FATHER VONNEGUT

Reprinting here an essay I posted on an early blog of mine; published there, originally,  January 6, 2011… KURT NOTES In November of 2009 I bought a published collection of “unpublished” (surely a misnomer?) short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. I wrote, soon after reading most of it: November 4, 2009 at 3:13 am · Edit There’s a poignantly unsophisticated-yet-very-effective short story, by Kurt Vonnegut, in his latest posthumous collection, called “Ed Luby’s Key Club”… it’s a childish allegory of Fascism, written by a worldly man in all his jarringly optimistic grief. It’s as awkwardly lyric, and moving, as an old … Continue reading FATHER VONNEGUT

KONG of PAP [re-posted from 2009, with an offensive new preface]

PREFACE In 2009, when the hyper-American entertainer, Michael Jackson, died, I thought: sunlight has finally hit the vampire. An innocent (and great talent) in 1970, when his voice was all over the sounds coming out of my red transistor radio,  Jackson died as a human, and a musician, c. 1976, while eking out a mid-level career doing pleasure-cruise disco. The “world” (the Anglo-American sphere)  barely noticed his first quiet death as the world was distracted, at the time, either by Boston’s More Than A Feeling or The Sex Pistol’s Anarchy in the UK. In 1976 I hated almost everything on … Continue reading KONG of PAP [re-posted from 2009, with an offensive new preface]

KIKI ’68

  Before I met my Wife, and before I learned to earn some money in the German music business, I was, briefly, a script doctor, hired by a production company to fix a poorly-written script about an East German cultural hero. I tore the script down and re-wrote it, from the ground up,  and ended up selling an option, on my now original script, to the production company for (for them) a record-breaking amount. Soon after that sale, at an Art Opening, I met a video Artist who’d had his heyday in the 1960s.  He was in a corner of … Continue reading KIKI ’68

At Least 23 Cases of Mistaken Identity in the Golden Age of the Genome

1. Berlin, 2003. It is winter and very cold. Friday night. I’m walking from cafe to cafe with a close friend, a middle class Canadian with radically-Left-leaning views and a conservative Jewish background. I’m wearing a dark blue watchman cap; lots of the (probably German) men we see that night wear similar caps. “You look like a thug in that cap,” observes my friend. “Does he look like a thug?” I ask, gesturing at a nearby guy, shiveringly waiting for the light to change, in an identical cap. “Well, no…” says my friend. 2. A month later this friend mentions … Continue reading At Least 23 Cases of Mistaken Identity in the Golden Age of the Genome

Why do They call them “Movements”?

Way, way back, in the early Aughties (and how long before some scientist finally makes the announcement that one year in the early part of the 21st century is equal to c. 20 years of duration, in PsychoPhysics terms, in the early 20th?) there was a group of us… perhaps a dozen… a loose affiliation of Writers who’d met and began to cross-conspire Online. This last July 31st, 2017, one of us died… and I dug up this document from 2009, a Roundtable on Writing in which 7 of us, including our recently departed Comrade, participated. It’s a micro-historical document … Continue reading Why do They call them “Movements”?

FIRE PAPER GUNS THE INTERNET and ALL WHO FOLLOWED AFTER: an excerpt

  The previous text I posted, a day or two back, came with a warning about its difficulty. This one… FIRE PAPER GUNS THE INTERNET and ALL WHO FOLLOWED AFTER (an excerpt)… makes that look like a book by John Irving or Erica Jong in comparison. It’s Sumo Class stuff in the hierarchy of obscure narratives. Chapter One: SUMMER OF NONE The splendors of existence are so near. Smell them, taste them, they are yours, right there, in thick liquids or crunchy solids or blown twinkling on your face in a highway mist through the passenger-side window of a secondhand … Continue reading FIRE PAPER GUNS THE INTERNET and ALL WHO FOLLOWED AFTER: an excerpt

REFLECTIONS ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A POLITICAL COUNTERCULTURE

A few years ago, the former head man at Coffee House Press, Allan Kornblum (replaced by Chris Fischbach in 2011) , posted something on their website that touched on the word “counterculture”. I responded to the post in the comment section. This was before it finally hit me that most people who post editorials online do not do so to invite debate. I wrote: December 29, 2010 at 9:32 am “But I was also inspired by the idea of the day that starting a small press was a political act, that as a small press publisher I was participating in … Continue reading REFLECTIONS ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A POLITICAL COUNTERCULTURE

THE DEAD BLACK GODS: AN INTERESTING ARGUMENT WITH THE PARIS REVIEW (from July 2010)

UNPOPULIST OPINION and the RACIAL DIVIDE or THE DEAD BLACK GODS (over at the Paris Review): “It won’t be news to aficionados, but this spring the gospel historian and producer Anthony Heilbut released a new compilation, How Sweet It Was: The Sights and Sounds of Gospel’s Golden Age. A copy arrived last week at White Street. The CD contains some knockout live performances: Brother Joe May, Mahalia Jackson at her best, Dorothy Love Coates “groaning and even barking” onstage with the Swan Silvertones…”-Lorin Stein Steven Augustine July 3, 2010 at 10:39 am Christ I find Gospel depressing; its ironies too … Continue reading THE DEAD BLACK GODS: AN INTERESTING ARGUMENT WITH THE PARIS REVIEW (from July 2010)

COSMIC COPYCATS

List of Knobs Who Claimed to be Jesus [ed.’s note: surely Jesus himself needs to go at the beginning of this list] * John Nichols Thom (1799–1838), Cornish tax rebel who claimed to be the “saviour of the world” and the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and his body temple of the Holy Ghost[citation needed] in 1834. He was killed by British soldiers at the Battle of Bossenden Wood, on May 31, 1838 in Kent, England.[1] * Arnold Potter (1804–1872), Schismatic Latter Day Saint leader; he claimed the spirit of Jesus Christ entered into his body and he became “Potter Christ” … Continue reading COSMIC COPYCATS