February 12, 2021
Ah, well, y’know..*stretch* (yawn) who ain’t up for a bit o’ self adoration, hah? C’mon, join the big ol’ jerk off party dedicated to our never ending cleverness as we dash off yet another ream of chuckling little quips and snotty little retorts and cagey, ego-driven, smirking, eyelash fluttering little asides, leaping into the social media fray like barking cyberseals to once again prove that America is in no short supply of joke writers, know ‘t ‘msayin’, jackball? Yep, we are full up, poser, no others need apply, leave your resume with the gal out front. Ours is a broad landscape of screeching, teeth-chattering chimps banging on keyboards, never at a loss for something cute to say as we dash off our poorly punctuated proclamations and moronically mixed metaphors like the ones I’m using to fill this very paragraph. Why, some of us even wake up and make that our project of the day - let’s see how much of a snide, nasty little prick I can be, let’s see if I can justify my existence by being the wittiest spin master in the stupid fucking comments section, let’s see if I can amplify my self worth with another nifty little one-liner of waggery while proudly marching behind my rock hard cock of drollery, hah? By gum, I think I’ll just join that gibberish parade right now and maybe I too can be a celebrated float, a bloated, lumbering bundle of wisecrackicisms, balanced on a teetering flatbed truckload of improperly placed possessive pronouns while tossing out counterfeit sagacity like poorly assembled Mardi Gras beads, hashtagthisweedisreallygood.. ----- Letter to John Weiss
February 4, 2021
Dear Mr. Weiss,
You asked, so I'll tell ya. I can't stand myself. How could I have lived this long and still not gotten it right? Whenever I hear interviews I did 10 or 20 years ago I want to dig out my eardrums with an ice pick. But I STILL say things to people that, 1 day later, I can't believe I was stupid enough to say. What is wrong with me? How is it I've never improved at communicating with other human beings? I mean, I'm well aware of the fact that I'm socially retarded (or inept or clumsy or ham-fisted or..no, you know what, fuck that, retarded IS the right word) and I also know it goes way back to my childhood but, come on, that's no excuse, right? I'm a grown-ass man. I've had more than enough time to emotionally and intellectually come to grips with the way I am, and the way I come across to other people, and the events that made me this way in the first place but, sweet blistering boils on the ass of baby jesus, at some point..at SOME point shouldn't I have already made the necessary adjustments to become less socially retarded or at least a little less of a clod?
To me, that's the larger question, and I'm sure it gets to the root of the problem: that I'm just a lazy old cock. I mean, I will do shit like a champ when I really feel like doing something but, for the most part, I don't. I'm not a driven dude. From the age of about 10, all I ever wanted to do was nothing. When I quit showbiz and moved to Amsterdam I just hung out at the park all day reading old books, and when I wasn't doing that I would sit at the front window of a coffeeshop, drinking espresso, smoking hash, reading the International Herald Tribune and watching people walk by in the rain. That's it. And after a very short period of time I realized I could do that all day, everyday, indefinitely, and never get tired of it and never need much more out of life and never even be bothered by the fact that I was just a lazy old cock.
And it's not like I slowly evolved into this lazy old cock over the course of decades. I actually started out as a lazy old cock, and just stayed that way.
"Did you do your homework, son?"
"Hmm? Oh yeah, no I'm definitely gonna get on that, I just..I thought I'd just sit here for a little while longer staring off into space, thinkin' about stuff, and sometimes not even that."
"Good plan, son. I'll be going back to planet Earth now. And maybe I'll just turn this light off too because..well..you're really not using it, are you?"
I mean, I've written some books and made some movies and done some other things, but it was all in the pursuit of doing nothing, and that does NOT speak well of me. There's something very detached and self-centered and self-absorbed and, I don't know, shiftless, or maybe indolent, at the core of that, and it's an ugly thing to see in yourself. That's not the kind of person you want to be. That person doesn't help move the species along in any way. That's just a loafer. That's a hobo, hoppin' a train, eatin' a can o' beans and singing songs about the passing scenery to all the other loafers.
Well, that's no good, you can't have a world full of loafers, can you? Somebody has to make the trains and fill the cans with beans, right? OK, I don't know what I'm talking about anymore but I think I was trying to make the point that the reason I haven't become a better human being is because I haven't really worked very hard at it. Maybe in small ways I have but, I don't know, it seems like my rate of progress toward enlightenment is much slower than that of others.
So..yeah. I started this with "I can't stand myself" and just kept writing and here I am at the end of whatever this is and I don't know that I've learned anything other than the word "retarded" is still a valid word when used properly and in direct reference to me.
John, you've been dead for I don't know how many years now and, frankly, it's really getting old. I think we've all had enough of this whole "I'm no longer alive" nonsense so you can cut the shit already.
Fuck. I miss you, man.
Lancing boils on the butt o' the Baby J, I remain,
your most humble and obedient servant,
the lazy old cock ----- February 2, 2021 It was in the mid-80s and I was a young, punk-ass, Long Island comic doing gigs in the tristate area every night..and I mean every damn night, everywhere, all the time, because there would be like 8 paying gigs on a Tuesday night within a two hour drive, all needing to fill spots, all with the same basic pay scale - $50/$75/$100;MC/Middle/Closer. Dude, I'm talking about a different era, no ATMs, no cell phones, no social media, no internet, just 24 paid slots on a Tuesday night, sometimes with a free meal and a few free drinks (unlimited free drinks if you could get booked there before [name deleted] showed up and demonstrated how thirsty a true nightclub comic can get). Everywhere, anywhere, pizza joints, union halls, restaurant bars, any corner of any public house where a light could be shoved into the ceiling and a mic stand could be balanced upright on some moronically constructed stage, a comedy show would suddenly appear and last for a few months until the owner wised up to the reality of inviting three social outcasts into his place every week to hustle drinks, bang waitresses and drive his profits into the ground like a railroad spike.
It was a glorious time, my friend.
The best would be if Weiss managed to snag one of those 24 paid slots because he would offer to drive and that would mean a night of guaranteed fun, even if you weren't booked on the show yourself. You could just go along for the ride because there was plenty of room. The Weissmobile felt as big an airplane hanger once you got inside. I can never remember the exact make and model of it for some reason (I'm sure Bill, Annie or Sylvia would remember) but it was this ridiculously long-nosed, early 70's, rumbling roadhog with a heaving, high arching front hood that you had to somehow look over in order to see where you were going, and Weiss was this little dude stretching his right foot as far as he could to reach the gas pedal while lifting his head as high as he could to see over the steering wheel, and now that I think about it I don't remember him doing either one of those things very often during the course of any given drive but I do remember him having a general indifference to whatever was happening outside the vehicle, kind of letting the universe take care of the whole driving thing so he could focus on being a wise-ass.
And I also don't remember it ever being a problem with anybody else in the car that Weiss could not actually see where he was going. Once you got him relaxed behind the wheel and well into conversation, he didn't seem to be driving at all, often looking you straight in the eye for extended periods of time, chatting about this and that and the other thing, and time would pass and you wouldn't even notice that he was now kicked back, one leg over the other, elbow resting on the bottom curve of the steering wheel, turned and looking at you casually with that chuckling smirk, puffin' a butt, makin' with the snappy asides, looking in the ash tray, looking for his jacket, looking on the floor, looking anywhere but through the windshield, and you would forget that you were even in a car until you noticed that the buildings behind his head were going from right to left and then you'd jerk your head to the right and remember you were in a moving vehicle and he'd quickly say, "I got it, I got it, don't getcher panties in a bunch there, sister Mary."
And we always got wherever we were going. Somehow. And back too. Maybe it was the car. One night, on the way back from a Jersey gig, Weiss and I were too drunk to drive so Dave had taken the helm and I couldn't stop giggling over how funny it was to see John in the back seat of his own car, this adorable little man, neatly dressed, vest and tie, taking up this tiny section of that vast expanse of a back seat, waving at me whenever I'd look back there, grinning and snickering at me from one side of the back seat while a large, stuffed pickle with arms and legs and sunglasses and a fedora sat on the other side looking as carefree as a stuffed pickle in a back seat could possibly look. His name was Super Pickle and he was a player. At one point we all stopped laughing and the car got quiet for a minute and I heard a steady snuffling sound repeated a few times, then noticed that we were in the right lane, slowly drifting into the emergency lane, and I looked over to find Dave with his head back, mouth open and snoring, sound asleep behind the wheel of the Weissmobile, driving us headlong toward the guardrail at a smooth 75mph.
"You were snoring!"
"No I wasn't."
"Bizarre!" Weiss piped up from the back. "Quit buggin' Dave. Jeez, if ya can't sleep on the New Jersey Turnpike, where can ya sleep?"
And somehow we got home. We always got home. In that sense, the Weissmobile was much like the rest of the universe, a wild and unpredictable ride where the driver hasn't been watching the road for a long long time and yet, somehow, we're all still gonna get home.
We'll be fine. ----- January 24, 2021 Cyril found the perfect pristine patch of freshly cut grass, lowered his little bottom over it and released a commendable heap while circling his hips in soft-serve ice cream fashion. Then he did the customary hind leg scratch, covering his creation with a sprinkling of earth that only he could see. He glared up at me as I stood there with a plastic bag on my hand preparing for the worst moment of my day. I didn’t like the condescending look on his face. Smug little prick. You know what, I thought, not today, Cyril. I pulled the cord on my drawstring pants, dropped trou and punched out a giant heap right next to his, complete with soft serve hip circle and hind leg scratch. I looked him in the eye. “Who’s the big dog now, bitch?” Mrs. Pennywafer peaked out from behind her vertical blinds to see what the commotion was on her front lawn. I bent over and gave her a clear shot of my event horizon, then hiked up my pants. I sneered at her as I tied my drawstring. “Bring it up at the HOA meeting,” I muttered. Then I turned to Cyril. “And you,” I said, “you’ve got some unfinished business in front of you.” I took the bag off my hand and put it over his little paw. "Your move, shorty.” ---- January 23, 2021 In “The Petrified Forest” Humphrey Bogart plays Duke Mantee, a John Dillinger type gangster/murderer on the run who holds a group of people hostage in a diner. What I love about him is, as bad a person as he is, he still has respect for women and old people. As he rifles through the rich lady’s purse, stealing her jewelry, she berates him and he nonetheless responds politely, as though talking to his own mother.
“I got a friend who likes rubies,” Duke says.
“You mean you’re going to steal them?”
“You’re a filthy thief.”
Then when the poet says some nasty things to the old man, Duke stands up and prepares to murder him on the spot.
“Whatta ya mean, talkin to an old man like that?”
“You’re right, Duke, I was guilty of bad taste. I apologize, Mr. Maple.”
“You better crawl,” Duke says to the poet, sitting back down. “Talkin’ to an old man like that..”
That respect for certain conventions, even from the worst of the worst, I really miss it, you know, that consideration that used to be an integral part of American culture, even among criminals. This ugly snap/trash culture we live in now, where nothing is respected, where nothing is sacred, where absolutely everything is worthy of being shit on for no other reason than to show how awful we can be to each other..I don’t know..it’s the kind of culture that was most certainly bound to eventually cough up a hateful, reptilian character like trump and then worships him for being a complete asshole who would ultimately manipulate his most rabid followers into attempting to overthrow their own government. As we rid ourselves of his poison, I still believe we can be better than that, as a people, as a nation, but I think we have to see it first, we have to visualize how decent we can be and then figure out how to work toward it. We still have enough people around who know how to speak to each other with decency and respect. We might just need to pay better attention to how they actually do it. ----- January 22, 2021 "Dad?”
“What are you watching?”
“The adventures of an ocularly disadvantaged seafaring gent.”
“What’s he saying?”
“I don’t get it. What’s he do?”
“Punches palukas what ain’t on the ups and squares.”
“I still don’t get it.”
“There’s not much to get, son.”
“Why are his forearms so big?”
“Squeezin’ spinach cans.”
“Why’s he do that?”
“To get the spinach out.”
“Why doesn’t he use a can opener?”
“I think your mother would like you to ask HER some questions now.”
“She sent me in here.”
“..I see.. “
“Is that his girlfriend?”
“Yeah. Olive Oyl.”
“What’s the matter with her?"
“She has an eating disorder.”
“Why doesn’t Popeye just give her some spinach?”
“Don’t you have homework to do?”
“Seems like a dick.”
“What’s he want?”
“To tap some of that sweet Olive Oyl booty.”
“Is this like old dude porn or something?”
“Yeah, I guess it is.”
“Don’t even think it.”
“Once you’ve rubbed one out to Olive Oyl there’s no coming back. You’re too young. Go look up your
Iggy Azalea. Save Olive Oyl for your golden years.”
“Bluto’s kinda hot too.”
“Check out them glutes.”
“I’m pansexual, dad.”
“Oh. (pause) What’s that mean?”
“It means bring it on, I’m all in.”
“I see. Well, that certainly opens up your options, doesn’t it?”
“Well then, forget what I said about Olive Oyl. Here’s the remote. Have yourself a party.”
“Where ya goin’?”
“I think I’m gonna go have some spinach.”
“Workin’ on your forearms?”
“Wait till I leave the room, son. Don’t give me nightmares.” ----- January 20, 2021 Dude, it’s very early in the west but I’ve decided to just stay awake and at least watch the beginning of the inauguration ceremonies. Until then I’m watching “Lost Horizon” starring Peter Finch, George Kennedy, Sally Kellerman, Liv Ullmann, Charles Boyer, Bobby Van, and Michael fucking York throwin’ down some serious Michael fuckin’ York stuff as well as Sir John Gielgud wandering into his first scene wearing a burgundy potholder on his head.
It’s a kind of musical fantasy spiritual journey adventure TV movie-of-the-week looking thing from the early 70s that is absolutely awful on every level, just a complete mess, like as bad as you’re picturing it in your head right now, it’s much much worse. Nancy lasted about an hour, valiantly MST-ing her way through it before passing out from all the awfulness, and she should be given a gold medal of endurance from the producers for getting even that far. It’s brutal. I’m watching it for free and it still feels like I should be getting my money back but I will go the distance and finish this one because I’m stubborn as the day is long and it’s getting a hell of a lot longer..wait, Michael York just threw himself over a cliff. Lucky stiff. Oh..I hope I didn’t just ruin the movie for you. Well, at least I gave you something to look forward to if you ever do decide to watch it. He wears a very 70s white turtleneck sweater that he must have gotten from George Hamilton for a little pop and tickle. You know if this thing ends with all of them throwing themselves over the cliff in white turtleneck sweaters I might change my attitude about it.
Well, it seems fitting enough that I conclude this presidential run muscling my way through one of the most godawful movies ever made. I’ve seen a lot of presidents come and go and I gotta tell ya, this was a bad one. We got through it but..holy shit, man, that could have really..that could have taken even more horrific turns than it did and..jesus..let’s not even think about that anymore for right now. We got through it..that’s the point. So let’s just..I don’t know, let’s just get on with the new folks and repair some damage and dial back the nastiness and calm the fuck down and start talking to each other like adults again..you know, maybe try forming a more perfect union again and all that kinda stuff like that there..wait..the helicopter just landed..this bad movie is almost over.. ---- January 19, 2021 You and I both know that privately owned social media companies are profitable business platforms for herding people into predicable behavior patterns and encouraging them to bombard each other with so much noise and nonsense and conflicting information that they’re never able to focus on the fact that they themselves are the actual product corporations are selling to each other; over the counter human beings and all their information at bargain prices; blathering meat bags, divided and conquered and living in an electronic hallucination, hopelessly addicted to an endless feed of mental and emotional bubblegum.. ..and I have a pimple under my eyelid that’s annoying the fuck out of me. ------ January 18, 2021
“Today, before I am forced from office by the triple-checked and democratically verified will of the American people, I shall issue 100 pardons, completing the trifecta, finally desecrating the last of the three branches of government that I’ve never had any respect for. So here’s a big fat fuck you to the Judicial branch, the cornerstone of the checks and balances essential for a properly functioning republic, as I grant 100 get-out-of-jail-free cards to all my corporate, white collar criminal buddies and white nationalist enablers who helped me almost topple the United States of America. And a big shout out to the highly paid corporate lawyers and lobbyists who put this list together for me.
God bless the almost caliphate of Trumpistan,
Donald J. Trump” ----- January 16, 2021 “I only caught a glimpse of him through the main entrance to the oval office. He sat at his desk, staring down, kind of looking through it, through the floor, through the earth, lost in shame, a defeated blowhard who believed his own bullshit and was now going to have to pay the price..a victim of his own ego..staring off blankly, watching all his sycophants jump ship..a beast rotting from the inside who spent his entire life treating everyone around him like shit and can’t figure out why they don’t love him for it..with that look on his face..that..Ebenezer Scrooge look when Jacob Marley tells him the length and weight of the chains that await him in Hell..you could almost feel pity for him until you remember he radicalized his followers, like a jihadist leader, and then left America with a weaponized seditious army determined to overthrow our government and replace it with..what? Mob rule and hangings? Are we going to burn witches too, like we did back when ‘amerika was great’?
It was only a glimpse but..I had to look away..” - Jack -