THE INFORMATION #805 OCTOBER 10, 2014

THE INFORMATION #805
OCTOBER 10, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

When you finally go back to your old home, you find it wasn’t the old home you missed but your childhood.–Sam EwingWHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART THIRTY-ONE: THE MAYOR OF HELL

Yob, when a lad is twelve years old going on twenty, or so he thinks, he pays no
mind to schoolmarms ner heifers and especially not to zooks and
other worn out hussies who say he ought to mind his Ps and Qs. Back
then, I was meat for the truant officer, and if I wasn’t batting about
Feist’s Cigar Store with the ward heelers and low-down dead pickers
and duke players, or over to the Seven Stars Saloon–not exactly an ice
palace–with the dregs-drinkers and the jug-heisters and the loocher
and moochers, or down at Moon Drugs with the buzzers and hopheads and the snowbirds all loungin’ about before they got a fanner and got loaded into the hustle buggy–or the hurry-up wagon–or over by Slopp Brokers Pawnshop with the stiffs and the crooks and the floppers–all the while listening to their palaver–then it seems as though whatever it was I WAS doing was simply time wasted until the next occasion when I had a chance to bat about with all the queer birds and odd fishes, both the down and out and all the Fancy and the Sports.

Like Doc Ketman told me, no Yob says that when he grows up he wants
to be a beefer, or a cackler, or a clover kicker or plough jockey as
is so dumb he beats his knobhead and kills his stock without battin’
an eye but gives a tender name to all his eatin’ utensils. No, the
Kiddo looks at all the flash bastards and boodlers in Noxtown
and crows out to all the world that he wants to be just like them–a
real badman and a bonafide police character, him.
It’s all gravy, Son, until someone gets kilt–usually, himself.
But next to the free and easy life of a sport, you could settle for
the life of a tramp or a high-roller. as also seemed like a free 
gratis ticket to the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
I couldn’t resist the hobo lure, me. Down at the railway junction I would
dodge John Family the town clown, and especially Bruno the Yard Master
with his wicked hogleg–and I’d come calling in at the jungle to bat about 
with the blanket stiffs and buzzards, the gandy stiffs and the shovel bums–
the boomers all called me a cat, a yap, and a tenderfoot, but they warn’t 
jockers–they kept the fuzzy tails away and they knowed I was no gonsil 
so they warned off any wolfs who would try to turn me into an Angelina 
or an Auntie. They mostly didn’t mind me batting about none, as I warn’t 
no dino ner ding bat and did my share of the work and I one time even 
made a gut plunge for ’em and brung ’em block scrapings from the ornery
roughneck butcher man (I told him it was for a dog I didn’t have–and so
he also gave me a pig’s snout and a hog’s eyebrow). Sometimes I would
even bring along fresh vegetables I’d glaum from the Italian Fruit
Stand, a feat at which I was a past master. (“Some little bastard’s
been getting into my greens,” said the excitable Tony who worked the
stall, oftentimes within my hearing. If only he knew!) “Sweet back,”
they’d call me. “Little lamb, who made thee,” they would sometimes
howl at even the very sight of me–but it was all in good fun.
They never said to me, “Here’s a match–make your own fire.” No, the
Tramps was mostly monstrous good to me. “Don’t be like me,” was the
only moral advice the Old Time ‘Bos were prone to give, and that
suited me fine after an earful on proper deportment from the stale
bazoos of the usual authorities on the subject, the blisters squawking
why don’t you get a job (who all of ’em long to be ravaged by a lusty
young tramp);  the smooth-shaven galways and the batty sky pilots and
mission squawkers with their eyes rolled up, handing out angel food;
and them as what the Bos all called the bums on the plush, men who
liked to hear the sound of their own wind and who, I’d be willing to
bet, didn’t care one straw about a  yob like you or me.
The hoboes as would sleep in a bedroom of stars under cover of the
moon and warn’t shy about spending their spare time–of which they had
plenty–riding the belly of a drag. They mought seem like slobs to you and yourn
but to me they were about the most interesting people around–the
mission stiffs and the wobs and the rounders; they were a novelty to
me; more so than the pimps and the ponces; the spongers and the 
moochers; the tramps and the debutramps; the murderers and the 
yekkmen;  and the sports and the fancy-men that batted
around my usual haunts–the ugly circuit of the drug store, the cigar
store, the saloon, and the pawnbroker.
Thinking too much and thinking not at all are both terrible things,
Yob; but of the two, thinking too much can do the most harm. The
thinking bone is a mighty powerful organ; it can blow you up or let
you down on just a whim–a whim where you don’t know where it comes from. Do
people ever really have any say-so as to who they are and what they are? I say
nay. Yellofs, the most of them, are creatures of circumstance mostly;
ye needn’t judge them too harshly; mostly, they are who they have to
be. And why? Comes from their raisin’. Put too much yeast in the bread
and it becomes a thing of mostly air; put in too little, and it’s rock
solid. People are like that, you know; if they don’t give ’em enough
of what they need, they come out all twisty, like a pretzel. But
say, all this talk of bread is making me hungry, even though with the
state of my grinders all I’m fit for is a meal of graveyard stew.
Anyways, even if you remember nothing else, Yob, remember what I’m
telling you now: darkness is greedy. And the underworld is mostly full of
dark hearts as have been broken in one way or another and
have got nothing to live for but the present day. Think of what it must be
like to be always on the run–though you may find out the truth of it
soon enough–and remember, once the easy life gets its hooks into you,
you better watch out–that’s all–watch out. That’s all.
If I had it to do over then maybe I’d of camped out at the knowledge
box like I was supposed to and learned my cipherin’ to the rule of
three and suchlike nonsense. But that claptrap was for chumps, is what
I said. Me for the wide open spaces. I was none too smart, at
thirteen, I’ll be the first to admit. No one is. I thought I’d be a
big man, if I wasn’t one already. Maybe take on a job as a razor
back–and some day I’d ride the velvet.
At worst I thought I’d shill through–I’d never be a slob sister–but
look at me now. Broken–skating on the uppers–too wore out to slam
the gate–too weak for the peanut farm–too far gone for the pill
peddlar–a ripe customer for the black bottle–and gettin’ ready for that long
dirt nap.1*SALUTATION

Alexis Zoumbas
Lost Recordings
2*REFERENCE
HOBO LINGO
WHEN FART JOKES WERE COMEDY’S LAST TABOO
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ELLO
GREAT NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY READ BOOKS
WHAT NERVE! ALTERNATIVE FIGURES IN AMERICAN ART
WALLACE WOOD GALLERY
15 BOOKS BANNED FOR THE MOST ABSURD REASONS EVER

9*RUMOR PATROL

HITLER AND THE SEA MONKEYS
10* LAGNIAPPE
THE MOVE
THE LOST BROADCASTS

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

THE DIRECTOR. By David Ignatius.  
Newly appointed CIA Director Graham
Weber is an outsider hailing from the world of business, not
espionage. In the environment of cyber-terrorism that has permanently
altered the world of spy craft, he soon finds himself in over his head.
So Weber places his trust in a protege–the elusive and brilliant
former (and possibly current) computer hacker Morris–an act which
could lead to global financial catastrophe. The author has a
reputation as an espionage and suspense writer who is quite
knowledgeable about foreign affairs. In his latest novel depicting the
maneuverings inside of the puzzle palace of the CIA, he proves equally
adept at portraying modern-day international intrigues–in a
nail-biting fashion which will convince you that the events could be
taking place right now.
*11A BOOKS READ AND RATED
52 PICK-UP. LEONARD. ***1/2
AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE 1. ***
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: FAMILY MATTERS. ***
AMERICA AT WAR. FINN. ***1/2
ASTRO CITY: THROUGH OPEN DOORS. ****
B.KRIGSTEIN COMICS. ***1/2
BATMAN 4: ZERO YEAR–SECRET CITY. ***1/2
BATMAN ’66. 1/ ***
BAD SEX ON SPEED. STAHL. ***1/2
BIRDS OF PREY: DEATH OF ORACLE. ***
CALIGULA 1. LAPHAM. ****
CALIGULA 2. LAPHAM. ***1/2
THE CASTAWAYS. VOLLMAR & CALLEJO. ****
CASTLE: RICHARD CASTLE’S STORM SEASON. ***1/2
THE CITY. MASREEL. ****1/2
THE DARK KNIGHT 3. MAD. ***1/2
DOC SAVAGE; THE MAN OF BRONZE. **
DOC SAVAGE; THE SILVER PYRAMID. ***1/2
THE DIRECTOR. IGNATIUS. ***1/2
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SLEEP 5. ****
DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SLEEP 6. ****
THE FORGOTTEN MAN. SHLAES, RIVOCHE, DIXON. ***1/2
THE FOX 1. FREAK MAGNET. *1/2
JOHN WAYNE’S AMERICA. WILLS. ****
LANDSLIDE. DARMAN. ****
MIRACLEMAN 1: A DREAM OF FLYING. ****
OVER EASY. POND. ****1/2
READY FOR A BRAND NEW BEAT. KURLANSKY. ****
RESURRECTION MAN 1. **1/2
SHOCKED AND AMAZED. TAYLOR. ***1/2
THE UNWINDING. PACKER. ****1/2
VELVET: BEFORE THE LIVING END. ***
X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM. ***CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
763. COMIC STRIPS, THE PULPS, COMIC BOOKS AND HARRY DONENFELD

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MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 192 OCTOBER 2014

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 192
OCTOBER 2014
Copyright 2014 Francis DiMenno
http://dimenno.gather.com
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

AND NOW…MODERN WISDOM PRESENTS:
SUPER NOIR ISSUE

 
1. THE NOIR MONOLOGUES. 1.

I never expected praise and adulation. Not even universal approbation. All I EVER wanted from the high and mighty was some simple human UNDERSTANDING! But did I get it? NO! I’ve been through a MILLION horrors, each worse than the previous one! Evil overlords have discarded me, simple middle class yokels stare and gossip, and jealous inferiors sabotage my dreams!!! But don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitter. Because pretty soon, everybody will know me for what I truly am! Hi-Ya! EVERYBODY!

 

2. THE NOIR MONOLOGUES 2.
“Why do you want to be a American citizen, Susan?” The young orphan
girl’s chipmunk face split into a wide grin. “I-I like it here,” she
stammered, to the imposing three-man panel of judges. The men in robes
conferred for a minute or two. “Citizenship granted,” said the eldest
of the three. And everyone in the courtroom stood up and cheered. That
was forty years ago. But it …was all a big mistake that was to turn
into a nightmare for Yours Truly. Because the Dame was a sleeper
agent. A Spy. One of the best. Made Mata Hari look like a Grade-A
chump. And the clock was ticking. In twenty-four hours a bomb would go
off, and only she knew how to stop it. But the very day the left the
courtroom, she vanished. My job: Find Her. But it wouldn’t be easy.
Her last known location had been a deserted horse ranch deep in the
desert. Otherwise, she left no forwarding address. In fact, it was as
though she had never existed at all. And maybe she didn’t. Maybe it
was all just a bad story I made up after a hit of brown acid.

But…maybe not.

 
3. THE NOIR MONOLOGUES. 3.
There was a woman once. A swell dame. She taught me to hear a mermaid
singing. But now she’s missing. Presumed dead. Murdered. By things
invisible to see. I was going to find those things and make them pay.
But before too long I found myself knee-deep in a Satanic cult racket
where washed-up Hollywood Bimbos paid through the nose to kiss the
cleft feet and cloven hooves of dime-store Lucifers. There was an ill
wind blowing in Tinseltown, and no honest man could stand the gaff.
That’s where I came in. They call me Mandrake Root. I’m a P.I. Born to
see strange sights. Hair as white as a broken-down Poltergeist.

By the time it was all over, I had found my Mermaid Girl. And she was
false. Maybe to two. Possibly to three. But even one was just about
enough to wash me out of this crummy racket…and for keeps.

 
4. THE NOIR MONOLOGUES. 4.

Listen, Eileen, will you stop nagging me about the boy? Will you stop
saying I neglect him? I’ll pay attention to him when he finally does
something that’s worthy of my respect. As it is, the Kid is a nothing.
A milksop. NO, I DON’T CARE IF HE’S LISTENING! I DON’T CARE IF HE CAN
HEAR ME! It’s high time that the Kid learns that the world is a cruel
and rotten place. How can I say such a thing? Easy! You know as well
as I do that my old man cut me off without a nickel because he said I
had a lousy temper! So? So what! Who gives a damn! I wouldn’t take so
much as a red penny from that sanctimonious bastard! Don’t shush me!
Talk about a temper! Even though he never says so much as Boo, the Old
Man is a hot-headed fool himself, only he never shows his hand
–because he’s a coward. And our son, he’s just like MY father. Never
loses his temper. Sure! On the surface, he seems perfectly calm, but
when I look into that Kid’s eyes, I see a cold burning hatred, and I’m
telling ya, Eileen, that it scares me half to death. NO! My son will
never be a rotten sneaking hypocrite like my father! NEVER! I WON’T
ALLOW IT!! I’ll make a MAN out of him YET! Even if it kills me!
5. THE NOIR MONOLOGUES. 5.

Do I remember Him? Sure I do. He was the best kind of policeman, tough but fair. He was only two days from retirement, and the Chief told Him to take it easy, but He never was One to take advice from mere mortals. So down those mean streets He went. He was trying to foil a bank robbery, and He ran into a situation. Three guys, all wearing masks, and it was looking to turn into a hostage situation. Drop the gun, He cried. Two of them, knowing His reputation on the street, did as they were told. But the third, an escaped ex-con with a major grudge, turned around with a sawed off rifle and shot Him in the gut, then fled. He chased after the guy, but the minute He got outside, He collapsed. Police were on the scene in minutes. Hold on, hold on, we yelled. Oh, Me, he groaned, and then He expired. In a filthy alleyway. Just before the paramedics arrived. It was on that day that for once the newspapers reported the Truth: God Is Dead.

 
6.THE NOIR MONOLOGUES. 6.
I’ll never forget that day. I was attending night school at the police academy, when one of the drill sergeants came in and whispered to one of the other drill sergeants and they both flew out of the room. The two of them returned, minutes later, wheeled in the television, turned it on and we watched. The first drill sergeant then stepped up in front of the class and solemnly announced, “I am sorry to have to announce the tragic news that at approximately 8:14 PM EST, God was pronounced …dead.” And then, to our astonishment, he burst into tears. The whole class grew silent. The floor literally dropped out from under me, and I felt a deep cold chill inside, God, who had reigned as the Judeo-Christian tradition’s chief Deity, was gone. What will become of us? A couple other guys got up and went to hug the Sarge. Then the police superintendent came into the classroom and told us all to go to the cafeteria, where they were sending all the recruits. I really don’t think he knew what else to do. I think most of the drill instructors were already in there, watching the news on a portable television. Most of them were too shocked to speak. Nearly all of them were blubbering. I remember peering at one, a big tough bruiser we had nicknamed “Captain Pain.” I recall with astonishment seeing big fat teardrops slowly trickling down his stubbled jaw. Shortly after that they sent everyone home. Not too much else was done that evening, and so we all went home to watch this inconceivably tragic catastrophe unfold upon our flat screen televisions. But even on my way home, my cell phone kept ringing. “Tragedy…so young…Why…God? Why Him?” were just a few of the remarks. Truly, that day will go down in history as “the last day we were young.” I will NEVER forget that day. Who did it? Why? We think we know who, but we’ll probably never really know just why.
 

7. THE NOIR DIALOGUES 1.
THE BIG MAN’S BOOK OF ANSWERS.
1. Q: What does the Big Man want us to do?
A: Whatever he says. Savvy?
2. Q: Whenever I ask a question, why do you tell me to run it by The Big Man?
A: Because the Big Man has all the answers. He calls the shots.
3. Q: What if the Big Man’s not around?
A: Don’t kid yourself, Jamoke. The Big Man is everywhere.
4. Q: How can we tell what’s right from what’s wrong?
A: Ask yourself–Does the Big Man like it? Then all right. Does the
Big Man say No Likey? Then Nix. You ain’t supposed to do it.
5. Q: Why is it a bad idea to get on the wrong side of the Big Man?
A: You just don’t want to make the Big Man sore. That’s all.
6. Q: How come people do wrong when they know it’s wrong?
A: They don’t realize that the Big Man has operatives working round
the clock. That’s how come.
7. Q: How does the Big Man decide what’s right and what’s wrong?
A: Never mind. You don’t need to know how. Just listen to what the Big
Man tells you.
8. Q: If the law says something is wrong and the Big Man says it’s
right, then who do I listen to?
A: Listen up, Stupe–here in these parts, the Big Man IS The Law.
9. Q: What is morality?
A: Morality is a fancy word that Saps like you pay lip service to. But
it’s something that Friends of the Big Man can safely blow off.
‎10. Q: What if, like, by accident, I do something that The Big Man
doesn’t like, only I don’t know it?
A: You only get one chance with the Big Man, so watch your step.
11. Q: What about my conscience?
A: The Big Man is your conscience now…. Don’t make him sore.
12. Q: How do I get in good with the Big Man?
A: You don’t. You just best stay out of his way.
13. Q: What if the cops are after the Big Man? Should I lie to the
cops to protect him?
A: Listen, goof–you can always hand them snoopy cops a line of fancy
bull. But there’s no way can you outsmart the Big Man. Do I have to
spell it out for you?
14. Q: Why does the Big Man have all these rules?
A: For your own protection, Chump. Otherwise, the Big Man might get
sore. I don’t think you want that.
15. Q: Is it OK to go to a movie every once in awhile?
A: Yeah, sure. But don’t make a habit of it. The Big Man wants his
Boys to be strictly business.
16. Q: Why doesn’t the Big Man want us to have fun?
A: Who says you ain’t having fun? The Big Man says you are.
17. Q: Does the Big Man care if I have a couple of drinks?
A: Listen, Lusho–you can gamble, steal, and lap up all the bad hooch
you want. Just don’t get sloppy. The Big Man hates it when one of his
Boys can’t hold his liquor.
Q. 18: Is the Big Man angry when I make mistakes?
A: No. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone…but the Big Man. And the
thing about Big Man? He don’t get mad–he gets even.
Q. 19: How can you get back in favor with the Big Man after you goof up?
A: Glad you asked, bright boy. You can’t, see. Just try to stay out of
his way. Either the Big Man will let it go this time, or else you’re a
gone goose. If he decides to let it go, then just see it don’t happen
again. If you value your health.
Q. 20: Is the Big Man married?
A: The Big Man can’t never get tied down to a Frail. See, his enemies,
they can’t touch him, but they might try to get to him through his
Twist. But don’t worry–the Big Man gets plenty of trim, believe you
me. And how!
Q. 21: How do you get a private appointment with the Big Man?
A: You don’t call on the Big Man–he calls you in to see him. And
first you gotta see his secretary. And don’t get any phony ideas,
Casanova–she’s strictly off-limits to crumb-bums like you. And
everybody else. Except–it goes without sayin’– the Big Man.
Q. 22: Why do area businessmen have to fork over half their profits to
the Big Man?
A: Tell ’em that the next time they ask that question, the Big Man’s
rake-off is gonna be double that.
Q. 23: The Big Man just gave me a couple grand. Why?
A: What are you, a Blockhead? He wants you to buy a couple of good
suits. Shoot the works. He likes to see his boys look sharp.
Q. 24: Does the Big Man think he’s better than everybody else?
A: Maybe. Maybe not. What kind of smart aleck question is that,
anyway? But one thing’s for sure–he’s bigger than everybody else. You
best remember that, Gink, the next time you go around shooting off
your mouth.
Q. 25: Who’s the next in line in case the Big Man gets pushed aside?
A: Never you mind who. The only way the Big Man is ever going to leave
this racket is in a coffin. And he’ll sure as hell take everybody else
with him. And you can take that to the bank. Say–you don’t listen
very well, do ya, Jasper? What did I tell you about askin’ so many
smart aleck questions? Listen–the Big Man don’t cotton to loose talk
like that. And you better not make him sore.
Q. 26: No, you got me all wrong! I, I…Say–the Big Man has a sense
of humor, right? I mean, I hear he’s a real swell guy who likes to
have a laugh or two. All I’m sayin’ is, he don’t mind if we k-k-kid
around a little, right?
A: Listen, Simp, and listen good. The Big Man is at least five steps
ahead of Punks like you at all times, so nothing you can say can
possibly hurt him. Sure, he likes a laugh. But if you disrespect him,
he’ll get sore. And believe me–you won’t like the Big Man when he
gets sore.
Q. 27: Well, what would happen if some reporter, who, after all, is
only doing his job, er, what if he were to make some discreet
inquiries, and let’s just say, just for the sake of argument, that
this here reporter, he just happened to print something that the Big
Man didn’t like?
A: Never mind. The Big Man has a special way with snooping news hawks.
Let’s just say that that would be the last story the nosy ink slinger
would ever write. Hard to write after all your fingers are
broken–ain’t it?
Q. 28: I, I, I didn’t mean nothin’ by it. Honest! B-b-but, I mean,
it’s a free country, ain’t it? Where does the Big Man get off, telling
everybody else what to do?
A: Don’t worry, Sport. I know you didn’t mean nothin’. Let me get back to you
on that one. Gimme your name and address, and the Big Man will send
his Boys around to give you the complete low-down. Now amscray,
Punk–you’re startin’ to get on my nerves. And don’t forget that two
grand I put in your jacket pocket. Oh, and one more thing–don’t try
to leave town. We’ll be watching you.
-30-

8. TERRORISM: THE PEOPLE SPEAK

THINKS COMPLAINTS IGNORED
I personally find it appalling that in spite of all the legitimate and
well-reasoned comments that people have made regarding killing 
all the terrorists, some people still persist in
referring to it as “murder.”–Mr. Reuben Baneberry

SHOOT THEM
Since TERRORISTS want so badly to kill someone I say we kill them.
–Mr. Andrew Jellywhopper

FRIENDS OF TERRORISTS
I am one proud American
who supported President Bush and not President Hussein. And I say people who cry about the Bill of Rights are the best friends the Terrorists ever had.
–Mr.Andrew Xavier

PROPAGANDA FOR TERRORISTS
Regarding the bill of so-called rights, I expect to see
this kind of crummy terrorist propaganda in Al Jazeera, not in your
otherwise fine paper. What’s got into you? I dare you to print this.
—Mr. Brian Redshaw

DESERVE TO ROT
Terrorists who think they can frighten me? These are the
sorts of people whose souls deserve to rot in hell forever. –Mr. Carl
Hardliver

WILL WRITE TO DC
Surprised there are no laws to stop
terrorism. Intend to write to Washington to see if
something can be done.—Miss Connie Welkin

WHY THE FUSS?
I am frankly surprised at
all the vehemence directed at terrorists. Although, one the
one hand, I abhor violence, I still fail to see what all the
fuss is about.–Mr. David Quitten

SEND THEM TO RED CHINA
Maybe our government should offer
these terrorist creeps a one-way ticket to Red China. I wonder how
long they would put up with them there. –Mrs. D. D.Evans

NO PAKI SUBSIDY
Who in Pakistan or India or Towelheadistan is paying you to print such
rot, and how much? I hope for your sake you are raking in lots of
Rupees, heathens, for I will no longer pay good American money to
bring pro-terrorist propaganda into my home. Cancel my subscription at
once.–Mrs. Hazel Gabble

NIX ON TOMMYROT
I say bad enough that on the radio
instead of soft music they play the Communistic jungle music by greasy
big-lipped Zigaboos morning noon and night, but when they start
talking up terrorist tommyrot in the newspapers, I want to know why. 
I WILL KILL THEM ALL.–Mr. Jeffrey Feist

READY TO HELP
The dirty beatnicks who support drugs and terrorism ought to be hanged 
then drawn and quartered then boiled in oil. Then please burn them alive 
and scatter their ashes to the four winds. If you need help, I am at the 
ready to lend a hand. I mean it. —Mr. John Mangrove

SAYS WE ANSWER TO BIG MONEY
I think your rotten rag is owned and run by the big money boys who support terrorism
because they want to see this country go to hell so they can take
it over. I bet you won’t print this.–Mr. K. Oldhook

NIXES TERRORISM
I’d rather see my babies snack on paint
chips than become terrorists.–Mona Mauger

PRESENT FOR EDITOR
If I ever run into your editor he’s going to need a
steak to rub on his eye after I get through with him. What kind of
smart aleck thinks it’s clever to defend terrorism? —Mr. Peter Newground

WHIP NEWSIES AND KIN
You are a bunch of terrorist rats and you ought to be horse whipped and your
families ought to be horse whipped and your newsboys ought to be horse
whipped. Good G-d, I could say much much more, but I won’t.—Mr. Steve
Leatheroot

SHOESHINE LOGIC
Terrorists “innocent until proven guilty?” This is just the sort of logic you might expect a negro
shoeshine boy to be impressed by.–Mr. Walter Oilbean

WANTS MORE SNIPERS
If only I still had my sniper’s rifle
and lived in the Wild West, where instant justice by strong-minded
vigilantes was still legal, you can bet your bottom dollar I would put
one right smack between the eyes of any terrorist what so much as said boo
to me.–Mr. Frank Deerplum

WANTS IMMIGRANTS SENT BACK
Why do they let in immigrants?
I am an AMERICAN that has insurance and pays his taxes. I don’t
buy codeine cough syrup at twenty different drug stores in Moochburg
then turn around and sell the bottles in Old Town for 20 bucks a pop.
As I’m sure you’re aware most foreigners are not here legally, are
paid under the table, don’t pay taxes, and are draining our economy by
using up our schools, hospitals, housing, and abusing systems that
were set up to help the tax paying legal citizens. This country is
falling apart because of these people. NO MORE IMMIGRANTS!
–Mr. G. McClellan

THE INFORMATION #804 OCTOBER 3, 2014

THE INFORMATION #804
OCTOBER 3, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune, for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief. Certainly the best works and of greatest merit for the public have proceeded from the unmarried or childless men, which both in affection and means have married and endowed the public. –Francis Bacon 
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART THIRTY: THE MAYOR OF HELL

It should go without saying (but it never does) that when Red Mary was
having her little mad fits–though they were by no means little–she
was letting me run wild, and, as we all know,  a twelve year old boy
without adult supervision can get up to all kinds of devilment. Having
a whore for a mother ain’t exactly a recipe for respectability to
begin with. Red Mary’s advice always tended to be eccentric, even when
she was well in her mind; she told me repeatedly to stay away from the
Seven Stars Saloon, which only made me want to go there all the more.
She told me to stop running in the street, but she didn’t offer any
alternative to that other than to stay in my room and study my
readin’, writin’, and cipherin’, which quite naturally was good sound
advice I was  disinclined to follow.  
Maybe if I had spent less time pounding an idiotic ball against 
the side of a building and annoying all the neighbors, and had 
spent more time studying, I might of amounted to something. 
But I doubt it.
So Red Mary tried her best with me, but it was no use her talking to
me about this and that–not when she made her money catering to mens
as had some girlin’ in their blood as needed satisfying.  “You’re a
bad boy,” says she, “and if you keep on running with a bad crowd
you’ll be a bad man. And you’ll break my heart. I can’t tell everybody
else what to do. I can’t tell those bad boys to behave. But I can tell
you. And you will do what I tell you. Don’t let me catch you doing it
again, Yob, or I’ll dust your britches.” What was a yellof to say to
that?
When I didn’t want to go to bed and I told her I hated her, she would
tell me she hated me too, or she would try to bribe me with ice cream
for dessert tomorrow–of course, a lad of twelve doesn’t never want to
hear the word ‘tomorrow’ because mostly he lives like a little animal
with no conception of any but the most recent past and no conception
whatsoever of the future, except maybe the most cloudiest, where in
daydreams you are a fireman or a great actor…or maybe even a
streetcar conductor. “Why bother,” she would say to me, when I told
her my dreams. “You can’t change the world. You’re only one person.”
She thought she was doing me a favor by telling me this, and maybe she
was.
It seemed Red Mary had eyes and ears everywhere. When she heerd I was
doing something bad, she would confront me with it. Which I suppose
was better than the alternative of punishing me for mischief without
explaining why. Her problem was that she would try to reason with me,
but it all turned out somehow wrong. “Why do you have to steal apples
from the Dago fruit stand? Whatever you want, I will buy it for you,”
said she. First of all, I knowed this wasn’t literally true. She was
very likely claptrapping me. Second, I knew she couldn’t buy me the
thrill of literally getting away with something. She would put on a
sad face when I wouldn’t answer, and she would say, “Sometimes I think
you’re just not very good at all.” This would make me say, “Well, if
you feel that way anyhow, I’ll show you just how bad I can be.” Then
she would come back with”Don’t ever say that!” And I would counter
with, “If I can’t do what I want to then I don’t want to live.” And
she would say, “You don’t know what you’re saying! You don’t mean
that!”
“Yes I do!”
“No you don’t!”
“Yes I do!”
“You’re too young to talk like that! You can do better than me. Do as I say!”
And on and on it went.
At times that that, I must have been her worst nightmare. And she had
bad actors a-plenty to contend with as it was. You can’t change the
past, but if you could then I would go back in time and tell my
younger self not to give her such a hard row to hoe. Who’s to say it
wasn’t me as drove her slightly off her rocker? I know you’ll say that
whores is crazy anyway, just as a rule of thumb, but there’s no point
in actin’ in a way that is calculated to drive them over the edge.
I will say this much: Red Mary was persistant as a woodpecker on a
stump peckin at a termite in trying to reach me. She would also say
things like “You better be good, Yob. Stop stirring up so much
trouble.” “It’s not me who’s making trouble, it’s some of them other
boys,” I would say. “Then just ignore them and stop running with them
and stop making trouble. I don’t like them Yellofs; you stay away from
them.” But how could stay away from them when they were my friends?
Besides, if I stayed away, they’d think I was giving them the high hat
and come after me, and they wouldn’t be my friends no more, and, by
the Neddy Jingo, friends is what I needed.
“You are ruining my life. You don’t have to listen to what they say,”
said Red Mary. “Don’t listen to them. Listen to what I say. “
But all she had to say involved some nonsense about “being good” and
“earning my keep” and “not causing her any worry” that I couldn’t
properly take a cotton to.  No matter how fond I had grown of Red
Mary.1*SALUTATION

13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS
YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME (LIVE)
SCIENCEGASM
SF ITALIAN RESTAURANT BATTLES YELP
SUGAR RICE KRINKLES AD
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
MCDONALD’S IS FALLING APART
SIGN POSTED AT WALMART STORE
COMIC BOOK MARTIAL ARTS ADS
BEATLES V. STONES
BY RICHIE UNTERBERGER
AGE OF IGNORANCE
BY CHARLES SIMIC
Christians are persecuted in this country. 
The government is coming to get your guns. 
Obama is a Muslim. 
Global Warming is a hoax. 
The president is forcing open homosexuality on the military. 
Schools push a left-wing agenda. 
Social Security is an entitlement, no different from welfare. 
Obama hates white people. 
The life on earth is 10,000 years old and so is the universe. 
The safety net contributes to poverty. 
The government is taking money from you and giving it to sex-crazed college women to pay for their birth control.

10* LAGNIAPPE

30 OF THE GREATEST DOUBLE ALBUMS OF ALL TIME
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
COWBOYS & INDIES: The Epic History of the Record Industry 
By Gareth Murphy.  Hardcover. St. Martin’s Press. 364 pages.
The first thing which ought to be said about this impressionistic slab of reportage is that it is neither epic, nor really a history per se. It is more like a series of sharply written and carefully shaped anecdotes in which selected highlights of music biz careers are chronicled and then hung out to dry, as it were. It reminds me very much of the recent book, Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop by Bob Stanley. It is not a comprehensive but, rather, an idiosyncratic history of independent and major labels on both sides of the Atlantic. The episodes, which are set in the post-Elvis climate, are far more compelling—perhaps because far more secondary sources exist and are cited—than the earlier parts of the book.
      In the hands of an actual historian, this tome would likely be five times the length and would very likely be a drearily complex chronicle of various minutiae of interest only to serious scholars and ethnomusicolgists. In Murphy’s hands, we are given a breezy summary of trends, fads, and technological breakthroughs as well as the names and often brief biographies of certain important music biz figures – nor are we denied at least a glancing run-through of formative musical movements over the years. By making this a history solely of the record industry and the men who dominated it, Murphy is in the position of being able to not mention at all the popularity of sheet music, on one end of the timeline. He also gives short shrift to CD and digital formats of more recent years. Occasionally, the convoluted history of some of the movers and shakers of the industry begins to read like the Byzantine maneuverings explicated in tomes such as “Apple to the Core.” (For example, Murphy has clearly thoroughly read and excavated from Tom King’s massive Geffen biog, The Operator). However, for the most part, Murphy eschews the nitty gritty for the broad outline, though he does from time to time indulge in the telling anecdote: Andrew Loog Oldham insisted that The Rollin’ Stones change their name to “The Rolling Stones”: “How can you expect people to take you seriously when you can’t even be bothered to spell your name properly?”  (Oldham insisted also that the band jettison Ian Stewart.)
      In sweeping terms, the story of the music industry is told in terms of standard-issue musicland lore: how the industry develops from wax cylinders to vinyl. This section is convoluted but also rather cursory. We are then told how the industry is threatened by radio and how it eventually adapts to the challenge and diversifies. We also learn—nothing new here—how ragtime eventually gives way to Dixieland, swing, and be-bop; The Original Dixieland Jass Band is name-checked, along with Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith, and Billy Holiday; we hear tell of Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson; Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Fletcher Henderson. Well and good. But Louis Armstrong apparently doesn’t make the cut, although Fiddlin’ John Carson and Vernon Dalhart do. (I’d like to double-check this omission, but I can’t; there’s no index. No footnotes, either.)
     That’s an exemplar of what I find lacking in this book; it touches most (though by no means all) of the major bases, but it all seems rather idiosyncratic. Firstly, it seems to be shaped by the received wisdom of musicland lore: Phil Spector was a talented nut; Brian Wilson was talented but schizophrenic; Joe Meek was a bloody genius (why? how?; we’re not told). Secondly, Murphy devotes more space to the stories he is itching to tell—we hear far more about, say, U2 and far less about, for instance, Nirvana than perhaps is warranted. One can hardly blame Murphy from focusing on the more colorful players in his pantheon of “music men”; but giving little space to influential but reactionary figures such as Mitch Miller is a defect in that it shows a certain selectivity which some might characterize as a biased viewpoint.
    What makes this book worthwhile is what one might call the Wow factor: there are plenty of insider stories: about the struggle to record “Strange Fruit” (which appeared not on Columbia but on Commodore Records); about the appearance of the last Cream album, Goodbye (“Jerry Wexler has cancer, and he’s dyin’, and he wants to hear one more album from you.”); about the zany doings over at the Casablanca office in the coke-addled late 1970s (“Jerry, gonna have to hang up now, my desk is on fire.”). This reliance on insider lore sometimes makes this book a shopping list of received wisdom.  But more often, it pays off in a corresponding series of entertaining trivia tid-bits. Murphy has tried hard to interview surviving industry insiders, and this lends his book a certain amount of credibility that a production solely dependent upon secondary sources would lack.
In fine, you might refer to this book as “Gareth Murphy’s Greatest Record Men.” It’s not a wholly satisfactory history of indies vs. majors, but it is seldom short of entertaining, and will do nicely until a better one comes along.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
762. TEEN RUBS JUNK ON PATRON’S PIZZA
Papa Murphy’s sounds like a rather sketchy name for a Pizza Chain. What’s next?
Killer O’Houlihan’s? 
Paisano O’Malley’s?
Ratso’s Irish Pizza?

THE INFORMATION #803 SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

THE INFORMATION #803
SEPTEMBER 26, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

If you choose bad companions, no one will believe that you are anything but bad yourself.–Aesop 
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART TWENTY-NINE: THE MAYOR OF HELL
My friends. I haven’t mentioned them. Let’s see: There was Moochie and
Noodles and Junebug…and Killer.
Moochie was a fat kid, always eatin’, and he warn’t too particular
about where he got his vittles from. He was a red faced kid with
freckles, his hair all a-frizz, and dressed in his paw’s cast-offs,
which were at least three sizes too large–his Paw was also a big
eater as had the map of Ireland written all over his face–a
hod-carrier who drank his pay every Friday until his wife, a real
meat-jawed specimen her own self, arranged for the pay packet to go
terreckly to her. They would have fights–epic battles as would make
the neighbors want to pull up a chair for a ringside seat. It was
better than Jack Johnson versus the Great White Hope.
Noodles was a dumb kid with a bowl haircut and thatch-blond hair. He
was so dumb he would do nearly any foolishness you dared him to do.
Which mostly involved lots of jumping from high buildings. Or playing
on the roofs of tumbledown shacks and breaking his arms and legs. As
he grew older he discovered a new amusement. He was always playin’
with himself. The little girls all told him to stay away. He was the
relative of someone high up in government, though, and later on became
an alderman. I think he even ran for Lieutenant Governor, though I
disremember.
Junebug was the toughest little punkinheaded scallywag I ever met.
Most folks called him “Pick,” or “Nigger Boy John,” but we didn’t. We
knew better. he would of whipped our asses. He didn’t run with us too
often, because he belonged on the colored side of the tracks, but
whenever he bumped up against us he always challenged us to a
fistfight. All three of us. When we’d say no, he’s come up with all
kinds of schemes, which usually involved stealing corn liquor from a
hidey-hole off in the woods somewheres or making off with a horse and
wagon just for the sheer thrill of it. I would say he was a very bad
influence on us all.  Speaking of Jack Johnson, I heerd Junebug ended up
for a spell at the Black and Red Carnival, where folks would try to
bean him with a baseball, and later he worked his way up to “Stay five
minutes in the ring with The Champ,” where he took a lot of hard
knocks and finally had to turn to geekin’, or so I’m told by some
folks as didn’t much like him. Other folks say he  either became a
pimp or a piano player, or maybe both.
Killer was kind of a sissyboy. His real name was Angelo Morelli. He
insisted we call him Killer, and though it usually don’t work out that
way, the name stuck. He was a black-headed boy with his hair combed
back with bear grease, and he imitated his older brothers, all of whom
were tough guys, but he himself was a weedy, scrawny-built feller all the
same, and when he couldn’t win a fight by fair means, he would make a
yob back off by kicking and biting and scratching. Y’know what
happened to him? I’ll tell you, in a minute.
Anyway, Red Mary was none too happy to learn I was running with them
toughs, as she would call them, even though they was only boys like
myself. No better than they had to be, but none of them truly bad at
heart, except maybe for Killer.
“Stop acting like a baby. When you are in my house,” said she, “Ye
need to follow my rules.”
“Well, I won’t be IN your house, then,” thought I; but all I said in
response to that was “Yes’m.”
But she would learn I was still running with that same old gang, and
getting into trouble, and she  would give me a tongue lashing: “Are ye
stupid, Yob? Everything I say to you, you either ignore me, or you do
it all wrong. I told you this would happen. I told you I didn’t like
them boys you were running with. They’re full of sass, and they’re
disrespectful to boot. Am I gwine to have to take a strap to you? God
knows I don’t want to, but I will do it.”
At which point I would make a whistling sound between the gap in my
teeth which I thought was cute. It drove Red Mary into a rage, though.
Which was probably the real reason I done it.  “You don’t need to
spend so much time with them boys. If you keep acting up, you will
never see your friends again. You need to try harder to be good and
not cause me any more worriment.”
Et cetera and so on.
Do ye believe in destiny, Yob? Every man is born to be what he will
become and circumstances can only delay a man’s ultimate fate, ner
change it.  Sussing out your fate is a bit of know-how nobody should
be without. That broken down man you saw on the street, begging for a
nickel? You may not know it to look at him, but that’s what’s left of
Angelo Morelli, as was once the biggest Mobster on the whole East
Side. A real bully-boy him, as kept the lugs down by the docks in his
pants pockets and had him all kinds of cute tricks up his sleeve to
make sure they stayed there. But the Feds got him on a racketeering
charge, and he got out of jail a broken man after twenty years of
making little ones out of big ones. You may night know it to look at
him, but that man was from a good family, his father being a Doctor
and all, and beloved by the whole neighborhood.  The son looked like
he was going to follow in the footsteps of his Paw, but there was
something in his blood as made him into a tin-pot Caesar, and he went
down the wrong path, the very one that led to his ruination.
1*SALUTATION
RAYMOND SCOTT
SOOTHING SOUNDS FOR BABY
2*REFERENCE
THE 50 WEIRDEST MOVIES EVER MADE
3*HUMOR
HARVEY KURTZMAN ON TUMBLR

4*NOVELTY

FILM: PITTSBURGH 1904
ALSO SEE:
FILM: SAN FRANCISCO 1906
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
THE REAL JACK THE RIPPER
ALSO SEE:
ANNE PERRY: MURDERESS
6* DAILY UTILITY
RADIO SHACK MILE FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY
7*CARTOON
OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT
ELMER THE GREAT DANE
8*PRESCRIPTION
MAN’S LIFE MAGAZINE
9*RUMOR PATROL
NEW  TARGET ANTI-UNION VIDEO
10* LAGNIAPPE

SAMMY DAVIS JR. ON DRUMS AND VIBES

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

SHAKESPEARE RAP
Macbeth is a pussy,
Hamlet is a punk;
Richard is a hunchback,
And Falstaff is a drunk.
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
761. WANNADIE
Vitamins for depressed people.

THE INFORMATION #802 SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

THE INFORMATION #802
SEPTEMBER 19, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Wendell, you know that back home in Indiana it’s all right if the town whore joins the church, but they don’t let her lead the choir the first night.–James Watson

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART TWENTY-EIGHT: THE MAYOR OF HELL

I don’t suppose, looking back on it, I had an awful lot in common with
Red Mary, even if she was my Maw, which I was increasingly beginning
to doubt, simply because I didn’t see any family resemblance like old
people always talk about–funny how wrinkled old geezers like me can
see relationships that younger folk don’t much care about, preoccupied
as they are with drinking, fighting, and fucking.   
After all, it’s not like she could take me anywhere. I wasn’t welcome
at the Opera House–hell, SHE wasn’t exactly welcome either, not that
she would care to go. She might have gone to the Vaudeville Theater,
but not with me in tow–her kind were mostly let in through the back
and mostly restricted to the balcony, and my kind were generally to be
found near the orchestra pit, where the tickets went cheap. Of course,
there were cheap low-down theaters in Noxotwn which attracted a rough
crowd, but she would never have taken me to none of those.
She wouldn’t take me to the Zoo. She hated the smells of the animals,
and the sight of them in their cages probably hit too close to home to
suit her tender heart–and, I suppose, in some respects, she herself
felt in some way bound by a gilded cage of sorts. Whores are a lot
like women, I suppose, only more so.
Going to the Circus was out, for much the same reasons–she said that it
sickened her to see the elephants and bears chained to stakes and the
tigers and lions being whipped and, most of all, the sad monkeys on
unicycles. She was a tender-hearted harlot, for all that. 
The Carnival was also no go–the galleries of grotesques were not to her
taste, and she took no joy in any of the games of chance, knowing, as
only an insider could, just how truly rigged every last one of them
was. Plus, the circus and the carnival presented twin hazards to a boy
of thirteen–that he would be tempted to run off and join them, just
to have the chance to travel from town to town, and have to battle
muddy roads and torrential rains and unfriendly rubes.
Taking care of a thirteen year old boy who wasn’t even kin to her must
have been a big pain in the ass for Red Mary. I was at the age where I
was no longer cute. I was old enough so that the other whores couldn’t
pet and make much of me, because although my voice had yet to change I
was beginning to grow hair in some places where I hadn’t noticed it
growing before. Not to put too fine a point on it, I was growing to be
a man, and living in a whorehouse, I began to feel as though I were a
fox in a henhouse. Lady stuff embarrassed me. I could already see that
there would be a time when I would have to leave those most holy
precincts.
But my point of view at that time was so limited that I could see no
life vista opening up for me, save the carnival or the circus–Red
Mary was right to be fearful–or maybe the life of a Hobo, even if the
well-meaning bindlestiffs were always telling me to stay in school so
I wouldn’t never end up like them.  For my part, there was no
storybook aspect about education. Let me put it this way:  I no longer
had much truck with Red Mary; I wasn’t exactly friendly with the cop
on the beat ner the Truant Officer; I was a sworn enemy of Smash
Conklin and didn’t have much in the way of adult friends, unless you
count Yellofs like Cool Slopp and Doc Ketmen, who were little better
than crooks themselves.
The whole neighborhood, in fact, was crawling with crooks and if any
of that crowd ever saw me playing hooky they never said a mumbling
word. I certainly found the street more entertaining than the school
I went to on the rare occasions when I felt like it. I was in the
sixth grade, which was quite a victory in itself, since I had hardly
ever gone to school in the past, but I felt abashed because most of
the Yobs were so much younger than me and not one of the little girls would
so much as look my way, probably on account of their mothers being
scandalized by the likes of Red Mary. Mary could hardly be expected to
hold me to any account if I decided to skip school. It’s not like she
could come down if summoned by the Principal, which she never was, of
course, because how would it look for a whore to come waltzing in
there with her furs and muffs and powder and paint?
It was a misery for me to be in school, where most of the teachers
ignored me anyway, and the streets were a dangerous place for me as
well, on account of the mischief I would run into. Nor was spending
time with Red Mary any bed of roses. She had gotten over the worst of
her mad fits, but, like queer folk everywhere, you could tell from
listening to her that there was something not quite right about her
head. It made me feel all squirmy inside when she would get to
drinking and express all kinds of crazy opinions about things she had
no real business having an opinion about in the first place, like the
state of the nation and the newly elected president and the
malefactors of great wealth and suchlike. I would up and tell her she
was talking crazy talk and to stopper her gob or I would start to grow
crazy, and her response always set my teeth on edge: 
“You are ruining my life.”
I didn’t know whether it was true or nor, but, for at least awhile,
it was a statement which was just enough to shut me up and let her
prattle on about the jacketeers who were trying to pull a shake-down
and how they all wear the liar’s cap and on and on–until it felt like
my head was just about to explode.1*SALUTATION

AVANT-GARDE AND MODERNIST MAGAZINES

LOUISIANA SINKING
COMEDIAN ON COMEDIAN INSULTS
PLACE YOUR CAT WITH A LOVING ATHEIST
OFFENSIVE DRUG ADS
LET’S FLY AWAY
THE SOUTH’S BATTERED PSYCHE
DUNK TANK CLOWN FIRED FOR ALLEGED RACIST COMMENTS
ROLLING STONES
EXILE ON MAIN STREET
FULL DELUXE ALBUM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2vvCsLAW2I
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE
I have always cherished a special loathing for that comic strip by Lynne Johnston which chronicled the notoriously banal adventures of a feeble minded dentist and his wife. For Better or For Worse couldn’t be worse. How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. The astonished expressions on the faces of the characters. The shitty drawing. The open mouths. The banal story lines. The cornball morality. That these features are what many people liked about the strip cause me to despair for the future of the Republic.

When the strip first debuted, professional cartoonists used to refer
to it as “It Couldn’t Be Worse.”

Why would anybody find this strip even remotely interesting?

After twenty-some years I think I’ve finally figured it out.

Most everything else is so much worse.

But Ms. Johnston still seems to have trouble with basic anatomy.

I’ll say it again.

Lynn…can’t…draw.

And those “clever” little last-panel zingers she favors are a
middlebrow’s notion of poignant and insightful.

Everything about the strip screams mediocrity.

Many many people who take cartooning seriously agree with me on this one.

Even cartoons deserve to be taken seriously as an art form.

Quite frankly, it is rather easy to tell whether a person can draw or
whether they cannot.

Even if Lynn were using the “bigfoot” style ala Garfield, she would
still be called upon to be consistent.

But her style is semi-realistic and it’s all the more important that
she consistent from panel to panel.

She’s not. She never has been. The strip is just plain awful a good
deal of the time and mediocre at best.

But Lynn also seems to feel she has an obligation to step up to the
plate and address serious social topics.

See:
http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/strips/2007/june/j4d/070623gnu.gif
http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/strips/2007/june/j5k/070627tqx.gif
http://www.fborfw.com/strip_fix/strips/2007/june/j5k/070628jjm.gif

Sample dialogue:
“I… want… to say… STOP! Stop… ma-king… fun of us! We’re
dif’rent from… you… but,… SO WHAT? Don’t… give… us… a…
hard… time… Give us… a CHANCE! You… tease… me about…
the… way… I… talk! I… was… born… with a… cleft…
palate!… They… couldn’t… fix… it… until… I… was… four!
I… had… to… learn… how to… speak… all… over… again…
and… that… is… why… I… talk like… this. I can’t…
change… the… way… I… talk…. but… you… can… change…
the… way… you… LISTEN! Kids… with… special needs… are…
people… too! We… have a… lot… to… offer! Get… to know…
us!… Don’t… tease… us! PLEASE!… E-NOUGH… IS… E-NOUGH!”

I love how Shannon praises herself–“That took…guts…man!”

Also how she seems now to consider herself the Martin Luther King of
the cleft-palate chow hounds.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m a passionate admirer of comic strips and their
long history. But Johnston’s strip was sentimental and pathetic, and
verged on sheer demagoguery. Say what you will, but propaganda is not
art. It is a parasite on art. Just like advertising, which strongly
resembles it.

And the whole shtick about people’s acts being justified as long as
they make money at it (i.e., the ends justifies the means) is just the
kind of iron-headed prole-think that enabled to the rise of Huey Long
on the left and Joe McCarthy on the right.

The far left and the far right frequently find common cause over just
such a spectacularly wrongheaded philosophy.

Once again, you might say, “Well, it’s just a comic strip.”

True enough.

But all entertainment has an ideological subtext.

And yeah, most of the time the adventures of those banal Canadian
dumb asses are content-neutral, except when it comes to implying that
bourgeois values and the status quo ante are intrinsically best.

But when Johnston gets preachy and starts injecting public health
issues into her strip, she verges on propaganda of the clumsiest sort.

http://www.fborfw.com/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
760. FRAN DRESCHER

I am of two minds about Ms. Drescher. On the one hand, I find her insanely annoying. On the other hand, I see that as a cultural thing, in which her mannerisms, so different from my own, ignite a spark of resentful hatred OF HER AND ALL HER KIND! Exterminate! Show no mercy–BUT NO, WAIT, LET’S BE REASONABLE–NO! She must die! You can see that I am conflicted. But then there was this: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118691/

And her laugh–that feral laugh–like a self-satisfied hyena that has just chewed a hole through a dead baby wildebeest.
When I was a small child I lived in Pittsburgh on Mitre Way. Next to my house, at 4804 Liberty Avenue, was a hardware store. Circa 1962, they had a sign in the window reading LUCY LOVES LUCITE, with a picture of the nearly 50 year old Ms. Ball posing in front of cans of paint. The picture terrified me. The show I love Lucy also terrified me. I always thought that Ricky was going to beat her. Maybe my antipathy to Fran has its roots in that long-ago encounter with Ms. ball. I actually found the ad, here:

THE INFORMATION #801 SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

THE INFORMATION #801
SEPTEMBER 12, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.comWHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART TWENTY-SEVEN: THE MAYOR OF HELL

I’m guessing it was the Fat Lady who at least had something
to do with having picked Conklin’s pocket the day he caused a
ruckus at the Red and Black Carnival, because the very
next morning she brings in a pawn ticket for a big old rusty
sword that Smash had brought to the pawnbrokers only that week.
I was present and accounted for just in time to witness the aftermath:
a fierce dust-up between Smash Conklin and the pawnbroker Cool Slopp.

“Where’s my dark sword?” said Smash, jangling into the shop through
the front door, and Slopp answers him. “Calm yourself, ye great big
gorilla!”

“Don’t call me that,” says Conklin.

To be sure, Conklin did resemble a gorilla, albeit one dressed in a
green suit and derby which virtually spelt out in letters six feet
high the appellation “Known Bruiser.”

Furthermore, he was drunk as a coot. He was drunk as two men. He was
boozed up; blotto; drunk as a hand cart.

“Then don’t come barging in here like you own the joint, you stupid gorilla.”
Conklin turned his bleary eye to Cool Slopp and said, with slurry
menace, “I told you before don’t never call me that.”

Slopp replied, “Then learn some manners, you big ape. Or I’ll toss you
a banana.”

“You germ! I’ll flatten you!”

“Try it, Yegg, and be damned!”

“I want my sword! Where is it!”

“Quit shouting! I sold the damn thing! A deal is a deal!”

“Where is my sword? Who has it?”

“I’m no stool! I’ll be damned if I snitch!”

“Damn your eyes! Tell me who–or I swear I’ll–“

“You’ll do nothing! Why don’t you learn to keep your damned mouth
shut? I know all the same people you do, and all the others besides!
The coppers don’t know half the dirty stunts you pulled, you
flat-footed rat. Depend on it: I got enough gen on you to put you in a
dungeon 100 feet deep. The screw would grind up the key and swaller
the dust before they ever let you free to wander the streets again.
I’d hate to double-cross even a louse like you, but I’ll do it quicker’n
you can say Jack Robinson. I’ve already given you one chance, and know
ye well I’ll nowt give ye another. So don’t you go mouthing your big
threats at me, you cock-eyed, monkey-faced, ape-brained, half-baked,
flea-bitten, anvil-headed, big, ugly, stupid slobbering rock-throwing
Gorilla!”

Conklin looked wildly around, to find some loose object on which to
vent his anger. There was none. He knew better than to tangle with
little Eamonn the black Pomeranian, who was lying peacefully on a bed
of sawdust in a corner of the room, secure, perhaps, in the knowledge
that his master would protect him, come what may.

Seeing no loose piece of furniture which he could toss about, he
yanked upon a hall door. Much to his surprise, a slavering black and
tan coonhound, woken from a peaceful doze, leapt up into Conklin’s already
bruised and plastered face and with a yowling roar made to bite off
his right ear. Conklin, sensibly, covered his face with his
hands while the hound made short work of his bottle-green suit and
then proceeded to pounce on his bottle-green derby which had fallen to
the sawdusted floor. In the ensuing melee, the hound also tore
significant shred from his suit jacket and made particularly short
work of the seat of his bottle-green pantaloons.

I was told later that Conklin slunk home, vowing eternal revenge on
any one who had ever done him dirt.

1*SALUTATION

DOODLETOWN PIPERS
ALSO SEE:
HARPER’S BIZARRE
2*REFERENCE
4*NOVELTY
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
6* DAILY UTILITY
MAN SEES APOCALYPSE IN MIRACLE WHIP COMMERCIAL
LITTLE ROCQUEFORT
8*PRESCRIPTION
9*RUMOR PATROL
10* LAGNIAPPE
I LIKE GOD’S STYLE

ISABEL BAKER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk-YzTtNbA8

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

*11A

BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
THE BORSCHT BELT. ADAMS. ***
BLOWING SMOKE. WOLRAICH. ***1/2
CARNIVAL. LEWIS. ***1/2
COWBOYS & INDIES. MURPHY. ***1/2
DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS. ***
THE GREAT AMERICAN DOCUMENTS VOL. 1. ASHBY & COLON. ***1/2
HEROES OF THE COMICS. FRIEDMAN. ****
HIP HOP FAMILY TREE. PISKOR. ****
THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE. PERLSTEIN. ****
JUSTICE LEAGUE: TRINITY WAR. ***
KINGS IN DISGUISE. VANCE & BURR. ****1/2

LIFE WITH MR. DANGEROUS. HORNSCHEMEIER. ***

LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL. **

THE NIXON TAPES. BRINKLEY & NICHTOR. ***1/2
PLANETARY OMNIBUS. ELLIS. ****
SEXPLOSION. ***1/2

THE SKEPTIC’S GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY. STOLAR. ***1/2

STEP RIGHT UP. MCNAMARA. ***1/2
STRANGE SUSPENSE: THE STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES VOL. 1. ***1/2

SWAMP THING 3: ROTWORLD. **

TURNING POINTS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. O’DONNELL. ****

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

759. DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
Am I the only one who giggled hysterically when Jack Lemmon tore apart the greenhouse in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES? “WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS IT?!”