THE INFORMATION #930 MARCH 3, 2017

THE INFORMATION #930
MARCH 3, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 

Honesty is the best policy–when there is money in it.–Mark Twain

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART THIRTEEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“Yob,” said Count Victor Justin,  “if you’re the kind of Greenie who gets all his romantic notions about the criminal underworld from the pages of pulp magazines, then you are being badly misled.  Most crooks are pretty dumb, and pretty cowardly, too. If they weren’t dumb, they’d have figured out some way to get their ooftish by honest means, and if they weren’t cowardly, they would join the Army or the Navy and manage to scrape together a bankroll that way. Of course, some crooks did once go in for soldiering–and they learned an awful lot about guns in the process–but they were usually the weak-willed types, gamblers and such, who squandered their bankrolls or somehow managed to get court martialed or even cashiered as a disciplinary problem. The problem with not being selective about who you take in as a soldier is that what are you going to do with these mental and moral defectives once they get out or are thrown out of the army? Chances are, they never learned a useful trade, and so unless they go into business as policemen, they have very little incentive, it seems, to stay out of jail, where, just like the Army or Navy, you can get three square meals a day and a warm place to sleep. Well–not always warm. And almost never very comfortable. So-called decent folks don’t want criminals to have nothing. O, how their blood boils when they learn that a lean old con has somehow contrived to wrangle himself a warm shirt, or an extra blanket! I know some barbarian tribes who treat their wrongdoers with more common courtesy and compassion than they treat them hereabouts, or in England or Canada. What, do they think that compassion is wasted on the malefactor? In certain cases, I would say yes. But those are rare. I’ll tell you something Yob–it is far easier to fall afoul of the law than you might think, and, but for fortune, I myself might have been an old lag with a 25 year sentence to serve. But I never went in for any of the rough stuff, and I certainly never committed mail fraud, nor robbed any banks, though I certainly learned a lot of techniques of that sort when I was bunged up in prison on a bum rap. I was on my uppers, and fell in with a Yellof who had a racket selling Persian rugs door to door. I’d rather not go into the details, but some customers complained that the rugs weren’t as genuine as they were purported to be, and I got thirty days for selling without a business licence, which was just a low down way for the town officials–I won’t say who– to squeeze even more money out of the poor and the down and out.  Never fear–someday they’ll get theirs. Every dog has his day.  
 
“When you get sent to prison, while you’re there you get to hob-nob with a bunch of eminent Loochers with a great deal of time on their hands. They are Yobs who are prone to mischief even in their best moments, and prison brings out the worst in them. It was in prison that I learned of a new way of robbing banks. Back in the olden days, a desperado would go crashing in without even the first notion of what the setup was–he would trust to blind fate to see him through–him, and his confederates, if he had any. But when I was in the pen I heard of a new way to conduct the business–just like a military operation. First off, you have to case the joint very carefully, just as though you were doing a second-storey job. You get the layout of the place and follow the movements of the principal players, and then you write it all down and draw a map and plan the operation right down to the minute. And you need to have four people to do the job right. You have the lead robber, who walks point, and ambles up to the teller’s cage and shows his gun. You have his partner, who has a shot gun, and fires once into the ceiling so the people will get down on the floor. He’s the one who covers the bank guard, if there happens to be one. You have the getaway car driver, who needs only two qualities–mechanical aptitude and nerves of iron. Plus, an ability to read a map and find all the backroads and plot the best way to get out of town in a hurry.  And finally, you have the lookout. It’s either the easiest job, or the hardest. He stands outside the bank and if there’s no trouble, he’ll stand by the door and look official and tell people that the bank is closed due to a gas leak or something. But if a lawman or some other snoop notices something amiss and walks over to investigate, then it’s the lookout’s job to take that nebby-nose out of the picture. You don’t want to have to shoot a civilian, or especially a lawman, because it always brings down the heat, but sometimes that’s what it amounts to. You have to pick the lookout carefully. He has to be a man who knows his business, and can react quickly in a jam. An ex-soldier is best. A man who is handy with a gun, but who also can whomp up a line of smooth patter. A bad professional is better than a good amateur–that’s what all the jailbirds say.
 
“Anyway, Yob, I wouldn’t recommend going in for being a bank robber. Most of them end up in the County Morgue–a nasty place. You want to know what their motto is?  ‘Remains to be seen.’ Have you ever been there? Well, do yourself a favor, and pass the opportunity by. The morgue smells like rotten hamburger, and dead rats, and formaldehyde, and stale tobacco–because all the lawmen and medicos smoke foul-smelling cigars to inoculate themselves against the stink. But even the cheapest El Ropo won’t mask the disparate aromas which emanate off of the well-croaked.  You can count on it. And the smell gets into your skin and forms a thin greasy layer that you have to scrub yourself red and raw with a stiff brush to thoroughly expunge. It is no place to have a picnic lunch with your sweetie–and that’s a dead cert. If you’ll pardon the expression.” 
 
1*SALUTATION
AMANAZ
GREEN APPLE
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
6* DAILY UTILITY
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE FIFTY BEST ROCK BANDS RIGHT NOW
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
914. THE SAD STATE OF ROCK

a.msn.com/r/2/AAmTShU?m=en-us

 
915. IF SUPERMAN SPANKED LOIS LANE
 

THE INFORMATION #929 FEBRUARY 24, 2017

THE INFORMATION #929
FEBRUARY 24, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 

As yet, the Negroes themselves do not fully appreciate these old slave songs. –James Weldon Johnson

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

“Outside of that nasty diminutive pygmy Little Joe the Grifter, nothing irks me more,” said Count Victor Justin, “than them Goddamned superannuated fossils who gripe about the manners of the modern-day.  Don’t they realize that their time is past? That the world has passed them by? Modern men can no longer bend themselves to the foolish will of the horse-drawn dotard! It’s an era of gasoline, and flying ships, and heavy machinery! 

“And they always stand around the iron stove in the general store and ding a cuspidor while they fulminate about how the modern-day Negro is insolent, and doesn’t know his place. Now, as I’ve told you before, Yob, you’ll find no man to be a better friend of the Negro than I. The problem with the sleepy-eyed codgers who spitefully complain all the live-long day about the Negro is that  they still haven’t gotten the queer notion in their heads that the slavery days are over. They are too bound up in their nostalgia for the plantation south to realize that now that the Negro is free, he makes a better servant than ever before, since he can’t blame ‘Massa’ for his servitude no more, but only his own self.
 
“Have you ever heard this song? ‘Look out dar, now! We’s a gwine to shoot! Look out dar, don’t you understand? Babylon is fallen! Babylon is fallen! An’ we’s agwine to occupy de land!’ 
“Guess it didn’t quite turn out that way, though. What with chain gangs, sharecropping, house servants and all the rest.
 
“However, my sympathy for the colored man does not mean that I hanker after hearing him playing that vulgar ragtime piano, or that newfangled abomination called ‘Jass’. No, for me, the ancient spirituals and other church singing are what the Negro does best. For my money, there’s no song to top the likes of  ‘Master Going to Sell us Tomorrow’ and  ‘Zekiel Saw the Wheel,’ and ‘Wish’s in Heaven Settin’ Down’ and ‘Dey Crucified my Lord.’ ‘An’ He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word!’–that’s the good stuff! Next comes the comedy songs of the good old minstrel show, like the ones I used to see at St. James’ Hall, in Piccadilly.  ‘The Coon From the Moon,’ and ‘Silver Chimes at Midnight’ and how’s about, ‘Oh, Dem Golden Slippers?’  ‘What a great camp meetin’ there will be that day, when we ride up in the chariot in the morn’!’ Hilarious!  
“It is only when the Negro essays to slavishly copy the white man that he is shown to worst advantage. Tell me–where is the Ubangi Shakespeare, or the Zulu Dante Alighieri?  But otherwise, within his own sphere, I will admit that he is indomitable. 
 
“Young women are a lot like Negroes, as I think I’ve mentioned before. Obsessed with shoes, and gold, and glitter, and brightly colored clothing. Fond of dancing and promenading and other public displays. Silly flummery daubs and flibbertydigets without a serious thought in their heads. They only think about today, with nary a thought for the morrow. I would just as soon trust my toothless old dog to advise me on matters of consequence. 
 
“Don’t get me wrong–I will be the first to admit that women make mighty fine ornamental additions to a household, and that’s for sure. They are soft to the touch and mighty easy on the eyes, and I would trust them to soothe a crying baby or brew a cup of tea. But I wouldn’t listen to a word they had to say about politics or other matters of consequence, for these are realms with which they have next to no practical experience, and, furthermore, a man of affairs has no time to pay heed to the airy-fairy notions of ninny-hammers, nitwits, stable boys, watermelon jockeys, zooks, saps, goofs, imbeciles, nincompoops, or any other members of the tribe known as the non compos mentis. 
 
“True, when you speak of Negroes, there is also the matter of smell. There’s no getting around the fact that the Negro exudes a thick, almost musky aroma, which, splash himself though he might with pints of stinkum and other cheap perfume, he can in virtually no way efface. 
 
“This is not to say that other tribes do not also give off their own distinctive scent. The German always smells strongly of stale beer and cheap tobacco. And the men are even worse. Same goes for all your Slavs. Ditto the Limey, only they tend to smell like filthy shag and fried potatoes. The Irishman usually reeks of whiskey and Mackerel. The German Jew smells of Salmon and the Russian Jew smells of Herring. Your Italians always smell of garlic, as do your Greeks and your Spanish. The French smell like rotten cheese and absinthe, and Mexicans smell like beans, and corn, and mescal. The Chinese generally reek of fish and rice, when they don’t smell of opium. The Arab stinks of chick peas and hasheesh. Walk down any street in Blowtown after a warm spring rain, and the lingering smells from that international congregation of slum dwellers will all combine with the stench of horseapples and dead cats to add up to a veritable miasma. 
 
“Let me give you a bit of venereal advice while you’re still young enough to take advantage of it: namely, that women have a much better sense of smell than men. And that you’ll never offend by smelling like soap and freshly washed linen, even if your low-born pals chaff you with being a sissy. Young men are not always the most reliable guides regarding how to win the heart of lady fair. Chances are that a woman who is willing to overlook a putrescent stench is either desperate, or sick in the head, and probably both. Of course, it goes without saying that you should steer well clear of a girl who doesn’t know how to make herself smell like a petunia, or whatever perfumey water happens to be in vogue at present. These are the kind of women who don’t care a rap for anything under the sun, and they are sure to drag you down into the stygian depths along with them. This is not mere snobbery, but merely sound common sense. A woman who is in her right senses would very likely forego food rather than soap. Women are like cats–if they are of sound mind, they are always trying to keep themselves clean. Only a mangy alley cat will overlook the niceties of good grooming. The same goes for men. It’s one thing to sport a three days growth when you’ve been camping in the deep woods, but if you show up for work with some sloppy stray chin-whiskers, you’re probably never destined to be the boss’s fair-haired boy. Even the better classes of the criminal underworld like to dress sharp and look trig. If you don’t, then you’re marked down as a loocher and you get squeezed out of all the big-paying jobs. You heard it here, first, Yob.” 
 
1*SALUTATION
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
6* DAILY UTILITY
JIM BACKUS
THE DIRTY OLD MAN
7*CARTOON

RACIST VALENTINE’S DAY CARDS

8*PRESCRIPTION

Rumor the German shepherd wins best in show at Westminster

9*RUMOR PATROL
HARD-DRINKING EX-PRESIDENTS
 
10* LAGNIAPPE
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
PAINFULLY TRUTHFUL BUMPER STICKERS
 
I’M A BIG MAN…TO MY DOG
SADLY, MY CHILD IS ONLY AVERAGE
BEER DRINKERS ARE FAT
CONSERVATIVES ARE FRIGHTENED MORONS
LIBERALS ARE SQUABBLING MISFITS
DIVERSITY IS MONOLITHIC
NO LIVES MATTER
ASK ME ABOUT MY INCONSEQUENTIAL CAREER
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
911. THE DEEP STATE

www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-wp-deepstate-comment-b09503f0-f394-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc-20170215-story.html

912. I’M SMART

913. I’M TOUGH

THE INFORMATION #928 FEBRUARY 17, 2017

THE INFORMATION #928
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.–Mahatma Gandhi
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART ELEVEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“Whenever I think of that filthy midget Little Joe the Grifter,” said Count Victor Justin, “then quite naturally I think about the fact that he was the first in his family to graduate from the ninth grade. This was a source of inordinate pride to him, and all his chums, and all the Yellofs in the old neighborhood, treated him as though he were some kind of Joe Harvard Princeton Yale, instead of being what he really was–a sawed off, jumped up shrimp with a bowl haircut and a lousy attitude. My advice to you Yob, as you travel down life’s highway, is to don’t ever form an alliance with someone just because you feel sorry for them and maybe want to help them out. That is not the strategy of a winner, and furthermore, in 99 cases out of  100 it just don’t pan out. If a person is a pariah, there’s usually a very good reason for that. Don’t go thinking you can rescue him–or, God help you, her–because that sort of thing just never works. And chances are, even if you are able to extricate them from a  fix, they won’t be grateful–they’ll be resentful, you see, because you will have shown yourself to be the bigger man. Literally, in my case.
 
“Yob, you can pretty much judge a man by the quality of woman he manages to attract to be by his side. Men know this as an operating principle, and women know it too, by mere instinct alone. And I should tell you right now that Little Joe the Grifter seemed to have a hard time attracting a suitable mate, even in spite of his impressive educational credentials, but when he did finally start squiring a Zook about the town, she was a real horror. She wasn’t that bad-looking, considering she was a Plain Jane with mousey hair. But her temperament was of the very worst. Every time she opened her flabby maw, it was to whine about some slight, either real or imagined. Her cake-hole, and doubtless her cunny too, resembled the soft, flaccid toothless mouth of a superannuated barking hound. I never once heard her give forth with a single word of praise for the singularly unaccomplished Grifter. No, with her, it was always something petty and spiteful and mean. I guess she thought she was pretty special–like maybe her shit smelled like vanilla puddin’. To be sure, he had no end of shortcomings for her to be blubbering on about. If it were the Puritan days, you can be sure they would have sentenced her to the ducking stool, as a common scold. Alas, we are civilized, and we no longer hold with the good old adage:  ‘A woman, a dog and a hickory tree, the more you beat ’em, the better they be.’ 
 
“Now, don’t get me wrong, Yob. Of course, nowadays no gentleman would ever hit a woman, and that’s the way it ought to be. But still–if you could have heard the singular lack of respect with which she treated the poor sad sack of shit, you might have found yourself reaching for a slippery elm club just as a matter of general principle. No person should be allowed to talk to another the way she talked to him. It was clear that Little Joe had had little experience with wimmen, and didn’t know how to handle ’em. Come to think of it, he also had a hard time getting along with most men, unless they were his special cronies he had known since the short pants days. He had a real knack–a knack for making people vicious. I suppose I took him in hand as a sort of challenge to myself–to see if I could make a grifter out of him. He had all the ingredients to be a successful grifter, after all–he didn’t care about anybody but himself, and, furthermore, in spite of an utter lack of any accomplishments–as far as I can tell, he never worked a day in his life–he acted like he was the guy who hung the moon. 
 
“And–he needed constant reassurance! He was as vain as any ham actor. He was just like an old bitch gone long in the tooth who rouges up like a whore in an attempt to perpetuate a pitiful masquerade of long-vanished youth. When he went to a tavern, he would never pay for a round, and yet, like some fop, he would seek to dominate the conversation with his loud boastful brags about the hosses he rid and the women he fucked and the suckers he took and the scores he settled. Not only that, but he would never have what everybody else was having–no, for him, it had to be the stuff on the top shelf that costs three times as much. Even drunks full of fellow-feeling found him obnoxious! What does that tell you? The most disgusting thing he did was, when he was walking down the street, he would press one grimy finger to his nostril and blow his nose onto the street, then repeat the process with the other nostril. Down South we used to call that a ‘farmer’s handkerchief.’
 
“He treated the whole world like it was there just so he could do whatever he wanted to. And, as far as I can tell, nobody ever called him on it. You’ll find that to be an operative attitude among members of the criminal underclass. Nothing is ever their fault. They’re always being done in by bad luck, or jealous rivals. No, it’s never their own stupidity that results in them landing in stir. It’s always a jealous woman, or a bent cop, or an incompetent fat mouth.
 
“So it’s no wonder that the little woman was always hectorin’ him about chewing with his mouth closed, and not fartin’ in polite company, and sayin’ ‘excuse me’ after a belch, and not making a fool of himself when they were out together at dinner parties and such. 
 
“Pretty soon, she gave up on him, I guess. Because she wasn’t seen around no more. Maybe he kilt her, but I doubt it. He didn’t have the nerve. Anyway, it wasn’t too long after that that he left town for good. He’s now taken up residence in some backwater hick town in New Jersey, where he can be what he was always destined to be–a little fish in a little pond.”
 
1*SALUTATION
K-MART IN STORE MUSIC XMAS 1974
2*REFERENCE
DAN RATHER: DETROIT SCHOOLS: A NATIONAL DISGRACE
 
ALSO SEE:
THE EFFECTS OF POVERTY ON INTELLIGENCE
3*HUMOR
4*NOVELTY
Cheeto shaped like slain gorilla Harambe sells for $99,900 on eBay
6* DAILY UTILITY
WHAT, MILK IS SUDDENLY BAD FOR YOU?
7*CARTOON
FRANKENHEIMER’S “SECONDS”: ORGY SCENE
An under-regarded masterpiece starring Rock Hudson, but with dark subject matter and in black and white, which is no wonder why it stiffed, in spite of the ten minute orgy scene, which I have thoughtfully cued up for you, here:
8*PRESCRIPTION
10 HOURS OF AMBIENT NOISE FROM AN ICEBREAKER IN THE FROZEN ARCTIC
 
9*RUMOR PATROL
MUNCHKINS MOLESTED DOROTHY
“They thought they could get away with anything because they were so small,” wrote Luft, who died in 2005.
 
ALSO SEE:
THE DRUNKEN MUNCHKINS 
10* LAGNIAPPE
HOW TO MAKE FRIED CHICKEN
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

910. DUGINISM

THE INFORMATION #927 FEBRUARY 10, 2017

THE INFORMATION #927
FEBRUARY 10, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
 

The government is a joke. It’s a cardboard cutout that hides where the real machinery is.

–Frank Zappa
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART TEN: DAYS OF WRATH
“Little Joe the grifter is just like most members of the lower orders, ” said Count Victor Justin, warming to his theme. “You can give a gutter bum some polish, but you can hardly ever remove the smell of the gutter. And you can’t take them anywhere because they’ve trapped themselves inside the damned fool notion that they’ve got to be true to their ‘heritage’. So they’ll behave in all sorts of ways which sensible people scorn. They’ll drink too much. In fact, they will drink to stupefaction, all the while loudly proclaiming that they’re perfectly sober. They’ll express their opinions about any damned thing at all in a loud and grating voice. The principle things they’ll discuss are sporting competitions, politics, horses, and women. Which they value in roughly the same order. How tiresome they are! They have absolutely no sense of propriety–none at all. If they see you walking on the other side of the street they will loudly yell your name to attract your attention. And tell me–what man of affairs would want to be seen with such a person? Of course, if you fail to reciprocate their vulgar addresses, they will think that you are ‘high-hatting’ them and will attempt to make trouble for you, in their own oafish way. By telling the rest of the louts and layabouts and loochers, ‘Gosh–I thought he was a reg’lar Gee, but I guess he’s become snooty and stuck-up since he’s left the old neighborhood.’ No! He’s merely learned to carry himself with the pride of bearing which you so conspicuously lack, because you grew up in a garbage dump and simply don’t know any better! From a very early age you’ve been accustomed to strong drink, and repeated blows to the cranium, and hats that are too tight for your head, and so it’s a small wonder that you’re utterly incapable of holding so much as an original idea or notion in your rotting skull, let alone thinking in a straight and logical line! These people are so dumb that they join hands with their class enemies and applaud when these self-same earth shakers carry out their mission of afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable. You can always make lots of ooftish in this way–by selling broken toys to sick children. 
 
“Don’t get me wrong–I don’t fall down and worship any Progressive bullshit overlord who comes along and claims to be my Savior. But my commonsensical self-same distrust of goo-goos and mugwumps does not mean I can’t smell phony business among the plutocracy when I see it. As far as some of these rich people are concerned, the poor might just as well curl up and die, and stop breathing all the precious air. But–not so fast, fuckers! The lower orders are breeding grounds for degeneracy and vice precisely because those are the very same conditions that prevail in the upper decks. Don’t kid yourself that the Plutocrats live their lives like plaster saints. No–I’ll tell you right here and now–and you should listen to me, because even though there’s no percentage in wising up a sucker, I am your friend and I am also the voice of hard experience–the rich, why, they fancy a drunken ruckus as much as any dirty scab or filthy beggar or starving Hobo. Difference being, they got the specie to cover over their dirty little habits. Good, though, ain’t it?’ ‘Money does not stink.’ Remember that, Yob, if you remember nothing else. 
 
“Now, every now and again, you’ll find some sort of social worker–poverty pests, I calls ’em–who will raise up a great hue and cry about how if conditions were to be changed from the very foundations, the poor would no longer be poor but would rather become productive members of society, and they’d all be clean as a hound’s tooth and honest to boot, and they’d be drinking Ice Cream Sodies on the Sabbath after getting down on their prayer dukes and praising the Lordie at the Church Social–instead of sleeping off a mean drunk in a filthy hovel and waking up with a world-class katzenjammer.  
 
“Haw! I should snicker! If I could talk to just one of these mollycoddles, d’ye know what I’d tell her? I’d scrooch up to her and say, I’d say, ‘Look, Sister, why don’t you get wise to yourself? Do you want to see another world? Then first and foremost, you had better come to terms with the one you’re in. Let’s face it–“The poor shall always be with us.” Your own Jesus said it. Some people are just born to be shat on. In Ancient Egypt they’d be slaves, and live on a diet of bread and beer. In Ancient Greece they’d be slaves, and live on a diet of olives and resin wine. And in Ancient Rome they’d be slaves, and they’d live on rusks and the lees of the master’s cup, and they wouldn’t even be enterprising enough to buy their own freedom. And in the old South, they’d live on hoe-cakes and pork cracklin’s and take an occasional nip of the massa’s good corn likker and would no doubt try to be runaways–and then Pateroller would get ’em, and they’d be whipped–forty lashes.’ 
 
“The problem with having this slave mentality is that you feel entitled to steal from everybody. You lie to everyone for no reason other than to get one over on them. You never let the smallest insult or slighting remark pass you by, but rather you hold it in your heart like a burning brand and you take revenge upon whoever passed it whenever and however you can. The trouble with thinking like a slave is that you eat and drink to excess on every occasion when you have the opportunity. You’re either hyper-cautious and look both ways before you say or do anything, or else you’re extremely reckless and get yourself into all sorts of sorry fixes because you just don’t think. Having never thought for yourself before, you’ve never developed the habit and you are incapable of doing it. You haul away whatever isn’t nailed down in the expectation that it might profit you. And the chances are very good, someone will haul you off–and you’ll get shot. Good, though, ain’t it?” 
 
1*SALUTATION
THE PHANTOM
LOVE ME
ALSO SEE:
BILL MONROE
WAYFARING STRANGER
2*REFERENCE
JURY DUTY: HOW THE INTERNET BECAME A TOOL FOR JUDGMENT RATHER THAN DIALOGUE
3*HUMOR
THE TEN MOST UNINTENTIONALLY FUNNY MOVIES OF ALL TIME
4*NOVELTY
HAIRCUT NUMBERS
 
ALSO SEE:
HOW TO TELL YOUR BARBER EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
NEW DC COMIC REINVENTS SNAGGLEPUSS AS ‘GAY SOUTHERN GOTHIC PLAYWRIGHT’
http://www.cbr.com/new-dc-comic-reinvents-snagglepuss-as-gay-southern-gothic-playwright/

6* DAILY UTILITY

10 Investigative Reporting Outlets to Follow

8*PRESCRIPTION

New York Times Is Killing Its Comics Best-seller Lists, and the Comics World Isn’t Pleased

 
 
 
9*RUMOR PATROL
SHIRLEY TEMPLE AND THE DISTURBING HISTORY OF BABY BURLESK
 
10* LAGNIAPPE
GREEN MAGNET SCHOOL
THROB
 
ALSO SEE:
WINDSHIELD
 
 
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

BUTTERSCOTT
Buttersville Records
The Somewhat Disappointing Contractually Obligated Followup™

Instead of talking about this latest offering from the inimitable trio comprising the 21st century Butterscott, why don’t I instead inform you that the tradition of humor, at least in early rock, is strong. From the Lieber and Stoller songs written for the Coasters to “Chantilly Lace” and “Stranded in the Jungle”… No, wait. Maybe I had better talk about the record in depth, something which is sure to suck all the fun out of it. Warning: Spoilers ahead! OK. So. This latest offering begins with a cover of “Little Bit O’ Soul,” but the band calls it “My Favorite Friend” and it has a Bay City Rollers-style chant. “Female Trouble” is an amazingly twisted foray into rap, and station identification jingles. “Frumpi Grumpi” sees the trio concocting yet another 60’s dance craze. “Do the Nothing” is a sardonic descent into early 80’s synth rock and trance music. “Glorioski” is a debased doo-wop song, replete with authentic strings. “Not a Bad Idea” is a ’20s-era hokum spectacular, crammed with hilarious jokes. (Why they repeat the song later on is a mystery for the ages. Maybe they lost track or something.) “Kangaroovy” is a prime example of bubblegum psychedelia. “Undercover Jesus” is actually a profound statement disguised as a blasphemous Philadelphia Soul pastiche.  “All My Fault” is an astute impersonation of an angry punk rocker. “The Technological Love Song” uses click tracks and vocorder to completely take the piss out of–well, techno(logy). “Sage Advice From the Islands” takes the lessons of “Get An Ugly Girl To Marry You” to a predictably risible extreme. “Star wars for X-MeSS” tears apart the franchise for good and all – because somebody had to do it. “The Dynamite Eating Goat” made me laugh out loud, but that’s just the kind of guy I am. This is followed by a cover of “Diamond Girl,” only they call it “Choc Van Shake.” “When the Dustbunnies Blew Away” is a song which the Peanut Butter Conspiracy should have covered. Just sayin’. “Dime a Dozen Daddy” skewers the ominous pretentions of goth – or is it spaghetti western soundtracks?  You decide! “Showtune” does a great deal to wash away the sour taste of the, duh, show tune genre out of one’s mouth. But it’s not as catchy as “In the Good Old Summertime” as sung by the Jurgis Rudkis Choir. (“There seems to be something hypnotic about this, with its endlessly recurring dominant. It has put a stupor upon every one who hears it, as well as upon the men who are playing it. No one can get away from it, or even think of getting away from it; it is three o’clock in the morning, and they have danced out all their joy, and danced out all their strength, and all the strength that unlimited drink can lend them – and still there is no one among them who has the power to think of stopping.”) (Note: According to Kenneth Anger, “Rosebud” was actually Marion Davies’ clitoris, which is the real reason why William Randolph Hearst was so miffed at Orson Welles.) The band then covers “Woman From Tokyo,” only they call it “New Song.” And they use it to explain “the purpose of new songs in rock ’n’ roll shows.” What a cynical bunch! There’s also a cover of “For No One” with vocals by my good friend Walter Sickert. No French horn, though – bummer. This is funnier than Beach Boys Party and Jan & Dean meet Batman, and almost on a par with The Who Sell Out and The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands. Like most good satire, it informs the future about the inane preoccupations of the past and present. I’ve spent worse hours. Well done, my good and faithful servants! 

http://thenoise-boston.com/2017/02/book-review-16/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
905. The intolerance of the left: Trump’s win as seen from Walt Disney’s hometown
 
906. The President’s Grand Strategic Train Wreck
http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/31/trumps-grand-strategic-train-wreck/
 
 
909. STEVE BANNON & CRONY CAPITALISM

MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 220 FEBRUARY 2017

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE

NUMBER 220

FEBRUARY 2017

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

1. ATTENTION: PEOPLE I DO NOT KNOW. 

PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO COPY THE PRAYER POSTED BELOW AND EMAIL IT TO FIFTY PEOPLE. THE LAST PERSON WHO FAILED TO DO SO WAS REINCARNATED AS A FIELD MOUSE AND EATEN IN A LIGHT BATTER BY FRANCIS TREVELYAN BUCKLAND.

Dear God, I pray my worries will be small
I pray for parking when I go to the mall.
I pray for Dick Clark as he lowers the ball.
I pray that this year the Cubs will take it all.
I pray for the baby in her little crib.
I hope that I’m never caught out in a fib.
I hope that I’m given a clean lobster bib.
I hope that Bosso likes the cut of my jib. 
For all this I pray. In every way.
God, please send positive energies today.

2. “HOOKED!”

http://www.ep.tc/hooked/

This methodone clinic-distributed comic was yanked after only a few months. We public health librarians now know, from our superior perch of 50 years
in the future, that you aren’t supposed to MODEL the bad behavior; you’re supposed to model the GOOD behavior. Monkey see, monkey do, and
all that.

Tell me, didn’t that comic make you long to ride the white horse? Just a little? I especially like the implicit message: Girls, if you wannahang on to your junkie boyfriend, you gots to get on that horse and
ride it with him–bareback!

The same message was promulgated in DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES and in countless ofther cautionary-tales-with-just-a-fillup-of-sleazy-allure-thrown-in.

Including the collected works of James Frey.

Burroughs and Bukowski get a pass. As does good old DeQuincey.

Because that there’s art.

You can tell it’s art, because it’s confusing, ambiguous, and contradictory, mostly.

But that kind of shit won’t wash no more. Americans are not readers. They don’t go for the fancy stuff. You got to get in, speak your piece, and get out, or else they’ll just drop your post-post-modernist
masterpiece from their weary fingertips onto the shiny coffee table and turn on the TV and watch makeshift narratives until they fallasleep from the hypnotic allure of sheer redundancy.

3. POPULAR CULTURE IS SPORTS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE TOO FAT TOO RUN


Given the fact that we wound up winning the WWII in 1945 on a pair of wildcard planet-busters in the post-season, why are we soconcerned about Iran and North Korea? I mean, Team Israel and the China Boys can take care of those mooks chop-chop. They’re not even in the final four, nuke-wise!

And tell me that the following is not true:

 
Yogi is a Kleptomaniacal pot-head and Boo-Boo is his paranoid punk.
 
The Banana Splits are full-blown acidheads, and lately, Snork has developed a nasty coal-burner of a meth habit.
SEE:
http://kidshow.dcmemories.com/DDC20-3g_620.jpg
But the Disney characters are the worst.

Donald Duck–went from sniffing morphine to mainlining Dilaudid.


Scrooge McDuck would go on ether binges and then wallow in his filthy hidden lucre stored in giant bins.

MICKEY MOUSE is a new world order code word for “Military Industrial Complex Keynesian Economic Yoke More of United States Engulfment.”
In his earlier career, he was suicidal. And homophobic.
He later played a secret role as Hitler’s henchman.

But the most telling evidence of the utter depravity of the Disney gang is found here:
http://www.paulkrassner.com/

In fact, all comic strip characters are polymorphously perverse. The proof:
http://tijuanabibles.org/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=home&bigindex=1
ALSO SEE:
http://www.toonsportal.com/paradise.htm

 
4. WEAVING A CRAZY CONSPIRACY QUILT


The best way to get ahead?

Some would say that you must hide your bloody hands under snow-white gloves, then throw them a white hat and call it ‘The American Dream’.

In any event,  there’s no denying that the human race seems to have afiendish propensity for devising new means of killing itself off.

There are all sorts of horrific things going on with biowarfare.

Russia has exploded a fuel air bomb.

40% of deaths worldwide are caused by pollution.

Putin uses strategic bombers for long-range patrols.

And my understanding regarding conspiracies is that there are already enough Byzantine complications regarding the ways in which the American political system works, orfails to. Getting lost in the conspiracy literature is counter-productive.

So I ration myself.

The 9/11 Truthers are a case-in-point of a conspiracy theory I find difficult to place credence in.

Conspiracy theorists insist that Bush is evil and stupid. And yet he was smart enough to somehow pull off a series of enormous deceptions?

Okay, substitute “Bush’s most vehement critics” (The Nation, et al.) and scratch “conspiracy theorists,” because their world-view makes an intellectually incurious and shallow Bush inconsistent with their loony conclusions. Therefore, Bush must be a puppet controlled by theBilderbergers, Skull & Bones,33 Degree Masons, CIA, Illuminati, orwhatever the conspiracy du jour happens to be. Maybe the Old Gods–space aliens from beyond time–put him up to it.

Or maybe the way things panned out have a factual basis. Maybe–and I’m just guessing here–Bush was simply looking for a pretext tomeddle with those turbulent middle eastern countries, and the terrorist attacks that took place on 9/11 fit his schema like a glove. Big Oil and the Military-Industrial complex would benefit; pesky public health and environmental initiatives would be strangled intheir cradle, and big business–including Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, The Prison-Industrial Complex, Big Media, and all the rest–would receive a guaranteed windfall. Is that so hard to believe? Didn’t the previous attack on the towers and the attack on the U.S.S.Cole signify the Bin Laden was up to no good? Is it really that great a leap of faith to assume he was going to strike again?

An elementary course in logic would convince many in the conspiracy theory of the truth of Occam’s razor: “One should not increase, beyondwhat is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.”

But, like fundamentalists who seek to put stupid microbiologists in
their place, belief trumps science in every instance.

Fact: There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all explanation.

Legalizing hemp isn’t going to solve the world’s problems. Proving
that 9-11 was caused by a snickering cartoon President and his evil
henchmen isn’t likely to change a damn thing. Mr. Christ is not likely to come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

But during this century, one billion people will die from
tobacco-related illnesses. You want a conspiracy? There’s your
conspiracy. It’s real and it’s statistically proven and something
needs to be done about it.

To those of you who feel overwhelmed at the mess the world is in and who are spinning your wheels:

Look, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the ruling class
has always been obsessed with money, power, drugs, and whores.

To keep their place on top, they have also grown skillful at stifling dissent.

But just because they do these things, it does not follow that they
are responsible for every bad thing that happens.

By buying into all this conspiracy nonsense, aren’t you simply falling into their trap? Adopting a mindset that is guaranteed to marginalizeyou?

Conspiranoia is a lot like black magic and hallucinogenic drugs.
Unstable people are driven to dabble in it, and, tragically, a lot of
them get so deep into it that they never come back.

Conspiranoia is good for a laugh, But when it is treated as a form of
historical belief, and proselytized as a type of alternative
religion, it is a tragic waste of our time and your intellect.

Look into Black Muslim theology.

Could anyone with any sense possibly believe it? Yet thousands do. Still.

Choose your battles. You can go through life chasing a 9-11 chimera or you could, say, boycott Altria/Philip Morris/Kraft and actuallyaccomplish something.

5.GREASERS

Let us not speak of the Fonz.

The Fonz was a mass-media-generated simulacrum of a greaser, just like Maynard G. Krebs was some Hollywood mogul’s idea of a beatnik.

By Greasers, I’m basically talking about people whose heyday was roughly 1946-62, give or take.

Though in some communities they persisted well into the seventies and beyond.

They wore leather jackets, used Brylcreem, drove souped-up dragsters or murdercycles, and always had a deck of Luckies rolled up in their t-shirts.

And the men were very similar.

Most of them are retirement age. Some of them are pushing 80.

They are considered an anachronism.

But when we are that old, snotnose punks will have the same opinion of us.

Anyway, greasers are kind of dumb, but you have to remember that they came up in the days before people were so damn self-conscious and
reflectively apologetic about every little thing.

And I can’t think of one of them who say one thing and believe another.

Nor did they pretend to be tough guys.

They were Greasers!

The name alone was enough.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greaser_(subculture)

6. WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?

Why was this joke ever popular?

I suspect it’s part of of the grand tradition of rural humor in America.

Back when this was still an agrarian country–even as late as the end of the 19th century and right up to about 1920, farm folk, small-townfolk, and newly-migrated city folk fresh off the farm all got a big
kick out of ethnic humor, dialect humor, and barnyard conundrums.

It seems odd to us because we’re all so clever and classless and free, but back in those dark days, in spite of all the democracy-driven rhetoric, there was something of a class structure based in part
around a rural-urban divide.

Still is, to a certain degree.

Admittedly, it’s not unusual for children’s chants and the like to betray deeper significances buried in history.

On the other hand, we over-explain such phenomena at our own peril.

ANYWAY, HERE, AT LONG LAST, IS THE ANSWER:
 

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”.]

 
7. THE SITCOM

The circularity of the sitcom plot, in which nothing ever changes, is both one of its timeless strengths, yet, ultimately, also the fatalflaw which dooms the form to an artistic ghetto.

The same circularity was evident in radio sitcoms as well.

In fact, many of the present-day sitcom conventions come from radio, and, prior to that, the stage and even serialized novels.

The applause when a “guest star” enters the room. The entrance-exit lines. The tradition of changing the subject with “never mind that”(which actually dates from the 1820s or earlier).

The prevalent art form of a given era says a great deal about the temperament of the people for whom it was devised to entertain. We wax  nostalgic about the grand old movies of the 30s and 40s, though only
the good ones have risen to the top. A good 90% of those movies were b-flicks or worse, and devised only to fill the bottom half of adouble feature.

Thus, with television. There is so much time to fill that it is nearly impossible to devise enough original programming to fill it all. So ifTV is our thing, we are forced to entertain ourselves with the output
of overworked insiders who hand us machine-written plots and clichedsituations.

 
8. BRAND LOYALTIES


Brand
O.E. brand, brond “firebrand, piece of burning wood, torch,” and (poetic) “sword,” from P.Gmc. *brandaz, from base *bran-/*bren- (seeburn). Meaning of “identifying mark made by a hot iron” (1552)
broadened 1827 to “a particular make of goods.” Brand-new is c.1570 and must have meant “fresh from the fire” (Shakespeare has fire-new).

 

America may be the only country on earth where an expressed distate for advertisements of any kind gets you labelled as an elitist.

As though you were saying, “Whatever the mob adores I deplore.”

People don’t want to admit that a lot of what we choose to buy is based in whether it’s appropriately “classy”.

And that advertising does work.

And the only way you can avoid being influenced by them is by not watching television.

Though magazine ads also work; in some ways not as well; in others, perhaps even better, especially if you are the type of person whoscrutinizes them.

We all have our tribal, clan, and personal preferences, and they areshaped by forces we don’t often bother thinking about. Pointing this  out does not make me Marshall McLuhan (though I would strongly suggest
you hunt down a copy of his frequently hilarious book THE MECHANICAL BRIDE. And, while you’re at it, pick up and read Stewart Ewen’sCAPTAINS OF CONCIOUSNESS. To quote the British philosopher Michael Jagger, “THAT’S what I’m talking about!”)

I read Ewen when I was 23. Back then, I thought he had very interesting things to say about the intersection of advertising, p.r.,and social engineering that took place in the 1920s. I’ve been meaning
to take another look at him, though I have yet to do so.

I’ve just finished reading Ayres’ SUPER CRUNCHERS, which is about how econometrics are superseding ‘experts’ and their frequently inaccurate
intuitions in nearly all walks of life. Fascinating stuff, if you are willing to be schooled in how statistics actually operate.

Of course, statistics and market research go hand in hand.

Market research asks you how much you’d be willing to spend.

Statistics determine at which point you would refuse to spend any more.

Millions of dollars are spent every year advertising toilet paper. But it’s all the same asswipe. That’s my point.

OK–I admit it–I really have no idea what I’m talking about. Mankind is more akin to angel than ape, and humans are not merely a bunch ofpurblind DNA modules wrapped in a meatsicles which ceaselessly
perpetuating themselves in a monotonous clockwork masquerade of self-designated “free will.”

Free will, of course, is a philosophic conundrum that frustrated old men like Freud, St. Augustine, and Plato have been batting around fora little while. As of late, molecular biologists and other scientific types have picked up the ball, and they seem to be of the opinion that individual consciousness itself is illusory.

And no individual consciousness = no free will.

The fact that I invariably feel impelled to cite primate behavior when referencing human foibles convinces me that I may be, at heart, acrypto-determinist.

If so, it’s a good man’s fault.

News flash: ENVIRONMENT IS HEREDITY!

They are inextricable because we are all related.

To pursue the animal theme a bit further:
Since we are all one species, perhaps we use social class and the consumption of commodities as our “markers”.

Viz:

Lower class: Generic.
Middle class: Mass-produced.
Upper middle-class: Hand crafted.
Upper-class: Custom-made.

My larger point?

That ultimately, human insight into our own condition is limited.

The eye cannot see its own blind spot.

A parrot cannot persuade a God.

I don’t believe (though I haven’t really thought it through) that one is “reduced” to anything in questioning the role of free will. There
is no shame in admitting that one is merely attempting to look at human events from a newly available window of scientific insight.

Ultimately, free will depends upon the capability of people to transcend their humanness.

That day has not arrived.

And I would not care to speculate here whether it ever will. That’s for the science fiction crowd, and the double-noughtphilosopher-spies.

I am by no means as rigid and dogmatic as I appear. I do not eke out a bare existence as though I were a mere will o’ the wisp out of some existential inanition born of my deepest fears.

Or do I?


9. TOO MANY NOVELISTS?


That’s like saying the world has too many marathon runners.

If people want to stretch their horizons, then why the hell not encourage them?

Some people might suggest I browse the over-stuffed genre fiction sections of Barnes and Nobel to witness the profusion of awfulness.

Believe me, I have.

Hey, in any genre, the good stuff rises to the top. It’s like natural selection.

Don’t have much use for sci fi myself, though I recognize comic book superheroes are largely some combination of crime and sci fi, and were
heavily influenced by their pulp antecedents.

One of the best novelists today is a crime writer.

I don’t mean the legion of fictioneers who write those odious series books. You know the ones I mean. Detective with a Gimmick. Plucky Female Bail Bondsman. These are admittedly are shrewdly conceived from a marketing standpoint but usually garish and trivial from any strictly literary point of view.

I’m talking James Ellroy.

And any writer can learn a lot from true crime books such as the ones produced in profusion by writers such as Ann Rule. In fact, I’mploughing my way through a series of anthologies in Penzler & Cook’s
2002-2006 series The Best Crime Writing (in 2007 they changed the title to The Best Crime Reporting).

Not many guys will cop to reading romance.

I’ve read a few of them.

Back in the late 90s I stumbled across a cache of library discard books-on-tape in every conceivable genre, including Romance. I had a boring technical services library job, and I ended up reading every
last one.

I’ve also read some women’s fiction–admittedly, as part of a Reader’s Advisory module for professional librarians.

It’s OK–like romance with an unhappy ending. Like espionage novels with romantic intrigue instead of assassination.

As part of my thesis research I read a book by Thomas J. Roberts called An Aesthetics of Junk Fiction, (Athens, Georgia: University of
Georgia Press, 1990). In it, Roberts notes that “the saturation of the culture with books” of any kind “began to appear only within the last
two hundred years,” for “it was not until then that cheap fiction in the form of the dime novel and the penny dreadful, the direct ancestors of contemporary pulp fiction, began pouring off the presses
and into the lives of our ancestors,” when “people had the time, the conditions, the equipment, and the skills that made reading in bulk possible.”

He also notes:

What is especially to be remarked about the people who are doing this reading and who…form virtual fellowships is that they are not ruled from above. That is, the primary readers of pulp fiction are usually
characterized as the victims of the manipulative editors and writers who pretend to be their servants, and those editors and writers do give themselves credit when a genre, a writer, or a book is
successful. They are wrong, however. It is the readers, after all, who invent genres–by becoming so enthusiastic about an odd new book that
publishers and writers make other books resembling it; it is the readers who change the genres–by passing over stories that are too much like those that have already appeared; and it is the readers who
kill genres–by leaving the genres’ stories unbought on the bookstore shelves.The notion that publishers, editors and writers are manipulating the tastes of a vast, unthinking mob is one more echofrom the literary bookscape…an echo of the notion of arbiters of taste.

Further:

There is a body of literature that the academic critic and scholar of popular literature Thomas J. Roberts has called “junk fiction.” Not only their plot lines but “what the plots are carrying,” Roberts has labeled as “nets that have been used over the centuries…[which] in each period caught pieces of the life of a dying generation.” However, far from existing solely to entertain on the basest level, this type of “junk fiction” can be said to have its own logic and rationale, not so different from what we call serious fiction, in which the readers’ interests lie, not in the works of individual authors, but in the “dynamic tradition” of the genre, in which they are engaged in
“listening to the stories talk to one another.” Characters are created from role identities, relationships and responsibilities, which are
“fundamental social realities for urban humanity.” One must not assume that one can assess such fiction with no experience of it, since “every vernacular genre does produce stories that are slightly or
deeply unintelligible to the newcomer…just as there is a skill and lore required to read literature, there is for each genre a genre competency…[for] every story in every popular genre is referring deliberately or unconsciously to every other story in that genre…the
reader is not reading the text but the genre by means of the text.”


Critic Matthew Surridge claimed, “Genre codes are not necessarily impositions placed on a writer. They’re an aspect of fiction that can be manipulated.”
So yeah, we can tear out our hair one patch at a time over the fact that the field is glutted with carelessly written books intended for careless readers. But even a bad book may teach you something you didn’t know.

And nobody’s making us read that trivial outpouring of wretchedness that comprises so much of mass-market fiction. And literary fiction
can be just as meretricious, albeit in its own very special way.

Furthermore, one million bad books will not prevent that one gem from rising to the top. It may take decades, but rise it will.

I think that even writing genre fiction beats any number of other time-wasting diversions, and gives the putative writer an enhanced appreciation of the vast amount of work that goes into constructing
even a thoroughly wretched novel.

Now, encouraging people to write poetry, on the other hand, is something I definitely do not approve of.

I suspect that just about anybody who is literate could write a paragraph or two of fairly decent prose if they set their minds to it.

But, since it’s much easier to write horrendously bad poetry, they do that instead.

And then they expect a fucking medal.

Even though in far too many cases these poetasters don’t read poetry, know nothing about poetic form or history, have no poetry in their souls, and nothing on their minds that cries out for poetic
expression.

I once pissed off a published and rather respectable poet by quoting H.L. Mencken’s rather scathing remark that no man with any sense persists in writing poetry much after the age of forty.

Back when Louise Solano was running the Grolier, I overheard her saying that just about everybody who reads poetry also writes it.

All those writers, and nobody to read what they write!

I am convinced that most people who profess not to understand poetry simply profess this so they can avoid having to pass judgment on the effusions of their relatives.

You now who really likes poetry?

Prisoners.

One of the finest poems ever written was written by a man condemned to die named Chidiock Tichborne:

Chidiock Tichborne’s Elegy written with his own hand in the Tower before his execution

My prime of youth is but a frost of cares,
My feast of joy is but a dish of pain,
My crop of corn is but a field of tares,
And all my good is but vain hope of gain.
The day is past, and yet I saw no sun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

My tale was heard and yet it was not told,
My fruit is fallen and yet my leaves are green;
My youth is spent and yet I am not old,
I saw the world and yet I was not seen.
My thread is cut and yet it is not spun,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

I sought my death and found it in my womb,
I looked for life and saw it was a shade;
I trod the earth and knew it was my tomb,
And now I die, and now I was but made.
My glass is full, and now my glass is run,
And now I live, and now my life is done.

No, it’s much better to let them try their hand at fiction.

If they really get into it, they might learn something.

Mencken once described a historian as a “failed novelist”.

HLM can usually be counted on to have a quote guaranteed to piss off anyone who takes themselves too seriously.

Vice versa, not a few novelists have turned to history. Offhand? Dickens. H.G. Wells. (Allegedly, he plagiarized another man’sresearch). Even good ole James Michener wrote a fairly respectable
(though ponderous) account of the Kent State shootings that one of my profs assigned us to read.

Some of my favorite history reads like good fiction. Notably, biography. Taylor Branch on MLK. Caro on Johnson. The now-forgotten reporter Gene Fowler on folks like Jimmy Durante and Mayor Jimmy
Walker.

I am also very fond of the labyrinthine books of Matthew Josephson and the somewhat less lumbering tomes of Bernard DeVoto. The latter’s

account of the Donner Party is tops.

THE INFORMATION #926 FEBRUARY 3, 2017

THE INFORMATION #926
FEBRUARY 3, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.–Victor Frankl
 
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART NINE: DAYS OF WRATH
 
“I’ll tell you the problem with people like Little Joe the grifter,” said Count Victor Justin. “They are bound by their social class and the culture they grew up in, and, since they can’t imagine any other way to live, they plough their way through life with a narrow-minded furrow. They can’t conceive of a woman being anything other than a milk cow or a dray horse, and they don’t know how to think for themselves, but, rather, they keep their friends and family around to do the thinking for them–and their advice is invariably bad, don’t you see, because they’re not with it and for it all the way, as the carnies like to say. Fact of the matter is,” said Count Victor–and I could tell that he was working his way up to a stem-winder of a peroration, “most people–the mass of men, I might even venture to say– most men live their lives according to a pre-planned and mostly played-out script. Only maybe one in a hundred stumbles across the notion that there’s a better way to live. Your mother is usually a superstitious and hidebound woman who is so afraid of the wider world that she urges you to be nice to everybody and play fair and not make any waves. Your father, who is well aware of the snares and pitfalls that await an enterprising green Yellof, will always tell you to be brave, but also to be careful–and, if he’s any kind of father at all, he will counsel you to keep your temper when expedient, and to never show your hand. This overall is good advice, and well-meaning, and they tell you these things because they love you as much as they love themselves and maybe even more, and they want to see you thrive and prosper so you’ll have children of your own. But,” he added, with a meaningful look,”the weight of all this advice can leave a Yob paralyzed, and turn him into a milksop. I don’t give a hoot in hell for a Yellof who can never deviate from a set plan. Let’s be honest, for once–most people live their lives with some very fucked-up notions which they are scared to death to examine in any depth or detail, lest their whole world fall down. They are born in a lie, they live a lie, and they suffer the consequences of that lie for their rest of their lives.
 
“If anything, I predict the man of the future will be even more set in his ways, for all his infatuation with aeroplanes and horseless carriages and electrical lighting and wireless telegraphs and all the rest. People will forget what it is to live independent and free, what with their fascination with new conveniences. Stupefying palliatives–that’s all they are. Toys to make fat men chuckle. Life is a game, Yob. It has always been a game, and it always will be. It’s the stupid oafs versus the arrogant shits. And the arrogant shits are all rapacious businessmen, shyster lawyers, quack doctors, corrupt policemen, and crooked politicians. The only honest people are in the nuthouse. Too much truth will do that to a man, you know.  That’s why most weak culls cover their heads and hide, like simple field mice. And, like crawling vermin, they are always afraid of taking too much. They only thing they’re good at is eating shit. They are born slaves. Loyal to a fault, even when it leads to their own downfall. To survive in this world, Yob, I tell you that you need to be more like me. If I sense that a Yellof is dragging me down, I cut him loose with no ceremony at all. From that day forward, he is simply dead to me. I do not take such a step lightly. I am not a mean man; I WANT a Yellof to succeed, just so long as his business interests and mine are not at cross purposes. But once he starts in to drinking too much, or sniffing happy dust, or making a fool of himself over a woman, or developing a bad gambling habit, why, then, I won’t have any more to do with him. I don’t much care what people think of me, and I will be a bohemian when I can get away with it, but one thing is certain–people do judge you by the company you keep, and it’s better by far to have no friends at all than to have a weak and needy friend with a bad reputation.
 
“It may seem cold to you, but in this short life a man has got to divest himself of certain liabilities, like a clingy woman or a squalling bairn. Too many distractions get in the way of forging your own path. That’s why I admire people like the Gib Yellof–no sentimentality from that quarter! He has a fine eye for female flesh, but he doesn’t let himself be tied down to any one zook. And he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Try to puzzle him out–and he’ll laugh in your face. And then he’ll have you killed–for asking too many damn fool questions. Reporters won’t go near him. The last newshawk who tried to grill him, why, the Gib Yellof drove him barking mad. He told me later that it was easier than knocking a sick baby off the pisspot. As far as he’s concerned, he’s always right, and anyone who opposes him or even questions him has got to be crushed underfoot like a bug. He’s always suspicious of people who nose around. He runs his office like an Oriental despot. His underlings practically worship the ground he walks on. Even though he treats them no better than slaves. Worse–because at least slaves have job security. But there’s no such thing as a cushy berth with the Gib Yellof. One mistake–and you’re out. Two mistakes–and you’re dead. He tells them how to dress, what to eat, and where to be at all times. He will brook no opposition to his ultimate goal–to turn the whole city into his willing thralls.” 
 
“Now, that right there, Yob, is the kind of Yellof you ought to aspire to be.”
 
*NOVELTY
MASTURBATING TO MTM  SOCIETY
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
CIRCLE OF CONCERN VS. CIRCLE OF CONTROL
 
9*RUMOR PATROL
STEWART BRAND: THE LAST PRANKSTER
10* LAGNIAPPE
WHITE RESENTMENT ON THE NIGHT SHIFT AT WALMART
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix & Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock. By Barney Hoskins. Da Capo Press, 2016. 402 pages, hardcover.
Review by Francis DiMenno
 
If you read this book expecting to get some interesting and previously obscure gossip about the characters listed in the title, you certainly won’t be disappointed. But one of the key names listing from that impressive title roster (along with Paul Butterfield, Todd Rundgren, and Jules Shear) is that of a man named Albert Grossman. Although he is not quite the hero of the piece–his motives are too mixed; he is, after all, not a musician but a businessman–the enigmatic Grossman plays the role of the central protagonist (and sometimes antagonist) of the narrative. Maybe you’ve heard of Grossman. A big man in every sense of the word (he was indisputably quite the gourmand), he was famed for managing and promoting the careers of not only Bob Dylan, but also, at various times, steering (or failing to steer) the artistic development of other musician clients, notably The Band, Janis Joplin, Bob Dylan, and Jesse Winchester. (Allegedly Hendrix was too mobbed-up for even Grossman, widely known as a talented “fixer,” to extricate him from his difficulties, though this is only mentioned in passing.) . As Woodstock’s primary benefactor, Grossman also funded and oversaw the construction of various restaurants, a recording studio, and a record label, Bearsville, which prospered for a time, but folded in 1984. You might remember the label as the home, even as late as the early 1980’s, of such luminaries as NRBQ, the DBs, and even Foghat (!) Even after he died, Grossman’s legend lived on; he  posthumously bequeathed to the town a theater and concert venue which he directed his widow to manage.
 
Apparently, Grossman was on Dylan’s mind when he was holed up with members of The Band and recording the loose and in many cases wry and whimsical numbers (which were yoked to some Band numbers recorded off-site) and officially released in 1975 as “The Basement Tapes”–numbers such as  “Nothing Was Delivered” and “Too Much of Nothing” are said to refer to Grossman.There is also speculation that Grossman was the “Dear Landlord” of Bob Dylan’s post-motorcycle-accident LP John Wesley Harding, and a few other Dylan songs from that LP have allegedly been written about him, including  “I Pity the Poor Immigrant,” “The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest,” and even “All Along the Watchtower” (“businessmen they drink my wine”).  
 
It was perhaps inevitable that Dylan would become estranged from Grossman. The story of how this took place forms the core of the book. Levon Helm’s manager Barbara O’Brien explains that “Maybe Albert was a wise businessman, but I think he’s the model for what managers shouldn’t do. I was a pit bull for Levon, but there are ways to do it so you don’t piss everybody off. Albert wanted to be as big as Dylan and Janis were, and he took too much from them The guy was an empire, but his personality stopped you from wanting to embrace it.”
 
However, the book as a whole, though shot through with stories about Grossman, is only secondarily about him and the artists he managed and the dozens of acts he signed to Bearsville Records (some successful, but many not.)  If Grossman is in the foreground, in the background is the milieu of Woodstock, New York, a town–you might almost call it a village–of some five to six thousand souls located 103 miles from Times Square in New York City. Sardonically referred to as “Peyton Place” (the name of a trashy tell-all gossipy novel of small town life which later became a phenomenally successful television series), Woodstock was also known as “The Laurel Canyon of the East Coast.” Similarly, its rustic environs nurtured–and sadly, in the late 1970’s, even eroded and destroyed–the careers and lives of many talented people. However, perhaps this was inevitable. According to Village Voice writer Perry Meisel, “Woodstock seems to have been woven out of so many contradictions that it couldn’t have held on for long in any case. The sweet country setting got canceled by big city tensions; the ambiance of a retreat by the prevailing deference and cool…even after the music and the people had both become absurd.” 
 
Overall, this book is a fairly comprehensive account of all the goings-on in this somewhat isolated Catskills community; a more complete account would probably tend to verge on tedium. The book serves as an East Coast counterpart which complements Hoskyn’s earlier, equally all-inclusive  book about the Los Angeles scene titled “Waiting For the Sun”, which similarly covered the respective careers of The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Little Feat, the Eagles, Steely Dan, Linda Ronstadt,  and Joni Mitchell, among others. In my opinion, the main shortcoming of the book has to do with Hoskyn’s disinclination to provide much of a biographical backstory regarding the principle players. Ffor example, we are told that Janis Joplin comes from Port Arthur Texas, and that she was “pockmarked and bacchanalian”–and that is virtually all we are told about her early life. Much the same can be said regarding just about all of the principal characters in this story. This lack of backstory is particularly problematic in the case of Albert Grossman. Who was he, really? How did he get to where he ended up–as virtually the founding father of “hippie” Woodstock? I understand how an author might wish to limit the scope of his research to manageable proportions. (I certainly have no complaints regarding the amount of work which went into compiling this historical account.) However, a sentence or two of somewhat deeper biographical detail would not have unduly taxed the patience of the reader, and might have provided him or her with potentially valuable insights. Instead, we are left with a cluttered landscape of musical icons who do their thing on stage and off for a few or several years, and then pass from the scene. All the same, the chief pleasure of this book lies in the fact that, in its heyday, Woodstock was quite a scene indeed.   
 
*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
ARCHIE 2. WAID. ***1/2
BATMAN & ROBIN 7. ROBIN RISES. ***1/2
BLACK CANARY 2. NEW KILLER STAR. **1/2
CHICAGOLAND DETECTIVE AGENCY 3. ROBBINS & PAGE. ***
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF FLETCHER HANKS. KARASIK, ED. ****
COSPLAYERS. SHAW. ***
DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS 1. ENLISTED. **1/2
EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS. BISKIND. ****1/2
EXCALIBUR. LEE & HART. ***1/2
FLYING COUCH. KURZWEIL. ***
FIGHT CLUB 2. PALAHNIUK & STEWART. ***1/2
GODS AND MONSTERS. BISKIND. ****
THE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN BODY. LIEBERMAN. ****1/2
I HATE FAIRYLAND 2. FLUFF MY LIFE. YOUNG. ***
JACOB BLADDERS & THE STATE OF THE ART. MURADOV. ***1/2
KINDRED. BURLER, DUFFY, JENNINGS. ***1/2
THE MAN IN THE GRAY GLANNEL SUIT II. WILSON. ***1/2
MARY ASTOR’S PURPLE DIARY. SOREL. ****1/2
MY TURN. O’HARA. ***1/2
PARACUELLOS. GIMENEZ. *****
PETROGRAD. GELATT & CROOK. ****
PULP FICTION. [FILM.] ****
REUNION. GIRARD. ***1/2
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT. O.: BITE AND BARK. ***1/2
ROCKET RACCOON & GROOT. CIVIL WAR II. ***1/2
SHIELD: ARCHITECTS OF FOREVER. ***1/2
SMALL TOWN TALK. HOSKYNS. ****
SOFT CITY. PUSHWAGNER. ****1/2
SPIDER-GWEN 2. WEAPON OF CHOICE. **
TEEN TITANS 2. ROGUE TARGETS. ***
TEEN TITANS 3. THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. ***
TETRIS: THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY. BROWN. ***1/2
WAITING FOR THE SUN. HOSKYNS. ****
WE ARE ROBIN 3. JOKERS. ***1/2
THE WORLD OF EDENA. MOEBIUS. ****1/2
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
901. THE ROAD
Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is an awful lot like a post-apocalyptic version of “Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy.”
 
903. HATE RADIO

The hate radio demographic skews strongly toward alcoholic ex-servicemen who hide pints of cut-rate vodka in the glove compartments of their supersized cars and who wear double-breasted suits from 1951 and sport fedora hats three sizes too big for their shrunken heads with a fishing fly in the sweatband.

903. LAST TANGO RAPE SCENE CONTROVERSY

THE INFORMATION #925 JANUARY 27, 2017

THE INFORMATION #925

JANUARY 27, 2017

Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com

http://dimenno.wordpress.com

The funny guy doesn’t get the girl until later in life. High school, college, everyone still wants the brooding, dangerous guy you shouldn’t have. –Will Ferrell

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN

CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART EIGHT: DAYS OF WRATH

“When it comes to Yellofs like Little Joe the lickspittle Grifter,” said Count Victor Justin, “it’s like they’ve never managed to leave high school behind. Or, maybe, it’s like they left some part of themselves behind back in high school. You see that in a lot of people who are currently residing in the Happy Home. How would I know? Being a janitor in the laughing academy is one way to hide out from your creditors, as well as your descendants, and that’s all I have to say on that topic. Most plug-uglies dast not go near the place. It’s like they have a superstitious fear of the insane. Like it’s contagious? And who’s to say they ain’t kee-rect? I know many an alienist who is almost as nutty as his patients. You notice that your average Happy Valley Sanitarium is out in the country, and very seldom in the city. That’s because man was never meant to live in vast conurbations. Man was always intended to dwell in peaceful harmony in the garden of Eden, with ponds where the ducks walk on the backs of the fishes and the fucking ripe grapes just drop right into your fucking cake-hole. Most of the people I talk to nowadays, they think that when you say ‘Paradise’ then you’re talking about a game of craps. But I’m talking about Arcadia. The notion that there was some sort of country paradise where the lamb lay down with the lion and smart and educated people sat on the cool verandah sipping strong waters while slaves did all the work. Ah, well, The North put paid to that notion. Instead of grinning darkeys on the old plantation singing their songs of devotion to “de Massa,” and sleeping on goose-down mattresses with a picture of a watermelon carved into the bedstead, the North would prefer to have them all working in their dark satanic mills where birdies drop dead from the sky with nary a chirp on account of all the smoke and industry and prosperity and the smell of money. I suppose it’s a matter of whether a poor man had rather drop dead in a field of mown hay or in a filthy alley behind a factory. In the mind of Northerners, tradition counts for nothing, as it is so much bushwah. That’s because in the minds of the wheelers and the dealers and the movers and the shakers, tradition is what gets in the way. 

“In my mind, your typical public high school is like a factory. Or maybe it’s more like a hospital–a hospital where they amputate your imagination. And i have found pedagogues to be the worst kinds of fools. Imagine a man who is only fit to look after a bunch of overgrown bairns! High school students are barely even human, the lot of them. They are kind of like your cousins.They are stupid and impulsive. They talk too loud and say embarrassing things, and the less they have to say the louder they talk. In fact, they insist on their right to monopolize conversations and bore you with their pompous childishness and jejunity. A callow lad of fifteen has nothing to say to me that I want to hear. Present company excepted, of course. You know how to keep your mouth shut. And that attribute will take you a long way–in the grift.”

And Count Victor Justin looked at me through slits of eyes with a gaze that was ninety-five per cent cold calculation,  with about five percent human kindness mixed in.

“High School is not real, Yob. It’s a dress rehearsal. It’s fantasy land. All the world’s a stage, and high school is the backstage, where Yellofs learn the lines that are going to carry them through the great play. ‘I’ve been sick.’ ‘I forgot.’ ‘It won’t happen again.’ And the teachers all recite their lines in response, as if by rote. ‘I’ll need a note from your doctor.’ ‘That mistake will cost you.’ ‘I’ll let it go this time, but see that it doesn’t happen again.’ ” I pity the teacher who isn’t cut out for ordering bairns around and wiping their snot noses for them and occasionally dusting their britches, too. If a grown man can’t get one over on that lot, then what the hell good is he? Trouble is, what you end up teaching your charges is the same old shit that you yourself were taught 20 or 30 years ago, when you were a schoolboy. The same old useless rot. 

“Show me a man who had a miserable time in high school and I’ll show you a man who didn’t know how to play all the angles. A man with no grift sense. If you can’t master the hoops and ladders of graduating from such a place, then you deserve anything you get, says I. You are nothing better than a weakling with a feeble intellect. The playground is a jungle. Survival of the fittest is the name of the song. Avoiding the myriad pitfalls of being bossed around for several hours a day by a bunch of lackeys–there’s the key. It’s not so much what you do–it’s what you manage to avoid having to do. Like the Egyptian notion of the afterlife. They took along small statues of slaves–to do their work for them. Which just goes to show–it’s always better to have a slave to do they heavy lifting–even in heaven.

“I’m convinced that only yobs who are supremely indifferent to their own fate are capable of mastering a few simple tricks to make high school into an endurable experience. First and foremost, you must be willing to fight anybody who comes along, and bite them in the face if it comes right down to it. Nobody will ever give you a hard time again, I’ll warrant.  I don’t care how tough you think you are–nobody likes getting bitten in the face. 

“Meanwhile, you have to learn a lot of dry and useless facts that nobody gives a hoot in hell about. Never once, while cheating at cards, did I ever ponder the causes of the difference in climate between Eastern and Western Washington State. Never once, while cozening an out-of-town sucker with the good old gold brick, did I wonder about five of the principal crops of the United States, and the section where each crop was raised. Never once, while rolling a drunk, did I have good cause to mull over the principal wine exports of Portugal. And not one time, in all my travels, nor during all my time in stir, did I ever have good cause debate the difference between Puritans, Pilgrims, and Separatists.

“Most of all, there’s the endless teaching of American history! Such a dry and useless topic! We haven’t been around long enough to have a history. All there is, is gossip. And, even at that, you never learn any of the interesting stuff in the classroom. The schools would have you believe that the Presidents are a bunch of plaster saints to be worshipped at the altar of the constitution. But that is far from the truth. They never tell you about any of the real skinny. Like how Ben Franklin was a dope fiend. And George Washington used to ‘swill the Planters with bumbo’—essentially, he was following the British custom of bribing his constituents with alcohol in order to get elected. Adams was famed for his aristocratic tastes. He had a weakness of Sherry wine. Jefferson allegedly had a substantial wine cellar. Van Buren was very fond of whiskey. Frankie Pierce was the world’s biggest tosspot. Of course, his oldest son got killed in a train wreck right before his eyes, so maybe that was why he figured there was nothing left to do but get drunk. Honest Abe Lincoln never drank. Maybe he should have. His Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was said to over-indulge. Lincoln defended him. “Andy ain’t no drunk,” he said. This rumor gained currency because at Lincoln’s second inauguration, Johnson had a few drinks to steady his nerves, and made a fool of himself. Johnson was a slobbering drunk, and that’s all there was to it. Grant was a known booze hound, but he didn’t drink while he was in the White House–or, so they say. Grover Cleveland loved to rush the growler. And nobody knows for sure if Teddy Roosevelt is a drunk or not–all they know is that he’ll sue you if you say he is.”

1*SALUTATION

XTC 

TRAVELS IN NIHILON

You’ve learnt no lessons 
All that time so cheaply spent 
There’s no youth culture 
Only masks they let you rent
Travels, travels in Nihilon 
We’ve seen, no Jesus come and gone
Fashion, their vampire 
Drapes itself across your back 
As you fall from style 
It waits rebirth on its rack
Building your whimsy 
Hypnotising you to need 
Dance goes…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6y3RQEPkpQ

COMMENTARY
http://chalkhills.org/articles/XTCFans20080629.html

ALSO SEE:

XTC

MELT THE GUNS

https://youtu.be/eBGc5h1yWHQ

SEE ALSO:

XTC 

ENGLISH SETTLEMENT (1982)

A great drummer’s album. Especially “No Thugs In Our House.” And the bass on “Knuckle Down” is particularly fine.

https://youtu.be/grNqazfyDkc

2*REFERENCE

FOOD STAMP FABLES

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/01/food-stamps-snap-welfare-soda-new-york-times/

3*HUMOR

THE DYNAMITE EATING GOAT

https://butterscott.bandcamp.com/track/the-dynamite-eating-goat-bonus-track

4*NOVELTY

CANVA: AMAZINGLY SIMPLE GRAPHIC DESIGNER SOFTWARE

https://www.canva.com/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

HOW IKEA USES FOOD TO TRICK YOU INTO BUYING FURNITURE

http://nypost.com/2015/06/03/how-ikea-uses-food-to-trick-you-into-buying-furniture/

6* DAILY UTILITY

NICKNAMES OF THE STATES (1884)

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2017/01/18/a_nickname_map_of_the_american_states_from_1884.html

7*CARTOON

ISIS COLORING BOOK

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3351025/Jihadi-John-beheadings-attacks-Western-cities-Controversial-anti-ISIS-COLORING-BOOK-features-atrocities-committed-terror-group.html

8*PRESCRIPTION

BUMWINE REVIEWS

www.bumwine.com/

What’s the word? / Thunderbird / How’s it sold? / Good and cold / What’s the jive? / Bird’s alive / What’s the price? / Thirty twice.”

It is said that Ernest Gallo once drove through a tough, inner city neighborhood and pulled over when he saw a bum. When Gallo rolled down his window and called out, “What’s the word?” the immediate answer from the bum was, “Thunderbird.”

ALSO SEE:

For Scots, a Scourge Unleashed by a Bottle
“…the drink had been mentioned in 5,638 crime reports between 2006 and 2009 (the bottle was used as a weapon in 114 of them).”
www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/world/europe/04scotland.html?th&emc=th

“It goes straight to your head,” he said, “but it’s not my cup of tea.” (Mr. Rooney noted that his cup of tea is half a bottle of vodka a night.)

SEE ALSO:

Stick McGhee 

Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0lmX06odhw

9*RUMOR PATROL

David Talbot names Allen Dulles as ‘the Chairman of the Board of the Assassination’
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024105197

ALSO SEE:

THE CRIMES OF “MY WAY”

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2010/02/the-many-crimes-of-frank-sinatra-s-my-way/346700/

10* LAGNIAPPE

ED’S REDEEMING QUALITIES

MORE BAD TIMES

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSvCNBxF6dI

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

FUCK WHITE PEOPLE

https://heatst.com/culture-wars/south-african-national-gallery-to-feature-f-white-people-exhibition/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

  1. TRIPLE PARENTHESES

Certain alt-right people were using (((this))) is a signifier of Jewishness–for two years!– until they were finally called out.

In a June 2016 article detailing the phenomenon, Mic also reported that an extension had been developed for the Google Chrome web browser known as “Coincidence Detector”, which automatically places the triple parentheses around the names of individuals who “[have] been involved in certain political movements and media empires”. The extension contains a list of 8,771 names, including common Jewish names and surnames, those of media personalities who have been critical of Trump, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as organizations such as Ben & Jerry’s and Kars4Kids.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_parentheses

  1. CRUMB ON TRUMP

http://boingboing.net/2017/01/17/robert-crumb-interviewed-about.html

  1. TRUMP’S BEST QUOTES AS COMIC BOOKS

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/01/15/donald-trumps-best-quotes-comic-books/

  1. WHAT IS THE WITTIEST PIECE OF SARCASM SAID BY A POLITICIAN?

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-wittiest-piece-of-sarcasm-said-by-a-politician

  1. WHAT IS THE MOST DEPRESSING ONE-LINER?

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-depressing-one-liner