Saturday, January 17, 2004


I was going to get off on some rant about Al Franken being signed to spearhead the progressive radio channel. Mainly because I can’t stand Al Franken. He was the lamest thing on the classic Belushi/Akroyd/Radner/Murray Saturday Night Live and, if anything, he’s grown less funny with age. As the voice of the progressive-left Franken will combine all the panache and political passion of Elmer Fudd with an irritating know-it-all, preppie cynicism, and I can’t think of a better MLK Day gift to the White House. But then I thought, what the fuck? It’s Saturday. Who needs it?

So, instead, here’s a truly bizarre conspiracy theory about George Bush and weird accusations of multiple cross-gender rape. Apparently the fable has been kicking around for a while, but it’s the first time that I’ve ever stumbled across it, and thus I pass it along as a bit of weekend web surfing. The trail of the tale starts with an old posting on the Counterpunch website. Take it from there.

I suppose, before exiting, I should, in fairness, admit an element of envy where Al Franken is concerned. My ego, and also my bank account, would hardly be adverse to a gig on “progressive radio”. And, hell, didn’t some critic write that I had a voice like an “evil Jeremy Irons”? But I ain’t holding my breath for offers. I’ll probably have to wait until they set up the Johnny Yuma Rebel Radio From Hell before being loosed on the airwaves.

Friday, January 16, 2004


Ever had one of those days when it seems that the walls of the world were closing in, and you feel that maybe the human race should be quarantined? That sense of living-in-Mordor started as I watched the Michael Jackson forensic rodeo getting underway around the Santa Maria courthouse just down along the coast, with fans singing that song about Tom Sneddon, lawyers assembling like a mob summit, and locals selling twenty dollar hotdogs to the minions of the world media.
But I’ve already had my say on the Jackson matter in the current LA CityBeat, so, for the moment, you can check that out while I rest my case.
Meanwhile I could only marvel at the story out of Dutchtown, Louisiana, where two high school kids, Adam Sinclair and Chris Levins were arrested on charges of felony terrorism. Hardcore Trenchcoat Mafia, and fans of Klebold and Harris of Columbine fame, the boys were ratted out as potentially dangerous by a bunch of cheerleader-looking classmates and their parents. (The cry of Maud Flanders is heard throughout the land.) When the cops busted down the door, they supposedly found clear and present evidence of incipient terrorism in the writings of drawings of the pair.
My first though was of a recent edition of Sixty Minutes when a high school girl described how her school was put on “full lockdown” and each student was sniffed over by a police dog for “contact with marijuana”. Do we really expect the youth to remain sane on the face of the Thought Police?
I also recalled when I was fourteen. Fuckin’ hell (as we used to say), if they’d seen my writing and drawings, I probably would have been summarily executed, not to mention the .22 revolver with the broken hammer and the unexploded WW II, P-AT anti-tank rocket that was hidden behind the record player, until my stepfather stumbled across it and called the Army.
And as I conclude, fear stalks Hollywood that the collagen for those big Angelina Jolie lips may be Mad Cow contaminated.

Thursday, January 15, 2004


The Doc 40 comment system has just been put in place, courtesy of the excellent Rich Deakin who pilots the Funtopia website. It’s a little discreet link over on the top right of the page, just below “the horror, the horror.” Hurry and you might just be the first. Email to is also still very welcome.


The following story was carried by the wire services and also forwarded by Henry Beck.

BARRIE, Ont. (CP) - A marijuana "factory" concealed within a sprawling old brewery just steps from one of Ontario's busiest highways is proof Canada's pot problem has reached "epidemic proportions," police said Monday. The former Molson brewery in Barrie, Ont., plainly visible from Highway 400, one of the province's busiest commuter routes, was raided on the weekend by some 100 city and provincial police officers acting on a tip. Inside, police found marijuana with what they said had an estimated street value of $30 million, along with a grow operation of staggering proportions - the largest and most sophisticated in modern Canadian history.
"This is not a ma-and-pa operation," Barrie police Chief Wayne Frechette wryly told a news conference in this central Ontario city an hour's drive north of Toronto.
Across a 5,400-square metre complex the size of a football field, police found more than 25,000 pot plants growing everywhere - even inside the cavernous indoor vats once used to brew beer.

Citizen Beck enlarges on the story...“This was in effect a hydroponic Silent Running space station, a luxury liner, Battlestar Cannabis, with a crew the cops speculated might have been brought in blindfolded or under the cover of night, because loose lips sink ships. And they say nobody thinks big anymore.”

Meanwhile I rather question the use of language in the story, and especially the reference to Canada’s epidemic “pot problem.” From where I sit in Los Angeles, a city where BC bud is a welcome import, Canada hardly seems to have a “pot problem”. Indeed, it would appear to have a highly organized, high-tech, marijuana agri-business what is only waiting for full legalization to yield beaucoup revenues and tax benefits. Compared to the US, with its hundred of thousands of incarcerated reefer felons, its massive and costly drug enforcement industry, and its chicken-shit politicians too tremulous and self-serving to speak out against the seventy-year total failure of the War on Drugs, Canada hardly has a problem at all. And before anyone starts screaming the late Maude Flanders’ scream of “what about the children?”, consider, if marijuana was legalized, how many resources would be freed up to educate kids that maybe they should hold off on smoking dope at least until they have learned to read and tie the laces on their sneakers.


Is it cruel to laugh when Ted Nugent hacks himself up with a chainsaw?




CRYPTIQUE – You know who are.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004


(Is that an iceberg or are you just pleased to see me?)

Yesterday, on Entertainment Tonight, I watched the massive, top-heavy bulk of the Queen Mary II sail out of Southampton for Florida, with its on-board casino and planetarium, a full complement of passengers each paying up to $48 thousand a ticket. I couldn't somehow ignore a nagging feeling of unease. Wasn't this almost pornographic display of wealth, without even a single Irish immigrant in steerage, some weird affront to the gods of the sea? Maybe I've watched too many movies about the Titanic, and seen The Poseidon Adventure too many times, but I seem to recall that whenever a passenger ship was billed as the biggest and most luxurious of all time, it had a horrible habit of sinking in mid-ocean. Also, with the War on Terror still raging, isn't a monster liner like the Queen Mary II a impossibly tempting terrorist magnet?

(And the chains of the sea will have busted in the night/and be buried at the bottom of the ocean. – Bob Dylan)

(If I had a boat/I'd sail out on the ocean/And if I had a pony/I'd ride it on my boat. -- Lyle Lovett)


The following post comes from the desktop of critic, picker, and raconteur Henry Cabot Beck. It should be noted that the conspiracy theory in this piece of pointless but fascinating cowboy triva incorporates two gunmen and a lone victim.

Sworn Statement Again Challenges Billy The Kid's Death
Calif. Man Tells N.M. Officials Outlaw's Infamous Death Was Faked

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Was there a conspiracy surrounding the death of legendary Old West outlaw Billy the Kid? Legend says the man often called William Bonney was gunned down at age 21 by Sheriff Pat Garrett in 1881 in Fort Sumner, N.M. But a California man says the notorious fugitive's death was faked. Homer Overton said he was told by Garrett's widow more than 60 years ago that the dead man was actually an unwitting impostor, a drunk who was shot point-blank in the face by two unlikely pals -- Garrett and Billy the Kid himself. Overton's sworn statement is being offered as evidence for exhuming the body of Billy The Kid's mother. Some New Mexico officials want to compare her DNA with that of a Texas man who claimed until his death in 1950 that he was the real Billy the Kid. A hearing on the exhumation petition is set for Jan. 27 in Silver City, N.M., where the outlaw's mother is buried. Town officials oppose disturbing the gravesite. More

Tuesday, January 13, 2004


Paul O’Neill’s current inside revelations about the Bush White house, and his description of a GWB cabinet meeting as “a clod in a room full of oafs” (yes, I know he didn’t really say that, I paraphrase for effect) is so in tune with the way I have always imagined things, it does give me at least a sliver of hope that we may actually and eventually rid ourselves of the arrogant, corrupt and stupid men who are currently driving the planet to such a Titanic doom.



I have a new book out. Or at least the paperback edition of the last hardback. UNDERLAND is now in the stores, although the publishers, Tor/St. Martins are doing their level best to make it a well kept secret. So buy a book, strike a blow, support the scribe. Go to your local fine goth store, or look on Amazon. Underland, the last for the moment of the Victor Renquist stories, is loads of fun being choc fill o’ vampires, the Hollow Earth, Nazis, flying saucers, the NSA, serpent gods, snow, government corruption, alternative history, plus all the usual lurid sex, drugs and violence. (Someone should really make a movie.)



I have elsewhere recounted the weird tale from some three or so years ago, about the thing behind the Texaco station in Facatativa, Colombia, but since it was to a limited audience, the retelling would seem like fun. It’s such a piece of urban...or, more precisely, jungle...narco-legend.

When phone taps revealed mention of something big going down in a warehouse behind a Texaco station in the small town of Facatativa, fifty clicks outside Bogota, the Colombian National Police suspected a hoax. As far as the cocaine business was concerned, the place was the back of beyond, but a squad of local cops were dispatched to take a look, and to their amazement they found a mess of highly expensive and highly specialized tools, plus a large metal thing. When experts arrived from the capital, the thing was identified as nothing less that a small submarine, of what appeared to be of former Soviet origin. It had apparently been shipped to Facatativa in bits and was being re-assembled. Locals told of foreigners, apparently Russian, who showed up at the warehouse around sunset, worked all night, and then vanished with the dawn, but the strangers seemed to have stopped coming a few weeks prior to the first police visit. The experts observed that the sub had been modified to give it cargo space with a capacity to haul some two hundred tons of coke, and a unholy alliance between the Colombian drug lords and Russian Mafia was suspected. What the National Police and everyone else were at a loss to explain was how the sub was being put together in a location that was not close to any navigable waterway, and a full two hundred miles, across the Andes, from the Pacific Ocean.

Jay Babcock of the excellent Arthur magazine writes (and, if his thesis is correct, what an improvement that would be.)

If the War on Terror is Vietnam (kinda), and Bush is Nixon (kinda), and Dean is McGovern (kinda), and "Lord of the Rings" is "Lord of the Rings" (it is), and if the youth proportion of the pop is growing (it will be a higher percentage in2010 than it was in the '60s!)... then, gosh, you might reasonably expect tons of good pop music overground *and* underground (Outkast! White Stripes! The Darkness! etc), interest in spiritual/mystical matters (check the magick/occult section of your chain bookstore lately?), rampant drug use (check those pot and ecstasy stats lately?) and... now... see below -- the return of hetero group sex adventurism...


He also provides a link to a story in the NY Times about a new vogue for multiple partner sex parties.

Monday, January 12, 2004


Wandering around the ether, as I have been wont to do since I came late to this weblogging business, I just discovered Tom Tomorrow's blogsite, This Modern World.

For those of you who know about this all ready, well okay, I said I came late. For those who don't, check it out. Fun stuff and subversive, and A Small Cute Dog For President.

Sunday, January 11, 2004


Yesterday’s post about the Bush space plan, that seems to be getting the shit promoted out of it in the Sunday media, started me thinking yet again. That boy George wants to put a man on Mars smells like a sour parody of a world or a country having any serious future vision, or entertaining an even fractionally utopian aspiration. We merely fight or fix the next election, while the planet lurches from Catholic overpopulation to corporate toxins and then gives up and gets drunk.

A few months ago I completed a novel called either “Rocknovel” or “Love Me, Ah!”. It’s essentially a story about a down-on-it’s-luck veteran rock band struggling through a last desperate tour. Striving for both veracity and a multi-level density of prose, the sex, drugs, artist stupidity and femme fatality are punctuated with conversational digressions that, as anyone who has been on the road knows all to well, are the hallmark of endless band travel. I also saw it as a fictional means to air abstract issues in way that reflected real conversations between assholes in the bar. So far the major publishing houses have reacted to this fiction style as though it was a symptom of advancing insanity and advised me back to fantasy. I persevere, but that’s beside the point. Accept this as either a teaser of free fiction or a trigger for discussion or radical techno-realignment.

(And if you’d like to see a more salacious excerpt, email me at

The following conversation takes place on the Bullet Train between Tokyo and Osaka’...

"Trains could save the world."
Max frowned as he unwrapped the egg and cress. "How do you figure that?"
"High speed trains. Mag-lev.” Dook proceeded to launch into a discourse on the subject of high speed trains. “We have the technology, the energy savings would be incalculable, and get us out from under the oil jones. Plus it’s very hard to highjack a train. The thing runs on rails so where could a terrorist order it to go?" He appeared to have given a good deal of thought to the subject. "Think of it, three, maybe four hundred miles and hour. It wouldn’t even take that much longer than by air. LA to New York in a day and a half. Would that really be a problem?” Dook had the experienced traveler’s knack of being able to break off and stare silently out of the window for a while and then come right back to what he was saying as though there was no seam. “And the possibilities for amusement and diversion are practically endless.”
“You mean like the club car?’
“That would be the obvious one, but it doesn’t have to stop with mere booze. Hell, on a state of the art high speed train, you could have cinemas, shops, gambling, stuff to keep kids quiet. With no payload problem you could provide all the fun of the fair.”
“You make it sound like a traveling mall.”
Dook shrugged. “Why not? You could even have one car that was a strip joint.”
“Blackjack and lap-dances at four hundred miles an hour? Just rocking and rolling across the plains?”
“Actually, mag-lev would be very smooth and quiet. Quieter than this even.” Dook suddenly grinned. “But it’s a thought, though, isn’t it? Oh course, it will never happen until someone manages to loosen the stranglehold the Twentieth Century Petrochemical Gang have on the global economy.”
At times, Dook could make statements that were delivered like communiques. It went against the dumbed-down ettiquette or the group interaction where life was supposed to be a joke, but Max loved him for it. “Dick Chenie’s old boys?”
“The very same.”
Beyond the window Japan continued to rush past.