Saturday, August 27, 2016

Battle Of Long Island 1776

After successfully ousting the British from Boston on March 17, 1776, General George Washington assembled the 10,000 strong Continental Army in New York to deny King George III's Royal Navy access to the harbor. Throughout the spring and summer Washington's commander's prepared defenses in Manhattan, however in July the British task force landed in Staten Island and General Howe gathered over 30,000 troops for his offensive.

After making landfall on August 22, the redcoats strengthened their numbers with Long island loyalists. Still believing the city to be the prime target, Washington sent over 1500 troops as reinforcement to General Isaac Putnam's command.

It was not a feint and on august 27 the first blow fell on the forts of Long Island, taking the rebels by surprise with overpowering force of arms.

The battle was a disaster for the Americans.

The bravery of the Maryland 400 forestalled defeat, but at day's end Washington and his troops were trapped under Brooklyn Heights. One more push and the rebellion would be quashed with traitors hanging from every available tree in New York.

The attack never came that night.

The British had been taught a deadly lesson at Bunker Hill.

They dug ditches ever closer to the American lines.

In the morning the redcoats discovered that Washington and his soldiers had been evacuated by John Glover's Marblehead regiment.

9000 troops had escaped the trap and the war wasn't destined to end until General Conwallis' surrender at Yorktown six years later.

Not a victory.

Most certainly a defeat.

More a draw with the British realizing that the world would turn upside down one day.

But not on August 27.

Rockaway 116th Street

The Sand Bar on 116th Street in the Rockaways was a great place to kill the end of a bay at the beach, until Tropical Storm Sandy destroyed the legendary dive bar. The city condemned the property to pave the way for a nine-story luxury condo development by the Marcal Group without out any plans for affordable housing.

"We are not affordable housing developers," said Mark Caller, the principal partner

A friend of mine extolled the project.

"It will bring new life to that area."

I hate it, because the Rockaways have always been working-class and I like it that way.

But just like the East Village, Chelsea, Harlem, Chinatown and many parts of Brooklyn, the city prefers luxury condos to middle or lower class housing.

Why?

Not because of taxes.

Because they will empty the city of the under-class.

Economic and ethnic cleansing.

Which is why the landlords are the first ones to be executed in a revolution.

In the words of Proudhon "All property is theft."

And Chairman Mao believed the same thing.

Except he also believed that all property belonged to the state.

There has to be a middle ground, but the Marcal Group's plans are only for the rich.

So up against the wall, mother-fuckers or mā le ge bā zi in Mandarin.

Bring back the Sand Bar.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lily's Time Out

When you're bad, you go to the sin bin.

Even Lily.

A blonde as pure as snow.

This postcard served as an inspiration to many like Lily Bayliss for Pete Townsend's first power pop hit.

To hear the Who's PICTURES OF LILY please go to the following url https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BmkBroiw1s

MOSES' BEST FRIEND by Peter Nolan Smith

New York City showed its teeth the winter of 1980. The police were racketeering our after-hours nightclub. One of the Continental’s backers was a gangster from Odessa, Russia. Vadim was going out with my old girlfriend from Buffalo. The tough zek smuggled stolen icons and passed bad paper. Lisa looked good in his furs.

Only problem was that our newest investor in illegal enterprise looked like the FBI mostly since they were the FBI investigating the dirty cops.

Arthur had hired me to work the door, however his partner, a poster boy/model for herpes, didn’t like my attitude and Paul Garcia wasn’t alone. Arthur apologized, “I got to let you go.”

“No worries.”

The microphone wire on Arthur’s chest was never a good sign and I accepted the offer from a Paris nightclub to work the door as a physionomiste i.e. doorman. Jacques and Fabrice paid my plane ticket to France. I got to choose a DJ. Vladmar was my choice. He arrived one day after me. The dance crowd loved his spinning of cold wave hits. I was another story.

“I don’t know how to speak French.” Two years of grammar school French from a nun with a lisp had taught me how to ask, “Ou est le Bibliotechque?” I explained to the owner.

“Pas de problem.” Jacques shrugged with ease.

The previous door person had been Farida, an Algerian Amazon. She was leaving her post to pursue a modeling career. She was that beautiful.

"I want someone not French. You only have to say two words. ‘Ouais’ or ‘non.”

“Okay.” I had learned that trick at CBGBs, Hurrah, and Studio 54. “But I don’t know anyone in Paris. Not the famous people. Not the people who go to nightclubs.”

“Bien.” His partner was tired of everyone getting in for free. “Make them pay. I don’t care if it’s Brigitte Bardot.”

“But how shall I treat them?”

“Like shit.”

“Like shit?”

“Comme le merde.”

I followed those orders to the tee, except I treated my favorites with glory and I built a new clientele for the old bathhouse off the Avenue Sebastopol; rockers, punks, models, gangsters, pop stars, and just normal people too.

For the most part the owners liked the mix.

It was edgy.

One night a decrepit clouchard approached the entrance to Les Bains. The bouncers moved to prevent the derelict's climbing the stairs. They were off-duty Legionnaires. I ordered them to stop and asked the grizzled drunk in Boston-accented French,"Why are you here?"

“Because I’m a good friend of Moses.”

"A personal friend?"

"From birth. He told me to meet him here."

"Come on in."

"Are you serious?"

"Mais ouais." I had heard plenty of excuses from people seeking to enter the Bains-Douches. None of them were as good as that offered by this 'friend of Moses'.

"I have no money." The clouchard patted his pockets.

"A friend of Moses doesn't need money. Here are two drink tickets. Have a good time."

His raison d’etre granted him entry to the elite boite de nuit and I went inside from time to time to make sure that he was having a good time. The clientele of the Bains-Douches opened their hearts to the Friend of Moses. He wasn't one of them. They liked different. I considered him harmless, until my boss stormed up to the front door.

"What's wrong?" I didn't have an idea what, but I was sure about the 'who'.

"Your friend drank a bottle of wine from Thierry Mugler’s table." My boss had a sweet spot for the fashion czars of Paris.

"Really?" I regarded the designers as a little full of themselves and laughed at the situation.

"You think it's funny."

"Just a little. I'll show him out."

“Why did you let him in?”

“Because he’s a friend of Moses.” The excuse wasn’t so funny to the patron, but he had never seen Charlton Heston part the Red Sea in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

I know it was special effects, but the real thing must have been very impressive.

I had the bouncers or 'videurs' escort the clouchard from the dining area and he cried out, “You can’t treat the friend of Moses like this.”

“Sorry, I'm just doing my job."

"Pas de problem." Then he cried out, “Just wait till I talk to him. He has more plagues up his sleeves than I have fleas.”

Nothing as bad as the killing of the first born visited the Bains-Douches and several nights later I spotted the friend of Moses in Les Halles hectoring passers-by about the 27 Commandments. I wish that I could remember his 'thou shalt nots', except I’m lucky if I can repeat Moses’ 10.

One afternoon he cursed everyone with damnation at the very popular Cafe Pere Tranquille.

The junkies and drunks laughed at his predictions of doom.

I looked to the sky.

The madman pointed a finger at me. “That Amerlot loves God.”

And I wish it were true, but I had been a non-believer since 1962 and I gave him 20 francs, for it wasn't such a bad idea to have the friend of Moses saying good to the Grand Seigneur, even if the drunk is completely mad, for while their Lord moves in strange ways, so do the mad.

The 10 Unanswerables


According to the Old Testament Moses descended from Mount Sinai with two stone tablets inscribed with 17 Commandments and although the adopted son of the pharoah was the only man in the crowd who could read, Yahweh deigned not to write in Egyptian, so there could have been a thousand commandments for all Moses or Charlton Heston knew in the DeMille's version of THE TEN COMMANDMENT.

The re-interpretation in the ensuing millenia have whittled the 17 to 10, although the late comedian George Carlin shrank the list to One Commandment 'THOU SHALT KEEP THY RELIGION TO THYSELF!!!'

I have religiously obeyed his non-divine edict, as have an increasing number of non-believers, however American education has ignored Judeo-Christian thought for the last half-century along with geography, history, math, art, PE, and any science with an -ology at the end of the word.

People know less and less. Few can complete all the Ten Commandment, however anyone can resurrect the list by going to ask.jeeves.com and the interactive website had come up with its own list called the Ten Unanswerables, which are the following.

1. What is the meaning of life?

2. Is there a God?

3. Do blondes have more fun?

4. What is the best diet?

5. Is there anybody out there?

6. Who is the most famous person in the world?

7. What is love?

8. What is the secret to happiness?

9. Did Tony Soprano die?

10. How long will I live?

Having recovered from my Friday night occupation of a bar stool at Solas on East 10th Street, I will try to provide Ten Answers for the Ten Unaswerables.

1. The meaning of life is simple. Live today for tomorrow you die.

2. There certainly isn't a bearded God wearing a muumuu in the clouds.

3. Blondes have more fun, if you like blondes.

4. The best diet is excess in moderation.

5. There are plenty of anybodies out there. They just don't know where we are.

6. The famous person in the world is Andre the Giant. To me at least.

7. Love is like pornography, I know it when I feel it.

8. The secret to happiness is loving yourself and the world around you. Even in North Philadelphia, which can be a very bad place.

9. Death on TV is cancellation. Even Tony Soprano can't escape swimming with the fish on TV.

10. Everyone lives until they die. See answer one.

Not trying to be smart, for anyone who thinks that he has heard all the answers has not heard all the questions.

TOUCH OF EVIL Opening Scene

According to Wikipedia many critics considered Orson Welles' three-minute, twenty-second tracking shot in TOUCH OF EVIL as one of the greatest shots in cinematic history, especially considering that it's the opening scene.

Here's the synopsis.

On the U.S.-Mexico border, a man plants a time bomb in a car. A man and woman enter the vehicle and make a slow journey through town to the U.S. border. Newlyweds Miguel "Mike" Vargas (Charlton Heston) and Susie (Janet Leigh) pass the car several times on foot. The car crosses the border, then explodes, killing the occupants.

To see the opening scene of TOUCH OF EVIL PLEASE go to the following URL

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg8MqjoFvy4

Out Of My Small Hands

NRA president Charlton Heston famously told a gathering of gun-lovers at the 129th NRA convention, in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 20, 2000, "I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."

While the slogan's originality has been attributed to the Hollywood actor, however the line was first popularized by Bellevue, Washington's Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in 1970, "I Will Give Up My Gun When They Peel My Cold Dead Fingers From Around It."

Tough words.

From a actor wearing a wig.

And I never believe anyone who lies about their baldness, especially Donald Trump.

Most recently a north Carolina Sheriff extolled the GOP candidate's shooting ability, saying “I’ve got to say this man can shoot.”

However judging from his grip of a rifle, I could pry any weapon out of the fat short eye's small hands without a fight.

And fuck Charlton Heston too.

He had small hands too.