Blogging from deep down beneath the Greater L. A. hipsterpolitan region….

I’m a writer, but there are zillions of writers, perhaps you’ve noticed. This here is a bunch of my stuff. I hope you dig it.

I try to blog at least once daily so there’s a lot of stuff here. You can browse by category or look at some  selected essaysstories (non-fiction),  jazz writing or smartassery.

My email is brickjazz@yahoo.com. My phone is 323-420-7410. I do a lot of short writing on Facebook, and really short writing on Twitter. I’m all over the goddamn internet and all over this goddamn town.

Beads

It was a Fat Tuesday at Farmer’s Market. Mardi Gras. There was a good New Orleans band doing funk, zydeco, etc and the people were drinking too much and throwing beads. The crowd was relatively tame this year and the drunkenness was toned down and I saw less wanton behavior…beads were being handed out but no one had to show anything to get them. Ordinarily that is a requirement. Well, it’s not a requirement, but of course some of the women pretend it is. Even some men pretend it is. Most are drunk. Not all of them, though. Many are quite sober, lifting their tee shirts and gracefully catching the beads. Some have a few strings. Others are burdened down by a weight of beads, some very expensive looking. That’s a lot of flashed tits, hours and hours worth. I wonder about those sober ones, the ones who flash and catch, flash and catch with such admirable skill. I wonder what they do for a living. Are they teachers, secretaries? Lawyers? Were they in the office just a few hours ago? We’re they sitting in dull meetings answering dull questions and thinking about beads?

A couple ladies stood before me. Tomorrow they’d be teaching Sunday School. Today they were dripping beads. The drunken male chorus demanded their tits. The Sunday school teachers obliged. Beads fell like rain. Tomorrow would be Lent, but tonight is about laughter and drinking and venal sin. There will be plenty of time for confession later. They’ll be heartily sorry for having offended Thee. They’ll say it over and over, a dozen times over. The more beads, the more times. A string of Acts of Contritions is worth its weight in beads.

Flung

Flung

.

Pink hat

A few summers ago it was a very hot day at the Playboy Jazz Festival and I had snuck into the press room to cool off in delicious air conditioned comfort and have an ice cold beer. Suddenly there was a rush of reporters and activity and it was time for Hugh Hefner’s press conference. He gives an impressive performance every time, but I’ve seen too many and slipped away to another corner of the room, found a table and sat and relaxed.  Suddenly I was surrounded by photographers and video crews. Two gorgeous, sweaty babes appeared two feet away. One was tallish and gorgeous and young and confused, the other was little and gorgeous and came off dumb. Older looking. Experienced. The idiot reporters asked all kinds of inane questions. The younger one tried to answer them seriously, the poor thing. Finally one asked the little one about the future of jazz. She batted her eyes and started talking about her new hat. It was a huge cowgirl thing, big and floppy and pink and very expensive looking. She pushed it back and posed. Posed again. And again. The cameras went mad. End of press conference.

You can do amazing things with a pink hat.

The big pink hat.

Flashback

Kim Kardashian you’d expect but nude photos of Vladimir Putin on the web? Wrestling a Siberian alligator no less? For real? Does it matter? I miss the Weekly World News. TMZ is so unimaginative, naked movie stars and tacky selfies. Aliens meeting presidents and reptile man Elvis and naked Putin wrestling an alligator, now that is news. Waiting in line at Ralphs was exciting then. Now a supermarket check out line is the inevitable fifteen things that drive men wild and those pictures of Princess Di. It’s just not the same. You’d think the Koch brothers would bring it back, the Weekly World News. Fill it with lies and conspiracy theories and recipes from other galaxies. How do we slip them some mind fuck acid? Grace Slick just missed dosing Richard Nixon. His mind was nearly psychedelicized. In some alternative universe it happened that way. Time really did come today. Nixon in the White House, grokking with the protest kids. Freaking to Country Joe and the Fish. Give me an F, he says. Spiro does, and a U and a C and a K as well. What’s that spell? What’s that spell? What’s that spell?

But no, we got Watergate. And nattering nabobs of negativism. And the Koch Brothers. TMZ. Kim Kardashian’s naked ass. Sometimes I think we’re in the wrong universe.

Richard Nixon on brown acid at Woodstock.

Richard Nixon out of his mind high at a Grateful Dead show. Don’t eat the brown acid, they said. But Nixon went to China, and he ate the brown acid. Chou En-Lai wasn’t so sure, but Mao dug it. Feed your head, Nixon told him, feed your head. Mao did, and went for another swim.

.

Scottish Independence–my instant armchair analysis

I think the No vote will win in Scotland today. But it’s a pyrrhic victory for the UK. Nearly half of Scotland wants independence. And they want a republic. That is a body slam not only to Great Britain, but also to the concept of the monarchy. Watch where the No vote predominated. If it was in the rural and small town regions, then that is not a tenable majority. Urban populations are increasing, and rural regions decreasing. Urban voters are always more leftist and anti-monarchial than rural and small town voters. And also wait for the exit poll data. If the under thirties voted Yes, then you can see future trends. And if people under thirty do not have any loyalty to the monarchy, they will not likely fall in love with the idea of a king or queen when they hit middle age. Loyalty to a monarch is something you are raised on, not something you suddenly develop in middle age.

England knows now that they have to grant more home rule to Scotland, a lot more. Yet the more powers they grant the Scottish National Parliament, the more people in Scotland will see it as the seat of government. And the more the Parliament in London will seem like the government of an occupier. Conflicts between the two sets of power–especially on fiscal matters–will be come much more acute and only exacerbate the feelings of Britain being an occupying government. And much of the population will begin to resent the monarchy more and more. And the monarchy is, fundamentally, the only thing linking Scotland and England. It is the United Kingdom, after all. It’s a feudal institution that is still treated as viable in England, but increasingly is resented in Scotland. These feelings will only get angrier.

The Yes people will now begin a long slow separatist campaign that will wrap itself in Scottish history and symbolism. These pro-independence people will be sullen, angry and vocal. Their numbers will only increase. Scotland will be a republic within a generation. And there is no future for the monarchy. It’s days are numbered. Without Scotland, there is essentially no United Kingdom, and without a kingdom, there’s no need for a monarchy. It would survive as an English institution–much like in Holland, Sweden, Denmark–but by becoming an English rather than British institution it weakens loyalty in Wales, Ulster, and in dominions like Canada, Australia and even New Zealand.

Keep an eye on those Dominions. How long will Australia, Canada and New Zealand remain monarchies? Which they are. Each is a constitutional monarchy, not a republic. Which seems so weird.

By the way, if you ever want to shoot down a raving Australian as he dumps all over us stupid Americans, ask him why they have a queen. Never fails. They get quiet and mumble about how they tried. Then ask what happened on November 11, 1975. He won’t say Armistice Day. He’ll just drink his beer and sulk.

Plasticity

The plasticity of the brain defies belief…a woman born without a Cerebellum and not diagnosed till age 24. Which means that even though the genes that would normally be involved in cerebellum development were missing (actually they were there, they were just unable to perform this set of tasks), other genes were able to use other parts of the brain to perform the cerebellum’s tasks. The brain is able to function the way a drummer lays down a complex web of polyrhythms. That is, a drummer has two feet and two hands, but is able to create varying patterns by combining elements of the same hands and foot pedals striking in different but simultaneous patterns. And the brain can use the same neurons in varying patterns by making varying combinations of neurons…a neuron firing can fire off other neurons simultaneously so one neuron can be part of various chains of neurons performing various functions. It’s insanely complex.

Neurons firing off in real-time.  From 'The dynamic mind: Stunning 3D 'glass brain' (Daily Mail)

Neurons firing off in real-time. From ‘The dynamic mind: Stunning 3D ‘glass brain’ (Daily Mail)

.

Laundromat

I recall the time at a laundromat in Hollywood when a man was washing women’s underwear. They were drying, pink and violet and black and lace going round and round. As he plucked each dainty out of the dryer he’d try it on. Well, the brassieres he tried on. The panties he held in place in front of him and gazed in the mirror, seeing something we couldn’t see. Then he’d fold each item carefully and slip it into a bag, return to the dryer and start the performance all over again.

Laundromat

Laundromat

.

I am sick to death of the elite

I was about to submit some of my stuff to a major Los Angeles literary magazine when I saw the staff…. And I’m sorry, but you cannot be an LA literary magazine and be white as the driven snow. This is a major cosmopolitan city. Some people have dark skin. Some speak funny languages. Zillions of them are hispanic. Lots and lots are Asian. And not everyone is beautiful.

Unlike the staff of that literary magazine.

Fuck it. I am sick to death of the elite. They have all the money. They have all the land. They have all the power. We don’t have to give them all the words, too.

.

 

.