A Letter from HENRY CRINKLE, Publisher, Bluerailroad
Hello friends from the beautiful Marquesas Islands. It’s a beautiful morning here, but, hell, every morning here is beautiful. I wasn’t born here but I am gonna die here. Hopefully no time too soon, but if I keep drinking the way I have been drinking and then jet-skiing the way I’ve been jet-skiing, I might soon be as dead as Jacques Brel and Paul Gaugin, who both lie beneath the sand here in a beautiful graveyard into which I too, will someday be buried.
Sadly, my partner in life, love, mischief and business, the wonderful Mo Golden, did die here. He’s been gone for almost three months now, but it is so hard for me to fathom. When he died – somehow Mo, a skilled scuba diver, had an underwater accident and seems to have drowned (that he had many beers prior to going down might very well have contributed to his demise, but truth be told, I don’t think Mo ever dove sober) – I felt as if nothing mattered, and I couldn’t go on. Bluerailroad had been derailed for many reasons, and despite Zollo’s barrage of daily emails (the man is polite yet persistent), I was ready to let go of Bluerailroad forever. I felt that Zollo, like one of his beloved cats, would land on his feet. But he convinced me that my life had to go on, even without dear Mo, and that Mo would be disappointed in me if I didn’t get Bluerailroad back on track. And so here you are. The new Bluerailroad – at long last – and proudly featuring an amazing, thoughtful, inspirational interview with one of my favorite all-time songwriter-singers, the legendary James Taylor. PZ and JT connected on a deep and spiritual level, and I find this interview to shine with much of the grace and timeless beauty of a James Taylor song.
And life is musical here on Te Henua Enata, which is the original name for these chain of islands. In the native tongue of the Polynesians that means “The Land of Men,” and it’s a name I like, as I love native Polynesian men. I love women, too, I just don’t want to have to talk to them on the phone. Too emotional and way too catty. Or go shopping with them, which can take forever, and if I’m gonna spend forever, it ain’t gonna be with a woman who is trying on shoes. Or even hats. It’s gonna be with some good music, some Couintreau, and a plate of flounder. I live for flounder.
Now, to answer some of the email that’s been accumulating for many moons, and some suns, since our last blue rendezvous. No, I don’t read my own email. My assistant, Pua, prints out every email for me, then reads them to me, one by one, typing up my answers, before all of them are introduced into a hearty island fire, around which Pua and I dance as the sun sets on Tahauku Bay.
To Dandelion19 in Montreal, no, never. I like little animals, but not in that way. To Naftie in Hollywood, it’s in the mail. To Liad in Helmetsville, ND, he was Jewish, and born in 1859 in the town of Prossnitz in Moravia, then a part of the Austrian Empire. Although there was a Jewish technical school in the town, his father, a schmata salesman, sent him away to Vienna at the age of 10 to begin his German classical education in the Realgymnasium of the capital. A year later, in 1870, he transferred to the Staatsgymnasium in Olmütz, closer to home, where he was once suspended for scrawling obscene German graffiti on the professor’s wife. He was remembered there as a mediocre student who nevertheless loved mathematics and science, “of blond and pale complexion, but of good appetite.” He graduated in 1876 and went to Leipzig for university studies.
To Bruce R. in Long Island, I guess that would depend on what your definition of “is” is. To Normie Chieko in Cobo, Japan, a lit cigar, a glass penguin (plastic won’t work), a boiled egg, a book of matches, a bucket of ice cubes and seven live lobsters. To Hillary C. in Washington, D.C., no, that wasn’t me. I think this is either wishful or delusional thinking on your part, and no, you can’t count on my support. To Leopold in Amsterdam, yes, I would, if I was starving. I’ve heard it tastes like chicken, only gamier. To Charlie Chickenfeathers in Antofagasta, yes I knew Camus, did you? To Michelle Williams in Deridder, Lousiana, yes, I agree. Zollo is a talented man, and I love him almost as much as you do. To Gorkysmiles in Andover, Maryland, it essentially differentiates itself from the modern Western rationalist tradition of philosophers such as Descartes and Shecky Greene in rejecting the idea that the most certain and primary reality is rational consciousness or located at a motel in the Catskills. Descartes believed humans could doubt all existence, but could not will away or doubt the thinking consciousness, whose reality is therefore more certain than any other reality, except that belonging to Katey Couric. Existentialism decisively rejects this argument, asserting instead that as conscious beings, humans would always find themselves already in a world, a prior context and a history that is given to consciousness and an appreciation of naked dancing women, and that humans cannot think away that world. It is inherent and indubitably linked to consciousness and/or professional sports. In other words, the ultimate, certain, indubitable reality is not thinking consciousness but, according to Heidegger, “being in the world”. This is a radicalization of the notion of intentionality that comes from Totie Fields (before the amputation) which asserts that, even in its barest form, consciousness is always conscious of something, except when watching “American Idol.”
To Donald in Newcomb, Bristol, once, with a whole lot of olive oil, a scuba mask and galoshes. To Mo in the next room, don’t email me, it’s annoying. If you need attention, talk to Pua. That’s what he gets paid for. To Alice Swallow in Enders, Maine, I define it as happy, or joyful. To Sven in Wroclaw, yes – on the balalaika, and with lots of Indian food. To Helen of Troy, unfortunately yes – in Room 311 of the Cheek to Cheek Motel in Winter Park, Florida. To Gracie1111 in Shepherds Glen, Ireland, he was born the fifth of seven sons in Eltham, London, England. His dad was a stone mason, and his mother, Avis Townes, was an opera singer/maid. They lived in Weston-super-Mare, then Whitehall and St. George in Bristol before moving to Cleveland in 1908; they sailed to America on the SS Philadelphia, and arrived at Ellis Island on 30 March, 1908. Unfortunately, it was closed for remodeling, so they stayed at a string of cheap motels just off the mainland until it opened and they were allowed in. He became a U.S. citizen in 1920, and became a boardwalk busker and moil. He also boxed briefly under the name Packy East. To George L. in Happy Valley, California, approximately 930 miles northeast of Tahiti. To Anderson Cooper in New York, yes, my great-great-great grandfather Adolph did know your great-great-great grandfather Cornelius, and often played handball together and shared prostitutes. The story about the frittata is a fabrication, but the bit about Adolph and Luisa Fernández de Valdivieso is true. Her family settled in Chile in the 17th century and grew apricots. Her daughter Maria had an affair with your great-great-grandfather Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, a Union general. To Fabio in Los Angeles, no, never, way too painful. Not my style. To Brad Berman in Wilmette, Illinois, no he’s not the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, he’s the son of Cronus, the son of Uranus and Gaia, and the youngest of the twelve Titans. His wife was also one of the Titans, since he married his sister Rhea. Their daughters Hestia and Hera all went to Sarah Lawrence, and were friends with Yoko Ono there.
To Jameslambo2209 in Iambic Pentameter, Greece, two dactyls and a spondee. To Rosco Squid in Dafo, Estonia, Estonian is actually old Finnish. To Elabora L. in Tarzana, California, Keeler was an American astrophysicist, probable discoverer of the dark narrow gap in the outer part of the A ring of Saturn, and a master shuffle-board player. To Pat Boone, Jr. in Cherubia, Ukraine, he came to Chicago in the spring of 1891 at the age of 29 years old with only $32 in his pocket, a box of Crackerjacks and several marbles. He started out selling soap. As an extra incentive to merchants to carry Wrigley’s soap, he offered them free baking powder. When baking powder proved to be more popular than soap, he switched to the baking powder business. One day, he got the idea to offer merchants free chewing gum with each can of baking powder, and the gum craze was born. The rest is Wrigley history. To Marcopolo in Zanzibar, it can roughly be described as the sustained attempt to describe experiences or webcasts (“things themselves”) without metaphysical, sexual and theoretical speculations. He suggested that only by suspending or bracketing away the “natural attitude” could philosophy becomes its own distinctive and rigorous science, and he insisted that phenomenology is a science of consciousness rather than of empirical things, and connected to the love between a mature college professor and a little blonde boy named Ivan.
To Isadore in Nyack, not if you run out of gas first. To Plano in Earl, Texas, I use a variety of Mexican cheeses I have flown in. Nothing else works. To Mishya in Moscow, he moved in Finland for security reasons in 1907. In 1915 came the Zimmerwald Conference, led by Mo’s uncle, Kosomo Zimmerwald. Uncle Kos and Lenin wrote a book together called Materialism, Empiriocriticism and Flounder in 1915, but much to Uncle Kos’s dismay, the entire flounder section was later excised. Lenin and Kos then moved to Paris, where both of them fell in love with Inessa Armand, and the three opened the Bolshevik Bakery, which sold pastries during the day and at night became a psycho-sexual Socialist puppet theater. After a few years, they all moved to Switzerland, where he continued his study of all things flounder. To Mannish Boy in Elmira, New York, it’s called Hiva Oa and is 4,1345 feet tall. (1,260 m). To Pua in the kitchen, yes, peppermint schnaps with the breadfruit. But don’t season the fish quite so severely. It gives me weird dreams.
That’s all for now. Have a great month. Mo wanted to write something this month, but he never did get around to it, and now, darkly, it’s too late. And too blue. And no, I don’t mean sad. I mean the color blue. Kind of a robin’s egg blue.
Till next month,
Be kind to each other, and don’t scuba dive drunk. Mo, I love you and will forever.