Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More Double Posting from Blottered 

Sometime in the early hours of the thirty-first of August, 1888, Mary Ann Walker was murdered in London's East End. Known to friends and acquaintances as Polly, Walker was plying her trade as a prostitute through the night in an effort to earn enough for a bed at the flop-house where she was staying when she became the first of Jack Ripper's five known victims. (Some speculate there were more.)

The Ripper was never caught and his identity has never been established. The latest theory claims that the Ripper was a merchant seaman who performed similiar grisly acts in Latin America, according to the Mirror.

Over the years there have been plenty of plausible explanations of the Ripper's identity. My personal favorite was told to me by a white bearded reactionary in a pub in southwest Ireland after we had both had a few two many pints of the dark stuff. He was convinced that the murderer was a woman named Annie Wood Besant. A socialist and feminist agitator, Besant had helped organize the Matchgirls Strike after the sources for an article she had published on the poor working conditions of women in London were fired by their employers.

As I recall, Besant's alleged motive for the murders involved the strike--the murdered women were either scabs or police informants. It was also possible, he told me, that the murders were part of Besant's initiation into the weird Theosophist cult that was then lighting fires in the minds of the era's intellectuals. Or maybe it wasn't the Theosophists at all, but a far more sinister cult. The last thing the old guy said before wandering off was: "Feminism is a murder cult founded by Medea."

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

On the Road Again 

I've been traveling, which is one reason I've been so slow to update the content around here. On my return from my recent trip to Montreal, I wrote the following for Blottered. It's not up over there yet because the Krucoff media empire is experiencing technical difficulties. So I decided to give MT loyalists a sneak preview of the post.

The Headless Whore of Montreal

A woman’s voice announced from the loudspeaker that Air Canada flight 750 from Montreal to LaGuardia would be delayed another hour, so I ordered another Molson Export and a shot of Canadian Club. I had been in the airport for three hours already. I had no idea how much I had already had to drink.

The rumor had spread among the other would-be passengers that rain and fog in New York were causing the delay. Time was that no-one in their right minds flew through a storm sober, especially not the pilots. That had all changed after Islamic militants weaponized three planes on September 11, 2001. Ever since, airplane passengers had been forced to endure their voyages as sober as, well, as an Islamic militant. A small victory for someone and a small defeat for someone else, I suppose, and I’m pretty sure I am among the elses.

I wasn’t sure if I was drunk yet but I was certain I would be if they announced another delay. In that case I wouldn’t even try to board the plane. I would turn in my ticket, arrange for a flight out the following day, and go to see a whore named Mary Gallagher in Montreal’s Griffintown.

From the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, Griffintown was a working-class Irish neighborhood, Montreal’s version of South Boston. It survived waves on immigration, floods and economic depression but was eventually leveled by an unstoppable menace that wrecked so many North American cities in the middle of the twentieth century—urban planning. They tore down the Griff and put up an industrial park.

These days the Griff is mostly remembered for Mary Gallagher, a thirty-eight year old prostitute whose corpse was found mangled in the apartment of colleague in June of 1879. Gallagher’s death had put an end to a three-day drinking-binge she had been on in the company of Susan Kennedy and a stevedore named Michael Flanagan. Some say Kennedy and Gallagher fell-out over money or the attentions of Flanagan. Given their profession, I suppose it could have been both. They found Gallagher in Kenndey’s apartment, her head and one-hand severed from her body. Kennedy was convicted of the crime.

This might have just been one more gruesome murder in a neighborhood that had its share but for the fact that seven years later someone swore they saw headless Gallagher near the spot where she was murdered. Now they say she returns every seven years. Last night was the seventh anniversary of her last manifestation.

I drank down my whiskey. I had by now convinced myself that waiting around on a warm night in Montreal for the ghost of a headless prostitute had far more promise than spending another hour in the airport bar.

“We will begin boarding flight 750 to New York’s LaGuardia airport,” the loudspeakered woman announced.

I raised the glass of Molson to Mary Gallagher. I wasn’t going to get to watch for her after all. Maybe next time, Mary. Maybe next time.

[Prostitute slain in 1879 said to return every seven years--Montreal Gazette]

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Where I've Been 

My template looks broken these days. I haven't posted all week. And I still don't have time to fix it. I don't even have a witty excuse.

If you're desperate for your Manhattan Transfer fix you can check out what I've been posting over on Blottered, also known as "the blog where Krucoff disproves the Calcanis-Denton theory that you actually have to pay bloggers to get them to put up a dozen posts a day."

Where to Find Underage Drinkers

Abortion Man: A Crime Fighting Superhero?

The Zetas: Blowback from South of the Border

How To Spot a Hollywood Villian

Monday, June 20, 2005

Internet Crime Wave 

Blottered, the group blog about crime where I'll be writing occasionally. Check it out.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

One Day and One Hundred and One Years Ago 

From the sundial towards James's Gate walked Mr Kernan pleased with the order he had booked for Pulbrook Robertson boldly along James's street, past Shackleton's offices. Got round him all right. How do you do, Mr Crimmins? First rate, sir. I was afraid you might be up in your other establishment in Pimlico. How are things going? Just keeping alive. Lovely weather we are having. Yes, indeed. Good for the country. Those farmers are always grumbling. I'll just take a thimbleful of your best gin, Mr Crimmins. A small gin, sir. Yes, sir. Terrible affair that General Slocum explosion. Terrible, terrible! A thousand casualties. And heartrending scenes. Men trampling down women and children. Most brutal thing. What do they say was the cause? Spontaneous combustion: most scandalous revelation. Not a single lifeboat would float and the firehose all burst. What I can't understand is how the inspectors ever allowed a boat like that... Now you are talking straight, Mr Crimmins. You know why? Palmoil. Is that a fact? Without a doubt. Well now, look at that. And America they say is the land of the free. I thought we were bad here.

I smiled at him. America, I said, quietly, just like that. What is it? The sweepings of every country including our own. Isn't that true? That's a fact.

Graft, my dear sir. Well, of course, where there's money going there's always someone to pick it up."

Mr. Crimmins is talking about the burning and sinking of the General Slocum in the East River. When you raise a pint to the bard who penned those words, bow your head a moment for the over 1000 souls who lost their lives in that disaster on the day before Bloomsday.

The IJC Returns to Celebrate Summer Interns 

Just in case you haven't checked in on The IJC lately, here's a taste of what he's been up to:
If you happened to be walking around union square on saturday it may have felt like the end of magnolia when the frogs fell from the sky, only much more disturbing. scores of dark haired, big breasted girls in white tank tops, $200 jeans and gigantic sunglasses as big and round as their butt-cheeks magically appeared outside the nyu dorms this weekend. along with the frogs came spiked hair tjh's ("typical jewish hoods")--the college age counterpart of the ijc--wearing the latest pink abercromie shirt--collar up, naturally."

[The Fountain of Youth]

Monday, June 13, 2005

Jackson Vows to Find the Real Molesters! 

Nobody is ever guilty in California. Not the cops who beat up Rodney King. Not OJ. Not the King of Pop.

If you go to jail in California, you are a total loser.

Huffington Post Is Getting Interesting 

I never thought I'd spend much time reading the Huffington Post, but now that the celebrities with their one-note, one-liner attempts to combine politics and humor are gone, it's actually getting interesting. The HP recently addedd Justin Raimondo and Lew Rockwell as contributors. Begun in the last decade of the last century, Antiwar.Com and LewRockwell.Com, the websites run by Justin and Lew respectively, quickly became the sources for some of the most insightful and original commentary on the web. You can find stuff there you won't find anywhere else. Except now on the Huffington Post.

Next step: Get Steve Sailer, Peter Brimelow, Gary Brecher, Gavin McInnes and TMFTML up on Huffington Post.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Recruitment of Bob Woodward or How I Learned Where to Hide Your Drugs When You End Up In The Tombs. 

Is it summer already? I’ve never been able to keep straight when one season starts and the other leaves off. I’m not even sure it makes much sense to have fixed dates for these things. On Sunday, when the girl I was talking with on the lawn along the Hudson near battery park tugged off her white peasant skirt and pink Polo shirt, revealing a green Dulce & Gabana bikini beneath, I could see that the small of her back and the long length between her knees and her hips had gone slick with perspiration. That’s summer enough for me.

We had hoped that sitting in the shade beside the river would provide some relief from the warm sea of humid air that had washed over the city but no winds were blowing off the Hudson harbor. After twenty minutes or so, she decided to abandon our plan to spend the day in the sun. I was sorry to see her slip back on the skirt and shirt but I could see her point. Only mad pigeons and Eurotrash would stay outdoors in this kind of heat.

“I’m rethinking this plan not to spend the summer in East Egg,” she told me as we walked toward Chambers Street. “Right now we could be drinking bloody marys at Nick’s, feeling the wind blow over the surf and sand.”

“I couldn’t handle it. Out there I smoke too much, drink too much, spend too much and barely get any fishing done at all. You don’t even like to swim,” I said.

“ I like swimming fine. But even more I like opportunity. It’s nice to know the beach is there when you need it.”

She handed me a cigarette from the pack she had fished out of the beaded bag she was carrying. The smoke stabbed into my lungs and the nicotine ignited tiny sparks of dopamine in my brain.

“We’ll visit our friends out there. It’s better not to have a place of one’s own anyway. More social. Also, you don’t feel the obligation to be out there every weekend,” I said.

“I never feel obligations. That’s you. I feel opportunities.” She liked the way that sounded. I was a man of obligations. She was a woman of opportunities.

Patriotism Is the Last Refuge of Drunks

We said goodbye on Chambers Street. She had an early dinner with an old friend. I had nothing in particular to do—no obligations, all opportunity.

I walked up Chambers Street toward Church. A bus rolled by and belched hot, black smoke on me. My skin was going pink beneath the sheen of sweat, and my stomach was turning in on itself from too much heat and not enough to drink. I passed a chalkboard and read the words written in green chalk.

“Let’s play a game,” it read, “One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila…Floor!”

Just beyond the chalkboard was a glass door covered from within by a thick black curtain. This was the entrance the Patriot. I decided that I might as well have a drink there because I knew it was owned by Tommy McNeil.

Tommy ran one of the best bars in New York City for about ten years. It was called the Village Idiot. It was a big bar of a place on fourteenth street near the corner of ninth avenue. A long bar ran down the right side of the front room. The bar was broken in places, held together by makeshift repairs, and I doubt it was ever cleaned. If you leaned an elbow against it, you came away with black spots on your shirt sleeves. The backroom was filled with uneven tables, broken chairs and the worst pool table in New York. Signs hung up on the wall warning customers against the constant thefts that went on in the place. “You’re friends are not watching your stuff,” read one. The waitresses and the bartenders were girls who looked like they were too young to walk into the bar, much less pour whiskey and take money there. When Tommy wanted to hire a new one he hung a sign outside: “Drunk sluts wanted. No experience necessary.” The Idiot closed last summer.

The Patriot resembles what the Idiot might have been like if it had ever been cleaned, had been built out of durable materials and wasn’t patronized by the worst drunks on earth. The barstools stayed upright when you sat on them, the glasses were clean and no-one seemed to have been sick in there that day even though it was already four in the afternoon. The bartender was a friendly girl from Los Angeles, and offered to by me a shot after I ordered my first beer. The jukebox was playing a song about Texas and some girls at the other end of the bar were singing along. One of them was on her way back to Texas tonight. There weren’t many other people drinking that early. The Texans had attracted a couple of guys in band t-shirts to their end of the bar. A fat kid with crooked glasses midway down the bar. To my left, a couple of stools down, sat a guy in a white t-shirt, blue jeans and thick but agile hands that made me guess he was a plumber or a carpenter.

The music went quiet after my first beer so I walked over to the jukebox and pushed a dollar in the slot. All the old songs from the Idiot were there. David Allen Coe’s “You Never Call Me By My Name.” Hank Williams Jr. “Family Tradition.” I suppose these are the songs that drunkards sing along to everywhere, although you won’t find many jukeboxes playing them in New York City. Most importantly, the jukebox had “Shut Up and Drink” by the Rogue’s March, a song written about getting drunk with Tommy McNeil in the Village Idiot.

When I got back to my barstool the bartender was pouring three shots of tequila.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said. “It’s early to start this strong.”

“Fuck off and drink. On me,” said a guy sitting to my left. I nodded my consent and did the shot with him and the bartender. We started talking a few moments later. He was an electrician, down from Connecticut to visit a girl who worked in the real estate section of one of the daily papers. I told him I sometimes wrote book reviews and lifestyle pieces for newspapers and magazines but not as often as I’d like. This seemed to make him like me less than when he thought I was just a daytime drunk.

The Illustrated Man

When we had finished our beers and were ready to order another, I summoned over the bartender. It was my round for the shots, so I ordered whiskey. Not my usual Jameson’s. I like to drink Irish whiskey on the rocks. For shots I prefer bourbon. Wild Turkey 101 to be specific. I like it to hurt a little bit going down.

As the LA girl was off grabbing the bottle, the door to the bar opened, letting in a rush of hot air, sunlight and a man whose black vest revealed arms covered in tattoos. One of them read “Wealth is a prison”—which, if you really think about it, is not at all true. He took the stool to the left of the Connecticut electrician. When the bartender returned with the Wild Turkey, I told her to pour a shot for the newcomer as well.

“Thanks, friend,” he said. We all lifted our glasses and swallowed down the whiskey. “Hot as a bitch out there today.”

Hot as a bitch. No doubt about it. Over another round of shots and beers, the four of us—the tattooed newcomer, the electrician, the bartender and I—fell into conversation. First about the weather, then the seasons (and how there aren’t any in LA), and finally about politics. The week earlier Vanity Fair magazine had published a story revealing the identity of the man who gave those two Washington Post reporters, Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward, so much information during the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. His name was Mark Felt, and at the time he had been the number two man at the FBI.

“I was struck by how instantly innocent the media become on this thing,” I said.

“Hmm. How’s that, hon?” the bartender asked.

“Well these days everyone knows that secret sources aren’t all heroic whistle-blowers. The assumption is that they are trying to advance their own agenda, I said. “Take the Valerie Plame case. It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that her role in the CIA was leaked to reporters by a disinterested person who just wanted to get the whole story out. Don’t we all figure it was leaked as a part of an intergovernmental struggle?"

“Good point. But what was Deepthroat trying to do?” the electrician asked. “I mean, couldn’t he have been just some guy who discovered corruption in the White House and wanted to make sure it didn’t go unpunished. What was he supposed to do?”

“I don’t buy it for a minute. He had an agenda. He had been in the FBI for something like forty years at that point. Under Hoover. Through the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He saw a lot worse than Watergate during that time. Why come forward now? It’s because he had it out for Nixon,” I said.

“I’ve heard he was passed over to run the FBI,” the bartender added.

“Not just that. Nixon was trying to get the CIA to go into domestic spying. Felt wanted to protect the FBI’s turf. It was just an ordinary bureaucratic fight for money and power,” I said.

The tattooed man coughed. It was fierce and sharp and got out attention. He said, “You’re all too innocent by half. You have no idea what was going on, do you?”

No one said a word. He looked like he had something to say and we all wanted to hear it. “Buy me another shot, and I’ll tell you a story,” he said.

The bartender brought the shot. It was on the house. He took it down and chased it with a swallow of beer. “Deepthroat was an operation. Mark Felt was not just an FBI agent. He was a spy. He had recruited Bob Woodward years beforehand. The thing with recruiting intelligence assets is that half the time they don’t even know they’ve been recruited. You go on having them think you are just friends, and that they’re just doing what they would do anyway. But they’re yours,” he said.

“Sounds far-fetched,” the electrician said.

“Of course it does. All true spook capers are far-fetched. Otherwise someone would figure them out and they’d get exposed. Judge for yourself. Woodward says he met this sixty year old guy in a waiting room when he was in his twenties, and that they stayed in touch, became friends, over the next couple of years. This old FBI hand just befriends some navy kid? Either Felt was recruiting him, or Felt was a faggot.”

Someone laughed.

“It has all the markings of an operation. Take all the tradecraft hocus-pocus—secret meetings, moving plants to arrange for meets, marking up newspapers. Felt was second in charge of the FBI. He was the top spook, running all the other secret police. No one was following him around. This was all done to convince Woodward he was doing something important and dangerous,” he said. “Look at it from the other side. Woodward signals him by moving a plant, and Felt finds out in time to meet him by 2 am that night. How the Hell did he do that? I’ll tell you. He had agents working on the operation. It was an operation, Operation Deepthroat.”

Out of the Tombs

I wanted to know what the purpose of the operation was. Could it to have been to preserve the FBI’s jurisdiction, as I was saying. Was it a silent coup, as someone once said. I didn’t get the chance to ask because just then two guys came rushing into the bar shouting.

“Yo. Yo. You got food? Food? I need food!” one shouted.

The bartender offered them a place at the bar but the other insisted, “Food, bitch. Food.”

The Patriot serves burgers and fries, and this seemed to satisfy the two. I’d never seen two men so hungry, so I asked about it.

“Just got out of the Tombs, man,” one told me. He introduced himself as CD. His friend was called Bones. They’d been in central booking since Thursday night, and had been let go after a few days because they hadn’t been brought before a judge to be arraigned. I didn’t ask about how they got arrested. I asked about the food.

“No good. Stale bread and baloney. Every day. Three times,” CD said.

“That wasn’t baloney. That was mystery meat. Nasty,” Bones said.

The electrician asked a couple of questions about the Tombs. The roughest guys there are the ones who find out they are on their way to Rikers. They start robbing other prisoners of basic items so that they have supplies to barter when they get to Rikers.

“I thought I was going to have to shank this one guy who wanted my coke,” Bones told me.

“You didn’t have a shank,” CD said.

“Good think he didn’t know that.”

I interrupted. “Hold on. You had coke in jail.”

“Yeah, man. Good thing, too. I bought myself a nice bunk, and could have bought me a shank with it too.”

“How did you get coke into the Tombs?”

“That was easy man. Cops search everywhere. They never look one place though.”

“Where’s that?”

He put his foot on the stool beside him. He was wearing blue Nike running shoes. He pulled back the tongue and showed me the little space behind the label. “Right there. Never look there.”

“Holy shit. Look at that,” CD said. He was pointing at the Texas girls. They had climbed up on the bar, and were dancing along to another song about Texas.

The tattooed man was gone. I hadn’t seen him leave but he wasn’t in the bar anymore. Maybe he thought drinking with these two coke dealers just out of lockup after four days wasn’t the wisest way to spend the afternoon. I decided he was probably right. I said goodbye to the bartender, the Tombs boys and the electrician, and walked through that curtained door back into the heat of the New York summer.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Secret Agent Topples Democratic Government 

It used to be easy to forget that America sits on the side of the world that inspired the term banana republic. Our political leaders didn’t wear phony military uniforms. Foreign powers didn’t have much sway in our government. Control of the state wasn’t considered a birthright of a few powerful families. Conspiracies of secret agents didn’t topple governments elected by overwhelming majorities.

In light of the decision of Mark Felt to stop lying about being the source Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein decided to name after a then popular (and recently revived but still completely horrible) porno, I think it might be time to revisit Watergate. There are still so many unanswered questions. Take just one example. Woodward would signal that he wanted to meet with Felt by moving a flower pot from one end of his balcony to another? How exactly did Felt keep Woodward’s balcony under constant surveillance? Is this how the number two guy in our top domestic intelligence agency should be spending his time? How many other agents did he rope into his scheme to bring down the President?

Come to think of it, why should we trust Felt at all? He’s a spook who lied to the public for thirty years. Just because he’s come clean about being Deep Throat doesn’t meaning he’s stopped lying to us about other things, such as his motives and means for carrying out Operation Deepthroat.

Some one explain something to me. How are you people upset about the Supreme Court’s decision in 2000 when you’re totally comfortable with a spy launching an operation to unseat a democratically elected President? More and more I'm thinking that the only reason we cannot be considered a banana republic is that we aren't really a republic anymore. Does banana empire work?

New Yorker Internal Memo Exposed 

To: Senior Editorial Staff
From: David Remnick
Re: Ben McGrath's Interfaith Piece

I am afraid our ban on Ben McGrath use of sports metaphors isn't working out. We sent him to that interfaith thing in Brooklyn and he came back with a fucking traffic report. Consider the ban lifted.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We Like the Term "Decadent Reactionary" Ourselves 

The mainstream media sees a group of kids turning their nose up at liberal bias and they instantly assume it’s their grandfather’s soul reincarnated two generations later. They shudder in horror and call this new group Hipublicans or South Park Conservatives (even my own magazine took these paleoconservative characteristics and ran with them)

But to assume laughing at the left means blindly embracing the right is naïve. If the “South Park Conservatives” are conservatives, why does Pat Buchanan dry heave every time he accidentally channel surfs past the show?

The truth is this new generation is too sexually promiscuous, drug friendly, atheist and, more specifically informed to let the pendulum swing back all the way to the right.

Gavin McInnes's latest.