ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of No Time to Say Goodbye: Memoirs of a Life in Foster Care and Short Stories from a Small Town. He is also the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.
HERE'S MY LATEST BOOKS.....
This is a book of short stories taken from the things I saw and heard in my childhood in the factory town of Ansonia in southwestern Connecticut.
Most of these stories, or as true as I recall them because I witnessed these events many years ago through the eyes of child and are retold to you now with the pen and hindsight of an older man. The only exception is the story Beat Time which is based on the disappearance of Beat poet Lew Welch. Decades before I knew who Welch was, I was told that he had made his from California to New Haven, Connecticut, where was an alcoholic living in a mission. The notion fascinated me and I filed it away but never forgot it.
The collected stories are loosely modeled around Joyce’s novel, Dubliners (I also borrowed from the novels character and place names. Ivy Day, my character in “Local Orphan is Hero” is also the name of chapter in Dubliners, etc.) and like Joyce I wanted to write about my people, the people I knew as a child, the working class in small town America and I wanted to give a complete view of them as well. As a result the stories are about the divorced, Gays, black people, the working poor, the middle class, the lost and the found, the contented and the discontented.
Conversely many of the stories in this book are about starting life over again as a result of suicide (The Hanging Party, Small Town Tragedy, Beat Time) or from a near death experience (Anna Bell Lee and the Charge of the Light Brigade, A Brief Summer) and natural occurring death. (The Best Laid Plans, The Winter Years, Balanced and Serene)
With the exception of Jesus Loves Shaqunda, in each story there is a rebirth from the death. (Shaqunda is reported as having died of pneumonia in The Winter Years)
Sal, the desperate and depressed divorcee in Things Change, changes his life in Lunch Hour when asks the waitress for a date and she accepts. (Which we learn in Closing Time, the last story in the book) In The Arranged Time, Thisby is given the option of change and whether she takes it or, we don’t know. The death of Greta’s husband in A Matter of Time has led her to the diner and into the waiting arms of the outgoing and loveable Gabe.
Although the book is based on three sets of time (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and the diner is opened in the early morning and closed at night, time stands still inside the Diner. The hour on the big clock on the wall never changes time and much like my memories of that place, everything remains the same.
REVIEWS FOR "SHORT STORIES FROM A SMALL TOWN"
The Valley Lives
By Marion Marchetto, author of The Bridgewater Chronicles on October 15, 2015
Short Stores from a Small Town is set in The Valley (known to outsiders as The Lower Naugatuck Valley) in Connecticut. While the short stories are contemporary they provide insight into the timeless qualities of an Industrial Era community and the values and morals of the people who live there. Some are first or second generation Americans, some are transplants, yet each takes on the mantle of Valleyite and wears it proudly. It isn't easy for an author to take the reader on a journey down memory lane and involve the reader in the life stories of a group of seemingly unrelated characters. I say seemingly because by book's end the reader will realize that he/she has done more than meet a group of loosely related characters.
We meet all of the characters during a one-day time period as each of them finds their way to the Valley Diner on a rainy autumn day. From our first meeting with Angel, the educationally challenged man who opens and closes the diner, to our farewell for the day to the young waitress whose smile hides her despair we meet a cross section of the Valley population. Rich, poor, ambitious, and not so ambitious, each life proves that there is more to it beneath the surface. And the one thing that binds these lives together is The Valley itself. Not so much a place (or a memory) but an almost palpable living thing that becomes a part of its inhabitants.
Let me be the first the congratulate author John William Tuohy on a job well done. He has evoked the heart of The Valley and in doing so brought to life the fabric that Valleyites wear as a mantle of pride. While set in a specific region of the country, the stories that unfold within the pages of this slim volume are similar to those that live in many a small town from coast to coast.
By Sandra Mendyk
Just read "Short Stories from a Small Town," and couldn't put it down! Like Mr. Tuohy's other books I read, they keep your interest, especially if you're from a small town and can relate to the lives of the people he writes about. I recommend this book for anyone interested in human interest stories. His characters all have a central place where the stories take place--a diner--and come from different walks of life and wrestle with different problems of everyday life. Enjoyable and thoughtful.
I loved how the author wrote about "his people"
A touching thoughtful book. I loved how the author wrote about "his people", the people he knew as a child from his town. It is based on sets of time in the local diner, breakfast , lunch and dinner, but time stands still ... Highly recommend !
WONDERFUL book, I loved it!
By John M. Cribbins
What wonderful stories...I just loved this book.... It is great how it is written following, breakfast, lunch, dinner, at a diner. Great characters.... I just loved it....
This kid (Below) should have gotten an A for thinking outside the box and besides that, he's right. Godzilla, the lazy bastard, didn't lift a finger to help Washington's troops
Photographs I’ve taken
I moved to Shepherdstown West Virginia about a month ago and I wanted to share some photos of my new town with you. Shepherdstown is in the West Virginia Panhandle, squeezed in between Maryland to our north and Virginia to our east and south. We're about an hour and half from Washington DC.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Visit our Shakespeare Blog at the address below
HERE'S PLEASANT POEM FOR YOU TO ENJOY................
by Louis Simpson
There are whole blocks in New York
Where no one lives—
A district of small factories.
And there's a hotel; one morning
When I was there with a girl
We saw in the window opposite
Men and women working at their machines.
Now and then one looked up.
Toys, hardware—whatever they made,
It's been worn out.
I'm fifteen years older myself—
Bad years and good.
So I have spoiled my chances.
For what? Sheer laziness,
The thrill of an assignation,
My life that I hold in secret.
WHY THE WORLD NEEDS EDITORS..........
THE ART OF PULP
THE ART OF WAR............
Point Blank (1967 film)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Point Blank is a 1967 American neo-noir crime film directed by John Boorman, starring Lee Marvin and featuring Angie Dickinson, adapted from the 1963 crime noir pulp novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake, writing as Richard Stark. Boorman directed the film at Marvin's request and Marvin played a central role in the film's development.
The film was not a box office success in 1967, but has since gone on to become a cult classic, eliciting praise from such critics as film historian David Thomson.
Walker (Lee Marvin) works together with his friend Mal Reese (John Vernon in his first major role) to steal a large amount of cash from a courier transporting funds for a major gambling operation, with the deserted Alcatraz island as a drop point. Reese then double-crosses Walker by shooting him, leaving him for dead. Reese also makes off with Walker's wife Lynne (Sharon Acker).
Walker recovers. With assistance from the mysterious Yost (Keenan Wynn), who seems to know everything about everybody involved in the heist. Walker sets out to find Reese, take his revenge, and recover the $93,000 he is owed. Reese used all of the money from the job to pay back a debt to a crime syndicate; "The Organization", and get back in its good graces.
With memories of happy times together, Walker goes to Los Angeles to pay back his wife and his best friend for their treachery. He bursts in on Lynne and riddles her bed with bullets, just in case Reese is in it. A distraught Lynne tells him she no longer wants to live, then takes an overdose of pills.
Walker is told a car dealer named Stegman (Michael Strong) might know where Reese can be found. Posing as a customer, he takes Stegman for a wild ride in one of his new cars, smashing the car and terrorizing him, until Stegman reveals where Reese is living. He is told Reese has now taken up with Walker's sister-in-law, Chris (Angie Dickinson).
Breaking in on Chris, he learns she actually despises Reese, and had considered Walker the best thing which ever to happen to her sister.
Willing to help in any way, Chris agrees to a sexual tryst with Reese, inside his heavily guarded penthouse apartment, just so she can gain access and unbolt a door for Walker. Walker ties up some men in an apartment across from the penthouse, and has a call made to police to report a robbery, creating a diversion that enables him to slip into the penthouse.
With a gun to Reese's head, Walker persuades him to give up the names of his Organization superiors – Carter, Brewster, and Fairfax – so he can make somebody pay back his $93,000. Reese says he'll help Walker. Walker attempts to quickly move Reese to the balcony by yanking on the blanket Reese has wrapped around himself. However, whether due to too much force or Reese attempting to get away from Walker, Reese is flung over the railing of the balcony, and Walker watches as a naked Reese plunges to his death on the street below.
After next confronting Carter (Lloyd Bochner) for his money, Carter promises to pay. Carter gives a package, which he says contains the $93,000 to Stegman. When Stefman questions why he was chosen for this task, Carter says its because he knows what Walker looks like. In fact, Carter is trying to set Walker up.
Stegman arrives at the destination (the Los Angeles River) and is standing out in the open on the river's dry bed. Carter has followed to surreptitiously watch. Just as Carter is feeling comfortable, Walker jumps out from behind him, surprising Carter.
Walker puts Carter in a choke-hold, telling him he is to go get the package from Stegman, and hand it to him.
Unbeknownst to Stegman, a hit man (James Sikking) with a high-powered rifle, has been assigned to kill Walker, when the transfer takes place. Carter knows the hit man is aiming his rifle at that very second, and as Stegman tries to understand why Carter is there, Carter frantically waves his arms, hoping that the hit man will see he is not Walker.
Instead, the hit man fires, and Carter drops. As the reality of the situation becomes clear to Stegman, he tries to escape by walking quickly across the vast, desolate stretch of the river bed, only to also be shot dead as well.
While the hit man packs up his weapon on the bridge, Walker cautiously goes over to the package and, when he rips it open, discovers that it is packed with nothing but paper.
Yost takes Walker to a home belonging to Brewster (Carroll O'Connor). Walker visits Chris in her apartment, which was trashed by the Organization. He brings her with him to Brewster's home, claiming she will be safer with him than by herself.
As Walker waits for Brewster to return, an angry Chris starts slapping and pounding Walker, over his apparent disinterest in her. As Chris continues to punch him, Walker regards her impassively, not defending himself. After Chris hits Walker over the head with a pool cue, the two become entangled beneath the pool table, and their anger turns passionate. They make love.
The following morning, Brewster comes home and is ambushed by Walker, who demands his money. Brewster insists no one will pay. Walker forces Brewster to make a phone call to the Organization to get his money. Brewster speaks with a Mr. Fairfax, telling him that if they do not pay the money, he is going to be shot, but Fairfax refuses to pay, saying, "Threatening phone calls don't impress me."
Walker then shoots the phone.
Brewster says that they can still get him the money up in San Francisco through "The Alcatraz Run," in which large sums of money changes hands. "The drop has changed, but the run is still the same," explains Brewster.
They travel to Fort Point in San Francisco. Walker does not trust Brewster. As Brewster stands in the open space of a courtyard, high above and hidden in the darkness, we see Walker, who refuses to show himself.
Brewster receives the money by a courier in a helicopter. The hit man is also in the darkness with his rifle. He shoots Brewster, who falls to the ground, thinking Walker has shot him.
Yost emerges from the shadows, telling him it was not Walker who shot him. Brewster calls out to Walker, "This is Fairfax, Walker! Kill him!"
Yost/Fairfax thanks Walker, still hiding in the shadows, for eliminating his dangerous underlings, telling him, "Our deal's done, Walker. Brewster was the last one." Fairfax then offers Walker an enforcer job, claiming he has looked for a man like Walker for years. Walker does not answer.
The hit man is about to pick up the package containing the money, but Fairfax tells him to leave it. Walker remains unseen as the two men leave.
Director Boorman met Marvin while on the set of The Dirty Dozen in London. Boorman and Marvin talked about a script based on the book The Hunter. Both hated the script, but loved the main character of Walker. When they agreed to work on the film, Marvin discarded the script and called a meeting with the head of the studio, the producers, his agent, and Boorman. As Boorman recalled, "[Marvin] said, 'I have script approval?' They said 'yes'. 'And I have approval of principal cast?'. 'Yes'. He said, 'I defer all those approvals to John [Boorman].' And he walked out. So on my very first film in Hollywood, I had final cut and I made use of it."[
The unusual structure of the film was due in part to the original script and developments during the course of shooting the film. Rehearsals took place at Marvin's house in Los Angeles.
On the rehearsal day in which Marvin was to ask Sharon Acker what happened to the money, Marvin did not say his lines, forcing Acker to continue the conversation on her own. "I saw right away he was right," replied Boorman, "Lee never made suggestions. He would just show you."
So Boorman changed the lines in the script so that Acker would essentially ask and answer Marvin's questions, and the result is in the finished film.
"It made a conventional scene something more," added Boorman.
This was the first film ever to shoot at Alcatraz, the infamous prison which had been shut down since 1963, only three years before the production. Two weeks in the abandoned prison facility required the services of 125 crew members. While Marvin and Wynn enjoyed shooting on location, Wynn was concerned about the weather and the need to loop half the dialogue.
During the shoot, Angie Dickinson and Sharon Acker modeled contemporary fashions for a Life magazine exclusive against the backdrop of the prison. Acker was accidentally hurt by the blanks that Vernon used to shoot at Marvin early in the film.
Director Boorman chose locations that were "stark". For example, the airplane terminal walkway that Marvin walked down originally had flower pots lining the walls. Boorman had the pots taken out to "make it all bare."
After Boorman showed the finished cut to executives, they were "very perplexed and mumbling about reshoots".
Margaret Booth, a legendarily tradition-minded supervising editor then working for the studio, told Boorman as the execs filed out, "You touch one frame of this film over my dead body!"
The film earned $9 million during its initial release.
Viewers and critics have often questioned whether or not the film is really a dream that Walker has after he is shot in the very beginning. Director Boorman claims to not have an opinion on the matter. "What it is what you see," responded Boorman.
Steven Soderbergh has described Point Blank as "memory film" for Marvin. Boorman believes the film is about Lee Marvin's brutalizing experiences in World War II, which dehumanized him and left him desperately searching for his humanity.
Critic David Thomson has written that the character of Walker is actually dead throughout the entire movie and the events of the film are a dream of the accumulating stages of revenge.
Others have also considered this concept: Brynn White has questioned whether or not Walker is a mortal or a ghost, "a vaporous embodiment of bitter vengeance barely clinging to Boorman’s variegated frames", and Boorman himself has commented that: "He could just as easily be a ghost or a shadow".
Some critics consider Point Blank, "a haunted, dream-like film that draws upon the spatial and temporal experiments of modernist European art cinema", especially the "time-fractured" films of French director Alain Resnais.
Point Blank combines elements of film noir with stylistic touches of the European nouvelle vague. The film features a fractured time-line, disconcerting narrative rhythms (long, slow passages contrasted with sudden outbursts of violence) and a carefully calculated use of film space (stylized compositions of concrete riverbeds, sweeping bridges, empty prison cells).
Boorman credits Marvin with coming up with a lot of the visual metaphors in the film. Boorman said that as the film progressed, scenes would be filmed monochromatically around one particular color (the chilly blues and grays of Acker's apartment, Dickinson's butter yellow bathrobe, the startling red wall in Vernon's penthouse) to give the proceedings a "sort of unreality".
To establish Walker's mythic stature, Soderbergh noted in the commentary that the film cuts from a shot of Walker swimming from Alcatraz to a shot of him on a ferry overlooking the same island while a woman on the loudspeaker describes the impossibility of leaving the island. Soderbergh said that this contrast of the character's ease of escape with the loudspeaker's monologue makes the Walker character "mythic immediately."
Point Blank is hailed in the book 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die as "The perfect thriller in both form and vision."
Film historian David Thomson calls the film a masterpiece. Thomson adds, "[...] this is not just a cool, violent pursuit film, it is a wistful dream and one of the great reflections on how movies are fantasies that we are reaching out for all the time—it's singin' in the rain again, the white lie that erases night." Director Steven Soderbergh has said that he used stylistic touches from Point Blank many times in his film making career.
BY NICK SCHAGER
JULY 24, 2003
One of Lee Marvin's initial claims to fame was disfiguring Gloria Grahame's face with a pot of scalding coffee in Fritz Lang's The Big Heat, but even for cinema's quintessential thug, there was something more terrifyingly callous about his performance in John Boorman's seminal 1967 neo-noir Point Blank. With daunting broad shoulders, hard, searing eyes, and a face that looked like it had been carved out of iron, Marvin was an imposing goliath, and as he rises from the dead during the title credits of Boorman's tour de force, one becomes immediately aware of the actor's enormous physicality. As he stomps stoically and silently amid Los Angeles's glistening high-rises with an enormous .38 pistol at the ready, Marvin's character seems almost inhuman; his one word moniker, Walker, and lack of dialogue for the film's first 20 minutes merely confirms the impression that he's less a man than an unbridled, indestructible elemental force. Long before Mel Gibson turned the character into an endearing, wise-cracking anti-hero in the pathetic remakePayback, Marvin's Walker was the cinema's ultimate unsentimental badass—chillingly determined, unfettered by pesky human emotions like love, sympathy, or remorse, and unwilling to halt the bloodshed until he had fulfilled his quest.
That quest, as Boorman spells out during Point Blank's masterful first few moments, involves reclaiming $93,000 that was stolen from him during a heist. Through a number of lightning-quick, elliptically-assembled shots, we witness Walker, along with best friend Mal Reese (a sniveling and exemplary John Vernon, in his first screen role) and wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) successfully intercept a clandestine money drop-off taking place on Alcatraz; when Reese finds that his share of the spoils isn't satisfactory, he and Lynne plug Walker full of holes in a dank, shadowy prison cell. Left for dead, Walker somehow manages to survive the ambush and, with a stomach full of lead, returns to San Francisco by floating along the treacherous Alcatraz currents on his back. A year later, a mysterious informer tells him how to find his wife and Reese, but as Walker makes clear, his motivations aren't revenge. He simply wants what's rightfully his: the $93,000.
If Walker isn't interested in the retribution most men would crave after such a betrayal, Boorman is similarly uninterested in merely replicating the style and tone of prototypical film noir. (After the 1965 British comedy Catch Us if You Can, Point Blank was the director's American film debut.) Influenced by the French New Wave's radical formal innovations, the European ennui of Michelangelo Antonioni's films, and the genre revisionism of Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, Boorman set out to make a thriller that looked and felt like nothing else before it, using widescreen Panavision cinematography, explosive colors, and a multi-layered soundtrack to re-envision the noir picture as highbrow Euro-art film. Whereas noirs generally boast a shadowy, expressionistic interplay between light and dark, Boorman casts most of his film in brilliant daylight and summery colors. Where noir creates a visual and thematic atmosphere of constriction and imprisonment, Boorman shoots everything in expansive widescreen that posits characters in oppressively open spaces and, when more than one person is on screen, at opposite ends of the frame. And instead of noir's typically convoluted narratives involving plenty of unnecessary exposition, Boorman's film is a model of silent visual storytelling that broke new ground in non-linear cinematic narrative construction.
What makes Point Blank so extraordinary, however, is not its departures from genre conventions, but Boorman's virtuoso use of such unconventional avant-garde stylistics to saturate the proceedings with a classical noir mood of existential torpor and romanticized fatalism. The action is set against (and within) a sunny corporate L.A. landscape characterized by its sterile, overwhelming enormity—situated in the corners of Boorman's off-kilter compositions, a colossal architectural or natural edifice weighing down upon his back (if not literally crowding him off the screen), Walker is denied sanctuary. Through odd camera angles and stylized compositions that position our hero as powerless and adrift amid this malevolent, foreign metropolis, Boorman creates a tone of uneasy dislocation. Los Angeles seems more menacingly inhospitable in sunshine than at night, and this irony plays into the film's dichotomy between the old and new world. Just as classic noir's sinister darkness is replaced in Point Blank by creepy brightness, so has Walker's old-school criminal been replaced by the corporate villains who work their nefarious schemes on behalf of faceless financial entities (Reese has stolen Walker's money as a means of buying his way back into the ominous “The Organization”). For these conglomerates, “Profit is the only principle,” and unlike yesteryear's two-bit crook (of which Walker is one), they do business in checks, not cash.
The film's pervading sense of disorientation is heightened by the flashback structure of the screenplay (adapted from Donald E. Westlake's novel by Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse and Rafe Newhouse). Like Don Siegel's 1962 remake of The Killers (which also starred Marvin), Point Blank effortlessly jumps back and forth in time, but Boorman's oblique narrative, as opposed to Siegel's more conventional thriller, works on a somewhat subliminal level. The film feels refracted through its protagonist's mind, with chronological logic blurred by a narrative free association that finds particular sounds, colors and images subconsciously intertwined (a technique Steven Soderbergh would ape in 1999's The Limey). Reese, begging for his life, tells Walker to trust him, and the appeal conjures up the memory of the last time his former friend made such a plea. Walker sees a broken bottle of perfume in a sink, and the image of swirling red liquid immediately makes him recall being shot on Alcatraz (or is he foreseeing a nightclub brawl that has yet to occur?). Since the story is fluid and replete with detours and digressions, any easy interpretation is challenged by the script's tantalizing ambiguity.
Despite the film's reluctance to provide definitive answers on the subject, one can safely assume that Walker is fatally wounded during the film's opening scene, and that his recovery and search for the $93,000 is merely a deathbed fever dream. Boorman repeatedly hints at such a reading, from Walker's first meeting with his enigmatic benefactor on a boat circling the Rock (the tour guide's speech about the near impossibility of escaping the island fortress is intercut with the implausible sight of Walker floating his way back to civilization) to numerous scenes in which he's either framed by bar-like shadows (recalling the Alcatraz cell he was shot in) or told by someone that he should just “lie down and die.” Marvin's understated performance only reinforces this interpretation—with his expressionless countenance and deathly silence, Walker resembles a walking corpse, charging toward his singular goal like a specter that must fulfill one last unfinished earthly task before gaining entry into the afterworld.
Noir protagonists are, in part, defined by their spiritual, emotional, and/or psychological alienation, and thus Marvin's impassivity—reflected in every one of his fractured conversations—pinpoints him as a man cut off from, and alone in, the world. When Walker finds his wife, he bursts into her house and, after tossing her aside, instinctively fires his mammoth revolver into her empty bed. It's a symbolic act of sexual violence aimed at purging himself of his love for Lynne, but the gesture is an empty reflex rather than the by-product of pent-up feelings—as his muteness during their subsequent conversation conveys, he's incapable of forming even the most basic human connections, much less experiencing passion, kindness, or misery. When Walker is repeatedly slapped by Lynne's sister Chris (Angie Dickinson), he stands there and takes it; when she's done, he methodically straightens his suit, walks over to the couch, and turns on the TV to listen to an actor talk about “erotic inertia.” Later, when he abandons Chris to finish his mission, she asks him “Hey, what's my last name?” His response (“What's my first name?”) heartbreakingly sums up the irremediable isolation that both Walker and those around him are doomed to endure.
Though Point Blank is rife with existential malaise, it is also one of the most ferociously sexy crime movies ever made. Boorman shoots violence with more than a hint of sexualized wickedness, and many of Walker's most brutal moments (bursting through Lynne's door and grabbing her around the mouth as he spins in a circle with his gun cocked and loaded; forcefully reaching between the legs of an Organization secretary in order to disconnect the office's alarm) have more than a hint of wanton salaciousness. Anything that doesn't feel impersonal in Boorman's world seems tainted by cheap luridness (such as the blood-red jazz club that Walker can't begin to comprehend), and it's to the film's credit that the director doesn't shy away from providing the tawdry kicks (guns, babes, sex, murder) that have always enlivened even the best noirs.
After dispatching everyone who gets in his way (including old pal Reese, who meets an untimely demise plummeting naked from a hotel balcony to the street below), Walker kidnaps an Organization bigwig named Brewster (played by a roly-poly Carroll O'Connor) and finally sets about getting his money. But because he's already deceased and, therefore, the money really doesn't mean anything, it's unsurprising to find that, when the job is done and the loot is there for the taking, Walker—staring emptily at his prize while semi-cloaked in darkness—does nothing. For a film about a dead man engaged in a self-originating, self-perpetuating, and wholly meaningless pursuit of a relatively meager bounty, the final image of Walker receding into the enveloping darkness is a fittingly despondent conclusion to one of noir's most bleak, vicious and inventive masterpieces. Walker ultimately winds up just where he began, but after Boorman's Point Blank, noir would never be quite the same again.
Here, here's some Disney cartoons for you, enjoy!
Mish Mash: noun \ˈmish-ˌmash, -ˌmäsh\ A : hodgepodge, jumble “The painting was just a mishmash of colors and abstract shapes as far as we could tell”. Origin Middle English & Yiddish; Middle English mysse masche, perhaps reduplication of mash mash; Yiddish mish-mash, perhaps reduplication of mishn to mix. First Known Use: 15th century
Wall of the cellar in Ekaterinburg, Russia, against which the tsarist Romanov family was executed by the Bolsheviks, 1918.
THE ART AND BEAUTY OF BALLET
Olga Smirnova & Semyon Chudin of the Bolshoi Ballet in Apollo
I'm a big big Fan of Bukowski
Montmartre, Paris (by Marcel Kergourlay)
TODAY'S ALLEGED MOB GUY
Pierce, Ralph: Born 1900. One of Murray Humphreys men, and a trusted bodyguard, he was arrested at least 100 times but never convicted. At age ten, Pierce shot and killed his 14 years old cousin while the boys were playing cowboys and Indians. According to reports, Pierce put the gun to his cousins temple and fired off a round, killing him instantly. Pierce said it was an accident. No charges were field.
Pierce before the Kefauver Committe
During the 1928 elections, Pierce operated a Capone jail house at 1352 South Peoria Street where political opponents and their supporters were held until after the polls closed. As a result, he was later named in indictments for one robbery, five assaults and five kidnappings. The dapper and flashy Pierce was indicted in the Bioff movie scandal in the 1940s, although he was later acquitted of all charges brought against him.
Piece was arrested in connection to a 1929 kidnapping, but the charges were dropped without reason. In 1935, , he was arrested as the probable killer of motion-pictures operators' union Tommy Malloy and as one of the murderers in the gruesome killing of Estelle Carey in 1943. In both cases, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Two years after he was suspected of hacking Estelle Cary to death (Marshal Caifano was also questioned in the murder)
Pierce was arrested in 1945 while running the mobs operations along Roosevelt Road for questioning in connection with the murder of James "Red" Forsythe, a long time underworld hoodlum.
In the late 1940s, he was a co-investor with Sam "Golf Bag" Hunt (below) in a series of floating casinos across the south side. Pierce was technically employed by Laborers Local 714 although he was the virtual boss over the South side rackets in the 1950s, meaning he earned millions of dollars each year.
He kept close contact to John D'Arco and Pat Marcy, (below) the First Ward "fixers" with the ability to influence the outcome of murder cases for the right price and was well liked by Sam Giancana when Giancana was boss.
At the heyday of the Outfits involvement in Las Vegas, through his connection with his direct boss, Murry Humphreys, Pierce was known as the man to see for “Comps” by hoods traveling to Vegas on vacation.
Pierce towards the end of his life
In 1971, Ross DiMauro was a high-volume bookmaker who also dabbled in real estate. received a three-year prison term for criminal contempt of court after refusing to answer questions of a federal grand jury concerning his dealing with Pierce.
In 1975, Piece, then 75 years old, was still the gambling boss of the Loop until that, as well as his gambling empire on the south side, were taken over by Black street gangs. Pierce died on July 8 1974 of a heart attack.
ROCCATAGLIATA, Nicolò Venetian school The Young St John
DON'T YOU JUST LOVE POP ART?
Marilyn, by DeVon
MUSIC FOR THE SOUL
Randolph Denard Ornette Coleman (March 9, 1930– June 11, 2015) was a jazz saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter, and composer. He was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s, a term he invented with the name of an album. Coleman's timbre was easily recognized: his keening, crying sound drew heavily on blues music. He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1994. His album Sound Grammar received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music.
Coleman was born in 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was also raised. He attended I.M. Terrell High School, where he participated in band until he was dismissed for improvising during "The Washington Post."
He began performing R&B and bebop initially on tenor saxophone, and started a band, the Jam Jivers, with some fellow students including Prince Lasha and Charles Moffett.
Seeking a way to work his way out of his home town, he took a job in 1949 with a Silas Green from New Orleans traveling show and then with touring rhythm and blues shows. After a show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he was assaulted and his saxophone was destroyed.
He switched to alto saxophone, which remained his primary instrument, first playing it in New Orleans after the Baton Rouge incident. He then joined the band of Pee Wee Crayton and travelled with them to Los Angeles. He worked at various jobs, including as an elevator operator, while continuing to pursue his musical career.
From the beginning of his career, Coleman's music and playing were in many ways unorthodox. His approach to harmony and chord progression was far less rigid than that of bebop performers; he was increasingly interested in playing what he heard rather than fitting it into predetermined chorus-structures and harmonies. His raw, highly vocalized sound and penchant for playing "in the cracks" of the scale led many Los Angeles jazz musicians to regard Coleman's playing as out-of-tune. He sometimes had difficulty finding like-minded musicians with whom to perform. Nevertheless, pianist Paul Bley was an early supporter and musical collaborator.
In 1958, Coleman led his first recording session for Contemporary, Something Else!!!!: The Music of Ornette Coleman. The session also featured trumpeter Don Cherry, drummer Billy Higgins, bassist Don Payne and Walter Norris on piano.
1959 was a notably productive year for Coleman. His last release on Contemporary was Tomorrow Is the Question! a quartet album, with Shelly Manne on drums, and excluding the piano, which he would not use again until the 1990s. Next Coleman brought double bassist Charlie Haden – one of a handful of his most important collaborators – into a regular group with Cherry and Higgins. (All four had played with Paul Bley the previous year.) He signed a multi-album contract with Atlantic Records, who released The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959. It was, according to critic Steve Huey, "a watershed event in the genesis of avant-garde jazz, profoundly steering its future course and throwing down a gauntlet that some still haven't come to grips with."
While definitely – if somewhat loosely – blues-based and often quite melodic, the album's compositions were considered at that time harmonically unusual and unstructured. Some musicians and critics saw Coleman as an iconoclast; others, including conductor Leonard Bernstein and composer Virgil Thomson regarded him as a genius and an innovator." Jazzwise listed it #2 on their list of the 100 best jazz albums of all time.
Coleman's quartet received a lengthy – and sometimes controversial – engagement at New York City's famed Five Spot jazz club. Such notable figures as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Leonard Bernstein and Lionel Hampton were favorably impressed, and offered encouragement. (Hampton was so impressed he reportedly asked to perform with the quartet; Bernstein later helped Haden obtain a composition grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.) Opinion was, however, divided.
Trumpeter Miles Davis famously declared Coleman was "all screwed up inside", although Davis later recanted this comment and became a proponent of Coleman's musical innovations. Roy Eldridge stated, "I'd listened to him all kinds of ways. I listened to him high and I listened to him cold sober. I even played with him. I think he's jiving baby."
Coleman's unique early sound was due in part to his use of a plastic saxophone. He had first bought a plastic horn in Los Angeles in 1954 because he was unable to afford a metal saxophone, though he didn't like the sound of the plastic instrument at first. Coleman later claimed that it sounded drier, without the pinging sound of metal. In later years, he played a metal saxophone.
On the Atlantic recordings, Coleman's sidemen in the quartet are Cherry on cornet or pocket trumpet, Haden, Scott LaFaro, and then Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Higgins or his replacement Ed Blackwell on drums. The complete released recordings for the label were collected on the box set Beauty Is a Rare Thing.
In 1960, Coleman recorded Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation, which featured a double quartet, including Cherry and Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Eric Dolphy on bass clarinet, Haden and LaFaro on bass, and both Higgins and Blackwell on drums. The record was recorded in stereo, with a reed/brass/bass/drums quartet isolated in each stereo channel.
Free Jazz was, at nearly 40 minutes, the lengthiest recorded continuous jazz performance to date, and was instantly one of Coleman's most controversial albums. The music features a regular but complex pulse, one drummer playing "straight" while the other played double-time; the thematic material is a series of brief, dissonant fanfares. As is conventional in jazz, there are a series of solo features for each member of the band, but the other soloists are free to chime in as they wish, producing some extraordinary passages of collective improvisation by the full octet. In the January 18, 1962 issue of Down Beat magazine, in a special review titled "Double View of a Double Quartet," Pete Welding awarded the album Five Stars while John A. Tynan rated it No Stars.
Coleman originally intended "Free Jazz" as simply an album title, but his growing reputation placed him at the forefront of jazz innovation, and free jazz was soon considered a new genre, though Coleman has expressed discomfort with the term. Among the reasons Coleman may not have entirely approved of the term 'free jazz' is that his music contains a considerable amount of composition. His melodic material, although skeletal, strongly recalls the melodies that Charlie Parker wrote over standard harmonies, and in general the music is closer to the bebop that came before it than is sometimes popularly imagined.
(Several early tunes of his, for instance, are clearly based on favorite bop chord changes like "Out of Nowhere" and "I Got Rhythm".) Coleman very rarely played standards, concentrating on his own compositions, of which there seemed to be an endless flow. There are exceptions, though, including a classic reading (virtually a recomposition) of "Embraceable You" for Atlantic, and an improvisation on Thelonious Monk's "Criss-Cross" recorded with Gunther Schuller.
After the Atlantic period and into the early part of the 1970s, Coleman's music became more angular and engaged fully with the jazz avant-garde which had developed in part around his innovations.
His quartet dissolved, and Coleman formed a new trio with David Izenzon on bass, and Charles Moffett on drums. Coleman began to extend the sound-range of his music, introducing accompanying string players (though far from the territory of Charlie Parker with Strings) and playing trumpet and violin (which he played left-handed) himself. He initially had little conventional musical technique and used the instruments to make large, unrestrained gestures. His friendship with Albert Ayler influenced his development on trumpet and violin. Haden would later sometimes join this trio to form a two-bass quartet.
Between 1965 and 1967 Coleman signed with Blue Note Records and released a number of recordings starting with the influential recordings of the trio At the Golden Circle Stockholm.
In 1966, Coleman was criticized for recording The Empty Foxhole, a trio with Haden, and Coleman's son Denardo Coleman – who was ten years old. Some regarded this as perhaps an ill-advised piece of publicity on Coleman's part and judged the move a mistake. Others, however, noted that despite his youth, Denardo had studied drumming for several years. His technique – which, though unrefined, was respectable and enthusiastic – owed more to pulse-oriented free jazz drummers like Sunny Murray than to bebop drumming. Denardo has matured into a respected musician, and has been his father's primary drummer since the late 1970s.
Coleman formed another quartet. A number of bassists and drummers (including Haden, Garrison and Elvin Jones) appeared, and Dewey Redman joined the group, usually on tenor saxophone.
He also continued to explore his interest in string textures – from Town Hall, 1962, culminating in Skies of America in 1972. (Sometimes this had a practical value, as it facilitated his group's appearance in the UK in 1965, where jazz musicians were under a quota arrangement but classical performers were exempt.)
In 1969, Coleman was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.
Coleman, like Miles Davis before him, took to playing with electrified instruments. Albums like Virgin Beauty and Of Human Feelings used rock and funk rhythms, sometimes called free funk. The 1976 album Dancing in Your Head, Coleman's first recording with the group which later became known as Prime Time, prominently featured electric guitars. While this marked a stylistic departure for Coleman, the music maintained certain similarilties to his earlier work. These performances had the same angular melodies and simultaneous group improvisations – what Joe Zawinul referred to as "nobody solos, everybody solos" and what Coleman called harmolodics – and although the nature of the pulse was altered, Coleman's own rhythmic approach did not.
Jerry Garcia played guitar on three tracks from Coleman's 1988 album Virgin Beauty: "Three Wishes", "Singing in the Shower", and "Desert Players". Coleman joined the Grateful Dead on stage once in 1993 during "Space", and stayed for "The Other One", "Stella Blue", Bobby Bland's "Turn on Your Lovelight", and the encore "Brokedown Palace". Another collaboration was with guitarist Pat Metheny, with whom Coleman recorded Song X (1985); though released under Metheny's name, Coleman was essentially co-leader (contributing all the compositions).
In 1990, the city of Reggio Emilia in Italy held a three-day "Portrait of the Artist" featuring a Coleman quartet with Cherry, Haden and Higgins. The festival also presented performances of his chamber music and the symphonic Skies of America.
In 1991, Coleman played on the soundtrack for David Cronenberg's Naked Lunch; the orchestra was conducted by Howard Shore. It is notable among other things for including a rare sighting of Coleman playing a jazz standard: Thelonious Monk's blues line "Misterioso". Two 1972 (pre-electric) Coleman recordings, "Happy House" and "Foreigner in a Free Land" were used in Gus Van Sant's 2000 Finding Forrester.
The mid-1990s saw a flurry of activity from Coleman: he released four records in 1995 and 1996, and for the first time in many years worked regularly with piano players (either Geri Allen or Joachim Kühn). He was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship (genius grant) in 1994.
In 2001 Coleman was awarded a Praemium Imperial (World Culture Prize in Memory of His Imperial Highness Prince Takamatsu), an international art prize by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association. The prize recognises outstanding contributions in the development, promotion and progress of the arts in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film—arguably one of the most prestigious art prizes in the world. Coleman was the second and latest jazz musician to receive the Praemium Imperial, after Oscar Peterson in 1999.
In 2004 Coleman was awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the richest prizes in the arts, given annually to "a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind's enjoyment and understanding of life."
In September 2006 he released a live album titled Sound Grammar with his newest quartet (Denardo drumming and two bassists, Gregory Cohen and Tony Falanga). This was his first album of new material in ten years, and was recorded in Germany in 2005. It won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music, Coleman being only the second jazz artist to win the prize.
On February 11, 2007, Coleman was honored with a Grammy award for lifetime achievement, in recognition of this legacy.
On July 9, 2009, Coleman received the Miles Davis Award, a recognition given by the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal to musicians who have contributed to continuing the tradition of jazz.
On May 1, 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Michigan for his musical contributions.
Jazz pianist Joanne Brackeen (who had only briefly studied music as a child) stated in an interview with Marian McPartland that Coleman had been mentoring her and giving her semi-formal music lessons in recent years.
Coleman continued to push himself into unusual playing situations, often with much younger musicians or musicians from radically different musical cultures. An increasing number of his compositions, while not ubiquitous, have become minor jazz standards, including "Lonely Woman", "Peace", "Turnaround", "When Will the Blues Leave?", "The Blessing", "Law Years", "What Reason Could I Give" and "I've Waited All My Life". He has influenced virtually every saxophonist of a modern disposition, and nearly every such jazz musician, of the generation that followed him. His songs have proven endlessly malleable: pianists such as Paul Bley and Paul Plimley have managed to turn them to their purposes; John Zorn recorded Spy vs Spy (1989), an album of extremely loud, fast, and abrupt versions of Coleman songs. Finnish jazz singer Carola covered Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and there have even been progressive bluegrass versions of Coleman tunes (by Richard Greene).
Coleman married poet Jayne Cortez in 1954. The couple divorced in 1964. They had one son, Denardo, born in 1956, who became a notable jazz drummer in his own right.
Coleman died of a cardiac arrest at the age of 85 in New York City on June 11, 2015. His funeral was a three-hour event with performances and speeches by several of his collaborators and contemporaries.
What Love is…………………….
I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone. Henry Rollins
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. Rumi
Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.
True love stories never have endings. Richard Bach
Love is a chain of love as nature is a chain of life. Truman Capote
American modernist painter Arthur Dove. While living in his family's Geneva, New York farmhouse, Dove began to execute a series of sunrise paintings. This watercolor "Sunrise" (1936-37)—a study for his oil painting "Sunrise III"—employs simplified forms and uses color as the essence of imagery.
Arthur Dove, Sunrise, 1936-37, Opaque and transparent watercolor, pen, and black ink on wove paper, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1955
Edward Hopper Night Shaws 1921A solitary figure hurries down an empty city street in this dramatic composition, a view from above. Hopper made this and other etchings early in his career, before turning exclusively to painting and drawing in 1928. Etching, a technique in which a composition is incised into a metal plate and then printed in ink on paper, was particularly suited to Hopper's style, allowing him to use strong, clean lines and cross-hatching to enhance the mystery of his chosen subject—here, the empty city at night.
Paint and Switch? Did Alec Baldwin Pay $190,000 for the Wrong Picture?
By GRAHAM BOWLEY
The Ross Bleckner Sea and Mirror at Alec Baldwin’s Manhattan office. CreditSantiago MejiaThe New York Times
Ten years or so ago, as the actorAlec Baldwin remembers it, the gallery owner Mary Boone sent him an invitation to a show of work by the painter Ross Bleckner, an artist whom she represented and he had befriended.
The card featured a reproduction of Mr. Bleckner’s “Sea and Mirror,” a work from 1996, when the artist was at the height of his popularity.
So began Mr. Baldwin’s love affair with the painting — an infatuation that has ended with Mr. Baldwin, who occupies a central role in New York’s cultural life, now pitted in a bitter dispute with two formidable players in the city’s rarefied world of art and money — Ms. Boone, a prominent art dealer, and Mr. Bleckner, one of her notable talents.
This has, to say the least, become awkward.
For years, Mr. Baldwin said he carried the image of “Sea and Mirror” in his shoulder bag, alongside a picture of one of his daughters and his father. In 2010, he asked Ms. Boone to find the collector who owned it and pry it away.
“There was a kind of beauty and simplicity” to the work, Mr. Baldwin recalled in an interview this month.
Happily, she reported back, the collector would sell — but at a premium.
Mr. Baldwin put up the $190,000.
“I love this thing so much,” he said in a 2012 speech about support for the arts at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, proudly recounting his quest. “Three months later it was hanging in my house, in my apartment in New York.”
But Mr. Baldwin said that something about the painting always gave him unease. The colors weren’t quite the same. It smelled, somehow, new. In fact, he said, just a few months ago he discovered that he had not bought the painting he pined for. Instead, he said, for reasons that remain disputed, Ms. Boone sent him another version of the painting. He claims she passed it off as the original.
“I thought she had made my dream come true,” Mr. Baldwin said. Instead, he said he believed that Ms. Boone, frustrated that the collector would not agree to sell, persuaded Mr. Bleckner to take an unfinished work from the same series, finish painting it and sell it to him without saying a word.
Mr. Bleckner’s office said he could not be reached for comment. Ms. Boone, through her lawyer, disputed Mr. Baldwin’s account, asserting he was never misled about the identity of the work.
“He’s wrong that the painting is a copy; it’s an original and very fine work of art by Ross Bleckner,” Ms. Boone’s lawyer, Ted Poretz, said in a statement.
Mr. Baldwin, however, has emails that buttress parts of his account. The Boone gallery also stamped a number — 7449 — on the back of the painting it sold to Mr. Baldwin, the same number it had listed next to the work it had said it was pursuing from the collector.
Mr. Baldwin said he met with the Manhattan district attorney’s office this summer but was told that a criminal case could not be made.
Ms. Boone’s lawyer declined to address in full the issues raised by the emails or the number next to the painting.
“The gallery never likes to have unhappy clients,” Mr. Poretz said in his statement, “and it has turned cartwheels to try to satisfy Alec Baldwin. It has repeatedly offered Alec Baldwin a full refund, among other things.”
The interaction is hardly the first to end badly in an opaque, largely unregulated art market. It raises questions about why works created in one era by an artist, operating under one set of motivations, are sometimes different in value and reputation, compared with works that were perhaps created by the same artist in another era.
But to Mr. Baldwin, the concerns are not nearly so esoteric: He contends he was betrayed.
“Ross was a kind of friend of mine,” Mr. Baldwin said.
He continues to be a Bleckner supporter. Mr. Baldwin’s foundation helped to underwrite an exhibition this month on Long Island that featured Mr. Bleckner’s paintings. He owns five of Mr. Bleckner’s works.
Mr. Baldwin said that the flamboyant, outspoken Ms. Boone, from whom he sometimes bought art, admitted this year that she had switched the works.
“She said, ‘I didn’t want to disappoint you,’” he said.
Mr. Baldwin, who met Mr. Bleckner at parties in the Hamptons, where the actor owns a home, became an admirer of his work in the 1990s. Mr. Bleckner, who had a Guggenheim retrospective in 1995 at 45, had been an ascendant art star of the 1980s. He belonged to a stable of young artists who helped Ms. Boone build her reputation in the ’80s, though two of her stars from that time, Eric Fischl and David Salle, have since left for rival dealers.
Mr. Baldwin bought his first Bleckner from Ms. Boone in 2010, and during that transaction mentioned that he really wanted “Sea and Mirror.”
The painting had sold at auction at Sotheby’s in 2007 for $121,000. Ms. Boone told Mr. Baldwin in an email that the collector now sought $175,000 for it.
“The Gallery normally charges ten to twenty percent for this kind of transaction,” she wrote. “To make this a friendly deal, we would charge you even less — $190,000,” before adding, “I know Ross is so thrilled for you to have a painting and so am I.”
Mr. Poretz said that shortly afterward Mr. Baldwin was told that, in fact, he was getting a different version of “Sea and Mirror.”
“By the time Alec Baldwin paid for the painting and it was delivered to him, he should not have misunderstood what he purchased,” Mr. Poretz said in his statement.
Mr. Baldwin denies he was ever told he would be receiving a different work. He said that when he received the canvas, he noticed the composition lacked a feathery quality in the brush strokes he had admired in the photos of the work sold at Sotheby’s, and seemed brighter.
Ms. Boone told him, he said, that it had been newly cleaned as a courtesy.
This year, his suspicions growing, he sent emails to Mr. Bleckner and Ms. Boone inquiring about the collector from whom he had bought the painting and about the cleaning.
According to copies of the emails, Mr. Bleckner responded that he did not know the name of the collector. Mr. Baldwin says Mr. Bleckner did not point out that that transaction had never gone through. Mr. Bleckner also discussed how he might have done the cleaning.
“I would usually do that,” he wrote to Mr. Baldwin, “although I don’t actually remember.”
Mr. Baldwin finally had a Sotheby’s expert compare his painting to a catalog image from the 2007 auction.
The expert said, “This is not that painting,” Mr. Baldwin recalled.
He then confronted Ms. Boone and Mr. Bleckner. He said they acknowledged having given him another work. Mr. Baldwin has an email in which Mr. Bleckner is deeply apologetic but does not directly address about what.
“im so sorry about all of this,” he wrote. “I feel so bad about this … what can I do to make this up to you?”
He said Mr. Bleckner told him that he had started the painting in 1996 and finished it in 2010, though he had dated it 1996.
“I don’t know what Ross knew,” Mr. Baldwin said. “Ross may have been instructed to make a copy. I don’t know.”
This summer, as Mr. Baldwin complained to Ms. Boone, he gave her an ultimatum.
“Deliver to me the painting that I bought. The one you sold me,” he wrote in an email.
Ms. Boone again asked Sotheby’s to contact the owner of the painting sold at auction in 2007, according to an email supplied by Mr. Baldwin. The collector, whose identity remains a mystery, was still not interested in selling.
Ms. Boone’s lawyer, Mr. Poretz, also contacted Mr. Baldwin to try to settle the matter.
In an interview, Mr. Baldwin acknowledged that the work he has was created by Mr. Bleckner and that it looks quite similar to the painting he coveted. But he said it was not the work he had fallen in love with — not a painting, in his view, created when the artist was at the peak of his fame.
Still, he told Ms. Boone in a recent email, he did not want to hurt Mr. Bleckner. “I’m less worried about you, Mary,” he wrote, “as you are more of an armadillo and I’m sure you have been blasting your way out of corners like this on more than one occasion.”
Ms. Boone wrote back to say that she was working to get him the work he wanted.
“I am not an Armadillo however,” she added.
What a cool idea this is....ha! Cool idea....
Here's some entertaining animals for you.........................
Why animals do the thing they do
As a dog trainer, I can tell you that probably 50% of dogs really don’t like hugs and at least another 48% pretty much just tolerate them. Very few dogs I know genuinely like hugs the way humans tend to give them. What’s funny is that the picture that Fox used with this headline is one of the more common ways dogs do enjoy contact that humans would consider a hug.
Stanley Coren - the dude who wrote the article that is pissing everyone off about this - really does know what he’s talking about. He wrote one of my favorite books, called how to speak dog, which has some absolutely beautiful diagrams of dog behavior and body language along the gamut of extreme situations.
The way humans hug dogs is often really uncomfortable for them. We lean over them and trap them (think how many dogs we already know are spooky when you loom over them, but are fine if you get down to their level), and then we restrict their ability to move and shove our faces close to theirs. That’s not fun. Keep in mind that most dogs have personal space bubbles that are larger than we tend to think, and now you’re not only invading it, you’re making it so they can’t move or defend themselves if something happens.
Most dogs learn to tolerate hugs because we do it to them so often. It’s pretty much a kind of learned helplessness, plus, they like us and so they put up with our stupid human behavior. When you hug most dogs, you’ll notice they get kinda stiff, they look away or at other humans for help, you’ll see side-eyes or look-aways (not whale eye). Often they’ll distract you by doing something else like pawing at you, or licking your face as an appeasement signal. They’re all signs of discomfort that we already routinely ignore when we deal with our dogs, so it makes sense that people think their dogs are fine with it - they’re just still not listening.
More often, you’ll get dogs that will crawl up your chest when you sit and put their paws on your shoulders. Sometimes their face is close to yours, sometimes it’s on your shoulder. In that position - which they often initiate - they can easily withdraw and get away if necessary and they’re not trapped or being leaned over. It’s not really a hug, just close contact, but I think it’s about as close as humans are going to get to one that a dog will enjoy.
Sadness does not come from bad circumstances.....it comes from bad thoughts.
I LOVE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS FROM FILM
Alfred Eisenstaedt - Goodbye and Pennsylvania Station, 1944.
Why Did the Mayan Civilization Collapse? A New Study Points to Deforestation and Climate Change
A severe drought, exacerbated by widespread logging, appears to have triggered the mysterious Mayan demise
By Joseph Stromberg
one of ancient history’s most intriguing mysteries: Why did the Maya, a remarkably sophisticated civilization made up of more than 19 million people, suddenly collapse sometime during the 8th or 9th centuries? Although the Mayan people never entirely disappeared—their descendants still live across Central America—dozens of core urban areas in the lowlands of the Yucatan peninsula, such as Tikal, went from bustling cities to abandoned ruins over the course of roughly a hundred years.
Scholars and laypeople have proposed countless theories accounting for the collapse, ranging from the plausible (overhunting, foreign invasion, peasant revolt) to the absurd (alien invasion, supernatural forces). In his 2005 book Collapse, though, Jared Diamond put forth a different sort of theory—that a prolonged drought, exacerbated by ill-advised deforestation, forced Mayan populations to abandon their cities. That hypothesis has finally been put to the test with archaeological evidence and environmental data and the results published this week in a pair of studies.
In the first study, published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Arizona State University analyzed archaeological data from across the Yucatan to reach a better understanding of the environmental conditions when the area was abandoned. Around this time, they found, severe reductions in rainfall were coupled with an rapid rate of deforestation, as the Mayans burned and chopped down more and more forest to clear land for agriculture. Interestingly, they also required massive amounts of wood to fuel the fires that cooked the lime plaster for their elaborate constructions—experts estimate it would have taken 20 trees to produce a single square meter of cityscape.
The other study, published by researchers from Columbia University and elsewhere this week in Geophysical Research Letters, applied quantitative data to these trends. Using population records and measurements from current forested and cleared lands in the region, they constructed a computer model of deforestation in the Yucatan and ran simulations to see how this would have affected rainfall.
Because cleared land absorbs less solar radiation, less water evaporates from its surface, making clouds and rainfall more scarce. As a result, the rapid deforestation exacerbated an already severe drought—in the simulation, deforestation reduced precipitation by five to 15 percent and was responsible for 60 percent of the total drying that occurred over the course of a century as the Mayan civilization collapsed. The lack of forest cover also contributed to erosion and soil depletion.
In a time of unprecedented population density, this combination of factors was likely catastrophic. Crops failed, especially because the droughts occurred disproportionately during the summer growing season. Coincidentally, trade shifted from overland routes, which crossed the heart of the lowland, to sea-based voyages, moving around the perimeter of the peninsula.
Since the traditional elite relied largely upon this trade—along with annual crop surpluses—to build wealth, they were sapped of much of their power. This forced peasants and craftsmen into making a critical choice, perhaps necessary to escape starvation: abandoning the lowlands. The results are the ornate ruins that stretch across the peninsula today.
The collapse is especially intriguing because it seemingly occurred at “a time in which developed a sophisticated understanding of their environment, built and sustained intensive production and water systems and withstood at least two long-term episodes of aridity,” says B.L. Turner, the lead author of the ASU study. In other words, the Maya were no fools. They knew their environment and how to survive within it—and still they continued deforesting at a rapid pace, until the local environment was unable to sustain their society.
One of the lessons of these complementary studies, says climate modeler Robert Oglesby of the University of Nebraska, who worked on the second paper, is that our reshaping of the environment can often have unintended consequences—and we may not have any idea of what they are until it’s too late. For a present-day example, we can even look to another region where the ancient Maya lived, Guatemala, which is undergoing rapid deforestation. “There’s a tremendous amount of change going on in Guatemala,” said Oglesby. “They may be that much more vulnerable to a severe drought.”
What caused the mystery of the Dark Day?
By Tom de Castella
BBC News Magazine
Three centuries ago in parts of North America, a strange event turned morning to night. It remains wreathed in mystery - so what caused the Dark Day?
Halfway through the morning the sky turns yellow. Animals run for cover and darkness descends, causing people to light candles and start to pray. By lunchtime night has fallen. Is it the end of the world?
The Dark Day, as it's become known, took place on May 19, 1780 in New England and parts of eastern Canada. For the past 232 years historians and scientists have argued over the origins of this strange event.
Today there are many theories. Was it the result of volcanic eruption, fire, meteor strike - or something more sinister?
With little scientific knowledge amongst the populace in 1780, people would have been afraid. Some lawmakers in Connecticut believed it was the day of judgement. The sense that a decisive moment was afoot would have been bolstered by the fact that during the preceding days, the sun and moon glowed red.
Historian Mike Dash says the north-east corner of the US was a deeply Protestant society with a profound interest in "guilt, sin and redemption". Dash, who wrote about the paranormal in his book Borderlands, says that faced with sudden darkness, people would look for biblical precedents.
"There are some verses in Matthew that might have led them to believe that this is the second coming of Christ. At the time, natural events - even birds fighting in the sky - were a sign of God's intentions. The Dark Day would have seemed like a warning to Man."
So what might explain 1780's Dark Day?
The Met Office points out that thick cloud can drop low enough to turn on automatic street lights and require cars to use their lights. But it's unlikely this alone would be enough to cause a Dark Day.
A solar eclipse can be ruled out as there is a record of when these occur - and they only last for a matter of minutes.
The eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 caused enough ash to enter the atmosphere to ground flights across northern Europe.
Thomas Choularton, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Manchester, says volcanic ash clouds often cause "yellow days". Eruptions at Mount St Helens in Washington State have lowered light levels in recent decades, he adds.
And yet there is no record of volcanic activity in 1780, he says, making a huge ash cloud an unlikely explanation. A meteorite is equally unlikely, although "you can't rule it out completely", Prof Choularton says.
The answer to the puzzle can be found in the trees, many scientists believe.
Academics at the University of Missouri's Department of Forestry analysed tree trunks inland from New England, where westerly prevailing winds would originate. They found signs of fire-scarred rings in tree trunks dating back to that period.
It is also known that there was a drought there in 1780 making fire more likely, says Dr Will Blake, associate professor of geography at Plymouth University.
But could a forest fire cause such a change in light? "I've witnessed minor fires in Australia where you get a very eerie light. The bigger the fire, the darker it's going to get." Fog is common on the east coast. The mix of fog and soot from the forest fire would combine to make darkness descend, Dr Blake argues.
Eyewitness accounts in New England support the forest fire hypothesis. Soot was spotted in the rivers. And Jeremy Belknap of Boston wrote in a letter that the air had the "smell of a malt-house or a coal-kiln".
William Corliss, the physicist and chronicler of unexplained events, found 46 accounts of dark days around the world between 1091 and 1971.
Nowadays people can call upon scientific knowledge, satellite pictures and the media for reassurance. But Dark Days have continued to unsettle people until surprisingly recently.
A Dark Day in a similar part of North America to 1780's occurred in 1950. It was caused by forest fires in Alberta and prompted alarm and confusion, says David Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada.
"If you'd woken up at noon you'd have believed it was midnight. People thought it was nuclear attack or a solar eclipse."
Whatever the cause in 1780, the geography must have exacerbated the fear, says Dash. Settlements tended to go little more than 200 miles inland. In essence, European settlers were living on the edge of a vast unknown continent.
"When it goes dark for them, there's no guarantee it is ever going to get light again. In those days it would be quite natural to think it was the Second Coming," Dash says. When dawn arrived, it is likely that prayers of thanks were said across the previously benighted land.
1816: The Year Without A Summer That Changed The World
If you think the recent weather has been strange lately, listen to this tale of a year without a summer. In 1815 a volcanic eruption caused the following year’s weather patterns to be drastically different. People across the world experienced unusual weather and increased hardships, but they did not associate the volcano with the conditions at the time. This strange phenomenon deeply affected the Eastern U.S. and the Appalachian Mountains, but hit the whole world, causing odd rain events and weather that could not be explained, and altering the course of human history.
The eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia (then known as the Dutch East Indies) in April of 1815 was the result of a highly pressurized volcanic environment. The initial stages of eruption were reported to have sounded like an army attack with guns and cannons. As flames shot up from the top, hot pumice and volcanic rock were forced into the air. The geological event caused tons of ash and sulphur-dioxide into the air over the course of five days, enough to cover a 100 mile radius with afoot of ash! This event and the resulting cloud, some scientists proffer, is the cause of the the weather extremes and global cooling the following year. Many experts do believe that this is the only reasonable explanation for the year without a summer, though there is not total agreement on the matter. This volcano is still active today, though volcanic activity is closely monitored to ensure minimal losses if the pressure does build up again.
Folks began to notice that the usual signs of spring weren’t there in 1816. First-hand accounts tell us that the weather was so cold that birds dropped from the sky mid-flight (presumably from exposure or starvation). The ground was frost-covered in May in some regions, but that was the least of the problems to come since snows in June and July were a huge problem for Appalachian and New England farmers. The spring and summer months were dotted with slightly warmer periods that did not last, giving false hope to some. Crops could not grow and yields were reduced by 90% in some places. The prices of produce and wheat soared dramatically as goods became increasingly hard to come by. The “Poverty Year,” as it is also known, draws from the fact that increased prices and decreased crops meant that the poor were even poorer this year. Today it is also referred to as the “Little Ice Age.” In some parts of Europe decreased crops and poor food production dragged on until 1817 and 1818, showing the far-reaching effects of the volcanic spread.
Around the world, the weather patterns of many areas were flipped backwards. In China, the monsoon season hit so hard that flooding was unavoidable. In India, the monsoons did not arrive as expected, causing drought and water shortages at first, and then flooding during the dry season. This weather changes in India caused the already-present cholera bacteria to mutate into a new strain as an adaptation to the changing water supply. Humans in those areas had no immunity to this new strain and the disease became rampant. Worldwide increases in cholera cases occurred after this devastating event and cholera is still pandemic in many parts of Africa and Asia today due to the high degree of adaptability of the bacteria.
Some important changes came about because of this year without a summer. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was written in the gloomy months of the frigid summer of 1816. Hardship in the Yunnan province of China caused family farms to seek more durable and profitable crops andopium was a prime choice that continued for decades and gave rise to the “Golden Triangle” of opium production. Farmers in New England drifted west, hoping that the summers would be warmer out there, and perhaps changing the direction of our nation. Unlike the rest of the world, the Arctic actually warmed up during this time, melting ice barriers and allowing for historic expeditions and the search for the Northwest Passage, the majority of which however, ended in tragedy.
This one volcanic eruption impacted to the world for centuries due to how the weather changed crops and bacteria. The incident helped invent the modern science fiction novel, and a key drug became more common based on the events of that infamous year. It’s amazing that we don’t learn the crazy story of the year without a summer in school!
Let the stoics say what they please we do not eat for the good of living but because the meat is savory and the appetite is keen.
The roots of the Beat Poets
The First Hipster of New York
By KATIE ROGERS
Q. Did the hipster originate in New York? Or did hipsters migrate here from some other bastion of cool?
A. We most likely have the jazz clubs of 1940s Harlem to thank for the term, although its meaning may have changed some since then. A Bronx-born, Juilliard-trained musician named Harry Raab helped popularize the word with his stage name: Harry “the Hipster” Gibson.
But it’s doubtful that Mr. Raab, an expressive singer and gifted piano player whose most recognizable song, for better or worse, was “Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine,” coined the term.
Back then, as now, “hipster” was used to describe someone who saw himself as hip and ahead of the curve, said Lewis Porter, a jazz historian at Rutgers University. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word is also thought to be a modernized version of “hepcat,” which had the same meaning in jazz circles. Dr. Porter said the word might also have been used to describe white jazz musicians like Gibson who played in traditionally black clubs. “That certainly was not its original meaning, but that could have become attached to it later on,” he said.
In his 1957 essay “The White Negro” for Dissent magazine, Norman Mailer examined beatnik culture, posing the theory that to be a hipster was to be a white American who adopted black culture, worldviews and music as an act of rebellion against capitalist greed, wartime violence and the ever-present specter of nuclear war.
The New York Times has used the word “hipster” about 3,000 times since 1851, the bulk of those references coming in a boomlet after the year 2000. It was typically used to describe a class of people who moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wearing white tank tops and clutching cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon — until those people were priced out of the neighborhood, of course.
Harry "The Hipster" Gibson (June 27, 1915 – May 3, 1991)
Gibson played New York style stride piano and boogie woogie while singing in a wild, unrestrained style. His music career began in the late 1920s, when as the young Harry Raab, his birth name, he played stride piano in Dixieland jazz bands in Harlem. He continued to perform there throughout the 1930s, adding the barrelhouse boogie of the time to his repertoire, and was discovered byFats Waller in 1939 and brought down to mid-town Manhattan, where he made a splash and changed his surname to Gibson.
Between 1939 and 1945, he played at various Manhattan jazz clubs on 52nd Street ("Swing Street"), most notably the Three Deuces, run by Irving Alexander, and Leon and Eddies, run by Leon Enkin and Eddie Davis.
In the 1940s, Gibson was known for writing unusual songs, which are considered ahead of their time. He was also known for his unique, wild singing style, his energetic and unorthodox piano styles, and for his intricate mixture of hardcore, gutbucket boogie rhythms with ragtime, stride and jazz piano styles. Gibson took the boogie woogie beat of his predecessors, but he made it frantic, similar to the rock and roll music of the 1950s.
Examples of his wild style are found in the songs "Riot in Boogie" and Barrelhouse Boogie". An example of his strange singing style is in the song "The Baby and the Pup." Other songs that Gibson recorded were "Handsome Harry, the Hipster", "I Stay Brown All Year 'Round", "Get Your Juices at the Deuces", and "Stop That Dancin' Up There." Gibson recorded a great deal, but there are very few visual examples of his act. However, in New York in 1944, he filmed three songs for the Soundies film jukeboxes, and he went to Hollywood in 1946 to guest star in the feature-length film musical Junior Prom. Gibson preceded the first white rock and rollers by a decade, but the Soundies he recorded show significant similarities to rock and roll.
While working on "Swing Street" at night, Gibson was a fellow at the Juilliard Graduate School during the day, at the time, Juilliard was strictly a classical music academy, and Gibson excelled there, which partly explains the richness of the music he brought to the jazz world. (if anything he brought a richness to classical music, with his boogie WOOGIE training). The other part of the explanation is, his own inventiveness, and Gibson was almost always billed and promoted as a musical genius.
Unlike Mezz Mezzrow, who was white but consciously abandoned his ethnicity to adopt the black music and culture as a "white negro," Gibson grew up near Harlem, New York City. Gibson's constant use of black jive talk was not an affectation; it was simply his uptown New York dialect. His song, "I Stay Brown All Year Round" is based on this issue. In his autobiography, Gibson claims he coined the term hipster sometime between 1939 and 1945, when he was performing on Swing Street and he started using "Harry the Hipster" as his stage name.
His career went into a tailspin in 1947, when his song "Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine" put him on the music industry blacklist.
Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Mrs. Murphy couldn't sleep
Her nerves were slightly off the bean
Until she solved her problem
With a can of Ovaltine
She drank a cupful most every night
And ooh how she would dream
Until something rough got in the stuff
And made her neighbors scream. OW!
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Sure was a shame, don't know who's to blame
Cause the old lady didn't even get his name
Where did she get that stuff?
Now she just can't get enough
It might have been the man who wasn't there
Now Jack, that guy's a square
She never ever wants to go to sleep
She says that everything is solid all reet
Now Mr. Murphy don't know what it's all about
Cause she went and threw the old man out, Clout
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Now she wants to swing, the Highland Fling
She says that Benzedrine's the thing that makes her spring.
This is the second chorus you know
The name of this chorus is called, "Who put the Nembutals in Mr. Murphy's overalls?
I don't know
She bought a can of Ovaltine, most every week or so
And she always kept an extra can on hand
Just in case that she'd run low
She never never been so happy, since she left old Ireland
'Till some one prowled her pantry, and tampered with her can. Wham!
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Sure was a shame, don't know who's to blame
Cause the old lady didn't even get his name
Where did she get that stuff
Now she just can't get enough
It might have been the man who wasn't there
Now Jack, that guy's a square
She stays up nights making all the rounds
They say she lost about 69 pounds
Now Mr. Murphy claims she's getting awful thin
And all she says is, "Give me some skin." Mop!
Who put the Benzedrine, in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?
Now she wants to swing the Highland Fling
She says that Benzedrine's the thing that makes her spring.
Spring it now, Gibson
Note: This song is Harry's adaptation of the old Irish folk song "Who put the
overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder." Two different versions of it can be found at:
His own drug use led to his decline, and with the rising popularity of young rock-and-roll musicians among teenagers in the 1950s, older musicians were not in demand. He spent time in and around Miami during the 1950s, and just before Christmas 1956 he appeared at the Ball & Chain on the same bill with Billie Holiday. In the 1960s, when Gibson saw the huge success of The Beatles, he decided to switch over to rock-and-roll. By the 1970s, he was playing hard rock, blues, bop, novelty songs and a few songs that mixed ragtime with rock-and-roll, and his hipster act became a hippie act. His old records were revived by Dr. Demento, particularly "Benzedrine" which was included in his 1975 compilation album Dr. Demento's Delights.
His comeback resulted in three more albums. Harry the Hipster Digs Christmas, made of new recordings in 1974, is a home recording and is not noteworthy. Two professionally produced albums were released after this, which were Everybody's Crazy but Me, (its title taken from the lyrics of "Stop That Dancin' Up There"), by Progressive Records in 1986, and Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine released in 1989 by Delmark Records. Those two albums include some jazz, blues, ragtime, and rock and roll songs about reefer, nude bathing, hippie communes, strip clubs, male chauvinists, "rocking the 88s", and getting hip to Shirley MacLaine.
Harry Gibson may have been the only pianist of the 1930s and 1940s to go on to play in full-scale rocking blues bands in the 1970s and 1980s. Unlike his 1940s contemporaries, most of whom continued to play the same music for decades, Gibson gradually shifted gears between the 1940s and the 1970s, switching from jazz to rock. The only elements that remained constant were his tendency to play hard-rocking boogie woogie, and his tongue-in-cheek references to drug use.
Harry's family did a biographical movie short on Harry's life and music in 1991, shortly before his death. The movie is called "Boogie in Blue" and was published as a VHS video that year.
Suffering from congestive heart failure, Harry had long ago decided that he would end life on his own terms if he ever became chronically ill. Harry Gibson took his own life by putting a handgun to his head on May 3, 1991.
The White Negro (Fall 1957)
Norman Mailer ran in the Democratic primaries for mayor of New York City in 1969 with journalist Jimmy Breslin as his running mate (Breslin sought the nomination for President of the City Council). Their program called for New York City to secede from the state of New York. Political power was to devolve to the city’s neighborhoods. The Mailer-Breslin slogan was “The Other Guys are the Joke.” Dissent published many of Mailer’s controversial articles, including “The White Negro” (Fall 1957), which is reprinted below, and Mailer served on Dissent’s editorial board for more than three decades. The photograph above was taken by a seventeen-year-old campaign worker who had then never heard of Dissent, Mitchell Cohen, who now co-edits the magazine. Mailer died November 10th at the age of 84.
The White Negro
Superficial Reflections on the Hipster
Our search for the rebels of the generation led us to the hipster. The hipster is an enfant terrible turned inside out. In character with his time, he is trying to get back at the conformists by lying low. . . . You can’t interview a hipster because his main goal is to keep out of a society which, he thinks, trying to make everyone over in its own image. He takes marijuana because it supplies him with experiences that can’t be shared with “squares.” He may affect a broad-brimmed hat or a zoot suit, but usually he prefers to skulk unmarked. The hipster may be a jazz musician; he is rarely an artist, almost never a writer. He may earn his living as a petty criminal, a hobo, a carnival roustabout or a free-lance moving man in Greenwich Village, but some hipsters have found a safe refuge in the upper income brackets as television comics or movie actors. (The late James Dean, for one, was a hipster hero.) . . . it is tempting to describe the hipster in psychiatric terms as infantile, but the style of his infantilism is a sign of the times, he does not try to enforce his will on others, Napoleon-fashion, but contents himself with a magical omnipotence never disproved because never tested. . . . As the only extreme nonconformist of his generation, he exercises a powerful if underground appeal for conformists, through newspaper accounts of his delinquencies, his structureless jazz, and his emotive grunt words.
—“Born 1930: The Unlost Generation” by Caroline Bird, Harper’s Bazaar, Feb. 1957
Probably, we will never be able to determine the psychic havoc of the concentration camps and the atom bomb upon the unconscious mind of almost everyone alive in these years. For the first time in civilized history, perhaps for the first time in all of history, we have been forced to live with the suppressed knowledge that the smallest facets of our personality or the most minor projection of our ideas, or indeed the absence of ideas and the absence of personality could mean equally well that we might still be doomed to die as a cipher in some vast statistical operation in which our teeth would he counted, and our hair would be saved, but our death itself would be unknown, unhonored, and unremarked, a death which could not follow with dignity as a possible consequence to serious actions we had chosen, but rather a death bydeus ex machina in a gas chamber or a radioactive city; and so if in the midst of civilization—that civilization founded upon the Faustian urge to dominate nature by mastering time, mastering the links of social cause and effect—in the middle of an economic civilization founded upon the confidence that time could indeed he subjected to our will, our psyche was subjected itself to the intolerable anxiety that death being causeless, life was causeless as well, and time deprived of cause and effect had come to a stop.
The Second World War presented a mirror to the human condition which blinded anyone who looked into it. For if tens of millions were killed in concentration camps out of the inexorable agonies and contractions of super-states founded upon the always insoluble contradictions of injustice, one was then obliged also to see that no matter how crippled and perverted an image of man was the society he had created, it wits nonetheless his creation, his collective creation (at least his collective creation from the past) and if society was so murderous, then who could ignore the most hideous of questions about his own nature?
Worse. One could hardly maintain the courage to be individual, to speak with one’s own voice, for the years in which one could complacently accept oneself as part of an elite by being a radical were forever gone. A. man knew that when he dissented, he gave a note upon his life which could be called in any year of overt crisis. No wonder then that these have been the years of conformity and depression. A stench of fear has come out of every pore of American life, and we suffer from a collective failure of nerve. The only courage, with rare exceptions, that we have been witness to, has been the isolated courage of isolated people.
It is on this bleak scene that a phenomenon has appeared: the American existentialist—the hipster, the man who knows that if our collective condition is to live with instant death by atomic war, relatively quick death by the State as l’univers concentrationnaire, or with a slow death by conformity with every creative and rebellious instinct stifled (at what damage to the mind and the heart and the liver and the nerves no research foundation for cancer will discover in a hurry) , if the fate of twentieth century man is to live with death from adolescence to premature senescence, why then the only life-giving answer is to accept the terms of death, to live with death as immediate danger, to divorce oneself from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self. In short, whether the life is criminal or not, the decision is to encourage the psychopath in oneself, to explore that domain of experience where security is boredom and therefore sickness, and one exists in the present, in that enormous present which is without past or future, memory or planned intention, the life where a man must go until he is beat, where he must gamble with his energies through all those small or large crises of courage and unforeseen situations which beset his day, where he must be with it or doomed not to swing. The unstated essence of Hip, its psychopathic brilliance, quivers with the knowledge that new kinds of victories increase one’s power for new kinds of perception; and defeats, the wrong kind of defeats, attack the body and imprison one’s energy until one is jailed in the prison air of other people’s habits, other people’s defeats, boredom, quiet desperation, and muted icy self-destroying rage. One is Hip or one is Square (the alternative which each new generation coming into American life is beginning to feel) one is a rebel or one conforms, one is a frontiersman in the Wild West of American night life, or else a Square cell, trapped in the totalitarian tissues of American society, doomed willy-nilly to conform if one is to succeed.
A totalitarian society makes enormous demands on the courage of men, and a partially totalitarian society makes even greater demands for the general anxiety is greater. Indeed if one is to be a man, almost any kind of unconventional action often takes disproportionate courage. So it is no accident that the source of Hip is the Negro for he has been living on the margin between totalitarianism and democracy for two centuries. But the presence of Hip as a working philosophy in the sub-worlds of American life is probably due to jazz, and its knife-like entrance into culture, its subtle but so penetrating influence on an avant-garde generation—that post-war generation of adventurers who (some consciously, some by osmosis) had absorbed the lessons of disillusionment and disgust of the Twenties, the Depression, and the War. Sharing a collective disbelief in the words of men who had too much money and controlled too many things, they knew almost as powerful a disbelief in the socially monolithic ideas of the single mate, the solid family and the respectable love life. If the intellectual antecedents of this generation can be traced to such separate influences as D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and Wilhelm Reich, the viable philosophy of Hemingway fits most of their facts: in a bad world, as he was to say over and over again (while taking time out from his parvenu snobbery and dedicated gourmandise), in a bad world there is no love nor mercy nor charity nor justice unless a man can keep his courage, and this indeed fitted some of the facts. What fitted the need of the adventurer even more precisely was Hemingway’s categorical imperative that what made him feel good became therefore The Good.
So no wonder that in certain cities of America, in New York of course, and New Orleans, in Chicago and San Francisco and Los Angeles, in such American cities as Paris and Mexico, D.F., this particular part of a generation was attracted to what the Negro had to offer. In such places as Greenwich Village. a menage-a-trois was completed—the bohemian and the juvenile delinquent came face-to-face with the Negro, and the hipster was a fact in American life. If marijuana was the wedding ring, the child was the language of Hip for its argot gave expression to abstract states of feeling which all could share, at least all who were Hip. And in this wedding of the white and the black it was the Negro who brought the cultural dowry. Any Negro who wishes to live must live with danger from his first day, and no experience can ever be casual to him, no Negro can saunter down a street with any real certainty that violence will not visit him on his walk. The cameos of security for the average white: mother and the home, lob and the family, are not even a mockery to millions of Negroes; they are impossible. The Negro has the simplest of alternatives: live a life of constant humility or ever-threatening danger. In such a pass where paranoia is as vital to survival as blood, the Negro had stayed alive and begun to grow by following the need of his body where he could. Knowing in the cells of his existence that life was war, nothing but war, the Negro (all exceptions admitted) could rarely afford the sophisticated inhibitions of civilization, and so he kept for his survival the art of the primitive, he lived in the enormous present, he subsisted for his Saturday night kicks, relinquishing the pleasures of the mind for the more obligatory pleasures of the body, and in his music he gave voice to the character and quality of his existence, to his rage and the infinite variations of joy, lust, languor, growl, cramp, pinch, scream and despair of his orgasm. For jazz is orgasm, it is the music of orgasm, good orgasm and bad, and so it spoke across a nation, it had the communication of art even where it was watered, perverted, corrupted, and almost killed, it spoke in no matter what laundered popular way of instantaneous existential states to which some whites could respond, it was indeed a communication by art because it said, “I feel this, and now you do too.”
So there was a new breed of adventurers, urban adventurers who drifted out at night looking for action with a black man’s code to fit their facts. The hipster had absorbed the existentialist synapses of the Negro, and for practical purposes could be considered a white Negro.
To be an existentialist, one must be able to feel oneself—one must know one’s desires, one’s rages, one’s anguish, one must be aware of the character of one’s frustration and know what would satisfy it. The over-civilized man can be an existentialist only if it is chic, and deserts it quickly for the next chic. To be a real existentialist (Sartre admittedly to the contrary) one must be religious, one must have one’s sense of the “purpose”—whatever the purpose may be—but a life which is directed by one’s faith in the necessity of action is a life committed to the notion that the substratum of existence is the search, the end meaningful but mysterious; it is impossible to live such a life unless one’s emotions provide their profound conviction. Only the French, alienated beyond alienation from their unconscious could welcome an existential philosophy without ever feeling it at all; indeed only a Frenchman by declaring that the unconscious did not exist could then proceed to explore the delicate involutions of consciousness, the microscopically sensuous and all but ineffable frissons of mental becoming, in order finally to create the theology of atheism and so submit that in a world of absurdities the existential absurdity is most coherent.
In the dialogue between the atheist and the mystic, the atheist is on the side of life, rational life, undialectical life—since he conceives of death as emptiness, he can, no matter how weary or despairing, wish for nothing but more life; his pride is that he does not transpose his weakness and spiritual fatigue into a romantic longing for death, for such appreciation of death is then all too capable of being elaborated by his imagination into a universe of meaningful structure and moral orchestration.
Yet this masculine argument can mean very little for the mystic. The mystic can accept the atheist’s description of his weakness, he can agree that his mysticism was a response to despair. And yet . . . and yet his argument is that he, the mystic, is the one finally who has chosen to live with death, and so death is his experience and not the atheist’s, and the atheist by eschewing the limitless dimensions of profound despair has rendered himself incapable to judge the experience. The real argument which the mystic must always advance is the very intensity of his private vision—his argument depends from the vision precisely because what was felt in the vision is so extraordinary that no rational argument, no hypotheses of ‘oceanic feelings” and certainly no skeptical reductions can explain away what has become for him the reality more real than the reality of closely reasoned logic. His inner experience of the possibilities within death is his logic. So, too, for the existentialist. And the psychopath. And the saint and the bullfighter and the lover. The common denominator for all of them is their burning consciousness of the present, exactly that incandescent consciousness which the possibilities within death has opened for them. There is a depth of desperation to the condition which enables one to remain in life only by engaging death, but the reward is their knowledge that what is happening at each instant of the electric present is good or bad for them, good or bad for their cause, their love, their action, their need.
It is this knowledge which provides the curious community of feeling in the world of the hipster, a muted cool religious revival to be sure, but the element which is exciting, disturbing, nightmarish perhaps, is that incompatibles have come to bed, the inner life and the violent life, the orgy and the dream of love, the desire to murder and the desire to create, a dialectical conception of existence with a lust for power, a dark, romantic, and yet undeniably dynamic view of existence for it sees every man and woman as moving individually through each moment of life forward into growth or backward into death.
It may be fruitful to consider the hipster a philosophical psychopath, a man interested not only in the dangerous imperatives of his psychopathy but in codifying, at least for himself, the suppositions on which his inner universe is constructed. By this premise the hipster is a psychopath, and yet not a psychopath but the negation of the psychopath for he possesses the narcissistic detachment of the philosopher, that absorption in the recessive nuances of one’s own motive which is so alien to the unreasoning drive of the psychopath. In this country where new millions of psychopaths are developed each year, stamped with the mint of our contradictory popular culture (where sex is sin and yet sex is paradise), it is as if there has been room already for the development of the antithetical psychopath who extrapolates from his own condition, from the inner certainty that his rebellion is just, a radical vision of the universe which thus separates him from the general ignorance, reactionary prejudice, and self-doubt of the more conventional psychopath. Having converted his unconscious experience into much conscious knowledge, the hipster has shifted the focus of his desire from immediate gratification toward that wider passion for future power which is the mark of civilized man. Yet with an irreducible difference. For Hip is the sophistication of the wise primitive in a giant jungle, and so its appeal is still beyond the civilized man. If there are ten million Americans who are more or less psychopathic (and the figure is most modest) there are probably not more than one hundred thousand men and women who consciously see themselves as hipsters, but their importance is that they are an elite with the potential ruthlessness of an elite, and a language most adolescents can understand instinctively for the hipster’s intense view of existence matches their experience and their desire to rebel.
Before one can say more about the hipster, there is obviously much to be said about the psychic state of the psychopath—or, clinically, the psychopathic personality. Now, for reasons which may be more curious than the similarity of the words, even many people with a psychoanalytical orientation often confuse the psychopath with the psychotic. Yet the terms are polar. The psychotic is legally insane, the psychopath is not; the psychotic is almost always incapable of discharging in physical acts the rage of his frustration, while the psychopath at his extreme is virtually as incapable of restraining his violence. The psychotic lives in so misty a world that what is happening at each moment of his life is not very real to him whereas the psychopath seldom knows any reality greater than the face, the voice, the being of the particular people among whom he may find himself at any moment. Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck describe him as follows:
The psychopath . . . can be distinguished from the person sliding into or clambering out of a true psychotic state by the long tough persistence of his anti-social attitude and behaviour and the absence of hallucinations, delusions, manic flight of ideas, confusion, disorientation, and other dramatic signs of psychosis.
The late Robert Lindner, one of the few experts on the subject, in his book Rebel Without A Cause—The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath presented part of his definition in this way:
. . . the psychopath is a rebel without a cause, an agitator without a slogan, a revolutionary without a program: in other words, his rebelliousness is aimed to achieve goals satisfactory to himself alone; lie is incapable of exertions for the sake of others. All his efforts, hidden under no matter what disguise, represent investments designed to satisfy his immediate wishes and desires
. . . The psychopath, like the child, cannot delay the pleasures of gratification; and tins trait is one of his underlying, universal characteristics. He cannot wait upon erotic gratification which convention demands should be preceded by the chase before the kill: he must rape. He cannot wait upon the development of prestige in society: his egoistic ambitions lead him to leap into headlines by daring performances. Like a red thread the predominance of this mechanism for immediate satisfaction runs through the history of every psychopath. It explains not only his behavior but also the violent nature of his acts.
Yet even Lindner who was the most imaginative and most sympathetic of the psychoanalysts who have studied the psychopathic personality was not ready to project himself into the essential sympathy— which is that the psychopath may indeed be the perverted and dangerous front-runner of a new kind of personality which could become the central expression of human nature before the twentieth century is over. For the psychopath is better adapted to dominate those mutually contradictory inhibitions upon violence and love which civilization has exacted of us, and if it be remembered that not every psychopath is an extreme case, and that the condition of psychopathy is present in a host of people including many politicians, professional soldiers, newspaper columnists, entertainers, artists, jazz musicians, call-girls, promiscuous homosexuals and half the executives of Hollywood, television, and advertising, it can be seen that there are aspects of psychopathy which already exert considerable cultural influence.
What characterizes almost every psychopath and part-psychopath is that they are trying to create a new nervous system for themselves. Generally we are obliged to act with a nervous system which has been formed from infancy, and which carries in the style of its circuits the very contradictions of our parents and our early milieu. Therefore, we are obliged, most of us, to meet the tempo of the present and the future with reflexes and rhythms which come from the past. It is not only the “dead weight of the institutions of the past” but indeed the inefficient and often antiquated nervous circuits of the past which strangle our potentiality for responding to new possibilities which might be exciting for our individual growth.
Through most of modern history, “sublimation” was possible: at the expense of expressing only a small portion of oneself, that small portion could be expressed intensely. But sublimation depends on a reasonable tempo to history. If the collective life of a generation has moved too quickly, the “past” by which particular men and women of that generation may function is not, let us say, thirty years old, but relatively a hundred or two hundred years old. And so the nervous system is overstressed beyond the possibility of such compromises as sublimation, especially since the stable middle-class values so prerequisite to sublimation have been virtually destroyed in our time, at least as nourishing values free of confusion or doubt. In such a crisis of accelerated historical tempo and deteriorated values, neurosis tends to be replaced by psychopathy, and the success of psychoanalysis (which even ten years ago gave promise of becoming a direct major force) diminishes because of its inbuilt and characteristic incapacity to handle patients more complex, more experienced, or more adventurous than the analyst himself. In practice, psychoanalysis has by now become all too often no more than a psychic blood-letting. The patient is not so much changed as aged, and the infantile fantasies which he is encouraged to express are condemned to exhaust themselves against the analyst’s non-responsive reactions. The result for all too many patients is a diminution, a “tranquilizing” of their most interesting qualities and vices. The patient is indeed not so much altered as worn out—less bad, less good, less bright, less willful, less destructive, less creative. He is thus able to conform to that contradictory and unbearable society which first created his neurosis. He can conform to what he loathes because he no longer has the passion to feel loathing so intensely.
The psychopath is notoriously difficult to analyze because the fundamental decision of his nature is to try to live the infantile fantasy, and in this decision (given the dreary alternative of psychoanalysis) there may be a certain instinctive wisdom. For there is a dialectic to changing one’s nature, the dialectic which underlies all psychoanalytic method: it is the knowledge that if one is to change one’s habits, one must go back to the source of their creation, and so the psychopath exploring backward along the road of the homosexual, the orgiast, the drug-addict, the rapist, the robber and the murderer seeks to find those violent parallels to the violent and often hopeless contradictions he knew as an infant and as a child. For if he has the courage to meet the parallel situation at the moment when he is ready, then he has a chance to act as he has never acted before, and in satisfying the frustration—if he can succeed—he may then pass by symbolic substitute through the locks of incest. In thus giving expression to the buried infant in himself, he can lessen the tension of those infantile desires and so free himself to remake a bit of his nervous system. Like the neurotic he is looking for the opportunity to grow up a second time, but the psychopath knows
instinctively that to express a forbidden impulse actively is far more beneficial to him than merely to confess the desire in the safety of a doctor’s room. The psychopath is ordinately ambitious, too ambitious ever to trade his warped brilliant conception of his possible victories in life for the grim if peaceful attrition of the analyst’s couch. So his associational journey into the past is lived out in the theatre of the present, and he exists for those charged situations where his senses are so alive that he can be aware actively (as the analysand is aware passively) of what his habits are, and how he can change them. The strength of the psychopath is that he knows (where most of us can only guess) what is good for him and what is bad for him at exactly those instants when an old crippling habit has become so attacked by experience that the potentiality exists to change it, to replace a negative and empty fear with an outward action, even if—and here I obey the logic of the extreme psychopath—even if the fear is of himself, and the action is to murder. The psychopath murders—if he has the courage—out of the necessity to purge his violence, for if he cannot empty his hatred then he cannot love, his being is frozen with implacable self-hatred for his cowardice. (It can of course be suggested that it takes little courage for two strong eighteen-year old hoodlums, let us say, to beat in the brains of a candy-store keeper, and indeed the act—even by the logic of the psychopath—is not likely to prove very therapeutic for the victim is not an immediate equal. Still, courage of a sort is necessary, for one murders not only a weak fifty-year old man but an institution as well, one violates private property, one enters into a new relation with the police and introduces a dangerous element into one’s life. The hoodlum is therefore daring the unknown, and so no matter how brutal the act it is not altogether cowardly)
At bottom, the drama of the psychopath is that he seeks love. Not love as the search for a mate, but love as the search for an orgasm more apocalyptic than the one which preceded it. Orgasm is his therapy— he knows at the seed of his being that good orgasm opens his possibilities and bad orgasm imprisons him. But in this search, the psychopath becomes an embodiment of the extreme contradictions of the society which formed his character, and the apocalyptic orgasm often remains as remote as the Holy Grail, for there are clusters and nests and ambushes of violence in his own necessities and in the imperatives and retaliations of the men and women among whom he lives his life, so that even as he drains his hatred in one act or another, so the conditions of his life create it anew in him until the drama of his movements bears a sardonic resemblance to the frog who climbed a few feet in the well only to drop back again.
Yet there is this to be said for the search after the good orgasm: when one lives in a civilized world, and still can enjoy none of the cultural nectar of such a world because the paradoxes on which civilization is built demands that there remain a cultureless and alienated bottom of exploitable human material, then the logic of becoming a sexual outlaw (if one’s psychological roots are bedded in the bottom)
is that one has at least a running competitive chance to be physically healthy so long as one stays alive. It is therefore no accident that psychopathy is most prevalent with the Negro. Hated from outside and therefore hating himself, the Negro was forced into the position of exploring all those moral wildernesses of civilized life which the Square automatically condemns as delinquent or evil or immature or morbid or self-destructive or corrupt. (Actually the terms have equal weight. Depending on the telescope of the cultural clique from which the Square surveys the universe, “evil” or “immature” are equally strong terms of condemnation.) But the Negro, not being privileged to gratify his self-esteem with the heady satisfactions of categorical condemnation, chose to move instead in that other direction where all situations are equally valid, and in the worst of perversion, promiscuity, pimpery, drug addiction, rape, razor-slash, bottle-break, what-have-you, the Negro discovered and elaborated a morality of the bottom, an ethical differentiation between the good and the bad in every human activity from the go-getter pimp (as opposed to the lazy one) to the relatively dependable pusher or prostitute. Add to this, the cunning of their language, the abstract ambiguous alternatives in which from the danger of their oppression they learned to speak (“Well. now, man, like I’m looking for a cat to turn me on ..“), add even more the profound sensitivity of the Negro jazzman who was the cultural mentor of a people, and it is not too difficult to believe that the language of Hip which evolved was an artful language, tested and shaped by an intense experience and therefore different in kind from white slang, as different as the special obscenity of the soldier which in its emphasis upon “ass” as the soul and “shit” as circumstance, was able to express the existential states of the enlisted man. What makes Hip a special language is that it cannot really be taught—if one shares none of the experiences of elation and exhaustion which it is equipped to describe, then it seems merely arch or vulgar or irritating. It is a pictorial language, but pictorial like non-objective art, imbued with the dialectic of small but intense change, a language for the microcosm, in this case, man, for it takes the immediate experiences of any passing man and magnifies the dynamic of his movements, not specifically but abstractly so that he is seen more as a vector in a network of forces than as a static character in a crystallized field. (Which, latter, is the practical view of the snob.) For example, there is real difficulty in trying to find a Hip substitute for “stubborn.” The best possibility I can come up with is: “That cat will never come off his groove, dad.” But groove implies movement, narrow movement but motion nonetheless. There is really no way to describe someone who does not move at all. Even a creep does move—if at a pace exasperatingly more slow than the pace of the cool cats.
Like children, hipsters are fighting for the sweet, and their language is a set of subtle indications of their success or failure in the competition for pleasure. Unstated but obvious is the social sense that there is not nearly enough sweet for everyone. And so the sweet goes only to the victor, the best, the most, the man who knows the most about how to find his energy and how not to lose it. The emphasis is on energy because the psychopath and the hipster are nothing without it since they do not have the protection of a position or a class to rely on when they have overextended themselves. So the language of Hip is a language of energy, how it is found, how it is lost.
But let us see. I have jotted down perhaps a dozen words, the Hip perhaps most in use and most likely to last with the minimum of variation. The words are man, go, put down, make, beat, cool, swing, with it, crazy, dig, flip, creep, hip, square. They serve a variety of purposes, and the nuance of the voice uses the nuance of the situation to convey the subtle contextual difference. If the hipster moves through his night and through his life on a constant search with glimpses of Mecca in many a turn of his experience (Mecca being the apocalyptic orgasm) and if everyone in the civilized world is at least in some small degree a sexual cripple the hipster lives with the knowledge of how lie is sexually crippled and where he is sexually alive, and the faces of experience which life presents to him each day are engaged, dismissed or avoided as his need directs and his lifemanship makes possible. For life is a contest between people in which the victor generally recuperates quickly and the loser takes long to mend, a perpetual competition of colliding explorers in which one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same, (pay in sickness, or depression, or anguish for the lost opportunity) but pay or grow.
Therefore one finds words like go, and make it, and with it, and swing: “Go” with its sense that after hours or days or months. or years of monotony, boredom, and depression one has finally had one’s chance, one has amassed enough energy to meet an exciting opportunity with all one’s present talents for the flip (up or down) and so one is ready to go, ready to gamble. Movement is always to be preferred to inaction. In motion a man has a chance, his body is warm, his instincts are quick, and when the crisis comes, whether of love or violence, he can make it, he can win, he can release a little more energy for himself since he hates himself a little less, he can make a little better nervous systern, make it a little more possible to go again, to go faster next time and so make more and thus find more people with whom he can swing. For to swing is to communicate, is to convey the rhythms of one’s own being to a lover, a friend, or an audience, and—equally necessary— be able to feel the rhythms of their response. To swing with the rhythms of another is to enrich oneself— the conception of the learning process as dug by Hip is that one cannot really learn until one contains within oneself the implicit rhythm of the subject or the person. As an example, I remember once hearing a Negro friend have an intellectual discussion at a party for half an hour with a white girl who was a few years out of college. The Negro literally could not read or write, but he had an extraordinary ear and a fine sense of mimicry. So as the girl spoke, he would detect the particular formal uncertainties in her argument, and in a pleasant (if slightly Southern) English accent, he would respond to one or another facet of her doubts. When she would finish what she felt was a particularly well-articulated idea, he would smile privately and say, “other-direction . . . do you really believe in that?”
“Well . . . No,” the girl would stammer, “now that you get down to it, there is something disgusting about it to me,” and she would be off again for five more minutes.
Of course the Negro was not learning anything about the merits and demerits of the argument, hut he was learning a great deal about a type of girl he had never met before, and that was what he wanted. Being unable to read or write, he could hardly be interested in ideas nearly as much as in lifemanship, and so he eschewed any attempt to obey the precision or lack of precision in the girl’s language, and instead sensed her character (and the values of her social type) by swinging with the nuances of her voice.
So to swing is to be able to learn, and by learning take a step toward making it, toward creating. What is to be created is not nearly so important as the hipster’s belief that when he really makes it, he will be able to turn his hand to anything, even to self-discipline. What he must do before that is find his courage at the moment of violence, or equally make it in the act of love, find a little more of himself, create a little more between his woman and himself, or indeed between his mate and himself (since many hipsters are bisexual), but paramount, imperative, is the necessity to make it because in making it, one is making the new habit, unearthing the new talent which the old frustration denied.
Whereas if you goof (the ugliest word in Hip), if you lapse back into being a frightened stupid child, or if you flip, if you lose your control, reveal the buried weaker more feminine part of your nature, then it is more difficult to swing the next time, your ear is less alive, your bad and energy-wasting habits are further confirmed, you are farther away from being with it. But to be with it is to have grace, is to be closer to the secrets of that inner unconscious life which will nourish you if you can hear it, for you are then nearer to that God which every hipster believes is located in the senses of his body, that trapped, mutilated and nonetheless megalomaniacal God who is It, who is energy, life, sex, force, the Yoga’s prana, the Reichian’s orgone, Lawrence’s “blood,” Hemingway’s “good,” the Shavian life-force; “It”; God; not the God of the churches hut the unachievable whisper of mystery within the sex, the paradise of limitless energy and perception just beyond the next wave of the next orgasm.
To which a cool cat might reply, “Crazy, man!”
Because, after all, what I have offered above is an hypothesis, no more, and there is not the hipster alive who is not absorbed in his own tumultuous hypotheses. Mine is interesting, mine is way out (on the avenue of the mystery along the road to “It”) but still I am just one cat in a world of cool cats, and everything interesting is crazy, or at least so the Squares who do not know how to swing would say.
(And yet crazy is also the self-protective irony of the hipster. Living with questions and not with answers, he is so different in his isolation and in the far reach of his imagination from almost everyone with whom he deals in the outer world of the Square, and meets generally so much enmity, competition, and hatred in the world of Hip, that his isolation is always in danger of turning upon itself, and leaving him indeed just that, crazy.)
If, however, yon agree with my hypothesis, if you as a cat are way out too, and we are in the same groove (the universe now being glimpsed as a series of ever-extending radii from the center) why then you say simply, “I dig,” because neither knowledge nor imagination comes easily, it is buried in the pain of one’s forgotten experience, and so one must work to find it, one must occasionally exhaust oneself by digging into the self in order to perceive the outside. And indeed it is essential to dig the most, for if you do not dig you lose your superiority over the Square, and so you are less likely to be cool (to be in control of a situation because you have swung where the Square has not, or because you have allowed to come to consciousness a pain, a guilt, a shame or a desire which the other has not had the courage to face) . To be cool is to be equipped, and if you are equipped it is more difficult for the next cat who comes along to put you down. And of course one can hardly afford to be put down too often, or one is beat, one has lost one’s confidence, one has lost one’s will, one is impotent in the world of action and so closer to the demeaning flip of becoming a queer, or indeed closer to dying, and therefore it is even more difficult to recover enough energy to try to make it again, because once a cat is beat he has nothing to give, and no one is interested any longer in making it with him. This is the terror of the hipster—to be beat— because once the sweet of sex has deserted him, he still cannot give up the search. It is not granted to the hipster to grow old gracefully—he has been captured too early by the oldest dream of power, the gold fountain of Ponce de Leon, the fountain of youth where the gold is in the orgasm.
To be beat is therefore a flip, it is a situation beyond one’s experience, impossible to anticipate—which indeed in the circular vocabulary of Hip is still another meaning for flip, but then I have given just a few of the connotations of these words. Like most primitive vocabularies each word is a prime symbol and serves a dozen or a hundred functions of communication in the instinctive dialectic through which the hipster perceives his experience, that dialectic of the instantaneous differentials of existence in which one is forever moving forward into more or retreating into less.
It is impossible to conceive a new philosophy until one creates a new language, but a new popular language (while it must implicitly contain a new philosophy) does not necessarily present its philosophy overtly. It can be asked then what really is unique in the life-view of Hip which raises its argot above the passing verbal whimsies of the bohemian or the lumpenproletariat.
The answer would be in the psychopathic element of Hip which has almost no interest in viewing human nature, or better, in judging human nature from a set of standards conceived a priori to the experience, standards inherited from the past. Since Hip sees every answer as posing immediately a new alternative, a new question, its emphasis is on complexity rather than simplicity (such complexity that its language without the illumination of the voice and the articulation of the face and body remains hopelessly incommunicative). Given its emphasis on complexity, Hip abdicates from any conventional moral responsibility because it would argue that the result of out actions are unforeseeable, and so we cannot know if we do good or bad, we cannot even know (in the Joycean sense of the good and the bad) whether unforeseeable, and so we cannot know if we do good or bad, we cannot be certain that we have given them energy, and indeed if we could, there would still be no idea of what ultimately they would do with it.
Therefore, men are not seen as good or bad (that they are good-and-bad is taken for granted) but rather each man is glimpsed as a collection of possibilities, some more possible than others (the view of character implicit in Hip) and some humans are considered more capable than others of reaching more possibilities within themselves in less time, provided, and this is the dynamic, provided the particular character can swing at the right time. And here arises the sense of context which differentiates Hip from a Square view of character. Hip sees the context as generally dominating the man, dominating him because his character is less significant than the context in which he must function. Since it is arbitrarily five times more demanding of one’s energy to accomplish even an inconsequential action in an unfavorable context than a favorable one, man is then not only his character but his context, since the success or failure of an action in a given context reacts upon the character and therefore affects what the character will be in the next context. What dominates both character and context is the energy available at the moment of intense context.
Character being thus seen as perpetually ambivalent and dynamic enters then into an absolute relativity where there are no truths other than the isolated truths of what each observer feels at each instant of his existence. To take a perhaps unjustified metaphysical extrapolation, it is as if the universe which has usually existed conceptually as a Fact (even if the Fact were Berkeley’s God) but a ract which it was the aim of all science and philosophy to reveal, becomes instead a changing reality whose laws are remade at each instant by everything living, but most particularly man, man raised to a neo-medieval summit where the truth is not what one has felt yesterday or what one expects to feel tomorrow but rather truth is no more nor less than what one feels at each instant in the perpetual climax of the present.
What is consequent therefore is the divorce of man from his values, the liberation of the self from the Super-Ego of society. The only Hip morality (but of course it is an ever-present morality) is to do what one feels whenever and wherever it is possible, and—this is how the war of the Hip and the Square begins—to be engaged in one primal battle: to open the limits of the possible for oneself, for oneself alone because that is one’s need. Yet in widening the arena of the possible, one widens it reciprocally for others as well, so that the nihilistic fulfillment of each man’s desire contains its antithesis of human cooperation.
If the ethic reduces to Know Thyself and Be Thyself, what makes it radically different from Socratic moderation with its stern conservative respect for the experience of the past, is that the Hip ethic is immoderation, child-like in its adoration of the present (and indeed to respect the past means that one must also respect such ugly consequences of the past as the collective murders of the State) . It is this adoration of the present which contains the affirmation of Hip, because its ultimate logic surpasses even the unforgettable solution of the Marquis de Sade to sex, private property, and the family, that all men and women have absolute but temporary rights over the bodies of all other men and women—the nihilism of Hip proposes as its final tendency that every social restraint and category be removed, and the affirmation implicit in the proposal is that man would then prove to be more creative than murderous and so would not destroy himself. Which is exactly what separates Hip from the authoritarian philosophies which now appeal to the conservative and liberal temper—what haunts the middle of the Twentieth Century is that faith in man has been lost, and the appeal of authority has been that it would restrain us from ourselves. Hip, which would return us to ourselves, at no matter what price in individual violence, is the affirmation of the barbarian for it requires a primitive passion about human nature to believe that individual acts of violence are always to be preferred to the collective violence of the State; it takes literal faith in the creative possibilities of the human being to envisage acts of violence as the catharsis which prepares growth.
Whether the hipster’s desire for absolute sexual freedom contains any genuinely radical conception of a different world is of course another matter, and it is possible, since the hipster lives with his hatred, that many of them are the material for an elite of storm troopers ready to follow the first truly magnetic leader whose view of mass murder is phrased in a language which reaches their emotions. But given the desperation of his condition as a psychic outlaw, the hipster is equally a candidate for the most reactionary and most radical of movements, and so it is just as possible that many hipsters will come—if the crisis deepens—to a radical comprehension of the horror of society, for even as the radical has had his incommunicable dissent confirmed in his experience by precisely the frustration, the denied opportunities, and the bitter years which his ideas have cost him, so the sexual adventurer deflected from his goal by the implacable animosity of a society constructed to deny the sexual radical as well, may yet come to an equally bitter comprehension of the slow relentless inhumanity of the conservative power which controls him from without and from within. And in being so controlled, denied, and starved into the attrition of conformity, indeed the hipster may come to see that his condition is no more than an exaggeration of the human condition, and if he would be free, then everyone must be free. Yes, this is possible too, for the heart of Hip is its emphasis upon courage at the moment of crisis, and it is pleasant to think that courage contains within itself (as the explanation of its existence) some glimpse of the necessity of life to become more than it has been.
It is obviously not very possible to speculate with sharp focus on the future of the hipster. Certain possibilities must be evident, however, and the most central is that the organic growth of Hip depends on whether the Negro emerges as a dominating force in American life. Since the Negro knows more about the ugliness and danger of life than the White, it is probable that if the Negro can win his equality, he will possess a potential superiority, a superiority so feared that the fear itself has become the underground drama of domestic politics. Like all conservative political fear it is the fear of unforeseeable consequences, for the Negro’s equality would tear a profound shift into the psychology, the sexuality, and the moral imagination of every White alive.
With this possible emergence of the Negro, Hip may erupt as a psychically armed rebellion whose sexual impetus may rebound against the anti-sexual foundation of every organized power in America, and bring into the air such animosities, antipathies, and new conflicts of interest that the mean empty hypocrisies of mass conformity will no longer work. A time of violence, new hysteria, confusion and rebellion will then be likely to replace the time of conformity. At that time, if the liberal should prove realistic in his belief that there is peaceful room for every tendency in American life, then Hip would end by being absorbed as a colorful figure in the tapestry. But if this is not the reality, and the economic, the social, the psychological, and finally the moral crises accompanying the rise of the Negro should prove insupportable, then a time is coming when every political guide post will be gone, and millions of liberals will be faced with political dilemmas they have so far succeeded in evading, and with a view of human nature they do not wish to accept. To take the desegregation of the schools in the South as an example, it is quite likely that the reactionary sees the reality more closely than the liberal when he argues that the deeper issue is not desegregation but miscegenation. (As a radical I am of course facing in the opposite direction from the White Citizen’s Councils—obviously I believe it is the absolute human right of the Negro to mate with the White, and matings there will undoubtedly be, for there will be Negro high school boys brave enough to chance their lives.) But for the average liberal whose mind has been dulled by the committee-ish cant of the professional liberal, miscegenation is not an issue because he has been told that the Negro does not desire it. So, when it comes, miscegenation will be a terror, comparable perhaps to the derangement of the American Communists when the icons to Stalin came tumbling down. The average American Communist held to the myth of Stalin for reasons which had little to do with the political evidence and everything to do with their psychic necessities. In this sense it is equally a psychic necessity for the liberal to believe that the Negro and even the reactionary Southern White eventually and fundamentally people like himself, capable of becoming good liberals too if only they can be reached by good liberal reason. What the liberal cannot bear to admit is the hatred beneath the skin of a society so unjust that the amount of collective violence buried in the people is perhaps incapable of being contained, and therefore if one wants a better world one does well to hold one’s breath, for a worse world is bound to come first, and the dilemma may well be this:
given such hatred, it must either vent itself nihilistically or become turned into the cold murderous liquidations of the totalitarian state.
No matter what its horrors the Twentieth Century is a vastly exciting century for its tendency is to reduce all of life to its ultimate alternatives. One can well wonder if the last war of them all will be between the blacks and the whites, or between the women and the men, or between the beautiful and ugly, the pillagers and managers, or the rebels and the regulators. Which of course is carrying speculation beyond the point where speculation is still serious, and yet despair at the monotony and bleakness of the future have become so engrained in the radical temper that the radical is in danger of abdicating from all imagination. What a man feels is the impulse for his creative effort, and if an alien but nonetheless passionate instinct about the meaning of life has come so unexpectedly from a virtually illiterate people, come out of the most intense conditions of exploitation, cruelty, violence, frustration, and lust, and yet has succeeded as an instinct in keeping this tortured people alive, then it is perhaps possible that the Negro holds more of the tail of the expanding elephant of truth than the radical, and if this is so, the radical humanist could do worse than to and brood upon the phenomenon. For if a revolutionary time should come again, there would be a crucial difference if someone had already delineated a neo-Marxian calculus aimed at comprehending every circuit and process of society from ukase to kiss as the communications of human energy—a calculus capable of translating the economic relations of man into his psychological relations and then back again, his productive relations thereby embracing his sexual relations as well, until the
crises of capitalism in the Twentieth Century would yet be understood as the unconscious adaptations of a society to solve its economic imbalance at the expense of a new mass psychological imbalance. It is almost beyond the imagination to conceive of a work in which the drama of human energy is engaged, and a theory of its social currents and dissipations, its imprisonments, expressions, and tragic wastes are fitted into some gigantic synthesis of human action where the body of Marxist thought, and particularly the epic grandeur of Dos Kapital (that first of the majorpsychologies to approach the mystery of social cruelty so simply and practically as to say that we are a collective body of humans whose life-energy is wasted, displaced, and procedurally stolen as it passes from one of us to another) —where particularly the epic grandeur of Das Kapital would find its place in an even more Godlike view of human justice and injustice, in some more excruciating vision of those intimate and institutional processes which lead to our creations and disasters, our growth, our attrition, and our rebellion.
HERE'S SOME WORDS FROM FROM EMERSON.....................
The Quotable Emerson: Life lessons from the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Over 300 quotes
Concentration is the secret of strength in politics in war in trade in short in all the management of human affairs.
The only prudence in life is concentration.
I can reason down or deny everything except this perpetual Belly: feed he must and will and I cannot make him respectable.
Architecture for the blog of it
Art for the Blog of It
Art for the Pop of it
Photography for the blog of it
Music for the Blog of it
Sculpture this and Sculpture that
The art of War (Propaganda art through the ages)
Album Art (Photographic arts)
Pulp Fiction Trash (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
Admit it, you want to Read this Book (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
The Godfather Trilogy BlogSpot
On the Waterfront: The Making of a great American Film
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)
Good chowda (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (Book support site)
And I Love Clams (New England foods)
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener (New England foods)
Wicked Cool New England Recipes (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (New England foods)
Foster Care new and Updates
Aging out of the system
Murder, Death and Abuse in the Foster Care system
Angel and Saints in the Foster Care System
The Foster Children’s Blogs
Foster Care Legislation
The Foster Children’s Bill of Right
Foster Kids own Story
The Adventures of Foster Kid.
Me vs. Diabetes (Diabetes education site)
The Quotable Helen Keller
Teddy Roosevelt's Letters to his children (Book support site)
The Quotable Machiavelli (Book support site)
Whatever you do, don't laugh
The Quotable Grouch Marx
A Big Blog of Irish Literature
The Wee Blog of Irish Jokes (Book support blog)
The Wee Blog of Irish Recipes
The Irish American Gangster
The Irish in their Own Words
When Washington Was Irish
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)
The Blogable Robert Frost
The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation
Holden Caulfield Blog Spot
The Quotable Oscar Wilde
NEW ENGLAND BLOGS
The Quotable Thoreau
Old New England Recipes
Wicked Cool New England Recipes
The New England Mafia
And I Love Clams
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener
The Connecticut History Blog
The Connecticut Irish
God, How I hated the 70s
Child of the Sixties Forever
The Kennedy’s in the 60’s
Music of the Sixties Forever
Elvis and Nixon at the White House (Book support site)
Beatles Fan Forever
Year One, 1955
Robert Kennedy in His Own Words
The 1980s were fun
The 1990s. The last decade.
The Russian Mafia
The American Jewish Gangster
The Mob in Hollywood
We Only Kill Each Other
Early Gangsters of New York City
Al Capone: Biography of a self-made Man
The Life and World of Al Capone
The Salerno Report
Guns and Glamour
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Recipes we would Die For
The Prohibition in Pictures
The Mob in Pictures
The Mob in Vegas
The Irish American Gangster
Roger Touhy Gangster
Chicago’s Mob Bosses
Chicago Gang Land: It Happened Here
Whacked: One Hundred years of Murder in Gangland
The Mob Across America
Mob Cops, Lawyers and Front Men
Shooting the Mob: Dutch Schultz
Bugsy& His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
After Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate on Organized Crime
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee (Book support site)
The US Government’s Timeline of Organized Crime (Book support site)
The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)
Joe Valachi's testimony on the Mafia (Book support site)
Mobsters in the News
Shooting the Mob: Dead Mobsters (Book support site)
The Stolen Years Full Text (Roger Touhy)
Mobsters in Black and White
Mafia Gangsters, Wiseguys and Goodfellas
Whacked: One Hundred Years of Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Mob (Book support site)
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal (Book support site)
The Best of the Mob Files Series (Book support site)
It’s All Greek Mythology to me
The Rarifieid Tribe
The Upscale Traveler
The Mish Mosh Blog
DC Behind the Monuments
When Washington Was Irish
FROM LLR BOOKS. COM
Litchfield Literary Books. A really small company run by writers.
The Day Nixon Met Elvis
Paperback 46 pages
Theodore Roosevelt: Letters to his Children. 1903-1918
Paperback 194 pages
THE ANCIENT GREEKS AND CIVILIZATIONS
The Works of Horace
Paperback 174 pages
The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 234 pages
The Quotable Epictetus
Paperback 142 pages
Quo Vadis: A narrative of the time of Nero
Paperback 420 pages
The Porchless Pumpkin: A Halloween Story for Children
A Halloween play for young children. By consent of the author, this play may be performed, at no charge, by educational institutions, neighborhood organizations and other not-for-profit-organizations.
A fun story with a moral
“I believe that Denny O'Day is an American treasure and this little book proves it. Jack is a pumpkin who happens to be very small, by pumpkins standards and as a result he goes unbought in the pumpkin patch on Halloween eve, but at the last moment he is given his chance to prove that just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be brave. Here is the point that I found so wonderful, the book stresses that while size doesn't matter when it comes to courage...ITS OKAY TO BE SCARED....as well. I think children need to hear that, that's its okay to be unsure because life is a ongoing lesson isn't it?”
Paperback: 42 pages
It's Not All Right to be a Foster Kid....no matter what they tell you: Tweet the books contents
Paperback 94 pages
From the Author
I spent my childhood, from age seven through seventeen, in foster care. Over the course of those ten years, many decent, well-meaning, and concerned people told me, "It's okay to be foster kid."
In saying that, those very good people meant to encourage me, and I appreciated their kindness then, and all these many decades later, I still appreciate their good intentions. But as I was tossed around the foster care system, it began to dawn on me that they were wrong. It was not all right to be a foster kid.
During my time in the system, I was bounced every eighteen months from three foster homes to an orphanage to a boy's school and to a group home before I left on my own accord at age seventeen.
In the course of my stay in foster care, I was severely beaten in two homes by my "care givers" and separated from my four siblings who were also in care, sometimes only blocks away from where I was living.
I left the system rather than to wait to age out, although the effects of leaving the system without any family, means, or safety net of any kind, were the same as if I had aged out. I lived in poverty for the first part of my life, dropped out of high school, and had continuous problems with the law.
Today, almost nothing about foster care has changed. Exactly what happened to me is happening to some other child, somewhere in America, right now. The system, corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, goes on, unchanging and secretive.
Something has gone wrong in a system that was originally a compassionate social policy built to improve lives but is now a definitive cause in ruining lives. Due to gross negligence, mismanagement, apathy, and greed, mostly what the foster care system builds are dangerous consequences. Truly, foster care has become our epic national disgrace and a nightmare for those of us who have lived through it.
Yet there is a suspicion among some Americans that foster care costs too much, undermines the work ethic, and is at odds with a satisfying life. Others see foster care as a part of the welfare system, as legal plunder of the public treasuries.
None of that is true; in fact, all that sort of thinking does is to blame the victims. There is not a single child in the system who wants to be there or asked to be there. Foster kids are in foster care because they had nowhere else to go. It's that simple. And believe me, if those kids could get out of the system and be reunited with their parents and lead normal, healthy lives, they would. And if foster care is a sort of legal plunder of the public treasuries, it's not the kids in the system who are doing the plundering.
We need to end this needless suffering. We need to end it because it is morally and ethically wrong and because the generations to come will not judge us on the might of our armed forces or our technological advancements or on our fabulous wealth.
Rather, they will judge us, I am certain, on our compassion for those who are friendless, on our decency to those who have nothing and on our efforts, successful or not, to make our nation and our world a better place. And if we cannot accomplish those things in the short time allotted to us, then let them say of us "at least they tried."
You can change the tragedy of foster care and here's how to do it. We have created this book so that almost all of it can be tweeted out by you to the world. You have the power to improve the lives of those in our society who are least able to defend themselves. All you need is the will to do it.
If the American people, as good, decent and generous as they are, knew what was going on in foster care, in their name and with their money, they would stop it. But, generally speaking, although the public has a vague notion that foster care is a mess, they don't have the complete picture. They are not aware of the human, economic and social cost that the mismanagement of the foster care system puts on our nation.
By tweeting the facts laid out in this work, you can help to change all of that. You can make a difference. You can change things for the better.
We can always change the future for a foster kid; to make it better ...you have the power to do that. Speak up (or tweet out) because it's your country. Don't depend on the "The other guy" to speak up for these kids, because you are the other guy.
We cannot build a future for foster children, but we can build foster children for the future and the time to start that change is today.
No time to say Goodbye: Memoirs of a life in foster
Paperbook 440 Books
BOOKS ABOUT FILM
On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film
Paperback: 416 pages
BOOKS ABOUT GHOSTS AND THE SUPERNATUAL
Scotish Ghost Stories
Paperback 186 pages
The Book of funny odd and interesting things people say
Paperback: 278 pages
The Wee Book of Irish Jokes
Perfect Behavior: A guide for Ladies and Gentlemen in all Social Crises
BOOKS ABOUT THE 1960s
You Don’t Need a Weatherman. Underground 1969
Paperback 122 pages
Baby Boomers Guide to the Beatles Songs of the Sixties
Baby Boomers Guide to Songs of the 1960s
The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages
The Wee Book of Irish Jokes
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes
The Wee Book of the American-Irish Gangsters
The Wee book of Irish Blessings...
The Wee Book of the American Irish in Their Own Words
Everything you need to know about St. Patrick
Paperback 26 pages
A Reading Book in Ancient Irish History
The Book of Things Irish
Poets and Dreamer; Stories translated from the Irish
Paperback 158 pages
The History of the Great Irish Famine: Abridged and Illustrated
Paperback 356 pages
BOOKS ABOUT NEW ENGLAND
The New England Mafia
Wicked Good New England Recipes
The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages
The Twenty-Fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Paperback 64 pages
The Life of James Mars
Paperback 54 pages
Stories of Colonial Connecticut
Paperback 116 pages
What they Say in Old New England
Paperback 194 pages
BOOK ABOUT ORGANIZED CRIME
Chicago Organized Crime
The Mob Files: It Happened Here: Places of Note in Chicago gangland 1900-2000
An Illustrated Chronological History of the Chicago Mob. Time Line 1837-2000
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee
The Mob Files. Guns and Glamour: The Chicago Mob. A History. 1900-2000
Shooting the Mob: Organized crime in photos. Crime Boss Tony Accardo
Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photos: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.
The Life and World of Al Capone in Photos
AL CAPONE: The Biography of a Self-Made Man.: Revised from the 0riginal 1930 edition.Over 200 new photographs
Paperback: 340 pages
Whacked. One Hundred Years Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Outfit
Paperback: 172 pages
Las Vegas Organized Crime
The Mob in Vegas
Bugsy & His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
Testimony by Mobsters Lewis McWillie, Joseph Campisi and Irwin Weiner (The Mob Files Series)
Rattling the Cup on Chicago Crime.
Paperback 264 pages
The Life and Times of Terrible Tommy O’Connor.
Paperback 94 pages
The Mob, Sam Giancana and the overthrow of the Black Policy Racket in Chicago
Paperback 200 pages
When Capone’s Mob Murdered Roger Touhy. In Photos
Paperback 234 pages
Organized Crime in Hollywood
The Mob in Hollywood
The Bioff Scandal
Paperback 54 pages
Organized Crime in New York
Joe Pistone’s war on the mafia
Mob Testimony: Joe Pistone, Michael Scars DiLeonardo, Angelo Lonardo and others
The New York Mafia: The Origins of the New York Mob
The New York Mob: The Bosses
Organized Crime 25 Years after Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate
Shooting the mob: Dutch Schultz
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal. (Illustrated)
Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City
Paperback 382 pages
THE RUSSIAN MOBS
The Russian Mafia in America
The Threat of Russian Organzied Crime
Paperback 192 pages
Best of Mob Stories
Best of Mob Stories Part 2
Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobsters in Photos
More Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobs
The New England Mafia
Shooting the mob. Organized crime in photos. Dead Mobsters, Gangsters and Hoods.
The Salerno Report: The Mafia and the Murder of President John F. Kennedy
The Mob Files: Mob Wars. "We only kill each other"
The Mob across America
The US Government’s Time Line of Organzied Crime 1920-1987
Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City: 1800-1919. Illustrated
The Mob Files: Mob Cops, Lawyers and Informants and Fronts
Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages
The Book of American-Jewish Gangsters: A Pictorial History.
Paperback: 436 pages
The Mob and the Kennedy Assassination
Paperback 414 pages
BOOKS ABOUT THE OLD WEST
The Last Outlaw: The story of Cole Younger, by Himself
Paperback 152 pages
BOOKS ON PHOTOGRAPHY
Chicago: A photographic essay.
Paperback: 200 pages
Boomers on a train: A ten minute play
Paperback 22 pages
Four Short Plays
By John William Tuohy
Four More Short Plays
By John William Tuohy
High and Goodbye: Everybody gets the Timothy Leary they deserve. A full length play
By John William Tuohy
Cyberdate. An Everyday Love Story about Everyday People
By John William Tuohy
The Dutchman's Soliloquy: A one Act Play based on the factual last words of Gangster Dutch Schultz.
By John William Tuohy
Fishbowling on The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: Or William S. Burroughs intersects with Dutch Schultz
Print Length: 57 pages
American Shakespeare: August Wilson in his own words. A One Act Play
By John William Tuohy
She Stoops to Conquer
The Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligan’s Island: A ten minute play
Print Length: 14 pages
BOOKS ABOUT VIRGINIA
OUT OF CONTROL: An Informal History of the Fairfax County Police
McLean Virginia. A short informal history
The Quotable Emerson: Life lessons from the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Over 300 quotes
The Quotable John F. Kennedy
The Quotable Oscar Wilde
The Quotable Machiavelli
The Quotable Confucius: Life Lesson from the Chinese Master
The Quotable Henry David Thoreau
The Quotable Robert F. Kennedy
The Quotable Writer: Writers on the Writers Life
The words of Walt Whitman: An American Poet
Paperback: 162 pages
Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages
The Quotable Popes
Paperback 66 pages
The Quotable Kahlil Gibran with Artwork from Kahlil Gibran
Paperback 52 pages
Kahlil Gibran, an artist, poet, and writer was born on January 6, 1883 n the north of modern-day Lebanon and in what was then part of Ottoman Empire. He had no formal schooling in Lebanon. In 1895, the family immigrated to the United States when Kahlil was a young man and settled in South Boston. Gibran enrolled in an art school and was soon a member of the avant-garde community and became especially close to Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day who encouraged and supported Gibran’s creative projects. An accomplished artist in drawing and watercolor, Kahlil attended art school in Paris from 1908 to 1910, pursuing a symbolist and romantic style. He held his first art exhibition of his drawings in 1904 in Boston, at Day's studio. It was at this exhibition, that Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who ten years his senior. The two formed an important friendship and love affair that lasted the rest of Gibran’s short life. Haskell influenced every aspect of Gibran’s personal life and career. She became his editor when he began to write and ushered his first book into publication in 1918, The Madman, a slim volume of aphorisms and parables written in biblical cadence somewhere between poetry and prose. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931, at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis.
The Quotable Dorothy Parker
Paperback 86 pages
The Quotable Machiavelli
Paperback 36 pages
The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 230 pages
The Quotabe Oscar Wilde
Paperback 24 pages
The Quotable Helen Keller
Paperback 66 pages
The Art of War: Sun Tzu
Paperback 60 pages
The Quotable Shakespeare
Paperback 54 pages
The Quotable Gorucho Marx
Paperback 46 pages