Friday, December 01, 2006

climbing the mountain

Learning that the strange and mysterious, potentially mystical, foreign writing on the cover "seal" of Against the Day translates as "Tibetan Government Chamber of Commerce" (as reported on Pynchon-l) reminds me of one of those cartoons where the guy exhausts himself climbing up the mountain to get to the guru who then gives him some useless advice.

I recall the street comedian, used to perform at Venice Beach down south and on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley, called himself the X-Swami X, "the answer to the perennial question, Why Swami why? No, X-Swami X!"

Savage with hecklers, sometimes he'd have a rocking chair and sit with a big handmade book of jokes and read them, sometimes he was buzzing on something, up and moving around, entertaining the students and others sitting on the steps of the Student Union building, , he was also very adept with hecklers, especially one particular blister-faced psycho who used to stand out there where Telegraph meets Bancroft Way and preach the Gospel, X-Swami X could get that guy wound up pretty tight with his rap about wanting to get "eating pussy on skateboards" adopted as an Olympic sport.

He was already up in his 60s then - at least 20 years since I saw him - so perhaps he's knocking them dead in another dimension by now, out there in the multiverse...