Thursday, December 27, 2012

Existing in Billionaire Heaven as a Poor Person: A Life in New York City

Foto by tgw, New York City, December 2012
Continuing on in the Footsteps of Baby George W. Bush, President Barry Obama is appointing the extremely evil John Brennan, called the "Assassin" by his detractors to become the new head of the extremely evil and wasteful CIA.  John Brennan is a stone-cold lying son of a bitch who is currently Barry's Terrorism advisor, the man who is the champion of drone warfare and the killing of American citizens on Barry's Terrorist Watch List.  A truly sorry bastard.  Way to go, George W. Obama...way to go.
Say Goodbye to: Patti Page...Gawd how I hated "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window"---yet, it made Patti rich...that and "The Tennessee Waltz," which wasn't that bad a song. Patti Page, 85, American singer ("Tennessee Waltz", "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?"
The Best Explanation of the US's Current Fiscal Crisis as I've Read: by Paul Craig Roberts on Counterpunch:
President Obama Insults the American People
From Truth Dig:
Looking for a job where being unproductive and ineffective won’t hurt your chances of getting a raise? Try being a member of Congress!
Despite getting less done than any previous Congress since the 1940s, President Obama issued an executive order Thursday that would give pay raises to every member of the House and Senate, as well as federal workers, beginning March 27, 2013. This marks the first pay increase for Congress in more than three years. 
Great Scary Article by Mark Ames on the NRA and the Hick Pro-Fascists Who Have Run It Since the Ronnie "Grade B Actor" Reagan Era:
Say Goodbye to: Fontella Bass--who started as a blues singer in Little Milton's Blues Revue with bandleader Oliver Sain, who had the second million seller after Chuck Berry had the first on the Chess label with "Rescue Me" and then married jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie and in Paris recorded one of the weirdest tunes ever, "Theme de YoYo," a tune I can say I myself have covered and can prove it with a DVD of my performance. Fontella Bass, 72, American singer ("Rescue Me"), complications from a heart attack.

Here's Fontella w/Art Ensemble of Chicago doing "Theme de Yo-Yo" on Youtube 
After Mafficking, Now Seriousness 
Living in New York City can be both gregarious and isolating.  It's gregarious when your pockets are bulging with cash and you are out on the town.  On every block are places in which to spend your cash.  And when your cash is all gone or you've spent what you've budgeted to spend, then you withdraw to your living space where you are then forced to create...WHAT?  WORTH, that's what.  Your creative worth is your wealth.

Inspiration is an easy source of potential wealth in so widespread a cultural dump as New York City.  Like on this cold and rainy (turning to snow) day for me.  The inspiration encircled me.  First, over at the Musicians Union Hall on West 48th.  I was over there rehearsing with a trio of musician friends, one thedailygrowlerhousepianist, one a drummer friend of many moons, and one a bass playing friend (more casual than the other two) of the same many moons as the drummer, who introduced me to this Illinois-born bassist back in the late 70s when we were all young, a little naive, but extremely hopeful.  These musician friends exude a brilliance that not only amuses me but inspires me, too.  These are extremely smart men both in terms of music and everyday life.  Their ability to compose and read music truly amazes me, an autodidactic musician who arose unlike them not from an academic base but from an improvisational base, meaning my composing and reading music is baby-like compared to their mature abilities.  This doesn't mean I can't once on stage not show a brilliance.  I have what musicians refer to as "a good ear."  By my limited sight reading but exact memorization, I can learn the most complicated tunes or compositions--I have been performing with these guys for 25 or more years--a lot of those times doing tunes or compositions they wrote, in a lot of instances tunes or compositions they wrote especially for me.

This morning during this rehearsal I watched these friends working out to "gettin' 'em down" intricate jazz compositions especially a Chick Corea tune, "Litha."  I marvel watching them discussing the notational aspects of a tune, with the bass player saying, "I think that B-flat seventh is just doesn't fit...."  And the drummer going over and seeing right off the bat what he's talking about.  "It should be an A-flat seventh, man, I think."  "Yeah, that works...yeah," says the bass player.

Then they call me up to do my thing and my thing is so simple, "Boys, you know 'I Can't Get Started'?"  Yes, comes a trio of agreements.  Then I work with thedailygrowlerhousepianist on the right key for me ending up agreeing on F.  And we do Ira Gershwin's and Vernon Duke's old tune from the 1930s, a tune I never liked until I heard it sung by tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims off an LP he made with Bob Brookmeyer, Hank Jones, Bill Crow, and Papa Jo Jones called Morning Fun on George Wein's old Storyville label out of Boston--way back when I was a freshman in college.  After that, they all wanted me to do a blues, my specialty, and we did a sterling version of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday," which brought a bunch of other musicians into the room to dig us.  I'm in very impressive voice these days and like I say I'm very impressive once I nail a tune down.

After an hour and a half rehearsal, three of us, the bass player had to go get his iPhone repaired (yes, the warranty had just run out), busted a move down to Hurley's Bar where we had a bull session over pints of ale and beer, a bull session full of our life observations on the meaning of Plato, women, our college degrees, and reminiscing about "the good ole days" when we were working musicians, bon vivants, lovers, and still naively hopeful.

From there we headed to the different subways to make our ways back to our residences where in isolation we would mull over what we'd amused each other with during the rehearsal.

I, out of hunger, stopped off at my favorite Irish pub and had a humongous dinner, steak smothered in grilled onions and mushrooms with a side of veggies all washed down with a pint of Bass ale and topped off with a dish of vanilla ice cream.

I'm now back in isolation and listening to an iTunes slew of my own musical compositions and thinking how I've got to---it's an itch within me---get back to work on this damn novel I'm writing---I'm currently proudly pecking at the 60,000-word mark.  After writing, I will then read the rest of the day, reading Gore Vidal's Lincoln, a book on a psychoanalytic study of Charles Ives by Stuart Feder, a book of the essays of Gunther Schuller, all inspiring me, keeping the fires of endeavor alive in me, stirring me up since isolation can sometimes push you to the brink of boredom and there is nothing more depressing than being bored in New York City.
Say Goodbye to: Dennis O'Driscoll
someone is dressing up for death today, a change of skirt or tie
eating a final feast of buttered sliced pan, tea
scarcely having noticed the erection that was his last
shaving his face to marble for the icy laying out
spraying with deodorant her coarse armpit grass
someone today is leaving home on business
saluting, terminally, the neighbours who will join in the cortege
someone is paring his nails for the last time, a precious moment
someone’s waist will not be marked with elastic in the future
someone is putting out milkbottles for a day that will not come
someone’s fresh breath is about to be taken clean away
someone is writing a cheque that will be rejected as ‘drawer deceased’
someone is circling posthumous dates on a calendar
someone is listening to an irrelevant weather forecast
someone is making rash promises to friends
someone’s coffin is being sanded, laminated, shined
who feels this morning quite as well as ever
someone if asked would find nothing remarkable in today’s date
perfume and goodbyes her final will and testament
someone today is seeing the world for the last time
as innocently as he had seen it first
This poem: thanks to John Baker's blog

Well, here we go over what some D.C. PR dude made up "the fiscal cliff."  But, I say, don't worry, folks, it's all bullshit.  Remember my theory that everything coming out of the District of Corruption is backward thinking and what you do is simply reverse their statements and you'll be pretty much close to the truth, whatever the hell that is.  We're not going over any fiscal cliff.  I mean come on, folks, if we can come up with 14 trillion dollars to bail out those damn crooked financial institutions these lyin' bastards will come up with something (new taxes on the poor, for instance) to save their high-priced salaries and guaranteed health care (our financial institutions are still openly being crooks, by the way)(it amazes me how here in New York City, two of our big sporting venues, CitiField where the worthless Mets play and the Barclays Center where the worthless Russian-owned Brooklyn Nets play, are named after two of the biggest crooks in the banking scam business).  There are easy solutions to our problems---a stock transfer tax, for instance; or cutting drastically the Defense Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex budgets.  But remember, these guys are backwards makes me want to puke to write about these millionaire jackals we keep electing, which means when it's all boiled down it's We the People of the US's fault.  When you keep electing a bunch of skunks you get a bad smell in the chicken coop, plus a bunch of dead chickens.

From the Wisdom of C. Wright Mills:

Their private decisions, responsibly made in the interests of the feudal-like world of private property and income, determine the size and shape of the national economy, the level of employment, the purchasing power of the consumer, the prices that are advertised, the investments that are channeled. Not 'Wall Street financiers' or bankers, but large owners and executives in their self-financing corporations hold the keys of economic power. Not the politicians of the visible government, but the chief executives who sit in the political directorate ... hold the power and the means of defending the privileges of their corporate world. If they do not reign, they do govern at many of the vital points of everyday life in America, and no powers effectively and consistently countervail against them, nor have they as corporate-made men developed any effectively restraining conscience .


for The Daily Growler


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Existing in New York City: Little Johnny Get Your Gun

Foto by tgw, "Roof Shot #2," New York City, December 2012
Say Goodbye to: Jimmy McCracklin...Jimmy was born in St. Louis, but after a stretch in the U.S. Navy, he settled in the Bay Area in Richmond, California.  McCracklin became a big factor in the West Coast Blues genre along with T-Bone Walker, Mercy Dee Walton, and Lowell Fulson.  His first big hit was "The Walk."  Jimmy recorded up until 1990 with his band the Blues Blasters.  Jimmy McCracklin, 91, American blues musician.

Obama (Republican posing as a Democrat) Throws Seniors Under the Bus by Compromising With John Bonehead by Cutting Social Security Payments: Barry Obama breaks yet another campaign promise by compromising with the Republican idiot John Bonehead and agreeing to cut Social Security payments in a backwards-thinking move that means the older one gets, the lower his or her Social Security payments will get.  Only an idiot would agree to such a cruel deal; therefore, Obama and Bonehead both are idiots.  How much you bet Obama does nothing about any gun law reforms either?  How phony was his Newtown crying jag and his phony speeches about that society-gone-wild matter?  The lesser of two evils is proving to be more evil than the other evil.  What a two-faced corporate puppet jerk Obama is proving to be.
The Right to Bear Arms
Just stop and consider how many killers there are loosed on our streets at any one time.  I grew up in a culture where it was a symbol of your masculine individualism to have a rack of high-powered rifles displayed in the back window of your pick up.  As a young man I grew up in Dallas, Texas, and was there when in 1964 somebody or somebodies blew JFK's head to pieces in some say a deadly crossfire--only the late Arlen Specter (an ex-DA (same as stupid John Kerry, by the way)) came up with the single-shooter theory--no one who was in Dallas that fateful day believed that there was a single shooter.  Ex-CIA stooge, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested as and assassinated as THE single shooter who made a rather miraculous shot that took JFK's life...ex-nutjob-Marine Oswald's shot was so miraculous, JFK's head went backwards on being hit; yet if Lee Harvey made that miraculous shot, he was behind JFK five stories up in the Texas Schoolbook Depository; therefore JFK's head should have fallen forward.

As a kid growing up in West Texas and Dallas, I had a Red Ryder cap pistol and played "cowboys and Indians" and "bad guys/good guys" with the neighborhood kids.  Imaginarily shooting them to kill them.  One year my friend Sonny got a BB gun for X-mas and I ended up shooting Sonny in the ass with it.  Then one year at X-mas my brother who was in the Navy brought me home a wooden mock Navy Springfield training rifle, which I treasured for years, using it often in mock killings. 

During my high school years in West Texas, all of my friends and their families had houses full of guns, both six shooters and hunting rifles of all kinds.  In my family, however, guns weren't allowed.  My dad always taught me that if you own a gun, you are going to have to use it at some time or another, either to kill an animal or to kill a fellow human animal.

My best friend in high school was a gun enthusiast and he and his younger brother and I used to go out into the wilds around my hometown and shoot at jackrabbits, coyotes, foxes, mule deer, and if we were lucky, wildcats.  I learned to shoot a rifle with this guy.  We would go out at night deep into the wild hills and lay out on the fenders of his dad's pick-up truck and one of us would drive and use the military spotlite attached to the driver's side of the truck to spot jackrabbits, pin them in that light's hard beam, while the shooters would be out on the front fenders in the prone position where we'd shoot at these scared animals as we sped along behind them.  I don't ever remember any of us hitting a jackrabbit.  One night while I was on one of the fenders the jackrabbit I was shooting at jumped the spot's beam and headed off into a field.  I followed him with the rifle into the field pot shooting at him, when suddenly a farmhouse's outside spotlites came on...I had been hitting the farmhouse while missing that jackrabbit.

Then when I went in the U.S. Army a part of my training involved learning how to respect an M-14 (and later the M-16) rifle as my constant companion in combat.  I learned how to tear that rifle down, clean it, put it back together, and then out on the firing ranges, I learned how to fire it at various targets from 25 yards on up to 200 yards.  I got pretty good at hitting these targets, which were in the shape of a human being by the way, earning a sharpshooter's medal in the process.  Also in the military, I learned how to fire a submachine gun, a Browning Automatic Rifle, and as a 2nd Lieutenant, I learned how to fire an issued .44 caliber pistol.

The Army especially taught us troopers to be killers.  The first motto you learned in basic training was "Kill or be killed."  I now think of how many killers our military has trained over the existence of this stolen-from-the-Native-Americans nation, a nation stolen due to firearms from muskets down to repeating rifles and now automatic assault rifles and automatic handguns (like the Glocks).  Just think, there are millions of ex-military men still roaming our streets who were trained to kill or be killed and that their weapons were their friends and protectors.

We are a nation of killers.  We love killing.  We love blazing weapons and shoot outs and drive bys and assassinations and massacres.  Also, there are hundreds of thousands of us who are hunters, which after all is the killing of living animals.  We kill deer, we kill raccoons, we kill squirrels, we kill rabbits, we kill bears, we kill wolves we kill birds (ducks, geese, pheasants, quail), etc.  Hunters (killers) usually have more than one high-powered rifle among their arsenals.  Hunters (mostly males) proudly teach their children (including some daughters, like Adam Lanza's mother) how to use firearms and hunt at a very early age.

Also, in terms of us being killers, just think of how many beeves, chickens, porkers, and lambs we kill every day of the week in order to fulfill our carnivorous desires. 

We are currently mourning the deaths of those 27 kids and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, while our military's drone fleet is killing men, women, and children (including babies) almost every day of the year in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Sudan.  [Isn't it ironic that Connecticut is home for the Colt folks (Hartford) (And Smith and Wesson is just across the Connecticut border in Springfield, Massachusetts).  Newtown, ironically, is home of one of the largest handgun and rifle associations.]

Even after Newtown, our stupid and greedy politicians are trying to justify continuing to allow automatic military weapons to be sold to whomever.  These fools are still justifying the 2nd Amendment as guaranteeing even the mentally ill and meanly psychotic the right to buy arms for self-protection (like the Stand-Your-Ground killer down in Florida).  Some of the more Yahoo fools in Congress are suggesting we should arm out nutjob even suggesting we arm our kids.  Can you imagine the wild shooting sprees that would happen in these schools if a bunch of paranoid teachers and smart-ass kids were packing heat?

New York City's little asshole mayor is now jumping on the gun-control bandwagon.  When asked by Charlie "the Bore" Rose why he was so fervent for gun-control, this hypocrite mayor replied because he had been to so many NYPD cops's funerals, not revealing that the NYPD cops (possessors of assault rifles) had shot more innocent citizens than any gun-toting citizens had shot them.  Besides, I defy Hiz Horrible Honor to show me any NYPD cop who was shot by a citizen packing an automatic assault rifle like the one used by poor ole crazed Adam Lanza in the Newtown massacre.  But, hey, it's getting our little billionaire mayor publicity and taking attention away from his egalitarian ways when it comes to turning New York City and especially Manhattan into a billionaires' playground and real estate boondoggle and his backing charter schools, etc.      

Hidden from our view is the fact that nearly everyone of our most successful gun-toting shooters were on antipsychotic drugs.  Adam Lanza, for instance, was on the controversial drug Fanapt.

Check out this list:
1.  Huntsville, Alabama – February 5, 2010: 15-year-old Hammad Memon shot and killed another Discover Middle School student Todd Brown.  Memon had a history for being treated for ADHD and depression.  He was taking the antidepressant Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.” He had been seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist.
2. Kauhajoki, Finland – September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself.  Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. He was also seeing a psychologist.
3. Dekalb, Illinois – February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system. He had been seeing a psychiatrist.
4. Jokela, Finland – November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.
5. Cleveland, Ohio – October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.
6. Red Lake, Minnesota – March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.
7. Greenbush, New York – February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”. He had previously seen a psychiatrist.
8. Wahluke, Washington – April 10, 2001: Sixteen-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage. He had been taking the antidepressant Effexor.
9. El Cajon, California – March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School. He had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
10. Williamsport, Pennsylvania – March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.
11. Conyers, Georgia – May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with the stimulant Ritalin when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.
12. Columbine, Colorado – April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox.  Klebold’s medical records remain sealed. Both shooters had been in anger-management classes and had undergone counseling.  Harris had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.
13. Notus, Idaho – April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.
14. Springfield, Oregon – May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac. Kinkel had been attending “anger control classes” and was under the care of a psychologist.
10 additional recent murders and murder-suicides, resulting in 47 dead and 21 wounded:
  1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – March 8, 2012: 30-year-old John Shick, former patient of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and former student at nearby Duquesne University, shot and killed one and injured six inside UPMC’s Western Psychiatrist Institute. Nine antidepressants were identified among the drugs police found in Shick’s apartment.
  2. Seal Beach, California – October 12, 2011: Scott DeKraai, a harbor tugboat worker, entered the hair salon where his ex-wife worked, killing her and seven others and injuring one. At DeKraai’s initial hearing, his attorney indicated to the judge that DeKraai was prescribed the antidepressant Trazodone and the “mood stabilizer” Topamax.
  3. Lakeland, Florida – May 3, 2009: Toxicology test results showed that 34-year-old Troy Bellar was on Tegretol, a drug prescribed for “bi-polar disorder,” when he shot and killed his wife and two of his three children in their home before killing himself.
  4. Granberry Crossing, Alabama – April 26, 2009: 53-year-old Fred B. Davis shot and killed a police officer and wounded a sheriff’s deputy who had responded to a call that Davis had threatened a neighbor with a gun. Prescription drug bottles found at the scene showed that Davis was prescribed the antipsychotic drug Geodon.
  5. Middletown, Maryland – April 17, 2009: Christopher Wood shot and killed his wife, three small children and himself inside their home. Toxicology test results verified that Wood had been taking the antidepressants Cymbalta and Paxil and the anti-anxiety drugs BuSpar and Xanax.
  6. Concord, California – January 11, 2009: Jason Montes, 33, shot and killed his wife and then himself at home. Montes had earlier begun taking the antidepressant Prozac for depression related to his impending divorce and a recent bankruptcy.
  7. Little Rock, Arkansas – August 14, 2008: Less than 48 hours after Timothy Johnson shot and killed Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney, the Little Rock Police declared they were investigating shooter’s use of the antidepressant Effexor, which was found in Johnson’s house.  A Little Rock city police report later stated that Johnson “was on an anti-depressant and that the drug may have played a part in his ‘irrational and violent behavior.’”
  8. Omaha, Nebraska – December 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert Hawkins killed eight people and wounded five before committing suicide in an Omaha mall. Autopsy results confirmed he was under the influence of the “anti-anxiety” drug Valium.
  9. North Meridian, Florida – July 8, 2003: Doug Williams killed five and wounded nine of his fellow Lockheed Martin employees before killing himself. Williams was reported as having been taking two antidepressants, Zoloft and Celexa, for depression after a failed marriage.
  10. Wakefield, Massachusetts – December 26, 2000: 42-year-old computer technician Michael McDermott had been taking three antidepressants when he hunted down employees in the accounting and human resources offices where he worked, killing seven.

Of course, big Pharmas make billions of dollars off these antipsychotic drugs every year and since most of our politicians and our president are trapped inside the wallets of these big Pharmas they're not about to go against the side of their bread on which these mad scientists are applying the thick butters.

What do you bet no gun-control measures are going to be passed by this Yahoo Congress?

for The Daily Growler

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Existing in New York City: Attempting to Overcome the Human Death Wish

Foto by tgw, "Roof Shot," New York City, November 2012
Obama (Republican posing as a Democrat) Throws Seniors Under the Bus by Compromising With John Bonehead by Cutting Social Security Payments: Barry Obama breaks yet another campaign promise by compromising with the Republican idiot John Bonehead and agreeing to cut Social Security payments in a backwards-thinking move that means the older one gets, the lower his or her Social Security payments will get.  Only an idiot would agree to such a cruel deal; therefore, Obama and Bonehead both are idiots.  How much you bet Obama does nothing about any gun law reforms either?  How phony was his Newtown crying jag and his phony speeches about that society-gone-wild matter?  The lesser of two evils is proving to be more evil than the other evil.  What a two-faced corporate puppet jerk Obama is proving to be.
Say Goodbye to: Jake Adam York:

Night's air tightens slowly, afternoon's
heat thinning with honeysuckle --
millions of trumpets of sun
dimmed and cool, quieting down.
The console hums through signoff,
through anthem. Then its silence gathers
elsewheres from the dark, voices
bent off blackbird chill
as city glow on approaching storm:
Buenosnoches -- so fast to travel so far
with its syllable freight, electric
as new constellations on moonless nights --
so strange and difficult to find
once the disc has risen, its face
a wide, unfinished vowel
that casts its drawl on everything.
Today's Top Irony (from the Hypocrites) 
The HSBC...weren't they originally a Hongkong bank?... was caught laundering Colombian and Mexican drug cartel money (cartels that have murdered upwards of 50,000 in Mexico alone) and also handling monies for terrorist organizations--obviously bankers who are as crooked and ruthless as the most despicable Mafia bosses--and yet they were simply fined a pocketful of chicken feed for wrongdoings, wrongdoings worse than the petty "terrorist" associations that have gotten individual citizens sent to Guantanamo for a life of constant torture and military abuse, most of whom are really not guilty of anything except being Muslim and under suspect by our many spy agencies, especially the despicable CIA.  Obama's Justice (Hah!) Dept. says HSBC is too big to prosecute.  This reminds me of the BCCI scandal of several years back.  We are such hypocrites!  Two-faced monkeys.  Why would anyone not immediately take their money and savings out an HSBC bank?  We the People of the USA are some of the stupidest and most ignorant puppets in the world.  You don't read this on any of the pundit blogs, do you?
If the Mayans Were Right
According to the doomsayers, the Mayans believed the end of the world would happen when the earth would be sucked out of the sun, or somesuch heathen bullshit like that.  The Mayans were correct in one aspect of their superstitious beliefs, the Sun is our true God.  Without the Sun we are doomed; human salvation is in the Sun and not in fossil fuels.

What scares me about my fellow humans is this innate death wish they have as a society.  I suppose in the Jungian sense, we want the whole planet to die when we die.  I recall as a young skeptic during the Reagan red-telephone years, I was hoping that idiot second-rate actor president would go ahead and start a nuclear holocaust---maybe under the influence of his second-rate actress wife and the soothsayer Jeanne Dixon, all of 'em phonies.   At the time, I had had a premonition that I was soon to of all places, Cuba...and I felt if I was due to die, why not take the whole human race with me?  The big red glow on the horizon.  Of course, Reagan being a phony and the heads of the Soviet Union being phonies, too, didn't pick up the red phone and push the red button to start that nuclear holocaust and I and my fellow human beings survived---except for millions upon millions of us who died naturally or in catastrophes along the way--to live another giant-size fistful of decades.

It's sometimes fun for me to go back and consider how many times I've ducked death.  I've lived through several bad car wrecks.  I've lived through an apartment building fire.  I've been hit twice by a Cadillac and a pick-up truck on the streets of New York City.  I just missed getting hit with a butcher knife thrown at me by a piss-off girlfriend.  And just 10 months ago, I just barely survived a heart attack (the ER folks at Bellevue Hospital told me that if I'd'a been one more hour getting there I'd'a probably been DOA).  "Hey, Reaper," I cried, "Ya missed me!"

I can remember as a dumbass college student going out into lightning storms and defying the Christian God!  "Here I am, Yahweh, strike me down if you're real!"  Of course, I wasn't that dumb that I believed there actually was a Christian God who was going to strike me down with a bolt of lightning.  Besides, I knew enough Greek mythology to know it was Zeus who struck people down with lightning bolts and in spite of Edith Hamilton's intriguing writing, I knew Zeus was a figment of the ancient Greek imagination.

Humans are so hung up on death.  Philip Wylie said we die in order to have sex.  If we didn't die, there'd be no need to procreate.  So we have all kinds of sex one way or another--even nuns and priests have sex--even eunuchs probably have some kind of abnormal sex--even the Pope probably masturbates, don't you think?  Can you imagine the Queen of England masturbating?  Certainly all her offspring are sex maniacs---remember Prince Philip doing the double-backed beast with Camilla Parker Bowles out in that muddy field?  Can you imagine Prince Harry having sex in his authentic Nazi uniform?  So we have sex up until it's our time, when the Reaper's blade starts hacking at us, oops, slicing off our sexuality in a near miss at sending us to the hereafter.

Sex gives us life.  And life eventually gives us death.  In between all sorts of snake-oil salesmen (pharmaceutical company sales reps and Yahoo preachers, priests, rabbis, shamen, ayatollahs) are peddling eternal life to us, for a price.  Have you noticed how you can't get eternal life free of charge? This has brought me to the conclusion that though the Sun is our actual God, MONEY is our earthly or real God.

So, folks, get ready.  Doomsday is coming...December 21st, which is not the original Mayan "end of the world" date...the original one was back in a May of some long-ago year.  Such bullshit, but there are those Yahoos who truly believe that on December 21st the earth will be sucked out of the sun.

We're all heathens, you see.  Superstitious heathens.  Our gods are heathen.  Brutal bastards, too, who strike people dead for a lot of stupid reasons, like men shooting their seeds on the ground rather than into the wombs of original-sinning women.  I mean, without a flock of scare-dy-cat sheep-like humans, wherefore art thou Jesus? Buddha? Yahweh? Zoroaster? Moloch? Saturn? Zeus? Hera? Medusa?

I love art like the above: Peter Bruegel's "Tower of Babel."  And all is babbling to me, a writer of words, a babbler deluxe.  Doomsday art.

Or Bosch's "Last Judgment."  What brilliant conceptualizing in an old world full of superstitions.

From Jacob Boehme: “What kind of spiritual triumph it was I can neither write nor speak; it can only be compared with that where life is born in the midst of death, and is like the resurrection of the dead.”

Sister Rosetta Thorpe: I once, when I was a child and could believe anything, heard Sister Rosetta Thorpe preach at a South Dallas Church of God that while she was in East Texas, she had seen a woman over there who had had her head cut clean off her body and then in a miracle service,  God had set that severed head back on that woman's body and lo and behold that woman came back to life to praise the glory of God.

I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day.
What hours, O what black hours we have spent
This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
And more must, in yet longer light's delay.

With witness I speak this. But where I say
Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
To dearest him that lives alas! away.

I am gall, I am heartburn. God's most deep decree
Bitter would have me taste: my taste was me;
Bones built in me, flesh filled, blood brimmed the curse.

Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours. I see 
The lost are like this, and their scourge to be
As I am mine, their sweating selves, but worse. 

How I would love to be a writer of dead letters...though in retrospect, perhaps that's just what I am.
My brother who faced death several times before the Reaper finally nailed him to his final cross, loved Gerard Manley Hopkins and I've heard him quote the above poem many a dark night while his "Selfyeast of spirit" soured the dough of the natural, his quivering voice seeking out the lost as he experienced their scourge..."their sweating selves, but worse."

As I sit in the early morning darkness in the artificial light of my 60-watt-bulb lamp and type on my biography of my brother, I wonder what it's like to suffer from being both deaf and blind like he ended up.  Blindness is the ultimate darkness.

Another One for My Brother: 

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;  
The times are winter, watch, a world undone:  
They waste, they wither worse; they as they run  
Or bring more or more blazon man's distress.  
And I not help. Nor word now of success:       
All is from wreck, here, there, to rescue one—  
Work which to see scarce so much as begun  
Makes welcome death, does dear forgetfulness.  
Or what is else? There is your world within.  
There rid the dragons, root out there the sin.   
Your will is law in that small commonweal...

There's a beauty to that droll verse that so reminds me of my blind and deaf brother.  Strange how my brother never admitted he was blind or deaf when he was around you in his final days.

It is very difficult to write about your brother...especially now that he has gone.

From the Moravian Hymnal: 

With the singing of that hymn, I loll abed with Hilda Doolittle who was brought up in the Moravian church.


The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower—
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint—
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots—
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Existing in New York City: thegrowlingwolf on the Prowl

Foto by tgw, New York City, November 2012
Is Obama Fixing to Insult Us Again?
Please don’t tell me that these reports in the business press touting Sallie Krawcheck as a front-runner for chairman of the SEC or even a possible candidate to be the next Treasury secretary are true. Who is she? Oh, just another former Citigroup CFO, and therefore a prime participant in the great banking hustle that has savaged the world’s economy. Krawcheck was paid $11 million in 2005 while her bank contributed to the toxic mortgage crisis that would cost millions their jobs and homes.  
On the Prowl With thegrowlingwolf 
Had lunch at my favorite Persian restaurant yesterday.  The room was packed with Persians who all seemed to know each other.  Everyone looked so successful.  Didn't look like a foreclosure victim in the bunch,  One old graying rocker type was talking about writing songs and how saintly his mother was.  One very pretty Persian woman had a voice like a tiny child.  She kept playing with her iPhone, even while eating.  I'm amazed at the success of cell phones.  I remember a time when one despised the phone ringing or having to talk to someone on a telephone.  Now there seems to be one continuous conversation via cell phones going on: either with oneself or one's relatives or one's friends or, as in the case with thedailygrowlerhousepianist, doing business 24/7 and also looking up info on the Internet.  Screw trivial pursuits anymore.  Even the most obscure knowledge can be found on the Internet.  Last Saturday night I was keeping score while a gaggle of classy babes were playing Scrabble and when one of them challenged a word they didn't run get the Webster's Collegiate down off the shelf...why, my relative in the game had a Scrabble dictionary on her Nook.

I, being the contrarian I am, have no iPhone or iPad or Nook.  I'm still using a land-line phone that I've had for nearly 25 years, a Southwestern Bell phone.  It's battered and dirty and squeaky and static-laden but still it manages to capture the phone calls I care anything about.  I'm still reading my books in the published flesh.  I can't imagine reading a book on a Nook.  I mean, how do you pencil in marginalia while you're reading on a Nook?  How do you underline certain passages whose content you wish to make a note of for future reference or usage?  

I'm not really into small things.  iPhones and such remind me too much of toys.  Toys are for babies.  I was amazed how my niece's 7-year-old son can use an iPhone.  He can also handle himself well on a computer.  He certainly knows the right keys to push to navigate the Internet or to do a task.

Me, I'm still in the dark ages, though I am crazy about my computers; still to me they're just typewriters in the modern age.  Typewriters and typesetters and page designers, etc.

I'm currently full of writing projects, a novel which is halfway finished; a biography of my brother (oh what a vain project it is); a book of confessions with me as both the confessor and confession taker; a potboiler I started several years back; and finally a stage drama on the last day of the life of jazz saxophonist Lester Young.  Do I ever hope to see any of these works in progress in print?  No.  In this age of electronic books, no way I can get my writings published the old-fashioned way.  No.  My only hope of seeing them in print is, of course, if I publish them myself on the Internet as electronic books.  There are still "book publishers" in this age of electronics but I'm not banking my writing future on any of them publishing me...except my brother was famous enough I might could get a hardcopy publisher for my biography of him.

Are We Readying for a War With Syria?
It certainly looks like we are ready to put boots on the ground in Syria.  Right now NATO boots.  I believe we already have CIA operatives there; hell, I think our CIA operatives started the Civil War going on there now in the first place.  Now our warhawks are spouting this bullshit about Assad using chemical warfare weapons (read: Weapons of Mass Destruction) and all our purveyors of war are talking tough, like Hillbilly Hillary, "We won't tolerate Assad using chemical warfare" and some Pentagon yes man talking tough about how we're ready to take drastic actions if Assad turns to chemical warfare.  NATO is already gathering their klans in Turkey.  And remember, we are NATO; we supply NATO with money and weapons and also the majority of forces.  In the meantime, our global chemical corporations like Monsanto and DuPont are poisoning our food supply and our air and our water, but, hey, that's fine and dandy with us.  And yesterday, Japan suffered a 7.3 earthquake in the area of the Fukushima nuclear power catastrophe, but Tokyo Power is saying, "Everything is perfectly problem, the earthquake didn't kill anyone and the resulting tsunami was of no consequences."  You know they're lying like dogs and we'll read the truth any day now.  If I were Japanese, I would get the hell out of Japan immediately.  It's doomed, folks!  Remember, I'm a soothsayer.

Getting Out of Debt
1) Cut back on the trillions of dollars it takes to support the U.S. military around the world.  Even if you cut the Defense budget in half, we would still have the most viciously cruel military in the world, though even with spending these trillions of dollars (a waste) on this hi-tech military, they still can't win any wars.  2) Certainly, too, raise taxes on rich people and overrich corporations (highest profits this year in the history of Capitalism). I mean, why should a money-wasting rich fool like Mitt "the Mormon" Romney only pay 13% taxes?  3) Put a stock transfer tax on all stock market transactions.  That seems pretty damn simple to me.  4) Cut back seriously on funding for Homeland Security, the CIA, the FBI, and the NIS.  5) Rescind NAFTA and GATT and all free-trade agreements based on corporate gains (the Global Marketplace enriches the Capitalist and not the creators of Capital, the laborers).  Before he died, Milton Friedman admitted his free-trade economics was voodoo economics.  David Stockton, Reagan's Milton Friedman economist joy boy admitted that his economics were, as Pappy Bush said, voodoo economics. 6) Why can't the government spend money and create civil service jobs?  To hell with this austerity crap.  We spend money liberally on wars...why is that form of government spending OK; yet, spending money on creating jobs not OK? 7) Do away with the Federal Reserve.

Oh well, wistful suggestions on my part.  Mark me off as a Georgist/Marxist nutjob.

Henry George said:
"What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power."

"Capital is a result of labor, and is used by labor to assist it in further production.  Labor is the active and initial force, and labor is therefore the employer of capital."

Karl Marx said: 
"History calls those men the greatest who have ennobled themselves by working for the common good; experience acclaims as happiest the man who has made the greatest number of people happy."

Did you know Marx was for Free Trade?  Not a free trade based on corporate needs but on laborers' needs.  Can you see the difference?

for The Daily Growler

From Counterpunch:

The moment when the New Deal as we knew it became history by bi-partisan consensus was a long time coming. A trans-generational core of inherited wealth and right-wing cranks has been trying to undo the New Deal since Social Security became fact in 1935. Ronald Reagan echoed anti-New Deal cries of ‘socialism,’ first as a paid spokesperson of the AMA (American Medical Association) against the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid, and later through his racist caricature of the ‘welfare queen’ living fat on public largesse. Despite the fact that Social Security is an insurance program paid for by its participants, much the same as private insurance but without the executive looting, the charge has always been of an undeserving public sucking on “a milk cow with 310 million tits.”
Democrats first joined the effort in earnest with Bill Clinton’s plan to partially privatize Social Security. The idea was to let our good friends on Wall Street manage a bit of the money for us, for a fee of course. That proposal faltered when Mr. Clinton was impeached. As was the fashion in European Central Bank circles in 2009, Mr. Obama took up the torch of fiscal austerity of his own initiative by creating his very own deficit commission. This should have come as no surprise to anyone paying attention—Mr. Obama publicly stated his intention to ‘fix’ Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid when he allied himself with the Wall Street friendly ‘Hamilton Project’ in 2006.
(In Between Democrats Clinton and Obama came Republican George W. Bush who also tried to partially privatize Social Security. Mr. Bush quickly retreated when he saw the depth of political opposition to the effort. As the saying goes, it takes a Democrat to gut the New Deal).
For the uninitiated, the Hamilton Project is the demon spawn of the Clintonite contingent of the Democratic Party led by former Treasury Secretary and disgraced Citicorp Board member Robert Rubin.

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