Archive for the 'Cineman' Category

Who Knows Where The Time Goes

I have a recurring fantasy that if one were to dial the telephone number of someone in the past, one would hear again a familiar voice, and time would instantly rewind from now to then. I still have Orson Welles’ telephone number in my book (213-851-8458). Do I dare ring him and talkstill here to him back in 1982, where he is busy trying to convince Jack Nicholson to play Pellarin for two not four million dollars? Should I tell him that he’ll not get the picture made? No. That would be too harsh. I’ll pretend that I have somehow got a copy of it, and that I think it marvellous though perhaps the handkerchief was, from so prudish a master, a bit much? Even incredible.

“Incredible?” The voice booms in my ear.”How could it be incredible when I stole it from Othello? But now I have a real treat for you. Standing here is your neighbour . . . Rudy Vallee! Overcome that ‘quiet reserve of shyness.’ Sing!

From out of the past, I hear, “My time is your time,” in that reedy highly imitable voice. The after-life’s only a dial tone away. “What makes you think that this is the after-life?” Orson chuckles. “This is a recording.” Stop story here.

—Gore Vidal, “Remembering Orson Welles”

Mississippi Burping

Abraham Lincoln was a son of a bitch,
his ass ran over with a seven-year itch
his fist beat his dick like a blacksmith’s hammer
while his asshole whistled the Star-Spangled Banner

—Shelby Foote, reciting a popular Mississippi ditty

On Memorial Day 2005, George II stood atop 260,000 dead men and told us the day was sent to commemorate American lives ended in Iraq, to “honor them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives; by defeating the terrorists.”

Over on the radio, talk-show host Rick Roberts opined that Memorial Day represented the antithesis of his bete noir: immigration.

Neither man deemed it worthy to note that Memorial Day was intended to honor the dead of the Civil War. George II, in his remarks, mentioned yeehawnot once that war, though the site of his speech, Arlington National Cemetery, consists of land owned prior to the Civil War by Robert E. Lee, land that, once Lee turned traitor, was confiscated by the US government, then purposefully sown with corpses so as to render it uninhabitable by Lee or his descendants. Roberts didn’t manage to mention the Civil War, either—perhaps because more than 500,000 immigrants served in the Civil War, constituting some 25% of the Union Army.

In contrast to George II and Mr. Rick, white folk living in our southern states understand the nature and meaning of Memorial Day. Which is why they don’t much like to celebrate it.

In his distressing tome Confederates in the Attic, journalist Tony Horwitz finds himself in Vicksburg, Mississippi on a Memorial Day in the mid-1990s. In that town, Horwitz found, there were two American Legion posts: one white, one black.

The white Legionnaires refused to involve themselves in Memorial Day. “‘You do Memorial Day,'” they informed the black post, “‘and we’ll do Veteran’s Day.'” Every year the black post would invite the white Legionnaires to attend a Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony; every year the white Legionnaires declined to attend. The black post had to pay for black marching bands to come in from out of state; there were always “reasons” why the local school band could not participate.

“They said, ‘School got out a few days ago and the uniforms have been washed and put away,'” Horwitz was told. “Well, we can wash them again. The cleaners aren’t rong negrowsleaving town. But that’s their excuse. There’s a Miss Mississippi pageant in July. I bet you the school band comes out for that.”

May 28, 1996 saw a massive community turnout in Vicksburg for the passing of the Olympics Torch on its way to the games in Atlanta. Bands from all the local schools and military installations participated. But for the Vicksburg Memorial Day ceremony two days later, these bands were unavailable. As the local Army Engineers for two years refused to fire the traditional twenty-one gun salute at the Memorial Day ceremony, claiming it could not afford the ammunition.

White folk in Vicksburg remain so wedded to the Lost Cause that many don’t even acknowledge the Fourth of July. Shelby Foote recalls that in the 1930s “there was a family from Ohio in town, God knows why, and on July Fourth they drove their car up on the levee and spread a blanket and had a picnic. They didn’t set the brakes on the car and it ran down into the Mississippi River and everyone said, ‘It served them right for celebrating the Fourth of July.'”

So renowned was Vicksburg’s resistance to celebrating July 4 that Dwight Eisenhower was dispatched to the community in 1947, charged with convincing the town’s white citizens to rejoin the Union. His visit had little effect. At the end of the 20th Century, there were still no July 4th fireworks in Vicksburg. To the white Vicksburger, July 4 remains a day of mourning: the anniversary of the 1863 day the city capitulated to the Union.

In Vicksburg, as elsewhere in the south, the preferred holiday is Confederate Memorial Day, a day in which the celebrant wallows in remembrance of the righteousness of the Cause. Reflecting the fact that it is utterly hopeless to expect in this country any sort of accurate collective memory of the true “reasons” why George II annihilated Iraq, Alabama Governor Bob Riley was in 2005 convinced by Lost Causists to excise from his annual Confederate Memorial Day proclamation a paragraph “that said slavery was a cause of the [Civil] War.”

The ongoing southernization of America further requires that rebs, though they deeply despise the day, actually be credited with the founding of Memorial Day. A tale is spun in which two Mississippi war widows decide in 1866 to place flowers upon the graves of fallen soldiers, American and secessionist alike. But the notion that this mythical act marked the flowering of Memorial Day is, in truth, a lie.

A word about Shelby Foote. Amid the fawning coverage of Foote following Ken Burns’ The Civil War, it was little noted that this southern historian admired as “a fine man” the slave trader and terrorist Nathan Bedford Forrest, described the Ku Klux Klan as “very akin” to the French Resistance, considered emancipation “a sin,” and damned modern blacks for behaving “somewhere between ape and man.”

Yeehaw. March on a road of bones. Same as it ever was.

Nose For News

All day I have been seeing these headlines about some racehorse and “nasal strips.”

Do I even want to snortknow what this is about?

No. I do not.

All I know is that yesterday I bought a pink plastic watering can in the shape of a pig; when you water, the water flows out the pig’s twin noseholes.

This, clearly, is the zenith of both the industrial age, and the information age.

As they say in scripture: “It is accomplished.”

Both ages: they are over.

Now, we can move on to something else.

As we can move on to something else from “riding” a horse in a “race.”

When you are with an animal, when an animal is with you, you are only, who you are, when it’s an island.

Just you two.

And you are an animal. All of you.

Shake The Tree

Shake The Tree

it’s your day
woman’s day

Yada Yada Yada, Blah Blah Blah

Madness

Madness

Gold That Never Was

It Is Accomplished

Let Us Pray

Jesus On The Storm

Cain Crucified

Sixteen Coaches Long

Palm Sunday

All It Is

i see you

 

Riders On The Storm

A while there some time back, a penguin attempted to assassinate my daughter.

My daughter the well-known award-winning deviant.

The penguin assumed the form of a coffee mug, and then rudely hurled my daughter to the floor. The penguin committed great violence teir mind is clear but their soul is madto her hand. It could have been terminal. But fortunately a kindly doctor immediately washed over my daughter great waves of opiates. So she felt no penguin pain.

Heretofore, my daughter had believed penguins to be benign—yea, verily, even Goodly, even Godly—beings.

This: my fault. For I had failed to advise my daughter, as a Good and Proper father should, that penguins are in fact a veritable Fount of Evil.

There is a Reason why penguins live only in the Antarctic.

This is because, long ago, the other animals, minerals, and vegetables of the planet, exiled the penguins there. Because of the penguins’ Great Evil. That—the Great Evil—is also why the animals, minerals, and vegetables, they ripped the wings off the penguins. And replaced them with flaccid flippers. So the penguins would not be able to lift off the continent of Antarctica, and thereby invade, befoul, plague, the rest of the planet.

That penguins are Foul Beyond Measure is not generally appreciated . . . until they suddenly run utterly wild, and commit bedeviled acts like attempting to transport my daughter to a hospital, morgue, or asylum.

Few humans have been able to penetrate the seemingly pathetic, waddling, flightless, nimrodness of the penguin, to regard the great seething evil that truly roils inside them.

In fact, the “human” who has best understood the penguin, is not a human at all. “He” is instead an alien from space, here on this planet as an anthropologist. Documenting, for those Out There, the numberless weirdities of this planet.

In one of his very first films, Fata Morgana, “he,” this alien, traveling on this planet under the rubric Werner Herzog, devoted the first five minutes or so of his feature to endless looping shots of an airplane struggling to rise from an airstrip to ascend above the Sahara desert. He kept looping this footage, until even a human could understand that air travel, at this time, on this planet, is stone-mad.

Some 36 years later, in Encounters At The End Of The World, Herzog traveled to the very bottom of the world, in order to prove absolutely that penguins are, likewise, stone-mad.

In the clip below, Herzog nakedly exposes a penguin who has so flipped his lid he is determined to extinguish his being. Like Sylvia Plath. Or Ernest Hemingway.

This is sad.

But it also sad when penguins hurl my daughter to the floor. Or drown Jim Morrison in the bathtub.

One of the doomed Morrison’s last songs, it was “Riders On The Storm.”

In truth, the song was originally envisioned as “Penguins On The Storm.” But after the penguins drowned Morrison in that bathtub in Paris, they intimidated the remaining band members into changing the song’s title, and many of the lyrics.

Hints of the original tune, they do survive. In, for instance, these lines:

there’s a killer on the road
his brain is squirmin’ like a toad

For anyone who has ever had a daughter whom a penguin suddenly and unaccountably hurled to the floor, these lines will ring true of the Great Evil that dwells within the flabby flightless breasts of these Antarctic—yea, verily—Satanic creatures.

The penguins must be stopped. No longer may they be permitted to run utterly amok, drowning lizard kings in the bath, sprawling my daughter to the floor.

That is why tonight I ordered from Amazon the oil paints.

For I intend, in oil, to freeze the free-range insanity of the utter nutter penguin fleeing into the freeze, depicted there in the Herzog film.

This painting, once completed, it will spread among the people like scabies, like swine flu, like chunder chunked from the grunting heaving pig-lips of Runt Limprod.

And once they have viewed this painting, all the People, they will Know, that the penguins, they are a Menace.

And therefore, the people, once Apprised, never shall they allow the penguins to hurl my daughter to the floor again.

But. The penguins. Somehow they Know. For I just went out on the back porch—braving the storm—to have a smoke.

Here, it is raining. Here, it is hailing. Here, it is snowing. Here, out back, is a sheet of ice.

And here, now, waddling, across that sheet, and in numbers limitless, come, determined, the penguins.

the horror
the horror

The Noahs Have Always Been Assholes

“Noah was an asshole.”

“Why Noah?” Arkady asked. This holewas a new indictment.

“He didn’t argue.”

“Noah should have argued?”

Yakov explained, “Abraham argues with God not to kill everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah. Moses pleads with God not to kill worshippers of the golden calf. But God tells Noah to build a boat because He’s going to flood the entire world, and what does Noah say? Not a word.”

“Not a word,” said Bobby, “and saves the minimum. What a bastard.”

Martin Cruz Smith, Wolves Eat Dogs

Bible Study

from the book of Genesis

8:1 And the ark bobbed on the face of the waters, for a fuck of a long time. And Noah, he was sore A-Thirst. For though the N-man had dutifully brought aboard the boat, two by two, every ant and chigger and screwworm that did inhabit the earth, he had forgotten, in his haste, to secure any booze.

2: And so Noah, seriously Jonesing, and drank it allfacing the Wrath of the DTs, sent forth a raven, saying unto him, “Bring me back a bottle. Try and get gin. It hits.”

3: And the raven, he flew high, and he flew low, and finally he did Find a bottle, floating upon the waters. He drew forth the cork, and then he tasted of the liquor, to make sure it was Fit for the irascible jonesing Noah. But lo, yea verily, when the taste was completed, not a drop in the bottle remained.

4: And the raven flew, unsteadily, back to the ark, and there slurred and hiccupped to Noah, “Sorry, boss; no booze be about.”

5: And Noah, as one drunk knows another, knew that the raven had partaken of the Stinking Waters, and his Wrath, it knew no bounds, was without measure; yea, verily, not even in cubits.

6: And, in his Anger, the N-Man sent forth his Hand, and with it he grabbed a squid, and, mightily Squeezing it, spewed squid ink all over the raven. And that is why the raven, formerly white, is Black unto this day.

7: And Noah stalked wrathfully through the bilge-waters swamping the ark, until he came unto the Dove. And then, unto the dove, he screamed, till his lips bled: “Bring me some fuckin’ booze, goddamit!”

8: And the dove, she was sore Afraid. For Noah was holding a gun to the head of the dove’s mate. And Noah, God’s anointed, was Shrieking: “I am an American! And if I do not soon splash booze down my gullet, the dove gets it!”

9: And the dove, she flew high, and she flew low, until she Came upon, on the face of the waters, a little airline-size bottle of vodka. Trembling, she took the bottle into her beak, and flew back with it to the ark.

10: There, Noah, still holding the barrel of his .44 to the different-one dove’s Head, grabbed with his other hand the airline bottle, unscrewed the top, and then Poured the contents down his throat.

11: “Glory be!”, Noah then said unto the Lord. “Liquor!”

12: Just then, the ark bumped into land. And so the endless Voyage, yea verily, it was over.

13: And then the Lord said unto Noah, “All your trials, No-Man, be over. And now I shall place into the sky, a boozebow, as a sign that never again shall I deprive a man of liquor.”

14: And Noah fell to his knees and slaughterwept, offering hosannas to the Lord, and glory unto Him, in the highest.

15: And so, to this day, whenever a man has ballooned himself with liquor, yea verily, unto a BA of .23 of so, he beholds, passing across what remains of his Vision, one or more boozebows, these a sign that the Lord has promised that never again shall he drown the world’s booze supply beneath the Waters.

16: And that the trembling dove, she brought back to Noah the first airline bottle of Vodka, this is why she was Permitted to remain white, and stands to this day as a Symbol of Peace, and Goodness, and Loveliness; and why every year, commencing on September 1, Americans go out with their Firearms, and blast the doves out of the Sky. And then pluck them, and Eat them.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

9:1 And it came to pass that as soon as the ark struck Land, Noah, he did kick open the door, and then splash out into the still receding surf, his hands Flapping crazily at his sides, a-search for the nearest 7-11.

2: And Noah did enter a 7-11, and there came upon a case of Liquor, and this he took back with him. Where, in the shadow of the ark, he hastily pitched a tent. And then crawled inside it. And there, within its confines, he proceeded to Down the bottles of liquor, two by two.

3: And Noah became totally shit-faced. And he did pass out into drunken slumber, his robe in such disarray that his pee-pee hung out.

4: And Ham, Noah’s son, he was bitterly splashing through the receding waters, realizing, belatedly, that the Lord had drowned all the women in the world, and that therefore his own pee-pee was Useless as tits on a boar hog, and would forever be employed at naught but passing water.

5: And Ham came upon his Father, besotted, oopsasleep in his tent, and Ham muttered, “Look at the old sot. He passed out with his frickin’ pee-pee exposed.”

6: And Ham went unto his brothers, and said, “Come look at this. The drunken old goat is in his booze-wallow snoring away with his pee-pee hanging out.”

7: But Ham’s brothers, they were Afraid of the pee-pee, and so they walked backward, like in a film spooled wrong, into the Tent, and there they Heaved a blanket over Noah’s drunken old shriveled pee-pee.

8: And one or more of the brothers, they did Rat Out brother Ham to Noah, saying, “Father, Ham saw your pee-pee. And he told us to look at it too.”

9: And Noah, he was Drunkenly filled with Wrath. And so, for the crime of Unauthorized Pee-Pee Viewing, Noah did pronounce a Curse.

10: But Noah, he was so fucking drunk, that he pronounced the Curse on Ham’s son, Canaan, rather than on Ham himself. Maybe because, when you’re really drunk, it’s harder to enunciate “Ham,” than simply slur “Canaan.”

11: And it came to pass that Nimrods invented first Christianity, and then Islam. And that psychotic yeehaw mouthbreathers among them hallucinated that this “curse of Noah” had enveloped Ham in black skin, and Decreed that he and his—black people—serve as slaves, until the End of days.

12: And the psychotic yeehaw mouthbreathers saw that it was Good. ‘Cause from it they made a lot of money.

13: And, yea verily, in pursuit of money, it later came to pass that it was determined that a film of Noah would Be “boffo box office.”

14: And so the Lords of film finance, they did Say, “For Noah, we will type-castingget Russell Crowe: he is a rampaging Australian who is frequently as drunk as Noah. Also, half the women on the planet have crawled into Crowe’s tent and there viewed his pee-pee. It will be type-casting.”

15: And when the film was completed, the psychotic yeehaw mouthbreather Christians and Muslims, they wandered the Land, weeping and shrieking and rending their garments and even, yea verily, exploding their heads. Because not once in the film is the word “God” uttered. And to these Nimrods, this was anathema.

16: Because these Nimrods, psychotic and yeehaw and mouthbreather as they are, did not Understand that the film’s director, Darren Aronofksy, is Jewish, and thereby forbidden from inscribing the full name of God, much less in a film script, lest he risk fire, brimstone, plague, frogs, locusts, blood-rivers . . . or even waking up in a tent, from out of a booze coma, to find people staring at his pee-pee.

Calling All Angels

Never Again

Magician To Me

Maybe She’ll Meet Up With A Character

I been thinkin’ what to do with my future. I could be a mud doctor. Checkin’ out the earth underneath.

—Days of Heaven


When I Worked

August 2014
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