Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Wrong Questions or You're STILL Wrong, Mykel's December 2021 Blog

 

You’re STILL Wrong
or
Mykel's 
December 2021 Blog/Column 
Wrong Question

by Mykel Board

“Change the questions you ask and the way you view the issue will be transformed.” - Isaac Yu, 

Being in possession of all the answers holds no appeal at all, but owning a good pocketful of unanswered questions is, to me, like bread to the starving. --Cathy Johnson

Clamps… big metal clamps… shaped like upside down U’s… hold my shoulders to the floor. And my wrists… and my ankles. Another metal clamp… like you might see in a dentist’s office or a porn movie… holds my mouth open. 

A big man in a soldier’s uniform stands over me with a bucket. I’m guessing it’s filthy water. I’m guessing right. He pours it into my open mouth. I’m drowning… coughing… spitting up… water down my throat… into my lungs… dripping down the sides of my face. As I cough… some of the water goes up through my nose… forcing booger-laced snot out onto my face… into my eyes. 

“Now,” says the man, “let’s try this again. Where is the next terrorist strike against US forces?”

“How... should... I... know?” I sputter between coughs, tears and frantic efforts to breathe through the water in my lungs.

“You are Milad Borazjan,” he says. “You are from Teheran and work to plan terrorist activities.” 

I cough… spit up some more water… “I’m Mykel Board,” I say. “I’m from New York and I teach English to Japanese businessmen.”

My interrogator frowns. “Why didn’t you tell us this before?” He asks.

“You didn’t ask.” I answer. 

FLASH TO NEW YORK… November. I sit barefoot… in my underwear… a formerly plush green robe hangs loosely over my naked body. I  try to think of a way to introduce this blog about asking the wrong questions. Maybe I’ll put myself in the US torture center in Guantanamo… an inquisitor asks me about terrorist activities, rather than asking who I am. 

I get this mail from Common Cause, asking for money to help support a constitutional amendment to end Citizens United. That’s the Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to contribute unlimited funds to political candidates. 

“Wouldn’t we be better off,” they ask, “if we could get the huge amounts of corporate funds out of politics. Wouldn’t that help make elections fairer?”

WRONG QUESTION!

Here are the top 15 richest people in America:



Any one of them is richer than 90% of US corporations… unless they run those corporations. The right question isn’t whether or not we should permit corporate money in politics… but whether or not we should permit ANY money… especially private money… in politics. 

Should we again have Fairness Doctrine TV laws? Should we ban all paid political advertising? Those are the right questions. 

Hold on! There was a snap… PiKoop! Klip! A shake... then silence. I recognize the sound, though my punkrock damaged hearing won’t tell me if it’s from under the dresser to my right or from the kitchen behind me. I check the dresser… First try! Yeah!

There, fresh as a freshly slaughtered lamb, lies a mouse in a snappy trap. A vague smell of death rises from the little gray body. The small metal bar crushed Mickey’s little skull, his mouth still around the Wasa bread wired to the bait lever. He bleeds softly from the ears.

Got what was coming to him.

“Hey Mykel, you’re blaming the victim!”

“Mice eat my food! Their shit spreads disease. Their pawing and scattering keep me awake at night,” I answer. “Sometimes the victims are at fault… they SHOULD be blamed.”

FLASH TO  KENOSHA WISCONSIN: a jury of 11 whitefolks and one colored guy, find Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot… with an semi-automatic rifle… three protesters at a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Two of those shot were killed. 

So far, there have been only a few demonstrations, one riot (in Portland, where they riot at a loud fart), at the not-guilty verdict. In any case, there is nothing to compare with the riots after the police killing of George Floyd. Why?

Rittenhouse was found innocent because he was attacked and had to fight off his attackers with his rifle. He was a victim, don’t you know? No choice but to pull the trigger. 

Of course, the guy did ride into town carrying a semi-automatic rifle. But no one asks “Is the victim responsible for the crime?” If you’re a victim, you must be innocent. You can’t go around blaming the victim. Isn’t that right? 

But what if we say no? What if we say sometimes the victim IS to blame? What if we ask, “Why did the victim go to a demonstration he hated… with a loaded semi-automatic rifle?” “Why go anywhere at all with an semi-automatic rifle, unless you intend to use it?”

Maybe we’d get different answers.

But wait, there’s more. Spikes in crime… in gun violence… in random attacks. Every day, someone’s cellphone or some security camera captures pictures of a masked man in a hoodie attacking innocent bystanders… and mugging, mauling or murdering them.

Conservatives ask, “Doesn’t this prove we need stronger laws to get these criminals off the street? Won’t locking them up keep the rest of us safe? Where are the cops when we need them?”

And they answer that it’s the anti-police demonstrations, the defunding, the disrespect for law and order that makes the crime shoot up like a penis in a whorehouse. 

Liberals ask, “What about homelessness, COVID-caused poverty, the emptying of prisons with nowhere for the prisoners to go?”

And they answer, “Crime increases because it’s the only thing criminals know. Non-violent criminals are released onto the street without homes, without money, without ways to live. There are no mental health services for the homeless. All they know is the crime they learn in prison. Jailing makes criminals. It doesn’t cure them, right?”  

WRONG QUESTIONS!

The right question is taboo in 2021. That is: What are the effects of mask mandates, and a society used to people wearing masks in public?” 

Look at an old Western. The bank robbers have kerchiefs over their noses when they hold-up banks. Stage coach bandits ride, faces kerchief-covered as they race after the Wells Fargo stage coach. We know they’re criminals because they cover their faces.

The question should not be, “Why is there so much crime?” But, “Why are there so many criminals?”

In 2021, criminals commit all sorts of misdeeds for the same reason dogs lick their balls… BECAUSE THEY CAN. 

Wear a hoodie and a mask and you’re invisible. Cellphones, security cameras… what do they capture? People in masks and hoodies. Much (most?) of the increase in street crime comes because people wear masks… and that it’s not strange… not a sign of criminality… nothing to worry about with the stranger behind you in a hoodie wearing a mask. EVERYONE is wearing a hoodie and a mask. It makes crime soooo much easier. 

FLASH TO MY LOFT BED: I take her left nipple into my mouth… suck on it… play my tongue over it. Then the right nipple. I feel a hardening between my legs. I gently take her wrist to move her hand down there… wrapping her fingers around the stiffness.

“Don’t worry, honey,” she says, “just put it on the night-table. I’ll smoke it in the morning.”

When I Google “Size Matters” I get 6,080,000 links. When I look for “Size Doesn’t Matter.” I get 13,000. It shows you what counts. 

Take vegetarians… (I know. I know.) 

There are three main reasons people are vegetarians: 

1. They think it’s healthy.
2. They think it’s better for the global environment.
3. They feel sorry for the animals. 

Let’s talk about the last one. When you see pictures of the poor animals being murdered by farmer Joe or Kenji Sakamoto, you see BIG animals. You see cows, whales, porpoises. If they’re talking about China or the Philippines, you might see a dog or two. I’ve never seen a PETA billboard with a picture of a cockroach or a mosquito… or even a mouse.

I’ve heard sorry-for-animalists trying to explain that the big animals feel pain, and insects don’t. The ability to feel pain is also used by anti-abortionists when they talk about the fetus. “How can we kill it? It feels pain.” 

Now that scientists suspect that plants feel pain, that argument goes out the window like a wounded housefly. All that’s left is the emotional tinge of a sad-looking cow-- or a fetus picture blown-up human size.

“Does X feel pain?” 

WRONG QUESTION!

Not that it’s the wrong question to ask, but it isn’t the REAL question they ask. 

The real question vegetarians ask is: 

“Does the animal scream or otherwise show pain like humans show pain?” 

For vegetarians, like for most others, size matters. They’ll tell you it’s about reverence for life, but they take the lives of flies and roaches with a casual swat. If they can’t see the pain of what they murder, it doesn’t count. 

Their real question is:

“Is the animalBIG enough that we can see the pain and feel guilty about inflicting it?”

That question tells us more about the asker than the answer. Size matters, you see. 

If you want to talk about killing animals… or fetuses… the question SHOULD be: 

How can we act morally in the world and find a principle to make life-death decisions?

Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to that one.

Yeah, sometimes I don’t have all the answers. I don’t even have all the questions. But finding those questions is more important than finding the answers.

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]


–> Anyone can show it off on YouTube dept: The internet was supposed to democratize music, but as it turns out, it turned into an oligarchy. The American Prospect reports

For the main streaming companies—YouTube and Spotify—music is really a loss leader, incidental to data collection, the advertising that can be sold off that data, and the promise of audience growth to investors. “Spotify is benefiting from every single artist on the platform driving fans to them,” said Chris Castle, an entertainment attorney who used to work at A&M Records. “The labels say they give you exposure. The answer is that you can die of exposure.”
Remember when the labels were worried about home taping? How much money that lost? Naw, you don’t remember, you’re too young. 

–> Speaking of exposure dept: In a repeat of the notorious piss-in-mouth show at Gilman Street in the 90s. The lead singer of Brass Against pissed in the mouth of a fan at their show in  November. The loudwire website did a story on this, but unfortunately it was not accompanied by a video. Oh wait, I found the link! The band itself is weird enough, doing brass versions of Rage Against The Machine  and Tool.  Glad to see this kind of stuff is still going on in the ever-stuffier twenty-first century. 

–> Right again dept: I’ve written about the evils of recycling and how it does more harm than good. You’ve probably heard about the hundreds of neighborhood recycling programs stopped because of my writing. (Yeah right.) Now, The Tampa Bay Times reports on lead-poisoned workers, and a spread of the poison to surrounding communities… from where? From a lead recycling plant, of course. 

See you in hell, redux,

Mykel Board

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


Monday, November 01, 2021

Losing The Urge or Mykel's November 2021 Blog/Column

 

Losing The Urge: Mykel's  November Blog

 

You’re STILL Wrong
or
Mykel's 
November 2021 Blog/Column 
Losing The Urge

by Mykel Board

With some, inhibitions and urges may be neutralized by other tendencies. But with every being the primal emotions are there. All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction. - Clarence Darrow

“That animal is not your possession. He doesn't exist for your amusement. He has needs, instincts... urges."
The way he said that word, in that deep, earthy growl, had chills rippling over her skin.
She swallowed hard. "Urges?"
"Yes. Urges." He sauntered toward her- as much as a man could saunter in knee-deep water. "But what could a lady like you know about those?"
"Oh, I understand urges. Right now, I have the powerful urge to do this."
She shoved him hard in the chest, hoping to send him flailing backward into the river. --Tessa Dare

“If you feel the urge, get up and dance; and if you don't feel the urge, get up and dance.” - Marty Rubin

When I lost the sex urge I felt as if I’d escaped from a frantic and savage master. – Sophocles



I measure the progress of my traveling adventures in what my body chooses to show me. My bowels produce a chronicle of time and place. 

Stages reflect themselves in toilet water. Every trip starts with nothing… a whiff of gas… a pffffft… no more. After the gas come the raisins. Tip… tip… tip… like a rabbit spitting out sunflower seeds. Then come the cherry tomatoes… plop… plop… plop... hard and loud as they fall into the water and splash up against me. 

Next are the fuzzy caterpillars, each as long as my thumb… edges unclear… worms clothed in dust bunnies. Then a day later… maybe two… it’s Vienna Sausages… sliding effortless out of my body. 

Then, the kielbasa. Thick… like a turd blimp. Wider than my waist… like being fist-fucked by Mike Tyson… only in reverse. 

Then, if I’m still away, I return to normal… gobs of half-solids… turning the water brown… little floating pieces… undefined shapes… exploding below. 

Today I’m in Pittsburgh. I’ve reached the cherry tomato stage… or what should be the cherry tomato stage. Things are not as smooth as they should be… noisier… with a smell like the night after a Mexican lunch. 

And it feels weird… like I’m releasing a playing card… Ace of Spades… one-eyed Jack. I check. It’s New Jersey.

I shit you not. It’s a turd, about the size of my hand, shaped exactly like New Jersey… From the boxy edge of Bergen County, across to the Delaware river… down to a perfect little Cape May at the tip. 

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE New Jersey… the state. Some of my best friends live there. Others are from there but have moved away. New Yorkers who can’t stand the cootiephobia, the noise, the high prices, are moving there. 

Mitsuwa is in New Jersey. AOD is FROM New Jersey. It’s a great state. The shit is not a metaphor… not a judgment… but a real statement… made by my body… sculpted from the refuse of my food… hewn from the pressure of my large intestine… I have the urge to reach in… pull it away from its more normal siblings… lift it up… examine it closely, turn it over… match it to a Google map. 
I don’t. 

Instead, I flush. 

FLASH to 2017: The Museum of Modern Art has a show featuring the art and characters of CLUB 57… a performance-space in the East Village during the 80s and 90s. On the wall are several posters of ART, my first “band” (guitar player, metronome player/vocalist, sign-language signer, and me). 

The You’ll Hate This Record Record, on the Seidboard Label, is framed and hanging on the wall. I put together that record… compiled the bands… the most hated in America... pasted the rubber vomit on the cover.


Now it’s in the fuckin’ Museum of Fuckin’ Modern Fuckin’ Art! Amazing… dazzling… depressing. I’m not sure why… Then comes the email. It’s from Sophie… at MOMA. 

“We’re having a party for the Club 57 Show. We’d like you to put ART back together. Just one show, downstairs in the VIP space. Of course, we’ll give you compensation. $1000 for the show.” 

I’ve never been paid $1000 for a show. I think ART got $900 opening for Public Image… and that was the most. Usually, “gas money.” That’s it. Sometimes an extra twenty bucks. 

I think about other old guys playing punk rock. Old men trying to reprise –or at least sell–  what was their youth. Angry young bands on a tired old man road. 

Several times, Jim Testa has complained to me that touring 90s bands are what’s keeping new young bands from getting shows. “No one wants to see new bands, Mykel,” he says. “Hardcore and punk is creaky old people… like us.”

At the time, I believe it’s this anti-nostalgia that leads me to reject the $1000 bucks (split 4-ways of course). I don’t want to be the balding old guy on stage trying to resurrect a performer who had hair and enough energy to tear apart 10 different t-shirts. 

It’s only later, I realize I was flattering myself. What really happened was… I lost the urge to perform. It used to be all you had to do was ask… not even that. I’d jump on the stage. Furious George… BANG! I’m up there, holding up the I WEAR A WHITE HAT SIGN. The first Polish Punk Festival in Kolobrzeg, I’m there… singing SWEET JANE with my friends in KANAL. 

The urge to perform… to be in front of people… to get a reaction… cheers… laughs… boos… hit by a pie… I loved it. 


Then, I lost the urge. I didn’t feel the almost sexual need to perform…  to be hated…  to be laughed at... or even admired enough to be bought a beer by a fan. 

The urge left me. I no longer need to perform… I no longer WANT to perform. When I did a short reunion tour about 10 years ago, before it was over, I realized it was a mistake. 

FLASH TO EARLY SUMMER: Girls are out… in their short shorts… the ones that show leg… all the way from hip to ankle. Bare… naked leg... perfectly shaped.. hairless... disappearing into a barely hidden camel toe. Boys’ legs too –usually too hairy to excite my urges–  but every once-in-awhile there’s an Oriental… Oh yeah!

But this year, there’s no urge. I don’t feel a stirring between my own hairy legs. No pressure... no dream of spreading those legs. The urge has deserted me. Gone like a flushed turd shaped like New Jersey.

Sure I still choke the chicken, but these days it’s a soporific rather than a stimulant. I’ve lost Sophocles’ frantic and savage master. The Meth of a screw has turned into a Quaalude. 

I’m worried. If I become completely urgeless, I’ll be dead... one of those depressive zombies who roll out of bed only to piss and return to the covers. It’s scary. 

FLASH TO THE BATHROOM… The place for serious reading… in snippets. I have the latest copy of THE NATION on the tank, waiting for me to take in bit by bit. 

There’s an article about Frank B. Wilderson III, the godfather of a philosophy called Afropessimism. The basic tenet of this philosophy is that slavery makes the Black Experience® in America unique. Indians, Transexies, Hispanics, other “allies” in racial America… are not allies. They don’t suffer the same. They are higher on the totem pole and will become white when it suits them. 

The ideas are fascinating. I never heard of this guy before. He evidently mixes humor, his family history, his personal adventures, and his philosophy. He teaches in California. Sounds smart, cool, deep… and wrong. 

You know what? I want to go out to California. I hear plane fares are low now. I want to sit in on a class. Then, talk to the guy. 

Wilderson: You can’t get it, Mykel. My ancestors were slaves. 

Board: So were mine! 

Wilderson: This country was built on our backs. Our slave labor built America.

Board: Ours built the pyramids.

Wilderson: Don’t pull the that stuff on me. Black… just the word is evil, dangerous, negative in all aspects.

Board: Sure. When I go into a bar and order top shelf, I always ask for Johnny Walker Jew. And in my karate class, everyone is clamoring for a white belt.

I can see the whole thing. Describe his facial reactions… picture how I’ll stand up... pace… Wilderson sits at the edge of his desk... sometimes laughs… sometimes wrinkles his brow. I gotta leave now… check plane schedules to California. 

WAIT! The urge! The urge to confront. The urge to disagree… to say YOU’RE WRONG! THAT hasn’t left me. It’s as strong as it ever was. 

In 2021, I’m not going to play in a punk band. I’m not going to drop $100+ in a “massage parlor.” But I still have an urge that hasn’t deserted me. The urge to not think like other people… to find new Jersey in a turd… to tell smart people they’re wrong. THAT urge hasn’t deserted me. 

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]


–> Breakfast-free companions Dept: OZY reports that sex dolls are all the rage in Asia, with hotels springing up in Taiwan and mainland China where people can book a night with an almost lifelike companion. In addition: Australia, Norway, Finland, Denmark and the U.S. lead in Google searches for “sex dolls.” As A.I. matures and robots become more “life-like”... with human pimps matching customers with their ideal companions. “Robo-prostitution” will replace pornhub. There is already a term for mechanized lovers: B.O.B. . . . battery-operated boyfriend. 
Hah, I thought that was just another word for dildo.

–>The world continues to prove me right dept: I've long been an opponent of recycling. My main argument is that it's used to ease consciences in more and more consumption. This from Consumer Reports saying that more than 90% of what goes in the recycle bin ends up incinerated or in landfill. And that doesn't mention the energy used in picking up the recycling, sorting it, and powering the recycling plants. 

Message: DON'T RECYCLE. JUST DON'T BUY IN THE FIRST PLACE.


–> Not quite Annie Sprinkle dept: The Irish Mirror reports: The owner of a U.K. bakery went viral for ranting about regulations that are hurting his profits and his art. Rich Myers, 32, of Leeds, can no longer sell his most popular items because they feature "illegal sprinkles" imported from the US. The sprinkles contain an additive which has been linked to "hyperactivity disorders and tumors in rats."  An anonymous customer tipped off  the local regulatory agency. Myers swears he won't switch to approved sprinkles from his home country, because “they don't hold their colors during the baking process.” 
"If I can't use the imported sprinkles, I won't use any," he said. "I will be on sprinkle strike and won't budge for no man." 
That’s what I like! A man who stands up for his principles. I wonder how much I could make as a sprinkle smuggler.


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



Saturday, October 02, 2021

Sad Song: You're Still Wrong: Mykel's October Blog

 

A Sad Song: You're Still Wrong: Mykel's  October Blog

 

You’re STILL Wrong
or
Mykel's 
October 2021 Blog/Column 
A Sad Song

by Mykel Board



There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone. 
                                                                                  --Nicole Krauss

Staring at my picture book, she looks like Mary, Queen of Scots.
She seemed very regal to me, just goes to show how wrong you can be. I'm gonna stop wastin' my time. Somebody else would have broken both of her arms. Sad song, sad song. Sad song, sad song.
                                                          --Lou Reed

The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire.
                       – Lemony Snicket


It starts in that no man’s land between your belly and your chest. It’s a pressure… something on your diaphragm. You struggle to breathe...  your chest rises and falls in deep sighs. Slowly it creeps up… deep in the back of your throat… the spider in the old lady who swallowed a fly… then you feel it in your nose… your eyes… those little parts of your eyes closest to each other… wet… they fill ever more... soon you can’t see… you squeeze your eyelids shut... tears pour out... dripping down the side of your face… You look to the right and left to see if anyone’s watching you… Your nose runs. You wipe the tears… the snot… on your sleeve.

Sadness is inexorably… though understandably… linked with death. People cry when someone close to them dies. It’s the same everywhere. 

I ask my Kenyan pal, Albert, if men cry in Kenya. He says, “Sure, men cry when someone dies. It’s normal.”

Sometimes, we’re sad when people we’ve never met… but have admired… die. I cried when Thurman Munson died. I’ll cry when Jimmy Carter dies. Okay, got that. 

But there’s a kind of sadness that’s not about death. A kind of sadness that doesn’t reach up the throat… doesn’t end in the nose or the eyes... a kind of sadness that is like a giant press, squeezing your lungs… squeezing the air out of you… making you feel like shit for no reason except the sadness itself. 

FLASH TO THE SECRET KOREAN BAR; It’s above a deli on the corner. There are no signs for it… you just have to know it’s there. You enter through the deli, walk up the unmarked staircase in the back and POW! There you are. 

I’m walking up those stairs right now. 

“Yeoboseyo!,” I shout from below. It’s Hello in Korean, but only for answering the phone... never as an in-person greeting… except by me. 

“Mykel!” shouts Jenny from upstairs… behind the bar. 

“How’d you know?” I shout back. 

When I get upstairs, Jenny has poured me a mug of Hite beer. She pushes it over the bar to me as I sit in front of her. 

Andy, an ABK (American Born Korean), hangs out in the bar and is a friend. 

“Andy,” I shout at him from the other side of the room. “Come and sit next to me. We’ll talk. Have a Hite!”

Andy sits on the next stool. “Mykel,” he says, “nice to see ya! I’ve been feeling like shit for the past week.”

“I hope I didn’t make it worse,” I tell him. 

It takes him a second. Then he laughs. 

“How’s the deli job?” I ask. He works at a Korean deli, chopping salad, preparing the take-it-weigh-it-and-pay-it food that Korean delis invented. 

“You know, chop chop,” he says, his right hand making a fake karate move. “So close to Grand Central, lots of tourists and businessmen. Not my favorite people.”

I talk to the bartender, “Jenny,” I say, “give Andy a Hite on me.” 

She pours him a beer. “Mong chung eeee” we say in a fake toast. (It actually means You Moron!) 

“You look unhappy,” I tell him. “Did something happen today?” 

“Something happens every day, Mykel,” says Andy. “When I look in the mirror, I feel like shit. I want to cry. It’s….”

“Huh?” I say, nearly choking on the beer, “You’re a smart, good-looking guy. I wish I saw what you see when I looked in the mirror.”

He smiles halfheartedly… and puts the tips of his index fingers at the edges of his eyes. 

“See these? Slanty eyes!” he says. 

“Come on,” I say, “you speak perfect English… Well, I mean you tawk like a New Yawka.”

He looks at me… very close… fixing his eyes on mine. Then he says… very slowly and very LOUD.

“WHEN… PEOPLE... SEE... ME... THEY... TALK... LIKE... THIS... LOUD... AND... VERRRRRRY…. SLLOOOW. THEY... EXPECT... I... CAN’T... UNDERSTAND…” He speaks, staring directly into my eyes projecting  profound pathos.

“But…” I start.

“You don’t get it, Mykel,” he says. “I know you. Sometimes you play the outsider, the one who never fits… but you CAN fit if you want. I have no choice… I’m ALWAYS the outsider… always the foreigner… no matter how American I am.”

He slaps his own cheek. “I hate my face. I hate being born this way. And sometimes it feels worse than ever...”

I feel a giant press, squeezing my lungs… squeezing the air out… making me feel like shit for no reason except the sadness itself. 

My adventure with Andy took place at least 15 years ago. But all these years later, the sadness still creeps up on me when I think about it.

FLASH TO NOW… RECENTLY: TVs, newspapers… The New York press is filled with… stop the press. A restaurant worker is assaulted… cellphone videos prove it… punches traded… three against one… all girls… a catfight. 

What happened? The worker politely asked for COVID vaccine proof. It’s required by law, you know… can’t eat inside a restaurant without your Covid-card. And for that she gets punched? For that, she’s wounded and has to be saved by patrons pulling the evil Texans off the helpless young lady. 

New Yorkers know that Texans are violent anti-vaxxers who don’t care if the whole world comes down with the plague. Just like them to attack a helpless girl only following the law… doing her job. 

It’s all too pat. The video shows the attackers are black women. The attackee is invisible. Facebook is alive with posts… those evil Texans. Not only do they want to make the rest of us sick with their no-vaxxing, but they attack a hostess who’s just doing her job. 

The news always describes the attackers as Texans. The minions… especially the New York minions… some of the most conformist people in the world… build on the anti-Texas outrage. Ted Cruz… Trump supporters… No respect for other humans... They only love guns and their version of God. 

Looking at the rage in the three black women… looking at the reports with no comments from the attacking side… Seems as clear as a knee on the neck that there’s an unreported racial side to this. 

How could you say that Mykel? They’re from Texas. They just want to kill people… unless those people haven’t been born yet, you know, fetuses… They’re the only ones with a right to life… get it? haw haw haw.

BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEP! The news unfolds… the waitress wasn’t white. She was Asian. The attackers were all vaccinated. They were being pestered a SECOND time to show their proof… Did someone else’s cellphone catch the word Niggers among the crowd… the staff? 

Yes, I was right. I should be happy. I should be shouting I TOLD YOU SO from the top of the Empire State Building… dancing naked with a suck this you dumb New Yorkers sign hanging from my penis. 

But I don’t feel that way at all. Instead, I struggle to breathe...  my chest rises and falls in deep sighs. Slowly it creeps up… deep in the back of my throat… Being right makes me sad. The news: all lies… the people… my friends… true believers of those lies. So sad.

Some movies are called tear-jerkers. Usually chick flicks, they’re structured to make the viewer cry. I remember one called Once Were Warriors… a New Zealand story about the Maori. I cried at that one and then was pissed off at myself for being manipulated into tears. Now that I think back on the movie, I realize I cried from the film structure, not from sadness… like I laugh at Moe, Larry and Curly. 

Tears can come from pain, laughter, anger, frustration… as well as sadness. Sadness can only come from reality… from the realization that something is really wrong. 

There are people in the world who don’t feel the sadness…. who aren’t aware of the pitiable pain of our lives… who watch the TV news and are outraged… but not saddened. That, in itself, is sad. 


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]

–> The Way Out dept: 



Seems to me, when the government requires creative people to be creative for those they don’t like, the answer is to do lousy or offensive work. This web designer doesn’t like homosexuals? Ok, make a website where every click on every link will bring you to queerbait.com. You want to prove a point by hiring someone who doesn’t approve of you? Have your gay wedding cake with an icing picture of a little boy impaled on a devil-dick. It’d serve you right.

–> My kinda school outing dept: Mass Live reports: Students in Boston rode a party bus, complete with a stripper pole and neon lights, on a school field trip. Why? There’s a national school bus driver shortage. They have to take what they can get from private companies.
Eleventh grade Language teacher, Jim Mayers tweeted about the experience on Sept. 17.
“It is a funny story, but there actually is a real bus shortage and it speaks to major flaws in our education system,” said Mayers. “This in no way is a reflection of anyone involved in planning the trip. We were trying to have a fun day with the kids and that’s exactly what happened.”
I say: the only way to top “a fun day with kids” in a stripper bus with poles and neon… is to have actual strippers. 

–> Rising rents dept: The LA Times reports that a family owned crypt with neighbors Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe is taking bids for a luxury deathplace. Bidding starts at $2 million for the no-bedroom… er… flat. 

–> Shaving lifespan dept: CNN tells of published research that says that eating a single hot dog can take 36 minutes off your lifespan. Joey Chestnut, one of my few heroes, has won the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest for the past several years. He estimates he’s eaten more than 19,000 hot dogs. He’s not dead yet, but the clock is ticking faster than for most people. If he’s buried next to Hugh Hefner, I might visit him one of these days. 

-->Speaking of Death Dept: I just wanted to give a sad nod to the death of Michael Evans... long time ARTLESS drummer and drummer around town (God Is My Co-Pilote, False Prophets, and a ton of others). One of the few people who switched easily from punk to avante garde to jazz to Afro-Caribbean... and just a great guy. 


See you in hell, redux, but I expect Evans will not be there to greet us. He's jamming with Ginger Baker.

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 here... 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's a few video links.


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 too 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

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