MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 195 JANUARY 2015

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 195
JANUARY 2015
Copyright 2015 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

MODERN WISDOM PRESENTS: THE 2015 MODERN WISDOM CALENDAR

JANUARY
1.ARCADIA: A historical era which ended just prior to living memory or
shortly before ones birth.

2.ARCHEOLOGISTS. Squinty-eyed geezers with terminal sunburn who spend most of their time sifting through caveman shit on the off-chance that they might uncover a bronze ring.

3.ARENA ROCK CONCERTS: The American gulag.

4.ARMCHAIR GENERALS: Are frequently to be found playing with their privates.
5.ART: sexual display. SEE DANCING, SINGING.
6.ARTSY: Dirty.
7.ASS: Jesus once rode on the back of an ass; now a great many asses
ride on the coattails of Jesus.

8.ASTRONOMERS. Study hot flaming balls of incandescent gas. See HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP COLUMNIST.

9.AUSTRALIANS. Their beaches smell like sewage, their cities are glorified colonial outposts, and they smell bad. They’re the offspring of ex-cons of slaughtered Aborigines and buggered Dingos in the outback, and they make the world’s worst beer, and for that alone they can never be forgiven.

  1. AUSTRIA. Home of Hitler, and Vienna sausages, which even Hitler wouldn’t eat.

11.AUTISM: A game that one can play.

12.AUTOMOBILE. A two-ton pill to soothe your ego.

13.AVANT-GARDE, THE: Treats commonplace beliefs as lies.
AVERAGE: See STUPID.

14.BABY HUEY. A six foot tall retarded duck. Whose damnable idea was this?

  1. BACH. A musical genius whose works now serve as background music for pretentious undergraduates.

16.BAD TOILET TRAINING: No one ever speaks of good toilet training.
17.BAD: Old.
18.BARTENDERS: Apologists for stupefaction.
19.BEER: Popular panacea. 
20.BEING: Contaminates the void.
21.BELIEFS: Preconceived notions.
22.BALLET. Aerobics for pantywaists.

 23.BANANAS. Our fighting forefathers did not cross a continent and carve an empire out of the wilderness because they ate bananas; it was probably the absence of this obscene fruit which enabled them to perform their legendary feats.

  1. BANJO. A fiddle for dolts.
  2. BARBITUATES. Uhh…what?
  3. BEARDS. Every so often you get a perfectly nice guy who grows a beard to hide his horrible disfiguring smallpox scars who later goes on to adjudicate civil conflicts and emancipate bondsmen.

27.BIBLE. I invented a Bible for children called The Bib. The Old testament is just one word: No. And the New Testament was also just one word. because. And the Apocrapha is a dishcloth.

  1. BILL COSBY. See BOB HOPE. Same superannuated refusal to retire; same
    coasting on a long reputation; same uncanny willingness to shill for
    the highest bidder; same impulse to subject his audience to cranky,
    retrograde, conservative rants. And those are his good qualities.
  2. BILL OF RIGHTS: List of ten categories of guarantees promising certain
    basic American liberties (Archaic).

30.BOBSLEDDING. When I want to go 90 miles per hour with no way of stopping, I’ll board an Amtrak train and give the engineer a snort of rotgut, thank you very much.

  1. BOHEMIAN: A hobo with a bachelor’s degree.

 

FEBRUARY

1.BOOKS. TV for smart-alecks.

2.BOSTON: A hamlet blown up to poster size.

3.BOULEVARDIER: French for “filthy-minded old creep.”

4.BOY SCOUTS. Embryonic Middle-management types.

5.BRAND X: The new Moloch.

6.BUFFALO, NY. Icebergs in the winter, mosquitoes the size of your thumb the rest of the year–and those are its good qualities!

7.BUGLE. A kazoo with a swelled head.

8.BUSINESS: Sells, beneath its facade of boundless optimism, a
philosophy of boundless cynicism.
9.BUSINESS SUIT: A dress rehearsal for a fancy coffin.

  1. C&W: A SOAP OPERA for drunks.
    11. CALCIUM: Mineral found primarily in antacid mints.
    12. CARTER, JIMMY: A rigid hayseed embarrassed by his brother.
    13.CASH: The color that goes with everything.
    14.CANADA. Land of clean streets which are too cold to walk on.

15.CANCER. The competition.

16.CANT: The received wisdom of the people.

17.CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. An ugly expression. Let’s replace it with something nice, like “Putting the Killers to Sleep.”

  1. CAPITALISM: A system devoted to constantly incentivizing profligacy.

19.CARNIVALS. Why do people go to carnivals? Presumably to enjoy the cheap, dangerously jury-rigged rides; the phony hucksters and pitchmen; the rigged games of skill and chance; the all-pervading stench of vile hot dogs and stale popcorn which hangs like a pall over everything and everybody. The only thing worse is a crafts fair; what’s worse than that I wouldn’t care to imagine.

20.CARROTS. Improve your vision at night. Just when you need it the most–when you’re asleep.

21.CASH REGISTERS. Invented to keep a record, not of if employees steal, but how much.

22.CATS. Vindictive poltergeists who scratch ceaselessly at closed doors and who shit in the corner just on general principle. 

23.CATHOLICISM. The only thing worse than women who profess Catholicism are men who practice it.

24.CATHEDRALS: Mausoleums of faith.

25.CATTLE. Alfred Hitchcock’s affectionate name for actors. He was far too kind at that.

26.CELEBRITIES: Designer myths; People who want you out of their way; The minor pantheon, whose doings have replaced the tales of Hermes, Ares, Demeter, et al.
27.CELEBRITY:  A swineherd understood by the swine; A show dog; A smiley face on a drum of toxic waste.
28.CELEBRITY GOSSIP: Made-up stories contrived essentially to keep ordinary people in line.

  1. CEREBRAL: Not entertaining.

 

MARCH
1.CHOLESTEROL: Sinister fat found mostly in foods only old people insist on eating.
2.CHRISTMAS: A frantic orgy of consumption in which humans hard-wired to hoard fats seek to stave off the dark and cold of the Winter Solstice.

3.CHAOS. The norm.

4.CHICAGO. A city which combines all the worst qualities of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Detroit, all rolled into one big fetid and alternately freezing and sweating ball of benighted humanity.

5.CHIVALRY. A Feudal ethos enlightened post-industrialists mourn the erosion of.

6.CHRISTIANITY. Religion whose adherents formerly tortured heretics into the shape of their tortured messiah.

7.CIRCUSES. Evil Ringmasters with long black moustaches cracking whips at critters chained to stakes; alcoholic clowns with bourbon breath falling off their unicycles; manic-depressive chimpanzees playing handball with their own shit! Yes! Everybody loves the circus!

8.CLASSIC AMERICAN LITERATURE: Its novels are mostly about crafty
underdogs outwitting their foes or men who become rich at the cost of
their souls. Its poetry is mostly about gloom and death, or being smug
and fat, and other preoccupations of the author. Its drama is mostly
about lowlifes who meet an untimely death or gain unexpected eminence
through no fault or doing of their own, or about marriage, or about
overcoming adversity.

9.CLOUDS. More interesting and unpredictable than television.

10.COCAINE. Psychosis lite.

11.COFFEE. Is smarter than us. You don’t see coffee beans going through elaborate lengths to produce human beings, do you? Or…do you?

12.COINCIDENCE: A form of cosmic irony.
13.COLLEGE. A place where you blow tens of thousands of dollars to get puking in public out of your system.

14.COLUMBUS: Famed explorer (Archaic); a lousy navigator and a genocidal fiend.

15.COMEDY CLUBS. Nervous trembling funnymen walking back and forth to the bathroom so they can entertain a bunch of twenty-somethings who are pissing away Junior’s college money on lukewarm Mexican bladder juice and Margaritas with sissy umbrellas in ’em.

16.COMMERCIAL MEDIA: A pimp machine for commodity fetishism.
17.COMMERCIALS: Late 20th-century literary form; The poetry of the Philistine.
18.COMPUTER GAMES: Training wheels for AUTISM. 

19.CONGRESS: A circus of hypocrites.
20.CONGRESSMAN: Politician who will do anything for $50,000.
21.CONSENSUS MENTALITY: Tyranny in its most modern form.
22.CONSPIRACY THEORIES: Gossip on a larger scale; Works of faction; Sports for people who can’t get laid.
23. CONSUMER: An AMERICAN trained to be insatiable.
24. CONSUMERISM: The religion of serfs, based on the idea that objects
have magical powers.

25.CONTROVERSIAL: Said of any man or woman who the speaker secretly
believes belongs in jail.
26.COOKING: The religion of the cosmopolitan provincial.
27.CORN: AMERICAN staple food as well as the default aesthetic mode.
28.CORPORATIONS. Urban plantations. 
29.COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS: Euphemism for ruthlessness. 
30. COUNTRY CLUB: A gulag for self-styled elites.
31. COURTESY: Consists of pretending not to notice that most people are dying in plain sight.

 

APRIL
1.COURTROOM PROCEDURALS. Narratives in praise of show trials.
2.CONCENTRATION CAMP. A wonderful setting for your memoirs.

3.CONSERVATIVES: Their fondness for unjust market forces is every bit as oppressive as the collectivism they’re blatantly attempting to suppress.

4.CONSPIRACY. When a bunch of people we have no use for anyway start to get too big for their britches.

5.COPYING MACHINES. Automated plagiarism.

6.COUSINS. Idiots just enough like you to make you yearn for an orphanage upbringing.

7.COWBOYS. Semi-literate bums of the old West whose asinine exploits dominate our pitiful mythology.

8.CREATIONISM. Cretinism.

9.CREATIONISTS. People with self-granted imaginary degrees in Bible Studies who use their vast-ranging intellects to overthrow the obviously fallacious viewpoints of dopey biologists and physicists.

10.CRIMINALS. Corporate raiders of the underclass.

11.CRITICISM. A vindication when it’s in your favor and only one person’s opinion when it goes against you.

12.CULT, A: a place where unreasonable people can all agree.
13.CULTURE: BELIEFS shaped by the holders of power.

14.DEATH: The customer who comes just as the shop is closing up.

15.DECAFFEINATED COFFEE. A neat way of selling both a poisonous alkaloid and the absence of it.

16.DEMOCRACY: A wonderfully ingenious system in which the common people
voluntarily elect leaders who work against the interests of the common people.
17.DINING OUT: The new equivalent to reading novels.
18.DRIVE TIME RADIO: A toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance, and stubbornly
wrongheaded ideology.
18.DRIVING: Dull poetry; popular 20th century meditative activity.

19.DEMOCRATIC PARTY. A monkeyhouse in the middle of a snakepit.

20.DETECTIVE NOVELS. Where murder is the comic relief.

21.DIET. A famine affair.

22.DISC JOCKEYS. Always hearing music. A bit psychotic.

23.DISCRIMINATION. An exercise in taste by people we don’t care for.

24.DISH TOWEL. Wipe the floor with one and see how much your wife really loves you.

25.DISNEY. A man who invented a six foot rat–and now they worship him!

26.DRUG ADDICTS. Won’t share.

27.EAST COAST. The epileptic cerebellum of a pitiful helpless giant.

28.EBAY: Knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
29.EDUCATED ELECTORATE: Republican Kryptonite.

  1. EDUCATORS: Those who are usually able to master the increasingly marginal
    skill of LITERACY who utilize their skills to transmit POPULAR
    pieties.

 

MAY

1.EGYPT. All people who claim to be reincarnated Pharaohs (never slaves) are strangely fascinated by this miserable, typhus-infested heap of sand and cinders and long to travel there to be laid up by wasting viral infections in insalubrious infirmaries.

2.ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: A hospital where teachers amputate your imagination.

3.ELECTION DAY. Appropriately held just after Halloween, when greedy children put on masks and extort you for candy.

4.ELEPHANTS. They say that elephants never forget. But what does an elephant have to remember? Peanuts? The bull hook? The face of that soulful clown he mutilated in Cincinnati?

5.ELEVATORS. Sterile dumbwaiters for people too lazy to climb stairs.

6.ELITES: Carny barkers masquerading as EDUCATORS.

7.EMERSON: Montaigne Lite.

8.EMOTION: Late TWENTIETH CENTURY sales technique.
9.ENGLISH LANGUAGE: Quaint tongue still passably spoken by a rapidly dwindling majority of Americans.
10.ENTERTAINERS: Power clowns.
11.ENVIRONMENT: Anything irreplaceable which careless Americans are currently destroying.
12.ETHICS: A system of moral beliefs (Archaic.)
13.EVANGELICALS: Thoughtful practitioners of blind unquestioning faith.
14.EXPERTS: Gods of KNOWLEDGE.

15.EMBRYOLOGY. A science which anti-abortion activists remain strenuously unaware of.

16.ENGLISH CHANNEL. PBS.

17.ESKIMOS. Eat blubber for sustenance and sniff paint thinner for kicks. Their comedians have forty different jokes for snow,

18.ESTONIA. Most comically named of the former Soviet satellites.

19.EVERYBODY ELSE. Always ruins it for a few assholes.

20.EVIDENCE. When it’s in your favor, it’s irrefutable; when it goes against you, it’s circumstantial.

21.EVIL EYE. See Television.

22.EXILE. Place from where you don’t have to buy birthday presents.

23.EXPRESSIONISM. Myopia elevated to an art form.

24.FACEBOOK: A hula-hoop of fail; a look-at-me shout-a-thon, a dazzling black hole of irrelevance; a type of self-generated, self-fulfilling report card; As compassionate as any machine knows how to be.
25.FAD: Any transient GOD.
26.FAMILY FRIENDLY: Insipid and dull.
27.FAMILY VALUES: Benevolent Totalitarianism.
28.FANATICISM: Belief exploded and hardened into dogma.
29.FASHION: Protective coloration.
30.FASHIONABLE: Temporarily highlighted aspects of the data stream. See FAD.
31.FAST FOOD: A robot’s idea of home cooking.

 

JUNE
1.FATALISM: Undesirably frightening circumstantial REALISM.
2.FEAR: Basic motive force. Largely built upon the foreseen exposure of
pretense. See BELIEFS; FATALISM; REALISM.
3.FEMALE SOLDIERS: Warm and clean killers.
4.FINANCIAL SECURITY: Mythic state of monetary non-dependence to which
members of the MIDDLE CLASSES aspire.
5.FLAG: Shorthand for Leviathan.
6.FOLK MUSIC: Archaic tribal songs yoked to self-righteous lyrics every
bit as oppressive as the injustices they seek to eradicate.
7.FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY: Misery for bachelors; The lowest common denominator.

8.FAIRS. Mostly not.

9.FAITH. Gullibility.

10.FARMERS. Reclusive coots in bib overalls shackled to rusted tractors.

11.FASTING. Trendy starvation.

12.FATIGUE. What men do to women and what women do to men.

13.FIFES. Sinister little whistles to torture thinking men to death.

14.FISHERMEN. Always say that the fish don’t feel the pain. I suppose they flop around on the bottom of the boat for fun!

15.FLEA MARKETS. A group of stalls run by small, blood-sucking insects.

16.FLUTES. A virus of music.

17.FREE WILL, An illusion cherished by those who believe they possess it.

18.GAMBLING: A concentrated form of symbolic mortality. See LIFE INSURANCE.

19.GARBAGE. See Garage Sales.

20.GATED COMMUNITIES:  Heartless shelters, where the heartless can go to
hide from the homeless.

21.GEORGE WASHINGTON. Nowadays a remote figure fit only to be travestied.

22.GET WELL CARDS: Handled by the relatives of contagious sick people.
23.GOOD CITIZENS: Those members of the MIDDLE CLASSES who can afford to be Suckers.
24.GOOD JOB: (Archaic) One with minimal work, maximum BENEFITS and JOB SECURITY.
25.GOSSIP: The way in which humans squawk their warnings to one another.
26.GOTHS: Always going for Baroque.
27.GOURMET COFFEE: For people who wish they still used Drugs.
28.GRAFFITI: Philosophy with the world “fuck” thrown in.
29.GRAPHIC NOVELS: The intersection of art and trash.

30.GRADUATE SCHOOL. Where the over-qualified spend tens of thousands of dollars to meet

their future spouses.

 

JULY

1.HABITUAL CRIMINALS. Popularly supposed to say things like “If I get caught I’m taking them with me because I’m a three-time loser.”

2.HAMSTERS. Insatiably voracious rodents. the perfect pet for children.

3.HATE: Will also find a way.
4.HELL: Just one thing damned after another.

5.HENRY FORD. Reclusive, anti-Semitic crank who controlled the nation’s jalopy supply.

6.HERITAGE: That which is outmoded.

7.HINDUISM. Any religion which came up with Kali can’t be all bad.

8.HIPSTER: Respectable HOBO; To be a hipster is to be 22 forever; Desperately seeks corporate sponsorship for his or her dangerously Bohemian attitudes;  Walks on the cutting edge of Nostalgia.
9.HOLLYWOOD: Home of the moron Zeitgeist; The whole atmosphere is that of prostitution, except for the prostitutes, who are true professionals.

10.HOLLYWOOD STARS: Avatars of the moron Zeitgeist.

11.HITLER. Say what you will about Hitler, but he had a nice, well-groomed mustache.

12.HYPNOSIS: Technique which promotes the imposition of a sleeplike state
in which the subject heeds only the messages of the hypnotist. See TELEVISION.

13.ID CARDS: Plastic spies.
14.IDEALISM: Any system of thought which is doomed to failure.
15.IDEAS: INDIVIDUAL THOUGHTS (Archaic). See OPINIONS.
16.IDEOLOGIES: Like fine wines, they need to be swirled around in the
mouth then vigorously spat out–never swallowed.

17.IMPRACTICALITY: The American Original Sin.
18.IMPRESSIONISM: Elevated myopia.
19.IMPULSE CONTROL: Skill which authority figures demand of children and
The Poor; high mantra of Capitalist practice.
20.INCA RELIGION: System of BELIEFS, based on the idea that objects have
magical powers. See CONSUMERISM.

21.INDIA. Home of people who worship cows, drink raw sewage, and sell their left kidneys for the price of a concrete hut.

22.INDIVIDUAL: Unscientific term used to describe the residual belief
that one person possessed unique qualities before it became widely
known that individual consciousness is merely a self-generated
illusion (Archaic). See THOUGHT.
23.INFORMANTS: Good criminals who help police officials capture bad criminals.
24.INTELLECTUALS: Shiver beneath their carapace of postmodern knowingness.

25.INTEGRATED CIRCUITRY. Still frowned-upon in Dixie.

26.IRREPARABLE. Outmoded.

27.JACKSON, ANDREW. Slavemaster and Indian Killer who adorns the ever-popular twenty dollar bill

28.JIG. Cromwell in 6/8.

29.JOB SECURITY: Mythic state in which non-performance of work-related
duties could never result in termination.

30.JOURNALISM. The fine art of delicately lancing a suppurating boil.

31.JUDAISM. I’m not going to touch that one with a ten-foot Pole.

 

AUGUST

1.KFC: A good salmonella; not a GREAT salmonella.

2.KETTLEDRUM. A fiendish contrivance to torment slowwitted ringsiders.

3.KINDERGARTEN. Balls, blocks and pegs. See THE OFFICE.

4.KOREAN FOOD. One hour after you eat it, it comes right back up the 38th parallel.

5.KUMQUAT. A hideous orange thing drenched in a sickening sauce, served at Chinese Restaurants when they want to get rid of you.

6.LAS VEGAS. Racketeer’s Disneyland.

7.LEGITIMATE: Any unwholesome activity which is not actually illegal.
8.LIBERALISM: Cult of guilt (Archaic).

9.LIBERALS. Their obsession with leveling is every bit as oppressive as the injustices they’re supposedly attempting to ameliorate.

10.LIBERTARIANISM: Anarchy for shitheads.

11.LIBRARIES: The church of the lower middle class.
12.LIFE: A depressing circus full of grandiose humility; Simply a quiet accumulation of tyrannies and traumas; The process of riding our biases to their finale.

13.LIFE INSURANCE. It seems extreme, to have to die in order to win a bet.

14.LINCOLN. What would the Great Emancipator say if he knew his head on a penny was being used to check for tread wear?

15.LITTLE DRUMMER BOY: A stage hog.

16.LOVE: Like a long sneeze–a temporary derangement.

17.MAFIA: Too much of a good thug.

18.MAINSTREAMING. Lopping off 30 I.Q. points.
19.MALT: Popular panacea. 
20.MAN: The only animal who worries that he is only an animal.
21.MANAGERIAL ELITE: Overseers of urban plantations. See CORPORATIONS.
22.MASONS.  Participate in elaborate rituals, drink to excess, wear funny
costumes, and share a secret arcane knowledge. See ROCK AND ROLLERS.
23.MASS MEDIA: A stained-glass window for imbeciles.
24.MASTURBATION: The poor man’s Video game.
25.ME: The new “You”.

26.MEDICINE. Drugs approved by the police.

27.MEDIOCRITY. A haven for people who get headaches from thinking.

28.MEDITATION. I hate those people who claim they meditate. I wish they’d sit down and shut up.

29.MEMOIR: Commemoration of self-deception.

30.MERCENARIES. Soldiers without the cant of patriotic motivations.

31.METABOLISM. The cause of obesity.

 

SEPTEMBER

1.MICROBREWS: The triumph of hop over experience.
2.MILDLY DYSLEXIC: Euphemism; illiterate.

3.MINIMUM WAGE. Always the cause of small businesses failing to make their payroll.

4.MONA LISA. Masterpiece fit only to be travestied.

5.MOVIES: Exciting boredom; bland, euphoria-inducing medium devised to
advertise bland, euphoria-inducing commodities; the EDUCATOR of
desire. See THE INTERNET; RADIO; TELEVISION.
6.MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS. Armies with a credit line.
7.MULTITASKING: Multislacking.
8.MURDER. An illegal, unsanctioned act when not performed by designated officials.

9.MYTH. Anything not strictly true but rendered highly appealing by the cynical manipulation of symbol and archetype.

10.MYTHOLOGY: Crazy stories by dead weirdos that bore us to tears.

11.NEW: Good.

  1. NEW YORK CITY: Hell, but all of your friends are there.
    13. NEWS. The most significant trivial events in recent memory.
    14.NICE: Stupid. See Pro-Social.

15.NONCONFORMISTS: CULTURAL deviants as defined by CULTURAL hierophants.
16.NOSTALGIA: More than what it used to be.

17.OBSCENE: Sexually profane (Archaic); objectionable.
18.OCCUPATION RULE: Dead Peasant Policies.
19.OFFICE WORK: Stupid coffee tricks.
20.OLD: Bad.
21.ONLINE GAMING: A very commercial form of obsessive compulsive disorder.
22.OPINION: That which is popularly thought.

23.PARKING TICKETS. See Extortion.

24.PENGUINS. Miserable upright Tuxedo-wearing rat birds with no pockets.

25.PEPPERONI: Baloney with attitude.
26.PETS: Children who can’t talk back.
27.PHILOSOPHY: Formulas for a well-lived life (Archaic); any rationale for bad behavior. We put on our blindfolds and call it our philosophy.

28.POETRY. Nowadays it is usually bad prose set out in stanza form.

29.POLITICAL PUNDITS. Shouting heads who spend most of their energy in
lynching a straw man.
30.POLITICS: Sports for people who are too fat to run.

 

OCTOBER
1.POPULAR: Name for anything which the LITERATE consider STUPID.

2.PRESIDENT. Symbolic ruler-priest of American Empire.

3.PRIDE: Lasts but a moment. But egotism is forever.
4.PRIESTS: Magnificent egotists of the infinite.
5.PRISONER: Felonious monk.
6.PRISONS: Contain an embarrassment of wretches.
7.PROCREATION: The thief of time.
8.PROLIFIC: In desperate need of editorial oversight.
9.PROPERTY: What CAPITALISTS own and COMMUNISTS seek to confiscate.

10.PROSTITUTION. Standard operating procedure of wised-up cynics. See Protective Coloration.

11.PSYCHIATRISTS: Pseudo-kin who lick your psychic wounds.

12.PSYCHOANALYSIS. A pharmaceutical regimen accompanied by benign interrogation.

13.PUNDITS. Pimps for the Imperium.
14.PUTIN: A good five-cent Tsar.

15.QUOTATION MARKS: The justifying margins of plagiarism.

16.RADICALS: The only thing more tiresome than the purblind slanders of
reactionaries are the self-styled verities of radicals.
17.RATIONALIZATION: A seductive mistress, but a bad wife.
18.REAGAN: The One-Minute-To-Midnight Cowboy.
19.REALITY TELEVISION: Supplants the former occupation of throwing cow
shit at the village idiot.
20.REBELLION: Struggle against the dominant paradigm (Archaic); that
which sells products for the dominant paradigm. See ADVERTISING.
21.REFORMERS: People who tilt against already well-established perversions.
22.REPUBLICAN PARTY: The party of whiskey, golf, and selfishness.
23.RELIGION. See Advertising.

24.RESPECTABLE. Outmoded.

25.RHETORIC. Device always used to perpetuate falsehoods.

26.RITUAL. See advertising. 

27.ROMAN EMPIRE. Decline constantly likened to America’s.

28.ROMANCE: An exercise in fertility.

29.ROYALTY. Celebrities.

30.SARCASM: The default mode of the second rate. And self-referential
irony, of the third-rate.

31.SATIRISTS. Said to be profoundly conservative. The liberal ones are called policymakers.

 

NOVEMBER

1.SEDITION. Questioning the privileges of Multinational Corporations.

2.SEMANTICS. Nit-picking.

3.SENATOR: Politician who will do anything for $50,000.

4.SEX APPEAL. See Advertising.

5.SIR: (Euphemism.) Fatso.
6.SITCOMS: Churchgoing for the homebound. Comforting rituals, soothing
verities, and immersion in stories we already know the end of and have
always known the end of.
7.SLOGANS: Rhetorical substitutes for evidence.

8.SMART. Dull.

9.SOCIALIST: A HOBO with a PhD.
10.SONGS: The earliest form of neurolinguistic programming.
11.SPORTING EVENTS: Working class fanaticism in its socially approved form.
12.SPORTS FIGURES: Genetically inbred warrior noblemen.
13.STAND-UP COMEDY: The rattling of a shtick inside a shithouse.
14.STARBUCKS: Coffee ritual for people who wish they still used illicit drugs; The opiate of spendthrifts.

15.STATISTICS. 99 per cent of all statistics are wrong, including this one.

16.STEEL. A plot by iron and coal to enslave us.

17.STEPHEN KING: Dickens for imbeciles.
18.SURVIVOR: Any person capable of overcoming or abiding a minor obstacle
or setback.

19.SUPERMARKET. Watering holes for misfits.

20.SUVS: Training wheels for tyrants.
21.SYZYGY. Hippies think it’s magic because of the way it’s spelled.

22.TABOOS: Tomorrow’s norms.
23.TALK RADIO: Bedtime stories for paranoiacs.
24.TELEVISION:  A lobotomy on the installment plan; Recapitulates the aesthetics of Moloch; a velvet sewer; a voracious mirror; a smoke screen for vested interests; manna for dull minds;  A soft surrealism for brains hooked on artificial sunlight;  AUTISM in a box; bland, euphoria-inducing medium devised to advertise bland, euphoria-inducing commodities; the EDUCATOR of desire. See MOVIES; RADIO; THE INTERNET.
25.TERRORISM:  The marijuana of the Generals. It makes them feel good
even as their thinking becomes hazy, and they end up hanging around
with some pretty unsavory characters and spending a hell of a lot of
money on it.
26.TEXTING: Compulsive grooming behavior of the amphetamine monkey.

27.THE BIBLE: A dreary masterpiece of ignorance.
28.THE BLUES: Music for depressed alcoholics.
29.THE CRUCIFIXION: A friendly dice game that went terribly, terribly wrong.
30.THE FUTURE: Will be a digital camera catching you in the act forever.

 

DECEMBER
1.THE GOVERNMENT. Has too much power. Citizens demand that the
government do something about it.
2.THE INTERNET: A potted history of instantaneity; Abandon Hope All Ye Who Hit ‘Enter’ Here.
3.THE MEDIA: A narcissism machine.
4.THE MOB: Anyone who isn’t us.

5.THE MOON. A giant ovum. Which is why we shoot rockets at it.
6.THE PENIS: Strong enough for a man…but women like it too.
7.THE RICH: Are different from you and me; they mooch more money.
8.THE SERVICE: College for drunks.

9.THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: The era responsible for destroying every myth that ever dared us to be great.
10.THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER. Nobody cares about the Unknown Sailor.

11.THEATER. Church for spendthrifts. 

12.TISSUE. Who cares if it’s squeezably soft–you use it to blow your snots in.

13.TOM CLANCY: John LeCarre for drunks.

14.TRADITION. What gets in the way.

15.TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMICS: A Golden Shower.

16.UKELELE. A musical ulcer.

17.UNEXPECTED MENACE: Nature’s oldest joke.

18.UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENA:  Made-up stories contrived essentially to keep
ordinary people in line. SEE CELEBRITIES.

19.UTILITY COMPANIES. See Extortion.

20.VERITIES: Socially acceptable nonsense; Tomorrow’s cant.
21.VICE PRESIDENT: Widely despised placeholder.

22.VOICES IN YOUR HEAD. Are closer than they appear.

23.WALNUT: A sunflower seed that made the Fortune 500.
24.WEBSITES: The lingua franca of junk.

25.WHALES. Blubbery ingrates whose bloated corpses befoul the world’s few pristine beaches.

26.WIFE: A mystery like no mother.

27.WISHES. If wishes were fishes, beggars would die of mercury poisoning.

28.WORK. The ability to bear pain and inflict it upon yourself and others.

29.ZAFTIG: Fat.
30.ZODIAC KILLER: You can say what you will about the Zodiac Killer,
Mister, but at least he brought astrology into the mainstream.

31.ZOOKEEPERS. People who steal animals and put them into cages.

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THE INFORMATION #817 JANUARY 2, 2015

THE INFORMATION #817
JANUARY 2, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN

CHAPTER NINE: PART FORTY-THREE: THE MAYOR OF HELL

When you talk about the fate of the kiddies in Noxtown, you’re reaching out to grab a nettle. It’s a sore subject, sure. Every one of the young ladies and not so young ladies who worked as maids and cooks and laundresses–I’m not telling you anything you’re not likely to already know–was subject to be attacked by the lord of the manor or even one of his sons. Menfolk were like that, back in those days, and they knew they could get away with it. And the Little Wifey always professed ignorance–if she knew what side her bread was buttered on–when Milord Hobby got frisky and had a hankerin’ for a bit of strange. Wifey knowed “She was only a passing fancy.” And  “Tut Tut” says Milady, knowing full well after twenty years of marriage–and more–of her man’s low tastes. Her, she goes in for the Good Life. High brow stuff. Opera, fancy dresses, cotillions and the like. And if the French Tutor or the Dance Instructor makes love to her, then tit for tat. That’s life among the swell, though, and I don’t pretend to know very much about it, only what I’ve been told. 

 

Then there was the Mayor’s wife. Seemed as though we allus had the same old Mayor except for one two year stretch when the Machine crowd was somehow thwarted and the Goo-Goos got in. But the one Mayor we had got for most of that time was your typical rotten politician, only he had one quirk–namely, he was very fond of vanishin’ for days at at time. Like I said before, his name was The Honorable Jonal Lobhar, but there was nothing honorable about him, and from the looks of him, if he happened to be wearin’ rags, then the second he’d set foot in The Seven Stars Saloon, they’d of throwed him out the door, or maybe out the window, if they place didn’t happen to be underground to begin with.

But even the Seven Stars was too tame for the likes of him. He was off to Devil Town.

 

Mayor Lobhar did a lot of good and useful things for the residents of Noxtown, to be sure. Don’t ask me to name none of ’em, though, because I don’t remembuh. But his little Wifey, why, she was a pretty itty bitty thing and, at first, he could deny her nothing, a fact of which she took full advantage. He was an old vulture, from the looks of him, and she was young enough to be his daughter. ‘Tis the same old sad old story. Mrs. Lobhar had a fancy to make the social rounds and to go shopping all the time, but she was mostly you would say a decent young lady as wanted to feather her nest and maybe accumulate some pretties and, Lady or nae, she warn’t above using her rich old husband, who had made his fortune as a part of s dynasty of family jewelers, to set her up with a grubstake, so to speak. Long and loud would be their arguments. He would shout and bluster and she would bawl and weep and threaten to go back home to Mother. It warn’t too long before hardly a civilized conversation passed between ’em. I got the gen on this from the cook and the laundry maid, which just goes to show that you better be nice to the help and not make a whizz or they’ll chew off your paw, Chum. 
To get away from the devilish worries his wife was causin’ him with her profligate spendin’ habits, the Mayor would hie him to Devil Town, and sow his wild oats down by the Old Canal. After awhile, Wifey would send the Chauffeur, a stolid Dutchman as fat and red as as a raspberry, to go a-looking for him. First, at The Adventure Club, where all the big-time sports would hang out and trade lyin’ yarns about how they was mighty hunters and such but all they was was rabbit twisters who if they ever saw a Moose would faint dead away and mostly they were only good for aiming a shotgun at a squirrel and obliteratin’ the critter–hail the mighty hunter, huh?  

Or the Dutch Chauffeur would seek him out at The Celebrity Room, which was anything but; listen to me as I hereby attest that it was a low dive as only the most desperate cut-throats frequented, but you know how it is with some menfolk who consider themselves in desperate straits, they do just what they’re not supposed to do and they don’t give a good goddamn. 

Or maybe they’d go looking for the Mayor–the Butler and the Gardener would chime in–by this time it was a veritable expedition–down to The Devil’s Lounge, where all the most attractive ladies of the night congregated–or maybe they’d go to The Drinking Club, which was full of pug-uglies who just wanted to get drunk in a great damned hurry and where the alkie was pisen as sure as I can whistle “The Marseillaise.” 

And then the Chauffeur–whose name was Dummstein or Dummsteen or something like that–would poke his head into The Men’s Elite Club, where they would tell him he needed to wear a tie, or he would venture into The Patricians Club, where they told him he needed to be a member, and he would even step through the door of The Pink Pussy, where him and his kind wasn’t welcome. 

Finally, the Chauffeur and them would find him, usually down at the Terminal Café, drinking a cup of scary-looking java and nursing a black eye the size of a newborn pup. Dummstein would plead with “The Mawster” to get into the car–The Mayor owned a fine Stanley Steamer, top of the line–but The Mawster would try to bribe him to go away. No soap. His wifey ruled the roost. Sad fate for a man who was suppose to be in charge of the whole of Noxtown. So Dummstein and the Gardener and the Butler would hustle the Mayor into his carriage and off they would go, back to the old homestead. 
Sometimes even the Chauffeur–and he was a persistent cuss, I’ll give him that–even the Chauffeur couldn’t find him at his usual haunts. That’s because the Mayor would flip flop and fly over to the disreputable communities along the Red River, which were known to all and Sundry as The Miracle Mile, a wide-open strip not officially a part of Noxtown proper where a thirsty and horny gent could buy a drink in peace and get his ashes hauled. It was well known as the place to go for gentlemen (and ladies) who wished (at considerable cost) to eat, drink, gamble and indulge in illegal drugs and illicit assignations. In its heyday way back in the olden days it had six casinos, about fifty taverns, a dozen whorehouses, and not one visible school, church, or hospital. It’s calmed down considerable since them wild and wooly days, but it’s still nowhere a Tad or Fresh Young Pup has any bidness bein’. 

 

The Miracle Mile has been the ruin of many a man better than I. Why, when I was in funds—allus a blessedly short time—fie–money slipped through my fingers—too many old pals to treat to drinks—even I would steer clear of some of the less reputable places there. You know a place is built for hard livers where the dogs are afraid of the cats, and the cats, as awful as they are, is scared of the rats, some of which reach the size of a small pig from all the garbage that is left strewn around in the courtyards and cellars and the rancid attics where people actually live and—blast it—raise small children, many of whom never make it past their sixth year, so bad are the conditions.

 

There must be something good to say about the Miracle Mile, but I’m not the man who could testify.  There’s all sorts of filthy alleys neatly ensconced behind the tenement houses—not to say anything in The Miracle Mile is truly neat—plenty of boarded up and deserted buildings there—you’ll find Yellofs and even ladyfolk living there, amid the smell of mildew and bare plaster—a more degraded life you can hardly imagine—but here, too, you’ll see kiddies roaming around and God bless the little critters because few enough of them make it past their toddler days.

 

You go into some of those filthy basements thereabouts in search of drink and good fellowship and you’re likely to get your head stove in by a desperate wretch who will rifle through your wallet and throw everything away in search of bills and coins, because alkie is all he craves and coin of the realm is all he wants to have to do with. You could travel the whole wide globe and you will hardly come across a more degraded pack of Yobs and Yellofs.

 

You think Adam O’Day is strange, cutting his capers in the Seven Stars Saloon? You think old Musky Dan is a terror, with his sneering lip? Wait until you venture into this true underworld—all the devils of hell seem to be there. Nigs with bones sticking through their noses; morons with a dull glazed look in their eyes, who will cluck and hop about for small coins thrown to them on the filthy brick floor; Gypsies with gleaming rings hiding sharp knives beneath their black and ragged dresses; and this is the sort of haunt where you might find the Mayor of our City Fair.

 

Why did the Mayor do it, go to these places? I don’t suppose even he knew the answer to that one. But it had to do with wanting to see another side of life. Or maybe the fool was a glutton for punishment; I don’t know. I’m thinking too that maybe he did it to get away from his wife–in the hopes that if something happened to him, then she’d be sorry. Maybe it was something about the excitement that he craved–when he didn’t have it, he was a drunkard without a bottle or a hophead without his yenshee. But I’m thinking that it’s more about that mischief there is in every boy, and in every man, which leads him to do the one thing that he just ain’t supposed to do. Why? Just because he can. 

 

But I found it awful odd, and telling, too, that the mayor of hell didn’t find Noxtown nearly hellish enough for his liking, and had to migrate somewhere worse still–where the grass was always browner.

 

Everyone knew about the Mayor’s little three-day jags, but nobody ever wanted to say anything; plus, as long as the Mob backed him, everything was hunka-dory. 
Anyway, the Mayor sowed a lot of wild oats, and he had too many brats to keep count of, and what were they going to do about it?–nothin’–and not all of them was supported by him–actually, a very few. Still, when they had growed, he would try to do something for them–get ’em on the police force, say, or a maybe job with the department of sanitation where there they could loaf around for most of the day manufacturing cigar ashes and oogling pretty gals. 
As they say–like father, like son.

1*SALUTATION

THE CLASH

CLAMPDOWN 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnliAafBYzU&feature=share
2*REFERENCE

‘Hidden brain signatures’ of consciousness in vegetative state patients discovered 

http://disinfo.com/2014/10/hidden-brain-signatures-consciousness-vegetative-state-patients-discovered/

3*HUMOR

STRANGE CHURCH SIGNS

http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/08/20/the-29-most-whack-church-signs-in-the-history-of-the-world/
4*NOVELTY

Riot at the Dawn of the Dead Mall

http://www.wtae.com/news/monroeville-mall-closed-early-reports-of-several-fights/30419978
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/20/middle-class-wealth-shrinks-1940s_n_6014874.html
6* DAILY UTILITY

EVERYONE’S WORST PAGE ON THE INTERNET

http://www.theawl.com/2014/12/everyones-worst-page-on-the-internet
7*CARTOON

CHRIS WARE ON “HERE” BY RICHARD MCGUIRE

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/17/chris-ware-here-richard-mcguire-review-graphic-novel
8*PRESCRIPTION

Let’s all screw the 1 percent: The simple move Obama could make to strengthen the rest of us http://www.salon.com/2014/12/26/lets_all_screw_the_1_percent_the_simple_move_obama_could_make_to_strengthen_the_rest_of_us/
9*RUMOR PATROL

NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES

http://www.salon.com/2012/04/21/near_death_explained/

10* LAGNIAPPE

CAFFEINE POWDER
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/fda-going-after-sellers-of-pure-caffeine-powder/ar-BBh8qaD

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

RAY DAVIES INTERVIEW

http://wamc.org/post/naive-yet-revolutionary-ray-davies-50-years-kinks-0

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 775. E-BOOKS

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30574260

THE INFORMATION #816 DECEMBER 26, 2014

THE INFORMATION #816
DECEMBER 26, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART FORTY-TWO: THE MAYOR OF HELL
In the heart of the kindly Christmas Season, all through the wealthy parts of Noxtown and its even more prosperous suburbs, known as Uptown, you could see, in the faces of the well-off, the excited gladness of their uplifted hearts, howsoever crabbed, on occasions rare, by stinginess and closefistedness; plus, you could see the indelible sense of well-being and indomitability reflected and refracted in their amiable eyes and great, capacious mouths atwist with wry smiles of comfort and joy. 
 
Comfort and joy there was indeed, and in abundance, in the glowing countenances of the affluent; though weighed down by sporadic doubts and freighted with dubitable thoughts, such bugaboos were fortuitously evanescent. We speak of a mass of citizens who, for the most part, arose from their comfortable beds greeting each day anew with sleepy furrowed brows and slowly creeping gladsome smiles. 
 
From every brownstone and manse, from every penthouse and swank address their wholesome progeny streamed out, to meet with jubilant ejaculations the whiteness of the snows which lay like a sheer and dazzling pillow over all, softening the city and near suburban purview with rounded pillowy deposits.  From addresses far and wide they joyously tottered, firmly muffled in warmth and finery, as evidenced by their glovened and muffed hands and their snowhats with befurred earflaps. On every snowlined street you could see the sleds and toboggans, towed by boys and, in some cases, large dogs, and the girls and boys excitedly sliding along ice and snow with new ice skates hanging from long laces across their backs.  In the evenings, top-hatted and tuxedoed gents and their consorts in their long evening gowns and furs gaily tumbled, with laughter and with exclamations, from their favored haunts in the exclusive country clubs they were wont to frequent, and stoutly burrowed themselves in fur blankets within the confines of hansom cabs drawn by a smart team of horses and urged forward by a cloaked gentleman with a long black whip. You might call it the dazzling white way of Noxtown–those precincts which were near to in distance but quite far in practice from the less salaubrious parts of town, such as the urban slum district, a sloppy street of slovenly tenements and derelict warehouses known as Blowtown. There was a name for the wealthy part of town which persons of low estate–the citizens of Blowtown– were wont to ascribe to it–they called it Heaven’s Gate.
 
To be sure, its denizens did not play harps or wear halos. They engaged in shady business practices (when it was to their advantage and did not threaten to sully their reputation for fair dealing), and they exploited the labor of their workers with the grim certitude of a pious parson facing his scapegrace flock. Their men’s clubs were dens and rookeries of rigidly enforced morality–though one must not go so far as to say that virtue and goodness reigned in those places. No one looked askance at a club member who chose that refuge to become quietly soused at the bar; or to warm his feet and doze at the ever-roaring fire for mornings, afternoons or evenings; or to enjoy a quiet game of Whist with his like-minded compatriots. What did cause discussion at the Club were the raised voices of braying bores; the cowardly boasts of loud braggarts; or, indeed, any abnormal behavior which threatened the propriety and domestic tranquility of its members. Indeed; circumspection demanded that any business at the Club be conducted, as it were, on tip-toe.  
 
Certain subjects were therefore deemed to be off-limits. Certainly, loud comments about the shapeliness of a certain well-turned ankle were allowed to be irrefragably vulgar. Comments which tended to cast doubts upon the Divinity of the One True God were beyond the pale of acceptable opinion. Even certain political talk was deemed injudicious; the large contingent of Republican members were solicitous to a man regarding the sensibilities of the minority of Democratic clubmen; in this way, harmony was preserved.   
 
No; mostly, political opinions consisted largely of talk about the Mayor, The Honorable Jonal Lobhar, and what was very likely to be his latest pie-eyed scheme. The Mayor was a former white shoe lawyer with a sometime explosive temper who was showy in his outward lineaments but inwardly eventually grew quite stingy; he deprived  his wife, and his family, though not, mercifully, himself, of the types of routine small luxuries that the well-off took for granted. He took no magazines and newspapers for their benefit; he purchased no books nor sent any letters that he didn’t have to; he was even known, in spite of his high office, to re-use a one-cent stamp to pay his wife’s bills. This was in part, owing to her spendthrift ways.  
 
He was controlled in his strictly potential depredations by certain of the more prominent citizens of Noxtown, who were well content to see a man in office who firmly believed in low taxes and budgetary cuts in essential civil services–just so long as the firemen and police were well-manned and well-supplied.  As for teachers and city clerks and any of a number of other functionaries upon whom a city relied–if they didn’t like their salaries, they could go hang and try actually working for a living. 
 
The Mayor was also controlled in what it was possible for him to do and even say by the town’s demimonde. The wealthier members of the citizenry were well aware of the Mayor’s connection to the Vice Lords of the City, but said and did nothing, reasoning that it was better that they should have a say in city governance and mostly stay on their own patch of lawn. Any concerted effort to rid the city of people such as Alderman Adam Tyler and his bullyboy Smash Conklin would surely have resulted in a disruption in normal business which the town eminences wished to avoid at nearly all costs, fearing it would eat into the profits of their own ongoing enterprises. 
 
Furthermore, many of the wealthier people of the town depended upon vendors of vice, and the little people they exploited, to supply some of their more depraved appetites. 
 
Say what you will about it, but know this: T’was ever thus.

1*SALUTATION

RECREATING THE SOUND OF TUTANKHAMEN’S TRUMPETS
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-13092827

2*REFERENCE

3*HUMOR

CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF THE EARLY SOVIET ERA
51 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences In Literature
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
New York Bans Tattoos, Piercings on Pets
http://patch.com/new-york/southampton/new-york-bans-tattooing-piercings-pets-0

6* DAILY UTILITY
7*CARTOON

GRAPHIC NOVELS: THE LIST OF THE BEST OF 2014 LISTS
ALSO SEE:
2014’s BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS
9*RUMOR PATROL
DOLLAR STRENGTHENS

10* LAGNIAPPE

MOTHER’S OLD FASHIONED HOMEMADE CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
http://www.yankeemagazine.com/recipe/mothers-old-fashioned-homemade-chicken-and-dumplings

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

12 FLAWLESS ALBUMS

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
774. COMIC STRIPS, THE PULPS, COMIC BOOKS, AND HARRY DONENFELD 

The origin of the Pulps (so called for the cheap paper they were printed on) dates back to the 19th century. In 1860 dime novels arose as spin-offs to adventure stories published in the weekly papers, and were read in great numbers by soldiers of the Union Army during the Civil War.  Frank Munsey’s “cheap fiction weekly for boys and girls,” The Golden Argosy, debuted in December of 1882, and this development marked the beginnings of pulp literature as we know it. By the 1920s and 1930s, the pulps were phenomenally popular; they began their decline in the late 1930s, supplanted in part by the rise of the comic book. The pulps, as a genre, were to last until 1955.
Many scholars state that newspaper comic strips effectively originated in 1896. By 1915, daily strips were a recognizable phenomenon; they were firmly established by the 1920s. An early American collection of “comic strips and cartoons,” A.B. Frost’s Stuff and Nonsense, appeared in 1884; newspaper strips in comic book form first appeared at least as early as 1897.   But a pioneer effort in mass-marketing the comic book was George Delacourt’s abortive 1929, 36-issue run of Dell Publishing Company’s  The Funnies, “the first regular comics magazine to be published and sold on newsstands.”   
The newspaper comic strip and the pulps had a great many similarities which made them the ideal hatching ground for the modern comic book: the pulps contributed the genre conventions, significantly, the template of the action-adventure hero; the serially published news stand magazine format; and the combination of print and illustration. The comic strip contributed the basic format, and the convention of the continuity strip, which was a serially told story with words and pictures. 
 “When there were no premier [comic] strips left to recycle,” Major Wheeler-Nicholson’s tabloid-sized New Fun became the first four-color comic book to feature previously unpublished comic strips.   It was cover-dated February 1935, and was later to be called More Fun.  
  
Early in 1937 Donenfeld and Wheeler-Nicholson formed Detective Comics, Inc. The initial issue of Detective Comics, cover-dated March 1937, was among the first to gather all-new single-themed material and present it in four colors. Wheeler-Nicholson lost control of his titles around February 1938;  by June his assets were “purchased…at a bankruptcy auction” by his former printer and business partner Harry Donenfeld, who, with his partner, Russian-born Jacob Liebowitz, founded Detective Comics, also known as DC Comics. 
What is not widely known is that many of the principal comic book publishers got their start in the pulps. The list reads like a who’s who of industry heavyweights: Martin Goodman (Timely); John L. Goldwater (Archie); George T. Delacorte (Dell); Lev Gleason (Crime Does Not Pay), and Harry Donenfeld (Superman-DC).
But who was Harry Donenfeld? Was he a legitimate businessman–or something else?
The comic book industry, according Harry Donenfeld’s son Irwin (as cited by interviewer Robert Beerbohm), was established in part by “bootlegger mob money.”  According to comics historian Gerard Jones, there is also speculation that  in the 1920s Harry was working via Frank Costello, a notorious gangster, to move illegal alcohol from the Canadian border along with shipments of pulp paper. Donenfeld’s fortune was made when, in 1923, though Hearst newspaper salesman Moe Annenberg, another mobbed-up businessman , he gained a lucrative contract to print supplements for popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping.
Harry was a very level-headed businessman, always eager to seize the main chance, and apparently, in other respects he was a very hard man. Also in 1923, he forced his two older brothers out of their partnership in Martin Press and renamed it Donny Press.  With the help of partners,  Harry Donenfeld launched Independent News Company in 1932, making him both a publisher and distributor. 
 
In May 1932, Frank Armer was compelled to surrender two of his “Girlie Pulp” titles to Harry Donenfeld for printing debts owed; “in like manner, Donenfeld accrued many girlie pulp titles during the 1930s.”
Level-headed businessman though he was; some might also characterize Harry Donenfeld as a pornographer. But others were making money out of the girlie pulps; why not him?
Incidentally, Harry hated Superman; didn’t want to see such a ridiculous character on the cover of Action Comics, and relented only when sales figures showed that the character was a hit. (Nor did his dislike of the character prevent him from making a deal with Superman’s creators which made him a wealthy man and left them in litigation limbo for decades.)
According to William Gaines, whose father Max and his AA Publications was partnered with Donenfeld and Liebowitz, by the 1940s, “Donenfeld was the man who you might say was in charge of wholesaler relations. And the wholesalers liked Donenfeld very much and he got along with them. He was really in charge of keeping them happy and on good terms with the company.” 
With a foothold already firmly entrenched in the pulps, Harry Donenfeld was one of those ruthless businessmen who had a knack for migrating the business methodologies of pulp publishers over to the nascent comic book field. According to Dale Jacobs, for both the pulps and the comic books, distribution was key to sales. If, in the 1940s, Donenfeld became something of a glad-hander, This status does not efface his earlier role as a mover and shaker–not to mention a ruthless conniver. However, this close connection of the pulps and comic books helped pave the way for a major setback for the industry.
When the newspaper comic strip first migrated to the comic book, particularly during the period 1929-1937, there had been a certain degree of quality control in terms of content, since newspaper publishers were reluctant to print syndicated material that would cause large numbers of readers to complain and possibly cancel their newspaper subscriptions. However, by 1938 nearly all comic books were almost entirely composed of original material and many publishers, some of them veterans of the pulp fiction industry, felt under no obligation to prevent objectionable material from appearing in their periodicals.
 The rapid expansion of the industry in the late 1930s created chaotic conditions in which market contingencies were paramount. The more popular and lucrative that comic books became, the more their publishers sought to out-do one another. The tone of their content became even more vulgar, and as a result they began to attract more and more unfavorable notice. This culminated in the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearings into Juvenile Delinquency, with the special focus on Comic Books. 
It is ironic, perhaps, that, by 1955,”the pulps had virtually all vanished from the stands…victim to all manner of afflictions—comics, paperbacks, television and eventually the withdrawal of their major distributor.” 

THE INFORMATION #815 DECEMBER 19, 2014

THE INFORMATION #815
DECEMBER 19, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

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

Police Captain Tom Aston was a twisty Yellof, all right. In private life he was hale and hearty as ever a man you’d want to meet. If he had been a copper in quiet Sleepydale, or wealthy Mayfair Grove, or even his own home town of Belle Avon, then he mought have passed as the type of blinky-eyed and dozey town Shurf who left the movers and shakers alone and instead arrested kids for stealing outhouse doors and throwing snowballs at top hats and the like.

He was a big man in his own former neighborhood, to be sure. Rumor has it that as a young man he was quite the High School athlete. Captain of the Fighting Wolverines football team, who managed to beat the Plaza Del Sol Panthers, the Hickory Hollow Hillbillies, The Canal Plaza Cougars, the Dynamo Wildcats, the Bigtown Braves, and the Mayfair Millionaires. Big fella–6 foot 3 and 220 pounds of pure muscle. After the games, no matter what the coach would say about it, he and his cronies and teammates would raise hell at all the drinking establishments in that quiet community which counted approximately 2,000 souls–back in the Gay Nineties. He’d be seen making his drunken rounds at the many gin mills and low dives the place managed to support, such as Beer “n” Skittles, The Black Cat Saloon, The Blind Kitten, Crazy Joe’s, The Crown and Garter, Dizzy’s Lounge, The Drinking Club, The Eight Ball, The Glass Bar, The Glove, The Golden Horn, Huzzah’s, The Last Stand, The Lion, The Pleasure Bar, Pro’s, The Purple Zebra, The Rack, The Red Barn, The Shuttle, Thirsty Acres, and The Tip Inn. Then he and his pals would then drunkenly climb High Point Hill where, even on a frosty fall night, you could see the  smoldering slag heaps of Wazooville. There they would engage in the usual horseplay, and it wouldn’t be unusual if one or two of them went home with a black eye or even a busted wing. These were stag affairs. Ladyfolk in them says were expected to sit at home and curl their eyelashes and wash their hair in stale beer or some such tomfool doins. 
So he might have been a big man is his own tiny patch o’ heaven, but instead, after a stint in the Army, he came East and he worked the beat in Noxtown and he was surely an arrogant son of a bitch, if you’ll pardon my French.  He broke enough heads to make his way to Police Captain.
Now, Yob, if you know how many fixes a Police Captain has to handle among the high mucky-mucks, you would hardly envy him the job. When even the lowliest civilian got jugged, usually for soliticing a whore, Aston wanted to know about it, usually so he could solicit a donation to the Policeman’s ball in exchange for dropping the charges. A C-note would square any beef, but usually only gamblers and pickpockets had access to that much dough, so Aston would give you a pass if you would press a twenty or even a ten-spot into his greedy fist. The Looey and the Sarge were expected to kick back a portion in the absence of the Captain, who, where there was money to be made, was seemingly everywhere.
He liked particularly to shake down the parents of drunken young rowdies such as he himself used to be. 
 
Here’s a fine story to lighten your days. One time Captain Aston sees both Joe Rumbuster and Smash Conklin breaking into the Seven Stars Saloon to work off a booze thirst. Sure and the Devil not only looks the other way, but joins the pair of miscreants in looting the place. Sure and every bottle of top-shelf booze was drunk down to the dregs before the three thirsty big galoots managed to slake their thirst. They might have got away with it scot free, only two of them started in to smashing crockery and tables because Aston had taunted Rumbuster and Conklin into having themselves a little fist fight to see which of the two of them was the tougher Mugg. Things got a bit out of hand, and the two of them suddenly turned on Aston in a fit of drunken bravado. Now boys, says he, remember it’s a Police Captain you’d be after assaultin’ and the law don’t take kindly to–and POW! Conklin flattens him with one of them heavy wooden chairs which don’t smash into flinders when you merely sit on them hard but are built to last. Even though the booze fog, Aston could feel that blow. So he takes out his pistol and holds it dead level on the two of the b’hoys, snarling at them not to make another move. A big hero he was, when the other coppers came to the rescue and jugged the rascals.  Conklin and Rumbuster knew better’n to peach on the Cap’n. He had connections to the Big Man and it wouldn’t do to cross him. I was glad to hear that Conklin had gotten his come-uppance, of course, because I hated him like poison, but you ought to have heard Tipsy Smith moaning about all the damage they done to his bar. Never fear–someone–and who’s to say it wasn’t Aston himself–shook down Rumbuster and Conklin and made good the damage. The only thing Aston got out of the deal was the armchair that had nearly flattened him. That piece o’ furniture  he installed in a place of honor in his office. I suppose that if he ever got into another bar fight at the Seven Stars, he didn’t mean to be clobbered again by the very same chair. Once a philosopher, twice a pervert, as the wise man said.

1*SALUTATION

THE TURTLES
YOUR MA SAID YOU CRIED
WE AIN’T GOING TO PARTY NO MORE
SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE “SPIRAL OF SILENCE”
BAD KIDS JOKES
Q: why did the cow go to the movies?
A: because movies
CHRIS ROCK STOPS PERFORMING FOR STUDENTS
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
25 PEOPLE AND INDUSTRIES THAT PROFIT FROM FEAR
American cultural imperialism has a new name: GAFA

7*CARTOON

FEUDALISM THEN AND NOW
PRINGLES: CANCER IN A CAN
CONELRAD: ALL THINGS ATOMIC
CREEPY SANTA
http://disinfo.com/2014/12/creepy-christmas-day-1-santa-wasnt-always-jolly-used-really-creepy/

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

THE NEW REPUBLIC
Even at its best it was little more than an educational comic book for policy wonks.

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
773. FRIEDMAN ON HOPE

THE INFORMATION #814 DECEMBER 12, 2014

THE INFORMATION #814
DECEMBER 12, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

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

Now, in spite of the scenes you might of seen in his courtroom, Judge Rance Sniffle is a Yellof ye needn’t trouble yourself about, ner feel sorry for him none either. Every crooked deal you could imagine, the Judge is got his hand in, regardless of his reputation as a luckless fool. 
I should only have HIS luck. 
No matter what the circumstance, he had a special power of allus landing on his feet. Like a cat, only nowhere’s as cute. ‘Member the scandal of the prisoners in the county lock-up bein’ fed on Bully Beef from the Spanish American War? Half the hoboes in the jug had the drizzlin’ shits, and one or two of ’em very nearly dropped dead at twenty paces. That was the Judge’s doin’; he procured the slop to feed the yardbirds; stale canned meat and green ears of corn and it’s a wonder that all of ’em didn’t meet their maker on a diet like that. The entire town very nearly got a hobo sign–five slanty sticks with two vertical lines through ’em–“danger here”.  I’m not sayin’ that hoboes and tramps and bums add any great value to the town beautiful, but it ain’t fair to roust ’em from the town unless they done something real bad, like burn down the shed of a mingy man or menace a widder-woman ‘steada doin’ her chores in exchange for a lump.
 
Anyway, the Judge was a bad ‘um who was allus contradictin’ the defense attorney because the Prosecutor worked for the Big Man and the Big Man had him right in his coat pocket. The Judge, he didn’t even pretend to be fair, but would look up to heaven when the Defense made any kind of strenuous defense, say, in a capital case like a murder trial– and it was no matter if the Prosecution’s case was weak because the Judge would instruct the jury that there’s two sides to every story and he would sometimes soft-pedal the whole shadow of a doubt business or neglect to mention reasonable doubt altogether.
Why was this so? The Judge was an old blowhard who kept liquor in his chambers and you could smell it on him practically across the room, though the Bailiff was his man and quick to usher out anybody who was tomfool enough to yip out Holloa! Why,The Judge Is Been Drinkin’ or like that. 
Ye can’t sue no judge. Ye can’t even take a pot-shot at him, if ye know what is what. Both the law and the bad men would be on you in a flash. Wouldn’t matter who you were. the only one who could take the Judge out would be the Big Man, and why would he, when the Judge knew his wishes so well withouten even being told?
What’s more, when the whole of Noxtown is corrupt from top to bottom so ye can’t put the law on them. 
The judge stood at the crossroads of ignorance and knowledge and laid down and had a snooze, is what he did. 
Why shouldn’t he? His fortune was made. Ye’d hear him crowing in the Seven Stars, after hours. “I’m bound to be rich! Bound to be rich!”
He had himself a crew of likely lads whose sole occupation was to strip the plumbing from dilapidated buildings and sell it as metal scrap for pennies on the dollar. These pennies surely did add up fast, as there were a lot of deserted buildings in Noxtown, due to all the good people all moving out. And when I say good people I mean all the folks that will give a bum a nickle and not expect a song and dance in return. Poor folk is among the most generous there is. But even they have their limits. When it’s not even safe to walk the streets because of the Rozzers….
Anyway, was Judge Rance Sniffle more’n half crazy? That’s a firm ‘Maybe.’ But if he was, he was also crazy like a fox, him.  Election time would come, and Adam Tyler would go around distributin’ food baskets to th’ needy, and if any of the pore people got into a scrape with the law, the Judge would see to it that they would be set free in time to vote. He would empty out the prisons to vote for the machine candidate. A lot of those likely lads wouldn’t never come back, but since these weren’t bad men per se but transients and loiterers and vagrants and petty thieves, they was a small loss to the toils of the law, and it saved the county some money. What interested Sniffle was the spoils of war, and every election day, he made sure he got the votes so that come back-scratching time, he got his own back scratched but good. 
Every crooked casino in Noxtown–and there was plenty–was known by the higher-ups and allowed to exist only on their say-so, and The Judge, he had a finger in that, and in every other sticky little pie.
In every hotel, from the finest multi-story pile to the lowest flophouse–you could get women, liquor, dope, anything you wanted from one of the bellboys, and the Judge, he was part owner of more than a few of them and he would regularly be called upon to throw a case clean out of court when one of the guests got rumbustious and trod on the wrong toes. He never had much truck with the soiled doves, for all his bluster, but ner was he a one to ignore a well-turned ankle, neither. His Nibs had a sour old wife at home–her lips was dry and cracked like a Mummy, and she was a big-boned and large-bosomed woman, she was, and ye got the impression that more’n once she cast him out of his own Den. But for all that, the Judge was no prude, him. All a little lady needed to do on the witness stand was to cry, and the soft-hearted Judge would turn her loose–all other things being equal. ‘Specially if there was a fat envelope awaiting him. 
Did you want to join a Union? The  Judge was not a strong Union man, but for the right price he would back you up.
Fact was, the whole of Noxtown run on gangland money, and the Judge was right there in the middle of it. You were well-advised to treat him like you would a rattlesnake, and to have some snakebite remedy right handy if you ever run into him. He worked, of course, with the cooperation of the Police, and Captain Tom Aston and what he might think allus formed a big part of his plans,

1*SALUTATION

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD: SECOND EDITION
COMMENTARY:
LIBRARY PORN MOM SUED
WORST CHRISTMAS SONG EVER
SLEEP IS THE ENEMY OF CAPITAL

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

COSBY REFUSES TO ADDRESS RAPE CHARGES

6* DAILY UTILITY

NINE CLUELESS THINGS WHITE PEOPLE SAY WHEN CONFRONTED WITH RACISM

7*CARTOON
WHEN THANKSGIVING WAS WEIRD

HEART ATTACKS AND WATER
9*RUMOR PATROL
That Facebook Copyright Thing Is Meaningless and You Should Stop Sharing It
http://gawker.com/5963225/that-facebook-copyright-thing-is-meaningless-and-you-should-stop-sharing-it

10* LAGNIAPPE

TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS TAPE LOOPS
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10202514155410045

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

TURKEY FAQ
*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
ALL-NEW X-MEN 5. ONE DOWN. ***
AMERICAN CORNBALL. MILLER. ****1/2
AN AGE OF LICENSE. KNISLEY. ***
BATMAN & ROBIN 4. REQUIEM FOR DAMON. ***1/2
THE BLACK DEATH. JEFFREY. ***
THE CALL OF THE WILD. LONDON. ***1/2
CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? CHAST. ****
CARTOON GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE. KLEIN. ***1/2
THE CAVALIER MR. THOMPSON. TOMMASO. ***1/2
CITY OF NETS. FRIEDRICH. ****1/2
DARK SIDE OF THE STREET. HIGGINS. **1/2
A FAREWELL TO ARMS. HEMINGWAY. ****1/2
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS 1. ***
HOW THE WORLD WAS. GUIBERT. ***1/2
JUSTICE LEAGUE 5. FOREVER HEROES. ***
THE KLONDIKE. WORTON. ****
KLONDIKE DAYS. LONDON. ***
LATE BLOOMER. TYLER. ****
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN 3. CENTURY. ****
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES: FATAL FIVE. ***
LENA FINKEL’S MAGIC BARREL. ULINICH. ****
MOBY DICK. GELEV. ***1/2
PERFIDIA. ELLROY. ***1/2
SOBRIETY. MAURER. ***
STEED & MRS. PEEL: THE GOLDEN GAME.**
STEED & MRS. PEEL: A VERY CIVIL ARMAGEDDON. ** 
STRANGE FRUIT. GILL. ***
SUGAR SKULL. BURNS. ***1/2
SUPERMOB. RUSSO. ****
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. LEE. ****
TRAILERS. KNEECE. ***
TREASURE ISLAND. GELEV. ***
WHITE FANG. LONDON. ***
WOLVERINE 2. KILLABLE. ***1/2
WONDER WOMAN: LOVE AND MURDER. **
WONDER WOMAN: ENDS OF THE EARTH. ***
WONDER WOMAN 3: IRON. ***
WONDER WOMAN 4: WAR. ***1/2
WORLD WAR I. COWSILL. ***1/2
YUKON GOLD. LONDON. ***

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
772. SEVEN NUTRITION MYTHS