Saturday, July 04, 2009


Happy Fourth of July to all our American comrades as they recall their revolution. Rockets, ribs, hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day, while Larry the Mattress King dresses up as George Washington in his TV commercials. The Empire has staggered through another year. And now Sarah Palin wants to be president. OMG

The secret word is Independence
And, for some notes on independence, click here.

Friday, July 03, 2009


My response to the news was one of profane bafflement. Palin is resigning as Governor of Alaska? Say what? If anything, it was even weirder than the announcement that she was running for VP. Does she really think that for the next three years, she can bounce around the planet – without any tangible powerbase – and wind up being elected president of what would have to be a totally insane superpower in 2012?
The timing of this move is deeply odd all on it’s own. Dropping this bizarre bomb on the Friday before a national holiday, when the majority of the media are heading for the beach, the golf course, or firing up the charcoal is strange in the extreme. MSNBC had basically shut down, a skeleton CNN was focused on Michael Jackson, and who the hell knew what was going on at Fox? The Friday bombshell is usually a political tactic that’s employed when some major, career-threatening scandal is about to break, and it’s used in the vain hope of softening the shit/fan impact before Monday comes around.
Could a Palin super-scandal be up the line? It’s infinitely possible. As Todd S. Purdum wrote in Vanity Fair – “Palin is unlike any other national figure in modern American life – neither Anna Nicole Smith nor Margaret Chase Smith but a phenomenon all her own. The clouds of tabloid conflict and controversy that swirl around her and her extended clan—the surprise pregnancies, the two-bit blood feuds, the tawdry in-laws and common-law kin caught selling drugs or poaching game—give her family a singular status in the rogues’ gallery of political relatives. By comparison, Billy Carter, Donald Nixon, and Roger Clinton seem like avatars of circumspection. Palin’s life has sometimes played out like an unholy amalgam of Desperate Housewives and Northern Exposure.”
In the meantime, the nation can only wait and barbeque while the madness of the Republican Party becomes close to hallucinatory.

(If you want to read the Vanity Fair piece, click here. For video of the bizarre Palin doubletalk, click here.)

The secret word is Curiouser


Thursday, July 02, 2009


This is Al Franken. I never liked Al Franken. An asshole. A tiresome wizeass blowhard. On the original SNL he was never as funny as he though he was which is why they never let him work with Belushi. And later he almost wrecked Air America by never being as smart as he thought he was – and dull to boot. I think it’s safe to say I loath Al Franken, but now he’s a fucking senator and – supposedly a liberal – and I’m expected to be pleased because he completes the magic filibuster-proof majority of sixty, and Barack will be able to push through a proper national heath service. Yeah. Right. If we live that long.

The secret word is Goodnight

Karl Malden -- RIP


Wednesday, July 01, 2009



In Washington the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. It was flawed to the point of being dismissed by many environmentalists as a barely acceptable watered-down compromise that may yet be watered-down some more by the time it gets through the bought-and-paid-for Senate. At best – and like far too many Obama creations – it is a faltering and feeble step in approximately the right direction. And even that was only achieved after having to listen to all the poisonous crap of characters like Representative Paul Broun of Georgia who, to loud applause from the right, claimed that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that is “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” This prompted Paul Krugman to respond in Monday’s New York Times

“To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research. The fact is that the planet is changing faster than even pessimists expected: ice caps are shrinking, arid zones spreading, at a terrifying rate. And according to a number of recent studies, catastrophe — a rise in temperature so large as to be almost unthinkable — can no longer be considered a mere possibility. It is, instead, the most likely outcome if we continue along our present course.
Thus researchers at M.I.T., who were previously predicting a temperature rise of a little more than 4 degrees by the end of this century, are now predicting a rise of more than 9 degrees. Why? Global greenhouse gas emissions are rising faster than expected; some mitigating factors, like absorption of carbon dioxide by the oceans, are turning out to be weaker than hoped; and there’s growing evidence that climate change is self-reinforcing — that, for example, rising temperatures will cause some arctic tundra to defrost, releasing even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Temperature increases on the scale predicted by the M.I.T. researchers and others would create huge disruptions in our lives and our economy. As a recent authoritative U.S. government report points out, by the end of this century New Hampshire may well have the climate of North Carolina today, Illinois may have the climate of East Texas, and across the country extreme, deadly heat waves — the kind that traditionally occur only once in a generation — may become annual or biannual events.
In other words, we’re facing a clear and present danger to our way of life, perhaps even to civilization itself. How can anyone justify failing to act?”
Click here for the whole column.

Failing to act, however, seems to be the keynote of times. Times that we expected to be a frenzy of New-Deal salvation. And failing to act may well continue to be the modus operandi until those of us who still demand change make such a loud and bloody nuisance of ourselves we finally have to be acknowledged.

The secret word is Noisy


“So how much cholesterol do you figure there is in rattlesnake?"


Those where days, my friends. When Kellogg dusted their cereals with amphetamine and moms were happy all day and docile. Just ask Lucy Jordan.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


For some time now I’ve suffered from this unfocused fear that, here in the new 21st century depression, it all looked too fucking normal. No oakies. No railroad bums. No starving kids with flies buzzing around their eyes. While friends and acquaintances lose jobs, run out of money, and look quietly but increasing more desperate, the superficial world goes on with an appearance that everything – and by that I mean corporate capitalism – goes on as if there was no cause for concern. Although worrying, the feeling was sufficiently nebulous that I hadn’t managed to actually write anything about it. And now Munz has sent me this on-the-money piece by Chris Hedges from Common Dreams I guess I don’t need to because Hedges – give or take a point – voices many of the these uneasy thoughts.

“The ability of the corporate state to pacify the country by extending credit and providing cheap manufactured goods to the masses is gone. The pernicious idea that democracy lies in the choice between competing brands and the freedom to accumulate vast sums of personal wealth at the expense of others has collapsed. The conflation of freedom with the free market has been exposed as a sham. The travails of the poor are rapidly becoming the travails of the middle class, especially as unemployment insurance runs out and people get a taste of Bill Clinton's draconian welfare reform. And class warfare, once buried under the happy illusion that we were all going to enter an age of prosperity with unfettered capitalism, is returning with a vengeance.
Our economic crisis-despite the corporate media circus around the death of Michael Jackson or Gov. Mark Sanford's marital infidelity or the outfits of Sacha Baron Cohen's latest incarnation, BrĂ¼no-barrels forward. And this crisis will lead to a period of profound political turmoil and change. Those who care about the plight of the working class and the poor must begin to mobilize quickly or we will lose our last opportunity to save our embattled democracy. The most important struggle will be to wrest the organs of communication from corporations that use mass media to demonize movements of social change and empower proto-fascist movements such as the Christian right.”
Click here to read the rest.

The secret word is Deception


In a frozen photographic moment a young woman glows, and high on the nobility of her cause, prepares to turn back the fascists. In a matter of hours she may well be dead. But for us she is immortal.


Monday, June 29, 2009


I gotta tell you, neighbours, I like a good crop circle circle as well as the next humanoid. (So much so I'll risk repeating myself. Scroll back to last Friday.) And I would never act the skeptic. Quite the reverse. Given the right combination of drugs and alcohol, I’ll believe pretty much anything. Not only that, but I know the phenomenon folklore and will talk molecular-level stalk-bending well into the dawn. This is why I have serious problems with what might be wrong with the above picture, that appeared in London in the conservative Daily Telegraph (supplied by our own Elf Hellion), and came with a report so uninformative that it verged on vapid…

"The 400-foot design was discovered in a barley field in Yatesbury near Devizes and depicts the mythical phoenix reborn as it rises from the ashes. Investigators claim more formations are referencing the possibility of a cataclysmic event occurring on December 21, 2012, which coincides with the end of the ancient Mayan calendar. The Mayans believed civilisation exists within a series of earth cycles of 144,000 days each with the 13th expiring in December 2012, resulting in Armageddon. Crop circle enthusiast Karen Alexander, from Gosport, Hants, said: "The phoenix is a mythical creature which symbolises rebirth and a new era in many cultures across the world.
"Within the crop circle community many believe the designs are constantly referring to December 21 and its aftermath. "This could be interpreted as the human race or earth rising again after a monumental event.
"The patterns are becoming more intricate with every find and it is exciting to think how they are going to evolve by the time we get to 2012."
Recent crop circles have included giant jelly-fish and one image discovered in Wiltshire in June which experts dubbed the most 'mind boggling' they had ever come across.
The formation, measuring 150ft in diameter, is apparently a coded image representing the first 10 digits, 3.141592654, of pi."
(Click here to read more if you want to.)

My response was a disbelieving what the fuck? And where’s the pic of the circle defining pi? And what does a phoenix really have to do with 2012, and what is this thing anyway? It’s stylization is such a narrow, 20th century, neo-heraldic conformity that it seems hardly possible it is of either extraterrestrial or paranormal origin – even the wings of the Nazca bird image are more akin to alien art. And wouldn't it have taken days, if not very obvious weeks, for human hoaxers to create such an elaboration. Okay, so it looks like a phoenix. But it could also be the eagle of the US Federal government – begging all manner of weird-ass interpretation – or even a Nazi war eagle unfurling it’s wings, heralding the reincarnation of Hitler. It might also have been nice to have a reporter fly over the thing to give us all an idea of scale, and that it isn’t just Photoshop fakery. But no. (As John Belushi used to remark.) No wonder the mainstream media are going broke. They want to play in our strange, vacant-lot, junk-yard of a secret garden but they have neither clue nor education. (Nor the wallabies, for that matter.)

The secret word is Gullible


Some of you will just want to revisit the B. Kliban classic while others may need the essential information. (And on the subject of cats, Finn is one year old today.)


Cousin Zenobia and Cousin Sioban exercise their duckies.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


(And those long-gone days when freaks were freaks, gay straight, stoned, or just plain confused.)


Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the spontaneous uprising by street punk gays during a raid by the NYPD Public Morals Squad on the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-owned gay bar on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. From the Stonewall Inn, enough-is-enough gay fury spread to the surrounding streets, sparking days of rioting during which gay men, lesbians, and drag queens fought the New York cops to a standstill, and brought the world to an understanding that homophobia would would never again go unchallenged. And if you’re not up to speed, click here to learn some history.

“When did you ever see a fag fight back?... Now, times were a-changin'. Tuesday night was the last night for bullshit.... Predominantly, the theme (w)as, "this shit has got to stop!" – anonymous Stonewall riots participant

“You know, the guys there were so beautiful—they've lost that wounded look that fags all had 10 years ago.” – Allen Ginsberg

"We are the Stonewall girls/ We wear our hair in curls/ We don't wear underwear/ We show our pubic hairs” – A chant from the nights of rage

"Do You Think Homosexuals Are Revolting? You Bet Your Sweet Ass We Are!" – Heading on a flier distributed by the newly formed Gay Liberation Front

The secret word is Dolores