THE INFORMATION #922 JANUARY 6, 2017

THE INFORMATION #922

JANUARY 6, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 
Gambling is a disease of barbarians superficially civilized. –Dean Inge
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FIVE: DAYS OF WRATH
“Life’s a dream,” said Count Victor Justin. “Life’s a game. Life’s a gamble. A great big gamble. Maybe that’s why some flunkeys enjoy rolling the bones. Casting their lot. Pushing their luck. But they always go to the well just once too often, and that’s all she wrote. Think I’m funnin’ with you? I’ll tell you something, Yob. Don’t develop a gambling habit. There’s no future in making wagers when you’re up against crooked dice or marked cards, or you’re betting on fixed horse races and boxing matches. Taking a gamble is fine for mopes that have to forage for food in the jungle. Watching a tiny-skulled spider monkey waver between leaping from one branch to another or simply staying put sure can be a lot of fun. Maybe the little Yellof will starve if he don’t make his great leap into the unknown. Or maybe something will turn up near the bottom of the tree. A tasty shrub or tuber. Who’s to say? It’s all in the hands of the Lordy. 
 
“And I suppose wagering with your own life is also fine for jaded wealthy Yellofs who go in for big game hunting and long to experience the thrill of killing a lion on the African savannah or a tiger in the Indian jungle or a black bear in the north woods of Canada. After having essayed every other frisson there is, including an actual ride in one of them newfangled aeroplanes, I suppose that a well-heeled Yellof needs the extra thrill of the hunt to set his tired old bones to ringing with the vital juices of his salad years. As for the common Yellof, I suppose the biggest thrill he ever gets is taking an extra five minutes off for his lunch break and gettin’ away with it; or maybe for a dame it’s pocketing a lipstick in the department store and grinning like a cat eating shit out of a hairbrush as she walks through the revolving door without payin’. What she doesn’t know is that sooner or later, she’ll get caught. Department stores hire at least two or three undercover bulls to catch such weak-minded women in the very act. Generally, they give them a good talkin’ to and send them back home to their husbands in shame. ‘I’ve never done anything like that before,’ she’ll bawl, and it’ll surely be a lie, because even a store detective knows that you nearly always can get away with something, once. Every now and again they’ll snag a bored rich dame in their net. Usually, they don’t even bother to scold her. Just send on her way, knowin’ that whatever little trinket she managed to swipe will be more than made up for by some elaborate purchase later on. Sometimes you got to know when to put up with thievery. But the one mistake the high society dames shouldn’t make is saying that they know the Mayor, et cetera. Of course they do! Everybody knows the fucking Mayor. But that don’t cut no ice with those hard cases. When you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar and you try to throw your weight around, that’s when the security dicks are inclined to make it extra tough on a Yellof. 
 
“Of course, in the case of a Negro wench who tries the same stunt, the outcome is very different. I can see her logic: ‘Them Crackers treat me like I’m a slave, lower than the dirt, so I mize well get some of my own back, and smouch me a pretty.’ And when they catch up to her, the best she can hope for is a beating, and usually worse. All the store dicks are convinced that Negroes steal. They share this knowledge among themselves like it’s the gospel truth. And they always watch the Negroes extra close. That’s exactly when you want to start boosting stuff–when the store detectives are distracted by Negroes. Male-female teams are usually very effective. Usually, or so we are led to believe, it’s the man who ropes the pretty little lady into a life of crime. Or, anyway, so the judge is inclined to think. So the Yellof gets sent up the river for three to five, making little ones out of big ones, and the pore weak women gets six months in the county, scrubbing jailhouse floors. After that time, the law trusts she will be penitent and sometimes she even marries the chinless wonder of a sheriff’s deputy and makes him a dandy little wife. Stranger things have happened. 
 
“You can make a pretty piece of ooftish by consistently outwitting the store dicks. If you are inclined that way. Me, I find that to be a move that’s strictly from hunger. Too many chances of getting jugged for too small a reward. Most con men will spend their ooftish pretty freely, secure in the knowledge that they can always get more just by pulling off a short con on a drunken sucker. Or a long con on nearly any prosperous but greedy Yellof. Out in the boondocks, there’s a thousand of them. In the smaller cities, they number in the millions. 
 

“St. Lou has always been my favorite. Or it least it was, once upon a time, until it became something of a burned-over district. The trouble with St. Lou is that the people there were a little too friendly and too trusting. They were so easy to scalp that some of the grifters got greedy and began to take extraordinary advantage. Reminds me of the Dodo. He was so tasty and so fearless and tame and so easy to kill that very soon, he went extinct. Working St. Lou in its heyday was like having a license to print money. For a very negligible sum, you could hire a roper to hang out in the lobby of the Planter House Hotel. His sole purpose would be to hook in a prosperous-looking mark for a friendly game of cards played for very low stakes. You’d let the mark win, of course. Then you’d take him for a friendly drink at one of the many beer gardens that dot the Queen City of the West.

You’d even let him show you around the city. The Zoo. The Soulard Market. Washington University. The Arboretum. And suchlike. Then you’d get down to brass tacks. You’ve got this money-making proposition that will double his ooftish immediately, or in ten days, or thirty, or in six months. Doesn’t matter what the gimmick is–the gold brick. The money box. The salted mine. The Papal letter. The Wire. Once he takes your bait, you can practically see the wheels spinning in his head as he calculates how much profit he can make on the crooked deal with whatever assets he can borrow, beg or steal. Of course, every now and again you hook one who won’t play ball. Better to drop that sort of lug cold. Dose him with a few snorts of chloral and leave him naked in a filthy alleyway sans money belt. That’ll learn ‘im not to go off half-cocked! 

 
“Of course, you don’t want to pull that cute little stunt too often. You have to think about not stepping in on the livelihood of your fellow professionals. It wouldn’t be fair to completely burn the lot. Like I said before–even a grifter has got some scruples.” 
1*SALUTATION
CHAMBERS BROTHERS
TIME HAS COME TODAY
 
SEE ALSO:
CHRIS BELL
YOU AND YOUR SISTER
ALSO SEE:
BERT PARKS
LET ‘EM IN
2*REFERENCE
ALSO SEE:
THE 50 BEST HOLIDAY SONGS OF ALL TIME
 
SEE ALSO:

26 Holiday Pinterest Fails That Ruined Christmas

3*HUMOR
DICK CRAZY/TRACE DICKEY
BY KAZ
“I can only write on the white bacteria found on tongues.”
 
SEE ALSO:
TRICKY CAD
BY JESS
 
SEE ALSO:
THE CABBIE
BY MARTI
 
TICK DRACY
BY BILL ELDER
 
ALSO SEE:
DETOURNEMENT

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9tournement

4*NOVELTY
MAXWELL HOUSE COMMERCIAL 
PAUL LYNDE
 
ALSO SEE:
BYE BYE BIRDIE
ED SULLIVAN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRLe6MfGsDo

 
SEE ALSO
PAUL LYNDE
BAD BAD LEROY BROWN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=do1as6IYoCA

9*RUMOR PATROL
WHAT PEOPLE IN 1967 IMAGINED THE WORLD WOULD BE LIKE IN 1999
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE EVOLUTION OF POPULAR MUSIC BY YEAR

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

 
*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
ABANDONED CARS. LANE. ****
AGATHA: THE REAL LIFE OF AGATHA CHRISTIE. MARTINETTI, LEBEAU & FRANC. ****
ALL-NEW X-MEN INEVITABLE 2. APOCALYPSE WARS. ***1/2
BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL 1. ***
BECOMING ANDY WARHOL. BERTOZZI & HARGAN. ****
BUT WHAT IF WE’RE DOING IT WRONG? KLOSTERMAN. ****
THE CITY IN SLANG. ALLEN. ****1/2
DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. ***1/2
THE DOWNSIZED. HOWARTH. ***1/2
ECHOES. ***1/2
GRAYSON 3. NEMESIS. ***1/2
GRAYSON 4. A GHOST IN THE TOMB. ***1/2
HOLE IN THE HEART. BEAUMONT. ****
THE INFOGRAPHIC GUIDE TO SCIENCE. CABOT. ****
THE INFOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE WORLD. 2E. D’EFILIPPO & BALL. ***1/2
LAST BREATH. STARK. ****1/2
LIAR’S KISS. SKILLMAN & SORIANO. ***1/2
THE LONG SHADOW OF SMALL GHOSTS. TILLMAN. ***1/2
THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT. WILSON. ****
MARVEL’S DR. STRANGE: PRELUDE. ***
THE NEON WILDERNESS. ALGREN. ****
NICHOLAS. GIRARD. ****
SPY THE LIE. HOUSTON. ****
SUPER WEIRD HEROES. YOE. ***
SUPERGIRL. FRIENDS AND FUGITIVES. ***
SUPERGIRL 2. BREAKING THE CHAIN. ***
SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN. ****
SUPERMAN 2. RETURN TO GLORY. ***1/2
SUPERMARKET. WOOD. ***1/2
TRUMP: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION. KURTZMAN. ****
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL 4. ***1/2
A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE. ALGREN. ****1/2
 
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
881. CARTOON SUICIDE REEL
 
882. TONY MILLIONAIRE ANNOUNCES END OF MAAKIES

Been getting a lot of response from despondent Drinky Crow readers. Take heart. Drinky Crow, Uncle Gabby etc are not dead, just the weekly Maakies. I plan on many more comics with DC and UG and many more different comics. I will give you comics until I am bones in a grave or ashes in a box. –Tony

 
883. 20 WORST SNACKS TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS
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MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 219 JANUARY 2017

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

NUMBER 219

JANUARY 2017

Copyright 2017 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

  1. IF I COULD TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME

I would have told Lincoln the play was a downer and to stay at home.
I would have told Archduke Ferdinand that Sarajevo is not a happenin’ place.
Would have convinced Lenin that Stalin kinda sucks.
Would have told the Count to shove the bomb closer to Hitler.
Would have told Hirohito that Truman wasn’t kidding about Fat Man and
Little Boy.
Would have told JFK to use a body double in Dallas.
Would have told Gore to call for a recount for all of Florida.

  1. EDITORIAL: THE HOBO MENACE

THE HOBO MUST GO!

I fail to see why we continue to support these loafers. Hoboes are a menace. They stink. Literally. They are all a pack of greasy, bean-gobbling, bacon-eating layabouts. They steal pies from windowsills, beg for old rags at back doors, and kidnap children to make them into sturdy beggars. The revenues that the railroads lose from these freeloaders would save them from their operating deficits, and many times over. I recently actually saw a hobo–who was teaching his dog to beg! IT’S A FRANCHISE!

The fact is, these filthy toothless beggars roam our city streets, frightening horses and old maids with their gaunt forms and croaking voices as they beg for bread money they have every intention of spending instead on bay rum and sterno. Their filthy shantytowns smell like cheap rotgut; they’re forever sniping mostly-smoked cigars from the gutter; and they dress in suits that were last in fashion back in my grandfather’s day Maybe some “hepcat” characters find that sort of behavior attractive; I, for one, do not. Do you know what I say?

I SAID IT BEFORE.  LET ME SAY IT AGAIN: THE HOBO MUST GO! 

Because, friends, let’s face it. What does it say about our fair community when visitors are treated to the sight of a loathsome bindle-stiff scuffling for his dinner with arthritic claws from a trash-heap teeming with vermin? Do we want to improve Noxtown? The solution is simple: NO MORE HOBOES!

And another thing–whenever you talk to one of these down-and-outers, they’re always rasping in their froggy and thousand-mile voices about the perils of “cinder dicks” and “railroad bulls”. I say this: Maybe if you cleaned yourself up and got a job mucking sewers or whatever it is you ragamuffins do to earn your pelf, then maybe the good John Law wouldn’t feel constrained to clap the darbies on your infamous kind for breaking into boxcars and stealing potatoes or whatever it is you chaw between your rotting choppers. No, I’m afraid the era of soft-heartedness is long gone, my footloose friend. So let the word go out both far and wide: 

HOBO, YOU’RE NOT WELCOME HERE!

But…what is to be done? Maybe we might consider adopting the sensible remedies resorted to by the Germans and the Russians. Those boys didn’t fool around when it came to dealing with these rag-picking, flea-harboring, tubercular urban parasites. They relocated them. We should do the very same. And post-haste.  And then Noxtown would once again bloom with flowers whose perfume will for once be unsullied by the stale beer reek of these itinerant nomads.

My friends, let us not be deluded by the soft-hearted but mush-minded talk of the goo-goos and sky pilots who moan about Christian charity. Christ was all to the well and good, but let’s be REALISTIC. These Hobo malcontents would crush us if they could, so perhaps it would be best for all concerned were they to simply…vanish.

I see, stretching before me, like an illimitable horizon, a world that is all but Hobo-free.

Women would fearlessly ride my street-cars without the horrendous likelihood of some drunken freight-hopper stinking up the atmosphere with his creosote stench.

Small boys could fish and skinny-dip down by my granite quarry without encountering some “Weary Willie”-type character filling their heads with airy nonsense dreams of travel and adventure.

Merchants could proudly display their wares without some shuffling malcontent lingering in the back of the fruit-stand and free-loading rotten and bruised comestibles.

Restaurants could operate with every expectation that their ketchup and sugar packets would remain unmolested by freebooting bands of roving jungle buzzards.

Clancy, the good old cop on the beat, might be able to catch a little shut-eye instead of being forced to roust sleepy-eyed moochers from their offal-ridden roosts. Park benches, abandoned buildings, and highway underpasses would finally be free of the “tramp” menace.

No red-nosed, pink-eyed, Rum Dum malcontents would congregate in our fair parks and wooded areas, befouling the air with the rancid aromas of their “mulligan” stews.

In short, Noxtown would be even more of a veritable paradise–if only we could induce the hobo to clear out.

But what are we going to do about it?

WHAT?

Now, certain weak-minded sob-sisters and muddle-headed solons have argued, quite implausibly, that hoboes were victimized by the great financial downturns of decades past.

Now, I’m no ivory-tower economist, my head so full of soaring abstractions that I ain’t even got the sense to pound sand in a rat-hole, but here’s what I figger.

No less an eminento than the beloved Calvin Coolidge had something like this to say:

“Four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear, if we would only TRACK EVERY FILTHY HOBO TO THEIR LAIR AND DESTROY THEM ALL.”

I am not a partisan in this matter, but, when faced with such stunning common sense, I have no recourse but to wholeheartedly agree.

DESTROY ALL HOBOES. DESTROY THEM NOW.

NOW!

BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

Do not mistake my intentions.

I am not a heartless man.

There was even a time, a time in the not-too-distant past, when I might give a starving man a crust of bread before administering a well-deserved kick and sending him out into the snow.

But no more.

Truly, in the case of the hobo, IT IS CRUEL TO BE KIND.

CRUEL!

Where these men truly belong is not the poor-house, but the Penitentiary, where they can ruminate to their heart’s content over their misbegotten ways, in-between stints of basket-weaving, ditch-digging, and making little ones out of big ones.

Was it not the great Captain John Smith who sagely observed that “They who do not work shall not eat”?

How far we have strayed from the admonitory precepts of that wise old statesman!

And to what cost?

WE ARE OVERRUN WITH HOBOES!

OVER-RUN!

To maintain otherwise is socialism, plain and simple, and I say “To hell with it.”

(Pardon my language, but there stand I, and I can do no other.)

FROM NOW ON, LET THIS BE OUR TOWN MOTTO:

DEATH TO HOBOES!

All good people agree with me.

Even the good hoboes agree, because even they, in their sterno-and-rotgut-addled way, know that a town with no hoboes is a grand thing.

And so I say to you–mistake me not–if we shall deal softly with the Hobo in our midst, then verily, we shall be made a magnet for every starving vagabond within a thousand miles.

We shall open the toothless maws of itinerant and peripatetic madmen and nomads to speak of our city beautiful as merely a soft haven for erysipelatous scroungers, and they shall swarm our borders ’til they consume the good land we nourished with our very life’s blood.

In sum, I ask the town to rally ’round my standard.

Are you with me?

Or are you a filthy tramp-lover?

If the latter, then stay far, far away.

If the former, then heed my call:

DESTROY THE HOBO FREAKS! LEAVE NOT ONE STICK OF THEIR PATHETIC HOVELS STANDING!

AND WE WILL BUILD A NEW JERUSALEM!

AND WE WILL SEE THE VERY FACE OF GOD!!!!!

  1. MERRY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)

Yoko is off-key.

In fact, the whole message is off-key.

“Join the non-conformist army of peace, and wear these dog tags–OR ELSE!”

And besides, Phil Ochs started the whole “War is over if you want it” campaign back in 1968.

 

4

THINGS PEOPLE PROFESS TO LIKE, EVEN THOUGH THEY DON’T, REALLY

Sea salt
Bristishisms such as “Cor, blimey”.
Wal-Mart.
December 26th sales.
Service warranties.
Bonsai.
Supermarionation.
Ventriloquists.
Parrots.
Child actors.
The Old Testament.
The Atlantic Monthly.
Any folk music sung by toothless hillbillies.
Any folk music not sung by toothless hillbillies.
The Kama Sutra.
Yoga.
Jazzercise.
Gatorade.
Brainstorming.
Zinc lozenges.
Editorial cartoons.
Novels with false and lying narrators.
Orson Welles as genius.
Detectives with exotic handicaps.
Informal staff meetings
Presidential Pardons.
Presidential Libraries.
Tribute albums.
Ceremonial occasions.
Indian reservations.
G.E.D.s.
Hillbillies.
Coal miners.
Edward Norton.
Model U.N.s.
Debate societies.
Scrapbooks.
Mobiles.
Art made with construction paper.
Fingerpainting.
Precocious children.
Arthurian legend.
Mort Sahl.
Holocaust memoirs.
Dennis Miller.
Unpretentious, salt-of-the-earth Working-class Joes who will “give
you a piece of their mind” and “tell it like it is” with “the bark off”.
Very Special Episodes.
The idea of a Palestinian State.
Iraqi Democracy.
Carp.
Jazz.
Harvey Pekar.
The Four Seasons.
The 12 Apostles.
Ringo’s solo albums.
Post 1971 George Harrison.
Post 1972 John Lennon.
Post 1973 Paul McCartney.
Post 1976 Bob Dylan.
Post 1981 Rolling Stones.
Post 1977 Who.
Sherry.
The invariable scenery chewing of Al Pacino.
The now-classic slow burn signalling incipient violence of Joe Pesci.
British comedians who have achieved worldwide fame.
Political conventions.
Bilingual signage (in the United states).
The lack of bilingual signage (in foreign countries).
Jell-o and other gelatin desserts.
Boiled peanuts.
Diet colas.
Zoos.
Intelligent dolphins that bark and beg for fish.
American philosophers.
Bidis.
Brechtian alienation.
The plays of Eugene O’Neill.
The theatre of the absurd.
Dogme 95.
Surrealism.
Fran Drescher.
The NSC.
Reduced-fat muffins.
Carob.
Don DeLillo.
Giuliani as possible Republican nominee.
Aquaman.
Jai Alai.
Chinese Checkers.
Dachshunds.
Aloe Vera.
Cynara.
Trout Mask Replica.
Canned salmon.
Lesbian smooching.
Rainbow afros.
PVCs.
Vinyl Siding.
Microfiche.
Beards.
Bears.
Diversity.
Freedom.
Reggae.
Frank Zappa.
Cape Cod.

5.

SIGNS THAT A MAN HAS GIVEN UP ON LIFE

Ramen noodles.
Perpetually bloodshot eyes.
Parroting Rush Limbaugh, etc.
Buying booze in bottles with plastic handles
Paying for sex
Getting a post office box (without owning a business)
Shaved head with a hoop earring.
Eating breakfast and lunch off a “roach coach” every day
Smoking BASIC cigarettes
Drinking Fleischman’s anything
Growing a moustache
Wearing pants that accentuate their gunt/gock
Having a gunt/gock
Letting their lawns grow out of control
Plates of food under the couch and bed.
The dumpster behind a fast food joint gets cleaned out more than their car.
They wear hats that say things like “#1 Grandad” or “I love to fart”
Wearing sweatpants in public
Empty fast food wrappers obscure floor of the car…usually passenger front side.
Disney character/Warner Bros character/Native American mirror art clothing
Elastic waist jeans
Wearing a batman/highlander 2 (I’ve seen both) letterman’s jacket or some other such oddity that screams ‘Savers’ or goodwill in a non-ironic manner.
Black high top sneakers
Any high top sneakers
Waiting for the bar to open, standing outside smoking butts…on a
weekday…you don’t work there…
Buying more than $5 worth of scratch tickets per week (or month..)
Always, ALWAYS knowing what the powerball jackpot is up to.
Sleeping all day
Being on disability with an ailment of a dubious nature (ie ‘pawtucket
syndrome’P
Old plates of food under your bed or in your room
Posting a personal ad on craigslist (unless it’s for arranging
business trip/vacation away game etc)
Bare mattress with only a bedspread; no sheets
3 liter bottles of generic cola or other sodas in your fridge
Filthy home especially bathroom
Jorts
Beards
Claim they “hate people” in a general fashion
Garfield/Looney Tunes clothes
Crocs
Searching through trash cans for already-scratched scratch tickets
Breakfast at Burger King.
Mandals.
Having more pets than people in your life.
Blame their lack of decent paycheck on the fact that they are white
and not connected enough.
Swanson Boneless Pork TV dinner for lunch
Not cleaning up the cat puke right away because they’re hoping maybe the cat’ll change its mind and re-eat it, saving them from having toclean up.
People who only have one story. Generally involving how they were the guy who put salt in the ocean.

THE ATTACK THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN ON 9/14

On 9/14 I was sleeping upstairs at my aunt’s house, and at 9am my
cousin called from the living room downstairs telling me to come down quick–the news was reporting that terrorists had done nothing.

Trauma specialists are standing by–to explain to the children what
will have had happened.

The nonexistent victims will need to be compensated.

I plan to give until it will have hurt.

We never will be able to have gone back to the innocence this country
experienced on 9/13.

I will remember it like it was today.

It is a day that will live in famy.

Everything will have had changed that day.

I even wrote a special song:

It’s the greatest disaster we’ve never seen
The things that didn’t happen on 9/14
747s flew away from the tower
No utilities lost their power
The price of gas continued to fall
It deeply failed to touch us all.

COUNTRY AND WESTERN CIVILIZATION

Rural colleges are offering a new interdisciplinary study titled
“Country and Western Civilization” which explains the origins of
present-day United States hegemony by means of the philosophy found in country songs.

*George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq “For mah mommy and mah daddy.”

*Woodrow Wilson devised the fourteen points because he was a “no-good drunk.”

*Stalin occupied much of eastern Europe and started the Cold War
because “My wife left me — and took the house, the kids, the dog and the truck.”

*LBJ was determined to go to war in Vietnam because, when he was a boy, “my daddy sold my dog.”

*Significantly, the course also instructs that everything that’s in
the Bible can be explicated by a deck of cards.

  1. THE HEADLINES

PARENTAL GROUP DECRIES SEX AND VIOLENCE IN MEDIA

POLICE CONCERNED REGARDING TEEN DRINKING

ELDERLY MAN TURNS TO GOD

LOCAL YOUTH WINS AREA SPELLING BEE

POLL: VOTERS TIRED OF NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADS

FANS SHOW TEAM COLORS

RESTAURANT GIVEAWAY SEES LINES AROUND BLOCK

SURVIVORS MOURN ON ANNIVERSARY OF TRAGEDY

AREA MAN HARVESTS RECORD-BREAKING PUMPKIN

ICEBERGS A THREAT TO MERCHANT MARINE

 

  1. THE REAL HEADLINES


MASSES LIVE IN FEAR OF UNDEFINED FOES

GANG MEMBERS DIE DEFENDING WORTHLESS TURF

PRO-GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA PERVADES TELEVISED MEDIA

SPORTS: STUPEFYING PALLIATIVE FOR BUM ECONOMY

TALK-RADIO SHOWS PREACH TO THE CONVERTED

MISFITS AND CRANKS EXCHANGE MEANINGLESS BANTER IN TAVERNS

BITTER KOOKS AND RECLUSES FIND SATISFACTION IN CURSING MINORITIES

VIOLENCE SEEN AS CURE-ALL BY DRUNKS AND LOUTS

SPY AND SPACE OPERAS KOWTOW TO MILITARY SOLUTIONS

ACTORS, H’WOOD PRODUCERS IN THRALL TO MILITARY-CIA

MEDIA GLORIFIES DEAD-END ‘GANGSTA’ SCRIPT

CONDENSED TV NEWS DISTORTS REALITY

HEIROPHANTS GIVE PEOPLE ‘WHAT THEY WANT’: DOMINATION

MEDICAL LOBBY IN 70-YEAR FIGHT TO IMPEDE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

NOTHING PRINTED IN OTHER NEWSPAPERS IS TRUE

 

10. WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?

He was compelled to do so by those who determine production, commerce, distribution, thought, social policy, foreign policy,
everything–highly concentrated private power acting as part of a
system of tyranny unaccountable to the public.–Noam Chomsky [In other words, the chicken represents the infinitely disposable worker toiling ceaselessly under the putatively irrefragable constraints of the Capitalist system as represented by “The Road”.]

THE INFORMATION #921 DECEMBER 30, 2016

THE INFORMATION #921
DECEMBER 30, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 
Rolls and faces, fancy clothes, those fancy clothes, money comes and the money goes.–Peter Stampfel, “Bound to Lose”
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FOUR: DAYS OF WRATH
 
“Anyway,” said Count Victor Justin, “Winter tends to make me sad. When the sky is as leaden and gray as an account manager’s heart, and the white stuff starts to cover the ground and mix with the horse apples to make a shitty brown slush, that’s when it gets so I start in to feeling pretty dog-tired of this wicked world and all its devious ways. And I’m sure you feel that same way too. I sense in you, m’lad, a certain ineffable melancholy. Y’know what they say: If you’re born to hang, you won’t drown. I also sense in you a certain spark of refinement that could be banked into a roaring fire, if given the proper stimulus. You don’t think with your belly, like a lot of the low-down loochers hereabouts. And you’re honest in your dealings with the local merchants, either because you don’t know any better or because you’re scared you’ll be sent to the reformatory. And, I must say, you are pretty good at keeping out of the way of the Truant Officer. Well, if you’re not going to go to school, I guess you better get to work. Maybe take a job as a cigar clerk. You can learn a lot from those ward- heelers. It’s better than a two-thousand dollar education!
 
“I think I know why you put up with all my guff and chaffing. It’s because maybe you think you’ll learn something that they don’t teach in the schools. It might be that you even think that it’s getting high time for me to pass along the schemes and tricks of the confidence trade to a young go-getter and would be grifter such as yourself. But I don’t know yet–if you are worthy. You do listen good. That’s a plus. And you do know how to save your ooftish. And I have little doubt that you are loyal to whoever’s kind to you, even if they don’t always have your best interests at heart. And all that is good. Except, maybe, the loyalty part. Because the sad fact is, some of your so-called friends will screw you in the ground. And so sometimes you got to know when to turn on your friends and do the old Cut and Run. 
 
“But I will say this much: If you want to be a top-flight confidence man, the first thing you got to do is learn when are the best times to ply your trade. January and February are strictly from hunger. Nobody even wants to go out, let alone meet interesting strangers with a proposition that simply cannot be turned down. Still, a good grifter might be able to pull off some card sharp legerdemain on the Florida express t’ Tampa Bay and Points West. Just be sure not to get stranded in Georgia, unless you want to work ten years on a chain gang chopping cotton. Even though the darkies do sing mighty pretty.
 
“The summer months are the best when you want to play out a long con. But I must also mention yet again that Christmas is the grifter’s favorite time of year. It’s exactly the sort of holiday a wise gee can absolutely get behind. 
 
“This may sound cynical, but most Yellofs are more like monkeys than people. They hoot and holler and make a fuss when they see something unfamiliar which frightens and excites them. Grandma is there to hand out sugar and dust the britches of the young’uns when they get out of hand. That’s the only reason they keep the useless old woman around. She hasn’t got a sensible thought in her dizzy head about anything that matters. Obviously. She ought to be grateful for any small favor you do for her, only she isn’t. But she’s good at raising cubs because her intellect is about on that level. Plus, she’s a dab hand at doing the cooking and the washing and the food shopping when the wifey is enceinte, or otherwise indisposed.
 
“At Christmas time, the days are growing shorter and shorter and everyone is convinced, in his secret heart of hearts, that the sun is going to disappear. Haww…. Superstitious brutes! So they light a candle and burn a couple of logs to propitiate their savage Sun God! Haw! No better than savages, the whole lot of ’em. And I don’t necessarily exempt myself from that harsh judgment. Many’s the time when I simply want to burrow deep and deeper inside of my beddo of a cold winter’s day and curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. And maybe also a not-so-good young woman. But I usually manage to talk myself out of it. After all, suckers won’t swindle themselves. And for swindlers, like with any artist, practice makes perfect. It always pays to keep your hand in. Ideally, a good con man shouldn’t have to pay for anything he can’t be billed for. 
 
“People are so full of the spirit of sharing come December. That comes from the tradition of the industrious cavemen of yore, who, when snow started to fall on the ground, would take to hunting down some mastodon. They would fall on the beast in a frenzy with arrows and spears and stone axes, and drag its body to their lair, and then they would gather round a big fire at the mouth of a cave and parcel out the steaming reeking meat to other members of the tribe. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, says I. No, we’re not so far removed from the spirit of the tribal hunt. And that goes across the board and all along the social spectrum. Do you think that the wealthy are all individuals of refined manners and tastes? Just ask that question to any saleslady at any of the big Department Stores–she’ll give you an earful, sure.
“The first thing that a grifter in this town has got to do is get in good with the Mayor. At first this may seem like a no-go, as Mayor Jonal Lobhar has very little to do with the day to day administration of Noxtown. Mostly, he sits in his wood-paneled office behind a dark brown mahogany desk big enough to house the earthly remains of President Grover Cleveland and spends his time in perfecting the fine art of laying back in a big ole wheelie chair with his feet up on that big ole desk smoking a cigar as fat as a baby’s arm and looking smug, like a genuine big shot, while he’s a-doin’ it. He ain’t worth a damn for anything except one big thing–he LOOKS like a Mayor, and will do anything the Gib Yellof wants. He has mastered the art of knowing exactly what that is, sometimes even before the Gib Yellof himself knows it. I hear tell that when word gets back to the Gib Yellof, he calls the Mayor into HIS outer office and browbeats him, saying ‘You decided…YOU decided….’ Then he leaves him alone to cool his heels for a spell, and sweat it out, and then he pokes his head around the corner and says, ‘You decided…correctly.’
 
“And yet, people say the Gib Yellof has no sense of humor. Nonsense! He’ll always be glad to raise a hearty guffaw and a big Haw Haw–provided it be at your expense.”
1*SALUTATION
JOHN COLTRANE
GREENSLEEVES
 
2*REFERENCE
3*HUMOR
4*NOVELTY
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

THAT GREASY KID STUFF

6* DAILY UTILITY
 7*CARTOON
Two heart-warming vintage EC Christmas tales which will well repay your scrutiny:
 
SHOE BUTTON EYES

“They found my teddy bear….all covered in blood…and he was smiling.”

 
“…AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE!”
8*PRESCRIPTION

Trump magazine was one of America’s funniest publications. Why did it disappear?

 
ALSO SEE:
TWO PAGES WHICH WERE LEFT OUT OF THE NEW TRUMP MAGAZINE BOOK
9*RUMOR PATROL
DIALECT OF THE BLACK AMERICAN
“All of us are familiar with the sounds of foreign tongues. We enjoy hearing the rolling softness of French, for example, or the guttural strength of German. All of us also have heard the speech of the black American. But we rarely grant it the same consideration we extend automatically to the languages of other lands. The black dialect, as seen by the linguist, is the subject of this record…At a time when interracial communication and understanding are assuming enormous importance, this record hopes to help explain for listeners of all races what black dialect is and how it functions. The intent is, simply, information. The difficult goal is to let us all, as we talk with one another, hear with open ears.”
10* LAGNIAPPE
ROKY ERICKSON
STARRY EYES
 
ALSO SEE:
ZAL YANOVSKY
AS LONG AS YOU’RE HERE
He formed the ‘Spoonful w/John Sebastian way back in ’64. He was said to be the first to wear a cowboy hat, and also the 1st to wear a suede fringe jacket. ‘Died on Friday the 13th 2002, sadly. ….I think he was born 1944, 19th-or-20th? the winter Solstice during a leap year making him a prime candidate for a satanic sacrifice? Weird stuff on this guy. His Dad was a known cartoonist who did all kinds of political anti/anarchist/craziness and the CIA had Zal on LSD and Pot. MKUltra was involved (according to the conspiracy theorist, not me)and all kinds of eerie shit going on in Laurel Canyon. he ran (or was chased) back to Canada after ratting out a dealer friend when he got busted in ’67–Follow the Sun
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
 
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
880. WAGNER

Heartless sterility, obliteration of all melody, all tonal charm, all music. This revelling in the destruction of all tonal essence, raging satanic fury in the orchestra, this demoniacal, lewd caterwauling, scandal-mongering, gun-toting music, with an orchestral accompaniment slapping you in the face. Hence, the secret fascination that makes it the darling of feeble-minded royalty, of the court monkeys covered with reptilian slime, and of the blasé hysterical female court parasites who need this galvanic stimulation by massive instrumental treatment to throw their pleasure-weary frog-legs into violent convulsion. The diabolical din of this pig-headed man, stuffed with brass and sawdust, inflated, in an insanely destructive self-aggrandizement, by Mephistopheles’ mephitic and most venomous hellish miasma, into Beelzebub’s Court Composer and General Director of Hell’s Music — Wagner! –J.L. Klein, Geschichte des Dramas (1871), p. 237

THE INFORMATION #920 DECEMBER 23, 2016

THE INFORMATION #920
DECEMBER 23, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. –George Bernard Shaw
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART THREE: DAYS OF WRATH
 

“Anyway,” said Count Victor Justin, “while we’re on the topic of the black bottle of death that they give you in the charity hospital–you’ll find an awful lot of old fools who turn forty or fifty or sixty and immediately commence to snappin’ at the bottle of Soda Pop Moon in order to drink themselves to death, because it’s their one pleasure in life, or so they say, and they think and maybe even wish for their life to be over. So they slurp down the white lightnin’ like it’s going out of style. Let me tell you something, Yob: Corn likker will never go out of style–not so long as there’s a whole passel of yahoos born and growed up every year as likes to be befoozled morning noon and night. I’ll tell you who really likes the 

sweet spirits of cats a-fighting, though–it’s people who are compelled to spiel for a living. Carnival talkers, confidence men, collich perfessers, politicians, and especially theater folk. 
 
“You haven’t really lived, Yob, until you’ve seen a prima donna on her uppers and reduced to working as a ‘hostess’ in a filthy saloon a-guzzling down the popskull like it’s nobody’s bidness and a-cursin’ the Negro clientele in Shakespearian English. 
 
“Or a lost and lonely former ticket-broker reduced to playing penny poker as a broken-down cardsharp haunting a bagnio, and drinking down the panther’s breath they serve up in the lowest of the low dumps–they call it “whiskey”, but it is a conglomeration of every liquor except whiskey. 
 
“Or the road-show manager who gets stranded in Blowtown and is reduced to taking fortifying nips of paragoric and Lemon Extract in-between sessions as a fry cook at a loathsome so-called “coffee shop” or “lunch room” which is actually a dreadful Greek Diner. The flies are so thick and everything there is so greasy that they actually start in to attacking the pictures of the food on the menu. The Chili is made from yesterday’s meat as was left on the plates; the dishwasher there is easily the fattest man in town; the gamblers and sporting men all refer to him as ‘Lucky 13′ because that’s about how long he has to live. The waiter gals there are all as pretty as any Hot Corn Girl, with smooth complexions because none of them ever eat that slop. The fat and greasy owner, with one strand of greasy black hair barely covering his bald pate, why he makes sure to give them waiter girls the old Chicago cross-jostle at regular intervals to keep them as gentled up and docile as a mooing cow. The owner’s wife–a hatchet-faced old mummy who is addicted to chloral, with her hair in an iron-colored bun, and wearin’ a filthy apron, why, she don’t care a rap what the old man is up to, just so long he keeps his pawing at her to a bare minimum. The hash is on special every day–and everything goes into the hash–kitchen leftovers–stray dogs–unfinished dinners–even yesterday’s hash. The result is garbage that even a hog would turn up his nose at–but such big portions!
 
“Or bear witness, Yob, to your average limber-limbed theatrical “leading man” who gets stranded in Noxtown, why, chances are, he goes in for a sneak thief, and guzzles alley bourbon to get up some Dutch courage. Or worse, he is reduced to matching pennies with some crack-brained pensioner or ruined sport in some villainous gin mill or filthy beer dive.
 
“Meanwhile, your average garden-variety deracinated stagehand from some busted touring show will swill down that scat whiskey and maybe go into business for himself, performing a little strong arm work in league with all the other “guns” and yeggs and disorderlies. You do know, of course, that the coppers could clean up every one of these police characters in about three days–only they choose not to, for, after all, what’s in it for them? 
 
“And then there are always the “gay cats” who ramble from town to town. If they have the ill fortune to venture too far into Dixie’s land, you can be sure that the butchers will cut ’em down–if not the railroad dicks, then the small-town sheriffs who are a law unto themselves in them parts. Your wandering itinerant workingman will always drink “smoke” or even “Jake”–Jamaica Ginger, truly terrible stuff– and if he can’t get them, he’ll turn to sterno. The coppers hereabouts have trouble corralling these shitbirds because if things grow too hot in Blowtown, why, they can always cross the river at one of a number of points and take sanctuary in some poolroom located in Belle Avon, or Mayfair in the Grove, or King’s Crossing–with all the other parasites, cheap poltroons, and hare-brained youngsters who have embezzled money from their firms in order to gamble on the horses.   
 
“And then, of course, there are the just plain bums. But at least they’re honest in their preference–they’ll drink anything you offer them, and thank you profoundly, even if it be the very worst poison Scat Whiskey to ever trickle from a busted still.
 
“But, anyway, the way I see it, there’s no real need to fear old age–unless you’ve never done anything or had any fun when you was a young’un. The fact is, age sixty is the best year of your life. You no longer get the inside meemies when you see a pretty girl, and, unless you’re in constant pain from years of cultivating bad habits, nothing much really bothers you, not even a ward-heeler, because you’ve lived long enough to have seen it all.  You got no need to befog your mind with stumphole whiskey or Blue John or block-and-tackle. Leastways, if you happen to be a happy bachelor. Because I will tell you the God’s honest truth–you can be a teetotaller, and you can be married, but chances are you can’t be both. Chronic drunkenness is grounds for divorce, sure, but marriage is grounds for chronic drunkenness. When you love women folk and decide that you’re better off livin’ with ’em than livin’ withouten them, you will find that they will say and will do things that set your inside voices to squeakin’ and a-squawkin’; and that the only way to drown those inside meemies is by way of a stiff jolt of Old Horsey. You don’t have to believe me–just ask any long-time married man. Y’see, when they’re newly minted, your average married feller will be too busy rejoycin’ about the fact that dinner is actually waitin’ on the table every evening, and his socks are darned, and he’s getting reg’lar lashings of “sugar”, and other types of affection. But all that begins to pall right quick when you’ve spent ten or twenty or even thirty years puttin’ up with a women’s incessant demands. Now, I’m not one of those bitter coots who is down on all the womenfolk. I’m just sharing with you a word to a wise, if green little Yellof. Which is as follows. Don’t be in a great big hurry to get yourself hitched. Because you know what they say–Why buy–if you can rent?”
 
1*SALUTATION
 
ALSO SEE:
MABEL SCOTT
BOOGIE WOOGIE SANTA CLAUS
2*REFERENCE
THE MONG SLUR
3*HUMOR
24 FUNNIEST ROMANIAN EXPRESSIONS
“A Romanian didn’t just “do so much with so little”. He “made a whip out of shit”.
http://matadornetwork.com/life/24-funniest-romanian-expressions/1/

ALSO SEE:
FEAR OF ARABIC COOKIES
 
4*NOVELTY
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
CHRISTMAS SONGS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
 
FROSTY THE CHRISTMAS HOBO

A HILLBILLY CHRISTMAS
THE TWELVE DRUGS OF CHRISTMAS
SOMEBODY’S BEEN SLEEPING IN SANTA’S BED
SOUL SANTA
SANTA THE LOUDMOUTH SHAMAN
A CHRISTMAS MADE IN HEAVEN (AND LIVED IN HELL)
DEAD DOG IN A SANTA SUIT
THE FAT MAN IS COMING TO TOWN
IF THAT’S SANTA KNOCKIN’ AT THE DOOR (THEN I AIN’T HOME)
SANTA’S MY NAME (DON’T WEAR IT OUT)
ROCK & ROLL, SANTA, AND FRANKENSTEIN (WILL NEVER DIE)
FROSTY THE WHITE MAN

ALSO SEE:
6* DAILY UTILITY
GOOD NEWS FOR MAGIC MUSHROOM AFICIONADOS
7*CARTOON
STUPID COMICS: THAT WILKINS BOY AND THE YELLOW PERIL (1972)

“Any time you want me to kick your ass, come on over! My door is always open and my judo hands are always ready to grasp the lapels of your ill-fitting suit and use that leverage to hurl you bodily into walls or pieces of furniture!”

8*PRESCRIPTION 
ALSO SEE:

You may be poor if:

  • You set the thermostat to 50°F in winter.
  • You set the thermostat to 80°F in summer, or you use a fan.
  • Your roof leaks, and you don’t think it’s weird.
  • Your plumbing keeps backing up, and your landlord keeps refusing to send a professional to fix it.
  • You have intractable vermin or infestations. Your landlord has been informed, and you’ve tried self-help methods.
  • You use computers for 7–15 years. You get a new one only when the last one stops working.
  • Your first impulse when something breaks is to fix it yourself.
  • You clean and reuse disposable plates or food storage bins.
  • You wear clothes from thrift shops without irony.
  • Your furniture and dinnerware also comes, at least in part, from thrift shops.
  • You go to libraries for your entertainment needs.
  • Your car is 10+ years old.
  • Your family has one phone line.
  • You have one television set. This may double as a computer monitor.
  • You don’t know how to work a smartphone.
  • You’re not sure what a dumbphone is.
  • Multiple family members sleep in the same room, and/or some people sleep in the family room. Doing this to save on heating or cooling costs counts.
  • You qualify for food stamps.
  • You have bills you can’t pay. These were acquired in pursuit of necessities.
  • You don’t go to the doctor. You can’t afford it.

Not all of these need to apply, but they’re pretty good markers in America. The litmus test to me has always been whether you’re able to pay your bills while saving at least 5% of your income. If you can do that, you’re not poor.

If you can’t, then you need to see if there are ways you can cut costs by not buying things that aren’t essential. If you can accomplish paying your bills and saving a bit of money by sacrificing things you don’t need—like television service, for example—then you’re still not poor in my personal opinion.

A more numerically relevant assessment is that if you’re in the 50th percentile of household income or higher in your local area, then you have no claim whatsoever of poverty. The proportion of the population that can be called poor in any segment of the country varies, but 50th percentile is never anything to complain about in America.

EDIT: This answer isn’t meant to be a self-diagnosis tool. The thing that characterizes poverty is that it involves most, if not all of these factors and the poor person has no alternative.

https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-tell-if-Im-poor-in-America

ALSO SEE:

BEING POOR

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/

9*RUMOR PATROL
10* LAGNIAPPE
HYDROGEN VS. BOOST
HYDROGEN: Good evening. I would like to begin by introducing myself. My name is Hydrogen and I come from a low income neighborhood where life is not very comfortable. I’ve stolen many things, and have been involved in many altercations, most of which have ended in gunfire. In addition to this, I’ve had sexual intercourse with a great number of the opposite sex. In contrast, and despite the lack of legitimate evidence, I believe you to have been in a involved in a number of homosexual activities. Activities I, and my companions, look down upon. I am so much stronger than you and, my powers of rhetoric are so much greater than yours, that you can employ an army of some sort to aid in your fight with me; but I would of course prevail because I am stronger than you. I’m sure I needn’t remind you of my place of birth where and, as I explained before, the living conditions are much worse than in your aforementioned city of residence. I would like to stop here for a moment and remind you that I am in fact orating with little, or no, prior preparation, an act commonly referred to as “freestyling.” Once again, and I think this bears repeating, I would like to restate my claim that I am, in fact, much stronger and, have endured a larger number of hardships then you. Hardships which have left me with an aggressive behavior and imposing demeanor which I believe frightens you. I know of a woman with whom you have had sexual intercourse. I, too, have had sexual intercourse with said woman and she complained to me of your less than exemplary performance in bed. She went on to explain to me in graphic details the dimensions and particulars of your genitals; and I tell you what she said was not very generous, Sir. In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a brief summary of my argument: you sir are a weak, timid, and untrustworthy homosexual. The city in which you live is not nearly as difficult to live in, nor is it in such a high state of disrepair as mine. I am superior monologist in this debate, and any claim to the contrary will result in physical violence, and perhaps even death.
BOOST: And a good day to you too, Sir. I would like to rebut your previous claims in an improvisational and rhythmic manner. I was given the name “Boost” by my peers. The alleged facts you have uncovered in regards to me are unfounded and without merit. My birthplace is not only vastly inferior to yours, but my neighbors are also much more resilient. In terms to your claim of my sexuality: Sigmund Freud theorized that, in some cases, the Semi-conscious mind manifests repressed desires, therefore leading me to believe that you, Sir, are indeed the homosexual. In fact, I once had a romantic rendezvous with your biological mother; in which fellatio was performed forthwith, and without explanation. The encounter lasted several hours and many unspeakable acts were implemented. I paid her for her services and no subsequent contact, neither verbal nor physically, has been made. I brandish a 9 millimeter pistol in which I stole from a man involved in a gang related turf war. I fired the pistol several times and in some cases critically wounded those with whom I was in contest with. I would like to inform the audience that I engage in the sale and consumption of illegal narcotics on a regular basis. Speaking candidly; I am in no form Intimidated, or fearful, of your actions as I have been involved in countless altercations which have ended less than favorably. In summation, your argument denotes a lack of intellectual honesty on your part. It is my contention that this matter would best be solved with fisticuffs. I believe I will be victorious in this regard.
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
AL CAPP
This take-down of Al Capp is hilarious:
 
The only black person who ever appeared with any regularity in L’il Abner was Rastus, The Cream of Wheat Man. 
 
A more fair-minded, though not totally accurate article:
  
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
879. 

THE FAR SIDE & DENNIS THE MENACE

AN OHIO NEWSPAPER SWITCHED THE CAPTIONS FROM “DENNIS THE MENACE” AND “THE FAR SIDE”—TWICE.

The Dayton Daily News committed an unforgettable funny page blunder in August, 1981. Back then, the paper would run “The Far Side” right next to the more traditional “Dennis the Menace.” On that fateful August day, their captions were switched. “The Far Side” strip now showed a young snake who kvetches at the family dinner table by saying “Lucky I learned to make peanut butter sandwiches or we woulda starved to death by now.” Elsewhere, Dennis Mitchell—who’s munching on a sandwich of his own—groans “Oh brother … Not hamsters again!”

“What’s most embarrassing about this is how immensely improved both cartoons turned out to be,” Larson opined in The Prehistory of The Far Side. Somebody at the Dayton Daily News

made the same mistake two years later. This time, readers were confronted with a psychic cavewoman asking “If I get as big as Dad, won’t my skin be too TIGHT?” Dennis Mitchell, meanwhile, casually looked his mother in the eye and said “I see your little, petrified skull … labeled and resting on a shelf somewhere.”

 

Glade Song — Insect Trust

Preview YouTube video 1948 Mabel Scott – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus

1948 Mabel Scott – Boogie Woogie Santa Claus

Preview YouTube video Freestyle Rap Battle: Translated

Freestyle Rap Battle: Translated

THE INFORMATION #919 DECEMBER 16, 2016

THE INFORMATION #919
DECEMBER 16, 2016
Copyright 2016 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 
Like all pure creatures, cats are practical. –William S. Burroughs
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWO: DAYS OF WRATH
 
“I don’t know if youve ever heard tell of the black bottle–the one that they give to all the poor Yellofs in the charity ward of the city hospitals,” said Count Justin Victor. “They say its contents include arsenic, strychnine, chloroform, ammonia, and a generous dollop of soothing morphine–enough to stop your heart for you. I ain’t got no 100% opinion on the black bottle, one way or another. You’d think that if it really existed they’d have written it up in one or another of the muckraking newspapers or magazines. But then again, maybe there are some things that are just too awful to be recorded. Yet, on the other hand, I have never known a reporter to shy away from a potentially hot story. But quack Doctors manage to croak plenty enough of their patients by accident, anyway. And to be sure, there must be at least a few Docs who have administered poison to the desperate cases. In spite of their so-called oath, which I don’t think many of them take all that seriously. I mean, really, Yob–how can any truly intelligent man be bounden by an instrument as crude and rudimentary as a mere affirmation? Oh, sure–it’s a question of honor. God knows, the War of Northern Aggression Against the Confederate Nation was surely fought out as a manner of honor. And we all know how that turned out.
 
“But what, after all, IS honor? Something highly artificial, to be sure. You don’t see a dog or a cat paying attention to any such a thing as honor. A cat is aloof. That is its disease, and its saving grace. And a dog is grateful, ditto. A cat will flee from a house fire and leave the family in it to roast alive, while a teenty tiny poodle dog has been known to go up against a vicious black bear by biting it on the nose until the master and mistress and their bairns can get safely away. Does it follow, then, that a dog is to be preferred to a cat?”
 
“Of course!” I said.
 
“Not so fast, Yob,” said Count Justin Victor. “I wouldn’t be so sure. A dog for friendship, yes–but a cat for an object lesson. A cat never lets anyone get too close. And you would be well-advised to follow the example of the savvy feline. Especially in matters of romance.
 
“Dogs can be plenty frightening, though. There is a certain superstition I have observed among confidence men–that if you’re followed by a black dog, and you can’t drive him away even by throwing stones at him, then the whole jig is up, and you would do best to drop whatever long con you happen to be working and go into hiding, and pronto. Especially if the brute starts to growl at you. That shows that he can see right through your mask of respectability; and so can the mark you’ve been cultivating so assiduously. I’m ashamed to say it, but a great many grifters also happen to be extremely superstitious. Especially when it comes to gambling. They actually believe in the power of luck, and betting on the horses by using a so-called system. They actually place credence in the notion that a certain number has its “time” to come up, even though all the laws of probability teach us that the chances that any given number will come up are even, across the board–unless you’re dealing with loaded dice or a gaffed roulette wheel. But maybe the joke is on me. Maybe some of these superstitions have merit. Maybe a dog actually can foretell evil, and detect unseen spirits, and predict the rain by eating grass. It’s not for me to say. The metaphysical has never been my forte. 
 
“But one thing I do know about is human nature, and I will tell you this much, Yob: far too many men are just like dogs. A dog, you see, expects to be beaten. To be sure. the first time you do it he will give you a look of profound disappointment, but, after that first time, if you’ve been feeding him regularly and even if you haven’t, he will look at you with a combination of abject fear and equally abject love. Because that’s the way a dog is built. Basically, a dog is there to take your abuse. Just like a man with a woman. 
 
“I believe that cats are a lot like women–they won’t stand to be yelled at, most of the time. Have you ever tried to punish a cat? Just try it once–and the smart money says you’ll get a faceful of claws, for all your slyness. Give offense to a cat and she’ll plant her diggers in your dial face, and tout suite. Though maybe you can palm it off as a dueling scar. Haww…. 
 
“Trust me when I tell you that nobody in their right mind would ever beat a cat. It’s very bad luck indeed. They’re not human, like sometimes dogs appear to be. But women tend to dote over them. Especially crazy women–though, if you ask me, all women are at least slightly batty. Women treat their cats like babies. Some cats even look like babies. Certain cats, it is rumored, can predict the weather. If you see a cat cleaning her ears, that means it’s sure to rain. Other cats, it is said, malevolently suck the breath out of babies. That’s a product of the rumor mill, however. Nobody has ever caught a cat doing anything like that. But maybe it just goes to show how sly those baby-killing cats can be. Cats are actually useful around the house. They like to kill rats and mice, and will also go after goldfish, and annoying songbirds. Some people say that a howling dog foretells a death. But certain people think that a cat also has the power to foretell death. If so, I wish one of them would pass along that useful information to me, for I would very much like to be able to predict the hour of my passing into the realm of shadows. Sailors believe that cats can start storms from magic stored in their tails. And it seems as though everybody knows that a black cat is bad luck, like walking under a ladder, or breaking a mirror. It rather begs the question, however, of why black cats are permitted to exist at all, if that is the case. But they say that If you kill a cat, you are sacrificing your soul to the Devil. So–even if we were to kill them all–maybe it would bring us even more bad luck.”
 
1*SALUTATION
CHARLES MINGUS
ECCLUSASTICS
The good part begins at 4:03. Still gives me chills.
ALSO SEE:
WEDNESDAY NIGHT PRAYER MEETING
 
BETTER GET HIT IN YOUR SOUL
 
THE BLACK SAINT AND THE SINNER LADY (LP)
 
ORIGINAL FAUBUS FABLES
 
DON’T BE AFRAID, THE CLOWN’S AFRAID TOO
2*REFERENCE
John Linley Frazier
“Halloween, 1970. Today World War III will begin, as brought to you by the People of the Free Universe. From this day forward, anyone and/or everyone or company of persons who misuses the natural environment or destroys same will suffer the penalty of death by the People of the Free Universe. I and my comrades from this day forth will fight until death or freedom against anyone who does not support natural life on this planet. Materialism must die, or Mankind will stop.”

3*HUMOR
Steve Allen Show, 1963 
Frank Zappa Playing music on a Bicycle 

 
4*NOVELTY
Pakistani White Karahi with Chicken

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

GREG ABBOTT

 
ALSO SEE:
BREITBART CEREALS
 
ELECTION POSTMORTEM
 
SEE ALSO:
After 4 years of Trump the US will be isolated and well on its way to becoming irrelevant. That’s not such a bad thing. The Roman empire is no more but the world went on. Coal seam gas and fracking will have destroyed large chunks of land, climate change will have [wreakedhavoc. The US economy will have collapsed, civil society will have deteriorated and there may even be a civil war. It will make for fascinating reading.–Mick_Moriarty 
 
ALSO SEE:

A recent analysis by the Economist, for example, found that, “The data suggest that the ill may have been particularly susceptible to Mr. Trump’s message. According to our model, if diabetes were just 7% less prevalent in Michigan, Mr. Trump would have gained 0.3 fewer percentage points there, enough to swing the state back to the Democrats. Similarly, if an additional 8% of people in Pennsylvania engaged in regular physical activity, and heavy drinking in Wisconsin were 5% lower, Mrs. Clinton would be set to enter the White House.”

6* DAILY UTILITY
DUCKDUCKGO
The search engine that doesn’t track you
 
ALSO SEE:
8*PRESCRIPTION 
DISCOVER YOUR FIRST TWEET EVER
9*RUMOR PATROL
QUORA: What is an example of something true that nobody generally wants to admit?
10* LAGNIAPPE
THE BLUE SKY BOYS
ARE YOU FROM DIXIE?
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
KRISTEN HERSH       BMG Music and Omnibus Press
Wyatt at the Coyote Palace   24 songs and Book

This majestic collection strikes me much less as an assemblage of half-completed songs and much more like a privileged look into a gifted artist’s sketchbook. Past examples might include Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes; Syd Barrett’s solo albums; Patti Smith’s Radio Ethiopia; 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields, and XTC’s demo albums Homespun and Homegrown. These are all instances of artists honing their craft and quite possibly not worrying too much about what kind of an impression they are making. The book which accompanies the two CD-set is full of impressionistic vignettes; many of them anecdotes which fall short of being full-blown stories. These vignettes seem to provide a kind of running commentary on the frequently elliptic song lyrics which accompany them. Many of the songs on Wyatt at the Coyote Palace are anchored by a strummed acoustic guitar underscored by quirky melodies and arrangements. The opening track, “Bright” begins as though a door into the unknown has gradually creaked open and is luring you into a troubling world of unresolved and unsolvable ambiguities. Spacy sound effects lure you further into the sounds of cascading guitar strumming and Hersh’s fragile, almost broken voice. The overall effect is both disorienting and transcendent–and then the song, like a dream, abruptly ends. “Bubble Net” evokes a murky, underwater-sounding eldritch feel which evolves into a kind of magisterial march. Many of the remaining songs are divided into three types. The first category consists of pretty, if seemingly fragile melodies, such as “In Stitches”, the eerie and translucent “Hemingway’s Tell”; the manic-depressive “Wonderland”; the lovely but ominous “Day 3”; the subtly urgent “American Copper”; the pretty but scarifying undertow of “August”; the laconic “Cooties”; the beautifully, beatifically melodic “Christmas Underground” and the elegiac “Shaky Blue Can”. The second category of songs might be deemed Art songs, with halting and often abrupt pacing: for example, “Secret Codes”; the broken and stammering guitar of “Detox”; the stuttering impetus of the wrenching “Two Birds”; the masterful, brilliantly poppy ba-ba-bas of “Guadalupe,” with its liquescent guitar and ominous and almost hypnotic and frightening bass undertow; the alternately juddering and calm “Some Dumb Runaway”; the strangely placid and moody “From the Plane”; and the wrenching pomp of “Between Piety and Desire.” The third, and often most powerful category of songs consist of nearly nightmarish soundscapes with intense vocals, which include the following: “Green Screen”; the sad and classically tinged “Diving”; the tumultuous and insistent “Sun Blown”; the brightly melodic but taut and eerie “Elysian Fields”; the alternatingly calm and intense “Soma Gone Slapstick”; and, for the grand climax, the impossibly beautiful and utterly otherworldly “Shotgun”, a brilliant tour de force in an idiosyncratic and highly personal album which is full of them.  

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 878.

POPE LEO X: “HOW WE PROFIT BY THESE FABLES”

 

THE INFORMATION #918 DECEMBER 9, 2016

THE INFORMATION #918
DECEMBER 9, 2016
There he goes on another voyage of his own delusion never knowing where the next thought will take him.– John “Twink” Alder

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART ONE: DAYS OF WRATH
 
“Every time I see a campaign poster for some Yellof or another who hopes to be elected and become a local muck-a-muck,” said Count Victor Justin, in one of his confidential palavers given during one of our evening constitutionals, “I smile and I say to myself, ‘Of course none of this would be possible if the Gib Yellof didn’t give the go-ahead.’  You do know who I mean, I suppose, when I speak of the G.Y. If not, Yob, then say so.”
 
I started to utter the name Richard B. Stolas when, quite uncharacteristically, the Count hushed me with a look of mingled anger and fear. 
 
“Nit. Ix-nay. Never mention that name. Listen good, you green Yellof: In the future, stroke your fingers along your beardless chin if you want to refer to him. In that way I will get the picture, and know that you mean to say ‘The Bearded One,’  on the hush-hush, on the q.t., and withouten having to say the name out loud. What’s the need of it? Say, Yob, why don’t you get wise to yourself? Don’t you know that he has rubbernecking spies who are practically everywhere? Both policemen, and crooks, who he calls his ‘confidential informants’. People who work for him, and people who just want to get in good with him. Don’t you know that he heads the Citywide Improvement Association, which has on its board every bank president, every school superintendent, every judge, and every up-and-coming shyster? Don’t you know that all the crooked politicos who gather down at Feist’s Cigar Store are in his pocket? He’s got his fat finger in every crooked little pie there is, and not a sparrow that falls from the sky does so without him knowing all about it. 
 
“There’s all kinds of flapdoodle circulating about him by way of the man on the street. Some say he sold his soul to the devil. Some say he never had a soul at all. And still other folks insist that he has extracted the souls of  his many slaves through their noses, and put them in a little green bottle which he keeps under his enormous four-poster bed. They even say that to protect himself from being poisoned, he bathes weekly in a bathtub full of goat’s blood. Others say he can mesmerize men to do his will; that he can make men bark and slobber like mad dogs, or turn them into gibbering lunakicks. They claim that he has horns on his head, and the vestiges of a forked tail which his parents had surgically removed when he was but a tot. They say that when he was matriculating at Ivy U., he pissed and shat and puked anywhere that took his fancy, and had one of his hired flunkies tag along behind him to dispense baksheesh to the peasants who had to clean up after him.
 
“I have studied his habits closely, and I do know this. He arises every day at the unseemly hour of 430 am, like a monk–this after a day in which he doesn’t get to bed until one in the morning. He hardly ever sleeps at all, it seems. He doesn’t read himself to sleep; he reads himself awake. Newspapers and magazines–he reads ’em all. Very little escapes his notice, or so I am led to believe. 
 
“There are certain asthma and catarrh powders which he uses on a regular basis, to induce this state of wakefulness. Plus copious cups of coffee. Also, he is enormously fat–weighs some 300 pounds. Probably from sucking the marrow from the bones of his defeated foemen. Who knows? Madre Dios! That is not my tale to tell.
 
“Remember when I said that there were certain types of chicanery which were too raw for even a dyed-in-the-wool con man to essay? Well, ‘Beardo’ and his plutocratic cronies have perpetrated them all. D’ye suppose he cares one whit for anything except squeezing out another dollar from his victims? Nit! Even the most low-down carny who has wiped you out on a gaffed skillo will lend you carfare so you can get back home. Not these boys. They don’t want you to have nothin’. Extracting blood from a turnip? Check. Holding on to a dollar until the eagle screams? Check, and double-check.
 
“Forgive me, Yob, if I wax incoherent. Even the most dyed in the wool cynic needs must let his jaw gape open in awe-struck wonderment and utmost stupefaction at the evil wrought by this gang of vultures and freebooters. They make the depredations of the so-called Robber Barons of old look like a slapping party between pantywaists. 
 
“Do you want to know how The Money Power truly works in this man’s Town? Sit tight, Yob, and I’ll bend your earie. The Gib Yellof is like a eight-armed spider who presides over the web of all the conflicting interests here in Noxtown. F’r instance, just to give ye but one example, the corrupt patent medicine trust has been taking a lot of heat lately, what with peddling their poison to sick babies and tired old widder women. Endless misery is the result, with thousands of slum-dwellers hooked on their awful dope–a path which leads only to the laughing academy or the jailhouse, and then the boneyard. Some of the more respectable newspapers have gotten to the point where they are refusing to accept advertisements for these quack remedies. But a little pow-wow between the Gib Yellof and the publisher set this squabble aright., sho’ nuff.  
 
“Of course, the peddlers of quack nostrums are opposed by legions of physicians, many of whom are so old-fashioned that they themselves are little more than quacks. But they are often very well-off and respectable; they have a reputation as learned men even if the only skill they ever truly mastered was to gouge the well-to-do; nevertheless,they have a lot of influence, and so in return for their cooperation, the Gib Yellof gives them a free hand to run their hospitals any way they choose, which, of course, is bound to leave room for a great many unsavory practices. Like the mysterious ‘Black Bottle,’ which hoboes and querulous bohunks will swear up and down is administered to the poor as medicine, but is actually poison, and they pass it out in order to give charity cases a quick send-off and free up a profitable hospital bed for a customer who can pay the full freight.
 
“I’m not saying it’s true; and I’m not sayin’ it ain’t. But from what I know about human nature, I wouldn’t be surprised if at least once or twice a particularly troublesome indigent was slipped some sort of fatal Mickey Finn to get him off the nurses’ hands. 
 
“All I know is, if you’re ever all in, you should avoid the charity wards at all cost. Take your chances in the hobo jungle, Yob; you surely don’t want to croak on account of having to suck on the black bottle.” 
 
1*SALUTATION
THE PRETTY THINGS
PRIVATE SORROW (FRENCH TV 1968)
2*REFERENCE
WHITE WORKING CLASS VOTERS
 
ALSO SEE:
WHO EXACTLY IS THE WHITE WORKING CLASS AND WHAT DO THEY BELIEVE?
SEE ALSO:
WHEN ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS WERE ‘THE OTHER’
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/10/opinion/falco-italian-immigrants/
3*HUMOR

Back when times were tough, I would go to Wal-Mart and buy the budget pet food:
Diamond Low Energy Dog Food
Diamond All-Fat Dog Food
Diamond Maintenance Service Floor Sweepins Dog Food
Diamond Minimal Performance Dog Food
Diamond Premium Adult Dog Meat
Diamond Puppy Meat
Diamond Chinese Restaurant Floor Sweepins Cat Food
Country Value Cream of Sick Puppy Fixins ‘n’ Gravy
Country Value Newspaper Trimmings for Your Adult Dog
Country Value Crispy Puppy
Country Value 99 Dead Dawg Soo-prise
Diamond Ground Up Horsemeat and Hooves
Diamond Crispy Chicken Beaks ‘n’ Claws
Diamond Crunchy Hog Maws ‘n’ Eyebrows
Professional Tapewormz in Gravy for your Grotesquely Obese Cat
Country Value Paper Pulp ‘n Sawdust for Your Sluggish Fat Dog

4*NOVELTY
BOSTON MOLASSES FLOOD OF 1919
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
ACUTE FINANCIAL STRESS: AN ALL-AMERICAN STORY


6* DAILY UTILITY
THE WORLD’S MOST HEALTHY CUISINES
7*CARTOON
HOMER AND JETHRO
GONNA SEND ‘EM HOME
ALSO SEE:
ALLEN SHERMAN
POP HATES THE BEATLES
 
SEE ALSO:
DORA BRYAN
ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A BEATLE
8*PRESCRIPTION 
Smithsonian makes more than 5,000 Arhoolie Records tracks available
IS SOCIAL MEDIA DISCONNECTING US FROM THE BIG PICTURE?
10* LAGNIAPPE
THE GOONS
I’M WALKING BACKWARDS FOR CHRISTMAS
ALSO SEE:
JAMES BROWN
SANTA CLAUS GO STRAIGHT TO THE GHETTO
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones.
By Rich Cohen. Spiegel & Grau, 2016. Hardcover. 381 pages.
Cohn has most of the serious credentials deemed necessary to write about “The Greatest Rock Band in the World.” In spite of having been born in 1968. (Which is actually good; it gives him a certain necessary generational distance to balance his overarching enthusiasm for the band.)  He has written for both Rolling Stone and The New Yorker. He has also collaborated with Mick Jagger and filmmaker Martin Scorcese on the HBO drama Vinyl. And, need I add mention yet again, he is an ardent Rolling Stones fan; albeit one who has written extensively about and gotten to know most of the individual members of the band in most of its incarnations, as well as having conducted extended interviews with the people who helped make them what they were, including Chris Barber (father of the British Skiffle movement); Marshall Chess (son of the famous Chess Records impresario), Bobby Keys (saxophonist and sometime band sideman), Rock Scully (Grateful Dead manager who was involved with the selection of the site for the infamous Altamont concert), and many others. Cohn even takes the time to track down the nephew of their swindling manager, the notorious Allan Klein.
 
Early on, Cohn delves into the influence which the early British Blues scene had on the formation of the band, and how Jagger and Richards happened to meet the golden boy, brilliant and doomed, named Brian Jones (previously known as Elmo James). Much is made of how Brian was probably destined to become an acid casualty from the time of his very first trip. He was not the first, nor would be be the last, to be sucked into the sinister vortex of drugs, sex, and other assorted debaucheries which came, first to define, and eventually to at least partially subsume, The Rolling Stones. What made the fall of Brian Jones so tragic was that he was exceptionally talented. Listen, for instance, to the slide guitar on “No Expectations”. The trouble with Brian was that he started a band which was intended to serve as a homage to the American Blues: “Brian was the band’s spirit. It was his vision, his dream; a blues engine….” However, the rise of the Beatles and the concomitant British Invasion (which Cohn hardly mentions as such) buried that dream. Because the endless money to be had from selling out made Jagger and Richards see dollar signs. If only they could write their own songs, like the Beatles. If only they could produce a number one hit–which they eventually did with “Satisfaction,” a song which, legend has it, came to Keith Richards in a dream. If only they could make it to the top–then there would be no more starving in an unheated apartment, and no more scuffling from one half-filled provincial venue to the next. Instead, they could tour to sold-out stadiums swollen with screaming pre-pubescent girls.Instead of mere musicians, they could be stars. But poor Brian wasn’t exactly with the program; he wrote songs, which the band rejected, and saw his dominant control of the band’s trajectory slip out from under him. He became moody; erratic. He began missing practices and gigs. When the band fired him, he was already far more than halfway to being dead. So his early death, at 27, which occurred in circumstances which are still murky nearly 50 years later, was perhaps merely inevitable. Brian had a death wish. According to Cohn, “I’m not saying he committed suicide. I’m saying that he put himself in a position where he could easily die.”     
 
Cohn is equally good on the the minutiae regarding the Altamont Concert; he is scrupulously careful to relate the side of the story told by Hell’s Angel head honcho Sonny Barger; perhaps too much so. Again, the circumstances surrounding the death of Meredith Hunter, who, we are informed, was no angel, remain enshrouded in mystery. Did he pull out a gun because he was preparing to shoot a member of the band–or because he was surrounded by menacing, murderous, and thoroughly drunk motorcycle gang members? Cohn gives us all sorts of side details which you may not find elsewhere, in more standard biographies. Apparently, the Rolling Stones were practically shamed into giving a free concert in the first place because critic Ralph Gleason laid a major guilt trip on them owing to the high ticket prices for their shows. 
 
We also learn from Cohn that Ry Cooder was the one who taught Keith Richards the open tuning that he used for many of the band’s most memorable songs, notably “Honky Tonk Woman.” And that Gram Parsons–another doomed soul–was the one person most responsible for imbuing the Rolling Stones with an appreciation for American Country music. This is a fact which, Cohn archly observes, is most likely all the more true simply because Mick Jagger denies it so vociferously. Exhibit one: “Country Honk.” Cohn takes a side trip to chronicle the last days of Parsons, and it is a harrowing story. Keith Richards may not be directly responsible for his dissipation and his early death, but Cohn implies that he surely bears some blame.The author is certainly not shy about pointing out the band’s myriad experiences with illicit drugs, which, after all, formed a large part of their sinister mystique. (The only part of the book which made me question the author’s credentials was his casual mention of teens smoking the high-potency “Thai Stick”…in 1967. Possible–though not likely.) 
 
Cohn is particularly good at chronicling the band’s “golden run”: Beggar’s BanquetLet It BleedSticky Fingers, and Exile on Main Street. A run which was, he implies, in part made possible by the absence of their friends and rivals, the Beatles. In those chapters, his obsessiveness regarding the Stones pays off. However, rather than trace the trajectory of the band’s slow decline into irrelevance and nostalgia, Cohn simply informs us of it by omission. He deems Some Girls the last great Rolling Stones album and declares that Tattoo You, which was partially assembled from out-takes form that record, was “the last true Stones album”. (He certainly has a point.) This is not a biography, per se, and not exactly a memoir; it’s more in the nature of an exploration of a mystique, and a clarification of the legends and folklore which surround the band. When it comes to the major landmarks defining how the band came to be–details which every fan knows (or should know), Cohn leaves few stones (so to speak) unturned. All in all, this is a book which any Rolling Stones fan, even a casual one, and particularly an obsessive one, will read with great pleasure.     
 
*11a BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
A-FORCE. HYPERTIME. **1/2
ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL. GATES. ***
ALEISTER & ADOLF. RUSHKOFF & OEMING. ****1/2
ALL NEW X-MEN INEVITABLE 1. GHOSTS OF CYCLOPS. ***1/2
THE ATTACK. DAUVILLIER & CHAPRON. ****1/2 
BATMAN/SUPERMAN V. 5. TRUTH HURTS. ***1/2
BLACK MAGICK. RUCKA & SCOTT. ****
THE CAPED CRUSADE. WALDON. ***1/2
THE COMPLETE NEAT STUFF 1 &2. BAGGE. ****
CRY HAVOC 1. MYTHING IN ACTION. SPURRIER & KELLY. ****
DARK MONEY. MAYER. ****1/2
INHUMANITY. ***1/2
INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US. YEAR 4. VOLUME 2. ****
JUSTICE LEAGUE 8. DARKSEID WAR PART 2. ***
THE LOST WORK OF WILL EISNER. ***
LUKE CAGE: AVENGER. **1/2
OMEGA MEN: THE END IS HERE. ****
OUR TIMES: THE AGE OF ELIZABETH ii. WILSON. ***1/2
PANTHER. EVANS. ****1/2
QUEER: A GRAPHIC HISTORY. BAKER & SCHEELE. ***1/2
SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE. BOOK ONE. WAGNER. ***1/2
SPIDER-MAN 1. MILES MORALES. BENDIS. ***1/2
SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL 1. ISN’T IT BROMANTIC. ***
SUCH A LOVELY LITTLE WAR. TRUONG. ****
SUICIDE SQUAD 2. MONSTERS. ***1/2
THE SUN, THE MOON & THE ROLLING STONES. COHEN. ****
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL BEATS UP THE MARVEL UNIVERSE. ***1/2
WHY THE RIGHT WENT WRONG. DIONNE, JR. ****
WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN: BERSERKER. LEMIRE. ***
WONDER WOMAN: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS. ***
X-MEN. WORST X-MAN EVER. ***1/2
 
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
877. ZAPPA DIGS SAB SHOCK!

Zappa: I tried to help Wild Man Fischer and he turned out to be just as crazy as everybody thought he was.
Sandy: Does that mean he’s impossible to work with?
Zappa: Well, I think he’s dangerous to work with. He’d come to my house at one time … he used to live in the street, his hair was all dirty, he lived in dirty clothes. I brought him in, my wife shampooed his hair for him – he started breaking the kids’ toys and punched the babysitter and left.
http://www.afka.net/Articles/1978-01_Sounds.htm

MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 218 DECEMBER 2016

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

NUMBER 218

DECEMBER 2016

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

1. A HEARTWARMING CHRISTMAS TALE

A kid saves up his allowance money so he can buy his mean dad a present that will make him love him. He carefully saves up every penny, earning more money by running errands and collecting soda bottles. Christmas day arrives. Mean Dad gets a genuine imitation leather belt. Which he promptly uses to whup the boy, for having given him such a cheap present.
2. SPIRIT LIFTING THOUGHTS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE MONTH! 

I must keep a travel diary. Soon Messiah will come. 

No! I am not worthy! When we stand before God we are all Judas Betrayer!

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.

When I picture what God looks like, I see a tall, Galactic feller. 

God sees all. Even the dark side. Especially the dark side.

Jesus is the number one fella in my life, and I am nothing but worthless number two.

From now on I must laugh. A lot.

The Lord tastes good.

Without God my life is a lonely whistle-stop on the way to nowheres.

Who will rid me of these turbulent thoughts?

Consider the ant. The audacity of that creature. We are that creature!

Use me, Lord.

Idolatry is the idleness of idiots!

Yesterday I prayed for the courage to live. Tomorrow I will pray for the courage to….

Lord, recharge my thoughts like a teeny tiny battery.

God is my rose. Lack of faith is my thorn.

A man is what he chooses and I chose to be a man.

I don’t feel cold when I pray to My Lord.

Whenever I want one of Daddy’s hugs I think of Our Father In Heaven.

My hands may be frozen and bleeding, but HIS Wrists were nailed upon a cross.

Lord, free me of memories from my profane past that keep me from thinking of You.

I’m coming up rich in my search for Jesus, and I didn’t even know I was digging for treasure!

Even a ten dollar chicken dinner feast without Jesus is like ashes in the mouth.

Only God is perfect. I can be less than perfect and still get God’s work done.

The Lord God is with me wherever I go. Even the bathroom!

Give the program thirty days to work! Christ Himself was resurrected after three.

How am I? I am how God wants me to be.

The geography of heaven is a strange land.

God loves us all, even the rough old bullies living next to a patched-up furnace.

The Lord restores antique people.

God’s work is manifest, even in a football game. Especially football!

Job one is that I get along well with the man I call Mr. Jesus.

God, like time, will work His Healing Wonder.

On earth, no. In heaven, maybe. In paradise!

Lord, point the way, and when You walk away, I will follow.

I have kissed the lips of hell and they are cold.

I distinctly heard the boiler laughing at me as I said my daily prayer.

Whenever you check off the items on your list of things to do, make sure The Captain is on board.

The voice of the universe is warning me that this is my final chance!

Trust that God the Comforter has a delightful Rest in store for all of us.

Hell is just one thing damned after another.

3. CHRISTMAS IN CRUIKSHANK

Ho ho ho! Look at those boarded up tenements in the center of town, within spitting distance
of the City Hall! Festive? Perhaps not to battle-hardened souls. But the men and women who lurk 
inside have far from lost the Christmas Spirit, for lo, they have lit the interior with the merry 
wavering light from a piping hot bowl of crack!

Note the tinsel decorations festooning with seasonal brio The aptly-named Dollar Store, as well as the adjacent 
Chinese buffet house where $6.95 will buy you “all you care to eat”. The adjacent whitewashed store-front 
Church of Christ Our Savior is, needless to say, gaily decorated by a faded but earnest plastic 
wreath in army soldier green, and the security gate of the discount clothing store hard by intermittently 
flares a decidedly jolly red.

Although the liquor store is once again being robbed, please take careful note of the fur-trimmed 
red Santa hat each holiday-minded armed thief has carefully used to shield his features 
from the security cameras. Even the screaming fist fight between the man who failed to signal a 
turn and the man who rolled through a stop sign has a certain festival charm, as though 
they are daring one another to be less than truly full of the blessings of the season.  

Sure, even though many are yet at work, there are several young freebooters who loiter around the drug stores 
and the vacant parking lots limned with broken glass and soiled diapers. It may well be they 
were gallantly chased away en masse by foot constabulary summoned by concerned managers of the 
local Wal-Mart. If you were one of a flock of migrating geese, you might be able to look down 
to see how they march in an eerily precise formation and eventually congregate next to the 
shopworn show window of the now-defunct Super Rexall, in a vacant lot next to a time-worn 
tenement bearing a faded Tom Tucker Ginger Ale sign. See! One of their number, a most enterprising man, 
now begs for coins beneath a sign that says “Cash While You Wait”–and more than a few grudging 
pennies gather in the worn mustard-yellow socks this eminento has elected to use in lieu of gloves. 

Nor are the fair sex absent! Observe the sweating, pleasantly plump young woman with her hair arranged in a 
greasy flip pushing a worn stroller down icy Washington Street. She has certainly retained some moiety 
of Christmas cheer for surely you have observed that her sweatshirt bears the disproportionately 
enormous yellow face of the famous Warner Brothers cartoon character known as Tweety Bird.

No hablamos español? Note, then, that awning with a poorly drawn picture of the world! Your relatives 
in the far-away Dominican Republic, should you have any, would be glad to know that, in league with 
the omnicompetent Santa, sole proprietorships have been established to ensure that brightly wrapped 
holiday gift packages from the Estados Unitos will soon be on their way!

Perhaps you have no more time to spare. Be sure then, to return in March–when the threadbare but 
well-intentioned Christmas decorations on the light poles downtown will doubtless still be in their 
wonted place of honor! 

4THEREIN LIES A TALE….

RUSTY OLD CHAIN HOOKS MAN “UPSIDE THE HEAD” AND DEALS “GENTLEMAN
FARMER” A FATAL BLOW
[Chump Junction, April 23rd, 1971]

Jasper Grogan, 39, a self-described “gentleman farmer”, was fatally
injured last week when using a tractor chain and hook in an
ill-advised attempt to pull up a stump.

“The tom-fool city-slicker ought to have stayed in Gibsonia,” said his neighbor, Winslow Hulberd, 45, a long-time farmer from the neighboring town of Chokecherry. Hulbert was first on the scene.

“Everybody knows you that with a stump like that, you use a blasting cap, and you stand well clear if you decide to use a hook and chain.”

Apparently, according to Hulberd, the rusty chain snapped, whipped around and struck Grogan in the face, and “Nearly took his dern fool head off. What a mess!”

Grogan is survived by a wife and three children. Funeral services took
place on April 27th at the City Limits Funeral Home in Gibsonia.

AREA RESIDENT IS “STUMPED” BY EXPLODING “STUMP”
[Chokecherry, May 1st, 1971]

Winslow Hulbert, 45, was critically injured in an apparent attempt to
blow up a stump on his property, Brillant Farms, in the village of
Chokecherry.

Police have said that judging from the extent of the explosion,
Hulberd miscalculated and used the equivalent of four sticks of
dynamite, “when one would have more than accomplished the job”  according to High Sheriff Kemp Rittenhouse, who was the first man on the scene.

“It’s not like Winslow,” said the High Sheriff. “To make a boner like
that. Somethin’ must have been eatin’ on his mind, to miscalculate
like he did.”

Neighbors, who wish not to be named, have mentioned that Winslow’s
wife had been planning to “run off to the big city” with a “city man”
who lived nearby, and that Winslow had lately been “despondent.”

Hulbert is currently listed in critical condition at Our Lady of Care
Hospital in the town of Revo.

5. NAZI CHIMPS

At age 10 I saw, at the Kennywood amusement park outside of
Pittsburgh, a postcard of a chimp in a chef’s toque serving coffee to a disgruntled Hitler, who was seated at the counter of a greasy spoon diner.

Hitler was saying, “Where’s the coffee in this caffeine?”

This is so wrong, of course.

It is well known that Hitler abstained from all caffeinated beverages.

6. HUSKER DU?

Plastic pink flamingoes that poor people put on their scraggly front lawns.
The news is that these items will no longer be manufactured.

Lawn darts.
The banning of lawn darts.

Nodding dogs on the back shelf of cars.
Replaced by nodding junkies in the back seats of cars.

Green plastic pickle whistles.
These were known as “pickle-os”. They hearkened back to a time when there actually was a piccolo player in a big band.

William Frawley.
Vivian Vance, who despised the drunken Frawley and referred to him offcamera as “that old man.”

Stumbo the friendly giant.
The vaguely European residents of “Tiny Town”, which is the actual name of a Denver suburb.

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hats.
The Bob Dylan song of the same name.

Metracal, the meal in a can.
Carnation Instant Breakfast, which is still made but no longer
incessantly advertised.

“Goodnight Irene.”
A criminal about to be publicly executed would traditionally sing a
song of lament. The technical name for this song was a “Goodnight”.

Margarine sandwiches on Wonder Bread.
Before we knew that margarine was made with the dreaded trans-fats.

Tiparillos.
And the misguided ad campaign, “Should you offer a lady a Tiparillo?”

Bronzed baby shoes.
There is now a process whereby you can preserve them in plastic or something.

Penny Loafers.
Long since fallen to the lure of “Retro chic.”

The buck-and-wing.
Tap dancing is celebrated as an art form and is allegedly no longer
considered degrading.

My metal Batman and Robin lunch box that now would be worth a small fortune.
Well…actually, it would depend on the condition.

Supermarket cantaloupes so big that they looked like they were from another planet.
Though when you’re a kid, everything looks far bigger than it actually is.

Computers so enormous that they took up an entire large air-conditioned vault.
And people who are fond of pointing out that the same components now fit in a unit the size of a calculator. As if this makes us modern!

The movie soundtrack that would play this peculiar motif that went
“Rada rada ra, ra ra ra ra, rada rada ra, ra ra, ting” whenever an
Oriental person appeared.
I have a Casio SK-1 keyboard purchased in 1989 that has that motif.
Some cell phones also feature it as a ring tone.

Danny and the Juniors.
And the Beach Boys song, “Do You Remember,” that references them as nostalgia less than ten years after the fact.

Feeling uneasy around nuns.
As though they were about to tell you that your sins have found you out.

The Boogie Man.
Now considered a racial slur.

The man who would drive around our neighborhood in a truck with a three-horse merry-go-round mounted on his flat-bed. It cost a nickel to ride. The man was a drunk, or so they parents said. They never gave me a nickel. I saw an empty beer bottle in his truck, so maybe it was true.

The song, “Donkey dear, the sun is on the mountain.” We sang it in second grade.
We would make comical chewing motions during the lyric “Eat your
hay/And let’s be on the way.”

Pressing all the buttons on the elevator.
Still fun to do, though only when you’re angry.

Little girls being afraid that the bottom or top of the escalator
might suck them in.
I used to frighten my sister about bridges collapsing as we were
traveling over them. It’s over 30 years later, and she’s still
traumatized.

Not being allowed to have a turtle because “they spread disease.”
Toxoplasmosis, if I recall correctly. The scare began around 1965. It
was recently listed. But those turtles can grow to enormous size, so it’s probably still not a good idea.

An Easter chick dyed pink that took a crap on my best friend’s head.
The chicks seldom lived long enough to be a nuisance. There were
city dwellers alive in 1960 who actually remembered rural life!

People named Adolf.
Or ‘Adolph’. Still don’t know how the meat tenderizer people got away with it.

The card game “Spoons.”
Now it’s Texas Hold ’em. Twenty years from now, who knows?

The expression “Good Lord.”
Popular in EC comics of the 1950s. Usually accompanied by “Choke.”

Mean, brawny, abusive gym coaches.
I had one named Mr. Maddox. He even haunted me in my dreams. One day I woke up and thought I saw his head in the corner, staring at me. But it was only a basketball.

Raymond Burr and his ridiculously fat face.
Maybe that’s why he sat down so much on the set of Ironsides.

Sending in boxtops to get “free” prizes.
Usually made of cheap plastic.

A Chihuahua so small it could fit in a teacup.
Yo’ Mama so fat, she leads a hippopotamus on a leash and it look like a chihuahua!

Organ grinders with a monkey on a chain who would tip his little hat
when you dropped a coin in his tin cup.
I guess it never occurred to us to question whether this wasn’t just a little bit cruel.

How people (usually your parents) would say “Listen to me.”
Though I also saw the expression used in a commercial for an accident lawyer.

How people (usually older people) would say, “Goodbye and good riddance.”
With an accent grave on the “rid”.

7. FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE

http://www.fborfw.com/

The adventures of a feebleminded Canadian

dentist and his kin.

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

Why would anybody find this strip even remotely interesting?

After thirty-odd years I think I’ve finally figured it out.

Most everything else is so much worse.

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

I’ll say it again.

Lynn…can’t…draw.

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

Everything about the strip screams mediocrity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

True enough.

But all entertainment has an ideological subtext.

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

But when Johnston gets preachy and starts injecting public health

issues into her strip, she verges on propaganda of the clumsiest sort.

8. COMIC STRIPS THAT ARE NOT KITSCH

When I hear people say that they read comic strips like FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE even though it sometimes makes them cringe.

I am reminded of the category of art that such a description
generally implies.

Kitsch.

The Pattersons are a squishy-soft bunch of goo-goo Canadian mugwumps who we are supposed to admire simply because Lynn doesn’t have the narrative skill to create a world of nuanced relationships.

I’m sorry, but I can think of a dozen strips just off the top of my
head that were far better, in rendering or narrative or both, but
which are more or less forgotten or ignored today.

I would strongly urge those who once found, or who still find, FBOFW to be the ne plus ultra of the comic strip to dig a bit into the
history of the medium and discover the splendor of such narrative
strips as the following:

Thimble Theatre (by E. Segar)
L’il Abner
Polly and Her Pals
Toonerville Trolley
Skippy
Dick Tracy (by Chester Gould)
Little Orphan Annie (by Harold Gray)
Barnaby
Pogo
Count Screwloose of Toulouse (or anything by Milt Gross)
Smokey Stover
Krazy Kat

Even a couple of single-panel offerings like:
Our Boarding House
Out Our Way (by J.R. Williams)

Throughout the long history of the comic strip, even the once wildly popular but now-forgotten also-rans shine in comparison to the antics of the Patterson Klan:

Moon Mullins
Gasoline Alley
The Gumps
Captain Easy
Bringing Up Father
Little Nemo

The Smithsonian Collection of Comic Strips provides samples of nearly all of the above-mentioned. There are other anthology collections which can be had for a modest sum in the art section of used book stores.

Furthermore, a great many of the above-named are also collected in single books or even series; notably the following:

Thimble Theatre (by E. Segar)
L’il Abner
Toonerville Trolley
Skippy
Dick Tracy (by Chester Gould)
Little Orphan Annie (by Harold Gray)
Barnaby
Pogo
Krazy Kat
Out Our Way (by J.R. Williams)
Moon Mullins
Gasoline Alley
Bringing Up Father
Little Nemo

Fans of the adventure strip will find that the following strips are
widely available in collected form:
Terry and the Pirates
Tarzan
Flash Gordon
Buck Rogers
Prince Valiant
Smilin’ Jack

If you want to read some truly laughably bad comic strips, small town newspapers have some of the damndest examples known to man…strips that no real newspaper wants to pay for and no sensible subscribers want to read. Popeye. Mutt and Jeff. The Born Loser. Gil Thorp. Mark Trail. The list goes on and on….

I’d love to find a master list of syndicated strips, the rates
charged, and the number of papers who subscribe. According to my
understanding of the industry, figure regarding rates and numbers of subscribers are generally held pretty closely, except, of course, for the superstars….

9. THE LATEST CONSPIRACY

I hear a crook stole a shoebox with a woman’s dead cat
inside, only, actually, the way I heard the story, it
was a bat, and the bat was Dracula, and he sucked the
blood out of the crook’s neck, but the crook was a
rummy, and so Dracula got drunk and became Drunkula
and then he met Jesus in a bar–also drunk, because
his blood is made of wine–and Drac said “Let’s step

outside” and the Messiah kicked his ass. And then I
heard that Jesus got upset and went to an AA meeting
and made the following speech: “My name is Jesus the
Nazarene and I am an alcoholic. It has been 3 months,
7 days, and 1,974 years since my last drink–a sponge
soaked in vinegar. I have apologized to the wedding
party at Cana, and admitted that I enabled them to
drink by turning water into wine. And finally, I would
like to say that after making a fearless moral
inventory of my past habits, I have decided to look to
a higher power–myself–to overcome my alcoholism.”