#736 JUNE 14, 2013
Copyright 2013 FRANCIS DIMENNO
If [John O’Hara] sometimes seems to exhibit the stormy emotions of a little boy, so do all great artists for unless they can remember what it was like to be a little boy, they are only half complete as artist and as man. Who wants to go through life with only easy friends? Nothing could be duller.—James Thurber
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER SEVEN: PART SEVEN: THE PLAN
It was right before he faded from this mortal plain and shambled off to the Big Rock Candy Mountain that Cadger Tandy the dying hobo told Baby Boy Maddox exactly what was what.
“Back in my day it was a musty planet, Yob, a yellow tintype orb full of fumes and dust, but one as set the pattern for these so-called modern times. We still breathe shit, Yob, and eat it, too—all of us–only now we call it ‘Progress’.”
And, then as now, things warn’t always what they seemed.
Life was for the young; it is for the young; it always has been for the young. The lady folks is chatty and the men is strong and silent. In general a lad only needs to know how to say two things: ‘Jazz Me’ to a Frail and ‘Back Off’ to a Yegg. The rest is buncombe.
And the old folks—then home folks—they is allus left to set a rockin’ on their porch to reminisce about how they did back when they was young.
But let me pull your sleeve, Yob—being young is also the time when you is got to get in all your accidents and make all your big mistakes, because being that you’re young is the only reason you can bear ‘em. You don’t stay innocent for long. And knowing what is what means that you are walking a big step away from stupidity and madness and are taking the man-sized step that leads you to a peaceful grave. Lying six feet under the short grass—that’s your heaven. T’was ever thus. What monkey wouldn’t long to live forever in a safe old hidey-hole? There’s your paradise right there.
Only a fool will ever make moan over how he’s been missing out. Keep your eyes open. Stop, but never stay in one place for too long. Look, but never touch. Listen, but don’t talk. That’s the best advice there is, and you can take that to the bank.
Love is a sticky wicket. You love her, she don’t love you. Boo hoo hoo. Or you think you love her and she thinks she loves you and the two of you spoon and call each other Googy Wa Wa. That there is sickenin’ to everyone but the two parties involved.
Anyway, all too soon she’ll find you dull. She’ll look for new horizons. If she’s a bad ‘un, and turns out to be a lady of easy virtue, then the twitchet will involve you in a deadly game of choice and chance with evil strangers. She will dance for criminals and hard men; she won’t dance for you. She’ll make your life a living nightmare, and if you try to unhitch her, she’ll take you for everything you’ve got. Or you’ll turn to solace to a lovely barfly who’s nothing but trouble. Her boyfriend is a big man who will break your legs, if you’re lucky. Or she’ll clean you out and laugh in your face. Your friends can’t help you here—nobody can help you here. They’re all tired, anyway, of hearing about your financial embarrassments. You brought them on yourself, with your reckless behavior. You’ll be faded, fucked, and forgotten.
Or say you hew to the straight and narrow and work yourself to death to give her everything she wants. It will never be enough. Every hope you cling to will become another trap. She’ll cry that she wants some kiddies to brighten up the home. Soon you’ll have some children. Ungrateful children, who will break your lonely heart. Don’t you get it? The second you have a child you are already a dead man. A child is a trap. Even a child can tell you that. You are easy prey for your children–who will always wrong you. Always. When your children are youngsters you will be a God to them. But what kind of man takes pride to being a big shot in the eyes of a small boy– and nobody else? When you laugh you embarrass them; they despise you for your weakness when you cry. By the time they are grown and on their own, to them you are an old-fashioned relic of days that are better forgotten. You will be lucky if they even talk to you. And you can bet on one thing–you will never be forgiven for the pain you caused them. They will stop caring about you long before you die. Time will come when they will look in your eyes and see a dead man. You won’t die easy. You will go kicking and screaming into that good night. And when you’ve breathed your last, they will dance at your funeral–and sell tickets.
So let them old gummers set rockin’ on the porch and reminisce about the days back when Paw was Courtin’ Maw. Hay Rides, husking bees, barn raisings, and all that other sad bib-overall-starin’ –at-a-mule’s-ass farmer-boy fol-de-rol.
Country Younkers as had never strayed more than twenty miles from their back forty would find themselves drunk and naked and bleeding from multiple clouts to the head and lying in a puddle of their own filth and that’s why they all had good reason to be feared of and hate the Big City. Next time I bring the crop to harvest, says Farmer John to his self, I’ll not treat the boys at the saloon to a snifter—why, I’ll just buy me half a pint of skull-varnish and sleep in the wagon yard with Betsy, my faithful rifle, to provide me with my need for good fellowship.
That’s how the countryman saw the City—as a hell overrun by devils. Who’s to say he was dead wrong?
But the biggest mistake you can ever make in life is thinking that folks is very different from one place to the rest.
Hell is found the world over, and you don’t have to be no fallen angel to sniff it out.
What is Hell, anyway, but having to do the same thing over and over, and for no reason? The myths of olden days was spot on when they talked of fellers rollin’ up them boulders to the top of the yonder hill and watchin’ them roll back down and then having to pick up and start all over. It is no myth when every day you see some game Yellof tied to a stake while eagles tear away at his liver. It is the human condition, Yob, and you don’t need to be a smarty to know that Hell can be hard and Hell can be soft, but it’s only a matter of your perspective.
Because it’s all Hell.
The Who – Happy Jack
The Beach Boys-Darlin’
International Feel/Never Never Land
THE ROLLING STONES – IF YOU LET ME
Emmitt Rhodes – With my face on the floor
Robyn Hitchcock – Brenda’s iron sledge
DAVE EDMUNDS LONDON’S A LONELY TOWN
Pylon – Read a Book
The Magnetic Fields – 100,000 Fireflies
XTC- The Wheel and the Maypole
Let Him Run Wild by Beach Boys on Mono 1965 Capitol 45.
Raspberries – Go All the Way
The Sweet – Little Willy
PAUL LYNDE ROASTS DEAN MARTIN
WHEN PIGS FLY, OR HOW TO ELECT NIXON AGAIN AND AGAIN
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
WHAT JUST HAPPENED WITH CATWOMAN?
6* DAILY UTILITY
WHAT’S ON MY FOOD?
FOODS YOU MUST BUY ORGANIC
CELEBRITY COMIC BOOKS
Phil Silvers was in the select company of Gleason, Hope, Martin & Lewis, Pat Boone, and Dwayne Hickman–personalities who got their own DC comic book. Funny to reflect how Hope was saddled with a talking dog and, later, an obnoxious teen nephew; Lewis had to make do with a bratty nephew and a witch; Dobie Gillis’s comic book came out later as “Windy and Willy” and Maynard G. Krebs was transformed from a beatnik into a hippie.
JERRY LEWIS AND HIS DC PALS
STRANGE INTERLUDE STARRING MICKEY MOUSE
TWEET THESE WORDS AND WIND UP ON A GOVERNMENT WATCHLIST
GROCERY STORE BLACKLIST
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
When I hear the word ‘Mermaids’ I think of the Feejee Mermaid I saw at the Busch-Reisinger Museum at the age of 18. It was the head and upper torso monkey of a enbalmed monkey, who apparently died with a look of shock and horror on his face, crudely grafted onto the tail end of a fish. (You know–they say that fish don’t feel the pain. Sure–they flop around in the bottom of the boat for fun.)
A here unnamed circus impresario grafted a horn onto the head of a horse and tried to palm it off as a unicorn until some gov’t agency got into the act and said No Go.
Mermaids, unicorns, Bigfoot, Zombies…so what? There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio. Shakespeare said it over 400 years ago. Read Charles Fort and you will find literally thousands of examples of unexplained phenomena. What does it prove? That there are certain things occurring on the physical plain which humans can’t understand? Fine. But how does that change a single thing? Answer: It doesn’t. It would be far better if we pulled our heads away from the degrading society of spectacle and focused instead on being better human beings. Starting with being kind to each other. Be Kind should be our religion. Everything else is window dressing.
The ongoing zombie craze is virtually inexplicable to me. In the 1950s, Zombies were just a metaphor for Commies. Mindless and servile and voracious. Whereas in the early 1980s, the movie Alien was a metaphor for capitalism. Mindless and vicious and voracious.
Put another way, perhaps, a zombie is simply anybody who doesn’t think for themselves. But nobody really and truly thinks for themselves, for we are only the sum total of the input we receive from being a part of an interstitial web of culture which we call our Civilization.
But this begs the question: Why do grown adults continue to dignify such conceptual toys with their diligent attention? Time to move on, methinks, and confront the real monsters which haunt our lives. Feral children; hungry people; folks who have lost all hope. But that is too hard; we turn away and splash in a birdbath in idiotic spectacles.
Providing people with stories which attract the most interest? Pandering to the degraded tastes of solipsists is more like it.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 690.
GLOOMCOOKIES GOOFING ON THE TOP 40
THE SMALL FACES
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 691.
Had Mr. Romney been elected we might well have been saddled with our worst President since Harding–only perhaps this is unfair to Harding, since Mitt is way too uptight and rigid to be even one per cent as likeable in a slob sort of way as the unfortunate and overwhelmed Martyr President (who, allegedly, perished from eating spoiled Alaskan King Crab Salad). The 2012 Republican nominee (and has there ever been a potential President since the long-dead days of Schulyer Colfax and Horace Greeley with a stranger name than Mitt Romney?) seemed, not only insulated from normal American concerns, but also strangely ill-at-ease with arguably human concerns, and he even seemed utterly incapable of paying so much as lip-service to such generally-accepted conventions as Compassion for the Poor, Kindness to Dumb Animals, Equaliy in the Workplace, and any of a number of other modern-era homo sapien-like attributes. His boodle of bad jive seemed strictly from the 90’s–the 1790s. To make matters worse, his affect seemed deeply deeply off. He made Nixon come across like the lusty and profane stogie-chomping sailor he longed to be; made H. Ross Perot look like a hip, finger-popping Mack Daddy, and Al Gore come off as sophisticated a bon vivant as Noel Coward in his prime. But let’s at least say this much for Mitt–he was endlessly entertaining, like a holographic diorama of a perpetual trainwreck; his jeer-worthy campaign made him the priceless fodder of political jokemongers thoughout this great land of ours. Thankfully, for the future of the Republic, he was as gaffe-prone as his hapless Paw, Michigan Governor George W. “Brainwashed” Romney. As a matter of fact, he was a walking gaffe. Mitt will remain for a long time to come the gold standard for every other hopelessly isolated and insolent plutocrat with an unjustifiably inflated ego cojoined with an irrational, nearly messianic hankering for the highest office. To paraphrase Jack Warner: “No, no–MCCAIN for President; ROMNEY for POPE!”