/ Kleptocracy /
At Columbia a door or two from my dorm cell a filthy rich kid heard me singing a Juliette Greco song, showed me he had a record of her singing, great picture of her existentialist self on the cover.
The guy, Peter, was that his name, loaned it to me. I listened to it again and again, had the French memorized, could sing in with or without the record to accompany me. I loaned it to my friend Anton, another Greco fiend. After a few days I wanted it back. “No:, Anton barked in my face: “you stole it from Peter; now I’m stealing it from you!”
“I borrowed it,” I hedged. “Well, now I’m stealing it from you.” There’s a John Wayce movie that’s just like that: Wayne has driven cattle onto some land in Texas occupied formerly by a Mexican and his cattle. “Hey, get off my land”, says the Mexican.” “You stole this land from the Apache”, says the Duke. “Now I’m stealing it from you.”
The world would be a far saner place if such dialogues were actually common, instead of blather about who God gave what to: especially without God around to clarify anything.
I’m just watching a music doc, Hava Nagila, the Movie. It was crediting the song to an Idelson, then suddenly some other Jewish family with 1940s ties to Palestine, a claim on the nascent Israel, was making claim to authorship, their grandfather wrote it for school when he was twelve. Now they can go to war: when they’re done fighting the Palestinian arabs. It’s simple really, there won’t be any Cananites around in 2014 to dispute them, any more than there were in 1945.
No, no: John Wayne can say he wrote it, while fighting the Mexicans.