Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions
Batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available
Step right up, step right up, step right up

You got it buddy:
The large print giveth and the small print taketh away
Step right up, you can step right up, you can step right up
C'mon, step right up
[Get away from me kid, you bother me...]


To refer to “THE WILD BUNCH” as one of the greatest Western movies ever made is to do it a great injustice; no qualifying allowed. It is one of the finest films ever created in ANY genre!

Evaluating THE WILD BUNCH objectively in terms of narrative force, characterization, direction, scope, suspense, and pure excitement, it is unsurpassed in the pantheon of Western films – the “Citizen Kane” of Westerns.

Directed by SAM PECKINPAH in 1969, the story takes place primarily in Mexico during the revolution of 1913.

Foreshadowing: Scorpion Symbolism . . .

"If they move, kill them!" . . .

Adultery and lost love . . .

"You egg-sucking, chicken-stealing gutter trash!
We're after MEN, and I wish to God I was with them" . . .

"Let's go." . . .

Four crazy gringos comin' to kick butt and raise hell! . . .

To: Germany - From: America, baby! . . .

To read my full-length, politically incorrect review of ‘The Wild Bunch’, click on the McLink at the bottom of this Blog Bit.


Uhm . . . no, wait. I wanna “Do-Over”.
I don’t wanna write about Warthog Womens.

W IS FOR . . .

Whoa! I can’t write about this. Who am I kidding? I ain’t never been wasted on whiskey; I’ve never touched the stuffs. As the young woman said: “I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brain.” Now wasted on Worcestershire Sauce – that’s a different story. But I don’t wanna talk about it. And don’t mention it to Mama; she’s trying to forget about it. So, can I have a second mulligan?


Ahh, now THIS porridge is just right!
Singer/songwriter Tom Waits was born in Southern California in 1949. In my opinion (which, of course, reigns supreme on this Blog), Waits established himself as the greatest lyricist of all time from the years 1973 through 1982.

Those early years saw Waits develop the stage persona of a Bluesy, Jazzy, gin-soaked Beat poet – a sort of “poor man’s Jack Kerouac” (now that’s kinda funny if you know what a poor man Jack Kerouac was!)

Tom Waits over Bob Dylan in the Lyrics department? Is that really what I’m saying? Yeah. It is. Why? Well, it’s probably a safe assumption that had Dylan not come before to light the path, there would have been no Tom Waits as we knew him. In 1965, with the release of ‘Bringing It All Back Home’, Bob Dylan reinvented songwriting. He heightened the potential for social awareness in music while at the same time introducing a refreshing, abstract poetic flare to lyrics. In a way, he kind of creatively exploded with a display of linguisitc gymnastics never seen before and rarely if ever seen since. And some of his lyric lines were adopted as slogans which spoke for his generation. We can’t say the same about Tom Waits.

However, Waits had an incredible way with words, an ability to turn a phrase that really “Wows!” the listener. And there was a certain pathos in some of Tom’s songs that Dylan couldn’t match. I can’t imagine Dylan ever writing something as tender as ‘San Diego Serenade’, ‘Kentucky Avenue’ or ‘On The Nickel’. The only time Dylan ever came even remotely within range of that sort of personal genuineness and evoked a sense of empathy was with his great breakup album ‘Blood On The Tracks’. Even then, it was all about HIM, but we just happen to be able to relate to those feelings; we've all loved and lost.

Had Tom Waits never written anything but ‘Emotional Weather Report’ I would still be calling him a genius! What a brilliant, imaginative idea: a “Lost Love” song seen from a TV weatherman’s viewpoint! Ha! Here are just three verses with my own clarifying remarks in brackets. His woman has left him and here’s the forecast:

When the thunder storms start increasing over the Southeast
And South Central portions of my apartment, I get upset
. . .
With tornado watches issued shortly before noon Sunday
For the areas including the Western region of my mental health
. . .
Well, the extended outlook for an indefinite period of time
Until you come back to me, baby, is:
High tonight
Low tomorrow [*blue*]
And precipitation [*crying*] is expected.

Another super-clever idea Waits came up with was to build a song around overused advertising cliches. All of the strange, out-of-place sayings in red that I opened up each of my April A To Z Blog Bits with came from the Waits song ‘Step Right Up.’

Let me share with ya a small selection of some other favorite Tom Waits lyrics from a variety of 1973 to '82 songs:

‘Cause every time I hear that melody
Something breaks inside

You know the bartenders
They all know my name
And they catch me when I’m pullin’ up lame

I admit that I ain’t no angel, I admit that I ain’t no saint
I’m selfish and I’m cruel but you’re blind
If I exorcise my devils, well, my angels may leave too
And when they leave they’re so hard to find

I’m across town from ‘Easy Street’
. . .
Used car salesmen dressed up in Purina checkerboard slacks

It’s fast women, slower horses, I’m “reliable sources”

She’s a moving violation from her conk down to her shoes
But it’s just an invitation to the blues

Well, I got a bad liver and a broken heart
Yeah, I drunk me a river since you tore me apart
And I don’t have a drinking problem
‘Cept when I can’t get a drink
. . .
She was sharp as a razor
And soft as a prayer

Well, I’ve lost my equilibrium
And my car keys and my pride

She took out her barrettes
And her hair spilled out like root beer

I’m disheveled and I’m disdainful
And I’m distracted and it’s painful

He… caught the cruel and unusual punishment of her smile

I was born in a taxi cab
I’m never goin’ home
. . .
What you think is the sunshine is just a twinkle in my eye

Broken bicycles, old busted chains
With rusted handlebars out in the rain
Somebody must have an orphanage for
All these things that nobody wants anymore
September’s reminding July
It’s time to be saying goodbye
Summer is gone, but our love will remain
Like old broken bicycles out in the rain

That’s just getting warmed up; there are so many other great song lyrics that Tom Waits composed from 1973 through ’82 that I could go on here for quite awhile. If I had to select just one Waits tune as a favorite lyricwise, I’d have to go with ‘San Diego Serenade’, but that one needs to be read in its entirety. Here’s a link if you want to do that: Tom’s Best? (Heck, you can even hear the song played if you have computer speakers hooked up.)

OK, so now you must be asking yourself: If Stephen thinks Tom Waits is the best, most quotable songwriter in history, why has he placed him under the “Bad Stuffs” category?

Good question. And here’s your answer: Beginning with his third album release, the live recording ‘Nighthawks At The Diner’ in 1975, Tom Waits began wearing this fake voice. Prior to that he had a masculine baritone, but suddenly from out of nowhere everything he “sang” was with a gravel pit guttural bass that was obviously a put-on. I think he was just trying to intensify that skid row character he was pretending to be. Even so, I still own and play four of his albums from that period because some of the songs were so good and the lyrics were so great that Im willing to overlook “the voice”.

But then, after composing and recording the terrific soundtrack for the movie ‘One From The Heart’ in 1982, Tom Waits remolded himself again. This time he dropped the Bluesy, Jazzy, gin-soaked Beat poet persona and became Marvelous Mervo the circus clown. Still wearing the phony voice, he now focused on writing songs about, not loveable losers but rather, freakish characters. Gone was the fun personality, the warmth and most of the humor, replaced by weird, atonal melodies and cat-bones-on-tin-cans percusssion. The “music” was as hard to listen to as the album covers were hard to look at. ‘Swordfishtrombones’, ‘Rain Dogs’, ‘Frank’s Wild Years’? I can’t even look at them without feeling like maybe I should see a doctor and have him check the health of my manhood!

With apologies to my dear friend The Flying Aardvark, whom I know is a big fan of Tom’s ‘The Bone Machine’, I gotta say that with a rare exception here and there, post-’82 Waits I find to be unlistenable. For instance, other than the song ‘Hang On, Saint Christopher’, which I kinda-sorta like, the album ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ is nothing but racket! I don’t think I could “sing” that bad if I tried (and I ain’t no singer).

Waits still has a notable cult following amongst the college crowd but what the hell do college kids know? If they knew stuffs they wouldn’t still be in school! I suspect that people who claim to listen to ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ for pleasure are just fooling themselves. (Look, collegeboy, it ain’t “cool” to torture your ears!)

My friend The Great L.C. and I both think that Tom Waits represents the biggest waste of God-given talent ever! EVER! This guy had an outrageous, jealousy-inducing, over-the-top musical gift that I would have begged, borrowed and stole for, and he went and pee’d it all away to become a cheap carnival sideshow character with a fake voice writing about mad hatters in Singapore. Sheesh! Well, it was HIS gift to do with as he chose, but when I think of the number of classic songs he could have written over the last three decades, but didn’t, it makes me ill.

Most of Tom’s stuffs after ‘One From The Heart’ deserves ‘Sixteen Shells From A Thirty-Ought-Six’. However, the stuffs that came before makes me ‘Clap Hands’.

‘Clap Hands’, incidentally, is one of those few post-’82 Tom Tunes that I do happen to like. Some days Marvelous Mervo still gets lucky.


Le McQuotes Du Jour:
I would permit no man, no matter what his color might be, to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.
~ Booker T. Washington

Good intention will always be pleaded for every assumption of power. ... It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.
~ Daniel Webster

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Whoville, Wississippi

Letter Links:

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


“ . . . It's new, it's improved, it's old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business, never needs winding
Never needs winding, never needs winding
Gets rid of blackheads, the heartbreak of Psoriasis
...You don't know the meaning of heartbreak, buddy! . . .”


Yup, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… He’s baaaaack! Heeere's Johnny!

Well, don’t blame me - I’m just the messenger. Knowing that I had all but written a couple of “A To Z” Blog Bits, my friend Arlee Bird encouraged me to post them even though I have officially dropped out of the April Challenge. So, here’s a couple of sweet nuttins for yaz:

On page number one of ‘The Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy’ it says, “No one in the English-speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible.”

Well, we all know The Bible tells us that God created all that was created in six days and on the seventh day He rested. (I guess even a great god like God gets a little tired.) But one month after I turned 20, I put pen to paper and straightened that story out. I’ll probably rot in hell for having written this, but all is not lost as the music’s better there.


On one dreary Monday
God sat on his golden throne
In His palace on a cloud
Racking His brain for something to do
He began to think aloud

Bored and tired
Yawning all the while
And cheating at some solitaire
Until He found an idea
In the flash of a light bulb’s glare

And in one brilliant move
He created a ball of earth
He decided to call it “Earth”
And tried to sell it at a pawn shop
But could not get what it was worth

So He decided to keep it
But it troubled Him:
It needed something there
He could not think of what to add
So that night He said a prayer

And six days later
His mother made a suggestion
She said, “It is time that life began”
So on the seventh day, as a practical joke
God created man.



Due to its subject matter, the following really belongs on my political Blog ‘Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends’, but Arlee Bird urged me to post it here. Perhaps I’ll post it in both places.

Some weeks back in yonder distant place I borrowed a book from my buddy The Great L.C. He had recently read it and asked if I’d like to do the same. It was written by Howard Sounes and titled ‘DOWN THE HIGHWAY: The Life Of Bob Dylan’. Well, I have been listening to some of Dylan’s music since I was 17 or 18, but I had never before read a biography about him.

It turns out that Dylan is a womanizing weirdo - a musical genius to be sure, but also a womanizing weirdo. And the book was nuttin’ flashy but plenty informative. However, there were a few instances of really sloppy researching that irritated me. For instance, on page 324 it is written:

Bob met his old college friend Dave Whitaker after a concert in Oakland, California, in mid-November, and spoke to Dave’s eleven-year-old son, Ubi. “Would you send me a guitar?” asked the kid. The next day a truck pulled up with a gift from Dylan – a brand new Fender Stratocaster decorated with quotations from the Book of Paul.

Do you remember how I said that ‘The Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy’ says, “No one in the English-speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible”? Well, evidently the author Howard Sounes is illiterate. I have read The Bible many times but I have yet to find “the Book of Paul” in any version of The Bible that has passed before my eyes.

Paul did indeed write the majority of the “books” of The New Testament, such as the Book of Romans, the Book of Philippians, Colossians, Corinthians I & II, etc. But nowhere in any Bible is there anything known as “the book of Paul”. I guess author Sounes has spent more time reading the important stuffs in Rolling Stone ragazine than he has reading The Word Of God.

What really ticked me off was the usual Liberal falsehoods about the late great Senator McCarthy. But I don’t suppose we could expect any Rock music writer to be any more careful with his information about McCarthy than he is with his information about The Bible.

On page 55 he writes:

To show Bob what they were struggling against, Whitaker took him to see ‘Operation Abolition’, a propaganda film in support of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee.

OK, what’s wrong with that? Anyone? There is a glaring flaw in that sentence, and it has nothing to do with calling a film in support of McCarthy “propaganda”.

Here’s a very, very basic civics lesson for y’all: In the United States of America, we have a bicameral legislative system. The legislature consists of two branches: the Senate and the House Of Representatives. Senators are NOT Congressmen from the House Of Representatives and Congressmen from the House Of Representatives are NOT Senators.

Now it’s true that there was an Un-American Activities Committee in the House Of Representatives, hence the name “HOUSE Un-American Activities Committee”, or “HUAC” for short. But will someone please explain to me how it could have been led by a Senator? How could it have been “Senator Joseph McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Committee” if McCarthy was a Senator and this was a committee in the House Of Representatives? It couldn’t have been, and it wasn’t! It’s a good thing Sounes is writing about a Rock musician, because if he were writing about anything more important than that he’d have been blistered on his buns by someone in the media for such sloppy reporting.

And then later, on page 71, Sounes again shows his total ignorance about Senator McCarthy when he writes:

By 1951, due to the McCarthy blacklist, The Weavers were effectively put out of business because of their radical left-wing politics.

The McCarthy blacklist? Another blatant falsehood perpetuated by the Left for half a century. I have probably read every important book ever written about McCarthy, and McCarthy had no “blacklist”! McCarthy had no association with Hollyweird and the entertainment fields; he was solely involved in investigating subversives who had infiltrated the U.S. government and were therefore “security risks”. Anyone who faults McCarthy for any performers being “blacklisted”, whether in the movie or music industries or any other entertainment field, that person doesn’t have a clue what they are talking about.

Indeed the HUAC interviewed suspected Communists in entertainment and, as a result, Hollyweird got nervous and decided to clean its own house by “blacklisting” certain individuals. But again, none of that was related to McCarthy’s investigations in the Senate. McCarthy was looking into government agencies and the U.S. Military and he never strayed into public arenas such as the music recording industry and flaky-wacky Hollywood.

Sheesh! Never send a Rock music writer to do a religious or political writer’s job!


In an attempt to atone for my irreverence displayed in “Seven Days Of The Lord”, I’m going to link you to a very short but worthwhile article about The Shroud Of Turin. I have had a strong interest in the Shroud for many years; I’ve read a couple of books on the subject, as well as some articles and a collection of scientific papers.

I am nearly as convinced as I can be that The Shroud Of Turin is indeed the burial cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus Christ, and I believe the image the Shroud contains is due to a burst of energy at the moment of the Resurrection. Until someone can duplicate all of the anomalies found in the Shroud Of Turin using ancient methods and materials, I will remain convinced that this is the real deal. If you aren’t informed of what I’m referring to, check out “Is The Shroud Of Turin Authentic?” written by John White for The New American.

I hope to see y'all again on "Day-W".
Le McQuote Du Jour:
I do not think we need fear too much about the Communists dropping atomic bombs on Washington. They would kill too many of their friends that way.
~ Super-Senator McCarthy

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University at Salamander Station, Saharagobi

Letter Links:

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


“And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back, Jack,
See you later alligator, see you later alligator
And it steals your car
It gets rid of your gambling debts, it quits smoking
It's a friend, it's a companion
And it's the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions, it never needs ironing . . .”


In one of my recent Blog Bits prior to the start of this April A To Z Blog Challenge, I concluded with the following:

Yoey O’Dogherty is a Peabody And Sherman Award-winning documentary filmmaker and professor emeritus at the Saint Balderdash School of Journalism in Bumphuhk, Idaho, where he lives with his three wives, sixteen little red noses and a horse that sweats.

Shortly afterwards, I received a comment from my dear friend The Flying Aardvark in which she said:

"It is always good to see something involving the ubiquitous Yoey O’Dogherty (the man has so many occupations)."

In case you don’t know what she was referring to, allow me to explain: Anyone who has read my writings for even a short period of time couldn’t help noticing that occasionally a character named Yoey O’Dogherty makes an unpredictable appearance, and always wearing a different disguise. Yoey has been so many people that I actually lost track. But I just conducted a little research and I’m going to share the results with you. Although this is not a complete list, I have copied and pasted below my favorite identities of O’Dogherty, the man of mystery:
The brilliant and world-renowned South American sociologist, Yoey O'Dogherty

The legendary Funk drummer from Cork, Ireland, Yoey O'Dogherty

the New Jersey store Santa, Yoey O'Dogherty

Yoey O'Dogherty, the pastor at The Holy Vineyard Church in Napa Valley, California

the Norwegian, counter-revolutionary General, Yoey O'Dogherty

Yoey O'Dogherty, that funky editor of Morocco's cowboy music magazine 'SADDLEBAGS 'N' SIX-STRINGS'

As Pope Yoey O'Dogherty VII wrote in his second papal bull, "Dovete leggere tutto il libro del Morison franco e mangiare tutti i vostri spinaci; sono buoni per voi."

In closing, I'll suggest the same thing to you that the
four-time national surfing champion, Yoey O'Dogherty, once suggested to me in 1977 while we were "hanging ten" on a nine foot wave in sunny Malibu, California: "Dude, like let's go get some avocados, man!"
So, sit back now with a nice cup of hot chocolate or a glass of Sailor Yoey O'Dogherty's 130 proof South Pacific Raping And Pillaging Spiced Rum

that great rodeo star and bullrider extraordinaire, Yoey O'Dogherty

The internationally renowned Peruvian poet, Yoey O'Dogherty

Yoey O’Dogherty is probably the most persecuted and prosecuted songwriter ever. How was he to know the chick was only 17? It was dark, she said she was legal, and her bra said she was “36.”

the charismatic presence of the legendary priest from the Russian Orthodox Church, Yoey O'Dogherty

And for you Catholics in the crowd, I once described him as:
my hero, Yoey O'Dogherty, who is the patron saint of patron saint medals

those immortal words of Admiral Yoey O'Dogherty, spoken to the brave men aboard the U.S.S. Queeg after the rout of Communist Chinese forces at the Battle of Phatphuc Mao

No, Aaron, I was not "completely drunk" when I watched POINT OF ORDER. In fact, I only managed a slight "glow". I wasn't able to purchase the "Full Liquidated Condition" (FLC) because my paycheck from the C.I.A. was inadvertently deposited into the bank account of some character named Yoey O'Dogherty, a major honcho in the Communist Party it seems.

In one place, I have my main man, O’Dogherty, leading a real backwoods Country-Western band:

And what’s worse, not a single vote for Yoey O’Dogherty And His Corn Liquor Boys? How soon they forget! What about those legendary YO&HCLB albums like “My Baby Busted My Heart But I’m Cryin’ ‘Cause I Sliced Her Onion” and “If I Had A Nuclear Warhead-Tipped Missile (Baby, We’d Have A Hot Time In The Barn Tonight!)” or their mega-selling greatest hits package, “Drunken, One-Eyed, Three-Legged Jackal In A Dog Show” ? Then there’s that Grammy award-winning collection of Country Christmas classics titled “Santy Claus, Leave Some Chewin’ Tobaccy And The Hatfield Sisters In My Crusty Ol’ Stockings Tonight” and the soundtrack to their Emmy award-winning educational series for mountain children called “Country Folk, Corn Liquor, And Matches Don’t Mix!” And have you already forgotten their fabulous live album, “Y’All Come Back Now, Hear?” recorded during their reunion tour, thirty years after the band last broke up?

But it will probably come as a surprise to learn that, in fact, there REALLY IS a Yoey O’Dogherty! However, his true identity is known to only a few individuals and I aim to leave it that way.

Of all the things I’ve ever written about O’Dogherty, I suppose my very favorite would have to be this:

Of course, some of the Old West's characters are not as well known now, even though their legacy still casts a long shadow. For instance, there was DOCTOR YOEY O'DOGHERTY who lived in the rip-roaring mining camp of Mentira Grande, California, during the gold rush of 1849, and who later enlisted as a Union surgeon at the tail end of the Civil War. In the course of his career as a frontier "sawbones", O'Dogherty treated a total of 28 gunshot wound victims and "lost" every single patient, thus giving birth to that famous expression, "I'll be doggone!"

And speaking of “doggone” . . . . .


I entered into the April A To Z Blog Challenge in the 11th hour and with some serious reservations and doubts about whether or not I would be able to see it through to completion.

5: Between holding down a full-time job, composing DAILY Blog Bits, reading the Blogs of others, leaving comments and responding to comments, I am not left with enough time to tend to other matters. Simply put, the April A To Z Blog Challenge requires an investment of more time than I have available for Blog-related activities on a daily basis.

4: As it is, projects I should be tending to around my house are being neglected; unanswered E-mails from friends have begun to stack up; my local liquor store owner has forgotten my name; and I haven’t done my exercise workout program even once in the past two weeks! Every day that I post a Blog Bit my biceps shrink a little more. This is unacceptable. What will Bertha O’Bese at the bowling alley say when she sees the muscle mass and definition I’ve lost? Will she still buy me beer? Or will she turn me into a “gutter ball”?

3: Prior to the April A To Z Blog Challenge, I was in the habit of posting a new Blog Bit once every 7 to 10 days. I don’t think I have so much to say of worthwhile quality that it justifies a new Blog installment 6 days a week for a month. In fact, I feel that the majority of what I have posted here on ‘Stuffs’ over the last two weeks is substandard material which I would have deemed unworthy of being posted under normal circumstances.
Furthermore, posting daily on ‘Stuffs’ has caused me to entirely ignore my second Blog, the political ‘Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends’, which, I should point out, I generally consider to be of greater importance than is ‘Stuffs’. So I’ve been focusing on the runt and starving the prince. (Well, maybe not a “prince”, but a Blog with well-groomed hair and clean underwear.)

I do my best writing (“best writing” being a relative term, obviously) when I am not under the gun; when I’m writing solely because I am inspired to do so. But I believe this feeling that I am “required” to write has adversely affected whatever creative capacity I might have. My A To Z Blogging has come off appearing uninspired because . . . it is. It IS uninspired. (Never mind asking how something can be what it isn’t.) Or to put it another way: I sucked. ...But I DIDN’T inhale!

2: On “Day-F”, our illustrious leader, Arlee Bird, posted the following on his Blog ‘Tossing It Out’:

"Such is the journey we are on in the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. … It should not be the arduous trek of Captain Willard in search of Colonel Kurtz and his visions of horror, but it should be closer to the fun and magic of Dorothy and friends on their way to see the wizard."

Sadly, however, because of the pressure this daily blogging has caused me to experience due to my time limitations, these exercises have come to resemble a barrel of obligations more than a barrel full of (flying) monkeys. And since no one has offered to pay me a fortune for my blogging (those cheap S.O.B.s!), it isn’t reasonable for me to keep pushing myself in an endeavor that isn’t rewarding me with oodles of fun. Or even a fifth of fun (not to mention a fifth of rum).

1!: To put all of this in a nutshell after it’s reached ‘War And Peace’ proportions: I quit.

“Uncle!” I just wanna return to my own lame-ass way of blogging. (Uhm… sorry. I didn’t mean to say “ass”. I know that’s not very nice.)

But I would be remiss if I should say goodbye without first thanking everyone who took the time to read my crap. And especially if they spent even more time in posting comments to me. So, in a word: Thank you! (Well, I did tell you on Day-A that my arithmetic is atrocious.) You’re beautiful peoples from lovely homes and I wish you the best! I will try to check in on some of you in the weeks to follow as you continue to z-end. And I am leaving my "Gilligan’s Island: Mary Ann Or Ginger? Grudge Match Poll" active on this Blog until May 1st, so in a way, I still have a hand in the activities.

And in the event anyone was curious about the words I began every one of my posts with, they come from a song by Tom Waits titled ‘Step Right Up’ – a spoof of advertising cliches. When I got to "Day-W" I was planning to tell you why I feel that from 1973 through 1982, Waits established himself as the world’s all-time greatest lyricist. But, for me, "Day-W" has come early.

On his Blog, Arlee Bird asks, “The April A To Z Blog Challenge - Do you have what it takes?” Well, I’ve now discovered the answer to that question is a resounding, “Uh-Uh”.

Personal note to Arlee Bird:
I’m genuinely sorry to have disappointed you, Brother. Seriously! I really mean it. But, rLEE-b, look at the bright side:
I won’t have to kill ya after allz.

“This is z-end, my only friend, z-end
Of our elaborate plans, z-end
Of everything that stands, z-end”

In other words, this is Stephen T. McCarthy saying, “Over And Out”.

Le McQuote Du Jour:
“But I tried, didn’t I? …Damn it! At least I did that.”
~ R. P. McMurphy (‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Ostracizeopolis, Oceania

Letter Links:

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Friday, April 16, 2010


“Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts, change your life, change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife . . .”


It will be hard for anyone who knows me to accept that I was at one time almost apolitical. Didn’t wanna know, didn’t care, don’t talk to me ‘bout politicians, got my fingers in my ears goin’ “LA!-LA!-LA!-LA!”

But a funny thing happened on the way to the bar. I came to realize that politics, whether or not I like it, have a very intrusive effect on my life. Depending upon the way the game of politics is played, I could end up a free citizen in a free country or quite literally a slave on a prison planet.

Yeah, if I have any interest in my future at all (not to mention an interest in the future of YOUR children and YOUR grandchildren – because I haven’t got any), I had damn sure BETTER take an interest in politics! “Politics” is just another way of saying “Stuffs that affects MY life.”

Well, I just want to share with you a link to a website of an organization that publishes what I consider to be far and away the best current events magazine in the country today. It’s called 'The New American' (TNA), and a reader will find more truth in just one single copy of TNA than in 100 copies of Time and Newsweek.

I first began subscribing to TNA back in May of 2001, and although I have disagreed with a few minor ponts of view expressed by the magazine over the years, I have found it to be a highly reliable, factual source for news - both nationally and globally - as well as social commentary and American history.

One unique aspect of ‘The New American’ magazine, giving it more credence, in my opinion, than other current event periodicals, is its world-view which includes a well-supported argument that political events are unfolding in our time which, by design, are leading us to a one-world, socialistic government. While not articulating any denominational preference and rarely even straying into overt discussions of religion, TNA is coming from a Biblically moral point of view based upon God’s Judeo-Christian laws and a respect for Scriptural guidance.

TNA covers an extremely wide range of topics from Constitutional issues and healthcare reform to significant European happenings, from book and movie reviews to the “real” history of America’s founding. In other words, ANYTHING that’s newsworthy or impacts the world today is liable to be examined within the pages of and on the website of The New American.

Anyone interested in broadening their understanding of the world they live in is hereby encouraged to peruse the writings published by TNA.

Here’s a link from me to you: ‘THE NEW AMERICAN’

(You can thank me later . . . preferably with money. Lots of it.)


We’re all familiar with the concept of Neverland from J. M. Barrie’s story about Peter Pan. It’s commonly thought of as a place where children don’t grow up, a place of eternal childhood.

And in high school, most of us were subjected to John Milton’s endless 17th-Century poem ‘Paradise Lost’ (what was lost was my interest!)

But how many of you are familiar with ‘Neverland Lost’? That’s right – NONE of you. That’s because I just now invented the term for this Blog Bit. Well, to me, “Neverland Lost” represents the slipping away of our childhood despite our protestations. It’s the unfulfilled wish to remain pure and free - free from adult cares. In other words, it’s us begging, “Stop the world and let me off!” but that bastard with the dirty cap, three day’s of hair growth on his jowls, chomping down on a moist, smelly stogie answering our pleas by merely shouting back, “Sit down!”

In looking through these old poems of mine, I’m struck by the concern I expressed about aging, or growing up. In the poem ‘A Chance At Heaven’ it’s oddly humorous to see “the dwindling days of my youth” mentioned. I was just 19 or 20 when that was written. In ‘Ah, Thunder’, a poem written even earlier, I find myself worried that the time available to pursue my dreams is running out. In ‘Questions’, I write of “opportunity stolen by passing years.” Yes, childhood (or “Neverland”) lost was one of the principal themes that inspired me to write “poetry” in my youth. I seemed to be unusually and acutely aware of my aging and sad to see my innocence dying.

Below is the final poem that I’m planning to post on my Blog. Written just four days after I turned twenty, it’s called ‘Days Long Past’ and the subject matter is – you guessed it – “Neverland Lost”.


Often I look back into days long past
Those careless, easy days when I was small
And again I play children’s games in a timeless Summer
The wind bringing the sound of my Mother’s call

Father was working, Mother was young
My Brother was little and so was I
Dirt was free and imaginations were wild
I thought that I could fly

Our days were new and never ending
And, Oh, those stories told under the tree
I remember the long walk to school
And the walk home, to Brother, waiting for me

Still I recall those sunny days
Playing with friends and that punch on the nose
Real cowboys and real Indians
Back then one could be whomever they chose

And of course I was always in love
With a little girl who lived down the street
Those wondrous days when fantasy
Made reality obsolete

Those long gone days seem almost perfect
One thing I’d change, however
I only wish that I’d been told
That they wouldn’t last forever

For the days moved very slowly
But the years fell behind so fast
And now I’ve come to realize
The best is in the past

Now Father is working and Mother feels old
And the world tells me I am grown
Boys are calling, Sister is dating
And Brother lives alone

You see the world through different eyes
When you support yourself
And it’s no fun to act your age when younger days
Are toys on the shelf

The body slows down along with your thoughts
As age steals your imagination
And your claim to youth has long been taken
By a brand new generation

I see so much has changed
Mother and Brother say they want to die
And I can’t relive the age of nine
Despite the tears I cry

And the happiness that I once knew
I simply cannot find
Now all I have are memories
That echo in my mind

[Interestingly, although ‘Days Long Past’ is now 30 years old, I still remember seeing “Mouse” - a stuffed animal given to me on my first birthday - sitting on a shelf in my room, while I was writing the poem. And it was “Mouse” who inspired the line about “toys on the shelf.” The same “Mouse” in the photograph above.]

Le McQuote Du Jour:
Woke up with my shoes on
Couldn’t find my pants or my knees
Coffee’s gone
And my aspirin is just nowhere to be seen.
One warm beer in the fridge now
Warm because that bill’s overdue
I’ve lived through mornings like this before
Guess I’ll live through this one too.
~ John Napier

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in New Noogie City, Neverland

Letter Links:

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


“Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets,
That's right
And it entertains visiting relatives.

It turns a sandwich into a banquet . . .”


You dig old stuffs? OK. Here’s another one of my poems. It’ll be 30 years old this November.


Like the soft blanket over a sleeping child
Night falls upon the city
And as shadows waver in the moonlight
Silence goes screaming down the street
The mad dog steps from a darkened corridor
His eyes shine white and burning in the black
For on this night the mad dog
Won’t be running with the pack

In the darkness he goes searching
For answers to questions often asked
And reaches for the many things
He has heard but never seen
His mind bursting from the inside
With thoughts of something precious and unknown
Crying in the evening mist
When the mad dog is alone

Ribs poking at his flesh
Like a washboard trying to bust through
Muscles pulling with the motion
Of a wild animal’s escape
Thriving when the moon appears
By gnawing on the night
In the coolness of the evening air
The mad dog readies for the fight

With hungry teeth of passion
He thrashes at his foes
With a face so tense and claws so sharp
The barriers shrink from sight
Victorious now, he licks his wounds
From where life’s liquid bled
And don’t you know the mad dog?
He’s alive and living in my head


When journalist Yoey O’Dogherty interviewed me recently for the online magazine WHAZIT2U?, he asked, “Who is your favorite writer?” to which I replied, “I’ll have to mention two: Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau. Twain makes me laugh and think. Thoreau makes me think and think.”

If you are not much familiar with Thoreau then you aren’t going to appreciate what follows. But if you do understand Thoreau’s world-view, you may find this as hysterically funny as I did.

Back in 2005, I came across a review at the Amazon.com website written by a high school student for the book ‘Walden And Other Writings’ by Henry David Thoreau. I sort of reviewed her review. Below is an abbreviated copy:

I have no intention of reviewing the writings of Thoreau. The way I figure it is this: If you don't "get it" (and the world around us clearly testifies that few do), I'm not about to explain it. Besides, several other reviewers here have already done a very admirable job of excavating and cataloging the rich treasures that constitute the thoughts of Concord's timeless, self-professed "mystic, Transcendentalist, and natural philosopher."

I happened upon the review by the young lady from Rock Springs, Wyoming. Back in the year 2000, she gave 'WALDEN AND OTHER WRITINGS' one Star; titled her review 'DUMB!'; stated that she "hated this book entirely"; and called for the start of an "anti-Thoreau campaign for students."

But it was her opening sentence that literally caused me to burst out laughing. Unquestionably and by a good margin, this is the funniest thing that I've ever encountered on the Amazon website. It provided me with the best laugh I have had in some time.

If you don't appreciate the writings of Henry David Thoreau, then surely you will not appreciate the irony of her statement, but for those of us whose lives have been enriched by the New England SAUNTERER and NONCONFORMIST, this is just too "delicious!" Our Wyoming friend began her diatribe on Thoreau with this classic sentence:

"I have to make this short since I will be going out with my boyfriend for a 4:00 date at McDonald's."

Ah-Ha!-Ha! Hokey-Smoke and Hoo-Wee! Think about it. Think about the things that Thoreau stood for. Then ask yourself, what would be the best modern symbol you could come up with to represent the antithesis of Thoreau’s philosophy? It has got to be McDonald’s: prefabricated, standardized plastic food served quickly to plastic people in a hurry! Everything Thoreau was fighting against! Ha! Is it any wonder “Wyomingirl” detested ‘Walden’?

At the conclusion of my review, I lampooned that world-famous passage in the second chapter of ‘Walden’, updating it for "Wyomingirl" and everyone else with Twenty-First Century sensibilities:

"I went to the fast food establishment because I wished to eat inexpensively, to acquire only the essential promotional toys of a Happy Meal, and see if I could not keep down what they had to serve, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not removed the plastic wrap... I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of Chicken McNuggets... to forgo the hot dog in favor of a Quarter Pound of greasy, round-molded meat and to put to rout all that was not delivered in under 60 seconds."
~ Henry David Thoreau
'WALDEN' (21st Century edition); chapter II

In case you’re interested, here is a copy of “Wyomingirl’s” short, original review - unedited:

I have to make this short, sincee I will be going out with my boyfriend for a 4:00 date at McDonald's. Anyway, before my boyfriend drags me out of here, I will just say I hated this book entirely!!!! We should start an anti-Thoreau campaign for teh students, who are, unfortunately, being forced to read this thing for the finals. Ok, i gotta go, continue the struggle.

Le McQuotes Du Jour:
I never write "metropolis" for seven cents because I can get the same price for "city." I never write "policeman" because I can get the same money for "cop."
~ Missouri’s Immortal, MARK TWAIN

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority,
it is time to reform.
~ My Man, MARK (again)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Menachembeginville, Morocco

Letter Links:

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


“Please allow thirty days for delivery,
Don't be fooled by cheap imitations
You can live in it, live in it, laugh in it, love in it
Swim in it, sleep in it
Live in it, swim in it, laugh in it, love in it . . .”


This was perhaps the first “poem” I wrote as an adult; I was 18 or 19. Unlike “Imagine Jean”, it’s a love poem without any kind of twist or surprise ending – a straightforward, “prostituteless” love poem. This was my first time, and I’m still nervous, so please be gentle.


It is a dark Summer evening
The sky is black but alive
Bursting with stars
And moonlight

We sit side by side on the beach
Feet buried deep into soft sand
And with our eyes fixed on the water
We speak in quiet tones

An orchestra of waves thunder to shore
Only to slip silently back again
Running through us is the pulse of the ocean
We are so alone

The wind becomes sharp
And you begin to shiver
I slip out of my jacket
And drape it across your shoulders

I hold your hand
We kiss
And with my jacket, you are warm
I would be cold

Except I love you

[If that was really, really bad, I sincerely, sincerely apologize. I honestly can’t tell and I fear that I may have done an embarrassing thing by posting this. Uhp! I’m an idiot?]


Originally it was going to be “L Is For Liposuction.” I was going to go on a (hopefully) humorous rant about how a liposuction procedure is probably the most unmanly thing a dude could do and how no “Real Man” would ever consider it. How a Real Man would stop eating like a pig and start a workout program if he wanted to lose weight; maybe pump some iron, exercise his legs by chasing women, you know, stuffs like that. I was going to call Kenny “Liposuction” Rogers a big ol’ wuss. I intended to tell y’all how many sleepless nights I’ve spent pondering what is the most unmanly place in the world (San Francisco, California? Boston, Massachusetts? The entire state of Vermont?)

Finally, I was going to relate to you how this Brazilian man where I work— er, that is, how this Brazilian “fella” where I work says that in his homeland, liposuction centers are as plentiful as fast food restaurants are here in the U.S., and how lots of women (himself included) AND men regularly undergo liposuction procedures. I was going to conclude, based on this sorry, embarrassing admission, that Rio de Janeiro is probably the most unmanly place in the world.

However, I’m not going to tell you any of that because something happened yesterday (Day-K) which I would rather write about.

One young female blogger titled yesterday’s Blog Bit “K Is For Kick-Ass”. I visited and read. According to her, everything was “Kick-Ass” because at the moment life is good for her. I’m not going to embarrass this girl by providing her name and a link to her Blog. There’s probably an unwritten rule here in Blogland that goes, “Thou shalt not publicly humiliate your fellow bloggers.” Although Waylon Jennings was right when he sang, “I learnt you can't go nowhere when you go by the book”, this one time, I’m going to go by the book solely because, at heart, I really am a nice guy and an easy dog to hunt with. So I’ll withhold this gal’s identity. I’ll call her “Harriet Potter” because, like so many other chicks her age, I’m sure she hopes to be the next J.K. Rowlin’.

A bunch of Harriet’s “Followers” had left nice, cheerful, patty-cake comments for her. Things like, “Kick-Ass! What a great word!”; “Yeah, I’m with you on that kick-ass business”; “You go, girl!” etc. “Yada! – Blah! – Yada! – Blah! – Yada! Yada! – Blah! Blah!” As I read the sweet comments I could feel myself getting a toothache.

I decided it was time for someone to play the part of Contrarian, and me being me, I volunteered for the job. So, I facetiously posted a comment saying something like: “Harriet~ I don’t think you should use the word ‘ass’ – it’s not very nice.”

A person with even the slightest sense of humor should have recognized that statement as likely a jocular remark. Anyone with a modicum of imagination, a pinch of playfulness or a dash of daring would have responded with . . . something. She could have visited my own Blog and, seeing my occasional use of mild profanity, replied, “I’ll stop using ass when you stop using bullsh#t.” Or, she could have simply invented some reasonably witty remark like, “It's my party and I'll kick ass if I want to” or “Why don’t you make like a tourist and get lost?!” You know . . . SOMETHING! Even if she mistakenly took my comment seriously, she could have at least shown a little feistiness, a little spunk, a little pluck, a little kick-assness, and said, “Go suck eggs, Stephen!” But none of that is what happened.

When I returned a few hours later, expecting that maybe we would be able to develop this into a fun little exchange, what I found was . . . nothing. There was no trace of my comment. So, I left a follow-up comment saying, “Hey! Harriet~ Where did my comment go? You're not gonna tell me that you deleted it, are you?”

And to that she responded, “Yes I did Stephen I didn't find it necessary for this post.”

I could have come back with, “Did you delete your punctuation, too?” but I’m too polite for that.

Anyway, I just want to say that sometimes I find Blogland just way too sugary, syrupy sweet for my tastes. And I think it’s pretty sad when a wannabe writer resorts to censorship rather than an attempt at linguistic fencing when she mistakenly thinks that someone is spoiling for a fight. Sheesh! If you can’t even spit, you ought to remove the word “kick-ass” from your vocabulary.

Now don’t misunderstand me – I wish Harriet Potter all the luck in the world with her writing career; I sincerely hope that all her dreams come true. But, if she’s so hypersensitive that she can’t even bear a laughably tame rebuke like “I don’t think you should use the word ‘ass’ – it’s not very nice”, she’s going to have one hell of a time dealing with the inevitable manuscript rejection notices that every beginning writer receives.
Oh well.

Good luck to you, Harriet. Here’s hoping you grow some thicker skin, write well, and find success!

[Photograph of my plumber
kicking ass under my kitchen sink.]

Le McQuote Du Jour:
I’m an actor… follow me!
~ Ty Lookwell

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Lardassburg, Luxembourg

Letter Links:
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


"'Cause it forges your signature
If not completely satisfied, mail back unused portion of product
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up . . ."


Imagine a movie with no actors, no narration, no plot. What does that leave? That leaves you just images and a musical soundtrack. That leaves you the greatest film I have ever seen.

I earned my living in the movie industry in Los Angeles from 1977 to 1984. One night in 1983, while on a movie set, I was speaking with a coworker of mine named Fritz. Fritz had a dream of becoming a filmmaker someday and so naturally our discussion turned to cinema. He told me about a film that had just opened and was playing at only one “art house” type of theatre in West L.A. In fact, at that time, I think it was showing in only two theatres in the country, one in New York City and the one near where I lived.

Fritz told me that ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ (a Hopi Indian word which can be translated in several ways, one being “life out of balance”) was nothing but moving images, most of them consisting of either time-lapse photography or super-slow motion, accompanied by a musical soundtrack. I remember him mentioning one shot that showed freeway traffic that took on the appearance of blood coursing through human arteries. I was sold. Anyone who has read some of my old “poetry” which I’ve posted on this Blog over the last few days will recognize that I do have an appreciation for at least some forms of the abstract.

That next weekend, I was hanging out in my local bar, Jolly Jack’s, with my buddy Cranium, when I convinced him to go see Koyaanisqatsi with me. I sat in that theatre with Cranium and with my hangover from the night before, and I was totally, utterly, absolutely, incomprehensibly BLOWN AWAY! Cranium and I both exited that movie theatre, dragging our lower jaws on the ground as we walked to the car.

I have always had a love of the arts – painting, writing, music, cinema, poetry – but I had never been so profoundly affected by any work of art to the degree that I was by Koyaanisqatsi. I exaggerate not in the least - if you were a friend of mine or a member of my family in June of 1983, you went to that theatre and saw Koyaanisqatsi with me, even if I had to haul you there kicking and screaming! I took everyone: first, my acting buddy, Marty (who then began taking every friend and family member he had), then my Sister, my Brother, all of my drinking buddies, my Mom and Dad, even my Grandparents. I lost track of how many times I went to see that film over the next month. EVERYONE had to see Koyaanisqatsi – that was my opinion. And it still is!

Koyaanisqatsi changed the way I viewed the world; for weeks I saw people and objects around me differently – MUCH differently. Now I own it on DVD, and despite having seen it countless times, it still affects my vision for days at a stretch. In a way, it permanently changed the way I think about the world. I have a bumper sticker on my truck that says “Simplify, Simplify” - that comes from ‘Walden’, Henry David Thoreau’s masterpiece of social commentary. If Thoreau could have been a film director, Koyaanisqatsi is the movie he would have made.
Anyone seeing the film now for the first time might sense a familiarity about it, maybe even a “déjà vu” kind of feeling. That’s because Koyaanisqatsi has influenced so much cinematography that followed it, from movies and television programs to TV commercials. The ‘Koy’ style has been emulated repeatedly over the decades. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
A thought that has occurred to me countless times is that the cinematography of Ron Fricke is so spectacular and imaginative that a person could randomly hit the pause button at almost any point in Koyaanisqatsi's 87 minutes, and whatever image happens to be frozen on the screen at that time would be suitable for framing and hanging on a wall.
It has also occurred to me many times that there's a very good chance that I appear somewhere in my favorite film. A significant portion of Koyaanisqatsi was shot in Los Angeles. There's downtown L.A., Dodger Stadium, Westwood Village, Los Angeles International Airport, the Santa Monica shopping mall, Hollywood Park race track, and miles and miles of crisscrossing Los Angeles freeways packed with bumper-to-bumper automobiles. All of these places where I could routinely be found during the years that Koyaanisqatsi was being filmed. Truthfully, I think the odds are great that I am one of the innumerable "human ants" seen scurrying to and fro, here and there in Koyaanisqatsi.
I have seen Koyaanisqatsi’s director Godfrey Reggio interviewed and something about his manner, his demeanor, turns me off. When my best friend Marty took his Dad to see the movie, the man proclaimed Koyaanisqatsi to be “Communist propaganda”. It’s possible that he was correct. Now you know how strongly I despise secular Communism – for crying-out-loud, Senator Joseph McCarthy is my main man! – but Koyaanisqatsi lends itself to multiple interpretations and I choose to interpret it for myself as “a call to God consciousness - to be in ‘this world’ but not of it.” Your interpretation may be entirely different from how Marty’s Dad saw it and how I see it.

And there seems to be no middle ground with Koyaanisqatsi: viewers think it’s either masterful or awful. Some people hate the concept, some hate the Philip Glass soundtrack, some love everything about it. Me? I still think it’s the greatest work of art I’ve ever "experienced", and a film that everyone ought to "experience" at least once. It might just alter your vision and exercise your mind.


I ain’t afraid of nuttin’ or no one in this world! I cain’t be intimidated ‘cause nuttin’ scares me! . . . Except Kudzu.

Kudzu is a climbing vine capable of reaching lengths of over 100 feet. Its preferred habitat includes open, disturbed areas like roadsides, forest edges and old fields. Kudzu often grows over, smothers and kills all other vegetation, including trees. Because of its speedy, out-of-control growth in the Southern portion of the United States, it has earned such pejorative nicknames as the "foot-a-night vine", "mile-a-minute vine”, and "the vine that ate the South".

Kudzu is some kreepy krap! I mean, when I first heard about kudzu, I had nightmares. I dreamed that I woke up to find that kudzu had completely covered my house during the night, making escape literally impossible.

I read where a farmer in Kentucky had kudzu overgrowing his 20 acre farm, so he bought 100 goats to eat the stuff off his property. Three days later he found all of these lumps of kudzu in his field. Hacking his way into the kudzu piles he found his 100 goats, all of them dead but standing on their feet where the kudzu had overwhelmed them. That is some scary stuffs, ladies and gentlemen! Kudzu is the only thing in “this world” that terrifies me. (Women merely make me nervous.)

I am a firm believer in God, so I hate to admit this, but kudzu sometimes makes me doubt a bit. I mean, really, it has to make you question His existence, doesn’t it? Why would an omniscient and loving God create something like kudzu? No, I mean it – WHY?

But if I could understand all of God’s ways and reasons, I’d be as smart as He is, and I would not want to possess that much intelligence because of the responsibility that would come with it. I prefer to just let God be God while I stand back, look at what He does, think about it, puzzle over it, and worry myself sick about it.

Someday, someone should make a really low-budget, campy horror movie called ‘The Killer Kudzu From Planet Kryptonklingon.’ I’d spend the entire 90 minutes under the seat with the spilled popcorn and soda pop.

Le McQuote Du Jour:
You know the gig.
~ Kelly

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Kudzuopolis, Kentucky

Letter Links:
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YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Monday, April 12, 2010


“It delivers a pizza, and it lengthens, and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that's been at large under the chaise lounge for several weeks
And it plays a mean Rhythm Master
It makes excuses for unwanted lipstick on your collar
And it's only a dollar. Step right up!
It's only a dollar. Step right up . . .”

Warning: A Too-Long Blog Bit Below.



OK, here comes another old poem I wrote when I was 19 years old (boy, am I ever milking this ancient collection of poetry for all it’s worth, eh?) This one is a kind of ‘Love Poem With A Twist.’ That sounds like it could be a drink, doesn’t it? It’s a bit quirky, so a brief explanation will follow:


Meeting at your white car
Parked just out of the neon’s reach
A glance into your eyes bring back images:
Forgotten Fantasies
Time alone with Jean . . .

. . . . On the beach Jean lies beside me
. . . . Just like Jesus Christ
. . . . Holding me, rocking me
. . . . And now I am safe

. . . . She defends me from my doubts
. . . . And peace covers me like a blanket
. . . . Touching me with her fingers
. . . . And our space is all there is

. . . . Looking into her face
. . . . And seeing all I could ever want
. . . . If but one wish I had right now
. . . . It is that time could fall asleep

But then the neon starts leaking in
And Jean, she fades away
Reality stabs at my mind
As I pass you my money
And lean to kiss your lips

This was one of a few poems I wrote ‘back in the day’ which included a surprise ending.

When I was a sophomore in high school there was a senior named Jean. She was a beautiful cheerleader and way out of my league, but I was totally smitten with her. (I’ve mentioned her in my previous Blog Bits, ‘Mensa-Donkey 101’ and ‘Set The Waybac Machine To June Seventeenth, Nineteen Seventy-Seven’.) Although Jean hardly knew I existed, it took me a couple of years to get her out of my mind.

Also, I grew up at the southern-most end of Santa Monica, California, just one block from the Los Angeles suburb of Venice. Near the Venice intersection of Lincoln Blvd. and Rose Ave., in the vicinity of where I lived, a prostitute used to sit in a white sedan and wait for johns. Never did I purchase any of the “products” that she had for sale, however, a good friend of mine once did.

But I got the idea that perhaps some men who visit prostitutes prefer to imagine that this woman they are with is someone else they have genuine feelings for. That is to say, they fantasize that the whore is some other woman they’re actually in love with. And so I just kind of imagined myself to be this prostitute’s john and then dreamed up the woman I would have fantasized about in that situation. Thus was born my ‘Love Poem With A Twist.’



There seems to be a misconception about passing judgment that I wish to briefly comment upon. It is often said that we are not allowed to judge others because of several Biblical passages, not the least of them originating with Jesus: “Judge not that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1,2)

Secular folks have often thrown this statement into the faces of Christians as evidence that they are not allowed to speak ill of the actions of others. And sadly, many Christians have bought into it.

In the first place, we as a society are making judgments all of the time, and if we weren’t, there would be no laws on the books. But haven’t we collectively agreed that rape, robbery, burglary, murder, adultery, cheating, and many other actions are wrong? That these things are bad and those who do them should be corrected and punished? How much worse would this world be if we DIDN’T pass judgment on some things?

But just as the old aphorism goes, “Hate the sin, love the sinner”, so there is a massive difference between judging a person and judging that person’s behavior. Didn’t Jesus Himself judge the behavior of the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the moneychangers? Didn’t he tell the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more”? (John 8:11) In other words, He clearly labeled her prior behavior as “sinful”. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus makes it clear that the behavior of a Believer can be judged by both a fellow Believer and by a church congregation.

Obviously then, what God has deemed to be wrong in His Word, we too can proclaim it to be wrong. It would be foolish for us to say, “I am not allowed to judge anything” because then all sorts of wicked behavior would be condoned, if not in word, then by silence. We MUST be able to judge the behavior of others as well as our own behavior, otherwise improvement, progress is not likely to occur.

What we must NOT judge is the soul and its destination. If I say, “Bob is a wicked dude and he’s going to hell” I am wrong on the first count and may be wrong on the second as well. How can Bob, who was created by God and in the image of God, be wicked in soul? Bob can certainly DO wickedness, but it is not natural to his soul – the true essence of Bob - that he do so, for wickedness is not in keeping with the image of his Divine Maker of which Bob is a copy. And as far as hell is concerned, how do I know that Bob won’t turn from his wicked ways tomorrow and be forgiven by Christ? And in any event, how do I, caught up in this corrupted earthly condition, know with any degree of certainty how God is going to deal with Bob later? I don’t know that and I CAN’T know that.

Yes, I must judge the wickedness that Bob does, but I cannot judge the soul, or true identity, of Bob. If I do, I make myself a boob.

(Incidentally, Bob, I didn’t mean to single YOU out, because I don’t even know you; I don’t know any “Bob.” It’s just that you have such a common, easy to type name. Sorry, Bobdude. Now go and sin no more, Bob, - if in fact you were sinning. And you probably were because we all do.)


This is pretty funny – in a way. Last night I watched the movie ‘Henry Poole Is Here’ which I had ordered from NetFlix because my Sister had recommended it to me. It’s about a dying man who finds the face of Jesus appearing on a stucco wall of his newly purchased house. Afterwards I walked up to the post box to mail the movie back and then went into a bar and ordered a drink. This was only the second time this year that I’ve visited one of these neighborhood bars, and who knows why I did. Perhaps I had been subconsciously inspired by The Alliterative Allomorph’s ‘Bar Scene Blogfest’ entry.

So I take a seat at this bar and to my left is this mountain of a man with a friendly face who’s talking up this woman next to him. It turns out Mountain Man’s name is Mike, and Mike is absolutely liquidated. I mean, he’s more lit than a Drive-In movie screen. And although he already has two drinks in front of him, Mike decides to order another one and buy one for his female companion as well. I watch the bartenderette – I’ll call her Jane – make this drink: one third Kahlua, layered with a second third of Bailey’s Irish Cream, and layered once again with Crown Royal Canadian whiskey.

I called Jane over and asked her what that drink was called and she said, “A Duck Fart.” I hadn’t planned on having a second drink there but I ordered a ‘Duck Fart’ just to see what it tasted like. And as I’m staring into the glass I get to thinking: What about a story of an alcoholic who suddenly sees the face of Jesus in his ‘Duck Fart’?

Meanwhile, Mike had charged all of his drinks on a credit card. Jane hands him the receipt and he goes to add it to the other credit card receipts in his wallet when suddenly he lets out a yelp and holding up an older receipt he says, “Oh, my G#d! I was in this bar earlier today and charged thirty dollars! My wife is gonna kill me!” I covered my huge grin with my hands and held back a burst of laughter.

Then this younger guy drinking from a pitcher of beer walks over, introduces himself as Dave and offers to buy Mike another drink. To his credit, Mike declined the offer, but they begin conversing. About two minutes later, Mike asks Dave, “What is your name?”
Dave says, “Dave.”
And the conversation resumes for another five minutes until Mike asked his new buddy, “Say, by the way, what’s your name?” As it turned out, it was still “Dave.” Some minutes later, Dave excused himself and wandered over to the billiard table.
Mike started talking again to Jane, the bartenderette, and then he paused, pointed at Dave and said to Jane, “You see that guy playing pool over there? What is his name?”

By now I had finished my ‘Duck Fart’ and I walked out shaking my head and smiling. Perhaps Mike lived within stumbling distance from the bar and didn’t have to drive home. One can only hope.

Le McQuote Du Jour:
I've always been different with one foot over the line
Winding up somewhere one step ahead or behind
It ain't been so easy, but I guess I shouldn't complain
I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane
~ Waylon Jennings

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
Doggtor of Semiliterate, Half-Naked Blogological Studies
Stream O’Consciousness University in Jerryrigged, Jamaica

Letter Links:
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