So I was pub-crawling my way up 9th Avenue and I stopped into Billymark’s West. Now I love Billymark’s West. Fantastic bar. Perfect stop on one’s way up 9th Ave., even though I was wearing a suit, but fuck it, if I’m in a suit, I still might want to have a drink, mightn’t I?
So I have myself a Bud bottle and Billy serves it to me perfectly well, and the dude who’s sort of bar-backing comes over and notices that my cash change has ended up in a puddle and suggests that maybe I should take it out of the puddle, but I’m fairly unconcerned. But he’s pretty concerned, so I leave the tip in the puddle and take the rest of the change, which is fairly dry, and pocket it. But I digress.
Anyhow, on my way out, since I still have some hoofing to do, I stop to use the facilities. Now they are basic facilities, but perfectly fine, and as I’m scanning the walls, I notice this:
Now I can’t exactly make out what’s on the righthand side, but I’ve decided it says “Forever Louima,” referring to the brutalizing of Abner Louima. Right on. That was some fucked up shit.
But on the lefthand side, it definitely says “Martin Amis Uber Alles.” Now what the fuck is that about? I’m a big fan of Martin Amis’s books. Decades ago a friend gave me a copy of Money, and I thought it was fantastic. If you don’t know him, he’s a Brit novelist, son of Kingsley Amis (Lucky Jim and such) and buddy of Christopher Hitchens. But whatever. Why is some asshole using some Nazi-ass shit to praise Martin Amis on the bathroom wall at Billymark’s West?
No, seriously, why?
It’s a must-read. I saw the sign, indeed. Piece of shit. I hate fucking Nazis.
I was just walking across West 51st Street and spotted a deaf guy who was simultaneously walking and animatedly (that’s a word, right?) signing at his smartphone, obviously in the middle of a world-changing video-chat.
It’s a brave new world. I guess.
So yesterday I put up the first post here in some time. And it just happened to be a video of Richard Hell & the Voidoids. Turns out, my spidey-sense was working overtime, because it turns out it’s Richard Hell Week, at least according to EV Grieve. And EV points us to an article in the Observer on Mr. Hell. here’s a snippet:
“How can I say I regret heroin?” he said to me. “It would be like saying, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be somebody else?’ It’s a meaningless thing to say.”
And anyway, as he puts it at one point, “sex pervades all.” Among the girlfriends he mentions throughout his narrative, all of whom he clearly worshipped, are teenage hookers, French chanteuses, married art patrons, Rolling Stones groupies, Andrew Wylie’s little sister, bassists, the door girl at CBGB and the doomed Nancy Spungen. Many of them overlapped. Men writing about their conquests are often boring; luckily for us, Mr. Hell is a regular Henry Miller when it comes to sex scenes. Take, for example, the following description of coitus with a 16-year-old, in Paris, a tryst that happened while Mr. Hell was waiting for a fiancée, Lizzy, to return from South Africa.
I bent her over the Corbusier. We were in our element. There’s a point where extreme, knowing drug abandon becomes a kind of delicious hell … It’s like a ballet performed at 1/1000 speed and that’s how I put my granite hard-on into Ava and watched her face and watched her lips as she said something snotty and grateful to me, grinning, and meanwhile Lizzy was in the back of my mind and my heart was breaking, drily and brittle though, not as if I had any meaning to lose.
Yeah, well, we’ll always have the Voidoids.