Friday, July 18, 2008

Gott In Himmel! Der Weekend Kommt!

From the mailbag:

My dearest Flossie,
The kaleidoscope arrived by train today and the Major and myself installed it in the pantry, whereupon (as expected) the neighborhood children came for a scamper. This was a most thoughtful gift and the Major in particular enjoys it when the children horse around, monkeyshine and otherwise jape. He says hello.
You write that your pastoral estate is currently on fire. This is certainly nothing to be ashamed of as half of the countryside is being burned to ferret out communists, socialists, union leaders, traitors, and other dissidents. A cold compress might be the ticket for these warm summer nights. Let me know if you need some extra rags, as we found another dead hobo on the porch this Monday past and we are flush with scraps of cloth at the moment.
Our plans for the late summer, like yours, have been changed by the government-mandated burnings, and so we probably will not visit Malmo to watch the heretics be whipped and thrown onto the fjords. This is a shame because you know Minnie enjoys a little cruelty now and again. It takes her mind off of her crippling syphilis. No matter, we shall find work to do on the manor. The groundsmen suggest rabbit-strangling, but I prefer duck-drowning myself, if only to pass the time.
Do let me know if you want to sit out the fire here. We're only required to burn the attic and the moat this summer, although we may get ambitious and burn the peasants' quarters if we're feeling frisky. The gratitude in their eyes makes the incredible pittance we spend on them so worth it.
Be well. Love from us!

Thanks for the nice message, Phil. Yes, Self Help Radio is preparing a podcast this week & what a remarkable one it will be. The subject is taxis & the entire show will be recorded in a taxi. Or while I am watching the hit television show "Taxi." It depends on which is cheaper. Renting the show - under five bucks. An hour & a half in a cab - whoa! Well, we'll see. Maybe I can steal a cab. Or maybe I can just call Judd Hirsch. It's not like he's working.

Find out what happens - & listen to some great tunes about cabs - this weekend, in the afternoon on Saturday, exclusively at Get it while you can - or I may keep the meter running.

Heh. Meter running. That's a hoot.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Animal Plantagenet

Everyone, I know, has a favorite aristocrat - king, queen, prince, princess, lord a-leapin' or lady dancin'. There are so damn many of them it's a wonder that, like fans of boring pop stars, a majority of you go for the same three or four nobles. Too many of you like Ethelred The Unready, if only because you can never get your shit together. Too many of you like modern kings & queens, & I am especially contemptuous of you sycophants who spend too much time worshipping at the moldy altar of the Dutch Queen Beatrix. What, do you think she will share her stash with you? Dude, I'd stick with the hookah pipe of Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz. That crazy bastard knows how to party like it's 1499! (In the year of the Hijra, of course.)

As I was saying, people show little imagination in what I like to call "aristophilia." (I just double-checked to see if I coined the word. Of course I didn't. But that article suggests that it's mainly a love affair with the rich. I mean it exclusively for those with royal blood, & also true obsessives fantasize about having sex with them, too. Even if they're dead. A good aristophile is a good necrophile. Am I right?) With so many inbred blue bloods to choose from - & you don't have to stick with modern ones (though the modern ones are particularly stupid & therefore particularly hilarious). Crack a history book. Watch one of those history channels. Watch every other British movie ever made. You'll find there's royalty aplenty for you to mock, dream about fornicating with, adding to your own lame family crest, & more.

Here's my favorite (of the moment) (I mean, who can have just one favorite regal dumbass?) (Not me!): His name is Fulk I of Anjou. Yeah, where the pears come from. He didn't do much, he wasn't all that important, & like most humans that have ever existed he never once enjoyed the extreme luxury of indoor plumbing, but his name was Fulk. FULK! I know a guy who just had a kid & I pleaded with him, please please please name the kid Fulk!

Fulk loved his name so much he gave it to his kid. His kid, while apparently noted as a poet & an artist, decided not to carry on with the name (which means the selfish shit deprived the French of the possibility of having a King Fulk!) & named his kid Geoffrey Greymantle. As utterly dorky as that name is (I will name my next D&D character just that), I have to give props to Goofball Greymantle because he named one of his sons - Fulk III! Fulk yeah!

That Fulker only had a daughter, but there was later a Fulk IV (his grandson who married like five times!) & a Fulk V (number four's son, whose wife left him to marry the King of France, but who also got to be King of Jerusalem - oh yeah, the Holy Land got a King Fulk!), not to mention a bunch of other slightly noble & non-noble Fulks. But I'm old school. I mean, I like that Fulk III was a "...plunderer, murderer, robber, & swearer of false oaths, a truly terrifying character of fiendish cruelty... filled with unbridled passion, a temper directed to extremes. Whenever he had the slightest difference with a neighbor he rushed upon his lands, ravaging, pillaging, raping, & killing; nothing could stop him, least of all the commandments of God..." - that's awesome! & I like that Fulk IV fought with his brother & twice put him in jail - my childhood would have been sweet if my brothers had been incarcerated - I think I prefer the original Fulk to them all. Otherwise where would they be? They'd be fulked, that's what.

See what fun having favorite counts & dukes & earls & pukes can be? & you're still slightly sad over Princess Di. Shame on you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whither Taxis?

People tell me I used to be a friendlier person. Now, they say, I seem a little closed-off, & a little sad. What gives, they ask. Who pooped in your mouth & called it salad?

Don't you think I know how I feel about the world? Don't you think I know that my weird little radio show that's not on the radio isn't like some kind of taxi without a passenger? Like a bus without one of those clumsy wheelchair ramps that take forever to deploy? Like an elevator that smells like vinegar & kills the cockroaches that crawl outside it? Like an escalator with dried ice cream caked forever into its ridges, sticking to your shoes & making you self-conscious as you stare at the pretty girl in the food court? Like a broken-down rickshaw mocking you as you walk, beaten & bruised, to the big Laotian city vowing revenge on the gangsters who robbed you, raped you & left you for dead? Like a baby carriage with a fat baby in it who's gotta be at least four & who sings like Rod Stewart? Like a dolly leaning slightly on an empty soda dispensing machine which rattles when the soda dispensing machine repairperson accidentally closes the door too fast & the noises causes him to drop fourteen dollars worth of quarters on the floor, which people inadvertently start kicking all over the place? Don't you think I know myself?

People tell me that self-awareness doesn't appear to be my problem. They say, why are you so defensive? Who stuck their finger in your ass & called it macaroni?

Don't you think I know that I appear defensive around you? Don't you see that one of my coping mechanisms is to continue doing Self Help Radio no matter who listens or where it is or whatever the fuck?

People tell me that they didn't even know I was a deejay. For the record, I tell them, I've ridden in taxis less than ten times in my life. People then tell me that they've got to go. & they go.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Preface To Taxis: My Taxicab Confession

There's this guy we used to hang with who loved riding taxis & was always interested in riding different services, vehicles, etc., in different cities & countries. He was quirky but he quickly became as dull as the tourists who visit famous foreign places on package tours & come back with obligatory pictures of the Colosseum & the Eiffel Tower, since he never went anywhere except to take a taxi somewhere.

Taxi drivers didn't like him much, mostly because he didn't tip well if at all (how could he afford to? money you or I would spend on hotels & food this dumbass spent driving around!) & he also made fucked-up requests - like, he once took a New York taxi from New York to Washington DC, then took a DC cab to New York. But to be honest he wasn't a very likeable guy. He was slimy, both figuratively & literally - you always got the impression he did the very minimum he needed to not be considered filthy. Kind of "mediocre clean." No one knew why he had this love of taxis. It's like he just found something to do & pursued it. Like those dudes who pick a college major that they think their parents want them to & do it for the rest of their lives.

After awhile, the people who knew him - the people we hung around with - developed something like an allergy to this dude. By that I mean we'd get shit like hives & asthma attacks & cold sweats & stuff whenever he was around. Not only did we begin to avoid him - not answering his calls, making excuses for not seeing him, hiding behind curtains when he came by, refusing to frequent places we knew he regularly went to - I mean, none of us wanted to break out in hives! - but we eventually realized that the same thing happened whenever we were in taxis. You know? We could just sense he'd be there & we'd start to hyperventilate. So we stopped taking taxis. We opted for busses, or walking, or taking our own damn cars.

The last time we saw him was actually on the bus. The dumb fuck simply couldn't afford to take cabs any more. He was living on some kind of disability because of a work-related injury (he actually fell out of a slightly moving cab while on an errand from work) & his creepy personality, his questionable hygiene & his lack of any skills made him virtually unhireable. So there we were, trapped on the bus with him, feeling queasy but also wanting to be nice, & as the bus got on the highway (so we couldn't exit until we were in the suburbs - trapped!) he began to list his woes, & we nodded patiently, sweating a little, wondering which direction would be safest if we had to hurl. When he mentioned not being able to find a job, my girlfriend leaned forward as if she'd been hit by inspiration.

"You can't find work?" she said. "Nope," he said, kind of sniffling. "Jesus!" she said. "It's so obvious! You should be a cabbie!" He seemed weirdly gleeful as he thought about it. He even stopped talking to us, saving me from a night of scratching all over.

Later on, I said to my girlfriend, "Great! Now we can't take a taxi anymore!" She said, "We're haven't taken a taxi in months. But now we know he'll never be on the bus!"

Last I heard he was stranded in Laredo because he took some asshole there but the passenger stiffed him & now he couldn't afford the gas to get back to Austin.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I completely concur with this review of Self Help Radio which I found in this magic blog in my head:

Self Help Radio mixes extravagent aesthetics into everyday life, serving as a spark of excitement in an otherwise dull, suburban existence. Familiar retro influences are recalled but not imitated and result in an original and relevant radio show. However this familiarity like so much on Self Help Radio comes with a twist as five individual characters set about stamping their unique personality onto a radio show.

Though recorded at Dickenbock Studios in Austin, Self Help Radio returned to its hometown of Garland, Texas, to write Self Help Radio. With its signature down-to-earth narratives forming intelligent and sharp observations about romance and life one might get an impression of a radio show with its feet firmly on the ground. However the airbreaks aren't in a vacuum but instead are set into groups of songs that suggest the moment someone's eardrums first vibrated to pop music in their bedroom at the age of nine. With super producer Richard D Dickenbock (the Dickenbocks, Dick & the Dickenbocks, The Richard Dick Dickenbock Experience, Dick & Richard Dickenbock) at the helm Self Help Radio is moving, effortly and upwards, to those giddy stratospheres that are rightfully theirs.

What a great review! You want to hear the show they're allegedly talking about about up there? Then go listen to a show - this past week's show is waiting for you to take it home & love it like a stepchild. Or better!