There are some bands about whom I just don’t get the hype. I mean, I don’t get the hype on most pop stars; though I’ll say some of the modern pop singers have a surprising depth of lyrics these days, which is cool.

There was a period there where it felt like all pop music had devolved to simply repeating a catch phrase or inspirational snippet over a half-catchy beat. Some of it is still that. Fight Song sounds like it was written for a corporate retreat, for fuck’s sake.

Today, though, I’m talking about revered bands, bands that are held up as true legends and pioneers, almost indisputably.

And I don’t get it.

Pink Floyd comes to mind, as do the Grateful Dead. I’m not saying they’re bad bands or they make bad music, only that nine times out of ten, the person going on and on about them is demonstrating a pretentiousness that suggests maybe this is their godhead only because it allows them look cooler because of the shared myth of transcending music or culture we’ve created around these particular bands, and not because of actual artistic catalyst.

I’m not saying Kurt Cobain didn’t know what he was talking about, but the Meat Puppets are meh, most of the time.

The Velvet Underground, on the other hand…

That one I fucking get.

This is going to sound pretentious, but it’s one of those things. You hear Sweet Jane or Lou Reed’s Take A Walk On The Wild Side and think, this is pretty cool, and then, you listen to one or another and next thing you know, your whole brain is lost in the discord of Murder Mystery or Berlin or live concert footage of Alaska and you’re going, holy shit. This is the real deal.

Is every song amazing? No, of course not. Are they all good? Haven’t heard one yet I didn’t like.

The weird part is Andy Warhol. I’ve never really cared for Warhol’s own art, most of it being the kind of pretentiousness that turns me off, but as a facilitator of art, a discoverer of great artists?

I’m not sure there’s anyone better.

See? I can be pretentious too, motherfucker.

Target: 500 words
Written: 1101 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith
Comics: East Of West 40-43
Music: The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground (in case you're wondering what brought this up today)


So, I guess it’s possible to get published after all. Not that I had any doubts of my sister-in-law’s ability to do so, we’ve definitely gone about it in different ways. She’s networked her way to support for her book, and that’s the smart way to do it.

I’ve apparently opted for the struggling artist in silence, waiting for discovery somehow from the confines of my attic.

These two things are not particularly compatible. It is unlikely that I will ever be discovered, sending out screeds from my basement; it is a matter of personal disgust to whore myself out.

I know it’s about making a genuine connection with people, with those that may be into the things you’re creating. I know that.

Humanity hasn’t exactly been showing its best side lately and I wouldn’t even know where to look to find a tribe or like-minded folks without running into the kind of awful people I seek endlessly to avoid. I can’t do anymore myopic right-wingers or self-important snoots. I want genuine; I don’t want people who look down their nose at others, or those who want to drag everyone into the muck.

I can’t do it.

The time and energy commitment, when I have so little of either, is a real bummer; how could I possibly have less and survive?

I don’t know.

I am my own worst enemy.

I am my only protector.


Target: 500 words
Written: 194 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith
Comics: East Of West 36-39
Music: Vans Presents: The General Strike EP, Anti-Flag, Popcorn, Muse, The Vegas Years, Everclear

yellow birds

My sister-in-law wrote a book. She’s been in the game longer than I have, and thus, has much better connections, and so, it was only a little surprising to see the quality turnout at her book launch tonight.

It was fun, good to see people I haven’t seen in a while, surprising to see people I have never seen show up in abundance.

The power of networking, I suppose, of actually talking to people in the flesh.

Me, I’m more of a one-on-one kind of person, and I’d rather be alone than not.

Still, it was nice to see that people will still come out to support people, even when they’re only loosely connected.

My dream is of a world that supports art for the sake of art, and that it doesn’t need to be commercialized or branded; it can just be.

That was a nice reminder that this can still happen.

Target: 500 words
Written: 196 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith
Comics: East Of West 32-35
Music: The Vanilla Tapes, The Clash

when it rains

It fucking kicks you in the nuts.

Not to belabour the point this morning, but man, between lack of sleep, body aches, creeping depression bordering on full shutdown and a near constant stream of demands, I am on the verge of collapse today.

Of course, no one cares, because this world is now savagely devoid of empathy, compassion or basic attempts at understanding the struggles of our fellow humanity.

On the plus side, Donald Trump can’t post his bond, so there’s that. I have little faith that justice will prevail, of course, because if it was going to, the fucker would have been taken down years ago.

The rich fret not about consequence; all that matters is the score.

Target: 500 words
Written: 440 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, Seth-Grahame Smith
Comics: East Of West 28-31
Music: V, Live, Vangelis: Delectus, Vangelis (you know what's weird... the Chariots of Fire riff that we're all familiar with barely actually happens in the song, and certainly not the way you remember it from the movie. That's kind of messed up.)

happy st. birthday

It’s my wife’s birthday and I think we did okay. We spent the weekend with the kids and our granddaughter, capped off by a fancy meal with her dad and some St. Patty’s celebrations at my sister.

You may have noticed… family is important to me.

Everyone’s situation is different and I don’t blame some people for cutting family members (or entire families out of their lives); blood isn’t a panacea for bad behaviour, after all.

For me, though, my family’s pretty good; there are stylistic differences, and some breaks in priorities that can be frustrating at times, but overall, we make it work.

I love my family, and my wife in particular. I’m not sure there’d be a life without them.

So, happy birthday, baby, and many more to come.

Target: 500 words
Written: 1534 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Comics: East Of West 24-27
Music: KROQ Weenie Roast/KUCI Ska Parade, Sublime, plus a voicemail from Kurt Cobain?

things that make the heart hurt

My granddaughter got mad at me for yanking her arm. Granted, she was about to put her hand on a cast iron stove, but still.

It’s upsetting when they look at you like you’re a monster who hurt them.

Especially when you know there’s no choice.

It was that or a trip to the hospital for a severe burn.

She got over it, luckily, but man. It’s like a dagger to the heart; makes you feel straight rotten.

But still, the alternative. Hurt feelings that go away in twenty minutes or a first-degree burn?

I would make the same choice, and suffer the same pain.

Target: 500 words
Written: 242 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell (I appreciate juvenile humour sometimes, but I just can't get on board with the constant insults; making fun of ourselves is fine; pointing out our foibles is fine; I appreciate the liberal sensibility toward sex and all... I just can't do anything but be appalled and disappointed at the constant putdowns of people for generalities that only demonstrates one's insecure ego and lack of knowledge or empathy about the people around oneself. I can't reward that).
Comics: East Of West 20-23
Music: KooKoo, Debbie Harry


We are off to see that baby bundle of toddler joy once again, on a long weekend celebrating my wife’s birthday, my Irish background and the fact of my granddaughter’s existence, a miracle unto itself.

Of course, that we’re here at all is a miracle of chance and collision, an order within the chaos, neither of which could have come without the other.

Target: 500 words
Written: 194 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Tucker Max
Comics: East Of West 16-19
Music: Know Your Enemy, Green Day (I do - apathy and greed, consumerism and the overarching need to feed, feed, feed)

the smell of death

I’m not sure what’s happened in my kitchen overnight, but it smells as though something has died.

I’m not sure where it’s coming from. I made peanut butter cookies last night. Could it be from the staling batter in the sink? The dishwasher was full, man. I don’t deserve the scent of rot for not emptying the whole thing late at night.

Sometimes, it feels like life is one calamity after another, a subtle and specially formed hell.

I fell on a skinny tree stump cut off at an absurdly pointed angle when I was eight and nearly died.

It’s becoming less and less of a question in my mind: did I actually die? Is this my hell? I mean, I stole some of those pink musclemen from a Toys ‘R’ Us when I was a child, but I felt horrible about it. Is that enough for the supposed god of mercy and love to sentence an eight year old to hell?

Or maybe I overdosed at some point. I’ve never done anything harder than mushrooms and LSD, but who knows? Laced with something? I drank a lot in my youth; maybe I aspirated out on the floor.

I don’t know, but every moment of joy seems calculated to serve as a reminder of what I’m losing as each new calamity piles on.

I think about death way more than I should.

Target: 500 words
Written: 316 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Tucker Max
Comics: East Of West 13-15, East Of West: The World 1
Music: Know-It-All, Alessia Cara (what can I say?  I dig introvert anthems.)

dj got us

I was thinking about the Super Bowl this morning. Not the whole Taylor/Kelce/who-gives-a-shit, but Usher.

The only song, in my opinion, worth being on that show, in fact, the one that probably could have saved that mostly homogenous and unknown set would have been DJ Got Us Falling In Love.

It would have sent the subliminal into the crowd, and maybe actually made that connection, instead of having most people thinking, “I’ve never heard this one” and wondering where the good songs are.

Personally, it’s the only song of Usher’s worth a shit, in my world, and one of his biggest, and he just skipped it.

I guess weird and dumb decisions always make me wonder. It’s one thing if you’re going for something different and you want to break out of a stereotype, but this is a pop star at the Superbowl.

Play your hits, dummy.

Like, if you want to get insanely arty or pretentious about it, then you need to transcend, like Cobain on MTV Unplugged or Lou Reed anything.

But a pop star? At the Superbowl?

Play your hits, dummy.

Target: 500 words
Written: 878 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Tucker Max (I know, I know)
Comics: East Of West 9-12
Music: Knives Out, Radiohead

i guess i shouldn’t write at night

Maybe late at night if it’s been a not-so-bad day, and I’m all keyed up and need a release.

But writing after a long day of a hard mental slog? It doesn’t leave much to be desired.

I had a thought about writing of wanting to be bigger than you are (on the inside! And not in the squishy, gooey, fatty way), but that’s too big for me now.

I am small.

My words are small. My works are small.

I am a haiku; flash fiction.

A one-shot comic.

A short story.

A novella, bordering on novelette.

What’s a novelette you say?

A book that wears heels and kicks up its legs in a line with its fellow works, all tits and fishnet, grinning to hide the awful realities behind it.

Target: 500 words
Written: 307 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Welcome To Night Vale, Night Valia (I did like it, but the near constant podcast references slowed it waaaaaaaaaaaay down, making me wish time was as weird as they say it is, and thereby I could skim through it a bit faster.  It got to be a bit of a slog.)
Comics: East Of West 5-8 (way, way into this)
Music: Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, The Cure (I'd kiss you)