THE INFORMATION #908 SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

THE INFORMATION #908

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com
It’s morally wrong to allow a sucker to keep his money. –William Claude Dukenfield
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY: KINGDOM COME
As the sun was setting on the last day of summer, Count Victor Justin took a break from advising me in the ways of the world and addressed the loochers at the Seven Stars Saloon regarding a Carnival sideshow he had recently witnessed, “way below the good old Mason-Dixon line”.
“Yobs, let me tell you: I have seen the elephant, and have heard the hooty owl.  I’ve been to the other side of the mountain and heard the eagle scream.  I’ve even felt, smelt and dealt with the farting angels. But not too long ago I was working as a mentalist down South with a traveling carnival that was touring only the hickest of the hick towns. And they had themselves a sideshow that you wouldn’t believe. Not because it was so astonishing–but because it was just so downright mediocre. As a matter of fact, it was so awfully bad that I reckon that it won’t be too long before the rubes catch on and the whole kit and caboodle goes out of business. Maybe the lucky performers will land a berth with the Red and Black Carnival, or some other reputable traveling outfit. The rest of them–well, who knows? Maybe they’ll make a new start and be able to somehow prosper in civilian life…though I rather doubt it. 
“How bad could it possibly be, you’re probably saying to yourself. Well, if you were to judge from the banners alone, and you were a certified freak trick, you would think you were in for something pretty special when you passed your dime along to the outside talker. Somebody put a lot of effort into that banner, that’s for square. There was an illustration of stampeding rogue elephants with fearsome tusks with the legend Thundering Pachyderms! There was a fight between an enormous octopus and a giant squid with the legend Monsters of the Deep! There was even a picture of a two-headed baby, sitting on a cushion being tended by a uniformed nursemaid, with the legend beneath reading Alive-O!
“They also advertised on their banner the usual attractions, such as miniature horses, plus so-called human oddities, like a Juggling Fire Eater, a Champion Sword Swallower, the Genuine Really Real Mermaid…also, a Tattooed Man, a Gypsy Fortune Teller, Abraham lincoln’s Valet, and so forth. 
“But the climax of the proceedings was the aftercatch. The talker would come out at the end of the ten-in-one, looking incredibly furtive. He wore a long coat and was twirling his thin black moustaches. 
“‘French postcards,’ he whispered, with a lascivious sneer, to build the tip. It was almost worth the price of admission just to hear the way he rolled the ‘R’ around on his tongue.  ‘Fahh-r-r-rench. Post. Cards. Psst! Listen. I’ve got the famous French Postcards. Right here. You’ve all heard of ’em. Well, here they are. You want ’em? You need ’em? I got ’em. Got ’em all right here. Right. Here. You know the kind I mean. The kind men like. The kind with the Oo-la-la. The kind with the Churchy La Fem. The sophisticated type. The kind that are devoted to Amour. Are you looking for another word for the Exotic? The Erotic? The Concupiscent? The Lascivious? The Salacious? The Authentically Risqué? THESE  Fahh-r-r-rench. Post. Cards–THEY have ’em. And HOW!  Friends, I will tell you from the bottom of my heart that these here original French Postcards are proven to be better than a ten thousand dollar vacation. They’re guaranteed to put some starch in your step–or you can double your money back. They are filled with the razzle AND the dazzle.’
 
“‘Friends, I will now ask all of you red-blooded he-men who aren’t afflicted with a mincing happy gait–are you man enough to step up and buy these postcards? Well, then, Step Right Up. These are the certified, authentic, and genuine Fr-r-rench Postcards. They are rarer than rooster’s teeth around THESE parts–but we got ’em. Only one dollar, ten thin dimes.’ 
‘BUT…wait! Wait! Hold everything!’
‘I like you. Looking out upon this sea of distinguished faces, I can see that, unlike the folks over in Gibsonia, you’re MY kind of people. Red-blooded he-men. Real Meat and Potato Men. No cake-eaters or a creampuff inhalers here. Nope–I can see for dead sure that we have nary a sob sister in the bunch. So, for the first twenty customers only, I will reduce my fee to only fifty cents. First twenty customers only, please, for at this low, low price I’m practically GIVING them away for free, gratis. Absolutely nobody under twenty-one, please. And please–as a personal favor to me–please keep these under your coat, and refrain from opening the envelope with its interesting contents until you are well away from the premises  I beg this great favor of you, for I wish to avoid any entanglement with the local constabulary, who are said to be exceptionally strict when it comes to this Extra Special variety of Red Hot printed matter–intriguing, compelling, absorbing, captivating, riveting, and utterly, utterly enthralling–the sort which absolutely, positively cannot be sent through any kind of official United States mail!’     
“Yobs, I’ve never seen anything like it. The marks would be practically clawing at one another in order to be the first to hand over their half buck.
“As for the freak show itself? Such a sorry assemblage as I have never seen before or since! The man as run it made money hand over fist, and yet the whole damn sideshow was gaffed from top to bottom. The so-called Thundering Pachyderms? They showed you a trash can made from an elephant’s foot. The Monsters From the Deep? Two sickly-looking jellyfish in a large goldfish bowl. The two-headed baby? A pickled pig fetus in formaldehyde with a vestigial head growing out of its neck. 
“The miniature horses weren’t even horses–just one sickly-looking and spavined pony. Looked like he hadn’t had a square meal since Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The Juggling Fire Eater was just some fat old duffer who smoked three cigars at once, while tossing a rubber ball from one hand to another. The Champion Sword Swallower was a high school amateur who would gag and puke with every other attempt. The so-called Really Real Mermaid was what they call ‘a legerdemain condition’–basically, it was a dead monkey mounted on a plaque, with a rotting fish tail sewn onto it. The tattooed man was a lumpy-looking sailor with a couple of anchors on his chest, and that was it. The yellof who was billed as Abraham Lincoln’s valet was a negro bedlamite and confirmed rummy who spoke in the thickest and most impenetrable southern accent you ever did hear–he would mutter something about ‘Marse Lincom done freed me’ and as for the rest, I couldn’t make head ner tails of it.  He was obviously a fake. I’m sure he wasn’t a day over 60. But he looked downright frightful. He was black as melted midnight, and had a shiny bald head with tangled white wool on the fringes, plus he had maybe one solitary orange snaggletooth in his rotting skull. In any other Carnival, he would have been the geek. At this pathetic ten-in-one, he was practically the star attraction.
“Haww…!  And here’s the kicker!  The Gypsy fortune teller couldn’t even be bothered to tell anybody’s fortune. She just took your quarter, mumbled some curses in Hungarian, and then shooed the marks away. Were they sore? Haw! To say they were sore would be the understatement of the year! 
“But the ladies who went to see the Gypsy were likely nowhere near as sore as the yellofs who’d sprung four bits for the French postcards. When they got them home and opened the envelope, presumably in the privacy of their own lavatories, what they found wasn’t the dirty pictures they were expecting. The cheap bastard had simply written a few French words on a couple of filing cards! Haw! I’m sure the marks were furious. Only–how could they complain? Who could they complain to? The police? Aw haw haw haw!”

Everybody at the Seven Stars laughed along with Count Victor Justin. And every one of them probably made a mental note to themselves to never buy a set of French Postcards from a traveling quacksalver.

1*SALUTATION
Cab Calloway and the Nicholas Brothers
Jumpin Jive (1943)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8yGGtVKrD8

2*REFERENCE
3*HUMOR
4*NOVELTY
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
8*PRESCRIPTION

PUGS ARE ANATOMICAL DISASTERS
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/22/pugs-anatomical-disasters-vets-must-speak-out-even-bad-business

9*RUMOR PATROL
BIASED FAR-LEFT WEBSITES
The liberal side of the internet has a serious problem in the form of far too many websites that people mistake for actual news sites that use clickbait headlines and highly distorted articles to feed into the confirmation bias of their intended audience. And it works. Far too many people, including some of you I’m sure, are falling for it.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2016/09/18/please-stop-sharing-links-to-these-sites/

ALSO SEE:
COMPENDIUM OF RIGHT WING WEBSITES
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/4/7/717716/-
10* LAGNIAPPE

Paramount Now Streaming 175 Free Movies Online: Comedies, Dramas, Westerns, Thrillers, Crime Pictures & More
http://www.openculture.com/2015/12/paramount-now-streaming-175-free-movies-online.html

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
DERIVATIVE WORKS DEFINED
Derivative works appeal to childish minds.
http://www.lectlaw.com/def/d042.htm

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

867. ONITSHA MARKET LITERATURE
http://exhibits.lib.ku.edu/exhibits/show/onitsha

THE INFORMATION #907 SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

THE INFORMATION #907

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. –Mark Twain

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN

CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY-NINE: KINGDOM COME 

“Yob, if you want rich and influential people to take you seriously, there are two things you have got to remember. One is, you have got to have a lot of money. And the second one isn’t important. And how do you make a lot of money? First off, by robbing the poor. It’s a lot easier than robbing the rich, who keep a weather eye out for folks as try to steal their acorns. Oh, I can tell you stories. But I dast not. How’s come? Maybe because I feel a queer compunction to tell you how to make it on the straight and narrow.”

Count Victor Justin was in a talkative mood and, since he was in between con jobs, he elected to take his early evening constitutional with me, a green Yob barely old enough to shave. You might almost have mistaken us for father and son, except for the fact that I looked nothing like Count Victor. I was shorter than average and plumpish, had red hair and freckles to match, and slopped around in an ill-fitting jersey and shabby canvas overalls. For his part, The Count was a tall, angular and vigorous white-haired man with shaggy black eyebrows and a pointed nose, and he always wore a fedora or a straw hat and dressed in a fashion the sports all referred to as “trig”.  

“Sure, Yob, I’ll be the first to tell you that the way of the straight and narrow can be boring at times. It’s all about hard work and keeping your nose to the grindstone and spending your dosh on a decent place to live and clothing that makes you look presentable. No eating every day in swell chophouses for the working boy! It’s all about thrift, and holding on to that Yankee dollar until the eagle screams. You got to walk straight like a little soldier and for Godsake keep your stockings pulled up. Folks are just like animals, you know, and if they see that you look sickly, they’ll start in to biting you. That’s the way of nature, and it’s also the way of the world. If you really don’t care what people say about you, you can always make your living as a geek in the carny–that is, if you don’t mind chawing up broken glass and being paid for your labors in rotgut hooch. Otherwise, you had better start to get wise to yourself and get slicked up and begin to dress the part. 

“You want to curry favor with the Boss? Of course you do, Yob. It’s the only way a Yellof can get ahead. Show up to work every day at least three hours early. If it’s during a blizzard, and everyone else has stayed home, then so much the better. Nothing says ‘dedication’ quite like a suicidal commitment to your work.  As a matter of fact, your Boss will like you even more if he sees you working without pay, or doing the work of three men, or working through your lunch break. He might even fire your pesky rival–the office gossip who always talks about you behind your back. And that would be better than a Christmas Turkey! 

“Keep yourself somewhat aloof from your fellow employees, and make sure the Boss knows about it, too. After all, you’re not there so socialize, but to work. It might be helpful if you find some rooms immediately adjacent to your workplace, so you can roll out of bed and be there within minutes.Don’t waste any time distributing memos to your fellow employees. You owe them nothing, and you can bet that they don’t give a rap about you, neither. Write memos only to the boss, and keep them short and simple. 

“It certainly can’t hurt if you spy on your boss, and see what he needs to have done, but doesn’t want to dirty his own hands by doing. Like, for instance, clearing out the deadwood. And getting rid of troublemakers and complainers. Always be sure to casually drop by Bosso’s office at least once a day and fill him in on all the hot gossip. “Just so you know, Boss–I hear that Cringely is less than happy about having to work every Saturday. Just for the record, I’d be happy to take his place, as I have no commitments on that day.’ 

“If your boss asks you to do something impossible, or something that doesn’t make any sense, tell him you’ll get on it right away, right after you take care of ten other things which are far more important. He’ll get the message, and stop pestering you with insane assignments. Maybe he’ll even give them to your most hated rival instead! 

“Of course, you are never out of line when you promote yourself and all the good work you do. While at the same time implying that everybody else in the organization is a loafer and a goof-off. If you keep hammering this message home, maybe the boss will start doing a little bit of spying of his own, and catch your most hated rival in the act of doing something he shouldn’t. 

 “After you’re in and everybody else is out, and the Boss feels like you’re the only employee in the whole place he can rely on, you can advance from low-paid scrub work to becoming the Boss’s Personal Secretary. Sure, you’ll be at his beck-and-call at virtually all hours of the day and night–but you’ll also be making a lot more money, and associating with a better class of people. In your spare time you should take dance lessons, and tennis lessons wouldn’t hurt none either. You may consider this an enormous waste of time, but adding these accomplishments to your repertoire will reap rich dividends down the road.

“If you must fabricate a college diploma for yourself, make sure that it is a college which is perfectly respectable, but not necessarily in the first rank. For instance, Bard. And if you happen to be unlucky enough to meet someone who actually went to Bard, you can say you dropped out and went to Skidmore. Now, if you’re particularly ingenious, you could make up a college completely out of whole cloth, and say you went there. Tell people you went to The University of the South Atlantic. Who in hell yould even bother to check?

“On no account should you ever imply that you’re all alone in the world–especially if you are. People who think you’ve got no influential relatives will use that opportunity to shit all over you. No, Yob, you must always talk of ‘My Good Friend the Mayor,’ and ‘As I was sayin’ to Teddy Roosevelt just the other day….’ The more outrageous the lie, the less likely anybody will be to question it. 

 “I gleaned that particular insight from my good friend and former employee…Mister William Randolph Hearst.” 

1*SALUTATION

ANIMALS

DON’T BRING ME DOWN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP9BRwF7ZQM

ALSO SEE:

GREEN ON RED 

GRAVITY TALKS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sutqExFNf4

ALSO SEE:

HUMAN SWITCHBOARD

WHO’S LANDING IN MY HANGAR?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH-tVmnVP00

2*REFERENCE

THE LATEST POLL RESULTS

Don’t place too much credence in polls. As an old pollster myself–for Pat Cadell, and, very briefly, at Corey, Canapary and Galanis (funny I can remember that name from 36 years ago but not what I ate last week)–I know that most polls fall prey to flawed methodologies, try as one might to account for them. The biggest flaw is that the wage slaves who administer them are more focussed on quantity rather than quality, “as” the have a quota. Lots of fudging goes on there. Also, any poll administered solely over the phone or solely via computer is flawed from its outset. And any poll with fewer than 800 or so respondents has an unacceptable margin of error. You really need a survey sample of about 1600, and even then the results are likely to be plus-or-minus about three per cent. 

You can read this if you don’t believe me:

http://www.robertniles.com/stats/margin.shtml

3*HUMOR

JERRY LEWIS

Jerry once claimed in a 1980s PARADE interview that the film The Day the Clown Cried would only ever be screened “when world pornography is eliminated.”

Apparently, it’s not a very good film.
www.ew.com/article/2013/08/19/jerry-lewis-day-clown-died

However:
www.avclub.com/article/30-minutes-jerry-lewis-infamous-holocuast-movie-ha-238394

ALSO SEE:
books.google.com/books?id=bsf3-GfE_JoC&lpg=PA42&dq=the%20day%20the%20clown%20cried&pg=PA40#v=onepage&q&f=true

Through much of the 1970s he was addicted, among other things, to Percodan. 

“The Nutty Bathroom: It was Jerry’s fortress of solitude. A “Do Not Disturb” sign warned passersby to steer clear. According to Joe, this was no ordinary comfort station. It came stocked with a color TV, two telephones, two revolvers, a wet bar, refrigerator, bookcase, marijuana, Quaaludes, Nembutal, coke paraphernalia and an intercom system hooked up to each bedroom so Jerry could eavesdrop.”
www.oncelifematters.com/jerry_lewis3.htm

When he was a teenager, everyone called him “Id”. Short for “Idiot”. 

It seems fairly obvious that his film The Nutty Professor is essentially one long “fuck you” to Dean Martin. 

In a 1980s PARADE interview, he claimed that a “Texas Billionaire” once offered him “a million dollars” if he would confide to him why he was so devoted to the cause of Muscular Dystrophy. Lewis claims that he turned him down.

A story which is verifiably true: Jerry once mouthed off to none other than Albert Anastasia:
books.google.com/books?id=g6XuCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA88&dq=murder+incorporated+%22Jerry+Lewis%22+%22why+don%27t+you+knock+off+that+shit+and+be+quiet%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0rIKUuYrPAhVCmR4KHezKAHkQ6AEIHjAA#v=onepage&q=murder%20incorporated%20%22Jerry%20Lewis%22%20%22why%20don’t%20you%20knock%20off%20that%20shit%20and%20be%20quiet%22&f=false

And that’s just scraping the surface.

You might find this amusing:
www.vice.com/read/jerry-lewis-is-still-alive

4*NOVELTY

THEME FROM MR. LUCKY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L455z60v9Vs

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

MOST HARD TO WATCH SCENES IN MOVIE HISTORY

www.complex.com/pop-culture/2013/05/most-hard-to-watch-scenes-in-movie-history/

6* DAILY UTILITY

THE SORROW AND THE PITTY:

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20160911/providence-dad-stabs-dog-to-death-to-get-it-to-stop-biting-5-year-old-daughter

7*CARTOON

SEGREGATION AND THE SELLING OF DEPUTY DAWG

cartoonresearch.com/index.php/segregation-and-the-selling-of-deputy-dawg/

8*PRESCRIPTION

GIRLS ABOUT TOWN (1931)

https://youtu.be/PCYaAHRW5R8 

9*RUMOR PATROL

EARTH WATCH

“One man said he learned much of demon possession from Nicholas Cage.”

From this kooky website:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll1nsiXb8GM

https://www.youtube.com/user/BPEarthWatch

“The Abama-nation”

Sweet!

ALSO SEE:

http://armageddononline.org/

10* LAGNIAPPE

KROGER BABB

Few still remember the great showman Kroger Babb.
“When a stupid jerk tries to outsmart proven facts, he should be in an asylum, not a theater.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kroger_Babb

After the success of Mom and Dad, Babb talked of an “unrealized” project called Father Bingo, which he advertised in BoxOffice magazine as “An Expose of Gambling in the Parish Halls” and described as a comedy with an anti-gambling message about a corrupt priest who runs a “controlled” bingo night at his parish. Babb called it “the best ‘snow-job’ of my life,” and it has been speculated that he never intended to make it, despite the trade ads that appeared for years

Babb’s final film was his presentation of a European version of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This was described by Friedman as one of the most “unintentionally funny exploitation films ever made,” filled with “second-rate Italian actors who could barely speak English.”
Onkel Toms Hutte (1965)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StDuFfI-T70

ALSO SEE:

THE SIXTIES ARE OVER…MAN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaGy5JkZiis

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

TOKEN SUPERHEROES AND THE BIG TWO

DC published several PSAs in the 1950s advocating racial tolerance. Also in the 1950s, EC comics published in their (pre-Code) title ShockSuspenstories a series of stories they called “Preachies,” in which racial bigotry was explored and minority characters were depicted sympathetically. Also in the 1950s, Marvel/Atlas didn’t go out of their way to depict black characters at all.

Starting around 1964, both Marvel and DC made some token stabs at integrating black people into their output. Unfortunately, many of the editors were middle-aged fellows with the prejudices common to the era in which they grew up, and their well-meaning attempts to promote racial harmony were somewhat ham-handed, at best. Most notorious, perhaps, is this entry, from November of 1970:
www.sequentialcrush.com/2013/02/unlikely-romance-supermans-girl-friend.html

If you’re really interested in this topic, definitely see Stromberg:
www.amazon.com/Black-Images-Comics-Visual-History/dp/1560975466

Stan Lee can be pretty accurately described as a windbag. One who was very prone to taking credit for things he shouldn’t have been taking credit for. Most notably, Captain America.

He was also a big fat copycat, if you credit the testimony of Arnold Drake:

Some similarities exist between the original Doom Patrol and Marvel Comics’ original X-Men. Both include misfit superheroes shunned by society and both are led by men of preternatural intelligence who use wheelchairs. These similarities ultimately led series writer Arnold Drake to argue that the concept of the X-Men must have been based on the Doom Patrol.
Drake stated:

“ …I’ve become more and more convinced that [Stan Lee] knowingly stole The X-Men from The Doom Patrol. Over the years I learned that an awful lot of writers and artists were working surreptitiously between [Marvel and DC]. Therefore from when I first brought the idea into [DC editor] Murray Boltinoff’s office, it would’ve been easy for someone to walk over and hear that working on a story about a bunch of reluctant superheroes who are led by a man in a wheelchair. So over the years I began to feel that Stan had more lead time than I realized. He may well have had four, five or even six months.

This is hardly surprising. Even in the 40s and 50s, Marvel/Atlas followed every trend, flooding the market until the trend blew over–then latching on to the next trend.

Marvel’s advocacy of civil rights was, from a cynical viewpoint, just the so-called House of Ideas latching onto another trend.

DC had (implausibly) a black WWII soldier named Jackie Johnson as early as 1961. Marvel introduced its own black WWII anachronism, Gabe Jones, in 1963. Dell introduced a black cowboy hero, Lobo, in 1965. Marvel’s Black Panther came along in 1966. And the Falcon was introduced in September of 1969.

Power Man was simply good ole Marvel leaping on the voguish Blaxploitation trend.

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

  1. AUSTRALIAN MAN MARRIES HIS DOG

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334993/Joseph-Guiso-marries-dog-Honey-sunset-ceremony.html

I’m glad we were provided with some pictorial “pointers” (ha ha) on how it should be done.

It’s nice to know there’s a fellow out there who is willing to give a hand to a dumb animal, so to speak.

I have a feeling that he’s just the kind of guy who is willing to give a poor dog a bone.

I guessing the gift registry was at PetSmart.

I also heard that the wedding “cake” was made of dog biscuits. Bon Appetit!

And that there were ushers present who dissolved bouillon cubes in all the urinals.

I heard the wedding band featured a canary, so the sound system would have both a woofer and a tweeter.

And I’m guessing that in-between sets, the DJ played selections from Pet Sounds.

It is rumored that they got Bob Barker to be the Master of Ceremonies.

The fact that the dog was only eight years old was a bit embarrassing to some of the more old-fashioned members of the wedding party.

But at least he was no longer be Living In Sin.

Plus, the sanctity of the marriage bond ensured that there will be no slighted feelings which arise from the insecurity of an unsanctified long-term relationship.

The dog is a female, and that’s great. Otherwise, they wouldn’t legally be able to pass through South Dakota, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama on their way to their Honeymoon destination: Atlantic City.

It is also rumored that the world-famous Youtube celebrity Jin Dan stood up for them (literally) as Best Man.
https://youtu.be/KGHOLZ1k9Sk

P.S. I hear the mother-in-law is a real bitch.

THE INFORMATION #906 SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

THE INFORMATION #906

SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

 

Men at most differ as Heaven and Earth, but women, worst and best, as Heaven and Hell.– Tennyson

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY-EIGHT: KINGDOM COME 
After we had had our little discussion about the manners and folkways of the well-to-do and the silk-stocking set, Count Victor Justin seldom lost an opportunity to pull me aside for a friendly chat. I was usually amenable. Often, he would bribe me with a shiny silver dollar, which I would squander on truck such as dime novels and candy and cap pistols and taking trolley rides and going to the Nickelodeon and suchlike. Every Friday he would ask me how much of that money I had managed to put aside and every Friday I told him the same thing: None of it. “Ahh…good,” he’d say, absently. “Easy come…easy go.” Thriftiness was only one of the many sterling qualities he never attempted to sell me on. 
 
Generally in these private talks, he would talk about how organized religion was a bunch of hooey, though one must never say so in public. “Whether you’re a hard-shell Baptist snake-handler or a stuck-up Piss-in-a-Pailian, one thing you must always remember to do is to go to the House of the Lord and get down on your ever-lovin’ prayer dukes on each and every Sabbath Day and pay tribute to the powers that be, even if they are, for the most part, entirely evanescent and quite possibly figments of some deluded nomad’s overactive imagination. Now, when I say this,” he was cautious to add, “it doesn’t mean that I worship Lucifer or any other such damn fool phantom. No–I will share with you a secret–one widely known solely to the adepts and mystic sages of the Far East. And that is this: You must awaken to the Soul Vibrations and be cognizant of all that surrounds you which remains invisible to your apprehension, unless you have eyes to see. More than this I cannot say, for you must experience it for and of yourself. Once you have done so, you will walk a little taller and be able to look a Yellof straight in the eyeball and understand that he is a fellow creature and a brother, and that you are both part of something far larger. I’m not talking about Negroes, of course, ner Chinamen or Jews. I’m talking about white men. I’m all for brotherhood and like that–but I’m not a fanatic. Nor do I believe in all these Suffer-agettes who are roaming about these days, shackling themselves to fences and smashing up saloons and otherwise making damned nuisances of themselves.
 
“I say that if’n God had intended for women to vote, He would of given them the sense to be born men. Voting is a man’s game, Yob–everything about it comes down to the use of brute force, and women are ill-suited to the strong arm and the lead sap. Most of the sensible ones don’t want to vote anyway–they’re too busy nursing babies and keeping house and looking after the bairns and the like. Besides, what would foreigners say about us, if they knew that we allowed mere women to have a say in how to run our strictly masculine enterprises? Soon enough they would regard us as a bunch of shrinking violets and petunia-sniffers, and they would invade the hell out of us–especially if they were to see that we were willing to destroy our whole civilization just to placate a band of red-headed wildcats who want to wear pants and pilot horseless carriages. You don’t see no woman driving the Moxiemobile! Women by and large simply ain’t suited to enterprises of a mechanical nature. They ain’t got no aptitude for it. Though I have noticed that women are like machinery in one respect–they tend to whine unless they’re properly lubricated. But maybe you’re too young to be told such things.

“Where does it all end with these flighty flibbertigibbets? Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to take one of those aeroplane contrivances out for a spin. No, my lad–women are perfectly happy when they’re simply allowed the manifold privileges which men already grant to them. Ain’t we their sole support against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? Don’t we feed them when they’re hungry and water them when they’re dry and protect them in every conceivable way? Don’t we give them shelter and rainment? You don’t have to answer that, Yob–that’s what’s known as a rhetorical question.

 
“Let’s face facts. Women are weak. Women may have plenty of tact, but when it comes right down to it, they ain’t very subtle. They will cry to get their own way. Depend on it. And then they will flop over onto their backs and show you their bellies to prove that they’re submissive, and to work their wiles. 
 
“Furthermore, women ain’t rational. They have no proven ability to reason out a proposition, or form a compromise, or manage a consensus–unless we’re talking about adjudicating the brannigans of five year old sprats. They do well when directing a Kindergarten class. But, for that very same reason, whenever they find themselves talking among grown adults and men of affairs, they are reduced to mouthing vapid banalities. 
 
“And besides, politics is a dirty, time-consuming business, and women shouldn’t sully themselves with it. Women have enough to do without getting involved in politics–politics! Why, that there is the kiss of death! And get this–can you imagine an ignorant old toothless washerwoman who can’t even read and write, having the same vote as you or me? Why, it’s enough to make a cat laugh. Why, if my dog wanted to walk around on his hind legs and smoke a pipe and cast a ballot, I guess I would allow THAT sooner than I would like to see a woman get involved in all the muck and mire of public affairs. Why, the very idea is a palpable absurdity. 
 
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as though women are utterly incapable of waging a protracted campaign–when they happen to have a mind to. You should see them in action when they set their cap for a man.  Every move is planned with the precision of Hannibal leading his elephants across the fucking Alps. And you should see them when they get together to plan a wedding. Every tiny detail is conceived and carried out with a precision that would be the envy of the most grizzled and meticulous Swiss watchmaker. The fact of the matter is, I dread a world in which women manage to truly gain the whip hand and control us in private affairs as well as public ones. When that day comes, bury my body, for if I ain’t already a dead man…I may very well wish that I were.”
1*SALUTATION
AUTRY INMAN
BALLAD OF TWO BROTHERS
https://youtu.be/DZfJUo8SkCo

ALSO SEE:
 
2*REFERENCE
THINK
ONCE YOU UNDERSTAND
https://youtu.be/haCqD9Ps0co
3*HUMOR
4*NOVELTY
6* DAILY UTILITY
W.C. FIELDS
IT’S A GIFT
7*CARTOON
8*PRESCRIPTION
ALBERT AND EINSTEIN
9*RUMOR PATROL
It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies
http://nypost.com/2016/08/27/its-digital-heroin-how-screens-turn-kids-into-psychotic-junkies/
10* LAGNIAPPE
THE CLASH
CLAMPDOWN (LIVE)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0OpVFCqkm0

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

 THE WEDDING MARCH AS PERFORMED BY DOGS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXZ8PF6EKww

 

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

865. THE DANGERS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/absurd_propaganda_postcards_warning_men_about_the_dangers_of_womens_rights

MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 215 SEPTEMBER 2016

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

NUMBER 215
SEPTEMBER 2016
Copyright 2016 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

1. “I CURED MY YELLOW TEETH”

These ubiquitous and nauseating ads insistently exhort the helpless reader to “Read the trick, discovered by a Mom, to turn yellow teeth white.”

Here’s what I want to know:

Since when should some nameless “Mom” be permitted to set herself up as a dental authority?

Who is expected to fall for this line of malarkey?

Fellow Moms?

Actually, I figure the target audience to be some implausibly
superannuated Hillbilly crone to whom this startling news has somehow inexplicably been carried. She has one tooth in her rotting skull and is likely stirring a simmering cauldron of lye over a smoky wood fire and, upon hearing of this thunderous revelation direct from God’s throne, she no doubt throws down her calico bonnet onto the rocky ground, cackles hysterically, and inadvertently blurts out something along the lines of, “By cracky, Hepsie, throw away the chew stick! If’n it be good enough fer ‘Mom’ then it be good enough for me!”

Incidentally, I hear that good old urine works pretty well.

“First-century Roman doctors believed that urine whitened teeth and also kept them firmly in place….But it must have worked, because it was used as an active ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash well into the 18th century. Would you believe it’s still used today? Not in its original form, but modern dentists recognized that it was the ammonia that cleaned the teeth, and they still use that.”
http://www.thehistoryof.net/the-history-of-teeth-whitening.html

2. SOME LYRICAL HALLUCINATIONS
Cuss me for a fogbound galoot, but I just can’t figure out what in
tarnation our so-called modern troubadours are jawin’ about in their newfangled self-styled “compositions”. Maybe I’m just some sort of relic, but as far as I’m concerned, popular music makers make absolutely no sense a-tall.Fats Domino:
I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill…

(An entire hill made of delicious blueberries stretches plausibility.
Wouldn’t the blueberries rot? Or be eaten by hungry bears?)

Mel & Tim:
Backfield in motion/I’m going to have to penalize you…

(Difficult–if not, in fact, anatomically impossible.)

Little Peggy March:
I will follow him
Follow him wherever he may go….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3FkWFCRUdk

(There is at least one type of public facility where it would be
socially inappropriate for Miss March to follow “Him”.)

Barbara Streisand:
I’m a big girl now, I’m five.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgYm7MO61wg

(Sadly, Miss Streisand is deluding herself. The age of five is at
least three years prior to the age in which a girl can, by popular
consensus, be considered “Big”.)

Nat Gonella & his Georgians:
The music goes round and round…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj6jEPNkBq0

(Impossible. Music does not travel in a circular pattern.)

The Supremes:
Stop! in the name of love
Before you break my heart….
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2yLMpGPU8A

(Medical science has conclusively proven that no instrument short of a
metallic bandsaw would be capable of literally breaking apart the
involuntary striated musclature of the myocardium.)

Yes:
Hot color
Melting the anger to stone oh ho
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ea5Q-tsWfw…feature=related

(Anger is a feeling rather than a physical entity, and, therefore,
cannot quantitatively be affected by enhancements of the ambient
temperature. Furthermore, it has been conclusively demonstrated that,
in institutional settings, colors considered “cool” are those most
conducive to ameliorating anger.)

The Cure:
Daylight licked me into shape.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX9SNs9ChD8

(The Sun does not have a tongue. Furthermore, were the sun capable of extending a tongue-like flare some 93 million miles across space, its heat would probably incinerate the earth’s atmosphere, and, consequently, all sentient life on the planet. Far from licking one into shape, such a grotesque phenomenon would undoubtedly prove catastrophic.Furthermore, “light” as described here, does not occupy physical space (as a solid, liquid, or gas might) Therefore, even if a solar flare of catastrophic proportions such as this, it would not, in fact, be light that licked you.)

Bruce Springsteen:
And when you realize how they tricked you this time
And it’s all lies but I’m strung out on the wire
In these streets of fire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EHG3PuXpF0

(Assuming a mixture of concrete composed of one part cement and two parts sand, with added lime and aggregate, the melting point of said “street” would be about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, which would cause visible destruction of human skin at the site of contact.)

Reverend Gary Davis:
“And the bees made honey in the lion’s head”
http://www.lyricstime.com/rev-gary-davis-s…lah-lyrics.html

(Even allowing for the fact that bees have a decided preference for
constructing their hives in a dark and enclosed space, there would
probably not be adequate room in the skull of a recently deceased lion to fashion a hexagonal structure of the requisite size and shape.)

Elton John:
Philadelphia freedom put me knee-high to a man….

(Actually, not so impossible at all….)

3. LYRICAL HALLUCINATIONS, PART TWO

Well, I’ll be switched if’n the overwhelming amount o’ mail from yew
galoots–egg-zactly none–didn’t inspire me to explore further the
wonderful world of These Kids Today and their downriot DOUR
lyrico-musical outpourin’s, off-scrapin’s, and effusions. Seems to me that back in the Good Old Days the Moon-June-Spoon school was good enough for when Paw was courtin’ Maw and was even popular with the sprats and sprouts. But nowadays anymore, all this here recent talk about detachable unmetionables and ladies of easy virtue with advanced cases of στεατοπυγία is–wal, it’s enough to–pardon my French–gag a maggot. Anyhoo, here are some more examples of the consarned, dadgummed, dodblasted, higglety-piggelty, flibber-te-digits and their lowbrow, highfaltin’, so-called “music”.

CHICAGO:
Does anybody really know what time it is?
Does anybody really care?

I do.

U2:
Sunday, Bloody Sunday.

Impossible. Days of the week do not bleed.

GEORGE HARRISON:
“While the Pope owns 51% of General Motors…”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P-2MthG190

No, he doesn’t.

NIRVANA:
“I don’t have a gun”

Well, actually, you had at least one, and that, apparently, was one too many.

ICE CUBE:
“So pay respect to the black fist
Or we’ll burn your store right down to a crisp.”

http://www.mp3lyrics.org/i/ice-cube/black-korea/

Contrary to Mr. Cube’s rather gruesomely strenuous asseverations, it would be impossible to configure an act of arson in such a way as to guarantee the reduction of a Korean merchant’s establishment to the state of a “crisp”.

ELTON JOHN:
“Someone saved my life tonight/ Sugar bear.”

What in hell does poor SUGAR BEAR have to do with it???

ELTON JOHN:
“Don’t let the sun go down on me.”

Even assuming the sun’s proclivities were in that direction, I suspect that noshing on Reg Dwight’s ding-dong would not be high on that celestial body’s list of things-to-do.

ELTON JOHN:
“He was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas day
When the New York Times said God is dead
And the war’s begun
Alvin Tostig has a son today”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lXOuZgm_eY

1) The New York Times did not say “God Is Dead”. It was Time Magazine, and the cover line was “Is God Dead?”

http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19660408,00.html

Incidentally, Nietzsche said it too–in 1882.

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

http://74.125.93.132/search?q=cache:HIott8yzmJgJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_is_dead+Nietzsche+god+is+dead&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

BUT ALSO SEE:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._J._Altizer

2) No wars began during the week in which that cover came out (April 6, 1966), although the United States invaded the Dominican republic later that month.

SEE:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601660408,00.html

3) What in blue blazes does the Earl of Wessex have to do with anything?
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1755/in-the-elton-john-song-levon-who-is-alvin-tostig

CUTTING CREW:
“(I Just) Died in Your Arms Last Night”

Although the narrator in this case may have been speaking
metaphorically, and referring to what is traditionally known as “le
petit mort” (the little death) of the orgasmic experience,
nonetheless, impressionable children might be given the mistaken
impression that it is the ever-present but little-spoken-of
sex-and-death nexus traditional to American mass entertainment since the post-1945 era that is being referenced.

Such a conflation of sexual activity with violent death has been shown by commentators (M.McLuhan, The Mechanical Bride; G. Legman, Love and Death; F. Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent) to be a prime mover in the creation of a warped sexuality which leads, inexorably, to a society of passive spectacle and the disintegration of the nuclear family.

THE POLICE:
“Every breath you take, I’ll be watching you”

Clearly, the narrator is Santa Claus. (“He sees you when you’re
sleeping/He knows when you’re awake….”)

CARRIE UNDERWOOD:
“Jesus, Take the Wheel”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky4rfA_tebY
Even in the unlikely event that the mummified 1,976 year old corpse of the historic Jesus of Nazareth still actually existed, it would, it
goes without saying, be of little use in averting an automotive
collision.

Incidentally, the enormous popularity of this song has led to several, little known, sequels:

Jesus, Assist Me With My Taxes
Jesus, Help Me Hammer in the Nails
Jesus, Help Me Geeze the Spike
Jesus, Show Me How To Use Windows Vista
I’m Sorry, Jesus, But I Have to Put You On Hold

4. BAD FRIDAY:A NOVEL

In the spring of 1970 Roy Gobb, a snuffling, closeted, fat, and
indifferent twenty year old, drops out of college and flees the
backwater of Hickory Hollow in the wake of an impending drug bust.

He gulps a handful of goofballs, boards a bus, falls into a stupor,
and staggers off the dirty dog on Treasure Island, where he somehow gets swept up in a Gay Pride parade hosted by the Red and Black Carnival and crowded with hoboes, hippies, freaks, barkers, spielers, performing dogs, drag queens, and assorted morphodites.

As the throng crosses the bridge into Old Town, an angry red-faced man shouts from the sidelines: “I DON’T CARE IF THEY DO IT, BUT DO THEY GOTTA BRAG ABOUT IT? ASSFUCKERS!?”

A friendly hippie in full cowboy clown regalia slips thirsty Roy Gobb
a Coca Cola bottle laced with a hefty dose of LSD.

Roy sees the reflection of the Megalopolitan Hotel hard by the Old
Town park lake as a series of brilliantly green and yellow translucent boxes, and fears he is losing his mind.

He breaks free of the milling throng and begins madly to frolic in a
fountain near the lake. He is convinced that he has been baptized, but the sky becomes overcast and he begins to shiver from the unaccustomed cold.

Late in the morning of that Good Friday, while in his delirium, he
seeks refuge in St. Augustine’s Cathedral, where he hears the
following prayer declaimed by a defiantly unreconstructed priest of
the old school.

Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that Almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Roy Gobb becomes intoxicated on communion wine, and the following day is born again as a devout Roman Catholic, but soon is taken in by a sinister band of “wandering bishops”.

Various horrendous adventures ensue.

5. Strap Your Legs Cross My Enigmas
By B**** S**********

In my vision I dance leather jacket and hairy Harley,
You can call me Boss but don’t call me Mr. Charley,
I walked Strut Street, Gasoline City mama, Prince Cool,
If you get in my way you’re a diesel fool.
Gambler’s the Devil and sweet Street Jesus is the heat,
It’s so hard to get by when you walk on four feet.
Darling keep your faith in this tragic magic night of pain
You may be a beauty but you ain’t got no brain.
There’s Redemption in these here stamps of green,
Prettiest free prizes you ever seen.
So let me do all the thinkin’
Me…and that hot rod Lincoln.

Well, heaven is a promise and hell is for fools,
I cover you with kisses like a hound dog drools,
Little Richard sings Boney Maroney,
We snack on yesterday’s bargain fried baloney.

The future is a ghost whose bones have been broken
I said I didn’t love yuh but I musta mis-spoken.

My Dad used to sit and watch Barney Rubble
While Maw sat in the bathtub havin’ fun with Mr. Bubble
Well, the bubbles have long since died but the scent lingers on,
I’m leavin this town and I left and now I’m gone
Back to the sea, back to my used to be,
I’m tired of fightin’ like it’s World War Three.
Declare the war man, and make it be over
And I’ll hop right back in my Chevy Nova.

Clippin’ coupons and snackin’ on dollar ham
I’m tellin’ ya baby, Treet is way better’n Spam.
Smells like somethin’ died, no that’s just a fart,
Tell me baby—do you bleed for your art?
Poor boy and in my vision I’m all alone again,
I’d be a big star, baby, but I don’t know when.

6. GOVERNOR SQUIRT
GOVERNOR SQUIRT I actually knew Governor Squirt. Knew him well. He was on the literary magazine at Ivy.

He was an odd duck, even then.

Odder still when he went to Afghanistan to aid the Mujadheen.

And when he was an advisor to Angola UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi.

And when he compared the estate tax to the holocaust.

And when he married a woman born in Kuwait. He was 50. She was 32. As per the Muslim formula: A bride should be half a man’s age plus seven.

The Islam thing doesn’t bother me. It ain’t nothing. It doesn’t truly
signify. Governor Squirt has always, but always, had one beady eye
open for the main chance.

People claim that I’m a little nutty. Let me pull your coat, my
brother–I am the calm epitome of rationality next to good ol’
Governor Squirt.

Dunno what happened to him back in ’78, but he has been behaving quite erratically ever since.

Prior to ’78, he seemed pretty normal, if a bit inhibited. Maybe
that’s why he joined the college literary magazine (on the business
end). Maybe he figured he’d find him a wild bohemian gal who would help him shed his inhibitions.

After ’78, I dunno–he started in with the weird.

“The facts are that government is not a benevolent charity,” Governor Squirt said in 1978. “You go to city hall or the post office and what do you see? Bureaucrats pushing papers, drinking coffee and harassing the people.”

Sound like he’s simply parroting his Dad, right? But why so outspoken? He didn’t strike me as anyone who had ever been oppressed as a direct result of government policies. Why this obsession?

You can see why he veered right. I think he saw that there was going to be a reaction against the Carter administration and he figured he was the logical fellow to lead the charge.

It seems to me that everything about his public career simply screams “Leave me alone!”

But he doesn’t want to be alone.

He has always paradoxically gravitated to like-minded loners.

Something must have scared the shit out of him. His choice of
metaphors reflects this.

His current staff has been keeping a mental list. “The sword of
Damocles, he likes that one a lot…”…[and recall, too] his most
famous [line]: He wants to shrink government so it’s small enough that he could “drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

What does that tell you?

It tells me that perhaps all was not exactly shits ‘n’ giggles back at
the childhood manse of Governor Squirt.

Allegedly, “His family were financially comfortable and politically
conservative—once, [his father] took bites out of his children’s Dairy Joy ice cream cones to demonstrate what taxes took out of the family’s earnings.”

Um, ‘scuse me, but this type of parental imprinting sounds calculated to create a syndrome precisely out of one of the case studies of Krafft-Ebbing.

For instance:

CEREBRAL NEUROSES ANESTHESIA. Case 9.
F. J., aged nineteen, student; mother was
nervous, sister epileptic. At the age of four, acute brain
affection, lasting two weeks. As a child he was not
affectionate, and was cold towards his parents ; as a student
he was peculiar, retiring, preoccupied with self, and given
to much reading. Well endowed mentally. Masturbation
from fifteenth year. Eccentric after puberty, with con-
tinual vacillation between religious enthusiasm and ma-
terialism now studying theology, now natural sciences.
At the university his fellow-students took him for a fool.

Now and then the patient suffered with ononiatomania.
He was compelled to think of the most useless problems
and give himself up to interminable, distressing and worry-
ing thoughts, and became so fatigued that he was no longer
capable of any rational thinking. After some months the
patient was sent home unimproved. There he spent his
time in reading and frivolities, and busied himself with
the thought of founding a new system of Christianity
because Christ had been subject to grand delusions and
had deceived the world with miracles ( !). After remaining
at home some years the sudden occurrence of a maniacal
outbreak brought him back to the asylum. He presented
a mixture of primordial delirium of persecution (devil,
antichrist, persecution, poisoning, persecuting voices)
and delusions of grandeur (Christ, redemption of the
world), with impulsive, incoherent actions. After five
months there was a remission of this intercurrent acute
mental disease, and the patient returned to the level of
his original intellectual peculiarity and moral defect.

By the way: “Dairy Joy…cone”?

You literally cannot make this sort of thing up. Big Daddy
government–literally–wants to take big bites out of Governor
Squirt’s manhood?

I dunno.

Seems simplistic, and yet…and yet….

Perhaps we all need to say a prayer.

God help Governor Squirt.

God help us all.

7. ADVERTISING: THE EVIL OPPOSITE OF LITERATURE

“We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.”
–Bernays, Propaganda (1928)

Ad people seem to be an awful lot like the evil opposite of writers.
Writers recall memories and sensations for a higher purpose;
advertisers implant memories and sensations for a degraded purpose.

Back in the 60s, Canada Dry had an ad campaign that featured the
following song lyric:

Ginger ale tastes like love
Canada Dry Ginger Ale
Ginger ale…tastes like love.

(Which might be true, if you’re fucking a gingerbread man.)

In the vast literature of writing about advertisers (Marshall McLuhan; David Oglivie; Thomas Frank; Marie Winn; Vance Packard; Wilson Scott Key; “The Hucksters” by Frederick Wakeman), Stuart Ewen is a particular favorite of mine. He seems to have strayed off the reservation as of late.

But his early book, Captains of Consciousness, is an eye-opener.
http://www.amazon.com/Captains-Consciousness-Advertising-Consumer-Culture/dp/0465021557

“[Advertising] translat[es] the process of consumption into an erotic spectacle. . . . .”–Stuart Ewen

This is, of course, precisely what the Situationists were saying. That we’ve become a society of spectacle or a ‘Spectacular Society.” Of course, they were saying this beginning back in the 1950s. (See Griel Marcus’s Lipstick Traces:)
http://www.amazon.com/Lipstick-Traces-History-Twentieth-Century/dp/0674535812

For me, Ewen’s value lies in his having traced this process back to the 1920s.

It’s still going on, this sexualization and (what I call) this
Stalinization of Commodities.

(I use the term “Stalilinization” to refer, not to Stalin’s policies
so much, as in the classical definition, but to the ubiquity of his
image. For instance, see):

In fact, in a process already well on its way since the 1920s,
commodity fetishization has permeated virtually every aspect of our existence, from the rearing of our children to the socialization of our adolescents to the behavior of adults in and out of the workforce all the way up to the disposition of our elderly.

I was watching television the other night, and there was a commercial with an upwardly mobile young woman, smartly dressed,who was walking through an office plaza carrying a cup of McDonald’s premium coffee and trailing pixie dust behind her wherever she went.

The ad ended with the tag line “”Mi encanta”.

Which means “I LOVE IT.” (It enchants me….)

In English, the McDonald’s tag line is the slangier, “I’m lovin’ it.”

Dunno about you, but after seeing something like that, I felt like
calling for the sick bag.Thankfully, I’m not alone.

SEE ALSO:
McDonald’s Coffee Ad Sets Feminism Back 30 Years
By Erin Zimmer
http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/09/in-videos-mcdonalds-coffee-mccafe-ad-feminists-women-upset.html

J’ever notice, by the way, that in English the slogan was “An Army of One”–but in Spanish that slogan was “Yo Soy El Army”–“I am the
Army”?

Truly–God is in the details.

8. INTRODUCING…HONKEY’S DELI
“Food Sliced Before Your Eyes”

“ALL OUR SANDWICHES ARE HOUSE MADE”

1) HONKEY’S SPECIAL: Pastrami on White with Mayo. $5.99

2) THE MOTHER TRUCKER: Scrambled Egg Sandwich with Ketchup on Your Choice of White or Raisin Bread. $3.99

3) THE HI AND LOIS SPECIAL: Mashed Potato Sandwich on Potato Bread. $2.99

4) NEPTUNE’S DELITE: “Fresh” Fish Cake Sandwich with Ketchup and Fries Between Two Halves of a Toasted English Muffin. MARKET PRICE.

5) OUR “FAMOUS” ITALIAN SUB: We Don’t Make It, We Build It! Featuring: Crisp Iceberg Lettuce, Tomatoes, Pickles, Hard Boiled Eggs, Bologna, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Relish, Olive Loaf, Cooked Salami, Pickle Loaf, Ranch Dressing, And All On a Crisp “Sub” Roll Brushed with Butter and Toasted Under a Broiler. NO SUBSTITUTIONS! $6.99

9. BLACK KOREA
I have recently noted, with great displeasure,
That each and every time I am at my leisure,
And wish to procure an alcoholic beverage,
That due to my cultural disadvantages I have no leverage,
With the local Asian-American entrepreneur,
Whose profit margin is not entirely secure,
And who therefore must proactively respond regarding shrinkage and theft;
His lack of tact leaves my sense of equinaminity bereft.
He seems to think that every African-American is a desperate felon,
And he therefore surveills my activities with the passion of a zealot.
He is apprehensive that I will behave as though I am his nemesis
And attempt to commit an armed assault upon his premises;
His faith in humanity has been destroyed;
However, I, for one, am gainfully employed.
So Sir! Refrain in acting with biased intemperance,
Or I shall review my legal alternatives with a vengeance.
I have considerable influence with the stakeholders in the community,
So you can no longer practice your activities with impunity.
You must hereafter treat me in a non-discriminatory fashion,
Or else I shall explore my extra-legal alternatives with a passion.
You stand accused before the court of public opinion as a practitioner of misanthropy–
Because you cannot treat a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood as your personal satrapy!

THE INFORMATION #905 SEPTEMBER 9, 2016

THE INFORMATION #905
SEPTEMBER 9, 2016

 

Be it pestilence, war, or famine, the rich get richer and poor get poorer.–Will Rogers

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY-SEVEN: KINGDOM COME 
One evening Count Victor Justin noticed me standing there drinking in his every word as he pontificated to the sports and loochers at the Seven Stars Tavern, who were also hanging on his every word, mostly, I guess, because he was flush in those days and was always buying a round for the assembled loafers, and passing out not-half-bad cigars along side of his anecdotal musings. The Count signalled to me to come over and said, in my general direction, ‘Let’s you and me go for a little walk, Yob. I think I need to pound your earie some.’
 
So I met him out of doors a few minutes later. He talked, and I walked. I was expecting as much. I had to wonder–what urgent communique did he need to impart to me that necessitated our leaving the snug environs of the saloon, with its ceiling fan stirring up a sluggish breeze, and going out of doors, where summer was turning to fall and yet the air was still stale and humid?
 
I soon discovered that he wanted to talk to me like a Dutch Uncle. “All that bloviating I do when I belly up to the bar there,” said he. “That’s strictly for show. Becasue that’s the variety of palaver those tomfool reprobates expect from the likes of me. But I’m here to tell you that you might decide to walk a more righteous path, and there ain’t one grifter in a hundred who would tell you you’re being a fool. The fact of the matter is, a great many grifters, if they had been born to wealth or at least had hob-nobbed with respectable folk at a young and impressionable age, why, they’d of grown to be pillars of their communities and a credit to their families. I know, because I come from what you’d refer to as quality people, but got embroiled in some scandals when I was just a lad, and could never go home no more. It’s the same sad story you’ll hear on a hundred street corners, I’m certain.
 
“Don’t be fooled by reading those cheap novels–all that Charles Dickens and Horatio Alger flummery you might of perused. Don’t get to thinking that if you save a pretty dame from a runaway hoss, your fortune will be made, because it’ll turn out that her old man is a rich feller who will want to take you on in his firm as your reward, and you’ll be so whip-smart and work so damn hard that before long you’ll be his son-in-law and heir apparent. I ain’t no socialist, God knows, but that there’s what they ought to call a capitalist fairy tale. It just don’t turn out that way. At the very least, there is going to be an old school tie, or a blood connection, or some other factor working in your favor before you can begin to rise in that world and mingle with respectable folks.
 
“Now, I’m going to tell you right now that there are very few interesting characters among the respectable class. You might almost say that it’s their job to be dull. And why wouldn’t they be? The wife is generally some dowager whose nickname is She Who Must Be Obeyed, and her job is to superintend a passel of servants so the family won’t be robbed blind by their supposedly loyal retainers. The old man shows up to work at the same unearthly early hour every weekday, and saturdays too, for well nigh onto forty years, so he can pay for upkeep on that grandiose mansion of his’n, and support his ever-growing brood o’ fine-haired kiddies. 
 
“I’m going to pass along to you now some hints as to how to mingle with the square shooters, if you should ever find yourself in a position to profit by an association with them. First and foremost, you have got to remember that they are animals, the same as the rest of us. But they are usually just slightly more sophisticated than some typical barroom loocher. They don’t go in for colorful and flashy clothes that say ‘Hey, look at me.’ Nor do they publically sing, burp, whistle, or spit–unless they’re very very drunk, which they seldom are, because a part of that restraint is either utter abstemiousness or, at the very least, an ability to hold your liquor. Here is what passes for showing off among the high muckety-mucks–they might wear a red or a blue necktie which discreetly advertises that they went to Harvard or Yale or some other diploma mill like that. Their collars will be pretty much loaded down with plenty of starch, and well they might be, too, since they have a full-time laundress working for them, and it’s very likely her name is Brigid or Mary or Aydeen. They get their hair cut once a week, and the barber, if he’s any good, will burn off the stray hairs on the back of their necks with a little candle, so that there’s literally not a hair out of place. And if they happen to wear a straw boater in the summer, you can be sure that it is not of a cheap make or manufacture.
 
“They will always wear a suit of a solid and conservative color–mostly black, brown, gray, or navy blue. No garish checks or loud pinstripes for these boys, and you can be sure that a green or orange suit among them is as rare as the sight of a unicorn in the stockyards, and if you ever see among them a man wearing a red suit, he is probably a doorman. But, mostly, you can tell a respectable man by his shoes and socks. Does he wear garters? He does indeed–and well he should. Nothing is more discouraging to look down upon than a pair of flabby hosiery. And believe me–these boys spend most of their time indoors, sitting around long tables talking about golf and real estate, and smoking big cigars. It should go without saying that their shoes are always of the best. All leather, including the soles, and always kept shined to a high polish. 
 
“Of course, I’m telling you all this so you can get in good with that posh bunch, who ride the cushions, and be an honest and productive citizen. I’d surely feel bad if you were to use this information for any left-handed or nefarious purposes–though it someday may come in handy if you’re up agin it and there ain’t no other way.
 
“One other thing. You will always see these men in church on Sunday. It’s not because they’re religious, nor is it because they wish to atone for their sins, since in their own minds they are entirely blameless–no, it’s because they wish to cultivate the esteem of their fellow co-religionists–and one or two hours a week spent kneeling and mumbling prayers to a remote and savage Deity is the most salutary and efficient way to do so.”  
1*SALUTATION

2*REFERENCE
THE WIT AND WISDOM OF JED CLAMPETT

3*HUMOR
TERRIBLE ALBUM COVERS
And then there are these, many of which are awful in a more old-fashioned way.
ALSO SEE:
4*NOVELTY
STAN FREBERG
FACE THE FUNNIES PARTS ONE AND TWO
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

The 31 Most Ridiculous Questions Ever Asked On YahooAnswers

ALSO SEE:

12 of the most ridiculous questions ever asked on the internet

SEE ALSO:

What is the most bizarre movie/book/music you’ve ever come across?

6* DAILY UTILITY
CAN YOU EAT FOODS PAST THE SELL BY DATE?
 
NEVER EAT THESE FOODS PAST THE SELL-BY DATE
7*CARTOON
S-H-H-H-H-H
TEX AVERY
ALSO SEE:
POSSUM PEARL 
1957 HARVEYTOON
8*PRESCRIPTION 
50 SCARIEST ANTI-DRUG PSAs
I love “Bathtub” (#8).
9*RUMOR PATROL
JERRY LEWIS ON DEAN MARTIN, ROBERT DENIRO, AND HIS FAVORITE JOKE
10* LAGNIAPPE
ALLEN’S ARCHIVE OF EARLY AND OLD COUNTRY MUSIC
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM

Exceptionalism is a cognitive distortion common to every empire.

*11A BOOKS READ AND RATED
AGAINST PAIN. REGE. ***1/2
ALL-NEW ALL DIFFERENT AVENGERS 1. THE MAGNIFICENT 7. WAID. ***1/2
ALL-NEW X-MEN INEVITABLE 1. GHOSTS OF CYCLOPS. ***1/2
ANGEL OMNIBUS 1. **1/2
ANNOYING. PALCA & LICHTMAN. ****
APB. CAMPBELL, ET AL. ***
BATMAN: DEATH MASK. **
BATMAN: GOTHAM AFTER MIDNIGHT. NILES. ***
BATMAN: GOTHAM COUNTY LINE. NILES. ***
BATMAN: JECKYLL & HYDE. ***1/2
BATMAN: THRILLKILLER. CHAYKIN. ***
BLACK JACK 1. TEZUKA. ****
BLACK JACK 2. TEZUKA. ****
BLACK JACK 3. TEZUKA. ****
BREAD AND WINE. DELANY AND WOLFF. ***1/2
CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE. ***
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA 2. ***1/2
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA 3. ***1/2
THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE MODERN WORLD PART 2. GONICK. ****1/2
CIVIL WAR: NEW AVENGERS. ****
CIVIL WAR: WOLVERINE. ***1/2
COUSIN JOSEPH. FEIFFER. ****
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: A GRAPHIC NOVEL. KORKOS. ***1/2
DEADPOOL WORLD’S GREATEST 2. END OF AN ERROR. ***
DIANA PRINCE WONDER WOMAN 1. ***
FALLEN SON: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN AMERICA. ***
FANTASTIC FOUR: INTO THE BREACH. ***1/2
FREAKS OF THE HEARTLAND. NILES. ***1/2
GREEN ARROW YEAR ONE. ***1/2
GREEN MANOR 1. ASSASSINS & GENTLEMEN. BODART & VEHLMANN. ****
GUARDIANS OF THE LOUVRE. TANIGUCHI. ****
HEADS. JARNOW. ***1/2
THE HERO. BOOK TWO. RUBIN. ****1/2
THE HOOD. VAUGHN. ***1/2
HOT DOG TASTE TEST. HANNAWALT. ***1/2
INCOMPLETE WORKS. HORROCKS. **1/2
INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US. YEAR FOUR PART ONE. ****
IRON MAN: I AM IRON MAN. ***
JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER: THE FEAR MACHINE. ***
JOHN CONSTANTINE, HELLBLAZER: THE FAMILY MAN. ***1/2
JUDGMENT DAY. MOORE. ***1/2
THE KITCHEN. MASTERS. ***
LOCAL. WOOD & KELLY. ***1/2
LUCKY PENNY. HIRSH & OTA. **1/2
MALCOLM X. MARABLE. ****
THE MARCH. BOOK THREE. LEWIS. ****
MEGG AND MOGG IN AMSTERDAM. HANSELMAN. ****
MR. FOOSTER TRAVELING ON A WHIM. CORWIN. ***1/2
MS. MARVEL 8. WAR OF THE MARVELS. ***
MS. MARVEL 5. SUPER FAMOUS. ***
MUNCH. KVERNELAND. ****1/2
NAMELESS. MORRISON. ****1/2
NEONOMICON. MOORE & BURROWS. ****
THE OCTOBER FACTION 1. NILES. ****
THE OCTOBER FACTION 2. NILES. ****
OUTCAST 3: THIS LITTLE LIGHT. KIRKMAN. ***1/2
PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT 1. ***
POWDERED MILK. ROBERTS. ***1/2
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS 1. ROSS. **1/2
PROVIDENCE ACT 1. MOORE & BURROWS. ****1/2
PUNISHER MAX 4. UP IS DOWN & BLACK IS WHITE. ***1/2
RED’S PLANET 1. PITTMAN. ***
RINGSIDE 1. KEYFABE. KEATINGE & BARBER. ****
THE ROOK 1. SAVE YOURSELF. GRANT & DULACY. ***
SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN. FERAL. ***
SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN 2. COUNTDOWN. ***1/2
SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN 3. HERE THERE BE MONSTERS. ***1/2
THOREAU: A SUBLIME LIFE. DAN & LEROY. ****
THORS. AARON. ***1/2
THE TWILIGHT CHILDREN. HERNANDEZ. ***1/2
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL 3. ***1/2
UPTIGHT 5. CRANE. ***1/2
THE WICKED + THE DEVINE 3. COMMERCIAL SUICIDE. ***
X-MEN FOREVER 3. COME TO MOTHER…RUSSIA! ***
 
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

864. 

DOGS UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW YOU SAY IT

ALSO SEE:
THE SCARLET COMBO
THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND THEME SONG

Did you know that in North Korea they play this for 36 hours straight to thought criminals to soften them up?–Richard Smoley

THE INFORMATION #904 SEPTEMBER 2, 2016

THE INFORMATION #904

SEPTEMBER 2, 2016

 

Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day. Never miss a good chance to shut up.–Will Rogers

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY-SIX: KINGDOM COME 

“People down south,” said Count Victor Justin, “will always prattle on and on about God and country, and nobility and glory, and they will always set such great stock on doing the honorable thing–and yet they’ll whip a poor Negro every chance they get. Now, you might say the darkey had it coming, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the sin committed by the negro is wholly incommensurate to the punishment. For instance, he has failed to turn away in time from the sight of a pretty white gal…or even a picture of one.

“Considering the slow pace of life down there, folks down south are surprisingly easy to irritate. You can always tell when they’re irritated because they talk to you as though they’re taking a shit. ‘Whut yew doin’ round here anyways? Y’all ain’t got no bidness ’round heah!’ 
“They always place great stock in gentility and manners, perhaps all the more so since those are the qualities which are conspicuously lacking amongst the folks who aren’t considered members of the gentry–in other words, the triflin’, low-down, no-good poor white trash. That’s why people down south are always asking after your parents, your children, your brothers and sisters, your aunts and uncles, your cousins, your doctor, your lawyer, and all your close friends and acquaintances. It’s not that they really care. They’re just want to know what your connections are. And also, they just don’t have an awful lot in the way of diversions to otherwise occupy their minds. They don’t have a single idea in their heads which don’t relate to Jesus or the weather, and so they spend all their spare time thinking and talking about the doings of other folks in the neighboring four counties.  A fellow who, anywhere else, would be accounted a windbag is considered some kind of highly entertaining raconteur down south. That’s because people from the Southron also place a great deal of stock in folks who can bloviate. That’s why all their politicians are such gifted bullshitters. The weak fish who can’t orate worth shucks never get elected to anything. 
“Southerners like to have everything arranged just so, and if they see you doing something which doesn’t comport with their notion of what’s proper, fitting, and just, why, then they dismiss you as a fool–not realizing, of course, that they’re the foolish ones. They are like every single frightened rube all the world over–their mouths actually gape open in stupefaction when they encounter something with which they are wholly unfamiliar–like a mannish-looking lady doctor, or a big he-man who acts a little swish, or a negro driving his own automobile.
“As I may have mentioned, I spent a good deal of time getting to know the people of the south. I’ve compiled a virtual lexicon of their doings and sayings.  There are a whole bunch of phrases for you to know which would probably prove very useful down south. ‘Yes Sir.’ ‘Yes Ma’m.’ ‘No Sir.’ ‘No Ma’m’. ‘By your leave, Sir.’ ‘If you would do me the honor, Ma’m.’  ‘Good to see you, Mr. Man–tell me how be you?’ ‘Why not set a spell–what’s your hurry?’ 
“Those are the basic ones. After you’ve been there about three days, you will also find these phrases useful. ‘The widow woman has started taking in laundry.’ Or ‘Them damn Yankees are always up no good.’ Or ‘If it ain’t found in the Bible, the dictionary, or the almanac, then I ain’t got no use for it.’ 
“Or ‘the mule still won’t leave his stall–shove some more red pepper up his ass.’ Or ‘The negroes stole all our eggs.’ Or ‘Watch out–the Sheriff’s drunk again.’ Or ‘Hogs ate the baby.’ Or The preacher-man just beat his cook to death.’ Or ‘Burn down all the shacks in Dinkeytown.’ Or ‘My lazy servants are robbing me blind.’ 
“Or ‘Grandpa just killed our chauffeur’ Or ‘You just can’t find a good jockey boy these days.’ Or ‘For Christmas I gave my sharecropper some colorful rags.’ Or ‘Box the ears of that lazy negro scamp.’ 
“Or  ‘The boy was shooting at rats and he killed an old negro by mistake.’  Or ‘I do not enjoy beating my servants.’  Or ‘Someone stole my midget butler’s stepladder.’ Or ‘Fry those greens in plenty of that good bacon grease.’ Or ‘Be careful: that swamp is full of cottonmouths.’  Or ‘Chiggers ate all the skin clean off’n his arm.’  

Or ‘All the good negroes know that I’m their friend.’ Or ‘Some of the poor white people hereabouts are lower than the snake.’ Or ‘Send your colored man over to me; I will see that he is treated right.’ Or ‘Ever since Uncle Rector was kicked in the head by a Quarter Horse, he just hasn’t been the same man.’

“Or ‘Lookie over yonder at that hollow stump–there’s an owl, a bat, and a bumblebee!’ Or ‘He’s just the kind of polecat who would cuss around the womenfolk.’ Or ‘What’s this–you’re eight years old and you don’t know how to chew tobacco?’ Or ‘What would you like to drink–dope, coffee, or sweet tea?’ 

 
“Or ‘Senator so-and-so is slicker than snot on a doorknob.’ Or ‘You’ll never get there without a horse, so you’d better borrow mine.’ Or ‘Have you gotten right with the Lordie?’ 

“I don’t expect that any of you city dubs will ever understand the ways of the south as well as a man who was born and raised in it. But I will say this much about the people of the Southron–if you’re a white man, they WANT you to fit in, and they’ll help you all they can, and forgive you if you make a boner, and they’ll only tease you about it later–for the rest of your life. 

“And I’ll also say this–unless you’re about four years old, or a hundred and four, you’d better think twice before you turn down an offer of a friendly drink, because the man who offers it will either think you’re giving him the high hat, or, worse, he’ll think your head ain’t screwed on straight. I can’t think of a single conceivable circumstance in which you would be justified in turning down a drink, unless you’re a preacher man and your church is a particular stickler in regards to old John Barleycorn. It’s kind of frightening to contemplate that the doctor, the lawyer, the policeman, the druggist, the innkeeper and the ostler are all very likely either drunk, or dead drunk. They do like their bourbon and rye down in those parts. I blame the hot weather. And the non-potability of much of the water. Plus the fact that most folks down south are descended from a long line of hard drinkers who like to get boozed up in a great big hurry and don’t make no bones about it, neither. So there you are–something else to remember. 
“And a southerner can likely hold his likker far far better than you, so don’t be getting into any card games with ’em–especially not with any man who walks bowlegged, because that means he’s a riverboat gambler and he plays cards for a living and you will never, ever be able to beat him, either fairly or otherwise. Never, ever, ever. For no matter how drunk he may be, or seem, he will clean your pockets and turn them inside out for you. Guaranteed.”
SEE ALSO:
TGI FRIDAY’S GOES MINIMALIST
2*REFERENCE
FIVE REASONS NOT TO USE GOOGLE FOR SEARCH
ONE-PAGE GRAPHIC NOVELS

8*PRESCRIPTION 

JACK SHAINDLIN

SILENT COMEDY MUSIC
https://youtu.be/b6TYyy9tyD8

9*RUMOR PATROL
WHAT WILL REPLACE THE HIPSTER?
10* LAGNIAPPE

THE DAMBUILDERS
SMOOTH CONTROL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrYl1e9YvK8

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
SPRINGSTEEN FROM WORST TO “BEST”
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

863. ELVIS COSTELLO ON SNL

RADIO RADIO
 
THE STUNT THAT GOT ELVIS COSTELLO BANNED FROM SNL

http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/the-stunt-that-got-elvis-costello-banned-from-saturday-night-live.html

THE INFORMATION #903 AUGUST 26, 2016

THE INFORMATION #903
AUGUST 26, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com
The educated folk of the Old South took theology lightly, and religion to them was hardly more than a charming ritual, useful on solemn occasions.–H.L. Mencken

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART EIGHTY-FIVE: KINGDOM COME 

“You think there are some bad ‘uns hereabouts, in Blowtown and in Noxtown? Why, then, you haven’t traveled any in the South. People in the deepest part of the South,” said Count Victor Justin, continuing his latest peroration, “still have this convict and warden mentality, which ain’t any big surprise, seeing as how most of their ancestors were the dregs of society back in Merrie Olde England. They were mostly the bastard sons and daughters of indentured servants, at best. And, like convicts everywhere, they are all a secret bunch of morphodites too. They worship guns, because that’s what convicts do, and they are gracious and respectful to their elders and other authority figures, not out of any actual reverence, but simply because that’s how your typical convict gets one over when he’s in prison. It is a most curious thing–these filthy and lazy and thoroughly nondescript characters are outraged at the notion that they are descended from monkeys, and they refuse to accept Darwin’s theory, citing endless Biblical testimonies first set down by credulous nomads–but these lintheads, and all those other savages who live by lynch law?–they themselves are proveably descended from the lowest form of human brute–Blutos who would put the shriekings and shit-flinging antics of the most rotten caged ape to shame. They live on horseback, as a man without a horse is derided as a no-count. They live in the back woods, as a man without land is probably a man of the colored persuasion. They live in a peculiar wilderness of word-blindness, as they cannot read a book, not even their treasured Bible; and they cannot sign their own names, except with an X. I speak here of the vast majority. What need have they of education? It’s well known among the men of the South that too much book-learnin’ will ruin your shooting eye. These worthy men of the south do not have a library, or a book store, or a truly educated man within a two-hundred mile radius of them. Nor a telegraph, nor a printing-press. They are as independent as all get-out, except for their women folk, who always worry about what the neighbors will think if they’re caught out of doors wearing a dress made from last years’ feed-sack. They are destitute of intellect, of pelf, and of nearly everything else–except their damnable, overweening pride. And their ability to hang around in hillside caves and consume inordinate amounts of forty-rod and raw whiskey and get stupefyingly drunk. And their predilection to support various lascivious itinerant preachers and other oafish snake-handlers and bible-hustlers. Religious freedom, my ass! If you’re not gobstruck by the same childish superstitions as the majority, you are a pariah. Down South, they don’t put their crazy people in asylums–oh, no–they either kill ’em outright, or put ’em to work grooming horses, cleaning up pig shit, and performing other menial chores. Then, when they become too old, they lock ’em up in an attic or something. Or, if they ain’t got no family there and they don’t have any living relatives anywheres else, they might farm ’em out for public work, or to a traveling carnival as an itinerant geek. Or maybe even give ’em a shiny new silver star and call ’em a county constable.

 
“Everything about the south reminds me of a prison. The greasy, starchy food. The false grins on the faces of the inmates. The brackish water of the stinking mill ponds. The schools, such as they are, are administered by people who never went to school. The teachers are, at best, incompetent. They are glorified child-minders; nothing more. Learning is by rote. Many parents won’t even bother sending their child to a school; they’d rather have them working a worn-out farm and staring at a mule’s ass from behind a plough. Or chopping cotton, if they are too poor to even hire a wretched negro to perform this function. Oh, they pretend to have fine manners, oh yes. Why, they even say excuse me and pardon me even while they administer forty lashes to an old negro Mammy for stealing a potato from the company store and roasting the contraband Mickey over a clandestine campfire. How else would you expect the south to be, other than lethargic–intolerably hot for close to three-quarters of the year; hag-ridden with hookworm, and pellagra, and malaria; festering with copperheads and other deadly critters; run by the hot-blooded progeny of slavemasters, criminals, and slaves. Oh, yes–many a man and woman down south has got a lick of the old tar brush, though you dast not say so, lest you be pumped full of buckshot and come down with a bad case of lead poisoning. Nor down South is it safe to talk about religion, ner politics. Hunting; fishing; farming–all of these are their acceptable topics of discussion. Lynching bees and the horsewhipping of prosperous negroes is their principal sport. And taking the name of the Good Lord in vain is their foremost taboo. Though most of these southern morphodites are busy bawling praise to their creator one minute, while during the very next minute they are fornicating with their cousin, or with some dusky high yaller slut, or with their cattle, or man to man. 
 

“Listen–I am the very soul of tolerance. I don’t care what men do in private; just so long as they don’t do it out in the streets and discombobulate the horses. I’m not too interested in the fact that a man may do another man an injury behind his back. What gets me is how proud of their backwardness these southerners are, and how eager they are to conceal any evidence of their loathsome vices. They do so by the tried and true method of overcompensation. Your average southern bully is a pretty piss-poor specimen–he rides the fastest horse, breeds the meanest dogs, bets the biggest on all the cock-fights, and owns a rug made from a bear which he kilt with his own two hands. He bawls the loudest prayers in church on Sunday, while, during the rest of the week, he leads the pack in Ku Kluxery, brawling, and the systematic consumption of fried squirrel brains. But if you even suggest that he might be swishy underneath it all, why, he’ll pick up his shotgun and blow your head off without a second thought. So much for the famous ‘Southern Hospitality’. Beneath their thin veneer of gentility, there exists among the men of the South a nation of red-handed thugs and vagabonds. For a significant majority of them are the sons and daughters of all the off-scourings of the earth. And nothing they do or say will ever alter that fact one jot, tittle, nor iota.”

1*SALUTATION
THE DRIVING STUPID
THE REALITY OF AIR FRIED BORSK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_KpFe9QQmk

HORROR ASPARAGUS STORIES
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IumIAl80CkU

2*REFERENCE
3*HUMOR
THE HAMBURGER BROTHERS

OMAR THE VAMPAR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gc8nnKiDYkk

4*NOVELTY

12 SEXY ADS THAT WILL GIVE YOU NIGHTMARES

http://www.cracked.com/article/229_12-sexy-ads-that-will-give-you-nightmares/

6* DAILY UTILITY
ALSO SEE:
Cruisin’: A History of Rock and Roll Radio 1955-1970
https://archive.org/details/Cruisin-AHistoryOfRockNRollRadio
10* LAGNIAPPE

DOROTHY COLLINS
SHRIMP BOATS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oczm7UxRuoM

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
1977 J.C. PENNEY CATALOG
http://www.popsugar.com/celebrity/1970-JC-Penney-Catalogue-771943
 
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

862. WHEN JUGGALOS MEET DEADHEADS
https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130815/irving-park/grateful-dead-cover-band-apologizes-fans-shocked-find-juggalos-at-bar