Der Zuschauer

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

Posts Tagged ‘Women in Politics

Gorkyland: Barking Dogs

leave a comment »

These doctors who become writers: Chekhov, Bulgakov, Gottfried Benn, and Celine, William Carlos Williams. And why do they love cats, dogs, women after all that? We know why they ask for that last glass of champagne. Are there female doctors who I have forgotten to mention. What does “bottoms up” mean after all? Was Rabelais a real doctor? What does Doctor of Philosophy mean in the 21st Century? Consider the string of titles: BAJ, MFA, PhD. What level of higher education did Steven Jobs have? Robert Burton was a doctor. Goethe and Schiller were not. Walter Benjamin and Nietzsche were. John Donne, the Dean of St. Pauls? Jonathan Swift was but lived in Dublin. Ovid, not Steve Miller, was the Doctor of Love. Plato and Aristotle were simply beyond Doctor of Philisophy. So to Kant and Hegel (who was) and Schopenhauer. Then there was Lord Russell and Corporal Wittgenstein, but really then, who was the Doctor of Love? Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix? Every great mind ends up a parboiled dog whimpering around a Hebrew National Hot Dog stand. The key is to avoid becoming a man-librarian. More later.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd, PhD.
Copyright 2012. Der Zuschauer.

Written by herrdramaturg

April 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Gorkyland: Wherein the house is rife

with 4 comments

Wherein the house is rife with whispers, malcontents, rumors, lies, and the hard, cold facts: a person, a man, was tossed from the room next door, last night. Seemingly for not looking for work. Each case is different: I am considered disabled; also, I do intellectual work, writing, translation, etc., and so forth, so I am not expected to work for Stop and Shop, or volunteer at a food bank or an animal shelter. Other people do other things: hang at McDonald’s for eight-hour shifts, between coffee, shits, cigarettes, nips and drug deals. One of my room-mates, the Rhino, is a rogue cop and bombed and caught bus driver. He repeats the mantra: “I’m unemployed, I’m homeless; it is all my fault.” The other is a paranoid, conspiracy-driven, autodidact. Mad, mad, and combing the internet for not-for-profit crime. “They will pay; they will all pay.” The man who was popped yesterday was quiet, clean; his only sin, besides the inevitable inexplicable, was sitting up nights watching episode after episode of The Big Bang Theory, which seems to be a canned-laughter, Hollywood sit-com about graduate students! I swear, I swear, I swear, but then you already know this is true, don’t you, Dear Reader? Anyway, nowadays, the paranoia is all about busy work, paperwork, documentation of various meetings with various case-workers, clinicians, health-care providers;
AA, NA, and SA (sexual addiction), BA, MA, HOMOA, PhDA, and Polyamorist AA, etc., ad infinitum, blahblahblahA. If you are ever called an asshole, immediately explain, “Yes, but I am an asshole in Recovery.” Gratitude is the Foundation of Sobriety. Other useful terminology inside Gorkyland, especially inside wet shelters (aka. open drug and alcohol use, or abuse): prison or jail is referred to as “the Big House.” Doing time is referred to as “going on a vacation.” Denizens doing time rarely read Theophile Gautier, “People are nasty, my little one,” or, William Carlos Williams of Rutherford, or Adam Zagajewski from Lvov. Shelter for the homeless is compassion with a strap-on.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2012. Der Zuschauer.

Gorkyland: Huge Birds in Central Square

leave a comment »

There were seagulls, really big ones, fighting with ravens and pigeons in the streets for food and trash this morning, right out where all the buses come bounding into time and space and then stillness, and the hordes on the sidewalks were eight abroad or abreast like in Manhattan. And the thing was, last night, at the shelter, they had tossed an African-American woman from upstairs who was crazy but clean and who never drank, did drugs, nor yelled, nor shrieked nor did any of the periodical, weird, science-experiment shit that so many babes do. She was benign, I swear. I mean she was crazy about her three bags of fabrics which she carried about with her everywhere she went and she had all these bizarre, anal, pack-rat organizing tendencies, that made trying to clean out the refrigerator once a week while she was around impossible, but still, she was no fright or horror. She read the New York Times in Au Bon Pain. She had a musical, clear, high voice that seemed incongruous coming out of her body. She dressed in some of those rich fabrics she kept in the bags and seemed African although she betrayed no accent. It seems all the other females hated her, couldn’t stand her; it was all about the toilet and how long she spent in there. “She showers with the light off.” But then all the women upstairs are bitches with pie-slits for eyes, and voices like howitzers, and they can all peel paint off a wall with the language and the attitude, and they call their abandoned daughters cunts, liars, or twats. Anyway I thought Jesus Christ where is this woman going to go at night with all her bags and the ice and snow, and sure she said she’d be back in the morning with lawyers but that never happens the very next morning. You get tossed and you feel angry, outraged, impossible, lost, and then it’s, “Where do I go now? What do I do now? I didn’t do anything.” And then this morning it’s like Spring outside and the enormous seagulls were out fighting ravens and the drunken pigeons for food in the street. You thought, I thought “What we need now are some red-tailed hawks to swoop in and do red tooth and claw.”

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2012. Der Zuschauer.

Written by herrdramaturg

January 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Gorkyland: Bitter Cold, Vicious Wind

with 5 comments

“It is snowing. The farm-workers are fucking the cows, perched on 3-legged milking stools, it seems. They are called ‘juniors’ and are driven away pitilessly.”
Samuel Beckett, Letters Vol. 2. p. 332

The shelter is warmer but essentially seedy, shabby, and depressing. Men swearing under their breath, beating to death an old pair of shoes. My room-mates would make a rabid weasel or a raunchy stoat proud. No pinteresque drinks cabinet allowed. No one reads books, except some of the vagina-people who lean over bibles, self-help titles, all of them dog-eared, under-lined, yellow like rancid cook books. This morning it was all about the bathrooms, men desperate to go while the opera singers shower, or, the odd negro does god knows what forever. So surly, stupid men pawing the floors in the hallway in agony. Why are women so distrait in the morning? Puffy, pie-slit eyes, with raspy throats; voices expectorating across the kitchen like malevolent cannon balls. Three holes, bingo. Then there is the zombie coffee doctor spin and dance routine: pour, taste, sugar, pour, stir, Cremora, stir–hack hack hack a roo splat splat spit–more sugar, more Cremora, finally done, then the St. Vitus dance to the table and the chair. Imagine being 60 years old and feeling extreme nostalgia for rock and roll. Imagine being 60 years on with an oxy gnaw on trying to focus long enough to actually read Keith Richard’s Autobiography? Then the two hours of paranoia/porn research on the Internet at the public library. “Where does all the money go, man?” Then there is the Jap-mad-scientist guy with the Abraham Lincoln beard who pours over issues of Nature or Mind or Science. Then the sad, creepy, shelter-faggot homos. Why can’t men walk up to a urinal and do their business without getting urine all over the floor? And when it’s bitter, bitter, vicious cold where does one go? To stay warm? To piss, read, shit? Where besides the subways, the public libraries? Where do the vagina-people go because they do seem scarce on the street? Where, where, who cares? Sad sacks, male and female, in baseball caps scratching tickets with a nickel or a fingernail, happy happy happy to go to AA for the coffee. And the company? In a winter coat and cargo pants festooned with nips of Old Thompson’s, or nappy-head Seagram’s Gin. Overweight, homeless, shelter moron dressed in athletic apparel from the National Polo Association? Where have you gone Ralph Lauren? Where have you gone Louis-Ferdinand Celine? The way the Spare Change Newspaper works is, you pay 25 cents a copy, and turn around and sell that for a buck. Do they pay writers? I wouldn’t know. I’m too much of an intellectual snob to know that. God, shallow, false pride. Would Jack London know? Or Stephen Crane? When I work do I work for character or beer money? Now in the Stone Building at the library. Very quiet. Still early. So–the bathrooms at Shaw’s were closed down, the bathroom at McDonald’s (Due to extreme vandalism this bathroom is closed), then at Starbucks the door was open and so stood t-rex a 6′ 5″ spook, braying, reeking, rasta-mutha-fucka asshole asshole. A truly terrifying nasty shit-hole dinosaur. And all of that before I could even get out of Central Square. My intention is to work here throughout the day. “Three things happened at once: the communists lost an election; Solidarity won; the communists acknowledged that Solidarity won.” That might sound like a syllogism. Must stay awake, must stay warm, must rustle up chow. What ever happened to checking out chicks at the beach. Am I still an intellectual?

“The spirit of [Godot], in so far as it has one, is that nothing is more grotesque than the tragic, and that must be put across right to the end, particularly at the end.”
Beckett, Letters Vol. 2. p 350.

Maxim Gorky, the 3rd.
Copyright 2012 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

More Pudenda Studies

leave a comment »

Written by herrdramaturg

October 11, 2011 at 11:51 am

I Love Scrod, On Cape Cod

with 2 comments

Idylls of the Northeast Corridor

Can there be such a thing? Ice fishing perhaps? Birds can still be seen on warmer days. No squirrels. Momentous Bug Movies from Hollywood are wicked this coming. 2010 feels, seems like we are living in an age of science fiction. Can Youtube be used in a court of law? Are smart phones the very center of mast people’s lives? Are Americans more crass, vulgar, and trashy than ever before? Why do people sneer at humanism? Is tenure tenured? In the People’s Republic the book-stores
are mobbed, the new ones, the scholarly ones less so. Please go and look into McIntrye andMoore Booksellers in Porter Square in Cambridge when you visit. I now live 2 miles or less from where I lived when I first moved from Georgia to Cambridge, over on Broadway in 1975, already a veteran Soixante-Huitard. Dr. Johnson is suddenly the rage, because of the recent biographies. I haveCollected Works in 16 Volumes. It was a birthday present from my beloved colleague, Frau Busenvollig. I now celebrate World Historical View Day on the 25th of December, just as they do on Guam Island. I have been reading and translating poems of Nelly Sachs from the German. My most ambitious reading project currently is Die letzten Tage der Menschheit of Karl Kraus. We are all 21st Centurians now. I don’t twitter, I don’t eat to-fu. I believe strongly in cleavage, public libraries, short plaid-pleated skirts, foreign languages. I use Arts&Letters Daily as my home-page. Der Zuschauer is always a click away.