Tuesday, July 30, 2013




 I came out of my house the other day to meet Irish Liz and her brother-in-law Shmoolie (some names are too good to change) coming out of the church. They hadn't seen all the new work since  Xmas time. ILiz thought it was sufficiently "Halloweenie." And it blew Shmoolie's mind. Shmoolie is one of the more enthusiastic parisioners. You all should take note. Show some Goddamed interest would you? But back to Shmoolie. He's on the lion. When's he coming? Have I got him yet? Male or female? He's grilling me. And here is where I think I do my best work. I actually begin to believe what I'm saying. In his obsession with wanting to make me the new Duck Dynasty Hillbillie with a White Beard, I calmly explain to my devotee, that we have all already won the lottery. There is no need to hustle or scam or sell yourself to anybody at any price. We have already attained Nirvana. The cage merely awaits. I prepare a place for you. Get it? And if we really need cash we got Diamond Dave. ILiz cringes.
   Yesterday I took the plywood cut outs to my sign painter- Craig Stewart in Callicoon. He will now paint on two lion heads and LION OF JUDAH in hebrew script with the color scheme- red, yellow, green. The plan is to have the sign done by Labor Day 2013. In the meantime I've begun work on a Totem Pole. I can't say much about it yet. This will counter point the lion cage. Duh... what else? My brother Duke had suggested a roadside photo-op plywood cut out of the crucifixion. Climb the steps and be the head of our suffering lord. As much as I would love to see this happen, things are getting a little crowded on the lawn.
    When I explain it all to Shmoolie he gets it. Still, he somehow wants to make me money. Maybe we could put a church in the synagogue he suggests and sell it back to Hassidum just to keep things right with Yaweh. I clarify that it will be The Shul of the Little Green Man, thereby keeping things kosher. "There's got to be an angel .....I mean angle." Shmoolie insists. I agree.

Monday, July 29, 2013




 I promise. Maybe this was the kind of "detail" the Party Pirates wanted when I went into negotiations for the lion. You know, you'd think I wouldn't have to state such an obvious thing, but these days nothing is obvious. Not so long ago bears were being pitted against dogs on 2nd. Ave. and half-naked men were put in cages, with no rules and told to fight until.....wait a minute that's on Pay per View. It's not only lion rental services that want some guarantee when it comes to the safety of their charges.  Governments like Russia want to be so assured when it comes to returning an American citizen to his own soil. You heard me. The fact that NSA whistleblower Eddie Snowden still sits in a Russian airport no man's land has given Putin and his henchmen the unbelievable opportunity to take the high ground and put the screws to Uncle Sammy. It's as if the writers from South Park were told to come up with various juvenile ways to get under Obama's skin. " OK.....wait.....wait.... I got it. Make Eric Holder suck Biden's cock and ..........no....no..... Make Obama crap in Diane Fienstein's......wearing a I Hate Pussy Riot...... and make sure he posts it on Youtube."
    Why the Hell our man Snowden ended up in Hong Kong and then Russia is a mystery to me. With all the world for this cat to launch his campaign against illegal ease dropping, he ends up in one of the worst places on earth for personal expression. Ask those two young woman from Pussy Riot (still in prison) if Russia's a good place to keep the government out of your shit. From the git go, all us old timer "performance artists" thought "there but for the grace of God...", as the PR girls were arrested, imprisoned and silenced. So far the USA is home of the free for me. But as the State Police cars slowly drive by the cage.....this may change at any moment. I can read their minds. "What is this guy up to now?"
    We live in the kind of world were our Attorney General has to stipulate, in writing, that if the Russian government would be so kind as to return Edward Snowden to the United States, on a one way flight, we promise not to seek the death penalty or "torture" him. Here's the catch on that term torture. Nothing we have done to "enemy combatants" in our post-911 world is admittedly torture. Strip him naked. Hood and shackle him. Put him in a tiny cell, with the air conditioning on full, the light never going out and Taylor Swift's new album on constant shuffle and still we are nowhere near torture. Then we will try him for treason in a military court and seek life without parole. Bradley Manning is the canary in the coal mine. And it looks like he just fell off his perch. Snowen and Assange will be next. Let me just say: I will not harm any lion that may come my way. So help me LGM.

Thursday, July 25, 2013




Following the lead of The Church of England, the elders here at the LGM have decided to branch out of the soul saving business, and into the banking business. I don't know why it's taken so long for a church to see the advantages of loosening the purse strings and raking in the interest on the back side. Who's got mo money than the Vatican? Hell, just the head gear alone is worth millions. Maybe it's just that old story of Jesus kicking the money lenders out of the Temple that has painted all bankers with a broad brush. Get over it people. That was a long time ago. Strip clubs learned to put ATMs right alongside the swedish meatball buffet. Like church, once they are in the door, you don't want them leaving for ANY reason. And like strip clubs, a church is a cash business. You may burn one to get in, but everyone knows that the collection plate is eventually coming around. And we don't take plastic.
     How much of a stretch is it to install an ATM next to the flame or make an appointment with the functionary in any house of worship, in order to get a loan to finish off the basement or put a down payment on that new bass boat? "Bless you, my son. 5.2% compounded quarterly over the life of the loan. Please take a mint on the way out." There is no conflict of church and state. I envision a great coming together of Hebrew congregations working hand in hand with small Moslem shopkeepers and Christian Mega Churches, spreading the wealth throughout the community at low interest rates, undercutting Bank of America and other Godless institutions. Can I have an Amen?
   As summer winds down, ammunition becomes more expensive, and maybe you want to upgrade your firearms, think of us for all your spiritual investment needs. The elders are working out all the details- derivatives, interest rates, fiduciary responsibility, and contract design. So far we haven't found print small enough. We're working on it. In the meantime we are setting up a 800 # and forming a board of directors to answer all your questions. Our first of, what I hope will be many, branches should be open by fall. It will be located at 380 Glen Wild Rd. in what was the old Congregation Anshei Shul. Come by just to say hello. Our loan officers are always happy to answer all your questions. Dial 1-800-Diamond. In LGM We Trust.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013



  Leave it to the Brits to take all the fun out of everything. First it was fox hunting. The bleeding heart, tree hugging, PETA people find no joy in saddling your trusty steed, leading him from the stables, trailed by a pack of howling hounds, as you don your tight white britches, shiny black boots, velvet beanie, scarlet red waistcoat, codpeice and buttplug, slip the toe of your boot into the silver stirrup and.....giddy-yup. Or is it tally-ho? In either case, a hunting we will go no more. Foxes throughout  England are rejoicing over chicken dinners everywhere. And they better vaccinate that new royal baby against rabies. That's not a Yorkie in the garbage.
   Next in the sights of the so-called animal lovers are the traveling circus' of Great Britain. These low budget outfits are a throwback to the 19th century. The traveling menagerie (which contained only animals) combined with the traveling circus late in the century. It was a perfect match. Exotic critters in cages were towed along with the acrobats and trapeze artists. Exoticism in all its forms brought to the masses. Finally a coal miner could see a leopard and a bearded lady up close. But now, Brit lawmakers are trying to shut down any outfit that cages large cats, elephants, etc. "Snakes, dogs, camels and raccoons would be fine." states a member on Parliment. I love a good raccoon act. I actually have an evening show every night around the cat dishes. If I can only entice them into the cage, and put funny hats on them....I may have something.

My interest in all this is, of course, because of the lion cage. After a flurry of back and forth emails asking for my complete CV and letters of recommendation from my priest, rabbi and guru, The Pirate Party People informed me that a lion would be $10,000 for 3 hours (and they provide their own cages). I never did find out how big its head was. Maybe Paul McCarthy gets that kind of support from Hauser and Wirth, but not me. So the search continues. Everyone's got suggestions. The most common one is to put the supermodels in fur bikinis and have them gyrate for our amusement. I don't know how many of you have ever worked with supermodels.....but I think I'd have better luck juggling rattlesnakes blindfolded. It would be safer. Never fear. Do I ever disappoint?  

Monday, July 22, 2013




 No. We didn't hit the donkey. In fact, upon reflection, I'm not sure I even saw the stupid thing. It could've been a deer. Hell, it could've been a giraffe for all I know. In any case: home- safe and sound. After a day to lick my wounds, I'm back in the cage. People keep asking about the lion. Where ya? How ya? Can ya? I honestly did not expect all this questioning when I started building the cage. For some reason, my community thinks I'm always trying to pull one over on them. Even though in my entire career I've never tried to flim- flam anyone, it seems I have a certain look in my eyes. Cops recognize it immediately. More than once I've been asked if I've done time, spread eagled against my car. "My pistol permit is in my back pocket, officer." So today I finally googled "Lion for rent". A bunch of real estate agents with Lion in their names came up. This could be harder than I anticipated.

    Stuff is cool, but I've always been way more interested in the package that stuff comes in. That's why I've tried to make the social container just as important as the product. The "social sculpture", if you will, IS the project and product combined. The building, and soon the painting, of the lion cage is what engages me to all who drive by. People stop to chat, spread neighborhood gossip, linger...... and....back to the lion. How much? How big? Male or female? If I had said it was dry storage or even a gypsy caravan, there would never be this conversation. Everyone would nod, admire, and be on their way. Eventually I found my online lion. An outfit called PARTY PIRATES say they have a lion.
    I'm about to frame in the back door. So my first question to PPirates is "How big is your lion's head?" and "How much to put a lion in my cage?" Well, you'd think these guys had never been asked such questions. A curt message informing me that no quote could be given if I did not submit all "details" of my organization and my event. Thus ensued a conversation as frustrating as all the cage questioners. Details? I have two degrees in art, one in theology, was raised Presbyterian, live in the Catskills, I'm good with kids and animals........or a 8'X16'X8' converted haywagon cage, with 3/4" steel rod 8" oc, with bead board interior and Rasta color scheme paint job? I asked them for details on what they refer to as "details" and haven't heard back. I think I've already pissed off the lion tamer. You see how it goes when you start your lion search? It probably will be easier to take the supermodels to Africa and capture one. Context baby.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

LION CAGE- roadside view


 As the Catskill Social Season continues at a good clip, those long, languid days of summer are quickly blurring before our bloodshot eyes. Before you know it we'll be sipping toddys and loading up the woodstove. The Majestic Farm pig roast a distant memory, this weekend found the local scenesters  gathered on the lush lawns of The Denniston Hill Foundation. These shindigs are becoming more and more fun, relaxed and chill. Or maybe it's just all the cold beer and good chow provided by new resident Lez Parks. Lez and Manny are the weekend power couple who have taken to classing up the local quizzine. Fresh pork from Majestic, fresh veggies from Trussbridge, fresh cider from Andy and Polly all whipped up by LParks and did I mention the Brooklyn Lager....?

   And this brings me to the donkey. For some reason everyone around here has a fucking donkey. Case in point: Every morning, just before dawn, I'm waken from my golden slumbers by Dennis the "big dick" donkey over on RNButch's farm. The only thing more impressive than the wood this beast is packing is his lungs. He starts to hee-haw and winds it up like a air raid siren, only letting go with a horrific exhale, after he's woken up everything within 2 miles. You gotta love him for his forceful personality.....but Christallmighty he's annoying. Then there's the baby donkey, who's cute as hell and something that looks like a mule. And that's just on one farm across the street.
    Down the road is the pregnant, wandering, Majestic donkey, who's supposed to be guarding Majestic's sheep herd. This donkey has no interest in sheep, nor in staying in the field. All she wants to do is hit the road, and get out of town. It's what everyone is saying around here in response to irate motorists- "Not my donkey." We now have donkeys joining deer and Diamond Dave's escaped cow as local road hazards. And this brings me back to all the cold beer. As things wound down at DHF I wanted to hit Slick's @ Paradise Pond to see the late season fireworks. So I rushed Shewho from the table, rudely left the party, grabbed my guitar and headed for the pond. The first indication something was escew was the right front tire slipping into the ditch at 50 mph. Then I blew by the road to the pond. I've been coming here for almost all of my 70 years. I should know where the turn  is. By the time we got through the gates, the bridge was blocked by a trailer full of crackers and we were dead in the water. We watched the fireworks from the car. It was then I realized just how little I like fireworks anymore. They now bore the hell out of me. What happened?
   By the time  we got to Slick's and parked the car, Shewho and I were in a drunken (me not her) slappy battle to clip down Shirley's convertible top. In my dark, impatient tussle to get the top up, feathers got ruffled and before I knew it Shewho was rightfully pissed at me for being so pissed drunk and inconsiderate. I staggered from the car and as both of us tried to find our way in the dark, down Slick's stairs to the lake, all I could think of was lawsuit. Maybe just throw myself down the stairs and Shewho could sue? Would she care? Not at this point. By the time we got down to the water, everyone was leaving. I heard something about Birka and Wheels Budde falling in the drink and the Contessa saving them. We missed all the action. Don't try this at home kids. I drove back across that deathtrap dam road, drunk as a skunk and somehow made it to the bridge in one piece. Then it occurred to me as I rounded the curve before DHF, Shewho still steaming at me for being such an asshole, when something glinted....isn't there a donkey wandering somewhere around.............

Friday, July 19, 2013

LION CAGE- deck side signage


 Mupp called the other day. "Now that Shewo is up here, how about the two of you going on a double date with Ginger and I?" My immediate reaction was horror. Is this what my life had turned into- going on old people forays with my brother and sister-in-law? Was Yani in town? Then he explained that old friend Ted Horowitz (aka bluesman Poppa Chubby) was going to be playing at a roadhouse in Middletown. I guess I could pry my ass off the mountain for a double D for that. Of course I didn't have to ask Shewho twice. After being involved in one way or another for 25 years, this was our first formal date. Should I buy a corsage?
    By the time we had downed a few beers and were licking the BBQ sauce from our fingers, Ted showed up. When I say he filled the doorway, I'm not exaggerating. They don't call him "Chubby" for nothing. I hadn't seen the big man in over 20 years. When I got his attention with "Hey Ted." he responded like I was just another adoring, old, biker fan. After re-introductions he sat down to catch up. Our real connection was dead mutual friend Jerry Williams. Stories were told about a Harley and John Bloodclot knife fight and Cromags' shenanigans. These were "Jerry's kids". Another bite to eat and Poppa hit the stage.
   Ted was always a player, but 20 years on the "blues" circuit had turned him into a virtuoso. The old beat up Fender responded to his every touch. Never lacking in self-confidence and sprinkling it with doses of self-parody Poppa C. put on a helluva show. I looked around the room. I may look like a biker, but it's all "drag" for me. I'm a poser. This crowd was the real deal. NY HELLS ANGELS (retirement division) lined the bar. Everyone was head bobbing and raising the "devil fingers". Two hours into the set, trying to keep up with my brother beer for beer, and I'd had enough. As I used to tell Jerry Williams- "Too much diddala- diddala." Finally Shewho and I drove home in the pounding rain.

As I remember, usually on a first date, after paying for food and drink and squiring the young lady to and fro, one can expect something a little more than a hearty handshake at the end of the evening. Plying the debutante with alcohol doesn't hurt. I was not to be disappointed. After a rousing game of strip Scrabble, Shewho and I drifted off to sleep. It was 4:00 am when the world came alive again. It sounded like someone was dropping bombs on the house. At first I tried to ignore it, thinking it was Carlito or RNButch having a late night party. After 30 mins. I called the cops. It was my Italian neighbors lighting off sticks of dynomite just for fun. I've been feuding with these assholes for years and had thought the war was over. I was wrong.

As work on the Lion Cage continues, all my neighbors stop by with ideas on what to do with the Italians. Bronco Billy suggested a tractor trailer of chicken shit. Buddy Budde came by with a dead sheep. Diamond Dave wants to do a drive by and even the Commish and Lulu want justice. They could hear it 5 miles away. For once it's not just "crazy" Mike fighting with his neighbors. Welcome to my world people. I like all the suggestions. Shewho is back at WSSP, waiting by the phone to be asked on the second date.  The first one went well. But lets not rush things. Slow and easy. I don't want to fuck up a good thing.    

Sunday, July 14, 2013



 This is what George Zimmerman told an interviewer after he was asked if he had any regrets concerning the killing of Trayvon Martin on a rainy sidewalk in Sanford, Fl.  Last night the jury found Mr. Zimmerman not guilty of the charges of 2nd. degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter in the death of TM. God's will? I know ya'll can't wait for hunting season and an end to this frustrating discourse. But hey, it's only mid-July. The bucks are still in velvet and we gotta have something to talk about. So in the meantime it's murder trials, hunger strikes, racism, espionage and the ongoing quest to see supermodel tittie on the air. Bare with me.
   On my breaks between building the cage for The Lion of Judah I was glued to the Zimmerman trial. I admit I'd already made up my mind concerning this trial. This was a cluster fuck from day one. After the shooting Zimmerman was kicked loose. Mistake number one- citing Florida's "Stand your ground" law local Sanford authorities felt they did not have the evidence to charge Zimmerman with a crime. So he walked. Only after public outcry, and 40 some days, did the police eventually arrest and charge Zimmerman with second degree murder. Mistake number two- a politically driven "over charge". Now all the players could make a big show of the trial and as we now see, fail in attaining a conviction. The system works.
   George Zimmerman may be a lot of things: a wannabe cop, a wimp, a weakling, a coward, a calloused man, who stood around as a 17 year old boy died at his feet, without ever crying out for an ambulance or dialing 911....but a premeditating murderer? The state never had a chance in proving that. And don't doubt for one minute they did not know that. It was all a charade. Everyone, from the prosecution, to the defense, to the CNN talking heads, were in on it. They put on the show and we all lapped it up. And now George Zimmerman walks a free man. Trayvon Martin never saw 18. God's will?  I can't wait for October.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013




 As my mother was fond of saying: "4th of July- summer's over." So, as many of you would like to ignore the fact, Halloween is right around the corner. Time to get to work. And as it always seems to rest with me on these issues, a theme must be chosen. This is what I've decided. (see title) This theme encompasses a lot of choices for sexy costumes and hymns. As we all know, THIS is why we go to church. I'm picturing fanged supermodel nurses in undead dread locks, squirting syringes filled with dark rum, and shotgun smoke spleeves into sinner's mouths. Any takers?
   Yesterday i was putting on the roof of the lion cage when a couple of cool cats pulled up in a bright, shiny, red '67 Lemans convertible. True story. Two guys with big dark beards got out and introduced themselves as local rabbis. Yeah, sure. They reported that my signs were all over facebook and how much they liked the place. I was trying to glue down plywood and didn't have much time to gab. But, they were both friendly and as the conversation progressed I discovered they really WERE rabbis! Turns out these two are trying to rejuvenate  the Mountaindale Shul- with booze and herring on Sat. mornings. That's just what King of the Jews Pigpen Rothman and I discussed for the Glen Wild Shul. The only thing weirder than this idea, is these two being rabbis. Nonetheless, who am I to judge? It was then I had an epiphany. I was building the cage not just for a lion, but for the rasta lion- The Lion of Judah. Red, gold and green flashed before my eyes. Christianity, Judaism, Animism and pot smoking......I think I'm onto something.
   Today I went by Liberty Iron Works to get Joe to give me a price on the bars. All he wanted to know was how much the lion weighed and which Osterhouts I was related to? Association with certain branches of the O's can be problematic in this neck of the woods. I didn't get into the theological implications of the lion in religious iconography. Lets keep on target. "1/2 inch rod won't do." Joe informed me. He was right. I had a feeling this wasn't Joe's first lion cage. I settled on 3/4" rod with 3/8" welded plate. The thing will hold Houdini. Now if I can only afford it. I'm still waiting on the quote. So this is the plan- church sometime in late October. You got the themes. Jah willing the lion will be here. Start working on your reggae beats. Ire Rastafari.

Monday, July 8, 2013




 I heard about this piece this morning on BBC. Someone was interviewing the guy who made the film of a performance involving Mos Def. He described rapper Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey, undergoing a a procedure that Guantanamo Bay prisoners endure twice a day. Because almost all of the prisoners are now so desperate, within their  indeterminate constraint, they have almost to a man decided to stop eating. This hunger strike is countered by the U.S. military doctors forcibly feeding the prisoners. To draw attention to this heinous, torturous act, Yasiin set up a very real tableau and with three cameras rolling, handcuffed and shackled, held down by two muscled men, three doctors tried to replicate the procedure. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE is the film. I heard it on the radio, then went to work on the LION CAGE and didn't see the film until a little while ago.
    I always liked Mos Def. He's a great talent in music, acting and comedy. Now looks like the dude knows a thing or two about performance art. My day putting the roof on the cage was hot, sweaty, and strenuous to the degree that more than once I thought I just couldn't do it any more. Bronco Billy stopped by to check out my progress. He was sure it was a Gypsy Caravan. He seemed disappointed when i told him it was a lion cage. Everyone asks the same question: "Where you gonna get a lion?" My answer is consistent: "First the cage." The beauty of being an artist is NOT knowing things. These days there is an answer to every question at your finger tips. I know all I have to do is google lion- for sale or rent and I'll know the answer. I don't want to know. So quit asking. I do know where I can get a lamb and how much it will cost....but nobody seems interested in that.

But back to Yasiin Bey. Before I even took a shower after work, I googled "force feeding mos def" and the film came up. I recommend  everyone watch this piece. Mos could not stand the tube being shoved up his nose and down his gullet. He writhed and jerked in his restraints, as the doctors went to work. Then he stopped the piece. He just couldn't stand it. Imagine these already weak prisoners having to undergo this procedure twice a day, as their sentences stretch into eternity. When will Obama close Guantanamo? Ask Mos Def.  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

LION CAGE- stage three