Archive for May, 2012

Basher

Posted in All things political, Comedy on May 29, 2012 by klogtheblog

I was walking down 46th Steet when I saw him. Those deep-set heavy browed half-frightened half-twinkling eyes. That long nose and chipmunk cheeks. That thin, narrow, insolent smirk underneath that joke of a mustache, the kind of mustache a high school burn-out would have scorned. It’s a face that embodies the banality of evil. Bashar al-Assad the tyrant President of Syria.

What was he doing in New York? And alone? The Syrian Embassy must be somewhere around there. No doubt he thought he could slip out on his security, like when he was studying optometry abroad back in the day. All good fun, spoiled princeling antics then. Now it was a deadly mistake. Sorry Bashar, you’re too known a quantity now. Think we Americans are so oblivious to the outside world you can hide in plain sight? Well guess again. Here’s one American who watches Anderson Cooper.

108 people in the Houla. All those bodies shrouded, wrapped and laid out like cigars. I’d seen the corpses in their houses. They’d just wanted to be free, like Egypt and Tunisia and the rest of them, but they’d been born unlucky. They’d been born with this guy, this evil creep who preferred wholesale murder to resignation. He wasn’t even going to be the leader until his brother died. He was going to be an eye-doctor, and now he was a monster. I’d seen the mourners screaming. I’d seen the children, crying, bloody, dead. I’d seen it all, and now I was going to make him pay.

“BASHAR!” He tried to ignore me, but it was clear I was shouting at him, and coming for him. Once he saw there would be no easy brush-off, that he was in trouble, he made some feeble gesture of protest, some whiny noise of confusion. Then I had him.

He tried to pull away, but I swung him around and he fell to the ground. In an instant I was on him, pinning his arms down with my knees, punching down.

“This is for HOULA! This is for HOMS! This is for the KIDS you MURDERED!”

He tried to call out STOP! or something, but I laid in too fast and hard for him to say anything. Soon my fists were slick with blood. He was already too beat up to fight back. It was happening too quickly. There was no satisfaction. So I hooked my thumb into his left eye.

“You should have stuck to optometry, Bashar! Now see if you can fix this!” I dug in. It resisted and wiggled, but soon enough it popped. Then I did the right eye.

Finally I’d had enough of holding on to his slippery, gore streaming head. I gripped it as best I could, and slammed his skull as hard as I could into a fire hydrant, right on the nut. I could feel his head crack and I could feel the metal sinking into his brain. The hydrant must have been somehow faulty, because it began spraying into his head. I washed my hands off in the spray and left him there, watery blood weeping from his eye sockets.

Later it turned out that guy wasn’t Bashar, but he looked like a real asshole anyway.

–Dan Kilian

Khomeini and Khamenei: A Dialogue

Yellow Savaughn

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The Purple Pirate

Posted in Art on May 17, 2012 by klogtheblog

–Dan Kilian

Badfruit

Bad Fruit, Revisited

Three Kitchen Jokes and Three Hippie Jokes

Posted in Comedy on May 15, 2012 by klogtheblog

Who is the vampire of the kitchen implements? Spaaaatula.

The colander shot the skillet. In his last words, the skillet  delivered a comedy routine, and it was pretty funny. It wasn’t the jokes so much as the dead-pan delivery.

The deep dish pan was really being a jerk to the muffin tray, so the muffin tray said “Cut it out, you casserole!”

 

Q: What does a hippie-Vulcan say?

A: It’s not logical, maaaaan!

 

Q: What does a hippie-vampire say?

A: Free blood!

 

Q: What does a hippie-cowboy say?

A: Woah!

–Dan Kilian

Octopus Man #3: Ben and the Monster

Huck That!

The Weathergoat

Posted in Fiction, Poetry on May 11, 2012 by klogtheblog

The Weathergoat trudges on.

First in blinding sleet, through slush and puddles that soak his feet to the skin, plodding next to garbage-strewn highways, salt trucks casting stinging fans of salt across his thighs as they lumber past.  The sleet then turns to freezing rain, plastering his hair to his face, drenching his clothes, making pale mushrooms of his hands.  Still he trudges on.  The rain passes and a bitter wind starts to blow, an eager pickpocket stealing whatever warmth he’d secreted away – even his armpits feel cold.  With the wind comes dust that cakes in the corners of his mouth and eyes, a chalky foulness that he can neither spit nor swallow away. The Weathergoat digs his hand deeper into his pockets and continues to march.

Finally, the sun comes forth, a baleful eye that cooks the water out of the blacktop, tainting the air with a humid petroleum funk.  But there are no clouds – the Weathergoat’s skin peels and blisters.   Pollen bursts forth from the ragged grasses on the side of the road, filling the cracks on his brow and in his lips.  Still he walks.

Elsewhere, in dappled shade under swaying sycamores, a man pours lemonade from a pitcher and passes it out to his friends.  Hamburgers flare and sizzle on a portable grill.  There is a cooler filled with ice and beer.  A gingham cloth is held down on a picnic table by bottles of ketchup of mustard on one side and a bowl of potato salad with hard-cooked eggs and scallions on the other.  A woman in a sundress waves a fly away from a platter of cheese and tomatoes for the burgers.  It’s a beautiful day.

For this the Weathergoat trudges on.

–Steve Kilian

Excerpt From the Proceedings of the IMF Field Survey of Candidate Nation 34-T-89

Taxi

Novelty

Posted in Critique on May 2, 2012 by klogtheblog

The other day I noticed the following bicycle and took a photo:

Note that there are many spokes on the wheel – many more than necessary.  It is bad engineering, this wheel.  And yet it caught my eye and was interesting enough for me to take a photo.  This is due to the tyranny of novelty.  Something does not have to be good to attract attention.  It merely needs to be novel.  So the over-spoked wheel looks cool in its way simply because it’s unusual.

It is 19th-20th century industrialization that has led to this condition.  Mass production and standardization of consumer products have filled our material needs (or could fill them, but we choose not to afford everyone a baseline share in the riches — that’s another topic).  But they’ve also made our product-scape a monotonous one.  Where every bicycle, car, building, jacket, or fork looks more or less the same, spastic deviations get undue credit and attention.  And yet I wouldn’t want to go back to pre-industrial levels of scarcity.

Fortunately we are poised on the verge of a new mode of mass production, with near-infinite variety being possible while maintaining low cost of goods and services.  In such a society novel items will be commonplace – not novel at all – and thus would be judged based on their intrinsic merits and not difference for its own sake.

Yes, there will still be items that are produced with what are now considered traditional methods.  There will be products issued in lots numbering in the millions.  But eventually my hope is that individuals will take a larger role in creating (or at least choosing – and there is some feedback between the two) their product-scape.  This could be extrapolated to a world consisting entirely of unique items.  In such a place fashion would be eliminated, as every fad would be regarding a product-issue of one item.

This is already starting to happen in digital media, where the masters of content origination are losing market share to individuals.  Yes, we all watch stuff put out by the networks, but there are new content producers and distributors catering to ever-smaller slices of the market.  Web TV channel for Renaissance Fair enthusiasts?  Check.  Star Trek channel?  Check.  Dog TV?  Check.

At some point there will be more content being originated than the gatekeepers will be able to categorize or mediate.  The velvet rope will be trampled by all of the traffic flowing from originators to consumers.  And eventually all consumers will be originators – creative life will be the norm, not the exception.

–Steve Kilian

From Beneath to Destroy

That Old-Time Magic, Revisited

psi K a tree

Posted in All things music, Fiction, Short Films on May 2, 2012 by klogtheblog

Our unconventional friends got  us a tree for our wedding. Big sac of roots and all. A baby tree, still it was hugely impractical and hellish for Karen’s Mom to get from the banquet hall to our house. Still we loved them, loved each other, loved our new back yard, and we planted it. We don’t live there anymore.

Went by there the other day, just driving by, then I parked. Knocked on the door. No one home.

What was I hoping to find? Traces of our more innocent, happy days? Just how much a new family alters a place, how much the place stays the same? Some patch of carpet or paneling from those different days? A “For Sale” sign?

Walked around back. Now I was an intruder, a burglar, a creep. The lawn had gone to shit. Did that make me feel better about myself, that these new owners couldn’t handle the up-keep? No, it was depressing, as any poorly tended lawn is depressing. So what if thick watered manicured turf is unnatural? Nature, with its wild seeds and brown patches, its entropy, is depressing.

Yet the tree is still alive! And huge! How did it get so big?

And the K, where I started carving Karen’s name and then thought better of it, it’s opened into a great gnarled mouth of exploded tree bark.

I walk up to it, put my hand in the wound. I feel the wet sap inside. I push and it parts for me, letting me probe its inner bark and the wet wood within. I push my full arm inside. Does it have some disease? It feels so healthy! I pull it wider and look inside.

Head, arms shoulders, I shimmy into the body of it’s trunk, dark and wet, enclosed. I feel the xylem and phloem transporting the water around me. My scalp tingles with vibrations from the branches above; I feel the wind in my hair. I feel her love again, and I drink in the sun with my leaves.

–Dan Kilian

This was the program from the Saturday, April 21st show at Otto’s Shrunken Head.

Here’ s a video of us playing there!

Tiw’s Day

Election Night