A Personal Interpretation

Fair warning: I follow where my muse takes me, and the other day she took me to a very dark place. If you don’t want to be depressed, I suggest visiting Disney.com. I hear it’s very nice.

I can still remember how
A very long time ago
Acting used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had a chance
I could make people laugh, or cry, or cheer,
Even if it was only for a night.
But the day came I had to admit the truth,
If only to myself
I would never have the dream
And a dream was all it would ever be.
I can’t remember if I cried
That day I finally let it all go
But something inside me was lost
The day my childhood died.

So goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

Did you inspire my boyhood crush?
Do you believe in a higher power?
Is it just because you read it in a book?
Or do you believe in art, music, and dance?
Does culture connect you to something greater than yourself?
And can you teach me how to make love and not just fuck?
I know you two are an item. I saw you off by yourselves at the party.
You were off in a corner alone –
-I was off in a corner brooding.
I was a lonely teenage spastic dork
With a leather jacket and a station wagon.
I knew I was out of luck
The day my childhood died.

I was all alone singing goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

For ten years I was in a daze,
Bouncing around from place to place
But that’s not how it was supposed to be.
When the Buddha first came on the scene,
With a voice filled with agony and rage,
He was hailed as the voice of my generation.
And while the Buddha was feeling down
He graced himself with a blood red crown.
The bodhisattvas all were scattered,
But the legend was eternal.
And while Al exposed an inconvenient truth,
The market rose like Icarus,
And we all danced while Nero fiddled
The day my childhood died.

He was playing goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

The end of our world was televised:
Matching towers falling from the sky.
A hole was made that never can be filled.
A lonely field became a heroes’ grave;
The blue and red tried to salvage the day
While the fool sat bewildered with his pet goat.
There was a brief reprieve of unity
While we were all bound together in grief.
Imagine the greatness that could have been
That was stillborn in the legacy.
Because the fool had to avenge the king,
Which reopened the wounds that had never healed.
Which side of the lines did you stand on
The day my childhood died?

As they were chanting goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

So there we were, all in the same boat.
A generation sacrificed on the altar of September
With no semblance of an exit plan.
So Georgie Porgie Pudding Pie,
Georgie Got An Eye In The Sky,
How are you gonna make this one okay?
As the wars raged on and empty promises were made,
The faces changed but the tune stayed the same.
And as the boys and girls bled in the sandbox
Their broken toys lying all around them
In the end what did we accomplish?
The day my childhood died.

They were crying goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

I knew a girl with the voice of an angel
And I asked her to sing for me one more time
But she just smiled and turned away.
And I went down to the sacred places
Where I dreamed my dreams so long ago
But the sacred places had long since closed and moved away.
And in the streets nothing’s really changed
Hearts still get broken every day
People scurry here, and scurry there
We do our best to make it somehow.
And the three things that I clung to most –
My grandfather, my father, and my belief in my own immortality–
They all left me at the same time:
The day my childhood died.

And they left me saying goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

Goodbye innocence,
I looked inside and the well of inspiration ran dry.
All my friends of yesteryear
Have long since faded away,
Long since faded away.

Dating Advice From Famous Poets

Maya Angelou

By York College ISLGP [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By York College ISLGP [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Dear Ms. Angelou,

I’m writing to you because I’m quite vexed over my father’s intractable position vis-à-vis the proposal of my commencing a relationship with a boy. I am fully capable of making my own decisions, having already attained twelve full years of age, and while I have not yet reached menarche, I am still as much a woman grown as any of the other girls in my class, many of whom have already gone on one or more dates. I think he is being completely unreasonable. What say you?


A Caged Bird, Too


Dear Fledgling,

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and risks unknown
are hers to embrace
without a care
to cast aside the chains
of a life left behind.

But a bird that stalks
down her narrow cage
held back by father’s
blindness and fear
her wings are clipped and
she knows not why
so she opens her throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and her tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird gets cruel education
on the price of casual flirtation
and the handsome boys not as good as their word
and her eyes with tears are blurred.

But a caged bird knows more than a father could
He’d lighten up if he understood
But he still says “no” and locks the doors
so she opens her throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and her tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.


Edgar Allen Poe

Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe, known as the "Annie" Daguerreotype.

Daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe, known as the “Annie” Daguerreotype.

Dear Mr. Poe,

I’m planning to propose to the love of my life, my beautiful girlfriend of many years, and I want to do it somewhere special, someplace so magical she’ll never forget it. Can you offer any suggestions?


Searching for the Moment


Dear Lost in the Moment,

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
I proposed to a girl you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;–

Let’s just say things didn’t exactly work out
The way that I thought they would be.
If I had it all to do over
In that kingdom by the sea,
We would have just gone out to a nice dinner–
I and my Annabel Lee.

My advice? Bundle up, stay inside, stay warm —


Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) half-length portrait, seated at desk covered with his books / World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna

Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) half-length portrait, seated at desk covered with his books / World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna

Dear Dr. Seuss,

I’m not sure who to ask about this, but here goes. I’ve started noticing the boys in my class, and I think I like them, you know, in that way. Which would be great, except I’m a boy too.  Which I guess means I’m gay? And some people say being gay is bad, and other people say it’s not, and I just don’t know what to think. What do you think?


Confused and Lost


Dear Lost and Found,

There once was a girl named Julie Madevin,
A charming young thing the age of eleven.
She had a crush on a boy in her class,
The boy known as Billy Sassafrass.
Julie thought that he was quite alright;
His eyes were blue, his pants were tight.
But there was something the other kids would say:
They all insisted that Billy was gay.
Julie didn’t know what to do,
So she ran home and asked her mommies two.
They told her this was quite alright,
And Julie slept quite well that night.


Lord Byron

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, by Richard Westall, from National Portrait Gallery, London.

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, by Richard Westall, from National Portrait Gallery, London.

Dear Lord Byron,

I want to do something really special for my wife for Valentine’s Day this year. It’s been a rough year, and I really want to show her I love her more than anything in the world. You’re renowned as one of the greatest romantics of all time; can you please give me something to show her just how much I love her?


Truly Desperately In Love


Dear Truly Desperate,

I dunno. Flowers?



Deck the Malls

In the past I’ve railed against the Christmas excess, particularly the consumeristic aspects of it, starting well before Thanksgiving (and even before my beloved Halloween). Seeing as how this year some stores (all of them) are opening on Thanksgiving for their “Black Friday” sales, I’m giving up.

That’s right; I’m throwing in the towel. You win. I even wrote a little song for you heartless bastards, just to show I care. Enjoy.


Stores are open, let’s get hopping.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Screw the family, let’s go shopping.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Out into the hurly burly,

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Black Friday is starting early!

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-la

Save the turkey and the stuffing.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Human contact we’re rebuffing.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

We’ll be loyal Christmas elves

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

All those gifts won’t buy themselves!

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la-la

Fast away Thanksgiving passes.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Lines move like frozen molasses.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

Looking for that coat of leather

Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la

Instead of being all together.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la


My Christmas List

My Not So Humble Mother has been pestering me for a while (okay, a couple decades) to give her a Christmas list so she can get ahead on her shopping. I don’t see what the big deal is, since I don’t think I’m that hard of a guy to shop for. Still, in order to make it easier for her and anybody else who might want to get me a little something, I’m getting this up now with plenty of time for the holiday season. Here’s what I’d like this year, in no particular order:

Australia (H/T to Gene Hackman circa Superman II)


A date with Kathy Ireland

Swedish massage

The Swedish Bikini Team

A new wardrobe

A new house

A new car

The Death Star

An official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle

Three dozen penguins

My virginity (Sorry, no link. I lost that a long time ago.)

World peace (Sorry, no link. We haven’t been able to find that for a long time either.)

World domination


A butler

A maid

A gardener

$526,817.83 in unmarked bills (so I can afford to pay the butler, the maid, and the gardener)


A map to King Solomon’s mines

Two sturdy goats


A 9.0 CGC rated Action Comics #1

A time machine

My two front teeth

The heads of all of those who would dare to oppose me

Zombie repellent

Effective zombie repellent

A recount of the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election (I really don’t care who won; I just want people to shut up about it.)



Everything that goes with it


And just remember, if you’re still looking for that special gift or virtual stocking stuffer, you can get a copy of my book on Amazon for less than a buck!

My Favorite Movies (That You’ve Never Seen): Beautiful Disasters

Some of my friends accuse me of enjoying shitty movies just because they’re bad. I would like to set the record straight: I love truly awful movies that go above and beyond, that have a certain something special that transcends simply being a bad movie. I’ve already mentioned Flash Gordon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (in the same post, no less!), which gives you an indication of just how far I’m willing to go to get my bad movie fix. But they’re more than schlocky scripts, bad dialogue, stilted acting (Hayden Christensen, I’m looking in your direction), or bizarre plots. There has to be something extra, something that just calls out to me and says, “this is a beautiful disaster”. I offer you some of my favorites here.

Howard the Duck (1986) – I’m not going to cry “spoiler alert” at this point, because if you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy by now and bothered to watch the after-credits scene then shame on you (plus as I’ve already established, we’re well outside the “no spoilers” zone). So yeah, the point is I nearly wet myself when I saw that scene, because I LOVED the original Howard the Duck movie. It was such a train wreck, I couldn’t get enough. Really, what’s not to love? Starring a young Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins (yes, that Tim Robbins) and produced by George “I’ll never make another Star Wars… well, maybe just one more” Lucas, this movie is basically the story of a sarcastic, cigar smoking humanoid duck pulled to Earth from an alternate dimension by a laser beam who has to help fight off an intergalactic evil and save the universe with the help of a singer and a lab assistant. No, I am not making that up. I would try to say more, but really there’s nothing else to say. If that’s not enough to entice you, just wait for the remake (coming soon, I hope).

Popeye (1980) – I was as saddened as anyone by the passing of Robin Williams, and I do not intend to speak ill of the dead. Just getting that out there now, because the truth is I really do like this movie. I just have no idea why it ever got made. What makes this movie fascinating for me is the production value. This really is a great movie. The acting is superb, the make-up is fantastic, the sets are gorgeous. Williams absolutely nails his character, and Shelley Duvall is outstanding as Olive Oyl. Everything looks and feels like a fully realized real-life rendition of a Popeye comic strip.  The only question is “why?” There are a few stand out things that make this movie such a beautiful disaster. First, I have no idea who was crying out in 1980 for a film adaptation of Popeye. Second, I have no idea who thought to themselves, “You know what the world really needs? A Popeye musical.” (You read that right.) Third, I have no idea how this movie ever managed to get made, considering how truly bizarre it is when you get down to it. The only answer I can seem to find to any of those questions seems to be director Robert Altman, who had the vision and skill to pull it all off. If you’re into quirky or surreal movies, you need to see this one.

License to Drive (1988) – Ah, the Coreys. Heartthrobs of the 80s, who peaked far too soon, and in my book forever known for their much better roles (a relative statement to be sure) in The Lost Boys. That having been said, this slightly off-beat teen rom-com is still enjoyable, if for no other reason than the shear slow-motion train wreck factor. It’s almost as if you can watch their careers coming to a screeching halt as the movie progresses. The chance to see a very young Heather Graham in her first big movie role (and a painfully awkward one at that) is a special bonus. Come for the flashback, stay for the travesty.

This Year, Vote Misanthrope

Once again the voting season has snuck up on me, like a thief in the night, which is not surprising considering that we’re voting for congresspersons. I feel it is my civic duty to once again throw my hat in the ring as a non-party candidate for all elections in all districts, to give you, the people, a chance to vote for the candidate you truly deserve.

My opponents will accuse me of being a misanthrope. Well as Dan Quayle once said, I wear their scorn as a badge of honor. I don’t deny being a misanthrope; I proudly proclaim it. I believe that is what makes me the ideal candidate for the office to which you will be writing in my name.

Consider: I am the only candidate you never have to worry about having any sort of prejudice. Racism? Sexism? Homophobia? Religious intolerance? Why bother? I disdain each and every one of you equally, regardless of color, gender, or creed. Let’s face it, folks: you’re so far beneath me that to single out any one of you individually or as a group is pretty much a waste of my time. And you never need to be worried about being embarrassed, because the only person worth sending naked pictures to is myself.

You also don’t have to worry about corruption; I promise you here and now that as soon as I get elected there’s going to be plenty of it. While you’re in the voting booth just assume I agree with whatever you believe, because once I’m elected I’ll follow the cash or the polls, whichever one is more politically expedient.

This may sound awful to you, but I’m just giving you the kind of honesty my opponents are afraid to show you. That’s the same kind of honesty I’ll bring to floor debates, where I’ll simply announce how much I really don’t care about the topic at hand when I can be bothered to show up at all. Most times I’ll be back in my home district, ignoring your complaints and dodging your calls, just like the guy you have now, only I make it look good.

So when you go into that voting booth, don’t think about yourself, think about your family, your friends, your neighbors, your community. (One of us has to.) Do the right thing this time, and give them the candidate they deserve.

Bobapalooza 2014: Clash of the Titans – The Final Bobapalooza

First I want to thank all of my wonderful contributors: Janet Currie Konigsberg, Matt Foster, Scott Soper, Yillah Natalia, and Marek Swiderski. You gave me a wide range of talent to choose from, and you make it worth it every year.

But that’s not what you came for. You came to see –


That’s right, folks. You heard it here first: the Clash of the Titans is the ultimate and final Bobapalooza. As the Kurgan once said, “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” But let us not dwell in sadness; let us instead revel in THE GREATEST BOBAPALOOZA EVER.

First we have the band that needs no introduction, but is going to get one anyway. The winner of the Clash of the Titans, and the headliner of Bobapalooza 2014: Pink Floyd! This was a hard-fought victory against some of the greatest artists of all time, and as a long time Floyd fan myself, I can’t deny being quite pleased to see them win. Their catalogue of legendary songs is extensive, and Dark Side of the Moon spent over 11 years on the Biilboard Top 200… consecutively. (It was on even longer if you tally the total time it spent there, and Billboard actually changed the rules to prevent albums setting records like that again.) Titans indeed.

And then we have the STAGE OF LEGENDS. This year I offer you a blend of old and new, heavy and soft, sweet and sour and what the hell? Bands that have undoubtedly left their mark on music, one way or another. They are:

Jefferson Airplane (Nominated by Scott Soper) – From Scott: “Go big or go home. When it comes to the one band you’d break your leg to go see in their prime it has to be Jefferson Airplane. Maybe they’re so compelling because they broke up so tragically and never got a chance to perform for so many of their fans. So many songs were at peak power when those artists were just starting out; you can only imagine what they might have done with more time.”

AC/DC (Nominated by Matt Foster) – You have to love AC/DC. Angus Young himself said “I’m sick to death of people saying we’ve made 11 albums that sound exactly the same. In fact, we’ve made 12 albums that sound exactly the same.” And we still keep coming back for more. The stage show is even better: “When I’m on stage the savage in me is released. It’s like going back to being a cave man. It takes me six hours to come down after a show.” – Angus Young

Weezer (Nominated by Matt Foster, seconded by Janet Currie Konigsberg) – Weezer has long been one of those bands I love to hate, right up until one of their songs comes on and I find myself singing along. How long? Oh, only about twenty years or so. Janet Currie Konigsberg finally convinced me they deserve a place among the Legends: “Twenty years ago Weezer came on the scene with Undone (The Sweater Song), and immediately filled the gap between Nirvana and Pearl Jam perfecting Nerd Rock. As each single was released, Weezer’s fan base grew by leaps and bounds. The crunchy chords and heart-wrenching vocals spoke to post teenage-angst 20-something slackers. I’ve always referred to Weezer as “My Beatles”; they are pop and punk and bubblegum and crunch, they are raw emotion and ADHD. The songs range from kick-ass-psych-you-up (Hash Pipe), to how-did-you-know-how-broke-my-heart-was?? (Say It Ain’t So), to romantic-but-the-world-doesn’t-understand-us (Island In The Sun), to I’m-not-really-sure-what-the-purpose-is-but-dammit-I’m-ME! (Pork and Beans). On top of great music, catchy lyrics, and a beat you can dance to, Weezer has made some of the best music videos of all time and managed to do so in an era where music videos have almost completely lost their importance in pop culture. Weezer: No self-respecting Stage of Legends (or Main Stage, for that matter!) would be complete without them.”

So…. Yeah. You can argue with her if you want. Not me.

Black Sabbath (Nominated by Scott Soper) – Scott nails it once again: “When it comes to Legends, there is one who has retained his title as the Prince of Darkness unchallenged across decades of American Popular Rock. The one, the only: Black Sabbath! Ozzy Osborne by himself would be a worthy contender for the Stage of Legends, but reunited with the original Black Sabbath for the new album 13 he seems completely at home, a master having traveled full circle. I would NOT go back in time to see Black Sabbath at their prime, and maybe that’s another test passed for a true Legendary band.

Simon & Garfunkel (Nominated by Matt Foster) – Everybody knows a Simon & Garfunkel song. Start whistling “The Sound of Silence” at a punk rock show and everybody around you will be singing along inside of a minute (if they don’t curbstomp you first; they’re still punks). From hippies to metal heads, there’s nobody who doesn’t like Simon & Garfunkel; they have a gentle, insistent sound that insinuates itself into your soul and makes you a better person for it.

Now you’re probably expecting the Main Stage, but there’s so much more this year! For the first time ever, I present to you THE BOBAPALOOZA MIDWAY!

When you get the urge to dance, slip in to the ALL NIGHT RAVE TENT, with special guest DJ RUST-RYU (http://www.mixcloud.com/rustryu/bangers-and-mashups/)! He’ll be spinning all night long, and of course he’s super request-friendly!

And don’t forget to stop by Uncle Scott’s Concession Stand, where you can pick up fresh kabobs, veggie treats, and of course all your favorite Bobapalooza swag (http://www.printfection.com/bobapalooza)! Uncle Scott will also be running his favorite (exceptionally weird) videos on his Jumbo-Tron monitor right over the concession stand! Here’s just some of the “fun” in store for you:

Disturbed – Land of Confusion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6KXgjLqSTg)
Capital Cities – Safe and Sound (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX54fWP-os4)
Imagine Dragons – Radioactive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU)
AWOLNation – Not Your Fault (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jm9-yVdxbSs)
Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoQYw49saqc)
Ludo – Love Me Dead (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XH3oMNKApI#t=92)
Muse – Knights of Cydonia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Yc3HhSl1Q#t=87)
Primus – Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYDfwUJzYQg&feature=kp)
Of Monsters and Men – Little Talks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghb6eDopW8I#t=71)
El Guincho – Bombay (NSFW) (http://vimeo.com/15247292)
DYE – Fantasy (http://vimeo.com/30798517)

And now, the MAIN STAGE! There’s plenty of variety and flavor this year, and many thanks to everyone who contributed.

The Thermals (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
Boney M (Nominated by Marek Swiderski)
The Cult (Nominated by Matt Foster)
George Thorogood (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Kae Sun (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
Metric (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
Disturbed (Nominated by Matt Foster)
Al Green (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Sitali (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (Nominated by Janet Currie Konigsberg)
The Black Keys (Nominated by Matt Foster)
Soundgarden (Nominated by Scott Soper)
Petite Noir (Nominated by Yillah Natalie)
James (Nominated by Matt Foster)
DJ Kool (Nominated by Scott Soper)

Be sure to check out all these artists and support their endeavors. The Official Bobapalooza 2014 Playlist™ is still to come, so stay tuned!

Once again, I’d like to thank all of my wonderful contributors from Bobapalooza past and present. You’ve made this entire endeavor worthwhile, and it’s been a blast. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it as much as I have.


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