WWSP's Shadow of th Marigold

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A Pure Power Play, By the Powerful, For the Powerful.

The people with money and power are pushing the rest of us around. This seems to be a theme all across the globe. Maybe it's always been so? Maybe there is an ebb and flow? A small group of moneyed people lord over everyone else. The money sticks with the money.

"The rest of us," greatly out-number the people with money and power. So many of us are tuned out,  struggling day to day, in pure survival mode. We are used to being pushed around, shuttled, hustled, lied to, manipulated, drugged and stupefied.

There have been times when this game has been played brutally, and times when it's been played subtlety.  Right now it seems like everything is out in the open. A pure power play, by the powerful, for the powerful.

Blatant. Up front. And they lie to us. Every single day. We watch this power play going down, and we listen to the lies. Daily. It's infuriating, disappointing, disillusioning.  You watch people give up, tune out, become cynical. It's understandable.

Those being pushed around lose hope. That's the worst of it. The great mass of us, have power too, if we can just open our eyes and see it, if we can decide to work together with others like us. We can stand up, stand up with dignity, and demand to be counted, demand to be heard. We have a say in how our lives are to be lived. We can't lose hope. We must push back. Call out the lies. Demand justice. Stand up for our rights as human beings. We must.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Scene Study Class.

Once took a scene study class. Acting. It was one of the most significant things I ever did. I look back and think, "That changed my life." It really did. I do recommend it. Getting up in front of other people. Learning a scene. Playing another character. It is empowering, liberating, eye and head opening. You make a fool of yourself, in a small room, where other folks make fools of themselves too. You grow. As a person.

I remember doing a scene from The Rainmaker. I do believe that I was doing the Burt Lancaster part. Funny. This still resonates with me all these years later...

"Where ARE you going Big Man?"

"I don't rightly know."

Monday, September 17, 2018

Actually A Coprolalia Kind of Morning...

I flick on the radio, early Monday morning; all the stories I hear make me want to swear. It's a Tourette's Syndrome kind of morning: "once considered a rare and bizarre syndrome, most often associated with coprolalia (the utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks)."


"Coprolalia is involuntary swearing or the involuntary utterance of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks. Coprolalia comes from the Greek κόπρος (kopros) meaning "feces" and λαλιά (lalia) from lalein, "to talk"."

Talking shit. Trash talk. Swearing. Unbidden stream of bad words.

Inappropriate. Derogatory. Obscene. Just check out the headlines. Do a quick review yourself. Go on. I dare you. Try it yourself. Maybe do this alone. Away from the pets and children.

Expletive Deleted... Expletive Deleted... Expletive Deleted...

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Alternate Boot - A Beautiful Dream.

Maybe you read this blog religiously (I don't recommend it), or casually, or accidentally; you know, you come across it looking for other things. Don't worry that's how I find stuff too.

Anyway, I can't assume that you are a friend or a fan of my band, whitewolfsonicprincess, but I am using today's post to promote my band.

We are a truly independent band. We do everything ourselves. DIY. Creatively, we are free. We  collaborate with an amazing community of musicians.  We answer only to the work. This has some great advantages. We do only what we think is excellent and fun, and important.We do what we want, when we want to do it. Our audience has to meet us halfway.

This also means that we juggle all the things we have to juggle every day. We are a "happening" band, creatively, but we survive pretty much on grit and sweat equity. The creating comes our of pure inspiration, but the carrying forward into the real world takes pluck and luck. We rely on the support and generosity of our friends and fans to help make this little entity fly. It's has been a very cool journey, and it's safe to say our band is a "fully-realized" entity. We just kicked off a "crowd-funding" campaign to help us bring forth our next music release. We are taking donations now on Indiegogo.

We have learned it's ok to ask for support. Often people are really glad to help. So anyway, here's our promo. Be sure to check it out!

Hello Friends & Fans -We are so excited to announce whitewolfsonicprincess’ new album – “The Alternate Boot: Vols. 1&2” to be be released a bit later in 2018. We are reaching out for your help to finish up the project and to secure funds to promote to radio stations near and far.

Please consider joining our Indiegogo Campaign today! We will be running the campaign from September 15 to November 2. We have a number of cool “perks” as “Thank You’s” for your kind and generous donations. To learn more about our project, to donate, and to claim a perk, go to: https://igg.me/at/alternateboot We are grateful for your support!

Thank You…

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Caught Dead to Rights...

My friend tells me I am the "Boy who cried Wolf:" - "For a few seconds Peter was speechless. Then he started shouting: “Woolf! Woolof! Woohoohooloof!” In the village an old man heard the shouting. “Oh no, not that Peter again”, he said, shaking his head. “What’s going on?” enquired another villager. “It’s that Peter again, he just can’t help himself."

I don't know. Yesterday morning I posted: "You get the sense something big is about to happen..."
And something really, really big did happen. But you had to be paying attention. It was in a Washington D.C. court room. A big fucking deal. The unraveling of a conspiracy. A big show of force for Robert Mueller's investigative team yesterday:

"More than 20 members of the special counsel’s investigation team appeared in the second-floor courtroom Friday morning, where lead prosecutors Andrew Weissmann, Greg Andres and Brandon Van Grack were joined by a phalanx of FBI and IRS agents who did significant grunt work preparing for Manafort’s trial on charges of failing to register as a lobbyist for the government of Ukraine several years ago, before he joined Trump’s 2016 campaign."


“The track record of convictions demonstrates that Mueller is systematically building his cases and charging only persons who have been caught dead to rights,” he added. “Manafort’s belated capitulation should signal anyone else charged by Mueller that there is little chance to escape.”

Yes. Well. Wolf!

Friday, September 14, 2018

You Get the Sense...

You get the sense something big is about to happen. All hell breaking loose? A cataclysm? I don't know. I sense a seismic event, could be spiritual, environmental, political, metaphysical. Just something in the air, right? You can almost smell it.

It's sort of like we've been heading towards the iceberg, we see the little tip of it, and we think, nothing to worry about, just a bit of ice.

There is the seen. And the unseen. We are blundering our way forward. Wonder what's next? Whatever it is, I say, "Let It Come Down." The Optimist in me thinks we can handle it... then again, what do I know?!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Medicine for the Crash!

I wouldn't say "bi-polar." I'd say manic and not. I'm not the depressive type, but sometimes, after I stoke the engine, get fired up, expend my energy on some task, or event, or performance, or just in the day to day concentrating my time on the average normalcies, during a "normal" day, I can crash.

When I crash, I like to park myself on our couch, put music on our big, old-time, stereo system, put my dark glasses on, and let the sound waves wash over me. Yesterday I pulled out a classic record from 2001, the Drive-By Truckers' "Southern Rock Opera." It was recorded in September 2000. I just randomly put it on yesterday, but it was recorded almost exactly 18 years ago to the day. A September album. A go-to record.

It's sort of a loosely-based, concept album. The concept? Life in the American South. The Truckers are led by two of our greatest singer-songwriters (great guitar-players too), Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley. I love both of them. Two amazing, strong, and very distinctive American voices. Yes, for sure, listen to the whole album, 2 cds. It's fabulous. One of the great records, no doubt.

Here are the lyrics to Cooley's "Zip City." I know it's probably an overstatement, but I dare say, if Wm. Faulkner had been a rock & roller, he'd be envious of these uncommonly beautiful & superbly evocative lyrics.

“Cooley wrote this one and should be the one explaining it. I do know that it is at least 90% true and is my personal favorite song on the album.”Patterson Hood

"Your daddy was mad as hell he is mad at me and you
When he tied that chain to the front of my car
Pulled me out of that ditch that we slid into
Don't know what his problem is why he keeps sending me away
Don't know why I put up with this shit
When you don't put out and Zip City's so far away

Your daddy is a deacon down at the Salem Church of Christ 
And he makes good money 
As long as Reynolds wrap keeps everything wrapped up tight 
Your mama's as good a wife and mama as she can be 

And your sister's puttin' that sweet stuff on everybody in town but me 
Your brother was the first-born, got ten fingers and ten toes 
And it's a damn good thing 
'Cause he needs all twenty to keep the closet door closed 

Maybe it's the twenty-six mile drive 
From Zip City to Colbert Heights keeps my mind clean 
Gets me through the night maybe you're just a destination 
A place for me to go a way to keep from having to deal 
With my seventeen-year-old mind all alone 

Keep your drawers on, girl, it ain't worth the fight 
By the time you drop them I'll be gone 
You'll be right where they fall the rest of your life 
You say you're tired of me taking you for granted 

Waiting' up till the last minute to call you up and see what you want to do 
But you're only fifteen, girl, you ain't got no secretary 
And 'For granted' is a mighty big word for a country girl like you 

I know it's just your daddy talking, 'cause he knows 
That blood red carpet at the Salem Church of Christ 
Ain't gonna ever see no wedding between me and you 

Zip City, it's a good thing that they built a wall around you 
Zip up to Tennessee zip right down to Alabama 
I got 350 heads on a 305 engine, I get ten miles to the gallon 
I ain't got no good intentions" - M. Cooley

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Always Be Pedaling...

Yes, as I wrote previously, "People They Steal..."

So I was on the hunt for a new bike. I actually settled on an old, 1970's Japanese made bike: A Zebrakenko that I found on Craigslist. Mine is blue. An amazing sort of blue. Here's a picture of a black Zebrakenko. Maybe I will post a picture of my blue bike sometime.

Zebrakenko - a pretty amazing bike, for sure. Sleek, fast, light, but very sturdy. Well-built. Back in the 70's people in the USA made fun of Japanese made products, it turns out, of course, that was just pure racism, ignorance & prejudice. Japanese made, even back then; excellent, top-notch.

Turns out this bike is a "fixed gear" bike. When I bought it, I had no clue. I was thinking that meant it was just a "single speed" bike. Nope. A completely different animal.

"What is the difference between a single speed bike vs. a fixed gear bike?" - "A single speed bike has a single speed freewheel threaded onto the rear hub. The freewheel allows the rider to coast. A fixed gear has a single cog threaded on the rear hub, along with a reverse threaded lockring, to prevent the cog from getting loose. The cog has no freewheeling action, so any time the wheel is moving, the pedals are moving too."

No coasting. Always pedaling. A completely different riding experience. At first it was a bit weird, disorienting, but after riding it a bit, I totally acclimated. Now, I love it, I am totally indoctrinated to a new way of being. I can say this bike has changed my life. For sure. No coasting. Always pedaling. Sometimes slower, sometimes faster, but pedals always, always moving forward.

Not a bad way to make it around in this world. Never coast. Always pedal. Zebrakenko!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How to Know When You Know?

Follow your intuition... "an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it, or a feeling that shows this ability."

Sounds simple. Do we "just know things?" Sometimes it does seem to be so. When you are in tune, and clicking along with the day, your intuition seems to be the compass; there is a sublime certainty leading you to making all the right moves.

When you are out of tune, not clicking, there is the second-guessing, and the third-guessing. The unknowing. You end up over-thinking, or out-thinking yourself.

How to know when you know? Meditation helps. Solitude. A certain distance from the raging cauldron of emotions inside, or your own overheated frenzy of thought. Finding the calm center and staying there for a time, intuitive.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Totally In Tune With The Day!

We performed at the Milwaukee Art Museum yesterday afternoon. What an incredibly beautiful and extraordinary building, created by Santiago Calatrava. Breathtaking. A perfect day. It all came off perfectly; the ride up, the setting up, the performance, the post-show takedown, the post-show meal, and the ride back. We were totally in tune with day. What an amazing, inspiring building, what a incredible experience. The event was all light and sunshine and the improbable expansion of human consciousness and creation. We filled this extraordinary space with our uncommon sound. Vibrations. Yes. It was validating. A good one for sure.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

All These Years Later, Still Trying...

If you knew me then. Hell, if I knew me then...

I have a long-distance friend. He lives in Poland. I haven't seen him in the flesh in about 20 years. He lived in Chicago for a few years in the late 1990's, and in those years we developed an uncommonly deep bond. It happened almost instantly. Can't really explain it.

We came from different worlds. Our experiences, the places, the dates, the history, the social milieu, everything was completely different. We did connect on Art. We both were pursuing some kind of artistic Eldorado. He was primarily a painter, a sculptor, I was primarily a writer, performer.

We worked together on a couple of theater pieces. He built the set, actually he found a dead tree, he painted it, and it became the centerpiece of one of my ill-fated productions. And we worked together on a little pop-up gallery "skit."  I got him to perform in front of an audience for the first time. It was fun, exciting, memorable.

Anyway, lately we have re-connected over the phone. We have had regular contact, long rambling conversations. Just carrying on from all those years ago. Of course, in some ways we are the same, and in some ways we are now so different; older for sure. How else have we changed? Hard to pin down or explain.

He is now a successful businessman, with a beautiful wife and child. He doesn't pursue his artistic dream anymore, but he does talk, think and possess the soul of an artist. Me? I'm still plugging away. Not married, no children, one very close relationship with my long-time soul mate. Still chasing that artistic dream. Still performing, only now with more of a musical bent.

I told my good friend that we will be performing at a museum today. He paused and said: "Jimmy you are so strong." Funny. That comment kind of hung over me.  Strong. I don't think anyone has ever described me as strong. But I know what my friend meant. I have not stopped chasing that artistic Eldorado dream. Still creating. Still performing. Maybe I'm stubborn. Determined. Or stupid. Stupefied.

Still plugging away, still trying to do something creative, something extraordinary, something beautiful, still trying...

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Finally the Big Idiot in Chief Unites Us!

The Idiot in the White House, the Chief Executive Imbecile is so mad, he's sputtering, flecks of spittle on his collar, he needs action, something must be done, he directs his Attorney General to find the person in his administration who thinks he's a complete Fucking Idiot.

"Eventually the name of this sick person will come out,' he said, adding: 'Maybe it's nobody... Look, the Times uses phony sources all the time."  Ha. Ha. Ha. The laughs keep coming!

Sick Person? Or Nobody? No one in the administration has the heart to tell the Big Stupid Guy what he probably couldn't understand anyway....

The AG must be secretly laughing his ass off. 

Of course, the answer, the answer the AG can't verbalize to the Idiot in Chief: "Well, Sir, we ALL think you are an fucking Idiot." Certainly anyone who has seen the Idiot in Chief on TV, or in person, anyone who has heard him give a speech, or an off the cuff remark, anyone who has been in a room with the man, breathing the same air, anyone with a lick of sense, knows that this Idiot is in an Idiot Class all by himself.

We are all laughing at this Big Idiot. Finally. He is uniting America. At least a major portion of the country. Maybe not the dedicated Idiot Brigade, but even some of those Imbeciles must be starting to worry their over-taxed brains even just a teensy bit... "Idiot? Or Not an Idiot? Hunh?!"

Friday, September 07, 2018

The Imbecile Is So Imbecilic He Thinks He's Smart.

The Imbecile. You almost, almost feel sorry for him. 

Not really. You thought it was the racism that would sink him. Or the conspiracy with Russia to defraud the USA. Or the rampant misogyny. Or the sexual predation. Or the xenophobia. Or the mocking of Bronze Star families, POWs, and the disabled. Or the attacks on Judges, the Courts, the Rule of Law, and the U.S. Constitution. Or the constant, incessant, blatant lying; one lie after another. Or the shamelessness, the mendacity, the pure amorality. Or the criminality, the years of fraud and money-laundering. You would think that the man's lack of empathy and compassion for anyone else would sink him.

Think: Dunning-Kruger Effect -  "The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability; without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence."

The Imbecile is so Imbecilic he thinks he's smart.

Listen to Trump's former lawyer John Dowd: Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”

Thursday, September 06, 2018

"The Hilarity Phase of our National Nightmare!"

First thing this morning I hear words floating in the air from my radio...

"The President is at war with forces from within." 

Yes. No doubt. Ha. Ha. Ha. We have entered the "hilarity phase" of our national nightmare. I remember the later years of the W. Bush Clusterfuck. It was a decidedly different kind of Clusterfuck, a different flavor from our present Clusterfuck, but Clusterfuck it was, for sure. During those years, as soon as I heard W.'s voice on the radio I was swearing, wanting to throw things, break dishes, etc; his voice was worse than nails on a chalkboard. This Clusterfuck? The anger has subsided, the fear has waned, the outrage has sputtered, the horror is still there, but it's like a little black cloud I can put in my back pocket for future reference; no, with this particular Clusterfuck, the primary reaction to hearing Little Baby Man's voice shaking with hurt, anger & betrayal is LAUGHTER! DEEP, SOLAR-PLEXUS, BELLY LAUGHS. What a poor, little, twisted clown. He is a lost little Baby Man, floundering around, wondering why everyone hates him, and why everyone thinks he's a total fucking, Idiot. His dogged supporters think he is smart, that he is decisive and competent, they remember how smart he seemed on that TV show... ha, ha, ha... the Idiot Brigade following the Big Idiot over the idiotic cliff. Funny. Very. Very. Funny.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Woodward has Tapes! Ha. Ha. Ha.

The hilarity continues... now, this time around, it's Bob Woodward who has the tapes. The Burning Question: Idiot or Not An Idiot. This one is easy...

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The French and Not So French Iggy!

Yes. I mess with my chemistry (see previous post), daily. A friend of mine once read years of my posts (I don't recommend it), and said to me: "You write about coffee a lot." It's true. If I have one major, go-to ingredient, I guess it would have to be caffeine. Not sure if it's good or bad for me, but it definitely, moves me. When I first awake, especially after a crazy, long, weekend, (On Sunday, I performed at an event - I was the sound-tech, the MC, and in the opening band, plus I did set-up and take-down, pre and post show - totally exhausting!), I'm sort of in that Dawn of Dead, Zombie-State: Pure JimmyDumps. Then after a few sips of my magic elixir, I am slowly, but surely, animated once again: SunnyJimmy comes to life.

I remember reading a collection of Jack Kerouac letters, and there's one where he discovered coffee for the first time. It set him afire, and led to a mad flurry of writing. I wish Kerouac would have stuck to coffee, instead, he moved onto harder stuff, ended up in a long alcoholic-haze for his last decade or so.

The sun is shining this morning, and my eyes are sparkling. There is optimism in the air, even if that optimism is just my own private, crazy, invention, and only emanates from my own swirling, over-caffeinated consciousness. I am listening to Iggy Pop's French album; Iggy said his record label rejected it because his fans didn't want to hear him croon, they wanted him to rock, but, you know, on a quiet Tuesday morning, sun streaming through curtains, Iggy crooning in French feels just right. It's a short album, so I move onto Iggy & the Stooges "Fun House," just to goose the energy a bit. It's an all-Iggy kind of morning. The French and the Not So French Iggy. Both go well with coffee and sunshine.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Experimental-Minded Chemists!

I do think we are all just chemistry labs. Most of us, we come with the necessary, basic, equipment, we inherit most of the tools, the major organs we need to survive, and are all set and ready to go.

The process of Nature and Nurture begins.

We are all chemistry experiments. We all decide how we want to nourish ourselves, what fuel we put in our bodies. Of course, all of this is handed down through the ages, this is the job of culture, of the society of humans, of our friends and families, to decide how best to nourish and flourish.

There are good habits, bad habits, healthy foods & beverages, unhealthy foods and beverages. Of course what we consider healthy or unhealthy changes over time, and sometimes it's a bit confusing to know what's what. And then there are all those organic substances, and lab-concocted substances we ingest. We all basically get to choose from a vast range of substances some USDA approved, some black market, some illicit, some decidedly toxic.

Sometimes we take the toxic shit into our bodies for fun, for kicks, we cloud our minds, we goose up our systems just for entertainment. We are wacky, experimental-minded chemists. We become what we eat, what we drink. Look around. See all the experimenting going on.

Of course, we are all basically"failed experiments." We all age, breakdown, fall apart. There is a "sell date," encoded in our DNA. "This product expires on... "  That's part of the fun. In the meantime, we do our thing. Stoke the fire, goose the machine, keep ourselves full, lubricated, always trying to keep that energy flow, flowing.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

The Answer and the Question.

Living with Truth. It is inevitable. We can pretend. We can evade. We can think of other things. We can conjure and put off. Conjure and put off. That's pretty much our lives.

There are some things you can't wish away. Some things you can't reverse, can't put back together. There is a Land of the Lost. Lost possessions. Lost People. Lost Feelings. Lost Time.

The Lost-ness builds, accumulates, it opens big holes in the fabric of our time. There's no holding on. There's no holding together. We need to expand, to explode, to encompass more than we can encompass.

How does this all go? How does it really unfold? We are the answer. And the question. Both.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

People. They Steal!

"Thou shalt not steal."

That supposedly made it onto Moses' stone tablets. People don't listen. They steal. Often. All the time. I just got my bike stolen, everyone I talk to has told me, "Yeah, I've had my bike stolen too." One friend told me he has had 3 bikes stolen in his lifetime, he finally stopped riding bikes.

I felt like a Cowboy, you know, devastated, someone stole my horse. My bike is vital. My main source of transportation, and I am always on the move. I left it outside, locked to a street sign. It's been locked there for years, standing there in snow, sleet, rain, blistering heat. But, you know, I have been slowly rebuilding that bike, new chain, new saddle, new pedals. I guess, finally that beat-up old bike started looking kind of attractive. And if you are in the need of cash, and who isn't, well, that bike was tempting, right?

Fuck. Talk about hitting someone where it hurts. The dirty, nasty secret in the bike world: No lock is steal-proof! Any lock can be picked, snapped, clipped, etc. It's all luck, right? If you have to park somewhere on the street, for any length of time, (and who doesn't?), you are risking your bike to the bike-thieves.

Yesterday, I had to walk everywhere. Every step seemed a little bit extra heavy. My wings were clipped. One step, one step, one step.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Did He Want to Be Elvis, The Monster, or Chopin? Why Choose?

From Up-Tight, The Velvet Underground Story...

Victor Brockis: Did you see John's (Cale) personality breaking in two, in the sense that on the one hand he was a very creative personality balancing on the edge, on the other hand he had a very old-fashioned romantic sensibility?

Betsy Johnson: Yeah... and on the other hand he always wanted that hit-45 or hit Single. He's the same way now.

Art Finkelstein: I could never figure out whether John Cale wanted to be Elvis Presley, the Frankenstein Monster, or the young Chopin.

Hanky Panky Nohow by John Cale

If the sacheting of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of plaining lakes
Those plaining lakes will surely calm you down

Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
What law?

There's a law for everything
For elephants that sing to keep
The cows that agriculture won't allow
Hanky-panky know how, hanky-panky know how
Hanky-panky know how

There's a name for everything
For elephants that sing to keep
The cows that agriculture won't allow
Hanky-panky know how, hanky-panky know how
Hanky-panky know how

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Tell-Tale Tricky-Dick Back Trick!

Have you been following Rachel Maddow? She is tracking with the Russian Dupe in the White House Investigation on a daily basis. She really gets into the weeds on the story. Deep dive details. She is great at giving a grand overview of what's happening at the same time she delves deep into the murk. Not easy to do, so many characters, so many contradictory story-lines, a complex tale, unfolding now.

She also has been giving us a little history lesson. Reaching back to Nixon and the Watergate Scandal. There are many overlapping threads between that scandal and our current raging scandal. The one key thing they have in common: There is a Criminal in the White House. Except in today's scandal we have an ominous Russian twist.

One thing I love about Rachel's little history lesson, it shows that the country can survive a devastating scandal. The rule of law can work. The Courts, the Congress, cooler heads in the Republic can prevail. Hopefully, that is a precedent we can follow in our present predicament.

I do expect this guy, famous, self-described "rat-fucker," Roger Stone will emerge as a key player in the Russian Election Hack saga soon. I am expecting a Roger Stone indictment any day now. What was the tell-tale sign that this guy was/is a serious dirty trickster to be reckoned with? He had the ultimate Dirty Trickster, Tricky Dick himself tattooed on his back... the tell-tale tricky-dick back trick!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

A Sluggish Life!

Geese flying overhead at dawn. They call to each other and their voices are like ancient souls, speaking in an ancient tongue, calling from the great beyond. Puts me in a wistful mood. It's the same when I hear a train whistle. Time. Going by. The sun is behind clouds. The streets are dark, it's cooler here, a big storm last night banished the heat. I'm in a foreign place, drinking someone else's coffee, typing on someone else's keyboard, listening to John Cale's "Vintage Violence," the full album via You Tube. Cale is my latest rage. All of his work speaks to me. A couple days ago, I rifled through my CD collection and pulled out all the old Cale records I own. Is anyone better than John Cale in all his various guises? I think not.

Slept well. It happens often when I'm sleeping in someone else's place. Better mattress, better pillows, quieter. There is an element of "being on vacation," vacation from my normal routine. I hear on the radio this morning, that it might be better to be "lazy," a slower metabolism might mean a longer life. Live a Sluggish Life! Funny. I am constantly stoking my metabolism with coffee, hyping myself up, working myself into a lather. Often I am just an aimless ball of energy looking for something to do. What a life.

Some days you feel totally in the stream, in the middle of the stream, flowing along with the day, other times, you feel like you are on the shore, on the sidelines, lurking, sort of invisible to the day. Today has that invisible kind of feel. I could disappear into the ether at any moment and no one would notice. Falling into the Great Unknown. The Great Unknowing. A Sluggish Life.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"Do Something Beautiful..." G. Maupassant

"It was 1965. They decided to follow Guy Maupassant's dictim to "Do something beautiful in the form that suits you best according to your own temperament."

I am re-reading "Up-tight" a great book about The Velvet Underground. Excellent summer reading. The origin story of the Velvets. A story of the 60's and one of the great seminal r&r bands. Folks all dressed in black (except Nico), with dark shades, and a commitment to exploring the stark realities of existence all presented in a wild multi-media extravaganza: Andy Warhol's "Exploding Plastic Inevitable."

I love Andy Warhol's mantra: "Do the work."

I love stories about artistic folks finding each other. I love stories of unique souls getting in a room together and creating something new. The original lineup of the Velvets only lasted for one record, Nico left after the first one, John Cale left after the second one. Seems Lou Reed was difficult sort; brilliant, driven, uncompromising. Reed saw himself as some kind of R&R Raymond Chandler, chronicling the underbelly life in the big city.

So many great characters turn up in this saga: Reed, Cale, Nico, Sterling Morrison, Mo Tucker, Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Betsy Johnson, Edie Sedgwick, Gerard Malanga, Warhol's galaxy of Superstars.

I find it all inspiring. Creative, impossible characters always onto the next thing. While I'm reading the book I've been close listening to all the records. The Velvets recorded some of the finest, most uncompromising, original, edgy r&r ever committed to vinyl. They didn't sell a lot of records at the time, but how many bands did they inspire over the succeeding years? Too many to count.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Who's in Command Here?

Sometimes you wonder if anyone is in charge. Who is the Authority? Is everything up to us? Is there anyone we can look to for guidance, for advice? Are there any Wise Souls out there? Are we really all on our own? Are we the Authority? Are we making it up as we go?

Is this all just a grand Manichaean soap opera? Is it a daily, existential battle of Good vs. Evil? Or is it a murky, infinite, spectrum of gray? I kind of like the idea of a dualistic cosmology, dueling cosmos. Crossbows at dawn!

"Manichaeism taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.[5] Through an ongoing process that takes place in human history, light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, whence it came. Its beliefs were based on local Mesopotamian religious movements and Gnosticism."

Can we put our money on Zoroaster, you know, the old, wise-guy who predicted "the ultimate destruction of evil."  I guess the jury is still out... to be continued... I mean, we are only here on a temporary basis, this Good vs Evil thing seems like it could be a bit of a drawn-out affair...

I think of this famous scene from Apocalypse Now... who is in command? Maybe Roach knows...

Willard: "Who's the Commanding Officer here?"
Gunner: "Ain't You?"

(Later in the scene...) 

Willard: "Hey Soldier, do you know who's in command here?" 
Roach: "Yeah."

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Gratifying & Unexpected!

Our band whitewolfsonicprincess played a r&r benefit show out in the Western Suburbs last night. Way out West. We think of it as the "Land Beyond O'Hare." Or, "The Land that Time Forgot."

We played a full set of originals, on a bill with a whole lineup of cover bands: Boston, Rush, Prince, Beatles, Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Heart. We felt like fish out of water, for sure. Was it a good show for whitewolfsonicprincess!? The Sound-Tech said, "You guys made my night." The drummer in the last band on the bill said, "You guys were the best band tonight." A woman at the bar said, "Everyone at the bar was mesmerized." The burly ex-punk rocker said, "Loved your set, it was beautiful." Yes, surprisingly, it was a good one.

You never know, right? We have a weird, arty, bohemian kind of vibe to our band. We definitely felt and looked like strangers in a strange land. Maybe it's good to see so starkly what we are not, so we can embrace what and who we really are... We did connect. Our weird-ness, our strange-ness came across, and still, folks were listening. That was gratifying and totally unexpected.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Trump's Favorite Pecker Spilling Beans Now!

Tabloids. We have all seen them in the check-out line at the grocery store, and at the pharmacy.  My favorite headline, ever, which I used in one of my plays back in the 2000's: "Ventriloquist in Coma, Dummy Still Talking!"

That wasn't from David Pecker's National Enquirer, it was from the Weekly World News, which was the Onion, before the Onion.  Looks like Trump's favorite Pecker just got immunity, and will be spilling the beans soon. Oh my!

Anyway, I didn't find the Ventriloquist cover, but I did find some good ones this morning...

An empty tomb. Now that's some excellent, posthumous, legend-building PR. Worked for Jesus too! 

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Dead-Enders of the Dead End.

Let's just state it plainly, this MAGA Zombie Death Cult supporting our Little Baby Man President, you know, the Corrupt Idiot King, is a dead-end. These folks are the dead-enders of the dead end. There is no reasoning with them, no arguments will persuade them. They are beyond hope and redemption.

The media has been in thrall to them for too long. Some have tried to persuade us that they represent a legitimate movement, that they herald in some new dark future where Anger & Hate and Racism & a bred-in-the-bone Ignorance rule.

We need to reject that framing of the political landscape. These MAGA folks are the Kool-Aid Drinkers of Jonestown, or the "religious millenarian cult" followers of Heaven's Gate. MAGA is a cult of the brain-dead. They will follow their corrupt, compromised leader over the cliff, no matter what. We need to tune them out. Out-vote them. Move them out of the way.

Their Dear Leader is imploding, choking on his own suppurating corruption. The worms of death, decay, and putrefaction are oozing from all his orifices. There is a deep ugliness on display. It will get worse. Little Baby Man's Long Nightmare is just beginning. The Smart People will keep their distance, please avoid the toxic, noxious, putrefying fumes emanating from the MAGA crowd. MAGA will die hard.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Knocking the Game-Board to the Ground!

"Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted."

"Truth isn't True."

"Crime isn't Crime."

The Apologists and Supporters of our current Cult Leader tell us, their favored, Powerful, Brain-Addled MAGA Hero can do no wrong. We have entered a Kaleidoscopic Hall of Mirrors. If you are losing the argument, in court, in the public square, in the face of a mountain of facts, well, I suppose you just knock the game-board to the ground.

The rest us should just take a deep breath. We can keep our feet on the ground. Renew our trust in gravity, common sense, the scientific method, the rule of law, a constitutional order. Don't get distracted by the Bullshit, the PR Blitz, Propaganda, Disinformation.

This is actually a very simple story: Corrupt people living lives of corruption, at the expense of the rest of us. And what were these corrupt people willing to do? Sell us all out, for $, for power, for comfort, luxury. Things have gotten quite twisted, and lots of folks are confused, or maybe just will-fully ignorant. There is lots of hate and bad blood, and the majority of the MAGA folks are really just trolling us.

We have to be clear-headed, clear-eyed. Be meticulous in our thinking. Don't let passions overwhelm. We can work through this together. Truth will out. Crime is crime. Not everything is permitted. And that's a good thing. We can do our best to live honest lives. We can lean to the light. We know right from wrong. We can be smart, compassionate, enlightened. Yes. We. Can.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Still Life - Banana!

You would think I'd want to comment on the political firestorm that blew up yesterday. "A sitting President is implicated in a criminal conspiracy to mislead the American public in order to influence an election."  I do think the story has legs, and it may be the beginning of a long nightmare for our Little Baby Man President.

But, no, I would rather post and comment upon this "accidental" still-life photo I took yesterday. I was unpacking CDs from my Yippiefest sound-tech duties, re-organizing big piles of CDs, and this particular CD ended up next to this particular banana. No kidding.

I wondered, Is the Universe sending me a message? I'm not sure. I did eat the banana. I also ended up listening to the CD. Nutritious. Satisfying. It was only later that I regretted eating that banana. It was so handsome. I thought, I could have done a whole series of still-lives; that particular banana with significant CDs from other eras. Too late. That banana is long gone.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Pre & Post Show Hustle!

A three day weekend. A flurry of activity. Hardly slept. Hardly ate. Powered by adrenaline. Not sure if that is healthy or not. Yesterday, still hustling, cleaning up, putting large black boxes back in their usual places.

"Rock music is mostly about moving big black boxes from one side of town to the other in the back of your car." - David Thomas, Pere Ubu

It is funny. The pre & post show hustle is just as important as the time you spend on stage in front of an audience. The preparation, the rehearsals, the getting gear sorted out. It can be a Zen thing. Pick up the box, carry it down the stairs, hustle it back to the rehearsal space.

Then there is the post-show assessment. What went right? What went wrong? I broke a string on Sunday. It happens. Sometimes I play with a bit too much enthusiasm, but then there is the normal wear and tear, the humidity, all the up and down tuning. My backup guitar is a gorgeous-looking Epiphone guitar, but it just doesn't have the same gravity that my old 1979 Japanese-made Hohner possesses.

And it just doesn't feel the same. I am so married to that old, clunky Hohner. I am now on the search for another one. Same model, same year. Another mad quest. Just to make the show, and our performances a little better. It's the day after, the day after.

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Physicality of the Human!

"Baby, baby, you are out of time..." I can hear Mick Jagger singing that line...

My last three summer days were spent in a theater space. Running sound, performing, watching other performers. It was a pretty amazing display of human creativity in all it's forms: music, poetry, theater, comedy. The human thing. Lots of humans creating. They called it Yippiefest 2018. 

You should have been there. There is a really unique thrill about being in a room with other human beings focused on creative exploration. A visceral kick. Sharing the same space, the same air. The physicality of the human. You can't get it on a screen: a tv, a laptop, a phone.

I was reminded that I am a man "out of time." I think it was the iPod (an ancient device), or the Walkman (pre-historic), the collection of CD's (obsolete), I armed myself with, plus, also, of course, the cells of my body (worn, ragged, beat, beatific?). These hands, this head, this body. How many turns around the sun for me? Too many to count.

I was overwhelmed by the energy of the room. The flow of the days and nights. The energy. Energy really is Eternal Delight (hat tip: Wm. Blake). I conjured up a bit of my own energy too. I was tired, over-extended, but when I entered that theater space I was flooded with energy. Renewed. A festival of the Human Thing.

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