Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

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Matty,

It is with deepest regret that I must inform you of my passing in 2018. This in large measure explains my conspicuous absence. Rest assured, I am accustomed to the experience, having died once before in 1991 as a result of abusing powerful intoxicants, a wily mélange of alcohol and over-the-counter cough drops. Nonetheless, as I am wont to say nowadays, when the grim reaper calls, it won’t be on your galaxy S9. Death is ultimately sudden, even when you have been expecting it all your life. By-and-by, I propose to revisit the subject on the occasion of my third death, which is foretold to end under the crushing weight of a tractor in some mud-laden field.

My recovery has been swift but I am still frail. Presently I fear my huge investment in copper will be my undoing. A savvy investor yourself, you can well understand how I blame the Chinese for most of my malinvestments. If not for crippling debt they might actually have an economy in need of base materials. But other than not being able to make a quick, obscene profit from commodities, what is it people don’t like about copper right now? It has a nice sheen. Why the hate? Personally I find the sight of coppery locks curled upon the temples of a grammar student almost too dizzying to bear. Nevertheless I believe copper will be the next big thing since gadolinium. Of course certain divestitures were necessary; for example, I no longer own my huge collection of Victorian pornography and had to auction off some of my cars. Parting with the Lambo was difficult, as the searing image of its sad eyes and dinted forehead filled me with mean-spirited melancholy. That’s when I attacked the tow truck driver, a toothless automotive “professional” wearing a ruddy baseball cap. “Careful with that chain,” I said to him with the same amount of goodwill on offer by madman wielding a paring knife. As though dropped from a steep cliff or nudged from the cozy comfort of a C-47 and facing an uncertain future over barren land, an idea lodged itself within the hazy periphery of my fanatically morbid mind. Was the altercation truly about dentistry? Was having a perfect set of creamy canines and of masticating molars–stroked daily with the vellicative touch of silky strands of dental floss, oh! those easily titillated incisors–correlated with a penchant for fast cars? Let’s face it, the poor sod would never own a Lamborghini and that was as certain as snowfall in Sweden. And verily, his fetid odor was not a reprisal for his conspicuous lack of the trappings of wealth, but rather a natural statement about inevitability. Oddly and fittingly, there’s nothing natural about a Lamborghini, and out of the two I’d cast my lot with the downtrodden over the hydraulic on most days.

He had the eyes of a weasel yet the bonhomie of a seasoned swine. I also got the feeling he was just putting in his time, and that at 5 o’clock he’d abandon everything mid-doing and leave for another planet. Then suddenly, as though out of character, he took me back millions of years and spoke heatedly about lobsters and serotonin. I humored him with an attentive ear. Was he making a cogent point about hierarchies? Had he recently done a repo on the SUV of an evolutionary biologist?

Still, he must have been a Marxist. But from my vantage the stench of Mao Zedung’s [sic] delusions ( it’s unmistakably the stench of death) seems to cast a pall over the revival of that brand of governance. In contrast and in stating the obvious, any meritocracy will have excesses, but such unevenness is the spark of life, its guiding principle. If I’m at sea and Poseidon decides to throw a shindig, I’d rather have a qualified captain at the helm than the cook or a chamber maid with unappreciable navigation experience, save for her ability to circumnavigate the captain’s escritoire with long goose feathers (the video, available in certain sectors of the internet, is quite exquisite). I don’t have anything against cooks, toothlessness, or ornithology when it comes to it, but the thought of my cabin filling up with water without a genius seaman at the helm does not give me succor. There is a time and place for everything (suddenly this missive takes a pithy turn, co-opting the worse instincts of the greeting card industry) and this is the time for a decorated naval officer.

Mat, as impending death hangs around me like gaminesque groupies ensconced in the backstages of unwholesome rock concerts, I rediscover your writing. And as the likelihood of my slipping into a coma increases with each passing day, with each marauding cloud, I beseech you to inform me of your forthcoming literary awards from institutions which still dole out as a token of esteem statuettes of naked gods and goddesses, carved with anatomical precision. Porcine literature, your unapologetic niche, is bound to palpably surface as tales of pig farmers migrating to the bustling city are just beginning to capture the public imagination. It is my fervent hope that serious critics start to honor the very best in what has been termed Pig Lit by fans of the genre. As such, I may enjoy, vicariously through your good self, the pleasure of being feted as a literary maven, thus, delicately and seemingly, vindicating my years of despoiling perfectly salvageable paper with Byzantine sentences and intransigent vocabulary. You are my only hope now, Mat. Don’t be an ass.

As an additament, the Finns have sadly banned the use of dental amalgams, some malarkey about toxicity, which coincidentally use copper; nevertheless, I continue to blame the Chinese for my misfortunes.

Sincerely,

P.

Mat’s writing can be found anywhere condoms are sold or alternatively by scouring his pockets if you happen to spot him pacing the length and breadth of Brighton Beach.

If that wasn’t enough, his work can be found on his blog or on the floors of local animal shelters.

https://drysailorboy.wordpress.com/

Ravenala madagascariensis

 

 

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I apologize for including something on this blog that may be of use to someone, as it is not my wont to educate; nevertheless, there are times that such bonhomie, such unstinted desire to share, such generosity of spirit is practically inevitable–the case (and casing) of the ravenala seed being one of those vainglorious examples.

The seed, velvet-black, and almost certainly evil, is covered in a heavenly blue wax, as though having been embalmed by a secret gathering of funereal hands.

By-and-by I will get to the useful information promised, but first we must linger a bit longer in language’s sandbox. When you are ready, we shall begin (unless we are sidetracked by some impromptu exegesis on the part of this blogger, who, some may have noticed, is prone to explaining–at the drop of a clunky cowboy hat–the many iniquities which befoul our peripatetic planet (it puts on a pair of Nikes in the morn and walks around the sun all day, after all)).

So here are the steps to planting your own Ravenala madagascariensis (Travelers Palm).

1) Befriend someone in Madagascar (for obvious reasons). This may require the exchange of intimate photographs, but the internet is a safe and wonderful place.

2) Ask for seeds (among other things).

3) Go to post office and chat with the fluttery-eyed postmistress. Return home when after several hours it becomes apparent that your letterbox is as empty as a banker’s heart.

4) Repeat trips to post office till you either receive an offer of marriage or till your seeds arrive. If the latter, continue to point 5.

5) Store photographs in a safe place. Remove seeds from package. Admire your purchases.

6) Scrape away the blue wax to expose devilish seed.

7) Plant seed in a pot (if you need to be told to add soil you are at the wrong place). Hope for rain.

And that’s it.

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The final product:DSC_4968_sm

 

 

Below is my grass replacement experiment. I think Truman Capote hated grass too, but this may be simply a projection from my agitated mind. (In case you ask, it’s some moon-white Zephyranthes stolen, if memory serves,  from a Texan in the dreary summer of 2032).

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Why social media is like a bucket of vomit

You love your Triumph Spitfire. You love going down the freeway in top-down weather. You love the sound of the stinging breeze wrapping itself round your German Luftwaffe Helmet. Oh, the looks you get. They, courageous car buffs, stand in awe; then they forcibly wipe the mud from their shoes and their bandy legs, wishing now they had stood a little further back from that pretty café au lait puddle. Still a madman cutting athwart a thin sheet of muddy water is something to behold. You look back, feeling great. And aside from the motion sickness, you’re on top of the world.

But then the proverbial merry-go-round sputters and stops. Your coveted sports car, in truth a sardine can with wheels and a nice paint job, breaks down. Then you learn the ugly truth. The only parts available for the car are stored in a locker somewhere in Asia minor, in the bowels of a godforsaken train station, and the only way to access the stash of now obsolete auto parts is to participate in a religious ceremony involving a small herd of yaks and bitcoin.

All this to say that there are some good things about owing a Spitfire and some not so good. It’s like that with social media too: some good, some bad.

Twitter, for instance, should be for journalists only. What’s the point of laypeople trumpeting (should this now be capitalized?) the first thing that pops into their swollen heads. And so, with the character limitation imposed by Twitter you get–well, you get concise garbage (or pick your own oxy, moron). Tweeting is to blurt out something you’ll regret later. Don’t do it. Attempting to raise the bar, Roseanne did it. Now she’s selling pencils.

There’s another problem with social media. Lone voices get drowned out. There’s bullying; you’ve seen it. Group think shows up to the party, wearing a flashy suit, and so we are left with one opinion, one revolution (now choose a color). Foot-soldier, like me, like some of you, get drowned out. Probably a good thing.

Nevertheless, the game is stacked against you–face it, you’re going to hear disproportionally from celebs. If celebrity X gets several million views for some vapid offering and lone-she-wolf gets single digit views (and the one from her mother hardly counts), is it reasonable to conclude that the celebrity’s contribution is a million times more thoughtful? Could be. If not, there’s room for improvement with this whole social media experiment. Sadly, the bullhorn of celebrity is loudest heard in a celebrity culture.

We seem to have the need to hand the podium to golf pros, to those famous at being famous, to porn stars known for hornswoggling real estate moguls, and don’t seem to notice that we get vomitus in return.

I hear the gentleman from the third row saying it’s sour grapes. The Kardashians are gifted at using social media and need props for that. Okay, I stand rebuked, though their good fortune at having such talents is indubitably my loss.

And here we have a couple sitting at the dinner table. There’s Frank, a vintner, fat-witted, occasionally violent, and then there’s Lucida, as readable as a good font. Cutting to the chase: Frank and Lucida had the common sense to instigate what they called the dinner rule: no mobile devices at the dinner table and no more takeout from Game King–there’s a fetid odor to llama meat that just doesn’t seem to want to let go.

Consequently, they dine in complete silence. And as soon as they leave the table, clean the dishes, wipe the counters, scrape spaghetti from the walls, they go off in separate directions. Only then, when no longer in each other’s company, do they rediscover the lost art of conversation, and text each other frantically till midnight: so long as they do not see each other, and so long as they can communicate electronically, all is well. Then, buoyed by hours of texting, they facebook (is this a verb yet?). Yikes, 143 likes. Goodnight all.

And there’s the typical comment section on UTube:

Your a retard. Eat my vomit. And if you have a moment, go f*ck yourself.

What’s happened to civility, to grammar, to the letter u?

Some are concerned about time management. If you’d spent all your waking hours on that Clementi piano sonata instead of on social media, you’d soon be performing at Carnegie Hall.

We have been entertained (by design) into a coma, and meanwhile we lose track of true friendship, fall into the hands of charlatans, stumble into the wading pool of disinformation, and mayhaps fatally slide into the penumbra of totalitarianism–all without notice or care.

A few weeks ago, I leaned that the developers of Facebook were B.F. Skinner fans and that their chef-d’oeuvre (evil mousetrap) was built upon variable schedules of reinforcement, which result in behavior resistant to extinction. All this to say that posting and waiting for ‘likes’ is addictive (that is, highly resistant to extinction).

When a rat (Burrhus Frederic loved rats) hits a lever and is only rewarded occasionally by a delicious pellet (delicious for rodents), said rat will compulsively keep hitting the lever. Most rats, being unlettered, haven’t heard of slot machines, but you have–you’ve seen the overturned pupils of a gambler stuffing coins into the maw of a heartless box. But, funny thing, when a rat has had too many food pellets, it vomits.

Fiction explained

Fiction explained. Pilot episode.

SS_4https://vimeo.com/230967579

The 5 sure-fire ways to tell if you’re an introvert

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5  ways to tell if you’re an introvert

1) Everyone loves pineapple. If you have a slice or two, you’re an introvert. If you eat the whole honking thing, you’re an extrovert.

2) Do you keep putting gas in the car, but always seem to be on empty–unless you are driving alone? Then you’re an introvert.

3) What if you are at a party and some goon with a bad hair transplant asks you for a cigarette. Trick question: introverts don’t go to parties.

4) Have you ever been to a fried chicken establishment, ordered a bucket of electrocuted bird parts dipped in spices ( stuff swept off the floor), and eaten alone? If so, you are an introvert.

5) Are your thoughts more important to you than your prescriptions? Then you are an introvert.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, though I study human nature form time to time, especially when waiting for paint to dry or for intelligence to dominate the internet.

 

Bonus material
Charles Darwin interviews Prospero

Darwin: So you’re not a psychologist.
Prospero: [Silence] Sorry, I was miles away.
Darwin: You’re not a psychologist, then.
Prospero: No more than you are a scientist.
Darwin: But I am a scientist.
Prospero: I thought you were a reality television personality.
Darwin: That too. But I’m primarily a scientist. Do you want to see my test tubes?

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