Friday, May 27, 2016

Bully! or Mykel Board's Post MRR Column no. 34

Post MRR Column no 34

A young outcast will often feel that there is something wrong with himself, but as he gets older, grows more confident in who he is, he will adapt, he will begin to feel that there is something wrong with everyone else.” --Criss Jami


by Mykel Board

It's 1958. The school yard at Lee Avenue Elementary School... in Hicksville. I'm off in a corner, as usual... trying to avoid being dragged into some sport, like baseball (I like watching, but hate playing)... or football,... (I detest on all counts).

Harvey McConnell... who, in my 8-year old mind is Harvey O'Jerk... has cornered me in the playground. Harvey probably isn't very tall, but he looks tall to me... tall and wide as a house... with a blond crewcut and the kind of square face only the goyim have.

Okay, you little faggot,” he says.

I have no idea what faggot means, except that it's not something nice.

“Your mommy gives you money for lunch,” he continues. “I watch you sometimes. You hardly eat anything... just suck up that milk and have a slice of bologna... I eat lunch. I need your lunch money. You don't.”

Fuck you! If you want it, you're gonna have to take it from me,” I don't say.

Instead, I reach into my pocket and pull out three crumpled dollar bills. I hold them out to Harvey. He laughs, takes them from my hand, turns around and heads toward the guys playing baseball.

FLASH TO NOW: I sit here at the Toshiba thinking about bullying and how fashionable it is to complain about it. In liberal circles, The only way you can establish street cred is to talk about being bullied. You're nobody unless you've been bullied. The more, the better.

If you played football in school... you're a loser. If you had kind parents, were never bothered by your classmates, had a smooth childhood... you're an unfeeling robot who can never understand what it's like. It makes no difference what IT is... you can still never understand it.

So me and my flip-fone and my barely-this-century computer with my MS-DOS database, need to establish ourselves before I continue with my story. I did. Okay? Do I have my cred?

Yeah, I want to talk about bullying? It's all the rage and people are right to be concerned... but not in the way you think.

Let's review:

I've written about the verbal war I have with the lefty no free speech to those who would deny it to others people. They believe it's not censorship if the government isn't the censor. As if getting fired for saying something is less damaging in America than getting fined for the same thing. Can you say Imus and Curt Schilling? That's not censorship... that's the market place, they say.

On the right, people say it's not censorship, if iTunes, Amazon and Walmart-- the only source for music for many Americans.... require changes in cover art, or lyrics before they sell something... as if that's less intimidating than a visit from the Sheriff of Mayville.

Lately, I've been in facebook debates with progressives® who say that slavery is where people are forced to work and the benefits of that work go to someone else. Yet these same progressives® think some good ole boy Southern landowner with a whip is more of a slave master than hunger... that Southern Negroes were slaves because they had to work to live... but modern McDonald's workers are NOT slaves, even though if THEY don't work, they die. Raise your hand if you hate your job! If you work only because you need to have food and shelter, tell me you're not a slave.

It occurs to me that slavery is the ultimate bullying. Legal, as well as physical threats. You work or you're whipped. Or maybe I'll whip you for the hell of it. All depends on whose history of slavery you read... or believe. But bullying didn't end with slavery. Even slavery didn't end with slavery.

When I was robbed in that playground... my lunch money ripped from my hands back in 1958, of course, that was bullying. These days people worry about more. We hear about microaggression (aka microbullying). A snicker, an elbow nudge, a raised eyebrow. In New York... according to a recent law... the use of a wrong gender pronoun is bullying. Bullying is something white hets do that makes others feel uncomfortable. Anything they do.

FLASH TO MIAMI: I'm with my friends in Wynwood... a fashionable part of Miami, gentrified through graffiti. Instead of building ugly new buildings and keeping them
pristine through jail for artists (like Guiliani did in NY) or with graffiti-rejecting paint (like in San Francisco)... Wynwood has embraced graffiti artists, turned 'em loose, turned the town into a sea of color... a river of big eyes, sexy ladies and sexy men... funny aliens... slogans... a feast for the eyes. It's a joy to be here.

The only problem is parking. Richard is driving. He's a Cuban-American pal who knows Miami better than I do.

He drives around the block... another block... back to the first. We're trying to get to Wynwood Brewery, fine makers of one of my favorite American Porters.

Ah here's a parking space... Richard slides in.

I know the tricks. They charge for parking, sometimes hide the meters. You gotta go to a machine someplace, get a receipt, put it in the window. The city makes a ton of cash by towing cars whose owners thought they got free parking. Richard pulls out his smart phone. 
Who're you gonna call?” I ask. “Can't it wait? Let's get some beer!”

Mykel,” he says. “I gotta pay for parking.”

“I got quarters,” I tell him.

Mykel, Mykel, Mykel,” he says, shaking his head like a parent wiping the face of a chocolate-guzzling toddler. “You can only pay by phone. You need to download the app, register a credit card, then put in your location and pay.”

Richard points overhead. I look up. A sign: To pay for parking, please use PARKPAY. If you don't have the app, download it to your smartphone at

What if you don't have a smartphone, motherfucker? This is bullying! I can't park here if I don't own a smartphone. I'm being bullied into buying something I don't want. How much longer before I won't be able to get into a movie theater... or board an airplane without a smartphone?

This extortion... several hundred dollars if you include the contracts, the accessories and the other shit... is worse than any innocent white guy calling his wimpy classmate “a faggot.” It's certainly more expensive.

What?” I say. “The city bullies you into having a credit card, a smartphone, and downloading an app that knows where you are every second?”

BINGO!” he says.

I have no smartphone,” I say. “Does that mean I can't park in Miami?”

He nods, pointing his finger at me in a YOU GOT IT gesture.

BINGO! is right.

THAT is the kind of bullying people should be complaining about. I got over my lunch-money theft decades ago, but technological bullying never ends.

Is this the first time?

You bet your walkman it's not. You're too young to remember when we were bullied into buying CD players because companies stopped making vinyl... or into buying DVD players because of the end of videotape.

The bullying never ends.

FLASH TO THE SCHOOL I TEACH IN: It's my first class of the day. I stumble through a hangover haze from last night at BAR BACON.

My brain feels like it's trying to escape my skull. My stomach is so churned it doesn't know which end is up... and doesn't care as long as it can spill something. I can feel my eyebags dragging on the floor. Kiko, the receptionist, squints as I enter.

What are you doing here?” she asks. “Your first class was canceled.”

What???”I say, trying to both speak and hold down the vomit at the same time.

I sent you an email,” she says.

I should be glued to my email ... my computer, my smartphone, my brain-implanted chip? I should check my email, or respond or be ON 24 hours with a PING if something new comes to gmail or if someone LIKES my vasectomy photo on facebook.

I'm being bullied into NOT using email as a convenience... sent, like a letter, when I'm able to... responding in time. They're making me a slave to email.

Other people say DON'T SEND EMAIL AT NIGHT, don't text me after 10. Why? Because they don't shut off their smartphones! They're already slaves... slaves to the technology. On the plantation, THOSE slaves could sleep at night. They could stop and eat, the slavemaster had to keep them in good shape... they were expensive. They had plenty of time to sleep to get ready for the next day of cotton picking.

Slaves of today are as disposable as videotape players. Use it up, hire a new one... there are more where they came from. Today's slaves are on call 24 hours. They don't have to be cared for. Waddaya mean you want to sleep? I sent you an email.

This is the bullying you need to worry about. You'll get over your boss frowning when you say my partner. You'll get over someone complementing your ass when you walk up Fourth Avenue. You'll get over someone using the “wrong” pronoun when you ask directions.

But you WON'T get over technological bullying. You won't get over being forced to BUY BUY BUY and then throw out what you just bought. You'll get over having your lunch money stolen on the playground. You won't get over the extortion from Apple, Amazon, facebook, Microsoft or Google.

Don't talk to me about how my “privilege” (penis, roundish eyes, easily-sunburned skin) protects me from being bullied. Bullying is the name of the game, and if you live in the modern world... you have to play the game.

ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email at 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]

-->Who needs Trump dept: The Pew Research Center reports that more Mexicans are leaving the US than entering.
Says the report: From 2009 to 2014, 1 million Mexicans and their families (including U.S.-born children) left the U.S. for Mexico. This according to data from the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID). U.S. census data for the same period show an estimated 870,000 Mexicans left Mexico to come to the U.S., a couple hundred thousand fewer than went the other way.

-->Special Congrats Dept: My very long-time friend, performance artist, and half of my blog proof-reading staff, has finally graduated from Columbia College in Chicago. I was there, and Sid's fish-hat/mortarboard was the hit of the show! Sid Yiddish, (who it's looking more and more like I'll be voting for for president) got his Masters in Interdisciplinary Art... while the bachelors looked on. Omedeto, Sid!

-->Right again dept: I'm often wrong in my predictions. Can you say, “America will never have a colored president?” So when something comes out right, it brings an ear-wiggling smile to my face.
Several months ago I wrote a piece about the left's tendency not to binge and purge, but to purge and purge. All lefties better get used to watching their backs, because being a lefty requires a tattoo of a target there.
Now I hear that Gilman Street, the totalitarian club started by Tim Yohannon at Maximum Rock'n'Roll (bands have to submit their lyrics for approval before they can play there), is the victim of a boycott.
The boycott organizers didn't like that some bands were offensive. This is PUNK ROCK! It's SUPPOSED to be offensive. But these humorless overlords don't get it.
I'm glad to be right this time.

-->Speaking of Bar Bacon dept:
I had a great Drink Club a Bar Bacon. Great crowd and great irony that there were two Jews and two Muslims (among others) together in a Bacon Bar.
     One of the Muslims was the great Joe Kidd. In case you don't know, Joe Kidd is the Malaysian Luk Haas. Mr. Punk Encyclopedia, Joe is the hero of everyone in Asia. He's written about them all. He's lived on more islands than I have, and taken the obscure and let everybody know about it. He writes (used to write? I don't keep up with the purges anymore) the Malaysian scene reports in MRR. You can contact him on facebook... and you should.

---->Your cheatin' heart dept: A Spanish mattress maker called "Smartress" has invented a mattress that "detects rhythmic patterns."
Any... er... extra curricular rhythmic activity will be reported by smartphone. In order to avoid "false positives," the mattress also reports the number of people on the mattress at the time of the rhythm.
Yet another reason to keep smartphones out of the hands of spouses, lovers, and other jealous people.

--> 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 censoring me.
As their revolving editrixes move on to commercial ventures, each blames her predecessors for my demise... as if they had no control over the business... and couldn't simply invite me back.
Send your comments to (or post on their facebook page) with the subject line: BRING BACK MYKEL! Let me know how they answer.


1 comment:

Chuck Bailey said...

Truth. Nowadays, you can't get off certain exits and lanes on the highway, unless you have an EZPass device.