Friday, May 4, 2012


Alexander Hamilton's New York Post trumpets that it's America's oldest continually published paper. His rapid rotation in his eternal sleep might account for the tremors some of us felt some months ago. I'm sure one of our Founding Fathers wouldn't want to be seen as being a shill for the upper class. Don't confuse the Post with anything approaching facts. Although the House and the Senate can't agree on if the sky is blue or not the state of the nation is still Obama's fault. Never mind that Bush the younger left him with an economy even a trinity of Jesus, Moses and Mohammed could not right and a powerful list of new found enemies. Remember, it's the black guy in the White House's fault. Forget about the fact that Mitt The Shit was granted a cover story in the Village Voice where it was revealed a lot of his offshore (and therefore untaxable wealth) came from buying up working companies, gutting their assets and leaving a shell with unemployed employees. He's still allowed to say "Wealth Is Good" and everybody else is just jealous. Reminds me of other robber barons such as Joseph Kennedy and John Jacob Astor. Allow me to swerve a little here. John Kennedy's heritage was made on his being assassinated when he was. Had he lived he would have been the worst president the lower and middle classes ever had. Why, you ask. Because he would have had to pay back all the favors Dad and Grandad called to get him into office. But he was white, you might well say. He was Catholic. We never had one of those before. Come to think of it, with murderers, rapists and drug addicts in the family, the Kennedys just might be the All-American family. While we're tilting at windmills here, let's topple another myth, er icon, er, whatever. Richard Nixon deserves another look by history. He wasn't rich, but rather married money. The lower and middle classes were well served by Tricky Dick, he improved the space program and he opened trade with China. (Okay, that might have not been such a good idea!) Oh yeah, he got us out of Vietnam. A lot of guys were thankful for that one. As for the infamous eighteen minute tape-shouldn't the President enjoy the same freedom of speech the rest of us do? I look at OWS and see kids running from cops with batons and pepper sprays and wonder when they'll fight back or do something that makes a difference. While they might be tying up police and making the city waste money policing OWS they still have to do more.Maybe Occupy Wall Street still has to find its platforms and its leaders. Perhaps other countries have taken the idea and run better with it. I'm convinced OWS will find its feet and make a difference. If you really need a good laugh read the Post's letter column. Readers laud the Shrub for wearing his daddy's flight suit and squeaking "Mission Accomplished" (tell that to the soldiers who died after he said that) but condemn Obama for using the fact that Osama was sent to Paradise on his watch in his campaign. Seems a little truth hurts. The Times motto might be "all the news that fits we print" and the News the best photos of any NY paper, but the Post's should be "whatever the Republicans tell us is the gospel truth."

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Homo Sapiens is a bisexual primate. We're designed to perform certain sexual and social roles. Woman is the mother, caring for the being she carried for nine months in the womb. Man is the seed distributor, making sure the tribe has enough population to continue. Artificial lures such as clothing have only come into play fairly recently, and as younger and younger females don more seductive clothes incidents occur that to me forget our primary biological roles. I blame American Apparel and Juicy Coutre. American Apparel has been cited several times for its abuse of female employees, once notably by the Village Voice, whose back page is graced weekly by seemingly stoned, underage and foreign models. Their CEO has been investigated for his abuse of young girls several times. Yet this company prospers despite all its anti-female stance. Juicy Couture has been keeping a low profile lately, but their Juicy emblem and suggestive mottos have adorned many a pre-teen shirt in recent years. I distinctly remember a young Asian girl with ironing board straight hair and ironing board figure coming over to my stand wearing a tee shirt that said "Juicy one hour ride". That shirt left little to my imagination, and like most American males I have a lot of imagination. Let me postulate something. I work near Columbia University, so I see a lot of young, hyper sexual kids. A guy picks up a girl in a bar, and one of the reasons is that she's wearing a shirt with that slogan on it. They start making out and nature takes its course. At what point can things have gone too far for a simple stop to work? Greater minds than mine have asked that question, and I'm not going to attempt to answer it here. I've discussed the tribal usage of shirts, the ever present CBGBs, Che and Abersrombie and Fitch shirts, or the Hollisters, how they give kids a sense of belonging. To what, one might ask. A brand name? THAT'S what we want to belong to? I sold my soul, I'm a company whore. Men buy women what clothes they'd like to take off them, while women dress for other women. I learned that lesson in Bergdorf Goodman a long time ago, and don't think it'll ever change. But there are a couple of things I'll never figure out. I realize Pink has become an anti-breast cancer rallying cry, but have any of these women ever tried to find out what Pink means? For a long time it was a slang expression for the female reproductive system,at least until AC/DC came up with "Sink The Pink". Tell that to one of these girls wearing it on their shirt or their pants and you're libel to get a black eye. It goes with the original meaning(s) of punk, which I'll let you figure out on your own, and then enlighten you in my next blog. Speaking of pink, when did the female rear end become an advertising sight. It takes little for most males to look at a woman's rear, and when there's something emblazoned across it, well...! Workout clothes in various shades never seen in nature have something to do with it also, though some of these women running around in sweats should be required to have either Goodyear or Wide Load emblazoned on their pants, and backup beeps ala trucks. For some reason I've never noticed guys wearing these things. If I'm wrong please tell me. But kindly. I'm of a delicate nature.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I've been under the weather lately. It's a weird one, no temperature, lots of coughing and sneezing along with a heavy lassitude that's made it hard for me to even think about typing. But a man's got to do
In the strange world of the SCA what people do for fun might not have anything to do with anything else in their life. For those who don't know the Society For Creative Anachorims are those people who dress up as medievalists and create the Middle Ages the way they should have been-no disease, no poverty, no dirt. SCA co-founder Poul Anderson's "High Crusade" cover featured a group of knights marching into a spaceship in full armor including swords. Unless they're Lt. Sulu, what exactly are they going to do with those things? Use them for spits if they run out?
Luiji Kapaj and I haver been arguing over the biological classification of yeast. It's a plant, says I. It's an animal, both he and others of the Silver Horde maintain. I checked Wikipedia, and asked members of the Godddard Center and am pleased to find I'm right. That'll make up for the rake I gulped, mistaking the clear liquid Lou handed me for a glass of water. Rake, it seems, is distilled alcohol, and the three fingers I gulped might have been eighty proof. My eyes shot open and spun around, I gasped for water, and wondered why everybody at the table was looking at me. You SIP rake, v-v-e-e-r-r-y slowly. Now I know.
Lou's a master brewer. Well, actually he's a fighter. One thing he's not is a drinker. Yet his mead's (honey wine) are prized around the realm, and I've tried Raspberry, Strawberry, Lemon and others. His son Puppi's' is just as good, and I've tried a chocolate cordial that's the equal of any regular brewing house.If he ever wanted to change specialties...
Columbia had its Bachnacel this past Saturday. All that really means is that the kids do during the day what they usually wait until the evening to do. Kids were walking around all covered in paint and totally plastered at nine AM.Some tried to get into one of the restaurants and were to9ld they couldn't come in all paint covered, and only a few complained. I channeled me inner Jim Morrison for this one: Pagan ritual adorns the day
a flourish of trumpets, flash of color behind the dunes
Painted bodies dance the avenue, eying their opposites,
Tonight there will be great matings
And the robberies go on. Secret service agents do to Colombian hookers what they do to us all the time, and the papers freak. Meanwhile the Espada's manage to rack up $126,000 in overtime and the head of the GSA gets put on leave and still manages to keep his $175,000 salary. Too all those bank robbers and corner stick up men, you set your sights too low!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Those of us of a certain age probably remember "Society's Child", a pseudo-pretentious piece of doggerel pushed by that shameless self-promoter Leonard Bernstein. She hadn't crossed my mind until I read a comment in the 400th issue of Record Collector that she'd pop out of a cake for the 500th.Has anybody really listened to the song. I mean, really listened? She's copping out by saying she's only "Society's Child." If she really felt anything for her friend (acquaintance, lyric prop, whatever) she'd rip off his clothes and take him on the floor. Ah, but I knew so many Jewish girls like Janis, once upon a time.
An ongoing theme here has been Al Sharpton. Recently Stanley Crouch stated in his Daily News column that he now could consider Sharpton a "true leader". Me, I'm waiting for him to show up at the bedside og f one of those cops shot by an African-American with a rap sheet longer than Al is wide, or to say something about the new Black Panthers putting bounties on people's heads. But I'm barking up the wrong political tree (or something like that)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Things don't always happen the way we'd like them to, otherwise most of this would have been published a couple of days ago. We've got more on "customer service", illegal mind boggling and moms from Hell. I will try to leave you laughing, or at least smiling.
May 31st my internet went down. (their fault, not mine) As with the phone company and other "public utilities" it's amazing how slow they are to respond to your request for service but how quick they can shut you off for late payment. I had a friend whose cable TV was going to be turned off for seventy-five cents. I told him he should have either paid in pennies or with a check made out on a rock (perfectly legal if there are sufficient funds to cover it.)
My eyeglass problem has been solved thanks to a small store on Second Avenue between Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Fourth Street. While I never got any satisfaction from Cohen's Vision Center (they never even answered my letter) or another Columbia area optometrist, this gentleman understood that some of us wear glasses to see, and charged me only forty nine dollars for the frames. Ever notice the promises the big chains make when they move into a community and what happens when they get rid of the small guys? Me too.
When I mentioned illegal mind boggling I wasn't talking about the drugs we consumed back in the sixties. Instead I was referring to a group of Manhattan and Queens car wash employees who hired a lawyer to sue their employer for unpaid wages as they were paid less than minimum. Usually I'd back any employees doing this, but this leaves an incredibly bad taste in my mouth, as the employees I'm talking about are all illegals. Points for sheer brass balls, but I want to know what's going to happen if these guys win. Do they intend to pay the government back taxes. Ship these guys back to Mexico and their employer back to India. The illegal here is our increasingly put upon national symbol.
Bill Cosby once told an unruly child-I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it and make another just like you. He's got nothing on the Uptown Mommies I've been observing lately. Strollers are likely to be used as traffic indicators, with the helpless child pushed out into the street to see if there are any oncoming vehicles. If the child's still there, they cross. We've got two great parks blocks from where I work, but mothers still insist on letting their children scooter among the bicycles and pedestrians on Broadway. When one child fell off his scooter I chastised the mother for not having the child wear a helmet. I was bluntly told to mind my own business. None of these women can compete with the twenty-ish something hippie mom talking away on her cell while her son tugged at her dress to get her attention. Failing to, he reached into her grocery bag, pulled out an apple, "cleaned" it in a dirty puddle and took a big bite out of it. While I wanted to tell her, I figured if her couldn't get her attention, how could I.
Sometimes New York papers can read like the Enguirer. While they'll never reach the heights of"Headless Body Found In Topless Bar" the resent "City Lost My Sister's Brain" comes close, right?

Sunday, April 1, 2012


After spending a good part of my working day watching Columbia kids walk around staring at I-phones and other electronic gizmos I finally figured out what they're all reading. It's a set of instructions-left foot, right foot, repeat. Don't forget to breath while you're walking."
A couple of blogs ago I spoke of mind-boggling. Turns out I hadn't seen anything yet. A group of illegals working in New York area car washes are planning to sue the firm's owner because they're working for less than minimum wage. They're going to hire an attorney and going through all legal motions. What I (an lots of others) would like to know is, are they going to pay back taxes? What part of illegal don't they understand?
Bill Cosby used to have a skit where he chastised an unruly child by saying-I'll disown you and make another just like you. Wonder what he'd do with modern mothers, some of whom make "Mommie Dearest" look like Mother Of The Year. I've watched mothers (and fathers) dangle their children over subway tracks.Strollers are used to check for oncoming traffic as mothers edge out into the streets.If the stroller isn't swept away by traffic it's okay to cross.
I wonder if some of these mothers are mentally ready to have kids. Riverside and Central Park are mere blocks away, yet these mothers let their children race strollers up and down the street with little regard for pedestrians. When I told one mother whose child took a header on a stroller that she should have been wearing a helmet I was told to "mind my own business". I have cleaned up language for the sensibilities of my audience.
Place of honor has to go to the

Saturday, March 31, 2012

At first I didn't want a computer. I didn't need one. Somehow I just knew what it'd do to my writing. I'd never change anything and my work would suffer. I'm used to editing my unreadable handwriting on the typewriter. Computers would make it too easy.
Oh no, my technologically savvy friends said. Everything would be organized. You'd be able to find things easily, write to friends instantly, and store more writing.You can even store all your music there.
What organized, I'd ask, sweeping my arm around the piles of papers, notebooks and writing in my workspace between the refrigerator and the wall. I know where everything is. It's here.
One night Lou come up with a bunch of ancient modules. Ancient? It used floppy discs rather than CDs and fairly filled my work table. But gee! My writing actually looks good and I can store lots of stuff here. Not only that, I can surf the Internet (BFD), play my music collection (all 80,000 plus tunes!) and play solitaire.
It was those last two that decided me. Surfing the Internet? If I can't find it in a wall of books it's not worth finding.
I started to like the old relic. I could do a lot, and it was kind of fun. So much fun I decided I needed a new one. So I dropped about $600 on an HP laptop. Compared to the relic this was lightning fast. I had more storage space and an actual CD-Rom. One thing it didn't have, however, was protection against the way I typed. I still banged away at the keys as if I was using my first typewriter, an acoustic Royal Underwood. Finally the HP gave up the ghost and died.
By now I was hooked. Luigi and my other tech friends laughed and said I was now of of them. The computer was in my blood and there was no withdrawal program.
I managed to get back at them. Got back at them all. Went on the Internet and found a refurbished I-Mac for only $115. With shipping. Take that, tech boys!
Been almost ten years for me and the old girl. I've had relationships that haven't lasted that long. She's slowing up a little booting up, and I find myself staring at that spinning colored ball silently cursing-speed up! I start to tense up waiting for work to appear and have started to get impatient. I love the old girl, but...
I wonder what a new Mac would cost?

Monday, March 26, 2012


Welcome to another of my wide-eyed glimpses of what surrounds me. Today we're going to get our minds boggled. Believe you me, this'll really knock you for a loop.
In an incredible display of PC gone wild, our amazing educrats have banned many subjects from New York City English, social studies and science tests. Imagine, if you possibly can, a social studies test that doesn't mention war, terrorism or homelessness (among others). Budding Einsteins have to get by without mentioning dinosaurs or evolution. For the rest of us religion,holidays, video games, sports or TV. Whatever will we talk about around the water cooler?
New York Post Education Reporter Yoav Gonen states that these new tests are designed so as not to hurt anybody's feelings. To which I have to ask, does being dumber count? That's the only real result we'll see from these tests, which give students no concept of the real world.
That seems to be the legacy Mayor Megabucks seems to be intent on leaving New York politics with. Not content with turning New York into a second-rate Paris (as a first-rate New York we were better than anybody else)Mayor Mommy has used his illegal third term to micromanage such ridiculous ideas as how much salt or other substances YOU put into YOUR body (can't wait for the diet police to knock on our doors) and the establishment of our beloved Deuce (42nd Street for everybody else)into a midwestern mall. New Yawkers knew how to navigate the "terrors" of the Deuce to check out the double features, Sam Goody's and the other pleasures afforded by 42nd Street. I don't know about my fellow residents, but once was more than enough on the new revamped 42nd Street.
You have to wonder about the sanity of a man who bans smoking in public parks because it's bad for one's health, and then sets up islands with tables and chairs in the middle of the streets. I don't know about you, but I'd rather take my chances with second hand cigarette smoke than with the exhaust from New York traffic, thank you very much.
For all Mayor Mike's vaunted self-lauding changes, I notice the potholes on 107th between Broadway and Amsterdam have been there for over a year. What's the matter, Mike? A heavily Spanish area isn't good for your image?
Unfortunately I can't blame Mike for the proliferation of New York's official animal, the rat. Watching them run through the subway rivers or among the garbage cans around 107th is a thrill you won't get from the Bronx Zoo.
Let me leave you with words for mayor wannabe John Liu. Considering the legal woes of most New York politicians Comptroller Liu would fit right in as mayor of our fine city. To his financial advisor, who stated that Liu was good for "his" people and gave them pride, may I ask this deluded 25 year old to look around. This isn't Bejing, sweetheart. This is NEW YORK, despite our politicians, still the greatest city on the Earth.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sharpton, Santorum And Other Diseases

Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" has one line that's chillingly relevant these days-"going to the candidate's debate...laugh about it, shout about it, when you got to choose. Any way you look at it you lose." That's a perfect description of todays' presidential races-on the one hand you've got somebody who was elected because he wasn't George Bush and on the other side a group of religious nutcases who would make Christianity the state religion.
Timothy Dolan. He's almost a enigma. He seems like the kind of guy I'd hang out with, have a beer with, but then he gets on the phone to Obama and threatens him about the health plan by saying-I've got all these followers ready to vote against you. That creates two problems for the Bishop.
First is that the Church's higher-ups (and lower downs) are all male. They've got no right to tell a woman what to do with her body. When one of the priests or bishops get pregnant then they can open their mouths. But the Church believes that "suffer the little children" means the sexual maltreatment of little boys. They're more concerned about covering up their priests' escapades then giving women any rights.
The Church wants no government interference with their religion. That's cool. It's in the Constitution. But so is the converse. Whenever Dolan tries to force the government to do something by mentioning the amount of voters they've got they should be reminded they're a no-taxable institution, but that could change. Can you imagine the money taxing the Church could bring in?
A letter in todays' Post brought up a point I never thought of, and I don't believe too many have. One of the reasons the Church is so against contraception is that more babies=more Catholics=more voters=more money. Or is somebody being paranoid? Nah.
Reverend. That's a term of respect for a religious figure. That's one thing I'll rarely (if ever) have for Al Sharpton. He first came to public attention during the infamous Tawana Brawley case, which now seems the first of his public scams. I was more than a little surprised when I found a Columbia senior didn't know who Tawana Brawley was. Not that Sharpton or Maddox really wants it nosed around. It's a sore point, like Sean Combs' Bronx rap concert where I believe at least nine died. (You might know him better as Puffy or P. Diddy. Whatever.)
Let's talk of crime. We're in New York. There's a lot of it around. Boston's got a lot also. Dennis Lehane's made a career out of it. In his mystery "A Drink Before The War" he brings up an interesting point. How come white on black murders are hate crimes, but not the obverse? We make a big thing of Amadou Diello or Sean Bell, but not the Columbia student who was hit by a car after being chased into 125th Street by a gang of black kids shouting "get whitey."
Before we damn Sharpton let's start with the community he "represents" (what he represents is Al Sharpton, but I think you knew that). Blacks comment on police profiling and random searches, and then complain that nobody's doing enough to stop the spate of young blacks being killed by other young blacks. A young kid tries to stop two friends from throwing a cart onto somebody's head, and his family gets death threats and he's branded a "snitch" in school. How fast will this viewpoint change when one of theirs is gunned down? How fast can you blink?
Now back to Fat Al. You see him at protests when a black youth is killed by a cop or a group of whits but never the obverse. To me this' the sign of a self-promoting hate monger.If Sharpton truly deserves Reverend in front of his name he'll be at the next funeral of an officer killed by a black, the funeral of a white killed by a black or marching against black on black crime. Till then, I say to the black community, when you need police help don't call the cops, call "Fat" Al Sharpton.
Now back to Sanitarium, or however you pronounce this clown's name. These religious right Republicans are truly dangerous, as they command legions of otherwise sane Americans. As I've said before, whenever you wave the Good Book (and we've all got one) otherwise normal people froth at the mouth and soil their carpets. The Republicans have turned this election into one more focused on religion than whatever's ailing this nation, and I'm one of the long religion. But I'll remind Sanitation (I love his name!) that Christianity is just a sect, we took care (w/ Roman help) of a reform rebel rabbi a few thousand years ago, and a religious Republican nut case won't be any harder.


Nobody would pick the Monkees as an example of social criticism, but their "Shades Of Grey" describes todays world perfectly. We walk a line where the media creates two separate worlds, and we try to walk the thin line of social correctness. As I'm so fond of saying, I'm not socially correct, I'm just right.
I'll get my juices flowing by starting out on civil servants. This has become as overworked a cliche as army intelligence, Columbia football or rapid transit. There used to be an old joke where a drunk approached a police officer and said "You're a civil servant. Get me a coffee." While we don't expect such hoop jumping from today's municipal employees, we do expect a certain degree of accountability. I can offer a couple of examples.
I'm in a cab crosstown from Amsterdam to Broadway. There's a sanitation truck crosswise halfway up the block, ensuring nobody gets through. I leave the cab and ask one of the workers if they could straighten the truck so cars could move. I'm told this makes their job easier. Now I point to the half block long line of cars and inform him we've all got to get to work. This comment brings up my "you work for us", to which I'm informed "I'm a union man. You can't do anything to me." Going back into the cab I tell the driver what happened, lacing my comments with profanity, at which the so-called public servant comes back and physically threatens me. THIS is a "civil" servant?
My thoughts on unions differ strongly from those of my proud union delegate friend Luigi. He claims the unions create decent working conditions for employees and save their rights. On the other hand I say that the union protects workers who shouldn't have jobs at all, and use the union as a platform for their laziness. Most of these workers wouldn't be tolerated in the private sector at all, and complaining about them gives one no satisfaction. Today's unions, with sky-high pensions and benefits until one dies, are a constant in newspapers' op-ed pages.
Which brings us to the hilariously misnamed "rapid transit" system. To give the devil his due, the recent installation of electronic arrival boards has improved knowledge of when to expect the next train. We still have public address systems that announce in Martian, connecting trains that pull out when yours pulls in, and cars that are rolling bedrooms for the homeless.
High up in the incredulity table are those great announcements that end with "we thank you for your patience." Patience? I'm in a tin can underground! What'm I going to do, get out and walk? "Thank you for your sufferance and forgiveness" should be the announcement. I'm still waiting for an elderly Jewish couple to go up to the motorman's booth and say "Take this train to Flatbush."

Monday, March 19, 2012


If I was Saint Patrick I'd be ashamed to have this called my holiday. Where other ethnic groups call attention to what they've accomplished this seems to be a day which celebrates getting out and getting smashed. Case in point.
The streets where I live are half the width of those on the Upper West Side. Between 28th and 25th there must be 30 bars, each of which has tables out. On St. Patty's these bars are filled to overflowing with almost legal kids, most of whom have bottles and glasses in their hands, in violation of the law. One bar on 28th and 3rd looks like the Columbia front four minus brains, and they're accosting everybody within range that's not wearing green. As I try to pass them with 2 bags of groceries one knocks my glasses off and steps on them, breaking them in two. I bend down to pick up the pieces and grab Paddy by the balls. SQUEEZE. Then I get up and stumble inside. Talking to the bartender has no effect, and he insists the manager isn't there. I go outside, and my playmates aren't there.
Across the street there's a police van with four officers. I cross, because it's my street. One cop looks at my bloody face and asks what happened. I tell him and volunteer to go with them. They say they can't do a thing about it, 'because it's Saint Patrick's Day. I thank the, and walk away, thinking how we maligned pigs in the 60s by naming cops after them, because pigs are nice animals.
I'll go on record as saying this holiday makes the fabled West Indian Parade and the Puerto Rican Day Parade look like tranquil walks in the park.