Welcome to this week’s “zine.”
by Mark M
Well, I hope on Give Us Money Tuesday your e-mail inbox was not virtually bombed with appeals like mine was.
“Mark M: I know you’ve been getting a lot of emails from Human Rights Watch today…”
Mark M’s Heavily-Abridged Dictionary
by Mark M, B.c.D.E.
The M Press
Copyright © 1994, 1996, 2022 by Mark M
To the children I do not have.
Thanks to The/A Nameless One for the enlightenment.
This dictionary should be considered authoritative — unless you’d rather just consider it. (Actually, you don’t have to consider it at all if you don’t really want to.)
It has some encyclopedic features.
a – along with “I,” the shortest word in the English language.
abortion – removal of an “acorn” before it becomes an “oak” (actually, the planet could use a lot more oaks to help counterbalance the effects of too many “oaks”; therefore, abortion is okay).
amnesia – uh … I forget.
anarchism – we’re working on it.
astrology – a cosmic practical joke played on gullible humans by the visible stars and planets.
atheist – a person that can’t say “God damn it!” with conviction.
attorney – lawyer.
The Beatles – enormously influential and gifted rock group the continued reverence for which often overlooks other significant talent; probably just as well they never reunited since the myth is even more popular than the reality (let alone Jesus).
the Bible – the bestselling book of all time, yet also one of the most boring (for who actually reads it – or understands its “genesis”?).
Bierce, Ambrose – an even better lexicographer than Noah Webster or Samuel Johnson.
blasphemy – usually a whole lot of fun. (“Sacred cows make the best hamburger.”)
capital punishment – an effort to convince people that murder is wrong (which it is) by murdering murderers.
Christian – ironically, often a conservative, intolerant person; once, Christians were supposedly cruelly thrown to the lions; now “Throw them to the Christians!” might constitute a modern-day equivalent to this barbarity.
classical music – music expressly made for high brows to help bolster their self-image of intelligence.
conscription – enslavement (usually of males); a particularly dumb idea especially when coupled with the allegation that the conscripts will fight for the cause of freedom.
country music – music made expressly for low brows (like, ever hear of avant garde country?).
death – a beginning.
Democrat – a person less ascared of taxes than a Republican but who fails to spend the revenues well.
the Devil – god of evil.
dictionary – a fat book with a lot of words in it – unless heavily-abridged.
DNA – a complex fact of life.
epigram – a short quote, like at the beginning of a book, by a person who is smarter than the book’s author.
erection – hardening of the genitals.
evil – probably not what you think.
fart – something often funny – unless it smells (then it’s evil).
female – see male.
forest – city of trees.
friend – someone you like a lot who doesn’t pressure you to do things.
fuck – a bad, bad word; do not use in church or in front of your parents; otherwise, its use is OK.
God – not an old, bearded male person (that’s Uncle Sam), but something that permeates all of creation (even boogers) yet is greater than the sum of all (boogers).
heaven – nowhere, man.
hell – see heaven.
homophobia – fear that “homos” may reproduce.
homosexual – really, an okay person.
I – along with a, the shortest word in the English language.
infatuation – folly.
infinity – bigger than a googol, like 1(0)
Jesus Christ – enormously influential and apparently gifted human being the continued reverence for whom often overlooks other significant people – like oneself.
kitchen sink – despite the heavy abridging involved in the production of this dictionary, I simply couldn’t bear to leave this out.
lawyer — attorney
Libertarian – “Within reason, I’ll do what I want and you do what you want, but if I own 900 000 times what you do, I get to keep all of it.”
life – something to be lived a least a little bit recklessly or else nothing gets done.
love – a strong emotion but not to be confused with infatuation – or lust; use this word sparingly.
Lucifer – light-bearer (I child you not).
Lust – when your gonads are getting the better of you.
M – me.
male – see female.
marriage – a form of insecurity – or pessimism.
masturbation – a wet day dream.
muggings – the trickle-down theory in reality.
Muzak – decadence.
nap – in America, an underutilized means of restoration.
no – beware of the person who won’t take this for an answer (stop respecting them if you haven’t already for they aren’t respecting you).
numerology — occult study of numbers developed by laid-off IRS employees.
obsequiousness – behavior that is perhaps worse than rudeness since, unlike typical rudeness, it is so phony.
orgasm – a happy ending.
overpopulation – (way) too much of a good thing (so enough already!).
penis – an organ that can get girls (and women) into trouble unless it is properly covered or “accounted” for.
[There are no “Q” words to worry about – not even “queer.”]
racism – the erroneous fear that another race is the cause of one’s own problems.
Republican – a person even more ascared of taxes than of death.
rock ’n’ roll – one of humankind’s greatest inventions.
rudeness – though usually disconcerting, it actually can be a form of honesty.
salesman, -woman – too often a bothersome person.
scientist – participant in a doubting contest.
sex – at its best, body passion; at its worst, boring.
sleep – the means to getting dreams; “I gotta get me some sleep!” might also be stated “I gotta get me some dreams.”
Socialist – “A safety net for every step!”
stereotype – a generalization that often does apply in some measure to a group but does not always apply; therefore, best avoided.
stink – fragrance of death.
tornado – when the atmosphere’s in a really big hurry and the haste makes waste.
U – you.
vagina – what everyone comes out of and what a lot of guys want back into.
VV or W
wind – when the atmosphere’s in a hurry.
worry – a useless activity; be happy (instead).
X – in movies, a rating designed to arouse curiosity – if not the sex organs.
XXX – (triple X) in movies, thought to define a film that’s very naughty; instead, it’s usually just a film that’s very bad.
yes – meaning uncertain; sometimes only means “maybe” and sometimes even “no.”
zero – oh, it’s nothing really.
New, Fucking Supplement
complainer – deficiency expert.
depression – happiness problem; hypohappiness.
humor – a sense that rivals any of the five primary senses in importance.
nostalgia – a problem of poor memory in that the recollection is selective.
strip teaser – rabble arouser.
television – watching it is one of the most passive things you can “do.”
war – massive pain and death creation.
About the Author
The author is not an alien.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948
One wonders what the nations that signed on were thinking. Did they ever really intend to insure such things as the following, or did they sign on with their fingers crossed behind their back?
Articles 22–27 sanction an individual’s economic, social and cultural rights, including healthcare. It upholds an expansive right to an adequate standard of living, and makes special mention of care given to those in motherhood or childhood.
Here is Article 24:
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
Or how about this bit of sanity?
Principles of International Order
Art. 2(3) of the U.N. Charter (1945) already obliges all States to settle disputes by peaceful means. This obligation to negotiate means good faith dialogue with the goal to reach a compromise, a quid pro quo. There is no right to intransigence in the U.N. Charter. If one party refuses to talk, it is violating article 2(3) and actually provoking the other to the use of force.
It should be noted that before he resorted to invading Ukraine, Putin wanted to talk but was ignored.
War is actually illegal. Before the U.N., in 1928, it was all spelled out and “agreed” to here.
What time is it anyway?
It’s nearly quarter past the 21st century!
The late William Blum on the Berlin Wall:
…before the wall went up in 1961, thousands of East Germans had been commuting to the West for jobs each day and then returning to the East in the evening; many others went back and forth for shopping or other reasons. So they were clearly not being held in the East against their will. Why then was the wall built? There were two major reasons:
1) The West was bedeviling the East with a vigorous campaign of recruiting East German professionals and skilled workers, who had been educated at the expense of the Communist government. This eventually led to a serious labor and production crisis in the East. As one indication of this, the New York Times reported in 1963: “West Berlin suffered economically from the wall by the loss of about 60,000 skilled workmen who had commuted daily from their homes in East Berlin to their places of work in West Berlin.”
It should be noted that in 1999, USA Today reported: “When the Berlin Wall crumbled , East Germans imagined a life of freedom where consumer goods were abundant and hardships would fade. Ten years later, a remarkable 51% say they were happier with communism.”…
2) During the 1950s, American coldwarriors in West Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw that country’s economic and administrative machinery out of gear. The CIA and other US intelligence and military services recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals, of West and East, to carry out actions which ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to make life difficult for the East German people and weaken their support of the government; anything to make the commies look bad.
It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions … all this and much more.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, of Washington, DC, conservative coldwarriors, in one of their Cold War International History Project Working Papers (#58, p.9) states: “The open border in Berlin exposed the GDR [East Germany] to massive espionage and subversion and, as the two documents in the appendices show, its closure gave the Communist state greater security.”
Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the Soviet Union repeatedly lodged complaints with the Soviets’ erstwhile allies in the West and with the United Nations about specific sabotage and espionage activities and called for the closure of the offices in West Germany they claimed were responsible, and for which they provided names and addresses. Their complaints fell on deaf ears. Inevitably, the East Germans began to tighten up entry into the country from the West, leading eventually to the infamous wall….
The Philosophy of Modern Song (2022) is a book by the quite contrary Bob Dylan, with his commentary on 66 songs by other artists.
He doesn’t bother to tell you what criteria he used to compile his list. It has many interesting photos, but none are captioned.
Was there some kind of rush to publish? Prob’ly not; it’s most likely just Robert in his habitual, fan-abusing, recalcitrant mode.
PHEW! I say to too many songs on the list. Just including the Eagles — PHEW!!!!!(!)!!
“Mack the Knife” — heard it way too many times, turn down that excessive swing!
Maybe one would argue that “Mack the Knife” was a very influential song. I’d have to grant that, but when you think of Elvis Presley, do you think of “Money Honey“? Approximately half the songs are rather obscure as are a fair number of the artists. In fact, most of the 66 songs are of little to no interest to me.
As for the book’s author, who asked him? Above all, what does he know anyway?
Speaking of the Eagles, when Lennon came out of a five-year retirement in 1980, and recorded Double Fantasy with his second wife (whose initials are Y.O.), Jack Douglas, the producer, brought Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos of the band Cheap Trick, whom he was also producing, to play on Lennon’s “I’m Losing You.”
When they met, I read that Lennon said to them, “You’re Cheap Trick!” and that Bun replied, “Sorry about that.”
But I’ve read Lennon’s second wife didn’t want to boost Cheap Trick by having two of their members on this long-awaited album, so the song was rerecorded without them.
Bun said that the re-recorded released version, “Sounded like the Eagles.”
He didn’t mean it sounded like country rock, since it doesn’t, but that it was very safely MOR.
P.S. Autograph controversy:
900 limited edition hand-signed autograph versions of the book were sold for a price of $599 in the U.S. but it was discovered that they were not actually hand-signed by Dylan. The books in question appeared to be machine-signed by an autopen or signing device, using at least 17 different signature variations. The publisher said they would provide a refund and apologized in a Tweet.
Dylan himself has now apologized and explains things here.
P.P.S. This reviewer’s feelings about the book are quite akin to mine. I only spent about 20 minutes with the book, flipping through it and reading only his thoughts on Elvis Costello’s “Pump It Up” and the Who’s “My Generation,” before I had enuff, so I didn’t detect any misogyny, but this writer sure did. He wrote: “The worst and most striking facet of the book is its rampant misogyny.” I didn’t even bother to read the entry for that Eagles tune. He quotes a portion of what Dylan wrote about it, and Dylan even uses the four-letter c-word when referring to the woman sung about by those Eagles. What a dick, I mean, dork.
True story, swear on this dumpster item:
I picked up a piece of litter, happened to be near a church’s dumpster, opened the lid to dispose of the item properly, and saw a Bible in there.
It was in perfectly good shape, only lightly used.
I took it out and donated it to Value Village. Even though the Bible is not much at all my thing, I didn’t think it should go to waste.
The things some people throw out.
Speaking of waste, scouring one batch of wool to remove dirt, debris and grease produces wastewater comparable to sewage from a town of 30,000 people, according to a Center for Biological Diversity e-mail of November 17, 2022.
I caught Nick Ramsey and Mboya Sharif on WGTD’s Community Matters program where Nick mentioned that Racine’s Wikipedia entry contains a section on Racine Arts and Culture and, for instance, the WiR program is mentioned there. So, I added an external link at the bottom of the page to the WiR program.
And another link to this allied page where I had to create the category “External links.”
This was kind of scary since, to make an edit to Wikipedia, you are brought to text that looks kind of like HTML — maybe it is HTML for all I know. With my lack of experience, I didn’t want to mess up the page, after all. All I ever previously did was merely to the “Talk” tab for about three Wik’ entries. Little scariness to that. “Talk” is “cheap,” after all.
If I didn’t do everything correctly (it looks OK to me, and the links work), some Wikipedia editor will yell at me or remove the link I added or whatever.
But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Recently, Terry Gross had a journalist on her program, Fresh Air, who did a good job of telling half the story concerning the war in Ukraine. NPR posted a partial transcript which I posted here with my remarks in red. As they say, there’s two sides to every story, a half, and the other half.
Like peace? Sign this.
Dec. 7 approaches. Continuing Pearl Harbor oil slick.
Next week (subject to change): Fun-nee Muh-knee, Selections from Observations and Thinkings, Vol. wxy&z, Tlaxcallan, Nakam and not, Soporific Reading Material, Lit Assertions
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.” 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 m.mk at att.net 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 brightly illuminate.