Thoughts On The Dead

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

Author: Thoughts On The Dead (page 3 of 716)

Five Red Balloons



“Lieutenant Colonel Petrov! The general alarm has sounded!”

“I heard it, Private Jenkins. It’s an alarm. Loud as shit. Marlee Matlin would’ve heard it.”

“Colonel, the alarm means the Americans have fired their ICBM missiles at us.”

“The M stands for ‘missile.’ You don’t need to say missile.”

“Sir, please.”

“You think we should shoot ours at them?”

“This is what the manual calls for.”

“Are you authorized to read the manual?”

“No, sir, but I assumed you were.”

“I am.”

“Oh, good.”

“But it’s on back order. They said it would be here in September.”

“Of this year?”

“They didn’t say. Jenkins, don’t tell the KGB I said this, but Communism is not very detail-oriented.”

“Sir, we don’t have time to discuss the inherent flaws with any ideology. The Americans have launched their nukes at us!”

“How many?”

“The computer says five.”

“The computer’s working again?”

“Almost all day.”

“Jenkins, why would the Americans shoot five nukes at us? That makes no sense. I mean, one nuke makes sense. That’s a rogue general or an accident. And all the nukes makes sense. That’s World War III. But five? Something’s hinky.”

“Maybe the Americans are trying to confuse us, Colonel.”

“Yeeeeah, no. Nukes aren’t really ‘confusion weapons.’ You’re thinking about flash-bang grenades. Only thing confusing about a nuclear weapon is, you know: Hey, didn’t there used to be a city right there?”

“Sir, the computer says we’re being attacked.”

“Jenkins, it’s 1983; the computer’s a moron.”

“I cannot believe you’re going to sit there and ignore this.”

“I’m not going to ignore it. I’m going to monitor it closely. But it’s a malfunction.”

“What if it isn’t?”

“Are there still just five missiles?”

“Yes, sir.”

“They haven’t launched any more?”

“No, sir.”

“Yup! Computer’s a moron. This is a false alarm.”

“Sir, may I speak freely?”

“Of course not: you’re in the Soviet Union.”

“Regardless. I believe you quite presumptuous to think yourself smarter than the best computer Mother Russia could build.”

“Jenkins, it’s 64 K. I can beat it at chess. And we smoke around it constantly. The machine is wrong, and I’m right.”


“It is much louder than you, Colonel.”

“I’ll give you that.”

“Sir, I must insist that you respond to the alarm.”



“There you go.”



“Colonel Petrov, under Soviet military code 663.1–”

“You’re making that up.”

“–I must insist that you turn your key.”

“Are we doing this bit?”


“Jenkins, this isn’t where we launch the nukes from. We don’t have the button. I make a call to my boss and then he does it.”

“Really? I totally thought we pushed the button.”

“How long have you been working here again?”

“Four years.”

“Sounds right. Jenkins, this is a false alarm. I’ll make you a bet. If I’m right, you owe me a bottle of vodka.”

“And if I’m right?”

“We get incinerated in a nuclear fireball.”

“This is a terrible bet.”

“Not for me.”


For Slanislav.

These Guys Really Know Where Their Towels Are

What is this?

“Tell Cersei it was me.”

Don’t be a meme, Bobby.

“I’m just playing with ya. I didn’t do anything at all to Cersei.”

I know.

“It’s just hot as all get-out, man.”

Well, tell Jim James to get out of the black jeans and cowboy boots.

“I’m not the wardrobe police. People can wear what they want.”

Swastika armbands?

“I guess. Freedom of arms.”


“But, uh, I’m not jamming with you if you’re wearing that shit.”

I wouldn’t think so.

“I check Phil every time we play.”

You check Phil for swastikas?

“Radicalization can happen at any time in life.”

I think Phil’s trustworthy on that subject.

“It’s like Grace Slick always used to say: ‘Trust, but verify.'”

Ronald Reagan said that, Bobby.

“Ah. I always get them confused.”

They both had black hair.

“Right. And they were both into perestroika.”


Miles Dials

I thought you didn’t want to be part of this.

“I got more shit to say. Shut the fuck up.”

That’s a very fancy phone.

“I’m a fancy motherfucker. You know I once stabbed Symphony Sid?”

I didn’t.

“White motherfucker can’t play a note. Comes out and says his bullshit, and he’s getting a grand a  night. This is ’52, so that ain’t bullshit. Band gets $250 between us. This motherfucker got his radio show from Birdland so all the white people know who he is. We’re the ones playing the music. Not right.”

So you stabbed him?

“As little as possible.”

Kind of you.

“People want to get cute with money. Lost track of the motherfuckers thinking my money is their money.  I been broke, but I never stole nothing like people steal from me.”

You were broke?

“Shit. First couple years in New York. Didn’t have a dollar to my name. Clothes looking ragged, and I’m a vain motherfucker. Always have been. Looked so bad that Duke gave me a couple hundred bucks in front of Birdland one night.”

Was this when you were a junkie?

“Didn’t say there wasn’t no reason I was broke.”


“I got through it. Kicked the junk a couple times. Women would give me money. Kept playing my horn, just playing music.”

Wait. What about the women?

“Women would give me money.”


“They liked me, motherfucker.”

And what if they didn’t give you money?

“That’s between me and them.”

You’re talking about being a pimp, Miles.


You’re talking about being a pimp, Mr. Davis.

“White man’s got all sorts of words for all sorts of bullshit. Bitch want to give me money, I ain’t stopping her.”

The pimp thing does explain the phone, though.

“Phone cost six grand.”

My phone has a teevee and encyclopedia in it.


Yeah, okay, yours is cooler!

“I know.”

Miles Styles



Put the gun away! You’re Miles!


MR. DAVIS! Mr. Davis! Sorry, I met someone who looked like you.

“Handsome motherfucker, must have been.”

Sure was.

“Bird once stole my bed to pawn for heroin, and I was in the motherfucker at the time. That’s how slick he was. I woke up, my black ass is on the floor and I ain’t got drawers on. Bird also stole my drawers.”

He sounds like a terrible friend.

“Shit, only thing Bird could do was play that fucking horn. Motherfucker used to get into car accidents from the back seat. Liked to ride around in cabs getting his dick sucked while he ate chicken. Bitch’d have her ass all up in the air getting freaky with herself. Driver gets distracted and hits a police horse.”

And what would Bird do?

“Hail another fucking cab if he still had chicken. Or a hard-on. He’d be yelling the whole time, ‘Keep sucking, bitch.’ Never got arrested. Maybe the cops just couldn’t believe their motherfucking eyes. This was ’51. Black man couldn’t act that way in ’51.”

I don’t think anyone could act like that ever.

“Dizzy could. Man got away with anything. Used to grab on white ladies’ nipples in automats and say, ‘Sorry, I thought that was the button for the ham sandwich.’ Then he’d stick a nickel in her nose. White bitches loved that shit.”

Dizzy had a lovely smile, though. That’ll take you far in this world.

“White people always telling me that shit. ‘Smile more, Miles. People like you more when you smile, Miles.’ Dumb motherfuckers. I smile when I’m happy. Maybe not even then. Depends on my mood. I smile when I ride my horses.”

Oh, you ride horses?

“Black man can’t ride a fucking horse?”

I didn’t say that.

“Been riding horses all my damn life. Grew up in the west. We got horses and shit there. See, that’s what the writers never understood about me. I’m a western black man, but they always thinking I’m a southern black. There’s a difference.”

Which is?

“You’re too fucking dumb to understand.”

Why do you have to be so belligerent?

“I made Kind of Blue.”

No, I’m not asking why you get away with being so belligerent; I’m asking why you choose to be.


SORRY! Sorry!

“Don’t be thinking about turning me into no regular motherfucker around here. This shit’s beneath me.”

The readers love you.


OKAY! Okay.

Bangs Bangs (My Bobby Shot Me Down)

Hey, Bobby. Whatcha doing?

“Thinking about growing out my bangs.”

Don’t do that.

“They look good on whoever this is. Karen O.?”

No. Nikki Bluhm.

“Both of those names are spelled wrong.”

I’m not in charge of other people’s names.

“What about Precarious?”

He’s not real.

“I just had lunch with him.”


“I think I have the face to pull off bangs.”

You don’t. Don’t grow bangs.

“What about beard bangs?”

Not a thing.


You look fine, Bobby. What you’ve got is working for you.

“I know, sure, but you wanna switch things up every once in a while. Keeps things new in the bedroom.”

You think your wife–

“Natasha Monster.”

–will like you with bangs?

“Yup, yup. She’s, uh, a big Betty Page fan.”

Think this one through, buddy.

“Well, you know, hair grows pretty slow. I got a few months to make my mind up.”

I’m sure you’ll make the right decision.

“Or maybe a fashy.”

The bangs would be better.


Stop Picking Up The Damn Phone, Maggie Haberman


“I hate everything about everything and everyone. FuuuuuuuuuuuckWHAT?”

“Haberman, it’s Big Steve.”

“Not calling you that, Bannon.”

“You think Charlie Rose is a queer? He was making fag-eyes at me the whole interview.”

“It’s three in the morning. What do you want?”

“Wanted to see what you thought of 60 Minutes. Been watching it on a loop since it aired. I look hot.”

“Not really.”

“I’d fuck me.”

“You looked like you were stitched together from seven or eight other, uglier, men. At times, your skin was literally bubbling.”

“Unfortunate side effect of daddy’s concentration juice.”

“I’m not asking what that is.”


“Not a thing.”

“I was on my game, Haberman. Laid out my views for the future.”

“Which are?”

“Destruction. Terror. And mayhem.”


“Pass me a sissy, and Maggie I’ll slay them.”

“Don’t quote Ll Cool J at me.”

“He’s a modern-day Thucydides. Haberman, do you know who built America?”


“No. The opposite of that.”

“Record says otherwise.”

“Look into your heart, though. Doesn’t your heart say that Mexicans are rapists?”

“It most certainly does not.”

“Listen: Trump ran on immigration and security. Get it? ‘Immigration’ and ‘security?’


“Nudge, nudge, wink wink,”

“I got it.”

“Darkies, beaners, and homos.”

“I said I got it, Steve.”

“And the mockies.”



“What do you, collect old-timey slurs for Jews?”


“Why am I not surprised?”

“Maggie, America should be for Americans first, and then not for anyone else at all. Imagine how great the other nations of the planet would be if all of those people who came here had stayed where they were. What a wonderful world it would be. And, you know, if women couldn’t vote.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re all so emotional. And some of you are criminals, like Hillary Clinton and my bitch ex-wife.”

“Which ex-wife?”

“All of ’em. Bitches.”


“Lemme tell you the problem with the Catholic Church, Maggie.”

“This should be interesting.”

“Vatican II. That’s where it all went wrong. I can understand changing the Mass from Latin to English, but Spanish? C’mon. If God speaks Spanish, I’ll stick my fist up my ass and use myself as a ventriloquist’s dummy.”

“Can I go?”

“The elites, Maggie. That’s who’s destroying the country.”

“I thought the immigrants were.”

“They’re in league. Lots of collaborating going on here. Circles within circles. And within the innermost circle?”

“Don’t say it.”

“Jew star.”

“You said it.”

“Jew money, Maggie. It rots whatever it touches. That’s why I fight.”

“I’m hanging up the phone.”

“My face is bulging for you, Maggie.”


Juggalos: An FAQ

What in the name of sweet sweaty fuck is a Juggalo?

The offspring of a jackalope and a buffalo.

What would that look like?

Imaginatively terrifying.

Answer the question.

About Juggalos?

Wait. Is it “Juggalos” or “Juggaloes?”

Wikipedia says there’s no E.



It’s so much more complicated than you’d think.

And dumber.

So, so, so much dumber. Okay, so let’s recurisivate.

Not a word.

But it is a concept: What in the name of sweet sweaty fuck is a Juggalo?

A fan of the Insane Clown Posse, also known as ICP, which is a rap group from Detroit.

Are they any good?


That’s subjective, though.

It’s not. Their music is objectively dreadful, but they have a great gimmick.

Which is?

They’re insane clowns.

So, it’s not just a name?

No. Perfect descriptor. They are a posse of insane clowns. Makeup and all.

Colorful makeup with big smiles?

They’re not happy clowns; they’re insane clowns.

Right, right.

Black-and-white deal. Think KISS or King Diamond or every Norwegian metal band.


They spray soda at people.

This doesn’t sound like much of an act.

There are also titties and wrestling.


Besides, the music and show are only part of it. The Juggalos are their own sub-culture.


They have every signifier a sub-culture needs: a jargon complete with unique greeting, a style of dress, iconography out the ass, a calendar separate and overlaid upon “normal” society’s, heroes, villains, origin story, community norms regarding sexuality and commerce. Completely by accident (and hard work), the ICP created a sub-culture.

That sounds like another band comprised of insane clowns.

Juggalos and Deadheads are alike in every way except aesthetics. And class.

Hey now, mister. America is a classless society.

You’re adorable. Deadheads grew up in the suburbs; Juggalos grew up in trailer parks.

Still, though: unpleasant to discuss.

You think Juggalos don’t know they’re poor? It’s kinda the point. They’re White Trash. They’re the only group left in America you’re allowed to openly disdain and mock, and they know it.

When you put it that way, it’s almost like we should stop calling them names and making fun of them for being born into fucked-up circumstances in a broken system.

And join together in solidarity to defeat the landlords and owners.

Sure, I guess.

Viva la revolucíon. 

Come again?

Nothing, nothing.

Why are we even discussing Juggalos, anyway?

They marched on D.C. today.

Just like Dr. King.

There are honestly more similarities than differences. Both preached non-violence and were being fucked with by the FBI.

Much less spraying soda on people, though.

I’ll give you that.

What about the FBI?

They declared the Juggalos a gang.


Well, some of ’em are scary criminals in actual gangs.


But most of them aren’t. You have to figure that in any large enough subset of people, a certain percentage are gonna be fucking around. How many organized crimes you think were committed on every lot during every Dead tour? Shakedown Street was a RICO case waiting to happen.

But that was just a little light drug trafficking. Is that all the Juggalos are accused of?

God, no. These are violent assholes. Stabbings and extortion and dog fighting.

Oh, that’s much worse. There was no dog-fighting at Dead shows.

Well, sometimes dogs would fight.

Spontaneously. And it was discouraged. 

And there would be no wagering.

Right. The owners would pull the dogs off one another and be like, “Bad Jerry!” and “No, Jerry!”

Are both the dogs named Jerry?


Sounds right.

Okay, so these Juggalos are bad hombres. What’s wrong with slapping a gang label on them?

Because, like I said, most of them are normal human beings who live by the rules and they got tarred with this brush, too. Getting designated as a gang member for the FBI is kind of bad if, say, you’re in the military or work for the government. Plus, now stores don’t want to sell ICP’s stuff. Legally, it would be like selling Crip tee-shirts or MS-13 hats, and Walmart doesn’t want the headache.

That’s no good. They should sue.

They did.

What happened?

The court found that the band had no standing to bring suit.

You okay?

I feel like I just got the wind knocked out of me.

Well, you just got a powerful dose of lawyering right to the face.

The party named as a gang doesn’t have standing to sue about being called a gang?


Holy shit, is that some uncut lawyering right there.

It’s impressive. That decision got overturned–

Oh, praise Jesus.

–and the case is still wandering around the legal system, so the band and the Juggalos decided to go for more direct action.

Targeted bombings?

Not that direct. Marching, holding signs, a couple bands played.

Sounds like a nice day out.

And then they got sprayed with soda.

They love that.

They do.

Any actual benefit to the march?

Judging from the internet, everyone loves them now.

That’s a good benefit.

Whoop, whoop.

A More Congenial Meeting Between The Church And The Natives Than Previously

Hey, Pope Francis. Whatcha doing?

“I’m-a wearin’ da hat.”

That’s a heck of a hat, Your Holiness.

“It’s-a gotta my name on it!”

I see that. Why is it S.S. Francis?

“They think I’m-a da boat.”


“You see-a dis lady’s hands?”


“She gotta those hands from-a da work. Your hands look-a like dat?”

Not at all.

“No, no. You got-a da soft hands. Should put-a dem together and-a pray more. Give-a da thanks instead of pulling on-a your pud.”

I already got this lecture from God, Your Holiness.

“Si, si. Pigpen probably gonna come and-a yell at you soon, too.”

Most likely. Are these folks even Christians?

“Pssh, what-a do I care? I’m about-a da love. I love-a dem, I love-a you. You don’t-a make it easy, though.”

I’ve been told.

“You know what-a da difference is between-a da saint and-a da sinner?”


“Effort. Do-a some work, kid.”

Yes, sir. Are those acorns?

“Si, si. Smells-a like a rich lady’s bathroom. Is-a nice.”

Good to hear. I like that guy’s makeup.

“I think he’s-a da Juggalo.”

I don’t know about that, Your Holiness.

“He no-a knows how-a da magnets work.”


“Rich people always-a messing with-a him.”

God point.

“He’s got-a da hatchet.”

Okay, maybe he’s a Juggalo.

“Si, si. Whoop, whoop.”

Amen, Your Holiness.

The Good News

Are you there, God? It’s me, TotD.


I never quite understood what that–


Cool by me. You sounded like Wally, anyway.

“Or a less-Southern Elvis.”


“What do you want? I’m busy.”

Because it’s the Sabbath?

“No. College football. Just lost a bundle on Nebraska.”

Didn’t you know how it was going to turn out?

“Of course. I just didn’t believe it. I mean, c’mon. The Northern Illinois Huskies?”

True. I won’t take up too much of your time.


Sorry, sorry. I won’t take up too much of Your time.

“Put some respect on my pronouns.”

I apologize.

“You are forgiven.”

Okay, real quick. Um, here goes: why me?

“Why not you?”

Well, what did I ever do to You?

“What did you have for lunch?”

Cuban sandwich.

“So good.”

The best.

“It’s just ethnic ham and cheese, but still. Yummo. Buuuuuut can’t be mixing the meat and dairy.”

Really? I’m being punished because I didn’t keep kosher?

“Nah, I’m just fucking with you. Go nuts on the shrimp and wash it down with chocolate milk for all I care.”

Phew. So, why?

“Because you’re a fucking moron, and you constantly act against your self-interest.”

What about the hurricane?

“The hurricane that I provided you with shelter from?”


“Uh-huh. And besides, I didn’t send the hurricane. I spun the roulette wheel a few billion years ago and the ball lands where it wants. I don’t send weather at people. You’re thinking of Poseidon.”


“Furthermore, if I was going to send a storm, it wouldn’t be named Irma. It would be something awesome.”


“Ronnie James Dio.”

That is a pretty awesome name.

“I truly don’t need your approval.”

Sorry. What about my computer?

“The one you took your eyes off in a crowd of strangers?”


“Wait, you don’t have a computer? So what are you writing this on?”

Someone sent me their old one.

“Uh-huh. For free?”


“Did they, in fact, eat the shipping?”

They did.

“Overnighted the sucker across an entire continent just so you could write your little stories?”


“Wanna shut the fuck up?”

I should, but I don’t want to.

“There you go, kid. Everything bad that’s ever happened to you–fucking EVER–has been your own fault. I’ve been looking out for you. Sometimes I look like family members; sometimes I look like strangers on the internet. Hell, sometimes I look like cops who didn’t want to be bothered with paperwork. You ought to be thanking me, but instead you whine and cast blame. You remember the story of Job?”


“Well, you didn’t fucking understand it, did you?”

God, in all honesty, You don’t come off too well in that story.

“Huh. Really? Watch out for the lightning.”

What light–




“He wasn’t talking to you, dumbass!”

“Don’t call me dumbass, Dad!”

“Did you take the garbage out?”



Kids, huh?

“I tell ya. Just hangs around the house all day.”

That’s rough.

“You have no idea how many job interviews I’ve gotten for Him. I think He gave up somewhere along the way.”

I can relate.

“Course you can. You’re a whiny little momma’s boy like He is. Now, um, ahem.”


Yes, sir.

“Last fucking warning.”

Yes, sir.

“Or I’ll give you a reason to ask ‘Why me?'”

Yes, sir.

“I pulled your ass out of the fire on several occasions this week. That’s over. From now on, I’m only helping you if you help yourself.”

Yes, sir.

“Now fuck off.”

Yes, sir.



One more question.

“Getting on my last nerve, kid.”

Quick one.


Can I see Your face?




Not really, no.

“No one is.”


FUCK! What was that for!?

“Reminder. This is your last last chance, asshole.”

Yes, sir.

Bad news

Backpack with my computer got stolen. Posts will be light or not at all for a while. 

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