Thursday, June 04, 2009
An Irregular Column
for MRR 313, June 2009
by Mykel Board
A drunk was in front of a judge. The judge says "You've been brought here for drinking." The drunk says "Okay, let's get started.” --Henny Youngman.,
There is a pounding inside my head. ThaBOOM. ThaBOOM. ThaBOOM. It starts somewhere on top, at the crown and slowly creeps behind my eyes, forcing them open. My eyes are perfectly happy the way they are. Closed. Making it beautifully dark. Outside, there is light. Who wants light? What the fuck am I going to do with light?? Light hurts.
Now, I feel a sticky stream of wetness start at the corner of my mouth and dribble toward my ear.
There's something in my hand. My right hand. Soft, squishy, like a limp Vienna Sausage. I raise that hand to bring it in for closer inspection. It's attached. It's my dick. I musta fallen asleep while jerking off. I wonder if I made a mess. Whose bed is this anyway?
I roll slightly to the right.
There's a sharp pain in my ribs. Has a tormentor prodded a Christ-like wound into my side, opening up a huge gash? Did Jesus awaken with his dick in his hand?
I touch the source of pain. It's a book. A hardback, poking me in the ribs. I open my eyes and squint at it: Dharma Punx, by Noah Levine. Now it's coming back to me.
Flashback: “Mykel,” says Jennifer, “if you really want to get on people's cases, you should write about Noah Levine. He's really popular. He's a punk Buddhist.”
“That's not so bad,” I say. “It's better than being a punk Christian. But Levine doesn't sound like a Buddhist name. Did he change it from Ramalevinedass or something?”
“You don't get it, Mykel,” says Jennifer. “He's in recovery. He's straight-edge. No booze or drugs or sex.”
“But he's recovering from that,” I say.
“No,” says she. “That IS the recovery.”
“Huh?” says I. “Giving up booze, sex and drugs is recovery? From what?”
“Addictions, Mykel,” says she. “He's recovering from addictions.”
What's wrong with addictions? Your body needs things and without them, it acts funny. That's addiction.
Water is an addiction. If you don't have it, your body acts funny. It dies. How come you don't see Water Anonymous groups spring up like penises at a strip bar? Why isn't anyone in recovery from water addiction? How 'bout oxygen?
I admit that oxygen has control over my life and I am helpless to do anything about it. I give myself up to a higher power.
Why isn't there O.A.?
The answer's easy.
Water and oxygen are socially acceptable addictions. These addictions are universal. We don't see them as addictions any more than mosquitoes see biting people as an addiction.
Drugs? Booze? Sex? These are universal. Nearly every culture in the world has them-- usually as religious sacraments. The Catholics and Jews have wine in a religious ritual. Muslims don't drink, but they have tobacco. And they screw the hell out of multiple wives. Only those wacky Mormons... and punk Buddhists... want to deny the natural.
In American culture, addiction to booze, sex or drugs is not socially acceptable. Why? Those things actually make your body feel good. There-in lies the taboo-- and the addiction. For these things, we need recovery.
I didn't get very far in the Levine book. I only read up to how he had a fucked up childhood, and that got him into punk. His father was a meditater. His mother was a hippie. Though Levine is “still a punk,” he went from addiction to becoming a meditater.
Sounds like everybody else who resents Dad as a kid and then turns into him. Dad was an insurance agent. I became a punk. Now, I work for AIG.
I'm not being fair, of course. I should finish the book before I rip it apart. But I've got a deadline... and I've got other fish to fry.
So this column isn't about that book, though it might be. It is about YOU, and your so self-righteous ideas.
I used to laugh when Donny the Punk said Punk is thinking for yourself. Come on! Punk is more conformist than Mormonism. You've got your uniform. Your set of beliefs (love and its pain=emo, Race and Nation = Oi, anarchy = crust, liberal bounce = poppunk, straight edge = non-crusty hardcore).
Despite these differences, and because of the conformism, a thread runs through all these styles of punk. They are outsider.--not mainstream. The music is not what your grandparents listen to, though it may be what your parents grew out of.
Lateral flash: Razorcake had an interview with VITAMIN X. Boiling it down, the band said. “We're straight edge, but don't care if you are or not...”
That's better than preaching, but they're Dutch! Dutch people smoke hash in coffeeshops. Dutch people can shop for whores on the street. Straight-edge makes sense there. It is NOT mainstream.
In America, it's not like that. In America, you have to show your I.D. to get into a bar. They arrest you for pissing on the street. You can go to jail for smoking hashish. That means drinking, smoking hash and pissing on the street are things BADGUYS do. PUNKS ARE BADGUYS.
For Americans, it's Nancy Reagan's JUST SAY NO. It's having the highest drinking age in the world. It's the censored (read non-sexual) film versions of every movie shown in our theaters. America's message is SEX, DRUGS, BOOZE = BAD! If you partake, you're a badguy... or badgal. PUNKS ARE BADGUYS! Get it?
Let's get this straight... er... correct. Drugs are punk. Drinking is punk. Sex is punk. More than that, if you neither drink, nor take drugs, nor fuck. You are NOT punk.
If you won't let me put my head between your legs, I'll be sad, but I'll get over it. If you won't let ANYONE put their head between you legs. YOU ARE NOT PUNK. Especially, if you're American.
If you won't buy me a drink, I won't die. But if you NEVER DRINK. YOU ARE NOT PUNK. Get it?
LAST MINUTE NOTE: I can read your mind. You're thinking that I'm a totalitarian. Somehow, I'm imposing my will on you. Forcing you to do what you think is wrong. Who am I to say what is punk and what isn't?
Jeezus fuckin' Siddhartha. I have no control. I can't force you to do anything. I can only give my opinion. Tell you what I think. Your TV set has more control over you than I do. You have to think for yourself. If you can't do that, you probably ARE a punk.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or website viewers (www.mykelboard.com) will get live links and a chance to email comment on the column]
-->Of course it was, dept: Yeah, last month's column was my usual April Fools' prank. I don't think it fooled many people. Chomsky may be a little pissed at me because I called him a holocaust revisionist. If I didn't apologize, I do that now. I was fed misinformation. In reality, he supports (as I do) the right of revisionists to speak their minds and present their cases. This does not mean he agrees with them.
As far as I know, Jello Biafra is still a friend. I've never met Oprah Winfrey, so she has never sexually molested me.
All the endnotes last month, however, were true.
--> Still Lovin' Obama dept: This is from an email friend in The Czech Republic: Wondering how you are doing in your part of the world. Last Tuesday, I was at the Globe where they were showing the U.S. election returns. I had only planned to stay a few hours, but there were over three hundred people there and lots of people I had not seen in a long time. I was at a table with someone from Scotland and a woman from India, people from all over the world not just the U.S.A. I thought it would go late into the next day, but at 5 in the morning McCain conceded. It was the reality that Obama actually won. People celebrated out into the streets, all nationalities. Quite an international event. People crying and laughing. I had a little cry as well, but went off to drink some more.
-->Curious Barack dept: Jim Hayes sent me a report about a Marietta Georgia bar that sold 'Curious George' t-shirts with Obama's face in them. Naturally, local lefties wanted them banned. So did the folks from the original Curious George. Those guys are touchy... just ask George Tabb!
Mike Norman, the bar owner, responded by posting outside his bar: G.I.'s dying in Iraq. Thousands killed in quake. Gas $4.00. and a tee shirt makes the news. Shame. Shame!
I say YEAH MIKE!
-->I can come out Jew... a little dept: While walking down Third Avenue, I see this protest right in front of some boring-looking office building.
“What's here to protest?” I ask. “Are you guys against neckties and large chests?”
“It's the World Zionist Headquarters,” says an attractive girl showing me her protest sign.
Stop The Slaughter in Gaza, it says.
“You guys don't look Arab,” I say. “Not that there's anything wrong with that.”
“We're Jews!” says the girl, and she gives me a leaflet that says she's with Jews Say No, an anti-Zionist Jewish group. You can find them at their website: jewssayno.wordpress.com/
“Yahoo!” Says I. “It's about time.”
One caveat though. Just because we hate Israeli policy, and the government, doesn't mean we should hate the people. I have some fine Israeli friends, as well as Muslim friends. Don't let a country's politics put you off its people. Remember George W? And Adolf H?
-->Sometimes it pays to clean up dept: First time gettin' the nook in awhile. I gotta clean up the apartment, wash the dishes, hide the scat porn. Last time I did this, moving around 30 year old dust bunnies gave me awful bronchitis. This time, I wear a mask.
Fuck! I just knocked into a stack of CDs people sent me over the last half a dozen years. I never listened to them, and now I have to clean them up. Aw well, might as well check out a few.
Holy shit! Two great ones. I can't believe what I was missing.
1. Alien Dead demo CD CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST! Hooeeey. Horrorcore like you've always wanted it. The music and vocals are so frantic you'll shit. I don't know what else they've got out, but you should find it and get it! Ask 'em at www.myspace.com/aliendead.
2. PURE COUNTRY GOLD ain't what it sounds like. It actually sounds like lo-fi blues, manicked out, and played by the Reatards. The name of the band is PURE COUNTRY GOLD. Contact 'em at myspace.com/purecountrygold. I did.
-->(Il)legalize this? dept: The Mt. Shasta Brewing company is located in the tiny town of Weed, California. To promote their beer, the company made bottle caps with the logo TRY LEGAL WEED.
In the middle of last year, The U.S. Treasury Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (what a combination!) said NO!
They threatened the tiny company with fines and even closing them down. But with the help of the local (Republican) Congressman, they fought the Treasury Department AND the FDA... and won!!! Maybe it was because of the change of administration. Waddaya think?
-->Beastly and The Beast dept: The Discovery Channel is suing Amazon over its Kindle e-book. The charge? Patent infringement. TDC claims they invented the concept of encrypting a book for digital internet distribution.
Do I support Amazon because they sell my books (barely)? Or do I support TDC because they're “the little guy” in this deal. It's like Tony Alamo and kiddie porn. I hate the victim, but I hate the law more.
Several years ago, Amazon tried to patent one click checkout claiming they had a right to make every other website require two clicks to pay for goods. Originally, they got the patent. Later, I think, it was withdrawn.
Now they're getting a taste of their own Prozac. But, right is right, and ideas should not be patentable. Nothing should be. So good luck Amazon. This one, I hope you win.
Another irony: Amazon runs Discovery’s online store for them. Only in America can one company sue another, and keep them as a business partner. Yowsah.
-->Further in the hate the law more dept: The Supreme Court is going to hear a case where some right wing PAC made an anti-Hillary movie. They showed it on television while Hilary was running for president. The movie claimed, among other things, that Hilary was the foremost American spokesperson for European-style Socialism. If only it were true! I would have voted for her. In Europe, they have free health care and 6 weeks vacation. We wouldn't want that here, would we?
Truth is not the point.
The Hilary-ites said the movie was a violation of the campaign finance rules. The backers of the movie should disclose who they are and how much they contributed.
The movie-makers said it wasn't a campaign, but was a movie. Free speech and all that. Besides, Michael Moore, a liberal, had a movie that said a lot about GWB. Was that a campaign ad?
I go with the movie makers. It IS a matter of free speech. If the anti-Clintonites win this case, you bet your HOPE poster that the Democrats are gonna be making that film about Jeb Bush, or whoever... accusing them of... I donno. We'll just have to wait four years and see.
visit Mykel's homepage here