Tuesday, June 29, 2010

M. O. TH.

Yield unto me

Foolish Christian priest

Your chalices of gold

I'll drain them at our feast

Your lungs are splayed and purple

The surf collects its prize

From your cloven ribcage

While gulls consume your eyes

We sail onto your shores

Rape your village girls

Plunder, bloodlust, havoc

Our drunken captain hurls

Both epithets and vomit

At monks in robes of brown

They gaze up to their heaven

We bring our hammers down


Minions of Thor

Destroying foreign souls

Minions of Thor

Strong as mountain trolls

Minions of Thor

Sailing seas of steel

Minions of Thor

Hear the thundrous peal


<fourteen minute guitar solo>

<repeat chorus 3x>

--Steve Kilian
State of The National

Confession to Rassilon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Obama's Katrina?

Do you think there's merit in the criticism of Obama on the oil spill and the whole comparing it to the Katrina response?

My feeling is this: Katrina, all the major networks were showing mass human misery on a grand scale, and the Brownie and Chertoff hadn't seen it and were saying everything was fine. Bush himself was warned about levees and told that moron Brownie he was doing a fine job. This thing started as an explosion, and the White House was on it from the first, though no one (except BP) knew how bad this was. Sounds like the execution of the spill cleanup hasn't been great, but that hardly rises to the levels of incompetence and outright denial  witnessed after Katrina.

What it does show is that our government is totally corrupted by big oil money, that even the Democrats are okaying iffy offshore drilling and letting the oil companies run the show, complete with no realistic contingency plans in case of accidents such as this.

It also shows how screwed we are, consuming as we do, that we're looking for oil in dangerous places with dangerous results. We should be taxing this stuff so that the price of the damage is factored into its consumption, so that alternative fuels start to make appealing business sense. Everything has to change, but nothing is (see my point about corruption of government.).

So no, it's not Katrina. It's also not 9-11. I'd say it's more Three Mile Island. We've come to realize that the fuel is dangerous. People are starting to forget Three Mile Island, so next time the pelicans will be glowing green.

--Dan Kilian

Constuputid K Words


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old Time Magic

President Obama sits behind his desk in the Oval Office.  The cameras and lights are on, broadcasting to the world.  In front of him is an oil-covered pelican, gawping weakly.  He wipes its head with a white cloth, singing softly, "Hey there, lonely girl. . . ." all the while staring into its eyes, as if the cameras aren't even there.  In less than a minute the bird is clean – stark white in comparison to how it looked before -- and President Obama finally looks up to address the nation.

"Don't ever forget that I'm the Magic Man, America," he says, "We'll be talking again in the upcoming months.  See you around."  At which point the bird tests its wings and hops onto his shoulder.  The camera zooms out and the office is full of white pelicans, wings outstretched.

Obama smiles.


--Steve Kilian

Ice Cream

A Good Put-Down

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McChrystal on the Carpet

Stanley! Good to see you.

Hello, Mr. President.

At ease, soldier! We don’t want you straining your saluting arm, do we?

Mr. President, regarding that Rolling Stone Article…

What? There was an article in Rolling Stone? What was it about? Are you in a really lame rock band?


Oh wait! I DO seem to recall something about a Rolling Stone article. Now that I think about it, it was about…You…FUCKING this administration in the ASS!

I’m very sorry, Mr. President. It was a mistake and it reflects poor judgement…

Well it’s not like I’m looking for good judgment from the General I put in place to get us the hell out of fucking Afghanistan! You, know, I seem to recall, this isn’t the first time you’ve fucked me in public. Remember when you were trying to get more troops, and you got all hardball on me in the press? Remember?

I remember our discussions…

I guess ol’ General Stanley needed more attention! Did you need more face time with the president? Well, here’s my fucking face! Do you like it? Or is this just too much of a “photo op?”

Mr. President, again…

Forgive me if I’m being unpleasant. I guess I’m just too “uncomfortable and intimidated!” Shit. I should fire you, but we both know that won’t play. Those fucking traitors on the right will say I’m willing to lose the war out of pique. Never mind that YOU are ALREADY LOSING THIS FUCKING WAR! You just can’t fire a general anymore. There’s too much of a brass fetish in this town. So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. Joe?

Yes, Barack?

Stanley, you remember Joe “Bite Me” Biden?

Hello Mr. Vice President.

Hello, Stanley!

Joe. Bite him.

I’m sorry?


Bite him! If I can’t fire the son-of-a-bitch, then I can at least extract some pain.

Yes sir.

Mr. President, you can’t be seri…AAAGH!


That’s it, Joe! Bite him! BITE HIM!! HA HA HA HA HA HA!!



Okay that’s enough. All right, Mr. “Runaway General,” go run away. Run away back to Afghanistan, so you can keep losing that war you’re running. Oh and Stanley?

Yes, Mr. President?

Keep your fucking mouth shut around the press. Or Joe will bite your goddamn balls off.

Yes sir!

Fuck off. Ahh! That felt good. Thanks for doing that, Joe.

No problem, Barack! I kind of like the “Bite Me,” thing. I might use it in the 2016 campaign.

Me too, Joe. Just don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Hillary’s got sharper teeth than you do.

Yes sir, Mr. President!

Editor's note: It seems the very premise of this piece is wrong. Sucks to be wrong! I bet he still had Biden bite him though.

--Dan Kilian

Bad Day at McDonald’s

Who is JASON D? K-Riddle

Monday, June 21, 2010


Sorry that I am a skeleton monster and ate all your food.

Sorry that I melted the foundation of your apartment building.

Sorry that I used the brain-eraser ray on your planet.

Sorry about imploding your sun.




--Steve Kilian

Return of the K-Riddler

The Rain

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jacob Bartelby, Temporary Fileclerk To The Stars

I’ve been working for Roger Waters for over a year now. Guy should really just hire me. I can’t complain; this high end temping pays pretty well. Mostly I man the phones in the office and watch the fax machine (yes, a fax!) and open the mail. Around noon on  random days Mr. Waters will come in, take his desk and make a few phone calls.

“No Jason, I don’t care what David thinks. We shall NOT be selling ‘Comfortably Numb’ to the good people at Ambesol. No!”

He’ll send me out to get lunch, and we’ll sit in silence, interrupted by the occasional phone call. He’ll have me make a copy of some letter and fax and I’ll file it, using a haphazard non-system that lurched from alphabetical to chronological to categorical. It’s a mess, but it keeps me employed. He generates a lot of paperwork for a rock star. I’ll clear out the file drawer every other week, pop together a banker’s box (I have to admit to a small ecstasy whenever those flat cardboard boxes snapped into place, a feat of industrial origami.), then shove it in the filing closet.

“The closet’s getting pretty full, Mr. Waters.”

“Hmm…okay. Set all the boxes from 1996 and 1997--no in fact let’s take the rest of that wretched decade--out here by my desk We’ll have Nick take it out to storage on Monday.

Poor Nick Mason. Since his estrangement from David Gilmour he’s run himself financially into the ground, so now he’s come crawling back to Mr. Waters, and reduced to running odd jobs to keep him in Mr. Water’s largesse. Of course, Mr. Waters still scorns him for the whole David Gilmour Floyd period, but having the old drummer in his employ counts as points against Gilmour.

So I start hauling these cubes of paperwork out to the desk and start stacking them. Mr. Waters stares out into space as he is want to do, but then he notices the stack that’s piling up.

“No. Don’t stack them like that.” I’m stacking them in a row, one box atop another. What else am I supposed to do? “Do a stretcher bond,” he says.


“Span them!”


“Lay them across the gap.”

I slide my box on the second row over, until it’s halfway across the next box. Mr. Waters smiles, slightly. “There. Now do the rest that way.”

I get back to it. Four across, three across them, two atop that. I start a new row. Mr. Waters pounds the top of his desk.

“No! Make it go higher.”

“But it’ll…”

“Build it higher!”

So I keep stacking them, spanning the boxes, until it’s four boxes high, then five. Now, with the boxes wobbling, I start a sixth row. Mr. Waters is hidden behind the boxes as he sits at his desk. It’s very clear what I’m building now. I poke my head over and see his eyes are gleaming.

“Yes, Mr. Bartelby. Build it! Build it!”

And so I spend my days with Mr. Waters.

--Dan Kilian

My Obama Encounter By Jacob Bartelby, Intern to the Department of Health Bureaucracy Department Building 15

Adventures in Filing

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Astral Dumplings and Purple Prose

Dining and Wine:  5 under $10

In response to widespread acclaim for Sam Sifton's recent review of Takashi, the editors of the Dining and Wine section have asked our reporters to fire up their four-foot bongs and hit the streets for more brain-scrambling grub:

Moonstruck Diner, 23rd St. and 9th Ave.:  Gyro meat drips with savagery, in inchoate bark of anticolonial rage.  Stuffed grape leaves are by no means nuanced;  they are a polemic writ in olive oil, lemon, and too-soft rice, a predigested screed to be preached only to the converted.  Fries are limp, ketchup salty.

Dil-e Punjab, 9th Avenue at 21st St.:  Black-eyed peas, spinach, chickpeas – no matter, all are as acceptable as the rest.  Cardamom tea is a transporting opiate, a shaded chaise on a raft floating down the Ganges, the afternoon rain held in swollen abeyance for a few more minutes of languid torpor until the cleansing monsoon gushes forth from the heavens.  Carrot dessert is a bit sweet.  Avoid the soya cutlet.

Roy Rogers, I-95 rest stop:  Roast beef sandwiches with horsey sauce taste of fallen empire, photon storms lashing satellites that have long since depleted their transuranic reactor cores.  Lettuce is no better, an untranslatable inscription on the side of an interstellar probe, the precious metals melted down for ammunition to fuel some planet-bound tribal war that has gone on for millennia.

Gray's Papaya, 23rd St. and 6th Ave.:  Fuchsia planes tessellate and surround the point of consciousness.  Crystalline automata bow and proceed on their appointed rounds.  Somewhere, distant, the sounds that are one sound, a city alive but somehow rendered abstract.  What is this "love" they speak about?

Rickshaw, 23rd St. between 6th and 7th Avenues:  Dumplings, mumblings, three from the left and slide your tray to the right.  Ever listen to Astral Weeks?  For a moment, when you realize that Van is playing all the instruments, you realize that Van is playing the listener as well.  Who's playing Van?  That's what these dumplings are like, man.  Just like that.

--Steve Kilian


Chronicles of the Proceedings of the Hall of Tumescence

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rahm Takes The Fall

Rahm, come in.

How are you doing Mr. President?

At ease, Rahm.

All right, Barack. How’s it going?

Not so good. This BP thing is killing me.

It’s totally unfair. We were on it. There’s nothing you can do.

I know, it’s like a slow drip.

More like a fast gush. Good speech last night though!

Yeah, but it’s not going to close the gap. You get a feeling about these things. Rahm. I need you to do something for me.

Anything. What?

I need you to sleep with a hooker. A really skuzzy hooker.

I’m sorry?

And I need you to get caught.

Barrack, you can’t be…

We’ve GOT to change the conversation.

There’s got to be another way!

Axle said he’d do it, but we both decided no one would care. He’s just that unsexy.

What about…a…another war?

Rahm, we went to war with Burma two weeks ago. No one noticed! They don’t even cover the first two wars. That market is saturated.

I just can’t damage my career like that. I want to be Mayor of Chicago.

You can still win in Chicago as a skuzz-John. It’s Chicago. I need a distraction!

Don’t worry. Something will happen. Someone will blow something up or kill a bunch of people or something.

God I hope so! Until then, I need you to have sex with a skuzzy prostitute.

I just can’t.

One word, Rahm, and I can have a batch of black-ops drop you, ninja style. You’ll wake up in a hotel room with a needle in your arm, a missing kidney, and a dead whore on the bed. It’s your choice how you want it to happen.

Wow. How come you aren’t this bad ass with the Republicans?

Just not my style. Now go have sex with a whore!

Yes sir.

--Dan Kilian

She Had More To Say, and How She Said It

K-word: Donkdiculous

Monday, June 14, 2010

Interesting Turn In the Karzai Taliban Peace Talks


What’s wrong with the Fez?

We like turbans!

Be reasonable man! This looks great!

You must submit to the turban, or there will never be peace!

I’m never gonna do it without the Fez on.

I like the pakol. It makes me look like Erasmus.

See, everyone has their own kind of headgear. Let’s all agree to disagree. I mean, we all hate the Americans. If we cut a deal, they might just leave.

I guess hats aren’t worth fighting over. As long as we can subjugate the women!

You keep kicking back the drug money, you can treat your women like cattle for all I care.

Well, it does seem unproductive to keep fighting for decades over the same old pile of worthless rocks and desert.

I’m so sorry to interrupt, President Karzai, Mullahs, but we just heard some amazing news. The Pentagon has discovered that Afghanistan has vast reserves of mineral deposits. Iron, gold, and lots of lithium, which the westerners need for all their computers.

You mean...

We’re rich. Afghanistan is wealthy nation!

Hello! I’m the Chinese ambassador! Can I talk to whoever is in charge? I’ve got a suitcase full of money.

Hmm…maybe we should hold off on this peace agreement for another week or two. Make sure we’ve got all our I’s dotted and T’s crossed.

Oh…um…you sure?

Yeah, no need to rush things. See you in Kabul.

All right…good progress, right?


Good news about the mineral deposits, right?

Definitely. See you soon.

Yeeugh. I didn't like the sound of that!

So are you the one in charge? I’ve got a suitcase full of money.

Yeah, for now. Let’s do this.

--Dan Kilian

The Way She Said It

Animal Automobile Jokes

Friday, June 11, 2010


In light of recently discovered artifacts of an advanced civilization on Titan, it is doubly important that we rebroadcast earlier messages to that frigid moon:


Titan!  O Titan!

We will conquer your waterless orb

Your methane will fuel our ships on their way

To plunder your mother world


Bid farewell to

Your swords and

Your lasers and

Songs of old

Your children

And gliders

And temple shrouds


All are grist for our needs.


--Steve Kilian

The Hurt Locker

Geographical Points of Interest

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Obama’s managed to slightly overcome his reflexive cool by swearing when discussing the BP oil-spill crisis. Look for more salty language to help our seemingly aloof President connect to the American people. Here are some probable upcoming Obama talking points.

Let me be clear: I will kick someone’s ass regarding this oil gusher. I will leave a boot there. I’ve been talking to experts and fishermen, not as some sort of collegiate exercise, but to find out whose ass to kick. Never mind that the obvious candidate would have been Elizabeth Birnbaum the head of the Minerals Management Service, and I couldn’t say whether she’d been fired of resigned at my last press conference, so I can hardly say I kicked her ass. We’ll find some other ass to kick. An ass shall be kicked!

Global Climate Change is fucking real! It’s a real Goddamn thing! And if you don’t believe it, well you can go to hell. Goddamn it!

Medvedev’s cool, but Putin’s still an asshole.

Mamoud Akhmadinijad’s a cocksucker, but Kim Jong Il’s an ass-fucker. Make no mistake: I’m not trying to be derogatory to gay people, I’m just trying to swear a lot. When you swear a lot, it gets kind of sexual sounding. It isn’t sexual. Those guys are just assholes.

I’m going to fuck this recession in the ass.

Make no mistake we will not fucking rest until every fucking American looking for fucking job has a fucking job. I know I said “fucking” a lot just now, so let me be clear: when I say every American gets “a fucking job” I don’t mean “a Goddamn job” or “a shitty job” I mean “a fucking job.” Most of these people are going to have to become prostitutes.

Fuck that shit! You can eat my ass, you ass-munching motherfuckers! Hell and Goddamn! Shit! Shitfuck! Fucknuts! Blowjob assfuck fuckface! Cunt! That’s right! The C bomb, motherfuckers! Okay, I’ll admit it. I was distracted just now. What was the question again?

It’s a bold new era in Presidential oration. We should welcome the dropping of artificial politesse, so that our leaders can better connect with the public. To paraphrase an oft coined expression: Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather, why don't you go fuck yourself?

--Dan Kilian

Unbelievable Presi-Factuals

Morblivious: The K Word

Monday, June 7, 2010

Drama Obama

Okay Mr. President. You’re getting lots of flack for this whole BP spill. People want results.

Can we get results, Axle? Is there something we haven’t tried?

No! I mean, come on, it’s a gusher at the bottom of the ocean. BP’s gonna keep trying to throw caps on it, until it’s finally drilled a new hole or whatever it is they actually have to do. The problem is, we can’t just stand by impotently.

Isn’t that all there’s left to do?

Yes, yes, that’s true, but it’s got to be impotent RAGE! You’ve got to connect to people! Feel their pain!

But I’m "No Drama Obama!"

Well we need some drama. What can you do?

Ugh. Let’s see. Here’s the speech. I’ll try to connect. Umm humm…Make no mistake! Let me be clear! BP is going to pay for this…awful…oh it’s so awful! Why??! Why!!? For the love of God WHHY? Waaahh! Waaahah!

You know, that might too much drama. What if you did more of that Malia stuff?

Okay…Let me be clear. Make no mistake. Every Day Malia interrupts me shaving, saying “Have you plugged the hole yet, Daddy? Then she’s at the breakfast table. Then at lunch. When I call in from a trip, I dread having the phone handed over to her. It’s like the entire Gulf spill disaster has been personified in a small child, following me around. Haunting me! I hate her!

Yeah, maybe you’ve strung out the kid as far as she’ll go. What about that Hawaiian nature business?

I’m from Hawaii. To us the Ocean is sacred. It is our God. What BP has done here is an attempt to kill my God! Oh Great Sea Turtle! I offer you sacrifice! Arise from the deep! Smite BP for it’s outrage! Come mighty Turtle!

We’ve got enough trouble with people thinking you’re a Muslim. The pagan turtle worshipping thing’s gonna bite us in the ass. Maybe you’re right. People don’t want emoting. They want action. Even if we can’t physically stop the spill, there must be something we can do. Some Presidential action. Some way to rally the people.

I’ve got it. Let’s make no mistake. This spill is more than an environmental disaster. Let me be clear. This is a turning point in our nation’s addiction to oil. I am going to outlaw oil, from now on. Starting tomorrow, our country will begin austerity measures, so that we might live within our means, so that our children might live in a sustainable world.

Jesus no! I said do something, not actually do something! Form another commission or…

Really, our lifestyle is going to have to change if the World’s going to survive.

Mr. President, you’re forgetting what the Secret Council of Presidential Scientists told you, didn’t you.

Oh yes…

What did they say?

That we’re…we’re all screwed regardless. The Earth is doomed. I keep putting it out of my head. It’s kind of sad to think about.

I know. But that’s why you want to enjoy yourself.

I do. I try. But it’s hard. Especially with this oil spill.

That’s why we’ve got to get this behind us. Use the pain!

--Dan Kilian

State of the U-Suck

K Words Thankspology, Apolfiance, Degrets, Regright

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Last Neanderthal

The last Neanderthal died in Oslo, Norway, at the age of ninety-two, after a long struggle with melanoma.

Magnus Jonsdottir is survived by two sons and four grandchildren, all now living in federated New York City.  Mr. Jonsdottir achieved some notoriety when it was discovered that his was the last family of purely northern European stock, and as such the closest living relatives to the long-extinct Neanderthal.

Genetic analysis of fossil specimens in the 2000s showed that Neanderthal DNA is more prevalent in northern European, Chinese, and Papua New Guinean racial subgroups.  The Bootstrap Plague of 2023, which was the result of an improperly designed recombinant gene therapy treatment, resulted in the death or sterility of all members of the Papua New Guinea subgroup, which in conjunction with one of the 21st century's bloodiest civil wars resulted in that people's extinction by 2047.  The Chinese subgroup genome was so modified by retroactive eugenics campaigns in the 30s and 40s that their DNA is no longer factored into genetic statistical analysis by the EEUU Scientific Taskgroup.

Mr. Jonsdottir had been the subject of several documentaries after genealogical confirmation of his family's unique position in history.  These led to periodic unwanted attention from white supremacist and race-based ultrafederationalist factions, both in Norway and the ScandoRussian Trade Union states.  The Jonsdottir family became reclusive after Bryan Jonsdottir (d. 2084, Magnus's brother) was killed by a remote-detonated letter bomb, apparently in retaliation for statements he had made condemning the Free Left Initiative, a radical group that had advocated the legalization of school segregation.  Magnus Jonsdottir did not comment on his brother's death at the time.

A private service will be held on Monday.  The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Oslo Pottery Guild.  Mr.  Jonsdottir was an avid ceramicist.


Leg broken.  Red-hair tribe laughing, musk-ox theirs now.  Bone out of skin, bleeding;  bad.  Spear is broken like leg.  No water, and brother is dead.  Father and mother and sister are dead.  No water after hunt-run and bleeding is bad.

Red-hairs come and look at me lying on gravel in dry river.  Tonight they will feast on oxflesh.  Mostly they cluck and hoot in their way of talking, then walk away.  The children throw pebbles.  Only one stays and waits for a while, stroking her belly where the baby will soon show.

Then she too leaves.

--Steve Kilian

Consider Your Enemies

Extraordinary Measurements

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Two MSNBC Producers Lay It Out

Uh, this just came over the wires, the Gores are getting a divorce.

Al and Tipper?

Yep. After 40 years.

Too bad. Guess they’d just run out their spool, huh?

Career and family can be a bitch to balance. I should know.

Shame. They seem like, you know-- regardless of their politics, which I totally agree with anyway--they seem like really decent people, who obviously loved each other and kept it going as long as they could.

Yeah. I mean, I’m sure he could be pretty pompous and a bit of a blowhard, but what politician isn’t really? They both seemed to want to do good things. I guess they ran out of energy on their marriage. It’s sad.

But they did have a good long run.

Yeah, it’s like, it was a successful marriage, even though it ended in divorce, sort of.

Any other details to the story?

Naw, that’s about it.

So, for the video to go with this  little news snippet, we should…

Pretty obvious. The clip of them kissing at the 2000  convention.

Yeah, let’s mock the dissolution of their marriage with an embarrassing clip of them overdoing that kiss.

Over and over?

Over and over. In an unending loop.

Okay. I’ve already got it on the monitor. You know, they didn’t even kiss for that long. Al just got a little too forceful there.

Yeah, it looks stupid, but it’s really not the big deal everybody made it out to be.

Of course, it’ll still look awful in this context.

Especially over and over again.

On a constant loop. Non-stop.

Why are we doing that again?

Because we’re assholes.

That’s right!

--Dan Kilian

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Pointless Enemies: DVD Review

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


My friend Dave Campbell has died. I always called him Soup.

I often called him “my drummer” instead of “my friend,” though he was both. I often fretted about calling members of my band “my drummer” or “my guitarist.” Was I such an egomaniac that I claimed ownership of these players? What about the other bands they played in (In Soup's case Love Camp 7 and Erica Smith and The 99 Cent Dreams)? And did I see their role as pure utility, “drummer” versus “person” or “friend”? Yet I continue to say “my drummer.” Because we’re in a band together. What we do is make music together, a difficult and beautiful task, and these roles are more than utility. Any bandsman will tell you that a band is like a marriage, and you don’t call your wife a lady.

He played the drums like a juggler falling down the stairs, cart-wheeling into a somersault. He could go crazy and he could lock it down. He held a beat and he sang. Soup played jazz and punk rock and whatever you needed. I’d say he was more a Keith Moon than a Charlie Watts, but he wasn’t either of those guys. This was another guy.

Soup brought to a band that sense of simultaneous control and not-control--that sense that a band could do anything, and anything could happen. He could make that snare a firecracker and make those toms roll as if a wall of smoke were enveloping the stage. Soup got all red in the face when he played. He worked.

He took extensive notes on every song we played, and then never knew what song was what. He could obsess over details, musical or otherwise, refusing to let them go, or he could dismiss everything and veer off into another topic. He could complain about anything, yet never bitched about having cancer.

Yes, here’s another contradiction: He seemed exhausted, weary, worn out by the working week, yet he was always on a tear, always enthusing about some new collector’s rock film, some great food, some hockey game or golf tournament, or some political conspiracy. His talk was a mile a minute, his writing almost always a screed. He could be infuriating and hilarious, because he always spoke his mind and he always cared. Of course, try to coax answers from him, or try to get him to turn his many paragraphs into something as structured as a blog, and he’d clamp up like Michigan J. Frog.

He was funny. He was crazy. He was sweet.

I always saw Soup’s philosophy as wryly fatalistic. “The Man always wins,” he’d say. He didn’t have a lot of hope for the Iranian uprising that’s been holding on this last year, seeing Tiananmen Square rather than an Orange Revolution. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his thugs have been doing their best to prove him right. I think Soup was something of a believer, religiously speaking, but we didn’t talk much about that. So he might have had some hope for the next world, but he didn’t indicate too many Hollywood endings for this one. Still he struggled for the good, for the music, and for his friends. And to counter this reading of Soup as pessimist, of course, is Soup. Reading through one of his old "posts" (e-mails dressed up for the blog) I come across this: "I believe good will come. Sanity will win. And good people will win, in the short run, if possible."

In the short run, if possible. Of course, eventually, the Man always wins. The Man might always win, but this time he’s gone too far. The Man needs a good kick in the ass. He really took one of the good guys this time.

Soup called me from the hospital, to let me know he was going to miss a couple of rehearsals and the next show. A little ragged-sounding, but mostly laid-back about the situation. There was a blockage in his intestine, and they were pretty sure it was cancer, which meant it had moved from the lining of his lungs. He wasn’t taking in any food or drink, living on a drip.

Unfortunately, I’d seen something like that happen before, with my father. When the body stops taking nutrients, it’s not a good sign. I felt a chill and started making dire medical diagnoses to myself. Still, Soup was, while optimistic isn’t the word, certainly calm and determined to overcome. He did let a complaint slip through: “I just want to drink a glass of lemonade.”

The Sunday before he died I talked to him. Again, the prognosis didn’t seem good, but he’d talked to his doctors and urged them not to give up on him, and they did have a plan, with new tubes in his body and new chemo in the wings. Soup told me, “So then I said, can I have a glass of lemonade? And they said okay. So now I’m drinking a glass of lemonade.”

So he got that. That’s all we get in this life, people. So drink up. And think of my drummer, my friend, a good man whom words can’t adequately describe, Dave “Soup” Campbell.

--Dan Kilian

Soup of the Day: Soup Clarifies His Positions

Soup of the Day: Manny’s