Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Santa Death March aka Mykel's Post-MRR Column Number 17



YOU'RE STILL WRONG




POST MRR COLUMNS
Column 17
by Mykel Board

"always have the police on your side...one of the things you learn in the mazes of life.” Louis-Ferdinand Céline


ARRRR-ARRRR-AH-AAAARRRR, screams “the rooster” in my talking alarm clock. THE TIME IS TEN THIRTY. I slap for the off button...WHACK... I miss it. ARRRR-ARRRR-AH-AAA, it screams again... WHACK! Got it! Caught in mid-caw.

Body point by body point... the muscle pains from yesterday's half-hour at the gym return. Back, neck, calf, thigh... Rumble by rumble, the beer from last night's Peculiar Pub adventure returns. Stomach to small intestine to large intestine to colon... pushing against the sphincter with a pain more intense than my need to sleep. Synapse by synapse, I remember that it's Saturday... a day off... a day of rest... and then...

Fuck! The second Saturday in December. A day worse than Christmas... worse than Independence Day... worse than any flag-waving, death-loving day that passes for a holiday in the United States. Memorial Day, Patriot's Day, Columbus Day, Lincoln's Birthday for God's sake... all the horrible holidays pale in comparison to this second Saturday.... SANTACON.

In 2013 The Village Voice writes, “SantaCon was a day-long spectacle of public inebriation somewhere between a low-rent Mardi Gras and a drunken fraternity party.” That was an insult to Mardi Gras. Wikipedia tells me that SantaCon started as an art project... and grew out of a Danish group that took toys from store shelves and handed them to kids as Christmas gifts... leaving it up to the store managers to pry the gifts from the crying kids' hands. A nice metaphor for capitalism... and one worth imitating.

But the American version, of course, lost its politics and became a drunken frat party. The skimpy Santa dresses worn by big-boobed girl Santas do not compensate for the trail of macho-man-shouting-girl-piss-screaming-pukesters that make the holiday unbearable... and they start at 10AM!! Santacon: a good argument against gun control.

FLASH TO FERGUSON MISSOURI: A grand jury refuses to indict a cop who shoots an unarmed black guy. The victim raises his hands and says DON'T SHOOT! After the shooting, ABC News pays the cop half a million dollars for an exclusive (rehearsed with acting lessons, paid for by the MO cops) interview about how he felt threatened by the unarmed man and IT WAS HIM OR ME!

FLASH TO NEW YORK CITY: A grand jury refuses to indict a cop who strangles a guy for selling loose cigarettes on the street. This, the result of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton's BROKEN WINDOW policy, where crimes like simple drug use or graffiti are more important than murder or the white collar theft of millions. The grand jury refuses to indict the cop although the victim is videotaped hissing I CAN'T BREATHE eleven times before he dies. The man who takes the video is himself arrested by other cops. He is not killed... yet.

FLASH TO CLEVELAND OHIO: A cop shoots a 12 year old brandishing a water pistol. Jury indictment results unknown.

BACK TO MY APARTMENT IN NEW YORK: My phone vibrates. It's an SMS from Jody:

Mykel, are you going to the march against police violence? It leaves after a rally in Washington Square Park. Moves out at 2.

Shit! I had planned NOT to go out today... I don't want to face those Santas. But these murders are just too much. I gotta put up or shut up... and I'm not one to shut up.

I stumble into the bathroom... evacuate last night's Yuengling... brush my teeth... put on my Russian navy coat and detective hat... walk over to meet Jody and go to the park. It's packed.

And what a mix! There's someone giving out leaflets from the Revolutionary Something-or-Other Party... a bunch of white college-agers with bad taste in headwear... colored young people... colored old people... signs galore, most with #blacklivesmatter someplace on them.

A lot of the signs look professional. Corporate printing with boring designs... mass produced:
STOP POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER or LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Not very exciting...

One Middle Eastern-looking guy has a sign that's more a manifesto... it takes me awhile to read it all:

Down with the racist police who kill Blacks and Latinos in America And down with Barack Obama Police Chief of the world who kills more innocent people in the Middle East with his bombs and drone missiles #Arabslivesmattertoo

I wonder if everyone being systematically killed has his own hashtag. I also wonder if, given the liberal/leftist tendency to attack each other, there's going to be a fight... or several of them. Wait, here's a guy in a yarmulke... holding up a sign... maybe something suitably anti-Arab?

I'm (pleasantly) surprised. His sign says I CAN breathe, and when I do I smell racist injustice.

Oh yeah.

The best thing about this crowd is that THERE ARE NO SANTAS!!! Not one! No red-pants fratboys, walking through the crowd with dripping cans of Bud! Yowsah!

Hey,” I tell Jody, “the crowd is thinning.”

Look!” she says pointing to the arch. “They're leaving, walking up Fifth Avenue. The march has begun.”

Follow me!” I yell, like Custer leading the charge against the Indians. “Full speed ahead!”

We shoulder our way through the mass of masses. Little kids in strollers... black teens in hooded sweatshirts... a gray-haired man walking arm-in-arm with his gray-haired wife... both serious and organically thin.

STOP: Before we go any further, I want to give you my take on all this police stuff.

Imagine you're on a grand jury. You're white... your friends are white... the cops are white... which side are you on? Vote to indict a cop... and your ass is an extremely well-mowed lawn. The DA, who needs the cops for his job, is the guy “presenting the evidence against the police.” I'd have voted the same as those grand juries. You can bet your grassless ass I'm not going to indict a cop. I gotta live here!

The problem is not this or that jury or this or that town-- or even this or that cop... but the jury system itself. The system of PEERS... the openness... the possibilities of revenge... retaliation. In New York, the guy who videotapes a cop murdering a man for selling illegal cigarettes... is arrested by other cops. Can you imagine what would happen to someone who actually voted a cop guilty of murder? Who's gonna trust the courts? The jury system? Not me. Make something up... sneeze... anything.. I'll vote NOT GUILTY!

It's illegal to advocate rioting or destruction, so I won't. If it WERE legal, I might say DO IT! Right now, the police get away with murder. The consequences are a few days in court, and then the life of Riley. But, what would happen if every time a cop killed an unarmed black guy, a bank got burned down? Or a different cop got shot? Murders by cops would have consequences-- real consequences-- that might have the deterrent effect the law is SUPPOSED to have. No grand juries on this one. You shoot LeRoy and BLAM, good-bye Starsky and Hutch.

Of course, I'm not saying people SHOULD do this. I'm just asking what would happen IF.

Extra Note: All cops are not murderers (though a code of silence® makes all cops accomplices). There are cops who enter the force for idealistic reasons... who really expect to help people... who have a view that the world would be a more dangerous place without them. During the World Trade Center aftermath, the compassion, spirit, and volunteerism of all the police was a testament to their basic decency. Cops are not good or bad. They're mixed-- like everyone else. Sometimes one aspect wins, sometimes another. The focus shouldn't be on these cops, but on a grand jury system that makes it nearly impossible to bring ANY cops to trial. That's what's got to change. In the meantime, all consequences for police actions now take place OUTSIDE the realm of trials and grand juries. The consequences are on the streets.

BACK TO WASHINGTON SQUARE: Jody and I shoulder our way through the crowd... past an NYPD ARE THE BROKEN WINDOWS sign and another that says:

Number of Americans killed by:
Isis 5
Ebola 2
Police 500

A not-bad sign shows some understanding of how things are rigged to prevent indictments: The system isn't broken... it's working.

Not a Santa in the crowd. And hey... look at that! Someone gets it right. A woman with a hand-drawn sign: We must change the law-- no grand jury.

Yeah! Now all we need is a little humor and we've got it.

Mykel,” Jody tells me, “you can't expect humor. Those guys were murdered... You can't laugh at that.”

George W killed a million people in Iraq,” I say. “And THAT'S funny... I can laugh at anything!”

She frowns.

By now we're through the arch on to Fifth Avenue.

HANDS UP! shouts a skinny white girl with a very semitic nose.

DON'T SHOOT! answers the crowd.

HANDS UP! she repeats.

DON'T SHOOT! answers the crowd.

This goes on for the next half a dozen blocks until someone I can't see begins shouting.

I CAN'T BREATHE, he says, sounding quite accustomed to chant leading.

ONE! answers the crowd.

I CAN'T BREATHE, comes the repeat.

TWO! answers the crowd.

This goes up to ELEVEN.

Then there's an older black guy with a hint of gray-streaked beard. He's holding a generic #blacklivesmatter sign. He shouts, NO JUSTICE

NO PEACE, shouts back the crowd.

NO JUSTICE, again.

NO PEACE, again.

I don't get it,” I tell Jody. “This is a march up Sixth Avenue and down Fifth Avenue. There's a permit. Nobody is breaking any windows. Nobody is burning police cars. Nobody is even stepping out of the parade route. Where is the NO part of NO PEACE? It looks pretty peaceful to me.”

It's just a slogan, Mykel,” she answers.

A groups starts chanting THE NYPD IS THE KKK!

A few of the crowd pick it up. I look at the cops on the sides of the march. They're NOT in riot gear. No horses. No hostility. A few black cops... a few hispanics... a few women... a few black women. They're chatting with each other, guns safely holstered. They don't even look angry.

THE NYPD IS THE KKK! shout a few more people.

Since when did the KKK allow Negro and Hispanic members? The NYPD may be Wall Street, but it's not the KKK.

Uh oh, here it comes, a flash of red. My Santa-free Santacon is over.... at a protest march. This is just wrong!

Three big guys in Santa suits-- one of 'em colored. They appear to be sober. The colored guy moves to the front of the march... raises his hands... DON'T SHOOT! he says.

Yes! That's what I've been waiting for. A colored Santa.. hands raised saying DON'T SHOOT.... THAT'S funny. The whole idea of cops shooting Santa is funny. Cops shooting a colored Santa is funnier. SantaCon has done good for once.

The parade turns on thirty-second street, goes over to Fifth Avenue and starts going downtown again.

I made my statement,” I tell Jody. “Now I need a beer.”

She suggests Old Town Tavern near Union Square. We split from the Parade at 20th Street... walk East and have a couple of Edelstoffs. We sit among the Santa-less tourists in the place. The two of us share a burger and something else. Jody pays for it all. After beer and lunch-- at least 45 minutes-- we go out again. The march is still moving down the avenue.


We join it again... for a few more blocks. The newspapers will say 25,000... seems to me it's a lot more. Near Union Square is a guy dressed in an American Flag. He wears an American Flag kerchief around his mouth and nose. The skin that shows above the kerchief is light brown. His sign: USA Your racist hypocritical judicial system must be changed. 

Ah, someone else who gets it... now if only he could just make it funnier.


POSTSCRIPT: Who wudda thunk it? Four guys attack cops with a flying garbage can. There's a manhunt. Somehow, when police kill unarmed black guys, that's not indictable... but let a garbage can fly... hoooey!! I was just gonna add that to this post when:

TWO COPS ARE KILLED WHILE SITTING IN THEIR POLICE CAR. The alleged killer allegedly killed himself in a nearby subway station... denying a cycle of revenge that may start anyway. Nadav, a pal of mine who works in the emergency room here in NYC, was assaulted by cops when he tried to enter his workplace. It was the hospital where the ambulance took the just-shot police. I guess they attacked Nadav because he looks Middle Eastern. (He's Israeli.) But the cops must've been in a state of shock... where ANYBODY looks like the enemy. 

The police clearly are on an easy tripswitch... high alert... and I'm having second thoughts. What if, instead of considering their actions, the police just gone on even MORE of shooting spree? What if revenge brings revenge... blacks and cops the 21st century Hatfields and McCoys? I don't know.

On the other hand, if someone were to always provide consequences for police murdering unarmed people, it might make them think twice before they do it. Riots and bank burnings may be less likely to invite retaliation than cop shooting. Of course, I'm not advocating any of this, I'm just considering the IFs.


ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email at god@mykelboard.com. Through the post office: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003. If you like my writing, you can be notified when anything new is available by subscribing to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com]

-->Give it away dept: Ten different school districts in Texas have received free... or low-cost... gifts from the Pentagon. Including 64 M16-rifles, 18 M14 rifles, 25 automatic pistols and fifteen surplus military vehicles.
Ok, just try to come in here and hurt OUR kids! I dare ya!


-->Mohammad and the Mayflower dept: Justice Ray Moore of Alabama spoke at a "Pastors for Life" Luncheon. "Buddha didn't create us. Mohammed didn't create us, it was the God of the Holy Scriptures... They didn't bring the Koran over on the pilgrim ship."

-->You can see my... and Jody's photos of the march by clicking here.

->Keeping the Pressure on Dept: I want to thank reader George Metesky for suggesting a continuing Bring Back Mykel effort directed at Maximum Rock'n'Roll for their (firing me as a) contribution to the world of censorship. Send your comments-- to mrr@maximumrocknroll.com with the subject line: BRING BACK MYKEL! Let me know how they answer.

-->And: I'm on a massive clean-up/divest kick. I'm giving away DVDs, cassettes, VHS videos, CDs and a few 7-inch singles. Just pay separate shipping and handling. Details at: MykelsGiveaway


-end

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fragility aka Mykel's Post-MRR Column Number 16

YOU'RE STILL WRONG
POST MRR COLUMNS
by Mykel Board


Mykel's Post-MRR Column 
No. 16

Some American schools have stopped giving spelling tests because many of the children couldn't get all the words right and the resulting failure damaged their confidence, i.e., made them feel bad.” --The Xenophobe's guide to the Americans

Only a few of us sit upstairs in the Korean deli... it's a kind of secret place... a pub for those in the know. You can't wander in off the street. You have to know it's here. I sit in the middle at the mostly empty bar. Two men sit in the corner, debating the merits of this or that basketball or football player I've never heard of. The huge TV behind the bar shows a Toyota commercial. Ellie pours me a HITE beer. WEHIGHYO! I toast, when she sets it in front of me. She smiles and goes to sit at a table... break time.

I sip the beer. The TV screen changes. It's THE ULTIMATE FIGHTING show. But this one is girls. One colored girl, with a crewcut.... the other a thin, dark-haired white girl, tattoos down both arms. The colored girl wears a look of intensity... not hatred... a focus... more like a chess player than a boxer. The black-haired one is wild... screaming... out of control... wailing away.

Whoa! The colored girl is on her back. The other is whacking her... fists flying POW! POW! POW! Kidney chops. Neck chops. The girl on the bottom fetals up, protecting her head. Then, between blows, she pushes up, forcing both hands under the white girl's chin. I switch the beer to my left hand. My right hand falls to my crotch. I'm starting to firm up... I need adjustment. My right hand does the adjusting.

On the TV screen, both girls are back on their bare feet. Bouncing up and down, jabbing. BLAM! to the face. BLAM! to the side. A kick to the forehead... legs spread wide enough to (in my imagination) turn her twat into the Lincoln tunnel. Kick... kick... kick... The white girl's against the ropes. The black one head butts her... BLONG! right in the stomach.

I take another left-handed sip. My right hand unzips my jeans and slips inside. I have a prostate-paining raging six inches of hardness. Quickly, I check around to make sure no one is watching me. No one is.

On the TV, the girls have switched position. I missed something, but now it's the colored girl against the ropes. The white girl is using her knees knees. BAKOW! BAKAW! BAKAW! Right to the ribs. Left to the ribs. Knees high and hard

My fingers close inside my pants. Trying to keep my shoulders level... using just wrist motion... I begin to rub up and down.

Back on the screen, both girls are on the ground now. Rolling... first one... then the other... knees pressed between each other's legs... elbows slamming and defending. They stop rolling. The colored girl's on top. The camera zooms in on her face. That same intense look. I don't hate you. I just want to win. She bounces on the other girl's stomach. Her fists slam into either side of the neck beneath her. BATOOM! BATOOM! BATOOM! I come, physically.

FLASH TO NEW YORK... JOE'S PUB NEXT TO THE PUBLIC THEATER: On stage is Penny Arcade, long-time New York performance artist. We met very briefly when I was in Thailand with Lily Burana-- sometime last century.

Shorter than me, with bright pink hair, and a Mae West-ish figure, she's by herself in the spotlight, reading from a script... rap and electronic music plays in the background.

I feel the pain of people who have been physically, emotionally, psychologically and sexually violated... who have been demeaned and made to feel like they are less.. less than others... less than human. I have been one of those people for most of my life...

She reads from a music stand, taking each sheet of paper in hand, then-- when finished-- letting it float to the floor.

I have always refused to identify myself as a victim. I always saw myself as a target. I could never afford self pity because self pity is a hindrance when you are trying to survive. For a long time, I believed that I became who I am IN SPITE OF the horrible things that happened to me and that were done to me... But when I was about 47 years old I began to understand that I became who I am BECAUSE OF my response to those horrible experiences. First and foremost those experiences introduced me to my own grace, to my own dignity. Cruelty taught me what it means to be kind, the lack of compassion I received taught me empathy, the hurling vitriol, lewd innuendo and brutal remarks led to my unswerving need to define myself by my own standards and to develop my own values and to bear no one's judgment. The threat and fear I lived under grew my courage.

She sips from the plastic bottle of Poland Spring that rests on a stool next to her.

Slowly I learned that it is impossible to avoid pain, but that suffering is a choice and that happiness is an innate quality I possess, that happiness does not reside outside of me and I don’t need someone else to give it to me. I know that joy is our natural inheritance as human beings and resides plentifully within each of us.

I come... mentally.

Yes! Yes! Yes! There are women in the world like these. Ultimate fighters, performance artists, fearless women who have gone through a fuck of a lot more than any Bill Cosby bedmate.

[Bill Cosby Aside: It's amazing that women will complain about being abused because they're in the weaker position... but will think nothing of abusing a 70 year old man who looks like shit... because of unsubstantiated rumors of events that took place more than 15 years ago. Come on... it's a new millennium. Release grudges. It's over! Leave the poor guy alone.]

FLASH TO NEW YORK CITY HALLOWEEN 2014: Dear Tenants, if you would like to receive Halloween trick-or-treaters today, please take one of these pumpkin invites and hang it outside your door. That way the children and their parents know that you welcome visits.

What???? The little princesses from Frozen are going to places that WELCOME VISITS? This is TRICK or Treat... get it? There's danger and excitement and something special for you if you don't come up with the treats. That's the whole idea of Halloween. It's a threat! It isn't an invite for the kids. It's not Christmas from the neighbors. This is very wrong.

FLASH TO YOUTUBE: A video of a white girl walking in a colored neighborhood? A passing guy says, “How are you doing today?” By coincidence, it's the same thing Chris, the homeless guy on the corner, has been saying to me every day for the past 4 years. Then we hear a “What's up beautiful? Have a good day.” Something, I unfortunately rarely hear. Then, “Hey beautiful,” and, from someone else “How are you this morning?” The video is less than two minutes long. At the end it complains about 100+ instances of verbal street harassment. What the fuck?

How are you this morning?” is street harassment????? Are we so uncivil, that a greeting is HARASSMENT??? Are we so fragile we break from the completely harmless? Unbelievable.

FLASH TO BLEECKER STREET: I-- and most any other writer with two ounces of understanding-- have written about trigger warnings: the idiocy now making the college circuit. Like WARNING stickers on records, they warn students that a course or book content might make them uncomfortable. Today's college women want the same kind of protection their parents gave them as children. The kind of DON'T TOUCH IT-- IT'S DIRTY protection that created the boatload of allergies (peanuts, gluten, shellfish, dustmites) adults now suffer from. No natural immunity, because their parents CARED. Today's women want the same kind of mental protection, with the same kind of results... equally predictable.

A casual internet search will lead to statements like this-- from a Rutgers University student:

reaching a compromise between protecting students and defending their civil liberties is imperative to fulfilling the educational potential of our university's undergraduates. This could be done through the use of trigger warnings, so that the plot of a story is not spoiled, but that students can immediately learn whether courses will discuss traumatic content.

What would Penny Arcade say... or those ultimate fighting girls? Traumatic content? Life is (or should be) traumatic content! One of the main purposes of college should be to EXPOSE people to traumatic content. To challenge them... to confront them with things they've never seen before... thoughts they've never thought before... the unsettling, the disturbing.

American universities are turning into employment mills. Technical skills... learn what you need to get a good job. Work and earn money. No! No! No! That's NOT what it is (or should be) about.

The examination of suicidal tendencies in Mrs. Dalloway may trigger painful memories for students suffering from self-harm," wrote that same Rutgers student.

Yo! That's not a bad thing! 

Art, like the university, is SUPPOSED to be confrontational, disturbing, provocative. If it's only pretty, it's not art. It's Hallmark. Real art belongs right where everyone can see it. In Times Square.... in Red Square... at Hollywood and Vine... in Wellesley College.

This is from the petition to remove the statue The Sleepwalker from the campus:

This highly lifelike sculpture has, within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community. While it may appear humorous, or thought-provoking to some, it has already become a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students, the majority of whom live, study, and work in this space.

Oh my God! Undue stress! How horrible a thing for a college! You can't concentrate on The Psychology of Selling: How to Sell More, Easier, and Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible. How're you ever going to pass that Marketing Class?

FLASH TO CHICAGO: The University of Chicago commissions a mural, a piece of of neo-graffiti madness. Fascinating. Just the thing to spice up the South Side. It's a wild mixture of horror, comedy, science-fiction and cartooning. Exactly what and where art should be. And what happens?

The residents of this community consider the mural offensive... and it portrays us with negative images.”

Can you imagine? A negative image of the Chicago South Side? Ptui! The college paints it over-- blanking out the whole thing... But wait! There's more!

How about A Violence Against Women act in congress? I thought you girls were talking equality. What's wrong with a Violence Against Humans act? Whoops, I'm a sexist... AND there's more.

But you'll be spared... at least for now. I wouldn't want to make you feel uncomfortable.

ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email at god@mykelboard.com. Through the post office: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003. If you like my writing, you can be notified when anything new is available by subscribing to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com]


-->What should rational politicians do? Dept. - Polls show overwhelming support for quarantining returning nurses from West Africa. Meanwhile, the overwhelming scientific consensus is that they pose no danger to anyone. How can governors Cuomo and Christie justifying such confinement? Monitor them? Maybe. Imprison them in solitary confinement? Huh?
It's caving in to the crowd on a disease that's, according to comedian Howie Mandel, "killed fewer people here than there are Jews in the NFL."

-->Scary News dept: Something called the "Safe Schools Improvement Act has over 200 sponsors in Congress and the Senate: The bill "will establish a clear, effective national policy to prevent bullying." Can you say MORE censorship? How 'bout NO MORE Penny Arcades?

-->And scarier news: Homosexual-related questions will now be included on the standard CDC student survey, instead of being in the OPTIONAL section. Students will now be forced to CHOOSE, and those private things... nope... government statistics! And weirder,most gay groups SUPPORT this child privacy invasion. GLSEN (the "Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network") includes these privacy-invasive questions as a "victory" in its latest fund-raising brochure.

-->Animals vs culture dept: The high court of Bombay, India has banned the capture of cobras. The classic snake-in-the-basket Indian is going the way of the classic Spaniard with a cape and bull. And in India, the snakes live... they're returned to the wild after ceremonies.
"Capturing live snakes and later releasing them back into the wild could cause them harm," said the court.
Maybe they should just put a trigger warning on the basket.

-->Post on Facebook, lose your job dept: Mike Yates, chief of police in Jonesboro Arkansas was forced to resign his post after Facebookers complained that he called a local reporter "pro-dope," "a leftwing liberal," and "smelly."
Now why were we attacked on 9/11? Oh yeah, I remember, they're jealous of our freedom.

-->Scarlet Yellow Letter dept: Miranda Larkin wore a short black skirt to school in Clay County FL. Her teachers sent her to the nurse's office(?) for violating the school dress code. According to The Washington Post "she was forced to wear a neon yellow T-shirt with DRESS CODE VIOLATION emblazoned across the chest."

-->Don't Insult 'em dept: NCAC reports that an American high school exchange student in China wrote "Democracy is for cool kids" when invited by his Chinese friends to write comments and contact information. The Chinese were offended. When the student returned to America, his own school punished him by not allowing him to attend the school prom.

-->Keeping the Pressure on Dept: I want to thank reader George Metesky for suggesting a Bring Back Mykel effort directed at Maximum Rock'n'Roll for their contribution to the world of censorship. Send your comments-- to mrr@maximumrocknroll.com with the subject line: BRING BACK MYKEL! Let me know how they answer.

-->And: I'm on a massive clean-up/divest kick. I'm giving away DVDs, cassettes, VHS videos, CDs and a few 7-inch singles. Just pay separate shipping and handling. Details at: MykelsGiveaway



-end

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Then They Came For Me aka Mykel's Post-MRR Column Number 15

YOU'RE STILL WRONG
POST MRR COLUMNS
Post-MRR Column Number 15
by Mykel Board



"Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of a man asleep.” Henry David Thoreau

First they came for the smokers, and I did not speak out— because I was not a smoker. Then they came for the senile, and I did not speak out— because I was not senile. Then they came for the football players and I did not speak out— because I was not a football player. Then they came for me. --Mykel Board


I don't make it. Both hands cupped over my mouth, I run to the bathroom. I don't make it. Stomach contents... volcanic... force themselves upward... an enema in reverse... chunks of chicken... pieces of potato... whole croutons-- just the way they looked in the bar avocado dip-- spew themselves upward... through my esophagus... filling my cupped hands... spilling over... catching in my beard... dripping on a trail through my fingers.. SPLOTCH... SPLOTCH... SPLOTCH... from the bedroom. The food forces itself upward like liquid, not percolating, but exploding... upward with such force it fills my nose... overflows... my nostrils drip beer and buffalo wings. Sinuses cramp with calamari.

Finally... the toilet. I open my lips and let the primal ooze splash in. My packed sinuses ache... a huge pressure... I grab my nose from the top, spray out... nothing... harder... a green drop... the size of a pea... dribbles from a nostril. It IS a pea, mixed from the same gravy used to make chicken pot pies for decades... centuries... millennia.

No time to consider it. Here comes another heave... a giant fire hose... a brown gray mix up-chucking into the toilet with such force that the splash covers my face... my neck... my naked chest. Dripping with my own vomit, I sink to my knees. Barely able to keep my dripping face above the water in the bowl, I heave again... nearly drowning in the backsplash. I won't get drunk again. I won't get drunk again. It's just common sense.

Ok buckaroos, I've been writing for about 50 years now. MUCH of that writing has been rants against common sense, self-evidence, logic.

Everybody knows that women make 80¢ for every dollar men make.”

It's just logic that second-hand smoke is bad for your health.”

If you only earn $1800 a month you can't afford a trip to Japan... It's common sense.”

All those and more are just wrong! If EVERYBODY knows it, it's probably wrong. Remember how everyone knew that margarine was better than butter. You know how many people DIED from that? Remember how everyone knew that you had to arm the Taliban in Afghanistan? It protected us from COMMUNISM. See what happened?


IN PRAISE OF SMOKING

Bottom of the eighth, two outs, Jeter on third. The Yankees are down 4 to 3. Teixeira’s up. Damn! He's barely hitting at the Mendoza Line. Yeah, he's got a bunch of homers... but. STRIKE ONE. Just as I feared. Swinging at something way out of the strike zone... Ever since his wrist injury... STRIKE TWO. Fuck! I don't need crystal balls to tell him to TAKE that next pitch. He's trying too hard. He's trying to make everything a home run. He'll... STRIKE THREE.

And now comes a public service commercial. A man's talking... not talking exactly... he's got one of those external voice boxes against his neck. A hole in his neck vibrates as he speaks. I used to be a smoker, until... Pissed off, I shut off the TV missing the ninth inning.

FLASH TO LATER THAT NIGHT: I'm looking for those lost videos on YouTube. There were only eight or so shows. Roald Dahl's WAY OUT... better than the Twilight Zone. On the screen, in that stupid side column are public service videos... one aimed at teens:

We can be the generation that ends smoking.

Jeezus fuckin' Christ. In the 60s, people wanted to be part of the generation that ends WAR. These days, they go for a bit more totalitarian goal. I wonder, if, in the 1920s there were posters saying WE CAN BE THE GENERATION THAT ENDS DRINKING.

I see anti-smoking propaganda plastered on internet sites, on subway posters, on billboards. Even the government gets in the act. I see it reflected in New York laws against smoking in parks... even if the park is just a slab of concrete at an intersection. Buildings are banning smoking by tenants... in their own apartments. The wildest logic... ignores everything EXCEPT smoking.

Statistics show that children from buildings with more smoking have higher incidence of cancer and emphysema than children from smoke-free buildings.” What the fuck?

How 'bout that rich white folks tend to smoke less than poor folks. How 'bout that buildings with smokers tend to be closer to factories or frackers than buildings with non-smokers? Naw, that's not important. Yeah, right.

While smoking is (barely) legal... this is the time to act. This is the time to START SMOKING! If any one thing symbolizes the loss of freedom, it's the loss of the right to smoke. If any one thing symbolizes rebellion in America in 2014, it's smoking. Smoking is the great Satan of activities. It is the only legal (for now) way to flout convention... to say

I REFUSE TO BUY INTO THE MYTH THAT I CONTROL MY DESTINY. I REFUSE TO BUY INTO THE LIE THAT IF I GET SICK IT'S MY OWN FAULT... OR THE FAULT OF MY NEIGHBOR WHO SMOKES. I REFUSE TO BUY INTO THE LIE THAT MY BAD LUNGS ARE NOT THE FAULT OF CORPORATE AMERICA AND THE SHIT THEY POUR INTO THE AIR AND WATER, BUT RATHER SOMETHING I DO MYSELF.

More than this. Smoking in 2014 attacks the entire idea of Your comfort is more important than my freedom... The easily offended society... The whiners who call for the boycott of everyone they disagree with. The censors who, instead of answering free speech with speech, answer it with calls to end that speech. The bullies, who in the name of stopping bullying, bully people into keeping their mouths shut and their opinions to themselves. The totalitarians who say that my emotions are more important than your art... who can't walk away or put something down because it triggered emotional distress. The single act of lighting up a cigarette is a proclamation as loud as any protest poster that says. I AM AN INDIVIDUAL... AND I WILL NOT COWER.


IN PRAISE OF ALZHEIMERS

"Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.” --Franklin Pierce Adams

With age comes senility--- that disease of forgetting. Maybe it's not so bad.

I've written before about how the 70 years since World War II is enough time to FORGET ABOUT IT! So much evil has been done in the name of that war... from genocide to opera censorship. So much continues to be done. I've written plenty on that memory... and there are other things to forget

In Texas, they still Remember the Alamo and use that mudhut... a holdout in a war FOR slavery and AGAINST an innocent nation... a war that was nothing more than a land grab. Texans don't want you to REALLY remember the Alamo. You should remember it THEIR way. I say FORGET IT.

In the South, the Civil War still plays hard and anyone from George Bush Senior to Bill Clinton is a carpet-bagger. Remember the some-fucking-thing is the rallying cry of so much death and destruction, that just hearing those words should be an instant code to tell you blood's a-comin'.

Remember the Armenian holocaust. Remember the Lusitania. I cannot forgive... forget... absolve...release... relent... accept... bury the hatchet... let bygones be... let it go... let it pass... wipe the slate clean...

Remember means I can do what the fuck I want to you because someone, someplace did something to my ancestors. Remember means revenge. Revenge triggers counter-memories. I remember what you did to them because you remembered what we did to you.

Jews and Germans. Hatfields and McCoys. Clan Chattan and Clan Kay, Hamilton and Burr, Stalin and Trotsky, Jack Benny and Fred Allen, Snoop Dogg and Iggy Azalea. I donno. To all of 'em I say forget about it. It's OVER.

What you do starts NOW! If I fill a bag of dogshit, light it and put it on your front porch, that's NOW! You called my mother a slut 4 years ago? It's over!


IN DEFENSE OF FOOTBALL

Female violence toward men is pervasive, although largely denied. Or if it isn't denied, it's excused. When a man insults or hits a woman, it's 'abuse,' but when a woman insults or hits a man, it's 'assertiveness.” --Jim Goad

Feminism is very much like egalitarianism and if you believe that we are all equal then you are a feminist. " --Internet Website

Two months ago, I wrote about Robert Anton Wilson's book, Cosmic Trigger III. In that book, Wilson mentions violence in the movies. We always hear Christians and feminists complain about how movies cause Sandy Hooks or random street violence. What goes unmentioned-- except by Wilson-- is how that in (almost?) every major U.S. movie since the 70s, a man is hit by a woman... from the slap across the face to real ball busters.

My sister's house-- Rosh Hashanah eve.:The meal is finished. The Tsimmis is just settling in my stomach. 5775... a nice palindromic year.

Hey Mike,” says my sister (the only person in the world who calls me Mike). “You want to watch some TV before you go to bed?”

Since I don't own a cable-connected TV, I figure why not? It'll teach me some references from Modern Culture®. I can drop them in a column and people will think I'm up-to-date.

Sure.” I tell her, settling myself in front of a TV that's bigger than my apartment. “What's on?”

You'll love this show,” she says, flipping the channel to something called (I think) The Modern Family. It has all the current memes: the gay couple, the divorcees, the dysfunctional siblings. Shows like this are one of the reason I DON'T have cable TV. There's a scene... outside a restaurant... a guy and a girl-- she much younger, but still legal... his wife in the series, I think. He says something. She slaps him across the face, then grabs his chin and kisses him smack dab on the mouth. My sister laughs.

Could you imagine if the roles were reversed? Could you imagine an older man, slapping a younger woman across the face, then grabbing her chin and kissing her full on the mouth? The tyrants from Social Justice Warriors would be all over them. Boycott the sponsors! Shut 'em down. How could they allow... Violence against women!! Jeezus fuck! But this violence passes with a laugh.

What's the reality? Why is there a Violence Against Women bill, but not a Violence Against People bill? Why is the harassment of women in the military a more important issue than the military itself-- murdering hundreds of innocent people thousands of miles away?

Another YouTube video... this one of a hotel lobby. A young black woman hits a big black guy and they get in an elevator together. Flash to inside. Again the woman hits the guy... this time, he hits back. She's down. But what gets reported? RAY PRICE attacks his fiancée. Her initial violence isn't mentioned once (at least not that I've found).

Ray Price is found guilty of domestic violence. Not guilty in a legal court, but in the newsprint court... in the broadcast court... he's guilty. He's big and black so he MUST be guilty. Right?

Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye or, far too often, behind closed doors,” says President Obama.

Football to Get Tough on Domestic Abuse, headlines every paper in America. That is not EQUALITY. That is gender supremacy. This is Guilty until Proven... forget the proof! GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY.

Okay, let's get this straight. I HATE football. It is war in miniature... a glorification of organized violence. It's played by idiots and controlled by jocks. Yet people are surprised that football players are violent???? They're SUPPOSED to be violent. That's their job!

All that doesn't change EQUAL PROTECTION. Idiots have rights too! That includes the right to a trial and a presumption of innocence. It includes the right for both parties to say: FORGET ABOUT IT. IT'S OVER. LET'S MOVE ON!

But we won't move on. We'll run around in circles. Cheering violence, then condemning those who are violent (especially to women). It makes me sick. Excuse me while I run to the bathroom. Maybe I'll make it this time.

ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email at god@mykelboard.com. Through the post office: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003. If you like my writing, you can be notified when anything new is available by subscribing to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com]


(Sorry buckaroos, no endnotes this time. The column, itself, takes up too many words this month. You can check out several endnote-type postings on my clippings blog.)

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

TWO WOMEN or Mykel Board's Post-MRR Column 14

YOU'RE STILL WRONG
POST MRR COLUMNS
by Mykel Board

"I knew it was possible to objectify and not disrespect, to objectify and not wish harm upon a person. I wanted to share a pleasure. “ – Nina Hartley, pornstar, and pro-sex activist



Note: this month's column is a bit late. Two reasons:

First, I've been busier than the mopboy at a peepshow... with the New Year (5775) and fasting away my sins, planning my life and impending doom. Second, a trip to Montreal inspired me to change the whole... er... thrust of the column. You'll see why. This one is called,

A TALE OF TWO WOMEN

Usually, having a penis is a convenience. It's easier to piss standing up, for example, or re-dress after a bathroom quickie. But sometimes, having a penis is a pain in the ass.

Right now, mine is somewhere between overcooked spaghetti and the Washington Monument. I sit at Le Gentleman's Choice, a strip club in Downtown Montreal. I'm here with three of my friends from New York-- all Japanese guys. One of them, Kenji, sits next to me. A quick glance as he shifts on his seat shows that he, too, is al dente. Takeshi and Taro are in the back, in private booth lap dances.

There are girls galore here, from a full-mast inducing Ethiopesque to a downright scary biker babe. On stage now is a collegiate-looking woman with an athletic body and small, pointed nipples.

I walk up to that stage and lay a crisp US dollar bill on it. No one else is tipping, maybe because Canadian dollars are coins. I return to my seat next to Kenji. The girl on stage picks up my dollar, smiles, and flashes some gash-- directly at me.

A beautiful girl... barely twenty... smooth skin the color of (white) piano keys... wearing a blue wig and not much else... sits down on the other side of me.

You want a lap dance?” she asks. “Just ten dollars.”

Her accent does not seem French.

I don't do lap dances,” I tell her. “They don't work for me.”

She starts to get up.

But,” I continue, “I'll buy you a drink if you talk to me. You get a commission on that, right?”

She nods.

I signal the waitress, a pretty, but not very friendly woman, dressed in black with a white
apron.

Une bière, et ce qu'elle veut,” I tell her.

Now,” I say. “First, tell me about your life. Start with your name.”

My name's Veronica,” she says.

Come on,” I tell her. “What's your REAL name?”

She smiles and shrugs, “It's Marta, in English, Martha.”

And then she talks to me.

MARTHA'S STORY

I'm from Poland,” she says, pronouncing it like BOW-LAND, “You know Poland?”

I may be American,” I tell her, “but I'm not an idiot.”

She laughs.

My first dream was to go to America,” she continues, “but I have a cousin here... she works in Montreal.. It was a lot easier to come here.”

Does your cousin work here?” I ask, nodding toward the stage.

Martha laughs, shaking her head. The wig shakes slightly slower than her head. “She would be afraid to do this. She's a waitress, in one of those tourist beer gardens... it's awful... filled with dumb French tourists... and Americans.”

She looks at me and pouts... a prostate-aching pout... “Sorry,” she says, “I didn't mean to say bad things about Americans.”

It's all right,” I say, adjusting myself, “I say bad things about Americans all the time.”

She frowns again, then looks at my face and laughs.

I love it here,” she says. “It's such a... how you call it... ego trip... dancing for all these guys. They all look at you. You're number one in their minds... you excite them. On stage, you are the center. You're like a queen.”

Does it pay?” I ask. “I was the only one tipping.”

No,” says Martha, “they don't tip here. The girls' money comes from lap dances. $10 a song. I take home nearly a hundred thousand a year. I don't need dollar tips.”

Are there male strip clubs in Montreal?” I ask. “Either for men or for women?”

There's Le Two Eight One,” she says. “That's guys who dance for girls. I guess there are some gay clubs too. But I don't know them.”

You know anybody who works at one of those clubs?” I ask.

She shakes her head. “Those clubs don't pay. Girls don't want lap dances as much, and the clubs are... I don't know... how you call it... slow Z.”

Sleazy?” I offer.

Oui,” she says. “Sleazy. The boys don't make much money unless they... you know... they have to...”

I nod, surprised at her modesty.

Just then Takeshi comes back... scowling. He ignores me, but sits on the other side of Kenji. They speak to each other in Japanese. I look at him, frowning a question.

I was cheated,” he says to me-- in English. “I thought the dance was ten dollars, but it was only for one song. The girl didn't tell me when the next song came on.”

He says something else-- in Japanese-- to Kenji. I can't hear it, but I do see another girl... the one he went to a private booth with... jogging from the booth. She kneels in front of Takeshi. In her hand is a ten-dollar bill.

I'm sorry,” she says to him. “I thought you understood. Here, take ten dollars back. I don't want you to feel cheated.”

Takeshi shakes his head. “I had the dance. You should get the money.” She smiles and leaves.

It's a little while later that Taro returns, grinning like a chimp on Animal Planet.

I went,” he says in English as he approaches the table.

I think you mean you came,” I correct him.

He nods.

Back in New York: I sit at a bar in Midtown... right near my school. It's a typical NY faux-Irish bar. Waitresses with Irish accents and breasts. Customers with jackets and loosened ties (men)-- or business casual skirts and sensible shoes (women).

It's 9PM. The woman next to me is slightly tipsy... about 30 years old... faint crowsfeet at the edges of her eyes... dark circles underneath. She's dressed like any midtown secretary. She looks at me looking at her... squints, as if trying to get me in focus.

Hey, sailor,” she says. “...or whatever you are. How 'bout buyin' a girl a drink?”

Sure,” I say. “If you'll tell me about your life.”

You don't want to know about my life,” she says... surprisingly NOT slurring her words.

Sure I do,” I tell her.

Hey Maggie,” I ask the bartender, “give this young woman a drink on me. Nothing top shelf, but... how 'bout a Jameson's.”

Well thanks... er...” says the woman.

Mykel,” I say.

My name's Justine,” she says. I don't ask her for her real name.

JUSTINE'S STORY

How long've you been in New York?” I ask her.

About a year,” she tells me. “I was born in Missouri... small town. It was my dream to come to New York.”

So you did it,” I say.

Hah!,” she answers, taking a sip of her Jamesons, “more like a nightmare than a dream.”

You don't like the city or you don't like your job?” I ask.

Yes,” she says.

She tells me about her job. It's with McKenzie & Cromwell, a law firm. She is a paralegal. “That means a secretary who has to kill time on LexisNexis.” She explains that LexisNexis is some kind of database for looking up precedents and court cases.

Mckenzie and Cromwell?” I ask. “Sounds goyish. Do you like your job?”

It's as boring as golf,” she tells me. “Oh, I hope you're not a golf fan.”

Do I look like a golf fan?” I ask her.

She smiles and shakes her head.

The pay is shit. The men make twice as much,” she continues shaking her head. “I know strippers who make more than me.”

Me too,” I don't say.

But that's not the worst of it,” she says, draining her glass. I signal to Maggie to bring two more drinks. Another Jameson for her and a Yuengling for me. “It's the... I dunno... impersonality of it all.”

What do you mean?” I ask.

I'm like a cog in a wheel,” she says, mixing her metaphors. “I mean I sit in a little cubical with dozens of other people sitting in their little cubicles. I don't know their names. They don't know mine. I'm not a person. I'm a thing... a piece of meat. Nobody ever says nice job or even nice haircut. The company tells me how to dress. I might as well be working at McDonald’s for all the attention they pay to me as a person.

And every day I feel like shit about myself,” she says. “The whole purpose of the company is to cheat people. We bill more than a hundred bucks an hour... for dicking around on the internet. I get home and want to wash the smell of scam off my body. It's awful.”

I nod.

And I'm not the only one,” she continues. “There are girls working there... from all over... I think some recruiter promises them jobs with (she uses her fingers to make air quotes) A BIG LAW FIRM, and they sign the papers. Once they get here, they can't get out of their contract without being shipped back to Kabukistan or wherever the hell they're from. It's like slavery.”

““It's called Human Trafficking,” I don't tell her. “It's only illegal if you show your twat.”

Thanks for the drink,” says Justine. “I hope I didn't bore you with my story. I wish I could invite you home, but I got a lazy boyfriend I gotta support. I hope the story was worth the two drinks.”

It was,” I tell her. “just what I needed.... I went.”

Huh?” she asks.

I just smile.


ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email at god@mykelboard.com. Through the post office: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003. If you like my writing, you can be notified when anything new is available by subscribing to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com]

-->Huh? dept: Jason Torpy, The president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, said, "The lack of belief in a god should not be a disqualifier to access to chaplaincy." And in April 2014, the U.S. Army announced that "humanist" would be an officially recognized "faith," although so-far, they're not allowed to have chaplains. 
I say: a CHAPLAIN is a religious leader serving the military. “Lack of belief in a god:” kind of puts the kibosh on “religious” doesn't it? A lot of atheists are dogmatic and evangelical... but somehow I don't think that's enough to qualify.

-->Your private donations aren't dept: Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla gave $1,000 in support of California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriages. This was in 2008-- six years ago. Eich is a co-founder of Mozilla and only recently became the CEO. He has since resigned because of the stink raised by the donation.

-->Rush Limbaugh... again dept: The girls are on Rush Limbaugh for saying that every adolescent knows that when uttered by a girl “No doesn't always mean no.” You can read the petition here. Of course, Limbaugh's right... but that's irrelevant to the outrage. Something as mundane as the truth never stopped a feminist before... won't stop one now.

-->The good guys dept: Not In My Name is a group of Jews, some in Israel, some elsewhere, who reject the Israeli-caused genocide in Gaza and Palestine. They also reject the Jewish hawks and other rightists speaking for “all of us.” Mazel tov!

-->More about strippers dept: There a great article in This Week called Surprising Facts About Strippers. After reading this column, you won't be surprised.

-->Twisted numbers dept:I just read Michael Bloomberg, former king of New York, bragged that during his term "the life expectancy of the average New Yorker increased three years." He wanted to claim stupid anti-smoking and pro-bike lanes were making New Yorkers healthier.
The real reason? Rich people live longer than poor people on average. Mike Bloomberg threw out the poor and replaced 'em with rich. Violá! An increase in longevity!

-->Keeping the Pressure on Dept: I want to thank reader George Metesky for suggesting a Bring Back Mykel effort directed at Maximum Rock'n'Roll. Send your comments-- to mrr@maximumrocknroll.com with the subject line: BRING BACK MYKEL! Let me know how they answer.

-->And: I'm on a massive clean-up/divest kick. I'm giving away DVDs, cassettes, VHS videos, CDs and a few 7-inch singles. Just pay separate shipping and handling. Details at: MykelsGiveaway



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