THE INFORMATION #726 APRIL 5, 2013

THE INFORMATION

#726 APRIL 5, 2013

Copyright 2013 FRANCIS DIMENNO

http://dimenno.gather.com

francisdimenno@yahoo.com

 

BOB HOPE

 

Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it’s known at my house, Passover.

 

A James Cagney love scene is one where he lets the other guy live.

 

There will always be an England, even if it’s in Hollywood.

 

When they asked Jack Benny to do something for the Actor’s Orphanage – he shot both his parents and moved in.

 

I love to go to Washington – if only to be near my money.

 

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER SIX: PART FIVE: BIG TROUBLE

“Oh listen!” said Baby Boy Maddox, as frozen rain melted down outside my window at seven in the am. It was the first day of Spring, in 1986. “The sins of the Stolas family didn’t end with the grandfather. Accordin’ to the old Cadger, the Stolas boys is been responsible for a lot of the dirty doings in this clown-town, and it would take a pretty strong blowtorch to burn away the stench of that gang of muckers. I could run you down the entire list, but it would maybe take weeks. But here’s a sampling of some of their hijinks.”

“I told you all about the grandpaw, Cokey Stolas, The Big Man, shot-caller and mastermind. He managed to haul away more loot from the public treasury than Boss Tweed and Tom Prendergast put together. What did you suppose he done with all that lucre? Give it all to charity? Haw! It’s to laugh! Naw, he guv it all in trust to his son, The Colonel. A real bad egg, him. Old Cokey finally got around to whelpin’ a brat, must of been around June of 1908. The very same day the meteor hit. That boy was born under a bad sign. His only begotten son growed up to be a worse rotter than his Paw. A real sinister Yellof. What pies didn’t he have his fingers in? It would be a lot easier to name those, I think. I reckon he left widows and orphans strictly alone—in public, anyway–it’s bad PR to pick on the helpless–when people are watching—but if he could turn a pretty copper by selling bad drugs to the lungers in the sanitarium, or by cutting the buttermilk with plaster of Paris, or by selling bad paint to the warden at the penitentiary–why, then he’d do it in an instant.”

 

“Was he really a Colonel? Who knows? But I’m inclined to think so. I got the low-down from one of the gees at the Carny, who knows a guy who knows a guy. Did some dirty work in the 30s for United Fruit, down in Central Amer-i-kay. Way back when. Commanded a flea-bitten brigade of cut-throats. Pretty amazing what he did, down in that banana republic. Helped put a strong man in power. Was the power behind the throne by all accounts. Helped ’em build an air force. Muzzled the press. Squeezed the peasants to pay off British bank loans. Outlawed the Commies. And–get this–lured the exiled lefties back to the country with big promises, then had ’em all thrown in prison. Colonel Richard Stolas was a bad apple all the way through. While he was down in the jungle there they say he practiced unspeakable perversions that would make the Marquis De Sade look like a bleedin’ choirboy. Old Cadger Tandy, he told me some pretty amazin’stories, too, about when the Colonel came back. He was still a young man, and all during the last half of the Great Depression he lorded it over the poor people of Noxtown and everybody else was scared to death of getting in his way—spoiled punk prince, pasty white, probably a hype, too, though nobody ever knowed for sure—had a temper like a mad dog and a growl like the devil his own self if ever you crossed him the wrong way or even if’n you didn’t—just like his old man, only worse, if that’s possible, because while he was growin’ up he never slept in a hard bed a single day of his life, but he made the lives of the people around him a pure misery. I say that he was none other than Babylon the Great, ‘drunk with the wine of his fornication.’ Others might beg to differ. Statesman, soldier, scholar–he’s been called all that, but here’s the score. He was a jocker, a brute, a burn artist, and you name it. Think of something truly terrible and there’s a good chance he done it, and worse.”

“But this is all buncombe. I guess you truly have to judge him by his works. He shot old harmless crazy Seneca Sprague to death outside the Community Drugstore because Sprague was babbling on about how he, Sprague, was George Washington come back to earth and how maybe he would drop his pants right then and there to prove it and Stolas pretended to think the man was insulting his Wifey, so he pulls out his forty-four and boom boom bingo. The goof, he was dead as a mackerel. Deader, even, if that’s possible. The D.A., he said it was ‘justifiable homicide’–and he didn’t even press charges—there was a preliminary hearing and that was all –and Stolas was as free as air.”

“Listen! There was this Italian cook named Del Delvecchio as made his spaghetti a little less than al dente? Stolas had him deported–and the poor wretch died while working on Mussolini’s railroad!”

One time The Colonel, he didn’t like a job of work that Bob Trim the carpenter done on his house? So he had some hard boys come along and break his thumbs. ‘That’ll teach him how to hold a hammer,’ said the Colonel. And a great big smile creeped across his pudgy face, It was like watching a cat laugh. Gave you an ooky feeling. The inside meemies. All the boys at Loafer’s Corner said it was a sin and shame because Bob Trim had a family to feed, but Stolas couldn’t care less and not one of them loochers dast go to the Police about it neither. “

“The Colonel put a fat wad of his daddy’s crooked dough behind a development called Stolas Village. It was built on a swamp that was used fer dumpin’ paint thinner and other industrial solvents and if you worked at the mill, as many did, and you was poor enough to have to move into one of his dilapidated shacks, as many were, then it was a death sentence for your kiddies for sure, but Stolas only laffed–and counted the shekels. Had him a big old slob named Shadrack Taylor come by the first of every month to collect the rent. He was a big black man weighed 300 pounds and he liked to make interesting deals with the pretty hussies whose old men were out of work. He’s have his way with ‘em and then the Colonel, he’d evict them families anyway. Old Shadrack also collected the rents down in Chocolate Town, another set of Stolas properties. Bad as Stolas Village was, Chocolate Town was even more hopeless. Shutters hanging off the windows at crazy angles, cheap paint peeled right down to the wood—and those were the deluxe properties– some of them tarpaper shacks didn’t even have windows! And the roofs was always leaky and never got fixed, and the rats down by the canal was the size of cats–a menace to man and beast alike. The whole damn place smelled just plain rotten–like it was situated on the very outskirts of hell. And it was.”

“Stolas himself, he lived on a moated property. Folks called it Little God’s Island. He sure was sittin’ pretty. In the Catbird seat, for shoo. It was the depths of the depression, like I said. Some mills were closed because business was bad, some closed because of salary cuts and striking workers who just wouldn’t take it any more. And who was the bully boy who put hisself in harm’s way to fight them strikers? Even though he didn’t have to? Just out of sheer cussedness?”

“It was none other than Colonel Stolas.”

 

“I’d say it must have been April of 1937. It was in the springtime, just after Roosevelt was elected to a second term, and hope was in the air. All the working chumps was standing about in the gin mills and was gassin’ on about how Frankie Roosevelt was going to give it but good to all the fat-cats and that now he had a mandate and they dast not stop him. And I guess we all know how that turned out. Like it always does. With the fuckers on top stayin’ right where they always have been.”

 

“I’m guessin’ the riot happened right after the second lunch whistle blew. The strike at the cotton mill was only in its third day. There was about twenty men was out there picketing in front of a chain link fence and strongly discouragin’ any of the very few scabs from enterin’ to clock in for the remainder of their shift. There was a news hawk from the Patriot Press takin’ snapshots of the pickets with one of those big old speed graphic cameras. The sky was overcast and gray, according to the one picture that made it into print. The sight of the Patriot Press taking a hand in the controversy must of enraged The Colonel. You should have seen him there, said Tandy, surrounded by a beefy squadron of about three dozen bruisers, wading into the milling strikers with a baseball bat and cracking heads. It was as smooth an operation as you could ever want to see. PAM! says the bat, and a spurt of blood comes out of a Linthead’s ear and down he goes. The bullies crept up on the strikers from behind and poleaxes ‘em, and one or two of the goons goes for the reporter and smashes his camera, only there was another reporter there farther off as took a couple of pics from far off under cover of some shrubbery.”

“Colonel Stolas drops his bat, goes for the ringleader, burly fella named of Quammen, grabs him up by his denim jacket—and he picks him up and hurls him to the concrete face first–and the goons all fall in, and they commence to kicking him until his face is a raspberry jam. They grab about five of the other ringleaders and pin their arms back and Stolas picks up the bat and PAM PAM PAM. Down goes three of ‘em, just like that. Then he goes after the other two and works ’em over while the goons stand watch. One guy had his neck broke and the other, he broke his back. There was also some young women there, dressed all in black, handing out flyers, and the goons roughed them up too, tore off their clothes and sent them packing. Then the coppers came and arrested all the remainin’ men, nearly a dozen of‘em. Some of ‘em tried to run but the coppers chased ‘em down and beat‘em. They punched ‘em and kicked ‘em and dragged them face down to the Black Maria.”

 

“Next day, Tandy tells me, the strike was broken–and the remaining workers clocked into the mill–meek as pie. All during the remainder of that year, all the very same working chumps was standing about in the same old gin mills and they wasn’t gassin’ on about Frankie Roosevelt no more. They was all strangely quiet on that score. One grizzled old mill-worker as had tended the loom for goin’ on forty years ’til he was turfed out for bein’ too old and weak, he borrowed a nickel and put it in the juke and spun “The Donkey Serenade”–and you ought to of seen all them hard old mill hands–cryin’ in their boilermakers–as the toothless old duffer stood there–in the dim light and the risin’ swirlin’ smoke–all of a sudden nobody was jaw-jaw–everybody had their yappers shut– and he leaned up against a stool and sang along–in a cracked voice that would just about break your heart–about how all I am is just a fool–serenadin’ a mule. And then he screamed–just like a donkey. After that song was over, you could of heard a pin drop–then somebody bought a round—and somebody else bought another–and they all got drunk—and more and more drunk–and I suppose they forgot all about it. Only Tandy, he didn’t. Tandy, he din’t never forget nothin’.”

 

“Listen, Yob–sometimes the lamb lies down with the lion because he got no choice–but that don’t mean he is got to like it. There was all sorts of slowdowns at the mill–and about three months later Stolas shut down the cotton looms altogether–and they stay closed until about 1942–when they was converted for war work—makin’ parachutes.”

 

“But you should have seen the Colonel—him standing there on the little mount above the mill –right after he done broke that strike—standing with his goons—doin’ a little victory dance–all silhouetted against the black clouds–and the skies opened up in a pouring rain–the lightning flashed and the thunder roared–and you’d think you were seeing the devil his own self–doing a merry jig and a merry little jog–and all at the very gates of hell.”

“You might say the Colonel got involved in a real hands-on way in beatin’ down them strikers–because it was his job–and he loved his work. Seems as though he had him a vested interest in seeing that everything ran his way. Right down to the last detail. Because him and his family and his wife’s family, too–they ran that town like a kingdom. He controlled all the electricity and the water supply too, if you was fortunate enough to even have ‘em, and he owned the largest bank, the best movie theater, the hospital, the bowling alley, the billiard room–and even the only drugstore in town with a marbletop soda fountain.”

 

“Yah, Richard Stolas cut a grand figure in Noxtown, and there wasn’t any whispered nicknames they hung on him, because, ‘specially after the day he broke that strike, he went by one name and one name only. “

“They called him The Colonel. A harmless name, but round about Noxtown it done scared the pants off’n all the babies. “Ye’d best behave—or the COLONEL will come and dust yore britches! Yaassss…ye’d best take care, young ‘uns–or the COLONEL’s gwine git you!”

 

1*SALUTATION

KINKS RARITIES 1968-1973

 

THERE IS NO LIFE WITHOUT LOVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DavvhwKo-Rk

 

GOD’S CHILDREN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSciUplVZrA

 

MR. SHOEMAKER’S DAUGHTER
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV0m9FtBqwM&playnext=1&list=PL4E38C5742034CE1D&feature=results_main

 

SWEET LADY GENEVIEVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqgNyYXTK4s

 

SCRAPHEAP CITY (ALTERNATE TAKE)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV_WwzqXx0Q

 

 

 

2*REFERENCE

SHADY ORIGINS OF FIVE POPULAR BOARD GAMES

http://games.yahoo.com/blogs/plugged-in/shady-origins-five-popular-board-games-202719027.html?fb_action_ids=10151779026137627&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=facebook_cb&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map={%2210151779026137627%22%3A421647544595463}&action_type_map={%2210151779026137627%22%3A%22og.recommends%22}&action_ref_map={%2210151779026137627%22%3A%22facebook_cb%22}

 

3*HUMOR

50 UNEXPLAINABLE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS

http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/50-unexplainable-black-white-photos

 

4*NOVELTY

PEANUT BUTTER CONSPIRACY

IT’S A HAPPENIN’ THING

Love is the grooviest thing up til now in the world.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6Pujw98O8o

 

 

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

Louisiana Voucher School Students Taught Hippies Were Dirty, Rude, Rock-Loving Satan-Worshippers

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/louisiana-voucher-school-hippies_n_2823510.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000009

 

6* DAILY UTILITY

 

IS LOUIS C.K. OUR GOGOL?

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/02/louis-ck-our-gogol.html

 

7*CARTOON

ANIMATION ANECDOTES

http://cartoonresearch.com/index.php/animation-anecdotes-101/

 

 

8*PRESCRIPTION

SOVIET WORK SAFETY POSTERS

http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/11-wonderfully-violent-soviet-work-safety-posters

 

9*RUMOR PATROL

ONE-MAN TRUTH SQUAD STILL DEBUNKING JFK THEORIES

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20121117-one-man-truth-squad-still-debunking-jfk-conspiracy-theories.ece

 

ALSO SEE:

JFK assassination: Lone gunman theory gets more support in new documentary. Lee Harvey Oswald was only shooter, film claims

 

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/assassination+Lone+gunman+theory+gets+more+support+documentary/8064315/story.html

 

10* LAGNIAPPE

EARTHQUAKE MAP
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

 

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

LEAD PAINT

Our whole neighborhood was poor, but, even so, some of the kids were kind of snobby. They’d come over to my house and say, “Well…it’s a GOOD paint chip; it’s not a GREAT paint chip….”

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152693048725501&set=a.123802975500.217153.897570500&type=1&theater

 

11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

AL CAPP. SCHUMACHER AND KITCHEN. ***1/2

ALMOST PRESIDENT. FARRIS. ***1/2

BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2012. ****

BOB HOPE: THE ROAD WELL-TRAVELED. QUIRK. ****

THE BOOK OF REVELATION. KOELLE. ***1/2

CALLING DOCTOR LAURA. GEORGES. ***1/2

THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. DUMAS, NODDS, BANERJEE. ***1/2

CRUISIN’ WITH THE HOUND. SPAIN. ****1/2

DAREDEVIL: REBORN. ****

DISTRICT COMICS. ***

EX LIBRIS. FADIMAN. ****

EXILE ON MAIN STREET. JANOVITZ. ****

FAIREST 1: WIDE AWAKE. WILLINGHAM. ***1/2

FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND. WILLINGHAM. ***

GROUNDHOG DAY. [FILM.] ****1/2

HEADS IN BEDS. TOMSKY. ***1/2

HELLBLAZER: PANDEMONIUM. ****

INVINCIBLE ULTIMATE COLLECTION 6. ***1/2

JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER: THE FEAR MACHINE. ***1/2

JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER: THE ROOTS OF COINCIDENCE. ****

JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER: INDIA. ***1.2

 

LITERARY ROGUES. SHAFFER. ****

MAD VOLUMES 1-4. ****1/2

MARVEL UNIVERSE VS. WOLVERINE **1/2

AN OFFER WE CAN’T REFUSE. DESTEFANO. ***1/2

A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST. JOYCE. ****1/2

ROAD RAGE. HILL & KING. ***

ROTTEN REVIEWS REDUX. HENDERSON, ED. ***1/2

THOMAS NAST. HALLORAN. ***1/2

TOP OF THE ROCK. LITTLEFIELD. ***1/2

UNCLE SCROOGE: ONLY A POOR OLD MAN. BARKS. ***1/2

THE WAY YOU WEAR YOUR HAT. ZEHME. ***

WONDER WOMAN 1. AZZARELLO. ***

 

 

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 680.

ANTI-WAR SONGS: A SELECTION

PART FIVE: DERANGEMENT

 

THE BYRDS

DRAFT MORNING

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6pb2pLeR_s

 

CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL

RUN THROUGH THE JUNGLE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbI0cMyyw_M

 

ERIC BURDON & THE ANIMALS

SKY PILOT

http://youtu.be/69zvFnVa03g

 

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS

ALTERNATIVE ULSTER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLo7z50Tt2g

 

MOFUNGO

EL SALVADOR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtqo0vSkcFs

 

THROWING MUSES

HATE MY WAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gdoUIgWZ5c

 

SKIP SPENCE

WAR IN PEACE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ZOjZztGzs

 

MAD RIVER

THE WAR GOES ON

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0PCzH-K1hg

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