Category Archives: Bio

Strange Days Have Found Us

Well, we’ve really done it. Ze Black Waffle and I have returned triumphant from waging the Robot War for the Future against SpaceWeb and its mechanical forces of cold calculation. We are safe from the existential threat of malevolent, artificially-intelligent automata… for now.

Unfortunately, in preventing a horrific potential future from coming to pass, we may have accidentally set into motion an equally-dystopian (if somewhat less lazer-burning) future of corporate takeover and constitutional debauchment! We sincerely apologize if the butterflies we crushed in our reckless traversing of spacetime resulted in the awful offshoot reality of japanese earthquakes, #NDAA, #SOPA, and #DNF (Duke Nukem Forever). Sorry about all that.

I am impassively dedicated to covering the disturbing developments as they formalize and gel into our present, with Mutiny News, twitter, and The Stranger in a Strange Land. We welcome your insights, shared posts, rantings, musings, and dark prophecies, as each unfolding event of doom is rewritten newly before us.

Archived Stranger in a Strange Land shows from the Imperial era are being lovingly polished, annotated, timestamped and uploaded, both on the Mixcloud and on the Stranger‘s own blog of Absurdist Noir. Sadly, the same timequake that causes the fabric of reality to tremble EVEN NOW is also responsible for the loss of several of those archived shows. We soldier on, all of us, into the dark unknown.

For the the most multifarious (that’s multifaceted + nefarious) tunes and freshly-lacquered commentary, check out the Stranger in a Strange Land, Sat. 2am-4am (that’s Friday night going into Saturday mornings). For interviews involving eclectic esoterica, write to thestranger@earthling.net. For general Mutiny Radio coverage, send your aggregated articles, accomplishments, muckraking investigations, and fluffy public interest pieces to thestranger@earthling.net. For that money I owe you, see me next Friday.

Absurdist Noir

Long ago, on the hallowed archives of xanga, I named and detailed a style and mindset called absurdist noir. What is it? Just the mixture of dark expressionistic themes of fatalistic eventuality and a whitefish sandwich with capers? Perhaps our existential loneliness in the vast aether of temporospatial emptiness that resembles the little boil on my toe that keeps coming back? Is it something grander, something inconsequential, something deep-seated and primordial like the heebie-jeebies, or Abe Vigoda?

What is absurdist noir?

It’s that sick twisted ending, leaving the audience to snicker and the protagonist to agonize and eventually cackle with mad laughter at the cold cruelty of chance and fate. It’s the irrational fear of things we cannot control, like quarks, or spacetime, or the fate of the cosmos. It’s madness.

It’s why good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people.

It’s Schadenfreude, that part of every human that revels in someone else being hurt. It’s the Mel Brooks quote, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.” It’s the opposite of the old George Washington quote, “be not glad at the misfortune of another, though he may be your enemy.”

It’s the essence of the dead baby or aristocrats joke, the juxtaposition of deeply horrific imagery and the absurd candor in telling it. The part of your own nature that surprises you and makes it funny. It’s a morbid black sense of humor but a whole lot more.

It’s politics. It’s conspiracy theory. It’s warfare. It’s history. It’s squick (which is most of the internet, anyway).

Firesign Theatre, a highly absurd (bordering on Dada) comedy troupe, crafted hapless characters in situations where they are persecuted, shuffled along, accused and at the mercy of unknowable authoritarian forces both Orwellian and Kafkan. From the ripped-straight-from-the-healines story of the natives in “Temporarily Humboldt County” to the more pointed Trial of P. in “Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him“. Clem in “We’re All Bozos on This Bus” is one of the first computer hackers in popular culture, crashing the president (Nixon) of an electronic bureaucratic autocratic government of the future using a nonsensical string of unrelated words.

It’s a bad mushroom or acid trip that you remember fondly anyway.

It’s why, according to psychological research byproduct and books like Impro, the first things that come to mind in improvisational art or stream of consciousness are death, religion (esp. Jesus), and non-sequiturs (everything else). The same themes crop up in the ravings of the mad.

A ton of Warren Zevon makes me think of absurdist noir.

And a hell of a lot of Breaking Bad, for that matter.

A lot of noir is naturally absurd, like the end of Chinatown. A lot of absurdism is naturally noir, like the visceral gut feeling you get from Dali paintings; the unsettling or even disturbing mixture of sorrowful empathy and sniggering superiority when seeing a crying clown.

It’s our primeval and irrational fear of the darkness itself, and the instinctual pull toward it. It’s whenever somebody depicts that in their modalities of expression.

It’s a bunch of guys in clown masks robbing a race track.

Sacramende and some things I’ve learned

I could use this PREMIERE FIRST-EVER GRAND OPENING FREE CRAB RANGOON WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY DINNER ENTREE post to describe the effervescent personality, the razor-strop wit, and the dyspeptic charm of The Stranger: whose round pear-shaped tones titillate you with I’m sorry I can’t finish this sentence because I have to laugh at the word titillate. Excuse me.

But you won’t get anything out of me, copper. I’m no stoolie, see?

What do you really need to know about me? Besides that I defy the laws of physics on mere whim, have been known to sometimes control weather and traffic lights with my mind, and still cannot deign the true nature of this intricate universe, the mysteries of the origins of life as we know it, and why that chick says she likes me but then gets all weird when I go to put my hand in her shirt.

What I really want to know (and by extension, the rest of you interested in me), is all about this fine little moisture-farm community, Sacramende (or as I read on one mailer, ‘Sacrocaus’).

It’s the town where morning=trash smell, midday=sweet Chinese bakery smell, and nighttime=spent condom smell. Where you’re lucky if all you’ve stepped in each day is dogshit! The most clear example that the hippie generation accomplished nothing further than the reclamation of authoritative society into subversive counter-culture, which itself was reclaimed into demeaning covers for auto ads and ice cream flavors. Sacramende, the town where your partner was gunned down in the street, where writers go to attempt suicide, where beatniks came to get away from it all and explorers can’t wait to get away from.

Home of Ted’s List… lesser known company than Craig’s List

Most people on the street (not to be confused with ‘street people’) are rich and haughty, and won’t give you the time of day. Fortunately for you, in case you hadn’t noticed, the pocket watch of old has been replaced by the cell phone, complete with a digital sundial. See? You don’t need other people. Just me. I’ll get you through this technophobic crisis.

Visit the sparkling Pacific Ocean, voted second greatest ocean before Atlantic and after Indian by Zagat’s three years running!
Visit the bay, Otis Redding-recommended, Jesse Fuller-approved!
Visit the precarious bridges, built by precarious natives!
Visit that House house! It’s full!
Visit the glorious Tower, one of if not the tastiest towers in the continental United States!
Visit the Wetzel Pretzel, who’s going to stop you?!
Visit beauteous Parks where if the coyotes don’t get you, vice squad will.
Visit more art museums than you can shake a stick at! (If that’s your idea of a good time.)

Find your dude or get your card, because walking uptown will only get you burned. Ah, to be nineteen again!

Be aware of your surroundings, make mental note of where seagulls and pigeons regularly whitewash, where everything else yellowwashes, and who around you carries a knife.

Carry a knife.

Meet some cool people. It is surprisingly easy, or maybe that’s just me. I’ve always been good at that, though I’ve never been good with names.

In short, the sweet industrial sea of skyscrapers reminds me of Metropolis. The confusion and bustle (though arguably more hustle) reminds me of Fawcett City. The fluttering flood of flying forgotten flotsam reminds me of Gotham. Those smells you don’t know but you know you would know them if you could smell them individually, and the only thing you do know is that you don’t want to do that, reminds me of New Orleans. Some of you remind me of L.A., try to work on that. But most of all, it reminds me of San Francisco, a place for which I have no mental frame of reference. Like the stupid leading the blind, or attempting to think like a bat, or trying to remember Spanish based on high school-level foreign language classes: truly I feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land. I’ll either fit right in, or die trying.

L’chaim!

P.S. meet the old blog

the YOU WILL NEVER List

1. YOU WILL NEVER write a bestselling novel of 300 pages or more
2. YOU WILL NEVER start an art movement
3. YOU WILL NEVER whittle a masterpiece
4. YOU WILL NEVER fly an airplane
5. YOU WILL NEVER jump from a moving airplane
6. YOU WILL NEVER win a boxing match
7. YOU WILL NEVER win 30 games of Solitaire in a row
8. YOU WILL NEVER shake hands with a president of the United States
9. YOU WILL NEVER learn Italian
10. YOU WILL NEVER be a United States Marine
11. YOU WILL NEVER be entirely honest with yourself and another person
12. YOU WILL NEVER walk through 48 states consecutively
13. YOU WILL NEVER drink a gallon of milk in under an hour
14. YOU WILL NEVER play the violin
15. YOU WILL NEVER own a boat
16. YOU WILL NEVER learn to swim
17. YOU WILL NEVER tame a wild horse
18. YOU WILL NEVER read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica
19. YOU WILL NEVER give away all worldly posessions but the clothes on your back
20. YOU WILL NEVER backpack through Europe
21. YOU WILL NEVER make love on a Friday the Thirteenth
22. YOU WILL NEVER go ten days without sleep
23. YOU WILL NEVER leave a woman who loves you for absolutely no reason
24. YOU WILL NEVER bet $1000 or more and win
25. YOU WILL NEVER climb a mountain
26. YOU WILL NEVER own a dark green ’51 Jaguar
27. YOU WILL NEVER learn to drive
28. YOU WILL NEVER break a toe on purpose
29. YOU WILL NEVER enter yourself into a mental hospital
30. YOU WILL NEVER own a four-story building or higher
31. YOU WILL NEVER work for the Walt Disney company
32. YOU WILL NEVER cook a perfect Redfish Almondine
33. YOU WILL NEVER sleep a night on the mean streets of Detroit
34. YOU WILL NEVER eat one-hundred peeps
35. YOU WILL NEVER lift 400 pounds
36. YOU WILL NEVER live 365 days in New Orleans, LA
37. YOU WILL NEVER learn to ride a bike
38. YOU WILL NEVER piss on Sigmund Freud’s grave
39. YOU WILL NEVER fall hopelessly and irrevocably in love
40. YOU WILL NEVER be arrested for vandalism
41. YOU WILL NEVER be shot somewhere with a gun
42. YOU WILL NEVER make the world’s largest pancake
43. YOU WILL NEVER understand quantum physics
44. YOU WILL NEVER be buried alive for an hour
45. YOU WILL NEVER play ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ on harmonica
46. YOU WILL NEVER teach eleventh grade English
47. YOU WILL NEVER discover a part of the Earth hitherto undiscovered by man
48. YOU WILL NEVER try a court case
49. YOU WILL NEVER be a firefighter
50. YOU WILL NEVER travel the diameter of Australia
51. YOU WILL NEVER completely change someone else’s life for the better
52. YOU WILL NEVER try LSD at the tender age of 70
53. YOU WILL NEVER be buried in Hawaii
54. YOU WILL NEVER see beyond all this bullshit

Bio

Breshvic Penicillin, (or Breshvic Penicillin as he likes to be called), has the sort of sad eyes of somebody straight out of Auschwitz or, failing that, Compton. There was a time in his life when he thought that wearing a tie with a t-shirt was clever, and soon after realized that his girlfriend ratio had not improved or changed at all. Now he seems to think that writing silly blurbs and appearing on the sidebar of a web page will improve his girlfriend ratio.
He lives alone in whatever part of the world will make him feel more like a Dharma Bum with his cat, who has a sick fascination with watching him make out with the girls he’s brought home, to the point where he sadly has to put her into a seperate room so that the cat can be petted.
He has recently settled with the fact that he will never be a witty as Twain, as poetic as Gibran, as observant as Hunter S. Thompson, as dark as Poe, or as funny as Vonnegut. So he has begun a lifelong search for a better adjective to suit him and his writing. SO far,
facetious is looking pretty adequate.