—I have more Hair later, than when I was younger.
—I am deeply complicit, in my own Erasure.
because the light is beautiful
—I have more Hair later, than when I was younger.
—I am deeply complicit, in my own Erasure.
F. Scott Fitzgerald saw it. To the bottom of every bottle. Which, early—44—killed him.
No matter. He got it right. Wrote the Great American Novel. The Great Gatsby. Which ends with this:
Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away. Until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes—a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
And as I sat there, brooding on the old unknown world, I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . . And one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
The green light, it will never be attained, as Fitzgerald knew, on this continent, by white people. Because they do not belong here. It was a mistake, for them to ever to have come. To this place. Because it is not their place.
The green light, they can bask in it—the white people—when, “boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” they return to from where they came. Where they should, forever, have remained.
the little bird; all that there is
We now know the genesis of addled actor Clint Eastwood’s ”talk to the chair” routine at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
This is the Diamond number that contains the notorious foursome:
i am, i said
to no one there
and no one heard at all
not even the chair
This last line is one of the great clunkers in all of songwriting. People active and practiced in the craft, to this day they cannot understand why persons and/or sound machines emitting such a travesty are not pelted with tomatoes, squash, eggplant, and other rotting substances.
I mean, yeah, the guy needed a rhyme for “there.” And, in this tune, Diamond is deeply afunk in Bummertude. Because he ain’t being listened to. About the crushing burden of having to live in Los Angeles, rather than New York. In order to earn eleventy-billion dollars in the music business.
So sure, okay, we get it, nobody’s listening to him bleat.
And, among the nobodies, can be counted a chair.
But, like, had the chair ever heard him? When he was moaning about having to earn more money than Midas, out in LA, rather than in New York? Was it normal for the chair to give ear, when he was on about such things? Was this like . . . a magic chair?
Or, since we are talking 1971 here, a drug chair? A chair that, when Mr. Diamond delved into the many fine psychoactive substances of the time, heard and talked and danced and sang and otherwise engaged in all manner of merry wonderful weirdness?
We receive no information about any of this. All we know is that the chair doesn’t hear him.
And this is not surprising. Because a chair—unless it is a drug chair, and/or a quantum physics chair—is not equipped with aural apparati. Hearing is not what a chair is supposed to be about. The thing is there but to plant your butt on.
No. Sorry to say, what we must here reluctantly conclude, is that Diamond was a lazy-ass mofo. Who just settled on some “chair,” not hearing him, because he was too slothful and/or thickheaded to come up with any other rhyme for “there.”
And it is said that the man spent four months writing that song.
And in all that time the best he could up with was “not even the chair”? The mind: it reels.
Today, while driving, it took me about four minutes to come up with about fourteen alternatives.
For instance, if Diamond had not been suffering from a city-disability, and were singing instead from or about some country place Normal, then various and sundry animals could have been mustered not to hear him. We could have had “not even the bear” or “not even the hare” or “not even the mare.” Who were not hearing the guy.
Or he could have complained “not even Aunt Clare,” which would also have allowed him to go wild with banjos in the break. Or “in all County Klare,” which would have permitted him to pour a thundering wall of bagpipes into the song.
Since Diamond at the time was riding a wave of songs in which he praised unrestrained bibulation—”Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Red, Red Wine,” etc.—he could have referenced his ongoing rednoseness by admitting “and no one heard at all/when I tripped on the stair.”
He could have been all stoic, and defiantly proclaimed: “and I did not care.” He could have gone dada, and pronounced: “so I ate a pear.” Or strayed into Isaac Hayes territory, with “so I porked the au pair.” He could have envisioned the onrushing cult of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and come out as a crossdresser, boasting “so I shaved with Nair.”
And so on.
Anywho. Clint—fast-forward to 2012—is there in his hotel room, when suddenly the extraterrestrials—who, as has previously been documented here on red, owned and controlled the GOoPer portion of the 2012 presidential campaign—bring to him over the radio Diamond declaiming about the obdurate chair that will not hear.
And Clint, he experiences a truly massive brainshower. He will go on stage, with a chair, and pretend it is President Obama. And, like the Diamond chair, the Obama chair, when Clint pours out upon it his complaints, it will just sit there; it will neither hear, nor respond.
This brainshower, it will be remembered, when it was spewed out across the land, was considered a laff riot by that 23% of the American population that occupies what is today the equivalent of Dogpatch.
“Way to put it to the black man, Clint!” the Dogpatchians, they squealed like a pig. “Yeehaw!”
However, those of us who have not married or otherwise had sexual congress with our sisters, and/or other blood relatives, we had quite a different reaction.
Not even the Captain Underpants people, it developed, not even they, could easily stomach the chair scene. Literally, they could not stomach it. Senior Underpants advisor Stuart Stevens, it is said, vomited. While the Neil-inspired Eastwood, he was dying there, on stage, with the chair. Stevens, he wished that, like in the Diamond song, no one would hear Clint. At all. Not even the chair.
It was the astute AvoWoman who first pointed out to me that this speech was not the first time that Eastwood had publicly addressed wood products.
Oh no. For way back in 1969, Eastwood wandered around on screen, “singing,” in the film Paint Your Wagon, “I Talk To The Trees.”
And even back then, the wood gave ol’ Clint the deaf ear.
And it was not only the trees. But every other blessed natural element, as well.
I talk to the trees
But they don’t listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me
The breeze hasn’t time
To stop and hear what I say
I talk to them all in vain
Be warned. Beyond the furthur, I shall embed Mr. Eastwood. “Singing.” Not only that, I shall also embed, from the same film, Lee Marvin, also “singing.” And this last, some say, is the aural equivalent of the Holocaust.
i am here with the range for everything
corpuscle muscle hair
hands that need the rub of metal
those senses that
that want to crash things with an axe
that listen to deep buried veins in our palms
those who move in dreams over your women night
near you, every paw, the invisible hooves
the mind’s invisible blackout the intricate never
the body’s waiting rut
—Michael Ondaatje, The Collected Works Of Billy The Kid
The first thing that must be understood about Science Men is this: they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.
To wit: the latest wonderment to bleed from these people: that there was oxygen on this planet hundreds of million of years before they previously thought there was.
Kind of a boner, there.
Squeal like a pig.
In truth, they’re just groping.
Like everybody else.
And the only truly really way to get there, near as I can tell, at least on this planet, is through, first, knowledge and appreciation and attention and empathy, which results in pain, and pain, and pain, and pain, and great loneliness; and then, through magic, and through childhood, and through grace, there may be achieved a conscious uncoupling of oneself, from all and all of all their all and every, and a return of thyself, to from where we all did came: the great wide open.
when i was a child
i spake as a child
i understood as a child
i thought as a child
but when i became a man
i put away childish things
and now, we see through a glass, darkly:
but then: face to face
now i know, in part
but then, shall i know
even as also i am known
and now, stays: faith, hope, charity
but the greatest of these is charity
for though i speak with the tongues of men
and of angels
and have not charity
i am become as sounding brass
or a tinkling cymbal
and though i have the gift of prophecy
and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge
and though i have all faith
so that i could remove mountains
and have not charity
i am nothing
He had a penis eight hundred miles long and two hundred and ten miles in diameter, but practically all of it was in the fourth dimension.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast Of Champions
The above Wisdom is basically all I have to relate about the recently concluded great tsursis involving the US government shutdown, debt-ceiling limit, blah-de-blah-de-blah.
Such as the deeply brain-damaged pentecostal retrovert, heretofore an assumedly sane stenographer, who commenced insanely barking, there on the floor of the House, when the nation’s duly elected Representatives, dutifully, in the last act of this most recent kabuki, voted to accept the latest kick-can, that would move the next moneyed tsursis, ninety days or so down the road.
So barked she:
God will not be mocked. The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God. Praise be to Jesus.
Back in the day, we used to have what were called “building-shouters.”
These were mentally divergent individuals who felt it Necessary to go, every day, to some particular building, and there shout at it; yea, verily, until their lips bled.
My friend Danny, he used to work at the Los Angeles Times. He, and all the other reporters, would report each day, to the Times building, there to do their journo work. And also, each day, would report a building-shouter. Who stood outside the building, all day, every day, during regular working hours. Screaming at the building. Till his lips bled.
No one was ever quite sure. What it was. That moved the building-shouter. To shout.
But shout. He must.
Once, Danny and his people, they went out on strike.
So too, did the building-shouter.
He did not return. Until his fellow, indoor, recognized workers, they also returned.
He, clearly, the building-shouter, considered himself. Part of the Process.
One of the many unforeseen and unacknowledged effects to flow from the Age of the Intertubes is the mainstreaming of the building-shouter.
People who are mentally divergent, who have nary a clue, who are born under the sign of the propellor-beanie, who are fit best but to drool, may, thanks to the intertubes, pound out their nonsense, all day, and all of the night, and building-shout, alpha to omega, to such a crescendo, that their divergence, may, in the course of things, begin to creep into the brainpans, of beings heretofore considered at least fitfully sane.
Language, as William Burroughs aptly observed, is a virus. And insane language, it can spread, as easily and as virally—and maybe even more so—as sane language.
And so we have: today. Where most all the American “political blogs”—from the “lefty” StormKos, to the “righty” RedMentalState—are primarily occupied by some form of building-shouter. People who have nothing, really, of worth, to offer. But the cords on their necks, strained and swollen. And the projectile, nonsense vomit, ceaselessly flowing, from their mouths, into their fingers, and, from there, onto their keyboards. And on out to us.
To stain, if we might read it, all of our beings.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s just when I was born. Or maybe it’s brain damage.
Most likely it’s both. With something more, other, besides.
The reason why, I can’t climb aboard, whenever comes round, the latest death ship.
Debt ceiling. Climate change. Poisons. Population. Nukes. Nimrods. Drones. Wild-eyed crazy people, wielding knives.
So. Let us all. Rend furiously our garments. Weep. Cry in our beer. And at the sky. For all. Is all over. Humans—wring us thy hands—they do be succeeding, in killing all the planet.
What baby-blind arrogance.
To believe a little bone-throwing nascent mammalian species, can croak an entire planet.
What I meant, above, about “just when I was born,” is that, right when I emerged in this life from my chrysalis, was when Lovelock and Margulis first announced what was then known as “the Gaia hypothesis.”
Which, to put it simply, postulated that the planet is one giant organism.
I, instantly, saw it a little—ahem—furthur.
That not only is the planet one giant organism, but it is also conscious.
And, basically, I haven’t worried, a day, since.
Someone I Know, she works with a woman who draws a paycheck for pretty much nothing more than babbling ceaselessly, senselessly, uncontrollably; occasionally spinning her head round 360 degrees; now and then erupting into Tourette’s-like cursing at all and sundry.
With Halloween coming on, I suggested to the Someone I Know that she festoon her office with this wonderment, identified by the descriptive-dullards at eBay as “Halloween Animated Exorcist Spinning Head Linda Blair Sounds Decoration Prop,” and presented to you-all there in the image to the right. The thing, its “head rotates 360 degrees, the eyes light up and the mouth moves,” it “plays (6) audio tracks and the Exorcist theme from the movie,” and “spoken phrases include ‘it burns’; ‘keep away, the sow is mine’; and ‘I can’t sleep, my bed is shaking.’”
But the Someone I Know, she demurred, reasoning that bringing the outre object into the office—it would just encourage her coworker, to further rotate her head, and spew stupidness across the land.
Oh well. I tried.
Tonight, I am trying again.
Having witnessed this day Secretary of State John Kerry—he of the once and future “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”—rotate his head and spit green bile and slide a crucifix in and out of his urethra, as he ululated screamingly about Bad Chemicals in Syria.
Even as Foreign Policy printed a timely piece about how, back in the day, the United States of Reaganoids were only too happy to assist Iraq, in hosing down brown people, with chemical agents.
Even as the US was blearily emerging from a week which witnessed the conclusion of a dizzying confluence of legal proceedings in re one of the more recent American imperial adventurings in “how do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”
Wherein first Chelsea Manning received 35 years, for telling the truth; though, telling, wasn’t it, that there was an acquittal, on the charge involving the release of the war-crime video of an airstrike on Afghan civilians.
Then the driven-mad Fort Hood psychiatrist, who would rather mass-kill, than be deployed to Afghanistan, convicted on something like eleventy-billion murder and attempted-murder charges.
Finally, there was the hoorah, he who cut a deal whereby he would escape the death penalty by saying “I’m sorry” for shooting up an Afghan village. Apparently, this man, he was “bummed,” he was “stressed,” about “personal problems.” News to me, and to many, that murdering Afghans is a recognized outlet for relieving stress and ameliorating bummedness.
Meanwhile Sean Klannity, there on the radio, was yammering today, in re Syria, about “therapeutic bombing.”
At first, I assumed he was joking. I mean, I know the language is going straight to Hell. But there must be some limits. No one could seriously employ a term like “therapeutic bombing.”
But no. I was wrong. Klannity, he is on it, and he is for it.
35 years ago today, at about the same time, 5 o’clock, I acquitted a man.
I have since realized I made a mistake.
He was guilty.
I did my own investigation.
He’s married with three children.
He is living in peace.
How many others could I have acquitted? Even guilty?
Deciding what is true and what isn’t
now seems to me a lack of modesty.
In their place?
And that goes for everyone I judged.
Given their lives, I would steal.
I’d kill, I’d lie.
Of course I would.
because I wasn’t in their shoes,
—Krzysztof Kieślowski, Red
And so now the Science Men have determined that in the Milky Way galaxy alone there are some 60 billion worlds pregnant with water.
And since the Science Men have previously determined that, where there is water, there is life . . . that’s a big heap pile lot of life.
Out of all them 60 billion or so neighbors, who be roiling and boiling with life, wonder some, how come none have ever come on by, this here Terran place, to at least say “hi”?
This: easily answered.
First: why, hoot the testosterone-pumped Star Wars/Alien boogaloos, have none of these neighbors “invaded”?
Because you don’t get to go into space, if you think in terms of “invade.”
Space won’t let you.
That’s just the way it is.
Space, it’s firm, in that way.
“Invasion” an atavist thing, a relict of the cradle. No one who is serious, no one who actually ventures into space, is in any way concerned with such anathema. No more so than with “harvesting” or “exploiting” resources.
That stuff stops, in space. Or, space stops you.
This can be understood very simply. Check the trailer below, from the 1970 documentary film Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Where, from 0:11 to 0:16, the gorilla commander of the local serial-killers chants: “Invade! Invade! Invade!”
This is what this planet looks like to the 60 billion. And so none of them are even going to even briefly entertain the idea, to visibly come here. As space will never allow, such a de-evolvo, unfortunately alpha and omega, of this present-time planet, to ever get much off the ground.
It’s so small, thinking in this “invade” way. Just because humans have, so often, so far, been about “invade,” why should humans then think that, in all of the vastness of space, it will always inevitably also be about that?
Eyes be closed.
Not a chance.
How come, question next, none among these 60 billion neighbors, have ”communicated”?
Well, no doubt they have.
But how would humans ever know?
Humans are considered vastly more intelligent than ants. But how the hey would a human “communicate” with an ant? Even if something was achieved that looked like “communication,” from the human end, it would, from the ant end, be so bizarrely out of the realm of Ant Normality, chances are it would not be perceived as “communication.”
So, the same, the neighbors, communicating, with the human inhabitants of this here orb.
Communicating, are they, maybe, with you, right now.
Maybe, just, listen.
And then, question last: how come, these 60 billion neighbors, they haven’t “visited”?
Because, if you do not—as the space-traveling 60 billion do not—think in terms of “invade,” you simply don’t make yourself known to those who do.
No good can come of it.
Like, say, a monolith.
But nothing traceable. No appearing, say, live, on TV.
I like how, in this Science Man piece, it says that if humans were somewhere else, looking at this here earth, they would probably conclude it was real cold and inhospitable, in places like Brazil and Indonesia. Because those places “read cold” in infrared, due to the cloud cover. But underneath, it’s all about sweltering.
“If you look at Brazil or Indonesia with an infrared telescope from space, it can look cold, and that’s because you’re seeing the cloud deck,” Cowan said. “The cloud deck is at high altitude, and it’s extremely cold up there.”
Proving, yet again, that you never really know. Because machines don’t know shit. You have to actually get there. In your body. Transcend the readings of machines. Touch, taste, smell, hear, see it, for yourself.
“Man,” said Mordel, “possessed a basically incomprehensible nature. I can illustrate it, though: he did not know measurement.”
“Of course he knew measurement,” said Frost, “or he could never have built machines.”
“I did not say that he could not measure,” said Mordel, “but that he did not know measurement, which is a different thing altogether.”
He retracted it, raised it, held up a piece of ice.
“Regard this piece of ice, mighty Frost. You can tell me its composition, dimensions, weight, temperature. A man could not look at it and do that. A man could make tools which would tell him these things, but he still would not know measurement as you know it. What he would know of it, though, is a thing that you cannot know.”
“What is that?”
“That it is cold,” said Mordel, and tossed it away.
It’s kind of funny that it took the Science Men this long to look for clouds. Which, once they looked for them, caused them to immediately double their estimate of our life-pregnant neighbors.
I mean, clouds are kind of important. Humans figure that out when they’re just kids.
But maybe that’s the problem. It’s one of those things that, when you “grow up,” you forget.
When those of us who are, now, creeping into age, were kids, everywhere, all and every over, all over the globe, both the Science and Religious, then-wisdom, taught, taught that humans, were all alone, in the universe of the world.
There were no other planets.
Anywhere in the universe.
Much less anything that was “life.”
It was just humans.
We are all going into space. Anywhere we want: we will be.
We are not going in anything even remotely resembling any machine.
Bodies, these, they will come, and they will go. As we please. And we will be very pleased indeed.
From the first time ever I saw his face, Arnold Schwarzenegger has annoyed me.
Almost as much as the song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
But never mind that now.
“What a nimrod,” I thought. “Here’s a goofy gap-toothed guy whose last name translates as ‘Blackblack.’ His name is redundant, and so is he.”
Humans engage in many pursuits that may be fairly described as imbecilic. “Bodybuilding” surely is one of these. I have long believed that such people should be confined to zoos. For the poses they strike, the spectacle they make of their tortured and contorted near-naked bodies—these may be likened only to baboons shimmy-shaking their bright-pink asses, giraffes blithely running fourteen feet of tongue in and out of their nostrils, pint-sized hippos waddling about with their penises on backwards, terminally nearsighted rhinos suddenly gone mad racing across the dirt to plunge their horns into shivering two-by-fours.
“Martial artists”—they can occupy the next cage over.
It was during this “bodybuilding” period that Schwarzenegger personally consumed most of the steroids annually imported into the state of California. Indeed, so extreme was his consumption, that by the age of 30 his testicles had negative mass. They could not be detected even through an electron microscope.
Schwarzenegger next decided he would defile the movies.
Director and self-described Cro-Magnon Man John Milius must be blamed for this: he cast Schwarzenegger as the ur-human protagonist in Conan the Barbarian.
Schwarzenegger’s film career, combined with Milius’ literally unbelievable Red Dawn, recently resulted in a United Nations declaration that, as Punishment for his Sins against Mankind, Milius must be placed in a see-through bamboo cage and run through the streets of Hong Kong, followed by a million Chinese loudly banging gongs.
From time to time I have earned my crust as a film critic. For many years, it seemed like whenever some new Schwarzenegger vomit hurled itself upon the screen, I was ordered to review it. Once I thought seriously of shooting myself in the arm, to avoid a Schwarzenegger assignment, one that I knew would result in a lifetime of PTSD. I refrained only because my then-editor was such a Walter Burns that he would have ordered me to do The Job anyway, insisting I could dictate the piece into a handheld tape recorder, using my one good arm.
I remember leaving the Schwarzenegger monstrosity End of Days convinced that motion pictures should just be abolished. Better that no film, ever, anywhere, ever again be screened, than that something like that End of Days atrocity be allowed to slouch out of Schwarzenegger to be borne.
Somewhere along the line, Schwarzenegger married a Kennedy.
For a long time this pissed me off. Until I realized that, because of completely out-of-control Catholic breeding practices, there are now so many Kennedys in America, that the chances of a person entering matrimony finding his- or herself marrying a Kennedy, these are about equivalent to getting “heads” on a coin-toss. In fact, odds are good that I myself may marry a Kennedy, before my day is done.
Not that Schwarzenegger should be marrying anyone. He is the sort of man for whom Science Men should construct a cunning device that would be implanted under the skin in order to deliver a powerful and incapacitating jolt of electricity, whenever he comes within five feet of a woman.
This is because Schwarzenegger is the sort of “man” who, when he comes within five feet of a woman, thinks it a hoot to reach out and twist her nipple, then giggle like a monkey.
We now know that, during his marriage, whenever Schwarzenegger was puttering around the house, and would grow bored, he would wander down the hall and impregnate the maid.
After so befouling the movies that extraterrestrials have blocked off-world transmission of Terran films for a thousand years, Schwarzenegger next decided to invade politics.
When Karl Rove and Enron deliberately shot in the stomach California Governor Gray Davis with that phony 2000-2001 California “electricity crisis,” Schwarzenegger announced as one of about 465 humans, semi-humans, and flaming freakazoids of no known origin, seeking to replace Davis in a special recall election.
Listening to debates featuring the duelling accents of Schwarzenegger and that shameless freak Arianna Huffington, I felt like I had been transported into some Saturday Night Live skit titled something like “Spawn Of The Fascists.”
Where the fuck did I live? California? Bavaria? The summer playhouse of the Greek colonels?
This nonsense was so far removed from Reality, it had to be staged.
It was this experience that allowed me, some 10 years or so on, to instantly identify the 2012 Republican presidential primary sideshow as an event owned and controlled by extraterrestrials, having a lark, just fucking with the humans.
Schwarzenegger was actually elected governor by the people of California; he was then—yes, it’s true—re-elected.
I haven’t the faintest idea what he did while in office. Because I refused to accept it. I studiously avoided all awareness of state politics. I chose to live in an alternative universe during that period. Because I would not be a part of the universe where Californians, having already inflicted Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan upon the land, decided it would be Right and Meet to roll in the hay with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I do know that his term must have been a complete and total disaster. Because, upon his exit from office, the state’s voters desperately employed a time machine. To return to the governor’s mansion Jerry Brown, who had already served in that office from 1975 to 1983. Clearly, these voters were, ashamedly, trying to roll back time to 1983. And pretend that all the years after—and particularly those with Ah-nuld—Never Happened.
I had not thought of Schwarzenegger for many moons. Until this morning. When the intertubes chucked up the photo you see there above, and to the left.
I am not exactly sure what is going on there. But it is not anything like Good.
It seems that, with that lectern, and that pointed finger, and that earnest/amused expression, and that absurd facial hair, Schwarzenegger may now be trying to recast himself as some sort of philosopher. Ah-nuld as Aristotle.
My colleague is fond of asserting that “the American people always get exactly what they deserve.”
But no peoples, deserve such as this.
The horror. The horror.
This is one of those stories that is hilarious, in a projectile-vomit sort of way.
Apparently the nation’s banks have decided they are “too moral” to handle money earned by people involved in the adult entertainment business.
Chanel Preston knows not everyone approves of her chosen profession. That’s one of the risks that go with being one of the biggest stars in porn. But she never thought it would affect her ability to open a bank account.
Preston recently opened a business account with City National Bank in Los Angeles. When she went to deposit checks into the account days later, however, she was told it had been shut down, due to “compliance issues.”
She found the manager she had originally worked with and asked what had happened. The bank, she was told, was worried about the Webcam shows she had on her site and had revoked the account . . . .
Preston noted she [also] has been denied a loan because of her profession[.]
“[The loan officer] asked me ‘are you affiliated with the adult entertainment industry?’ When I said yes, she said ‘We will not give you a loan,’” she said.
At least one adult-entertainment figure has had enough of this bollocks, and is taking to the courts.
Earlier this week, Marc Greenberg, founder of the soft porn studio MRG Entertainment, filed suit against JPMorgan Chase in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging the bank violated fair lending laws and its own policy for refusing to underwrite a loan for “moral reasons”.
Greenberg says he was approached by a representative of the bank about refinancing an existing loan. But once he started the process, he says he saw repeated delays for four months. That’s when he said he reached out to a JPMorgan vice president for an explanation.
The vice president “was evasive in his response to plaintiff’s application status requests and finally informed plaintiff during a telephone conversation that plaintiff’s loan application was refused due to ‘moral reasons,’ because of JPMorgan’s disapproval of plaintiff’s former source of income and occupation as an owner of a television production company that produced television programs that dealt with the subject of human sexuality,” the complaint reads.
Greenberg’s attorneys claim they were told by the vice president that the application was denied because of the potential “reputational risk” to the firm.
Curiously, JPMorgan Chase, back when it was known simply as Chase, perceived no “moral reasons” or “reputational risk” that might prevent it from fondling money employed in Nazi Germany to kill and rob Jews.
Between 1936 and 1941, Chase and other US banks helped the Germans raise over $20 million in dollar exchange, netting over $1.2 million in commission—of which Chase pocketed a cool $500,000. That was a lot of money at the time. The fact that the German marks used to fund the operation came from Jews who had fled Nazi Germany didn’t seem to bother Chase—in fact they upped their business after Kristallnacht (the night Jews throughout Nazi Germany and Austria were systematically attacked by mobs in 1938). Chase also froze the accounts of French Jews in occupied France before the Nazis had even gotten around to asking them to.
(This a piece that, since its first appearance here several years ago, has never really been able to figure out whether it’s for Christmas, or Easter. So now I generally reprint it in both seasons.)
* * *
In my Father’s house are many mansions.
A couple years ago, in contemplating Santa and Jesus, the two began to get confused in my mind. Santa Claus, for reasons that have never really been explained, devotes each year to overseeing minute laborers who fashion gifts which he annually delivers, in a single night, to all deserving children the world over. Jesus Christ, for reasons that have been variously explained, roamed for a short time across a relatively minute plot of land, uttering gnomic wisdoms, then was seized and subjected to excruciating suffering, so that all, deserving and undeserving alike, might be gifted with salvation.
When a sprout, I was taught that while Santa’s labors never end—a yearly, year-long grind—Jesus’ was a one-shot gig. Wander around Palestine, ascend the cross, into the tomb, three days later out again, brief appearances before various friends and lovers, then up to heaven for a well-deserved eternal rest.
I no longer believe that. I believe that, as is set forth here, “Jesus Christ suffers from now until the end. On the cross. He goes on suffering. Until the death of the last human being.” That is the mystic meaning of his tale: he suffers with all beings suffering in the exile of existence. And we are called upon to do the same—to grow to empathy, so that thy neighbor truly is thyself, and suffering everywhere, for everyone, may be eased. With this meaning there is no need for the resurrection. All of us are him, doing the same work; our work, his work, never ends.
For those who are wedded to the resurrection, the advances in science and philosophy in my lifetime, in the understanding of the multiple dimensions and multiple worlds about us, too mean that his work never ends. For the planets, it is now known, are innumerable, and so are the dimensional variations of this one. And if salvation is indeed his calling, he will forever be busy as twelve bastards, for there are those who need saving, inhabiting every one.
Science Men, they are always wanting to Know.
Which is a worthy pursuit.
Times are tough, these days, for Science Men. Because a lot of what a lot of Science Men want these days to Know, involves stuff the Science Men cannot see, or otherwise sense or easily detect. And/or that is, additionally, remote in space and/or time.
And so, they operate, most often, in the land of Guesstimate.
This can, and does, result in a lot of flipbook-rapid changing of opinions. As the Science Men seek to squint, ever finely, through a glass darkly. It also can, and does, result in bouts of belligerent bickering with one another.
This last is currently on display in the ongoing controversy over whether the Voyager 1 spacecraft has or has not left the local solar system. Some Science Men say it has; some Science Men say it hasn’t. But none of them really Know. Because Voyager 1 is out there some 123 AU from Earth. Where no Science Man has ever boldly gone before. Out there some 123 AU from Earth, Voyager either is or is not in the heliosphere. The heliosphere is a thing the Science Men think exists. Though they don’t really Know. Because they have never been there. And the boundaries of this heliosphere, these they don’t really Know, either.
But they sure have a lot of opinions.
To those of us who closely follow Science, the Science Men quarreling over the present position of Voyager 1 is amusing, in a “fighting in the captain’s tower” sort of way. To wit:
ezra pound and t. s. eliot
fighting in the captain’s tower
while calypso singers laugh at them
and fishermen hold flowers
This is because we, we wizened Science-followers, Know that the interstellar mission of the twin Voyager probes, has already been accomplished.
So it don’t really matter, now, wherever the things might be.
You see, each of these Voyager craft were touchingly dispatched with a “golden record” aboard, one that contained pictures and sounds of Earth and its beings, and also directions on how to Get Here. It was hoped, by the humans, that some spacefaring strangers would happen upon one or more of these craft, spin the disc, and then come to visit.
It was so embarrassing. What was, and was not, included, on the “golden record.”
Because hide-your-head-in-shame knuckledragging ur-human retroverts succeeded in erasing from the disc accurate illustrations of the male and female human being.
They objected, these swamp-coolers, to the depiction of the reproductive organs, of male and female.
And so, these were eliminated.
The “golden record” thus went into the great wide open, showing only human “silhouettes.”
All the “naughty parts,” airbrushed out.
Leading any passing extraterrestrials to wonder: how the fuck do these humanoids reproduce? Since they lack the parts to fuck?
Fortunately, past the hang-your-head-in-shame knuckledragging ur-human retroverts, passed a recording, successfully placed on the “golden record,” of the Rolling Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”
That that alone, was sent out there into space, means the species shall survive.
For: ah—upon hearing this, would understand any passing extraterrestrial—I get it. One of those planets.
This, in fact, occurred. The interception of a Voyager. By an extraterrestrial race.
As set forth in the 1984 documentary film Starman.
There we learn that extraterrestrials scooped up Voyager 2, grooved to the pictures, words, and tunes contained therein, and then sent an ambassador to Earth . . . a being who, as soon as s/he entered the planet’s atmosphere, was promptly shot out of the sky by the yeehaws of ekpyrosis.
But extraterrestrials are not so easily extinguished.
The ambassador, abandoning the crippled craft, found nearby some stray human DNA, and so fashioned a temporary corporeal container. Of the young Jeff Bridges.
Not a bad choice.
The news clip below depicts the encounter of the newly incarnated Space Bridges with his first human, a female monikered Jenny Hayden.
Who, upon hearing the naked, and decidedly strange, Space Bridges, recite lines from the Voyager 2 “golden record,” loses consciousness.
Things get better.
Jenny Hayden assists the Space Bridges in traveling cross-country to the Barringer Crater in Arizona. This, it develops, is the traditional landing pad for the Space Bridges form of extraterrestrial (said pad, spacecraft descending, may be viewed in the image that inaugurates this here True Science story). There, at the Crater, the Space Bridges can hitch a ride back home.
The beings of the Space Bridges, we learn, have, over the millennia, monitored humans, from time to time.
They are hardly the only race of extraterrestrials to so indulge. As the documentary film 2001: A Space Odyssey amply demonstrates.
Of course, in order for Jenny Hayden and the Space Bridges to reach the Crater, they must many times evade the yeehaws of ekpyrosis. Who desperately want to lay hands on the Space Bridges. So they can avidly kill and joyfully dissect him.
Because the yeehaws of ekpyrosis can never be happy, so long as they are not avidly killing, and joyfully dissecting, any and all people, places, and things.
Which is why extraterrestrial beings like the Space Bridges do not straight-forward contact the whole of humanity.
Before the Space Bridges goes home, he and Jenny Hayden engage in tender and loving, Real, sexual congress. Which, in the course of things, results in a child, representative of both species.
Such a thing is not all that uncommon. In fact, as we speak, the Huffington Post, also known as the Weekly World News of the intertubes, is canvassing for people willing to tell all about engaging in sexual relations with extraterrestrials. So far, it is said, there have been 15 respondents.
But all these people lie. Because humans, and extraterrestrials, who join in Desire, do not kiss and tell.
Those who Know the true-life documentary film Starman are aware that the Space Bridges arrives on this planet equipped with a number of silver balls, what humans would consider more or less magical and/or transformational objects, which he may deploy, from the palm of his hand, if needful—and the need several times arises—to protect him, and his, or project him, and his, from the extreme and unnatural Danger and Weirdness that is this Earth.
I don’t suppose that it will come as a surprise, to anyone who has long been on this blog, and in anywise Aware, that I am not unfamiliar with these balls.
And that, as shown in the photo there above, I, from time to time, come to hold one, in the palm of my hand.
It is in the nature of a “job” that sometimes They want you to do things you’d rather not do.
I try to avoid doing things I’d rather not do. Which is why I have never been known for making money.
Now, going to court is one of those things I’d rather not do. Because it involves watching police officers testify as if they feared they’d be struck by lightning if they told the truth, prosecutors strutting around like they’re wearing swastika armbands, and judges leaping up from behind the bench to fawningly kneel to grovelingly offer their genitals, their brains, and their lips, to the prosecutors and the police.
There are enough nightmares in this world, without willingly offering oneself up to spectacles like that.
Recently one lawyer wanted me to go to a court where I would be subjected to a prosecutor who I swear has the number 666 carved into his forehead, and a police officer who has already “transferred” from two different local departments when his superiors wearied of the fact that his fingers would burst into flame if he even once inscribed an accurate police report.
I sent the lawyer the video clip below. Informing him that my sinuses were acting up. And that if he asked me—for whatever amount of money—to sit there and endure those swine, there was no doubt whatsoever that I would be compelled, there in the courtroom, to loudly and repeatedly emit the same sort of sounds as possessed Felix Unger.
I didn’t have to go.
Last night I started to watch Slaughterhouse-Five, which was a mistake, because after only about five minutes I realized that it was dreadful, and it was not going to get any better.
I was inspired to revisit that flailing film because, like Billy Pilgrim, I too have become unstuck in time.
For instance, there is a Christmas tree, here in this Manor. Although it is now, um, March.
Not that this is really anything Abnormal, here in my life. At least since the arrival of my daughter. She was a great believer—and still is—in extended holidays. And so, with her about the house, it was not uncommon for a Christmas tree to stay up until Easter. And Easter eggs: well, once, I think, some of those hung around for, like, two years. Occasionally they would be withdrawn from the fridge and hidden around the premises, for her to find. In, like, September. Generally July, as I recall, was a big month for Christmas movies. For some reason this unnerved her mother. Who required many medicines, when she would hear the unmistakable strains of Holiday Inn or Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, sounding out when the temperature was 110 degrees.
This particular Christmas tree, though: I’m starting to feel wary around it. It is so dry, I fear that some morning, when I walk by it, I may spontaneously combust.
I think it’s time for it to go out of the house. I do not want to be the man who gets in the newspaper because he perished in a house fire caused by his Christmas tree bursting into flame in, uh, June.
There are about 365,898 birds who hang around here waiting to feed on the squirrel mix I put out every morning. I’m thinking I’ll introduce the Christmas tree as a potential home-site for the ground-wanderers among them. They can nestle into the thing and from there laugh at the neighborhood cats.
Slaughterhouse-Five may be a piss-poor film, but, some 70 years on, the slaughterers are still with us.
With the news this morning comes word that an accounting of the number of Nazi-era death camps, labor camps, POW camps, forced-sex camps, black-hole ghettos, and the like, has reached a total that stuns even the researchers from the Holocaust Memorial Museum who are tabulating them. The total has now passed 42,500. And, like some death’s-head Energizer Bunny, is still going.
But the Germans, they Didn’t Know.
They know today, though.
Which is why it was kind of embarrassing for fledgling Secretary of State John Kerry to last week select Berlin, of all places, to declaim that the American people “have a right to be stupid.”
“People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it’s the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another.
“The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech.”
Since Kerry delivered these remarks in Berlin, you think he might first have reflected upon the real-world consequences, that once upon a time played out there, of indulging that kind of “stupid.” Like, a steaming road of bones, stretching from one end of the European continent to the other.
Once, they figure, is enough. Never again, uber alles.
Best Picture: 700,00 BCE—700,000 CE.
Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture: 1968.
Of course, the Academy bestowed but two of these awards.
But so what? They’re all Real.
(this one writ by our Alexa)
Finally! I wait every year, not patiently, for the Academy Awards, and this is The Big Night.
Do you love movies as much as I do? I have only seen a couple of the movies nominated, but it’s fun to watch the celebs on the red carpet (their hairdos and even more, the hair-don’ts), the jewelry and pero Dios mio, the dresses!) who can resist the glamour, the decadence, and so much Shiny Stuff only once a year? Not me.
My aunt and I like to watch together. Our big activity in the winter months to see all the movies before the awards, but not this year. Yes, since you asked, we do make a big production of it, and wear our best dresses to eat appetizers and get blasted drinking a pitcher of Oscar’s Big Night (recipe below). This year, we can’t be together. My husband’s taste in movies trends toward car chases or paranormal activities . . so I’m hoping there are some Meese who like movies?
Seth McFarlane (best known for an animated series on dysfunctional families (Family Guy is allegedly a postmodern Simpsons with some South Park flavor in the mix) is the host of this year’s awards. I’m not a fan but he was pret-ty hilarious on Jimmy Fallon’s show, in a Puppy Predictions skit. (Okay, you got me. Jimmy as a host would have been amazing.) Without further adieu, here are our nominees.
Lincoln is the odds-on favorite, but I think Argo could be The Little Movie That Can.
Who will win?
I’ve only seen three (Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook. I don’t have a particular favorite in this category . . . and since it’s always the last award at the finale of 3+ hours of TV, I’ll be tipsy if I’m awake.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Who should win?
Can I just say Denzel Washington was pitch-frickin’ perfect in Flight? What could have been a so-so couple of hours was an amazing roller coaster ride as Denzil crash-lands a commercial 737, becomes an instant hero, is stalked by the media, and cannot escape his inner demons and self-loathing, no matter how he tries.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Who should win?
If I admitted being a betting woman, my money’s on Jennifer Lawrence.
Quvenzhané Wallis is the most adorable, irrepressible six-year-old sprite of all time, and I really liked Beasts the first time I watched it.
Later on, it occurred to me that this is a film with some rather obvious stereotypes about poor black folks in Louisiana. An old theme in the history of literature, the tragic mulatto in this movie is a young child.
Actually, she’s Hushpuppy to me, and yeah, she is The Man). Very bright future, if Hollywood can resist exploiting this precious, talented little sweetheart’s age and color.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Who should win?
Alan Arkin. The Ben Affleck snub still stings.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Who should win?
What do you think?
WHEN: 7 p.m. Eastern time.