Saturday, October 02, 2021
You’re STILL Wrong
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.
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.
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,
ENDNOTES: [You can contact me on facebook or by email at email@example.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.
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.
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 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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