Tag Archives: Howellnyms

The Quartermaster Controversy

quartermaster
The Quartermaster
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So my pal Joey Higgins invites me to stay at his house in Boynton Beach, FL. We do a demolition-construction job for this guy who has no permits. We get our first check before I've opened a bank account. So I sign it over to Joey.

He takes off for the weekend...goes shooting on the other coast. I watch the house. Feed the dogs. Feed the fish. Brush the pool. When he returns, he doesn't give me my money from my check. Next week no money. Then he wants me out. I say okay, give me my money so I can pay for my greyhound reservation back to DC. He says he paid the bills. All $262.12 of my money to run his house. My laptop and two external hard drives are not sucking that much electricity. Plus there was no discussion of expenses. At least give me the opportunity to offer. Don't just steal my money. Plus what about the food I bought that he ate... saying that doesn't help out the house... so he doesn't want to give me my money from my check. I start earning money for 3d art done for Tom Howell's steam punk comic. So Joey lends me the car keys to go get beer. Then reports the car stolen. i spend a weekend in jail. Then have to walk the streets of Boynton Beach till my reservation date with Greyhound comes up. Money comes in from Tom Howell and Ashby and Seamus to answer my distress call. I spend last weekend in Miami. A $5.00 tri-rail to Miami, $12.99 a night at the Miami Beach hostel. a bed, jaccuzzi, bar, and bath. Refreshed I get to the Greyhound Station in Fort Lauderdale and arrive in DC. Quite an adventure. All in all. But Joey Higgins in no rasta mustafa. All of those at Dupont [Circle] back in the day who warned me of this wannabe were right. just another wannabe. Thanks all for your friendship.

"You DO seem to have quartermaster issues, Roland..." I wrote three or four entries below this description of one Roland Currie, a six foot six giant of a man and virtual reality graphics expert with whom I have been acquainted for about twenty years, although our relationship was nearly entirely accidental or second hand, a byproduct of a mutual friend, Tom Howell, or Howellnymns as I like to refer to him in print.

However, I also got an "F" in Deportment that quarter, and upon my wish was sent to the principal's office on the last day on school that year since I thought it might be fun. It was, and a bit painful, also, but fun just the same. An experience, a gas, a gag, a goof. You see, I was a straight A student, and I learned to rebel early against feckless authority...
Robin Slusher, a pretty girl from the North Country I presumed, poked me gently, "Gabriel Thy—what are quartermaster issues?"

"In Roland's case, roommate and landlord struggles...go figure, I use a single world to replace several, and then have to explain the stretched single-word metaphor to the public thus defeating my original intent," I obediently supply.

"Hahaha-go figure! I retired from the Navy and we use that word often but never in that particular way—I was just curious. Just googled it; you used it in an "Army" way. Navy uses it differently. I was institutionalized; sorry.

"No problem, but as you well know, words are authentically extended from their original usage quite frequently..." I responded, with a sigh of relief that this wordslinging tete a tete was over, adding one more round for good measure, "Roland's been on both sides of this enterprise. He knows what I'm talking about even if some of the rest of you do not. And that is not a slam on any of you. You may just not be aware of the entire scenario as I framed it. But I too, am saddened that Roland is having troubles. I was hoping good things for him in Florida."

But no. Somebody else was pricked by the word I had used to describe a condition I knew Roland was now facing again as some kind of karmic swarm.

His best friend DC "Max" Hughes rushed into the area where words only have subtlety it appears if they are perceived and experienced that way by the "official" lexiconographers. He copies and pastes the following:

Quartermaster

Quartermaster is one of two different military occupations.

In land armies, especially US units, a quartermaster is either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior unit, post or base supply officer is customarily referred to as "the quartermaster". Often the quartermaster serves as the S-4 in US Army, US Marine Corps units and NATO units.

The function of the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps is to provide the following support to the Army:
—general supply (except for ammunition and medical supplies)
—Mortuary Affairs (formerly graves registration)
—subsistence (food service)
—petroleum & water
—field services
—aerial delivery (parachute packing, air item maintenance, heavy and light equipment parachute drop, rigging and sling loading.)
—shower, laundry, fabric/light textile repair
—material and distribution management

"Well, thanks, that was very thorough. In the Navy, a quartermaster deals with navigation—that's why it confused me," offers Slusher.

I have no choice but to respond to this jolt of authoritarianism, "What's your point, Hughes? Rock & Roll hardly translates to fucking, but there it is, fucking you, fucking me, fucking Elvis...muster your thoughts if you have a point to make. I certainly am capable of defining quartermaster as stated in the military protocols (or Wiki), but I used the word as a metaphor for this material fiasco that Roland seems to find himself struggling against from the opposite side now, not so long after a fiasco involving another in which he held the controls. Uh, the simple notion of managing one's quarters, supplies, and provisions is one of man's most basic transactions.

"Got a stick? Poke me. I'm done."

But true to his nature Max wasn't done, "Quartermasters, counterintuitively, do not handle quarters; lodging/housing."

To get to the point the customer service rep said, “The invoice says returns are SUBJECT to restocking fees. ‘Subject to’ means you WILL get restocking fees”. I said no it means I “MAY” get restocking fees and that she didn’t get to decide the meaning of words; that the meaning of “subject to” had already been defined. So….I didn’t have to pay.
Are you kidding me, I thought. So, true to my own nature, I continued to beat the dead horse just to see how much snot would spray across this language cop boondoggle he seemed genuinely certain I needed in order to improve my writing and not appear to be the fool, "Is Roland Currie not complaining about lost provisions? Shower, laundry? Do puns not exist in your splendid mind? As I wrote earlier, in Roland's case, his roommate and landlord struggles cover a lot of ground...go figure, I use a single world to replace several, and then have to explain the stretched single-word metaphor to the public thus defeating my original intent. Last time I was a scout quartermaster, I was in control of issuing Army issue cots and sleeping bags, cooking pots & utensils, et cetera to my fellow scouts. Max, you just don't get it, do you man? This discussion reminds me of when I was in the eighth grade. English class. We had to write a short story. I wrote a sports story, a baseball story. I used the word carom, as in the high fly ball caromed off the left field wall. Teacher marked my usage wrong, saying it was not a word, a made up word. I told her it was most certainly a word. I had heard it all my sports-conscious life. In baseball, in basketball, even in golf. She wanted proof. I pulled the dictionary, found the word, showed her, and the entire class, and she still denied me the word because the example the text gave was "as in the game of billiards." She was very young, and a very pretty slender red-head who, as I learned later from my mother who worked for the US Navy, dated a lieutenant stationed there at Glynco Naval Air Station. But she was stubborn, and so was I. Needless to say, I rebelled, and soon owned one fifth of that class as a five or six of my friends and I sat in the back of the class and played a game I'd invented in the 4th grade, the rest of the year, goofing off and making each our "A" in English despite her best efforts to restrain or punish us. However, I also got an "F" in Deportment that quarter, and upon my wish was sent to the principal's office on the last day on school that year since I thought it might be fun. It was, and a bit painful, also, but fun just the same. An experience, a gas, a gag, a goof. You see, I was a straight A student, and I learned to rebel early against feckless authority, and you sir, seem to have completely lost your good sense in arguing this point with me. Guess, I can add this exchange to my memory banks. Oops, banks hold money, and an exchange is where Obama plans to send me to purchase overpriced insurance. I fear this analysis in writing from one's own nostrils will never end."

Robin was beginning to feel the weight of the argument upon her own quarters, "I'm sorry I mentioned it. It was a genuine question—not intended to start a fuss. Hey—Dave Howard got fired because people didn't understand the meaning of the word 'niggardly'...that's even worse than an "F" in Deportment!"

"Robin, just because you might have refrained from mentioning it doesn't mean Max would have taken the same tact..."

Tom Howell was always a deft and absolute genius conversationalist, but was never much of a writer. Not that I didn't think he couldn't write a fine sentence when the muse shed her grace. Quite the contrary. He held his own on the page, but he seemed reluctant to go large, and he might have known that he did tend to write commonly at certain times when the task required a more spectacular presentation. I always sense he must have had some history to overcome before he could become a competent and confidant writer.
Roland was not amused apparently by the way his thread had dissipated into another topic, as he still continued to argue with his old friend who have done him wrong. So he wrote a humorous line of clarification he think I needed. "Roland did not have a landlord. Roland was invited to crash at a "friend's" house."

"And now you are going to start up another ruckus, Roland? Those words were used loosely to describe what is generally speaking a housing situation. Okay, I am indeed done. This is stupid." My words again.

"Ok, since we've totally hijacked this post anyway.....your Wittgensein quote reminded me of when I had to return some wood flooring to Lumber Liquidators. I was unsure of the square footage of my house and the salesperson said just order a lot and return any extra. So, I did and they try to charge me $100s in restocking fees. To get to the point the customer service rep said, "The invoice says returns are SUBJECT to restocking fees. 'Subject to' means you WILL get restocking fees". I said no it means I "MAY" get restocking fees and that she didn't get to decide the meaning of words; that the meaning of "subject to" had already been defined. So....I didn't have to pay." Slusher was finished.

But Tom was just knocking the dirt off his brown shoe act, and injected, "I was invited to crash at Gabriel Thy's house and stayed on for what seemed like years. I gave him the benefit of my wisdom during many a Black Label fest, proving in a double-blind test that Black Label was NOT a premium beer and "Life was NOT a submarine." Gabriel will be forever in my debt."

"LOL. Based only on the unassailable notion that life is a bowl of cherries. But what about iLife?" ask I, feeling the pull of nostalgia, as Tom was the only person in this discussion with whom I had actually spent any amount of sweat, sanctimony, and satisfaction. Or put another way, spent time shackled to the same ditch with half a notion of what it meant to be chasing and still defining that spectacular pursuit of happiness we learned about as kids and young scouts, he in mostly rural SW Virginia, and I, in mostly rural SE Georgia..."

But Tom and I had only recently become reconnected after a fifteen year exile during which we only heard from each other once or twice. I had turned my back on that early DC crowd for the most part, turning inside, to a nearly agoraphobic state, as my social life went from zero to nothing.
"Gabriel has a penchant for coining his own words, someday I hope he'll be able to bank on it," remarks Tom.

"There has been so such coining here today. iLife is a Mac term," I respond, thinking he may have imagined I just did it again.

"Life is a sandwich, the more bread...no, no, wait Submarine is a sandwich! I prefer 2nd Life anyway," he pretends he's extending the game. But I've had enough. Tom came late to the party, again. Wait a minute, he's usually early. An entire day early...

"How are you old man? Doing great things I presume..."

"I'm in a Writers Group here and learning to make eBooks with InDesign 6. Future plans are for enhanced eBooks," he replies, ending the mystery as to why he recently wanted to bury the political hatchet he and I had been swinging the past few months on rare occasions. Scorned for my politics by nearly all the old crowd of woeful leftists from the old days, most had just ignored me altogether. But Tom and I had only recently become reconnected after a fifteen year exile during which we only heard from each other once or twice. I had turned my back on that early DC crowd for the most part, turning inside, to a nearly agoraphobic state, as my social life went from zero to nothing.

The Internet, and later, my splash into the not so fine art painting mud pit changed things for the better. I began to venture out again, but that social season only lasted for another three years until the 2008 financial collapse and subsequent election of Barack Obama to the US presidency changed my path again. Only recently had Tom finally come aboard this network. And after a few battles with each our unmovable arguments, aren't they all, he was tired of stultifying politics and wanted to talk writing which I thought was a strange move for him, not the political rot, but his interest in discussing this craft you are now reading. Makes sense now. Tom Howell was always a deft and near genius conversationalist, but was never much of a writer. Not that I didn't think he couldn't write a fine sentence when the muse shed her grace. Quite the contrary. He held his own on the page, but he seemed reluctant to go large, and he might have known that he did tend to write commonly at certain times when the task required a more spectacular presentation. I always sense he must have had some history to overcome before he could become a competent and confidant writer. I understand that Tom, too, has renegotiated his survival strategies, moving his psychic investigation and motion picture experiments back to the Smokey Mountain railroad town of his beginnings, Roanoke, VA. We salute you, Thomas Jefferson Howell, as you pace along the hardy roads of old picturesque Virginia in becoming a man of letters in some small gratitude to your namesake, perhaps of note only to a few tar & feathered friends, but in the end, as you once echoed the trope from a Dollhouse easy chair—Gabriel, when we die we die alone.

My nephew Dylan and his wife Jennifer named their firstborn son Jefferson, who is a precocious sunny blonde lad now about four, and to this day he answers to Jefferson, when he answers at all.

Just Another Jesuit Poseur

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The Trust Factor
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Originally published on October 3, 1996

Notes is a bust, can't find a use for it, but I guess before I'll ever get around to affording Director 5, Avid VideoShop is a decent start, so again, rather than webbing I was reading for pleasure this afternoon. Like Tom Howell once said to me, "Any fool can spend money...." Most interesting concept, hiding as it was in his mouth. Little green apples...

What I'm concerned about right now is the olfactory packaging assault. Hardware and literature needs no sniffing, but aromatically introduces itself with gusto to the nostrils as soon as the box and ever more powerfully when the plastic wrapping is unfurled. Taking delivery on new hardware is absolutely a fresh breeze in the nostrils. The absence of the 1710AV display undercuts what would surely be some sort of full frontal euphoria though. A call to Apple just now netted me nothing more than what I already knew. Two more weeks may pass before all the backorders are filled. Or then again it may show up tomorrow. Credit card is billed as each portion of the order is shipped.

According to the set-up manual the 8500 is shipped with voice recognition software enabling user-scripted commands to perform tasks as well as rendering responsive feedback from the Mac itself. Uhmmm...wonder how well that will work out of the box; I have my suspicions...

We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.
When at Microcenter I did ogle over a 200mhz Performa that spoke the application names when the mouse passed over them, but I was completely ignorant that the Mac had voice recognition capabilities already out on the 8500/120...

I do believe I'm gonna get a kick out of wearing the QuickTime movie producer's cap. All that video footage collecting dustbunnies will finally serve a purpose as I push to integrate multimedia into the iMote core premise: the cult of personality exposed for what it truly is, nothing more than reality itself. Understatement and pomposity explored from the historical and futuristic prespectives. The perilous dichotomy explained as the everbroadening gulf between inexplicable social aloofness and seamless integration into the fabric of worldly imperative.

From Jesus to Debord (did I mention Bracken confessed last week when forced into the corner of my argument that among some dissenters Debord is ridiculed as just another Jesuit poseur?) I wish to stake a claim for what ails the world in general and will use the tracks of classicism to upbraid the apostles of the classes. I believe I have been laying in the groundwork, and now I have nearly all the tools of production.

Is premature death or irrepressible riotous living the only two acts separating me from my destiny, or am I merely a hollow shell of a pretender? That is the test I have always dared to wait while all the pieces are gathered onto the board (bored?). I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us, to borrow a phrase. Like I have said to Bracken in several a lucid moment, revolutions are a dime a dozen. If it ain't the bum on the street asking for a dime, it's me asking for a dollar twenty. We are exactly the same, me and that bum. We are both messed up because we cannot control the nature of need nor the nature of corruption. Life is the mathematical ratio of one to the other.

So to quote YAST, of course ripe in a rebellion of his own with SAST...

Let's Mac on! dudes and dudettes! Or is that more properly put, LET'S MAC ON DISKS AND DISKETTES?

GT

Making Tracks With My Moonie Girlfriend

teresa
Teresa
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Originally published on October 1, 1996

Hope you don't think that you have figured out the whole of my philosophical slant in these few paragraphs to have blitzed your eBox in recent days. The more I write the less I am confident any real communication can exist outside of fuzzy logic. A thousand pages later, and there is still room for clarification, redundancy be damned. However any aspiring philosophy must start from a foundation of concrete suppositions. The GT foundation rests solely upon a single concept. I am nothing in a crowd, and only something by the gift of God.

The concept of God working through the genuinely dependent individual rather than institutional flavoring is not unique to me, nor is it universally accepted, but I suspect I have been dipped in the collective spirit of this contemporary age in order to put a uniquely quiet 21st century spin on this ancient wisdom, and perhaps shed some light on a problem which pits humanity not against itself but against the old demons of the past, and in a word, is the sin for which we—the generation now kicking against the pricks—are being judged right now.

In an early poem (circa 1981 of mine) I accuse Lucifer as the author of time. All of nature's manifestations are both inspired and corrupted by the torque of time's perspective. We work finally within this framework of time, but we should suspect its motives.

Perhaps the best model I can use to relate what I mean when I unilaterally dismiss collectivism as the prime mover of spiritual and physical matter, and thus, an unrivaled conductor of truth is the marriage, or lover's problem. I suggest that no matter how close we want to become the mirror of our partner, or merge dissonance to create a more diversified whole, an irreparable separation is evidenced against us. While ancient teachers suggest that the two become one, this metaphor has rarely been illustrated in fact. History as failure in this regard has shown a bigotry against this unification of two into one. And if two cannot become one, how realistically can dozens, thousands, millions, billions, simply and without fracture? Thus my point. Even the individual is plagued and ultimately corrupted by opposing forces. One may argue this diversity strengthens the individual, and thus the whole of thousands can thus be strengthened by this diversity, I hold with the old proverb that a house divided cannot long stand.

Competition and greed. Nothing satisfies us when we know someone else has something that seems better than what we have. The marketdriven culture (just as Marxism predicts) is a vicious line of defense against human nature and natural forces from the outside. But the “clock” can never be turned back without catastrophe. This is human nature corrupted by greed and envy. Doublespeak crowds into every arena stealing from the human spirit every good motive as time’s own author extracts a token penalty for every semblence of progress. Confusion multiplies itself with human numbers. We do not argue good versus evil. We argue me or us verus them.
This approach say other, less insightful accusers, steers me into the traditionally conservative camp. I will not reject the label out of hand, but I hardly think anarchism the way I define it can be held up to the conservative light without displacing a few fundamental concepts of both.

Personal responsibility leads to acceptance of a status quo. This does not mean doing nothing to change the world in which we live, but I am simply restating the oft noted idea about not wasting precious time on vociferous alliances whose represent a major threat to personal autonomy.

We are not born with natural or civil rights outside of the social contract, contrary to what our founders told us, or what conservatives and liberals try to insist is their birthright. As an American citizen, yes, certain privileges are bestowed upon her children as natural rights and civil rights because of a social contract, but as a human being without God, there are no rights, only grievances and positions that one wins or loses in steady nullification of the natural because the world is a conduit of transgression, a mean, ugly, terrifying assault on self and the other. Of course there are wonders and pleasures in this transgressive world, but these wonders exist despite our presence, not because of it. Political correctness is the perfect metaphor for this condition where meanings of words are diverted from a common meaning to a more specific task warranted by the political realm. The graces of political correctness are far removed from any natural graces, but are designed by man's misapprehension of God, of perfection, of the spirit of best practices, we might say today.

Too many folk presume on the basis of envy and tokenism that what Joe Blow possesses (however he gained it, and yes it appears self-evident that evil has always lent a helping hand to all so-called progress), Jim Jackoff is entitled to the same. The conspiracy of universal equality—while a feel good aspiration—is not played out in reality bytes. None are free from the taint of evil, and yet we struggle for greener grass while negating the same spirit that made the grass seem greener to begin with. Competition and greed. Nothing satisfies us when we know someone else has something that seems better than what we have. The marketdriven culture (just as Marxism predicts) is a vicious line of defense against human nature and natural forces from the outside. But the "clock" can never be turned back without catastrophe. This is human nature corrupted by greed and envy. Doublespeak crowds into every arena stealing from the human spirit every good motive as time's own author extracts a token penalty for every semblence of progress. Confusion multiplies itself with human numbers. We do not argue good versus evil. We argue me or us verus them. Confusion versus confusion. Good and evil.

Here's a clarifying sidebar. The year—1982. Mid-summer. Midtown Atlanta. A few days before I'd been approached by two strangelooking women about my own age just outside the Omniplex. I was 26. Teresa was defiantly overdressed in several layers of streetdrag wool skirting and sweater. I do not recall the other woman's appearance anymore because it was Teresa who gave me her phone number and the Moonie tract. Not being naîve to the Unification cult's ways and means, having hit the books on as many of the major denominations among world religions I could find in the library—for several years by now—seeking an anecdote to the poisonous experience, I and many, have suffered at the wishing well of the Jehovah Witnesses, I decided I was prepared enough to befriend this curious girl with eyes wide open.

Teresa sat in a chair on a perpendicular wall where she was soon approached by an older woman of the faith. They were soon engaged in conversation that barely rose above a whisper. I thought nothing of this, and heard only occasional snippets as I dug into a random book I had pulled. This was a libraaaaaaary after all. Bits and pieces of their chat floated over to me. I was surprised to learn Teresa had been born a third-generation Christian Scientist. Seemed this was a girl with quite a checkered past.
For the next two weeks we saw each other daily. I visited the Unification House in the quaint Little Five Points neighborhood. She came by the Howell House highrise apartments, no relation to the Tom Howell I would later meet here in Washington, I was then sharing with my mother for tea and crackers. It was actually my mother's place, but my visitation with her lasted for six weeks upon returning from Corpus Christi where I deadpanned for the previous twenty months. We traversed the city on foot for five or six hours every day, she in low-keyed proselytizing mode, I, in a gentle informative resistance.

One day we crossed West Peachtree and turned down Peachtree Main along the infamous corner now revitalized but on this day was still marked by the tiny triangular 24-hour Dunkin Doughnuts and just beyond, the Christian Science Reading Room. Teresa, I knew already, was a product of the 1960s subcultural elite. I knew for instance that she had spent her adolescence in a nudist camp, and that background emerging from the fog of unbearable shame had driven her to the neurotic devices of concept-defying heavy clothing and long frizzy hair in which she hide her dark but very attractive facial lines. I knew she confessed great comforts in the teachings of the Moon organization even when she found them lacking, or pleasantly wrong, evident in another anecdotal tale I will save for another time.

Keyword—beauty, animals, humans

Beautiful weather, a little warm, but Teresa still wore her heavy skirts and sweater tops. We crossed the busy intersection. I never asked her if she was too hot. Evidently she dressed herself as she chose. None of the other female devotees wore such covering on these hot summer days. A simple concept explained my reaction—I took people as they were. Teresa was always polite, gentle, soft, compelling, and now she was questioning me had I read the two or three theological booklets she had given to me a day earlier. These rather thin booklets were published in a very simplistic styling, oversized pages, large typefaces, and hordes of colorful cartoon drawings, reminding me a child's publication. This literature literally reminded me of the kiddie biblestory volumes I had voraciously gobbled up as a child, only thinner. These were workbooks, with a quiz at the end. I had not read them. Confident I already knew all the answers I had put them aside meaning to take a half hour to skirt through the topics to meet my obligations to Teresa, but at this point I hadn't done so. Besides I had loaned Teresa a 1500 page theological hardcover called the URANTIA BOOK that had been given to me by a former lover a couple of years before, so I expected a day or two grace period. I never got my volume back. Of course after admitting that I had not read the booklets but I intended to do so, Teresa countered with predictable and similar remarks.

These confessions led me straight to the point I wanted to make to her. Everybody believes their own version of the truth is self-evident and required for everybody under the sun. "Oh but if you would just read these..." she countered. I again repeated the premise that all works claim the truth, and great works have great legions of followers. Nothing is proved right or wrong except in the minds of believers of this or that truth. Whatever Teresa might claim, Johnny Can't Read has a contradictory truth. Jimmy Can Read has another. Evereybody's running around in this crazy attempt to convince everybody else that they are wrong. Teresa smiled at this empasse. Just then we were rounding the corner. I spied the Christian Science Reading Room, and having never stepped into it to date, thought this was the perfect time to test the spirits in living color, so I asked her if she wanted to dip into the Christian Science operation for a few minutes, cool off, rest our feet...

She acquiesced with a sweet okay. We strolled to the reading room. This was not a very large place, fitted into a space nestled in the vee between two major thoroughfares converging at roughly a thirty degree angle, but it was airconditioned and pleasant and waiting for us. I found a chair a few feet from the bulk of the library. Teresa sat in a chair on a perpendicular wall where she was soon approached by an older woman of the faith. They were soon engaged in conversation that barely rose above a whisper. I thought nothing of this, and heard only occasional snippets as I dug into a random book I had pulled. This was a libraaaaaaary after all. Bits and pieces of their chat floated over to me. I was surprised to learn Teresa had been born a third-generation Christian Scientist. Seemed this was a girl with quite a checkered past. They argued in ever polite tones. The woman persisted. Fifteen to twenty minutes into this routine I overheard the words good and evil, and some reference to the edenic tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Was this the stroke of God himself drawing us into the Christian Science Reading Room for an example of divine truth, I put to her as we strolled on toward downtown on this sweltering summer afternoon. She finally burst into a rapt amazement, profoundly moved by my explantions, and was giddy that God had shown her a sign. Otherwise nothing would have occurred to her. No threads ever match up. Nothing is connected. An intellectual zombie I’m afraid is all so many of the most devoted folks on earth appear to be.
That was when I spoke up. "Does not the tree of the knowledge inspire knowledge of the DIFFERENCE between good and evil? I inquire of the old woman who to this point had only nodded a respectful hello to me upon entering the room. "Yes, you can say that. Different translations render it a little bit differently, but you can read the CORRECT rendering in OUR books." I replied that I had to confess that I did not know the difference between good and evil. Fire immediately plunged into her eyes, a gift from inside her. "Oh you certainly do, and if you do not, you can read it in our literature. You only have to READ it to understand," she growled. I countered again that men for thousands of years have argued over these things.

I'm not sure what I said next but I drew upon current ecological and ecopolitical concerns or some matter such as this, to give a few examples of what I meant by my own confusion with this complex issue of good and evil. She flew into a unmistakable rage, "Oh you are just a troublemaker. You'd better leave. Right now I say. Just leave, and don't come back. I mean it. Don't come back!" I returned the book I still had in grip to its rightful place, and said not another word. Teresa was ushered out alongside me. As the glass door swung close, the pinchedface woman, probably in her late sixties, muttered the word troublemaker one more time just in case I had missed the point.< On the street again I immediately sensed what had just happened and inquired of Teresa, "Do you know what just happened?" She didn't know what I meant. "Do you remember what we were talking about just before we stepped inside?" Again she couldn't piece her memories together. I played it out for her. "We were trying to convince each other to read each other's books. I told you that everybody believed they already had the truth, IF ONLY OTHERS WOULD READ OUR BOOKS." Teresa's face was beginning to show a glimmer of recognition, but I continued. "Then we step inside and you are barraged by yet another somebody who does exactly what I predicted. It's in THEIR book, THEIR truth, THEIR certainty that all life must bow..." Was this the stroke of God himself drawing us into the Christian Science Reading Room for an example of divine truth, I put to her as we strolled on toward downtown on this sweltering summer afternoon. She finally burst into a rapt amazement, profoundly moved by my explantions, and was giddy that God had shown her a sign. Otherwise nothing would have occurred to her. No threads ever match up. Nothing is connected. An intellectual zombie I'm afraid is all so many of the most devoted folks on earth appear to be. Teresa didn't suffer a loss of faith with that event, but I was overwhelmed by the finger of God in this point blank proof of what I knew to be oh so true... We are all fools in this game nobody can win. My girlfriend, however, would soon go the way of all proselytizers once she finally realized I was never going to be a convert. With a touch of sadness I realized our salad days were numbered.

Another Shot At Literary Credentials

poet
The poet Charles Bukowski
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Date: Thu Sep 16, 1996 6:48:00 PM America/New_York

Finished the Bukowski book, and and 75% finished with D'Sousa's 650 page tome which I unabashedly declare as the most thorough and well-adjusted look at racial intelligence in the literature to date. But let's finish first with that old egotistical drunk with a few passages I either am forced to admit reflect my own struggles, or are simply savvy lines I find fascinating for a variety of reasons, lines upon which I suppose I'll remark in the appropriate pauses as I stretch like a svelte Nottingham cat I know for another shot at literary credentials, may God forgive me. So have a laugh, attack of superiority, goof, or gaff. Be assured that I'm not trying to browbeat you with anything particularly profound, but am simply exercising the most available form of verbal flatulence not essentially my own:

"...as per a 'literary conspiracy' against me, I suppose that a great many do hate me—much of it caused by my writing style which is rather unpoetic, also in my drinking moments I have caused difficult feelings, I suppose. No excuses, man, also in my own short stories I am often the bastard villan of the pieces. I guess I am convincing. Also I don't mingle much with the literati (sic)...no New York City or North Beach up at Frisco, none of that. I am the loner. People come around here, I beer-up, and I have a tendency to run them out the door. All in all I suppose I have given off rays that I am a son of a bitch. They almost have me believing it myself."

I tattooed my body, not in a dim jones to appear chic and confrontational but because a navajo wanted to mark me and because I dared toss away any hope of worldly respectability my native intelligence and white skin supposedly entitles me to receive by throwing in with the foolish and the irresponsible, blackening it, and to prove something else to the sterile. I fattened up to escape the hype of my earlier thinness, and to test the women who claimed to love me for my mind when time has proven it was my body these older women desired.
Well, the Buk nailed me on this one, although I believe my own grammatical intuition is in lot less need of an editor than CB's, who throughout this book of letters was found railing against the "gross impertinences" of that particular class of literary befrienders, and yet appears as sloppy a writer as I've ever seen in print, much less world famous. (GT)

"Well, the female is a clever creature. She knows how to regulate her affairs. Most often it is the man who falls apart; it's the man who jumps off the bridge. When we give over our feelings they run off with us. There's no regulating them. I give over my feelings too easily, and it's not all regulated to suck and fuck (as the sculptress calls it). I get as much or more, out of other parts. Small talk. Breakfast together. Sleeping while touching. Waiting while the other goes to the toilet. Lovemaking after a stupid argument. Drinking beer with maddened friends. Hundreds of tiny things. I am never bored when I am with my women. I get bored in large formless crowds. Bored, hell, I get desperate, I lather and blather at the mouth, my eyes roll, the sky shakes. What am I talking about here?"

Uh, Gabriel. You're talking about Gabriel...

"I think that what has happened with Hal is that he has put total importance upon POETICS and what a poet is supposed to be. A good poet never knows what he is, he's a dime from the edge, but there's nothing holy about it. It's a job. Like mopping a bar floor. I can't rail too much about him; I suppose that the things he has imagined in his mind seem very true to him. Who is to judge? I rattled around his place in Venice a couple of nights drunk but it was more in energy and clowning than malice or a wish to destroy. I'm an asshole in many ways, I even enjoy my assholeness. I can tear a man in half in a short story; I can also tear myself in half, but I'm no knifer, I don't whisper things into editors' ears. I'm no destroyer. Nothing can be destroyed that has the power to move forward into its own thing. Fame or acceptance or politics or power has nothing to do with it. Nothing is needed but self going-on as self must. One only need realize this small realization."

Well, so far I have done nothing but quote what I presume to mirror my own thoughts, but this brings me to a question about the language you used in your last letter, Landry.

Your individuality schtick as an artist and a human being is very interesting. For one thing, I think that you are one of the few people I know who really is asserting their individuality. So many people think they are doing it when all they do is change uniforms.

INTERESTING? Does your usage of this word best translate to clever, queer, peculiar, noteworthy, what?

However, I do not think that whenever me or anyone else brings up generalizations about minorities or women they should be dismissed as bunk. I think that white males (at least in Western Culture) are socialized into a world that allows them to see the world differently. It must feel pretty good to come in on top. Then, if you fail, you only have yourself to blame. While I don't think anyone should use their group's oppression as a crutch or an excuse for any flaw they may have, I don't think the general population of blacks, Asians, women, Hispanics can escape some of the hardships put upon them throughout history by white men.

But enough of this blather, this is not the stuff of Email where it simply sounds like histrionic self-rationalizing apochrypha (hey, how did Howellnyms sneak into this perfectly good snatch of self-criticism), but the iron truth is in God's own pocket calculator, and as long as my memories sustain me, I will not relinquish the justification of my own experience any more than a thousand subsets of humanity do with their own Pontius Pilate slant, following after their own fashion.
Now we are tiptoeing into the pond best swam within the context of D'Sousa's book. I just got off the phone with Len Bracken who does not share my enthusiasm for D'Sousa's points of view, he having heard him on a radio talk show (I caught him on Phil Donahue), although I challenged him to read the book before dismissing him out of hand. I am thoroughly convinced of the integrity of D'Sousa's work, perceptions, and remedies for what ails us as a culture,although admitting it will take a cold day in hell to convince the Boasian liberal establishment to nudge an inch off its pedastal, but I'd rather postpone that commentary until a more appropriate time. Now back to the asshole of the hour:

"Norse? I understand his viewpoint. We simply come out of different poetic backgrounds. And when I'm drunk I am generally rude and boorish and stupid to everybody alike. I don't just select Hal. If he could understand this he might feel better. Before a man can ever meet the gods he must learn to forgive the drunks. Alta? I understand her viewpoint, and it must certainly seem plausible and right to her, but creation, art, is the breakthrough. We hardly do what is proper or kind, though often, in life, we are kinder than most, much more. Without flying flags about it. Alta does not know how to write a sentence down. It hurts her pitch. I don't want to rape Alta. I don't want to rape anybody. I never have. But if an artist wants to go into the mind of a rapist or a murderer and look out of that mind and write down that mind, I don't think that is criminal. Furthermore, I didn't say my stories in NOLA were "sarcastic." I don't apologize for my work. If I write a story about a shitty woman then that shitty woman did exist. One form or another. Blacks can also be shitty as can whites. I refuse to be restricted in the materials I can paint with. It's really all so ridiculous to defend anything as JUST that thing, can't they even understand that? Oh Alta, I HAVE love...that's why I can write other things..."

Ditto again. Hence my niggard reputation. A capsule rant of the reality of a consciousness which has predicted me since a child, if I may: I presumed at the insidious sterile age of seventeen to wreck my whiteness, my elitehood, my natural intelligence by lowering my standards to the world's din. I have refused time and time again the higher education the world says I must have in order to achieve the level native intelligence requires. I have stated on several occasions and to surprising acclaim that I drink to excess so I can be as stupid and as forgetful as the rest of the world. I tattooed my body, not in a dim jones to appear chic and confrontational but because a navajo wanted to mark me and because I dared toss away any hope of worldly respectability my native intelligence and white skin supposedly entitles me to receive by throwing in with the foolish and the irresponsible, blackening it, and to prove something else to the sterile. I fattened up to escape the hype of my earlier thinness, and to test the women who claimed to love me for my mind when time has proven it was my body these older women desired. I dare to remain jobless so as not to take a job from those who claim the system is rigged in my favor. In my pure uneducated but highly observant 20s back in the 1970s I was popular and hung with the gay population, and also infiltrated the hispanic and black cultures, and as a result often had projected onto me what I was reading was the sole domain of my own kind, the white male...et cetera et cetera. But enough of this blather, this is not the stuff of Email where it simply sounds like histrionic self-rationalizing apochrypha (hey, how did Howellnyms sneak into this perfectly good snatch of self-criticism), but the iron truth is in God's own pocket calculator, and as long as my memories sustain me, I will not relinquish the justification of my own experience any more than a thousand subsets of humanity do with their own Pontius Pilate slant, following after their own fashion.

This has gotten rather long, and I have three more bookmarks to exploit for your perusal, so until next time....

GT

Hints From The Personality Wars

Personality Wars
Personality Wars
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Date: Tue, 10 Sep 1996 21:40:28

Nobody's yet responded to my note saxing this Situationist group, but Laurent's short muffin has everybody stirred into great swirls of chatter. Tom must be right. I am FRAUD. BOLD CAPS. A bossy brass blowhard (nee: that WIRED online discussion with SUCK and ECHO) clueless and simply not built for the imaginary beanies of his take on Topeka KANSASS. No, just crass, that's what he'd say. The dirt worst. A pathetic loser wired out on a messy wordslop. Uhmmmm...a Chas been, off chasing fickle dogs, chewing red meat son of a gun. And a good handful waste of moxy bandwidth to boot...ragged imperialist, cancor at the root falsetto. Nix iMote, he might say, it's NOTHING. Just a jackass I know I heard. Or to remain self-righteous I can snort back, "Oh Tom just knows how to push my buttons, and according to him, he doesn't like what I'm doing to his."

Steve issues a statement, "Spent too much time talking about myself in my last message to comment in full on the Howell/Thy exchange. Did read it through, however. To see ourselves through other people's eyes ... or mouths, as the case may be. Though I actually did start writing a response. Started off with a cheap kitchen metaphor, but realizing that was not accurate bidirectionally and not wanting to rewrite Goethe's treatise on colors ... how did that line from that Rites of Spring EP go?"

wrote SAST
& I mote

But yesterday I could have passed. I was ready to pass, take a rain check on that opportunity to visit with Bob, chow, and chortle, but I conceded with a certain joy. And we subsequently tore the leaf off the fig. Had a good time. Tim stepped in after work dead tired but micromanaged a string of Shipman logistics to finish his chili mac specialty of the Bob before retiring to his mat. Yeah Bob. Thanks for the memories, the perspective, the piss in the wind. Next door neighbor for 3 years, ain't it Bob? Bought the house next to the one we mortgaged just shy of ten ago. And just like it says on the label we've been some sort of sneaky friends for twelve now...
Blum came over last night for a chili cookoff conspired by his afternoon phonecall. He'd slept for three days straight thru Monday he announced while admitting he'd gone out a couple of times (took in the town is more like it) & he woke up in a birdzing straight & flinging. Or maybe not. Does Bob do that? Ever? Okay, we need a Bob mimic. Anybody here?

Awake by afternoon he now seemed bouncy enough, on an even keel as we used to say down coast, to wax poetic over chili and beer, so we mixed & matched ingredients, and warbled with our talents. We were out of stuff so Bob went to the Safeway. Returned grinning with six varieties of peppers. Needless to say a warming torch during this morning's constitutional had me grabbing for more than grain as my next of kin. Sue followed Bob. I had a stiff neck upon waking that morning, and with all the it of yesterday crawling exactaways down between my shoulder blades as the day wore on—driving spiked letters, plumfiring fearsome and weary words with the puffs versus enuffs we all were relieved of by that alcohol binge with the boys & Baby by evening. I think again I've noticed this deathkick pattern I can't escape until the grave. Every time I don't partake of at least one beerglut a weekend by Monday I fail the polyglot, hang a stiff neck, or am bound to broker a bad intestinal tract. All of which then pertly leads me straight to a beer fix and another series of egg questions we all have to sit down with but mostly right now it just seems MY problem. Am I to fix this broken machine of personality disorders, work a savvy solution or two, or three, or just perpetuate it by mimicking it, or stumble through that popular sin of omission by simply ignoring it. Not an easy tally to finesse. Always results in a mudslide of rambling wreck claims. But yesterday I could have passed. I was ready to pass, take a rain check on that opportunity to visit with Bob, chow, and chortle, but I conceded with a certain joy. And we subsequently tore the leaf off the fig. Had a good time. Tim stepped in after work dead tired but micromanaged a string of Shipman logistics to finish his chili mac specialty of the Bob before retiring to his mat. Yeah Bob. Thanks for the memories, the perspective, the piss in the wind. Next door neighbor for 3 years, ain't it Bob? Bought the house next to the one we mortgaged just shy of ten ago. And just like it says on the label we've been some sort of sneaky friends for twelve now...

Now mind you not too many weekends pass me dry, except in the mouth on hangover dehydration mode, but it is uncanny how my tensed up natural reactions to life enforce their nerve ending moxy along my spinal cord, specific to my neck and shoulder areas, and as it's put to me by fate's own finger, a single night's guzzlement tends to soothe the savage beast of course tagged with an ogle of limitations and side effects walking right on in with assorted blessings & barnacles, as bait for the U mote I Mote we all Mote for iMote debate...

There is always the dream to go back to where I came from, to build meaning from the sky down until people suddenly find themselves in the lap of luxury stuck with the problems of their lives knowing nothing they do can change THAT fact, but here is Gabriel barely in print thinking this misery that's upon us requires attention. We can tame it, or we can let it eat us alive.

Everywhere I spy I see it's just that "doppleganger?" gig or how's that go in the bigs baby? Tracking with the whole saider figs?

The taunt to be like them, not MORE than them, but less than them I CAME NOT to be.

—Shave Pierre

GT

No Gang, No School

wild9
Making No Sense Of It All
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Originally published on September 8, 1996. I elected to publish Tom's entire note to me since it was one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking emails I ever received from him, and will follow with my response in a separate file with link below.

Thanks for that insight note on joint projects. I have softened my stance after reading one of your first drafts of Autonomous Gazer and listening, rather than continuing to think of what I was going to say next, to your admiration for Thomas Pynchon and the concept of the modern Mega-novel. But I still haven't read his Gravity's Rainbow but seek refuge in genre writing. That's my gang, Lenny understands genre assignments and slips easily into the yoke, and most important to us, the audience understands the genre, has certain expectations from it, and we writers deliver the goods.

But there you are, no gang, no School, not even a salon. One thing about your work that I do relate to is the desire to put it all on the web, I had a very productive day putting all kinds of esoteric info that I thought was important up on the web, that is until Tracy (Styx) came by, restless and bored, to call me away from the computer and out into the cool night air, steps the Great Pretender.

Yes, that's true, newspaper journalism is definitely one of the genres and you have plyed the trade. But I never considered e-mail anything other than a fast sloppy, disposable medium, always short, full of typos and mispellings—meant to be quickly read (cyber-surfers gets hundreds of them) and instantly deleted—but wait, what's this? GT is sending long, thoughtful E-MAILS??? And then saving them, along with their responses? And the e-mail style that's arisen, why is almost everything a flame? The insular anonymity of e-mail makes everyone so insulting, quick, shallow responses, knee-jerk flames, is this any kinda medium to make your mark?

"The world will little note nor long remember what we say here..." Abraham Lincoln said that.

"They'll talk about me plenty when I'm gone." GT said that, with a deferenial nod to his Bobness. So far they're mostly talking about your outrageous behavior in public. Your strange and cryptic comments while under the influence of beer swill and private demons. But I know you better, I know something (very little actually) of your writing and desktop publishing and poetry and private library and such flotsam and jetsom of pornography & punk that have washed up on GSIS's shores and mingled with the sublime truths of long dead philosophers, I see you walking along the littered shore line of the twentieth century, looking for treasures in the trash. This is a tired and cynical age you live in, it will be tough to break through to anyone, anywhere—there's a lot of noise in the channel.

—Tom Howell

Writing From One's Own Nostrils

Spotting Friends In The Picture
Spotting Friends In The Picture
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Originally published on September 7, 1996

I wrote: "...what I might really need is a good five cent cigar and a well-edited collection of GT/The World letters. Now THAT'S A JOB for the Bracken's breath, but he couldn't stand it. He'd abolish Thy letters, and want to publish his own. I just don't think Len Bracken is talented enough to edit Gabriel Thy, nor I, him."

Tom wrote:

I heard that. Lenny commented on that to me recently, saying he offered his editorial services but 'you wanted to write about everything' with a knowing chuckeling. I smirked to, know the widing gulf between the kind things Lenny writes, I write about, and what your doing. Lenny has done some editorial work for me and it's been effective in achieving the limited, specific goals of commercial writing, similar to the goals of academic writing. Focused, defined, and above all CLEAR and unambiguious. If you're going to go out on limb with thousands of vague poetics allustions and private jokes, then we can't help you. It [is] a strange and mercurical landscape out there, maybe you'll be recognized as an innovative and important writer who went it alone and created his own unique style. Then I will attend my own Tom Howell Roast and listen to scores of writers and critics tell me what a fool I was for not understanding that I was in the presence of genius, then eat my dinner of crow.

BTW, Lenny and I have a film treatment in the hopper with my agent in New York. We're egarly awaiting a FAX of editorial comments, margin notes and other ego-deflating comments about how we didn't write it right. Should such a FAX come across your machine, please notify me immediately. Look forward to your spirited rebuttal (this is not a flame, but a mere creative spark).

Neither Stick Nor Stones (She Mumbled)

styx
Styx Haunts The Dollhouse
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Originally published on August 16, 1996

Well folks, it's official. Styx has left the building. After spending four of five nights away from the Dollhouse in her search for fun & frenzy around the U Street corridor, spending nearly every dime of the $200 plus she bussed in with, Styx wandered up on Wednesday afternoon an hour past her declared work time of noon. I told her she was fired, having been very clear that if I was going to make work for her in order to help her make Dollhouse rent I wanted her to take it as serious as any outside job: honesty, dedication, and consistency the foundation of that relationship. And since she now had no visible means of support, I thought she should leave for those greener pastures she had taken up in recent days.

Tom Howell and his pals had as much adopted her, and I wanted her to go, so I worked up the stones to insist she leave. She was too quiet, acted like a prisoner, an ugly step-child, a peril to herself and to us, too antsy to get out of the house night after night. Obviously she was not comfortable here. And the feeling was mutual. Tim had wearied of her ghostlike emphemera, hardly a word spoken, and then only a whisper we invariably had to ask she repeat. We thrive on explicit boltwrenching chat around here. She thrived on escape. She just wasn't working out. All my speeches intended to enlighten and provoke exchange mattered nothing to her. She just wanted to flutter beyond like gutter garbage in the wind in some unspecific marking of time.

Despite yesterday’s hangover slump after crucifying an entire bottle of vodka the day before to ease the anxiety of having to turn my back on somebody, even somebody I probably loathed, I was notably relieved that she was gone. No deep & disturbing psychodrama, merely thirteen hours of photograph labels had passed between us. Other than $125 dropped on a twin mattress for her, which I am sure we can parlay into a proper use once we can afford to remodel the basement, I feel she owes us nothing, and I nothing to her. A closed chapter in all our lives.
When I awoke Tuesday morning and Tim said she had not come in again that night I figured she would stroll in late, and asked Sue to take the Metro leaving me the car to move her across town. And so I did. I fed her some Ethiopian along the way, and that was that. No anger, no final speeches. Just the shared feeling that this was the most natural thing to do considering the anxiety we both endured while she was here. Although she said she was prepared to complete her day's work that afternoon, she admitted she was happy to try her luck on the street.

She had spent last night at Ted's. An odd but warm fellow, a heavy-set bearded lost & found street saxophonist, Ted kept a place over on the notorious in one of the Paul Lutauf Belmont Street buildings—a barren dump as you can imagine, having lived over on that same stretch of Belmont-In-Squalor yourself a decade of woeful memories ago, eh Jennifer, but certainly more the Styx style than the ordered clichés of the mid-life middle class Dollhouse manor. We made no vows to keep in touch, for as I said, very little was directly exchanged, particularly on the topics of the immediate past and the oh so immediate future, and what little was said I drew out with a direct questioning, the sole standard form of communication we seemed fated to share until she would leave I presumed.

Despite yesterday's hangover slump after crucifying an entire bottle of vodka the day before to ease the anxiety of having to turn my back on somebody, even somebody I probably loathed, I was notably relieved that she was gone. No deep & disturbing psychodrama, merely thirteen hours of photograph labels had passed between us. Other than $125 dropped on a twin mattress for her, which I am sure we can parlay into a proper use once we can afford to remodel the basement, I feel she owes us nothing, and I nothing to her. A closed chapter in all our lives.

Strange how I once thought she & Tim might hit it off, when instead it was Howellnyms & his Braeniac crowd who took immediate advantage of this wandering waif.

She was quite efficient in those thirteen hours at the Mac. I used a microrecorder early in the mornings before she was stirring to identify the appropriate people, place, and dates of each photo. She then transcribed them, printed to label sheets, and then applied to pictures each label at an astonishing rate. I was quite pleased with her work, but I knew she wanted to maraud the cityscape instead despite her acquiescent nods when I plied her with questions concerning her comfort & intentions amongst the Dollhouse regulars. I might have let Rob Williams down, but it no longer mattered. He'd passed her along to me. I passed her along to Tom and Russell Braen—no doubt to their prudent chagrin—but at least she wanted to be over there with Russell's Myhouse crew, closer to the urban street action than she was with us. I heard somebody say Patrick Tracy, our looming Irish writer, won a Madam's Organ backroom blowjob out of it, her idea, his treat. Enough said.

GT

Babyhead Angst

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Originally published on June 3, 1996

So, what's new at the Dollhouse, you ask with a wink and a nod, knowing we had long moved in concentric circles, loathing the bourgeois claim we had clumsily staked, now preparing to collapse the dot, the vanishing point of another failed artist flogging the trapeze act, already in view...

Nothing new. Your name came up more times than Jesus Christ this weekend, but nearly always was answered with an I dunno, or a muffled uhmmm...

Yeah, Lynn is cool. I just don't know what to write her in response to the Babyhead show. It was an event worth noting if only for a few days. Frankly I hate critiquing others' work, especially in a genre where I haven't mustered up much myself in the way of surpassing or suppressing it. I liked the shows, but I was glad when the last one was over. I was nearly ready to bolt, already drunk, smoked, and tired from yet another long day saith the old man busking in dungarees. Tom Howell groveled over earlier in the day with a photography project he needed me to pull off, uh, taking a picture of a fat shiny tow chain he knew I had.

It was to be a typical Howell BIG PRODUCTION with bogus color-reflective transparency drag, but he pocketed a roll of film, and we staggered off to the Babyhead Festival together. Tim met Gigi on his bike. Tom already knew most of the actors, directors, and producers of the show. Safe to say, Lynn was about the only person he didn't know, yet I'm thinking he probably did meet her at Buck Downs place this past New Year's Day. Remember? We'd planned to walk the couple of blocks there after we left Wayne Curtin's absolutely weird houseblessing that evening, but I passed out instead, having had little sleep for several days prior...

Tom was struggling to comment on her work as we were waiting for food at this Sheesh Kabob joint in Georgetown after tiring of the reception at the Clark Gallery following the fest. Noticing he didn't want to slam her, I filled in the blanks with a typical GT gust of hot air...

"Uh Lynn is an attractive and very intelligent woman, but her acting skills are certainly not ready for prime time..." Tom interrupted with a quick sigh of relief, nodded his head furiously and said, "Yes, precisely!" Tom thought Buck was a natural, however.

I could say, "Oh I liked this." Or, "I liked that." But let's just leave it the way Tom put it: It's not like everybody in the audience would be back next week to watch these flicks again. Oh well, you know me; at the time I couldn't leave it at that. I countered his remark with a perspective-kissing, "Well, I don't think too many people there would line up to see A Few Good Men again a week later either. Tom was in gear high with his Talleyrand tongue, suggesting that the Vampires Suck video we did in 1985 had measured up to the standards we saw upon the screen this night, signalling a been there, done that attitude which I guess summed it all up for both of us. Sue of course didn't have much of anything to say on the subject. Thank God. I might have begged to differ.

Truth is I guess I don't know how to give or receive praise. You know the drill. No need to bark up that tree right now. And yes, I checked out the City Paper blurbs and your picture (which I barely recognize as you), but unless no one else sends you the CP, I won't.
The artsy-bosomed women at the Clark Gallery reception however were well worth the price of staring. I knew I had to escape that place soon before I got the urge to touch. This was the same gallery which showcased our pal Scott Farnum's little portraits of Bluegrass Greats last spring. Four by sixes framed, that's 24 square inches of rough little paintings depicting genuine hill folks like Bill Monroe and Roy Acuff for which he was asking over $400 a piece after he decided to pick up the paints following a weekend trip he'd made through the Virginia Smokeys down to Nashville. I made the throw away comment that perhaps they were a bit overpriced, and Scott went ballistic on me. "Why can't you just be happy for me!" he bellowed. I was more than jizzed for him, and would have been over the top jizzy had I been able to afford one. I muttered to Sue, backing several steps away from Scott, that I thought $75 might be a more encouraging price point, not aware the freshly jacked artist could hear me, but from his 350 pound girth he shot back, "I've got that much in the frame alone." Well, hell's bells, somebody must have seen this guy coming. Nice, flat black frames, rather common, and probably six bucks a pop, but that was it, so I quickly shuffled off to another section of the gallery, pulling my red-headed baby behind me. I always made a point of supporting my artist friends when possible, but others apparently had different methods of dealing with artistic or business criticism. Scott and his wife Amy never talked to us again after that night. And by the way, since I am forwarding this to Lynn, there is news Jack might be interested in: Big Dave Weist and Marcy Dewey, less than a year after marrying each other have split. Marcy has moved to California, uh, where I dunno, but that's the latest via the Quag...

Thanks Lynn for the truly spectacular performance. I did very much enjoy the night as my awkward nights tend to go. It's just pretty acolades don't roll off my tongue or even my keystroke finger as easily as bad beer slips down the old dry gullet. Truth is I guess I don't know how to give or receive praise. You know the drill. No need to bark up that tree right now. And yes, I checked out the City Paper blurbs and your picture (which I barely recognize as you), but unless no one else sends you the CP, I won't. Your fans will surely not let you down, buck or no buck.

GT

Actually That Was Hangover Harry At The Door

exactly
Exactly, right.
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Originally published on December 7, 1995

Figgered there was something lonesome Gabriel must do for Tom Howellnymns when I saw the length of that last note. Yep that's the ONLY time that rascal ever shows his face OR his furnace around here. Funny thing about that music quip you made. My rocker pals chide me because EVERY time they come over Dylan's on the box, and EVERY time old hippie Tom has a mumble to make, there's punk or hardcore on the drive. Powerful dichotomy, my music. Tom still occasionally remarks on how stunned he was to learn I had several Donovan Leitch albums since he knows me only from the punk stage. Sho nuff, there's no pleasin' the w-o-r-l-d, say I, in the ninth chapter of Isaiah.

Cool that Russell Braen has an unabridged archive of those Jewish texts on his server. Have I shown you the wierd CD-ROM biblical exegesis Sue bought me for my 40th trek around the sun? And listen here Senator, no more cheaper than cheek moving services. Gabriel's a desperate artfag now, and has scaled back his back graces, having finally given up that ghost of petty pushover you've taken for granted for oh so long. You, like thousands around me, are always whittling away at my goodwill, but shuffle brilliantly silent when I ask direct questions, or a favor for myself. Do not fear me, a lowly human, albeit more inspired & more aromatic than angels' dung, but fear G.O.D...

That said, I SHALL respect your request for new letterhead the next time you show up around here, but I press with this question once again. Have you put forth that Photoshop LE & Hypercard 2.2 deal (both for $130) on the table for Robert Cole to address, OR NOT? Frankly I've grown beyond sick of getting caught inside everyone else's voice loop, an impeccable void where I hear the same references over and over, but little which directly benefits the one I serve. You fill in the pronoun, Hangover Harry.

If this sounds bitter, perhaps it is, but it is written with a BZT smile on my forehead. Perhaps I am near death. I feel terribly ill begotten, but ripe on the vine. Cocky only in daring to become cockless, the fatty delicious juices of the battered ram oozing down my chin as I wonder when you might want to pawn that rented RCA camcorder back to its previous host for a devils' bargain, since what little friendship we have is always numbed by the dead works of your silence as you make your way into the Hall of Skewed Genius Dr. Bracken has erected for you.

Until we meet again.

Dunaway Ka