Philip Poburka on sat 7 jul 01
Certainly too, is that the existant puddles, trickles or streams or artesian
tributaries or what, of varied contuniations of things IN American Culture,
which are distinguishable from
those opportunistic parasites (as, those commercials some while ago, about
toyota, assumeing totemic charge of meaning and legacy...dads 'john-deer'
ride on it lawn mower, which could not have had LESS dignity if the guy had
tripped on it...on and on...),
...expliotive evocations and allusions, and sucessors OF Culture, (as
'Clydesdales'..., and the Beer-Wagon replicated ad naseum on plastic bar
...or shammimgs which assume some favour in the miasma of the
'marketplace', (anything any predident has said in generations...)
... or other as are what 'weeds' would be to a garden...will have more or
for us as we are exposed to them, or are are 'in' them as participants...or
have, aquire or reclaim...some cogniscance OF them...
So much of what I take for granted AS 'American' Culture, really does not
exist for hardly anybody.
If as rarely, I do mention of them, at 'parties' or what, to do so, I find
that no one knows what I am even talking about anymore, anyway...
The rest I never thought was worth noticeing, in positive terms... as other
than 'Culture' in a
fatalistic way, or that it is 'what' people 'do' under the circumstances.
Where, like in politeness, one
may notice, or not 'notice' a Goiter or a missing limb, or a conspicuous
deformity or limp, as when on a Street
Car...or at a restaurant.... as to have manners, in a way...one might say.
One averts one's eyes in politeness, but one 'notice' none-the-less...and
sometimes more than that.
Some years ago...I dated somewhat a Chineese 'Dragon Lady', who was wanting
me to educate her on things truely American...I recommended she
read Thoreau...allowed her to brouse old Senatorial debate transcripts from
our War with Spain, as to how we ought, or ought not , stay clear of
'inclusion' of the Spanish territorial concessions, as the Philipines,
Puerto Rico, Cuba etc...oweing to their histories AS places, making for them
the potential for being terrible 'Trojan Horses'...
Hoover Dam...'WPA' stuff...on and on...CCCs...Vee-16 Cads... Model "A"
Coupes...the Old Time 'Socialists' in South Dakota, and how they got a
'Solialist' Governor there once, for a while, in 1918? was it? who got a lot
of matters cleared up for the Farmers, who the RailRoads and Banks had been
bourdoning with injustices that would make you sry, if you HAD a 'heart' to
How Presiden Andrew Jackson was mean spirited to the
Cherokee...peed on the floor of the White House when he'd been
drinkin'...odds and ends, the wax and wane...the direction and the
drift...the aspirations and the declinations...the vision and
the challenges...the Apples and the Oranges, and that...
That we once were, "The New Constellation in the indigo map of the
Black Elk...Ishi...John Chappman...on and on...the many sides of the
What our Paper 'Money' looked like, how Formal and Intelligent it was,
before l928, when they went from the 'Blankets' to the 'small-bills'...and
how even after THAT, it deteriorated into ignominy...Coins as well...steeped
in the juices OF what government and the nation has become, the expressions
'government' express well their seeping contempt...banality and deciet...and
the insult of even having to handle this 'money' is a revenge of theirs
which has no remourse...
And generally shared things I regarded as 'American'...and the etiologies of
I had allways Liked China, and was happy as a bug in China-Town in San Fran,
years ago, and the Chineese people there allways seemed to like me too.
There was something mysterious that had me feel at 'home' with them...and...
We got along nicely, to the mild surprise of all concened.
They liked my Truck as well...they'd come out and visit, with aprons
'in-back'...wipeing their hands...tough guys with bad haircuts and pockmark
cheeks...the guys you never see...
They'd say 'Burma-Road!'...and point to my old Chevrolet one ton...and I'd
say 'yea'...we'd pass around Lucky Strikes and nod a lot...them no English,
me no Chineese...but the mood was there...we were 'allright' with eachother.
I liked them a lot.
They got it.
Well, she was pretty well educated...had maybe more 'education' than she was
letting on, I sometimes wondered just WHAT she had been 'doing'...
She found some twerp who designs printed circuits or something, and had a
condo, and who
had a handshake like room temperature wet newspaper.
My quess was that she'd poison him in a few years...assume his 'assets' and
So much for 'America'...tutorials...
I reminded her one day, that some pause to reflect on the memory of the
a nod of acknnowledgement, wouldn't hurt...she was from
Nanking, then latterly of Shainghai... If memory serve...or how the Chicago
Bank Note Company used to
print their Paper Money, back when...or did she want to maybe ask her Mom,
Dad, Aunts or Uncles, as to whether they'd sleep well at night if she buys
that new 'toyota' and all...or were they still around anyway...or stuck
makin' christmas lights...with chill-blained knuckles and bad lighting...
...didn't care...so..I figured we got one more 'american' here...who could
not be interested in anything...or worse even, was interested in all the
'non' things...another 'tick' dangleing on the belly of the Old Dog...better
'there' than in it's ear, I suppose...easier to get to...but with plenty of
'company', to be sure...
One more Trojan Horse eating the Oats...
Bowling and fast food?
If only it were as benign as that!
Ahhh..well, so much for Mr. Jefferson's 'Gentlemen Farmers'...
so much for all of 'em...so much for Thomas Paine...so much for 'common
Now, a 'child' in school would be expelled if they drew a line-drawing or
silohuette of Seargent York...or of a 'Minute-Man'...or of John Brown even,
I suppose...or if they displayed
the capacities TO 'appreciate' that they decidedly
'may-not'...and were perplexed on that eventuallity, and the implications of
...and for other of 'ommisions' and prohibitions...of what IS or is not
on...of how 'we' are making 'sense' of things, and the 'kind-of' sense the
'sense' we make, makes.
In another decade, that will be 'enough' to get you into an internment,
're-education' or 'mental'
facility, or be on mandatory 'meds'...or maybe a 'camp' ...or in
litigation...who knows...or be
deemed 'mentally-unfit', or
an enemy of the State...or a 'social-something'...
Like Ol' uncle 'Joe' Stalin liked to do...there are plenty of 'pages' from
HIS book getting read and studied, and getting 'read' aloud, and studied
with and with out
'cheat-notes'...and the more they do, the more people nod and
get used to it.
In '84, I think it was, I made mention a few times as to how maybe 'every;'
hi-school student ought be urged TO read 'Catcher in the Rye'...and maybe
even also 'join' the Jody Foster Fan Club...well I was being (slightly)
'humorous'...but just got puzzled looks...it was dark humour..to be
sure...and worse than that...nobody got it anyway...
Especially if little 'billy' or 'sue' want their parents to have that
'bumper-sticker' that brags up the grades...and without grades, they are
coerced into conceeding, that they don't, and won't...("ever")
exist...they 'learn'...to 'exist'...on somebodyelses terms...and that is the
problem...or one OF them, at any rate.
Exist for who?
And as what?
Another tick on the belly of an Old Dog...
Independence Day assumes new ironies, and convolutions OF irony...a knot OF
ironies...a 'Macrame' of Ironies...maybe a tangled Macrame...(mac-rah-may?)
of ironies...a tangled wet and soggy Macrame of decidedly convolute and
involute interstices of layered ironies...too few can trace the
'knots'...and the knots become, what is 'given'...what one 'has' to work
with...and one 'works' with what one's got...one way or the other.
"In - (co)dependence-daze"...being more like it...I shoulda 'waved' a
'Sparkler'...I guess...or something...or something...or something...I
squinted at the fire-works from the casinos...
watched...gave it some thought...did the dishes...fried some 'taters and
But still...beats the hell out of a lot of places...more or less...mostly
'more' I suppose?
Well...yea...in a way, because we still DO 'have-a-chance'?...it maybe beats
the hell out of poor Biafra, or it's absense now...it
having died on the vine along
with all the Biafrans...and all their brave and gentle beauty and
civility...along with their
million and change of People's efforts and
aspirations...along with our integrity and careing...maybe the
Government/Corporate/Military/Industrial boys what had the 'chrome'
contracts with ol' Eddie Amin dada 'president-for-life' cannibal boor, just
anything from Biafra...just were not interested in what was happening with
whilst the world looked at a hangnail, or whistled an absent tune, fussing
with something 'else'...till it blew over...and it did...blow over...
Sure...a few venerable 'C-47s' brought in some supplies...a few Twin Beaches
carried 'em some iodine and canned chicken or something...there were a few
good sports..who tried to do something...poured the soup through the old
stromburgs...and lived to tell the tale...
No 'Abraham Lincoln' Brigade for them...I'd a joined it if there were...and
in looking back, I wish I'd been the boy to start one up, if I'd had half a
brain...I was seventeen...I could have done that...if I'd thought of it...if
I'd had the appreciation that I could have started one...
Most 'americans' now, probably couldn't even spell it.
Let alone, 'relate' TO the notion.
They have their entanglements, like a bug mummey, in a Spider's web...they
can't 'do' much...like that...they 'learned' to 'exist' allright...like a
bug-mummy in a web.
If it were the 'Titanic'...and it (s l o w - m o t i o n ) is...one may
still remember their manners,
and not 'bolt' immodestly...into the cold cold 'waters'...?
Some days I feel like 'Ishi'...only with no 'Stanford' boys to take me to
And for all the same reasons.
Metaphors...allusions...the Circus of Dr. Lao even...?
Sure...or at least that's the 'mood' today...and it better be...too.
Else where IS the 'Hommage'?
And to 'what'?