MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 203 SEPTEMBER 2015

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 203
SEPTEMBER 2015
Copyright 2015 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

  1. MODERN WISDOM PRESENTS: THE MODERN WISDOM DYSLEXICON

EVOLUTION, THEORY OF. Not yet proven.

EXISTENTIALIST. My girlfriend was an existentialist so I gave her a disengagement ring.

EXPRESS COMPANIES. Always come knocking at the door between nine and five when most solvent individuals just happen to be at work and if they’re not at work they’re probably poor so who would be sending them packages anyway?

FAULKNER. Further proof that no one can bullshit you better than a Southerner.

FEUDALISM: Persistent popular social system modified for 21st century
use with power relations replacing social ones, hence the speculative
nobles, the consumer serfs, the professional priesthood. 

FOOD NETWORK: Forklore.

FREE WILL: Neither will nor free.

FACTORY. The factory is a shrine and chances are the man who runs it is a Shriner.

FATALISM. I tried to deny my fatalism but I knew they wouldn’t believe me.

FORTHRIGHTNESS. I never say what I don’t mean, except this one time.

GALILEO. A lot of gall, but not much Leo.

  1. NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES
  2. Only you will think your pathetic excuses are amusing.
    302. Your long-abandoned son has vowed to destroy you.
    303. The Circus Dog scratched you; the infection will be fatal.
    304. The male jury will never convict your attractive murderess.
    305. Mister, even God is tired of you.
    306. Wal-Mart AND McDonald’s will refuse to hire you.
    307. Your final words will be uttered through broken teeth.
    308. Cheap bourbon and disappointment will be your steady diet.
    309. Your tormentor is a registered nurse, skilled in inflicting pain.
    310. A giggling psycho will throw your mother out a window.
    311. They all recognize you by your thousand-yard stare.
    312. Your backgammon technique marks you as a former jailbird.
    313. All’s not right with the world while you’re in it.
    314. Your employees are plotting to have you arrested and fired.
    315. Your unmarked grave will be routinely vandalized.
    316. If they gave Value Stamps with rotgut, you could open a warehouse.
    317. Broken race-track touts are not entitled to collect unemployment.
    318. The crooked sawbones who writes your scripts has been arrested.
    319. Every light you see will be a setting sun.
    320. Your bogus madhouse act is now becoming all too real.
    321. A liquor store clerk will pocket your winning lottery ticket.
    322. Pray that you never discover the whole truth.
    323. Your enemies will be the smartest people you ever know.
    324. Give up. Fifteen Rounds with Kid Destiny and you’re through.
    325. The whiskey was your only friend but now it’s gone.
    326. They know you as one who can be trifled with.
    327. No matter where you step the ground is shifting.
    328. You will continue to torture yourself–it was your fault.
    329. Born in the Gutter, you’ve never lost your taste for it.
    330. You’ve devised 101 ways to escape–all will fail.
    331. Your distant past is a wound that will never heal.
    332. That hostile barroom brawler is nicknamed Karate Motherfucker.
    333. The Police Captain you shot was a short-timer.
    334. The Yardbirds shun you–even they deplore your crime.
    335. The investigator knows you are an incurable Firebug.
    336. Because you refused to bend, you will be broken.
    337. Treason is the mildest name for your transgressions.
    338. Your identity has been stolen by a corrupt Nigerian.
    339. You are falsely listed as ringleader of the Subversives.
    340. You are marked for liquidation by a vengeful spymaster.
    341. Your most mundane activities are being closely scrutinized.
    342. You have mistakenly offended the Man With the Twisted Face.
    343. The Police are very interested in your friendship with “Boris”.
    344. They know you caused the Election Day race riot.
    345. They will not even allow you to commit suicide.
    346. Racketeers resent your friendship with the new Mayor.
    347. You will be sorry until the day you die.
    348. Newspaper accounts of bizarre murders hint at your complicity.
    349. Your boat will be manned by a skeleton crew–literally.
    350. You will be arrested for selling cats as rabbit meat.
    351. Surely your current infamy will linger indefinitely.
    352. A washed-up comedian will dispense wisecracks at your funeral.
    353. You are too weak to work but too sturdy to beg.
    354. Burglars will murder your teacup Chihuahua.
    355. You cannot sweep it under the rug–don’t even try.
    356. You will sell your kidney to pay an angry loan shark.
    357. Be a man–kill yourself now, before they find you.
    358. In your case, the Final Judgment is long overdue.
    359. You are even a failure at suicide.
    360. Your enemy will steal your mother’s corpse.
    361. The Big Man’s dead certain you’re giving him the runaround.
    362. Nobody cares or understands.
    363. You were, are, and always will be Doomed.
    364. Your dead soul squats in a condemned tenement.
    365. Honestly? You will never escape your predicament alive.
    366. You are in a race against time which you will lose.
    367. Your childhood nickname was “Little Mo”.
    368. You have a well-earned reputation for selfish treachery.
    369. Nobody wants you around because you are a needy pest.
    370. The drunken quack will botch your plastic surgery.
    371. You are certainly a man they love to hate.
    372. The cabdriver remembers the address of your hideout.
    373. Opportunity will knock–Deadly Opportunity.
    374. Nature culls the Stupes, so you’re shit out of luck.
    375. You didn’t want to snitch but you had no choice.
    376. They are watching for your face at all the Borders.
    377. That small town Sheriff is anything but dumb.
    378. Your Last Meal: Hobo Tomato Soup and despair.
    379. In Prison you will give birth to a Yenshee Baby.
    380. Your prison sentence will set a harsh new precedent.
    381. Your best friend will engineer your downfall.
    382. No one is willing to take a chance on you.
    383. Strange doings at the Old Mill are linked to you.
    384. You don’t look nice even when you’re all cleaned up.
    385. They have stolen your identity and you are helpless.
    386. Innocent? Perhaps. But guilty of many other things.
    387. You are and always will remain a two-bit punk.
    388. You hated your mother–no, but you loved her, too.
    389. Murder Two? No dice. They know you are a Psycho.
    390. You really stepped in dogshit this time, Pally.
    391. Rivers of whiskey will never wash away your awful guilt.
    392. The first impression you give off? Professional Crumb-Bum.
    393. You’re so low-down you’d even cheat a starving Hobo.
    394. The cops know all about your attic hideaway.
    395. Stowaway on a Tramp Steamer? Punishment: Forty Lashes.
    396. In the Jingle-Jangle Morning they’ll come slaughter you.
    397. The Road to Hell is full of scum like you.
    398. You were rich before you went nuts and started drinking.
    399. The Sheriff knows the alky you sell is pure poison.
    400. You blinded your best friend swinging a lit firecracker.
  1. DONALD TRUMP, WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CLOWN
    He is the avatar of inanity. In his utter cluelessness he can almost
    be regarded as the world’s most lovable goof. However, the clown hair
    is clearly Trump’s gimmick and detracts from the rest of his head. Let
    us but focus upon the less-scrutinized aspects of his physiognomy,
    and…the horror begins. His vulpine eyebrows. His penile nose. His
    radar-dish ears. And most of all…those cold, dead-looking… eyes. I
    fear those eyes! HIS eyes! I can see…forever! They are the cold
    deep-water blue pools of the stygian depths of that bourne whence no
    traveler ever returns. You can almost see within them the writhings of
    sinners in the hands of an angry God, the wailing and gnashing of
    teeth, and the unkind luster of the preying mantis as she devours her
    incognizant mate.
  1. THE ANTI-IMMIGRANT MOVEMENT

    People have some pretty queer notions. Folks who want to spread tolerance are called ‘PC Police,’ while xenophobic, ethnocentric jarheads still call themselves ‘Patriots’ and hand themselves a pat on the back. When are we going to restore civil discourse to our political discussions?

    For instance, I would like to draw the reader’s attention to the following masterpiece of logic and reason that once made the rounds of the internet:

    IMMIGRANTS, NOT AMERICANS, MUST ADAPT.
    I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Americans. However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the “politically correct” crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others.

    I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to America. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of immigrants. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of America being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Americans we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom.

    We speak ENGLISH, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language!

    “In God We Trust” is our national motto. This is not some Christian, right wing, political slogan. We adopted this motto because Christian men and women on Christian principles founded this nation and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home because God is part of our culture. If Stars and Stripes offend you, or you don’t like Uncle Sam, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from.

    This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our First Amendment gives every citizen the right to express his opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so! But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our flag, our pledge, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other Great American Freedom:

    THE RIGHT TO LEAVE.

    It is Time for America to Speak up! If you agree — pass this along; if you don’t agree — delete it – You are in the WRONG Country! AMEN! I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, lets all try, please!

    PLEASE NOTE: As brilliant as is that impassioned plea to destroy all useless eaters, it was even better in 1938, in the original German:

    JEWS, AND OTHER SUB-MEN, NOT ARYANS, MUST ADAPT.

    I GROW WEARY of this Reich worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since Germany was stabbed in the back by Jews during the Great War, we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Germans. However, the blood money from the reparations had barely been paid when the “enemies of our Reich” crowd began complaining about the possibility that our slogan “Deutchland Uber Alles” was offending others.

    I am not against allowing sub-men to perform our manual labor; nor do I hold a grudge against any Jew or Gypsy or Homosexual who is now productively doing the needed labor of the Reich in a reeducation camp. Our population is almost entirely made up of descendants of Nordic tribes. However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our Reich, and apparently some born here, need to understand. This idea of Germany being a multicultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. As Germans we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own lifestyle. This culture has been developed over centuries of struggles, trials, and victories by millions of men and women who have sought One Greater Reich.

    We speak GERMAN, not Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society, learn the language! And the Nazi salute! And do not criticize the Fuhrer!

    “Deutchland Uber Alles” is our national motto. This is not some Pagan slogan. We adopted this motto because Nationalistic men and women on Nordic principles founded this nation and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display the swastika on the walls of our schools. If Aryans offend you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home because Wotan is part of our culture. If Swastikas offend you, or you don’t like Frederick the Great, then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don’t care how you did things where you came from.

    This is OUR COUNTRY, our land, and our lifestyle. Our glorious Fuhrer gives every citizen the right to express the Fuhrer’s opinion and we will allow you every opportunity to do so! But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about our Reich, our salute, our national motto, or our way of life, I highly encourage you to take advantage of one other Great German Freedom:

    THE RIGHT TO LEAVE. IN A SEALED BOXCAR.

    It is Time for GERMANY to Speak up! If you agree — pass this along; if you don’t agree — delete it – You are in the WRONG Country! AMEN! I figure if we all keep passing this to our friends (and enemies) it will also, sooner or later get back to the complainers, let’s all try, please!

    And as for the Pope? Pah! As Stalin said–“How many divisions does he have?”

    PLEASE NOTE: I apologize in advance if I offended anybody. I am not seeking to establish a moral equivalence between the Nazi regime and ours. I am merely exaggerating for satiric effect.

    However, the current anti-immigration crowd DOES seem to have a visceral abhorrence to people who do not or can not or, in some cases, will not even bother to try to speak English. I understand that. It annoys me to hear people in a Doctor’s waiting room jabbering loudly in Portuguese or Urdu, as happened to me only three days ago. But it also had something to do with the rudeness of the people; not my inability to eavesdrop on their conversation. (To my mind, the woman who loudly spoke in English about how she believed “Space aliens dropped Adam and Eve here to start the white race” was even more offensive.)

    The English Only clan profess to be annoyed by people who do not have a working knowledge of English. So am I. But it’s one thing to be annoyed and quite another to spew the same old tired Nativist line about how they should all go back to where they came from. I know enough history to know that Nativism is a not-so-distant early warning sign of fascism. I have a visceral hatred of fascism.

    A philosopher, Santayana, once said that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. Years later, some other fellow said, “Those who do remember history are also condemned to repeat it!”

    Anyhow, in regards to the internet article, it never ceases to amaze me how willingly stupid fucking know-nothing assholes are so eager to participate in their own degradation. Not only has this chump wallowed in and swallowed whole every bit of nativist propaganda that he’s been force-fed his entire life, he’s actually engaging in new contortions to enable himself to choke even more of it down. My point: More education–AND A LITTLE SENSITIVITY, NOT A WHOLE LOT–is the key. Learning a foreign language when one is an adult is not particularly easy for many. For instance: I spent six months trying to learn Chinese. I found it to be almost impossibly difficult. My point is this: Folks who make a minimal effort to try to learn about other cultures tend not to be quite so dogmatic in their insistence that everyone who comes to this country must IMMEDIATELY either conform or die. It’s usually the slack-jawed yokels and corn-pone fatties from the big stick country who are so obese they have to scrub their backs with a sponge on a twig who tend to be the most hidebound loudmouths regarding this matter. (Sorry–prejudice against Appalachian Americans is also a form of race–and class–hatred. But my granmaw was a coal miner’s daughter, so I get a pass.)

    Learning something about our nation’s history might also help. Maybe there’s a good reason for Hispanics being disinclined to learn English. After all, we did steal big chunks of California and Texas from Mexico, didn’t we? And the Hispanics are reproducing faster than anybody else, aren’t they? And by most estimates, by 2050, whites will be a minority, won’t they?

    I’m just playing the devil’s advocate here. Sure, it would be great if everybody learned English. But here’s another point: many people who were born speaking the language don’t speak it any too well, and functional literacy, from everything I’ve seen, is at an all time low. H.L. Mencken had some choice things to say about this, back in the 1920s:

    “Here the business of getting a living … is enormously easier than it is in any other Christian land—so easy, in fact, that an educated and forehanded man who fails at it must actually make deliberate efforts to that end. Here the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head, and is thrown willy-nilly into a meager and exclusive aristocracy . And here, more than anywhere else I know of or have heard of, the daily panorama of human existence, of private and communal folly—the unending procession of governmental extortions and chicaneries, of commercial brigandages and throat-slittings, of theological buffooneries, of aesthetic ribaldries, of legal swindles and harlotries, of miscellaneous rogueries, villainies, imbecilities, grotesqueries and extravagances—is so inordinately gross and preposterous, so perfectly brought up to the highest conceivable amperage , so steadily enriched with an almost fabulous daring and originality, that only the man who was born with a petrified diaphragm can fail to laugh himself to sleep every night, and to awake every morning with all the eager, unflagging expectation of a Sunday-school superintendent touring the Paris peep-shows.”

    What I find incredible though, is that people dignify the childish argument “MY grandparents had to learn English–nobody did them any favors–when are those brown people going to shape up?” and try to treat it as though it were a rational, philosophically sound and irrefutable argument regarding the way things are today. It is not. It is an argument based on fear, resentment, and insecurity.

    My question is this: Why aren’t these same people complaining about the fact that the wealthy are being handed–that’s right, I said they’re being HANDED–enormous tax breaks purchased by means of an intrinsically corrupt campaign finance system? Why aren’t they politically savvy or even literate enough to notice that nearly half our taxes go to fund the military, which leaves little money to pay for education and public health initiatives?

    Moral: We get the culture, and the leaders, we deserve.

  1. WHAT DO YOU THINK…CAN YOU TRUST A BLIND DATE?

    Apparently not, if the cover to HI-SCHOOL ROMANCE #36 is any indication:
    http://www.comics.org/issue/238993/cover/4/

    Ostensibly, the blind date in question is the fellow who is playing
    tonsil hockey with the blonde camp-follower while in the
    foreground.the dark Bettie Page simulacrum goes all lachymose in
    silent and dignified disappointment. However. this is, after all, a
    LOVE comic, so there’s no spicy dialogue such as “I’ll tear your
    bleached blonde hair out by the roots, you hussy!”

    But wait! There’s far more to this ingenious bit of propaganda from
    February of 1949 than initially meets the eye!

    First of all, what kind of athlete wears a knee pad to a basketball game?

    Notice too, how kneepad boy’s ball sack fits snugly in the cleft of
    his grinning blonde teammate’s shoulder. (Is it me, or does the blonde
    guy look more than slightly drunk?)

    Bighead Littlehand, the guy who is grabbing at Mr. Kneepad’s thigh,
    seems a bit long in the tooth to be affiliated with a HS basketball
    team, unless he’s the coach, which, really, makes it even worse.

    Mr. Kneepad (thought balloon): “After the feat–a little treat! Heh
    heh heh heh HEH!”

    Notice, too, how Johnny Flashbulb is getting all set to take a
    front-page keister shot. He knows what the public wants!

    And that charismatic man swingin’ the brown fedora beneath the crook
    of Joe Kneepad’s elbow looks like he’s auditioning for a title of his
    own.

    You know what I think? I think Bettie Page’s teardrop is a tattoo.
    She’s sad because the thigh-grabbin’ coach prohibits his boys from
    consorting with Gang Molls.

    Finally, what I want to know is, where is this “Elf Town” the Jocks
    have beaten by such a resounding margin of exactly one lousy point?

  1. UNIVERSITY OF ENDLESS NIGHT: DEPARTMENT OF NOIR STUDIES

    Course Catalog for September 1948
    Undergraduate
    Criminal Justice 111: No Stinking Badge: The Frontier Ethic in
    Mexican-American Law Enforcement
    Hotel Management 202 (Ithaca campus only): The Reimagined Hospitality
    Industry in the Age of Johnny Rocco
    [A tip o’ the chapeau to Bob Risko….]

    Course Catalog for September 1949
    Undergraduate
    Biology 201: A Good Man (and a Not So Good Woman)
    Sociology 503: A Man Who Likes a Drink or Two (or Several)

    Course Catalog for September 1949
    Graduate
    Oceanography 1500: An Insecure Anchor (In a World Gone Mad)
    Urban Planning 2000: Gambling Dens, Juke Joints and Waterfront Warehouses

    Course Catalog for January 1950
    Undergraduate
    Legal Studies 500: Wrongly Accused (and Determined to Get to the Bottom of It)
    Religion 101: The Cross (and the Double Cross)

    Course Catalog for January 1950
    Graduate
    History 2222: The Geography of Dead End Streets
    Psychology 1330: Case Study: Tommy Udo: He-Man…or Lavender Lad?

  1. THE TIRED MAN

One of the papers headlined it, rather poetically, A MIDSUMMER DAY’S MADNESS.

According to them, it went down roughly like this.

“I’m tired,” the tall, cadaverous white man said as he entered the

still-hissing subway train at the Haven stop. He was

heavily bundled in a long black hooded overcoat even though

it was the dead of summer and 92 in the shade and even

the normally cool tunnel of the subway station was

weeping moisture from its cobbled brick walls. “I’m tired,”

he said, according to witnesses at the scene, then

took out a machete and began menacing a sweaty teenaged girl in a pink sweatsuit.

“I’m TIRED!” he said, as he backed her into a corner of the subway tunnel.

Just then a light flared, and a young, shavetailed

and very no-nonsense Transit Cop named Jim Crocell jumped out of the token booth,

and just as quickly The Tired Man, still holding on to his machete, 

took a flying jump across the tracks to the platform on the opposite side, then

jumped off the platform and onto the tracks. The Transit Cop,

a chunky guy who ran with jackhammer steps, gave chase, but The Tired

Man ran into a tunnel where his black coat blended in

with the unlit interior. The Transit Cop

decided not to follow in after him. He was alone and had

dropped his flashlight and there were too many

unpredictable variables in following an armed suspect

into a dark tunnel. So he went back to the platform, took the girl’s name,

interviewed witnesses, made notes for when he’d write up his report and

wondered if The Tired Man was the same freak who had

been terrorizing passengers at the Townville station.

He supposed he would check it out when he got back to

Central.

 

About a quarter mile into the tunnel The

Tired Man climbed up a rusty ladder, its metal

prongs like staples impressed in the cobbled wall.

He emerged from a manhole on Skid Road and shambled to

his boarding-house room above a disreputable nightclub

where, every weekend evening, young people gathered to listen

to amateurish four-piece pop ensembles and under-aged

three-piece heavy metal devotees as they made their Visigothic

assaults upon the Western Music Tradition. He squeezed in his wax

earplugs so he could nap before the night shift. It was 4PM. 

 

The Transit Cop got back to the station at about 4:15PM.

At 5PM, in an interrogation room with a single light and a single

wooden chair, he proceeded to beat the tar out of a

fourteen-year-old black kid named Tyrell who had gotten drunk,

stolen a Cadillac, driven it across the street, and

wrecked a police cruiser. Miraculously, the boy had been unhurt. When they

tested him on the breathalizer he blew .39. Needless

to say, he was practically incoherent. As the Transit

Cop beat him with a nightstick rolled up in a

newspaper, he was careful to avoid the head, for he

well knew the risks of brain damage associated with

drunken concussions. As he placed a well-aimed kick at

the black beanpole’s skinny ribs, he worried about The

Tired Man. It was rare for this type of subway felon

to be white. He was more likely to be a loner, not the

kind of person who would drunkenly brag of his

exploits to his friends. How do you catch a man who

has no friends who are willing to rat him out? He

hauled the black kid up and made him sit down in the

chair because he believed he had made his point. “Stay

there,” he bellowed, and left the room to call for an

ambulance to take the kid to the hospital for x-rays.

He worried because he still didn’t have idea one of

how to find The Tired Man. It was a major black eye,

the press would likely be all over it, and the Old Chief—

an irascible Irishman–would not be happy.

 

The Bartender took off his heavy coat, undressed,

showered, put on a jacket, a freshly-starched white

shirt and tie, and a neatly-pressed pair of black

dress pants; pilled on his thin grey socks and slid on

his black-tasselled loafers, then proceeded to the front

door of the popular nightclub Depot Provera.

He took out his ring of keys, and unlocked the back door.

He turned on the exterior lights, even though it was only about 6:30PM.

He turned on the interior lights, took the chairs down from the tables,

looked at his watch—it was 6:45PM–then took his place at his station behind the bar.

 

The Transit Cop decided to play a hunch. The Old Cap’n wanted

The Tired Man jugged and all was fair in love and war, so at about

11PM that same night he went to the Townsville hospital and visited Tyrell.

The kid, needless to say, was startled when he awoke from a dreamless drunken

sleep to see looming three feet above his head the face of the Paddy 

who had sucker-punched him that afternoon. “What you want?”

said Tyrell, and looked ready to cry. “I ain’t said nothin’!”

“I know, Tyrell,” said the Transit Cop. “I’ve been asking around.

About you. You’re a smart kid. No arrests.” He paused for

effect. “But smart kids can sometimes do dumb things.”

He paused again. “Smashing up a cop car on a DWI can

get you a long haul in Juvie, but I can make it all go away,”

he said in a sing-song, “if you do me just. One. Little. Favor.”

The kid looked at him with bleary dislike.

The Transit Cop proceeded to describe The Tired Man. “Ask

around. Ask your Crew. If you find out who this guy is

you can walk outta here in a week and go straight home.”

The kid tried to spit on the floor but missed and instead

stained his bed sheet with pink spittle. “Why should I help you?”

Tyrell said. It was a bluff. The Transit Cop played him. “I know

you got a Crew meets at the Mall and plans subway shakedowns,”

he said. “I got nothin’ to say about that. But you gonna let some

white guy come in and mess with your turf?” “Hell, no!” said the kid.

“Das right, makes us all look bad,” the Cop half-muttered. “Find out

who this mutt is and you get a get-out-of-jail-free card.” “A whozit?”

said Tyrell. “A pass. I’ll see you walk on the DWI. I ain’t had

time to write it up yet,” he lied. “I been too busy chasing

some crazy-ass machete motherfucker.” The kid smiled,

dry-mouthed. “Lemme see what I can do,” he mumbled.

“You do that,” said the Cop. “Today.” He gave the kid his card.  

 

But Tyrell never called him. Days passed. Meanwhile,

the Transit Cop had applied for a transfer to the Vice Squad

and by the end of summer he was on the street mostly 

shaking down low-level drug dealers

for poker money which he invariably ended up losing, night

after night, to the Old Cap’n. During these sessions

the Old Cap’n complained incessantly about his Italian-Irish nephew 

Sylvester “Sly” Decarbia, a drunk who had gotten entangled with a 

crack-addicted Dominican prostitute who’d claimed she was carrying 

his baby. “The man is always the last to find out,”

said the gruff Old Cap’n, and the former Transit Cop, who owed his

promotion to Captain Purson,  tersely replied “Tell me about it,” and

tried to remain deadpan as he surveyed yet another garbage hand.

The game was Pot-Limit Omaha and, if he didn’t know better, he’d

swear the Old Chief was dealing with a marked deck. He tried to ignore

Bill Haagenti, a blonde German lummox  with a bowl haircut, and Leslie 

Halphas, a weasel-thin and mean-looking featherweight,  two other 

Transit Cops who were in on the game, and wondered if he should 

ignore the conventional wisdom and

try just this once to draw to a flush.

 

“Ever find that skel?” said beefy Haagenti.

 

“Which one?” said skinny Halphas.

 

“Our old friend The Tired Man” said Haagenti, casting a

meaningful look at Jim Crocell, the ex-Transit Cop.

 

Christ, he muttered— since joining Vice he hadn’t thought

twice about the Tired Man. It wasn’t his beef. Ancient history.

He’d hoped the guy had either moved on had or been murdered

by one of his would-be victims.

 

Crocell tried to focus on his hand but by now it was a losing battle.

He was just about tapped out. He needed lots of money, and fast.

Tomorrow night, he decided,

he would pay a friendly visit to the owners of the

new nightclub down on the Skid Road. He’d gotten

vague reports of the bouncers making drug deals and

figured that might be good for a fat shakedown of five large.

That would just about cover his car payment, he thought brightly,

and longed for the day when he’d ditch the Buick and Taco Bell

and move up to a Rolls and chateaubriand. What was that joke?

“If you’re hung like a horse you don’t need a Rolls to pick up chicks.”

He chuckled through puffy lips. His poker buddies had heard him laugh

so rarely that they took this for a tell and folded their hands and just

this once he actually ended up winning the pot. Well, maybe the

nightclub business could wait, he thought.

 

By mid-October, Tyrell had had no luck with the members of his crew. Not one of

them knew or had ever heard of The Tired Man. A week later

he got sent upstate to a Juvenile Detention Facility.

 

The bored Bartender listened to one of his regulars gassing.

It was Halloween. The frog-faced drunken white kid with the black hair and

the weird look of a greasy Mick complained for the

umpteenth time and with all his might about his Dominican

girlfriend and how she disrespected him. The Bartender rolled

his eyes. The kid stopped sniveling and glared. “At least you

can PRETEND to listen, maan,” he said, slurring.

 

“I’m sorry,” said the Bartender. “I’m not myself.”

 

And Bill Lerie thought about someday maybe going back to fetch the

gleaming machete he had lost that hot summer day in the subway

tunnel. And he smiled.

 

“Wass so funny?” said the kid, still annoyed, and using

the querulous tone of voice popular with lovesick drunks.

 

“Freshen her up?” he said to the kid.

 

The kid dry-snorted. “Y’ got any gak?’

 

The Bartender thought a moment, then replied.

 

“No.”

 

He made a serious frown.

 

“NO.”

 

The kid backed away so fast he knocked over 

what was left of his Jameson’s. He threw a 

crumpled wad of bills onto the bar and backed 

out of the door of Depot Provera.

 

“I’m tired,” the Bartender thought. “I’m tired.”

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THE INFORMATION #852 SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

THE INFORMATION #852
SEPTEMBER 4, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

“Any philosophy that, being in operation contradictory to the ways of the world, tends to produce a character at odds with it, such a philosophy must necessarily be but a cheat and a dream.”–Melville

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART THIRTY-FOUR: KINGDOM COME
Count Victor Justin was now scrutinizing Pappy O’Day, as though determining whether that old gentlemen were worthy of receiving the confidences he was about to bestow. Apparently, everything about him was satisfactory, so he resumed his tale.

“Mother died when I was seventeen. Father remarried a year later and got religion; this time for good. I finished high school, though barely. Mother’s death hit me hard. I always had trouble feeling anything. I always lived for the moment and never worried about the future and certainly never thought overmuch about the past. I suppose Mother was the only person who could keep me from running wild, and when she slipped this mortal veil, I fell in with a bad crowd.

“They were petty criminals, drug-users, and worse. Low-life Yobs and Yellofs. I learned a great deal from them, however, and can honestly say to you right now that I don’t regret a thing. Me, I’m in favor of always focusing on the present day. The past is gone and is beyond your control, and the future is now. 

“I always had me some grand ambitions; I thought I would be a politician, and maybe one day even President. My father told me I had better be a lawyer. I clerked in a law office for a short spell; I didn’t like it, and soon left. Learned quite a bit about the toils of the law, however, and how to avoid them.”

“My trouble is that whenever I was part of a group, I always wanted to be a leader, and if I couldn’t be one, then, why, I would take my ball and go home. Pretty soon I took to low company. Laying lookout for a gang of pickpockets. Later, I fell in with a crowd of card sharps who plied the waters of the Mississippi in search of Savages. 

“So back in the Halcyon days of my misspent youth, before I had even heard wind of Tom Aston and the Gib Yellof, I learned well the tricks of the confidence man. You might not know it, but a good con man has to be something of a sleight of hand artist. And the most gifted ones need must also be as skilled at misdirection as any stage magician. Of course, the guff those fellows peddle isn’t really magic at all, but only trumped up fakery. My good friend Houdini will tell you as much. What the con man does—use mere words to effect physical changes and exchanges—is much more akin to genuine magic and partakes far more of the strictly occult. I’m not one to boast, Yobs, but I can put one over on nearly anyone if I have a mind to. Once a sucker is hooked, it’s just like fishing—you use a spot of patience and skill; and you reel them right in.

“The one thing you have to avoid in this racket is women. They can be deadly pisen to a man of sense, since they have a tendency to drive men luny. What with their jealousy and their vindictive nature. I never once knowed a woman, howsoever lovely, who wouldn’t turn ugly if she felt she had been double-crossed. A good con man is better off staying far away from the members of the gentler sex, so-called.

“What’s more, womenfolk can be quite sharp, and make an unhappy foe for the less than scrupulous. Where their interests are concerned, they notice every little thing—every inconsistency, every little piece that doesn’t quite fit, and every falsehood which is by necessity fabricated in order to sell the story more convincingly.

“Yobs, I hardly ever worked in any one place for more than a week or two, but by using the power of observation—also somewhat akin to magic—within a day I had thoroughly cased the joint and knew more about the weaknesses of the place than the owner or the proprietor. Not only did I know how the Yellof made his money, and how much of it was pure profit, I also knew by their demeanor which employees were stealing and which ones were too honest to snipe so much as a used-up postage stamp.

“Businessmen are mostly stupid. Oh, I don’t mean that they’re dumb in any conventional sense; when it comes to making money, some of them are quite smooth. No, but the dishonest ones in particular think that they’re smarter than everyone else and that rules don’t apply to them—in that way they are very much like their natural allies and sometime-adversaries, the lawyers.

“That is why they are so easy to fool. Tell them about a sure thing and they won’t stop to ask the most elementary question of all, which is one I would dread to hear but hardly ever would; namely, ‘Why are you telling me this?’

“Businessmen mostly act, not on logic, but on instinct. You may blanch to hear this, but ‘tis true. If a story told by a fastidious gent sounds plausible, then they will trust that same gent come hell or water high. Right down to the end of the nubbin.

“My days of big-time swindles are also long behind me. But my having hobnobbed with members of the demimonde has alerted me to one home truth: that criminals will always claim they were railroaded. And sometimes they are. Captain Tom Aston is none too scrupulous on that score. He doesn’t care if you’re innocent, and he knows your innocent; if it’s better off for his interests that you spend some time in the pokey, then, by the Holy Man, he will do his damndest to see that you end up in stir. But for all their hollering about how they are innocent, what crooks will never tell you is about the 99 times that they committed a crime and got away with it. That, of course, is an inflated figure; most crooks are pretty dumb, and I would say that for every forty capers, one of them goes seriously wrong and that’s how they get caught out—from not knowing all the angles before they go in, and from not having an escape plan all hatched and ready for when things go south, as they inevitably will, for, as the poet says, even ‘the best-laid plans…gang aft agley.’ Savvy?”

1*SALUTATION

Slim Gaillard & Slam Stewart – The Harlem Congeroos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrcZqnICYbs&feature=youtu.be

ALSO SEE:

Slim GAILLARD & His Trio
“Chile & Beans O’Vootee”

https://youtu.be/PXHd-yDAK1I

2*REFERENCE

NYC SUBWAYS IN THE 1980S WERE NO JOKE

http://www.rsvlts.com/2013/10/23/nyc-subways-in-the-1980s-were-no-joke-47-photos/#.VdXXc3-UUSs.facebook

3*HUMOR

FBI FILE ON GEORGE CARLIN

http://theantimedia.org/fbi-had-12-page-file-on-george-carlin-because-he-made-jokes-about-government/

4*NOVELTY

Pat Roberston: Dow Plunge is God’s Punishment for Planned Parenthood

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/pat-roberston-dow-plunge-is-gods-punishment-for-planned-parenthood/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

WOMAN SEES TRUMP’S FACE IN HER TUB OF BUTTER

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/butter-donald-trump-woman

ALSO SEE:

WHITE POWER TRUMP SUPPORTER

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/08/22/video_trump_supporter_yells_out_white_power_during_alabama_rally.html

SEE ALSO:

TRUMP TALKS LIKE A 10 YEAR OLD BOY

http://www.greenvillegazette.com/linguistics-expert-confirms-donald-trump-talks-like-a-4th-grade-boy/
6* DAILY UTILITY

The Definitive Political Orientation Test

http://www.playbuzz.com/felixstablum10/the-definitive-political-orientation-test?fb_ref=211_SNR

7*CARTOON

SPY VS. TRUMP

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/08/spy-vs-trump

SEE ALSO:

SPY MAGAZINE: COMPLETE ARCHIVES

http://www.openculture.com/2011/04/spy_magazine_1986-1998_now_online.html

8*PRESCRIPTION

5 Mind-Blowing Lessons from Psychedelics Experts

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/5-mind-blowing-lessons-psychedelics-experts

9*RUMOR PATROL

General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy: The Extensive New Evidence of a Radical-Right Conspiracy

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=22106

10* LAGNIAPPE

GEORGE GOBLE, DEAN MARTIN, & BOB HOPE ON JOHNNY CARSON

https://video-lga1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hvideo-xaf1/v/t42.1790-2/10530057_602472789851455_162561593_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjU0MCwicmxhIjo5MTl9&rl=540&vabr=300&oh=15de5cc854e53c879beff1988f43db6f&oe=55DFA622

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

POST-MODERN GIBBERISH ESSAY GENERATOR

https://tnextphase.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/post-modern-gibberish-essay-generator/

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

ALL NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA 1. HYDRA ASCENDENT. ***

APOCALYPTIGIRL. MACLEAN. ***

AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON: PRELUDE. ***

AVENGERS: SCARLET WITCH. **

AVENGERS THE INITIATIVE 3: SECRET INVASION. ***1/2

AVENGERS WORLD 1. AIM PIRE. ***

BIRDS OF PREY 4. THE CRUELEST CUT. ***1/2

CALL ME BURROUGHS: A LIFE. MILES. ****

THE DIVINE. LEVY. ***1/2

EAST OF WEST 1-4. ***1/2

FIFTY YEARS OF THE AMERICAN SHORT STORY VOL. 2. ABRAHAMS. ****1/2

FLASH 3. GORILLA WARFARE. ***1/2

FLASH 4. REVERSE. ***1/2

GOTHAM ACADEMY 1. ***

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 3000. 1. TIME AFTER TIME. ***

HARBINGER 1. OMEGA RISING. ***1/2

HARBINGER 2. RENEGADES. ****

THE HERO. BOOK ONE. RUBIN. ***1/2

JLA 6. KELLY. ***

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED 1. ***

MIKE’S PLACE. BAXTER. ***1/2

MORNING GLORIES 1-8. ***1/2

  1. MS. MARVEL 3. CRUSHED. **1/2

NEIL GAIMAN’S LADY JUSTICE. **

OPERATION NEMESIS. BLAYLOCK & SILVA. ***1/2

PUSSEY! CLOWES. ****

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE…AND EVERYTHING ELSE. LEWIS. **1/2

SEVERED. SNYDER & TUFT. ***1/2

SHIELD 1. PERFECT BULLETS. ***1/2

THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN 1. ***1/2

SUPERMAN UNCHAINED 1. ***1/2

TECH JACKET 1-3. ***

TEEN TITANS 3. DEATH OF THE FAMILY. ***

THOR 1. GODDESS OF THUNDER. ***1/2

UNCANNY AVENGERS 1. THE RED SHADOW. ***1/2

UNCANNY AVENGERS 2. THE APOCALYPSE TWINS. ***

UNKNOWN SOLDIER 1. HAUNTED HOUSE. ****

UNKNOWN SOLDIER 2. EASY KILL. ****

THE WAKE. SNYDER & MURPHY. ***1/2

WILSON. CLOWES. ****1/2

X-MEN SECOND SOMING REVELATIONS. ***1/2

YOU CAN’T WIN. BLACK. ****

YOU’VE GOT TO READ THIS. HANSEN & SHEPARD. ****1/2

YOUNG INHUMANS 1. ***1/2

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
811. REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS

The Republicans are the party of the ten year old boy. The Democrats are the party of the fourteen year old girl.

THE INFORMATION #851 AUGUST 28, 2015

THE INFORMATION #851

AUGUST 28, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

When I consider life, it is all a cheat. Yet fooled with hope, people favor this deceit.–Dryden

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART THIRTY-THREE: KINGDOM COME
Count Victor Justin continued to explain in loving detail the mechanics of the carnival grift and the peculiarities of his confederates. 

“Of course, working with a team was a hardship on me, as I had to cut the take four ways, and in some of those tank-towns we hardly made enough to cover expenses. But in bigger venues, at county fairs and the like, we could really rake it in. So it purt’ near evened out. Back in those days, I’s slug away at the flukum when I wasn’t on the job. I ended up spending a good deal of my dosh on paregoric. I’m just lucky that I never developed a coal burner habit. You’d figure we wouldn’t need it just to get to sleep, working as we did up to 18 hours a day, but we did. We were too keyed up after a long day’s grifting to drop off to bed. There was the excitement and stimulation of gambling in that kind of life. Sometimes we made next to nothing…and other times we were in the tall corn.

“One thing I never could predict was how my confederates were going to act. Bertha Moss’s job was to stand around and simper and look pretty. But she was a bit of a dirty puzzle and a top-flight cannon to boot and her fingers itched to get aholt of fat billfolds and tickers and the like. In certain parts of Blowtown I was constantly having to square a pickpocketing beef with the local constabulary because they all knew who she was. 

“Strong Boy would of done well to simply stay in the tent and do the heavy lifting, but he had a weakness for drink and would vanish at inopportune moments.Of course, what would happen is that some stranger in a bar would insult him–call him a sawed off runt–and Strong Boy would settle his hash for him, all right, but would end up in the jug on a drunk and disorderly, and it would be my job to extricate him from his self-made jam. 

“Chicago Gus also had a weakness for drink, but instead of disappearing, like I halfway wished he would, since there was no hiding him on the premises, as he was a tall drink of water, why, old highpockets would start in to baiting the chumps. Especially when we were running the harmless games in which nobody really stood to lose an awful lot. ‘Can that yap,’ he would say to a chatty female mark. ‘You gas too much, Blubber.’ Now, for all he knew, that was the mayor’s wife he was talking to, but once he got a few snifters of pop-skull in his gullet, he didn’t give a good jolly God-damn. Or he would insolently address a sour-faced farmer–‘What’s snapping at your asshole, you goony-faced geezer? Cheer up, or you can walk your sneery puss on out of here.’ Now, this Savage might have walked into the tent determined to spend twenty dollars just to win a box of shitty cigars, but Chicago Gus just didn’t care, and it was costing me money, and I didn’t like it. Still, I was amused at the casual cruelty of some of the insults he would dish out to the local yokeldom. He had a charming habit of muttering imprecations undeneath his breath, say, if the mark happened to be winning at the Skillo Wheel or some other small-time game. ‘Cross-roads clown.’ ‘Lumpy bumpkin’. ‘Farmer Corn.’ ‘Mr. Alfalfa.” ‘Snaggletooth bitch,’ ‘Fat old bald head,’ ‘Cheerful Idiot.’ ‘Stupid hillbilly.’ ‘Old chaw-bacon.” He could keep a running commentary up for hours when he was stoked on the fumes of some high-powered liquor. ‘Gwan, get out of here, you Goozler. G’wan and beat it, you mucksnipe,’ he was say to one of the lot lice who come in to look and not play. Didn’t matter of the fellow were a big man; Chicago Gus knew all the moves. Especially the one where you press a certain artery on the neck, and down the Savage goes–he doesn’t even know what hit him. The booze made him fearless; plus, he had a mean pig-sticker in his boot all handy-dandy.  ‘You’re only fitten to lead blind monkeys to shit,’ he would say to the kiddie who wandered into the tent to bob for floating fish. ‘I don’t care if you won the big prize; you got nothing coming to you,’ he would say, and the kiddo would go out bawling and come back with an angry Pappy, and it was always up to me to square the beef. 

“Never mind that; I could talk a Savage out of his long underwear if I had a mind to it. I would gently explain that the prize the Kiddie won was actually not the big stuffed toy on the top shelf but a ‘genuine’ jack-knife or some other gimcrack. What lad of tender years doesn’t covet a jack-knife? So everybody’s happy; the kid spent eighteen cents and the cheap little knife cost me seven dollars a gross. Plus, I have the satisfaction of knowing that the bairn would get up to some mischief with the knife–I could just see him gouging away at a newel post–and having it taken away from him until he turns 21, or something like that. You might have guessed that this was precisely what happened to me the day I brought a jack-knife home.

Seems that there’s some sort of wild devil that gets into boys once they turn about 12 or so, and if they’re not careful, it will plague them their whole life through. A determination, it seems, to get into as much trouble as they can, just for the sheer ornery joy of seeing if they can get themselves out of it again. I suppose it comes from the little wild animals starting to feel their oats. For me, personally, this was not the case. I was a very studious lad in school, and always minded my ps and qs. The other boys, as I have said, didn’t know what to make of me, as I was busy pleasing the masters and did not cut capers in class in order to impress my fellows. I was always clean and well-dressed, and always well-scrubbed. I didn’t loaf in front of drug stores or loiter in soda-fountains. Truth to tell, I wasn’t a boy’s boy. I was a bit stand-offish. But all that was to change when I turned seventeen. 

1*SALUTATION

VAN MORRISON

JACKIE WILSON SAID

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vReskUk477g&feature=youtu.be

2*REFERENCE

HEPSTER DICTIONARY OF JIVE TERMS

http://www.apassion4jazz.net/jive-terms.html

3*HUMOR

THE WEDDING TOAST I’LL NEVER GIVE

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/fashion/the-wedding-toast-ill-never-give.html

4*NOVELTY

100 YEARS OF FASHION IN TWO MINUTES

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4z90wlwYs8

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF NY IN THE 1970S

http://www.vintag.es/2015/02/50-amazing-color-photographs-of-new.html

6* DAILY UTILITY

OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC FORECAST

http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/29794545/super-cold-slew-of-snow-in-old-farmers-almanac-forecast

7*CARTOON

INSIDE THE GOP CLOWN CAR

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-gop-clown-car-20150812

8*PRESCRIPTION

LIST OF REASONS FOR ADMISSION TO AN INSANE ASYLUM FROM THE LATE 1800S

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/list_of_reasons_for_admission_to_an_insane_asylum

9*RUMOR PATROL

CBS COVERAGE OF WOODSTOCK (1969)

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

10* LAGNIAPPE

ROKY ERICKSON

DON’T SLANDER ME

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

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

NEW AGE BULLSHIT GENERATOR

http://sebpearce.com/bullshit/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
810. RORY HAYES

https://www.lambiek.net/artists/h/hayes_rory.htm

THE INFORMATION #850 AUGUST 21, 2015

THE INFORMATION #850

AUGUST 21, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left. –Victor Hugo
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART THIRTY-TWO: KINGDOM COME

The Count found himself holding court to a distracted Tipsy Smith the Barkeep, me, and an increasingly dozey-looking Pappy O’Day; but it was as if he had gotten all coked up; he couldn’t stop spieling. 

“Nowadays I find myself tearing out what little hair I still do have because I can’t help but have strange dreams of what could have been. And I start to go loco. I could have gone to college; I could have been somebody. I might have been a doctor or a lawyer or even, God damn it, a newspaperman; at the very least I could have been a businessman in a small way–perhaps in real estate and insurance, If I had elected to spend the last 30 years in building a fortune the honest way, I might, with a little luck, have built up a nice nest egg and I wouldn’t have to be looking over my shoulder every fifteen minutes for the harness bulls to show up and clap the darbies on me. 

“But who am I fooling? I couldn’t not go on the grift; anymore than Caruso could stop singing. It’s a sickness, this con game. It’s like a gamble every time you light a rag, and you never know what the outcome is going to be–whether the sucker might fetch the boys in blue or maybe take after you with a shooting iron. 

“I had quite a few confederates back in the early days. I always used three sticks. There was Strong Boy, ‘America’s Mightiest Midget,’ a blackhearted rogue who, as you might expect, had a black spit curl and a leotard–with a big ‘S’ on it–but…he wasn’t very bright. At one time he was my back-yard boy. I used him strictly for muscle, in case a mark got rangy. Then there was Bertha Moss the Dip; pickpocket extraordinaire. She could prig your ticker faster than you could sneeze. There was also Chicago Gus from New Orleans or maybe Indiana; I disremember which; he was an expert roper and shill. Stood six foot six in his stocking feet; you practically had to climb a ladder to talk to him. Then there was me. My handle back then wasn’t Count Justin; I was known thereabouts in my early days as Waxey; back then I dyed my hair platinum blonde to give me that needed air of gravitas. But it kind of gave some people the whim-whams so I stopped doing it. Come to find out it wasn’t long before my hair turned white all on its own. I was the inside man. We only worked established shows; no barnstorming outfits unless it was the off-season and we were desperate.  I was king of the grass castle with that lot. We would travel to carnivals and county fairs to ply our trade. If the carnival was a clean one, we would give ’em the Boston Version and play the old hanky-pank or the alibi store and I would be the agent. If it was slightly crooked, we might work the Put-n-Take, the Add-’em-up or the Razzle Dazzle in the count store. If it was wide open, and the town clowns had been well greased with patch money, and the bag man was well-iced and feeling fat and sassy, then we could bat away, open up a flat joint, and trot out our whole arsenal of short cons. Once we duped a sucker to come into our tent–and it wasn’t too hard–Bertha Moss was a comely red-haired wench, a bit on the brawny side, with blubbery lips, and with quite an affecting pout–it was all over for the mark. Maybe we would pull the shell game and maybe it would be the three card monte or even the fast and loose or the strap or the old gold brick. 

“You always tried not to get too greedy and burn the lot. The shot-caller don’t like that. No sense in getting a rep as a heat merchant. And you never worked under the blue if you could help it. Also, we didn’t like to pull the same cute stunts in the same area more than once every five years or so. So every year we would switch it around, and change our appearance, too–I’d shave off my beard, or grow one, and wear a hat; and Bertha would dye her hair, and Strong Boy would comb back his spit curl and wear a pair of smoked glasses. There was no disguising Chicago Gus; he was a tall drink of water. Sometimes we billed him as ‘The World’s Tallest Man’. And sometimes we’d put him on a stool; have him kneel there and act as a clerk. That was about the best we could do with him.

“Our tools were as intricate and involved as those of any craftsman who was on the up-and-up. They were the wallet filled with newspaper; the marked card; the gaffed wheel, and the good faith of the born sucker. An ace con man is all front. You certainly don’t want to look like a grifter, nor draw undue attention to yourself. A respectable, even dull suit, a pearl-gray derby hat to go along with it. Nothing so vulgar as red suspenders. Also: To this very day I don’t drink except on rare occasions and I only take but one cup of coffee a day, and that in the early early morning. The only thing worse then wising up a chump is a sharper with the jitters. Being jinky throws you off your game. And if you’re off your game, the lot manager might stick you with a shitty line-up joint on the left-hand side next to the kiddie rides–and there goes your potential to make a fat profit.   

“The mechanics of the carny were simple. If it was a wide open store, meaning anything goes, we would all of us flash our Michigan bankrolls and use our grift sense to stoke the thirsty interest of the greedy Savage to a state of intoxicated fury over the notion that he might be letting a potential fortune slip right through his fidgety fat fingers. Sure, he might be losing after a few initial wins. But–he tells himself–you hardly even have to suggest it–all he has to do to recoup his losses is play double-up catch-up, right? But it was allus impossible for the mark to win, no matter what he did. Even if he was better at the math than I was, the game was rigged from the start. On many of the games, it was all profit for us. We never laid out so much as one thin dime. The only outlay or expenditure of funds were strictly his own.” 

1*SALUTATION

LOU CHRISTIE

IF MY CAR COULD ONLY TALK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xLoXd1Cg78

SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzhuZ4jMnZU

I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE

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

2*REFERENCE

The British Library Puts 1,000,000 Images into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Reuse & Remix

http://www.openculture.com/2013/12/british-library-puts-1000000-images-into-public-domain.html

3*HUMOR

A SHAKESPEAREAN GUIDE TO THE 2016 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/hell-is-empty-and-all-the-devils-are-here-a-shakespearean-guide-to-the-2016-republican-primary

4*NOVELTY

SOVIET ANTI-ALCOHOL POSTERS

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/anti-alcohol_posters_from_soviet_propaganda-era

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

THE 20 MOST HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL BLACK AND WHITE MOVIES

http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2014/the-20-most-hauntingly-beautiful-black-and-white-movies/

6* DAILY UTILITY

UNHEALTHY HEALTHY PRODUCTS

http://www.alternet.org/food/big-food-wants-you-believe-these-7-products-are-healthy

7*CARTOON

SCTV

“BOB HOPE DESERT CLASSIC”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBw-710W-x4&feature=youtu.be

8*PRESCRIPTION

CLIMATE CHANGE NIGHTMARES

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-point-of-no-return-climate-change-nightmares-are-already-here-20150805

9*RUMOR PATROL

THE LEGEND OF THE GREEN MAN

http://disinfo.com/2015/05/the-legend-of-the-green-man/

10* LAGNIAPPE

VENTURES

PETER GUNN THEME

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtZSeEIr-kg&feature=youtu.be

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

FANTASTIC FOUR IS THE WORST-REVIEWED MARVEL MOVIE EVER

http://screenrant.com/fantastic-four-failure/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
809. SEXIST VINTAGE AIRLINE ADS

http://www.vox.com/2015/8/7/9113743/vintage-sexist-airline-ads

THE INFORMATION #849 AUGUST 14, 2015

THE INFORMATION #849
AUGUST 14, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Every swindle is driven by a desire for easy money; it’s the one thing the swindler and the swindled have in common.–Mitchell Zuckoff

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

Count Victor Justin kept a weather eye on the two drabs who were still at the far end of the bar as he resumed his spiel.

“I was in the plush rackets for much of my career; and a career it was, too, as surely as a man sets out to be a Doctor or a Lawyer, a good sharper studies his art day and night; while in prison he reads loads of books and newspapers up until his blinkers start to give out just so he knows what’s going on in the world; he talks to every type of person from every strata of society so that he might mingle freely and bloviate with any or all of them; he has a memory like a monk and the keen observant eye of the detective of police. He is in the underworld but he is not truly of it. For most of my career I was about as far removed from robbery and burglary and all varieties of petty theft as a man can be, and still claim to be with it and for it ’til all is blue. The police know this for a fact; their shoulder hitters never act the hard man with the likes of us unless they get a major beef and the order comes from the higher-ups to play rough. Someone swindled a priest; something like that. You already know what I think of priests. Worse than sharps. Some of them has got the best racket going. Mumble in Latin; tell some blameless old biddy to tell her rosary beads and te absolvum; eat a good roast beef supper, and then go to a nice warm feather bed and saw logs for several hours. Nice work if you can get it. I’ll bet me own father would have been a priest if he coulda stood it. Prison? Sometimes the con man will end up there. But it’s seldom for long. And nine times out of ten, he will find himself a snug berth and will end up running the joint, or at least some lucrative franchise inside the prison itself.

“The sharper hates violence. He’ll resort to it if he has to, but in all cases he would rather use his brains. This doesn’t make him a coward; it makes him smart. Only the dumbest criminals resort to violence. You might think by the way I say this that I think the criminal is to blame for all violent crime. But that is not the case. The criminal is not exclusively to blame for the wave of violence. Nit! Most Yellofs will avoid violence if they can. There’s no percentage in it. The burglar just wants your valuables; he doesn’t want to leave carnage in his wake, unless he’s some kind of crazy goof. Maybe if he’s desperate, he’ll put out poisoned food for your pooch, but usually he’ll avoid a house with a dog, or a squalling bairn. The average pad-creeper wants people who sleep nice and sound. Your second-story man wants to get in and out P.D.Q., and he’ll plan for days on how best to do it. I know you’re saying to yourself that if he were to put that degree of industry and application into an honest line of work, he would be a major success. Maybe that’s true; but you have to keep in mind that your average footpad knows no better way. What? Would you have him hob-nobbing with the muckety-mucks at the Algonquin Club–‘I SAY, Mr. Doubletripe’– when he barely knows how to hold a fork? Fancy vocabulary and fine manners are under-rated in this country, but without either, whither goest thou, young man? You can’t go much of anywhere. I thank the Big Gee up in the sky for my eddi-ma-cation. 

“So–imagine your average dumb yekk–your gutter blood–a fourth grade drop-out at best; can barely cipher and hardly even knows how to write his own name. Imagine him going into business for himself. Sure, if he manages by dumb luck to cut up a big score he might open a bar, like our friend Tipsy Smith here, but he never escapes the circumstances of his background. Especially in the liquor business. A man comes in with a bankroll and wants you to store it in your safe. For all you know, that money is coated with blood. Or he comes in with a cannon and wants you to hide it. That shooting iron may have been used to blast a copper and could be as hot as the hinges as hell. Or, let’s say, on the other hand, a right Gee comes in and needs a loan of a hundred dollars, no questions asked. What do you say to him? You’ve got to be able to keep your standing in the community by performing just such small services. Sure, you’ll get the money back, and sooner rather than later. But you have to be of a certain stolid temperament to stand the gaff in the unlikely circumstance that the dough ain’t forthcoming. In a place like this, the good will of the barkeep is the last resort of the desperate man. Been jugged and need to come up with some pretty polly for the bondsman? The barkeep is your best pal–maybe your only pal–if only word can be got to him. 

“So–you ask–and well you might–who is responsible for the wave of violent felonies which are sweeping the nation? None other than the policeman, who acts as a servant and agent of the corrupt overworld just as surely as the barkeep acts as the servant of the underworld. Did you ever notice how certain laws are almost designed to make a certain class of people want to break them? Booze, women, and gambling–the major vices. I’m also talking about the drug laws, such as they are. The dregs of society will ignore them with impunity. And who cares? They’re lost souls anyway. I would tell any young man coming up to steer clear ’em–and, especially, to keep well shy of all powders and pills until he’s at least 30 years old, and even then to treat them with caution. They are a loaded pistol aimed at your soul. The dope will ruin you, and some. It’ll make you the lowest kind of bum. No; excuse me, Sir; the overworld doesn’t much care if the poor and weak happen to rob from each other. It’s when their activities seep into the upper levels that the hub-bub commences. They hit back hard whenever that happens. An eye for an eye. There’s a pinch. That’s the only response they know. As old as the Code of Hammurabi. I know–I might as well be speaking Greek. Very well, as old as the Bible, then. And violence begets violence. Look at England. Coppers don’t carry a gun, so neither do yekks. Cop shootings are extremely rare in Blighty. It takes a great deal of moxie to shoot a man in cold blood, you know. That’s why so many lead slugs miss their intended target. Nobody wants to shoot down another man unless he’s a cold blooded killer, and there’s no hope for that kind; he’s a fiend; else he’s dotty in the crumpet; you may as well hang him. But I say that 19 out of 20 crooks can be redeemed, if you give them an opportunity and a reason to fly right. But let’s face it; that hardly happens even in once case out of twenty; that’s because the system is rigged–and it’s rigged…because the people in power just happen to like it that way.” 

1*SALUTATION

NELSON RIDDLE AND HIS ORCHESTRA

THEME FROM ROUTE 66

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXw5qyW6YIQ

2*REFERENCE

RACHEL MADDOW ON OBAMA

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/266908715392224051/

3*HUMOR

SIX STUPID CHARACTERS THAT HOLLYWOOD NOW PUTS IN EVERY MOVIE

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-stupid-characters-that-hollywood-now-puts-in-every-movie_p1/

4*NOVELTY

From Gamergate to Cecil the lion: internet mob justice is out of control

http://www.vox.com/2015/7/30/9074865/cecil-lion-palmer-mob-justice

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

TROLLING REBELS

http://www.vice.com/read/virgil-texas-white-power-facebook-group-troll

6* DAILY UTILITY

There’s A Movie Donald Trump Doesn’t Want You To See. It’s About Him.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jesse-kornbluth/theres-a-movie-donald-tru_b_7910910.html

7*CARTOON

BIMBO’S INITIATION

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gua71Ia7rAU

8*PRESCRIPTION

COCA COLA IS NOT HEALTHY FOR CHILDREN AND OTHER LIVING THINGS

http://www.firstpost.com/living/fizzy-is-not-healthy-the-coca-cola-infographic-tells-us-nothing-we-dont-already-know-2373652.html

9*RUMOR PATROL

Banks Rejected Three Out of Four Requests for Loan Modifications Under Vaunted Obama Program

http://www.truthdig.com/eartotheground/item/banks_rejected_three_in_four_requests_for_loan_modifications_under_20150801

10* LAGNIAPPE

PICO & SEPULVEDA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_YPFvC-C_E&feature=youtu.be

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

RUSH LIMBAUGH

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/09/rush_limbaugh_is_cooked_the_stunning_fall_of_the_rights_angriest_bloviator_partner/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
808. BOSTON ACCENTS IN MOVIES, RANKED

http://www.boston.com/entertainment/movies/2015/07/30/boston-accents-movies-ranked/nVVvvY9lWELKgikPGsmAiJ/story.html?s_campaign=bcom:gigya:facebook

MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 202 AUGUST 2015

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 202
AUGUST 2015
Copyright 2015 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

 

  1. MODERN WISDOM PRESENTS: THE MODERN WISDOM DYSLEXICON 

DISSIDENT: Protester of established political system (Archaic); any
wrongheaded IDEOLOGUE.

DODGE RAM. Which? Make up your mind.

DOGMA. A bitch.

DOLLAR. A paper penny.

EASTER. Where are the chocolate crucifixion scenes, where you get to chop off Simon’s ear and see it magically grow back again?

EATING. Eat to be a garbage can, because there are a lot of garbage cans that go hungry at night.

EGGS. Embryonic hens.

EGYPT: Typhus-infested heap of sand and cinders (Archaic); fount of all wisdom.

ELECTIONS. Like erections, they feel good at the time but afterwards there’s an enormous letdown.

ERIE PENNSYLVANIA. Where people from Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Buffalo go to die.

ESPIONAGE: Secrets kept from women.

 

  1. NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES
  2. The dentist will not see you without an appointment.
    202. Even a quick and painless death will be denied you.
    203. No one considers you anybody special.
    204. Those fiendish voices in your head are actually real.
    206. You will never be forgiven for the pain you caused.
    207. You are no real man–you are only a weakling.
    208. You will be mutilated by a vengeful doctor.
    209. They will laugh as they refuse to hear your case.
    210. Great misfortune is far too good for one like you.
    211. A drunken spiteful nurse will handle you too roughly.
    212. Your quavering superstitions are self-fulfilling prophecies.
    213. Those you seek to impress despise your fawning attitude.
    214. You are easy prey for those who would wrong you.
    215. You have been prescribed the wrong dose of medication.
    216. Once on the white horse you will never get off.
    217. Every day you live the pain will only get worse.
    218. Your eyes reveal that you were born to lose.
    219. Your crimes do not allow you restful sleep.
    220. Innocent you may be, but they’ll hang you anyway.
    221. In time your black despair will only worsen.
    222. You have already been judged, and been found wanting.
    223. Your personal Bounty Hunter is the world’s best.
    224. You will flunk night school and go back to jail.
    225. By day you condemn sins and by night commit them.
    226. You cannot dodge the landlady forever.
    227. The lousy fuzz will never believe you, an ex-con.
    228. The fat man in the white suit will betray you.
    229. The landlady has reported your activities to the police.
    230. That woman you wronged is a widowed mobster’s daughter.
    231. What is your shoe size? Cement overshoes await.
    232. Men with banjos will make your life a living hell.
    233. Shoot yourself now, to spare yourself a fate far worse.
    234. The world is nothing but great suffering and hungry worms.
    235. You will not escape to fight another day.
    236. That Feeb you’ll try to rob has an iron grip.
    237. The slimy, drunken drummer is the secret mastermind.
    238. The hostile circus clown blames you for his broken heart.
    239. The Detective assigned to your case is named “Bulldog”.
    240. They will never stop until they have completely broken you.
    241. Your worst foe holds all the cards, and knows it.
    242. Drug lords believe you are a government informant.
    243. They are already gloating about your inevitable downfall.
    244. Your mother never forgave that you were born a boy.
    245. Nothing you can say will ever change their minds.
    246. The jury has been bribed, so you are certainly doomed.
    247. Your in-laws are desperately eager to rat you out.
    248. All the Boys still remember that Sinatra called you a Fink.
    249. Your abject begging will only further incite sadistic atrocities.
    250. The townfolk eagerly await your come-uppance.
    251. That dame you bedded is a psycho Cop’s ex-wife.
    252. Both the Mob and the Fuzz are gunning for you.
    253. Broken Tail-light, Corpse in Trunk–Next Stop, Gas Chamber.
    254. Your psychiatrist is not deceived by your feigned insanity.
    255. One final score? It was a set-up from the start.
    256. For you, April Showers bring Funeral Flowers.
    257. Soon, even the stool-pigeons will shun you.
    258. You will murder a Hobo over a can of sardines.
    259. You should have thrown the hatchet into a deeper pond.
    260. Police choppers will notice your 360 at the roadblock.
    261. You were born an Outlaw, but now it’s official.
    262. Personal revenge is sweet–until you are the victim.
    263. Crying and screaming–your first moments, and your last.
    264. You should have cleaned your pistol before the bank job.
    265. You say you’ve kicked, but the Pusher Man knows better.
    266. A future undertow will drag your carcass completely down.
    267. You think you’re smart, but a doublecrossing dame is smarter.
    268. The girl you molested is a childless Mafioso’s niece.
    269. They are determined to stop you before you kill again.
    270. The train has left the station–you’re not on it.
    271. You were a Chump, loaning Shylock money to a Dame.
    272. They’ll only be happy when they see your rotting corpse.
    273. You shouldn’t have poisoned that policeman’s Beagle.
    274. They blacked your mother’s eye–you must kill them all.
    275. Seven years you kept your nose clean–not long enough.
    276. Angry beggars will steal the clothing from off your back.
    277. Drunken Joyride; Hit & Run; Three-Time Loser; 20 Years.
    278. Even your dog considers you despicable.
    279. Anything you tell them will only make it worse.
    280. Your Higher Power has determined you will die a drunk.
    281. You are hooked on pain pills; the doctors don’t care.
    282. Soon, even your sycophants will mock you.
    283. You will be arrested for eating sausages on a bus.
    284. The circus clowns are actually zombies.
    285. You will arrested for inciting a riot at a carnival.
    286. Watch out, Mister! If she can’t have you, nobody can.
    287. You will drunkenly mishandle forty-five sticks of dynamite.
    288. Get a grip on yourself; you look like a Bum.
    289. You are listed in the Encyclopedia of Crime.
    290. Do not tell them where the “sweetbreads” come from.
    291. That lush you tried to roll is an undercover cop.
    292. Why don’t you get wise to yourself and blow town?
    293. They will call you a ball of fire–literally.
    294. YOU enjoy your work–but the Police do NOT.
    295. No one is fooled by your happy smile.
    296. Nobody loved you but Dolly, and they made you kill her.
    297. There is breaking news, but it is all bad.
    298. You are too old to run and too fat to hide.
    299. Your blackmail victim will arrange to have you killed.
    300. You should’ve kept it on the q.t.–too late now.
  3. REVIVE…WITH VIVARIN!
    Back in the drug-­suffused sixties I was but a lad of tender years,
    and the kaleidoscopic array of substances on offer were of little
    interest to me, although I was quite taken with a frantic ­­if not, in
    fact, frighteningly manic little broadcast ditty which went thus:

    Get a little lift, take Vivarin
    That’s V­I­V­A­R­I­N
    Get a little lift, take Vivarin!

    Not since reading Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle,” in which Jurgis
    Rudkis serenaded his Lithuanian family with his maddeningly repetitive
    rendition of “In the Good Old Summertime,” had I been so entranced by
    the stupefying potential of cheap music.

    But the ghouls at the Vivarin ad agency weren’t quite through with me
    yet. Witness the following, highly sentimental 1985 scenario, which I
    have taken the liberty of dubbing, “If You Don’t Graduate, We’re
    Through!”

    For those of you without the benefit of advanced computer technology
    such as youtube, I will summarize this poignant playlet.

    A young woman has, judging from her sweater and
    high­prole-­cum-­bargain ­basement­ bourgeoise feathered hairdo,
    haphazardly hunkered down at the local institution of higher
    education. Let’s assume she lives in the Jan Miner Dormitory at
    Palmolive Dish Liquid Community College. This busty but slightly drab
    midinette is apparently hell­bent on landing a spoiled and rather
    dimwitted young scion of the middling to lower-­upper mercantile
    class. (I am assuming that the stolid hunk’s
    pappy made his bundle with some dumb­ass minor­-league scam, such as
    selling slightly used popsicle sticks to second graders, or hawking
    off­-brand auto parts to purblind septuagenarians, or palming diluted
    Penicillin off onto impoverished bohunks, or some such.)

    Unfortunately for the young lady, her big plans for matrimony­­ and a
    life filled with screaming brats and her future husband’s alcoholic
    shenanigans ­­threaten to be derailed by the Big Stupe’s inability to
    pass his final exams.

    This, so far, is the backstory.

    Into his den she strides, happy as a daft moggy with a catnip collar,
    when she espies Lunko fast asleep with his head on his desk, with
    presumably only hours to go until the big test.

    She then delivers the following deathless line of monologue with all
    the ferociousness of the power­crazed Barbara Stanwyck in “The Violent
    Men”: “Wake UP! If you don’t graduate, we’re THROUGH!”

    Thoroughly duped and cowed by this display of feminine animus, he
    lethargically croaks, “I’m bushed!”

    It is here that the sweater girl lashes into her dozey Romeo with the
    forceful avidity of a god-intoxicated Maenad preparing to give suck to
    a wolf cub. “Heah,” she crows, “Revive with Vivarin…helps wake yew
    UP.” And then the shameless hussy literally wraps her sinister pink
    coils around the half­wakened dumbbell’s hapless neck while proffering
    what might as well be labeled, in boldface letters, “THE FORBIDDEN
    FRUIT.”

    At which point the hearty voice of Zeus from out of the clouds booms
    out the information that “Government­ appointed experts” have approved
    the stuff as safe. (Presumably this omnipotent voice is referring to
    the omniscient Food and Drug Administration, which has, in fact,
    grudgingly allowed that the principal stimulating ingredient in
    coffee, tea, cocoa, aspirin, soda pop, and even ice cream is, in fact,
    generally recognized as safe.)

    Goaded by the shrieking caffeine Harpy, the young fellow, still in the
    throes, it seems, of having been wakened from a badly­ needed
    restorative dream, rather groggily endorses the rather sinister pills
    with the dubious encomium, “Revive…with Vivarin!”

    Alas, the master playwrights writing circa long-­ago October 1985 have
    tragically left us with only a fifteen­ second fragment. Here’s the
    suspenseful part. What happens next? Some of the greatest literary
    minds have grappled with this conundrum, but nobody yet has emerged
    with a definitive answer. The dramatic question needing to be resolved
    is as follows: Does Diploma Boy actually marry the Vivarin whore–­­or
    do they break up three days before he gets the sheepskin?

    I’m guessing the former. I’m hoping the latter.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ThcuP_FmM&p=3F2DF0790484B546&playnext=1&index=52

 

  1. THE WORK OF DOGFISH GINGERY: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. SITUATIONIST NURSERY RHYMES

LITTLE JACK HORNER

Little Jack Horner sat in the corner, eating his Christmas Pie. He put in his thumb and he pulled out a plum and said “My selection of this plum, which clarifies my intention to make an ideological statement, symbolizes what Sigmund Freud would call a food-dirtying motif, and represnets the expropriative greed of a state of arrested development, stemming from a childhood burdened by affective deprivation, due to the depresations of a ruthlessly exploitative mercantilist society, which rules and fragments the nuclear family by means of the iron law of wages. Nevertheless, what a good boy am I!”

 

OLD KING COLE

Old King Cole was ruthless in his oblivious exploitation of his objectified and thoroughly pacified salaried robots, who brought him his pipe, bowl, and fiddlers three, stupefying palliatives which made the otherwise intolerable boredom of his hegemonic regime palatable.

 

THIS LITTLE PIGGIE

This little piggie went to market (in spite of the massive dislocations caused by the breakdown of the spectacular commodity economy); this little piggie stayed home (thereby demonstrating, by his refusal to participate in a corrupt system, the vigor of his struggle for autonomy); this little piggie had roast beef (and was thereby culpable of depriving the Third World of badly needed grain); and this little piggie had none (finally breaking once and for all the chain of Karmic retribution)–and this little piggie cried wee wee wee all the way home (demonstrating, in so doing, an admirable spirit of communal solidarity by refusing to be passionate about his own alienation.)