Thoughts On The Dead

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

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Here’s The One It’s All About

Leave it to Garcia to say it so well.

But He Could Play That Guitar Just Like He’s Ringin’ A Bell

Chuck Berry invented rock n’ roll; what the fuck have you done with your life?

Chuck died today–he was 90–and he was not a good man: Chuck Berry was a prick, a pervert, a pinchpenny, a peeper, and pederast, and always on parole, probation, or in the penitentiary. He was bitter and cynical, and rude to paying audiences.

But he invented rock n’ roll. White boys got all the money, but a brown-eyed handsome man did the work (or at least took credit for the work of his piano player). Chuck Berry didn’t just write the most famous guitar riff in Rock n’ Roll music–and Chuck played Rock n’ Roll music, not Rock music; there’s a difference–he wrote a law: Rock ‘n Roll is guitar music. Sure, you need a good drummer and it’s always helpful to have a bass player, but this music here is guitar music. Plug a Gibson into a Fender, and make sure your hair looks good.

No British Invasion, no surf music, no punk, no rockabilly, no “roots” rock (whatever the fuck that is). No Keef or Angus or Eddie or any other of your Guitar Gods without Chuck. 95% of all Grateful Dead shows would be four or five minutes shorter without Chuck. Hell, no one would have any idea what to write songs about if it weren’t for Chuck; he set the thematic parameters: cars, girls, and The Man.

And he wrote a song called Memphis, Tennessee, which has the most heartbreaking twist ending in all of music:

Chuck Berry wasn’t the King of Rock n’ Roll. He was the first one to settle in the village, and he mapped the territory; those who moved in later paid him respect, but he would have rather had the money. He’s gone now, but we can still play Rock n’ Roll music too loud and take our best girls out motorvating. Maybe we’ll even get her seat belt off this time.

Chuck Berry is dead and there won’t be another one like him, which is exactly the way he’d want it.

The Daily Recounting 3/17/17

In Which The Eternal Question “Who Did The Festering Fascist Piss off Today?” Is Examined Thoroughly, And, If Allowed By The Fullness Of Time, Jokes About Dicks Are Told.

Ireland Let’s start small. Dummy did this yesterday, but it’s too funny not to tell you about: the Irish President (Prime Minister? Head Leprechaun?) comes over to America every year around St. Patrick’s Day to do a little ceremony with the U.S. President, Ireland and America being inextricably linked through lineage and history and whatnot. The Irish guy (or gal) gives the American guy (or guy) a bucket full of shamrocks; it’s all very choreographed, one of those political kabuki things like pardoning the turkey on Thanksgiving, and no one really pays attention to it.

TotD, for example. I had no idea that this ceremony took place every year, mostly because no one ever fucked it up this badly before. First, Paul Ryan–who must be assumed to be auditioning for the role of Wile E. Coyote in the upcoming live-action Loony Toons reboot–tried prop comedy, and he ain’t no Carrottop: he pulled this shitty, sad pint of Guinness from under the podium; it looked like a glass of motor oil that had lost the will to live.

Also, you know:

“Hey, here’s what I think your culture is. You’re all drunks, right? Look! It’s a drink, ya drunks. C’mon, let’s drink and fight!”

And then Turnip gets up and does his “asshole child being forced to recite at church” routine with his prepared remarks; within them is an Irish proverb, which he…well, I don’t want to say “reads.” Closer to “sounds out the words.”

Can you guess?

C’mon, you can guess.

Bingo: not an Irish proverb at all. Actually written by–wait for it–a Nigerian–wait for it again–woman named Albashir Adam Alhassan and mislabeled on Pinterest as “Irish Wisdom.” Someone from the White House, while writing a speech for the president to give in front of a world leader, used Pinterest as a source. Also: go look at the lady’s name again and recall what religion they practice in Nigeria and have yourself a good chuckle.

England You know how tough it is to get England and Ireland on the same page? Those fuckers have hated each other since before America was a gleam in Ronald Reagan’s eye, but Trump–who is the exact shape and color of a traffic cone–managed it. Congratulations, Don. Thank you for all the winning you’re doing on our behalf.

The UK Government Communications Headquarters is the NSA with a monocle and a derby; it’s called the GCHQ. (Which is a dreadful initialism without any rhythm or panache. MI5: there’s a good name for a spy organization. GCHQ looks like the cat jumped on the keyboard.) The GCHQ, as you might imagine, is not given to public statements. Moreover, they are not given to public statements calling foreign leaders liars.

But they’ll make an exception for The Donnybrook, who has apparently chosen “Obama tapped Trump Tower” as the hill he’s going to die on, and now he’s shifted arguments: President Obama had the British do it, which is why there’s no evidence chain here in America. I could go on for a thousand words detailing all the reasons why that’s unlikely to the point of being impossible, but really: it just sounds so fucking stupid, and the GCHQ said so today in a statement.

They felt the need to release the statement because of what Turnip said while was pissing off…

Germany Angela Merkel is not fun. She’s not, as the cliché goes, someone you want to have a beer with. (Even though if you were having a beer with Angela Merkel, you would most likely be in Germany and therefore the beer would be very good and it might be brought to you by a busty fräulein in a dirndl.) The woman is a chemist who grew up in East Germany: she has never said “Whoopee” in her life, mostly because she can’t pronounce the W. Also: no fun.

What she is, though, is a politician. Merkel’s been in charge for 12 years, and not like Putin’s been in charge: she’s the leader of a free democracy with a parliamentary system. 12 years is forever to be in charge in a parliament, and she has overseen the end of multiple rivals’ careers. (Through politics and voting and shit, not Putin’s way. Oh, speaking of Putin: he absolutely detests Angela Merkel, and that makes her all right by me.) She’s such a politician, in fact, that she studied up for today’s meeting with Donald J.* Trump. Reviewed tapes of his speeches and press conferences, etc., and I hope you she read the transcripts, too. Trust me: the transcripts reveal so much more than listening to him about the depths of his shallowness.

Which is why Angela Merkel was most likely not surprised at the Petulant Effluent’s behavior today; he gave her The Full Donny: pathetic power plays, shit-eating grins, wild accusations, misunderstanding of international law, awkward attempts at humor. Really, all that was left to do was grab her by the katze.

North Korea Guess what: we’re the unreasonable ones now. I didn’t think it was possible, either, but our current Secretary of State–who appears so infrequently in public that he may well be a ninja–just told China and South Korea to fuck themselves with their “peace talk” hippie bullshit, and demanded Kim Jong-Un disarm unilaterally before any negotiations would begin. That sounds like a plan.

This has been the 57th day of our national nightmare; may we all wake soon.

 

*The “J” stands for “Jesus Christ, He’s Going To Get Us All Killed.”

I Think St. Patrick Can Go Fuck Himself…

…and I’ll illustrate my reason with  simple magic trick. What did St. Patrick do? (Besides driving the snakes out of Ireland, which is provably not true: snakes have never existed on that island.) What he did was this:

“St. Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.”

Sounds benign and noble, right? What if your buddy TotD changed two of those nouns?

“Christopher Columbus introduced Christianity to the New World.”

Got it now? None of the babies buried in the mass graves they keep digging up are wearing green today, and neither are the girls educated at the Magdalene Laundries. Keep your damn religion to yourself, even if you do live in the Fifth Century.

A Cake For Phil (And Fuck The Yankees)

“Where’s my hat?”

“What hat?”

“You got Weir a cowboy hat.”

“He thinks he’s a cowboy.”

“I could be a cowboy. What are you saying, Shapiro? I couldn’t be a cowboy?”

“You could be a cowboy.”

“There drugs in this cake?”

“It’s just cake.”

“Jesus, man. No hat, no drugs. Hell of a birthday.”

“I’ve never seen you wear a hat before.”

“You’ve never seen my asshole, either, but you know I have one.”

“That’s not a great analogy.”

“Go get me a cowboy hat and a cake made out of drugs.”

“It’s midnight in Port Chester. I can’t get either of those things.”

“What’s with the turtle?”

“On the cake?”

“Yeah.”

“Terrapin. You know: the Dead, turtles.”

“I know what it is. I want to know why you’re using my IP without paying me.”

“The dancing turtles do not belong to you.”

“Jim Irsay bought them for me.”

“Phil, I don’t think so.”

“You owe me money.”

“I’m paying you for the shows.”

“No, I’m giving you a portion of the money I make from the shows to set things up.”

“Hurtful.”

“Not hurtful. Hurtful would be telling you that you did a great job in Superbad.”

“Enjoy your cake, Phil.”

“How can I without a cowboy hat or drugs?”

The Resurrection Of Walrus Jesus

Hey, Walrus Jesus. Been a while.

“I can’t even look at any of you right now.”

What?

“Meals on Wheels?”

Ah. Right. Well, you know: most of us are against cutting that program.

“I’m not made because you’re cutting it; I just don’t understand the point. Why don’t your old people just live off their blubber until spring?”

Because we’re not walruses.

“All are walruses in the eyes of Walrus Jesus.”

Sure.

“Have their tusks worn down to the point where they can no longer scour the sea floor for clams and mollusks?”

You mean fangs?

“I can’t have this conversation with you again. Walruses don’t have fangs, you dunce.”

Wikileaks said you did.

“You shouldn’t believe everything a Russian stooge hiding in an embassy tells you.”

True. Walrus Jesus, some asshole today said that when you preached compassion for the least among us, you really only meant Christians.

“That’s literally the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”

Language.

“I forgive myself. Seriously? Someone said that?”

Out loud and in public.

“Wow. Did he say I was blonde and blue-eyed, too?”

No, but I’m sure he thinks it.

“Compassion is for all. The walruses, the polar bears, the arctic foxes that we live among. The clams and mollusks that we eat. If compassion has a boundary, then it is not compassion, but strategy.”

Well said, Walrus Jesus.

“Go back to the Meals on Wheels thing.”

Okay.

“What’s a wheel?’

I do not have time to explain the entire history of human technology to you.

“I understand. Peace and ice be unto you, my son.”

And to you, Walrus Jesus. What are you doing for St. Patty’s Day?

“Me and the disciples are going for dinner.”

You should cancel.

“Why?”

Trust me.

Candidates In The 2020 Election TotD Will Not Be Supporting

  • Hillary Clinton. (Born 1947; Baby Boomer.)
  • Bernie Sanders. (Born 1941; Baby Boomer.)
  • Al Franken. (Born 1951; Baby Boomer.)

Need I continue?

Agencies Eliminated By The Trump Budget Plan Without Research

African Development Foundation I would suppose this helps Africa in its development.

Appalachian Regional Commission Without Research doesn’t mean I can’t half-remember stuff I read in the paper: this is for poor people who live in hollers with black lung and whatnot. As you might assume, the area has a Republican representative and he couldn’t have gotten on the phone to the reporter fast enough to say that the budget was unacceptable. This will be a theme.

Chemical Safety Board Clearly nonessential.

Corporation for National and Community Service No idea at all, but it certainly sounds noble. Why is a government agency a corporation, though?

Corporation for Public Broadcasting I don’t get why this is a corporation, either. I’m sticking to Without Research, but I think PBS is some sort of public/private scheme that combines the worst features of both worlds. Big Bird. Fucking Big Bird, man.

Delta Regional Authority This the same as the Appalachian thing, but for the Mississippi Delta. If you were to have a poverty-off, Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta would make the quarter-finals. (Indian Reservations will always win the poverty-off.)

Denali Commission The SUV or the mountain? If it’s the car, then I agree with the budget. If it’s the mountain, I do not.

Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums and fucking libraries. No more museums and libraries so we can go from having the largest military the world’s ever seen to a little bit more than that.

Inter-American Foundation Is the government looking inside my skin and bones? I did not consent to that, Mister Government. Get your foundation out from inside of this American. I hope the Allfather cuts your money off, and then your noses.

U.S. Trade and Development Agency I would imagine this agency is tasked with promoting American goods and services all over the world, and upon cheating and googling it, I am right.

Legal Services Corporation Fuck it: I looked this one up, too. Lawyers for the poor. Everyone go to their nearest railroad tracks and check for women tied down by the Trump Administration. We’re ten minutes away from Trump donning a black cloak and retelling the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise.

National Endowment for the Arts The fucking arts!

National Endowment for the Humanities The fucking humanities!

Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Another corporation. I totally don’t get it. Does it have to do with how the organization is structured? And here’s the scary question: you think Turnip’s got any idea, either?

Northern Border Regional Commission Wall.

Overseas Private Investment Corporation Okay, I looked this one up, too, and it seems like a CIA front.

United States Institute of Peace What’s the budget for the Institute of Peace? Twenty grand a year? Do they even get a building, or do they have to meet in Starbucks and steal the WiFi? Is the Institute of Peace also the Grateful Dead Ticketing Office? This cut is just pure, petty spite; I can’t imagine anything meaner and smaller than this.

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness I stand corrected.

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Wilson was a racist prick and a loser, so I might be okay with this one, too. On the other hand, if scholars do not exist, then I can’t make fun of them. Solution: Barack Obama International Center for Scholars.

Transcript Of Sean Spicer’s Press Briefing 3/16/17

“Everyone sit down. Can everyone sit down so we can start the briefing?”

“Sean, where are the chairs?”

“Funding for reporters’ chairs has been cut out of the new budget.”

“The budget’s just a proposal, Sean.”

“President Trump is so sure of its success, that we wanted to get a head start on it. Sit on the ground, Jon.”

“I’m not sitting on the ground.”

“Phil from the Daily Stormer is sitting on the ground.”

“Good for Phil.”

“Jon, can I start? Can I start the briefing? You have all told so many lies that I have to straighten out. I’m going to read a prepared statement, and then I will allow you to start asking questions that I will interrupt.

“Ahem.

“There’s no Russia. No Russia. The New York Times, which should be called the failing, lying New York Times because all it does is fail and lie, said on January 12th that Obama had wiretapped the glamorous and valuable Trump Tower, which is the world’s tallest building.

“On January 23rd, Michael Savage broke the news that Obama, who is the devil, was hiding in a Trump Tower closet listening to my phone calls. Sean Hannity backs up this claim, which is not a claim. Fact. Real fact, not a fake fact. On February 11th, Russia Today ran a story revealing that Obama was a telepath and was reading my mind. Like the bald guy in the wheelchair.

“All of these facts have been reported by reputable sources, and all the corrupt media does is push a fake narrative because they are the enemies of the American people and should be followed to their homes and murdered in front of their families.

“Ahem.

“Any questions? Aaron?”

“Sean–”

“Aaron, that’s ridiculous. It’s not about Russia.”

“You cut me off.”

“That’s because it’s not about Russia.”

“I wasn’t going to ask about Russia.”

“There’s nothing to ask about.”

“Sean, the co-chairs of the House Intelligence Committee were briefed by the FBI and afterwards said, and I quote, that ‘there was no evidence to support the claim that President Obama was behind any wiretapping.”

“Who you gonna believe, the FBI or Sean Hannity?”

“Really?”

“The thing about their statement is that, of course, you’re cherry picking and emphasizing parts to fit your narrative. They said they had seen no evidence, right?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I don’t see any elephants in this room; they must not exist.”

“That’s absurd.”

“The fact remains: no one can prove Obama wasn’t wiretapping Trump Tower.”

“That’s because you can’t prove a negative.”

“Excatly! Next question? Katie?”

“Sean, in the statement you read that the president clearly wrote–”

“The president did not write that statement.”

“It sounded like him.”

“We should all try to sound more like President Trump. That’s the best way to sound.”

“Sean.”

“Strong.”

“Sean.”

“Masculine and brave.”

“I’m just gonna bull ahead. Sean, the statement referred to the New York Times as both a source, and as fake news. Which is it?”

“The New York Times exists in a superpositional state until the president reads it and decided whether or not it is a lie. It’s like Schrödinger’s newspaper.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Quantum physics rarely does.”

“Getting back to my question: in the Times article, they make no mention of wiretapping.”

“Neither did the president.”

“What?”

“The president did not accuse the former president of wiretapping him. He accused him of ‘wiretapping’ him. Means something entirely different.”

“What?”

“You know…wiiiiiiiretapping.”

“Why are you shimmying when you say that, Sean?”

“Wiiiiiiiiiretapping.”

“I don’t understand what’s happening.”

“It’s a guy thing, Katie. Hey, let’s go down to the bar and do some wiiiiiiiiretapping.”

“That’s not a guy thing, Sean.”

“Yeah, it’s not a thing at all.”

“Shut up, Jon, Aaron. Katie, if you’ll look at the president’s tweets, he clearly put quote marks around the word wiretapping.”

“He sent out four tweets. In two, he used quotation marks. The other two did not have the punctuation.”

“There’s a good possibility that Obama also hacked President Trump’s Twitter account.”

“There’s no possibility of that.”

“False flag!”

“Sean?”

“Yes, Glenn?”

“I want to get back to the House.”

“I want to go back to my house, too.”

The House, Sean. The Intelligence Committee received their briefing today. Has the President asked for the same briefing?”

“No.”

“Has the President directed the FBI and Justice Department to begin an investigation into the matter?”

“No.”

“Has he consulted with anyone besides Sean Hannity?”

“Very cute, Glenn. You cherry-pick one name–”

“You brought Sean Hannity into this.”

“–and just use the one name to try to discredit the President and destroy America. This country could use a lot more Sean Hannitys. Like, six more. At least.”

“Sean, are you saying that the President believes that former President Obama bugged his offices, and has not sought out one single person who might be capable of finding out whether or not it’s true?”

“President Trump relies on multiple sources of information.”

“Are any of them reputable?”

“Mark Levin really knows what he’s talking about. Jim?”

“Sean, if the President is proven wrong, will he apologize?”

“Well, I don’t know–”

TEXT MESSAGE ALERT NOISE

“Excuse me.”

“Could you repeat the question?”

“If the President is proven wrong, will he apologize?”

“Obama will say sorry to Trump! Wiretapping me for years! Wrong and sick!”

“I’ll take that as a no.”

“That’s it for today, folks.”

A Flip Through Guitar World Magazine

  • Wow, they still make magazines.
  • Why?
  • Ad.
  • Ad.
  • Ad with Annie Clark, which is nice because girls did not used to be allowed in Guitar World magazine unless they were undressed and humping an amp.
  • JESUS SHIT FUCK I FORGOT ABOUT SUBSCRIPTION INSERTS!
  • They just fell out and scared the shit out of me; God, I hated these things.
  • A Nuno Bettencourt interview?
  • What year is it?
  • Oh, Christ, and Steve Vai, too.
  • This is the same fucking magazine I read in high school.
  • And here’s the longread on the Scorpions.
  • Article about the NAMM show with a picture of HOLY SHIT what happened to Al Jourgensen?
  • Never get old, kids.
  • Then there’s the back-of-the-book stuff with little lessons and some tablature.
  • For the non-guitar players: tablature is to transcription what transliteration is to translation.

Okay, so here’s why I got the damn thing:

And it’s written by Blair Jackson, co-author with FoTotD David Gans of last year’s oral history of the Dead This Is All A Dream We Dreamed, so he should know what he’s talking about. I will now react in real-time to his list.

  1. No.
  2. Absurd.
  3. Maybe.
  4. Absolutely not.
  5. Is this a joke?
  6. Yes.
  7. This should have been number 14.
  8. Oh, wait: it’s in chronological order.
  9. Playing and Bird Song from Veneta, but no Dark Star from the Berkeley Community Center on 8/24?
  10. There’s an ad in the middle of the article for something or other, and Slayer is in it: Tom Araya weighs 300 damn pounds.
  11. Evil at its roly-poliest.
  12. NOTHING from One from the Vault?
  13. How dare you, sir?
  14. Jihad.
  15. I declare jihad.
  16. The Black Peter from 10/29/77, but not the Might As Well.
  17. Madness.
  18. Someone should check on Blair Jackson, and make sure he has not been kidnapped and replaced by someone who makes ludicrous Grateful Dead choices.
  19. Dear Mr. Fantasy?
  20. Balderdash.
  21. I can’t continue; I need a cupcake.
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