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Week 372: Family Circus of the Damned, Five Points of Light and Making Sad Amends

The Nobel Prize For Being a Corporate Tool Goes To…

Almost everything we read online is either a blatant lie or plain wrong. (Forget the “fake news” euphemism–for a kiss is but a kiss and a con is but a con.) For instance, I recall intelligent sources telling me that we use something like ten percent of our brains, and the rest may as well be cornbread stuffing until enough evolution goes by. Although this “fact” (like countless others) is certainly nonsense, someone smart started that misconception, which I bet more people believe than do not.

I’ve finally reached the point where I no longer blindly accept “facts” minus proof. I probably would be better off if I had arrived at this point sooner, but, maybe, “better late than never” is, at times, a valid sentiment–though still not much use in situations when the pardon arrives after the gallows has dropped.

In my never ending quest to pry a juicy check out of the Nobel committee, I have come up with a theory that states people smarter than I are evil (granted, my theories are long on postulation and short of evidence; blame it on the internet). I’ve long known that people who are smarter than I are usually pricks and prickessess who require hordes of ignorant people to make them obnoxiously wealthy. The genius of smart people (and the crux of my theory) is that they exploit the ignorance that they claim to want to dispel by poisoning the internet with absurd nonsense that sounds true, but is actually bullshit. The aim is to confuse the average person and prevent her/him from having the time to develop a clear headed philosophy from which penetrating questions (and sense making solutions, not whining) about social reform arise. Confused people tend to live from paycheck to paycheck because they waste time better spent on achieving a clear headed philosophy on Flat Earth Societies, strident political agendas and caring more about where their teams are in the standings than how their children are doing at school.

I call my theory The Family Circus of the Damned. I name it after The Family Circus–which is a single panel daily comic created by the late Bil Keane (now authored by one of his kids); incredibly The Family Circus has been in continuous production prior to the invention of the printing press. The thing I like here are the characters “Billy” and “Jeffy.” These happen to be the first names of the founders of two of the largest companies on Earth, Microsoft and Amazon. There are two other kids in the strip, “Dolly” and “P.J.”–which I am certain are aliases for Hillary and Elon.

Anyway, people such as Billy, Jeffy, Dolly and P.J. are die-hard modern capitalists who like the idea of socialism for the masses well enough to flood the internet with dubious content, to instill confusion thus maintain a sufficient serf base. For years I aimlessly reported to work to help accrue vast wealth for my employer because I couldn’t get the ten percent use of the brain thing out of my thoughts–unaware I was being played for a tool (I am currently a “civilian resource” of the US government–likely a euphemism for tool). The ten-percent myth was lodged in there so well that I used it to base an earlier grab at a fat Nobel check on. (And I feel spotless when it comes to my Nobel avarice. After all, Obama–a guy I voted for twice–got a Nobel for doing nothing.)

I called this The Eleventh Percent.

Actually, more a rambling diatribe than a theory, the Eleventh Percent details my belief that since I only use ten percent of my brain that the brain damage I inflict on myself (in my effort to forget that I am considered human livestock) be “outsourced” to the undiscovered country between my ears. Moreover, I would exile useless junk memories of waiting out red lights and uncomfortable annual medical procedures and such to my own private Siberia, thus making playing the memory version of Where’s Waldo when trying to recall my youngest niece’s birthday, or where-the-fucking around the apartment for my car keys, unnecessary. I wanted to zap all those useless files of experience into the void and let them get a head start on what it is like to be dead.

She said, she said

Sadly, the Eleventh Percent went up in flames faster than a 1950’s Halloween costume, upon exposure to sobriety, which had the same effect on it that a deep breath of outer space had on Tim Robbins in that Mar’s movie he did that I am too lazy to Google the name of. I had to face the grim truth in the eye–’tis a paradoxically crowded infinity, the human mind. Although it is supposedly unlimited, my mind looks as though every last damn thing in it is on the same bus to Palookaville.

Well, here we are again, you and I, the desultory conversation dried up, both glancing nervously into the wall, wondering if there is anything positive to discuss. Why, yes there is! Five points of truth which prove that the entirety of the internet isn’t all Pinocchio’s nose.

Five Points of Truth

This week featured the debut of two authors, a second piece from another, and the ever increasing site canons of two long time contributors. It is also a rare week in which Tom Sheehan fails to appear, but come the end of this month and on through August (and counting) those of you who miss him will be seeing a lot of Tom.

Other than Tom, I believe that only Monday’s author, Matthew Senn, has successfully published more than one piece set in the Old West with us. His second story, A Strange Way to Say I Love You, is beautifully understated in both theme and execution. Although set in the same era, it is utterly different from Matthew’s first piece, Madame, and exhibits a wide view.

Alex Barr made his site debut on Tuesday. Love? Don’t Make Me Laugh is a brave piece of writing because it dares the reader to dislike the narrator–though he is a wit and a delightful cynic–a perception which helps lift the wonderful end into something that is quite moving. The appearance of the title, toward the end, resonates.

Hardworking A. Elizabeth Herting made her ninth appearance in the middle of the week. Although true, calling her End a psychedelic delight doesn’t quite describe the thoughtfulness of the piece. Like its object, the story is elusive and beguiling.

Newcomer Phill Doran arrived Thursday. some words ending in a sentence tells a sad, harrowing tale in as inventive and witty a fashion as I’ve ever seen. Phill displays an effortless charm in his writing that elevates the subject matter and enhances the depth of his work. I had a bit worked out to describe this piece with, yet omit it because it (like the other four presented this week) should be approached cleanly.

And that goes double for Tim Frank. Friday’s story, A Guide to Walking Down My Street is Tim’s eleventh site appearance. The Frank universe is singular and although it is difficult for me to find the precise words to describe his style, I know it when I see it.

And there they are, this week’s performers. Some are already scheduled for future performances, while the others will certainly be back again.

The Big Finish

A while back, I could have kicked myself for overlooking certain worthy sad songs when I presented a list of such. My ruing increased to despairing when Hugh made mention of a certain tune from Highlander (the first song below, and one of two by Queen). Subsequently, a flood of overlooked sad songs, made all the sadder by my snubs, came to mind. I seek to make amends today–although by doing so I’m certain to have committed the same sin again–but I take heart in the naked fact that I am a repeat sinner in many fields. I now present an additional list of sad songs. The tenth slot, as always, is left open for the usual reason.

Previously Overlooked Worthy Sad Songs:

Who Wants to Live ForeverQueen

The Killing of GeorgieRod Stewart

These Are Days of Our LivesQueen

Dock of the Bay-Otis Redding

As Tears Go ByMarianne Faithful

Mother and Child ReunionPaul Simon

Another DayPaul McCartney and Wings

Hey, That’s No Way to Say GoodbyeLeonard Cohen

Reflections of My LifeMarmalade


11 thoughts on “Week 372: Family Circus of the Damned, Five Points of Light and Making Sad Amends”

  1. another wittty and thought provoking post – I do wish we had the proper address for the Nobel committee because I am not convinced the Strangled Pigeon Bar and Grill is correct. I know this probably isn’t considered a ‘sad song’ but Farewell Angelina by Dylan always makes me feel unsettled and melancholy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you as always, David–
    Gordon is still at it. He used to drink a bit too much before the show. I worked with someone who saw Gordon blotto onstage in San Francisco. I listened to that song this morning.
    Too bad about Harry. I believe his brother used to host a kid show a long long time ago. I will have to look it up.
    Thank you for the nice words–I can’t say what motivates Hugh, but Fear pushes me along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” is sad, but if the lyrics are ignored, I find it mesmerizing much like “Got To Give It Up”, Marvin Gaye (he added the “e” to separate him from his flamboyant father who ended up killing him – or so I’ve read).

      Keep On Rocking In The Free World, Roll With It, or Hang On To Your Life (Guess Who?)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought Mother And Child Reunion was hopeful. Now “The Boxer” is sad and I’m told Mr. Simon thought himself The Boxer. “Sounds of Silence” not too happy either. According to Keef of the Rolling Stones “Jumping Jack Flash” origin is from his birth during the London bombing of WWII – not too happy. Neither is “Gimme Shelter”. So many blues songs qualify – “Keys To The Highway”, “Going Home Tomorrow” (Little Richard’s rare slow gem), “Going Down Slow” (may good versions including Aretha), “Drown In My Own Tears” (The genius Ray), “The Valley Of Tears” and more from Mr. Domino.

    Sad song for the times with Putin’s access to the button. The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dyleen’s “Masters Of War”.

    Happy Easter, Pagan Bacchanalia, or festivity of your choice LS peeps..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Doug–

    I agree there’s something hopeful about Mother and Child Reunion but the line “strange and mournful day” (at least that’s what I hear) has always made me a little sad. Take care!



  5. Hi Leila,
    I also don’t believe anything I can’t reason myself. So moon landings in a studio – Yes!
    Oswald killing Kennedy – No!
    But in seeing your mention of ‘Fake News’ (I may be a bit controversial here) but I miss Trump. By fuck did he make me laugh. I mean if you wrote a story about a ‘Flock Of Seagulls Look-A-Like wanting to inject bleach whilst groping people, you would be slapped around the face sore!
    Regarding sad songs – I am not really one for listening to lyrics so unless the song is blatantly sad I am a bit oblivious.
    But what I can say is that there are four that come to mind that totally depend on my mood to whether I consider them sad or upbeat. They are
    1. Fergal Sharkey – A Good Heart
    2. Once More – Spandau Ballet
    3. Jack Savoretti and Kylie Minogue – Music’s Too Sad Without You
    4. Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow

    …And I know!! Miss Minogue should have been banned from singing after ‘The Locomotion’ but by fuck are those two songs cool!!
    Brilliant as always Leila!!!


    1. Thank you–

      You’re right about the Donald, he was interesting if nothing else. But the truth be told Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss defines politics everywhere. I am gleefully apolitical– because even if there isn’t a god, I can still have a soul!


  6. Thank you–

    You’re right about the Donald, he was interesting if nothing else. But the truth be told Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss defines politics everywhere. I am gleefully apolitical– because even if there isn’t a god, I can still have a soul!


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