THE INFORMATION #975 JANUARY 12, 2018

THE INFORMATION #975
JANUARY 12, 2018
Copyright 2018 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

We do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. It is held in reverence. Some think it is the voice of God.–Mark Twain

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

The wind was beginning to blow high and steady and the temperature to precipitously drop, so Cadger Tandy and Count Victor Justin stood briefly in the door of a Diner, then decided to enter. The aroma of beans and sausage and onions filled the air. The Count ordered a large plate of pasta with sauce, and the white-aproned waiter brought them a platter full, and two bowls, with a loaf of Italian bread and a small plate with butter.”It didn’t take me very long to figure out that the fine arts were a Mugg’s game. Writin’, paintin’, sculptin’, fiddlin’–takes years to master, and in the end you’re broken down in your health and you got no money. No, my lad–politics is the game to get into. And to do that you need the shekels.” He rubbed his fingers together. “Cash money–on the barrelhead. By the way–I wouldn’t eat that butter–you never know how many times it’s been put on that plate from the previous customers.

“You want to know HOW I made my ooftish,” said Count Justin Victor to Cadger Tandy, between chews. “Sure you do. They all do. And I usually don’t tell ’em. But I’ll tell you. Why, I got my money the same way any man makes his fortune in this country. Through stealth and brutal tactics. As long as you don’t care whose well you’ve got to poison, you can drive even the most enterprising farmer off his land. Outdoing the competition–that’s the key. If you can’t get there fustest with the mostest, why, then, settle for second best and undermine your rival where it’s bound to hurt him the most. That’s the American way, and don’t you let nobody tell you any different.

“Listen Yob: back in old Frisco, in the days of the Barbary Coast, before the great quake, I had me quite a sweet racket going, until the Goo-goos stepped in. That was the patent medicine dodge. At first I dabbled in homeopathy. Sugar pills and water for neurasthenics. There was gold in them that pills! Cost you half a penny to make; sell ’em twenty for a dollar retail. That’s money you can take to the bank! Haww…. But then I graduated to the Indian medicines. Sagwa and the like. Only we didn’t want to team up with an existing firm, so we called ours Agwas, which, of course, is Sagwa back’ards, sorta. Just like the fellers as peddle that godawful Anurep. Anyway, we said that our stuff was a great cure for Catarrh. What IS Catarrh? Anything you say it is! If you got a headache, don’t take no aspirin–that only treats the symptoms! It’s obvious you got catarrh of the brain, so what you need to effect a sure-fire cure is three pills of Agwas, three times a day for three days. Of course, by then the headache would be gone anyway. But the sucker don’t know that, or maybe he just don’t care, just so long as he can take a pill and feel as though it will make him better. Dames are especially susceptible to this pitch.

“Eventually we moved from pills to powders and potions, and lemme tellya, it was like a license to mint money! Snuffy old duffers and weedy old dames who wouldn’t so much as drink sarsaparilla sody pop lest they be thought of as frivolous–why, they downed our cocaine powders and opium syrups by the carload! Haww…it was like Christmas every day for them as took a jolt of our particular cure-all, Joy-X Tonic and Bracer…46 per cent alcohol by volume, so it was small wonder the abstinent teetotaller and drinker of weak tea and Postum and other such slop found it such a delightful change of pace! To sell our particular tonic, we would travel as a side attraction with an old-time Medicine show that would travel up and down the California coast, and even into Oregon and Washington and parts of Canada. Of course, they wouldn’t let you sell it to the Indians. But we got some prominent clergymen to endorse it in the newspaper. And the druggists in the ‘Dry’ towns would buy it by the gross.

“Here’s how we got one over on the competition. While other huckers peddled their fare in ordinary glass bottles, we sold ours from a clean white jar. Made all the difference. And we sold our slop two for the dollar if you bought six, which we assured the suckers was a year’s supply. Haw! For some of them, it was a LIFETIME supply, if you get my drift. Now, I don’t feel so bad about introducing stuffy old farmers and old maids to the delights of sugar-flavored hard liquor with a little bit of black pepper throwed in to give the stuff some character–though I do feel bad about all those sports who were on the water wagon and took a snort or two of our stuff and became habitual drunkards and went on a rampage and ended up in the pokey with the screamin’ meemies. I am, however, able to console myself by the fact that they should of known better, and that someone who was with it and for it ought to of pulled their sleeve. And also–my God, how the money rolled in! It was the sweetest little racket since…since tennis was invented!

“But our best snare was with ‘Life-Extending Leonicide’ which is guaranteed to slow and reverse cellular death and restore men on the brink of decrepitude to fine physical health. ‘Discovered in Florida,’ we said, near the very precincts of the fabled fountain of youth of Ponce de Leon–hence the name. ‘Save Your Marriage!’ says the headline, in 36-point scare type. We must of ploughed at least half our profits into advertising alone. Not just the newspapers, but on billboards and posters and display cards in drugstores. Y’see, Yob, it ain’t about growing old. It’s about the sex. It’s always about the sex. People are just too damn predictable. They make it too easy. Of course, there’s always the sourballs who ain’t interested in pitchin’ woo, but they’re most all of ’em a bunch of tightwads from right out of the gate, so you don’t need them anyway.

“Because deep in his heart of hearts, every red-blooded Yellof fears most of all that he’s being made to look like a chump. Exploiting that fear is, of course, the best way to make a chump out of him.

“Now, that’s what I call being on the horns of a dilemma, Yob. It’s like being in a room with a rattlesnake, a tiger, and a shyster lawyer, and you have a gun with two bullets. Which one do you shoot?

After a long pause, the Count said, “Ain’t you figured it out yet? Don’t you know nothin’? You shoot the lawyer–twice! Haww….”

1*SALUTATION
XTC (ACOUSTIC)
SCARECROW PEOPLE
BLUE BERET
KING FOR A DAY

ALSO SEE:
LIVE ON KROQ
ORANGES & LEMONS TOUR

SEE ALSO:
XTC
RAG & BONE BUFFET

2*REFERENCE
THE WEIRD BUSINESS BEHIND AN ANTI-AGING PILL
https://www.wired.com/2016/07/confused-elysiums-anti-aging-drug-yeah-fda/

ALSO SEE:
The great American fraud; articles on the nostrum evil and quackery reprinted from Collier’s
https://archive.org/stream/greatamericanfra00adamuoft#page/n5/mode/2up

3*HUMOR
“THE ALCOHOLISM NATURE OF YOUR KIND”
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2823952/Teacher-turned-job-South-Korea-assumed-drinking-problem-alcoholism-nature-Irish.html

4*NOVELTY
THE ALPHA HOBO
When I lived in Toronto, I found the alpha in my area and gave him a half deck of darts… had no problems all summer. One day, I saw him passed out in front of Fillmore’s clutching half a bottle of real booze (surrounded by empty mouthwash) when the cops decided to pour out that booze.. the bum went nuts, got tackled and cuffed, and I never saw him again.

http://www.fark.com/comments/9602785/Now-Im-not-saying-Toronto-has-a-hobo-murdering-serial-killer-on-loose-but-homeless-people-there-have-been-dying-at-a-staggering-rate-of-about-2-per-week-this-year-by-far-most-ever

ALSO SEE:
THE SUPERSTITION-CRAZED HOBO KING!
https://digitalcomicmuseum.com/preview/index.php?did=10025&page=3

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
TRUE CRIME GARAGE PODCAST
https://www.truecrimegarage.com

SEE ALSO:
SWORD & SCALE
http://swordandscale.com

ALSO SEE:
EARHUSTLE: VOICES FROM PRISON
http://www.earhustlesq.com

LORE: TRUE-LIFE SCARY STORIES
http://www.lorepodcast.com/about

6* DAILY UTILITY
GUN CLUB
PREACHING THE BLUES (ALTERNATE VERSION)

7*CARTOON
SNUFFLES THE FLOATING PSYCHOTIC TREAT-LOVING DOG

8*PRESCRIPTION
VULTURE 10 BEST PODCAST EPISODES OF 2017
http://www.vulture.com/2017/12/best-podcast-episodes-2017.html

9* RUMOR PATROL
THE REPENTANT RAPIST
http://www.ocweekly.com/news/prince-edward-maryland-is-sorry-6423713

ALSO SEE:
MANSON PODCAST
http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/search?q=manson

10* LAGNIAPPE
TOMORROW’S PEOPLE
OPEN SOUL

ALSO SEE:
SOUL SONGS OF THE 70S

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE LIVING HISTORY OF WAYNE NEWTON
spookycomics.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/df-mrexcitement-3pages.jpg

ALSO SEE:
TRUMP–WHAT HAPPENED?
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/01/michael-wolff-fire-and-fury-book-donald-trump.html

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
COMICONS
I blame poor toilet training.

I hear that these fanboys even dress in fan-themed regalia and patronize enormous venues in which they celebrate their favorite heroes!

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THE INFORMATION #974 JANUARY 5, 2018

THE INFORMATION #974
JANUARY 5, 2018
Copyright 2018 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Every artist was first an amateur–Emerson

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FIFTY-EIGHT: DAYS OF WRATH
“I’m telling you, Yob, San Francisco in the days before the big quake was a wild town–a wide-open town–like Paris, if the truth be known, back when Paris meant something. And I should know, because I’ve been to Paris. When I was a young sprout, back when my parents was still subsidizing me, they sent me on one of those European tours. In America a father gives his growed-up son a horse; in Europe, it’s the fucking Grand Tour. I’d of rather had a horse.

“It was in Gay ole Paree that I came up with the cockamamie idea that I wanted to be a painter. Don’t laugh, Ettil Yob–you’ll make much worse decisions in your own young manhood, of that I have no doubt. Well, back in them far off and distant days, Impressionism was just beginning to make a stir. But I was havin’ none of it. It looked more like Astigmatism to me. From where I sat. The old ways was the best ways, so far as I was concerned. So I contributed my work to the Salon. It was summarily sent back. As I was not a Frenchman, one of the judges was kind enough to summon me to lunch. He then gave me a talking to, like a Dutch Uncle.

“‘Dear fellow,’ says he, ‘you have the inklings of some talent, but I’m afraid that what is wanted in the world of art is sheer genius–or, at least, premonitions of same. This you have not got.’

“”Actually, my dear boy’ says he, ‘if you wish for to solicit my honest opinion, your choice of subject matter is insipid and your renderings betray only a rudimentary sense of proportionality so necessary to the crafting of a balanced composition. But don’t ask me–I’m no painter myself. I am merely an art critic.

“‘Furthermore,’ he says, ‘that eager pleading look I see upon your crooked face–like the anticipatory look of a greedy hog–is so pathetically needy that I have no choice other than to banish you from my sight. No, no, my dear boy, it shall not do. An ordinary painter you were born and, if you persist in this reckless course, an ordinary painter you shall remain–until you’re old with disappointment and broken by life’s vicissitudes.

“‘Cruel? No. I do not wish to be cruel, my child, but I feel that it would be most unkind to encourage you in your cock-a-hoop ambitions and candy-colored daydreams. For I have seen your other drawings–that insipid ‘fashion sketch’ of a girl, for instance–and I’ve heard of the encouragements of your well-meaning but thoroughly ignorant self-styled artistic “friends,” urging you to become an “artist”–pah! as if any of THAT lot had even the slightest idea how you should go about this business of making your way in the world. But I think there is something you should know. Only one person in a thousand–nay, in a hundred thousand–has enough talent to make it in the rough and ready world of the fine arts–and even then, seeking such a career is useless–an exercise in futility–unless one has the social connections which can be gleaned solely by a conventional education gained in some sort of a professional art school–and not a disreputable mail-order diploma mill which solicits your work from the back of a worn out calendar or shouts its dubious wares from the pages of a vulgar pulp fiction novella.

“‘What you would require, at a minimum, is expensive private training from a professional artist in anatomy, perspective, and other artistic techniques and competencies, simply in order to even accumulate a portfolio professional enough to convince an art school that you have some minimal degree of talent. Once graduated from art school, your utter lack of craft and imagination world invariably foredoom you to only the most menial of chores. Your best bet to get ahead in art school–despite your misshapen physiognomy and your needy, almost infuriatingly anxious demeanor–would be to lend your smock to a clubfooted newspaper cartoonist who has accidentally torn his pantaloons on a nail, and, in that fashion, to render him obligated to you. That, I can assure you, is one chance in a thousand, but if it’s a chance that you feel impelled to take despite the admonitions of one who is far more experienced in circumnavigating the lures and snares of a cruel world anxious to corrupt and deprave the naive and innocent, then by all means throw away your youth and vigor in chasing after an impossible chimera–but I’ll tell you right now that you can expect absolutely no help from the likes of me or any of my fellow professional critics.

“‘Because as surely as the sun rises in the east, I will tell you what happens next. Even if you do manage to become some kind of an artist, in time your permanently embittered wife will throw you over for a wealthier man and you will be reduced to working as a plongeur in a stifling basement full of vindictive, worn-out alcoholic sous-chefs, and you will earn, at best, a few sous over and above what you would require merely to keep body and soul together. Your fellow workmen, of course, will resent you for your demeanor as surely as Saint Nicholas hates the poor the poor and improvident. Their rude remarks will drive you to loathe both them and yourself and you will end your days in a common rooming house, toiling as a drudge in exchange for a daily mess of carrots, potatoes and onions. Your handsome demeanor will by then be long gone. You will lose your pride, and eventually your sanity, and will have nothing to show for it other than a notebook of pathetic scribblings and a flock of white hairs on your knobby brow.

“‘Others have followed your sad path and have disastrously failed. Somewhere, on a bridge at the end of the world, another so-called “artist” no doubt, even now, teeters on the edge of eternity, longing to do away with himself, and thereby cease to live in a world of mockery and pain. Mark my words–the civil service is best for one such as you. You will meet an uncouth but kind-faced woman with no ambition. She will keep your house and glean dandelion leaves and burdock for your salad and you will feed her pork chops and hominy. You will have a brood of fat and happy babies, and one of them will surely support you once you both are pensioned off and superannuated. If this should be the case, I only hope that you spare a thought for the poor rogue of an art critic who gave you the benefit of his thirty-five years of accumulated wisdom–and endeavor to think of him in as kindly a way as possible. That is all, my dear boy. Now, please go–I have much to think about and I shall pray that you make…a sensible decision.’

“Well, Yob–that sage counsel certainly helped me set my priorities straight. Fame and glory were not meant for a man such as me–it was money that I was after. And…it was money that I got.”

1*SALUTATION
MIDDLE GEORGIA SINGING CONVENTION NUMBER ONE
BELLS OF LOVE

ALSO SEE:
STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF TRACK LISTING
https://www.amazon.com/Stuff-That-Dreams-Are-Made/dp/B000E6UK9Q

RETURN OF THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF TRACK LISTING
https://www.amazon.com/Return-Stuff-That-Dreams-Made/dp/B008PDAFS6/ref=pd_sim_15_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=0H82PFJB5Z1K2NFC3GMD

2*REFERENCE
2 hours of alternative Xmas music:
http://www.slicingupeyeballs.com/2013/12/23/slicing-up-eyeballs-christmas-mixtape-2013/

3*HUMOR
THE TERRIFYING ORIGIN STORY OF SMOKEY THE BEAR
http://www.cracked.com/blog/smokey-bear-terrifying-origin-story-5Bman-comics5D/

4*NOVELTY
COLONEL SANDERS, FREAK

VIA: https://worldwideinterweb.com/photos-that-cant-be-unseen/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

A Pitiful Clown Singing ‘Hallelujah’ Is A Strange Kind Of Beautiful
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/16/puddles-pity-party-hallelujah_n_5998700.html
6* DAILY UTILITY

PRUNO
Kicker (Prison Wine)
by Nick Crouch

10 peeled oranges cut into wedges
10 browned, soft apples cut into wedges
1 cup Sugar in the Raw
1 yeast packet
16 oz and 1 cup warm water
8 oz can of fruit cocktail
1 packet of raisins

1. Combine the fruit cocktail, apples, raisins and oranges in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag and mash them up taking care to not pop the bag. Once the fruit is beaten into a pulp, add the raw sugar and mix.

2. Add the 16 ounces of warm water to the bag and then seal it. Submerge the sealed bag in a sink of warm water for 15 minutes.

3. In a bowl mix the yeast packet with a cup of warm water and 3 teaspoons of raw sugar and wait til it froths up. Add this to the bag of mushy fruit then store in a dark place.

4. Every day for seven to eight days pour warm water (not hot) over the bag then wrap it in a towel and store. Never allow the bag to cool, else the yeast will die.

5. As part of the fermenting process, the bag will bloat up from the carbon dioxide so you’ll need to burp it by opening the bag and releasing the carbon dioxide. Repeat this process every day until there’s no longer any bloating.

6. Filter the contents through a cheesecloth. Enjoy on the rocks or do like Crouch: “I use some bitters since I’m not locked up anymore.”

By the way, I’m checking with Crouch about the possibility of barrel-aged Pruno.

http://www.lamag.com/drinkrecipes/how-to-make-prison-wine-the-craft-version/

ALSO SEE:
“You have to have the wine to make the shine.”

http://www.salon.com/2013/02/13/how_prisoners_make_moonshine_partner/
http://www.drunkard.com/11-03-jailhouse-3/

Classic pruno tastes like a bottle of Thunderbird filtered through a dumpster full of rotted garbage. Also, a stray dog laps it up from the alley floor and vomits it into a dirty hubcap….The equivalent of back alley sex with a toothless crack whore.

SEE ALSO:
THUNDERBIRD
http://www.drunkard.com/whats-the-word-thunderbird/
7*CARTOON

THE CATTANOOGA CATS
“The Cattanooga Cats don’t ever purr, they know how, but not what fer,/The Cattanooga Cats don’t go meow, wouldn’t try it if they knew
how, they’re doin’ their thing!”
https://overgrounder.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/kids-show-rock-part-three-the-cattanooga-cats-those-fantastical-felines/

8*PRESCRIPTION
TRUMPY BEAR
Note: Hat is not included and not offered for sale.

9* RUMOR PATROL
BILL BUCKLEY, CRYPTO-NAZI
Bill Buckley to Gore Vidal:
“Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in your goddam face, and you’ll stay plastered—”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/buckley-vidal-and-the-queer-question

10* LAGNIAPPE

MY BLOODY VALENTINE
LOVELESS

ALSO SEE:
SEAFEEL
QUIQUE

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
Into the Mystic: The Visionary and Ecstatic Roots of 1960s Rock and Roll. By Christopher Hill. Park Street Press, paperback, 294 pages.
Review by Francis DiMenno

Christopher Hill is an intelligent and insightful critic, and his enthusiasm for his subject tends to be infectious. He writes here an ambitious but not overly broad commentary on the emergence of a Dionysiac tradition of sixties rock and roll taking place in the midst of an Apollonian power structure collapsing under its own neocolonialist weight. It is possible; it is, in fact, likely, that Hill attributes too much significance to the power of art to transform what he calls “the postwar American consensus.” However, whether you accept his thesis or not, he charts many hitherto little-traveled byways offers up many intriguing theories. Hill suggests that rock and roll concerts are similar to religious rituals. He further suggests that rock and roll has roots in the writings of the English Romantics, the French Symbolists, and, especially, “the black church liturgical tradition”. Add psychedelics, and voila! A new consensus is born!

If only it were that simple. But Mr. Hill, in his enthusiasm, is inclined to stack the deck when it comes to explicating the Dionysian nature of the type of rock and roll which was popular in the mid-to-late sixties. For instance, in persuasively seeking to rightfully restore the influence of rock and roll, call and response, and the ring shout upon the formation of what he calls “ecstatic” rock and roll, he either downplays or ignores influences such as the “honkers and shouters,” guitar boogie specialists, and other jump blues practitioners, not to mention the influence of Country and Western and Western Swing music, with their electric guitars.

Hill can be very persuasive, however, when he pinpoints the appeal of the Beatles, and the rest of the (often mushy and twee) British Invasion bands as, in part, a return to the “magical…history” of a fabled Albion. Hill states, “It was as if the new hip culture was finding a frequency which had been broadcasting for centuries…an alternative narrative…a subversive treasure.”

In California, meanwhile, amid the practitioners of Yoga and the Rosicrucians and the teachings of Manly P. Hall, a “transcendent” teen culture also began to emerge, as epitomized by bands such as The Leaves, TheByrds, The Beach Boys, and, of course, The Grateful Dead. Hill claims that “While it was the culture of the East Coast–rogue Ivy league academics, eccentric Episcopalians, renegade establishment scions, CIA tricksters, raving beat poets–that in a sense thought up the sixties, when it came to putting it into practice the West was the only place that was still open enough.”

One can reject such extravagant claims and still greatly enjoy Hill’s further forays into highlighting somewhat obscure eclectic influences upon the syncretic rock genre. Hill highlights the reemerging importance of the mystic concept of “Romantic love” in song-craft by discussing, at great length, Michael Brown and his nearly forgotten “chamber rock” band The Left Banke. (But he omits any mention of the Jaynettes and their equally epically produced single “Sally Go Round the Roses”.) The author also offers a plausible, if rather far-fetched, explanation of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper as an acid-tinged “song suite” which follows the journey of everyman-figure “Billy Shears” into a “visionary realm’; a “dreamscape” which “could contain the world.” The Rolling Stones, on the other hand, supposedly represent, at the apex of their career, the old culture of a carnivalesque “festive perception of the world” (in the words of Mikhail Bakhtin). In Hill’s telling, Mick and Keith are the Lords of Misrule, “who spoke with a kind of dark merriment” in a world which “needed to be turned upside down”. And Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks is the “most profound meditation on suffering in pop music.” This is arguably true (though what about Robert Wyatt’s Rock Bottom?). But then Hill makes an even more exaggerated claim: Astral Weeks is also “a kind of rite of passage, a version of the oldest story there is–there and back again, the journey to the land of the dead and the return to tell the tale.” Hill also makes the controversial claim that the “perverse” Velvet Underground’s first four albums constitute a monomythic “full cycle” with “four phases”: “contention for the soul of the hero”; “the hero…descends into the demonic world”; “the hero’s purgation/purification”; “the hero is reintegrated into the world.” Maybe Hill is right. But I don’t see it. The explanation is simply too pat. (And I find it rather odd that there is no mention of the actual influence the visionary poet Delmore Schwartz had upon Lou Reed.)

No discussion of the transformative psychedelia of the sixties can be considered complete without mention of the Incredible String Band, and Hill gives them no less than their due, claiming that the faithful listener will be “rewarded by moments of strange loveliness, mad invention, [and] dark magic that do not exactly have a useful comparison elsewhere in pop music.” So far, so good. He also links their appeal, such as it is, to the type of Victorian children’s literature exemplified by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s (somewhat treacly) novel The Secret Garden. It is, he admits, a somewhat subjective opinion. It is an interesting point, and I can understand what he is getting at, but, like a great many of Hill’s theories and suggestions, it seems more than a bit overdetermined.

Hill concludes his interesting and eclectic survey of sixties rock and roll by asserting that the MC5, the hippie agitprop band from Detroit, were actually avatars of “the ecstatic rock and roll moment” who worked their “enthusiastic” stage magic by drawing upon the Holiness Church convention of “testifying,” while at the same time their “acid-Marxist” rhetoric offered “experiential confirmation of a type of energy and consciousness that would require a new society to embody it.” (This hardly explains, however, the band’s failed bid for mainstream success on their follow-up album, Living in the USA.)

In his afterword, Hill argues that the “development of vision” which took place among certain select British and American rockers may, over time, provide “political ramifications [which] can be earthshaking.” He unabashedly hopes that this music might ultimately provide “a way marker, a pointer to the work ahead, to the next convergence of the two worlds, inner and outer, imagination and history, ecstasy and politics, heaven and earth.”

To quote Hemingway, “Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so.”

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

ALL-STAR BATMAN 2. ENDS OF THE EARTH. ***
ALT-AMERICA. NEIWERT. ****1/2
AMERICAN TABLOID. ELLROY. ****1/2
BLACK PANTHER 4. ***
THE BLACK SINISTER. ***
BLOOD’S A ROVER. ELLROY. ****
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FEMINISM. PATU & SCHRUPP. ***1/2
BUT WHAT IF WE’RE WRONG? KLOSTERMAN. ***1/2
CAST NO SHADOW. TAPALANSKY & ESPINOSA. **1/2
THE COLD SIX THOUSAND. ELLROY. ****1/2
DARK REIGN. ACCEPT CHANGE. ****
DARK REIGN. THE UNDERSIDE. ****
DARK WOLVERINE 1. THE PRINCE. ****
DAVID & GOLIATH. GLADWELL. ***1/2
DEADPOOL 1. SECRET INVASION. ****
DEADPOOL 2. DARK REIGN. ****
DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR 3. NUCLEAR WINTER. **1/2
FIGMENT. **1/2
FOOD & THE CITY. YANOV. ****
GREEN ARROW 2. ISLAND OF SCARS. ***
THE HOMINTERN. WOODS. ***1/2
THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES: DARK REIGN. ****
INFAMOUS IRON MAN 1. INFAMOUS. BENDIS. ****
INTRO TO CAMUS. MAIROWITZ & KORKOS. ****
INTRODUCING LINGUISTICS. TRASK & MAYBLIN. ***1/2
JOHNNY CASH: I SEE A DARKNESS. KLEIST. ****
KNIFE’S EDGE. LARSON & MOCK. ****
LOUIS UNDERCOVER. BRITT & ARSENAULT. ****
M.F.K, MAGRUDER. ***
MARCO POLO: DANGERS & VISIONS. TABILIO. ***1/2
MARVEL HORROR: THE MAGAZINE COLLECTION. **1/2
MICHAEL CHABON’S THE ESCAPIST. VAUGHN. ***1/2
MYCROFT HOLMES 1. ***1/2
THE MIGHTY 1. ****
THE MIGHTY 2. ****
MIS(H)ADRA. ATO. ****
MORTON: A CROSS-COUNTRY TRAIN JOURNEY. COLLIER. ****
NIGHT SHIT. GLIORI. ****
PASHMINA. CHANARI. ***
PERFIDIA. ELLROY. ****
PRESENT. STEIN. ***1/2
PROVIDENCE ACT TWO. MOORE. ****1/2
REPUBLIC OF SPIN. GREENBERG. ****
SERENITY. NO POWER IN THE ‘VERSE. ***
SHERLOCK: A STUDY IN PINK. MOFFAT ETAL. ****
SKELETON KEY. HOROWITZ, ETAL. ***1/2
STEVEN UNIVERSE. ANTI-GRAVITY.***
THE STUFF OF LIFE. SCHULTZ & CANNOn. ****
SUNNY’S NIGHTS. SULTAN. ****
SUPERMAN 4. BLACK DAWN. ***
TRUMP…. OLBERMANN. ***1/2
THE UNQUOTABLE TRUMP. SIKORYAK. ****
WONDER WOMAN 4. GODWATCH. ***1/2
X-MEN BLUE 1. STRANGEST. ***

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

I LOVE LUCY
As an infant, I cringed at the very sight of the hag Lucy, for I feared that Ricky was beating her. And that her croaking ejaculations of dismay were cries of genuine pain.

On Christmas Day I saw that stupid colorized Lucy show. Quote: “Ricky can’t hit me if I have sunburn!”

WTF?

MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 231 JANUARY 2018

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 231
JANUARY 2018

Copyright 2018 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

1. NOIR MISFORTUNE COOKIES
SECOND SERIES
201. Grandma was a Mafia wife–she hasn’t forgotten how to kill.
202. Jesus got off easy compared to you, doomed one.
203. Next time, refrain from stealing tips from a Sicilian Restaurant.
204. You have offended a man known far and wide as “Mayhem”
205. Your wife smells of Kandy Korn and bleach; it turns the neighbors on.
206. You once called The Director a “sissy”; the FBI still hasn’t forgotten.
207. You once told a Kennedy to fuck off; your one claim to fame.
208. Restful sleep is reserved for the innocent, felonious one.
209. Nobody wants to hear your stories of your criminal failures.
210. She killed your prize rooster “Mr. Corn,” so you ax-murdered your wife.
211. Your only hobby: Collecting warrants from all 50 states.
212. Give yourself up now and they won’t kill you so slowly.
213. The mob is offering ten thousand crisp reasons for your demise.
214. No one ever got fat palling around with you, Stoolie.
215. Abraham Lincoln’s nickname was not “Hot Rod,” dropout.
216. Your fear is a mask that eats away your soul.
217. Your wife says “Never on Sunday”–or on any other day.
218. You cooked the Mafia Don’s books–he will never stop hunting you.
219. You made the Triad lose face. Soon they will destroy your handsome face.
220. Gulag survivors have vowed to exterminate your entire family.
221. Very soon the drink takes the man. Only you are no man.
222. Shave off that hipster mustache! It makes you look like Hitler!
223. They will get you long, long before you drink yourself to death.
224. If you had any more brains you would almost be a simpleton.
225. The mob has a permanent retirement plan for dotards such as you.
226. You are feeling low now. Soon enough you will be completely underground.
227. Retirement plan? No. Antisocial Insecurity will be your fate.
228. Between you and her cat she will pick the tabby every time.
229. Don’t even try. Your doom was ordained from Day One.
230. Your beer and methedrine diet has given your mob associates pause.
231. The express train is coming–you’re either on it or under it.
232. That burlesque performer you married is also a stone cold junkie.
233. The personnel director will notice your fidgeting and twitching eyes.
234. Everyone knows your name. Your picture is in every post office.
235. Congratulations! You are now the world’s most famous patsy!
236. Without a gun you are nothing. Without money you are less than nothing.
237. You think yourself smooth. You are as subtle as a jackhammer.
238. Pillhead, no pharmacist in town will honor your forged scrip. Move on!
239. You are a fifth-rate grifter in a fourth-rate town.
240. When you are dead they will all cry–for the money you owe them.
241. You have a tongue of gold–and a heart of tin.
242. You haver the wisdom of Solomon…Solomon Grundy.
243. If you were slightly more mature, you might be considered infantile.
244. Live it up now, tinhorn–because you’ll never live it down.
245. Your grandmother was a washerwoman–your daughter, the same.
246. Your boss will catch you pissing in the executive washroom sink.
247. You look like the Buddha. But the devil is in your heart.
248. You are the opposite of a garbageman, newshawk–THEY take the trash AWAY.
249. Your pretty young wife has to fight the men off. A losing battle.
250. Ask not, chump, for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for THEE.

2. GROWING UP CATLICK

What’s the deal with mackerel snappers?

Honestly?!

Their shining clean houses always smell like cheap hotel soap–the
kind that comes in a white wrapper with purple lettering–and they’ve
even got a garish chipped plaster replica of their groovy crucified
messiah hanging on the wall of the garret that’s been converted into a
guest bedroom. The bedroom in question always has some kind of
raggedly blanket-type thing ineptly knitted from fat yarn by a
superannuated nun with a severe case of macular degeneration. Can’t
throw it away! It would be a sin! So they keep this musty relic on the
cruciform daybed, where it gathers gypsy moths and cabbage-scented
dust. It itches in the summer, and as you lie beneath it in the winter
your balls shrivel to the size of Jerusalem almonds because you’re
freezing half to death. They don’t believe in turning on the furnace,
either, you see. “Heat rises,” they say. The hell it does! Not when
you’re a Gorton-gobbling poormouth Papist wretch living in the house
of Our Lady of Perpetual Pain!

I mean, really! They might as well be living in a fucking igloo!

But they don’t eat blubber.

No, they count every fucking pea on the plate, lest they somehow
commit the sin of gluttony. They drink vile soup in a snap-top bottle
made from a recipe last popular in 1642.

They use the word “goodness” a lot.

They think Batman is an invention of the devil.

And that irony comes straight from the scrapbook of the Antichrist.

And, like the ancient Romans and their household gods, they clutch in
their sweaty talons a laminated card with a blurry picture of their
personal saint, to whom they incessantly mumble through chipped
dentures an odious shopping list of their insipid desires.

And they never ever pray for anything even remotely useful!

Furthermore, even when they do ask for some little thing, they’re
always couching it in the form of some pathetically laughable deal!

“Please, St. Michael–while I’m up here in the guest room attic–if
only I can find the box with that nodding dog that Granmaw gave me
back in 1957, I’ll never drive over 40 again!”

And even in their sleep, they mutter things like “Jesu Christu,” and
“Bingo has been called–hold your markers, please!”

They can just about drive you nuts with their magical thinking and
irrational superstitions.

Plus, when it comes time to unclutch some of their dough-re-me, all of
a sudden they conveniently forget all about the “Render unto Caesar”
clause. They’ll give their dog food money to the bloated coffers of
their precious chuch, and meanwhile, Baby needs a new pair of shoes! I
mean, come on! The money they spend on useless crap like sacred
candles and mass cards could be invested at 6 per cent, and in their
old age they could retire in Nova Scotia in an oceanfront resort cabin
and gobble pickled lutefisk all the live-long day!

But no–they’d rather be sitting around a cheap formica table with
their grizzled cronies from the Council on Aging, gumming potato candy
and mumbling novenas. You want to shout at them, “Listen,
pilgrim–this hair shirt jazz went out with Savoranola! Get wise to
yourself! Wake up and live a little! Don’t be a fool! That cute young
parish priest is just another chubby, slick-haired racketeer, only
with a stiff starched collar and holy water! Spend the moolah on
yourself!”

But no. The one thing a person who has made the same mistake their
whole life long simply will not do is buck a losing trend.

And the lapsed ones? Oh, they’re the worst. Mainly because, like me,
they’re always pointing out and trying to enforce nonexistent rules of
imagined decorum.

Watch out for them. Watch out.

3. I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD….

“I look at that fellow. I watch his smart-aleck manner and his British
clothes and that New Dealism in everything he says and does, and I
want to shout, ‘Get out, get out. You stand for everything that has
been wrong with the United States for years!'” — Republican Senator
Hugh Butler of Nebraska.

Now, me, I’m just a country boy. I don’t go for none of them
highfalutin’ big words or abstract concepts. I’m just one of a legion
of unpretentious, salt-of-the-earth working-class Joes who will “give
you a piece of their mind” and “tell it like it is” with “the bark
off”.

You don’t have to listen to me.

Shucks, I expect you to ignore me.

I ain’t got them there fancy degrees from Oxford or the Sorbonne.

But can I tell you for a minute or two about the kind of world I’d
like to live in?

And maybe even leave to my children, if’n I can afford to have any?

Well, here it is.

I’d like to live in a world in which people who wear striped pants and
use Bristishisms such as “Cor, blimey” are put to death.

A world in which hard working ordinary folk run Wal-Mart while venal
Republican fat-cats are forced to work the registers and mop up the
vomit in aisle four.

Where people who use sea salt are coated in the stuff and left to dry
up like retarded snails.

Where people decide to stay home and be with their families instead of
rushing out to patronize December 26th sales.

Where products are so well-made that service warranties are not required.

But wait, you cry. These are merely the revenge fantasies and wishful
thoughts of an despicable superannuated recluse. Not so!

Listen!

If I ran the world, only midgets would be allowed to own Bonsai trees.

All political advertisements would use Supermarionation.

Genuine ventriloquists would stand in for news broadcasters.

Elementary school principals would be replaced by colorful Parrots.

No child actors would be permitted to perform without rigid oversight
from ruthless squadrons of ironic but lacklustre thespians.

I would nationalize salad bars.

And anyone citing the Old Testament would be shipped out on an ice floe.

OK, so maybe I’m bitter. But tell me–does the world really, truly
need any of the following?

1) The Atlantic Monthly.
2) Any folk music sung by toothless hillbillies.
3) Any folk music not sung by toothless hillbillies.
4) Gatorade.
5) Presidential Libraries.
6) Jell-o brand gelatin and other gelatin desserts.

Well–does it?

And I’m as liberal-minded as the next fellow, but haven’t we all grown
just a little bit sick and tired of paying lip service to adherents
of:

1) The Kama Sutra.
2) Yoga.
3) Jazzercise.
4) Model U.N.s.
5) Debate societies.
6) Arthurian legend.

You know that funny falling feeling you get in the pit of your stomach
when you hear about any of the following?

1) Brainstorming.
2) Novels with false and lying narrators.
3) Orson Welles as genius.
4) Detectives with exotic handicaps.
5) Informal staff meetings.
6) Presidential Pardons.

That’s not something to be taken lightly. That’s your body–rejecting
the poison!! Are you with me? Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we
stop indulging in the promiscuous and indiscriminate use of:

1) PVCs and Vinyl Siding.
2) Zinc lozenges.
3) Holocaust memoirs.
4) Very Special Episodes.
5) Tribute albums.
6) Bidis.

Come on–work with me here! Wouldn’t the world be a far far better
place if we never ever ever again as long as we lived had to endure:

1) Brechtian alienation.
2) Zoos.
3) The theatre of the absurd.
4) Dogme 95.
5) Reggae.
6) Surrealism.

For that matter, wouldn’t it be nice if we never again had to witness:

1) The invariable scenery chewing of Al Pacino.
2) The now-classic slow burn signalling incipient violence from Joe Pesci.
3) British comedians who have achieved worldwide fame.
4) Intelligent dolphins that bark and beg for fish.
5) Fran Drescher.
6) Don DeLillo.

Now, I like a good “laff” as much as the next fella. But can’t we at
least agree that the hilarious antics of Mort Sahl, Dennis Miller,
Harvey Pekar, Frank Zappa and Judas Iscariot have begun to pall–just
a bit? Far funnier in conception and execution are the very idea of
“Political conventions” and “American philosophers”. In fact, there is
a great deal of humor, intentional or not, to be found in the very
things that ordinary Americans take extremely seriously. I’m talking,
in particular, about:

1) Ceremonial occasions.
2) Indian reservations.
3) G.E.D.s.
4) Coal miners.
5) The 12 Apostles.
6) The plays of Eugene O’Neill.

Nor are quavery dotards and their infantine grandchildren entirely
blameless. How else to explain the fascinated attention paid to the
following unwholesome activities:

1) Scrapbooking.
2) Mobiles.
3) Art made with construction paper.
4) Fingerpainting.
5) Fussing over the lisping witticsims of precocious crumb-crushers.
6) Chinese Checkers.

Speaking of the Chinese, I’m sure if they were to take over this
country sooner, rather than later, they would decry as extravagant and
wasteful (not to mention sinfully counterrevolutiory) the following:

1) Jazz.
2) Boiled peanuts.
3) Jerry Lewis.
4) The NSC.
5) Reduced-fat muffins.
6) Carob.
7) Jai Alai.
8) Dachshunds.
9) Rainbow afros.
10) Lesbian smooching.

Life would be hard on the communal farm. We’d have to shave with rusty
pocketknives and pick our way carefully to the outhouse while dodging
clumps of freshly steaming night soil.

But at least our totalitarian hell would ultimately be mitigated by
the prospect of, at long last, no more:

1) Sherry.
2) Aloe Vera.
3) Cuddles and bubbles.
4) Bearapalooza.
5) Juggalos.
6) Diet colas.

Freedom and Diversity might well be a very small price to pay, were we
to, at long last, be rid of these scourges.

Thank you for hearing me out.

4. THE MUCKRAKER
He imagines himself the only supremely rational Pontiff amidst a
rabble of agnostics.

Yet, like any truly conscientious agent provacateur, he nonetheless
disseminates pointless prevarications and is obliged to stir up hoi
polloi even when he is in covert sympathy with the very cause he feels
called upon to infiltate.

For, as the credulous stooge of his every impulse, he may well be the
personification of pure Id.

Always willing, like Mr. Rust Never Sleeps, to make a ruddy mess of
the very condition he intends to allieviate and, to, in all cases,
spark a controversy even when one need not exist, he is very much like
a caveman grunting “Fire–bad!” after he has inadvertently torched the
entire savannah while merely trying to roast himself a crispy little
puppy for his midnight snack.

In this way he is both the inadvertant foreman of the fanatic factory
and the accidental slaymaster of Baphomet.

5. IT’S TOUGH TO BE WHITE
Really.

It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

All this power, wealth and prestige is a supreme and inconvenient burden.

And the government still insists on favoring so-called “MINORITIES,”
most of whom don’t even vote, let alone contribute large sums to 527
groups.

We whip the Negroes…and still they breed. What gives??

I’ll tell you what. Whites are persecuted.

“They” refuse to use the so-called N-word on TV. Even the racist cop
on the shield says “Darkies”.

Meanwhile, foolish Negroes with harebrained notions of “equality”
threaten monocultural harmony.

THE WELFARE BUREAUCRACY ENSLAVES AMERICA’S POOR!

CHAMPAGNE WITH FOOD STAMPS!

BLOOD BANK CRACK WHORES!

GOD’S JUDGMENT COMETH SOON!

I MAY NOT HAVE A FANCY DEGREE IN BIOCHEMISTRY, BUT I KNOW EVOLUTION IS A SHAM!

Listen–I know the Negroe.

Here are a few candid snapshots of my Great Great Grandpappy, “Mistah
Boss,” bein’ worshipped by a few of his happy and beloved permanent
full-time employees.

Here’s another snapshot. This is my dog “King” subduing a dangerous agitator.

Heh. “King”. Ain’t that ironic?

And this here’s my Uncle “Bull” administering a well-deserved bath to
a batch of sweaty ingrates. I still say he should have charged them
for the water:

Finally: In regards to the song “Black Korea”:

So pay respect to the black fist
or we’ll burn your store, right down to a crisp

I wrote an answer song:

You’d better show respect to my white dentures
Or I won’t redeem your convertible debentures.

But MCA will not return my calls.

Surely, this is no country for old memes.

6. AWARD-WINNING CAMPAIGNS FROM THE ANADVERTISING AGENCY

TWO MINUTE PROMO SPOT
599 CIGARETTES
Hate tobacco but love the additives? Try 599! It has all 599 of the
most commonly used flavor enhancers! Soothing ammonia goodness
completely obviates the negative effects of the ground
fibreglass-n-asbestos full-flavr filter. What’s more, what could be a
better way to start the day than with a piping hot payload of
Ambergris, Asafetida and Carbon Monoxide, chased with Chicory,
Chocolate, Coffee, and Corn Silk, AND supplemented by a skillful
admixture of Hydrolyzed Milk Solids, Linalool, Maple Syrup and Myrrh?
Ahhhh! Can’t you already taste the goodness of the Nerol, Patchouli,
and Phosphoric Acid? Aren’t you already savoring the blissful aroma of
the thoughtfully provided Propylene Glycol, Rum Ether and Snakeroot
Oil, and revelling in the proprietary blend of Sodium Bicarbonate,
Urea, and Vinegar–all topped with a smoove top-level blend o’ Walnut
Hull Extract, Wild Cherry Bark Extract, and Yeast? Try 599, and like
all our other satisfied customers, you’ll also be saying, I surely do
love me some 2-Isobutyl-3-Methoxypyrazine, alpha-Isobutylphenethyl
Alcohol! (CONFIDENTIALLY, it’s the extra butyl molecule that gives it
that delightful je ne sais qua–an amiable lung-filling, sac-bunging,
bronchio-spasmic richness that just won’t quit–and neither will you!)

60 SECOND SPOT
THE GENTLE JOY OF OXY
Look: We don’t know how or why codeine’s kissin’ cousin, good ole Mr.
4, 5-epoxy-14-hydroxy-3-methoxy-17-methylmorphinan-6-one, has got such
a bad rap. How or why this delightful respiratory-arrestin’,
colon-bolus-filling, itching-scratching-and-nodding l’il packet o’
goodness ever got tarred with the dispicable moniker of “hillbilly
heroin”, we’ll never know. Many a trust fund swell, top-flight
celebrity Chef, and light sweet crude oil-fat Arabian Sheikh has no
doubt chawed up three of these light green fellers and washed ’em down
with a mason jar full of Grey Goose vodka–and, say, listen Mister:
I’ll bet right after they done it, they felt just like King
Charlemagne on Christmas Day in the year 800! Listen: Say what you
will, 6.5 million happy happy haaaaapy repeat customers don’t lie! So
be smart! Beat the rush! Drop everything! Go right down to your
drugstore, right this very minute! The baby can swim! Order early and
order often! Remember: Just because it’s thebaine, doesn’t mean it has
to be the bane of your existence! (Or does it???)

30 SECOND SPOT
Indianapolis: It used to be grey. But not since 1984. We got color
now. And we’re better than Cleveland and Jersey City. So if you’re
tired of taking it up the brown barker in Buffalo for bad bar coke in
Buffalo, come here instead and have a sleazy, bourbon-fuelled
assignation with jailbait local talent while the town drunk bawls
bawdy shivarees outside your Motel 6 window!

20 SECOND SPOT
Polish Springs–We think it’s water, only we’re not sure–there might
be some vodka in there. Did you steal my drink?

15 SECOND SPOT
The Penis: Strong enough for a man…but women like it too.

10 SECOND SPOT
Jeepers: It’s like saying “fuck,” only then people just think you’re an idiot.

ONLINE PROSPECTUS
INVESTORS!
CUNNY ISLAND!
This will draw the yokels in!
They’ll be dying to get in on the twitchet action!

Every poor Pissant, Rube, Hick, Sucker, Boob, Fish, Mark, John and
every sawed-off Runt and Ruff-Tuff Creampuff from Chump Junction to
East St. Jesus, will converge on this piscine peninsula just 2 hours
from THE HEART OF THE CITY!

INVEST NOW!

7. LIBERTARIANS
Rule of thumb: Whenever you see a picture of a Libertarian in a
national news magazine, he’s always some fat bald guy with a foul
white beard that looks like fluffy dried snot.

8. THE NEXT MUSICAL TREND
Rule of thumb: Look at other phenomena to get a hint at how popular
music will trend.

For instance, Rock and Roll emerged during and right after
McCarthyism. The culture was permeated with mechanization and death,
and the music reflected a spit in the eye at all of that.

It shook and it shimmed for ten full years before it started to get ripe.

It must have been jam, because jelly didn’t shake like that.

And then it merged with Commie folk music and was drenched in
CIA-supplied acid; after which, the lyrics started to take on the
power structure in overt, rather than merely covert ways.

However, there is also this beautiful 1957 Sinatra quote:

“[Rock ‘n’ roll is] the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of
expression it has been my displeasure to hear. … It manages to be
the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the
Earth.”

9. CRAPPY B MOVIES AND BRILLIANT MISTAKES

I can die happy, for I have seen The Halls of Anger.

I saw it in 1970. It was the talk of our 7th grade. Back then, my
classmates and I were in a position not unlike the one luridly
portrayed in the film; a few white kids in a formerly white but
rapidly becoming largely black school.

Pick quote: “Yeah–she’s blonde all over.”

Then there’s these three rather sketchy films by major directors:

THE NAKED KISS, SECONDS and THE PARALLAX VIEW.

I am enormously fond of all three films, and I am particularly fond of
all three directors, but this does not mean that I am willing to turn
a blind eye to their flaws. All three films were daring and
outrageous. But all three also have problematic aspects that bother
me.

1)
The Naked Kiss. I first saw when I was in Chicago, circa 1987. The
Harvard-Epworth in Cambridge, Massachusetts had been showing obscure
Samuel Fuller films for years, but never, to my knowledge, did they
ever screen this monstrous and weirdly compelling schlockfest. As
weird as Fuller’s previous madman clasic SHOCK CORRIDOR was, this
trumped it in nearly every way–from the mondo bizarro opeing in which
a bald whore beats a pimp with her shoe (to the accompaniment of
frantic jazz!), to the bizarre middle section in which the reformed
prostitute sings at interminable length to a group of kiddies, to the
very sick and twisted climax. The Naked Kiss is Fuller at his most
Full-some. (I am reminded of the critic who referred to Sam Peckinpah
as Sam Pecker-in-Paw.) I’ve seen it again, recently, and I haven’t
changed my mind. All of Fuller’s manic idiot-savant quirks are on full
display. Although I recognize that the genre conventions he uses aren’t
necessarily susceptible to modern-day judgments, I do know that what
one generation treats as dead serious, another is bound to regard as
quaint. This film has not aged well.

2)
John Frankenheimer’s Seconds bombed, big time, at the box office. Not
that this fact is any criterea of quality. But, in retrospect, there
was something faintly ludicrous about Rock Hudson going under the
knife and deciding to change his life around, wouldn’t you say? And,
in 1974, I stumbled across and read the novel it was based on,
Seconds, by the psuedonomous “David Ely”.

The novel was pure potboiler trash of that peculiar early-60s variety.
Gearing up for a post-literate world but not quite there yet. Both
quasi-literate and pretentious, a hard mix to gulp down in one lump.
The film is better by leaps and bounds, but still betrays its origins.
(I will say that the orgy sequence, though gratuitous, was absolutely
brilliant.)

3)
The Parallax View I saw in its original theatrical release, in 1974. I
sat through it twice, and it confused the hell out of me. Though it
also impressed me, enormously. I’ve seen it two or three times since,
and though I understnd the symbolism of the parallax, I still have a
gnawing suspicion that Beatty was badly miscast for that role. (Though
he was perfect in “Shampoo”.) Let’s be frank–the production values
were also a bit muddled. Especially that sequence with the Sheriff
near the dam. Maybe the raoring water was some kind of symbol, I
dunno. But it jolted me out of what was going on. If it was a
Breachtian move, it didn’t quite work as intended.

Look, even works of genius–some would say especially works of
genius–often have long stretches of “what the fuck was he thinking”
moments. Look at Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure. Father Time’s
suicide note: “Done because we are to menny.” Bathos, or pure,
unadulturated literary gold? I think the former, but feel, in my gut,
it’s the latter. That’s very often who flawed masterpieces work. Their
flaws give them additional lustre.

All three films are near-masterpieces that in some sections descend
into the realm of the ludicrous.

10. ART LINKLETTER AND THE DEATH OF THE NOW I CAN DIE HAPPY CHAIR
Those chairs were UBIQUITOUS on television ads all through the 80s!
You remember them! You MUST!

The best part of the ad was at the very end, when the quavery old
codger would call the number on the phone and would immediately be
connected to the sweet young thing with the perky tits.

Quavery Old Codger: Could you send me your free brochure?
Sweet Young Thing: Why, CERtainly, Sir!

This was, presumably, to reassure apprehensive dotards that they would
not be getting any snappy rejoinders on that thar newfangled telephone
from Negroes or convicts or disrespectful whippersnappers.

Well, sad to say, the chairs weren’t all they were cracked up to be.
Even Art was “distressed”:

CONTOUR CHAIR DOESN’T LIVE UP TO ITS TV IMAGE
By Maribeth Morris P-I Columnist
TUESDAY, March 3, 1987
Section: Living, Page: C2
Dear Action: In response to an ad on TV for contour chairs last year,
I called a toll-free number. On May 15, a salesman for the company
came to my home and told me about the chair. Then he took me down to
his van to see his model. He said mine would be custom-made to fit me
and adjusted to my weight for comfort. He took pictures of me standing
next to a strip of tape with my measurements marked on it.

I made a $750 deposit, so the balance of $1,721.28 would be due when
the chair was ready. On July 16, the chair was delivered. They had me
sit in it and took my picture. I told them then it didn’t fit and
wasn’t comfortable. They said that after a few times of following the
recommended procedure I would adjust to it.

It still doesn’t fit. The back isn’t right and my legs cramp. It is
more of a chaise lounge than a chair. I wanted to be able to sit up to
knit, do handwork or write. I have contacted the company three times.
The last response was, “Well, if you want to sit up straighter saw off
the front legs.”

Is there any recourse? $2,471.28 is a lot of money to put out for
something that isn’t what I ordered and isn’t even comfortable. –
V.C., White Center

Dear Readers: This letter was written last December. Since that time,
correspondence has been going back and forth among the company, Action
and V.C. The upshot?

The company says that on Jan. 20, it offered V.C. three alternatives:
a 40 percent refund on the purchase price; exchange of her contour
chair for a vibrating, heated, adjustable bed; or supply of a loaner
chair while her chair was adjusted or rebuilt.

The company reports V.C. turned down those offers, but agreed in early
February to accept a 50 percent refund of $1,235.64 and return the
chair. V.C. tells us she did agree to the refund at first, but later
changed her mind because “it wasn’t right.”

V.C. has now filed a complaint with the state attorney general saying
she should get a full refund for a chair she says never worked for
her. She may, down the road, end up hiring a lawyer. If she pursues
the matter in Small Claims Court, she could receive less than the
offered 50 percent refund. A plaintiff in Small Claims Court can sue
for a maximum amount of $1,000.

Why have we devoted so much space to this topic?

Some TV ads aimed primarily at the elderly promote a number of very
expensive items such as contour chairs, electric- or battery-powered
beds or chairs that help arthritics rise from sitting to standing
positions. We have never seen a price advertised in these commercials.
V.C. (who’s 74) says it was a long time before the salesman who came
to her home ever got to the bottom line on the cost of her chair. But
by that time, V.C. admits she was hooked.

So unhappy was V.C. that she even wrote a letter to TV personality Art
Linkletter, who promotes the chair she purchased. His prompt reply of
Feb. 19 to V.C. was this:

“I was distressed to hear of your experience and I can not believe
that this is the company for which I work. I am sending your letter on
to the right people for an authoritative answer from them. Thank you
for writing me, and every good wish. – Art Linkletter”

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/archives/1987/8701060103.asp

IN 1992 THERE WAS A SEA CHANGE:

COMPANY NEWS; CRAFTMATIC CONTOUR SAYS IT IS STICKING ONLY TO BEDS
E-MAIL Print Save Share
LinkedinDiggFacebookMixxYahoo! BuzzPermalinkPublished: May 21, 1992
Craftmatic Contour Industries, which makes the Craftmatic adjustable
electric bed, said it would stop distributing the Contour
Chair-Lounge. Craftmatic Contour will take an aftertax charge of $1.9
million to cover restructuring related to the decision involving its
Contour Chair-Lounge Company unit, said Stanley Kraftso, the chairman.

The action resulted from continuing weakness in the Contour
Chair-Lounge distribution system and its negative effect on the
company’s operations as a whole, Mr. Kraftso said. The move will also
allow the company to concentrate on the Craftmatic bed business, he
said.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE6DC103CF932A15756C0A964958260

11. RED SKELTON’S PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
(Too bad I couldn’t also find the extremely rare recording of “Bozo
the Clown’s Declaration of Independence”. Plus,I suspect that this
recording might be a fake. A real hobo would never pledge allegiance
to anything, except maybe Vitalis strained through a loaf of bread.)

“I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of
Allegiance all semester
and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you.
If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?”
I
me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge
dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
Allegiance
my love and my devotion.
To the flag
our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever
she waves, there’s respect because your loyalty has given
her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job!
United
that means that we have all come together.
States
individual communities that have united into 48 great states.
Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and
purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to
a common purpose, and that’s love for country.
And to the republic
a state in which sovereign power is
invested in representatives chosen by the
people to govern. And government is the people
and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from
the leaders to the people.
For which it stands, one nation
one nation, meaning “so
blessed by God”
Indivisible
incapable of being divided.
With liberty
which is freedom — the right of power to live one’s
own life without threats, fear or some sort of
retaliation.
And Justice
the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all
which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your
country as it is mine.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country
and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance…
UNDER GOD
Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said
that is a prayer
and that would be eliminated from schools too?
God Bless America!

THE INFORMATION #973 DECEMBER 29, 2017

THE INFORMATION #973
DECEMBER 29, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -Aristotle
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FIFTY-SEVEN: DAYS OF WRATH

“Well Yob, ’tis the season. It’s nearly Christmas. And I’ll tell you something right now. You’re not to expect any presents from the likes of me. I don’t believe in Christmas, or any holiday that forces us to be cheerful. I’ve always been stubborn that way. Unlike most men, I don’t like to be led. Tell me to do something, and that’s the surest way to ensure that I’ll never do it. You might call it a childish trait–I call it the pride of a free thinker.

“Christmas. Haww…! Well I remember, Yob, the past glories spent basking in the enforced cheer of the one holiday in which grifters play no essential role, other than maybe hustling Gideon Bibles to grass widows out in the big stick country. In Frisco, in the days before the quake, here’s how we would celebrate that festive season. On Yuletide Eve the rounders would gather together–all the big grifters, too–and we would paint the Barbary Coast the brightest red. First off, we would put on our best bib and tucker and sashay over to The Patrician Club for some sugar whiskey. Next, we would proceed to the lobby bar of the Elite Motel and sip some alley bourbon. Then we would form a procession and enter en masse the swinging doors of The Hamilton Club and gurgle down some stumphole. From there, it was a very short trip across the line to Weary Willie’s shack in a rubble-strewn vacant lot to drain some Popskull out of a Mason jar. Next thing you know, we’re in some waterfront dive called Mike Fink’s, imbibing the house specialty, which they referred to as tiger’s sweat–but it was simply bad moonshine with a dash of rock oil. From thence to The Knockout Place, which was in a basement with a dirt floor, there to sample a savory cocktail comprised of Skull Cracker, Happy Sally, Blue John, and Yack Yack Bourbon. It was actually just all the bar leavin’s from the other patrons, gathered up in a metal tub, though we didn’t find that out until later when the aftereffects hit us.

“After the festivities had mostly wound down for the evening, we would convene–those of us who weren’t too blind to see–at one of the Chop Suey joints down there in old Chinatown. The Heathen Chinee at Ching Chaw’s hole-in-the-wall weren’t long on Yuletide cheer–the hissing bastards weren’t long an any kind of cheer, as a matter of fact–and that suited us right down to the ground. They would serve us something they called “Cold Tea,” which was actually needle beer. What was in it? You didn’t want to know. I think it was a mixture of exotic ingredients. Chloral hydrate, chloroform, elixir of terpin hydrate with heroin, ether–whatever stupefacient they happened to have on hand. After a few draughts of that sinister mixture, we would all be in our cups in a great big hurry.

“It was at that point that I began pontificating about our Lord and Savior, the infantine Messiah. ‘Hush! For shame!’ said one of our number. He was an Irishman, and a lapsed Catholic. ‘No need to be blasphemin’,’ says he. ‘Not on this of all the sacred days.’ The other members of our little cabal shouted him down. And so I was free to proceed.

“‘Our Irish friend just happens to be right. Jerusalem Slim was no slouch. Even as a baby, away in the mager, he managed to hustle some yaller boys and other assorted stinkum like Frankincense and Myrrh–whatever the hell that is–off’n three Nigras–the so-called Wise Men. He was an all-right egg. Matter of fact, he was no slouch. When it comes right down to it, he was a certified grifter, just like you and I. Picture this, Yobs: He took twelve crumb-bums from strictly nowhere, Yellofs who had nothing, and he forged them into a first class big store and played the long con with none other than good old Uncle Tiberius. Notice how he told the rich man that he should surrender up his riches and follow Him. And they up and done it! I’ll tell you, Yobs, no man never got fat pitchin’ fast balls past good ole Yeshua! And here’s another thing–that bootleg operation at the Wedding of Cana? A classic! The old switcheroo! The oldest game in the book! Wouldn’t surprise me if’n he invented it. “The conscious water saw its God and blushed.” Haw! Swilling the planters with bumbo is always a first-class political move. Yeah…Jesus was also a classic ward-heeler–he worked the weddings, he worked the temples, he worked the gin mills and slop chutes, and he worked the streets. He was a real white man, and the only people he hated were the coppers, the priests, and the god-damned gummint.

“Jesu was an impressive fella. Really he was, because when first he started in with his preachin’ and rabble-rousing, he was little better than a vagrant, with nowhere to lay his head. He slept rough, and relied upon lumps from strangers. If that ain’t a vagrant, then I don’t know what is! He left the home folk behind–they were weighing him down. Nazareth wasn’t exactly a swinging hot-spot back in the New Testament days. In fact, it was strictly a one-donkey Podunk town. ‘Bout the only fun to be had of a Saturday night was watching the mortar dry. He tried to go back there, and they called him a smart-aleck and practically threw him off a cliff. But Jesus was a tough guy–a muscle man–a bellerin’ brawlin’ fool–and they couldn’t manage it. So he cut out for good.

“Back then they didn’t have railroads, of course, so he mostly went on foot, and I suspect he got from place to place from hitching rides on passing skiffs piloted by rough tough fishermen. You would think, like most hoboes, he was a bit of a nancy boy, hangin’ out with the sailors as he did, but he had a whole herd of frails on a string, just like a fancy-man. Seems as though the ladies all thought he was the Yellof who put salt on the ocean–so who can say. All I know is that he was was a good chum to zooks and other soiled doves, so it doesn’t seem likely that he was all that much of a lavender lad. Also, he was a good outside talker, and also good at barkin’ orders at punks and weaklings, and gettin’ them to do what he wanted, even though there warn’t nothin’ in it for them, except the promise of the invisible kingdom of heaven. Haww…! Back then, when vagrants ran it, the church was pure. Nowadays, of course, it’s full of monsters, grifters and suckers. Go figure. Old J.C. got pretty far on very little. Not bad for a delusional hobo from Nazztown!

“Well, Yobs, to make a long story short…we all know what they do to hoboes. And it wasn’t a frail who done him in–no, it was his best buddy who offered him up to the wolves. That man’s name was Judas. He sold his boy out for the equivalent, I guess, of about twenty-seven bucks. How many of you would turn in your pard for that kind of chump change? Not a one of you, if I miss my bet.”

“Leastways–I hope not, Boys. Merry Christmas!”

1*SALUTATION
Pioneers of the jazz guitar (full album)

2*REFERENCE
ROTTEN APPLES
Site that will tell you whether any cast member of a movie or TV series has sexual misconduct accusations hanging over their head.
therottenappl.es/
3*HUMOR

STEELERS FAN ERUPTS IN ANGER OVER OVERTURNED TOUCHDOWN
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/steelers-fan-erupts-anger-overturned-touchdown-article-1.3707037

ALSO SEE:
1984: THE TWO MINUTE HATE

SEE ALSO:
THE PARALLAX VIEW: THE INCREDIBLE MONTAGE

4*NOVELTY
ITALIAN NOUGAT CANDY RECIPE
http://www.thespruce.com/homemade-torrone-521119

ALSO SEE:
RURAL DENTISTRY
“No more people behind the counter unless they have all their teeth.”
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/09/teeth-dentists-dental-therapists/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

FARMERS ONLY DATING SERVICE
THE FISHING DATE
“I’m not touching your worm!”

ALSO SEE:

CHRISTIANS CALL COPS ON STREET PREACHER

6* DAILY UTILITY

THE STANLEY BROTHERS
MOUNTAIN DEW

ALSO SEE:
THE DILLARDS
BUCKIN’ MULE

THE SLEEPY MAN BANJO BOYS (THE MIZZONE BROTHERS)
FLINT HILL SPECIAL

7*CARTOON

Risque bitters advertising
bottlesboozeandbackstories.blogspot.com/2017/09/examining-risque-bitters-advertising.html

ALSO SEE:
HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING (GRAND FINALE)
Denis Dimbleby Bagley: We’re living in a shop. The world is one magnificent fucking shop. And if it hasn’t got a price tag, it isn’t worth having. There is no greater freedom than freedom of choice, and that’s the difference between you and me, boil. I was brought up to believe in that, and so should you, but you don’t. You don’t want freedom, do you? You don’t even want roads. God, I never want to go on another train as long as I live! Roads represent a fundamental right of man to have access to the good things in life. Without roads, established family favorites would become elitist delicacies. Potter’s soap would be for the few. There’d be no more tea bags, no instant potatoes, no long life cream. There’d be no aerosols. Detergents would vanish. So would tinned spaghetti and baked beans with six frankfurters. The right to smoke one’s chosen brand would be denied. Chewing gum would probably disappear, so would pork pies. Foot deodorizers would climax without hope of replacement. When the hydrolyzed monosodium glutamate reserves run out, food would rot in its packets. Jesus Christ, there wouldn’t be any more packets! Packaging would vanish from the face of the Earth. But worst of all, there’d be no more cars. And more than anything, people love their cars. They have a right to them. They have to sweat all day in some stinking factory making disposable cigarette lighters or everlasting Christmas trees, by Christ, they’re entitled to them! They’re entitled to any innovation technology brings. Whether it’s ten percent more of it or fifteen percent off of it, they’re entitled to it! They’re entitled to one of four important new ingredients! Why should anyone have to clean their teeth without important new ingredients? Why the hell shouldn’t they have their CZT? How dare some smutty Marxist carbunkle presume to deny them it? They love their CZT! They want it, they need it, they positively adore it! And by Christ, while I’ve got air in my body they’re going to get it! They’re going to get it bigger and brighter and better. I’ll put CZT in their margarine if necessary, shove vitamins in their toilet rolls. If happiness means the whole world standing on a double layer of foot deodorizers, I, Bagley, will see that they get them! I’ll give them anything and everything they want! By God, I will! I shall not cease, till Jerusalem is builded here, on England’s green and pleasant land!

8*PRESCRIPTION
PIT BULLS AS BABYSITTERS
pitbullsbible.com/history-pit-bulls-become-public-enemy-americas-dog-comeback/
ALSO SEE:

Ancient Bloodsuckers Feasted On Feathered Dinosaurs
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/12/569949770/amber-trapped-tick-suggests-ancient-bloodsuckers-feasted-on-feathered-dinosaurs

9* RUMOR PATROL
BAD BRAINS
Dr. D.F. Swaab suggests that the brains of pedophiles are wired differently. Recent research bears him out.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/study-finds-pedophiles-brains-wired-to-find-children-attractive
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478390/

ALSO SEE:
‘Four Lions factor’: how terrorist incompetence is saving lives

Counter-terrorist specialists in the west recognise that the “Four Lions factor” – a reference to the 2010 black comedy by Chris Morris that shows the incompetent attempt by a group of Britons to launch a terrorist campaign – is one of the most important defences against attack.

Putting pressure on safe havens overseas to limit the ability of terrorist groups to provide training, stopping militants from travelling to those that do still exist, increasing the pressure on local networks and limiting communication with expert handlers, while of course making it harder to obtain crucial ingredients for bombs, all help ensure potential attackers remain without the means to realise their destructive ambitions.

So too does the elimination of key individuals with high levels of expertise. Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies have been trying for years to kill Ibrahim al-Asiri, an al-Qaida extremist in Yemen responsible for a series of ingenious devices that have repeatedly come close to causing appalling destruction. One device would have brought down a passenger plane over the US in 2009 if the bomber had been able to ignite it.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/15/four-lions-factor-how-terrorist-incompetence-is-saving-lives

10* LAGNIAPPE

FUNKADELIC
EULOGY & LIGHT
Our father
Which art on Wall Street
Honored be thy buck
Thy kingdom came
This be thy year
From sea to shining sea
Thou givest me false pride
Funked down by the riverside
From every head and ass, may dollars flow
Give us this pay
Our daily bread
Forgive us our goofs
As we rob from each other

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

WAR ON XMAS

It all started with the John Birch Society, ca. 1959
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/war-on-christmas-short-history-101222
12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

THE EVIL OPPOSITE OF SANTA

He dresses entirely in black and breaks into your basement and steals all of your toys and takes them to the desert and burns them in a fire and dances around the bonfire naked and laughing–laughing!

THE INFORMATION #972 DECEMBER 22, 2017

THE INFORMATION #972

DECEMBER 22, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

The conscious water saw its God and blushed.–Milton

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FIFTY-SIX: DAYS OF WRATH

It was a week before the official beginning of winter but the sky was already filled with flakes of drifting snow and skirling seagulls which wheeled and churned through the arctic chill, despondently screeching as low as ten feet above the cobblestoned streets. Horse-drawn wagons trailed steaming horse apples which froze almost instantaneously on the brick streets. On the cobblestoned sidewalks, puddles left over from a recent big rain formed sheets of impenetrable ice, which Cadger Tandy could not break with his heel even if he wanted to. He refrained because he thought such a childish action to be undignified for a fourteen-year-old. He no longer wished to be seen as a capricious child.

The weather made him miserably uncomfortable. Wind blasted through the holes in his shoes. Wind and cold froze his fingers. The smell of burning wood filled the air, and thick skirls of oily black smoke slowly emerged from the thin rooftop pipes of the tenements and warehouses of Noxtown. He looked through eyes blurred with tears and cold at a horse-drawn trolley car nearly frozen to the tracks and heard the snorting and wheezing of the shivering trolley-car horse, clad only in a thin blanket, its eyes popping as it struggled to extricate the full car. The trolley-man signaled for the passengers to debark, and they did so, although some of the men grumbled and cursed. At last the struggling horse was able to pull the car free of the iced-up rails. The trolley-man then rode the vacated car back to the trolley-yard and the stables, and Cadger Tandy decided that his youthful dream of being a trolley-car conductor was very likely a misguided fancy.

It was so cold that the very act of breathing induced a painful chill in the chest. The wind shistled. His gloveless fingers began tingling, then quickly numbed. When, at high noon, Cadger Tandy met Count Victor Justin in the business district of central Noxtown, the Count suggested they walk past the canyons of business establishments housed in four-story buildings with facades of worn orange, dull blue, and powder grey, and repair to the nearby Cokey’s Arcade, where they could perambulate in a space somewhat removed from the worst effects of the near-winter cold. The arcade numbered among its shops a stationer, an art supply store, newsstands, gift shops, a department store, a nickelodeon and a barber shop. Roving gangs of ragged youth slightly older than Tandy had formulated the same plan of seeking indoor comfort and were pushing their way through crowds of Yuletide shoppers with loud hoots and cries. “That there’s the Alley Mob, from the War Side,” said Cadger Tandy. “They’ve come from the other side of the river. They’re probably looking for the Raiders, from the Hoodtown Section.”

“Gangs. T’was ever thus,” said Count Victor Justin. “From the cavemen to today. Young men will go a rovin’ and a-rovin’ till rovin’ proves their ru-i-in. ‘In Amsterdam there lived a maid….’ Are you familiar with that fine old song? ‘Her eyes are like two stars so bright…”? No? No, well the upshot is you’re wise to avoid jealous boyfriends, and, in general, to steer clear of gangs who control a certain territory that ain’t your own. Do ye ken? Chumps will fight and die over a few square blocks. Happens every week. Or you’ll see two dumb brutes fighting over a zook. Isn’t nature grand? No better than animals, they are. Look you that you don’t join them. You may think that if you get in with a tough mob, you’ll be on Easy Street for keeps, but a gang like that is only as strong as its weakest link, and in every herd of would-be lions there’s always one chicken-hearted chirping canary who will sell you down the Salt River quicker’n you can say ‘By der Neddy Jingo’–you can bank on it.

“The way to keep gangs from bothering you is to keep your head up, your eyes looking away, your pose confident, and yourself well-armed. The threat of violence is an excellent stand-in for the real thing. Let ’em know you’re already mobbed up with some heavy-hitters who would no likee if their number one boy cried foul, and they’ll give you a wide berth. Tell ’em about your mad-eyed Uncle Hector, who burned Flips alive in their huts in the South Pacific and who sees blackened dead bodies in his sleep. Hint around that you’re his favorite nephew, and that he wouldn’t take kindly to anybody who manhandled his kin. Speak softly, and carry around a load of grade-A number one bullshit. Yob. When dealing with yekkmen like that, you’ve got to be cold. Cold as an arctic breeze. Most of them are hopped up on sniffing powder anyway. You don’t want to be the victim of their mania for persecuting strangers. There’s also a lot of that sort of thing in Old Europe, you know, only over there the slums are called ghettos and gang violence is called a pogrom. Woe betide the Yiddle with his fiddle who tangles assholes with that trusty crew! Hereabouts, at least, the gangs have got a more egalitarian policy–they’ll stomp you into a blood puddle regardless of race or creed, though if you’re a Cat’lick among Protties, or vice versa, you’re in for an even more monumental beating.

“I guess what I’m saying is that there’s gangs and there’s gangs. In certain neighborhoods, it’s a war of all against all. Unless you travel in a pack, you’re subject to be beaten and robbed at any time. But in some of the other enclaves, there are eyes on the street. If you manage to make yourself fit in and dispense a few favors, you can use your influence with the local badmen to avoid a beating. Naturally, you want to settle in the latter such place, if you have to live in the slums at all. I could tell you stories about some notorious buildings that even the police wouldn’t enter. Don’t you know that when they finally tore down one of the most notorious panel-houses on Columbia Avenue, they found the bones of twenty babies buried in what used to be the cellar? And the bones of a dozen men secreted in the walls? Murder will out. Only, in this instance, none of the perpetrators were ever caught. In some precincts, murder most foul is a hanging offense. In others, it’s just the cost of doing business, business as usual, an everyday sort of thing. That’s why the military draft should be made compulsory. Get them young hoodlums off the street and learn ’em a trade. Once they’ve been through basic training, they become detached from flights of fancy and devote their lives to living the way the factory bosses like ’em–apt to follow orders and do as they’re told, and no two words about it. Aye, the Army will either break you or make you–usually the former. Don’t take my word for it–look at any former gob or bummer or greyback–look into their eyes and you’ll see their empty, hollow stare. Just make damned sure whatever else you do that you don’t end up that way–that is all.”
1*SALUTATION

MAYO THOMPSON

WORRIED, WORRIED

ALSO SEE:

THE RED KRAYOLA

HURRICANE FIGHTER PLANE

2*REFERENCE

WHY YOU SHOULD SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MORE BOOKS THAN YOU’LL EVER READ

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/why-you-should-stop-feeling-bad-about-all-those-books-you-buy-dont-read.html

3*HUMOR

WALLY WOOD

THE COMIC STRIP CHRISTMAS PARTY

http://belatednerd.com/the-comic-strip-christmas-party/
4*NOVELTY

JB’S WAREHOUSE & CURIO EMPORIUM

https://jbwarehouse.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=50

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

STARVING POLAR BEAR ON ICELESS LAND

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/12/polar-bear-starving-arctic-sea-ice-melt-climate-change-spd/

6* DAILY UTILITY

THE PERIODIC TABLE OF IRRATIONAL NONSENSE

https://crispian-jago.blogspot.com/2010/07/periodic-table-of-irrational-nonsense.html

ALSO SEE:

THE GALLERY OF THE ABSURD

http://www.galleryofabsurd.com/

7*CARTOON

THE TEN WORST THINGS HANNA-BARBERA EVER MADE

https://www.therobotsvoice.com/2011/12/the_10_worst_things_hanna-barbera_ever_made.php?mid=54

8*PRESCRIPTION

MEDICAL SLANG

http://www.messybeast.com/dragonqueen/medical-acronyms.htm

9* RUMOR PATROL
PULP INTERNATIONAL
WHISPER
http://www.pulpinternational.com/pulp/keyword/Whisper.html
10* LAGNIAPPE

IGGY POP

TURN BLUE

ALSO SEE:

Ziemnioki
Linda i Świetliki
Las Putas Melancolicas

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

CRIME DOES NOT PAY COMICS

I am learning interesting things by reading Crime Does Not Pay Comics in sequential order.

The covers were extraordinarily gruesome from the outset. The cover of #24 (actually, the third issue) is hard to top, even today.
https://files1.comics.org//img/gcd/covers_by_id/186/w400/186007.jpg?2692258500471865167

After the war, a stable of better artists (George Tuska, et al.) was recruited, and the magazine’s popularity exploded.

It glorified criminal enterprises and provided lurid, and frequently highly inaccurate biographies of noted criminals. For instance, see this issue (#58, DEC 1947, one of my favorites):
(“I’d like to sharpen my nails on that fat face!”)
https://digitalcomicmuseum.com/preview/index.php?did=15515

And this (#68 OCT 1948):

In 1948, sales of each issue peaked at one million. There were so many imitators that Lev Gleason introduced a second title, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT.

Dark Horse halted its series of reprints with Volume ten, ending with #61 (MAR 1948). (Too bad. #11 and #12 would also have been worthwhile, and would have ended the run before the comics started to get preachy.)

It diverged, within a matter of two years, from contents which glorified the criminal to stories which glorified policemen.

And eventually, they began running covers which showed criminals as inept and portrayed cops in a heroic light, such as this (#69, NOV 1948)

And this: (#80, OCT 1949):

Certainly by 1950, as Nicky Wright observes, the crime comics had been “toned down”.

All due to the fuss made by critics of the comic book.

I just bought this from Abebooks.
Blackjacked and Pistol-Whipped: A Crime Does Not Pay Primer
Only $6.68, including shipping.

Mostly for the cover, and so I can read the introductory matter.

ALSO SEE:
http://www.crimeboss.com/history02-1.html

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

MAMIE VAN DOREN ON BOB HOPE

Does anyone remember Bob Hope? I was just the right age for Mr Hope….16. Because I turned him down he would never invite me to work with him.

Bob Hope made millions of dollars off entertaining the troops. Those tours were sold to NBC. He never did anything for the good of anyone else. He had side pieces tucked away in bungalows all over L.A. He once told Barbara Peyton that she needed a new mattress, and if she didn’t get one he wouldn’t fuck her anymore. Miraculously, he paid for it. That said, he was the most tightfisted asshole in Hollywood. Delores was complicit too. She knew what he was doing and looked the other way. It saved wear and tear on her.

Worst of all, he wasn’t funny. He was surrounded by writers all the time, and couldn’t be funny without them.

Can you tell I didn’t like him?–mamie

THE INFORMATION #971 DECEMBER 15, 2017

THE INFORMATION #971
DECEMBER 15, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

The old white man didn’t look into your eyes, he looked clear through your eyes, and straight to the inside of the back of your head. ‘Instead of runnin from pain, which is the natural thing in life, in boxing you step to it, get me?’― F.X. Toole
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FIFTY-FIVE: DAYS OF WRATH
“Where did you learn so much about fighting, anyway?” said Cadger Tandy to Count Victor Justin. It was the last warm autumn day before the snows were due.

“Well, my Ettil Yob, let me ask you something in return: What is the most popular sport?

“I dunno…baseball?”

“Nae, Yob. Nit and Nix. It’s boxing. And you know I’ve had my finger in quite a few pies over the year. Patent medicines. Card Games. Masonic Lodges. And horse racing. Quite naturally, I also developed an interest in boxing. As a matter of fact, for a brief time I managed the featherweight contender of the world: A pug known as Johnny Fist, the Socko Kid. He fought Abe Attell once. Problem is, he did everything wrong during that fight. He didn’t go to any matches that Attell was in. This was before Abie was named champ. They used to call him “The Little Hebrew.” Attell was all mobbed up, or so they say, and the fix was in, which is how he got to the top. Kid Fist McGillicuddy grew up in the same tough Irish neighborhood, in Frisco. He used to have to beat up ten kids a day. Later on, he sold papers, and he still had to hand out the socko because times was tough owing to the Panic and older kids was always trying to steal his corner. He had a head made of pig iron. He used to crack wise and say that the only man who ever knocked him out was his dentist.

“One of the problems Johnny had was that he was lazy. He didn’t want to skip rope, or do jumping jacks, or throw the medicine ball, or perform calisthenics. Even worse, he didn’t want to do his roadwork. He knew he had to, but he didn’t always push himself the way he oughta. Also, he had an eye for the Zooks. And that was bad news. Give me an ornery fighter every time. One who can barely contain his rage. It makes a man fearless in the ring, and gives him a supreme edge. And everybody knows that if you get laid the night before a fight, it saps your energy. If you’re making goofy spoony eyes at a frail, then you ain’t concentrating on the task at hand, which is to maul that gorilla lurking in the neutral corner who’s fixing to knock you out and snatch your purse away.

“Another problem he had is that he liked to hang around in taverns. Not to drink, or so he said, but just out of a sense of companionship. He might have been better off making new friends at a pink tea party, or a church social. He would of been much better off spending a quiet evening at the Chess Club. As it was, he would go to the toughest seashore dives he could find, where wharf rats played the hornpipe and their zooks danced on tables. He would always make some sort of wise remark, and the sailors and dock wallopers would take umbrage,. I think the guy had a Napoleon complex. He wasn’t exactly a shrimp, but he was only about five foot and four and a half inches tall, and I guess that like most little men with a bit of red blood, he was aching to prove to the world that he was a real he-man in spite of his size. So he’d get into brawls with some real bruisers, some of whom weighed twice as much as he did. He could lick just about any man in the house, and because he was so well known in them parts, he was always having to prove it. Which is how he busted up his hands, but good. He was hot-tempered, and inclined to be rowdy. He always took the first punch, and asked questions later. He had no sense of the appropriate. He should have been wrapping his hands up good, and saving his workouts for his sparring partners. Instead, the young jolthead used to scrap with boozed-up blutos, and brutes who were feeling no pain. Small wonder he came down with a case of arthritis. By the time he met up with Attell, he was just about washed up. He just wasn’t as tough at The Little Hebrew. And everyone knew it but him. They had him at 20 to 1. If Attell could of been convinced to take a dive, we could of made our fortunes then and there. Imagine betting a grand at 20 to 1!

“McGillicuddy was convinced he could take The Little Hebrew. And he very nearly did, too, except that after eight rounds, he was winded. Too many late nights fighting boozehounds kept him in bed when he shoulda oughta been up bright and early doing his roadwork and hitting the old speed bag. He should of been training five times a week, but he only trained three. He should of been eating lots of steak and lamb chops and such, but instead he always filled up on peas and mashed potatoes and other such truck. Also, he would often eat just before he went to bed, which is a big mistake, because everybody knows that you can actually gain weight overnight when you stuff yourself before you hit the sack. Plus, you tend to have terrible dreams, and that’s no way to get a restful kip.

“Yob, he did everything wrong, and yet he almost licked Attell on sheer guts alone. I never seen anything like it, before or since. This was back in the days when boxing was a much more rough-and-tumble sport than it is now. Back when many refs still remembered John Sullivan and the bare-knuckle days. So Johnny used every dirty trick he knew against the little Hebrew. Putting chloroform on his glove in the hopes that it would get in Attell’s eyes and blind him. Punching below the belt–well below. And you should of seen him in the clinches. He…well, it’s no use talking about it. It just wasn’t enough. The fight took place in Denver, and The Little Champ had the advantage, because he was acclimated to the thin air, and McGillicuddy wasn’t. If only Kid Fist had had a little more upstairs, he might have beat Attell on sheer strategy. As it was, The Little Champ scored a knockout in the ninth round. I still made a pretty penny off the bout–most bookies were offering odds that Attell would deck my boy in three.

“Anyway, Kid Fist was washed up after that, I hear he went to Binghampton New York and took a job as a shoe clerk. I haven’t heard hide not hair of him in about five years. But I still remember that fight. And what he said to me afterwards. ‘I hit him below the belt. But he still wouldn’t fall down and go boom. I guess that God always favors the guy who sticks to the main plan.’

“Kid Fist was no Sir Isaac Newton. But he sure knew his onions–leastways, on that score.”

1*SALUTATION
THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL
“POW”

SEE ALSO:
SAM THE SHAM & THE PHARAOHS
LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

ALSO SEE:
THE ROYAL GUARDSMEN
SNOOPY’S CHRISTMAS

SNOOPY VS. THE RED BARON

2*REFERENCE
DAN CARLIN
THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS

3*HUMOR

From HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING

DISTORTION OF TRUTH BY ASSOCIATION


4*NOVELTY
EAT YOUR SNOTS, JIMMY
http://www.mensfitness.com/life/science-says-booger-eating-and-nose-picking-healthy

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER MEETS HIS BRIDE

6* DAILY UTILITY
THE LOVE STORY TO END ALL LOVE STORIES
http://truelovecomicstales.blogspot.com/2015/04/modern-love-love-story-to-end-all-love.html
7*CARTOON
SPAIN RODRIGUEZ
http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/fff_results_post_296_after_before_watchmen/
8*PRESCRIPTION
Why does TIME get to decide who the person of the year is? They picked good old Hitler back in 1938.

CAPTION: Der Fuhrer, in an introspective mood, chillin’ with his Alsatian bitch.

9* RUMOR PATROL
FIFTEEN SONGS WITH SATANIC BACKWARDS MESSAGES
http://www.vh1.com/news/52612/15-songs-satanic-backwards-messages/
10* LAGNIAPPE
NERVOUS NORVUS
APE CALL

ALSO SEE:
APE CALL (BACKWARDS)

“I HATE BUGS”

SEE ALSO:
https://www.allmusic.com/album/stone-age-woo-mw0001008924
11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
The History of Rock and Roll. Volume One 1920-1963.By Ed Ward. Flatiron Books. New York. 2016. Hardcover. 402 pages.
Review by Francis DiMenno
This history, which came out about twelve months ago, will provide a wonderful primer for those who are under the impression that rock and roll didn’t truly really begin until the advent of the Beatles. Make no mistake: toward the end of the book, Ward does devote nearly 100 pages to the events leading up to the British Invasion. But the remainder of his history is a lively narrative recap of the major styles and trends which led to the consolidation and initial decline of the genre still known as Rock and Roll. It is a story familiar, perhaps, mostly to ethnomusicologists and savvy and erudite musicians.

We start with the latter part of the nineteenth century and the era prior to the widespread dissemination of recorded sound technology: field hollers, chain gang songs, and other work songs. Church music. Homespun fiddle and banjo music. There were not very many professional musicians, and they were mostly confined to the cities. Rural denizens made their own music, or would attend medicine shows, “a sort of low-rent offspring of the touring minstrel show,” which were accompanied by musicians, often young, who brought strange new sounds and forms of music to the hinterlands. At the end of the nineteenth century, guitar-based blues emerged. Then came piano-based ragtime. Ward begins his actual survey with Mamie Smith’s non-blues recording of “Crazy Blues”; a consensus choice, but a good one. As the recorded music industry blossomed, it issued shellac 78s of ethnic music, the new genre of Western music, and, of course, the rural and urban forms of the blues, known right up until the 1950s as “race” recordings. After the Second World War, local scenes emerged for both blues and country music. Piano-based Boogie-woogie, a form popular in the 1930s, enjoyed a revival in 1945 with Arthur Smith’s “Guitar Boogie,” and the form was also widely adopted by country musicians. In 1948, Roy Brown wrote “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” and eventually had a minor hit with it. Wynonie Harris immediately covered it and took it to #1 on the black charts. We are given a too-brief survey of Gospel music, and then Ward proceeds to give us some background on Lightnin’ Hopkins, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and Howling Wolf; practically unknown back then; legends now. And then we get to 1951, and Ike Turner, and Jackie Brenston’s “Rocket 88,” which some now point to as the first recorded rock and roll song. That same year, Alan Freed, a white Cleveland DJ, bucked the higher-ups at radio station WJW, a 50,000 watt behemoth which blanketed Ohio, Pennsylvania, and points east and west. The name of his program was “The Moondog Show”. He labeled the type of black music which he broadcast as “Rock and Roll.” White teenagers latched onto it in a big way, and the rest is history.

What follows is a veritable roll call of the early history of the still-emerging genre. Sam Phillips’ Sun Records. The Moonglows. Big Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog.” Lieber and Stoller. Jackie Wilson. The Clovers. The Drifters. Early Elvis. Early Ray Charles. Hank Ballard’s somewhat smutty “Work With Me Annie”. Big Joe Turner. Chuck Berry. Anyone with more than a glancing familiarity with rock and roll needs to know these names. Ward gives them their due by chronicling their emergence and providing the needed biographical context, all within a narrative which is far from encyclopedic but also far more than merely cursory. We then proceed through the rise of Johnny Ace, Etta James (“Roll With Me, Henry”). Even The Five Keys, of whom Ward dryly notes, “They started 1955 off with a novelty hit ‘Ling Ting Tong,’ a racist bit about the title character, who lived in Chinatown and had a song he sung: ‘Eye a smokum boo-eye-ay, eye a smokum boo.'” (An early reefer song?) There then follows a familiar litany of standards: The Penguins, with “Earth Angel.” The Platters, with “Only You.” And…Bill Haley and the Comets, with “Rock Around the Clock,” which provided the opening soundtrack for the juvenile-delinquent themed exploitation movie “The Blackboard Jungle.”

But wait, there’s more! Far more. The inexplicable and practically indescribable Little Richard (“They thought I was stupid and crazy and that I didn’t know where I was going.”) He didn’t. At first. Until he was seen at a local nightclub piano performing an impromptu rendition of a raunchy song called “Tutti Frutti.” With lyrics re-written by Doris Labostrie, a married woman with children, and with the contributions of Earl Palmer (who “invented rock & roll drumming, setting a rhythmic template that would endure for decades….”), the song became a smash hit and even topped the pop charts. As a consequence, “Studies were launched to see if this music caused juvenile delinquency.”

Then came the era of Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, and Johnny Cash. And even thirteen-year-old Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. All with their accompanying stories and lore. Take, for instance, James Brown and the Famous Flames, and their song “Please, Please, Please.” And the reaction of the dyspeptic and nearly blind owner of King Records, Syd Jacobs. “What is this shit?….Fuck it. I’m putting it out cross-country just to prove what a piece of shit it is.” It wasn’t. It was a hit. We then proceed to names both big and small. Roy Orbison. Alis Lesley, “the female Elvis.” Wanda Jackson. Otis Rush. Nervous Norvous. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The Chips. (“Rubber Biscuit.”) The Cadets. (“Stranded in the Jungle.”) Warren Smith. (“Ubangi Stomp.”) And Jerry Lee Lewis.

By now we’re up to 1957. The brief Calypso craze. “People were so eager to see rock & roll off that they welcomed Calypso as its successor.” Not a chance. because, in the summer of that year, rock and roll came to television with Philadelphia’s “American Bandstand,” hosted by Dick Clark. “For the kids…it was a window to a teen paradise.” Perhaps in more ways than one. Ward notes that “Firsthand reports from regulars detail make-out sessions and outright sex in the cloakroom and reefer smoking on the building’s roof.” The summer of 1957, Ward asserts, “saw the first flowering of rock & roll as a national phenomenon, although it was still controversial.” Even Hollywood began to churn out quickie rocksploitation movies, in order to quickly cash in on the supposed craze.

In 1958, Elvis was drafted into the Army as US53310761, and underwent basic training. (Ward thoughtfully provides the famous picture of a scrawny white-haired and white-smocked army barber giving him his “regulation military haircut”.) Who would fill the void? There were at hand The Everly Brothers, Gene Vincent, Dion and the Belmonts, and even Little Richard’s mentor Esquerita. There was also a search for more wholesome music which would be provided by “the next Sinatra.” Frankie Avalon. Fabian Forte. Paul Anka. Bobby Darin. And there were also novelty tune peddlers such as Sheb Wooley, as well as David Seville and his execrable Chipmunks. And a brief craze for instrumentals, by the likes of Duane Eddy. Among the college crowd, rock and roll was yesterday’s news; jazz and folk were now the music that was in.

1959 was a disastrous year. On February 3rd, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens died in a plane crash. It was not, as Ward is careful to note, “the day the music died,” although he does mention that “…more and more, ‘good music’-leaning performers were taking over white rock and roll.” This was also the year that Soul emerged, with Ray Charles, though it didn’t yet have a name. Phil Spector recorded his first single. And 1959 was also the year that Berry Gordy founded Motown, as Tamla Records. Rock and roll consumers were already becoming nostalgic for the early years, as seen by the success of the Oldies But Goodies series of records on the aptly named Original Sound label. At the end of the year, another disaster struck. Chuck Berry was arrested under the Mann Act, for prostitution, and eventually landed in federal prison on this trumped-up charge. Also in November, the DJ Payola scandal would usher in the 1960s, and the fall of Alan Freed.

There is a tendency for old-time rock and roll aficionados to write off the period from 1960 to 1963 as a virtual wasteland. This impulse is not totally misguided, yet it overstates the truth. True, there was the massive “Twist” craze perpetrated and perpetuated by the former chicken plucker Ernest Evans, who performed under the name of Chubby Checker, in homage to Fats Domino. (We should be glad, I suppose, that he didn’t select the name “Oleaginous Bingo”.) But it was also a time during which “…country was as sclerotic as pop…It was the black charts where the action was.” There was the rise of Motown, and of the New Orleans sound. There was R&B. There were even the ever-present “oldies”. Plus Surf Music. Folk Music. And jazzman Dave Brubeck even had a massive hit with “Take Five” b/w “Blue Rondo a la Turk,” which in 1961 became the top-selling jazz single of all times, spending twelve weeks on the chart and peaking at #25. Late in 1961 21-year old Phil Spector founded Philles records. Spector (and others) heralded the emergence of “Teen Pan Alley.” And the Pendletons changed their image and their name and became…the Beach Boys. All was not lost. The British Invasion was waiting in the wings.

Ward has a story to tell, and he covers a massive amount of material in a briskly efficient fashion, without omitting any truly significant developments. He even leaves room for many, though not too many, interesting biographical asides. Overall, this history provides an excellent survey course in the origins and development of rock and roll. I am enthusiastically anticipating his second volume.

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
THE WONDERFUL LITTLE TIN BOX

books.google.com/books?id=c4UoX6-Sv1AC&pg=PA396&lpg=PA396&dq=it+was+in+a+box.+a+wonderful+tin+box&source=bl&ots=V3xg4vyrLr&sig=rdP6F116nwUB5BM51lG_3Mh4zIc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiH0P6WlvjXAhUCUt8KHQ6JCUkQ6AEIXDAM#v=onepage&q=it%20was%20in%20a%20box.%20a%20wonderful%20tin%20box&f=false

THE INFORMATION #970 DECEMBER 8, 2017

THE INFORMATION #970

DECEMBER 8, 2017
Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com 

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE 

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART FIFTY-FOUR: DAYS OF WRATH

“Well, my Ettil Yob,” said Count Victor Justin to Cadger Tandy when next they met. It was an unseasonably warm day during an unseasonably warm November, and all the leaves which had yet to fall were suspended in a golden state just prior to turning brown. “Did you follow my advice about the bullies?”

“Yeah.” said Cadger Tandy, “And they threw me out of school. I’m suspended for three weeks. The word is that I didn’t fight fair.”

“What did you do?”

“Everything you told me to, and more. I bit the other kid on the cheek. I stomped on his toe and twisted. And I smashed his elbow with a hammer.”

“That’s my boy! Well done, my good and faithful servant! And what else?”

“That’s it. He ran for his life and someone told the teacher. And the teacher came up to me and whacked me one. Only it wasn’t my fault! The other kid started it–and they didn’t punish him at all. It ain’t fair.”

“Of course it ain’t fair. The notion that the world is fair or that such a thing as fairness even exists is a bourgeois notion. I can assure you, Yob, that the very rich and the very poor–they know different. The rich think nothing is ever their fault; the poor are half-convinced that everything is always their fault–mostly because of the way the world treats ’em. Nobody’s arresting the rich man for pissing in the street and passing out under a bridge; the policeman takes one look at his tailored suit, concludes the Yellof is a gent, calls for a cab, and is thereafter extremely solicitous as to his welfare, in the hopes of garnering a fat tip from the swell and an official commendation from the police department. 

“You can say what you like about the fairness of things; it will never change, and the world will keep going ’round in its own peculiar fashion, just the same. If the sun were to blink out tomorrow, then here’s what would happen, Yob. The rich would find a way to make money off it. How do you think they got so rich? By sitting around and letting George do it? No siree–they get out there and hustle. Before the very next morning, they would have cornered the market on fur coats and longjohns. They’d have bought out all the firewood and would be selling it at extortionate prices. They would have armed goons stationed in front of their own private coal cars with instructions to shoot anyone who took so much as a lump of bitumin. 

“The poor would get drunk and run riot. That’s all they’re good for, really. I have an endless contempt for the poor–not because I’m some sort of arrogant snob, even though I am that. No–it’s because they have absolutely no idea how to adapt to changing circumstances, other than figuring out some way of degrading themselves further. If the sun were to blink out, they would treat the occasion as an opportunity to act irresponsible, which wouldn’t be much of a stretch, because poor people are always irresponsible. Either because they get dragged down by the irresponsible members of their loathsome clans, or because they have expensive vices which they are under no circumstances willing to relinquish. Y’see, they live in trash, because they are trash. They are trash from the moment they are born, and they are surrounded by trash, and so they have a garbage mentality, where everything that someone else has thrown away is something they can glaum onto, and you can be sure they’ll do it, with both greasy fists. That’s why so many of them take flunky jobs, where some boss yells at them all day long. Because they feel like they don’t deserve any better. Because they don’t know any better. They don’t envy the rich–no, because they want to be rich themselves, maybe by making a big score somehow, even though they have no initiative, or maybe by winning the Irish Sweepstakes or some other pitiful and pathetic long shot. No–the people the wretched poor hate most are the bourgeoisie, because they were born in comfortable circumstances, and yet they had to work for it. Damn it, if you’re going to loan money to anybody, loan it to one of the bourgeois because they would rather die than be considered a welcher or a piker. Reputation means everything to those Yobs. Everything!

“As for the bourgeoisie, if the sun were to hide its face from us forever more, they would huddle around in front of the ever-dwindling fire, feeding it sticks of their once-fine furniture until they ultimately froze. People underestimate the bourgeoisie, but they do so at their peril. They are the most human of animals. For they must have everything just so. They consider any monetary setback to be temporary, and they will allow themselves to get hundreds of dollars in debt, and for what? Just to keep up appearances! God forbid that the neighbors should think of them as poor! Why, their crumb-crushers would be jeered at whenever they went to school. No, Yob, the rich are not the biggest snobs. Many of them are actually down to earth, and can talk to a doctor or a bellhop with an equal degree of equanimity. No–it is the goddamn middle class as likes to put on airs and act as though they’re something special, although there’s very little separating them from an honest laborer except some white bread in the pantry and a piano in the parlor, and maybe a four-poster bed. Superficial externalities which they think makes them for all the world a superior breed. If they got it, the poor will give money to beggars–or at least a lump–because they know all too well what it’s like to be up against it. The rich give money to beggars because it makes them feel good about themselves. Only the middle class is stingy when it comes to hand-outs, because they figure they need to keep everything to themselves. 

“The rich, the poor, and the bourgeoisie, they all act according to their environment and their natures. And all of them act correctly, and according to their own lights. Not one of them behaves like they Christ they all favor with their mealy-mouthed lip-service–least of all the bourgeoisie. If one of ’em ever did, you can be sure they’d be locked up in the loony bin within eight hours. ‘Do as I say–not as I do.’ That is the basis of our American civilization. And it would behoove you to remember as much, Ettil Yob.”

1*SALUTATION

THE DAMBUILDERS

SMOOTH CONTROL

https://youtu.be/vrYl1e9YvK8

2*REFERENCE

Nurse no longer employed after tweeting white boys should be ‘sacrificed to the wolves’

https://www.metro.us/news/the-big-stories/nurse-controversial-tweet-white-boys

DO NOT BRING YOUR UGLY DROOLING POOP FACTORY TO ME. I WILL DESTROY IT. –Night Nurse
GOD HATES UGLY BABIES. –Night Nurse
IS THAT YOUR NEWBORN SON? WELL, CRAWL HIS FILTH OUT OF HERE.–Night Nurse

3*HUMOR

ED AMES: OBSESSIVE STALKER?

“MY CUP RUNNETH OVER”

https://youtu.be/xvaQisHV8jw

Sometimes in the evening when you do not see
I study the small things you do constantly
I memorize moments that I’m fondest of
My cup runneth over with love

 

4*NOVELTY

Grinch Alert: Two Suspects Spray Painted Cliff Walk
Police are asking for help identifying two women who allegedly spray-painted the Cliff Walk.


patch.com/rhode-island/newport/grinch-alert-two-suspects-spray-painted-cliff-walk
www.providencejournal.com/news/20171129/newport-police-women-caught-on-camera-vandalizing-cliff-walk-with-spray-paint

 

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

SCOTTISH TWITTER ROASTS TRUMP

“Gerbil-headed, woodstained, haunted spunktrumpet.”

https://www.buzzfeed.com/hilarywardle/custard-flavoured-jobby?utm_term=.hoGbL2aXw#.gxOg6Rymk

 

6* DAILY UTILITY

THE MADDENINGLY MAD MEN WORLD OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

envisioningtheamericandream.com/2015/04/13/the-maddeningly-mad-men-world-of-sexual-harassment/

7*CARTOON

SIMPSONS

INSECT OVERLORDS

https://youtu.be/A_Y0knr6XBQ

 

8*PRESCRIPTION

It must be admitted…it is most difficult to obtain absolute certainties for the purposes of history. Fortunately it is, in general, more a matter of mere curiosity than of real importance. … The truth of history, so much in request, to which every body eagerly appeals, is too often but a word. At the time of the events, during the heat of conflicting passions, it cannot exist; and if, at a later period, all parties are agreed respecting it, it is because those persons who were interested in the events, those who might be able to contradict what is asserted, are no more. What then is, generally speaking, the truth of history? A fable agreed upon. As it has been very ingeniously remarked, there are in these matters, two essential points, very distinct from each other: the positive facts, and the moral intentions. With respect to the positive facts, it would seem that they ought to be incontrovertible; yet you will not find two accounts agreeing together in relating the same fact: some have remained contested points to this day, and will ever remain so. With regard to moral intentions, how shall we judge of them, even admitting the candour of those who relate events? And what will be the case if the narrators be not sincere, or if they should be actuated by interest or passions? I have given an order, but who was able to read my thoughts, my real intentions? Yet every one will take up that order, and measure it according to his own scale, or adapt it to his own plans or system…. And then memoirs are digested, memoranda are written, witticisms and anecdotes are circulated; and of such materials is history composed. –Napoleon

shannonselin.com/2014/08/10-napoleon-bonaparte-quotes-context/

9* RUMOR PATROL

THE BOULE: BLACK ELITE BETRAYED THEIR BROTHERS

www.henrymakow.com/2016/04/Boule-Black-Elite-Betrayed-their-Brothers%20.html

ALSO SEE:

JFK/CIA

www.salon.com/2015/11/22/inside_the_plot_to_kill_jfk_the_secret_story_of_the_cia_and_what_really_happened_in_dallas/

10* LAGNIAPPE

THE LEFT BANKE 1966-1969

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp1rwHxJTHU

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

THE BUZZCOCKS COVER THE ASSOCIATION

The Association!


Must have been some kind of sick joke.

“Let’s write a song with the exact same melody as ‘Windy’!”

https://youtu.be/6CbUVOo_a70

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. MARSDEN & THUMMLER. ****

BACK TO SCHOOL. SMITH. ***

BAKING WITH KAFKA. GAULD. ****

BATMAN ARKHAM: CLAYFACE. **1/2

BATMAN ARKHAM: MISTER FREEZE. ***

BATMAN BEYOND 1. ESCAPING THE GRAVE. ***1/2

BEHAVING BADLY. COLLINSWORTH. ***1/2

BEING ELVIS.  CONNELLY. ****

THE BIG BOOK OF THE UNEXPLAINED. MOENCH. ****

THE BIG NOWHERE. ELLROY. ****

THE BLACK DAHLIA. ELLROY. ****

BUDDHA: AN ENLIGHTENED LIFE. NAGULAKONDA & MOORE. ****1/2

CHURCHILL & ORWELL. RICKS. ****

CLOSE TO THE KNIVES. WOJNAROWICZ. ****

DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR? EVANS. ***1/2

DURAN DURAN, IMELDA MARCOS, AND ME. MAPA. ***1/2

FAITH 3. SUPERSTAR. ***

GENERATIONS. BIONDI. ****

GOING INTO TOWN. CHAST. ****

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. MOTHER ENTROPY. ***1/2

HEART TRANSPLANT. VACHSS. ****

HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE. RUSSELL. ****

I AM ALFONSO JONES. MEDINA. ***

INJUSTICE 2. VOL. 1. ****

INK IN WATER. DAVIS & KETTNER. ****

THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE. PERLSTEIN. ****1/2

JAMES BOND 007: TROUBLE SPOT. ***

JANE. MCKENNA & PEREZ. ***1/2

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. ELLROY. ****

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN 1. MOORE. ****

LEARN BETTER. BOSER. ***1/2

LETTERMAN: THE LAST GIANT OF LATE NIGHT. ZINOMAN. ****

LIGHTER THAN MY SHADOW. GREEN. ****

THE MIDNIGHT ASSASSIN. HOLLANDSWORTH. ****

MONET: ITINERANT OF LIGHT. EFA & RUBIO. ****1/2

NIGHTWING 3. NIGHTWING MUST DIE. ***

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER. GRACE. ***

PIPER. ASHER, ET AL. ****

PLAY ALL. JAMES. ****

RAVINA THE WITCH? MIZUNO. ****

RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS 2. WHO IS ARTEMIS? ***

RED SNOW. KATSUMATA. ****

ROYAL CITY. LEMIRE. ****

SAIGON CALLING. TRUONG. ****1/2

SECRET SIX 1. UNHINGED. SIMONE. ****

SILVER SURFER EPIC COLLECTION 7. INFINITY GAUNTLET. ***1/2

SIMON DARK 1. ASHES. ***

SIMON DARK 2. THE GAME OF LIFE. ***

SNOW PIERCER 1. LOB & RACHETTE. ****1/2

SNOW PIERCER 2. LOB & RACHETTE. ****1/2

SON OF SHAOLIN 1. ***

THE SPECTACULAR SISTERHOOD OF SUPERWOMEN. NICHOLSON. ***

SPIDER-GWEN 4. PREDATORS. **1/2

SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL 3. ITSY BITSY. ***

A THOUSAND NAKED STRANGERS. HAZZARD. ****

A THOUSAND YEARS IN HELL. TILLIEUX. ***1/2

UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL 6. ***1/2

THE UNKNOWN 1. WAID & OSTERVEER. ****

THE UNSTOPPABLE WASP 1. ***1/2

VERAX. CHATTERJEE & KHALIL. ****1/2

THE VIETNAM WAR. WARD & BURNS. ****

VOICES IN THE DARK. BEYER & LUST. ****1/2

WARNINGS. CLARKE & EDDY. ****1/2

WE ARE OUR BRAINS. SWAAB. ****1/2

WHITE JAZZ. ELLROY. ****

 

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

Sidney Portier was a sexual harasser. 

He preferred to be called “Sir”.
Case in point:

LULU

“TO SIR WITH LOVE”

https://youtu.be/JOVQ4vAmM7Y