People know two languages: their native language and gibberish.–Maribel C. Pagan
I only speak English and gibberish and I’m fluent only in the gibberish. – T Jay Taylor
After learning the foreign language Gibberish, I became a dream spokesman.–Jarod Kintz
But Noodynaady’s actual ingrate tootle is of come into the garner mauve and thy nice are stores of morning and buy me a bunch of iodines. —James Joyce
The dogs on Main Street howl, ’cause they understand.—Bruce Springsteen
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER SEVEN: PART TWO: THE PLAN
Early on the morning of May Day of 1986 I awoke at about 9am from a listless sleep, my stiff fingers balled into clawed fists. A nearby denizen of the housing projects near my apartment had seen fit to drive past my building and blast loud obnoxious music at some ungodly hour and I had had a hard time falling back to sleep.
You know how sometimes, when you haven’t had enough rest, you sometimes have a peculiar insight? My insight upon waking on the morning of that day was that the ominous three story towers of the projects, constructed in concrete made to look implausibly like stucco, were so poorly designed that they were virtually guaranteed to turn the residents into heedless delinquents, whose sole productive activity was acting out. I thought that, truly, architecture is frozen morality.
It was therefore through a mist of sleepy incredulity that I listened to Baby Boy Maddox as he renewed his tale of the dying Cadger Tandy and his delirious account of how he had sworn to get back at Smash Conklin.
“What is a kiddie, after all?” Tandy said to me. “A kiddie is just a very small person standing atop a great big pile of everybody else who’s grown—a pile that could tip over at any moment, and it’s better if you don’t forget it. A child’s bad mood is like a runaway horse—takes a strong person to master it. If a kid knew how precarious life was, it would turn him to brooding. Lucky thing that most kiddies are in no wise thoughtful, unless they have to be. “
“Having no money is normal for a kid where it can drive a grown man mad; the kid doesn’t feel being poor as keenly as a man who once had lots of cash but is broke, owes money, prospects none. Anyway, a modest campfire is better than a burning manse.”
“Sure and it was a foul day when I set out for the House of Never. It was crazy for me to think I could cross the river, sit under the trees, and dope out a way to queer Smash Conklin’s pitch, but a small boat can cross a shallow stream; it’s only when the big boats get in the Big Muddy that you got to watch out.”
“Older and wiser heads would have told me how I might go about it, but you can’t teach a young pup old tricks; I had my own ideas about the matter; nobody can force you to take good advice; ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ is the explanation of a fool. Besides—even a little Yellof knows that the devil knows many things–simply because he has seen it all.”
“But don’t send the devil and don’t send Jesus; send God; this is no job for a boy. It was a man-sized task, Yob, and no job for a youngster, but a kid will take on a chore that a grown man would balk at, provided it was all his idea in the first place and nobody’s trying to force it on him. I could maybe forgive Smash Conklin in time, if he’d of behaved like a white man, but I could in no wise forget. Claw me, Yob, and I’ll claw thee. It was my turf he had spoiled, and I was like a lion on my own turf. Know this, Yob–there is no piece of turf so small that it can’t be fought over.”
“You can only die once, after all, and a kiddie in no wise understands what it means to be dead because he’s hardly even started to live and that’s why so often he’ll do foolish things. You know a person is a child forever by the foolish things he says and does. Smash Conklin was like that. Walked around—strutted, more like—as if he did not give a good goddamn. A bragging fool with a hell of a nerve who talked for buncombe and swilled the loafers with bumbo. Nothing makes a Yellof madder than the hoarse loudmouth blabber of a lazy blodger. Every crow thinks he sings like a nightingale. But he had rats in his attic, him. Listen: If you can’t stand the kitchen, stay away from the sun. The man that fears long ladders should not go climbing up the sides of tall buildings.”
“Now, I did promise myself and the whole world wide that, come hell or water high, I would get even with that blodger, no matter what. Every dog has his day. You can’t eat promises, though. They say that Kiddies must not play with sharp axes. Oaks may fall where reeds bow down. But it was going to take more than one stroke of the axe to fell that oak. And doping out how to do him in would be the hard part; once The Plan was in place–that would come the easy part. He who hesitates is last. Besides, look at a blodger long enough, you become a blodger yourself, filled with blind hate and powered by spite. People who have never once been hungry tend to be fussy about trifles. Who has never tasted bitter, knows not what is sweet. But it takes all kinds. Ill talkers eat dirty suppers. The scalded dog fears milk. But small boys can kick up lots of dust. To get what I was after, I was bounden to pull the devil himself by the tail if need be. Because I have kept company with the wolf and knew well how to bark—and when.”
“Listen, Yob–in your dreams you’re biggity but you soon find out that in reality you are very very small, a puny sprat, you can’t make any difference and you never have no influence over nothing at all. Until the day that all of a sudden, you do.”
“And that’s the day ye ken that things ain’t always what they seem. When you’re a kid you allus think ye mought grow up to be a cowboy or a doctor or maybe a street-car conductor. Or a magician or a reporter or a cop—or a cornet player. You never think you’re going to wind up a mugger or a vagrant or a castaway or a convict.”
“Now, like I said, as a kiddie, you’re very much taken in by mokes who blow themselves up big and have a hell of a nerve and talk for buncombe and mix everything up together and make with the soothing verities and roar like a lion and call on God Almighty to bless these undertakings and mostly spread themselves thin—very thin–and give themselves airs. As a grown ‘un, Yob, you yourself will be no different, I suppose.”
“But mark: You can allus flatter a man to do your bidding if you take into account that, just as boys do, most menfolk dream themselves bigger’n they really are and fancy they’re a sport as will someday be at the top of the heap—king of the whole rotten mess–when this world catches fire. Lots of men is bent on their own amusement and get sulky when they haven’t had none in a spell—women too, but womenfolk tend to be more stoical, ‘less’n they be spiled rotten. That’s human nature the world over. It’s all a game of squabble. And all a Yellof can do is snuff the breeze and try to figure which way the wind is blowing and whether there’s blood on the moon.”
“Always remember, Yob—a hook who’s about to be lagged will always tell a lad to play it on the square and not to do what he has done. Fear of the rope makes swell gooks out of us kiddies. But a fly cove who will rob anybody will never play the square head–and HE will sing you a very different tune.”
LONG TALL SALLY (LIVE 1963)
1000 ENGLISH PROVERBS
WHAT DISNEY PRINCESSES WOULD BE LIKE IN COLLEGE
29 SIGNS YOU WERE RAISED BY HIPPIES
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
DEATH TO WACKY
6* DAILY UTILITY
DAY JOBS OF THE POETS
ILLUSTRATED BALTIMORE CATHECISM (1969)
DIVISIONS OF PROTESTANTISM
How can anybody listen to the solemnly stentorian hysterical gibberish of “Promised Land,” as brayed by the quavery-voiced Bruce Springsteen, without wanting to toss his cookies? I swear, it is enough to make a cat laugh.
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
1940: FDR, WILLKIE, LINDBERGH, HITLER–THE ELECTION AMID THE STORM. BY SUSAN DUNN.
In Professor Dunn’s account of the lead-up to America’s involvement in World War Two, she discusses the crucial 1940 Presidential election and how it changed American electoral politics. Learn how Republican Willkie was briefly considered as FDR’s 1944 running mate and other fascinating, little-known facts. Dunn is an award-winning historian who is a Professor at Williams College. This Yale University Press publication is written in an accessible style but is also rigorous in its scholarship. If you enjoyed Lynne Olson’s “Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II” then you will find this book of related interest.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 685.
AMAZON REVIEW: ULYSSES BY JAMES JOYCE
I do not like ‘Ulysses’ because of the cussing and other hard language. I noticed with great displeasure that the name of the Lord was taken in vain on several occasions. Also, it was not at all like the movie ‘Clash of the Titans.’ I liked the part with the dog though. I do not like this book hardly at all but if you want to read it go right ahead. Two stars.