Whatever you do, if the names 'Lenin' or 'Trotsky' come up in conversation with Wall Street types, make sure you spit your drink up in a confusion of astonishment and derisive laughter.
Lenin appreciated smart women, but used too many exclamation points. Moreover, his stand-up wasn't funny.
As to smart, particularly literary, women being the object of attention: 'been there, done that' says this would-be sharpie. What was her name. Tall blonde, of Icelandic heritage. Wrote formulaic Romance novels by the ream, a beauty, and 'liberated', both of us about 21 at the time.
I did my Weltschmerz-poet routine on her, and she . . . well, let's just say my stand-up wasn't very funny.
Maybe I've been immortalized in one of her novellas. Maybe more than once, say, in Napoleonic times, and again when knighthood was in flower.
Just speaking for myself -- and this may sound selfish -- if any Wall Street guys are listening and have tips that are 'pure gold', I wouldn't mind living the life of a rich man publisher with a movie starlet concubine in a simulated castle somewhere on the California coast, and meet kings and really good polo and tennis players and all.
('exploded paragraph' entry of this last word by Jean-François Revel, in his portion of The Monk And The Philosopher):
"The West has triumphed in science, but no longer has plausible systems either of wisdom or of ethics.
The East can bring us its ethics and teach us how to live better, but these are devoid of theoretical foundations -- the only exception being perhaps in psychology, which in any case, like sociology, falls short of being a science.
If by wisdom one understands an alliance of happiness and morality, then to live according to wisdom is certainly more difficult if that wisdom is constrained within purely empirical limits, with no help from a background of metaphysics.
Yet such limits have to be accepted.
Wisdom will always be a matter of conjecture.
Ever since the Buddha and Socrates, man has struggled to turn it into a science, but in vain.
It would be vain, too, to try to derive a system of ehtics or an art of living from the kind of knowledge that has become demonstrable.
Wisdom is not based on scientific certitude, and scientific certitude does not lead to wisdom.
2) Things I remember, essentially pointless: Honey Fitz, Eugene Pallette . . . wanted a longer list . . .
3) I wouldn't, if I were me
4) To die laughing!
5) (These lines went nowhere:
Wrest all from the wrist / The end of Spring's wind is no Spring / Hope that blossoms as a daffodil / That trumpet flowering in shower's light . . . -- nowhere!)
6) (This daydream, as many, as the few whose trail I trace back, only limp when expressed:
Mugging a face with arched, wide-open eye, I reminded myself of the actor, wonderful Shakespearean actor, Sir Donald Sinden, who, though I've seen him recently as the King of France in All's Well That Ends Well, must have played Hamlet at one time or another
. . . which made me think of Mel Gibson playing the role in a film whose Gertrude was Glenn Close who was one of the actors in The Big Chill, a film claimed to be the apogee of the Baby Boom Gen's 'maturity' and life stance, but whose shallowness embarrassed me the very hour I walked from the theater in 1983 watching other people I knew almost beam with self-satisfaction and vanity -- and real estate money
. . . this only two years and some months into the Reagan presidency and the enormous reactionary slide we have yet to shore up against adequately.)
Elephantine! Honey Fitz! I wouldn't, if I were me! Wrest all from the wrist! To die laughing!
D, a master of anecdote, ironic or sentimental, quirky and always clear-sighted, was relating a story, one of the million told about Ecocity, about a park preserved right in its heart.
After all these years, my reading is still so hasty, sloppy that it misconstrues meaning until a third or fourth reading. He was telling me, I thought, that on his birthday he was walking there and came across a mature woman whose hair, snowy and pulled back, demarked her as the momentary, magical incarnation of a swan who resides at the park's lake.
Another swan, I was misgathering from his tale, had been shot, darted-down by an unknown, sinister hunter, and because of that this swan had taken human form to solve the mystery of who'd done it and to bring the murderer to justice.
The story continued, this veer finding the Swan Lady and D together coming upon a man crouching over the corpse of a duck hen. The Crouching Man told them the duck had been attacked by several drakes and left lying at the lip of this pond where they stood.
My imagination leaped to the conclusion that the Crouching Man was the same as the Swan Hunter, and that he created this ruse in order to evade capture. As it turned out, D was relating literal events, literal avian deaths, in the literal surround of Palace Park in Ecocity.
It was only I who concocted this potential myth, turning brute happening into a capacious world of mystery needed only for the psychological balance of young children, 'rest-home' inmates, and myself.
I am incapable of understanding the world as it is.
Later in the day, five or six tumblers of no longer chilled wine not nearly all pissed out of me, and whatever generous remainder chemically going about its business, we drove home in our VW bug, windows open for 'cool air' and, if needed, for regurgitation.
The vomit never came; would that it had!
So, for hours I lay naked on our bed, floor fans angled up toward my body which B -- fine nurse! -- had covered with cold-water face cloths.
On that day, one marked incidentally by all our observation of the stallion's enormous erection, when Doug (or Ron or Rob -- his name is lost in the 100-degree sun) ignored the party and kept filling troughs with one abraded-leather glove on the 'hold-hand' and the other between his teeth to allow the free hand to spread feed -- on that day, after drinking far too much and allowing the alcohol to dehydrate me to alarming, hot-weather, levels, I envisioned an image which, when told, became the vow. . .
. . . He had been a successful San Francisco broker who jumped ship, bought acreage in the north county, and now 'ran' a horsehay ranch-cum-chicken farm.
She was a librarian in pigtails, laboring all her off-hours in great joy and hippie dedication at communal work and, frankly, pleasing her man, a 'Type-A' whose vocational vacation was operating the biggest agricultural enterprise in a rich, suburban area. . .
Inspired by the impish genius of a precocious 'Tween, giggled at throughout the length of junior high school, artfully smiled-at, in passing, while furtively assessing reaction on dates, raucously brought up as standard laugh-lines during stand-up comedy gatherings over a pitcher of beer, this informal poll came to be a measure (yes, there have been a couple of puns already) of one's 'sexual maturity'.
What was being sought?
1) Focus on male genitals, sure;
2) 'Boy' wear and 'Man' wear;
3) Relative constraint and consequent precautionary modesty of the brief as opposed to the loose, open-fly freedom boxers allow for (oops!) the 'inadvertent' erection; and
4) Last, but never least, if you need boxers, you must be so large (how large is it?) -- so large that you can't be contained in briefs. By implication, 'a Mississippi black snake' or 'a schlong the size of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel'.
MTV even ran this by John Kerry when he sought the Presidency. Boxers, said the senator, without so much as a pause. Didn't help. No matter how big it is, there's always a cigar-chomping crew in the wings able to cut it off. 'Swift-Boaters', 'Meat-Cutters'.
Unlike Engels who formulated the notion that 'quantity' eventually transmutes into 'quality' -- enough of something becoming something else dialectically new -- American sexual obsession, bleeding even into its politics, goes in reverse: 'quality' is only 'quantity'.
On our eventual grave-marker, two words: Gimme and More.