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Month: March 2020 (page 1 of 2)

Phil Drucker Rants for 3-31-20: “Did You Know He Bred Deerhounds Too?”

Sydney Thompson Dobell was a poet who in his day was perhaps of some minor notoriety and merit, but not much. Born on April 5, 1824, Syd was the son of a wine merchant on his father’s side and on his mother’s, the daughter of Samuel Thompson, a London political reformer. He grew up as all good products of Victorian Era middle-class England, a “dandy” of sorts but in his case, with a fierce desire to change the world through political reform, and his poetry.

 As a sentient, somewhat worldly Englishman during the last half of the 19th Century, STD was undoubtedly aware of political and/or artistic events and movements as the Crimean War, Franco-Prussian War, Age of Romanticism and the Belle Époque Era (Golden Era) of French and Western history. During this time, the modernization and attendant carnage of war led to the call for a new type of art, of painting, sculpture and writing to address the pain, suffering and horrors of war previously hidden from public view but now exposed via telegraphed reports from the front and wide access to, at least, for the times, modern photography.

 One of the movements produced by the blending of art, intelligence, pathos and political commentary involved a group of poets often called the Spasmodic school. Reportedly dubbed by no less than Lord Byron, the Spasmodic movement created a kind of realistic, worried about our very existence and heavy (probably too much so) on metaphor style and method to describe the state of enlightened 19th Century thought. I guess you could say it was at the time romantic to live one’s life in vain trying to obtain the unobtainable. Existentialism on steroids I tell you.

 Religion at the time was, for the most part, an internal struggle between the individual and the present-life. Little thought was given to the afterlife. As Plato, most likely quoting Socrates at his trial before he was forced to drink hemlock, said many centuries before,

 “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

 These words, meant to show the banality of living one’s life in a routine dictated by the rules of others, without question, became the rallying cry of enlightened thinkers who, in many ways, wanted nothing more than the ability to make decisions for oneself and to let the chips fall as they may, or may not.

 Writing under the nom de plume Sydney Yendes, Dobell began writing and publishing a series of spasmodic minor poems about life, death, more death, tragedy and political reform including his generally acknowledged masterwork, “The Roman”, to be followed shortly thereafter by “Balder” another dramatic poem of mid-level accomplishment and notoriety.

 T. Dobell was an early and outspoken advocate of Women’s rights and openly championed the cause of the oppressed. He died on August 22, 1874.

 So, why am I writing about this guy? It’s because via his unique blend of metaphor, extravagance, drama, politics, spirituality, unrequited life and death and struggle, he furnished one of my all-time favorite quotes.

 “It is a zealot’s faith that blasts the shrines of the false god, but builds no temple to the true.” – Sydney Thompson Dobell

 True then, perhaps even truer today. Reminds me of Bernie, to be honest. Big Business/Banks suck, yeah, yeah, but what is the alternative? The Solution? Ain’t nothing free. And then there’s Trumpus Unelecticus the fattest of the fatted golden shower manna calves hissself. You are remembered, and admired my friend. Yes, you still are.


More Phil:



Instagram: Philip_Drucker







In The Month of Art: Your Introduction

Certainly, it’s no ordinary month – it began on March 28th of this year (2020) and concludes 34 days later on April 30th. Both dates are significant – just days ago, we celebrated his 92nd Birthday with a Virtual (Online) Party, Art was there in spirit, having passed away on the 30th of last April.
The Party was ‘@’ the Beatnik Lounge in Joshua Tree, as it has been for many, many years. This time, tho, it was a Surprise! Party. Not a Surprise! to him, as he surely knew about it – but for all who ‘tuned-in’, each of whom, as always, was a Special Friend.
And their Surprise? FREE Access to this special Series: a unique collection of his own articles, all published in his 1960’s Counter-Culture Icon, the Los Angeles Free Press. Each article is a remark on a remarkable history AS that history is being made – it is truly, and uniquely, ‘of the moment’.
And there is more to this Gift- access not just to his Collection, but to the entire website! So that you can have a 50-year look-back at every year of the LAFreep: The Headlines, the people, the events, the bands…
AND… even more… the Right to Share That – ALL of that – with your OWN Special Friends.
To see the 1st article in ‘The Series of Art Kunkin’, designed especially for ‘The Month of Art’ CLICK HERE.

Phil Drucker Rants for 3-24-20: “Meet Henry Cornelius Burnett”

Born in Virginia but raised from an early age in Kentucky, Henry Cornelius Burnett was a lawyer by profession. Some would say a good start. Some not so much. After a stint in public office as a circuit court clerk, he was elected to and eventually served four terms representing Kentucky in the USA House of Representatives. Later he continued to represent Kentucky but as a member of the CSA[1] House of Representatives.

He was your typical mid-nineteenth century knuckle dragger. An all-around first-class racist slave owner. George D. Prentice, a pro-Unionist editor who built the Louisville Journal into a newspaper powerhouse described him as “a big, burly, loud-mouthed fellow who is forever raising points of order and objections, to embarrass the Republicans in the House.”

He was thought of as “passionate” regarding his policies and politics in general by those who, of course, admired the “Southern Cause”. His campaign platform included a promise to arraign Lincoln (and I imagine to “lock him up”) for treason.

Kentucky was officially a neutral state during the war. That didn’t stop Burnett, who represented the pro-secessionist 1st District, from forming a militia unit sympathetic to the Southern cause. Although having no previous military experience, he became a Colonel in the 8th Kentucky Infantry. After the Union occupied the state to prevent further acts of secession, Henry, never one to shy away from violence except when it put him personally at risk (his entire military career consisted of one battle that the Gray Team lost) advocated for actions amounting to what we would call today guerilla warfare against the “Lincoln guns” and their supporters.

In the event Kentucky continued to refuse to secede, he and his fellow rebels began plotting to annex the entire 1st District to and align itself with the runaway state of Tennessee. He was part of a cabal that tried to initiate a Confederate Kentucky government within the already existing Pro-Union Kentucky. Neither of these events ever happened. Eventually, HCB was expelled from Congress for disloyalty to the Union and taking up arms against the United States. As the war dragged on, and the South continued to lose, he became more radical, at one point calling into question Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ loyalty as he was a graduate of the Yankee military academy West Point.

After the war, he asked for clemency from former Vice President, now President and fellow racist Andrew Johnson. Johnson ignored him. Henry was later criminally indicted, but never prosecuted for treason, the reason why unknown. In his remaining years H.C. Burnett, Esq. remained in Kentucky and returned to the practice of law. He died of cholera. He was 40 years old.

HCB, his plain tombstone showing evidence of his Confederate past, did not live to see Kentucky leave the Union. I never thought we would either, but here we are. Too bad Henry didn’t think about asking a Russian oligarch for an investment in an aluminum plant. Seems to have done the trick quite nicely.

Did you get your fill of Phil?

Instagram: Philip_Drucker

[1] Confederate States of America

Phil Drucker Rants for 3-17-20: “Mein Tweet”

Imagine if you will, an old, balding man, sitting in a cell. He’s managed to bribe the guards into what looks akin to a somewhat comfortable life albeit of confinement, more or less. There are rumors about seeing him wearing a red hat on the golf course on some weekends. Nobody seems to know for sure. He’s arranged to have KFC, McDonald’s and, every once and awhile, have a steak flown in from his favorite NY restaurant, the 21 Club.

Nobody knows how he did it. His assets, including Trump Tower NY and Mar-a-Lago were liquidated via federal auction long ago to pay for his too numerous to count civil and criminal cases filed against him.

He has a television so he can still watch what’s left of Fox News. It’s not that he is interested in world politics anymore. He just waits until they on occasion drop a kind word or two about the “good old days” of his administration. He is pleased there are still those who remember, at least somewhat fondly, unless a loved one or someone they knew died of the plague, his years in office.

He has several naked pictures of mostly women pinned to his wall. None of Melania. Several of Stormy. He has no photos of his children in his cell. Nobody knows where they are. Out of fear of being discovered, they have never visited him. Without the need for further pretense, he proudly displays several homemade swastika and SS tattoos.

On his best, partially lucid days he dreams of returning to the limelight. He dreams of the rallies, the sea of red hats all chanting in unison their admiration for he who was “beloved leader.” He who is perfect of mind, body, and spirit. The chosen one. On his “off” days, when he refused or forgot to take his meds, he’s in his own mind (at least what’s left of it) greatly maligned and misunderstood. Clearly, the victim of the deep state along with assorted other wholly imaginary, reeking of self-pity and loathing conspiracy theories.  

He’s gained about 50 pounds. He has exercise privileges but refuses to use them. He prefers to sit in his cell, day after day, reminiscing, ruminating, and mostly, planning his perfect, beautiful revenge.

However, this all pales in comparison to his latest, greatest, biggest, possibly last (he’s not in good health), accomplishment. He has procured a cell phone and secretly arranged through a back-channel (Jared?) to send his tweets, sometimes as many as 300 a day, not to the public in general, but directly to a secret Aryan survivalist society of followers hunkered down in the backwoods of Idaho for praise, cataloging, page numbering and most importantly, safekeeping on a secret server hidden in an abandoned ICBM silo until, soon, when the time is right, he/they will release a collection of his rantings (he rants too!) for all eternity. To stand along-side with the greatest works of similarly misbegotten “patriots” and “geniuses” (madmen and murderers) such as Mao, Lenin, Stalin and yes, his all-time favorite psychopath political martyr, Adolph Hitler.  

It will have a plain red cover, published by MAGA Press with the simple, yet poignant, and elegant title embossed in white lettering, “Mein Tweet.” As a final touch to a life he believes should be the envy of most, it will be a New York Times Bestseller for sure. But with an asterisk, just like his presidency as he’s pre-arranged for the racists to buy it in bulk.


Did you get your fill of Phil?




Instagram: Philip_Drucker

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