Saturday, November 02, 2019

You’re Still Wrong Mykel's Blog November 2019 or Life With Phil!



You’re STILL Wrong
or
Mykel's
November 2019 Blog/Column
Life With Nothing But A Groundhog

by Mykel Board

Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in between.
--James Carville




I sit at the Midway, a rundown bar in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. On one side of the sign outside it says: OPEN E ERY DAY, on the other side is WED. NITE WINGS. They haven’t had food of any kind for over a year.

Yeungling on tap is usually $1.75 a pint. Today it’s $2.25.

What’s up with that?” I ask Marcy, the bartendress. [NOTE: I’ve been here a couple of weeks now, and have yet to see a MALE bartender… at any bar.]

It’s an Octoberfest beer, Mykel,” she says, “costs more.”

$2.25 a beer is EXPENSIVE around here. [NOTE TO READERS WHO DO NOT LIVE IN MASSIVE GENTRIFIED CITIES: average cost of a beer in a Manhattan bar? $8]

I sit next to my pal Vincent. He has a doctorate in economics… used to teach business before the local college decided to become exclusively a culinary school.

Behind the bar, there are two huge TV screens. Bigger than you’d see at any sports bar in New York. On one screen is a hunting show. The bearded millennial compares rifles and crossbows… showing this and that dead deer… picking them up by the antlers and making their dead heads look right, then left.

Before we get to the meat of my bar visit, let’s zoom out… helicopter view…

Punxsutawney PA... famous one day a year, it sinks into depression for the other 364 days. The entire spirit of the town is the groundhog. There are groundhog statues everywhere… in all sizes. There’s groundhog beer, groundhog pizza, and the Weather Museum. The city motto is Weather Capital of The World. Maybe, but surely for only one day a year.

I’m here learning about small town America. What it’s like… what the people are like… how they think… how they live.



I thought I knew. I thought I grew up in a small town. Hicksville... yeah, that’s really the name of my hometown... has a population of 36,000. One Catholic high school, and one high school for normal people. It’s changed since I lived there… but when I did it was all white. For foreign food, we had Frank’s Alibi (Italian) and Long’s Chinese (later closed down for serving cat meat).

It took 45 minutes to take the train into THE CITY and another 45 minutes to take it back. My father did it every day… I did it on weekends. Some of my friends had cars and girlfriends and rarely left the county. We had a house with three bedrooms, an attic, and a basement.

I used to tell people I grew up in a small town on Long Island. A month in Punxsutawny has taught me there is a difference between a small town on Long Island and A SMALL TOWN IN AMERICA.

Take Jews. (I won’t say it.) In Hicksville, about ten percent of the population was Jewish. There was one synagogue in town… and half a dozen within ten miles. Hicksville High had the track system. Smart kids in Track One. Normal kids in Track Two. Dumb kids in Track Three. Most of the Jews were in Track One. The Poles and Italians in Track Two. The Irish in Track Three.

Up until Punxy, Hicksville was the SMALL TOWN I grew up in. Now I know I didn’t know jack shit about what that is. Hicksville is not a small town. It’s a suburb. A NEW YORK CITY suburb. It’s about as small town as East and West Egg… though much less opulent.

In Punxsutawney in 2019, there is one Jewish family. The nearest synagogue is 20 miles away… and on Yom Kippur there are fewer than 20 people in attendance.

Punxsutawney is all bars and churches,” my landlady tells me.

I haven’t visited any churches, although some are beautiful… but the bars… that’s where I go to find out about the locals in any non-Muslim location. And believe me, Punxsutawney Pennsylvania is as non-Muslim as The Vatican.

What else can I tell you?

Well, people here are fat. I don’t mean overweight. I don’t mean obese by government standards. I mean HUUUUGE… MONSTER-SIZE… Three airplane seats width… asses from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia… especially the women. There are almost as many motorized wheelchairs as there are cars. It’s hard to know if people need them because

A. They’re too fat for their legs to support.

or

B. They’re so fat because they use the wheelchairs and never walk.

It doesn’t matter. People here are also kind… amazingly kind. My landlady drives me from one end of town to the other… and to several towns nearby... so I can explore the nooks and crannies of the local culture. Her husband walks with me through the back roads that lead to the train tracks that lead to trails that lead to grown over coke ovens… reclaimed by the woods after decades of non-use… overgrown remnants of richer coal-mining days.






Guys at the bars buy me a drink just to start a conversation. A woman at the historical society drives me to the nearest T-mobile facility… at least 90 miles away… so I can replace my recently deceased cellphone. Why did she drive me? BECAUSE SHE’S NICE… and people here are nice.



They smile and say hi to strangers on the street. Waitresses ask how I am. At the local beer, blues, and BBQ fest, a matronly woman warns me against the sour beer making a sour face. A writers’ group at the library asks me to join them for their monthly meeting. (Note: The quality of the writing among the group members is spectacular.)



FLASH BACK TO THE MIDWAY:

Mykel,” says Vincent, “I got my bank statement in the mail yesterday. I have ten dollars in the bank. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

I’ll buy you a beer,” I tell him.

That’s not it,” he says. “Marcy knows me… I have credit here...”

One of the things you need,” I answer, “credit at the bar and a friend in the police force.”

There are maybe half a dozen cops in Punxsutawney,” he says,. “They pick up drunks. Who needs ‘em as friends? I need a job.”

You’re a PhD!” I say. “You can’t find a job? Why don’t you tutor?”

The school here is a small school,” he answers. “The department heads don’t like me. And there’s nowhere else to go.”

The door to the bar opens and a man in his mid-forties comes in. Ruffled blond hair, an unintentional beard, dirty t-shirt, jeans and work boots. People say “Hi Ernest,” as he passes them to sit at the bar.

Hi Ernest,” I say as he passes me.

He looks at me… squints… “Do I know you?”

I’m in town for a month… doing some research… I’m going to be writing about the town… or at least using the town as a setting for something I’m writing.”

Oh,” he says, shaking my hand. “You’re that guy.”

I smile.

You have an unfair advantage,” I say. “Tell me about yourself.

He sits down on a barstool on the other side of me from Vincent. Marcy brings him a Bud Lite.

I used to work in the coal mines,” he says. “I had an accident… cracked my spine… was in the hospital for a month… then almost a year in a wheelchair. After I got through with physical therapy, I got a new job.”

What do you do now?” I ask.

I’m a roofer,” he answers.

You like danger, huh?”

He laughs.

I like working with my hands… being outside now… looking up at the beautiful blue sky… ”

I know,” I tell him, “I LOVE the blue sky here. Any direction, as long as it’s up… blue… blue… blue. In New York, we’re lucky if we get ten minutes of blue sky a week.”

He shakes his head.

I just like standing on the roof, looking up… the sun, the sky, nothing between me and them.”

I get it,” I say, “and I love it. New Yorkers would never notice a blue sky. They all walk with their heads down, nose to their iPhones… blocking anyone who really has a place to go… If, by some miracle of awareness, they realized the sky was blue, they wouldn’t look at it. They’d just hold their iPhones up to take a picture.”

He laughs again.

Watcha been doing in town?” he asks me.

Taking in the sights,” I tell him. “I walked along the back trails and saw the coke ovens… or what’s left of them”

Obama did that,” says Ernest. “He just shut ‘em all down.”

That’s not fair,” answers Vincent. “That started a long time before Obama… he was just the latest in the move.”

Let me tell you, Mykel,” says Ernest. “Before Trump I didn’t have a job. After Trump I do have a job. That’s what you’ve got to know. We all thank him for that.”

Yes, this is Trump country. And it’s white… Fox TV-watching… gun-owning America. And the people here are great. Here, like in bars everywhere, they gossip and talk politics. And boy, do I have a fuck of a lot to learn from them.

BANG!

Can you tell me what the fuck a constitutional crisis means if you have ten dollars in the bank? Can you explain what collusion is if the coal mines… where you and your father and his father worked for years… have gone out of business?

Can you clarify obstruction of justice when the stores on Mahoning St. (the main drag) are empty, and jobs (low-paying, long hours) have started to come back to the city just after the last presidential election?

It should be a requirement… every city slicker should be forced to sit down with the locals in a small town in Pennsylvania… or Wisconsin… or Indiana. And they should be forced to SHUT UP AND LISTEN!

The locals are not interested in conspiracy theories... on how some Russian Putin agent is hiding under every bed… remote controlling every voting machine… beaming secret signals directly into a receiver embedded in Donald Trump’s hair. They don’t care if Trump paid off a whore… or if his skin looks orange under LED lights. They have closer --more important-- things to worry about.

Back in New York:

Ah, looks like we’re finally going to get rid of that orange guy… impeach… he’s trampling on the Constitution… of course he does… Putin told him to… all roads lead to Putin.

I sigh and shake my head. “You’ll never get it,” I don’t say.

ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or 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. Back blogs and columns are at https://mykelsblog.blogspot.com. Subscribe to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com]

-→A shit solution is a good solution dept: Springfield, Missouri authorities have come up with an effective shame campaign to reduce dogshit in the downtown area. Turd piles are being tagged with recycled paper flags saying Is this your turd? 'Cuz that's absurd, and This is a nudge to pick up the fudge. The city says it spends $7,500 a year to pick up 25 pounds of shit per week from downtown parks and parking lots. My question: who weighs that shit?


-->Open your wallet for God dept: CBS news reports that if you have enough bucks, you can buy a pair of Nike Air Max 97s Jesus Shoes from a Brooklyn company called MSCHF. Introduced Oct. 8, the shoes have 60ccs of holy water from the Jordan River injected into the soles so you can literally walk on water.” The shoes also have a crucifix in the laces, red insoles related to “Vatican traditions,” and a Matthew 14:25 inscription. They are also scented with frankincense and are a god-like white and light blue color. The Jesus Shoes originally sold for $1,425, but are now fetching anywhere from $2,000 to upwards of $11,000. No need to buy me a pair. I’m waiting for the Satan Shoes with blood from a virgin in the soles.


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:
  • David Goldberg's Busy Microbes Blog
  • And another 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.
  • Carol Bergman has a blog about writing that features one of my favorite people: Me.

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

Thursday, October 03, 2019

You’re Still Wrong Mykel's Blog October 2019 or Ewww, Cooties!




You’re STILL Wrong
or
Mykel's
October 2019 Blog/Column
Ewww, cooties!

It’s a particularly fierce beershit. Explosive... splashing down into the toilet and splashing back up with the ferocity of Antifa at a Klan march. Back up against my ass... my balls… running down the back of my legs…. small brown rivulets.

It must be the alcohol, because it burns like hell. My ass is an egg… cracked open with massive scorching along the crack… from top to bottom.

I fold several pieces of toilet paper and sop up the dirty liquid causing the pain. It works.. for 30 seconds. Then it comes back with a flaming vengeance. Yeah, the explosion was a relief… but was it worth the post-ecstatic pain? I feel the burn.

You know what works? Anbesol. I know it’s called an orajel. But it’s the same “active-ingredient” as in Nupercainal, the stuff made for your ass. It’s half the price and twice as effective. Just a bit of sting in the application… then aaaah.

How many people would use an oral drug on hemorrhoids? That’s dirty… ewww… like a rim job… you can get cooties.

Cooties? Do people even say that anymore? Do millennials even know what cooties are? The Urban Dictionary associates them with a prohibition of child gender mixing. Merriam-Webster says they’re head lice. I grew up thinking that they were a mysterious life force… like a “germ”… that you got if you touched anything “dirty.”

Though the word may be lost, America… and much of the world… is infected by a cooties-like notion of ICK.

Cooties come from any body liquid… or excreted solid. They come from toilets. From nostrils. They drip from penises… slip out of vaginas. You get them from someone touching your food with their skin… or from just touching the same THING someone else has touched.

Capitalism, in its inevitable way, has pushed cooties into the forefront of people’s minds.

I walk from Grand Central into the building that houses my school. In front of the elevator is a Purell dispenser. Purell is some anti-cootie cream that, of course, when used on the skin, kills the weakest cooties, insuring that only the strong survive and reproduce. That way, they can invent NEW cootie lotion that will get the stronger cooties and before long… make cooties even stronger than that.

Why is this lotion in front of an elevator? I can only guess that people figure when they press the button for their floor, they’ll transfer cooties from their fingers to the buttons. Then the next person will catch those cooties. If everyone uses the Purell, the elevator buttons will stay pristine and cootie-less for all riders.

For some reason, feet have an especially high number of cooties. New York, Channel 11 News features a YouTube video of some guy on an airplane, swiping through programs on the back of the seat in front of him. He’s using his feet to swipe. We never get to see his face, or the rest of his body.

Eeeewww! The newscasters grimace.

You know,” says the big one who looks like a heavyweight boxer. Black, shaved head, tough. “I used to make fun of those people who rub down the screens with sanitizing wipes… corner to corner… now I can understand why.”

I agree,” says his somewhat sexy, somewhat Semitic co-host. “After seeing that, I’m bringing my wipes on every flight.”

First, we don’t know if the foot swiper even had arms. Many armless or arm-paralyzed people use their feet to do what other people do with their hands. Eat, type, swipe videos. Check out Cynthia Bloom who has one functioning limb, and see what she can do with it. But feet! That’s disgusting. Cooties.

Now to get to the meat in the midst of the meat and potatoes. The biggest cootie-spreaders is sex. Not only does sex have body fluids, it has skin and pubic hair. Eeeeek. Cooties.

Cootiphobia-- especially sex cootiphobia-- is not limited to one political group, gender or ideology. It is not limited to an age group, religion, or race. The details are different, but the concept is the same.

For Jews and Muslims, pork is UNCLEAN. Among Christians (and many other Americans) jokes about sex or bodily functions are DIRTY. In Japan, the room with the toilet (different from the room with the bath) is DIRTY. You need to wear special slippers when you use the toilet room and change them when you leave. That way, you don’t bring the dirty toilet room into the clean rest of the house.

The Japanese think that public snot-blowing… even if hidden from view by a tissue… is disgusting. For them, it’s better to just snort it back, and swallow than to blow it out.

Among criminals… there lies a hierarchy of cootiphobia. Who occupies the lowest position among criminals? The one where you’re beaten by other inmates... where they shit in your bed…. where they shove broomsticks up your ass. Murder? Dismemberment? Theft from the poor? You bet your scrotum that’s not it. It’s SEX with children. Not the murder of children, but SEX with them.

See? Children are innocent… code for CLEAN. And sex is dirty. That’s the worst.

As I write this, I see a message in my gmail inbox:


See what’s first? “Accused sexual predator”… not liar. And one of the “lies” in the letter says:

LIE: Kavanaugh claimed that "all the witnesses who were there say it didn’t happen."But Dr. Ford's friend Leland Keyser, one of those Dr. Ford says was present, said she believes Dr. Ford's allegation.


Is that a lie? A friend says “she believes the allegation.” That contradicts a WITNESS? A witness is a person who SEES an event. Not a person who believes someone else. My seventh grade English teacher is not a WITNESS to my dog eating my brilliant paper on the relationship of Charles Dickens to my up-coming Bar Mitzvah.

Those who are honest call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment because he “pushed his penis into a woman’s hand” at a frat party more than 2 decades ago. Eeeeew cooties. Even if it’s true… so what?

Though it’ll probably limit my chances for future Supreme Court appointment, right here I’ll admit it. I pushed my penis into a woman’s hand while tripping on LSD... about 40 years ago... when I was living in Chicago.

She said, “No Mykel (it was actually Michael then)” and I withdrew the slimy bugger, rolled over, and tripped out looking at the wallpaper.

Bill Clinton, who, next to George W Bush, was the worst president of my lifetime (except for maybe Harry Truman who dropped the atom bomb (a DIRTY bomb) on Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

1. Signed the Defense of Marriage Act, making gay marriage illegal.

2. Signed the Welfare Destruction Act, making it illegal to receive welfare for more than two years, no matter what your economic situation.

3. Signed NAFTA, which moved US factories to Mexico making things worse BOTH in the US (loss of jobs) and Mexico (depression of wages).

4. Allowed brokerage companies to take over banks, thereby leading to the great crash. Protected money and risky money merged, meaning there was no protected money

5. Was a torture king: agreeing to “Extraordinary rendition.” That’s when some government operatives stuffs a bag over your head and flies you off to some foreign country where they can legally torture you. Clinton and Gore agreed to the first rendition in the ’90s, despite being aware that it breached international law.

6. Was responsible for bombing the Chinese embassy in Kosovo and one of only 3 pharmaceutical companies that existed in the Sudan. This caused massive death and disease from lack of medication.

7. Presided over the murder-by-incineration of several entire families in Waco Texas.

Clinton was impeached… Why? Because a woman named Monica Lewinsky gave him a blowjob in the White House. Eeeeew cooties!

He was a monster, but impeached only because of a blowjob.

I found a cartoon in The Nation that got it. The shocking headlines are all COOTIES. The awful shit the government does is… well, that’s what governments do anyway.

And the headline in today’s USA TODAY is Millions of Women’s First Sex Was Forced” and the forced sex? 56% said they were “verbally pressured.”

The author of the study says “any sexual encounter that occurs against somebody’s will is rape.”

In 2019, “Oh baby, I need this sooo much. I love you. Please! Please!” is rape! That’s crazy! It’s Victorian times again. Sex is DIRTY. It’s got cooties. You need consent to get cooties. And consent doesn’t even mean saying YES. It means… I don’t even know what the fuck it means.

This will go back and forth until the only politician who is cootie-free enough to be elected will be Mike Pence. His wife is his mother, and he keeps the door open when he’s with any other woman. But who knows? Maybe even HE has maybe jerked off once… as a teen.

The solution is clear. The way to get there isn’t. Right now, we still need to shit and piss. But who knows? Medical research may find a cure. Bidets can solve the problem of having to touch that dirty business with your hands or a even a tissue. The super-cootiphobic Japanese have invented a bidet that not only washes… but air-dries the afflicted zone. No touch at all.

[NOTE: One of many things I don’t get about Japanese culture is how clean they are (a soaking bath every night) but also how dirty they are. Bukkake is a Japanese word after all. Enjoying other cultures is part of the joy of my life… and it gives the lie to THE WEST IS THE BEST. Could a Western Country invent bukkake?]

Trump isn’t right about much, but one think he IS right about is how congress is using IMPEACHMENT to get things they can’t get through using the vote. It’s not new. We’ve already seen it with Clinton… The Republicans weren’t happy with Clinton… even though he was the most right-wing Democrat since Andrew Jackson. But Clinton was popular. A good old Southern boy who liked fried chicken and women. How could they get rid of him? Impeachment on cootie grounds.

We’re seeing it now with Judge Kavanaugh. We’ve seen it with Trump and Stormy Daniels. This is Donald Trump… who puts kids in jails, has turned the US from the nation having the greatest profit to the one having the greatest debt… who has eliminated medical care for hundreds of thousands (millions?)… who has pulled out of an international climate agreement… in the midst of a climate crisis. And what is his most evil act? Sex with a pornstar. What’s his most evil pronouncement?

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Nope. Who remembers that? What everybody does know is:

Grab them by the pussy!

Eeeewwww cooties!


ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or 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. Back blogs and columns are at https://mykelsblog.blogspot.com. Subscribe to the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group readmboard-subscribe@yahoogroups.com]

Try wiping your ass with your smartphone dept: We’re coming to the end of the print era. The Village Voice and Maximum Rock’n’Roll have both met their ink and paper deaths. Between 1990 and 2016 newspaper employment declined to its lowest level since 1978. At least 600 U.S newspapers have gone belly up since 2004.
Yeah, I know that’s what old people do, complain about how things are changing, but despite my blogging, I really do love print. So I’m happy to report that the great German zine ZAP will be returning from the digital grave to PRINT. And, I hope, I’ll be having a column (in English) in that zine. It will be different… more German oriented… than my blog.
Stay tuned here for ordering information. Don’t try to Google it.

Didn’t I already write this blog? dept: If the content of this blog seems familiar, it’s because the situation is familiar. Judge Roy Moore… notorious for placing a monument to the 10 Commandments outside his courthouse. (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s ass.) Lost an election because he rubbed up against a girl WHILE HE WAS IN HIGHSCHOOL! I wrote about this with the same ideas before. But the world doesn’t change because I write about it. So I do it again.

But there are no cooties dept: The government is suing Edward Snowden for his publication of a book revealing how the government has lied, and caused the deaths and destruction of hundreds of people. Says the government, Snowden signed a confidentiality agreement when he agreed to work for the US Intelligence (sic) community. He has since violated that agreement. The argument is similar to Stormy Daniels, who also signed a confidentiality agreement, but violated it. Let’s wait until the next election to see who gets more mention Snowden or Daniels. Want to put $10 on it?


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:

David Goldberg's Busy Microbes Blog

And another 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.

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