I had two main distractions this weekend.
Sunday evening out with work friends. Stuffing ourselves at Dim Sum Go Go in Chinatown was followed by a short interlude daring our selves to get drunk at That Peculiar Bar. We didn't. One sign of age and experience perhaps. After two rounds we took the inspiration of the snow to go to a hookah cafe to down Turkish coffee between puffs. In keeping with our modern plugged in world is that we were able to fulfill our inspiration (Geoff just got back from a couple weeks working in Israel) by Googling for hookah cafes on our phone PDAs. After being turned down as too uncool at a place conveniently down the block from The Peculiar on Blecker we drove (both my friends had come in from 'Jersey and I must admit that being in a car gave us mobility for our whims) over to the Sahara East on 184 1st Ave. There we sat at the front table and weathered the blasts of snowy cold each time the door was opened by puffing on peach vanilla tobaco and consuming the aforementioned Turkish coffee along with humous and pita and stuffed grape leaves and baklava. Fortified with a pot of mint tea we participated in making slithery tracks in the snowy streets. Pete, even though you don't read here: thanks for the ride home.
I had worked Saturday morning and afterwards went to BooK Off, the Japanese used book and music store on 41st between 5th and Madison. Mostly bought odds and ends of US pop for $3 a cd, I did get Dreams Come True and The Southern All Stars (both early 90s Japanese pop music stars) and a book: Birth of the Cool by Lewis MacAdams, another transplant from Texas to New York City, although he lived in Cali at the time of publication in 2001.
I bought the book as a gift for my son and it is with some hesitation that I give it to him. Parental fears include his reaction to the excessive drug intake of cool cats like Burroughs and members of the cult of Charlie Parker. On the other hand he may not be interested in exploring old school hipsterism. I had wanted to return the favor last year of his hipping me to the current/recent sounds of Queens and Tokyo. I had annotated a copy of Jazz for Dummies intending to have him read it, the annotations being recommendations of samples from my record collection to go along with the reading. That didn't happen for various convoluted cop out reasons. I gave him some Monk and Miles and 60 rock on CD to take when he left last spring. Now I am ambivalent about giving him, a junior high drop out, a book about the drop outs and crazy hipsters of the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s. OK, OK, so I will send it already... as soon as I finish reading it, doing which has been my second main diversion for the weekend.
Inspiration for this post and further delaying the long put off pile of laundry that has to be done before work tomorrow came from Allen Ginsberg. I have mixed feelings about his poetry but his Journals Mid-Fifties has been toilet reading for me for the last couple of years. Nothing like pondering over his agonizing over giving Neal Casady a blow job while taking care of my excretory business. Having read more than half of MacAdam's "...Cool" and wondering about why those junkies and fags and social rejects created so much important art and creative work of the last half of the last century I am primed to come across these words from Ginsberg written in 1955:
"...the primary good of this here civilization, namely Truth of individual suffering & conscience & creation--not as against the mass, but against false conception of the mass & leaders of the mass which have led the mass to death--for the solitary and haunted individual is now the mass. And who will speak for his own wild naked mind will speak for the mass. [...] We want to read the individual, not his public thoughts. [They don't] think the individual is important. Just his wisdom. As if his Wisdom could be separated from the mistakes juices & privacies of his life. [They'll] reject [themself]. We pay politicians to do that to us, we need an affirmation of the individual from artists; especially the screwball."
Fuck my mixed feelings. I love and respect the distinguished faggot. And aren't Ginsberg's words appropriate for live journal and the world of blogging. Heh.
OK, now I somehow need to end today and prepare for tomorrow. I choose eat and sleep over laundry. There must be something presentably clean...
Have a good week ya'll.