Posts Tagged ‘Beatniks’

Join the rising tide of conformity!

April 13, 2012

[<B>WARNING:  This column has been found to contain trace elements of irony.</B>]

The corporatization of the Internets has meant that unique voices must be marginalized into extinction because of the “there is no I in the word ‘team’” philosophy that has become mandatory for all Americans now that corporations are persons.  Any individual who thinks he has the same rights and freedoms as a corporation (for example British Petroleum) has a lesson in the meaning of equality in contemporary American culture to learn. 

Leaving workers feeling like they are beat when they lose their home to a bank via foreclosure may not be a new phenomenon.  Their howls of protest may hearken back to some previous more poetic rebellions. 

Back in the Sixties, Playboy magazine published a cartoon (by Shel Silverstein?) showing a line of hippies stretching back to the horizon all carrying the same sign which urged:  “Protest the rising tide of conformity!”  The Sixties are over and the Establishment has won.  Good patriotic Americans must become vigilant and ever alert to help immediately stifle any possible examples of nonconformity.

It took some time but Nixon and California Governor Reagan have been vindicated and American Presidents are no longer shackled if Walter Cronkite is not enthusiastic about the potential of victory in the latest American military venture.

When the Republican National Convention starts in Tampa, and the town is swamped with hippies protesting the War in Vietnam (or whatever) we wonder if the mayor will urge patriotic citizens to circle the venue with a wall of human shields (as the Liberals wanted to do to protect Saddam Hussein) and urge them to stand their ground and not let the protesters get near the entrance, let alone onto the convention floor. 

The fact that conservative talk radio has become almost all pervasive in the talk radio area may mean the death knell for the Beat Generation.  The progressive radio station in theSan Franciscoarea has started carrying Glen Beck during the morning commute drive time and has pushed Mike Malloy’s three hour shows into the 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. time slot.  During the day you will hear ads from a web site that offers to help listeners make the right choice about which guns to buy. 

After writing a suggestion pointing out the opportunity for a fund raising effort to help Americans who have lost their homes in foreclosure, we noticed recently that a web based effort titled <a href =http://www.homeaid.net/>Home Aid</a> will be conducted this fall.

The Democratic candidates want to focus attention on the economy and fair taxation for the Presidential election.  The Republicans traditionally prefer to use issues less complex than the allocation of tax benefits and restrictions on services offered by banks, hence they prefer to select other issues that are easier for the less educated to understand, such as racial prejudice.  While President Obama is busy giving speeches urging changes that would mean millionaires pay the same rate of taxes as their secretaries do, news broadcasts were headlining aFloridashooting.

Could it possibly be that the compassionate, Christian conservatives’ prayers have been answered?  Would the Republicans reap any political benefit from delaying a trial for George Zimmerman until October?  Would American voters let a racially motivated murder have an effect on their ballot choices?  Will conservative pundits be disingenuous about admitting that concentrating news coverage on such a trial might be a variation of the Willie Horton effect?  Will the final verdict be as controversial as the acquittal of OJ?  Will future political historians assert that the Zimmerman trial had an effect on the Presidential Election?

Will conservatives use the George Zimmerman case to establish a reverse version of jury nullification and call it jury validation of the stand your ground laws?  We should know the answer to that question by Election Day.

Some liberals tend to think that if they don’t mention the possibility of such a coordinated Republican strategy, then it won’t happen.  We tend to think of the “let’s not talk about that” philosophy as being an integral part of the conservative game plan and so we bring up some uncomfortable parallels as a way of providing spoiler information so that the Democratic Party officials can make plans to counter such a gambit, rather than playing along and ignoring the elephant (GOP symbol alert!) in the room.

Is it naïve to think thatAmerica’s Free Press will go along to get along and deliberately shape or avoid news coverage that might favor one party over the other?

The Huffington Post French Edition ran a story last week about an accident at the Penly nuclear plant in France.  We did a Google New Search and learned that Bloomsberg was reporting that the fires had been extinguished.  Did you happen to see any reports on that bit of news anywhere else in American owned and controlled media?

If you have not become informed about this story is that because of the dumbing down of American Journalism or is it because the corporations that promote the use of nuclear power have the right to be free from any pesky protests that might be inspired by such irrelevant information?  Don’t the rights of those persons (corporations) trump your puny personal rights to criticize how they run their businesses?  Keep your hands off our nuclear reactors!

After learning that Jack Kerouac’s first book length manuscript has just been published with the title “The Sea is my brother,” we decided to go on the Internets and look up the location for the Beatnik bar that was named “The Place.”  We tried putting the words in quotes and adding the words Beatnik and Kerouac.  The results produced an avalanche of irrelevant links. 

On Saturday, April 7, 2012, we decided that it would be easier to hop on an AC Transit bus and go toSan Franciscoand get that bit of information.  We peeked in Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s guide book “The Beats in San Francisco,” while we were in City Lights Bookstore but failed to note that our goal was within walking distance.

By Wednesday, April 11, 2012, we had consulted the Google maps online and returned to theNorthBeacharea ofSan Franciscoto take some photos of the site where The Place used to be.  We learned that the business next door down, <a href =http://macreativedesign.com/>Macchirini’s Designs</a> has been owned and operated by the same family since before the Beat writers arrived in the area.

Daniel Macchirini was delighted to hear that the new book, “jubilee hitchhiker,” by William Hjortsberg corroborates the information in an obscure book that tells the history of “The Place” and that the poem Howl was read in public at The Place before it supposedly debuted at a poetry reading at the 6 Gallery.  Macchirini showed us his copy of the copyrighted manuscript for the history of the famed Beat bar called “The Place.” 

[Note:  since this columnist did not have photo pass access to the President’s speeches this week, nor did he have a chance to take any news photos of legal proceedings in StanfordFlorida, the photo editor will have to use some photos from the North Beach Beatnik area ofSan Francisco, taken on Wednesday, as illustrations for this column.  Doesn’t the current philosophy of the Internets hold that any image with a tenuous link to the content is better than no photo at all?]

The R & D Department at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory is working around the clock to come up with a plausible explanation for how the JEB team will deliver the nomination to their chosen one despite the unexpected departure of Rick Santorum from the list of active candidates earlier this week and the rapidly disappearing opportunity for a deadlocked National Republican Convention.

Isn’t thinking that JEB could still be handed the nomination just as absurd as thinking that a President could usurp the Congressional power to declare war and lead theUSAinto a war withIraqjust to settle an old score that was part of an International family feud?

What’s the worst that could happen?  Won’t the well informed voters use the electronic voting machines with no means of verifying the results to prevent any possible political disaster if by some miracle JEB becomes the Republican nominee?

Didn’t Jack Kerouac say that if he had been registered to vote, he would have voted for Eisenhower in 1956?  Didn’t Kerouac support the troops inVietnam?  Didn’t Kerouac prefer William F. Buckley Jr.’s political views and denounce his friend Alan Ginsberg for being pro-Commie?  Here is a hypothetical question:  Would Kerouac vote for JEB?

Is America becoming immune to the need for analyzing?  Was part of this week’s entertainment news about the selection of an actor who is over forty to play a musician who died when he was 28? 

In 1938, Mao Tse-tung said:  “Our Principle is that the Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.”  He was not a Republican, that’s for sure.

Now the disk jockey will play Chuck Barry’s “Wee Wee Hours” (It’s on the flip side of “Maybellene”), Pat Boone’s “Ain’t that a Shame,” and Elvis’ “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone.”  We have to go write a column for April 18, which will be National Columnists’ Day.  Have a “real cool, daddy-o” type week.

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Modern beatniks?

April 23, 2010

The folks at Tillamook cheese have fielded an effort that sounds like professionals going “on the road.”

http://loaflovetour.com/

Wish I could have applied for a job with them.

On the Road to the Bloggers’ Hall of Fame

October 27, 2009

If Jack Kerouac were alive today, it seems quite likely that since he liked to be in the avant-garde contingent of contemporary writers, he would be blogging, but what sort of items would he deem worthy of his attention?  Would he point out the fact that after serving seven years as President, George W. Bush’s apologists were stoutly advocating the idea that some problems were the result of  Bill Clinton’s policies but a mere 8 months after President Barack Obama was sworn in, those same Republican folks were firmly maintaining that now all of America’s current problems are the results of the new President’s agenda? 

Perhaps Jack Kerouac would point out that the fact that Clinton had a long lasting effect and that the new President had quickly taken control might be a subtle indication that Bush’s interim period had been ineffective and impotent.  Do Republicans’ really want to imply that the USA’s first Negro President was a virile buck who has put his mark on world affairs that quickly and that Bush never managed to achieve that in seven years?  

After reading “Why Kerouac Matters,” by John Leland, this columnist realizes that a misperception had formed.  This reader had leaped to the assumption that Kerouac would sympathize with the political views of writers like Paul Krasner, Art Kunkin (of Los Angeles Free Press fame), or Hunter S. Thompson.  Such a surmise is very wrong.  Leland asserts that millions of Kerouac’s readers have misunderstood what Kerouac was saying.

Leland postulates that the father of the Beatnik movement actually held strong conservative convictions as far as political philosophy was concerned.  The literary critic then doles out the evidence to back up his contention.  (See page 28 in particular.)

Kerouac did not inject many (if any) references to the Korean War in his novels.

Who will win the Series?  Although Kerouac’s name was synonymous with New York City, he didn’t seem to care much about pro sports let alone root for the Dodgers, Giants, or Yankees.

For as much traveling as Kerouac did, he hardly ever extols tourist attractions.  He seemed to concentrate on jazz, drinking, and sex.  That and his spiritual visions endeared him to the hippies and they assumed that his mystical moments constituted permission to experiment with mind altering drugs. 

Would Kerouac have blogged about topics which were not to be found on the Internet, such as the hypothetical “Bloggers’ Hall of Fame,” or would he have extolled patriotic approval of all of George W. Bush’s war crimes?  What would you expect of someone whose hero was William F. Buckley?

If someone doesn’t start the Blogger’s Hall of Fame, what good is blogging?

How can a blogger compare the Golden Gate Bridge to the Sydney Harbor Bridge if he doesn’t make the effort to see and walk across both of them?  Why state a conclusion if there is no chance that the results won’t take the blogger a step closer to just getting nominated for a place in such a hypothetical institution?

Kerouac said “Why must I always travel from here to there as if it mattered where one is?” 

Isn’t the answer the same as the one to the question about why did that guy climb Mount Everest; “Because it’s there!”?

Kerouac did rewrites and polished his work and presented one draft of “On the Road” on one long continuous sheet of paper as if it were a product of a spontaneous burst of creative energy.  He gave encouragement to bloggers who tends to write fast and post in haste by saying:  “Why let your internalized high school English teacher edit what God gave you?”

Speaking of putting a roll of teletype paper into your typewriter and starting a marathon of keystroking, the folks at National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) are about to start their annual November typa-thon competiton.  Kerouac wannabes, you have been given ample notification.

Can you just imagine a talk show chat featuring Jack Kerouac and fellow conservative Ann Coulter?

Just before the posting process for this column was started, a quick bit of fact checking shows that the site for the annual blog awards (http://2009.bloggies.com/) contains a notation for repeat winners that they are considered to be at the Hall of Fame level of achievement. 

Who would get a link on a Kerouac Blog?  How about the teacher going around the world on a bicycle? 
(http://teacherontwowheels.com/) Talk about a road trip.

Why did this columnist and so many others leap to assumptions about Kerouac if the ideas weren’t in the words?  Leland leaves the questions about the possibility that those messages were present on the subconscious level and thereby more effectively communicated, to other future critics-analysts.

After reading Leland’s book, a re-read of “On the Road” seems quite likely.

“Why Kerouac Matters” doesn’t have an Index.  (Boooo!)  Somewhere in the book, didn’t Leland mention a jazz composition titled “Kerouac”?  Without an Index, that fact slips through the existentialist’s time warp and disappears into the either.  An Index would also help to determine which of George Shearing’s tracks Kerouac liked and which he didn’t because he thought they showed a new attitude of cool and commercial.

In “On the Raod,” Kerouac wrote:  “He said we were a band of Arabs coming to blow up New York.”

Now, the disk jockey will play Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray’s “The Hunt,” Prez Prado’s “Mambo Jambo,” and Slim Gaillard’s “C-Jam Blues.”  It’s time for us to bop out of here.  Have a “Go moan for man” type week.

Dharma Bumming Around

September 19, 2009

Originally this columnist intended to write something with “The Week the Truth Became Irrelevant” as the headline, but then we decided to put that column off until later and do a “clear old items off the desk” type column.  Wasn’t that a ploy used by Stan Delaplane?

Jack Kerouac, in his novel The Dharma Bums, brings up the concept of Zen Lunatics and that, in turn, leads us to ask:  If Sam Spade (Is this column going to have San Francisco as a connecting narrative?) was called  a “knight errant,” could a practitioner of the gonzo style journalism be called a “clown errant”?

That was Zen, this is now.  Has anyone written a column pointing out that when Ho Chi Minh city was being established, the fact that the North Vietnamese were mostly Buddhists and not into revenge and that fact might make a difference and the quick end to the war in Vietnam might not be relevant to a discussion of a possible withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan because revenge is a major factor in Muslim culture and it seems that dozens and dozens of civilians may have been harmed in those two areas of American military activity?  If not, we’ll put writing such a column on the “to do” list.

Also on our “to do” list is visiting Burritt Alley.  Would any city other than San Francisco put up a historic plaque in the place where a fictional event probably occurred?  They do the CYA shuffle by saying:  “On Approximately This Spot, Miles Archer, Partner Of Sam Spade, Was Done In By Brigid O’Shaughnessy.”

Is it unrealistic to expect President Obama to include a stop on San Francisco’s Russian Hill to solicit votes from the socialists there?

If you close your eyes and listen to Scott McKenzie, doesn’t his voice sound remarkably like Jim Morrison’s?  Didn’t Bobby Bare record as “Bill Parsons” before he went country?  Say, you don’t suppose . . .?

Isn’t it odd that there isn’t much on-line about the original Mr. San Francisco, Freddie Francisco (AKA Bob Patterson)?  When one of the San Francisco newspapers fired him for faking Nixon era dispatches from China, the guy’s termination was mentioned in Newsweek.  Information found on-line indicates the famous columnist <a href =http://www.sunpopblue.com/Frisco-Tales/shell.html>slit his wrists in a bathtub</a>, which gives this very much alive columnist the perfect opportunity to inset the Mark Twain line about “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” It’s just one of those “same name” coincidences.

Here’s some SF history for Mike Savage.  One of the reasons that a large gay community accumulated in “Baghdad by the Bay” was because during WWII, when men in the Pacific theater of operations would be court marshalled for homosexuality, the service would muster them out in San Francisco and many were reluctant to face the shame that returning to their home town would mean, so they elected to stay in the more gay-tolerant city in Northern California.

Speaking of dirty laundry, according to http://www.tfdutch.com, the first commercial laundry in the US opened on September 19, 1849, in Oakland CA. 

Harry Bridges has been quoted as saying:  “There will always be a place for us somewhere, somehow, as long as we see to it that working people fight for everything they have, everything they hope to get, for dignity, equality, democracy, to oppose war and to bring to the world a better life.”

One of Herb Caen’s best lines is:  “A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”

Now, the disk jockey will do his David Letterman imitation by playing his top ten San Francisco Songs.
“If You’re Going to San Francisco” by Scott McKenzie
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” (Dean Martin’s version)
“Nothing Else, Ma.” Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
“Omaha” by Moby Grape
“Flower in the Sun” by Big Brother and the Holding Company
“Truckin'” by the Grateful Dead
“Jingo” by Santana
“What About Me” by the Quicksilver Messenger Service
“Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish
(Big finish – you know what to do when this song peaks)
“White Rabbit” by the Jefferson Airplane.

We have to go look for a Beatnik coffee house.  Have a “far out, man!” type week.

Music for Digital Kerouacs who are “on the road”

July 27, 2009

For those of  you using a push pin on a map at home, I’m going down to L. A. Monday.

The disk jockey will be playing Dave Dudley’s “Six Days on the Road”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKcYRkUI0Dk&feature=PlayList&p=5B8EACB9ACFFBBBC&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=48

Youtube automatically generated the song “People Are Crazy” (are they insinuating something about me?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqrogegV1lw&feature=PlayList&p=5B8EACB9ACFFBBBC&index=49&playnext=2&playnext_from=PL

Naturally we gotta play Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSICoacOT60

While we were listening to Comet Radio while staying in Kalgoorlie we heard them play Bobby Bare’s “500 miles from home.”  It seemed to us we were farther away than that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnaavPxSmk

One road song that most kids will never have heard of is Red Sovine’s “Phantom 309”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4HhFY3ljZc

Sometimes you pick up new music while on the road.  While we were in Freo (Fremantle Western Australia), we learned about Seasick Steve.  It’s called “Started out with nothing” as in:  “I started out with nothing and I got most of it left . . . .”  (Ain’t that the truth?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlKzRhEEJ_I&feature=PlayList&p=FDD59474B4F77A34&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=32 

Of course, to get to Australia, you get there fastest if you fly.  So we will play Silver Wings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cupVwLbavt0

Good thing that “I love L. A.’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5x48NQvyI

To be continued .  .  .

Did Kerouac have a role model?

June 26, 2009

Recently this columnist has been doing some fact-checking (not enough to jeopardize his standing as the World’s Laziest Journalist – just enough to keep himself amused on a quiet Summer afternoon) when we stumbled across the story of Will Parker contained in the October 16, 1939, issue of LIFE magazine.  The story (lest you forget) tells about the young man’s hitchhiking journey from San Francisco to New York City.  His travel pal, Hart Preston, took the photos used to illustrate the story of the pioneering hitchhiker.

Did Jack Kerouac read and become influenced by this pre-war adventure story?  He would have been about 17 years old in October of 1939.  Did he happen to read that particular issue of LIFE magazine?  Did Neal Cassidy?

This columnist, who was greatly influenced by Kerouac, recalls reading the Will Parker story in LIFE while doing some recreational reading during his college years, in the University library.  Was it as great an influence as the reading of “On the Road” and/or “Death in the Afternoon”?  Doesn’t it at least seem likely that Will Parker was one of the contributing factors?

Now matters get even murkier for the columnist because this information would be a very great topic for the readers at the Digihitch website, but previous attempts to jump through the digital hoops necessary to be able to cross post this column on that particular site, have proven to be an insurmountable obstacle.  Dang!  Woldn’t it have been marvelous to cross post some of the dispatches from Australia on that travel oriented site?

Which brings up this bit of insight:  when railroads were in the formative stage some brilliant planner advised them to facilitate the industry’s growth by adopting industry standards so that one company’s locomotives and passenger cars and box cars could avail themselves of travel opportunities on other firm’s right of way.  Universal standards gave them the bases for unlimited growth in the United States.   Is the fact that cross posting one column on three different sites causes some formatting challenges with each new venue, be a hint that the Internets still hasn’t learned the railroaders’ secret?  Could individual firms that want to have clients pay for their own unique scripting, be causing a “tower of babble” type delay in the growth of the Internets?

The Beat Museum in San Francisco, would probably find that a copy of this particular LIFE magazine would be a worthy addition to their library and or exhibition.  As luck would have it, while this installment of the Saturday Column was being written, we wandered into Hodgson’s Antiques in South Pasadena and found that they had copies of various issues of LIFE for sale, but, unfortunately, not the particular one with the Will Parker story in it.
Getting back to Will Parker (of the LIFE magazine fame), bloggers can find information and topics that haven’t been subjected to “overkill” on the Internet if they make an effort.   

Commenting on what paid pundits have just said, isn’t journalism and, quite often, it isn’t full of stunning insights and perceptive comments, but it is easier to do than actually going out and scrounging up original material. 

Take, for example, the topic of car-spotting.  If a columnist wants to use his own time and his own (or the one at the Pasadena Public Library?) computer for a bus-man’s holiday (15 yard penalty bad “on the road” pun!) and put some photos on his blog for Jersey Bill and a few other friends to see, then he has to go out and shoot some pictures.  Some of the pictures are not examples of Ansel Adams like technical perfection, but is there a market for sarcastic critical comments about car-spotting photos?  The only logical reaction to seeing photos on a car-spotting blog would be to go out in your own neighbor hood (such as Alameda?) and take and post your own photographs.  . 

What ever happened to Will Parker?  That question brings up a rather disturbing possibility and subsequent topic.  In 1939, what were the odds that a healthy young man of 21 would live to see his thirtieth birthday?  Did Darwin take into consideration for his “survival of the fittest” theory the fact that quite often humans send only their very best off to war leaving the home front to cope with survival of the species by providing the women with an available assortment of queers, former prisoners, mental defectives, and physically impaired men.  If Will Parker died in action, shouldn’t Jack Kerouac have, at least, mentioned him in the acknowledgements section of “On the Road”?

British Sci-fi writer John Christopher wrote about the intergalactic adventures of a young man named Will Parker, but we’ll leave it up to some future doctoral candidate in literature to assertain if there is a cause and effect link here or just a co-inky-dink.

Will Parker may have been a hitchhiking pioneer but he seems to disappear without a subsequent trace while the likes of Kerouac, Cassidey, and Alan Ginsburg were left to thrive and prosper among the hordes of lonely affection starved women in the United States.

The Will Parker issue of LIFE also had “mug shots” of the various new 1940 brands of cars in the Speaking of Pictures segment and featured a promotional story for the film titled “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

One of the “selling points” Parker used to help himself get rides was the fact that good current events chats were assured because he was carrying a portable radio on the journey that took 12 days and cost the traveler $23.60.

The photographer’s existence was basically ignored, which gives the story a bit of an “unrealistic” spin to it.
It’s obvious that this column isn’t an astounding example of the potential of the citizen journalist movement on the internet, but did you really want or need a columnist to add his voice to the chorus of disapproval the pundits have showered upon the Iranian elections and the American President’s response to it?  You do?  OK!  How about this:  Iran, that wasn’t very nice.  Shame on you.  Feel better now?

In summing up Will Parker’s adventure, the writer noted that Will Parker had by talking to the various 29 good Samaritans, who had given him a lift, conducted his own public opinion poll on the country’s mood.  On page 52, it was noted:  “Most were in favor of Social Security and keeping out of war.”  My how times have turned things around, since then, eh?

[Note:  does society change?  Wasn’t one of the few (only) newspapers which ran the death of Elvis Presley as the headline story on page one, the Santa Monica Evening Outlook?  Back then most newspapers didn’t want to compete with People magazine.]

Now, the disk jockey will play the Michael Jackson – Mick Jagger duet titled “State of Shock”  We’ll take a break.  Have a “moonwalk” type week.

Reporting live from a beatnik cafe in . . .

March 19, 2009
Mediterranium Cafe

Mediterranium Cafe

Reporting live from the Mediterranium Cafe in Berkeley, Ca.,  is the realization for this blogger of the Internet’s potential from a long time ago.  It took a good deal of time and some bumps in the learning process, but here we are today, March 19, 2009, sitting in a restaurant that Jack Kerouac used to patronize, and in a few moments we will hit “publish” and see it all come to pass.

So then it will be on to the road back to Fremantle and Kalgoorlie.

Journal of an e-beatnik cont.

February 6, 2009

Beatnik Journal Notes for Chapter Four

 

The place near SMC was rented by the time I called back on Thursday.  I like the way the kid didn’t even say an insincere “sorry.”  Will folks doing things like that be Bush’s real legacy?

 

I found another ad for a bed near UCLA. 

 

It turned out to be a young woman renting bed space in her bedroom.  For an old guy, this made it seem like one of two things:  either she hasn’t thought it through or she’s a drama about to happen.  Either way, no thanks!

 

It rained Thursday and my plastic poncho that I’ve had for years (Decades?) got put to use.  It traveled all over the US and Australia in its package, but now it has been used and will have to be discarded.

 

Republicans seem to take care of each other.  One for all and all for one.  Democrats seem to adopt the Republican philosophy during hard times.  They want their friends to realize that they should take care of themselves and not ask for anything from fellow Democrats, such as crash pads or what have you.  Obviously there are some exceptions to the rule, but a goodly number of folks are not returning my calls.

 

Air fares are falling.  If folks have lost their jobs and their homes then they have no excuse for not going on a trip, do they?  Yeah, if you’d loose your job or (if you miss a house or car payment) face repossession, but if you don’t have any of that to worry about why not check out the new low airfares?  A new VAustralia (Virgin?) is offering RT LA-Sydney-LA for only $777.  Yeah, but fall and winter are coming on down there.  There is still about a month and a half of summer left, though . . . .

 

A call to the main number for the Section 8 Housing part of the Housing Authority for L. A. produced the information that they are (just as in 2004) not taking applications at this time.  If they start doing so again, they’ll put notices in the media.  Until then, see if a friend can let you sleep on the couch for a short time. 

Journal of an e-beatnik

February 4, 2009

Notes for Chapter One

On Tuesday, I called about getting the list of phone numbers from the Senior Housing Office.  When they determined that I had registered with them and didn’t have a local address, they suggested that I drop by and pick up the list of numbers.

 

I took two busses ($.25 cents old folks off-peak hours) and got there in about an hour and go the list of phone number that has been misplaced since September. 

 

I wrote a column for Smirking Chimp at the Santa Monica Public Library.  You compose on one set of computers and get Internet access on different ones.  I (thought I) put the column on a floppy disk, but when I got to the Internet access computers I couldn’t open the file.  Kiss that column goodbye.

 

I check Craigslist, sent e-mails, wrote down phone numbers, and then monitored the jungle drums on the Liberal blogisphere.

 

I hustled myself back to my host’s pad.  I had to pay $2.80 for a bottle of Diet Root Beer, that sells for (about) $.90 during sales events at the big chain markets. 

 

Notes for Chapter Two

The phone number for the Section 8 housing, on the list I got yesterday, had recorded information calling “this year” 2004.  Nothing like keeping citizens up-to-date on government information hotlines, eh?

 

I walked to a nearby Section 8 housing facility and learned that they were run by the Housing Authority of L. A.  Since I knew just where the WLA office was, I hopped on a bus and went over.

 

They gave me a very similar phone number 252-2500.  So I will try to call that number tomorrow morning.

 

I asked if I could get two sheets of blank legal size paper but was told that times are bad and they couldn’t give me two sheets of paper.  I guess the media that thinks the bail-out funds are going to be pork barrel projects would be glad to see that government employees are being very vigilant about waste, so there’s no worries (mate!).

 

I then mailed a letter to a Democratic pal who is very hard to contact.  Could it be that during hard times, Democrats don’t want to be put to the old “one for all and all for one” acid test of being asked for help?  Perish the thought.  I just want to have lunch with him and tell him about a great “based on true events” story (escaped POW) I found in Western Australia.  He tends to be very cautious and makes it hard to contact him.

 

I mailed off the letter and then walked over to a friend’s place because he hasn’t returned my phone calls for the last few calls.  Some a few months back before going to Australian and then one yesterday. 

 

He becomes a bit of a recluse and so I will try to bribe him into having lunch with me by offering him a copy of a 50 year old British car magazine.  He likes cars and car magazines, so maybe he will go for the offer?

 

Then I went to the Santa Monica Senior Center and signed up for lunch this Saturday.

 

I ran into one of the former photographers for the Santa Monica Outlook and got his e-mail address.  (Building a million reader blog one new “subscription” at a time!)