Category Archives: Stuff

My To-Do List

  1. Help establish multi-party democracy in the United States.
  2. Encourage the surgical separation of Christianity and Capitalism.
  3. Help facilitate the transition to
    1. The Next American Republic.
    2. A New Values Economy.
  4. Further develop & expound the philosophy & methodology of “Serious Silliness.”
  5. Finish & disseminate creative works (songs, essays, etc.).
  6. Develop a better relationship with/understanding of mortality; find an opportunity for a good & useful death.
  7. Have fun in the meantime.

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Excerpt from The McAdooiad

(In my epic poem The McAdooiad, a political consultant leads an expedition to Hades to conduct a focus group there. While there, they are given a tour by the shade of someone who might be Mark Twain, or maybe Kurt Vonnegut. They travel to the section of Hell called the Vale of Conservative Commentators.)

“Hell has expanded, you know, since Dante’s day,” the guide explained.
“There are more than just nine rings now; indeed, there are more than nine sets of rings, and new construction continues apace.

But it cannot keep up with the influx of souls,

Hence your delays upon entry.

It’s more like a giant anti-amusement complex, a vast park of punishment, a mall of maulings, subdivisions of sufferings,
For those who could not, would not, dared not repent.

But for all the mass production, for all the identical rows of high-rises,

Still there are some who have rated their very own personal dooms, who have crafted their eternal homes, which even now await their architects

Somewhere in this Hell … here, see this vast, empty plain?
In the midst of this plain there is a table.
Behind the table is a comfortable leather chair.
On the table is a huge golden microphone, and an ashtray with a cigar.

There is a man who will be condemned
To sit behind that microphone forever, and smoke that cigar,

And talk and talk and talk and talk….

Trying to convince someone, anyone, that he does not belong there.
The microphone, however, will not be connected to anything.
Only he will hear himself, and he will hear only himself
But he will not even convince himself.

Because no one could ever make him change his mind.”

 

A random bunch of my favorite songs

In no particular order – I’ll just post ’em as I think of ’em… These are some of the songs that make me stop in my tracks, turn up the radio, dance in my chair, or even start singing along…. The songs that make my scalp tingle, my heart race, or my mind soar… Some of these songs are part of my self-definition; some mark particular moments, or even eras, in my life…

  • Kate Bush, “The Big Sky”
  • 801, “TNK (Tomorrow Never Knows)”
  • Beatles, “It’s All Too Much”
  • Jane’s Addiction, “Jane Says”
  • REM, “It’s the End of the World”
  • The Who, “Eminence Front”
  • John Cale & Brian Eno, “Spinning Away”
  • The Horse Flies, “I Live Where It’s Grey”
  • Natalie Merchant, “Carnival”
  • Bush, “Machine Head”
  • David Bowie, “‘Heroes'”
  • Roxy Music, “The Thrill of It All”
  • Pink Floyd, “One of These Days”
  • Blue Öyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”
  • George Harrison, “Art of Dying”
  • Peter Gabriel, “I Have the Touch”
  • King Crimson, “Discipline”
  • David Byrne, “Five Golden Sections”
  • Talking Heads, “Houses in Motion”
  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer, “Lucky Man”
  • Cat Stevens, “Wild World”
  • Radiohead, “Karma Police”
  • Foo Fighters, “Everlong”
  • Pearl Jam, “Black”
  • Eddie Vedder, “Big Hot Sun”
  • David Byrne/Brian Eno, “America is Waiting”
  • Human Sexual Response, “What Does Sex Mean to Me?”
  • The Beatles, “I Am the Walrus”
  • Synergy, “Breakdown in World Communication”
  • Stephen Foster, “Hard Times Come Again No More”
  • Bjork, “I Miss You”
  • Kate Bush, “Deeper Understanding”
  • Laurie Anderson, “Big Science”
  • Tom Tom Club, “Wordy Rappinghood”

How Much

HOW MUCH
a country lament by Blind Peanut Nicholson

So how much for some simple friction
Or a nuzzle on the ear
How much for you to listen
While I tell you my darkest fears

How much for you to show me
The dreams you keep hidden inside
How much for us to just be here
Breathing side by side

(bridge)
How much for you to notice
The pain I can’t express
I didn’t come here to drink overpriced beer
Or to watch someone undress

How much for you to hold me
How much to let me cry
How much do you charge for a reason to live
Or some comfort before I die
How much do you charge for a reason to live
Or some comfort before I die

Epigrams, Slogans, & Bumperstickers

  • The best things in life are messy.
  • A violent revolution is no revolution at all.
    • The real revolution is against violence itself.
  • If you can’t break your chains, use them.
  • Big Brother is watching: KEEP HIM ENTERTAINED.
  • If it’s falling, push it over.
  • When you make a fool of yourself on purpose on a regular basis, it doesn’t matter so much when it happens by accident.
  • Sex:Liberals::Money:Conservatives
  • Every day is a gift – even if it doesn’t fit.
  • Big Brother loves you SO MUCH… he can’t keep his eyes off you.
  • When the dip is gone, the party is over. When the party is over, it’s time to go home.
  • Education should be dangerous.
  • Unity, not uniformity; diversity, not division.
  • We need some new isms.
  • “Mistah Galt, he dead.”
  • Go with the Greatest Common Factor, not the Lowest Common Denominator

Organizations I’ve made up that ought to be more real

You might have noticed: I like to make stuff up. This includes some organizations of which I am pretty much the only member. (Though others are certainly welcome to claim membership in any or all of them – no dues are involved.)

The PLAUSIBLE NEWS SERVICE is the handle under which I write satirical news stories. My goal with PNS is to write pieces that are just plausible enough that they seem accplausibleeptable, while still including sufficient clues that the observant should catch the joke. (Closer to the work of Andy Borowitz than that of The Onion, say… though I am nowhere near the level of either.)

I am the editor and chief correspondent, though sometimes you may see Plausible News material credited to my esteemed colleague, the noted broadcaster and media analyst Otto B. True.  The best compliment I can get is someone asking, “Wait a minute… Is that for real?”

The SIESTsiesta-partyA PARTY USA (Motto: “Chill Out, America!”) supports the rights of all Americans to enjoy a nice afternoon nap… and encourages folks to get a decent night’s sleep. We also repost news articles about the health and productivity benefits of napping. (I have sleep apnea myself, so some of this stuff is serious!)

The LEAGUE OF MORTAL-AMERICANS (Motto: “You’re Already a Member”) would like to remind you of one thing: you’re gonna die.

The League believes that increased awareness – and acceptance – of mortalitmortal-logo-2y is a good thing. Seriously. Studies have shown that folks who manage to reconcile themselves with the idea of their personal mortality are generally happier, less stressed, and more generous.

Also co-sponsors campaigns like “Die Early” (encouraging Baby Boomers to leave planer before drawing Social Security) and “Ducks in a Row? Ready To Go!” (encouraging EVERYONE to get their wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, etc. set up as soon as possible).

The BUSH REGIME MEMORIAL SOCIETY fights against any efforts to whitewash the dismal and disastrous history of the George W. Bush Administration (2001-2009). It sponsors the annual Shoe Day observance on Dec. 14, when all citizens with functional memories are invited to send worn-out footwear to the George W. Bush Library, in commemoration of the day when an Iraqi reporter chucked a couple of shoes (a huge insult) at the visiting Bush.

I am honored to serve as Chief Researcher for THE INSTITUTE FOR RESPONSIBLE HEDONISM, which was established at Harrad College in the late 1960’s.  The IRH engages in extensive studies of things that are fun to do, while (hopefully) avoiding dangerous excesses or unforeseen consequences. (Presenting an IRH business card at a bar or a party might be good for something, but I can make no guarantees.)

The KUMBAYA LIBERATION FRONT seeks to reclaim the song “Kumbaya,” and the sentiments behind it, from folks who think it’s too namby-pakumbayamby to think about people getting along together.

And finally, for now, the ASSORTED SHI(F)TWORKERS OF AMERICA – a superunion of all those folks who are under- or mis-employed, rather than being able to follow their dreams and make a living at the same time. (Our mottos include: “Well, Somebody’s Got To Do It,” and “Actually, I’m Working on My Novel.”) Comments on workplace conditions, the overloading of American workers, and related stuff.

 

 

 

 

Some things of which I disapprove

… fundamentalism (of all stripes) … pessimism … cynicism … hoplophilia (worship of weapons) … belligerism … rhetorical deception … commercialization/exploitation/trivialization of sex … Puritanism … apostrophe abuse … militarism … “American exceptionalism” … bullies … authoritarianism/totalitarianism/fascism … torture … alpha-holes trickle-down economics … isolationism …