IsGaudete by Steeleye Span. It's like being ear-raped by the Renaissance. We tried to listen to it in its entirety, but some fugitive sense of self-preservation asserted itself, and we tore off the headphones to give our heaving ears a chance to gulp in some fresh silence.
"The Boar Head's Carol" sounds great, if you're into singing boar's heads
What kind of a monster sets fire to ketchup? Well let me tell you. The kind who writes a story that doesn't make any sense!
He had the thousand yard stare of a taxidermist's yak. She was an anthill of resentful yearning. Together they put up the "grub stake" to buy the condiment in question, then soaked it in kerosene and put a match to it.
Fortunately, I don't know them personally. I only know that they fall into the category of people who cannot be shot out of a cannon, they have the medical certificates to prove it.
Anyhoo, in reference to my employment application, I've heard one million guitar solos, I'm always impressed by everything, she moves with such teensy feet through the famous snow. Let it lick itself if it wants to, it knows how to lick, all it has to do is grow a tongue. Yes, I'm talking to you, rock. Grow a tongue. You know you want to.
Furthermore: I can spell Stan Gezt, I have definitive documentary proof that I can both add numbers and with my fingernails scratch holes in things, I don't know why you won't hire me. I'm your smoldering gift, your dirty future finally catching up with you.
I wanted to write a book, and in it I wanted to say all the things I never wanted to say. Or had no memory of or could not say for reasons having to do with an inability to express myself or (in the case of certain juicy life episodes) was legally barred from saying by a court of law, in return for which I retained large sums of what is commonly referred to as hush money, proffered to me in return for my silence by an individual whom I can only identify as Lionel Richie, whoops. That last sentence is a mess. But anyway, the book strangled itself, in my head, before I could lay my hands on it, and strangle it myself. So now, the book being dead, I'll never be able to write the book. Because you can't, and I know this for a fact having spoken to many authors and physicians, write a dead book.
Damn the book!
Anyway. The book, had it lived, would have begun:
"It will not do," he did not say. No did he, indeed, even dare think it.
Back in our Philly days, our friend Patrick was always listening to Fairport Convention. Naturally we wrote him off as an effete loser and English folk rock pansy. People, where we come from, did not listen to Fairport Convention. It made them ball their fists in rage. But Patrick didn't care, because he was an odd bird, and a genius too. It was he who, when we asked him the best way to get a girl, told us to walk confidently up to her and in a drooling idiot's voice say, "I wear diapers."
Patrick was always doing things like copying out Moby Dick (the whole book) in longhand for reasons that we could but dimly understand. Once we came home (we were sharing an apartment on Bainbridge Street with him and our pal Todd at the time) and he'd painted a huge quote by a German filmmaker across the kitchen wall, which was pretty cool. He was also always performing weird acoustical experiments that involved placing microphones in big jars, or playing one-stringed electric guitars tuned to the chord of annoying. He also co-wrote our Lesbian Boy anthem "Bad Sounds", and singlehandedly came up our favorite lyric of all time, namely, "Bad sounds all day long/Like a dog licking its balls real loud." And our second favorite, "Let's go to Limbo where there's meat in the trees/And fat little babies who died of disease." That last one left us in stitches for weeks.
Anyway, we mocked Patrick for listening to Fairport Convention, and as punishment for our hubris are reaping the whirlwind, because now we're listening to Fairport Convention too. There's a lesson to be learned here, so all you young people listen up: Don't mess around with Fairport Convention. Doesn't listen to them "for laughs" like we did, and mock them for coming up with album titles like "Liege and Lief", because they just might actually crawl into your skull and set up housekeeping there, where you can't evict them and they don't even have to pay rent. Like somebody once said of somebody else, "He came to mock, but remained to pray."
Indeed, we just listened to "Percy's Song" for like the 90th time, which is a terrible thing to have to admit, and now we're listening to "Si Tu Dois Partir", which as you can tell is fucking FRENCH, which breaks our rule of never listening to anything in French but Serge Gainsbourg, who was ugly and smoked and still got Jane Birkin, which makes him okay with us.
"Van fully intended to become Dylan's best friend, but the whole time we were there they never met." She winced at the memory. "Every time we'd drive past Dylan's house--Van didn't drive, I did--Van would just stare wistfully out the window at the gravel road leading to Dylan's place. He thought Dylan was the only contemporary worthy of his attention. But back then, Bob just wasn't interested in him." Janet Rigsbee, Morrison's then spouse
June 1: Didn't see Bobbo.
June 2: Spent day standing about on the road outside Bob's house. No sign of Bobbo.
June 13: Spent day on Bobbo's shed roof. A bleeding pigeon tried to bugger me. I would like to think my attempt to meet Bob will help me write new material. What new material? Nobody wants to listen to a song about being sodomized by a bleeding pigeon.
June 24: Ran after Bobbo's car. Ran like mad, I did. I clearly saw him looking out the back window at me as his car receded into the distance. He was smiling!
July 5: Spent the day drawing up the blueprints for a large Bob Dylan trap.
July 9: Successfully trapped Bob Dylan's dog. I know it's his dog, because the name on the little golden dog collar was "Bob Dylan, Jr."
July 23: Your Dylan is a slippery creature. I spent the entire night in a tree in his backyard, with a view of his bedroom window. Unfortunately he spotted me, and proceeded to take potshots at me with a small bore rifle. He said, "You're either a bear, or Van Morrison. And bears don't climb trees. Or plead in an Irish accent!"
August 11: Still recovering from bullet wounds. Why hasn't Bob come to wish me a speedy recovery?
August 20: I may as well face it, Bobbo doesn't want anything to do with me. Is it my rolypolyness? My dank Irish soul? My de do bop, de do bop a doo dooness? Oh, domino!
August 91: I know, there is no August 91, not in a sane person's world. But I'm drinking a quart of Irish whiskey a day. Yesterday I hid in a convenient trench outside Bob's house. At noon a cement mixer arrived and filled it with cement. It would appear that I'm now part of Bob Dylan's carport. Perhaps I can write a song about that.*
*Morrison's song "Brown Eyed Carport" inexplicably failed to chart in November 1970. Nor did its flipside, "Astral Pigeon Sodomy."
Nothing spells futility like total obscurity, which is why we like to seek out bands nobody has ever heard of, and discover why. Today we've been listening to Fotheringay, a short-lived British folk-rock group featuring Sandy Denny, and David Ackles, an American singer-songwriter whose name sounds like an unpleasant medical condition. "What's wrong with Fotheringay? He's looking a bit peaked." "Poor man appears to have a bad case of the ackles."
You too can listen to Fotheringay, they're not bad, if your idea of a good time is pointless suffering. Grit your teeth and be glad you're not listening to Pentangle.
As for David Ackles, he is an acquired taste we have no wish to acquire. We don't know who it was who said that liking showtunes makes you a bad person, but when all is said and done we would prefer to remain ackless. Something about his music makes us want to scratch our ankles.
In that wee lifeboat, on those epic seas, you do not stand a chance. But oh what fun you have, you sparse survivors of wrack and ruin, until it comes to pass that your shipmates discover you have but four toes on your left foot. And proceed to chuck you, despite your strugglings and pleadings, straight overboard. For you are cursed.
And as you are corking about in that great flood of an ocean what should alight upon your head but a great white albatross.
What is the meaning of life? Oh, great blind unseeing eye, deliver us!
"Life is that which should not be." Arthur Schopenhauer
"Life is that which should not be. Also, the portions are too small." Unremitting Failure
"A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought not to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of 'in vain' is the nihilists' pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists." Friedrich Nietzsche
"A futilist is a person who, if asked why he is performing any given action, will tell you honestly that he does not know why, because said given action is bound to lead nowhere, and achieve nothing. He will freely confess that he is a doomed man, and furthermore, that he is confused. He is a revolutionary of pointlessness, and always in search of a public bathroom." Unremitting Failure