I really want to get this going....

Each day's listing is an excerpted edit from my work. These are numbered and sub-headed for ease of read and isolation from full body of continued text. Each small excerpt is a single-themed piece culled from a much larger whole. Please follow the heading numbers down to #1, or click on 'archive'. The highest numbers are most recently posted, obviously. If so interested, for follow-up, you may contact via e-mail shown - perhaps for discussion or annotation needed.

Sunday, December 09, 2007



One day I walked into a place down along the east side waterfront - a joint called Placko's - which was really just a cubbyhole of old brick between some buildings and a loading area and it served the usual fare and soups and occasional cheap fish platters but was always warm and homey and close-feeling run by some old Italian or Greek guy named Gennato mostly called Gene and I'd just recently finished reading a book by Luigi Barzini called 'The Italians' which I enjoyed and because of which I'd gotten my head filled with interesting ideas about everyone I saw and even though I right then wasn't up in Little Italy - which had an entire other raft of appeal and food and sights and sounds - I was sure that whenever I went into Placko's I was at home in the old world of Italian ambiance (even though I was probably mistaken anyway) but this day I'd walked in and saw on the counter a book laying about which evidently had been read already by a few people in the Placko family or so it seemed but as I read the title from an angle I mis-read it as 'Jews' and figured I'd probably better read that too as an accompaniment to 'The Italians' which I just finished but when I sat down to a bowl of soup and a cup of coffee with the book to look through I realized I'd misread the title of the book by Peter Benchley which was actually 'Jaws' and which - little known to me later - was a big title in the popular culture world and which soon came out as a big movie too but it all went to show how sheltered and parochial I'd become all protected and wrapped into my cocoon of personal life (which was always OK with me - that habit) and not part of general culture at all - anyway this entire Jaws thing later came on as a topic of waterfront conversation quite often and it seemed to tickle people's palates that such threats to leisure work and comfort could exist even in the seeming serene and placid local waters of nearby NYC environs and what was funny to me too and apparent was how something like that - really an almost comical book about local geographic life and stock characters - could go about defined as 'culture' to so many people and become the cultural touchpoint of the moment for many others - for some it defined their entire idea of reading at that time - and many a joke or barb came from it as guys would be heard to yell out things like 'Hey Tony ! did'ja catch Jaws today?' or 'Carlos ! You bringin' Jaws in?' - waterfront fisherman's jokes of no substance but balefully funny in their small way and I enjoyed watching the odd sideshow whenever it popped up - I remember one time they were all standing about talking about what sort of armament and what distance was necessary to cleanly take out a shark in approaching moments of danger or how to hand grenade lethally enough an attacking shark while causing no harm to others - crazy useless things of that nature as the idea had somehow been planted in everyone's mind that these possibilities now were inherent and present in daily life - it's how things grow and take off as ideas of 'mass consciousness' wherein everyone at once goes along with the program wrong or not and falls into place behind erroneous ideas and do so with the enthusiasm and energy of acolytes and missionaries or else - and it was like that for many things in fact as people would often live their entire lives captive to such ideas and creeds or ideologies and still do - war hysteria terror concepts ecological disaster outlooks fears of scourges approaching diseases lifestyles and all the rest : many are the folk whose lives are RULED by such : but alas for me it was NOT to be and let's just say I FORSWORE rumor as a tenet and became determined to stay outside the crowd (but then again what else but that is advertising and entertainment and all those industries of poor-idea based on ? in fact they thrive on and demand and produce it) - a large part then of LIFE itself is in cleansing and keeping away from error and wrong ideas and I think so much of what stems from religious attitudes and ideas of 'right' living stems from all that : in the way a 'Vegetarian' say is not so much concerned with NOT eating meat or harming animals it's RATHER that their entire effort has been transformed into seeking virtue AND VIRTUOUS LIVING IS WHAT THEY SEEK and that's understandable to be sure but they never admit it to themselves and there are to be sure in this modern day issues and times when one can simply no longer define things in that manner and in which the characteristics of 'goodness' or 'virtue' have simply been lost forever and cannot ever come back - short of natural holocaust - for instance the ISLAND of Manhattan is long gone but so many people - in their effort to be conscious of VIRTUE and to appear to live like that with the FINESSE and 'rightness' which such VIRTUE demands - try to act is if it can be and they can singularly undertake doing so even though the ecology and natural commitment of time and space has passed - it is by contrast a concrete block not at all natural - but eating (they say) the right granola or natural food only and discarding the right waters only will somehow suffice to mark the effort and bring back the VIRTUE and that's error - nothing more - just error for what's gone is gone and the overlay of the modern day - in this instance - has taken over and obliterated any smidgen of the 'natural' from most of our lives (and from Manhattan Island to be sure) so there not by any means any reason nor motive to proceed as if any of that is still sustainable and to do so is mere folly : better it is to come to terms with LIFE itself and proceed in that fashion by the intuition it affords : forget trying to be right or retro to a fault for there's NOTHING clean nor nothing very natural anymore BUT at the same time there's nothing wrong with seeking VIRTUE if only you find the right means of going about doing so but if that effort negates LIVING LIFE itself than it has no worth and such is the powerful philosophical paradox faced by Mankind today - whether or not to go forward from this time with an attitude of acceptance or an attitude of resistance for one cannot drag everyone else backwards at the same time as you yourself seek only ephemeral improvement for something which isn't really there anyway - crusaders are always annoying and ever moreso when they are both in error and in denial AND the other thing about this also was how it seemed to me that people in their usual ignorance had somehow confused Moby Dick which was essentially a 'crusade' towards a whale to be 'brought in' with the shark(s) in Jaws which - by contrast - was a suspense-adventure-real life yarn about beachfront adventure and a shark - not at all with any of the nobility nor intellectual interweaving of Moby Dick - but these waterfront people (even right here at the Battery) knew not the difference really - as if 'Tony' truly was going to bring in a shark.


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