MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 223 MAY 2017

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 223
MAY 2017
Copyright 2017 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

1. WHAT IS “IRONY”?
Is Irony real?

Or is it “real”?

Or “twee”?

Or “quirk”? (see Michael Hirshorn, Atlantic Monthly 9-07)
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/09/quirked-around/306119/

Or is irony merely “comic book irony”?
http://absorbascon.blogspot.com/2005/11/comic-book-irony.html

Is there any such thing as too much irony?

For that matter, is there any such thing as “too much” irony?

Has anyone ever “read” Norman Knox. The Word Irony and Its Context,
1500-1755. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1961?
http://www.questia.com/library/book/the-word-irony-and-its-context-1500-1755-by-norman-knox.jsp

Do you still not “know” what irony “is”? Then “read” the “definition”
by Norman D. Knox:
http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/ironydhi.html

Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.
–Karl Kraus

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.
–Anatole France

Irony is jesting behind hidden gravity.
–John Weiss

A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of
humor for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.
–Jessamyn West

Irony is an insult conveyed in the form of a compliment.
–Edwin P. Whipple

Neither irony nor sarcasm is argument.

2. DEFINITIONS OF SATIRE
“All satire is blind to the forces liberated by decay. Which is why
total decay has absorbed the forces of satire.”–Theodor Adorno

For those of you unclear on the definition of Satire I sugggest you
consult Norman Knox’s valuable work THE WORD IRONY AND ITS CONTEXT
1500-1755, especially pp. 187-8:

“Some writers,” remarks John W. Draper, “use the comic, the ludicrous,
the ridiculous, wit, raillery, humour and satire in a loosely
synonymous fashion….” It was the excetional writer who used any of
these terms with precision. Anthony Collins, for instance, in his
DISCOURSE CONCERNING RIDICULE AND IRONY often seems to consider all of
them available for naming any kind of levity. His usage was
representative of run-of-the-mill authors of the age. But distinctions
were available and can be ferreted out.

Of satire, David Worcester points out that the “soul of the word has
shown a progressive change from a specific, narrow meaning to an
abstact, broad one.” Just as satire itself developed from the
crabbedly conventional verse satires of Joseph hall abd Donne through
the freer verse satires of Dryden into the variety of prose froms used
by Swifyt and Addison and Mandeville, so the word itself widened in
its reference from the formal verse satire to any mode of literature
which displayed a certain motive and spirit.
“More than any other people, the English have associated virulence and
malevlence with the idea of satire,” Worcester comments.
Dryden…supports this view:

…in English, to say satire, is to mean reflection, as we use that
word in the worst sense….

It was probably this sense of the word which necessitated a stock
phrase of the Augustan age, “satire and ridicule.” Ridicule was felt
to indicate something less malevolent and lighter in tone than satire,
to depend on a real or imagined incongruity that had at least
something of the comic in it.–Rufus Choate

SATIRE
“I’ll publish, right or wrong: / Fools are my theme, let satire be my
song.” –Lord Byron

“Why should we fear; and what? The laws? They all are armed in
virtue’s cause; And aiming at the self-same end, Satire is always
virtue’s friend.”–Charles Churchill

“Unless a love of virtue light the flame, Satire is, more than those
he brands, to blame; He hides behind a magisterial air He own
offences, and strips others’ bare.” –William Cowper

“Satire should, like a polished razor keen, Wound with a touch that’s
scarcely felt or seen. Thine is an oyster knife, that hacks and hews;
The rage but not the talent to abuse.”–Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

“Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering
teach the rest to sneer; Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike; Alike reserv’d to blame, or
to commend, A tim’rous foe, and a suspicious friend.”–Alexander Pope

3. ON STEREOTYPES
Q:Do monkeys bite?
A: Yes, monkeys will bite.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_monkeys_bite

Stereotypes are generalizations and, as such, are valid, but
ultimately have limited universal applicability.

Maybe stereotypes, rumors, folklore, et al., are just a form of the
party game “Chinese Whispers” or “telephone” on a mass scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers

Stereotypes seem to be promulgated and kept into circulation by people
with blinders fashioned inextricably upon a crucial portion of their
sensory apparatus. Setting purely cultural preferences aside, there
seems to be no scientific basis for stereotypes based upon any
race-based differences. But trying to say in our current
image-obsessed culture is like trying to shout down Cotton Mather
while he hangs people accused of being witches.

http://www.localhistories.org/salem.html

And remember:
“Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools.” –August Bebel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Bebel

See:
The Science of Stereotyping
Ewen: Defining people according to simplified categories dates back to
antiquity, and is probably an intrinsic part of human cultures.
Traditional myths, rituals and dramas routinely employed identifiable
types, but they usually symbolized different aspects of humanity
overall….
With the rise of democratic ideas, traditional ideas about the
God-given differences that justified social hierarchy fell into
disfavor. By the late 18th century, the “Divine Right of Kings” or the
idea of “Papal Infallibility” were being challenged by the ideas of
“natural rights,” “popular sovereignty” and human “inequality.” While
traditional hierarchies fought back, new caste systems arose in the
shadow of democracy. These used “scientific” tools as an argument for
social difference, as a line of defense designed to maintain social
and economic inequities. A scientific stamp of approval now certified
dividing humanity into simple, unequal categories according to race,
gender and economic status. In the 19th and 20th centuries, this
tendency accelerated and many of these simple categories became the
basic vocabulary of popular culture.

4. SINCLAIR LEWIS, NOVELIST
An important American novelist.

Though more than a bit facile.

In Babbitt, the language, as always, is superb:

“That little fuzzy-face there, why, he could make me or break me! If
he told my banker to call my loans—! Gosh! That quarter-sized squirt!
And looking like he hadn’t got a single bit of hustle to him! I
wonder—Do we Boosters throw too many fits about pep?”

(I love the passages with Chum Frink…)

Babbitt was right on the cusp; just before Lewis started listening to
his own press releases and started showing off his knowledge of
vernacular.

Main Street was more devastating, but kind of dull.

Elmer Gantry was overlong.

And, in my opinion,Arrowsmith was just plain embarrassing….

“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and
carrying a cross.”

“Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure
and very dead.”

“There are two insults no human being will endure: that he has no sense
of humor, and that he has never known trouble.”

“People will buy anything that is ‘one to a customer.'”

“The middle class, that prisoner of the barbarian 20th century. ”

5. PIMPLE COMMERCIALS
Here’s one that has haunted me for nearly 50 years:

I’m an acne blemish as lonely as can be
Don’t cry pimple, I’ll keep you company
Say, fellow pimples, would three be a crowd?
All together pimples, sing real loud:

Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh
Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh
Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V43lg_Pb16k

6. HEY THERE, TOUGH GUY

How ya doin’, Doc?
How’s they hangin’, Evil Genius?
Long time no see, Moose.
Hey there, Mister.
Whatta you have, Chum.
Hello,Jocko.
Ahoy there, Mookie.
Greetings, Jasper.
Name yer poison, Big Man.
Whatever you need, Chilly Willy.
You’re the man, Sarge.
Whoa! Easy there, Beerheart.
What? Your name ain’t ‘Beerheart’?
Ya got a fresh mouth on you there, Lard.
Hey you, Scumbozo!
Lissen up, Punko.
We don’t need no sass, Chiefy.
Take it outside, Boss.
Sez me, Assface.
Don’t start no trouble, Tuffy.
Yo, Dog, I’m talkin’ to YOU.
Yeah, Satan, you.
You must think you’re a Ruff Tuff Creampuff.
Don’t start nuthin, yuh Lousy Pillhead.
G’wan, beat it, Lusho.
Take a hike, Boozeheart, or I’m callin’ the fuzz.
Can you believe the nerve of that pencil-necked geek? Comin’ in here,
tryin’ ta start somethin’? This is a respectable dive!
HEY! Panama Red! Smoke that shit outside!

7. GANSER’S GYM
COME TO GANSER’S GYM (NEXT TO WOLFIE COHEN’S RASCAL HOUSE DELI) !
YOUR TRAINER: A CONVICTED FELON WITH A MAD-ON AGAINST THE WORLD!
SPECIAL: ONE WORK OUT FREE WITH LETTER FROM YOUR PROBATION OFFICER!

8. THAT’S NOT WHAT I CALL MUSIC!
People have always made the uninformed statement that such and such a
genre “isn’t music”.

They said it about Wagner.
About Ragtime.
About Dixieland.
About Be-bop.
About Rock and Roll.
About Free Jazz.
About Third Stream.
About Acid Rock.
About heavy metal.
About punk.
About disco.
About hip-hop.

And they will go on saying it, to the last syllable of recorded time,
on every occasion they are confronted with a type of music that
doesn’t fit their pre-conceived notions of aesthetic rectitude.

Perhaps they don’t mean it literally. Perhaps what they’re saying is
“These sounds are outside of my comfort zone.”

But rather than make a defensible statement that may put them
one-down, they simply resort to utter rejection, the first and often
sole resort of the aesthetically challenged.

We’re hard-wired to turn away from noxious stimuli. In babies it’s
called “gaze aversion”.

Like when children cover their eyes when they’re about to look at
something they don’t want to see.

Or when they pick at unfamiliar food.

Or when they cover their ears and say “I’m not listening! I’m not listening!”

Or when they get all their information about politics from Fox News.

9. TOO FAT POLKA
“I no wanna dance ’cause she too fat for me. Hey!–“Too Fat Polka”

Geez, you sure can deduce a lot from the lyrics of folk music. Polkas
seem to be all about eating and drinking a lot. Mexican songs such as
Corridas seem to talk a lot about criminals, as do quite a few English
and American folk songs. German folk songs seem to focus on murder and
war. Irish songs talk a lot about booze.

And various eras of American popular music seem to betray certain
prevalent attitudes of their day. The fifties: Women as commodities
(“Chantilly Lace”). The late sixties: drug-induced utopian torpor (“If
You’re Going to San Francisco”). The early 70s: Satan ‘n’ solipsism.
The early 80s: tainted love. The early 90s: teen angst. And on and on.

And then there’s rap.

In America, those who don’t excel in commodity training are left
behind. It’s no coincidence that people who live in housing projects
know to the penny the price of such non-essentials as sneakers and
caps. Conspicuous consumption among the undrerclass is one way of
showing the world you aren’t a loser. Consequently, the lyrics of rap
songs are potent statements regarding anti-matriarchical attitudes and
commodity fetishism–tough-guy manifestoes that serve to compensate
for the impotence felt by people with no share of the real power.

But what do I know?

Back when I lived in Pittsburgh (a town with a lotta Poles) that song
was frequently advertised as part of a Polka compilation disc: “Beer
Barrel Polka (Roll out the barrel…)! Too Fat Polka (I no wanna dance
’cause she’s to fat for me–hey!)!….”

I’ve discovered, to my surprise, that the northern corner of Rhode
Island, as well as Central and Western Mass., all have a lot of
persons of Polish ancestry, as well as recent immigrants from Poland.
There’s a Polish restaurant in Webster (haven’t eaten there).

Other Polish enclaves of note are Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago. A
large Polish presence practically screams “Rust Belt”.

As for Poles and their predilection for fatty food, we need only look
to the chicken soup with egg noodles sold in jars; the various forms
of potato products (pancakes, bread, vodka, and pierogis); kielbasa,
braunschweiger, scrapple, and other super-fatty meats, and the
invariable New Years delicacies such as pickled herring in cream sauce
and duck’s blood soup.

Stuffed cabbage is one of my favorites. My Uncle Bob Plawski’s wife
Eileen would cook it for me whenever I came to visit.

I mostly grew up in the Bloomfield Neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which
was nearly all Italian. But I specifically spent my earliest childhood
in the adjacent Lawrenceville section, which was and is largely
Polish. July 4th Fireworks at Arsenal Park; fried fish sandwiches; the
Stephen Foster memorial; one of the first Carnegie Libraries ever
built; St. Augustine’s; the Washington Crossing 40th Street Bridge….

Sigh….

Them days are gone forever.

That the Poles want to eat thier fill without getting fat points to a
crucial attribute in their nature: they tend to be both impractical
and stubborn.

Nonetheless, I am proud of my Polish heritage.

But I could do without the Polkas.

I guess I’m too assimilated to appreciate that part of my heritage.

10. WHAT I’D LIKE FOR MY EPITAPH
“A fly went by.”

Or…

הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים אָמַר קֹהֶלֶת, הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים הַכֹּל הָבֶל

Or…

“Oh God! You sank my battleship!”

Or…

THE PLOT THICKENS

Or…

I TOLD YOU NOT TO TAZE ME, BRO

Or…
POST NO BILLS

Or…

Five minutes, five minutes more, please! Let me stay five minutes more!
Can’t I just finish the castle I’m building on the floor?
Can’t I just finish the story I’m reading here in my book?
Can’t I just finish my bead-chain– it almost is finished, look!
Can’t I just finish this game, please? When a game’s once begun
It’s a pity never to find out whether you’ve lost or won.
Can’t I just stay five minutes? Well, can’t I stay just four?
Three minutes, then? Two minutes? Can’t I stay one minute more?

11. DIMENNO
One suspects that, in the USA, mildly subversive irony thrives best in
a period of comparatively casual concerns. In those eras in which such
concerns are not casual, it becomes known as subversive irony, and is
shunned.

During the 1920s, in common with writers such as Sinclair Lewis and
H.L. Mencken, DiMenno was derided by literary eminentoes for what was
deemed his “angry man thesaurus” style. However, during the 1930s,
many of those same critics claimed to detect a degree of social
conciousness, ala Theodore Dreiser, that obviated the “pompous and
zany” thrust of his “Odd looniness.”

In the aftermath of World War Two and the ensuing Red Scare, DiMenno
fell radically out of favor among the “establishment critics” and even
among the avant-garde “beat” school he was seldom dicussed save in the
condescending terms reserved for Pulitzer Prizewinning authors such as
Booth Tarkington and Edna Ferber.

The late 60s and early 70s were a period that fostered a brief revival
of interest in his work. However, the early 1980s found him once more
under attack for his late-life satiric sallies against “the power in
this land”.

However, though they deplored his elitist and somewhat dated and even
solipsistic concerns, in the 1990s, some of his more ardent adherents
on the left found great value in his more radical writings, similar to
the revival in interest in the works of Mark Twain during the 1960s.

However, in the first part of the 21st century, the events of 9/11
lead many to conclude that leaders were being assassinated, democracy
was being attacked, and that DiMenno was guilty of “giving aid and
comfort to our enemies,” since his writings were the source of a great
deal of vaguely anti-American rhetoric that foreign intellectuals were
using as ammunition against would-be American hegemony.

Only in the wake of the “Recession Panic of 2008” and the ensuing “liberal
reaction” against “the politics of greed” has the work of DiMenno, to
some degree, been reassessed, and found “good…without regard to the
purposes of mankind.” However, decades may pass before scholars decide
upon its rightful place in the literary history of the United States.  

 

THE INFORMATION #939 MAY 5, 2017

THE INFORMATION #939
MAY 5, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

I had a dream that I lost my teeth and when I woke up they were all still in my mouth, thank God that I am not a Hill Billy after all. –Starley Ard

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY-TWO: DAYS OF WRATH

“You can be sure of one thing,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy, as they walked along the principal boulevard of Blowtown on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon, “You can be sure that when a woman first takes up with you, and she tells you that she can hear you very well, it signifies that she’s with it and for it, because she’s been around, and she knows how to follow orders, and doesn’t need to be cuffed about. But women like that are one in a thousand. In general, you don’t want a Zook who will judge you by your mannerisms. If she don’t like you when she’s twenty, it’s a good bet that she’ll absolutely despise you by the time she’s sixty. If you both live so long.

“On the other hand, I suppose it’s alright if a woman tries to teach you good manners. That’s what they do. After all, part of her job is to teach proper manners to your son. Now, manners ain’t so hard to master in theory. There are plenty of books out there as will tell you what’s proper. The problem is that the people who need manners the most are the ones who most likely can’t read. There are plenty of hillbillies out there who don’t read anything but the Bible and the Monkey-Ward catalog. To those Yellofs, eyeglasses are cheaters and the wearing of them is the sign of a weakling and a certified citified dude. They’re very big on honor, those hillbillies are. To me, they’re barely even human–just a defective form of animal life. What would you say about an animal that would starve rather than eat from your hand? Go to Arkansas some time–you’ll never again see so much bone-bred ignorance clustered together all in one place. The mountaineer relies on one tool above all others–his trusty rifle. As long as a got a belly full of squirrel brains, he’s a happy man. Northerners may have their faults and follies. They are very much inclined to think that a purely speculative wager on the stock market is actually going to provide some kind of windfall to them and theirs, somewhere down the road. It’s about as likely as a drunken cowboy winning at Faro. Or an old Jew winning at Stuss. It’s like a fool trying to get work out of a balky mule. It’s like the suckers in hell pleading for ice water which they ain’t a-gonna get. I’ll say it again: Winning at playing the market? It just ain’t gonna happen. The deck is stacked.

“There’s one good thing about hillbillies, I guess–one, and only one. Their womenfolk sure are purty when they’re about sixteen, and just starting to ripen. Though even then they are likely to be old before their time. By twenty-two a hillbilly gal is an incipient hag with saggy tits, and by thirty she’s practically an ancient, withered crone. The problem is the same as with a kitten–sooner or later it grows up and becomes a worthless old cat. I can tell you, Yob, that many a moonstruck city slicker has married one of them hillbilly gals, expecting that holy macaroni would make a real lady of her. In ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, they were sadly disappointed. Chances are nearly 100 per cent that she turns out to be a tobacco-chewing, snuff-taking, moonshine-drinking, bad-tempered, sour-faced, thin-lipped, argumentative Zook–and those are her good qualities. On the whole, a certain genetic predetermination makes all of these hill folks inferior in intellect, illiterate, lazy, foul-smelling, and outstanding solely in brute strength, and in rapscality. Maybe the Mammy was chewing loco weed and it got into her milk–I dunno. But lots of hillbilly boys grow up to become angry killers, and the girls become slatterns who become pregnant if you so much as look at them.

“These stump jumpers are by far more akin to apes than angels. Your average hillbilly, why, he will get drunk and argue politics all day long, with no more notion of what he is talking about than a kitten has of algebra. The lowest black-as-melted-midnight, granny-dodging, watermelon-eating, razor-wielding, dice-playing, chicken-stealing shoeshine boy in one of our big cities is about two steps superior to the poor white trash who roams the hills and vales of our great Republic. I would sooner trust him to run an errand for me than any one of those inbred hill folk, with their filthy bare feet, and their queer and shapeless black felt hats, and their faded bib overalls, and their odious gap-toothed smiles. And their men are even worse. These hillbillies are the sort of low-down trash who are so lazy that they never even owned slaves. Maybe because they’re so indolent they don’t even like to WATCH other people who are working hard. I will admit that they are plenty industrious, though, when it comes to one thing: making homebrew and bringing it to market–unless they’re so far gone that they drink up all the rotgut all by themselves. If they would stop snapping at the jug and start snapping open a book, maybe they would amount to something. But they never will. They are the lowest form of sucker–the sucker who is happy with his lot, owns nothing, has nothing, and is happy with nothing. He is impossible to cheat because he lives in a barter society, and he only trades with his own kind. He is funny in that he longs for the novelty to be had by seeing folk from the flatlands and listening to their stories of the doings in Fat City, which, to him, is any municipality of more than 5,000 people. Yet, on the other hand, he hotly resents the traveler as an interloper and despises him for his civilized ways, which includes wiping his mouth with a napkin and wiping his ass with toilet paper, rather than a corn cob or a handful of leaves. And then, before you know it, out comes the shotgun, and you start to hear him mutter about how he don’t want you hangin’ round his little sister no more, and about how it might be best if he consult the local train schedule and get out of town on the first thing smoking because the train’s leaving very soon and he wants you on it.

“And you better do what he suggests. because one thing’s for sure–them hill folk, when it comes to matters of what they consider to be their sacred honor–they sure don’t mess around.”

1*SALUTATION
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK
BUNKER SOLDIERS
https://youtu.be/ko6WAw3xcjc

THE NEW STONE AGE
https://youtu.be/6bCCF3rg8lA

ALSO SEE:
BEST OF OMD 1979-1983
https://youtu.be/eicbWKG7Zss

2*REFERENCE
LIBERAL QUAKERS DISOWNED RICHARD NIXON
The Quakers sought to disown Nixon on account of the war.
books.google.com/books?id=iw6eCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT117&lpg=PT117&dq=the+Quakers+disowned+Nixon+on+account+of+the+war.&source=bl&ots=ynlVgq7CWv&sig=odws3jEa0EMcTZ9CYiQlrgKFOJo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUuqjnq8LTAhXq7YMKHS_bBQUQ6AEIJzAB#v=onepage&q=the%20Quakers%20disowned%20Nixon%20on%20account%20of%20the%20war.&f=false

ALSO SEE:
OLD FASHIONED QUAKER OAFS
http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/yan/1a39000/1a39000/1a39000r.jpg

3*HUMOR
Paul Simon: I’m Proud Of All My Songs, Even The Ones I Stole From People I Heard At Open-Mic Nights
http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/im-proud-of-all-my-songs-even-the-ones-i-stole-fro-29078

4*NOVELTY
MCDONALD SHAKES
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/mcdshake.asp

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
MONETIZING ANGST
The saga of a YouTube family who pulled disturbing pranks on their own kids
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/04/25/the-saga-of-a-youtube-family-who-pulled-disturbing-pranks-on-their-own-kids/?utm_term=.e0b1ecb90437

6* DAILY UTILITY
LOWEST GAS PRICES
http://www.gaspricewatch.com/

7*CARTOON
LOOK AT BILL’S SHIRT!
http://s3.crackedcdn.com/blogimages/2010/03/sb49-animals.jpg
http://www.cracked.com/blog/man-comics-man-safety/

ALSO SEE:
THE HORROR OF POPSICLE PETE
http://s3.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/5/6/1/73561.jpg?v=1

THE 8 MOST BAFFLING FOOD MASCOTS OF ALL TIME
http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-8-most-baffling-food-mascots-all-time/

THE CRIMES OF POPSICLE PETE
http://wiki.urbandead.com/index.php/Popsicle_Pete

8*PRESCRIPTION
40 ASSETS FOR ADOLESCENTS
http://www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-18

9*RUMOR PATROL
THE UNBEARABLE WRONGNESS OF GWYNETH PALTROW
Raw milk, which is milk that has not been pasteurized — milk straight from the teat — makes up about one percent of the U.S. dairy supply. However, it causes approximately 80 percent of the foodborne illnesses in dairy. This includes the parasite giardia, which will give you a case of diarrhea to rival a jumbo-sized bag of sugar-free gummy bears. Raw milk is touted in the alternative health community for “boosting immunity” or for the benefits of its natural enzymes, but if you ever consider it for you or your pint-sized human, I urge you to reconsider. Certain families with homeopathic tendencies have become intimately acquainted with the medical complications of hemolytic uremic syndrome and e. Coli in infants, courtesy of raw milk. Raw goat’s milk and raw cow’s milk come with the same risks; there’s nothing inherently better for babies about the milk coming from a goat or not being pasteurized.
And wait. Wasn’t giardia one of the parasites that raw goat’s milk was supposed to cure? This alternative medicine is tricksy — because it’s bullshit.
theoutline.com/post/1394/the-unbearable-wrongness-of-gwyneth-paltrow

10* LAGNIAPPE
FRANK KOZIK
I am the proud owner of this original poster.
https://www.picclickimg.com/d/w1600/pict/152083992694_/The-Flintstones-Rare-Frank-Kozik-Poster-Acid-Is.jpg

ALSO SEE:
KOZIK POSTER ART
https://www.nevermindgallery.com/collections/frank-kozik-html

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE JFK ASSASSINATION
Who killed JFK? Was it…the CIA, the FBI, the Mob, the Cubans, the Right Wing Texas oilmen, the Klan, the Russians, LBJ, the Masons…?

The question now is, who didn’t Kill Kennedy?

I’m pretty sure the Quakers had nothing to do with it.

But wait. Nixon was…a Quaker.

And he was in…Dallas.

Supposedly for a Pepsi-Cola event.

By the way, Joe McCarthy was so in thrall to those folks that he was known around the Senate as “The Pepsi-Cola Kid.”

“Say Oswald, Please!”

The Kennedys were good friends with McCarthy. JFK abstained from voting for his censure.

Wheels within wheels, maan.

There are plenty of books on the subject put out by this small firm:
trineday.com/

For instance:
http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Marys-Monkey-Cancer-Causing-Assassination/dp/1634240308

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
90 CLASSIC BOOKS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY. LANGE. ***
1001 FACTS THAT WILL SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU. MCNEAL.
1966. SAVAGE. ****
4,000 DAYS. FELLOWS. ****
THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK. OLLMANN. ****
ALL NEW X-MEN INEVITABLE 3: HELL HATH SO MUCH FURY. ***1/2
THE ANIMAL FACTORY. BUNKER. ***1/2
AWAKENING 1. TAPALANSKY. ***1/2
THE BAKER STREET PECULIARS. LONGRIDGE. ***
THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2016. CHAST, ED. ****
THE BEST WE COULD DO. BUI. ****
THE COMPLETE TALES FROM THE CON. ***1/2
DAYS OF DESTRUCTION, DAYS OF REVOLT. SACCO. ****
DOG EAT DOG. BUNKER. ***1/2
DV8. NEIGHBORHOOD THREAT. ELLIS. ***
EDUCATION OF A FELON. BUNKER. ****
FIRE!! BAGGE. ****
FRESH ROMANCE 1. **
FUTUREQUEST 1. **1/2
GONZO. BINGLEY AND HOPE-SMITH. ****
GRAYSON 5. SPYRAL’S END. ***1/2
GREEN ARROW 1. THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLVER QUEEN. ***1/2
HERMAN MELVILLE’S MOBY DICK. CHABOUTE. ****1/2
HILLBILLY ELEGY. VANCE. ***1/2
HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? O’ROURKE. ***1/2
HOUSE OF PENANCE. TOMASI. ***1/2
KONG OF SKULL ISLAND 1. ***
LAZARUS CHURCHYARD. ELLIS. ***1/2
THE LIGHTHOUSE. ROCA. ****1/2
LITTLE BOY BLUE. BUNKER. ****
MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUR MONEY. THORNTON. ****
NEWUNIVERSAL: EVERYTHING WENT WHITE. ELLIS. ***1/2
NIGHTWING 1. BETTER THAN BATMAN. ***1/2
NO BEAST SO FIERCE. BUNKER. ****
OCEAN. ELLIS. ***1/2
ONE TRICK PONY. HALE. ***
ORBITER. ELLIS. ****
ORIGINAL GANGSTER. LUCAS. ***1/2
POOR ECONOMICS. BANERJEE & DUFLO. ****
RED/TOKYO STORM WARNING. ELLIS. ****
RELOAD/MEK. ELLIS. ***1/2
THE REPORTER WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. SHAW. ***
REVOLUTION’S END. SCHREIBER. ***1/2
SCARED SHITLESS. MCNEAL. ***
SHOCK & AWE: GLAM ROCK AND ITS LEGACY. REYNOLDS. ****
SNOTGIRL 1. GREEN HAIR DON’T CARE. **1/2
STARFIRE 1. WELCOME HOME. ***1/2
SWITCHBLADE HONEY. ELLIS. ***
TERMS & CONDITIONS. SIKORYAK. ***1/2
WHEN THE MOB RAN VEGAS, FISCHER. **1/2
WHITE TRASH. ISENBERG. ****1/2
WONDER WOMAN 1. THE LIES. ***1/2
YVAIN: THE KNIGHT OF THE LION. ANDERSON. ****

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
937. 80s BOSTON ALT-ROCK
http://www.stereogum.com/featured/boston-alt-rock-reunions-belly-buffalo-tom-juliana-hatfield-letters-to-cleo/

938. BULLET LA VOLTA TOUR DIARY
http://www.luckyfrogfarms.com/cook/NL/1990’s/1991/1991_08.pdf

939. CONSPIRACY AND THE BRAIN: A BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY
Michael J Wood, Karen M Douglas, Robbie M Sutton, Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories, Social Psychology & Personality Science, 25 January 2012,

Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Michele Acker, The Influence of Control on Belief in Conspiracy Theories: Conceptual and Applied Extensions, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Appl. Cognit. Psychol. Vol 29 Issue 5

Hannah Darwin, Nick Neave, Joni Holmes, Belief in conspiracy theories. The role of paranormal belief, paranoid ideation and schizotypy, Personality and Individual Differences, 50(8):1289-1293 · June 2011

Neil Dagnall, Kenneth Drinkwater, Megan Parton, Conspiracy theory and cognitive style: a worldview, Frontiers in Psychology, June 2015

THE INFORMATION #938 APRIL 28, 2017

THE INFORMATION #938
APRIL 28, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Satire derives from a heightened awareness of the fall of man, and is a kind of earthly mysticism.–Malcolm Muggeridge

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY-ONE: DAYS OF WRATH

“Did I ever mention to you,”said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy, as they walked along the principal boulevard of Blowtown on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon, “that I would gladly drive every damn housecat from off’n the face of the earth? Now, you might say, well, Sir, what about the rats? And I say that a good terrier dog has been known to kill as many as 2000 rats in a single night.

“What do I have agin’ cats? Plenty. They are arrogant and selfish, and they suck the breath out of babies, and that’s a known fact. They’re mean and they’re evil. Their hearts are full of poison. They won’t hesitate to bite and scratch you for practically no reason–just like a jealous woman as a matter of fact. Or a hillbilly sharecropper out on a toot.

“You can talk to a dog, and the brute almost seems to understand. But try talking to a cat, and as you look into those cold agate eyes you can almost see the creature thinking ‘Fuck you.’ I know that I am not alone in my feelings. As a matter of fact, you will find a great many horse doctors who share my sentiments. What the hell good are cats? They’re lazy, and will gladly sleep all day, and otherwise they will just set there doin’ nothin’, which sets a bad example for the children. They smell like piss. They spread diseases. And everywhere they go they shed their dirty fur and leave a trail of feline filth behind them. Plus, if you’re any kind of halfway intelligent moron, you get the inescapable instinct when you look at their blank stare and their idiotic purring faces that they would be just as happy if you were dead. If all of us were dead. And they also give the distinct impression that they would gladly feast on your still-warm corpse. At least a dog would have the decency to bark, and wake the neighbors, if something were to happen to you in the dead of night. But I’ll bet you ten to one that old Mr. Whiskers will start right in on the arm meat and commence to work his way up.

“Cats are really no good. They are killers who will attack everything that moves. Why we put up with them at all, I’ll never know. They are baby-faced monsters who have no sense of loyalty and a twisted sense of fun. They would rather bat around a half-dead mouse for hours on end than interact with a human being. They are persnickety little fussbudgets, and picky eaters, and you can’t get them to do anything that they don’t want to do. Again, kind of like women. They eat their own vomit. They spray their smelly musk all over everything. They kill innocent birds for no reason other than sheer orneryness. And then they bring the corpses into the front parlor, as though they’re doing you some sort of favor. They deposit their filth on every eating place in the kitchen. They wipe their filthy asses on every cloth surface in the house, including your antimacassar and your sofa and your hassock. They trail a foul aroma after them. They claw your furniture and no doubt would claw your face while you sleep if they could get away with it. The only person who is desperate enough to love a cat is very likely a lonely old spinster with way too much time on her hands.

“Because cats are vindictive and spiteful. they will shit on your shoes and even on your clothing just to get even with you. They puke enormous hairballs over every sanitary surface, and contaminate an entire house with their noxious smell of their excreta. If you ever meet a woman who owns more than one cat–beware. There is probably something uniquely wrong with her. She is very likely to be neurasthenic, at the very least, and probably a bull-goose loony who’s ready to be carted off to the laughing academy at the worst. As far as I’m concerned, a cat is a non-negotiable piece of baggage. When I take a lover, I lay down the law from the get-go: Either the cat goes, or I do. Any woman with any sense will get rid of the feline first thing. Cats are not something you should form an attachment to. They are dangerous ingrates. Any woman who would rather die than get rid of her cat is no woman for me. I won’t go so far as to say that she is infected by the evil cat and would be better off dead–though sometimes I wonder.

“Don’t get me wrong–I am not afraid of cats. I do not resent cats for being independent. I do not despise cats because they won’t follow orders. But I am on to cats. I know they are running an enormous racket. You see, I know them too well to believe otherwise. How, you might ask? Well, me and some of the boys were on our uppers one time, so we started an Angora kitten racket. The ad was geared to schoolmarms and other old biddies with moron intellects. It advertised a genuine purebred at a fire-sale price, delivered right to your door. In big bold letters printed at the bottom were the words ‘Last chance to send in your dollar’. What the racket was, was that we would capture every flea-bitten and mangy alley-cat we could find and corral them into a rented barn. Then one of us would put on heavy cattleman’s gloves and shove the kitty into a feculent crate. Picture the surprise on the face of the old widder-woman when she opened the putrid box, with white-gloved hands trembling in anticipation, and was greeted by a spitting and clawing wild cat, its matted fur smelling of shit and rancid fish, yowling and screaming all around a room after springing out of the box and screaming like a banshee. I imagine that many a fine parlor was wrecked beyond recognition by the howling moggie. I wonder how many old ladies dropped dead simply from the excitement alone.

“Anyway, cats are born grifters. Most people know this without really realizing it. Beware of a prison inmate with a cat tattoo–it either means he is a thief, or that he likes to fight, especially with turnkeys. Not a man to make an enemy of.

“Let me tell you something else–I actually admire big cats. I like to go to the circus to see them perform their tricks. But that doesn’t mean that I would like to own one. Quite frankly, I would rather not have to look every live-long day upon the visage of a duplicitous creature with a brain the size of a dumpling licking its blood-soaked paw with its disgusting pink tongue.Quite frankly, I would rather watch a forty-two round prizefight.

“That’s why I say that we should get rid of cats. Every last one of them. I maintain that the world would be a better place without them—a far, far better place.”

1*SALUTATION
THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS
THE WHOLE WORLD OUGHT TO TAKE A VACATION
https://youtu.be/hJ-fF0UdQaE

ALSO SEE;
ANTOINETTE
https://youtu.be/bxQErE2YLAc

2*REFERENCE
PRISON TATTOOS
Playing cards, or suits of the deck in general, usually indicate an inmate who likes to gamble. This applies to gambling games both within prison and without; it can also represent a person who generally views life as a gamble.

This tattoo is very popular in Russian prisons, where each deck has its own meaning. A spade represents a thief; clubs symbolize criminals in general. Diamonds are reserved for stool
pigeons and informants – if the cards have this deck, then it was likely applied with force. Hearts imply that someone is looking for a romantic partner in the prison, which may also be forcibly applied.
https://www.correctionsone.com/prison-gangs/articles/7527475-15-prison-tattoos-and-their-meanings/
https://www.correctionsone.com/corrections/articles/7731169-15-more-prison-tattoos-and-their-meanings/
https://www.correctionsone.com/column/articles/8688136-12-Russian-prison-tattoos-and-their-meanings/
https://www.correctionsone.com/column/articles/7811864-The-Question-Why-do-so-many-inmates-have-tattoos/

ALSO SEE:
42 SIGNS YOU’RE A CORRECTIONS OFFICER
https://www.correctionsone.com/jail-management/articles/5194981-42-signs-youre-a-corrections-officer/

3*HUMOR
POMERANIAN AFRAID OF NAIL CLIPPERS
https://youtu.be/jMhei1CcVTo

ALSO SEE:
DOG AFRAID OF JULIA ROBERTS
https://youtu.be/RtT9X4eT_Ss

ANGRY CAT FIGHTS WITH HIMSELF IN A MIRROR
https://youtu.be/o8fu6xDmfOU

4*NOVELTY
Whistling Wizards – 1890s to the 1970s
http://claytonsahib.weebly.com/artists/whistling-wizards-1890s-to-the-1920s

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
NOVELTY JESUS ART
https://www.pinterest.com/heidirettig/just-jesus-crafting-for-the-lord/

6* DAILY UTILITY
XQUISITE XPRESS
https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17861435_10212254362135887_7209646359520389204_n.jpg?oh=f4244d6bb5506b37538bea3cd84a1a07&oe=59569667

7*CARTOON
RAY NELSON AND BILL WRAY
NADA
http://sapcomics.blogspot.com/2012/01/nada.html

This is the story that the movie “They Live” was based on.

8*PRESCRIPTION
GOLDFRAPP
TALES OF US
https://youtu.be/xBUain_8K40

9*RUMOR PATROL
MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUR MONEY
BY CHARLES GRAHAM RICE
https://archive.org/details/myadventureswith00riceuoft

10* LAGNIAPPE
THE BETTER BEATLES
PENNY LANE
https://youtu.be/7g-Dr1Xhk8A

ALSO SEE:
HELLO GOODBYE RINGTONE
www.betterbeatles.com/media/Hello_Goodbye_ringtone.mp3

ALSO SEE:
THE BEATLES BARKERS
OBLADI OBLIDA
https://youtu.be/a2nqsVajAlo

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
KATE BEATON
HARK! A VAGRANT!
http://cdn.pastemagazine.com/www/articles/2015/09/15/POPSinterior142.jpg

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/09/step-aside-pops-by-kate-beaton-review.html

http://www.harkavagrant.com/archive.php

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
935. LET BLACK PEOPLE GO OR THE DOOM INCREASES
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-fresno-shooting-20170418-story.html

936. POST-PUNK ODDITIES
http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Wardruna/post_punk_oddities/

THE INFORMATION #937 APRIL 21, 2017

THE INFORMATION #937
APRIL 21, 2017
Most of the appearance of mirth in the world is not mirth, it is art. The wounded spirit is not seen, but walks under a disguise. –Robert South

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY: DAYS OF WRATH
 
“A wise old Jew goniff as was a friend of mine once gave me the best advice of my entire life.” Count Justin Victor was in a typically expansive mood, and as they walked the cobblestoned and rain-slicked streets of early evening Blowtown in the early spring, he even looped his arm through that of Cadger Tandy, as though they were boon companions. 
There ensued a long pause. “When you get to be my age though, you have so many memories to draw from that things tend to get tangled up a mite, so I’m going to have to think a few minutes afore I can recall precisely what it was he said to me that left such an unforgettable impression. It wasn’t that old wheeze about polishing the back of your shoes as well as the front. But I will say this. You should always buy the best pair of shoes you can afford, and make sure they fit. They shouldn’t be too short and they shouldn’t be too narrow, or your toes will become deformed. Plus, you won’t be able to run away from the Rozzers. Also, a sturdy pair of shoes can be used to clobber a refractory Yob but good, once you’ve knocked him sky west. And women tend to notice things like shoes. So do military men. And other single-minded folk. Me, personally, I think it shouldn’t matter what you wear. But the world will have a long party knocking the snot-nose out of you if you try to go up agin in. So better you mind your ps and qs.
“Whether you’re in it for the short con or the long, it always pays to dress up, or down, as the occasion demands. You won’t be dining at Delmonico’s with clothing that looks like you stole it off’n a scarecrow. Nor will you get very far in the hobo jungle with a top hat and a tux. Apatetic coloration is what the double-domes call it. In order to survive, you is got to learn how to blend in. Learn which fork is used to eat a lobster. Learn which knife is best to stab a bindlestiff. You surely do not want to dress in such a way as to attract the attention of the nebby-nosed constabulary. Nor do you ever want to make a fuss in any crowded place, whether indoor or out. Unless, of course, you’re shilling for a cannon.
“You always want to be well-shaved. A man with straggly chin whiskers always looks like a bum. People won’t think very highly of you if they see that you’re that careless in attending to your personal appearance. You may say to yourself that you don’t give a good god-damn about what the world thinks, and that attitude is just fine–if you’re poor white trash and intend to stay that way. 
“Let me tell you something about white trash. There are about fifteen million weeping hillbillies roaming the mountains of Appalachia and points south and west, and as far as I’m concerned, not one of them is worth a good goddamn. They are poor, and they are stupid, and they were born that way, and they will stay that way. At least the negro of the southland is servile, and always knows his place, and is industrious when he can’t get away with loafing, and he can generally be trusted not to fuck things up too badly. The same can’t be said of the mountain man. He is surly, and illiterate, and stubborn as a mule, and proud of it. He always spends what few pennies he owns on trifles, and he don’t give a good goddamn what you think about it–but then he’ll turn around and try to borrow a sawbuck off of you. Money he has absolutely no intention of ever paying back to you. Because he is a moke. Call him what you will–a savage, a brawler, a brute, a mongrel–he is a cast-off; a moron; a lousy off-scouring of the land. And that’s because his germ plasm is of the lowest sort. He is descended from the lowest riff-raff of the English shores–cut-purses, counter-jumpers, common cheats, and cannibals.
“Of course, down south they have a very different notion of what constitutes a gentleman compared to what passes muster up hereabouts. In these parts, a gentleman has his nails manicured and wears a starched collar. His hat is of the very latest fashion, and he likely has a cane with a gold head, and a stickpin for his silk necktie, and cufflinks, but nothing too extravagant. The only rings he wears are a wedding band–and possibly a class ring or a Masonic ring. Whereas down south, a gentleman is more likely to sport a starched white shirt, and a bowtie, or a string tie, and a vest. He may favor a straw boater, and his suit is likely to be of a cotton weave, rather than heavy wool. He is also likely to have chin whiskers. And his tastes in attire tend slightly more toward to extravagant and gaudy. He is more of a Dandy, as befits a strutting cock of a Cavalier. He bids fair to light up a horse race, or a fancy hotel lobby. 
“Now I remember what the old Jew said! He said that whether you have the dosh or you don’t, when staying in a halfway decent hotel, the one thing you always do is tip your bellboy extravagantly well. It is fine to be thrifty, said he, or even frugal, but there’s no need to be stingy. There are many reasons to tip your bellboy, said he. The Yobs who work in a swell hotel get wised up fast, and soon know as much as the House Dick, and even more. The bellboy knows where all the best booze and whores and drugs are to be had. Tip him well and he’ll steer you clear of bad hooch and panel houses. Tip him well and you won’t be getting raw alky spiked with kerosene; you’ll be getting a bottle of the best bonded; the real McCoy. Tip him, damn you, and you won’t be getting some cheap clapped up floozie who reeks of milk puke and mildew; you’ll be getting a top-drawer Zook who looks and smells like peaches and cream. If the gendarmerie are snooping ’round the premises, he’ll make sure you’re the first to know. He can keep a confidence if you tip him well; everything you ask for will be between he and thee and certainly not the parson.  Fact is, if you give him a tip that’ll make his eyes pop open, he’ll figure you for a grand sport, and he won’t be able to do enough for you. Plus, he’ll feel as though you’ve taken a personal interest in him, and that there might be more where that came from. After you leave, he might even talk you up to the Bell Captain, and the next time you set foot in the place there will be dozens of servile lackeys waiting to fulfill your every depraved whim. Of course, it goes without saying that you never slip them the queer, any more than you would a rozzer. Those little monkeys with the caps are older heads than most coppers. No one ever got fat pitching fast balls past those Yellofs. Savvy?
“Maybe you’ve heard, Yob, of the most famous bellboy of all?  None other than Saint Peter, his own self…standing watch at the pearly gates of Heaven.”  
1*SALUTATION
STEELEYE SPAN
ALL AROUND MY HAT
 
ALSO SEE:
THE WEAVER AND THE FACTORY MAID

2*REFERENCE
ILLUMINATI SELLOUTS EXPOSED
 
ALSO SEE:
PROFESSOR GRIFF EXPOSES WILL SMITH AS HOMOSEXUAL
3*HUMOR
So Don Rickles is dead. He was the first comedian I ever admired. To think–he must have been at least 40 when I first saw him. 
 
He went through a phase of wild popularity in the early 1970s. Jack Kirby even used him in the pages of Jimmy Olsen:
 
The late Mr. Rickles had a bit of the schizophrenic about him. He blurted out the truth compulsively, due to his unique world-view. 
 
Not that he was actually schizophrenic, or even schizotypal. He just latched on to Texas Guinan’s gimmick of treating people like suckers, for laughs.
 
(Plus, as Gershon Legman informs us, there is a great old tradition of insult humor known as Water-Wit, which even Samuel Johnson allegedly indulged in.  “Sir, your wife under pretence of keeping a bawdy-house, is a receiver of stolen goods.”  Johnson’s summation of Lord Chesterfield’s letters to his son is hilarious: “They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.”) 
 
But seeing is believing:
Don Rickles Roasts Frank Sinatra
 
Don Rickles Roasts Jerry Lewis
 
Don Rickles and Michael Landon on Carson’s Tonight Show 1974
4*NOVELTY
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

The Paragraphs. By Rick Berlin. Cutlass Press, 2016. Paperback. 248 pages.

The memoir form is a strange and wondrous beast. It tends to be less comprehensive than an autobiography, and therefore also tends to be impressionistic rather than concrete; terse rather than prolix; luminous rather than opaque. Impressionistic, terse and luminous is largely what we are given here; this book is mostly sweet, sometimes tough, and never, ever stuffy. All the verbal fireworks are expelled and exploded in short squibs rather than in ponderous earthshaking volleys. The Paragraphs is a memoir which is full of sentiment but seldom merely sentimental; the author is grandiose, but also humble; garrulous, but with a good sense of when to end a story or an anecdote or a thought exercise. Berlin indulges in solipsism, but manages to be entertaining at the same time. This memoir has the feeling of a series of miniatures, loosely strung together under a set list of thematic headings (“family”; “music”; “booze/drugs”). Berlin touches briefly on certain high points in his life: A movie to be shot in Grenada which he dropped out of Yale Drama School to participate in (culminating in the arrest of the entire cast and crew). His glory days as a performer in Orchestra Luna. His 29 years of “waitress” work at Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain. He also talks a bit about topics which appeal to his eccentric fancy: His cat, his new Kia, farts, asses, zits. I get the impression that Berlin has gathered up a series of his ruminations and jottings over the years and compiled them all together. It probably shouldn’t work as a memoir, but mostly it does. This is due almost entirely to the fact that Berlin is a keen observer with the instincts of an artist, as well as a flair for a certain type of (uncapitalized) bop prosody which is likely to be familiar to those who are fond of the works of Ginsberg, Corso, Kerouac, et al. However, even though this memoir may partake of the Romanticism of the Beats (as well as that of the Romantic poets) his voice and insights are entirely his own. In fact, one gets the sense, after reading The Paragraphs, that one has just enjoyed a long leisurely chat with the author. This is not necessarily all to the good; in the hands of a less gifted raconteur the reader might have on numerous occasions been tempted to put the book back on the shelf and leave it there. As it stands, the memoir, brief as it is, might have benefited from a few judicious elisions.(There are, to my taste, just a few too may anecdotes about Berlin’s unrequited boyhood crushes on boys.) However, it would be a shame if a ruthless editor had laid hands on this manuscript; he or she might have felt constrained to cut out some of the best chapters, simply because they are peripheral to the through-line. For instance, the chapter on “Band Parents” is cutting and incisive and just a little bit brutal. The ruminations in “College?” are both cynical and wise. The section on “the Grim Smile” reads like a stage-ready Performance Art piece.

There are many passages which stand out for their lyricism and prosody.

From “Performing”

if you give it all you got, if you ‘leave it all on the stage,’ you occasionally inhabit an ego-vanishing dimension. your ‘you’ vaporizes. you transmogrify into an energy that is not from, but through the Self. your ‘muse’ Ouija-boards an art wave. this is intoxicating and, let’s face it, you love the love even as you wonder how to win the anonymous art. you invent reciprocity.

From “Is the Grass Really Greener? (Redux)”:

we lie in bed, heavy with the weight of the not done, the ‘all’ we may never be, the relationships that are missing or too much with us, the families that drive us crazy, the cars that won’t start, the jobs that don’t pay enough for the shit we take, the books we never write, the plays we’re not in and the races we’re too scared to run. we’re charged so many debits and collect so few credits.

But Berlin can also be gnomic

From “College?”: “…to spend that much money to learn all the places you fail is false advertising….”

From “Neverland”: “did Peter Pan have it right, or did Dorian Gray?”

From “O Tannenbaum”: “pretty loses out to truth.”

This last quote is as good a place as any to conclude. Berlin’s style is sometimes lyrical and sometimes vulgar, but you always get the strong impression that he employs few, if any filters in this memoir. If you favor such wild, unalloyed Romaticism, then you might decide to read this diverting memoir in one fell swoop.

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

933. PIT BULLS: “THIS NOBLE BREED”
934. THE MUSIC MAP
To find bands of related interest

I suspect that this application was not designed with the discerning cognoscenti in mind.

And the algorithm is probably based on some sort of citation analysis.

I guess it is more a tool to guide you toward other similarly good bands than it is a tool to guide you to other bands which sound alike.

 
But sometimes the results are a little…off.

“If you like Fabian you might also like Mingus.”


“If you like Noel Coward you might also like Corky and the Juice Pigs.”

THE INFORMATION #936 APRIL 14, 2017

THE INFORMATION #936
APRIL 14, 2017
Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women.–Mark Twain

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART NINETEEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“My vision of hell,” said Count Victor Justin, “in case you’d care to hear it, is to be everlastingly dominated by women. Do this; don’t do that. Faugh!  Women!  O, the Minxes! First they’ll mother you, then they’ll smother you. That’s no kind of life for a freebooting manikin.

“I don’t even know why Yellofs even bother with women, most of the time, other than for the pokey-pokey, and the perpetuation of the race. Zooks have absolutely nothing in common with us, or with any of our interests. We like the smell of the tavern; they fawn on the aroma of the tea parlor. We grow hair all over our arms and legs; they just as assiduously shave it off. We reek of manly scents like sweat and horseflesh, while they slap themselves all over with perfumy water that makes them stink like the denizens of an International Whorehouse, or the inner courtyard  of a despicable Seraglio. We like to eat steaks and sausages and whole chickens, while they confine themselves to watercress sandwiches and other rabbit food. We drink from buckets brimming over with good reeb straight from the barrel, while they sip on sickly-sweet sherry and other bastardized concoctions. We men will eat most anything when we’re hungry; the womenfolk, however, are picky, and nothing will do other than some gigolo furriner with a fancy white hat be put to work making them exotic dishes–rubbish which no self-respecting he-man would touch with a barge pole.

“All women care about—all they really want to do—is to spend our money. The more of our ooftish they can get their diggers on, the happier they be. And it’s not like they ever put a penny or two aside for a rainy day, like most Yobs who have any sense at all are inclined to do. No! They spend it on getting their hair snipped, scorched and dressed by some poufter in a fancy-ass ‘shoppe,’ or they blow it on cheap, worthless costume jewelry, or fancy dresses that they wear once and bury in a closet, or on carriage rides which suit no need other than their desire to expose their vanity to the admiration of rude yahoos and other low-born Yellofs.

“And God help you if you scorn them! Hell hath no fury like a woman thwarted. Once they figure they got you twisted right around their little finger—and, believe it or not, Yob, but there actually are men like that—weak sisters, the lot of ‘em—I wouldn’t piss on ‘em if they were on fire—once they figure you’re a slave to what they got between their legs—some call it ‘The Wound that Never Heals’—why, then you’re just as good as completely sunk. You might as well give up all your fancy schemes and dreams of making something of yourself. Because that there is the very last thing she wants for you to do. If you become an esteemed citizen, then where’s the room for her? What’s the need?

“Because, you see, once you ‘Make It’, all the womenfolk will be throwin’ themselves at you. They will not be able to resist your charms. You’ll be the subject of admiring glances wherever you go. When you are a big man in the estimation of the world, you can try out all kinds of experiments. You will say that you will be showing up at the Scandahoovian Embassy at 8 sharp to feast on a smorgasbord of Kottbuller and Lutefisk, and, by the Neddy Jingo, you will meet up there with a crowd of loochers all in their fancy dress proclaiming the merits of smoked salmon and marinated herring! And, the very next day, there will be a Scandanavian ‘craze,’ and all the stores will experience a run on rutabagas and lingonberry jam!  

“But that’s only if you’re famous. That’s why your average women with whom you have an affair will want you to be a workaday drudge so that forever ever after you will be shackled to her ever-loving apron strings. Once she knows you’ll do anything to please her, if only to keep the peace, she’ll have you precisely where she wants you. Then the nagging will begin. Trust me, Yob—I know whereof I speak.

“‘O, you brute male! How dare you fart in my presence!’ That’s the kind of song you’ll hear from the likes of Dolly Birds, p’ticularly when they think they’ve got the upper hand. ‘How dare you belch? Don’t you have any manners? Where is your napkin! Don’t be so rough with the baby!’ It’s never ‘Congratulations on your big score, O Lord and Master.’ It’s always, ‘You need to earn more money.’  Note the operative word: ‘You’.

“Not all women are so blatant. But I’ve known more than a few who were. ‘I don’t want to go with you. You ain’t got no money. I thought you were a man—but you’re just a boy.’ There’s nothing like a woman, Yob, for twisting the knife. A man can insult you, and that’s all well and good. If it’s worth your while, you always have the option of pummeling him, or, at the very least, doing him some dirt when he’s got his back turned. But Lordie help you if you strike a woman! Mind you, I’m not recommending it. But that’s simply because it simply isn’t done. Not in perlite society.

“’The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.’ No truer words were ever spoken! But that’s only true if you allow yourself to be led around by the nose by a Zook. Need a shoulder to cry on? Get a dog. That’s my advice. A dog won’t spend your money; nor will he fuck your best friend or get drunk and hurl dishes at your head.

“It’s like Mark Twain says: ‘A dog will not bite you if you make him prosperous.’ Would that you could say the same about a woman—any woman—any woman–other than me own sainted Mother.

“Of course, certain dogs–like certain women—are known to attack and not stand down—not even if commanded to by God. And that is why you have got to be careful. My advice? When you go amongst women–go by more than one name!”

 
1*SALUTATION
SPIKE JONES
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC
FEATURING BILLY BARTY
 
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC
ALSO SEE:
Spike Jones
Ugga Ugga Boo Ugga Boo Boo Ugga
 
ALSO SEE:
BEST OF SPIKE JONES
ALSO SEE:

Freddie Fisher & the Schnicklefritz Band – Tiger Rag

ALSO SEE:
Liberace
Tiger Rag
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyOp1eYis7o&list=RD4jdLN1WjK1Y
6* DAILY UTILITY
100 RECORDS THAT SET THE WORLD ON FIRE (WHEN NOBODY WAS LISTENING)

fastnbulbous.com/wire100/

 
ALSO SEE:

20TH CENTURY’S MOST FAVORABLY CRITICIZED ROCK ALBUMS

www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/20century.htm

8*PRESCRIPTION
ALL NATURAL CALMING PRODUCT
9*RUMOR PATROL

Louis CK: Donald Trump Is a ‘Lying Sack of S–t’
www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/louis-ck-donald-trump-is-a-lying-sack-of-s–t-w475047

10* LAGNIAPPE

MODERN LOVERS
ROADRUNNER
https://youtu.be/BgRYncR1Nog

SEX PISTOLS
ROADRUNNER
https://youtu.be/yl-y6rLj58Q

ugh ugh duh duh / duh duh / I dunno * laughs* the words / I dunno how it starts I’ve forgotten it / old on stop a second / stop stop stop / shout out how it starts whats the first line / Cook shouts 123456 / alright can you start at the begining we are / Roadrunner Roadrunner not half / I cant ear yer Paul / Roadrunner Roadrunner / Go one thousand mile an hour / er lala lala lah / with the radio on / Roadrunner Roadrunner / Go one thousand mile an hour / oh gawd I dunno it / I drove past the stop n shop / and I walk by the stop n shop / and I fed her past the stop shop / had the radio on / in touch with the modern world / I fell in love with the modern world / fell in love with London Glasgow / had the radio on / Roadrunner Roadrunner / Go one thousand miles an hour / felt in touch with the modern world / in love with the modern world / here we go now / im gonna walk twenty eight miles of barbed wire / so cold there darlin / fifty thousand watts of power / we go one thousand miles an hour / with the radio on / Roadrunner Roadrunner / oh gawd I dunno it / its far kin ridicu-larse / wish I had the words / Roadrunner Roadrunner / notice how Cook and Jones pick up the excitement here – fantastic / I go one thousand miles an hour / I felt in touch with the modern world / I felt love in the modern world / I love the sound of the pass around I know / Roadrunner I run one thousand miles an hour / running a charge an Im radio on / I dont breathe your world / Roadrunner Roadrunner / er get her get her her /jones solo / do we know any other people’s songs / oi brrrrrrrrr / oi do we know / oi do we know any other far kin songs that we could do

SEX PISTOLS
HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN
https://youtu.be/2Ah1JM9mf60

I gotta go over the wall,
I don’t understand this bit at all
Please don’t be waiting for me.

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
MARIE CALLENDER’S ® DINNERS

Marie Callender’s dinners are made with “scratch gravy”.

I thought that was a 1960s garage band from Petaluma.


CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
931 ALWAYS ELVIS WINE

Perhaps you have heard the sales pitch for Always Elvis Wine: “The wine that Elvis would have drank–if He drank wine.”

THE INFORMATION #935 APRIL 7, 2017

THE INFORMATION #935
APRIL 7, 2017

Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years. –Carl Sandburg


WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART EIGHTEEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“Now, listen real good Yob, and let me tell you something about hell,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy.
They were walking outdoors town the slimy streets of Blowtown during a Spring drizzle that had resolved itself into a suspicious mist which hovered a full nine inches off the ground. 
“If such a place as Hades even exists. I’m not saying it does, and I’m not saying that it doesn’t. Now, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to picture heaven. The hobo spends half his time dreaming about cigarette trees and fucking rivers of whiskey, whilst the truly devout Yellof no doubt thinks it’s all about translucent Yobs in sissy white robes farting around on clouds and playing harps.  
“But all the wise Gees know that hell is where the action is. Sky-pilots and Bible-pounders can preach themselves hoarse about how it be a place of eternal hellfire, where the damned congregate with the even more damned, if such a condition can even exist. But I’m pretty sure that they’re full of horse apples–on this point as on every other. 
 
“Like I said before, I think the devil is little more than a vindictive old man. He hates to feel the sunshine. he hates to hear the chirruping birdies. he hates to look at pretty girls all dressed up in their spring finery. And, if you’ll pardon the expression, he cares not one hoot in hell for the doings of athletes, and politicians, and vaudeville performers. He glories instead in moss, and mildew, and cobwebs, and dust. He has a racking cough which never quite goes away. And he very seldom smiles. Hell is a serious business to the father of lies. I think that the devil is a proponent of  Culpae poenae par esto.  He always suits the punishment to fit the crime.  I’m with Dante on this one. Of course, to the devil, every normal impulse is a crime. Is spring when a young man’s fancy turns to love? That there is a crime. Does the ancient nobleman revel in an evening of learned talk, with copious draughts of Falernian wine? That too is a crime. Does a jolly old friar drink his Reisling and devour his roasted capon with great gusto? That’s a terrible terrible crime, for it means that the otherwise blameless monk is secretly a notorious tosspot and gluttonizer. 
 
“I suppose that even the Pope his own self is not exempt. Does he ever take his beanie off in front of the mirror and notice his thinning hairline, gone completely white? That right there is the sin of vanity, of which we are told there is no greater. I suppose that when he goes to hell he will be set upon by agnostics and beaten with fists. And all the while he’ll be saying ‘May Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, be with you by His power; and may the Immaculate Virgin, the destroyer of all heresies, be with you by her prayers and aid.’ And the devil will raise a great big haw haw haw at that. 
 
“Because I suspect that the sole pleasure that the devil gets down is hell is seeing Yellofs get their eternal come-uppance. That’s the devil’s sense of humor–those who had it bad on earth will have it even more lousy rotten down below. Right now, down there in hell, Cinder Dicks and Railroad Bulls are no doubt repeatedly being beaten by squadrons of angry hobos. Shyster lawyers are being buried under their weight of their law books, and the massive bundles of lying depositions from expert witnesses. 
 
“And that’s not all. I’ll bet that whores are forced to read edifying literature. Illiterates are trapped in rooms full of books, and no pictures. And bookworms are only allowed to read government documents pertaining to the agricultural output of New Caledonia in the year 1860.   
 
“Oh, I’m imagining that hell is actually a jolly old holiday destination, just so long as you’re not the one on the receiving end. 
 
“There is a genuine city street replete with a filthy alley where garrulous biddies who defile the early morning calm with their empty-headed chatter are forced to listen to a wax cylinder recording of their own cracked voices for all eternity.
 
“There is an infernal trolley car where rude fatsos who push their way ahead of the boarding line get dumped on their asses onto the freezing cold railroad tracks.
 
“There is a fancy first-run theater where Yellofs who cough, titter and belch during performances are forced to endure the sound and smell of a fat man ceaselessly eating and ceaselessly regurgitating rotten eggs and sausage.
 
“There is a perpetual carnival where vindictive Negroes pitch hardballs at the heads of dignified southern gentlemen.
 
“Laconic sign painters and unscrupulous bill posters are forced to swallow vast quantities of their own wheat paste and gold leaf.
 
“There’s a music store where tone-deaf youngsters play the all latest sentimental ballads–on the piano tuner’s teeth.
 
“There’s an office building, where dried-out little junior Clerks go to the pencil sharpener–and the sharpener grinds their heads to a fine point.
 
“There’s a grocery store where enormously fat swindling butchers and unscrupulous starveling shopkeepers grow thumbs so enormous they can no longer stand upright.
 
“In the lobby of Hell’s Hotel, furious baggage handlers and louche hotel bellboys are flung about and mauled by filthy snorting gorillas and savage mandrills. 
 
“In the St. Hell hospital, crabby sick nurses and clumsy candy stripers receive endless enemas and pinpricks from disinterested interns.
 
“And quack Doctors are compelled to swallow so many of their sugary placebos that they get sick to their stomachs.
 
“Out in the country, over t’ West Hell, traveling salesmen face the business end of a shotgun again and again and again, even though they never did get to fuck the farmer’s daughter.
 
“Itinerant Gypsies cheerfully while away the hours hammering twopenny nails into the hapless heads of vulgar carpenters and shiftless tinsmiths.
 
“And down on the farm, egg candlers and chicken sexers have bright lights shone in their eyes while they are roughly manhandled by spiteful ogres.
 
“And fruit pickers and chicken pluckers have every hair on their heads tweezered out–one by one.
 
“And that’s just in the part of hell where the tourists are allowed to go!”
 
1*SALUTATION
SPARKS
AMATEUR HOUR (1974) 

She can show you what you must do
To be more like people better than you

Amateur Hour goes on and on
When you turn pro you know she’ll lets you know
Amateur Hour goes on and on
When you turn pro you know
She tells you so

 
ALSO SEE:
SPARKS WITH ERASURE
AMATEUR HOUR
 
LES RITA MITSOUKO & SPARKS
HIP KIT
2*REFERENCE
HOPE IN A MAN NAMED TRUMP

www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/01/21/forgotten-forlorn-mass-town-finds-hope-man-named-trump/6yW2mXgV7ZmvBHnOcFwujJ/story.html

3*HUMOR
LENNY BRUCE
STRICTLY REVOLUTIONARY MIX
6* DAILY UTILITY
SUPERAMPHETAMINE BEAR
https://youtu.be/UhLbuuxr0cg

7*CARTOON
THE WORST COMIC BOOK OF ALL TIME

doctor-k100.blogspot.com/2010/09/worst-comic-book-of-all-time.html

8*PRESCRIPTION
THE NATURE OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS
9*RUMOR PATROL
MISSION: IMPEACHABLE

 

10* LAGNIAPPE
HELEN SHAPIRO
WALKIN’ BACK TO HAPPINESS
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
LITTLE MARCY
“DOWN IN MY HEART”
The ghastliest puppet spectacle you’re ever likely to witness.

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

AMERICA IN BLACK, WHITE & GRAY. FISCHER. ****
APPARAT: THE SINGLES COLLECTION. ELLIS. ****
ATMOSPHERICS. ELLIS. ****
AVENGERS: ENDLESS WARTIME. ELLIS. ***1/2
BATMAN 1. I AM GOTHAM. ***1/2
BIOGRAFIKTION. ***
BLACKGAS. ELLIS. ****
COMICS GONE APE. EURY. ***
COMPLETE POGO VOL. 1. KELLY. ****
CRIMINAL. BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS. ****
DECELERATE BLUE. RAPP & CAVALLARO. ****
DESOLATION JONES. ELLIS & WILLIAMS. ***1/2
DOWN. ELLIS. ****
THE EXTINCTION PARADE. BROOKS. ***1/2
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN 2. APOCALYPSE WARS. ***1/2
THE FADE OUT. BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS. **** 
FELL. ELLIS. ****
FRANKENSTEIN’S WOMB. ELLIS. ****
GRAVEL 1 & 2. ELLIS. ****1/2
HARLEY QUINN 6. BLACK, WHITE & RED ALL OVER. ***
HOTWIRE: REQUIEM FOR THE DAD. PUGH & ELLIS. ***1/2
IGNITION CITY. ELLIS. ***1/2
INJECTION. ELLIS. ****
JUSTICE LEAGUE 1. THE EXTINCTION MACHINES. ***
MOCKINGBIRD 1. I CAN EXPLAIN. ***1/2
MOON GIRL & DEVIL DINOSAUR 2. COSMIC COOTIES. ***
THE MURDER OF SONNY LISTON. ASSAEL. ***1/2
NEWSPRINTS. XU. **1/2
ONE PUNCH MAN 11. ONE. ***1/2
THE OTHER PARIS. SANTE. ****1/2
THE PARAGRAPHS. BERLIN. ***1/2
PEPPERMINT TWIST. JOHNSON ET AL. ***1/2
RAINBOW’S END. KLEIN. ****
THE SECRET GARDEN. BURNETT. ****
STOP FORGETTING TO REMEMBER. KUPER. ***1/2
STREET POISON: THE BIOGRAPHY OF ICEBERG SLIM. GIFFORD. ****
SUGAR SKULL. BURNS. ****
SUPERMAN 1. SON OF SUPERMAN. ***1/2
THE THING ABOUT LIFE IS THAT ONE DAY YOU’LL BE DEAD. SHIELDS. ***1/2
ULTIMATE GALACTUS 1-3. ELLIS. ****
USERNAME: REGENERATED. SUGG. ***
WOLVERINE: ORIGIN 1 & 2. ***1/2
YOUNG AVENGERS: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 1. ***1/2

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
929. ALI AND HIS GANG FIGHT MR. TOOTH DECAY
Said to be one of the worst records ever recorded. Hear for yourself.
 
930. ELVIS’ GREATEST SHIT
 
ALSO SEE:
HAVING FUN WITH ELVIS ON STAGE

MODERN WISDOM ​​NUMBER 222 APRIL 2017

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

​​NUMBER 222
APRIL 2017
Copyright 2017 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com
 

1.THANKS A LOT, IMAGINARY DEITY–MY UNIVERSE IS RUINED

Evil won again today, leaving Good only five matches ahead for
domination of the universe.

Maan, like, The Lord really sucks, man!

I used to think Jhwh was schmart, but now I think he’s schtupid.

I used to think J. Edgar Jehovah was watching me from heaven.

I used to say ‘Yahweh or the Highway’.

I used to say, “You’d better show respect to Jehovah’s Fist/ Or he’ll
burn your messianic ass to a crisp.”

But, once again, my favorite God has let me down.

Douche-God has fucked up again.

I can’t believe I used to pray to that Guy.

I mean really–what has He done for us, lately?

Except coast for the last 1,980 years?

I can’t believe I give $500 a year to that Guy!

And to think that at one time I ate of His bread and drank of His wine!

I was even married in His church!

Well, I’m sick of being a sap.

I’m going to throw away all of my God memorabilia, including my poster of World Championship Lions v. Christians from 70 A.D.

I guess I should have paid closer attention to the disclaimer on the
crucifix: “Belief in the Divinity of Christ does not automatically
entitle user to experience eternal bliss in Heaven.”

OH–AND ANOTHER THING–What the fuck is/are Sauron/Abhorred doing pairing up Gandalf the Gray with Frodo Baggins in single coverage?


2. THEY LIVE
“THEY have infiltrated the system for so long that every word,
intonation, tone, meter, rhythm, melody, numeric measure has its
subterranean meaning and symbolism. Correspondingly, every operatic confluence of symbols, whether in a parade, play, movie, sporting event, political convention, anything televised, radio-waved or printed, commands a complex array of perverse forces of sex and death to concentrate power to the masters and weakness to the slaves.”
 
3. THE WORK OF DOGFISH GINGERY: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Professor Gingery has spent nearly the whole of his career on his monumental and controversial work titled “Adacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Modern Household Gods; or An Inquiry Into the Origin of Ad Figures of all Languages and Nations, but Principally Restricted to the United States.”

To quote one critic, “Professor Gingery [is] convinced that a high civilization will someday be reconstructed out of the classic tropes of what modern civilization has utilized to replace the “household gods” of the ancients; namely, the ad figures which flourished at the height of the “commodity culture” of the United States, particularly between at the high tide of its empire, ca. 1914-1973.”

Gingery believed that these figures flourished during that era because they all expressed some compelling need of the American people for a fleeting sense of security in “a world gone seemingly mad with its proxy wars between leviathans” who, for the most part “merely fought in defense of the perpetuation of their own ‘national brand’.” (In this he was probably influenced by the work of English Formalists.) He controversially identifies some of these as “The fasces; the eagle, the rising sun; John Bull, mother Russia; Marianne, and that ancient symbol, the swastika (inverted).”

His research has lasted some 40 years. Another commentator has noted, “Influenced by the thinking of the Russian formalists, [Gingery] attempted to (1) establish the existence of a universal thematic “deep structure” of this peculiar, commodity-based quasi-religion, (2) to trace its development, and (3) sought to definitively limn its significance to the development of contemporary mores.” Gingery further believed “the evolution of these ad figures [gave] the scholar piercing insights into the knowledge of archetypal phenomena, which wholly held neither media nor commerce as intermediary in man’s perpetuation of the institution of the nuclear family.” (For instance, during any given era, characters such as the “Ajax Pixies” [ca. 1948-59] could, owing the changing circumstances, be entirely superseded by the powerful and omnicompetent “Ajax Knight” [1963].

Gingery significantly noted that such ad figures (or “devices”)–often taking form as a “fabulous half-man and half beast,” or as “powerful demigods,” or even as “golemesque animated commodities,”–all had in common the perpetuation of a form of “linguistic dislocation” which was “more characteristic of poetry than of myth, per se, although mythic elements provided a superstructure for the meaning embedded within [both the form and the “device”.]”

This highly sought after book is extremely rare. Three volumes (to date). Partial Contents:

VOLUME ONE
ORIGINS: TOWARD A GENERAL THEORY
Probable Origins of Commodity Branding in the Rome, France, the United Kingdom and later, the United States.
The First Rules of the Ancient Copywriters.
Symbols and Ideograms.
Palindromes, Puns, and Assonance, and their use.
Phallic and Yonic Simulacra.
Nature Gods.
The Use of The Cosmic (Sun, Moon, and Stars).
The Great God “Buy”.
Origin of the Adoration of the Brand.
The Word, the Press, and the Printer’s Devil.
Character of the Type-heavy Testament
Orthography and the Use of Space
The Onset of the Age of Advertising.
Meta-commerce–The Conversion of Commodities to Cash and Cash to Commodities

VOLUME TWO
MULTIPLICITY: TOWARD A FLUID TYPOLOGY
The Great Ur-ad Symbols (Michelin Man; Laughing Cow; Gold Dust Twins; Quaker Oats Man; The Dutch Boy, et al.)
Duality, Tension and Complexity (Buster Brown and His Dog Tige, Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo; The Coppertone Girl)
The Satanic Influence (Underwood Deviled Ham Devil; Proctor & Gamble; Arm & Hammer; The Green Giant)
The Pagan Sprite (Speedy Alka-Seltzer; Snap Crackle & Pop; The Keebler Elves, The Ajax Pixies; The Campbell Twins)
The “Hero’s Quest” (Captain Tootsie; Man From Glad; the Ajax White Knight, Choo-Choo Charlie; Mr. Clean)
The Wise Counselor (Madge the Manicurist; Josephine the Plumber; Rosie the Waitress; The Man With The Texaco Star)
The Bountiful Mother (Chicken of the Sea Tuna; Land O’Lakes Indian Maiden; Mrs. Butterworth; Betty Crocker)
The Animal Friend (Laughing Cow; The Budweiser Clydesdales; Elsie the Cow)
Mythic Protectors (The Esso Tiger; the Eveready 9 Lives Cat; The Energizer Bunny)
The Omniscient Loki (Bozo; Ronald McDonald; Burger King; Mickey Mouse; Chuck E. Cheese)
The Mad Fool (Sonny the Cuckoo Bird; Trix Rabbit; Toucan Sam; The Quik Bunny)
The Self-Extinguishing Device (Ol’ Lonely, The Maytag Repair Man; I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter; Volkswagen)
The “Product Martyrs” (Mr. Whipple; Charlie the Tuna; Lucky Charms Leprechaun; Fred the Baker)
The Self-Abnegating Servant (Rastus the Cook; Aunt Jemima; Uncle Ben)
The Wandering Savant (Popeye; The Old Spice Sailor; Sugar Bear; Mr ZIP; The Marlboro Man)
The Maiden Harlot (Erin Esurance; The Swedish Bikini Team; The Starbucks Melusine; The Sun-Maid Raisin Girl)
The Sirens (Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy; The Snuggles Family Softener Bear; The Pine Sol Lady)
The Agon (The Hamburglar; the Cookie Crisp Crook; Frito Bandito; Punchy and Oaf)
Disease and Disgust (Dirty Sludge, Sticky Valve, Gummy Ring, Blackie Carbon; The Raid Insects)

VOLUME THREE
GENERALITIES: PARADOXES, CONUNDRUMS, INCONSISTENCIES
“Cover Their Faces With Shame, That They May Seek Your Name” (Psalms 83:16).
The Manichaean Paradox of ‘Brand X’
The Chosen Brand Versus The Leading Brand
Crossovers From Other Mythologies
The Ephemeral Nature of Branded Consumables
The Infant as the Adoration of All Stations
The Descent Into and Return From Hell
The Omnicompetent Sponsor
Advertisers Acknowledge More Than One “Sponsor”
The War of All Against All
Advertising Follows the Season(s)
Advertising Effaces Time
Disingenuous Conduct of Ad Creators
Dramatic Irony in the Commercial
“The People Shouted With a Great Shout, And The Wall Fell Down Flat” (Joshua 6:20)
1,432 pages, ISBN 1-67560-382-1, $79.00

 
SELECTIONS FROM THE ADACALYPSIS

Insights about trivial things are not always trivial insights.

To the man of discernment, subsidiary works are both fascinating and irritating.

Advertising now forms the mythopoeic superstructure of art, politics,
and narrative.

All advertisements bear political content.

All advertisements stand for any one advertisement.

The purpose of advertisements is to generate money where none
previously existed.

In advertising, the end justifies the means, making it the one art
form that is completely amoral.

Advertising is hardwired within ancient consciousness.

Advertising causes the neuroses which psychoanalysis arose to assuage.

Advertising undermines myths.

Advertising always dissolves the tropes of high literary expression into a mythopoeic much accessible to the lowest common denominator.

Advertising does not approach the truth—not even within a confidence interval.

Advertising is always closer to being a total lie than it is to being
the total truth.

Advertising is a tragic, self-defeating comedy constructed of hubris
and illusion.

The classic ad is a sophisticated chimera of sub-verbal assurances.

Modern advertising is a blatant perversion of the accepted meaning of
the commonplace sign.

The protagonist of all advertisements is a Greek hero-figure whose
fate is always resolved within a formula of circular logic.

Older advertising narratives recapitulated the Fichtean
Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis formula. Newer ads use a systolic/dystolic
model.

Advertising is ancient, appearing at least as far back as Greek
inscriptional epigrams.

Advertising is not an art form. It is the burial and final interment of art.

Advertising follows the principle of the big lie: brazen falsehoods
leavened with enough truth to create an atmosphere of plausibility.

Fascism is impossible without propaganda, which is simply a more overt
form of advertising.

In advertising, the information which is left out is always more
significant than the information is which bundled into the message.

No ad ever includes even an obfuscating footnote unless the law demands it.

In public service advertising, it is always the message which would
ordinarily be footnoted which is foregrounded.

In 1984 I coined the term anadvertising to indicate the opposite of
advertising based on oppositional research. Perhaps now its time has
come.

The purpose of anadvertising is to rectify the language, abolish cant,
and, ultimately, to destroy advertising altogether.

Advertising is the symptom, but human nature is the cause of our credulity.

All competing brands are, at best, well-meaning thieves.

If you are not for the brand, you are against the brand.

Whosoever does not bear the mark of the brand can neither buy nor sell.

Babylon is alive and well.

Brand X is a false idol.

That which is not branded should not be consumed.

Brands are “nice things”.

There is no entity so big or so small that it cannot be branded.

All mass gatherings are branded.

A brand was formerly a mark of shame; it is now a mark of distinction.

An item which has not been branded does not exist…in the world of commerce.

Brands inhabit a hierarchical geography.

Previously undistinguished items take on a totemic significance once
branding has been applied: e.g., bottled water.

In the world of branding, there is no such thing as a distinction
without a difference.

Humans are merely mortal. Brands abide.

Brands, in the form of corporations, have the same rights as humans.

Brand wars inflict commercial casualties.

All choice is simply a matter of choice between branded commodities.

Generic brands are themselves grim parodies of brands.

Brands will only negate themselves in the interest of moving more
product, and thereby ensuring the viability of the brand. E.g., store
brands.

Brands recapitulate phylogeny.

Brands metastasize.

Health is a brand—and on the brand’s terms.

Brands are the biggest tent.

To question the primacy of the brand is at best, an agnostic heresy
which can be countenanced only in the context of a preferable brand.

Brand atheism is verboten in the theology of Mammon.

The ammunition may be generic, but the gun is always branded.

Brand fetishism is the hallmark of a degraded mythos.

A word will mean what a brand decides it will mean. “The question is
which is to be master—that is all.”

The brand experience is totalizing in that it presupposes membership
in a clan that abides by the verities of consumer culture.

In consumer culture, all physical activity is sought out rather than
constituting an organic condition of living.

Physical exercise is best experienced in the context of shopping for brands.

The making of a family of consumers is the only recognized and valid
form of artistic expression.

If you forego the family experience, you can nonetheless become a part
of the family of brands.

Brands abhor cognitive dissonance unless it is utilized in the service
of promoting the brand.

Hunting is a primitive throwback to an archaic state–unless it is
bargain hunting.

Wealthy people bargain-hunt, but they prefer to say they hunt for quality.

A philanthropist brands himself as charitable.

Half a brand is better than none.

Participating in the world of brands has an etiquette all its own.

In the branded economy, a refusal to waste disposable goods is
regarded as a neurosis.

Ad characters are nearly always happy.

Ad copy encoded in a non-intuitive tongue harms the brand.

It’s not what a commercial says but how it makes you feel that is
important. And what you feel and what that feeling makes you do is the
ultimate result-based outcome.

Meaningless statistics are a primary weapon of all marketing strategy
and forms the basis of all logic which it imposes upon the consumer.

The Old Fishing Hole and other archetypal American places are now brands.

Money establishes a nation’s brand profile.

Cereal boxes are the most eagerly devoured text of the schooled society.

Advertising worships children as future customers while at the same time treating them as transitory, fugitive commodities.

The prototypical ad-man was probably a donkey-driver.

Christ rode a branded ass into Jerusalem.

If ad-men had the chance to rename all our major cities they would do so in a heartbeat.

Nicknames are just another type of brand.

Rosy-fingered dawn and other Homeric epithets could easily be used to describe branded products; e.g., “Enzyme-active Axion”; “self-styling Adorn”.

The poet who becomes a copy-writer has a head start; rhyme and rhythm are nothing new or strange to him.

If it can be commodified, it can be sold. If it can be sold, it can be commodified.

Prostitutes in ancient times embedded ads in the heels of their shoes. If we are not utilizing dead space for advertising, we are not advancing.

You can lead a man to market but you mustn’t make him think.

Cash is the color that goes with everything.

Ads would always use exclusively non-verbal copy if they could.

Advertising is the Stalinization of commodities.

Someday, all people will become acutely anxious in the absence of advertising and branded commodities. Until that day finally arrives, there is work to be done!

Ad language is totalizing in the manner of Orwellian Newspeak. Once it becomes ubiquitous, no non-commodity related thoughts will even be possible.

Celebrities who sin will fall from brand heaven and enter brand limbo until they may be safely restored to the brand pantheon.

Typefaces are runes.

The Old Testament in one word: Obey. The New Testament in one word: Love.

Not all weirdoes ignore brands, but all who ignore brands are weirdoes.

The brand is not bad in its place, but its place is now everywhere.

There is no escaping the brand: only the attempt to escape, and the illusion of success.

The smell of home is more and more becoming the smell of familiar brands.

Aren’t you glad you use dial? Don’t you want to kill all those strangers who do not?

All communists, terrorists, anarchists and insane people are Brand X.

Seasonal variations ultimately serve the purpose f brands.

After the revolution, the French sought to rebrand the months of the year.

Notice that to this day, August is branded a de facto Vacation Month.

Toward a Branded Year:

January: Theraflu. February: Hallmark March: Nike. April: H&R Block. May: United. June: Viagra. July: Uncle Sam. August: Crayola. September: Bic. October: Libby’s. November: Perdue. December: Santa.

Occupations are brands. You either work for a corporate brand, you are in a branded occupation, or both.

Hate god, but never hate the real God: Money.

A sound-bite is a bullet point is a still-frame.

A spoken lead is a paragraph is a panel sequence is a seven-second series of frames.

In a post-literate society, a picture makes you feel more than a thousand words ever can.

Television, movies, the internet are streams. Still-frames are a pool of still water.

The comic book page, usually consisting of no more than nine panels, is the basic unit of all graphic literature; the individual panel is the irreducible building block.

You are where you eat.

There is something to be said for certain restaurants as locales for consumer power.

The condition of food before it reaches the plate is also a brand choice. To the discerning palate, there is a difference; to the subconscious semiotician, there is a distinction.

All tourist locations are branded.

Advertising is effective because the great mass of men are haunted every day by magical thinking.

Magical thinking is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Branded products are magical charms and amulets which our conscious minds may disbelieve but our subconscious minds draw comfort from owning.

Advertising makes thinking into a conditioned response.

Neuro-linguistic programming existed long before there was a name for it. Its prototype is the hieroglyph. The oral tradition, the stage play, and the rituals of religious worship are all precursors to modern advertising.

Advertising relies heavily upon neuro-linguistic programming—as do movies, television, the internet, and most print media.

The discoveries of zero and of the vacuum were revolutionary in their implications for control.

Neuro-linguistic programming subjugates human thought just as surely as animal strength subjugates weaker prey.

Jokes, proverbs, and church bells are three of the most potent forms of neuro-linguistic programming.

The sun which lights our world is always one. It is the gold standard of neuro-linguistic programming.

The sun was the first neuro-linguistic programming, followed by the moon and stars, and eventually by the “god” who “created” them.

The surveillance state is as old as Tiberius, but never until the last 50 years have states had the technology and the will to exploit the potentialities of the surveillance state to their fullest.

The occult is everywhere. Occult simply means hidden, and, as we all know, nature loves to hide.

Light and dark: Our second binary code. Being and nothingness: The first.

Advertising is the key to the inhibitory forebrain.

Dying is the only legitimate means of opting out of brand preference.

Monogamy is simply brand loyalty by another name.

Modern parody is a reward for distinction. It does not tear down; it builds up. Call it what it is: Travesty.

The more imaginary the distinction between products, the more elaborate the superstructure of distinctions constructed to differentiate between them.

Nowadays, tattoos and piercings are merely self-branding.

Handsome is a brand.

Orphan commodities seek branding from their retail outlets—for instance, a package of ground beef, which might be from dozens of cows but which is sold under the name of the store.

Dog breeds are among the earliest brands.

The comic book hero is a brand.

In any given era, comic books will either sell social change or social stasis.

Weeds are Brand X.

If the people could speak as with one voice, they would say “Let Us.” If the law could speak as with one voice, it would say “You may not.”

The law is a branded commodity.

All the best brands outlive a lifetime.

There are no heretical brand practices. The advertiser’s motto is “whatever works”.

Look on my works, ye mighty…and buy.

Scholarly apparatuses and peer review are a branding process like any other.

Such is the fine fancy of the world that we lay our faults upon…a brand.

Where there is brand ignorance, let us sow brand awareness.

Every newly-arriving ethnic group is Brand X until it proves itself otherwise.

Brand X is false brand consciousness.

The promise of instant wealth is the most seductive ad gimmick of all.

In the ad world, wealth is happiness, and unearned wealth is the supreme goal.

Advertising signs are now the signs that truly matter.

Florida is the perpetual sunshine brand. Vermont is the winter brand.

We once tracked animals. Now we track bargains.

Even a schizophrenic society cares about its brand of medication.

Buying day old bread is the modern version of tracking antelope in the heat-baked tropical plains.

Limited-time bargains are like coyote tracks in the desert. Beware the shifting sands of deceptive time.

Hallucinogenic Siberian mushroom piss was probably the first branded drug.

Dumpster diving is the modern version of gathering animal scat to burn for fuel.

Aliens might easily mistake the human brand for the baboon brand—we both share opposable thumbs. Nor would they be far wrong.

Signs and signals are among the earliest forms proving that it “pays” to advertise.

What were petroglyphs if not early billboards for the tribal brand?

A child will paint the outline of his own hand. A man will trace the outline of his own brand.

Advertising communicates to us with the outline of our own blood.

The first branded products were possibly the clay envelopes in which counting tokens were sealed, circa 3400 B.C.

Pictographic writing seems to betoken cultures at the beginning and end of their historical cycles.

An alphabet is a trans-national brand, so the Russians, Chinese, Arabs and Americans will always be in an ill-disguised competition.

Writing arose simply as a means to enable commercial transaction to be encoded.

Chinese script arose from use in divination, to use for religious purposes, to use for proclamations, for use in official text, to general use. So we may also trace the rise of branded advertising itself.

The first numeric systems evolved some 30,000 years ago to keep track of animals killed. Nowadays, numbers are nowhere so useful as when they advertise body counts.

The UN is the ultimate generic brand.

Avant-garde music is not only unpredictable, but it doesn’t sell beer. Strike two.

All ads say the same thing: “Live it up.”

All ads also quote Shakespeare: “Question not the need.”

Why should Americans be scornful of corn? It is their totem vegetable.

Brand X can also serve as antagonist to a heroic product in a scripted drama., e.g., coffee nerves and Postum; insect pests and Raid; mucus and mucinex.

The product is always the hero of the narrative, but it is the consumer who must embark upon the hero’s quest.

Southerners require different products. That’s why they’re Southerners.

True art is made by artists. Commodified art is fashioned by craftsmen.

An architect’s delays are less objectionable than the contractor’s.

In a commodified world, dead flowers say more than live plants.

Thanksgiving for the puritan, Christmas for the civilized.

The advertising hall of fame is full of ingenious fiends.

Enabling addiction is not only the guiding rationale of advertising; it is the only rationale.

One way or another, we always pay for what we get.

The Mohawk and the facial tattoo date back to the late Minoan period. Nothing new under the sun.

Unlike the writers of hieroglyphs, the designers of advertisements make few arbitrary decisions based solely on aesthetic grounds.

Advertising always displays the same distinctive body language as ancient pictographs.

Ads that promise everything will take everything way. That is their occult power.

The crocodile is a symbol of democracy.

Ads promise us a love beyond words.

We look at ads for the same reason that we like to look at ourselves.

Ads are simply a commodified form of divination.

Advertising is not quite a heretical sect, but something more than a simple cult.

The ad is the gnostic crucified serpent as magical charm.

Advertising is simply human alchemy.

Like alchemy, advertising uses esoteric codes to represent certain elements: e.g., white teeth signify sex appeal.

Newton died from mercury poison. So, too, will the mind of the consumer perish from these alchemical practices.

In Kabbalistic advertising there are two facets of the product: The product as manifested in creation, and the product as ineffable brand beyond all human comprehension.

APPENDIX

“A magazine is simply a device to induce people to read advertising.” –James Collins

“In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope.”–Charles Revson

“You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.”–Norman Douglas

“Mass demand has been created almost entirely through the development of advertising.”–Calvin Coolidge

“Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance.” –Marshall McLuhan

“Advertising degrades the people it appeals to; it deprives them of their will to choose.”–C. P. Snow

“Advertisers in general bear a large part of the responsibility for the deep feelings of inadequacy that drive women to psychiatrists, pills, or the bottle.”–Marya Mannes

“Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising.” –John Lahr

“History will see advertising as one of the real evil things of our time. It is stimulating people constantly to want things, want this, want that.” –Malcolm Muggeridge

“I can not think of any circumstances in which advertising would not be an evil.”–Arnold Toynbee

“Advertising – a judicious mixture of flattery and threats. “–Northrop Frye

“The art of publicity is a black art.”–Learned Hand

“Advertising is ‘an evil service’.” —Aneurin Bevan

“Time spent in the advertising business seems to create a permanent deformity like the Chinese habit of foot-binding. ”
–Dean Acheson

“Advertising has annihilated the power of the most powerful adjectives.”–Paul Valéry

“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better “–George Santayana

“If we define pornography as any message from any communication medium that is intended to arouse sexual excitement, then it is clear that most advertisements are covertly pornographic.”–Philip Slater

“Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket.”–George Orwell