Saturday, October 25, 2014


Greenwich Village, 1958.

Some of you are asking what I mean when I say The Man. I asked Nell-mom and Gary Daddy-o. He laughed and she gave me a list:
  1. The Man gets his capital M because he’s the one in charge
  2. The Man owns the place you work and the place you want to work
  3. He can send you packing any time, meaning “you’re fired”
  4. He makes up the rules and all you get to do is follow them
  5. He gets a ton more money than you do even though he couldn’t run his business without you
  6. He owns a house, maybe two, maybe land and a lot more
  7. He kind of owns you too
  8. He wears a suit and tie
  9. He doesn’t have to get dirty unless he wants to
  10. His wife and kids have it easy
  11. He’s square but doesn’t know it
  12. He thinks everyone should be the same, also known as conforming

He doesn’t listen to you or your friends. He doesn’t even listen to anyone in his family.
He never listened to Leadbelly. He doesn’t care for poetry and especially not Beat poetry.

I asked Gary Daddy-o if he agreed with the list and he laughed again. Then he said yes, he agreed. Then he said Chaz was kind of like The Man. That made Nell-mom angry but she didn’t say anything.

You know Chaz is Nell-mom’s friend and he owns a gallery. Nell mom said later that Chaz couldn’t possibly be anything like The Man and G. Daddy-o was crazy to even think so, but not crazy in a good way.

She said Chaz had a little money but he poured it right back into the artists, and some people had no ambition and didn’t like it when other people did.

I’m staying out of it.

But I did ask (later, before I went to bed) what the difference is between someone who has ambition as an artist and someone who has ambition like The Man.

Nell-mom said it’s a world of difference. Artists are trying to give people something, so they can connect to each other and themselves. Gary Daddy-o said he had to think about that and Nell-mom kind of glared at him.

I said I think she’s right but isn’t it the same kind of ambition, no matter who has it?
Gary Daddy-o says yes and Nell-mom went into the bathroom and slammed the door.
I said I didn’t mean to get them mad at each at other. Gary Daddy-o said he wasn't mad.

I apologized to Gary Daddy-o anyway. He said "Honey, it wasn’t your fault."

“Whose is it, then?” I said.

He just smiled and said, “It’s the Man.”