July 16, 2024

There was an assassination attempt over the weekend, and now everyone is trying to figure out why. Maybe Thomas Matthew Crooks knew pure evil when he saw it?

Probably not. More likely this is the result of brain worms of some kind. As we all know, the worms want RFK Jr. to be president. That would be why they ordered the shooting and why, if you opened up the head of Joe Biden right now, you would most likely find a mass of wriggling larvae. (Sorry, Joe. Love ya buddy.)

Possibly the worms have our best interests at heart. Bobby K. may be insane but he seems unlikely to usher in the Fourth Reich, which is seeming more and more imminent with every day that passes.

I could be wrong. I really, really want to be wrong. Somebody tell me I’m wrong.

Reading Report, June 2024

Books Acquired:
The Rachel Papers, Martin Amis
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, Philip K. Dick
The Wonder Effect, C.M. Kornbluth & Frederik Pohl

Progress Made:
Shogun, James Clavell
The Black Count, Tom Reiss
White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day, Richie Unterberger

Books Finished:
The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, Philip K. Dick
Star Trek: Log Two, Alan Dean Foster

Browsing in Eureka Books one day I came across a first-edition paperback of Philip K. Dick’s The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, his last book, vintage 1983. It was going for a mere $5 so I snapped it up despite already having a later edition of the book at home. Or so I thought — upon perusing the PKD shelf I found no such thing, though I’m pretty sure I owned it at some point.

Suddenly it became urgent that I read the book, so I did. It’s quit linear and coherent by Dick standards, told entirely from a single point of view — that of Angel Archer, daughter-in-law of the title character. Timothy Archer, an Episcopal bishop, is a brilliant, learned, and beloved man who is also completely out of touch with reality.

Only after writing the last sentence did I realize that that expression rests on the presupposition that there is a reality, one we can all agree on. And of course questioning reality was Phil’s whole thing, no less so in Transmigration, where Archer — a passionate if rather exasperating seeker after truth — keeps finding the ground shifting beneath him.

As the novel begins, Archer has just begun to suspect — based on newly uncovered archaeological evidence — that Jesus was a fraud. This seed of doubt seems to undermine his entire world, gradually consuming his son, his lover, and finally himself. Only Angel, a beacon of relative sanity among the swirling madness, is left to bear witness.

(more…)

Supremes to Democracy: Drop Dead

Yesterday we learned that Splash Brother Klay Thompson would be leaving the Warriors to play in Dallas, and it was not even the worst news of the day. That’s just basketball, after all.

On the week of Independence Day this country took another long stride down the dark path to authoritarianism when the Supreme Court ruled, in effect, that a president can’t be prosecuted for anything he does while in office. Yes, they left the door open for some semi-official or nonofficial acts to be prosecuted; but that fact that nothing considered “official” can be used even as evidence seems to allow only a very, very narrow window for accountability.

One of the TV talking heads said that somewhere Richard Nixon was smiling, but I think not. I think Tricky wishes he could have had a lapdog Supreme Court like this in his day. He not only would have finished his term but pulled some kind of Jan. 6-style shenanigans to keep himself in office indefinitely. His jarred head might still be running the country today.[footote]And in the scheme of things, that might not be so bad.[/footote]

Well, there’s one silver lining: Joe Biden is now free to declare the Former Guy a threat to national security and have Seal Team Six take him out. No jury will ever convict him.

A Clown in the Moonlight

It’s hard to find the words to describe how depressing last night’s presidential debate was.

For the record, I like Joe Biden. I think he’s been a good president and is fundamentally a decent man. I don’t mind that he’s 81 years old — what I mind is that he looked like a deer in the headlights for the entire 90 minutes, struggling to complete a sentence while his opponent glibly and confidently spouted an endless stream of lies.

That man — the orange one, don’t make me say his name — cannot become president again. I can’t take it.

It’s not just what he’ll do — which is bad enough, and who can even say how bad it will actually be — but what he represents. He’s tapped into the darkness of the American soul in a way that feels almost occult. It’s a bit hard to conceive of him as a maleficent mage, given what a fucking goofball he is, with the bronzer and the hair and the long ties. But then again, as Lon Chaney said, there’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.

What really scares me is how many of my fellow citizens are willing to jump on that train to hell. As Kris Kristofferson said, don’t you know he’s the devil? Don’t you know he doesn’t keep his deals?

At this point the question may be moot. It is entirely likely that the darkness, once unleashed, will survive even his demise — which, I keep reminding myself, can come at any time. He is also very old! He eats junk food and doesn’t exercise! His life is very stressful! How long before the Stark Fist of Removal comes for him?

What a happy thought! And look, the sun has broken through the clouds. Time to go out and cheer the hell up. In truth I already feel a bit better for having vented a bit. Live long and prosper, people.

Bands I’ve Seen (updated, 2024)

The last time I updated this I wrote:

The way Cecil does this, with the names of the bands along the left side of his blog and thus easily updatable, is probably smarter. This way I’m going to have to post a new list every year or two for the rest of my damn life.

That was 14 years ago. A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge since then, a lot of shows have been attended, a lot of brain cells have died.

But this seems like a good time to revisit it as I have no tickets to anything upcoming in hand, and nothing much of interest on the radar. (This is a particularly bad summer for live music. I mean… Limp Bizkit is back!) Since I had some tinnitus earlier this year, it seems like a reasonable time to take a break and live a little in the past.

I’m sure to miss a few things due to the brain damage — especially since ticket stubs are no longer a thing — but I’ll do my best.

(more…)