I keep dozens of scrapbooks here, a dozen or so of them I made “monthlies”: that is, I dated them the first of the month, updating the fictional date each month. But now I’ll keep just one: this one. Here I’ll jot notes to be further developed, maybe elsewhen, maybe moved elsewhere. This is, some may promote to modules; others may remain entries in scrapbooks.
2015 04 17 Last evening there was a huge roar overhead, low flying monster plane: Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose lining up to land on my trailer roof: rumble, shake, went on and on.
I just sat there, playing my game, didn’t budge. And I remember being blasé about overhead terror when I was a toddler in WWII. The first couple of times we got shook by mechanical thunder overhead we ran around, wildly searching for “cause”: after a few such, we ignored the war, the danger: there was no terror: just civilization as usual.
Answers, Then & Now
2015 04 16 You know these pesky pop up links that tempt ensnarement in a web of ads with teasers such as The Lucy Show, Then & Now? Taxi, Then & Now? I just spent a minute getting run around Answers.com over Farrah Fawcett, Then & Now? And of course there was an image! Jeez, what a mug she had! Irresistible. But I can never see references to her in her prime without remembering, with vivid embarrassment, an exploitation of her physiognomy that I wish she had been able to sue over: if not jail the image rapists. It was an Art Expo, later 1970s. My PK Fine Arts, Ltd. had a couple of booths. My customer, Richie, shop in Lake Success, had a big spread. Richie himself was big, fat, puffy, a financial marshmallow. He had people walking around the expo that time in body paint: silver boobs, silver bush. That was OK, the models were paid, I don’t think they were drugged. But one of Richie’s clowns, his expo performers, carried a sandwich-board-size re-pro of Farrah’s fantastic face, with the mouth drilled out. He’d set the prop on the floor, show the gaping mouth, then shove his pelvis against her printed face: giving himself a Farrah blowjob all over the Columbus Circle Coliseum.
Later I heard that the FBI lurking about that year to arrest Richie for forging certificates of authenticity for fake Miros. They were supposed to be lurking for Ted too, my girlfriend’s husband. But not much happened.
Something must have happened because I heard Richie moaning about presumption of innocence. …
Jeez, if anybody ever should have been presumed guilty, not presumed innocent, it was Richie!
But I shouldn’t rag Richie, especially not after thirty-seven or more years. Richie I now believe was actually a shade more honest than most of the bastards I dealt with. He only told the lies you insisted on hearing, and his checks actually cleared. Those two things along elevate him toward sainthood.
Ted never did get nailed that I heard of, but his reputation was pure toxicity.
(Some of the things rumor charged me with came true even if they started out false: when you’ve been robbed blind, it’s hard for your checks to keep clearing.)
2015 04 08 Christianity is the major religion in the world in terms of which civilization is the major religion of: Christianity is the major religion of the industrialists, of the capitalists. Christianity is the major religion of the homes of the major Foture500 corporations.
Now, note especially: Christianity is the major religion of the idea of forgiveness. God sent his son, let us torture him to death, lie about him, betray him, not get a single thing right: so that God can forgive us!
If we do the rituals right, God has to forgive us, he has no choice in the matter. Religion here is the matter of giving choice, free will, to the God killers while taking free choice away from God himself. Will God get a word in edgewise at Judgment. I hope to see him try. But I’m not holding my breath. The evil magicians will never let an honest magician onto the stage, never let him hold the mic for as long as the seven-second-delay.
2015 04 08 I’ve told fragments of this (set of) story(ies), but I can write it separately fast, incorporate only laboriously: time running out.
Joining two threads: why pk is such a piss-poor piano player, why pk’s background is chronically impoverished.
I’m told I was taken for piano lessons when I was three. Most of the hour was spent trying to build a pyramid of telephone books on the stool, already cranked to its highest reach, so that my tiny hand might reach the awesome keyboard. Once there, teetering, my mother holding the improbable pile somewhat steady, the teacher told me to put my right hand fingers, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on the keys: thumb, pointer … middle C, D, E, F, G. No way could my hand spread five keys wide. “Bring him back when his fingers can spread to five keys”, said the teacher.
But the second beginning of my piano education never commenced. Mom threw Dad, the drunk, the philanderer, out. Dad thought, I’ll show her: and that was the last money we ever had from him.
The law said it could make him pay, but it never did. (I know, in parallel: the law told my wife that it could make me pay; not if I don’t want to pay, I said: not so long as I’m willing to remain unemployed for my whole life) (thereby also not paying to bomb Asians).
Anyway, the August Paul Knatz Senior marriage started to unravel (in this following version of the story) when Mom was at a party. She was introduced around as “Mrs. Knatz”. “That’s not Mrs. Knatz”, some woman volunteered; “I’ve met Mrs. Knatz”. Apparently Dad was going around registering himself with every girlfriend he’d ever had in Brooklyn as “Mrs. Knatz”. Every hotel in NYC knew a dozen “Mrs. Knatz”s; none of them my mother.
Ay yai yai, so many threads I’m trying to weave: I’m forgetting them. But I have managed to tell of my three year old childhood.
Note: we had a baby grand piano at home. But it was in execrable tune. I sat at the keyboard as a child, pressed a key, pressed another key. It was awful, no chord sounded anything but awful. In contrast it was so easy to put a record on the player, hear Bach, Chopin … Eventually I’d be hearing Dixie, and then jazz: and there, in addition to Bach, was my obsession for the next couple of decades.
2015 04 09 You know I want to bring up another consideration: the piano has been our default instrument for centuries, but that’s recent. The piano is the familiar even-temperament instrument: it can sort of play in any key, only-sort-of out of tune: the blue note doesn’t exist on the piano, however natural it is to the voice, to the violin, to the sax … Several modesties kept me from expressing my natural voice, but it was pure poverty that kept me from the sax, or the bass.
Anyway, the first instrument I took up as an adult was the recorder (the straight up and down wooden (or plastic) flute). But the recorder only had two octabes: I wanted to play a Miles / Zawinull thing from the Real Book, I needed a Bb below middle C. So I got a regular flute: only to learn that the flute also didn’t have a Bb below middle C! Pleanty of higher notes, but no lower notes. But I also soon encountered advice to play a chord instrument in addition to any melodic instrument: want to improvise on sax? learn piano! or guitar!
So I bought a cheap keyboard. Wow, did the value of that $100 stretch on and on, for years, decades.
And no I’m so used to keyboard, I no longer mind that there’s no blue note: I can get around that the same bunch of ways thousands of others have: blurs, slurs, slides …
Yesterday I sat at my Roland keyboard, self taught since the 1980s, Stella By Starlight on the music stand, and tried, as I do every day, to coordinate the melody (beautiful, simple, easy) with the chord progression (highly counterintuitive: pure jazz, going from Em7 b5 for the first measure to A7 for the second measure: to Cm7 for the third measure, to F7 for the fourth measure …
But I know from a million playings, over decades, the key is BbM7! How does BbM7 launch from Em7b5?
The Em7b5 / A7 is oh so familiar in jazz: it signals that you’re in D minor (which is often actually C!)
But where’d the Cm7 / F7 come from? And what’s next? Fm7! Bb … insane.
Note: I just drafted that all wrong: confusing Beautiful Love, which also launches from Em7b5 / A7: and is Dm!
How many others has that diminished second confused?
Secret Typer: To Type or Not to Type
2015 04 18 I taught myself touch typing at age twenty-one. I went from hunt-and-peck typing to touch typing in 24 hours, 24 continuous hours, no breaks, brief meals only: in 24 hours I achieved moderate speed, better-than-average accuracy. When I invite my beloved Jan to type something she repeats that she can’t, she doesn’t know where the letters are: and, at eighty-three, coming up on eighty-four, her sight long since short of 20/20, searching might help but only very slowly, too slowly to make sense for messaging: it does no good to crunch a bunch of numbers to predict tomorrow’s weather if the crunching takes a millennium or more to attempt: it’s easier just to wait till tomorrow, and see.
So: I type, very fast, more than accurate eough, Jan doesn’t type at all, blazons it if cornered, and …
I remember vividly, and sympathetically, why Etta (Hilary’s mother) concealed what typing ability she had: she was a woman! employed (as an economist) by the United Nations, and she knew, knew in her marrow, that if the UN heard she could type, being a woman, they would naturally flood her with typing. She would be given less and less economics and more and more typing: and somehow they would find ways to stall her salary, trying to decrease it to what the kleptocracies of the world paid typists: as little as possible.
I had a good reason for teaching myself typing when I did: I had a paper due. The paper was actually fifty-one weeks overdue. I hadn’t done it when it was due, I’d missed graduation. Columbia let me attend the graduation ceremonies, invite my family, etc., but it came from on high, way below the belt, that I had one year, and no more, 52 weeks, not 53 weeks, to submit late my senior seminar paper: otherwise, throw my four (now five) years of Columbia away. Instead of graduating, I’d stay fallen in the dust bin.
So: the paper was due, I hadn’t written a word. Now I had one week to do it. It could be a year late, it couldn’t be a year and a day late.
Now: I wrote my papers on the typewriter, had since age ten. Hunt and peck. I believed that if I had only 24 hours left to write the paper, think the paper, proof the paper, submit the paper, I’d do it, just squeaking by, Knatz-style.
I knew since age ten that I made myself dizzy by looking at my source material (say, Leaves of Grass when quoting Whitman) then looking at my keyboard — then looking back to the Whitman … I knew, sudenly of a certainty, that I’d work with less headache if I could touch type, save looking back and forth. So I did. I learned touch typing to procrastinate on a paper I’d already procrastinated a year on. Actually you could say I’d already procrastinated more than a year: I know students who would have submitted the finished paper at least six months before the due date.
Silly: Whitman is the wrong souce to cite: I quoted Whitman in high school, I’d forgotten Whitman in college. All my materials that needed copying were on Bunyan: Pilgrim’s Progress.
So: I learned touch typing, and did squeak the paper in at the year-past-due second-and-last deadline. The result was reported elsewhere.
2015 04 07 I’ve been dipping into Pandora’s Promise, an egregious screen on nuclear power: dangers, harms have been exaggerated (I don’t doubt that’s true), dangers, harms are routinely misdiagnosed in our ignorance (I don’t doubt that’s true) … we need more power to continue to aim at prosperity while growing out populations (I don’t doubt that’s true) … It shows “environmentalists” caught in convictions that didn’t pan out … blah, blah … all as though nuclear power were safe, sane, understood … known. Balderdash.
At no point this this propaganda come within a mile of the concerns that I see as relevant: is civilization a sustainable enterprise? Can we grow our nations into the billions, and then double them, then double them again and continue to hope to live? and not continue to be ass-out ridiculous?
Reagan understood correctly that you could derail any pursuit involving reason if you threw in a consideration of continuint or growing prosperity. Don’t ask people if they want surviving grandchildren; as them if they have $1, do they want $1.10? or $2.00? Greed, optimism, will displace reason every time.
Right now, as to date, rational discussion is not possible. Politics will undercut examination. But: that doesn’t mean that consequences won’t be whatever the consequences are, regardless of what consequences are imagined (or are failed to be imagined). If smoking is cancerous then people who smoke, regularly, will get cancer: it doesn’t matter what they see coming.
The consequences of the train wreck will not be limited by dangers the passengers discussed before the train wreck.
We see greed for power as having disagreeable as well as agreeable consequences. we argue that we’ll be fine so long as examination never becomes intelligent, that politics will remain powerless to discuss optimum populations … then, there’s the train wreck, or the ecstasy … Will we be alive? oh, not us, but our granchildren? will anything we care about be alive?
and never mind how much is in the bank. never mind whether the corpse got a raise that it can’t spend.
In my mind we can’t afford any of the means of power production: it ain’t just nuclear.
PS K. has yet to mention: pk in the early mind-1970s worked for Stone & Webster, engineering. What did Stone & Webster specialize in? specifically? we build nuclear power plants! I was the Assistant Director of Continuing Education: I had to see that the engineers stayed informed in their skills.
Did they? Not that I could tell.
2015 04 07 Jan’s friends include a family with Lexi Thompson, the golfer, as a granddaughter. Golf Digest put Lexi on a cover, covering her mammaries with a towel instead of a top. Now we’re in Sex & Society Digest; not Golf Digest. Some clown writes that he’d take up golf if more women dressed like that on the golf course, but instead of yelling ‘Fore he’d yell Two!
Some mag puts Tiger on the cover, he’w wearing pants: underneath his pants he’s got a pair of balls, so what? We don’t look at the cover and think “UghGugGugGug, balls!”
Lexi is female, she’s striking-looking, she can play: she could model too, so what?
Anyway, I find it offensive for Golf Digest to shun covering women’s golf, blacking out women from the golf universe, and then suddently showing “cunt” on a cover, or boobs: same difference, almost. (Joan Rivers had a shtick on that, re: her daughter: Joan screaming, “Show them your cunt!” (but not until the price is right.))
It’s like the Royal and Ancient keeping woman from their membership as well as they ignore wogs — women, wogs, same thing — Then suddenly offering competition to Playboy, and Penthouse.
What’s parellel? I’ll tell you: Imagine the Temple of Solomon News putting Jesus on their cover, after they’ve crucified him! First, they murder him so he’ll shut up; then they want to manage his resurrection, claim agent’s fees.
Like white people sabotaging blues, then pretending that they were a major stock holder all along. Watchout, the people claiming authority from on high, never have any. It’s always pure chutzpah. like the FBI knocking me down so they can supervise the internet they stole from me, perverting the loot: and supervise me on the internet: that is to say: censor me.
Golf Digest has no right to Lexi, or to women, or to golf. Ah, but they can publish a magazine, controlling markets.
In the 1980s I knew the guy who founded Golf Digest. He wrote for Golf Magazine, had sold Golf Digest, made a pile of money … He had nothing good to say about Golf Digest then: I doubt that he’s alive to say anything of any kind now. He also loved Beethoven: and lusted for my girl friend.
He’d ask her to dinner: “Oh, and can Paul come to?” she ask.
I’d actually get a free dinner!
2015 04 06 Everybody has weird dreams, right? But did you every have a dream about a painting? An abstract painting?
I recently found myself in a dream centered on Piet Mondrian’s painting Boogie Woogie!
Broadway Boogie Woogie
As a kid, fifteen and up, I spent plenty of time in front of this painting, in MOMA of course. I haven’t been in MOMA since the middle 1960s: regardless, I never imagined dreaming of it.
There was no plot in the dream: it just centered on (an impression of) the image.
Ah, but a minute later I realize something: there’s a movie titled Boogie Woogie: with Amanda Seyfried. I like her, have ordered it, it’s on my queue. Still: why should I dream about the painting itself?
HierCon stories, Highlands Co employment
I’ll sketch some personal stories here, illustrating how society gangs up on me, sabotages my ability to live.
2015 04 05 When I was a kid the Yankees always won, the Dodgers always lost: year after year, October after October. The Yankees are still New York, sort of. But the Dodgers stopped being Brooklyn a long time ago: proving that they never were; but people in Brooklyn thought they were: as the team owners knew they would think: many of our fantasies being orchestrated (the orchestrators having little idea how orchestrated they themselves are). Anyway, Brooklyn would lose, Brooklyn would go crazy: there’d be riots, looting, arson. So finally, was it 1956, the Dodgers finally won! And that night Brooklyn really burned.
Now these contests were called a World Series. The “world” was “New York” (in this case, the Bronx) and Brooklyn. New York was preordained to be the winner. It was after all the Empire state! Brooklyn, however rich in native genius, was bush, boondocks, not the empire builders, not Doctor Livingston; Brooklyn was serf country. And of course even I thought those heroes were from those places: Babe Ruth was from the Bronx, Joe Dimaggio, from the Bronx … Jackie Robinson was from Brooklyn … We thought just what the owners thought we would think, planned for us to thing, budgeted our thinking …
So were was Kentucky? Kentucky didn’t exist. Kentucky existed somewhere way way way way after Brooklyn, the famous farm for serfs.
Well this year, like last year, it was Kentucky that was supposed to win. Kentucky had the biggest budget, the fewest scruples. Kentucky was the most professionally amateur. Kentucky was coached by the biggest loudmouth, the guy with the chip on his shoulder the size of Pittsburgh.
And now they’ve lost! to Wisconsin! And last night, and today, Kentucky burns.
This file fills up fast, I empty it now and then, moving stuff to more specialized scrapbooks, promoting stuff to unique modules …