Tag: George Carlin

As Is by Mike Gold #017: Make Room?? Good Luck!

As Is by Mike Gold #017: Make Room?? Good Luck!

I think I’m sophisticated ’cause I’m living my life like a good homo sapien, but all around me everybody’s multiplying and they’re walking round like flies, man. So I’m no better than the animals sitting in the cages in the zoo, man. ‘Cause compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees, I am an apeman. — “Apeman,” written by Ray Davies.

For me, the scariest event of the past year (a.k.a. “yesterday”) was seeing the above headline in the Chicago Sun-Times. Mind you, 2023 was the scariest year of my life since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, and 2024 is shaping up to make that look like a walk in the park on a nice spring day. The fact is, eight billion people on a marble built to warehouse maybe 1.5 billion at best is cause for a Pepto-Bismol transfusion.

Eight BILLION people! I apologize for shouting, but that’s The Naked City times one thousand!

We can argue our actual global occupancy limit number — I rounded it off at 1,500,000,000 breathing bodies, but if you feel any need to reality test our actual limit then you should get out more often. People can’t stop recklessly pounding out more people, often because their invisible friend ordered them to. Eventually, most all of those new people will want cars of their own and maybe even a place to live. We’re rapidly running out of the latter, and in much of Europe and North America there are damn few places to build new roads and to maintain fueling stations, be they fossil or EV. And Americans despise public transportation.

So where do we put all the new bodies? In 2015, Habitat reported 1.6 billion people lacked adequate housing. In 2021, the World Economic Forum said 150 million people were homeless worldwide. That, to state the obvious, is lot of people. Continue reading “As Is by Mike Gold #017: Make Room?? Good Luck!”

Brainiac On Banjo: I’m Gonna Get A Lotta Shit For This…

Life’s a football game, as every chump and champ knows. We don’t touch, we collide, till we’re worn out inside. We’re kicking each other, right where it hurts, setting up the big play, and trying to score. — “Football” written by Iggy Pop, Whitey Kirst, and Whitney Kirst.

Art by Jack Davis

Yeah, I know I’m going to get a lot of shit for this, but the worst thing that ever happened to America is football.

OK. Breathe into a paper bag for a minute and then read my explanation.

As George Carlin told us back in 1975 during the very first episode of Saturday Night Live, and I excerpt, “football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness. Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog. In football, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you’re capable of taking the life of a fellow human being. In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.”

Art by Jack Davis

Fine. That’s the sport of football. Compared to the way the rest of the world plays their football, very few people actually get killed. Except in Canada, where they play a different game of football altogether and they are very polite, once they get outside of a hockey arena. But the culture of American football — and that’s the last time I’ll use that adjective with respect to sport — well, that’s a whole different thing. It is much more dangerous. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: I’m Gonna Get A Lotta Shit For This…”

Brainiac On Banjo: Tits and Boobs and Breasts… Oh, My!

Brainiac On Banjo: Tits and Boobs and Breasts… Oh, My!

“‘Tits’ doesn’t even belong on the list! That’s such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. ‘Hey, Tits, come here, man. Hey! Hey Tits, meet Toots. Toots, Tits. Tits, Toots.’ It sounds like a snack, doesn’t it? Yes, I know, it is a snack. But I don’t mean your sexist snack! I mean New Nabisco Tits!, and new Cheese Tits, Corn Tits, Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits, Onion Tits, Tater Tits. ‘Betcha Can’t Eat Just One!’ That’s true. I usually switch off.” – George Carlin, The Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television

Of course there are a lot of things going on in this world that confuse me, and I suspect that might be true with you as well. Much of that confusion comes from America’s new environment of interpretive truth. To be fair, that is exacerbated by our politically correct atmosphere — that which the Christian Nationalists, dullards and assholes call “woke” because they can’t cope with five extra syllables.

One of the things that confuses me, and it has for quite some time now, is the proper euphemism for breasts. Oh, c’mon. It’s not like we don’t all have them. I realize the holy-moly rounders are not allowed to say “breasts” unless they’re in a Chick-fill-A and their hunger overwhelms their religious angst. Yes, I’m looking at you, Mike Pence.

From watching television commercials these days, it is clear that the word “boobs” is the current preference. Some find the word “tits” to be rude or even outright disgusting. Whereas boobs sounds like it’s more fun than tits (which is nonsense; they are equally fun), I don’t quite get it. The Oxford Dictionary defines boob as “a foolish or stupid person” and, second, as “an embarrassing mistake.” The whole breast thing is noted further down the listing. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: Tits and Boobs and Breasts… Oh, My!”

Brainiac On Banjo #072: Grave New World

Brainiac On Banjo #072: Grave New World

I dream of cherry pies / Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies / We used to microwave / Now we just eat nuts and berries / This was a discount store / Now it’s turned into a cornfield / You’ve got it, you’ve got it / Don’t leave me stranded here / I can’t get used to this lifestyle – (Nothing But) Flowers, David Byrne

I have spent my entire life being a collector.

No, not a debt collector or a tax collector, not even a rubber band collector. I am a stuff collector, and I mean “stuff” in the George Carlin sense of the term. I collect music (over 43,000 tracks, thank you), I collect comic books, I collect books about comic books, I collect books in general. I collect movies, teevee shows, artwork… all kinds of stuff.

The question “now where do I put this?” spikes my second biggest fear. My biggest fear is having to move all my stuff from the house that has warehoused my collections for almost a third of a century, abetted by the many collections possessed by my daughter and my late wife. Comics collections from the three of us, a legion of statues, enough history books to fill a wing at the Library of Congress, flicks I am dying to see again but won’t live long enough to do so… All this has combined to define the most consistent and most dominant part of my life. But moving it all to another place will look a lot like photos of those ancient, beautiful houses that somehow get boosted onto a flatbed truck and taken cross-town so developers who bribed their way into eminent domain can turn the land into a parking lot.

This hasn’t been an investment thing, and in that I am lucky. If all this stuff was here to make money, I’d have to go down to Wall Street and jump out of a window. This is because, aside from the Daffy Duck “I WANT IT” syndrome, today nearly all that stuff, no matter what it is, is available digitally. A 30-terabyte hard disc drive will house it all in a box that is much smaller than the Collected Works of Michael Moorcock. Of course, with all the streaming services around covering virtually all media, you really don’t even need that disc drive.

It’s possible that moving or disposing my collections will not be my problem. It might become my daughter’s problem. Hey, none of us are getting any younger (you’ve probably noticed that) and, whereas that’s a nasty trick to play on her, she is merely 25 years my younger and I’d like to be around to see her have decide what to sell and what really neat shit to hold on to. Sort of a Sophie’s Choice… without the “wait; you’re going to kill one of my kids??” bit.

Overall, this is a rather minor concern. There are much more important things to be concerned about. I don’t wake up in a cold sweat thinking about this, although I’m certain I will if I ever have to move it. I’ve enjoyed this stuff and, besides, maybe the tons of dust my collections gather will cure cancer or the common cold or something. I mean, look, we do not know why the guy who first looked at penicillin in a petri dish said “Wow! Cool!! I think I’m going to hit this shit up!” However, I do wonder if, at that time, this cat had the clap.

You know the old phrase “Evolution Happens.” Well, okay, I poured some artistic license over that one, but you get the point. The focus should be on content and not possession. Buddha had tons of material possessions, as the story goes, but he gave it all away to charity. I wonder which charity would be most interested in my Steve Ditko collection.

Like most of us who have a strong sense of wonder but a short attention span, I always have endeavored to embrace change. But making plans for one’s personal end times is a whole ‘nother thing. I think it takes well over a decade to work all this stuff out but… Hello! Short attention span, remember?

The contradiction in this labor is that I’ve spent my entire lifetime acquiring all this stuff. My thinking about eliminating it, no matter how remarkably logical it is to do so, feels as though I am invalidating my mission, my passion for existence.

And you wonder why old men scream at the clouds.

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #070: Words of Wisdom, Words of Strife

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #070: Words of Wisdom, Words of Strife

“Words are trouble, words are subtle / Words of anger, words of hate / Words over here, words out there / In the air and everywhere / Words of wisdom, words of strife / Words that write the book I like.” – Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Steven Stanley, Wordy Rappinghood

“Gestapo? You asshole, I’m the mailman!” – Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce

Ayn Rand, Dick Gregory, and Pol Pot walk into a bar…

Yeah, I know. Too soon. But, damn, what ever happened to our sense of humor? It seems the more we care about something, the less perspective we have about the subject. Humor is key to establishing and expanding one’s perspective.

Irwin Corey

Laughter opens doors. Satire opens minds. Al Capone did not say “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone,” but he could have. In fact, this observation was given to us by Professor Irwin Corey, a Broadway actor, an incisive comedian, a far-left activist, and a hero of mine. And the good professor certainly made Capone’s point for him – we take this misattributed quote as an axiom. It makes the point succinctly, and it gets that point across the plate.

We are so concerned about not hurting somebody’s feelings that we forget that some feelings deserve to be hurt. That’s part of bringing about change. You don’t have to take malicious pride in doing so if you don’t want to, but you can get much farther with a funny word than by breeding mopery. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #070: Words of Wisdom, Words of Strife”