How many remember Phil Ochs? Dumb sucker hung himself. He was a rival of Dylan’s, at least he thought he was.
When asked why he was the one that rose to the top of the Greenwich Village folk scene, Dylan was once quoted as saying something to the effect of:
“Of all the suburban middle class people pretending to be some version of Woody Guthrie, I think I was just a more convincing actor. I could just play that part better that any of the rest of them.” (From memory… may not be word-for-word exact)
Self Awareness was, likely still is, (not too many authentic geniuses get stupider as they age), a major facet of what we call LittleBobby’s ‘genius’. None of them were ‘authentic’. ‘Rambliin’ Jack Eliot, in big hat and cowboy boots, also a Woody Guthrie imitator, was a big city kid from Brooklyn.
Woody Guthrie was authentic. LittleBobby Zimmerman was a middle class son of a Jewish merchant who raised his family in Hibbing, Minnesota, “where the winds hit heavy on the borderline”.
Dylan, of course, lionized Guthrie himself, going to see him in the hospital where he was slowly dying of Huntington’s Chorea, a genetic wasting disease. Dylan’s ‘Song to Woody‘ is as gripping today as it was in those halcyon days of the early 60s when skinny little genuis, little middle class Jewish boy, Bobby Zimmerman, was a “complete unknown”, with a sense of personal destiny, calling on “Mr. Guthrie” as that great American lay on his deathbed. “It looks like its dyin’, and it’s hardly been borned”… (Dave Van Ronk, singing above in his old age, (he’s passed away), was the peach-faced Dylan’s stomping buddy around The Village. Van Ronk, self same poet who wrote one of the most beautifully romantic love songs that have EVER been sung, ‘Another Time and Place‘, (“I’d trade a year in heaven, my dear, for one more moment with you”), was affectionately known by some as “the Mayor of MacDougal Street”.
Everybody thought Dylan was Guthrie’s spirit reborn. He started out playing that part, but later, for whatever reasons, (and I agree with him, he does NOT owe anyone an explanation, there’s ‘perqs’ to being a genius), he apparently changed his mind.
His then ex-girlfriend was crushed, singing first her pleading ‘Song to Bobby‘, (after Dylan left the scene, chasing Rimbeau), and later her bitter ‘Diamonds and Rust‘. “Speaking strictly for me, we both could have died then and there”, (in that crummy hotel over Washington Square, our breath mixing hanging like magic crystal diamonds in the air)… a more striking statement of the pure tortuous joy of pure human love than perhaps any other I’ve heard… Oh wait…. but there was ‘Another Time and Place’, and even ‘Spanish Leather’. (When poor little Bobby Z started learning how complicated this rutting ‘romance’ shit is).
Phil Ochs was once Dylan’s Greenwich Village equal and rival. I met him once. He would pack up his guitar and go anywhere to sing at any ‘movement’ event. He was WAYYY more Woody Guthrie than I’ve ever heard about Dylan being. Dylan never tramped around to political rallies like Woody and Phil Ochas did… Did he??… Oh… well… there was that one minor little event…
I served as ‘security’ guarding the ‘stage’ for Phil Ochs and Tom Hayden, the ‘stage’ being the bed of a rented two ton truck out in the San Fernando Valley where we held a rally for Tom Hayden and the Chicago Seven, with Phil Ochs singing, and Hayden, (author of the historical hammer blow, ‘Port Huron Statement’), speaking, over my left shoulder.
Phil Ochs wrote some truly GREAT songs. “Changes‘. Are you kidding?
Sit by my side, come as close as the air
Share in a memory of grace
And wander in my words
Dream about the pictures that I play of changes
“Show me the prison, show me the jail, show me the prison man whose face has grown so pale, and I’ll show you a young man, and so many reasons why, there but for Fortune may go you or I”. Sounds just like ole Hank Williams’ Song to Lazurus. “He was some mama’s darlin’, he was some mother’s son, once he was fair. Once he was young. Some mama rocked him, her little baby to sleep, but they left him to die, like a tramp on the street”. (Hank Williams was AUTHENTIC!!)
Phil Ochs…. Sunuva bitch hung himself… Stupid mufugger… He coulda’ called… So MANY loved him… Did he not KNOW?
Was it his demon ego?… Was that it? I had a friend in LA, Phil Alewitz, a major story in his own right, and a good (and aspiring at that time) songwriter himself, who was a big Phil Ochs supporter and fan. Phil Alewitz, who came bopping into town (LA) in an old milk delivery truck, that had “Kent State. An Eye For An Eye. 4 for 4” emblazoned in huge letters, (he was driving in from Ohio, he had driven that billboard cross country), thought Ochs was “better than Dylan”.
Was that it? Was that what killed poor Phil Ochs? His desperately lonely ego? Maybe a father’s oedipal jealousy for a mama’s dear son, trying to prove he was ‘somebody’, trying to prove he was ‘the greatest’ to an emotionally crippled father incapable of love?… He had the magic spark of creative genius in him, did olds Phil Ochs. Some of hias songs still give me goose bumps, evcen after hearing them for 50 years…. Ahh….but Dylan was, by FAR, the greater genius….
I always knew what Alewitz was saying… Yea… Dylan sings a good game, but Ochs shows up in the trenches, (as did Caesar).
So life became unbearable?….. Why?… You stupid FUCK! Eh.. well… not pretending I knew him. We all have our demons to face. Some of us face more imposing demons than others… Eh??
Anyway, Phil Ochs wrote a song that was among the favorites among we student radicals of that day. ‘Love me Love me, Love me, I’m a Liberal’. In his introduction to the song in a live performance, Mr. Ochs says, in describing ‘liberals’, (a word that sounded a bit like spitting when we used it), “10 degrees to the left of center in good times, 10 degrees to the right if it affects them personally”.
We insolent ‘student radicals’ were sneeringly contemptuous of ‘liberals’. As rickety old geezers now, some of us still are. “LIB’-ral”… We spat the word out like a dirty nasty thing. (“I read ‘The Republic’ and ‘The Nation’ “, poor old Phil Sings, as if personally addressing the future Ms. vanden Heuval)
All this is an introduction to Caliban’s promised analysis on noted American Liberal, (excuse me while spit), Katrina vanden Heuval, the Editorial Director & Publisher of ‘The Nation’, (long a primary ‘liberal’ Ruling Elites’ rag sheet), sharing her vapid, though really really incisive, (she harrumphs with such practiced dignity), thoughts… on US Adventures in Ukraine already comprising WW3.
Yea, that’s what KatyGirl said, but she, herself, does not even yet realize what she said…
Is this how WW3 starts? “Not with a bang but a whimper”?… (Apologies to TS Eliot)… Does it start with The Empire not roaring, but whimpering like a whipped dog?…
There they are… Wide-eyed… Deer in the headlights? We’re talking squirrel that sees its fatal mistake.. just the instant before the ‘splat!’.
Sweating bullets under the hot klieg lights, hearing the laughter of 85% of the world’s population that is NOT currently ‘sanctioning’ Russia.
“The entire world is united against Putin!”… Poor old delusionally insane Skinny Joe bellows out, to the belly-laugh track of the 85%. (That’s something like 6.8 BILLION human souls)…
Poor suckers… They can’t do anything… They’re all smoke and mirrors… “All hat, no cattle”, as some say down Texas way. They’ve already well-earned the moniker which History has already laid on them… The Empire of Lies…. Indeed…. In 2000 years’ time, should Humanity survive, we will STILL be teaching our school children about the degree of these US FRuling Elites’ shuddering evil, as a warning that even a noble ideal like ‘freedom, justice, and equality’, which we once called “America”, can be twisted into a sulfurously evil purpose.
Ms vanden Heuval, stunning, regal beauty with regal bloodline, is a trust fund baby. Born on third base, precious metal spoon to feed her the finest pablum and whey, she’s quite proud of having hit a triple in her life. (There she is… Still on third base… where mommy and daddy ensconced her). Being born to riches and fame, and managing not to ruin the ‘family business’ by becoming a flamboyant drug addict or something, (like poor Hunter Biden), as so many trust fund babies do… Hey… The woman can (and so obviously DOES), ‘take pride’. Being mommy’s and daddy’s perfect little girl… beautiful, brilliant, obedient… is a real accomplishment, after all.
Hat is off. Bow is as low and sweeping as my old ape’s geezer-knees will allow.
Well… The Nation isn’t (exactly) her ‘family business’, but her mother WAS a best-selling author and prominent publisher, and her father served as a US Ambassador in the Kennedy Administration. She was thus born as ‘American royalty’, as a ‘courtesan‘, (a VERY old word, with MANY nuances), as a female ‘peer of the court’. She was a ‘peer of the realm’ from her first taste of mother’s milk, (from her third-world nanny).
Ms. vanden Heuval certainly strikes a regal figure. Strikingly beautiful. Even more, a regal ‘dignitas‘ in her bearing and posture itself. Her mother is from a powerful, wealthy, and prominent Jewish family. Her father is of Northern Celt-Germanic stock, among the Belgian Dutch, the Belgai Tribe, as the Prussians, whose intelligence and ferocity Caesar wrote about at some length. A Belgai sub-clan, the Nervii, came very close to killing Caesar in a well planned ambush of his army. The issue was in SERIOUS doubt… As he always did at such times, Caesar took up sword and shield from his armour-bearer, and immediately threw himself into the front line where the greatest danger threatened. His army’s courage was renewed, and the Romans again prevailed, (but just barely, that time). “Roma Victa!!”, Russell Crowe, as the victorious general in the German forest after the last foe fell, cried out in guttural human triumph… roaring like the Primal Beast that prowls in EVERY human heart, and roars from the heart of EVERY primitive human ‘warrior’ in victory.
Triumph… triumpus… “probably via Etruscan from Greek thriambos “hymn to Dionysus,”), (Dionysus was the Greek God of insanity, among other things… )
Anyway… (Sorry… I get carried away.. LOL..). Point, in regards to ‘Peer of the Realm’, the regal strikingly beautiful Ms vanden Heuval, as she poses as a ‘progressive’, but lives, as she always has, among the opulently privileged among the nation’s crispest, most delicately buttered to golden caramel, Upper Crust, is that she doesn’t even understand what she herselfg is saying… Poor thing… She’s a LIB-RAL, Patootie!! (“Scuse”, sez da fool, while wiping his sleeve)…
Well… I’m sure the woman has a good heart, and means well, but when a bona fide died-in-the-wool member of the Ruling Class poses as a ‘progressive’ hero of the masses, while remaining oblivious to the actual realities around her, well, some of us find that.. uhhh… ‘amusing’, (shall we say, to be polite).
Ms. vanden Heuval seems to have decided that the nation, (the country, not her upper crust rag sheet), needed to hear her expound on her husband’s lionized reputation as the nation’s Academic Establishment’s foremost ‘Russia expert ‘.
She opens with ‘the basics’….
“But there is a sense, without demeaning Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty, of a civil war inside Ukraine.”
Ohh.. Geez… Thanks so MUCH, KatyGirl… (geez… are you KIDDING me???… Are you SERIOUS??… Think the worst McEnroe tantrum… LOL…) So… There’r a wee a bit o’ ‘the troubles’ in Ukraine, are there? No!!?? You don’t say!?… My my… Such a “keen perception of the obvious”, (as my old friend, Roger Shively, (a Michigan boy), always said, grinning mischievously, and thankfully patiently, at my frequent stupidity).
What? Does this bejeweled Grandee of the American Literary Illuminati think she’s addressing grade school children? You’d be better served, ma’am, to get the golden spoon of privilege, and the assumption of class superiority, and WORSE, class ‘authority’, out of your mouth before you open it, Darlin KatyGirl.
I knew your husband… a little bit… Barely… We corresponded during the period I was working with Vladislav Krasnov, the Russian-American scholar, and founder of RAGA…. (Russian American Goodwill Association)… Hell of a man… Stephen Cohen… I admired him a GREAT deal… (You think I didn’t give him an elbow to the ribs when his stunning wife walked by?? (Just kidding… I did not know him quite THAT well)…
Well… Good for her.. Yugo… KatyGirl… Bless her heart anyway… She at least sees that there’s a bit of a ruckus that’s been going on in Ukraine since 2014, and even long before…But the first thought in this regal darlin’ girl-child of the Ruling Elites’ mind, the first thought in Ms. vanden Heuval’s mind, is that she wants to be careful not to offend Ukraine’s puppet US Regime, the one with the US-hired actor/comedian playing the part of ‘Heroic President’, as secretly, in his bedroom, he slides out the trunk and plays with the $850 million, (soon to be worthless), US dollars the Empire has so far showered upon him, most ALL of it having suddenly been ‘earned’ since his hiring .. er.. ‘election’…
“No demeaning intended”, Darlin’ KatyGirl is so careful to say… as if tip-toeing on ‘walk-of-shame’ eggshells, all sequinned, now looking like a clown with painted fainted face all smeared, stilettos in hand, as she tries not to wake her lonely babies when she slinks in), by mentioning the little ruckus that’s been happening, which, not to be demeaning of course, sure does kinda looks like a civil war, with the 14,000 mostly ethnic-Russian civilians killed by vicious genocidal Ukro-Nazis…
… and all…
Ladies and Gentlemen… the first nominee for the Marie Antoinette ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ award is, (dramatic drum roll as paper rips hurriedly), Katrina vanden Heuval for her brilliant perception of the obvious concerning the Ukrainian people’s heroic aspirations to ethnically cleanse Ukraine of the Russian speaking people they hate!!!!
Well… Ukraine is being ethnically cleansed, alright. All the people that the Ukro-Nazis hate have left Ukraine, en masse… The problem is, for The Empire, anyway, (and for their Ukro- Nazi proxies), is that they have taken their neighborhoods, property, and lands, with them. They seceded from Ukraine. They are now again a part of Russia.
The border of Ukraine keeps moving. My Ukrainian grandparents immigrated from a nation that no longer exists, which was called ‘Austria-Hungary’. It’s now Western Ukraine. ‘Zwarich’, Zwaryck, as my grandparents spelled it, is also a Polish name. The Polish language and Ukrainian are almost dialects of one another, in their shared gene pool and culture, in their shared Slavic Tribe, even though they use completely different alphabets, neither of which is even vaguely related to our Latin-Celt-Germanic culture.
If you knew enough Sioux, as Jim Bridger putably did, to converse with the Sioux, you’d probably be able to make yourself understood among the Apahes, hundreds, even a thousand or more, miles away.
But then, after sharing her keen perception of the obvious, in a real hammer blow to whose ringing power she seems stupidly oblivious, Ms vanden Heuval says,
“The East West confrontation over Ukraine is now the epicenter of a not a new Cold War anymore, it’s a hot war.”
In other words… WW3 is already on…
WOW!!! Did she say that out effing LOUD!! GEEEZ… Loueeeeze….
Americans are living in such a bubble that most of us do not yet even realize what has already happened.
WW3 is already (and still) raging. The Nuclear Fire dragon is closer to breaking its chain than was king Kong the moment before breaking free when he saw his true love in danger.
WW3 is raging… Even worse, it’s likely we’ve already lost. The dollar is wobbling… beginning its inevitable topple… When the Greed-soaked Ruling Elites seized Russia’s entrusted Dollar assets, “the full faith and credit of the US Government” was much MORE than merely “shaken to its core”, it was suddenly. blown to ‘smithereens’, (great word, diminutive, like ‘Coleen’)…
Every nation on Earth that had trusted the US Dollar now NO LONGER DOES.
Why did Russia leave itself exposed so stupidly? Why did Hannibal’s center give way? Brilliant move… In this game of 3d Chess… Sure looks like ‘mate’, but wait… the king, ole Humpty-Dempty, has not yet been toppled in acknowledgment.
The Empire still snarls in their, these unspeakably evil Ruling Elites’, evil hatred, with button in hand, capriciously dreaming of setting that Demon free.
Are they SO evil that they will take us ALL with them in defeat. That’s the question now in the minds of people who are fully ‘awake’, and thus actually know what is obviously happening.
One side is shooting. Its soldiers are dying. The other side is cowering in lies and bozo bluster, while every day new platters of Empire ‘crow’ arrive, crawling with Empire maggots… Special Delivery… From a man on whom the VAST majority of the Earth’s people have placed their hopes for their children’s survival… Special delivery… Vladimir Putin… Standing unafraid, on his homeland’s borders, proud of his ancient ancestors, unafraid to die for their sacred honor.
Ms vanden Heuval, poor darlin’ KatyGirl, who has a brilliant perception of the trees, as she searches in vain for the forest, does not even understand her own words. Her mind is as brilliant as a cold computer, with the latest whiz-bang model mega-hertz chip-set… but like a computer, she has no purpose for her being, other than to consume the wealth and privileges she’s been overfed since the very moment she was born.
Any modern computer is more brilliant than the most intelligent human that ever lived. But a computer doesn’t CARE… You see?…A computer is NOT alive… A computer has no Desire…
A computer will sit and do NOTHING, nothing at ALL, for all eternity, unless some creature that WANTS something comes along and tells it what to do.
Ms. vanden Heuval is as brilliant as the finest latest whiz-bang mega-hertz computer. She gathers data, then spews it back after ‘processing’ it the way she’s been programmed to do.
This woman leaves me wondering if her brilliant mind has ever engendered (genesis, genius, generation, genitals), an actual ‘creative’ thought in her entire golden-spoon privileged life?
Yep… There she is… In public… It’s real… Ms. vanden Heuval plays a modern American Cassanda. Only the real Cassandra was cursed to tell the truth but never be believed. This poor Prussian Jewish woman, regal as she can be in her stunning beauty, is cursed to tell the truth without having a fucking clue, her own damn self, to what she herself is saying.
Yea… It’s ‘on’, boys and girls. WW3…
Russia is shooting. Russian boys are dying. American boys are heading to the club to snort some lines, drop some X, and rutt with whatever alley cat slut happens to catch their eye through their drug fog….
While Russia is desperately busy with mop in hand, the US Empire is holding its own ass on a golden platter, looking a bit like poor Crassus with his mouth filled with molten gold.
And the Marie Antoinette ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ Award goes to… (doesn’t Ms. vanden Heuval look stunningly dignified, and SO charming, even when clutching her pearls, like a maiden with bashfully bated breath.
Oh how desperate she is for love… Anyone can see her loneliness… Poor Katygirl… Longing for the love of ghosts in our hearts… Aren’t we ALL?
“When a man thinks of his ideal woman, an airline pilot is NOT what we have in mind…” — R Zimmerman…
Stunningly beautiful Zeppelin pilot, this KatyGirl. Two more cats, girl… Maybe only one… Then we’re gone… Eh?