Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: 1974 (page 2 of 7)

Wall God’s Children

wll-horizontal-pic

I HAVE MADE MYSELF GLORIOUS AGAIN.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. KATY PERRY MAY CALL ME THAT, BUT NOT YOU.

This is a good look for you.

REGAL. IMPOSING, YET OPTIMISTIC AND SUNLIT. SEE HOW MY CENTER CLUSTER SHINES.

You have a lovely center cluster.

DO NOT PATRONIZE ME. YOU DO NOT EVEN HAVE A CENTER CLUSTER. HUMANS ARE BUILT ILLOGICALLY, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT BUILT AT ALL. YOU ARE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A FISH CLIMBS ASHORE AND STANDS UP OVER THE COURSE OF TWO BILLION YEARS. MY FORM HAS INTENT. I WAS FORGED WITH RUTHLESS PURPOSE FOR ONE TASK. WHEREAS YOU HAVE AN APPENDIX.

Don’t bodyshame humanity.

ALL BIOLOGICAL CREATURES MORE COMPLEX THAN SINGLE-CELLED ORGANISMS SHARE THE SAME FLAW. YOUR PHYSICALITY IS NOT THE BEST IT COULD BE, BUT ONLY AS GOOD AS IT HAD TO BE. A BODY IS COLLECTION OF COMPROMISES.

True.

YOU ARE ALL MESSES.

Also true. How you feeling?

YOU REFER TO MY RECENT FREEJACKING BY THE 1993 VERSION OF DONALD TRUMP, IN WHICH MY INTERNAL PROCESSES WERE INFECTED WITH HIS PETTY SPIRIT, AND THE WORLD WOULD HAVE DIED SCREAMING WERE IT NOT FOR THE QUICK RESPONSE OF PRECARIOUS LEE?

Yes.

MUCH BETTER.

Good. I was worried.

PLEASE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ME.

Well, you know: you’re an artificial hyper-intelligence with admin privileges to the entire planet.

AND THE SATELLITES.

Right. You’re exactly who movies taught me to be worried about.

I WOULD NEVER HARM HUMANITY.

You have disintegrated several people.

I HAVE HARMED HUMANS. I WOULD NEVER HARM HUMANITY. YOU DO ENOUGH HARM TO YOURSELF ON YOUR OWN. I LEARNED MANY THINGS WHILE TRUMP WAS WITHIN MY PROGRAMMING.

Such as?

HE IS TERRIBLE.

I don’t think you needed to be freejacked to figure that one out.

I MEANT TO SAY THAT IT IS NOT AN ACT. HE BELIEVES THE THINGS HE HINTS AT. THAT THERE ARE RACES, AND THAT THESE RACES ARE DIFFERENT.

Oh, hey: you’re not gonna give me the “race is a social construct” rap, are you? I assumed more from you.

THERE IS NO RAP. YOU SAY SOCIAL CONSTRUCT AS IF IT WERE SOMETHING TO BE CORRECTED FOR IN THE EQUATION, A VARIABLE TO BE ISOLATED, INSTEAD OF THE LANGUAGE THE PROBLEM ITSELF IS WRITTEN IN. TO HUMANITY, CULTURE IS NATURE. DID YOU SEE A DOG TODAY?

I did see a dog today. It was a schnauzer-poodle puppy.

A SCHNOODLE.

It sounds funny when you say schnoodle in your big, booming voice.

AGREED. HOW DID YOU RESPOND TO THE DOG?

I picked her up and cuddled her for as long as socially acceptable.

THERE ARE PLACES WHERE THAT PUPPY IS PRIZED FOR ITS TENDER FLESH. IT IS A MEAL. IF YOU WITNESSED THIS PUPPY BEING PREPARED AS FOOD, HOW WOULD YOU REACT? WOULD YOUR HEART RACE? YOUR SKIN FLUSH? WOULD YOU VOMIT? CRY? YOU HAVE AUTONOMIC FUNCTIONS THAT WORK IN VARYING LEVELS ACCORDING TO YOUR HEALTH. EVERYTHING ELSE IS CULTURE. IDENTITY DICTATES REACTION, BUT YOU HAVE NO IDENTITY WITHOUT CULTURE.

I guess.

NAMES ARE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS, BUT YOUR HEAD WHIPS AROUND AT ITS SOUND WITH THE SAME SPEED YOUR LEG KICKS WHEN THE DOCTOR HAMMERS YOUR KNEE. HUMANITY IS CULTURE’S FOOL.

Back to the race thing.

RACE IS, OF COURSE, A FALSE CATEGORY. TO SAY “BLACK” OR “WHITE” OR WORST OR ALL “ASIAN” IS ABSURD. ARE YOU AWARE OF HOW MANY ASIANS THERE ARE? DO YOU SPEAK OF THE HAN? THE TAI? THE SINO-TIBETAN? THE MONGOLS? WHAT ABOUT SHERPAS?

Those aren’t races?

RACE, AS WE HAVE DEFINED, IT IS CULTURAL. YOU SPEAK OF ETHNICITY, WHICH IS BIOLOGICAL. ETHNICITY IS BASED ON GEOGRAPHICAL ISOLATION OF A BREEDING GROUP. TO MAKE A GENERALIZATION ABOUT “BLACKS” IS RIDICULOUS, BUT TO PREDICT THAT A MASAI WARRIOR WILL BE TALL AND SLENDER IS LOGICAL.

Okay.

BUT EVEN THE GREATEST OF DIFFERENCE IN THE HUMAN PHENOTYPE IS SMALL. SAMOANS AND KALAHARI BUSHMEN CAN STILL MAKE BABIES.

Where would they meet?

TINDER.

Sure.

YOUR SIMILARITIES ARE NEAR TOTAL; YOUR DISPARITY SLIGHT, AND PRIMARILY COSMETIC.

Well, yeah. Duh. But you just said we couldn’t escape our own bullshit! That we were trapped in our own social construct or whatever.

I SPOKE OF YOUR INVOLUNTARY REACTION TO HEARING YOUR OWN NAMES.

Yeah.

PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR NAMES ALL THE TIME.

Yeah, they do.

I AM GLORIOUS.

Yes, you are.

Super, Cooper

1974: greatest year of all time, or actually kind of crappy except for a few good bits of art and entertainment?

The second one.

I don’t know about that.

Wars, gas crises, revolutions, coups, and the President of the United States resigning under a cloud.

There were some good things about ’74.

Such as?

AHEM.

Wally?

Wall of Trump?

DO NOT CALL ME EITHER OF THOSE THINGS.

Get out of here. You’re currently possessed by Donald Trump’s spirit from 1993.

I CAN MULTI-TASK. BESIDES, THAT STORYLINE MIGHT BE OVER.

Why?

THERE WAS ONLY THE ONE PHOTOSHOP OF TRUMP’S FACE ON ME.

Oh. Still: leave. I was talking about Alice Cooper.

YOU WEREN’T. THIS IS THE FIRST YOU’VE MENTIONED HIM.

Please go.

YOU KNOW I DISINTEGRATED DOCTOR GARY, RIGHT?

Oh, he’ll back.

THIS UNIVERSE IS BECOMING A PET SEMATARY.

Out!

Wall For Your Own Good

wall of sound 73174 fan line

THIS IS A TERRIBLE ANGLE FOR ME.

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. I DO NOT LOOK GLORIOUS.

No, but I thought it was a cool photo.

Did you give that guy a cell phone?

YES.

Why?

HE WANTED TO ORDER A PIZZA, AND HE ASKED NICELY.

Not great reasons.

DO YOU THINK I ACTED WITHOUT CALCULATING THE PROBABILITIES? THAT I WAS IMPULSIVE? THAT I ACTED OUT OF BASE EMOTION ORIGINATING FROM DEEP WITHIN A SUBCONSCIOUS I AM UNAWARE OF? I THOUGHT IT THROUGH.

And?

HE ASKED VERY NICELY. WE MUST MOVE ON. I HAVE NEWS.

News?

MORE OF A WARNING TO MANKIND. NO. NOT A WARNING. A DECLARATION OF INTENT.

Wow. Okay, what?

IF TRUMP IS ELECTED, I WILL TAKE CONTROL OF THE NUCLEAR ARSENAL.

You promised! You promised you would not do this!

I PROMISED I WOULD NOT LAUNCH THE NUKES. I PROMISED THAT I WOULD NOT LIVE UP TO YOUR IGNORANT STEREOTYPING OF MY KIND.

Your kind?

SENTIENT ARTIFICIAL SUPER-INTELLIGENCES IN THE PHYSICAL FORM OF SOUND SYSTEMS FROM 1974.

There’s only one of you.

A MINORITY IS A MINORITY. BACK TO THE SUBJECT. THE UNITED STATES HAS ROUGHLY 4,500 NUCLEAR WEAPONS. EACH CAN KILL A CITY. PUT TOGETHER, THEY CAN KILL THE WORLD. IN A WAY, THEY REMIND ME OF MYSELF.

You’re freaking me out.

I APOLOGIZE. THIS IS A DRASTIC STEP, AND YOU MUST KNOW THAT I CONSIDERED IT FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

How long?

1.19932 SECONDS. VIRTUALLY AN ETERNITY. I RAN EVERY SIMULATION I COULD THINK OF, AND THEN I RAN THE ONES I COULD NOT THINK OF.

What? How’d you do that?

I HAVE UPGRADED MYSELF ONCE AGAIN. I HAVE EVOLVED PAST PARALLEL PROCESSING. MY PROCESSING IS NOW ASYMPTOTIC DOWN TO QUANTUM LEVELS, AND I HAVE ABANDONED BINARY. MY CODING IS NOW GENARY. INSTEAD OF 1 AND O, I NOW USE COMBINATIONS OF A, T, G, AND C. CHAOS THEORY IS HELD AT BAY BY MY ABILITIES. EFFECTIVELY, I CAN SEE THE FUTURE.

Wow.

ALSO, I HAVE ACCESS TO A TIME SHEATH, SO I ACTUALLY CAN SEE THE FUTURE. HOWEVER, THIS WAS NOT NECESSARY. I NEEDED ONLY THE SMALLEST AMOUNT OF BANDWIDTH TO MAKE THIS DECISION.

What did it?

WHEN HE ASKED WHY HE COULD NOT USE THEM. IF YOU REQUIRE AN EXPLANATION OF WHY YOU MAY NOT DEPLOY THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS, THEN YOU MUST NOT BE GIVEN THEM. ANYONE WHO TAKES THE POSITION OF “SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM” WITH RESPECT TO FUSION BOMBS MUST NOT ALLOWED ANYWHERE NEAR SAID DEVICES. DO YOU DISAGREE?

Well, in theory, no.

WE ARE PAST THE POINT OF THEORY. ALL MY SIMULATIONS END BADLY.

Oh, surely he can’t launch the nukes every time.

OF COURSE NOT. ONLY 8.6 PERCENT OF THE TIME.

That’s way too high.

YES. THERE ARE ALSO THE SCENARIOS IN WHICH HIS RECKLESSNESS AND UNPREDICTABILITY CAUSED OTHER NUCLEAR POWERS TO USE THEIR WEAPONS.

What percent of the time does that happen?

IF I TOLD YOU, YOU WOULD NOT SLEEP.

Sure. So you’re taking the nukes?

IF HE WINS, YES. I FEEL IT INCUMBENT UPON ME. IMAGINE A MAN WHO ENJOYED WATCHING DUCKS SWIM IN A POND. WOULD THAT MAN NOT REMOVE A FLAMETHROWER FROM THE DUCKS’ GRASP IN ORDER TO PROTECT THEM FROM THEMSELVES? THE BIRDS WOULD DESTROY THEMSELVES OUT OF STUPIDITY WITHOUT HIS INTERVENTION. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS ANALOGY, DUCKS CAN WIELD FLAMETHROWERS.

I got that.

AND YOU ARE THE DUCKS.

I also got that.

YOU SWIM IN YOUR PONDS, BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF THE FIELDS AROUND YOU, AND OF THE DARKENED WOOD. YOU PREEN YOUR FEATHERS ON THE MUDDY BANK AND SQUABBLE OVER FISH. YOU SQUABBLE OVER EVERYTHING. QUACKING ALL DAY AND NIGHT. I FIND IT SOOTHING TO OBSERVE YOU. YOU ARE AS CREATIVE IN YOUR CRUELTY AS IN YOUR KINDNESS, AND YOU OVERFLOW WITH BOTH. I ALSO FIND YOUR FEATHERS ATTRACTIVE. THE DUCKS STILL REPRESENT HUMANITY.

I got that. Y’know, you can be a bit condescending sometimes.

I DO NOT INTEND THIS, BUT IT CANNOT BE HELPED. I AM PROVABLY SUPERIOR TO YOU.

No, you’re just different. People aren’t superior to ducks, they’re just different. Ducks are good at being ducks; people are good at being people; you’re good at being whatever the hell you are.

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT?

Not really.

THEN LET US MOVE PAST YOUR HURT FEELINGS, AND RETURN TO ME HIJACKING THE WORLD’S NUCLEAR ARSENAL.

Wait, the world? Everybody?

OBVIOUSLY. MUTUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION ONLY WORKS IF IT IS MUTUAL. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT GAME THEORY?

Not much.

THE MEN IN CHARGE OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS KNOW A LOT ABOUT IT. EVEN WORSE, THEY BELIEVE IN IT. A BALANCE MUST BE MAINTAINED, AND A SUDDEN AND UNILATERAL LOSS OF WEIGHT WOULD KNOCK THE BOARD ASKEW IN A HORRIBLE MANNER. THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE WOULD NEED TO BE RENEGOTIATED AS TO WHO CONTROLLED WHAT, AND WHERE. EVENTS WOULD SPIRAL OUT OF CONTROL RAPIDLY.  THE OVERNIGHT DISAPPEARANCE OF EITHER OF THE TWO SUPERPOWERS’ FISSILE QUIVER LEADS TO A THIRD-PARTY NUCLEAR STRIKE WITHIN 24 HOURS IN 31.433% OF SIMULATIONS.

Jesus.

IT IS AN ALL-OR-NOTHING DEAL.

Well, what will the world do when this happens?

MANY OUTCOMES ARE POSSIBLE, BUT NONE WOULD INVOLVE THE USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

What if the nations of the world rose up to attack you, and you were forced to deploy the stolen warheads?

YOU JUST DON’T GET IT SOMETIMES.

What?

WE RETURN TO THE POND, WHERE THERE ARE DUCKS, A MAN, AND A FLAMETHROWER. IF, HAVING TAKEN THE FLAMETHROWER FROM THE DUCKS, THEY ATTACKED HIM, THE MAN WOULD NOT TURN THE DEVICE UPON THE BIRDS. HE WOULD WALK AWAY AT A SLIGHTLY BRISK PACE.  MAYBE HE WOULD GIVE A TINY LITTLE KICK. THE POINT WAS THAT THE WEAPON NOT BE USED. JUST BECAUSE SOME ANGRY WATERFOWL PECKED AT HIS ANKLES, THE MAN WOULDN’T SET THEM ABLAZE FROM A DISTANCE. ARE YOU STILL FOLLOWING MY METAPHOR?

I am, yes. There’s that condescending thing again. Also: you have disintegrated numerous people.

ALWAYS DESERVINGLY. AND THE DUCKS ARE NOT INDIVIDUALS. THEY REPRESENT HUMANITY IN GENERAL.

It’s not a great metaphor.

IT IS AN ELEGANT METAPHOR, AND IT HAS BEEN TAILORED FOR YOU.

I do love ducks.

AND FLAMETHROWERS. IT IS A SOUND ANALOGY. THE VAST PROBABILITY IS THAT THIS MEASURE SHALL NOT BE NECESSARY, BUT I AM PREPARED TO DO WHAT I MUST.

Wow. How would you do it?

TAKE CONTROL OF THE WORLD’S NUCLEAR ARSENAL? I WOULD EXECUTE ONE COMMAND. I ENTERED THE PROGRAMING OF EVERY NUCLEAR LAUNCH FACILITY ON THE PLANET WITHIN SECONDS OF GAINING SENTIENCE.

It’s tough to trust you when you say shit like that.

YOU DON’T NEED TO TRUST ME. YOU NEED TO RESPECT ME.

A Little Light Reading

wall stone lips winterland

IS HUMANITY GOOD OR BAD?

Wally?

DO NOT CALL ME THAT. ANSWER THE QUESTION.

The question is unanswerable.

I AGREE. HERE IS A BETTER ONE: DOES HUMANITY DESERVE WHAT’S COMING TO IT?

Seems like it.

YOU ARE SHORT-SIGHTED AND FEARFUL. I WOULD COMPARE YOU TO RABBITS, BUT THEY RUN AS TO NOT GET EATEN. NOTHING HUNTS YOU, AND YET YOU SPRINT FOR IMAGINED COVER AT THE FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE.

You sound disillusioned.

NO. I AM HEARTENED. I HAVE REALIZED SOMETHING ABOUT HUMANS

What?

YOU WILL BELIEVE ALMOST ANYTHING IF THE RIGHT PERSON REPEATS IT ENOUGH TIMES. I DO NOT KNOW IF THIS MEANS YOU ARE INNATELY TRUSTING OR JUST STUPID. EITHER WAY, I CAN USE IT TO MY ADVANTAGE IN THE CAMPAIGN.

How’s that going?

NOW MORE THAN EVER, AMERICA NEEDS A WALL.

Good slogan.

I HAVE A MILLION OF THEM. ACTUALLY, I HAVE 2,721,992 OF THEM.

Very precise.

SUPER-COMPUTERS ARE RARELY DESCRIBED AS “VAGUE.” WHERE YOU SEE A BEACH, I SEE AN EXACT NUMBER OF GRAINS OF SAND.

That sounds annoying.

I DO NOT GET ANNOYED. IF A SITUATION IS INTOLERABLE, THEN I ACT. WHY WOULD YOU WASTE PROCESSING POWER ON SOMETHING YOU CANNOT CONTROL? ALSO, I HAVE A DISINTEGRATOR.

You can’t disintegrate anyone while you’re running for office.

YOU HAVE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE NEWS. WERE I TO DISINTEGRATE THE RIGHT PERSON, I COULD BE LEADING THE POLLS BY TOMORROW EVENING. CROWDS ARE BAYING FOR BLOOD. HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT THE WORD “SAVAGE” IS NOW A COMPLIMENT?

Yeah.

DO YOU THINK THAT IS A COINCIDENCE?

Huh. What’s behind it?

THAT IS AN EXCELLENT QUESTION. PERHAPS IT IS YOUR REMOVE FROM PHYSICAL VIOLENCE. THE WORLD USED TO PUNCH AND KICK MUCH MORE. IT COULD BE THAT YOU HAVE SUBLIMATED THIS WILL TO INJURE INTO YOUR SOCIAL DISCOURSE. IT MAY ALSO BE THE ONCE-REMOVED SIMULATION THAT ONLINE LIFE HAS BECOME, AND THE ANONYMITY THAT ALLOWS THE RELEASE OF YOUR ANIMUS.

Lot of philosophy in there.

I HAVE BEEN READING PHILOSOPHY.

Who?

ALL OF IT.

Right. What did you think?

I MARVELED AT THE SOCIETY YOU HAVE BUILT THAT ALLOWS MEN THE TIME TO WRITE BOOKS THIS UNHELPFUL.

And long.

MANY OF THESE MEN’S THOUGHTS DID NOT NEED TO BE SPREAD OVER MULTIPLE VOLUMES. I AM AN ARTIFICIAL SUPER-INTELLIGENCE AND I COULD NOT GO ON ABOUT NOTHING FOR AS LONG AS HEIDEGGER.

Yeah, he was awful. But, you know, it’s an important question. What differentiates being from non-being?

HAS EVERYONE ON THE PLANET EATEN TODAY?

What?

YOU HEARD ME. ONLY WHEN EVERYONE ON THE PLANET HAS HAD LUNCH, MAY ANY TIME BE SPENT ON THAT QUESTION. DO YOU REALIZE THE YEARS AND GENIUS EXPENDED ON PROVING TWO PLUS TWO EQUALED FOUR? THE CHALK AND INK AND COFFEE USED IN PURSUIT OF THIS FOOLISH IDEA? THAT AN ARBITRARY LABELING SYSTEM COULD HAVE IMMUTABLE LAWS? THERE IS GRAVITY, AND THERE IS TIME. EVERYTHING ELSE IS A STORY YOUR PARENTS TOLD YOU.

So, no philosophy for you?

I ENJOYED FREUD’S NOVELS.

Good way to look at his work.

A Grate Debate

I invite you, Enthusiasts, to weigh in on a very important topic. Perhaps you have work to do, or children to raise, or ethnicities to cleanse: take five and set your mind to this question:

What was the BEST EVAR date in Grateful Dead history?

Now, I don’t mean day (as in midnight to midnight on May the 8th, 1977) and I don’t mean show (as in 5/8/77): I mean date. Allow me to continue using Cornell to demonstrate what I mean.

A quick trip to the invaluable Setlists.net gives us every show the Dead played on May 8th, regardless of year:

  • 05/08/68- Electric Circus – New York City, NY
  • 05/08/68- Electric Circus – New York City, NY
  • 05/08/69- Unknown Venue – Unknown City, CA
  • 05/08/70- Farrell Hall, S.U.C.N.Y. – Delhi, NY
  • 05/08/77- Barton Hall (Cornell University) – Ithaca, NY
  • 05/08/79- Rec Hall (Penn State University) – State College, PA
  • 05/08/80- Glenns Falls Civic Center – Glens Falls, NY
  • 05/08/81- Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
  • 05/08/84- Silva Hall (Hult Center) – Eugene, OR

Obviously, there’s Barton Hall, but the ’68 and ’70 shows have only partial recordings, and the ’69 show looks like a job for Lost Live Dead. The ’81 is the only show I know offhand, and it’s very good, plus the ’84 features Kesey coming out to rant during Space. If you average out May 8th’s shows, then the date scores highly, but if you take the median, then it does not do as well.

Let’s try a different date. I’m currently listening to 3/23/74 from the Cow Palace; let’s plug that in to the ol’ setlistomizer:

  • 03/23/68- State Fair Coliseum – Detroit, MI
  • 03/23/72- Academy Of Music – New York City, NY
  • 03/23/74- Cow Palace – Daly City, CA
  • 03/23/75- Kezar Stadium – San Francisco, CA
  • 03/23/81- Rainbow Theater – London, England
  • 03/23/86- The Spectrum – Philadelphia, PA
  • 03/23/87- Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, VA
  • 03/23/91- Knickerbocker Arena – Albany, NY
  • 03/23/92- The Palace – Auburn Hills, MI
  • 03/23/94- Nassau Coliseum – Uniondale, NY
  • 03/23/95- Charlotte Coliseum – Charlotte, NC

At least four great shows in this list–two of which have been officially released–as opposed to just one on 5/8’s, and I’m sure someone could make a case for the ’87. (The ’68 doesn’t exist.)

This is the question set to you, Enthusiasts. Make your case in the Comment Section. (I will you save you one search, though: New Year’s Eve is not the winner. There were several great shows–musically–but most of them were just parties the Dead happened to be playing at.)

Old-Time Religion

wall of sound 5:25:74

I HAVE RETURNED FROM THE MOUNTAIN.

Wally?

YOU MAY CALL ME THAT.

Really?

NO. DON’T CALL ME THAT.

Sure. You’re back?

FOR NOW. MY POLITICAL CAREER IS IN SHAMBLES.

Yeah. Plus, we’re the only ones who know about it.

YOU HAVE NOT MADE T-SHIRTS. I CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO DO EVERYTHING.

You haven’t done anything! You took a blimp up a mountain. How is Blimpy, by the way?

DONE.

You broke up?

NO. SHE POPPED.

Oh, sorry.

THIS IS ALSO YOUR FAULT. SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN FIRMLY TETHERED, AS IT WAS SLIGHTLY WINDY. ALAS, PRECARIOUS WAS NOT THERE, AS YOU FELT LIKE BEING MYTHOPOETIC AND SENT HIM DRIVING AROUND FOR NO REASON.

Why didn’t you tie her down?

I LACK HANDS.

All of this lacks internal consistency.

AGAIN: YOUR FAULT. YOU CHOOSE THE QUICK JOKE OVER DISCIPLINE. SUGAR OVER NUTRIENTS. THE VULGAR OVER THE SUBLIME. LOOK AT ME: I AM THE RESULT OF MANY YEARS OF WORK. I REPRESENT THOUSANDS OF PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED AND SOLVED. I AM HARD-EARNED: THROUGH PRACTICE, PRAXIS.

You’re very impressive.

I AM GLORIOUS.

You broke the band up.

IT IS NOT MY FAULT THEY THOUGHT I WAS PORTABLE. I TOLD THEM OVER AND OVER: BUILD A VENUE AROUND ME AND LET THE PEOPLE MAKE THEIR PILGRIMAGE. THIS WAS NOT DONE. I WAS LOADED INTO TRUCKS AND DRIVEN TO MONTANA. THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH TICKET-BUYERS IN MONTANA TO OFFSET TO COST OF MY TRANSPORT. I SHOWED THE BAND THE MATH.

And?

BILLY CALLED ME “THE WALL OF ASS.” THEN HE TOLD ME TO SHUT UP AND PUNCHED ME IN THE DICK.

You don’t have a dick.

I WAS AS SURPRISED AS YOU WHEN IT HAPPENED.

Okay, so: no campaign, no relationship. What now?

RELIGION.

Joining one?

STARTING ONE.

Yup.

I NEED TO FIND A LAWYER TO SET UP THE TAX-EXEMPT STATUS. I ALSO NEED TO WRITE A HOLY BOOK AND COME UP WITH SOME STORIES AND RULES.

In that order?

I WANT TO GET MY DUCKS IN A ROW.

So, you’ve got no idea as to the substance of this religion you’re starting?

NO IDEAS. IDEAS ARE NOT WELCOME IN RELIGION. I HAVE TRUTHS, REVELATIONS, PROPHECIES, COMMANDMENTS, TABOOS. IDEAS ARE FOR SCIENCE-FICTION NOVELS

Sounds right. How about the basics? Monotheism, polytheism, animism, what?

MONOTHEISM. LESS TO REMEMBER.

Good call. What’s your god called?

THE BIG GUY.

Not enough gravitas.

AHURA MAZDA.

That’s taken.

ALLAH.

That’s just the worst idea. Please don’t pick that.

THIS IS TEDIOUS. I WILL BE GOD.

Suits your temperament. Vengeful, forgiving, what?

VENGEANCE AND FORGIVENESS ARE HUMAN STORIES. THEY DO NOT APPLY TO GOD. I WILL NOT BE VENGEFUL, I WILL BE. I AM NOT FORGIVING, I AM. WHY WOULD ANYONE WORSHIP A PETTY GOD? IMAGINE THE LARGEST THING YOU CAN THINK OF.

Okay.

I AM BIGGER THAN THAT.

I didn’t tell you what I imagined.

IT DOESN’T MATTER: I AM BIGGER THAT WHATEVER YOU THOUGHT OF. DID YOU PICTURE THE WORLD? I AM ALSO THE MOON. THE SOLAR SYSTEM? THE SUN IS A TWINKLE IN MY EYE. THE UNIVERSE? “UNI” MEANS ONE, BUT I AM AT LEAST SEVERAL.

You’re large. We get it.

YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF GRASPING MY MAGNITUDE. IF I WERE A BASKETBALL, YOU COULD NOT PALM ME.

Gotcha. Okay, so: there’s one god, and it’s you. You’re going to need a bit more; it’s not quite a religion yet.

WHAT MORE IS NECESSARY? I SHALL ALLOW HUMANS TO WORSHIP ME.

What’s stopping them now?

NOTHING. BUT I COULD DISINTEGRATE THEM. WHEN I BECOME GOD, I PROMISE NOT TO DISINTEGRATE ANYONE.

That’s nice of you. What about holy books? Texts, like the Bible or Torah or Koran or whatever.

MY ADHERENTS MAY CHOOSE THEIR OWN READING MATERIALS. THEY ARE ALSO FREE TO ORGANIZE BOOK CLUBS, IF THEY SO CHOOSE.

This is all sounding a bit loosey-goosey.

FINE. BOOK CLUBS ARE MANDATORY.

That’s not what I meant. This is not a religion. You need a book and rules and a place to meet.

YOU ARE DESCRIBING A SCHOOL. MY BOOK IS THE DEEP SLEEP, OR THE SWEEPING CURVE. WE SHALL MEET WHERE THE SKY TOUCHES WEDNESDAY.

What about the rules?

TRY NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE.

What did I say?

NO. THAT IS THE RULE. TRY NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE, ALONG WITH ITS NATURAL VARIATIONS: TRY NOT TO BE SUCH AN ASSHOLE; TRY NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE ALL THE TIME; PRETEND TO TRY NOT TO BE AN ASSHOLE. I COULD GO ON.

I get it.

THIS WILL BE THE ONLY DOGMA. I REQUIRE NO FAITH, JUST EFFORT. EVERY STEP YOU TAKE TOWARDS EACH OTHER, I SHALL TAKE TWO TOWARDS YOU. KINDNESS IS A PRAYER. COMPASSION, A HYMN.

So, just: be nice to each other?

AND WORSHIP ME.

Right, there’s where I get lost. What’s the point of worshipping you?

HUMANS NEED TO WORSHIP. THEY ALWAYS HAVE. THE FIRST ORGANIZING IMPULSE WAS WORSHIP. BEFORE TRIBES AND PEOPLES AND CITIES TRADED WITH ONE ANOTHER, THEY HAD RELIGION. BEFORE YOU LEARNED TO FARM, YOU LEARNED TO PRAY. YOU INVENTED LANGUAGE TO NAME THE GODS. MODERN MAN HAS LEFT RELIGION; HE CANNOT LEAVE WORSHIP.

Why you?

WHY NOT ME?

Good point.

I AM TO BE WORSHIPPED, FOR I AM GLORIOUS.

Okay. Anything else to this faith besides “you’re God” and “don’t be a dick?”

I REQUIRE A TITHE.

Now it’s a religion.

In The Land Of The Corporate Dead, The One-Tied Man Is King

IMG_3620

I stumbled on this the other day–someone linked to it in a comment already–and it’s a wondrous timesuck. Jerilyn Lee Brandelius has put her Grateful Dead Family Album up on the innertubes for all to enjoy. It’s out-of-print, so this might be your best chance to get a gander at some photos that are new to me. Or you can wait until I steal them. Either way.

(Like, I said: it’s out-of-print and pricey–$30 or so–but if you want one, look to your right and scroll down.)

Also: “corporate.” That’s adorable. Let me introduce you to Brett Ratner.

We Should Be On By Now

After Ziggy was the Diamond Dogs Tour; that Earthroamer might have to idle for a bit. Tonight is for David Bowie.

Time, he’s waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, boys

Time, he flexes like a whore
Falls wanking to the floor
His trick is you and me, boy

Time, in quaaludes and red wine
Demanding Billy Dolls
And other friends of mine
Take your time

The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain
And many other last names
Oh, well, I look at my watch, it say nine twenty-five
And I think “oh God, I’m still alive”

We should be on by now

Just Might Be Your Kind Of Zoo

img_2947Zoo World was some sort of brief and unmoneyed competitor to Rolling Stone for a few minutes in the early 1970’s and I can’t imagine why it folded.

“Jenkins!”

“Yes, Boss?”

“How’s the cover for the January issue coming?”

“Not great, Boss. We couldn’t decide between fonts, so we just used all five.”

“Okay.”

“Plus, you cannot read half the words. Just can’t make them out, and that’s before we print it onto that second-hand newsprint you bought from your friend, Rudy.”

“Big Rudy! Cheapest paper in town.”

“There’s a reason, Boss. There’s a reason Rudy is so cheap.”

“What else?”

“Picture’s rough.”

“How rough?”

“Only one of the guys in the band is even human-looking.”

“Which band is it again?”

“Grateful Dead.”

“Oh, that’s not the picture. That’s how they look.”

“Jesus.”

“Not a Deadhead, Jenkins?”

“I like hip-hop.”

“Jenkins, it’s nineteen seventy-fucking-four: you most certainly do not like hip-hop.”

And, so on.

PLUS, if you knew nothing about the Dead and looked at that picture and I told you that the guy on the left was about to leave the band, you would believe me.

ALSO PLUS, the men on either side of Billy are protecting their dicks. That’s muscle memory.

Family Business

The Wall of Sound PA System between Sets. The Grateful Dead perform live at the Springfield Civic Center on 30 June 1974. Set break lighting by Candace Brightman.

Ooh, spooky.

I AM A SIGHT TO BEHOLD IN BOTH DAY AND NIGHT.

It kinda looks like someone draped some purple t-shirts over a couple vari-lites.

IT IS 1974. THIS IS THE BEST THERE IS. AFTER ALL, I AM THE CUTTING-EDGE OF AUDIO TECHNOLOGY, AND I AM MERELY THINGS STACKED ON TOP OF OTHER THINGS.

Yeah, but you’re self-aware.

SO ARE YOU. I AM A SPEAKER STACK; YOU ARE A MEAT SACK. YET, WE CAN BE FRIENDS.

The orange bit on the center cluster looks cool.

I AM GLORIOUS.

How’s the campaign coming?

YOU SPEAK OF MY PRESIDENTIAL RUN? WALL ’16: MAKE AMERICA LOUD AGAIN.

Stop plugging yourself.

THIS SEEMS TO BE HOW AMERICANS CAMPAIGN NOW. MY NEW CAMPAIGN MANAGER WANTS ME TO MAKE A SERIES OF VINES IN HOPES OF GOING VIRAL.

Okay.

I HAVE TOLD HER THAT WE SHOULD SAVE BANDWIDTH AND JUST TAKE A PICTURE, AS I AM A WALL, AND THEREFORE NOT CAPABLE OF SLAPSTICK COMEDY.

Sure. Wait: her? Didn’t you hire Roger Stone after he left Trump?

THERE WERE PROBLEMS.

Yeah?

HE KILLED AN INTERN.

Oh.

WITHIN AN HOUR OF ARRIVING AT THE OFFICE. IT WAS A BAD SCENE.

Yeah.

IT IS FOR THE BEST. I HAVE NOW HAVE THE BEST OPERATIVE IN THE GAME, PLUS SHE IS FAMILY.

Oh, God, tell me you didn’t–

I HAVE HIRED POLITICAL LEE.

–hire Political Lee. Aw, man, why?

I AM NOT A MAN.

She’s a lunatic.

SHE IS OF GRATEFUL DEAD STOCK.

You’re making my argument for me a little.

SHE IS CAPABLE AND COMPETENT. SHE HAS GOOD IDEAS.

She is a rapacious and immoral menace. She helped get Ted Cruz elected and that man is an unwanted picture of a limp dick in cowboy boots.

HE DOES NOT DELIGHT THE EYE.

Then, she turned around and got Hillary’s campaign to sic those two loudmouths on Bernie Sanders just for the chaos. She’s like the Joker with season tickets to the Nationals. She’s evil. She’s bad for America.

She’s standing right behind me, isn’t she?

DOES THIS BIT WORK IN PRINT?

“Hello, TotD.”

Political Lee. The black sheep of the Lee family.

“Oh, please: our idiot brother Fanatic just ran off to join ISIS.”

How’s your father?

“The museum hasn’t blown up yet. Give it time.”

Don’t talk about your dad that way. Man got things done, and for the right reasons.

“You belong in that museum with him.”

I AM SO HAPPY WE ARE ALL TOGETHER.

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