Category: As Is with Mike Gold

As Is With Mike Gold: Fuck ‘Em If They Can’t Take A Poke

As Is With Mike Gold: Fuck ‘Em If They Can’t Take A Poke

Sharpen your teeth for the family feast. Let all the hungry drool roll down your chin. Hide the human and bring out the beast. Let all the animal games begin! – Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, Silver Spoon, 1971.

Last week, reported COVID infections went up 11%. That’s not entirely a bad thing.

Those new cases, according to published accounts, are almost entirely among the unvaccinated. 99.5%, according to the CDC, which is closer than “almost entirely.” If recent history is an indication, this particular subset of moronacy does not believe COVID infections went up 11%. Or, alternately, that COVID has ever been a problem at all. Or, on the mutant’s third hand, it’s all a Democratic Party conspiracy.

With respect to that last idea, they might have a point. Given the overwhelming refusal of many in the Confederate States to get the jab – no nanites for true American patriots! – they are killing off each other. Perhaps they believe the Democrats have bred a new strain of COVID, the Delta Variant (which is not the name of an X-Men graphic novel) that spreads much faster and with far greater efficiency than that which attacked the Atlantic northeast blue states a year and a half ago. To hell with ending gerrymandering, we Pizza Pederasts have on our side… oh, my god… SCIENCE!

The fly in that slice of paranoid pie is that the Democrats haven’t shown the ability to get their act together to organize such a feat since they ended Reconstruction with The Great Compromise of 1877. I continue to question the use of the adjective “Great,” but in those days the Republicans were what we call Democrats today and the Democrats were what we called Republicans – until the remaining, unpurged “Republicans” bent over and turned their asses towards the ex-president.

Be that as it may, all these death worshipping insurrectionists have been warned repeatedly, in every manner possible, throughout the lamestream media. No doubt they’re still busy looking for that Washington pizza parlor’s basement. It’s possible the Cult might have heard about it through their misinformation venues of choice: Twitter, Fox News, the Qanon sites, Breitbart, The Epoch Times, Infowars, Newsmax, One America News, Twitchy, the Washington Times, and a great many others. However, these ill-dressed goose-stepping Goebbels replicants seem to share a different interpretation of the word “vaccine.” They confuse it with “Zyklon B.”

I wonder. WWAR do? What would Ayn Rand do? That disgusting, lying hypocrite took social security, so perhaps she’d take the jab as well. The far right has a hard time letting philosophy get in the way of their own personal… growth. We know her fanboy eye doctor wannabe devotee Kentucky Senator Rand Paul thinks this is a prime example of government overreach. Saving people’s lives is not something in which any Right-thinking American should engage.

As a person who believes in democracy, egalitarianism, freedom of and from religion, and the American Dream, I say to these individuals “Keep on truckin’.” We’ll see if we can bury you under the statues of your favorite treasonous Confederate heroes.

And here you thought COVID was a bummer.

As Is With Mike Gold: Bullshit at the Speed of Light

As Is With Mike Gold: Bullshit at the Speed of Light

I’ve had enough of watching scenes / Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas / All I want is the truth now / Just gimme some truth — John Lennon, Gimme Some Truth, 1971

Okay, I’m a history buff. Have been since I was knee-high to a silkworm. I will now share with you the most important thing I have learned:

Everything you know is wrong.

Not just you. Me, too. And those several people on the planet who are not reading this. In 1916, Henry Ford told the Chicago Tribune, “History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present, and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history that we make today.” Whereas I am loathe to agree with anything that anti-labor super-bigot ever said, I think any careful examination will lend credence to this view.

A more commonly deployed reaction to “facts from friends” got its start in 1932 on The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air radio show. Vaudevillian Jack Pearl played the part of Baron Munchausen, classic teller of tall tales. When his veracity was questioned, the Baron replied in a thick German accent, “Vas you dere, Sharlie?”

Commercial radio, which hit its century mark this past November, greatly accelerated the spread of both Information and its sister, Miss Information. By then, newspapers were doing a fine job of spreading both, but even with the telegraph and seven editions a day news was reported a handful of items at a time. Sometimes — not often enough — corrections were noted in later editions, but we learn in our high school journalism class that whatever you read, hear, or see as “breaking news” has yet to enjoy the benefit of fact-checking, or even of knowing the full story. Today, if you hear something on broadcast news and they are claiming it’s a breaking story (and they claim everything is a breaking story), do not confuse it with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I read a lot of old newspapers, and I do not believe we are subjected to more incorrect and often wacky “news” today than we were a century ago. However, because “news” now travels unchecked at the speed of the internet, it seems like there’s a lot more truthiness because everybody knows something about the story, even while the body is still warm, so to speak. Unconfirmed stories gather credibility because all at once everybody seems to know about everything whether it’s true or not.

If feces is fertilizer for plants, then bullshit is the fertilizer for fake news. Reason goes straight out the window. What kind of idiot could actually believe that the Democratic Party is running a cannibalistic pederasty ring out of the basement of a Washington, DC pizza joint — that doesn’t even have a basement? Well, lots of idiots do. Perhaps millions. You don’t have to believe this particular Munchausen-on-crack tale in order to disbelieve the 2020 election, but there are plenty of other stories that thrive in this neighborhood of the absurd. The 74,216,154 Trumpsters can take their choice of such folderol. And they do.

Virtually everything that comes out of Tucker Carlson’s mouth is bullshit, and much of that is fantastically absurd. His moral comedy show attracts some four million viewers each night. Do they all think what he’s saying is true? Well, no, I’m sure there are some — perhaps many — who watch it because it is so ludicrous, like any other so-called “reality show.” Others are simply grateful the loon stopped wearing his bowties. But I think it is fair to assume that the majority of his flock is joyously lapping up his brain diarrhea. Continue reading “As Is With Mike Gold: Bullshit at the Speed of Light”

As Is With Mike Gold: Kill Your Darlings

As Is With Mike Gold: Kill Your Darlings

God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son.” Abe said, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on.” God say, “No.” Abe say, “What?” God say, “You can do what you want to, but the next time you see me comin’ you better run. Abe said “Where do you want this killing done?” – Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited, 1965

Global warming. Covid. Freedom. Yadda-yadda-yadda, to quote Lenny Bruce. Let’s call it what it is.

Filicide.

As a card-carrying septuagenarian, for me climate change most likely will remain little more than an inconvenience. But I strongly believe we must do something about it because, in one of my rare less-narcissistic observations, I love my kid, but I just don’t know how long she can tread water. We’re supposed to make sacrifices for our kids’ welfare, if for no other reason than that eventual quid-pro-quo.

I should think most parents feel the same way, but I have my doubts. This past week, the Republican Cult of Obstruction once again made it perfectly clear that anything having to do with saving the planet, and therefore our children, will not receive any attention in Congress. These same Cultists rejected, unanimously, the American Rescue Plan that has since saved America’s ass, for which these hypocrites are now trying to take credit. They’re a minority but given the fact that all too many politicians passionately believe that 50.01% does not constitute a majority, the zealots are both intellectually and instinctually challenged.

Perhaps I’m not being fair. The dogmatists seem to care about the concept of offspring – but only up to the moment the fetuses void the womb and mew their first sounds. I’m amazed these holy holy shitheads don’t demand their li’l bastards cut their own damn umbilical cords.

If you still have doubts, look at all the Republican Cultists who refuse to have their children vaccinated. Yes, I’m referring to the Covid shots, but many feel this way about other vaccines: chicken pox, HPV, diphtheria, measles, hepatitis, influenza, polio… to name but a few.

Oh, wait. We stopped polio, didn’t we? Well, yes, we did. In 1952 alone, over 58,000 Americans were disabled by polio, a third were left partially or fully paralyzed, and many died (source: Fox News; so there!). Today, that number is down to zero (one case was reported in 1993, brought in by an unvaccinated visitor). How the hell did we do that? Oh, yeah. Everybody got the polio vaccine! If you didn’t get your kid vaccinated against polio in the 1950s, you were considered by many to be a Communist.

These are highly infectious diseases. The Republican Cultists say “I have a right to refuse a vaccine.” Humm… well, I haven’t found any evidence we have a right to commit manslaughter. By extension, childslaughter is frowned upon as well. If you want to die, there are plenty of bridges around and their state of disrepair won’t matter. But, please, don’t shove your kids off first. As I like to say, when it comes to suicide, don’t be a dick. Continue reading “As Is With Mike Gold: Kill Your Darlings”

As Is with Mike Gold: Boob’s Job

I’m a loser and I’m not what I appear to be / What have I done to deserve such a fate / I realize I have left it too late / And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall / I’m telling you so that you won’t lose all — John Lennon and Paul McCartney, I’m a Loser, 1964.

At the risk of repeating myself — something at which I’m quite good — the reason why the 1938 cartoon “Porky In Wackyland” is my favorite is because it has proven to be remarkably prescient.

83 years ago director Bob Clampett and writer Warren Foster created a seven and-one half minute affirmation of Dr. Sigmund Freud’s declaration that humor arises from breaking taboos, an observation voiced by historian Steve Schneider in his 1988 book That’s All, Folks! The Art of Warner Bros. Animation. Clampett and Foster broke more societal norms than Bill Hicks on a dexedrine tear. Wackyland was a place so surreal that it could melt Salvatore Dali’s mustache.

It’s not really a fun place. Wackyland is quite scary, even by the laws of cartoon physics. In contemporary terms, the best corollary I can think of is the state of Florida.

To illustrate this point, I offer you the thousands of reports from our legitimate news media ever since the 2000 election, the one where their hanging chads led the Supreme Court to give, quite randomly, the presidential election to George W. Bush. Their present governor, the remarkably dangerous and morally obscene dictator Ron DeSantis who is gifted by Cult Leader and Presidential Loser Trump with new kneepads each week, is one of the most disgusting bigots of our current political class. If you think about that for a minute, that’s one hell of an achievement.

Student Riley O’Keefe, before alteration (L) and after (R). New York Times.

So it should come as no surprise that one of their public high schools has banned that tiny line in girls’ yearbook photographs that might indicate said girls were wearing a bra. I believe that line is referred to on The CW as “cleavage.”

WTF, you might ask? Yup. It’s true. At least 80 photos in the new Bartram Trail High School (just south of Jacksonville) were altered to eliminate any indication that these students had naturally maturing bodies. These alterations were made without the consent of the photographees or their parents. None of these particular students were male, but to be fair high school yearbook photos rarely include tight crotch shots… of male students.

Adrian Bartlett, the mother of a student whose visage was subject to the school’s reactionary computer molestation, told The St. Augustine Record her daughter’s picture was edited in her chest area to add more shirt coverage. “It sends the message that our girls should be ashamed of their growing bodies, and I think that’s a horrible message to send out to these young girls that are going through these changes.”

Bartram Trail High School

The school says these photos did not follow the policies dictated by their dress code. The parents of these girls say this is not the case in the least, and of course, the easily produced “before” photos stand as evidence to this point. Many of these censored portraits are quite easy to identify as the Photoshopping job often was done poorly and recklessly.

Not to mention needlessly. Their website states “all individual student pictures must be consistent with the St. Johns County School District Student Code of Conduct or may be digitally adjusted.” However, as noted, many parents do not believe those photos were in any such violation. Evidently, nowhere in their Code (which, in and of itself, is quite discriminatory) does it suggest teenage girls who possess bodies common to teenage girls must wear hazmat suits.

This is a new high bar in body shaming, done by people who obviously believe that teenage girls’ bodies are indeed shameful. If, young lady, you are not a slut your high school seems quite likely to show the world you are. Natural cleavage is bad and must be exorcised, at least at Bartram Trail High School in St. John’s Florida, where Principal Chris Phelps can be reached at (904) 547-8340.

If cleavage were to be forbidden in Florida, their tourism business would be destroyed. It is a deeply hypocritical moral Wackyland down there.

As for those of you who are saying to yourself “Well, sure, Mike, but it’s Florida and, like you said, they’re kinda weird!” I ask you this: if you really think this is happening only in Florida, check your local newspapers. If you’ve still got any. Check back around – oh, you know, prom time.

As Is: Guns and Covid, for Fun and Profit

If you see me walking down the street / And I start to cry each time we meet / Walk on by, walk on by. — “Walk on By,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, 1964.

Here’s one of the reasons why I’m not completely opposed to handgun ownership.

You’re at the supermarket, and you’re wearing your mask. Yeah, I know, lots of people have been vaccinated, including your writer, but according to a scientific study I just made up those that refuse the jab tend to be the same ones who won’t wear a mask. Even if you’re two weeks past your second shot, the issue of your ability to pick Covid up and pass it along to those selfish schmucks who won’t do the right thing remains, as of this posting, unsettled. There are indications that the vaccines provide some benefit in this regard and that’s swell, but until Doctor Fauci, Doctor Fine and Doctor Howard tell us otherwise, it is polite to protect others, even the inconsiderate assholes.

Fun fact: with so many Q-morons refusing to get the jab, we are not going to achieve herd immunity. Well, maybe I’m wrong, and drinking bleach and shoving an ultra-violet lamp up your ass does work after all – I’m told it’s quite a buzz – but I have yet to read of any studies confirming that.

O.K. So you’re masked in the supermarket, remember? And some maskless dickhead is blocking the aisle while loudly mocking your completely unAmerican passion for consideration. You ask him, politely, to get the hell out of the way. He responds by mocking your snowflakeness and insisting he has a constitutional right to not wear a mask because it infringes on his freedom.

You respond — well, I respond — “Where in the constitution does it say you have the right to kill strangers?” After he tells you the 600,000 deaths is Deep State bullshit, you respond — well, I respond — “Perhaps we can agree that the constitution at least implies you have the right to self-defense?”

I know you can’t have more than 100% of anything, but I am absolutely certain that at least 155% of Q-morons will agree with that statement. So you (well, certainly I) respond: “So you agree that, out of self-defense, I can fucking shoot you, right?”

And then you look this fool right in the eye and you reach around to the back of your belt and make a gentle pulling motion.

At this point, nine out of ten Q-morons will get out of your way. Make certain your shirt is pulled out from behind your belt, and just walk on by.

Well, unless you’re Black and the Q-moron is a White cop. Do not take unnecessary risks. Statistics matter.

That’s it for today, folks! Don’t forget to tip the waitstaff, and praise the lord and pass the ammunition and we’ll all stay free.

Happy 420. We’ve Still Got A Long Way To Go

“Please don’t waste your energy on me my friend / cause we still got a long way to go / We’ll meet again someday / but right now just go away / ‘cause I still got a long way to go.” Michael Bruce, Long Way To Go, 1971

Happy 420, a holiday that, I dare say, gets happier each year.

In the past six months, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota and Virginia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. That means as of this writing, its use is legal for adults in 16 states, the “District” of Columbia, and Guam – not to mention Canada, Mexico, and a rapidly increasing number of industrial nations.

Another 20 states have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana and most of those are entertaining complete legalization. More than two-thirds of all Americans support legalization, and this cuts across both political parties and those who identify as liberal, progressive, conservative, libertarian, and Anglo-Saxon.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, we spend nearly four billion dollars each and every year enforcing the existing marijuana laws. 45% of all inmates in federal prisons are there for drug-related offenses (source: Federal Bureau of Prisons). 1.5 million people are arrested each year for drug-related offenses and over 500,000 are behind bars (source: The Economist). We are spending in excess of twenty billion dollars keeping these miscreants behind bars each and every year.

Of course, a highly disproportionate number of weed inmates are not white men and certainly not white men who are “of a certain age.” It bears noting that a young person with a prison record is extremely likely to be marginalized throughout his or her “career,” and, thus, is equally likely to be a financial burden on society. This should go without saying, but if it did, then it wouldn’t be an issue.

You’d think there would be more productive ways to spend our tax dollars, including (but not limited to) reducing taxes.

But if you did, you wouldn’t be President Joe Biden. He’s opposed to national legalization efforts, and his schedule has been tied up firing some of his staff members who have admitted to prior weed use. This liberal icon has been very busy putting our money where his mouth is. It should be noted that Joe Biden, like his legal predecessor and like this writer, does not consume alcohol.

Of course, there are people who are opposed to legalization. There are the usual religious totalitarians who are convinced their invisible hoary thunderer gets angry every time anybody receives any enjoyment out of life. There also are the self-appointed moral monitors who believe Reefer Madness was a documentary.

And, of course, there’s the prison-for-profit racket, a gaggle of soulless entrepreneurs and investors who are all too happy to feel your pain all the way to their bank.

I firmly believe in the original conservative philosophy that demands we “mind our own business.” Here’s a fun fact: when Benjamin Franklin designed the very first American coin, one side states “Mind Your Business” and the other side declares “We Are One.”

I think we would do well by remembering those two phrases, particularly during these difficult times when our nation and its values are under armed attack by those Anglo-Saxon separatists.

Or… maybe… let’s legalize marijuana just to save the money and to free resources that actually will inure to the benefit of our society. Old school Republicans — who seem to have been purged from the party that carries their name — should embrace this idea just to kick big government in its big ass.

Of course, there are other ways to celebrate 420. Personally, I’m partying down at my local vaccine clinic and getting my second jab. I’m told I will likely get sick for a couple of days, and I appreciate the wisdom of the “but it beats getting Covid” mantra.

Hey… party on, Mike!

And have a safe, healthy, and amusing 420. After what we’ve all been through, we deserve it.

Bicycle Day – Our Celebration of Innovation

“I want to ride my bicycle / I want to ride my bike / I want to ride my bicycle / I want to ride it where I like.” Freddie Mercury, Bicycle Race, 1978

Happy Bicycle Day!

Okay, outside of a mawful of ancient hippies (ahem), there aren’t a hell of a lot of people who know about Bicycle Day, and I suspect some who have heard of it couldn’t care less. How’s that for seducing you into reading further?

Tomorrow’s holiday, 420, is better known these days with the legalization of adult recreational cannabis sweeping the nation. There’s a lot I can say about that, and I probably will — tomorrow. As I said, today is Bicycle Day. First things first.

 

Way back in 1938, a Swiss scientist named Albert Hoffman synthesized a respiratory and circulatory stimulant named lysergic acid diethylamide, or as it is more popularly known, LSD. He then put it aside for five years. Evidently his employer, Sandoz (a great name, since abandoned), really wasn’t concerned about return on investment. Dr. Hoffman rediscovered his chemical creation during the height of World War II and he promptly did what anybody who was stuck in the middle of the second war to end all wars would do — he ingested the stuff. Evidently, that wasn’t his plan; he said some of it sort of spilled on him while he was re-synthesizing. Or, as The Fugs said, “it crawled into my hand, honest.” I don’t know why Hoffman was covering his ass, as nobody had invented a test for LSD use at the time.

About an hour later, Dr. Hoffman felt very restless and slightly dizzy. “At home, I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed… I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After about two hours this condition faded away,” Albert revealed in 1980.

Three days later, Hoffman tried it again, this time most certainly on purpose, and he did so at the lab. He was taken home to sleep it off – on a bicycle! This bicycle ride taken during the first intentional LSD trip by its creator first was celebrated in 1985 as Bicycle Day at Northern Illinois University. Thanks to Covid, I am sitting at home in the Atlantic Northeast and not on a bicycle riding through the streets of DeKalb — as if I’d ever done that in the past.

LSD’s potential as a treatment for depression and other serious mental health conditions has been well considered for about 70 years. Lately, the concept of using various psychedelic drugs (including mushrooms) as treatment has undergone serious reconsideration, and the medicinal use of such substances is being renewed in several states. Recreational use is also under consideration; evidently, while cannabis is not the gateway drug President Biden and other science-deniers claim it is, legalization of recreational marijuana may very well be. Nonetheless, some very hopeful and positive results with respect to depression and sundry mental health conditions have been reported.

(I am assuming “mental health conditions” remains the politically correct way of referring to it this week. I don’t know; the American Psychiatric Association can’t update its DSM-5 fast enough.)

I admire Dr. Hoffman’s reaction to his own experiment. Mind you, experimenting on yourself in a non-clinical setting might not be the smartest move you could make. To quote the great Johnny Knoxville, “Hey, kids, don’t try this at home!”

If you find yourself without two-wheeled transport today, there is another way to celebrate the holiday. Drew Carey, of television and stand-up comedy fame, has been doing a truly terrific free-form rock and roll show on Little Steven’s Underground Garage every Friday for several years now, and tonight — yeah, it’s Monday, not Friday — Carey is broadcasting a special Bicycle Day tribute to psychedelic rock on SiriusXM channel 21 today from 10 pm to midnight EDT.

Leave it to Drew Carey to come up with the on-target way of celebrating Bicycle Day, a day of invention, innovation, introspection, and independence.

As for the use of psychedelic drugs in the 21st century — hey, folks, it’s a brave new world.