November 27, 2002


Bush Taps Kissinger to Head 9/11 Probe

President Bush signed legislation creating a new independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks Wednesday and named former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to lead the panel.

"Dr. Kissinger will bring broad experience, clear thinking and careful judgment to this important task," Bush said at a signing ceremony in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. "Mr. secretary, thank you for returning to the service of your nation."

clear thinking and careful judgment.......yeah, right
there is castration fear


A Thanksgiving Prayer
by William S. Burroughs

Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons, destined to be shit out through wholesome American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a modicum of challenge and danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to kill and skin leaving the carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream, To vulgarize and to falsify until the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen, feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women, with their mean, pinched, bitter, evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where nobody's allowed to mind the own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the memories-- all right let's see your arms!

You always were a headache and you always were a bore.

Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.

November 26, 2002


while reading the sun last evening, I stumbled upon this quote from the esteemed historian howard zinn:

"It is supposed to be part of the American tradition that if we want to step out of line, we step out of line. Democracy isn't falling in line behind the president. Democracy is for people to think independently, be skeptical of government, look around and try to find out what's going on. And if they find out government is deceiving them, to speak out as loudly as they can."

it then occurred to me how closely related in cadence and content this quote is to the bit I extracted from the george saunders story, my flamboyant grandson. Scroll down and decide for yourself...

November 25, 2002

taken from the silver jews message board. great last few lines


since i find you will no longer love,
from bar to bar in terror i shall move
past forty-third and halsted, twenty-fourth
and roosevelt where fire-gutted cars,
their bones the bones of coyote and hyena
suffer the light from the wrestling arena
to fall all over them. and what they say
blends in the tarantellasmic sway
of all of us between the two of these:
harmony and divergence,
their sad story of harmony and divergence,
the story that begins
i did not know who she was
and ends i did not know who she was.

denis johnson

heard ten thousand whisperin', and nobody listenin'

remember: tomorrow's big release live 1975
from the "I Don't Mean What I Said" department

John Asscroft, 1997

"The Clinton administration would like the Federal government to have the capability to read any international or domestic computer communications. The FBI wants access to decode, digest, and discuss financial transactions, personal e-mail, and proprietary information sent abroad -- all in the name of national security. To accomplish this, President Clinton would like government agencies to have the keys for decoding all exported U.S. software and Internet communications.

This proposed policy raises obvious concerns about Americans' privacy, in addition to tampering with the competitive advantage that our U.S. software companies currently enjoy in the field of encryption technology. Not only would Big Brother be looming over the shoulders of international cyber-surfers, but the administration threatens to render our state-of-the-art computer software engineers obsolete and unemployed....

The protections of the Fourth Amendment are clear. The right to protection from unlawful searches is an indivisible American value. Two hundred years of court decisions have stood in defense of this fundamental right. The state's interest in effective crime-fighting should never vitiate the citizens' Bill of Rights....

The administration's interest in all e-mail is a wholly unhealthy precedent, especially given this administration's track record on FBI files and IRS snooping. Every medium by which people communicate can be subject to exploitation by those with illegal intentions. Nevertheless, this is no reason to hand Big Brother the keys to unlock our e-mail diaries, open our ATM records, read our medical records, or translate our international communications."

the full text is here
so, now al kooper won't be at friday's yo la tengo show in hoboken. but, nonetheless, as part of the ticket price, we will receive a cd of our choice -- either a 3-song cd of christmas covers, with cover art by daniel clowes, or a copy of the never released 7 inch with "run run run" and "urban crusher." I guess since I'll be at two shows, I can pick up both. anyone else planning on attending the friday or saturday evening events???

November 23, 2002

"What America is, to me, is a guy doesn't want to buy, you let him not buy, you respect his not buying. A guy has a crazy notion different from your crazy notion, you pat him on the back and say hey, pal, nice crazy notion, let's go have a beer. America to me should be shouting all the time, a bunch of shouting voices, most of them wrong, some of them nuts, but, please, not just one droning glamorous reasonable voice."

from my flamboyant grandson, a wonderful short story by the imaginative george saunders.

November 22, 2002

well written, funny, and often dead on
friday morning brautigan


i talked a good hello
but she talked an even
better goodbye


at the guess of a simple hello
it can all begin
toward crying yourself to sleep
wondering where the fuck
she is.


when she was fifteen if you'd told her
that when she was twenty she'd be going
to bed with bald-headed men and liking it,
she would have thought you very abstract.

November 21, 2002

Government Warns:

something may happen somewhere so be careful, but don't worry, every step you take, we'll be watching you.
hubcap diamond star halos

went to the fox and hounds last night for a quick beer, and not only were they watching the victoria's secret show but the jack daniels girls were there passing out freebies. I'm a little slow and groggy this morning. but it won't effect my squash game.

tomorrow night, help dave celebrate his birthday -- back at the fox, the bar with the best Welsh-music free jukebox in the city. even if you dont know him, come help him celebrate.

November 20, 2002

from the lies and betrayal department (via the morning news)

see! pot is nowhere near as harmful as the government wants you to think it is. see also this and this, two must read articles on the topic by eric schlosser, who wrote fast food nation
stunning bureaucrat / you're so fucking lost

a quick one page look at the shit ashcroft was involved in before he got real power. be scared.
soon the townsfolk took to him/ in every pew they looked to him

Maher gets talker on HBO

"Bill Maher is returning to television in a new late-night one-hour HBO talk show.
The show, debuting Feb. 21, has a 20-episode commitment. "Politically Incorrect," Mr. Maher's political talk show on ABC, was canceled after advertiser and affiliate defections that followed his post-9/11 remarks that were perceived as critical of U.S military tactics. Mr. Maher's supporters at the time pointed out that the show was meant to be provocative and decried what they said was censorship.

The new series will be produced by HBO in association with Brad Grey Television. The executive producers are Brad Grey, Bill Maher and Marc Gurvitz."

possibly the best thing that could have happened to Maher's career. its not tv...

November 19, 2002

what the fuck II

michael jackson dangles his son out of his berlin hotel window while fans below look up in terror.

a poem by david lehman

April 19

We have too much exhibitionism
and not enough voyeurism
in poetry we have plenty of bass
and not enough treble, more amber
beer than the frat boys can drink but
less red wine than meets the lip
in this beaker of the best Bordeaux,
too much thesis, too little antithesis
and way too much New York Times
in poetry we've had too much isolationism
and too few foreign entanglements
we need more Baudelaire on the quai
d'Anjou more olive trees and umbrella pines
fewer leafless branches on the rue Auguste Comte
too much sociology not enough Garcia Lorca
more colons and dashes fewer commas
less love based on narrow self-interest
more lust based on a feast of kisses
too many novels too few poems
too many poets not enough poetry

November 18, 2002

are you for sale?

pitchfork has created a list of their top 100 albums of the 1980s. today they posted 100 - 51 on the site. tomorrow, top 50. anyone have any guesses as to which album will be / should be number 1? this better be in the top 5, and i might even place it at number one.
good article on the funniest show on tv
janeane garofalo, al kooper, and others are among the special guests at the first two yo la tengo hannukah shows (which I've got tix for) up in hoboken. mr. show's david cross and mary lynn rajskub are guesting, but not at the shows I'm seeing.

November 15, 2002

friday morning brautigan

richard brautigan wrote these poems in 1956, at age 21. he then gave them to edna webster and they remained virtually unknown and unpublished for over 40 years.


I never want
to go away
to a place
called war

i don't think
you want
to go there either.


a city
than New York.

bigger than
all the cities
at once


is no worse
to remember
a kiss
never occured

richard yates never liked brautigan.

November 14, 2002

long list of recommendations by mr. silver jew himself (spelling errors are mr. berman's, not mine):

"More pop things I reccomend are bored:

"young criminal's starvation league" by bobby bare jr.

Roger Miller and Webb Pierce's Greatest Hits
as well as Gary Stewart's "Out of Hand" LP

short stories:Arthur Bradford "Dogwalker"(if you can get
past the completely unhelpful epigram from "Slacker")

denis johnson "the name of the world": makes me so jealous

seagram's ginger ale

Walter Benjamin "the arcades project":got this for SM for his birthday. the stoniest book of all time.

royal trux "dogs of love"ep

baby taylor acoustic guitars and kenneth koch about one out of every three books just kills. he just died. read his 50's and 60's stuff and just marvel. and his last book "addresses" is a model for how to be cool and old at once.

"gangs of new york" and "gem of the prairie" by Herbert Asbury. "lowlife" by luc sante. all three aregangland histories. lowlife is unbelievable if your into Olde New York.

Quote by woman in Kwik-Mart 2-nite. "I am a human person and I demand to be treated as one".

Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw's restaurant, Hotchicken.Com

Hegel calling Napoleon "history on horseback".

gatlinburg, TN where the fat people play.

How does a mime say "tears for fears"?
I've got a good guess.

People listen to the Scorpions whenn they feel like scorpions.

Jim Reeves is incredibly popular in the Congo and Africa in general. Frank O'Hara is beloved in Australia. This interests me.

Why is coke on the metric system and grass on the english?

Some people call community college: high school with ashtrays. It's funny but hardly true. except for ACC.

sometimes you see a beautiful girl and the thing that actually amazes you is the thought that someone actually gets to fuck her.

The Heart of Darkness is the greatest short book of all time

"Death must have been something to have been made out of us" -Laura Riding

"She fills my days with goodness and my nights with rest"
-Knut Hamsun

I love my dog Miles' band Woodchilde Masquerade.

I love 19th century slang like "harum scarum" and "mumblety peg"

Emerson:"The man must be so much that he makes all circumstances indifferent"

-Michael Burkard's poetry, read it, awesome.

-Silver Apples=Horrible Music for Horrible People

-SAT analogy= Nirvana is to Bush and Reagan is to Bush.

-I have fairly explicitly chosen art over life at least 1000 times since I was 18.

-Amazing stat: Bill Parcells was 48-0 when leading by at least 10 points after 3 quarters. That is a statistic that speaks more volumes about a man than any i've ever encountered

-In most uses the word "urban" is now precisely defined as "black" just as the word "adult" now means "x-rated".

-"Round and Round" by the Germs on "what we do is secret"
makes the top of my head burn.

-gynecoligist says "it looks like you've got acute vaginitis"
lady says"oh thank you!"

-Every Bret Easton Ellis book is fun to read except the secong half of Glamourama which was a little farfetched.
But I still lkied it overall."

its not going to be a hit, so why even bother
with it?

and whoa, what the fuck? no great insight on my part, I know, but he is not well.

November 13, 2002

konfusion is something

go here to get pointers on getting hair that big.
its sunny and 75.....

thurston moore happy to be alive, summer 2002, central park nyc, found here

also, had not heard this gem in a while.

November 12, 2002

a poem by kim addonizio


In every bar there's someone sitting alone and absolutely absorbed
by whatever he's seeing in the glass in front of him,
a glass that looks ordinary, with something clear or dark
inside it, something partially drunk but never completely gone.
Everything's there: all the plans that came to nothing,
the stupid love affairs, and the terrifying ones, the ones where actual happiness
opened like a hole beneath his feet and he fell in, then lay helpless
while the dirt rained down a little at a time to bury him.
And his friends are there, cracking open six-packs, raising the bottles,
the click of their meeting like the sound of a pool cue
nicking a ball, the wrong ball, that now edges, black and shining,
toward the waiting pocket. But it stops short, and at the bar the lone drinker
signals for another. Now the relatives are floating up
with their failures, with cancer, with plateloads of guilt
and a little laughter, too, and even beauty—some afternoon from childhood,
a lake, a ball game, a book of stories, a few flurries of snow
that thicken and gradually cover the earth until the whole
world's gone white and quiet, until there's hardly a world
at all, no traffic, no money or butchery or sex,
just a blessed peace that seems final but isn't. And finally
the glass that contains and spills this stuff continually
while the drinker hunches before it, while the bartender gathers
up empties, gives back the drinker's own face. Who knows what it looks like;
who cares whether or not it was young once, or ever lovely,
who gives a shit about some drunk rising to stagger toward
the bathroom, some man or woman or even lost
angel who recklessly threw it all over—heaven, the ether,
the celestial works—and said, Fuck it, I want to be human?
Who believes in angels, anyway? Who has time for anything
but their own pleasures and sorrows, for the few good people
they've managed to gather around them against the uncertainty,
against afternoons of sitting alone in some bar
with a name like the Embers or the Ninth Inning or the Wishing Well?
Forget that loser. Just tell me who's buying, who's paying;
Christ but I'm thirsty, and I want to tell you something,
come close I want to whisper it, to pour
the words burning into you, the same words for each one of you,
listen, it's simple, I'm saying it now, while I'm still sober,
while I'm not about to weep bitterly into my own glass,
while you're still here—don't go yet, stay, stay,
give me your shoulder to lean against, steady me, don't let me drop,
I'm so in love with you I can't stand up.
a poem by frank stanford

The Light the Dead See
frank stanford

There are many people who come back
After the doctor has smoothed the sheet
Around their body
And left the room to make his call.

They die but they live.

They are called the dead who lived through their deaths,
And among my people
They are considered wise and honest.

They float out of their bodies
And light on the ceiling like a moth,
Watching the efforts of everyone around them.

The voices and the images of the living
Fade away.

A roar sucks them under
The wheels of a darkness without pain.
Off in the distance
There is someone
Like a signalman swinging a lantern.

The light grows, a white flower.
It becomes very intense, like music.

They see the faces of those they loved,
The truly dead who speak kindly.

They see their father sitting in a field.
The harvest is over and his cane chair is mended.
There is a towel around his neck,
The odor of bay rum.
Then they see their mother
Standing behind him with a pair of shears.
The wind is blowing.
She is cutting his hair.

The dead have told these stories
To the living.

November 11, 2002

mr. show says "every fucking day, he lies"

david cross on george bush. from nerve

So your belief that Bush will go down in history . . .
He will go down in history as the worst president. The erosion of the quality of life for people who aren't white or Christian is scary. Things are getting worse for lots of people, for most people.

What's your biggest problem with Bush?
He's a liar. Every fucking day, he lies. People should be calling him on his shit. If we were in different times, if it were his dad or Clinton or Reagan, people wouldn't let him get away with as much.

He's a liar and a criminal. A lot of what he's done in the past is criminal by his own definition, blatant lies about where he was and what he knew: his dealings with Harken Energy and what he said he was going to prosecute. He didn't make Harvey Pitt resign. He picked William Webster to be head of the FBI. It's a joke. I was no big fan of Clinton, but it took someone like Bush — with all his criminal bullshit and deregulation and his blatant politicizing and his fundraising — to make me really appreciate Clinton.
like like the the death death

from bill moyer's pbs column:

And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government — the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary — is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate.

That mandate includes the power of the state to force pregnant women to give up control over their own lives.

It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich.

It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable.

And it includes secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming.

And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture. These folks don't even mind you referring to the GOP as the party of God. Why else would the new House Majority Leader say that the Almighty is using him to promote 'a Biblical worldview' in American politics?

So it is a heady time in Washington — a heady time for piety, profits, and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money.

Don't forget the money. It came pouring into this election, to both parties, from corporate America and others who expect the payback. Republicans outraised democrats by $184 million dollars. And came up with the big prize — monopoly control of the American government, and the power of the state to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.

Come on Hunter. Rally the troops and let the pack know its not only ok, but necessary and even patriotic, to criticize those setting the scene for the doom which will continue till we make smarter choices on election day.
trying to shake a chevis induced hangover by working at home for a few hours this morning.

wanted to share this poem by eileen myles:

my cheap lifestyle

After a bourbon
I came in and turned on the tube
lit a joint and watched Monterey Pop
nearly wept when Janis came on
Janis' legs kicking on stage is a memorable site
Janis does her sweet little Texas girl smile as
her act finishes. she kicks her heals
and otis redding is so sexy
millions of young americans experience religion for the first
in their lives
or so the cameras would inform us
I'm concerned about manipulation in this media
how one gains such wonderful power
but of course I'm too tired
thrilled by the process of bringing down a familar blanket
upon my bed
it's nearly fall
nearly winter
I expect the stars will be bright
the woods full of bears

with the impending cnnabcnews merger, we can expect more manipulation in this media.

November 8, 2002

some friday morning brautigan


We meet. We try. Nothing happens, but
afterwards we are always embarrassed
when we see each other. We look away.


I talked a good hello
but she talked an even
better good-bye.


You've got
Some "Star-Spangled"
In your coffin, kid.
That's what
They've done for you,


All the possibilities of life,
all roads led here.

I was never going anyplace else,
41 years of life:

Tacoma, Washington
Great Falls, Montana
Oaxaca, Mexico
London, England
Bee Caves, Texas
Victoria, British Columbia
Key West, Florida
San Francisco, California
Boulder, Colorado

all led here:

Having a drink by myself
in a bar in Tokyo before
wishing there was somebody to talk

May 28, 1976


If there are any unattractive
Japanese women
they must drown them at birth

May 28, 1976

November 7, 2002

kick it in the face of another man

caught our president in film on hbo the other night. pretty decent little movie, wonder what marky j thinks of it. makes W look like the ex-frat pres that he is. he just looks goofy, and spends an inordinate amount of time trying to discover who on the campaign trail the director, alexandra pelosi is interested in. a good movie that would have been different, maybe better actually if bush wasnt so interested in being on camera. might have caught more examples of the 'pack' journalism rampet on such excursions. maybe it would be helpful to read tim crouse's fantastic book the boys on the bus before sitting down to watch these journeys.

November 6, 2002

playstation, rightly named

picked this up from pavelister tim thompson's austin based site. check it out.
from joe conason's salon story:

"A party that will not criticize the incumbent president cannot defeat him, now or two years from now. A party that has nothing to say about unfair tax breaks, a vanishing surplus and a looted economy cannot expect anyone to listen when it asks for votes. A party without passion or vision is hardly a political party at all. Even in their righteous defense of Social Security, Democrats too often sounded as if their chief concern was to preserve their own institutional position. Today the future looks grim for them because they blurred the purposes of their partisanship.

As for the Republicans, they will exaggerate the meaning of this election in their usual triumphal style. Their gloating may not last long, however. Leading a one-party government, they will no longer be able to evade responsibility for whatever comes next. Their ideas and ideology are no more plausible than they were yesterday. They have divided rather than united the country, and their worst initiatives will still meet resistance from the many principled Democrats who were returned to office Tuesday night. Even at this low ebb, progressive revival remains a possibility, although much damage will be done during the next two years."

I'm scared, I swear, of you

let's brace ourselves for what will certainly be a two year long rollercoaster ride of diminishing legal rights for americans, diminishing trees in the alaska forests, and more backing for big oil and the corporations that are taking blue collar jobs overseas. Thanks, my fellow americans, for putting the repubs in total control of our country for the next two years.

November 5, 2002

Suck sess: the last song.

I was dressed for success
but success it never comes
and I'm the only one who laughs
at your jokes when they are so bad
and your jokes are always bad
but they're not as bad as this
come join us in a prayer
we'll be waiting, waiting where
everything's ending here
and all the sterile striking it
defends an empty dock you cast away
and rain upon your forehead
where the mist's for hire if it's
just too clear
let's spend our last
quarter stance randomly
go down to the outlet once again
painted portrait of minions and slaves
crotch mavens and one night plays
are they the only ones who laugh
at the jokes when they are so bad
and the jokes are always bad
but they're not as bad as this
come join us in a prayer
we'll be waiting, waiting where
everything's ending here
and all the spanish candles
unsold have gone away to this
and a "run-on piece of mount on"
trembles, shivers runs down the freeway
I guess she spent her last quarter randomly
I guess a guess is the best I'll do
I'll do, last guess
last time, last time is the best time