In 2001, Verso published Christopher Hitchens’ book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, overruling Hitchens on the title. Hitch had wanted to title it Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, which references the horrifying yet engrossing 1986 film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, based loosely on criminal career of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. (Titles can’t be copyrighted, so Verso could easily have used that very appropriate title; it’s a shame they didn’t have the guts to do so.)


I had an unsettling experience a few days ago: a friend of mine who lives way down on the southeast side, who’s been getting chemo and radiation for prostate cancer, appears to have the virus. He’s without transport, his truck having thrown its timing chain, so I took him to the testing station which is way out on the northwest side near Oracle and Ina, about 22 or 23 miles one way from his place. He had to lie down in the bed of my pickup on a foam mat for the trip, and once we got to the site it was like a scene from a disaster movie. It’s really odd talking with folks in head-to-toe protective gear where you can only see their eyes through a shield.

I used one of my standard deadpan laugh-lines when one of the moon-suited nurses told me I was a “good man” for helping my sick friend: I said, “Yes, I am.” It didn’t even get a chuckle. I was quite disappointed.

The weird part is that they have this rigid protocol where they want those tested to be inside of their cars. And, yes, they asked me if it was okay if Julio got out of the truck bed and into the cab with me while they administered the test. (Yes, they actually suggested this.) Of course I said “No!” and they eventually relented and did the test away from their prescribed area.

While they did it, it was unnerving to hear Julio scream while they pushed a swab up into his sinus cavities.I looked up at the rearview mirror, saw him writhing, and immediately averted my eyes.

Jesus. I had a couple of stiff drinks once I dropped him off and got home.

At least I’m getting a lot of practicing and writing in. The latest song, finished off last night, being “You’re always right, especially when you’re wrong,” inspired by an ex-GF and an ex-neighbor.

(The ex-GF is dead, sad, but not a surprise — the world’s worst driver — got T-boned while pulling out at a red light in front of an 18-wheeler a few years ago; and the ex-neighbor is still wearing his MAGA hat up in his compound around I-10 and Ruthrauff. Thank god he’s an ex-felon and is prohibited from owning firearms.)


fundie

FUNDAMENTALIST, n. One in whom something is fundamentally wrong — most commonly lack of reasoning ability and vicious intolerance toward those not sharing the fundamentalist’s delusions. Thus, fundamentalists are especially intolerant of those able to draw obvious conclusions from observed facts, those who refuse to seek shelter in comforting falsehoods, and those who wish to lead their own lives.

Members of the fundamentalist subspecies known as “Slack-Jawed Drooling Idiots” have been known to give so much of their income to “electronic churches” that they subsist on Alpo at the end of the month.

In herds, fundamentalists are about as useful to society as wandering bands of baboons brandishing machetes.

The following statements by the Reverend Pat Robertson — prominent televangelist, Christian Coalition honcho, former Republican presidential candidate, blood diamond profiteer (look it up), and close “personal friend” of both corrupt, murderous former Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko and corrupt, murderous former Liberian president and convicted, mass murdering and torturing war criminal Charles Taylor — are perhaps the most revealing illustration of the fundamentalist mentality that this lexicographer has ever seen:

People have immortal spirits with incredible power over elemental things. The way to deal with inanimate matter is to talk to it.

…and…

If you wanted to get America destroyed, if you were a malevolent, evil force and you said, “How can I turn God against America? What can I do to get God mad at the people of America to cause this great land to vomit out the people?” Well, I’d pick five things. I’d begin to have incest. I’d begin to commit adultery wherever possible, all over the country, and sexuality. I’d begin to have them offering up and killing their babies. I’d get them having homosexual relations, and then I’d have them having sex with animals.

And, yes folks, these are actual, direct quotations.

* * *

–from the revised and expanded edition of The American Heretic’s Dictionary, the best modern successor to Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary

American Heretic's Dictionary revised and expanded by Chaz Bufe, front cover

 


Here’s the latest from fundie fanatic Pat Robertson regarding the origins of Covid-19:

“Some of these younguns are doin’ all kinds of unnatural things with their sex organs. When people do that, they transfer all kinds of chemicals from ladies’ private parts and that’s where I think the virus came from. We never had this kind of thing when I was comin’ up. But no one was committing oral sex back then.” (700 Club a few days ago)

It’s good to see that The Rev hasn’t lost his touch. But as enjoyable as this one is, my favorite Robertson quote remains:

“If you wanted to get America destroyed, if you were a malevolent, evil force and you said, “How can I turn God against America? What can I do to get God mad at the people of America to cause this great land to vomit out the people?” Well, I’d pick five things. I’d begin to have incest. I’d begin to commit adultery wherever possible, all over the country, and sexuality. I’d begin to have them offering up and killing their babies. I’d get them having homosexual relations, and then I’d have them having sex with animals.” (San Francisco Examiner, September 7, 1986)

 

Joke of the Day 4-4-20

Posted: April 4, 2020 in Humor, Jokes

I picked up a hitchhiker the other day, and we got to talking.

He eventually asked me, “Most people won’t pick up hitchhikers anymore; weren’t you afraid I might be a serial killer?”

I told him, “No. The chances of two serial killers being in the same car at the same time are astronomical.”

* * *

(I have no idea who came up with this joke — but whoever you are, thanks; and thanks also to my pal Michael Turner for passing this one along.)


I just checked my planetarium program, and (viewed from Tucson) Venus will be in the Pleiades cluster tonight. If you have binoculars or a small telescope, haul ’em out and enjoy. Venus is the extremely bright object in the northwest part of the sky. It might be so bright that it’ll wash out the Pleiades, but it’s worth checking out anyway. It’d probably be a good idea to first look before it’s fully dark, so as to avoid the washout effect.

(Update at 7:10: I’ve been doing this for the last half hour or so about every five minutes through my 90mm refractor, and it’s really cool to see more and more stars start to show; when I started just after sunset, all I could see was Venus. Further update at 7:25 — Venus is close to the center of the Pleiades, and I can see about two dozen of them, but the glare/washout effect is starting to become pronounced.)

As well, Venus is in its crescent phase (looks like a miniature crescent moon), and you might be able to see the crescent with something as low-power as 10X or 12X  binoculars. Almost any telescope will show it. (Update: just tried that using zoom binoculars, and couldn’t see the crescent until I was approaching 20X.)


(We’re all  under a lot of stress right now and could use some comic relief; there are many other pieces on line showing exactly how Il Douche, Dumbasso Cheetolini, has royally screwed up America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic (here’s a good one from today), so I’ll be keeping the posts mostly on the light side for at least the next few weeks if not months, and also will be dipping into ones from the past. (We have over 1,500 archived posts, including over 500 in the humor category.) Here’s one from about five years ago that is, unfortunately, all too relatable — or at least will be again soon, I hope.)

MUSICIAN, n. A guy who spends five thousand dollars on instruments so he can drive a thousand-dollar car a hundred miles to make fifty bucks.

–Thanks to Mick Berry (former bandmate, drummer extraordinaire, and co-author of The Drummer’s Bible)

for this one


An Open Letter to the president
from Tommy Lee
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Fucking Lunatic,
At your recent press conference – more a word salad that had a stroke and fell down stairs, you were CLEARLY so out of your depth you needed scuba gear. Within minutes of going off air your minions were backpedaling faster than Cirque De Soleil acrobats… In India a week ago, i couldn’t get past the bit about your being the most popular visitor in the history of fucking India — a country of a BILLION human souls that’s only 3000 years old, give or take.!!! Trust me – Gandhi pulled CROWDS.. You pulled a cricket stadium and half WALKED out…

Do you know how fucking insane you sound, you off-brand butt plug? That’s like the geopolitical equivalent of “that stripper really likes me” — only 10,000 times crazier and less self aware.

You are fucking exhausting. Every day is a natural experiment in determining how long 300 million people can resist coring out their own assholes with an ice auger. Every time I hear a snippet of your Queens-tinged banshee larynx farts, I want to scream!
We are fucking tired. As bad as we all thought your presidency would be when Putin got you elected, it’s been inestimably worse.

You called a hostile, nuclear-armed head of state “short and fat.” How the fuck does that help?

You accused a woman — a former friend, no less — of showing up at your resort bleeding from the face and begging to get in. You, you, YOU — the guy who looks like a Christmas haggis inexplicably brought to life by Frosty’s magic hat — yes, you of all people said that.

You attempted — with evident fucking glee — to get 24 million people thrown off their health insurance.

You gave billions away to corporations and the already wealthy while simultaneously telling struggling poor people that you were doing exactly the opposite.

You endorsed a pedophile, praised brutal dictators, and defended LITERAL FUCKING NAZIS!

Ninety-nine percent of everything you say is either false, crazy, incoherent, just plain cruel, or a rancid paella of all four.

Oh, by the way, Puerto Rico is still FUBAR. You got yourself and your family billions in tax breaks for Christmas. What do they get? More paper towels?

Enough, enough, enough, enough! For the love of God and all that is holy, good, and pure, would you please, finally and forever, shut your feculent KFC-hole until you have something valuable — or even marginally civil — to say?

You are a fried dick sandwich with a side of schlongs. If chlamydia and gonorrhea had a son, you’d appoint him HHS secretary. You are a disgraceful, pustulant hot stew full of casuistry, godawful ideas, unintelligible non sequiturs, and malignant rage.

You are the perfect circus orangutan diaper from Plato’s World of Forms.

So fuck you Mr. President. And fuck you forever.

Oh, and Pence, you oleaginous house ferret. Fuck you, too. You’ll be as useful as a chocolate teapot against a medical crisis you Bible thumping cock socket.


I’m going stir crazy, and I presume damn near everyone else is too — and after only two weeks.

After thinking about how much you dislike this mild form of isolation, please think about all of the prisoners subjected to total isolation for months or years on end think about how they feel, what it does to them. And then think about how the government you support subjects people to such psychological torture.

Whatever. Here are a few things that might help you pass the time in your mild form of lockdown:

  • Archive.org  has a very large library of classic films, including a very nice collection of films noir. All are free.
  • Kanopy features the Criterion collection of films and many others, and is free on many public library sites. The film I’ve seen most recently that I’d recommend is Harrod Blank’s (son of legendary countercultural director Mel Blank) Wild Wheels, a wonderful documentary about art cars and their creators. If nothing else will do it, this will leave with a kinder view of humanity, its creativity, and a smile on your face.
  • Learn the night sky. The best free tool to help you do this is Stellarium (free download). Probably the best planetarium program, regardless of cost. Even if you just have your naked eyes, you can learn the constellations and follow the planets. If you have even cheap, small binoculars, Stellarium will open a whole new world of deep sky objects to you; and if you have even a cheap kid’s 60 mm telescope, wow are you in for some fun — especially as both air pollution and light pollution abate with the coronavirus tragedy. (Always look on the bright side of life.)
  • Learn to sing or play an instrument. Even if you just have your voice, there are a lot of vocal lessons available on Youtube. Singing is also a great shame-attacking exercise. If you have even a cheap instrument available, there are likewise a hell of a lot of useful instructional videos. One Youtube channel that I’ve found particularly useful is GuitarPilgrim, though to take full advantage of the videos you need to be at least an intermediate-level player. Whatever, the guy is an incredibly good guitarist and also incredibly good at explaining how to do things. I can’t recommend this more highly — it’s head-and-shoulders above all of the other instructional guitar videos I’ve seen.
  • Write. If you’re reading this, you have the means to do it. Nowadays, there are an incredible number of aids available, both in your word processing program and online. My favorite tool is probably the self-explanatory thesaurus.com. And buck up — today, you have it good: take advantage of all the tools. For both nonfiction and fiction, it’s a great idea to write a highly detailed outline before you start writing. You won’t follow it, but it’s a great jumping-off point.
  • Garden. As long as the water stays on, you’re good. Even if you’ve never done it before, it should be pretty easy. I live in one of the most hostile environments in the U.S. for gardening (alkaline, nutrient-deficient soil, low rainfall, brutal sun), and I still get good yields. If I can do it here, you can do it anywhere. A lot of public libraries have seed catalogs which will help to get you started. Helpful hints: start small — if you’ve never gardened before, start with a garden of under 100 s.f.; buy seeds or get them free from a seed catalog — do not buy individual plants for $3 or $4 apiece from a big-box store. They’re an incredible rip. Six-packs for $3 or so aren’t a bad way to go (far from great, but not terrible), but spending three bucks or more for a start is obscene. And then start saving seeds and saving money next year. (Sorry to sound so mercenary, but cost is a consideration, even with treating Mother Earth well. And I hate ripoffs.)

Much more on all this later.

For now, please meditate on how the government tortures your fellow human beings with solitary confinement.


(improved billboard by Billboard Liberation Front)

Image  —  Posted: March 28, 2020 in Livin' in the USA, Politics
Tags:


A couple of nights ago I was talking with my longtime friend, ex-stand-up comic, and ex-bandmate, drummer extraordinaire Mick Berry. We’ve both been working on our vocals recently, but for very different reasons: me, because I’m sick of dealing with egomaniac vocalists; Micko, because he’s sick of dealing with musicians period, and wants to go out and do solo gigs playing piano and singing.

Anyway, he suggested that I do some singing and let him critique it. I panicked. Over the last year, I’ve sung several times during jobs at bars and thought nothing of it, but this spooked me: Micko actually has ears and I value his opinion; this is in stark contrast to audiences, who (god bless ’em)  tend to be way too forgiving.

Anyway, Micko finally talked me into it, and I reluctantly said, “I’ll do it as a shame-attacking exercise.”

He replied without missing a beat:,”You didn’t realize that all music performance is a shame-attacking exercise?”


At the tail end of January and beginning of February, I was sick as hell and somewhat out of it for a full week: sore throat, fatigue, pressure on inner ears, dry cough, and after a few days in hacking up phlegm. But no sniffling, no sneezing. And it took two or three weeks before I began to feel okay. At the time I thought it was just some weird, run-of-the-mill cold virus. Now I’m not so sure. (I stayed away from my friends during this time, but unfortunately I was still going out to buy food.)

A few days ago the GF told me that I told her six or seven weeks ago, when I was sickest, that I had a fever. I don’t remember saying that at all, but she assures me that’s what I told her.

What difference will this make in how I feel? Considerable. I’d previously considered that I might have had the virus, bur rejected the idea because I believed I didn’t have a fever. Now, going down the check list, it’s all “Xs.” Still, there’s no test for antibodies to show who’s been previously infected, so I suspect, but I don’t know.

How does this affect my behavior? Not at all. Because I don’t know. I’m still self-distancing on the rare occasions I go out, (Damn but I miss human touch) I’m washing and disinfecting compulsively, ordering food on line, and spending a couple of hours a day on the phone talking with friends. I urge you to do the same. And this is with the phone and Internet — think about the routine psychological torture inflicted on inmates in solitary in America’s gulags.

At best, the pandemic will subside by late May or early June. Until then, hang on, be responsible, and don’t risk infecting others — if you’re infected, you could, and probably would, kill someone.


Two Trumpists up in Phoenix — the home to all that is foul, all that is atrocious — decided to take Dear Leader’s advice and ingested  chloroquine, an outdated anti-malaria drug with hideous side effects, to ward off coronavirus.

Better, they took it in its most readily available form, not as a pharmaceutical but as a cheap industrial chemical used for cleaning fish tanks.

Predictably, their adventure in self-medication / following Glorious Leader’s advice didn’t end well.

They both fell ill within a half-hour, and the guy died shortly after being admitted to the hospital.

His wife fell seriously ill, but survived, and . . . .

She says she’ll never again believe anything uttered by the Chosen One.

So . . . . Two down, 62,984,826 to go.


The good news is that we’re not out of biz. And if we (See Sharp Press) can survive this, we can survive anything (barely).

We have a couple of really good new books coming up within the next few months (release date depending on the pandemic), Chris Mato Nunpa’s Great Evil, about Christianity the holocaust of Indigenous peoples and the ecosphere, and the Bible; and the conclusion of T.C. Weber’s Sleep State Interrupt anarcho-thriller trilogy, Zero Day Rising.

Beyond that, since I have little else to do in self-quarantine other than tend to my pets/owners — at times an inverted relationship — play music, write music, and work in the garden, I’m pretty safe. According to the CDC, Arizona is one of the states that has widespread community transmission of the coronavirus, so I rarely go out. When I do, I bump doors with my shoulder, and punch screens with a plastic bag between my hand and the screen. I still want my IPA, but hey, I’ll live (or not) if I don’t get it.

As for books and blog posts, Dakota elder Chris Mato Nunpa’s The Great Evil will be out in June; and I’m making huge strides with 24 Reasons to Abandon Christianity — about 30,000 words in at present.

Also, I’m well on my way to recording two music CDs. Between mine, my good bro’s Michael Turner’s, and the ones I wrote with my friends/ex-bandmates Brian Hullfish and Michael Zubay, we have two full CDs+ of original material. We’ll probably use the name Blues Evangelists (spreadin’ the good news of the blues.)

Other than that, I’ll be finishing off the graphic arts work for Al Perry’s new all-instrumental CD., for which Winston Smith did the cover graphic, after a water color by Al. I’m doing everything beyond that, and Al did me the honor of asking me if I’d play second guitar when the CD release finally happens sometime this fall down at Club Congress. Of course I agreed. (Here’s a link to one of Al’s funniest recent tunes, Jukebox Jihad.)

Enough for now. I’ll put up another post within a day or two with a lot of actually useful shit.

It’s going on dawn, and Red is rising. “Red” is the formerly skeletal, now plump, Rhode Island Rhode Red rooster who showed up here last June, and rooted around in my garden for a week or two, until I started feeling sorry for him and started feeding him. The neighbors did, too. He became the neighborhood pet. Dumb as a box of rocks, but still pretty and lively. They’re talking about buying some hens and putting up a hen house in their backyard.

I hope they do it soon.

 

 

 


We’ve all heard the cringe-inducing jargon: white privilege, white skin privilege, woke (self-congratulatory term of the day), phallocracy (yes, a real PC term), differently abled, safe space, triggered, Latinx (obviously better than o/a), exceptional (retarded), and the granddaddy of all this awkwardness, “people of,” and  so on.

First: Who the hell came up with these terms? Second: Who the hell uses them? Third: Why? Fourth: What on earth purpose does this serve? Fifth: Who benefits?

1) Well, no one really knows. A decent guess is that well-off, guilt-ridden white PC academics in Ivy League or other $40,000-a-year-tuition universities, and possibly members of authoritarian marxist political parties, came up with this crap;

2) The just-mentioned white academics and holier-than-thou left political activists who don’t give a shit about alienating everyday people — activists (at least in word) who want to signal their virtue, people who have never lived in a ghetto or barrio and are separated by an income gap from those of us stuck here;

3) The surface reason is that they want to “educate” people about “privilege.” A secondary reason is that they don’t understand what four decades ago Audre Lourde called the “hierarchy of oppression,” and don’t give a shit about organizing the unorganized and building solidarity across racial and gender lines.

What better way to appeal to (white and especially male) people barely making the rent, without health insurance, and in fear of job loss than to tell them they’re “privileged,” and (unspoken) should be ashamed of it and themselves? Why on earth wouldn’t they rally to your cause? Why on earth talk to people about the actual hierarchy of oppression and their place in it, when you can use insulting, guilt-inducing terms to gloss over all the many and important gradations, paint the less oppressed as “privileged,” and pat yourselves on the back for how enlightened you are?

4) As mentioned above, the purpose of using such terms is virtue-signalling: letting the world know that you’re “woke.” Not remotely making the world a better place.

5) The only people this serves are right-wing theofascists, such as Trump, who want to paint a grotesque image of those opposed to them as holier-than-thou, out-of-touch elitists. Referring to poor and working class people who aren’t as oppressed as others as “privileged,” rather than “less oppressed,” is both grotesque and insulting. It’s hard to imagine a more effective divide-and-conquer strategy.

Referring accurately to all of the oppressed as oppressed leads to solidarity. On the other, referring to the less oppressed as “privileged” is not only inaccurate, it leads to warfare within the poor and working classes. Divide and conquer.

Condescending, reductionistic PC terminology plays into Trump’s and the other ruling-class theofascists’ hands.

How utterly disgusting.