Fifty years ago, when I was a freelance saxophone in New York City, a trumpet player down the hall was a communist — always trying to get me to read Marx, Lenin and Stalin.
Well, I’d read Marx (good) and Lenin (questionable) but never Stalin, so he loaned me a book, and I read it.
Stalin was a moron.
I know: He couldn’t have risen to the top of that sinkhole of millions of corpses his country had suffered, and keep piling on dead men and women like corn after the Nazis did it, if he were absolutely stupid.
But as a writer, Stalin was a moron.
I venture to say that he was a worse writer than he was a human being — and that’s saying something.
My brush with Communism
Fifty years ago, my grandpa in Chicago suffered a stroke that left him hospitalized.
His son, my father, had died when I was in high school.
Opa was paying for my music school in New York. I loved Opa.
Soon as I heard the news, independently, my commie friend gave me a great deal: the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) was holding a shindig in Chicago that weekend, and I could buy a round-trip ticket to Chicago on the Commies’ bus for five dollars — meals included.
So hell, yeah, I took it.
OK, so, cool, on the trip to Chicago, most of us were tryna sleep off New York.
In Chicago, the Commies’ closing, headline act of the two-day shindig was a speech by Bob Avakian — the Fűhrer: excuse me, I mean Czar; I mean Commissar; I mean, Republican Party National Chairman; no, no, I mean — the Founder and Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.
Like Trump, Avakian was criminally indicted. Unlike Trump, so far, Avakian was convicted, and did time in prison in the early 1970s, for desecrating an American flag during a demonstration.
But before I get to his fiery, idiotic speech, let me tell you one moment I remember from that weekend.
I was eavesdropping on a young dude making his pitch to a young lady, both of them ahead of me in the lunchline at the Commie convention.
“See, Beethoven was revolutionary in his time,” the young Communist told the young lady, “but Beethoven was bourgeois, so that’s why we shouldn’t listen to him today.”
The young lady was nodding and eating him up with her eyes.
I couldn’t believe this shit.
Later that day Avakian spoke, rather, shouted, for about 45 minutes, ending with a line about “driving a stake through the capitalists’ heart!” At which the crowd wee-weed in its shorts.
It was just like a Trump speech: the anger, the shouting, the hatred, the statements so unhinged from reality, the eyes in the cheering people.
Two stupid little boys, that’s all they are.
Why people like either of them is beyond me.
Am I missing something? Let me miss it, then.
But as far as I can see, Trump has desecrated the American flag far more harmfully than that creepy Commie did by burning one.
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