Posts Tagged ‘bigotry’

Acerbic Wit Gone South

15 Oct


Bringing It All Back Home


Originally published on October 15, 1996

Or just imagine you're speaking to a mute. I've seen Boston Common a couple, well, maybe three times. It seems the southern sibling pair have the upper hand and most of the punchlines, but of course the jokes and the hardships ARE aimed at them. But hey, after Carter & Clinton with brothers and mothers hanging from limb to limb from the less than shady side of the tracks, what can you expect the social parrots to seize upon? Tennessee Williams? William Faulkner? Drunks of an elite sort? Ted Turner? Uh, well, Hanoi Jane seized Ted by the gonads I guess...but, Landry, your rage (hey I am just as southern as you) over peanut patch humor seems ever gently exaggerated. I say this because I LEFT Georgia to escape the redneck posse and the arrogant southern gaff which at the time frightened me more as a fellow southerner (and I was much more genteel in 1983) than an army of angry Negroes on the prowl, or so I thought. I since have grown to miss the good parts of the south, but I also am abruptly reminded of tough love every time I go home and stop at a roadside pisser looking a mite different than the locals would have me look.

Hell, when all one’s friends suggest the bogus mood and intent of failure is all I am, can be, should be, I guess after a while that’s all the wit I’ve got in the crapper. I only hope I make it out of my DC period.
The irony is, particularly since from earliest childhood and teenage sibling mythmaking hours curled up around a Dr. Pepper in a crystalballing projection, I the oldest and the smartest, was SUPPOSED to grow up with the handsome pipe in mouth and patches on my elbows professorial look. Be mayor of my hometown. Be rich, a lawyer, and a philanthropist. Instead I am a bitter old fog with a belly Bull Connor would envy, bad teeth and a scraggly beard James Dickey had in mind when he wrote Deliverance, nary a day in college nor a dime to my name, so embarrassed about my appearance and paranoid about the criminal element in the hood that I am afraid to leave the modest ghettohouse my wife struggles to pay for. Now THAT is what is called NOT living up to one's potential...

The road not taken. Or just another sappy success story. You pick 'em.

So mirror mirror on the wall, is art my saving grace at all, or is this dribble just another blind alley and a terribly blind date.

The billion dollar baby question is why am I clutchingly afraid to produce anything. With a post pedigreed background like mine I am no less a fingerpainting in the mud than some new Pat Conroy in the making, but I have nothing to show for all my grief or imagination. Aborted novel. Aborted poems. A web site not worth the monthly fees, much less an audience. Hell, when all one's friends suggest the bogus mood and intent of failure is all I am, can be, should be, I guess after a while that's all the wit I've got in the crapper. I only hope I make it out of my DC period.


"I fought with my twin, that enemy within, 'til both of us fell by the side..."
—Bob Dylan

The Golem Line

04 Oct


Line of Credit


Originally published on October 4, 1996

Or art was never meant to be taken off the shelf. This morning I awoke at 10 AM after channel tobogganing until the wee moments of early. Fifteen seconds into my new morning a power spike kills the fan and several scattered appliances around the house. Well, not killed, but put down for a sleep while men at work raid the street for quick fixes, but the Hollywood timing of it was a mindblower.

In the past thirty days this is the fourth major brownout on this section of Eighteenth Street. I find it odd that the brownout only affects part of the house. After all, we have our own breaker box, and I presumed we had single feed into the house. Hope it doesn't spread to the computer room as I write this. Timing is a sharp stick since we all know Lucifer is the author of time. Speaking of Lucifer, this morning I also pick up Blum's book, A HISTORY OF THE JEWS for the first time in weeks and was juiced by the page I'd bookmarked when last I read from it.

I had not finished my Liberty Lobby piece I'd started a few days earlier. Kevin Kreider is an old drinking pal, part of the Jack Johnson, Rob Bussius, Tim Shipman, Jim Benjamin, Priscilla Winters, Gabriel Thy and BS routine at its most regular interval from the Forestville warehouse era of 1992-1993. He & Rob Bussius (now married and serving Uncle Sam as a paratrooper stationed in Hawaii) have worked at Liberty about fifteen years between them. Young Kevin is Jewish, has writerly aspirations, and his pretty wife just had their first child. We call him Young Kevin because of his slight but handsome stature.

When I mentioned to Tim about the D'Sousa reference to Liberty I plunged into some speculation of Kevin's employment there, tossing out the line that no doubt he's a planted spy who reports back to the B'nai Br'ith Anti-Defamation League. I've been down there a few times with the two boys of Liberty, even unsuccessful applying for a job there myself at the insistence of Bussius, and reinforced by Avril Shipman, Tim's kindly mom, who gave me a contact name. Turns out they weren't hiring was the response I got over the phone. I dropped the chase, but it's a quaint friendly office located at Third and Independence, SE, right in the heart of Capitol Hill, so to speak. Jarred to realize that a barely concealed form of white supremacy was not only alive and kicking in this raging country, but, how damned really close I am to it, begged the question then, as to why not? In the knowledge of all these other rather militant groups in opposition, any other opinion would be stupid and politically corrupt...

A twisted question of personal cowardice keeps me both near and far on the issue of race to say much on the topic. Stating principles, everybody loses. Silence is kept, nobody wins. But I will have to wait until the beast shows itself. That's the only clue I have. The beast will show itself, so I wait. While discussion is hushed up, I realize this will immediately—in a so-called politically correct black ascendancy culture—brand me a foul racist type from the south, must have something to hide. Nonsense. I simply have no to add to the conversation. So I wait. Go figure, shameless finger-pointing lemmings. Might as well be albatrosses the good they provide the nation.

Page 262 from AHOTJ: “It was the sages who let the devils into Judaism. The difficulty was, of course, despite the Bible’s condemnation of sorcery, and despite the Judaic belief that all actions were willed by God alone, ruling out any kind of dualism…

“There were not many devils in the Bible, but they did exist: Mevet the death-god, Lilith the child-stealer (sometimes an owl), Reshev the plaugue-god, Dever, another sickness-god, Belial, a sort of devil-commander, satan, leader of the anti-God forces, Azazel, the scapegoat-god of the wilderness. So the invasion of Judaism by devils over the period of 150 BC to 300 AD had some precedents. Needless to say, [High Priest] Hillel could understand devil language too. Devils varied greatly, though according to Issac of Acre, they all lacked thumbs. Some, like Satan and Belial, were formidable, serious…

“To combat these devils, an army of angels came into existence. These too had biblical sanction in some cases. Angels like Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Metatron had special alphabets, derived from ancient cuneiform writing or obsolete Hebraic scripts, the letters often containing small circles which looked like eyes. These letters were put on amulets and other charms to magic away devils. Or they could be driven off by pronouncing special combination of letters. One such was the name of the devil in Aramaic, which was given as abra-cadabra…

“Letter combination magic, performed by using the secret names of God and the angels in special formulae, was known as ‘Practical Kabbalah’. In theory only men of great sanctity could, let alone should, exercise this white magic. In practice, protective charms were mass produced and circulated freely in the ghetto. There was also black magic, invoked by manipulating the ‘unholy names’. According to the Zohar, the sources of this forbidden magic were the leaves of the Tree of Knowledge in the Book of Genesis…

“The most stupendous piece of magic was the creation of a golem, an artificial man into which a ba’al shem, or Master of the Name, could breathe life by pronouncing one of the secret divine names according to a special formulae. The idea derives from the creation story of Adam, but the actual word occurs only once in the Bible, in a mysterious passage in the Psalms. However, Talmudic legends accumulated around the golem. Jeremiah was said to have made one. Another was made by Ben Sira. From the fifteenth to the seventeeth centuries the notion gathered force, so that the ability to make a golem was attributed to any many of outstanding sanctity and kabbalsitic knowledge. The golem was brought to life to perform a variety of tasks, including defending Jews from their gentile enemies. In theory, a golem came to life when God’s secret name, with the letters arranged in the correct order, was put into its mouth; it was deactivated by reversing the the name. But a golem occasionally got out of hand and ran amok—thereby generating a new layer of terror-tales…”

As we are the hollow man of TS Eliot, we are all golems, and the acronymics, go fish! The porridge is always spoiled by too few or too many cooks...

The primary question being, had I already read the page before bookmarking, or had I finished the previous page, bookmarked the next page as is usually my habit in this matter, or is all this only so much blarney, irrelevant to anything anybody anywhere needs to know, or may find mildly amusing, or self-incriminating? It's not like we have loss of life or limb anywhere among us to date...


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