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the latest waddle:

good morning, wordpress - 10:36 a.m. , 2009-07-03

elaborate murder attempt - 2:56 p.m. , 2009-07-01

building a tractor in the basement - 10:42 a.m. , 2009-06-19

ask no questions tell just a few lies - 3:17 p.m. , 2009-06-09

my long lasting flavor really lasts long - 1:10 p.m. , 2009-06-04

2003-09-04 ... 10:49 a.m.

Sometimes the abstract makes you want to know more.

And sometimes it doesn't. ("Homework assignments"?)

File under Things I Did Not Need To See: Chan Marshall's pubic hair. In the New Yorker, no less. In the photograph accompanying this story. The photo was called "provocative" but really it was just kind of "yucky."

Scroll all the way down, there is a street in Korea called Gummi-Dong. Is it a candy novelty sold only in adult bookstores? Is it a condition men suffer when they wear tight pants in the tropics? No, it is just a street in Korea.

Wesley Willis has died, and in response people all over the so-called blogosphere people posted stories of being headbutted by him, which is kind of touching, sort of pointing to the interactive nature of both weblogs and Wesley Willis shows (giant gregarious schizophrenic outsider musicians who often improvised spontaneous songs about the audience being as interactive as it gets). Wesley will be missed, particularly in Chicago---he touched headbutted many lives. This, however, strikes me as fishy:

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to "John Rago & Sons Memorial Chapel" (check or money order) mailed to above address to help defray memorial & burial costs. Thank You.

On the Alternative Tentacles page, for crying out loud. Now, Wesley Willis made money for quite a few people. For his record label, for promoters, for owners of clubs that had him do his Wesley Willis thing. Could none of these people get together and spring for his freaking funeral? It's not that I mind being asked to pay for stuff, but wouldn't a donation to mental health or leukemia organizations be more appropriate?

Okay, maybe I do mind being asked to pay for stuff. I have a little issue with personal or journal websites that ask for donations.* A big, daily column packed full of wonderfulness is one thing---I have been known to donate a buck or so to people whose efforts made me laugh out loud. But honestly, the vast majority of journallers and webloggers have jobs. While there are certain exceptions that I can make for that small handful of homeless or disabled writers, it does not cost most of us a damn thing to post our beeble bubble blurpings on the Web. Sometimes there are particular reasons to ask for donations, and those need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but still: it seems a little silly, for instance, to ask me for donations so that a bisexual performance poet can go to Germany. Because, if there is one thing Germany has plenty of, it is bisexual performance poets.

*This is a touchy issue, and when it comes right down to it: I really don't care. So stick all the PayPal buttons you want on your journal site, send all the bisexual performance poets to Europe that your pocketbook can handle, and please think twice before you get all defensive and send me mean e-mail. (See how I defensively preempt your defensiveness? Oh, we got layers, baby.)


Yesterday, I am at Hipster Ground Zero---North/Damen/Milwaukee---and there are two girls chatting at the intersection. This crazy guy is weaving around the intersection screaming "I am sick of your ATTITUDE! Your goddamn fucking ATTITUDE! Give me any more attitude and I will KNOCK YOU OUT!" By unspoken agreement, the girls and I gave him a wide area in which to stagger and shout, and patiently waited to cross the street slightly south of the intersection.

This could have been Basic Urban Moment Type #13. "He's pretty upset," one of the girls says, half to me and half to her friend, and I reply, "Yup, he's in a mood all right," with one of those wry raised-eyebrow what-can-you-do looks that accompany forced acknowledgement of something unpleasant and slightly embarrassing, like crazy ranting guys or a puddle of urine on a bus seat. However, the urban moment was ruined because the second girl said, "The city, I mean the state, have cut so many mental health's really, really sad, I mean that guy is a good example, and it's just so sad," and she starts to gain momentum, and soon she is giving a full-fledged Lamentable State Of Human Affairs speech. She is still sort of talking to both me and her friend at the same time, as we are now walking abreast of each other on North Avenue, but her chosen topic suddenly, without warning, INFURIATES me, I feel the flames of RRRRAAARRRRR flare up in my brain, so I flash them a small tight smile and walk on ahead, before I can do something I would regret.

So here's the question.

The question is.

What is wrong with me? (Please respond with detailed charts and diagrams.) Ten, maybe even eight, years ago I would not have been silently screaming SHUT THE FUCK UP WITH YOUR CUTE PAUL-FRANK-HANDBAG WHITE LIBERAL GUILT. I would have agreed with her. Hey, I DO agree with her. Indeed there have been too many cuts in mental health services for the poor and unfortunate, indeed this is detrimental to society, indeed we are probably as a nation becoming less compassionate, which really sucks, indeed the gentleman in the intersection, who had a problem with Chicago's attitude, was very likely a victim of these crappy fiscal and social policies. So why my anger?

I think maybe there is this (relatively) new grimy and dark place within me (sort of like the bathroom at Cal's Liquors). And when I am in that place (the mental, metaphorical grimy dark, not the actual grimy dark), I cannot stand to hear adorably-haircutted girls hold forth on public policy that they know and do jack shit about. And maybe part of my larger irritation is this notion that the world is your puppet show, a mere jumping-off-place from which you can get political, make jokes, and so forth.* I am sick of this: Wow, look at the crazy guy! He makes me feel happily reinforced in my personal politics!

*Of course who is the sexy little hypocrite? Me! Because what, exactly, do I think I am doing here if not noticing things and commenting on them? Oh lord, up here in my head it is like a toad on a playground carousel, seriously. There is not enough beer in the world.

---mimi smartypants is sorry to leave you this way.


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