MENTAL IMAGE COMICS

(17 BIG PAGES of FULL COLOR ACTION) (enviously  endorsed by the legendary cartoonist _______   ______’s  Childhood Acquaintance )   *******pg 1 NOBLE PROGRESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #1 sez  “Your body your choice …!” NOBLE PROGESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #2 sez  “Except when the Big Bosses say nope!” NOBLE PROGRESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN#1 sez  “That goes without saying!” NOBLE PROGESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #2 sez  (singing a Patti Smith song while NOBLE PROGESSIVE INFALLIBLE CITIZEN #1 lights a candle blessed by Angelina Jolie and/or the Dalai Lama) ******** pg 2 BLIP sez  “Every animal has a survival instinct, but what’s happening, today,  in masses of … Continue reading MENTAL IMAGE COMICS

OEDIPUSES, OPHELIAS and OPPs in the AGE of OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY (notes, shorts, proclamations)

1 Once I was arguing with a crypto-conservative (who thinks of himself as a Radical Commie, despite the fact that most of his old friends and close family are Wealthy) and he riposted a statement of mine with the classic evasion, “It’s more complicated than that.” As I always do, I responded to that with: “I have time. I’m a quick learner. Explain the complexities.” Ah, but he couldn’t. I have dedicated my social life to stamping out that particular rhetorical flourish (by putting a prohibitive price on it). 2 “Commenting, or not commenting, on an injustice or an atrocity, … Continue reading OEDIPUSES, OPHELIAS and OPPs in the AGE of OBJECT ORIENTED ONTOLOGY (notes, shorts, proclamations)

STELLA

About a week after I went blind, my friend Dorman dropped me off on a bench in Funes Park, just exactly as he’d done the day before, so I could sun myself for three hours until the end of his shift. It was Thursday. Dorman said, “Now don’t you go anywhere until I get back, you impetuous kid,” and patted me on the head. He crushed the sharp grass and a beer can with his boots as he climbed the slope to the sidewalk that ringed the park like a crust. “What am I looking at?” I called over my … Continue reading STELLA

THIS IS WHY OUR REVOLUTION CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

So, as some of you know, luminary of the Skeptical Fringe, CJ Hopkins, just came out with a book of essays… and had it blurbed by (among others) the blatant liar/ huckster/ counter-resistance shill Catherine Austin Fitts, who sells the most disturbingly ridiculous nonsense, like balls of fresh catshit in a box of very old Milk Duds. One of her shticks: the US, you see, uses reverse-engineered tech from UFOS and also… uh… the US, okay, the US secretly purchased The Moon from Aliens. Yep. What did the US pay for that purchase with, a Dilithium Crystal credit card? Better … Continue reading THIS IS WHY OUR REVOLUTION CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

A FEW MORE SPURTS of LOGIC’S HOLY WATER (to Exorcise your Social Media)

1ON THE RIM of a BOG-STANDARD GALAXY It has come to my attention that there are people out there who accept (even believe in) the concept of a Bearded, Vaguely-Levantine, Anus-Free Sky Giant… …who sent His only Son (who was simultaneously He, Himself, btw) to be nailed to a cross-beam and torture-murdered in a loincloth as a representative of a negligible Bronze-Age tribe on a tiny speck of a planet in an unremarkable Solar System on the rim of a bog-standard Galaxy… in a deal to “cleanse” the Tribe (and its general Species) of its Design Flaws (called “sins“)… though … Continue reading A FEW MORE SPURTS of LOGIC’S HOLY WATER (to Exorcise your Social Media)

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 8: MR JIMMY

    Aunt G and her husband G ran a prosperous Funeral Home in a section of Philadelphia called Germantown. Aunt G was my great-aunt, my grandmother’s sister. She and G were in their seventies.  I moved in with them, taking the top floor of one of their three three-storey houses. I brought an antique trunk full of books and a duffel bag with clothes in it. From the train station to the Funeral Home was a seven dollar cab ride that Aunt G had paid for in advance. The ground floor of the middle house in the complex housed … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 8: MR JIMMY

SYLVIE

Chapter One: More than Words Sylvie’s father was a writer whose time had come and gone, but he was fine with that. He’d invested the windfall with prescience. He had a house in a decent neighborhood in a city that scored with consistent impressiveness on all the quality-of-life surveys worth checking, along with some property a two hours’ drive up north. The property up north featured a rustic cabin he was going to write his comeback in, a cabin near a well he wasn’t allowed to drink out of, overlooked by the aerie of an endangered species of hawk he … Continue reading SYLVIE

LOVE IN THE EARLY STAGES (a factual short story of dubious shortness)

1THE TONE-DEAF RECORD COLLECTOR The title of this introductory paragraph is less a paradox than a commonplace. I have known tone-deaf, or music-insensitive, record collectors who loved vinyl discs with a great, deeply religious passion and an avarice bordering on murderous jealousy. They rarely, if ever, listened to newly-acquired love-objects: they carefully filed them away. I knew a famous rock critic, now deceased (death by injection). We walked the streets of Berlin together for years and often yakked about music.  Here was a man who was published in the very early iteration of Rolling Stone, of Creem, who’d sat in … Continue reading LOVE IN THE EARLY STAGES (a factual short story of dubious shortness)

COGITO ERGO DICKHEAD

1-the email from karla pepp and how to parse it “The heart of the mechanism of effective writing is the same, in essence, as that of the pithy, lethal, hilariously precise put-down…  as  executed in a heated argument between queens of a ripe old age. There is something “queer” about the intensity of observation required to shape a living description, or craft a lingering metaphor, so vividly apt that it can wound. Experienced Queens “bitch” well because they zero in on the weak spot, which is also where the chink in the armour is, aka Living Flesh exposed aka The … Continue reading COGITO ERGO DICKHEAD

MY DYLAN (WHO ISN’T YOUR DYLAN) WAS NOT A MEDIOCRITARIAN

C. 2015 an English songwriting comrade and I held an informal contest (no prizes involved) re: who could write the best “Dylan” song in a day. I won: comrade’s mistake: he attempted “Desire” era Dylan to pastiche; you need Scarlet Rivera to pull that off. Also, the comrade was a Mediocritarian…  but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. . This story involves Art, not cash. No cash was exchanged across the crux of this story. If cash is what floats your boat, please click the link linking to the podcast in which I describe blowing a whale at Sea Village … Continue reading MY DYLAN (WHO ISN’T YOUR DYLAN) WAS NOT A MEDIOCRITARIAN

VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WRITER EDMOND CALDWELL (NOW A GHOST)

CONVERSATIONS WITH A FELLOW WRITER I ONLY REALIZED WAS IRREPLACABLE AS A FRIEND THE DAY AFTER HE DIED (when my need to joke with him about the situation was extremely frustrated), INCLUDING THOUGHTS ON HIS UNDERGROUND MONUMENT OF A NOVEL [caveat: these exchanges bounced between email, Facebook messenger and the surface level of Facebook: only the Facebook messenger version of these particular exchanges remain] [more conversations with Edmond, and others, from the same era, here] . Edmond sent December 11, 2011 How come FB can’t design a conversation thread in which one can respond to separate comments? 1) Yes, the … Continue reading VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS WITH THE WRITER EDMOND CALDWELL (NOW A GHOST)

3PSTMDRN MURDER MYSTERY NOVELLAS: AN EXCERPT from NOVELLA ONE

(FULL DOWNLOAD HERE) 23. Lola wasn’t the first woman I was ever in love with, of course. She wasn’t even the first German. Sunshine von Schönhauser was my first German and my first and last Hippy, too. A few years back. First trip to Europe. A few weeks before meeting my destiny in London I met Sunshine in Berlin. My God: even the name. Sunshine? But I really liked her. I thought I loved her. I was going through a phase and my first trip to Europe was a conservative gesture toward a journey of self-discovery, the kind of thing … Continue reading 3PSTMDRN MURDER MYSTERY NOVELLAS: AN EXCERPT from NOVELLA ONE

the time he made it just in time but didn’t: a parable

Three or four years ago (when I was still recording in that last recording studio),  he said, I was walking great distances every day to burn off the chocolate sticks I was eating during every session in the studio. The chocolate sticks were the only things I could eat that wouldn’t leave me feeling too bloated to sing (well, I guess fruit would have worked but fruit in a recording studio…?). Anyway, this was on a day between sessions,  a “day off,” during winter… a very, very cold (Thunberg-mockingly so)  winter. Foolishly,  as a fool is liable to do things, … Continue reading the time he made it just in time but didn’t: a parable

MUSIC, LIFE, STUFF, THINGS

Turned 63 this week and I didn’t feel a thing. I’ve been thinking of myself as being “63” since shortly after crossing the midpoint of the gleaming bridge (which arcs so high above the pedestrian traffic of the young) called “62,” so I’m slightly surprised that I’m not “64” already, though I’ll be thinking of myself, in that way, in roughly six months. As ever: no concessions to the legend of the Withering Blue Witch of Old Age… (I mean, a lovely Witch did touch my thingy yesterday but she was youngish, loving, sexy and beautiful and though she turned … Continue reading MUSIC, LIFE, STUFF, THINGS

trivial/ not trivial

1trivial/not-trivial Like most people in this Empire, I had to wait until the next day to discover that a Black celebrity male had raped and beheaded a smaller Black celebrity male, onstage, during The Oscars. The instigating incident was a “joke” the smaller Black celebrity male made about the larger Black celebrity male’s wife’s appearance… specifically,  her hair… despite knowing that Black females are, in general,  particularly vulnerable / self-conscious about that specific aspect of their physical presentation, given the culture’s longstanding Standards of Desirability.  The larger Black celebrity male’s response to the joke was described by many as “riveting” … Continue reading trivial/ not trivial

MACRO/MICRO

1MACRO WHAT DO I SMELL? ANOTHER PIG ON THE SPIT ROAST, RIGHT NEXT TO DADDY BUSH’S  FLAMING CARCASS, IN HADES’  ALL STAR BARBECUE ROOM!  But first, a correction, of sorts. Let’s get this straight. “The Gubmint” does not “hate” The Right. TFIC* don’t “hate” Right Wingers at all, though  TFIC’s Big Media appear to demonize The Right during this tumultuous transitional moment. TFIC don’t “hate” Right Wingers, though, of course, many of their pseudo-Lefty, Useful Idiot minion-administrators do, which lends verisimilitude to The Great Pantomime . This minion layer of Useful Idiots is not in the loop. They really believe … Continue reading MACRO/MICRO

polari

I’m one of those implausible Parlor Trick Prodigy characters so popular in the ’80s and ’90s and early 2000s, a narrative trend driven mainly, I guess, by the vastness of Yuppie Self-Regard, which extended to the delusional misapprehension that the children of the very finest Yuppies stood a very good chance of being geniuses, given the proper (expensive) nudge. You know:  Suzuki violin lessons in kindergarten, preceded by speakers hooked up to CD players playing Mozart blasting the (pre)occupied womb. Does having a Chinese nanny the first four years help? My mother never missed a trick. People like her liked … Continue reading polari

ZARAH FRAYN

If you asked Zarah Frayn about the scariest thing that had ever happened to her she could tell you without thinking but wouldn’t. It had happened the month after marrying Jack. She hadn’t thought of it in all these years. As though the divorce had suddenly opened her to thoughts like that again, or to people who would ask that kind of question. It’s true she wouldn’t have thought of it otherwise. Not now. If it was a flirtation it was a funny way to flirt, she thought. Was he trying to scare her? His English was weakly accented, but … Continue reading ZARAH FRAYN

(J)WOKE  J(W)OKES  and THE BEASTS

The doctor  tells his patient “I have good news and bad news.” The patient says, “Tell me the bad news first, doc.  I can take it.” The doctor says “Well, after an exhaustive battery of expensive tests, I’m forced to conclude that I  no longer have the slightest excuse to charge you massive amounts of money for supposedly treating the terminal disease that  I previously jumped to the conclusion you may conceivably have begun to suffer from.  Without an excuse to treat you,  this also means no juicy kickbacks for needlessly exposing  you to incredibly toxic drugs that would  guarantee … Continue reading (J)WOKE  J(W)OKES  and THE BEASTS

CLASSLESS TALES of CLASS and AGE:  FUGUE & GIGUE

There is a holy stupidity to youth, the necessary lack of wisdom,  which makes copious Experience possible.  I’m grateful for the memories of the things I’ve done and seen,  when young,  which I am now far too experienced to do or see again, precisely because I have done and seen them. The knowledge I derived from these metaphorical pratfalls stayed with me. The first hominid to ever not know that it shouldn’t be able to walk upright was probably a teen. **** “Is that a chick or a dude?” was a popular, mildly satirical,  question in 1969.  In the 2020s … Continue reading CLASSLESS TALES of CLASS and AGE:  FUGUE & GIGUE

tophus

Queer Fat Niggers ™ weren’t fat or Queer or Black, they were a duo of Transgender womyn who hailed from the wealthiest hostels of Long Island. Please touch the blue circle firmly with signing thumb to continue. QFN’s hook was butterscotch-plaid bellbottoms and waist-long,  candy-colored wigs. QFN were blitzed on stage by relentless strobe lights: that was their act. Purportedly, no one over 19 could bear to watch it. QFN are recognized as trailblazers in the exaggerated-breast-size  (EBS) movement of topless trans  liberation. This informational monologue is dedicated to Larry. QFN were known for one very catchy and groundbreaking original … Continue reading tophus

NOBODADDY NOETICS in your NOOSPHERE (plus sundry Blasphememes in a randomized hierarchy of possible offence)

1GLARE The male gaze vs the blue-haired gender-studies graduate’s glare: which can take rightful credit for your Existence on Earth? 2PHOTOSHOP Audio Photoshop is what I am most comfortable calling Modern Pop. Narrative  Photoshop is probably the best term for “the news”. What do you call the Photoshop of your Conscience? 3HOLOSISM HOLOSISM: conceptualizing The Whole as being the Universe from side to side, top to bottom, beginning to end, The Whole can therefore be construed as an omniscient Intelligence that “knows” everything by containing everything: to that extent,  predestination describes the condition and path of every constituent element of … Continue reading NOBODADDY NOETICS in your NOOSPHERE (plus sundry Blasphememes in a randomized hierarchy of possible offence)

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 5: NEVER TRUST A HIPPIE (A VALENTINE’S DAY ALLEGORY)

One day in the year 1969 I heard my Uncle C— say to my mother that “Hippie stands for hypocrite.” This statement made an impression. I was nine or ten when he said it and my understanding at the time was that the Hippies were all about wonderful things like Peace and Love and colorful clothing, so to hear this negative judgement of Hippies from a source as trusted as Uncle C—, who had attended the University of Chicago and was the smartest person I knew: that was intriguing. It opened me at an early age to the notion that … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 5: NEVER TRUST A HIPPIE (A VALENTINE’S DAY ALLEGORY)

STORY WITH CONTEXT

STORY WITH CONTEXT  (written in the Autumn of 2021) 1. No slavery, no rock ‘n roll. How much Good has come from Bad? Lots. 2. HG Wells posited, allegorically, in his novel  The Time Machine, that the future belongs to either Progress or Devolution. Wells did so without realizing (from his naive vantage) that Progress actually becomes Devolution when the technical ability of  Humanity overtakes its Spiritual Evolution. And I don’t mean “spiritual” in terms of any fantastical metaphysical narrative; I mean “spiritual” in the sense of a capacity to love Life/ Earth/ and Humanity itself in an ongoing project … Continue reading STORY WITH CONTEXT

ONE EXHIBITION IN A SIDE-ROOM OF THE GRAND MUSEUM OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT NEVER QUITE HAPPENED

The World is more stuffed with the ghosts of things that could, or should, have happened than it is filled with real objects. That’s an eternal matter: the daydreams are willing but the focus is weak. In the specific case of the subject of this sermon, the Devil, my Nemesis, is Pop. Pop is just another mask for Power, and Power is a seductive trickster. Pop’s prophet on Earth, when I was a young adult, was MTV. It was soon after the debut of that Loki-like manifestation, with its bootlegged Beatleisms,  that great bands became harder and harder to find … Continue reading ONE EXHIBITION IN A SIDE-ROOM OF THE GRAND MUSEUM OF ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT NEVER QUITE HAPPENED

TURDUCKENS ALL THE WAY DOWN

ITEM #1-THE CARBONIST: A SHORT STORY “There is an unfortunate and spreading subliminal misapprehension that the technical conformity,  required in engineering a functional technology,  is a parallel to, and justification of, conformity to the social theories advocated by the groups  the technologies are owned by at a given moment. The inflexible objectivities of science and engineering cannot, should not, be a model for the organization of the subjectivities at the heart of social experience. Technocrats will always make this category error and must always, therefore, be balanced, in power, by Advocates of the exclusively Human. Technology must always be the … Continue reading TURDUCKENS ALL THE WAY DOWN

NIGHTWALKING and the PROUSTIAN NOSE-DIET

It was drizzly and cold last Thursday but not too windy, so I slapped the headphones on and got another brisk walk out of the King Crimson album (Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind) I acquired recently, released in 2016; the version in my possession is two hours and forty minutes of live workouts of some of my favorite King Crimson tracks. The album’s length allows me to shop at a grocery store that’s an hour and ten minutes away, by foot, bypassing all of the stores that are only a few blocks distant and not enough … Continue reading NIGHTWALKING and the PROUSTIAN NOSE-DIET

AUGUSTINE’S VERSION OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE SCREENPLAY

Xmas meant dazzling presents, to me, as a kid, in the 1960s, just as it meant snow and ancient (and not-so ancient) music and pretty lights and the annual return of cartoons I couldn’t otherwise watch. It also meant, for the last couple of weeks of December, movies at the Cinema,  designed to snare the Xmas audience. This screenplay (written in 2002 after I had already sold the option on another script, but right before the funding-system for indie films, in Germany, sort of collapsed in the wake of 9/11) is my idea of the kind of film I think … Continue reading AUGUSTINE’S VERSION OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE SCREENPLAY

NOT EXACTLY JEAN SHEPHERD: AN XMAS REPRINT from 2019

Almost all of the shops in Berlin are closed, today,  because of a Bronze Age Creation Myth, believe it or not, and on most every Sunday of the year, in fact, the majority of the shops are closed owing to the oddly specific strictures of the same myth. Imagine calling your Telecom provider to request they send an associate to take a look at your Optical Termination Outlet (which is emitting sparks) and a robot customer service voice telling you  “Thank you for your call, at present no Service Associates are available until after the Feast of Bacchus…” Which would … Continue reading NOT EXACTLY JEAN SHEPHERD: AN XMAS REPRINT from 2019

ASYMPTOMATICALLY DEAD:  THE YEAR IN ANECDOTAL REVIEW (A GIBBERINGLY FUGUE-ISH MONOLOGUE)

—2021: What a year… … the year I learned my biological  (in contrast to my legal, presumed, American) grandfather was Bengali;  yes, in the summer of this year I learned that my apparently pious and extremely literary grandmother  (who had review copies of Tropic of Cancer and Women in Love strewn about the bookcase when I was a kid)  was a sexy young adulterer for roughly fifteen years, starting in the 1930s with the conception of my mother a year before Sam Cooke’s birth.  The illicit lust without which I would not exist. She had short stories published in the … Continue reading ASYMPTOMATICALLY DEAD:  THE YEAR IN ANECDOTAL REVIEW (A GIBBERINGLY FUGUE-ISH MONOLOGUE)

PORTRAITS OF THE LEFTY-RIGHT and RIGHTY-RIGHT and WHATEVER’S LEFT: A REPRINT

(A reader was looking through this essay, today, and I remembered how much I liked it… so I’ve decided to bring it back) There are actually people out there who think that everything they do or feel is interesting and a little more correct and even, in a way, Saintly. They are convinced of the no-brainerness of their Goodness. They crave attention, they demand validation, they post images of their breakfasts for us to praise. They have unshakable faith in the concept of the given that their Belief Systems/ Political Party/ and Personal Roster of Icons are all tops and … Continue reading PORTRAITS OF THE LEFTY-RIGHT and RIGHTY-RIGHT and WHATEVER’S LEFT: A REPRINT

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 2: IMAGINED

[re-posted every year around this time] 1– I can’t remember if it was Kurt’s idea. Maybe it was mine. Ideas come out of the air at that age. As you grow older they have to be created. Also the idea of driving to New York before Christmas was more of an impulse than an idea. Though, again, at that age, ideas are impulses. They are hormones. Wait… that’s right… …It was Kurt’s idea. He didn’t want to spend Xmas with his mother. He thought that by driving out there a couple of weeks before Xmas day he could avoid the highest … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 2: IMAGINED

THE ZEN of BANDNESS: A TREATISE

PREFACE This treatise is not meant for everyone. It’s not meant for the very young or for the very old music-hobbyist. It’s  definitely not meant for all those Nuclear Physicists and  well-paid Lawyers who play “the blues” in well-equipped Dad Bands in immaculate pubs in Chicago and San Francisco on the weekends. No,  you well-heeled Dadbanders  and your worldview are Fucking Kryptonite to the True Spirit of Bands and contemplating your banal goals and your modest returns is enough to put any Band Dream into a coma, if not directly in The Grave.  I do not encourage Hobbyists to dabble … Continue reading THE ZEN of BANDNESS: A TREATISE

Bojovat za novy zivot

  Romy and I decided on impulse to make the four hour drive to Prague.  The next thing we decided to do was load up on bottled water and chocolate for the trip but we also needed gas. I told Romy there’s an Aral station just up the street from where I’m staying at Kurt’s flat and she said I knew that, I was born here, you’re so funny, we’ll pick up your things at Kurt’s and drive to the Aral and then to Prague. I met Romy through Kurt, who first hated her and then seemed to like her … Continue reading Bojovat za novy zivot

VINTAGE RE-POST FROM MARCH 18, 2020: PLAGUE SPRING JOURNAL PT 2

  1 The thing about a Plague Spring is that Life goes on and problems/ jokes/ boons/ non-sequiturial minutiae and various challenges keep coming that have nothing to do with the so-called Plague. You may stub a toe, find a diamond ring on a finger in the bushes (don’t forget to boil it first, kids!), sight a UFO on a cloudy Sunday night or lick your mate’s armpit and taste licorice, even, and all in defiance of the (supposed) Plague’s efforts to dominate your thoughts and experiences. This Plague Spring Journal is not, therefore,  plague-centric.  For example…  (puffs contemplatively on … Continue reading VINTAGE RE-POST FROM MARCH 18, 2020: PLAGUE SPRING JOURNAL PT 2

SALLY ROONEY’S NORMAL PEOPLE: A TECHNICAL BOOK REVIEW (originally published October 14, 2019)

I’m happy to report that I didn’t pay a cent to read Sally Rooney’s Normal People. A proselytizing musician friend… a violinist, appropriately…  pressed it on me.  She said you have to read this,  it is so good. Okay, I said. I’ll read it and give it right back in a week or so. (I gave it back the next day). Well, it’s my problem. I’m a grownup who becomes, irrevocably, more grownup every second. It’s hard for me to read things for children if I’m not reading to children. It’s also hard to watch other grownups reading things for … Continue reading SALLY ROONEY’S NORMAL PEOPLE: A TECHNICAL BOOK REVIEW (originally published October 14, 2019)

PROFILES IN SHEER NERVE: A Heavily-Bowdlerized Journal Entry regarding the Summer of 2001 and Beyond

Long walk in the bitter cold the other day with longtime acquaintance René, who is roughly my age (younger by two or three years) and grappling with Existential matters he has successfully held at arm’s length for a couple of decades. René was preoccupied with doing his best to “sell out” (his own words) since a year or two before the turn of the century, when he turned 39. I met René in 2001, a few weeks after I’d returned to Berlin to settle permanently; we met on the premises of a so-called filmmaking academy that was actually a front … Continue reading PROFILES IN SHEER NERVE: A Heavily-Bowdlerized Journal Entry regarding the Summer of 2001 and Beyond

INCREDIBLY CAPABLE CRONE: a book review

Lizibeta Snitt’s surprisingly popular  Incredibly Capable Crone  series is a trilogy of graphic novels in free verse. The title character is a woman beyond a certain age, a battle-hardened dissident who cut her street fighting teeth on the front lines of Nixon’s crackdown, against campus protests, in the 1970s. TZ (the Crone, who remains otherwise nameless) wasn’t at Kent State the day the National Guard fired live rounds into crowds of student protesters (killing four), but she could have been, being roughly student age at the time.  Like Batman,  and years before she took on the identity of the Incredibly Capable … Continue reading INCREDIBLY CAPABLE CRONE: a book review

FATHER VONNEGUT

Reprinting here an essay I posted on an early blog of mine; published there, originally,  January 6, 2011… KURT NOTES In November of 2009 I bought a published collection of “unpublished” (surely a misnomer?) short stories by Kurt Vonnegut. I wrote, soon after reading most of it: November 4, 2009 at 3:13 am · Edit There’s a poignantly unsophisticated-yet-very-effective short story, by Kurt Vonnegut, in his latest posthumous collection, called “Ed Luby’s Key Club”… it’s a childish allegory of Fascism, written by a worldly man in all his jarringly optimistic grief. It’s as awkwardly lyric, and moving, as an old … Continue reading FATHER VONNEGUT

OWNING IT: POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS of the JOY

I was watching an old episode of Joe Rogan chatting with Bill Maher*  when the topic of monogamy bobbed up and Maher (who will probably die in a hooker’s disgusted arms) offered the classical anti-monogamy argument that chimps, our nearest primate cousins, don’t do monogamy (Hey, Bill, they don’t play piano, either) and that all that “territorial ownership bullshit” (I’m paraphrasing) is a mess. Which is the familiar line that we of the post-Bebop (Aquarian) Generation, were fed.  The dawn of the so-called Aquarian Age** coincided with the dawn of the Techno-Media Age, luckily, which meant that we late Boomers … Continue reading OWNING IT: POSSESSION IS NINE-TENTHS of the JOY

COLORFUL SCENES ALONG THE DIRTY ROAD TO SOMEWHERE TRUTH-ISH –or—THE SECRETS OF MULATTONATION

A: WHERE THE NAKED BODIES ARE BURIED Coded messages whizz through the aether, over and under and through our heads, and the invisible trajectories of these secret signals form the flexible lattice-work of which Consciousness is merely a corner. Most of these signals are “natural” (ie, from before or beyond the work of humans) but many are (wo)man-made.  The more of these signals you equip yourself to perceive, the richer your experience of Life; the better, in some cases, you will be situated to navigate those aspects of  Life that resemble an Easter Egg hunt, Chess game, Kafkaesque labyrinth or … Continue reading COLORFUL SCENES ALONG THE DIRTY ROAD TO SOMEWHERE TRUTH-ISH –or—THE SECRETS OF MULATTONATION

POEM of the WEAK (a short story)

  The drive up was tense not only because of the tritely appropriate drama of the rain but also because if he got lost on the way there was no one to call to for help. No safety net. He was forbidden from square one to store the information on a device or to print the directions on paper. * The directions appeared one morning in an audio loop that disabled itself after ten or fifteen minutes, a loop accompanied by a black screen, a loop in the form of a sonnet. He’d been chanting it to himself for forty … Continue reading POEM of the WEAK (a short story)

DON’T TELL CHLOE: a short story

Henry was already famous for having used a logical argument to get out of church every Sunday and now look at him,  recumbent in the field beside his grandmother’s house at all hours and on this particular evening so late that most traffic of the day, no longer rattling untouched china nor rushing in either direction on 115th street, was by then elsewhere, at rest, while Henry fretted. Henry with a book in the tall wild grass of the ownerless field with a flashlight. “Our Father,” said the lady, his grandmother, over dinner. Of all the people who once sat … Continue reading DON’T TELL CHLOE: a short story

WE CAN ONLY EMBELLISH: a radio-play script

A: that was good. B: thanks. A: good is such an understatement sometimes. B: thanks. A: good is vicious slander in this case. B: ha. you want some more? A: i’d burst. i’m happy just to savor the aftertaste. and the breeze… B: the breeze is temperate, isn’t it? A: very. B: very. A: picture where it came from and where it’s going to after touching us. B: okay. that’s nice. A: are you awake? B: huh? A: awake? B: yes. A: i thought maybe you dozed off. B: i guess maybe i did. were you watching me sleep? A: … Continue reading WE CAN ONLY EMBELLISH: a radio-play script

LIVES of the POET

1. PREAMBLE A man approaches a microphone mounted on a canting stand in the beam of an unspectacular spotlight (the setting is possibly a high school auditorium or the basement of a well-funded church) and reads into that microphone with the stock cadences of a slam poet, a somewhat nervous slam poet, the sheaf of papers he’s reading from fluttering in his signet-ring-bearing hand… “Damned at birth, by the damnable accident of birth, he was born the stupidest, ugliest, least-civilized and most threatening kind of person there is, a boogieman to out-boogie all previous attempts, with the bushy hair of … Continue reading LIVES of the POET

THE REAL JIMMY DAVIS (a short story)

A Lit trend I’ve noticed, since writing this story in 2009, is that using an unreliable narrator, in a short story, has become as risky as using irony on Facebook. People are so used to identifying with the protag; so used to knowing exactly on “which side” the protag, or even the author, is; so sure, before reading the first complete paragraph of the story, what the “moral” is and even that there is one. I had an angry commenter dip in here a few months ago, brandishing her/his Virtue Signaling water pistol (I hope that was apple juice the … Continue reading THE REAL JIMMY DAVIS (a short story)

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 42:STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

This is an autobiographical narrative about the ecstasies of escape. There are probably very fine filaments, in all of us,  of vestigial hardwires reaching back to the pre-mammalian times during which escape was a life-and-death matter: that may be part of it. Not to mention the slavery in some of my genealogical background. The yearning for, and/or joy in, escape. It’s a thing and it’s separable from the generally pleasant sensation of “freedom”. The moment of escape is an extremely particular and intense sensation. And, sure, any armchair psychoanalyst would say that I deliberately (subconsciously) got myself entangled with difficult … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 42:STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

EXCERPT FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: Chapter 10: THE CHAMPAGNE RABBIT

They can only get away with the total falsification of the present if They can make us reject the past. * The present is the past wearing a latex mask. The structure of the skull determines the mask’s appearance. * The first girl who ever sucked my cock was a white girl.  Jewish. I was eighteen and we were on the sofa in the room outside her parents’ bedroom at about 11pm, watching the Johnny Carson show, my big brown cock stuck in her little white violet-rimmed mouth. I want to say my cock was the size and color of … Continue reading EXCERPT FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: Chapter 10: THE CHAMPAGNE RABBIT

EXCERPT from KOOTCHIE TOWERS (a Novel in Progress)

    In this chapter, from the third section of the book, we see existence through the eyes of Sierra Temple (a classmate of Gloria Steinem’s), a privileged sophomore at Smith college, in ’57     TRACK FOUR / SIDE THREE: QUASAR   All the really grandiose classical music, the stuff for cavernous auditoriums and cathedrals and opera houses, the music performed by and for crowds of roughly the same social class, always sounds like collapsing architecture to me. Magnificent buildings crashing to earth, around your head, your ears,  at a stately and balletic tempo. Every minuscule sliver, chunk, pane, … Continue reading EXCERPT from KOOTCHIE TOWERS (a Novel in Progress)

GRAYSCALE

  This life is inconceivably beautiful. It is a life of the mind. It is always late summer, the blacks are inky-rich, the whites are milky singularities, the grayscale between is perfectly-judged. Satchmo, an immolated saint, has burned clear, finally, of all kitsch and his rehabilitation proves that we are capable of anything. T. and I are standing as far apart as two Bohemians can, while still holding hands, looking at different paintings, grunting or sighing our assessments, our cool contentments or stern critiques, protected by the gallerist’s approving leer. The gallerist is a friend; she lowers the volume of … Continue reading GRAYSCALE

THE GRADUATE (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

Miriam with the curly blonde hair that when you looked closer was full of white and gray. Her point being that everyone knew she had two college-age offspring from a previous marriage. Who would she be fooling with a dye job? Robert didn’t want to seem timid or dull in Miriam Wallace’s eyes. Robert had first met Miriam during the Christmas season after his twenty-second birthday, the Christmas he flew back to Philly from Minneapolis to tell his parents he wouldn’t be going to graduate school. Turbulence on the flight had strengthened his resolve. Turbulence and his rotten stomach. His … Continue reading THE GRADUATE (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

TEH TYME MASHEEN

… first published on January 28th, 2019 1.  “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”—H.G. Wells It isn’t widely known that H. G. Wells, the futurist, in the middle of his years, informally adopted a boy he called Kip, a boy of about 12, who Wells claimed was half-Hindoo, though the friends of Wells who actually met Kip claimed the boy looked more Negroid than anything else. In a letter to Cecil Rhodes, Wells wrote that Kip [was] “an experiment pitting Nature’s dithering melody against Nurture’s persistent drum beat.” Wells kept a fastidious journal of Kip’s daily … Continue reading TEH TYME MASHEEN

THE GENDARMES OF MOROCCO: a Short Story

—– with apologies to Helen DeWitt Local hysterical-realist writer Donald DeLillo’s self-parodying novel, Cosmopolis, begins with an epigraph from a Zbigniew Herbert poem: ―a rat becomes the unit of currency But of course the unit of currency of our particular Dystopia is not the rat but the blowjob. So let’s get that straight. Picture my Eldritch with one eye like a recalcitrant dial with a hand twisting around it;  his big clean beautiful mouth agape;  his gelled hair a graphic representation of its bearer facing a hurricane. But I am not shouting. I am speaking in a reasonable voice. You … Continue reading THE GENDARMES OF MOROCCO: a Short Story

AZURA’S GIFT

Like many young prostitutes in Berlin, Azura had a dayjob. Due to reasons too numerous to go into here (in which time is limited), the fees a prostitute could typically expect in exchange for the usual requests had withered, over the decades, to very stern figures. A young prostitute of some refinement today working in the strongest economy in Europe can expect the kind of money a milk-fed whore from a small country would have been disappointed to earn in the 1970s. Such whores were now limping up and down the Kurfürstenstrasse, the scraped habitat of tattooed white junkies and … Continue reading AZURA’S GIFT

THE MAN FROM ELEPHANT and CASTLE

  … a bedtime story for sophisticated insomniacs,  from the collection  NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS 1. Venal Cunt spread her legs like a vile temptation at the end of the night, face deflected, eyes unplugged. Long and elegant and platinum-haired and bone-white with her sexy puckering lisp. The only color is the childish yellow scrawl of her bush and her pupils like residue in cocktail glasses and the raised red chevrons where she scratches her right wrist incessantly like a fox in a fur-lined trap. Even her nipples are white. She says what do I need to read for, my … Continue reading THE MAN FROM ELEPHANT and CASTLE

LAKE ZURICH: a short story

  The last photo in the row of photos in cardboard frames on the windowsill was face-down on the sill and he wondered if this meant something or if the wind had done it, despite the fact that the window, for as long as she’d been living here, had never been open. The air was piped-in like music. He checked the seam between the lower half of the window and the track it was in and confirmed his suspicion that it was thickly painted shut, thick as a welding seam, seafoam green like a jail. Through the blinds the janitor, … Continue reading LAKE ZURICH: a short story

THE EXCELLENT TASTE of OUR BENEFACTORS (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

Moody’s path crossed Beverly Lund’s before they formally met. This encounter took place on the first day of summer in that drought year.  In hunger and to escape the heat Moody had gone into pricey Pickerling’s and stalked the refrigerated aisles. He furtively sampled toothpicked lunchmeats and cheeses and cake and ice creams from paper cups at unmanned displays and avoided the manned ones. There were old white men in commodore caps distributed evenly throughout the store. Moody was standing at a sample display festooned with flags when this tall, not-bad-looking woman eased her shopping cart beside Moody. She was … Continue reading THE EXCELLENT TASTE of OUR BENEFACTORS (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

DR. RED: a short story

  I see someone has promptly raised a hand. This is very good. Because I want to ask a question. A kind of a technical question about law. You really are a lawyer, then, right? And so you’ve probably studied some law. Right? People are already laughing. Nice. Nothing easier. What a pleasure. And your easy laughter has nothing to do with the fact that you’re all here on complimentary tickets and the food and drinks are free, too, right? Nothing to do with that. I could be wanking into a blind old beloved school teacher’s half-good eye and you’d … Continue reading DR. RED: a short story

OEDIPUS Rx (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

Goss slithered out of the hotel bed, careful not to wake her. This was not easy because she was the lightest sleeper ever. He hadn’t been able to shift a millimeter without getting an interrogative grunt from her and his escape from the bed had taken what seemed like hours of excruciating control. When he finally slipped into the bathroom he realized it must be suppertime back home. Sat on the toilet, seat down, lights off, with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands but he was smiling. Not quite laughing. Actually maybe he felt slightly … Continue reading OEDIPUS Rx (a short story from NOT REALLY DIFFICULT TEXTS)

ERYN; EDWINA (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

[Among my topics, as a Writer, are subtler manifestations of Racism and Sexism… but I always felt it was more effective to illuminate these matters from the inside out, to which end I sometimes deploy Liberal White Protagonists… ]   ERYN; EDWINA   Eryn said get this he unzips his pants and asks is it big enough. The waitress still hadn’t fetched their drinks. Eryn gave the room an orphaned look and continued so the dirty is done and I’m combing my ‘fro in the dresser mirror. Okay? And the bathroom door is cracked open yea wide. Okay? And I … Continue reading ERYN; EDWINA (a short story from DIFFICULT TEXTS)

THE ELEPHANT IN THE RABBIT HOLE and OTHER DITTIES

When I was four or five years old I was standing in the back yard of my maternal grandparents’ house, watching my grandmother as she knelt in a flower bed. The property around this house was an intense and admirable micro-biome that my grandparents had worked for more than thirty years before I was conceived (far away, on the West Coast) and it produced enough fruit, vegetables, rhubarb, chicken eggs and peppery fryers, every year, to justify calling my grandparents self-sufficient. From two kinds of grapes, to tomatoes and sweet corn, and the peach, apple and cherry pies my grandmother … Continue reading THE ELEPHANT IN THE RABBIT HOLE and OTHER DITTIES

THE NUMBERS

    ” ‘PASCAL: Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad wouldamount to another form of madness.’ And Dostoievsky, in his DIARYOF A WRITER: “It is not by confining one’s neighbor that one isconvinced of one’s own sanity.” We have yet to write the history of that other form ofmadness, by which men, in an act of sovereign reason, confinetheir neighbors, and communicate and recognize eachother through the merciless language of non-madness… ”           —Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization “Bullshit.“— Montaigne “‘Bullshit’ how?”—Michel Foucault .   Perhaps a decade ago I was walking with … Continue reading THE NUMBERS

NOTES FROM A SPOT EXTERNAL TO ANY PARTICULAR GODDAMN HIVE MIND

  The information below (on what percentage of the population is highly susceptible to hypnotic suggestion) dovetails very neatly with my sense that only a “militant” minority of the population is actually falling for any of the blatant nonsense of the past 18 months or so. Hat tip to Charlotte Brown for putting me on to the explanatory power of Hypnosis regarding all this. I’ve been working with the concept of “brainwashing” for so long that I forgot that the parent-process of Brainwashing is, in fact, Hypnosis. Mass Hypnosis to be specific. Can any correlations be drawn between the susceptibility … Continue reading NOTES FROM A SPOT EXTERNAL TO ANY PARTICULAR GODDAMN HIVE MIND

ED WARD OBIT

  A guy I’ve known for 16 years, rock critic and historian Ed Ward, died in May. Ed and I went on lots of long walks in Berlin and talked about music, of course (Ed even got a rave review of a band I sort of faked, in order to kickstart the project, into Paste magazine) and we talked about lots of other things, too. Not trusting Fate to handle the transaction for us, despite the fact that Ed and I were both living in Berlin in the early 2000s, we initially met Online, in the comment section of his … Continue reading ED WARD OBIT

THE PRACTICAL POLITICAL WITCHCRAFT OF THE CONSCIOUS REFUSAL of NEOMANIA and NOSTALGIA: A GENTLE REBUTTAL of TWO ESTEEMED COMMENTATORS

    “I’ve long felt that the greatest handicap the American public has is their inability to correlate information.” -Preston Guillory, Arresting Officer of Charles Manson . “There is no better model of the way in which the computer screen and the mental screen of our brain are interwoven than Moebius’s topology, with its peculiar contiguity of near and far, inside and outside, object and subject within the same spiral.” —Jean Baudrillard . “There are no longer bonus points, anywhere in the civilized world,  for citing Baudrillard.” —Napoleon Fanon .   PART ONE: NOSTALGIA   There often comes a point, … Continue reading THE PRACTICAL POLITICAL WITCHCRAFT OF THE CONSCIOUS REFUSAL of NEOMANIA and NOSTALGIA: A GENTLE REBUTTAL of TWO ESTEEMED COMMENTATORS

REALITIVITY

A) GULLIVER’S TRAVELS by JONATHAN SWIFT, THE MISSING CHAPTER: “THE PROBLEM OF MY TOILET” . B) Realitivity Post-It Sticker on my Fridge: Much apparent-stupidity is both strategic and unwittingly genuine. . . C)  . D) Realitivistic Diss of a formerly-interesting rag (Barney Rosset RIP): “Evergreen Review, a rumor of the echo of the ghost of its former self, now good for nothing more than recycling insultingly-talentless Propaganda. “QAnon”? Really? We’re still talking about *that* preposterous nonsense? The walking cadaver of a rapey gaffe-machine is in the Whitehouse NOW and you’re still beating the dead-horse under the rotting rodeo-clown who was … Continue reading REALITIVITY

BLOOMSDAY SLAVES

Another Bloomsday (if you know, you know) and the weather is “great” (they’ve been spraying every morning to keep the clouds dispersed so we feel warm enough for this time of year, presumably: the sky at 7am is like a net or abstract Plexiglas checkerboard)… we’re spending lots of time outside, doing the long walks, walks that couldn’t be any better in Dublin. My Wife has been my strength/ sanity/ asylum these past 15 months of Jawdropping Global Foolishness and though poor Jimmy himself (if you know you know) had less cause to celebrate his own asylum, every year I … Continue reading BLOOMSDAY SLAVES

EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 16: A BOHEMIAN BESTIARY

  —-In 1978 I moved into a one-bedroom flat with my best college friend and the mousy albatross who had bound herself to me with the rank epoxy of suicide-threats and lies which only adheres to rookie surfaces in the sex game. To which category I cheerfully admit to having belonged at the time. Rookie: oh yes. I had lost my virginity 18 months before that and I  ran away from college a year after losing my virginity and here I was in my first real flat, working in a department store by day and experimenting with LSD in the evenings and … Continue reading EXCERPTS FROM “THE VELVETEEN GULAG” [a memoir]: CHAPTER 16: A BOHEMIAN BESTIARY

THANKLESS THOUGHTY THINKLETS: HOURS or MINUTES of FUN FUN FUN

XXX A dream in which I minted this aphorism in the presence of a woman: “There are more who masturbate extremely well than there are who don’t at all.” It rolled off my tongue like a Wildean paradox in the dream and I woke up feeling momentarily proud of it. XXX What year was it decided that if one is to appear in a photograph one is to grin like a fucking idiot? What are all these people smiling at in all these photos? The hilarious photographer? The “birdie”? The thought of lunch, dinner, oral sex or the painful death … Continue reading THANKLESS THOUGHTY THINKLETS: HOURS or MINUTES of FUN FUN FUN

CONVERSATIONS with a REMARKABLE MAN: a Short Story

I remember the day of the morning I found out that my father had died.  His partner in my creation, my long-divorced mother, said only  Another victory for Big Tobacco when I called her with the news. I grabbed a light jacket (it was Fall in Berlin) and left my apartment on Bismarckstrasse. I had the idea that I should find a park bench in the vicinity of a fountain and sit with my thoughts. It was one of those undecided days of blinding sunshine interrupted with maddening frequency by chilling clouds. The clouds would come suddenly and refrigerate the … Continue reading CONVERSATIONS with a REMARKABLE MAN: a Short Story

WHEN WARTIME MAKES C*NTS of your HEROES

Famous post-Punk Power to the People “Remember the 5th of November” comedian Stewart Lee has been transformed by the media-virus into a gullible bourgeois cunt, positioning himself on the Totalitarian side of history by drinking the Government’s middle-class-targeting propaganda and finding it delicious. He has posted the following thing, in his newsletter, in which his core-political-conscience appears to struggle with his gullible bourgeois overlay, as evidenced in the queer infelicities of spelling and style the following text reveals: ***6) TO VAC OR NOT TO VAC The gvt may not impose vaccine passporting, as their will be questions about who is … Continue reading WHEN WARTIME MAKES C*NTS of your HEROES

WRINKLES the VENGEFUL CLOWN and Other Epistles

1 CAN YOUR LAUGHTER I was visiting an old friend (German recording engineer) and he played some video of a vintage German New Wave ’80s act that made an appearance for some recent special event, or other, all these years later… all the members in their fifties… and the front man was all over the stage, not dancing but doing what looked like an Attention Deficit Disorder Aerobics Workout routine. And the old friend said, admiringly, “What a front man!” The guy couldn’t sing or dance but he looked good in a blazer and he covered about 5 kilometers during … Continue reading WRINKLES the VENGEFUL CLOWN and Other Epistles

SAME OLD TRAP, BRAND NEW LEGS TO GNAW OFF

Celebrity Hero worship is a cornerstone of Modern Propaganda; your bedazzlement in the reflected light of media-elevated figures lowers the gate on your critical intelligence and that’s when all the Day-Glow Bullshit waltzes in. Here (video linked below) we see Russell and Eddie advising you not to believe anything too alarming about our Owners. We can characterize our Owners as Soulless Bureaucrats or even Greedy Bastards but never should you allow yourself to think of them as Murderously Psychopathic Aristocrats with delusions of Godliness; never should you think of them as well-organized recreational Peddies, with a vested interest in targeted … Continue reading SAME OLD TRAP, BRAND NEW LEGS TO GNAW OFF

THEY* STARTED A JOKE: RECENT LETTERS WITH ET

1–From: Steven Augustine  Sent: 09 April 2021 21:29To: ETSubject: Re: I Couldn’t Resist ET! Two things…  First, I present an absurdity that is absurd, most of all, because it is REAL (I traced the online Flyer back to the actual Medical Authority it issued from; this is no spoof); the Bee Gees reference is the cherry on the flatline… And then, this, to commemorate today’s Royal milestone (posted this on Facebook)  (and I really do recall it as though it were yesterday; how absolutely in a rage I was):   In the Summer of 1990, in London, that amazing break-beat year of … Continue reading THEY* STARTED A JOKE: RECENT LETTERS WITH ET

NONPOP/ RE: POP

This is a video for a slightly Avant Art Song I did. The video is about a cool Nigerian-British musician who is rejected by a stunning Kenyan model and is sent therefore on an odyssey of metaphorical sex with women of various backgrounds! All is fair in Love and Poetry! The song itself works ironically against the video in that it’s about The Bad Old Days of Violent Racial Sexual Segregation. I always like to layer my artifacts. The arrangement is extremely non-standard in that I turn the second half of the song into an instrumental but those saxes A) … Continue reading NONPOP/ RE: POP

OBSCENE IT ALL

I have written elsewhere that  “Raising a child is like a game of golf in which the first eighteen holes are played with an egg instead of a golf ball”  but let’s extend that metaphor. Having hit 40 long ago and living well beyond that cut-off point (the tweaker-mechanism of Evolution only concerning itself with what one was capable of up until, and in order to achieve, the DNA-perpetuating goal of mating; most mating, for Human History, occurring between hominids in their early-teens) means we are all, all of us, the late Boomers, wandering the weird terrain of a foggy … Continue reading OBSCENE IT ALL

CHOCOLATE AND BACON: A DANCE and a RANT (A REPRINT)

[originally published Nov 16, 2019 ] The New York Times, with glistening basset eyes, says, of Lydia Davis (the sensible one in the otherwise airheaded subliminal ménage of Paul Auster, Siri Hustvedt and Davis): “The story “Collaboration With Fly” consists of a single sentence: “I put that word on the page, but he added the apostrophe.” Another, “I’m Pretty Comfortable, but I Could Be a Little More Comfortable,” comprises seven pages of minor irritations — a loud clock, a dry orange. In 2009, her landmark “Collected Stories” was published; 30 years of her writing life (minus her novel, “The End … Continue reading CHOCOLATE AND BACON: A DANCE and a RANT (A REPRINT)

TOTALITARIUM

When I was being raised in the 1960s and 1970s, the ambient cultural value I absorbed from books, music and films was anti-business/ anti-square/ pro-Creative/ pro-Sex/ marginal materialism. By the time I hit college in 1977 I was wearing these presets like a behavioral badge and the people I befriended and hung out with seemed to radiate these attitudes as well, attitudes I embodied to such a degree that I drew quite a bit of attention. I was so confident in my espousal of these embodied beliefs that I became a sort of militant philosopher, spreading the word.  This militancy … Continue reading TOTALITARIUM

EUTAUPEA

There’s a credible argument to be made that 1973 was the peak of civilization, the high point of three thousand years of Human progress, and the evidence can be perused in the charts from that year. Some of the radio miracles, for me, of ’73, were as follows: “Killing Me Softly with His Song”… “Let’s Get It On” … “My Love” … “You’re So Vain” … “Brother Louie” …”Frankenstein” … “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” … “Half-Breed” … “That Lady” … “We’re an American Band” … “Right Place Wrong Time” … “Superstition” … “Loves Me Like a Rock” … Continue reading EUTAUPEA

THE AWFULSOME TRUTH

So many of my old friends share in the grotesque symptoms of a massive delusion that I’m tempted to test the village well for traces of Ergot. Their minds simply no longer function as anything other than receivers for nonsensical instructions from the Sinister Screens in their “lives”. In the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s we were treated to a rich array of high-camp allegories like Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Day of the Triffids, et al, the problem being that all such films work just as well for POVs on either of the opposite … Continue reading THE AWFULSOME TRUTH

TACTICAL PESSIMISM: TERMS for a POSSIBLE DISCUSSION

1 TACTICAL PESSIMISM Being in essence a Radically- Leftist Post-Hippie in outlook (anti-war, anti-discrimination, anti-slavery, anti-corporate-psychology) I often had to deal with the fact that most of my friends admired (if not embraced) Communism as a noble ideal. But I always understood the “brotherhood and equality” claims of Communism to be a kind of campaign pledge (like “no more war!” or “I will end poverty!”), a golden carrot to seduce the naïve into voting for the bait-and-switch of  a life of ideological/ social conformity, surveillance and control. A touch of Socialism can’t hurt an Industrial national culture  (the country I … Continue reading TACTICAL PESSIMISM: TERMS for a POSSIBLE DISCUSSION

SUPERFICTION

I try not to think of Lit in terms of storytelling because no writer of Lit has been at the forefront of storytelling for at least a century, or much longer than that,  if one wants to go into detail about it. The Reality I was birthed into was shaped by stories the Government told about itself, and about its affects on the world, by way of the apparatus of various US GOV-controlled media (including the educational system). Nothing by HG Wells  or Thomas Mann or Flannery O’Connor shaped the world I was born into like the Super Fiction of … Continue reading SUPERFICTION

DEPT. of OVERWROUGHT UNDERSTATEMENTS

  A POME for the NEO-VICHY unpardonably dumb in your vanity you believed the world- Witch you helped bargain for children  winking he’d never  come for yours     LETTERS WITH ET 1 (a college friend of mine posted an appeal on FB for people to vote for his wife’s one-woman zoom-streaming play; I thought the clip I saw of this one-woman (dis)play was extraordinarily needy-bossy in an awfully familiar, and very mediocre,  Liberal-Reactionary way; in order to put on this (dis)play they built a “black box theater” in their living room:  sending ET a link to this (dis)play kicked … Continue reading DEPT. of OVERWROUGHT UNDERSTATEMENTS

AMERICA: A ONE-ACT PLAGUE

1-A COAT OF PAINT It’s as though a Realtor sold you on a house infested with termites but because the Realtor was handsome and smooth, you bought it anyway, ignoring the obvious Red Flags. The problem worsened over the years to the extent that anytime you chose to finally face the problem, you’d be facing an Absolute Nightmare. So you chose to ignore it, and pretend the house was structurally sound, and much-improved, every time you put a new coat of paint on it. But you know, deep down, the problem is still there, and getting worse by the minute. … Continue reading AMERICA: A ONE-ACT PLAGUE

INVOICE of a DEGENERATION

Last night’s shocking death  of legendary rapper Rapt Iller-Than Rex, at an amusement park, has sent ripples of stock veneration and sentimentality through a community already rocked, this year, by hundreds of predictable casualties. Rapt Iller-Than was born Titus Primrose Jackson the Third in an undisclosed location in a gated community to bourgeois parents who’ve been voting Republican since Rapt Iller-Than‘s father, Titus Primrose Jackson the Second, scored a well-paying job as an extraneous token at a Liberally-racist service provider in the nation’s rapidly-growing Prison Industrial Complex. Easily brushing off accusations of  conflict of interest (Rapt Iller-Than’s rhymes are allegedly … Continue reading INVOICE of a DEGENERATION

NOW MORE THAN EVER

Anyone who’s read this place over the years knows that a book I hold in high esteem is Human Wishes/ Enemy Combatant, by fallen Comrade Edmond Caldwell. As I just wrote, in the comments section of the obit I wrote here for Edmond,  in an exchange with a writer who has written more than one review of Human Wishes/ Enemy Combatant: I think EC would have really “enjoyed” the horror and struggle of 2020; not a week goes by that I don’t think, “You’re REALLY missing it!” We exchanged a few hundred emails and it was in reading through them, … Continue reading NOW MORE THAN EVER

NIGHT WATCHMEN of OBLIVION

When Beloved Wife was pregnant with Offsprung a shocking fifteen years ago, I was worried that my writing days might be over for a long interval, and decided to get as much writing done as I could in nine months. I did this by working in the strange hours, roughly 11pm until about 3am, while Beloved Wife was sleeping. I got a lot done that way, it became a habit, and the habit was only altered a little when the responsibilities of parenthood had me up, often, at the crack of dawn. I continued to write at night, subsisting often … Continue reading NIGHT WATCHMEN of OBLIVION

KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 4:THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

DOWNLOAD “KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 4:  LIFE IS WASTED ON THE LIVING” FEATURING ZOë LUND,  DENNIS POTTER, HARVEY KEITEL,  JOANNE WHALLEY, CHERYL TIEGS, LYNDON B. JOHNSON, VINCENT GALLO, FRANKIE THORN, MICHAEL GAMBON, ALISON STEADMAN, CHRIS MARKER  and INTRODUCING CHLOë SEVIGNY as GHOST MERRY NEW-THANX-O–WEENMAS (downloadable until Tues, Dec 29, 2020) *The Opinions, Attitudes, Life-Style Choices and Manias represented in the curated artworks presented are the sole responsibilities of the creators of said works and not to be construed as reflecting the worldview, dreams or kinks of the Curator. SOME MATERIAL MAY BE R-RATED. LINK TO BEST ALL-AROUND FREE, OPEN SOURCE MEDIA PLAYER Continue reading KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 4:THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 3: THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

DOWNLOAD “KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 3:  THE SPIRIT IS CHILLING,” FEATURING VANESSA REDGRAVE,  ALDOUS HUXLEY, JOHN LYDON, RADLEY METZGER, MICHAEL GAMBON,  LYNN LOWRY,  MARSHA HUNT, CARL PARKER, JOHN CALE,  DENNIS POTTER, JOANNE WHALLEY, LESLIE PARRISH  and INTRODUCING MICHAEL FOREST as APOLLO MERRY NEW–THANX–O–WEENMAS (downloadable until Tuesday, Dec 29 2020) *The Opinions, Attitudes, Life-Style Choices and Manias represented in the curated artworks presented are the sole responsibilities of the creators of said works and not to be construed as reflecting the worldview, dreams or kinks of the Curator. SOME MATERIAL MAY BE R-RATED. LINK TO BEST ALL-AROUND FREE, OPEN SOURCE MEDIA PLAYER Continue reading KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 3: THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING

Being intensely aware of current conditions (as jaw-dropping as they are) is not a cracker-boy thing, despite the propaganda designed to seduce our inner snob into believing exactly that. Listen to this incredibly effective Activist lay it all out: this is the most lucid and relatable aggregation of this information (including a “Unified Field Theory” of TFIC motives) I’ve yet to find. (Re: Predatory Philanthropy @7:55) AND ADDENDUM: Continue reading WE INTERRUPT YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING

KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 2: THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

  DOWNLOAD “KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 2: CURIOSER AND FURIOSER,”  FEATURING  CATHERINE JOURDAN, NICHELLE NICHOLS, ROBERT FRIPP, MRS MILES DAVIS, WILLIAM SHATNER, MICHAEL GAMBON, MORTON SUBOTNICK,  ROMAN POLANSKI, JANET SUZMAN, THE THREE STOOGES, KRISTINE DE BELL and INTRODUCING RAOUL SERVAIS* MERRY NEW–THANX–O–WEENMAS (downloadable until Sunday, Sept. 29 2019) *The Opinions, Attitudes, Life-Style Choices and Manias represented in the curated artworks presented are the sole responsibilities of the creators of said works and not to be construed as reflecting the worldview, dreams or kinks of the Curator. SOME MATERIAL MAY BE R-RATED. LINK TO BEST ALL-AROUND FREE, OPEN SOURCE MEDIA PLAYER Continue reading KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 2: THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 1: THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

DOWNLOAD “KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 1: THE GOLDEN ROAD TO DEPRIVATION’S EXCESS,” FEATURING TUESDAY WELD, MICHAEL GAMBON, DENNIS POTTER, REBECCA BROOKE,  LEONARD NIMOY,  JOANNE WHALLEY, DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, JOHN LURIE, MILTON BERLE, MAE BRUSSELL, RADLEY METZGER and INTRODUCING MARILYN ROBERTS* MERRY NEW–THANX–O–WEENMAS (downloadable until Sunday, Dec. 27 2020) *The Opinions, Attitudes, Life-Style Choices and Manias represented in the curated artworks presented are the sole responsibilities of the creators of said works and not to be construed as reflecting the worldview, dreams or kinks of the Curator. SOME MATERIAL MAY BE R-RATED. LINK TO BEST ALL-AROUND FREE, OPEN SOURCE MEDIA PLAYER Continue reading KULTURAL KARE PACKAGE 1: THE XMAS RE-ISSUE

OUR THEME is WOUNDS

1. TALES FROM THE WAYS WE LIVED I can remember the ritual of Friday nights, Friday nights in the kitchen of my grandparents’ house in a quasi-suburban neighborhood of Chicago, an area called Morgan Park, a place with trees, parks, houses, front yards and rope-swings. My grandparents’ corner of Morgan Park was Black, no Whites to be seen except occasionally in cars just passing through in the direction of the segregated driving range (five blocks East?) or in the direction of Beverly (ten or twelve blocks West?) on 115th street. My grandmother and grandfather’s house was on a half acre … Continue reading OUR THEME is WOUNDS

INVITATION to the CONTEMPLATION of our SHADOW-TWIN

The mysteries of psychopathy: the history of our shadow-twin? Homo sapiens evolved out of the food chain (no longer having to worry about being hairless cheetah-snacks) just about the time that the political utility of being a psychopath (a mutation preserved by in-breeding, a la the “royal” bloodlines?) began to manifest. If you were ruthlessly lacking in empathy, effortlessly capable of lying and had no qualms regarding opportunistic murder, you were ready to “lead” any tribe that had become politically sophisticated enough to be governed by any factor more refined than brute force. And therein lies the fundamental problem occupying … Continue reading INVITATION to the CONTEMPLATION of our SHADOW-TWIN

A BAD NOVEL WITHIN THE BAD NOVEL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR: A REVIEW and WARNING

Art-Making is a compulsion, when it is pure, and maybe that’s regrettable, but who are we to complain when the results can do so much to amplify the pleasures of existence? It’s my theory that you can judge the purity (the genuineness) of Art-Making according to the extent to which it’s accompanied by the parallel (perhaps also regrettable) compulsion of Truth-Telling. Great Art is an aestheticized Truth-Telling and Lie-Telling “Art” (a lá Disney) is not really Art at all but high craft at its best. So much of the greatness is in the capital-T “Truth”. But there’s the problem: Lie-Telling … Continue reading A BAD NOVEL WITHIN THE BAD NOVEL OF THE PLAGUE YEAR: A REVIEW and WARNING

SUNDRY COMBUSTIBLE ERUCTATIONS

1-BREAKING: 47-YEAR-OLD ACTRESS HAS NEVER HEARD OF MENOPAUSE 2-BRIAN WILSON WAS A GENIUS “The Doctor Who theme music is a piece of music written by Australian composer Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Created in 1963, it was one of the first electronic music signature tunes for television.” “Good Vibrations” is a song by the American rock band The Beach Boys that was composed by Brian Wilson  with lyrics by Mike Love . Released as a single on October 10, 1966, it was an immediate critical and commercial hit, topping record charts in several countries including the US and UK. Characterized by its complex soundscapes, episodic structure … Continue reading SUNDRY COMBUSTIBLE ERUCTATIONS

AN INFORMAL DEBATE on the DOMESTICATED AESTHETIC of the LITERARY MIDDLEBROW

Posting my reasoned critiques of Imperial Plague Propaganda (which is designed to move the psychological cattle, from point A to point Q, in record time), these six or seven months, has been like opening up a series of exquisite 19th century Japanese umbrellas in a howling catshit hurricane. The size of the lying megaphone wind-machines (and coordinated catshit cannons), in this metaphor, renders “free speech” a moot point. I’m going to recharge my batteries by focusing on Lit, Music, Cinema and (as ever) Fucking My Beautiful Wife (take that, Puritans… have you noticed how puritanical our porn-based Mootopia is becoming … Continue reading AN INFORMAL DEBATE on the DOMESTICATED AESTHETIC of the LITERARY MIDDLEBROW

THE MAGNIFICENT AGONY of the ARTIST TWO KILOMETERS UP the SHEER ROCK FACE of YOUR SERENE INDIFFERENCE

1 SUGGESTIVE APHORISM of the WEEK Perhaps if we paid the police directly, instead of giving the money to GOV, who then gives it to the police, there’d be less confusion regarding who they’re paid to serve…? 2 BECAUSE IT’S BEEN TOO LONG SINCE WE’VE TALKED ABOUT DELILLO There are people who can’t see the trees for the toothpicks: among the lovers of book-loving there are those who think Plot is King or that Moral Instruction is Queen or that a downscale, gritty, near-illiterate lack of “pretension” is Duh Winna. None of these approaches are what a literate Hippie would … Continue reading THE MAGNIFICENT AGONY of the ARTIST TWO KILOMETERS UP the SHEER ROCK FACE of YOUR SERENE INDIFFERENCE