Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I like a take a little Krazy Kat to bed with me. I hope you know George Herriman’s great American comic strip. From 1913 to 1944, the ambiguously sexed cat constantly misinterpreted the brick heaved by Ignatz Mouse as a sign of love, then Offissa Pupp rounded up the miscreant mouse and all was well once again in surrealist Coconino Co. Thirty-one years of brick-throwing? Yeah, baby! The strip is wonderfully alive after all these years, and those backgrounds, the desert west in constant flux, are impossible to get out of the mind. Sometimes I imagine a mash-up of John Ford and the Kat out there in Monument Valley. She wore a yellow ribbon, my friends, for her mouse in the US calvary.

Herriman, one very sly fox of a bordercrosser himself, said Krazy was neither a cat nor crazy. We have W.R. Hearst, otherwise one of the great ogres in American mythology, to thank for the strip, because he insisted it be published, readers and editors be damned. “I think it would be fun to run a newspaper,” says Charles Foster Kane.

I kept staring at the Kat’s word balloon the other day: “six sex.” “Sex” in 1931? Krazy, who speaks in a sort of Brooklynese creole, was talking “success.”
Speaking of meese, in the backyard of a Billy-burg bar last night, the house cat nabbed a mouse, mauled it a bit, and then finally lost it as the mouse went straight up the side of the building to get away. This morning, a blue jay was raiding a house sparrow nest in a streetlight. My tallest sunflower is more than a foot high but there’s still no sign of flower.
Caught in a downpour yesterday in Central Park with la Professa. Soaked to the skin from the nave to the chops. On the way back on the train, I said, looking down at my shorts, “cotton takes forever to dry.” She looked at me strangely and when I asked her what was up, she said “I thought you said ‘cock’.” Krazy! When we got back to Brooklyn, we noticed that it hadn’t rained a drop there.
Great articles on the fragile but vital state of democracy in India and the continuing lack of democracy in China, even as the capitalist lackeys swear it’s just around the corner (you know, like the inevitable socialist future). The tiny Chinese middle class, supposed to peaceably overthrow the dictatorship of the party through the grace of the Market, is no more interested in a billion peasants having their say than our Ruling 1% of the population is having ours.

It’s really one of the fundamental issues of the day, isn’t it? India, China; our own experience with what used to be called the “Money Power” dominating politics, not to mention the assault on checks and balances by Bush II; the Russian experience with Putin’s nasty authoritarian rule; the dangers of billionaires in power (Berlusconi, Bloomberg); the ease the likes of smooth-talking conmen like Tony Blair hold power in advanced democratic states; the wide-spread translation of citizens into consumers… talk amongst yourselves.

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