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When I consider the tragic plight of the perhaps millions of souls, worldwide, who live in perpetual fear of their improperly-raised/handled canine house-pets turned Hitler-pooches, I truly regret that the only people who will ever be able to benefit from the sublime canine-control wisdom that follows hereunder, are my fellow dog-owning, dooyoo and Ciao member-account holders. When one considers the frequency of family-room flea-infestations, the Fido-fertilizer defiled footwear, the cur-cursed postal carriers and couriers, can one really even begin to estimate the importance of providing and publicising mangy mongrel-management advisement to our distressed pet-consumers across the globe? I think not.
A MORE CURRENT CUR INCURSION-REOCCURRENCE DISCOURAGER
If there were a surer cure for discouraging your curious cur's recurrent incursions; a cure for insuring that your cur's incursion-excursions wouldn't occur any more, wouldn't YOU be sure to procure YOUR cur the surer anti-cur-incursion cure?
No amount of hounding your pound-bound hound or keeping him soundly bound around the surrounding bounds of your home ground will confound that hound once he's found that once he's frowned or growled a growly sound, you won't stick around to stand your ground. You might as well impound that hound before he pounds your porky mound into ground-round (that's chopped hamburger meat here in the colonies). You need to turn that over-wound hound around.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO YOUR MUTT
To avoid getting into a rut with your mutt, you've got to grab said mutt by the nuts and show'im you're not some gutless putz. If you lack the guts to show your mutt whut's whut, he's gonna sink his canine canines into yer cowardly butt.
APPLYING MY CUR INCURSION-REOCCURRENCE DISCOURAGER TO AN ACTUAL CUR-INCURSION OCCURRENCE
Rather than allow ourselves to get caught up in a discussion that is prone to confusing canine abstractions, let us examine an actual case of mishandled dog diplomacy; one that exhibits the typical errors a dog-owner makes when s/he attempts to exercise dominion over a pet dog that has formulated his own tradition-flouting notions about who represents the relationship's "master," and who the "mastered."
COWARDLY MEAN-DOG OWNER/VICTIM: "I ... tried to make friends with my ... Rottweiler which was peeing in my garden. I talked to it in a baby voice from the window, but it just growled like it wanted to kill me."
This is a classic example of how NOT to respond to your cranky canine's cries for correction. Failure to scratch your vicious bitch's pernicious itches makes your bitch a bit suspicious. She becomes too big for her bitchy-bitch's britches. Big, scary-looking dogs like Rottweilers or Akitas get terribly offended if you mollycoddle them from a distance; particularly if you cajole them in a "baby" voice. It makes them think you're a just a big, jessie pussycat who is afraid to smack them around when they need it.
What do you expect them to think when they see you savagely spank your child without giving it a second thought, yet you won't you provide THEM the physical discipline they so desperately crave? Naturally they believe it's because you don't love them; that you secretly want to shoot them in their cute, little Rottweiler faces with both buckshot-filled barrels of your favourite scattergun; that you think they're nothing but indiscriminately-vicious, flesh-consuming monsters who have nothing better to do with their lives than scratch fleas, lick their anuses and turn you into a clean underwear-soiling, baby talk-babbling hostage of your own household. That baby voice makes them think you're intentionally being condescending and disrespectful to provoke them. Is this REALLY the impression with which you desire to leave your shark-toothed, 95-pound, human flesh & bone-gnawing, foaming-at-the-mouth canine companion? I should think not.
Here's what you've got to do to set things a-right again: Throwing all caution to the winds, you've got to bear your teeth in a fully-exposed, gritty, gleaming grin (by way of analogy, think of what it would take to make the Chesire cat seem a comparative Mona Lisa), then, while making loud, startling, guttural "broken vacuum cleaner-like" noises (i.e., to mitigate the psychological trauma and damaged pride you caused "Killer" to sustain with your previous "baby talk" faux pas), run up to him from behind when he's least expecting it, or better yet, when he's right in the middle of tearing the flesh off of some delicious, blood-spilling morsel (the mailman, perhaps?) he's selected for his dinner, then yank whatever limb he's currently gnawing upon and crushing into splinters with his shiny white canine molars, right t'hell out from betwixt his jaws (i.e., to establish dominance and let him understand you mean business, dammit!). The important thing is not to let his deceptively fierce countenance or his homicidal expression inhibit you.
At this point, I can almost guarantee you'll have his full and totally-undivided attention. As soon as he flashes you a big, toothy werewolf grin, you'll know you've completely beguiled him with the uncompromising forcefulness of your charm. Using the hand that isn't clutching Killer's mashed-up dinner limb behind your back, rapidly throw out your extended arm towards his happily-surprised-looking grin (the way you might if you were going to lay someone out with a cheap-shot punch in the jaw), and, using the stiffened flat of your lower palm, give him as many affectionate, yet firm and decisive pats on the tip of his nose as you can. I promise you'll have him eating the palm of your hand in (literally) no time at all.
You may not get it right the first time. Like anything, it takes practice. However, if you really love your pugnatious pooch, you'll provide him the tough love he craves. Spilling a few drops of your own blood is a small price to pay to make sure your misunderstood cur is properly raised and nurtured.
WEIRDLIST: A HALFWAY HOUSE FOR RECOVERING CIAOSTERS, DOOYOO-HEADS AND DESTRUCTIVELY-CREATIVE OP-COMPOSERS:
Let's face it, folks, if you're an anti-consumer like me, your op of product ops is that they flat-out suck. Suck, suck, SUCK. I genuinely feel guilty subjecting you to the one or two sucky prod ops per year that I stoop to composing (I have a very low ceiling above my desk). The reason I've been masquerading as a consumer obsessed with providing you and the rest of the consumer product-consuming world, this dreadfully mundane tripe we call "consumer-product information," is because I didn't have an outlet for my creative writing. Whenever my creativity demons became restless, and I required consumer human sacrifices to appease their nasty creative impulses, I'd write a creative piece in the guise of a consumerliciously-helpful product op and post it at dooyoo/Ciao. [Insert "booing crowd" sound effect]
This had some nasty consequences. When I'd attempt to suppress the immense shame and guilt my op duplicity would cause me to suffer, the shame and guilt would manifest itself as an even STRONGER creative impulse. This resultant irresistable impulse would, of course, require a creative outlet; a dooyoo/Ciao product op. Thus my whole "destructively-creative Ciao/dooyoo op" cycle would begin again. [Insert "booing crowd" sound effect] Enter Weirdlist...
~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~
HOW WEIRDLIST SAVED ME FROM MY WRETCHED, CREATIVE-IMPULSE-DRIVEN SELF...
YOU: "Let me guess, 29th; you're about to tell us that in Weirdlist, you've discovered that elusive creative-writing website that enables you to appease your "consumer human sacrifice-hungry" creative demons and will therefore no longer feel compelled to harass us with your abusively-helpful product reviews anymore, right?"
29TH: "I'm afraid not, my creatively-abused and long-suffering consumer. If that were so, would I now be abusing you with THIS product review? Don't sulk yet. The news isn't all bad. Weirdlist DOES provide me an outlet for creatively complaining about not having a place to appease my creative demons."
~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ WHAT'S A WEIRDLIST? ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
** Technically Speaking: **
A Weirdlist is an online chat bulletin board.
[NOV 6, UPDATE: A Weirdlist is also (in its own words)". . .a mailing list of twisted, weird humour." I only discovered this aspect of WL after posting this review. Though I have no personal experience of it to offer you, I thought it best to make you aware of its existence. The remainder of this opinion concerns itself with the interactive part of WL; its cheeky message board.]
** Impressionistically Speaking: **
A Weirdlist is a virtual neighbourhood pub at which normal, everyday people like you and... welllll, uhhmm ...you, exchange points-of-view and speak freely about whatever issues and subjects come to mind. If the T.V. series, "Cheers" had an interactive "play-along-at-home" game, this would be it.
~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ THE WEIRDLIST CHAT-MOSPHERE: ~~~~~~ ~~~~~~
The atmosphere at Weirdlist is very casual and easygoing. To borrow the words of WL itself, "(you'll find) no adverts, no pop-ups, lots of smileys." Wellllll, 2 out of 3 ain't bad, right? WL doesn't even have a dress code. It's so laidback and informal, I sometimes absentmindedly forget to put on ANY clothing before I show up for a brisk exchange of WL chat. My fellow WL-ers graciously pretend not to notice, opting instead to spare my dignity. Why? Because that's just the kind of virtual chat-mates they are! (More likely it's because they've come to realize I have no discernible dignity and that my American obnoxiousness prevents me from distinguishing between positive and negative attention, thus it's better to avoid risking the possibility of unintentionally encouraging my antisocial behavior with any shows of attention.)
What I particularly like about Weirdlist's tell-it-like-it-is, speakeasy atmosphere, is that it considers no topic or subject to be socially taboo. This encourages members to express those private, nitty-gritty thougts they'd normally keep to themselves or consign to their mental document-shredders. Comparing WL's atmosphere to that of other bboards, is like comparing the fresh, open atmosphere of a brisk walk in the country to the recirculated, disease-spreading, controlled atmosphere of a crowded commercial airliner's passenger cabin:
The first one invigorates and rejuvenates you, clears your head, improves your outlook on life, imbues you with a general sense of well-being, makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, and dramatically increases your sexual virility and "staying power." The latter one promotes the spread of sickness and disease, dulls your senses, causes you to feel weary and listless, yet, restless and claustrophic, leads to episodes of unprovoked violence, dog-barking, slovenly dressing and bad hygiene, self-mutilation of the genitalia, delusions of paranoia, persecution and grandeur, schizophrenia, substance abuse, erotic fantasies about your grandmother, and, if left unchecked, results in permanent insanity and an addiction to boy-band music.
Is this sort of unnecessary exposure to chatmospheric health hazards REALLY worth risking when WL registration is not only free, but doesn't cost a cent or require any member dues? ...Of course not.
WHO SUPERVISES WEIRDLIST MEMBER BEHAVIOUR?
To maintain order and to keep subversive rowdies like me from getting out of line, WL wisely decided to appoint the only kind of chatroom moderators who could be trusted to resist the overwhelming urge to impose their oppressive, provincial ideas of morality, propriety and censorship on a chatroom's consenting-adult posters; "...non-existent ones." You read correctly; this bustling bboard is blissfully bereft of bossy bandwidth-bouncers and/or banter-babysitting busy-bodies. Yet despite this, WL has somehow managed to avoid spiraling out of orbit and exploding in a fireball of anarchy, back-biting gossip, abusive post-exchanges, and mob rule.
W.L. WILL CURE YOU OF YOUR SELF-DESTRUCTIVE "CONTROL" ISSUES:
If you're an idealist, you might be inclined to attribute WL's unmoderated prosperity to the happy-go-lucky, self-deprecating, and individuality-embracing collective nature of WL's posters. Pessimists would probably attribute WL's harmonious atmosphere to the fact that WL-ers are too happily self-absorbed to give a steamy crap about their neighbours' dirty laundry, shortcomings and character flaws. It's been my experience that socially-interacting groups of people who have the authority-unencumbered opportunity to work out social-interaction issues for themselves, become naturally self-moderating; that the "aspiring group-moderators" in a crowd are invariably the ones with "control" issues, and thus the ones who need to be moderated for their own and everyone else's good. Suffice it to say, if you've got "control" issues, the WL's predominating atmosphere of dynamic individualism may be your only freely-accessible cure.
NO NEED FOR AIR-SICKNESS PILLS AT WL...
Putting on airs is generally frowned upon at W.L.. However, Weirdlisters are not without compassion for pretentious fools, as they do willingly seem to make an exception for my self-indulgent ramblings. Say what you will at Weirdlist, but be prepared to back up your hot-air blasts with cold, hard facts and persuasive arguments. Debates sometimes get heated when free-thinking, passionate peops air points of view and WL's debates are no exception. WL's posters are passionate about their personal perspectives, so if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the bitchin'. The WL's regular posters are a fairly, but humorously, cynical lot. Many of them are (or were) high-visibility dooyoo-heads and Ciaosters. I suspect this would explain much of their humorous cynicism.
THE WEIRDLIST CHAT-TOPIC CHAT-ALOGUE
Weirdlist's chat topics are often eclectic, international and current-event oriented. They're also frivolous (in a concerned, earnest way), inane (in a substantial way), raunchy (in a tasteful way), self-abusive (in a therapeutic way), sarcastic (in a nurturing way), irreverent (in a polite, respectful way) and perverse (in a cleancut, wholesome way). Weirdlisters have a sweet tooth for socially-taboo and patently controversial thread topics. So, if you've been tossed off some other chat board because you initiate threads that solicit input regarding, for example, "why clergy member's illicit sexual preferences seem to run towards young boys rather than young girls," or perhaps, "why masturbation is more creatively-fulfilling than writing a dooyoo product review," WL will lend you a sympathetic and nurturing ear.
If you enjoy seeing pretentious, self-worshipping media personalities savagely deflated, degraded, and eviscerated, you won't be disappointed. If you crave a bit of irreverent humour and you don't faint at the sight an occasional 4-letter word, look no further. If you're looking for a chatroom-based alternative to watching Monty Python's Flying Circus reruns, c'mon over. If you're desperate to share your profound insights about Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavours, and your disconcertingly-passionate display of enthusiasm for your discussion subject isn't a temporary side effect of drug-induced dementia, Weirdlist may not be the forum you seek; not that we wouldn't love to have you, but I feel certain it would be for all the wrong reasons (e.g., for lunch, for target-practice, etc.).
SOME TYPICAL WEIRDLIST CHAT TOPICS:
I've picked out some WL topic-thread titles that capture the general spirit and flavour of Weirdlist discussion:
"Would YOU Sell Your Soul For The Right Price?"
"Death Row food"
"These people should burn in hell......"
"The I 'm Tanked Ofgf My Face And ShoUldn't be posting thread"
"Stupid Fucking Judicial System"
"The "SARCASM" Thread"
"The In Desperate Need Of A Dump Thread"
"When did Sean Penn become such a humourless fartgargler?"
"Fuck off with your valentine's day crap"
"Reasons to not go kayaking in the open sea"
"I'm giving up exclamation marks"
~~~~ ~~~~ WHAT SORT OF PEOPS "CHAT" AT WEIRDLIST? ~~~~ ~~~~
Weirdlist hosts a rogue's gallery of some of Ciao's/dooyoo's/epinion's most colourful, high-profile, influential and entertaining present and former characters. Some of them are even respectable. In fact, some of the people you'd least accuse of being weird are unabashed and very vocal WL regulars. Would anybody ever suspect respectable Ciao icons like SueMagee or jillmurphy of perpetrating blatant acts of weirdness on a public bulletin board?
Weirdlisters represent a very diverse assortment of backgrounds and life situations. Irish students, enigmatic Brummie bankers, doorknob doo-doo-smearing Scottish custodians, a contingent of wild-women wordsmiths from Wales, Geordie car salesmen, Liverpool-worshipping footy hooligans, and website-sysop Texans, to name but a few. The WL site administrator, Keith (he's the aforementioned, Liverpool-worshipping footy hooligan), an alleged cannibal and serial killer, is rumoured to be a dabbler in the black arts. I have yet to see any of this substantiated, though I seem to remember the site having a lot more Man United fan-members than its current tally of 0.
There is actually one genuinely weird Weirdlister and that's me, but that's only because I'm still learning how to mimick your vexingly odd and inconsistent Earthling social customs. On my home planet (name omitted because your alphabet doesn't contain all of the letters I require to spell it) I'm considered quite normal. Oh yes, there is one other strange Weirdlister; Lizzy8. She has the somewhat disconcerting habit of switching bodies with me when my surrounding circumstances are most vulnerable to her irreversible acts of social sabotage. I'm only caving in to her demand that I give her this shout-out because I'm unwilling to risk having her max-out my credit cards, take my girlfriends out on MY dates, or seduce Elton John, again, leaving me to deal with the mess. I'm sure you'd do the same if you weren't in my shoes when you most needed to be.
WEIRDLIST'S SLOGAN: "IT NEEDS A SLOGAN"
It still needs a slogan, though we have attempted to come up with a few that reveal more about the essence and spirit of the site than the current one. Here are some of the member-generated slogan suggestions:
"Seeking out the poorer quarters." --jillmurphy
"A new low in internet shenanigans." --jimblob
"Weird List: Where weird people go to post a lot. Else it'd more'n likely be called some other type of list'" --29th
"Anal Bleaching" --dudeglove
"Where the wonderfully weird come out to play. Come on over, and have your say!" --Lizzy8
"'Shit happens, deal with it, we don't want to know" --Elvira
"It's the way we wrote 'em, I have a big scrotum" --Marandina
""If There Is A Hell I'll See You There" --dudeglove
""home of the dead exclamations" --Rachel
"W.L.: Better register quickly, there is a 255 character limit." --29th
WEIRDLIST: IT ONLY SEEMS "WEIRD" TO PEOPS WHO DON'T CONSIDER IT WEIRD TO BE ABNORMALLY NORMAL
As you can see, there's really nothing weird about Weirdlist. If it does seem weird I suspect it's because most peops attempt to hide their human quirks, eccentricities, idiosyncracies and foibles, while Weirdlisters prefer to celebrate, showcase, and exploit them for self-amusement and profit. Does this sound like you? C'mon over to Weirdlist and test your capacity to withstand relentless vollies of the most entertaining irreverent humour and witty repartee one will ever encounter at a bboard with the slogan, "it needs a slogan."
See you there...
"HOPE I DIE BEFORE I TURN INTO PETE TOWNSHEND..."
...Reads an entry jotted in one of the notebook journals left behind by Nirvana's astrally onward-traveling frontman, Kurt Cobain. Eight years after a point-blank blast from the business end of a Remington 22 gauge shotgun transformed that sentiment into prophecy, Cobain's other commerce-reincarnating, corporeal counterparts, Nirvana bandmates Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Geffen/Universal Records, along with Courtney Love, have seen fit to reconcile their long-term differences and grace us with a "fiscally forward-looking" greatest-hits collection. Who says money is the root of all evil?
"C'mon 29th-- Why the cynical sarcasm? This is a Nirvana collection; what's not to like?"
Well theoretical consumer, since you asked... (theoretical consumers are so much more perceptive and discerning than their "real-world" counterparts; don't you think?) A deconstruction of this album's parts makes me wonder if Pete Townshend doesn't actually get the "last laugh" after all. I refer specifically to the following aspects of "Nirvana," (i.e., the album; not the band:)
* Its conservative track selection and order (i.e., all but one song are "A-side" hit singles arranged in the chronological order of their original release,)
* Its yawn-inducingly generic album jacket; a plain, black background with "Nirvana" written in the center,
* Its eponymous album title (is it possible to offend anyone with a collection of Nirvana songs titled "Nirvana?,") and,
* its liberally-hyped, concurrent release with a compilation of Cobain's private journals, coincidingly called: "Journals."
29_C's 29 "C's" Of Consumerly-Critical "C"-Consonance:
The consumer-conniving confluence of commercial components that comprise this conspicuously commerce-conscious Cobain coda, characterize a cash-cow conspiracy's cockeyed conception of competently counterfeited creativity; a cost-cutting, culture-contaminating, consumer-compromising contrivance I call :::"corporate formula reconstruction.":::
"CORPORATE FORMULA RECONSTRUCTION: The Art Of Making The Consumer-Product Match Burn Twice
If you've ever suffered through the slapdash sequel of a successful movie; one wherein the various characters find frighteningly hokey ways of repeating the classic lines and actions that made them seem so appealing in the original, one in which the rehashed plot is so shamelessly similar to that of its predecessor that the thematic elements of the two seem interchangeable, then you understand what it?s like to be fleeced by a formula reconstruction. You've also discovered why there will always be a need, if not employment, for artists. Formula reconstruction is simply the reverse-engineering of a successful media product to isolate its component parts, synthesizing them into a "formula," then reconstructing a similar product from the formula, varying one or two of the components just enough to be able to dump it off on consumers as "New & Improved." So, how does this apply to Nirvana's "Nirvana?"
REHEATING NIRVANA LEFTOVERS
If you're the sort of person whose craving for a meal cooked by the chef who used to work for one of your favorite restaurants is so compelling that you don't mind paying top dollar to chow on that chef's frozen leftovers as reheated by the restaurant's Epicurean instincts-challenged dishwasher, this album should slake your appetite for Nirvana sustenance. The previous frame of reference-unfettered Nirvana newby demographic should be very satisfied by the entry-level appeal of the broad smorgasbord of "safe" selections. Long-term devotees might feel like THEY'RE the ones being played; not the album. Though I realize my craving for fresh Nirvana tracks is unlikely to dramatically increase the odds of Cobain rising up and producing a post-mortem encore album, I'm disturbed by the shamelessly impersonal manner (as underscored by the album components I've noted above,) in which this album?s collaborators have seen fit to package and market Cobain's legacy of grunge greatness. This album neither honors his musical trend-setting originality and creative excellence, nor pays tribute to his singlehanded restoration of rock to its former, pre-MTV glory; it merely reheats Nirvana's musical leftovers.
DISTINGUISHING THE CREATIVE PROCESS FROM THE CREATION PROCESS
Aside from the music, (admittedly, the most important aspect,) nothing about this album conveys the uncompromising, artistic edginess that made Nirvana so appealing. There's no evocative album cover image, no message-conveying, underlying concept, no thought-provoking album title, each of which (for me) provided Nirvana's previous albums with an abstract, spiritual and creative dimension that noticeably influenced and enhanced my appreciation of the latter's music and lyrics. I believe these flaws reflect the media executive minimization of, or outright refusal to acknowledge the existence of an intangible, creative-process alchemy; one that fuses the sum total of a media product's component parts into a greater "whole."
Though progress-rationalized, thick-skinned, abject insensitivity may be an asset when it comes to attaining corporate success, it is anathema to grasping the importance of the child-like inner-vision and imaginative whimsy that gives rise to the creative process's evanescent alchemizing agent, "inspiration;" a spiritual commodity that cannot be synthesized in a lab, or manufactured on a factory assembly line, but can only be generated spontaneously, in the crucible of the artist's imagination. Nirvana's "Nirvana" provides mass-produced material proof that profit-motivated media-product packaging and mass-marketing of previously published musical masterpieces should not be attempted without the direct and constant supervision of a certified creative person. Its mediocre presentation demonstrates Artistic creativity and inspiration cannot be synthesized into a reusable formula and stored for future use.
Media marketability had turned Cobain into an artistic sanctuary-seeking spiritual stow-away trapped in the hold, vainly trying to hide in the growing shadow cast by the grotesquely metamorphasizing image of his own media-manipulated persona. The cherished days of coffee shop dining, sleeping in the tour van and no-name dancehall performances delivered in the same party-ravaged clothes in which he had passed out the night before, had all been stripped away from him in a moment of reluctantly-surrendered anonymity. No amount of money, social recognition or heroin could rescue him from the corporate exploitation, profit considerations and material interests that had permanently estranged him from the bohemian, worn-shoe comfort of his simple lifestyle.
For this reason in particular, the opportunistic release of Nirvana's "Nirvana" by the people he most trusted would have only served to further embitter Cobain; further alienate him from the art-corrupting corporate greed and the soulless, wanton consumerism he so loathed and feared. Cobain's song lyrics and journals indicate he felt he had "sold out" his artistic integrity to some degree. He believed selling out to materialism and commercial success stripped Pete Townshend of his artistic soul and turned him into a public spectacle; a fate Cobain feared more than death. Perhaps Cobain saw in death the possibility of discovering another plane of existence from which he might regain the elusive artistic nirvana he unwittingly, irreversibly and permanently sacrificed to commercial success. How tragically ironic that Cobain's death "before he turned into Pete Townshend," is the event perhaps most responsible for transforming Cobain's surviving image and legacy into the time-outlasting corporate cash-cow Pete Townshend's persona represented to him.
ALBUM RELATED INFO:
Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar);
Dave Grohl (vocals, drums);
Krist Novoselic (bass).
Nirvana includes liner notes by David Fricke.
All of its previously-released tracks have been digitally remastered.
(The enhanced sound enabled by the remastering, provides the only reason a fan possessing Nirvana's 5 previous releases might buy this album, besides obtaining the band's previously-unreleased, "You Know You're Right.")
NIRVANA'S TRACKS FOLLOWED BY THEIR SOURCE ALBUMS:
1) YOU KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT: Unreleased
2) ABOUT A GIRL: Bleach
3) BEEN A SON: Incesticide
4) SLIVER: Incesticide
5) SMELLS LIKE TEENSPIRIT: Nevermind
6) COME AS YOU ARE: Nevermind
7) LITHIUM: Nevermind
8) IN BLOOM: Nevermind
9) HEART-SHAPED BOX: In Utero
10) PENNYROYAL TEA: In Utero
11) RAPE ME: In Utero
12) DUMB: In Utero
13) ALL APOLOGIES: MTV Unplugged In New York
14) THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD: MTV Unplugged In New York
15) WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT:MTV Unplugged In New York
NIRVANA ALBUM BACKGROUND:
Geffen/Universal decided to put all of its marketing eggs into the aural basket of this collection's sole, previously-unreleased single, "YOU KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT," shrewdly gambling that the legions of Nirvana-starved music fans would be hungry enough to buy a snack-sized "single" at the 15-course meal-sized price of an album. For between one and two years prior to the release of "Nirvana," the rights to "You Know Your Right" were the subject of a heated legal battle between Nirvana members, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, and Courtney "The Cash-Register" Love. By parlaying the acrimony and controversy surrounding the simultaneous release of "Journals," (a published collection of private notes taken from, what else, Cobain's personal journals,) into media visibility and marketing hype, Geffen would all but guarantee the kind of consumer feeding-frenzy that would make the 14-track garnish surrounding the 1-track of meal, combine into a delectable-seeming disk. It would have been more responsible of Geffen to allow long-term fans to buy "Nirvana" at an "upgrade price" (like software companies do,) upon proof of previous purchase of the five prior albums whose tracks make up the content of this album
I've already provided the album's tracks, their source albums and the chronological arrangement of same, so forgive me if I abstain from following Geffen's gratuitously repetitious lead by rehashing technical discussions of the album's previously-released individual tracks, all of which can be readily accessed in the multitude of reviews related to their original albums. I will, however detail Nirvana's "You Know You're Right" track, since essentially, it IS the album.
"YOU KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT" BACKGROUND:
January 28 - 30, 1994 - Bob Lang's Studio, Seattle, recorded by Adam Kasper.
In between its live Chicago debut in 1993 and the October release of "Nirvana," the song has had at least three distinct variations and perhaps there are more. The October 1993 incarnation Nirvana played in Chicago was referred to as "You've Got No Right." Courtney Love's band, Hole, did an "Unplugged" version of the song they called, "On The Mountain." A subsequent studio version of the song supposedly surfaced in May of 2002. A European fan claimed to have lifted it from a CD of Probot (i.e., a Dave Grohl project) material sent to him by a friend. On September 21, 2002, word began to spread across the internet that a bootleg of the song had leaked. Two days later, it was airing on worldwide radio stations and being exchanged as an online mp3. (I know this to be true, as I own a copy of it.) Many believe the leak was a publicity stunt.
"YOU KNOW YOU'RE RIGHT" -- THE MUSIC & LYRICS:
"You Know You're Right," the album's first track, plays and reads like a Cobain suicide note set to grunge.
The simplicity of the chord structures and composition, the steady, ostinato bass line, the angsty feedback riffs on the pre-choruses and choruses, and Cobain's dark vocals, which range from a menacing, hypnotic chant on the verses and bridges, to a raging, primal wail on the pre-choruses and choruses, convey an earlier, pre-"Nevermind" Nirvana sound. As much as it celebrates the uncompromising grunge of Bleach or Incesticide, the band's post-punk, pre-MTV/pre-Nevermind/pre-commercial pop albums, its lyrics are even more pointed and jarring; Cobain?s rage, more focused and specific. For this reason, fans who jumped on Nirvana's Nevermind bandwagon may be disappointed by the comparatively "unfinished," and "unpolished" Metal harmonics that characterize this track.
The music is intro'd by a simple, metallic teardrop of plucked harp or comparable guitar harmonic, repeated seven times. This is picked up by a hypnotically-lilting and palm-muted, but driving bass riff; the song's defining signature. Grohl's bass drum patterns double the steady, common time (4/4) beat of the ominous bass-line and accent its tension as Cobain chants the first verse:
"I will never bother you
i will never promise to
I will never follow you
I will never bother you"
The first verse crescendoes into the 1st bridge:
"Never say that word again
I will crawl away for good"
The pre-chorus decrescendoes into the 2nd verse and 2nd pre-chorus:
"I will move away from here
You won't be afraid of fear
No thought was put into this
Always known it would come to this"
"Things have never been so well
I have never failed to fail"
The 2nd pre-chorus crescendos into the feedback-underscored 1st chorus, which climaxes with Cobain wailing the song's pervasive theme:
Ye-e-o-ou know-w-w yee-o-o-ou're r-i-i-i-i-i-i-ight
Ye-e-o-ou know-w-w yee-o-o-ou're r-i-i-i-i-i-i-ight
Ye-e-o-ou know-w-w yee-o-o-ou're r-i-i-ight"
The 1st chorus abruptly yields to the 2nd verse, which coda's the song's initializing hypnotic bass line:
"Need someone to co-incide
I no longer have-to-hi-ide
Let's talk-about someone else
Stinging Silver begins to melt"
"Nothing ever bothers her
She just wants to love herself"
"I won't move away from here
You will be afraid of fear
No thought was put into this
Always known it'd come to this"
Unlike the 2nd bridge, which maintains the 1st verse's steady mantra, the 4th Bridge follows the 4th verse with a rising crescendo which effectively (and I believe intentionally) heightens its lyrical/vocal emphasis:
"THINGS HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SWELL!
I HAVE NEVER FAILED TO FAIL!"
The 2nd Chorus, like the 1st Chorus, climaxes with a feedback-riff emphasized Cobain wailing:
Ye-e-o-ou know-w-w yee-o-o-ou're r-i-i-i-i-i-i-ight" (repeated 11 times)
As Cobain growls the 11th "you know you're right" refrain, a 2nd Cobain vocal track comes in with a back-up chorus of:
PA-A-A-A-A-A-I-I-N-N-N! (repeated 4 times)
The chorus of "you know you're right" continues to refrain over the back-up chorus seven more times, before yielding to one resonating final chorus of:
The song decrescendoes and ends with the same desolate, metallic-sounding pluck of guitar harmonic, doubled by Grohl's closing drum beats.
A COMPARATIVE INTERPRETATION OF YKYR'S LYRICS:
I've studied the lyric variations of the 3 incarnations of YKYR I previously noted. The modifications that distinguish the "Nirvana album" version of You Know You're Right" from either Hole's "On The Mountain" rendition, or the band's "Chicago, October '93" variant, are significant for the overall shift in thematic emphasis, from Cobain's bitterness over his relationship with Love (literally and figuratively,) to his overall resignation and disgust for the "inescapable failure" he believed he had made of his life; only one part of which was his spiraling "Love" relationship. In the "Nirvana" album cut, "YKYR" the following modifications from the "On The Mountain" version which preceded it, are noted:
"If I say that word again
I would move away from here"
"Never speak a word again
I will crawl away for good"
The sense of open possibility represented by OTM's use of "If," has shifted to the closed inevitability of YKYR's "Never." OTM's "would" becomes "will" in YKYR. Cobain's threat changes from "moving to a new location," in OTM, to "crawling away for good" in YKYR. Not only is "permanence" signified in the "for good," but the change from "moving" to "crawling" is suggestive of dying as well.
Further on, OTM's:
"I am walking in the piss
Always knew it would come to this
Things have never been so swell
And I have never felt so well"
"No thought was put into this
Always knew it would come to this
Things have never been so swell
I have never failed to fail"
Once again, the lyrics shift from open possibility; "am" (i.e., present tense,) to the retrospective finality of "was." All hope for the future has disappeared in the respective shifts from, "I am walking in the piss" to "No thought was put into this," and "And I have never felt so well" to "I have never failed to fail."
Additionally (or "subtractionally,") YKYR entirely scrubs OTM's 2nd Verse:
"Let's talk about someone else
she justs want to love herself
She just moves away from here
she just wants to love herself
And I wont move away from here
you wont be afraid of fear"
The bulk of this OTM verse has "She" as its subject. Its presence in OTM colours its surrounding lines and the song's overall meaning, in a manner that places Cobain's "Love" relationship as the central theme of OTM. Its conspicuous absence in YKYR shifts its focus to Cobain's "failed attempt to live life."
This is further reinforced by the transformation of the following verses:
"Whistle and I'll come inside
I no longer have to hide
Let's talk about someone else
She just wants to love herself"
"I'm so warm and calm inside
I no longer have to hide
There's talk about someone else
Sterling silver begins to melt"
The change of overall meaning is dramatic. In the first version, Cobain appears to refer to Love's relegation of him to a person of inferior or "lackey" status. He is forced to "hide," perhaps to prevent him from stealing her attention. Like a trained dog, he is conditioned to "come inside" at the sound of a "whistle." Cobain prefers to shift the focus of conversation to "someone else" (line 3,) than dwell any further on Love's intolerable self-love (line 4.)
In the YKYR rendition, Cobain appears to have adopted a fatal solution to compensate for his "lack of Love;" shooting heroin (line 4) Love only appears tangentially here (in line 3,) where it is suggested that Cobain has gotten wind of the existence of an outside "Love" affair. Aided by his drugged-induced euphoria, he "no longer has to hide" (line 2) presumably from the truth, which has been rendered academic. His smack has made him so "warm and calm;" so accepting of the inevitable, he no longer cares about diverting Love-related conversation. The central focus now, is watching the "sterling silver" of the needle "melt," and with it, his life.
You can't go wrong purchasing anything created by Nirvana. Cobain's music and lyrics are simple, basic and timeless. In the ideal world, "You Know Your Right" would be released as a single. Then again in that same world , Cobain would still be alive jamming out brilliant music, so we wouldn't be forced (as Cobain had been) to cave in to Courtney Love's greed or (as Cobain had been) exploitative commercial interests, like Geffen Records, who line their corporate pockets packaging Cobain's remaining scraps in mediocre, formula doggy-bags, simply because they know the consumer has no other means of gaining access to the product. Nirvana's "Nirvana" proves that even a rock star's "dying before he turns into Pete Townshend," sometimes isn't enough to prevent the same fate from occurring to his surviving legacy.
Whaddya MEAN I "Missed" Work? I Don't Even LIKE Work! PART #1 --FIVE EXCUSES Intended To Assist You In Ditching Work PART #2 --COMMITTING "OCCUPANASIA" (I.E., An "Insubordination-Assisted Occupational Suicide") ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ PART #1 I. SHODDY WORKMANSHIP WARNING To all prospective readers of this article. Please be forewarned of the *inexcusably* poor workmanship that is about to assault your senses. I tried valiantly, desperately in fact, to provide you with the *excusably* poor level of work product you've come to graciously except and politely endure on my behalf, but it just was not to be... The looming spectre of impending work brutally bitchslapped my frontal lobe, until what was left of my already-feeble powers of concentration trickled out of my ears and evaporated before they even reached my neck. I found myself utterly bereft of attention span-- BEREFT! The effort I've expended in writing you this paragraph, dear reader, has ITSELF, interfered with my brain's ability to regulate my body's involuntary functions-- I feel my breathing becoming irregular; my heart palpitating. I fear it won't be long before episodes of double-vision herald the onset of those dizzy spells which always precede that horrible moment when everything spins around and I pitch forward spasming as the world flickers and fades to black. So I must forewarn you: --I've only got a couple of minutes to scribble down the remaining 4 entries before I have to go back to work. GET IT!? I'm being ironical! This was the first of my 5 excuses! Yes! ...The pitiful part of excuso numero uno is, IT'S NOT A BLOODY EXCUSE! *sniffle-sniff* It's the real McCoy. I DO have to return to work... ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ EXCUSE #2. "I'VE SEEN THE LIGHT!" First, A Couple Of Mino
r Prerequisites: This lollapalooza works best if you've never given your boss or co-workers reason to believe that you're anything besides an angelic, law-abiding, conscientious, Pollyanna-type. Unfortunately, I've never had the patience to sustain the ol' "Prince Valiant" routine for more than a few hours at a time, so I was never in a position to bug-test this excuse. This shouldn't discourage you if you're the "low-profile" type who manages to suppress your anti-social urges and impulses. I, unfortunately, tend to revel in mine. There's one other catch. --Ignore it, and you could severely jeopardize your health: You MUST maintain a facial expression of earnest sincerity that borders on the pathetic; I mean a demeanor of clueless bewilderment-forged good intention. If you have any doubts about your acting ability, wrap a quarter slice of onion in a handkerchief and keep it in your pants pocket or purse. If you feel a tickle of laughter begin to well up in your throat and tighten your cheeks, casually reach into your pocket and rub your index and middle fingers on a moist part of the onion, then pretend to wipe a tear from your eye, making sure said fingers make contact with one of your tear ducts. EMERGENCY PROCEDURE: If you so much as twitch your nose while being grilled about your missed work-day whereabouts, don't even wait for the inevitable thunderclap of shocked outrage or the rolling explosion of indignation that's soon to follow it. Just scurry right over to your desk and hastily clean out your possessions. This is infinitely more dignified than exploding in a fit of uncontrollable laughter as your boss runs back to his office to grab his double-barreled shotgun. Remember: --It's always better to get "fired," than "fired upon." [The following "whopper" must be stated VERBATIM, except for date and location rel
ated adjustments where appropriate and boss/company name-related modifications where noted:] THE DIALOGUE: "Jeez boss! What the hell is it with the traffic lights around here? They NEVER get stuck on "red" back in Oshkosh, Wisconsin! NEVER! But sure enough, just as I was about to enter the intersection at 29th and Goldbrick, the light turned red, but never turned green again. When it failed to turn green after about half an hour, I thought it might be broken, so I turned around to see if I could safely back my car up and drive away the way I came. Unfortunately, the line of cars queued up behind me, prevented my doing so. I agonized for 2 or 3 hours over whether or not it would be appropriate to ruin my flawless driving record by unlawfully driving through the red light, in blatant violation of Section 9353(a) of the Motor Vehicle & Traffic Code, so great was my desire to get to the office to [insert JOB-RELATED RESPONSIBILITY here]. I began to ease my foot off the brake pedal as temptation finally got the better of me. But, JUST as I began to proceed forward, it suddenly occurred to me how you took a chance on me; trusted and took me at my word when I assured you I would be an honest, law-abiding and conscientious future-employee. I thought of how ashamed I'd be having to look you in the eye and explain to you, my trusting benefactor, how I had been SO lacking in moral fiber and integrity, that I was willing, not ONLY to jeopardize the lives of all those poor, innocent, unsuspecting women and children LAWFULLY traveling through the intersection, but that I was willing to BREAK THE LAW; become a COMMON CRIMINAL, simply because I was impatient, felt a tad inconvenienced and was unable to control my selfish desire to fulfill my work obligations! I slammed on my brakes before traveling forward ANOTHER inch! It suddenly dawned on me that I was being confronted with a test of my character, and BY CRACKY, I commit
ted myself to making you proud of me by passing that test! My car would become a familiar part of the metropolitan skyline; the city would have to re-route the street around it, ...THE PARAMEDICS WOULD HAVE TO PRY MY STIFF, LIFELESS FINGERS FROM THE RUSTY STEERING WHEEL OF MY CAR'S ROTTING HULK before I would enter that intersection while the light was STILL RED! Well, thankfully it didn't quite come to that, because someone apparently called the county repair crew. They showed up at around 3:45 PM to fix the light. Imagine my surprise and dismay when they neglected to call a police officer to wave me through the intersection before they started working on the light! I had to wait ANOTHER HOUR AND ONE HALF before they had that damn light back in working order! By that time, the office had closed. ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ EXCUSE #3 "TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM" [Excuse #3 is a "multi-functional" excuse. It was constructed to be used in tandem with Excuse #2, (in case your one-day beach trip wasn't enough to "tide" you over till the weekend,) but it may be used as a fully-functional stand-alone excuse as well. Depending on where you live, you may need to convert your excuse's weather-related injury aspect from "sunburn" to "windburn," "hypothermia," "frostbite," or "waterlogged" in accordance with your geographical location's seasonal, weather and temperature patterns or to adapt it to the type of activity you indulged on your unauthorized day off.] THE DIALOGUE: (Picking Up From Where It Left Off In "Excuse #2," Above) "There's another problem [insert NAME OF BOSS here]. Lest by my roasting in the unventilated, 90 degree heat, I sweated up and soiled my expensive work suit, I lowered my car's ***convertible top and kept it down the entire time I spent horribly trapped at th
e intersection. Since I had gotten stuck during the course and scope of my employment, I had no intention of presenting myself to the world with an appearance less than that befitting of a [insert NAME OF COMPANY] employee! NO! Despite this precaution, my suit began to wrinkle terribly. Thinking quickly, I did the only sensible thing a responsible employee COULD do under such exigent and extreme circumstances; bashful though I am, I bravely stripped down to my bikini briefs! If ONLY I might have known how badly the sun was burning my poor, sensitive, weather-exposed epidermis! Now I look like some common, n'er-do-well goof-off who got drunk while cavorting on the beach in his birthday suit, then irresponsibly fell asleep in the blistering midday sunshine without bothering to apply any sun block lotion! Even worse! --I can't move my arms or legs, so painful and debilitating is this, my sun-wrought work injury! As obsessed as I am to race back in and get right to work, I'm mindful of the potentially-compromising legal position in which [insert NAME OF COMPANY here] might find itself if I were to further aggravate my unstable skin condition while engaging in my daily, work-related tasks. Under the circumstances, I thought it best to call you before coming in, so you could provide me with the experience-proven benefits of your wise counsel regarding the work injury-generated predicament I currently face. With this in mind, do you think it's in the best interest of [insert NAME OF COMPANY here] for me to have my stretcher-bearers carry me into the office? If they do, it's inevitable the company doctor will examine me, have me file an expensive Worker's Comp work-related injury claim, force me to seek costly outside medical treatment on the company tab, and require that I take a couple of weeks off to fully heal from my painful injury. It seems terribly unfair and downright pointless to let the repercussions of a fault
y traffic light besmirch your unimpeachable business decision-making record and lofty company status with such unduly negative attention, just because it will appear to the other executives that the setback resulted from your hiring of me, when I could just as easily discreetly take a couple of days off from work to heal on my own, then come in at the end of the week and have no one be the wiser? I'll leave the decision to your always sound discretion." ***If your vehicle doesn't have a convertible top, please skip down to "Excuse #4" and adjust your excuse accordingly. ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ EXCUSE #4. "I'M FULL OF HOT AIR" In the event you don't have a ragtop (i.e., convertible car roof) or you live in a less temperate geographic location, remove all prior sun or sunburn-related references from the previous excuses and plug in the following no-fault, extended automobile exposure-related health hazard: THE DIALOGUE: "How could I have known the progressively increasing wooziness, nausea, dizziness and fainting spells I continue to experience, were caused by the carbon monoxide poisoning I incurred while stuck the entire day at the faulty traffic light I would never have encountered had it not been for my drive to work; a drive which resulted in my prolonged exposure to an exhaust leak that emptied into the poorly-ventilated passenger cabin of my car?" [Modify alleged health-related repercussions around desired sick leave time period.] ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ EXCUSE #5. "AVOIDING GETTING BOMBED AT WORK" File this excuse under family-related, personal leave time. Though most of us are restricted to two parents, uncles and aunts come a dime a dozen. If you work in an oppressive, company boy/girl-populated corporate sweatshop, chances are you've already killed
off more aunts and uncles than Adam and Eve have grandchildren. If such be the case with you, your relative sick/dying credibility is most likely nonexistent with your boss... SO-O-O-O... WHY NOT KEEP THEM ALIVE? Think about it... If (as in my case) people are frightened and alienated by YOUR consistently outlandish behavior in and outside the office, just imagine the craven fear and insomnia-inducing dread your boss is going to experience contemplating the likes of a relative YOU consider "a dangerous lunatic!" With this in mind, wait until a day or two before you need the day(s) off, then start winding up the office "rumor mill" with water cooler anecdotes about "your crazy uncle the bomb maker." Let the stories baste in the buzz of office gossip until the "telephone operator"-enhanced rumours start making their way back to you. When this occurs, you'll know it's time to lower the "boom" on your boss with your absence-request bombshell. Here's an example of a telephonic leave of absence request your boss absolutely cannot refuse: THE DIALOGUE: "Hello, Mr. [insert NAME OF BOSS here]? It's your emplo-- Oh you already KNOW who it is? I'm very impressed; you never seem to remember my name when I greet you at work. Getting right to the point, it seems my errrrrmmm, how shall I say, "unstable," pyromaniac of an uncle, the one my family fondly refers to as Uncle "Napalm" Tom, is being released from his maximum security in-patient care facility tomorrow. He has demanded that my family and me be there to greet him; spend a day or two helping him reacclimate to life outside of a straitjacket, in case he should have any sudden relapses. I think it's probably a wise idea for you to help me accommodate his wishes, considering it was an unreasonably denied leave of absence request that triggered the office-bombing spree that put him in the facility i
n the 1st place... What was that? Take a week with full pay?! Well Mr. [insert LAST NAME OF BOSS here], ...excuse me? ...By your FIRST name?! Thank you, [insert FIRST NAME OF BOSS here], I'll be certain to mention your unusual generosity and kindness to Uncl-- Pardon?... Lemme get this straight: You're saying you'll double my salary AND extend my leave of absence by HOW long, if I DON'T mention your generosity to him? Done! ...Well, I guess I'll see you... errrrmmm... let me se-e-e-e... --I guess that would make it... April of next year, when I come back in to work! Thanks again, [insert FIRST NAME OF BOSS here]!" :::CLICK::: ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ PART #2 A FEW... EHHHHHH, STRIKE THAT, ... A LOT OF FINAL THOUGHTS: There's really little point in trying to take off from work whenever the opportunity presents itself, because you dread some aspect of your work environment. Considering you must inevitably return to work, and taking into account the enormous percentage of your life you spend at work, it seems the more effective strategy would be for you to configure and implement a plan that results in the "dreaded aspect" dreading the possibility of having to deal with YOU. Work becomes play and chores become games when you take things with as little seriousness as they deserve. If you're taking anything so seriously that you live in dread of its occurrence, your life becomes a treadmill of that dreaded occurrence's ongoing repetition. It is an inescapable, universal law that you always get exactly what it is you resist. Assuming this is accurate, then we can logically infer that the essence of control is letting go. If you're running from a fear, turn around and embrace it. There. ...You've just taken back control of your life. Here are some other "red flags" I use to prevent myself from wasting time, for whatever they
9;re worth to you. Feel free to take issue with them: ? "Boredom" --If you're experiencing it, you're in denial about something. Discover what it is, and your boredom will immediately disappear. ? "The Unusually Fast Passage of Time" --You're playing it too safe and avoiding risk. ? "Loss of 'Joy of Life'" --You're taking life too seriously. ? "Taking Life Too Seriously" --You're operating under the false notion that you have something to lose. Imminent mortality insures that this is unconditionally never the case. ? "Dissatisfaction" --Dependence on gratification and unrealistic expectation. It's a close cousin of boredom, which indicates an element of seeking a distraction to avoid having to face a fear or confront a lie. ? "Forgetfulness/Absentmindedness" --Avoiding facing a confrontation or a recurrent problem, while avoiding feeling guilt over the avoidance. I live by a U.S. Cavalry saying that's been handed down through my family lineage from the time of the U.S. Civil War: "When you're outmanned, outgunned, outmaneuvered, out of supplies, out of luck and it looks like all is hopelessly lost; --sound a charge." If fear, rather than joy, dictates the course your life has taken, you need to affirmatively take back your life. I've consistently found that doing something outrageously stupid; something that utterly flies in the face of common sense and reason, effectively accomplishes this goal for me. Two of my favorite work-related, kamikaze guilty-pleasures have been: 1) Blatant Insubordination, and 2) Even More Blatant Insubordination. OCCUPANASIA "Occupanasia." The commission of insubordination-assisted occupational suicide, (i.e., sacrificing one's salary-induced illusion of permanence and safety to save one's spirit,) is a misunde
rstood art form which, when executed properly, usurps the unworthy, slave-driving boss of his unmerited facade of invincible office dominance. Power inevitably trumps force, and the person with the most power is inevitably the person who believes he has the least to lose. The more responsibility and authority one believes he has, the more he believes he has to lose. Thus, in a contest between you; the lowly employee, and your high and mighty "boss," your boss can only win by getting you to buy into his facade of indomitability. This situation can be eliminated with one simple act of Occupanasia. Committing Occupanasia is a matter of simple logic, really. Think about it: If, as most seem to, you accept the premise that a satisfactory existence depends on your maintaining at least what little sanity you think you possess, in order to appreciate the satisfactory aspects of that existence, then it would appear substantially less than rational for you to troth your ongoing survival prospects to a menial position in an office in which your authorative superior is a frustrated, would-be dictator who temporarily appeases his insatiable lust for annihilating small cities by turning your office environment into his own private Buchenwald. Yet this is what many refer to as "survival." Allowing worthless white collar soul-succubi to devour your soul in small, daily bites in exchange for the opportunity of using what little you receive in exchange, to fend off tax-collecting vampires, could legitimately be called "a no-win situation." Voluntarily participating in a no-win situation, despite the presence of an alternative, equates to insanity. Is Occupanasia looking better yet? TAKING BACK YOUR SANITY THE OCCUPANASIAL WAY The Occupanasial acts I've indulged have already paid for themselves in the countless number of unexpended future analyst-chair dollars I'll be sure to invest elsewhere. When you regain your sen
ses and decide to break ranks with those of your co-workers whose pitiful under-evaluation of their own importance and self-worth leaves them clinging to 50 hours a week of clock-watching quiet desperation, I recommend a simple, but effective novice's Occupanasial act: "FIRE YOUR BOSS." OCCUPANASIA EXAMPLE #1: --THE SIMPLE, YET FUNCTIONAL "BOSS-FIRING" With regard to intentionally brainless, work-related stunts; there's nothing :::wink-wink::: sadder than discovering you have no recourse but to fire your boss... The beauty of a "boss-firing" is that it wreaks scads of irreparable damage, yet requires a minimum of Occupanasial effort and experience. Remember, the greater the visibility and the more symbolic value the act involves, the greater are your immediate and long-term therapeutic benefits. Your co-workers will worship you for several subsequent lifetimes, and will likely immediately begin passing around an office $ collection hat to compensate you for your first week of lost salary. THE PROPER EXECUTION OF A BOSS-FIRING: A "Boss-Firing" is exactly what it sounds like. You pick a moment when the maximum possible number of high-level executives and peon employees are present in the office. Wait for a moment when your boss singles you, or a fellow employee out to make a high-visibility example of you for some botched task, then WHAM-O! --LOUDLY, AND AUTHORITATIVELY FIRE THE BASTARD! In one split second, you'll have transformed your boss from an order-barking DarthVader, into a hapless, bumbling, corporate clown. After you've reveled in the moment or two of speechless shock that follows; perhaps snapping a polaroid, or bonking him with a rolled up newspaper on the back of his fat head, reinforce the mental image (now permanently transfixed on the brains of all who're present) by loudly bellowing: "NOW GET THIS DISGUSTING PIG-STY CLEANED UP AND ORGANIZED BY THE
TIME I COME BACK HERE TOMORROW MORNING, OR THERE'LL BE MORE EXECUTIVE HEADS ROLLING OFF THE CHOPPING BLOCK! I'M TAKING THE REST OF THE DAY OFF!" Then indignantly stomp out of the office, slam the office door hard enough to knock over some expensive perishables, and begin your new job search. In my next installment, we'll break down and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a boss-firing I executed a few years back, and then move on to our next subject; "IN-YER-FACE ACTS OF INSUBORDINATION." I can't say indulging in the occasional idiotic gesture won't have dangerous consequences, but sometimes one's willingness to take responsibility for such a potentially high cost provides the jump-start one needs to reassume control. Need a stupid idea? Ask me; I?ve got a million of them... Cheers, --29th
[*Please See Page-Bottom For Epinions-Related Term Glossary] ANNOUNCER: HEY KIDS! --Heard about the EXCITING, NEW BOARD game being played by ALL the COOL peops in the ep community? --The game that combines the "reality" of Wiltin-Badly's "The Shame of LIFE," with the "materialism" of Darker Mothers' "OLIGOPOLY!?" We-e-e-elll, hold on to your Advisor Hats, and get ready for... ...the ONE ...the ONLY EVA-PINION'S "RAINBOW HIGH!" Why subject yourself to the trials and tribulations of REAL life, when you can discover the SAME experience of success & high achievement playing RAINBOW HIGH?! ---Here's a summary of RAINBOW HIGH! ...OH BOY!: PRELIMINARIES: You need at least three (3) players: First, each person rolls the dice to decide who gets to play the omnipotent GOD-figure, "I-Have All-a-ya." The lucky person who plays "I-Have," is not only the banker, but also doubles as the "Computer Algorithym" and "Arbitrary Whim" card dealer... --MUHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAhahahaahaha! THE GAME: The other 2 or more players each start off as "Peon Contributors." They are each given a year's worth of Income Share (29¢) and 35 on-topic, "over-all VH" review-chips. The idea of the game is to become the first player to please "I-Have All-a-ya," by accumulating enough non-artistic, consumerly-helpful review-chips to rise through all three "social status" levels; first "PEON CONTRIBUTOR," then "JUNIOR HEAD BUDDY," then "SENIOR HEAD BUDDY," after which one lucky player achieves a "RAINBOW HIGH" by becoming the "EVITA-PINIONS HEAD BUDDY!" "COMPUTER ALGORITHYM" AND "ARBITRARY WHIM" CARDS Sounds easy right?! WRONG! It doesn't matter HOW many legitimately-accumulated,
consumerly-helpful review-chips you have if "I-Have All-a-ya" hands you either: 1) a "Computer Algorithym" card, or 2) an "Arbitrary Whim" card, you can spend the ENTIRE game as a lowly, "PEON CONTRIBUTOR!" Imagine the shame of watching friends and newbies zip past you through the status levels, all because you had a bad roll of the dice and your rival became that round's "I-Have All-a-ya!" Heh, heh, --Better luck next game! PEONS DON'T DESPAIR! There ARE ways to "Eva Perone" your way into "I-Have All-a-ya's" good graces! The following are the 3 methods: 1) PROVIDE HELPFUL HEAD-ASSISTANCE SERVICE --Head-giving assistance can get you into the good graces of Junior & Senior Head Buddies. If you provide enough quality head-service to a Junior or Senior Head Buddy, he or she can promote you one "social status" level. 2) BECOMING A MEMBER OF "THE SECRET POLICE" --The aspiring EP Buddy provides quality head-assistance, left, right, up and down; braving the bureaucrat rubber stampers, the revenge raters, the political grading circles, etc., until a secret invitation from the community's secret underground police organization mysteriously arrives, asking the shaker/mover to join their unseen ranks. All this occurs while the high-flying adored continues to give quality Head service to trusted and "PC" reviewers, for the toppest Topic Heads. 3) BUYING THE "HEAD OF STATE" --Buying the "Head of State" Space equates to the aspirer's regularly shmoozing and currying favor with the Head of State (named "Electus,") by emailing and reporting and turning in unpopulars, dissenters and abusers, etc.. JUNIOR & SENIOR HEAD BUDDIES --How The Peon Contributor Accumulates Status & Rank: Common, unskilled plebe-graders, right off of Main & Index Page, cap
italize on their natural abilities and home skills, enabling them to gain status and position with the Heads. Consistently proficient head providers, as determined via mouth (i.e., "word of") in Head circles (i.e., chats and BBs) and as shown by satisfying head service records, (especially those providing service above and beyond the call of booty, ehhhh... duty, I mean,) enables good "Buddies;" those who consistently provide that satisfying head service, to hold sway over various rating decisions, even decisions that do not seem commensurate with their abilities and/or areas of expertise. In the game, this equates to accumulating chips and rising through the ranks... "THE 'EVAPINIONS PERON' HEAD BUDDY" The most successful, most domineering, most skillful and most single-minded of all the Head providers quickly rise in status and prestige, till the time comes, when that one *special* Head Buddy achieves-- ....a "RAINBOW HIGH." THE "RAINBOW HIGH" A "RAINBOW HIGH" is a meteoric rise to the top that weathers all storms and setbacks, until all of its beautiful colors shimmer brightly in the sun, as though there had never been a dark cloud at all. This means the aspiring Head-Buddy starts out as a wretched plebe grader, interacting with the common a-a-a abusers & topic winos, the desperate padding-stuffers and post-poppers, the filthy plagiarists, the trust-whores & pimps, the seedy same-site, double-review posters crawling in the filth and squalor at the intersection of Main & Index Pages, with nothing but his or her ambition, desire, cunning and the willingness to do WHATEVER it takes to climb out of the dirt! They grade regularly to demo their potential Head-Buddy skills, until one day... ---THE CALL COMES DOWN; the person has been dubbed "JUNIOR HEAD BUDDY!" The aspirer moves upward and forward in a consistent, undeterred meteoric rise, --st
raight up to the top, all along providing near miraculous head duties and vanquishing political rivals or making them trustees with promises of power and favorable head, until one day... the high-flying head buddy achieves the "Rainbow High!" That person has become the community's "Eva Peron" Head Buddy!" As EP or "Evita" Head Buddy, that person has the grading and degrading world at the fingertips! Someday, there will be a broadway play and a movie about you, "Evita Head Buddy!" ~~~~ "THE EVITA-PINIONS RAINBOW HIGH THEME SONG" ~~~~ [Sung To The Tune Of: "RAINBOW HIGH," A Song From Andrew Lloyd Weber's Musical, "EVITA"] THE EVA-PINIONS HEAD-BUDDY: There again for e-go-boo I'll rate; write A re-view That's been "de-ARTed..." Let's rub-ber-stamp the-NEW-posts, Don't make it ob-vi-ous, For trust, we're off and tro-o-olling! EVAPINION'S DRESSERS: [CHORUS] Reads! Posts! Rants! Gradings! Chats! Spats! Hits! Ratings! Reads! Posts! Rants! Gradings! Chats! Spats! Hits! Ratings! THE EVA-PINIONS HEAD-BUDDY: I-came-from-the KE-E-EY-BOAR-R-RD; they need to trust-WHORE me-e-e! So comment-one-MORE me-e-e! Per-son-AL-i-ty PRO-O-O-S-SE! My-post-needs-more PAD-ding-g-g, For me to be Rain-BOW-W-W HI-I-I-IGH! "Grade-cir-cle re-quite-MEN-N-N-NT!" It's fun to li-i-ie. EVA'S DRESSERS [CHORUS]: Flames! Fights! Frames! Sign-Offs! WOTS! WODS! Webs! Write-offs! Flames! Fights! Frames! Sign-Offs! WOTS! WODS! Webs! Write-offs! THE EVA-PINIONS HEAD-BUDDY: Boards & COM-MENTS, Help Nirav's crew TE-E-ELL me What "art" might as WE-E-ELL be, What's le-GI-ti-mate pro-o-ose No off-topic FIL-ling, I want to be RA
IN-BOW HI-I-IGH! They need their high rate, and so do I-I-I-I... EVA'S DRESSERS: [CHORUS] Reads! Posts! Rants! Gradings! Chats! Spats! Hits! Ratings! Reads! Posts! Rants! Gradings! Chats! Spats! Hits! Ratings! THE EVA-PINIONS HEAD-BUDDY: For-a-pat-on-the-back-we're-expected-to-grade-the com-mu-ni-ty; ...Sub-mit re-views-for-free! I-I-I won't dis-a-ppoint the-e-em! The "Head-PER-R-RSON" Made-me his "Head-BUD-dy;" His "MH-ing, SLUT-ty- Head-Giving HO-O-O-OE'" With bright-colored LIP-sti-i-ick, I have to be RAIN-BOW HI-I-IGH! In ma-gi-cal coLOR-R-R-RS... It's kinda frus-TRAT-ing; my nose stays con-sis-tent-ly bro-o-o-own! Give head? That's FEL-LAT-ING! On-whom-do-I-have-to-go-dow-w-w-wn?!" Next sto-o-o-p-p-p's the E.-P. C-O-O-OPS! Ab-BU-SERS! com-MENT-wars! tic-KETS! dou-BLE-ac-COUNTS! We'll send a repo-o-ort! Lo-o-o-ok o-o-out, migh-TY NIR-A-A-A-AV! BE-cau-u-use you might end up with-a-nother-E-B-D!; Ju-u-ust a lit-tle touch of-f-f, Ju-u-ust a lit-tle touch of-f-f, Nir-av-To-lia's brand of COM-mu-ni-ty-y-y-y! Thank you for singing along; enjoy playing the game! --the 29th ~~~~~~ GLOSSARY OF KEY "EPINIONS" TERMINOLOGY: ~~~~~~~ *** ADVISOR/"JUNIOR HEAD BUDDY" --A gratuitous, egoboo-exploitation title awarded to prolific epinions review-contributors and review-raters as a means of rewarding, encouraging and increasing review-writing productivity. There is no actual connection between skill level or expertise and the category in which an advisor receives a hat. Advisors break down into 2 groups: 1) TOP REVIEWERS, i.e., those who WRITE frighteningly prolific amounts in the particular topic area in which they receive their hat, and... 2) ADVISORS, i.e.,
those who RATE frighteningly prolific amounts in the particular topic area in which they receive their hat, and whose grades show as many NHs as VHs. Whether those grades were awarded judiciously is of no particular concern to epinions. Along with their egoboo blue hats and name badges, advisors/top reviewers have the option of rating a review MH, or Most Helpful; (in ANY category, not just their own area of alleged expertise.) The MH-rating was recently arbitrarily stripped away from epinions peon-reviewers so that the hatted ones would have an additional enticement to motivate their productivity. Additionally, their rates carry as much weight as 10 to 15 peon review-writers. *** ALEXIS/"ELECTUS"/"HEAD OF STATE" --Epinions' 2nd in command. Nirav's personal bulldog, axe-woman and strong-arm. Heads epinions' clandestine "abuse" & Customer Care departments. Perhaps the epinions entity most name-dropped in epinions-related chatrooms, bulletin boards and social clubs by 'boo-schmoozers, lick-spittles and self-appointed epicops. Rumoured to have even less tolerance for entertaining and original reviews than Nirav. *** ARTIST --Anyone whose primary motivation for creating is "joy" (i.e., love of the game, passion, desire for self-expression, child-like compulsion, etc. .) Artists represent a particularly vexing problem to the epinions brass because their ability to create meaningful art, correlates directly to their unwillingness to compromise the integrity of their artistic medium, here the review. Ultimately, they wield the most power and influence at epinions because they're the only ones whose reviews can be trusted to render a believable or honest account of the product. *** CATEGORY LEADER/"SENIOR HEADBUDDY" --A group of epinions admins handpicked advisors who act as the Niravs of their respective product categories. Their rates carry as much weight as 10 t
o 15 peon review-writers. They have the capacity to block you and your reviews from visitor view should they deem fit. LOTS of egoboo here, folks... They pick the advisors that wear advisor hats in their own respective topics, and subsequently act as their advisors. *** EBD --When the epinions management, fearing the mass site exodus that might occur as a reaction to its discontinuation of financial compensation for review submissions, cut off (without any prior notice, and in breach of its own user agreement,) its contributors ability to delete, alter or modify their own ops, friend and fellow peon epinionator, Sordid-1 initiated a sitewide write-off revolt called the EPINIONS BLOWS DOGS, or the EBD. The goal of the EBD was to make epinions a victim of its own treachery, by writing a deliberately offensive and obscene review in which the reviewer described why epinions blows dogs, and which, as a consequence of epinions own treacherous, sitewide elimination of user editing features, couldnt be altered or deleted by the review-writer, but at the same time, could not be deleted by epinions due to the sheer volume of incoming, obscene EBD reviews. For the first time in epinions existence, all of the mutually-antagonistic community factions united behind a common cause and enemy; the epinions admin.. Sordy and I estimated it would take between 5 days and a week to crack the management. We were wrong. It took three days before they capitulated and restored full editing/deleting privileges. Needless to say, at this point, many who had not originally planned on leaving, yet who subsequently felt epinions had gotten as close to raping them as it would ever get, deleted all their reviews and disappeared forever. *** EGOBOO --A term that describes the high octane, psychological motivation and driving force that fuels a review-writer's desire and willingness to write reviews and to read, rate, and leave comments on the reviews of fellow review-writer
s. Etymologically speaking, it's a shortened form of the phrase "ego boost," but it has come to refer specifically to that particular variety of ego-stroke enabled by the immediacy of interaction that was virtually unknown prior to the "wired era" and the advent of virtual communities. With the diminution of financial compensation, "egoboo" (and the desire to make Nirav wealthy in at least one case,) is the only remaining commodity that can be exploited for purposes of generating productivity. Some people just like to write, but that does not qualify as a corruptible commodity. *** EPICOPS/EPINIONS COPS --Technically, a group of vigilante epinions review-submitters who began a secret, "members-only" Yahoo chat club called "the epinions cops." By using the "routing out and persecuting of epinions site-abusers" as a pretext for lynch-mobbing and gangbanging away personal vendettas and contributors they considered disagreeable for arbitrary, personal reasons, they singlehandedly created the virtual universe's first NAZI "S.S." or "secret police." Their failure to recognize the crucial need to adopt ANY, let alone a clearly-defined, consistent or objective definition of "abuse," lead to their becoming the site's most prolific abusers. Generally, an epicop is a derogatory term for anyone who "abuses in the name of the law." *** GRADING/RATING CIRCLES --Also referred to as click circles. In short, its the rating equivalent of mutual egoboo-masturbation. An implicit or even an EXplicit agreement wherein one rater insures that a second rater will VH his review, by reciprocating the same rate, regardless of the quality or content of said review. The particularly sinister aspect of this behavior, which generally occurs with greater frequency within the ranks of epinions hatted elite, in order to curry the favor necessary for hatted advancement,
is that advisors who habitually engage in this activity, in order to maintain their hats, are forced to go after and saddle the often VH-quality reviews of undeserving, but inconsequential peons and newbies, in order to score their hat-enabling quota of NH and SH reviews. *** HATTED ONES/RECEIVED A HAT --Advisors, Top Reviewers and Category Leaders are treated as epinions nobility. When one receives a hat, it means epinions has awarded an advisorship in the topic area represented by the hat. Contrary to what this hat indicates to site visitors, the title has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the reviews written or the relative level of expertise in that respective topic; merely that its recipient bangs out MORE reviews than that particular topics average writer. *** NIRAV TOLIA/"I-HAVE ALL-A-YA" --Epinions' art/artist-intolerant Godfather, Commander-In-Chief and CEO. Seems to believe writers contribute reviews to epinions out of an obsessive need to make him rich and his site successful. Considers ops that provide "personality prose" information related to the reader in the form of a personal opinion, rather than as an unmodified transfer of facts nicked from the info source, a cruel and unnecessarily abusive affront to computers. Takes it somewhat personally that visiting consumers don't consider computer-generated personality profiles "a more convenient version of the human touch." After seeing Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey," was stunned and dismayed to discover that, in fact, "Hal" (i.e., the renegade computer,) was NOT the film's protagonist. Nirav seems to consider his having to endure the use of "humans" as ep's main op source, a "necessary evil" that allows him to bide his time until he discovers a method of enabling his computers to synthesize random preferences, or until his Research & Development team isolates and overcom
es the pesky learning disabilities that currently prevent livestock and domestic animals from writing. A survey of some of the swill that some reviewers on the "advisor fast-track," produce a la "factory assembly -line," might be lead one to believe Nirav may not be too far from his goal. --- Infamous NIRAV Quote: "A "VH" review, is one that contains SCADS of helpful product info calculated to help the consumer make better buying decisions." (Implying that anything in excess of "product facts" in an op, like personal opinion re: the product, should not be considered helpful.) *** PEON REVIEW-WRITER -- The lowly, hatless working class majority of epinions reviewers. In the musical EVITA, they were referred to as Eva Perones Descomisadoes, (i.e., shirtless ones.) Epinions implicitly enourages their hatted elite classes to treat its peon reviewers like smelly, repulsive, low class common garbage it wishes they were. This increases the zeal and motivation of up & comers to aspire to the substantially increased egoboo associated with receiving an epinions advisor hat. It's in the Peon Strata of epinions society youll find the majority of quality writers, artists and those who arent manipulated by epinions carrots on strings. If they aren't relative newbies in search of a hat treadmill, chances are they write purely out of love of the game. *** PERSONALITY POSTER --A writer reputed to write reviews infused with entertaining and personable banter. Some conform to the epinions Terms Of Service. Others do not. *** PERSONALITY PROSE --The personable banter used to make the dry, technical product-related information pallatable. The proverbial "spoonful of sugar." A problem occurs when an op has no medicine to justify the sweetner. Needless to say, people don't come running in droves to guzzle down medicine for it's wonderful flavor, health benefits notwithstanding.
*** TROLLING FOR TRUST --Rubberstamping newly submitted reviews by the handful, hoping unwitting, newby trusters will add you to their W.O.T.. The epinionators known to regularly engage in this questionable practice, are referred to as TRUST-WHORES.
------------- ADVISORY MAMORANDUM ----------------- TO: All Breasts, The Breast Community (a.k.a. "The Community Chest") FROM: 29th_Candidate; Attorney & Legal Consultant In Charge Of The Care & Handling of All Breast Matters DATE: All Relevant Dates SUBJECT: Consultation Opinion Rendered In Response To "The Community Chest's" Proposed Arguments In Support Of Petition To Have All Current Laws Restricting Public Exposure Of Breasts Repealed INSTRUCTIONS: Please Familiarize Yourselves With The Issues & Suggestions Discussed Herein. ----------- ----------- ----------- ----------- ------------ ----------- Dear Breasts, the Community Chest, the Breast Community (Generally:) INTRODUCTION Please be advised that the undersigned office has been retained relative to the professional legal advisement, consultation and eventual litigation of a matter in which you have an interest; specifically, challenging the constitutionality of laws restricting your public exposure. Enclosed herein with this consultation letter, you will find a copy of the proposed legal petition forwarded to us by your mammagement; the titular figures of your governing body, "The Community Chest." Immediately below, you will find our comments concerning the Chest's proposed arguments as set forth in above-referenced petition. Please familiarize yourself with all of the mat-aureoles. ASSESSMENT OF YOUR PETITION'S HANDLING OF OPPOSITION ARGUMENTS You (the Chest's the Upper Mammagement) certainly have a titillating way of keeping your cons-tit-uents abreast of the latest developments in the "Public Exposure Debate." You begin by deflating the anticipated opposing arguments; busting them down by exposing them for the unsupported, droopy assertions they are. On the other hand, your own pointed arguments effectively strip away, what a-mou
nds to deceptive filler; strategic stuffing used to man-nipple-ate your opposition's unnaturally inflated set of arguments, which sag under the weight of flabby, equivocal logic. ASSESSMENT OF YOUR PETITION'S HANDLING OF YOUR ARGUMENTS You then bring to bear the weighty, leading points which protrude with convincing authority and fairly burst with the underlying support lent by your impressive legal body of research; a veritable warchest of persuasive information. Afterwards, you draw out your points one at a time, deftly handling them like a pro, but with a gentle touch that makes them perk up with firmness and conviction. Your arguments are full-bodied and well-developed like ripened melons, yet never bob awkwardly in an overly assertive or disproportionately top-heavy manner. ASSESSMENT OF YOUR PETITION'S FORM Further, your assertions are well-structured, don't exhibit any obvious padding and proceed right from the heart of the subject, neither bouncing back & forth from too much useless filler, nor going too far over the top from lack of underlying support. This has the two-fold effect of preventing your logical embellishments from weaning too far to one side or not enough to the other, while allowing one to grasp the full lobe of the underlying structure of your advanced points. By doing so, you frame the logical thrust of your assertions in such a way as to prevent leaving a jury groping with logically ambiguous slippery-slopes. I see no structural weakness. You've certainly covered your points! ASSESSMENT OF YOUR PETITION'S CONTENT Not only is your form cohesive and well-developed, but your content is appealing and interesting, too. The cleavage of its prose is both evocative and suggestive. I never felt it to be over-inflated, stiff or unnatural. Its demonstrative examples are so full-bodied and convincing, they even brought back fond mammaries from my early childhood! De
spite some possible ribbing, I have no doubt your petition's well-rounded, and uplifting pointers, besides giving your observers (i.e., the supportive ones; not the boobs or the hooters,) "A cup"-le of titters, will rack up many raves from public figures, and I mean the big ones. TIPS FOR DEALING WITH THE PUBLIC/ THE OPPOSITION'S SUPPORTERS At any rate, ignore those detractors & hooters who claim you lac tate, excuse me, lack taste, or who claim you aren't up front! You may find that if you're afraid to flash your high-beams every so often, you'll end up having to pull filthy animals off your bumpers. I for one, am sure that if your petition urns the public exposure & legal treatment I believe it deserves, the knockers of its apparent & bountiful natural endowments, will be the ones deflated by your success; nursing their sagging pride because their droopy points are unsupportable. On the other hand, your turgid chest sacks (of public mail,) stuffed to udder capacity with uplifting feedback, will become the very bosom of public support; stacked like a mail truck with supportive and uplifting comments. Consequently, your titular exhibitions will stand out front and center ahead of the rest; an example of some of the finer cream to issue from the Community Chest? SUMMARIZING THOUGHTS FOR TITNESS EXAMINATIONS 1. ASSERT YOUR POINTS WITH FIRMNESS AND CONVICTION! 2. YOUR ASSERTIONS SHOULD UPLIFT; NOT FLATTEN! 3. BE CERTAIN TO MAKE A CLEAN BREAST OF YOUR THOUGHTS! 4. NO NEED TO MAMMER; GET RIGHT TO THE HEART OF IT! Rest assured breasts of the world, you have placed yourselves in sensitive legal hands. I will keep in touch with you at all pertinent times. Please contact me if you require any further assistance. Your Handling Attorney, The 29th_Candidate ENCLOSURES: Community Chest's Proposed Petition
(1 page) --------------------------------------------------------------- [DOCUMENT #2: --Proposed Print Advertisement For The 29th_Candidate's Breast Handling Legal Service:] --RECENTLY BUSTED?! --BREASTS LEGALLY EXPOSED?! --BREASTS NEED A LEGAL UP-RAISAL?! --HAVE TWO (A PAIR) IN COURT?! BREASTS! --If these or other weighty, pressing, sensitive legal matters rack you with worry, threaten to hold you back, hamper your freedom, or look like they may restrict your forward progress, you may now breast comfortably in the bra-ledge that your tittigation is not only being handled by udderly bust-worthy legal hands; but in fact, by THE BREAST HANDLERS IN THE LEGAL BUSINESS! ~~~~~ WE WILL HAVE YOU OUT OF YOUR SUIT IN NO TIME! ~~~~~ We don't just pay our breast matters lip service! NO! From the moment you retain us, WE retain YOU; with not just one, but BOTH hands! 1) We initiate a thorough "hands-on assessment" of your legal positions-- 2) We help you grasp the seriousness of your legal tit-uation-- 3) We probe the legal consistency of your pertinent points-- 4) We get an overall feel for, and underglanding of, your legal tissues-- Unlike the working stiffs at other law offices, we aren't content merely to have our firm members run through your legal briefs, doing superficial examinations of your delicate, pending issues. Instead, we use our firm staff and our hands-on experience to probe into levels of your body of case materials you probably hadn't been aware existed. It is not unusual for us to grapple with our clients' pressing issues and case matters long past business hours; completely unmindful of our families and personal relationships. We examine EVERY inch of them; consider them from EVERY possible angle, explore them AGAIN and AGAIN, until we've touched on and exposed EVERY aspect of them with such exhaustin
g thoroughness that we often awaken the next morning face down in your briefs! Not until we feel comfortable legally debriefing you in a simple, straightforward manner, so that you're able to grasp the full extent of your own legal exposure in a satisfying manner, and we have maneuvered you into a position that enables your issue points to stand up in court, do we proceed with your litigation. ~~~~~ "AN IN-BREASTMENT IN THE CHEST OF YOUR LIFE" ~~~~~ We NEVER leave your weighty legal considerations exposed or hanging; we handle you for life. That's right. This includes ANY exposure your breasts incur, as a consequence of fall-out or that results from our insufficient coverage. Though we provide you with the breast handling on the entire globes, you don't have to worry about going bust or belly-up trying to cover your outstanding ballast; your appreciative tanks will cover us until you've attained alternative support. ~~~~~ FRET NOT! -- WE MAKE BLOUSE CALLS! ~~~~~ Yes, it's true, we cover your breasts anywhere and everywhere on the globes. Whether it's... --the foothills of California, --the ski slopes of Switzerland, --the mountain peaks of Tibet, --the Flatlands of South America, --the towers of London, --the volcanoes of Hawaii, --the craggy tips of Aureole-stralia, --the dunes of the Sahara, --the Galapogos Islands, --the white cliffs of Dover, --the windmills of Holland, --the fjords of Iceland, --the icebergs of Greenland, or --the rocks of Gibraltar... ...we are there to make sure you receive the proper handling and support. Our reach even extends down into the African bush country! --So if YOU'VE got WEIGHTY LEGAL MATTERS that NEED HANDLING, be sure to get in touch with us; we're the ONLY BARETITSTERS you should EVER let handle your girls when they've been exposed to the le
gal system... --REMEMBER! --We'll have you out of your suit in no time! ......... Who Are We? We're the WORLD'S BREAST HANDLING ATTORNIES!" © 2000 Jim Scileppi
"LIGHT MY FIRE" -- GENERAL INFO:
In April of 1967, "Light My Fire," the product of a December 1965 collaboration involving all four Doors members (of which additional details are provided further ahead,) and arguably the Doors' most renowned song, became the second single (after "Break On Through,") released from their stunning, September 1966 debut album: "The Doors."
Tragically, in order to ensure that this classic would receive national air-play, the band had to conform it to the barbaric (approx. 3 minute) commercial playing-time format restrictions that were an accepted standard of the 1960's AM radio stations. This entailed generating a "45 record" version of the song that chopped it down from its hypnotically "jazzy" seven-minute long, original rendition, to a "beer-jingly" 2 minutes and 45 seconds of its former self. Door's studio engineer, Bruce Botnick, accomplished this aural butchery by ruthlessly gutting the entire four minute and fifteen second long interlude composed of keyboard player and co-Doors founder, Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger's jazzy, hypnotizingly-improv'd instrumental solos.
On May 27, 1967, Light My Fire debuted in Billboard Magazine's "Hit Parade at #29 and climbed to #1 on July 29, 1967, where it remained for three weeks, before giving way to the Beatles, "All You Need Is Love." On August 30th, both the single and the album broke the 1,000,000 sale mark. Consequently, on September 11, 1967, both received a gold record. LMF was not quite as popular in Europe, where, on August 16, 1967, it appeared in Great Britain's Music Week magazine's Top 50, but only reached #49.
PLACE/DATE OF RECORDING: LMF was recorded at the psychedelic Sunset Sound Studio in L.A., in psychedelic September of '66, right after Labor Day, and released during the first week of January 1967.
THE CAST OF CHARACTERS:
RAY MANZAREK --The classically-trained keyboard player, whose strong avante garde jazz influence and undisguised passion for "boogie-woogie," is conspicuously audible in the strong "John Coltrane" tenor sax, scalar riffs of Ray's organ vamping. His left hand is the entire Doors Bass Section. Ray's hypnotically-rhythmic left-handed base line derives from a Fender Rhodes Keyboard Bass (32 notes-- w/ extra low-sounding low notes.) A Vox Continental Organ sits on top of the Fender, to accommodate the jazzy vamps and improvs generated by Ray's right hand. Rather than following strict "Rock" chord progressions, Ray's innovative adaption of Jazz minor chords infuses a palpable and haunting wistfulness to LMF's melodic verses
ROBBY KRIEGER --The Doors' soft-spoken, vastly-underrated and technically innovative Flamenco guitar player. His previous study with sitarist "Ravi Shankar," is particularly evident in the unmistakable Eastern influence heard in his LMF guitar solo, as well as in his work with the Doors, generally. Robby effectively introduced (Hawaiian) bottleneck slide to acid rock as an unintended consequence of Morrison's insistence that he incorporate the technique into all of the Doors' earlier songs. He never used a pick during his musical tenure with the Doors.
JOHN DENSMORE -- The Doors' jazz-drumming rhythm section. Once asked Krieger what he thought about while soloing, (referring to Krieger's characteristic tendency of walking expressionlessly back and forth - in and out of the stagelights while soloing, as though completely oblivious of his surroundings) to which Krieger replied: "My goldfish."
JIM MORRISON -- The Doors' frontman and resident bad-boy poet. The Tyrannosaurus Rex of the Classic Rock Dinosaurs (literally, based on the word "dinosaur's" meaning: "terrible lizard," and the well-known "Lizard King" designation Jim inherited from his poem, "The Celebration Of The Lizard."
THE BEHIND THE SCENES LMF GOSSIP:
--Prior to doing a live performance of LMF on the Ed Sullivan show, Ed's son-in-law and the show's director, Bob Precht, came to the Doors' dressing room to request that they edit the line: "...girl we couldn't get much higher," to "girl we couldn't get much better." After pretending to go along with the altered line during rehearsal, they took the stage and sung the original version during the live performance, causing shockwaves and shrieking in the control room. When asked by a whiny, almost tearful Precht, why they sung the "higher" version, Jim is said to have replied: "Because no one seemed to want to use MY proposed version, 'Ed & Bob can bite my wire...'"
--Morrison considered LMF sacred; so much so, that when he found out from Ray, that Ray and the other Doors had been approached with an offer (made to the other three Doors "on the sly,") of a staggering sum from Buick Motors, Inc., to license LMF to use as Buick's commercial jingle, (i.e., as in: "Come on Buick light my fire... ," *ouch!*) Jim blew a gasket. On learning Ray and the other Doors had even been CONSIDERING the offer, Jim quit the band and refused to speak to any of them for quite some time. Jim had been so put off by the idea his fellow band members would "sell out," that the incident festered in his soul for years afterwards... Subsequently, while at the notorious "Miami Concert," just after jim allegedly "whipped it out" during the band's stage performance, he was quoted as sneering: "There! --NOW let's see Buick try to use Light My Fire..."
LIGHT MY FIRE -- THE MUSIC:
THE DOORS/LIGHT MY FIRE'S SIGNATURE TURNAROUND-BRIDGE:
I first heard my father jamming to Light My Fire over a decade after it original debuted. I liked it the moment I first heard it. It begins with a darkly distinctive organ intro; one which makes apparent the band didn't want to just "vamp" the beginning, but wanted to make a bold opening statement. Their solution: a carnivalesque -sounding, Bacchian circle of fifths. This intro is so distinctive, it became the Doors defining musical signature. Structurally speaking, Light My fire is a musical mixed breed; an aural patchwork quilt. It has so many musical influences it is challenging to define. When I first began listening to LMF, it sounded to me like Bach's "Toccatta & Fugue in D Minor" set to avante garde jazz. As I listened closer, I picked up a Latin groove in the Chorus, then noticed an Eastern "Ravi Shankar" influence in Krieger's power chords. This is all blended together by a hauntingly ethereal, mysterioso pedal or amp reverb that blurs the musical edges of LMF's instrument tracks like the auditory equivalent of those trippy, flashback dream-sequences Kwai-Chang Caine has in reruns of "Kung Fu."
After Ray's majestic Vox charges in, with it's tonic-in-dominant-y, church-organy, introductory G Major turnaround, the next section you hear is the 1st Verse. The melody Krieger had originally conceived of for this, seemed too "Sonny & Cher: 'I Got You, Babe,'" namby-pamby according to Ray, so Densmore used his drums to spice it up with a Latin groove. The melody line begins on an A minor, then shifts to an F# minor and ends on an E, before the 1st verse picks up the 1st chorus. Ray starts an "A minor to B minor" bass line in a "4," that continues throughout the remainder of the tune.
Robby wrote the first verse:
"You know that it would be untrue;
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl we couldn't get much higher"
VERSE 1 [Translated:]
It would be pretentious for us to attempt to rationalize our settling for anything less than the unimaginable romantic bliss and sexual ecstasy I know our union would enable.
Come on baby light my fire
Come on baby light my fire
Try to set the night on fire...
Things are moving along, but they need a follow-up second verse. Resident-poet Morrison thoughtfully reviews Robby's proposed "verse 1" lyrics and comments (and I quote:)
"Aye up, Robbie ol' bean! --Cor Blimey, but those are some crackin' good lines! ---- Hmmmmmm... --'Ere's just one minor bit of a stickywicket we need to 'andle, ol' chap!:
For me to write this song's "verse two,"
Because I'm not some "hack-for-hire,"
There's one thing I would have to do:
"Hurl." --'Cause your "verse one's" so dire...
Vehddy, vehddy well... --Give us a minute then, mate..."
After swilling a couple o' pints of English propuh beer, to help him wash down a balanced brekkie of biccies and blotter acid, he returns with the second verse (painted in day-glo acrylics on his jeans:)
"The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre..."
VERSE 2 [Translated:]
All we have with any certainty, is this rapidly passing instant of possibility-- Let's seize the time-out-of-mind moment forged by the soul-searing ardour of our mutual desire, lest by our questioning it, it sinks into the unstable quicksand of our own self-doubt and apprehension over what will be-- The inevitability of death renders losing inconsequential, thus, the worst fate we face is also our best fate; that our love consumes us in the fires of our own relentless passion...
Come on baby light my fire
Come on baby light my fire
Try to set the night on... --FI-I-Y-E-R-R-RRR!
So we've got 1st verse, 1st chorus, 2nd verse, 2nd chorus, now the song goes into the first of two solos...
In various interviews, Ray mentioned the influence Jazz Saxophonist, John Coltrane had on him. We see it manifested here. Ray models LMF's jazzy interlude after John Coltrane's cover of "My Favorite Things" (not exactly "The Sound Of Music" your mother knew and loved, but yes, essentially the tune Julie Andrews sang in the movie.) By shifting Coltrane's My Favourite Things from "D minor" to "E," and its time signature from a "3" (imagine waltzing: 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3...) to a rock & roll "4," you get Manzarek's LMF solo. The left hand bass line is exactly the same: an A minor to B minor chord progression played in an ostinato pattern.
On top of the hypnotically repeated A minor to B minor bass chord structure played by his left hand, Ray uses his jazz improv-soloing right hand to vamp an exploratory, fugue-like series of scalar runs and ornamental embellishments developed from the original e-note tonality, which he stretches via modal alterations, for a dazzling 2 minutes before Krieger comes in and solos over Ray's unchanged bass line with his Eastern-sounding fretwork exploration. This continues for about 2 minutes before Ray comes back in and the two go into a 3/4 duet, with Ray's improvising right hand, doubling the serpentine exploration of Robbie's guitar' in "3," while continuing to maintain the same repeated A minor to B minor bass chord progression played by his left hand in "4." The two criss-crossing improvs crescendo into a dizzying climax and then Ray repeats his "turnaround bridge." Then the song returns to the original 1st verse, 1st chorus, 2nd verse, 2nd chorus sequence and concludes with a third repetiton of the turnaround.
So in sum, it's basically a jazz structure:
Verse, chorus, verse, chorus... state the theme; take a long solo, then come back to stating the theme again... and that, friends, is the structure of Light My Fire.
0:00 Introduction. Ray's "Door's-defining, Bacchian "Circle Of Fifths" opening organ riffs.
0:09 1st Verse. Morrison choral.
0:23 1st Chorus
0:37 2nd Verse
0:52 2nd Chorus
1:07 Solo begins (E Major.) Manzarek plays both melody and bass line; ostinato pattern and an E pedal tone in the bass, which establishes the rhythm section's feel throughout the piece. Bass chord progression remains consistent, while Manzarek improvises modally.
1:57 Manzarek continues exploratory solo, improvising with rising scalar embellishments on original modal pattern.
2:14 Manzarek begins dizzying modal crescendo.
2:42 Manzarek returns with gradual decrescendo and harmonic simplification. Continues improv, heavily emphasized by Densmore's doubling drum accents.
3:10 Manzarek returns.
3:17 2nd melodic interlude; tonic in dominant. Krieger begins rolling, raga-like exploratory guitar solo. Manzararek doubles bass line chord progression with melody line maintaining the original ostinato pattern.
3:32 Krieger plays fast rolling melodies, then shifts into a series of "bottleneck slide" trills and scalar flurries that graduate into an agitated rising crescendo.
3:45 Krieger peaks and then sustains the crescendo with a frenzied series of sliding scalar trills before slipping into a gradual tremoloing scalar descent.
4:20 Krieger abruptly crescendos a second time, then plays another series of crescendoing trills and scalar flurries that rapidly peak and decrescendo.
4:47 Coda. Manzarek begins criss-crossing modal improv with Krieger, in 3/4. They continue keying off each other, with Krieger exploring in raga-mode.
4:55 Krieger abruptly shifts into a "bottleneck slide" improv and challenges Manzar
ek's modal exploration for dominance.
5:10 Krieger improvises modally while Manzarek answers the challenge with a series of rapid, cascading modal scale patterns.
5:23 Densmore's drum accents come in on Krieger's side, and begin emphatically doubling the notes of Krieger's gradually crescendoing melodic riffs. Manzararek escalates the feud by doubling his bass chord progression with his right hand melody line until it matches the fury of Krieger's percussion-enhanced statement and the crescendo dramatically climaxes.
5:33 Bridge (G major.) Bacchian "Circle of Fifths" Turnaround, by Manzarek.
5:43 1st Verse. Morrison choral.
5:58 1st Chorus
6:11 2nd Verse
6:27 2nd Chorus [Extended]
6:51 Bridge --3rd and final "Circle of Fifths"
The Bottom Line: "Skin & Ink's" level of subject-specialization makes "bare-skins" & "rub-on posers" feel as though *they're* the outsiders. Recovering acid-freaks will suffer hideous flashbacks from the graphics. No Herve Villechaise centerfolds... Recommended: Yes * *WARNING** YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ AN IRRESPONSIBLE, PERHAPS OFFENSIVE, PRESENTATION OF CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT MATTER: --The following review-discussion deals with subject matter that some readers' moms may consider morally offensive, and/or inappropriate for minors over the age of 21, and/or harmful to the over-schooled minds of excessively-mature people. The magazine this epinion reviews, i.e., "SKIN & INK," is published for the sole purpose of celebrating the beauty of tattoos; both as an art form and as a spectacle. Tragically, proper viewing of those tattoos requires they come prepackaged on ::*GASP*:: naked bodies; the kind that show a shocking disregard and morally reprehensible disdain for the very clothing, the wearing of which, might otherwise disguise their nudity and provide them a moment of respite from the perpetual shame they fail to properly suffer. Any socially, culturally and/or morally-redeeming value with which the subject magazine may previously have been handicapped, has been summarily trampled into non-existence by the author and his childish presentation of its content, and who (aside from trashing two perfectly good hours futilely attempting to "look ashamed" in the bathroom mirror,) has proven to be similarly irredeemable. People who find being offended offensive, please defend against it by avoiding any further reading beyond this sentence, which is itself, the very Pike's Peak-summit of any edification that might accidentally have leaked into the text of this review. (I apologize to any offense-seeking purists who might have been caught by it, unawares.) There is little, if
anything, I find more tragic, more wasteful and unnecessary, than the plight of a reader who carelessly runs past my elaborately-worded offensiveness-warning signs, and right into the criss-crossing trajectory paths of my "stray, offensiveness ricochets," which, regrettably, have taken out many an innocent bystanding non-reader in the not too distant past. Please do not become the next one, unless you are prepared to appreciate the experience. Oh yes, if you are here for a no-nonsense, poetry review of SKIN & INK magazine, skip down to SECTION II, which begins with the phrase: "WHAT DOES "SKIN & INK MAGAZINE" HAVE TO OFFER THE READING CONSUMER?" *****----*****----*****----*****----***** I. INTRODUCTION [From the: "Sit Down & Make Yourself 'Homer'" Dept:] A. POET'S INVOCATION OF THE MUSE OF BETTER BUYS Penuria, oh muse, most penny-wise! Spare spendthrift speech, with thrift thy thoughts inspire-- Imbue thy brain, with better buyer buys; Let him who reads, become a better buyer! Possess me with thy penny-pinching wit, Penuria, my matron-muse of misers! To frugal facts, let me, my words, commit, And prose I pen, please product-price apprisers. *****----*****----*****----*****----***** B. WHAT MOTIVATES THE AUTHOR? (That's Your Cue To Indulge Him (Me) By Pretending You Give A Rat's, errrrrm, I Mean Care... .) Some think of me as "Jim the Politician," Or "Lawyer Jim;" these jobs I won't deny-- But truth be told, my secret life ambition, Is "finding facts, that yield a better buy." I march through malls! --Fleece flea-markets! --Storm stores! Finagle facts; flag fraud folks fail to fathom. Set next to this stuff, -sex induces snores; Assisting buys, excites *ME* to orgasm. From ignorance, from dou
ble-talk & rumors, To my reviews, the helpless buyer turns... I find the facts; --provide them to consumers. My product-posts diminish their concerns. Some point & laugh; some say: "You're over-zealous!" But I reply: "YOU need a life, --I RULE!" They joke and jeer, but I know they're just jealous! "A penny-per!" -- I ain't nobody's fool... . Take Sordid-1, a "product-info poser;" He writes reviews with per-son-a-li-ty, He claims that he's a "helpful-fact discloser," Yet fails to bring you "scads-o'-facts," like me. *****----*****----*****----*****----***** C. THE INTRO-ENDING LIMERICK For post picks, we writers decided, Our partner would pick, --we'd just write it... "Skin & Ink...," when Str8 spied it, With delight cried, "...abide it!" So I write it, despite this slight I've cited. ***[SARCASM-UNFILTERED TRANSLATION: "Dastr8poop" Picked "SKIN & INK" As My Magazine (Poetry) Write-Off Subject. I Shall Be Forever Grateful. (Translation's Translation: Bleccch!)] *****----*****----*****----*****----***** II. WHAT DOES "SKIN & INK" HAVE TO OFFER THE READING CONSUMER? A. SKIN & INK: A LAYER-BY-LAYER BREAKDOWN The way I breakdown "Skin & Ink's "contents: First "FEATURES," then "COLUMNS;" & "DEPARTMENTS" The summary, I saved for "SECTION B." You'll read it there. Just wait. I swear. You'll see! 1. "SKIN & INK'S" FEATURES: A) "HOW TO MAKE TATTOO-SHOW BANNERS" The "FEATURES" start with "How to make a banner..." (With helpful hints,) "...For holding tattoo-shows;" You tattooed-types, who've never he
ld a spanner, Will marvel as your tattoo fan-base grows. B) "TATTOOED FETISH GIRLS" A color spread, that lives up to its title-- The hot-to-trot piece; "Tattooed Fetish Girl," Makes blood pump to those tattooed parts most vital And "barber-pole" tattoos stand-up & twirl... . Ohhhhh, "Skin!"... & "Ink!" I now see the relation-- Her "Ink's" the art, not as *I'd* thought; obscene. Her "Skin's" for greater "reader circulation;" The magazine's-- not YOURS! --Let's keep it clean! C) "MANY STITCHES FOR LIFE" In the feature, "Many Stitches For Life," The author treks to St. Lawrence Island; Here, tattoos "fuse," a husband to his wife, Divorce courts here, are rarely swamped with filin.' D) "IBIZA" Here, the international party scene, Provides the "ink," for yet another layout. The skin's there too; no laundry here to clean. The tattoos range from "startling" to "way-out." *****----*****----*****----*****----***** 2. "SKIN & INK'S" COLUMNS: A) "OUR LIVING HISTORY" WITH C.W. ELDRIDGE "Eldrige" is "SKIN & INK'S" history buff, He, this month, rates past banner-artists; He seems to think banner art is the stuff, From which history's made. Disregard this. B) " TATTOO SCIENCE" WITH DANNY FOWLER Another hist'ry buff; now it's "tattoos," Gets caught up in his skin-art tales of yore: The highs-- HOORAY!; The lows-- OH, BOO-HOO-HOO! Will Dan cut from his past? --Stay tuned for snore... . C) "DIGGIN' THE DIRT" WITH HOLLY What tattoo-rag could ever be complete, Without tatto
o's "Anne Landers:" "Ms. Holly?" This tattooed "sweet-tart's" tongue's more tart; less sweet Tattooed tarts talk trash like this?! Good Golly! D) " SPOTLIGHT" WITH DANIELLE A trip through tattooed-Tempe, Arizona To take in "Living Canvas Tattoos" Me? No word to rhyme "AZ.?" --Bologna! Oh yes... The "Tempe tour"... What thrilling views! E) "TRAVELIN'" MICK Guess what! A tour! --This time, the Philippines, To view tattoos; get natives' tattoo-views, On tattoos dyed with roots; vanilla beans... Does ANY place on Earth not have tattoos?! F) "Q&A" WITH MATTY JANKOWSKI This final piece is odd; somewhat explicit. Matthew searches plastic dolls for designs. All but "cultivated" folk, should miss it; 'Cept those of us obsessed with doll-behinds... . *****----*****----*****----*****----***** 3. "SKIN & INK'S" DEPARTMENTS: A) BITS & SNATCHES I stiffly stand, 'gainst "smut-dissemination," "Bits? & SNATCHES?!" --A news-heading? ...It's true. This tawdry, tattoo "title-titillation," Treads that thin line, 'tween "tasteless" and "taboo." When tattoo mags, use smut to sell their wares, The image of "tattooed," gets "screwed" & "blued," Though I dig it, it's not my rep that bears, The stigma of the folks who think it's lewd. B) "LITZ'S SKETCHBOOK," "HIPSHOTS" AND THE REST OF S & I'S DEPARTMENTS The rest of the "Depts," deal in different degrees, With tattoo photo-layouts and op-eds: "LITZ SKETCHBOOK" reveals what the "skin-artist" sees, While the "HIPSHOTS"
hypes black & white "shop-spreads." "TALKBACK" examines skin-artist debates; "TATTOO ARTISTS RIDES" shows their jallopies. "READERS' GALLEY" posts readers' art it rates; "TEN BIG QUESTIONS" responds to their queries. *****----*****----*****----*****----***** 4. " SKIN & INK:" THE (BOTTOM-LINE) SKINNY: Skin & Ink's bottom-line's simply this: It's selection is "less than eclectic;" Don't like tattoos? Then there's nothing you'll miss, If you do-- this is Kool-Aid; "electric." Looking for stocks? --You'll be out in the woods; This mag's strictly for body graffiti-- For skin-artists, it delivers the goods; It's info's broad; its models are meaty. As a primer for biker-chick wannabes, Or learning the "who's who" of body art, Each level of tattoo communities, Have their needs met in full or in some part. *****----*****----*****----*****----***** Thank You For Reading-- --29th
While scuba-diving off of Virgin Gorda, (one of the British Virgin Islands) a couple of years ago, I happened upon a colony of beautiful and exotic looking "Conch" shells, one of which I wanted to take home with me. When I picked it up, I thought its previous owner had abandoned it for larger quarters. After taking my boat back to the dock, while rinsing my gear, I noticed movement in the shell. The little conch inhabitant must have suddenly become aware of his strange new surroundings, and had shuffled to the front entrance of his dry-docked, concentric-spiral of a home to advise me of his displeasure over this recent development. (To appreciate my anecdote, you must take a few seconds to visualize this little guy: Conches are soft-bodied shell-dwellers that look like ping pong ball-sized versions of hermit crabs. They take in the world through two very animated and expressive, externally-mounted eyes. The comically disproportionate size of their huge, "Looney-Tune" eyes, to their soft, defenseless little bods, lends them a "Cookie-Monster" or "Kermit the Frog," muppet-like demeanor and its accompanying "personality.") Prior to this instance, I had not ever seen a living conch before. The earnest intensity that registered in this upset little homeowner's peepers, took me by quite by surprise. Having been on the "bureaucratic" receiving end of government-generated circumstances as unrelenting and disheartening as those into which I had inadvertently placed him, I couldn't help but feel pangs of sympathy for his plight. With muted fascination, I picked him up and brought him to eye-level intending to establish a closer rapport. As is typically the case with animals and small children I encounter, this fellow immediately sensed the disarming immaturity my personality seems to radiate. This apparently quelled any initial fear of me he might have experienced, as h
e did not even reflexively retreat back into his shell, as one might have expected. Instead, his little eyeballs seemed to look my face over with the same bemused curiosity with which I studied his. After a moment or two of exchanging worlds, "we" arrived at an unspoken resolution. I would transfer him to a comparable or better shell and return him to his colony, (which happened to be on my way back to Tortola,) if he'd abide my desire to take home the shell he currently inhabited. His eyes seemed to convey an expression of cautious assent to my wordless proposal (conches are known to migrate to other shells on occasion.) His residual tentativeness seemed to imply that he would remain uneasy until he had actually witnessed me uphold my end of the bargain. I mentally assured him I would. I proceeded in earnest to fulfill my end. I picked out a comparable shell with a roomier "master bedroom" than the one he'd be leaving. I then knelt down & began to gently "pour" him into his new home, but abruptly stopped when I suddenly realized if I slipped, or if there was some error in the transfer, his defenseless little bod would end up pancaked on the splintery frying-pan surface of the dock. Relieved at having considered this tidbit of foresight, before, rather than during or after the occurrence of this potential disaster, I moved to the edge of the dock, so that if anything should happen, he would have the transparent-turquoise Carribean ocean-water as his ersatz safety-net. He seemed to watch me during this entire process, with, what at least in my mind, was an expression of cautious-optimism mixed with hesitant trust. I couldn't help but be a little distracted by this little guy's intensity as I attempted to comply with the terms of "our" bargain. As I again began to transfer my reluctant "business-partner" to his new abode, my attention was suddenly compromised when a girl I h
ad met prior to my dive, approached me from behind to follow up on some plans we had made (but I had forgotten about, yikes,) for after the dive. The suddenness of her approach coupled with the startlingly "intimate" manner in which she had grabbed my bathing suit's "attention," caused me to jostle my transferee during mid-transfer. Despite my never once losing eye-contact, he pitched forward just shy of the vessel into which I was attempting to transfer him, and plopped helplessly into the water below. As he began the lazy spiral of his inexorable, slow-motion descent bottom-wards, the "swimming pool" clarity of the turquoise water allowed me to maintain unbroken eye contact with him. His two sad, bewildered and imploring muppet-eyes seemed to wordlessly beseech me with one soul-searing question: "Why?" At about one third of his hours-long-seeming descent, a Parrot fish who, unbeknownst to me, had been watching the bungled execution of my transfer attempt, capitalized on the sudden advantage accorded her by my oafish error. With one almost invisibly-quick lightening-strike of a dart, she broke my eye contact with this sad little guy by swallowing him whole. Then she casually swam off in search of dessert. I remained perched on the edge of the dock, temporarily immobilized, watching with blurred visual acuity as my teardrops broke the surface of the water; marking with their stillness-interrupting shimmer, the now-vacant spot that had, of late, been a scene animated by such flurried, aquatic activity. I became vaguely aware of the soft mind-echo of a female voice attempting to breach the melancholy bubble of my consciousness. It seemed to emanate from the foreign ambience of the living universe that began behind me. "What's the matter?" "Are you okay?" Two unbroken and stubbornly persistent saline streams continued to streak my countenance with the glistening, sunlit af
tertrails left by their unchecked, ocean-bound escape-route down the arches of my cheeks. Their conspicuous presence and the uninvited heaviness responsible for it, embarrassed me; momentarily overrode my weak impulse to respond to the pretty face behind me. By sheer effort of will, I broke my awkward and unresponsive silence. Addressing the "no one in particular" represented by the vacuous, turquoise tranquility of the indifferent ocean that continued to assault my sightless stare, I asked if she would mind meeting me at the beach in one half hour. I needed to be by myself. The sudden appearance of a delicately-constructed pair of sun-tanned female arms and knees enclasping me from behind, a shock of sun-bleached blonde hair, cascading its sunlit brilliance in a waterfall of soft-tickling over and down my right shoulder and arm, followed by an adamant, yet soothingly responsive: "Not a chance; I wouldn't think of it, and there isn't anything you could say that would persuade me to leave,"indicated that I was, from that point onwards, this nurturing sea-nymph of a girl's involuntary Siamese twin and hostage, at least until I was shriven of my negligently-incurred burden; confessed clean by my soul's oblational submission to the compassionate renewal offered in the tender affection with which she persisted in showering me. Nonetheless, I explained to her that if she allowed me to maintain the dignity I believed I could retain by declining to accommodate her compassionate and well-intended request that I confide to her the source of my sadness and regret, I might perhaps, provide a full accounting of it as we got to know each other better. In fact, we did get to know each other better, yet regrettably, I did not provide her with that accounting, and she, graciously, did not persist in bugging me about it. My friend Mark Arnold, was the first person, whose similar compassion for animals encouraged my trust enough t
o relate this story. When I told it to him, he unabashedly wept as I, with no small effort, resummoned and haltingly recounted the details of it to him. Now he's gone. The only other person with whom I'd have felt comfortable communicating the experience, my fiancee Sue, was killed the year before it happened. It embarrasses me to relate this story, but I don't respect cowardice; least of all when I recognize it in myself. Intellectually, I realize I'm probably way over-reacting to the death of, what amounts to one eigth of an order of a "Conch Fritters" appetizer. Emotionally, I become as sad now, when I envision those bewildered, frightened, upward-staring muppet-eyes, as I did when I helplessly watched them suddenly disappear the first time; perhaps moreso. Perhaps it's just easier for me to focus my emotions on a simple sea creature than have to face the enormity of the grief I feel over the loss of Sue and Mark. Maybe it's just a matter of perspective. On the other hand, maybe I'm just over-reacting a little bit, or not at all. Some people seem to distinguish between living creatures; "wild" animals and those of the "human" variety, with respect to the trauma of death. I cannot. My experience with both kinds persuades me that each has the requisite wherewithal and sentience to appreciate and understand when the life which they; whether it be the conch, the cat, Mark or Sue, cherished every bit as much as you cherish yours, and I mine, is being taken away from them. I consider our inability to appreciate the desire animals have to live, a failing on our part; not an inability to communicate that desire on theirs. So why do I feel as embarrassed as I do admitting that I'm emotionally distraught by any one of their deaths? No response required; the question's strictly a rhetorical one. Thanks For Your Thoughtful Read; Comments Are Appreciated... --29th
Have your socks been demonstrating odd or unusual patterns? Excessive "clinginess?" Always giving you static? These warning signs may indicate an incompatible pairing; YOU may be... a "STOCKING VICTIM!" I. INTRODUCTION & IMPORTANT BACKGROUND INFORMATION A. YOUR SOCKS & YOU: --Understanding "The Stocking Mentality" Avoiding becoming the victim of a traumatic "Stocking situation" by consistently putting one's self knee-high in a suitable pairing is rarely, perhaps never, the result of a haphazard and uninformed sock purchase. Almost invariably, it is the result of one's having a fundamental understanding of those enigmatic creatures we call "socks." Beyond that, it is helpful to understand what qualities and characteristics about socks enable a compatible relationship with your naked flesh, and then taking a few extra moments to insure that those qualities are present in the pairs you pick for purchase. The other manner of achieving the previously noted goal, is to know what to avoid when selecting socks. It is this second option with which this essay preoccupies itself. The primary, in fact the "sole" purpose of this piece is to provide the "potential pantyhose purchaser," the "stocking-situation side-stepping stocking shopper," and the "no-shlock, stock-searching sock-selector" a no-hose-barred "Pair-Picker's Purchasing Primer." By showing stocking shoppers & potential panty-pickers some proposed sock-selection prevention parameters, plus several sentient stocking-savvy practical pointers, this primer provides the (soon-to-be shrewd) sock shopper a simple "stepping-off point. " Professional sock selectors; prescient pantyhose purchasers & sophisticated stocking specialists should probably push past surveying subsequent paragraphs, since the subject sock submission's predominantly prep
ared for starters. "Stocking shopper's/sock-selector's" shall see several paragraphs summarizing pertinent sock physiology & pre-history, plus some specially pre-selected stocking psychology speculations. Finally, the review concludes with a 10-Question Test by which you get to determine whether the socks whose current habitation of your household and wardrobe; whose grip on your soles may or may not be a source of discomfort and misery as you step forward into your future, are naught but cheap, good-for-nothing hose. Don't be afraid to share these questions with friends. A little time taken to understand some things about socks that are rarely discussed, can be an investment in EVERYBODY's future. When you understand a little bit about the nature of the sock, you will have succeeded to a level where the criteria for choosing replacement socks will immediately seem very logical; almost like an afterthought. Whether you are currently in a bad stocking situation brought about by your failure to be discerning, you will soon discover... . READ ON! B. OVERCOMING OUR "SOCK SHOPPING/STOCKING-SELECTING" AMBIVALENCE Let's face it, few people, if asked, would tell you they relish the prospect of going to the store to look for socks. Have you ever wondered why this is? Why don't we experience that same ambivalence when it comes to buying a jacket, or a dress perhaps, even a pair of shoes? I'm going to tell you why, but before I do, I'm going to ask that you please keep an open mind concerning the information with which I'm about to entrust you; at least until you've "heard" what I have to say in its entirety, no matter how crazy it may at first sound to you. What I'm about to tell you may deliver you from the uncomfortable grip of your "arch"-enemies, I kid you not! Someday, your skeptical neighbor, a reckless purchaser of shoddy, wool gym socks, whi
le pruning his prize Rose bushes, will become the hapless victim of a cheap, wholesale, "garden" variety "stocking incident" which will leave him "toe-up" on his couch! His poor wife will be stuck having to complete the remainder of his "earthly duties," like mowing the lawn and weeding the flower beds, etc.. You, on the other foot, will have heeded my advice... . Read on, believe, and someday, what you've learned here may SAVE YOUR SOLES! Agreed? Oh, that's great... . You are most kind, dear reader. C. UPROOTING SOCK-SHOPPING AMBIVALENCE BY DISCOVERING ITS SOURCE People may think they find sock-shopping an unpleasant task because "it's boring," Yet "it's boring" reveals nothing. One must go to a deeper level to discover precisely what it is that makes one experience "sock-shopping" ambivalence. "Boredom" is merely our perception of the experience that results when we resist or don't accept "being in the present moment." This can be for any number of reasons, but what is common to all of them, is a vague subconscious feeling of apprehension; an inevitable truth we find unpleasant and therefore, resist facing. So when you experience or anticipate boredom when presented with the prospect of shopping for socks, it is because there is something about socks we find unpleasant and unwilling to face. The truth is, deep down, WE FEAR SOCKS! D. PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED PHYSIOLOGICAL /BIOLOGICAL SOCK-FACTS CONFIRMING YOUR WORST CHILDHOOD "STOCKING FEARS," YET OF WHICH ALL SOCK BUYERS SHOULD KNOW Socks are parasitic bedroom snakes without eyes. They pretend to be inanimate, benevolent servants of mankind so they might gain access to their human host's exposed extremities. After the target host has inserted, usually his/her foot, through the sock's mouth and into its digestive cavity, the sock pierces and embeds
the millions of microscopic tentacles which coat its cavity's inner-lining, into the human host flesh and begins feeding. Though socks appear to be in our service, when they have swallowed our legs; in many cases, right up to our knee caps, in fact it is we who serve them... dinner. When stockings are not preoccupied by swallowing our body parts and feeding on our blood, they lurk. They are deceptively advanced, having evolved beyond their exoskeletons (which years of evolution have evolved into that which we now call "shoes,") so that they could take advantage of their innate potential for "air-vacuum/expulsion transport." Yes, you read correctly: socks travel by exhaling a sudden, explosive jet of air, which they squeeze in a peristalsis-like undulating movement which compresses the air from the end of the cavity at the tail region, forces it through their thoracic cavities and then expels it from their mouths in a high velocity jet-like stream of air, sending their bodies as far as 60 feet per exhalation. The particularly sinister aspect of this, is that their travel, no longer encumbered or rendered conspicuous by an exoskeleton, is virtually noiseless! Consequently, their potential for sabotage and evil mischief, makes that previously exhibited by World War II "gremlins," seem comparatively benevolent. The destructive capabilities of socks is virtually limitless. The bottom line: we fear socks because deep down, we know they are ALIVE! E. WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST YOUR INNATE INSTINCTS... Think about it. Late at night, when you reach down under your bed to pick up the book you dropped, you hesitate for an instant; contemplating what hideous, flesh-eating entity lurks just within gobble-range of your arm, waiting to tear the flesh from it the moment you reach for your book. "C'mon," you think to yourself, "get real, my imagination's working overtime...," and y
ou nervously chuckle to yourself: "heh, heh, heh." Still, the hair on your wrist starts to bristle and your arm muscles are noticeably tense as you warily reach, then quickly snatch the book and yank it back up to the realm of the warm-blooded, light-dwelling creatures. Why then, do we attribute our childhood fear; later our adulthood apprehension to some fantasy creature; a bogeyman or monster perhaps? The fact is, there has never been any evidentiary basis to support this rather random and highly irrational assumption: No one has ever officially SEEN any monsters or trolls under the bed, right? No one has ever FOUND a monster's fang, or some scales of torn troll-skin, or a lost were-wolf claw; nothing like any of those is ever discovered, right? So why do we persist in saddling fantasy creatures with a bum rap? Why? Because we know that those creatures ARE fantasy creatures. When fantasies become too scary, we can always just rationalize them away; go for the ol' "that's just a mythological creature" safety clause. Yet what IS ALWAYS under the bed when you look? A nest of at least one, usually multiple (under my bed, anyway) stray socks! Did YOU put them there? Can your house-pet open your dresser drawer? Maybe you think your housekeeper is stashing them there because she gets tired of bending over? Folks, deep down, whether or not your willing to admit it, you already know the answer. You've just been in denial about it, because it's too terrifying to comprehend . II. ARE YOU IN AN UNDESIRABLE "STOCKING SITUATION?" A. WHAT IS A "STOCKING SITUATION?" Selecting compatible mates does not have to be a tedious, meaningless drudgery. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to put your best foot forward; to affirmatively take the proper and necessary steps that will eliminate your embarrassing "singles" situation, but which, at the same time, will
prevent your having to worry about finding yourself knee-deep in a "stocking situation." By choosing wisely, by taking the time to do a little sole-searching, by addressing the material issues involved in proper mate-selection, you too can insure that the next pairings in which you find yourself will yield you nothing less than "sheer" delight, Ignore this sage advice and your future pairings might yield nothing less than a bedroom full of tacky singles, a bunch of dirty hose, and random, unexpected stockings. Don't laugh. This very serious problem has caused misery in even the most in-step & well-heeled of society's circles. Its victims invariably, are left feeling constantly pressured, ill at ease, chafed, and unable to breathe; as though they've been shoe-horned into a situation so irritating and oppressive, that they yearn to take any opportunity they can to bear their weary soles to the world. As previously noted, it is not unusual to stumble upon victims whose stocking problem was so severe it left them "toe-up." B. THE TYPICAL STOCKING VICTIM: --IS THIS UNSUSPECTING "SHODDY SOCK-SHOPPER" YOU? Are you one of those folks that runs into the local K-Mart during the last 10 minutes of your lunch break, scurries over to the "Socks" section, scoops up an armload of sock pairs, roughly estimating the weight or purposes of deciding whether you've grabbed up enough pairs to keep you in stitches for the next two years? Do you neglect to even bother to verifying whether those socks you've chosen came from the proper "gender" bin? Are you "okay" with the fact that the size range of the socks you've selected covers a spectrum of six different foot sizes; twelve, if you include half sizes? If you've answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you may already be the unwary victim of a "Stocking Situation." If you've
answered "Yes" to ALL of the questions, you may be in the wrong topic area altogether: "How to choose the right prosthesis" is beyond the scope of this review. C. QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU IDENTIFY YOUR "ARCH"-ENEMIES Not all socks are the blood-sucking monsters previously described. It is only the cheap, shoddy, unevolved variety one usually must fend off, should one ever have occasion to brush by the K-Mart; "one-size-fits-all" sock bins where these savage foot-parasites proliferate. Knowing what you now know, I'm confident you'll agree that you should head RIGHT to your bedroom to ask yourself the following questions: Ask Yourself The Following Questions: 1) When you open your sock drawer, do you occasionally find yourself jumping back a pace or two, momentarily startled, because, for a few seconds you were certain you had been staring into a snake pit? 2) Do the socks/stockings currently populating your socks drawer, look like a whole bunch of hungry-looking singles; despite the fact they are mated to their respective original partners? 3) Is there obvious "clinginess?" Do you find yourself being humiliated in public places when your daydreams are suddenly interrupted by a gathering crowd of people laughing and pointing in the direction of your rear-end, prompting you to turn around to investigate the spectacle responsible for causing such a raucous display of appreciation, only to find yourself gawking in stunned horror as you discover the object of their derision is some cheap little "clinger," you were certain you had left behind in your bedroom with the other "hose," but who nonetheless, is now snuggling affectionately in the crack between the cheeks of your rear, oblivious to the peals of laughter or of its own tasteless public display of affection? 4) Do your socks exhibit unfamiliar, odd or unusual patterns; t
acky, garish colors & patterns you know you wouldn't be caught dead purchasing or wearing? 5) Do your socks seem always to be giving you static, despite your providing them with all the benefits socks could ever want? 6) Do you find yourself consistently having to "make sure this isn't the pair with its own, custom-built ventilation system?" 7) Is your "rag-bag" either: a) Over 93% sock-turated?, b) More useful or generally more full than your "Laundry Bag?", c) Where you go to fish for a more desirable pair of socks than any available in your "socks drawer?" 8) Do you frequently fantasize about jumping from the roof of your house/apartment building to save a few tedious minutes galloping down the stairs, because you have full confidence that your "elasticity-challenged" socks will "parachute open" and make any anticipated landing impact negligible? 9) Do you frequently get the creepy sensation your socks are uninvited foot-passengers joy-riding along with you as you ambulate from here to there? 10) Is any percentage of the material which composes your socks a man-made fabric or blend? If you've answered "YES" or "TRUE" to ANY one of the previous 10 questions; BEWARE! You may just have a STOCKING SITUATION on your hands, err, feet! 29TH: Questions From The Audience? READER: "29th! Stop Stalling! Speak Swiftly And Spare Spectators, Students And "Socks-review Submission"-Scanners, Specious Sound-Bytes Suffused With Simplistic Speculation. Suggest A Summary Short-List Of Safety Suggestions, So I Summarily Side-step The Sole-Wrenching Stagnation So Often Said To Saddle "Stocking-Situation" Sufferers W/ The Stifling, Stress-related, Sanity-stealing Symptoms Signifying A 'Stocking Situation?
'" 29TH: Suppose, I Supply Some Selected Samples Of Sock-Specific Subjects & Stocking Specializations Subsequently Singled-Out & Saved, Since Scheduling A Sequel Stocking Submission Seems Somewhat Certain?: READER: Sure! Show'em... Stocking Survey Sequel Study Submission Sampling: --Submit six sensible-stocking statement summaries --Show several sets of substantially-summarized, stray-stock, statistics --Set-up seven smart strategies shown successful in stopping savage stocking situations --Suggest simple steps shown successful in side-stepping stressful stocking situations, --Survey sixteen, surreptitious sock stratagems --Show sadder-but-wiser, stocking survivors, "shoddy sock-sale" stocking-sifters, sole-searching survivor-siblings, sanctuary-seeking, shell-shocked sympathizers some stimulating, sock-shocking survival steps Thank you very much for your thoughtful read. --The 29th_Candidate
I. INTRODUCTION: The Bottom Line: If you don't have good ventilation, you'd stand a better chance of survival just setting your house on fire and burning the bugs out... . A. B-ing Bugged By Buxom-Bottomed Blondes & Buzzin' B's Blighty boys & babes, beetle-batterers & bug-bashers, before I bury you in B.S., beware; a beautiful blonde I barely know, but know barely, brazenly bet her bed-worthy body I'd break, be beaten by the B's & back in bed, bumpin' bottoms before I'd be able to bang out this bugspray bombshell. Bruthas, you best believe I bit the bait. But now I'm biting the bullet, because I blew the buzzer. I'm still banging out this bad-boy. Bummer! The by-line's a bit behind, but the bigger bulk of my back-breaking burden bends before me. Bah! No big deal! I'm a big boy. I may BlTCH, but I'm barely beaten. I'll burn before I bend over, break or beg for a band-aid. Besides, you've benignly borne the burden of my bitter babble and boring blather with bounteous benevolence. Blessed be your blindly bestowing me with the benefit of your best beliefs. I'm beholden to your boundless beneficence. It betokens better boot than the bombastic bottom-feedings of my brash banter. It behooves my breaking the bonds of brain-block besetting my blotter, by bouncing back (I've been bottom-bound by boulder-sized buying-blues) & blithely bestowing you w/ a beau geste of my own. That being brought to book, I bring you the ballyhooed, bottom-filler of my buying-basket... that bold, blaster of basin, bathroom & bathtub-dwellers, ...that boll weevil-bullyin,' Black Widow BlTCH-slappin,' beetle-blastin,' bottle of bad-ass, ...that block-busting bane of all bugdom: "RAID ANT & ROACH KILLER!? [Insert ersatz " Stadium Standing-O" Sound Effect Here, Please.] II. HOW DO I, YOUR FRIENDLY, NEIGHBORHOOD, 29TH CANDIDATE, CHOOSE MY INSECT-KILLER? A. TH
E PRODUCT-TESTING MATERIALS: 1 17.5 Ounce Can of RAID Ant & Roach Killer (Unscented) 1 14 Ounce Can of BIOGANIC SAFETY BRANDS Insect Killer 4 Average-Sized GERMAN COCKROACHS (Imported From A Pizza Box In Venice Beach) 1 Jar (For Importing Purposes) 1 (8' x 8') Sealed Off/Contained Testing Area 1 Used Wooden-Soled Shoe (Optional) 4 Domesticated HouseCats (Optional) B. WARNING/CAVEAT: Buckle up your seatbelt. I think you may find my bug spray selection method, unconventional; perhaps a little bit extravagant, but it is thorough. I strongly advise my home-viewing audience to refrain from attempting to recreate the circumstances by which my four specially-trained, feline field assistants and I arrived at our bug-spray choice. Those who know me, are well aware of my tireless pursuit... nay, ...my downright madness-driven mission... no, still not strong enough... "my obsessive, sleepless, soul-consuming vision-quest..." --yes, that's better-- ...to provide helpful information (damn it!, there I go selling myself short again--) ...to provide previously unknowable, watershed, quality-of-life-altering break-throughs, innovations and revelations calculated to assist the buying decisions of the following (and ONLY, the following) varieties of consumer: 1) the "preternaturally perfect-product-pursuit-preoccupied prig," 2) the "persnickety, product-preview-prepossessed-prima donna," 3) the "chronically-cheap, chokingly-chincy, corner-cutting, conservation-consigned, coupon-clipping, cash-conscious, coin-counting, cost-concern-cogitator," 4) the "crowd-conscious, catalogue-collecting, clipping-collating, compare/contrast-choice-comparison-coddled, curiosity-challenged, credit-consumed, charge card-cataleptic," and finally, 5) the "dubiety-drubbed, dull-decision-dreading, department store-disspirited, daylight-depriv
ed, day-dream-driven, dilly-dally-er." Any consumer who does NOT find him/herself in any of the above-noted categories, please kindly leave the reviewing area, as your presence is neither required or desired here! I'm only kidding. I don't fall into any of those categories either. C. THE TEST: I set up a three-part test so that I could compare RAID to two alternate methods of bug disposal. The first, or "old-fashioned" method, consisted of launching my four cats after one of the four test subjects. The second, or "Non-Pesticide" method, consisted of blasting the bug with BIOGANIC, a brand that boasted it bested bugs by basting them in a batch of bio-safe Clove & Sesame oil-based bug-bomb. The third, or "RAID" method, was the same as the second, except RAID was used instead of BIOGANIC. Effectiveness of method, was determined by clocking the time required by each method to dispatch the test subject. 1) THE OLD FASHIONED METHOD: I began by turning loose one of the the imported, jar-contained test subjects (unfortunately there weren't any cockroaches around or near my living area, or SURELY they'd have responded to the miniature "want ads" I'd posted at strategic intervals about my kitchen cabinets & sink) into the preset, carefully-contained testing area. After freeing the first of four roaches, I unfettered my four, fleet-footed, feline field agents a few feet from their fleeing future food. Following fast on her foe's feet, the front-running feline first flanked, then fell flatling on her frightened future-feast. Feeling frolicsome, she flipped him ferociously to and fro in her forepaws like a fidgety flap-jack. The other felines flocked around the first, furiously foraging and finagling. Finally, one of the following felines finessed his flailing foe from the furled fist of the first feline. The four felines formed a festive, faux-field ho
ckey foursome. Though the four flick and flop their fatally flattened foe till fabric fragments flitter from his frayed form, they fail to fatally finish him off. For them the fun formally fizzles when the food finally fails to flee. 2) THE NON-PESTICIDE METHOD: The second roach was released into the arena, and thereafter sprayed with a blast of the BIOGANIC. The BIOGANIC, had a wonderfully fresh clove aroma that seemed quite pleasing for test subject #2. He seemed to look up at the spray, waiting for a second blast of it to complete his refreshing shower. I, somewhat annoyed by his audacity, complied with his wish. I complied and complied and complied. He merrily swished around in the growing puddle of BIOGANIC, thinking this was all part of the game. I was not NEARLY as amused as he seemed to be. Then it became time for my four assistants to take over the testing duties. They seemed not to mind the pleasantly aromatic, animal/children-safe residue of the BIOGANIC either. It seemed to be just the thing to get them to finish the job completely this time. 3) THE RAID METHOD: I poured the remaining cockroach and his emergency understudy onto the freshly wiped down testing area. The RAID instructions advised that I should hold the spray can 6-12 inches from the target. I moved in on the first bogey's "6" (that's fighter pilot talk for "gluteus maximus,") locked him into the crosshairs of my gun-sight, immediately got a tone, indicating missile-lock, and blasted him with a lethal salvo of the RAID. He continued forward for a brief instant, sputtered, and angled upward into a whip-stall, before doing a lazily barrell-roll onto his back and giving up the ghost in a lethal plume of RAID mist. I picked up the second bogey at 3 O' Clock low, firewalling it for cloud cover. The smell of death permeated the air around me, and I suspect he smelled the onset of his own imminent doom. I overtook him in an Imm
elmanTurn and banked into a sideslip, deftly nosing up behind him. He proved to be a bit more troublesome than his previously-dispatched wingman, fish-tailing to the left and right, so that I was unable to get a tone. He went into a sharp, left bank, and I went to my RAID-machine guns as I brought back my speed and cut off the angle on him. I squeezed off two bursts and watched as the stream of tracer fire ate it's way up the cockroach's shiny, brown wings and fuselage. Bogey #2 rolled over on his back and stopped dead at the perimeter of the test area. Once again the lethal smell of RAID-napalm filled the air, and I nearly gagged as I firewalled it up to a freer, clearer realm. D. THE TEST RESULTS CONCLUSION: RAID was more than a match for its prey. Both cockroaches, sprayed with one to two blasts of the bomb, were dead within 30 seconds. I had no doubt it would have left a handful of the critters in the same predicament as the two test subjects. I suspect that just about anything living, including humans, given enough time, would share ghastly fate of the cockroaches. This was the only real drawback I discovered with the supposedly "unscented" RAID. The cloying, lethal "petroleum distillates" smell (like napalm) lasted for about three hours before gradually dissipating. V. RAID FACTS & STATS: PRICE: $4.95 SIZE: 17,5 Ounces FORM: Aerosol Spray ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLINESS: --The spray's label claimed it's product "contains no CFCs, which deplete the ozone layer. I'm not entirely convinced of the factual accuracy of this, as it IS an aerosol disseminated product; not a "pump." ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: IMIPROHRIN (2.5-Dioxo-3-(2-propynyt)-1-imidazolidinyl (1RS)-cis.transchrsanthemate) CYPERMETHRIN (cyano(3-phenoxyphenyl) methyl1 3-(2.2-dichloroethenoyl) 2.2-dimethylcyclopropropanecarbxylate) INERT INGREDIENTS contains petroleum distilla
tes WARNINGS: Avoid contact with eyes, skin or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling. Do not apply to humans, pets, or plants. Do not spray on food or animal feed, dishes or utensils. Remove pets and birds if spraying indoors, cover aquariums. Thank You Very Much For Reading --29th_Candidate
I. INTRODUCTION: Media-related products and the reviews that assess them, differ from their non-media consumer product counterparts in that they deal with "intellectual property." The important distinction between the two; the one that requires the media reviewer to take a different approach in the manner he reviews his subject, is that his review material is "cerebrally-consumed," (i.e., digested in the brain; not in or by the body,) as opposed to being "physically" or "viscerally-consumed." Consequently, much, perhaps most of a properly-written music review involves the quantification of the abstract, ephemeral qualities of music; aspects, which, because of their abstruse, cerebral nature, do not readily lend themselves to objective measurement. For this reason, the best musical reviews are those whose content blends an "analysis" of the quantitative musical properties; those associated with the processes of the left hemisphere of the brain, ("left brain" from here on in,) with the music's qualitative aspects, those characteristics generally associated with the functions of the "right brain." One may sometimes hear the term "cookie-cutter" associated with reviews that venture too far in the left-brain direction because they come off as being too formulaic and impersonal. On the other hemisphere, reviews that are unnecessarily or overly preoccupied with personal feelings or subjective input from the reviewer will almost always get a VU from me. Actually, that's not so, but it illustrates what I mean by personal or subjective information. However, while some subjective info, like that in my foolish example, may be amusing, irrelevant fluff, in media reviews, (particularly music media reviews,) this subjective, "right brain" information is a crucial and fundamental requirement; one without which a proper music review cannot be written.
A. What Are The Requisite "Left Brain" Aspects Of A Music Review's Content? The left-brain assimilates info in a concrete, objective manner. It's analytical process is "deductive;" that is, it tends to "see the individual trees for the overall forest." The "left brain" related features with which a music review preoccupies itself are those of the technical variety; i.e., the tangible, numeric, objective, "just the facts, ma'am," black & white details that every product review should contain. In music reviews, this manifests itself as information related to the "quantifiable" aspects of the album: 1. Price Or Buying-Related Information: (Optional) a) The price, sales, deals, discounts, etc., b) Buying locations or ordering info 2. Relevant Facts Contained On, Or Discernible From The Face Of The Album Itself: a) The track list b) Any reviewer-referenced or quoted lyrics c) The "DENOTATIVE" (objective) meaning of the album's lyrics (optional) d) Type/style/kind of music 3. Relevant Facts Not Contained On, Or Discernible From The Face Of The Album: a) Any important facts about the band or musicians b) Any important facts about the instrumental or production of the album 4. History & Background Info a) Historical notes b) Background notes c) Source of music/lyric Inspiration B. What Are The Requisite "Right Brain" Aspects of A Music Review? The right brain is said to be the dominant hemisphere in artists. It assimilates info in an abstract, intuitive and subjective manner. Where the left brain's analytical process is "deductive," the right brain's thinking or reasoning process is "inductive." That is to say, the right brain tends to see "the broad forest for the individual trees." It deals in broad, comprehensive, ov
er-all impressions while dispensing with intricate or minute details. The "right brain" aspects of a music review pertain to its perceptual, subjective content. It draws from the reviewer's intuitive, personal impressions of the music and manifests itself as information related to the "qualitative" aspects of the album: 1. Reviewer's Impression Of The Album's Lyrics: (Track By Track &/or As A Whole) a) The "CONNOTATIVE" meaning of the words/lyrics b) The overall mood & tone (the meaning "in between the lines") c) Any lyric-related subjective thoughts, ideas, feelings, comparisons, analogies, etc. 2. Reviewer's Impression Of The Album's Music: (Track By Track &/or As A Whole) a) A qualitative description/assessment of the music including overall mood & tone b) A description/assessment of the singer(s), musician(s), and/or band's performance of the music c) Any music-related subjective thoughts, ideas, feelings, comparisons, analogies, etc. C. The Music Review Generally: The component parts of a quality music review reflect the content of the music itself. Nietzche, in "The Birth Of Tragedy," described music as a marriage of the Dionesian (right brain) "wild spirit;" that is the primal, untamed, chaotic, instinctive, and "mystical" aspects of man's nature represented by music's melody, with Apollonian (left brain) desire for harmony, balance & symmetry, the balance, order and measure-seeking aspect of man's nature represented by music's rhythm, meter and beat. Similarly, the music review, as set forth above, addresses these right and left brain musical aspects. D. The Song's/Album's Component's Taken As A Whole: Having analyzed the effectiveness of the album or song's individual or component parts; i.e., the quality of the lyrics, music, instrumenta
l, singing, etc., a well-written music review incorporates (in my reviews, summarizes and concludes with) an assessment of the music taken in its entirety; how effective the component parts work together considering the song/album as a cohesive "whole." === ***** === ***** === ***** === ***** == PART 2. (OPTIONAL READ) I. Regarding The Inclusion Of Lyrics In Music Reviews Anyone who writes music reviews for product review sites like dooyoo or epinions for a long enough time eventually encounters a music review that has been downgraded because of its inclusion of lyric samples pertaining to the album or single selected for review. Perhaps you're the rater who considers this practice objectionable. The discussion that follows addresses this issue exclusively. If you are looking for music-review related information exceeding this narrow scope, you won't find it here. II. WHERE I STAND ON THE ISSUE: I have little stomach for that quirky, "a review must contain few or no lyrics in order to be considered 'helpful to consumers'" fallacy. I often see this logic-bereft load of bollocks being passed off as a justification for the rubberstamping of more unjustified "SH's" and "NH's" (most particularly at epinions) onto music reviews than than any unquestioned, irrational grading practice should ever be tolerated. This does not mean that I believe lyrics should be considered a legitimate replacement for music analysis. I take issue with raters who neither determine nor care to determine whether the inclusion of lyrics by the reviewer is analysis-supportive or rationally related to the review's discussion or whether it is blatant review-padding, as the case may sometimes be. III. THE RETURN TO ITS RIGHTFUL OWNER OF IMPROPERLY BORROWED LOGIC Based on the superficial similarity of the two practices, I strongly suspect, that the &qu
ot;rationale" one might equivocally offer to justify his improper downgrade of a lyric-including MUSIC review, is thoughtlessly taken from the PROPER practice of downgrading GENUINELY counter-productive BOOK and MOVIE reviews that include an extensive plot-summary with the analysis, or in the worst cases, as a substitute for the review's analysis. While a BOOK or MOVIE review's thoughtless over-telling of a plot is almost inevitably and invariably counterproductive, (because doing so obviates the consumer's need and desire to read the book or see the movie;) the danger of this occurring with a music-related consumer item, is non-existent. IV. SOME THINGS REPEAT ON YOU... This is because the nature of a music album and the manner of its consumption is of a repetitious nature. Unlike in the case of a book or a movie, one doesn't buy a music product for its "story" or "plot." There is no loss of suspense; no deterioration of product interest that occurs upon a single hearing or reading of the lyrics of a song, thus no destruction or diminution of its value, nor even the possibility of it. Quite the contrary. The lyrics for which a consumer buys an album are a feature of the music that s/he is going to play hundreds perhaps thousands of times. As a consequence of same, s/he is going to feel pretty disenchanted, as I have on several occasions, when, upon a second or third hearing, s/he discerns with intense regret, a "song-meaning transforming" word or two that had been muddled by instrumental feedback or reverb, or perhaps "swallowed" by the band's frontman, that, had s/he prior knowledge of it, might have saved her/him the cost of a product that no longer holds any value for her/him. V. ACCURATE SONG LYRICS AREN'T ALWAYS SO EASY TO COME BY It's no secret to anyone who appreciates music, especially where rock or pop music is concerned, that the confluence of in
strumental, percussive and vocal tracks simultaneously competing for the same audibility, diminishes the fidelity of any one of the individual tracks in favor of the perfusion of sound created by all of them. Consequently, the odds of adequately, let alone accurately, hearing audibly fronted lyrics are not high. They drop precipitously with each additional back-up singer added to the musical equation, drop to "marginal at best" with a chorus; and shrink to "downright bleak" if the music is recorded live. If it's recorded live at some stadium, like "The Meadowlands," or "Yankee Stadium," where the distortion of the stadium reverb and acoustics rendered Lou Gehrig's (back-up-vocals-unhindered) "farewell speech" into a diffuse cacaphony of muddled sound waves, the chances of understanding the album's lyrics fall to "slim to none." VI. APPARENTLY SOMEBODY WANTS THEM... Anyone who does a "lyric search" on the web, of almost any lyrics-containing song, quickly discovers the value and importance learning the lyrics of a song must have for consumers, when he gets an eyeful of the selection of sites that offer JUST the lyrics for the researched song. Hey-- don't take my word for it. Think of a song you for which you desire the lyrics. Pop its title into an online search engine. See if you don't get a list of five to fifty or more sites that offer that song's lyrics. Somebody has to be using those sites. Why shouldn't that person's lyric search bring up your review as well? VI. GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE Based on the above, I think at the very minimum, the usefulness of providing song lyrics in music reviews is clearly established. I think it's pretty safe to say the practice is very helpful to many; it certainly is to me. Most of us have enough sensitivity to determine when lyrics are merely being used as abusive review-fill
er as opposed to when they are being used to augment, illustrate and provide depth to the information they accompany in a given music review. Thanks For Reading, the 29th_Candidate
I. DSOTM -- INTRODUCTION & HISTORY & BACKGROUND: A. Rock's Lunar Cycles: As in life itself, Rock & Roll's ongoing popularity and survival is due to its cyclical nature; it's perpetual metamorphosis. Nowhere is this theme more evident and poignantly conveyed than in Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon." DSOTM arrived at; was a product of, the gloomy period in rock history that followed the death of that musical era's "big three;" Jim, Janice and Jimi, at the end of the1960's. Just as the deaths of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper & Richie Valens at the end of the 1950's were for many, "the day the music died," this second "trinitarian cataclysm" was in actuality, the harbinger of Rock's second "dark side of the moon" cyclical phase. B. The Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon Lunar Phase: On a microcosmic level, Pink Floyd itself had been forced to face its own dark, "New Moon" phase and potential mortality after booting Syd Barrett and taking on David Gilmour in 1968. Syd, who had been the heart and soul of the early ethereal, psychedelic PF, had become their dysfunctional waning moon due to latent insanity triggered by the pressures of success. Though many believe Barrett's rapid deterioration resulted from profligate use of acid, Pink Floyd's DSOTM is a persuasively articulated musical declaration by Roger Waters that some individuals can attain literary greatness despite "handicapping" the creative process with a heavy and regular consumption of recreational drugs. II. DSOTM -- UNDERSTANDING ROCK'S QUINTESSENTIAL "CONCEPT ALBUM:" A. A Conceptual Musical Analysis: Critics and fans generally agree that Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" is the quintessential progressive rock "concept album" of the 1970's. A concept or "theme album" is simply an a
lbum whose musical tracks are linked together by a concept or theme. In some cases, as here, the concept is represented by a symbol that incorporates the salient characteristics and recurrent themes common to the album's component songs, and unify them into a cohesive whole. For this reason, the concept album format lends itself to the writing of a review that addresses the album's various tracks by analyzing and discussing the thematic elements common to all of them. It is in this manner the following review approaches its analysis of the music of DSOTM. B. A Heavenly Compositional Body Though the album is both a tour de force of Pink Floyd's musical range and technical virtuosity, and Waters' peerless genius for writing profoundly evocative, yet unforced lyrical metaphors; it is the album's bold choice of an epic subject matter, the tragedy of the human condition, which propels this composition from being merely one of the greater magnitude stars twinkling brightly in the heavenly body of musical creativity from which the 1970's music constellation is formed, but rather an independent constellation in and of its own right, a watershed from whose magnitude of creative brightness the 1970's musical legacy gains definition, measure and literary validation. C. Lunar Symbolism Based on the content and mood of the album taken as a whole, the metaphorically suggestive title, "Dark Side of the Moon," traces the album's literary roots to the dark, creatively fertile soil previously tilled and cultivated by the French Symbolists, whose defining poetic trait was to employ common, physical objects and forms as symbols for purposes of communicating abstract ideas and ephemeral concepts, but in a visceral, more sensual manner. By creating a literary bridge over the previously untraversed gap separating mental experience from physical sensation, the Symbolists, in effect, made "a word worth a t
housand pictures." Therein lies the secret of the evocative intensity of Waters' lyrics throughout the album, and specifically underscored in the brooding romanticism of its gloomy title. Waters effectively employs an archetypal symbol; the moon, to evoke emotion on multiple psychic levels. On a more obvious level, Waters draws on the physical qualities we commonly associate with the Moon. Specifically, Waters' moon is at once silent, melancholy, lonely, desolate and perhaps beautiful, but in a somber way. It is the only bright object in an otherwise pervasive tapestry of musical darkness. At first, his moon appears to affirm life by openly defying the fatal, all-consuming night with its rebellious, life-suggestive moonlight. This defiant contrast of the moonlight against darkness lends the moon a Promethean aura of stoic strength; stubborn independence. D. A Trick Of The Moonlight On a deeper level, we are forced to acknowledge that the moon doesn't generate its own light; it merely reflects the light of the sun, which for all its light source, is consumed by the darkness. Further, the moon is a slave to its orbit around the earth, which means that, though temporarily luminous, it will inevitably, on its new moon or "dark side of the moon" phase, leave the night sky utterly dark and devoid of life and, more ominously, the hope for life. The life/hope-affirming qualities; the stubborn defiance, the resolute independence, the cyclical regularity and consistency of degree of travel, all merely a mockery of life's transient nature, an illusion calculated to raise our hopes just high enough to allow us a temporarily unobstructed view of the tragic and inescapably hopeless nature of the human condition. E. A Legacy Of Lunacy Waters ingeniously draws on another, less apparent, yet more insidious characteristic associated with the literary symbol of the moon, i.e., insanity or "lune-acy",
with which to accommodate the other theme which pervades the album's music and lyrics: the madness which either A), one requires to accommodate the folly of false hope, strength and defiance of death which is temporarily simulated by the apparent consistency of life's hypnotically and rhythmically cyclical day-to-day events, or B), results when one confronts the naked reality of the ultimately inescapable and tragic hopelessness of the human condition. Since madness options "A" and "B" are the only apparent alternatives available, one may logically extrapolate that one is at all times, either insane or dead. The disillusioned Waters, who reluctantly ascended to the position of Pink Floyd's artistic "new moon" in the shadowy songwriting and leadership void that remained in the wake of schizophrenia's rapid dousing of Barrett's creative luminescence, no doubt also considered himself a potential heir to the pressure-induced fate that devoured his predecessor's sanity. III. DSOTM -- MUSIC TRACKS A. The Musically Expressed Complementarity Of The Inevitability Of Mortality Set Off Against The Lunacy Of Day-To-Day Existence: --The following are DSOTM's 9 tracks: Tracks: 1a. Speak To Me || 1b. Breathe In The Air 2. On The Run 3. Time 4. The Great Gig In The Sky 5. Money 6. Us And Them 7. Any Colour You Like 8. Brain Damage 9. Eclipse From the album's opening track, "Speak To Me's" dramatic lead-in; an adumbrating cacophony of mechanical, "daily-noise" sounds which iterates into a rising crescendo of hebephrenic laughter (i.e., insane laughter in response to inappropriate stimuli common to hebephrenic schizophrenia,) before erupting into a series of brain-bursting, screams of helpless madness, to the final, despondent, deliberately repetitious chorus and lilting heart-beat fade-out of "Eclipse,&qu
ot; the musical composition and lyrics of the album's nine tracks deal either with madness or death, or the inextricable interaction of the two on human perception. B. The Inevitability Of Mortality DSOTM's portentous repetition of its various compositional elements in each of its songs is the album's signetary motif. Waters masterfully plies the methodical sweeps of his musical paintbrush to broadstroke-in his hypnotically-lilting bass riffs and subliminal chord shifts, his songs' mundanely cyclical, "day-to-day life process"-related subject matter, ambient, looping choruses, recurrent death & madness themes and drummer Nick Mason's pulsating, metronomic heart-beat, cash register, clock-tick and footstep sound effects, onto the nine track-segments of an auditory canvas that has neither a beginning or end, but merely fades into and back out of the listener's consciousness like a lingering apprehension. Waters cleverly uses this motif, not only to provide the individual, song-related subjects a distinctive unifying and harmonizing common thread, but more significantly, a common thread that subtley and rather ingeniously enables the "underlying" background themes, (i.e., the madness-inducing futility of the human condition and the illusory moonbeams of security and permanence conferred by the hypnotic regularity of life's cyclical processes,) to dominate and thereby ridicule and trivialize the importance of the seemingly consequential subjects (i.e., "money," "success," "materialism," etc.,) on which each of the songs focus. C. The Lunacy Of Day-To-Day Existence The subdued steadiness, yet pervasive rhythmic resonance of Waters' hypnotic bass is set off by Richard Wright's improvisational, jazzy/space-y keyboards, which combine with lead guitarist David Gilmour's trademark "slide and echo guitar style" to weave eerie, h
alf-improv/ half-chord cobwebs of melancholia that almost sting you with the ethereal sweetness and beauty of the hopelessness and isolation they convey. The desolate peals of "slide whistle"-like eerie, mournfulness sound like a combination of the strident, yet muted metallic underwater-echo of communicating whales morphed into the distant wail of a grief-stricken spirit's siren-song. The effect is most noticeable in "Breathe," "Us And Them" and "Braindamaged," where it musically "doubles" the alienation and helplessness conveyed by the lyrics. IV. CONCLUSION DSOTM is not merely an excellent progressive-rock composition; it's a musical standard-bearer by which all others of it's type are measured. The timelessness of its tragic themes insure its future relevance and popularity for decades to come. The proficiency and artistic acumen with which DSOTM addresses and modernizes its chosen theme: "the tragic futility of the human condition," makes this album to its artistic medium (i.e., music), what Shakespeare's treatment of madness and death in "Hamlet" is to its respective medium. Considering the inescapable reality of the tragic themes symbolically represented in DSOTM by the moon in the final phase of its lunar cycle, and following its implications through to their logical progressions and inevitable conclusions, perhaps it is more miraculous that other attainees of literary greatness have been able to do so ~without~ enhancing the creative process with the regular and heavy consumption of recreational drugs. Thank You For Reading, The 29th_Candidate