Tag Archives: Battles

The Stranger’s Superheroic Four-Hour Show

A double-wide feature for you listeners this week, as I unsuspectingly find myself filling time, while putting the finishing touches on the Superheroic Stranger in a Strange Land! Four hours of music, experimentation, and news!

For Psionic Dehiscence I pull out some lightly seasoned tapes, the Frank Zappa Crossfire debate, Michael Hedges, the great William F. Buckley/Noam Chomsky debate, and the Firesign Theatre.

Lionel Hampton – Glad Hamp – Jazzmaster
Clatworthy Saunders – In Your Own Sweet Way – All That Jazz
Cannonball Adderley – Moanin’
Louis Armstrong – Let’s Do it (Let’s Fall in Love)
The Firesign Theatre – The Ralph Spoilsport Mantrum – How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere at all
Ella Fitzgerald & Duke Ellington – It Don’t Mean a Thing if It Don’t Have That Swing
Michael Hedges – Because its There

On The Stranger in a Strange Land we battle back the forces of evil, do the Batusi, ponder powered musician battles, super-politics, and every agency from the cia to the x-men.

SRC – In the Hall of the Mountain King
The Bagdhdaddies – Wonder Woman – Katchyazafta
Al Hirt – Green Hornet – Kill Bill Soundtrack
David McCallum – Batman Theme – Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 13: TV Town
Jan & Dean – The Joker is Wild – Meet Batman
Paul McCartney & Wings – Magneto and Titanium Man – Venus and Mars
Mel Tormè – Sunshine Superman – Ultra-Lounge: On the Rocks
Sun Ra – The Bat Cave – Batman (Original Motion Picture Score)
Sun Ra – The Penguin Chase – Batman
Sun Ra – Penguin’s Umbrella – Batman
The Apostles – Super Strut – Acid Jazz Story
They Might Be Giants – John Lee Supertaster – No!
Moe. – Captain America – Warts & All
Spin Doctors – Jimmy Olsen’s Blues – Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Weezer – In The Garage – Weezer
Sun Ra – Batman and Robin Swing – Batman and Robin
Sun Ra – The Riddler’s Retreat – Batman and Robin
Goldfinger – Superman – Hang-Ups
The Aquabats – Powdered Milk Man! – The Fury of the Aquabats!
Fastball – Human Torch – Make Your Mama Proud
Serge Gainsbourg – Comic Strip – Love and the Beat
Jelly Roll Morton – Wolverine Blues – Doctor Jazz
Black Sabbath – Iron Man – Reunion
Entombed – Wolverine Blues
Apollo 440 – Spider-Man Theme
Roam The Hello Clouds – Geoff As the Hulk – Near Mises
Deacon the Villian – X-Men
Dangerdoom – The Mask feat. Ghostface Killah – Mouse and the Mask
7L & Esoteric – Incredible Hulk Rap – Egoclapper
Lee Hazlewood – Batman – Batman and Robin
Gil Scot Heron – Ain’t No Such Thing as Superman
Wesley Willis – I Wupped Batman’s Ass

Stranger in a Strange Land 2010-04-03: Timefill/Superheroic! (Psionic) by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger
thestranger@earthling.net

“It’s just words.”

One for the price of two!

10/11/08

It’s an evening of vigilantes, detectives, spies, militants, power-players and deranged madmen. It’s lovely. Really.

There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names…

In The Hall of The Mountain King – Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra
World Peace – African Headcharge
The Chill of Death – Charles Mingus
Nitro – Dick Dale
Maracas De Fogo – Lula Cortes e Ze Ramalho
Muchacho – Lee Hazlewood
Pyramid Of The Sun – Les Baxter
Manha De Carnaval – Louiz Bonfa
Pirata De Agua Salata – Macaco
You Can’t Get Good Riblets in Space – Man… or Astroman?
Cecilia Ann – The Pixies
Gypsy Wedding – Moby Grape
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! – The Beatles
Astronaut – David Byrne
Natural Good – Bartel
Color – L.A. Carnival
Too Much on My Mind – Leaders of the New School
What About You (In the World Today) – Co. Real Artists
Gun Gods (w/Louie Rankin) – Sage Francis
Love Sick – Night Trains
Microphone Mathematics – Quasimoto
Much 2 much – US3
Mr Moon – Jamiroquai
Laurence d’Arabie – Ritchie Lawrence
9th & Hennepin – Tom Waits
Private Investigations – Dire Straits
Staccato’s Theme – Elmer Bernstein
Squids – Noise Police
Mambo Italiano – Rosemary Clooney
Rebirth Of Slick – Diggable Planets
Dark – Maypole
Big Furry Head – Amon Tobin
Shere Khan – Aesop Rock
Bullitt – Lalo Schifrin
Experiment In Terror – Al Caiola
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – The John Barry Orchestra
It Had Better Be Tonight – Henry Mancini
Dr. No’s Fantasy – Elliott Fisher
Atlantis – Kosma
Strangers on a Train – Lovage

Tonight we also interview masked superhero ‘El Cocco’ on the ins and outs of crime-fighting and do-gooding. He has seen into the black heart of evil, and he watched it get a baby tiger for its birfday, and feed it nothing but hatred. Maybe he can explain what this all means, because I’m talking out of my ass again.

Stranger in a Strange Land 2008-10-11: Crime-Fighting by The Stranger on Mixcloud

~The Stranger

Fraught With Peril

Where has our valiant (and at that quite salient) hero been O these past few months? Bored or boycotting Myspace? In a politically-charged controversial coma/self-induced media blackout/circus? Zoning out listening to late 60’s/early 70’s Psychedelia? Alcoholics Anonymous?  Perhaps he hadn’t gone anywhere, but simply skipped ahead in what you myopically call the ‘timeline,’ but what he prefers to call his own ‘Choose Your Own Adventure Novel.’

I don’t think my mild-mannered employers would have mild-minded that too much at all! And in these engrossing times, the Revengerists have seen every goal completed quietly, thoroughly, awesomely (needless to say), and without the ostentation of one ‘Will Ferrell.’ Having fulfilled its purpOses, and with a lease paid through to 2012, (as the Mayans foretold: ‘yea when all leases shall summarily end’), the Revengerists compound sits, secure and yet absolutely vacant. All but for the occasional janitor, tour group, haunted spirit (built upon a Civil War battleground as it is), or junior members who don’t check their text messages lost in its expansive labrynthine corridors, it echoes still in the night, or the day… depending on the time… that it is… when.. it echoes…

I can tell you one thing, I definitely did not go to Studio 54.

Now, having uncovered an insidious plot of the powers that be effecting the very atoms that make up the whole of our being, I go where none may accompany me. No beloved sidekick, grizzled old vizier, or that cute couch-surfing chick who wanted me to help her with her novel… No. Through a combination of radical research and development, subversive culture-jamming, motivational speaking courses and my uncanny powers of antiphysics, only I can prevail against this slithering hidden evil. As it was writ in Ancient Sumeria, so shall it make for a most excellent riveting dramatic speech of departure…

The Demon of Thought
I Fought, But Not
Armed With Sword or Rapier
With Zeal I Sought and
Peril Fraught, I Brought
His End with Pen and Paper

Everything is nice in Smileyland; and when it isn’t, they kill it with their lasers. Something is rotten in the state of Smileyland.

Dr. Worm

Yes, the much-awaited details of the latest nefarious plot of that accursed Mr. Mind, or as I call him, Dr. Worm (he’s not an real doctor but his is a real worm, he is an actual worm).

First I think I ought to divulge the methodology in the retrieval of aforementioned information. Try saying that ten times fast! I had to break a lot of skulls in a lot of airport smoke lounges to get some pretty flimsy leads. Then, to speed things up a bit, I broke the space-time continuum. This isn’t easy to do, mind you, but I had to traverse the tumultuous years ahead. The hardest part is the fasting and water-binging for two days or so before each trip, believe it or not. I had to travel into the near future and also to such God-forsaken places as Phoenix and L.A., so that I could learn and hopefully later impart crucial knowledge to my close friends and family that would protect them in the terrible days to come. I do not expect to fail in the process of foiling Mr. Mind, but then again, he doesn’t expect to be foiled either. Neither one of us can count too much on the other, then, can we? Remember, the road to hell is paved with vintage lunchboxes, but that has nothing to do with this! Pay attention, dammit!

This is what I learned:

Mr. Mind is actually from a parallel and surreal dimension of insane (and some argue inferiorly crafted) “fiction” nonsense, as well as one planet over. Upon landing in our reality, he immediately sought to accomplish two things, One; to re-form his infamous Monster Society of Evil by employing the sad, frustrating, but equally devious villains of our planet and immediate solar system. Two; to squelch any possible interloping by do-gooder Billy Batson, coincidentally their World’s Mightiest Mortal.

Unfortunately, (or not, it’s a matter of perspective), Batson does not exist in our version of reality, as neither did Mr. Mind himself. In fact, many of Mr. Mind’s favorite delicatessens and movie parlours are not where they should be, further fueling his malice. Not understanding the cosmic rift that deposited him here, nor the sudden changes in this suddenly dissimilar universe, Mr. Mind began to search for Batson using a variety of telepathic methods, spy networks, government databases, Google Earth and wikipedia. Starting in Batson’s hometown of Fairfield, which had incongruously been decimated by an atom bomb by Mr. Mind in his own dimension, he searched for any super-powered or otherwise noteworthy individuals from this sleepy 89.86% White populated suburb.

So it stood to reason that he would discover me. I haven’t exactly hidden myself from society. Various battles with Mythical Chinese Dragons, paranormal research, centralised power surges, failed sketch comedy pilots, countless message board trolling, and knock-down drag-out fights with multidimensional shades and demons have all seen to that. And they bite! And while it might be fair to put me in the running for ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’ in this world, anyway, there are plenty of more deserving candidates for Mr. Mind’s replacement arch-rival. My powers pale in comparison to those of Bruce “If Chins Could Kill” Campbell, Jim Vivas (Viking God of teh Roxors), the Beastie Boys, the Aquabats, Dr. Tasty, or maybe even Mark Mothersbaugh. There are also numerous underrated heroes at the street level, not to be discounted, like Crazy-Pants, the Southside Santa, the Worst Ninja Ever, the Crazy Running Lady, George, or the Dancing Man.

In fact, part of what confounds me the most is that I wasn’t even the only global power around the region. In my graduating class alone, we had a shadow ninja, a mad scientist, telekinetic mutant, amateur inventor of super-robots, dabbler in ‘teh force’, and invincible extraterrestrial, (what up, Andrew? me? oh, just holdin’ it down, you know how we do).

How he first reached me, I don’t know. It may have been through the mental manipulation of my landlord, but then again she may have just been a bitch anyway. I could have been the persecution of friends and roommates through various judicial, financial and hospitalization means. Suddenly, word came from a mysterious source (okay, it was Rabbi Levi), that in order to protect my friends from fates worse than Old Tyme, I must exile myself to all points west, in search of higher wages and greater wisdom in the fight against evil. He didn’t exactly say it like that, but it kind of loses something when translated from the original Yiddish. More importantly, to all my relations, it was crucial that things seem natural. So I threw a mediocre party, cheaped out on moving costs, and packed up my records. Then into the abysmal black hole from which few return, on a journey that could easily spell certain death. But at least I got to watch E3 with my cousin and LAN party with my chums for the release of Halo 3.

Anyways, it was on a showroom computer at a Radioshack establishing a new secret identity and myspace page that I was able to do most of my research into Mr. Mind’s workings in and around Fairfield. Mind you (no pun intended), I was a good few months behind him, and had to work hard to uncover his hidden tracks, he had made some glaring errors. His compulsive conquering had led him to run for School Board, momentarily possessing the mind of Arnie Eagle, with an outrageous plan to shoot down even more school levies (which he was planning to do anyway). Luckily, a coalition of Warrior X (at least that’s what he called himself when I knew him), Jungle Jim, and the ghost of baseball legend Joe Nuxhall managed to send the miserable worm out-of-state with his tail between his… well, uh… so then he left, anyways. Armed with the information I needed, and sick of relying on my grandfather for transportation, I continued my journey whilst under the ruse of vacation time. Hopefully, they will be too distracted by their bumbling store manager and impromptu district manager visits to discover the quantum deatomization restructuralizer I worked out of their parts drawers and ipod display. I would have taken it with me, but I had already lifted a little Hexbug toy and a handful of gold doubloons, and didn’t want to push my luck.

From there, I was able to regroup on the West Coast, and then head for my mission in Phoenix where I was to ‘visit some friends.’ In actuality, I was to meet with an unnamed informant, whom we shall refer to as ‘Dasypus Novemcinctus,’ who I convened with for the moment I was able to break away from my friend at the Phoenix zoo. In Los Angeles, I was to reconnoiter the headquarters of the Monster Society, and though turned away due to their stringent dress code, I was able to accomplish my primary goals; establish the hierarchy of command in the organization, identify the principle members as well as their comings, goings, and shift changes, and Bluesnarf their mainframe while stealing high-speed wireless from all their base. Thank you once again, Radioshack!

Aside:

Monster Society of Evil? What kind of a name is that? Besides being only slightly less redundant that the Department of Redundancy Department, I’ve never understood the utility in naming your organisation bent on world dominion with such foreboding, like SPECTRE, or the League of Assassins, or the Empire of Death, or the Legion of Doom. Why, I can’t say I seez no sense in it! Hardly anybody brands themselves as ‘evil,’ let alone ‘monsters,’ and a whole society of them accept this moniker? Granted, its a terrorist organisation, intent on instilling fear into the nations of the world, but what’s your SIDE of the story? Surely you feel that your actions and position are not only justifiable, but in fact reasonably righteous. You have to have some BELIEFS. Even that crazy nut who laughs maniacally on my street corner at three in the morning thinks that he’s providing a public service.

To make a long story slightly less long, I can afford to keep quiet no longer. Having seen the future, I know that now the time is ripe to reveal Mind’s scheme to the world, and pray that the powers of the world can do what they can, or haven’t been done in by his subterfuge already. Here goes: Mr. Mind has been planning to hemorrhage large stockpiles of LEGOs through various worldwide pipelines, with which he will not only be able to construct armor, weaponry, and multiple artificial floating island bases, but also dominate a monopoly on this valuable finite resource. Other various aspects of his intrigue include the systematic destruction of LEGO wholesalers, warehouse raids, large eBay purchases, and finally, the well-coordinated yet tragic bombings of LEGOLands worldwide, which will effectively place all LEGO resources in the feelers of that dastardly Mind. Then, once the stock market and retail outlets are in a fervor over what to do, he will flood the market, devaluing the US Dollar and sending the major world powers into depression and economic tailspin. After that, though details are sketchy and sources even moreso, a bilateral attack will occur on our technological and military infrastructure, forcing the human race into a primitive nomadic culture. And not the raucous Gogol Bordello-styled quirky nomadic culture we’ve all dreamed about, but a sort of pathetic Eloi ripe for totalitarian domination and the intergalactic slave trade. And while some of you are just asking for it, its really going to be pretty bad. Without getting too detailed… uh… Rod Serling bad… suffice it to say it would be better if we kind of pooled our efforts on this one, guys.

In short order, I will reveal to each of you your instrumental parts to play in this cosmic game of chess, for not only your own survival but that of the very WORLD! (Except you, Lee. Your instructions will just be for your own survival. Sorry. The world doesn’t need the sort of help that you bring to the table. Trust me on this.)

Aside:

And why conquer the Earth, anyways? Everybody’s always trying to conquer the Earth. Take it from somebody who lives there: Erth is Dum. And I’m totally not just saying that in some reverse psychology ploy to convince any would-be conquerors that the Earth is only SEEMINGLY not worth conquering. I mean, I am really sincerely genuinely honestly synonym when I say, this planet is an embarrassment to conquerable heavenly bodies. I would conquer Krylon-6, whose inhabitants not only imbue their conquerors with great self-esteem, but also make better pelts. Or the Great Spacefence of the Outer Bic Galaxy, which will literally give you powers over life and death, and has the fine distinction of being the only tourist spot in the known universe to have NEVER been conquered. Eh? How about that shit! What have we got? A measly yellow sun that can *temporarily* grant some *demi*-god-*like* superpowers. Great. So what? It only works if you stay here, and who wants to stay here? Ever since Kennedy got assassinated, the Soviet Union collapsed, and they cancelled Arrested Development, things here have been pretty lame. Oh, the girls are pretty cool, I guess, if you want a nice conversation about wine and a little light petting. But we all know there are sexier spacebabes with longer tongues and shorter inhibitions out there. Ever been to the Liquitex Nebula? OH, LEWD NOISE!!

I mean, I’m not worried for me. I can just bounce to my Omniverse crib. Great view of the Lake of St. Flckni’tpxx. And I have a standing offer at this awesome Polynesian pop shop in the dream realm. It’s minimum wage, but minimum wage in the dream realm is whatever you want it to be.

TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL IN ’08:

Hoard your LEGOs.

Practice the martial arts, or at the very least, hit the sticks and work on your Fight Night moves.

Don’t allow yourself to become possessed by the forces of evil. Try not to leave your house if you think you might be.

If you see a monster, assume the worst. While we all would like to think we live in politically correct times. Sometimes we have to see the seven-headed hydra as a seven-headed hydra. It is easier to apologize than to regenerate.

Memorize bad poetry. You’d be surprised.

Get a cat. They’re excellent protection from the forces of evil. Unless you have an evil cat.

Stay away from evil cats.

Wear steel-toed boots.

Don’t trust whitey.

Stop the Earth from imploding when applicable.

If you see something, tell someone!

Stock up on plastic sheeting and distilled water.

Keep your chin up. Mr. Mind is short, and this will make it harder for him.

Carry a subatomic raygun. It’s hard to get a permit, but it is your right as an American.

At night, wear that reflective bike shit. It’s just a good idea, anyway.

Crouch behind a rock. (I’m talking to you, Lee!)

Learn voodoo.

Write your congressman.

Never have nightmares.

Ever.

Carry a flashlight.

Don’t vote Republican.

Buy volcano insurance.

Buy Black Death Ray insurance.

Back up your MP3 collection.

Wear mystical amulets. Failing that, wear mystical Reeboks.

Don’t believe everything you read or see on television. In fact, don’t believe anything you read or see on television.

Try to be as immortal as you can in these situations.

Drink a glass of wine every night.

Keep your friends close, and suspicious Nazi supersoldiers closer.

Buy some insecticide, or maybe a flyswatter.

If you find your mind being taken over, think of They Might Be Giants songs, they will totally get stuck in the mind of whomever just took yours, and its a nice parting shot.

Beat up gutter punks. This actually does nothing to protect you from the Monster Society of Evil, but it couldn’t hurt, either.

Don’t engage in class warfare. Don’t you see he’s just pitting us against one another?

Keep an ear and eye open for recent assaults on LEGO storehouses.

Practice your rationing and nomadic skills. It could save you in a Harlan Ellison-styled post-apocalyptic future, and looks good on a resume.

Don’t take part in any deterraforming clubs, no matter what ‘work from home’ or ‘make millions’ BS they feed you.

If you are in possession of magical, future-telling pearls, don’t let that shit out of your sight for an instant! Show a little foresight!

If you’re like me and think the Monster Society of Evil might be on to you, invest in some plastic surgery. I would, but I can’t even afford LASIK, and that’s been first on my list since way before all this.

Have somebody else start your car for you. When possible, have somebody else taste your soup for you, as well.

Don’t use 4-1-1. Not even that 1-800-FREE-4-1-1 shit.

Watch the Rockford Files. Learn.

Start digging.

Tell your loved ones how much you love them.

Worst comes to worst, we’ll meet up at the Super Wal*Mart.

Make some friends in other dimensions or faraway planets. They might come in useful come June.

I need to brush up on my Greek (so go find a Greek and brush up on him!)

WREEE-ETCH! Myspace gives me the sick-to-my-tumtums.

Leaving for Point Cordial tomorrow. Hopefully I can earn enough money from there to move along to my next destination, whatever that may be.

What is this world coming to? I can’t just walk into the internet and buy whatever I want for absolutely free?! I want one of those face snorkels you’ve read about in that television show we all watched as childrens. You know. The Snorks?

I hope I get to fight a shark to the death.

Full-on kosher?

So today, I’m like, prepping Ranch dressings or some menial shit, and LB (who has, so I’m told, solar energy) insinuated that I may be moving up in the company. Like, he’s asking me to stay with Olde Tyme Sandwiches and not a much BETTER job, so I can painstakingly move up the ladder. He’s going to have to offer me a pretty good raise though. I told him I’d be game for it if it was worth my time. If I’m going to be training to be a manager or something, that’s all well and good, but I really think there’s something better out there than, ‘guy who supervises the guy who fills Ranch dressings.’ But to be fair, that’s still better than being to the guy who fills the Ranch dressings himself. A pay increase wouldn’t hurt either.

My house is falling apart. And I think the landlord is trying to fleece us. She said something to the effect of the work not getting done because we hadn’t sent our rent in. But I didn’t send rent in because the work wasn’t done. I’m going to be the bigger man here, and let her have her little way, but if our house isn’t fixed completely to our satisfaction by the first of next month, then I’m not paying! It’s not like we’re getting a discount for having rooms we can’t use (which I assume we’re paying for in that rent). They tore out our upstairs bathroom which fucked up our downstairs bathroom. We can’t cook in our house because ever day that there’s construction there’s new rubble in the kitchen. And incidentally, we never had a fully working second kitchen as was promised us when we first signed the lease. Additionally, I’ve got clothes backed up because nobody has attached the dryer that they FINALLY brought us. This morning I got the number of the building inspector, which will be my ace to throw if I need it.

Otherwise, I’m wondering how I can put my money in escrow, so that I have it there when she’s bitching about rent for next month.

Christday

The season is upon us, dear readers, for insincerity and consumerism! I saw my first commercial there about a week after Halloween, which, I suppose, means that they held off on us by a few months this year. “What is this the season for? Savings, of course! All Pontiacs no APR, over invoice, tool and dye, stop those holiday snoopers and drop those holiday pounds!” I defy you! That’s right, Ted Turner, Coca-Cola, Tim Allen and Hallmark Cards (a subsidiary of Doom, Inc.), I defy you and your crass tasteless gauche regime devoid of any goodwill towards your fellow man! I not only renounce your holiday for what it has so slowly become that, even though we all notice, nobody seems to mind, I renounce it, boycott it, and substitute my own like ranch dressing in place of Caesar on that salad at the diner in Mt. Washington! I hereforetowith am celebrating Christday! (Festivus for the rest of us is also a nice option, like the GPS on your jetta). Christday, on which, I will be heading down to Carson Street with a clipboard, a billfold, and the most amazing display of brawn and determined gritty ambition ever to step out of Bethlehem, that Prince of Men, the King of the Jews, the Shepherd of the flock, Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesus Christ! (portrayed by one Lee Powell). and in the other corner, ladies and most gentle of gentlemen, hailing from the frozen north, where he trains three-hundred and some sixty-four days out of the year, the man in red, that jolly old elf, Saaaaaaaaaaaaint Nicholas! (portrayed by the South Side Santa). And, for a limited time offer, you can up the ante, parlay the long shot, and venture your odds on a speculation of a wager down on this pot of a raffle… (thank you Roget) ‘Tis the season for PAYOLA! Getta you tootsie fruitsie ice cream! It’s not a ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ attitude so much as a ‘if you can’t beat ’em, satirize the hell out of ’em’ thing.

In other nonsecular news, my roommates and I have exchanged names for a secret samurai gift exchange. Immediately, and I mean, IMMEDIATELY, Professor Madness fucked it up by saying that he had El Cocco. And since there are only four of us, and each of us then know who Professor Madness has and who we each have, it spoils the entire fucking process. If Prof. Madness has El Cocco, and I know that I have Prof. Madness, then that means that since the Zombie King cannot have El Cocco or himself then he must have me and that El Cocco must then have the Zombie King. I didn’t say anything, but I have enough faith in everybody (Prof. Madness excluded) to figure this out by themselves between now and March seventh. Oh, I forgot to tell them that for Christday, you exchange gifts on March seventh.

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

the Ethics of Nature

Betrayed. That is what has happened to that last awesome marauding warrior. Betrayed by the dirt which he has used for centuries to bring forth yams, to pack the floors of his huts where his children play, to draw maps and designs of future building sites, and finally, to paint his face before a mightily anticipated battle. A battle that he will never see. As he slides slowly with each desperate but eerily patient struggle, deeper and deeper into the dirt, he realizes too late that had he stayed at home and sat this battle out, all of his men would have survived. Now they are all already below him in the quicksand, and the opposing army alive, well, and probably feeling pretty lousy right now at having been stood up.
Betrayed by the same dirt upon which rests the stones in a circle that represent the tribunal of authority in his tribe. At which the discourse of philosophy and law is made. Battles of words fought every day to expand not their musculature but their minds. Battles that, had they been content in their state of affairs, would be continuing today and tomorrow and the next day. Had the conversations not led to the eventual and current waging of war on surrounding territories for their land and power, had the conversation instead headed towards yams, then the warriors and their fearless suffocating leader would be enjoying a delicious yam feast right now.
Their children would play in the dirt, kicking it up, and later sit around a campfire and listen to a dirty old man covered in dirt regale them with stories and dirty jokes about their dirty pasts and dirt-enriched origins. They would later use the dirt to put out that same campfire. Down the dirt path would come a young man, dirt covering his skin to keep the flies from biting, returning from some philosophical voyage and not a warring one. They would play dirty tricks and say dirty words and eat dirty rice.
Surprised most of all by this strange turn of events however, is the Dirt itself.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

The Dirt, taken upon wings by an old friend, the Wind, then planned to discuss the matter further with the other natural members.
ìWind,î he did outcry, ìtake me to the top of that mountain. So that I may speak with the Snow and Ice and Sleet, our estranged cousins.î
ìThey are no strangers to me,î replied the Wind, ìfor there is no element of nature that exists that does not accompany the Wind.î
ìBraggart!î the Dirt did tease his brother, ìstop this foolishness then, and if you think so well of yourself and wish to prove it unto others, then by actions and not words bring me quickly to the other members of our natural family, for I have many things to discuss and not all of eternity to get it done in.î
ìQuit your playfulness,î the Wind answered, ìfor I am several million years your senior and there is nothing that you could explain to me so patronizingly that I do not already know. Besides, there is nothing which needs to be discussed with anyone so quickly that there are not several epochs that it may take to get around to it.î He stopped to revise himself. ìFor it is said that a butterfly on one side of the planet may someday cause an earthquake or a tidal wave on the other. It is said that, with patience, a dove with his wing may wear down the tallest mountains. How else does a tiger eat an elephant, dear cousin, but bite by bite?î
The Dirt, impatient as hell, shot back, ìAh, but you do blow from the swelter of desert, my brother. Have you seen my dearest twin, the Sand? What news from the dunes and newly built pyramids?î
ìTalk to me not of those pyramids!î The Wind blustered angrily, ìFor they are not of a natural order! The abominations should be damned to the sea or else consumed by fire!î
ìBut brother, are they not made of stone and sand? Is it not the same if not near-same materials which comprise our friend the mountains?î
ìTeasing is something that I have learned to accept as a matter of course from you, ignorant child, but if you resort to blasphemy, then–î
ìNot at all, friend. In fact, the problem at hand with the flourishing human population is but of one of the many matters that I need to discuss with our brethren.î
Stilled suddenly, the Wind pondered this predicament. Would he be seen as implicated in the trouble that surely Dirt was going to stir? Surely, the Wind thought, it would be fleeting as the problem of man itself was sure to be. And surely, the Wind thought, it would provide some much needed howls of laughter, something that the Wind had been bereft of for quite some time.
ìI consent to your request,î the Wind said, picking up a little as he rose with Dirt in tow, ìand additionally, I will take you to see our other many friends and relatives so that you may discuss whatever blasphemies you have to discuss.î
ìBlasphemies are for people, as people believe in things and punish those with subversive proclamations. Retribution is a human thing.î
ìAh, sweet brother,î the Wind cooed, ìYou will soon see that retribution is universal to all things. However, you are correct that elements of nature do not punish one another for subversive thoughts. At the very least, though, you will make a fool of yourself and quite possibly myself as your accomplice. But I shanít argue, and weíll see which of our brethren dare to. Surely, only a fool takes up a foolís argument.î
The journey was not as long as Dirt would have expected. The Wind, though full of himself, was quite accurate on his claims to the ability to travel almost anyplace instantaneously. For Dirt, who travels at a wormís pace from shore to inland and through the air, this was a well-deserved treat.
At the top of the mountain, congregating randomly and so fast that they all became one, were those insidious sisters Snow and Ice and Sleet.
ìHow dare you come this way!î Shot the Ice, turning a cold shoulder to the Dirt and Wind. Dirt believed at first that she was addressing him, but it became apparent that Wind was the deviant she spoke to when he replied.
ìDear sisters, I have not come to harm you. I am not here to spread you senseless, nor is this a social visit. My friend here, whom you have not seen for a very long time, foolishly brings forth questions of a philosophical nature. Allow me to reintroduce the Dirt.î
ìMy, how handsome. And dry!î Shrieked the Sleet.
ìSomebody cold to cuddle up to on those warm nights.î Cooed the Snow, softly.
ìI think he needs a bath.î Dissented the Ice.
ìSpeaking of your mother,î interrupted the Dirt, for the first time, ìhow far are we from the ocean?î
ìNot far,î replied the Snow, ìyou can see it from these heights.î
Sure enough, off in the distance, a tidal wave was consuming an island nation off the coast. Though there was no love lost between these three sisters and their mother, who with the Wind had cast them up there, they still enjoyed the laughter wrought on by her carnage.
ìIt is good to see others feel the brunt of motherís insanity for a change.î The Ice said, bitingly.
ìI only wish we would get more humans up here.î The Sleet hissed, ìIt just isnít fair. Very rarely is it that we get a chance to freeze any foolish travelers.î
ìI donít know,î the Snow whispered, ìI sort of like the humans.î
ìShut up!î the other two shouted, blowing harshly.
ìIt is just that matter which we wish to discuss with you, however.î the Dirt piped in.
ìReally? Shall we discuss the best way in which to kill a human? Shall we discuss the proper length for keeping them alive? Perhaps the fun of watching them ever-so-slowly decomposing in such cold climates? Why, did you know, up above at the very peak of this mountain, we can keep a human body indefinitely? Isnít that fun?î
ìNo!î The Dirt churned inside. ìI am here to discuss with you the very ethics of such murder!î
The sisters settled down. The Wind, embarrassed, stopped moving. Even the Snow, who was mostly silent, fell a little.
ìWhat was that?î spoke a grating voice from below and above and around them all.
ìWho is that?î cried the Dirt.
ìIt is I, the mountain upon whom you pose such silly conferences. I am the Stone Elder.î
ìI apologize for disturbing you, sir,î stirred the Dirt, ìbut it is of most grave consequence to the benefit of this planet, and to my very own conscience. Hopefully, it shall be for us all.î
ìA conference, you request then, amongst all the elements?î
ìIt is, sir.î
The Stone was silent for a moment. His many stratum contemplating this.
ìWind, do you follow in this Dirtís way of thinking?î
ìHa, ha. My, no, Stony-baby. I thought it would be a lark if I tagged along and rode this one out. Besides, how else was the Dirt going to get a ride out here? Besides on the soles of a humanís shoes, which, aside from complicating the situation, would take quite a long time, as these sisters did say.î
ìYes. Very well. I, too, shall humor this idiot. But if there is to be a conference, (and if I am to be disturbed for it), may we not gather all the elements together? I want them all to share with me in this lunacy.î
ìHow delightfully stubborn of you, dear Stone.î The Wind said, howling with laughter.
ìDonít dare to bring Fire up here!î Shrieked the Sleet.
ìNor our mother!î the Snow gently spoke.
ìNonsense! We must find some neutral ground, where it is befitting for Fire, Water, Snow, and Dirt. Wind, make it so.î
And thus the wind began to shoot about in several directions. He began to spin around and around the mountain until he was a gigantic tornado, whipping the nearby sea about like confetti, dissipating the Waterís tidal waves and grabbing her attention. The Fire, who was meanwhile burning a small village in the jungle, put itself out long enough to get its ash over to the foot of the mountain.
The tornado, more violent now, lifted the mountain up and placed it closer to the beach and the jungle, making a sort of neutral ground, and a sort of courtroom for these elements to confer within. The Wind, though part of the conference within the boundaries of the tornado, kept it going as a sort of barrier, keeping humans and all other life out for this meeting.

The water, it was known well within the group, was quite guilty of crimes against humanity. Not a few centuries prior, it seemed, a great flood had overtaken the Earth, and destroyed most life. At varying intervals, the water had eradicated certain island nations, and an entire continent that the humans called ëAtlantis.í
Fire, a quiet fizzle in the background of the group, could be accused of having been in league with man in many situations. As man learned to cook, as he murdered the families of other men, as he kept himself alive each winter against the Snow and Ice and Sleet. Fire, for this and other reasons, kept his distance from those sisters, as well as all watery elements. And though a good distance from the Wind and Dirt that could easily put out a healthy Fire, it managed to stay within the inner circle of the groupís conversation, as wind has been known to help and not hinder the spread of wildfire.
It was also known, to Dirt and to the others, that Fire was one of the biggest accomplices to the genocide of man. Entire countries and forested areas burned by Fire and volcanic ash. Individuals roasted alive in social protest, and innocent domesticated fires gone insanely out of control. Fire, it could be said, was the fun-loving guy at every party that wants to be your friend, but if you mess with him in a bad way, youíre asking to be burnt.

ìWhat is the meaning of this?î Said the Water, splashing ashore creating a high tide against the mountain.
ìShut up, you.î The Stone Elder rumbled. ìThis is the Dirtís doing, I will let him begin. I shall preside over this meeting, and attempt to guide it, to gird you more untamable elements. Dirt?î
ìYes, ahem, thank you.î the Dirt rasped a little, checked himself, then began. ìAs you all know, the problem of man presents us with quite a little question. We may see it as a threat that has to be ended. As he nets the fish from the Waterís oceans. As he tames the Fire for his own ends. I, perhaps, have the most reason to complain, for I am trod upon every day.î
ìYeah, tell ëem!î Fire cackled.
ìHowever,î the Dirt continued, ìI have adopted the stand that man is of no real threat, as we are not fragile beings, certainly not as fragile as man, and should thus forth let him be. Or at the very least, go easy on him.î
ìMan is a virus!î Shot out the Sleet.
After a moment, the Dirt prodded her, ìDefend your position or else keep it silent.î
The Wind said, ìThough I do not agree with the Dirt, I must say that it is better to stay silent and appear the fool than to speak up and remove all doubt.î Though this had the appearance of having been directed at the Sleet, a little westward blow, of course, let the Dirt know that he was not free from a foolís guilt.
ìThis is nonsense!î waves of Water crashed as she spoke, ìThere will come a day when man will deplete the fish of my oceans so much, and pollute my inlets, to the point where nothing can be replenished. There will be a day when I rain upon the Earth as acid, and the Wind shall blow nothing but smoke.î
ìFurther nonsense!î the Ice cut in. ìThis entire conversation is a silly waste of time. Man will kill, we will kill. Who cares? We are immortals, are we not?î
ìHa!î Said the Fire from the back, ìWas there not a time when this planet was yours, Ice? Did not itís entire surface belong to you? Now it is your motherís, or else it is the Stone and Dirtís.î
ìAnd yet I remain. My point is not that we can diminish, but that we are natural forces that should have no part in this ëman problem.í Dirt, if you do not like being trod upon, or if you do like it for some other masochistic reason, that is your problem. Do not concern us with it.î
ìIf your argument is to leave man alone, then why not do it?î The Dirt pointed out. ìWas it not you who spoke earlier of the fun you had murdering such small creatures?î
ìHad they been elephants, Iíd be no more or less entertained.î The Ice said slyly.
ìNot my point.î Replied the Dirt.
ìNow, daughter,î the Water put in, ìyou know there are no elephants who would go to cold climates anymore.î
ìYes, and whose fault is that?î The Sleet defended her sister.
ìShut up! Elephants are not the point!î The Dirt composed himself, ìThe reason we are here is to determine if it is right to murder man, or if it is better to let him be! You all know my stance, now the floor is open for debate!î
There was no reply.
ìCome now, who will debate me?î
Still no reply.
ìAm I to take this as an agreement that man is to be no longer touched, or a protest against these debates as a ëwaste of time?íî
ìWhy does this trouble you so?î Asked the Stone Elder, after a moment. ìWhat claims have you to the patronage of man?î
ìAh,î put in the Wind, quite sarcastically, ìthe heart of the matter.î
There was a murmur amongst those present.
ìWell, in a way,î the Dirt began humbly, ìWith our transient and presently silent cousin the Lightning, I am responsible for the life on this planet. As a bog mind you. As Clay and Mud, not Dirt, was I molded into the forms of life. With Lightning and electricity and the randomness of the universe for spirit did part of me go into these creatures. The single-celled organisms which became both plants and animals.î He was really stirring now, ìShould I not be proud of my greatest offspring?! Should I not see to the protection of the most advanced carbon life-forms this planet has known?! Am I not the under-credited father of man?!î
The Water chimed in at this point, ìHow can you claim to be the father of man, when you yourself said that only as Mud, and not Dirt, was this deed accomplished? If you are the father of man, and I am not purporting that you are, but let us suppose that you are, then I am the mother of life, part of you and part of I and all of us part of each other. Are the creatures themselves not largely comprised of Water?î
ìSpeak not of motherly love, hypocrite! How many have you drowned? How many infants have died at your hands? How many crops have you destroyed? More, if not the same amount, as those successful rains for the fields? Tell them also, of the unholy unions in which you and I murdered men and women in the jungle. Tell them how you made me a murderous weapon at your disposal, to sadistically sink humans into the ground and suffocate.î
ìDust to dust, dear Dirt.î the Water did reply, ìOur unholy union has resulted in unholy offspring. Another unholy union could easily eradicate such vermin! Do they not empty my waters of fish? Do they not pollute me and stop me up as beavers do, but for not such a benevolent purpose? Is it not on my churning surface that men wage wars and kill each other, tinting me red with rage and ignorance?î
ìAnd besides,î the Fire cut in, ìman can be said to have evolved the way he did as a result of the harsh external stimuli he has faced. Heís better off for it!î
The Dirt, now himself clouded with rage, was cut off from fumes by his traveling partner, the Wind.
ìIgnore his seething stupidity, dear cousins,î the Wind put in, ìThe Dirt has no doubt been persuaded by the idiot legends of such humans with religions. While most of them, if not all of them, worship the sun and the rivers as partial deities, they all dedicate full-time worship to the myth that a God of some omnipotent power fashioned man from Clay and Dirt. That woman resulted from that first man, who resulted from the Dirt.î
ìAre you telling us,î cackled the Fire, ìthat our little son has come to believe in a human God?î
The Stone Elder, however, did not laugh. He sat wondering deeper questions than those immediately brought to his attention.
ìVery well,î he said, ìif no consent can be reached among us elemental forms, let it be argued no further. For I have devised a way to convict man that surely cannot be rebuked by Dirt or any other defendant. As there is no fair jury here, it seems, we shall have to question some of manís victims, so that we gain a broader range of his menace.î
It was then that the kangaroo courtroom, the tornado that housed all these elements, lifted and dropped in a teeming pool of life somewhere. The Wind settled his outer wall, so as not to destroy the animals they hoped to question, as well as to dissipate the barrier between them.
However, when questioned, the animals responded almost unanimously with apathy and nonchalance. The predators did not want to appear hypocritical, as they ate of other animals. The herbivores, of course, did not want to appear hypocritical, as they ate of living creatures as well, the plants, that cannot even run or employ a fight or flight response.
In short, the animals did not mind the competition. For when asked about manís unfair advantage of weapon-making abilities, many if not all carnivores replied by saying that manís mind was the equivalent to a lionís claws or the sharkís teeth. A man, they reasoned, is not particularly fast or strong or even thick of hide like an elephant. As such, what sort of fair play would it be if a man did not have a mind to make weapons? A man, alone in the wild without his mind, could simply stand with trimmed fingernails and huddle into a fetal position, waiting to die.
When told of future events, of extinction and domestications and pollution, animals still did not waver in their positions.
ìIt is the way of things,î they all would say, ìthat certain species die out and others remain. Like the dinosaurs, the elephants and whales and man himself will wane and die out.î
Rabbits, cows, chickens, and other future food supplies for man, when told of the horrors in slaughterhouses that their members faced, would not waver. ìWhy not get fatted and flourish in numbers, even if it is to die for another species? Is that not what we do now when the summers are good? The purpose of each species, if it does not go extinct, is to multiply in numbers and provide food for another so that it may do the same. That is the way of things. If it is done painfully in the wild or in a slaughterhouse should not matter. The pain of death is something that we all must have to endure, be it at the claws of a lion as we die slowly and bleed to death and are eaten alive, or if our beaks are cut off by hot knives and our writhing, living bodies are thrown into scalding waters and breaded. Dust to dust.î

Having not gotten the answers that they wanted, the elements then implored upon the plants to see the horrors that man would soon wreak upon the land.
Surely the plants would be the greatest offended! As certain species of plants are moved about the globe, one new species strangling the other. As weeds from Europe take over trees in South America. As the glorious rain forests are razed to the ground to make room for cattle. As hypocritical vegetarians who refuse to eat living animal meat cruelly boil carrots and potatoes and cabbage alive, then smoke other forms or plants alive for pure recreation. As they kill them en masse for designer clothing and wooden buildings and toys and useless papers for useless news and useless short stories on useless subjects to be read by useless people.
Surely the plants would see that, after logging and pollution and urban development and the eradication of everything from redwoods to cacti to the sad, pathetic weeping willows, surely they would see the menace that man represents. They are, after all, the entire world. The soon-to-be-polluted algae of the oceans. The green oxygen-enriching plants of the world bound by their empathic life force. The elements explained things to them and begged for, at the very least, a poor recommendation on manís behavior.
The plants, however, said nothing.
Theyíre fucking plants!

ìThis does not appease me!î Cried the Stone Elder.
ìNor me,î fizzled the Fire just behind him, ìI fume for death in the streets!î
ìIdiots!î Boomed the thunder and Lightning. ìWas it not I who gave life to man and all life on this planet? Ask not the trees or the animals or even amongst yourselves whether or not this be a menace! I am who am and the origin of all that exists. Pure energy and magnetism that brought together this and all other planets! Enough of myselfÖ enough or too much of any of you, could destroy this planet alone. Should it not be consumed with Fire, or overtaken by Water as it already once was? Could not the earthquakes or volcanoes or even excessive wind eradicate all that lives or does not live on this surface? And yes, with a strong enough electrical plasma charge, I could do away with all of you.î
The thundering paused a moment for dramatic effect, during which all the other natural elements were silent, and when they were about to speak again, the thunderclap cut them off.
ìIs not man but another natural force? Simple carbon! Is he not another resource that may exhaust himself like the oil or the nitrogen? Think of this, foolhardy elements, that the greatest threat to manís future is man himself. All of your most awesome powers combined pale in comparison to the power which man wields against himself.î
ìBut that is exactly the point!î The Stone Elder rumbled, but to no avail over the deafening blows of thunderous speech.
ìHoweverÖ I should think that if natural elements such as ourselves could randomly create life once, it could be done again and again. If I decided, with Mud and primordial ooze, to fashion another set of creatures to evolve, I could do so. If man killed off himself and all life around him on this planet, the Stone and Water and Fire would remain. Polluted, tainted, perhaps, but remain you all shall. Thus we would begin anew and persevere as we have for all eternity. Look at man already, as he digs deep into the ground for iron, and accomplishes great feats of metallurgy. See as he harnesses the atom and a mastery of outer space travel. They are a self-eradicating problem. They are an autoimmune problem. They are nullifying. They are a transient nuisance at best. A minor rash that will pass, my friends, before our conversation is over.î
Sure enough, it seemed, the human problem had already begun to solve itself. In the several millennia or so that these elements had been busying themselves with the arguments and debates on ethical and philosophical questions, manís numbers had waned to inconsequential numbers. All this without the harshness of nature, as the natural elements were too busy with their quarrels to dedicate full animosity to the human beings. Mankind had had it easy, it seemed, for the past several thousand years, and had still managed to do away with themselves.
The sad irony of it, was that man attributed this kindness to a gentler, kinder God. The sad irony of it, was that if man had been too busy defending against natural elements, his technological progress would never have been the end of him.
Thus it was decided that natural elements should go about their business as they always had, not too cruel and not too kind, despite any changes in Earthís timeline.
It was not the success that the Dirt had hoped for, but it was compromise enough.
Never again, they decided, would nature argue ethics.

Shit

Usually, when shit hits the fan, I just stand back and enjoy the abstract art. It’s kind of hard to do, however, when some of that art is all over you.

I hate to see good friends of mine break apart, either through neglect, as is the case with one household of friends that I deeply and sincerely love, or through animosity and distrust as is with the other. Love is never to strong a word to use when it comes to your friends. I do not let friendships die easily. I try my damnedest to keep in contact with a number of people from as far back as second grade, from Phoenix, Arizona and Wahiawa, Hawaii to Cardiff, Wales. Anyone whom I have befriended in my short tenure as a mortal upon this spinning globe who attempts to contact me will be met with enthusiasm and rejoice. So it pains me deeply when those that I love drift away.

This goes back pretty far. Not only was a raised with this philosophy, but I’ve also seen that neither of my parents socialize much, and never do I want to resign myself to that fate. Also, a very good friend of mine, Matt Fisher, moved to Kentucky long ago and I have never heard from him since. Many dear friends of mine have passed away, or do not return emails. But more importantly, I don’t like it when two mutual friends of mine suddenly get angry over something petty with each other, like money, or a woman, or housing, and this sort of shit starts to go down. Fuck that. You’re old enough to know better.

I realize that I’m being very ambiguous, though I have no reason to. I suppose I want to conceal names to protect the innocent, even though if these people peruse my pages they will know damned well who I’m referring to.

Not only that, but I face housing expulsion soon, possible starvation, and at the very least the far displacement of the woman I love. These are all my fault however, so when shit hits the fan its a little hypocritical to complain when you were the monkey flinging the poo.