MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 217 NOVEMBER 2016

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

NUMBER 217

NOVEMBER 2016

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

1. SPURIOUS PROVERBS

The fear of death is to be dreaded as the fountain
overflows.

Love, and a cough, soon dies.

Fear is the parent of happiness.

Beware the tyranny of will power.

A poem should be more fun than a drinking spree in New
York City.

100,000 men and 100,000 dollars are never wrong.

The devil is a hero.

Free will is neither will nor free.

Hunger is better than a laugh.

The world is a playground where madmen grow dizzy.

Self control is the opiate of the bourgeoisie.

Spelling equals morality.

The man who prays the loudest is the most pious.

In their secret heart of hearts, most dentists know
that flossing is a waste of your precious precious
time.

Look to your aunt, thou sluggard.

Jesus was actually a werewolf.

Chess would be more fun if all the pawns were queens.

What the world really needs is more folk singers.

It takes a village to build a prison.

Discussing the antics of self-indulgent jet-setters
makes life worth living.

Fat people have a good deal to be jolly about.

Immigrants are mostly imbeciles.

Radioactivity is all in your mind.

Without air conditioning and taco sauce, life would be
unendurable.

Tradition is what gets in the way.

We will all have free will if only we submit ourselves
to God’s word.

Rectify the fucking language.

2. IRISH-ITALIAN RESTAURANTS
Icepick O’Houlihan’s
Tater Fanguul
Guappo McBogtrotter’s
Killer O’Drunkies
Stiletto Malone’s

3. QUINCY
Jack Klugman’s Oscar Madison reincarnated as a ranting
nitwit coroner, whose every other breath was used to
shout, “I’m going to get to the bottom of this if it’s
the very last thing I do!”

Actually, Jack Klugman was cool.

It’s just that this truly vile 70s show was the
template for every
gimmicky, loud, pointless, self-righteous, loud,
brassy, lousy, gratuitously spooky,
mostly brain-dead medical examiner and forensic
pathologist show ever devised
by some of the most heartless hacks to ever crank out
brainwash fodder
on behalf of
the suits upstairs
with fuck-you money
who like to violently roger self-loathing white trash
whores
with beat-me pouts
and all for the indubitable delectation of
the slack-jawed
fuck-me masses
sitting at home
stuffing their hog maws with General Cho’s chicken
and coconut butter-slathered popcorn
and all-butterfat-and-carageenan cheap-ass store-brand
ice-cream
and washing it all down with generic diet “cola”
that tastes like billygoat piss in tin cans.

But Oscar was cool.

4. THE SUBURBAN MIND

I am so happy, especially now that I can live through
the accomplishments of my children.

Pondering the amusing televised antics of sports
figures and Hollywood celebrities occupies a
significant portion of my time.

I love finding an inexpensive restaurant in
Collegetown so I can have PhD-level peons wait on me
hand and foot. Who’s the smartie NOW??

I feel vaguely threatened by anything that I’m not
likely to see on television.

I hate to admit it, but when repairmen come to my
home, I hide, because I’m afraid of those burly men.

Pictures o’ cute l’il pups and kitties gives me a warm
‘n’ huggy feeling inside.

It’s really not funny, you know, to make sport of the
Negroes.

Gee, work sure does stink, but at least my fellow
employees are a friendly bunch. All except for this
one jerk.

Did I tell you about the cute little poopie that my
puppy left in the rose bed?

Polluters. Tsk.

Oh! Those crazy big-city drivers!

5. “BEM” MAKES THE SCENE

The inestimable  boulevardier, flaneur, and all around
agent provocateur known as BEM is largely forgotten
now, but in his heyday he ws as potent a change agent
as Abbie Hoffman, Benjamin Spock and Joe Namath put
together.

Please do not attribute my love for the BEM saga as
mere random genre spoofery. If any aspect of the 60s
deserves to be preserved in its unalloyed full-color
glory (and remember that, for the most part, this
insidious crypto-PSA-cum-Mind-Kontrol-Ultra-Man

pastiche was originally presented in Noirish-graytones
and utilitarian B&W) it is BEM. (Recall too that in SF
circles, BEM also stood for “Bug-Eyed Monster”—thus,
BEM is also a sci-fi to hi-fi melding that anticipated
retro-revivalist kitsch such as Mike Allred’s RED
ROCKET 7 (1997) by a good 30 years!).DC comics commits an act of semiotic ju jitsu in the
very first panel of this ageless saga. Who are the
three individuals hankering to make “a hit” at “this
party” (which is a curious blend of 50s blah and
high-fashion sixties voom—for instance, note the
wasp-waisted girl in the ponytail silhouetted in the
background)?  None other than a Dilton Doiley
simulacra (Brains), an Archie/Jughead amalgam
(Emotions), and a Big Moose cut-out (Muscles).We immediately note the curiously effete and feminine
expression on the big-nosed Brains–rather like a
puerile George Wills if the truth be known, with his
castrato’s bowtie, suffering eyes, and archaic and
curiously anhedonic Elvis-era bouffant.We also note the enormous jug-handled ears of
Emotions, his disheveled collar, his dreamy and
somewhat crazed expression, and his Beatlesesque
mop-top, a bird’s nest of colored-outside-the-lines
hirsuteness. He bears an uncanny resemblance to
Boston-area impresario Billy Ruane.

The expression on the grimly clenched and anal Muscles
is perhaps most terrifying of all—a vulgarian in a
gray turtleneck, eyes as soulless as a raven’s, with
suspiciously dark black brows surmounted by a crewcut
head of Nordic blonde master-race hair as trimly
manicured as the patch of lawn in the interior
courtyard of the Pentagon.

Of the three, Muscles is the one who is most likely
headed for a bad end—while Brains seems destined for a
drab life of bachelorhood, and Emotions will likely
become a shock-therapy candidate, drug-addict, and
homeless misfit minstrel idiot boy spouting bad mad
verse on the streets of some odious Podunk State
College town, it is the mindless, broken-nosed golem
Muscles who will be deemed physically fit (and dumb)
enough to fight in Vietnam, where he will doubtless
either bleed his life and sanity away in a stinking
Tiger Cage or incautiously step on a shit-covered
punji stick and have his football-kickin’ gangrenous
foot amputated at the knee. There goes that swell job
at his father’s Cadillac Dealership (“Jesus, Son, you
know I don’t mind—but your crutches make the customers
puke!”).

In the shorthand of 1966-era DC comics, what
subsequent panels (2-4) tell us about 60s courtship
rituals is quickly summarized by the position of the
woman’s mouth. Brains is obviously chaste and
old-fashioned and favors a long, drawn-out engagement.
He is evidently keen on kissing, but no tongues,
please. It is equally plain that the impulsive
Emotions likes to sweep-her-off-her-feet and elope,
then check into a cheap hotel as newlyweds and assault
her Doggie-style.  However, date-rapist Muscles is an
old-fashioned hitter who clearly fancies a bit of the
old in and out—he’s not above a bit of
fascistic-sadistic rough stuff—he likes “to love like
the lumberjacks love.” (What has happened to the
nameless girl’s eye? Has Muscles already given her a
shiner?)

Plainly, their archaic sexual strategies are all wrong
for the nameless hoyden whom the three of them are
implausibly stalking simultaneously. It is here that
the Mind Kontrol aspect of this meticulously rendered
fable kicks in. In Panel Six, some kind of
ego-effacing mind-battle occurs between these three
characters, and they combine into one monster-mind—the
emotion-jacketed, Muscle-headed, insufferably
egotistic and brainy BEM—a pre-programmed pimp
simulacrum for the emerging Master Race, who will
effortlessly sweep aside the putative future attempts
of “groovy” hippies like so much chaff. What callow
doxy wouldn’t prefer this soulless pretty-boy Freud
with his fascistic black arm band (and hey, what the
fuck is up with THAT?)? After all, isn’t he “so smart,
so understanding, so strong”? Note from the blindingly
smug expression on his face that BEM just knows that
he has utterly hypnotized this brown-haired thrush
with the grateful, toothless mouth, and that a trip to
heaven via the fellatio express is in the offing (as
foreshadowed by the silhouette of the clarinet-playing
musician in the background).

Quite aside from the tiresome faux-Freudian banalities
of the Id-Ego-Superego triptych, ultimately, what this
powerfully archetypal fable of BEM is telling us is
that all men are different but all women are alike;
this is, in fact, the very same Mechanical Bride motif
so successfully explicated by Gershon Legman (in his
1947 monograph “Love and Death”), and, later, Marshall
McLuhan, and both, incidentally, by way of Walter
Benjamin and Germany’s Frankfurt School– though,
given DC Comics’ then-popularity among unreconstructed
rednecks and hillbillies, we might better refer to
this implicit critique-cum-manifesto as perhaps
belonging more to the Frankfort School of Kentucky.

Looking at this fascinating testament nearly 50 years
after the fact still begs the question: Is this a
study in how to capture and keep the Hausfrau of your
sick-and-twisted fantasies, or is it (as I suspect)
merely the wet-dream of an eternally frustrated sexual
predator?

http://www.dialbforblog.com/archives/260/

 

6. JUMPING THE SHARK

Time was when people say that such and such a
phenomenon was passé or had “peaked” or was “[way]
past its prime” or was “increasingly irrelevant”.

Perhaps this was during that olden era when junk
culture hadn’t yet thoroughly permeated ever cell of
our polity right down to the molecular level.

Now they say it has ‘jumped the shark’.

I blame Mondale. His 1984 crack about Gary
Hart–“Where’s the beef?”–was the first time the
mindless parroting of an ad slogan was treated by the
media solons as political wit of the highest order.

A far cry from John Randolph’s retort to one of his
detractors, who said that it was fitting and just that
a monster such as himself should be impotent and
therefore could not have children.

“You pride yourself, Sir, on a faculty in which your
slave is your equal, and your ass is your superior.”

Most of the things that people use that expression for
were never really very good to begin with. I mean,
really–‘Happy Days’?

We are free to ignore such trash.

Epictetus said it best:

He is free who lives as he wishes to live; who is
neither subject to compulsion nor to hindrance, nor to
force; whose movements to action are not impeded,
whose desires attain their purpose, and who does not
fall into that which he would avoid. Who, then,
chooses to live in error? No man. Who chooses to live
deceived, liable to mistake, unjust, unrestrained,
discontented, mean? No man. Not one then of the bad
lives as he wishes; nor is he, then, free. And who
chooses to live in sorrow, fear, envy, pity, desiring
and failing in his desires, attempting to avoid
something and falling into it? Not one. Do we then
find any of the bad free from sorrow, free from fear,
who does not fall into that which he would avoid, and
does not obtain that which he wishes? Not one; nor
then do we find any bad man free.

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/discourses.4.four.html

Perhaps I sound elitist.

But such elitism is a luxury.

There was only a brief period in history in which what
we call literature was appreciated by large numbers of
people.

That would have been between about 1820 and (roughly)
1950.

The movies began to trivialize the culture by the
1920s and television finished it off in the 50s.

What amazes me, is the number of people who are
willing to argue about popular culture so
passionately. It puts me in mind of magpies scapping
over bits of brightly colored glass and old cigar
butts.

I spent years researching the origins of popular
culture for my history thesis, and I hardly think that
stating a bald fact about the peak years of
near-universal literacy among English-speaking peoples
(documented in, among other sources, ‘The Popular
Book’) makes me an elitist.

I guess what I’m trying to say was that at one time
the reading of books was an integral part of the
dialogue surrounding popular culture, but that for
about the past fifty years, with very rare exceptions,
that is no longer the case.

My father’s father came over in about 1921, and for
many years spoke of how he “worked on Mussolini’s
railroad.” I was the first person on either side of my
family to even so much as attend college.

Finally, I don’t think that the refusal to wallow in
regurgitated pap is necessarily a sign of
snobbery–though I am well aware that in an ostensibly
democratic society it may be considered the very
height of elitism to point out just how many of the
icons cherished by the credulous mob are mere idols of
brass, not gold.

Puking on your date.
Crucifying Christ.
Exterminating the Kulaks?

Right. Jumped the shark.

Admiring your date’s purse?
Purchasing a book on Gnosticism?
Eating cabbage soup?

Now you’re in the groove!

 

7. LIFE IN THE 2000’S

The next time you are cleaning nuclear waste from your
genitalia and grousing about how your testicles have
shriveled, think about how things used to be some 500
years ago. Here are some facts about the 2000s:

Most people got “married”, meaning a man and a woman
were supposed to live together for the rest of their
long and miserable lives. They did so year-round
because the fools fancied they were “free to make
their own decisions.” Ha! Pitiful animals!!

Decontaminant baths were primitive, and usually
consisted of a great deal of bleach and some
scrubbing. Pitiful, and nearly useless in removing
radioactive wastes and preventing their accumulation
in the thyroid gland.

These baths essentially consisted of a glorified
shower. Workers were actually trusted to bathe
themselves, thus ensuring that many would skip one or
more crucial steps and spread their radioactive
contamination everywhere.

Primitive stone houses were held together with mortar,
made from common dirt, and, unbelievably, some houses
were actually made of wood–precious wood! Unlike our
modular houses made of plastic byproducts, these
primitive cave-like hovels were often hot in the
summer and cold and draughty in the winter, instead of
being suffused with a warm green glow year-round.

There was nothing to stop insects from entering the
dwellings of these savages. Even mice, rats, raccoons,
birds, bats, and other unspeakable pests were a
not-uncommon sight.

Many floors were actually made of wood. Precious wood!

(I swear that all of this is true.)

In those olden times, they actually cooked raw meat
and vegetables, sometimes with the dirt still clinging
to them. You may find it hard to believe that these
primitive animals actually devoured with relish such
“grub” as loathesome root vegetables and reeking meat
and fish, but it’s a fact. Many people had at least
heard of powdered nutrients, but they were regarded as
a novelty; “something the astronauts would eat.”

Sometimes they would even eat pork. Filthy pork!

Those with money would indulge in a ritual called
“eating out”, where filthy strangers would actually
physically handle food cooked in kitchens of dubious
hygiene. People known as “health inspectors” were
forced to regularly close down such places due to
health violations so egregious that even these
primitives could not tolerate them.

People regularly ate staple, water-intensive crops
such as wheat and corn, and even rice. Valuable rice!

They would often intoxicate themselves to
near-insensibility with crude, dangerous stupeficants,
which would, of course, only serve to radically weaken
their immune systems, which made them especially
susceptible to cancers, viruses, radiation poisoning,
etc.

Back then, the United States was still considered
vast, and much of it was even thought of as
“underdeveloped.” So it was that the authorities
looked, for the  most part, with a lenient eye towards
swarms of alien interlopers who swarmed in from the
far shores of the teeming planet, bringing with them
incurable diseases and exotic customs even more
unspeakably barbaric and primitive than those of the
“native born” Americans. These people were actually
provided with food, jobs, and health care, and in some
instances were even provided with a free education.
All this money spent on harboring fugitives and
interlopers– while the radiation spread and nothing
was done about it!

Sure, today most of us live underground in vast
subterranean cities, and will pass or entire short
existences from hatching to disintegration without
knowing the feeling of sunshine on our cranial
extrusions. Nevertheless, to live in that savage era
when blood ran dripping red down the mouths and chins
of these unspeakably hairy and smelly men and women is
a fate no right-thinking humanoid would wish upon his
worst podmates.

 

8. INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
If we ever expect long-lasting change, we need a
viable third party.An independent candidate elected or put in place
without party support would be a disaster.Think Tyler. Andrew Johnson. Carter.It’s a sad fact of American politics that the
President can accomplish relatively little without the
backing from some coalition of party stalwarts and
independence-minded opposition party members.

We should look to our past to see how lasting
political changes are made in our polity.

Lincoln and the Republican Party arose out of the
failed Whig party.

Between FDR and LBJ, the modern Democratic Party
evolved from a party that catered to racists to a
party that built its coalition out of a combination of
liberals and minorities.

In both cases, a literal or figurative “new” party had
to arise out of the failed remnants of an old, failed
party.

However, I believe that the Democrats have so
thoroughly compromised themselves in order to remain
viable that if any party is going to “recast” itself,
it will be the Republicans.

And I don’t see that happening for a long, long time.

Therefore, a new party will need to arise that will
appeal to the broadest possible fraction of the
electorate.

Anything less will cast this putative third party into
the role of a ‘spoiler’ in the electoral arena.

The last viable third parties we had were in the teens
and twenties. In 1912, TR’s Progressives came in
second with about 27% of the vote.

In 1924, La Follette racked up an impressive total in
terms of electoral votes and popular vote.

But even these comparatively successful politicians
were merely spoilers in the two-party race.

Look to Thurmond and Wallace’s 1948 run. Truman pulled
it out in spite of two spoilers in the race, but if
Dewey hadn’t been such a stiff and if Truman’s machine
hadn’t been able to mobilize urban blacks, Truman
would have lost.

Look to Wallace’s run in 1968. He very nearly cost
Nixon the election.

As for Nader and Buchanan in 2000–well, that’s been
discussed to death. The fact is, historians will
probably agree that the Florida election results were
suspect, and Gore got some very bad advice regarding
how to challenge the results.

So. What we need, I think, is a viable third party
structure that will place third party candidates in
Congress. That way, when a President from that party
runs, he can’t be cast as a “mere” spoiler. And, when
that President is elected, he or she will have a party
infrastructure in place that will facilitate
legislative accomplishments and well as the
all-too-crucial fundraising.

9. THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

At the risk of sounding like a poor man’s Charles
Peters,  I suspect that we don’t need a President. We need a
Pope. Someone of  irreproachable moral stature who could rule by fiat
and make this country swallow some bitter medicine.

Hmm, let’s see….

He or she would thereby be able to:

Eliminate the home mortgage interest deduction.

Cut radically back on Pentagon spending and the space
program.

Restore 1960-era tax rates on the wealthy.

And use those savings to:

Forgive third world debt.

Nationalize health care.

Develop clean wind, geothermal, and solar energy
alternatives.

Develop alternatives to the internal combustion
engine.

Work on the problem of factory emissions.

Pass an Agriculture bill.

Build up the infrastructure with a WPA-like program
that would employ the underclass (‘steada using them
for cannon fodder).

Build the price of auto insurance into the price of
gasolene, so that the more you drive, the more you
pay.

Perhaps this Godlike leader could also break the power
of the Teacher’s unions and get some more classroom
instructors into those schools where they are most
needed.

And then break through the tangled morass of special
interest groups and announce that thenceforth those
people who are working to make this country healthy
will be favored, and all others will be forced to wait
their turn at the end of the line. So we bump
environmentalist groups to the front and the NRA all
the way to the back of that line.

But who am I kidding? The American people have
historically always rejected statism except for a
brief period between 1933 and roughly 1938, during a
national emergency so severe that even farmers were
dumping their milk into the streams rather than sell
it for less than what it had cost them to make.

I suspect that most Americans would rather wallow in
their own shit than be compelled in any way to clean
up their act.

Maybe if we could implement these reforms one state at
a time there would be a chance, but there would always
be some holdouts, and, yes, I do mean the Old
Confederacy.

Note to people who are still nostalgic about Ross
Perot:

DO YOU NOT RECALL THAT THE MAN DROPPED OUT OF THE ’92
PRESIDENTIAL RACE BECAUSE HE CLAIMED THAT MEN IN BLACK
HELICOPTERS WERE TRYING TO DISRUPT HIS DAUGHTER’S
WEDDING?

That he selected Admiral Stockdale (“Who am I? What am
I doing here?”) as his running mate?

Thet he entered the race largely due to a 20-year old
grudge against George H.W. Bush?

That he claimed he dropped out of the Naval Academy
due to all the “excessive cussing” he was being
exposed to?

That while at IBM, all his employees had to wear blue
shirts? (OK, that actually makes some kind of sewnse
next to the first four items).

Seriously–the man did not play well with others. His
political judgment was highly questionable. His
presidency would most likely have been an unmitigated
disaster. He would have had no standing among
Democrats or Republicans, no political base, and would
likely have gone off like a flash the second he was
criticized in the press. He would have been more
ineffectual than Carter and more paranoid than Nixon.

Speaking of whom, it was good ole Pat Buchanan who
wrote speeches for Nixie and his running mate, Agnew.
When Spiro referred to the Press as “an impudent corps
of effete intellectual snobs” he was using Buchanan’s
rhetoric. Like “cosmopolitan,” I suspect this was code
for “Jews.” Ohh, Nixon and Agnew were pipperoos, all
right. You might not remember how Agnew had the
charming habit of referring to folks as “Polacks” and
“fat Japs.”

Yes, say what you will about the glorious
accomplishments of those colorful political figures of
the early 1970s, folks like Perot and Buchanan were
legendary for their crudity and poor political
instincts.

Ohh, but here’s the piece de resistance. Earl Butz,
Sec’y of Ag under Nixon and Ford, told a joke on a
plane to some of his confreres.

“What are the three things a black man wants most?
Loose shoes, tight pussy, and a warm place to shit.”

It was none other than John Dean who ratted Butz out
to the Press and Butz was forced to resign!

Funny though–nobody seems to be very upset over the
salty joke that John McCain told about Chelsea
Clinton….

Q: Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
A: Because she’s the daughter of Hillary Clinton and
Janet Reno.

 

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THE INFORMATION #913 NOVEMBER 4, 2016

THE INFORMATION #913

NOVEMBER 4, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite. — G. K. Chesterton

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN

CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-FIVE: KINGDOM COME

“Yob, let me tell you this,” said Count Victor Justin. “The way to becoming legitimately wealthy is long and slow–agonizingly slow. If you can somehow lay down a pile of dosh by betting on a sure thing, and stealing a march on the competition, then by all means do so–but also know well that a sure thing comes along maybe once or twice in a lifetime. Unless you managed to gaff the wager beforehand. That certainly isn’t out of the question. Only, don’t get caught. You will take a beating, at the very least, if your patsy finds out you’re working a set of loaded dice or playing with marked cards.”

We strolled past Feist’s Cigar Store, where the Count was wont to hand out cheap stogies to his cronies and to hob-nob with the movers of shakers of Blowtown in particular and all of Noxtown in general. It was a rather chilly autumn night, and the store was closed and shuttered. “Must have been a death in the family,” he muttered. “Old Man Feist almost never closes his shop this early. Ah well,” he said. “This will give us a chance to continue with our evening constitutional, where I will continue to pour sage advice in your ear, and you will do that job you do so well, which is to listen. What have you been doing with that money I’ve been giving you, Cadger Tandy?”

I told him that I was saving it in my mattress, in the area under my pillow.

“Good, good!” he boomed. “Banks are no good. You never know when a Panic will come along and sweep away all your hard-earned dosh. But listen, Yob–hiding your dough in the mattress is a sucker play. You ought to find a better hiding place. Someplace that’s not even in the room. A chink in a rooftop chimney is good. A loose floorboard in the cellar. Someplace that’s not too easy to get at. So–what do you intend to do with that money, once you’ve saved up a tidy pile? Are you planning to loan it out at interest?”

I confessed that such a thought had never occurred to me.

“Well, that’s just as well. You ought to consult with me before you do anything with that pile. Now, make no mistake about it–the money is yours; I won’t ever ask for it back. But I would be interested to see if you have any ideas about how best to spend it. You’re not planning to make an investment in the stock market, are you?”

I confessed that I wouldn’t have the first idea about how to even go about doing such a thing.

“Again, I suppose you’ve dodged a bullet there. Let me put you wise, Yob: The stock market, and investments of that sort, constitute plain old gambling, pure and simple. It’s no better than betting on the ponies. Especially for the little guy. Better you should shovel your ooftish down an endless rathole. This is not to say that if you know what you’re doing, you can’t make a killing. But let me pull your coat to another fact–in this life, very, very few people actually know what they’re doing. A great many suckers wouldn’t be able to pour piss out of their boots if the instructions was written on the heel. They wouldn’t hollar Sooie if the hogs was eatin’ them. They don’t even know what a whole lot of nines are.

“No, Yob–if you’re going to work to get rich quick, it very likely ain’t a-gonna happen. The suckers in hell all want ice water–but they ain’t a-gonna get it. Your best bet is to hew to the straight and narrow. Get an inside job; one that requires you to hustle. Work hard; impress the Boss, anticipate his needs, cater to them. The old brown nose will do the trick. It’s transparent; most men who get to be the Boss aren’t totally gullible fools; he’ll know what your doing. But he’ll like it, all the same. Who wouldn’t? Even a sick dog will swish his tail when you pat him on the head. Your Boss may look like a lofty figure to you, but he’s not any kind of a God–he’s human; maybe even more human than you. After all, what are you to him? Just another punk. Your wants and needs are absurd to him. All he cares about is squeezing the very last drop of work out of you. That’s the game, and the better you play it, the faster you’ll advance. But know this–in your drive to occupy the boardrooms of power you may never get any further than the vestibule. Not unless you have some kind of an in. Like, for instance, you marry the boss’ daughter. A match made in heaven, but lived in hell. It’s more than likely to be the case. Better you should woo the Boss’s secretary, in a harmless sort of boyish way. Nine times out of ten, she’s the real power behind the throne. Yes–that withered old crone with her hair in a bun could very likely run the whole joint quite well if the Boss were permanently or otherwise indisposed. He knows it; she knows he knows it; and you’d better know it too, if you know what’s good for you. Little gifts of chocolate and flowers go a long way–and don’t be cheap about it–don’t you be fishing those flowers out of a dustbin, Yob–women everywhere have a sixth sense when it comes to used goods of that stripe.

“Anyhoo, before long, that ugly old Secretary will have your Boss convinced that you can do no wrong, and that your shit tastes like chocolate ice cream. And then–you’ll have an in.  

“Now, if all this sounds like too much work–and, believe me, it is–and if you’ve therefore come around to deviating from the straight and narrow path, then the best way to make a lot of money is to get your meathooks into some kind of office job where a lot of money is being handed back and forth, and then worm your way into a position of trust. Who knows but that the boss won’t carelessly leave the safe open someday, and leave you in a position to abscond with twenty thousand smackeroos? Then you can move to sunny Mexico, and live like a goddamn King. After about thirty years, you can come back to live stateside, under an alias, for by then everyone who matters will have forgotten all about it. 

“Mind you, I’m not saying that you should actually do such a thing. But I am trying to plant a seed in the impressionable garden that is your mind–that such a path to riches is not beyond the realm of possibility. Of course, it is all the better if you could somehow contrive to pin the robbery on some other chump. Trouble is, that never is, and never can be, a sure thing. Unless you get yourself a good shyster lawyer. And arrange to bribe the jury. Or better still–the judge.”

1*SALUTATION

THE FOUR BEST SONGS FROM “EMITT RHODES”

“Some old hippie working at a small record store in PA (early 80s) called this McCartney’s best solo album. Pretty funny.”

“Live till You Die”
“You Should Be Ashamed”
“Lullaby”
“Fresh as a Daisy”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CvzawbXLS8

ALSO SEE:

MIRROR

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtLgQK5v5HM

THE AMERICAN DREAM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdnTJEBSY90

THE MERRY-GO-ROUND

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YtEYKTf7v0

2*REFERENCE

WHAT TO MAKE OF T.S. ELIOT?

https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2016/fall/feature/what-make-t-s-eliot

3*HUMOR

WORST FACEBOOK QUOTES

http://twentytwowords.com/people-on-facebook-who-will-probably-make-you-feel-smart/

4*NOVELTY

The 15 oddest brand-licensed comics

http://www.cbr.com/15-oddest-brand-licensed-comics

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

KURT VONNEGUT IN 1991: BOB DYLAN IS THE WORST POET ALIVE

http://pitchfork.com/news/69151-kurt-vonnegut-in-1991-bob-dylan-is-the-worst-poet-alive/

6* DAILY UTILITY

DAD TURNS HIS SIX-YEAR OLD SON’S DRAWINGS INTO REALITY

http://www.boredpanda.com/kid-drawings-things-i-have-drawn-dom/

ALSO SEE:

MAD MAGAZINE: If kids designed their own Xmas toys

This classic entry is from the January 1963 issue of MAD Magazine. Pure comedy gold.

http://thatsmyskull.blogspot.com/2005/12/mad-magazine-if-kids-designed-their.html

SEE ALSO:

Fan art fails
artofericwayne.com/2015/05/31/fan-art-fails-2/

7*CARTOON

CULT OF THE CLOWN

BY KIM DEITCH (1972)
dochermes.livejournal.com/530182.html

8*PRESCRIPTION 

INVENTIONS WHICH DIDN’T CATCH ON

http://offbeat.topix.com/slideshow/17822

9*RUMOR PATROL

EAT STATIC’S ALIEN DOLLAR BILL HOAX

http://1061evansville.com/does-adjusting-the-contrast-on-dollar-bill-photo-make-an-alien-appear-photo/

10* LAGNIAPPE

OUR BOARDING HOUSE DAILIES 1934
A guy like me who dug the 1927 gathering of OUR BOARDING HOUSE dailies reviewed ages back would definitely be game for any other sampling of prime Gene Ahern comicdom that may be available. Thus these ’34 comics come in mighty handily what with more of that same ol’ cornballus yet sophisto screwball humor that might have stymied a suburban slob kiddo like me age ten, but nowadays come off like the sorta comic reading manna I’ve been hunkerin’ for these past few odd decades.

Some pretty tasty storylines here including one where Major Hoople actually has a remarkably surprising streak of gambling luck much to the surprise of boarders Mack, Clyde and Buster, not to mention his fortunes with a supposedly bunk goldmine that actually hits big. Of course a li’l bitta bad luck does reign into the otherwise boom-filled world of Hoople when his lookalike ‘cept for the bald head brother Jake comes to town for one of his yearly mooch offs and tries suing the Major because Jake gave him the deed to the mine as collateral and wants what he thinks’ a’ comin’ to him. And even the Major comes out on top on that ‘un!

There’s also a story brewin’ where Hoople, on the advice of his odd jobs worker Jason, invests in a racehorse the Major names Dreadnaught not to mention the usual tall tales and even a few where nephew Alvin takes his violin lessons to new atonal heights equal to Jack Benny’s workouts with Professor LeBlanc! Of course it’s all a real sight to behold from the gag-infused dialogue to the old thin-pen style that looks as if each and every drawing took a good number of hours to complete what with the detail and other particulars just not seen these days. And although I’ve read a good portion of the 1935 strips via other collections and various clippings lying around well…just can’t wait to read ’em again but you’ll have to wait a few weeks to read what I think about THOSE…–Christopher Stigliano

http://black2com.blogspot.com/

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

15 MASTERS OF ONSTAGE BANTER

http://www.avclub.com/article/more-talk-less-rock-15-masters-of-onstage-banter-2016

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE 2. SATTOUF. ****1/2

BADASS. THOMPSON. ***1/2

BATGIRL 3. MINDFIELD. ***1/2

BATMAN 8. BLOOM. ***1/2

THE BIRTH OF KITARO. MIZUKI. ***1/2

BLACK PANTHER 1. A NATION UNDER OUR FEET. ***1/2

BUSTED. RUDERMAN & LAKER. ***1/2

CAPTAIN MARVEL 1. RISE OF ALPHA FLIGHT. ***

THE CRACKLE OF THE FROST. MATTOTI & ZENTNER. ****1/2

CYBORG 1. UNPLUGGED. ***

DC COMICS/DARK HORSE COMICS. ALIENS. ***

DIARY OF A TOKYO TEEN. INZER. ***

DOG WHISTLES, WALK-BACKS & WASHINGTON HANDSHAKES. MCCUTCHEON & MARK. ****

EIGHTBALL. VOL. 1 &2. CLOWES. ****1/2

ELSEWORLDS: BATMAN. VOL. 1. **1/2

THE FLASH 7. SAVAGE WORLD. ***1/2

FLOATING CITY. VENKATESH. ***1/2

THE GOLDEN COMPASS: A GRAPHIC NOVEL 2. ****

THE GREATEST OF MARLYS. BARRY. ****

GREEN LANTERN CORPS. THE LOST ARMY. ***

HALF-EARTH. WILSON. ****1/2

MACHINE MAN. KIRBY & DITKO. ***

MARIE ANTOINETTE, PHANTOM QUEEN. GOETZINGER. ****

MEGAHEX. HANSELMANN. ****

MIGHTY THOR 1. THUNDER IN HER VEINS. AARON. ***1/2

MOON COP. GAULD. ****

MOON GIRL AND DEVIL DINOSAUR 1. bff. ***

OUT OF OUR HEADS. CASE. ***1/2

PLUTONA 1. LEMIRE. ***1/2

PRIVATE BEACH. HAHN. ***

QUIET. CAIN. ****

THE RISE AND FALL OF AXIOM. WAID. ****

ROLLING BLACKOUTS. GLIDDEN. ****

SPIDER-MAN. FLYING BLIND. ***1/2

STARVE 2. WOOD. ***1/2

STORMWATCH 1. THE DARK SIDE. ***1/2

UNCANNY AVENGERS UNITY 1. LOST FUTURE. ***1/2

UNKIND WORDS. ALLEN. ****

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

  1. THE DAY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN RAN OUT OF STORIES TO TELL

“Good evening, good evening. I remember standing on the corner of Kingsly Ave. and I was just 17 years old and man it was hot, and there were these girls lying out on the beach. So fine man, and you know just out of my reach. We used to call them Pretty Flamingos, you know. Like one of the guys would come by and I’d say hey Clarence, check out those Pretty flamingos and he’d say something like “Shut the fuck up Bruce.” HeHehe, but that was Clarence man, HEheeheHE. Anyway, my old man wouldn’t let me have sugar as a kid and he’d always be yelling at me, “Bruce” he’d say “I better not catch you with any sugar.” You know? He’d be down in the kitchen eating his baloney and cheese on white bread and I hear him yelling up to me, “You better not be eating any god damn sugar up there.”

And there was this old place back then, that we used to play at called the Gaslight, it ain’t around no more, and man we’d be there ’till four in the morning some nights you know, just playing. They had this Mr. Softy soft serve ice cream in the back. Man, sometimes it be all I’d think about. Mr. Softy man, I just couldn’t get him out of my head. Both flavors man, vanilla and chocolate. And there was this bin with that stuff you put on top, Jimmy’s. We used to call them Jimmy’s but I’ve heard them called sprinkles too. Rainbow Jimmy’s man HeHeehe. And I’d be playing up on stage with the guys but I’d be thinking, you know, maybe I could just sneak a cone you know, the old man wouldn’t find out. Or maybe, just maybe, I could stick my head under the tap and Steve could pull the handle, I wouldn’t even need a cone.

But I never did it man, I never did it. I always thought the old man would jump out from somewhere, you know, no matter how late it was. I kept thinking he’d just pop out of nowhere and stab me in the neck with a Spork and yell “I told you no god damn sugar, kid.” You know what a spork is Clarence? It’s like spoon and a fork together in one utensil; it’s good for eating chili and stew, HeeHeehe.

So around this time we started making a little money with the band and I got my first car, a ’57 Chevy, thirty miles highway, and a Hurst on the floor. It had Flames on it and everything, man it was hot! Twenty five city. And once I got that thing going man I just drove and drove you know, I didn’t care where I was going. Days went by, I’m telling you, I just drove, didn’t stop for anything, not gas or food, I didn’t even stop for the bathroom, I just went in the car. HeeheHee. So I found myself at this little ice cream place in the middle of nowhere. And I just knew the old man couldn’t find me out there. And I went up to the lady at the stand and I said ‘I’d like a Mr. Softy’ and she said to me, she said ‘son, the machine’s broke.’ This song’s called The River.”

http://www.johnnyamerica.com/archives/2007/05/22/21.19.47/

THE INFORMATION #912 OCTOBER 28, 2016

THE INFORMATION #912
OCTOBER 28, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.–Adam Smith

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-FOUR: KINGDOM COME
Early in the Autumn, during a balmy Indian Summer evening, when the moon was full and bright, Count Justin Victor signalled me to meet him at the back entrance of the Seven Stars, and, when we had emerged into the filthy alley, asked me if I wished to accompany him on a walk. Since he usually gave me at least a fifty-cent piece, I greedily and eagerly assented.
 
“Listen, Yob,” said he,  as we strolled through Holly Park, “I know that you’re practically an orphan and you practically live in the streets and you only ever lay your head to rest in the cathouse with the zooks and morts. I know that you have practically no one to talk to; that you have almost no friends who are your own age. Smash Conklin is always on your case; the copper on the beat looks at you sideways, and none of the fruit vendors trust you to keep your hands to yourself. I also know that you skip school a lot; that you hardly even bother to go; that you’d rather hand around with the loochers and bummers over t’ The Seven Stars. I know that Red Mary hardly gives a hot damn whether you even go to school or not, because she’s got her own problems with Smash Conklin and Cokey Stolas and all that lot. That is unfortunate. Don’t you know that if you don’t learn your readin’ and cipherin’ that you’ll constantly be cheated?
 
“But the cold hard fact is this: that that here in Blowtown, nobody gives a good goddamn if you kids run wild or not. Then again, how could you expect them to give a hoot in hell, what with the honest few working 12 and 14 hour days and the grifters and sharpers half-hoping you won’t get on your high horse with them, and therefore welcoming signs of badness in the tender young. I have seen many a loocher tell a child that he was a smart boy if he cheated an old junk peddler out of a nickel, or stole a bucket of beer out from under a rummy, or socked a toddler in the eye to take away his piece of penny candy. It’s dog eat dog in this part of the world. Nobody admires weakness in Blowtown, and that’s a dead cert. The only way to get ahead is to get in with a gang of ruffians who consider themselves to be wise gees. Book-learnin’ and all its associated notions are accounted as useless in this neighborhood. Piety? Don’t be a chump! Respect for the old? That’s for weak sisters, and mollycoddles. Visiting the sick and giving alms to the poor? Why, it’s enough to make a cat laugh! Try to do something decent, and all the b’hoys will say that you’re putting on airs, and they’re likely to waylay you in a cul-de-sac and leave you with two generous shiners for your trouble. Everyone respects a belligerent cripple, but nobody likes a smooth-faced son of a bitch who carries around a sanctimonious air. You would do well to remember that last detail above all others. 
 
“Because nobody wants or needs a goody two-shoes. If you’re going to run errands for all the old yellofs, why, then you’d best make it clear that you expect to be paid–otherwise, folks will account you a softie, and you’ll never live it down. Why invite trouble? The only thing the kids around here are good for is to raise a ruckus and cause riots. Breaking shop windows and terrorizing old ladies. Setting fires and blowing up small animals with firecrackers. And the so-called adults ain’t much better. Getting drunk. Getting into fights. Women getting beat up. Whole families coming out to avenge her honor and getting into fights with other whole families. The faintest sign of disrespect is a signal to launch into a full-blown Donnybrook. And for what? All these loathsome drunken brutes have to do around here to amuse themselves around here is to fuck, and fight, and then fuck some more. Nobody expects a yellof to do well. Hell, nobody expects a yellof to live much past 25. By 30, you’re a wreck. By 40, you’re an old man, and ready for the boneyard. And very few who grow up in Blowtown and continue to call it their home ever manage to escape it. It’s like scorpions in a bottle, y’see. You try to crawl out and the others always drag you back down. What makes you so special, that you should maybe be a clean and decent person, and make something of yourself, maybe? Maybe be a man of substance? Fat chance of that. In order to accomplish anything, you must flee from here, and venture far. The further the better. Because it’s a known fact that people can’t stand to see someone rise above their circumstances. The poor are jealous and the rich are scornful of you and your humble origins. They call you an arriviste, and worse. 
 
“People will tell you that once you grow up in the gutter, you never lose your taste for it, and to be sure, there’s some truth in that. Any number of telling details will give you away, and alert people who are socially skilled will be wise to the fact that you are far from being to the manor born. You might as well try to hide the fact that you have three eyes. People can tell from the smallest signs that you are not a member of their tribe. The rich will despise you if you’re low born, and the poor will resent you if you are trying to better yourself in any material or even immaterial way. You may say that I’m a cynic, but any man who tells you otherwise is either a liar or a fool. You may not be a cynic–yet. Or maybe you already are. Me, I say that it’s never too soon to be with it and for it. But be wise–once you sup from the devil’s long spoon, it won’t be long before he has you putting your fingers in his fire.   
 
“In fact, if you’re already of a certain dark cast and you find yourself in a certain kind of rainy day and black cat mood, you can come very easily to the conclusion that nobody around here gives a tinker’s fart if you live and die. It makes you want to wander out to the woods, lie down under a blanket of leaves, and croak right then and there. You picture how, centuries later, they might find your bleached bones and wonder who you were and how you came to be there.   
 
“Everyone has their black moods. They pass. For a time, you may think that life has no purpose ner meaning. But it does. It does. You got to use it to better yourself in every conceivable way possible. And then you get to use your elevated position. You get to use it to get even with all the crumbs that ever done you dirt. It’s very important that nobody ever gets away with nothin’. They all must pay. ‘The question is which is to be master–that’s all.’ That’s the iron law of nature, and I can tell from looking at you, Cadger Tandy, that you’re nothing more or less than Destiny’s Tot.”   
1*SALUTATION
THE COLLINS KIDS
LET’S HAVE A PARTY
SHORTNIN’ BREAD and HOT ROD
 
HUSH MONEY
LORRIE AND LARRY COLLINS
WHISTLE BAIT
JOE MAPHIS AND LARRY COLLINS
FLYING FINGERS
2*REFERENCE
THE FIGHT TO SAVE COMICS FROM THE CENSOR
3*HUMOR
GRIN AND BEAR IT
GEORGE LICHTY
 
ALSO SEE:
LOVE IS… ARCHIVES
 
SEE ALSO:
READ COMIC BOOKS ONLINE FOR FREE
4*NOVELTY
EIGHT CARTOON CHARACTERS THAT RAN FOR PRESIDENT
 
ALSO SEE:
“Brilliantly Wrong: The Cartoons of The Onion’s Stan Kelly”
 
SEE ALSO:
THE ONLY EDITORIAL CARTOON WORTH READING
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

CHAOS DESTROY

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE
Worst band ever?
6* DAILY UTILITY

Y’all, You’uns, Yinz, Youse: How Regional Dialects Are Fixing Standard English

7*CARTOON

STERANKO’S OUTLAND

MOBY
ARE YOU LOST IN THE WORLD LIKE ME? (VIDEO)
 
ALSO SEE
QUEEN FOR A DAY

A truly ghastly show with the smarmiest, most passive-agressive host in the annals of show business…. A train wreck for young and old!!!–Michael Karp

I remember it well, and it made me very uncomfortable even at that tender age. It appeared to be an endless parade of melancholy women vying for most pitiful, which it was, as measured by that ridiculous meter…and then, the robe and THAT HIDEOUS CROWN!–Carl Smith
9*RUMOR PATROL
THE UNIVERSE IS FAR BIGGER THAN WE THOUGHT
 
ALSO SEE:
GREAT BARRIER REEF PRONOUNCED DEAD BY SCIENTISTS
10* LAGNIAPPE
THE ROLLING STONES
COCKSUCKER BLUES PART ONE AND TWO
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE GROWING CHARM OF DADA
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
871. BOB DYLAN’S PLAYBOY INTERVIEW
Genius? Or the ravings of a marijuana-addled eight year old? YOU decide!
PLAYBOY: Mistake or not, what made you decide to go the rock-‘n’-roll route?
BOB DYLAN: Carelessness. I lost my one true love. I started drinking. The next thing I know, I’m in a card game. Then I’m in a crap game. I wake up in a pool hall. Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia. She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. I start working in a dime store, and move in with a 13-year-old girl. Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns the house down. I go down to Dallas. I get a job as a “before” in a Charles Atlas “before and after” ad. I move in with a delivery boy who can cook fantastic chili and hot dogs. Then this 13-year-old girl from Phoenix comes and burns the house down. The delivery boy – he ain’t so mild: He gives her the knife, and the next thing I know I’m in Omaha. It’s so cold there, by this time I’m robbing my own bicycles and frying my own fish. I stumble onto some luck and get a job as a carburetor out at the hot-rod races every Thursday night. I move in with a high school teacher who also does a little plumbing on the side, who ain’t much to look at, but who’s built a special kind of refrigerator that can turn newspaper into lettuce. Everything’s going good until that delivery boy shows up and tries to knife me. Needless to say, he burned the house down, and I hit the road. The first guy that picked me up asked me if I wanted to be a star. What could I say?
PLAYBOY: And that’s how you became a rock-‘n’-roll singer?
BOB DYLAN: No, that’s how I got tuberculosis.
 
ALSO SEE:
THE VENTURES OF ZIMMERMAN

THE INFORMATION #911 OCTOBER 21, 2016

THE INFORMATION #911
OCTOBER 21, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com
He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it.– Seneca

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-THREE: KINGDOM COME
 
“By’m large,” said Count Victor Justin, to the mostly drunken and entirely half-attentive loochers at the Seven Stars Tavern, “circus freaks and carny geeks don’t give a good goddamn what you think of them, just so long as the ooftish keeps flowing. All these little squirrels, busy a-gathering up their nuts. Most of all, the Clowns, who tend to be clannish, and keep to themselves. You know the red noses they all have? That’s to hide their real red noses, because they’re all drunks, and worse. Gagsters and gangsters–there’s not much of a difference between ’em, when all is said and done. Don’t get me wrong–I don’t think I’m any better than a clown. Well–maybe just a little better. But, after all, we’re all a fool for something. Me, I’m a fool for the long con, and swindling people out of their shekels, and spending all of it as fast as I can make it. I agree with Victor Hugo: ‘An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.’
 
“But the thing about being a clown is, unless you were born and raised in the circus and grew up knowing all about the life, it’s not something that you would get into on a voluntary basis. It’s more like being a trash man, or a janitor, or a hod-carrier. It’s something you do when you got no brains and you’ve run out of all your other options. Let’s face it–nobody is ever going to elect a clown as Citizen of the Year. That’s because most clowns are actually little more than police characters who aren’t even good at being bad. They even failed at failure. They came in second in a stupidity contest, because they were stupid. Clowns are not funny in and of themselves. That’s not the point. That’s never been the point. If they were funny, they would be a success, and then they wouldn’t be funny anymore. No–what clowns are good at, more than anything else, is being laughed at. Some people, it should point out, are more talented at this accomplishment than others. You might say they were to the manner born.  
 
“Now, there’s a reason why the clown’s pratfalls and slapstick usually seem to revolve around policemen and firemen. It’s because, in civilian life, many of these selfsame clowns used to be burglars and firebugs who were well known to the authorities. Let me set you straight about something: It takes enormous brass balls to be a burglar. Not that I’m  encouraging anyone to take up that particular occupation. Good Lord, no. It’s a mug’s game. Most of them are washed up by the time they’re in their 40s. But, just think of it. To be a good second-story man, as opposed to a garden-variety smash-and-grab artist, like Uglyface Conklin, you need to be in good physical shape. There’s lots of climbing up and down trellises and the like, and squeezing your way into and out of basement windows. I’ve never once seen a fat burglar. You also need to have some smarts, and be able to think quickly on your feet. If you’re a wised-up gee, you don’t get caught; or, if you do get caught, you know what to say in order to get yourself off the hook. I don’t pretend to know the trade secrets of the burglar’s racket; I’m simply repeating what some well-known cracksmen have told me from time to time, when they were in their cups.  I make it my business to know about these things. 
 
“Like, how do you know when a house is ripe for the picking? Well, usually the owners have gone away for an extended period. That’s why burglars read the society pages, and the funeral notices. It may seem kind of ghoulish, but funerals are some of the best reasons people leave their homes unoccupied, and you can go and rifle though their belongings to your heart’s content, provided you got the timing right. Also, when people go on vacation, they might tell the milkman and the iceman and the coal man not to deliver. But very few people remember to have the mail held for them when they’re on extended trips. They might have some neighbor go and pick up the mail; only, more often than not, the neighbor forgets. Or can’t be bothered. Same thing with newspapers. Sometimes the neighbor just forgets, and that right there is a sure sign your mark has gone on an extended trip. Also, if it’s the summer, you watch to see if  the grass is mown. Little things like that. To be a good cracksman, you’ve got to be observant. Is there a dog? Sometimes, if there’s a dog, you can bribe the mutt with choice cuts of meat. But, usually, it’s a no-go. No burglar ever wants to have to kill a dog, especially a big slavering brute, so chances are, unless he has the dope jitters, he’s not going to bother with a house that keeps a vicious, barking dog. 
 
“Of course, sometimes homeowners make it easy for a crook. They leave a spare key under the doormat, or some lawn ornament, or a milk jug, or a flowerpot. Every crook checks those places first. And they hide money and jewelry in their underwear drawer, or in the icebox, or under their mattress, which are always the first three places any housebreaker is going to look.
 
“But, like, what do you say when the owner catches you in the act red-handed? Well, here’s a cute stunt I heard of once. The yellof put on a lush act and said he was dying for a drink, and thought the homeowner might have some good old booze stashed away. This was a minor stroke of genius. Unless the yellof has a gun, he might be inclined to simply let you go, because you planted that small seed of doubt in his mind, and really–he doesn’t want to try to hold you, and have the police tramping through his house–unless’n he’s a hard case, or a shitheel.
 
“Anyway, clowns have a lot in common with house robbers, and maybe that’s why women don’t tend to like ’em very much. They are both lonely professions and both of them take a lot of falls and tally up a whole mess of failures.
 
“You see, circus folk and criminals and such, why, they’re really a tribe in and of themselves. Just like streetcar conductors, and policemen, and yellofs who pan for gold. All of ’em got their own specialized lingo. Although,” he said with a crooked smile, “‘Shitheel'” is a good all-purpose denunciation amongst every last one of them.” 
1*SALUTATION
Here are the first 30 seconds of the truly great version of “Heart of Darkness” found on the Pere Ubu bootleg “Don’t Expect Art”:
2*REFERENCE
Passages from the writings of Amanda McKittrick Ros (1860-1939), widely considered the worst novelist of all time
3*HUMOR
TEN THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT SAY TO A DJ
 
4*NOVELTY
50 PHOTOS WHICH SUM UP EACH OF THE 50 STATES
 
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
66 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY

6* DAILY UTILITY

 
8*PRESCRIPTION 

The CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual

9*RUMOR PATROL
KILLER CLOWNS
10* LAGNIAPPE
EASTER WEEK CANDY FROM 1971
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
ELECTION COVERAGE
I can’t wait until the election season is over, so we can all go back to pursuing our callow enthusiasms amid a waist-high tide of media sewage.

THE INFORMATION #910 OCTOBER 14, 2016

THE INFORMATION #910

OCTOBER 14, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour on it, the more it will contract.–O.W. Holmes, Sr.

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART NINETY-TWO: KINGDOM COME
“As you can tell, I’m down on the South,” said Count Victor Justin, “but I’m even more down on the yellofs as sniff happy dust and catarrh powders and such. No good has ever come of such behavior. Horse turns you into an imbecile who thinks he’s above it all, and the talking powder makes you into a monster of selfishness and conceit. Small wonder, then, that these were the two most popular novelties among the men who worked on the midway. As far as the catarrh powders go, they have their uses, I suppose: where do you think the talker got his jabbering jitters; how does the kinker who works the circus show have the stamina to persist; and what about the fellow who pounds tent stakes in the hard ground for eight hours straight; where does he get his energy from?  As for circus clowns, they all smoke muggles, and some of them have got the morphine habit on top of that, so they can deal with the pain from taking all of them pratfalls. Don’t even bother to ask me about clowns, because I might just tell you.
 
“OK,” he said, “you asked for it. Most of the clowns you see on a circus lot are lammisters. Their makeup makes a splendid disguise. What was their crime to begin with? The usual, predictable array–picking pockets, petty theft, vandalism, loitering, begging, mayhem, public intoxication, vending without a licence. But quite a few of these clowns were also kiddy-diddlers who got run out of town. Face it–anyone who hangs around where kids gather is a likely suspect; not only for that loathsome vice, but for others as well, such as peddling drugs. The high school janitor; the soda jerk. You name it.  Hell, in Blowtown, all the soda jerks are flying high on the happy dust. You can see it in their eyes. Their pupils are the size of pinheads. Also, young folk who don’t want to be tampered with should beware of people who have a great deal of contact with the general public. Store clerks;  bellhops; anyone who works in a restaurant. If you could peer at the world through these spectacles of mine, you would see that nearly everyone you meet is running some kind of con or another, or concealing a loathsome vice, or, likely, both. 
 
“Say, no one ever got fat pitching fast balls past ME. Let me tell you something that’s a stone cold fact. J’you ever watch an old man throwing bread to the birds from a bench in the park? I have; and I’ll tell the world. Me, Yobs, I divvy all the people in the world into two main categories. I call ’em pigeons and sparrows. The rich man throws out the bread crumbs. The pigeons are big enough to bully their way through the scrum of shitbirds and gather up those crumbs. But the sparrows are nimble enough to snatch those very same crumbs out from under and fly far far away. Now, be advised: it’s a sure fact that in any gathering of any size, there’s scads of pigeons–but it’s the sparrows who get fat. Me–I’m a sparrow.
 
“Down South,” said Count Victor Justin, “there are a good many otherwise harmless church-going God-fearing elderly women who suck down that good Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup like lemonade. Some of them, of course, prefer the stupefying joys of soothing Chlorodyne, while still others swear by the salubrious effects of that fine old McMunn’s Elixir. Some of the ladies like their chloral, while still others take bromides. The menfolk, of course, have their tanglefoot moonshine and the like. The hidden truth of the matter is that the whole southland is to this very day still infested with drug fiends of every stripe and kidney. But it’s all on the q.t., you see, and people just don’t talk about it. Only the pharmacist knows, and the good old family G.P.
 
“To be sure, you could always find a croaker who was more than willing to prescribe such slop. Not the family doctor–heaven forfend! But for a dead cert you can always go find some permanently befoozled old quack who’s lost his license, maybe, but he still has his prescription pads and will wallpaper the rooms of your flophouse bedsitter with ’em, just so long as the ducats are forthcoming and the ooftish bird sings. Lots of these script-grinders? All too often, they are dope fiends themselves. And the druggist who looks the other way when a twelve-year-old walks in with a half-sawbuck and walks out with 450 grains of morphine? He’s probably got money troubles that are caused by a weakness for gambling at cards, or visiting prostitutes, or indulging in strong drink. It doesn’t happen too often, but sometimes pharmacists also get tripped up by the dope habit. Such a man, of course, is a walking gold mine for the enterprising loocher or Birney blower.
 
“Let us not talk of the Negroes and the Mexicans, who also indulge in these drugs. They are the poor and downtrodden, who feel that living as they do has no purpose other than a quick and early death. Of course, many of these specimens are now in the federal penitentiary. It’s a white man’s country, after all is said and done. If you’re going to smoke muggles, you’d best hie yourself down to Mexico, where such things aren’t necessarily frowned upon. I hear tell you can also get cocaine and heroin there, too, and good and cheap. It’s a wonder that any hop head or gen pox eater ever leaves that country! As for the negroes, the straw bosses down in New Orleans used to give them regular jolts of dope to keep them working inhumanly long hours on the levee, but lately they’ve stopped doing that, I suppose because of general disapproval, and mostly because the police believe that black beasts run wild when they snort too much of the snow. 
 
“The beautiful south,” said Count Victor Justin, in a tone which meant he was preparing to wrap up his peroration, “is, beneath its placid surface of euphoric darkies strumming banjos and the marse and mistress contentedly resting on the verandah, little more than a seething cauldron of incest, drug-taking, nances, and savagery. 
 
“Even in the schoolyard, the children all sing:
 
Three six nine
The goose drank wine
The monkey chewed tobacco on the railroad line
The line broke
The monkey got choked
And they all went to heaven in a little rowboat
 
and


I should worry, I should fret
I should marry a suffragette.

and also:
 

Don’t go out with Jane no more
Don’t go out with Mary
Don’t go out with girls any more
Woops! I am a fairy.

“Haww… Yea, verily, a small child shall lead them. Indeed!”
 
1*SALUTATION
FUNKADELIC
LOOSE BOOTY
2*REFERENCE
THE AMERICAN JEWISH ACCENT
ALSO SEE:
POLARI: THE FORGOTTEN SECRET LANGUAGE OF GAY MEN
3*HUMOR
THE BUDDY RICH BUS TAPES
 
4*NOVELTY
Here there be Devils!:JACK CHICK AND HELL
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

The Depression Radically Changed the Way Americans Ate

6* DAILY UTILITY

MARCELLA HAZAN’S TOMATO SAUCE

 
8*PRESCRIPTION 
CHILDREN’S RHYMES
9*RUMOR PATROL
100 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT THE NEGRO
10* LAGNIAPPE
ONE HIT WONDERS OF THE 1960S
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
869. TV CARTOON PRODUCT MASCOTS WHO STEAL AND HOARD
Scott Shaw once told me that it was a common strategy in 60s commercials aimed at kids to trot out a character who so coveted the product that they were willing to steal it. Or hoard it. Or both. Vide: Lucky Charms; The Trix Rabbit.
SEE ALSO: