Saturday, May 30, 2015

This Column Sucks (Part 3) or Mykel's Post MRR Column # 21 V.3


YOU'RE STILL WRONG
POST MRR COLUMNS
Column 21¾
Better Than God PT. 3
by Mykel Board

[NOTE: I promised this column as a supplement, to be done before my usual. I flaked. Too much facebook, and autoerotic procrastination. So here it is... maybe late... but here it is.]

"Although real and troubling lawlessness... had occurred, rumors of homicidal gangs and "zombies".. were revealed as overblown. Looters were sometimes foragers, searching for food and water. Gunshots assumed to have been aimed at rescuers may have been gunshots aimed, however misguidedly, at alerting those rescuers to the presence of desperate survivors.” --Sheri Fink in 5 Days at Memorial



To refresh: Picture Amanojaku, tiny... horned... ugly...born of semen and dustbunnies... on the cusp of a vacuum cleaner hose...

He challenges me to replace the chasm left when the old morality died. I complained about the current replace-ments... identity politics... totalitarianism... over-sensitivity... privatization... Me... Me... Me.. I rejected THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (too egotistical / God centered) and THE GOLDEN RULE (encourages masochists to hurt people). So Amanojaku asks me for my own set of commandments. 

 When last we left, I was giving my commandments. I gave them while the little demon lay squished on my naked leg... murdered by me... crushed like a fly on a TV screen. Last month I gave my first five commandments-- aka Basic Rules. 

 “Okay you little fucker,” I tell the mess on my thigh. “Here are the last five. If there's reincarnation, you can follow them in the next life.” 

BASIC RULE NUMBER SIX: Thou shalt SOLVE PROBLEMS BY OPENING RATHER THAN CLOSING. In politics, it's easy to see how this works. You're worried about the rebels in Syria? Offer them visas and free passage to the US or wherever else they want to go. “Supporting” people means giving them a place to go, a place where they do not feel in danger. You think the Russians are giving the Ukrainians a raw deal? Don't give 'em guns, give 'em houses in Brighton Beach... open up. You don't solve problems by killing people. Nothing is more “closing” than death. 

In personal relations, OPENING means, giving up your headphones and i‑Whatever and letting the street sounds and views and random people come into your life. Much of it you won't like, but I guarantee a few grains of corn in with the general shit. Open up! See the world... your neighborhood... your neighbors. 

 Mentally, it means not being so wedded to a gender, race, or ideology that it colors everything you do. Let in the outside world: 

Flash to Venezuela: I'm here because Chavez is in charge... the great liberator... called GW Bush Satan at the UN. Yeah! The country is a paradise: Happy workers with free land, healthcare and a leader they can trust, no? 

NO! 

Chavez is a ruthless dictator... the conservatives are right... at least on this one small point. 

 In Caracas, I stay with a 35-year-old geologist...fired from her government job. Why? She signed a petition asking Chavez to follow the constitution. That's it. Bang! Unemployed! 

I walk the streets of the city...  see dozens of people squatting... eating out of ripped-open garbage bags. These are not punk dumpster divers, but families, stuffing their skinny bodies. I walk to a store... buy a towel... pay cash... “¿Puedo ver su identificación?” 

 People don't talk to each other... to strangers. They're hostile and afraid. A teenager, dirty blond hair... an HOLA! t-shirt... worn jeans... behind me as I walk. I turn the corner. He's still behind me. I turn another corner... still there. Down into the subway... he's right behind me. A cop in the station... I head toward him... the teen is gone. It's creepy and symbolic of a crime-ridden, corrupt, totalitarian Venezuela. I was wrong about it. My open life, this time, pointed to FOX not MSNBC. 

BASIC RULE NUMBER SEVEN: Thou shalt BE CIVIL. I don't fucking mean to be polite, dainty and drink beer from a fuckin' glass. I mean don't be an asshole... be AWARE OF OTHER PEOPLE. 

I'm on a queen-size escalator... the DOWN side... running for the #7 train. I hear the rumble of the train... its approach... I run faster... the multicultural line of people on the right shifts slightly to let me pass. Down that left side... there she is in front of me... a white girl in a too short skirt and too styled hair... standing on the steps...thumbs flailing... feet fixed to the step. 

I pound down the stairs behind her... stomping... clomping... thudding... each step catching glances from everyone on the escalator... except her and her iPhone. I'm right behind her. My arm on the escalator rail... right next to her... if I were a kidnapper... I could nap her right now... encircle her waist. She's oblivious. The train leaves. I don't push her down the remaining stairs. 

 CIVIL means considering the people around you. It means not standing on the walk side... not pushing to get in the train before the people inside leave... not going the just speed limit in the left lane. BASIC 

RULE NUMBER EIGHT: Thou shalt ASSUME ANYTHING THAT “EVERYBODY KNOWS” IS WRONG. This is not only “everybody” as in textbooks, but everybody as in your friends... your fellow liberals... punks... feminists. 

 Wikipedia says: The universe is 13.77 billion years old. Everybody knows that, right? And the solar system is 5 billion years old? Huh? 

What is a YEAR? It's one revolution of the earth around the sun. One year is one trip. If there is no sun, there are no years. We can't measure time if there's nothing to measure it against. It is meaningless to say one BLARF is the time it takes for a kryptonite bullet to pierce Superman's skull. There is no kryptonite and no Superman. Measuring ONE YEAR, when there is no earth or no sun is meaningless. 

 Everybody knows: Smoking tobacco causes lung cancer. You take it for granted... even if you smoke. Smoking is bad for kids and their parents. A smoker is a bad person. Ok, let's see. 

The 10 countries with the highest lung cancer rates (in order) are: 
1. Hungary 
2. Serbia
3. Maldives
4. Poland
5. Armenia
6. Denmark
7. Netherlands
8. Croatia
9. The United States
10. Cuba. 

The 10 countries with the highest percentage of smokers are (in order)
1. Greece
2. Serbia
3. Bulgaria
4. Russia
5. Moldova
6. Ukraine
7. Slovenia
8. Bosnia
9. Belarus
10. Montenegro 

The US is number 51. 

Only Serbia has both a high lung cancer rate and a high smoking rate. If smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, something is wrong. 

 What's wrong is how you think! 

Looking at only one aspect... one cause... one effect... is not how the world works. Cigarette companies, in the US, are the great corporate scapegoats. Asthma? It's cigarettes. Emphysema? Ditto. Companies of all kinds can spew garbage of all kinds in the air. Workers can be exposed to the worst kind of industrial pollutants... but if they get sick... IT'S CIGARETTES. One industry takes the blame for the evils of the others. Worse, it's YOU who takes the blame. You're sick. YOU DID IT. YOU SMOKED! 

That's wrong. 

BASIC RULE COROLLARY: If there's a proverb, cliché, or saying about it, it's probably wrong. 

Examples: 

The early bird catches the worm: WRONG! Recent research shows that early birditude or night owlishness is genetic. If you're in the worm catching business, and you function best at night... catch those worms at night. You'll do better. 

 Women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar. WRONG! That statistic only takes into account JOB TITLES. It does not include the number of hours worked (statistically much higher for men). It also does not include the danger and therefore work years of professions at higher pay. How many garbagewomen have you seen? Pressurized can explosions, exposure to sharp objects, medical contaminants, make this a much more dangerous job than, say kindergarten teaching. The average work life of garbage MAN is much lower than that of a (mostly female job) elementary school teacher... with disease and accidental death a major reason. 

Even in the same job, individual paychecks may be different but money earned per year, during the average work life, is the same for men and women. Variations of length of work hours, previous experience, length of time at the job, all are pay factors. The 77¢ figure is bogus... a relic of the way its supporters do the calculation. 

 BASIC RULE NUMBER NINE: Thou shalt GO ANALOG. Digital is a bunch of ones and zeros... a BINARY system. If you're not NUMBER ONE... you're a big zero. Most Western Countries are digital: one or zero. No in between. It comes from Christianity: God or Satan. You see it everywhere: Cowboys or Indians. Good guys or bad guys. Men or women. Black or white. 6 million in the ovens or holocaust denier. Conservative or liberal. Punk or mainstream. Gay or straight. No middle ground... nothing in between. Yo buckaroos, the world isn't that way. 

Why do so many transsexuals think of themselves as “a woman trapped in a man's body?” That assumes there are only women and men! Digital thinking. Why not be YOU, a unique person, a unique gender, a little of this, a little of that, and something neither this nor that? You are YOU in your body. Why change to conform to a digital idea? Why cut it off if it's there for you to use and enjoy... as any gender you'd like. 

Between black and white is an infinitude of gray... not to mention red or sienna. More than BEING an infinitude, the universe is a SHIFTING infinitude. Today this. Tomorrow not quite this. The next day that.

BASIC RULE NUMBER TEN: Thou shalt (often) TELL THE COMMANDMENT GIVER TO FUCK OFF. 

 The year is 1970. The place Beloit College. I've organized the first meeting of OPERATION MAXWELL, our political action group on campus... embarrassingly (in retrospect) named after a Beatles song. We're meeting outside, on a small concrete strip in front of a wall on front of THE QUAD... an open area when hippie students picnic, folk dance, and try to find a joint. 

Gavel-less, I bang my fist on the wall. 

 “Okay,” I say. “I'm calling this meeting to order. We've got a lot to talk about. As your leader...” 

“No leaders!” comes the call from someone. POW! A PIE IN THE FACE.... Custard.... 

“No leaders!” comes the call again... to be picked up by the others. 

NO LEADERS! NO LEADERS! NO LEADERS! 

 Yeah, I engineered the whole thing. Planned it from day one... my one and only act as leader of the group was to overthrow myself. As your new commandment giver, I want to continue that tradition. 

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 is it with Indiana and "freedom of religion?" dept: An Indiana Catholic school teacher was fired after she applied for insurance to cover in vitro fertilization. The church had already paid for MALE infertility treatment. The teacher sued the diocese. The diocese responded that having to go to court would be a violation of "the church's religious freedom." It didn't work and the jury awarded the woman 1.9 million dollars. The church plans to appeal the verdict. 

-->I swear, sort of, dept: A Pennsylvania judge prohibited a Muslim woman from swearing on the Koran before taking the witness stand. The law in the state requires witnesses to either swear on the Christian bible or make a non-religious "affirmation." Jeezus! Can't we just get the bible out of court completely and be done with it? 

 -->Fuck school do something useful dept: The LA Times reports that an estimated 100,000 Mexican children under 14 work on farms that supply produce to US stores. The children don't go to school and work in 100heat for your corn. Their parents, mostly Mexican Indians, are often in debt to company stores run by the farm owners, so the kids' "earnings" go right back to the farm. 

 ->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 their contribution to the world of censorship. Send your comments to mrr@maximumrocknroll.com (or post on their facebook page) with the subject line: BRING BACK MYKEL! Let me know how they answer.

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

 -end

Saturday, May 09, 2015

This Column Sucks (Part 2) or Mykel's Post MRR Column # 21 V.2










YOU'RE STILL WRONG
POST MRR COLUMNS
Column 21
Better Than God
by Mykel Board

Thou shalt not kill... Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's ass.”
--God and Tuli Kupferberg

I skipped a month in this saga... went off on a feminist tangent... Now, let's get back to business.

When last we left, I was sitting... post orgasm... in front of my favorite bi-porn. My trusty DIRT DEVIL vacuumed me into ecstasy. That sucking became a metaphor for the city, the country, the world, the universe. An American middle class, sucked away, replaced by Chinese nouveau riche. The morality of God, family and country, sucked away, replaced by rules on speech, and avoiding other people's sensitivity. Destroyed governments of Libya and Iraq, sucked away, replaced with Al Qaeda and ISIS. Black holes in space sucking away at the rest of the universe, replaced by who-know-what. A great sucking... vacuum after vacuum, begging to be filled. Billions of vacuum cleaner nozzles filled with dripping semen.

Back in my apartment: We ended with a rustling... at the vacuum cleaner nozzle. There... breast-stroking through the pubic hairs is my muse... the amanojaku to my amanojaku personality...born from dust bunnies and semen... naked except for a lotus leaf skirt... fat as a Buddha. Its two lower canine teeth stick up outside its jaw... over its upper lip. Crawling out of the hose... spurted forth from the Dirt Devil... like Aphrodite from the brow of Zeus... it approaches me.

Using its tiny arms, it pulls itself out of the hose and crawls over the wooden floor. Then, it digs its tiny-though-nasty claws into the side of my leg and climbs upwards until it's sitting on my lap.

So Mykel,” it says in a squeaky voice with just a hint of a Yiddish accent. “You and your vacuums. What do you want? You want to go back to a standard? Something we can all agree on? Something to fill the moral vacuum so the shit doesn't get sucked in?”

I nod.

So Mykel,” it says again, “what might that be? The Ten Commandments?”

I'm not a big fan of the Ten Commandments,” I tell him/her.

S/He frowns... or at least does a demon impression of a frown.

The first one: “I am The Lord Thy God,” isn't even a commandment at all. But it continues:

Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.

What a lame way to begin the most important set of rules in the world. God wrote this and it begins with ME FIRST? It's as self-centered as toddlers fighting over a bowl of M&Ms. That's how you start off the rules of life?

On top of that, God says, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” It's right there in the unexpurgated version.

Jeezus Fuck! God, the all masterful and loving, is jealous? No thanks. Besides, if s/he is A jealous God, then there must be other Gods. It's grammar, ya know?

Besides, all those commandments are so negative. Just saying what you CAN'T do gives as much guidance in your life as: DON'T EAT FUCHSIA-COLORED VEGETABLES. Not very helpful. Rules to live by should be telling us what we CAN and SHOULD do.

What about thou shalt not kill?” says Amanojaku.

That's not bad,” I answer, “but it's only number six... Coming AFTER the one that says NOT to say GODDAMNIT! Which is more important?”

And it doesn't say what KILL is. Only people? Animals? Plants? Only those who have not tried to take over your oil fields? It's not detailed enough.

Ok,” says Amanojaku. “Forget about the Ten Commandments. How about The Golden Rule®? You know, Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you.”

That's better,” I tell it, “but there are too many masochists out there. Masochists want to be hurt. Following the golden rule, they'd be tying up people and sticking pins in their captives' nipples. The Golden Rule® turns masochists into sadists.

Come on, Mykel,” says Amanojaku, adjusting a lotus leaf that's in danger of revealing its gender. “That's a stretch. People want to be treated politely and just left alone.”

Left alone?” I say. “That's part of the problem. Leave me alone. Don't tax me. Leave me alone. Don't tell me I can't put shit in the air and water. Leave me alone. Don't tell me I can't hire Sri Lankan immigrants for 26 cents an hour. This is a SOCIETY. People live together. If you want to be left alone... move to Nepal... but even there, God won't leave you alone. Take earthquakes... please! You think those buried in snow and rock... nearly dead... want to be left alone?”

So tell us, oh great Mykel,” says Amanojaku... his sarcasm dripping like semen in a vacuum cleaner hose. “What is the principle? How can we fill the moral vacuum left when family, country, and God died?”

That,” I confess, “is something I haven't figured out...”

Amanojaku smiles smugly.

But,” I continue, “I have an idea where to start. We need some basic principles...”

Amanojaku raises his/her eyebrows

Like Civility,” I say.

Oh pull eeese Mary,” s/he says looking skyward and limping his wrist like a drag queen in training. “You're supposed to be a punk rocker and you want CIVILITY??? Isn't that a bit... er... dainty?”

I don't mean simple politeness,” I tell him(?). “I mean something closer to SLACK. I mean thicker skin. I mean some basic tenants of tolerance.”

Ah,” says Amanojaku, “what are the TEN COMMANDMENTS OF MYKEL BOARD?”

I'm glad you asked me that,” I say, slapping hard with my hand and squishing him/her into blood and cartilage against my leg.

My last action was a violation of one of them,” I tell the mess.


So here are the my commandments. Sure, there are details and problems... but it's a start in the quest to fill the vacuums left by the deaths of The Old Morality, The Old Feminism, and The Old Privacy. These are calls to ways of acting. They are not calls to legislation.
BASIC RULE NUMBER ONE: Thou shalt CUT PEOPLE SOME SLACK. People are different, use different language, have different values. We can live with those differences. Relax.

What people say and how they say it is something to discuss. It is wrong to stop them from speaking. That includes by law or by boycott or by social pressure or by shouting down. That's related to...

BASIC RULE NUMBER TWO: Thou shalt ANSWER SPEECH YOU DON'T LIKE WITH SPEECH YOU DO LIKE. Discuss, discuss, have a drink, a laugh, listen to music and discuss again. If you don't like what someone says, answer them. Show the other side. Don't organize to stop that speech or make someone lose a job. Talk!

BASIC RULE NUMBER THREE: Thou shalt first consider CONSENT. CONSENT. CONSENT. A key part of any relationship must be consent. If someone is forced to do something either by law, by hunger or something as simple as lack of money... that is NOT consent.

If you want to kill and eat your next door neighbor and that neighbor hands you the gun, fork and knife... Shoot and dig in!

But consent is more than just saying yes. Consent is not being intimidated or bullied into action. If I have to work at Walmart because the other stores have closed and I have to feed my kids and the government has taken away my welfare... that is NOT consent. I'm FORCED to work. Economic bullying is no less bullying than governmental or big ole jock bullying.

BASIC RULE NUMBER FOUR: Thou shalt TREAT HUMANS LIKE PEOPLE. Okay, you can't afford to give a buck to every guy on the street asking you for spare change... but you can learn his name.. you can say “Hi, howzit goin?” You can respond to a stranger's “Hey babe, how ya doin'?” with “I'm okay... just late for work... see ya!” Considering humans as people makes it more difficult to cut their heads off, put them in jail or drop drones on them.

In personal relations, it means not being an asshole to your waitress... not ignoring the poor K-Mart cashier who's smiling at you while you're on your iPhone dissing someone on facebook. It means stopping your car when someone by the side of the road has his hood up. It means winking at the ugly girl or smiling at the fat guy.

BASIC RULE NUMBER FIVE: Thou shalt BE USELESS. Your last year in High School:

So, where are you gonna go to school?” she says.

I donno, I heard that Monsanto U is pretty good. It's my first choice. Maybe I can get a wrestling scholarship,” he answers. “I need to take some finance courses. I gotta get a good job.”

Finance?” she says, “I guess that sounds good. You'll be landing the big bucks. I'm going for marketing myself.”

STOP! STOP! STOP! Why not go to air conditioning repair school? or become a dental hygienist? What the fuck? Learning, discovering new things is FUN. It's a challenge. It takes you places you've never been and teaches you thoughts you've never thought.

Learning how to make people want things they don't need is not an adventure. It's a waste. Learning how to use other people's money to fill your own bank account-- or worse, your boss's bank account-- is not an adventure. It's sleazy in the BAD sense of that world.

Take art history... please! Take Gilyak, theoretical (NOT APPLIED!) physics, philosophy, gender studies, ANYTHING that exists for itself. That has a thrill in learning... that is not to be USED for a good job, exploiting people, or contributing to the general distress.

Your twat should drip in anticipation of your class... of each adventurous day exploring new ideas... like Starship Enterprise explores new worlds... for your adventure and the adventure of your fellow explorers... not despite that it's useless, but BECAUSE it's useless. Because it exists only for knowledge, because there are erection-inducing thrills to be had in THE KNOWING, THE LEARNING, THE UNDERSTANDING.

If you want useful, take air-conditioner repair. Get a job. Make money. Hate your life... Do it for the kids. What a waste!


Oh no! I did it again. Ran out of self-imposed space after only five commandments... er... basic rules. I think I'm gonnna have to have a supplement later this month to finish up.


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]

-->Beverage Dept: The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that they followed 749 senior citizens for over 9 years. This doesn't mean stalking, but checking what the oldsters were drinking. They found that the DIET SODA DRINKERS gained nearly three times as much belly fat as those who didn't drink any soda. Yet there are still people who want to tax SUGARY DRINKS (take former Mayor Bloomberg... PLEASE!), and force even MORE people into Diet Soda hell. Sometimes (often) I think HEALTH is a cult rather than a science.

-->TMI Dept: Under the heading "Innovation of the Week" THE WEEK Magazine on April 3 tells of a "new system... to give police more real-time information on locations where shots were fired" The system will be linked to "license plate readers, radiation sensors, and 911 calls."
Of course that means every street will be watched by "license plate readers and radiation sensors." Makes you feel safe, doesn't it?

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

-end