Monthly: scrapbook: reborn each month
(Monthly Note follows below)

Rose Up Dead
2017 11 21 Charlie Rose has joined the skewered list. I want to tell an ugly story, I’ll atributre it to Rose, kick him while he’s down.
I first heard of Rose in the mid-1970s. Israeli artist David Tamerin told me he liked him: I didn’t know him, kept mum. Then one night I heard that Tom Wolfe, out with another great new book, was to the the PBS interviewee, I made sure to watch. Wolfe looked sharpe, absurd, but I soon realized Rose hadn’t done the homework, he hadn’t read the book, didn’t know what he was about. Wolfe bravely soldiered on. I was incensed. Then I realized, He’s drunk!
I had already disliked him, thereafter I hated him.
I remember David Letterman cutting n o corners in throwing Oliver Reed off his show and onto his ear; but here it was Wolfe who was sober, Rose who was drunk.
But you know Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, Irish and Irish, and Oliver Reed … These guys are crazy, they don’t have the same standards. Rose has long been disgusting in full view.
I hope I have the names right. For Wolfe I’ll guess the occasion was the publication of his second or so novel.
Something about Rose was really getting my goat when I saw him grinning at Jesse Graff: I know: he’s had his face peeled! Grotesque.
I will forgive Oliver Reed, what a voice; but Letterman needn’t.

Political Resistance
2017 11 21 There are three requirements for technological invension, says the great Terry Jones in his BBC documentary series Ancient Inventions.

  1. Concept
  2. Technological Capability
  3. Political, Social Motivation

BY 1970 II was ripe to develop “the” “internet” when Ivan Illich proposed it. He was “inventing” the internet as an alternative to state (or church) controlled “education: schooling; use the societies’ digital capacities to construct data bases of human resources. Modern markets map the store’s contents with signs above the aisles: soups, bread, cookies … chicken, pork. An “educational” internet could network the learning resources: math teachers, English teachers, history teachers: math books, math articles … English books, history books …
I had already conceptualized the internet before I heard of Ivan Illich: in the later 1960s I was writing short stories in which banks coordinated human credit over a satellite system via voice recognitions software: order a martini, the global credit data system recognizes your voice, debits the person’s cash account: the bartender sees that the drink is paid for, makes the martini, serves it. That was in one story. In another student strikers get together and use a card filing system to organize after hour orgies: penetrative sex Line A, oral sex line B … Banks had long networked their resources, put types of clients in different “aisles … Thus, there was the concept: Ivan Illich was inventing it, had already been thinking about it, I too had already been inventing it, was thinking about it … I told Illich, by mail, to Mexico, I wanted to help: he told me I was on my own, but as soon as I’d distributed a flier offering a leaning network for Manhattan’s uupper West side, people were knocking on the door, calling on the phone: “I can teach guitar”, “I want to supervise scream therapy groups” …

Prescribed consumption is fascism.

People were ready for it, the concept was aborning. The society had the technological capability in 1970, we had telephones, we had a postal system, we had halls for rent and public parks. We wanted access to mainframes: I had an introduction to a main frame in Princeton, my Columbia had a main frame, all I had to do was walk up and state my need: then I could pass on the offer to the public. We wanted to develop data base software, but in the meantime we had 3X5 cards, shoe boxes, loosleaf paper and labelable binders … A growing number of persons were trying to use the system. Millions were needed but a few dollars were trickling in, all volunteered. I was talking about how every neighborhood could have a modem to a mainframe. Big neighborhoods could have a learning library; small neighborhoods could have at least a booth like a FotoMart. People wouldn’t need their own computer (there were no PCs in 1970), but every booth could have a 9-5 programmer who knew how to register and extract information: even information clerks could get guidance. …
We had #1, the concept; we had #2, electronic intormations systems … We could have millions of experts register, we could have millions of “students”, practice buddies … We had part of #3:; but #3 lacked a quorum: our society is not run by democratic will, not run for the people, or by the people. No, alas, we have “experts”, “professionals”: who prescribe consumption of educational packages prepared by the state for obedient statlings.

Prescribed consumption is fascism.

My FLEX invited people to fund their own freedom: pay for it the same way you use it: voluntarily. No, we have institutions paid for by extortion: coerced taxation.
Ah, but at least Terry Jones makes great teaching films as well as great TV comedy.

Gentleman’s Noblesse
2017 11 14 My mother taught me to hold the door for ladies: and ladies first, all of that. In college I found myself to have an enormous advantage over those who lacked such training. The next step I took myself: hold the door, or don’t hold the door: what choice are you making? for whom? I could offer my courtesy, I could withhold it. The choice was mine!
This morning Miss Manners chastises an irritable woman for confusing feminism with rudeness. The woman addressed had a point to make, a very old point, but habit compelled her to make it; not philosophy.
But real quick let me recall a particular instance where I dediced rudeness counted more than courtesy. I wanted to shp at Macy’s, I arrived on Harold’s Square, I arrived at the door, I saw a woman coming behind me, I held the door for her. She didn’t thank me, she just put her head down, scowled, and went through. Now I was holding the door for myself: and I saw another woman quicken her pace to step into the position of she for whom the door is held. Hell, I let her get away with it: I held the door for her too. But then another woman, and still another woman, darted toward that vacuum. I saw that a dozen women were coming in from the street, that all were ready to put their head down and dive for the position of priviledge. I counted six more women through, and slammed the big door into the next one. I imposed a tax on the free ride, I made the door heavy, penalized the freeloaders.
As I explained to my freshman English class: if you know what a split infinitive is, you can take care not to split your infinities: or, go ahead, split all you want: it will be you deciding on the usage, you employing the manners; not the manners enslaving you. But first you have to know what a spolit infinitive is: the majority do not, including the majority of English teachers. They are forever in the grip of manners as accident, their fate is outside their influence.
No: hold the door, or don’t hold the door. Genuflect, or leave you hat on in church. … Know the consequences, and chose.

That latter story reminds me of another. Once I went into the West End Tavern, saw Bill, a public school teacher, and took the stool next to him. Other people came and went. A cripple with a walker came and went, some guy whispered in Bill’s ear, Bill erupted in laughter. Bill leaned toward me and whispered that the just just whispering and just whispered that he’d slammed the men’s room door onto the cripple, leaving him sprawing in the piss coving the filthy floor. This story race up and down the West End bar, the longest bar in the world, mid ’60s. I was horrified, aghast: and said so. Oh, then you don’t know So&So, and he named the cripple.
The specific irritation turned out to be that this particular cripple expected, demanded as it were, common courtesies. His assailant knew he would expect the door to be held fo him, he knew he would be scalwed at, not thanked, and Wham, he skidded the SOB across the mens’ room floor.
I’ve thought of that a lot since then. I was once so proud to be an American, to be a Christian, to be civilized, the epitome of civilization. Now, no. I’ll take plain human nature, with no guarantees concerning survival.
From then on I noticed that cripple. Yes, he was rude. All the time.
So: wouldn’t it be nice if Miss Manners’ rude feminist got an elbow in the eye while she blocked traffic to refuse a held door?

Ad Out
2017 11 11 Once upon a time I paid no more attention to actors in ads than to extras in crowd scenes. Who did? Then again sometimes the model in a commercial can rivet us: masses of us. It isn’t just me, the whole world falls in love with Milana Veyntraub.

No kidding. She goes straight into our hearts. Progressive has that annoying girl with the red lipstick; but however much we may hate her and the horse she rode in on, we adore, and vibrate to Milana.
Now explain to me this: how did I wind up falling in love with Jackies Stewart: refusing Heinedins with the dandy line, “No thanks, I’m still driving”!
2017 11 15 I’ll tell you another actor who’s appealing in some otherwise obnoxious ads: J.K. Simmons. Guy gets under your skin.

Secular Knee
2017 11 04 When I was a kid I was taught to kneel at my bedside and humbly pray to God. I was taught to thank God for my life, to thank him for my natural advantages: parents, shelter. I had a sense that worship and obeisance were God’s natural dues, I felt that the worship was God’s by right; not by force: I felt no sarcasm, no irony in the gestures. The cross was my Christianity’s natural icon.
When I got to school I was taught to put my hand on my heart and to pledge allegiance not to the cross, but to the flag: that meant the American flag, the stars and stripes of the United States. It was emphasized to us that the phrase “under God” had recently been added, and belonged: “one country, under God. The founding fathers were presented to us as wise men. In another step they were holy men, saints: secular saints.
I was in my late teens, I was at college, Columbia, before I became acquainted with William Blake and his autocratic god: a slave master, the protector of all the dark satanic mills of industrial society.
The Chinese have just mandated a three year prison sentence for any who disrespect China’s icons and emblems.
Gee: you mean we’re allied with Chinese Communists? How does Jefferson fit there?
Regardless, right there we have more than enough to see the irony of “kneeling” becoming associated with defiance of authority, not subordination to authority. Notice in any case that the appeal is political, not theological.
Notice in all events that people with some control over prison budgets are palming themselves off as experts on interpretation of the stars and stripes as though it were text, the text unambiguous. The jail directors know who to put in the jails, who to line up and shoot.
I’ve been writing since 1948. It’s done little good, good visible to me at least. Now what brains are left me can’t stay focused for thirty seconds. The help I offered was despised, then plagiarized: the plagiarism perverted, the thieves judging my crimes. My IQ is falling from NY to China, right through the center of the earth. I’m glad. If only I’d been this stupid to begin with. In any case I’m glad the society is immune to guidance. Helpless hell is where we belong.

Continues as reverse chronology: Monthly Archive

Such archives date backwards: counter chronological: today, yesterday, the day before … (Continues in several archive choices.)


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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