Thoughts On The Dead

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

Tag: nephew

It’s All About The Bhagwans

You all know Mr. Completely. He used to prowl the streets of Portland as their very own crime-fighter, the Tree Octopus, but he gave up the vigilante game after spraining his hectocotylus one too many times, and now he putters about the house drinking gin at noon and firing off warning shots at bad dreams. He’s a Friend of the Blog.

Anyway, he was the one to hip me, and therefore you, to Wild Wild Country, the Netflix documentary about the Rajneeshee cult up in in Oregon, and now he’s the first one to turn on it, and rightly so: it was a well-painted car with no engine, no guts to it, there was no there there. Just a handful of talkative Baby Boomers defending their actions and subject to no challenge at all, which I suppose the filmmakers thought would read as an Errol Morris take, but the thing about Errol Morris movies is that he’s right on the other side of the camera asking unpleasant questions. He doesn’t just let a woman convicted of multiple felonies in multiple countries write off her actions to religious devotion.

So: if you wanna know the real story–including the most important question: where the fuck did all the money come from?–then here is your reading list:

  1. Les Saitz’s 20-part series from the Oregonian that covers everything from soup to nuts to 93 fucking Rolls Royces.
  2. Excerpts from Win McCormack’s book The Rajneesh Chronicles, originally published in Oregon magazine in 1983.

Or–and I think this is the best option–you could say “Fuck it” and buy a tee-shirt:

This high-quality garment was conceived in the U.S.A. and made in some shithole for you, the First World lottery winner. Why should you buy this shirt? Here’s 16 reasons:

  1. You’d be buying it from Amazon, and that would make Basketball Head angry.
  2. All the words are spelled right.
  3. Doubles as a tourniquet.
  4. Brother and Sister-in-Law on the Dead made it, so your purchase helps feed and clothe Nephew on the Dead.
  5. Conversely, you not buying the shirt is taking food directly from a baby’s mouth.
  6. And not just any baby.
  7. This one:
  8. Can you live with yourself starving Nephew on the Dead?
  9. If that’s the kind of person you are, then maybe I’ve misled myself about this site.
  10. Maybe we’re Stormfront.
  11. Is that who we are as a community?
  12. You tell me, Enthusiasts.
  13. Buy a shirt or we’re all Nazis.
  14. Even the kid.
  15. Your non-purchase of a tee-shirt makes NotD a Baby Nazi.
  16. How dare you make my beloved nephew a Baby Nazi, you motherfuckers.

Can you please not call your nephew a Baby Nazi?

  1. I didn’t! I was conjecturing. It was a what-if and…oh, look what you did. We’re back to one. You fucked up the formatting.

Good. You’re a monster and you deserve to be improperly numbered.

  1. Fuck you.

Buy a tee-shirt, everyone!

  1. Botd and SiLotD are not going to be happy with this plug.

They knew who they were asking for a favor.


What Do Your Elf Eyes See, Nephew?

Hey, Nephew on the Dead. Whatcha do–


Calm down, buddy.


Dude! Dude, mellow. Deep breaths.

“It’s just that there’s a lot of new ideas coming at me at once here. Who is this person?”


“What the fuck is a Santa?”

It’s a long story.

“Start at the beginning.”

27 AD, Asia Minor.

“Don’t start at the beginning.”

Santa is a magic being who brings all the good boys and girls presents.

“Listen, numbnuts: I am a baby. The concepts of ‘magic,’ ‘good,’ and ‘presents’ are so far beyond me I can’t explain it to you. Also ‘boy’ and ‘girl.’ I have a vague feeling that the two big people who take care of me are somehow different in a categorical sense, but that’s it. I would bomb a 101-level Gender Studies class so hard.”

Sure. Well, how about this: the guy whose lap you’re on is of no threat to you.

“Thank you! Information I can use. Will he feed me?”


“Okay. Is he gonna point the rectangle at me?”

Probably not.

“The two big people are always pointing that damn rectangle at me. Hell, they’re doing it right now.”

Santa won’t. Just so you know, the rectangle is called a cell phone, and it’s a miraculous device that’s driving us all insane.

“You lost me and I–”

“–don’t care.”

What was that?


Just like that?

“How do you do it?”

Not while sitting on Santa’s lap.

“Your loss, man.”

Merry Christmas, NotD.

“Got no idea what you’re talking about.”

Oh, Babe, It Ain’t No Lie

Hey, Nephew. Whatcha doing?

“Fuming. Fuming, bro”

What happened? You don’t like your onesie? That’s a custom Starhawk job.

“This is not about the onesie. Don’t make it about the onesie.”

What’s it about?



“No, Orbach. Of course Garcia.”


“You’re shitting me.”

You are three days old, and I’m going to need you to stop cursing.

“No Garcia? I got born in a non-Garcia timeline?”

It’s been 20 years.

“Dude, not cool.”

Honestly, buddy? The lack of Garcia is, like, the least worst thing about 2017.

“Wow. Huh. No Garcia? Tough break.”

It is.

“At least we still have Bowie.”


I don’t know what to tell you, Nephew.

“What were my parents thinking?”

That they love each other and wanted to have a child?



“Just one more question.”


“Who’s the president?”

Barack Obama.

“Oh, thank God.”

Thoughts For My Nephew

You’re not done yet. Humans have to give birth too early, and so you’re not quite finished. Can’t see well, and totally immobile, and your skull isn’t even through fusing together. But you can walk upright, or you can have a pelvis large enough to make giving birth easy; can’t do both, and so you only got nine months to cook. Any longer and you’d be stuck in there like a Chilean miner.

I got off-topic. Your uncle does that.

Nephew, I wanted to write something spectacular for you. Something lasting and beautiful. Nephew, I will not lie: I wanted to beat that asshole Vonnegut. But what’s the use in trying?

You were born on an island called Manhattan; your father was not born there, but your grandfather and great-grandfather were. Your great-grandfather was named William, but went by Hutch. Your grandfather’s name was Steve, and now that is your middle name. He’s not using it anymore.

A billion things had to happen for you to be here, Nephew, and none of it by design. Moses didn’t lead the Jews from Egypt just so you could be born, nor did the Illuminati invent the internet so your parents could meet. Your great-grandfather Jack was not sent to Europe in World War II. He was a gentle and deeply lazy man, and he would not have made it home. That decision was not made with you in mind, but here you are anyway. You are the child of accidents and close calls.

Your ancestors are called Jews, but the story is more complicated than that. You will see this to be a theme, Nephew: stories are always more complicated than they let on. Beware those who speak of simple fixes. The Jews moved around a lot, and no one wrote anything down back then, so you’ve probably got half of Europe and the Middle East floating around in your DNA. This makes you an American.

To put it simply.

Nephew. I will not lie: you showed up at a weird time. People are building barricades to stop others from building walls. The weather is frightful, but the world has been ending ever since it began. Time has always been weird.

You’re going to learn to read, and then you’re going to be too busy to read; you’ll learn to share, and then you’ll find someone to share with. Nephew, you will have moments when your whole body is made out of your heart. You’re going to laugh so hard that you can’t stop, that you’re scared you’ll never stop. You’ll change flat tires. You’ll bury friends.

Nephew, you will bury me.

Make mistakes, just not permanent ones. Fall in love too easy. Don’t smoke, and don’t stop at South of the Border on I-95. Trust me on both of those things.

I’m sorry my generation didn’t do enough for you. Your father and your mother and I, we’re part of what’s called Generation X, and we didn’t do right by you. We always settled. We were self-aware, and uncomfortable in the fact. We beatified apathy. Nephew, we did not rock the boat.

There is already a record of you. Photos and markers and identifiers floating through the cloud and flying through tubes: you will live a fully digital and recorded life, Nephew, and I cannot tell you whether that is good or bad. We have decided on this experiment without thinking about it, we have subsumed our lives onto the internet with no forethought and now you are there, too, even though you got no vote in the matter. Already, your parents are deciding how much of you to share online. These are problems your father did not have, and your mother did not have, and your uncle did not have. Nephew, you’re gonna have some brand-new bullshit to deal with.

May your lungs be strong, and your asshole tight, and may the Lord either favor you or not notice you at all. May your vision be perfect, and your back be straight. Kid, I hope you have a big dick; failing that, powerful friends.

Nephew, welcome to earth. I hope it is not too tough for you here.

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