Missing Sarkozy?

Who is this jerk?
Ecstatic that the 17-year drought
was over, AxeMan headed out to
join the celebrants. The streets funneling the minions toward the Bastille were much quieter thanaxemans-void-PP2.jpghe expected until the drivers
(AxeMan thought they all
rode shared velibes these days) announced their arrival from
les banlieus, horns a-blazing.
The next morning he read the
NY Times on line. An Op-ed
piece by someone with the bizarre name of Rosecrans Baldwin
suggested that France would miss
him (not Rosecrans but Sarko).
Could that be an alter-ego for a real person, or did someone really name him that? AxeMan knew several
actual French men and women who cast their votes not AGAINST Sarko but for a man who had stuck to his values. “He [Sarko] loved America, unabashedly, and Elvis, and wasn’t ashamed to say so,” chirped Rosecrans. AxeMan went to Mr. Google to see what was required to renounce his own citizenship, just in case Mutt Romney was able to buy the presidency back home.  What he discovered was that one of the founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, had done just that, pledging his new allegiance to Singapore where the tax structure is more favorable to folks like himself. Boy, if Sarko could get his Mitts on THAT kid! Further research told him that the task would be nigh impossible for a rather poor alter-ego like himself who really had little to contribute to the French in the way of money or anything else, although he did consider the possibility of getting one of those nifty green outfits and cleaning up the poop that the Parisians don’t hold their noses for.

 

How much change can one axe handle?

AxeMan; home from Paris, has a hard landing. He feels like he has been dropped into Dante’s 9th Circle of Hell, muchchangedotargh.jpg of which is illustrated on the arms, legs, thighs, upper and lower backs (as well as areas he is gratefully not privy to) of the hordes parading the streets of the neighbor-hood in Brooklyn where Euro-twang is the most recognizable lingua franca, the argot, and where he has been spending an increasing amount of time over the past several years. That circle starts and ends at the new Ground Zero, Union Square, scant minutes and three metro stops away. By August of 2001 Union Square was, if never sleepy, still manageable. True, there had been significant change in the twenty-four years that AxeMan had travailed (with a birds-eye view) in an office twenty floors above the legendary six square blocks where a great deal of New York history had been written. In that building, as in much of lower Manhattan, afflicted men of one variety or another carried large portfolios containing photographs, magazine layouts, architectural drawings and other oversized data in and out, up and down elevators, across the still maneuverable streets. They had their own argot, portions of which they recited as they ‘patiently’ waited elevators to move and/or for lights to change. They D-I-D N-O-T jaywalk, a practice that could easily have wiped them out, but they were dissappeared anyway by the predecessor to FedEx; bicycle messengers. These cyclists, ougtrageously costumed as Tour de France racers, were, more often than not, African American, and they were like piece workers, hustling like mad just to make a buck. Surely there are recorded accidents of the cyclo-messengers and the pedestrian messengers who probably never knew who or what hit them. More interestingly, to AxeMan, the two-wheeled maniacs made for an extraordinary collision between themselves and the newly minted hip-motic student culture generated by the lofty dream of N$Y$U, Cooper Union, Parsons and the New School for Social Research. Hip-hop, Double Dutch, break dancing and Afrika Bambaataa. Hip-hop, the name, was said to have been first used in print in The Village Voice, another downtown denizen directly across the street from AxeMan’s center of operations. Change had been incremental, but by September 11, 2001 all the players were in place for the seismic downtown shift. under-the-towers2.jpg
AxeMan’s creator, less than two hours after the second building crumpled in dust, came to read Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish to a congreation of near zero. All that was missing was the TV cameras. It took them two whole days to find this new locus of public grief, but when they touched down, mobile units all over, Union Square raised itself from the dead. A new ground zero, a cultural mashup, had emerged. union square day2. Transformation continues.He became increasingly isolated in a corner that he had always thought represented some special place in his own cultural development. Change that he had embraced for more than thirty years was at the brink of altering his perceptions. Change.org and their endless petitions, almost all of them worthy, were creating an overload for his hardening head. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 had given him a sense of the possibility of Hope, but Change as he saw it was a somewhat more complicated game. Another extension of the Ninth Circle of Hell (more to come). If the creator has a master plan, WTF is it?

Just another day @ the NY Times

The Creator claims to hate the NY Times, yet he reads it daily. If he did not, AxeMan might go hungry. Call The Creator a hypocrite; AxeMan just goes where he’s told.
So, this weekend, The Creator sent him to Citi Field,
the home of the NY Mets, where ultra orthodox Jews
rallied against the internet
Talk about flailing against vindmills. Most of the attendees had cell phones and were browsing for messages as soon as they got off the F train payots.jpg(perhaps the only subway line to service the ball park). Axeman went in mufti (civvies), but first he went to the internet to research just how he should wear his payot. So many choices. So many ultras, (over 40,000) they had to rent the tennis stadium next door in case of an overflow crowd. Or maybe that’s where the vimmen  would sit, since they can’t be amongst the men. But the main gate was as far as he got. “You are not one of us,” said a burly gentleman (his payots were showing, long and spindly) accompanied by several little boys with big, black cowboy hats. So AxeMan had to read all about it in the Monday NY Times. He was sad. Sounded like a great game. Singing, praying, chanting; Down mit der net – down hit der net. Well that’s what it sounded like outside the stadium. On Monday he read the sports section to see if the internet had won or lost. Nothing there. But, Wow! The front section. Up there with the big boys. Seemed like it might have been a tie. Lotsa fellas couldn’t run their businesses without it. Not exactly a surprise. So he skimmed the rest of section A until he found something quite disturbing. An advertisement on the OP-ED page. The Catholic church was calling for some kind of poke in the nose of Jon Stewart who had said, “Maybe women could protect their reproductive organs from unwanted medical intrusions with vagina-manger.jpgvagina mangers.” AxeMan, presuming Stewart’s religious persuasion (he talks about it incessantly) wondered if Stewart might actually have been at the rally, just to protect his own interests, or maybe to hire the burly guy to protect him from The Catholics. Not such a leap. Inquisitions? Crusades? Sexual abuse of children? Moral authority? Chapter and verse!

Uh-oh, spaghetti-o.

pope.jpgHabemus Papam (in our pockets?)
Or as Jon Stewart might say, Hit me if you can find an opening. AxeMan is in a tizzy about the leaked Papal documents. He has a personal stake in the potential brouhaha. At the Millennial celebrations at the Vatican in 2000 he was bushwhacked by an Australian pickpocket. His companion thought it a very bad omen. She, a Jungian, claimed she had seen it coming. You have a tell, she said. You touched your pocket where your wallet was. She knew her stuff. She had a tell also. She told him it was all over.
And then there’s the Papal butler who had a tell, too; or rather a tell-all, and AxeMan is hot to read about it. Admittedly, AxeMan has a thing about the Catholic church. About Catholics he is not prejudiced,holy-stairs.jpg unless they subserve themselves to the Papal authority and try to push their line upon him and/or the rest of us in the name of religious freedom. Freedom for them against us. And that goes for the Evangelicals who are another version of them in a different suit. When he saw the opening scenes 0f Habeus Papam, all those marching cardinals, mostly old and white, but not all, in medium closeup, cloaked in red, hatted in red, solemnly swaying in unison as they proceeded up the marble stairs in the Vatican, he felt hands around his throat.  (Spoiler Alert) The hands were finally released when the newly elected Il Papasaid fuggedaboutit.

Lentils, anyone?

AxeMan recently had a dinner guest from the Euro Zone. Deeply concerned about the state of the economy in her own country (not France) and the possibility of Americans electing Mitt Romney (inconceivable to her) she told a story about a conflict she had while driving in the mid-west with an American academic colleague during the Reagan-Carter election. She was supportive of Jimmy Carter, though she

eat-lentils.jpg

could not vote. The colleague was less so. On and on he went about Carter’s ineptness. Finally, totally frustrated and angry,

she yelled, “Okay. You have on the table a plate of lentils and a plate of shit. Maybe the lentils are over or undercooked. Maybe they need salt, maybe they need some pepper, but they are lentils. Lentils! You have a plate of lentils and a plate of shit. And you are starving. Which do you eat?AxeMan thought this could be good to keep in mind during the next several months.  He recalled a time when a venerable old labor leader he’d had a great deal of respect for said,  “There’s no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.” He also said, “Not voting is a vote. Nader is saying the right things. If he fucks it up for Gore, then tough shit.” Friends of the labor leader had actually asked him to try to talk Nader (whom he knew well), into dropping out of the race. “I’m not getting involved,” he said, “and Ralph doesn’t listen.” So AxeMan is thinking; in 2000 Gore lost Ohio because he was afraid of the environmentalists (How weird is that?). He didn’t carry Tennessee, his home state. And he lost Florida to the butterfly ballots and the Supreme Court. Ohio alone could have won him the election. There’s shit, there’s tough shit, and there’s lentils. AxeMan likes the President, as does the guest from the Euro Zone. And though he is a little fussy about his lentils; Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

AxeMan; a post-ironic Atheist

wotz-it-all-mean.jpgAxeMan has a million questions, but not about religion and the G-word. Less than a week after he saw poll numbers suggesting that Mutt Romney might be a dog-hair away from being the front runner, Charles Blow of the NY Times ran a teriffic blog post about the secularization of AmericaAxeMan felt somewhat less hopeless than he had earlier in the week. How long it will last he can’t say, but for the moment he can breathe instead of hyperventillate (his regular mechanism). He recently heard from someone who said they liked his rants and raves, but they admitted that they skimmed more than they read; they often didn’t know too much about the issues he was going on about. They liked  that he was doing it, and they liked the images. AxeMan was okay with that, but it reminded him of a refrain in the old song, Cripple Creek, by The Band. “Me and my mate we were back at the shack, we had Spike Jones on the box. She said, “I can’t take the way he sings, but I love to hear him talk.” post-quaker.jpg

Arrivederci Roma? The Sisters vs. the Bishopric(ks).

AxeMan would like to nominate the Nobel Piece Prize to Maureen Dowd for her relentless assault on the Papacy. Since he himself is not a Catholic, or anything else, really, he has no credibility for his own animus. But, since he is only an alter-ego, he takes his liberties where he finds them, unlike  the Bishopric(ks) who take only prisoners and give zero liberties to those who question their authority.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan and his role in buying off pedophile priests in Milwaukee

So AxeMan is thinking, Why don’t American Catholics start the American Catholic Church, and they could begin by censuring (or even excommunicating) Cardinal Timothy Dolan. (Here’s why) On June 18th a contingent of American nuns will begin a nationwide bus tour in protest of a brutal assault from Rome and their American Bishopric(ks). This is reported in America: The National Catholic Weekly. Go girls! And boys!

Who’s YOUR daddy?

On Father’s Day, 2012, AxeMan remembers.

(On the cusp of the faux alter-ego). The old man forever on the road, his last car, his nighttime reading, the heartbreaking end; a 1956
Olds 4-door hardtop parked somewhere near the NYC hotel where he died alone, on the road, in 1958. AxeMan never saw that car again. AxeMan remembers. His first wet dreamI, the Jury, pilfered from pop’s traveling suit-case.pops-suitcase.jpg

schmoo-300x186.jpg
AxeMan remembers.
Boxing lessons.
AxeMan, bullied by neighborhood kids, came home in tears. Egged on by his mom. the old man brought home a blow-up schmoo. Filled with sand on the bottom, you could punch it and punch it, and it always came back for more. It wore AxeMan out.

AxeMan finds a baby picture.baby-axeman-1.jpg Pop looked dapper. Mom looked okay herself. Who knew that she was in a constant state of panic, preparing herself for the endless cycle of hellos and goodbyes? Who knew that she was so afraid of dropping her baby again that they had to hire a woman to help her bathe and take care of the little guy? And where did the money come from? 
pop-and-jack.jpgAxeMan remembers thinking that the old man reminded him of Jack Ruby.
He doesn’t know why. So many things defy explanation. AxeMan had many father figures. Teachers, bosses, even friends. To one degree or another they filled  some need. They are gone. Not dead, but gone.

 

And now a word from Yassir Arafat about religion

best-friend.jpg“Fighting about religion is like arguing over who has the best imaginary friend.”
Yep, that Yassir Arafat. AxeMan has, reluctantly, returned his (very best) imaginary friend to Philip Guston, the rightful owner. AxeMan discovered Arafat’s little morsel in an online comment to Bill Keller’s must read op-ed piece on June 17 about Roman Catholicism; The Rottweiler’s Rottweiler. If only AxeMan could stop fighting. But for quite some time he has been calling himself  the A-word. He’s pretty sure The procreators.jpgCreator put him up to it, but he had to ask. “Am I really an atheist?”  “Do you want to be?” said The Creator. “I have read a lot of books where the G-word is prominent, and quite often it has acted in bad faith or in the name of it. But why do you want to know?” “Because I want people to like me,” AxeMan said.  “So stop asking questions.” AxeMan is thinking about all those ultra orthodox people in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he spends a fair amount of his time…Anti-Abortion-thugs.jpg
… enough to have to growl at those little boys in black suits who touch him on his arm and ask, “Are you Jewish?” Sometimes he responds, “Are you? I hear your families are so big you have to get welfareThat doesn’t sound Jewish.”  Have a nice day, they say. So he asks The Creator, “Am I Jewish?” The Creator says, “You have more Jewish sap in your grain than Elisabeth Warren has Cherokee, or whatever she’s calling herself.”  “But no Christian?” AxeMan says. “Absolutely not!”  “Good,” AxeMan says, “because there’s a bunch of weirdos up in Hudson. They hang out in front of Planned Parenthood every choices.jpgWednesday across the road from a creepy church. I wouldn’t want to be associated with any of them.”  The Creator pauses. “But we do have a little Mormon problem. I think they may have baptized my mother after she died. They go after dead Jews, and they may try to get you. But trust me, you are an Atheist. Live with it.”