Friday, October 10, 2008

Bringing Brazilian Ideas Home

Get this: in Brazil, according to a Telegraph article, "politicians often adopt unusual names at election time. Candidates are allowed to either register in their own name or a chosen one. Many use their long-held nicknames but some adopt outlandish identities to grab attention." That's why there's at least six people running in municipal elections with the name "Barack Obama." But some of the other names are much, much better. To wit:

Cattle Ana, Elephant Without A Tail, Big Charlie Knives, Jorge Bushi (guaranteed to lose), DJ Saddam (playing music that you must dance to or die), John, Chico & Luis Bin Laden ( the likable members of the Bin Laden family), & my three favorites, who'd surely get my vote unless they were running against one another & then, unlike in the United States, I'd have a really hard time deciding whom to vote for: King of the Cuckolds, Kung Fu Fatty & The Second King of Prawns. (Okay, I'd vote for Kung Fu Fatty. But only if he'd make sure to appoint Hong Kong Phooey Secretary of Defense.)

In that spirit, I'd like to encourage the current US Presidential candidates to adopt nicknames for the polls. I'll help. For McCain, "Cranky McOldstein" would be appropriate, while for Obama, what about "Smarty McHopey-Hope"? The Vice-President candidates could be "Professor Squinty Hairplants" (Biden) & just plain "Unqualified" (you know who). I encourage you to write all the candidates to bring this delightful notion to the states. Heaven knows we could use a good laugh right about now.

& speaking of something that could use some humor injected in it, Self Help Radio is new tomorrow afternoon. Do visit & listen. It doesn't deserve a nickname. It's not running for anything.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Self Help Radio Email Archive Project: Submission Two

This is one of my favorite ever emails written to someone I was vaguely interested in but who didn't want to flirt back. We actually stayed cordial, since she had something of a sense of humor, but this email seemed to end our email correspondence. It's called "Hortense Cauliflower - a novel" & it was written over twelve years ago.

How good to hear from your skanky self. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. The tests came back negative, thank god - I really am going to have to start using protection, especially if he isn't going to. Wink wink. I have no plans & I am sadly out of whack. What will death be like? What will breasts be like? When one walks carefully down the Rue de la Huchette, one must (as always) keep an eye on the little ones. Oh love, how rare to hear your voice in this sticky dry lonely summer. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. The girlfriend says hi. The boyfriend is sullen. Did I tell you I dreamt about having sex with you? We seemed to be having fun, but of course I was being needy & you were doing a "friend" a "favor." People pop in & out of life, but nothing sticks. I need more sticky stuff to stick nonstick stuff on my not-so-sticky wall. We still haven't found out where the leak comes from; perhaps the cat is sneakier than we originally gave him credit for. The bigger the car, the larger the load. Name one promise you've kept, just one, & I will buy you a bag of cookies. If you break the promise later, I will have to take the cookies back. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. Have you seen "Trainspotting"? Wouldn't you rather drink a whole lot with me on my living room floor & even cry a little. How your make-up would run! And I'd try to catch it, of course, every little drop preciouser & preciouser. If only I were someone's type. I can be someone's type sixty words a minute. That's a word a second, slower than I normally talk. Shall we summer in the Chateau or winter in the golf cart? Ah lady, loveliness like yours can't be bought, it can't be cultivated, it can't even be dreamed about unless you're next to the dreamer... I wish I could, like e e cummings said, keep your heart in my heart, but mine, I fear, is too small, & getting smaller every day. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. Remind me to tell you funny stories about natural selection. Make a plan, invite me along. Would it flatter you if I told you that I am in love with a woman who looks just like you? Have you heard the latest Scary Girlfriend Jokes? Do strangers approach you with flowers & mints? I will attempt to attempt you again, & again, & again. You were thought about in your absence, if not missed. What can you expect? I am often more self-absorbed than is legally required. I am as always madly in love with life & very happy. Ha ha ha!

Is there anything more to say here? My seduction skills sucked.

P.S. At the time, I didn't know there really was a Rue de la Huchette. I thought it was nonsense in my brain. But two years ago I had awesome falafel on the Rue de la Huchette. There were hardly any children there at all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Whither What A Show!?

By this point in our walk together, there are three things which inevitably you can say about Self Help Radio, &, therefore, by extension, this video of a herding pig, which are these:

1) No one knows what's going on or what's any of it's supposed to mean.
2) No one knows why anyone would bother with this sort of thing week after week.
3) No one is paying attention anyway.

Frequently, in my travels & travails from bus stop to work, from bar to gutter, & from hospital room to jail cell, I encounter a special soul who wants to speak glowingly about this or that, who has no idea who I am (which is good, as I've just picked their pocket & later will puke on their shoes), but seems to "know something" about radio. Nothing they say that they appreciate about their favorite radio shows resembles or otherwise parallels Self Help Radio. & I take away this thought: Will I ever eat food prepared in a kitchen again, & not heated by the sun shining on a dumpster? Also, I think, does this mean Self Help Radio is a singular, original show, or that it's probably one of the worst ideas ever, painfully & senselessly undertaken by a deluded fool?

I can't answer that, as I am deluded fool notorious for my awful ideas. Here's one of them: a selection of songs based on the phrase "what a [insert noun]!" What a great idea! What a stupid idea! What? A regular Self Help Radio type show? What a maroon!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Preface To What A Show!: Detox Report

Look at this - I'm all sweaty, I've wet myself again, my eyes won't focus, I'm trembling, I can't keep food down, I can barely stand up - God damn it I'm addicted to something again! & I'm such a dumb fuck that I never remember what I'm addicted to until I start going through withdrawal.

Well. This is a fine how d'you do! Does this ever happen to you? Or are you a stronger person than I am? Fair enough. I'm a middle-aged man (although, of course, if I go on this way, I might be closer to the end of my life than the middle) & I really shouldn't be experimenting with drugs the way I do. & my friend's pharmaceuticals - I know they're not for me. I just can't help it. & I eat too much. & I'm with John McCain here - gambling's fucking addictive! But so much fun!

& you know, you turn around, something else is addictive - food, sex, self-mutilation, sadism, science fiction, pornography, the Catholic Church - so what the fuck? Am I supposed to live a removed, simple existence, or can I become addicted to solitude & contemplation as well? Wait. Can solitude & contemplation get you high? Big ups to my Buddhist homies!

Look, I've started puking bile & what looks like partially digested pennies. I must've had a crazy night. I'm not sure what it is I've become addicted to this time, but I'm sure off it now, because my body is rattling me like an epileptic in a bumper car. Whatever it is, though, I promise: I'll let you know.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Finding A Nice Home For Your Stray

Did your open heart cause your stray to want to stay? How do you close your heart? Will it involve Swedish Death Metal? Not at all, says experts at the Whimpering Plains Pet Asylum, located in beautiful Katemcy, Texas, somewhere in one of the scattered dwellings so lushly described in the Handbook of Texas Online. Says founder Andrew Cootsburgstein, "Why the hell would you want to say we're in Katemcy? No one's ever fucking heard of Katemcy!"

This fictional & oftentimes literally made-up Asylum can take whatever pet you throw at it, although pets being carried in must use the front door. Since Katemcy, Texas, is full of people who either haven't yet realized they're living in a hell-hole called Katemcy, Texas, or, worse yet, like it there, the Asylum plans to have the stray pets overtake the town in population a hundredfold. Cootsburgstein says, "Even if I wanted to have a place for unwanted strays to stay - which I think is a neat idea though I can't imagine there being a lot of money for it - it would make no sense to put it in an out-of-the-way village where even basic cable is a crazy dream." Adds Cootsburgstein, "I mean, come on!"

The Whimpering Plains Pet Asylum is a proud sponsor of Self Help Radio, & lets Self Help Radio staff come there to roll around with the happy animals, shares treats with them, & occasionally steps in the poo which is, frankly, ankle-deep in some places. Cootburgstein admits that the animals have not yet taken enough pride in the place to pick up after themselves: "I think I drove through Katemcy once, but I was changing CDs in the car at the time, so I looked down for half a second & missed it. Seriously, if you're going to make me head of some dumb-ass delusion, please put it somewhere significant, like Mason a few miles south. That's a motherfucking town!"

Self Help Radio dedicates last week's show featuring songs about being "too late" to the fine people who we wish existed to staff the place we wish existed at the Whimpering Plains Pet Asylum. We appreciate you!