Sunday, May 01, 2022

Bi bi binary or You're STILL Wrong, Mykel Board's blog for May 2022

 


 

Bi Bi Binary
or You're STILL Wrong,
Mykel's May 2022 Blog

by Mykel Board

The binary approach is an obsolete school of thought in the process of structuring human perception towards reality. The true nature of reality fits better with a spectrum approach.

- Toba Beta


Human beings have a strong instinct toward binary thinking, a basic urge to divide things into two distinct groups, with nothing but an empty gap in between. We love to dichotomize. Good versus bad. Heroes versus villains. My country versus the rest. Dividing the world into two distinct sides is simple and intuitive, and also dramatic because it implies conflict, and we do it without thinking, all the time.

- Hans Rosling,


Binary paths belong in bygone past. All things civilized are non-binary. - Abhijit Naskar,


Love cannot be defined, caught, cast in stone, or archived. It's something we have no control over. Love is completely analog. Love can never be digital. --Vicky Krieps


You’re either part of the problem of part of the solution. --Black Panthers

You’re wrong. --Mykel Board


Comedians are famous for their repertoire of phrases used to tame hecklers.

Yeah my mother used to tell me that too.

Your mouth works, now try your brain.

If I was as smart as you, I’d be stupid.

We’ve all rehearsed comedy comebacks… when people ask: BANG, you got a stock answer good for anyone... any time.

Q. Did you go to business school?
A. No, I got an education.

Q. Is it hard being a Jew?
A. No, it’s easy. All you gotta do is have a Jewish mother.

Q. How’s your hearing?
A. What?

When I meet someone, it’s never long before we talk about sex. Not (necessarily) sex with each other, but in general. I use the word vagina within the first 20 minutes of a conversation with a new person. Doesn’t everyone?

And while judging the desirability of every passing stranger (usually on a scale of one to a hundred)… or while talking about bars long gone and sorely missed… a new friend will inevitably ask, “Mykel, are you gay?”

Ah, my stock answer… pops out like a drunk’s penis from a vagina. “No, I’m not gay,” I say, “but most of the guys I’ve had sex with have been gay.”

So you’re bisexual?”

“Trisexual… try anything.”

The usual response is an I’ve-heard-it-before eye-roll. Maybe with a headshake.

At nearly 80 years old, I have slightly more real-life sexual energy than my hero, Tuli Kupferberg… and he’s dead. Bisexual and trisexual just don’t do it for me any more. Gimme a video.

So, as I’m masturbating to Lief Blowher (look her up on xvideos). On the upstroke, it occurs to me that sex is like linguistics, Covid, the Ukraine war, Donny Trump and racism. Binary in the 21st century. The Greeks didn’t have binary sex. They just had sex. Who the hell invented homo and hetero? And now it’s worse, with an alphabet of sex letters that you either are or you aren’t. A wombload of ones and zeros disguised as LBQTABCDEFG.

Ok, speaking of letters-- actually letter sounds-- here’s a quick linguistics lesson-- the structuralist school, as I remember it from 1987. For the structuralists, speech sounds are like computer language: ones and zeros… plusses or minuses.

The F-sound in English is made with the inside of the lower lip touching the upper teeth. Air is blown through the narrow opening and the vocal chords do not vibrate. Plus labial, minus voice.

The F-sound in Japanese is made with both lips close together, and air blown through the narrow opening. The vocal chords do not vibrate. Also plus labial, minus voice.

But they’re are not the same sounds. Structuralists jump through binary hoops to distinguish them. The Japanese sound is plus bilabial. The English sound minus bilabial. The English sound is plus tense (lower lip). The Japanese sound is minus tense. Hoop after hoop.

The list goes on. Adding more and more pluses and minuses… but why? I explained the difference between the two sounds in two sentences. What use is all the plusing and minusing? Why the thirst for binary? So it’ll fit in your computer?

To be fair, binary-tude has been with us at least since the Chinese flipped heads or tails with the I-Ching. But it really took off with computer storage and little bits being either ones or zeros. Now it rules everything. There are people in jail and others probably killed for having the wrong series of ones and zeros on their computer hard drives. The death penalty! That’s how much binary is worth in 2022.

Binary destroys thinking. It gives two options… if it’s not A, it must be B. If he’s not good, he must be evil. Nuance dies. It’s impossible to think outside the box without thinking of another box.

Another example… real life: I’m in Japan… trying to enter a restaurant in Shitamachi, Tokyo. Shitamachi strictly translates as downtown. But is actually closer in meaning to oldtown. I notice an interesting restaurant… frayed red lanterns hanging from the roof. Looking through the window, I’m happy to see there are NO WHITE PEOPLE inside. Oh yeah, my kind of place.

I pull on the door handle. The door doesn’t open. I pull again... harder. It still doesn’t open. What an idiot I am! In some countries, doors open out, some open in. I get it.

I push the door. No results. I can see the people inside looking at me and laughing. I push again. Inside, a chubby guy wearing a black suit, puts down his chopsticks and walks over to the door. He slides it open.

FOILED AGAIN BY BINARY THINKING!

The US must be one of the world’s most binary countries. (Israel: Jew or not-Jew is also way up there.) American movies divide the world into good guys and bad guys… heroes and villains. TV news reports on criminals and life-savers. Wars are right or wrong, good or bad. People, the same. Meet someone new? First thought: are they good or bad?

Text books show the history of earth as a series of good guys fighting bad guys. The side that has death camps are the bad guys. The side that kills hundreds of thousands with atomic bombs… and poisons millions of a future generation… they’re the good guys.

Maybe it’s not American… maybe it’s natural in humans. Two hands, two feet, two nostrils, two ovaries, two testicles… everything we can see in our bodies is one, two or ten. Our bodies are digital. It may be natural, but it drives me batty!

A famous punkrock writer and producer has called me a “Trumpist” because I said that president hadn’t gotten us into a war… and did the right thing by pulling us out of the Trans Pacific Partnership. Donald Trump is the absolute epitome of the binary. You either love him… and whatever he does is GOOD… or you hate him… and whatever he does is BAD. There’s no reasoning… No nuance. No need to do any thinking whatsoever.

But wait! The problem is not Donny Trump… it’s the whole idea of GOOD and EVIL. From fairy tales to facebook, you divide up the world. Trump is EVIL… and anything he does is evil and if it’s not evil, then you have to prove he didn’t do it? Instead of seeing him (and all humans) as a complicated ANALOG combination of positives and negatives and deeds and desires that are neither positive nor negative… You see DIGITAL. If someone is EVIL you have to explain away the good,,, deny it exists. It interferes with the binary.

Donald Trump was responsible for one assassination and no wars. Joe Biden droned a car-ful of medical aid workers… and has jailed more migrants than Donny ever did. Am I a Trumpist for pointing that out?

Then there’s Hitler, the Godwin embodiment of evil... What do you do when you find him on YOUR SIDE? Hey vegetarians. How could you be a vegetarian? Hitler was a vegetarian! Instead of saying, “okay… he was right on that, but he did a fuck of a lot more harm than good,” you scramble to prove “NO! It ISN’T TRUE! HE WASN’T A VEGETARIAN!”

I once posted on facebook the cliché that Hitler made the trains run on time. First answer? “No he didn’t. That was Mussolini.” Second answer? “No, he just made the train crews SAY they ran on time. They were really still late.” You cannot admit that someone EVIL can do anything good. It destroys the binary.

Then there’s sex. You’re STRAIGHT or you’re GAY. Okay, there are so-called bisexuals, but many doubt even that. One of the main sources of pride in my life is that my friends who call themselves straight, tell me Mykel, we know you’re really straight, but only claim to like guys because it’s extreme and outrageous. My friends who call themselves gay (or lesbian… a completely unnecessary word that means “gay woman”) tell me You’re really one of us, but you only claim to like girls because it avoids the stigma of being gay. Stigma in 2022? Jeezus fuckin’ Christ!

Yeah, there’s the BISEXUAL argument… but it’s BI… it’s digital. Another file folder to fit in. Sex is not digital… it’s analog! There is a whole range of sexual tastes: age, hairstyle, clothes, weight, body shape, body hair, personality. Our tastes are more than just a decision based on innies and outies.

But you, my digital friend, you self define… Like Biden is good, so everything he does is good. Or Trump is bad, so everything he does is bad. You define yourself as STRAIGHT. You’re not allowed to even consider sticking your dinkle into another man’s dent… or you’re GAY, so, even though that girl looks sooo good, you don’t do it because… well, because you’re GAY and gay people don’t do that. Even defining yourself as BISEXUAL doesn’t work, because then you’re saying there are people who are NOT bisexual. That makes another digital divide.

Tuli Kupferberg, when he was alive, wrote a song about getting old:

Once I was a sexual (two words), but now I am asexual (one word). I got those later life asexual blues.

We are all, more or less, SEXUALS. Of course we have preferences. I like Founders Breakfast Beer more than I like Budweiser… but I’m still a beer drinker. More people you find yourself attracted to may consider themselves men than consider themselves women. But that shouldn’t define you. Once you put yourself into a little labeled container, you lose your analog. You are no longer free, but only have the choice to move from one container to another.

One of the binariest of the binary is MALE or FEMALE, man or woman. Even at birth, someone says Choose one! Now! You’re allowed to change your mind… once. Then, that’s it.

People who would rage against a pre-pubescent spending a half hour having sex, now support their right to permanently and surgically CHOOSE their gender (one of two, of course) while their age is in the single digits. If they’re not sure… they can take drugs that will delay puberty “until they’re old enough to decide.” This is just crazy since:

1. The hormones released in puberty help with the decision to choose gender and are often the cause of pre-pubescents’ changing their mind on the surgery. So delaying puberty delays the BIOLOGICAL age and makes the “choice,” not a choice at all. The decision is still made by a newly pubescent who needs maturity to decide.

2. Why choose at all? Several cultures have more than two sexes, and one of my best friends is a guy… with a twat. Many regret the surgery and more just find that it didn’t do what they expected it to do.

Why not let kids play? Let little boys wear dresses. Let little girls play football. Call the kids what they want to be called, and after they’re old enough to decide (puberty at the earliest) on surgery, let them decide.

But wait! There’s still more!

War is probably the nastiest and most dangerous of binary thinking… and it’s effects. Take the Russian Ukraine invasion. Putin is the new Hitler… and there’s no indication he gets the trains to run on time. His reported popularity in Russia is 82%. Why so popular? Are ordinary Russians also EVIL?

Putin’s enemies cannot accept that. They have to scream foul. Fake figures… the opposition is in jail… he’s really hated but everyone in Russia is afraid to say so. In war, there are only good guys and bad guys. If a bad guy is popular, then the people who like him must also be bad.

If there’s a war, the bad guys rape and pillage… commit atrocities. The good guys protect “the innocent.” It’s binary… digital. No matter how analog the reality. No matter how much good or evil from both sides… no one can see it that way.

There’s a war… it’s a movie: Cue the pillaging~ Cue the rape! Cue the dead women and children (Men? Ah as long as they’re not children, then it’s no big deal. It’s a war. Men die. That’s what they do. The horror is when women and children die.) Cue the atrocities.

And it’s all the fault of one man… One macho guy in Moscow. Every raping penis… every apartment building missile… every closed escape route (whose escape routes? Why women and children, of course. Men have to fight and die. That’s what they do.) Every “civilian” casualty is personally ordered by the next corollary of Godwin’s law. The EVIL VLAD PUTIN!

Oh the list goes on. People are either anti-mask or pro-mask. Anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine. Trump-lovers or Trump-haters. “The other side” is stupid and EVIL. OUR side is smart and GOOD.

Well, join the army! The ANALOG army. The army of the subtle. The army of no sides… but infinite nuance. The army open to men women and those who are both… or neither. The army that marches out of step… not giving a shit about matching the stride of the next person. See you in that army… or not.


See you in hell… or not

Mykel Board

ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or by email at mykelboard@gmail.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. Send me an email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Back blogs and columns are at https://mykelsblog.blogspot.com]

Speaking of non-binary dept: The New Republic reports that, traditional treatments for substance use disorders, take place in expensive residential facilities, demand total abstinence from all drugs, and rely heavily on group therapy and the 12 steps. The magazine writes about a new system called PROP that doesn’t punish or control those in the program. Instead, PROP holds substance use on a continuum and gives people the power to determine their own treatment goals: Some might want to be abstinent from all drugs; others might reduce their substance use to more manageable levels. A completely logical-- analog-- approach.

Speaking of non-binary Chapter 2 dept:
I write this during Passover. This is the time of year where most Jews do not eat any wheat products… except matzo. And do not eat or drink anything with yeast in it. So what’s that got to do with analog? 

An analog Rabbi!! Yes! Reuben Zellman, a California rabbi is the first intersex student to graduate from reform rabbi-school. The rabbi is, of course, active in social causes, but is most interesting because of the lack of binary. Yes! My kind of… er… person! L’chaim!


See you in hell... or not (redux)
MB

LINK TRADE DEPARTMENT:

I read that the search engines like lots of links... and it's also nice to support my friends and enemies in their blogs. So facebook me or email me if you have a blog, webpage or something else to connect to. I add you. You add me.

Here's a start:

Here’s Richard Goldberg: goldberg.wordpress.com

Poetry and humor fans will like Justin Martin in The Latency

And my friend Mike R has a nice site with recipe hits from the past! (He cooked for me once... great stuff.) Check out Yesterday's Recipes.

And here's one by a member of ANTI-SEEN... a tour diary of sorts.

Andy Shelton has an interesting blog here.

Savage Hippie is a guy who has been YouTubing for a long time. Our opinions largely overlap... but he complains that I'm a Communist. I'm not! I'm a communist.

Chris Stecher publishes a zine called PRECIS. You can see the back issue links there... and he promises a new issue soon.

George Fertakis has a very nice graphics-heavy blog... with music and books featured prominently. If there’s no link here (I can’t find it temporarily), then Google… er… Duckduckgo him for information.

And my long-term pal Sid Yiddish contributes with his Mishegas Master Blog.

And connect to TRUST Zine, a long-running German punk zine… that STILL PRINTS!!! Yeah, they have a website too… of course! It’s here.

Here are a couple video links.

This from Jon Cox https://squelchchamber1.bandcamp.com/album/down-so-low

And this one from my very long-time friend Roger Armstrong.

Jim Testa moved his long running zine, Jersey Beat, to the blogosphere awhile back. You can read it here. Jim also recommended a kind of unique album… in a style you don’t see to much of these days… or any days. Neo-Hassidic Rock Opera. You can stream the album here.

Kyle Nonneman is in prison in Portland. At least he can’t be kidnapped by the secret police… I think. I post his blog for him, he can’t do it from the klink. Lots of stuff about noise metal… and some very weird politics that will either fascinate or repulse you… or both.

My long time pal, Jim Hayes rightfully complained about my leaving out his blog. He’s a great writer, so it was a tragic omission. Here it is.

Oh yeah, then there’s me. I have a blog of stuff I’ve written mostly from last century. You might enjoy it. Then again, you might not. It’s here.

Let me know if you have a blog… or a print zine… or a YouTube and want to be added to the list. You show me yours… you’ve already seen mine. god@mykelboard.com 

Friday, April 01, 2022

Change of Heart or You're STILL Wrong, Mykel's April 2022 Blog

 


 

Change of Heart
or You're STILL Wrong,
Mykel's April 2022 Blog

by Mykel Board

People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. — Carl Jung,


The refusal to discipline our impulses is ultimately at the heart of everything from the negative way we conduct our political campaigns to the selfish and dangerous way we drive our cars.

--Stephen L. Carter


April is when the brown turns green… when nature calls from the night shouting: WAKE UP! Fools ignore the call. I’m not one of them.

It’s some kind of ladder… up against a wall. Wrists and ankles taped to it… duct tape… shiny silver under the floodlight. Another piece across the mouth seals the lips. Muffled screams catch themselves behind the tape. A long drip of saliva leaks from under the seal.

Here comes the candle… my favorite part. A red one… the drippings show against the bright white skin. Start on the chest… over the right breast… drip… drip… drip… The whole body shakes... another muted scream beneath the tape…

I unzip my pants. Another drop… hit the nipple right on it.. Yes! Yes! Now go lower… the lower parts… shaved and ready for drip… drip…

Oh my God! Keep going. Another one in the same place… I’m almost there. Drip… drip.. Yes! Yes! Uh.. Uh… aaaaaaaah! A few dribbles into the handkerchief.

Whew! I needed that.

I leave the website, clear my cache. I don’t need a fistful of advertisers trying to sell me duct tape. Then I get dressed.

Okay. I’m ready to start my day. Supermarket for a week’s TV dinners. Post office to mail off those eBay sales. Shit, I feel bad parting with GG’s Eat My Fuc (original Blood Records pressing) but five hundred bucks will buy me Rittenhouse Rye for a month. Then to the Union Square Farmers Market for produce, bread, and cheese.

Dressed and out the front door. Pfffffft. A bicycle barreling down the sidewalk barely misses me. I hate bicyclists. Self-righteous sons of bitches. Oh, I’m so environmentally correct. I can go the wrong way down a one-way street, ride on the sidewalk, not have a light at night. I don’t need to follow your laws. I’m saving fossil fuel, so get the fuck out of the way.

Get on the fuckin’ street!” I yell at the cyclist.

Still peddling, he turns around, flips me the bird, turns back, and crashes into a trash can. The front wheel slips in the slats of the can. The driver tips… falling hard on the concrete. Luckily, he doesn’t hit his head, or my joy might be tempered. I can see his arm is scraped up and the bike wheel bent like a folded pizza. I can’t hold back a laugh as I pass him, wishing I had the balls to piss on him.

I walk on: post office, supermarket, heading toward Union Square.

Yo Mykel, how’s it goin?”

It’s Kevin, my hugely fat street-living pal. As usual, I find him begging just outside the square. As soon as I see him, I reach in the watch pocket of my Levis, and take a dollar from the small pile of bum-aimed singles I keep there. I hand it to Kevin.

Didja see the bike crash?” I ask him.

Nope,” he answers, “what happened?”

“Some asshole riding a bike on the sidewalk flips me off… then crashes… It was sooo great!”

Kevin shakes his head.

Mykel, Mykel, Mykel,” he says. “I like you and you are always so kind to me, but you shouldn’t be laughing at someone else’s pain.”

Waddaya mean?” I ask.

That guy on the bike… he was probably a delivery guy… service promised in 20 minutes or it’s free. Guess who pays. His life is harder than yours, Mykel. Try to chill.”

I can feel myself starting to get pissed off.

Chill? You want me to chill? I have to walk through this city where half the people on the street are afraid to show their faces? I can’t sleep because midnight trucks backing up BEEP BEEP BEEP warning who? The toddlers on the road at 3AM? Meanwhile half of NYU is worshiping Saint Patrick by vomiting in front of my door. And I should chill?”

Calm down Mykel,” says Kevin. “I live on the street… and I don’t complain.”

You should complain,” I tell him. “Sure your life is shittier than mine. Why not scream that to the world? Let them know how you’ve been fucked over! Spit in the face of every pedestrian who walks right past you… pretends he doesn’t see you… ignores your pain… your needs.”

And where would that get me?” He asks. “I already have a bum leg and I should be on insulin… but I can’t afford it. Do I need to add a stroke of stress on top of that? Do I need to carry around a lungful of hate and anger? Mykel, I live on the street and my life is better than yours.”

I donno, Kevin,” I say, “Maybe you got something I lack.”

I take my leave and walk through Union Square

A bearded guy, wearing black, blocks my path.

Are you Jewish?” he asks.

No -ish about it,” I tell him. “I’m a Jew.”

He laughs. “Did you set Tefillin today?”

Instead of brushing him off like an errant cyclist, for some reason I’m tolerant. Listening. Maybe the talk with Kevin had something to do with it. The Chassid invites me into the mitzvah tank, wraps the tefillin around my arm and my head, puts a tallit around my shoulder. [NOTE: The picture is not me. It’s just an internet image I found that will explain tefillin to the goyim.]

Now repeat after me,” he says. Then, line for line, he recites a Hebrew prayer. I repeat it.

As I hear myself speak, I feel my body empty. The tension and the anger slowly leave me. The release is ecstasy. Better than a massive shit. When I return home that night I find I have no interest in the pouring wax videos. I want to see people screwing, yes! But I want them to be in love with each other.

But wait! There’s more:

The next week… on Sunday… I sit on a bench in the park. I guess I’m still feeling the after-effects of the tefillin. An attractive young man in a suit and tie sits next to me. He glances my way. A week ago, I would have thought, Jesus Fuckin’ Christ! A fuckin’ Mormon! Blow me if you want, but don’t tell me how Jesus loves me. Now, I calmly wait to see what happens.

Nice day, isn’t it?” he says.

I nod.

The sky is blue,” he continues, “and we’re here, enjoying the sunlight, watching people have a good time… at the same time feeling we’re part of something bigger. Part of the universe.”

Okay, enough is enough. Tefillin or not, there’s just so much crap I can put up with. I don’t yell at the guy, but I do look him up and down and frown.

He laughs. “Oh these clothes… You must think I’m going to pull out a bible and beat you with it.”

I laugh. “You’re pretty close to right,” I tell him.

“I’m just dressed this way because I’m coming from my brother’s funeral. Half the time you’ll see me I’m wearing orange robes and sandals.”

You’re shittin’ me,” I tell him. “How can you appreciate the sky and the universe and the people in the park if your brother just kicked the bucket?”

It’s all part of the same thing,” he says. “The universe goes through us... live… die… if you believe, live again… if you don’t believe… it’s just turning out the day to enter the night.”

We talk for a couple hours.

FLASH TO NOW: I’ve changed. Maybe you’ve seen me in the park… You probably haven’t noticed. All those saffron robed bald guys. You wouldn’t see the tallit… you’d just turn your head or maybe look skyward… think “yeah, There’s another one.”

But that one is me. The rumors you’ve heard are true. That’s me of the shaved head… of the saffron robes. That’s me Jewish Buddhist… and Hebrew Monk. I call myself a Jewdhist Hunk.

I’m calm. Pissed off at no one. I still chat with my homeless friends… still give ‘em a dollar. But I don’t complain. I’m alive… calm… feeling the sun on my head and the music of the cosmos in my ear.

I start every day sitting on the floor cross-legged… breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. Clearing my thoughts when some kind of joy-in-pain enters my head, I look at it like a chipmunk running across my path. I let it go and it scampers away. My joy is in the relief of inner pain.

The candle wax videos are gone. I pleasure myself to loversinlove.com. When I see cyclists on the sidewalk, I move to one side and let them pass. “Have a nice day!” I shout after them.

See you in hell... No! See you in the heaven we make for ourselves,

Mykel Board


ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or by email at mykelboard@gmail.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. Send me an email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Back blogs and columns are at https://mykelsblog.blogspot.com]



April Showers Dept: By the time you read this, I will have taken my shower for April. I’ll be smelling like Irish Spring… with a touch of herbal essence. You might see me in Washington Square Park... sitting next to that jazz band by the fountain… chanting my mantras while the sax wails tales of love for the universe. Make sure you say hello. I won’t ask you for money.


Hope she wasn’t in pain dept: WKBN reports: On March 12, a standoff in Pennsylvania dragged on for 10 hours after a woman made an odd appearance at a neighbor's home. The woman was naked, and forcefully entered the home, where she stole the owner's shotgun. As she walked out his back door with the gun, he asked her what she was doing. She said, "It's my house." The woman then returned to her own home. The neighbor called the cops, who set up a perimeter around the woman's house but couldn't extract her until late that evening. She was taken to a local hospital with self-inflicted injuries... from a sword

How Much Punk Rock Do You Hear In Russia? dept: Since I got through this entire blog without mention of the Russia-Ukraine war, I should at least offer a YouTube video with my feelings about the whole thing. It’s right here.

See you in hell, redux… No, not this time.


MB

LINK TRADE DEPARTMENT:

I read that the search engines like lots of links... and it's also nice to support my friends and enemies in their blogs. So facebook me or email me if you have a blog, webpage or something else to connect to. I add you. You add me.

Here's a start:


Here’s Richard Goldberg: goldberg.wordpress.com

Poetry and humor fans will like Justin Martin in The Latency

And my friend Mike R has a nice site with recipe hits from the past! (He cooked for me once... great stuff.) Check out Yesterday's Recipes.

And here's one by a member of ANTI-SEEN... a tour diary of sorts.

Andy Shelton has an interesting blog here.

Savage Hippie is a guy who has been YouTubing for a long time. Our opinions largely overlap... but he complains that I'm a Communist. I'm not! I'm a communist.

Chris Stecher publishes a zine called PRECIS. You can see the back issue links there... and he promises a new issue soon.

George Fertakis has a very nice graphics-heavy blog... with music and books featured prominently. If there’s no link here (I can’t find it temporarily), then Google… er… Duckduckgo him for information.

And my long-term pal Sid Yiddish contributes with his Mishegas Master Blog.

And connect to TRUST Zine, a long-running German punk zine… that STILL PRINTS!!! Yeah, they have a website too… of course! It’s here.

Here are a couple video links.

This from Jon Cox https://squelchchamber1.bandcamp.com/album/down-so-low

And this one from my very long-time friend Roger Armstrong.

Jim Testa moved his long running zine, Jersey Beat, to the blogosphere awhile back. You can read it here. Jim also recommended a kind of unique album… in a style you don’t see to much of these days… or any days. Neo-Hassidic Rock Opera. You can stream the album here.

Kyle Nonneman is in prison in Portland. At least he can’t be kidnapped by the secret police… I think. I post his blog for him, he can’t do it from the klink. Lots of stuff about noise metal… and some very weird politics that will either fascinate or repulse you… or both.

My long time pal, Jim Hayes rightfully complained about my leaving out his blog. He’s a great writer, so it was a tragic omission. Here it is.

Oh yeah, then there’s me. I have a blog of stuff I’ve written mostly from last century. You might enjoy it. Then again, you might not. It’s here.


Let me know if you have a blog… or a print zine… or a YouTube and want to be added to the list. You show me yours… you’ve already seen mine. god@mykelboard.com


Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Grits Up In Flames or You're STILL Wrong, Mykel's March 2022 Blog

 

Grits Up In Flames
or You're STILL Wrong,
Mykel's March 2022 Blog

by Mykel Board

 Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can't strike them all by ourselves
- Laura Esquivel

We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.
- Tennessee Williams

Do not go gentle into that good night... Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
--Dylan Thomas


It’s a candle in a jar… aromatherapy… brown letters, on the outside: VANILLA Invigorating. The plague: tired me out… fucked up my body… my sleep. With a drink or two before bedtime I sleep badly… fall asleep around 1:30AM... wake up after 2 hours... piss... jerk off... play Spider Solitaire until I lose ten games… back to for two… maybe three.. more hours sleep.... repeat. If I don’t drink before bedtime, I don’t sleep at all. 

I nap during the day. Sometimes around noon... sometimes after lunch... sometimes around 9PM. I’m usually tired... fuzzy thinking… can hardly move. 

It’s 11:00AM… still naked from my late wake-up… no energy to dress…  I stumble to the kitchen... make my morning coffee. Electric perk: half coffee… half turmeric, pepper, and cinnamon. 

I stand facing the paper instructions for cooking grits. I thumb-tacked them to the cabinet door. I love grits. They’re tough to get in New York. I love ‘em with cheese or shrimp...or… When you find them, they never have instructions. You’re American right? You should just how to cook grits. It’s in the blood. I don’t know. Tell me and I forget. It doesn’t matter now. I’m too tired to cook.

The  coffee is ready… perked to a dark brown. I pour it into my Life should be a journey… not a race coffee cup and bring it to my table… a rotating double tiered table, I found in street trash. On one end, I have my Skype class computer, external monitor, remote mic and video. On the other end is a blank spot for a plate and a glass.

When I sit down, I spot the candle and figure I’ll invigorate myself. I’ve got to teach a Skype class at 12:30… I need the energy. I reach for the candle… open the top… see it’s almost used up. An eighth of an inch of wax on the bottom, slightly more along the sides of the jar. 

I take the spoon from my coffee and scrape the side wax to the bottom of the jar. Then I light the wick. It glows faintly… goes out. I try again. Another failure. Maybe the wick is too old… de-wicked. I shove a kitchen match (one of those on a wooden stick) into the wax at the bottom. I use another match to light the wooden wick. It flares up… bloofff… burns down to the wax… and goes out. 

This is pissing me off. 

You fuckin’ stupid candle. I’m smarter than nearly spent aromashit in a jar. I’ll show you… you moronic blob of white wax. 

I grab a metal ashtray from on top of the file cabinet. From the trash I take a random piece of paper… a form letter from Nancy Pelosi… asking me for money. I tear it in quarters. One of those quarter-pieces I soak in the lighter fluid I use to remove price labels from books and records I sell on eBay. 

I pour the wax fragments on top of the paper and squirt a dash of lighter fluid on top of that. I set the ashtray on my Epson printer… far from any paper. Better safe than incinerated, right?

I light the matchstick wick. POOF! Into flames… burns down the stem… POOF! Into flames… big flames… flames bursting out and up… an upside down rocket engine… yellow... red… spots of blue…ashes everywhere… over the printer… onto the bookshelves… great gobs of fire. 

Using my bare hands, I whack at the errant flames… EEEEAAAAH!… an eyebrow set alight by the flaming ashtray… I slap myself to put it out… a brittle singe on my face. A toxic smell slowly fills the air.

I try to pick up the metal ashtray… move it to the kitchen sink… YAIIII! My fingers sizzle against the heated steel. It won’t move… embedded in the melted plastic of the printer top.

I run to the kitchen… a spatula… I’ll slide it under the burning tray… pry it loose… enough to get it to the sink. There… slide it under the burning ashtray. It doesn’t slide. Push… push harder… CRACK! Something gives… it slides… off the printer onto the wood floor… flames splashing out… I dance to stomp on the burning droplets… smoke rises from the floor around the ashtray. 

Back to the kitchen… a pot holder… an oven mitt… back to the main room... grab the now towering inferno of the ashtray… smoke rises from the oven mitt.. POW! Into the kitchen… throw it in the sink… more splashes… the flames… filled with new oxygen reach for the stars… not the stars but the paper with the grit instructions… hanging on the cabinet door… up in flames… burning the bottom then flaming across the page to The Cheese part… then The Shrimp… ashes rain into the sink while flames reach for the ceiling. 

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! FIRE! FIRE! 

The smoke alarm… I can’t deal with you now… you piece of shit. JUST SHUT UP! I grab it from the shelf... smash it to the floor… step on it. Then back to the sink.

I reach through the falling ashes to the faucet… the handle… pick up a filthy chili bowl from the sink… run the water… into the bowl… SHPLOW! Throw the bowl full of brown water onto the grits-flaming cabinet… refill… SHPLOW! Onto the spouting sputtering spewing ashtray… FSHHHHTTTT!… The water turns to steam… More water… more steam… Then it slows… the flames sputter… turn to smoke…  thick black smoke… like those chimney pictures in Greenpeace ads. I cough. My nose runs. I feel the smoke alarm crunch under my sneakers. 

Acid tears force my eyes closed… I squint… peer hard… like looking through my neighbor’s drapes. Smoke no longer pours out of the ashtray. Only a single black thread rises from the tray… a snake charmer… at the end of his show. I fold a sheet of paper towel, and use it to push the smoldering ashtray under the faucet… and turn on the water. There’s a hiss… and then only the sound of water. 

As I sink to the floor… exhausted… breathless… I begin to feel the pain in my charred fingertips… the burn of smoke in my eyes… the ash in my nose. I lay supine on the floor… a thin stream of something black drips from the corner of my mouth.

This is it… but only the start. The next day: I’m cooking soup for lunch… homemade... rice, bean, and chicken soup… with a dash of cooking sake… and yesterday’s leftover ramen. As the soup simmers, I watch OnePunchMan… A Japanese parody of super-hero animation… great graphics and funnier than a fart in church. 

What’s that smell? The soup!! Boiling over… grab the wooden breadboard… on the table in front of the TV… grab the pot… off the stove onto the breadboard. A can of Dogfishhead 60 minutes from the refrigerator… and bang… plop down to watch OnePunchMan complain to his disciple, the cyborg Genos,  about scoring worse than the part-robot on the mental section of the hero test. Of course the bald man aced the physical part.


The episodes are only 24 minutes each… made for TV with lots of space for commercials. So when this episode comes to an end I walk back into the kitchen to get some desert. It’s then that I see the flame on the gas stove… still lit… burning… never shut off from when I took the soup to the other room. There it is… on the stove top… naked and burning… a gas flame. 

But wait! There’s more… 

In the modern world, gyms don’t have keytags anymore. They work by your phone number. You give your phone number to the usually attractive guy/gal behind the plexiglass near the entrance. S/he types it into the computer... tells you your name... you nod… or say something witty… s/he smiles and waves you in.  

Today, it’s a skinny long-haired guy… either clean-shaven or one of those beauties who never needs to shave. 

“Six four six six seven four seven zero one eight.” I say. His fingers are quick on the keys. 

“Nothing like quick fingers,” I tell him.

He smiles… then frowns. 

“I’m sorry, Sir,” [Note: there are few things I hate more than being called “Sir”]  he says, “you’re not in the system.”

“Eat me!” I don’t say. “Then I’ll be in your fuckin’ system.”

Instead, I realize that I gave him the wrong number. Six months ago, I gave up my landline after 30+ years. [I’m now convinced VERIZON is the most incompetent company in America.] The number I gave the cute boy was a bastardization of my old phone number and my newer cellphone number. Just odd pieces of each… mish-moshed together.

“I’m sorry, kid,” I answer, “I fucked up. My number is… and I give him the right number. But the memory confusion is scarier than a bedbug.”

Add these adventures to my newly acquired inability to simply move something from one place to another. Use my hands to pick up the lava lamp… KERPOW… my elbow knocks the air purifier from the table onto the floor. Grab a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye (I shit you not. That’s the real name of the booze!) from the liquor cabinet… KRAAAASH… the bottle of Everclear falls… smashing into a hundred pieces in the sink. Add water to the humidifier… SPLOOOOOSH! The seal loosens. Water pours down into the space where the electric cord joins the machine…. ZZZZZZZ! FLASH… lights out… short circuit. 

And so it goes… The Star Trek captain? The singer for Black Flag? The name of the street beggar on Broadway… the one who sinks to his knees in front of his wheelchair? What you call that little indentation that extends from under your nose to your upper lip?  I forget… forget… forget

Usually the answers come back to me in an hour… two… the next day. Sometimes never. But the reality is that I’m losing it. Drugs? Genes? Booze? Alzheimer’s? Enlarged prostate? Don’t test me… I don’t want to know. I will not go gentle into that good night. 

It’s late. I’m tired. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try something invigorating. Maybe I can get one of those aromatherapy candles. 

See you in hell,
Mykel Board


ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or by email at mykelboard@gmail.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. Send me an email with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line. Back blogs and columns are at https://mykelsblog.blogspot.com]


Proof dept.: Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction usually makes a better story. In case you were wondering if I made it up… as I often do. This one was real. Here’s a picture of the printer top after its run-in with my invigorating candle:


 → You happy you got your legal weed? dept: The website Gizmodo reports that a man in Thailand, using scissors, “completely amputated his penis” apparently due to an episode of “cannabis-induced psychosis.” The man regained his mental facilities after being admitted to the hospital and most of his injuries were “successfully treated.” Doctors, however, weren’t able to reattach the lost several inches. That’s probably lucky for future generations.


What the fuck? It’s money! dept: MSN reports: A mother told police that she was waiting at a store's self-checkout line with her one-year-old son who was sitting in the shopping cart.

    The mother said a woman approached her and commented on her son's blue eyes and blond hair. The stranger said she had $250,000 in her car, and offered to buy the child with it. The mother said she wouldn't sell.

Mom waited for the woman to leave the store before heading to the parking lot, where she was confronted again.

The stranger began screaming at the mom... saying if she wouldn't take $250,000 for him, then she would give her $500,000 because she wanted that baby. Mom still did not sell.


See you in hell, redux,


MB




LINK TRADE DEPARTMENT:


I read that the search engines like lots of links... and it's also nice to support my friends and enemies in their blogs. So facebook me or email me if you have a blog, webpage or something else to connect to. I add you. You add me.



Here's a start:


Here’s Richard Goldberg: goldberg.wordpress.com


Poetry and humor fans will like Justin Martin in The Latency


And my friend Mike R has a nice site with recipe hits from the past! (He cooked for me once... great stuff.) Check out Yesterday's Recipes.


And here's one by a member of ANTI-SEEN... a
tour diary of sorts.


Andy Shelton has an interesting blog here.


Savage Hippie is a guy who has been YouTubing for a long time. Our opinions largely overlap... but he complains that I'm a Communist. I'm not! I'm a communist.


Chris Stecher publishes a zine called PRECIS. You can see the back issue links there... and he promises a new issue soon.


George Fertakis has a very nice graphics-heavy blog... with music and books featured prominently. If there’s no link here (I can’t find it temporarily), then Google… er… Duckduckgo him for information.


And my long-term pal Sid Yiddish contributes with his Mishegas Master Blog.


And connect to TRUST Zine, a long-running German punk zine… that STILL PRINTS!!! Yeah, they have a website too… of course! It’s here.


Here are a couple video links.

This from Jon Cox
https://squelchchamber1.bandcamp.com/album/down-so-low


And this one from my very long-time friend Roger Armstrong.


Jim Testa moved his long running zine, Jersey Beat, to the blogosphere awhile back. You can read it here. Jim also recommended a kind of unique album… in a style you don’t see to much of these days… or any days. Neo-Hassidic Rock Opera. You can stream the album here.


Kyle Nonneman is in prison in Portland. At least he can’t be kidnapped by the secret police… I think. I post his blog for him, he can’t do it from the klink. Lots of stuff about noise metal… and some very weird politics that will either fascinate or repulse you… or both.


My long time pal, Jim Hayes rightfully complained about my leaving out his blog. He’s a great writer, so it was a tragic omission. Here it is.


Oh yeah, then there’s me. I have a blog of stuff I’ve written mostly from last century. You might enjoy it. Then again, you might not. It’s here.



Let me know if you have a blog… or a print zine… or a YouTube and want to be added to the list. You show me yours… you’ve already seen mine. god@mykelboard.com


Bi bi binary or You're STILL Wrong, Mykel Board's blog for May 2022

    Bi Bi Binary or You're STILL Wrong, Mykel's May 2022 Blog by Mykel Board The b inary approach is an obsolete school of thought ...