MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 223 MAY 2017

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 223
MAY 2017
Copyright 2017 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

1. WHAT IS “IRONY”?
Is Irony real?

Or is it “real”?

Or “twee”?

Or “quirk”? (see Michael Hirshorn, Atlantic Monthly 9-07)
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/09/quirked-around/306119/

Or is irony merely “comic book irony”?
http://absorbascon.blogspot.com/2005/11/comic-book-irony.html

Is there any such thing as too much irony?

For that matter, is there any such thing as “too much” irony?

Has anyone ever “read” Norman Knox. The Word Irony and Its Context,
1500-1755. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1961?
http://www.questia.com/library/book/the-word-irony-and-its-context-1500-1755-by-norman-knox.jsp

Do you still not “know” what irony “is”? Then “read” the “definition”
by Norman D. Knox:
http://www.autodidactproject.org/other/ironydhi.html

Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.
–Karl Kraus

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom.
–Anatole France

Irony is jesting behind hidden gravity.
–John Weiss

A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of
humor for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.
–Jessamyn West

Irony is an insult conveyed in the form of a compliment.
–Edwin P. Whipple

Neither irony nor sarcasm is argument.

2. DEFINITIONS OF SATIRE
“All satire is blind to the forces liberated by decay. Which is why
total decay has absorbed the forces of satire.”–Theodor Adorno

For those of you unclear on the definition of Satire I sugggest you
consult Norman Knox’s valuable work THE WORD IRONY AND ITS CONTEXT
1500-1755, especially pp. 187-8:

“Some writers,” remarks John W. Draper, “use the comic, the ludicrous,
the ridiculous, wit, raillery, humour and satire in a loosely
synonymous fashion….” It was the excetional writer who used any of
these terms with precision. Anthony Collins, for instance, in his
DISCOURSE CONCERNING RIDICULE AND IRONY often seems to consider all of
them available for naming any kind of levity. His usage was
representative of run-of-the-mill authors of the age. But distinctions
were available and can be ferreted out.

Of satire, David Worcester points out that the “soul of the word has
shown a progressive change from a specific, narrow meaning to an
abstact, broad one.” Just as satire itself developed from the
crabbedly conventional verse satires of Joseph hall abd Donne through
the freer verse satires of Dryden into the variety of prose froms used
by Swifyt and Addison and Mandeville, so the word itself widened in
its reference from the formal verse satire to any mode of literature
which displayed a certain motive and spirit.
“More than any other people, the English have associated virulence and
malevlence with the idea of satire,” Worcester comments.
Dryden…supports this view:

…in English, to say satire, is to mean reflection, as we use that
word in the worst sense….

It was probably this sense of the word which necessitated a stock
phrase of the Augustan age, “satire and ridicule.” Ridicule was felt
to indicate something less malevolent and lighter in tone than satire,
to depend on a real or imagined incongruity that had at least
something of the comic in it.–Rufus Choate

SATIRE
“I’ll publish, right or wrong: / Fools are my theme, let satire be my
song.” –Lord Byron

“Why should we fear; and what? The laws? They all are armed in
virtue’s cause; And aiming at the self-same end, Satire is always
virtue’s friend.”–Charles Churchill

“Unless a love of virtue light the flame, Satire is, more than those
he brands, to blame; He hides behind a magisterial air He own
offences, and strips others’ bare.” –William Cowper

“Satire should, like a polished razor keen, Wound with a touch that’s
scarcely felt or seen. Thine is an oyster knife, that hacks and hews;
The rage but not the talent to abuse.”–Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

“Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, And without sneering
teach the rest to sneer; Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike; Alike reserv’d to blame, or
to commend, A tim’rous foe, and a suspicious friend.”–Alexander Pope

3. ON STEREOTYPES
Q:Do monkeys bite?
A: Yes, monkeys will bite.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_monkeys_bite

Stereotypes are generalizations and, as such, are valid, but
ultimately have limited universal applicability.

Maybe stereotypes, rumors, folklore, et al., are just a form of the
party game “Chinese Whispers” or “telephone” on a mass scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_whispers

Stereotypes seem to be promulgated and kept into circulation by people
with blinders fashioned inextricably upon a crucial portion of their
sensory apparatus. Setting purely cultural preferences aside, there
seems to be no scientific basis for stereotypes based upon any
race-based differences. But trying to say in our current
image-obsessed culture is like trying to shout down Cotton Mather
while he hangs people accused of being witches.

http://www.localhistories.org/salem.html

And remember:
“Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools.” –August Bebel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Bebel

See:
The Science of Stereotyping
Ewen: Defining people according to simplified categories dates back to
antiquity, and is probably an intrinsic part of human cultures.
Traditional myths, rituals and dramas routinely employed identifiable
types, but they usually symbolized different aspects of humanity
overall….
With the rise of democratic ideas, traditional ideas about the
God-given differences that justified social hierarchy fell into
disfavor. By the late 18th century, the “Divine Right of Kings” or the
idea of “Papal Infallibility” were being challenged by the ideas of
“natural rights,” “popular sovereignty” and human “inequality.” While
traditional hierarchies fought back, new caste systems arose in the
shadow of democracy. These used “scientific” tools as an argument for
social difference, as a line of defense designed to maintain social
and economic inequities. A scientific stamp of approval now certified
dividing humanity into simple, unequal categories according to race,
gender and economic status. In the 19th and 20th centuries, this
tendency accelerated and many of these simple categories became the
basic vocabulary of popular culture.

4. SINCLAIR LEWIS, NOVELIST
An important American novelist.

Though more than a bit facile.

In Babbitt, the language, as always, is superb:

“That little fuzzy-face there, why, he could make me or break me! If
he told my banker to call my loans—! Gosh! That quarter-sized squirt!
And looking like he hadn’t got a single bit of hustle to him! I
wonder—Do we Boosters throw too many fits about pep?”

(I love the passages with Chum Frink…)

Babbitt was right on the cusp; just before Lewis started listening to
his own press releases and started showing off his knowledge of
vernacular.

Main Street was more devastating, but kind of dull.

Elmer Gantry was overlong.

And, in my opinion,Arrowsmith was just plain embarrassing….

“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and
carrying a cross.”

“Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure
and very dead.”

“There are two insults no human being will endure: that he has no sense
of humor, and that he has never known trouble.”

“People will buy anything that is ‘one to a customer.'”

“The middle class, that prisoner of the barbarian 20th century. ”

5. PIMPLE COMMERCIALS
Here’s one that has haunted me for nearly 50 years:

I’m an acne blemish as lonely as can be
Don’t cry pimple, I’ll keep you company
Say, fellow pimples, would three be a crowd?
All together pimples, sing real loud:

Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh
Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh
Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh Nyahh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V43lg_Pb16k

6. HEY THERE, TOUGH GUY

How ya doin’, Doc?
How’s they hangin’, Evil Genius?
Long time no see, Moose.
Hey there, Mister.
Whatta you have, Chum.
Hello,Jocko.
Ahoy there, Mookie.
Greetings, Jasper.
Name yer poison, Big Man.
Whatever you need, Chilly Willy.
You’re the man, Sarge.
Whoa! Easy there, Beerheart.
What? Your name ain’t ‘Beerheart’?
Ya got a fresh mouth on you there, Lard.
Hey you, Scumbozo!
Lissen up, Punko.
We don’t need no sass, Chiefy.
Take it outside, Boss.
Sez me, Assface.
Don’t start no trouble, Tuffy.
Yo, Dog, I’m talkin’ to YOU.
Yeah, Satan, you.
You must think you’re a Ruff Tuff Creampuff.
Don’t start nuthin, yuh Lousy Pillhead.
G’wan, beat it, Lusho.
Take a hike, Boozeheart, or I’m callin’ the fuzz.
Can you believe the nerve of that pencil-necked geek? Comin’ in here,
tryin’ ta start somethin’? This is a respectable dive!
HEY! Panama Red! Smoke that shit outside!

7. GANSER’S GYM
COME TO GANSER’S GYM (NEXT TO WOLFIE COHEN’S RASCAL HOUSE DELI) !
YOUR TRAINER: A CONVICTED FELON WITH A MAD-ON AGAINST THE WORLD!
SPECIAL: ONE WORK OUT FREE WITH LETTER FROM YOUR PROBATION OFFICER!

8. THAT’S NOT WHAT I CALL MUSIC!
People have always made the uninformed statement that such and such a
genre “isn’t music”.

They said it about Wagner.
About Ragtime.
About Dixieland.
About Be-bop.
About Rock and Roll.
About Free Jazz.
About Third Stream.
About Acid Rock.
About heavy metal.
About punk.
About disco.
About hip-hop.

And they will go on saying it, to the last syllable of recorded time,
on every occasion they are confronted with a type of music that
doesn’t fit their pre-conceived notions of aesthetic rectitude.

Perhaps they don’t mean it literally. Perhaps what they’re saying is
“These sounds are outside of my comfort zone.”

But rather than make a defensible statement that may put them
one-down, they simply resort to utter rejection, the first and often
sole resort of the aesthetically challenged.

We’re hard-wired to turn away from noxious stimuli. In babies it’s
called “gaze aversion”.

Like when children cover their eyes when they’re about to look at
something they don’t want to see.

Or when they pick at unfamiliar food.

Or when they cover their ears and say “I’m not listening! I’m not listening!”

Or when they get all their information about politics from Fox News.

9. TOO FAT POLKA
“I no wanna dance ’cause she too fat for me. Hey!–“Too Fat Polka”

Geez, you sure can deduce a lot from the lyrics of folk music. Polkas
seem to be all about eating and drinking a lot. Mexican songs such as
Corridas seem to talk a lot about criminals, as do quite a few English
and American folk songs. German folk songs seem to focus on murder and
war. Irish songs talk a lot about booze.

And various eras of American popular music seem to betray certain
prevalent attitudes of their day. The fifties: Women as commodities
(“Chantilly Lace”). The late sixties: drug-induced utopian torpor (“If
You’re Going to San Francisco”). The early 70s: Satan ‘n’ solipsism.
The early 80s: tainted love. The early 90s: teen angst. And on and on.

And then there’s rap.

In America, those who don’t excel in commodity training are left
behind. It’s no coincidence that people who live in housing projects
know to the penny the price of such non-essentials as sneakers and
caps. Conspicuous consumption among the undrerclass is one way of
showing the world you aren’t a loser. Consequently, the lyrics of rap
songs are potent statements regarding anti-matriarchical attitudes and
commodity fetishism–tough-guy manifestoes that serve to compensate
for the impotence felt by people with no share of the real power.

But what do I know?

Back when I lived in Pittsburgh (a town with a lotta Poles) that song
was frequently advertised as part of a Polka compilation disc: “Beer
Barrel Polka (Roll out the barrel…)! Too Fat Polka (I no wanna dance
’cause she’s to fat for me–hey!)!….”

I’ve discovered, to my surprise, that the northern corner of Rhode
Island, as well as Central and Western Mass., all have a lot of
persons of Polish ancestry, as well as recent immigrants from Poland.
There’s a Polish restaurant in Webster (haven’t eaten there).

Other Polish enclaves of note are Milwaukee, Cleveland and Chicago. A
large Polish presence practically screams “Rust Belt”.

As for Poles and their predilection for fatty food, we need only look
to the chicken soup with egg noodles sold in jars; the various forms
of potato products (pancakes, bread, vodka, and pierogis); kielbasa,
braunschweiger, scrapple, and other super-fatty meats, and the
invariable New Years delicacies such as pickled herring in cream sauce
and duck’s blood soup.

Stuffed cabbage is one of my favorites. My Uncle Bob Plawski’s wife
Eileen would cook it for me whenever I came to visit.

I mostly grew up in the Bloomfield Neighborhood of Pittsburgh, which
was nearly all Italian. But I specifically spent my earliest childhood
in the adjacent Lawrenceville section, which was and is largely
Polish. July 4th Fireworks at Arsenal Park; fried fish sandwiches; the
Stephen Foster memorial; one of the first Carnegie Libraries ever
built; St. Augustine’s; the Washington Crossing 40th Street Bridge….

Sigh….

Them days are gone forever.

That the Poles want to eat thier fill without getting fat points to a
crucial attribute in their nature: they tend to be both impractical
and stubborn.

Nonetheless, I am proud of my Polish heritage.

But I could do without the Polkas.

I guess I’m too assimilated to appreciate that part of my heritage.

10. WHAT I’D LIKE FOR MY EPITAPH
“A fly went by.”

Or…

הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים אָמַר קֹהֶלֶת, הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים הַכֹּל הָבֶל

Or…

“Oh God! You sank my battleship!”

Or…

THE PLOT THICKENS

Or…

I TOLD YOU NOT TO TAZE ME, BRO

Or…
POST NO BILLS

Or…

Five minutes, five minutes more, please! Let me stay five minutes more!
Can’t I just finish the castle I’m building on the floor?
Can’t I just finish the story I’m reading here in my book?
Can’t I just finish my bead-chain– it almost is finished, look!
Can’t I just finish this game, please? When a game’s once begun
It’s a pity never to find out whether you’ve lost or won.
Can’t I just stay five minutes? Well, can’t I stay just four?
Three minutes, then? Two minutes? Can’t I stay one minute more?

11. DIMENNO
One suspects that, in the USA, mildly subversive irony thrives best in
a period of comparatively casual concerns. In those eras in which such
concerns are not casual, it becomes known as subversive irony, and is
shunned.

During the 1920s, in common with writers such as Sinclair Lewis and
H.L. Mencken, DiMenno was derided by literary eminentoes for what was
deemed his “angry man thesaurus” style. However, during the 1930s,
many of those same critics claimed to detect a degree of social
conciousness, ala Theodore Dreiser, that obviated the “pompous and
zany” thrust of his “Odd looniness.”

In the aftermath of World War Two and the ensuing Red Scare, DiMenno
fell radically out of favor among the “establishment critics” and even
among the avant-garde “beat” school he was seldom dicussed save in the
condescending terms reserved for Pulitzer Prizewinning authors such as
Booth Tarkington and Edna Ferber.

The late 60s and early 70s were a period that fostered a brief revival
of interest in his work. However, the early 1980s found him once more
under attack for his late-life satiric sallies against “the power in
this land”.

However, though they deplored his elitist and somewhat dated and even
solipsistic concerns, in the 1990s, some of his more ardent adherents
on the left found great value in his more radical writings, similar to
the revival in interest in the works of Mark Twain during the 1960s.

However, in the first part of the 21st century, the events of 9/11
lead many to conclude that leaders were being assassinated, democracy
was being attacked, and that DiMenno was guilty of “giving aid and
comfort to our enemies,” since his writings were the source of a great
deal of vaguely anti-American rhetoric that foreign intellectuals were
using as ammunition against would-be American hegemony.

Only in the wake of the “Recession Panic of 2008” and the ensuing “liberal
reaction” against “the politics of greed” has the work of DiMenno, to
some degree, been reassessed, and found “good…without regard to the
purposes of mankind.” However, decades may pass before scholars decide
upon its rightful place in the literary history of the United States.  

 

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THE INFORMATION #939 MAY 5, 2017

THE INFORMATION #939
MAY 5, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

I had a dream that I lost my teeth and when I woke up they were all still in my mouth, thank God that I am not a Hill Billy after all. –Starley Ard

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY-TWO: DAYS OF WRATH

“You can be sure of one thing,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy, as they walked along the principal boulevard of Blowtown on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon, “You can be sure that when a woman first takes up with you, and she tells you that she can hear you very well, it signifies that she’s with it and for it, because she’s been around, and she knows how to follow orders, and doesn’t need to be cuffed about. But women like that are one in a thousand. In general, you don’t want a Zook who will judge you by your mannerisms. If she don’t like you when she’s twenty, it’s a good bet that she’ll absolutely despise you by the time she’s sixty. If you both live so long.

“On the other hand, I suppose it’s alright if a woman tries to teach you good manners. That’s what they do. After all, part of her job is to teach proper manners to your son. Now, manners ain’t so hard to master in theory. There are plenty of books out there as will tell you what’s proper. The problem is that the people who need manners the most are the ones who most likely can’t read. There are plenty of hillbillies out there who don’t read anything but the Bible and the Monkey-Ward catalog. To those Yellofs, eyeglasses are cheaters and the wearing of them is the sign of a weakling and a certified citified dude. They’re very big on honor, those hillbillies are. To me, they’re barely even human–just a defective form of animal life. What would you say about an animal that would starve rather than eat from your hand? Go to Arkansas some time–you’ll never again see so much bone-bred ignorance clustered together all in one place. The mountaineer relies on one tool above all others–his trusty rifle. As long as a got a belly full of squirrel brains, he’s a happy man. Northerners may have their faults and follies. They are very much inclined to think that a purely speculative wager on the stock market is actually going to provide some kind of windfall to them and theirs, somewhere down the road. It’s about as likely as a drunken cowboy winning at Faro. Or an old Jew winning at Stuss. It’s like a fool trying to get work out of a balky mule. It’s like the suckers in hell pleading for ice water which they ain’t a-gonna get. I’ll say it again: Winning at playing the market? It just ain’t gonna happen. The deck is stacked.

“There’s one good thing about hillbillies, I guess–one, and only one. Their womenfolk sure are purty when they’re about sixteen, and just starting to ripen. Though even then they are likely to be old before their time. By twenty-two a hillbilly gal is an incipient hag with saggy tits, and by thirty she’s practically an ancient, withered crone. The problem is the same as with a kitten–sooner or later it grows up and becomes a worthless old cat. I can tell you, Yob, that many a moonstruck city slicker has married one of them hillbilly gals, expecting that holy macaroni would make a real lady of her. In ninety-nine cases out of one hundred, they were sadly disappointed. Chances are nearly 100 per cent that she turns out to be a tobacco-chewing, snuff-taking, moonshine-drinking, bad-tempered, sour-faced, thin-lipped, argumentative Zook–and those are her good qualities. On the whole, a certain genetic predetermination makes all of these hill folks inferior in intellect, illiterate, lazy, foul-smelling, and outstanding solely in brute strength, and in rapscality. Maybe the Mammy was chewing loco weed and it got into her milk–I dunno. But lots of hillbilly boys grow up to become angry killers, and the girls become slatterns who become pregnant if you so much as look at them.

“These stump jumpers are by far more akin to apes than angels. Your average hillbilly, why, he will get drunk and argue politics all day long, with no more notion of what he is talking about than a kitten has of algebra. The lowest black-as-melted-midnight, granny-dodging, watermelon-eating, razor-wielding, dice-playing, chicken-stealing shoeshine boy in one of our big cities is about two steps superior to the poor white trash who roams the hills and vales of our great Republic. I would sooner trust him to run an errand for me than any one of those inbred hill folk, with their filthy bare feet, and their queer and shapeless black felt hats, and their faded bib overalls, and their odious gap-toothed smiles. And their men are even worse. These hillbillies are the sort of low-down trash who are so lazy that they never even owned slaves. Maybe because they’re so indolent they don’t even like to WATCH other people who are working hard. I will admit that they are plenty industrious, though, when it comes to one thing: making homebrew and bringing it to market–unless they’re so far gone that they drink up all the rotgut all by themselves. If they would stop snapping at the jug and start snapping open a book, maybe they would amount to something. But they never will. They are the lowest form of sucker–the sucker who is happy with his lot, owns nothing, has nothing, and is happy with nothing. He is impossible to cheat because he lives in a barter society, and he only trades with his own kind. He is funny in that he longs for the novelty to be had by seeing folk from the flatlands and listening to their stories of the doings in Fat City, which, to him, is any municipality of more than 5,000 people. Yet, on the other hand, he hotly resents the traveler as an interloper and despises him for his civilized ways, which includes wiping his mouth with a napkin and wiping his ass with toilet paper, rather than a corn cob or a handful of leaves. And then, before you know it, out comes the shotgun, and you start to hear him mutter about how he don’t want you hangin’ round his little sister no more, and about how it might be best if he consult the local train schedule and get out of town on the first thing smoking because the train’s leaving very soon and he wants you on it.

“And you better do what he suggests. because one thing’s for sure–them hill folk, when it comes to matters of what they consider to be their sacred honor–they sure don’t mess around.”

1*SALUTATION
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK
BUNKER SOLDIERS
https://youtu.be/ko6WAw3xcjc

THE NEW STONE AGE
https://youtu.be/6bCCF3rg8lA

ALSO SEE:
BEST OF OMD 1979-1983
https://youtu.be/eicbWKG7Zss

2*REFERENCE
LIBERAL QUAKERS DISOWNED RICHARD NIXON
The Quakers sought to disown Nixon on account of the war.
books.google.com/books?id=iw6eCwAAQBAJ&pg=PT117&lpg=PT117&dq=the+Quakers+disowned+Nixon+on+account+of+the+war.&source=bl&ots=ynlVgq7CWv&sig=odws3jEa0EMcTZ9CYiQlrgKFOJo&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUuqjnq8LTAhXq7YMKHS_bBQUQ6AEIJzAB#v=onepage&q=the%20Quakers%20disowned%20Nixon%20on%20account%20of%20the%20war.&f=false

ALSO SEE:
OLD FASHIONED QUAKER OAFS
http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/yan/1a39000/1a39000/1a39000r.jpg

3*HUMOR
Paul Simon: I’m Proud Of All My Songs, Even The Ones I Stole From People I Heard At Open-Mic Nights
http://www.theonion.com/blogpost/im-proud-of-all-my-songs-even-the-ones-i-stole-fro-29078

4*NOVELTY
MCDONALD SHAKES
http://www.snopes.com/horrors/food/mcdshake.asp

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
MONETIZING ANGST
The saga of a YouTube family who pulled disturbing pranks on their own kids
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/04/25/the-saga-of-a-youtube-family-who-pulled-disturbing-pranks-on-their-own-kids/?utm_term=.e0b1ecb90437

6* DAILY UTILITY
LOWEST GAS PRICES
http://www.gaspricewatch.com/

7*CARTOON
LOOK AT BILL’S SHIRT!
http://s3.crackedcdn.com/blogimages/2010/03/sb49-animals.jpg
http://www.cracked.com/blog/man-comics-man-safety/

ALSO SEE:
THE HORROR OF POPSICLE PETE
http://s3.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/article/5/6/1/73561.jpg?v=1

THE 8 MOST BAFFLING FOOD MASCOTS OF ALL TIME
http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-8-most-baffling-food-mascots-all-time/

THE CRIMES OF POPSICLE PETE
http://wiki.urbandead.com/index.php/Popsicle_Pete

8*PRESCRIPTION
40 ASSETS FOR ADOLESCENTS
http://www.search-institute.org/content/40-developmental-assets-adolescents-ages-12-18

9*RUMOR PATROL
THE UNBEARABLE WRONGNESS OF GWYNETH PALTROW
Raw milk, which is milk that has not been pasteurized — milk straight from the teat — makes up about one percent of the U.S. dairy supply. However, it causes approximately 80 percent of the foodborne illnesses in dairy. This includes the parasite giardia, which will give you a case of diarrhea to rival a jumbo-sized bag of sugar-free gummy bears. Raw milk is touted in the alternative health community for “boosting immunity” or for the benefits of its natural enzymes, but if you ever consider it for you or your pint-sized human, I urge you to reconsider. Certain families with homeopathic tendencies have become intimately acquainted with the medical complications of hemolytic uremic syndrome and e. Coli in infants, courtesy of raw milk. Raw goat’s milk and raw cow’s milk come with the same risks; there’s nothing inherently better for babies about the milk coming from a goat or not being pasteurized.
And wait. Wasn’t giardia one of the parasites that raw goat’s milk was supposed to cure? This alternative medicine is tricksy — because it’s bullshit.
theoutline.com/post/1394/the-unbearable-wrongness-of-gwyneth-paltrow

10* LAGNIAPPE
FRANK KOZIK
I am the proud owner of this original poster.
https://www.picclickimg.com/d/w1600/pict/152083992694_/The-Flintstones-Rare-Frank-Kozik-Poster-Acid-Is.jpg

ALSO SEE:
KOZIK POSTER ART
https://www.nevermindgallery.com/collections/frank-kozik-html

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE JFK ASSASSINATION
Who killed JFK? Was it…the CIA, the FBI, the Mob, the Cubans, the Right Wing Texas oilmen, the Klan, the Russians, LBJ, the Masons…?

The question now is, who didn’t Kill Kennedy?

I’m pretty sure the Quakers had nothing to do with it.

But wait. Nixon was…a Quaker.

And he was in…Dallas.

Supposedly for a Pepsi-Cola event.

By the way, Joe McCarthy was so in thrall to those folks that he was known around the Senate as “The Pepsi-Cola Kid.”

“Say Oswald, Please!”

The Kennedys were good friends with McCarthy. JFK abstained from voting for his censure.

Wheels within wheels, maan.

There are plenty of books on the subject put out by this small firm:
trineday.com/

For instance:
http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Marys-Monkey-Cancer-Causing-Assassination/dp/1634240308

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
90 CLASSIC BOOKS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY. LANGE. ***
1001 FACTS THAT WILL SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF YOU. MCNEAL.
1966. SAVAGE. ****
4,000 DAYS. FELLOWS. ****
THE ABOMINABLE MR. SEABROOK. OLLMANN. ****
ALL NEW X-MEN INEVITABLE 3: HELL HATH SO MUCH FURY. ***1/2
THE ANIMAL FACTORY. BUNKER. ***1/2
AWAKENING 1. TAPALANSKY. ***1/2
THE BAKER STREET PECULIARS. LONGRIDGE. ***
THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS 2016. CHAST, ED. ****
THE BEST WE COULD DO. BUI. ****
THE COMPLETE TALES FROM THE CON. ***1/2
DAYS OF DESTRUCTION, DAYS OF REVOLT. SACCO. ****
DOG EAT DOG. BUNKER. ***1/2
DV8. NEIGHBORHOOD THREAT. ELLIS. ***
EDUCATION OF A FELON. BUNKER. ****
FIRE!! BAGGE. ****
FRESH ROMANCE 1. **
FUTUREQUEST 1. **1/2
GONZO. BINGLEY AND HOPE-SMITH. ****
GRAYSON 5. SPYRAL’S END. ***1/2
GREEN ARROW 1. THE DEATH AND LIFE OF OLVER QUEEN. ***1/2
HERMAN MELVILLE’S MOBY DICK. CHABOUTE. ****1/2
HILLBILLY ELEGY. VANCE. ***1/2
HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? O’ROURKE. ***1/2
HOUSE OF PENANCE. TOMASI. ***1/2
KONG OF SKULL ISLAND 1. ***
LAZARUS CHURCHYARD. ELLIS. ***1/2
THE LIGHTHOUSE. ROCA. ****1/2
LITTLE BOY BLUE. BUNKER. ****
MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUR MONEY. THORNTON. ****
NEWUNIVERSAL: EVERYTHING WENT WHITE. ELLIS. ***1/2
NIGHTWING 1. BETTER THAN BATMAN. ***1/2
NO BEAST SO FIERCE. BUNKER. ****
OCEAN. ELLIS. ***1/2
ONE TRICK PONY. HALE. ***
ORBITER. ELLIS. ****
ORIGINAL GANGSTER. LUCAS. ***1/2
POOR ECONOMICS. BANERJEE & DUFLO. ****
RED/TOKYO STORM WARNING. ELLIS. ****
RELOAD/MEK. ELLIS. ***1/2
THE REPORTER WHO KNEW TOO MUCH. SHAW. ***
REVOLUTION’S END. SCHREIBER. ***1/2
SCARED SHITLESS. MCNEAL. ***
SHOCK & AWE: GLAM ROCK AND ITS LEGACY. REYNOLDS. ****
SNOTGIRL 1. GREEN HAIR DON’T CARE. **1/2
STARFIRE 1. WELCOME HOME. ***1/2
SWITCHBLADE HONEY. ELLIS. ***
TERMS & CONDITIONS. SIKORYAK. ***1/2
WHEN THE MOB RAN VEGAS, FISCHER. **1/2
WHITE TRASH. ISENBERG. ****1/2
WONDER WOMAN 1. THE LIES. ***1/2
YVAIN: THE KNIGHT OF THE LION. ANDERSON. ****

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
937. 80s BOSTON ALT-ROCK
http://www.stereogum.com/featured/boston-alt-rock-reunions-belly-buffalo-tom-juliana-hatfield-letters-to-cleo/

938. BULLET LA VOLTA TOUR DIARY
http://www.luckyfrogfarms.com/cook/NL/1990’s/1991/1991_08.pdf

939. CONSPIRACY AND THE BRAIN: A BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY
Michael J Wood, Karen M Douglas, Robbie M Sutton, Dead and Alive: Beliefs in Contradictory Conspiracy Theories, Social Psychology & Personality Science, 25 January 2012,

Jan-Willem van Prooijen, Michele Acker, The Influence of Control on Belief in Conspiracy Theories: Conceptual and Applied Extensions, Applied Cognitive Psychology, Appl. Cognit. Psychol. Vol 29 Issue 5

Hannah Darwin, Nick Neave, Joni Holmes, Belief in conspiracy theories. The role of paranormal belief, paranoid ideation and schizotypy, Personality and Individual Differences, 50(8):1289-1293 · June 2011

Neil Dagnall, Kenneth Drinkwater, Megan Parton, Conspiracy theory and cognitive style: a worldview, Frontiers in Psychology, June 2015

THE INFORMATION #938 APRIL 28, 2017

THE INFORMATION #938
APRIL 28, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Satire derives from a heightened awareness of the fall of man, and is a kind of earthly mysticism.–Malcolm Muggeridge

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY-ONE: DAYS OF WRATH

“Did I ever mention to you,”said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy, as they walked along the principal boulevard of Blowtown on an unseasonably warm spring afternoon, “that I would gladly drive every damn housecat from off’n the face of the earth? Now, you might say, well, Sir, what about the rats? And I say that a good terrier dog has been known to kill as many as 2000 rats in a single night.

“What do I have agin’ cats? Plenty. They are arrogant and selfish, and they suck the breath out of babies, and that’s a known fact. They’re mean and they’re evil. Their hearts are full of poison. They won’t hesitate to bite and scratch you for practically no reason–just like a jealous woman as a matter of fact. Or a hillbilly sharecropper out on a toot.

“You can talk to a dog, and the brute almost seems to understand. But try talking to a cat, and as you look into those cold agate eyes you can almost see the creature thinking ‘Fuck you.’ I know that I am not alone in my feelings. As a matter of fact, you will find a great many horse doctors who share my sentiments. What the hell good are cats? They’re lazy, and will gladly sleep all day, and otherwise they will just set there doin’ nothin’, which sets a bad example for the children. They smell like piss. They spread diseases. And everywhere they go they shed their dirty fur and leave a trail of feline filth behind them. Plus, if you’re any kind of halfway intelligent moron, you get the inescapable instinct when you look at their blank stare and their idiotic purring faces that they would be just as happy if you were dead. If all of us were dead. And they also give the distinct impression that they would gladly feast on your still-warm corpse. At least a dog would have the decency to bark, and wake the neighbors, if something were to happen to you in the dead of night. But I’ll bet you ten to one that old Mr. Whiskers will start right in on the arm meat and commence to work his way up.

“Cats are really no good. They are killers who will attack everything that moves. Why we put up with them at all, I’ll never know. They are baby-faced monsters who have no sense of loyalty and a twisted sense of fun. They would rather bat around a half-dead mouse for hours on end than interact with a human being. They are persnickety little fussbudgets, and picky eaters, and you can’t get them to do anything that they don’t want to do. Again, kind of like women. They eat their own vomit. They spray their smelly musk all over everything. They kill innocent birds for no reason other than sheer orneryness. And then they bring the corpses into the front parlor, as though they’re doing you some sort of favor. They deposit their filth on every eating place in the kitchen. They wipe their filthy asses on every cloth surface in the house, including your antimacassar and your sofa and your hassock. They trail a foul aroma after them. They claw your furniture and no doubt would claw your face while you sleep if they could get away with it. The only person who is desperate enough to love a cat is very likely a lonely old spinster with way too much time on her hands.

“Because cats are vindictive and spiteful. they will shit on your shoes and even on your clothing just to get even with you. They puke enormous hairballs over every sanitary surface, and contaminate an entire house with their noxious smell of their excreta. If you ever meet a woman who owns more than one cat–beware. There is probably something uniquely wrong with her. She is very likely to be neurasthenic, at the very least, and probably a bull-goose loony who’s ready to be carted off to the laughing academy at the worst. As far as I’m concerned, a cat is a non-negotiable piece of baggage. When I take a lover, I lay down the law from the get-go: Either the cat goes, or I do. Any woman with any sense will get rid of the feline first thing. Cats are not something you should form an attachment to. They are dangerous ingrates. Any woman who would rather die than get rid of her cat is no woman for me. I won’t go so far as to say that she is infected by the evil cat and would be better off dead–though sometimes I wonder.

“Don’t get me wrong–I am not afraid of cats. I do not resent cats for being independent. I do not despise cats because they won’t follow orders. But I am on to cats. I know they are running an enormous racket. You see, I know them too well to believe otherwise. How, you might ask? Well, me and some of the boys were on our uppers one time, so we started an Angora kitten racket. The ad was geared to schoolmarms and other old biddies with moron intellects. It advertised a genuine purebred at a fire-sale price, delivered right to your door. In big bold letters printed at the bottom were the words ‘Last chance to send in your dollar’. What the racket was, was that we would capture every flea-bitten and mangy alley-cat we could find and corral them into a rented barn. Then one of us would put on heavy cattleman’s gloves and shove the kitty into a feculent crate. Picture the surprise on the face of the old widder-woman when she opened the putrid box, with white-gloved hands trembling in anticipation, and was greeted by a spitting and clawing wild cat, its matted fur smelling of shit and rancid fish, yowling and screaming all around a room after springing out of the box and screaming like a banshee. I imagine that many a fine parlor was wrecked beyond recognition by the howling moggie. I wonder how many old ladies dropped dead simply from the excitement alone.

“Anyway, cats are born grifters. Most people know this without really realizing it. Beware of a prison inmate with a cat tattoo–it either means he is a thief, or that he likes to fight, especially with turnkeys. Not a man to make an enemy of.

“Let me tell you something else–I actually admire big cats. I like to go to the circus to see them perform their tricks. But that doesn’t mean that I would like to own one. Quite frankly, I would rather not have to look every live-long day upon the visage of a duplicitous creature with a brain the size of a dumpling licking its blood-soaked paw with its disgusting pink tongue.Quite frankly, I would rather watch a forty-two round prizefight.

“That’s why I say that we should get rid of cats. Every last one of them. I maintain that the world would be a better place without them—a far, far better place.”

1*SALUTATION
THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS
THE WHOLE WORLD OUGHT TO TAKE A VACATION
https://youtu.be/hJ-fF0UdQaE

ALSO SEE;
ANTOINETTE
https://youtu.be/bxQErE2YLAc

2*REFERENCE
PRISON TATTOOS
Playing cards, or suits of the deck in general, usually indicate an inmate who likes to gamble. This applies to gambling games both within prison and without; it can also represent a person who generally views life as a gamble.

This tattoo is very popular in Russian prisons, where each deck has its own meaning. A spade represents a thief; clubs symbolize criminals in general. Diamonds are reserved for stool
pigeons and informants – if the cards have this deck, then it was likely applied with force. Hearts imply that someone is looking for a romantic partner in the prison, which may also be forcibly applied.
https://www.correctionsone.com/prison-gangs/articles/7527475-15-prison-tattoos-and-their-meanings/
https://www.correctionsone.com/corrections/articles/7731169-15-more-prison-tattoos-and-their-meanings/
https://www.correctionsone.com/column/articles/8688136-12-Russian-prison-tattoos-and-their-meanings/
https://www.correctionsone.com/column/articles/7811864-The-Question-Why-do-so-many-inmates-have-tattoos/

ALSO SEE:
42 SIGNS YOU’RE A CORRECTIONS OFFICER
https://www.correctionsone.com/jail-management/articles/5194981-42-signs-youre-a-corrections-officer/

3*HUMOR
POMERANIAN AFRAID OF NAIL CLIPPERS
https://youtu.be/jMhei1CcVTo

ALSO SEE:
DOG AFRAID OF JULIA ROBERTS
https://youtu.be/RtT9X4eT_Ss

ANGRY CAT FIGHTS WITH HIMSELF IN A MIRROR
https://youtu.be/o8fu6xDmfOU

4*NOVELTY
Whistling Wizards – 1890s to the 1970s
http://claytonsahib.weebly.com/artists/whistling-wizards-1890s-to-the-1920s

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
NOVELTY JESUS ART
https://www.pinterest.com/heidirettig/just-jesus-crafting-for-the-lord/

6* DAILY UTILITY
XQUISITE XPRESS
https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17861435_10212254362135887_7209646359520389204_n.jpg?oh=f4244d6bb5506b37538bea3cd84a1a07&oe=59569667

7*CARTOON
RAY NELSON AND BILL WRAY
NADA
http://sapcomics.blogspot.com/2012/01/nada.html

This is the story that the movie “They Live” was based on.

8*PRESCRIPTION
GOLDFRAPP
TALES OF US
https://youtu.be/xBUain_8K40

9*RUMOR PATROL
MY ADVENTURES WITH YOUR MONEY
BY CHARLES GRAHAM RICE
https://archive.org/details/myadventureswith00riceuoft

10* LAGNIAPPE
THE BETTER BEATLES
PENNY LANE
https://youtu.be/7g-Dr1Xhk8A

ALSO SEE:
HELLO GOODBYE RINGTONE
www.betterbeatles.com/media/Hello_Goodbye_ringtone.mp3

ALSO SEE:
THE BEATLES BARKERS
OBLADI OBLIDA
https://youtu.be/a2nqsVajAlo

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
KATE BEATON
HARK! A VAGRANT!
http://cdn.pastemagazine.com/www/articles/2015/09/15/POPSinterior142.jpg

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/09/step-aside-pops-by-kate-beaton-review.html

http://www.harkavagrant.com/archive.php

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
935. LET BLACK PEOPLE GO OR THE DOOM INCREASES
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-fresno-shooting-20170418-story.html

936. POST-PUNK ODDITIES
http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Wardruna/post_punk_oddities/

THE INFORMATION #937 APRIL 21, 2017

THE INFORMATION #937
APRIL 21, 2017
Most of the appearance of mirth in the world is not mirth, it is art. The wounded spirit is not seen, but walks under a disguise. –Robert South

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TWENTY: DAYS OF WRATH
 
“A wise old Jew goniff as was a friend of mine once gave me the best advice of my entire life.” Count Justin Victor was in a typically expansive mood, and as they walked the cobblestoned and rain-slicked streets of early evening Blowtown in the early spring, he even looped his arm through that of Cadger Tandy, as though they were boon companions. 
There ensued a long pause. “When you get to be my age though, you have so many memories to draw from that things tend to get tangled up a mite, so I’m going to have to think a few minutes afore I can recall precisely what it was he said to me that left such an unforgettable impression. It wasn’t that old wheeze about polishing the back of your shoes as well as the front. But I will say this. You should always buy the best pair of shoes you can afford, and make sure they fit. They shouldn’t be too short and they shouldn’t be too narrow, or your toes will become deformed. Plus, you won’t be able to run away from the Rozzers. Also, a sturdy pair of shoes can be used to clobber a refractory Yob but good, once you’ve knocked him sky west. And women tend to notice things like shoes. So do military men. And other single-minded folk. Me, personally, I think it shouldn’t matter what you wear. But the world will have a long party knocking the snot-nose out of you if you try to go up agin in. So better you mind your ps and qs.
“Whether you’re in it for the short con or the long, it always pays to dress up, or down, as the occasion demands. You won’t be dining at Delmonico’s with clothing that looks like you stole it off’n a scarecrow. Nor will you get very far in the hobo jungle with a top hat and a tux. Apatetic coloration is what the double-domes call it. In order to survive, you is got to learn how to blend in. Learn which fork is used to eat a lobster. Learn which knife is best to stab a bindlestiff. You surely do not want to dress in such a way as to attract the attention of the nebby-nosed constabulary. Nor do you ever want to make a fuss in any crowded place, whether indoor or out. Unless, of course, you’re shilling for a cannon.
“You always want to be well-shaved. A man with straggly chin whiskers always looks like a bum. People won’t think very highly of you if they see that you’re that careless in attending to your personal appearance. You may say to yourself that you don’t give a good god-damn about what the world thinks, and that attitude is just fine–if you’re poor white trash and intend to stay that way. 
“Let me tell you something about white trash. There are about fifteen million weeping hillbillies roaming the mountains of Appalachia and points south and west, and as far as I’m concerned, not one of them is worth a good goddamn. They are poor, and they are stupid, and they were born that way, and they will stay that way. At least the negro of the southland is servile, and always knows his place, and is industrious when he can’t get away with loafing, and he can generally be trusted not to fuck things up too badly. The same can’t be said of the mountain man. He is surly, and illiterate, and stubborn as a mule, and proud of it. He always spends what few pennies he owns on trifles, and he don’t give a good goddamn what you think about it–but then he’ll turn around and try to borrow a sawbuck off of you. Money he has absolutely no intention of ever paying back to you. Because he is a moke. Call him what you will–a savage, a brawler, a brute, a mongrel–he is a cast-off; a moron; a lousy off-scouring of the land. And that’s because his germ plasm is of the lowest sort. He is descended from the lowest riff-raff of the English shores–cut-purses, counter-jumpers, common cheats, and cannibals.
“Of course, down south they have a very different notion of what constitutes a gentleman compared to what passes muster up hereabouts. In these parts, a gentleman has his nails manicured and wears a starched collar. His hat is of the very latest fashion, and he likely has a cane with a gold head, and a stickpin for his silk necktie, and cufflinks, but nothing too extravagant. The only rings he wears are a wedding band–and possibly a class ring or a Masonic ring. Whereas down south, a gentleman is more likely to sport a starched white shirt, and a bowtie, or a string tie, and a vest. He may favor a straw boater, and his suit is likely to be of a cotton weave, rather than heavy wool. He is also likely to have chin whiskers. And his tastes in attire tend slightly more toward to extravagant and gaudy. He is more of a Dandy, as befits a strutting cock of a Cavalier. He bids fair to light up a horse race, or a fancy hotel lobby. 
“Now I remember what the old Jew said! He said that whether you have the dosh or you don’t, when staying in a halfway decent hotel, the one thing you always do is tip your bellboy extravagantly well. It is fine to be thrifty, said he, or even frugal, but there’s no need to be stingy. There are many reasons to tip your bellboy, said he. The Yobs who work in a swell hotel get wised up fast, and soon know as much as the House Dick, and even more. The bellboy knows where all the best booze and whores and drugs are to be had. Tip him well and he’ll steer you clear of bad hooch and panel houses. Tip him well and you won’t be getting raw alky spiked with kerosene; you’ll be getting a bottle of the best bonded; the real McCoy. Tip him, damn you, and you won’t be getting some cheap clapped up floozie who reeks of milk puke and mildew; you’ll be getting a top-drawer Zook who looks and smells like peaches and cream. If the gendarmerie are snooping ’round the premises, he’ll make sure you’re the first to know. He can keep a confidence if you tip him well; everything you ask for will be between he and thee and certainly not the parson.  Fact is, if you give him a tip that’ll make his eyes pop open, he’ll figure you for a grand sport, and he won’t be able to do enough for you. Plus, he’ll feel as though you’ve taken a personal interest in him, and that there might be more where that came from. After you leave, he might even talk you up to the Bell Captain, and the next time you set foot in the place there will be dozens of servile lackeys waiting to fulfill your every depraved whim. Of course, it goes without saying that you never slip them the queer, any more than you would a rozzer. Those little monkeys with the caps are older heads than most coppers. No one ever got fat pitching fast balls past those Yellofs. Savvy?
“Maybe you’ve heard, Yob, of the most famous bellboy of all?  None other than Saint Peter, his own self…standing watch at the pearly gates of Heaven.”  
1*SALUTATION
STEELEYE SPAN
ALL AROUND MY HAT
 
ALSO SEE:
THE WEAVER AND THE FACTORY MAID

2*REFERENCE
ILLUMINATI SELLOUTS EXPOSED
 
ALSO SEE:
PROFESSOR GRIFF EXPOSES WILL SMITH AS HOMOSEXUAL
3*HUMOR
So Don Rickles is dead. He was the first comedian I ever admired. To think–he must have been at least 40 when I first saw him. 
 
He went through a phase of wild popularity in the early 1970s. Jack Kirby even used him in the pages of Jimmy Olsen:
 
The late Mr. Rickles had a bit of the schizophrenic about him. He blurted out the truth compulsively, due to his unique world-view. 
 
Not that he was actually schizophrenic, or even schizotypal. He just latched on to Texas Guinan’s gimmick of treating people like suckers, for laughs.
 
(Plus, as Gershon Legman informs us, there is a great old tradition of insult humor known as Water-Wit, which even Samuel Johnson allegedly indulged in.  “Sir, your wife under pretence of keeping a bawdy-house, is a receiver of stolen goods.”  Johnson’s summation of Lord Chesterfield’s letters to his son is hilarious: “They teach the morals of a whore, and the manners of a dancing master.”) 
 
But seeing is believing:
Don Rickles Roasts Frank Sinatra
 
Don Rickles Roasts Jerry Lewis
 
Don Rickles and Michael Landon on Carson’s Tonight Show 1974
4*NOVELTY
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

The Paragraphs. By Rick Berlin. Cutlass Press, 2016. Paperback. 248 pages.

The memoir form is a strange and wondrous beast. It tends to be less comprehensive than an autobiography, and therefore also tends to be impressionistic rather than concrete; terse rather than prolix; luminous rather than opaque. Impressionistic, terse and luminous is largely what we are given here; this book is mostly sweet, sometimes tough, and never, ever stuffy. All the verbal fireworks are expelled and exploded in short squibs rather than in ponderous earthshaking volleys. The Paragraphs is a memoir which is full of sentiment but seldom merely sentimental; the author is grandiose, but also humble; garrulous, but with a good sense of when to end a story or an anecdote or a thought exercise. Berlin indulges in solipsism, but manages to be entertaining at the same time. This memoir has the feeling of a series of miniatures, loosely strung together under a set list of thematic headings (“family”; “music”; “booze/drugs”). Berlin touches briefly on certain high points in his life: A movie to be shot in Grenada which he dropped out of Yale Drama School to participate in (culminating in the arrest of the entire cast and crew). His glory days as a performer in Orchestra Luna. His 29 years of “waitress” work at Doyle’s in Jamaica Plain. He also talks a bit about topics which appeal to his eccentric fancy: His cat, his new Kia, farts, asses, zits. I get the impression that Berlin has gathered up a series of his ruminations and jottings over the years and compiled them all together. It probably shouldn’t work as a memoir, but mostly it does. This is due almost entirely to the fact that Berlin is a keen observer with the instincts of an artist, as well as a flair for a certain type of (uncapitalized) bop prosody which is likely to be familiar to those who are fond of the works of Ginsberg, Corso, Kerouac, et al. However, even though this memoir may partake of the Romanticism of the Beats (as well as that of the Romantic poets) his voice and insights are entirely his own. In fact, one gets the sense, after reading The Paragraphs, that one has just enjoyed a long leisurely chat with the author. This is not necessarily all to the good; in the hands of a less gifted raconteur the reader might have on numerous occasions been tempted to put the book back on the shelf and leave it there. As it stands, the memoir, brief as it is, might have benefited from a few judicious elisions.(There are, to my taste, just a few too may anecdotes about Berlin’s unrequited boyhood crushes on boys.) However, it would be a shame if a ruthless editor had laid hands on this manuscript; he or she might have felt constrained to cut out some of the best chapters, simply because they are peripheral to the through-line. For instance, the chapter on “Band Parents” is cutting and incisive and just a little bit brutal. The ruminations in “College?” are both cynical and wise. The section on “the Grim Smile” reads like a stage-ready Performance Art piece.

There are many passages which stand out for their lyricism and prosody.

From “Performing”

if you give it all you got, if you ‘leave it all on the stage,’ you occasionally inhabit an ego-vanishing dimension. your ‘you’ vaporizes. you transmogrify into an energy that is not from, but through the Self. your ‘muse’ Ouija-boards an art wave. this is intoxicating and, let’s face it, you love the love even as you wonder how to win the anonymous art. you invent reciprocity.

From “Is the Grass Really Greener? (Redux)”:

we lie in bed, heavy with the weight of the not done, the ‘all’ we may never be, the relationships that are missing or too much with us, the families that drive us crazy, the cars that won’t start, the jobs that don’t pay enough for the shit we take, the books we never write, the plays we’re not in and the races we’re too scared to run. we’re charged so many debits and collect so few credits.

But Berlin can also be gnomic

From “College?”: “…to spend that much money to learn all the places you fail is false advertising….”

From “Neverland”: “did Peter Pan have it right, or did Dorian Gray?”

From “O Tannenbaum”: “pretty loses out to truth.”

This last quote is as good a place as any to conclude. Berlin’s style is sometimes lyrical and sometimes vulgar, but you always get the strong impression that he employs few, if any filters in this memoir. If you favor such wild, unalloyed Romaticism, then you might decide to read this diverting memoir in one fell swoop.

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

933. PIT BULLS: “THIS NOBLE BREED”
934. THE MUSIC MAP
To find bands of related interest

I suspect that this application was not designed with the discerning cognoscenti in mind.

And the algorithm is probably based on some sort of citation analysis.

I guess it is more a tool to guide you toward other similarly good bands than it is a tool to guide you to other bands which sound alike.

 
But sometimes the results are a little…off.

“If you like Fabian you might also like Mingus.”


“If you like Noel Coward you might also like Corky and the Juice Pigs.”

THE INFORMATION #936 APRIL 14, 2017

THE INFORMATION #936
APRIL 14, 2017
Women cannot receive even the most palpably judicious suggestion without arguing it; that is, married women.–Mark Twain

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART NINETEEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“My vision of hell,” said Count Victor Justin, “in case you’d care to hear it, is to be everlastingly dominated by women. Do this; don’t do that. Faugh!  Women!  O, the Minxes! First they’ll mother you, then they’ll smother you. That’s no kind of life for a freebooting manikin.

“I don’t even know why Yellofs even bother with women, most of the time, other than for the pokey-pokey, and the perpetuation of the race. Zooks have absolutely nothing in common with us, or with any of our interests. We like the smell of the tavern; they fawn on the aroma of the tea parlor. We grow hair all over our arms and legs; they just as assiduously shave it off. We reek of manly scents like sweat and horseflesh, while they slap themselves all over with perfumy water that makes them stink like the denizens of an International Whorehouse, or the inner courtyard  of a despicable Seraglio. We like to eat steaks and sausages and whole chickens, while they confine themselves to watercress sandwiches and other rabbit food. We drink from buckets brimming over with good reeb straight from the barrel, while they sip on sickly-sweet sherry and other bastardized concoctions. We men will eat most anything when we’re hungry; the womenfolk, however, are picky, and nothing will do other than some gigolo furriner with a fancy white hat be put to work making them exotic dishes–rubbish which no self-respecting he-man would touch with a barge pole.

“All women care about—all they really want to do—is to spend our money. The more of our ooftish they can get their diggers on, the happier they be. And it’s not like they ever put a penny or two aside for a rainy day, like most Yobs who have any sense at all are inclined to do. No! They spend it on getting their hair snipped, scorched and dressed by some poufter in a fancy-ass ‘shoppe,’ or they blow it on cheap, worthless costume jewelry, or fancy dresses that they wear once and bury in a closet, or on carriage rides which suit no need other than their desire to expose their vanity to the admiration of rude yahoos and other low-born Yellofs.

“And God help you if you scorn them! Hell hath no fury like a woman thwarted. Once they figure they got you twisted right around their little finger—and, believe it or not, Yob, but there actually are men like that—weak sisters, the lot of ‘em—I wouldn’t piss on ‘em if they were on fire—once they figure you’re a slave to what they got between their legs—some call it ‘The Wound that Never Heals’—why, then you’re just as good as completely sunk. You might as well give up all your fancy schemes and dreams of making something of yourself. Because that there is the very last thing she wants for you to do. If you become an esteemed citizen, then where’s the room for her? What’s the need?

“Because, you see, once you ‘Make It’, all the womenfolk will be throwin’ themselves at you. They will not be able to resist your charms. You’ll be the subject of admiring glances wherever you go. When you are a big man in the estimation of the world, you can try out all kinds of experiments. You will say that you will be showing up at the Scandahoovian Embassy at 8 sharp to feast on a smorgasbord of Kottbuller and Lutefisk, and, by the Neddy Jingo, you will meet up there with a crowd of loochers all in their fancy dress proclaiming the merits of smoked salmon and marinated herring! And, the very next day, there will be a Scandanavian ‘craze,’ and all the stores will experience a run on rutabagas and lingonberry jam!  

“But that’s only if you’re famous. That’s why your average women with whom you have an affair will want you to be a workaday drudge so that forever ever after you will be shackled to her ever-loving apron strings. Once she knows you’ll do anything to please her, if only to keep the peace, she’ll have you precisely where she wants you. Then the nagging will begin. Trust me, Yob—I know whereof I speak.

“‘O, you brute male! How dare you fart in my presence!’ That’s the kind of song you’ll hear from the likes of Dolly Birds, p’ticularly when they think they’ve got the upper hand. ‘How dare you belch? Don’t you have any manners? Where is your napkin! Don’t be so rough with the baby!’ It’s never ‘Congratulations on your big score, O Lord and Master.’ It’s always, ‘You need to earn more money.’  Note the operative word: ‘You’.

“Not all women are so blatant. But I’ve known more than a few who were. ‘I don’t want to go with you. You ain’t got no money. I thought you were a man—but you’re just a boy.’ There’s nothing like a woman, Yob, for twisting the knife. A man can insult you, and that’s all well and good. If it’s worth your while, you always have the option of pummeling him, or, at the very least, doing him some dirt when he’s got his back turned. But Lordie help you if you strike a woman! Mind you, I’m not recommending it. But that’s simply because it simply isn’t done. Not in perlite society.

“’The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.’ No truer words were ever spoken! But that’s only true if you allow yourself to be led around by the nose by a Zook. Need a shoulder to cry on? Get a dog. That’s my advice. A dog won’t spend your money; nor will he fuck your best friend or get drunk and hurl dishes at your head.

“It’s like Mark Twain says: ‘A dog will not bite you if you make him prosperous.’ Would that you could say the same about a woman—any woman—any woman–other than me own sainted Mother.

“Of course, certain dogs–like certain women—are known to attack and not stand down—not even if commanded to by God. And that is why you have got to be careful. My advice? When you go amongst women–go by more than one name!”

 
1*SALUTATION
SPIKE JONES
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC
FEATURING BILLY BARTY
 
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC
ALSO SEE:
Spike Jones
Ugga Ugga Boo Ugga Boo Boo Ugga
 
ALSO SEE:
BEST OF SPIKE JONES
ALSO SEE:

Freddie Fisher & the Schnicklefritz Band – Tiger Rag

ALSO SEE:
Liberace
Tiger Rag
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyOp1eYis7o&list=RD4jdLN1WjK1Y
6* DAILY UTILITY
100 RECORDS THAT SET THE WORLD ON FIRE (WHEN NOBODY WAS LISTENING)

fastnbulbous.com/wire100/

 
ALSO SEE:

20TH CENTURY’S MOST FAVORABLY CRITICIZED ROCK ALBUMS

www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/20century.htm

8*PRESCRIPTION
ALL NATURAL CALMING PRODUCT
9*RUMOR PATROL

Louis CK: Donald Trump Is a ‘Lying Sack of S–t’
www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/louis-ck-donald-trump-is-a-lying-sack-of-s–t-w475047

10* LAGNIAPPE

MODERN LOVERS
ROADRUNNER
https://youtu.be/BgRYncR1Nog

SEX PISTOLS
ROADRUNNER
https://youtu.be/yl-y6rLj58Q

ugh ugh duh duh / duh duh / I dunno * laughs* the words / I dunno how it starts I’ve forgotten it / old on stop a second / stop stop stop / shout out how it starts whats the first line / Cook shouts 123456 / alright can you start at the begining we are / Roadrunner Roadrunner not half / I cant ear yer Paul / Roadrunner Roadrunner / Go one thousand mile an hour / er lala lala lah / with the radio on / Roadrunner Roadrunner / Go one thousand mile an hour / oh gawd I dunno it / I drove past the stop n shop / and I walk by the stop n shop / and I fed her past the stop shop / had the radio on / in touch with the modern world / I fell in love with the modern world / fell in love with London Glasgow / had the radio on / Roadrunner Roadrunner / Go one thousand miles an hour / felt in touch with the modern world / in love with the modern world / here we go now / im gonna walk twenty eight miles of barbed wire / so cold there darlin / fifty thousand watts of power / we go one thousand miles an hour / with the radio on / Roadrunner Roadrunner / oh gawd I dunno it / its far kin ridicu-larse / wish I had the words / Roadrunner Roadrunner / notice how Cook and Jones pick up the excitement here – fantastic / I go one thousand miles an hour / I felt in touch with the modern world / I felt love in the modern world / I love the sound of the pass around I know / Roadrunner I run one thousand miles an hour / running a charge an Im radio on / I dont breathe your world / Roadrunner Roadrunner / er get her get her her /jones solo / do we know any other people’s songs / oi brrrrrrrrr / oi do we know / oi do we know any other far kin songs that we could do

SEX PISTOLS
HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN
https://youtu.be/2Ah1JM9mf60

I gotta go over the wall,
I don’t understand this bit at all
Please don’t be waiting for me.

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
MARIE CALLENDER’S ® DINNERS

Marie Callender’s dinners are made with “scratch gravy”.

I thought that was a 1960s garage band from Petaluma.


CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
931 ALWAYS ELVIS WINE

Perhaps you have heard the sales pitch for Always Elvis Wine: “The wine that Elvis would have drank–if He drank wine.”