Wednesday, December 21, 2016


I always had a compelling
fetish to mess with people
heads. Something like the
'trickster' character in old
medieval lore and writing.
Simply put, the 'Trickster'
is - "an alchemist, a 
magician, creating 
realities in the duality 
of time and illusion. 
In mythology, and 
in the study of folklore 
and religion, a trickster 
is a god, goddess, 
spirit, man, woman, 
or anthropomorphic 
animal who plays 
tricks or otherwise 
disobeys normal 
rules and conventional 
behavior." That's in
and of itself isn't saying 
much, but when you
need a definition, 
that'll do. What it meant 
to me, and still does, is 
someone consciously 
outside of the normal 
parameters of both
Being and Meaning. 
The crooked eye. The 
snide sniper. Like that. 
One thing I always tired 
of is 'sincerity,' all of that 
dripping glop of concern
and interest. It's usually 
a real bunch of crap. All
the 'I'm with ya'. I feel your 
pain.' and that 'hail fellow,
how the hell are you?' stuff.
Like they've known you as
a bosom buddy for years.
Chicanery and pure fakery.
Oughta' bury those people.
I can spot it a mile away,
and it's transparent too.
Condescension when 
there's nothing on the 
doer's part to condescend 
for. My idea of trickster 
was, for one for-instance, 
to have a go at someone 
over movie titles, which 
was always fun and easy 
to do. I'm talking way 
back of course. Like 
'Wasn't that movie
with Bing Crosby, the 
one that introduced
the song 'White 
Christmas' within it,
called 'Holiday Inn?'
Now, the answer
was, 'Yes, it is, that's 
the one.' But I'd say  -
'No, no that was 
'The Day the Earth
Stood Still'. And I'd
stand my ground, 
even knowing I was 
wrong. But messing 
reason on a stupid 
item such as that 
would be, it always
gave me a solid lift. 
There are certain 
idiots who would
fight you to the 
death over a
stupid movie.
Anyway, none of that 
has much to do with 
anything here. One of
the books that I read 
carefully for those 
months that I lived
in the Studio School
basement (or, rather, 
and oftentimes, on 
the upstairs library 
floor, fortunately
carpeted), was by
Carl Jung, entitled,
'Memories, Dreams, 
and Reflections.' One
of the two guys who 
were there, staying in 
NYCity from the San 
Francisco Art Institute, 
(the third third guy 
was Jim Tomberg,
of whom I've already
told you), he 'd 
recommended it to
me. His recommendation
was kind of funny, in that
he essentially put across
not so much the factor of
the book itself, but the
idea that  -  out in San
Francisco  -  all the really
heavy-hitters, artists,
serious hippies, and the
rest, they were way into this
book and it was, in its way,
designing Haight-Ashbury
by the thinking it projected.
Besides LSD  -  I think
he left that out. 1967,
you know.
Another cool thing, which
I'd like to point out now, was
that Jim Tomberg, the San
Francisco Art Institute 
sculptor guy, was the one 
with the heavy, constant
presence of tough personality:
alcohol, drunkenness, 
women and new babes all
the time, keeping them over,
screwing their half-drunk 
brains out and then heaving
them out  (no keepers) and
going back to his table-waiter
job at whichever one of those
Bleecker Street cafes which
currently was keeping him.
Jim was the tough and nasty
type, the hard-steel welder
fire-breather person. The
other two California artist 
types, by contrast, were 
the usual fey, wan hippie 
pushover types. They may
 as well have been girls. 
Weak and indecisive, 
with frilly Indian shirts
 a lot of the time, and 
hippie sandals and cloaks,
 little wispy facial hair 
and real gentle manners. 
They were that sort of 
androgynous, west-coast 
 weak sort who reveled 
in their own goodness 
and manner. It was
 very difficult catching
 up to them. There was 
no 'there' there, it 
seemed. Just a 
hollowed-out shell 
of 'something,' an 
aftermath only. Casting 
from Hippie Central,
 but there was no
movie. The comparison
was rather startling, 
and I just as well 
would never have 
expected a book 
of such a nature as
 Jung coming from
 Jim Tomberg. He 
was more the 
Superman, will-to-
power, type, maybe.
 In any case, one of 
these two guys, 
I can't recall which 
except there was a 
really weak name 
involved there too, 
like 'Hayden' or
'Todd', was the 
one who brought 
this book to my 
attention, and I 
fell in. Yes. It turned 
out pretty great. It 
was an oddly-written 
collection of personal 
notes, ideas of self, 
basically. The 
beginning was 
different from the 
end, stylistically and 
in its content too. 
A lot of things in it 
were unsettling for 
people, and the book 
went through some 
major revision and 
such in order to be 
put together in a 
palatable fashion 
for the sensibilities 
of 1963. Even 
European sensibilities, 
which were rather 
often more advanced 
some from American 
ones. Archetypes, 
Tricktster stuff, through
the ages, snide and 
off-the-cuff remarks 
based in psychological 
profiles and bleed-through, 
pictures of the world 
through quite different 
eyes and with another
discernment. All this 
from a somewhat crusty, 
very serious, dour old 
guy who just wished to 
wind up the distracting 
strings of his own life, 
then fading off some 
already. A strange, 
crafty book. It took 
me along and, again, 
yes, I did end up 
feeling empowered 
and more forceful 
for the read  -  for 
what reason, I did 
not know. Maybe all 
those far-more sunny 
and happier California 
people knew, or thought 
they did anyway.  Which 
is all that matters.

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