Der Zuschauer

A Journal of Essays and Reportage on Drama, History, and Literature

Archive for November 2011

Gorkyland: Home for the Holidays

leave a comment »

I have not been living in a tent in Occupy Harvard.

I have been living in a shelter in the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

I do not care whether the Super Committee fails or the NBA saves a season.

My brother is dead; my mother is dead; my father is dead.

I just want to be home for the Holidays.

I am a socialist; I believe in promiscuity.

Why are women such nag-bitch-nag-viragoes about alcohol, reading, and a man’s free time? I can’t stand women. I’m a veteran of two-failed marriages, two failed foreign wars. My first wife was a chef and a passive-aggressive nightmare. Surely, it was all my fault. She was 9 years older than I was and we wed after knowing each other for 30 days. How much of a fool was I? My second marriage was a true heart-breaker, so I won’t write about it, except to say she was 20 years younger and I was an even greater fool.

Why are women such harpies about the grape and fermentation? My first wife would have made Socrates’ wife seem like a fairy-dust angel. It is true that women are always mad about that 3rd beer (that 3rd Gorky), and always wanting you to appear in coupled concert, with other binary partners, in pussy-whipt dominion. Add to the idea of amorous, monogamous chains, that of sexual satisfaction (Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas with diamonds), and you’ve got a ripe recipe for acrimony and dissolution.

As a writer, translator, and dramaturg, I find cold beer and red wine much more helpful and valuable in regard to my work than any broad can be, ever how interesting 38 DDs can be. My library, a few windows, a stack of moleskines, perhaps a trophy-bra hanging from a door-knob. Just now I’m reading in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and I’ve just started working through an anthology of 20th-Century German Poetry, edited by the poet, Michael Hoffman.

In August of 2009 my significant other moved out and left me flat. There is a reason and necessity for euphemism, just as there is for the semi-colon. Then I had a heart attack and was in the hospital for six weeks. At the time of the ICU period, the Megasaurian Butch-Pussy 1st wife remarked to all and sundry, “It would be better if he just died.” Probably so, but, I didn’t die.

Americans have a lurid, puritanical idea of alcohol and drinking, almost as schizophrenic as their attitude toward sex. And if your girlfriend worries you about that 3rd beer, you can rest assured she’s a fan of Charles Bukowski. Strict about monogamy and STDs, with an I-forget # over 30. Which is to say, “Why bother with women at all except as intellectual colleagues and orgy-partners?” No small talk at the play ground, no dry Sunday brunches, no PTA meetings. “Aus bleichen Masken shaut der Geist des Bosen.”

Which is to say, “It’s certainly all my fault.” In 1999, they told me in the hospital that drink would kill me in 6 months. In 2009, they told me I could end up homeless, which would be worse than death, that I’d be better off dead, and who can argue with that? Have you ever been to one of those big Friday Night AA meetings where all the men ride Harleys and the coffee-cup-assed chickettes wear cowboy boots and skin-tight blue-jeans? Yeehaw, Yeehaw-you’re right, I’d rather be dead.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2011 Der Zuschauer.

Gorkyland: On Friday My Great-Coat Was Stolen

with 5 comments

It was at an enforced AA Meeting at the BU Marsh Chapel where the weasel-stoat denizens are described as “well-educated and enlightened.” I had arrogantly gone to the toilet with the supreme confidence of the smugly saved. “There seemed no reason for concern or suspicion.” It may seem like a scene from a Victor Serge novel (Conquered City, or Comrade Tulayev), where Higher-Power Assholes abound in the Stalinist totalitarian state, but it was just the same old piss-mire of dope-fiends, alcoholics, coat-pullers, fags looking for John the Bopper and Jesus the joint-jumper, and very predictable old Vladimers and Estragons, straight out of the old Godot flask. On the same Friday I saw an old duffer in pajamas walking down into the Davis Square subway station and seeing his plastic 1.75 bottle of Ruble Vodka slip out of his belt and down his trousers and out on the floor, all without breaking; such are the miracles of science. I recently had had a list of all the microbiological viruses and fungi, which tend to reside in the vagina, read out to me: “Think about that the next time you go down on some slag!” I have to go to Alcoholic Anonymous Meetings to satisfy a residency requirement. “Think about a sponsor.” On Thanksgiving Day there are these hideous 24 holiday marathons (Alcoholothans) for booze-bags and coke-heads and the other poor bastards who have to get their dog-it tickets signed. I get bartenders or package-store clerks to sign mine. This is all part of recovery, which is recovery from what? Earlier, I arrived on the Central Square T-Station platform and tried to wedge my way past a dyed-blonde, menopausal, female fright (not a street person), who was hanging in the doorway. I dodged one way and then another and finally darted around her with my cane in order to avoid getting crushed by the door. She shouted out, “Sir, if you are implying I am a Kosovo Serb, I will not stand it!” I said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” “I said, sir, I will not have you imply I am a Kosovo Serb!” This was a register higher and right in my face. All the usual, oblivious people were staring at both of us like we were war criminals. “I didn’t say anything to you until you began to yell at me.” Then she sat down fours seats away hissing: “At least I know what ‘imply’ means!” “That,” I said, “is a classic cunty remark, you old hose-bag!” This was met with incomprehension by the Trolls who now had decided I was a hag-molester, a veritable SVU criminal. I begin to long for a plastic 1.75 bottle of Ruble Vodka of my own, with which to beat the old monster to death, all the while calling her the ugliest, nastiest, Kosovo Serb I had ever seen still alive, and then, having seen her properly dead, I could begin to celebrate Thanksgiving early. I immediately left the train and the old bitch-nag with the trolls. I had a phone call to make about cash benefits and disability. Who knew? Were there any Serbs left in Kosovo?

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2011. Der Zuschauer.

Written by herrdramaturg

November 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Gorkyland: Upon the Troglodyte, and, the Troglodytic

leave a comment »

A Troglodyte, according to the OED in the first instance, is one of various races or tribes of men (chiefly ancient or prehistoric) inhabiting caves or dens (natural or artificial); a cave-dweller or cave-man. That a cave-man can be prehistoric or contemporary is evidenced by the recent Geico Car Insurance ads on TV, or, the life of Hunter S. Thompson. Instance three notes people who live in seclusion; people unacquainted with the affairs of the world (i.e., both that of the 1% and the 99%), a hermit (i.e., one who fucks the duck, Clare, and then has Gertrude, the wife, cook the duck, also known as consensus among women). The 3rd instance in the OED (also known among atheists as the Word, the Gospel, or the Truth Historical) mentions a dweller in a hovel or slum (or an animal shelter, or a homeless shelter, or the Bristol Lodge in Waltham, the Sally, or Salvation Army in Central Square, or Albany Street, the wet shelter near Central Square), or a person of a degraded type like prehistoric or savage cave-dwellers (or alcoholics, dope-fiends, stock-brokers, 2nd level sex-offenders, tenured university professors, politicians on the right, politicians on the left, tent-dwellers, social-workers, case-managers, housing advocates, methadone bartenders, sophists, you know: Socrates, Plato). That these definitions can be astutely and precisely extended can be evidenced by H. Rogers in his Essays II (1854): “Some would make him…such a very Troglodyte in metaphysics that he was not properly acquainted even with such writers as Descartes or Hobbes.” One can’t help imagine further extension: Foucault, Derrida, Lacan. One wants to demand devolution as well: Celine, Malaperte.

Now among the Troglodytal, the Troglodytan, the Troglodytish, and generally of, all out, Troglodytism, one must mention men thrown out by their wives in the hideously wife-friendly Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for crimes like drinking a six-pack of beer a day; ghouls, goons, vampires, crack-smokers, werewolves, wife-beaters, crack-dealers, cross-gender wife-beaters, case-worker abusers, social worker level 3 sex-offenders, homos who beat up their pussy-bitches, all the zombies who know how to drool out 12-step cannon fodder, traumatized rhetoricians, potty-mouthed I’m sorry sorry sorry lying shit-house, abject fucking dogs. “Senator Brown was abused; I rooted for Penn State all those years; I’m proud now to be an Alcoholics’ Anonymous Sponsor, twinkle, twinkle, if you fucking, little star, know what I mean?”

A ghoul is an evil spirit (in Mohammedan countries) said to rob graves and pray on human corpses. Like Rush Limbaugh in this country. In 1812 Robert Southey remarked of the Tea Party: “These human ghouls were not content…to let their friends die a natural death before they ate them.” In 1824, William Irving, discussing 21st Century blogs, wrote of one Oxycontin journalist-asshole: “He was in a manner, a literary ghoul, feeding in the charnel-house of decayed literature.” In the coming weeks and months I will, as a PhD Troglodyte, try and look further into the ghoulish, the ghoulishness, and, into over all, religious-right ghoulism. If you wonder at a Doctor of Philosophy living in animal shelters, see most of Greek Philosophy. See Democritus, see Epicurus. Who was that asshole who walked around naked in a wine barrel? See goon in the OED: a sub-human creature, a person hired (esp. by racketeers) to terrorize workers; a thug. Later I will discuss goon-box, goon-squad, and goon-baiting.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2011. Der Zuschauer.

Gorkyland: who is who?

leave a comment »

Dear Readers, It may be necessary to point out that the Gorkyland Stories published here for the first time are by Maxim Gorky, the 3rd, currently a US national living in the shelters and rat holes of Central Square, in the People’s Republic of Cambridge. These pieces of narrative and vituperation are copyrighted by Der Zuschauer. We will include in the series parallel stories from the works of other-down-and-outers like the original Maxim Gorky, Dostoevsky, and even, Dr. Johnson’s immortal story of the Life of Richard Savage. Others, like George Orwell’s Down and Out in London and Paris, in copyright elsewhere, we will mention in our editorial notes. There are editors in these vast air hangers here in Guam and not all of us are bikini-wearing Lesbian Cossacks like Ekaterina Degot. I am, for instance, editor-in-chief, and I recall the first Gorky having a life after he turned 18. There are principles and ideas behind this journal and I try to keep the pot boiling while keeping a lid on things as well.

Yours in Good Earnest and Good Faith,
Maximillian Klinger, Editor-in-Chief

PS. I leave in the despicable cliches in the last sentence to indicate just how psychologically demanding it can be working with Bolsheviks.

Copyright 2011 by Der Zuschauer