Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Existing in New York City in the Aftermath of Climate Change

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2012
Say Goodbye to: Pascual "I-285" Perez, an MLB pitcher who had his best seasons with the Montreal Expos and the Atlanta Braves.  He was controversial for his antics on the field and his cocaine habit.  He ended his career with the NY Yankees.  Poor old Pascual was stabbed to death in the Dominican Republic: Pascual Pérez, 55, Dominican baseball player (Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos, New York Yankees), stabbing.

After Sandy  

This huge city is still still...quiet...though out on my street there is the tacky Holiday Inn that is adjacent to my building tourists are hunkering about, there is music wafting through the lobby and spilling out onto the street...and there are cabs slowing down in front of it begging for customers. I was out looking for breakfast but there was no Muslim coffee man out there and my corner deli that was open Monday all day wasn't open.  Only Dunkin' Donuts up on Fifth Avenue was open so I trudged up there and got some of their watery coffee amidst a bevy of early-morning cops all sluggish and sleepy-eyed heading off to be dropped off on their beats.  I am not a big fan of Dunkin' Donuts dear friend in Rhode Island tells me it's a Rhode Island-invented company...they love donuts in Rhode Island.  I like Rhode Island myself; last time I was there I felt good there and I liked downtown Providence in terms of tightness and atmosphere, but, of course, I had the jitters the whole time I was there and didn't right myself until I got back to good ole Gotham, my hometown now for 43 years...Holy Cripes! how time doth erase all things lovely.

Do I feel bad about being skeptical of Sandy and his/her threat to this city?  Nope.  Even though I have to admit, he/she did do some bad-ass flooding down in the Battery-Wall Street area; and, yes, the quaint seaside village of Breezy Point almost totally burned to the ground, though I must emphasize, most of the homes out there were flimsy wood structures that once a flame hit them went up PUFF in smoke.  The hurricane didn't start the fires, the downed electrical lines started the fire...and the skeptic in me asks, why aren't electrical lines underground by now...why still strung up on poles with transformers that blow up and sparkle plenty when hit by high winds and heavy rains?

The skeptic in me asks why are all of our subway lines still shut down?  Not all of the stations flooded...or did they?  And why did all of the stations flood in that case?  And why are most of the bridges still closed?  And did the tunnels all flood?

I just don't trust anybody but my mother, and like B.B. King sang, sometimes I even wonder about her.  I blame my mother for my skepticism.  I blame her for my cynical nature.  Not that my mother was gullible, she wasn't, but she was a worrier.  She worried about every damn thing.  She got that from her mother who was the number one worrier in the world during her time on the earth.  Her mother was the kind of woman who would sit for several minutes at a stop sign worrying about some magical mystery car suddenly appearing from out of nowhere to hurl itself into her if she moved out from the stop sign too quickly.  And my mother's mother's mother, too, was a champion worrier, though of all those women, she had the most right to be a worrier experiencing the life she experienced from the time she was born when Lincoln was president until she died peacefully in the 1940s.  I grew up just assuming that all women were worriers.  Maybe that's why I was so hard to live with for women who tried to love me.  I vowed to never worry about one god-damn thing when I was still a dumbass learning adolescent.  And I can honestly say I don't remember worrying about anything in my  I didn't worry when I got into debt as a young man; I didn't worry when I ended up wrecking my Chevrolet while driving drunk and running off the highway and ending up wreaking havoc through a farmer's peach orchard; I didn't worry when while living in Lubbock, Texas, a tornado hit that city; I didn't worry when while driving my MG through Cajun country and suddenly my headlights went out and left me barrel-assing over a long old Huey Long bridge in the pitch blackness of those Louisiana swamps...and I could go on and on and on with tales that would have the normal person worried as hell, fretting wildly, and calling upon the Big Daddy in the distant sky for salvation.

There's one thing about Dunkin' Donuts coffee served in those Styrofoam containers you don't have to worry about.  That watery second-class coffee is gonna stay nice and hot for a long damn time, even though the chemicals oozing out of that Styrofoam, those carcinogens, and into your bloodstream are deadly...hell, people who drink Dunkin' Donuts coffee every damn morning of their lives don't worry about such mild bullshit, do they?

And the 50% of We the People of the USA who are going to vote for that asshole Mitt "the Mormon" Romney, who hasn't really got a worry in the world, ain't worried one damn bit.  These are the fools I was reading comments from on Yahoo News who were blaming President Obama for Hurricane Sandy.  Yes, they were blaming Sandy on know, for perfectly logical reasons like he's provoked God (which God they never say) by being for women's rights to abortions and Adam and Steve marriages and the fact that they truly believe he's a revolutionary Muslim born in Kenya...why you god-damn right God would bring vengeance on We the Backsliding People of the USA because we elected so anti-Christ a man as our President.  And, oh yes, I forgot, he's a Black man, too.

I'm on a roll, I know, but, hell, I'm getting fagged (I've had a gay ole time writing this post), so I'm going up in my lofty living room to see if WBAI-FM is back on the air--their studios are down on Wall Street, which according to our elite Lords is going to swing back into gambling action today--so I can hear the USA-traveling Amy Goodman's Democracy Now slant on things...aha, I'm just reading where Chris Hedges is gonna vote for Dr. Jill Stein in the upchucking(coming) election.  Good choice, Chris, though she doesn't have an ice cube's chance in hell of ever being president.  Want to know my cynical opinion---and I'll give you something to worry about---I have a sneaky feeling old Mitt "the Mormon" Romney's gonna maybe---with the help of Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers, and his Wall Street crooked cronies, like David Bach---beat that Black Muslim anti-Christ son of a bitch and take back the White Man's House and put this country back on that straight and narrow path G.W. Bush had us going down---Hey, Mitt, how 'bout giving us World War III!!!

for The Daily Growler

Monday, October 29, 2012

Existing in New York City Anticipating the Unknown

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2012
Wednesday Morning 6 AM After the Storm
I've just read a marvelous piece by Yasha Levine on lying bastard, scumbag financial crook David Bach.  See what a crooked scumbag really looks like--and he's still roaming free as a bird:

It's 4:16 AM on Tuesday Morning
I'm sitting here in the haunting quiet and stillness of the city--I do hear a truck off in the distance.  All is calm.  The storm has passed.  Parts of Gotham took it pretty hard.  Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan got flooded pretty bad, water was gushing and rushing up over the Battery sea wall and water was pouring through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (some politician named it the Hugh Carey Tunnel; no New Yorker will ever call it that; just like we don't refer to whatever bridge it was some politician named the Robert Kennedy Bridge--you see, I don't even know which bridge it was--maybe the Triboro?) The 9/11 memorial got flooded...or at least a part of the construction site there looked like a little Niagara I go, that piece-of-shit cost-overrunning stalled 1 World Trade Center Tower---yes construction has halted on it--sorry, that building once called the Freedom Tower irks me no end.  The Lower East Side got flooded and Con-Ed cut the power down there...on purpose some were saying...thewomantrumpetplayer, originally from Staten Island, way out in California knows more about Sandy coughing up seawater all over NYC than I do.  She said a Con-Ed power station blew up; I had no knowledge of that in terms of teevee reportage.  And, of course, her Staten Island took bad hits...though NYC television has a habit of ignoring what goes on out there--Staten Island's always threatening to secede from New York City.

But, I swear, folks, my neighborhood got only a modicum barrage of high winds, if you could call 'em that--I've had worse during stormless days.  I only had a couple of flickerings of my lights--I now sit with my apartment lit up like the proverbial X-mas tree.  My neighborhood (Midtown Manhattan) got no raging rain, only sprinklings at the most---no flooding at all...I mean, it, to me, was as though Sandy wasn't even happening.

One of my dear friends in Rhode Island lost her electricity while talking to me on the phone--she said it wasn't raining or windy and the lights just went out like that.  I haven't heard from her since.

We shall see later this morning what the neighborhood looks like, though looking out my window over the city now I see nothing unusual.  The roofs of the buildings behind me are, I swear, absolutely void of water of any kind.

Maybe I'm blessed afterall.  Maybe I live within a miraculous shell.  I certainly live in a blessed NYC neighborhood.   No brag, folks, just facts.

Sittin' and Thinkin' 
Here I sit on a Sunday morning in New York City.  I'm listening to old jazz, the great baritonist Serge Chaloff on an old Capitol recording called Boston Blow Up.  I sit here listening to old jazz with a head full of remembrances.  For some strange reason I started thinking about my first wife.  So long ago now.  In Monterrey, Mexico.  We were down there with a whole passel of our friends including her boyfriend and my girlfriend.  We were all staying at the California Motel, and hooked up in a joyous time of extreme mafficking, of rum drinking, of beer guzzling, of interacting.  At one point in the night my first wife and I found ourselves alone, the others having either passed out or gone off and shacked up with the willing, including my girlfriend and my first wife's boyfriend...not with each other but with other of our friends.  Those were days of release, of great free will advancements, which of course included free love.  And Liz and I found ourselves walking down a Monterrey backstreet, both of us looped, at one point linking arms, at another point stopping under a dull street lamp and kissing, at another point totally immersed in each other, me finding her the most beautiful girl in the world, and she was beautiful, an ex-airline hostess with Capitol Air Lines out of Chicago, and she asking me where had I been all of her life, her black eyes shining exceedingly brighter than those dull street lamps.  At one point we found ourselves in the middle of an otherwise darkened block, absorbed by our new found love of each other, when we suddenly were aware of being surrounded by rather celestial lights.  Aware, we saw to one side of us a Mexican wedding chapel all lit up with neon suggestions in Spanish: Porque no consequir se caso hoy and Dios bendice casado topped off with Bodas realzadas por Reverendo Elio Gomez!  The other light was coming from the glaring front of La sala funebre mas fina de Monterrey! "Look, Liz, my darling, we can get married over here and die in each other's arms overthere."  "Just like that mule...."  "What mule?"  "That mule in the window of that place."  I looked closer at the Finest Funeral Parlor in Monterrey and she was right, there was a stuffed burro in the lit-up window.

Of course, after only a few minutes of passionate kissing and feeling each other up, we ended up in the Reverend Elio Gomez' wedding chapel getting married.  Married by a Reverend who couldn't speak a word of English, his esposa playing on a pump organ.  We laughed our asses off all during the ceremony.  After being admonished for our frivolous approach to so serious a subject by the Reverend Gomez, we followed clumsily along through the vows, which we didn't understand, I mean we must have smelled of rum and beer and sexual love, until the Reverend got to, "Usted toma a esta mujer para ser su esposa?"  "You talkin' to me, Reverend?"  To which Senora Gomez said in perfect English, "Yes, Senor, it is you to whom he respond with 'Yes,' please."  And "Yes," I answered and then he asked Liz the same question and I told Liz to just say "Yes," and she did and soon Reverend Elio Gomez got ecstatically happy and Senora Gomez played a mariachi on the pump organ and there were balloons, a pair of wedding dolls, two small cakes, two cold Coca-Colas, and a paper sack full of wedding presents that included condoms, all for 100 pesos, which at 8 pesos to one US dollar came to about $13.00...hell, the generous newly married Gringo gave Reverend Elio Gomez a 20-dollar bill, which gained the new Mrs. Wolfe and I many "Gracias!" and a "Vayo con Dios," from Senora Gomez.

And back out into the street facing the stuffed burro walked I and my first wife.

"By God, Liz, we're fucking married."

"I feels strange...I'd never thought of marrying you."

"Ah, come on, you know you've been in love with me since we met that night while I was making out with Jeannie on your apartment floor."

"What the hell do we tell...."

"Ah, fuck 'em, this is just between you and me.  Shall we go to a cantina and celebrate?"

And Then It Was Monday Morning 
It is Monday morning and Sandy is lying off the North Carolina shore line in the Atlantic and I'm no longer listening to Serge Chaloff but now listening to old Sonny Rollins early Prestige recordings.  Nor am I thinking of my first wife.  And I was thinking instead of initiations and rituals and magic and religion---all during the World Series game, during the commercials, I was reading Malinowsky writing about magic, religion, and science, Sociology stuff.  After San Francisco won the World Series, the New York City news anchors and weather phonies were looking serious and talking serious and trying to be scary; no jokey joke news stories tonight; no kidding around with each other.  Their intent was selling we New Yorkers a constant fear of this coming behemoth storm, this "Frankenstorm," a man named Cisco had first called it; this "monster storm"; this "perfect storm" that was with the speed of a gigantic turtle hurling its way toward the New York metropolitan area.  Hurricane Sandy the English-speaking hurricane namers had named it.  Sandy, a name that can go either way.  A switch-hitter name.  Sandy was also Little Orphan Annie's dog.  And I can remember a time when eyeless Annie was in all the funnies.  And all her Sandy ever had to say was, "Woof!"  Which reminds me of Henry Miller crawling around on the floor of his Brooklyn basement apartment going "Woof, woof, woof."  And my character name is Wolfe.

I was into dealing with knowns.  Like my first wife.  And when we got back to Dallas how we laughed as we tried to read our marriage certificate and couldn't and we laughed some more when Senora Gomez had spelt her name wrong.  It was an official Mexican government marriage certificate with the names filled in in an elaborate script by Senora Gomez.  "Look, baby," I chirped, "the good Senora spelled my name right...she put the 'e' on Wolfe."  And we laughed and acted like we were really married and talked about it and how strange it was that we were married but only were married in a fictional way.  And I found myself liking being married to her.  She was beautiful.  A truly beautiful and well-pampered daughter of a rich Dallas businessman.  So attractive that she attracted male attentions everywhere she went.  Male attentions that included wolf whistles and propositions.  "Hey, baby, ditch that twerp and come with a real man."  "Mama, mama, mama, how 'bout let's you and me find a cozy little place to ourselves?"

We didn't tell a soul about our marriage for several weeks.  For those weeks I felt married and so did she.  We were jealous of each other.  I still had a girlfriend and she had a boyfriend but when we tried to date we backed out.  We backed out so much my girlfriend and her boyfriend got suspicious; her boyfriend eventually dumping her on the grounds she wasn't any fun anymore.  We met like on Sunday mornings and had breakfast as man and wife.  One time we went into a Catholic Church just for the hell of it and we acted like man and wife there, holding hands while we made fun of the whole Catholic rigamarole and bullshit.  And during the Good Father's sermon against loose women, I slid my hand up her dress and she said for me to stop or else we were gonna bring down the wrath of God right there in his holy temple.

And that has been so long ago now.  My first wife last I knew was still alive.  Living in the Philadelphia area, ironically where my third wife is also now living.  To have two out of three of your wives end up in Philadelphia, come on, ain't that unusual?  I used to call my first wife when I first came to New York City and we'd flirt over the phone.  I still felt like I was married to her.  She flirted so sophisticatedly.

One night way back in Dallas while we were still married, she and her roommates threw a wild party at their apartment; my girlfriend was her roommate, or did I tell ya that?  Anyway, that apartment opened onto the apartment complex swimming pool, so they left their door open and I moved their piano up by the door and started playing it, and eventually with my girlfriend and my wife and several other girls in brief bathing suits gathered around me singing in their sexy ways, several men began hanging around, one a genius of a dude I had met out by that pool already, and this dude brought a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey over and asked me if I'd like to imbibe with him and while we were imbibing, he asked me, "Who is that luscious creature that was all over you while you were playing the piano?"  I slipped up and said, "Oh, you mean my wife?"  And he said, "I'm sorry, man, I didn't realize you were married to one of these girls."  I backtracked and said, "Naw, man, I'm just jiving...she's not my wife."  It hurt me to say that.  It really did.  I liked her being my wife. 

It's now hot and stuffy in my apartment.  It's after one in the morning on this Monday morning in whose late afternoon Sandy is due to approach the immediate vicinity.  The temperature was supposed to drop down into the low 50s this morning but it feels more like...well, stuffy, that's the best word for it.  And "Stuffy" was a tune Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins made famous when they formed a band together back in the late 60s and played at the old Metropole Club up on Broadway when I first came to NYC.  And then Coleman Hawkins died in the spring of 1969 and I, a young jazz enthusiast, went up to the old Saint Peters Church where the tacky CitiCorp building is now and attended Coleman Hawkins' funeral.  I sat among my heroes...Charlie Shavers to my immediate right; Dizzy Gillespie right behind me; and when Charlie Shavers passed out and started snoring, Dizzy leaned over and told me to elbow Charlie in the ribs and when I did Charlie let out a howl and Dizzy got such a big kick out of that.  And over to my left were Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, and Zoot Sims, and then in walked Horace Silver wearing a blue velvet suit with two very fine babes on his arms.

And I had just come to NYC with my second wife, the Mexican-Choctaw-Welsh beauty---and my God I have known some beautiful women.  In fact, and this may sound pompous, but I've always attracted beautiful women since I was a mere novice at womanizing.  My girlfriend when I was eleven and she was ten grew up to be one of the most beautiful women in the whole state of Texas.

So it turned out my first wife fell in love with this dude who had shared his fifth of Jim Beam that night with me at that party.  He and I had become the best of buddies and soon my first wife confided in me that she loved him and that he had ask her to marry him and what were we to do about our marriage?

We sneaked off one day and confided in her father that we'd gotten married as a sort of a crazy joke while we were partying in Monterrey, Mexico, a few months backHe consulted with his attorney and the attorney called us into her father's office and he tore our Mexican marriage certificate up right before our eyes and dropped it into a waste basket.  "There, you guys are divorced.  In fact, you guys were never married.  That thing wouldn't hold up in any U.S. court."  And that was that.  And on the way back to her apartment we couldn't keep our hands off each other.  "I wanted to be married to you," she said actually crying.  Actually crying.  And I felt bad not being married to her, too, but we both agreed she would be much better off marrying our mutual friend since he had all the money in the world and was an Ivy League PhD and had a great and wealthy future ahead of him and what was I? terms of making money I was a god-damn Sociologist who at best could only get work as a god-damn Social Worker.

And she and my buddy got legitimately married in the biggest church in Dallas, Texas, and he chose me to be an usher and before the wedding while we men were all putting on our tuxes, he brought out a full bottle of Jim Beam and we men all took long slugs out of it and he got wobbly and I got wobbly and silly and thus their marriage began.

And Further Into Monday Morning
Time passes swiftly.  New York City has awakened.  It is still, light rainy, and the streets are full of cabs.  I ventured out to get my breakfast and my far corner deli was wide open, all the workers there, and the joint filled with plenty of grub.  Sandy?  Where's Sandy?  Woof!  But I'm not crawling around on my apartment floor giving out the Woof, Woof, Woofs.  Not I.  I'm eating breakfast listening to Andrew Johnson [Frederick Russell Jones] and his trio or Ahmad Jamal as Andrew renamed himself back in the late 50s when Negroes started referring to themselves as Blacks and changing their White names to Muslim names, Black Muslim names, like Andrew Johnson changing his name to Ahmad Jamal.  Distinction.  We all are striving for distinction.  That's the trouble with rugged individualism: it's so highly god-damn competitive.  Yet, this has given the U.S. some of the greatest music ever produced on this itchy planet, itchy in the sense it would probably like to swish itself rapidly like a wet dog swishes to throw the water off its body, the planet swishing to throw us irritating humans off its body.

I'm listening to Ahmad Jamal at the Pershing Room in Chicago.  Ahmad Jamal who got so famous and rich off this LP when it was issued on the Argo label he had enough to open his own restaurant in Chicago.  And when I was in Chicago for the first time---while I was on leave from the U.S. Army--the big dog in jazz was Ramsey Lewis--and my soldier friends and I went down to the SRO Club and heard Ramsey and His Gentlemen of Swing, the other gentlemen being Eldee Young and Redd Holt.  And later in life, after my second wife and I had established ourselves in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I heard Ramsey and the Gentlemen of Swing perform in the Santa Fe High School gymnasium.  He had at that time Cleveland Eaton and Maurice White (who later founded Earth, Wind, and Fire) as his other gentlemen of swing.

And I taught my second wife jazz and she took to it like a duck to water and later after she divorced me had her own FM jazz show down in the Tampa Bay area and later over in Orlando.

And my first wife and her legit husband, moved from Dallas to the Philadelphia area and last I heard she was still alive and living in Philly suburb splendor with a successfully married daughter.  And I wonder sometimes what she's like now but because of a foul thing I did years ago over the telephone when I thought it was Liz and instead it was her young daughter, I think I ruined our relationship for good.  She had become respectable, a society dame, but I had remained...well, we once went to see Jack Teagarden at a fancy club where you had to sign the register to get in and I signed it "Mr. and Mrs. Carl Crude."

And Then It Was 2 PM Monday Afternoon 
Sandy's suppose to hit Atlantic City dead on tonight at 8 pm.  Here in New York City right now it's very quiet, ghostly quiet, except out on the street there are quiet a few people and the deli up on 32nd and Broadway is still open and doing a brisk business.  None of the workers there know how they're getting home tonight.  There are cabs still cruising the streets but otherwise our Billionaire Mayor shut down the subways and buses last night.  I'm well off in my apartment.  I've got plenty of water, and I have food that should last me a couple of days, and I'm still cynical about the "oooooh" scaredy-cat attitude being portrayed by our millionaire teevee talking heads--there's a very beautiful weather babe reporting from Battery Park down at the southern tip of Manhattan Island where Goldman-Sachs' new building rises up right on the edge of the water down there.  All of us are hoping Sandy pinpoints that insulting office building to blow it down or at least flood it up to the fifth floor.  Of course if a wave that high hits the Goldman-Sachs building it means that damn wave will come right on up Broadway and maybe reach me, though, like I said, I'm too cynical to really believe a lot of this scaredy-cat reporting yet.  Our biggest fear is high waves since according to the National Hurricane Center map Sandy's, like I said, headed dead on toward Atlantic City, spreading its Act of God evil up the Delaware River and into Philadelphia. 

Out in the streets around my apartment it's lightly raining, more like a sprinkle, and there's some wind that's sort of refreshing in a way.  Inside my apartment, I have a window open and there's hardly any breeze coming through it currently.

I've quit listening to music.  I've quit thinking about my first wife, though she's like I said in Philadelphia and so's my third wife and Philly may get battered pretty bad.  I wish them safety and good fortune since I've always respected the women in my life I felt moved enough to marry, no matter how unsubstantial the marriage.  I've fallen in love or sexual love with some very smart and beautiful women.  In fact, all my life I've preferred beautiful women to any of the men in my life, though I have some exceedingly true-blue men friends in my past and my present.  Good men and beautiful women have been my rewards for being the character I am.  I'm evidently a good one to know, love, marry, and be friends with.

I'm waiting for Sandy at now 3 pm on Monday, October 29th, the day I was supposed to undergo a procedure to implant a defibrillator in my upper chest.   

And Now It's 7 PM Monday Evening
I'm bored.  I'm sitting here exhausted from waiting on Frankenstorm to do its thing.  But it ain't doin' nothin', folks.  There's no rain, no wind, no screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.  Our Billionaire Mayor surrounded by his fire commissioner, Ray Kelly our shanty Irish police commission ("Hey, Ray, did any of your spy cameras blow down in this phony storm?"), and the President of Con-Ed (our power company giant---we in NYC pay the highest energy rates in the USA), still trying to be our Big Daddy and warning us it could get worse..."It may feel like it's over but it isn't."

Yes, 'tis true, Atlantic City is getting blown to bits...the wrath of God coming down hard on that part-Sodom part-poverty center (Atlantic City behind the casinos and Boardwalk is a Black city).  Yeah, and southern New Jersey always gets whacked pretty bad...always floods like hell no matter the, yes, Jersey will wake up in the morning to find themselves under water.  Meanwhile here in New York City I'm cocky, with my feet up, digging the sounds of Jimmy Reed whose singing right now "Bright Lights Big City," which is from a phony album Jimmy made in 1960s called Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall that was recorded in Chicago at the VeeJay studios, several hundred miles due west of Carnegie Hall.

An explosion just rocked my building.  It happened south of me somewhere.  Now my lights are flickering.  Maybe I've jumped the gun on my sinister cynical put down of Sandy.  Should I get on my knees and approach my maker?  See youse in the morning...or will I?

 for The Daily Windbag Growler 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Existing in New York City: Chaos Ain't a'Comin'...It's HERE

Foto by tgw,  New York City, October 2012
Say Goodbye to: Hans Werner Henze, the prolific German composer who was also a devout Marxist who left Germany in 1953 because of politics and his homosexuality moving to Italy where he lived most of the rest of his life. Hans Werner Henze, 86, German composer (Symphony No. 9, Elegy for Young Lovers, The Raft of the Medusa)

I Don't Mean to Alarm You, Folks, But Are You Prepared for Chaos?
Let's look at the Big Picture: Solar flare storms are predicted to hit from now until 2013; the dollar is dropping in value on a daily basis; our involvement in WAR is wreaking havoc with our economy; climate change is coming more rapidly than predicted; drought and heatwaves have devastated middle America--wheat and corn production are at all-time lows; most cities in the US are bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy; the Federal Reserve is still bailing out our still-failing banks to the tune of trillions of dollars; we are determined to kiss Israel's ass with our President saying an attack on Israel is an attack on the USA; we are losing the war in Afghanistan big time; Iraq is more unstable now than it was under Hussein; we are definitely in a second Great Depression; we are totally dependent on electricity--what if the grid blows up?; we continue to go fracking mad a process whose ability to wreak havoc on our earth, our water, our future is unknown, unregulated, and benefiting only a handful of oligarchs with Pennsylvania, where fracking is going wild, now allowing Chesapeake (whose CEO is an out-and-out crook) to frack drill 1 mile from a nuclear power plant in Shippingsport; President Obama has opened up more of our public lands to drillers and miners than any other president before him; etc., etc., etc.

The next several months are going to be crucial moments as this country slips further and further into Chaos.  We the People of the USA have allowed our homes, our lands, our public schools, our public utilities, our public airwaves, our public commons, our public social services, our public works to be stolen right out from under us by a handful of oligarchs.  Both President Obama and the Mormon fool running against him are surely aware of this taking place.  Neither of these men, though not necessarily idiotically stupid, don't know one damn thing about the pseudo-science of Economics.  Both of these men are under the influence of the economics of Milton Friedman, who was under the influence of the Austrian School of Economics, especially the teachings of Frederick von Hayak and Ludwig von Mises.  These men's economic philosophies are the foundation on which the U.S. Libertarian school of Economics was built.  They promote rugged individualism to the extreme.  Ludwig von Mises came to the US from Austria in the late 1930s to escape Nazism.  Once here, he became an avid anti-Communist, to the point, he joined the John Birch Society.  The John Birch Society was headquartered in Orange County, California, a Conservative/Rightwing hotbed whose capital is the city of Anaheim, mostly made up of Dust Bowl refugees, Arkansas hillbillies, Texans, Kansas backwards thinkers, Okies, all ruined by predator banks yet unable to grasp such a necessity to deep think, except for Woody Guthrie perhaps, and the Texan John Henry Faulk.  The Birchers had a big influence of Ronnie "Raygun" Reagan, that actor/sap who under the influence of the Conservatives and the NeoCon Austrian Economics followers out of the University of Chicago (i.e., Paul Wolfowitz) took this country down the wrong road of free trade and rising debt as he systematically tried to eliminate all social services and regulations in what really were anti-Roosevelt maneuvers that had been the objective of the Republican Party since Roosevelt clocked their rich-boy asses in 1932 by demolishing old poor little rich boy Herbert Hoover whose backwards thinking rich boy economics caused the Crash of 1929 and left Roosevelt in charge during the worst depression in this White-dominated nation's history.  Same as G.W. "Georgie Porgie" Bush left Barack Obama with, except Barack Obama evidently not understanding history trumpeted his admiration for Ronnie "Flying to Tokyo in Three Hours" Reagan, an admiration he admitted had to do with Reaganomics, the economics old G.W.H. "Pappy" Bush had with sudden wisdom deemed "Voodoo Economics."

And that's a little quick rundown, folks, of how we got ourselves in the serious mess we're in at this moment, a serious mess that neither backwards-thinking Mitt "the Mormon" Romney or President Barack "Nobel Peace Prize Winner" Obama act like they even know exists.  Not once in any of their silly debates did they realistically handle this economic crisis we're in; not once did they mention the rampant poverty in this country; not once did they mention the bankrupting of our cities, like Detroit, where Obama tooted about saving the automobile industry--a saving he did by first nationalizing the industry (a good thing) but then forcing auto workers to accept cuts in salaries and entry-level wages reduced to barely subsistence levels, a bail out he didn't mention was also based on help from Canada and then selling Chrysler to the Italian company Fiat Motors, who, by the way, make one of the worst cars in automobile history.  Have you maybe noticed how many Fiat commercials you are suddenly seeing all over our commercial pap media?

Chaos thrives on confusion and most of We the People of the USA are confused as hell.  More confused than us are Mitt "the Mormon" Romney who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground and Barack "Executive Order Murderer" Obama who can't decide whether he's truly Black or if maybe he's not more White...Obama's trying to redeem himself by joking about the election, cracking jokes while Mitt "the Mormon" Romney, believe it or not, is now running neck and neck with him.  Don't forget, at least 50% of We American Fools voted G.W. "Georgie Porgie" Bush into two terms--I mean, yeah, he stole both elections, but he didn't need to steal that many votes...what, less than 50,000 in his brother's backward state of Florida in the first election--the one that the Supreme(ly dumb) Court appointed him as President---and about the same amount of votes in the backward state of Ohio in his 2004 win.  Also, don't forget, the White backlash put the Republicans back into power in 2012.  Fools, folks, go where Angels fear to tread.  And remember, too, folks, Sigmund Freud warned us about our personal and societal death wishes.

And to Further Add to Some Potential Chaos
A hurricane called Sandy (it's a male Sandy) is on a beam to hit New Jersey, New York City, and New England square on with at least gale-force winds, high waves, and heavy rains at the same time from out of the west is coming a fierce winter storm that may bring snow as far east as New York City.  The NYPD is suspecting this is an al-Queda plot and has nothing to do with climate change.  Idiots! And we are all idiots...except maybe I'm not.

for The Daily Growler 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Existing in New York City: al-Queda's Back in Town

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2012
Say Goodbye to: Paul Kurtz, said to be the founder of Secular Humanism:
 Paul Kurtz, 86, American skeptic and secular humanist.
[see Council for Secular Humanism in our Blessed Blog List]

Paul Kurtz said: 
The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.
al-Queda, That Amazing Military Organization, Is Back in New York City
Peter King, one of the dumbest rightwingers flinging about his fear politics, oh so proudly was announcing all over New York City television how this 21-year-old Bangladesh student had been caught in the act of trying to blow up the New York Federal Reserve building in downtown Manhattan.  And then out trotted our shanty Irish police commissioner, Ray Kelly, all serious like he always is, giving us the scoop on how this Bangladesh mastermind, a reverent lover of all things al-Queda, had bought all these bags of ammonia and had rented a van and was caught red handed trying to detonate these bags of ammonia in an effort to blow up the New York Federal Reserve building.  Turns out, as usual in these cases, the great American spying organization, the FBI, knew about this young jerk-off for a long time.  This clown had been blabbing his intentions wildly about and, as is usual in these scare-tactic cases, the FBI had participated with this wild-eyed Bangladeshi here on a student visa and set him up, helping him buy the bags of ammonia and rent the van...and again so goes the whole story, a story told every few months here in New York City these days.

Here's the story as presented by the New York Daily News, a yellow journalistic tabloid:

A bloodthirsty Al Qaeda wanna-be was busted Wednesday after setting out to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan with a bogus 1,000-pound bomb he built with the help of undercover FBI agents, officials said.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, a Bangladeshi national living in Jamaica, Queens, boasted he wanted to “destroy America” and professed admiration for “our beloved Sheikh Osama Bin Laden,” federal authorities said.

Nafis only opted for attacking the Federal Reserve after exploring an assassination attempt on President Obama, a source told the Daily News. He also scrapped a plan to bomb the New York Stock Exchange after saying he needed “to make sure that this building is gone,” according to a criminal complaint.

“We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” he threatened in a videotape he intended to release after detonating what he thought was a massive bomb, authorities said.

I love representing this clown as "A bloodthirsty Al Qaeda wanna-be...."  What does that mean?

First of all, you know damn well a dude named Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis couldn't have gotten a student visa to enter this country without immediately being put on the Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NIS, and the NYPD "Muslim" watch lists and being subjected to having all his communications intercepted and his whereabouts spied on constantly.

But the FBI in cahoots with the NYPD have done this several times before.  Remember the gang that was going to blow up a Jewish temple somewhere up in the Bronx?  These nuts, too, were provided with phony bombs by the FBI.  Some people might call that enticement but in this day of Nazi-like security forces, it's called "national security," a little good-natured fun for our many many national defense goon squads.

So is this 21-year-old Muslim terrorist going to get the death penalty?  Will Obama put him on his executive death be zapped by a drone maybe?  [And now the Feds are saying they've busted a child pornographer (he had the normal thousand photos of naked children on his computer) in San Diego in connection with our Bangladesh terrorist in their attempt to blow up the Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan.  The powers that be in the case are now saying the Bangladesh at first wanted to blow up the Stock Market but it was too well, remember, an FBI goon was involved in this bullshit, too.  I still don't understand why they just didn't arrest this goofball on the grounds he was emailing and blabbing about doing this.  Why do they have to carry it through...unless the FBI and the NYPD Spying on Muslims task force enjoy playing these games.]
[And about this Libya bullshit and how we didn't have enough security around our consulate in Benghazi.  They're now saying that security was in the hands of a British security firm.  What the hell's a Brit security firm doing protecting our consulate?  Why can't we use US troops to do that?  Old Hillbilly Hillary is catching a lot of flak over this.  Good.  Out with the Clintons, I say.]

From C. Wright Mills 
Sometimes I get so frustrated with our corporate-military-police-run state that I run to C. Wright Mills' great work of truth, The Power Elite, which should be required reading from 1st grade on through graduate school.  Throw away your fictional bibles and read Wright's truths instead:

Of course, there may be corrupt men in sound institutions, but when institutions are corrupting, many of the men who live and work in them are necessarily corrupted. In the corporate era, economic relations become impersonal-and the executive feels less personal responsibility. Within the corporate worlds of business, war-making and politics, the private conscience is attenuated-and the higher immorality is institutionalized. It is not merely a question of a corrupt administration in corporation, army, or state; it is a feature of the corporate rich, as a capitalist stratum, deeply intertwined with the politics of the military state.

for The Daily Growler 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Existing in New York City: Existing With Intentions

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2012
Say Goodbye to: Eddie Yost...a great baseball player from the old 8-team American League days before the designated hitter came along.  Eddie was a star on the ill-fated but much loved Washington Senators in the days of Clark Griffith and Griffith Stadium--the days when the great Mickey Vernon played first base and the great pitchers Pedro Ramos and Carlos Pasqual were on the mound, fine hard-working hurlers stuck on a losing ballteam.  I was surprised to see Eddie was only 86 years old; I was a kid fan of his and those old ill-fated Senators: Eddie Yost, 86, American baseball player and coach (Washington Senators).

Say Goodbye to: Sylvia Kristel--the Dutch actress who a 17 won a modeling contest and from there went on to a fabulous career that centered around her playing the mostly naked-in-every-scene Emmanuelle in the very successful pervert-jerk-off movie Emmanuelle; she's a The Daily Growler Hall of Fame Actress (our kind of tragic-from-the-get-go gal): Sylvia Kristel, 60, Dutch actress (Emmanuelle), model and singer, throat and liver cancer.

Existential Intentions 
I am surrounded by NOW intentions.  They roost in my eerie head.  I intend...and I intend...and when I do, I do so smoothly, arising like a Phoenix out of an old intention, an intention that could have been hovering in my belfry like a bat for many a moon.

Reading, engulfing the words of others, springs forth further intentions.  Intentions to do what the reading has inspired me to do; intentions from the NOW set down in notebooks for tomorrow.  I love playing with the word transcendence.  I don't mean transcendental in the US New England Ralph Waldo Emerson meaning of the word; I mean transcendental like going over a transom or riding across the USA in a transcontinental bus.  Bus riding being more existentially transcendental than flying.  Flying is too fast; flying is simply trying to get from point to point fast as possible.  Bus riding is a whole pie of NOW moments conducive to reading, listening to music, or simply ogling at the other passengers like maybe the fat mother feeding her brood fried chicken or the goofiest of young women blabbing on cell phones, electrocuting their brains as though holding microwaves up to their temples.

Bus trips can be nervewracking.  I once rode a bus for many miles with a guy who had a tape recorder with him who taped our conversation mile after mile.  That was his thing; what the bats in his belfry gave him incentive to do.  "I've got a 1000 hours of conversation on this little baby," he bragged as he taped his own brag.  Since he talked more than I did his taping was almost taping his conversation with himself, which I thought was very revealing, very transcendental in the US New England Ralph Waldo Emerson sense.  When I did talk into his tape recorder, I lied.  I told him I was a trumpet player on my way to Portland, Oregon.  Then I pulled a silent treatment on him.  Answered all his silly mundane questions with yeses and nos.  "What's your favorite food, I like to asked people that...why you'd be surprised at the answers I've got...." "Yes," I answered.  "Yes, what?" he asked.  "Yes," I replied.  "You're testing my will power, I know your kind," he said, and I was thinking, "Hey, dude, shut the fuck up, or move over there by that fat gal feeding all that fried chicken to her brood."  My inner conversation was filling my mean intentions against this guy with barrels of yeses and nos, pickled in brine, or laced with arsenic.  "You're a trumpet player, right?"  "Yes."  "You see, I've figured you out," he said with a broad grin on his face.  "You're favorite food is prunes."  "Yes," I answered.  "...and pig's feet," he continued.  "Yes," I replied.

When I got off that bus in Albany, Texas, this old gent said, "Hey, pal, this ain't Portland, Oregon," to which I answered, "Yes."  As I pulled down my bag and was leaving the bus, he had moved with his tape recorder over by a man in a military uniform.

I checked into the Western Skies Hotel in Albany, Texas, a hotel full of old geeks and geezers, my kind of stay-to-themselves Texas loners.  That night I had the incentive to write by hand a story of a man who could only speak yeses and nos.

I am a student of spontaneity.  Spur-of-the-moment spontaneity.  Like thinking of owls.  Just suddenly thinking of owls and of the few if any owls I've every seen.  Writing a whole treatise on "Owls I Have Seen, If Any."  Like the owl on the many boxes of White Owl cigars I once sold while working as a cashier in my brother's magazine and tobacco shop.  Those owls led to remembering the Nite Owl newspaper I used to read when I was playing the piano for beers in various bars along Commerce Street in Dallas, Texas.  Which led to me remember X the Owl on the Mister Rogers kiddy show.  Which led me to remembering how my mother once looked like an owl in a photograph of her looking out the arched front window of the house we lived in Dallas.  Which led to remembering driving through Gainesville, Texas, and seeing a sign, "Owls Baseball Tonight."  Can you imagine 18 owls trying to play baseball?   "That short stop is winging it, Al...he's winging it."  "That's cause he's spotted a cute tasty mouse in the stands, X." [From Wikipedia: The Gainesville Owls were a Big State League (1947-1951) and Sooner State League (1953-1955) baseball team based in Gainesville, Texas, USA. They were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs from 1953 to 1955.
During the 1955 season, they moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma to become the Ponca City Cubs[1].
They won one league championship, in 1951 under manager Hal Van Pelt.]

I've several intentions to read Ralph Ellison forever.  I love Ralph Ellison's writing.  The way he writes all out.  A shoveler of words on a page, words that melt into each other as great moments in writing.  Like the following from Ralph's Shadow and Act, about living and trying to write in a small New York City apartment encased in noise with a guy playing his record player screaming loud on one side of you, drunks yodeling and raving in the courtyard down under your windows, and above a woman singer.  Ralph wrote the following: "From morning to night she vocalized, regardless of the condition of her voice, the weather or my screaming nerves.  There were times when her notes, sifting through her floor and my ceiling, bouncing down the walls and ricocheting off the building in the rear, whistled like tenpenny nails, buzzed like a saw, wheezed like the asthma of a Hercules, trumpeted like an enraged African elephant--and the squeaky pedal of her piano rested plumb center above my typing chair" [p 190, Shadow and Act, 1994, Quality Paperback Book Club, Random House, New York, NY],

I totally understand Ralph's dilemma with the singer above, about noise, about frustrating noise when you are trying to create, unless you are creating your own noise, like holding an all-night jam session in a loft in downtown Manhattan, going all night until the cops break it up at 4 in morning when everybody's all fagged out anyway and ready to go the Pink Tea Cup and chow down on grits and sausage and scrambled eggs and about a gallon of mocha java.

I remember in New Orleans trying to write with two maniac married idiots in the apartment underneath me screaming vulgarities at each other throughout the wrecked night air, "Marshall, you cockamammy asshole, you jive turkey no-good wastrel, you keep Bogarting that god-damn swill you buy, you cheap bastard," she would shout on and on for many haranguing minutes and when he got his chance, he would retort, "Mildred, you're a god-damn worn-out whore of a bitch, you sagging old bitch bag of dog shit, always complaining, never satisfied, unless it's when you're around that god-damn Jimmy Shelby, that phony piece of withered carcenoma."  "Marshall, you've hurt my take that slander back or I'll slit your fucking throat after that liquor knocks your worthless ass out...."  "You just try that, you rejected piece of ancient slime...."  I would stomp on the floor and swear but it would do no good.  And the next morning Marshall and Mildred would leave the apartment arm-in-arm like newborn lovers leaving my apartment quite as a tomb though I was too exhausted to take advantage of it and write.

And NOW, I have a ton of intentions to get to as they scamper like weasels around in my ready-for-action bat-free belfry.

for The Daily Growler (a very noisy blog, we hope)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Existing in New York City: Lost in Los Angeles

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2012
Aren't Vice Presidents Jokes?
No I didn't watch the vice presidential candidates debate.  Why?  What the hell good are they?  A waste of the taxpayers' money.  In the old White forefathers' day, weren't vice presidents elected?  Aren't both Joe "DuPont Asskisser" Biden and Paul "Poor, What Poor?" Ryan both in the same category as some of our past clowns who posed as vice presidents?  Like my favorites: Spiro Agnew, Jerry "Can't Chew Gum and Walk at the Same Time" Ford, Pappy Bush, Dan Quayle, and Unka Dick Cheney.  Whoops, I forgot, Unka Dick did have his hand up idiot G.W. "Baby" Bush's ass working his mouth didn't he?  I forgot about that.  But on the whole, vice presidents are just lucky bastards to have so easy a job of doing nothing.  So why watch these numbskulls debate?  

Instead, I read at this long, long Hunter Thompson piece on the murder of Ruben Salazar by the LA Sheriff's goons back in 1971.  I bought this old Rolling Stone over in Allentown, Pennsylvania, this past Sunday (Oct. 7).  I bought it to resell 'cause it had a long, long article on the Jackson 5, with little Michael Jackson on the cover--I marveled over the fact that 11-year-old Michael already had 4 gold records under his little belt.  So while Ruben Salazar, a Mex-American journalist and KMEX radio and television news head, was having his head blown half off by a dumbass L.A. Sheriff's goon's firing a tear-gas missile directly at him, little Michael and his bros were making up some new hit tunes to put on their next gold-winning LP.  I wondered looking at the cutesy cute photo of cutesy cute Michael on that cover if the poor little dude was being molested at the time.

I was in LA first in the late 1960s when I breezed through it with my Mexican-Chcotaw-Welsh trophy wife in our white Jaguar on our way to San Francisco and then I was there the longest time when I was sent out there by Viacom in the 1970s to watch and write synopses of all the episodes of Sid and Marty Kroft's kiddy teevee show, "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters" at MGM in Culver City.  I also was supposed to write synopses of Hannah-Barbara's "The Banana Splits," the show that had made Sid and Marty Kroft famous--they designed all the Banana Splits sets and costumes, but that deal fell through at the last minute and I ended up watching all 20-something episodes of "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters," which was enough right there to drive me crazy and anti-LA.  I was in this sprawling metropolis with no money except a meager amount I had gotten as an advance for the trip from Viacom--they paid my round-trip airfare and boarded me in a company house off Topango Canyon and provided me with a Hertz rental Chevy, which I drove over on Devonshire to then head down Sepulvada to the San Diego Freeway to exit onto Culver Boulevard every morning to Culver City and a drab viewing room with a small teevee monitor and video cassettes of all those stupid shows.  I shuffled back and forth from the Canyon down to Culver City every damn day--not going out at all (I was left alone at MGM, avoided like the plague since I wasn't on staff there)--getting to my house late at night and eating an MGM commissary hamburger I'd saved from my free lunch while I typed up my synopses on my portable Smith-Corona typewriter in order to get them ready to send back to Viacom in New York via DHL pick-up guy at the studio every weekday morning at 9.  Boring.  Boring.  Boring.  Why I didn't even have money, time, nor knowing where they lived for looking up my LA relatives, one of whom ironically was a member of the LA Sheriff's department as a Deputy Sheriff.

And I hated Los Angeles.  My experiences there may have even affected my disrespect for most films and film people, the phoniness, the plasticity, the desperations, the bothersome pretending people.

I still have a relative in the L.A. area.  My nephew the artist moved out there in the early 2000s, marrying a Los Angeles woman, then moving to Bakersfield and now on his way to Santa Barbara.

Of course, I loved San Francisco.  I mean it was a totally different atmosphere than L.A.  Also I had money there and my good looking wife and a dear friend from my days in New Orleans who put us up while my wife and I drove all over the place looking for a place to live, traveling down as far south as Carmel and then spending a day searching Monterey's real estate listings, stopping off in Watsonville in the middle of the artichoke fields and eating huge artichokes.  Yep, San Francisco was my kind of city, the food, the best next to New Orleans' food I'd had.  It was windy as hell and chilly some summer mornings--it was so windy, that one time my poor wife while traipsing from our apartment up high on Washington down Hyde to a grocery store on Broadway and she came back looking like a battered wife.  She said the wind at high pitch had literally picked her up off her feet and flung her several yards down Hyde.  Being so mistreated and tousled by that wind turned her against San Francisco.

After a month we left San Francisco house hunting over in Sausilito and ending up in Eureka and staying in a motel enjoying going out into a redwood forest and making love under those beautiful cathedral-like trees, though motivated to head on up to visit my relatives in Portland, Oregon.

But I've given L.A. several chances at attracting me.  Last time I was in L.A., I hung out at Columbia Pictures.  Got a haircut on a lot and the guy made me look like a movie star.  When he finished and put the mirror in front of me, I said, "Geez, man, I look like a damn movie star," to which he replied "That's my job...what I do around here."  A divorced man, I stayed in Beverly Garland's lush Holiday Inn in Beverly Hills and hanging out by the pool looking for chicks I suddenly realized the whole place was way above my head in all the senses and that though I was surrounded by some absolutely gorgeous chicks, the ones I talked to were dumbass, single-tracked, pretty packages with no content.

New York City is the only place I've ever felt comfortable living.  Once ensconced here, I now find it hard to leave.  Even L.A. seems small potatoes to me after living on this jammed up and crammed together Manhattan Island.  I've now resided on Manhattan Island, all parts of it, for 43 years, excluding tries to leave it, moving to Austin, Texas, in 1969, then relocating back to Santa Fe, New Mexico, then drifting back east via trying to exist in Chicago...but ending up back on Manhattan Island, a place of peace for me, though I know amongst all the millions of Manhattanites there's no peace for some of them; in fact there's horror and skullduggeries and confrontations with the mean and evil NYPD especially by a lot of Latinos and Blacks who find the NYPD just as mean and evil as the LAPD and the LA Sheriff's Department---I mean, the NYPD are constantly shooting and killing innocent dudes, just recently shooting and killing an Iraqi War vet. And, yes, NYPD helicopters chug over Manhattan at all times a day, some of the hovering just over my own neighborhood for God-knows-what reason...but still, I feel safe here.  And, yes, too, it's getting terribly expensive, but there's always a place where folks with only a modicum of monies can at least have a beer and a steak salad for under $20 bucks, or enjoy $4 pints of good Irish brew during happy hour at an uptown Irish pub where my best friends and I hold quorums before we lumber over to Columbus and have one of the best Mexican dinners in the world for what amounts to chicken feed in terms of most NYC restaurant prices. 

Say Goodbye to: Eddie Bert...Eddie and his trombone go way back to 1940 to the Sam Donahue Band and kept on keeping on up until he was 90.  Over those many years Eddie blew that ole slide trambone with a whole lot of folks from Guy Lombardo to Mingus to Bird to Stan Kenton.  Here's an obit on him:

And I just read where old Arlen "Single Shot" Specter just died.  I was much more shook up by Eddie Bert's death than I was old Single Shot's.

for The Daily Growler

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Existing in New York City: The Brainless Rule

Foto by tgw, New York City, October 2012
How Stupid Are We Americans?
Romney beating President Obama in the debate?  Both men proved to be first-class lying bastards; Romney proudly lying like the Mormon dog he is, while Obama seemed to be ashamed of his lies.  Does that make sense?  I mean both men’s male solutions for our problems are backwards thinking; in other words truths based on lies.  Obamacare is a lie, for instance; so is its companion Romneycare.  Both candidates have their noses in the ass cracks of the richest assholes in the world and the CEOs of the world’s richest and most ruthless corporations.  Mitt “the Mormon” Romney is filthy rich to start off with; I mean what does a dude worth 200 million dollars know about going to his mailbox and getting a notice from the bank telling him they are foreclosing on his home?  Here’s a dude who simply because he’s rich has mansions spread across the USA plus God knows how many summer residences in God knows where.  He’s got so much money he doesn’t know what to do with it—so much money he gives millions a year to the Mormon Church.   Obama on the other hand is the worst kind of rich man, a nouveau riche rich man—climbing to the glory of wealth by getting elected to the presidency in 2008, winning on the hopes of poor Americans, those stupidos of us who were swayed by Obama’s calling out  “Yes, we can,” while people all over the world even in the anti-American Muslim countries pinned their hopes on this man.  Obama fooled our asses good, though we should have known.  I wrote on this blog at the time that I didn’t trust this guy.  In his book he had admitted that Ronald Reagan was one of his favorite presidents—especially in terms of his ECONOMIC policies and his FREE TRADE policies, policies that put us in the first of the encroaching economic crises, that left us with the biggest deficits since the middle of World War II.  Nowhere in that book did Obama mention Franklin Delano Roosevelt and New Deal policies.  And further in that book, Obama declared that his heroes were WALL STREET FINANCIERS!  Warning, I shouted in vain.  Then at his inauguration the truth came out---I first noticed it by the announcer of the inauguration broadcast on television saying that one of the first things President Obama did was special order three special-built Cadillac SUVs, one of which he paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue in coming to the special grandstand built for him from which he gave his inauguration speech.  Obama as far as I was concerned had revealed his poker hand to us—by God, I thought, this half-White-half-Black man has trick bagged we stupidly hopeful Americans into voting for him.  Further evidence of his backward-thinking (truths based on lies) came when exiting from the White Man's House with G.W. Bush, the worst president in US history, the idiot poor little rich boy, this guy who’d gone AWOL during his involvement in learning to fly with the Texas National Guard, and declaring, he found old G.W. a good ole boy, easy to get along with.

And then given prominent and honorable display on his inauguration platform, having those two arm-in-arm lying bastards G.W.H. “Pappy” Bush and Good Ole Arkansas boy-made-good, Slick Willie Clinton, Pappy being Willie’s new best friend,…and then having that nutjob California fundamentalist preacher give the inaugural prayer!  And to whose God was that prayer directed? And by then I’m hollering, “WE’VE BEEN HOODWINKED!”

And once again, President Obama was given such a great opportunity to trash Mitt “the Mormon” Romney at this staged debate, to accuse this lying bastard of lying his ass off, which he was pompously doing, and instead what does he do, why he puts on a dumber-than-dumb show.  Observers sat in awe as Obama let Mitt “the Mormon” Romney get away with lie after lie, flip-flop after flip-flop, to the point that now after this debate has been thrown in the waste can, polls are showing Romney now leading Obama.  Can you believe this?  How genuinely fucking stupid are Americans; especially White Americans?  That debate gave the majority of racist Whites their big chance to get this N-worder out of the White Man’s House.  Yahoos were shouted across the racist White USA.  Rather an idiot lying rich boy Mormon be president than old Uncle Barack (with his head Tomishly bowed during that rigged debate---and these corporate-sponsored debates are rigged, and now I’m wondering if Obama was paid by corporations to dumb down like he did—call me a conspiracy nutjob---nope, folks, I’m just a natural-born cynic).

The solutions to all our problems are so simple.  Just a few: do away with Homeland Security, the FBI, the CIA, drones, a constantly out-of-hand Defense Department budget, sending monies to foreign countries, the war on drugs, developing new weapons on a constant basis, continuing to spend billions on a space program, and ditching Obamacare and creating a single-payer healthcare system.  Are how about taxing religious organizations? 

I say I’m giving up on politics, it’s so beneath me both intellectually and culturally; yet, I see the idiots We the Dumbass People of the USA keep supporting; the openly racist White nutjobs We the Dumbass White People of the USA keep giving power to---like that dumbass hillbilly hick Akin in Missouri who is now back on top the polls against Ms. McCaskill.  We are idiots all.  Idiots.  Truly stupid people.

Mark Ames, to me a brilliant writer and thinker, has explained it all in an old article he wrote in 2004 and then upgraded in 2011 in response to Thomas Frank's book What's the Matter With Kansas?  It's truth I hadn't really consciously thought of.  About spite voters.  Americans are vicious.  Vicious to the point they vote out of spite...well, read Mark's article and this will become so clear to you (in spite of how you feel about Mark Ames, I might add):

for The Daily Growler

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Existing in the Police State of New York City in Utter Chaos

Foto by tgw, New York City, September 2012
The Debate
I didn't watch it.  It was rigged.  Today's New York City rightwing newsrags are saying Mitt the Mormon scored big time against President Black Man.  Though Jim Lehrer's a good man, I've known him since 1965 when I first met him and his wife and newborn daughter at my brother's house, but all his bullshit talk about "the Commission" not having seen the questions he chose from the thousands sent in by email and Twitter is just that, bullshit (William Pitt Rivers totally trashed old Jim in his Truthout article on the smelly debate that you can read on  First of all this "Commission" is a joke.  Its two heads are the former Republican Party chairman and Bill Clinton's old chief advisor.  This Commission, sponsored by the way mainly by Annhauser-Busch (which is now owned by a Brazil-Dutch company), free beer for the boys in the back room, I assume, took over these debates from the League of Women Voters back in the 90s in a coup that was fomented by both parties to keep third-party candidates out of the debates.  I mean, come on, these debates being taken seriously, come on, only a duped fool would believe these silly events aren't rigged.  Amy Goodman and Democracy Now had an interesting program planned--they were going to pause after every Mitt and Obama statement and let Green Party candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, and Justice Party candidate, Rocky Anderson, respond.  But, alas, New York's Pacifica station, WBAI, hooked up with their Houston affiliate and just broadcast the debate straight, with in-house afterward commentary by Dick Wolff and Greg Palast.

Politics is so beneath me now.  Instead of watching the debate, I relished reading a new book I got in the mail, Rifftide, the Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones, compiled and edited by Paul Devlin from a series of taped interviews with Papa Jo Albert Murray made back in the late 70s and in 1985, the year Jo died.  Paul Devlin's meeting Albert Murray is quiet a story in itself, but thank goodness for that union.  Murray, a man who's now in his early 90s, had pushed the tapes aside and instead concentrated on writing a couple of novels.  Paul Devlin came along to help boogie Albert around town and such when one day Albert, now in bad health, suggested why didn't Paul take the tapes and make a book out of them.  And Paul did it and after 11 years finished the job, sold it to the University of Minnesota Press, and thus Rifftide, a wonderful book about a wondrous man, Papa Jo Jones.  Albert Murray compared Jo's life and opinions to James Joyce's Finegan's Wake, a wise comparison when you consider the art of punning and dreaming at the same time.  Both books are stream of consciousness at its best.

Later in this broad day I notice that the rightwing corporate media are trumpeting how Mitt "the Mormon" Romney whacked Obama the first Black President real good.  Put this uppity N-worder in his place.  It seems the humble Obama has no balls at all and didn't whack back at Mitt "the Mormon"--what a shame this president has turned out to be.  Actually as Gore Vidal said, there's no difference in these characters except that Mitt is richer and more corporately tied than Obama.  H.L. Mencken said the American people had rather believe lies than believe the truth.

Then on Gary Null's noon radio program he had this dude on who says it won't matter who is president next year when the solar flares start hurling themselves full blast at this old planet.  A few days ago I read that a huge explosion due to a solar flare had happened on the back side of the Sun, our true natural God, a solar flare so magnificent that if it had been on the front side of the Sun we human monkeys today would have our lives changed drastically, those of us still alive.

We are doomed.  We are in utter chaos now--a Chaos I don't think we will escape.

for The Daily Growler 

The following is from Greg Palast...the first paragraphs are missing:

When Mr. PBS Bumblebrain asked you the difference between your views and Gov. Romney’s on Social Security, you said, “You know, I suspect that, on Social Security, we’ve got a somewhat similar position.”
Really, Mr. President, REALLY?
Romney says that if you’re 38 or 54, it doesn’t matter that you’ve paid into Medicare and Social Security all your life, you don’t get the insurance you paid for.  You get some stinking voucher, some coupon that says, “Here’s a hundred bucks kid, go buy a gold watch.”
Who exactly is going to take a voucher to provide health insurance to a 72-year-old with asthma, in a walker and prostate problems?
Governor Romney said, with that smirky, smarmy grin, “I’d assume I’d rather have a private [health] plan.”  Gee, Mr. Romney, could you give me the number of your insurance company and tell them to take my “voucher”?
Mr. President, you gabbled on about the Cleveland Medical Clinic and its “best practices.”  Who the hell cares, Mr. President?  There are people bleeding out here, LITERALLY BLEEDING, who now can get health coverage because of ObamaCare.  For all its failings, it saves lives, saves homes from foreclosure caused by insane medical bills – only recently, the number one cause of foreclosures in America.
Can’t you even defend the one thing that’s worth a damn and has your name on it?
Romney’s wife has MS.  That’s sad.  But what’s tragic is that there are millions in America with MS who couldn’t get insurance because they have this prior condition—and are not married to an investment banker demi-billionaire.
I don’t care that you couldn’t seem to defend yourself tonight, Mr. President.  That’s a Democratic Party headache.  What I resent, what gets me furious and angry, is that you didn’t defend ME.  Me and my family.
When Romney says he defends small business, let me tell you, I have a small business.  I don’t need a tax break – hell, like most small businesses, we don’t make money.  We need health insurance.  We need government loans.
When Romney says government never does anything cheaper than the private sector, Mr. President, don’t you know that it was government mortgage agencies that funded America’s middle class homeownership? That’s what government did – and licked Hitler to boot.
When mortgages were privatized, we were thrown at the mercy of the Banksters.
(And why the hell did you, Mr. Obama, bring up that right-wing canard that banks just gave out mortgages to people who couldn't afford them – blaming sub-prime predatory mortgage crimes on the victims. Sounds like you agree that 47% of Americans are leeches.)
Maybe it’s true that you, Mr. President, are actually just a hollow man, a creation of PR consultants and rich donors, a Ken-doll of repeating lines about “Hope,” “change” and “this country thrives when the middle class thrives.”
The truth is, you were ready to raise the retirement age for Social Security and cut back-room deals with drug companies. Maybe in the end, progressive policies are just a marketing niche you’ve found to cover aimless ambition and a yearning to compromise.
If someone drilled a hole in you, could we blow in and play you like a flute?  Or is there some substance, some hard core of principle that couldn’t break out tonight because it was imprisoned by advisors who told you to play it safe, play it in a coma?
Mr. President, if you can’t explain why you are the Commander-in-Chief in this class war against the billionaire bandits attempting to seize our government, then get off the horse and let someone in the saddle who can ride.
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