Jack, We Hardly Knew Ye (Anniversary of JFK’s Death)

JACK, WE HARDLY KNEW YE

November 22, 2002

I just realized that tomorrow is the 22nd of November. On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy was put to death before the eye of the world. I was ten years old at the time. Like many people, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard this news. I realize that a fairly lightweight little bulletin that reaches a number of people comparable to that of a small Baptist church in Kentucky or a reasonably full Airbus is hardly the place for great moaning polemics on the snuffing by force of liberal ideals or the insidious refusal of fascism to just die of embarassment, but what the hell.

I just didn’t want to let another anniversary go unobserved by me. This little missive is my JFK memorial.

I remember when Jack Kennedy came to my hometown of Pueblo, Colorado in the summer of 1963. Maybe it wasn’t even summer. Maybe it was on the same fatal trip. It would have made sense for him to stop in Colorado before heading further South. He had come to speak upon the allocation by Congress of funds to build a dam and reservoir in Pueblo, a stubbornly arid place.

East 4th Street was the way to Pueblo’s little airport. It was also the main street to the Barrio, the Mexican neighborhood, my neighborhood. All of us mexicans loved Kennedy because he was Catholic like us and because we perceived him as being on the side of those of us outside the grace of white America. We all lined up there on east 4th street, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. As it turned out, he didn’t stop, but he did slow down.

I remember seeing him there, backlit by the glare of the Colorado sun. I was amazed to see that his hair was red. The sun in that red hair made him look like very Apollo himself, Dionysos, Balder, the hung god come to perish for his beauty.

It doesn’t matter that Kennedy turned out to be another Irish machine politico, a spoiled frat boy with a bad back. Like the Russians after Stalin, we were all basking in the thaw after so many numb years under Eisenhower, and like the Russians we would have to learn what it felt like to have the cage door slammed back in our face.

Now we have empty suits like Clinton and Blair and Schroeder and Bush, fronting like the pimps they are for the fascist reptiles who truly call the shots around here. Ah well, I will nip this diatribe in the bud before it goes on too long.

I remember you, Jackie boy. I remember November 22nd. There. I have said enough.

bye now

blaine

Uneasy Listening, Origins of the Mosquito

November 2, 2002

UNEASY LISTENING

Greetings earthlings.

I seem to have been absent from your inboxes for a while. Miss me? I sure did. Time and tide find me in Athens again, preparing a show with my goombah Coti K. We will do our “Uneasy Listening” show at the AN club here in Athens on Saturday Nov. 9 and Sunday Nov. 10. If you happen to live in Greece, or you are desperate and fanatic, be sure to catch us. This show is an example of “surreal cabaret” and/or “semiotic stress disorder”. We are using some handy modern gadgetry and some very modern attitudes to take everyone’s minds off of the great shrieking pit of existential nausea that is life in the first part of the 21st century. Whew. Excuse me. I was looking at a picture of George Bush and I lost the will to live for a second there.

Other than that, things are ticking along well enough. Tuxedomoon is still lollygagging around, waiting for the proper home for our next “proper studio release”. Oh well. “We will sell no swine before its time”.

Enough o’ my yakkin’. I feel compelled to share a little story with y’all. I have had mosquitoes on the mind lately, from rehearsing the “Uneasy Listening” tune called “Re-Build the Mosquito” and since the little hell-spawned fiends refuse to do the decent thing and become extinct. They are still active in Greece. You think we get this climate without having to suffer? Hah.

Here is perhaps the only myth in human culture which bothered to explain the mosquito.

The Young Chamorrita Bride who turns into a Mosquito

One day the son of a chief from Talofofo on the island of Guam wanted to marry a young 
Chamorrita girl who was the daughter of the chief from Tamuning. When the couple 
received the consent from their parents, they agreed to marry. 
Soon after, the young bride died unexpectedly. Because of his undying love for his wife, 
the husband kept her body by his side and wept day after day.
After a while, he built a raft from a dokdok tree put his wife’s body on the raft and started 
out to sea. Suddenly a taotaomona appeared before him. It said to the young Chamorro, “I 
can bring your wife back to life.” 
“In order to do this, I need a pin made of bamboo.” The young Chamorro husband made a 
pin of bamboo and gave it to the taotaomona who stuck it into his hand. Blood from the 
wound flowed onto his wife’s body, and behold, she came back to life. 
“that’s a pretty neat trick,” said the man.
“thank you,” replied the taotaomona and disappeared.
Soon the young husband, tiring of sea food, decided to swim to shore to get some fresh 
fruit. On his return with the fruits, he saw his lovely wife standing on the raft with the 
taotaomona.
She told him that she was going away with the taotaomona. The enraged husband knew 
that he would have to kill her for betraying him. He stabbed her with the same bamboo pin 
which had brought her back to life. (The taotaomona, being no fool had buggered off.)
Her blood flowed into the water of the river, and she disappeared. As her blood emptied 
into the ocean, it turned into mosquito larvae. It is not known what happened to the young 
husband, though some believe that he became a taxi driver in Athens.

Today when a mosquito bites people, it is sucking blood with its long proboscis, trying to 
get back enough blood to become the once beautiful young bride which once lived on 
Guam.
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Thank you for your kind attention. See you at the taotaomona’s place for Guamian snacks.
yours
Blaine