"Elias Nebula is practicing Japanese but no one knows."

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"I Am Not Curious, Orange." Or, "Trump L'Oeil."

I get the feeling Trump has been stung more than a leetle by the harsh words of the "Press" –– the "Media" –– that amorphous awful hydra that of one mind crawls across the Republic like a many–armed leech.

Poor guy! I say this because he was on TV yesterday and I said to my wife, "Is there something wrong with the TV? Or am I dreaming? Trump isn't orange."

I started thumping the TV in time–honored fashion, even though it is a flatscreen. I sort of batted at it.

Trump was pink with almost white hair. He was the colour of a heart attack waiting to happen.

He looked like the brother in Trading Places that is not Don Ameche.

Yeah –– Randolph Duke.
Remember how he ended up?

"I don't think Hillary's fit for office!"

Trump looked like a classic old Republican!

He'd had a do–over.

"He must have really been stung by those Cheetos placards on the marches," I mused. "Trump is no longer the new orange."

Poor guy's awfully thin–skinned. Unlike an orange!

He's more like a nectarine.

His hair remains a foul four-dimensional enigma.
His hair is an M.C. Escher trompe l'oeil, pun intended.
Has this pun been used yet? Can I copyright it?

All the criticisms leveled at him, all the awful things they have said about him, all true, and the worst one for him was that he looks like a Cheeto. "They can call me a steaming turd and a Nazi, but when they say I look like a Cheeto it's too much."

MELANIA: Donaldt, dolink, come on back to der sunbed Gott in Himmel vey ist meir.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Recommend to me the man who can get any pleasure –– or sense –– out of a grapefruit.

Preparing (or assembling) a grapefruit is like hard time done in the salt mines.

Eating it is like thirty years in the gulag archipelago!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Two Score of Jests" / "Vale"

My Final "Jests"

1. "Entertainment Crackers"

Crackers that are so nice they are called "entertainment crackers." 

Perhaps you have heard of them. 
I think that their reputation rather proceeds them. 
They are opposed to their confreres in the biscuit tin, the miserable "water cracker" -- so named because it tastes like water. 
"Bread and water." 
They should call them prisonhouse crackers. 
Poorhouse crackers.
Penitentiary crackers. 

2. I misremembered the name of the dog from Downton Abbey. I called her "Ibis" ("Ibex") when her name is "Isis". 


Here endeth my excellent run of jests, which ran rather like that peculiar figure Emerson describes in "Experience" - that "train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus."

I do not believe I am being grandiloquent when I make the comparison.
I do not believe I am being pretentious when I make the allusion.
The better-loved, more beautiful beads, it seems, were the least-loved among ye. 
You my readers who it seems pine for chintz and paste trinkets!
Ye came to me to read of Storage Wars, of Market Warriors, even of Dog the Bounty Hunter
My own humble prattle about the daily goings-on in my days when I reflected amicably on life in a district of Brooklyn town seem to have amused few among ye. 
Shall you recoil from me once more if I draw on another figure from the American Renaissance, now recalling the words of Longfellow as I describe my actions?

And the night shall be filled with music,

    And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
    And as silently steal away.

When I published my squibs exclusively in pamphlet form, in the previous century, I used to round off each volume with a vow that the next volume should not be offered to the former subscription list; that I would leave copies only in hedgerows, in huckleberry bushes, in ditches, in dead letter boxes, in drop-points, secreted in the almshouses of Abingdon and the charity shops of Norwich's St. Benedict's Street. The municipal hutches for cats at the top of Long Island; Commercial Street between Box and Clay?

These threats were empty vessels and I'd routinely return, like a drinker from LETHE's waters, to the fray of publishing my own jokes and tirades.

These days I have had the petulance scoured out of me, and instead withdraw my gaming pieces with that sort of playful misanthropy that has become my signature on this site. 

I say, I -- who so gamely threw myself into the "great game" -- I withdraw my dies and counters respectfully from that humiliated bandshell the public arena, and fold myself up, mummy-like, in the shroud of my former showman's tent.

Got metaphors if you want 'em. 

The next time I feel compelled to write a new rumination on the subject of Market Warriors or Top Chef or Chef Race, I might conceivably resume posting my findings somewhere "online" where the mysterious hundreds who read those posts will easily find me again. 

Under what name I shall discourse, I do not say. 

I prefer to ask, what name did Achilles travel under when he went among the women? 

As for the more personal ("bitter, dreary") entries, these shall return to the printed page eventually (sold on the streets of Brooklyn) or they shall perish - as they should - in an old-fashioned diary I have.

That said, I might equally exit, folding my puptent like the Arabs as I goe, with the winking recommendation that you regularly check your local lychgate for chapbooks and "little magazines". 

You never know what you might find in the hawthorn among the huckleberries!

[Unctuous smile.  Exeunt.]

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"George Lucas Says He's Retiring."

George Lucas has announced that he is retiring.

Retiring from what?

"I am retiring from golf and scuba diving and the cocktail hour and thumb-twiddling and also from orchestrating pointless, mindless, endless orgies. I am going to take up the cello."


Maybe George Lucas should retire from trimming his beard in his wonted eccentric style. The combination of the fat multiple chins with that precisely-kept beard creates a dispiriting effect.

"Other People's Favourite TV Shows."

I was watching an old episode of Parking Wars as I ate my lunch. It was an episode I'd seen before but that's okay because Parking Wars rewards the repeat viewer. It's like re-reading Herman Melville.

In the commercial break they had an advert for CSI Miami on DVD.

I thought, "Hard to believe some people sit around like schmucks watching old episodes of CSI Miami -- and yet they do!"

It is quite incredible what people sit around watching on TV after hours.


Speaking of Parking Wars, I asked wife last night, "What do you think the lyrics are to the Parking Wars theme song?" It's an unusual choice for a theme song, but a good one.

I think the lyrics are, "That ain't gonna make it right / That ain't gonna make it all right / That ain't gonna make it all right now." These are the sum of the lyrics.  It is also the only song I can think of that manages to credibly incorporate a "large van or truck-reversing" alarm into the music itself.

The new episodes of Parking Wars have mysteriously moved away from Philadelphia and are now featuring scenes in Staten Island and the Bronx.

The guy from the Bronx who drives a tow-truck that removes cars from private car parks. He said: "Dis tha hood so people think they can park where they like. They wrong today."

He stopped off at his toddler's pre-school and went over to peer into the playground to look for his son. When his son scrambled over, dad started baby-talking at him, "You gonna play Playstation tonight?, gonna play Batman Lego tonight?" He kissed his son through the mesh fencing. Then he turned away and said to the camera cold-blooded: "Next generation of car-towing right there."


Cody on Chef Race: "I am literally walking into a lion's den."

Another episode Cody became tearful and said to his team-mates: "I'm really impressed. Right now you
guys have got so much respect for me." 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fast And Expensive Comments

Last night, on Person of Interest, John Rees dispatched the perp by driving his car into the guy's SUV & knocking it into him.

On Jeopardy, the two new contestants were named Walkenhorst and Lowmaster. Both females. The blonde woman who had dominated for the last week was toppled from her throne. There wasn't anything offensive about her per se, but I was greatly relieved that she was deposed. She seemed to get cockier every day in her little interviews with Alex, after the first break. She was getting to sort of like being on the television. She was kind of adapting horribly to it. Alex, of course, hates it when the contestants try to outshine him and he jealously, peevishly squashes their repartee when it sprouts. He tries to kill their jokes in the very act of birth. It's in his professional interest for the contestants to be stammering dullards with nothing worth saying. Usually they are. So he was happy to see the blonde go too I think.

Lowmaster won. How her reign shall be remembered by future generations, we cannot say.

On Life After Top Chef Mike Isabella shows up each week even though he is not one of the four featured chefs. I presume he was "put out" that he wasn't invited to be one of the featured chefs, so he furiously contrives to turn up at the filming of every episode as if by happenstance, and perfectly naturally wanders into shot.
This week he happened to turn up at Spike Mendelsohn's place on his moped while the cameras were there. "Oh, are you filming? I'll come back. I can go. You want me to stay? Okay I'll stay."
By the way, the title to this show must be ironic, because the overriding message behind this show is that there is no life after Top Chef. These fuckers are just diddling about while life goes past!
One day they'll be dead!

Idea for TV Show. Colicchio Versus Colameco: Who'd Win.

The pitch: "Who'd win in the crude, ugly slugfest that would obviously ensue when these two eminent chefs met."

On Chef Race: UK Versus US   Johnnie Mountain continues his inevitable apotheosis into Walter White.

Incidentally, did I not make the point several months ago that Mitt Romney looks like Don Draper? "Katty Kay" made the same point, belatedly, on Charlie Rose the other night, after the debate. I wish you could copyright little super-recognitions like that. There must be a way to make money out of super-recognition but I haven't figured it out yet if there is.

Boring Comics. Anything with the Savage Land or the Shi'Ar in it. That is to say, the X-Men. When Sauron (half-man, half-pteranosaur) flies into the shot it is time for us to retire discreetly. When the Starjammers come running dynamically into a room pointing their ray-guns (as they invariably do) it is time to respectfully retire from that same room -- by a different door -- methinks.

I was re-reading some old issues of Uncanny X-Men from about 1990 and you could almost see, as if  in "real time," the collapse and utter demise of Chris Claremont's writing style into incoherence. It's shocking to behold. He developed this sort of be-bopping free-association stream-of-consciousness that was alarming to the sensitive reader. By the end of his run, when I presume he was forcibly removed from the Marvel offices, he was writing sheer gibberish, talking in tongues. Like Pound with the so-called "China Cantos."

I was listening to Bonny Prince Billy's last album the other day, Wolfroy Goes to Town, hearing it meander blandly into little pockets of awfulness, and I remember thinking, "He's another one." Like Emerson to the Sphinx.

Also boring, the Wolverine story, "Weapon X." What actually happens in this story? It's a protracted surgical procedure with, so far as I can tell, bickering staff. I'd as lief watch Grey's Anatomy.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Chef Races Are Here, Who Will Join?"... "Snoopy Tennis"... "Unused Jokers"

"Chef Races Are Here, Who Will Join?"

BBC America has graced us with an "exclusive" show that is on here before it is on in England (or at the same time) (or it ain't even on in England). The program is Chef Race. It has two magic words in it. "Chef" and "Race". How can a TV show with these two words in it fail?

Hard to say -- but they are doing their level best to test the question.

One character on it is Rebecca. Her infectious catchphrase that she says with conviction and undaunted regularity is this: "My name's Rebecca and I'm nineteen years old. There's so many people that fink I'm nineteen and I don't know what I'm doing."
They "fink" she is nineteen -- and they are apparently right.
She is nineteen.

Another character is Johnnie Mountain who you might remember disgraced himself so manfully on The Great British Menu. He has distinguished himself as a madman here already. He seems to be delicately balanced and yet he has thrown himself wholesale into this crass, crude scramble across the United States. I wonder why they don't call it "Authentic Meltdown of a Madman" instead. I wonder why they don't call it "Egg and Spoon Race Across This Fine Republic Of Ours Where The Egg Is a Man And His Head Is Going To Get Hard-Boiled and Cracked Quite Asunder." Suppose Mister MOUNTAIN aims to out-Gordon Gordon in this, the country where Gordon is on television almost constantly.

When Gordon is not on TV it is only because Top Gear or Doctor Who is on instead.

Doctor Who, or as I know it, What The Fuck?

I have known two men in my travels who actually wrote Doctor Who novels. Neither man impressed me with their, let us say, Goethe-like genius.

I must point out that I am not tediously following British reality shows from New York.  I am not yet quite that pathetic. I saw Great British Menu while I was in England earlier this year.

(Incidentally read an online review of this show where the reviewer explained his sole reason for watching the show: "It's on after Eggheads and I watch Eggheads while I have tea. Dreadful admission I know." This says more about the British psyche than perhaps any single sentence yet written.)

Nevertheless there is a peculiar specimen of humanoid in the world that indeed does do this strange thing -- following foreign reality shows by tedious often illegal means. People watch TV shows from across the world (or indeed they don't even watch them, just "follow" and "like" them) and enter into heated discussions of those shows with pen-pals abroad in "chatroom threads".

I was looking online to see what the vox populi said about Gallery Girls one time and I was astonished to find, among the hundreds of vituperative statements calling for the destruction by hanging of the odious CHANTAL CHADWICK, people from Australia were pitching in saying "I haven't actually seen the show but I know the type and I hate them. We have them in the Bungle Bungles too." A mad world, my masters, when people take the time out of their day to pitch in on a television program they haven't even seen.

Similarly there are people from all over the world pitching in their "two penn'orth" on the minutiae of The Amazing Race -- and they live in the unsullied magnificence of rural England. Nevertheless they seem to love to be accepted in the worldwide community.

These people are unusual and unwell and should go far.

"Words With Friends" -- or as I know it, "Mind-Games Against My Enemies."

"Vicious, Conniving Machinations In Abject Opposition to My Foemen"


"Snoopy Tennis"

After the Paralympics ("The Paranormal Laff-A-Lympics") ("Paranoid Olympics"), what is to follow from the English, those champions of the challenged? The English have enjoyed expressing their benevolence as a nation and they don't want to let up now the "Games" are done with. Perhaps now can come a contest between middling and indifferent sportsmen and women. Perhaps I can humbly throw my hat in the ring and enter the Games.
I would like to play Olympic tennis please.
My tennis "game" is poor, even abhorrent, but I want to play Olympic tennis.
Can I please do it.

After this, what.
A sexual tournament in which unpleasant, unattractive men are allowed by the beneficent English public to get laid, with the beautiful women of their choice. The English after all love to be seen to cheer on those who have been shall we say compromised by the Fates who in their cruelty are said to be undaunted.

It's funny because it is said that I grew up in this country England and in my day I don't quite remember it being that way.

"Latest Annoying Trend"

I have noticed recently a worrying trend in etiquette. People are ostentatiously being thankful and humble by  clasping their hands together as if in prayer and waving the praying hands up and down to denote gratitude, heads lowered the while.

I saw cheftestants on Top Chef Masters doing it a lot. Then when GUS FRENG from Breaking Bad was on the Emmys he did it and in an instant ruined a stellar career. (He has only compounded this loathsome gesture and this headlong decline by appearing in the risible new show Revolution). Designers are doing it on the catwalk ("A Comeback Jil Sander's Way," New York Times, 27 September 2012).

Reading it semiotically, it looks as if they are saying "Like me. Accept me in your inner heart as a benevolent person. Let me goe through the tabernacle of your Christianly inner sanctum as an one untrammeled. I love the Paralymoics [sic] and flashmobs and I am humble. Please 'like' and 'follow' me in all my banal misadventures."

This is a new generation for whom Facebook and Twitter are de rigeur -- my generation I regretfully suppose -- and for whom it is perfectly natural and not in the least bit pathetic to actually plead with strangers (or whole communities) to like them. People are concerned with being above all well-liked. They beg: "Like me. Be nice to me. Please don't hit me."

That will be the next thing you can do in social networking. Click a button that says "Please don't hurt me."

"Don't be mean to me."
"Honour my frailties and let me bide in my shortcomings on this day called the Feast of St. Crispian."

FOOLS THEY MAKE ME LIKE TO LAUGH. I for my part have four "followers" and I am quite confident that not one of those four is actually "following" a blessed thing I say.

Me neither.


"Unused Jokers"

A humiliating feature of the host site to this mess ("Blogger") is that it allows me to see the statistics of this weblog. That is, to gauge in ungentle figures just how well-liked I am. Vexing. Humiliating. How many people have looked at which entry. Demoralizing. I feel like the characters on Market Warriors: why don't the public (-- like the uncultured, cheap attendees at an auction in Columbus, Ohio --) appreciate the deserving squibs? Why do so many people read that one entry about Storage Wars which is read by the hundreds? Why are certain Dog the Bounty Hunter entries so popular when others are completely neglected? And why does that flip entry about Sleepy Eyes of Death fare so well?

I shall say nothing here of the poverty of the online criticism of chanbara jidai-geki.

Nobody has looked at the following entries -- or only one or two people, which is pathetic when you see that I ostensibly have a full four people "following" my feuilletons.

FINDINGS OF THE ACADEMY FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2012-2013. The texts listed below are underrated and need reevaluation ("reinvigoration") by future scholars. Get 'em while you can because I might just remove them and ritually delete them in a childish purple snit:

"Mysterious Can" (2 September)
"Alain De Boton is Not James Franco" (2 September)
"Stay-At-Home Moms -- And Corpse Mutilation" (30 July)
"Samberg" (30 July)
"Twelve Against Thebes" (25 July)
"Knee Jerk" (15 August 2010).


My new single album. To be sung in the inimitable style of Lou Barlow:

"I Am Not Going to Share My Mac and Cheese With You."


"TV Show Review -- Including a Good Insult To One's Wife"

Wife and I were watching the new crop of shows, trying them out. This required Christianly good patience and right Christly tolerance hitherto unseen. But you see I went among ye as a penitent this day. I had been wrong before; I had written off Hell On Wheels prematurely after seeing one episode of the first season only to discover that the second season was a beaut. So as penance I was trying out the new shows Vegas and Revolution.

Vegas is silly and fatuous and poor but it's okay viewing. "I'd watch it if it was on after Eggheads." Vic Mackey is back, playing himself. (Who else can he play, after all? Hamlet?!) Vic is not convincing as an Italian-American gangster however, which is somewhat regrettable because that's what he is meant to be in this program. Almost as poor as -- well -- almost as poor as casting poor Steve Buscemi as a cut-throat gangster kingpin!

Revolution, meanwhile, is ill-conceived post-apocalyptic cobblers and simply can't be done. The actors are generic (Gus Freng excepted) and the story is cribbed from any number of Marvel or DC titles (Kamandi... Hex...) and from David Mamet's Wilson (id est, my own favourite fantasy: that the internet would crash and the power go out and never be regained.) If this show makes it to the end of the first season without its being pulled, then Pan-Am was Shakespearean must-watch teevee. I was watching it in misery with wife. I said "It's so bad it's revolutionary."

I was perversely insisting on seeing it through to its natural terminus.
Wife goes, "Come on, turn it off. It's an insult to your intelligence."
I shot back, "It's so bad it's an insult to your intelligence."