Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Well done Dennis! You’re getting the hang of the front station! I’m glad I made you station manager!
Gee thanks, Mr. Pensington.
So how is the rest of the staff doing?
Oh, their mostly doing pretty okay…except for maybe Stanley…
What’s wrong with Stanley?
Well, he gets the orders right and stuff, and he’s always on time…
Well he…he touches the children.
Yeah, when he’s on his break he goes into the McPlayground and molests the children.
Oh, that’s no good. Let’s move him to the drive-through section.
But won’t he still be able to molest children on his breaks?
You just worry about the front station, Dennis.
A few days later…
Hey Arthur, how are things at the drive-through?
Oh, pretty good, except Stanley keeps molesting children on his break.
That does it! Let’s move him back into the kitchen!
Hey Mister! What the hell is going on here! My kid just said one of you guys “touched him funny!” I want some answers!
Agh! Everybody’s out to get me!
Out to get you? You’ve got a guy molesting children!
Just ONE guy. Most of these McEmployees aren’t molesting anybody!
Well, you’re going to lose your job over this!
Yeah right! This isn’t going to touch me! I’m the General Manager! Good luck trying to take me down!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Inside, the man had placed buckets, pots, Tupperware, bowls, glasses and cups to catch the indoor rain. He mapped it out. The original great stain had long ago become a ragged wound in his ceiling, it’s cracks bleeding into new great stains, which begat smaller stains with their somewhat predictable drips. The containers, filled with different levels of water, took on tones with each drip. He started carefully moving them about to create a soft dripping composition of sorts. The woman left him with his buckets and pans, as he spent increasing time in the back guestroom, his head to the floor like a Muslim, listening to his raindrop orchestra.
He slept there, waking frequently as each new drip found him. He licked the water off his face and drifted off again, listening. He came to desire no other food or drink, believing that the rainwater sustained him.
“Ah this bell has gone sharp!” he declared of one pot, and took a tiny sip. He called them his “rain-bells.”
He was of course quite mad, partly from exhaustion and starvation, but mostly from the frog toxins that had leaked through the ceiling. He started having visions, believed himself to be an Indian squatting in the rain forest, and saw his wife’s ever more brief and intermittent visits to the back room as an imperial threat from the white man.
“This is not your land! You will drown in the river!” He shrieked wretchedly. She left him.
Finally the rain stopped. It grew sunny and bright. The frogs hibernated, one with the spongy tissue of the building, while the adaptive squirrel-otters took again to the trees.
The man stirred from his stupor, realizing that the song had ended. He figured out how to stand, and staggered into the greater apartment. The refrigerator was rank with rotting things. He stomped down the stairs, treading on the pile of mail, and managed to open the door.
He looked less like a man than an animal, in his rags and blanket. He stared dimly out at the world, at the blue sky, at the sun. He would have gone blind if a kingfisher hadn’t swooped down and attacked him, pecking out his eyes.
Monday, March 29, 2010
If you spell my color
And switch the first letter
With the next one alphabetically down
Makes a transformation
As my color then becomes my sound
What am I?
HINT1 When I say "the next one alphabetically down" by "down" I mean "closer to A as opposed to closer to Z."
HINT2 The color is not universally accurate, but the classic depiction of this thing almost always show it as being this color.
HINT3 Yes, I am proposing that "color" sort of rhymes with "letter." Hey, it's a riddle, not a sonnet!
Comment or e-mail if you need to know the answer.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Lord Priapus surveyed those with whom he shared his power, recalling weaknesses and indiscretions along with past alliances and points of strength. Lord Mourningwoode was attentive as usual, brightly reviewing the prospects before him. He had all the appearance of strength and noble lineage. A straight frame, unthinning hair, and fine vestments with bright brass buttons lent him a vaguely military air. But he would soon lose interest, unable to muster the attention span for the bureaucratic tasks that lay ahead. No doubt he would excuse himself to the privy chamber at the time of the vote, yielding his authority to a proxy. Priapus intended to be that proxy.
Lord Iago, on the other hand, was scrupulously reliable in his perseverance. A newcomer would not believe that such an ancient presence could be so forceful in argument. His mottled scalp was unconcealed by a few strands of long white hair. He glared at his audience through reddened glistening eyes. His tattered robe was filthy, worse than a penitent's after pilgrimage. His only accommodation to luxury was an ornate silver box of powdered blue snuff into which he dug his yellow-nailed fingers at every opportunity. His upper lip was permanently stained and crusted with the residue of this habit. But despite all evidence of decrepitude, Iago's apparently withered limbs would show great strength as he pounded on the table, cords of sinew standing out on his arms and neck so that he nearly took the form of a gnarled tree as he made his case. For all that he lacked any guile or subtlety – qualities which he found womanly and beneath someone of his station. In many cases he had no need of these traits. Perhaps this decision would be another example of this, Priapus thought. Or perhaps not.
Less easy to predict was the squirrely Lord Chesterhold. He fidgeted atop his throne, sweating slightly in robes too thick for the weather. As always, there was something inappropriate in his garb, something that inevitably left him uncomfortable. Even as Priapus looked on, Chesterhold suddenly sat upright and set his lapdog on the floor, looking about as if he had made some transgression. Priapus had seen this before when the Lord had bounced some minor prince's child on his knee in an effort to curry favor amongst the ruling class of the outlying provinces. Chesterhold would fold to any who intimated that they knew his hidden proclivities, whatever they truly were. The trick was to convince him that this was the case.
L'Enfant, on the other hand, beamed in childlike bliss. A hooded regent stood in shadows behind the miniature lord's throne, making himself visible only to translate the coos and gurgles of his master, or to wipe spittle from those royal lips. L'Enfant's attentions and interests were entirely whimsical and transitory. There was no predicting what might trigger his delight. His vote was that of a coined tossed in the air. A margin of two in Priapus' favor was needed to be secure in victory. Otherwise L'Enfant's imbecilic caprice could undo the most elaborate of plans.
The Lich stood in stark contrast to L'Enfant. Whatever weird necromancy gave him life had exacted a horrific toll: his skin was mummified, hollow cheeks shriveled and with a pallor fading to green, as if rot had started and then been unnaturally arrested. Beneath his sepulchral cloak a gallowsman's noose adorned the Lich's neck, either part of a dreadful bargain or an ironic ornament. Priapus thought the former more likely, as he had never seen the Lich so much as smirk. But the Lich was stalwart, constant, a reliable ally. His dedication was eternal.
Not so that of Lord Percival. Certainly that scion believed his convictions would last forever, for all that they were hot and demanding of immediate action. The boy-Lord was a bit ridiculous, perhaps, in his maroon corduroy and feathered cap, although Priapus felt a distant fondness for him, as if he recognized an echo of himself in the child's foolishness. Percival kept journals of his thoughts – so easily available to any crude spy that one wondered if they were intended to be read – which catalogued his ambitions and naïve schemes. Poetry shamelessly cavorted with his clumsy politics on those pages, along with his earnest declarations of support for one thing or another. But this ardor would fade with each milestone accomplished. Percival would move on to another task with equal fervor to the one just abandoned. But if his eye were caught at the right time his vote would be certain, at least for a short while.
And then there was Cerulean. His bloated presence was an affront to all, including himself. Heavy perfume and layered vests and topcoats did not conceal a pervasive stench which followed him. He alone had brought no retinue to the meeting, glancing about longingly at the serving girls and washerwomen before they were sent from the room. They in turn had studiously avoided having any more to do with Cerulean than was absolutely required. His weak smiles and breathy remarks went unreturned. And so he challenged the structure of his throne in a morose funk, self-pity poisoning any prospect of alliance. He crossed his tiny hands on the uppermost buckle of his girdle, waiting for the debate to begin.
Finally, amidst swirling vapors that distorted the firelight of the room, loomed Xorkaal, ruler of the swampland wastes, alien and aloof. Knotted scars ran up and down his body, which was covered by only a thin network of chains running between bizarre piercings. In places the chains – which were of a motley collection of alloys, some links bright and some dull and rusted – disappeared into seeping voids in the swamplord's flesh. Xorkaal's vote was as unknowable as L'Enfant's, but certainly not capricious. There was definitely a form of logic and intent behind his decisions. But Priapus could not fathom it, nor did he think any human ever could.
So then it was a stroke of some fortune that the voting turned out as it did. The arguments flowed over the course of hours, Cerulean weeping at times, Percival making undying pronouncements, Chesterhold taking great and sudden interest in his shoes, all under the subtle influence of Priapus. He cajoled and scolded, prodded and relented. Xorkaal uttered a polyphonic drone for several minutes which interrupted all communication save that of L'Enfant, who giggled while urinating on the table. Eventually the claims and counterclaims subsided and the group settled into that rarest of states: unanimity. Priapus quickly called for a roll call, and the scribe smoothed a fresh sheet of parchment to record the final tally.
Each of the Nine Lords intoned their decision:
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Congratulations once again Mr. President.
#*@%-ing A, Mr. President.
I’m afraid swearing is no longer your trade-mark, Rahm. Biden’s cornered the market. …♫The skies above are clear again♪...
So Mr. President, about your agenda...
Yes, what’s next? Another post signing ceremony? A celebratory ball? Cocaine and hookers? I’m just kidding about that last one. It still kind of sucks to be president. Bubba, you ruined it for all of us! I don’t even care. My mooooood….is gooooooooood! …♫all that...other stuff is…cheer?…again♪...
Well, we were thinking about what’s next on the agenda.
A party? A victory lap around congress?
No, we mean the stuff that still needs to be done. The economy, the financial overhaul, cap and trade, Social Security, immigration...
Ahh, let Pelosi take care of that.
She’s kind of spent her wad getting this health care bill through. No one wants any controversy before November. It might be on us.
First of all, Rahm, never refer to the lovely Madame Speaker as “spending her wad” ever again. And secondly, who do you mean by “us”?
I mean…The White House.
Which is you.
Right. Well I just bumped myself up from a blurb during black history month to The Most Significant President in Over Forty Years, so I am not doing jack for a good bit now. I’m going to Indonesia and Guam. In the meantime, why don’t you round me up some commissions for all these problems, get the usual suspects, and every month or so I’ll make a few little speeches about it. We aren’t doing #*@% for the rest of the year.
As you wish, Mr. President.
Oh and Social Security? I want it to cover everyone. And I want that to lower the deficit.
I don’t think we can do that, Mr. President.
Oh yes we can! We can do anything! ♫HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!!!♪
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010
“It’s 111 degrees in here! We are not amused!” she said haughtily.
“Fetch me my bow! I shall hit the bullseye!” she said, arrogantly.
“I’d like to hang out at the bottom of a window,” she declared with a silly laugh.
“I don’t have a six-pack,” she said, abnormally.
“I’m afraid to tell you what I did to your car,” she admitted bashfully.
“I never break character!” she said playfully.
“Never mind healthcare. Let’s talk about this giant bass I caught,” she said, superficially.
“Should I put this dress on?” she asked, warily.
“He’s not very interesting, but he’s got nice manners, so I say we let him hang out with us,” she said, indulgently.
"These grapes are all dried up, and they’re frozen cold!” she said brazenly.
“My pictorial representations are as crude as a four-year-old’s!” she said drastically.
“It’s no lie. I want you to have my coat,” she said, altruistically.
“To join our club, you have to flip the light switch on and off and on again,” she said cliquishly.
“I’ve got a smaller number of things!” she said furiously.
“Be quiet!” she said viciously.
“I got A’s or B’s on all my tests,” she said, deceitfully.
“I once played a patriotic German during World War II in a school play,” she said exuberantly.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Dick Donkulous: The personification of donkdiculosity. Michael Steel is so donkdiculous he's Dick Donkulous. Of course, using two different forms of donkdiculous in a single sentence is donkdiculously donkdiculous.
Donkey Diculous: (Rarely used) The essence of donkdiculousness in donkey form. I'm glad they passed health care, but to get to this point the Democrats were Donkey Diculous.
Friday, March 19, 2010
“My legs are very long!” she said stridently.
“I don’t think you can lock me up forever!” she said cagily.
“Thanks for the flowers!” she said rosily.
“Would you like more marinara?” she asked saucily.
“If I can get this string undone, we could have a lot of fun!” she said naughtily.
“I’m way too expensive for you,” she said caustically.
“There’s something very interesting about that underground graveyard,” she said cryptically.
“I can prophesize the future,” she said, seriously.
“Do you think Vitamin C can really heal a sore throat?” she asked, curiously.
“I think I’m going deaf,” she said, deliriously.
“WO-O-O-O-O-O-O-E is me!” she said morosely.
“Oh nooo, this sentence is the child of that last sentence!” she said in a woe begotten moan.
“Let’s order soup from that Chinese restaurant and do disgusting things with it,” she said wantonly.
“How could I not be pregnant?” she asked, inconceivably.
“I know a certain linking verb of a certain large size,” she said ambiguously
“I don’t want to give you back your dog,” she said petulantly.
“I’ve got scarlet pigment all over me!” she said incredulously.
“I’ve alphabetized our breakfasts, and we’re over halfway through the process,” she said, enigmatically.
Friday, March 12, 2010
What kind of car does a pig drive? A Pigborghini.
What kind of car does a cow drive? A Cowborghini.
What kind of car does a horse drive? A Horseborghini.
What kind of car does a whale drive? A Whaleborghini.
What kind of car does a Krill drive? A Krillborghini.
What kind of car does a narwhal drive? A Narwhalborghini.
What kind of car does an eagle drive? An Eagleborghini.
What kind of car does an octopus drive? An Octopusborghini.
What kind of car does a lobster drive? A Lobsterborghini. *
What kind of car does an amoeba drive? An Amoebaborghini. **
What kind of car does a rhinoceros drive? A Rhinocerosborghini.
What kind of car does an armadillo drive? An Armadilloborghini.
What kind of car does an alpaca drive? An Alpacaborghini.
What kind of car does a tree sloth drive? A Treeslothborghini.
What kind of car does a tamarin drive? A Tamarinborghini.
What kind of car does a white-faced saki monkey drive? A White-facedsakimonkeyborghini.
What kind of car does a tapir drive? A Tapirborghini.***
What kind of car does a hagfish drive? A Hagfishborghini.
What kind of car does a marmoset drive? An Acura MDX.
What kind of car does a star-nosed mole drive? A Star-nosedmoleborghini.
What kind of car does an axolotl drive? An Axolotlborghini.
What kind of car does a chupacabra drive? A Chupacabraborghini.
* There was great debate as to whether “lobsterborghini” should have been “Lobsterghini” but in the end we decided that would be a cheat.
** Likewise with Amoebarghini.
***We didn’t even consider Tapirghini. At this point we were committed to the formula. Who is we? The Committee.
--Dan Kilian and The Committee.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Continuing our conversation about an interesting speech by Karl Paulnack to the Boston Conservatory Freshman Class about the nature of music. I highly recommend you read the speech, as it's pretty deep. The gist is that music is under-rated, as it is a necessary force allowing us to remain human, even in horrible conditions such as 9-11 and The Holocaust. He expect artists, if anyone, to save the world and bring us peace. He talks about how the Greeks saw music as unlocking big pieces in our hearts and souls. This inspired a response from Soup, the drummer for The Ks.
There is a lot here and some of it needs to be challenged. He is correct on how the ancient Greeks saw the inner workings of music, but he misses the point in neglecting Socrates' great caveat when he stated in very clear terms music is the most dangerous force in The Republic. Who could argue with that? War drums, battle hymns, songs of resistance to The Man..all people, all culture, all time.
But how dangerous is music? Let no one ever forget The Beatles were not allowed to play in Israel back in 1965. The leaders in Israel proclaimed that The Beatles were lacking in artistic merit and were a bad influence on the youth there. 1965. This was one full year before The Beatles rebelled against everything. And they were almost killed in Japan and the Philippines, not out of love, but out of political hatred. Who can blame them for never leaving their castles again.
So much for music holding a candle, even a flickering one, in The Republic. The Man wins, always.
I agree that music prevents us from being bored and sick of life. Classical music calms me down, jazz music inspires me, pop music either makes me wish I had never been born, or it's real, real, nice. There is no in between when it comes to pop.
So far as a song that can bring about world peace, I have heard only one in my entire life - Schiller's Ode to Joy, musical score by Beethoven. Number of people on earth who are familiar with this song? Your guess is as good as mine.
p.s. around noon on 9/11/01 a buddy walked into a record store in NYC to pick up a copy of Dylan's new record. The clerk cursed at him and then said: "Don't you know what happened?" He said "yes." And then walked away with Dylan's new record. My friend did not miss a beat. Most everybody else did, including the author of this piece. The Man wins.
p.p.s. now that mp3 technology has destroyed the listening experience for recorded music by compressing all frequencies to the point of feeling crushed by two walls closing in on you, and nobody cares, can musicians be far behind? A world without musicians. Socrates would be elated.
--Dave "Soup" Campbell
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
One of the first cultures to articulate how music really works were the ancient Greeks. And this is going to fascinate you: the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was seen as the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was seen as the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects. Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us.
It reminds me of a thing I hear from time to time, mostly form hack pop-stars about their singles, about their records: "It's not a cure for cancer."
Which is, I suppose a nice self-deprecating way to keep oneself from getting a big head, but it troubles me when I remember that musicians aren't gene therapists and that the end goal isn't a cure for cancer. It's to make something transcendent. By setting up a false goal to fall short of these pop stars justify their often lame recordings by selling all music short.
I don't know if music can bring about world peace, maybe that's not the goal either, but it is about something big.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
You know maybe because it was my first day, but I thought it was kind of easy.
It is! You just pull out the detonator, and you're set. Easy!
The only thing is, you work up a sweat. Where are the showers?
Right over there.
Where should I dump my sneakers?
Use one of those lockers. I've got locker 11.
And I've got 9.
Why don't I try locker...4...
NO! Don't use locker 4!
NO! It's THE HURT LOCKER!
What do you...AAAAGGHH! AAAAAUGGH!! IT HURTS SO MUCH!!! AAAAAGGGHH! UUURRGH!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! OW! EEEEEEERRRGH! AAAAAAAGGGGHHH!! WHO WOULD MAKE SUCH A PAINFUL LOCKER?? AAAAGGGHH!!! AAAWWWW!!! THE PAIN!!! THE HURRRRRRRRT!! AAAAAGGGHH!
We should have told him about the hurt locker.
Maybe we should put up a sign.
AAAAAGGH!! NNNNNOOOOO!!! THE PAAIIINN!! UUURRRRGH!! AAAAARRRRRGH!! AAAAAWWWWW!!! EEEEEEYYYYEEECCH!! AAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!! IT'S REALLY HUUURRRRRRTS!! AAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHH!!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Pre-show red carpet: Lots of dresses made out of Styrofoam. Everyone seems uncomfortable but happy.
Doogie Howser is singing some song Billy Chrystal wrote for him. Time to go to the show.
They're watching the Oscars at the bar. Miley Cyrus and that cute girl who was really good in Jennifer's Body are giggly.
They still want me to perform. At least one person wants to open mic. I spell it mic when I'm talking about open microphones as nouns or bullshit verbs in general, and OPEN MIK when I refer to my specific show.
I remember that The Oscars are for the most part boring as shit.
Singing a song, I see most eyes in the house sneaking peaks at the silent television screen. If it were an Avatar montage, I'd understand, but An Education? Why do they put TVs inside bars?
Penelope Cruz is very pretty.
The Academy loves a southern accent.
Looks like Jeff Bridges won. Good for him.
Wrapped up the show. Wasn't so bad! Got paid! All hail The Diving Bell!
Chick from The Hurt Locker won. Good for her!
Now the orchestra is playing that Moon and New York City song from Arthur. Was that the last memorable song to win an Academy Award?
Now I'm reading about it in the paper, next morning. I should clarify. I'm reading about the Oscars, to see if I missed anything. For some reason, I see no reporting on my OPEN MIK.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I'm calling it open miK
Also thinking about adding a limited Karaoke element. Come on out!
The Diving Bell
45-15 Queens Blvd
People who learn Ks covers will move to the front of the line.
Monday, March 1, 2010
And now it's gone. Some nonsense word from some unlanguage of my dreams. Was it a gift? Was it the key? Probably just some dream nonsense, unless it wasn't.
Now it isn't.