Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stupid Things White People Say

     All through my life, your life, and your Grandparent's lives and their Grandparent's lives, America  has benefitted from the spirit of the descendants of Africa. Those forcibly brought to the shores of this country to live as second class citizens or worse as property.  We have had our hearts and our very souls touched by the beauty, artistry, intellectuality and athleticism of the African American. The spirit that originated in our collective hearts present at the ignition of the spark of life of Africa  where we all came from is there. We have all benefitted from it. We have all been humbled and brought to tears by it.We all feel it and while some may deny it, it is there as part of our core at the center of our being.
        I could mention a list of names so storied and full of legend, so full of talent, touching the full spectrum of our American drama that it truly is something to fill you with awe.  You would, or do swell with pride if you had that occasion to actually have witnessed any one of them, on that long and growing list performing  their craft. That memory is with you now, right now, even though they may be long dead. Even if you do not care about any one of them, I can guarantee that those you may admire and respect, whom are not African American stood in awe of those African Americans, and their hearts swelled with pride because they could tell the tale of seeing them do what they do. And they may have became famous because they imitated or used that influence of the African American to become who they became. Whether it be a song that hits you so deep to your soul that you cannot deny it is something truly magical. Or the crack of a bat onto a ball that flew into space never to be found, or the record breaking speed of human feet, Or an invention you use everyday or a poem or book. You swelled with pride and claimed those Americans, those African Americans and their achievements as your own, as our own our American own.
     You know how the  songs added something you will never be able to describe to your soul, and how it added to your falling in love, or encapsulated your sadness and made you feel not quite so forlorn and alone. Or ripped your heart open with its shear artistic beauty.  I could mention the names,  but you know them you have felt them, or will. But just me in writing that sentence probably a 100 songs and faces and feelings have flashed before you. They made you feel something deeply necessary to your humanity. They were vital to your understanding of the world of heartbreak, of love, of life, and they continue to be so today.
         I ask, I plead with you my fellow caucasian brothers and sisters, to open your ears and hearts as you would to the music, the artistry, the athleticism the poetry the vitality the indomitable beauty.  I know you all have wondered what it would be like to see and feel life through the eyes and body of A black man or woman but I doubt you would want to stay black, when you felt the everyday small or large injustices they must face, simply because of the color of their skin. We cannot pretend though we have any inkling or iota of an idea as to what it is like to be black we just cannot. It is folly to even make an argument to this respect on any level.  We must take the word of our fellow Americans, the African Americans who have forged a huge part of our American culture, I could argue the best part of our American culture, that has come from the African Americans. Or at the very least has enriched our lives more deeply than any of us could imagine. Yet we all know it to be true.  It is furthermore the spirit of our very Democracy that we listen and hear the grievances of all, so we may all benefit from the uplifting unto equality of us all. Isn't this the freedom that we say we all have? If there are so many African Americans whom we admire and trust, and even if you don't there are so many voices they cannot possibly be making all this up. However you have eyes and ears, and I believe all of us know that it happens, that discrimination and racism is here, has always been here to sully our patriot dreams of our America the ugliness is always there. we all know it and see it everyday.

       Fellow white folks our  largest crime in all of this is our complacency. The sad way in which we deal with what we all know is a reality. This is far beyond that silly phrase "obey the law and nothing will happen."  Which works for white folks pretty damn well, when we have a problem with the police warranted or not, We may get a ticket or maybe get a DUI or arrested for whatever infraction we deserve. Sometimes a white mass murderer may even get a police escort to a fast food restaurant before heading to jail. But far more often our interactions with the police do not result in us white folks being dead. No amount of statistics are needed, and certainly we need not regurgitate any of the terrible stereotypes of our uneducated and yes racist brothers and sisters who say it's a Black on Black thing or it's "Their" fault. We need to listen and we need to calm down and start being the human beings we tell our children we are. We need to recognize what we are, and how we view people of color, and realize that the only choice we have, the only one that will make progress happen, the only choice that is correct and virtuous and true,and American is to listen to America's African Americans, whom we respect and even idolize  and realize what we have been as a nation, and to stop being that.       Or  if you need proof that what African Americans say is true ask a black person, ask one of your black friends, but chances are if you have black friends, you already know.  You know what goes on and know they have a legitimate grievance already. We need to listen and understand now, not just keep saying the same stupid things white people have been saying for generations. We need to know that the right to sit during the National Anthem is just as important as the right to stand. 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Elvis Impersonators Are Less Than Human

        Let me explain...often, (even though I shouldn't)  I get into political discussions and they very often lead to somebody insulting me, because of what I do.  I may have insulted a few back I cannot be too sure.   However quite a few times, I have been dismissed by someone with something like..."Oh well you're just an Elvis Impersonator why am I even arguing with you"    Now wait a minute, did you just say that by virtue of what I do to make a living, I am not worthy of arguing with you? Can you imagine saying   "Oh well you're just a teacher...why should I argue with you?"  Or "oh you're just a Mechanic or A Democrat, Or a White Boy or anything else, would that be acceptable?   But man, to be completely negated or rather stripped of my ability to reason because I impersonate Elvis?
Or worse, that what I do makes me some sort of freak, existing outside the norm rendering me unworthy of carrying out rational discourse? In short basically I am like an Ape or lower primate capable of banging two cymbals together for your entertainment but not worthy of discussion on any loftier issues than bananas ?            Yes I am all too aware that there are weird and crazy and terrible Elvis impersonators out there and they give a bad name to all of us. Also there are many weird, crazy, and terrible Elvis fans out there who give the whole business a strange vibe that can be a bit bizarre, and make many of us sort of normal folks afraid to say we are Elvis fans.  So when the arguing gets heated, I think Elvis Impersonators are considered lower that anyone, I mean seldom do you actually see written a complete dismissal of someone just based on their job? do you? Am I a freak because I perform as Elvis? These are things that I grapple with daily.
        Note: I don't write these to hear how great I am, (thank you though and I love you too)  and keep up the good work or whatever...I write because this has bothered me and not just about myself, but at what point does a person become 
Not Worth Arguing with? And is it because of what they do for a living?

Saturday, April 04, 2015

MY first Rock and Roll Hero

You would think that with what I do for a living, my passion really, my hero would be Elvis. This is only partially true. Yes I love Elvis and everything his spirit reverberates, but he was not my first hero.  Certainly my first heroes were very influenced by Elvis though.  As a lad I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, very close yet also very removed from anything remotely “street” or hip. I did have older brothers and sisters though and they introduced me to my first heroes. My heroes were weird, they were dudes who sometimes wore make-up, They wore frilly shirts or ripped up jeans and almost non existant t-shirts. They wore army boots,or chelsea boots witha cuban-heel, they drank, they smoked and basically didnt give a rats buttox what folks thought. They were Rock Stars. They didnt carry guns or have superpowers necessarily, but I loved to look at pictures of them, their weird hair, big boots, and defiant expressions. Although I couldn't put into words what it was that I loved about them, suffice to say it was the “Bad” that felt so damn “Good.” Like listening to them was wrong and I had to do so in secret so my parents didn't know. They did have amazing weapons, they had the power of sound, they had those lightining sticks with metal strings, and a throne surrounded by powerful drums. They could make that feeling happen, that feeling when you hear something and it hits your heart, that first power riff  that you cannot refuse, you cannot help but scrunching up your face and letting it move you.When I first heard Led Zeppelin this feeling is my first memory. Lying on the living room floor. The huge oak Phongraph console thumping "Whole Lotta Love" I was completely taken away, it hit me so hard I did not even understand what it was, but I felt it. And that bridge, it was haunting it was scary, almost made me want to run away, the fuzzed out Theramin the phased guitars and vocals creeped the hell out of me, but I endured it because I knew it would come back to that Holy riff. When that riff kicks back in at John Bonhams signal it is Rock and Roll Heaven is it not? Is this not the greatest feeling you could ever have listening to Rock and Roll?
        My first Rock and Roll hero came when i was just a bit older. The Rocker most influencial to me as a young guy and I think to almost every guy who was a teenager when they were around was Joe Strummer of the Clash. To this day I can sing you any Clash tune from their first album  "The Clash" (which used the same album layout as Elvis first album on Sun. except featured Joe smashing his guitar)  I played that album every day after school. Every day my friends, from 6th grade to 8th grade, did I tell you EVERY DAY  and I acted out the entire album every day before my Mom or my brothers and sistes got home from work, or school.
     Joe wasn't particularly handsome but he did have some rugged good looks. He was definitely not a singer and played a workman-like guitar at best, but man, could he write a song. More than that he could imbue a song with power and feeling and oddly enough Joe taught you about all the bullshit and corruption in the world. He sang about injustice and murder and yes rebellion. And Joe never sold out (well OK the “Cut The Crap” album) but you have to allow a guy one misstep cant ya? Joe (like Elvis) had slicked back greasy hair or a mohawk, army boots ripped jeans t-shirt and he wielded his guitar like a howitzer. He showed me and a million other boys that we even as youngsters could bang on a drum or thump a bass or rip a pick across guitar strings, and you could have your own voice in this world. You didn't have to play very well, you didn't need to look very good, you didn't need to even sound very good, you just had to mean it, you had to have all your young soul behind every off key shout. Suddenly we could all have confidence in a creation that was our own, and it wasnt disco and adults hated it so they ran as far away as they could from it. Really to this day I have had a lot of joys playing music, more than I could ever have imagined I am grateful and very blessed to be able to do it for a living, but there has been no greater joy than playing in the garage 15 years old,  shouting my heart and soul out with my first band ever, so John Clancy, Martin Shalders, Todd Rockefeller (later replaced by Richard Torre) I have and will never forget that summer in 9th grade when we were a Rock and Roll band. and to us the greatest Rock band in the world. Thank you Joe for being the Rock star for the underdog the runner-up the has-been the forgotten those whose voice could not be heard. I will always miss you. The world misses you now more than ever.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Listen to Fake Booby Judy


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Medicinal Healing Laughter

Noted Idiot James Kruk finally achieved his supreme goal and stumbled onto healing laughter and more yes much more, he learned the secret of how to teach it.

After years of study in Poland and other equally absurd countries Kruk found an archaic form of idiocy long forgotten since the comic days of yore when every man woman and child was a first degree buffoon. Stay tuned and tune in to the vibe of humor and the awesome power that laughter can bestow. I know it sounds like a whole bunch of pucky to you but Medicine laughing is no laughing matter, well... it is but you see if you are too serious about laughter it defeats the entire purpose of laughter. Medicinal Laughter cannot be explained and need not be explained as to analyze laughter is a waste of time and its simply in bad humor really.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Kruk, King of Poles?!

Kruk, king of the Poles?
March 11, 2007 08:36 AM
Associated Press

WARSAW – Lawmakers have drawn up a resolution naming an American of Polish descent, James Kruk as the honorary king of Poland, but have failed to win support from the country's powerful Roman Catholic church.
Lawmakers for the ruling Law and Justice party and League of Polish Drunkards as well as the opposition Merry Peasants Party back the resolution, said Szymon Ruman, spokesman for parliamentary speaker Marek Jurek. Who could not be reached as he had eaten bigos the night before.
However, the proposal has the support of only 6 members in the 460-seat parliament, well short of the necessary 231 votes to pass. Ruman said the resolution would likely be voted on sometime after Jan. 1.” But as you see 6 is less than 460” He paused a moment and later added. “a lot less.”
Backing from the church in this strongly Catholic country would be crucial for building support for the proposal, but on Wednesday several bishops and several sheep criticized it, and said parliament should stay out of religious affairs, and the barnyard.
"Let parliament deal with passing better laws that we need not some upstart Kruk I don’t care how much a person looks like Jan Sobieski its no reason to make him king of Poland”, Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski said.
"This kind of action, although it may stem from good will, sounds a bit like bad bigos," said Bishop Tadeusz Pieronk. And besides “Kruk is a jerk.”

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Polska Walczaca

This modest plaque adorns the former Nazi H.Q. building in Katowice to honor those who lost their lives fighting for Poland during W.W. ll . The Polska Walczaca (pronounced Valchohntsa or thereabouts) is the symbol of the Polish Home army or A.K.

Polish Skull

If you look very carefully you can find Pirates everywhere. This is a shot from Wawel cathedral in Krakow.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The name "Kruk"

I am looking out the balcony window a light pelting of ice rain coats the streets and trees below. As a young polish-american lad i I believed the meaning of my simple polish name to be "Crow" I thought it was cool, until much later a friend pointed out to me that my name translated to English was "Jim Crow". Which kind of stinks, even later when i moved to Poland i found out much to my relief that my name did not actually mean crow at all but Raven. "Crow" in polish is Wrona (Vrona) and Raven is "Kruk". This gave me back my former respect for my surname. I have tried tracing the name but only got as far as "One who dwells near or at the sign of the crow" from a geneology website. And from Disneyland I bought my heraldric symbol a crow with a ring in its beak. Somehow I don't believe disneyland to be a reliable bastion of true genealogy study but the t-shirt looked cool. But to make this story even more boring i will continue, I will tell you the real story of Kruk. Here in poland one can witness vast storytellings of ravens forming sometimes, such as before storms, a super unkindness of more than 600 ravens. In the large tree just outside my window I am spying over 30 ravens taking what little refuge they can from the light icing outside. The Polish raven is a regal bird, large and shiny as if someone smothered it with Vitalis (my fathers favorite pomade) they have dark black beaks and tower over their cousins the Crow which are smaller and yellow- beaked. So ancestors of the family Kruk this is the origin of your name the mighty raven which rules the skies of Poland all winter long.

Look at my Videos from Poland

Friday, August 04, 2006

Polish-Soviet War 1919-1920

Mr.Kruk and Dariusz Starvonov cultural attache from the Kingdom of Bohemia and special minister and advisor to Duke Vatislav Podiebrady. Mr. Starvonov was in Krakow looking for the perfect setting for the dukes daughter Jedwiga's wedding reception. We had the opportunity to discuss several uninteresting things like the difference in the shape of buttons on various Polish shirts and trousers. Later in the piwnica at McDonalds on Florianska Mr. Starvonov regailed the tourists with his kingdom's national covorting dance.

The other photos are Polish recruiting posters from the Polish-Soviet war 1919-1920. This war is famous for "The miracle on the Wisla (vistula)" Where Jozef Pilsudski's Polish army trounced the Red army of Lennin and Trotsky. The Russians had to trotsky on out of Poland. Sadly after the Soviets licked their wounds they vowed to get even and we all know what happened later.

Monday, July 17, 2006


This is a picture of the author of this blog, wearing blue Manpri's. Manpri's are a mans' version of the Capri, or Pedal Pusher pant. There are much more elaborate versions some bearing more resemblance to slacks some more on the short side. No, these smart pants aren't clam-diggers either although we understand how one might be fooled by the similarity. Manpri's are Europes' most popular summer pant. They do tend to make a grown man look like a young boy, some even say they may look more than a little fruity, but the European male cares not and saunters to the pub or ice cream shop, emboldened by his calves jutting out from underneath his flood shortened trousers. He feels cooler and looks like a million as his white lower legs now proudly say hello to a world all too often hidden to them by the legs of his "normal" trousers. Can't find Manpri's ? no problem equally as popular is the trend of rolling the pant-leg up to Manpri level approx. 4 to 6 inches or for you euro trash 10 to 15 cm below the knee ang simply carry on as if you truly are wearing manpri's People either will think three things whilst wearing Manpri's One: You are about to wade into some ankle to knee deep water. Two: Your European and don't have the good sense Not to wear Manpri's or Three: well imagine that one yourself.
And actually the Manpri's in the photo are my wifes pajamas. But thats another story.

Lilianna Loves The Mets

Well we can't be truly certain if she actually does love the Mets but we can be sure her father will brainwash her into making the Mets her favorite team. its summer and the weather is incredible. the best time to be in Polska, its too bad its so short. The little girl is ready to walk any day now.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Kruk in Katowice

I must admit being a little under the weather which is silly because the weather here is finally quite splendid. Nevertheless my reader, here i begin.
I was sitting on my balcony listening to the latest rantings of my old crazy lady neighbor. She asks me all sorts of questions not knowing I don't always understand. She has no sense of time as she thinks every time my baby gets bigger that I have just had another one. She shouts (in Polish obviously) "What number is that one? 12 ? where is that small one you had? Soon you will have your own pre-school." She will also see me in the middle of the day smoking on my balcony and yell" you look like an old scarecrow" or "mannequin staring at me" Or my favorite so far, "you are the laziest man in Poland, always smoking on the balcony!" She is never outside to see that I work either very early in the morning or at night.
Living in gray dusty sooty Katowice is like being in some strange novel, or better a low budget arty film with no real point but to show some sort of alienation, or simply how weird things are when they are only a little different. After almost 2 years living here the language isn't quite so daunting, I am not nearly fluent but now I can attempt to pronounce somethings and actually come close enough to convey some actual meaning close to what I wish to say. But a language with at least five ways of saying "you" takes a lot of work to get your tongue around. Not to mention consonant combinations which make your eyes water, and brain actually freeze with indecision. "Prz" and "Scz" to name only two. But more strange is the behavior during football(soccer) matches or rather comming back from matches. The other day I was at the tram stop around 9pm and I heard a chant reverberating from a tram heading towards me but still almost 15 blocks away. Then as the tram pulled in front of me what seemed like hundreds of teenagers streamed out all chanting "G K S Katowice" and clapping in unison. There were several vans of heavily padded Police waiting for trouble. Often the Police will surround the bus station thus "penning in" the fans. This is a scary situation for a non fan who not speaking the language so well will often answere yes to most questions. And a yes answer could get the crap beaten outta you by some fan you just unwittingly insulted, or get you hauled into the station by the cops. As an american strangely to say I will never understand the infantile mentality of fighting because you are from the other town or for the other team. Heckling I understand and believe to be essential to sport, and a fans given right especially a paying fan. But violence and skull-crackery I say Nie that is just plain idiocracy.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Little Lilianna at six and a half months.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

This is a shot of the castle (Zamek) at Ogrodzieniec it was built around the 1300's it was said to have been very opulent. It has a commanding view all around it and is built on solid rock. The Swedish burnt it in the 1500's or so then the Boner family (no joke) had it until hell I don't know.It is truly amazing and not far from Krakow. My wife doesn't kinow exactly what direction east west etc. from Krakow, but its well worth seeing and you can explore the whole thing, and when your done have a beer in the Piwnica! (basement) They even let you chop off someones head if you want.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Lilly standing up, well almost. thats my girl. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 02, 2006

the electrode removed from my brain after being placed there by aliens in 1972. note the metalic stryheedzoid. Posted by Picasa

When your done ogling the black speedo check out the "grill suit" This guy is wearing a propane tank and grilling weiners in 90 degree heat. Posted by Picasa

the eyes say it all Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Kruk In Poland

Poland or Polska as we like to call it over here. I thought I would make a list of things that the average Pole would really love to see introduced to Poland. But then I boiled it all down to one all encompassing factor. They just don't have much fear of attorney here. The laws are prohibative to certain lawsuits that could raise the level of service and efficentcy that we know and love in the U.S. Of A.
President Kaczynski newly elected Napoleanic and at the same time Donald Duckish, is a real right wing nutter who fancies making All abortion illegal. Now if the mother is in danger or the baby or the child was a result of violent assault an abortion can be had legally. But the President wants to stop that so young polsih girls must resort to archaic measures or the black market (still quite strong) for her needs.
What I believe in my infinite wisdom Poland needs or rather the Polish people need is someone to tell them that they need not be treated the way they are accustomed to. Waiting on line for one form, another to buy stamps to pay for services at say the registers office or passport office. a third to get a stamp on a paper. Then back to the first desk where they tell you now you have to pay more and go get more documents. Then wait a month for your answer. And all you wanted was to mail a letter.
Talk about lines too. Jesus Some people here have no qualms about wheedling their way right in front of you. Usually these are ole ladies with mohair beret's stinking of some god awful american perfume by Coty from 1979. Or they keep knocking into your backside with the point of their shopping basket. I have taken to using a cart and placing it as a barrier between the next customer and I. This will drive them mad, mad I say.
But on the whole life here is good in a poor country simple pleasures take on that much more of a meaning. Just visiting with family or bouncing my little 4 month old on my knee as we play her favorite game "hop hop" Or playing with Hot Wheels all day with the 6 year old. Its cold and the Ravens are asleep in the trees and my love just got the coffee ready.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Kruk outside my window

Kruk = Raven in Polish.
I sit here in the Detroit of Poland, Katowice a coal stained city in south-central Poland. Its snowing, it snows everyday. When the wind comes in from Russia its so cold your sinuses freeze inside your head. It was minus 20 celsius but I have no idea how cold that is in farenhight nor how to spell it.
There is a murder of ravens (my polish namesake) outside on the building opposite mine just huddling together. The Kruks are huddling together inside our little home. Babcia made me some Cytronowka for the medicinal use. This is a drink made from Spiritus, lemon, and sugar. Spiritus is pure alcohol.
Katowice was used by the S.S. to oversee the "Camps" in Silesia. There were sporadic battles in Katowice after W.W. 1 between German, Polish , Russian, and even Irish and French troops supplied to secure the area. There is a monument to some Polish boyscouts who defended an area of the city against the Nazi's. Today though there are old ladies with bags full of turnips and potatoes walking gingerly home from the "sklep" shop. My little baby Lilly is in my beautiful polish wife's arms, and I don't have to work today.