Sunday, August 28, 2005


Ahh...and it's not even my birthday!

This was sent to me anonymously, in the mistaken bid that I was, in fact, He-Man's arch-enemy. While I certainly oppose the jingoistic strong-arm imperialism exhibited by Castle Grayskull, as well as their bloated monarchy, I am simply not that guy. I therefore post this on the internet, in the hopes that the proper parties might see it, and react accordingly:

Dear Skeletor,

First of all, many thanks for taking time to read this letter. I appreciate that your schedule is pretty packed with evil and evil related activities and that your time is precious. I'll try not to take up too much of it, but I really do think you need to hear what I have to say.

I, like a large number of other people on the planet Earth, have watched with amusement for the past twenty years as you have repeatedly tried and failed to infiltrate and conquer Castle Grayskull and gain access to it's legendary "secrets".

Yes, you read that correctly Skeletor: "Amusement".

Because while I appreciate the thought, effort and sheer dogged enthusiasm which go into your takeover bids, your apparent inability to spot the numerous and often gaping flaws in each and every one of them is laughable. I'm sorry, but it had to be said.

Take, for example, Fakir. You remember Fakir, don't you Skeletor? The clone you made of He-Man? On the face of it, the plan was brilliant. Flawless. You managed to create an exact duplicate of He-Man using just the power of your Ram's Head Staff, who could just walk up to Grayskull, knock on the drawbridge and gain entry. Victory was assured.

Or at least it would have been had you not given Fakir blue skin and orange eyes. I mean - what were you thinking there? I can only assume this was a frankly astonishing oversight on your behalf. The real He-Man doesn't have blue skin or orange eyes, Skeletor, so in order to be truly effective, nor should an evil double. An identical duplicate should be identical to the thing it's a duplicate of. The clue's in the name. It's just common sense.

Speaking of which, why do you insist on surrounding yourself with idiots? Okay, I appreciate that Beast Man and Trap Jaw are some scary looking blokes, but what real help have they been in your war on Eternia? They might mean well, but they haven't contributed anything useful in two decades, Skeletor. Not a single thing. Even with employment law being so strict these days, any other employer would have found an excuse to dismiss them long before now.

It's not as if you even like them, and I'm sure they can't be brimming with job satisfaction either. I've had some shitty jobs in my time, but at least no boss of mine ever shouted "Fools!" at myself and my colleagues before shooting at us with lasers. I read somewhere recently that over fifty percent of people who get fired from a job go onto find higher paid employment in their next job. They'd probably thank you for sacking them in the long run.

And what about your strong right arm, "Evil" Lynn? Look at her name written down. You've just been pronouncing "Evelyn" wrong all these years, haven't you? Surely even you can't expect the Masters of the Universe to lay down their weapons and cower before someone called Evelyn? Particularly one who doesn't even have the confidence to correct people who say her name wrong.

Your recruitment policy is utterly ridiculous. Take Tri-Klops - okay, so he has three eyes, but how's that going to help defeat the mightiest man in the universe? At best it'll just afford him a better view of He-Man's massive fist as it connects solidly with his head. Likewise Ju-Jitsu - that big hand he has isn't a useful special power, it's just a big hand! He's deformed! While I applaud your policy on employing the disabled, you shouldn't fall into the trap of believing their disabilities will actually aid your nefarious schemes in any way. Elephantitis is not a valuable addition to your arsenal of evil.

And surely when you employed the two-headed Two-Bad you realized that each half of him spent every waking minute punching the other half in the face? Why didn't this put you off? Why didn't it start alarm bells ringing? Couldn't you have just found a single headed person who would spend their time punching someone else in the face instead? Someone else who it would actually benefit you to have punched in the face? An employee who spends the entire working day physically harming himself is a liability, no matter what line of business you may be in.

And what about Stinkor? Jesus, Skeletor, you hire a guy just because he smells bad?! You think henchmen of that calibre are going to give you some kind of advantage over a man who can lift a mountain with one hand?

I dunno, it just seems to me that you're deliberately shooting yourself in the foot by hiring these people. You're attempting to conquer a planet and rule it with a fist of iron, Skeletor, not start a circus. It's like you want to fail or something. There's probably a psychiatric term for it, but I don't know what it is.

Assuming you do genuinely want to succeed, my suggestion is a completely clean slate. Start from scratch. This time round though, I recommend you pick your staff based on their intelligence and skills, not by how outlandish they look. If a guy turns up for interview with green and purple striped skin and metal wings, try to find out what abilities he has rather than just offering him a job on the spot.

And when I say "abilities" I mean useful ones. Sit down and make a wish list of skills and attributes you think will genuinely increase your chances of ruling Eternia. I'd be surprised if "mental command over fish" is on there, so retaining Mer-Man's services will be largely unnecessary. Again, he may be resentful at first, but he'll be relieved at no longer having to worry about being thrown headlong into a pit of lava when he inevitably makes his next blundering mistake and will soon come to accept the benefits of no longer working for you.

Once you have an effective team in place, pay attention to what they have to say. I know this goes against the grain, but even with the buffoons you have working for you now disaster could have been averted time and time again had you only listened to them when they pointed out the obvious holes in your plans.

Like the machine you built to turn people to stone and bring stone things to life. Even Beast Man knew that one was an accident waiting to happen, and sure enough fifteen seconds later the machine was going crazy. What thanks did Beast Man get for pointing out the dangers of your latest contraption? A lightning bolt to the feet. He was only trying to help. How long did it take you to devise and construct such a machine, Skeletor? Longer than the four seconds it took He-Man to defeat the giant statue you brought to life with it, I'm almost certain.

The same goes for the huge tank you made out of dinosaur bones. Appearance wise it was nothing short of breathtaking, but what was its purpose? I can see why the whole 'bone theme' appealed to you, but you can't have honestly believed that a vehicle which travelled at approximately four miles per hour and offered no protection whatsoever to those riding inside it was going to be the one to win the war? Trapjaw knew it was destined for failure, you could see it in his eyes, but he kept his metal mouth shut for fear of being on the receiving end of the mental and physical abuse he's come to expect from you.

Rather than waste valuable time and resources developing such ludicrous contraptions, maybe you should concentrate instead on learning how to use your magic Rams Head Staff properly? I've seen you use it for everything from simple fireball hurling to creating living creatures out of thin air, so it seems to be an incredibly powerful piece of kit. Do you maybe have an instruction book or manual for it lying around Snake Mountain anywhere? If not perhaps you could get in touch with the manufacturer to see if they can help. It's clearly far more effective a weapon than a ray that stops all the flowers in Eternia from blooming. What use is that, Skeletor? You think He-Man's going to give up the secrets of Castle Grayskull because he misses his Aspidistras? It's not going to happen.

And anyway, are you sure Castle Grayskull actually has any secrets? I've seen inside it and it looks kind of sparse to me. It's just all stone walls and very little else.

Maybe there's a room somewhere that's got secrets in it, but they'd have to be pretty impressive to justify the effort you're putting into getting them. What if the secret of Grayskull is just the Sorceress' family recipe for Bolognese sauce? Okay, that might be some tasty sauce, but is it really worth devoting your entire life to? It's something to think about anyway.

Finally - and please don't take this the wrong way - don't you think you perhaps set your sights a little high when choosing He-Man as an arch enemy? I mean, granted you're pretty toned and clearly keep in shape, but when your opponent can defeat you and your entire army simply by blowing on you the time has surely come for a serious rethink?

I hope you're not too disheartened by this letter and that you take some of my suggestions on board. There are too few evil megalomaniacs with no skin on their face around today, and I really do think with a bit more thought and a few slight changes in strategy you will one day become ruler of Eternia. I wish you all the best for when you do.



P.S. - He-Man is Prince Adam with different clothes on. Obvious when you think about it, isn't it?

Thursday, August 18, 2005


"Hey Peter--I can see your house from here!"


The previous quotes are both perversions of Zen koans…the imploration to “Chop wood, carry water” (i.e. shut up and drive), and the ancient monk lament, “Dog, no rock; rock, no dog”—the closest Western equivalent being, “There’s never a cop there when you need one…” (but have a bag of dope on hand, and there’s a virtual parade of badges, flashing lights, and checkpoints…a jackboot cavalcade of nightsticks seeking blood blisters and sweaty, painful shelter deep within).

I’ve been hunting for solid quotes on mankind’s plight, as hope runs out, as if into the street—we’re obviously fucked, and any guess why is just as good as mine.
Once more, Mondo Cane had it right.

(Be's coming...)

Another quote I’m fond of is from an older sci-fi show. Years ago, my friend Brandon tried to pique my interest into the great Babylon 5. Of course, I’d have none of it then… Recently, however, I had the first two seasons forced on me, quite nearly Clockwork Orange style. I am subsequently forced to admit my adoration: Damn…that was probably the best-written thing on television, ever. How had this escaped me? That show was fucking great—I totally missed out. And worst of all? Now I must endure Brandon’s unholy glee at my expense. But anyway…

“You may wish to return to the past from which you came, my dear. The future is not what it used to be.”

--Ambassador G’Kar, addressing a confused human awaked from cryogenic slumber after 200 long years.

Surprisingly sage for a Snakehead, don’t you think? Consider this headline:

“A 54-year-old man in the Tokyo suburb of Musashimurayama became the latest person to be killed by a suicide jumper's inadvertently landing on him...” [Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2-9-05]

Practically tripping over each other, aren’t we? We’re becoming fatalistic--like pigs that want to be eaten, in exchange for a taste of bacon. It’s as if we want to force the hand of fate, and faith, and learn the name of God in person. We don’t know what “He” said to anyone these days; thus, we want a personal audience. Our only happy, peaceful moments are merely those swift, taut spaces between our disappointments. Our “blessings” are defined as all that’s not been taken from us yet.

(no, wait for it…wait for it…)

My friend Roger had a breakdown years ago. He was the leader of a once-prominent Christian Metal band in the 1980’s. Roger preached with fire, vigor…violent affirmations of faith and peace. He thought he had the answers—and that they resided solely in the “Word Of God”; he thought he held the truth, and that it was by sheer default the Truth for all. But life was not so kind; and he soon found that all the answers one can muster wouldn’t make the questions go away; knowing “the Truth” about life did nothing to make it simpler in the end. One night, he was ready to end it; it was the moment that he realized all he didn’t really know, and came to terms with terms not outlined in the contract that he signed with the “Divine.”
He didn’t know; neither do we. He was willing to shoot himself to meet God face to face. He wanted to know…and that seemed to be the only way.

Ultimately, he learned to enjoy life for what it is, and while it is. Mind you, he doesn’t always sound like he enjoys it…but that in itself is one of the many things that he enjoys.

(wait…it’s coming…wait for it..)

I went through this myself; and my last prayers to “the Lord” were prayers for death. Though I’ve learned much the same lessons Roger has, I wonder about those youthful post-teen prayers. Perhaps the only reason I was spared involved the wait-time of the Holy in processing requests. Perhaps we all pray for death at some point in our lives. Perhaps our lifespans are determined not by diet or design, but by how long it takes our gods to grant our wishes…

“Hello, this is God. I’m not in right now, but if you’d like to leave a message, please press #, or stay on the…”

”Thank you for calling Heaven’s automated system. Your prayers are important to us, and your pitiful pleas for mercy may be recorded for customer satisfaction. To request a swift demise, please press 1…to request a smiting of your enemies, press 2…to request the hand of a maiden or luck in gambling, please stay on the line, and an angel will assist you. Please have credit cards ready…”


“You have selected option 1; if this is correct, please press…”


“Please stay on the line; your prayer will be answered in the order it was received. The current wait time for sweet, sweet death is presently 65 years. To specify further options, please return to the main menu. Thank you. Amen.”

Still, nature listens. We just might get our wish.

The globe is dimmingThe fish are scared… And all the best shows are cancelled.

(hold on…wait…it’s coming…honest...)

Another quote is brought to memory:

“…If you were a malevolent, evil force and you said, “How can I turn God against America? What can I do to get God mad at the people of America to cause this great land to vomit out the people?” Well, I’d pick five things. I’d begin to have incest, I’d begin to commit adultery wherever possible, all over the country, and sexuality. I’d begin to have them offering up and killing their babies. I’d get them having homosexual relations, and then I’d have them having sex with animals.”

--Pat Robertson, 1986 (San Francisco Examiner)

That said, I would like to make an open request, a plea, if you will—

(drum roll—here it comes…)


“Bush is now convinced of coming Doom. China threatened us. Iran, Cuba, and Egypt openly mock us. Syria and North Korea are lining up. Only the war in Iraq has produced anything positive of note—positive in the sense that it has left our nation with a surplus of single, lonely women. (And there’s only one way to console a widow, you know…)

The only sensible 2008 Presidential Candidate turned out to be hoax. Corporate Radio is so fearful of real Rock N’ Roll resurfacing, that they’re threatened by an ad for Chicken Fries.

Surely, we have incurred the wrath of a vengeful deity, yes?

It is, therefore, with solemn consternation that I implore you, not merely as a Man of God—nay, but as a Man (and all love for crispy chicken fries aside):

Please, Mr. Robertson…stop.

Please stop having incest. Your family will thank you; your nation will thank you.

Please stop committing adultery, wherever it is, and if it is possible.

Stop sacrificing infants. Please, Pat—listen to reason. Enough is enough is enough.

Stop having homosexual relations. Stop having sex with animals. Stop having other people do it for you. Please, I say—we all say—STOP. Look at the condition of our nation. This has all gone way too far. Please stop turning God against us, Pat. The incest, the butt-sex, the infant sacrifice and ritual zoophilia…can you tell me that it’s worth our children’s future?

Mr. Robertson, we call to you: please stop these incestuous, adulterous, man-on-man-on-mongoose burning child-flesh orgies now. Your God has seen, and we have suffered…each and every one.

Haven’t we suffered enough?”



(Ah, fuck it...I'm just bummed out because it's my birthday tomorrow...who am I kidding?)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


My fellow Americans:

I finally unpacked the box that had all of my old drawings.

I scribble a bit, you know.

My medium is unique; I draw only on the back of restaurant placemats, and napkins. I'm generally suffering--as all artists suffer--from bad service, and/or bad food.

Much great art was wrought at Denny's, wherein I had the (dis)pleasure of both.

As I begin the laborious process of scanning it all, I will give you all a taste of the last batch that I unearthed. These were stashed away with a bunch of tax papers:

Every Good Blob Deserves Fudge.

Yes, We Have No Bananas.



Virgins Dribbling Giblets...

With Sleepless Eye.

Anyway, the "new" (recovered) stuff is WAY more disturbing. They also smell strangely of Frisco melts. Be forewarned.


Saturday, August 13, 2005


Democracy tastes like chicken...

Don't bury me; I'm not dead.

Nay...I merely dream. I dream of a truly bipartisan government. It's a bipartisan government populated by naked goth chicks, but hey, it's just a dream.

The likelihood of getting either "major" party to ever agree on anything is remote...but it gets you thinking: Surely, there is a way to please one party, while secretly giving the other party exactly what they want...right? Let's have a go, shall we?

Republicans, who think "bipartisan" means a straight-ticket Democrat who goes both ways, are convinced that liberals--who must clearly hate "their" country--love only three things: Abortion, Taxation, and Sodomy. Playing upon this perception, I have just the plan:

We'll tax abortion, and buttfuck anyone who disagrees.

Democrats, who think "diplomacy" means personally fellating each member of the UN, are convinced that conservatives--who must clearly hate "their" Constitution--love only three things: Oil, Cheap Labor, and Jesus. Working from this viewpoint, I've come up with this:

An annual benefit for Christian missions in Iraq, featuring oil-wrestling nuns, and catered by immigrants, brought over on Dubya's generous "Work-For-Tacos" plan.

You know, there has to be a million of these... Suggestions, anyone? We can make this work!

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

—George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004