Friday, August 31, 2007

Eulogy for Uncle Bill


click to enlarge - Uncle Bill with his twin sister Betty, August 18, 2007, two days
before his death. Photograph by Loa Brummet Servis.


Earlier today, I gave the eulogy for my Uncle Bill Jones at a memorial service. I wrote about him a little bit and posted some pictures the day after he died. It was my birthday today, which made it all just a little bit strange. However, I did get to celebrate a bit later in the night at the Black Bottle in Belltown with Daryle Conners and Keelin Curran. We had drinks and dinner right after attending a lecture by the Buddhist guru Gen-la Kelsang Dekyong, who was fantastic! About which, more later. . .

I reprint the eulogy here because a few people at the memorial wanted a copy, and as a memorial to my Uncle

_____________________________


In this eulogy, I am going to have to call him Uncle Bill. I’ve never known him as anything else. You are his children, grandchildren, sister, friends, brother and sister in laws, daughter and son in laws. To me he was Uncle Bill, and all that entailed.

The things that seemed to matter most to Uncle Bill were, in this order:

His wife, children and grandchildren and sister.
Scouting.
Bowling.
Work.
Coffee.
Ballard.
And the ponies.



Since he suffered a major stroke, my family visited Uncle Bill every week or two. No matter when we came, if he had been awake or he had been sleeping, he would let you know he was glad to see you and usually tell a joke or two.

Even after his stroke, he remembered those things that gave him such great pleasure in life. And he talked about those things: cars, horse-races, his wife, work, and his kids. The details were often jumbled, but he always became animated whenever he talked about his family.

I don’t think Uncle Bill remembered lately, but earlier in our life we spent plenty of time in heated debate—the Republican vs. the Democrat, or the former sailor against the hippy, and he would explain why he didn’t like my haircut, my choice of presidential candidates, or my views on the war.
He loved to yank my chain and I’m pretty sure that’s how I became a chain-yanker myself. But we always walked away friends.

A lot of my memories of Uncle Bill
focus on making the trek from the farm town of Kent out to the big city—Ballard, a place he loved (in fact, he regularly razzed us about living “in the sticks”). I remember his patient exasperation when he took me bowling once and I rolled about a 12, or on a Boy Scout trip when I was 11 and he had to teach me how to stay dry, fed, and not be homesick.

Uncle Bill often used my last name. In that booming voice of his, he would call out “Brummet! Come over here. I think calling me Brummet was his way of letting me know I was by no means a pure-bred Jones, and while he loved and accepted us, there was a hint of suspicion about the Jones blood having mingled with those hillbilly Brummet genes.

Another wonderful memory I have is of Uncle Bill and our Grandpa Jones spinning their gambling stories, and how even then I wondered if they had really won all that money why they weren’t rich? They could spend hours talking about Nevada and the ones that got away…





When we walked in the door of the Ida Culver house, he would ask “What the heck brought you all the way up here?” He couldn’t sort out all the details—but he knew we were family and that was good enough. Often, we would hash out the details of who was who and even when he wasn’t quite sure, he went along with it, good-naturedly humoring us, as we were good naturedly humoring him.

Even up to August 18th,
when we saw him for the last time, he still had his sense of humor. The first thing he said to me was:

What took you so long?”
“You were waiting?”
I asked.
“I was,” he said.
“Well, you couldn’t have been waiting too hard, since we had to wake you up.”
“We all have our own ways of waiting.”

And that was the last joke
I would ever hear him tell.

Except for one person who had been there two months longer, Uncle Bill lived in the Ida Culver House longer than anyone else. He was a favorite of the nurses and orderlies, who would all stop to talk to him. He was the most radiant person in the place. The nurses liked to bring him snacks and cups of his beloved black coffee.

Despite the confusion, and confinement, and aching knees, he kept up right to the very end smiling and enduring.

One of my favorite pictures of Uncle Bill and my mom was their baby picture, taken in 1923. It’s a charming, “old-fashioned” picture [note: hold up the photo Jack!] and even 40 years ago, I remember thinking how long ago 1923 was and what a different world it was and is.

Last week, we celebrated the twins 84th birthday with him. I don’t know what he wished for, but as soon as he blew out the candles, Uncle Bill urged us on to the main event: cake and coffee. My sister gave him a new pair of gleaming white tennis shoes. He put the shoes on, and was sportin’ and totally enjoying having a new pair of kicks.

As he always did when we left, he extracted a promise from us to come back soon. My last glimpse of him was him waving with that roguish smile of his as the door closed behind us.

I know the last four years weren’t his best years, but I am glad we had them. We learned something about love and family. I know he felt the love of this entire family and took comfort in that.

And I also know that if there is a Heaven, Uncle Bill is up there, in the Grandstand, with a cup of coffee, a Racing Form, and Aunt Jean at his side, cheering on Seabiscuit as she runs against Citation, Secretariat, and Seattle Slew.


---o0o---

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dear Senator Larry Craig: Send me an autographed photo, and stay the course!



click to enlarge

On his web site, Senator Larry Craig invites us to write him for a signed photograph, which I did, and also passed along my best wishes that he not let himself be railroaded by these trumped up charges!

Recent articles on the Senator on All This Is That:

Senator "Wide Stance" Larry Craig defends his men's room actions and swears "I am not gay" - Bonus content: Link to a latrine debacle reenactment

Another Republican cork soaker takes a fall: Senator Larry Craig busted in the men's room scouting for man on man action
---o0o---

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Nicaraguan toilet paintings of Masaya


click to enlarge the painting


My brother and sister in law, Dean and Mary, brought back an oil painting for me that they discovered in Masaya, Nicaragua, at one of the art markets. You can read about their trip at the notorious Almost There In No Time.

When they saw this canvas, they knew just who would love the work. As it turns out, Dean Ericksen told me there were dozens of paintings of people sitting on the toilet in the art stalls! I have researched this up and down the 'net and been unable to find any references to how this genre of painting came to be popular in Masaya, Nicaragua. I may have to travel there to find the answer. Dean did say that much of the art clearly mimicked popular or well-known painters, like Diego Rivera or Posada. Clearly there was some germination point, and I am hoping one of our readers can either find information, or may even know about this subject matter. Clearly, the palette is Mexican/Central American. The colors, tilework, and spartan furnishings of the bath absolutely remind me of baths in places I have seen or stayed in Jalisco and Nayarit.

The painting is on stretched canvas. The stretcher bars are not the traditional ones we use in the U.S., but they are mitered. The bars don't seem to be interlocking, but they are tight. The canvas itself is fairly light. The canvas, along the edges is clearly not primed, but I think it may be primed under the actual face of the canvas, where the oil paint was applied. Instead of the canvas staples we use, the canvas is attached to the stretchers by small galvanized nails or brads. The paint is glazed with some sort of medium or varnish; I can tell because they missed a very small patch. It almost looks like there was some sort of mistake that was painted over on the yellow wall, and they forgot to varnish that correction. The painting seems to have been signed by "Velasquez" and it seems to have the abbreviation "Nic."

I have seen numerous impressionist paintings focused around the bath, but none with such an explicit focus on the toilet itself. In those paintings, you usually see a zoftig woman combing her hair. In this painting however, the subject of the painting is clearly using the toilet, with her panties resting just below knee-level. I don't know how to explain this one, but I gladly display it, alongside my other treasured folk-art pieces. . .none of which I really know the provenance of. If you just winced, yeah, I know it's tref to end a sentence with a preposition. It's late and I'm feeling lazy. Selah.
---o0o---

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Senator "Wide Stance" Larry Craig defends his men's room actions and swears "I am not gay" - Bonus content: Link to a latrine debacle reenactment

Updating last night's story on the cork-soaking Senator, we have a couple new items to share.

1) The Mug Shot (right after he pulled the old "do you know who I am?" defense):

Senator Craig's June 11, 2007 mug shot,
courtesy of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police

2) Two TV personalities on the CBS affiliate in Sacramento perform a rather funny video re-enactment of the Senator's latrine encounter. It is as hilarious as it is bizarre.



3) At a news conference today (with his wife Suzanne, who will, of course, file for divorce in six months), Wide-stance Craig said the only thing he had done wrong was to plead guilty after a complaint of lewd conduct in a men's room. He told reporters, "I am not gay. I never have been gay." "I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport."

Our original story appeared here: Another Republican cork soaker takes a fall: Senator Larry Craig busted in the men's room scouting for man on man action
---o0o---

Another Republican cork soaker takes a fall: Senator Larry Craig busted in the men's room scouting for man on man action


Senator Larry Craig, a founding member of Cork Soakers anonymous

Another member of the party of Abraham Lincoln has been outed as an afficionado of hot man-on-man action. U.S. Senator Larry Craig was busted in June by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints at the St. Paul-Minneapolis Airport. Little did the Senator know that the airport was hot—they had just begun an undercover operation investigating rampant gay activity in the airport's latrines. If you're interested, read the arresting officer's report, along with The Senator's laughable explanation [1]. While I don't think twice about a politician's proclivities—whatever way they swing—I do think twice when a vociferously anti-gay senator turns out to enjoy a touch of cork-soaking himself.

It's difficult to find the right nomenclature for an episode like this when you're publishing a story in a family-oriented site such as All This Is That. I first turned to Thesarus.com, which suggested the words I was looking for to describe one of the Senator's favorite acts was "cake-server." Now, that's actually not bad at all. . .but I decided to go with the near-homonym cork-soaker.

Senator Craig pleaded guilty this month to a charge of disorderly conduct for his actions in a public men's bathroom. Paradoxically, Senator Craig in the last couple of years:

- Voted yes on the constitutional same-sex marriage ban.
- Voted no on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.
- Voted no on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
- Voted yes on prohibiting same-sex marriage.
- Voted no on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation

The Senator appears to have soaked a large number of corks over the last few years. In 2006, a gay activist said he had spoken with men who had sexual encounters with Craig, including in the restrooms at Union Station. Craig's office told the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., that the allegations were "completely ridiculous."

As early as 1982, accusations were being lobbed against the Senator. Check out this vintage 1982 YouTube video (Frank Reynolds...wow) of the Senator denying allegations of rampant cork soaking and cake serving:






Craig, who served in the National Guard, has also spoken out against homosexuals serving in the military, despite his own service, about which no allegations have yet surfaced.


Trent Lott, Senator Craig, Senator John Ashcroft.
Singing group, or gay cabal? You be the judge!

Craig was a member of the "Singing Senators," a now-defunct Republican barbershop quartet. It included Sen. Trent Lott and then-Sen. John D. Ashcroft, who broke up the group when he was named attorney general. Were Senators Lott, Ashcroft, and Jeffords also fellow-travelers in the cork-soaking world?

As of today, anyhow, the incumbent Senator Craig is still a contestant in the 2008 Senate race/ No one knows with certainty how his continuing the race might fly in his home state of Idaho, a hotbed of Mormon and ultra-conservative beliefs (not to mention the Nazis). But we can guess. Perhaps Idahoans are a less conservative lot than we've been led to believe. Perhaps Idahoans don't even mind an occassional cork soaking episode at the airport. I'm pretty sure we'll find out soon.

Other recent articles on gay Reublican politicians:


Reverend Haggard says he is "cured," and no longer gay
"I am a deceiver and a liar." -- Rev. Ted Haggard
Speaker Hastert Failed To Act On Page Scandal Because He Was 'Intimately Linked' To Foley
This is the kind of October surprise we need: Mark Foley Hands Seat To Democrats
______________________________________

[1] According to Roll Call, the arresting officer sat in a bathroom stall as part of an undercover operation investigating previous reports of sexual activity in the bathroom.
After about 13 minutes of sitting in the stall, he observed Craig linger outside and frequently peak through the stall's door crack at him. Craig then entered the stall next to his. The officer filed the following in his report of the incident as to what happened next:

At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot.... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times.

Craig stated "that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine," the arrest report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor. "It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper
," the arresting officer said in the report.

According to the police report, at one point Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, "What do you think about that?"

In a press release on his website, Craig said that the officer misconstrued his actions, that he was not involved in any inappropriate conduct, and had failed to seek legal counsel: "In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."
---o0o---

Monday, August 27, 2007

Attorney General Roberto Gonzales Throws In The Towel



This is the text of President Bush's announcement today.

This morning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced that he will leave the Department of Justice after two and a half years of service to the department.

Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle, and I have reluctantly accepted his resignation with great appreciation for the service that he has provided for our country.

As attorney general and before that as White House counsel, Al Gonzales has played a critical role in shaping our policies in the war on terror and has worked tirelessly to make this country safer. The Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and other important laws bear his imprint.

Under his leadership, the Justice Department has made a priority of protecting children from Internet predators, made enforcement of civil rights laws a top priority. He aggressively and successfully pursued public corruption and effectively combated gang violence.

As attorney general, he played an important role in helping to confirm two fine jurists in Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.

He did an outstanding job as White House counsel, identifying and recommending the best nominees to fill critically important federal court vacancies.

Alberto Gonzales' tenure as attorney general and White House counsel is only part of a long history of distinguished public service that began as a young man when after high school he enlisted in the United States Air Force.

When I became governor of Texas in 1995, I recruited him from one of Texas' prestigious law firms to be my general counsel. He went on to become Texas' 100th secretary of state and to serve on our state's supreme court.

In the long course of our work together this trusted adviser became a close friend.

These various positions have required sacrifice from Al, his wife Becky, their sons Jared, Graham and Gabriel. And I thank them for their service to the country.

After months of unfair treatment, that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position and I accept his decision.


It's sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeding from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.

I've asked Solicitor General Paul Clement to serve as acting attorney general upon Alberto Gonzales' departure and until a nominee has been confirmed by the Senate.

He's agreed to do so.

Paul is one of the finest lawyers in America. As solicitor general, Paul has a representation of fairness and earned the respect and confidence of the entire Justice Department. Thank you.
---o0o---

Poem: [The streetlight's blue shadows...]



The streetlight's blue shadows
Pool on the macadam of 24th Avenue

As stars coruscate through a nebulous fog.
I tilt my head to see The Big Dipper,

Polaris, Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, and Andromeda.
The streetlight's falling shadows

Mark a twilight world I take for granted.
The bats' sonar, the chirp of the crickets,

And the muffled bark of sea lions
Are songs I only hear those moments

I step outside to scan the heavens
And thank God for this.
---o0o---

Owen Wilson attempts suicide/our ever-present and none too welcome companion in life

In my life I've had two friends and a brother-in-law commit suicide. In the first quarter of my life, I worked on a suicide hotline and have since thought about the act itself a great deal. Judas, Hitler, Dan White, and a few others, I could understand. But most often I am shocked. I was stunned to hear that Owen Wilson attempted suicide this weekend. And I wish him and his family the best, and hope he is able to cure or salve whatever drove him to such a desperate act. Of course, he doesn't fit the profile we expect. He's on top of his career, and always seemed happy. Little do we know what lurks in his heart, or what demons Mr. Wilson was battling.

The National Enquirer reported details on the attempted suicide today. Yeah,. I know...the Enquirer. . .but this story appears real, no matter who first published it. The Enquirer and Star have this story exclusive for the time being, although it is naturally being reported all over the web and in the blogs.

The United Press also reported the story, although it is not clear what they used for corroboration (if anything).

A couple of poems on suicide have appeared on All This Is That:

Poem: You Rehearse Dying

poem: Not Past Tense Yet
Poem: The Absence of Footprints
Poem: Your Wooden Leg
Poem: The Bucket

---o0o---

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Across The Great Void: Scientists discover a hole in the universe a billion light years in length.


Click the illustration to see a detail of the void
Astronomers at the University of Minnesota have found a gigantic void in the universe, a billion light-years across, and they have no idea why it is there [ed's s note: and needless to say, no idea Who put it there]. The void itself is utterly devoid of galaxies, stars and even dark matter. There is not even a puff of smoke! "Not only has no one ever found a void this big, but we never even expected to find one..." according to professor Lawrence Rudnick.

"What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe," one of the discovering scientists said in a statement.

The astronomers said the region even appeared to lack dark matter, which cannot be seen directly but is usually detected by measuring gravitational forces. The void is in a region of the constellation Eridanussky, southwest of Orion.
---o0o---

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Scott Quigley's Indecent Proposal Video

video

[Editor's note] I don't know anything about the provenance of this video, nor who the director Scott Quigley is, or if he committed this short to the public domain. Scott, if you're out there. . .let me know. I found the video on Atom films, with no info about the director.
—o0o—

Friday, August 24, 2007

Jack Brummet interviews Keelin Curran on marriage. . .

. . .and Keelin Curran appears to have had 1.5 glasses of wine—exactly half a glass past her limit. I am trying to test out the new Blogger video upload feature (and figure out how I can spoof it in order to upload audio files).


video

---o0o---

Monkeys sexuallly harrass women farmers, throw rocks, tear down scarecrows, and have monkey patrols to scout out targets and enemies


A troop of vervet monkeys are "running ape" in a Kenyan village. 300 monkeys are daily invading farms at dawn. They eat the village's corn, potatoes, beans and other crops. Women do the farming in Kenya, and have become the monkeys' targets as they try to guard their crops.
"The monkeys grab their breasts, and gesture at us while pointing at their private parts" - Villager Lucy Njeri
Some of the monkeys throw stones to chase the women from their farms. Women in the village of Nachu wear their husbands' clothes to make the monkeys think they are men. No cigar: "The monkeys can tell the difference and they don't run away from us and point at our breasts. They just ignore us and continue to steal the crops." The women also say the monkeys make sexually explicit gestures. "The monkeys grab their breasts, and gesture at us while pointing at their private parts. We are afraid that they will sexually harass us," said Mrs Njeri.



The Kenyan Wildlife Service told the BBC that it was not unusual for monkeys to harass women and be less afraid of them than men, but they had never heard of monkeys in Kenya making sexually explicit gestures before when communicating with humans.

Things are so messed up that the farming community is now receiving famine relief food. The residents report that the monkeys have killed livestock and guard dogs, which leaves them spooked about their children also becoming targets. "The troop has scouts which keep a lookout from a vantage point, and when they see us coming, they give warning signals to the ones in the farms to get away," said another area resident, Jacinta Wandaga.

The Kenya Wildlife Service has ordered residents not to harm or kill any of the monkeys--it is a criminal offence. Some residents have lost hope and abandoned their homes and farms, but those who have stayed behind, like 80-year-old James Ndungu, are making a desperate plea for assistance. "I beg you, please come and take these animals away from here so that we can farm in peace."
---o0o---

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Jeri Kehn Thompson cameo appearance in a Fred Thompson campaign video, four new Jeri Kehn photographs, and a Mrs. Fred Thompson photo roundup

Pandering to the masses once again, who arrive looking for Jeri Kehn Thompson images, here are a few more. As a bonus, you can also catch a glimpse of her in the video below, where Jeri Kehn and her two children make a cameo appearance in a video Fred Thompson created for a right to life conference:










Jeri Ken Thompson and the Senator sometime, somewhere...




This is decidedly neither Jeri Kehn Thompson, nor any of the power brokers, singers, starlets, or businesswomen former Senator Thompson has dated.

We have no evidence that this swine was not an object of the Senator's attentions. Legend says that when Lyndon Johnson ran for Congress, he
wanted to spread rumors that his opponent was a pig-f***er. Johnson's campaign manager said, "Lyndon, you know he doesn't do that!" Johnson replied, "I know. I just want to make him deny it."


Probably a detail from another photo.



Also new: Fred and the family

The previous photos:



































The power tanners










---o0o---

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

photograph: celebrate child abuse week





I don't know. . .what were they thinking?
---o0o---

William Raymond Jones 8/16/1923 -8/20/2007 / Photographs of the Jones Twins

My Uncle and my mother's twin brother Bill Jones, died Monday afternoon. He suffered a major stroke some years ago, and had been in a nursing home for years. We visited him every week or two ever since. Last Saturday, when we visited to celebrate their birthday 84 years ago, he was still able to make a joke and extracted a promise from us to return soon, and "bring the keys to my car!"


Bill and Betty, August 18, 2007 - click to enlarge


Betty and Bill, June 1942 - click to enlarge


Betty and Bill, 1923 - click to enlarge
---o0o---

Jack Kerouac's On The Road Turns Fifty (includes video of Jack reading from On The Road)



Jack Kerouac's On The Road was published nearly fifty years ago (on September 5). It is still taught in college, and it has spoken to several generations of readers now as well as being one of the seminal texts of both the 60's counterculture and the 50's beat subculture.

I devoured this book when I was in high school, and many times afterwards. It led me to the poetry of Allen Ginsberg (who we bumped into off and on in our NYC days), and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (the last man standing among the beats), Gregory Corso, William Burroughs, Diane DiPrima, John Clellon Holmes, Lew Welch, Phillip Whalen, Gary Snyder, and, of course, Neal Cassady, and the next generation of Ken Kesey, Jean Shepherd, Ed Sanders, Jim Carroll, and others.

The hero of some of Jack's novels, Neal Cassady, was a link between the beats and the next generation; he "starred" in several of Kerouac's novels, but also went on to pilot the bus Furthur for Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters (detailed in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test), as well as rap as a performer at the infamous Acid Tests. [Note: I use the word rap here as it was used in the 60's, meaning to speak in an extended improvisatory mode]. What many of us learned from the book was that you could write about America and not necessarily have to wear the straightjacket of our European antecedents. And that you could write a book patterned on the actual America around us. . .a book that found the rhythms of the road, and detailed what we now know were just the beginnings of being connected. They connected by routes and highways; we have found new, but not better ways to make that connection.



Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady (a/k/a Dean Moriarty)


What I have enjoyed about this 50th anniversary is reading the critical acclaim for Kerouac, and in particular for On The Road. The New York Times fell all over itself this weekend, detailing Kerouac's enormous cultural influence, but also not ignoring his impact on literature. His influence on rock and roll (interestingly, he wasn't a fan) has been enormous. In many ways, Jack Kerouac was the first modern "indy" writer (I would have to put William Blake and Walt Whitman as the first). All these years later, On The Road still sells 100,000 copies a year (although I suspect it will outstrip that this year).



My favorite works from Kerouac, the beats, their disciples and offshoots:

Kerouac: On The Road, Lonesome Traveler, Visions of Neal, Scattered Poems, Book of Dreams, Big Sur, Maggie Cassidy
Neal Cassady: The First Third (memoir), Selected Letters
Allen Ginsberg: Planet News, Howl
Lawrence Ferlinghetti: All the poetry
Phillip Whalen: On Bear's Head
William Burroughs: Naked Lunch, Junky, Exterminator, The Yage Letters, Cities of the Red Night, The Place of Dead Roads, The Burroughs File, The Adding Machine
Hunter S. Thompson: The Gonzo Papers, Volumes 1,2,3, The curse of Lono, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diaries, The Hells Angels
Lew Welch: Ring of Bone
Ed Sanders: The Family, Tales of Beatnik Glory, 1968: A History in verse, Love and Fame in New York
Diane DiPrima: Memoirs of a Beatnik , Pieces of a song, Loba,
Denise Levertov: Selected Poems
---o0o---

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ezra Pound's Canto CXX


Photograph during Pound's booking for treason

Ezra Pound, friend and supporter of Hemingway, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, e.e. cummings, and many more, wrote an incredibly beautiful, maddeningly convoluted, tantalizingly allusive, and frustratingly obscure poem over the course of his lifetime. The final Canto was the shortest in the entire book, undoubtedly the most accessible and was published posthumously in the collected edition of the work:

______________________________

Notes for Canto CXX
by Ezra Pound


I have tried to write Paradise

Do not move
Let the wind speak
that is paradise.

Let the Gods forgive what I
have made
Let those I love try to forgive
what I have made.

______________________________

A decent summing up of Ezra Pound's life, and The Cantos (although skipping his conviction and incarceration for treason following World War II):

From Project Muse: "No major work of modernist literature reveals so intensely conflicted a relation to the public, simultaneously spurning and courting it, as Ezra Pound's Cantos. At the age of twenty, when he was captivated by the exclusionary poetics of the coterie, Pound nonetheless declared his ambition to write a "forty-year epic," a poem, he would claim later, "containing history"--a people's history, "the tale of the tribe." As the poem evolved over the last fifty-five years of Pound's life, however, it grew ever more erudite, ever more removed from its public aspirations, until it confronted even the most devoted scholars with a mass of obscure references, cryptic "facts," and fractured narratives. As Pound himself lamented in 1919, only two years after the first three cantos had appeared in Poetry: "I suspect my 'Cantos' are getting too too too abstruse and obscure for human consumption." Despite moments of assurance and bravado, this suspicion would haunt Pound increasingly throughout his career."
---o0o---

Bible Stories 7/How the Lord Caught Jonah's Attention In The Belly Of The Beast




The LORD called Jonah out one day
To head to Nineveh where "
wickedness is on the rise"
Instead of going Jonah hit the bricks

And sailed to Tarshish and hoped the LORD
Wouldn't notice his insubordination
But the LORD sent down a three alarm

Blast of a mighty wind that sucked up
Everything in its path like a King-hell vacuum
And left behind mud rubble and ashes

And roiled a tempest in the sea
So the ship groaned and creaked
Tossed to the top of waves and into the trough

Parts of the boat broke off
The mariners were sorely spooked
And prayed to their gods

They hurled cargo and ballast over the side
So they wouldn't have to fight the boat itself
Jonah was hiding in a closet

And was sleeping when the captain found him
What meanest thou, O sleeper?
Arise and call upon thy God, if you have one

So God will think kindly and we might not perish
The sailors said let us cast lots so that we know
Who did what to bring this evil down around our heads

And when they cast lots the lot fell upon Jonah
Tell us they asked why this evil has befallen us?
Who are you what do you do?

And from what people do you hail?
Jonah said I am a Hebrew and I fear the LORD
Who made the sea and the land

And the men were petrified now and said
What have you done?
They knew he had scampered off

Ducking He who cannot be ducked
What do we do for you to calm the sea for us?
He said toss me into the water

And the sea will be calmed
This typhoon is here because of me
The men rowed like madmen to land the boat

But the sea fought back
We beseech you LORD save us
Why should we go down with the ship

Because Jonah burned you?
They grabbed Jonah and hucked him into the sea
The wind stopped and the water stilled

Until it was as calm as a painted boat
On a painted sea
A great big fish breached the calm waterline

And sucked Jonah into its maw
And Jonah was in the belly of the beast
Three days and nights and prayed to God from the belly

You cast me deep in the midst of the seas
And the water flooded around me
And the billows and Your waves passed over me

My soul fainted within me and I remembered you LORD
I sent out prayers to you
The LORD sent down some celestial Ipecac

And the great big fish vomited Jonah
And he fell upon a sandy beach
And the LORD said one more time

Go to Nineveh that great city
And testify like I told you
Jonah trudged three days to Ninevah

And became the town crier
In forty days he said Nineveh shall be overthrown
So the people of Nineveh took the LORD at his word

From the lowest to the highest
They fasted and put on sackcloth
And tried to make amends

The king of Nineveh rose from his throne
Put on sackcloth quit shaving and and sat in ashes
And he said let neither man nor beast herd nor flock

Taste anything not food or water
Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth
And cry mightily unto God

And turn away from evil
In hopes God will turn away from his fierce anger
And God saw they turned from their evil ways

And God Himself repented of the evil
He said he would do unto them
But it displeased Jonah and he was very angry

When I fled to Tarshish I thought you a gracious God
O LORD take my life from me
For it is better for me to die than to live

The LORD said doest thou well to be angry?
Jonah left the city and sat on the east side of the city
And built a hut so he could see what would become of the city.

The LORD God prepared a gourd
And sent it over Jonah like a shadow to deliver him from grief
And Jonah was glad for the gourd's presence

But the next morning the LORD smote the gourd and it withered
And when the sun did arise God called up an east wind
And the sun beat upon the head of Jonah

And he fainted and wished to die and said
It is better for me to die than to live.
And God said to Jonah are you angry about the gourd?

You have pity on the gourd which you did not make
or labor for and the gourd grew in a night
And perished in a night

And should not I spare the great city Nineveh,
Where there are 120,000 people
That cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand
---o0o---

Video clip: Frank Zappa Guest Stars On Miami Vice

Frank Zappa plays a drug dealer in this episode of Miami Vice. He didn't want to play the part until he learned his son Dweezil loved the show. Ironically, Frank Zappa, as you may know, was violently anti-drug. As far as I know he never even smoked a joint in his entire life. He was a coffee and cigarette guy.

OK, he's not the best thespian I've ever seen, but as Frank himself would tell you, this video clip furnishes an interesting chunk of conceptual continuity...


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Monday, August 20, 2007

The 2,000th post on All This Is That/It's down to Rice, Cheney, and POTUS now

In the "old days," meaning, say, the 50's and early 60's, when you were the millionth customer of a store, bells wound ring, lights would flash, and a B-list celebrity would come out and hand you a boodle of gifts, cash, and, if you were lucky, a car. Well, this isn't really like that. As I was about to post this digital painting of Condy Rice and Dubyah, the Blogger editor showed it would be the 2,000th posting here. Now, I'm not equating persistence with quality, or doggedness with enterainment, but on the other hand, I didn't want to let this small milestone go unmarked. . .


Even the relief team is leaving. . .just this week Tony Snow said he would be leaving the White House, close on the heels of Karl Rove. You can't blame Snow--he gave up a lot to catch flak for the Administration. It's down to Cheney-Rice-Bush and they've become the living dead. . .zombies shuffling mindlessly through their old jobs, sustained by the vicarious blood they are letting in Iraq and Afghanistan...
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John Edwards rips into Ann Coulter, she-devil


ABC News' Rick Klein Reports: "Former Sen. John Edwards on Friday fired the latest round in his ongoing verbal feud with Ann Coulter, calling her a "she-devil" at a public event before quickly adding that he shouldn't engage in name-calling.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Edwards was 0n a rant against the right-wing media and reminded a crowd in Burlington, Iowa, that his wife called Coulter out earlier this summer.


"We know these people. We know their game plan. They're going to attack us personally," former Senator Edwards said. "They attacked Elizabeth personally, because she stood up to that she-devil Ann Coulter. … I should not have name-called. But the truth is -- forget the names -- people like Ann Coulter, they engage in hateful language."

In June, on ABC's Good Morning America, Coulter said she had learned her lesson after being attacked and villified for suggesting that Edwards was a "faggot." "If I'm gonna say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot," Coulter said.



Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, later called in to call in to Chris Matthew's Hardball and challenged Coulter directly. "I want to use the opportunity … to ask her politely to stop the personal attacks," Mrs. Edwards said. Coulter was flummoxed and did a few Jackie Gleason-style homina hominas before sputtering out altogether. . .

Some recent Ann Coulter posts on All This Is That:"
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Video: The Welvet Underground play Sweet Jane. circa 1993

A live version of VU's Sweet Jane, from the 1993 tour. The best part of this vid?: Mo Tucker and her primeval./knucklehead/genius drumming. . .




Sweet Jane

Standing on the corner,
Suitcase in my hand
Jack is in his corset, and jane is her vest,
And me Im in a rocknroll band hah!
Ridin in a stutz bear cat, jim
You know, those were different times!
Oh, all the poets they studied rules of verse
And those ladies, they rolled their eyes

Sweet jane! whoa! sweet jane, oh-oh-a! sweet jane!

Ill tell you something
Jack, he is a banker
And jane, she is a clerk
Both of them save their monies, ha
And when, when they come home from work
Oh, sittin down by the fire, oh!
The radio does play
The classical music there, jim
The march of the wooden soldiers
All you protest kids
You can hear jack say, get ready, ah

Sweet jane! come on baby! sweet jane! oh-oh-a! sweet jane!

Some people, they like to go out dancing
And other peoples, they have to work, just watch me now!
And theres even some evil mothers
Well theyre gonna tell you that everything is just dirt
Yknow that, women, never really faint
And that villains always blink their eyes, woo!
And that, yknow, children are the only ones who blush!
And that, life is just to die!
And, everyone who ever had a heart
They wouldnt turn around and break it
And anyone who ever played a part
Oh wouldnt turn around and hate it!

Sweet jane! whoa-oh-oh! sweet jane! sweet jane!

Heavenly wine and roses
Seems to whisper to her when he smiles
Heavenly wine and roses
Seems to whisper to her when she smiles
La lala lala la, la lala lala la
Sweet jane
Sweet jane
Sweet jane
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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Art: Double self portrait


click to enlarge self-portraits
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Friday, August 17, 2007

The Doors L.A. Woman - Video and lyrics

This is a fan video - but a decent one. The Doors perform their studio version of L.A. Woman. This is from their last album, when most people feel like Morrison had blown out his voice. It is a late, great, and final flowering of the band. Jim would shortly move to Paris and die. And the Doors would spend the next 30 years attempting to reanimate the corpse. You may already know this, but Mr. Mojo Risin' from the chorus is an anagram for Jim Morrison.






L.A.Woman
by The Doors

Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their hollywood bungalows
Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light
Or just another lost angel...city of night
City of night, city of night, city of night, woo, cmon
L.a. woman, l.a. woman
L.a. woman sunday afternoon x3
Drive through your suburbs
Into your blues, into your blues, yeah
Into your blue-blue blues
Into your blues, ohh, yeah
I see your hair is burnin
Hills are filled with fire
If they say I never loved you
You know they are a liar
Drivin down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, the topless bars
Never saw a woman...
So alone, so alone x2
Motel money murder madness
Lets change the mood from glad to sadness
Mr. mojo risin, mr. mojo risin x2
Got to keep on risin
Mr. mojo risin, mr. mojo risin
Mojo risin, gotta mojo risin
Mr. mojo risin, gotta keep on risin
Risin, risin
Gone risin, risin
Im gone risin, risin
I gotta risin, risin
Well, risin, risin
I gotta, wooo, yeah, risin
Woah, ohh yeah
Well, I just got into town about an hour ago
Took a look around, see which way the wind blow
Where the little girls in their hollywood bungalows
Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light
Or just another lost angel...city of night
City of night, city of night, city of night, woah, cmon
L.a. woman, l.a. woman, l.a. woman, your my woman
Little l.a. woman, little l.a. woman
L.a. l.a. woman woman, l.a. woman cmon

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Painting: Circuits


click to enlarge the painting
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