Whip it on me, Jim.–Lou Reed
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER EIGHT: PART SEVENTEEN: THE FALL
For all his shifty habits–and bad attitude–and fawning and cringing to men of power–and his treating with the greatest of scorn men in need who fell within his ambit, Cool Slopp did have one weakness–and that was his dog, little Eamonn. He was a small mongrel, mostly black but with white markings around his muzzle and eyes which made him slightly resemble a grizzled old man. Eamonn looked like a chow or possibly a Pomeranian though after all these years I couldn’t say for sure. Slopp also called him “Circus Boy,” for the little dog was well versed in standing on his hind legs and frantically waving his grey and white paws for treats. He had a perpetually shocked look, though that was only the effect of having his fine black fur brushed out daily until it sleekly shone. Eamonn, he was a brave as a little lion, him, with a great soul and more than a bit of mischief–allus barkin’ up a storm at hungry footsore tramps and dejected toothless vagabonds forced by the extremity of their need to pawn their coats and sometimes even their pantaloons and shoes. Slopp would allus chuck the yapping creature beneath the chin to quieten him lest the wild little beast emit displeasing noises in the presence of local eminentos, but he would never otherwise correct the dog or even command him to be still. Many’s the day and night time I would pass, running errands for Cool Slopp, or simply sloping about his pawnshop all idlesome, and I could always hear him extol the virtues of the little animal to anyone as would listen. “That ar’s a brave little soldier for his size. If he was full-grown he’s be a terror sure,” said Cool Slopp, who was always well-chuffed when the subject turned to Eamonn. “He’s worth his weight in diamonds, is this ‘un,” Slopp would say, “And he kin tell a wrong ‘un from a furlong off.”
The surest way to get into Slopp’s good graces–or such good graces as Cool Slopp ever showed–was to compliment his dog; strangely enough, those who criticized the animal were not dismissed out of hand but treated instead to a haranguing argument which Slopp, greatly offended, would deliver as an encomium on behalf of the little mite.
One rainy day Old Uglyface Smash Conklin barged in to Slopp Brokers to pawn some ill-gotten swag, and, noticing that the dog was barking his fool head off, growled an ugly remark along the lines of him wishing someone would throttle that little mucker, though mucker wasn’t the word he used.
When it came to defending Eamonn, Cool Slopp warn’t in the least bit afeared of Smash Conklin, as scarred and terrifying as he could be. While I quickly hid behind a handy piece of clock furniture, the two of them went hammer and tongs for what seemed in my quaking anxiety to be long hours.
Shut your Gob, Conklin. If ye weren’t such a Doney, ye’d ken that thisyer dog is the finest heart that ever walked on four legs.
Listen, Slopp. That brute is a common nuisance and I hope the dirty little egg-sucker chokes on his own black tongue.
Sure and it’s not Eamonn as has a black tongue and a black heart–and even if he did he is as true as no man ever was. Unlike some Yellofs I could spiel of, the little Boliver only makes his presence known when he has summat to say. He is nae a dorc ner ary a twerp.
I could see from where I was roosted behind the grandfather clock that Conklin took that last comment with ill grace, considering how Slopp had just implied that he was both a dwarf and a spineless worm. But Conklin surely knew that any display of violent temper would mean he had lost the argument, and so he continued to criticize the little dog, who by now was standing–nine pounds he was, soaking wet, and not much bigger than Conklin’s beefy palm–and staring at Conklin with his lively black eyes and slowly growling in a sort of groaning crescendo and one time letting loose with a little yip when Slopp fondly tugged on his black and bristly little chin just a trifle too hard.
Listen, Slopp. That ‘ar dog drives away yer business. Many’s a stewbum there be as don’t take none too kindly to being badgered by a dirty little mungrul. If I had my bruthers, I’d lick the sturdy little beggar ’til he learned how to behave in the company of white folks.
You touch a hair on ‘at dog at your own peril, Conklin. He’s worth ten of ye.
Why you old thief, said Conklin, well ye might admire a filthy little beastie when you yourself make your livin off’n the slum and muck of the poor.
Small wonder ye should admire the little beggar when ye live on the slops of beggars yer own self.
Ye Lallygag, look at ye, ye fancy yerself a fine swell with your roistering and your shindigs and your low finagling, but it’s a sorry end ye’ll becoming to, and soon enow.
You with your greedy puss as would be enough to gag a maggot–small wonder then that yer only friend on the green earth is a sorry little yapper.
And you, with your scamming tongue and your fine flummery, or so ye think, when all about ye ken ye be as dumb as an ox and as stubborn as an ass and ye smell not half so good.
I’ll not be taking lessons on how to comport myself from a mingy faker such as yourself, Slopp. If ye ever had a decent thought in your bald noggin it was druve out by the clink of yaller boys wrung from the sweat and blood of the working man.
Ho! You’re a Yekkman yer own self and a fine one to talk of work, you who never stood in one place except as a lag for the county for thirty dollars or thirty days in stir. It’s well known that ye gedder up yer traps the first of every month and every flophouse in town has given ye the eighty-six. I hear ye live as do the lilies of the field, or otherwise ye make shift in the back room of the Seven Stars with the pissbums and all the other misbegotten wretches. They might call ye Slugger as ye got a Sunday Punch with a lot of Giniker, but when ye bruise yer liver and yer hair turns white ye’ll nae mair be a rabbit–ye’ll be nought but a poor cull, and it will be the workhouse for ye, me fine Loogin.
Sure and if it takes a heap of phony palaver to swindle a sucker out of his dyin’ mammy’s wedding ring and other knick-knacks then you be boss con, but if them is brains then I’ll take vanilla.
At that point, little Eamonn, who had been glowering and softly growling the whole while, leapt from the counter onto Cool Slopp’s stool and from there to a nearby box and onto the floor. He skittered around the counter and ran at Conklin, furiously barking. Conklin squatted on his haunches, prior to swatting the beastie, and it was then that Cool Slopp delivered unto the back of the noggin of Smash Conklin a brawny swat with a handy fireplace poker.
Smash was out cold. I helped Slopp drag his meaty near-corpse out back to a nearby alley, then sprinted for home as fast as my trenbling legs would carry me as Slopp calmly locked and shuttered his establishment. Later I heard that Slopp kept his pawnshop closed for a few days until the heat died down. My guess is that Conklin never really knew what hit him, but I noticed that he kept himself scarce from Slopp’s establishment in the weeks that followed.
Guess you can call this the story of a b’hoy and his dorg, and such a dorg as never was–and never will be again as long as grass grows and squirrels gather nuts in the golden October!
UP WITH PEOPLE!
OF MICE AND MOOD: ANIMATION’S HISTORY THROUGH A SOCIONOMIC LENS
NIGHT OF THE BLOOD MONSTER
WORST HORROR MOVIE POSTERS
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
Top Reviewers On Amazon Get Tons Of Free Stuff
6* DAILY UTILITY
BAKED MACARONI & CHEESE WITH SAUSAGE & TOMATO
FOR LOVERS OF MYSTERIES
KENNEDY ASSASSINATION ROUNDUP
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
Caution: I do not have prophetic insight for I rely solely on received opinion.
But it sure seems to me as though what we mostly have here on the internet is a squalid procession of vain fools and apocalyptic dipsomaniacs.
All standing on a spinning nut-ball soapbox.
With thoughts channeled through lard.
And a stupefied enthusiasm for bogus pulp ephemera.
And with all of them promoting their own brand of principled, ideological vulgarity–which one might liken to reaching out to one’s fellow man, but using a 30-ought-six for reaching out.
I apologize in advance for any incoherence in attempting to describe this beast, but the fantastical narratives of internet message boards are many, and on any given day one might find falsified stories told by the online equivalent of police characters, wretched tramps, gurning bag ladies, and wonderful gargoyles, and all amid a network of ideological cadres and necrotizing fascismus.
Furthermore, one will also find people who see God in an eggplant, tragic tales of hapless Whiteys growing up hard on Cannibal Island, and stories about bars where the booze is spiked with ether before your eyes. Above all it is a land in which the totemic worship of virility symbols and commodity-based oligarchy is practiced…incessantly.
The internet is a saturnalia of free speech. It is a place for frenzied advocates of odd ideas, excruciatingly tedious restatement of the obvious, prophets looking backwards, depressing girl talk, self-aggrandizing guy talk, solipsistic pronouncements, and, on very rare occasions only, highly idiosyncratic excellences.
But on the whole: to know everything is to do nothing. To know nothing is to be capable of anything. We now have the means to say whatever we want, to whomever we want, whenever we want. Only we have no assurance whatsoever that anyone at all is listening.
*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
ALL THE SONGS. MARGOTIN & GUESDON. ***1/2
BUTTER MY BUTT & CALL ME A BISCUIT. ZULLO & CHEEK. ***
THE CASTLE. KAFKA & JAROMIR 99. ****
CIA ROGUES AND THE KILLING OF THE KENNEDYS. NOLAN. ***1/2
DALLAS 1963. MINUTAGLIO & DAVIS. ****
FRAN. WOODRING. ****
FURIOUS COOL. HENRY & HENRY. ****
THE GODFATHER. PUZO. ***
GREAT AMERICAN BILLBOARDS. BOSTEN. ****
INSIDE MAD. ***1/2
THE JOLLITY BUILDING. LIEBLING. ****
THE MAN WHO KILLED KENNEDY. STONE. ***
THE MAYOR OF MCDOUGALL STREET. VAN RONK. ****
PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING. BRIGGS. ****
A RAGE TO LIVE. O’HARA. ****
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. HARRIS. ***
TEN BILLION. EMMOTT. ****1/2
THEY KILLED OUR PRESIDENT. VENTURA. ***
WEIRD THINGS CUSTOMERS SAY IN BOOKSTORES. CAMPBELL. ****
WHAT’S YOUR POISON? BLOUNT. ***
YOU’RE THE BUTTER ON MY BISCUIT. ***
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 715.
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: A COLLOQUIUM
LWM: It only took forty years, but finally the Velvet Underground is getting some attention. Who better than media juggernaut WMBR to help high-profile rock scribe Richie Unterberger put this unfairly-neglected band on the map?
FSAD: I hear ya. Lou Reed has toiled in obscurity for too long. His is the most tragic story in all of Rock and Roll. It’s high time “the man” finally got some recognition.
LWM: Indeed. Self-effacing to a fault, Reed has never sought recognition for his efforts. The honest love of making music with like-minded musicians has always been his stated goal.
FSAD: This honorable man, who challenged the hypocrisy of the “fun-fun-fun” Beach Boys generation with his brutally honest and candid and frank songs about the seamy “underside” of the New York “scene”, was a brave pioneer who ALWAYS told THE TRUTH with never a thought of monetary gain. Never slow to give credit to his sidemen, he was a type of Jewish “Saint”.
LWM: Reed sang about the harsh realities of hopeless poverty in late-60’s New York, about having to scrape by on guts and dreams before running back to your dad’s accounting firm.
Then twenty years later he sang about the harsh realities of New York as seen from a cushy penthouse.
But an honest cushy penthouse.
FSAD: A penthouse with integrity, damnit!
Listen, fuckers–Lou Reed didn’t take any “shit” from “The Man”.
He walked it like he talked it!
Ask Delmore Schwartz!
That’s right–DELMORE SCHWARTZ!!!!!!!!!!!
WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THIS MAN FUCKERS HE IS THE FRANK SINATRA OF PUNK I THINK HE IS A GENIUS BECAUSE HE IS BOTH A POET AND A MAN OF THE STREETS AND ANY MAN WHO WANTS TO GET TO LOU WILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH ME FUCKER AND THAT MEANS YOU, CHRISTGAU, YOU TOEFUCKER. SHUT UP SHUT UP CONEY ISLAND BABY IS A MASTERPIECE– “I WANT TO PLAY FOOTBALL FOR THE COACH”–BRILLIANT!
They are towering legends.
The Beatles of their day.
Never mind that they and the Beatles shared the same time period.
The Beatles aren’t fit to lick their Cuban boots.
Lou Reed’s first album is a masterpiece.
So what if he recorded with Yes.
And even his demo recordings like Do the Ostrich are far better than anything on Revolver.
And I must also use Heroin because Lou said to.
And I will wear black leather jackerts and be down with the people.
Berlin is a masterpiece I tell you.
Never mind what people say, how it’s depressing.
What do “Norms” like them know?
And nobody has ever recoded a better album than The Bells.
Don Cherry isn’t fit to breathe his air.
And I will tell you even though some people say his voice sounds like a dusthead’s dying croak do tyou know what I hear?
I hear nothing but street cred.
I tell you the man is a towering legend.
And anyone who says different knows NOTHING.
Hey, hey, hey
Give it to us, baby, now, yeah
There goes my chest, groovy on my
best, baby, hey, yeah
JTP: I approached Lou Reed on the street in NYC and asked about that song and he gave me a twinkly grin and slapped me on the shoulder as he told me the very amusing story of how he came to write it and then offered to buy me a coffee but I had to go to work and when I got home that night I found a bouquet of roses with a nice note from Lou telling me how much he appreciates getting critical feedback from his fans.
Super approachable down-to-earth guy.
LWM: I’ve heard this heartwarming story told by a hundred different Lou Reed fans (or “Lounatics” as he good-naturedly refers to them on his blog). What a sweetheart of a guy.
JTP: You betcha. Each year, his Christmas card encapsulates the season’s good cheer in a manner that’s brave enough to face unblinking the brutal urban landscape while employing delectable ironic distancing that shows us what it really means to be human, plus Laurie Anderson sends a muffin basket.
And that’s just one of the many, many things that makes Lou a cuddlebear beyond compare.
[By the way], Much like the Grateful Dead, the Velvet Underground was steeped in the American country folk tradition.
FSAD: There are a lot of eerie parallels between the Velvet Underground and the Grateful Dead.
Uncanny coincidences abound!
Lou pretended to use Heroin but he was actually a speedfreak.
Jerry pretended to be Captain Trips but was actually into Duji.
Doug Yule was burned by Lou Reed.
The Yule log is burned every Christmas.
Logos is Greek for “word”.
Lou Reed wrote words for The Velvet Underground.
Incidentally, Jerry Garcia pointed all this out to me.
While nodding off.
By the way, The Dead considered recording “Sister Ray” but Pigpen objected to the the lyrics “suckin’ on mah ding-dong”.
JTP: He was far too proud ever to hit it sideways.
???: Seriously though–even though the so-called “sophistos” make the mock Lou because he his managed to “kick the monkey” and knows he what it’s like to be “hard and out” and he went to the college of the knocks and he will always give hundred dollar bill to hungry moocher and is poor man’s friend–he is my biggest admire. If you believe me not, shut the up. Pardon my Englsih, she is not so good.