Sunday, September 29, 2013

Around the Horn: Day Crickets, F. Scott Hollyweird, and Benson Teaching Me About Politics

By Pauly
San Diego, CA

I was finishing off one major work project, while struggling to finish off other stuff. I bit off more than I could chew. It was one of those crazy weeks.

Here is what I cranked out here...
Bill Hicks on News and Marketing - More pearls of wisdom from Bill Hicks.

Lefsetz's Slanket (Fiction) - I overheard two friends in a diner talking about the state of the entertainment industry, specifically the music biz versus Hollywood. It inspired this bit of fiction.

2AM: No Expectations - A little bit of experimental writing.

Wall Crickets - I have crickets living in my walls. They never see daylight so they chirp at all hours.

Everything I Know About Politics I Learned from Watching the TV Sitcom 'Benson' - Yes, it's true. Hollywood taught me everything I need to know about how shit works in the political realm.

Writing to Live and Feeding F. Scott's Vampire Monkey - F. Scott Fitzgerald ended up in Hollywood cranking out bad scripts for MGM and other studios. How did one of America's greatest novelists end up in a totally different medium? He was broke, feeding an addiction, and chasing a quick buck.

For all of you bacon addicts, I updated Tao of Bacon.

I also wrote about the fading the Jets.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Writing to Live and Feeding F. Scott's Vampire Monkey

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

This article hit a little too close to home: Writing to Live in Hollywood.

I saw a few haunting parallels between Fitzgerald washing up in Hollywood and myself and Las Vegas. I sold out and ditched my original artistic prime directive in order to make a quick buck and earn easy money shilling online poker to essentially keep the party going.

Fitzgerald ended a long chapter in his life as a novelist in New York City and headed West to sunny California. One of America's premier fiction writers sold his soul to the suits running the big studios during the golden era of Hollywood. Fitzgerald wasn't stupid; he was a washed-up writer and following the money. They were printing so much money in Hollywood that even a neophyte screenwriter with zero experience like him had a crack at a few bucks, so he signed a contract with MGM and cranked out a bunch of crappy, passion-less screenplays. I think I read somewhere that Fitzgerland was making the equivalent of $1,000/week (in 2013 dollars).

Every week, Hollywood fat cats raked in millions and millions and millions of dollars from box offices all over America and flowing freely right back to the bank accounts of the major studios. Fitzgerald was not the only novelist who supplemented their income by writing (or ghost-writing) for the studios. William Faulkner was so far gone at that point in the twilight of his career that he was perpetually shitfaced so his assistant handed in his pages.

Fitzgerald was stalked by demons the majority of his adult life. Large mutherfucking demons with claws and roving band of starved, blood-sucking monkeys. He could only slay those beasts with the bottle. He wrestled with those fierce alkie demons and always lost. Night after night. The vampire monkeys jeered and shat in their hands and threw it in his general direction. It was an expensive war and cost Fitzgerald his health and dragged him deep into debt.

Fitzgerald died at the age of 44 of a heart attack, but he drank himself to death. Fitzgerald got caught up in a nasty cycle of abuse and self-doubt and could not escape. Quicksand. Instead of sand, it was booze. He headed to Hollywood because it was the only place that could pay for his rampant alcoholism (in addition to medical treatment for his bat-shit crazy wife Zelda), but being stuck in Los Angeles and struggling to write shitty dialogue for pathetic third-rate B-films drove him even more insane. He got stuck in a rut, which sent him into a deeper depression, so he drank even more. And more. And more. Poor fucker never had a chance.

I sort of turned to poker and Vegas to cover the tab for my addictions -- mostly travel and music. I felt as though I had to go through hell for 2 months every year so I could have a groovy 10 months. That was the sacrifice I made... but I was also selling out. I flocked to Vegas every summer to follow the money. It was the only place I knew where I could get paid rather well to write (and be myself) and I was stuck in that cycle because of lifestyle maintenance. It took me seven years, but I finally realized it wasn't worth it.

I got into poker by accident. I thought I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience covering the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. The plan was have one crazy summer and that was it then return to NYC and the dream would be over. It turns out I never went home. The dream continued... and continued. I headed out West and stuck around Vegas, like so many other innocent people who got seduced by the gambling scene, or sucked into the Vegas' black hole of depravity and immorality.

I bailed from Vegas before I became a full blown junkie or lost all my money betting on sports, and washed up in Hollywood of all places. I considered myself one of the lucky ones. I actually left Vegas with some money in my pocket. Most of the people I know who moved to Vegas chasing the Dream Americana either went broke, or went crazy, or got totally ambushed by a nasty addiction and fell prey to "The Sickness" which is full-blown immersion into a vice that totally sucks your soul dry. Pick one... a) drugs, b) alcohol, c) gambling, and d) sex. The Sickness comes in multiple choice form.

Fitzgerald passed away unable to fade depression  and demoralization and the lingering effects of hardcore alkie abuse. He arrived in Hollywood mostly forgotten as a novelist and dismissed as a "one-hit wonder." Even when he died, the critics were not extolling Fitzgerald's virtues like many college professors do today.

Check out Writing to Live in Hollywood.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wall Crickets

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

The crickets chirp at all hours of the day. They were born in between the walls. Trapped. They live inside the walls until their death. Unable to get out. Unable to tell what time it is because of the perpetual darkness, so they chirp at all hours of the day and night and day. The outdoor crickets wait until sundown to sing and communicate. The wall crickets are trapped for their eternity, singing the blues at sunrise and sunset, and all hours in between. Sometimes it's as bad and disjointed as a Scritti Politti record, other nights it has the anger yet potent complexity of a Charlie Mingus symphony.

What would happen if there was infinite darkness? Eventually humans would evolve to see in the dark. Like cats and other nocturnal hunters that adapted for millions of years.

The promotional machine is a hungry creature. Constantly starving yet purposely drowning us in sensory overload. The vanity empowers those on the fringe of the culture. The undercurrent is a toxic stream of desire and uncloaked greed masking as ambition.

What is the cultural function of the media again? Wasn't it supposed to be the watchers watching the watchers kinda of thing?

It used to be the watchdog that protected the people from any nefarious doings by the powers that be. These days, the bulk of the media is owned by the powers that be, which is why the majority of what passes as "news" is thinly veiled celebrity gossip and very little concrete information that keeps the public informed about what's really going on.

The who, what, when, and how no longer apply to the deeds of politicians, rather, it's to fill in answers to vapid questions like who is fucking who. What drugs is the starlet du jour taking. When is the next hyped film coming out. And how much longer do we have to wait to get devoured by yet another celebrity scandal.

The primary objective is something out of Sun Tzu or Machiavelli. Most of what I see coming out of the media pipe is nothing but noise to confuse and intimidate us by overloading on fearful things or sentimental things. Sometimes they press the proper buttons -- fear of losing something sentimental.

Some day the masses won't be shy anymore and finally wake up. At least, that's my sincere hope that these doldrums finally pass. And like the crickets banished to life in between the walls, our only choice is to sing anyway in the perpetual darkness. Some day, we'll come together as a unified and animated front and unmask out true emotions. That will be the day when the entire culture breaks down what seemed to be impenetrable barriers that the charlatans constructed to keep us as far away from them as possible.

All and all, we're just another cricket stuck in the wall.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Everything I Know About Politics, I Learned From Watching the TV Sitcom "Benson"

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Everything I learned about politics, I learned from TV. Specifically sitcoms. Fucking Hollywood, always trying to brainwash American children. So I grokked everything I know about politics from a sitcom called Benson, which aired on ABC from 1979-1986. It was a spin-off of Soap, where Robert Guillaume played a butler employed by the crazy Tate family. Guillaume fell into a stereotype role of the "wise-cracking black guy."

In Benson, the show was centered around Robert Guillaume, who is no longer a butler and instead he works in the governor's mansion with some random title. The Governor is a bumbling goofball who can barely tie his shoes, let alone run New York. I assumed he was the Governor of New York, because that's where I grew up, which meant that Benson lived in Albany at the Governor's mansion.

The real reason I watched Benson was because of a budding infatuation with the Governor's daughter (played by Missy Gold, the older sister of Tracy from Growing Pains). I had a semi-crush on her, so I got sucked in by the blonde. But along the way, I learned about how politics worked then and still works to this day.

In every episode, there was some sort of crisis because the inept governor was incapable of getting the job done. It was obvious that he was an airhead, or puppet propped up by the machine (or big business). Whenever the shit hit the fan, it wasn't the smarmy and sketchy governor's aides in cheap suits who solved the problem. Most of the time, they were the problem. Week after week, Benson would swoop in during the third act and save the day. Benson was a deus ex machina and "mythical magical negro" combined in the same character.

Benson always butted heads with Gretchen Kraus, the head of the kitchen and a scary German woman who always fondled a sharp knife. Yes, there was some sexual tension between the two and dare I say there were always S&M undertones in the banter. If any freaky sex parties went down at the mansion, I'm sure Gretchen was involved in some capacity as a dominatrix. But once again, Hollywood was beating a horse to death with an unfavorable stereotype of Germans as a humorless, dry, yet disciplined, orderly, and neat stickler for details.

At some point, Benson got a promotion to Lieutenant Governor. In the last season, he ran for governor... but against the ex-governor who was running for a different party. The season ended with a cliffhanger and we never found out who won. During the summer... ABC axed the show. Yes, Benson got cancelled and we never found out if he won or lost.

Here's a random episode from Season 1 which touched on Cold War relations between the U.S. and Russia...

Sitcoms were created as low hanging fruit and catered to the the lowest common denominator, but regardless of the corniness or simplicity, sitcoms are a sure-fire way to tap into America's consciousness. Regardless of the outcome, Obama needs to thank Benson for helping pave the way for a black man to hold a a high-profile elected position.

So what did I learn from watching Benson?
1. I always had a thing for blondes.

2. Politicians are dumb as fuck old white guys who can't even make a sandwich, let alone run a state.

3. Germans are frightening disciplinarians and fascists who are hiding secret Nazi ties or bizarre domination sex addictions.

4. The savvy black man saves the day. Always. Yet the "Man" always gets the credit.
For more about Hollywood's infatuation with mythical negro, check out my half-baked thoughts on Bagger Vance.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

2AM: No Expectations

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Nancy Mumford

Rampant proliferation of false friendships. Never underestimate the capacity for manipulation and the willingness to create distractions. The non-events becoming "the" event.

Saturated by advertisements before noon. Perceived images of doom and gloom.

"News is not the same as truth," Chris Hedges once said in a lecture. He was worried that our culture was being dominated by the lowest common denominator. Hence the Snookification of the world.

The celebration of image over substance. What a perverted ethos. Tranquil, yet vivid memories. Nostalgia color filters. Reverence for the things in the past that brought us the most happiness. Crowded memories. Flashing neon. Thumping bass. Glasses breaking the the background.

In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes. Supposedly. The lowest form of conceptual art is reality TV, but there's lots of dough in it. Commerce intertwined with art. Vice versa. The faint whispers intoxicated everyone and even long after the congregation departed.

Disdainful ignorance but beguiled by the simplicity of the newest activities. The sensation of euphoria and inert broad range of experiences are contradictions, like two trains headed into the station at the same time.... on the same track.

Shy, redemptive and instructive. Meticulous emptiness. Gazing upon stale neurotics and electrified gentrification. Surrealistically animated dissertations. Simplicity of the revelation of the American Dream.

Affectionate visions of sonic textures. The stale kaleidoscopic. And the dying tradition of the neighborhood backyard BBQ.

Ecstatic falsetto. Peculiar chord progressions. Unknown syllables and mostly jive talk. Lots of streetcorner jargon. Old junkies of folklore.

Environmental propaganda. Romanticized cabal of tree huggers. Unable to diffuse the apocalyptic future of what they had no clue was public domain.

The solemn trance from a string of red lights. I find discomfort watching overweight tourists, yet nobody is paying any attention. My keen eyes disappear into the distance.

Keen eyes everywhere, except where they should be. Including a semi-famous microbiologist who squandered his money on finding the Lord during a gin-induced conversation.

The sullen bustle but with the grace of a ballerina. We all need allergy medicine. But we found a broken watch that used to keep time on infinite spaces is a broken memento.

Dusty sky. Stars burning the night. Unwritten postcard to Grandma. Vulgar sidewalks in front of the bars are all the same cluttered with cigarette butts.

Mambo musicians on the prowl. Several of them have the same nervous twitch. So instead, it's a night of drinking would end up in a brawl.

That's what the night does to you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lefsetz's Slanket (Fiction)

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Coffeshop. Santa Monica. 10am. Two guys sat in a booth. One, former A&R guy at a major record label, is loosely wearing a suit. The other one, an actor, looks like he just woke up.

"I was up early," said the actor as he shoveled a ham and cheese omelet into his face. "I had an early audition. Crack of dawn. Fast food commercial."

"Was it for breakfast or something like McMuffins?"

"Nah, flatbread sandwiches. National campaign. If I land that, I can finally pay off my credit cards and I can go home and visit family for Christmas. But right now, all I care about is getting the call back. The next few days are going to be torture. Hey, I'm in the wrong biz. The music industry. That's where it's at. I should have been more serious when I was nine and took piano lessons."

"The music industry? No way. Just as bad if not worse than acting. It's like the worst wrung of show business."

"Even worse than reality TV?"

"Reality TV brings in more dough than scripted TV. Nah, music biz is up there with infomercials and politics. I should say, it's down there with infos and those talking heads."

"Really? Music biz that bad? Worse than infomercials?"

"At least people, albeit stupid people, will buy something they see on an infomercial. Whether its a Snuggie or Ginsu knives... doesn't matter... it's a real, physical product that you can't steal from the internet. They ship products that kids can't steal via the internet."

"You can buy knives and slankets on the net."

"Sure, you can. Maybe it's cheaper too. Maybe not. But you still have to pay for it in a traditional business transaction. It's not like kids today stealing 99.9% of their music. When was the last time you went to a record shop and bought a CD?"

"God. I don't know. I think I bought a Beatles Greatest Hits once at a gas station when I was on a road trip up to Maine and the rental car at Logan had a CD player but no AUX ports or satellite radio."

"When was the last time you paid for a full album on iTunes?"

"I think I bought The Strokes new album Angels a couple summers ago."

"That was two albums ago. Why didn't you get the last one? Because you streamed it on Pitchfork, like everyone else, right?"

"Yeah, I did... it was free. I got to listen to it for free."

"But you didn't pay a cent to the band, or the record company. Sure, you boosted the traffic to Pitchfork, and they probably cut a deal with the band to stream it exclusively, but for the most part the majority of people listening to the new Strokes album are not paying for it. How much of your iPod is filled with pirated music? 50%? 90%? Kids today in highschool? They never paid a dime for music in their lives."

"I'm starting to sound like one of those old farts. When I was a kid, blah blah blah. But it's true, when I was in college, we still had dial up so I couldn't download music. In high school I blew money on music and movies. CDs. DVDs. Movie tickets. Concert tickets. Gas money. A little grass and cheap six packs. That's why I worked at the fucking Blockbuster in Nashua. I fucking hated it, but I got free rentals and it paid for music I really wanted badly."

"You worked hard to earn money and then spent it on music. Nowadays, kids just go online and download that shit for free. They have no semblance of what it means to pay for art."

"What ever happened to 'You get what you pay for?'"

"In this case, kids have access to an entire encyclopedia of music -- the entire history of music from Bach to the Beatles, from Beethoven to Beiber. And with access to all that rich history, what kinda of music is selling now? Fucking dubstep. Robots fucking. Douchey, uncircumcised Swedish dorks with laptops. That's today's 'rock' stars. No more Ziggy Stardust. No more Robert Plant. No more long haired dudes drinking whiskey, toking grass, and lighting up the garage with the loudest music they could. It was happening in the 60s. In the 70s. Event in the 80s and then the 90s, and then just stopped at the start of the 00s. Now, no one is trying to form bands with their friends. Instead, it's solo solitary dudes with their laptops. Sitting in the dark in their mommy's basement. Alone. Mixing. Mashing. Cuisinarting all these hooks and drops that these dopey fucking kids with zero taste think is straight up dope. It's dope. Dope for dopes. And they're blowing tons of cash on this dope. Electric Daisy and shit like that. Sure, I fucking hate the Eagles and it's the epitome of corporate rock and roll, but at least there's some bit of art in it. Albeit watered down, there's still a bit of soul in there. This glitch hop is soulless. I cannot believe what's going on."

"The drugs are getting stronger and the music is getting worse."

"Zombies shoving Ecstasy up their asses and in their coochies.No wonder we're doomed. All this new shit lacks any sort of edge. It's too narcissistic. Totally lacks a sociopolitical edge. Punk was political. It was about the have-nots rallying together to fight the man. Dylan was inspired by protest singers from the first half of the 20th Century. The earliest days of hip hop were all political. Jay Z said hip hop was like CNN for black communities. It's how they got their news. Then it all became about material pursuits. Bling. Dealing drugs. Hoochie mamas. And this electronic dance music craze? Where's the politics in that? Sounds more like static. Loud static. Feed kids enough drugs and they'll dance to anything."

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bill Hicks: News and Marketing

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

"Stop putting a dollar sign on everything on this fucking planet!"

Bill Hicks was always ahead of the curve. This is an excerpt (on news, media, and marketing) from Bill Hicks' special Revelations'..

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Around the Horn: Sci-Fi Seinfeld, Alley Sounds, Didion, Salinger, and Lethem on They Live

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Some of the things I cranked out here...
The Seinfeld Sci-Fi Tangent and Futuristic Grey Overalls - I wondered about something Seinfeld joked about -- what would we wear in the future -- would we all be wearing the same uniform like so many dystopian films suggested?

Salinger - I caught the new documentary on J.D. Salinger. I had mixed feelings about the film that took nine years to make.

Obey. Cosume. Watch TV. - I'm reading Jonathan Lethem's book about the John Carpenter's cult classic film They Live!

Alley Sounds: Persian Purse Dogs, Huts, and Bad Mothers - As someone who works from home, I have no choice but to deal with noisy neighbors.

The Right Now - My friend Rick's wife Maureen is courageously battling cancer and he's courageously writing about it.

Joan Didion Knows Her Shit - I wanted to share a must-read interview with the legendary writer, that originally appeared in the Paris Review under their Art of Fiction series when they talk to fiction writers about their craft.
Something I cranked out elsewhere...
NFL Week 3: Fading the Jets and Degen Tales of Ordinary Madness - I'm fading the Jets again, which I intend to do every week this season. [Ocelot Sports]
I listened to some inspiring music...
Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins
Another Girl by Wild Belle
Giant Steps by John Coltrane
And this isn't something I did, however, I must point out an amazing Phish mix that my pal from Japan, Hal Masa, created for the crew over at Coventry Music. Check out Hal Masa's You Enjoy My Mix - Summer 2013.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Joan Didion Knows Her Shit

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I saw this needle in a haystack. Somehow, a link to an interview with Joan Didion somehow stood out from the rest of the static on Twitter. The Paris Review features a series called the Art of Fiction in which they engage in deep discussion with fiction writers about their craft. I came across an outstanding interview conducted with Didion circa 1977.

Check out Joan Didion, The Art of Fiction No. 71.

Didion dishes on the intricacies of writing and explains some of her daily routine. She kicks off the interview with explaining how writers have a hostile relationship with readers.
It's hostile in that you're trying to make somebody see something the way you see it, trying to impose your idea, your picture. It's hostile to try to wrench around someone else's mind that way. Quite often you want to tell somebody your dream, your nightmare. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else's dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it. The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream... [ more here]

Excellent series about an excellent writer that appears in an excellent publication.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Right Now

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I started to feel sorry for myself. Birthdays at this point of my life are more negative milestones than positive ones. Instead of wallowing in my own misery, I opted for the opposite. Time to celebrate life.

My friend Rick and his family are going through hell right now. His wife, Maureen, has been fighting cancer all summer. I cannot fathom the toll its taken on them, yet he still found time to write up his thoughts on a site he's been updating Taking Cancer By Storm. Powerful thoughts.

I always admired Rick's writing and wished he wrote more. I have no idea how he's found the courage to share these intimate and soul-crushing moments. Heck, I can barely string a few sentences together for this post and I'm an outsider looking in.

Today is one of those days when you really remember what's important in life. The now. Right now.

And right now... I'm sending out good vibes to some people who need it really badly.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Alley Sounds: Persian Purse Dogs, Huts and Bad Mothers

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Crickets. Waves of crickets. All sizes. Tiny. Medium. Large. Grasshoppers are not green. These fuckers are dirty blond and light brown. Even when I play music, they're still flying under the radar. You can never block that out.

Yapping dogs. Two of them. They go berserk when I take bacon out of the fridge and cook it for breakfast. They spent lots of random moments when it sounds like they are ushering in the Apocalypse with blood-curdling screams and moans. They never shut up during the day. Thank god they go to sleep at night. The smaller the dog, the more annoying the bark. I imagine these purse dogs owed by a spoiled a Persian Kardashian wanna-be.

Then there's the baby. The crying baby. It's such a problem that one of my neighbors said something to me about it. The baby cries so much and so loudly that it's disturbing. Between the dogs and the baby, my neighbor has had a tough time sleeping. I thought the family who moved in the building next door had a newborn a year ago. The baby cries nonstop. 5am. 6am. 7am. 9am. 11am. 1pm. 2pm. 3pm. 6pm. 7pm. 10pm. 11pm. Midnight.1am. 3am. I know... it's what babies do. They cry. But what really gets me angry is how long the mother lets the baby cry without attending to it. I'm all for tough love, but isn't that cruel? Sure, I'd like to have some semblance of peace when I'm working, but I get more irked at the mother.

It's a Jewish religious holiday, the one with the huts. My several neighbors built these huts in the alley. The last few days all you could hear was construction. Lots of banging. Lots of metal poles smashing on the ground. Lot of hammering. Four huts were within earshot and dozens popped up and down the alley. One of them has a TV. Kids hang out there all day. Around sundown they sing and pray and chant and sing. all night they're outside in the huts. The chatter carries through the alley. You get to heard five or six families arguing during dinner... all at the same time. As Nicky said, "This is the one week a year when all the religious Jews in our neighborhood live outside, which means everyone... except us... is living in our fucking alley."

The homeless can fairies dart in and out of the alley. The lids open and close every hour on the hour. Some of the crazies drag large industrial garbage bags filled with bottles and cans. The rattling can be heard blocks away. It echoes through the alley like a junkyard symphony. Sometimes there's a melodious cadence, but most of the time it's a reminder that someone has to dig through my trash in order to pay for food. Sometimes I see them actually eating out of the dumpster. The old guy with the Mexican radio station tape ducted to his shopping car will often dig around through leftover food containers.

You barely hear the good dumpster divers. Silent, like ninjas. Those are the ones that quickly go through the alley without disturbing me. But makes me worried that those slick in/out of the alley and dumpster are the types who might put those stealth skills to use by robbing you. Then again, those yapping dogs sniff out dumpster divers and bark until the leave.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Obey. Consume. Watch TV.

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Jonathan Lethem wrote a book about the cult classic film They Live. It was as though Lethem live-blogged the film, but in book form. The book is short but we get his take on John Carpenter's film -- scene by scene -- because it's layered with tons of symbolism both overt and covert. I was kind of cool experience to read a few chapters, then watch the film for a few minutes, and go back and read a few more chapters and watch a little more of the film, etc etc etc.

My brother and I were huge WWF fans when we were kids. Roddy Rowdy Piper was billed as the bad guy and every Saturday morning we'd see some of his douchebaggery. The best moment? He beat up Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka with a coconut. We were excited to see a movie with a wrestler in it. This was still the late 80s before wrestling really blew up and it helped propel their top stars like the Rock into the real big leagues -- Hollywood. The Rock was able to become a true crossover star from deflecting metal chairs to his head to carrying a big budget Hollyweird film. But with They Live, Roddy Piper was able to get top billing in a B-film that flirted the line between cult sci-fi fantasy and campy straight-to-video fodder. We watched it a bunch on videotape and thought it was a cool flick about aliens featuring a favorite wrestler.

Watching They Live as an adult is mind blowing because the cheesy factor of the plot (not to mention how bad it really was) really covered up the incendiary subversiveness of the film. Simply put, according to Carpenter we've been brainwashed by the powers that be. As a result, we're a nation of TV addicts, which is we're either slaves, sheep, zombies, doped up, or sleepwalking through life. The glowing box in the living room is truly the opiate of the masses and we're all complicit by participating in the culture of consumption, even though we want to break out of that dreadful cycle.

There's a documentary called They Live We Sleep, which is a much more tin foil hat version of Lethem's book. But it's short (thirty minutes) and an eye opener.

They Live We Sleep is a nice companion piece to Lethem's book and the actual film. At this point, whenever I watch the film, I'm purposely looking for different pieces of hidden symbolism. Sort of like those maniacal fiends who comb through Kubrick's films frame-by-frame.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I caught Salinger, a documentary on America's most famous reclusive author J.D. Salinger. Still processing it all. The images. The story. The sadness of solitude. The idiocy of a self-adsorbed twat. Screenwriter Shane Salerno (Armageddon) directed this film so it was slightly different than your regular documentary structure. It took nine years to complete the doc and he conducted hundreds of interviews in search of the story about Salinger. What was Salinger doing for decades while hiding out in a small town in New Hampshire and raising a family, or at least trying to before his maniacal devotion to writing fractured his relationship with his wife and daughter?

I read Catcher in the Rye when I was in the 8th grade. Salinger's Holden Caufield did not impact me as much as he probably should. I read it the same year I saw Ferris Bueller's Day Off fourteen times. I found Ferris far more heroic than the whiny Holden Caufield and his ducks. But by then, I was already a jaded kid and knew that adults were mostly full of shit hypocrites. I first heard about John Lennon getting killed on 72nd Street through the TV. It was huge news everywhere. for days and days. A barrage of media coverage. Outrage and mourning. During the weeks after the murder, I heard more details about Lennon's crazed assassin, a fan who was fond of Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. When President Reagen got shot, his would-be assassin took a shot at ole Dutch Reagan because he was inspired by Catcher in the Rye. I simply associated Catcher in the Rye with bad vibes and insane murders. When the Pope got shot, I immediately wondered if the shooter read Salinger's book too?

It might surprise you, but I enjoyed Franny and Zooey more than Catcher. Nicky had a copy and I re-read most of it in one sitting. Salinger's best shit? His short stories. Mostly from New Yorker circa the late 40s/early 50s. I highly recommended Salinger's Nine Stories, which includes A Perfect Day for Bananafish. That fiction absolutely blew the minds of New Yorker readers. Then there's For Esmé -- With Love and Squalor, which deals with the unspoken affliction of PTSD (called shell-shock during that era) that GIs struggled with while assimilating back into society post-WWII. 

Salinger's writing with inspired and driven by his PTSD. His experiences -- from landing at D-Day all the way to hunting Nazis -- deeply embedded itself into Saligner's writing. His demons were exorcised by his characters. He spent decades in seclusion while marinating in the carefully constructed worlds in which his intricate characters lived. He could control that (fantasy) world... the world of the Glass and Caufield families. The real world, ruled of phonies, was beyond his control, which is why he detached himself for long periods of time. 

Hiding out. Salinger grew up on Park Avenue and after the financial success of Catcher in the Rye, he could have lived anywhere in the world, but exiled himself his bunker deep in the woods of New Hampshire. Salinger donned a peculiar uniform when he wrote, like a jumpsuit, or something a house painter or telephone repairman would wear. He had a smaller cottage behind his house and he hung out in his office. Hiding from the world. Hiding from his family. Ducking the fog of war which followed him from the Belgium forest to small town America.

Salinger eventually stopped publishing in the mid-60s. He couldn't handle the slings and arrows from critics. He couldn't handle the backlash from the public and the biting jealousy from his peers. He couldn't handle the pressure knowing that whatever he wrote would not satisfy the critics, his contemporaries, the readers, and the publishers. He decided to keep it simple and withdraw from the machine, but write for himself. He supposedly wrote every day until his health interceded, but he was writing into his late 80s. Sure, it's easy to drop out of the publishing world when you're financial secure and 60 years after its first publication, the novel still sells 250K books a year and you can live off of those royalties. I'd love to go off the grid. I have fantasies about walking away from the virtual world and ditching social media. Alas, I don't have a choice. I need to keep my foot in the door because I need to sell more books down the road. This is the only way I can make a few bucks to keep a roof over my head, yet I often dream about unplugging and not worrying about chasing the shadow of the ghost of my former self.

A couple of parts of the Salinger documentary disturbed me particularly the concentration camp scenes. Salinger, an army intelligence officer, supposedly was among the first wave of American troops to walk into a concentration camp. Those horrors stuck with him the rest of his life.

Then there's Salinger's questionable fascination and infatuation with young girls. Like around 16 years old. Sure, when he was 21 and he dated Eugene O'Neill's 16-year old daughter and that was sort of acceptable. But the older he got, his penchant for young girls grew increasingly uncomfortable. Sure, he was fond of writing letters to young women, but he was an episode of To Catch a Predator waiting to happen. Supposedly all of those relationships were platonic and he simply enjoyed the attention of young girls. He's flirting a dangerous line. There's laws set up in place to keep leering old men away from precocious teenage girls. But when you can dangle Holden Caufield in front of impressionable young women... well, it's pretty easy for them to fall under his spell.

There was always an urban lit legend that Thomas Pynchon was actually J.D Salinger and he created "Pynchon" as a pseudonym so he could publish anonymously after he removed himself from the literati in NYC. Of course, that isn't true. Pynchon is alive and well on the West Coast and published not one but two books in the twilight of his career.

And then there's the stories that keep the tin foil hat crowd whipped up in a frenzy. You know, the one about Salinger being in the CIA? It's easy to link him with WWII spooks who formed the agency post-war. Salinger was a counter intelligence officer during the war and hunted Nazis after Germany's surrender. But this is where it gets sketchy...Salinger married a known Nazi and got away with it. He claimed he and his German wife had telekinetic ability and could communicate with each other without speaking. German vixen seduces American army officer with a literal mind fuck? That's something out of a Philip K. Dick speed-induced short story. But seriously... how the hell was Salinger able to pull off nuptials to an ex-Nazi without getting court martialed (marriages to German nationals were illegal for a couple years after the war)? That brief marriage really screwed him up. Emotionally destroyed him. First he got shunned by Eugene O'Neill's daughter who dumped him for Charlie Chaplin, and then he got his heart shattered by an ex-Nazi temptress. I always suspected she duped him in order to avoid execution by bloodthirsty Cossacks seeking retribution. Then again, maybe Salinger was really a spy? And the marriage was a sham in order to extract more vital information about where Nazis hid their loot (specifically gold and classic paintings), along with the concealed locations of top Nazi aerospace scientists/engineers -- otherwise known as Operation Paperclip in which the Yanks were race against the Russians to find and scoop up as many Nazi scientists and academics in order to gain a quick edge in the first wave of the Cold War -- bigger nukes and faster planes and rockets that went farther.

You don't even have to follow the conspiracy forums on Reddit to know that there's always been a rumor that Salinger was contracted by the CIA to write Catcher in the Rye as a manual to determine potential assassins. Or rather, the government used Salinger's work as a litmus test to determine if the recruit is primed to smoke out any phonies if they gave him a sniper rifle and pointed the out to the biggest phony?

Then again, if I wrote a book that was associated with one murder, let along two (or three as the doc film alleged about Catcher in the Rye), the last thing I'd want to do is write another book.

At the end of the documentary, they revealed that the Estate of J.D. Salinger authorized the release of two novels in 2015 and 2020, with other pieces to be published at a later date. Also part of the deal, is that the Estate will NEVER authorize film version of Catcher in the Rye. I read an article somewhere that said he had something on the shelf that would not be published until 70 years after his death. Man, 2080? I wonder if America is still a country then? And will people still be reading books? I'll be 100+ years old. I doubt I lie another decade or two, but will we become a nation of illiterate zombies crocked on Big Pharma's sedatives?

Don't forget to check out Salinger's Nine Stories.

Trailer for Salinger documentary is here:

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Seinfeld Sci-Fi Tangent and Futuristic Grey Overalls

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Seinfeld joked about uniforms in the near/far future. How all the sci-fi books and movies envisioned post-dystopian humans clad in a drab jumpsuit or some sort of other bleh uniform. Like out of 1984, or something that makes everyone look like a mechanic at Pep Boys.

The way the job market is going in America, by the time the "Roaring 20s" roll around there will be zero media jobs available (news anchors will be replaced a naked pornstars reading Tweets). So we'll all end up a slave to the Man and stuck in the service field humping a horrible min-wage McJobs at McDonald's or Starbucks or IKEA. Unless you want to work the oil fields in the Dakotas, you're shit out of luck and stuck asking shithead customers if they want to supersize their order or add whipped cream. At those McJobs (pick any fast food joint or big biz coffee chain like Starbucks or Coffee Bean), the "uniform" includes some sort of polo shirt with a big-ass logo to make you feel like a loser and to remind you who is the real boss. Oh, and how could we forget about the humiliating name tag? Just in case the laughable pay and the never-ending line of surly customers and the awkward-looking clothing did not drag  you down to the lowest rung on the self-esteem ladder, they have a giant name tag to finish off the job. The name tag is to confirm the fact that you really are a cashier at Starbucks which some of the more successful classmates and kids you grew up with has suspected but wasn't 100% sure because you ignored their FRIEND request on Facebook.

Whenever I see someone with a name tag, I have this weird compulsion to use their real name as quickly as possible during the interaction. Part of me wants to humanize the transaction, instead of it being impersonal and ice cold. There's a percentage of workers who appreciate the fact that someone in the real world is recognizing them as a person instead of a min-wage flunkie. At the same time, I'm sure I pissed off an even greater number of service workers who went apeshit bananas whenever someone tried to call them by their name from the name tag. Sure, they might be polite and shine it on, but underneath it all they are cursing you under their breath and secretly plotting how they can drop a couple of boogers into your Iced Mocha.

The universal uniform could be cool in the future because it eliminates the difficult decision-making process of trying tof igure out what to wear. The older I get the more paranoid I get that I'm going to lose my edge in the fashion department and that my clothing style and wardrobe will stop evolving and become frozen in time for the rest of my life. It happens to everyone old guy, which is why old dude in Florida are wearing Leisure suits and Members Only jackets. The grey jumpsuit will eliminate a daily struggle that I have... what will I wear? This is problematic as a freelancer who does not have to get dressed up to work in an office-like setting. For me business casual is putting on cargo shorts instead of free balling it.

Since I'm on a Seinfeld sci-fi tangent, I'm waiting for every household to get its own robot. Sort of like Rosie from The Jetsons or Twinkie from Buck Rodgers or CP30 in Star Wars. Except I would program mine to crunch spreadsheets and sports stats so I could have a live-in sportsbetting guru, who runs a million simulations a second. I already have a special spreadsheet that spits out a projected outcome for almost every major pro sport, but that is like using counting blocks for 3 year olds compared to a computer system on board a  NASA rocket.

So the jumpsuits... they come in one size fits all?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Around the Horn: DFW, Non-Fall Revolutions, and Bad Fictional Cokeheads

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Nancy Mumford

It was a busy week for me with a short-term freelance project and a couple of other things. I didn't get to do what I set out to do. Happens all the time. Never have enough time or motivation. Some day I'll accomplish 14% of what I set out to do and then I'll feel pretty smug about it and do nothing for a few weeks and then get overwhelmed once again. Cycles within cycles. That's life. The cycle when you're waiting for a cycle. Sort of like that John Lennon quote about life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.

So here's what I cranked out this past week...
Revolutions? Not During Football Season - When will America have another revolution or civil war? It won't happen during football season (pro or college) because we're brainwashed and would rather glorifying that sort of extreme violence instead of channeling that energy into protesting the government.

2 A.M. Thoughts: Michael J. Fox and Fake Plastic Friends  - I get random things in my head late night. I usually keep those thoughts to myself, but decided to turn of the tap and let it flow. In this instance of a late night brain dump, I think about Joan Jett and Michael J. Fox's horrible portrayal as a cokehead in Bright Lights Big City.

DFW Blank on Blank - This is animation of David Foster Wallace discussing ambition in an old interview he did with Charlie Rose. This was inspired by the morbid fact that it's been five years since DFW took his life in 2008.

Silky Back Roads - More unfiltered late night ramblings. Short and sweet. References included Miles Davis, Jerry Garcia, and watered-down lemonade.

Over at Ocelot Sports, I pulled double duty with posts about baseball and football...
Bronx Bums Report: Boston Massacre'd; Yet (Barely) Still Alive - The Yanks got spanked by Boston last weekend, but despite the ass-kicking, the Yanks were still in the hunt for a potential playoff spot.

NFL Week 2: Fading the Jets on ThNF and Other Tales of Ordinary Madness - Here's my weekly rant about the Jets and why you should have bet against them on Thursday night against New England.

Ah and poker? I write about it sometimes. I'm covering the 2013 WCOOP for PokerStars. I wrote a couple of final table recaps...
Aduobe4 wins Event #5 [6-Max NL Shootout]; Liv Boeree finishes in fifth

David "Gunslinger3" Bach binks Event #21 $320 PLO H/L for his first WCOOP bracelet and takes one step closer to winning the PokerStars Grand Slam

Writing music over the last dew days included... Giant Steps by John Coltrane, a live show by Alt-J,  and Another Girl by my latest obsession Wild Belle.

That's it for now. You know the drill. NGTFOOMO.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Silky Back Roads

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Miles Davis was freaked out by technology. New musical instruments in the early 80s really sent him into a frenzy.

"If you don't match those social sounds in the air like synthesizers," warned Miles in his raspy, sand-paper voice, "No one wants to hear it."

Miles could walk through walls. But he was spooked.

Yes, he could walk through walls. Like the hosts. Through them. Materializing on the other side. defying psychics. Like Star Trek kind of shit.


Dylan wanted to be known as a "song and dance man."

Heavy speculation on the transformation. After the crash, Dylan was a changed man. Fourteen times over. Maybe fifteen?

"You do not want to go where I have been."

The champions of change are inspired to rush forward, but still prepared to throw down in a bloody brawl against angry lynch mob of hooligans, fueled by the bitter backlash.

Living in the past is cool until somebody gets hurt.

The fragile ones demand that their heroes remain suspended in time. Never to move forward, or take three leaps forward without their permission.


In the early 60s, Jerry Gracia bummed around Palo Alto. He was banging Standford chicks and sponging odd rich college kids, who kicked him down jugs of wine and cigarettes. He held different odd jobs with older derelicts, drunks mostly from the other side of the tracks. He befriended a black guy who sometimes ran dope for gangsters in Oakland. He's bring Jerry along with him to these black bars all over the Bay Area. Jerry would play a few songs for the old black junkies, who got a kick that this goofy white boy knew how to play the blues.

While Jerry was not  bumming smokes off college kids, he sometimes moving furniture for $20 a day. His pal Ken Kesey was eating mushrooms and acid and reporting his findings to CIA... and getting paid to do so. Not quite the Burning Man experience. Rather a bunch of square, humorless, serious-looking scientists in lab coats and clip boards. Plus the occasional suit and spook in a black suit.


Diluted lemonade is what the Man hopes to pass off as the real thing. Water the fucker down. Sweeten it up. Whatever it takes. More dilution equates to increased quarterly profits.

A tinge of sadness hung over the toothless cowboy sitting in the corner and lamenting over the smarmy show business types who screwed him over.

The choices were being at the center of the hurricane or utter seclusion. Exile or a suicide mission?

He chose self-imposed seclusion. The silence made him deaf.


The evening was dominated by art school rejects. Lots of skinny black ties and silver pinky rings. Stark collection of vented up anger. Visionary malcontents. Short-haired lipstick lesbians with tambourines and purple jorts.

Friday, September 13, 2013

DFW Blank On Blank

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

David Foster Wallace took his life five years ago yesterday.

In January, I wrote a little something about DFW.

Here is "DFW on Ambition"...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2AM Thoughts: Michael J. Fox and Fake Plastic Friends

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

A quote from Joan Jett about fake friends has been doing wind sprints in the hallways of my mind. Bouncing back and forth and forth and back.

I know. It's weird. Someone was actually quoting Joan Jett?

But I couldn't tell if it was a song lyric, or something she said. I want to say its a song title, but I'm not familiar with her vast catalog. I know the Rocky Road song and I Hate Myself for Loving You. I have a vague recollection of a bad film that Joan Jett did with Michael J. Fox during the height of his popularity int he 80s, when he was a box office mega star and a popular sitcom actor. Back then you were one, or the other. But not both.

I'm waiting for someone to reboot Family Ties. Or how about an updated version in which Alex Keaton spawned a bunch of hippies kids who hate his Republican ass? Maybe one of them got pepper sprayed at an Occupy rally and Alex had to bail them out of jail, but Skippy is the cop on duty.

I can't shake the image of Michael J. Fox as a cokehead from the disappointing version of Bright Lights Big City that was a huge bust. Needed more sex and blow. The film version never did any justice to Jay McInerney's novel about cokeheads in NYC in the post-disco era. That was back in the early 80s when Hollywood was obsessed with young novelists who wrote detail stories of privileged, coke-addled, self-indulgent, 24/7 party people, just like you'd read about in B.E.E.'s Less Than Zero.

 The Joan Jett quote didn't rhyme, so I assumed she spouted it off to a rock critic or something. Maybe it really is a song title? Then again, who knows if she actually said it. It could have been one of those misquoted quotes. Like the majority of the most famous quotes in the world were not actually said the way we think, or at least, in the way we're led to believe. And even when someone points out the error... it really doesn't change anything because the masses will continue to spread that false disinfo.

Joan Jett. She's no Sun Tzu. But she said something which I am unable to shake. Joan Jett talked about how no one ever misses losing fake friends. I assume she's touching on her grizzled experiences in the shady music biz and recording industry, or perhaps she's explaining the perils of living in Los Angeles. Tons of fugazzis everywhere you look.

But then again, as fake as LA is... I never had more fake friends than I had in Las Vegas. That entire city is... fake on top of fake. No culture. Nothing original. Just a million vapid shitfaced, degen gamblers and overweight addicts stuffing themselves silly on cheap-ass food. Vegas was... just a tiny spec on the map in the middle of the fucking desert. But today, it's fabricated concrete, glass, plastic and other manufactured shit that helped create a thriving city in the middle of the desert on the fringe of Death Valley.

Maybe Joan Jett was talking about Vegas? Make LA? Maybe NYC? Maybe everywhere? How the fuck would I know anyway? A quote is a quote. I'm too lazy to Google it. And I'm not that big of a music nerd that I'd know the deep cuts from Joan Jett's discography. Besides, I'm too spaced out to remember where I saw it (someone's Tumblr from the other day) and not feeling ambitious enough to go look for it.

In the meantime, I'll just have to let Joan Jett's quote about fake friends finish running through the hallways of my mind. Eventually that fleeting thought will disappear and I'll be pestered by another quote or earworm.

Then again, I think of Michael J. Fox and I can't help but hearing... Huey Fucking Lewis.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Revolutions? Not During the NFL Season

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

America will never have a revolution in the autumn. Why? It's football season.

If there's ever a huge uprising it will happen in the summer... right after the NBA Finals and before the MLB All-Star game. The doldrums of summer. It's humid and hot as fuck and tempers usually flare up when it's hot as balls outside. Ask any ER nurse or a cop about a full moon during a heat wave in August. That's when the crazies come out to play and the hotheads implode.

The summer is the deadest sports run in America (save for the few 1-percenters who actually watch Wimbledon), but even baseball has lost its luster as America's pasttime. Sure, there's millions of fans... but I wonder what the percentages of true die-hard fans rooting for one team versus stat-geeks and fantasy nerds keeping an eye on every game? Football is still king in small towns in America. No one really gives a flying fuck about the Rangers if you live in West Texas if you had to put them up against a Friday night high school football game.

With the death of newspapers came the death of flipping through the boxscores. In the virtual era, I only check up on my favorite team. The last time I did fantasy baseball (2004) was the last time I actively sought out boxscores for multiple teams via This summer I stayed in a random hotel which provided free copies of USA Today. I thumbed through the flimsy sports section while I dropped a deuce. Even then the baseball boxscores felt generic and vanilla. Boxscores helped tell the story about the outcome of the game. Sure, it wasn't perfect and there was some imagination left to the reader, which is why I loved looking at each one. Every boxscore told its own story. Day after day. All summer long. Newspapers are dead and so are boxscores in black ink on grey industrial paper.

I'm viewing baseball through a nostalgic lens. Hard not too treat it like a Ken Burns documentary, complete with voiceovers from Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Sometimes I treat baseball like I'm looking back in time as a 10-year old in the early 80s and thumbing through the NY Daily News scouring the sports pages in the back of the paper. I'd scan the Yankees boxscore twice and sometimes three times, before looking through every game, unless it was a late west coast game and they did not include the info, so you essentially got the late boxscore from two nights earlier. Information is instant today. Back then I had to wait another day. It's laughable today.

The summer months are devoted to baseball, but it's not a populous, working class sport like football is. That's why summer months are most prime for a potential revolution. Males are usually wondering what the fuck to do with themselves. But then the Man breathes a sigh of relief is they can make it to Labor Day. Males get hooked back into the distraction machine around the end of the summer, when football chatter picks up and baseball is running down its season and making a push toward the playoffs. And once they're in... they're sucked in until the NBA Finals. Before the process repeats itself.

I got sucked in hard last autumn. I vowed that I'd ease off the gas this year. I was consumed with pro football for four-five months. It was fun and a welcomed distraction to help keep me somewhat distracted from the reality of living in Los Angeles again. But the hours were brutal. Sometimes it was 100+ hours a week. Every week. As the saying goes, "It's a hard way to make an easy living."

This season, I don't have the time to dive into the deep end. I have other shit going on. Besides, I don't trust bookies to pay me, plus I have a hearty work schedule and a couple of side trips on the schedule. I'm trying to find a happy middle ground where I can enough myself on Sundays instead of tearing out what little hair I have left. Betting on fewer games reduces the stress levels immensely, but it's easy to forget it is football season in SoCal, especially because I live in a city without a pro football team (USC doesn't count).

Then there's the burden of rooting for shitty hometown team as a demented Jets fan. I almost gave up on them at the end of last year. It'd be much harder to scale back the football immersion if the Jets' QB was Peyton Manning. Alas, we're stuck with man-child Mark Sanchize and rookie Geno Smith. Yeah Geno looked like a rube at times, but he had flashes of competence in the first game, yet my faith was not restored in just one week. The Jets suck so it's easy to scale back the intensity of the season.

But some things stay the same. On Sunday I woke up at 6am... only four hours before the first kickoff. By the end of the Sunday night game I was exhausted after a full day of sweating games and watching line moves and keeping an eye on Twitter and fielding a hundred and one questions from friends/colleagues throughout the day. By the time I crashed at Midnight, I had been up for 18 hours and at least 16 of those had my mind stuck in the game and focused on the next week's slate of games. At least I could sleep in on Monday. Last year at this time I couldn't and I was back at tje grind at 6am the next day.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Around the Horn: Book Reviews, NFL Roundtable, and Phish Podcasts

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I went to Colorado for a week-long bender and it took a lot longer to recover than I wanted. When I returned to California, I was rushing to finish off some work before the start of the NFL season.

Here are a few things I wrote the last two weeks or so...
Real World LA Flashbacks: Cowboy Guy, Drunk Irish Dude, and the Chick Who Got Knocked Up By Kenny Anderson - I had a  brief flashback to the first time I watched the Real World. It was season 2 from LA.

When Flying Monkeys Marched Through the Flood Streets Like Saints - You can always win with flying monkeys.

Colorado Pic Dump - Some shots that I took in Denver.

Awesome Review of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog - Whoever this person is... she rocks! Glad she dug the book.

Twit Links: August and July - Here is a mega-post with links to everything I tweet'd about this summer.

Over at Ocelot Sports, I penned a few things, including a roundtable discussion on NFL win totals and a post about how I was going to fade the Jets...
AFC Win Totals
NFC Win Totals
NFL Week 1 - Picks, Sweat, and Other Tales of Ordinary Madness
Bronx Bums Report: Boston Massacre'd; Yet Still (Barely) Alive

I also wrote up a couple of reviews of the Phish concerts in Colorado. Check out...
Friday Phish 8/30/13 Recap
Phish Dicks III

Not to mention, I recorded a bunch of Phish-related podcasts...
Wook Patrol Dicks Episodes
Type II Podcast: Episode 78 - Phish Dicks (2013)

That's it for now.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Twit Links: July and August

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

Ah, the things I tweet'd. All things I came across in my wanderings through the vast tubes of the intertubes. I must've liked these things enough to share them via social media. Now, you get to see a master list of everything link-worthy that I came across this summer...
Pop Culture, Media, and Life
11 Things It Took Me 42 Years to Learn by Shane Nickerson [Nickerblog]
Orwell vs. Huckley and Media Censorship [Ritholz]
Cassette Tapes Are Almost Cool Again [Motherboard]
The College-Loan Scandal by Matt Taibbi [Rolling Stone]
The Bank-Robbing Prostitutes: How a Team of L.A. Hookers Became the 'Starlet Bandits [LA Weekly]

Top 10 Classic Drugged-Out Performances [Rolling Stone]
Khat Fight: Recreational Drug or Recruitment Tool for Terrorists [The Independent]
Merchants of Meth: How Big Pharma Keeps the Cooks in Business [MoJo]
What You See When You Are Tripping Balls [Motherboard]
Bryan Sanders: Portrait of the Artist on Meth [The Guardian] 
Music, Lit and Art
Along the Watchtower -- Bob Dylan [YouTube]
Is Foxygen Breaking Up? [Consequence of Sound]
Marc Maron Podcast: John Cale Interview [WTF Podcast]
Here's the Thing: Eric Fischl Interview []
The Eagles Greatest Hits by Bill Simmons [Grantland]
Smiths-Charlie Brown Tumblr [The Charming Charlie]
15 Books Banned for Absurd Reasons [Buzz Feed]
Henry Miller's 11 Commandments of Writing [Brain Pickings]
Everman's War: Musician Kicked Out of Nirvana and Soundgarden Ends Up In Afghanistan [NY Times]

Hollywood, Film and TV
How Reality TV Gets Written [AV Club]
10 Things You Didn't Know About The OC [The Vine]
Degrassi Junior High Landmarks: Then and Now [The Star]
Joe Rogan Podcast: Marc Maron Interview [YouTube]
Jack Handy Is the Envy of Every Comedy Writer In America [NY Times]
Jonathan Frakes Jammed with Phish [AV Club]
Klosterman on Breaking Bad [Grantland]
Quentin Tarratino's 12 Greatest Films of All-Time [Open Culture]
River Phoenix: We've Got Five Years, That's All We Got  [Wil Wheaton]
River Phoenix: Though I Hadn't Seen Him In Twenty Years, I Knew I'd Miss Him Forever [Wil Wheaton]

Sports, Poker, and Gambling
Bankster Defrauds NHL Players Out of Millions [Forbes]
Five Days Until the Venetian Boycott; Adelson Reains Defiant [Nolan Dalla]
Pros Behaving Badly... "Failure to Engage" by Neil Channing [Black Belt Poker]
Remade In Taiwan: Manny Ramirez's Season Abroad [BuzzFeed]
Here's the Thing Podcact: Doc Gooden Interview []
Why the Lottery Is a Sucker's Bet [NY Times]
Brooklyn's Field of Broken Dreams: Zorilla League [SB Nation]
Outside the Lines: Did Bobby Riggs Fix His Tennis Match Against Billie Jean King? [ESPN]
Behind the Bets Podcast: Krackman Interview and Gambling Addiction with Dr. Fong [ESPN]
Baron Davis Claims He Was Abducted By Aliens whole Driving from Vegas to LA [The Knicks Blog]
That's all I got for now. Two months worth of links from @TaoPauly. That should keep you entertained for a few minutes. I also tweet about other shit... @CoventryMusic, @OcelotSports, and @TaoFear.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Awesome Review of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

My buddy Andrew sent this video to me. I had never seen it before. A book review of Jack Tripper Stole My Dog by "Asyiah1998." Whoever she is... she rocks!

FYI.... you can purchase Jack Tripper Stole My Dog here.


Andrew made a half-baked offer to fly this young lady out to LA so we can meet and have coffee... but only if he gets to attend the meeting. Bring the LULZ.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Colorado Wook Patrol Podcasts

By Pauly
Denver, CO

Over the weekend, I caught three Phish concerts in Colorado. I recorded six quickie episodes of the Wook Patrol podcast with the Coventry Music crew. Guests included Nicky (aka Change100), Jonas, the Joker, Dusty, Leslie Fireball, Dr. Scotch, and Wildo.
Episode 12 - Dicks Spelling Bee - Joker and Pauly discussed the opening night at Dick's and this year's Backwards gimmick: MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING.
Episode 13 - Dusty Bubbles with Dusty (2:47) - Our pal Dusty explained how he attempted to bring in a giant bubble wand into Saturday's Phish show.

Episode 14 - Dicks Tough Ticket Saturday (6:26) - Joker, Jonas, and Pauly discussed the difficult ticket situation for Saturday's show at Dicks. Jonas was shutout but he got lucky and scored an extra after the show began.

Episode 15 - Fire Crotch and Twisted Nipples with Leslie Fireball and Dr. Scotch (2:28) - Pauly chatted with Dr. Scotch and Leslie Fireball about the weirdness during Saturday night's ragefest. Leslie spilled a bottle of Fireball in her crotch and Dr. Scotch was molested by a shithoused drunk woman.

Episode 16 - Rock City with Wildo and Leslie Fireball (5:35) - Hijinks in Shakedown on Sunday. Wildo and Leslie Fireball revealed their secrets on how to hustle spun-out rock vendors.

Episode 17 - The Molly Squirts with Dr. Scotch (3:03) - Dr. Scotch told the Joker and Pauly about his adventures in the men's toilet during the Sunday show.

Episode 18 - Phishy Fashion Report with Change100 and Leslie Fireball (4:16) - This is an all female panel on the Wook Patrol. Change100 and Fireball Leslie dished about their favorite outfits and costumes. Leslie explained "hands free partying."
These are brief episodes... the shortest is under 2.5 minutes and the longest is almost 6.5 minutes. In all, these Colorado episodes are roughly 24 minutes combined.

I created the Wook Patrol podcast many moons ago. We recorded a few episodes while following Phish in 2009 and a bunch more in 2010. Then I shelved the podcast. Every summer I intend to record more episodes, but for some reason (laziness or being too wasted to function) we never got around to recording new ones.

Anyway, after an extended hiatus, the Joker and I decided to reboot the Wook Patrol podcast earlier this summer. We recorded episodes in Tahoe, San Francisco, and Hollywood.

For some deep-deep cuts, you should check out the original episodes we recorded in 2010, which included hijinks in Telluride and Halloween (Atlantic City). Benjo makes a few cameos in the 2010 episodes.

Monday, September 02, 2013