|March 2002||The USA is starting to scare the shit out of me. Yesterday Bush announced that he had his Shadow Government in place, underground in an "undisclosed location" in Virginia. Aside from that it the Homeland Defense budget was seemingly be spent on refurbishing the old Eisenhower "super-bunker" at Mt. Weather, we are now in the position that one phoney "Reichstag" bomb attack on Washington is all the excuse that would be needed to usher in a full blown totalitarian Christian right dictatorship. That the oil bandits have not only fired up the old Strangelove bunker and seemingly have it fully operational, but have also made the fact public can only serve as an advertisement to their own witlessness. THIS WAS NEVER DONE DURING THE COLD WAR BECAUSE IT WOULD MAKE THE SOVIETS DANGEROUSLY NERVOUS. It was the one of the silent signals that US was readying to nuke-rumble. After that, all you had to do was harden your missile silos against EMP to announce that you'd thought the unthinkable and liked it. John Kennedy, a bright guy, Richard Nixon, a top class poker player, and Henry Kissinger (need you ask) worked out a very sophisticated and symbolic language to be used in times of escalating global tension. Obviously the 20th century signals of the Cold War have to be redesigned with an equal sophistication, but Bush, who barely speaks English, fronting for the genius mindset that gave us Enron and thought they could get away with it, doesn't have a clue how to play Machiavelli with the apocalypse. These boys don't have the smarts to be in the big game, let alone dealing the cards. What happened to the grey aliens who were supposed to be running things? Come on back, lads. All is forgiven, even the nasty stuff you did to David Duchovny.|
|July 2001||"A correspondant called Cassandra writes to ask me if I realy believe Vampires exist. I can only reply that Vampires exist in the imagination where the laws of physics only apply if you want them to, in the psyche as the personification of death denied, and in Jungian sense, in the universal human imagination. That's why there are so many of them. In that we believe in them, so perhaps will they or do exist. Like Tinkerbell only with fangs."|
|April 2001||Getting back in mental (if not physical shape) to climb on a live rock & roll stage is always an educational process. The big hurdle is getting past the words and back to the emotional content. Once I can begin to see the songs as miniature dramas, rather than assault courses for the memory, everything falls into place so much more easily and I can concentrate on selling that story to the audience. The man was right. Rust never sleeps.|
|March 2001||Every so often someone compliments me that I write good and plausible fictional woman characters. I'm usually surprised because it's not something that has ever seemed especially difficult, but I know some male writers don't seem able to do it. I guess my ultimate dream is to create a female character with whom lesbians will fall in love.|
|March 2001||The Deviants were in the studio the other day and during a beer break we fell to gloomily reflecting on how we were all fifty years old or getting bloody close to it. All agreed that death really was one of God's more stupid and fucked up ideas.|
|February 2001||I tend to watch The Simpson's in rerun, since the new shows on Sundays clash with The Sopranos. Reruns cause odd juxtapositions. During the US Presidental election farce, I flipped channels to find George W. Bush wanting to be President on Four and Stephen Hawking doing a guest spot on the Simpson's on Eleven, which I think says a lot about the state of current human evolution. More recently, I caught an episode I'd previously not seen in which Homer, deprived of both beer and television, commenced to lick live frogs for recreational intoxication. I have to conclude that the Simpson's is the currently the summit of subversive mass entertainment. While Mathers takes the heat, Homer licks toads. Need I say more, except of course there's the new season of the Sopranos coming up, here in the USA.|
Fairies guitarist Larry Wallis taught me the sure fire formula to win
money in bars by betting other drinkers that I couldn't name the Seven
Dwarfs. Most think they can, but few make it past the first five. The
trick is a fairly simple one, and also provides something of an insight
into Larry's personality for coming up with it and mine for remembering
it ever after. The first four come as two thematically linked pairs --
Sleepy/Happy and Dopey/Sneezy -- and then the other three are recited
with a definite and already established cadence -- Grumpy, Bashful and
Doc. (Grumpy being the last one with a name that ends in "y".)
You got it? Now go forth and never forget the Seven Dwarfs again.
Santa's reindeer are a little more difficult.
|November 2000||If it really is a question of the stupid against the rest of us, fuck it, let's get ready to rumble. The Yippies in their prime couldn't have planned a better Dada-isation of a US Presidential election.|
A reader called Diane, who having read "Darklost" seemed
concerned about the invitability of death, e-mailed me wanting to know
if I believed in the paranormal.
My reply could only be -- "I glibly tell people I believe in the
paranormal on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays which means, by
necessity I spend a lot of time in the drab reality we call life, but am
well aware that there's also the Infinite Other, which I personally if
briefly glimpsed while taking large quantities of acid in my youth. I
also appease all the gods going by having various tokens, talismans,
totems, and charms -- ranging from Buddha to Elvis Presley -- in my
home, hung round neck on a chain, and attached to
my keychain. In many respects we are still cavemen looking at the stars even though our own tin cans and microprocessors
are now floating out there among them. Much of
what we now call the paranormal is, I'm quite convinced,
the product of forms of science and mathematics we have yet to even
approach. As to the knowledge of our inevitable death being a spur to
inquiry and creativity, I think it's much more basic than that. Humans
are curious monkeys who stood on their hind legs to look over the tall
grass, and we just can't stop doing it. In fact, I actually do my best to
ignore individual mortality. My real hope and
faith is that the Ancient Tribe of the Searching Ones will survive and
continue, and that I can in my own way add a couple of insights to the
common store of knowledge theory and fantasy. That's what really
I did not tell her about the imminent threat from the Insect Trust. I wasn't sure if she was ready.
|September 2000||"It's not the neo-Nazis that worry me. It's the near-Nazis."|
Image by Dan Menzel
|August 2000||(On book downloads) "I fear Willy's Rats won't see publication again until I'm so bloody venerable that everything will be in print."|
|August 2000||"When you start from a point of really basic incompetence, the only way to go is to get better at it. By now we're pretty good at it and folks appreciate that. The odd thing is that it's turned out The Deviants (and The Pink Fairies and the MC5 and The Stooges) had a lot more to to do with modern music and the course that rock has taken than fucking Ten Years After. Kids today get the joke. Even Japanese kids who don't speak a word of English. Like John Houston said in Chinatown, "Politicians, whores, and ugly buildings get respect if they survive long enough."|
|August 2000||"Writing prose and poetry and playing rock & roll are the only things I know how to do, so I keep on doing them. I figure it's valid as long as Willy Nelson -- who we believe is now 103 years old -- is still walking, breathing and inhaling."|
"The LAPD are definitely the most corrupt and inefficient police department of any city in which I've ever lived. They'd be a joke except they're armed and dangerous and devoid of any sense of humor. They swagger like fucking storm troopers, but everytime there's a major case, from the RFK assassination to OJ, they manage to fuck it up. And don't get me started on the riots.
In the matter of the War on Drugs, I wouldn't say I'm exactly optimistic, because what I've come to refer to as the Drug Enforcement Industry (in concert with the big corporate brewers like Anheuser-Busch and Coors, who have studies proving college kids who smoke dope drink less beer) has a massive vested interest in maintaining the status quo. I truly believe, however, that many more ordinary people than we suspect are heartily sick of the dreary charade, and beginning to take the attitude of "enough already". I actually think this why the DEA and its cohorts are going to such lengths to stifle open debate. Disgruntled old pot-heads are only the tip of a very fed-up iceberg."
"The other night I was holed up in the couch mindlessly watching the TV. CBS was showing some dumb-assed show, "The Hundred Funniest Movies of All Time" or some other such lame title -- although, to be strictly fair it did contain some funny if well worn clips by everyone from Buster Keaton to Belushi. As the show concluded, the top three movies, in the opinion of whoever decides these things were...
1. Some Like It Hot
3. Dr. Strangelove
This would seemingly indicate that the two most humorous thing in the English-speaking world are men dressing up as women and global thermo-nuclear warfare. Does anyone doubt the human race has to be close to extinction?"
Image by Dan Menzel
|March 2000||"Why I'm not a huge blockbusting star is a constant puzzlement to me."|
|February 2000||Recently, my good friend Dr. Jake asked me to rate my three best whiskeys. Having never met a whiskey I didn't like, I could only reply thus -- I think we have to accept that Scotch, Irish and Bourbon are different if kindred spirits. Maybe kissing cousins (I can't think about rye, never could drink it.) The best bourbon I ever came across was Gentleman Jack, an 18 year old Jack Daniels, although there are people who swear by George Dickel, and, of course the Keith Richards school that favor Rebel Yell, but I think they crave only fire water, and I've always found it akin to drinking aviation fuel. Not, of course, that it ever stopped me. Scotch is a problem. In a bar, I usually take the wiseguy route and order Johnny Walker Black. Chivas Regal is okay, but basically for pimps. To rate the best scotch involves one in the single malt wars, and a lifetime is hardly long enough to try them all. If asked, I'd probably say Laphroaig, and waffle on about peatreek, but, after three or four, it all becomes firewater and fuck the peatreek as meaningless snobbery. If you're in a bar with no other single malts you recognize, Glenlivet is always a safe bet. As to the Irish, I've never liked Bushmills or Paddy, but I did drink Jamieson's for a number of years; the twelve year old, if they had it and I could afford it, but, one winter morning, I awoke and decided that it was too sweet and switched back to Jack."|
|January 2000||In the latter half of the 20th century -- from Elvis Presley and on -- it seemed to be teenagers who constituted the assault troops of cultural revolution. I'm starting to wonder if it's children we now have to watch. Let's not forget the supposed "innocence" of the very young was essentially a Victorian propaganda invention of the anti-child labour lobby. Before that, preteens were hung, flogged, and exploited by capitalism just like grown-ups. Now we seem to breeding generations who appear, at one and the same time, aware but feral, cyber-sophisticated but functionally illiterate, and with attention spans that have been drastically reduced by massive exposure to television. This was certainly what Bill Burroughs was talking about in The Wild Boys except he wasn't hip to some of the factors now in play. Last year, in Conspiracies, Lies, And Hidden Agendas I wrote "[Hello Kitty] is the secret sign of a conspiracy of very young (Japanese) girls to overthrow their male-dominated society." At the time, I was joking. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe JonBenet Ramsey and The Trenchcoat Mafia may just be the cusp between the old and new faces of revolt."|
|January 2000||"A few nights ago, on a rerun of The X-Files, Mulder warned CS Man "The future is here, all bets are off." The statement struck a chilling resonance. We're in the goddamned 21st century. When I was a lad that was the era of Dan Dare and the Mekon. It was when science fiction happened. We are now in the movie. The giant ants should appear at any moment. Question is, will they be in a form that we can easily recognize?"|
|December 1999||"Worrying about cyber copyrights is Western repression. The whole concept of Internet copyright is so academic when no one makes any money out of it anyway except the porno people and stock traders. I actually feel the web is in its "privateer" phase -- a nice English euphemism for "pirate" from the days of Drake and Henry Morgan when we were still up for some adventuring. My attitude is pillage and plunder and fuck the corporate lawyers, but also be prepared to give away what you have with the same careless abandon. Electronic anarchy and abolition of money. The only morality on the non-commercial web, when you get down to it, is really barter, and the maybe somewhat metaphysical Japanese system of remembered obligations. (As in "I owe you one.") In other words, if you live outside the law you must be honest. I notice that many of the more gruesome English language sites that feature dead bodies, advanced perversion, home made explosives, and the fan pages for mass murderers are now using servers based in Turkey to avoid Anglo-US legalities. If I ever receive any legal e-communication, my plan in such a situation is to claim I'm a non-human replicant operating under the terms of The Lagos Convention of 1992. Let the bastard at the WTO figure that one out. Interzone abides, and death to Global Cyber Enforcement (GCE)! Just don't do like Gary Glitter and let a "repair man" get into your hard drive."|