Saturday, August 16, 2008


Like Edna O’Brien already told us, August is a wicked month. It killed Elvis Presley, 31 years ago. And today he is a one dollar coin, and a Barbie doll, and maybe an ancient, 20th century fertility symbol. Maybe. We have long since mourned. Now all we have to do is remember. And I still think we owe the man. I do. His was my very first revolution. The linear precursor of the one in which I still struggle today. Not I hope with the last of my strength.

The night Elvis died I was in a converted church hall in South London with Larry Wallis. We had been writing the song “Half Price Drinks” but a massive thunderstorm had broken out, complete with thunder, lightning, and the beating of torrential rain on a tin roof. A Sony TV was playing something unwatched, and then a still picture of Elvis flashed up. Oh shit! I though, he’s dead. (This is recounted at greater length in the book Give The Anarchist A Cigarette.)

CRYPTIQUEI shoulda been given the chair of Elvis Presley studies at Princeton, Charlie.

Commercial break
Forty bucks for a painted dollar?


The active remembrance of Elvis past has schismed into two distinct camps. The more positive remember the young Elvis and celebrate him on his January 8th birthday, and then there is the gloom of aging ladies who go to Memphis on this day in August to assemble for his death. And who I personally find exceedingly depressing. (In Memphis today it is 90F and 90% humidity.)


The secret word is Entropy

Friday, August 15, 2008


Patti Smith delivered the following during a recent performance of Rock and Roll Nigger in San Francisco. (Sent by Munz)

'To be outside of society is a lot of responsibility. To be a sacred bum of art, a sacred bum of the earth, we can't stumble like some disconnected abstract telephone. We have to wire up, we have to look each other in the face, we have to let our numbers be known, we have to find our brothers and sisters, we have to strengthen our numbers, we have to rise up, and a new generation, they will rise up. Which way will they rise up? With an air of positivity? If we don't give it to them, every fucking thing will burn! We have got to give them something. We have got to give them some hope. We have got to give them some recognition, that they are alive, that they matter, that they're not just a bunch of mindless consumers. We have to give them love, we have to give them an example, we have to get clean, we have to get tough, we have to get ready, because if the revolution comes, man, we're going to be there and ready! AWAKE! AWAKE! Outside of society…”

We the people, we must be a thorn in the side of the Bush administration...'

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Today is Doc Holliday’s birthday. Had he lived, John Henry Holliday would have been 157. Doc was my favorite western gunfighter. The Thomas De Quincy of shootists and pistoleers, he had consumption, a laudanum habit, a dandy’s taste in threads, and covered a bad attitude with exquisite Dixie manners. When asked if he had a conscience, he reportedly replied, “I coughed that up with my lungs years ago.”

A poem. My take on what Coleridge might have done had he written a western...

Is there a Chinaman in town?
Doc always asked the same question
As the room fell silent
At the ponderous tread of his bootheels
Down the length of the hardwood floor
And the slight creak of his damaged lungs
Every eye covertly upon him
And there wasn’t a saloon in the territory
Where at least one barfly asshole
Didn’t recognize him for who he was
And whisper it to the others

Is there a Chinaman in town?
Doc always asked the same question
A slow survey of the interior
Never turning his back
On the sunlight leaking through the door
And the gawkers would avert their eyes
Through three fast shots of bourbon
Like his life depended on them
His hands shook slightly
As he pulled off his gloves
But then he’d fix the bartender
With a stare that could freeze gin

Is there a Chinaman in town?
They all knew what Doc meant
They all knew what Doc needed
Was there a room with a secret door
That led through the Portal of Time
To the Palace of Mirrors?
Was there a hidden place
Behind the laundry
Knock three times and say
That Woo sent me?

Is there a Chinaman in town?
Is there a place where men
Racked and inert
Could dream the dream?
Is there a place
Of sweet smoke and glowing coals?
A long pipe and a cooling fan?
Is there a place of silent safety
Where the tail of the dragon
Will finally come to rest?

Is there a Chinaman in town?
Can anyone direct me
To the solitude of divine night
To the chamber of shadows
Where legend can be laid to rest
Along with all the reproaching ghosts
Is there an enclosure
Of small death and brilliant images
Where memory stills
With the flask of laudanum
Beyond the reach of the bodies and the old perfume
And I am no longer required to listen
To the echoes of dead men’s pistol shots

Is there a Chinaman in town?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Thomas de Quincy
Doc Holliday
Please tell me, gentlemen
Is there a Chinaman in town?


Doc Holliday is one of the primary characters in Jim Morrison’s Adventures In The After Life, one my best and favorite pieces of fiction, and a book that, although woefully out of print, should not only be read by all but made into a major motion picture.


Maybe worse than the fear of possible FEMA helltrains and high apocalyptic totalitarian paranoia is the ongoing reality of being nickeled and dimed to death by a constant hard radiation of petty details. The email that follows arrived this morning, I signed the petition and went about my business, but continued to fume at the audacity of these Republican bastards, and the time and resources that have to be expended by the good guys to stop this arrant crap.

Can you imagine living in a place where birth control is considered an "abortion" and health insurers won't cover it? Where even rape victims are denied emergency contraception?
It seems unbelievable, but the Bush Administration is quietly trying to redefine "abortion" to include birth control. The Houston Chronicle says this could wipe out dozens of state laws that protect women's reproductive freedom and protect rape victims.1 Access to basic health care for millions of women would be jeopardized. And it's being pushed as a "rule change"-meaning, it doesn't need congressional approval.
Can you sign an emergency message to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, whose department is considering this rule change right now? Tell him: "Contraception is NOT abortion. The Bush Administration's proposal to change the definition of abortion and reduce women's access to birth control must be stopped."

Click here to sign and click here for the full story

CRYPTIQUE My time ain’t long enough to be wasted, pilgrim.

This blog offers no explanations


Down from the wall of Lost Jimmy. (Thanks, pal.)
The secret word is Everywhere

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


To borrow a phrase from Edna O’Brien, “August is a wicked month.” And perhaps, for one of my mindset, today might be the wickedest day. I thank heavens the 13th doesn’t fall on a Friday. Maybe I should just stay in bed.

I woke this morning (it was still the 12th) and some media clown (I was so disgusted I forgot the source) was going on – in the aftermath of John McCain’s visit to the Sturgis bike fest – about how Barack Obama couldn’t win the “motorcycle vote.” Okay, so worry about the white proletariat and the NASCAR vote, but outlaw bikers? Gimme a break. Who ever worried about the biker vote? If for no other reason than by far the majority of bikers that I have ever met or hung with – and there have been quite a few – had felony convictions and couldn’t vote. Personally, I’d worry more about the stoner/dopefiend vote. Despite getting high as a youth, Obama hasn’t said a word about his attitude about the War on Drugs and we all know why. He’s too chickenshit a’ feared of the reaction from Middle America to any talk of legalization. But he also knows there’s hardly a stoner for McCain who could find a polling booth.

Then I open my email and find a missive from Elf Hellion that “A body that may very well be the body of the creature commonly known as ‘Bigfoot’ has been found in the woods in northern Georgia. DNA evidence and photo evidence of the creature will be presented in a press conference on Friday, August 15th from 12 Noon to 1:00pm at the Cabana Hotel-Palo Alto at 4290 El Camino Real in Palo Alto, California, 94306. The press conference will not be open to the public. It will only be open to credentialed members of the press.” A joke that, after the press conference, the body would be roasted and served for lunch with a robust Sonoma red wine did not go down well.

And that left me sitting in front of the computer wondering about the general sense that many of us seem to be waiting for the Bush crew to pull some horrendous totalitarian coupe that will be the death of us all. I did however receive a link to a cool movie, False Flags, Lies, & Nuclear Bombs, recounting the rap-sheet of Bush horror, bookended by clips of Bill Hicks. Do yourself a favor, click to watch.

CRYPTIQUEThe government has no more right to regulate what I put in my mouth than it can dictate what comes out of it.


Fortunately the Perseid meteor shower is still in full swing and visible to all but we in the starless cities. In the pic from Valerie, the meteors meet the aurora. Which, admittedly, is not common.

The secret word is Orbit


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Some you may have noticed that I become uncomfortable when the Doc40 comments number thirteen. I have no idea when or how it started. There must have been a time when the number thirteen cast no dark shadow or held no sinister if unexplainable significance, but I am unable to remember it. I must have come upon me when I was unaware. Maybe that’s the way of it with phobias. And I count myself lucky that it’s the fairly innocuous number thirteen that bothers me, and I’m not so challenged by superstition that I’m afraid to touch doorknobs because of the germs. Indeed, I have actually twisted and used the fear as an aid to greater productivity in my work. And I also console myself with rumors that Stephen King suffers from the same malady. The following is from Wikipedia. I had always though the concept of unlucky thirteen had something to do Jesus and his twelve disciples, but they're not mentioned here.

"Thirteen is regarded as an unlucky number. Fear of the number 13 is termed triskaidekaphobia. The thirteenth of a month is likewise ominous, particularly when it falls on a Friday in some English-speaking cultures, Sweden, Russia, Poland, Belgium and Germany (see Friday the 13th) or a Tuesday in the Greek and Spanish-speaking world. Thirteen may be considered a "bad" or "unlucky" number simply because when a group of 13 objects or people is divided into two, three, four or six equal groups, there is always one leftover, or "unlucky", object or person. According to another interpretation, the number 13 is unlucky because it is the number of full moons in a contemporary year, but two full moons in a single calendar month (mistakenly referred to as a blue moon in a magazine article of the 1940s) only happens about every 5 years.Early nursery rhymes stated there were thirteen months in a year because of the natural moon cycle that was used to count the lunar year. In England, a calendar of thirteen months of 28 days each, plus one extra day, known as "a year and a day" was still in use up to Tudor times.It was suggested by Charles A. Platt writing in 1925 that the reason 13 is considered unlucky is that a person can count from 1–12 with their 8 fingers, two thumbs and 2 feet, but not beyond that, so the number 13 is unknown, hence frightening, hence unlucky.[1] This idea discounts the use of toes or other body parts in counting.Another hypothesis about the origin of Friday the 13th as an unlucky day is attributed to this being the day that the Knights Templar were slaughtered in a collaboration between King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V finishing with the burning at the stake of Jacques De Molay.The legion with which Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon was the Legio XIII Gemina or the 13th legion.13 is the 6th prime number. 6 is sometimes considered an unlucky number due to its association with 666."

The secret number is 12A


Monday, August 11, 2008


L to r Michael English, Nigel Weymouth, and Guy Stevens (who would later produce London Calling for The Clash)

The follow item from Fortean Times was sent over by Munz.

“…UFOs were not just in the air, they’d become a religion and the word a common sacrament to everyone who’d tripped.” - Neil Oram
The word hippie conjures visions of brightly clad youth rebelling against society while advocating peace, free love and the right to alter their consciousnesses in whatever way they chose. But behind the fashions and fads, the hippie underground movement in the UK was responsible for the greatest expansion of interest and belief in fortean phenomena in history.Social historians invariably associate the hippie movement with Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, sources of both inspiration and imagery, and the hippies’ interest in these belief systems has been well documented. But there was another alternative to the blinkered Western worldview of the 1960s already deeply embedded in the British cultural psyche, and already present in the lives of those who would form the movement known as the Underground – the flying saucer culture.In the mid-1960s, although flying saucers were being discussed among the influential group of post-beatniks and modern mystics who would form the core of the Underground, the nascent movement lacked a voice. A figurehead was needed, someone who could breathe life into the background hum of belief in flying saucers, articulating it for the burgeoning subculture.That voice came in the form of John Michell, whose influence on the Underground, and forteana in general, cannot be overestimated. (Click for the whole story)

The secret word is Groovy


"Seems like old times."
The coded message is

To decode…
Copy message
Click link
Clear box on webpage
Paste in message
Click decode.

Sunday, August 10, 2008



Here at Doc40 we have an incurable habit of posting pictures of Marilyn Monroe. Usually these post are a happy events, but this one is so loaded with grim symbolism it seems to suit the restless hungry mood. (Pic lifted from Tom Sutpen)


Picture lifted from Bedazzled.

The secret word is Intoxicant