Elephant Chest: A Precursor and Prelude to a Discussion on the Late Wesley Willis.

January 29, 2010

Sometimes I feel like there’s an elephant on my chest.  Actually, that’s not accurate.  With an elephant on my chest I’d be dead underneath an elephant. I wouldn’t feel much of anything.  What I’m trying to describe is a tension, a tightness that’s probably nothing like being killed by an elephant. 

Sometimes I feel like I want to be killed by an elephant.  Not soon, not today or anything.  Maybe in a few weeks or a year or twenty years.  I feel a tightness in my chest that I once felt was similar to being underneath an elephant and that I’ve now come to realize is nothing like being underneath an elephant but may inspire thoughts of elephant related suicide. 

If an elephant does it, is it still suicide?  You never hear about elephant induced suicide.  Not anymore anyway.  Years ago, far away from here there was a golden age of elephant related suicide.  Everything, by the way, has a golden age.  In the great golden age of elephant related suicide they would make a great spectacle of these suicides.  It’s hard to have an elephant trample all over you without creating a spectacle.  You can’t retire quietly to your room after a difficult day and disappointing evening and kill yourself with an elephant.  I challenge you to try it.  Keeping an elephant is expensive.  The remodeling that would be necessary alone could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Elephants eat a lot.  They poo a lot too.  You’d have to hire some staff just to take care of the feeding and clean up.  It’d have to be kept in your bedroom in order for this to work and nobody wants piles of elephant waste in their bedroom.  Well, most people don’t.  Elephant waste fetishists are obviously excluded.  What I’m saying is that you’d need at least two or three people in clean up alone so that they could work in shifts to provide you with a waste free bedroom. The Average person just can’t do it.  It’s not practical.

In the golden age they accepted this.  They embraced it.  They poured it out and rolled around in it.  They would have parades and after-parties with free drugs and prostitutes.  They’d execute clowns on television.  Those were the good old days.  I wasn’t there for it and it bothers me. Those were my people.

NOW: Several Small Animals Besmirches the Name of a Founding Father in — “Alexander Hamilton: Sex Addict, Baby Killer”

January 25, 2010

Alexander Hamilton was born in the sleepy island community of St Croix on January 11, 1757.  From the time he was a young boy Hamilton, or “Ham Killa Killa” as he became known in his teenage years, showed a keen predilection for learning and discipline. It is unclear but has been suggested by a few scholars that this discipline fetish may have led to the accumulation of a number of ball gags, whips, vice grips and leather evening-wear rumored to have been found in a trunk by a bed in his summer home near Virginia Beach.

As an adult during the war for independence, Hamilton took on responsibilities under President George Washington, becoming the equivalent of his chief of staff. It is during this period that Hamilton first began to experiment with marijuana.  This, of course, led to his infamous use of harder drugs. In a late memoir written only weeks before his death Hamilton writes:

“I thought, All right, if I can’t stop, I’m going to take this thing as far as I can. I wasn’t going to dabble and mope about. Let’s get on a horse and drive this fucking circus completely out of town

I decided to turn up the volume. Let’s stop sleeping, let’s stop eating and just fucking party. I was smoking about a pound and a half of cocaine a month toward the end. That’s a lot. It was hard-core—cleaner than crack because you cook it yourself—but so what?”

It was during his stint as this nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury that the drug abuse and sexual addictions started to take a seriously dark turn. As Hamilton writes in the Federalist Papers:

“I was doing a lot of amyl at the time, and that tends to get the sex thing going. Amyl and Heineken: the Amsterdam combination. Jesus, what a nightmare. You can stay hard, but you’re shooting blanks after a while. Then it becomes about approaching the number. We said 10 each and you’re on eight, and you’re going, I need some fucking pasta or steak or something. Fuck it: Heineken, amyl—that’s my dinner. Then you get to nine. We didn’t want to leave there saying, ‘We got 17 but we aimed for 20.’ It was ridiculous.”

It was during one of these wild trips to Amsterdam with Vice President Aaron Burr that Hamilton’s untamed impulses turned murderous.  Noted Hamilton scholar Dean Webster Collins wrote in his revealing 1974 book, Axe to Grind: Alexander ‘Killa Killa’ Hamilton and the Demons That Destroyed Him:

Upon seeing Burr’s young daughter’s face, Hamilton was filled with an irrational but uncontrollable rage. He grasped the young child’s throat and before anything could be done the child fell lifeless upon the floor. Hamilton stared blankly upon the body before him and then, suddenly, as if breaking from a daze famously asked, ‘Dear lord, what have I done?’” 

This act led to the well known duel that ended Hamilton’s troubled life. It has been stated many times that had Hamilton’s nerves been in better shape he may have fared better in the deadly contest. The drugs, it is said, had ruined the once great man’s coordination, rendering him an easy target for the sober and straight-laced Burr.

Perhaps the most tragic element to this story, though, was that at the time of the duel Hamilton had been preparing for what many of his inner circle claimed would be the greatest comeback tour in the history of the pop world. It is unfortunate not only that he was robbed of this opportunity but that we, as a people, have been robbed of the gift these performances would have bestowed upon our young nation. Rest in Peace Killa.

Sleep and Addiction

January 22, 2010

Sleep is an addiction.  That’s the plain and simple truth.  Your mother does it while she’s pregnant with you and you are born addicted.  It’s not the worst addiction in the world, it’s definitely not the hardest to break and yet nearly everyone is addicted.  The entire world is an intricate system of enablers.  Since everyone’s doing it, there’s no pressure to stop. It has become a normal part of society.  The side effects go completely unobserved, no one cares that they are wasting seven or eight hours a night feeding their problem, getting their fix.  This incredible loss of time, how can we live this way?  They’ll all tell you the same thing too, all those experts on their habit.  They say you need it, your body has to recharge, and it takes years off your life if you don’t.  Sure it takes time off of your life, quitting a hard narcotic like sleep is a tough process.  There are some serious withdrawal symptoms you have to weather.  Charlie Parker didn’t have any heroin in his body when he died, he died from quitting too many times.  And so it goes with sleep.  Maybe you’ll lose some years off the end, but those are the years you’re going to be sitting in a chair, getting introduced to your family for the third time that month – if your lucky enough for them to visit – drooling, and soiling your diaper.  Trust me, you’re not missing much.  The time you’re losing because of sleep, though, is precious.

So how do you break this vicious need you feel for sleep every night?  Plenty of people try stimulants.  This can come with its own setbacks. Plus, you’re still addicted to sleep, you just don’t care for a while.  There’s no nicotine patch for sleep, there is only cold turkey.  That’s the only way off this ride.  At first you’re going to feel it, that insatiable desire to fall comatose on your bed or couch, but that’s the addiction talking.  Eventually you may feel faint, maybe pass out in strange places only to wake up somewhere else.  As this course continues you might even wake up in the middle of a crowded room talking to someone you can’t recall meeting about things you didn’t even know you knew anything about.  If this happens, just relax. It’s perfectly normal.  Just keep fighting the good fight.  Eventually these blackouts reduce in frequency and after a while they’ll even stop completely.  You will be healed but the urges for sleep will continue (you live in a society full of sleep addicts you’re going to be tempted). Luckily, at this point you couldn’t actually get to sleep even if you wanted to.  You can lie in bed for hours and be as tired as you’ve ever been but your body won’t let you.  You’ve taught it not to and now you can finally reap the benefits of a sleepless life.

Dear God: A Professional Appeal from a Desperate Earth

January 19, 2010

Dear God,

 It has come to my attention that you are perhaps in a little over your head with your current responsibilities.  While I appreciate the difficult nature of your job and I understand that this is a stressful time for everyone, I have to say I am disappointed in your recent performance.  I am very much on your side here God and I would like nothing more than to see you succeed.  In that spirit, I am proposing an all out PR campaign, sort of an image booster-shot, and I ask that you please consider carefully what I believe to be in both of our best interests.     

 As you are well aware your clout here on earth has been slipping tremendously in recent years.  You have lost most of the young professional demographic between the ages of 21-35.  These are the people responsible for shaping public opinion, appealing to them is crucial to repairing your image. Additionally, you need to win back some talent.  Athletes and bad artists are just not going to cut it anymore.  You’re going to need to stop coasting and rebuild your art and music departments.  The state of Gospel music today is regrettable.  Whatever happened to the Soul Stirrers and other groups of that caliber?  Let’s face facts God, things just haven’t been the same since the pop world stole Sam Cooke.  That’s our challenge.  We have to get back to those standards.  You used to have Michelangelo and Bach, now you’ve got angel portraits and Christian Rock.  Unacceptable.

 I suggest a commercial campaign in which you appear as a distinguished and smartly dressed young woman.  We will pan in from a wide shot in which you are sitting with a large ledger in an overstuffed chair in what appears to be a large study.  As the camera pans in for a tight shot you will look up from your ledger and remove your glasses.  You will look serious but hopeful. Think Barack Obama circa 2008.  

 I have compiled and attached a list of people that I believe to be highly trustworthy and feel strongly that if given a shot will prove indispensable to your current operation.  Please consider these men and women carefully as they are highly valued in their current positions and, if they are going to be offered positions as angels, profits, or sub-deities, they will need at least two weeks to make the appropriate arrangements.

Sincerely,

Several Small Animals

Public Relations Department

My Next Birthday

January 17, 2010

 

 Scenario 1:

My friends and I are gathered together in a convenient location to buy lots of alcohol.  We all get drunk and everyone leaves slightly miffed after I pass out in a pool of my own vomit.  I make no calls to apologize the next day.  We can call this scenario “the control”.

Scenario 2:

A large plastic children’s pool is filled with Jell-O and live goldfish.  Naked women wrestle naked men in the pool and bets are placed on everything from the frequency of genital contact, to the number of squished goldfish that will be peeled from their bodies at the conclusion of the fight.  This is to continue for the duration of the party.  In fact, the end of the party will be announced when no one wishes to continue wrestling any longer.

 Scenario 3:

“Lineman for the County” by Glenn Campbell is played on repeat for the duration of the party.  Other than this it is EXACTLY like scenario one.

 Scenario 4:

In the early morning the ritual begins.  Forty-eight people in twenty-four two-man cow suits crafted from pieces of discarded carpet squares come down from the mountain like dervishes, dancing and twirling.  A giant and complicated cow dance ensues.  Suddenly, twelve people dressed like Michael Jordan meet with twelve others dressed like Scotty Pippen.  The cows run from the Bulls.  From above, a giant poster of Lebron James is lowered while the Michael Jordans and the Scotty Pippens do lay-up drills.  Lebron’s image covers the lay-up drills and the lights are dimmed for one minute.  Witches enter from stage right carrying incense and buckets of pig blood.  They sway slightly while spilling pig blood out of their buckets in light sprinkles using pages ripped from bestiality magazines and chanting in Pig Latin.  They do this for eight minutes and thirty-two seconds.  Eighteen calves are then led by sixteen clowns to a sacrificial alter where the clowns are promptly executed.  The clown execution is followed by a parade that leads from the mountainous wilderness to a dive bar filled with elephant waste.  After a brief elephant scat party, we shower and retire to a cleaner bar in a dirtier part of town that is filled with drugs and liquor and at least four more prostitutes than there are members of the party.  There are few survivors.

 Scenario 5:

A small army of children dressed as penguins is assembled.  We assign half of them blue headbands and half of them red headbands.  They are also assigned names and back stories for their penguin characters.  The two teams go to war, periodically sending letters to their imaginary families in the character of their penguin personas.  They survive on penguin army rations of blueberry pudding – or “freedom berry” pudding as it is called in the red camp – and begin amassing more sophisticated weaponry.  A cold war begins.  Both sides stockpile weapons and engage in dangerous clandestine operations.  The blue penguin known as Jeremiah Ether, code name Filo One, is caught behind enemy lines and tortured for 46 straight hours until he releases valuable information on blue penguin covert technology.  When it is discovered by the blue penguin nation, or National Blue Penguin People’s Democratic Kingdom as they now prefer to be known, that Mr. Ether has turned over this information, he is beheaded by order of the Blue Penguin Ruler, Grand Pubah Marshall Quasiquotámous, who is now of the opinion that he is the direct descendent of God.  Somewhere along the way more than a few of my friends leave the party due to strong moral objections.  I can only shrug at their fragile sensitivities.                

 

Plastic Monkeys and Ham Monsters

January 15, 2010

“If I were a plastic monkey”, he said, “I’d be fantastic. I mean really amazing.”

“I’m not sure I understand,” I said.

“Well,” he said, “I have the advantage of having seen plastic monkeys from an objective position.  I’ve got a connoisseur’s sense of what’s good in the plastic monkey scene.  Plastic monkeys, they just don’t have this sense of self-awareness anymore. I’d be sensational.”

“You’d really change the game”, I said.

“Exactly.”

“You know what I’d like to be?” I asked.

“What?”

“A ham monster”, I said.

“Ahh,” he replied.

What were ham monsters like, I wondered.  Kind of savory, a little salty. Never hungry though, monsters made of ready to eat food shouldn’t require it.  That could inspire high levels of cannibalism, which is rarely an evolutionary advantage for a species.  Even ham monsters.  No, I think ham monsters would require little feeding if any.  They would stand six feet tall and eighteen feet wide like giant sandwiches with small amounts of ham dangling deliciously from each of their sides.  I told my friend this.

“What if they’re into food, just not ham”, he said.  “Maybe they’re vegetarian.”

I spent the next few moments thinking about vegetarian ham monsters nibbling away at stray pieces of lettuce that dangle next to the ham excess on their sides.  Ham monster love handles.  And then I thought about my friend as a plastic monkey.  He was right of course, he would make a fantastic plastic monkey.  Just what variety plastic monkey he’d become, well, that’s tough to say.  When one changes gender, there are relatively few choices.  When one changes into a plastic monkey, there is a world of variety.  Think for a moment about every plastic monkey you’ve ever encountered in you’re life.  At first you might think, “What plastic monkeys? What are you talking about?”  After some thought, however, you start thinking about the little plastic monkey you saw the other day on somebody’s trinket shelf, the King-Kong toy you had as a child, suddenly your mind is awash in a sea of plastic monkeys.  Plastic monkeys you’ve never even thought of or seen before start creeping into your thoughts.  That’s the thing about plastic monkeys, just because a variety doesn’t exist doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t.  The possibilities are endless.  Your only limit to what type of plastic monkey you might become is your own ability to imagine a suitable plastic monkey type.  Those with poor imaginations should avoid life as plastic monkeys.

I thought next of a world in which plastic monkeys freely interacted with ham monsters.  They would start as friends.  Neighbors, even.  I see it unfolding like this: 

Efferstein Sandalam the ham monster wakes up in the morning, makes a pot of coffee, brings a cup to his lovely wife Janice Sandalam and walks out to get the paper.  While getting the paper he sees Ellerfonsi Yertanza, the plastic monkey.  Plastic monkeys being much less mobile than ham monsters Mr. Yertanza has been getting his paper for the last half hour. 

“Hey there Mr. Yertanza”, Sandalam says cordially, “Beautiful morning”.

Yertanza, consumed by the difficult task of animation and not being blessed with the power of speech – or a mouth – is only able to manage a slight plastic grunt.

“Those plastic monkeys are so rude”, Sandalam says to his wife later, “They never even say hello”. 

This event and others like it get under Sandalam’s skin and he begins to harbor a general distrust of plastic monkeys.  Then come the meetings.  Large collections of ham monsters get together in the basement of the local Disabled Veteran Ham Monster Association building.  There is coffee and stale doughnuts and talk of how to deal with this problem of plastic monkey hostility.

“They never even say hello”, Sandalam says. 

“Yeah!” Ted Johnson yells.

 “Right on!” Sam Patterson contributes.

They decide something must be done, but just what is unsure.  After the meeting, the rest of the ham monsters also discuss Efferstein Sandalam’s odd name. 

“I think he’s Pakistani”, one says.

 “No, I heard his mom was a corned beef on rye though”, another adds.

 “Jewish?” Several whisper at once.

 “I’m just telling you what I heard”.

Across town there’s another meeting, this one at the Boy Plastic Monkey Scouts of America building.  Only the plastic monkeys with voice boxes speak while the rest communicate with a complex system of foot shuffling developed in a think tank somewhere underneath Arizona.

Yertanza shuffles his feet and the lead translator says, “Mr. Yertanza wishes to point out the danger inherent in the growing hostility towards our people amongst the ham monsters”.  There is a mass shuffling of feet.

“Alright, alright!” the lead plastic monkey, Speaker Jeffery Konzi says, “Lets try to speak one at a time here”.

The plastic monkeys are frightened.  They have seen this anger growing in the ham monster community.  They consider the ham monsters brutish and unsophisticated and are very concerned that the ham monsters will soon become violent.  A consensus is reached that a preemptive strike against the ham monster community is necessary.

“We are at a supreme disadvantage physically against these monsters of ham”, Konzi says using the currently PC “monster first” language, “We must strike before they do or we will be wiped out”.

That night there is a string of explosions all over town.  Ham monster homes and businesses are engulfed in flames.  The ham monsters are devastated as the burned bodies of fallen ham monsters are pulled from the cinders in the following morning.  Predictably the plastic monkeys are nowhere to be found.  They have bunkered themselves in at their meeting site.  Angry and desperate the surviving ham monsters march towards the plastic monkey site burning every plastic monkey owned home and business they encounter along the way.  When they reach the Boy Plastic Monkey Scouts Building they start throwing malotov cocktails and bricks through the windows until the plastic monkeys inside are forced into the parking lot.  Carrying rifles, they exit the building shooting.  A life or death struggle ensues and when the dust settles only one ham monster and one plastic monkey are left.  Both badly injured Efferstein Sandalam and Ellerfonsi Yertanza exchange bewildered glances before finally engaging in hand to hand combat.                        

“I don’t think you should be a plastic monkey.” I said. “I don’t want to be a ham monster anymore either. It would be a shame to ruin such a nice friendship”.