Our national life is based upon the vitality of various interests balanced against other interests. These self-interests are not nearly as harmless as our conservative friends imagine them to be….We will not have justice if the powerful man simply goes after his interest at the expense of the weak.—Reinhold Niebuhr
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER EIGHT: PART TWO: THE FALL
I knowed if I was to ever get even with the strong boy Smash Conklin I’d have to go over the heads of Uglyface’s black-souled yekkmen and factors and start mooching around some of the people those bullies answered to, starting with Adam Tyler, the Alderman. And Coach Crump, the real-estate man. And working my way up to Tom Aston, the Police Captain, and Beau Nasty, the vice lord. If possible, I knew I had to get something on each one of these bummers.
The one I hated most was Adam Tyler. He was a swell toff and a trimmer; a blonde-headed rogue with thatch yaller eyebrows and a thick blonde mustache. He couldn’t have been much younger than 45, but he carried himself like a much younger man.
As an Alderman—and who knew who he screwed to get to that place?–he had access to all the secret doings of the city government and was Johnny on the spot whenever an opportunity came to make himself some Pretty Polly. Listen: I’ve known some rogues in my day, but this man was the beatenest crook to ever walk on two legs. That man would steal a goulash belch from a Hungarian banquet; he would quietly swipe cracklins from his mammy’s fat gourd, he’d prise the pennies from a dead man’s eyes, and he would even abscond with hot soup with pockets made of rubber, as the saying goes.
You should of seen the old sinner make the rounds of Old Town. Smooving his way through the crowds of pressmen and their printer’s devils at the Daily Chronicker. Marking off the list of all the cigar stores as was fronts for gambling dens—mostly because they gave him a pretty rake-off. Saying how-de-do to the warehouse boys at the department store as they loaded expensive appliances in the back seat of his Stanley Steamer. Passing out five cent see-gars at the barber shops and the barber college—the only college that rascal ever set foot in, I’ll warrant. And getting all togged out in his Sunday best and saying how-de-do to the Church Marms and their long sufferin’ hubbies after Sunday services. The man would attend the opening of an envelope, it was said. He was a politician through and through. And drippin’ with secret vice.
Because he was also a loocher from way back who was well known to favor young quail. Not too young, mind you—he was a politician—but many’s the time he’s patronize the whores at Red Mary’s and one time I heared him in his room, and watched him, too, through a knot-hole, as he played with a young whore I was very sweet on. Her name was Little Jane. She was as swell a gal as ever drawed breath—quiet, and kind-hearted too, always taking in strays and bandaging ‘em up, including me on at least one occasion. Little Gal with pearly white teeth and soft brown hair and an elegant little nose with the tip just very slightly turned up. She had full red lips and long brown eyelashes and coal black eyes and a little set of tiddies like a couple of fried eggs and I do believe that she was sweet on me as well. Course, I had no business consortin’ with young whores at my age—I was only 13 and even though I was growin’ up fast I was still a milksop and wet behind the ears. But young ‘uns sometimes pick up peculiar notions and take holt of them like a rag doll, and I was little different. I loved that Gal and so I took a special interest in her welfare when Adam Tyler singled her out for his attentions. So they day he picked her out I stole up to the garret and spied on the two of them.
I saw and heard the whole thing. I wish I hadn’t. First, he filled that little gal with bubbly-water and then he turned on his line of soft gab to the little lady—and the two of them started making formations of nature–O, J-just Lie Your Leg Over Me, Do—Not Like That, Like That, said she—only he wouldn’t listen and he went a crawlin’ and a creepin’ on top of her—Your Panties Are Too Tight says he, and he tears them off with his teeth—down on all fours—barking like a dog—Goddamnit, My Pecker’s Caught In My Zipper!—he pulls out his ramrod—lunges at her– the two of them go scrumbling to the floor—which spoils my view—she cries out—Oh Oh Oh!—I’m a Bad Girl!—Hic—I’m a Bad Girl—sound of scruffling–says he, No, My Dear, I Am a Bad Man– she cries out—Oh Oh Oh!—he gives out with a nasty laugh—tearing of clothes—My Blouse, Don’t!—Let Me Run My Fingers Through Your Hair, says he– Oh Oh Oh!—What Are You Doing says she –Do As I Tell You says he—Lock Your Legs Around Me—You’re Pulling My Hair says she–Get Off Me says she–Too Late Now says he–I’d Tear Open the Gates of Hell To Get to You Now says he—Oh No Don’t, says she—Oh, You Tease says he–Oh No Don’t, says she—Dirty Little Whore, says he—Oh No Don’t, says she, They’re Too Tender—Listen Girlie, says he—You’ll Do As I Tell You–
I’ll leave the rest for your imagination.
You can well imagine, Yob, that all this was agony for me to watch and hear. Poor Little Jane!
Afterwards, down in the parlor, I heered him bragging about how he “took the little whore to fuckin’ school.”
Now I’m no prude—love is no sin—the only sin is no love—but as far as I was concerned, Aston crossed the thin white line with her–and make no mistake about it.
I’m telling you now—and I’ll tell the world—that ever since that day it made me clench my rookers in fists of rage to even so much to think of that old devil.
Now, Tyler was too big a man for me to blackmail, but I could make things plenty hot for him if I chose to, and I knowed it, even if he knew nowt. What made me think I could get one over on him was that he worked fist in glove with a fellow loocher—a hard character named Coach Crump. Who I will tell you about directly.
DREAD IN A BABYLON
LIVE AT REGGAE SUNSPLASH 1982
Lavater’s Physiognomy: a Taxonomy For Endorsers in Print Advertisements
Marks of Excellence: The Development and Taxonomy of Trademarks Revised and Expanded edition
28 “FAVORITE” BOOKS WHICH ARE HUGE RED FLAGS
This article is just mischief-making snark which bruises as many sensibilities as possible. No need to take it personally. It will only hit its intended target if you are convinced that what you like is who you are. Basically, he’s only doing what critics do–pointing out aesthetic flaws in an entertaining way. Meanwhile, there’s this: “Finally our grieving rabbit-things arrive in San Francisco, where rabbit-people and fox-things and dog-men all forget their differences and come together to mourn the passing of the greatest, most influential figure to ever… ever, man.” http://www.misterkitty.org/extras/stupidcovers/stupidcomics275.html
Lolita is a remarkable achievement. So is The Stranger. If we are intimidated by his remarks it is probably because we suspect he might be right. Trust me, he isn’t. He isn’t aiming his can(n)on at the likes of us, anyway. Basically, he’s attacking superficial people who have cliched reading tastes.
And it’s amazing how many people are taking it seriously–including NPR, which published a rebuttal: http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/07/12/201505102/buzzfeed-identifies-red-flag-favorite-books-which-is-a-red-flag
Notice how the NPR author blubbers on in circles like a dog chasing his rhetorical tail over how awful it is to hurt people’s feelings. But at least the site also points out this amusing list:
BOOK TITLES WITH ONE LETTER MISSING
VANCE RANDOLPH & GERSHON LEGMAN
“UNPRINTABLE” OZARK FOLKSONGS
“I WENT TO THE RIVER”
WHAT AMERICAN ENGLISH SOUNDS LIKE TO NON-ENGLISH SPEAKERS
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
POLIO VACCINE SCARE
I imagine that the CDC is simply looking out after our interests by removing the post. They don’t want to fuel the anti-vaccine hysteria any further. On balance, vaccines do far more good than harm. The 1976 Swine Flu brouhaha has made some people suspicious of vaccines. But the public has a poor understanding of statistical probability and does not understand that, say, 26 deaths per 100,000,000 is probably an acceptable price to pay. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1976_swine_flu_outbreak
My friend Jan Strnad has also pointed out that “the writer of the article left out a critical paragraph from the CDC report: “SV40 virus has been found in certain types of cancer in humans, but it has not been determined that SV40 causes these cancers.”
Like many onocausationists, the anti-vaccine crowd often cherry-pick data and betray a woeful incomprehension of standard deviations and other such basic statistical math.
On the other hand, some people simply won’t listen to arguments that the experts know best– because that argument has been used to screw them so many times before. And, of course, the experts are sometimes just plain wrong.
6* DAILY UTILITY
TEN HOURS OF SOOTHING WHITE NOISE FROM OUTER SPACE
HEATH LEDGER’S JOKER DIARY
A CLOWN’S NO GOOD
CHARLES BARKLEY ON ZIMMERMAN TRIAL
I feel a compelling need to note, in my off-puttingly dry fashion, that Charles Barkley is hardly an expert on political or legal matters
GOOD COP/BAD COP: THE SUPERCUT
THE COURTROOM DRAMA IS DEAD: H’WOOD KILLED IT
WAL-MART ATROCITY STORIES
“Wal-Mart associates are like cattle. All you have to do is prod them and eventually they’ll do exactly what you tell them to.”—Wal Mart Manager
Why pick on Wal Mart? I am interested in oral accounts of work-related stress. If it seems as though I am picking on Wal-Mart, from where a great many of these accounts seem to emanate, then I regret the misapprehension. Fact is, I have a hard time finding narratives online in which happy Wal-Mart workers extol the virtues of their employer.
MCDONALD’S TELLS WORKERS TO GET SECOND JOB
THE SATURNI AND THE VALUE OF LIES
HENRY ROLLINS’ 20 FAVORITE PUNK ALBUMS
BEST ROCK STARS BY STATE
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
SONG SEQUELS THAT WEREN’T (PART TWO)
None of the Old Chicks
Forget It, Rhonda, I’m Fine.
I Got Around
I Saw Mommy F*cking Santa Claus
The Ghouls on the Beach
Cherry Hill Slavery
Nicorette Joseph’s Bistro
What is Death?
Mr. Brown You Are An Ugly Asshole
Go Away, Daylight
While My Guitar Wipes Its Tears
Stop Saving it for Later
Play that Funky Music White Retiree
The Bummer Song. (From Frowny Frown).
Always Learn to Hate.
That’s When I Reached for My Copy of That’s When I Reached For My Revolver
Set Controls for the Heart of the Slum
Resume in the Name of Hate
Stephanie Has No Idea Who
You Did Want To Hurt Me–You’re An Asshole.
8 and 8 Are
Meat is Yummy…It’s Yummy
The White Devil’s Life Song
Insightful Joe Life (John Fahey)
Good Good Leroy White (never got involved in a razor fight)
I Wanna be White (I want to be a supremacist…a Caucasian polemicist)
The Ballad of some drunken Indian soldier who had his picture taken at Iwo Jima or something
Georgia on My Face
I Want to Hold Your Purse
Kill Me on the Bus
Papa Strenuously Ordered Me to Leave
Mama Was a Clinging Moss
Start Start Start
Short Hot Man In a White Dress (Working for the CIA)
(I Want to Be) Impeached
I Wish I Was In Dixie (But She’s Not So Sure)
(With a tip of the hat to Johnny Angel, Jim Sullivan, Jon Hall, Russ Gershon, Kurt Hoffman, &c.)
11A BOOKS READ AND RATED
21. KRIENDLER & JEFFERS. ***1/2
50 GIRLS 50. WILLIAMSON. *****
52 AFTERMATH: THE FOUR HORSEMEN. ***1/2
60S MOST WANTED. SHEA. ***
70S PHOTOGRAPHY & EVERYDAY LIFE. ****1/2
THE AMERICAN SENATE. MACNEIL & BAKER. ****
BATGIRL 2: KNIGHTFALL DESCENDS. ***
BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM 1. ****
BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM 2. ****
BATTLE FOR THE ATLANTIC. JEFFREY. ***
BREATHLESS HOMICIDAL SLIME MUTANTS. BROWER. ***1/2
CAME THE DAWN. WOOD. ****1/2
CHILLING TALES OF HORROR. RODRIGUEZ. ****
A CIVIL ACTION. HAAR. ****1/2
COMPLETE CRUMB 2. ***
CORPSE ON THE IMJIN. KURTZMAN. *****
DECONSTRUCTING SAMMY. BIRKBECK. ***1/2
DIFFICULT MEN. MARTIN. ****
DRIVE. SALLIS. ***1/2
THE EASTERN FRONT. JEFFREY. ***
ENEMIES. WEINER. ****
FLASHPOINT…FEATURING GL. ***
FUG YOU. SANDERS. ***1/2
GREEN LANTERN CORPS: FEARSOME. ***1/2
HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL CON ARTISTS. MARLOCK. ***
IN THE BASEMENT OF THE IVORY TOWER. PROFESSOR X. ***1/2
THE INFINITE HORIZON. DUGGAN & NOTO. ****
INVENTING A NATION. VIDAL. ****
JLA: THE LIGHTNING SAGA. MELTZER. ***1/2
JLA: WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE. ***1/2
JSA: BAD SEED. ***1/2
JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER: DEATH & CIGARETTES. ***1/2
LONDON: A HISTORY. WILSON. ***1/2
LOST CAT. JASON. ****
A MOUSE IN THE RAT PACK. STARR. **
NANCY REAGAN. KELLEY. ***1/2
NIXON AT THE MOVIES. FEENEY. ****1/2
ODD TYPE WRITERS. JOHNSON. **1/2
OVERWEIGHT SENSATION. COHEN. ****
PAINTING THE DARKNESS. GODDARD. ***1/2
PHOTOBOMBED. JENKINS. *1/2
THE PIN-UP ART OF HUMORAMA. CHIN. ***
PLAISTOW. FOINES. ***
THE PRESIDENTS CLUB. GIBBS & DUFFY. ****
ROCKS OFF. JANOVICH. ****
RUDE JOKES. SMITH. ***1/2
THE SECRET WAR. JEFFREY. ***
SEX TO SEXTY. **1/2
SOMEDAY FUNNIES. CHOQUETTE. ****
STORMWATCH 1. ELLIS. **1/2
STREET BONERS. MCINNES. ***
SUPERBOY: THE BOY OF STEEL. JOHNS & MANAPUL. ***1/2
SUPERMAN: CODENAME PATRIOT. **1/2
SUPERMAN: LAST SON. JOHNS. ***1/2
SUPERMAN: THE BLACK RING. ***1/2
SUPERMAN: CAMELOT FALLS 1. BUSIEK. ***1/2
SUPERMAN: CAMELOT FALLS 2. BUSIEK. ***1/2
SUPERMAN: THE COMING OF ATLAS. ***
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: NIGHT & DAY. ***1/2
SUPERMAN/BATMAN: WORSHIP. ***1/2
TAINT THE MEAT….DAVIS. ****1/2
TAKE NO FAREWELL. GODDARD. ***1/2
TEMPERATURE’S RISING. MCGONIGAL. ***1/2
THAT’S NOT FUNNY, THAT’S SICK. LEVIN. ***
TRUST ME, I’M LYING. HOLIDAY. ***1/2
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN 3. BENDIS & MARQUEZ. ***1/2
WAR IN THE PACIFIC. JEFFREY. ***
THE WAY YOU WEAR YOUR HAT. ZEHME. **
WACKY PACKAGES: NEW NEW NEW. ***
WRAPPED IN THE FLAG. CONNER. ***1/2
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 697.
PROPAGANDA: PAT CONDELL’S “A WORD TO RIOTING MUSLIMS”
Is he talking about Muslims, or Negroes? or Jews? Hard to tell. The rhetoric is similar. The tone of contempt is not merely reminiscent but also highly representative of racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric, which i have studied extensively. The charges that are true are merely window-dressing for an anti-Muslim rant. That is the technique of hatemongers and scapegoaters throughout time. Dig up a few plausible charges, then rig the game by larding on a whole passel of unrelated assertions of dubious provenance and merit. For more on the topic of scapegoating as a modus vivendi, vide Norman Cohn’s “Europe’s Inner Demons”. Do the ends justify the means? That’s certainly what Hitler thought. He’s using propaganda techniques straight out of the Goebbels to make his point. Which I regard as a meretricious short-cut. Call me a purist, but I know hate speech when I see it. Not all Muslims–just the Fundamentalists? That’s a classic debate technique.
Indoctrinization from childhood is a subtle weapon. It guarantees that people continue to wallow in peculiar dogmas long after their sell-by date. For example: I recently met a black woman who was looking for religious books. She let slip that she was a Baptist and asked me what my religion was, I told her, and she visibly recoiled, and expressed the earnest hope that someday I would see the error of my ways. One of the reason that classic liberals (as opposed to ideologues) are often so ineffectual and divided is that they are always willing to admit of the possibility that they might be wrong. To hear someone say that in an argument–“I think–but I might be wrong…” either indicates a slimy rhetorician or an undogmatic temperament.
You may see a fearless truth-teller. I see a querulous, hate-filled douchebag. Check this one out: http://dotsub.com/view/dcef6c2a-3fb7-4ab1-9bc8-fd621b2c3972
And here he uses the sophomoric trick of preemptively accusing his opponents of the faults which he is guilty of:
Ultimately, he himself is a hatey McHater who hates. I would urge readers who think his remarks are heroic to think back to the cold war and the red scare. Half the rhetoric was overblown and the other half was based on superstitious fear of The Other. That’s the way of the demagogue, whether left, right, or center. This man is little more than a toothless dying an animal who is warning the tribe with shrill cries about a well-known threat, and then smugly patting himself on the back for stating the obvious. It’s not the message which is objectionable as much as the means, and the lying rhetorical tricks he uses to put it across.
PROPAGANDA AND DEBATING TECHNIQUES
THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC