July 10, 2006

It's not pretty but it sure smells good

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (How to Make a Rainbow), 1972

* Top ten conservative idiots. excerpt:

"6. Rush Limbaugh

"Questions continue to be raised about Rush Limbaugh's recent trip to the Dominican Republic. Why was he there? Who was he with? Why was he carrying a bunch of boner pills?

"Now at least one of those questions can be answered: it turns out that Rush was traveling with four dudes, two of whom were producers of the Fox TV series '24' and one of whom was a Hollywood agent. So I guess that clears that up. But it does still leave other questions unanswered, such as: why did he need a bunch of boner pills on a trip to the Dominican Republic with an all-male group of Hollywood producer types?

"I mean, it just seems like something that El Rushbo would have an absolute fit about - if someone else was caught doing it."

* It’s my Beaver Cleaver neighborhood: During the second song of The Foreign Press set Saturday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, out of the crowd of friends, street drunks, passersby, and hangers-on, emerged a seemingly drunk middle-aged El Salvadorian man who at first stopped short of the stage, then came on the stage and started turning up our guitar players amp, telling him in broken English that he too was a guitar player and that Dave's playing sounded great and he wanted to stand there to feel the sound. Then during the third song, he started playing with the amp again, and Dave kindly asked him to stop, at which point he threw a baggie of cocaine at Dave's feet as approval for the guitar sound -- really a pretty high compliment. The baggie sat by Dave's feet for a few songs, he told the guy thanks, but no thanks, so the guy reached back onto the stage (he'd stood behind us, on the stage, for about five songs), and grabbed his baggie and wandered off. The street really hasn't changed much since Tuscadaro sang about it in the mid-1990s.

* "I'm against lying in life, in principle, in any other activity except poetry." — Charles Simic

* Soi Disantra puts Smog's Knock Knock in its hall of fame.

* From a 1976 interview of Allen Ginsberg. excerpt:

Interviewer: Often those political movements can become so mutually exclusive that they serve to isolate one from a lot of the potential . . .

AG: Or so filled with resentment that they become dead-ends. More and more, by hindsight, I think all of our activity in the late sixties may have prolonged the Vietnam war. As Jerry Rubin remarked after '68, he was so gleeful he had torpedoed the Democrats. Yet it may have been the refusal of the Left to vote for Humphrey that gave us Nixon. Humphrey and Johnson were trying to end the war to win the election, while Nixon was sending emissaries (Mme. Claire Chennault) to Thieu saying, "Hang on until I get elected and we'll continue the war." Though I voted for Humphrey in '68 I think a lot of people refused to vote, and Nixon squeaked in by just a couple of hundred thousand votes.
Interviewer: You mentioned your trip to India in the early sixties. Do you consider that to be very significant in your orientation afterwards toward your present spiritual goals?

AG: My trip wasn't very spiritual, as anybody can see if they read Indian Journals. Most of it was spent horsing around, sightseeing and trying the local drugs. But I did visit all of the holy men I could find and I did encounter some teachers who gave me little teachings then that were useful then and now. Some of the contacts were prophetic of what I arrived at later here in America, because I met the head of the Kagyu order, Gyalwa Karmapa there, and saw the black crown ceremony in Sikkim in '62 or '63. He subsequently visited the U.S. with Trungpa as host. I went to see Dudjom Rinpoche, the head of the Nyingma sect and got one very beautiful suggestion from him about the bum LSD trips I was having at the time, which I'll quote again: "If you see something horrible, don't cling to it; and if you see something beautiful, don't cling to it."
Interviewer: Much of Dylan's music, even from the middle, electric period of his career, has impressed me as being very Zen-like in a lot of its imagery. Knowing him well as you do, do you think he has been influenced by Zen or Buddhism?

AG: I don't know him because I don't think there is any him, I don't think he's got a self!

INterviewer: He's ever-changing.

AG: Yeah. He's said some very beautiful, Buddha-like things. One thing, very important, was I asked him whether he was having pleasure on the tour, and he said, "Pleasure, Pleasure, what's that? I never touch the stuff." And then he went on to explain that at one time he had had a lot of pain and sought a lot of pleasure, but found that there was a subtle relationship between pleasure and pain. His words were, "They're in the same framework." So now, as in the Bhagavad Gita, he does what it is necessary to do without consideration of "pleasure," not being a pleasure junkie, which is good advice for anyone coming from the top-most pleasure-possible man in the world. He also said he believed in God. That's why I wrote "Lay down yr Mountain Lay down God." Dylan said that where he was, "on top of the Mountain," he had a choice whether to stay or to come down. He said, God told him, "All right, you've been on the Mountain, I'm busy, go down, you're on your own. Check in later." (laughs) And then Dylan said, "Anybody that's busy making elephants and putting camels through needles' eyes is too busy to answer my questions, so I came down the Mountain."


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