You Poor Bastard.


Bastard Catcher In The Rye







“Something always happens.”
Holden Caulfield



It was nothing I had to do. I think some girl I wanted to maybe go out with told me I should read a goddam book once in awhile if I didn’t want to turn into a poor dumb bastard.  We never actually went out. But I read a book. A book called The Catcher in the Rye.  It turned out that I kind of read the book in the eighth grade, but it was at the request of Sister Thomas Moore, who was some kind of rebel I guess, because there’s a lot of taking the Lord’s name in vain in it. A lot. But it was the first thing I had ever read that made me want to write something;  and I mean write any goddam thing I wanted. 

And now, this J. D. Salinger sport, the author, he up and died.  It sounds terrible when you talk about it.  But it turns out the thing about reading that book was, when you’re all done reading it, you wished the writer— that poor dead Salinger guy— you wished that he was a terrific friend of yours and you could just call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.  That would be great wouldn’t it?  But now you can’t.  It’s all very sardonic when you think about it.  That poor bastard.

I guess I was just another alienated youth of the early sixties, and that angst-ridden little twerp, that Holden Morrissey Caulfield character, reached into my chest and massaged my heart, made it beat a little faster, made me feel a little more alive. He also reached into my mind and made me think a little deeper. Not always in a good way, just deeper. But mostly, it made me want to write.  At the time though, just having that thought made it feel like heresy and betrayal. I had already defined myself as a visual artist, and I only used a pencil to draw, if you know what I mean.

And a few years later, I was not a single sentence closer to being a writer.
 Instead, I had pretty much been forced to get involved in a goddam WAR.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not some flake who is always blaming someone else for questionable stuff that happens to me, but in this case, it was Emmet Conrad Jessberg III’s fault, if you want to know the truth. That’s his real name. Jessburg was one of these three guys I worked with, and all three of them were pretty witty bastards. Incidentally, none of them had ever been in the military; they were just sure that if I got drafted, which could’ve happened any day, or if I joined the Marine Corps with all my high school wrestling buddies, which I was planning on doing, I was going to wind up not ever breathing again, sealed up in a pine box. (Younger people may not know that I don’t mean drafted like being exposed to a draft of cold air which results in you catching pneumonia or something else that kills you; no, “the draft” I’m talking about was this thing the government had going to make sure they never ran out of enough fresh young soldiers to fight a WAR. They gave you a number, and if your number came up, you had a date with the Selective Service and, you had your destiny changed, all in one convenient transaction. They were a bunch of steely-eyed sonsabitches who maintained information on those of us low information types who were legally subject to “military conscription.”)

He assured me the only way I wouldn’t wind up a “miserable grunt patrolling a hell-hole jungle in Vietnam and getting my goddam brains blown out” was to join the Navy. He said it was only natural that a guy like me would be much safer on a ship, and that chances were good I could go to Europe or even Hawaii or someplace like that.  And he assured me that the ocean was really beautiful. I had never seen the ocean, but I could imagine it was a lot nicer than a mosquito-infested goddam jungle.

So through a strange and fortuitous series of events, instead of becoming a writer or a dead grunt, I avoided the draft and became a freshly-minted United States Navy puke; just another poor bastard without a clue in a quaint old uniform headed to a quaint old war zone.  And when I got there I eventually found a government issued ballpoint pen and began to scribble things in a journal. Apparently all that personal discovery was something I had to do, too, because, like immediately, some witty bastard from Lake Charles, Louisiana pointed out that if I expected to become a goddam writer and not some goddam bore, I should always keep a journal.  So I did.

I dug up that journal today and, mixed in with a lot of pretty embarrassing stuff about old girlfriends, (I was in Vietnam, for Chrissake) I rediscovered that I had been marooned all night at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines on December 17th, 1969, trying to get a flight back to the CONUS;  and while I was marooned there I was reading The Catcher In The Rye.


Sitting in Clark Air Force Base Passenger Terminal, the universal aroma of Marlboros
wandering through the scent of everything, and nothing at all.
I’m on my way back home, I think.
from my Navy Journal


I goddam hate cigarette smoke.   But I swear to God I was sitting right smack dab in the middle of Marlboro country.  The terminal had a visible blue haze that stunk up the place like some giant smoldering ass.  And there was cheap Christmas shit everywhere.  I’m not kidding.  Fake frosty pine cones, fake plastic candy canes, fake frosty Christmas trees, and lots of other fake frosty-looking stuff too heinous to put into words.  Meanwhile, penetrating the haze was this primitively rendered sound of somebody that sounded a lot like a bad Gene Autry impersonator might’ve sound if he was like, instead of singing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, he was actually butchering Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. I mean the song, for Chrissake.  GAutryAnd there’s at least a hundred and ten other pukes being forced to listen to this as they’re sitting around in a nicotine stupor and smoking like goddam chimneys, waiting to get outa there;  I know it was at least one hundred and ten because that’s how many pukes were on the waiting list ahead of me— waiting for their goddam chair in the sky back to the CONUS.

The Navy had owned me and my tired ass for the past 722 and a half days, but now they were finally losing their goddam grip.  My indentured life was almost finished.  I was too frustrated to sleep, because my midnight flight had just been delayed 24 hours;  I needed to find something to focus on besides the smell of fifty million dead cigarettes, and all that shiny aluminum Christmas paraphernalia that littered the whole goddam terminal.  Even the head, for Chrissake.  I know baby Jesus would have been crying nonstop if he had been there.  Because some witty bastard thought if you had enough goddam decorations up every goddam place, some homesick jarhead, some lonely squid, or some broken-hearted grunt— might look at it for five seconds and would suddenly stop missing their mom and dad, their girlfriend, their brothers and sisters, or all the other lucky stiffs who weren’t sitting there in that smoked-up goddam passenger terminal in the middle of the goddam night in the middle of goddam nowhere.

Wayne McLaren

This was Wayne; he worked in the real Marlboro country. Another poor bastard.• 

But me?  I was lucky.  I saw a copy of The Catcher in the Rye at the Andersen Air Force Base terminal on the east end of Guam;  yes, goddam GUAM.  How crazy was that.  So I bought it.  It turns out that wasn’t crazy at all.  It turns out that a million copies of The Catcher in the Rye are sold every goddam year, and in 1968 there were already seventeen million copies of it floating around, so it wasn’t a big deal finding one on Guam.  They probably had a pallet load of them in the passenger terminal storeroom.  I’m not kidding.   And there I was, trying to stay focused at 3 A.M. by reading about some fictional malaprop. . . wait. . .  no.   I think I mean misanthrope— or maybe a malapropic misanthrope— or a misanthropic malaprop?  Goddammit.  A misanthrope named Holden goddam Caulfield.  It’s probably just because it was something familiar;  something that connected me to my home, and my past.
After all, Holden Caulfield was locked up.  That poor little bastard.  Jesus.

But me?  They let me go free.


*CONUS: Continental United States


  • Wayne McLaren, who posed for some promotional photographs on behalf of Marlboro in 1976, succumbed to lung cancer at age 51 on 22 July 1992. McLaren was a former professional rodeo rider who appeared in small parts in various television series and movies (primarily Westerns) throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and he modeled for print advertising between acting jobs in the mid-1970s, including a Marlboro campaign in 1976. McLaren, who had a pack-and-a-half a day smoking habit, was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 49. Despite chemotherapy, the removal of one lung, and radiation treatments, the cancer eventually spread to his brain and killed him. After learning he had cancer, McLaren embarked on an anti-smoking campaign that included the production of a commercial described as follows:
    In the powerful TV spot, images of the handsome young Wayne McLaren in a Stetson hat are juxtaposed with shots of his withered form in a hospital bed just prior to his death. His brother, Charles, provides the voice-over and chides tobacco companies for promoting an ‘independent’ lifestyle and asks, ‘Lying there with all those tubes in you, how independent can you really be?’


The President’s Cup Runneth Over


Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria

Jose Garcia Vicente points to the pile of rubble, compliments of Hurricane Maria, that used to be his home. Notice too, located in what used to be his kitchen, is The President’s Cup, which is annually awarded to the winners of a fucking golf tournament;  this year the trophy did double duty, also being dedicated to “all the people of Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico” who “have been affected” by recent hurricanes. Well played, sir;  well fucking played.¹


AIBONITO, PUERTO RICO —  President and fulltime game show host, Donald J. TRump, was spotted while not tweeting on Sunday as he prepared to award some losers winners in striped shirts, The President’s Cup trophy— a nasty looking gold-plated spitoon-like thing, nearly big enough to fit on TRump’s head.
Here’s a little bit of his salad, my emphasis:

“On behalf of all of the people of Texas, of all of the people of — if you look today, if you see what’s happening, how horrible it is, but we have it under really great control, Puerto Rico, and the people of Florida, who are really suffering, over this last short period of time, with hurricanes.  I want to just remember them, and we are going to dedicate this trophy, to all of those people, that went through so much.  That I can tell you.

“And, I tell you what!  I’ve been watching this, from the beginning, and I have to say, our Team USA, wow, did you play,  well.”


Just then, a skinny white man near the back of the crowd, dressed all in black with a scrawny ponytail, began vociferously yelling at the president.


Golf courses!  Just what we need!  plenty of good land in nice neighborhoods, land that is currently being wasted on a meaningless, mindless activity, engaged in primarily by white well-to-do male businessmen, who use the game to get together to make deals to carve this country up into finer chunks among themselves.  I am getting tired… realllly gettinnng tired of these golfing cocksuckers in their green pants, and their yellow pants, and their orange pants, and their precious little hats, and their cute little golf carts, to cart their fat asses around!
“It’s time to reclaim the golf courses from the wealthy and turn them over to the homeless!  Golf is an arrogant, elitist game and it takes up entirely too much room in this country.
WHAT DO THESE PIN-HEADED PRICKS NEED WITH ALL THAT LAND?!!!  There are over 17,000 golf courses in America, they average over 150 acres apiece, that’s 3 million plus acres, 4,820 square miles—  you could build two Rhode Island’s and a Delaware for the homeless on the land currently being wasted on this meaningless, mindless, arrogant, elitist, racist — there’s another thing:  the only blacks you’ll find in country clubs are carrying trays — and it’s a borrring game… boring game for borrring people.
You ever watch golf on television while you’re fucking twittering, Mr. President!?   It’s like watching flies fuck!   It’s such a mindless game, mmmmmmindless!   Think of how much intellect it must take to draw pleasure from this… activity:  Hitting a tiny fucking ball with a crooked little stick… and then… walking after it… and then… HITTING IT AGAIN!!!   I SAY, PICK IT UP, ASSHOLE!!!   YOU’RE LUCKY YOU FOUND THE FUCKING THING!!!   PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET AND GO-THE-FUCK HOME!!!   YOU FOUND IT!!!  YOU’RE A WINNER!!!  YOU’RE A WINNER!!!
Aren’t you tired of  “WINNING” YET?!? 
I say let these rich cocksuckers play miniature golf!  Let ‘em fuck with a windmill for an hour or so…  see if there’s really any skill among these people.   Now, I know some of ‘you people‘— people who play golf, but don’t consider themselves rich…   FUCK ‘EM!!!   And SHAME on them for engaging in this arrogant, elitist, meaningless, mindless, and racist pastime!”


Many of you will recognize that is mostly the ebullient golf screed of the late, great George Carlin.  We caught up with the fellow that delivered it, who actually looks a lot like Carlin— turns out to be Stephen A. Heckler, an amateur Carlin impersonator.
“Yeah, I know, I know” he explains.  “My dad, Dick— thought it would be just hysterical if I had to say to everyone I meet,
‘Hi, I’m Steve, A Heckler.’  But my high school principal did not think it was funny, “that I can tell you.”

That I can tell you—  That’s a, you know, a TRump euphemism for ‘I just lied.'”

The President's Cup

Stephen “Steve” A. Heckler at The President’s Cup ceremony.

Well, I can tell you, that A. Heckler was carefully but politely escorted by the Secret Service out of the golf club, where they chatted with him amiably a few moments, shook his hand, and sent him on his way.  LOLz


GolfWeek, who was also covering the event, had some interesting comments from their uh, let’s call it a, “pro-golf” perspective:

“Unlike several NFL players before games on Sunday, none of the United States President’s Cup players took a knee during the closing ceremony.  That was no surprise because, on Tuesday, Stricker* said, ‘We’ve had a discussion already, and none of my players want to do that.’  There was also no sign of any anti-Trump sentiment among the fans.”


Teh President's Cup

USA! USA! Just a few of what the president of the United States candidly refers to as “Everyday Americans.”  No one we spoke with would speak with us, let alone about this frivolity that took place with the cup TRump dedicated to “…all the people of Texas, Florida, and, what’s that third one? —What?  Right— Porta Ricah [sic]”


* Some golfer named “Stricker.”

¹ Original AP Photo/Gerald Herbert




Misanthropic Sociopaths


Big Oil Dipsticks: Misanthropic SociopathsIncorrect order from bored shitless to arrogant fuck Misanthropic Sociopaths: Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, Chevron CEO John Watson, Shell President Marvin Odum, Conoco-Phillips CEO Jim Mulva, BP America Chairman Lamar McKay.



Humanity marches on;
you can fight it—
or you can fight for it.
Change will come with or without you.


The Unambiguously DULL DUO

Thursday night America’s new dream duo, Willard Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, will lay
out their plans for America’s future under Republican rule.  Hold onto your butts.

TAMPA — Come hell or high water, (the latter still a distinct possibility) on Thursday night the Republican Party will send its new “Comeback Team” packing. That is, packing for the campaign trail, like there’s no Republican tomorrow if they don’t.

Not everyone is thrilled with the “Comeback Team.”  While “some people” are calling them the “Dream Duo,” some others would rather call them the “Dull Duo.” (Don’t say that too fast.)  In fact, they are openly and unambiguously disappointed with the Romney-Ryan ticket, and feel at this point the only thing that can rescue the ticket and the party is a great speech that will agitate the base for the home stretch, from The Willard himself.

Naturally, we wanted to be the first to get our hands on Willard’s speech, but realizing that’s totally impossible, we decided to write it ourselves.

Here then, unedited but dramatically shortened for lack of content, is Mitt Romney‘s acceptance speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention:

Hello and Ola, What is up Americans!  Some of you have let the dogs out again!
Well trust me — I know where dogs belong!  (Best Self-effacing Laugh: AhHa Ha Ha ha ha!)  (Pause for applause)

As some of you know, these are desperate times for those of us with multiple homes but without good-paying jobs, unemployed people like me, and that’s why I’m running for president, and why my very very close partner and long-time friend, Paul Ryan, is also running for presi, for vice-president.  Now I know some of you people have said our respective positions look really uncomfortable, but I assure you we are a team!  We are the “COMEBACK TEAM,” and we are going to make America come back!  (Pause for applause)

Now it is a lonely job, but we are not alone;  we have many many corporate persons who are indissolubly partnering with us, to defeat the evil that is now ripping my, our wonderful way of life, apart.  Yes, I’m talking about the impostor in the White House!  (Pause for applause)

Let’s just call him the “Impostor In Chief,” shall we? (Pause for thunderous applause)

This is a man who still gets asked, and nearly every day,  for his real birth certificate!  (Pause for applause or booing)

This is a man who is, as some people have said, not a “real American,” because he has clearly dedicated himself to stealing your votes by any means necessary, including, but not limited to, increasing the taxes on America’s wealthiest citizens!  (Pause for boos)

This is a man who is making you and me pay for other people’s health care costs!  (Pause for booing)

This is a man who has gutted the work requirements from our very generous welfare programs!  (Pause for extended booing)

And many of those entitlement-loving people are not citizens, and like our Impostor In Chief, are not real Americans!  But I assure you, if they will not take the hint and use self-deportation, then by golly, I’ve got the ca-joe-neys [sic] to send them back to wherever they came from!  (Pause for thunderous applause)  (Point and laugh, make thumbs up sign to audience)

My friends, this is a man who is is also trying to convince good Americans to force me, through terrible lies and innuendo, to release my private tax returns!  (Pause for boos)
But you know, it’s still a free country, my friends!  And your privacy and my privacy are worth fighting for!  Let’s keep our private affairs private, shall we?!  Are you with me?!?  (Pause for thunderous applause)

Are there any women here?  (Laugh: Hahaha!)  (Pause for cheering, screaming women)
Now I’ve heard there’s a lot of talk out there about a “War on Women
,” or some such nonsense.  Of course we Republicans love our women, and especially when they are still too small to stand up for their rights.  That’s why as your next president, I’m guaranteeing you right here, right now, that our children are a blessing, and no matter who caused them to be issued, we will no longer allow them to be put to death in America.  No exceptions!  (Pause briefly for possible confusion/applause)

My friends, one more thing is certain:  Our great Christian nation— our Nordic heritage— our best-in-the-world health insurance industry— will not survive… unless we get the curse that is ObamaCare off our backs!
And with your help, and your contributions, we can do it! (Make sure web address crawls across screen) (Pause for extended applause)

You know, it’s a new, but still very much the same, highly dangerous world out there that would like to see the United States, and our friends in Israel, destroyed.  (Pause for booing)
My friends, we live in the greatest nation on earth.  So do you really want to let the cowardly Obama administration avoid a war so your way of life can be destroyed by religious fanatics from Iran?!?  (Pause for collective shout of “NO!”)
I will not let that happen!  (Pause for cheers)

As your new Commander in Chief, I will use every last one of our brave men and women in the military to turn Iran’s evil plans to radioactive dust!  (Pause for thunderous protracted cheering, chanting, and applause)
And with your help, and your contributions, (make sure web address crawls across screen) we can make our message of freedom and democracy get viral around the world.

God Bless you, and God Bless the real Americans in the United States of America.  (Let the balloons out!)

America, Come Back!

America, Come Back!

America, Come Back!

America, Come Back!

America, Come Back!

America, Come Back!