Friday, October 24, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

This weekend

I went to dim sum, did drugs, saw Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour at MSG, went to a birthday party in a fabulous loft on 16th Street, met a very cute guy with two cats, walked 40 blocks and randomly ran into some Latin American parade, and then took the fabulously spacious and relaxing company car service to Connecticut, where I am now. God, I love New York. But tomorrow it's all bullshit all the time with the board, who I have to put on a good show for and then head back to New York on Wednesday before returning to Charlotte on Friday where I will be back to deadlines and increasingly meaningless, unfulfilling work and house hunting, and extreme anxiety about the state of this world.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Extreme Blog Makeover Butch Stroll Edition

I have not had a lot of time to blog lately, and were I not employed full time, in the midst of buying a house, travelling all over the country and indeed the world, taking care of my two adoroable cats, trying to keep my clothes washed and ironed as well as my ass clean, resolving my legal issue about "reckless endangerment of human life" or whatever, and getting at least six hours sleep per night, I would love to break it on down for the countless millions who roll through The Butch Stroll as to what is happening in this world. But I am forced to summarize.

1. Bailout bad.
2. Citigroup step the fuck off Wachovia and let Wells Fargo get that action.
3. Stock up on guns and canned goods.
4. No one in Washington has any idea what they're doing.

Once I get everything settled and into my own abode, I'm going to get into some of my hobbies, and have a return to me. The Butch Stroll will reflect. Coin collecting, caligraphy, gardening, geneology, poet-tree, computing, photography, ebay, Warcraft....the excitement is likely killing you but try to be patient.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Haydon Carruth dies at 87

Poet Haydon Carruth dies at 87.

by Hayden Carruth

How many guys are sitting at their kitchen tables
right now, one-thirty in the morning, this same
time, eating a piece of pie? - that's what I
wondered. A big piece of pie, because I'd just
finished reading Ray's last book. Not good pie,
not like my mother or my wife could've
made, but an ordinary pie I'd just bought, being
alone, at the Tops Market two hours ago. And how
many had water in their eyes? Because of Ray's
book and especially those last poems written
after he knew: the one about the doctor telling
him, the one where he and Tess go down to
Reno to get married before it happens and shoot
some craps on the dark baize tables, the one
called "After-Glow" about the little light in the
sky after the sun sets. I can just hear him,
if he were still here and this were somebody
else's book, saying, "Jesus," saying, "This
is the saddest son of a bitch of a book I've
read in a long time," saying, "A real long time."
And the thing is, he knew we'd be saying this
about his book, he could just hear us saying it,
and in some part of him he was glad! He
really was. What crazies we writers are
our heads full of language like buckets of minnows
standing in the moonlight on a dock. Ray
was a good writer, a wonderful writer, and his
poems are good, most of them and they made me
cry, there at my kitchen table with my head down,
me, a sixty-seven-year-old galoot, an old fool
because all old men are fools, they have to be,
shoveling big jagged chunks of that ordinary pie
into my mouth, and the water falling from my eyes
onto the pie, the plate, my hand, little speckles
shining in the light, brightening the colors, and I
ate that goddamn pie, and it tasted good to me.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

But I don't have $700 billion!

Maybe you’ve heard that the economy is shambles, that banks are failing, and something about a $700 billion bailout? How much is $700 billion? One way to look at it:

NASA in fiscal year 2009 will launch several missions into space and pay for hundreds of people to operate a host of space telescopes and even remote robots on Mars and run a PR and media department that puts most large corporations to shame. The agency's budget: $17.6 billion, or 2.5 percent of the bailout sum.

The bailout amount is more than the entire military budget and the entire social security budget. And since the budgets are down to the wire, an extra $700 billion to pay for the bailout would mean printing 700 billion new dollars.

Most people, myself included, are not sure what’s really going on. However, we are all a little like Naomi Campbell, who, upon Gianni Versace’s death, said, “It’s been a terrible thing…for me. Yes, I am worried about my own ass in all of this! And I’m worried about my mom and dad, who are near retirement and should be retired, as well as my grandmother who lives off her retirement. What’s going to happen to their money?

We all know this mess has something to do with shady mortgages, toxic debt that has lead to bank failures and plummeting stocks, and many of us are seeing it on paper as our 401K’s and pensions turn into dust. Similarly, the people in charge – our politicians in Washington – largely have little understanding themselves. You know both presidential candidates are shitting their pants trying to figure out what they're supposed to say about this. There’s a lot of finger pointing, a lot of people blaming the other’s policies. What is truly laughable though, is that so many of them believe in a magical marketplace that goes up and down but always carries forward and needs no government intervention. But this is crisis is an exception! The market’s magical powers have failed and since this is really serious, we now have to do something! Pony up taxpayers!

I don’t know whether to be for or against the “bailout” which they’re now calling the “rescue plan”. Part of me wants to think that the bailout has no benefit to me because, for one thing, I don't have anything like stocks or a savings to really rescue from whatever it is that's happening. I do of course realize that Whatever It Is That's Happening is going to effect everyone for years to come, in many ways from getting credit to food prices to gas etc. I’ve been following both sides’ arguments about what to do. I’m in the midst of buying a house, have mad credit card debt, and have actively began looking for supplemental income via a part time job because I do know that the shit is about to hit the fan, and it is going to be a while before we are no longer feeling the effects of this mess.