Good afternoon, all wild at heart; all hallowed grounds; all carnival sheep. Welcome to another edition of Words From The Midwest.
I want to take a moment to reiterate my love for one, Bill Hicks (“full name: William Melvin Hicks…thanks Dad”). The John Lennon of comedy, the only other man to truly embody the essence of Lenny Bruce; a modern-day prophet, soothsayer, and mystic-intellectual, and more than anything else, a hilarious and truth-defining comic who, even having died so young, left behind a harrowing body of work and an infinite transcendence of what it means to be an artist in a world where people want your creations for mass-marketing; for commercials and trivia games or soundbites on late-night talk shows. Or worse: a sitcom. He said fuck that to pretty much the whole thing, appearing on Letterman a dozen-or-so times and, each time, getting his material edited and toned down for the “masses:” whatever bullshit that term is inspired by.
In his time it was “New Kids On The Fuckin’ Block.”
“‘Oh, Bill. Don’t pick on them. They’re the ‘New Kids.’ They’re so clean-cut and they’re such a good image for the children.’ Fuck that. When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fuckin’ ROCKED! I don’t care if they died in puddles of their own VOMIT! I want someone who plays from his fuckin’ HEART! ‘Hi, we’re the ‘New Kids’ …ZEIG HEIL! [deep throats the microphone] ZEIG HEIL! HEIL! …FUCK THAT! I WANT MY ROCKSTARS DEAD! …PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKIN’ HEEEAART!”
That bit plays like the most beautifully crafted song I’ve ever heard. Look it up. Because with him jumping around stage doing the nazi salute to the general idea of a country where we so often idolize, promote, and distribute vile and stupid nonsense in the name of Profit with a capital P…it goes to show his essence: that he knew what the real meaning of art is: that with a voice so pure, managed so well, and recalled so timelessly, you can become the inherent perfection in a crowded space. Lots and lots of comedians have come after Hicks. No one has yet to match him. No one.
But where was I going with all of this?
Somewhere else, I’m sure.
I suppose I began this piece with such because I’ve gotten back into listening to him, reread his biography, ‘American Scream’ by Cynthia True, and rewatched (a couple times) the documentary about him that’s on Netflix…All of it is real good. As a whole, it seems to seek to show you the most basic of truths brought forth: that if nothing else in this world is true, it’s that Fame fades; Legends live forever.
“Heroes get remembered; Legends never die.”
It’s all the same.
In reality you could certainly make the prediction that my entire premise of this transition is to quote Sandlot. Because I watched that recently too.
Because, kids…Baseball is back.
And maybe I feel the same way about baseball as I do Bill Hicks. He defines Art for me. Baseball defines Sport. It is the game we look to to parallel reality; to give it worth. There is no greater Drama in the world of sports than baseball. The bunt, the stolen base, the homerun, the diving stop, the over-the-shoulder catch, the strikeout looking, the backdoor slider, the bottom of the ninth. I mean, holy shit, man. Everything about it is based on instinct and reaction, with everything coming down to inches; a step: like a bang-bang play at first on a slow chopper to short, life is mostly the same. We rely on intuition and gut feelings; on statistical analysis, whether it be literal or figurative in nature. We look to the past to show us the present. And there has been no greater time in many years to be alive than in 2015.
The Left is winning.
Or will be soon.
The race for President has begun with Ted Cruz and Rand Paul each throwing their hat in the proverbial ring. And neither of them has a rat’s chance in hell of ever being President of the United States. Ever. So that’s good.
And I promise, dear readers, I’m going to vote next year. I didn’t in 2012. I rolled the dice on my belief no country of mine could ever elect the kind of horseshit billionaire that Mitt Romney is, making his money off being a goddamn Vulture Capitalist, buying and selling companies worth nothing to no one…
The point being is that I’m not going to take that chance again. Hell, I might even do some campaign work if I like the Democratic candidate, but not if it’s Hillary Clinton because, honestly, I have an odd fear of her and would only vote for her for two reasons: that I desperately want to see any woman be President, and any candidate the GOP brings forth is bound to be a sniveling, conniving, corrupt, bigoted, racist, cracker asshole, or, worse, a Bush. Christ, I’ll vote for a wild donkey before I trust in a man at all affiliated with the Bush family, even if Jeb is the “good one.” Fuck that. That’s like saying that your shit today wasn’t painful. It’s still a bowel movement. It’s still gross.
Again, I digress.
What am I getting at with all of this? Or am I just rambling about everything I can think of because I haven’t written in a little while and haven’t done a Words in a couple weeks, maybe longer.
What else is there?
I’ve been listening to music and recently went back into my “Mick’s Tapes” and am going to order fromt he library whatever music I’ve ever heard of for each artist I no longer have on my computer, which is about six pages worth of names. But I got a 2 TB harddrive, so I’m prepared for everything. I’ll finally have my entire music history on one device. I’m stoked for that.
Also, I got speakers for my computer and they make music sound fantastic.
I’ve been doing covers again. I’m eleven deep into Volume II of Supposed Covers, with another twenty-nine coming this year.
Today I did Ooh La La by the Faces.
It came out well.
But going back for a moment to something I said a few paragraphs back, I want to fully explain why I think 2015 is a good year to be alive, other than for the simple reason that the internet and social media are making it infinitely easier to learn about things that are going on in the news, politics, etcetera…Because I do love that about the state in which we really are: that with a little bit of savvy, you can read about just about anything happening in the entire world…or you can write pages and pages of dribble and sell it like just any other essay, or what have you, slowly compiling a book you’ll sell for too much money and no one will buy.
Again, I digress.
It has been a good year so far for me, personally. Not really so much in the world, really, because people keep killing people and as long as that’s going on on the massive scale that it is, I will never be fully comfortable in this reality. But as a human being in, albeit, the lower class, still with creature comforts and such, I’m doing quite well. My mental health has literally never been better. I do things. I make music and write. I get paid for it, kind of. I’m drinking a Black Label and am about to go smoke a Pall Mall cigarette. Plus, I am wrapping up my twenty-sixth installment of a still ongoing blog series, called Words From The Midwest.
Dad’s Typewriter is going to be done by the end of the year. The Way It Is (And The Way It Never Will Be) the novel will be done by the end of Summer. War and Fashion may come out in just a couple months…I still have to write at least five more songs for it, but am thinking that I’m going to start it before Dad’s Typewriter because I want to work on that one with a friend of mine.
In Ohio City, Cleveland, Ohio.
Really the best place to be living these days.
Come to Cleveland.
We’ll go to a show, get some good food and beer, smoke cigarettes, drink tea, and be alive together.
At least, I hope you’re doing alright.
Until next time.