A Whiny Level Of Sick

I have a cold and it’s making me whiny.

I’ve been trapped at home since Wednesday. It has snowed and it is snowing again right now. I can’t go outside like this. A physical therapist was supposed to make an appointment with me tomorrow but I’m too sick and its snowing so bad I’ve already called to reschedule.

I want to go outside and breathe fresh, cold air for a few minutes. I want to go to the grocery store. I want to not have a fractured ankle. I hate this. I feel so lousy.

My immune system has taken a whipping this past week. I wouldn’t be surprised if malaria seeps through the air vents at this point, that’s how bad my luck is.

I know so much is going on and there’s a lot of social upheaval. Some of it is good, some not. I can’t care right now. Too sick. Self-care means withholding HOT TAKES about news and current events. This is your loss. Try to adjust.

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Will Somebody Please Babysit Our Racist Baby King?

WANTED: babysitter for racist elderly baby

LOCATION: Washington, DC with occasional stops at Florida estate.

PAY: Not enough in the universe

CyeOgO1VIAACG2F

Here he is, the racist baby you’ll be in charge of.

 

I’m sorry. I’m in a real low mood right now. There’s a walking brace on my left foot to protect my fractured ankle and it takes a lot of effort to put the bastard on. It’s snowing outside so my long fight to put on the boot has been for naught. I wouldn’t even dare walk next door to see my mother. It’s too dangerous for lil’ ol Fragile Bones here. My internet connection craps out at odd times and I’m beginning to think that the weather is responsible.

You’ll have to excuse me if my nerves are a little raw at the moment. The bile that comes out of the White House on a near-daily basis makes me ill with anger. I’m sickened by what is going on in my state capital of Frankfort with the Republican attempts to turn our state into a smoky black cinder.

The Trump administration just allowed Kentucky to take steps to terminate our Medicaid expansion.  Kentucky is the first state in the country to “apply work requirements to Medicaid recipients”, per the articles.

It’s a terrible idea and one that I protested against in the summer of 2016. I went to a policy meeting in Bowling Green and NOBODY spoke out in support of this waiver. Dozens of people stood up and spoke to the state representatives and voiced their disapproval along with the very sound reasons why it was an illogical piece of hogwash.

Nobody supported this except for Matt Bevin and his entourage and whoever is backing them. That’s why 2016 meant so much to me. Because I figured that the Clinton administration would likely not allow such a waiver.

I’m worn down. My body is broken. Our racist baby king has deemed Haiti a shithole but Kentucky is as close to Haiti as any state in the union and about to get worse. I’m afraid and self-care isn’t enough right now. But that’s all I have. I have to get better. I have to heal my fractured ankle. I have to lose weight. I have to get my strength up.

In the pre-dawn hours after I cracked my ankle I tried to get off the couch to go to bed and I couldn’t. My foot, ankle and knee were in too much pain to get me up and about. Without a protective brace, I was stuck. Unable to do anything else, I flopped to the floor and crawled to my room. It took at least twenty minutes of sweat and exhaustion to haul my carcass in and hoist myself up to bed, a distance of about twenty feet.

I was helpless and naked. Nobody could help me in the dark of night. I didn’t even have the strength to cry.

I have a walking brace on my foot as I write this. I’m sitting on the couch again for the first time since that exhausting night. It takes some effort to get up but I don’t have to crawl.

If not for Medicaid and Medicare would I even have a walking brace? I have a laundry list of ailments. Would I be able to treat my diabetes, my sleep apnea, my depression, my anxiety, my bi-polar disorder, my PTSD? Would I be able to go to therapy?

Would I even be alive?

Why are they trying to take that from me?

I’ve Taken A Tumble

via Daily Prompt: Brilliant

Brilliant! I’ve taken a tumble. I fell and injured myself. Make me a Rhodes scholar, please.

I fell backwards in a parking lot over a concrete beam and on the way down bounced off the hood of my car. Genius!

How did I do this? A genius never gives away his secrets. Even though I told you how it happened just now, no matter! Trade secrets!

Why did I do it? Because I was making room for a gentleman with an air tank to fill up my driver’s side tire and I decided to go from minor inconvenience to full-on physical pain. Great!

Now? A non-displaced fracture on my left ankle and a spur in my left foot. Who could do that in one fell swoop? You’re reading him right now. Ouch (brilliant)!

Pain pills! Crutches! Orthopedic appointments! Not applying pressure on my left side. All in a second’s work. I am a golden god. That’s brilliant, people.

 

Anti-Sludge Resolution

Perhaps you have seen this video. I watched it about a week ago.

 

I watched this video and looked at the smoke and the black sludge foaming up and I said to myself “That’s what’s inside you right now, big man. All that sludge is in you.”

I later found out that the guy poured Coke into sulfuric acid, not stomach acid. Is he mistaken or misleading? Does it even matter?

I’ve been struggling lately. Buy a six-pack of Coke once or twice a week and polish it off real quick. Drink water for the next few days then repeat the cycle. Am I as bad as I used to be about this? No but what I have been doing for the last year? Why am I trying to throw all that progress away? Why am I clinging to this that hurts me?

If there’s any silver lining, ever since I watched that video I hate the taste of Coca-Cola. I hate how it tastes and how it makes my stomach feel. Even before I saw that video I hated how I felt drinking that stuff.

I have a burning desire to never drink Coke or any soda ever again. I haven’t had any for about five days. I don’t miss it. I still have a bottle in my fridge that I’ve left unopened. It’s sitting right there and every time I open the fridge I mean mug the son of a bitch.

If I do this one thing it will be a major improvement. If I stay off the sodas it will make me feel so much better and the pounds will come off naturally. No diet soda workaround that doesn’t really work. Sludge = sluggish.

I want to try to stay off soda for at least six months. I’ve never done it and that’s saying a lot. That is my resolution. I’m only getting started. I hope I hold out and don’t feel like punishing myself.

Getting Closer

My 2017 was a year of progress that was not visible to outsiders.

2018andme

2017 was supposed to be the year I got a gastric sleeve. While I’m still in the weight-loss program, I still haven’t done it. If I haven’t done it by the end of March, I probably won’t end up doing it. For the longest time I’ve been afraid to do it. I’ve been afraid of failure.

It is better to try and fail than not to try at all, which is something that has put me on stages performing for years. It is what has led me to profess my love and fall flat on my face. I have shot my shot in many different ways and failure hasn’t stopped me. Why should it stop me now?

My fortieth birthday is March 26. I would like to have the surgery around that time. I like to think of it as a rebirth. It will be a better time for me. The weather will be warmer, no holiday season to fret over. I could have had the surgery in early October but I didn’t want to. I knew the recovery period would coincide with the holidays and I didn’t want that hassle.

I have had some personal breakthroughs. Last year I told my story of childhood abuse. I never thought I would ever tell that story aloud. There it is, preserved for eternity. The internet will archive it even if this website goes tits up.

By the way, “internet” is demanding I capitalize it. I see the red line underneath it. I don’t think I ought to. Nor should I/we capitalize “tv” or “god”. Let’s try something here facebook . . . yep, facebook wants to be capitalized.  What about reddit? Yup, same thing. Hey google. Yep.

The brands are a little too sentient.

The New Björk Album Isn’t Very Good

bjork-utopia-cryptocurrency

I’m sorry?

This take may seem contrary but only because the conventional critical wisdom is that Everything Björk Creates Is Great And Important. If we don’t understand and can’t grasp it, perhaps it is us who have the problem. Go listen to the Chainsmokers or Bieber, Mike. This is real music.

bjork

What happened to the last person to give Björk a bad review.

I don’t like this Björk album therefore I’m the problem. The possibility that Björk is more interested in the creative process and sound texture instead of. . . y’know, writing songs. . . yeah, that couldn’t possibly be the problem here.

The songs on Utopia sound like much like the songs on pretty much everything she’s done since Homogenic with one exception. I’ll get to that later. But you have to admit that every time a new Björk album pops up, there’s something very intriguing about the backstory of how it got made. Perhaps the album will come with a neat little hook like the Biophilia app. The net result ends up being that the backstory and the process and the sideshow of such new album. . . ends up being more interesting than the album content itself.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look back, shall we? Vespertine featured a harpist and “microbeats” created from household sounds. The accompanying tour featured said harpist and an all-female Inuit choir.

Medúlla was a mostly acapella album. What few “tracks” were built on that album were built from vocal samples. Volta hyped collaborations with hip-hop producer Timbaland, yet still found time to feature heavy brass and horn sections. I’ve already mentioned the Biophilia app. Vulcinara and now Utopia are two sides of the same coin, dealing with the pain and recovery of heartbreak stemming from the end of her relationship with Matthew Barney. Almost all of these albums have been accompanied by an alternate album, either featuring concert recordings from that album’s tour or remixes of tracks or in the case of Vulcinara an all-strings version featuring an ancient instrument invented by freaking Leonardo da Vinci that maybe five people in the entire world play.

Are you beginning to see my point? No limit seems to exist for Björk when it comes to experimenting with incredibly esoteric means of music production. The problem is that when the final product is released, it is a Björk album that sounds like practically every other Björk album over the last fifteen years. Björk has done this before and much better on Debut, Post and especially Homogenic.

How is it that after all these different ways of collaboration and experimentation we keep ending up at the same place? We’ve gone from Homogenic to homogenenic. I’m sorry? I’m not being contrary just to do it. I can’t think of any time she’s been harshly criticized or mocked except for two times: wearing that swan dress to the Oscars and for chanting “Tibet” at a concert in China.

The only time she’s broken out of her rut is on Medúlla, the acapella album and therefore the one with the most restrictive (self-enforced) parameters. Without her precious strings, she relies on vocal tics, beatboxers, guest singers, guest choirs. The tracks she makes with Rahzel, like “Where Is The Line?” and “Triumph Of The Heart”, are the ones that grab the hardest. Forced to pin her vocals to beats, she connects to the intensity and fury of prior classics like “Army Of Me” and “Bachelorette”.

If you’re wondering why I’m even bothering to do this, here’s why. Because music criticism can be worthwhile but the current state of music criticism is pathetic. Tied into the business of promotion, many albums get the vocab equivalent of fellatio by the popular music review sites. Access journalism has made it where these writers and websites are practically competing to see who can write the most flattering review. Do they actually like this stuff? Do they really think it is good? Will they be listening to it a month from now, or a year from now?

The only time critics dare do their jobs and criticize an album is when the stakes are low. You can say whatever you want about U2’s new album because everyone has already made up their mind about U2 either way. It’s easy to say whatever you want about, say, Luke Bryan because the kind of people who will listen to him aren’t going to care about a bad review anyway.

There is no personal agenda to this except I want better music and if I didn’t think she was capable of delivering it I wouldn’t even bother.

I could be wrong, Björk fans. But let me ask you this: the new album. Have you listened it much since you first listened it? Have you kept listening to it? Is it rewarding? Is there ONE song on Utopia that as soon as it finishes you want to hear it again immediately? Is there a “Hyperballad” or “Unravel” on this album and I’m not hearing it?

Because from this vantage point, it’s starting to feel like a chore.

12/5/17 (Wrap-Up)

(I wrote this 12/5/17. I’ve been holding on to it for a few weeks. Might as well post it now.)

child

My mind ran with terrible thoughts as I tried to sleep last night. I lie awake with dark, empty thoughts of death. Death seemed sweet to me. I felt myself slipping away.

The emptiness was replaced with a cycle of thoughts stating and reinforcing the case for suicide. I felt myself slipping away. I told myself I was slipping away. I felt like I was already out of everybody’s life as it was. My death was a mere formality.

Last week I read a story about a war criminal in Bosnia-Herzegovina who drank poison to protest the verdict of guilt against him. I was impressed with the drama of it, his showmanship.

I sometimes have this fantasy of doing something similar but at an award show on live television. If I were somehow fortunate enough to be nominated and win a Grammy, I could go onstage make a statement and then swallow a cyanide tablet or two and that would be the end for me.

I wrote a song about it, “Drunk On TV“. It’s on the last TVH album. Part of the song is about being a guest on a late-night talk show and, as you can guess, sitting there drunk and/or strung out.

Jane’s Addiction was right. Nothing’s shocking. It would take a televised suicide to jolt the masses. . . and even that would be a moment that would pass. Anyone willing to commit an act like that would become a footnote to history like R. Budd Dwyer or Christine Chubbuck.

And yet the world kept going after they died. Even though the urge kept calling me, I knew the world would keep going. It is even as I speak. . . going on all around me.

I find that relieving.

 

I Carry A Flame That Can Warm The World

I get why people try to make themselves larger than life because growing up I was made to feel smaller than life. Not even life-sized.

I finally understand why people love “A Christmas Story” so much. Because the kid wants to be a bigger deal than he is. He wants a child’s awesome vision of adulthood to be free from the prison of childhood.

Being a kid sucks and “A Christmas Story” knows it. I couldn’t appreciate the story because it hit too close to home. Being disillusioned and losing faith in everything. Your teachers, your family, your favorite show, and Ovaltine. I will never allow that substance into my house. Bullies will hunt you down and Santa will kick you in the face. Life is hell and kids don’t get to carve their own roads in life.

I went to a shitty K-8 school. I’m trying to blot out a lot of psychopathic behavior from my youth. It was like being incarcerated and tormented by the other cellmates while the screws just left you to your demise. There weren’t any gifted kids at Fordsville school, they figured. So the teachers were just there for a paycheck, grinding until retirement.

It’s easy for kids like us to fall through the cracks. Think about it, a bunch of kids from low-income families in a rural area going to a poorly-funded elementary/middle school. A county that produces farmers, factory workers, mechanics and religious fanatics. Not likely to be the next Bill Gates coming from a place like that, so just shuttle the little turds through the system and get ’em ready to replace their dumb parents within the next two decades.

And if social media had existed in 1991, I would have killed myself. “13-yr-old Fordsville boy commits suicide after video of teasing posted online”.

Move on to high school, hate every minute of that. End up in a logjam trying to move between class periods. Not only are you stuck with the psychos you grew up with but the psychos from the rest of the county: Beaver Dam, Hartford, Centertown, et al.

People from Beaver Dam and Hartford looked down on the Ohio Countians who weren’t from those two little bergs. I don’t know why. All these towns are part of the same shitty county. And of course they looked down on people from other counties. Why are they feeling so superior to Butler County? And why do they hate Daviess County? We’re all part of Kentucky and it sucks. What kind of provincial inferiority complex do we you have here?

Ohio County H.S. had gifted kids but of course the sons and daughters of the local prominent assholes also received preferential treatment. Somebody’s dad is an big-wig insurance agent, or an optometrist, or a powerful attorney. To this day, I swear off insurance, eye checkups and my Miranda rights like they were Ovaltine. I was just some dumb kid from Fordsville. My mom worked in an office and my dad was. . . I don’t know, he wasn’t there. Which is another strike against me.

Haha, I’m from a broken home. Haha, my favorite band is Queen. Haha, their lead singer is a queer who died of AIDS. Haha, I don’t play football even though I’m a big boy. Haha, I can’t afford nice clothes or expensive shoes. Haha, I have to take the bus to school. Haha, I don’t have a pass to the smoking area.

High school does get you ready for the real world, if the real world is like Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”, a cattle cart of miserable grunt work. Unhappiness in service to system that sees you as replaceable. A system that would see Bukowski and think his best work was done in the post office.

From the outside I didn’t seem all that special, I guess. Maybe the teachers already could tell which kids were going to be the fuckups, the criminals, the losers. I’d have to work to avoid that destiny because I didn’t have a rich dad to prevent me from it. Maybe they thought if I worked hard enough I might end up not in jail and that’s about as high a bar as they wanted to set with me.

So of course I spent my whole life trying to scream out to anyone who listened that I was special. I didn’t have the words to express it but my mind was crying out for acceptance and attention. It’s this need that makes people write and sing and play and say “My name’s Johnny Knoxville, welcome to Jackass” before trying to jump a moving automobile.

“I AM EXTRAORDINARY. I KNOW IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKELY THAT I WOULD BE BUT I AM. IF YOU WOULD JUST GIVE ME A CHANCE TO SHOW YOU, YOU WOULD SEE IT AS WELL!!”

I am still that boy, still screaming. Still wanting to be accepted. Still wanting to show everybody what I am capable of. The world feels like an unforgiving, cold and miserable place. I carry a flame that can warm the world if they will let me. I am a messenger and I am a vessel of peace. I know why I’m alive.

I have suffered and I see suffering and I will speak and sing about it. It unites us whether we realize it or not.

Prolonged exposure to heartbreak can make a man delusional.

You Love Yourself And I Don’t Know Why: An Open Letter To Paul Ryan

 

Dear Speaker Paul Ryan,

Fuckyou_Honestly

If you somehow happen to read this, Paul, I hope you have a shameful and infamous death. A Michael Hutchence/David Carradine-style death that your family will never be able to speak about and everybody laughs at.

There’s no way you haven’t choke-baited, Paul Ryan. In those lonely college nights when you and your friends talked about your dreams of privatizing health care, drying every vagina within earshot just by opening your foolish mouth. Going back to the dorm with a dry dick wondering why the girls weren’t into you. Just like the week before and the week before that.

But at least you’ve got your beachtowel and your Walkman. You step into the private dorm your parents rented for you. You slip the headphones on and press play. The soothing sounds of Paula Abdul reach through. If only Paula Abdul were here with you, right here right now. . . you would do good, bad and possibly illegal things to her.

“Rush, rush, hurry hurry love come to me. Rush, rush, I wanna see ya, I wanna see you get free with me.” I don’t need to say anymore.

Why are you alive, Paul Ryan? In a world where so many young people commit suicide and/or overdose on drugs, why do you get to walk around healthy and happy without any lingering self-loathing? Think about Kurt Cobain, Paul. You probably have or had Nirvana’s Nevermind, another hit record of the early ’90s. That guy had a terminal case of self-loathing. Self-loathing, shame. . . I mean, he killed himself, Paul. And that guy was good! I mean it’s easy to be contrary and say that Nirvana is overrated but we’re talking about Kurt Cobain’s self-image as opposed to yours, Paul. And most everybody would prefer that Kurt was here instead of you.

Some people hate themselves way out of proportion to how bad they are as people. Kurt Cobain, while no saint, shot himself. But he never voted to dismantle the health care system or voted to increase the deficit by over a trillion or give the wealthiest Americans an even bigger tax break. All he did was write and sing songs (and heroin) and hate himself.

You love yourself and I don’t know why.

I see this going two ways for you, Paul. Either you choke-bait yourself to death as I’ve mentioned or you jump out a window when the economy goes tits up and all your investments become worthless.

Window-jumping is a Great Depression-era piece of apocrypha where allegedly many stock market players took a post-Black Tuesday lemming leap after they realized the enormity of their debt and inability to get out of it. Many people committed suicide either by gun or hanging or gas but only a couple actually jumped from a roof or window.

But you know who didn’t kill themselves after Black Tuesday? Poor people. Which goes to show that a guy like you wouldn’t last a day in my shoes.

2017 Albums Of The Year

It’s time to rate the best albums of 2017, a truly great year in pop music. If you haven’t heard any of these six incredible albums, let me know and I’ll dropbox you a link.

raazsecret

Ra’az, the Canadian-Sanskrit electroclash duo, has been called “a cross between ARE Weapons and Chromeo pumped full of HGH” (New York Times) and “Har Mar Superstar, but shittier” (Sports Illustrated). Their fourth(?) album “Secret” (Cherry Pop[?]) is a life-affirming spectacle about the joys of hedonism in a repressive authoritarian state, with songs like “Sangria Sharia Shangri-La” and “Oohlala XXX (Hit Dis Heni)”. Props to Jon Brion(?) for adding slick production to their almost-hit “Screwed Sucret Shalamar (The New Joint Next Level FUMF)”

djscantfuckvol2

The Western European techno collective finally busted through the glass ceiling on the second volume of slamming Ibiza club hits. DJ’s Can’t Fuck are the first and so-far only pure Gnostic DJ collective. The DJ’s either can’t fuck because they are eunuchs or incompetent. Allegedly, a few of the DJ’s are physically able to fuck but refuse to for religious reasons or to preserve their precious bodily fluids. I have never heard this album and I probably never will. I only rated it so I could tell the backstory.

smokeymarmalade

Smokey Weller and his younger sister “Marmalade” Sally have their intertwined their song stylings on their debut “Good Eatin'” (self-released). This California duo have positioned themselves at the forefront of the West Coast outlaw country scene with “Hey Smokey (What’s Up Marmalade)” and “Tickle My Ivories, Tickle Me Pink”. Sounding like Birdcloud having a threesome with the exhumed corpse of Townes Van Zandt, Smokey and Marmalade are surely the finest brother-sister country-folk duo to have ever come out of a Montessori school system.

elvietommy

This novelty mashup-single credited mockingly to Elvie & Tommy (or Elvis Costello and Tom Waits for those of you who don’t know) is actually the work of alternative rock hunk Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar, solo artist) and Swedish hip-hop producer Pron-Porg MC. “B.O.O.B.S.” is a one-percenter gag that will go over the head of most club-goers. For the bedroom set and their friends in the basement.

foggynotion

Foggy Notion, the Norwegian power trio of bad-ass riot grrrls, show you’re never too female to rock. Guitarist-vocalist Snorf Lordgren and bassist-vocalist Oksle Djorgenloff link up with avuncular, estrogen-informed vocals, reminding this reviewer of a fuzzier Sleater-Kinney. Drummer Elke Ogsneddenhoff-Magnedden’s ferocious, understated ovary-inflected grooves recall everything from the feminist minimalism of Meg White to the irrational haberdashery of Drumbo. Combining angular riffage and sonic mammary guitarmaggedon with a egalitarian credo. . . vagina.

firenexttime

Fyre Next Tyme is Wyoming’s most mysterious psych group. Imagine a more pranksterish Acid Mothers Temple (imagine listening to Acid Mothers Temple [look up Acid Mothers Temple on Wikipedia]). Fyre Next Tyme’s umpteenth album “Ypex Prydytyr” (Red Apple[?]) is simply WWE wrestler Randy Orton’s theme slowed down 500 percent and fed through a flanger. An attempted US tour was cut short after Pitchfork reported that six of the eight band members were members of a registered hate group.