Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 5 No. 4 Winter 1983


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Vol. 5, No. 4 Winter 1983 Staff Contents 4 8 12 16 What is Strength in the Nuclear Age? 20 24 34 36 ... 44 Cover Jim Blashfield Tobias Schneebaum Becoming the Wild Man Doniphan Blair................................... The Crux of Our Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez................. Bluesman Issac Scott Roberta Penn .................................. Encroaching on the Cruise Kathleen M. Reyes .......................... Holiday Gifts You Can Make Ken Butler, C.T. Chew, Dana Hoyle, S. Richard J. Barnet Centerfold Jennifer Guske . Moore, Steve Winkenwerder The Grip Barry Johnson................. True Love Carol Orlock...................... Co-Editors David Milholland Jim Blashfield Lenny Dee Peggy Lindquist Design and Production Jim Blashfield Production Assistants David Milholland Sharon Niemcyzk Proofreaders Theresa Marquez Stan Sitnick Betty Smith Camerawork Paul Diener Ad Production Peggy Lindquist Stacey Fletcher Beverly Wong Ad Sales — Portland/Eugene Lenny Dee, Martha Ezell, Laurie McClain, Sandy Wallsmith Ad Sales — Seattle Linda Ballantine, Danny O’Brien, David Clifton, Steven Scher Typesetting Archetype Contributing Artists Ken Butler, C.T. & Z.K. Chew, August Encolada, Jennifer Guske, Dana Hoyle, Stephen Leflar, S. Moore, Tobias Schneebaum, Steve Winkenwerder, Matt Wuerker Contributing Photographers Paul Diener Kathleen M. Reyes Public Relations Cramer/Hulse Development Consultant Michaele Williams Printing Tualatin-Yamhill Press Thanks Anna Barry, Andrew Cox, Eric Edwards, Greg Kroell, Starflower, Charlotte Uris, John Wanberg The Clinton St. Quarterly is published by the Clinton St. Theatre, 2522 SE Clinton, Portland, OR 97202, (503) 222-6039. Unless otherwise noted, all contents copyright © 1983 Clinton St. Quarterly. It’s already 1984 and Big Brother is with us. He tells us he’s working for peace! If we’d only let him build his peacemaker, we’d all have sweet dreams and the Huskies wouldn’t bite. Big Brother is so reassuring that it’s hard to believe there is any other reality. When he speaks, we all get so worked up at those damn Huskies! He tells us we need to head ’em off at the pass. SurEver Vigilant round ’em at the OK Corral. And if that doesn’t work, just follow the advice of T.K. Jones, Undersecretary of Defense for Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces: “Dig a hole, cover it with a couple of doors and then throw three feet of dirt on top. It’s the dirt that does it... if there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it.” Feeling better already. This Big Brother is quite a guy. And what of the loyal opposition? The Democrats too seem to realize it’s 1984, for nary an intelligible whimper can be heard. Imagine a defense budget that is 90% offense. Only 10% of the defense budget is actually earmarked for defense of the 50 states. Some 70% of the Pentagon’s budget is for conventional forces to fight in foreign lands and 20% is targeted to send nukes to the Soviet Union. The $1.6 trillion projection for military arms spending over the next five years comes out to $20,000 per American household. You could put quite a few chickens in the pot with that kind of dough, and it would be a natural to campaign on. But all that we hear is the silence of complicity. If there ever was an issue handed to the Democrats it’s Lebanon, where for over three centuries religious and political factions have been endlessly slugging it out with one another and where there are presently over 47 armed militias and regular armies. It defies logic to give a single sane reason why we should be in this mess. They don’t even have any oil! Hours after our boys were blown to bits, we passed up an Israeli offer to treat injured marines in their advanced medical facilities in Haifa, only 15 minutes from Beirut by helicopter, so we wouldn't appear to the world to be allied with Israel. Did we fool ’em? Once again the Democrats allowed Big Brother to take us into his confidence, to share the pain and shed a tear. Big Brother is an ideologue who believes with his heart and soul in Pax Americana. When it comes right down to the nitty gritty, so does the loyal opposition. Until they can articulate another vision of the world, don’t expect any changes at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Even from a strictly Machiavellian viewpoint, the Democrats’ chances of capturing the White House are somewhere between null and void. They have committed a series of blunders characteristic of rank amateurs or highly placed agents. The coup de grace is the decision to stage the national nominating convention, the one time each party really gets the attention of the populace — with television devoting its attention to nothing else — in downtown San Francisco. This guarantees them the worse possible T.V. coverage at the most critical time. First, by choosing the hometown of every imaginable fringe group, the Demos assured themselves that every wondering eye will link them in the most unflattering way. And by being on the West Coast, with a three hour time lag and their typical tardiness, the chief donkey will get to bray after much of the country has gone to sleep. Perhaps the Democrats’ only chance is to be carried on the back of Jesse Jackson’s registration campaign. If there is a brain functioning at national headquarters, they should make sure he has enough funds to take the ball and run with it. Only by activating the lower class can the Demos hope to win. But what if they did? As we’ve learned from previous administrations, Big Brother is alive and well in both parties, defining the rules of the game being played. It ultimately remains for us to change the agenda and stop heeding his siren call. With 1984 here, it’s clear that acquiesence is suicidal. It’s time we began defining our nation’s priorities based on a hopeful conception of a future. As always, there are no easy answers. Bon voyage. LD Fa La La! Oh, gosh. It’s gift-giving time again, isn't it? That's why we’re showing you thispicture ofjolly ol’Saint Nick. He wants you to spend all your money right this minute! What better gift to give than a subscription or two to the Clinton St. Quarterly, the Northwest's favorite multiple-award-winning journal of fiction, humor, political and cultural writing and wham bam graphics? With each subscription come two free passes to the-Clinton Street Theatre, Portland's premiere movie palace. This is a deal. Don't even consider doubting our word on it. Mr. Nicholas and various deer SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THEM / trustyou and I believe in Santa. Send the following folks a subscription to the CSQ. I have enclosed $5 for four issues. They will receive a card saying I sent it. TO____________________________________________________________________________________________ ADDRESS C I T Y STATE____ ZIP FROM____________________________________________________ :____________________________________ Send the 2 free passes to: them O me O SUBSCRIPTION FOR YOU? Yeah, sure. NAME__________________________________________________________ ,______________________________ A D D R E S S C IT Y STATE____ZIP MAIL TO: 2522 SE Clinton, Portland, OR 97202 Clinton St. Quarterly 3

oniphan Blair, who earlier IS (summer 1982) offered Clinton St. Quarterly readers a remarkable interview with Bruno Loewenberg, artist and Holocaust survivor, recently sent us this conversation with Tobias Schneebaum, author, artist, adventurer and latter-day anthropologist. Though not as specific and compelling as his earlier Keep the River on Your Right, Schneebaum ’s second book, Wild Man, excerpts from which appear here, is an evocative autobiographical account of a lifelong religio-erotic quest which has taken him from a repressed and unhappy childhood to points across the globe. Wild Man links up in a meaningful way his childhood fantasies and melancholy, his prolonged search for sexual fulfillment and, finding that elusive, for truth from the realm of religion and philosophy. Much of his writing describes his emergent homosexuality, both the pleasures and pitfalls along its path. His world wanderings have consistently led him to dwell among the “primitive” peoples of the tropics. Most recently he's been spending extensive periods (since 1973) with the Asmat people of Irian Jaya (New Guinea). Both to legitimatize his presence and because of his deep-seated interest in such cultures, Schneebaum formally studied anthropology at 50 under Douglas Newton of the Museum of Primitive Art and Dr. Rhoda Metraux. Margaret Mead's close friend and associate at the American Museum of Natural History. His work in Asmat is cataloguing a collection of Asmat art assembled by the local Catholic Mission, which is essentially designed to help the local people retain their own culture. He s become quite knowledgeable on the subject, and his work has both allowed and required him to travel extensively among the Asmat to gather information and learn about their way of life. But Schneebaum's greatest interest is in the Asmat's sexual practices, especially as they concern the males of the group. His deep involvement in that element of the culture will pose questions to some about his scientific remove. But suffice it to say that Tobias Schneebaum has finally arrived, both sexually and spiritually with the Asmats, and we are fortunate to have his insights and adventures to help us better understand our own “civilized" world. 4 Clinton St. Quarterly

& BY DONIPHAN BLAIR derstood my thoughts. Woman was the only object co <n .55 t. ® a » K F %'s1?®®' ■ * * V * * a S * ® 4 « • * 4 9 * ® • a « 1MDMING THE WILD MAN ^ A fh e n I was sixteen, I heard a story that inspired and impelled me into one of my most serious adventures. Even the rather V W long name of the protagonist stuck with me through the years — Tobias Schneebaum. Apparently he was a New York artist who had gone down to Peru and moved in with a “primitive” tribe. Not only did he immerse himself in their spontaneous, joyous existence, living naked in the jungle and sharing their homosexual intimacy, but he also witnessed a cannibalistic raid and partook of human flesh. Farfetched perhaps, but a close friend had heard the tale from Tobias’ own lips! So as I wandered the globe, though I hardly came close to such circumstances, I would remind myself in tricky situations that Schneebaum had weathered much weirder. By coincidence, I ended up in Peru not far from where he had explored a quarter of a century earlier. It was there that the thin second-hand description could no longer placate my awesome fantasies of “jungle morality. ” Not until I returned and read Tobias’ beautiful little book, Keep the River on Your Right, were my morbid doubts displaced by realistic descriptions of tribal life and death. Through his amazing adaptability, aided by his proclivity to interact deeply with the men, he has been able to observe and experience various aboriginal societies from the inside. In a tradition originating with Gaugin and Rimbaud, he has delved even further back into the primordial lifestyles of man and returned with equally eloquent observations of perhaps what it was like for all of us before we were kicked out of the "Garden of Eden," cemented together the bicameral mind, became civilized and neurotic. An Excerpt WILD MAN By Tobias Schneebaum ■ have always lusted after the Wild Man of Borneo, and my ■ earliest memories reach back to him. The picture I see now in my mind is of a caged creature in a sideshow, half man, half ape, human or orangutan I don’t remember. I was six or seven at the time. That first sight of him in the cage, his existence there, the context of him, the very presence of him, startled and confused me and filled me with the wildness of his look. He took hold of me, captured me, and turned my insides on end. I was in Coney Island at the time with my two brothers and my mother, she herding us along Surf Avenue into the dark shadows under the boardwalk. I took off my clothes and put on my bathing suit and ran down the beach to the water’s edge. The sun was hot, but I was shivering. He’d stayed with me, that creature, rattling around my heart and brain, and visions of him loaded me down with fear and terror, longing and excitement. I sat in the sand and molded shapes of beings with long hair, gorillas and yaks, men with long nails and bent legs, and unknowingly, I was molding a shape of him inside myself, with my body hurting, my mind unthinking, not sensing in any way that I was accepting into myself the eternal presence of pain and pleasure. On occasion, we went to the beach on dark nights, for my mother had skin cancer and had been advised to bathe naked in the salt water of the sea. The wild man could not be seen then, but his image appeared as soon as we neared the ocean and heard the roar of the surf. It is nowhere known to me that I ever understood who or what the wild man was, what he meant to me, and who I was in his connection; yet something of him insisted on pushing itself into me, moving me on; something was paining me, forcing me into a search, a yearning that had nothing to do with the life I was living then or with the life of later years or with the thought of any future that could come within the range of my imagination. My youthful years were agonizing. I felt a need to hold the wild man, to touch and taste him, but I never unof man’s needs, though I shied away from contact with all but my mother and remained frightened and tormented by my inabilities. I was thin and unattractive; I was silent and suppressed. I knew nothing of sex but the pages of Maggie and Jiggs, of Popeye and Olive Oyl that made the rounds from desk to desk at school. To pass the days and years, I turned the Hebrew alphabet into abstractions, sitting at the kitchen table, teaching myself to draw, learning to hide my fears and depression. I found myself contained in time, a time that enveloped me, enabled me to search out the world and the whole of my interior for the responses that gave me life. Inside there, I could look forward into my future, always the same, for I was always wandering, running, flying through the forest, sparkling, glistening, exuding water from my pores, my skin covered with beads of perspiration, lust welling up, beating its way through my bowels and glowing up my whole interior, lighting up my outer self so that I sometimes lived in marvels of exhilaration. And it was he who was the object of it all, the one that I would love. In a Cessna flying over mountains on my way to the swamps of > Asmat, I had a moment of panic when a vision appeared in front of me, like one I’d had in Borneo, this time of a man, ugly and beautiful, a Papuan with frizzy hair, deeply furrowed brows, his face painted red and black, his nose pierced by the tusks of wild boars, his ears stuffed with bamboo and bones. I could see only his face, wild and aboriginal. He was holding on to me, hugging me, making love to me. It was a terrifying moment, one that I had waited for and cherished, a moment that is still to come. Sometimes, I am the receiver in that relationship, sometimes I am the Papuan, a self of mine that I have reserved, one of the selves that I project, not only in dreams, but also into my living present. It is my future, as if that future existed now and I had only to arrive at the proper time and space to coincide with it; for the future is what I reach for, is what is already gone. The past is also there and I am living it; I am living it through sleights of hand and mind that blend my flesh and blood with his, the wild man’s. I am waiting; I am restless; I am going on; I am still. My eyes water and clear, and I see myself down there, far below the plane, running, running, with the forest around me, my cheeks streaked with tears, the image dissolving as we land in Ewer in a thick field of mud. New Guinea had stood out as my final hiding place. There was nowhere left for me to explore myself, to look for the wild man. I had evaded it with all my senses, not even permitting my eyes to rest on that area of the map north of the Australian continent. It was far too real to me for that. I knew that my time on other continents had been evasive, had been time that was no more than lives along the way, and that it was in New Guinea that I would find my first and final life. It was there that I would lose and fructify myself. The Muruts of Borneo, in spite of the savagery they could muster, had an amiable and ingratiating countenance, and the people of Peru were easily able to charm me. The wild man allowed no frivolities; he was ugly and in my concept of him was biologically, anthropologically, evolutionarily, paleontologically, Primitive Man. His surface was as violent as his interior was gentle, and the very looks of him were fierce. The rough features of the Papuans among whom I would live gave them an aspect that drove them back in time to primeval days when violence, hunger, and sexual urges were expressed without preamble. No timid, lonely creature existed then, and in their midst I would live out a life of heightened sensations, making friends, enemies, lovers, repressing nothing, carrying out my instincts to their natural completion. I could displace everything, rearrange my lives, replace my past with that of the wild man, instill his presence into my void, and stuff his integrity into my despair. I could reach out for him to enter me. ■ A CONVERSATION WITH TODIAS SCHNEEDAUM obias Schneebaum: It’s fascinating the changes that take place as you go upstream and you get closer to the foothills which are the outer limits of Asmat. There the people don’t have the great feasting and carving that they have on the coast. The Icoastal people are into ritual headhunting much more so than the people upstream, although they did have headhunting and do have Clinton St. Quarterly 5

it today. Doniphan Blair: But it is not ritualized? It was not ritualized in the same way. People on the coast needed the heads for their initiation ceremonies. What type ... for the youths? When a boy was anywhere between 9 and 11 he was initiated. To have an initiation you needed a head. A fresh one? A fresh one. Sometimes when there was a whole group of people they used a wooden head or one head for several kids. They don’t talk about it but it had to be. There is no way, over the years, that they could have existed if they kept killing one for one. So many people would have to die. Anyway, the initiation ritual is fascinating in itself. First the head is brought in and treated, burnt, put on the coals of the fire and then the skin stripped off. Then the skull is decorated with feathers, seeds, and painted with red marks on the forehead. The young man sits in the men’s house with the skull at his groin facing his penis. The boy absorbs through his penis the essence of the dead man. So if he goes back to the village where the man was killed he is treated just like the dead man although he may be only 9 or 10 years old. Who does the killing .. . his father? Well, it can be anyone in the immediate family. His father, an elder brother, most often it’s one of his mother’s brothers. That’s the closest — the uncle. The boy sits in the men’s house with the head at his groin for two or three days and he’s not allowed to go out and eat, shit or do anything like that. If he does it he does it right there, spreads the bark on the floor and the shit goes down below. Then, he is taken out into the canoes. All decorated up, with feathers in his hair and paint on his face and body. Asmat men are naked. The women wear a very tiny ‘Cache sex’ made of sago leaves that are twisted into a fiber, but the men have always been naked ... at least we think they have always been naked. He’s taken out by his mother’s brothers into a canoe and as he goes along, in the canoe toward the setting sun, he’s supposed to get older and does get older. This 9- or 10- year-old boy gets so old he can no longer stand up, he can no longer paddle the canoe anymore and he falls down in the canoe. As he gets still older he dies. When he dies, they lift him out of the canoe and dip him into the water, then in a ritual rebirth they bring him out of the water and he lies in the canoe in the fetal position. From the fetal position he begins to move as they travel back to the village. He crawls around the bottom of the canoe, then he stands up and begins to paddle. Then they teach him the names of all the villages around, all the trees, all the rivers, and by the time he gets back to the village he’s a man and able to get married. When would he begin his sexual initiation? There is no sexual initiation in that sense here. There are other groups that do have that kind of thing but not in Asmat. They start having sex from the moment they become aware of their penises and vaginas. The boys play together and the girls do the same. The girls and the boys do it together from, say, 2 yeafs old. It’s common practice for the kids to go into the river together, mixed sexes. What about the sexual practices you described last time we talked? That particular group was described by Gerald Herdt, an anthropologist who was on the other side of the border in Papua New Guinea. It’s a people he calls the “Sambia,” apparently not their real name. That group has ritualized sexuality; they believe the only way for a boy to become a man, the only way to grow into a great warrior, is by absorbing semen. The more semen you swallow, the stronger and braver you will become and the faster you will grow up. The quicker you will become a man, a good headhunter, a good hunter of animals. Now next to the Asmat are the Marind Anim people, who are described in a book called Dema by a man called Van Baal, and they believe in an opposite way. They believe that the only way for a child to become a man is through sodomy. The mother’s brothers and then a whole series of men in the men’s house will sodomize him one after the other. They also believe that the only way to become a man is by absorbing semen. Then he becomes the apprentice of his mother’s brother and not only does he learn how to till the fields, how to hunt, use of the bow and arrow, all the rituals of life ... he’s also his uncle’s sexual partner. Doniphan Blair: Now is this true where you were staying in Asmat? Tobias Schneebaum: Asmat itself varies. No one has yet described any of the sex life of Asmat because no one knows much about it except me ... and I don’t know much but I know some things because of my experiences. I had been told, when I first went there in 1973, that all evidence of sex between men was gone. That if it did exist earlier it was now gone. That the missionaries had come and told them that fornicating with one another was only the work of Satan and they had to stop it. One of the missionaries told me he had lived among the Marind-Anim (the people who believe in sodomy) and he had stamped out every bit of homosexuality, if you call it that, any evidence of sex between men amongst those people. I don’t believe that for a second; it was hidden, I guess, and continues to be hidden. What I did learn immediately was that sex between men exists and is a common practice in Asmat. It varies in intensity or in the number of partners or in the importance it plays in the life of the man as you go from the south to the north of Asmat. I don’t know anything about the sex life between the women. You didn’t see the equivalent of lesbianism? It’s very difficult; you would never see that; a man would never see that. Sex mostly takes place in the jungle; it does not take place in the home. That’s because there are several families living together — the extended family — there might be twenty people living in one house. And the houses are all connected, or they were in the past when I first went there. Since the Indonesian government has been there they burned down all the old-style houses and are forcing the people to live in nuclear families, thinking that’s the way they should live, but that’s no good for them. So they do have their own form of modesty? There are no open societies where you can do anything. Every society has its boundaries that you can’t go beyond whether they be sexual or what they consider moral or whatever. Homosexuality does not exist in all so-called primitive societies, by no means. There are two friends of mine in this building who have worked with the people next to what are called the “Sambia” by Gerald Herdt, where they have this ritualized homosexuality, where their outpouring of sexual energy is limited to the men and they are only permitted to have sexual relations with men before marriage. On the other hand there are the people right next to them, the Gimi, who are being studied by my friends on the ninth floor. They were astounded when they read that book because among their people there is no active sexual relations among men. None, absolutely none. They asked me to read it to see if I thought it was right. How could it be that one group is completely homosexual and the other has none? Can you think of an explanation? There is no explanation except that they are divided from one another by mountains and forests. There's no reason why they should grow up doing exactly the same thing. Now I had expected from what I was told, by the missionaries, because no one else had been there, that there would be no homosexual relations in the north of Asmat. Nevertheless I had no trouble in having brief affairs with men ranging in age from 15 to men in their fifties. The boy obsorbs through his penis the essence of the deed mon. So if he goes bock to the villoge where the mon wos killed he is treated just like the dead man although he may be only nine or ten years old. They also find it necessary to be heterosexual. They must hove children; otherwise the group can't go on. So therefore they hove their pleasures there too. There is something in Asmat that is called Papisj, a bond friendship. It is a relationship that is formed between two children when they are very young, sometimes at birth. The parents obviously form this relationship. The partners say that they form it themselves when they are about 2 but I doubt it. I think it’s still the families who form these relationships to strengthen the clan. The boys who have this relationship (in the south it’s called mbai) are aware of it from about the age of 2. Now these “bond” friends, after they have been married, and after each one has had one child, exchange wives on ritual occasions. Ritual occasions can be anything from a very severe thunderstorm when everyone is terrified, or before a great headhunting raid or anything different, like a white man coming and spending some time in the village. They exchange wives to keep a certain type of balance going. It is only through semen that the forces of life and death can be balanced. The forces that are in what they call heaven and what they call earth. There is no such thing as heaven, obviously, to them, but it is a place for the ancestors. To balance this relationship between the dead and the living, a lot of semen has to flow. The more semen that flows, the quicker the balance. So a lot of sex will go simply to balance that. And one of the ways of doing that is through the Papisj relationship, because at that particular time a man might have sex two or three times a night whereas when he does it with his wife he might do it once a week. If they exchange wives, the women could get pregnant; what happens then? Any children that result from the exchange of wives between mbai belong to the husband of the woman that bore them. Such children are treated exactly like all other children. To get back to the mbai for a moment, I want to make sure it’s understood that the relationship that is formed between the two men last until the death of one of them. So they are highly monogamous? Yes, in that case, much moreso than with the women. If they want to “divorce” their wives, what do they do? There’s no such thing as divorce, in that sense; they just throw them out of the house or they take another wife. One of the things that is always so remarkable to me is when I ask my particular friend, my mbai, if I can call him that because he calls me that openly in front of the women and the other man, I asked him what would happen if you found your wife sleeping with another man and he said, ‘Oh, I would beat her.’ Then I asked him what would happen if you found your mbai with another man and he said ‘I would beat the other man.’ Then I said, ‘Why wouldn’t you beat your friend,’ and he said ‘I wouldn’t do anything like that — he’s my mbai.' In many ways, the women are treated like chattel there. They are paid for with bridleprice and if they want to get rid of them, they get rid of them and if they want a new wife, they take a new wife but once you have a mbai that’s for life. Doniphan Blair: How was your first meeting with your mbai friend? Tobias Schneebaum: My first sight of him was a real turn on. He is wonderfully masculine, muscular without looking like a rquscle man or a bodybuilder. He liked me, too. Obviously because I had tobacco and other good things to offer. Fortunately, his interest turned to me rather then the things in my possession. Whenever I went back to his village, everyone welcomed me with open arms and seemed to truly like me. My mbai friend seemed to love me, if I can use the word. We had a closeness that I doubt has ever existed before, in Asmat, between one of the men and an outsider. He never failed to come to me at night and left his family to fend for itself. Of course, there was never a problem of food since the women did the fishing and there was almost always sago in the house. The ultimate accolade, as far as I am concerned, was the night he invited me back to his house to sleep with his wife. Was that the first woman you had ever slept with? Yes. And how did it go? Well ... I tried, but I couldn't get an erection. Do you think there is a certain biological necessity for “homosexuality” as they practice it? I don’t know what you mean by biological necessity, it’s probably a combination of biology and culture. Or do you think it’s motivated by pleasure .. . simply? They are into pleasure, I can tell you that. One of my great experiences was after I arrived the second time, and a group of people came in looking absolutely wild. They had feathers in their hair and they were all painted up with bones and shells through their noses — looking absolutely fantastic, thrilling to say the least. They told me they came from the village of “Otjenep” and that’s one of the villages I very much wanted to go to because I had heard that they can’t keep a teacher, they can’t keep anybody. I don’t mean necessarily white people, I mean no Asmat or Indonesian teacher or catechist or policeman has ever stayed there for more than a few hours. They Continued on Pg. 38. 6 Clinton St. Quarterly

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/LX Intonio Pigafetta, a Florentine nav- U Lligator who went with Magellan on the first voyage around the world, wrote, upon his passage through our southern lands of America, a strictly accurate account that nonetheless resembles a venture into fantasy. In it he recorded that he had seen hogs with navels on their haunches, clawless birds whose hens laid eggs on the backs of their mates, and others still resembling tongueless pelicans, with beaks like spoons. He wrote of having seen a misbegotten creature with the head and ears of a mule, a camel’s body, the legs of a deer and the whinny of a horse. He described how the first native encountered in Patagonia was confronted with a mirror, whereupon that impassioned giant lost his senses to the terror of his own image. This short and fascinating book, which even then contained the seeds of our present-day novels, is by no means the most staggering account of our reality in that age. The Chroniclers of the Indies left us countless others. El Dorado, our so avidly sought and illusory land, appeared on numerous maps for many a long year, shifting its place and form to suit the fantasy of cartographers. In his search for the fountain of eternal youth, the mythical Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca explored the north of Mexico for eight years, in a deluded expedition whose members devoured each other and only five of whom returned, of the 600 who had undertaken it. One of the many unfathomed mysteries of that age is that of the 11,000 mules, each loaded with 100 pounds of gold, that left Cuzco one day to pay the ransom of Atahualpa and never reached their destination. Subsequently, in colonial times, hens were sold in Cartegena de Indias that had been raised on alluvial = land and whose gizzards contained tiny i lumps of gold. One founder’s lust for gold beset us until recently. As late as the last century, a German mission appointed to study the construction of an inter-oceanic railroad across the Isthmus of Panama concluded that the project was feasible on one condition: that the rails not be made of iron, which was scarce in the region, but of gold. Our independence from Spanish domination did not put us beyond the reach of madness. Gen. Antonio L6pez de Santana, three times dictator of Mexico, held a magnificent funeral for the right leg he had lost in the so-called Pastry War. Gen. GabOUR CRUCIAL PROBLEM HAS BEEN A LACK OF CONVENTIONAL MEANS TO RENDER OUR LIVES BELIEVABLE. THIS, MY FRIENDS, IS TOOOOW OF By Gabriel Garcia Marquez riel Garcia Moreno ruled Ecuador for 16 years as an absolute monarch; at his wake, the corpse was seated on the presidential chair, decked out in full-dress uniform and a protective layer of medals. Gen. Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez, the theosophical despot of El Salvador who had 30,000 peasants slaughtered in a savage massacre, invented a pendulum to detect poison in his food, and had street lamps draped in red paper to defeat an epidemic of scarlet fever. The statue to Gen. Francisco Moraz^n erected in the main square of Tegucigalpa is actually one of Marshal Ney, purchased at a Paris warehouse of second-hand sculptures. Eleven years ago, the Chilean Pablo Neruda, one of the outstanding poets of our time, enlightened this audience with his word. Since then, the Europeans of good will — and sometimes those of bad, as well — have been struck, with ever greater force, by the unearthly tidings of Latin America* that boundless realm of haunted men and historic women, whose unending obstinacy blurs into legend. We have not had a moment’s rest. A promethean president, entrenched in his burning palace, died fighting an entire army, alone; and two suspicious airplane accidents, yet to be explained, cut short the life of another great-hearted president and that of a democratic soldier who had revived the dignity of his people. There have been five wars and 17 military coups; there emerged a diabolic dictator who is carrying out, in God’s name, the first Latin Ameri- can ethnocide of our A t im e - ln ,he meantime, - 3 ■' i? 20 million Latin Amerifi '4 IT" can cd 'ldren died be- I fore the ase of one— more than have been . born in Europe since 1970. Those missing because of repression number nearly 120,000, which is as if no one could account for all the inhabitants of Upsala. Numerous women arrested while pregnant have given birth in Argentine prisons, yet nobody knows the whereabouts and identity of their children, who were furtively adopted or sent to an orphanage by order of the military authorities. Because they tried to change this state of things, nearly 200,000 men and women have died throughout the continent, and over 100,000 have lost their lives in three small and ill-fated countries of Central America: Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. If this had happened in the United States, the corresponding figure would be that of 1,600,000 violent deaths in four years. One million people have fled Chile, a country with a tradition of hospitality — that is, 10 percent of its population. Uruguay, a tiny nation of two and a half million inhabitants, which considered itself the continent’s most civilized country, has lost to exile one out of every five citizens. Since 1979, the civil war in El Salvador has produced almost one refugee every 20 minutes. The country that could be formed of all the exiles and forced emigrants of Latin America would have a population larger than that of Norway. I dare to think that it is this outsized reality, and not just its literary expression, that has deserved the attention of the 8 Clinton St. Quarterly

Swedish Academy of Letters. A reality not of paper, but one that lives within us and determines each instant of our countless daily deaths, and that nourishes a source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune. Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude. And if these difficulties, whose essence we share, hinder us, it is understandable that the rational talents on this side of the world, exalted in the contemplation of their own cultures, should have found themselves without a valid means 5 to interpret us. It is only natural that they insist on measuring us K, with the yardstick that • they use for themselves, forgetting that the ravages of life are not the same for all, and that the quest of our own identity is just as arduous and bloody for us as it was for them. The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own serves only to make us ever more unknown, ever less free, ever more solitary. Venerable Europe would perhaps be more perceptive if it tried to see us in its own past. If only it recalled that London took 300 years to build its first city wall, and 300 years more to acquire a bishop; that Rome labored in a gloom of uncertainty for 20 centuries, until an Etruscan king anchored it in history; and that the peaceful Swiss of today, who feast us with their mild cheeses and apathetic watches, bloodied Europe as soldiers of fortune as late as the 16th century. Even at the height of the Renaissance, 12,000 lansquenets in the pay of the imperial armies sacked and devastated Rome and put 8,000 of its inhabitants to the sword. I do not mean to embody the illusions of Tonio Kroger, whose dreams of uniting a chaste north to a passionate south were exalted here, 53 years ago, by Thomas Mann. But I do believe that those clear-sighted Europeans who struggle, here as well, for a more just and humane homeland, could help us far better if they reconsidered their way of seeing us. Solidarity with our dreams will not make us feel less alone, as long as it is not translated into concrete acts of legitimate support for all the peoples that assume the illusion of having a life of W FW THE ORIGINALITY SO READILY GRANTED US IN LITERATURE SO MISTRUSTFULLY DENIED US IN OUR DIFFERENT ATTEMPTS AT SOCIAL CHANGE? their own in the distribution of the world. Latin America neither wants, nor has any reason, to be a pawn without a will of its own; nor is it merely wishful thinking that its quest for independence and originality should become a Western aspiration. However, the navigational advances that have narrowed such distances between our Americas and Europe seem, conversely, to have accentuated our cultural remoteness. Why is the originality so readily granted us in literature so mistrustfully denied us in our different attempts at social change? Why think that the social justice sought by progressive Europeans for their own countries cannot also be a goal for Latin America, with different methods for dissimilar conditions? No: The immeasurable violence and pain of our history are the result of age-old inequities and untold bitterness, and not a conspiracy plotted 3,000 leagues from our homes. But many European leaders and thinkers have thought so, with the childishness of old-timers who have forgotten the Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, delivered this Nobel lecture in Stockholm. (It was translated from the Spanish by Marina Castaneda.) Stephen Leflar is a Portland artist, sewer guide and closet cellist. Drawings by Stephen Leflar fruitful excesses of their youth as if it were impossible to find another destiny than to live at the mercy of the two great masters of the world. This, my friends, is the very scale of our solitude. In spite of this, to oppression, plundering and abandonment, we respond with life. Neither floods nor plagues, nor famines nor cataclysms, nor even the eternal wars of century upon century have been able to subdue the persistent advantage of life over death. An advantage that grows and quickens: Every year, there are 74 million more births than deaths, a sufficient number of new lives to multiply, each year, the population of New York sevenfold. Most of these births occur in the countries of least resources — including, of course, those of Latin America. Conversely, the most prosperous countries have succeeded in accumulating powers of destruction such as to annihilate, a hundred times over, not only all the human beings that have existed to this day but also the totality of all living beings that have ever drawn breath on this planet of misfortune. On a day like today, my master William Faulkner said, "I decline to accept the end of man.” I would feel unworthy of standing in this place that was his if I were not fully aware that the colossal tragedy he refused to recognize 32 years ago is now, for the first time since the beginning of humanity, nothing more than a simple scientific possibility. Faced with this awesome reality that must have seemed a mere utopia through all of human time, we, the inventors of tales, who will believe anything, feel entitled to believe that it is not yet too late to engage in the creation of the opposite utopia. A new and sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth. ■ Copyright ®1982 The Nobel Foundation (Publication of the full English text in the United States was authorized by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.) Clinton St. Quarterly 9

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Isaac Scott By Roberta Penn would cut through the chatter and clattering like a hot knife through butter. If you were dancing, you knew he was tuned in to your personal rhythm. And there were nights when his voice rang out like There have been nights when Scott was dressed in beautiful, subtle-colored suits especially tailored for his large frame with pastel shirts enhancing his rich color. His piercing guitar sound 7"he words sound like those you might hear on Sunday morning in a country church or at a Wednesday night prayer meeting. But your best chance to hear “Let My Mind Run Back” is in a tavern or club, sung by Northwest bluesman Isaac Scott. I first saw Isaac in 1978 when I had just moved to Seattle. To a Southerner who grew up in a town and a time where the only choices on the radio were blues and country, this black blues performer seemed out of place in the chilly Northwest. Since then, I have been back again and again to see this indisputably talented yet somewhat inconsistent bluesman who plays this area almost every weekend and some weeknights and always draws a crowd. the entire church choir on Easter Sunday morning — the joy after so much suffering. There were also nights, slow ones, when Isaac was in a shiny T-shirt and denim jacket and I felt like I was in a dingy bar on the chitlin’ circuit where most of the bands play too many nights for too little money and eventually give up. I began to understand Isaac Scott and his appeal — he is a mixture. In some ways he is a transplant from another time, another space. Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Scott and his parents moved to Portland in the midfifties when Isaac was 8. His dad went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad earning 62 cents an hour. The family lived in a housing complex supplied rent- free to company employees. Isaac recalls what he refers to as “the good times.” He says, “I had security, a home. I didn’t have to worry about clothes or being on welfare.” He remembers falling 12 Clinton St. Quarterly

asleep on the bus and his dad carrying him home in his arms. And he remembers going fishing “seven days a week in the summertime.” The good times also included a strong religious upbringing. The Scotts were members of a pentacostal sect headquartered in Memphis. Isaac’s dad eventually became a minister of the Portland affiliate. Music plays a major role in the pentacostal church and Isaac’s mother exposed him to the music of such groups as the Five Blind Boys whose original leader, Archie Brownlee, influenced black musicians like Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. His mom had other records too — Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf. Isaac says, “On Saturdays my folks used to go into town. I’d stand and watch the car leave and then I’d run in and sneak and play Lowell Fulsom. I got caught a few times but they never said nothin’, they just smiled. They got the message, ‘Hey, we gotta let whatever is in him come out.’” Even then Isaac knew he had blues music in him. He says he dreamed of having his own band. But the early good times didn’t see Isaac through his youth. His mother fell ill and he had to stay home from school to take care of her. She died when he was just 16 and her passing hit him hard. He and his dad grew apart. What he had left was the religion and the music. He combined them and started his career. Scott’s first professional gig was in the early ’60s when he was just 18. He played guitar behind the Portlandaires, a regional gospel group. By 1965 he had moved on to touring across the West with a minister from Denver, Rev. Charles Johnson. Scott says, “We went from town to town to revival meetings. I was solely dedicated to that kind of life — I was meeting the standard. We went to sanctified meetings and it was just get down, get down." The religious music experience intensified for Isaac when in 1967 he joined his childhood mentors, the Five Blind Boys, as guitarist. His horizons broadened as they traveled across the country and through the South to churches and school auditoriums. He says, “We used to ride down the highway in the middle of the night and one of them would strike up a song. All the rest of them would just fall in with that harmony. You could feel the whole car like it was a pressure cooker. Your hair would actually stand on end. It was quite an experience.” It was the big-time gospel circuit. After the Five Blind Boys, there was his first professional singing, a stint with the Golden Eagles Gospel Singers working out of Portland and then a reunion with Reverend Johnson in Oakland. There in the Bay Area where the blues are plentiful, Isaac took a break from playing gospel and began to listen and practice while he worked odd jobs doing Isaac recalls the good times. He remembers falling asleep on the bus and his dad carrying him home in his arms. And he remembers going fishing “seven days a week in the summertime.” janitorial work. By early 1974, Isaac was ready to perform again — but with a few changes. He was switching gears from gospel to blues and he moved to Seattle where there was a smattering of a scene. In July of 1974, Portland blues guitarist Tom McFarland was playing in a dive on Seattle’s First Avenue strip — the Boulder Cafe, where go-go girls in sleazy costumes did the bump and grind and hustled drinks. Mark Dalton (currently bass player with the Slamhound Hunters and Blues Rockers) recalls one night when Isaac’s uncle was in the club. The uncle called Isaac on the phone, held the receiver up to the band so Isaac could hear them, and said, “come on down.” Scott did and McFarland handed him his guitar. Dalton says that even though Isaac was playing gospel licks, “he was immediately incorporated into the blues scene.” The transition to blues was easy for Isaac partly because he took the gospel music with him. “I ain’t never got rid of it because to me that’s where my music comes from. I’m not up there preaching Jesus and him crucified but it’s just something about that background. I can just reach and grab that certain little bit of extra power.” But the gospel scene had also brought a certain amount of disillusionment. Scott says, “People have taken so many things out of that book and read it the way they want to understand it. And they go and put their sign up. I think you gotta be for real with your own self first and then the rest of it will work.” Being for real for Isaac meant taking his music from the revival tents into the bars. During Scott’s early blues years (’74- ’78), the scene in Seattle was fluid and funky. The clubs were mostly low-rent operations, the drinks were watered down, and money for the players was definitely small potatoes. There were only two working blues bands in town — McFarland’s and harp player Junior Earl’s. But there were twenty or so musicians who were up for gigging with little or no advance notice and always willing to sit in. The audiences consisted of sailors and dock workers who’d spend whole days and nights and all their paychecks in the clubs. There were also a few leftovers from the Seattle beat generation and a small group of hard-core blues fans. It was the right environment for a player to experiment and develop a style. Isaac first played the Place Pigalle — known as Pig Alley to the musicians. It was nationally recognized for its well- stocked jukebox and locally known for its urine smell and bohemian atmosphere. It was a dubious cut above the other clubs because the rich went slumming to Pig Alley. Although the personnel changed a lot, Mark Dalton was often on bass. He recalls that Isaac was working through a lot of material ‘from Freddy Dalton recalls one time when Isaac, “without missing a note, squeezed himself into the old phone booth in the club, closed the door and cranked it out while the audience gathered around dancing and laughing" King to Jimi Hendrix.” One tune would last an entire set and the vocals were short or non-existent as Scott searched for his particular groove. He had a long cord on his guitar and would wander out on the back porch to play. Dalton recalls one time when Isaac, “without missing a note, squeezed himself into the old phone booth in the club, closed the door and cranked jt out while the audience gathered around dancing and laughing.” Even though the scene was funky, some pretty spectacular things happened to Isaac during this period. First and perhaps most important for his career as a guitarist was a series of gigs with Albert Collins, who one musician recently called “God’s gift to guitar players.” Collins is the man who lit an electric blues fire under white blues bands like Canned Heat in the late sixties. From 1975 through 1978, Collins spent a lot of time in Seattle. He was traveling alone and would pick up bands in the town he was playing. In Seattle, Isaac was often the man on accompanying guitar. They played places like Hibble and Hyde’s, where the music started at 10 p.m. and went until 4 a.m. Tapes recorded by Dalton during this period demonstrate the workout Collins would give Scott. When the two get together now to talk about old times, they remember the intensity. As they talked this summer, Scott said to Collins, “Remember when we used to be on stage and we’d look up and tears be running? The white boys didn’t understand it. They’d say, ‘What’s wrong?’ Ain’t nothing wrong, but we can feel things ain’t nobody else feel. That’s how I feel my help coming.” Collins grins and says, “That's true, he’s right.” Scott was beginning to let that spirituality come through some hot guitar licks. The word began to spread. Avery young Seattle drummer, Steve Patterson (now Twist Turner of the Chicago blues scene) who sometimes played with Isaac, traveled to Chicago and played some live club and basement tapes for Peter Shertser, who has his own label, Red Lightnin’. Shertser liked the music and in 1977 put the tapes into an LP, Isaac Scott Blues Band, and it was definitely a low-budget record, but it’s still bringing in a little money for Isaac, particularly from the large European blues audience. Then, through the grapevine, the producer of the San Francisco Blues Festival heard about Scott. In the summer of '78, he made Isaac part of the annual festival and put him on Volume Two of San Francisco Blues Festival with an 81/2-minute rendition of McFarland’s “Goin’ Back to Oakland.” After the festival Isaac moved from pick-up band to pick-up band playing the Northwest, did a stint in the Bay Area as guitarist for blues harpist Charlie Musselwhite, and returned to Seattle in 1979, where there was a band waiting for him. He began what has been four years of steady performing, maintaining his own band even through a number of health problems. Diabetes is always with him, but a year-and-a-half bout with tendonitis in his hands cleared up a year ago, just about the time his latest and best album came out. Big Time Blues Man, though roughly produced and mixed, has garnered three and a half stars from downbeat,. was ranked No. 7 on the blues radio playlist for the first quarter of '83 in Living Blues, and just recently has been targeted for European distribution. In no way does it live up to Scott’s depth and power, but it Clinton St. Quarterly 13