For Every Lonely Soul Adrift In The Storm

I give you this song. I wrote about it a few weeks ago but now I feel like sharing it again. Because this is Valentine’s Day and at heart this is a love song.

I might as well talk about it with some more detail. The song started off being about someone I loved. But then there’s the Jesus stuff in there. And the fact that Mary is Jesus’ mother. So it gets confusing. So it’s not a traditional love song. Turns out it’s about more than one thing and I’m okay with that. Maybe it’s only half a love song and the rest is about God and the need for love overall and different types of love.

I think the song is in mourning. What could have been. A friendship lost. A love that couldn’t be. We’ve all had those feelings and felt that pain. This is my version of that and maybe it is too personal to be universal but I still felt like I had to put it out there for the world to hear.

When I heard the final mix of the song, I thought to myself that this was it. This is as vulnerable as I’ll ever get on record. I’m not hiding. No persona. No band behind me. It’s my vision and it’s as pure and vulnerable as I have ever been in my music. And I realize I’m talking about it like it’s some sort of classic song and it’s just some tune on Bandcamp that came out two weeks ago but IT’S MINE DAMMIT and I’m not going to wait for the historians to come calling because they likely never will. I get to tell my own story, in song and in life.

I wrote “JWM” long before I actually recorded, over two years actually. When I wrote it, I was not in a great emotional or mental place. But something was good in this song and I knew it would eventually be recorded one way or another. “JWM” was recorded in December 2018 by which point I was in a far better state. It took a long time to get to that place, a lot of work to attain a level of emotional growth and acceptance. Progress is slow.

I’m happy that “JWM” is my most-listened to song on Bandcamp, more than twice as much as the next song. I think people responded to it and I’m thankful for that. I appreciate everyone who shared it and retweeted it. I’m immensely proud of it.

 

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Governor Northam & Cerebral Palsy Pete

Tonight’s story is about Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, who appeared in a photo in his college yearbook either in blackface or in a Klan uniform. MSNBC has covered it this evening and I’ve got it on the background.

There are calls for the Governor to resign, many coming from within his own political party. In the first year of his term, it seems unlikely that he will be able to ride this out for the next four years even though he dressed in a racist costume and this is Virginia we’re talking about.

In some ways, it feels like a drop of topical cream on a fatally-plagued dermis. If Northam is removed, there’s one probable racist gone. One of many racists emboldened in the institutions they lurk inside.

Amazingly I am actually somewhat sympathetic to the Governor. Because I too have exhibited a total lack of judgement in my college years. Admittedly, my sympathy is limited and I’ll tell you why in a minute but let us get on with the story of Cerebral Palsy Pete.

Those of you who are familiar with me and my musical personas probably haven’t heard about this. It was my shortest-lived persona, lasting almost an entire gig in 2000. I was twenty-one years old and I thought I was an artist. I conceived of the idea of a cerebral-palsy afflicted gangster rapper. Because the character has cerebral palsy, I used the term “cripples” instead of the n-word. I wrote about ten songs that combined rap cliches with childlike patter because I thought I was a method performer. And I used a Gang Starr album as background music. I didn’t even try to get instrumentals. I whole-assed a half-ass thing.

Here’s one of the Gang Starr songs I desecrated:

I just remembered that one of the songs was titled “You Down With C.P.P. (Yeah, You Know Me)”. Eughh.

To make matters worse, I performed this act at the Baptist Student Union across from WKU. And on top of that, an handicapped gentleman ambled in mid-performance. So put yourself in that guy’s shoes and imagine walking in and hearing “THIS GOES OUT TO ALL MY BITCHES AND CRIPPLES OUT THERE!” and wondering if you were being persecuted.

I thought I was doing performance art. I didn’t realize I was making a claim for “local idiot does legendarily stupid and shameful thing.”

Ralph Northam probably didn’t dress up in racist costume as a performance piece but again I understand what it’s like to be relatively young and make a stupid decision. It’s the same impulse that drives people to videotape themselves masturbating in the college library or smoking sativa in the back of a cop car or whatever the kids do these days.

But this is where my sympathy ends because I knew when I created the character and booked the show that I had crossed a line. I didn’t want to be a respectable member of society. I didn’t yearn to serve the public. I didn’t want to be a leader or a politician. I wanted to do my thing. I didn’t think, “Gee, today I’m Cerebral Palsy Pete and thirty years from now I’ll be a Congressman.” Of course I didn’t. I saw the fork in the road and I chose the strange, idiotic path I’ve been on ever since.

Or I saw the road and the ditch and chose the ditch and somehow have kept the car running and dug myself some ground to keep moving. Take your pick. Either way, everybody does dumb stuff and anybody stupid enough to want to be Governor gets what they deserve.

Jesus Without Mary

Presenting February 1 via Bandcamp: “Jesus Without Mary”, a new song by Mike Farmer.

jesuswithoutmary

It is about four minutes and fifty-one seconds.

I have written many songs over the years. This is one of the better ones. The recording was done last December with significant help from my friend Russell Brooks. I don’t have the capabilities to record on my own so I try to make the most out of the rare times I can get help from others. I try to put my best song(s) forward, as I did here.

I hope this song insinuates itself into your dreams. I hope you play it over and over again because I AM GIVING THIS SONG TO YOU. I am not charging for download. It is yours if you want it.

There’s a good chance that this song gets overlooked by many. More than a good chance, actually. But soon I will release “Jesus Without Mary” and with it, let a piece of myself go forever.

 

Congratulations, Shithead

I have two things to say. One thing for all the adults in the room and another thing for this kid and his family.

shithead

We’ll start with the greater point. Anti-bullying campaigns don’t seem to be working all that well. If kids are willing to get in the face of strangers, then classmates they’re familiar with don’t stand a chance.

Telling people that bullying doesn’t work DOESN’T WORK. You can’t make the world fair. You know who doesn’t think bullying is a problem? BULLIES. They are the hero and underdog of their life story, like most people cast themselves. Oh sure, the bullied understand that bullying is wrong. But try to explain that to some kid like the one trying to stare down our Native American friend above.

So what is the answer then? Because as much as it makes me sick to admit it, the cliche “boys will be boys” is kinda true. And the only thing that makes sense to me is some sense of cosmic justice being meted out on bullies. People like Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh are the exception rather than the rule, which is why they disgust us so. We keep waiting for them to get what’s coming to them. Which most people eventually do, bringing it on themselves.

Which brings me to the kid in that photo up there? I don’t know his name so let’s call him “Shithead”. Dear Shithead, do you like you’re getting punished unduly right now? That is cosmic justice for what you pulled the other day, sneering in the face of that brave man who chanted for peace and good energy. You were the antithesis of good energy and you are reaping that tenfold.

It is not entirely your fault, Shithead. The apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Your parents probably feel persecuted and that the world isn’t fair right now, either. Boys will be boys, right? No but here’s the deal, kid: fuck you and your family. You have that look in your eye that says “Yeah what are ya gonna do about it” and if Nathan Phillips were a lesser man he would have slapped that smirk off your pathetic private-school face.

You chanted “build the wall” at a group of protesting Native Americans and blacks who read the Bible in public. You have already built a wall between yourselves and everyone who isn’t like you. This photo and the videos that accompany it are your legacy. I would say you could cure cancer and still not be known for anything but this photo but we both know you won’t do anything close to that. You will never redeem yourself. You will always be Shithead. You are immortal now. Congratulations.

Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Cruel and unusual punishment is forbidden in the United States. It’s in the Bill of Rights. The Eighth Amendment. Most of us know the First and Second Amendments but struggle with Three through Ten. I’ll admit I had to look it up myself.

It’s funny how the Bill of Rights is manipulated. The Second Amendment defended vigorously by some, the Fourth Amendment stripped bare by others, the First Amendment left in the cold like a candle in the wind never knowing who to cling to when the rain comes in.

The Eighth Amendment also forbids “excessive bails… nor fines imposed” but in this day and age when most Americans can’t afford a $500 emergency, bail and fines seem a mite bit excessive. But we’re talking about cruel and unusual punishment, which for example might include the sort of things you’d see in merry Olde England such as being whipped while being dragged by a horse and carriage. Or being drawn and quartered. That’s a funny way to execute a convict.

I had to look up “drawn and quartered” to make sure I knew what I was talking about and it turns out there’s multiple ways to skin that particular cat (one of which involves skinning the punished). I have always associated the drawing and quartering with tying each of a condemned person’s limbs to a horse and then sending all four horses running off on their own separate direction, pulling the body of the condemned ever so apart.

These are cruel and unusual times, ladies and germs. And if anybody deserved cruel and unusual punishment, it is Him. You can guess of whom I speak when I speak of Him. I don’t want to speak the name because it is said enough as is in culture and media. I want to see Him drawn and quartered.

By monster trucks.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I want to see him tied by each hand and foot to four different monster trucks that will all rev up and take off on the same signal. North, south, east and west, each truck in their own different direction. . . until such time that he is torn to pieces, which should be quick because these are monster trucks we’re talking about.

So it isn’t as cruel as you might think.

I hate Him. Most of us hate Him. He is incorrigible, without redeeming human value. We pretend that our country is a beacon of light, higher and mightier than all others but if that were the case a moron like Him would not be allowed within 5000 feet of. . .

He is a monument to human ugliness. Benito Mussolini’s body was dragged through the street and hung on meathooks, desecrated publicly by the Italian countrymen he tormented for so long. Men like Him do not deserve the dignity of a state funeral at the Capital. Nationalism and fascism lead to mass suffering.

Yet there is no ethos beyond self-interest with Him. He doesn’t even mean it. He’s not a true believer. He’s an amoral carny selling a line to the few left to buy it.

What are we waiting for? The cavalry to come in? The people are the heroes now. The people have the monster trucks. How many monster trucks do the government possess?

Exactly.

In your heart, you know this would be tits.

Head & Shoulders

Fuckyou_Honestly

This one has been a long time coming and it is going to be tough to write. This is the sort of thing that would be somebody else’s Facebook status and I’d think it was a cliche but it turns out some things are cliches for a reason.

I don’t have time for flakiness. Next year I will turn forty-one years of age and I’m embracing it as well as I can. If Jay-Z is right and 40 is the new 30, well by God at age 40 one ought to not be a flaky jerk.

I’ve had to cut some people out of my life for this sort of stuff. What do I mean by flaky? Do I mean ghosting on plans to hang out? Do I mean abruptly ceasing a text/FB communication and not picking it up again? Does being flaky mean that on the few times you do pick it back up you’re incredibly patronizing, as if your time is too valuable to waste? I dunno. Seems like it to me.

I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t care, either about the way I was treated or the people who did this to me. It sucks and it hurts to be flaked out on. What did it mean? Was it a way of creating distance?

So I am letting them go. And I didn’t even say goodbye, as much as I wanted to. I didn’t even tell them I was going done with the nonsense nor did I explain why. I couldn’t. Would it even have mattered? I can’t even say “You hurt me with your flaky patronizing bullshit.”

A funny thing happens when you let toxic people go. You get parts of yourself back that you gave them. You almost don’t know what to do with them, those parts of you. You almost want to throw them back like fishing lures. But that won’t work at all. You won’t get the satisfaction you crave. Not a nibble.

It won’t make me feel better to go back and tell anyone off. The only thing that makes sense is to reassure myself that I will be all right, no matter how much I may doubt it at times. I will be all right because I won’t torture myself hanging on to something that isn’t there.

I hope that never happens to me again because I’m too old for this shit like Danny Glover.

The Post That Won’t Die

I have crunched the numbers and my most popular post of 2018 is “WWE Wrestler or Porn Star”. I won’t bother linking it because it has little value.

The premise of the post is for the uninformed reader to guess from a list of names which belong to AVN award-nominated porn stars and which ones belong to WWE women wrestlers. Most of the hits come from non-English speaking countries.

The most reasonable explanation is that a bunch of sad sacks from the Middle East desperately searched for naked pictures of their favorite WWE diva and happened upon my site.

A few well-known women wrestlers’ private pictures and videos have leaked online (most prominent Paige from the WWE) and led to an exceedingly horny fanbase of wrestling fans who want more more MORE.

With no effort on my part, I dashed hopes for the desperate fanatic by supplying not a treasure trove of pix and vids but instead a list of names.

On the bright side, some of the names on the list are porn stars so if you look them up hoping to find nudes you will be more than satisfied. Just don’t expect them to throw German suplexes.

I guess what I’m saying is that you have no control over anything, especially what posts on your blog get the most hits. Look for more lists combining porn star names with wrestlers in 2019. Apparently it works like gangbusters.

Why Do I Have To Know Who This Is?

dumbass

This guy. Why do I have to know who he is? What I have done to deserve this fresh hell?

The music business is filled with artists who have difficult histories. Some of the greatest artists of the modern era have also been terrible people in real life. John Lennon, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry. . . all important to the advancement of popular music and all have had troubled lives having done legitimately horrible acts to others.

The hip-hop era has continued in this unfortunate tradition. Tupac Shakur, one of the guys that gets wall-sized murals in his honor, had a rape charge on him. Dr. Dre is justifiably recognized as one of the greatest producers but he assaulted a woman reporter. There are very few Chuck D’s who have no criminal record and a lot more like Flavor Flav, who have at least one drug charge.

But we know about these people for a good reason. Talent, charisma, good songs that last the test of time. Tupac could be as eloquent as Lennon in interviews, speaking truth to power. I know who these people are because of their contributions to culture, regardless of their human failures or bad acts.

But this fucking guy. Tekashi 6ix9ine, Why do I know that name? Why do I know his stupid, tattooed face? What is this idiot bringing to the table, creatively? Because the first thing that comes to mind is his going to jail for promoting the performance of a minor. He was videotaped with a thirteen-year-old. I’ll spare you the details. He’s also charged with racketeering, a charge that no rapper has ever been dealt in the history of the genre.

Look at the picture up there if you have the stomach. That is a terminally stupid person with an unfortunate choice of style. Even without the colored hair and the rainbow fronts and the oh so idiotic tattoos, he would still come off as a dumb motherfucker. But those things don’t help.

So we’ve got a guy who is a sex offender, a moron and a talentless oaf. He has the #2 album in America this week. Why has the record industry perpetrated this abomination on the public? Take away that there are impressionable youngsters paying attention to this guy. He just sucks. There is nothing of redeemable value to him. We can easily do without this.

I MEAN GODDAMNIT, EVEN CHRIS BROWN CAN FUCKING DANCE AND SING A LITTLE BIT. AND THAT GUY IS A GARBAGE PERSON. BUT THIS GUY HAS NO REDEEMABLE TALENT. HE LOOKS LIKE A EX-MICHAEL JACKSON IMPERSONATOR WHO HAD A TERRIBLE BREAKDOWN AFTER MJ DIED.

Give George Clinton his hair back, you fucking moron, and kill yourself.

I’m Just Not A Movie Guy

Some movies I have seen in the theater/drive-in.

1988: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

1996: Scream

1996: The People Vs. Larry Flynt

1997: Private Parts

1997: Liar Liar

1997: The Crow: City Of Angels

1998: The Big Lebowski

1999: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

2001: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

2002: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

2002: Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones

2002: Auto Focus

2002: Tapeheads

2003: Anger Management

2003: American Splendor

2003: Big Fish

2003: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

2004: Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

2006: Snakes On A Plane

2008: The Dark Knight

2010: Kick-Ass

2018: Bohemian Rhapsody

 

 

 

Who Are You, Mike Farmer?

I threw my rock in the water and it skipped until it sank. The rock made tiny ripples before it was swallowed by the water. When it sank, it was over and done with. Time to get another rock.

That’s a clumsy analogy. My music isn’t some rock. It’s one of a kind. It can’t be just picked up out of pile anywhere. But I feel like whenever I release my music into the world, I’m throwing it into the great big cavernous world like it’s a rock into the ocean. It won’t displace anything or make any impact. In a way, that’s even worse than being hated. Would you rather be hated or ignored?

Five years ago, I recorded a set of songs in a Greenville, Ky. church. This was the beginning of where my musical direction would go from thereon out. I finally “released” it on Bandcamp today. Whether I had tried to promote it for weeks and weeks or just dropped it last second (which is what I did), the impact would have been the same.

I do not have the quiet confidence that my music will find the right ears. I have to hope it finds any set of ears.

My fears are counterproductive. They lead to me shelving this music for years and years. Hiding away like a wound. I’m too protective to have a career.