Archive for the ‘Feckin’ eejits’ Category

Project Jagoff

March 12, 2017

And now, from our Just Fucking Shoot Me Department, comes the news that Levi’s and Google’s ATAP division have teamed up for a “smart” denim jacket, slated to be released this fall for $350.

“Project Jacquard,” they call the technology. For those of you who don’t parlez the français, that’s pronounced “jag-off.”

I’m thinking this garment will be smarter than many of the people who buy it. My best guess is that the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jag-et is an ruse to soften us up for the jeans (call ’em Levi’s 666). Look for Guccifer 3.0 to hack ’em and pants every hipster in America at once as they bend over to lock their bespoke fixies to the railings at java joint/artisanal alehouse/toast café patios nationwide.

That oughta uncurl their moustaches.

Something wicked this way comes

January 19, 2017

• Editor’s note: What follows was intended to be a rambling kickoff to a Counter-Inaugural Podcast at Radio Free Dogpatch, but my sidekick Hal Walter developed a bad case of previous commitments, so I’m laying it on you old-school instead. Tomorrow it will be radio silence from yours truly here and on Twitter. But there will be an open-mic post suitable for commentary, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts on what this particular changing of the guard means for you, and for the rest of us. Finally, a tip of the carny’s boater to Ray Bradbury for the headline. It’s a pity — or is it? — that he didn’t live to see Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show come to life.

We're all bozos on this bus. Some of us more than others.

We’re all bozos on this bus. Some of us more than others.

IT’S BEEN A STRUGGLE, TRYING TO FIND WORDS to describe how I feel about what’s going to be happening on Friday — and afterward — in Washington, D.C.

I’ve watched this changing of the guard since before I was eligible to vote, and it rarely goes well for progressives.

In 1969, when Richard Nixon was preparing to take an oath of office he had already violated by undermining the Paris peace talks, the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam staged a three-day counter-inaugural that proved quite the bash, both literally and figuratively.

Yippies Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman brought a revolutionary-theater sideshow to the circus, proposing to inaugurate their own president, a 145-pound hog named Pigasus, with predictable results. The Left immediately set about eating itself alive — Splitters! — rocks, bottles, horseshit and punches were thrown, cops and protesters alike took a beating, 119 people got a tour of the hoosegow, and as is traditional in such matters, both sides claimed victory.

Nixon, of course, claimed the White House. Twice. You may recall how that turned out.

I found it all fascinating, from a safe distance, and when I became eligible to vote in time for the 1972 elections, I tried to register as a member of the Youth International Party, the proper name for the improper Yippies. Never happen, said the county clerk in Bibleburg, and I had to settle for signing up as an “independent.” But Hunter S. Thompson was actually in attendance at the ’69 inaugural, and he didn’t exactly come away with a smile on his lips and a song in his heart.

Recounting the experience for The Boston Globe in February 1969, Thompson wrote: “My first idea was to load up on LSD and cover the Inauguration that way, but the possibilities were ominous: a scene that bad could only be compounded to the realm of mega-horrors by something as powerful as acid.”

As Thompson watched the deal go down during what he called “a king-hell bummer” and “that wretched weekend,” he saw “a new meanness on both sides … and no more humor.”

“Suddenly I felt cold, and vaguely defeated,” he wrote. “More than eight years ago, in San Francisco, I had stayed up all night to watch the election returns … and when Nixon went down I felt like a winner.

“Now, on this Monday night in 1969, President Nixon was being honored with no less than six Inaugural Balls. I brooded on this for a while, then decided I would go over to the Hilton, later on, and punch somebody. Almost anybody would do … but hopefully I could find a police chief from Nashville or some other mean geek. In the meantime, there was nothing to do but go back to the hotel and watch the news on TV … maybe something funny, like film clips of the bastinado.”

• • •

Neither Hunter S. Thompson nor Dick Nixon are with us this time around, but another pair of Sixties relics you may have thought were likewise long gone — LSD and psilocybin — are making something of a comeback as potential treatments for whatever bad scene may be unfolding on the backside of your forehead (or in front of it).

In December, The New York Times reported on a couple of studies that showed “clinically significant reductions” in both anxiety and depression in cancer patients who took synthetic psilocybin.

The studies, which the Times called “the largest and most meticulous among a handful of trials to explore the possible therapeutic benefit of psilocybin,” found the beneficial effects persisted for months.

One patient, who had just completed treatment for stage-3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, described what he called “an epiphany.”

“I’m not anxious about cancer anymore,” he said. “I’m not anxious about dying.”

Another, whose treatment for acute myeloid leukemia left him with graft-versus-host disease, said the experience left him with “a greater sense of peace with what might come.”

“I’m very grateful, beyond words, for this trial,” he added.

And on January 14, The Atlantic ran a Q&A with Ayelet Waldman, whose new book “A Really Good Day” describes her microdosing with LSD to self-correct what she described as “a pretty significant depression.”

She had tried the traditional remedies served up by the medical-industrial complex — antidepressants, ADHD drugs, SSRIs, you name it — but a couple drops of diluted and highly illegal L-S-Dizzy is what did the trick for her.

Said Waldman: “I felt happier or at least not as profoundly depressed almost immediately the very first day I took it.”

Funniest thing, hey? About 10 years after the good Doctor Thompson was mulling over that Nixon inaugural, a friend and I offered an acid-soaked homage to his fear-and-loathing tour of Las Vegas. But we didn’t have his stamina, and when a jai-alai match at the old MGM Grand started to look like a “Star Wars” shootout we got the fuck out of there at a very high speed indeed, driving all the way back to Alamosa — the Brain Damage Express, via Kaibab and Page, the Four Corners and the terrifying Wolf Creek Pass, with the usual horrible weather and without the enhancements that were still a few years down the road.

But we sure as shit weren’t depressed. We were simply seeing a whole lot of things we’d rather not have and thought a case of beer, a long night’s drive and a plate of his mom’s enchiladas might mellow us out.

Forty years later I can make my own enchiladas but I’m not so sure about the acid. I still have my copy of “The Anarchist Cookbook,” but I was never much at chemistry.

• • •

All trips, both good and bad, come to an end, sooner or later. And in May, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will break down the big top in May for the final time after 146 years.

According to The New York Times, Feld Entertainment, the producer of the circus, cited rising operating costs and falling ticket sales, a condition that worsened after Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey dropped elephants from its show last year.

CEO Kenneth Feld told The Associated Press that moving the show by rail, providing a traveling school for performers’ children and other expenses from a bygone era made carrying on a losing proposition.

“It’s a different model … we can’t see how it works in today’s world to justify and maintain an affordable ticket price,” he said.

And let’s not forget that old devil competition. There’s another, bigger circus coming to town, with a permanent base of operations in Washington, D.C., the financial support of the State, and free worldwide access via social media. Plus elephants, too!

The Greatest Show On Earth is now an angry orange clown with a Twitter account. Hur-ry, hur-ry, hur-ry. …

Shit and bad luck

January 13, 2017

 

Today, Friday the 13th, should be Inauguration Day.

In support of my argument I refer you to the renowned political scientist George Carlin.

Sky yi yi

January 12, 2017
Steven Spielberg with his trademark boiling clouds ain't got nothin' on the real deal.

Steven Spielberg with his trademark boiling clouds ain’t got nothin’ on the real deal.

I’m glad I saw this before Darth Cheeto’s “press conference” yesterday. Otherwise I might have thought it was God coming down to dick-punch us all for putting this two-bit totalitarian in the Oval Office.

Sure puts the “dick” in “dictator,” doesn’t he?

Wet work

January 11, 2017
Going down? Don't you wish. ...

Going down, tovarisch?

I can’t imagine why anyone thinks it impossible that Russia might have compromising information about the Pestilence-Elect.

Clearly, we could do with a deeper dive into this sordid pool of intelligence, or the lack thereof. And personally, I’d like to see the matter given at least as much attention as the Case of the Kenyan Crypto-Mooslim Socialist Usurper’s Birth Certificate.

But while we await further developments, let’s consider what we already know.

First, Darth Cheeto is a fellow who pretty much does as he pleases. Also, he thinks he’s (a) smarter than the average bear and (2) invulnerable thanks to his battle-tested squadron of pinstriped flying monkeys. (“Release the lawyers!”)

Prideful he is. What is it that pride goeth before? Yoda?

“A fall.”

Ding ding ding ding ding!

The Russians have a phrase for this sort of person: “useful idiot.” But from a certain perspective, the Pestilence-Elect — or, as some of the Twitterati have begun calling him, PEEOTUS — doesn’t even need to be an actual stooge, unless we’re talking Moe, Larry or Curly.

No, all he needs to be is a distraction.

Vladimir Putin clearly considers himself a wiseguy, and like the Pestilence-Elect is something of a developer, with blueprints of his own. If I were such a person and had kinky video of Darth Cheeto, I’d YouTube it about 10 seconds after his tiny hand comes off the Bible on Jan. 20, then sit back, pour a delicious beverage, and watch the United States spend a few years eating itself alive.

“It’s Stoli time.”

 

Greatest Hits of 2016, Part 5: From balls to nuts

December 31, 2016

• Editor’s note: As the year winds down, I’m taking a page from the mainstream-media playbook and reprinting a handful of this year’s “Mad Dog Unleashed” columns from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. Today’s final finger was published in December, the last issue of 2016.

The gang views with alarm in cinematic fashion.

The gang views with alarm in cinematic fashion.

Tour de Trump, v2.0:
Does this president
make our heads look fat?

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

“Stuck In the Middle,” by Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan

By Patrick O’Grady

The day after the election a young reader emailed to say he hoped I would have a safe trip to New Zealand, adding, “With any luck we will not hear from you or the Clinton’s ever again.”

I feel confident calling him “young” because we olds know the difference between the plural and the possessive. Public school vs. home school, don’t you know.

As to whether he’s a “reader,” that’s an educated guess. I suppose his mom could have read him my column down in the basement, if he had one. A mom, I mean. Trailers don’t have basements.

But I digress.

Anyway, I’m not moving to New Zealand. Who wants a job herding hobbits? (Apologies to Hurben.) I’ll stay here, brush the fur on my own toes, and wait for the next wizard to pop round.

Mars is out, too. I’ve seen “The Martian” since that last column and I am definitely not into farming with my own poo. Better to sell it to some publisher and spend the proceeds at the Whole Paycheck, where everything is grown in unicorn milk and honey.

>> Click here to read the entire column.

Life is but a dream

December 19, 2016
Life is but a dream; it's what you make it.

Life is but a dream; it’s what you make it.

Those last few moments of sleep before the bathroom light snaps on and a cat jumps on you are prime dreamtime.

So I’m drinking beer with Tom Waits and while we sip we’re wandering around his cabin, which is more of a shack, really, and with a decidedly M.C. Escherish tilt to it, and I’m apparently staying the night ’cause Tom rasps, “You know where the mattress is, right?”

And I ask where Kathleen is, and he says she’s dealing them off the arm downtown at some hipster hash house, and he wonders what that’s like, because every time he and the band are trying to wrap up a track it seems they get hungry and need a bite to carry on but even getting a simple sandwich from this posh beanery is a pain in the ass because the chef is always short some effete ingredient.

“Sorry, can’t finish your sandwich without my artisanal mayonnaise,” I quip, and we both have a good laugh about that and then the bathroom light snaps on and the Turk jumps on me.

And none of this has anything to do with the fact that the Electoral College votes today and with a little mercy, a lot of balls and a metric shit-ton of educated, far-sighted patriotism they could save us all from ourselves and deny Sir Donald of Orange his dubiously acquired electoral majority.

This would dump the whole hot mess into the fat lap of Congress. And the House would select some garden-variety-nightmare Republican to be president, and just maybe — maybe! — given the popular vote, the Senate would pick some run-of-the-mill Democrat to be vice president.

But being a presidential elector in these circumstances must feel a lot like being the maid at the Motel 666 in Federalist 68 Hell. We get to shit the bed and she has to wash the sheets?

No, thanks, honey, she purrs. I’d rather make a sandwich for Tom Waits. I know what kind of mayo he likes, and I hear there’s some beer left.

Life is but a dream. Hail, Beelzebozo.

 

Rest day

November 21, 2016
The Irish should not be entrusted with any technology more advanced than the hoe and wheelbarrow.

The Irish should not be entrusted with any technology more advanced than the hoe and wheelbarrow.

Looks like I picked a good day to ignore the news in favor of fiddling with the dark corners of GarageBand (yeah, take cover, you might have to endure another podcast before much longer).

The homepage of The New York Times looks like the mounts of all Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse shat on it in a driving rain, which oddly enough is what we’re experiencing at the moment here in Duke City. The rain, not the horseshit, though that can be had aplenty too, if I am not otherwise occupied, which I am.

Even Charles P. Pierce is starting to make me nervous. When the headline is “Saddened, Angry, Sickened, Defeated,” it’s a solid tip that the guffaws will be few and far between.

Me, I’m just glad I don’t have any pressing deadlines. It was tough to bring the funny for the final Bicycle Retailer of 2016, and while delving into the mysteries of GarageBand is giving me a headache, it is in a largely unused corner of what remains of my brain.

 

Oh

November 9, 2016

shit-11092016

I saw the light

November 4, 2016

OK, for anyone out there who still thinks I’m smart, despite my regular protests to the contrary, here’s something that’s certain to clear up any and all confusion on that topic.

Herself bounds in from the garage the other day to announce that the overhead lights are not coming on when she pulls into her side of the two-car garage. Now, mind you, this is a brand-spankin’-new garage-door system, freshly installed back in May, and it does everything for you save park the car, open the driver’s-side door, and fetch in the groceries.

The hardware includes motion sensors and heat detectors, thermometers and clocks, the works. It’ll even text your smartphone to let you know if a garage door opens without your permission in case you’re worried about evildoers making off with your potting soil.

No more darkness, no more night.

No more darkness, no more night.

But now the damn’ lights don’t come on. I don’t remember them ever coming on, truth be told, but I rarely drive, and when I do it’s always during daylight hours.

So I go out there and punch a few buttons on the control panel, like a curious hominid casually swatting a few rocks with a thigh bone, and nothing happens.

Next I start thumbing through the owner’s manual, which like most owner’s manuals is stupendously useless.

Finally I go online to find that the customer-support side of the company’s website is even more useless than the owner’s manual.

By this point I’m working up a pretty stout sense of having been poked in the peaches, and so I grab my smartphone and dial the handy 800 number, thinking I might ameliorate the swelling pain in my ass by sharing it with an unsuspecting technical-support representative.

Ho, ho, etc.

After 10 minutes on hold I’m at full boil. Steam is fountaining out of my ears. Herself has retreated to her office with an adult beverage, and the other critters have all scrambled to safety under various large pieces of furniture.

“Fuck this shit!” I announce to the nobody who is listening, hang up, grab a flashlight, and march back out into the now-totally-dark garage to see if I can break something.

Both cars are parked inside, naturally, it being nighttime, so I open the passenger door in my Subaru and use the rocker panel as an impromptu stepladder in order to get a closer look at my garage-door opener.

Neither the owner’s manual nor the customer-support site tells you how to crack the door-opener’s case to inspect its innards for bum sockets or failed logic boards, and I don’t see any screws to unscrew or clips to unclip, so I’m looking around for a fucking thigh bone or a goddamn rock with which to get prehistoric on the sonofabitch when through the ventilation slots I spot … what appears to be a light socket with no bulb in it.

Ditto for the other side.

And for the two sockets on the other opener.

Four 60-watt bulbs later the garage lights come on, just like when you open the door to a Samsung refrigerator and it catches fire.

Now repeat after me: I will never be smart.