Thursday, June 30, 2005

Yurt will tear us apart again.

Strange music is found here.

A tuvan throat singer and his crew bust out Joy Division and Motorhead covers.

The concept is stranger than the music. Sounds like a Laibach project mostly.

And this is where I am in my life: I think Laibach is normal.

(First seen in MOJO. Link lifted from Excellence Through Mediocrity.)

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Nude Fat Man Eating Cookie Dough: The Fat Man Shrugs

ANGER! DESPAIR!

My stupid mother, my philistine she-ape, soul purging snake of a mother, has DONE. IT.

A pox on her need to fiddle about, to dust, to POLISH.

A POX on her denial of the rhythms of growth and decay. A pox on her so-called CLEANING.

Her vain crusade to hold back the BLACK FERTILE LOAM OF CREATION with HER RIDICULOUS SWIFTER and HANDY-VAC has lead to an atrocity that human language can only meagerly convey.

When will the tender mercy of orphanhood grace me?

For she has, dear Zeus, dear Buddha, dear L. Ron...she has...THROWN...OUT...MY....DOME-ED....CITY.

I think, perhaps, an explanation maybe in order. Reading over my past entries, from the relative simplicity of the life I lead only a week ago, I think you may have had a false view of me.

There was a lot about me sitting in my chair, futzing around, tending to my cats and the pleasures of the body. “Oh,” you thought,” Oh, this man is so jolly, so simple and carefree in his leisure.” I suspect you also saw how my mother is a fucking albatross, too, as any sensitive person might.

But what you didn’t know, what you couldn’t know, was the reason for what appeared to be mere sloth on my part. Cleverly, I tricked everyone.

For that wasn’t SLOTH. That was RECUPERATION. For at night, sometimes until 10:30, I wrestled with the angel of expression. My project: nothing less than utopia.

For, since the fateful day I dropped out the drama program of Loma Linda Jr. College, I have been working steadily on a DOME-ED CITY, reams of butcher paper and pounds of felt-tips spent, designing a city especially fitted to accelerate our race’s evolutionary processes.

Every night, bent over my TV tray for upward of two hours, I would sketch, dream, run the simulations in the old bean. True, I usually ended up fantasizing about having Markie Post as a companion/lover/body guard, and directing her to destroy my enemies after which she would show me her bare buttocks. But I saw that as a mental dessert after the excruciating chore of civilization building.

The plan was simple: I, as philosopher king, would select the most intelligent, most perfect specimens from the vast genetic pool of our human family. Doctors, NASCAR drivers, mighty chiefs of savage lands (I am not a racialist), French chefs, Industrialists, gymnasts, science experts, submarine captain, fancy men, world class entertainers, etc.

There would also be women, too. They would uniformly be very pretty, with good makeup and carefully brushed hair. I have (or HAD. Curse the past tense!) designed a collection of suitably attractive outfits for these brave dome women on graph paper.

The DOME-ED CITY would allow sub-normals in to attend to removing feces from the Exotic Cat Habitrail, bleaching and sanitizing the Imperial Erotic Grotto, etc. They would prepared a late afternoon snack for EN MASSE for CIVILIZATIONS’ SAVIORS, then leave to their compound, were simple-minded and enriching entertainment would be provided to keep them happy.

I have experience a certain degree of cruelty and humiliation in my life. I can only extend charity to imbeciles.

The center of the DOME-ED CITY would be a complex housing the LIBRARY OF UNIVERSIAL FANTASTIC WISDOM AND POWER, THE ZIGGURAT OF FOOD STUFFS, and THE PEAK OF THE ALL BENIGN THOUGHT MASTER, which would be compound consisting of my house, and a series of bungalows for the STARS of “Are You Being Served” if they so wish to join me in PARADISE.

(And to be sure, my gargantuan physical urges will have an outlet for release. Heh! The climate stabilized vault with carefully control PH levels will hold underwear catalogs and glossies of Markie Post. Grrrrrr! Am I right, boys?)

Under the house is a warren of offices and dens, each outfitted with a globe, a large comfy chair, hundreds of books and a free assortment of sodas. The Internet would be made available to the more technically saavy of us. The Native Chiefs would be taught etiquette and be given tuxedos, combs, etc.

Each CIVILIZATION MASTER would be expected to spend no less than 3 hours a day thinking on solutions for the major problems of we humans, such as:

-- creating advanced food stuffs
-- teasing
-- cat training
-- selfish parenting
-- the rudeness rampant throughout the hobby shop industry
-- avenging wrongs perpetrated against people. As a pilot program, I have crafted a list of liars, phonies and jerks that I personally know of that could use a taste of righteous vengeance.

But the dream is over. It is in the trash, outside, countless linear feet of wasted hope. And as I have a friction rash on my thighs, I’m not going anywhere right now. For by the time I get around to applying the Gold Bond, the trashmen will have comethed.(Also, Entertainment Tonight comes on in forty-five minutes, and that might be the only thing that will take me on through to see the dawn again. So forgive me if I HOLD OFF ON SAVING THE WORLD FOR ONE MORE DAMN DAY.)

So, today, as you wrestle with the weight of the UNFAIRNESS and BLINDNESS that is the LEADEN ANUS of this world, remember this: I held the key to save us all. And, through the faults of stupid and thoughtless Hun, it was lost.

Sorry, Earth. Your savior got suckered punched...by his MOM.

NEXT: My Enemies.

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Strange Spam

Just the latest in the endless flow of bizarre niche products pitched to me over email.


**
Hello Greg,

I would like to share with you our new way of merging tabletop live food footage
with illustrated and animated characters and backgrounds.
It's the ultimate way to get great "Taste appeal" results on food product animatics.

It would be great to hear your feedback.

Kind regards,
E*** K**** - Executive Producer
********* Ltd.
***-***-****
**

What the hell? "...merging tabletop live food footage
with illustrated and animated characters and backgrounds..."

Sounds like a goddamn nightmare.

"Food Product Animatics" sounds someone installed a fully articulated robotic skeleton in a summer sausage.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

National Spelling Bee Bad Ass

The word was PARASELENE, a bright spot in the moon's halo.

The girl (8th grader) whose name I didn't catch, broke the word down into it components: Language of Origin? Does selene come from the latin root, meaning moon?

P-A-R-A-S-E-L-E-N-E. She rattles it off and I gave an involuntary little cheer.

It was exciting to follow her deconstruct the word by its parts. Her analysis was so transparent and RIGHT it left me, a fairly crappy speller, thinking:"Well, duh! What other possible spelling could there be?"

And she's in 8th stinking grade. The girl is a genius. She didn't win though.

Massive props to ESPN for having the imagination to televise the National Spelling Bee. Hell of a lot more dramatic that this year's ball season.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Global War on Surrealism

The war on surrealism (abbreviated in U.S. policy circles as GWOS for Global War on Surrealism) is an effort by the governments of the United States and its principal Situationalist allies to destroy groups deemed to be "Surreal” (primarily radically irrational organizations such as Men With Bowlers and Fish) and to ensure that what the U.S. administration terms "Agents of the Post-War European Avant Garde" no longer support representation of the subconscious.The war on surrealism became a central U.S. policy following the attacks of giant floating castles but other incidents have been cited as contributing factors; for example, the Persistance of Memory , the Andalusian Dog Incident, and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus. Critics maintain that the war on surrealism has been used as an excuse to suppress the Id, to restrict access to Eros and to provide a pretext for pursuing pure abstraction.

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Nude Fat Man Eating Cookie Dough III: Mother cleans up

Mother has never been terribly sympathetic toward my programme of self realization.

When she looks at me, I’m sure all she sees is an extremely slothful, extremely overweight 41 year-old unemployed man wearing only a cotton sheet and generous patches of Gold Bond powder, stretched out in a Barca-Lounger in a room that reeks of cat urine and flatus, surrounded by the spent wrappers of pre-packaged raw cookie dough.

All technically TRUE. Mom seems unwilling to move past these “FACTS” to see the sublime reality of my ego. You tight fisted little scribblers out there, with your insistence on the CONCRETE and OBVIOUS are probably the same. Your cold Western empiricism is ultimately your poverty. For those WITH THE EYES TO SEE would see A TRUE UBERMENSH RADIATING BEAUTY.

I love the woman, but sadly, her soul is bubble gum.

Sloth? I say a TRANQUIL and STATELY DEMEANOR.

Obesity? I call it A COMMITMENT TO MY OWN HUMANITY.

Low sanitary standards? Merely a refusal TO SURRENDER MY SPIRITUAL MAIDENHEAD (OR HYMEN) TO THE HAIRY AND ROUGH HANDS OF VULGAR CONVENTIONAL MORES.

Last Tuesday, Mother’s bourgeois glands went into overdrive, fairly spraying the house with her old mother hubbard hormones.

She shouted at me (at ME! The very REASON PROVIDENCE GRACED HER WITH A WOMB!!) through the door to put on my sheet because SHE WAS GOING TO CLEAN THE BARCA-LOUNGER.

Insane fishwife! Does an eagle leave his nest so some jerk ranger can steam-vac it? Would you chain a unicorn to a parking meter? Would you force a Sperm Whale to evacuate its precious ambergris into a plastic cup? Put a condom on a Chimpanzee?

She kept pounding, pounding. CACKLE-CACKLE! RUMBLE RUMBLE!

I tried turning up the volume on my TV, hoping “ARE YOU BEING SERVED?” would drowned out the insistent tattoo. But Mother is a cunning woman...selfishly, she has not updated my TV set, despite my endless less-than-subtle hints. I’ve explained to her again and again that I can only open the portal to the Higher Realities after several hours of pristine veiwing of “ARE YOU BEING SERVED?”, and the crappiness of my present TV a constant barrier to this. To say she was less than sympathetic would be an understatement. So I could not ignore her screaming.

She claimed the smell had attracted a tribe of raccoons, who had been trying to chew through the stucco of the outside wall to get inside. I can’t imagine a scenario more fantastic, frankly.

So I wrapped up and stormed out of the room, not speaking a goddam’d word.

Inside I was molten with fear. The noises coming out of that room. It was like the wailing of a Mastodon being brought down by monkeys.

Finally she opened and stomped off. The room smelled of Pine Sol. And on my gleaming throne was a cardboard box.

Inside were things that had slipped Under:

-- several green plastic army men
-- a wrestling magazine
-- the infected toe nail that fallen off
-- bacon?
-- a small jar of Vaseline
-- an empty Gold Bond bottle (Throw it away! Wasteful, lazy woman.)
-- a ball of hair the size of a softball
-- a photo of Terry Garr torn out of a magazine (that was a hell of weekend!)

I have to say, the Pine scent was sort of pleasant and the cats’ sores have begun drying out.

But, jesus, I wish she would just respect my Godhood.

Next:The Fat Man Shrugs.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

The flag burn amendment

Congress is acting up again. Burning the flag is bad, because it is...bad. This is some suck ass reasoning.

Certainty leads to people beating the crap out of each other. Ideologues, dogmatists, and bullies of every stripe -- commie, nazi, democrat, repub -- suck for this reason. If the conviction of rightness is strident and loud enough for long enough, it will be met, sooner or later, with force.

That a systemic problem with "causes". They are the attempts to compel one group to conform to another group's view of what is a correct view of the future (an impossible thing). And the group intent on doing the compelling usually can't offer any greater authority than they know what's best for the rest of us. (See: the flag burning amendment, gay marriage, smoking bans, miscengeneration laws, standardized spelling, etc.)

People who think they know the only correct answer are very comfortable with forcing the incorrect into getting with the program.

Every social interest, even ones we might find personally distasteful, deserves a chance to be heard. Our society, our culture, our technology, our government become more vital when experimentation is condoned and protected. And the alternative is, well, Iran. Or Mississippi, circa 1964.

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Interesting interview WARNING: LIBERTARIAN CONTENT

I'm sort of halfass libertarian. I'm a fairly hardcore individual liberty (and responsibility) kind of guy, not wild about foreign entanglements, and ethical businesses should be let be. But I do like national parks, public libraries and flush toilets.

My libertarian tendencies come from reading Karl Popper, William James and Robert Nozick, rather than Hayek, or (icky) Rand. I like an open tolerant society with a lot of vigorous public discourse, okay? So sue me.

Okay, now I'm talking too much.

In this article ,Techno-Libertarian R.U. Sirius interviews Nick Gillespie, editor of the really, really good libertarian magazine Reason.

It's good.

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Nude Fat Man Eating Cookie Dough II: Limo Trouble

I am nudist. I believe in the Beauty all peoples; however tinged they may be on the outside, carry inside them, among their various spleens, bladders and puckered recesses. My gift to the Human Struggle is the inspiration of my abundant form, coral flesh trimmed with a fine downy hair (my body hair is limited due to an undescended dangly.)

As any person who has witnessed my Living Tableaux routine celebrating Beauty and Hygiene (every Arbor Day in backyard) might tell you, I am a passionate EXPRESSER of TRUTH, particularly when I have suitable props available, such as the gross of paisley scarves I use in my routine.

Beauty is my creed.

And that solemn belief in Universal Beauty is why I hate the With Style Limousine Service so very goddamn much.

An explanation: I am a habitué of a very racy morning radio show, Ducky and Pete’s Morning Aquarium, on 560 Golden Starz AM. Yes, THOSE two! Their surreal car horn! Their outrageous discourteous behavior on the phone! Naughty, much like that dear slim homosexual Mr. Humphries on “Are You Being Served?”

And who doesn’t love their preternaturally nuanced depiction of those two squabbling Hindoo convenience shop keepers, Okey and Dokey? Ducky and Pete confirm for me the best of our shared natures, that we human love to laugh and share and ponder and tweak the noses of of Fusty old BUGABEARS like that Hilary Clinton, who I gather from their show is a cuckolded lesbian (I am above politics, so forgive my ignorance).

Anyway, I am taking a long way around to talk about those craphounds at With Style Limousine DIS-Service (and that my friends, comes with an all caps SIC). The whole SATANIC NIGHTMARE began when I was the tenth caller to correctly identify the singer behind the wonderful “Ghostbusters’s Theme” as Ray Parker Jr. (Am a fan!!)

The “prize” (read: STD-LIKE CURSE) was an hour’s ride in one of With Style’s so-called “Limousines”.

Normally, I like to stick to the home base, near my little feline love squad. But after I saw a profile of Markie Post on the “ET” programme in which she rode in an elegant limousine to a nail appointment, I was intrigued. So I jumped at the chance to taste more fully of life, as I am a fool for the SYBARITIC!!!

Unfortunately, the dream became occulted with misery right quick, namely that very weekend. For even after chatting with seemingly charming Gary for twenty minutes or so, it was NEVER DISCLOSED THAT NUDISTS WERE NOT CONSIDER “WITH-STYLE MATERIAL.” No dogs, no Irish, NO NUDISTS.

When the car itself was beautiful, well appointed, sleek. I was ever so eager to ride it to Park N Shop so I could show up those vicious insensitive creeps at the Hobby Village. I suspect that pasty faced little ferret CORY would come sniffing around, his pustules gleaming in the sun, asking to enter my ride. And I would merely say: “Drive on, driver. Our business is else where.” Ha-ha Cory. Ha de harridy ha ha, you vulgar cur.

Imagine my humiliation when I took my sheet off in the back seat, and the driver slammed on the brakes. We had barely made it to the end of Shady Oak Drive!

He gawped at me in my fullness. Briefly, my mind clouded with worries that he was a pervert who wanted to plumb me, for our vulgar culture immediately reads nudity as an invitation to ROGER. He merely turned the car around without a word, and stopped in front of ma maison.

“Out!” without so much a smirk. “I’m not going drive you around in that state.” I was going to scream obscenities, but my mouth was full of cookie dough. Fortunately Sensuality ruled the day, keeping her cousin Propriety high and unsullied on her pedestal. I would not spill a crumb of cookie dough for this lout.

Now I sit heartbroken, unable to listen to the radio, unable to bathe, unable to pet my cats. Heartbroken, and haunted by the ghost of the almost unbearably glorious sensation of my danglies dipping into that cool tuck and roll leather, air vent aimed and blasting true across my nethers.

I understand the pain of the Angel of Light after his banishment from paradise.

NEXT: Mother Cleans Up.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Confessions of a Nude Fat Man Eating Cookie Dough

At the heart of every blogger, is a nude fat man eating cookie dough.

Greetings to thee, faithful blog friend. It is I, a Nude Fat Man Eating Cookie Dough, filling you in on the latest gossip from the Barca-Lounger.

Mother has just left for the Hospice Shoppe, so I am now unencumbered by my sheet. Propriety reign in this home. I am a nudist, but I am a nudist who gives thought to those close to him, my Mother especially. She finds my lifestyle appalling, but we have reached a détente. If I am to help around the home, per our agreement, she MUST respect my needs as a committed sensualist and free spirit. My danglies are my pride, along with my cats.

My dangly nethers are resting comfortably on the cool of the leatherette cushion, and I am as comfortable as a dauphin posing for some dank Flemish ponce. With my cyclinders of cookie dough at the ready, “Are You Being Served” in the VHS player, the cats behaving like little gentlemen, I can say that today is a bellwether day for me. All is well in my little kingdom.

Unlike yesterday.

Yesterday the cats were DIABOLICAL. While their brains are the size of walnuts, I suspect they share some sort of symbiotic intelligence. I was have a devil enough of a time with the VHS, as it nearly ate a particular fine volume of my extensive “Are You Being Served” collection. Mother brought the player home from the Hospice Shoppe many years ago and I have been relentless in demanding a DVD player be provided if I am going to CONTINUE TO PROVIDE SUCCOR TO MY MOTHER WITH MY PRESENCE. I adore the woman who suckle me until her bosoms withered to leathery paps, but sometimes the blackness of her selfishness is so oppressive that I can feel actual physical pressure on my abdomen. (When I alerted her to this, she had the temerity to suggest that I “lug one of those damn cats off yourself”. Snarky bitch.)

Anyway, the VHS. I waved out the window (wrapped in my sheet) to Mr. Vlasoff, the neighbor, a huge silent hulking Slavic troglodyte to whom Providence had the charity to possess a certain dexterity with mechanical objects. He came in and removed the tape. He did not linger, either. (The sheet slipped)

So, disaster avoided, the cats began their campaign to ruin my day. As if tripped by some mechanism, the five began emitting full and violent stream of urine at various points around the room. It was if they were the fonts of some dreadful water novelty and I was the stately Poseidon presiding their center. Only I was no jolly sea monarch. I was an angry NUDE FAT MAN, and I stretched to my full height and left the chair roaring like a bull.

The cats scattered, leaving their reeking puddles, the odor of which almost put me off my cookie dough. Mother had a hell of time scrubbing the urea out of the carpet. Her suffering moved me.

I may write a poem later.

Write, would you fair chum?

NEXT: Limo Trouble.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Why I'm an independent.

Nasty old habits die hard in blog-land. I’m thinking about the two-party system. People really feel their “parties” (and self-identified “ideologies”) exist to fight evil, namely the other party. I’m especially alarmed by the volumes of people that somehow think politicians, specifically the guys from their team, can be “good”. There are a few that manage to rise above the fray occasionally, but you can be sure a nail that stands out gets hammered down.

To allow yourself be judged by a mailing list we’ve ended up on, by what affinity group has claimed us, correctly or not as a member, by what opinion we ought to have by reason of geography is the worst kind of surrender. It’s surrender out of sloth.

When we willing identify ourselves by labels, what we’re saying is we’re willing to have our own self-determination substituted by the loudest assholes that share our label. We trade the self doubt that might come from be loyal to our individual nuance for the easy comfort of the group, where it’s all too easy to borrow the words and thoughts of others without ever truly cognitively owning them.

Let me be clear, I’m not advocating suspension of social action. It’s just social action through the channels of established institutions (read Dems and GOPs) perverts individual integrity and lets the pure thought get strained through the dirty sock that is DC.

On a fundamental level, the parties are mirrors of each other. They are two models of the same machine, distilling thought down to discreet little portable poots of rhetoric, to be packaged and retailed to the mass market.

Our elected officials (GOP and Dem) are so far removed from real public discourse that they can only manage to interact with normal, sane people as platform-surrogates. There is no personality there. Take away the meaningless party affiliation, I’m not sure that they would exist.

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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Ruby, Bill Withers, and the Spanish Inquisition

(A friendly warning: the title should not read as an invitation to quote, say, a certain English comedy troupe. I know it's easy, but we can all be brave and put our crutches aside. Thank you.)


Dragging the brats around today, I had to stop and get gas. A couple weeks ago I burnt a kid friendly CD for the car, and one of the songs I put on it was "Lean On Me". In hindsight, this was a painful miscalculation. It's a grating song after a while. (Bill's song, "Use me up" stands right up there in the pantheon of perfect songs. The lyrics give a charmingly stark view of a man wrestling with giving up some good sexing up to keep his self respect intact. The sexing up wins.)

Ruby chirps up and asks: "Is Jorge singing this song?"

Wise, wise child. For JORGE is my personal Torquemada and he has leaned on me, painfully. He's a member of the Mexican National Team and a vicious personal trainer whose services my wife and I have retained.

Part of his vicious and mind bendingly cruel regime is to wrench my body like a gorilla with a toy lamb in the interest of "stretching" me. That's when I let rip with a double helix of obscenities right to his face. Unless of course I'm busy screaming. He just smiles.

He harbors no mercy. He is like some crazy zen samurai assassin, with a giant rubber bouncy ball instead of a sword. But believe me, after a while that goddamn bouncy ball starts to look like hand tempered steel after a while.

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Drugs

After my post about the legal grey area of growing shrooms in New Mexico, I felt bad, like I misrepresented myself. I may indulge in some smoke once a year or so, but I don't partake any where near the amounts I did up until when my wife got pregnent with our first child Ruby.

I just wouldn't want to be impaired if something happened, you know?

The past is different. High school is a fuzzy blob. A choice anecdote:

Background: About five of us suburban stoner skate punks used to cruise Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, looking for idiocy (the fact that it followed us like a little rain cloud was lost on us). I grew up right on the border of two very. very caucasoid Bay Area suburbs...Lafayette and Walnut Creek. If you wanted teenage kicks any racier than getting a pint of frogurt, you had to go the college town of Berkeley, about 15 minutes away on BART.

We didn't get up to any really good mischief. We just walked around, stoned, going to record and book stores, stopping at cafes to nurse lattes for hours. There was one particular patch of ground we'd avoid, a glorified vacant lot called people's park, home to various elements of the lifestyle homeless -- dead heads, street rats, lost souls, and a few genuine nut jobs. We'd cut through, but we wouldn't linger.

One day, we were on our pilgrimidge, when we noticed one of cohort, a kid I'll call Frank, disappeared. Seems Frank had dropped acid while we were merely stoned and hadn't told any of us. Being stoned, we didn't spend a whole lot of time thinking about the implications of this. We figured he'd catch up.

Frank was a special case. We called him Id Boy, because he was all Id, a pinball machine of urges that need to be acted upon for whatever reason. We had all read "On the Road" and "Fear and Loathing" and dug them, but Frank took them up as his brain's owner's manual. He was actually a sweet, basically decent guy who was always in trouble for some dada weirdness he dreamed up. His drug use was also way more advanced then the rest of us.

So we're trudging down the avenue, baked little hobbits, when Frank comes running up.

"Uh....we gotta get outta here."

We look at him: "Hey Frank is here, everybody!"

"Uh....we gotta get outta here, like now. I, uh, just had sex with a homeless woman in a port-a-potty."

So we left.

Seems he "met" a reasonable attractive young free spirit hippy urchin woman who was in a similar state and they hit it off.

Frank is happily married now in a far off state. I now live in Berkeley, but far away from the college district. Far, far away.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

My Insufferable Moppets!!! Episode I

First in what very well maybe a short series.

About a month ago I was driving with Ruby (my four year old) through Berkeley's wonderful Tilden park. The Monarchs had come out, the grass was still dewey green from the spring rain, wonderful.

Then Ruby rips one. A huge one. Like Dad size.

So we start talking about digestive processes, of which she has an endless fascination. I ask her: "Well, what do you think toots (a family term) are, Ruby?"

And what did my perfect, darling little angel say? My pixie?

"Toots are my ass laughing."

My kids are frigging GENIUSES!

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Too bad they taste like doody.

Make tea, put 'em on salad, dip 'em in dip, whip up a nice gravy. Because in New Mexico,you can now grow them legally.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Titler!

Over at Titler, we are confronted by Hitler in drag singing impromptu showtunes (go to the bottom left and click on "nummers".) You may ponder "Greg, surely this must be offensive?". And the only answer I could give you is: Yes, it's offensive, but only if you find all that is true and beautiful and good offensive.

(Update: Bad link is now fixed thanks to Shattering Rose Colored Glasses, a known Canadian.)

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The Persistance of Commerce

Last week I stumbled across a sort of weird, sort of fun site called blogshares.com.

The site works like a stock exchange for blogs. You buy shares of blogs with virtual cash. Blogs are valued by how many incoming links from other sites they’ve garnered and the “value” of the sites that actually links to them.

They also have something called “chips”, which are a sort of social currency. Other Bloggers will pay you chips for linking to their blog, thus driving up their share price. (Of course, in the real world this would be illegal.)

Market exchanges are interesting because they’re pretty good at trending data. The Intelligence community even runs informal market exchanges to trend threats. Really all it is weighted voting...I’m 55% believe this is true so my yes vote with be qualified to reflect that by the amount of money I’ll lay down.

Mostly stupid harmless fun. And then I started tripping out on something. The blogging community works as a gift economy. Stuff/ideas are offered for free and people can comment and improve on it as they see fit. Sort of how open source software distribution works...

So here is this marketplace where an abstract value is attached to it, based not on its own merits, but on the consensus perception of its merits.

It gets weird (and kind of sad) when you get to the section were people are cruising for links. One quote: “...I’ll give you 10 chips to link to my site, because I’m new to this, and I really need the links.” Why do you need the links? To what end? I mean, if he’s doing to play the game, I understand. And I’m never less then thrilled when someone links to my site. I guess my thrill comes from the validation of my writing. But in a lot of cases, I think rather than rely on quality or truth or whatever, bloggers just want the links.

Chasing links puts you in the weird position of creating content to get more links so more people will look at your content. So you write in foxhole, blasting off reels of content, posting up any and every thought. I know I’m guilty of it.

It’s just funny how when we humans get in groups something always shorts out and we enter giant feedback loops and drive ourselves crazy looking for patterns and meaning. Australian Shepherds with attempt corral anything you put in front of them. When given a bunch of loose tennis balls, the Shepherd puppies are compelled to get the balls together in tight formation. That’s us, too. I think we’re driven to commoditize stuff for that reason. But what do I know? I’m an idiot.

Three books I’d invite you to consider if this topic interests you:
A Short History of Financial Euphoria/John Kenneth Galbraith.
Galbraith wrote a funny, very short book about how markets go apeshit for stupid commodities (like tulip bulbs).

Why people believe weird things/Michael Shermer.
Shermer looks at alien abductions, Satanic panics and other weird crap and gives a pretty good explanation on how group dynamics buttress personal delusions and create value perception. It’s a really good book.

Freakonomics/Dubner & Levitt
Economics in the science of analyzing human motivation. Levitt is an economist who applies his science to sociological problems and it is very, very interesting.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A very interesting blog.

Invented Usage All about language and semantics. Things I have been familiar with since I was a small boy.

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Drinking Prison Wine with The Sneeze. Spo-dee-o-dee.

The Sneeze, one of the more bestest humor bloggishy websites, has a fascinating regular feature called Don't Eat It Steve! or Steve, Don't Eat It! FEH! or something.

In it Steve eats gross obscure storebought food, such as potted meat spread,pickled pork skin, or my favorite, spore invested corn kernals. In the latest episode, Steve busts out a batch of delicious PRUNO, or homemade prison wine. Read it and weep, ya goddamn baby.

Also read the archive. It's fun!

(The entry title comes from the Jerry Lee Lewis masterpiece: "Drinking wine, spo-dee-o-dee.")

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Islam Karimov: Our Friend of Freedom in Central Asia

Our friends in Washington, trying to recapture that good time feeling of the Tianammen summer, is eager for the world not spend too much time thinking on a certain freedom loving dictactorship's slaughter of 500 innocents.

The nausea is endless.

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When the Douche Bags Return to Del Mar.

Here's a fun little article. Seems a ranking war hero Congressman from San Diego sold his house to a defense contractor, who then turned around sold it as a loss to....himself. A nice, legal $700,000 bribe. Right now, it is very difficult to sell ANY property at a loss in California.

Strangely, this defense contractor seemed to suddenly be pulling down a lot of juicy gov'n contracts right and left after a dry spell. And our Congressman just so happens (chee-rist it pains me to type this) is on a congressional defense approriations committee.

I will be severely bummed out if the population of San Diego doesn't deep six this bastard. The fact the shitheel ended up $700,000 richer and no one actually LOST any money (the contractor having written it off as a loss) well, commonsense trumps fake objectivity here. The guy is a douchebag empirically (and I am only slightly overstating the case). The whole "Yes, the facts do look bad, but I am withholding judgement out of fairplay...blah blah..." Bull Shiite. The guy is a douche.

Time to thin out the herd.

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More war on terrorism idiot horseshit

So not only did the White Home seriously overstate the number of successful prosecutions of terrorist under PATRIOT Act provisions, they told local enforcement agencies to fudge their numbers as well. Dumb evil bastards. Why lie? Why fucking lie?

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Country Rock on your goddamn birthday. Aint that a bitch?

Yesterday was my birthday. It was very hot. To celebrate my 36th as a self-aware bag of chemicals, I watched Country Music Television for two hours. (Among other, lots more fun social things.)

Before yesterday, I was only vaguely aware of Country Music Television. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m TV snob. I am only vaguely aware of most things never mind TV networks. I don’t understand who anyone is anymore. I’m stunned by how quickly “celebrities” get shitted out these days, most of whom would have trouble keeping up with Ted Knight or Franco Nero in an improv. In my shitty current pop-culture expertise, I’m like my mother before she died, only she was in her 70’s and crazy.

Anyway, like I said, it was hot, and I was really just putting off lifting my sweaty buttock off my old man chair. I was flipping around the Cable TV Show Finding Matrix Box Thing, and there was this Country Rock documentary listed. Whoo dog.

I have this abstract affection for Country Rock and by extension, white Country Soul. (My affection for ZZ Top is fully concrete, realized and EMPIRICAL, because they are RAD and BADASSES, you know, once you get past all the bullshit and stuff.) I like the idea of rednecks stealing their own agrarian culture back from the dirty hippies. Being poor and white from the holler is really the best reason to dress like you’re poor and white from the holler.

What I found interesting is they weren’t playing strictly straight ahead rock. Their music was more syncretic, taking jazz, blues, soul, funk and country and playing them all like acid rock. That’s not only badass, it’s also an extension of a popular music tradition that includes Robert Johnson, Jimmy Rodgers, Muddy Waters, the Mississippi Sheiks, the Texas Playboys, etc. At the end of this chain is Greg Allman marrying Cher. History is weird, yeah?

There guys were also PRACTICALLY progressive instead of THEORETICALLY progressive. These guys played black bars, in some cases integrated their bands, not for any high minded reason, but because a MOTHERFUCKER NEEDS TO GET PAID. Country Soul took one step further and had white Southern folks playing very funky music, almost too much so, for a mixed audience. You can check this interesting sub-sub-sub genre on a good compilation: Country Got Soul

Anyway, the show was decent. It’s a rich area and I’d love to see a non-hacky documentarian do a take on it. So at this point, CMT is looking good, with weird little network ID with stuffed squirrels. CMT is making the effort on my birthday, and I noticed. But the honeymoon with CMT was soon to be shattered...

...for I then subjected myself to the first fifteen minutes of a show about the first line in a Tanya Tucker song. The song in question was one written by David Allen Coe (a badass. More on that momentarily.) called “Will you lay with me (in a field of stones).” The eponymous first line apparently caused the south to explode in a seething stew pot of righteous wrath. You see, according to the show, Tanya Tucker was only fourteen and so it was bad that she used the word “lay”. Nice girls don’t use prepositions, and in some states, you cannot refer to a spatial relationship of any kind if you are under eighteen years of age. Many, many musicologists, very old DJs, pop culture historians, and Nashville producers were wheeled in front of me in those fifteen minutes and they wanted me to know that Tanya Tucker was indeed fourteen and sang the word “lay”, and man, were people upset. I am only slightly exaggerating.

The show was called “CONTROVERSY!”.

The one bright spot was an appearance by David Allan Coe, a Country songwriter as important as Willie Nelson and Kris Kristopherson. The guy...my god...the guy, no crap, looks like Rob Zombie but Rob Zombie after 8 years in a Russian prison. Rob Zombie is like the Lifetime Movie version of David Allan Coe.

That’s all. I rambled, I know.

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Would you buy a car from this man?

Bush sucks to the tune of 360 human souls. The Washington Post does the math and it seems the PATRIOT act has snagged a total of 39 convictable evil doers, with the average sentence of a beezy 11 months. Seems the definition of "convicted" has been stretched to include "charged". Yeah! Freedom is saved! The Dewey Decimal Drag Net has destroyed the icky people!

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Gay guy in the gulag.

A post relevant to a reality outside of my chestnut sized brained: a young queer fella has managed to send out a desperate blog entry from one of those hideous de-gaying gulags that lazy, stupid, emotionally constipated nutzoid-christian parents send their gay offspring to. It's wrong for so many reasons. I think it's even wrong for theological-sound CHRISTIAN reasons, not just reasons a satanic Pol-Pot loving nihilist like myself would come up with.

Let me rant for a second. FREE WILL! IT'S THERE! DEAL! YOUR KIDS AREN'T YOU! YOU CAN'T SEND YOUR KIDS TO HEAVEN! LIVE FREE OR DIE! ROCK THE VOTE!

Here's a truncated list of what pains me about this, in random order:
*(Some very vocal and hypocritical)Christians talk up free will as baby jebus's gift, then freak out when someone excercises it. You face the Dread Judgement Seat of Jebus on your own! Any asshole knows that! You can't hide behind your parents.
*Nothing is fouler than foul Dr.Philology crossed with lame literal shallow American Evangelical Protestantism. Adding feces to vomit generally doesn't help either become more tasty.
* If you see your kid doing something that bugs you, don't JUST pray you, lazy ass motherfucker. Talk to the kid! Listen to the kid! God is busy. He likes people to show some gumption. Parent, you piece of shit! If you can't figure it out, what makes you think some asswipe you pay is going to be any better? Why do you think A PASTOR is going to be any better? He's as clueless as you, and if your church denies your clergy a proper outlet for getting their rocks off, DON'T LET THE SON OF A BITCH NEAR YOUR KID.
* And gee...a controlled environment away from family and friends, standards of dress and behaivor controlled by group criticism, asymetric leadership with a cadre of thugs and very little transperancy, FOOD intake strickly controlled....um, CULT MUCH, you STUPID BASTARDS?

That's all. Paula, Dave, Donna, Philip! You're the squad, the only people that read this thing! Write to the kid.

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

Nude Women vs. Naked Ladies

Frankly, I'm torn.

Nude Women enjoy yoga and long distance running. Naked Ladies play paddle ball down at the lake.

Nude Women keep journals. Naked Ladies do the Word Scramble.

Nude Women are black and white. Naked Ladies have poor color separation.

Nude Women play harps. Naked Ladies dance on top of pianos.

Nude Women study architecture. Naked Ladies are undeclared.

Nude Women backpack Tibet. Naked Ladies watch Animal Planet.

Nude Women have shy smiles. Naked Ladies have large gums.

Nude Women skip stones. Naked Ladies whittle.

Nude Women drive old Saabs. Naked Ladies drive Solid Gold Cadillacs.

Nude Women have cats. Naked Ladies have little dogs named “Free Show”.*

Nude Women sunbathe on river rocks. Naked Ladies go skinny dipping off a rope swing.

Nude Women aesthetic accessory of choice: peacock feather. Naked Ladies: SPARKLERS!

Nude Women defend public libraries. Naked Ladies set horses free.

Nude Women are published. Naked Ladies are heard.

Nude Women sit on the veranda. Naked Ladies hang out on lawn chairs.

* A favorite joke among 8 year old boys:

Once there was a lady who had a little dog she called Free Show.
Free Show always got out of the house and ran up and down the street.
One day, Free Show got real sick, so the lady took him to the vet.
The vet said keep Free Show inside or he will get even sicker!!!
So when they got home, the lady told Free Show:
“I am going to take a shower. Stay inside, okay?”
So the lady took all her clothes off to get in the shower
and Free Show escaped!!!!!!
So the lady ran out of the house naked and yelled:
“Free Show! Free Show!”

A classic.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Japan. A New Hope.

Yer pretty slick, ain't you chief? Riding around with your ironical haircut, referencing New Order lyrics in your Powerpoint slides. I say stop. Because the Japanese have us beat. Don't believe me? Vidi this.

While we are saying "no" to each other and skulking around like deacons, our friends the JAPANESE are birthing a brave new epoch. The Japanese don't care! They just make up weird stuff all day! What have we done? What happened to all our weirdos? WHERE'S OUR GUMPTION, PEOPLE?

Feh! Feh to it all! I'm going back to ironing my khakis. I have a presentation in the morning.

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Monday, June 06, 2005

The Adventures of The Very Tan People

I don't know exactly what is going on here.
All I know is Gypsy Kings is playing somewhere nearby.

I call the one with hair pulled back Kooka, and the other one Keeka. They smell vaguely of bacon. They live in a large refrigeration unit they call LA SUPREMA (photo #6) and subsist entirely on ornate garnishes (#7). Keeka has an extensive collection of Matchbox cars (#9, #10, #11). This very red man (#13) is their sworn enemy, Seamus O'Pale.

Viva Kooka! Viva Keeka! Viva la pelle gradisce una borsa del coccodrillo!

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Sunday, June 05, 2005

CANADA: PERFIDIOUS DOMINION

Shattering Rose Colored Glasses, a blog acquaintance, has shanghai'ed me into participating in some unspeakable blogging ritual that my tender pink ears had to this moment been unsullied by it's mention. Alas, her home is Canada, a thin ribbon of settlement set against vast unknown wilderness full of oozing things and beavers, home to many strange and vile customs.

I guess I have to talk about books or something.

Number of Books that I own:
Books move in and out of the house semi-regularly. I guess there are about 500 or so books in various state of accesiability. There are a few dozen in the garage lost to mold. The kids have a bundle scattered throughout.

Last Book I Bought:
We the Mediaby Dan Gillmor.

It's a very comprehensive look at how blogs, RSS, SMS and cheap digital media tools are (hopefully) decentralizing and democratizing media. Really good. All three of you reading this should pick it up.

Last book(s) I read:
What's Welsh for Zen by John Cale.

Cale delivered the feedback and drone part of the Velvet Underground equation. It's an interesting story: he was a straight up avant garde musician with only a tangential interest in Rock and Roll. He just wanted to rock the viola with LaMonte Young (who apparently dealt a lot of pot). Very maturely written. Talks about his feuds with Lou Reed and Eno among others. He was married to Betsy Johnson, the clothes lady. Neat!

A Stroll With William James by Jacques Barzun.

Henry's brother coined two useful phrases: the stream of consciousness and my favorite, the Bitch Goddess Success. He's also the father of modern psychology and neurology and general a bad ass. Barzun wrote a gushy sweetheart letter that is also a very engaging caspule of James' work. I'm taking my time with this one. The concepts are thorny but man alive, is it worth it. I suspect I'll read again.

Five Books that mean a lot to me:
Open Society and Its Enemies by Karl Popper.

Popper's whole deal is that an open society, one that allows for a mulitude of voices and ideology, serves it's citizen best. Tolerance and transperancy is ultimately more just and workable than strident social engineering, however well intended it is.

Master and Margaritaby Bulgakov and Pale Fire by Nabokov. Two novels that I can still point to a yell "goddamn". Both set my teeth on edge. Master & Margarita, besides inspiring Sympathy for the Devil, busts just about everyone. The Devil, Christ, Stalin, artists, bureaucrats. No one gets let off the hook. Pale Fire makes you sick from the perfection of it. Some folks think it's a cold book. But I don't see it. The character of John Shade'll break your heart.

Real Frank Zappa Book by Zappa hisself.

Zappa managed to become ZAPPA through sheer force of will. His music was difficult mixed with stupid. He was an anti- and hyperHippie, his influences include Stravinsky, Varese, Guitar Watson and Doo-Wop. He made being an outsider weirdo work and he did on his own terms. Well alright. It's a very funny book.

And a magazine MAD. Did wonders in elementary school. It really is all bullshit.

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Thursday, June 02, 2005

An advertising brief

Dammer-Hughes Minneapolis – 1 June 2005
Beef Tallow Trade Council Creative Brief – Foodstuff Awareness Campaign

What is the assignment? Three :30 television spots and a print campaign appearing in US, People, The Economist, Gourmet, Martha Stewart’s Living. The advertising would support the idea of beef tallow being in fact edible by humans, with a strong call to action to purchase a “family size” 50 lb cube.

Why are we advertising?
Where we are:
Consumers, when aware of beef tallow at all, perceive it as a side product of the slaughter of bovine animals. They variously identify it as an ingredient in leather dressings, candles and soap. D&H is tasked with increasing the awareness of beef tallow as a delicious and flexible foodstuff.

Where we want to go: For Beef Tallow to be top-of-mind for family food purchase decision makers, especially among the group we’ve identified as Progressive Culineastes.

The role of advertising: Primarily to build awareness of Beef Tallow as an essential in the pantry of any busy family. To accomplish this it is essential we ease consumers’ reluctance to try foodstuff normally associated with abattoir floor sweepings. A secondary consideration is establishing beef tallow as an “extreme” foodstuff for pre-teen to teen markets.

Core Desire of Target: “I am busy and on the go, and would appreciate a meal replacement for my family that is as easy to serve as ice cream, yet packed full of latent energy and can be also be used as a personal lubricant.”

***So what’s the Big Idea????***

There’s nothing like the assurance you get from having a gleaming 50 pound block of translucent beef tallow in the back of your pantry.

Other Considerations

If Beef Tallow were a person, what would its tone be? Trusted, assured, friendly, waxy.

What other elements are mandatory?
* Tagline: That’s not offal. That’s Tallow!
* Mascot Congealed Rufus must appear on all communications.

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25 Fun Facts About Teen Dream Meatloaf !!!!

1. Due to copyright reasons, Meatloaf is know as Mr. Hot Dog Water in Taiwan.

2. In 1982, Meatloaf bought a sponge urinated on by Cheryl Tieggs from a private collector.

3.Meatloaf enjoys repeatedly grunting his own stage name, “Meatloaf”, during the physical act of love

4.Meatloaf holds a certificate in Unix Server Administration from the University of California Irvine Adult Learning Program

5. Meatloaf has declined to participate in 23 separate “Make A Wish Foundation” wishes. He’s waiting for one that feels right.

6.Meatloaf beat a hog to death with a shovel on a Brazilian TV variety show.

7. Meatloaf has the 2nd largest collection of dream catchers in the world.

8. Meatloaf will leave the room at the mention of Sheri Lewis and Lambchop.

9. Vaclav Havel credits a smuggled Czech language transcription of the “Bat Out of Hell” lyric sheet for his emotional survival in prison.

10. Meatloaf and Steve Perry routinely sing into each others mouths like Eskimos.

11. Once a year, a be-veiled Meatloaf lays a single white rose on the grave of Burt Convey.

12. Despite being a heterosexual, Meatloaf appears as the celebrity spokesperson for the Glory Hole Safety Project’s “Know What You’re Getting Into” campaign.

13. In his role as front man of Parliament Funkedelic, Meatloaf goes by the pseudonym “George Clinton”

14. Meatloaf has beaten the living crap out of Henry Rollins a total of four times.

15. Meatloaf is afraid of bees.

16. The last word to be uttered by Prince Rainier of Monaco was “Meatloaf”.

17. Meatloaf thinks PCP dealers are the scum of the earth.

18. Meatloaf prays to a giant Soviet surplus statue of Lenin. He knows it is only a statue, but he finds it helps him focus.

19. Meatloaf runs errands on a pennyfarthing bicycle.

20. Meatloaf molts in autumn.

21. Exposure to gamma radiation briefly transformed Meatloaf into a large pulsing orb of plasma. He is now sterile.

22. In a restaurant without a name in downtown Tokyo, Meatloaf regularly enjoys a steaming bowl of undifferentiated human embryonic stem cells over rice.

23. Meatloaf is working on a song cycle based on the Scott Biaio TV vehicle “Charles in Charge”.

24. The city government of London has developed a highly effective self esteem program for disadvantaged youth based on the life of Meatloaf.

25. Meatloaf angry. Meatloaf smash.

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A shattering read.

Below you'll find some Amazon reviews for various Family Circus books written by your truly. They were all taken down. I can't imagine why. I received many, many helpful ratings.


I Just Dropped Grandma! (Family Circus) by BIL KEANE

Edition: Paperback Price: $3.50

Availability: This item is currently unavailable.

7 used from $2.00

A gentle exploration of the politics of mercy killing,March 23, 2005

I revisited 'I dropped Grandma!!'recently, just afterdevouring Keane's 'It stings, Mom, it stings!' and I was instantly reminded of the humanity of the early Keane, before he took up with Erza Pound.

'I droppedGrandma!!!' is an epic, Dickensian story, a didactic old-fashioned tale of love and loss that speaks to both the most basic human dilemmas and contentious contemporary subjects.

Keane writes with an absurdist aplomb that brings laughter up from the diaphragm like so many bad oysters. PJ's appearance here is a delight-- winsome and true. Without revealing too much, one scene in particular warmed cockles I never knew I had-- let me just say the combination of a dazed grandma,a pillow case full of lead shot and an uncooperative blanket sleeper is a madcap cocktail that will leave you incontinent from laughter.

'I droppedGrandma!!!!!!' is an exquisite novel, one that made me reconsider my notions of death, loyalty and the sanctity of a sealed urn.

A shattering read.

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Grandma Was Here by BIL KEANE
Edition: Paperback Price: $3.99
Availability: This item is currently unavailable. 33 used from $0.78
The thriller that will chill yer to the bones. , March23, 2005

Picture: a girl of 6, let's call her Dolly. She's in a dusty attic, trying to stash a forbidden Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers from her tyrannical father, Pastor Bil. She finds a loose board and finds...the photos. Her grandmother Thelma, string of pearls sparkling, standing next to Pol Pot...on a pyramid of human skulls.

So starts this summer's must read thriller. Dolly criss crosses the globe, searches for clues as to just who this woman "Grandma" really is. The arc of her journey takes us to torch lit SS orgies, a pit of deadly poisonous Black Mambas in Jim Nabor's secluded island retreat, underground brises, scrapbook parties, and a final confrontation with Thelma... and her army of deadly gibbons. Read it at the beach, read it at the dentist, read it under a bush. JUST READ IT!!!!!

A shattering read.

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What Does This Say? by BIL KEANE

Edition: Paperback Price: $15.00

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

The face of G_D has horn rimmed glasses. March 23,2005

It's not for nothing that everything we do, see, feel,smell, eat, shave, grope, dilate these days is described as Keanian. Bil Keane is the grandfather of really just about everything, and this book, this"What Does This Say?" (to even try to name such an entity as this with the crude of human language is theheight of folly. But that's marketing for you.) breaks it all down for you.

It reads like Godel's Incompleteness Theorem crossed with the libretto of"Cabaret". It's also a great distillation of everything everywhere, and gosh darn it if it doesn't make you chuckle.

"What's Do This Say?" deals with the epic rise and fall of Dolly and PJ, as they kill a hobo for kicks, get VD, fight a bear in a cave, and spend a fortnight camping with Uncle Roy in Bimini.Great stuff! If you like reality as it is practiced in this particular domain of spacetime, then give it up for Keane!

Truly, this is a shattering read.
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The Family Circus by Bil Keane

Edition: Paperback Price: $9.71

Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

6 used from $10.10

Keane: Apologist for NIHILISM!!!!!!, March 23, 2005

Keane finally went for it with this one: a full frontal assault against propriety and "taste".

Because of his extreme sensitivity to the absurd and grotesque in human affairs, Billy Keane, protagonist of this masterpiece of decadence has estranged himself from society and savors the most bizarre aspects of human existence in his quest for novelty.

Tired of life in these vulgar times, Billy reject everything that is "natural" and concentrates on pure sensation and artifice. His attempts at contemplative solitude are comically foiled by the antic of his polyamorous siblings and the amyl nitrate induced rages of paterfamilias Bil. Mirth turns to smoldering lust upon the arrival ofUncle Roy, dark moustachioed Lord of Misrule that invites Billy to finally commit totally to the realm of the senses (and eat a lot of ice cream!).

A shattering read.

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Daddy's Cap Is on Backwards by BIL KEANE

Edition: Paperback

Price: $3.99

Availability: This item is currently unavailable.

3 used from $19.87

I want to Keane to stop. Yet I want Keane to take us deeper, March 23, 2005

In Keane's "Daddy's Cap Is On Backwards", we are sucked into a firestorm of sick inducing satire of theblackest sort. Will his brood of tiny sociopath Blackbeards successfully shatter the paper thin eggshell of Bil's sanity by insisting his forward directed hat is in fact backwards, while their backward directed hats are forward?

Like his spiritual father Nabokov, Keane is not above cruelly toying with his characters like a house cat with a wounded vole. In this volume, Keane broadens his cruelty so it encompasses his reader as well.Keane takes us through a topsy-turvy hall of mirrors in a pomo tour de force that would make an MLA conference attendee bleed from her eyes.

Is Bil the Author also Bil the Protagonist/Victim? Does the book's phantasmagoric horror mirror unholy themes that trouble the real life Keane family? Keane flays himself open, yet in the end we are all victims. And we are perhaps all equally culpable? Ambiguity abounds in this tome.

A shattering read.

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