Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mykel Puts the World in Context (MRR 330)

If you want to read more about Mykel's adventures in Albania, The US South-- or life in General-- check out Mykel's Diary For a look at the weird, the scary and the funny in real life, check out Mykel's Article's and Propositions.     

You're Wrong
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
aka Mykel Puts The World in Context

“Will the Holocaust excuse anything Jews might do now or in the future? Did the Holocaust make them innocent? Did slavery somehow make American Negroes blameless? Did the patriarchy's historical crimes wash all sins away from the ladies souls?” --Jim Goad

Suck that thing. Suck it now. You love it, don't you. You know you love it. Take more. Suck it in. That's my little girl. Keep sucking. Yes!

I'm with my ten-year old niece. On the boardwalk... on Coney Island. I've just bought her a rootbeer float-- her first. In the beginning, she doesn't like it, so I have to hold the straw for her and encourage her to try it. It's not long before she's enjoying that most American of beverages... with strawberry rather than vanilla ice cream. Not my taste.

Re-reading that first paragraph, you see it now, right? Angie, there in her pink dress. Sucking away at that ice cream and soda. But I bet that wasn't what you thought when you first read it. Uh uh. Your image was more carnal, more violent, right?

You heard/saw the image in a different context. And you brought that context with you when you read those words. The context gave you an easy answer to what was going on. It was the wrong answer.

The confusion of context leads to wrong ideas all over the place. My jailbird pal Kyle sent me a clipping about Paula Oliveira, a Brazilian woman in Switzerland. Three skinheads, one with “a Nazi symbol tattooed on the back of his head,” attacked the woman outside a Zurich train station. One of the attackers cut the initials of Switzerland's right-wing party into her stomach and legs. The trauma made her miscarry twin fetuses. Pictures of her scarred body appeared in newspapers. Even Brazilian President Lula (my favorite political leader) condemned the “violence against a Brazilian woman abroad.” 

Given what you (think you) know about skinheads, Nazis, violence, and maybe Brazilians, you're justifiably outraged. But that's not the content of the newspaper article that Kyle sent me. 
After a series of tests, Swiss police said Oliveira was not three months pregnant at the time (of the attack) and Zurich University forensic medicine chief Walter Baer called it a “textbook case of self-mutilation.”

Get it? She was lying!

Last year, I wrote about the Duke University LaCrosse scandal in 2006. There, a stripper claimed that members of the team held her against her will and raped her in the bathroom. Later medical tests proved she was lying. The DA was found guilty of withholding information. You believed her. Why?
FLASHBACK: It's 1990. I'm in Japan, teaching at the Honda headquarters, in Tokyo. It's a class for freshmen in the company. They're required to take 6 months of me... once a week.

“Mykel,” says Yaru, a slim attractive young man, whose sexiness loses itself in the white shirt and tie he wears. “Why don't you come drinking with us tonight? We're going to a piano bar.”

“I'm not big on piano music,” I tell him. “You think they can do Screeching Weasel?”

He laughs.

“I've never eaten a screeching weasel,” he says. “But there's no piano at a piano bar. You go and some pretty girl comes and talks to you. She pours your beer and laughs at your jokes. She stays with you until morning.”
“Until morning?” I say. “Are there private rooms?”

Yaru wrinkles his attractive brow. Then he laughs.

“Oh no,” he says. “It's not like that. There's no sex. You only talk. Sometimes you can touch her arm.”

“Er...” I tell him. “It doesn't sound very exciting. How much does a night of arm-touching and laughing at your jokes cost?”

“About 30,000 yen ($300),” he says.

I don't go.

But now as I think about this, I wonder. Was it so bad? When I go out with a whore what do I get? If I'm lucky s/he gives me some time, some friction, juice pumping. It's over. I get my tube stroked, but not my ego. 
I can stroke my own tube... I do, often. But I can't stroke my own ego. Is it better to pay for something I do myself or to pay for something only someone else can do? The context of Japan made me think stupid, shy Orientals...” But were they? Didn't they get more for their money than I did?

As I type this, I sit in the laptop room at the public library. I'm in a little space on a large table. The room is open, yet quiet. 

There is an occasional KFFFF of a mouse button, an internal computer click, and the crunching sound of someone eating nuts. In the relative silence of the room, the nut-crunching is annoying enough to make me stop what I'm doing and look around for the cruncher. I figure that just standing up, with my arms folded and a stern look on my face, will silence the guy.

It works for a second or two. But then, the crunching begins again. 

There he is. A jerk in a corner seat, diddling his iPhone, black hoodie protecting his identity. I stare at the back of his hood. I think colored guy. I don't know why I think that. More whiteboys wear hoods than Negroes. 

But Negroes have less respect for others. Right? 

When I'm on the subway, one guy sits in the middle of the bench, legs spread apart like he's holding a football between his thighs, arms stretched along the back of the seats... one guy taking three (or four if he's fat) seats. And it's a Negro.

So I figure, okay, here's a rude guy with a hoodie, so... I'm wrong. This guy is whiter than Sarah Palin. Than Lou Dobbs. Than Michael Jackson. He looks like some California skater or any other Nike/Chuck Tailored straight-edge brat. I transferred the context of my subway experience to the library. I was wrong. 

This gets me wondering. Maybe I MAKE the contexts in the first place. For example, if I see somebody in the subway taking up three seats, it's just somebody taking up three seats. But if I see a colored guy taking up three seats, then it becomes A COLORED GUY... and taking up three seats is what he does. 

Maybe as many white guys do it as colored, but Negroes are associated with it in my mine... they're marked. So when they spread their arms and legs, they confirm what I already have in my head. When a white guy does it, I don't notice.

I often think about the president's penis. When George Bush was taking a piss. Did he think: This is the presidential dick right here. This cock rules the world. The piss coming out of it now, dribbling slowly, soaking my fingers... that's presidential piss. That's piss that pisses on the world.

When Obama takes a piss. Does he think: See this black dick in my hand? This thick piece of black manhood. This dick that you fantasized about... that's your dream and your horror. This black dick shooting out a hard thick stream, like a firehose. That's a BLACK presidential piss. And that's what pisses on the world. 

They say that black is the marked case. In other words, in America, people notice something as special... different... when it's done by someone black. It's not special when a white person does the same thing. Do black people feel that?

There was an article in THE NATION by a Negress professor who wrote about how her white colleagues refused to mark their race on the census... or else they marked other, putting in Jew or human or something else. She never heard of a black person marking other. Obama didn't mark other. The world is changing, she says. There are only two races: Black and other

To check, I google (safe search off) my black ass and get 140,000 sites. Then I google my white ass and get 1,590,000 sites.

Huh? That means that white is being specified more than black. White is marked more than black. A lot more. (My yellow ass, by the way, only brings 41,000 hits.) 

I'm confused.

In Arizona, Mexican is the marked case. Even though crime in general is DOWN in US border areas (El Paso Texas is the safest city in the continental US), Arizonans see MEXICAN when they commit a crime. 

Otherwise, it's just generic criminal. Arizonans bring context to crime... and because of that, are wrong.
(By the way, My Spanish ass gets 98,300 sites. My Mexican ass, 111,000.)

You walk around with these contexts in your head. If something happens to confirm the context, you note it as a confirmation. If something contrary happens, it gets lost outside your consciousness. In a day, you'll forget all about it.

Those contexts color everything you do or say. You see what you want. The world confirms your prejudices. See? You told me so.

The solution, of course, is to look for the opposite. Start from the other side. Assume you're wrong. If the girl cries rape, she's lying. If someone breaks into your car, it's some preppy from Stamford. If people in Tajikistan spit on their hand and rub the saliva into their eyebrows before crossing the street, that's the right way to go about street-crossing. 

You can and will ignore this solution. You'll continue to keep your old contexts, wear them like blinders against the world. It's you. It's the nature of your stupidity. It makes me sick and you can just kiss my Jew ass.

ENDNOTES: [email subscribers ( or website viewers ( will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column]

-->Different culture dept: Kyle wrote me: You go to a rave, the chicks don't give a shit if you grope 'em or dry hump 'em and will rub up on you. You'll never see that in a pit. Tis' taboo in the Hardcore scene. I had this chick rub up on me till I came in my pants at a Ministry Show. You'll never see that in a punk moshpit.
                  Hmm, I'm gonna have to start going to raves.

-->That's why they raised the drinking age dept: Supposedly the drinking age went up to reduce the number of younger drunk drivers killing people. BUT, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "alcohol use by weekend drivers has decreased over the past four decades (largely because of the higher drinking age), but there has been no corresponding drop in alcohol-related fatal crashes." Research shows that while there has been a 71 percent reduction in drunk driving on weekends since 1973, the numbers of alcohol-related fatalities remains the same.

-->How 'bout a Whack-A-Palin dept: The head of an Allentown amusement company has removed a carnival game in which players shot foam darts at a target resembling Barack Obama.
"It was just a big, big mistake in judgment, and I feel sorry about it," said the carnival's head, Irvin Good Jr.

-->Buying the context dept: BP oil has been buying Google search ads for "oil spill" and "oil spill claims."
Any questions? Go right to the PR department of BP! Who said that with the internet our news ISN'T managed?

-->PC World magazine reports that SONY has begun blowing a BOURBON scent into the "male oriented" areas of its stores. It should serve as a reminder that you'd have to be drunk to invest in one of their products.

-->A different kind of child support dept: Shirley Anderson, 71, is suing her son Ken, 46, in Vancouver, for parental support -- even though she and Ken's father abandoned him when he was 15. A British Columbia law requires adult children to support "dependent" parents. In 2000, Shirley sued, demanding $350 per month each from Ken, a trucker, and his four siblings. A judge awarded token interim support pending a final resolution, which after years of paperwork and delay was to come in early August. It has been postponed once again.

-->Is that a superbig spliff in your pocket? dept: South African drug lord Fadwaan "Fat" Murphy, speaking at a bail hearing in January in Cape Town, revealed that he was born a hermaphrodite and has a separate identity ("Hilary"). This became important when arresting officers discovered that Murphy was wearing a strap-on penis. Nonetheless, Murphy insists he is a man: "I look like a man. I talk like a man. I am a man."

-->Homos outing hets dept: According to the publisher of Philadelphia Gay News, gay state Rep. Babette Josephs "outed" her primary opponent Gregg Kravitz... as straight. Josephs claims Kravitz was posing in Josephs' gay-friendly district as bi-sexual.
               Kravitz said he is "attracted to both men and women” and found Josephs' comments offensive.
               I say, send me a picture and then we'll talk about proving your bi-tude.

-->My kind of medicine dept: The German newspaper Die Zeit reports that the Brazilian Health Minister, Jose Gomes Temporão, has found a solution to reduce blood pressure in the general population. He suggested that people have sex more frequently. According to him, five times a week is appropriate. The physical exercise lowers blood pressure, and is strongly recommended in view of the increased rate of high blood pressure among Brazilians.

-->Not my kind of Supreme Court dept: In it's decision in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project the Supreme court ruled that human rights groups cannot write Op-ed pieces, file Supreme court briefs or work with the UN, if they provide any (including 100% humanitarian) relief to an agency the government has declared as terrorist. This is a 100% rejection of the principle of free speech.
           So, the courts say corporations can BUY speech with no restrictions, but PEOPLE are prohibited from exercising that right. Of course, I'd like to tell you what I think about that, but I'd be put in jail!


Mykel's personal website is here. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mykel Board Talks Shit MRR 329

You're Wrong
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board

aka Mykel Talks Shit!

"What is the reward for pointing out that everyone's walking around carrying bucketfuls of shit? They dump the buckets on you. They feel lighter, and you get covered in shit.” --Jim Goad

It must've been the Guinness. I can feel the rumblings on my right side, right above my hipbone. The painful gurgle-gurgle, the mucilaginous brownitude. bubbling up slowly, then across... inch by painful inch... down the left side. Ah the delicious pain. My sphincter spontaneously fights the flow. Open the gates! Please, open the gates. There's a drop... then another... then...

Mykel! What the fuck??!

It's Sid Yiddish, my friend and editor, typing in italics. Wacha doin' in my columns, Sid?
I don't mind doing this for you... for free... I might add... but every month there's some scat I have to... er... sit through. You're obsessed with shit. I don't get it. Can't you write about anything but shit?

He's right. I write shit. I talk shit. Why?

Mark Twain and Ben Weasel have both sung the praises of a good shit. Both complained that fecal matters get the short shrift in the war between shit and fuck. I agree. 

Shit has a lot going for it. You don't have to tell a good shit you love it... or make it breakfast in the morning. 

That's for starters.
But there's another reason I'm shit obsessed. There's just so much of it. 
Flashback: The year is 1968. It's the Vietnam War times. There is a law: Local draft boards have to include any “information” you send them. Your records much be complete as you see fit to complete them. 

The idea is that people send their draft boards all the reasons they shouldn't be drafted. The board has to consider all this information. To do so fairly, they have to add anything you want to your file. I'm packaging a dead mouse I found in the corner of my dorm room, snapped in half by one of those snappy traps. I've liberated the body from the trap, put it in tissue paper, put that in a shoebox. 

On a plain piece of typing paper, I write: Please add this to my files on record at the draft board. Thank you, Mykel (actually, then it was Michael) J. Board. I add my SS number.

Now I tape the shoebox shut. On top of the box, right under the KEDS logo, I write the name of my draft board, and its office address, somewhere in Ronkonkoma. 

I don't put a return address on the box. But I do put on a lot of postage. 

Since it costs six cents to mail an ordinary letter, I figure 20 stamps should be more than enough.
I take an entire stamp sheet... Law and Order stamps..., lick the back... the whole sheet, and wrap it from the top of the package around the side. I slip the package into the corner mailbox. Then, return to my dorm room. 

There is nothing left. Nothing to show. The spot where the package lay, the stamps, the box, have no record. 
No shit. 

NOW: I'm sadly packing my copy of Humungousfungusamongus. Sold it on GEMM to someone in Japan for $19.90. Plus shipping. Of course, I charge way too much for the shipping. That's how you do it these days.
Shipping charges don't make up for the sadness of parting with an LP I love... but sometimes you gotta eat, and pay the bar bill.

I print a shipping label and peel it off a waxed backing sheet. Then, I put the packing slip in an envelope, pull off a strip of vinyl and seal the envelope. Then, I take a stamp from another waxed sheet of paper, peel it off, and stick it on the package. 

I've sent something 12,000 miles away, and I'm left with more than I started. Stupid little strips of plastic. Label backings. Remnants of sealings that used to leave nothing. A bunch of shit.

Lately, everything makes shit. 

I can't buy a bottle of One-A-Day Vitamins without a plastic-sealed cap, an inner aluminum seal, the whole bottle in a box with six pages of instructions... and a coupon. Instructions for One-A-Day Vitamins??? Hmmm One-A-Day Vitamins, I wonder what the dosage is. 

Shit! Shit! And more shit!

Susan-of-the-Apple-Worshippers butts in: But Mykel, you are the one who rants against iPods and e-readers. Those things reduce shit. Think of all the trees not cut down to make books. Think of all the oil saved in not making CDs and records...

No! No! No! 

Books are NOT shit. Records are not shit. They are things we use. We hold them. Use them. Use them again. Give them away. Sell them on GEMM. 
Cut to the desert island: You've been stranded for a year. There's fruit and fresh water... you can even catch a fish or two once-in-awhile. 

What's really killing is the boredom. Jerking off doesn't do it anymore. Your dick's got a friction sore as big as your thumbnail.

Construction doesn't do it either. You've made a house, a rain-catching station, a lean-to, and a life-size special friend.

Looking out toward the ocean, you see that the sea is a bit rough today. Waves blow in from the water leaving shells, and odd debris in their wake. 

You're safe on high ground. You can watch without fear as the white caps come further and further inland. You drift to sleep to the sound of the waves.

In the morning, the beach is littered with debris. Plates, plastic bottles, an energy-saving lightbulb. It looks like wreckage, but maybe it's just garbage, dumped by a luxury cruiser. 

Wait. There's something in the distance. Small and square. Ah, to have a book. Something to hold. To read and reread. It would be a dream come true. An escape from the boredom of one day just following another. 

You walk over to the object. Too thin for Moby Dick, maybe it's The Unlimited Dream Company. That would be even better. If the pages are wet, you can separate them and dry them in the sun. In a day, they'll be readable. 

It's hard to make it out until you're right there on top of it. An iPad. 

Jeezus fuckin' Christ. What are you gonna do with that piece of shit?
Nowadays: Amazon just announced that its sales of e-books have just surpassed its sales of hard-cover books. What the fuck?

My kindle-totting friends agree with Susan. “Mykel! E-books are eco-friendly. You don't need to kill trees to make them?” 

Eco-friendly my shit-streaked ass!

If I read a book, I can give it to a friend. Sell it on Amazon. It'll stay in circulation. Like a bad cold, it'll go from one person to another. A traveler will pick it up, leave it somewhere. Another traveler will pick it up. Maybe someone will donate it to their local library or the university library in Mongolia. 

E-books? Try donating ten of 'em to your local library. Try selling 'em on Second Ave... or selling 'em back to Amazon. Try throwing 'em overboard, hoping they'll wash up where someone else can read 'em. 

Worse than that, in two years, new machines won't be able to read the old formats. Your collection will be out-dated, needing a new e-reader, a different format. More software. A more powerful computer. More shit. 

Remember when you could just visit someone and look at their family photo album? Now? Fuhgeddaboudit. You need a computer, an internet connection and Facebook. Shit, shit and more shit. 
Exactly Now: I sit at McDonald's off the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. I'm on my way to read at a place called THE LOFT in New Brunswick. Chris, the guy who invited me, ran the shows at the loft. It's also a living place, hangout, and art studio. 

A couple months ago, Chris Facebooked me that he wanted to meet me. Set up a show around my reading. A few bands, a music stand to read from, a place to crash for the night, beer. What more could I want? (Yeah, I know.)

After hemming and hawing for a couple months, I decide to go. Chris seems like a good guy, and says he wants to meet me.

 Besides, New Brunswick is the home of Rutgers University, alma mater of MRR founder and first patriarch, Tim Yohannon. It'll be fun to go there.

As far as I know, Tim's not buried there, though. I don't think he's buried anywhere. His ashes were spread, I hope, among the buffalo dung in Golden Gate Park. That's the way he wanted it.

Just before the show, I check back onto the event site on Facebook. 
Is the show still going on? 
Is it going to be a memorial?
I think Chris would've wanted it to go on. We'll have it.” writes his girlfriend, Jupiter.


The organizer died? He invites me to speak and then goes joining Tim with the buffaloes? Holy shit! What's going on?

So here I sit wondering what's gonna happen tonight. 

I stopped in McDonald's only to get a drink of water and write this column. 


No water fountains here. 

If I take a drink from a drinking fountain, that's it. The water travels from the fountain to my mouth. A pure transaction... like a blowjob. 


I can BUY water. Plastic bottled water where the chemicals in the plastic leach into the water. This includes an especially dangerous material called antimony:
...small doses of antimony can make you feel ill and depressed. Larger quantities chemists say, can cause violent vomiting and even death. 

Instead of a drinking fountain, I get chemical death. Water wrapped in shit. Not only that. The number one ingredient in the so-called vitamin water (after water, that is) is SUGAR... in “crystalline fructose” form. The next ingredient? SUGAR (cane sugar). 

VITAMIN water, my shitty ass! It's a blowjob with a condom. Yuck! 

And I have a bottle left over. More shit.

From here I go to The Loft. My reading turned into a memorial. I'll let you know what shit goes down.

ENDNOTES: [email subscribers ( or website viewers ( will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column]

-->You want wings on that airplane? dept: Federal watchdogs are demanding that airlines disclose their fees up front. That $99 flight to Philadelphia, can end up costing a month's pay. A few people think you should know before you go.
          Ryan Air was the worst, promising to charge for bathroom use. Shit on the floor, I say. Now, Spirit Airlines is adding a fee for carry-on bags, starting at $20 per bag each way. Spirit's CEO told Congress that bringing luggage on vacation is "not essential to travel."

-->What about exposure to Christians dept: An industry group established by Congress recommended that the federal government provide financial incentives for companies to “address the psychological impact on employees of exposure to disturbing images on the internet.”
     Mr. Nigam, co-chairman of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group, said global outsourcing firms that moderate content for many large Internet companies do not offer therapeutic care to their workers.
The group says that workers who have to censor photos for MySpace, Facebook and other websites are “seriously damaged,” by the content of some of those photos.
          The group’s recommendations have been submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which advises the White House on digital policy.

-->You can teach, but you can't preach dept: Americans United for the Separation of Church and State reports that Christian punk band You Can Run But You Cannot Hide performs in schools with the goal of speaking to kids in our schools about the Constitution and suicide prevention. The schools go for it.
Then, they learn the method of suicide prevention. According to the band, it's “our own testimony of how Christ turned our lives around.” And why do they perform in public schools? “So we can get the light into kids’ hands in public schools.” Now what was it about The Constitution? You know that separation of church and state thing? How do we get THAT into kids hands in the public schools?

-->But is it okay to talk to her about capitalism? dept: The same organization reports that Pennsylvania's top court has ruled that a father has a First Amendment right to discuss polygamy with his daughter.
The court said Where there is no finding that discussing such matters constitutes a grave threat of harm to the child, there is insufficient basis for the court to infringe of a parent's constitutionally protected right to speak to a child about religion as he or she sees fit.
          The court was asked to rule during a custody dispute between defendant and his ex-wife. The wife told the court that the man's belief in polygamy ended their marriage and she did not want her 10-year-old daughter exposed to that concept.

-->Times change dept: The Boy Scouts of America are now offering a merit badge in video gaming. I wonder if it's a virtual merit badge. As for me, I had to skin raccoons for my merit badges.

-->Sounds like Birth of a Nation dept: An Israeli court convicted a Palestinian man of rape. Why? Because he told the girl his name was David instead of his real name, Sabbar. The girl thought he was Jewish and fucked him. Word got out and she sued... and won. Rape by deception was the verdict. And what non-virginal male wouldn't be guilty of that?
        Can you imagine? A light-skinned Negro saying he's white. Then the truth comes out? Lynch him! If there were any doubt about the racist state...both of them. Well, how can you answer that?

-->Oh yeah, the show in New Brunswick. It was GREAT!!! The crowd was great. The other bands were great (including one with members of the Murder Junkies... and yes, Dino stuck drumsticks up his ass... but only two!) Most of all Jupiter... Chris's girlfriend... put together a spectacular show... followed the next day by an even more spectacular memorial.
            This was the shit! in the best possible way. Chris must've been pretty special to have so many great friends. The memorial was filled with Chris's drawings, some photos, lots of candles and even more loving people. I'm not a sentimental guy, but who couldn't have been touched by it all. Chris surely didn't die... but lives in Jupiter... and others. You can see some of my photos from the show here.
Thanks, Chris. It was great to meet you!


Mykel's personal website is here.

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