LOVE IN THE EARLY STAGES (a factual short story of dubious shortness)

1THE TONE-DEAF RECORD COLLECTOR The title of this introductory paragraph is less a paradox than a commonplace. I have known tone-deaf, or music-insensitive, record collectors who loved vinyl discs with a great, deeply religious passion and an avarice bordering on murderous jealousy. They rarely, if ever, listened to newly-acquired love-objects: they carefully filed them away. I knew a famous rock critic, now deceased (death by injection). We walked the streets of Berlin together for years and often yakked about music.  Here was a man who was published in the very early iteration of Rolling Stone, of Creem, who’d sat in … Continue reading LOVE IN THE EARLY STAGES (a factual short story of dubious shortness)

NOT EXACTLY JEAN SHEPHERD: AN XMAS REPRINT from 2019

Almost all of the shops in Berlin are closed, today,  because of a Bronze Age Creation Myth, believe it or not, and on most every Sunday of the year, in fact, the majority of the shops are closed owing to the oddly specific strictures of the same myth. Imagine calling your Telecom provider to request they send an associate to take a look at your Optical Termination Outlet (which is emitting sparks) and a robot customer service voice telling you  “Thank you for your call, at present no Service Associates are available until after the Feast of Bacchus…” Which would … Continue reading NOT EXACTLY JEAN SHEPHERD: AN XMAS REPRINT from 2019

PROFILES IN SHEER NERVE: A Heavily-Bowdlerized Journal Entry regarding the Summer of 2001 and Beyond

Long walk in the bitter cold the other day with longtime acquaintance René, who is roughly my age (younger by two or three years) and grappling with Existential matters he has successfully held at arm’s length for a couple of decades. René was preoccupied with doing his best to “sell out” (his own words) since a year or two before the turn of the century, when he turned 39. I met René in 2001, a few weeks after I’d returned to Berlin to settle permanently; we met on the premises of a so-called filmmaking academy that was actually a front … Continue reading PROFILES IN SHEER NERVE: A Heavily-Bowdlerized Journal Entry regarding the Summer of 2001 and Beyond

COLLECTED APHORISMS and OBSERVATIONS of PASTOR PRIME: A NOTEBOOK

1. “Anger with your father IS your father.”  2. “It is notoriously difficult to convince people living in a modern police state that they’re living in a police state… especially when the police state provides cheap doughnuts and free porn.” 3. “The sensitive, the creative, are under prolonged assault from the materialist superculture of the workaday world; Art is a virtual refuge where the at-risk sensibility is protected, validated and rewarded with pleasure. Art is the little cathedral in the big abattoir. I have elected to live there.” 4 .”There is nothing to fear in Life but humiliation, theft, assault, insanity, rejection, … Continue reading COLLECTED APHORISMS and OBSERVATIONS of PASTOR PRIME: A NOTEBOOK

NOVEMBER NOTEBOOK

ongoingly misc and sundry thoughts of late, late Fall 1-Somewhere between Neo Nazi slogan-slinging and the  15,000,000,000-page Millennial Thought-Crime Offenses Codex, there is reasonable, and reasonably unsanitized, discourse. Locating that sweet spot is a worthy (and not really terribly difficult) challenge, though it is clearly not for Retards or the easily-offended. The time may well be coming again… 2-A Novel is just a play with insanely detailed stage-directions. 3-I spent my adolescence in Las Vegas and therefore tend to pronounce “Vegan”  under that influence;  Daughter invariably corrects me (“It’s VEE-GAHN, Daddy!”)  and I invariably point out that this pronunciation is … Continue reading NOVEMBER NOTEBOOK

THREE OBLOMOVIAN OBLOQUIES

  1-JUNGIAN (Borgesian?) EPITAPH   In the summer of 2002, two women I’d known in Berlin, in the early ’90s, came back into my life. I had known them during my club days, they had each left Berlin for seven years (one travelling in India, the other living in Bali), they were each half-German (half-Indian in one case, half-Cuban in the other) and had each returned to Berlin with a daughter (Sarah, Shana), immediately after which I bumped into them, within a week of each other, after no contact for seven years. They were 28, funny, black-haired, copper-colored, about five … Continue reading THREE OBLOMOVIAN OBLOQUIES

FATHERSTORY: THE INVERSIONS

Without Life’s bizarre and often ironic twists and turns and dips and loops, it wouldn’t be Life… it would be a plain old anecdote, about which we can confidently declare that it (an anecdote) is supposed to have a point, an attribute so patently unlike Life. The New Age metaphysicians  who assert that Life’s point is to teach us (to live) are indulging in the kind of tautology that made me question the “wisdom” of almost everything I read (that wasn’t sci fi) in the 1970s. I once saw a friend, whom I had always considered a level-headed cynic, declare … Continue reading FATHERSTORY: THE INVERSIONS

SARAH and the BODHISATTVAS

I went to school with snarky stoners and rich Foreign students (mostly Iranians) and lots of entitled shits. I always thought of the entitled shits as 99ers, based on my estimate of their average IQ, but I’m sure quite a few of those IQs were closer to 90. They were reliably hilarious, the 99ers, often fun to have around, with something of the simian (as in “W” Bush, I realize, in retrospect) about their faces… those tiny, close-set eyes and taut parenthetical lips…  and a social carelessness that the other kids, the kids from genuinely good homes, who’d been raised … Continue reading SARAH and the BODHISATTVAS

SURREALISM and its UNWITTING MISSIONARIES

I came late to Sex or it came late to me. In 1968 I had already been a Beatles fan for nearly half my life and The Beatles I knew were not about Sex unless one already knew enough about Sex to look for clues in the lyrics. I listened obsessively to The Beatles on a portable Philips record player. In ’68 this little briefcase-sized box was a marvel, powered by six “D” batteries, its heavy speaker built into the lid. I remember listening to “Being for the Benefit of Mister Kite” on this Philips portable while my mother listened … Continue reading SURREALISM and its UNWITTING MISSIONARIES

RAISED in a REVOLUTION

  Unlike many reading this, I was raised in an actual Revolutionary Movement. My father and his comrades were Black Diasporist Radicals of the ’60/ ’70s who genuinely believed that an armed overthrow of the US government was feasible and inevitable. I attended various Revolutionary Meetings (as a bored observer) as a schoolboy; I attended Revolutionary Street Theater events and spent time, with my father, at the community Arts collective that was one of the hubs of Revolutionary Activity in the city. I met three famous activists in my father’s presence (including Muhammad Ali, whose hand I deigned to shake). … Continue reading RAISED in a REVOLUTION

PHILOSOPHICAL LESSONS FROM MY FATHER’S MOST DEDICATED FAILURES

  One person… or a thousand people… or a hundred thousand people… won’t stop Predatory Banking, or Corporate Environmental Degradation, or War, et al. Marching, signing petitions, watching “edgy” satirical political comedy, paypal-ing Leakers, even throwing Molotov cocktails: the system is designed not only to absorb or shrug off such things but, worse, such things help to stabilize the system. Such things are (romantic) cathartic gestures that blow off steam and provide the illusion that things are changing and that opposition lives and All is Not Lost. Keeps the lid from blowing. There are lucky apparent exceptions scattered around the … Continue reading PHILOSOPHICAL LESSONS FROM MY FATHER’S MOST DEDICATED FAILURES