Saturday, August 24, 2013

The First True Post MRR Column



by Mykel Board

I feel like I've been freed from a strong and terrible master. --Socrates, when he found he could no longer maintain an erection.


“I want you to imagine your ideal vacation spot,” the anesthesiologist tells me. “Warm. The waves lapping. You're lying... basking in the sun. Nothing to do but relax and sleep.”

“My ideal vacation spot is a jungle in Africa,” I tell him, “with naked natives begging for a crack at my white little body.”

He chuckles.

“Shouldn't I be counting back from 100 or something?” I ask.

“You could try that,” he says.

“100... 99... 98...” I start. I get to 45.

“Something's wrong,” he says. “You should have been out by 89.”

“My arm is killing me,” I tell him.

He walks to where the IV is puncturing a vein in my arm. A clear, slightly viscous liquid drips from the vein onto the floor.

“Shit!” he says.

Not exactly what you want to hear from a doctor.

The surgeon speaks this time. “Bring it around this side,” she tells him. “Here, put it in his the back of his hand.”

The sleep doc walks the needle around to my right side. He pokes it into a vein in the back of my hand... tapes it down.

“100... 99... 98..” I say. I get to 92.

AUGUST 2013 It's been a few hell-months for me. Besides getting fired from MRR, I develop a hernia. Then, WITH the hernia (in my body, not as a tool), I have to move furniture so the bedbug guys can bedbug-proof the apartment. My neighbors have 'em. Soon, I'm suffering a bloody scalp where books and a heavy speaker tumble onto my head as I move a bookcase. A few days later, I lose a best friend, an Israeli, because I've posted a facebook article critical of Israel. Then, I have the hernia operation and awake with horrible pain... in my shoulder! I needed the Oxycontin for THAT! Not for my balls! Then, I find that the Oxycontin is stupidly mixed with Tylenol so that if I have a beer and take the pills my liver will dissolve. I can barely crawl out of bed. I can't use my stomach muscles to sit up. My shoulder pain won't let me use my arms to push myself up. Then, lying in bed, my apartment fills with red dust... like a Gobi sandstorm... so thick I can't see. (They're renovating the apartment next door and sanding down the bricks to make them look authentic.) Then, I start coughing from the dust, and the cough tears at my just repaired abdominal muscles making the blood trickle downward so my cock and balls turn black from collected hemoglobin. (Photos soon on flickr.)

My pal Wanda stops in to nurse me. She has the keys. We've been friends for more than two decades. Just friends... She's a lesbian, of course and she lives just down the street. It's a pleasure to see her leather-jacketed crew-cut self swagger in through the bedroom door. She brings me a cup of coffee from the Korean deli downstairs, and for some reason a bean burrito.

“I can't fart!” I tell her. “Gas just bubbles around my intestines... like a juvenile delinquent... just hanging place to go.”

“It's a breakfast burrito, Mykel,” she tells me. “It's good for you. Let me microwave it up.”

FLASH TO TWO YEARS AGO. I'm with my top-tier pal Sid. We're eating at a Mexican place in some state that does not border on water. I order pig's cheek taco.

Why do you always have to get the most disgusting food?” he asks.

“What do you mean disgusting?” I say. “How do you know it's disgusting? What if I like it?”

“I was just asking?” he says. “Just asking.”

BACK TO NOW: “Where's the microwave?”asks Wanda.

“I can't eat a burrito!” I cry. “I'm in pain. I can't fart. I'll explode.”

“I was just asking,” she says.

FLASH BACK TO SID AGAIN: This time we're couch-surfing together... somewhere in the South, I think. The hostess is a beautiful Latina. I can see both of us eying the parts she shows when she's leaving.

“Mykel,” says Sid, “do you ever think that you're too old for some of these girls. I mean, how can you expect anything more than a smile when you're old enough to be her father... her grandfather?”

“What the fuck?” I say. “Let a girl wiggle her ass and the insults start flying.”

“Insults? What insults?” says Sid. “I was just asking. That's all.”

RIGHT NOW: Yeah, I KNOW, just asking implies motive behind the question. Yeah I KNOW questions themselves can be irritating. (What's it like living your whole life as a short person?), insulting (Don't you think that people would have more respect for you if you didn't act like a 60-year old baby?), racist (Why don't Jews ever want to split the bill? ). and just asking doesn't make them any less so. But ASKING opens a door. Allows discussion. An answer, even if it's that question is :irritating/insulting/racist. It starts a dialog-- or should-- even if the dialog is about the question itself.

Lisa Carver (formerly Lisa Suckdog) posted in Facebook how she lost friends by simply asking if CLASS WAR was the same as CIVIL WAR. Just asking the question, lost her friends, probably with accusation of you're conservative, a sell-out, or who-knows-what else. She's not the only one.

Only in The Gambia have I met people who could talk about anything, answer any question with a smile and another helping of tea. Only they were not offended by the question, but offered a thoughtful answer without taking ANYTHING personally. This is NOT The Gambia.

Now, I'm writing my first column outside the yoke of Maximum Rock'n'Roll. I'm responsible to my readers, and them only. I'm gonna ask a lot of questions here. I hope I don't lose friends... but it's a writer's dilemma: ask the questions or BE NICE. The first choice will lose you friends. The second will make you a bad writer.

Some questions need to be asked. For all but two years after Timmy Y's demise, MRR has been ruled by a cabal of Iron Ladies. Like my Israeli friend who saw my criticisms of Israel as “permission to kill Jews,” critical questions about women at MRR are met with everything from vague hostility to charges of ENCOURAGING RAPE. So now that I'm relatively free, with friends, not a vocation, at risk, I will ask what needs to be asked.

FLASH TO BEDSIDE: Wanda sits on a step ladder next to the bed. She holds the coffee, with a straw for me to sip. I lay on plumped up pillows.

“Hey Wanda,” I say. “Can I ask you a bunch of questions?”

“Sure,” she says, “no harm in asking questions.”

“Okay,” I tell her, “but the questions might make you mad. I don't want to risk your pouring hot coffee on my testicles.”

Mykel,” she says, “I've known you for 20 years. I don't think you could ask anything to offend me. Besides, you're only asking, right?”

“Right,” I tell her.”And even more. I don't want you to answer the questions right now. I want you to take 'em home with you. Sleep on 'em. Bring me some answers with my morning coffee tomorrow. You can ask me if you don't understand something. But don't answer. You can ask a question, but no comments until you think it over. Okay?”

She doesn't answer.


FLASH TO LAST MONTH: City Court. I'm here... called for jury duty. In the first case I'm called for, a drug possession case, I don't even make it to the jury box. The second case is a rape. I make it to the final stage on this one. It's a charge against a homeless guy, brought by a drunken college girl. I'd better not get on THIS jury. I might not survive.

During the person-by-person questioning, one of the prosecutors reads New York's definition of RAPE: Penetration, no matter how far, of the penis into the vagina... without consent. And I think, what the fuck?

If rape is defined as penetration, no matter how far, of a penis into a vagina, without consent... that means only men can be rapists and only women can be victims. Women cannot rape men or other women. Men cannot rape other men. If a woman is drunk she is considered unable to give consent... if she has sex, it's rape. If a man is drunk, it doesn't matter. Only the woman's condition matters. Is there another crime so divided that only one gender can be the criminal, and the other the victim? Could you imagine a crime where only one RACE could be the criminal and another the victim? What would that say about such a society?

BEDSIDE: “Okay Wanda,” I say. “The first question comes from some thoughts I had in court.”

“What were you on trial for?” she asks me.

Wise guy.

I explain the situation and ask her the question. She keep her composure.

“So you want me to go home and think about this? Right?”

“That's right,” I say. “Otherwise it'll just turn into a stupid argument.”

She nods, tapping her unpainted nails against the step ladder. “Anything else?”

“Yeah,” I tell her. “You know I'm pro-abortion. Look around. It's obvious we need more of them. But there's something else. If abortion is legal, who should decide if the woman gets one or not? The father? The pregnant woman? If it's the woman who makes the sole decision (In my opinion, it should be), then why should she be able to sue for child support? If a man says, ABORT, but the woman says I'LL KEEP IT, then it's the woman's choice ONLY. Should the man be forced to pay for something he had no say in? If the baby were a 50-50 choice to make it and keep it, okay... split the costs 50-50. But if it's only up to ONE SIDE to have a baby or not, why should the other side pay anything?”

That's a lot to get out in one breath... too much. I inhale and my lungs fill with brick dusk. I start coughing. The pain is unimaginable. I feel like I'm going to split open. Stitches tear. My entire large intestine slide down the inguinal canal. At least it feels that way.

Wanda comes to the rescue, sliding the coffee-with-the-straw under face. I take a sip. Spit up all over my pajamas. Wanda gets a paper towel from the kitchen and pats up coffee. I'm breathing hard now. My lungs whistle with each breath.

“Are you okay?” she asks.

I nod.

“Did you get that question?” I try to say, dribbling more coffee into my beard..

She nods.

“Anything else?” she asks.

I nod... and hold up a finger to tell her I'm trying to get my insides together. More gas rumbles through my guts. It presses against my anal sphincter in a desperate bid for freedom. Freedom denied.

I talk some more.

“If abortion is legal,” I say, “then a mother choosing to destroy her fetus is not a murderer. BUT, the law says that making a pregnant woman lose a baby, (say someone hits her in the stomach), is MURDER in the eyes of the state. How come? Either killing a fetus is murder, or it isn't? If it ISN'T murder, than why is the fetus destroyer charged with murder? If it IS murder, than why do mothers have the right to murder their children in the womb and not after they're born?”

“Does it matter that I'm a lesbian in answering all these abortion questions?” asks Wanda.

“Naw,” I tell her. “It matters that you're smart and you're a girl... It also doesn't hurt that you're here nursing me.”

“Okay,” she says, “Is there a way you can get more girls to nurse crotchety old men with hernias? I think it'll help make more lesbians.”

I laugh.

“OW! OW! OW! Jeezus fuck that hurts,” I groan, “Please, even a chuckle makes it feel like my insides are tearing themselves apart.”

“Okay,” she says, “you have more questions?”

“Yes,” I tell her, “Why are liberals outraged at U.S. MILITARY RAPE? Why is that more important than military murder? Why are we worried more about soldiers abusing each other, than about soldiers (or drones) murdering non-soldiers? Why is equality among killers more important than preventing killing in the first place?

“You finished Mykel?” she asks.

I can see that she's not very pleased.

“You're not going to hurt me?” I ask. “Roll me onto the floor, make cough, do something that will pull at my delicate sutures?”

“Of course not,” she answers. “What makes you think that?”

Then, she tickles me.



Ok, I know that I'm not just asking. Behind each question is a motive. Maybe the question itself is the wrong question. But now that I'm free from the constraints of a strong and terrible master... er... mistress... I can ask these questions. Your comments are welcome, either on the blog, on facebook or in an email. Personal attacks, however, will be deleted and GODWIN'S LAW will be ruthlessly enforced.

I'm looking for civil rather than hysterical conversation. Maybe that's not possible on the internet. Maybe it's not possible outside of Western Africa. Let's see what happens.

ENDNOTES: [You can contact me by email ( Postal contact (send those... er... private videos..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003]

-->Credit where it's due dept: MRR finally ran a pro-Mykel letter and my letter to the editor where I explained the facts and lies of my being canned. They did it without mentioning my rather childish mis-spelling of the editrix, Mariam's, name. And so far, it seems that I've remained on their comp list. New issue, fresh as a daisy, in my PO Box. Ten punk points guys. As usual, I urge you to express your opinion about my firing to

--> Salon reports that the Tennessee state legislature is considering a new bill. It would allow graduate student counselors to refuse to offer services to clients with "goals, outcomes or behaviors that conflict with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the counselor.”

The bill was created specifically for counselors to be able NOT to work with gay students, I hope some smart kid waits for a student who wants to become a priest!! No service for him, buckaroo! It's against her religion to service future priests!

--> The return of the anti-porn feminist monster or the what good is jerking off department: Just when you thought the beast was dead, it rises like a penis at a porn convention. AM New York reports that feminists now argue that internet porn is “rewiring boys' minds.”

That's bad for the boy, the report says, “Eventually his brain wires itself to everything associated with porn such as: Being alone, constant clicking, voyeurism, shock and surprise. This conflicts with learning about real sex, which involves interaction with a real person, courtship, commitment, touching, being touched and emotional connection.”

I'm not sure how much REAL SEX the report-writer has had, but a fuck of a lot of it doesn't involve courtship, commitment, or emotional connection. Prostitution and one-night stands, you know, are slightly older (several thousand years), than internet porn.

-->And who abolished slavery? dept: The Nation reports that England has fined companies hiring "interns" at zero dollars... er... pounds per hour. This is a violation of the UK minimum wage law. Several of the UK's leading universities are now refusing to advertise unpaid internships. These include Oxford, York, Leeds, Liverpool, and more. Check out for more information.

-->How do you spell Kangaroo dept: 3 years after hero Bradley-Manning was captured and tortured for WikiLeaks revelations, his trial finished in Meade, Maryland. Manning was being tried on charges including "aiding the enemy" that could result in life in prison or even the death penalty. The Obama administration continues being the worst in history at the persecution and torture of whistle-blowers and truth-tellers. As of this writing, they still haven't gotten poor Edward Snowden for revealing how the US has broken into Chinese government and company offices... while complaining about China doing the same to the US.

-->The Week magazine reports that Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has threatened to boycott US talks with the Taliban. The talks are scheduled in Qatar and the Afghan government is pissed because they wanted the talks based on a Taliban recognition of Karzai as the president. Karzai has threatened to suspend negotiations to allow US troops to stay in Afghanistan after next year. I wonder how long before Karzai will suddenly be struck with some kind of "incurable cancer." Don't these guys ever learn?

-->Thanks dept: My friend Sid Yiddish is one of the most inventive people I know. You can see his current radio project on facebook. His newest band is Sid Yiddish And His Candy Store Henchmen. Watch for them in a place of creative weirdness near you.

-->Downsizing dept: During the huge move for the bedbug prevention guys, I realized how much stuff I have. I'm almost dead, so I'll never get to it. Though I like it, I gotta ditch it. SO, here's a bunch of stuff I'm giving away. You've gotta fork over the postage, but the merch is free. You can see the whole deal at: I hope you want some of it.



Anonymous said...

Do you feel you're back to your usual self? Just asking, just asking !

Anonymous said...

Dude, you went from writing one column a month to writing a column every three months? Talk about getting lazy!

Mykel Board said...

Hey Anonymous!

I'm still writing every month. Check out the sidebar for past columns. There was just a delay between the non-printed MRR columns and the REAL non-MRR columns. --Mykel

Anonymous said...

I've been following your saga with Maximum firing you and removing your column. I also follow you and know you recently got hired by Pork magazine. Being that I live in Portland and see Pork distributed free around here, I don't quite get this. You write a regular monthly column, but Pork only prints quarterly. They don't have the space for multiple Mykel Board columns, so what are you going to do? Keep writing once a month for your website, and then quarterly for Pork? How does that work? And why not write more often if you publish on the website, like weekly?

Anonymous said...

I've been following your saga with Maximum firing you and removing your column. I also follow you and know you recently got hired by Pork magazine. Being that I live in Portland and see Pork distributed free around here, I don't quite get this. You write a regular monthly column, but Pork only prints quarterly. They don't have the space for multiple Mykel Board columns, so what are you going to do? Keep writing once a month for your website, and then quarterly for Pork? How does that work? And why not write more often if you publish on the website, like weekly?

JIM HAYES said...

Hi, my name’s Jim, I’m a writer that lives in Marietta Georgia. I was in MRR a few times over a ten or fifteen year period; the last time I spoke to Tim he denied reading Guy Debord but otherwise we got along. I think getting rid of my old friend Mykel Board was a bad idea. And there aren’t many bad ideas, there are only bad implementations. There are only bad actions. MRR as a forum should be exactly that, a vehicle for discussion; a vehicle to offer a counter-narrative to the dominant paradigm. A place where people can dare to dream and hope to experience vicariously things too dangerous for themselves to undertake under their circumstances. Without Mykel how do you accomplish this? He was the NAME most people associated with MRR and certainly many reader’s first destination. ? what are you going to replace Mykel with? what do you hope to achieve by eliminating Mykel’s column? a writer like Mykel Board thrives in an atmosphere with a committed readership-he challenges you by his inquisitive nomadic lifestyle-captured by picturesque vignettes straight from the heart, Mykel Board can see and his prose can Show…it’s been said that MRR died with Tim and if Mykel Board isn’t in it then it’s really dead now…stick a fork in it. Let Black Flag sue each other to DEATH. Good luck, I am not mad but I am interested in freedom. Jim Hayes (Marietta, Georgia: sun in Virgo moon in Pisces 2013)
"Freedom" is a grand word, but under the banner of free trade the most predatory wars were conducted; under the banner of free labour, the toilers were robbed. The modern use of the term "freedom of criticism" contains the same inherent falsehood. Those who are really convinced that they have advanced science would demand, not freedom for the new views to continue side by side with the old, but the substitution of the new views for the old. The cry "Long live freedom of criticism," that is heard today, too strongly calls to mind the fable of the empty barrel. (Lenin: “What is to be Done?” (section 1, page 10.)

JIM HAYES said...

ps mykel: that mrr email you posted wont work! Jim