Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

An Open Letter To South Korea


Dear South Korea,

Hi, South Korea. How are you? I’m fine. Sorry you have to live beneath a lunatic with nuclear weapons. Americans are blessed in that they live beneath Canadians, who are lovely neighbors with no nukes. (Although if they did have nukes, they could totally be trusted with them. Just unlike your situation in every possible way.)

Let me state my qualifications to give advice about high-level assassinations up front, South Korea: I have none whatsoever. If assassination were a game played in gym class, then I would be picked last. I have no military or espionage training; I am averse to guns and violence; I can’t even follow the plot of most spy movies.

Yet I feel confident in saying that this is not the way to assassinate someone. I have seen many James Bond films in which 007 takes out a political leader, and not once did he tweet about it beforehand. You have, South Korea, lost the element of surprise. In case you missed it: it was when you told him what you were going to do. What is your next step? Will you text when you’re in the neighborhood? Send ninjas in tap shoes?

Perhaps this is what’s known as psyops, South Korea? A bluff meant to elicit reaction, but what is the desired result? Further nuttiness from the Korean Donald Trump, Jr.? You’re poking the sun bear, South Korea.

(Plus: South Korea doesn’t want North Korea back, kinda. In principle they do, but when Only Korea collapses sometime in the nearish future, the South will have to absorb 26 million starving, semi-educated peasants. It’s going to cost trillions of dollars.)

In conclusion: stop assassinating people wrong, South Korea. Also, thank you for your dumplings, which are called mandoo.


The Girl Who Had A Window For A Face

In darkened days
Of winter, May
–who had a window for a face–
Was in her room;
The curtains drawn.

Red and yellow socks
And a picture of
A fish that died
When she was eight.
And the plate from
Last night’s toast.

She liked to stay
Inside, did May
–she had a window for a face–
And play her records
From her favorite bands.

“They’ll all see in,”
Said May.
“See what I’m thinking.”

But May had to leave,
At least once in a while.
She drew down her eyes,
Lipsticked on a red smile.

She pretended that she
Was an ord’nary girl,
And threw back the drapes,
And went out in the world.

She talked to her teachers,
And the kids at the school.
The butcher, the baker,
Lifeguards at the pool.

They can see in!
Said May, who was fraught.
They can see what I think,
And see what I’ve thought!

But no one she met
Really seemed much to mind:
Some were polite,
Some were old-fashioned kind.

And back in her room,
With her headphones on, May
Thought of the people
She’d met on that day.

No nasty words said,
Nor foul comments blurted;
She could have sworn
That a boy might have flirted.

And little by little,
The truth it drew nearer:
The people she’d met
Used her face as a mirror.

Reasons Not To Eat Children

  • Not as tender as you might think.
  • Frowned upon by some cultures.
  • It is a crime.
  • In fact, eating a child is many crimes.
  • And you will not get away with it: underage cannibalism is not like shoplifting; they will keep looking until they find you.
  • Because the children are our future, unless you eat them.

What’s going on, chief? You in a little mood?

Why do you ask?

You’re weirder than usual.

The child-eating?

Yeah. That.

Sometimes I have thoughts in my head.

Leave them there.

Worst Reasons To Adopt A Child

  • Meat.

Stop it.

This is a perfectly valid topic.

It’s not.


Doggone Longhairs

bobby tele 68

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Just letting all these nice folks enjoy my hair.”

It looks spectacular.

“You bet.”

Like the sun was playing favorites with its shine.

“And, you know: this was ’68 or whenever. We didn’t have the hair care technology we do today.”


“Shampoo had only been invented a couple years before this picture was taken, y’know?”

That’s not true.

“Oh, yeah. Introduced at the 1964 World’s Fair. Big hit.”

How did you wash your hair before that?

“Went down to the river and beat it against a rock.”

Okay, Bobby.

Why are you playing a Telecaster?

“I have no idea.”


Why Is Stella Blue?

  • It’s Monday.
  • She is a smurf.
  • Sex thing?
  • It’s a metaphor, man.
  • Stella Blue because those pigs wouldn’t come out of their houses like she told them to.
  • Tried treating her dermatitis with colloidal silver. (Look it up.)
  • Member of the Fugate family of Kentucky. (Look that up, too.)
  • Big Mets fan.
  • Held her breath too long.
  • Murdered by Jimmy “The Gent” Conway after the largest heist in American history, left in a meat freezer.
  • Because Stella enjoys oral copulation, but doesn’t know how to conjugate verbs properly.
  • She is Will Ferrell’s boy.
  • It’s her last name.
  • Because Hunter was alluding to a Wallace Stevens poem.
  • Her man was a mean mis-treater, a liar and a cheater; you’d be blue, too.
  • Clinical depression.

A Thought On Hillary Clinton, And Her Crookedness

I am from New Jersey, and we know our corruption. The whole state is lousy with it from the top down: greedy and amoral politicians, organized crime of multiple ethnicities, and crooked trade unions; Jersey has everything, much in the same way that New Jersey also has sales, income, and property tax. It’s also a million below for three months out of the year, and yet people still live there.

Usually it’s good stuff, too: we had governor named Jim McGreevey, and he had a First Lady named Mrs. McGreevey, but he also had a First Secret Boyfriend named Israeli Beefcake. Now, if Mrs. McGreevey knew about Israeli Beefcake (and vice versa), then that’s none of my business: this is America, and the Constitution protects Freedom of Freakiness.

Of course, Mrs. McG knew nothing about it, which is a problem. And, you know: he was the governor. Bad publicity, sure, but here was the real problem: the governor had named Israeli Beefcake his Homeland Security Advisor, which is a paid position overseen by the legislature, so it’s tragilarious that he thought this bullshit wouldn’t be noticed. He was forced to resign; during his speech, he affirmed his sexuality by identifying as “a gay-American,” which some thought brave, but most everyone found sad and oddly-phrased.

Newark was controlled for decades by a thief named Sharpe James, who got thrown in jail and kept right on causing trouble. Mayors from the hilly horse county in the far north of the state to the city councils of South Jersey’s beach towns have been locked up. Remember Abscam? That was Jersey. A few years ago, three or four dozen state representatives, mayors, businessmen, and Hasidic rabbis got arrested for a conspiracy that started out with simple bid-rigging and escalated to black market organ sales. (Not kidding.)

Our current governor Chris Christie, who was named by Stan Lee, is about to be indicted for shutting down (partially) the George Washington Bridge in retaliation for the mayor of Fort Lee withholding his endorsement. This makes Christie somewhat of an outlier: almost all New Jersey politicians that go to jail do so because of money; fewer do so because of sex or drugs or general depravity; almost no one fucks themselves this hard solely for purposes of the ego.

Which brings me to Hillary Clinton, whom I have been told is crooked. She has been under investigation since I’ve met her, and collects congressional subpoenas like parking tickets. The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (which she named herself, thereby giving her own enemy power, in a gnomic reading) has been digging through her garbage like Rock Nerds outside Dylan’s apartment for 25 years. Evidence of a crime–an actual crime worthy of indictment–would make the career of any journalist who discovered it, or any lawyer who brought the case. Don’t believe me? Kenneth Starr is still getting work. (And still a shitstain of a mammal.)

But not one charge. Not one indictment. No official censure (okay, Bill got one, but that was bullshit). No grand jury returned a true bill, because none was ever empaneled. Nothing.

So you might say that Hillary is dying of diphtheria, or that she’s too liberal, or that she’s too conservative; maybe you just don’t like her. Fine, these are all (well, two) acceptable arguments. But when she’s called corrupt–and especially when that thought is nestled within the abhorrent “They’re both crooks,” false equivalence–I don’t understand it.

Most of the time, smoke is due to fire. Other times, someone is blowing it up your ass.

Award To The Wise


“Y’know, no one used to show up when the Dead would play Nashville. You’d have a few weirdos crowded down front, and then there’s nothing doing in the rest of the place. Took a while to warm up to us, I guess. We’d still get laid after the show, though. I would, at least.

“Now, you may or may not know this, but I spent some time on a ranch when I was a kid. Ropin’, ridin’, whatnot. And, uh, at night all the hands would sing in the bunkhouse. And I had my guitar, and I could figure out the changes real quick, so I was what you might call the backing one-man-band.

“And we sang old cowboy songs. Y’know how it’s called Country & Western? We were doing the western part. Songs about the prairie and Mexico and the open nature of the whole area. We played ‘Midnight on the Herd’ by the Fatty Bacon Boys, and ‘My Woman, My Horse, and My Gun (But not in that Order)’ by Delbert McShanahan, and ‘You Caught my Heart in your Barbed Wire.’ I think that last one was Porkchop Paxton and his band. This is a nice event, so I won’t say their name.

“Some of my favorites were the yodeling songs. I can’t yodel: you gotta have a double-jointed throat for that, man. Real neat stuff, loved to play it. One of the hands was the hairiest guy I’d ever seen. Everybody called him Hairy; ranch hands are direct in their nicknaming. Knuckles, shoulders, all the way around the hips. Hip hair, man. That’s a hairy guy if he’s got hip hair. And, you know: I’m a Grateful Dead, so I’ve come into contact with some of the hairiest people that ever lived; Hairy had ’em beat.

“Hairy bastard could yodel, though. We’d put some booze into him, and he’d open up his fuzzy mouth and the most incredible noises would come out. He knew all the songs, too, and taught ’em to me. We did ‘The Yodeling Pervert’ by Jumpy Lee Joggins, that was a good one. There was ‘Whoopee-hi-hi-hi’ by Tonya Tobacco. ‘Smuggler’s Serenade’ by Yodelin’ Goebel Gödel was a fun tune.

“The ranch we’re at, you know: it’s the middle of nowhere. That’s the nature of a ranch, I guess. And the bunkhouse, where we’re at having such a good time, is kinda separated from the other buildings, y’know? Bunch of guys, it gets loud. So the point I’m getting to is that we’re on our own.

“And here’s something I didn’t know: yodeling attracts wolves.”


“There was a rifle in the corner, but the wolves got in between us and it real fast.”


“I still haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that these were werewolfs.”

“Why are you interrupting my speech?”

You were getting weird.

“It was getting interesting.”

Does it end with Hairy joining the wolfpack?

“No, they eat him.”

That sounds more likely.

“We all got away, but the wolves, you know, ate him.”

You should tell my version.

“It’s more of an uplifting ending, sure.”

Congratulations on the award, Bobby.

“You bet.”

Gary Johnson Is Unelectable


Look at this bullshit. He looks like he runs a dispensary in Reseda and coaches a little league team with no wins.

Bobby, Bonnie, And Another Guy


This is Bobby and Bonnie Raitt and a male person from the other night at the Ryman. Bobby was getting a lovely award, and it was a happy night, so I have no idea why the three of them look like they’re watching a terrorist attack live on TV.

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