2012, the year begins

Here is a video recap of the year so far, including Rijeka, Venice and general cultural sampling from Athens.

2012 so far

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William Burroughs' Birthday (Also Mohammed's)

Yes, folks, it’s Colonel Bull Lee’s birthday. Celebrate him. I remember when Tuxedomoon was ushered into his august presence, back in 1979 in New York City. Winston and Bruce had already made his acquaintance, having brought him a box of Godiva shotgun shell chocolates, which he loved. They arranged through James Grauerholz, his secretary, for us to meet him. James came over to 217 Bowery, home of Ira Abramowitz, our New York headquarters, equipped with a tape recorder. He set it up and began to interview us, I suppose to screen us for idiocy. We passed the audition, so an audience was arranged for the following day.

Oh, be still my beating heart, we were ushered into The Bunker, his New York apartment in a converted YMCA locker room and sat around a table with William Seward Burroughs, our beat hero, our language is a virus, Doctor Benway Naked Lunch junkie guru. He served us tea and offered us a joint. We chatted most amiably about the ancient Mayans. He told me he remembered a poem I had given him when he had come to speak in Boulder Colorado in 1975 at Naropa Institute. Oh lordy lordy lordy me! Burroughs had read and remembered one of my things! Oh frabjous day!

We saw Burroughs once again when we played together at Paradiso in 1981 for the “One World Poetry Festival”. We shared a dressing room. We were his support group. He went out and read his Doctor Benway bit and that was that. What a gas.

Happy Birthday, uncle Bill, too bad you ain’t around to see the shape of things today. In a way, I guess you saw it first.

Burroughs film

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William Burroughs’ Birthday (Also Mohammed’s)

Yes, folks, it’s Colonel Bull Lee’s birthday. Celebrate him. I remember when Tuxedomoon was ushered into his august presence, back in 1979 in New York City. Winston and Bruce had already made his acquaintance, having brought him a box of Godiva shotgun shell chocolates, which he loved. They arranged through James Grauerholz, his secretary, for us to meet him. James came over to 217 Bowery, home of Ira Abramowitz, our New York headquarters, equipped with a tape recorder. He set it up and began to interview us, I suppose to screen us for idiocy. We passed the audition, so an audience was arranged for the following day.

Oh, be still my beating heart, we were ushered into The Bunker, his New York apartment in a converted YMCA locker room and sat around a table with William Seward Burroughs, our beat hero, our language is a virus, Doctor Benway Naked Lunch junkie guru. He served us tea and offered us a joint. We chatted most amiably about the ancient Mayans. He told me he remembered a poem I had given him when he had come to speak in Boulder Colorado in 1975 at Naropa Institute. Oh lordy lordy lordy me! Burroughs had read and remembered one of my things! Oh frabjous day!

We saw Burroughs once again when we played together at Paradiso in 1981 for the “One World Poetry Festival”. We shared a dressing room. We were his support group. He went out and read his Doctor Benway bit and that was that. What a gas.

Happy Birthday, uncle Bill, too bad you ain’t around to see the shape of things today. In a way, I guess you saw it first.

Burroughs film

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Groundhog Day, Ayn Rand

It’s groundhog day again. I could hardly wait. It’s also Ayn Rand’s birthday. Yes, today Ayn Rand comes up out of Hell where her poisonous soul seethes in perpetual agony. If she sees her shadow, we have six more weeks of recession and selfishness. If not….well, Atlas Shrugged.

Groundhog day trailer

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Punxsutawney Phil sees six more weeks of winterPunxsutawney, Pennsylvania | Thu Feb 2, 2012 11:09am EST Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog, has seen his shadow, promising six more weeks of winter.

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Ayn Rand interview with Mike Wallace, 1959

 

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Hollerin’ Contest, 1978

Country communication before the internet or the telephone.

 Welcome to Spivey’s Corner – YouTube.

and this is more or less analogous

Franzl Lang Yodelling King

and this, the greek version

 

Mozart's Birthday

My bust of Mozart

I think about Mozart a lot. I guess that a lot of musicians do. It’s that burial in a pauper’s grave. About the only thing that the American musician’s union used to do for you in return for the dues (besides preventing you from playing with 99% of the musicians in the world) was to take out a burial insurance policy in your name. When I was an actual member of the muso’s union, back in 1975, I thought this was the most absurd and pointless thing. Now, of course, with the mouth of the grave looming ever larger in my horizon, I’m not so sure. I am also convinced that they did this to prevent the Mozart effect. You might have rotten teeth and bleeding gums, you might starve, but at least they wouldn’t dump you in a hole and cover you with lime like the final scene of “Amadeus”.

And speaking of “Amadeus”, I cringe to admit that the movie made me cry. I identified with Salieri and Mozart both. I would mist up over the how tragically the world had under-appreciated my genius and then I would take another pull on my whiskey bottle. Boo hoo hoo.

I don’t know what Mozart was. I think that he, like Da Vinci and Einstein, was some sort of ubermensch, far far removed from the rest of us paddling in our ordinary pools of sludge. If we can be compared to amoebas swimming around in our puddle, Mozart was at least a tadpole.

So, happy birthday, Wolfie! Wherever you are now, and whatever you are doing. Maybe you and Salieri are a married couple living in New Jersey. Maybe Paulie Mozart plays bass in a metal band at a mob roadhouse while Marie Salieri-Mozart tends bar. Maybe their son Lynch Mob thinks he has a shot at “Jersey Shore”. Probably not.

The wikipedia entry on Mozart

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsaʁt], English see fn.),[1] baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart[2] (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music.

Mozart Rondo Alla Turca

Amadeus Burial Scene

 

Mozart’s Birthday

My bust of Mozart

I think about Mozart a lot. I guess that a lot of musicians do. It’s that burial in a pauper’s grave. About the only thing that the American musician’s union used to do for you in return for the dues (besides preventing you from playing with 99% of the musicians in the world) was to take out a burial insurance policy in your name. When I was an actual member of the muso’s union, back in 1975, I thought this was the most absurd and pointless thing. Now, of course, with the mouth of the grave looming ever larger in my horizon, I’m not so sure. I am also convinced that they did this to prevent the Mozart effect. You might have rotten teeth and bleeding gums, you might starve, but at least they wouldn’t dump you in a hole and cover you with lime like the final scene of “Amadeus”.

And speaking of “Amadeus”, I cringe to admit that the movie made me cry. I identified with Salieri and Mozart both. I would mist up over the how tragically the world had under-appreciated my genius and then I would take another pull on my whiskey bottle. Boo hoo hoo.

I don’t know what Mozart was. I think that he, like Da Vinci and Einstein, was some sort of ubermensch, far far removed from the rest of us paddling in our ordinary pools of sludge. If we can be compared to amoebas swimming around in our puddle, Mozart was at least a tadpole.

So, happy birthday, Wolfie! Wherever you are now, and whatever you are doing. Maybe you and Salieri are a married couple living in New Jersey. Maybe Paulie Mozart plays bass in a metal band at a mob roadhouse while Marie Salieri-Mozart tends bar. Maybe their son Lynch Mob thinks he has a shot at “Jersey Shore”. Probably not.

The wikipedia entry on Mozart

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsaʁt], English see fn.),[1] baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart[2] (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music.

Mozart Rondo Alla Turca

Amadeus Burial Scene

 

Django Reinhardt's Birthday

Today in 1910, Django Reinhardt was born. He died in 1953, the year I was born. That was not the only run-in I had with him. For years in Brussels, every time I got an accounting from SABAM, the Belgian performing rights society I would get a tidy sum for my song “Nuages” on my record “Broken Fingers”. My Nuages is basically another song on that record “Petit Piece Chinoise” played backwards, so I thought myself very clever and lucky to be getting money for that song. After some time had passed, I received a letter from SABAM telling me that that money had been intended for Django Reinhardt for his song “Nuages” and that I had to give it back! And they withheld my royalties for quite some time until I paid it back. Morons. Anyway, he was marvelous and so was his violinist Stephane Grapelli who was a hero of mine. Now here are some videos of him from youtube, followed by my song “Les Nuages”.

Django Reinhardt “Nuages”

 

Blaine L. Reininger “Les Nuages”

Les Nuages Blaine L. Reininger

 

Django Reinhardt’s Birthday

Today in 1910, Django Reinhardt was born. He died in 1953, the year I was born. That was not the only run-in I had with him. For years in Brussels, every time I got an accounting from SABAM, the Belgian performing rights society I would get a tidy sum for my song “Nuages” on my record “Broken Fingers”. My Nuages is basically another song on that record “Petit Piece Chinoise” played backwards, so I thought myself very clever and lucky to be getting money for that song. After some time had passed, I received a letter from SABAM telling me that that money had been intended for Django Reinhardt for his song “Nuages” and that I had to give it back! And they withheld my royalties for quite some time until I paid it back. Morons. Anyway, he was marvelous and so was his violinist Stephane Grapelli who was a hero of mine. Now here are some videos of him from youtube, followed by my song “Les Nuages”.

Django Reinhardt “Nuages”

 

Blaine L. Reininger “Les Nuages”

Les Nuages Blaine L. Reininger

 

Megaupload a story of Dotcom boom and bust | Reuters

This guy is hard to feel much sympathy for, though I feel as though I must side with the hacker types in a confrontation of this sort. This is an example of what happens when a boy who never leaves his room in his mother’s house suddenly has millions to spend. What an asshole.

Newsmaker: Megaupload a story of

Newsmaker: Megaupload a story of Dotcom boom and bustBy Lincoln Feast and Sarah Marsh Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:16pm EST (Reuters) – Among the roll-call of hip-hop artists and other celebrities plugging Megaupload.com's digital storage services in an online promotional video, a cameo from the website's founder would have gone unnoticed by many.

Kim Dotcom, king of the Megaupload empire | News | National PostAllison Cross Jan 20, 2012 – 4:23 PM ET | Last Updated: Jan 20, 2012 8:56 PM ET The playboy lifestyle of one of the world's biggest Internet pirates has been exposed after a raid by police on his home in New Zealand.

 

Megaupload a story of Dotcom boom and bust | Reuters

This guy is hard to feel much sympathy for, though I feel as though I must side with the hacker types in a confrontation of this sort. This is an example of what happens when a boy who never leaves his room in his mother’s house suddenly has millions to spend. What an asshole.

Newsmaker: Megaupload a story of

Newsmaker: Megaupload a story of Dotcom boom and bustBy Lincoln Feast and Sarah Marsh Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:16pm EST (Reuters) – Among the roll-call of hip-hop artists and other celebrities plugging Megaupload.com's digital storage services in an online promotional video, a cameo from the website's founder would have gone unnoticed by many.

Kim Dotcom, king of the Megaupload empire | News | National PostAllison Cross Jan 20, 2012 – 4:23 PM ET | Last Updated: Jan 20, 2012 8:56 PM ET The playboy lifestyle of one of the world's biggest Internet pirates has been exposed after a raid by police on his home in New Zealand.

 

Esoteric Wackiness Links

This is the first of my embeds of Delicious “stacks”, groupings of my bookmarks on various subjects near and dear to my heart and spleen. This first, some raving wacko stuff about conspiracies, ufo’s marginal religions and so forth. Fun for the whole kibbutz.

Delicious.com – [Esoteric Wackiness]A compendium of the out there and conspiratorial.