Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

To Learn The Science Of Naming In Today's World Is Vicious


11 Nov

art-science

Art and Science

samplex

I saw the seven words, then it finally registered with all the synchronicity of a lighted odometer turning over from all nines to all zeroes. This was it! The riddle had been solved! In ill-considered black and white here before me, written three days earlier, on my mother’s 48th birthday was the culminating stroke of this freaky name-change operation thing I had charted for months with soft sell handshakes and strange grimaces to any new person who happened to meet me.

And I took the name Gabriel Thy...

The Howell House was clean and active, even upscale I suppose one could say, secure and nearly two-thirds geriatric. My mother lived four floors above me up on the sixth floor of the 18-story building. She was on staff as the senior citizens coordinator and bookkeeper, and I occasionally helped her out with some of the more confined and colorful patrons doing odd chores for them. I was anxious to tell her of my discovery, although I could hardly expect her to understand the impact this fresh twig of myth and reality would have on me, Richard, the eldest of her seven children. It was her birthday and we were to have dinner together. I was bursting with excitement but I was understandably challenged by a mother's sense of her own naming rights—to bring the gift of reason to the dinner table that night.

How would my family, particularly my mother react to this news, a most suspicious tale ringing with tremendous religious overtones, or as others might prefer, smacking of superstitious or worse, some kind of dangerous demonic affiliations? Of course many people have changed their names with no other purposes other than enhancing one’s business, hiding an ethnicity, blending in, or sheer simplicity in mind.
As it was written on the page, the name—Gabriel Thy—was not given but was taken. This seemingly minor detail concerned me for a quite a while, not in a truly bothersome way, but as a nuisance, like a flapping scarecrow in a field of errors. Having taken this name was it no longer a gift? But when someone gives you a nickel, don’t you take it and perhaps slip it into your own pocket? Such were the subtleties of bible and literary scholarship, and so it was with my own problematic gestures.

I was thoroughly bewildered. The name was certainly an odd one, a very special one. I liked it, approved of it, but without a doubt it certainly had a very pretentious ring to it. I was not at all certain I in good faith could take it. And what would I do with it? The cornpone religiosity, the in-your-face God-component of the now prophetic name-change operation, self-fulfilling and otherwise, was obvious to me. But I was sure others would laugh me right off the sidewalk. What about those who already knew me as RSN—a right interesting vintage acronym already, particularly when pronounced Risen or risin as in...Christ is risen! How would my family, particularly my mother react to this news, a most suspicious tale ringing with tremendous religious overtones, or as others might prefer, smacking of superstitious or worse, some kind of dangerous demonic affiliations? Of course many people have changed their names with no other purposes other than enhancing one's business, hiding an ethnicity, blending in, or sheer simplicity in mind.

Having finished with ecclesiastical literature, about this time I had also finished reading, was presently reading, or would very soon be reading the herded vapors of Gide, Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Miller, Darwin, Kerouac, Nietzsche, Castaneda, and Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll, the latter, a landmark ransom for me, among others. But I would not wholly give up the ghost. I clung to every shred of hope massaging my investigations that God would clear me for landing his understanding, that each and every one of the moderns were wrong in their denial of deity, dead wrong in their intemperance in disparaging the creative power from without, even as they worshipped the creative power within whether it be DNA or environmental advantages. Time and time again I found the writers complaining not against Christ but rather against the wretched incarnations of the church, its scavengerlike methods poisoning their minds against all of the burlier forms of theology and the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jesus of Nazareth. Still I persisted just as I persist today.

And by no stretch of time or imagination was this an easy task to discharge, seeing as I knew almost no women at the time and had little coin with which to persuade others that this was on the level, was no prank, no plot to appear artistic and sublime, nor merely a passing fancy. Yes neighbor, I was feeling tragically symbolic, alone but for the voice of God resounding in my head, just as intricately wrought analysis of my daily experiences had led me to belief.
I don’t remember my mother’s initial reactions to my telling the tale of the harbinger bringing forth her son a new name. Not then, not there. She in all likelihood, since I don’t specifically remember her response, sighed and said something along the lines of, “That’s interesting, son,” while thinking to herself that this was just a passing artistic phase or something or another and to follow form she’d share no words either of encouragement or of any personal horror. She’d always thought of herself as somewhat of a mystic, but was not easily persuaded that any such thing would rub off onto her children. So I use the words "not then, not there" simply because there was no mindjarring quarrel I recall from that Sunday night, and shortly thereafter, speaking both epistemologically and chronologically, things begin to shift into place with great importance.

The name was mine to take. That much was had been chanced upon, had been written, had arrived in a happy circumstance. There was no doubt in my mind that this was living theatre, that I had been given an emblazoned word of prophecy in Corpus Christi, and it was fulfilled here in Atlanta because I had stayed the course. But I also intuited that there were certain terms involved, certain measures and quotas to be filled, certain spiritual hoops to be jumped through in order to discern whether or not this was this real McCoy. Because it was my understanding that I’d come to this earth through the wondrous body of a woman, was named by that same woman, had bullishly married and was now irreparably separated from another woman once twice my age, it was preserved in my mind and reinforced by circular logic that if this name change was truly from God, my doubts could only be dispelled if endorsed by a woman. And by no stretch of time or imagination was this an easy task to discharge, seeing as I knew almost no women at the time and had little coin with which to persuade others that this was on the level, was no prank, no plot to appear artistic and sublime, nor merely a passing fancy. Yes neighbor, I was feeling tragically symbolic, alone but for the voice of God resounding in my head, just as intricately wrought analysis of my daily experiences had led me to belief.

I was working three hours a day downtown delivering pizzas and sandwiches on foot to the downtown Atlanta highrise luncheon crowd. I saw many faces and shared a quick grin or a few words of friendly chat, but my social importance was next to nothing. When I had a few dollars to spare I’d occasionally dip into a rather eclectic pub down Peachtree Street a few blocks from the Howell House for a pitcher of cheap suds, but knew only a few guys, the bar maid, and maybe one woman superficially at best. The happy hour crowd was always buzzing with a spattering of high profile cultural scooters including the nucleus I later grew to appreciate individually as an art curator, a couple of attorneys, an old hippie or two, a librarian, a couple of salesmen, a science fiction aficionado, a banker, a copywriter, an amateur actress, a faux cubist painter, a few struggling musicians, a chess champion, and a CDC technician.

The nihilistic era of the rude nickname had arrived in spades, the new epithet of the unsung, pacing the steamy streets and charlatanic nightclubs with the vengeance of a caged wolf, with little respect for anything, hardly sparing themselves. Visceral yearnings in youth were reshaping a new generation’s perspective on love and hatred, and the mad rush for mostly vulgar monikers had already begun in earnest.
This circle of soon to be regulars was still small at the time of the White Crow writing. All of them knew me as Richard, slightly weird and chalked up with an armload of library books. Keep in mind of course that when I introduced myself to someone, that was the last mention of a name-change operation, the line was dead until the next stranger was introduced. I didn’t go around like some enfilading riflemouth spraying people with some nonsense line in search of attention. In fact I was often quite self-conscious when introducing myself. Within a few days (three, four, five?) however I was to meet a young woman four or five years older than me named Kathleen Baker, a woman whose more delicate features were overshadowed by the liberal contours of her body. She weighed over 300 pounds, sang classical music with the voice of a monk, and immediately seemed to enjoy the nimble dispatches my wit invested among the afternoon mélange. Thinking again as I write this, perhaps I hadn’t told my mother of the Gabriel Thy transmogrification after all, not then that night of her birthday, for whatever reasons I now forget, because with each ascendant memory, in fact, as I am thinking about this concentratedly for the first time in many years, it seems that Kathleen Baker’s were the very first ears to hear the entire mess of fish from beginning to end, sans of course, the still confidential part about needing a woman to validate the transition (part of the test is to not publicly reveal all the details but to allow the truth to unfold according to God’s will and not mine), and that she energetically embraced the novelty of what she was hearing and resolved at that very first meeting to call me Gabriel, Gabriel Thy, enough said. And so in that unorchestrated off the cuff fashion this woman became the first person to know me only as Gabriel Thy, not Richard Nix.

Yes, that was it. She listened to my poem and she approved. Mother would learn only later, and now I recall another event which I shall get to shortly. That afternoon at the Stein tavern I did however note my apprehension at appearing far too pretentious for these cynical hobbyhorse times by dubbing myself Gabriel Thy. I was a nothing, a fledgling writer, a seeker after an illusive and much debated truth, caught within the mechanical web of all breeds and conjugation of fact and fantasy, and yet despite my busy faith and rote exhilaration, I could not call myself a christian because quite frankly I couldn't fathom exactly what the word meant anymore, if indeed I ever did. There were so many conflicting versions of the title that I just preferred to leave it alone, to let the scavengers pick the bones clean if need be.

Little did I know at the time that even as I in all seriousness was changing my name thousands of others were performing a similar operation. The nihilistic era of the rude nickname had arrived in spades, the new epithet of the unsung, pacing the steamy streets and charlatanic nightclubs with the vengeance of a caged wolf, with little respect for anything, hardly sparing themselves. Visceral yearnings in youth were reshaping a new generation’s perspective on love and hatred, and the mad rush for mostly vulgar monikers had already begun in earnest.

Names like Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious became the norming curve for acceptance into this thriving cult of nothingness. My own name mutation, void of applause or record deals, shock value or normalcy, was a serious matter, referencing everything I earnestly believed about the nature and signature of the Creator, flagging for all to observe, his will for me and mankind. To understand this name would take time for me as I experienced what surely would be a new direction in destiny. The easy part was over. Onto the Directed Path of God’s dotted line I was willing to sign, but where, and how?

My anxiety with these problematic questions did not evaporate with the introduction to Kathleen. I still begged in my spirit for more validation.

Authorized Personnel Only


07 Nov

Afraid of demons with scratchy voices,
eat your vegetables, carve your meat,
take your vitamins, drink your success,
I see you've eaten everything on your plate
except Yahoshua pushed to a corner
sanitized, sold with lies,
what a simple shame
this incubus of your hate,
this collective example—you cheat
from bank to bakery to butcher to color
making your choices, icing on your cake,
never the twain to meet.

Cross-breed my gasoline my corn, fuel donkey
bake your bread, your cherry tree disguise
working in office of twelve daughters
a day, long hours in point, bigger
higher, longer, thicker, richer,
faster, smarter, safer—
meaning it's not this way
but that, unauthorized tongue, you say
what you read is authorized and perfect,
but you, still armed, RU authorized,
made perfect just because someone else
unauthorized and not perfect
broke a crowd long ago?

Pick up tree to follow me,
prepare, verify gnosis to name
the claim, the value, the power
ride, sit, walk, fly, win, thin
must be a better way to stalk
barely sure you can cut it
that shame you claim you lost
generations ago, look it's back
got the knack, took me back
moving from palace to shack
better to be seen not heard
in lion's jaw, days of old
breaking dove, the bird
the very meaning
of my word...

[ 2013, Lovettsville ]

Pickles Love Cucumbers


18 Aug

I love you too...
my baby's so sweet she's rots my teeth,
the fig of creation, I find love to be such an awkward word,
but am only comfortable in pronouncing it,

in my case childless,

to this beguiled wife with whom I execute it
not unlike the notion of sugar water. Towards others,
those feelings and outreach is a reflex, but the word

LOVE itself poses quite a stumbling block to the poet long
preferring the word RESPECT, but hello, as signifier
knowing too how the American gangster culture
pretty much bloodied that word for me to boot,
so one if by wink, two if by blink...
and if it brings you happiness, sue me.

[ 2013, Lovettsville, VA ]

The Premise


24 Oct

Project Scenewash has been heard to decree
the awful battleground where art and politics plea,
beat and battered each other up, none to agree,
and few are they who seemed the wiser...

Painting the fabric civilization vain
must wear to spare itself the critical pain
crude slavery unjust must follow
profane, the closed closet eye
torn against brash sky too soon
no rain, this wrecking ball
heart next to nix over noon
a vanishing dead stain,
the wretched call sign
of the blood red moon...

and that, of course,
is a course made plain,
fussy labors in vain no single man
can reign, by every account his plan
suffers the curse, his hopes lost too,
to the shallow gray range,
the eagle, the lion,
the bitter cold change.

SAMPLEX Originalis


17 Oct

dancemaid

"Dancemaid" by Gabriel Thy

samplex

SAMPLEX IS THE NAME of the street zine I created and distributed among a certain fan base of Washington DC provocateurs and poseurs in the region's seminal punk and harDCore music scene of 1984-1985. This ludicrous body of half-wit scoundrels, pontificants and prevaricators worked the clubs between Seventh & E Streets and Ninth Street, from "d.c. space" to the "9:30 Club" where fame was chased and fame was made. The 'zine ran eight issues, individually themed, issues which were filled not with the usual confabulated local band lore and raw music sycophancy, but WS Burroughs-inspired cut-ups and collage, cartoons, and other riffs and ripoffs mostly poking fun at the scene itself right from the center of all its purported mayhem, and only the occasional invented or imaginary interview. Each issue consisted of 8-12 pages of tri-folded & heavily stapled panels printed on both sides of 8.5"x14" paper, and xeroxed wherever I could "borrow" a copying machine to print out 50-100 copies each issue. That's a lot of FREE or nearly free xeroxing.

This SAMPLEX blog is in honor of those earliest days of brutal self-punishing self-publishing. New stripes, but the sound, the fury, the beat go on...

PS: Look for reproductions of some of the original SAMPLEX pages here, later, as we post them.

Everyone Needs To Think, So Why Snip Off


27 May

bow

Body of Workers

samplex

On 27 May 2010, at 09:33, Billy Asperger wrote:

I follow you regarding the craps hinted in the previous message. It's true that "you can lead todays lefties around by their dreadlock hair-extensions with the smallest tug". But at the same time we easily can admit that most of the people (doesn't matter whether they are lefties or whatever) really don't give a damn about the revolution a bunch of US had been theorizing (here or there).

I think what disconcerts me about the statement above is that it seems to take for granted a division between those who can "theorize" and the working class. If you are feeling a gap it isn't an intelligence gap it's a class gap; it's not about support for radical change it's over trust and sincerity in those who claim to know better what is good and bad and their good intentions to realize it. It's not because ordinary people do not or can not understand the workings and evils of the system it's because they know them much better: "intellectuals" more than often lack real knowledge of just what it is like to be born into trapped, exploited, cheated and abused neighbourhoods.

I'm working class and all the people I work with are working class (in fact at the moment every last one of them is black working class) and I can tell you a clear and certain fact—that I have heard more genuine insight, shrewdness and sincerity from the mouths of common people than from the pens of middle class and academic "vanguards of the working class", or from the white-people-with-dreadlocks brigade who are rooted nowhere and ultimately committed to nothing as a result.

But there is nothing wrong or pointless about "theorizing", though it's a word I do not find helpful. Discussion ought to take place to try and deepen understanding of how everything works. Those who can do it should do it—and take a clearer perception of conditions back to the communities in which they live and work. Everyone needs to think, so why snip off the activity of thinking, call it theorizing and divorce it ideologically and socially from its application in daily life?

I need to add though that not a lot of what takes place on lists like this, or seminars in colleges or in all the other supposedly intellectual theatres where this "theorization" is supposedly taking place...is anything of the kind. On the contrary it seems to be a battleground where people hone and refine the very things they claim to be against; find new excuses to obscure the truth and divert others from coalescing around it. It is class war over the spectacle. It would be nice to have genuine discussion once in a while but in the absence of true common roots or listserv mediation it isn't very common.

Asperger: "People are enchanted and mesmerized by "the apparent" of the spectacle and that fucking pseudo(?) "objectivity" is good and is enough from their point of view. They feel comfortable being trapped inside the great show of appealing-consuming-producing-exploiting and so on. The spectacular society is reassuring for their simple and mechanical minds."

I can't begin to tell you just how condescending and spectacular a cliché that is. Instead I'll say something potentially more interesting. Human existence is existential: there must be something to fill the void and to structure everyday life, and there must be an ideological framework, a worldview, only within which all words, phenomena, values and beliefs acquire a place and a meaning and a value. Worldview, and all the habits that stream forth from it, is as fundamental and material a necessity as food water and air. It's the way we are made.
Therefore ultimately there is no complete distinction possible between what is spectacle and what is situation; or what is recuperation and what is detournement and so on. There are only inherited models from which to construct models. Very little truth, if any, is ahistorical; all ideas, appearances, meanings and values must exist in a perpetual war over ideas, appearances, meanings and values.

What is eternal is the wisdom of good conduct—of seeing and revealing the truth in all its partiality, of understanding the common interest of fairness and distributing needs and opportunities with equity. What is eternal also seems to be that which I call "original sin" -- the tendency to imitate and repeat evils and errors, to reiterate imperfect worlds from imperfect worlds; bad habits of mind and behaviour that not having been perceived for what they are cannot be rooted out: "karma". Thus life is not really composed of true and false images nor even right and wrong values so much as right and wrong choices. From the existential point of view, to be free means to be condemned to choose between the good and the evil within alternative possible actions—endlessly. No wonder they fall back into the provided routines, spectacles and social clichés: it is so much easier to have something that tells you what to do than to have to face each and every moment in a cosmic abyss of uncertainty.

And these "theorizations" you're referring to are simultaneously an attempt to defend an Ideology of distorted self-serving de/perceptions at war with the attempt to add and revise it with new understandings of the truth. The fact is, the "Left" (whose name itself is as spectacular a piece of nonsense as you could ever hope for) has been struggling with the contradiction between its moral outrage for the world's underdogs and the fact that the underdogs will not meekly back them up in return ever since it robbed the working class of its politics, at about the same time it started robbing rastafarians of their hair-dos, the genuinely homeless of their squatters movements and so on. All the class rhetoric and fashionware and shrunken heads by which today's radicals identify themselves have been stolen from somebody else—as if by possessing their tattoos and music, hairstyles and footwear you could somehow take power over their souls and legitimize yourselves.

But white men can't sing the blues.

k

I Went To School With Bonnie Jones (Yellow)


27 Sep

dream

Bonnie's Dream

samplex

From Bonnie Jones Davisson
September 27, 2009 at 10:58am

You are such an inspiration Gabriel! I will call you that because it suits you as you are. I am so sorry to hear about your mother's struggles. One thing my siblings and I did was to pamper my mother as she was - a true queen. In her latter months, we would go into the nursing home and just crawl inro bed with her, holding her close just to hear her heart beat. We are a very close family, and it was all because of her. She was our sun, and we were mearly planets made from her stardust.

Yes, David died in his sleep. His heart just stopped. He was a type A, head of the gyn. dept. in Thomasville GA. If I go, that's how I want to do it. I remember in one of my attempts at leaving ths Earth, I was guided by David for 3 days, as I spoke French the entire time. Strange what the mind will do. Mutt is simply that, a Mutt. I hear he also has heart troubles, but his boxing days were over a long time ago. He and I had an affair during his boxing days, but my true love was David. I sincerely think had Bobby not been around the two of us would have connected. Mutt has 2 boys—Hunter and Fisher—which speaks volumns as to Mutt's lack of sincerity and unimaginable ego. Were it not for his mousy wife, Robin, his sons would be wild and free, much like Luke's. Good grief! I have told you more buried secrets of my life than I have anyone else! Why do you have my trust so easily?

I have not been on Facebook much lately. I am preoccupied with my daughter's wedding. As a highly gifted child, she is rejecting all tradtitional ceremonies, and is insisting on wearing a pair of $400 knee boots under her dress - of which I thought looked cheap. Intervention meant going to Athens and visiting flower shops, which she finally conceded as beautiful, but is still stubbornly rejecting the cake, which I will do anyway. She will thank me when she's older.

I am also preoccupied with changing pain medication doctors and doing physical therapy. I am also studying with a Jehovah's Witness, of which I have 2 sisters who have practised the religion for over 40 years. Too much has come to pass that they have said would to ignore this religin as not being at least worthy of a second look. I also like the way they are always studying the Bible. Their worships on Sundays are not ranting and ravings, but actual talks by various elders who constantly refer to the Bible to support their subject of the day. I was amazed that in Genesis, it says that the Earth shangs in the heavens as if on a string. Why didn't the Pope KNOW that when the church banned Copernicus to house arrest?

Many exciting things happening right now. I will keep you posted.

Your friend and confidant,
Bonnie

Woman, oh, woman. Well, with every note, Bonnie, you come with both barrels loaded it seems. That's a good thing. Thanks for the update on the Daniel brothers. Tragic, in David's case. As stated earlier, I didn't actually know Mutt, and I had no idea that you bounced around with him at some point. I do appreciate your honesty. Very refreshing to find someone who finds redemption in detail, and craves loveliness despite the reckoning one's path in life often brings...

The story of your mother, of course, is a warming example of what family life can be. Cling to the memories, dear woman. Life is fleeting, and we make of it what we dare within the circumstances we may wrestle and the choices we can muster. Unfortunately, my family never quite measured up to those many ideals we sought, rugged individualists to the core, each of us, beginning with a hardcore alcoholic father and a mother of seven who never REALLY wanted to mother, but chafed an entire life craving to exude ideas of exceptionalism while denying her often troubled, even troublesome yet striving children the same. But after all is said and done, I guess she did her best, as did we.

But here we are, 24 fat and lean years later, still tied in knots, madly in love with each other, best friends forever, and rarely seen in public without the other except during the weekday when she counts the beans in her big office while I chip away at the art world. Her already elderly parents were scandalized by all the brute stylings of the wedding we planned ourselves (mostly me), and for that small over-indulgence I am regretful, but it WAS indeed a unique event.
I hazard to make any remarks about your daughter's choice of wedding apparel because you may be right. The boots may indeed look cheap. Cheap is a fashion choice with its place, its own context and subtext, it still must fit and flow.

I too, am strongly opinionated about fashion, although I am somewhat of a slob myself except when I reclaim the magic. Then I can't fail to strike an erstwhile artistic pose with compliments swirling. In another life, as the saying goes, I might very well have aspired to a life of fashion design. You may remember from high school some rather odd choices I wore to class. Checkered pants, golfer's attire. White shoes, perhaps. From junior high forward, my bold clothes tended to set me apart from the general population, a trait I still maintain to some degree.

That said, my tastes range from traditional upscale lines to street punk debonair. Without embarrassment I have all but dressed my wife for 26 years. Admittedly she resisted early on, but grew to appreciate the benefits. She of course now solicits my eye, and recognizes that I love quality with flair. She sometimes admits the truth that she exudes no taste whatsoever, if anything, maybe classic Tom Robbins cowgirl blues couture. So, if daughter's boots are shiny vinyl high kickers, I say, yuck to cheap, kitsch hooker glam. No way. But if they are matte black thigh high combat boots, with luxurious white quilt-stitched silk gripping her, she'd have my vote, as long as she matches it with a black silk headscarf appointed with red rose to regale her hair in something other than a stale 1950s-1960s bouffant that is so popular with the wedding planner set for decades. Of course, I'm presuming she has long hair, but even if she doesn't, a similar treatment would probably be agreeable. This is all fanciful speculation, of course. Can't quite kill the punk rocker aesthetic I wholeheartedly embraced I suppose.

OK. That was me in Project Runway mode. Please pardon me, if I've insulted you, Bonnie. Perhaps I should share. At the Sue & Gabriel wedding in 1985, no holds barred punk rock motif all the way, my wife and I boasted a square black cake with a pirate's skull & crossbones on top in mockery of all the scripted storybook marriages that then and now fail at a 50% rate. She called all over the city of WASHINGTON, DC for black roses. None could be found. Florists thought she was crazy. We ended up spraying silk red roses black. Nowadays, authentic black roses are found everywhere, roses actually bred to be black. Yup, we were part of a trendsetter generation, for better or worse. But here we are, 24 fat and lean years later, still tied in knots, madly in love with each other, best friends forever, and rarely seen in public without the other except during the weekday when she counts the beans in her big office while I chip away at the art world. Her already elderly parents were scandalized by all the brute stylings of the wedding we planned ourselves (mostly me), and for that small over-indulgence I am regretful, but it WAS indeed a unique event.

As for the Jehovah's Witnesses, I too, have extreme experience with them. But I will delay that deposition until the next letter.

Your friend in letters,

Gabriel

A Taste Of Trench Madness


23 Jul

gabriel-thy

Gabriel Thy's Sleepy Eye

samplex

Thanks for keeping up the resistance, Morales. Just know that the busy silence of we who are marked to fall always proceeds the clashing of the cymbals, while those of us who warned the others (now laughing and mocking, hissing and despising our herald) will have witnessed the fullness of truth, not they—and by inertia or grace will be prepared to shield others from the amplified atrocities as they arrive. That's the extent of whatever hope I have remaining because I have learned that minds are not changed by the politeness of social stability but by the harsh tongues of upheaval and crisis. This country will probably awaken when Europe implodes, but I believe that America is also marked for crisis, a result of having become sadly corrupted and from our national potential far have we strayed.

Don't fear the Marxist-Islamofascism creep, however. Resist it wherever we can, but don't expect any sudden miracles quite yet. People still treasure their fool's gold, reflecting among the dueling mirrors of social consciousness that they've done the math, not quite realizing they've only been using imaginary numbers while letting the real digits slip away...

And allow me this opportunity to insist that I am not naive, no matter what I choose to paint or wrestle into inconsequential line. It's rather obvious by now that I frittered away that excuse six senses and a million miles ago in a taste of trench madness. I may be a fool, but I'm nobody's fool.

Bob Amerson and I become close friends that summer, but this was a small town, and this was what happened in small towns back in the 60s where few homes ever locked their doors, even when folks left town for a few days. Boyhood allegiances shifted quickly without warning, without rationale, without lasting impression in those days. Childhood innocence should be so easy for kids today without ending up in a grave.
I've been aware of this sleepy right eye since junior high when it first started popping up into school photos. I didn't start short career in sandlot boxing, until a bit later, but I did suffer a couple of black ones put there by Bob Amerson immediately after school while we were in the sixth grade. But I picked myself up and met the usual in-town lads—Davey Ryals, his brother Terry, Terry Simmons, Reggie Sawyer, Jimbo Caldwell, Louie "Mooches" Davis, Ronnie Wright, Jimmie Pitts, Tommy Hall, a fews others I'm sure, and Terry Kennedy, the one girl who lived just behind the field, while the rest of us just walked or rode our bicycles—at the ballfield for a pickup game just as was expected nearly every day. Bob did not. I was also surprised to see Donnie Findley there that afternoon, but none of my own brothers were there. If they were I don't recall. But I apparently had earned the applause of the whole squad of twelve to fifteen boys already slinging hash on the field. Sure, I suffered the usual bouts of self-consciousness at school over the next few days, but nobody ever ragged me. From the best I could tell—rolling around the ground (near the tree roundabout where kids who rode parked our bicycles) swinging punches, landing a few, ducking others, before getting pinched by the ears and led to Principal Huff's office by Mrs. Middleton who had taught us both two years earlier—the crowd of twenty-five to thirty, best I could reckon, was split fifty-fifty. But nobody ever ragged me. Bob showed at school the next day. He didn't seem any worse for wear, no shiners, no nothing. But nobody ever ragged me. Bob Amerson and I become close friends that summer, but this was a small town, and this was what happened in small towns back in the 60s where few homes ever locked their doors, even when folks left town for a few days. Boyhood allegiances shifted quickly without warning, without rationale, without lasting impression in those days. Childhood innocence should be so easy for kids today without ending up in a grave.

Albums That Impacted My Life


02 Mar

flowers-lp

My First Big Rock Record

samplex

After a "days on end" bombardment of these viral things, I have succumbed to pressures, peer or otherwise, to post my own. Whatever. And don't forget to catch a few tracks over at Radio Scenewash. Enjoy.

As a younger adolescent, "Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hints" stands the test of time in making that first early impact. Of course, I also heard a good chunk of Johnny Cash and the Carter Family, thanks to my old man's influence, which has always stuck with me. Remember, I grew up in a very small town in the Old South, and this was when AM ruled. FM was still mostly a twinkle in the eye. We caught our radio in snatches where we could. Down on the Georgia coast, snagging the bouncing waves of WLS in Chicago and WOWO in Fort Wayne, IN was hit and miss depending on the weather and cloud cover, but it was massive, even illicit fun to curl up under the covers at night, and steal those rogue high-powered AM waves when we could. Listening to rock and roll in those innocent youthful years in the late 60s took work, and patience. Then came high school and own my first vinyl purchase...

1. Flowers - Rolling Stones (paradigm No. 1, poet laureates with guitars)
2. Harvest - Neil Young
3. Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan
4. Greetings from Asbury Park - Bruce Springsteen
5. The Hoople - Mott the Hoople
6. Close Enough For Rock and Roll - Nazareth
7. This Year's Model - Elvis Costello
8. Telekon - Gary Numan
9. Power, Corruption, Lies - New Order
10. We've Got The Beat - the Go Gos
11. Never Mind the Bollocks - Sex Pistols (paradigm No.2, punk political underground)
12. Easter - Patti Smith
13. Ten Witches - 9353 (single, but brutal)
14. Senseless Offerings - Black Market Baby
15. The Age of Quarrel - Cro-Mags
16. Troops of Tomorrow - The Exploited
17. Psalm 69 - Ministry
18. Rammstein - Mutter (paradigm No.3, industrial religious goth & electronica)
19. The War on Errorism - NoFX
20. Assassinate - Birmingham 6
21. Harmonizer - Apoptygma Berzerk
22. Jesus Christ Superstars - Laibach
23. Embryodead - Wumpscut
24. Cyberia - Cubanate
25. Linger Fickin' Good - Revolting Cocks
26. Southern Born Killers - Stuck Mojo
27. Judgement - VNV Nation
28. Burden - King Giant

Okay, these are the "gamechanger" LPs threaded into three distinctive but overlapping paradigms, each listed in the chronological order more or less (I didn't use references to map this list) in which I was introduced to them, or in one case, a single track that egregiously throttled my perspective in terms of those emotional and intellectual cadences which continued to draw me to the music as I pursued the soundtrack of my life.

A probing sort hiding among my friends might even scratch closely enough at this list to expose one or two similar strains of energy these selections reflect over forty or so years of rocking out to the Almighty Sounds of My Deliverance, but then again, we live in such superficial times where nothing matters very long.

This list is not a comprehensive list of my favorite albums of all-time, or within any given season, but they are the life impacted albums, the ones that have inevitably left its mark in such a way within its particular context, that I need no bread crumbs to find my way back to them.

And we must remember that there are always many global and esoteric variables at play in considering these impact moments in one's rather random listening life, but this is not the space to map that baseline. Suffice it to say, however, these 28 LPs will always remain special, each for their own reasons, to me. Perhaps there are more yet to come.

Gabriel

Twenty-Five Random Things About Me


31 Jan

spikedpunch

Punk Ain't Dead in 1985

samplex

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I used to hang with Ru Paul in Atlanta back when HE played in a band called Wee Wee Pole, mostly at the 688 Club and the Bistro, both now defunct.

2. I was a brilliant child (one of the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging myself through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix…), then I bumped into the lads of 9353, and learned something else about myself.

3. Bob Dylan, Thomas Paine, and Henry Miller, in that order fascinate me to the ends of the intellectual spool, are my heroes, and oddly enough, both the Right and the Left claim them (well, Miller might not make the cut on the Right), and yet all are despised by both the Right and the Left when it suits them.

4. I hitchhiked from Atlanta to NYC to meet Allen Ginsberg with seven cents in my pocket because I had lost my whole $250 paycheck earned working a roofing tar kettle the night before dancing and boozing with a hole in my pocket I had sworn to avoid, all in celebration of my departure. I also met my future wife on that trip. It's a long story.

5. I was a literary poet when I came to DC. I then became a drunk, quit writing poetry in deference to my rocker friends and enemies like Bruce, Boyd, Vance, Gene, Jamie, Rene, Lloyd, Frank, Henry, Andy, Jack and so many more of that squiggle of spit-possessed renegades.

6. I grew up poor among the poor. My five siblings and I often slept in sleeping bags curled up around the only kerosene heater in the house built in 1865, later burned to the ground by an arsonist in 1972, along with many of my childhood treasures. My father collected junk Cadillac & Pontiac hearses and DUIs as if nothing else existed for him.

7. I once told Jesse Jackson I don't stomp the pavement for any cause. And yes, I shook Ronald Reagan's hand as he was leaving the Jacksonville Convention Center in 1972, as a Nixon delegate in the first highschool mock convention of its kind. My particular Florida highschool represented the state of Tennessee. Shirley Chisolm was also there.

8. I recall the Kennedy assassination in full black and white. I was in the third grade. I watched the aftermath at Darwin Gale's house while he was outside playing in the dirt with toy soldiers, our usual connivance.

9. I was married to a Jehovah's Witness twice my age, mother of three, when I was eighteen, four weeks after she smothered my virginity. What a dweeb I was! It lasted three horrific years.

10. With a nod to Yeats, I slouched in the dirty and dangerous coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel on Lake Michigan back when America was strong, though the steel industry was just then beginning to feel the coming shrinkage.

11. My grandfather regularly played chess with King Faisal Ibn Abdul of Saudi Arabia when he was a construction superintendent there in 1966. This king was later assassinated by his own nephew. Spud Woodward, my grandfather, left after six months of his two year tour seriously needing an adult beverage, of course banned over there.

12. I became a painter after reading a book.

13. I believe America is in deep shit, and I also believe we haven't a pooper scooper to our name as a nation.

14. If it weren't for money, I'd be a rich man.

15. I lost a 900 page novel manuscript among other fine washables when I accidentally erased it off my computer.

16. As a former Episcopalean acolyte and Eagle scout, well not quite, my family moved to a remote barrier island owned by the Carnegie and Rockefeller families when I was fourteen, effectively ending my scouting career at Life, anyhow, what was my point?

17. My family were among the original band of Scottish Highlanders to found the State of Georgia. Names like Mackintosh, Spalding, Kenan, Woodward, Atwood lead straight to me. Big effing deal some might say; I say it's all in how you present the information. Did I mention one of my ancestors traced my heritage straight to William the Conqueror, the bastard lord of feudalism? Thirty-one generations. I did the math. Lots of people are my cousins.

18. I have never been to college. But I am still a tool of my enemy, and I cannot visualize an escape.

19. Guns. Now that's something William S. Burroughs knew something about.

20. I either secretly or outright despise Marxists because I am right of center and am more generous with my time and my treasure than any "ever so concerned" Marxist I have ever met.

21. I realize that the line is being drawn in the sand even as I write these words and parse these syllables. There is no time left to write poems or paint pretty pictures. Now is the time for all good men and women to rise to the challenges our spineless leaders have injected into our collective bloodstream.

22. Twenty-five years with the same woman. Haplessly married, but unbreachably united. A story for the ages. Check out Abelard and Heloise.

23. I am either supra-confident in public (usually a byproduct of alcohol, of which I rarely partake these days), or timid and tragically neurotic and full of self-doubt. Ask around.

24. In the spirit of jolly old Saint Nix (one of my former namesakes), I am always making a list and checking it twice, determined as hell to discover who is naughty and who is nice.

25. My greatest shame is that few people who call themselves my friends have ever bothered to listen to my Internet radio station, Radio Scenewash, or read, much less respond to any of my blogs in the several years I have operated them. Such is MY life in the fast lane among the self-satisfied and the splendid.

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


Top

Login