, and I know my people. They speak truths to me because I'm White. Only when they find out I'm a god-damn nigger-loving A-theist-Socialist-Humanitarian contrarian do they condemn me; yet they still try and convert me--to bring me back into the White fold.  Like, Wolf Man, how could you let your heritage down?

What happened to me?  I was born with intellectual curiosity thanks to my fair-minded and good-intentioned White parents and the line of thinking White people I inherited in my genes.

So I'm smarter than the average White man that still doesn't change the fact that the dumb White people aren't still terribly supremacists when it comes to allowing this great White God-created country to become dominated by another race--check out the Return America people involved in preaching racism in that recent dumbass North Carolina anti-Gay marriage vote--as Black people in North Carolina are asking, what do these racists want to return America to?  I know what they want to return America to; I don't have to ask.

for The Daily Growler 
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