Archive for category Ordained

BAGWAN IS WELL TRAVELED…..hangs on for glory and a few crumbs

last_supper_mosaicGood Morning Disciples of Taradiddle,

The Bagged One has graciously condescended to address us regarding a topic very dear to his heart.  While name dropping is not unusual as most of us have had as David Letterman describes a “Brush with Greatness.”  However his list goes well beyond believable, into that dark place where many stories come from, but he has convinced me it’s true so enjoy:

The Bagwan says:

Celebrities come in all shapes and sizes. Some earned their fame by accomplishment, some are famous because of who they hang with and others are mysteriously famous just for being famous.

Because my travels took me to cities like New York and LA and because I was often afforded the luxury of flying first class, staying in nice hotels and wining and dining in the best spots I often spotted famous people. I didn’t seek them out, I just happened to notice them.

Whether it was relevant to the conversation or not, I might mention that I had sat next to Jack Nicholson on a plane or literally ran into Robert Redford at Beaver Creek. Zuki took offense at this calling it shameless name dropping. I don’t think it was “name dropping” per se, just a harmless bit of self-important reminiscing.

After a few years of this Zuki suggested that I make a list of all the celebrities I had encountered in my travels. I don’t know if he thought this would shut me up or he actually became intrigued by who was on the list. I have done this and the list now stands at 71 names which we should post sometime in the official Library of the Diatribe.

I think my entire list comes from the first category of celebrities who became famous because of personal accomplishment. In my dotage I have become fascinated with the other two categories: famous because of who you know and famous because you are famous. I don’t know if “fascinated” is the right word. Maybe I am more confused, amazed or just perplexed.

As a result of this new interest of mine, on my homepage I keep a box dedicated to the NY Post’s Page Six. It contains all the latest gossip, celebrity sightings and my favorite the Star Snaps of the day. In Star Snaps there will be 25 pictures taken by paparazzi on both coasts. These are candid photos of “celebrities” coming out of a restaurant, a gym or an AA meeting. If you are over 60 I will personally kiss your ass if you recognize more than 5 of these people on any given day. I assume most of you will get Paris Hilton, any Kardashian and a scowling Alec Baldwin. After that you’re going to have come up with a Shia LaBeouf, a Cara Delavingne or maybe even a Padma Lakshmi. If any of you name more than five I will meet you at the corner of Colfax and Broadway at high noon to present you with your winning smooch.

I was trying to think back in history if there are any examples of these faux celebrities. I came up with the 12 Apostles. Some of them went on to some measure of success on their own like Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John who did some writing. Peter ended up with a pretty good job and Judas was a pioneer in the area of motivational speaking. But the fact is that when Jesus was alive they were just famous for being hangers-on. Jesus was out there walking on water, feeding thousands with a few loaves and fishes, changing water into wine and these guys were getting the groupies.

Which reminds me of the old one about how you know that Jesus was Irish: he never married, never had a steady job, was always drinking with his buddies, lived with his parents till he was 30 and he thought his mother was a virgin and she thought he was the son of God.

Faith and begorrah!


CAPTAIN JOHNNY SET SAIL……bagwan didn’t realize there was a test!

bartending-age-1The Bagwan who has set next to, broke bread with, showered with, or otherwise hung out with 48 celebrities during his career didn’t count Johnny in that group, but says he was far more interesting than Rita Moreno.  I thank the Bagged One for his contribution….enjoy

I hate summer, I really really hate it. I hate the heat, I hate watering my lawn, I hate paying a guy to cut my lawn and most of all I hate that it makes me lethargic.

Trust me; you don’t want to get a reputation for being lethargic.

Several years ago on August 15th I was having a drink at a bar here in town that was then called Legends. It has since been remodeled and changed its name but I still call it Legends — that’s the kind of thing that old people do.  Back in the old days there was a bartender there named Captain Johnny.

Let me tell you a little about the Captain before I get to the point of today’s lesson. He was born to some wealth and privilege during the 1920’s in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. His father was at the top level of the food chain at the Ford Motor Company. This afforded Johnny a life of country clubs, sail boats and dancing at debutante balls with Ford heiresses. It was apparently his skill with the boats that earned him his honorary rank.

But alas, nothing lasts forever and after enjoying the benefits of prep schools, an Ivy League education and rubbing elbows with swells Johnny was sent out to make a life of his own. He would have been an extraordinary dilettante, but that is a tough way to make a living. He bounced around Michigan quite a bit but couldn’t find his niche until he landed a job as a bartender.

In his new career Johnny met up with a fellow who was headed to Colorado with an adequate bankroll and a concept for a bar called the Colorado Mine Company. In the 1970’s we were inundated with “theme restaurants.” Off the top of my head I can remember the Cannery, Victoria Station, the Sawmill, the Lift and of course the Mormon Tabernacle Bar and Grille. The Mine Co. was a huge success in the 70’s and 80’s and Captain Johnny was the head bartender. The bar was always packed 2 or 3 deep and Johnny developed a unique way of dealing with the crowd. He would work from East to West and when he came to you and you hesitated, you lost your turn till his next cycle through.

Fast forward to the start of the new millennium and Johnny is still tending bar, but considerably slowed by the fact that he is well into his 70’s. Even though Legends isn’t nearly as busy as the Mine, he still works the bar from East to West. Now it doesn’t matter if you hesitate since Johnny moves so slowly he’ll still be there. Johnny is so slow that having him as your bartender is almost the same as joining AA.  Still the owners let him work two day shifts a week because he is considered a treasure given his rich history, sharp mind and penchant for storytelling and philosophizing.

Finally we get back to that August 15th I mentioned at the top. There were only two customers in the bar that day so I had a chance to visit with the Captain. Amongst other questions, I asked him if the 15th of August is the Ides of August same as the 15th is the Ides of March. Johnny knew for a fact that the Ides of August is the 13th. That’s the kind of conversation you had with Captain Johnny.

Suddenly it dawned on me that August 15th was available for a special designation. It was there and then that I asked Johnny if we couldn’t declare August 15 to be the last day of summer and he replied in his inimitable way, “Why not?”

Welcome to Fall everyone!!

Johnny’s gone now and I sure do miss him*

*just to be clear, the Captain is not dead, he’s just gone.



HISTORICAL UPDATE SINCE ENDING HIATUS……bagwan’s insight and perspective..oh my

The Bagwan has graciously consented to be featured on the next US First class Stamp and it is my unique honor to post this fairly reliable account of this our humble forum.  Enjoy….


mohandas_gandhiI don’t think Zuki did much to update the new developments which occurred during the hiatus of the Diatribe. I have reached the age where the past starts to blend together so I don’t really know how long we were on break. I do know that there were some significant changes for our cast of characters and fortunately I took notes.


JJ got a pedometer because he heard somewhere that 10,000 steps a day guarantees weight loss. He has kept to this regimen religiously and Zuki and I both commented that he was shrinking before our eyes. Unfortunately, this reduction in size was not weight loss. All the walking was just making him shorter.

Cush is a dedicated union member. He keeps a shrine to Jimmy Hoffa in his basement complete with a swatch from Jimmy’s underwear. During the down time Cush tried to join some more unions but he may have gone too far. One of his new unions was a civil union with a brother teamster.

Not surprising that Zuki tried multiple times to establish a meaningful relationship with members of the opposite sex. He really feels that he is destined to be in a committed relationship and I agree. The only thing holding him back is his inability to commit.

Let’s don’t forget all of Zuki’s fictional friends like fez and Gomez and Trixie. You might be happy to know that they did not cease to exist. In fact Zuki often has tea parties over at his apartment with them and their make believe cats.

I took the time to search for new, mind-expanding ideas. I read, I travelled, I sought out the intelligentsia. I think I finally found what I was looking for on ME TV — the old classic, F-Troop. I can already hear the chuckles out there from some of you wanna be sophisticates.

Combining historical accuracy with cutting edge satire, this thought provoking series delved into timeless and complex topics. The military-industrial complex is parodied with the cannon that always malfunctions. The Hekawi Indian tribe (they were originally supposed to be named the Fugawi Indians as in “we’re the Fugawi”) is clearly a metaphor for the Jewish merchant. The relationship between Wrangler Jane (played by Melody Patterson who was 16 at the time) and Captain Parmenter (played by Ken Berry who was 36) added a kinky sexual angle.

Not only were there thought provoking scripts but great acting by regulars stars such as Forrest Tucker and the Barrymore of his era, Larry Storch.  Only a show like F-Troop could have attracted guest stars like George Gobel and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

I have all 65 episodes on Betamax in case anyone is interested.

ZUKI FINDS ART AT TOAD TAVERN……unhappy owner cuts a new deal

Eureka!!__Good Morning Geriatric Meddlers,

Well another rotation has come and gone.  Given my current physical condition though, a couple of definitions for “Geriatric” come to mind.  They go a long way in describing how I feel…….and is listed below:

— adj

  1. of or relating to geriatric medicine or to older people
  2. offensive (of people or machines) old, obsolescent, worn out, or useless

With the exception of useless, and there are those who’d put me in that category out of hand, and they know who they are, but I’d like to think I’m capable of something on some level!  But as for the other definitions….I’ll let you decide.

I was graciously treated to my birthday debauchery facilitated by JJ (thanks JJ) with a visit to the ‘Toad Tavern’ aided by the hard driving blues artist Chris Duarte out of Austin, TX.  He’s produced a number of CD’s and songs so I figured it was going to be wall to wall ‘geezers’ but was pleasantly surprised to find a seat at the bar given our late arrival.

The music was good and the drinks were flowing; I even had a chance to step outside for a bit of ‘accoutrements’ suitable for the occasion!  Thankful for the self-medicated bliss I was able to ignore the arthritic knee and hip to enjoy some dancing.  I later discovered one of my partners was an owner. I guessed her to be in her early to mid ‘forties’ but dressed and wore her hair as if she was a character from “Mad Men” but seemed to be enjoying our banter.

Grabbing my hand she led me away from the bar and walked me to the very end of the pool table area facing the back wall where she had set up a gallery of drawings and prints from local artists.  She invited me to bring in a couple of my sculptures, but I explained I would need floor space which gave her pause.  But seconds later her eyes lit up and I could almost see the explanation point above her head!

Just before the corners met there was a small opening that I hadn’t noticed.  Shaped like a capital ‘L’ the hallway led to an office.  There was no door but the shape prevented anyone from seeing in until you actually entered the small office.  “We could put one of your pieces at the apex and one at the entry” she said excitedly then followed, “I’ll install just enough track lighting to illuminate them you’ll see…let’s try.”

If one sells their displayed work, the Toad will keep 30% which is what most galleries take, but I still think that’s gouging so we began to negotiate.  I immediately knew I had no chance as soon as she began to rub up against me pulling me in by my butt cheeks….Her tongue launched down my throat and things quickly became urgent.  Pushed against the modest desk I began to release her tits from their confines…. when right on cue both legs cramped straightening me up in pain.  She must have mistaken my screams of pain as pleasure as she intensified her efforts…because while tonging my ear she whispered “I’ll finish you of off for 40%”—then continued her ministrations with me hobbled in pain!

I admire those patrons supporting local artists and an extra 10% for art lovers is a small price to pay.



ZUKI GETS HARASSED BY JEWS…..where is mel brooks when you need him?

censorGood Morning Anti-Semites,

A few of you already knew this, but a year ago I was given the opportunity to have an exhibit of my art after a 34 year hiatus.  My eldest son Neil rekindled my interest in clay by giving me a Christmas present of a semester long beginning ‘Pottery’ class at our local community college.  I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed ceramic sculpture and at the end of the class rented a studio in the Denver Art District and have been active three years this past May.

During the month-long exhibition the gallery was contacted by the Center for Judaic Studies to complain about my show’s title.  This may be the finest strongly worded letter I’ve ever written:

Dear Center for Judaic Studies,

I have been a life time supporter of Israel.  The ongoing travails of defending its autonomy and right to exist is a compelling story particularly since Israel is surrounded by countries hell bent on their destruction.  Like most civilized people I too am confounded as to how the systematic murder of 6 million Jews could have been tolerated by the German people…but it was.

After a 34 year hiatus from art/sculpture my son Neil was able to persuade me to explore the idea of returning to it.  My children are grown and I now have more time to spend on my passion so I began again in earnest.  After two years of hard work and focus, I was invited to exhibit my work to which I excitedly agreed.  Last Friday I was in heaven…surrounded by my work talking about my imagery as well as its message.  Most audible comments were flattering or otherwise supportive.  That said I’m not naïve enough to believe everyone liked my efforts because that’s not how it works.

Earlier this week the gallery received a letter from one of your own, a Ms. Pessin.  In a letter I considered laden with mock sincerity, Pessin was troubled by my use of the word ‘Holocaust’ and wanted to have a dialog (mentioning it three or four times I might add) assuring us it was not to confront.  The censored title in question was “The Cactus Hill Holocaust…..Antiquity meets Monty Python.”  What a sinister title eh? Pessin and the cacophony of clucks that make up the center can stuff it in a sock!

I’m sure Pessin believed anti-Semitism was present.  According to Pessin by using the word ‘Holocaust’ I offended and sent Survivors of the Holocaust into a rage simply for my exhibit title.  In a knee jerk reaction (God forbid I offend the Jewish Community) I changed the title and removed Holocaust from it.  Having said this, I now regret that decision.

How does the mention of a single word evoke sleepless nights, depression, outrage, or fear?  I get pretty nervous by the word ‘Taxes’ but has yet to send me over the edge.  What puzzles me is Pessin felt compelled to contact the gallery and explain they’ve unwittingly supported an artist in offending ‘Survivors’ living in the Denver area, many of which are also patrons.  A thinly disguised threat to be sure.  She condescendingly offered to ‘educate’ me so this egregious act of insensitivity never happens again.  She got what she wanted for now, but because of her self-absorbed letter I’m now predisposed to do it again….but on a much grander scale.  For the two or three of you still following along here’s why…

Mel Brooks’ Opus “The Producers”……“Springtime for Hitler” one of the longest running Broadway plays ever–opened to mixed reviews by critics who mind you are paid to critique, but don’t remember hearing anything about the Survivors being traumatized by the mention of Hitler, author of The Holocaust.  Yet my use of the word offended the ‘Survivors?’ Your organization and Pessin in particular would censor my title choice without so much as viewing the work?  This is pure and simple demagoguery!  Does CJS honestly believe the Survivors OWN the word?  They must think so…but the English root for the word was established mid-13th century!  Throughout recorded history genocide of peoples of many races has been documented. I don’t need the ‘Survivors’ permission to use the word Holocaust!

Assuming Ms. Pessin’s is Jewish her intolerance toward free expression is sadly hypocritical.  The fact she’s an educator makes it even more disturbing.  Enlightened teachers understand the value of unencumbered expression and should cherish as well as promote it.  Stay tuned…..Holocaust III is coming to a gallery near you!