Category Archives: Video

This is Saigon (1967)

Farewell, my wistful Saigon bride
I’m going out to stem the tide
A tide that never saw the seas
It flows through jungles, ’round the trees
Some say it’s yellow, some say red
It will not matter when we’re dead
How many dead men will it take
To build a dike that will not break?
How many children must we kill
Before we make the waves stand still?
Though miracles come high today
We have the wherewithal to pay
It takes them off the streets, you know
To places they would never go alone
It gives them useful trades
The lucky boys are even paid
Men die to build their Pharaoh’s tombs
And still, and still the teeming wombs
How many men to conquer Mars?
How many dead to reach the stars?
Farewell, my wistful Saigon bride
I’m going out to stem the tide
A tide that never saw the seas
It flows through jungles, ’round the trees
Some say it’s yellow, some say red
It will not matter when we’re dead
   – Joan Baez Saigon Bride (1967)

 

“If You Are Going To Try, Go All The Way” – Charles Bukowski

Bukowski’s autobiographical anti-hero, Henry Chinaski: ‘The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves.”  – Ham On Rye 1982

Los Angeles Tour:

5124 De Longpre, Hollywood – residence 1964-1973. Post Office, Notes from a Dirty Old Man, South of No North, Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, The Days Run Away like Horses, and Factotum written there.

Frolic Room (6245 Hollywood Blvd) – Alcohol.

Musso & Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Blvd) – Alcohol. Ruben no longer.

Pink Elephant Liquor Store (1836 N Western Ave, Los Feliz) – Alcohol.

Richard J. Riordan Central Library (630 W 5th St., Los Angeles) – Books.

USPS Terminal Annex (900 N Alameda St., Los Angeles) – Work 1952-1955 and 1958-1969.

Cole’s French Dip (118 East 6th St., Los Angeles) – Alcohol.

Smog Cutter (864 N. Vrigil Ave., Los Angeles) – Alcohol

Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center  (681 Venice Blvd, Venice) – Shrine.

Barkowski (2819 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica) – Shrine.

Santa Anita Racetrack – Horses.

Huntington Library (1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino) – Papers.

San PedroResidence. 1978-1994. Ham on Rye. Near Bandini Street and Elementary school (Fante).

Downtown Books (414 W 6th St, San Pedro) – Books.

Green Hills Memorial Park Cemetery (27501 S Western Ave, Rancho Palos Verdes, Plot: Ocean View #875) – Grave. “Henry Charles Bukowski, Jr. — Hank — “Don’t try” — 1920-1994.”

While you’re at it… more infamous drinking establishments in Los Angeles

George Orwell: From 1936 to 1984

Eric Blair’s (aka George Orwell) masterpiece “1984” is suddenly the flavor of the month again, with good reason. But one can’t fully understand the motivations and experiences that led him to write it without having also read his unforgettable memoir from his time fighting for the Republic in the Spanish Civil War– “Homage to Catalonia.” Late in life he wrote: “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it.”

Read the text online: Homage to Catalonia 

Or listen>

Tony Judt – Past Imperfect, Present Impotent, Future ?

Tony Judt wrote this about the state of the Left in America in his book Ill Fares The Land …

“We no longer have political movement. While thousands of us may come together for a rally or march, we are bound together on such occasions by a single shared interest. Any effort to convert such interests into collective goals is usually undermined by the fragmented individualism of our concerns. Laudable goals – fighting climate change, opposing war, advocating public healthcare or penalizing bankers – are united by nothing more than the expression of emotion. In our political as in our economic lives, we have become consumers: choosing from a broad gamut of competing objectives, we find it hard to imagine ways or reasons to combine these into a coherent whole. We must do better than this.”

Taking the recent election as evidence Judt, who passed away in 2010, was right on target (no pun intended). Here are some valuable web resources for further investigation of this important thinker:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?189437-1/postwar-history-europe-since-1945

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2010/04/29/ill-fares-the-land/

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/tony-judt-interview

The Strange Death of Liberal America

Tony Judt’s Obituary in the Guardian

In today’s America, neoconservatives generate brutish policies for which liberals provide the ethical fig leaf. There really is no other difference between them.”
Tony Judt, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century