Sunday, September 29, 2013

Existing in New York City: the Scary Christians, Jews, and Muslims

Foto by tgw, New York City, August 2013
Say Goodbye to: Andy Pafko.  Andy, though a Cub, was a hero of mine when I was a kid.  I owned Andy's 1952 #1 Topps baseball card.  Andy after being a Cub where he was an All-Star outfielder and then infielder became a Brooklyn Dodger, ending his career with the Milwaukee Braves.  He made it to 92 years old; baseball players have a lot of long-lifers amongst their midst.  Andy Pafko, 92, American baseball player (Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves).
Say Goodbye to: Butch Warren, jazz bassist extraordinaire back in the Golden Age of Jazz, on Blue Note, Prestige, et al.  Butch was lost for many years down in D.C. suffering from obscurity. Sorry to see him go. Butch Warren, 74, American jazz bassist, cancer.
Remember: All Politicians Are Backwards Thinkers (Flip Over Everything They Say)
I've just been reading the comments on a Mother Jones article about the 48 ways the government shutdown is affecting We the People.  Holy Christ! Comments from both Wingding Righters and Dumbocrat Middle-of-the-Roaders are totally idiotic.  Proves my point that most of We the People of the USA are bumbling idiots.  Totally uninformed.  Sticking behind these sociopathic/psychopathic power-bloated politicians no matter how out-of-focus their views are.  No one understands Obamacare and how could they, the bill is 2,700 pages of legalese gobblygook.  Single-payer healthcare is the only sensible healthcare plan I've seen, but, of course, most idiot Americans see that as Socialism and they align Socialism with their belief in devils and demons in which they also categorize Communism; yet, how ironic that Red China is now the greatest Capitalist country on earth...but that doesn't bother the idiots who keep buying Chinese goods (just about everything we buy nowadays is made in China) and who keep giving their money, what little they have, to Bank of America or Citibank or Chase Bank or Wells Fargo, or any big huge bank and who keep buying their insurance from these crooked bastards as well.  These are the same idiots who will reelect most of our stupid long-term millionaire politicians over and over again.  The same people who think Bill and Hillary Clinton are Populists.
Idiot First Class
I just accidentally saw Bill O'Reilly, the American Idiot who 50% of Americans (who are also idiots) take very seriously, being interviewed on teevee (by a very serious woman interviewer) about his latest piece-of-crap writing, and, yes, he wrote it with a guy described as a "history writer," Killing Jesus, the third "Killing" book in Bill's recasting of history in his oddball deductive way of thinking.  This "Killing" book, Bill swears, was sent to him directly by the third arm of the Christian trinity, the Holy Ghost.  Yessir, folks, Bill, white sleeping soundly one night, perhaps after he'd snorted a couple a spoonsful of cocaine (Bill a few years back admitted a cocaine habit, the habit that got him caught in a sexual scandal by a woman he had to pay off to keep her from sending him to prison), was awakened by a divine flash of lightning and thus spake the Holy Spirit telling Righteous Bill to write this book.  And this sorry bastard, this misdirected idiot, sold this book in a publisher auction for ten million dollars.  And, yes, folks, there are total idiots in this country who will buy this piece of crap and make this divinely inspired nutjob richer than he already is...amazing how easily Americans are fooled, trick bagged, led to believe the most incredulous of tales.
How Religious Nutjobs Can End the Human Race
I think a lot of well-known pundits miss the boat completely by not taking seriously the fabulous accusations of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  Having grown up in the Protestant religion in an extremely fanatical end of it, I recall how what my parents were taught in church in terms of all aspects of life had a definite impact on how they went about their everyday lives.  What they were indoctrinated with on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, Wednesday Prayer Meeting, and Friday Bible Classes affected everything they did, and especially their politics. 

I turned against Christian (Protestant) teachings early in life.  I was never able to reason even in my 5-year-old brain the various concepts my parents and the churches we attended tried to get me to accept as actualities.  At a very early age my dad came in every night before I went to sleep and had me read the Christian Bible with him, an American revision of the King James translation of that book.  The first concept that was hard for me to swallow was that every word in this book was the word of a man called God.  "In the beginning was the word and the word was God...."

As I read this strange book with my dad, many other concepts jarred my naive mind into juvenile reasoning.  Like why did God make animals before he made Adam in the Garden of Eden?  Like how did God make woman from one of Adam's ribs?  Like why were snakes considered the embodiment of Satan?  Like Noah and the flood.  Like why did so many brothers in families turn on each other in some instances murdering each other or trying to murder each other?  Like why was Ham turned into a Negro just becuase he saw his father drunk and naked?  Like Moses parting the Red Sea.  Like Abraham willing to butcher his son, Isaac, under the command of this man called God.  And that's just what boggled my young mind in the early parts of what the Christians call the Old Testament and what the Jews call the Torah.  Forget it when dad and I got to the New Testament and started in on my believing in Jesus Christ as my savior.  That made totally no sense to me.  "Who was this Jesus Christ?" I asked my dad.  My dad's reply was that Jesus Christ was the only begotten son of this guy called God.  When I asked further why did this guy God wait so long to have a why didn't he just make himself a son or several sons and daughters back in the Garden of Eden?  My dad told me that God had his reasons for everything he did and that was that.

In spite of my parents doing their damnedest to make me a "believer," I have maintained my rebellion against believing in Jesus Christ as my personal savior right up until this very day.  None of the Christian/Protestant beliefs made sense to me then and they damn sure don't make sense to me now.  And when I was in college and becoming a Sociologist I was reading Paine's Age of Reason, Malinowski's Magic and Science, Fraser's Golden Bough, Jung's theory of archetypes, the Gilgamesh, books stuffed with the ancient theories of creation and magic and shamanism and manna, things that made more sense to me than the God and Jesus tale.  When asked back then if I believed in God, I replied that I didn't think so; when asked now if I believe in God I give a definite no.  Yet, as a nonbeliever, I realize I'm in a distant minority.  I'm in a ridiculed minority.  "You don't believe in God!"  "You don't believe in Allah!"  "You don't believe in Vishnu!"  "You don't believe in a soul!"  "You believe in evolution...that humans are simply primates...chimps on steroids!"

As a true devil's advocate, I watch Christian television.  And though to me, Christian television is laughable, beneath my cynical laughter lies a great concern.  A concern that emulates from the point that while I'm laughing at these ignorant fools, millions of human primates are raising their arms and shaking their hands and moaning in babbling ecstasy in belief of all that these so-called television Christian prophets and thousands of other tax-free Gospel-peddlers are spouting out.

Like I love watching and laughing at the Reverend Doctor (and all of these religious dudes call themselves doctor) Jack Van Impe as he shoots out bible verses a mile-a-minute as he goes about predicting a nuclear war that's coming, an Armageddon, as, according to Dr. Jack, China and Russia amass troops against poor little Israel.  However, Dr. Jack is quick to inform us that though the world will be one hell of a mess, God will still not destroy it.

For a while there, Dr. Jack was saying President Obama was the Anti-Christ, quoting as proof old war-criminal Henry Kissinger who once said Obama was going to be the leader of the New World Order, Dr. Jack's Anti-Christ governing body (and I may have to agree with Dr. Jack here) made up of the Bildersburgs and the Club of Rome and other Freemason-like secret cult think tanks and trend setters.  (Christians are deathly afraid of the Freemasons, of whom a lot of our White forefathers were members.  Our paper money is filled with Freemason symbols.)  Dr. Jack has recently decided that maybe Obama is not the anti-Christ, though he certainly had Dr. Jack fooled for a while there.

Another scary Christian fool-enlightener is the converted Jew, Sid Roth, who runs his little million-dollar-tax-free band of angelic beings out of Charlotte, North Carolina, the home of many fundamentalist cults.  Sid is scary because he toadies to the weirdest of the Christian fanatics, like the woman who claims she remembers when she was a fetus; or the man who says that definitely there will be an Armageddon-like war...and soon...and that it's necessary in order for King Jesus to bring his army of angels down to take over the New World Order out of Jerusalem; or several wild-eyed fools who swear on a stack of Sid Roth's latest book and DVD offerings they've actually been to Heaven and seen J.C., Big Daddy, and St. Peter, one such visitor a 10-year-old kid.

Of late, the Christians are bombarding their fool-believers with bombastic pronouncements against Obamacare, calling it "Pro-Abortion Obamacare."  Again, here, even though their anti-Obamacare stance doesn't really address it, I have to agree with the Christians against Obamacare, an insurance company/HMO written 2,700-page bill that brings billions of dollars into the overflowing coffers of the health insurance companies and the HMOs all at the expense of taxpayers.  The IRS calls Obamacare a TAX.

Remember, Obamacare was designed under the chairmanship of Max Baucus, the Montana pompous-ass senator who recently retired worth several millions of dollars thanks to contributions from the healthcare insurance industry, HMOs, and big Pharma.  Remember, too, Max is the dude who refused to put single-payer health insurance on his committee's table.  Max also later said Obamacare (or Baucuscare) was headed for a "train wreck" if the PR funds for it were slashed, which they were.

It still amazes me how after all these centuries of the enlightenment of man, how billions of mankind are still lolling about and praising nonexistent gods in the darkness of the nonexistent supernatural state.

for The Daily "Going to Hell" Growler

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Existing in New York City: Do I Have to Read Cormac McCarthy?

Foto by tgw, "History of a Cloud," New York City, August 2013
Say Goodbye to: Carolyn Cassady, the original Beat girl and wife of Neal Cassady and lover of Jack Kerouac, a woman who had a fabulous life long outliving all the Beats: Carolyn Cassady, 90, American-born British Beat Generation writer, wife of Neal Cassady.
Say Goodbye to: Fred Katz, said to be the first jazz celloist (though Oscar Pettiford may really have that honor).  I first "met" Fred in the movie Jazz on a Summer's Day when he was working with the Chico Hamilton (Chico's miraculously still alive) Quintet.  Fred Katz, 94, American jazz cellist and composer.
Do I Have to Read Cormac McCarthy?
He was born in Providence, Rhode Island.  My ancestral family is from Rhode Island.  He grew up in Tennessee.  My mother's side of my family came from Tennessee.  He lived in El Paso, Texas.  I grew up in West Texas and at one time hung out in El Paso, falling in love with an El Paso girl, digging the writing of John Rechy, and having a wife who had a membership in the Juarez Race Track Jockey Club,  He then moved to Tesuque, New Mexico, just north of Santa Fe, and I lived for many years in Santa Fe long before he did.  He shuns publicity and interviews and was poor as Job's turkey at times during his life.  I, too, shun publicity and interviews (yes, I've been interviewed by a magazine once) and I've been as poor as Job's turkey and not too many years ago, living for several weeks on nothing but Snickers bars and small regular coffees.  He's been married three times and so have I.  He has kids...and there he's got me.  The woman I love tells me those are inane reasons to not read this man, though she admits she's afraid to read him.

Cormac McCarthy is right about writing.  It is a deeply private profession. 

And also, I read in a Texas Monthly article on him that he likes Olympia typewriters and my first typewriter that I bought new was a snazzy red Olympia typewriter.  I'm sure he uses a computer now, though maybe not.  My brother found it impossible to give up writing on a typewriter, Underwoods were his favorites, even after someone gave him a word processor (remember those?). 

Of course, my girlfriend is right.  I'm giving stupid comparisons as reasons not to read the guy.  And speaking of comparisons, I see through critics, he's compared to William Faulkner.  I'm so damn old-fashioned, I don't want to read anyone who is rewriting Faulkner.  I've never read Reynolds Price for that reason.  When I was a young naive writing novice, I thought Faulkner hung the moon.  After reading Mosquitos when I lived in New Orleans, I used to go over to the Bourbon House and sit at a table with a plaque on it that said Faulkner used to sit there and write and I wrote in school-kid notebooks my Mosquitos.  And once sitting there I wrote a story that thrilled me so I sent it to the Southern Review and I got a long rejection notice back from Louis P. Simpson (he had just revived the Review after it had shut down due to WWII) saying my story had been considered but at the last minute it hadn't quite made the grade.  In the next issue of the magazine where my story should have been they introduced a Canadian writer named Joyce Carol Oates.  Because of that, I never have read her and when I've tried to read her, I was so critical of her I never got passed the first paragraphs of the works of hers I was trying to read.  But then I have no reason to be jealous of Cormac McCarthy like I am of Joyce Carol Oates.

I've currently embarked on reading early American writers of the 19th Century.  Writers like Charles Brockden Brown, George Lipperd, Washington Irving, Francis Parkman, John Lloyd Stephens, James Fennimore Cooper, et al.  I'm appreciating these writers' sophisticated use of the English language and how marvelously they use that language to describe this country's rise out of Nature to knock at the door of Civilization, yes, a Civilization based on European attitudes yet still rebellious enough to be especially American in the sense of how commercialized vulgarity arises out of the free-flowing raw beauty of the country the way it was when it was "savage" and controlled by what these early White Americans considered "savages," though all these writers truly respect the Native Americans in terms of their respect for the land and sea and a strictly natural way of life.  These early American writers soon prove Nature is most civilized while the evolving civilization is most savage.  The White man is the savage in these fictional and nonfictional views of early America.  Their heroes are those who venture (in adventure) into the beautiful but vicious American wilderness and survive in it.  I suppose this, too, is what Cormac McCarthy is writing about.  I know it's really what I write about.

One never knows how long one can hold out against coming up-to-date.  Most "modern" writers I've read bore me.  I can see the academic influence on their work.  Well-crafted but not innovational like that of Hawthorne, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway, Faulkner, James Joyce, Thomas see, I'm rolling out a list of the writers who have influenced me and I would bet you, given his age (he's older than I am), these are the same writers who influenced Cormac McCarthy.

But all in all, my girlfriend's right, I'm giving inane reasons for not reading Cormac McCarthy (what's his reason for not reading me?).
Obama and the Fools Who Surround Him
To me, the antics of President Obama and John "Ketchup Slurpin" Kerry and that idiot John "Failed Mission" Mc Cain over their reasons to want to bomb Syria back to the Stone Age are embarrassing as hell.  President Obama (whose hair is getting gray he's lied so much) especially is so embarrassing when he apes George W. Bush in spouting out his Neo-Con arguments for why we should stick our nose in the civil-war affairs of Syria.  And doubly embarrassing was John "Cornball" Kerry aping Colon "Lyin' Dog" Powell with his unproven proofs of Assad, our new Middle East demon, using chemical weapons.  Jesus, what a frightening bunch of Ivy League liars these deceivers are.   Hypocrites!!!  And how pathetic was Ol' Sag-eyed Charlie Rose's interview with Assad?  I've never liked Charlie Rose...never...especially since when my brother was on his show many years ago and Charlie said my brother was one of his best friends and when I asked my brother about it he said he'd never met Charlie Rose before that interview in his life.  Hypocrites!!!

for The Daily Growler

The Photographic Art of Irving Browning

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Existing in New York City: The Ship of Fools Sails On

Foto by tgw, New York City, August 2013
A Little New Sociology (Speaking About the Precariat)

"Deregulation and individualization divide and pulverize, instead of uniting
and integrating. This last effect has been aided and abetted by
a unilateral breaking by the employers of the previously
reciprocal dependence of capital and labour. The newly acquired
(won or imposed politically and supported technically) freedom
to move capital results in the “secession of elites” who no longer
depend on locally hired labour – and hence makes the extant
tools of employee self-defence, such as uniting in trade unions,
demanding collective bargaining agreements or resorting to
strike, ineffective or downright suicidal." [Zygmund Bauman]
Read About the Syrian Situation From Assad's Point of View
The Ship of Fools Sails On
I look at myself in the big full-body-revealing mirror that hangs in my subway tile-lined bathroom and ask myself, "Am I a fool?"  I don't really know anybody who thinks I'm a fool.  I know for sure most of my friends are anything but fools.  Oh, yeah, a past wife may have in anger over my many profligations thought of me as a fool, or perhaps thought of herself as a fool for marrying me.  If I've ever been called a fool, I don't recall it, and certainly the wife who may have thought of me as a fool never called me one to my face.  I certainly don't fit any of the words synonymous with fool used as a noun: idiot, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, moron, clod.

I mean, I just heard my president talking like a fool (replace with any one of the above synonymous nouns).  I just heard our Secretary of State talking like a fool (again, replace with any one of the above synonymous nouns).  President Obama asking Congress (a huge body of fools) to give him permission to bomb the bejesus out of Syria and getting that permission, which seems pretty god-damn fool worthy to me (a fool asking fools if he can prove how foolish he really is).  Nancy Pelosi (obviously a fool) said she gave a yes to Obama's imbecilic request even though her constituents in California were 100% against getting involved in this Syrian Civil War, a war that our CIA in cahoots with al-Queda (you can substitute "Saudi-Arabia" for al-Queda if you wish) started in the first place.  And John "Ketchup Slurpin'" Kerry is mentioning "Weapons of Mass Destruction" as our reason for bombing the bejesus out of Syria.  Is history repeating itself?  Does President Obama sound like G.W. Bush?  Does John "Catsup Slurpin'" Kerry sound like lying dog Colin Powell?  And President Obama and John Kerry both bragging about how John "Failed Mission" McCain (a pathetic fool) was backing our bombing the bejesus out of Syria is to me fools backslapping a fool.  I mean is this "we gotta bomb the bejesus out of Syria" all a pack of lies or am I the fool?

I ask, "What right do we have getting involved in this Civil War?"  Because we are accusing Assad of using chemical warfare against the opposition forces who are attacking him and hellbent on killing his ass and as many Syrian civilians as they can on their way to killing him?  Or even vice versa, so Assad is a devil of a human being and in defending his authority he's killing his own people, so what?  Is our bombing Syria back to the Stone Age not going to kill Syrians, men, women, and children?  I mean due to our illegally invading Afghanistan (they had nothing to do with 9/11) and Iraq (they had nothing to do with 9/11) didn't we kill hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children?  Aren't we still everyday killing men, women, and children in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, and in Yemen?  Besides, who is the biggest manufacturer of chemical warfare weapons in the world [according to Juan Cole, Great Britain, Holland, Switzerland, and Germany sold Syria its ability to make chemical weapons]?  Isn't it We the People of the USA?  Who are the biggest manufacturers and users of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the whole wide world?  Isn't it We the People of the USA?  Am I a fool or how is Syria a threat to We the People of the USA?

I've always said all wars we've gotten involved in were started with bald-face lies.  The Germans torpedo-ing the Luisitania, a passenger ship that was carrying weapons of mass destruction about which our leaders lied, being our excuse for getting involved in World War I.  Our being warned by a forward observer that Japanese planes were attacking Hawaii and our leaders making out like they didn't get the message in time and sure enough that forward observer was right and the Japanese forces wiped out our naval fleet in Pearl Harbor and that got us involved in World War II.  And then came the Korean War, a "police action" numbskull President Harry "A Bomb the Japs" Truman called it, based on a fool's theory that the Communists were going to take over the world starting in Korea and then the "Domino Theory" was used as an excuse for us to divide that country in half.  And then the lying about the Gulf of Tonkin being our excuse for getting involved in dividing Vietnam, a war in which though we bombed the bejesus out of the Vietnamese, killed millions of them, used chemical warfare against them (napalm and phospherous), we still got our asses whipped and had to get the hell out of there with our tails tucked between our legs. And remember the lie that old Pappy (the New World Order fool) Bush spread about Saddam Hussien's army throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators being one of his reasons for justifying the Gulf War?  Lies leading us into wars.  Wars that killed millions upon millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands and maimed hundreds of thousands more of our young stupid men and women who were forced into military service or who foolishly volunteered for military service where they were taught to kill or be killed.

Am I a fool for being tired of war?  I was born in war and I've lived most of my long life through a series of wars.  As a young naive 18-year-old I was forced to join the U.S. Army and was scared to death I was going to have to go to Vietnam and kill gooks (we always have a derogatory name for our demons) and now I'm afraid to go down to Washington, District of Corruption, and look at the names on that Vietnam War Memorial because I'm afraid I'll see some of my buddies when I was in the U.S. Army on that wall, foolishly dead at so young and vibrantly potential an age.  I'm beginning to foolishly ramble perhaps now, but I think I've made my point.

We the People of the United States are passengers on a Ship of Fools, a Ship commanded by a pack of asshole fools bent on foolishly navigating this Ship into a whirlpool of coming destruction.  Just think what could have been done with all the trillions of dollars our fool leaders have foolishly wasted on all these unwinable wars in which they seem intent on keeping us foolishly perpetually involved.  After we've bombed the bejesus out of Syria and killed hundreds of thousands of Syrian men, women, and children who've never done a damn thing against us, then where will the next war be?  That question gives me dread.  Remember, fools go where angels fear to tread.

for The Daily (Foolkilling) Growler

The Foolkiller

I was walkin' down a backstreet just the other night/
I had a funny feeling that things weren't right/
I heard some heavy footsteps right behind/
And I know it wasn't just my mind

A Foolkiller's comin'/
He's gettin' closer every day/
A Foolkiller's comin'/
I've got to try and make my get-away.

I've been livin' in this concrete for eight years/
Scrapin' and scrappin' for my dollar bills/
Eight million people livin' on the brink/
Got no time to stop and think

A Foolkiller's comin'...

If you've never been a fool then you don't have to worry/
No need to go and get in a hurry/
But just to be on the safe side/
Get yourself a place to hide

'Cause a Foolkiller's comin'
He's gettin' closer every day/
A Foolkiller's comin'/
I got to try to make my get-away.

Mose Allison