Jim Wilson’s Blog, 20 November 2015
It could be I’m just peeved from restless dreams last night. I was dreaming about Levon Helm again. Levon was a truth teller and we all know that. You get them every so often in the music industry and then everyone grows a beard, gets glasses and boots like they were a graphic designer and follows in behind. The ones who follow make all the cash. The guy in the front gets cancer and a weight on his shoulders. Still, who’d want to be Phil Collins?
Yesterday afternoon a young couple checked into this old Victorian-style boarding house where I am staying in New Jersey. I have the very top garret on the third floor and there is a shoebox room next to me and the young couple got it.
The guy bore a close resemblance to Steve McQueen and he looked like he’d fight anything going and lots of things that weren’t going as well. He must have been 28 and he drove a ’78 Corvette Stingray with plenty of rust and deeply sensuous headlights. This young man had dirty blond hair and wore Peter Fonda sunglasses. His co-offender was a Guatemalan woman, about 19, and she was sultry, beautiful and obviously difficult to please. Like all of them she wore red, which is the colour of her temperament. Jet-black hair tumbled across her face and down her back. She also had black eyes. They all do. I’ve met a few.
The man was a New Jersey hillbilly and she was a free spirit. I’ve seen it before. In the end, no one is happy.
In the middle of the night, I was woken by sounds that were like a Panzer division moving into the forests around Stalingrad in 1942. I could hear the tanks screeching and thrusting and then reversing back for cover as the Red Army retaliated in the snow. Or seemingly so. There was a rhythm, a climb and a crescendo to all of this and it went up and down and it was demonic. I began to hear Shostakovich’s “The Leningrad Symphony”, but I also recognised that Levon Helm was driving one of them tanks. He wanted the ultimate fruition and victory as well. It’s not very often you get that in this make-believe and pretend world. The tank commanders were screaming over their radios to each other and laughing deliriously. Leningrad or Petersburg what does it matter, it’s always the same old story. It’s a wolf pack out there and it’s coming to get you if you stand still.
With all these noises coming from the shoebox, I slowly came to realise that there was also a film crew in the hallway. I had a spiritual awakening when I grasped that all this was all about a remaking of “Debbie Does Dallas”. Yes, all of this was synthetic and none of it was real at all. It seems everyone has a role to play and they more comfortable doing that.
But, I felt very disappointed.
Like everyone, when I am pushed too far I can retaliate and I have certain principles which I will fight for. I have a decent sort of fury, but I have learnt the hard way that it is pointless to fight with the ‘eggs’ of this life. My grandmother had red hair, my mother had flecks of it and I have the temperament as well.
Here are some of the things that slut me to the very bottom of my ball bag and some that I love as well:
- Critics who are merely wrecking balls. I despise them. There’s a lot of beauty in this life. These ‘critics’ often have a stab at people who have talent and have worked hard to get where they are. We should respect them for that. These free roaming critics are not Lester Bangs and they ain’t Kenneth Tynan. Mind you, the public does like to see people thrown to the lions. Some people just wake up in the morning looking for something to hate.”A neurosis is a secret that you don’t know you are keeping.” – K. Tynan.Still, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to Phil Collins and there are some New Zealand bands that deserve to be on a fishing boat off the Chatham Islands.
- Political Correctness. This is just one more way of stopping people from expressing themselves. Then the people who can’t have their say vote the way the noisy people don’t like. This silent majority don’t like being screamed at by Internet bullies and so they just make sure they vote. I have some good friends who work in a gas station here in New Jersey and they just say what they think. None of them are on Facebook and I’m sure they carry Glocks. To each man his own.
- I don’t like a lot about ‘social welfare’ because I believe it creates dependency and encourages the idea that someone else should pay for your pity party. Further to this I might add that I Love social welfare where it is truly needed. My mum and dad died in Dunedin, New Zealand with mere pennies to their name. If they lived in this day and age they could not afford ‘commercialised rest home care’ as we now have in New Zealand.
- I detest the fact that many of our elderly go without because some bike gang is selling amphetamine and is on the dole at the same time.
- Now jail and imprisonment: There are some Morts in this life who need to be locked up forever. Then there are some people who feel sorry for these people. They stir up others in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘mercy’. Norman Mailer campaigned to get Jack Henry Abbot out of jail in the 1970s (1980s?) and then he (Jack Henry Abbot) stabbed a waiter a month later. Criminals usually want to wreck everything in their lives because they are afraid of the sunlight. They are there to take and not to give. I’ve been to jail; I know what it’s like. I enjoyed it. We all laughed a lot. We were the kind of people who would take advantage of anything.
- If you are going to be a doctor, you should do it for Love and not a Maserati in the driveway. You don’t need the silk shirts and ties, you need to wear a sack and give your expertise away.
- If you are in a band or in the Arts, then appreciate that good management will get you to where you want to go whilst you are laying in your bed at 2pm having your toenails painted, taking drugs, and screwing the bass player’s girlfriend. Give thanks and appreciation because you most probably are not the centre of the universe. Your manager might have more talent than you. The guy who owns the venue deserves some respect as well.
- I abhor ‘commercial radio’ and commercial media because I believe it is helping to create an ever more unreal environment. I believe a country (and radio and media) that is run by businessmen will have a hefty price to pay in health care because people need a real and genuine culture to dress themselves in. In New Zealand, we have mostly dreadful radio, television and newspapers. New Zealand is just too small to have schlock.
- ‘News Shows’ – don’t get me started. And this goes double for Internet ‘posts’. I am sure that someone will tell us all soon that water is bad for us and that we should drink more orange juice.
- The business of taking sides is irksome but if I had to take a guess I would say that Russia is a criminal enterprise and that Israel might act the way it does because of the holocaust. I’d say that Isis needs a damn good killing.
- Paradoxically, I don’t much like people who stand on the sidelines either, but me? I prefer to build for Beauty.
- Methadone Clinics? I don’t like them (though I have met some very good souls within them) because it’s so easy to be having a bad day and to go in and complain and come out dependent on a brand new drug that will do more harm than good.
- I can’t say I like people who take three or four pieces of hand luggage on commercial airlines flights. By and large it is not the Americans who do this anymore, it is people from those countries that are going through explosive capitalist growth. These people are also becoming very loud. Rampant capitalism encourages people to not think about how others may feel.
- It annoys me that one has to pay to visit Karl Marx’s grave in London. But I’ve also read he was a spendthrift who put his missus through hell. It obviously ain’t what you dance, it’s the way you dance it. People will say what they want to believe.
- I despise ‘liberals’ who promise to help and then just never return your telephone calls. The best lessons I have heard in this life are from people who told me to go away and do it myself. I have always found liberals to promise all these things to everyone without any effort required because they like looking gushingly in the mirror at themselves. There is not enough money nor expertise in this world to meet everyone’s desires, wants and ‘needs’.
- I can’t say I like the idea of government funds being allocated to people who work off a system and then pay off their mates. That ain’t rock and roll, that’s genocide. It’s just not cool.
- I spell and punctuate as I see fit. On my arm is tattooed ” ‘Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry. – Jack Kerouac’ “. Jack was a rolling and tumbling kind of writer and I like that.
- I saw a politician complaining about car park charges in Christchurch recently. Is this a job? Liberate the people and give them free car parks? That don’t sound right to me.
- Punk Rock Music changed my life. The night I saw The Vauxhalls in the Mt Pleasant Community Centre Hall in Christchurch I was uplifted. That gig gave me strength and impetus.
- I don’t see how anyone could write a book after Don Quixote but I’m glad a few people did: Thomas Pynchon, Barry Hannah, Larry Brown, W. Faulkner, F. Dostoevsky, L. Tolstoy, Michel Houellebecq and Janet Frame. I can’t say I like any Irish guff, but then, in our consciousness we are all drunken Irish men and women. It’s worms in there baby. Keep coming back, we love you!
- However, I like a good Irish beef stew. Don’t tell me about tofu; use your time in a more valuable way.
- I wish my dad had stood up. He’s been dead for 35 years or more and I’m still waiting. I use his voice in the meantime.
- I admire people who have had to fight for everything they have got. Inherited wealth ruins people and whole countries.
- It’s hard to write from the heart. They kill people like that.
- I love poets. In New Zealand I can immediately think of four or five who deserve statues in the park. These people are the true heroes. It’s hard to write from the soul, but I’ve already said that. It’s much easier to just give the people what they want and then to climb the pop charts and to pretend it’s art at the same time. They’ll buy you champagne for that.
- Graham Brazier was a True Legend as was Daniel Keighley. Both men had huge hearts. They died for it.
- Some people make better music drunk than when they are sober. Just being ‘sober’ is not an excuse for having no life. In my books, you can be 35 years sober and in a worse state than a drunk down the street.
- If you work for someone else, try and bypass how difficult you find them to be and strive to be patient and grateful. There are times when this is just impossible because psychopaths and sociopaths sometimes rise to the top. But, I often find that people and employees would rather complain about the boss than go and do something for themselves.
Lastly, I saw someone using a squeegee on car windows in the mist here in New Jersey the other morning. This guy was cleaning other peoples’ windscreens up and down the street and no one else would have known. I saw this as an act of Love & Faith. Try it, it works.
And, as John Adams said: “The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he is born.”
That’s wisdom whereas I am just a fool.