Friday, February 28, 2003
NOT EVEN COOL ENOUGH FOR SCHOOL
It's time to share my most secret shame with my blogging public.
I'm a huge nerd.
This is no secret to anyone that knows me, or spends more than two minutes in my company.
I was - am - an uncool nerd. That's right, I was never even cool enough to hang with the regular nerds. While the regular nerds my age were into Star Trek (which I, admittedly, was into to some degree) I preferred Dr. Who and The Prisoner. I was into The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Monty Python before my fellow nerds had gotten over Voltron.
(That's a lie. True nerds have never gotten over the awesomeness of Voltron.)
Unlike cool nerds, I've never really gotten into the whole Star Wars mindset. I think they're fun movies and all, but I could never treat them like a philosophical masterpiece, let alone a way of life. I tried to pretend - oh how I tried. But in the end, I couldn't quash that secret suspicion I have that it's all a waste of time.
Whereas the cool nerds got really good at computer games, I never got the hang of them. I never had the right kind of mind for the role-playing/puzzle-solving games (MYST makes my head hurt, and even the cheesier SIerra games still had me calling the game hint line). I don't have the hand-eye coordination for action games like Doom or Quake.
Sadly, even simple arcade games like Ms. Pac Man throw me. I have the original Pac Man on my computer, and I do have a high score of 100,690. But that's only after I adjusted the game settings so that I start off with 5 lives, get an extra man after only 10,000 points, and Pac Man goes faster than the ghosts. And I still die very easily.
When I was very young, I remember an afternoon after school at the candy store across from PS 139 (for the record, the store's name was "Phil's Hot Corner"), when my friends and I stood around the Spy Hunter machine watching a man play for two hours straight on one quarter.
I don't know what's sadder:
The fact that we stood there entranced watching someone else play a video game for two straight hours, or that at the time I thought he must be the coolest guy in the world. In hindsight, I realize that there's something not 100% about a guy who has time to kill playing Spy Hunter in a candy store at 3:30 pm on a weekday. He probably had to get out of the house before mother did something that made him start bringing customers from the motel down to his basement apartment.
At the time, though, I was just thinking, "Wow! Talk about a guy who's got it all together! I have a new role model." Come to think of it, he's still my role model. Maybe I should update my Role-odex (There's your joke for today. Hope you enjoyed it.)
I couldn't even get into comic books the way a nerd is supposed to. I mean, sure, I loved Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider Man. I still do. I even have a soft spot for Peter Porker, the Incredible Spider Ham. And several other comics. But there were always more important things to spend money on. Like science fiction books! (Remember, I'm not denying my nerdiness. Just saying that I wasn't accepted by my tribe.)
Now I know what you're going to say, "Liam you must be kidding. Not cool enough for nerds? How is that possible? Isn't the point of being a nerd, dork, or dweeb that you aren't cool enough for society in the first place?"
Ah, but here's the rub: nerds tend to be as snobby as the people who led normal lives in high school, if not more so. They're certainly more aware of social status, probably because all their lives they were made so aware of how low their status was. When nerds grow up, they like to find people to exclude, to treat the way they were treated by those who were deemed "cool" in high school.
In fact, if you gave these nerds money and power, they would develop a very stratified social system, based entirely on who was "cool" and "hip" and "attractive" and "in." They would call it "show business."
The point is this: The realization that I wasn't cool enough to hang with the hard-core nerds came when I was very young and at summer camp. When I wasn't allowed -
- it causes me shame to admit this in public -
- when I wasn't allowed to hang with the kids who played Dungeons & Dragons. And the one time I did get to play a game, the Dungeon Master, a pimply-faced git who was just about to enter the world of puberty, and (I hoped) rejection by every girl on the planet including the girl with a dental apparatus that looks like the harmonica holder Dylan wears so he can play guitar at the same time.
Okay, I think I just got lost in that peripheral aside. Where was I? Oh yeah:
And the one time I did get to play a game, within two minutes the Dungeon Master introduced a ghost that attacked only me until I was dead and then went away. The sad thing is that I didn't even realize what he had done until ten years later.
Four years later, I went back to the summer camp, but this time I was ready. I looked through my dad's AD&D Player's Guide and constructed a super-character with a 26 level and all kinds of super stats. Of course, by then the fad was over and nobody cared, but I think I had made my point.
By the way, yes my dad not only had an AD&D Player's Guide, he also had a Monster Manual and a Dungeon Master's Manual. The answer to the nature vs. nurture question is conatined in this fact: I was raised by two nerds, and became a super-nerd. Actually, the funny thing is that it was such a normal and accepted thing in my family that I didn't even realize that I was a nerd until I was out of high school. It came as a genuine shock to me - what a dork!
My high school was Francis Lewis on Utopia Parkway, didn't have a football team, and no one really cared about our other sports teams, or school elections, or the sex scandal involving a junior girl and the Nassau County Assistant DA, or school spirit in any real sense whatsoever. So there wasn't the crazy jock/cheerleader class, the out-and-out rigidly-defined caste system. And since we were all middle-class kids from Queens, there weren't any rich kids. To be honest, my only contact with that world was through bad '80s comedies.
Also, I assumed that nerds were smart and hard-working and did really well in school. Since i was none of those, I assumed that that exempted me from nerd-hood. But no, even though I wasn't a smart nerd I was still a social nerd.
Don't get me wrong - I did know that I wasn't cool; I was massively overweight, had long stringy hair, I smelled bad, and I was slightly insane.
Even the other nerds didn't want anything to do with me:
* Poetry Club nerds: Didn't think I had anything to contribute, ended up not telling me when the next meetings were being held.
* Yearbook nerds: Didn't think I had anything to contribute. Ended up making fun of me in the yearbook.
* Chess club nerds: Thought I was an idiiot, and no one would play against me.
The nerds who thought they were funny treated me like a dull-witted buffoon. And the only reason I wasn't iced out of the school's A/V Squad was because we didn't have one.
I came up with a brilliant ploy: the only way people would think I was cool was if they thought I did drugs. I didn't want to actually smoke weed or drop acid or any of that stuff, so I cultivated friendships with potheads and, when I created an underground school paper, I slipped in a bunch of drug references.
Which was fine until the day my pothead friends told me I wasn't cool enough, and asked me not hang out with them any more. I wish I was in any way exaggerating or kidding, but I'm 100% serious. During summer school (of course I was in summer school. I wasn't a smart nerd), we were sitting in the cafeteria eating the free breakfast when my pothead friend Bob* told me flat-out that it was time for me to stop hanging out with him, that he had had fun but that it was time to move on.
He told me this with his new friend, Sirius*. Sirius was everything I wasn't; attractive, black and a pothead. And like many stupid white kids before and after, Bob assumed that since Sirius was black and spoke very mellow, that he somehow had a philosphical grasp of the world.
I had run into Sirius once, months before, when he was very high in front of the K-Mart on Horace Harding, near the school. I had bought a shish kebob from the shish kebob guy next to the bus stop, and Sirius was looking at it so hungrily that I gave him the complimentary chunk of French bread the guy jammed on the jagged end of the stick.
When Bob had said his piece, Sirius said, very calmly, "You know, I really appreciate that day you gave me the bread, but we just don't want to hang out with you any more."
And that was it. I had actually just gotten broken up with. And there wasn't even that "Let's just be friends" speech, because the point was that we could never be friends.
And the really awkward part was that then we all ended up sitting at the cafeteria for the rest of the breakfast period. I knew that if I then got up and acknowledged that Ino longer deserved to sit at the table, then a small part of me would die forever. So Bob and Sirius sat at the table, and were joined by Mike*, who hadn't wanted to be there for the kill I guess. I sat there reading that day's Daily News, pretending I wasn't dying inside. Ladies, be careful who you give your heart to so freely.
I really lost out, of course. My pothead friends, they were a cool bunch.
Mike ended up joining the army. Bob worked at Aunt Anne's Pretzels in the Food Court for a couple of years through college. Then he got a job at Barnes & Noble in my neighborhood, where he still works and we act like we don't see each other.
Sirius, I hear, is now working the UHO table outside Virgin Megastore in Union Square. "UHO" stands for United Homeless Organization," and they have homeless people asking passersby to drop change into a big water-cooler jug. I win.
There are other ways of pretending to be cooler than you are. Non of them work of course, but here's one from the files:
Marty* wasn't a pothead, but he had an even worse technique for seeming cooler than he was (and no, it didn't work any better than mine had). He acted like he was the drummer in a band. I can still see him in his red ponytail and patchy high school beard. walking into class with his drumsticks tucked under his arm, holding the latest issue of whatever magazine they put out for drummers.
I told this story in my one-man show (which you can come see on March 25th), and my buddy Evan from high school (whose blog is listed to the right, check it out) came to see it and told me that no, I was full of shit, Marty was never a drummer. I told him that he was the one who was full of shit. (The tone of debates in Queens are very high.) Then Evan said he was going to call my bluff and e-mail Marty, with whom he kept in touch.
Long story short, Evan e-mailed Marty and asked if he had carried around drumsticks. Marty replied that yes he had, and why did Evan want to know?
Pretty strange, considering that Marty apparently not only didn't belong to a band, he never even owned a drum kit. Oddly, even after high school, Marty never lost any of his cool: I can't tell you his e-mail address, but let's just say that it involves both both his love of straight-edge punk and being a Jedi Knight. He also worked at the same Subway Sandwich Shoppe in Ozone Park for five years.
(If I seem a tad bitter towards Marty, it's only because he and his family tried to send me upstate to prison for phone pranking. Seriously. Come see my show for more of that story.)
Me, I'm an unemployed comedian writing snide things about people he used to know on an almost unpopular blog. So who's a winner in the Game of Life, eh?
Man alive, if you've read this far, then I apologize. I hope I didn't come off as all whiny and bitter; I'm genuinely over what happened in high school. Okay, amybe not, but I swear this was just an exercise in extreme self-indulgence.
* Names changed to prevent unfortunate Google search results.
Thursday, February 27, 2003
More Family Circus tomorrow!
No snotty jokes here, alas.
This news makes me genuinely sad.
Mr. Fred Rogers always had a positive effect on me growing up. As I said here last week, there's nothing nicer than having a stranger tell you - every day - how special you are, and how nice it is to see you, and how much he looks forward to seeing you again tomorrow. SOme people found that creepy, but considering that I never heard that from my teachers (or most of my relatives), it was nice to have a rock solid foundation of pleasantness for your day.
I remember it was a bit devastating the day I found out that Mr. Rogers wasn't talking to me personally. When I was five, I conducted an experiment where i turned the TV off for half a minute to see what he would say about it. When I turned it back on, he was still talking and I realized that he was saying the same exact thing to every kid with a TV all over the country.
I was a dumb kid.
But I had several Mr.Rogers albums, and I can still sing some of the songs extemperaniously -
Heads Shoulders knees and toes,
Knees and toes,
Heads Shoulders knees and toes,
Knees and toes,
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Heads Shoulders knees and toes.
Everything grows together, because it's all one piece.
Your eyes grow as your nose grows as the rest of you grows,
Because you're all one peace.
Fair thee well, Mr. Rogers, fare thee well.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Why that would be Baby Anthony, of course.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Here's my transcript (I'm sure the blogs are full of this stuff. I'll try to make it quick and painless)
MP: Hi, I'm Maury Povich, and welcome to The War of the Words, the only debate where you, the viewing audience can pick the winner. First, here are our contestants. Why don't you introduce yourselves?
SH: Hello, my name is Saddam Hussein -
GWB: I call him "So Damned Insane."
MP: Please Mr. President -
SH: I don't go down to where you work -
GWB: I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
SH: - and smack the (expletive deleted) out of your mouth.
MP: Mr. Hussein, please -
SH: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I was just feeling very attacked.
MP: Okay, please can we have no more speaking out of turn?
GWB: My name is George W. Bush, and I am the President of the United States - the greatest country on Earth! Am I right people?
Unfortunately, the debaters agreed to meeting in a neutral place - France - and the audience are a bunch of angry-looking French journalists and citizens.
GWB: uh, that went over very well in Detroit.
MP: Now, my first question for tonight is, what's the deal fellas? You know, you've got Bush over here ready to fight, we've got Saddam over here, refusing to dismantle his missile stockpile.
GWB: Look, Maury, it's very simple. Saddam has a nucular weapons program -
SH: A what?
GWB: A nucular -
SH (snickering): That's what I thought.
GWB: Something funny?
SH: Oh no, not at all, please continue talking about my "nucular weapons profile."
GWB: Uh, anyway, we're trying to give UN inspectors a couple of days ot search your country for nucular -
SH (choking noise)
GWB: You have a damn poor sense of humor.
SH: Not at all. Saddam is renowned all over Baghdad for his love of hilarity. In fact, here's a new joke making the rounds among my body doubles. "What's the difference between the real Saddam and Little Miss Muffett?"
MP: Saddam -
SH: "Miss Muffet wanted her curds and whey, Saddam wanted his Kurds out of the way."
FRENCH AUDIENCE LAUGHTER
MP: Okay, I feel like we're getting off-topic here. George what do you want from Saddam?
GWB: I want him to admit that he's got nucular weapons.
SH: Whoa, you calling me a liar?
GWB: What else you call a man who lies? Bitch.
SH: No you didn't!
SADDAM GETS UP, STARTS CLAWING AT BUSH BUT HE'S HELD BACK BY TWO BIG SECURITY GUARDS. BUSH IN TURN IS BEING HELD BACK BY ANOTHER SECURITY GUARD
SH: I'm a kill you, (expletive)!
GWB: Come and get it. Come and get it.
MP: All right, we're going to take a little break. When we come back, DNA tests prove once and for all if George is the twins' babydaddy.
CUE: END OF THE WORLD VIA NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST
But they get pretty old pretty quick. The problem is that the only place tog with a prank phone is an argument. Which means you're listening to an album of people bickering.
If constant bickering was funny, Thanksgiving would be the funniest holiday of the year. I would actually look forward to Passover dinner.
Monday, February 24, 2003
I watched I'm a Celebrity Get Me Outta Here! the other night.
It should be called, Watch Nikki Ziering keep losing food in physical challenges for everyone.
It does keep testing the limits of the word "celebrity." I think the most famous person involved with that show was me, watching it, because I was on basic cable for four minutes* a year ago, which means that I have worked more than almost anyone involved with that show.
I think that the show would be over in two minutes if someone reminded these "celebrities" that it's not too late to go to law school.
And the emotion! I think the funniest thing was watching Downtown Julie Brown's face fall. Uh, not because she was sad, but because the rain washed her makeup off.
Also, watching Robin Leach try to be a mediator for a high-strung group like the "Celebrities" was funny. Note to young Americans: Just because someone is old and has a vaguely English/Australian accent doesn't make them wiser than you. It just makes it sadder that they're in the Australian outback trying to cadge five grand on a reality show.
But it did give me an idea for a reality show, called Joe Celebrity. It's like The Bachelor, where you get a guy like Cris Judd and set up 20 women who want to marry him because he's famous.
Then, and here's the twist, when he finally makes his choice, in a final dramatic reveal, she tells him that he's not actually a celebrity. That marrying someone famous doesn't mean that you yourself are famous.
*Yes ladies, I was on basic cable for four minutes. That's how you get laid in this town. I don't even go on dates any more, I just bring women back to my place to watch the tape. I'm like, "Baby, that's what you can expect. Four minutes, and you'll be laughing fifty percent of the time."
Saturday, February 22, 2003
There was a nightclub fire in Rhode Island, where the band Great White was playing, that killed 96 people.
That's tragic, but the most shocking thing is that 96 people came out to see Great White. They're a much better draw than I would have thought. What a great silver lining!
What I want to know is, what's the turnout going to be like for their upcoming gigs?
"Dude, you'll never guess what I got - Great White tickets! I know, I can't believe it either - they're a real hot ticket! They're the hottest thing going! They've got a lot of heat on them. The roof - the roof - the roof is on fire! I got the tickets at a fire sale. I don't want to put your feet to the flame on going to see this - where you going? Where's the fire? The lead singer's a real flamer. I hear the band got burnt-out for a while, but now they've got that real spark and they're exploding all over the scene. The band is quite a match with their audience. You should see the faces light up as the band hits the stage. They get along like a house on fire."
What I mean is, it's going to be hard to sell tickets for their upcoming tour. What are the radio ads going to say?
"Come on out to see Great White tonight! Odds are pretty good they're not going to kill you and everyone you know! Come watch them play their biggest hits that don't involve killing everyone, probably. In fact, we guarantee a complete refund if you and everyone you know is horribly burned."
I think I'll spend more time rewriting this, and then never performing it in public.
Friday, February 21, 2003
there passes into heaven now a beautiful soul
and the golden chains that bound her to the earth
have proven as precious as blackest coal
and the diamonds buried in her eyes
once shone a light so sharp so bright
they dwarfed the stars in the far off night
as dull as this edge of pain slowly killing me
there passes into the earth now a beautiful soul
- silk-lined casket, walnut berth -
time's black-shrouded thief with this gift he stole
saying from that seed of death a tree shall rise
a seed of hope in grief's grey ground
nourished in sorrow's keening sound
with a shade as dark as the despair slowly filling me
trees of bare-bone brown framing fields of fire
staccato bursts of light from jerusalem town
ringed in tight circles of barbed wire
death drone of grey metal raining down
fills the empty spaces 'neath the sky
fills the empty holes in this blasted ground
where we buried our dead
like the empty hole in my soul from the day
death rained like tears from the empty eye
and - torn by a jagged rain from a cloudless sky -
her mouth open like a dark casket door
her body baby-cradled in my arms there
laid upon the splintered floor
my open hands holding her head
as blood fought lungs for empty air
coughing twice as if taken ill
coughing twice then lying still
there passes into death now a beautiful land
though of mourning kin it will have a dearth
it once lay open like a loving hand
a hand that one day they must prise
for it turned into a grasping fist
and tried to steal dawn's golden mist
as greedy as the urge to cry now willing me
Thursday, February 20, 2003
You may have noticed an ad on the right-hand side. It's for Spam Arrest. It's a new online service that helps you block most Spam.
It really works. I wouldn't advertise a product I didn't believe in, unless I was being paid a lot of money.
Plus, they give yo ua 30-day free trial. So why not try Spam Arrest today? It will help you - and me, quite frankly.
This has been a paid celebrity testimonial.
This past November, after the Michael Jackson baby-dangling incident, I wrote the following. I read an edited portion on WBAI radio:
Last week was Thanksgiving, and in what is fast-becoming an annual tradition, I got on my knees and gave thanks to whoever made me that, no matter how screwed up my family is, I wasn't raised by Michael Jackson.
For those of you just coming back from vacation on Mars, Michael Jackson made headlines a couple of weeks ago for dangling his baby out of a hotel window. First of all, why is this headline material? Don't we all know that Michael Jackson is a danger to children? That isn't news. You know what's news? Michael Jackson is allowed to have children.
Why is it that you have to go through ours of training and testing to get a license to drive a car, but any idiot who can buy a woman a cocktail at Happy Hour can make a baby? There should be some kind of licensing procedure.
And he didn't adopt - he claims he fathered the child naturally. Now I know that there are women out there who are attracted to wealth and fame, but seriously; who was the woman who went to bed with Jacko? I'm a good-looking - well, normallooking - OK, I'm no prize, either - guy and I have trouble getting women to even talk to me. This guy has a nose like the Great Sphinx - missing - a voice like a suicidal girl calling the teen emergency hotline, and the warm, personable look of one of the bad elves that tries to kill Frodo Baggins. What was his pick-up line? "Here's that fifty grand in cash you wanted"?
And he has three children - Prince Michael, Paris Michael, and Prince Michael the Second. And he makes them wear veils in public, to protect them from the sickos of the world who would kidnap and do terrible things to them like, oh say, dangle them off of a balcony. I think the thing Michael's worried about is that someone will get a hold of these kids and raise them in a normal environment. The only good thing I can see coming out of this is that the tell-all books will be incredible. Forget "Mommie Dearest," this is going to make anything written by Ronald Reagan's kids look like anything written by Ronald Reagan.
Until then, all we can do is pray that at least the kids will turn out like the normal one in Jackson's family - LaToya, uh I mean Tito, er Janet? Forget it. Those kids are screwed.
Rather than continue to disappoint them, I'm linking to the archives of a celebrity porn site. Enjoy.
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
Single and looking.
E-mail me for info, fellas.
Batter is delicious. You can't make pancakes, cookies, or muffins without batter. If I had a husband who battered me, I'd never let him go.
Why is it that the World's Strongest Man always has a handlebar moustache? Is the last test of strength being able to pick yourself up by the face?
That's a boring circus exhibit, the World's Strongest Man. That's like saying, "Come pay money to see a guy who spends too much time working out!" I'd rather pay money to see the Guy Who Cries All the Time, Every Time.
Call him the World's High-Strungest Man.
MISTYPED WEBSITE OF THE DAY
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
I guess I should apologize to the twos and threes of people who missed my words of worldly wisdom yesterday. It's partly because I have a lot of writing to do.
It's also partly because it's blizzarding out here in New York City. The thing is, whenever there's a snowstorm in New York, the weathermen always wildly overpredict how deep it's going to be. Which makes sense; all the weathermen are men, and of course they're going to lie about giving us an extra 12 inches.
Jesus Christ, am I writing for The View now?
Any old how, Ive decided to make it up to you, dear reader, by giving you both days' enntries today. I've posted them seperately, so you can take your time and roll them around your palette like a fine wine that aged with its cap off until it's turned into vinegar.
I watched last night's episode. Let's be honest, so did you.
Now, I'd never seen the show before - I was too busy with my poetry study circles - but luckily FOX provided a one hour flashback episode. In the hour that I watched, I was rooting against everyone involved with the show except the Australian butler. He was cool.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show for all the reasons I was afraid I would. That look on Sarah's face when he told her that he was poor was a thing of beauty and a joy forever. And in case you werte tempted to feel sorry for her, later in her room when she was mocking him, saying, "Then he told me, 'I'm just a loser that has no money'."
The only problem was the fact that the show was playing up all the "fairy tale" horseshit. Let's ne honest - no one was watching that show because it was a fairy tale come true. No one enjoyed it because it was a dream come true, unless your dream is to see a gold-digger get her come-uppance.
In fact, the show would have gotten even bigger ratings if it had been called Jane Not A Golddigger, and the description was:
Twenty women try to pretend that they weren't interested in this idiot's money when they find out that he's really poor.
POSSIBLE JOE MILLIONAIRE SEQUELS
The producers of Joe Millionaire are in an interesting predicament; they have a huge hit, but now that everyone's seen it, it's going to be impossible to do Joe Millionaire II. After all, any potential contestants have now seen the show and are onto the trick. But I suspect that what they're going to do is come up with other Joe . . . shows with a twist. So here's some potential show titles I hereby give the producers free of charge:
* Joe Employed
* Joe HIV-
* Joe Idon'tliveinmyparents'basementandwatchWWEwrestlingavidly
* Joe Hetero
* Joe Likeskids
* Joe Mentallystable
* Joe Compulsivelyhonest
* Joe Listens
* Joe Didn'tmurderhislastgirlfriend
ONWARD CHRISTIAN SAILORS
Gay people and born-again Christians are natural enemies, which is weird because they both have one thing in common: They both believe that everyone would convert if just given the chance.
Recently a gay friend told me, "You know, I could set you up with a guy."
And I replied, "Thanks, but I don't think I've got a grip on my heterosexuality yet. Give me another twenty or thirty years before I start failing at gay relationships, too."
WEIGHING THE PROS AND CONVENIENCE STORES
Whenever I buy something at a 24-hour convenience store at like, 3 in the morning, the clerk always says, "Will that be all?"
One time I was buying a box of condoms at 1 in the morning, and the guy says, "Do you need anything else?"
I said, "Yes, I also need your phone number. Because I'm going to be very lonely - and very horny."
One time I decided to call the guy on this. I was buying a bag of potato chips, and the guy says, "Do you need anything else?"
And I said, "I don't know. Do I need anything else?"
And the guy said, I am the magic genie of the bottle, and I can grant you three wishes."
But it turned out he was the genie of the Colt .45 bottle.
(JOKE TO BE CONTINUED)
Sunday, February 16, 2003
GREAT MOMENTS IN AMERICAN HUMOR
February 16th, 2003
Liam McEneaney pens this masterpiece:
Q: Why does Michael Jackson wear a condom during sex?
A: He's afraid to contract SIDS.
THE WORLD'S GREATEST CONSPIRACY THEORY
The CIA's plot to frame Yinka for betting on the NBA.
Friday, February 14, 2003
Robert Chambers is getting out of prison today. If you never lived through the Mad Max Apocalyptic Wasteland that was New York City under Koch, then you should know that Robert Chambers was the "Preppie Killer," who accidentally choked Jennifer "Flava" Lavin to death during a bout of rough sex in Central Park (oops!).
Now, I could make an easy joke about CHambers learning to appreciate rough sex in prison. That's why I just did. But the funniest part is the part that no one can make up - that he's being released on Valentine's Day.
I was wondering, did the DoJ give him his release in the form of a Hallmark Card?
I think it would go a little - something - like this:
Fifteen years ago,
On this very special day.
You met a girl at a bar
and you took her breath away.
And now you're finally being let go,
and released into the world.
Thanks to Megan's Law, the world will always know,
How much you loved that girl.
But as you journey to find someone new,
And a new girl you'll chance to meet,
Remember the boys in Cellblock 42,
Who turned your love into a two-way street.
Here's a poem I wrote a year ago on Valentine's Day. I was at home alone, doing some cleaning and watching TV:
AFTER I BROKE UP WITH YOU
After I broke up with you, I started thinking about you and me.
After I broke up with you, I started drinking to the way we used to be.
Do you remember? I do,
The way you owe me forty bucks.
I mean, no big deal, whenever you can get it to me is cool,
It's not like it bothers me or anything.
It's only forty bucks.
But still, you've owed it to me for a while now, and a little consideration would be nice.
All right, I won't bring it up again.
Now you say you think about me,
That you love me, and can not live without me.
But that's not what you were saying when I made all those jokes about wanting to have sex with your roommate.
Woman: Ficklety is thy name!
Come on now, honestly. If I thought for one second your roommate would actually be into me, do you really think i would have brought it up so many times?
No sense of humor, that's your problem.
Um, your roommate isn't into me, is she? Just, I know the way you girls talk.
You say it's the little things you're missing,
My little touches along the nape of your neck, my softest kissing.
And there are things I miss too,
Like that forty bucks I lent you.
I know I said I wouldn't bring it up, but I know how you forget the important things.
Like the time you said you'd pay my cable bill and then forgot after you had to go to the emergency room.
And I had to go without seeing that VH1 special on the Go-Gos.
You know how much I love the Go-Gos.
Seriously, I know that when I lent you the forty bucks, I may have used words like, "Keep it, it's yours, it's a gift, please take it I don't expect it back."
But honey, you have to know when I'm kidding.
This goes back to that whole "No Sense of Humor Thing" I was just talking about.
Like that time your sister accused me of making a drunken pass at her at your cousin's wedding,
And I told you she was a liar and that she was stealing money from your grandmother's purse for heroin,
And you didn't talk to her for eight months.
Well, of course I was just kidding.
Besides, I needed that money more than your grandmother did.
Your grandfather's insurance left her loaded.
I mean, how else was I going to pay for your birthday dinner? My job?
I can't believe you actually thought I had a job. Get real!
Vice-President of Finance at Goldman Sachs?
Honey, would the Vice President of Finance dress like this?
Where was I? Oh yeah, so you see why I needed that money for your birthday dinner.
And frankly, I was as surprised as you were that I ended up taking that money to Atlantic City and losing it all on blackjack.
It was real romantic the way you came and picked me up, and drove me back.
That's when the trouble began.
Your friends started putting ideas in your head,
Mean, awful ideas like "self-respect," and "you need a man who doesn't use you."
Frankly, I was as insulted as you were.
And so I had to dump you.
I can't be seeing someone who's weak enough to be swayed by the first trendy self-help idea that comes down the pike.
If I ever meet that Dr. Phil guy, I'm gonna punch him in the nose.
As I stand here among my belongings, which you are even now throwing out of your third-floor apartment window, I say this:
All right, but I'm only going to give you one last chance.
To give me my forty bucks back.
Thursday, February 13, 2003
I feel kind of bad, because every time I hear that we're on Orange Alert, my mind quickly goes from fear to making a laundry list of city landmarks I wouldn't mind losing:
"Hmmm, well, I guess no one visits the Woolworth Building. That company went bankrupt anyway. And the Graybar Building hasn't been important for years. And the mayor doesn't live in Gracie Mansion anymore, right?"
THERE'S A FINE LINE
Between having a career and being a regular at the Sperm Bank.
TP FOR A BUNGHOLE*
When I was 10, my friends and I hated a neighbor, and so we tp'ed his house.
Now, I told a friend of mine that last week, and she told me that she and her friends had also tp'ed a neighbors house; they threw toilet paper all over his lawn.
Boy was I embarrased; my friends and I had done it all wrong - we had invited a Souix Indian tribe to come and live in this guy's house.
They had had to give them a whole bunch of smallpox blankets before they could get back in.
* Of course, a reference to this work of genius.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
I'm kind of anti-war-against-Iraq. When I say "kind of," I mean only because I can't believe I'm on the same side of ay moral issue as the Germans and the French.
As you can imagine, any time it comes to a philosophy on war, I'm going to go with the opposite of what the Germans believe. If Bush really wants the Germans on board, all he has to do is tell them that Saddam's real name from "Moishe Rosenberg."
As for the French, well, aren't they the country that looks down on us for being anti-pedophile? They harboredRoman Polanski, and looked down their noses at the US for daring to condemn Woody Allen when he had an affair with his 17 year-old adopted daughter, telling us that we were "too provincial" and Puritan.
Jean Paul Sartre once said, "Hell is other people."
Of course he did - he was French for Chrissakes. I think being surrounded by nothing but other French people for all eternity is the dictionary definition of Hell.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
A woman on the radio was complaining today that Lord of the Rings was nominated for Best Picture because it was just a dumb fantasy movie. First of all, who cares what got nominated? You are a DJ. Unless you have money in The Hours, shut up.
Secondly, you're right. Why should an award go to a movie that a lot of people like? Let's give it to The Pianist, which fifty people saw for free on their SAG cards.
I WAS IN THE LAUNDROMAT TODAY
And the TV was playing Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I have to say, I don't care how hip or cool you think you might be, there's nothing nicer than having someone tell you how special and unique you are. Especially out of the blue.
Monday, February 10, 2003
This is a great horror movie. It's about four of the last people on Earth after zombies take over, taking refuge in a shopping mall.
Which would have been scarier, except that zombies have already taken over the shopping malls; they work there. I mean, have you been in a Sam Goody lately? I think they would almost stock the Classical section with Baby Got Bach if they could get away with it.
EARLY VALENTINE TO AN OVERWEIGHT CAT
who, although indeed sits around the house when she sits around the house, does not, to the best of my knowledge, eat lasagna or particularly dislike Mondays
I know a rather large cat named Frida,
Who, pound for pound, is as big as a cheetah,
Though she isn't as swift,
If you give her a lift
To the table, she's a champion pie-eat-ah.
LIAM RECOMMENDS AN ALBUM
even though he's not sure he's spelled the word "recommends" correctly
I've owned an album for a couple of years now called The Pizza Tapes, a bluegrass album featruing Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, and Tony Rice.
Garcia, of course, was the lead guitarist/vocalist/songwriter for The Grateful Dead. There was a documentary recently released on his friendship/collaboration with Grisman titled Grateful Dawg, which I haven't seen yet bu plan to.
Anyway, the reason it's called The Pizza Tapes is that the album was made in Garcia's home studio. He left the masters on his kitchen table, and a pizza delivery boy stole them and distributed them on the Grateful Dead Underground Bootleg network.
After Garcia's death, Grisman hunted the delivery lad down and got the masters back and relesed the album.
The album is fantastic, and some of the best bluegrass around. I found it a couple of years ago when I worked for the HUmor Network and wa downloading shit like crazy from Napster. I found their rendition of Shady Grove, and fell in love. I went out and bought the album. It got me hooked into listening to bluegrass.
Then, of course, the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack was released, and every Williamsburg hipster douvhebag who, until then, had been lifelong trance/jungle/hip-hop fans suddenly became lifelong bluegrass fans and puto n engineer caps and picked up the banjo. I was at a party once, talking to a woman who was a lifelong fan of bluegrass, and she was listing all of her favorite artists - a list identical to the people on the O Brother album. I asked if she liked Doc Watson and the Watson Family, and she got confused and said she didn't know who he was.
Which was a surprising thing for a lifelong fan of bluegrass not to know, the most famous, revered, and legendary figure in American bluegrass history.
Frankly, the version of Man of Constant Sorrow on The Pizza Tapes is head and shoulders above anything on O Brother, but that's my opinion. Anyway, buy it, check it out, etc.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
(any errors are strictly mine):
It may be the most striking thing about members of my literary generation in retrospect will be that we were allowed to say absolutely anything without fear of punishment. Our American heirs may find it incredible, as most foreigners do right now, that a nation would want to enforce as a law something which sounds more like a dream, which reads as follows:
'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of the press, or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.'
How could a nation with such a law raise its children in an atmosphere of decency? It couldn't - it can't. So the law will surely be repealed soon for the sake of the children.
. . . There is never a shortage anywhere of lawyers eager to attack the First Amendment, as though it were nothing more than a clause in a lease from a crooked slumlord.
- from Palm Sunday, 1981
Friday, February 07, 2003
(not funny, necessarily, but it will make sense)
I heard Bush making his State of the union Address. Franlly, I think the only Axis of Evil is his access to nuclear weapons.
I honestly expected him to finish his speech with the sentence, "And I did it all by myself!"
THE McENEANEY DILEMMA
I love poetry. I hate poets.
I HAVE NEVER LIKED FAMOUS TWINS
The olsens. The Barbarian Brothers. Even the Barbi Twins only made me disturbed at my line of thinking.
I don't want to see twins unless they're attached at something.
MAKE ROOM! MAKE ROOM!
Most room names make sense:
A bedroom - that's where your bed is.
A bathroom - that's where your bath is unless you live in a shitty apartment.
Even the kitchen - that's where you have most of your kitsch.
But the foyer? What's that supposed to mean? Have you ever foyed in your life?
Did someoen look at a house back in the olden days and say, "Well, it's nice, but i need a rooom to do my foying. My husband and I love to foy, and if we can't do it once a night, we get upset."
THIS REQUIRES YOU BE YOUNG AT HEART, OR AT LEAST VERY IMMATURE
If there's a Man in the Moon, who's the Man in Uranus?
If Diana is the Goddess of the Moon, is Richard Simmons the Goddess of Uranus?
How come we venerate Neil Armstrong for landing on the Moon, yet we never even mention all the men who have landed on Uranus?
I hope that we never make contact with all the life forms that live on Uranus.
Uranus is very dirty, and could do with some cleaning.
It costs ten bucks to have sex in Uranus.
Uranus is mainly used for pooping, and anonymous sex in public restrooms.
I hate Uranus, because it is an extension of you, which I also hate.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
Oh sure, everyone says they love a magician.
But when the cops come by to ask you about your wife vanishing, it's still not a good idea to shout "Ta-daa! For my next trick . . . "
And believe me, they will not respect the "A good magician never reveals his tricks" rule.
"I will now magically make my finger
disappear up this rabbit's ass!"
If you go do well in college for four years, and then go to medical school for another four years, nd then intern at a hospital, you can eventually establish a practice and have a good career.
But ifyou have a computer and can make your own prescription pads, you'll still make a lot of money.
I WATCHED JERRY SPRINGER THE OTHER DAY
I think he thinks he's in on the joke now.
I saw a guy surprise his girlfriend on the show and say he was cheating. Why was this a surprise? When does anyone ever take someone else on the Springer show for something good?
"Linda, John wants to tell you something."
"Honey, surprise! It's your birthday!"
You will never see that happen.
Maybe you just go -
"Hey honey, I was thinking, let's take a vacation to - Cincinatti! Don't worry, I got free tickets and hotel room fromthejerryspringershow. We can visit, uh, a museum, see the, um, sight-things - andgoonthejerryspringershow."
Springer's got a Pay-Per-View Special,"Bad Boys and Naughty Girls" or something.
The average Springer audience member can't afford Pay-Per-View.
Wednesday, February 05, 2003
The testimony of folksinger Phil Ochs in the trial of the Chicago 7.
I heard that song I've Been to Paradise But I've Never Been To Me recently.
I know, as a performing artist, that you put a lot of yourself into every song you do, and all I can say is that she should be happy with having been to Paradise, because being to Her ain't all that hot.
In fact, she kind of sucks.
They don't respect any laws.
Except copyright laws, oddly enough. Those laws they're happy to have the police protect.
MY CREDIT RATING
Is so bad that American Express told the only way I'd get a card was if I was walking down the street and accidentally found someone else's in the gutter.
And even then, I'm not allowed to look directly at it.
Not for you!
I do, however, have a Blockbuster Platinum Card.
I'm not sure, but I think that the Blockbuster Card joke is hacky.
Tuesday, February 04, 2003
The fragrance of flowers floats through the lives
Of husbands and wives,
Husbands and wives.
In that moment we stood under the stars
And found one burning blue,
We claimed it for ours
I named it for you.
And the moment we kissed
Remains as solid yet hazy as the morning mist,
The vaopr rolling wraithlike through the lives
Of husbands and wives,
HUsbands and wives.
Red and brown drops of dew clinging to your hair
Glasses streaked with morning
And I wake up, your side of the bed cold and bare,
Though in your closet I still see those dresses still hanging there.
In my eyes, those tears of mourning,
In the hazy red mist of the encroaching day,
Like an army on the march, drums beat in blood, warning,
And I frame my hand in the window to wave it away,
But the harsh light of the sun still burns through the lives,
Of husbands and wives,
husbands and wives.
I have heard this life is a tapestry the gods will weave,
And every thread cut with its own due,
But if these golden scissors cut fair, if they cut true,
How can I be asked to believe
That a world turning without you
Is a world where ever I could be sane
Is a world where ever I could remain
- Alone in our room, I sit in the chair
- The shower turned on, I pretend you're in there
As I wonder if I should take my leave
Of a world where gods play their games with the lives
Of husbands and wives,
Husbands and wives.
And now I kneel by this piece of stone-served earth,
And tears of hot blood fill my eyes,
And I would trade every damned cent my life could be worth,
To once again hold your hand on that hill,
To just hold your hand in that early morn chill,
To just hold your hand and be standing there still,
And watch the sun rise,
Over the clouds and over the lives
Of husbands and wives,
Husbands and wives.
I rise and walk along the low forest of stone,
Scattered lilies patch the sky; white dots scattered on black,
In the midnight of my soul I walk alone,
But faintly, I feel it carried on the wind at my back,
The sweet scent of flowers that floats through the lives,
Of husbands and wives,
Husbands and wives.
Monday, February 03, 2003
Seven Hobbits of Highly Effective People
Confessions of a Dangerous Behind
Chicken Soup for the Soul Train
Tuesdays with Maury Povich
Of Mice and Menses
What's Eating Dilbert Grape?
Stephen King and I
The Diddler on the Roofies
Garfield of Dreams