Thursday, December 03, 2009


Y’know, folks, like the rest of you out there, I tend to have my cycles of good times and bad times. Additionally, as far as my own personal life is concerned, I lead a somewhat lonely existence. I just can’t seem to give up and follow the crowd, and see no sense in unthinkingly slogging along from morning to night and feigning some sort of smug satisfaction out of a day-to-day existence, which, upon genuine evaluation, amounts to nothing more than a banal interaction with pointless hedonism and mindless entertainment.

I get ostracized by a considerable number of the populace for refusing to play along with all of this jive. Sure, it brings me down and makes me feel unfairly isolated sometimes.

But whenever that happens, all I need to do is remember that the reason things can be so miserable in my life is due to the fact that Satan is pissed off at me because I refuse to suck his dick, and suddenly, I feel perfectly okay, and realize that I’m on the side of what’s truly good.

And I am aware that most of you out there do swallow his load quite frequently, and even let him buttfuck you real hard with no grease from time to time. But nope, not me. Hell, I wouldn’t even let him buy me a drink. I simply do not swing that way. Alternately, I know that not everyone is falling for the shit. Like me, some people are not impressed with this world of cheesy materialism and fake friendships. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that we of the truly righteous stuff tend to be pretty spread out across the globe from each other.

For those of you who can see where I’m coming from and feel the same anguish and disconnection that I do on an ongoing basis, I just want to say a few things. Firstly, that I love you all very much, and secondly, to keep up the ways of critical thinking and kicking the conformist mentality to the curb. And lastly, I hope that as many of us as possible can meet and recognize each other in the near future and give this world the attitude adjustment it so desperately needs.

Hope to see you soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Dear Nice People Who Dumped The Loveseat,

That was very nice of you. I realize that the thing is pretty worn out, but I'm from the world of punk culture, as well as a deranged loner, so it fits my personality perfectly.

For all intents and purposes, it is worn but not torn (sorta like one of my leather jackets that I own and love, and sitting in it feels the same way). It has a large hole beneath (on its floor area), but I don't anticipate to have Martha Stewart or anyone turning it upside down and criticizing its imperfection.

I have performed a thorough examination, as well as a decent fumigation, cleaning, and EPA-approved toxic substance testing, and have determined this piece of well used furniture to now be odor, critter and disease free. Hopefully no crimes which involve nothing above recreational controlled substance abuse have been committed on this loveseat, and besides a rumpled up tissue, I have found nothing in the nature of hypodermic needles, used condoms, etc. within its crevices.

So once again, thank you very much for the discarded furniture which apparently you couldn't even give away on Craigslist, let alone get Sally's Army or Goody's to take as a donation. I appreciate this accidental late birthday present immensely. Now all I need to do is rearrange the stuff in my cramped lil' living room and I'm rockin'.


Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today, I realized that I have a persistent question running through my head of late.

The question keeps repeating, "What am I doing here?"

And the answer keeps echoing, "I don't know."

I hate when that happens.

And by the way, wiseass, as far as if I belong here or not, define "belong".

Monday, November 09, 2009


Something that makes me feel wanted in this world is the fact that a lot of people ask me for advice and/or facts about various subjects, in subjects as varied as computers, relationships, showbiz, politics and all kindsa shit. I appreciate when people consult me like that, as it makes me feel not only flattered but also needed, in a sort of Frank Capra movie-like, traditionally hokey kind of way.

Of course, I rely on the honest advice of others as well. Lately, I’ve been starting to feel like my antisocial tendencies have been pulling me overboard. Especially in the area of my relationships with women, or should I say, lack thereof.

I don’t drink so going out to bars is usually not the best Plan A. Coffeehouses are an occasional option for me but I’ve always found it absurd to just walk up to a woman and strike up a conversation anyway. The odds are good that they’re already in some sort of a relationship. Also, a lot of my female friends are always either joking or complaining about how stupid they think guys like that are.

So, encouraged by the advice of a couple of my friends, I took the plunge and did something that I had previously pledged to myself never to do again: I posted online personal ads.

About a decade back, I had placed an ad online and got a reply from someone with whom I had actually ended up dating over a short period of time. Things were fine at first but then became sour pretty quickly. In retrospect, it was a bad idea to get together in the first place. She lived a lot further away than I had “required” in my ad and I decided to accept it. Problem Number One. Problem Number Two was that we simply had nothing in common, and as a result, the chemistry was just never there.

Ah, well, guess I can try one more time, and this time stick to my guns as far as what I wanted in a potential match.

I chose two sites: Yahoo Personals, because I was already set up as a member on Yahoo and it was free to place and look at ads, and eHarmony because it was linked through my cable provider and, as luck would have it, eHarmony was having a promotion where I could place an ad and, in eHarmony-speak, “communicate” with potential matches for free for a short period of time.

On Yahoo, I wrote a profile that laid it on the line as far as my preferences and requirements were concerned. Yes, it was pretty long and read more like an essay, but at least I was trying to be as upfront and honest as possible.

Here is the text of my Yahoo profile:

"I'm not a bad guy, and like people, but really don't do the social thing very well. I pretty much work, mess with recording my own music, read and fight insomnia. It's been advised that I need to get out more often. No, I don't have a therapist.

I like Midtown (where I live) and I'm looking for somebody nice in the neighborhood to hang out with for coffee and to discuss stuff like sociocultural manipulation of the world's population, so if you're into cultural studies, media criticism and the like, you've got someone here who can probably keep up with you.

Nope, I don't drive or own a car, mostly because I don't have to. I live and work in Midtown, and can get everything I need right around here. Ideally you are in the same situation and we can be backward auto-free Luddites together. Otherwise, thanks for reading this far. Bye.

I'm much more comfortable in a larger city, having been born and raised in one. I like to hop the light rail to the Amtrak to SF. You perhaps like to do that as well, if you've lived in Midtown for some time. That's a good example of something we can maybe do together in time.

I'm highly literate and worldly for an uneducated heathen and future dead peasant. I'm probably further to the left than you are, but that minority who go further or majority who aren't Dittoheads or Palin clones are always quite welcome. I don't drink, don't smoke, and don't take part in any 12 step or other program whatsoever. Also not involved in any organized religion, though interested in philosophical, metaphysical and sociopolitical stuff without going all New Agey. Musically, I like anything from punk to Motown to garage to Tom Waits to Ofra Haza to the Clash to yougetthepictureIhope. For movies, if it's playing at the Tower or Crest you might see me in line buying a ticket. I'm figuring that out of the 3 or 4 women who possibly exist on the planet who would be compatible with me, one may possibly live in Midtown. My gut feeling tells me that I am wrong, but I figure that I might as well try just one more time.

I'm not going to go into too much detail about what I expect from you. I like confidence, self-assurance, and a woman with a good, smart sense of humor who isn't afraid of a dose of sarcasm. Do you think that George Carlin was funny? Good, me too. I'm in average-to-pretty-good physical shape and health for my age, so yes, I expect you to be in that zone as well. Hair length, dress, etc. are things that I'm pretty open minded about, especially since I'm bald and casual, but I'm attracted to shapely women regardless of size, style or age. You need to understand that I'm like an English bulldog: I might not look like I'm happy all the time but that doesn't mean I'm in a bad mood. I will be open with my feelings and in return, you will be as well.

I don't have any children, and don't want them. For freak's sakes, I'm 47 years old! Also, if you have children, they are grown up and independent (out of Mom's home with actual jobs), and not thugs. No exceptions.

Oh, and not engaging in a criminal lifestyle at any level is a must. (That includes, of course, trying to scam poor vulnerable geezers like myself through online personals.)

And a special word about Midtown. In Sacramento, the definition of Midtown's borders are sort of a matter of contention, but after 25 years as a resident of Sacramento, I define them as thus: east of 16th Street, south of G Street, north of T Street and west of the freeway overpass by 29th Street. If you are not living in or near that area please don't bother to respond to my ad.

Gimme a click if you're intrigued. Thanks."

My experience with eHarmony was a different world, to say the least. They put you through a grueling interrogation that surpasses the Scientology Personality Test in terms of nosy anal retentiveness. Interestingly, my results were sort of accurate. As an example, the evaluation stated that I have no problem being alone for long periods of time, and see that situation as a creative advantage. True dat. Hmmm, perhaps these test results may be giving me a chance to meet someone compatible after all.

Nah brah.

My stay on eHarmony lasted about one day, probably less than 24 hours. I was admittedly surprised to find seven “matches” in my email the morning after I had signed up. The matches were not even close to anyone I would be compatible with, and most of them seemed to be the types who would cross the street if they saw me walking up in the opposite direction. Plus, of course, they were all out of the ‘hood.

Here was my kiss off letter to eHarmony that was requested by them as “Feedback”:

"This was a horrible experience. My matches have nothing in common with me and most of them have children (I do not have or want them, and am looking for someone without them as well).

Also, your geographic distance is too far for my preference (minimum of 30 miles from my home). Midtown Sacramento is very densely populated, as are the areas directly bordering the neighborhood. I would want to meet someone within five miles of home at best. Women from the 'burbs tend not to share my interests, so they are a waste of my time to communicate with.

In short, I find this site to be completely useless. Perhaps you should concentrate your resources more on expanding your compatibility options and less on psychological games in order to gain and retain customers. Thanks."

The Yahoo experience was much longer but just as futile. True, I was almost brutally honest in my profile. Nevertheless, I was clear and lucid enough to get some sort of reasonable response.

Of course that didn’t happen. The only women who contacted me (that is, if all of them really were women) ran the gamut from Textbook Russian Scams to Downright Fuckin’ Scary. Okay, there was one seemingly remote possibility who looked really pretty, listed herself as “Artistic / Musical / Writer” and gave me a brief hello, but she was in South Carolina and apparently didn’t even read my profile. And even then, she was a Christian who attended services, so perhaps she was a well-written Textbook Russian Scam. Bzzzt. Thanks for playing.

(And on a side note, if you see a personal from a woman that says, among other things, the direct quote “…I always say that I'm looking for someone who will enhance my life, and not take anything away…” you know what you’re dealing with. I must have seen that little adage about sixteen times.)

Today, I deleted my Yahoo Personals profile. No, I will not try Craigslist next. Stupidly, I did respond to an ad there that looked promising and should have known better. No reply, of course. Oh well, sometimes harsh reality needs to be considered and admitted.

That’s it. I’m through.

I’ve got to face facts. I’m destined to be alone for the rest of my life.

There are worse things to be confronted with as a permanent condition. I could have missing limbs, or maybe a long-term painful terminal illness. I could have fucked up real good and been incarcerated to live out my remaining years in a day-to-day lifestyle somewhat resembling that of Edmond Burke.

Or worse yet, I could have ended up in a miserable relationship just because I did not want to be alone. That would be infinite times worse than simply being by myself.

No, I need to man up and face the truth. I’m just not a match for anyone. I’m too antisocial and isolated, and yeah maybe I am just too old (and on top of that, perceived by women as lame) to “deserve” to be with anyone.

I could rationalize, reason, analyze and excuse myself into oblivion, but nothing is going to change the reality of the situation. I can’t change. Not even for sex. A lot of guys can bullshit to maintain a sex life, and a lot of women knowingly just go along with it for various reasons, but I can’t play that game.

Besides, I’ve gone through enough periods of my adult life where I’ve been celibate for years on end (I’m on a pretty good stretch right now). That’s just the way it’s been. I can’t really change anything about that. It’s not because I lack interest in these things, actually it’s quite the opposite. There are not really any other activities that keep my interest as much when the opportunity is there. However, as easily as I could list “sex” in the “Hobbies” section of a questionnaire, really, going without it isn’t so bad.

So why fight it? In a fitting coincidence, as I’m typing this, Saint Jonathan, the Patron Saint of Modern Love, just got on my stereo with some words of wisdom:

Well I won't pretend I like a girl if I really don't
And act like she's great when she makes me feel appalled
All I want is a girl that I care about
Or I want nothing at all.

Well I don't want just a girl to fool around with
Well I don't want just a girl to ball
What I want is a girl that I care about
Or I want nothing at all.

Well I don't want some cocaine sniffing triumph in the bar
Well I don't want a triumph in the car
I don't want to make a rich girl crawl
What I want is a girl that I care about
Or I want no one at all.

Good enough for me.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Okay, they got me.

If you know me, or at least have been reading this blog for some time, you know that generally, I have a deep contempt for social networking sites. Personally, I find them to be downright boneheaded and generally wrong on so many levels.

I've managed to avoid much of a presence on MySpace.

I do believe that I now hold the record for most consecutive days with no followers on Twitter.

However, then I got a phone call from my good friend and co-conspirator, who let me know that I simply HAD to get on FUCKin' Facebook. Well, not in so many words. Actually, maybe yeah, now that I think about it, that is how he said it.

Anyway. I tracked down a few of my good friends who go back with me to close to a quarter century ago, and decided, fuck it, I'm going to be somewhat active on Facebook. Not that I prefer it over the other two aforementioned sites. On the contrary. To me, Facebook sucks just as bad. It doesn't load pages very well, the chat functions totally blow (and crash my browser more times than not), and, with no offense to my friends who think otherwise, I got sick of playing the games-that-really-aren't-games (eg "Mafia Wars") after about two days, if that long.

Still, I've settled into a role I like to call "Annoying Leftist Newsfeed Guy", since a lot of the publications that I read online anyway are available on Facebook and easy to link to my page.

Another thing which annoys me about Facebook is how they try to force everybody to use their legal birth name. I don't have any problem with my birth name, and anybody can easily find that online, along with my date of birth and birthplace, on the "Biography" section of my profile. It's just that, not only do a lot more people whom I'd want to find me know me as Michael Psycho, there's approximately umpteen hundred million Michael Warrens all over the planet, with God knows how many in Sacramento alone.

SO I tried using Michael Psycho. Facebook wasn't having it. Previously, I had complained about not being able to use the name, and got handed this line of horseshit via email:


Facebook does not allow people to sign up with certain names that may be fake or associated with fake accounts. While we realize this verification method may prevent some people with legitimate names from initially registering, we feel this policy is currently the best method to prevent against malicious and fake accounts on the site.

We can help you sign up for an account, but we will need additional information. Please reply to this email with a scanned image or digital picture of a government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver's license) in order to confirm the accuracy of your name. Also, make sure you black out any personal information that is not needed to verify your identity (e.g., social security number). Keep in mind that we will permanently delete your ID from our servers once your name has been verified.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but you will be unable to sign up until you provide us with a scanned image of a government-issued ID. Please include all of our previous correspondence in your response so that we can refer to your original inquiry.

Thanks in advance for understanding this security policy,

User Operations

Ursula, I cordially invite you and the rest of the User Operations team at Facebook to fuck off. You are not the government, and I am not trying to use a credit card to purchase goods and services. If I am otherwise using Facebook in the manner which it is meant to be used, you have no business in Hell to be demanding that I use my birth name.

I was going to give up altogether, when suddenly inspiration struck and I decided to give it another go. I reactivated my account but instead of Michael Psycho, or Michael Warren, I came up with a brand new handle.

That name was... Idgaf Yaas.

Okay. I'll write that one more time.

Idgaf Yaas.

The name is an acronym, and it is intended to be a tribute to the nice folks who rejected "Michael Psycho" as my name on Facebook. It stands for:

I Don't Give A Fuck. You Assholes All Suck.

Facebook accepted the name.

So, dear friends, as of right now, Facebook is the place where you will find it easiest to reach me online. It is my online hangout, my street corner, my stoop. I'm positive that, if you are staring at a computer screen right now, you probably already have a Facebook page. So, especially to the readers of this blog, I invite you to come on by and make a friend request. Don't be shy. Although I like my tight knit lil' circle of seven or eight pals I've got since I joined a couple of weeks ago, you are always welcome. Just to make it easy on you, I've provided a link below. I look forward to seeing you. At least until Facebook kicks me out.

Click Here, Pilgrim
(Yes. I know. The link is dead. Read the update below.)

Update(1/30/10): So much for trying to be more social. This evening, I deactivated the account, so Idgaf Yaas is no longer a threat to the shivering denizens of Facebook any longer.

I simply got tired of the whole shebang. I had been thinking about walking away from this shit for a while now when something very interesting occurred today.

I was walking back from taking the trash to my dumpster when somebody seemingly familiar passed me in the courtyard of my apartment complex. I said hello, this person returned the greeting, and walked on by. There was no indication that either of us really recognized each other as any sort of acquaintance. When I noticed that a card for a local city council candidate was placed on my door, I put two and two together.

This was one of the folks who I didn't know personally, somebody I'd never met in my life, who had added me as a friend on Facebook! Rather then having my feelings hurt, I found the experience to be a rather, ahem, teachable moment. That's when I decided it was about high time to bring this noble personal social experiment to an end.

While it was nice to have tracked down a few folks from the past, ultimately, Facebook activity just seems like a tremendous waste of time. Time is pretty much the most valuable thing I have left nowadays. Also, I've increasingly grown to accept a basic belief that social activity is way overrated.

So to all of the true dear old friends that I ran into on Facebook, thanks for bringing back fond memories and I'm glad to see that we are all surviving and well. As for the rest of you:

Sunday, October 25, 2009


On the Black Hole Media Co. blog, there is a brief description of a BHMC research project underway which, with any luck, will be completed by the time that I qualify for Medicare:

Click Here, Pilgrim

I realize that the basic point of this project, of course, is a little hard to describe to a lot of folks without sounding all Unabombery and shit. So, as a way of providing a contemporary example of the type of stuff I've been witnessing that inspired me to begin this project, please check out the link below to this recent article from Mother Jones:

Click Here, Pilgrim

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Go get that Bookmarks tab warmed up, Pilgrim.

Black Hole Media Co., my sometimes collective, usually lone-wolf-run media terrorist cooperative, is back on them Interwebs at its old address:

There won't be much there for a while, but don't worry, I'll work on it. You can help too if you want. If you have issues as serious as I do with the Establishment Media, and can express yourself clearly and intelligently, and can pass our screening, go ahead and email the BHMC headquarters. Your help doesn't even have to have anything to do with the site. As long as it's legal and makes sense, hit us up. We're into a little of this and a little of that, so try it, we might like it. (BIG FAT NOTE: Do NOT use this email link to try to contact me personally for any other reason than Black Hole Media Co. business. I will not respond and odds are good that anything sent otherwise will be deleted. I know it's hard as Hell to get ahold of me and I do that on purpose. I've been making myself a smidge more accessible online and I'll be discussing that in a week or two).


Black Hole Media Co., in all of its various weird incarnations, has been in operation since 1984. No, it hasn't just been me. I've had a lot of help, and I'm grateful to everyone who has gotten involved at one level or another. Over the years, BHMC has been involved in music and video production, performance art, renegade flyering, consultation, networking, corporate surveillance, ridicule of public figures and a whole lot of other stuff which, though essentially legal, probably shouldn't be discussed right now.

That said, in the time around and since Black Hole Media Co. last had a Web presence (around 2000 or 2001), there have been a spate of sites popping up with interesting variations of our name. Here, for the purpose of clarity, allow me to point out those sites which have no association with Black Hole Media Co. whatsoever, and, to be sporting, I will provide a link as well.

This software company is not Black Hole Media Co. and has no association with BHMC whatsoever.

Neither does this site. Not BHMC related, never was, never will be.

BHMC has released records (and cassettes) under the Black Hole imprint, but has nothing to do whatsoever with Black Hole Recordings.

BHMC also has nothing to do with the band from Italy, The Black Hole Company.

And lastly, BHMC is not associated with Adbusters, but apparently they took a liking to the BHMC logo. (I'm sure that they have a convenient backstory of its symbolism ready. Don't worry, Adbusters, your efforts are still cool in my book).

That's probably enough examples for now (until some more people try to co-opt). I'm fine with it, since Black Hole Media Co. is going to outlive all of these folks. And besides, you know what they say about imitation being...

Saturday, October 17, 2009


So, I was called for jury duty, which was, to my best recollection, my fifth time since moving to California. Before you start to fret about some poor defendant being stuck with me as one of the panel of twelve, be comforted with the fact that, in the spirit of the "One Day, One Trial" policy here in Sacramento County, I was not chosen and was dismissed at the end. In retrospect, I'm sure glad that I was not picked, as I paid a karmic surplus merely in my attempt to make it to the fuckin' courthouse in time.

I received my summons about 3 or 4 weeks ago, and I wasn't worried about how I was going to get to court on time. I like walking and was planning to give myself an ample head start (as long as I gave myself over 45 minutes from where I live in Midtown it would have been fine).

And then, Mother Nature decided to conspire with RT to give me a little character building personal challenge.

The weather, as it turned out, greeted me that morning with 45 mile per hour gusts and a shitload of rainfall. Resigned to having to take the light rail into downtown, I headed over to the 23rd and R station at about 7:20 or so, figuring that, since the trains run 15 minutes apart at the most, I'd have plenty of time to get to where I had to go.


Giving me one more reason to rue the lameness that is Sacramento Regional Transit, the ticket machine would not take any of my dollar bills. Moving across the tracks to the other machine, I noticed that other people were having the exact same problem. Although I probably should have felt some sort of humbling empathy in seeing my fellow members of humanity feeling my pain, I was none too happy to know that there was a FUBAR situation developing here at the RT station, as the 7:25 train pulled up.

I no longer have a cell phone, since I decided that I hardly speak to anybody anymore and it was a waste of money. I could have used the pay phone at the station, but when I've called the court in the past, just for general information, I've been put on hold and sent to Automated Menu Hell. My choice at this point was to either get forced into contesting a ticket for having no proof of fare or getting a bench warrant issued for failure to report for jury service. Even worse, I may have had to report back the following day. Nah. Not going to happen.

I'd like to share with you at this time a little personal issue that I have. If it's one thing that I don't like in this life, it's when I don't have an answer to something, and don't know if what I'm about to do will have consequences or will turn out okay. Sure, I have to deal with that kind of shit on almost a daily basis anyway, and usually things will turn out alright, but I would still rather have answers and information before I choose to do something.

In that mental state, and knowing that it was approaching 7:30, I knew that I had to do something to address the situation. I chose to start a panicked walk-mixed-with-jog down Q, then 22nd Street, then Capitol Avenue, then through a corner of Capitol Park and down L Street, turning to take 10th Street north and cutting across Wino Park, whoops I mean Cesar Chavez Plaza, and booking through I Street. Unfortunately, I overshot the street for the Superior Court building, turning and traveling on 8th, and was disoriented enough to ask some young lady on a phone outside of the Sacramento County Sheriff's doorway for directions back over to what turned out to be the entrance a block away at 9th and G.

I made it in the line outside of the courthouse door at the 8 AM deadline on the dot. Somebody up there likes me, or at least gave me the common sense not to be hitting the potato chips too hard nowadays.

By now, completely looking like a drowned rat, I waited in the long line at the Jury Assembly Room and checked in with my now-soaked summons, then took a seat in the hall. I sort of envied other folks who were using their laptops and taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi that the Court had generously provided for prospective jurors. And then again, I was glad that I had decided against bringing my laptop with me, considering the circumstances that had unexpectedly occured.

I neglected to mention earlier that I'd brought in a briefcase full of notebooks, reading material and other stuff, and had to lug that along under my coat for the little foot race I took through the storm. I chose to take along a copy of a book called The Price of Dissent, Bud and Ruth Schultz's fantastic collection of oral histories of people who have experienced repression and persecution from Uncle Sam because of their personal beliefs and expressed opinions, and pretty much nothing else. I'm reviewing one of the accounts for a project which I may or may not complete within the next few years. There was also, admittedly, a passing thought about how sorta fucked up it would look to be reading that particular book. That only encouraged me even more.

As the process of beginning to call out names for that day's cases began, a woman sitting next to me looked up from her book and remarked, "Have you ever read that short story, The Lottery?" I replied, "Yes, a long time ago", while racking my brains to try to remember what that one was about. She continued, "They announce people's names and then they get executed. It sort of feels like that," with a smile. I may have agreed with her under normal circumstances if the worst part of the morning had not already been past me.

Eventually, my name was called and I headed upstairs to a courtroom. When I got there, the hall was already filling up, and a friendly young woman had motioned over to me to let me know that there was a seat open right next to her. I thanked her and sat my still-pretty-soaked ass down. She mentioned that there seemed to be a lot of people in this jury pool, and I had replied that I had used the stairs because my last name was at the end of the alphabet and by the time I was called, the elevators were already crowded with people waiting in queue. We briefly spoke about the weather outside, and I couldn't help but notice that she seemed just a wee bit agitated and nervous.

The deputy acting as bailiff came out of the courtroom briefly and gave us some pointers on what to expect and how to behave in the courtroom.(For instance, no food because crinkling wrappers will piss off the court reporter.) He then requested that we separate the four pages of our carbon copied voir dire questionnaire in order to make his job easier when he takes them from each juror as they get called to sit in the jury box. Everybody dutifully proceeded to pull their sheets apart. I found it kind of odd that my neighbor to the right, who had helped me to get a seat earlier, did not even pull out the questionnaire. It was no longer a mystery about two minutes later when the bailiff re-emerged, motioned to her and kept the door open as she entered the courtroom.

Great. I'm not even inside the courtroom and I've already carried on a conversation with the defendant. Oh well. We didn't discuss the trial, unless she's being charged with illegal cloud seeding or something, so I guess it was still cool. It still felt kind of fucked up, though.

The clerk then came out and announced eighteen names of people who would be the first to sit in the jury box (12 prospective jurors and six alternates), and then the rest of us filed into the gallery. The judge got things started and gave us the particulars on the trial that we were being considered for, along with the usual admonitions (eg don't discuss the trial details with anyone, etc.). I won't bother to tell you at this point what the charges were because, although legally I can speak about it now, the trial is still pending for all I know. All I can say at this point is that I have a family history in regards to the same offense, and probably would have been sent back to the jury room anyway.

After the initial questioning of the first group of potential jurors, the judge called for the afternoon break, which turned out to be two hours. Luckily I was prepared and had plenty of music to listen to and stuff to read and work on. The drag was that the weather sucked and I was still pretty damp, so I didn't feel like stepping outside. I settled for going up to the cafeteria and a lunch of coffee and cupcakes. I sat in the area near the jury lounge, listened to my usual repertoire of freeform eclectic audio mixture on shuffle play, and did some people watching for most of the time.

One thing about jury duty: it's sort of like the DMV. It's the Great Equalizer when it comes to making everyone get together in one public place, regardless of race, birthplace, occupation or education. There's business suits, baggy pants and hoodies, burkhas, cowboy hats, turbans, leather biker gear and hemp clothing. It almost seems like there should be a hope that these occasional perceived obligations of civil responsibility have a side benefit of reminding its participants that we have numerous differences, too many to even bother counting, and we should always consider that fact when acting out our lives in this world.

After the break, it was back to Final Jeopardy, and the panel was questioned about the usual: if anyone had been convicted of offenses relative to the trial, and of they had been victims under similar circumstances to the allegations that they would possibly be deliberating upon. After the judge excused initial people from the panel, the empty seats were filled and the new arrivals were reviewed on the same questions.

Then it was time for the respective attorneys to have their fun with their peremptory challenges, with the prosecutor and defense taking turns kicking out panelists at whim. This process can go on for a very long time, depending on the size of the jury pool and how anal the attorneys are. Typically, the defense tends to get a little happier with the challenges, and it was no different this time around. However, after one more break and a relatively short time, the two parties magically agreed and twelve jurors were picked along with two alternates. Us stragglers were then dismissed, and we made our way back to the jury room.

One other deportee and myself were smart enough to hit the stairs right away, and we ended up at the front of the line as our remaining fellow rejects filed in and lined up to be dismissed. When I got to the window to turn in my badge, the question I got was: "But, were you excused"? The answer I wanted to give was: "Look, lady, I hauled ass by foot here from 23rd and R because the ticket machine didn't take my money and I practially ran here in a downpour to get here on time, then I spent eight hours trapped here in soaking clothes and was not picked for a jury. You really need to let me the fuck go, and we can try this again in a year or so, aight?" But, I simply replied "Yes," and requested an RT pass. I kind of felt like giving myself a break for the trip back.

That, of course, was not going to happen without even more bullshit. The light rail train headed back toward my homestead was delayed by at least 45 minutes, and I stood out there along with a flock of mostly government workers wondering if it would ever show up at all. Finally, I got my waterlogged carcass home. The next day, my thigh and calf muscles felt like I had rode the American River trail up to Folsom and back from Discovery Park, thanks to my impromptu morning workout.

I respect the American justice system and for all of the citizens of our country to have a right to a fair and speedy trial with a jury of peers. I just wish that it was at least a little easier for me to get through it. It's not the Superior Court I felt inconvenienced from, but definitely RT and its continuing dedication to making its customer service become suckier by the day, every day. Perhaps the Jury Comissioner's office can mail an optional postcard that folks can send back to request an advance RT ticket to be mailed before the reporting date, just to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible. I have a feeling that, if it was anyone else in my situation that day, a lot of others would have just thrown up their hands in the air, said "Fuck it", and tried to avoid even showing up at all. Now that wouldn't help anybody.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Okay, I'm definitely going to have to score a copy of this. Mr. Crumb, of all people, has illustrated the Book of Genesis. I would like to answer a question put forth in one the comments posted for the article in (linked below).

"Is God perhaps a latent Mr. Natural?"

Upon initial glances, I would tend to think so, though I would also agree with the same commenter that God has a nicer head of hair (natch).

Click Here, Pilgrim

Friday, October 09, 2009


Greetings, In The Name Of He Who Is Arisen,

Per your urgent request, I have received the token of our holy embrace and have placed it on display at a station of honor in the highest domain of my studio apartment. Your most precious trophy of athletic achievement is now among other significant objects of which I am fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to save from other politically dangerous areas of the world. I recall only the fondest memories of the noble overseas Christian warriors who have presented me with the privileged duty to acquire all of these curios, at least until I had to change the PIN number on my debit card. I have forgiven them, as my covenant with the Lord dictates that I do so.

I am steadfastly praying, and I know you are as well, for the eventual consummation of our newfound alliance as soldiers of the battle for souls. It is simply one of many blessed events to occur that I had somehow been called by the powerful inner voice of the Heavenly Father to be browsing Ebay at such a miraculously perfect time.

I’m also delighted that you may be able someday to meet my heretofore-unknown long lost sister, Irinya Milošević Perrier O’Brien Gomez Psychodopoulos, who only recently had tracked me down and contacted me through She is marrying a lucky young fellow believer of my acquaintance, and while she is trying to get a visa to enter the U.S. from Belgium, I will be helping to open her new electronics store by accepting various packages shipped through UPS and FedEx and will be storing the items in my apartment, that is, the ones that I will not be forwarding, at her request, to her current retail outlet location in Abuja, Nigeria.

I am in passionate prayer daily to ask for God’s mercy upon the state of your treacherous situation, and assure you that I beseech the skillful hand of the Almighty Lord to touch the very essence of your existence, guiding you towards the way of the ultimate assumption of ecstatic glory, glory, glory in the highest until you reach the sacred realm of the Holy Spirit.


Your Brother In Christian Intercourse,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Wow. Looks like Mary Manson really got its thong bunched up into its hemorrhoids over the latest stunt by the folks over at Buddyhead.

Letter above courtesy of Buddyhead, from the latest gossip page. Link below. Apologies for use without permission, nothing personal, just wanted to dress up the post a little. I'll take this opportunity to highly recommend the sort-of-weekly Buddyhead Gossip for all you crazy kids out there, as it's good for building critical thinking towards the entertainment world in growing minds.

At least I'm confident that Travis Keller won't be calling a fuckin' lawyer on me. As for Mary, on the other hand, I'm not so sure.

Click Here, Pilgrim

Sunday, October 04, 2009


I was actually watching a new episode of Saturday Night Live for once. Finally got to see that Gaga lady that all those kids are crazy about nowadays.

But besides that, the sketches were sorta so-so, until this came on.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Lately, I've been feeling like shit.

Not physically. As a matter of fact, it seems like I feel stronger and on top of that, I'm getting sick far less often than in my twenties. In my mental state, it's been another story.

It's like my mind is trying to make its way through the middle of a tornado. There's really not much of a better way that I can describe it. The strange thing is that I seem to be doing things okay on the job and in my own creative efforts here and there. Something just hasn't seemed right lately.

Having an overly heavy workload doesn't help, and at this point there's nothing much that I can do about it. Plus, it looks like the inevitable ax is going to fall someday sooner or later anyway. I've been involved in this pattern before, where the staffing gets cut down to the bone, and even though the service levels suffer, eventually the work gets outsourced and the folks who've stuck around to keep things going are out of there.

It would be nice to feel like I can see options beyond my present gig, but I can't. Sure, I have plenty of practical skills to carry with me, and a lot of those skills were picked up on the present job that I'm holding. The shitty economy doesn't help, either. The last thing that I'd be looking forward to would be to re-assess my skill set for the same type of work at another corporation. One positive possibility is that I'll get a higher paying job, which would be close to even odds at this point since I don't make diddly squat based on my current expectations and duties.

I've been squirreling away a few bucks here and there, and have been building a fairly decent sized rainy day fund (which currently would get me through about three years of rainy days, even though that took 15 years to accomplish). That ability to still get a little bit ahead with each paycheck is keeping me in place. If and when it starts to get closer to paycheck-to-paycheck finances, it will be a bit easier to just pack up and hit the road.

There's one weird thing that's going on in my head, though. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel like I'm in great physical shape, but have had thoughts that I'm going to die soon. Real soon. Not like I have any objections to that happening; there's really nothing holding me here. I am completely and realistically one person, with no remaining family or close personal ties whatsoever. That's the price that you pay when you can't keep your mouth shut and can't deal with society or won’t put up with anybody's shit. I paid for it, and now I'm living its results.

Suicide, on the other hand, is not something that I am even remotely capable of doing anymore. I came to the conclusion a while back that if I ever feel suicidal, the most effective method would be to keep living, because life will kill me eventually. My only brother wasn't quite as keen to that idea, and decided to give in to his ongoing urge to shoot himself at the age of 31. It feels sort of strange to be 15 years older than a sibling who was 8 years older than myself, and yet remembering somebody who ran circles around me in terms of intellect even at my current age.

Medication is out of the question, as I don't want any drugs in me anymore, period. I don't even take aspirin unless I'm in nearly excruciating pain. For a lot of folks in my situation, knocking back a few drinks would provide at least a temporary diversion, but I know well enough by now that alcohol is just going to lead down a path which will be even worse than the one I'm experiencing now. And therapy has been nothing but a failure in the past for me, so I wouldn't expect it to change now.

Yeah, I'm feeling pretty fucked nowadays. Anybody reading this right now who hates my guts for one reason or another (and don't worry, I know that you're out there) should be utterly stokely stoked to know about my present condition.

And I want all of you of that persuasion to know something right here, right now.

I am going to eventually snap out of this funk and come back stronger, better prepared, and ready to make you look like a bunch of complete and utter idiots more than ever.

I always do.

And as a matter of fact, just typing this and publishing it has made me feel a whole lot better.

Oh, and fuck you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Y'know, Genesis P-Orridge and the folks in Psychic TV have been rollin' around the backwaters long enough to deserve to have a song suddenly gain contemporary relevance, all retro like and shit. So what's the deal here? Why aren't I hearing more of their song Roman P being played nowadays? I mean, if I'm going to have a tune forced upon me in news soundtracks and at hip mall stores and wherever, at least let it be something that I already have on my player that I don't mind hearing involuntarily! C'mon, Establishment Media, get with the program!

Oh well. What the fuck ever happened to viral marketing anyway? Okay. I'll see if I can get the ball rolling.

Click Here, Pilgrim

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Today marks a very special anniversary observance here at Michael Psycho's Word Pollution, Pilgrim. No, it is not the anniversary of the blog itself. (Hell, I can't even remember when that was. I just know that it was sometime in 2001, and if it wasn't for that lame "Blogger 2.0" changeover and if the three years of posts weren't lost forever, I could tell you.)

One year ago today, the most controversial (and most visited and Google searched) post in this lil' ol' weblog's history made its debut. I almost got up to a dozen page hits for that one alone. Ahem, yeahrite, that's all, really. You do believe me, doncha? Heh.

In retrospect, I really don't see what the big deal was about. So the Campbell twins of fame were picked as Playboy Cyber Girls back in 2002? So what? Why be so secretive about it? It's not like some dudebro (or probably in this case, it would be dudebros) had leaked nekkid pics of the twins online. It was a photo shoot for fuckin' Playboy, ferchrissakes!

No, all you need to understand is this. What really motivated me to post what I wrote (and what I linked) in the first place is the fact that nobody wants to discuss it. (Well, maybe a couple of people who posted comments on Heckasac). I have no animosity toward the Campbell sisters; it just happens to be a relevant part of their story and SOMEbody needed to report it.

Now, on the other hand, it has come to my attention that some fellow blogospherean had linked to my blog post which, in turn, links the naughty photo of the Campbells. Said party was contacted by one or both of the twins (well, there is a pic in Sacramento Magazine of one of them holding a mouse, and the other a keyboard, so it coulda happened...) and was persuaded to remove the link to my, erm, exposé. (Be not embarrassed, brave soul. You made the effort, and I salute you).

On the other hand, I'm not impressed, intimidated or swayed by fame, power or authority, attorney assisted or otherwise, when it comes to freedom of speech and the distribution of information, and would like to make it clear, right here, right now, that the day that I will remove any blog post from this blog is the day that they pry my cold, dead hand off the mouse, and probably while I'm signed in and updating, because you sure as Hell aren't getting my password.

I would like to add one more thing. I have made a slight improvement to the original post. Instead of the link to the bootleg photo site, I fixed it to go straight to the photo of the Campbells which is featured on After all, accuracy is a fundamental of journalism.

That said, the link to the post with the original link is below. Although there is a warning on the original item, I will also warn you here, beforehand, that the following link is definitely not safe for work, or minors, or certain members of the clergy, or people who prefer unshaven pubic hair in their softcore pornography.

Click Here, Pilgrim

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So, a few days ago, I was doing some routine bullshit maintenance on my site.

I like to take a look at my stats to see generally where people are visiting from, how they find me and such. Something that kinda interests me concerns the search terms that people use.

During my latest check, I saw the following listed as one of the searches:

when he ejaculates real soon

What. The. Fuck?

When I Googled that exact phrase, here is what resulted:

The lyric page to my song, "What A Man'll Do", placed third in the search results.

Hey, they say music heals, and if I can help couples resolve their premature ejaculation issues, I'm more than happy to assist.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


For the sake of posterity, if nothing else, I’d like to share a charming tale with you, Pilgrim.

It’s the story of where and how I came up with the name that has become my pseudonym for nearly three decades.

In the days of my more carefree youth, I used to go to this club back in Boston called the 1270. It was located on Boylston Street (named after its address number) not a far hop and skip away from Fenway Park, and across the street from FM rock station WBCN. I was introduced to the place by a friend and became a semi-regular there for quite a while until I got married, and even afterward I can recall dropping in with my then bride a couple of times. It was one of Boston’s most now-legendary gay clubs, but attracted weird young outsider artist types (raising hand) and (trendy at the time) professed asexuals and just plain confused or unsure youngin's (raising my hand again, yeah I'll admit it, at least I thought about it a little for a while back then, but I got over it and back to full breeder status pretty quickly) and BU coeds with out of state boyfriends looking for a nice safe environment, all showing up for the cheap drink prices, the oozing stench of casual but neat alt-hipsterism, and, more importantly, its selective (and rumored to be intentional) laxity towards carding the underage, especially on Wednesdays when the crowd was most mixed.

It was the week of Halloween 1981. I was on Urban Camping Expedition One, having been evicted from what was my parents' place for trying to kick out some fuckups who in turn, fucked up the apartment to the point that the fire department condemned it. My mother was in the hospital dying of cirrhosis, my father was on his umpteenth stay in the Salvation Army detox, and I had just spent the night in a city jail a few nights before thanks to my former friends’ redecorating job. My brother, who used to be the radical left wing lunatic of the family, was paradoxically now the most normal, well adjusted one, pursuing his fanatic and never ending deconstruction of James Joyce 3000 miles away in grad school at UC Berkeley.

I was sleeping in the park, the subway, and, for one of those nights, in a dumpy flop hotel near the Combat Zone. At least I had a job, and more importantly, still enjoyed drinking, so the mid-autumn New England chill didn’t bother me at night so much as it could have.

I dropped by the “12” that night, and of course, there were plenty of patrons in costume. Not only did I get my 18-year-old ass in the door without getting carded, they were also nice enough to disregard my seriously dirty and disheveled appearance. What counts here is that I was let in.

The 1270, if anything, was a unique night spot. There were three levels and a roof deck. The basement had a pub like setup, complete with jukebox, pinball, a grill menu and occasionally a transvestite (or maybe TS) pianist singing show tunes. On this particular night she was singing:

I'm as corny as Kansas in August,
I'm as normal as blueberry pie.
No more a smart little girl with no heart,
I have found me a wonderful guy!

The ground level was more of a dance club setting, where the set could segue from, say, “Tainted Love” to “Holiday In Cambodia” to “Dreaming” to “Safe European Home” without anyone so much as blinking an eye and dancing right through them all. I didn’t get up to the upper floor or the rooftop much,if at all, and usually just stuck to the lower areas.

It was in the middle of the ground level dance floor, sort of early in the evening, that a monumental event in my life had occurred.

Sipping on my second or third Black Russian, I was in a circle with my friend from high school and a few folks I had not met yet. People began to introduce themselves each in turns, and I had noticed that some of them were using what can best be described as punk or otherwise underground tragically hip pseudonyms. “Hi, I’m Pogo.” “Hi, I’m Lily White (a toss to the DKs’ “Kill The Poor”)”.

My mind began to turn it into a game, like when I’d be in various drama classes and we’d play call-out “Telephone” like games to improve our improvisational skills and whatnot. Actually, I can’t recall exactly why the fuck we did those. Anyway, it was my turn, and I reached out and shook hands, trying to act as natural as possible:

“Hi, I’m Michael Psycho. How’s it goin'?”

And with that, a name was planted upon me for time immemorial. It wasn’t some well thought out scheme, it wasn’t conceived by a band manager, and it wasn’t brought to me in a dream by some angel with a fuckin’ flaming sword on a bronze tablet. It was spur of the moment, I decided after the fact that I liked it, and I have used it ever since.

I did, however, attach meaning to the name with time. Contrary to what most people may assume, it has nothing to do with the popular use of the slang term “psycho” to denote a crazy, violent or otherwise unstable person. My personal interpretation of my last name Psycho goes straight to its root, to suggest my preoccupation with matters of the mind or, as all of you romantic and metaphysical chic types out there might put it, the workings of the creative soul. Coincidentally, according to certain ancient legends, the Archangel Michael is considered a psychopomp, guiding the souls of the dead to the Great Beyond.

In time, my name has graced flyers, zine articles, and music releases, among a bunch of other stuff (and of course, a site address). Sure, folks have used variations and reverse applications of the name since then, among them being pro wrestlers, video game characters, radio personalities, and at least a couple of other musicians, one of them being a self-styled Satanic rapper who has the most interesting variation I’ve seen yet.

I’m not worried. I’ve lived with this name for so long that I’m completely confident that it (and I) will outlive anyone who tries to co-opt it in any form whatsoever. I’ve survived way too much bullshit to be convinced otherwise. But the thing that sets me out from the rest isn’t how I chose my last name. What closes the case for me is how my first name was chosen.

In late September of 1962, my brother came home from parochial school to a mild dispute between my folks. My dad wanted to name me after his late father, Albert. My mom, in the later stages of carrying me inside her, wasn’t having it, and insisted that they come up with a better name.

Enter my brother. The archaic Catholic semi-holiday of Michaelmas (September 29) was happening, and religion class that day was all about the Archangel Michael, and how cool he was for kicking Satan’s ass straight to Hell and a whole bunch of other superhero type stunts. He was not to be swayed. If this was to be a little brother, Michael was his name, and he wasn’t having it any other way. My parents, impressed by little Jackie’s rhetorical delivery, and from a kid only eight years old at that, were easily sold.

Later on, shortly after I had picked up my adopted last name, I was on a phone call with my brother and mentioned what I had done. He heartily approved of the name change, remarking that Michael was “the crazy angel” who “stood up to the old guard” when it tried to take everything selfishly for itself. Thus, the guy who gave me my first name condoned my choice of a last one. I can live with that.

So you see, Pilgrim? For me, it’s not just a stage name. It’s nothing short of who I am. No one can take that away from me.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I received a comment or two through the grapevine concerning the dogchokin' motherlode of free MP3s of my music that I posted online a while back as part of my main Internet headquarters,

Seems that some folks weren't able to access my complete list of songs, due to my 1997 style embedded frame. (Sorry, I'm into retro web design. It's a kind of fetish-y thing I have.) Seems that they couldn't make the side scroll bar for the song page inside the frame go down, and for all they knew, I've only written about 4 or 5 songs, and they all start with numbers or "A".

Anyway, long story short, I just decided to trash that shit and redesign the page to a leaner, meaner look, and you should be able to scroll directly down the page with no problem. Link is below.

Click Here, Pilgrim

And while we're on the subject, a lot of folks apparently have been able to use the former page layout, because there's been downloads pulled from all over the world. Not a huge amount, but enough to make me scratch my head and think to myself, "Where the Hell are these people coming from, and how do they know about me?" Special recognition goes to the handful of web surfers who each went in on one calculated raid over the past few months and pulled out every single one of them MP3s. Either you like me, or you like free music, and I can respect either sentiment. Thank you for the recognition, and I would champagne toast you if I still drank.

And while we're still on the subject, I'll be gradually adding more fucked up cover versions of some of my favorite tunes by other artists on my Cover Killers project page over at Click Here. Pilgrim

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Note to Michelle Malkin:

Next time you want to relay information about crowd estimates at your beloved teabagger rallies, don't rely on tweets. Click Here, Pilgrim

And an added note: Republicans sort of have a history of bullshitting through photography. Click Here, Pilgrim

Michelle, Michelle, Michelle. Getting pretty itchy with the "Post" trigger nowadays, aren't we? You really need to give yourself a two or three hour cooling off period, IMHO. Now you've even got Andrew Sullivan calling you on your shit. Click Here, Pilgrim.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I have linked the article in question below. And before I publish this particular post, I would like to let anyone who is reading know something.

I Will Not Submit My Screenplay, Or CD, Or Rant About The Evils Of Technology And The Disaster Caused By The Industrial Revolution, Or Even A Link To My Blog, To Anyone Ever. Never. On The Other Hand, I Have Been Spammed For A Free Review CD, And Lived To Regret It, And Now Have Learned To Delete Such Emails. Also, I Have Never Seen Any Films With Screenplays Written By Josh Olson, And Have Never Even Heard Of Him, But His Arrogance Is Very Amusing Nonetheless.

Click Here, Pilgrim

Saturday, September 12, 2009


So, I wanted to do something constructive with my forced vacation day (long story, convoluted situation, maybe we'll discuss it in front of a spinoccoli sometime).

Some folks pull weeds or do their laundry or sit in a fetal position on the recliner, tears streaming down their eyes in a blank, overly fatigued mental state while obliviously hearing Regis and Kelly blab to each other in the background.

I tend to, heh, think outside the box in these situations, and to show my appreciation for my one day of extra rest because a week or even two days in a row just ain't gonna happen, ever, I bumrushed a recording of the IWW Songbook classic, We Have Fed You All A Thousand Years. The next night, after putting in yet more overtime so's I can keep caught up on all of that rest I'm supposed to be getting, I culled together some old school labor footage. I'm proud to proclaim that this work is 100 percent public domain. So check. It. Out.

NOTE: If you find this particular rendition to be annoying, you may perhaps instead appreciate the version by the late great Utah Phillips. Here's a link to an audio file on Click Here, Pilgrim

Sunday, September 06, 2009


I'm feeling pretty sick and tired nowadays (well, that's been the story for a while, but this time it's actually physical and mental). Here are a couple of trailers for Michael Moore's new documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story. The film opens October 2, so I figure that, if I keel over from my underpaid overworked corporate white/blue collar IT sweatshop job, at least there will be something interesting posted for a while. Now excuse me while I sit like a lump of dead flesh and bones, mentally fatigued as all fuck and pretending that I'm giving my brain enough rest before going back for another round of abuse. Have A Nice Day.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Please study the above photo, dear Pilgrim. I scanned it from the most excellent Paul Robeson, a biography by Martin Bauml Duberman. It shows Robeson, the legendary athlete, singer, actor and activist performing at a concert just outside of a little town called Peekskill, New York, back in 1949.

Please be so kind as to study that photograph for a moment. Go ahead and click it and expand it if you like. I’ll wait.

OK, good. Let’s discuss this photo now.

People are surrounding Robeson up on that stage for a reason. They were protecting him from getting injured, or even possibly killed. A sniper nest (two men with high-powered rifles) was discovered by security forces and flushed out at a hill overlooking the concert. So obviously, this was not your typical outdoor music festival.

Paul Robeson was an influential African-American who spoke out against racism, poverty, and the exploitation of labor, along with other kinds of injustice. I consider him to be one of the bravest American citizens in history, who lived a life dedicated to the defense of human equality and dignity, regardless of any threat to his own life, career or well being.

He had performed at Peekskill previously, but things were going to be different this time for certain significant reasons. He had not only testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee against making Communists register as foreign agents, he had also been quoted as saying at the World Peace Conference in Paris, in an Associated Press dispatch, “it is unthinkable that American Negroes will go to war in behalf of those who have oppressed us for generations... against a country which in one generation has raised our people to the full dignity of mankind.”

Robeson never said those words at the Paris conference. No one fact checked them either. When the remarks were carried in the media, they were perceived by many to be anti-American, and local newspaper The Peekskill Evening Star fanned the flames of sentiment against Robeson, encouraging protests at the concert site.

Apparently, many of the Evening Star’s readers were either actual or wannabe Klansmen, as the protests featured a burning cross and lynched effigies of Robeson. VFW and American Legion members, in tandem with a loose group of boneheads, threw rocks at concertgoers and beat them with baseball bats, effectively shutting down the first attempt at a concert, planned for August 27. Looks like somebody forgot all about the First Amendment and the right to freely assemble.

The concert was postponed to September 4, and this time the concert itself went off without any incidents of violence. However, it was the transit for performers and audience in and out of the concert that was a different story altogether.

Robeson was literally tucked into the rear floor of a car to be shuttled out, which must have been quite a feat since the man was the size of your average modern day NFL offensive tackle. People were dragged out of vehicles and attacked, and those who weren’t had windows taken out from rocks and other objects courtesy of what must have seemed like a miles-long gauntlet of racist rioters. If you were black, you were serenaded with screams of the n-word; if you were a white concertgoer, you were labeled as a “white n-word”. Pete Seeger, who also performed that day, had so many rocks tossed into the car which he, Woody Guthrie and others were riding in, that he built a chimney at his cabin to remind people of the riots.

The police did nothing as far as even trying to stop the riots. Some of the cops even joined the anti-Robeson crowd and assisted them in beating those exiting the concert site. The Westchester County District Attorney, George M. Fanelli, later congratulated the police for doing “a magnificent job”.

Learn all you can about the Peekskill Riots, and take all that you will learn into serious consideration when witnessing certain events that are occurring today. Next time you see a town hall meeting on health care reform, or one of those lame ass right wing teabagger rallies, with all of these Angry White Men and Angry White Women out of the Dittohead Textbook a-yellin’ and a-screamin’, remember that those guys and gals engaging in such behavior are the cultural descendants of the white, male, xenophobic rock throwers and bat wielders at Peekskill in 1949, who not only beat people like Eugene Bullard, an African American WWI aviator for France who was awarded the Croix de Guerre, but were the same people who had also attacked people who were white, simply because they supported racial equality for those who were not.

Times may have changed since the Peekskill Riots, but nothing has been entirely eliminated. That environment of ignorant, stupid hate has simply been tamed, and driven down to a social sublevel of relative impotence. Unfortunately, in recent times with the election of our nation’s first African-American President, the symptoms of the disease called racism are starting to re-appear. We need to never let up our guard when it comes to keeping that sort of mentality from ever re-entering our national psyche. That’s why, sooner or later, Americans of tolerance are going to need to step up and counter attack the re-emerging actions of the intolerant. In the same way that we should feel about the Holocaust, we must be determined that the Peekskill Riots never happen again.

"[W]e can make clear what peaceful coexistence means. It means living in peace and friendship with another kind of society--a fully integrated society where the people control their destinies, where poverty and illiteracy have been eliminated, and where new kinds of human beings develop in the framework of a new level of social living."
-Paul Robeson, Paul Robeson Speaks, p. 338

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


To celebrate Pfizer’s record-breaking achievement (the largest criminal fine ever – way to go, Pfizer), I decided to call an assortment of all-star musicians for a little jam session at this week’s undisclosed location housing the Black Hole Media Co. Mobile Unit . Behold the one take wonder that was a popular live tune for the three or four times when I actually played it. I wrote this lil' number some years back after reading reports about how Pfizer would discharge cyanide into the river by their plant in Groton, Connecticut. Here is “Pfizer”, presented to you, dear Pilgrim, with a special lyrical aid, in case you’re inspired to sing along.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Since, supposedly, the US Government ordered the "Black Sites" closed, this would qualify as retro fashion.

Wonder if J.C. Penney would be interested in an exclusive distribution deal?

Peruse and purchase other fine items at my humble little CafePress site. My aim is to have something to offend everyone eventually.

Click Here, Pilgrim

Friday, August 21, 2009


To celebrate my 25th year of residence in this quaint little valley that has been my home, I’ve decided to present you, dear Pilgrim, with what I have thus dubbed The Three Unwritten Rules Of Sacramento. And of course, since they are previously unwritten, naturally, I’m going to completely blow it and write them down for your reading pleasure today.

Shall we proceed? Let’s start with The First Unwritten Rule…


When I first moved here in ’84, Sacramento was definitely in fetal civic form. No light rail, no NBA team, and cable TV was barely laid out with like, six local TV channels to choose from for most households. I won’t even start to kvetch about the (lack of) choices for pizza. Paradoxically, if you were an aficionado of punk and hardcore bands (I was) there was rarely a dull moment in that department. There were quite a few decent bands coming through town back then.

Yup, things have definitely grown here and not just the population. Fact remains, though, that Sacramento, for all intents and purposes, is currently a small town disguised as a big city, and will be in foreseeable decades to come.

That’s nothing to be embarrassed about. As a matter of fact it’s one of the benefits of living here. It’s got a larger city’s population, but has a decent small town level of livability in lots of areas. Overall, I think that Midtown is one of the best neighborhoods in the country, nay the world, to live in. Even though I like to keep to myself nowadays, I know that there is a lot of interesting, vital and (most importantly) homegrown cultural activity here at present. If we give this place a chance to develop its own personality, we will only improve in quality, and instead of making the mistake of trying to mimic other, larger metropolitan areas we will be one of those great cities on our own.

Oh, shit. Did I just say that over the whole Internet? Oh, uh, like I was saying, Sacramento, like, sucks, man. It’s a cowtown fulla empty foreclosed houses and home invasions and shit. Don’t move here, man, you’ll hate it. Don’t even read anymore, it’s only gonna get worse with what I’m describing.

Are they gone? Good. Carrying on to our Second Unwritten Rule.


I’m not just talking about coming home to visit the family for the holidays, or the Unabomber or whatever. If you become a resident for any considerable length of time, what will happen is inevitable. No matter how hard you try to relocate out of here, you will be dragged back into the city limits by a heretofore unseen and indescribable force. It’s happened to too many others I’ve known, and yes, myself as well. Quite some time ago I’ve thrown my hands in the air and said, “Fuck it! I’m down by cosmic law here for life! Might as well make the best of it.” Hey, there are many worse places you could be stuck in. Just throw a dart at a map of… well, I’m trying to keep a somewhat positive vibe going here so I’ll let that one go.

Concluding with The Third Unwritten Rule:


You could be the most housebound hermit in history, and yet in this city, you will be corralled into one sort of social circle or another. It’s not quite like the cliques you encounter in other places; no, in Sacramento, one tends to move interchangeably from scene to scene with relatively little effort. A person’s race, creed, political party, gender preference, etc.? None of that stuff has anything to do with it, and furthermore, no individual trait can do anything to interfere with this strange invisible matrix of group affiliation. Yet, each circle is distinct, though quite arbitrary in its makeup and purpose.

You may show up at a party thrown by your friend in the music scene and somebody you know from the art gallery scene shows up. Then you’ll go to a Second Saturday event and somebody you hang out with regularly at a local watering hole or from your AA Chapter shows up, and of course they know the artist you’ve showed up to support and when you all go out to Lyon’s later that night, who the Hell do you run into but the music scene folks whose party you went to previously and lo and behold! No introductions necessary all around. Everybody standing in the circle in the parking lot knows at least one other person through somebody or other.

It’s devoid of any Rule 1 (small town/big city) argument; what is in motion here is some weird Olympic Ring-like interlocking of urban culture. There’s nothing wrong with this picture whatsoever, and as a matter of fact, quite of few folks have used this social phenomenon to their advantage at one time or another. Sure, there's occasional friction between certain circles, but even then there's still the mingling for commercial or sexual purposes or illicit criminal activity or mayoral advisor appointments or whatnot.

I’ve not only learned to love these rules, I’ve grown to appreciate their existence. They are a constant amongst the ups and downs and all of the kooky changes which I’ve experienced in my quarter century in Sacramento. We may have periods of bad government and urban planning, and efforts to encourage conspicuous consumption as a substitute for true development of community character, but The Three Unwritten Rules are what produce the genuine quality of life and the best things that happen to this city,

So there you have it, Sacramentan. Keep these three rules close to your heart and nothing will stop you here. Sacramento is a city where you have the space to get things done, you will have the support and friendship that you need, and you can have the opportunity to break out of here for something bigger, if that’s what you so desire. Just remember, you’ll be back. Trust me on this one.