Tag Archives: life

Obviously Pregnant???

devilTimid Readers, Please do not let the image of the devil scare you. We just post that to focus the attention on good things which have been turned to evil.
Like the Bible.
On Christmas Eve, Michael Hendrick reportedly attended a function to celebrate the spiritual holiday. The highlight was the host telling a story as it was described. The ‘story’ was the saga of the birth of Christ. It may have deserved a better designation than ‘story’but when the Bible is read from a Kindle or an I-Pad,  it stops being the Word of God.
According to the E-Bible, Mary was not with child as we have been taught these many years. No, now we learn that the Mother of the Christ was not ‘with child’ but she was obviously pregnant.
The first definition of ‘pregnant’in Merriam Webster is ‘cogent,’ meaning…: very clear and easy for the mind to accept and believe ~ or we can look at meaning One – having power to compel or constrain.. The word ‘obviously’ is not one which even appears in the Bible. The first known use of the word ‘obvious’ occurred in 1603…confusing? fuck, yeah!

So what are they doing to the message of the Living Christ which was put in text for good reason? We do not know. It is subversive and changes the way today’s so-called christians look at the scripture. A true Christian would protect the Word of God…what would YOU do?

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Michael Hendrick Walks Into A Bar With A Duck Under His Arm…

Michael (24)

Dateline Ellensburg, WA

Gentle Readers,

We are now back in full blog stride but we have a situation. One of the staff, Michael Hendrick, insists on using his full name and refuses the editorial ‘we’ or the ‘royal we,’ as Jeff Bridges refers to it in The Big Lebowski..

Only he knows why…he says he makes a better character than he does as writer…we will bear with him and allow this capricious act while always bearing in mind that he is a unpredictable and given to wacky antics. He claims to have met the embodiment of the spirit of Jan Kerouac. She lives in a bird that haunts the street in front of the house where she used to live in Ellensburg, Washington. Hendrick found her there by accident after having sworn off the ‘beat scene’ but, like Michael Corleone or Silvio Dante, he says, ‘everytime I try to get out, they pull me back in.’

Here is a photo of Jan Kerouac and the famous father who abandoned her after blood tests proved she was his daughter. kero Jack Kerouac, a hero to many, often did heartless things. Fans like to remember the virile young writer but tend to get pissed off at the honest facts that he was a drunken lout who was chronically thrown in jail for public urination, intoxication and fighting (although his style of fighting seemed to involve mouthing-off drunkenly and being beaten as a result). Jack lived with his mother since he could not take care of himself as a drunk. Jan took care of herself here in Ellensburg by doing all sorts of menial tasks. Here she is washing dishes at The Cafe on Third Avenue, which is still here. As you see, she could be a happy soul at times…Jan Kerouac Working as a Dishwasher

So Michael Hendrick claims to have somehow communed with her spirit in the form of a bird…he may be in the third person now but he still sounds just as crazy!!!!

Stay tuned to find out more….600full-jan-kerouac

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Somebody Blew Up America

THIS IS A FREE BLOG! DO NOT PAY FOR IT!!! TEACHERS ~ IF YOU WANT COPIES, WE WILL SEND THEM FREE BY REQUEST!

Amiri Baraka is Beat.
He walked away from the scene in Greenwich Village, where he edited literary journals Yugen, Kulchur, and The Floating Bear from 1958-65. Working with Hettie Cohen, Michael John Fles, and Diane Di Prima, respectively, the journals brought new works by new names. Featured writers included Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Phillip Whalen, and Michael McClure. He co-founded Totem Press and was influential in the launching of Corinth Books. Yugen magazine was perhaps most significant as the platform for the “new” Beat writers, allowing their work to find a place in one of the first venues to give credulity to the movement.
A wise and controversially outspoken man, his views have kept him on the Outside, the Beat side. The U.S. Air Force discharged him after two years of service due to his belief in communism. In 1961 he was arrested for distributing obscenity after mailing copies of The Floating Bear, Issue Nine, to subscribers; and his presence at the 1967 riots in Newark, New Jersey, saw him arrested and severely beaten by police. It was also the year he changed his name from LeRoi Jones to Amiri Baraka. The charges against him were eventually dropped and much of his support came from the Beat community.
From Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note, his first book of poems in 1961, to his upcoming play, The Most Dangerous Man in America, he has stayed the course, worked and fought for his beliefs of an equitable society.
With the death of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., (who visited Baraka’s Newark home a week before his murder), he left the mostly-white Bohemian literary scene and the environs of the East Village to take up a more radical stance towards Black Nationalism. But despite his distancing himself from the Beats in the mid-sixties, Baraka read poetry and attended panel discussions at Beat-haven Naropa Institute through the 1980-90s, and remained friends with Ginsberg until Allen’s death in 1997.
More recently his poem, “Somebody Blew Up America,” brought an end to his New Jersey “Poet Laureate” post when Governor Jim McGreevey took umbrage to the poem’s questioning of the events surrounding the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Centers. The “Who?’ of the exploding owl in the poem echoes the angst of Ginsberg’s voice in “Howl.” Having heard Ginsberg recite live from ten feet away, this writer finds both poems equally as exciting and important.
Baraka has been called “the triple-threat Beat.” His talent has brought him recognition and awards not just in poetry and prose but also in theater as an Obie Award winning playwright. A sampling of awards bestowed upon him include the PEN Open Book Award, the Langston Hughes Award, the Rockefeller Foundation Award for Drama, and National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships. Maybe one of the most bittersweet titles placed on him is that of the Poet Laureate of Newark Public Schools, which he received after Gov. McGreevey’s actions against him
Additionally, he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and regarded as a respected academic, having taught at the state universities of New York at Stony Brook and Buffalo, Columbia University, and other institutions. barakaimagec

We started by asking why he walked away from the Beat Movement, which gave him a vehicle to establish himself as writer/thinker/activist to a wider audience.
~
Well, that whole thing [the Beat Movement], was very explosive, but remember that the whole Civil Rights Movement was intensifying. I got out of the service in 1957. The Montgomery bus boycott had gone on a couple years before. After they had successfully made them integrate those buses, they blew up Doctor King’s house. At that point, it really began to be clear this was the kind of struggle that was going on particularly in the south, at least for me, having been in the service for two years.
That was the point that it became clear… until they blew up King’s house and he says… you know, the black people showed up at his house with their rifles and said, “What should we do, what should we do, Doctor King?” and he said, “If any blood be shed, let it be ours.” So my whole generation reacted negatively to that and said, “No, it won’t be like that. If people are going to be shooting, they are going to be shooting back and forth.”
Malcolm X appeared at that scene with his whole idea about, you know, “You treat people like they treat you. They treat you with respect, you treat them with respect. They put their hands on you, send them to the cemetery.”
So a whole generation of black youth responded to that positively as a sign that Doctor King was indeed a normal man instead of some kind of a saintly non-violent kind of perseverant. During that period, the next years of 1958-1960… In 1959, Fidel Castro led that revolution in Cuba so I went down there the next year, 1960, to Cuba and met Fidel, Ché Guevara, and all those people. I also met the black activist from North Carolina, Robert Williams, who was in exile in Cuba because he had really been practicing a kind of a self-defense in North Carolina, a thing that actually ended up with him stopping the [Ku Klux] Klan – removing their hoods… and then he found out it was the State Police! Then they framed him for kidnapping a white couple and he went to Cuba to escape that kind of injustice, so I met him.
Anyway, that was the point – 1960 – when, while I had this kind of awareness of the Civil Rights Movement, I actually became much more directly involved in it. So, about 1965, when Malcolm X was murdered, I felt the best thing to do would be to get out of the Village and move to Harlem. I found that, for a lot of black people, that event made us take stock of ourselves and move out of Greenwich Village into Harlem. That was actually the point. I began the Black Arts Repertory Theater Company in 1965 at 130th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Who else was involved in the theater?

Larry Neal, poet, and Askia Touré, poet, those were two of the leading figures. Many people came to Harlem who were not already in Harlem, because they were attracted to the Black Arts Repertory School that we opened. We would send out trucks into the neighborhood every day… four trucks, one had graphic arts, the other had poetry, the other had music and the other had drama. We did this every day throughout the summer of 1965 so that created a kind of militant venue for Black Arts. They found that was desirable rather than having to submit to the continued racism of Greenwich Village.

The perception is that the Village was not so racist.

At that particular point, a lot of young black people felt it was better to move to Harlem to take an active kind of fighting stance against it, rather than to be isolated in Greenwich Village.

Taking action was better than writing about it or publishing work about it?

Right, absolutely… it was not only about the publishing; it was about actually being an activist in that community and on the street and actually making Black Arts relevant to the movement rather than simply commenting on it.

Do you feel that we are losing ground and giving back too much of what was gained then?

Absolutely! It is like one step forward, two steps back. The whole Obama campaign, the victory… on one hand has brought a kind of very sharp reaction. It is like after the Civil War – once the slaves were so-called “emancipated,” that’s when you get the Ku Klux Klan and the black “codes” and all of that strict re-segregation. Rather than ending slavery you got the whole segregation of the south and the whole dividing of the south into black and white even though they were theoretically free from slavery… but slaves were plunged into sharecropping and many times they couldn’t go anywhere. The white people in the south wouldn’t let them go until years after slavery was over. They started going north and west. You can read about that in a book called The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. She charts that whole immigration out of the south by my people.

Amiri BarakaThe Obama Administration… since the first election, racism feels more prevalent.

It’s a stirring reaction to that election. Now we have the Tea Party. The Tea Party is correspondent to the Klan. They appear… the whole takeover of the Congress and the House of Representatives certainly existed because of these kinds of racist incidents – whether Trayvon Martin in the South [Martin was shot in February 2012] or shooting Amadou Diallo in the Bronx [police in February 1999] or the various kinds of murders out in California. It’s a sharp reaction and it shows the reaction is not just against black people but even young white people, like those taken up with the whole Occupy Movement across the country. There is just widespread dissatisfaction in society as it is.

How do you feel about the Occupy Movement?

I think it’s a good idea. It is uncertain and uneven but still a good idea and many times there are too many people completely lacking in the experience, in social struggle, or just anarchism, walking around who believe in no kind of government and no kind of organized response but certainly who are opposed to blacks in politics and it is a very ragged kind of result that comes out of that – but still the idea is a good idea and whatever kind of result you can get from that, even though it’s going to be much less than it would be if it were organized, you still have to support it.
Part of the reason is that it’s like the Sisyphus Syndrome. The only thing that’s happening now is that, between the Republican force pushing to the right, to restore the kind of Republican rule to go to back to Bush, which had been more extreme – what is underneath this is an attempt to erect a kind of corporate dictatorship. Coming out of all these Republicans’ mouths, especially the Tea Party, is the whole question that government is too big, that government is the enemy. The enemy is the lack of development. The fact that poverty still poxes this country and the development is, so far, uneven without a gap between the little six-tenths of one percent of the wealthy and the rest of the people. This has grown bigger and, actually, since Roosevelt and the New Deal we were talking about closing that gap. We talked about creating a much more equitable society. Now even the middle class is feeling the kind of strains that the working class is feeling. So the only thing the republicans have done…I mean, look at the surplus that Clinton had, billions of dollars in surplus, George Bush got rid of it…in the couple of terms that Bush had, he got rid of it a couple of times. He got rid of it.
How? The war, certainly… 9/11 was, to me, just a door opening to exploit the Middle East.

Like the 2.9 trillion dollars that Rumsfeld announced was missing on the day before 9/11? He claimed they didn’t know what they did with it…

Right! They didn’t know what they did with it… the people who got it know what they did with it… (laughs).

Can any government be righteous?

I’m a communist. I’m a Marxist. I believe that, ultimately, people will become sophisticated enough to understand that they themselves must rule – not just some little, small elitist group of exploiters. That is what the struggle is for – to see if this society itself becomes equitable. It is going to be hard because we are going to have to go through this period of intensified corporate domination, this last ditch struggle and the fact that it is now a global economy. You see that the struggles on Wall Street have affected the whole world and the only way that they feel they can gain any kind of superiority is war. That’s when they can hire more workers. That’s when they can fill their coffers and that’s exactly what they want to do… war… and that’s the only way capitalism can remain balanced on two feet, so to speak, but it will never be secure. That’s the problem that the people of the world face, that they have to finally overthrow these governments. They have to overthrow the monopoly of capitalism. That’s the task that faces humanity if it is ever to be truly civilized. You can’t be civilized with capitalism. It is too elitist. Most people are up against it. Most people cannot ever get a real education. Most of us still live in slums. It is something that is destined to be destroyed that will be very difficult to destroy it in its last days.

Speaking of last days, what do you think of the FEMA camps and the things like the Georgia law that is in Congress to bring back the guillotine?Baraka book cover

Are you serious about the guillotine?

Yes, it is a bill in legislature. They say they are running out of the drug to kill people with. You also have the Social Security Administration buying thousands of rounds of ammunition lately and you have to wonder what they need that for.

That’s the penalty for moving towards a corporate dictatorship because these people, the republicans and the Tea Party and these people, they’re not talking about the government. They’re talking about the government. They are talking about straight-out rule by the rich. It may be a terrifying scenario but that is what is in the works unless the people can find the wherewithal, the understanding, and the organization to resist it.
Even in its ragged state, I would rather have the Occupiers than nothing at all. The problem is that, too often, the people in power are opposed to the Occupiers. That’s the problem, most of the people who are in these posts, these small bureaucratic posts, they are even acting against their own interests, not to mention the police and those who are charged with keeping the order – an order that does not even serve them! It’s a tragic situation. But I don’t know what Social Security would be doing with all those guns. I don’t know that.

“Somebody Blew Up America.” You were censored by the New Jersey governor for publishing and performing this poem. The media depicts others who have questioned the events of 9/11 as crazy.

I understand it, yeah. That’s it. You got it. All you have to do is open your mouth, like they say you’ve got freedom of speech – as long as you don’t say anything. The minute you open your mouth, then that’s the end of that. Then they attack you. It has certainly happened to me. It happens to all kinds of people… even somebody like Bruce Springsteen, when he first sang that song about “fighting the yellow man for the white man.” They silenced him for a few years but he managed to come back. It’s that way, if you talk to say anything. There is a long history of that, particularly (for) Afro-Americans, but everybody else, too.
Like that attack on the film industry in the fifties, to remove any taint of the Left from the film industry, the blacklisting of the whole film industry. The whole McCarthyism thing and the fact that, during World War Two, the United States’ closest allies were Russia and China, but after World War Two our closest allies were suddenly the same people we were fighting, Germany and Japan… figure that out! Then China and Russia became our worst enemies. Why is that? It’s because they wanted to cut loose any kind of sign of supporting socialism. Since China and Russia were socialist countries our struggle with these socialist countries, then, was to make sure they were opposed to that (socialism). Finally, Russia succumbed and China has been riddled with imperialist advance. Finally, this corporate America is what dominates and wants to make sure that monopoly capitalism and imperialism outlast anything.

Why do you think people do not pay more attention to this?

The people who could make the most noise about it are afraid they are going to lose their whatever, their positions, afraid they are going to lose what they have. The problem with the great majority of people is that they are not organized and sometimes they don’t have the facts so they don’t know what is going on. It happens too often, even if you elect good people… like in Newark back in 1970, the first black mayor, the second black mayor. We haven’t had a white mayor in Newark since 1970… but then we get somebody like Cory Booker, the present mayor, who actually is sent here by corporate ventures to turn the whole advance, the drive to some kind of equitable city government, around. Now we are struggling against that. Now we have a situation where the mayor is trying to sell our water to private interests. It’s unbelievable. He is trying to sell the water plus about two thousand acres of land where we have the water.

Water is getting more expensive, like oil.

That’s what they want to do – jack the prices up and so this is an ongoing struggle. The largest corporation in Newark, which is Prudential Insurance, the largest insurance company in the world, they haven’t paid any taxes since 1970. One of their buildings is worth 300 million dollars a year in taxes. They were given a tax abatement in 1970. That was the “white-mail” they put on the new black city government, “Either give us a tax abatement or we are leaving.” That is not supposed to be eternal. I mean, you could give them a thirty-year abatement and it still would be over by 2000. We still have twelve years of twelve times 300 million dollars a year, we wouldn’t have a deficit… but they refuse to pay their taxes. They built an arena. They have the NCAA [basketball]; they have the Devils hockey team, which is an interesting idea for Newark. When they have all kinds of big events, they say we owe them money. They utilize our water. They utilize our police for security. We have to pay the police overtime any time they have an event and they say owe money.

Funny how all the venues are named after financial institutions these days, as opposed to names of great people.

That’s right. That’s just an indication of where everything is going. Everything is named after a bank or some other kind of corporation… even baseball stadiums. That’s absurd. Here everything is named after Prudential. (laughs)

Which medium do you find most useful in reaching people and motivating them?

The problem, again, is the control by the organizations. In the sixties, for instance, the whole emergence of abstraction and the corporations first fought against abstraction. That is the problem with the arts… it is like “freedom of the press”. You can have freedom of the press if you own a press otherwise you have to deal with a mimeograph machines and small distribution. That’s the way it is with all of the arts. That is the theater of grants. Somebody has to bestow that support upon the artist. Unless you really qualify, philosophically, to be in those venues, you are not going to be there.
I produced a play back in the sixties when I was perhaps unclear what I wanted to say, though they could deal with that to a limited degree. Back then it made it very, very difficult for me to get anything onstage. I have a play coming out in the spring about [W.E.B.] Dubois, called The Most Dangerous Man in America. That’s what the FBI called him. It’ll be a month run at a small theater on the Lower East Side.

You are accomplished and awarded in so many art forms… if you were to be remembered by one piece of work, what would you choose it to be?

I think the book on black music, Blues People, that I wrote… people still quote that and cite that. I think that is the most important one. People came out in 1963 and is the book of mine that is the most constantly-referenced. I think it was the most popular. I have had other works which had a great deal of (laughs) in the United States.
It’s about African-American music from Africa and how it developed in the United States. The seeds of that book came to me in a class I had with a man named Sterling Brown, a great poet who was my English teacher at Howard University. A friend of mine named A.B. Spellman who is also in the book, and who wrote a book called Four Lives in the Bebop Business, we had both finished class and he invited us to his house because we had some pretensions of knowing about the music. Once we were there, he showed us. He had this library with music, by genre, chronologically, by artist, and he told me, “That’s your history.”
In that kind of capsule statement what he was saying was that if you analyze the music, if you follow the music, you’ll also find out about the peoples’ history. So that’s what I did – tried to show how when the music changed it signified change in the status of the people and their condition. Everything about their lives has undergone some important change and the music is a result of the affect of the change. It goes to the earliest kind of music – the slave song, the early blues, the city blues, you know, the kinds of variations on that… like coming into the north and how it affected the music. It covers up to the 1960s.

You collaborated with The Roots about ten years ago… in hip-hop. Who are the most important artists or have been?

It changed a great deal from the early hip-hop of the 1970s, which was just a field called “rap.” Hip-hop is actually a kind of a category that includes different aspects of it all… the DJ, the rapping, graffiti, break dance. Rap, particularly, changed a great deal from the 1970s. The early rappers were much more conscious of making a social statement of protesting the kind of conditions they lived in and that black people lived in. It was really a kind of urban journal type thing, like Afrika Bambaataa from the South Bronx. Then, later on, people like Kurtis Blow and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
RunDMC was a period of development of that was put together by the guy (named) Russell Simmons, who then became rap’s biggest entrepreneur.

Do you think people like Russell Simmons can be as well-accepted and still keep an edge?

People have to sort that out themselves and find out how those kinds of ties (either) support what they are doing or obstruct it. They might just change what they are doing or what they thought and come out with something that may not be as important as what they were doing before. It depends on how you deal with relationships with those institutions and organizations.

Can you tell more about your new play?

The play is about W.E.B. DuBois, when he was about 83 years old and was taking a very activist position against nuclear weapons and everything, including going to conferences in Europe to protest nuclear weapons. He was indicted as an “agent of foreign power,” being a “father” of books. He had just run for political office, he and a man named Vito Marcantonio, a lawyer who was really the last Italian communist in the U.S. Congress. Anyway, when DuBois was indicted because he was in a peace organization [he was chairman of the Peace Information Center, formed in 1950], they had the trial in Washington, DC, and Marcantonio defended him. He was the lawyer.
It was a drawn out trial but finally he won the case because it turned out that the chief witness against him was, in fact, the man who had invited DuBois to join the peace organization. So the thing was overthrown but DuBois was prescient enough to understand it. that he said, “Now the little children will no longer see my name.”
After that they took his passport and tried to keep him from traveling. Then in 1958, the Supreme Court overthrew that ruling and gave him back is passport so he was able to travel throughout the world… Europe, Russia, China. He had been invited to edit Encyclopedia Africana by Kwame Nkruman, who was the newly-elected Prime Minster of Ghana. He went there, declared his membership in the Communist Party and he died in Ghana on the day before the March on Washington, which was started by Reverend Martin Luther King, so it’s a real cycle.

That covers a lot of territory.

It is going to be mainly the drama of just before the indictment… and how they prepared for this trial. The main part of the play is the trial itself, and the rest focuses on his travels around the world, particularly Russia, China, and Ghana. That should be out in spring of next year.

Did you have a personal relationship with Malcolm X?

I met Malcolm one time, after he had his house in Long Island firebombed and he was moving around Manhattan. I saw him, actually, with a man named Mohamed Babu at the Waldorf Astoria, where Babu had a room. We met into the wee hours of the morning. That was the only time I actually talked to Malcolm.

You and Lenny Bruce were often mentioned in the same news stories and seem to have been crucified at the same time.

I didn’t know him. Like I said if you speak out and identify with any kind of activism you are going to get jumped. That’s it – and you can’t expect any other thing to happen.

Did you like his act? Were his racial routines funny to a black person?

Sure, at the time. What was relevant is that he was trying to be for real, to bring some reality to America and make a commentary on America and that was the point. Given the content, he was attacked for profanity and obscenity and all those things.
At that time, I was arrested for sending obscenity through the mail [for] publishing The Floating Bear. In one of them I had a play of mine in there or a short story… whatever, and an essay by William Burroughs. [The material deemed obscene consisted of “The Eighth Ditch” an excerpt from his novel, From the System of Dante’s Hell, and the Burroughs’ poem, “Roosevelt after Inauguration”].
This stuff that happened to Lenny Bruce was common, given that situation, because that is when that whole attack was common when you tried to do that – you were met with some kind of withering charges. I defended myself in court by reading the decision on [James] Joyce’s Ulysses and certainly that won the decision for me… (laughs).

~
The 1934 Supreme Court decision to lift the ban on Ulysses opened the doors for the publishing of many literary works besides those published by Baraka. Joyce’s book was used in the defense of novels Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Tropic of Cancer. The works of Amiri Baraka have, similarly, pushed open doors for new generations of creative minds to pass through.
Mr. Baraka was open and generous with his time. He still reads poetry in performance and we encourage you to see him if you ever have a chance. If you want Beat, he is more real than all the recent movies about the “usual suspects.” He is a living literary treasure and his work should be celebrated by all freedom-loving Americans and World Citizens.
Watch for his new play, The Most Dangerous Man in America, in spring and pick up a few of his books while you are waiting. He is the real deal and he speaks more sense than any other public figure that comes to mind.

Salute him and enjoy his work

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Free Book by Michael Hendrick, “Last Notes From a Tumbleweed Bastard: East to West” – Crazed Author Gives It Away!!!

widmark

Literate Readers,

Our excuse for being away this time is that we have been busy…as usual for the past year or so…

To keep it to the short blog form, we are pleased to announce that a member of our LNTB blog staff is releasing his first of three books in October just before Samhain.  It shall be printed by the Sheradin Press, prestigious publisher of the Paris Review, Cornell University Press and many other upscale publications.

Last Notes From a Tumbleweed Bastard: East to West by Michael Hendrick will be released in Ebook format but a number of hard copies of the journal-sized book will be free for the asking…depending on who asks, and how nicely! If you would like a copy, you can send a request here.

If you want to send Mr. Hendrick a couple bucks for postage, we are sure he will appreciate it.

The volume is a mix of flash fiction and poetry. Half was written along the Eastern Seaboard of the USA and the other half, entirely in the State of Washington during the past year, Hendrick’s first year there. There will be more to come. We asked about the subject and the author was characteristically obstreperous.

“What’s in it?” he laughed, wiping cider from his chin, “I’ll tell you what’s in it. I paid a buck a book for the fucking saddle stitch binding, damn it! I hope they appreciate it when their ‘print on demand’ books start coming unglued in ten years, the ungrateful bastards!…and for free, what in fuck am I thinking? Hell, it’s easier for them to let you push them downstairs in a wheelchair than it is to get them to read a book. Maybe if it’s free, they will read it!”

Don’t be put off by the churlish reply since he does refer to himself as a ‘bastard,’ too…but he has a point, which is that we all need to encourage reading more in ourselves and others. How can you know what is really going on if you do not read?

If you want a copy, get your name in. We will have an email address as well as snail mail address for you to send your requests.

We hope you take advantage of this offer…and do tell your local librarian!!!

liberrian

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Brother-Souls: John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac, and the Beat Generation

Gentle Readers,

This is a free blog. Do not pay for it elsewhere…

We recently passed a watershed moment in modern American literature, as November, 2012, marked sixty years since John Clellon Holmes introduced the term “Beat Generation” in the New York Times Magazine.
To many, this is the sum of all Holmes is known for.
His seminal Beat novel Go, also published sixty years ago (five years ahead of Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road), still remains in the shadow of Kerouac’s first book about those times. As evidenced by one of the most popular social networking websites, the cult of celebrity embraces Kerouac. The various tribute pages devoted to Kerouac see traffic from over a quarter of a million people, while the single page dedicated to Holmes draws slightly more than three hundred followers.
Even people who knew him personally seem oblivious to the facts of his life.
In our last issue, Al Hinkle – who is portrayed as a character in both books – noted that Holmes’ version of the period “is probably the more accurate.” However, Hinkle goes on to speak of Holmes’ first wife, “Marian was the love of John’s life – he never remarried.” The fact is that after divorcing Marian, Holmes married Shirley Radulovich in September, 1953, and the couple remained together until 1988, dying within weeks of each other. Both were victims of cancers attributed to their heavy use of tobacco. These facts are found in the richly informative book Brother-Souls: John Clellon Holmes, Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation by Ann Charters and Samuel Charters, published in 2010 by the University Press of Mississippi.
Brother-Souls gives us a painstakingly accurate account of the intertwined lives of the two men. In so doing, it also unveils a myriad of previously-unknown facts about peripheral personalities like Hinkle, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Herbert Huncke, Gregory Corso, and many others.
If not for the frequently-noted dates and fastidious footnotes, this work of non-fiction would read like a novel – a novel deserving space on the same shelf between Go and On the Road. While On the Road has its hero in the central figure of Cassady as Dean Moriarty, Go looks at the same period with its focus on Ginsberg as David Stofsky. It is at Ginsberg’s party at his apartment in Spanish Harlem where he, Holmes, and Kerouac initially met in July 1948.
Also in our last issue, Ann Charters mentioned that she and husband Samuel worked on Brother-Souls to “redress that wrong” done to Holmes by Kerouac, when he portrayed the former as “a wimpy rival.” She told us that “It was a difficult book to write but one of its pleasures was the opportunity to give back Holmes his voice as a writer who was an enormous influence on Kerouac.”
It can be argued that the first piece of what would become known as Beat Literature appeared in early 1948 when Holmes published his jazz/slang-infused short story, “Tea for Two,” in Jay Landesman’s magazine, Neurotica. The little magazine founded by St. Louis, Missouri, native Landesman, Neurotica became, in style and spirit, the first Beat-themed literary journal even before the term “Beat” was coined.
A few months earlier, at age twenty-two, he broke into the publishing world with a book review printed in the March, 1948, issue of Poetry magazine. The following year, he sent the first chapters of his novel to Landesman. about the colorful characters in burgeoning Bohemian scene, which flourished around him in New York’s Greenwich Village.
At roughly the same time, he heard stories about another young writer he referred to as “Karawak” in his journal, who had written a novel, The Town and The City. As yet unpublished, the only copy was the fat manuscript typed by Kerouac, which was being passed around and talked about in the literary circles of New York City’s young intellectuals, to which Holmes was privy. Both men met at the party and, after sizing each other up in their perspective journals, soon became fast friends and confidants.
Before reaching this point in the book, the Charters’ not only detail the childhoods of both men but trace their family trees, as well – on one side back to the 1736 death of Maurice-Louis Alexandre Le Bris de Kerouack, and on the other back to 1594, when George Holmes was born in England. Interestingly, Holmes’ family tree included not only one-time presidential candidate John McClellan Holmes, Sr., the celebrated Union general of the Civil War, and the renowned essayist and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, but also a male ancestor who married a woman from the family in which Ralph Waldo Emerson was born.
Ironies and similarities such as their same birthdate of March 12, (Kerouac was five years older) are recounted, as are vivid shared memories of the Flood of 1936, which Kerouac witnessed from the banks of the Merrimack River in Lowell, Massachusetts. Eighty miles upstream, Holmes watched from the side of the Pemagawassett River, in Plymouth, New Hampshire, as it rose and flowed into the Merrimack, carrying the same waters and debris which neither of them would ever forget.
One early question left open is why they both decided to become writers. The closest thing to an answer may be the “On Spontaneous Prose” section of The Portable Jack Kerouac, edited by Ann Charters and published by Viking Penguin in 1995. Significantly, in that volume, she conceived the idea of tracing Kerouac’s life through a collection of his writings. When she mentioned the project to Holmes, he told her that he had the same idea in 1965. Not long before his death, Holmes suggested that he and Charters collaborate on it but as his health deteriorated, he passed it back to her with his blessings and an offer of help if she needed it.
In Brother-Souls, we have two scribes writing about two other writers. This unique circumstance makes for more than just a diligent study of two convergent writers; it gives insight into their individual writing processes and an insider’s look at the business of writing and publishing in America at that time.
Aside from the usual suspects, we meet Landesman and Gershon Legman. Legman would become editor of Neurotica and his influence on Holmes is noted. Ginsberg had his first “professional” poem published in the sixth issue of Neurotica in 1950. A collaboration written with Kerouac, who took no credit, “Song: Fie My Fum” was met with derision by Legman, who voiced his first impression of the poem by asking, “Did it take two of them to write that piece of shit?” Ginsberg rankled at the fact that Landesman required him to get down on his knees before accepting one of his poems. The poem was four stanzas culled from the poem “Pull My Daisy,” to which some accounts credit shared authorship to Cassady, as well.
Carl Solomon, recently released from New York State Psychiatric Institute where he met Ginsberg, had rented an apartment, and as suggested by former institute-roomie Ginsberg, threw a New Year’s party to usher in 1950. Landesman showed up with Holmes and was initially attracted by Solomon’s “certifiable” state of insanity and his experience with electroshock treatments but, when approached, Solomon steered him towards Ginsberg and Kerouac as being better choices for writers. Just before this scene, we are treated to a look at the meeting of Ginsberg and Solomon, for whom “Howl” was dedicated.
The Charters’ follow Ginsberg to his meeting with William Carlos Williams who advises him to, drop rhyming metric poetry, in favor of the “variable breath-stop length for metric measurement” as well as looking to his own experiences for the subject matter in his poems.
We see Holmes quickly establish himself as an “accepted” poet by 1950, with submissions published in Partisan Review and Harper’s magazines. However, in order to satisfy himself as being a real writer, he felt the novel was the form that he needed to master. To this end, he kept copious journals of the events of his life and of those around him. These were the source material for the chapters of Go which he sent to Landesman in 1949. Always generous with his friends, Holmes tried to help Ginsberg by sending his poems to his editor at Partisan Review. He also spent his time offering encouragement to Kerouac, who was also trying to find his voice in his “road novel” while trying to find a publisher for The Town and the City. During 1950-51, while Holmes wrote Go, Kerouac visited his apartment daily, to drink, talk, and – most importantly – read the novel page by page as it issued from Holmes’ typewriter. It is very likely, On the Road, given these circumstances, may never have found a form were it not for the encouragement and example given by the younger Holmes.
While this review/essay is not written to “kneecap” Kerouac, we have to wonder if (after all the ballyhoo, Gap adverts, Facebook pages, and movie treatments) the progression and continued adulation of the Beat Generation as we know it would even have been possible without Holmes. While Ginsberg is typically seen as the gadfly of the collected group of writers, throwing parties and initiating meetings, it was Holmes who opened the doors to Neurotica for them. Any writer knows the magnitude of the importance of publishing their first piece of work outside of school, and in a professional publication. Few things are more encouraging than seeing your own name in print for the first time.
To a group of writers who unashamedly pushed the limits of sanity, to whom mental instability actually became a badge of honor, the steep precipice of self-doubt reached by the constant rejection of one’s work could be the hardest hurdle to clear. By coincidentally meeting Landesman, Legman, Kerouac, and Ginsberg all in that same July weekend, could Holmes have been the spark that was necessary to set off the Beat firecracker? Perhaps the truest irony of his depiction as “wimpy” is that he is the most obvious catalyst which brought them all exposure.
Neal Cassady is most often seen as the touchstone at the center of the group, although it has been said that they all would have followed Burroughs anywhere he went. The more we unravel Cassady, the less grand of a person he becomes. Holmes mentions the black and blue marks left by Cassady, on LuAnne Henderson. His capacity for mental cruelty and abandoning wives and friends at crucial times most likely stems from his own abandonment by his father in Denver, Colorado. Holmes stayed steady in his support of Kerouac’s work, even as the latter heralded Cassady as the superior writer in the group and referred to him in a letter as his “only true friend.” Cassady responded in kind, in his usual manner, by abandoning him in Mexico City, sick with fever and dysentery.
In his moodiness, Kerouac’s misanthropy also got the best of him. Shouting matches between he and Holmes kept to an intellectual level. In barrooms, he was severely beaten more than once, thanks to his mouth and temper but especially as his alcoholic deterioration worsened. Holmes became hesitant to tell him about advances he got from publishers, for fear of setting him off. One point that Kerouac dwelt on during his struggles with On the Road was that Holmes “had no right to write a book about everyone’s private lives.” Both men were doing the same thing, writing about the same people and situations from different angles. Reading Go as it was written page by page kept him from duplicating scenes already covered by Holmes – but working around another serious writer could be enervating for anyone.
In all fairness to Kerouac, artists who show genius, often do so to express what they cannot in normal life and interpersonal relationships. As artists, writers may plumb themselves to reach those recesses and depths of feeling which are too painful or impossible to relate in any other way. In his essay “Are Writers Born or Made?” he distinguished between talent and genius, observing that many may show “talent” but genius is the rarity. “Geniuses can be scintillating and geniuses can be somber,” he noted, “but it’s that inescapable sorrowful depth that shines through – originality.”
While we appreciate the work they leave behind, the inner torment they endure is not a pretty thing – consider Van Gogh disfiguring himself, Rimbaud cultivating head lice “to throw on passing clergymen,” or Artaud’s claim to having been “suicided by society.” Holmes may have sealed his own fate by being too well-mannered. After all, we learn that Holmes was the only one of Kerouac’s friends that his mother Memère did not dislike.
Nonetheless, about three weeks after Holmes finished the last pages of Go, Kerouac became inspired by a letter from Cassady which turned into a rabid series of letters between them. The excitement of these exchanges prompted him to pull all of his notes together and unleash the torrent within upon the now-famous scroll he fed through his typewriter. It seems safe to say that while Cassady sparked him to action, Holmes laid the foundation during those daily visits. The resulting three-week period of speed, coffee, and typing which resulted in On the Road has since snowballed into an oft-told tale, but Brother-Souls reminds the reader that this was not all spontaneous prose. Kerouac’s fastidious habit of keeping notebooks provided for a vast amount of his material.
Between the five years, from the writing to its publication in 1957, the details and struggles of both men’s lives and work come to life in print. Meanwhile, other key events fall into place: Ginsberg meets his life-long companion, Peter Orlovsky; there is the first reading of Ginsberg’s poem “Howl for Carl Solomon” at 6 Gallery; Kerouac writes and details the remaining six books of the “Legend of Duluoz” along with three other volumes; the first complete reading of “Howl” takes place (and is attended by Samuel Charters); and the Beat Movement goes mainstream. While most of the key players became victims of the fame, Ginsberg used it to his advantage.
When City Lights got charged with obscenity for distributing Howl and Other Poems, more fuel was added to the fire – especially when presiding Judge Clayton W. Horn ruled it to be not obscene. Curiously, Ginsberg slighted Holmes with the omission of his name from the dedication page. Kerouac, Burroughs, and Cassady got a nod from the poet, placing them forever in the highest order of Beats. Holmes had gone out of his way to get Ginsberg published, sending his work to New Directions after his editor at Partisan Review passed on it, as well as paying the grand compliment of making him the central character in Go. The depiction of Ginsberg in the book posits a good theory as to why he was snubbed. Kerouac had called Holmes “savage” in his treatment of the people he wrote about. Ginsberg for his part, had been disappointed in the account of his Blakean vision but, at the same time admitted to the veracity of the portrayal of himself.
“You really haven’t caught the way it felt,” he told Holmes, “but you’ve caught something else. You’ve caught the solemn funny little kid I guess I must have been in those days.” It seems that no amount of speculation will ever get to the heart of it but the glaring fact of Holmes’ exclusion from the dedication and the hurtfulness of the action cannot be overlooked. The Charters’ attribute some of it to Holmes distancing himself by leaving New York to live in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, but Cassady and Burroughs were both much further removed geographically.
Six months after the appearance of On the Road, Kerouac published The Subterraneans (to be followed in another six months by The Dharma Bums), heightening his fame but not his luck. With money in his pocket for a change, he traveled out of the United States. As usual, he quickly returned to New York to stay close to his mother. One night, while trying to reach the proper degree of stupor in a local bar, he sustained a broken nose and arm from a beating by a homosexual professional boxer, who claimed he had slurred an insult at him. Later, the depiction of Cassady as pothead led to his arrest and imprisonment.
The whole Beat scene, which thrived in the underground, exploded across the media in 1958, meeting curiosity, admiration, and derision. The term “Beatnik” popped up – a poke in the eye, as it was spawned from the name “Sputnik,” the space craft launched by Russia. Nothing linked to Russia could be good in those days. To word irked both men, as they saw it as a symbol of the manipulation, commercialization, and degradation of their once-pure vision. Every critic, pundit, journalist, and magazine writer had something to say about the phenomenon, ranging from suspicions of dangerous revolutions and proliferation of juvenile delinquents to dismissals of idle young hipsters with nothing important to do in life. Holmes had left the United States with Shirley on December 12, 1957, to realize his dream of traveling in Europe for two months, funded by an advance he received for his “jazz” book, The Horn.
While working on Perfect Fools, his follow-up novel to Go, he published a short story which would become The Horn‘s first chapter in the August, 1953, issue of Discovery magazine. The second chapter appeared in Nugget, in October 1956. With the rejection Perfect Fools by Scribners’, his spirits sank. He put his energy into writing the “jazz novel,” writing the remainder between spring, 1956, and fall of 1957. Although relations between he and Kerouac were deteriorating, Kerouac kept a promise and wrote a letter praising the novel to Hiram Hayden at Random House two months after the release of On the Road.John Holmes 1947
Accepted immediately and published in July 1958, it sported a recommendation from Kerouac on the cover. Despite the ongoing “Beat frenzy,” sales were moderate, likely due to July traditionally being a slow month for sales or perhaps getting lost among the wave of second-rate, imitation Beat-themed books which flooded the market – potboilers written to cash in on the trend. Selling well enough to require a second printing, mainstream reviews failed to reach the depth of it but it was warmly embraced by the cognoscente, including Studs Terkel and Ralph Gleason. Landesman read it on radio in St. Louis for half an hour, showing how taken he was with it.
Perhaps the most ambitious and meticulously-constructed of all the Beat novels, The Horn fascinates, not just by intricacy, but in the marvel of a writer dreaming up such a concept. As for structure, it is the only “true novel” that either he or Kerouac ever produced, not being based on their real-life experiences. In fact, it cannot really be classified as “Beat.” As Holmes wrote, regarding the reviews, “The Beat Generation tag has been either ignored (it having nothing to do with the book), or mentioned only in passing, for which I am grateful.” Even attempting to describe it presents a daunting task, so here we rely on excerpts from Brother-Souls, first with this section from Holmes’ journals…

The real origin of the book…lay in my feeling that the jazz artist was the quintessential American artist – that is, that his work hang-ups, his personal neglect by his country, his continual struggle for money, the debasement of his vision by the mean streets, his oft times descent into drugs, liquor, and self-destructiveness – all this seemed to me to typify the experience of our great 19th Century American writers: Poe’s loneliness, drunkenness and obscurity; Melville’s half-of-life anonymity; Hawthorne’s hermit years; Emily Dickinson’s spinster-bedroom full of immortal poems; Mark Twain’s wastage of so much of his talent on get-rich-quick schemes; Whitman’s decision to stay with the trolley drivers and whores and good old boys from whom his work took so much sustenance. The novel as it evolved, then, was to be about the American-as-artist.

A month earlier, he explained in a letter:

“I was working on three levels at the same time. I wanted each of these characters to represent an American writer, which is the only reason why I put those two little epigraphs in front of each chapter. But I also wanted him to represent a particular kind of jazz musician, and I had to create a fictional character doing these things, so that Edgar Pool, for instance, is Edgar Allen Poe.”

Now we give part of the synopsis by Charters/Charters – but note that these are just mere snatches taken from the in-depth explanation they provide, much of what was missed by many initial reviews.

Holmes structured it:
As a kind of dual narrative, each of the narrative streams illustrating and complementing the other. Each of the major characters was introduced in chapters titled “Chorus,” and the choruses alternated with chapters titled “Riff,” which told the novel’s story…Holmes preceded each Chorus with a quotation from one of the nineteenth-century American writers who had given him the novel’s theme. With the quotations he was suggesting an identification in each chapter between the jazz musician and the individual writer, and he tied the substance of the quotation as closely as he could to the chapter itself…
The quotation for the first Chorus is from Thoreau, and the name of the musician is Walden Blue. “Walden” is an obvious allusion to Thoreau’s Walden and “Blue” as clearly identifies him as a musician…
The second Chorus introduces an alto saxophonist named Eddie Wingfield“Wings” Redburn. The quotation is taken from Melville, whose fourth novel was titled Redburn…
A quotation from Hawthorne introduces the Chorus representing the pianist Junious Priest…the musician who was the model for Junius was the avant-garde jazz pianist Thelonious Monk…
The central woman figure…is a singer named “Geordie Dickson,” who is locked in a despairing, unending relationship with the novel’s main protagonist, the tenor saxophonist Edgar Pool…a combination of singer Billie Holiday and Emily Dickinson…
The name of the trumpeter Curny Finnley is derived from the archetypal figure “Huckelberry Finn,” and the Chorus introducing him opens with a quotation from Finn’s creator, Mark Twain…Curny Finnley…was in part modeled on trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie…
The Chorus introducing the tenor saxophonist Metro Myland opens with a quotation from Walt Whitman…”Myland” is an allusion to Whitman’s personal sense of his Americanism, of the nation as “My land”…Metro, for Holmes, was “just any great big yawping tenor sax player, but he’s also Walt Whitman”…
The final two Choruses portray Pool’s last hours…from the doomed, desperate Edgar Allen Poe. Holmes’ comment on the character of Pool was that his novelistic character was, of course, Lester Young, but also Poe…
As an aid to himself in clarifying the book’s structure, Holmes wrote the Choruses first, which described his principal figures. He then wrote the Riffs sections, creating the narrative around his fictitious characters…

Here, it is significant to note that tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Lester Young inspired Ginsberg’s creation of “Howl” when the poet wrote several verses in a vocal imitation of Young’s chorus-on-chorus jazz progression, the succession of verses building upon each other and raising the rhythmic energy to an ecstatic level. In a 1968 interview with Michael Aldrich, Ginsberg refers to one of the jazz man’s signature songs, “Lester Young was what I was thinking about… ‘Howl’ is all ‘Lester Leaps In.’”
The “jazz book” idea provided fodder for many of the vociferous conversations between Holmes and Kerouac. The recognition of its brilliance only grows with time, as will the brilliance of Brother-Souls.
In 1958, while Kerouac felt his first anxiety over waiting for royalties from the movie version of On the Road (a state of anxiety similarly affected Kerouac fans that waited impatiently until 2012 for its release), Holmes grew increasingly frustrated with the media attention and his realization that the movement they had created ultimately distanced the once close-knit pair. He also bristled at being used as a substitute spokesman for The Beat Generation and the perception of himself as a replacement for Kerouac when the latter could not be found. In spite of this they still kept in touch via letters, proving the true durability of their friendship.
Holmes The HornHolmes would face his own problems later that year, in the bleak state of his finances and the emotional turmoil that engulfed him when his father suffered a heart attack in October, forcing an end to years of estrangement. At their home in Old Saybrook, he and Shirley were just about to run out of firewood as the toughest part of the cruel New England winter fell upon them. Luckily, relief came when friends going on vacation asked them to sit their house.
In early February, Landesman sent a hundred dollars in a letter after hearing about their difficulties. These acts of kindness helped them through the winter, and in May, they were able to return to visit New York when Landesman staged the first and only Beat musical, The Nervous Set, and all performances sold-out. Kerouac showed up at the theater drunk and promptly fell asleep in his seat, vanishing during the intermission. The trip gave them some respite but in July a rush-hour accident on the New Jersey Turnpike put his father back in the hospital in Camden and one of his hands had to be amputated as a result. In the days that followed, a stroke paralyzed half of his father’s body.
Weeks spent keeping vigil at the bedside, trying to help nurse his father back to health led to exhaustion and near the end of August, John McClellan Holmes Sr., after weeks of suffering and staring at the stump of his hand, lost the will to live and passed away.
Although their relationship was frequently antagonistic, the event haunted the junior Holmes (who had taken “Clellon” as a pen-name to allay confusion with the well-known poet, John Holmes) for years. He wrote about the experience in the poem “Too-Late Words for My Father,” which he completed years later, in 1973. Old friend Alan Harrington, novelist and On the Road character, helped him with the hospital expenses. The chronic emotional devastation left him unable to write much outside of his journals and he slipped into one of the most unproductive periods of his life. Days spent drinking and arguing with Shirley exacerbated the situation. An unpaid electric bill for eight dollars forced him to hide upstairs when the electric company worker came to shut off his power in September of 1961 and the following month he was arrested for shoplifting a few dollars worth of groceries at a local market. The local press used the story to lampoon him with an embarrassing, supposedly-funny headline.
At this point something snapped inside him. A lesser man may have acted out against himself but in Holmes’ case, the situation forced him to pull himself together, deal with his creative block and begin writing again. As is often the case, a great man finds his true measure at the worst of times, not the best. It is also worth noting that through it all, Shirley stayed with him, working where she could to support them both. Holmes appears to have been one of the few of his peers to maintain a traditional “’til death do we part” relationship.
His turn back to the positive side spurred an equally positive reaction from magazines he submitted his work to, after braving it through a short period of rejected stories. Around the time he came to terms with the fact that his novels would never bring him as much fame as his poetry and non-fiction, he won Playboy magazine’s Best Non-Fiction award for 1964, with the essay, “Revolution Below the Belt.” This shows how deeply Legman had influenced him with his fixation on all things sexual years earlier.
His sister Liz, also a writer, made the acquaintance of Nelson Algren, author of the groundbreaking novels, A Walk on the Wild Side and The Man with the Golden Arm. During this period of regeneration, she introduced the pair. Once again, he enjoyed the luxury of intellectual stimulation that is peculiar to like-minded writers. For his part, Algren equally valued conversation with a mind sharp enough to write a book like The Horn.
Although he appeared the stronger of the two “brothers,” Kerouac never found his feet once he started balancing them on bottles. The sad facts of his self-immolation fill pages and support a variation on one of Legman’s favorite themes – that violence in modern society results directly from the repression of our sexuality. In his case, the violence turned inward and bespeaks the result of not being able to fully love a woman in a true manner. Sex is more than just a function of the genitalia. It is an outward expression of love and tenderness. He loved his mother, there is no doubting that, but his inability to correlate love and sex (the Cassadian logic of all people being apples and we just need to pick them and eat them as we will) may have been his undoing. This is not something Ann and Samuel Charters broach in the book but this writer’s attempt at explaining his trip from top of the heap to bottom of the glass.
Although we suggest that Holmes sparked the kindling that ignited the Beat fire, it is commonly accepted that Kerouac is responsible for the Beat Movement gaining the momentum to be a worldwide cultural revolution, these sixty years later. He is the primary visual symbol. He is the face of it today, not the angelic hipster Cassady, whose death from exposure in the Mexican night froze “blood on the tracks” after he bridged the generation gap between Beat and Hippie; not even Ginsberg who may have been the most prolific producer of the lot. His radicalism and homosexuality may have been off-putting to a straight society.
Kerouac – the older brother who died as the younger, the televised, the Adonis – he is the symbol who put a face on the new culture at the piano with Steve Allen speaking cool and hip and mellifluous.
The triumph of Holmes’ later years overshadows the misery of those when he was beaten-down Beat, in the truest sense of the word. The world of academia sought him out and he accepted residencies at several fine schools. Never giving up on the novel, he produced two more, Get Home Free in 1964 and Nothing More to Declare in 1967. More books appeared posthumously. He enjoyed the company of his old cronies when Ginsberg brought them together at Naropa Institute, for a celebration of Kerouac’s work on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication, of On the Road in 1982. His dedication to his craft supplied him with purpose and a way to communicate while fighting a recurrent cancer when it robbed his frantic gift of speech.
He survived nineteen years after Kerouac and twenty after Cassady. In March, 1988, he died at age sixty-two, his beloved wife Shirley with him as ever. In death, as in life, she followed him just two weeks later, a common fate of couples who share a true love. Earlier in the year, he learned that three of his novels would soon be reprinted on Thunder Mouth Press. So with his once-greatest fear of vanishing “without leaving some trace,” this surely gave him strength even as mortality fleeted.
To paraphrase Kerouac’s paraphrasing in “Are Writers Born or Made?” – It ain’t whatcha live, it’s the way atcha live it.
This reviewer hopes the reader bears in mind that this piece may seem full of facts but it is only a fraction, less than even a fiftieth, of pages presented in Brother-Souls. In the entire canon of Beat books, it is arguably the single, most comprehensive view of the scene as it unfolded – and absolutely the most authoritative work on Holmes and Kerouac. It is the only book which comes to mind where the footnote pages themselves are a treat to read.
We come away from reading it with the feeling of just completing a course in history, absorbing enough to get an A+ on the subject. If some obvious facts are missing here, it is simply because we chose to focus primarily on Holmes, then Kerouac and the others.
We first became aware of Ann Charters in 1973, when her biography on Kerouac (with Samuel Charters) became widely celebrated and instantly considered as the definitive book on him. While relishing the blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins since the 1970s and growing up with the music of Country Joe and the Fish even earlier on life’s soundtrack, we only recently discovered our ignorance of the fact that Samuel Charters had a hand in delivering these important sounds. A Grammy award winner, he produced five of the six Country Joe LPs. In 1959, with Ann in tow, he found Hopkins in Houston, Texas, and did field recordings of him. These were released on the Folkways label and led to a rediscovery by an appreciative new audience
At last count, eighteen books credit him as author. This is aside from collaborations listed in the thirty-book bibliography of Ann Charters, printed in our last issue. The count does not include Portents, the self-published small-press they ran in the 1960s. In literature and music the couple are a national treasure, both gifted individually and as a team. She is also an accomplished, recorded ragtime pianist. A recently-posted Youtube video (you can find it on http://www.beatdom.com) shows them working together, reading poetry at a Beat event in England earlier this year.
Ann Charters and Samuel Charters did more than write a large part of Brother-Souls, they lived it and witnessed it first-hand.
Buy it! The book, not a blog! All rights reserved by Michael Hendrick.

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Regarding Our Contribution to Stony Brook U’s Allen Ginsberg Archive

ginsyLiterate Lollygaggers,

We found this by accident today. It was posted by the Stony Brook University Special Collections & University Archives Department on January 14, 2014.
We treasured our correspondence from Ginsberg but rather than sell it posthumously, we decided to donate it to the archive there. Stanford University also has Ginsberg’s correspondence, which they paid him a million dollars for, and we also have some items over there.

If you have Beat items and no one to leave them to in case of untimely death, we can suggest a few nice archives, just send us a note!

Thanks for looking.
We appreciate it as always.

Allen Ginsberg Collection
Manuscript Collection 437

Description

1 postcard (4″ x 6″), two sides, correspondence and poem written by Allen Ginsberg to Mike Hendrick, ca. 1973. 

Donated by Michael Hendrick, 2010.

Processed by Kristen J. Nyitray, Head, Special Collections and University Archives, September 2010. 

Introduction</p>

Acclaimed poet Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) was born in Newark, N.J. and was raised in Paterson, N.J., where his father, Louis Ginsberg, himself a poet, taught high school English. Allen Ginsberg’s mother was confined for years in a mental hospital. He mourned for her in his long poem titled Kaddish (1961). In 1943, while attending Columbia University, Ginsberg befriended Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, who later established themselves as significant contributors to the Beat Movement. After leaving Columbia in 1948, Mr. Ginsberg traveled widely and worked at a number of jobs, including cafeteria floor mopper to market researcher.

In 1956, Allen Ginsberg’s first published book of poetry, Howl and Other Poems, lamented what he believed to have been the destruction by insanity of the “best minds of [his] generation.” Expressive and raw with honesty, the poem revealed Ginsberg’s opinions on homosexuality, drug addiction, Buddhism, and his revulsion from what he saw as the materialism and insensitivity of post-World War II America.

Ginsberg began a life of ceaseless travel, reading his poetry at campuses and coffee bars, traveling abroad, and engaging in left-wing political activities. Empty Mirror, Kaddish and Other Poems and Reality Sandwiches were all published in the early 1960s. He became an influential guru of the American youth counterculture in the late 1960s. He acquired a deeper knowledge of Buddhism, and increasingly a religious element of love for all sentient beings entered his work.

His later volumes of poetry included Planet News (1968); The Fall of America: Poems of These States, 1965-1971 (1972), which won the National Book Award and White Shroud: Poems 1980-1985 (1986).

Allen Ginsberg died of a heart attack while suffering from liver cancer on April 5, 1997 in New York City.

Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica Online and the Gale Literary Database Contemporary Authors.


Transcript of Poem 

“Returning to the Country for a Brief Visit” 

Old-one the dog stretches stiff-legged,
Soon he’ll be underground.  Spring’s first fat bee
Buzzes yellow over new grass and dead leaves.
What’s this little brown insect walking zigzag
Over the sunny white page of Su Tung-P’O’s poem?
Fly away, tiny mite, even your life is tender – 
I lift the book and blow you into the dazzling void.

Allen Ginsberg   4/20/73

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So Where Do People Actually Read This Crap??????

Michael (24)Gentle Readers,

We certainly appreciate your patronage!
We find it gratifying to reach so many places around the world. If you wonder where people read this drivel, er, wonderful blog, then here is a list of countries that your fellow readers have checked in from.
No matter where they are in the world, they are still stuck on one tiny screen…are we all? We shouldn’t even question it, since it brings us traffic…ha…but it is the magnificently humble nature of us to be amazed that you all took the time to look…
and Thanks!
In order of readership, here where others are suffering through this along with you!

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Attention Spiritual Followers!

Michael (6)Enlightened Readers,

At this juncture in our…kaf…Voyage to Namaste’-Land we hereby adopt the Spirit name Wind Walker based on our expulsion of air, miles traveled, comparative idiotic names, as well as other considerations too lengthy to be spelled out in this Proclamation.

Should any of you naysayers and faithless souls think this is all some off the cuff joke, you are absolutely right. We would never change our name. It is a badge of honor to wear your name. If you faced adversity with your given name and overcame it, then exhault in it. Black Americans who threw off slave names to return to the tribal name, as well as Natives anywhere – that is a whole other story.
This relates to Post New Age Pseudo-Hippie Schizzo-delic Wack-Job (PNAPSW) names only.

So should you address us in the Spiritual, and request our kind assistance, use a first and last name or to Hell with Spirituality.

Obstreperously Yours,
Your Constant Advisors in this Blog,
Your Soul’s Key To Your Own Salvation,
Your Credit Card Number please.

Best,

Wind

Walker

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very short review of new Chuck E. Weiss record…for amazon reviews, really…

ImageGentle readers,

You need to check this out….

Red Beans and Weiss…new LP by Chuck E. Weiss

take a deep trek through american roots music, knuckleheads, pee pee houses, nazi death camps, buddhist teachings and more!!!
sample it and see!!!!!!!!! forget about Tom Waits and Johnny Depp being on the project – Chuck is the Man!
i heard this online before it was released and ordered it. it is almost like a companion to ‘Extremely Cool’…maybe better…
this is such a fantastic record, you don’t know what to be most fascinated by next.
some songs are searing R&R and some, like ‘Shushie’…would be a wonderful soft song for just about anybody to cover…others just blow you away, like ‘Bomb the Tracks,’ which comes on like an all out rock and roller and addresses cultural issues like why we didn’t bomb the tracks the trains used to take Jews to concentration camps in WW2 (which IS a good question)…the lyrics here are unreal…he sums up the basic tenets of Buddhism in two lines of lyrics in ‘Knucklehead Stuff’ …’Kokamo’ comes on so slick and smooth it takes several hearings before you realize it starts out with an oral ‘dismembering’ (my word not his) on Lovers Lane…or how about Stalin drawing futuristic pictures of Huckleberry Hound while Winston Churchill befalls an ill fate???…yep, not only is it all here…it’s all here and more – rocking to the hilt and is an excellent choice for Best Record of 2014 in all classes!!!!!

this is a free blog and, as such, you must put up with the typos….

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On Language and Slang: Banging A Bitch and Some Mandarin Profanities

fields
Enlightened Readers,
We have used this photo before. It is our hero, W.C.Fields from his movie, ‘It’s A Gift,’ where he goes west and wins the good fight against roadhogs. Roadhog…there is one you do not hear often anymore but there are plenty of them out there. However this is not about roadhogs. This is about differences in language and slang from east to west in the US of A.
Now then, since we arrived in the west we made numerous friends. For some reason, we fit in better with people in the thirty to forty year old range out here, and so our friends tend to be ten or twenty years younger. This being the case, we are privy to new language – sort of.
On a recent drive, a forty year old woman in the passenger seat pointed out the windshield, instructing us to “Go to that street and bang a bitch.”
Hhmmm. “What did you just say,” we inquired. “Bang a bitch?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“What does that mean, anyway?” we continued on the interrogatory.
“I don’t know,” she replied.
“Then why did you say it?” we relentlessly perstered.
“I don’t know. I just said it. I meant for you to turn.”
“The thing is,” we explained, “is that Chris used the same expression!”
“Huh,” she offered.
Indeed, Chris, who is in his early thirties, had used the exact same expression when we dropped him off at home one day. Not knowing the neighborhood, we asked him for directions. We did not wish to appear old and out of the loop so we left Chris behind and went to bang a bitch and got lost for almost an hour since we despise GPS.
Reckoning we were onto something, upon arriving home we phoned Chris.
“Hey, man,” we started off, “Remember that time I dropped you off and you told me to go to the end of your street and bang a bitch?”
“Yeah?” he wondered where I was going with this. I could tell by his voice.
“Well, what does that mean? Bang a bitch?”
“Hhmm,” he thought aloud, “I’m not really sure. I just said it.”
“So it doesn’t mean ‘right’ or ‘left’ or anything specific?”
“Not that I know of,” he affirmed. We exchanged some pleasantries and hung up.
We reckoned wrong. Not only did we not know how to bang a bitch, we might bang one without even knowing it. Even metaphorically, it is nice to know when you are banging a bitch or not.
So, as most reasonable people do these days, we went to Google, What did we find? It’s always educational fun – looking up slang words. We found nothing. Nada. Zilch…as far as banging bitches.
The funny thing is the recurrent phrase, “I just said it,” used by both when asked. It almost smacks of brainwashing but how?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
However, in the course of our studies we happened upon this list of Mandarin Chinese profanities. Since they are on wiki, we stole, err, borrowed them to share with you here. It is actually easier to go over there and look at them.
This is great! Who would have known that they were so creative? Our hats off to the person who put it together. It allows you to insult everybody from a close family member to a mexican. We never even considered a chinese-mexican insult!
Maybe you heard some of these shouted through the door of a restaurant kitchen near you!
Let’s Look!

As in English, many Mandarin Chinese slang terms involve the genitalia or other sexual terms. Slang words for the penis refer to it literally, and are not necessarily negative words:
Penis
jībā (simplified Chinese: 鸡巴; traditional Chinese: 雞巴/鷄巴, IM abbreviation: J8/G8) = cock (used as early as the Yuan Dynasty)
jījī (simplified Chinese: 鸡鸡; traditional Chinese: 雞雞/鷄鷄, IM: JJ/GG) = roughly equivalent of “thingy” as it is the childish version of the above.
jūju (具具), baby talk, “tool”.
xiǎo dìdì (小弟弟) = roughly equivalent of “wee-wee” (lit. “little younger brother”) IM: DD
kuàxià wù (胯下物) = roughly equivalent of “the package” (lit. “thing under crotch”)
yīnjīng (simplified Chinese: 阴茎; traditional Chinese: 陰莖)= penis (scientific)
diǎo (屌 or substituted by 吊) = dick (the same character also means to have sexual intercourse in Cantonese)
luǎn (卵) same as “屌”, used in some southern areas.
lǎo èr (老二) = penis (lit. “second in the family”, “little brother”)
nà huà er (simplified Chinese: 那话儿; traditional Chinese: 那話兒) = penis, usually seen in novels/fictions. (lit. “That thing”, “that matter”)
xiǎo niǎo (小鳥) = used by children in Taiwan to mean penis (lit. “little bird”)
guītóu (simplified Chinese: 龟头; traditional Chinese: 龜頭) = turtle’s head (glans/penis)
Note: One should note that in Middle Chinese the words for “dick” (屌 diǎo) and “bird” (鳥 niǎo) were homophones if not the same word and both began with a voiceless unaspirated alveolar stop (d in pinyin). Based on regular sound change rules, we would expect the word for bird in Mandarin to be pronounced diǎo, but Mandarin dialects’ pronunciation of the word for bird evolved to an alveolar nasal initial, likely as a means of taboo avoidance, giving contemporary niǎo while most dialects in the south retain the Middle Chinese alveolar stop initial and the homophony or near homophony of these words.

Vagina[edit]There appear to be more words for vagina than for penis. The former are more commonly used as insults and are also more aggressive and have negative connotations:

bī (屄, 逼, 比, IM: B) = cunt
jībái (simplified Chinese: 鸡白; traditional Chinese: 雞白) = pussy (lit. “pure chicken”; not generally used as an insult)
xiǎomèimei (Chinese: 小妹妹; ) = pussy (lit. “little younger sister”, see. xiaodidi above)
èrbī (二屄, IM: 2B) = fucking idiot (lit. “double vagina”; general insult)
shǎbī (傻屄) = stupid person (lit. “stupid cunt”) IM: SB
sāobī (simplified Chinese: 骚屄; traditional Chinese: 騷屄) = bitch (lit. “lewd cunt”)
chòubī (臭屄) = stinking cunt
lànbī (simplified Chinese: 烂屄; traditional Chinese: 爛屄) = rotten cunt
yīndào (simplified Chinese: 阴道; traditional Chinese: 陰道) = vagina (scientific)
yīnhù (simplified Chinese: 阴户; traditional Chinese: 陰戶) = vulva (scientific)
táohuāyuán (桃花園) = vagina (lit. “garden of peach blossoms”)
zhuāngbī (simplified Chinese: 装屄; traditional Chinese: 裝) = poser (lit. “pretending to be the cunt”)
dà yí mā (大姨妈) = Literally “The Eldest Aunt”, a popular mainland contemporary term which refers to menstruation. Comparable to ‘A visit from Aunt Flo'[1][2]
Brothel frequenter[edit]yín chóng (Chinese: 淫蟲) literally, lewd worms. Men who frequently enjoy having sex with women.
lǎo piáo (Chinese: 老嫖) literally, old frequenter of prostitutes. There is actually a verb for frequenting prostitutes in Chinese.[3]
Prostitution[edit]In addition to the above expressions used as insults directed against women, other insults involve insinuating that they are prostitutes:

jì nǚ (妓女) = (female) prostitute
chòu biǎozi (臭婊子) = stinking whore
mài dòufu (simplified Chinese: 卖豆腐; traditional Chinese: 賣豆腐; literally “selling tofu”) is a euphemism for prostitution.
xiǎojiě (小姐) = means “Miss” in most contexts but, now in Northern China, also connotes “prostitute” to many young women, as it suggests expressions like zuò xiǎojiě (做小姐) or sānpéi xiǎojiě (三陪小姐), which refers to bargirls who may also be prostitutes. This connotation does not apply outside of the People’s Republic of China.
Mistress[edit]xiǎo lǎopó (小老婆) = mistress (lit. “little wife” or “little old women”). Note: when combined with other words, the character 老 (lǎo, literally “old”) does not always refer to age; for example, it is used in the terms 老公 (husband), 老婆 (wife), 老鼠 (mouse); or other, more rare cases such as 老虎 (tiger), 老鹰 (eagle), 老外 (foreigner); or important persons such as 老板 (boss) or 老师 (master or teacher).
xiǎo tàitai (小太太), lit., “little wife” (but definitely not to be mistaken for “the little woman”, which can be a way of referring to a wife in English).
èr nǎi (二奶), lit., “the second mistress” (means a concubine, a kept woman).
xiǎo sān (小三), lit., “little three” (means a mistress, since she is supposed to be the third person).
Breasts[edit]mīmī (咪咪; literally cat’s purring “meow meow”) is a euphemism for breast.
da doufu (大豆腐; literally “big tofu”) slang for large breasts, more prevalent in Guangdong
mántóu (simplified Chinese: 馒头; traditional Chinese: 饅頭; literally “steamed bun”) also refers to a woman’s breasts; as mantou is typical of northern Chinese cuisine this term is used primarily in northern China.
bō (波, literally “wave” or “undulating”, but sometimes suggested to be derived from “ball” which has a similar pronunciation) = boobs.[4] The typical instance is bōbà (Chinese: 波霸), which refers to a woman with very large breasts.
fúshòu (福寿; literally “happy long life”)
nǎinǎi (奶奶) = boobies
zār (咋) (Beijing slang)
gege (Tianjin slang)
bàorǔ (Chinese: 爆乳; literally “busty breasts (literally “explosive breasts”)”) = big tits, likely reborrowing from Japanese.
fēijīchǎng (simplified Chinese: 飞机场; traditional Chinese: 飛機場; literally “airport”) = flat breasts
háng kōng mǔ jiàn (simplified Chinese: 航空母舰; traditional Chinese: 航空母艦) – literally “aircraft carrier”, referring to a flat chest. Compare with 战舰 (zhàn jiàn), meaning battleship, which refers to larger-sized “chimneys” of the chest.
tàipíng gōngzhǔ (太平公主) means Princess of Peace, this was the actual title of a real princess. However 太 means great or extreme and 平 means flat or level. Hence, this phrase contains double meaning i.e. “Extremely Flat Princess.”
júhuā (菊花; literally “chrysanthemums”) – anus. This term comes from the observation that the shape of an anal opening resembles a chrysanthemum flower, where the skin folds are comparable to the flower’s small, thin petals. Although nowadays usage is mostly common amongst Chinese netizens, the euphemism has existed in Chinese literature from much earlier.
pìyǎn 屁眼 – anal orifice, asshole
gāngmén 肛门 – anus (medical term), literally “door of anus”.
hòutíng后庭 – anus. literally “back yard
Masturbation[edit]Male masturbation, at least, has several vulgar expressions, in addition to two formal/scientific ones that refer to both male and female masturbation (shǒuyín 手淫 and zìwèi 自慰):

dă shǒuqiāng (simplified Chinese: 打手枪; traditional Chinese: 打手槍) = male masturbation (lit. “firing a handgun”)
dǎ fēijī (simplified Chinese: 打飞机; traditional Chinese: 打飛機) = male masturbation (lit. “hitting an airplane”). A term which originated from the Cantonese language.
lǚguǎn/lǚguǎnr (捋管/捋管儿) = male masturbation (lit. “stroke the pipe”)
lūgǔan (擼管) = male masturbation, also “stroking the pipe”
wán lǎo èr (玩老二) = male masturbation (lit., “play with little brother”)
wǔdǎyī (五打一) = male masturbation (lit. “five beating one”)
jiàn Wǔ gūniáng (simplified Chinese: 见五姑娘; traditional Chinese: 見伍姑娘) = male masturbation (lit. “to see [visit] Miss Five”, to see [use] five prostitutes [fingers])
zìkuài (自快) = masturbation (lit. private pleasure)
Foreplay[edit]kǒu jiāo (口交) = oral intercourse, blowjob
chuī gōng (吹功) = blowjob (lit. “blow service”)
chuī xiāo (吹箫) = blowjob (“play flute”)
Sexual intercourse[edit]
cào (肏/操) = to fuck (the first shown Chinese character is made up of components meaning “to enter” and “the flesh”; the second is a homophone, with the standard meaning being “to do exercise”)
gàn (幹/干) = to do = to fuck (alternatively 搞 gǎo, to do) or from Hokkien 姦, also means fuck.
rì (入) (lit. “to enter)” = to fuck. The meaning is obvious and in normal contexts 入 is pronounced rù. But when it is used as a coarse expression, the “u” is elided. See 國語辤典, vol. 3, p. 3257. It is also commonly seen on internet websites and forums as rì 日, due to similar pronunciation and ease of input.
chǎofàn (simplified Chinese: 炒饭; traditional Chinese: 炒飯) = to have sex (lit. “stir-fry rice”)
bàojúhuā (爆菊花) = anal sex. (lit. burst the chrysanthemum (anus)), i.e., insert the penis into the anus
dǎpào (打炮) = to ejaculate (lit. to let off fireworks)
gāocháo (高潮) = Sexual orgasm (lit. high tide, also used to described a climax point in other domains)
chā (插)= to have sex (lit. insert)
Insults[edit]As in English, a vulgar word for the sexual act is used in insults and expletives:

cào (肏/操) = fuck (the variant character 肏 was in use as early as the Ming dynasty in the novel Jin Ping Mei). 操 is often used as a substitute for 肏 in print or on the computer, because 肏 was until recently often not available for typesetting or input.
cào nǐ zǔzōng shíbā dài (肏你祖宗十八代) = fuck your ancestors to the eighteenth generation, the cào 肏(fuck) has been substituted for 抄, which meant “confiscate all the property of someone and of his entire extended family.” In China, ancestor worship is an important aspect of society, as a result of Confucianism, where filial piety and respect for one’s ancestors is considered crucial; insulting one’s ancestors is a sensitive issue and is generally confronting.
Insulting someone’s mother is also common:

tā māde (simplified Chinese: 他妈的; traditional Chinese: 他媽的, IM: TMD) = [fuck] his mother’s, or frequently used as “Shit!” (lit. “his mother’s”; in the 1920s the famous writer Lu Xun joked that this should be China’s national curse word)
tā mā bāzi (simplified Chinese: 他妈巴子; traditional Chinese: 他媽巴子 his mother’s clitoris. Lu Xun differentiates this expression from the previous one. This one can be said in admiration, whereas “tā māde” is just abusive. See his essay, “On ‘His mother’s'” (論他媽的).
tā māde niǎo (simplified Chinese: 他妈的鸟; traditional Chinese: 他媽的鳥) = goddamn it (lit. “his mother’s dick”; 鸟/鳥 literally is “bird”, but used here as a euphemism for diǎo; 屌; “penis”)
qù nǐ nǎinaide (Chinese: 去你奶奶的) = your mom (lit. “go to your grandma”)
qù nǐ māde (simplified Chinese: 去你妈的; traditional Chinese: 去你媽的) = your mom (lit. “go to your mom”)
qù nǐde (Chinese: 去你的) = fuck off/shut the fuck up (milder)
nǐ māde bī (simplified Chinese: 你妈的屄; traditional Chinese: 你媽的屄) = your mother’s cunt
cào nǐ mā (simplified Chinese: 肏你妈; traditional Chinese: 肏你媽) / cào nǐ niáng (肏你娘) = fuck your mom
cào nǐ māde bī (simplified Chinese: 肏你妈的屄; traditional Chinese: 肏你媽的屄) = fuck your mother’s cunt
gàn nǐ mā (simplified Chinese: 干你妈; traditional Chinese: 幹你媽) / gàn nǐ lǎo mǔ (simplified Chinese: 干你老母; traditional Chinese: 幹你老母) = fuck your mom (gàn is similar to the English euphemism do)
gàn nǐ niáng (simplified Chinese: 干你娘; traditional Chinese: 幹你娘) = fuck your mother (Taiwanese Mandarin influenced by the regional vernacular Taiwanese Minnan 姦汝娘 (kàn-lín-niâ); also “幹您娘”)
Other relatives[edit]nǐ èr dàyé de (Chinese: 你二大爷的) = damn on your second uncle. This is a part of local Beijing slang.
lǎolao (Chinese: 姥姥) = grandmother-from-mother-side. In Beijing dialect, this word is used for “Never!”.
ta nai nai de (Chinese: 他奶奶的) = His grandmother!
Turtles and eggs[edit]The 中文大辭典 Zhōng wén dà cí diǎn (Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chinese Language)) (something a little like the OED), discusses 王八 (wáng bā) in vol. 6 p. 281. “Wáng bā” is the term that is usually written casually for the slur that means something like “son of a bitch.”

A “wángbādàn 忘/王八蛋” is the offspring of a woman lacking virtue. Another meaning of 王八 is 鼈 biē, fresh-water turtle.[5] Turtle heads reemerging from hiding in the turtle’s shell look like the glans emerging from the foreskin, and turtles lay eggs. So a “wang ba” is a woman who has lost her virtue, and a “wang ba dan” is the progeny of such a woman, a turtle product, but, figuratively, also a penis product. 龜頭 (guītóu, “turtle head”) can refer to the glans of the penis.

“Wáng bā 王八” originally got switched over from another “忘八 wàng bā” (one that referred to any very unvirtuous individual) because of a nasty piece of work with the family name Wáng 王 who picked up the nickname 賊王八 zéi Wáng bā (“the thieving Wang Eight”) but for being a dastard, not for being a bastard. The dictionary doesn’t say, but he may have been the eighth Wang among his siblings. Anyway, he became “crook Wang eight” and the term stuck and spread just as “Maverick” did in English. There is a pun here because of the earlier expression 忘八 wáng bā used to describe (1) any person who forgets/disregards the eight virtues, (2) an un-virtuous woman, i.e., one who sleeps around. The first meaning applied to the dastardly Wang, but the family name got “stuck” to the second, sexual, term.[citation needed]

Illegitimacy[edit]Many insults imply that the interlocutor’s mother or even grandmother was promiscuous. The turtle is emblematic of the penis and also of promiscuous intercourse, because turtles were once thought to conceive by thought alone, making paternity impossible to prove. Eggs are the progeny of turtles and other lower animals, so the word dàn (蛋) is a metonym for offspring.

wángbā (王八) / wàngbā (忘八) = cuckold; this was an insult as early as the Song Dynasty.
wángbādàn (王八蛋, informal simplified: 王八旦) / wàngbāgāozi (王八羔子) = bastard (lit. “turtle egg” and “turtle kid.”)
guī sūnzi (simplified Chinese: 龟孙子; traditional Chinese: 龜孫子) / guī érzi (simplified Chinese: 龟儿子; traditional Chinese: 龜兒子) = bastard (lit. “turtle grandson” and “turtle son”)
dài lǜmàozi (simplified Chinese: 戴绿帽子; traditional Chinese: 戴綠帽子) = to be a cuckold (lit. “wear a green hat,” supposedly because male brothel workers in the Tang Dynasty had to wear green hats)
zázhǒng (simplified Chinese: 杂种; traditional Chinese: 雜種) = mixed seed, half-caste, half breed, hybrid, illegitimate child. There are proper terms for children of mixed ethnicity, but this is not one of them.
hún dàn (混蛋) = individual who has at least two biological fathers and one biological mother, the idea being that the mother mated with two or more males in quick succession and a mosaic embryo was formed.
hún zhang wángbā dàn (simplified Chinese: 混账王八蛋; traditional Chinese: 混賬王八蛋) = similar to turtle egg, see above.
Stupid[edit]bái mù (Chinese: 白目) stupid. Literally, white-eyed, blind. Here it means not understanding the situation and reacting in a wrong way as a result.
bái chī (Chinese: 白痴) idiot. Someone with mental retardation.
nǎo cán (Chinese: 脑残) ‘Deficient Brain’ – Disabled brain, brain has a problem.
yíwàng de bā (Chinese: 遗忘的八) ‘Forgetter of the Eight’. lit. One who has forgotten Mencius’ Eight Rules of Civilization (slang)
dà nǎo jìn shuǐ (Chinese: 大脑进水) water leaked in the brain.
bèn dàn (Chinese: 笨蛋) stupid egg.
Suck up[edit]chong yang mei wai (Chinese: 崇洋媚外) Chinese who ass kiss foreigners.
fan jian (Chinese: 犯贱) asking to be disrespected.
zhao bian (Chinese: 招贬) asking to be kicked.
di san xia si (Chinese: 低三下四) low.
gou tui zi (Chinese: 狗腿子) someone’s dog.
pāi mǎ pì (Chinese: 拍马屁) to suck up, to be a toady.
Madness[edit]shén jīng bìng (simplified Chinese: 神经病; traditional Chinese: 神經病) Someone who is insane. Literally “disease of the nervous system”, or having problems with one’s nervous system. In China, imbalance of the nervous system is commonly associated with mental illness (for instance, 神经衰弱 Shenjing shuairuo, literally “weakness of the nervous system”, is a more socially accepted medical diagnosis for someone who, in the West, would have normally been diagnosed with schizophrenia, due to the social stigma against mental illness in China). Now the word is used quite generally when insulting someone whose actions seem odd, rude, offensive, or inappropriate.
fa biao (Chinese: 发飙) going crazy.
bian tai (Chinese: 变态) Perverted, deviant, abnormal.[6]
Buttocks[edit]While there are vulgar expressions in English referring to the buttocks or rectum, there are no real equivalents in Mandarin. Pìgu yǎn (屁股眼) or pìyǎnr (屁眼兒/屁眼儿), one expression for anus, is not vulgar, but it occurs in various curses involving an imperforate anus

sǐ pì yǎn (Chinese: 死屁眼) damned asshole.
jiào nǐ shēng háizi méi pìgu yǎn (simplified Chinese: 叫你生孩子没屁股眼; traditional Chinese: 叫你生孩子沒屁股眼) – literally, “May your child be born with an imperforate anus”; sometimes méi pìgu yǎn (simplified Chinese: 没屁股眼; traditional Chinese: 沒屁股眼) is used as an epithet similar to “damned”
jiào nǐ shēng háizi zhǎng zhì chuāng (叫你生孩子长痔疮) – “May your child be born with hemorrhoids”
wǒ kào (我靠 or 我尻) – “Well fuck me!”, “Fuck!”, “Fuckin’ awesome!” or “Holy shit!” (Originally from Taiwan, this expression has spread to the mainland, where it is generally not considered to be vulgar. 尻 originally meant “butt.”)
Age[edit]lǎo bù sǐde 老不死的—death grip on life—is used as an angry comment directed against old people who refuse to die and so clog up the ladder to promotion in some organization. The expression comes from the Analects of Confucius where the Master complains against those who engage in heterodox practices aimed at assuring them extreme longevity. In the original these individuals are described as “lǎo ér bù sǐ” (老而不死), i.e., it is said that they “are old and yet they (will not=) refuse to die.”
lǎo zéi 老賊= lǎo bù sǐde
lǎo tóuzi (simplified Chinese: 老头子; traditional Chinese: 老頭子),literally “old head,” it refers in a somewhat slighting way to old men. Its usage is rather like such expressions as “old gaffer,” “old geezer,” etc. in English.
xiǎo guǐ 小鬼,” little devils,” is used familiarly and (usually) affectionately.
rǔ xiù wèi gān (simplified Chinese: 乳臭未干; traditional Chinese: 乳臭未乾) Literally “(the) smell (of) milk is not dry (=gone) yet,” wet behind the ears.
lao wan gu 老顽固, an old arrogant man.
Promiscuity[edit]As in the West, highly sexual women have been stigmatized. Terms for males who sleep around are rare.

chāng fù (娼妇) = bitch/whore
húli jīng (狐狸精) = bitch (overly seductive woman or a golddigger; lit. “fox spirit”)
sānbā (三八) = airhead, braggart, slut (lit. “three eight”). Used to insult women. One derivation claims that at one point in the Qing Dynasty, foreigners were only permitted to circulate on the eighth, eighteenth, and twenty-eighth of each month, and the Chinese deprecated these aliens by calling them 三八, but others claim 三八 refers to March 8: International Women’s Day.
gōng gòng qì chē (simplified Chinese: 公共汽车; traditional Chinese: 公共汽車) = slut (lit. “public bus”) used for a woman who sleeps around, as in “everyone has had a ride”
biǎozi (婊子) = whore, slut
jiàn nǚ rén (贱女人) = bitch, cheap woman
huā huā gōngzi (花花公子) = playboy, notorious cheater (lit. “Flower-Flower Prince”)
Positive connotations[edit]Occasionally, slang words with a negative connotation are turned around and used positively:

wǒ cào (我肏) = holy fuck (lit. “I fuck”) Alternatively, “我靠” (wǒ kào, “I lean on”. IM:KAO) or “哇靠” (wa kào) is used when the subject intends on being less obscene, such as when speaking in public.
niúbī (牛屄/牛逼) = fucking awesome (literally “cow cunt”; possibly influenced by the expression chuī niú pí; 吹牛皮, which means “to brag”). This phrase also has many alternative forms, including NB, 牛B, 牛比, 牛鼻 (“cow’s nose”), as well as alternative pronunciations such as 牛叉/牛X niúchā. It can also just be shortened to 牛.
diǎo (屌) / niǎo (simplified Chinese: 鸟; traditional Chinese: 鳥) = cock; this was an insult as long ago as the Jin Dynasty. Now it sometimes also means “fucking cool” or “fucking outrageous”, thanks in large part to the pop star Jay Chou. Because of the substitution of “niǎo” which means bird, sometimes English-speaking Chinese in Malaysia sometimes use “birdie” as a euphemism for “penis” for small children. “鸟人” (bird man) sometimes has a derogative meaning as a “wretch”, but also often used between close friends as affectionate appellation like “fellow”.
Mixed-up[edit]Other insults include the word hùn (混), which means “mixed-up”, or hùn (simplified Chinese: 浑; traditional Chinese: 渾), which means “muddy”:

hùnzhàng (simplified Chinese: 混账; traditional Chinese: 混賬) = bullshit
hùndàn (混蛋 / simplified Chinese: 浑蛋; traditional Chinese: 渾蛋) = prick
hūndàn (昏蛋) = prick
hùnqiú (混球) = prick
Eggs[edit]Perhaps due to the influence of wángbādàn (王八蛋), dàn (蛋; “egg”) is used in a number of other insults in addition to hùndàn (混蛋):

bèndàn (笨蛋) = dummy, fool (lit. “dumb egg”)
chǔn dàn(蠢蛋)= dummy, fool
dǎodàn (倒蛋 / simplified Chinese: 捣蛋; traditional Chinese: 搗蛋) = “to cause trouble”
gǔndàn (simplified Chinese: 滚蛋; traditional Chinese: 滾蛋) = get out of sight!
huàidàn (simplified Chinese: 坏蛋; traditional Chinese: 壞蛋) = a wicked person. Literally a bad egg.
hútú dàn (糊涂蛋) = confused/clueless person (a sucker)
qíongguāng dàn (simplified Chinese: 穷光蛋; traditional Chinese: 窮光蛋) = a poor/penniless person
Melons[edit]The word guā (瓜; melon or gourd) is also used in insults:

shǎguā (傻瓜; also shǎzi, 傻子) = dummy, fool (in use as early as the Yuan Dynasty)
dāiguā (呆瓜; also dāizi, 呆子) = dummy, fool
In addition to the senses listed above, the “melon” is a metonym for the womb, and a “broken melon” refers to a female’s lost virginity.

Sticks[edit]The noun 棍 gùn, stick/staff is often used to refer to someone who is morally corrupted.

惡棍 / 恶棍 = bad guy, bully, villain (lit. “evil stick”)
神棍 = fake fortune teller (lit. “god stick”)
賭棍 / 赌棍 = rogue gambler (lit. “gamble stick”)
Ghosts and spirits[edit]The noun for “ghost” 鬼 is often used to mock someone with some bad habit. The mocking tone may not be very serious though.

酒鬼 = drinker
醉鬼 = drunker
小气鬼 = meanie
胆小鬼 = coward
精 “nonhuman spirit in a human’s form” is usually for insulting some cunning people.

狐狸精 “fox spirit” = overly seductive woman
马屁精 “horse-fart spirit” = flatterer
老妖婆 Evil old witch.
Useless[edit]Fèi (Chinese: 废, Chinese: 廢; “to discard as useless”) appears in a number of insults:
wōnang fèi (simplified Chinese: 窝囊废; traditional Chinese: 窩囊廢) = loser
fèi wù (simplified Chinese: 废物; traditional Chinese: 廢物)= good for nothing.
fèirén (simplified Chinese: 废人; traditional Chinese: 廢人) = useless person
fèihuà (simplified Chinese: 废话; traditional Chinese: 廢話) = nonsense
liúmáng (Chinese: 流氓) = scoundrel or pervert (the word originally meant vagrant); often used by women to insult men who make aggressive advances
nāozhǒng (simplified Chinese: 孬种; traditional Chinese: 孬種) = coward, useless, or weak person.
rén zhā (Chinese: 人渣) = Scum. Someone who is useless and unwanted as garbage.
wúyòng (simplified Chinese: 无用; traditional Chinese: 無用) = literarily useless
fàntǒng (simplified Chinese: 饭桶; traditional Chinese: 飯桶) = useless person, literally “rice bucket” as in only useful for storing food.
er bai wu (Chinese: 二百五; ) = haven’t got the full deck.
Boasting[edit]ban ping zi cu (Chinese: 半瓶子醋): literally, a half-empty bottle of vinegar, used to address a person with limited professional expertise.
chui niu bi (Chinese: 吹牛逼) = lit. inflating (blowing air into) a cow’s vagina. Used to address bragging activities.
chi bao le cheng de (Chinese: 吃饱了撑的): lit. eats too much. Used to refer weird, nonsense or illogical deeds.
Cruelty[edit]sha ren bu zha yan (Chinese: 杀人不眨眼) stone cold killer.
xiao ba wang zhou tong (Chinese: 小霸王周通) a wicked man.
huo yan xie shen (Chinese: 火眼邪神) evil spirit.
da mo tou (Chinese: 大魔头) a very wicked and powerful man.
Face[edit]Because shame or “face” is important in Chinese culture, insulting someone as “shameless” is much stronger than in English:

bú yàoliǎn (simplified Chinese: 不要脸; traditional Chinese: 不要臉) = shameless, lit. “doesn’t want face,” i.e., “discards his face, does not seek to maintain a good status in society”.
Girlish[edit]niángniangqiāng (Chinese: 娘娘腔) is a pejorative used to describe Chinese males who are extremely effeminate in their speaking style. It is related to the term sājiào (撒娇, to whine), but is predominantly said of males who exhibit a rather “girlish” air of indecisiveness and immaturity. Adherents of both tend to lengthen sentence-final particles while maintaining a higher-pitched intonation all throughout. The usage of the tilde as an Internet meme reflects the popularization of this style of speaking, which is often perceived by Westerners as being cute or seductive.
niángpào (娘炮) = same as 娘娘腔 (above)
tàijiàn (太监) or gōnggong (公公) – Eunuch. From the stereotypes of Imperial eunuchs seen in TV shows in China (with a high, feminine voice). Men with higher voices are called eunuchs.
nǚ qì (simplified Chinese: 女气; traditional Chinese: 女氣), female lifebreath. A man having the psychological attributes of a woman is said to exhibit “nǚ qì,” i.e., is said to be effeminate.
pì jīng (Chinese: 屁精) roughly meaning ass fairy
nǎi yóu (Chinese: 奶油) lit. meaning cream or butter
Boyish[edit]nán rén pó (Chinese: 男人婆) a female who behaves like a male. Tomboy
mu ye cha (Chinese: 母夜叉) a female toad, an ugly and rough female.
Inhuman[edit]Other insults accuse people of lacking qualities expected of a human being:

chùsheng (畜生) = animal (these characters are also used for Japanese “chikushō”, which may mean “beast,” but is also used as an expletive, like “damn!”)
nǐ bú shì rén (你不是人) = you’re not human (lit.: “you are not a person”)
nǐ shì shénme dōngxi (simplified Chinese: 你是什么东西; traditional Chinese: 你是什麽東西) = you’re less than human, literally: What kind of object are you? (compares the level of a person to that of an object)
nǐ búshì dōngxi (simplified Chinese: 你不是东西; traditional Chinese: 你不是東西) = you’re less than human (implies less worth than an object)
bùyàoliǎn de dōngxi (simplified Chinese: 不要脸的东西; traditional Chinese: 不要臉的東西) = you’re shameless and less than human (lit.: “you are a thing that has no shame”)
jiànhuò (simplified Chinese: 贱货; traditional Chinese: 賤貨) = lit. “cheap goods” (“[you] despicable creature!”)
sāohuò (simplified Chinese: 骚货; traditional Chinese: 騷貨) = lit. “lewd goods” (“[you] lewd creature!”)
Death[edit]Sǐ (死; “dead”, “cadaverous,” or, less precisely, “damn(ed)”) is used in a number of insults:

sǐ guǐ (死鬼) lit., “dead imp,” “dead demon,”
sǐ sān bā (死三八) / chòu sān bā (臭三八), lit., stinking (derogatory term for woman) bitch
sǐ bù yào liǎn (simplified Chinese: 死不要脸; traditional Chinese: 死不要臉) = shameless (lit.: “[you] shameless corpse”)
qù sǐ (去死) = “Go die!” or “Go to hell!”
sǐ yā tóu 死丫頭, lit., dead serving wench. — This term is no longer in common use. It appears in early novels as a deprecating term for young female bondservants. The “ya” element refers to a hair style appropriate to youths of this sort.
gāi sǐ (simplified Chinese: 该死; traditional Chinese: 該死) damned, damn it! (lit. should die)
zhǎo sǐ (Chinese: 找死): literally ‘looking for death’
qù xià dì yù (去下地狱) – descend into hell
Excrement[edit]The words “屎” (shǐ) (= turd, dung), “粪” (fèn) (= manure, excrement) and “大便 (= stool)” (dà biàn), all meaning feces but vary from blunt four letter to family normal, can all be used in compound words and sentences in a profane manner. Originally the various Mandarin Chinese words for “excrement” were less commonly used as expletives, but that is changing. Perhaps because farting results in something that is useless even for fertilizer: “fàng pì” (放屁; lit. “to fart”) is an expletive in Mandarin. The word “pì” (屁; lit. “fart”) is commonly used as an expletive in Mandarin.

qù chī dà biàn (去吃大便) [Go] Eat shit! (By itself, 大便 is neither an expletive nor does it have the same effect as ‘shit’ in English.)
chī shǐ (吃屎) = Eat shit!
shǐ dàn (屎蛋) Lit., shit egg, a turd.
fàng pì (放屁) = bullshit, nonsense, lie (literally “to fart”; used as an expletive as early as the Yuan dynasty. Taiwanese just simply say “pi” or “ge pi” when referring to “bullshit” (as in lies), as “fang pi” is taken literally “to fart”.)
pìhuà (simplified Chinese: 屁话; traditional Chinese: 屁話) = bullshit, nonsense
nǐ zài jiǎng shén me pì huà (simplified Chinese: 你在讲什么屁话; traditional Chinese: 你在講什麽屁話) = What shit/the fuck are you saying
pì shì (屁事) = a mere nothing; also guānwǒpìshì (关我屁事)=I don’t care a damn!
mǐ tián gòng (米田共) – A play on the writing of “糞” (the traditional form of “粪” (fen), also “kuso” in Japanese), referring to excrement.
qí yán fèn tǔ yě (simplified Chinese: 其言粪土也; traditional Chinese: 其言糞土也) – an expression in Classical Chinese that means, “His words are [nothing but] excrement.” (See Giles, A Chinese-English Dictionary.)
shǐ bǎ ba (屎 or 屎㞎㞎)[7] – Children’s slang term for faeces, similar to English “poo” or “brownie”. A variant of this term is 㞎㞎 (bǎ ba), while 便便 (biàn bian) is also used as a children’s term, albeit less frequently used.
Animals[edit]Dogs[edit]The fact that many insults are prefaced with the Mandarin Chinese word for dog attest to the animal’s low status:

gǒuzǎizi (狗崽子/狗仔子) = son of dog (English equivalent: “son of a bitch”)
gǒu pì (狗屁) = bullshit, nonsense (lit. “dog fart”); in use as early as 1750 in the Qing Dynasty novel Ru Lin Wai Shi (The Scholars)
nǐ ge gǒu pì (simplified Chinese: 你个狗屁; traditional Chinese: 你個狗屁) = what you said is bullshit. also “nǐ ge pì”(simplified Chinese: 你个屁; traditional Chinese: 你個屁)or simply “pì”(Chinese: 屁).
gǒu pì bù tōng (狗屁不通) dog fart + does not (come out at the end of the tube =) communicate= incoherent, nonsensical
fàng nǐ mā de gǒu pì (simplified Chinese: 放你妈的狗屁; traditional Chinese: 放你媽的狗屁) = what you said is fucking bullshit (lit. “release your mother’s dog fart”)
fàng nǐ mā de gǒu chòu pì (simplified Chinese: 放你妈的狗臭屁; traditional Chinese: 放你媽的狗臭屁) = what you said is fucking bullshit (lit. “release your mother’s dog stinky fart”)
gǒu niáng yǎng de (simplified Chinese: 狗娘养的; traditional Chinese: 狗娘養的) = son of a bitch (lit. “raised by a dog mother”)
gǒurìde (狗日的) = son of a bitch (from Liu Heng’s story “Dogshit Food”, lit. “dog fuck” 日 is here written for 入, which when pronounced rì means “fuck”.)
gǒushǐ duī (狗屎堆) = a person who behaves badly (lit. “a pile of dog shit”); gǒushǐ (狗屎), or “dog shit,” was used to describe people of low moral character as early as the Song dynasty. Due to Western influence, as well as the similar sound, this has become a synonym for bullshit in some circles.
gǒuzázhǒng (simplified Chinese: 狗杂种; traditional Chinese: 狗雜種) = literally “mongrel dog,” a variation on zázhǒng (simplified Chinese: 杂种; traditional Chinese: 雜種), above.
zǒugǒu (走狗) = lapdog, often translated into English as “running dog”, it means an unprincipled person who helps or flatters other, more powerful and often evil people; in use in this sense since the Qing Dynasty. Often used in the 20th century by communists to refer to client states of the United States and other capitalist powers.
gǒutuǐzi (狗腿子) / gǒutuǐ (狗腿) = variant of zǒugǒu (走狗)
Rabbits[edit]In at least one case, rabbit is part of an insult:

xiǎotùzǎizi (小兔崽子) = son of a rabbit (quite ironically, this insult is often used by parents to insult their children)
Horse[edit]mǎzi (simplified Chinese: 马子; traditional Chinese: 馬子; literally “horse”) = a derogatory word for girlfriend. (Possibly influenced by U.S. slang, “filly,” used for any girl.)
Bird[edit]The Chinese word for bird “niǎo”(鸟) was pronounced as “diǎo” in ancient times, which rhymes with (屌) meaning penis or sexual organ.[8] It also sounds the same as “penis” in several Chinese dialects. Thus, bird is often associated with ‘fuck’, ‘penis’ or ‘nonsense’:

wǒ niǎo nǐ (simplified Chinese: 我鸟你; traditional Chinese: 我鳥你) = I fuck you (Beijing dialect)
wǒ niǎo tā de (simplified Chinese: 我鸟他的; traditional Chinese: 我鳥他的) = damn fuck; fuck him
niǎo huà (simplified Chinese: 鸟话; traditional Chinese: 鳥話; literally “bird speech”) = bullshit, fucking words ; nǐ zài jiǎng shénme niǎo huà (simplified Chinese: 你在讲说什么鸟话; traditional Chinese: 你在講什麽鳥話) = What fucking words are you talking about?
niǎo rén (simplified Chinese: 鸟人; traditional Chinese: 鳥人; literally “bird person”) = bastard, asshole. This word commonly appears in Water Margin, a Ming dynasty Classical Chinese Novel.
niǎo shì (simplified Chinese: 鸟事; traditional Chinese: 鳥事; literally “bird matters”) = mere nothing; also guān wǒ niǎo shì (simplified Chinese: 关我鸟事; traditional Chinese: 關我鳥事) = I don’t care a damn
Tigress[edit]A tigress or 母老虎 (Mǔ lǎohǔ) refers to a fierce woman, usually someone’s strict wife.

Dinosaur[edit]A dinosaur or 恐龙 (Kǒnglóng) has been used as Internet slang to describe an ugly girl.

Contempt[edit]Certain words are used for expressing contempt or strong disapproval:

wǒpēi (我呸) = I boo in disapproval. Pēi 呸 is a spoken onomatopoeia that represents the action of spitting.
Divinity[edit]One of the few insults connected to the supernatural is not used to damn but to compare the insulted person to a disliked god:

wēnshén (瘟神) = troublemaker (literally “plague god”)
Miscellaneous[edit]Some expressions are harder to explain:

èrbǎiwǔ (二百五) = stupid person/idiot (see 250)
shūdāizi, (simplified Chinese: 书呆子; traditional Chinese: 書呆子) roughly equivalent to “bookworm” or, possibly, “nerd”. It is used to portray a studious person as lacking hands-on experience or social skills. Unlike “nerd”, shūdāizi is rarely used in the context of hobbies.
bì zuǐ, (闭嘴) = Shut up! [9]
Action Specific[edit]Some expressions represent offensive insults involving some kind of actions:

gǔnkāi (simplified Chinese: 滚开; traditional Chinese: 滾開) = go to hell! (lit. roll or roll over)
nǐgěiwǒgǔn (simplified Chinese: 你给我滚; traditional Chinese: 你給我滾) = get out of my sight!
gǔndàn (滚蛋) = scram, get out!
Region specific[edit]Many locations within China have their own local slang, which is scarcely used elsewhere.

gàn nǐ xiǎo BK de (干你小BK的) – Local slang from Tianjin, meaning “go fuck your ‘thing'”, where “BK” refers to male genitalia. However, when insulting females, “马B” is used instead.
xiǎo yàng le ba (小样了吧) – Originating from Southern China. Said upon someone’s misfortunes, similar to “haha” or “suck that”.
shén me niǎo (simplified Chinese: 什么鸟; traditional Chinese: 什麼鳥) – From the northeastern Heilongjiang, although also used in the South. Used similar to “what the fuck?”
fage (发格) – Used in Shanghai, direct transliteration from English “fuck”.
èrbǎdāo (二把刀) – Beijing slang for a good-for-nothing; klutz. Literally “double-ended sword”, considered a concept which is useless.
xiǎomì (小蜜) – Beijing slang for a special female friend, often used with negative connotations.
cènà (册那) – Shanghainese for “fuck”, similar in usage to 肏 cào albeit less strong.[10]
Racism[edit]Chinese has specific terms and racial slurs for different ethnicities, governments and backgrounds.

Against Westerners[edit]yáng guǐzi (Chinese: 洋鬼子) — “Foreign devil”, a slur for foreigners.
guǐlǎo (Chinese: 鬼佬) — Borrowed from Cantonese “Gweilo”, “ghost” or “ghost guy”, a slur for white people
hóng máo guǐzi (simplified Chinese: 红毛鬼子; traditional Chinese: 紅毛鬼子) — “Red fur devil”, rude slang term for Caucasians, especially Anglos
máo zi (Chinese: 毛子) – Ethnic slur against Russians. (Literally “fur”.) Alternatively 红毛子 (hóng máo zi, red (communist) fur), 俄毛子 (é máo zi, Rus fur). Similar concept to “hóng máo guǐzi” above.
lǎo wài (Chinese: 老外) — “foreigner”, literally “old outsider”, slang term for Caucasians in Mainland China, especially Anglos. Since this term is quite often used colloquially without malicious intent (even directly to foreigners proficient in Mandarin), its meaning is highly context specific. As a rough guide, however, it’s best to avoid using the term outside China.
mán zi (simplified Chinese: 蛮子; traditional Chinese: 蠻子) — foreign barbarians
lǎo mò (老墨) — “Old Mexican”, an ethnic slur used on Mexicans. 墨 should not be confused with “ink”, which bears the same character and pronunciation from “墨” in 墨西哥 (Mexico).

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