Monday, July 16, 2012

From A to Zantzinger (Revoking Bob's poetic license)

I was fooling around with my long term recall and a recollection came to light concerning a story about a fellow named Zantzinger who was living on a sailboat in Maryland.  Now that name strummed a chord in my head and out rolled a 1963 protest song called "The Lonesome Death of . Hattie Carroll." Well as every folk boomer knows, Mrs. Carroll was "killed" by William "Billy" Zantzinger with "a cane that he twirled 'round his diamond ringed finger."  OK now, what do you see? 24 year old Billy Z bashing the 53 year old bartender to the ground with one of those blackthorn sticks with a heavy knob like TV's  "Bat Masterson" used to keep order in the wild west.  I bet I'm close, right? Well that is just what I thought and the fact there were racial implications involved made me mad enough to learn the song and even perform it. It is interesting to me at least, that Bob Dylan claims the tune was inspired by his recent introduction to the work of Kurt Wiell and Bertolt Brecht.  I don't see that myself, and I'm pretty knowledgeable about their work.  In fact what I infer from reading about Dylan is that he showed up in NY as a blank slate with a talent for turning a phrase and as he was turned on to the work of  different players  and the philosophy of what was hip he exploded as a major talent. These days he says he can't write like that.  I believe him and after researching the facts behind "The lonesome death..." and finding his version wanting, well I just look at Bob Dylan as a writer who does not allow the truth to get in his way.  Pretty harsh, huh?  Still the story needed to be told---so

Meanwhile back in Baltimore: Zantzinger shows up at a exclusive affair hammer knocking drunk and equipped with a 25 cent novelty cane made of bamboo. A toy he had picked up at some event earlier his wife) and acting like a general drunken ass.  In a attempt to gain some bourbon, he tells a black server to get out of his way, calls her a nigger and swats her with the cane for good measure. Now he confronts Hattie behind the bar and when she does not respond quickly enough he calls her a nigger as well and taps her on the arm with the toy cane leaving no mark or wound.
He leaves the area.  Some minutes pass and the shaken Mrs, Carroll tells her coworker that she is feeling ill: "sick to death"  She is taken to an area by her friends so she can recover, but her condition worsens and she is taken to hospital where she dies of a ruptured vessel in her brain.  The autopsy shows the 53 yo mother of 11 was suffering from athrosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries" and hypertension, so while she was not beaten to death with a cane, the stress of her encounter most likely paid a heavy contribution to her death.

Billy Z got a 6 month sentence for involuntary manslaughter.  Rumor had it that his sentence was light because a longer stretch would have put him in the big house, a prison with an overwhelming black population where it was feared he would be at risk. (Big Time)  Personally, I think they should have given Billy the chair, but I also think there was a good topical song to be written without the hyperbole of Dylans piece; a tune that is more H.L. Mencken than Kurt Weill.

PS for Billy: he was in trouble for taxes and slumlording and died in 09 to no ones great sorrow. Hattie Carroll slipped into a coma in the company of her friends.  One wonders whom had the more lonesome death

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Blow Me! (Your catchall offensive statement)

Ha Ha Ha,  You probably think I'm heading back into that silly sex boasting I was on yesterday, but no!  Todays topic has to do with handy all around conflict stoppers.  Now when some person is giving you downright inexcusable trouble there are legions of insults to put paid to the conflict.
(I should insert here that I am not talking about physical altercations that might escalate into a real fight.)  What I'm about is the situation where some person says "May I help you?" when he or she means it as a chalenge of your right to exist in some place held holy by their herd.  That sort of attitude really gets to me because I was raised as a gentleman of fashion and breeding, so the snotty implication is very clear.  Of course the normal response to this attack might be "Oh go fuck yourself!" That will stop your average snoot head, but it is also a form of assault. For real! Jumping on someones case with profanity is illegal and touching them is battery.  So, say someone lays that " you?" riff on you and you say "Fuck off bitch" and push past the lady or gent, you could be going down for A&B. That's why I prefer the catch all shutdown, "Blow Me!"

Now most people know what the term implies, but unlike the more descriptive "Suck my dick!"
Blow Me! balances on an inference.  Hell, it's a non-sequitur.  You say it's a request for oral sex?
Well Buck, go down to some sex palace whiskey bar, walk up to some handsome woman and say "Blow Me" chances are you might get hurt. If you are a man and try the same routine at a same sex man's club, well gay people are sort of all about sex, so it's hard to figure what they might do.

Well I'm tired again and starting to hide puns, so it's time for old texino to mosey.  I know I'm writing a little out of tune, but I'm trying to get ahead of this disease.  I'm not sure what is going on.  Could be that I am becoming a Zombie; I mean I feel dead and alive in equal parts, but I am not hungry for your brains. (at this time)

I better clean this up before I fall to sleep at the keys.  So please remember, do not use profanity or put your hands on your assailant.  Just tell them to blow you and walk away.  If that scares your sense of propriety do the "Popeye" and say "Blow me down!"  There is always a way. Also do not forget that "Blow Me!" while not profane is an impolite statement and probably should not be used for anything but an insult. Remember it is a non sequitur which means "does not follow"
So Texino says, you want something to happen, just be nice and gentle; give and you will get.
Me, I've got to cast aside this memory issue and start acting my age. Oh how sad is that?                                                                                                                        

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Texino Attempts to Discuss Memory,( but Implies he knows secret sex stuff)

The last time I posted, my son caught wind of it and posted a rant (mostly true) about what a loser I am. I am going to attempt another essay and hope for the best.  This is about memories.

I tuned Emmylou Harris' guitar at an open mike show at The Cellar Door back in 1963.  She was a local girl and played out in the DC area before moving to Nashville and becoming famous.  The point here is, when I look back I realize that Emmylou could tune her own guitar just fine and maybe she was trying to get my attentions.  We were 15 and I cared more about bluegrass music and Martin guitars than I did about getting dates. Still for a short time we had a connection long enough to make a memory.  I have lots of memories.  In fact, I pretty much live on and in them these days.  That's due to my staying in bed around 24 hours on any given date, so long as I don't have a doctors visit in the plan.  It's not so bad, as I have always been lazy and seeing that I worked hard for many years at jobs which were either dangerous, or jobs with 24 hour shifts.  I stuffed music in there as well but I rarely made any serious money at it.  Hense the need for the other jobs i.e. high steel painter, and Firefighter /Paramedic .  Now some medical folks like to expound on the topic that being a war soldier set the stage for me to desire jobs holding a degree of excitement and danger.  Maybe they have a point, although I did not seek employment where I might, by chance, kill someone. (a cop, mobster?) OK?

So go the memories.  To me they are bound to little cubes of thought; bright little moments you might say. I can pull up these little films of my time like a personal YouTube.  Pretty much true to fact good and bad.  I remember women; God I have been in love with every girl who gave me a chance.  Thing is, I could not just go and get a date.  I was shy.  Fortunately the girls liked me and would invite me home after a gig.  If I was in a popular band, I might be asked out by a waitress and the word would get out that I knew the drill and soon most every waitress on the job would ask me home.  Those memories are all there, sharp as lightning.  I don't mean to hang out with the sex, but folks take interest in that kind of stuff. I could probably write a texino sexual suggestion and technique manual. It's been done, besides I spent a longtime figuring out the female mystery and I'm not certain the girls would pleased if I were to blab about how to put them    in a state of bliss.

Now I have more to say about memory, but my care givers are on to me with trivial pursuits  about whom to call if I croak or take a serious fall.  This is directing me to disease central and I do not want to talk about that, so bye for now. XOX  Fr Tomas Texino SJ