Why is it that Jazz and the Saxophone provide me with so much confusion, joy, hatred, love, desparity and elation?

I'm sitting here listening to Branford Marsalis' latest endevour, "Footsteps oFour Fathers". No that's not a typo. It's his tribute to Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and John Lewis. The "of" and "our" also make an "o" and a "four"... whatever. I hate Branford Marsalis. I hate Wynton Marsalis. Hell, the whole Marsalis family can suck my big fat hairy left toe. They're all bastards as guys go. Arrogant, self centered, egotistical, woman hating scumbags. But they can play. I wouldn't call Branford a god or say he's some master of the horn, but he plays better than I do and I have to respect that.

But here's my dilema: I like the album. But when I was talking to Bob Mover last night and I was telling him about it, he practically had a heart attack when he tried to tell me how horrible it was that Branford did such a thing. Partly I think it's because Branford got his own recording company, which sucks when you consider that there are a ton of better Jazz musicians out there barely scraping by. But mostly I think it's because Bob grew up in a world where Jazz was created. He knows what Jazz is better than almost everyone else on the planet, Branford included. And the reason I have my dilema is that I also agree with Bob.

Where the fuck does Branford get off remaking A Love Supreme!? I can understand if he has this burning need to play the tune and does so on a job where he can explain to the audience that he hopes he doesn't piss off the memory of John Coltrane by playing it, but why in the name of all things sacred does he feel the need to record it!?! "Didn't Trane do it right the first time, you arrogant piece of shit?!" What makes this bastard think he can do it better? Any change whatsoever is going to be for the worse. But hey! The world wants tribute albums. So let's pander, let's just do whatever makes money. Integrity be damned!

You have to understand, A Love Supreme is a tune that was written and performed by Trane when he believed he actually found God. It's about Trane's most sacred beliefs. It's about the most beautiful and perfect thing he had ever experienced in his life! And this stupid fucking prick comes along and re-records it!? What's he trying to say?? "No way man, Trane didn't find God. I'll show you God." To give some perspective, when it comes to Jazz and it comes to something as personal as A Love Supreme, it's the equivalent of fucking a guy's wife right in front of him simply because you don't think she liked it enough. That's grounds for a beheading (the choice of head is up to the beheader). That's what it feels like! And I'll tell you, I may like the tune and I may like the way that this arrogant little bastard plays it, but I sure as fuck don't think he's going to replace Trane. But what's worse is that the general public will think it's the total shit because they don't know any better. They haven't sat an listened to Coltrane until their ears bled, their gut ached and tears came streaming down their face. No. The "public" buys whatever looks good and popular and says it's great because that's what the Jazz magazine whores say is great! Jesus Christ! Sting won best Jazz song of the year at the Grammy's one year, for which he apologized profusely and it wasn't even his fault. The whores just wanted to climb up someone's ass for a minute or two -- I guess it was cold outside. Don't get me wrong... I love Sting. But it sure shows that the general public, and the so called "experts" are about as dense as the Hoover Dam.

So what do I do? Do I listen to it, learn from it and enjoy it or do I go try and wash the scum off my body, listen to the real "A Love Supreme" a million times and pray to Coltrane's spirit asking for forgiveness?

Branford... I hate that fucker. He should just go back to the Tonight Show band and leave the Jazz community alone, at the very least. At the best, he should turn into a respectful and true Jazz musician and pull the damned CD off the stands. October 2nd, 2002 is a bad day.

I started my day by making someone my bitch.

Okay, perhaps I exaggerate a little. In any case, my library school has an unmoderated listserv for the entire school, students, faculty, and some alumni. Occasionally, a discussion breaks out, but generally the list serves merely for announcements and forwarded articles. So yesterday my friend Laurie posted a commentary-free announcement for a peace vigil down at MacDill AFB this weekend. (MacDill is the home of US Central Command, where all military operations in the Middle East are planned and overseen.) Such announcements are not uncommon, especially in this program where some members of the faculty encourage librarians to be politically active.

So I log on for my post-breakfast email check and spam deletion, and find this intemperate message:

If, you and your friends really want to show your distain (sic) for war, then why don't you hold your protest in NYC at ground zero!

Now I don’t care what you think about the idea of war, and you won’t find my opinions about the idea in this write-up. You have your right to voice your opinion, whatever it is, but there’s no need to be an asshole in a forum which isn’t generally used for debate when someone is merely posting an announcement. And we won’t even get into this guy’s poor grammar or his logical fallacies.

A man who utters rude slogans is generally impervious to logical debate, so the best way to puncture his ego is humor directed at said ego. So I dashed off this reply:
Here are some other clichés you might want to add to your repertoire:

1) Go back to Russia, you commie.
2) America, love it or leave it.
3) You'll pry my gun from my cold dead fingers.

And then I was off to my cataloging class. When I got there, it had been only a few hours since I sent the email, but people were already congratulating me on insulting that pompous ass. And when I checked my email that evening, my inbox was full of similar praise, including a message from the department chair. It wasn’t the wittiest thing I’ve done by any means, but it still makes me giggle when I think about it. And he has hardly been the biggest fish I’ve fried (ask me sometime about what I said to Pat Buchanan to his face a few years back), but it was a fun way to start my day.

Especially since I spent all night trying to figure out how to catalog a (probably fictional) book called Very First Things To Know About Monkeys. The class has been a little chaotic, so we haven’t learned as much as we should up to this point. Our professor has some problems with the INS and didn’t get her work permit in time for the beginning of the semester, so for the first month we had a substitute. She talked over our heads for several weeks and then our new teacher got her permit and picked up the baton. But the transition has not been smooth, both the transition of accents (Welsh to Korean) and of course material, as they apparently were not working from the same syllabus. Cataloging is fairly easy, but the rules are many and specific. So you have to consult one thick book ($60 new) for the AACR2 rules on what information to include in a record and how to punctuate it, then consult another ($54 used) for which MARC field to include it in and how to record it there. Difficult stuff if you’ve all of a sudden been given an assignment to catalog things from scratch after weeks of scattershot lectures, but I got the hang of it sometime before dawn. I’m hardly alone, as the class whined so much that the teacher gave us an extra two weeks to complete the assignment. I wasn’t about to voice an objection, but I had mixed feelings about it. I’m done, and I’m not about to pore over my assignment for mistakes when I have a pile of other projects to do, and I’m worried that we’re going to push too many of these assignments to the end of the course.

After class I went a candle party hosted by my friend Sean, who is the only person on Earth who would host a candle party in an Eminem t-shirt. Candles don’t exactly fit in the lifestyle of a disorganized bibliophile (think Fahrenheit 451) with a sensitivity to strong artificial scents. But I went because he was my friend and he asked me to go, even if I wanted to poke my eyes out with a candle snuffer by the end of it. And I did learn that, according to a study in Cosmo, pumpkin spice is the scent works best when trying to get men in the mood. You learn something new every day, and maybe it will come up one day when I'm manning a reference desk. When everyone else had spent their money and left, we did lots of slacker things and I downloaded some crap for his new computer. He’s a bit new to this whole newfangled "internet" thing people keep talking about, but we’ll make a noder out of him yet. And that’s what worries me, as so many people I know and so much of my life has been assimilated by this fucking website that it gives me serious pause. Not that I don’t love each and every one of you. Except for Jet-Poop.


The fog was deep and misty...perfect. This morning I stood alone in an open field with my shovel and the moist earth...digging a deep grave for a perfect white dove. This doesn't happen very often.

In memory of a dream...

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