Selections from Mcyclopedia, Restorative Justice, Oily Money, In Addition to Zappa’s Warning, Beatles Count-Out: 4, 3, 2, 1(!), Sunrise, Sunset


Welcome to this week’s “zine.”

by Mark M

Well, I hope y’all had a great time at Party Upon the Pavement.

Here are some selections from the first two volumes (of eight) of Mcyclopedia (1999):

List of Contributor

David Michaelis

How to Use this Encyclopdia

Grasp a volume in both hands and open to a page.


ALI, MUHAMMAD (1942-2016), Intelligent guy who eventually got his intelligence knocked out of him in the highly unintelligent sport of boxing. Intelligently refused to be conscripted into fighting in the VIETNAM war [called the American war in Vietnam] saying, “No Viet Cong ever called me ‘n****r.’” As a result, he was systematically denied a boxing license in every state and stripped of his passport. 

ART. Generally self-consciously creative activity resulting in music, painting, sculpture, film, etc. Or, something is declared to be art by others especially if the work was not self-consciously created as art. However, often what one intends to be taken as art is not accepted as such. Therefore, an imprecise term.

ASSHOLE. An unhappy person who (usually unconsciously despite impressions to the contrary) seeks to spread h/her unhappiness among others. In actuality, few people are deliberately assholes, just as few people are deliberately EVIL, but their unhappiness gets in the way of their being charming. The greater the unhappiness, the bigger the asshole.

BICYCLE. The most efficient transport vehicle invented thus far. Bicycling is one of the most active things you can do while sitting on your ass.

CARS. Ass transit. Highly-inefficient means of transport. Initially a ticket to mobile freedom, but, with the increasing congestion of roads, less so. Besides the congestion problem, other problems include pollution, injurious and lethal accidents (the leading killer of Americans aged 2 to 24 is the car) which ALCOHOL-impairment only exacerbates, roadkill of wildlife, pavement, parking lots, flat tires, etc. Everyone must maintain their own vehicle instead of pooling the effort by way of MASS TRANSIT.

CATS. Beloved low-maintenance companion animals.

COFFEE. Drug that causes wakefulness — and peeing.

COLUMBUS, CHRISTOPHER (1451-1506), navigator who sought Asian riches by sailing west from Europe thinking the world was smaller than did other learned men of his day. When he foundn’t gold, he took slaves. “Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.” –Columbus.

DOGS. Beloved high-maintenance companion animals.

EARTH. The home of all life currently known to earth’s human beings and a home of human beings. Humans need to learn to share it with the nonhuman species let alone themselves. In a gender-inclusive world, “Mother Earth” should be replaced with “Parent Earth.”


“I need information, but I can’t lift heavy objects…thanks, MCYCLOPEDIA.”

–N.R. Sr.

“I’ve always wanted to read an encyclopedia… MCYCLOPEDIA is making it possible.”

–N.R. Jr.

“I’m tired of being well-informed – I want to be OPINIONATED – I read MCYCLOPEDIA.”

–Moses “Hollywood” Luther King

“With MCYCLOPEDIA, I can now carry an entire set of encyclopedias in my purse.”


“I’ve only read the first volume, and already I am Fino-Ugric…MCYCLOPEDIA is great!”

–N.R., III

[These testimonials were written by Neal Rohrer who I previously profiled.]


Restorative justice has a higher victim satisfaction rate and a lower repeat offense rate than our punitive system. And it’s a cooperative system versus our win-lose, lawyer vs. lawyer system.

I can well imagine a far more satisfactory outcome if, for instance, the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse was conducted under a restorative-justice system, for every one knows he killed two people and injured a third yet got off totally scot-free.

I was on jury duty in May and did not want to be part of the punitive justice system.

I was only in the juror pool for one trial where a man was charged with physical abuse of his girlfriend’s two children.

The trial would involve seeing photos of injuries and the deposing of the children on the witness stand.

In the voir dire, the lawyers were asking their questions to the prospective jurors as a group and one of the questions had me raise my hand.

I stated that I believe in restorative justice citing the higher victim satisfaction and lower reoffense rates and the judge said if I ended up on the jury it was only my job to decide on guilt or innocence, the she would handle sentencing.

I then added the problem of the win-lose, which lawyer is cleverer, etc. to my sentiments and then things moved on.

Happily for me, I was rejected.

Dominican Sister Lois Aceto is our local expert on restorative justice and I had a chance to hear her speak on ZOOM to a small group a few months ago.

I asked her how she would feel about serving on a jury and she would not like it.

In fact, she almost had to, but she was dismissed as being age 90.

She decried the Rittenhouse case.

I asked her how does the restorative justice system work such as in the child abuse case above.

She said the offender and the mother would meet with a facilitator and say their pieces and so forth, but that this is a case where, presuming guilt, the offender would have to serve prison time.

Restorative justice is not easy, but I think it is the way.

Some other countries employ it.

So why don’t we get with it and adopt it already?


Oily Money

“The oil and gas industry has delivered $2.8 billion a day in pure profit for the last 50 years, a new analysis has revealed.

“’It’s a huge amount of money,’ Prof Aviel Verbruggen, the author of the analysis said. ‘You can buy every politician, every system with all this money, and I think this happened. It protects [producers] from political interference that may limit their activities [such as serious efforts to move away from oil because of climate change –Mark].’”

The Houston Chronicle reports:

“Oil companies are increasingly steering their powerful campaign fundraising operations toward Democratic candidates” and “Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, whose $700,000 in donations from oil and gas interests was larger than any other federal politician.”

Both the Supreme Court and the ACLU think money is speech. This is “connected” to the notion of corporate personhood. Money sure talks, alright, in the form of legalized bribery.

When money is abundant, one (seemingly) need not be concerned with using it wisely.


In Addition to Zappa’s Warning, Don’t Even Eat the White Snow

New data shows that rainwater in some parts of the US contains high enough levels of potentially toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to possibly affect human health and may, if found in drinking water, in some cases be high enough to trigger regulatory action.


Beatles Count-Out: 4, 3, 2, 1!:

How many Beatles were needed to write and record a Beatles song?

One — if you’re Paul McCartney armed with only an acoustic guitar:

Yesterday” (1965), written only by him and, string quartet aside (producer George Martin’s idea), just him playing.

Or if you’re George wishing to musically sound like an Indian:

Within You Without You” (1967), George is the only Beatle on it.

Blackbird” (1968), same as “Yesterday” but no strings.

Mother Nature’s Son” (1968), Paul is the only Beatle on it.

Wild Honey Pie” (1968), Paul only.

Martha My Dear” (1968), Paul only.

Or if you’re John:

Julia” (1968); Wikipedia reports just him: double-tracked vocal, double-tracked acoustic guitar.

Goodnight” (1968), written by John; Ringo is the only Beatle on it.

Her Majesty” (1969), just Paul.

Two — if you’re Paul and Ringo:

For No One” (1966).

Or, if you’re John and Paul:

She’s Leaving Home” (1967).

Or, if you’re John and George (if one can call this a song):

Revolution 9” (1968).

Just Ringo and Paul:

Don’t Pass Me By” (1968) and

Why Don’t We Do It in the Street?” (1968)

Or, again, if you’re John and Paul:

The Ballad of John and his Second Wife” (1969)

(Since John failed to, maybe someone else can write a ballad about him and his first wife; maybe Paul McCartney could do this. Paul was at the wedding along with George (Ringo, at that point, had only been in the Beatles for a few days); Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, was the best man. In what became “Hey Jude,” Paul started out as a song to John’s first son, the older half brother of John’s second son for whom John wrote “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)“.)

Three — a number of examples:

Act Naturally” (1965), John-less on this cover tune.

She Said She Said” (1966): Wikipedia reports: “Due to an argument over the song’s musical arrangement, Paul McCartney walked out of the studio during the song’s recording.” It’s disputed whether it’s him or George on bass on the released recording.

Eleanor Rigby” (1966), Ringo-less.

Love You To” (1966), John-less.

The Inner Light” (1968): Ringo-less.

I Will” (1968): George-less.

Savoy Truffle” (1968): John-less.

Back in the U.S.S.R.” (1968); during the recording of the “White Album,” Ringo quit the band for approximately two weeks and Paul drummed on this.

Dear Prudence” (1968), same as in “Back in…” above.

Long, Long, Long” (1968), John-less.

Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (1969), no John.

Here Comes the Sun” (1969), no John.

Because” (1969), no Ringo.

Golden Slumbers” (1969), John-less.

I Me Mine” (1970), no John. This was the last recording made before group goes all asunder.

I count 29 examples. Wikipedia reports they did 188 original songs. So, if I didn’t miss any (I didn’t check on all 188 songs!), 15.4% of the time, some Beatle or other(s) were not on a song.

(Many of the examples above are from the 1968 “White Album” (or later) of which McCartney described its sessions as a turning point for the group because “there was a lot of friction during that album. We were just about to break up, and that was tense in itself.” Lennon said that “the break-up of the Beatles can be heard on that album.” I think he also said that that album was his fave! I think for George it was Rubber Soul and that George regarded Revolver as “Volume 2” of Rubber Soul.

(It’s interesting to contemplate that this open dissension within the group began after their return from the weeks-long Transcendental Meditation retreat in India hosted by the Maharishi, though a lot of songs were written at that retreat.

(Actually, Wikipedia reports that, fed up with all the touring chaos, in 1966, after their world tour, George informed manager Brian Epstein that he was leaving the band, but was persuaded to stay on the assurance that there would be no more tours.)

So, by the standards above, why not consider these post-break-up efforts as fully Beatles songs?

I’m the Greatest” (1973), no Paul. The song appears on Ringo.

All Those Years Ago” (1981), George’s tribute to John; Ringo drums, Paul sings backing vocals.

Free as a Bird” (1995), John, having been murdered, had no active involvement, Yoko supplied what amounted to part of a John song on a cassette tape. Paul and George added some lyrics, fleshing it out along with the Threetles adding accompaniment/arrangement.

Real Love” (1996), a largely complete song by John but his simple part again only on cassette tape as with “Free as a Bird.”

By the standard of “Love You To,” “Long, Long, Long,” “Savoy Truffle,” “Here Comes the Sun” or “I Me Mine,” each completely John-less, the Threetles didn’t even need it to be a John song.

There are a number of examples of post-Beatles duos:

Ringo on John’s Plastic Ono Band and on George’s All Things Must Pass, George on Ringo’s “It Do(es)n’t Come Eas(il)y,” George on John’s Imagineand so forth.

Yes, yes, yes.

P.S. “I Saw Her Standing Over There” famously starts with a rousing “One, two, three, four!” count-in by McCartney. My idea of a count-out, “4, 3, 2, 1,” could perhaps be contrarily whispered at the end of a song.


Sunrise, Sunset

Among the data at Weather Underground is a sunrise/sunset day-length statement which the day before the last summer solstice in June (longest day) read:

Tomorrow will be 0 minutes 2 seconds longer.

For the subsequent days following it said:

Tomorrow will be 0 minutes 1 seconds shorter.

Tomorrow will be 0 minutes 5 seconds shorter.

Tomorrow will be 0 minutes 9 seconds shorter.

Tomorrow will be 0 minutes 13 seconds shorter.

These shortening times increase until the fall equinox where it will read:

Tomorrow [Thursday, 22-September-2022, the equinox] will be 2 minutes 52 seconds shorter..

Then this day-length change gradually decreases until the winter solstice where the time-change figures will be essentially the same as those miniscule ones mentioned above for the summer solstice.

The End.

Next week (subject to change): More Selections from Mcyclopedia, Whistleblowers Daniel Hale et al., Project Censored

Boilerplate: As part of my community project as Racine Writer in Residence, I hereby invite Racine-area people to send me prose or poems of 250 words or less for me to consider for inclusion in my posts as a “guest appearance.” So far, there have been no responses. So, former Racine Writers in Residence, I want to explicitly include you in this invitation. If you want, also send a photo and a very short “bio.” You will retain the copyright for the material you submit. Send to at with “Racine WiR” in the subject line. Thank you.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel-sized basket; it is recommended that you let it be almost blinding.

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