Tag: Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!

Good news, potheads! You no longer have to drive down to Uruguay to hang out in a nation where your recreational smoking predilections won’t get you thrown in prison.

Yesterday’s Toronto Star gave us the news. Recreational cannabis is now legal north of the border. “As Canada stops treating cannabis as a ‘social evil,’ police look to ‘culture change’ in enforcement.” Their coverage of the event went on to discuss expedited pardons for pot possessors, a province-by-province breakdown of the price of weed, and photos of normal, average everyday Canadians standing in long lines at their newly opened weed shops as though they enjoyed waiting for that first iPhone a decade ago.

And, from the looks of the crowd, I’m sure many did.

Yesterday, cartoonist/storyteller Erik Larsen scored one of the biggest (probably unintentional) public relations victories in comics. The 239th issue of Savage Dragon (full disclosure: it’s one of my absolute favorite comics, for reasons I’ll probably explain in an upcoming Brainiac On Banjo column) went on sale the same day Canadian weed went legal. The lead character, his wife and children, and some members of the supporting cast relocated to the Great White North last year. Toronto, to be exact, which happens to be my favorite city in North America. I identify with, and am jealous of, any Chicagoan who moves to Toronto. Will the Savage Dragon mellow out and become the Magic Dragon?  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #016: … and The Doobie Brothers Aren’t Really Brothers!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #013: Kavanaugh and Cosby’s Innocent Merriment

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #013: Kavanaugh and Cosby’s Innocent Merriment

My object all sublime / I shall achieve in time / To let the punishment fit the crime / The punishment fit the crime; And make each prisoner pent / Unwillingly represent / A source of innocent merriment! / Of innocent merriment

-William S. Gilbert, The Mikado, 1885

The oft-suggested de facto position of the Republican Party is that rape really isn’t such a big deal. They are mistaken. In fact, rape is obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent… and extremely pervasive.

On Fox News Monday evening, Supreme Court Justice-wannabe Brett Kavanaugh offered as his defense against two charges (quickly upgraded to three) of sexual assault his claim that he was a virgin all the way through college. The mere fact that he thinks this is any sort of a defense makes him lower than pond scum, yet only half as intelligent. Although many of his Republican friends backed this defense until they were told, possibly by their daughters, to shut the hell up. I believe Brett when says he was a virgin because, quite frankly, with his attitude I’m amazed any woman or man would ever want to fuck him. But as a defense, his alleged virginity is completely irrelevant.

Brett, you birdbrain, here’s the bird’s-eye lowdown on sexual assault. You can, and according to your very own behavior most likely did, commit sexual assault while still maintaining your virginity. There’s a term for this: it’s called attempted rape. It’s a felony. It appears, Brett, from the very words you uttered during the past two weeks that you are a failed rapist.

Well, after all, Republican boys will be Republican boys. 

The Kavanaugh cover-up almost interfered with the story of Bill Cosby’s sentencing for the rape of Andrea Constand in 2004. He had been found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault which, combined, carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. On Tuesday, Judge Steven O’Neill sentenced Cosby to three years.

Judge O’Neill, whose office telephone number is 610-278-3985, was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker, then a prominent member of the Republican Party. You know, the party that is anti-abortion but pro-rape. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” Judge O’Neill will be on the bench until 2023, in case you’re planning on drugging and raping somebody but you’re not sure where best to do it.

“Well, he’s an old man,” some say. “Fuck you,” I say. He’s an old rapist, and three years in prison does not pass the Mikado test. If Cos is an unruly bastard in the slammer, his sentence might be extended up to 10 years. My guess is that he’ll remain under house arrest until his appeals have been exhausted. At his age, Cosby’s likely to have been exhausted before his appeals are exhausted.

Oh, yeah. Cosby must register as a sex offender. As Noah said, “Riiiight.” This will fuck up his ability to land a job. Quite frankly, registering as a sex offender is redundant. He’s already registered as “Bill Cosby.” America’s Dad has got himself a problem.

Recent comments made by numerous top-level Republicans including Senate leader Mitch McConnell and pussy-grabber-in-chief Donald J. Trump trivialize women’s experiences. They may or may not have a similar position about male rape victims. Mr. Trump, an admitted sex deviant, took pride in boasting about how he burst in to the girl’s dressing room to gawk at the semi-naked underage girls at his 1997 Miss Teen USA pageant. Perhaps where he’s headed, our nation’s top monster will learn otherwise the hard way.

If the punishment is to fit the crime.

(Our columnist would like to thank Marty Balin and the late Paul Kantner for the use of my favorite line from their song “We Can Be Together.”)

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #011: I Won’t Toe Your Line Today

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #011: I Won’t Toe Your Line Today

There I was at the immigration scene / Shining and feeling clean, could it be a sin? / I got stopped by the immigration man / He said he doesn’t know if he can let me in

There’s this disc jockey I’ve been listening to and learning from for about, oh good grief, almost 45 years now. Her name is Terri Hemmert, she’s been on WXRT-Chicago all that time after doodling around in Rochester NY. Spending 45 years at one radio station is not simply an accomplishment. Unless you own the station, it’s the rarest of rarities. And for good reason, the same reason that, through the miracle of the Internet, I still listen to her after all this time. Live and learn. It’s a good thing.

Sometimes learning actually is relearning; those slap-your-forehead moments that makes you wonder why you hadn’t thought of that. Last Monday Terri played Immigration Man, written and recorded by Graham Nash and David Crosby back in 1972. She noted that this song actually is more relevant today than it was when it was released.

Which is when I slapped my forehead.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #011: I Won’t Toe Your Line Today”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #009: Finger From Beyond The Grave!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #009: Finger From Beyond The Grave!

It’s impolite to joke around over somebody’s death, but when it’s the deceased who make the joke from beyond the grave, hey, credit the jokester and pass the gag around. It’s his legacy… and, well, it’s also really cool.

There were few issues where I was on the same side as Senator John McCain. However — and this is in keeping with my past bleatings here at Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind — McCain wasn’t a kneejerk ideologue. He listened to people. Sometimes, after reflection, he’d change his mind or position. This is not what we’ve been getting from our politicians, but it is what we expect from real human beings.

In contrast, there is our president. He is not an ideologue either, but the difference is McCain actually had ideas. POTUS brags how he maliciously maintains his ignorance. He supports whatever he last heard on Fox And Friends is his policy, until he’s next distracted by something even more dark and shiny.

Yes, Donald Trump got his start as a villain in a Max Fleischer cartoon.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #009: Finger From Beyond The Grave!”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #008: America: The New Zen Question

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #008: America: The New Zen Question

If there is life after death, George Orwell must be contemplating suicide.

This past week, former New York City Mayor and Republican candidate for President Rudy Giuliani told Meet The Press’s Chuck Todd “Truth isn’t truth.” Todd, clearly exasperated, responded “Mr. Mayor, the truth is the truth. This is going to be a bad meme.” He was giving Rudy a chance to immediately walk that one back. Instead, Giuliani responded “Don’t do this to me,” as though Chuck put that asinine statement in his mouth.

It’s not that Giuliani hadn’t made statements almost as insane before. But, in the words of Boris the Hangman, “as you can see, this one is a doozy!”

His comment on the relationship between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and American imbecile Donald Trump: “Kim Jong-un got back on his hands and knees and begged for it, which is exactly the position you want to put him in.”  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #008: America: The New Zen Question”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #006: Race and Treason

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #006: Race and Treason

I would like to recommend an article published by The Guardian earlier this week. It is a study of the Confederacy, the Confederate flag, and the part each plays in the lives of Mississippians today. You might learn a thing or two. I did.

The piece largely consists of interviews with Mississippians, mostly white, about the symbol of the Confederate army which was then, and certainly is now, symbolic to many of slavery, rape, murder, and treason. Some Mississippians, including some black Mississippians, consider it a historical reflection of their heritage. I don’t understand why one would want to institutionalize a heritage of slavery, rape, murder, and treason, and the Guardian article does shed some light on that.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #006: Race and Treason”

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #004: Trump’s Base: Who’s On First?

Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #004: Trump’s Base: Who’s On First?

Hey, kids! It’s math time!

We hear a lot about Donald Trump’s base. He’s always playing to his base. There’s little those of us who believe his actions have been dangerous to our society and to our collective livelihood can do about Trump because of that base.

Bullshit. Indeed, such claims are virtually… baseless.

There’s no question the Republican Party as we once knew it has been taken over by Trump. As I’ve stated previously, I kinda miss the pre-neocon Republicans but I have no sympathy for the current gaggle of cowards who sit by and let Trump have his way with them. The foremost skill a successful politician must have is the ability to count noses. You don’t let the polls do your counting for you without looking at the numbers behind the numbers – where your constituency stands at on the sundry topics of the day and how those numbers have changed during the previous weeks. And the Republicans no longer know how to do this.  Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mind #004: Trump’s Base: Who’s On First?”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #003: Naked If I Want To

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #003: Naked If I Want To

“Would you let me walk down your street / Naked if I want to / Can I stop by your work on the Fourth of July / Can I buy an amplifier on time / I ain’t got no money / But I will pay you before I die.” – Naked If I Want To, written by Jerry Miller, performed by Moby Grape, 1967

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he does not believe Russia is still targeting the United States, contradicting U.S. intelligence assessments that Moscow was continuing its attempts to meddle in American elections…. Asked by reporters on Wednesday if Russia was still targeting the United States, Trump shook his head and said, “No.” U.S. intelligence officials have said Russian election interference efforts are continuing and now target the upcoming congressional elections in November. – Reuters, July 18 2018

Well, now it’s official. The President of the United States has the mental and emotional capabilities of a four-year-old. And not even a smart four-year-old. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #003: Naked If I Want To”

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #001: Stand Up! Now!

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #001: Stand Up! Now!

Well, this is interesting. For the first time in many years, I’m writing both Brainiac On Banjo and Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind each week. B.O.B. is devoted to the greater world of comics and graphic novels and appears right here at PopCultureSquad.com every Monday, health and opportunity permitting. This column, which shall appear on every Thursday, is about politics, which, unfortunately, molds our culture and often bends it into shapes that would keep a balloon clown awake in a cold sweat.

Don’t worry. Both columns can be perceived as complete rants babbled from the dankest caverns of a deluded blowhard. I’ve earned it.

A half-century ago, I spent several years working hand-in-fist with the likes of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. It was a great time, and we-all did some work of which I am quite proud. Jerry often said the proudest moment of his life was when he was subpoenaed to testify before the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee, right-wing America’s powerful tribute to Cardinal Richelieu. Jerry said that receiving that subpoena was like getting his college diploma.

I miss HUAC. For all the damage it had done – and it had done a lot of damage – they were relatively straightforward about their goals and concerns. In comparison, today’s Great American fascists (check the word out; it may not be what you think) are weasels who vomit a bouillabaisse of lies, distortions, hidden motives, and pay-for-play contradictions. Continue reading “Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind #001: Stand Up! Now!”

Brainiac On Banjo #001: Back In The Saddle Again!

Brainiac On Banjo #001: Back In The Saddle Again!

For those who came in late: Well, hello there! After a nice half-year nap, I’ve gone back to the magic keyboard to unleash my innermost thoughts onto a weary public, now, here on this fabulous new site Pop Culture Squad! I have some concept of what’s likely to happen at PCS – we’re in “soft launch” mode right now and lots of weird and synapse-melting things are coming down the pike, particularly in the realm of multimedia.

If you’re new to my sundry waxings, you’ll catch on pretty quick. Brainiac On Banjo is a line the late great Vivian Stanshall uttered in the song “The Intro and the Outro” on the very first Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band album, and that’s the same record that gave Death Cab For Cutie its name.

As one might infer, Brainiac On Banjo is about the ever-broadening world of comic books and related media. I’ve had some experience laboring in those fields forever and ever – if we haven’t already, I’ll probably have something of a bio up on PCS soon, as in “after I’m told to write one.” I’m also involved in lotsa other shit, like the Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind radio show (see below), and I’ll indulging in my most offensive political fantasies right here on Pop Culture Squad starting this Thursday.

Be warned. It’s been quiet out there.

Too quiet.

I’m going to kick off the return of Brainiac On Banjo by doing something that might confuse or even startle long-time readers: I’m going to praise a DC Comics production without once writing about their unrequited passion for slapping the reboot button like a monkey in a crack experiment. Nope, not even once. Really.

Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #001: Back In The Saddle Again!”