4.07.2007

The Great Bayou of Pigs Fiasco


One of the more interesting aspects of my portly Navigator, Doc Farto, is that when he gets boozy and holds a captive audience, he tends to spew forth bizarre paramilitary stories that revolve around failed Caribbean coup d'etats and nearly always have something to do with the sailing life. The following evening's tale, as I recall, was certainly no different…

It was early June a few years back and we were anchored on my Gulfstar Sailmaster not too far off of Ship Island in the Mississippi Sound at dusk. Several of my crew and I were enjoying a typical Gulf Coast summer evening: a light breeze coming in from the west as we sipped cocktails in the cooling air while waiting on Doc to finish cooking his infamous 'dirty' burgers on the stern grill of Cash Bar. Of course as the liquor flowed, we started swapping the unlikely and hilarious stories that inevitably come out between long time crewmembers.

Lawrence started by recounting how he'd been nearly fired from his volunteer radio DJ position at WWOZ, the community radio station in New Orleans, after causing a near panic by announcing on-air that Bob Dylan had died. However, the truth came out shortly as to how he was actually fired and had something to do with an ugly story of getting busted in the DJ booth in a flagrant state of self-eroticism while playing the same Lucinda Williams song over and over again on-air.

"Yeah bra, that's the real story." Lawrence monitored us bemusedly over the Natty Light as he drained the last sip.

Trudy then, not wanting to be outdone, excitedly spilled her mojito everywhere while blurting out the story of how she had bagged an unnamed Vice-Commodore over in the snack bar on the pier outside of Biloxi Yacht Club after GORC.

I then countered with how I won a one-design regatta on a J/30 by laying her down at the line, the top of her mast crossing a half second before my closest competition's bow, "Yeah, we got the bullet."


The half-true and exaggerated bullshit continued to flow for a bit with Doc remaining mostly quiet, other than several incredulous snorts every now and then, until finally he could take it no longer.

Laughing a little too loudly at something stupid Trudy said about beets, Doc suddenly took charge. "That reminds me of back in '82 when I nearly went off on an expedition to overthrow the government of the tiny backwater Caribbean island of Dominica." He paused for effect.

Trudy sneezed into her Mojito. "You almost did what fatty?"

I helped him out, "Doc used to work for the CIA and shit."

"Oh no." Doc corrected me. "This wasn't a CIA Op. This one was privately funded. And Trudy, I'll tell you; I was almost duped into doing this. This was before the internet, before you could, you know, google people… Well, anyway, I have a certain reputation for making things happen. Big things." He paused briefly. " I was contacted by a group that will at this point remain nameless. They were in need of a serious military mind, and as you know, I am a Colonel in the Cuban National Liberation Front. Did you know that some of the greatest military leaders the world has ever known were Colonels?"

Trudy chimed in, "Yeah, Khaddafi?"

Doc frowned at her. "Well… yeah, exactly. You see, this group had this bold plan to strike out from New Orleans on a 54' sailboat named Mañana and sail her to this small island called Dominica in the Caribbean and overthrow their Castro supported dictatorship. There were only going to be nine of us, but heck Dominica only had 90 soldiers at the time, and they were really only a police force. Well, I signed up thinking this would be a great launching pad for bigger things." He winked at me knowing that I understood that he believed if Che and Fidel hadn't come onto the scene, that he would today be in power in Cuba.

'This is such a crock of shit." Trudy stood up and started to make her way down the companionway below to make another Mojito.

I looked over at her nodding. "Actually Trudy. This one's true. I remember reading about it."

"Trudy." Doc continued. "Do you know that more coup d'etats and privately financed regime changes have been planned and conducted out of New Orleans than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere, more than Havana or D.C. Even the big one was hatched down here… Kennedy." He took a slug off his beer.

Trudy snorted out to Doc, "You're a harangutan."

"What the hell is that slut?" Doc replied.

"An annoying baboon - of which you are." Trudy stood still in the companionway gazing out on the old blood red Spanish fort a few hundred yards in the distance.

"Ahh." Doc flipped her burger out into the sound. "That maybe so, but nevertheless I shall continue. It all started back in the late 70's when I was living in Paris. One night I was schmoozing around with this delightful stripper in the Pigalle when I nearly got into fisticuffs with this man who was constantly trying to one up me on tips to… ah, what was her name, oh yes, Dida." Doc stared up at the rising moon for effect.

"Dida was a lovely bird. Hair as crimson as a sunset after thunderstorms on the Isla de la Juventud, eyes of focused quasars in the night sky and long lithe legs as lewd as a reclining Ostrich." He took a long pull of his beverage.

Trudy turned and went below for a drink mumbling to herself, "Grotesque."

"Pass me up a beer." My question followed her down.

"But I digress." Doc focused in on Trudy's rear as she went below.

He continued, "Turns out the man I nearly crushed in Place Pigalle was quite famous in certain circles, though at the time, I had no idea of who he was. Fast forward now to the early 1980's where I was enjoying a fine single malt at the old bar at Brunings' in West End."

"That was a great bar bra!" Lawrence tried to hijack Doc's story, "I once…"

"I," Doc glared at him and went on without missing a beat, "in a very odd coincidence, happened to run into this same man over at Brunings. Remember, this is nearly three years after my run in with him. I had just finished up a seafood platter when he saddled up next to me at the bar. Unbelievably, Dida was on his arm. I would have recognized those legs anywhere. I actually dropped my last hush puppy into my scotch as I was so startled by this pleasant ghost from my sexual past appearing before me."

Trudy called out from below, "Harlen, where's the mint?"

I answered, "Should be on top of the beer. Sorry, go on Doc."

"Thank you Capitan. Well after a few uncomfortable fits of conversation, we eventually put a good drunk on and I invited them down to a friend's boat where I discovered that this man had actually heard of my prowess from Dida and was targeting me for inclusion in this covert operation, titled Operation Red Dog."

Doc belched, then continued, "After this first night, his party and I met several times over at Bart's on the Lake. I was promised great rewards with not the lesser being a launching pad for furthering my hegemony in the Caribbean, and I believed in the veracity of their statements. The head honcho was a man named Don Black. He was rather a tool and over time, I would have easily usurped his power. But one of these so-called freedom fighters, this guy they called T-boy, was always kind of quietly smoldering in the back of the group. I didn't like him right off the bat." Doc crushed his beer and asked me to grab him another. I did and grabbed myself a spare.

Doc was now standing on the lazaret and using it as a stage, beer in one hand and spatchula in the other. "I found myself having to fully re-organize their tactical plans for conquering this banana republic, which ended up seriously aggravating T-boy. And within a week, we used the cover of the Lightship Regatta to secret ourselves out past the mouth of the Mississippi and meet up with some Panamanians who delivered us weapons, ammo and grenades. That went off without a hitch and we were prepared to go through with our undertaking… But you see, old emotions are hard to keep down and I found that Dida, though a tad bit harder from her years as a whore in Paris and then the slums of Bogotá, could still command my coronel pequeño."

A horsefly flew near Doc's head and he haphazardly tried to intercept it with the spatchula.

"Well three days before we were set to sail out of lake Pontchartrain for Dominica, the inevitable happened, Dida and I had some long overdue sex leaning against a dockbox. It was short, but delicious. The moon was clearly rising over Southern Yacht Club and the lights from within of the geriatrics playing bingo were clear as birdshit on a windshield. As I invested myself in her sandy bottom, I knew then that I would never play geriatric bingo at that club - that would never become my fate." Doc was nodding his head and absently scratching at his belly protruding from his pink Hawaiian shirt.

"Besides some old grizzled liveaboard who walked past us, it was unfortunate, but T-boy came upon our little rendezvous. With his loyalties obviously lying with Black, he became infuriated. He screamed racial epithets at me, demanding to know whether or not I was a white man. It was then that the little disconcertments that I had noticed over time roared into focus for me, the Aryan Nation literature, the Nazi flag - it all suddenly made sense. These were not simply anti-communists, they were white supremacists."

Doc, standing on the lazaret, was now becoming fully animated, like Grape Ape, "I nonchalantly zipped up my trousers and coolly explained to him that I am easily mistaken for an individual of any racial heritage, for I am an octaroon. T-boy viciously snarled and quickly whipped out a pistol and aimed it at my head. Having been in these types of situations many times and as such, am always cool under pressure, I grabbed the whore and threw her at him, then dove off the pier, but instead of landing in that warm juicy marina water, I landed in the cockpit of a Cal 22. I woke several hours later tied up in the forward V-birth of Mañana fearing the worst."

"Bra did they torture you? Dude that would've sucked bra." Lawrence was captivated.

"I have no doubt that the torture would have commenced once in international waters. I could hear them discussing my terrible future in the galley, when suddenly there was a slight prying noise coming from the hatch above me. Dida, my lovely old tart had actually been able to come up with enough mental juice to hatch a rescue plan - through the hatch. Now I am obviously not a limber man, as I am healthy and obviously physically prosperous, but she dropped down, untied me and rubbed me down with generous amounts of suntan lotion, and I was then able to shimmy my way through with a little help from Dida below."

"Jeez." Was all I could manage, but Doc was not yet finished with the tale.

"There was to be no easy getaway though. For you see, the copious amounts of Coppertone had made there way to the soles of my feet, and I slipped on deck making a loud booming noise stirring up the wasp nest down below. The White supremacists scrambled out on deck just as Dida and I swam across the channel and were able to hide ourselves amongst the other docked sailboats. We swam for our lives to Southern Yacht Club, and got the attention of the local ROTC kids who escort the members to and from their cars. Together with two attorneys and a local sailmaker we rushed out and commandeered the committee boat, for Black's army now understood that the jib was up, and were rushing to get Mañana out of the marina."

"We tried unsuccessfully to block their passage through the channel, but luckily the bartender was able to raise the local Coast Guard Station. Within a few hours, Don Black's invasion of Dominica would now always have the word 'failed' prefacing it."

The three of us sat quietly in the cockpit of Cash Bar, staring up at Doc, until Trudy finally said, "Horseshit."

Doc ignored her completely and finished, "The Feds claimed then and still do today that they had been aware of the entire plot and through a coordinated effort between the FBI, ATF and the Coast Guard, were able to quash these nefarious plans, but that my friends is a an outright sham. The man who stands before you today, helped to put an end to the potentially tragic future for the people of Dominica. To this day, they celebrate me with a lavish feast every year in June."

"So what happened to Dida?" I asked.

Doc reached over and was handed the bottle of Barbancourt Haitian rum that we were passing around. He toasted the dark waters of Mississippi Sound, took a swig and stated matter of factly, "Well Capitan, you know I always end up with the girl."



__________

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this probably a month ago and I've been diligently coming back here every once and a while to read more goodness but the goodness has not been flowing.

so like. hurry up and do more. this stuff is good.

-Ben N.

4:23 AM  
Blogger HL said...

Thanks for the nice words Ben.

Working on the next story as we speak. Here's a teaser... Involves hunting on Cat Island, a moderately famous country & western star, an infamous leader from Utah and evil koolaid.

Soon, I promise.

HL

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Duke is a malignant narcissist and a Domestic Terrorist.



Dr. Duke invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. Dr. Duke maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and the trappings of power further exacerbate this. Real life authority and David Ernest Duke’s predilection to surround him with obsequious sycophants support David Ernest Duke’s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.

David Ernest Duke's personality is so precariously balanced that Dr. Duke cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference, the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not. Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as "victims of persecution".

Duke fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, and mythology. The leader is this religion's ascetic saint. Dr. Duke monastically denies himself earthly pleasures, or so Dr. Duke claims in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.

Duke is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people - or humanity at large - should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Duke became a distorted version of Nietzsche's "superman". But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.

In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things "natural" - or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to, as "nature" is not natural at all.

Duke invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial - though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols - not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.

In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle, and be subsumed by it, the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.

Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism - and the cult's leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.

Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the "old ways" - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon David Ernest Duke like, and rather psychopathic, toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

Minorities or "others" - often arbitrarily selected - constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is "wrong". They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are "decadent", they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin ... They are different, they are narcissistic, feel and act as morally superior, they are everywhere, they are defenseless, they are credulous, they are adaptable, and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction. They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy by relishing in their aspirations by masking anarchy with a well-developed smokescreen of order.

This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm - together with Stalin - as a malignant narcissist. Dr. Duke was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. Dr. Duke acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. Dr. Duke provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. Dr. Duke was not the devil. Dr. Duke was one of us. Dr. Duke was what Hannah Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. Dr. Duke was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.

Duke prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime - Duke having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. "Earth shattering" and "revolutionary" scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem exposing the voracious jealousy and covert treason.

It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of David Ernest Duke. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform David Ernest Duke like narrative. Thus, David Duke who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first. The pacific mask crumbles when David Ernest Duke has become convinced that the very people Dr. Duke purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, and the prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, David Duke strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. "The people are being duped by, the media, big industry, the military, and the elite,” “they don't really know what they are doing,” “following a rude awakening, they will revert to form,” when these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail, David Duke becomes mortally injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred. This primitive defense mechanism is called "splitting". To David Ernest Duke, things and people are either entirely bad, evil, or entirely good. Dr. Duke projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. Duke is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country.

The "small people", the "rank and file", and the "loyal soldiers" of David Ernest Duke - his flock, his nation, and his employees - they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated - is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of David Ernest Duke. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

3:03 AM  
Blogger HL said...

Hey Anon,

Lot of big words there... you could have just as easily said, "David Duke and his followers are morons" and have made your point.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Glad to see you're back. Looking forward to further adventures here.

8:44 AM  

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