Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

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And We Could Curse In Fluent Kangaroo

“Thank you for meeting me, Doctor Dolittle.”

“It’s pronounced DAHL-it-uhl. Everyone gets it wrong.”

“Huh. I had always heard it the other way.”

“Well, that’s because the world’s full of putzeldorfs. Ask the average guy to pronounce Goethe or Nietzsche.”

“Yes, well. You are the man who can talk to the animals, correct?”

“Oh, yeah. Lucky me.”

“Yes! Lucky you! My word, to be able to translate the squawks and roars of the lesser creatures. How illuminating that must be!”

“Illuminating? Uh-huh. Hey! Ferguson!”

A SILVERBACK GORILLA ENTERS THE ROOM,

“Ook ook?”

“AHH AHH AHH AHH OOK!”

“Ook?

“HOO HOO HOO HOO.”

A SILVERBACK GORILLA LEAVES THE ROOM

“Should I translate?”

“Oh, please, Doctor. This is ever so exciting.”

“I asked Ferguson what he was thinking about. He said I want a banana and some gorilla-pussy. I asked him if there was anything else on his mind, and he said No, just the banana and the gorilla-pussy.

“A bit base of a thought, I submit. But the most learned of men sometimes find their minds wandering about common neighborhoods.”

“Sure, yeah. Maybe it’s a one-off. Hey! Crawdad!”

A GIRAFFE ENTERS THE ROOM

“…”

“…”

“…”

“…”

A GIRAFFE LEAVES THE ROOM

“Translate?”

“Neither of you said anything.”

“Giraffes don’t have vocal chords. They communicate telepathically.”

“Really?”

“That’s what those little horns are for.”

“I had no idea.”

“Yeah, so, I asked him what he was thinking, and he said Leaves and giraffe-pussy. I’m gonna bring another animal in here, and I bet you can tell how it’s gonna go. I can see in your eyes that you’re a bright fellow. Hey! Britney!”

A LIONESS ENTERS THE ROOM

“Roar?”

“GGGGRROOOOOOWR.”

“Yeah, I figured. Thank you, sweetie.”

A LIONESS LEAVES THE ROOM

“Antelope and lion-pussy. That’s all Britney’s thinking about.”

“Britney is a female.”

“Lions can be lesbians.”

“Another fact I did not know.”

“Y’wanna know what it’s like to talk to the animals? It’s hell. It’s utter hell. When roosters crow in the morning, they’re just screaming WANNA FUCK over and over. What would animals have to talk about? Books? Sports? The weather? Shit, most of ’em aren’t smart enough to get out of the rain, so they’re definitely not advanced enough to discuss it. Animals are the worst conversationalists in the world.”

“I always figured that animals would have innocent yet slightly askew takes on life.”

“That’s children. Or foreigners. These are creatures with brains more rudimentary than ours, and they won’t stop coming to my house and yammering at me.”

A DUCK ENTERS THE ROOM

“Yes, yes! Bread crumbs and rape!”

“Quack!”

“Fuck you, too, Nelson!”

A DUCK LEAVES THE ROOM

“I’ll give you a thousand dollars to murder me.”

“Absolutely not.”

“Please. I don’t have the balls to do it myself, and I can’t get the animals to do it. I tried covering myself in barbecue sauce and standing downwind of the tigers, but they wouldn’t take the bait.”

“Stop it.”

“Please kill me.”

“I’m leaving.”

And Now This Is What I’m Doing

This jam is the shit; this shit’s the jam.

This Is What I’m Doing

You should, too.

ALWAYS A DEAD CONNECTION: The Grateful Dead made their first (documented) Arizona appearance at this theater on 3/8/70. (There was a show at the University of Arizona’s Centennial Hall in ’69, but there’s no tape and so I say it doesn’t count.)

That Time Phil Was Fatter Than Garcia: A Half-Assed Investigation

As is by now cliche, the Grateful Dead’s career can be sorted into chapters: Baby Dead, Single Drummer, Double Drummer, Brent, Vince, John Mayer; even the noobiest of noobs knows this. These chapters can be  further broken down: Baby Dead can, like the years that followed–be sliced into Single/Double Drummer, and then Vince be split into Bruce/No Bruce, but the Brent Years can be shaved the finest. There’s Pre and Post Coma, obviously, but there was also a magical and mostly forgotten period towards the beginning of Brent’s tenure: That Time Phil Was Fatter Than Garcia.

We can eyeball it to Fall of ’80, but exact dates for TTPWFTG are unknown as of now.

It couldn’t have lasted more than one tour. This shot’s from 9/6/80 in Lewiston, Maine, which for some reason I thought was the Dead’s only trip up to Massachusetts’ vestigial tail, but they went there a lot. As you can see, Phil had been indulging in Maine’s signature dish, which is a deep-fried plaid hat slathered in mayonnaise. (Phil also broke into Stephen King’s house after the show, as he did at least once during each of the Dead’s visits to the state.)

Speaking of plaid:

We see that in October of the same year, Phil is still a huffalump.

By March of ’81, however, the Lord has reasserted His hand on the wheel, and normalcy reigns once more over the lot, as Phil and Garcia retake their appropriate positions on the Axis of Dead Chubbiness.

Lo, do you hear the winds a-winding? Feel the earth ‘neath your feet, or knees, or whatever you’ve got pressed up against the earth? Are you reeling in the years? Will you one day dandle your tyke ‘pon your knee and teach the old stories, the cruel stories, the lost jewels of birthright? Will you tell your child about That Time Phil Was Fatter Than Garcia? Will you do that for me?

Stop typing.

Okay.

Do something useful with your life.

Don’t wanna.

A Partial Transcript Of Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo’s Interview On Katy Tur Live, 1/24/20

“Good afternoon, and welcome to Katy Tur Live. On today’s show, I’ll talk to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and complain about Phish’s summer tour schedule. First is the Secretary of State. Secretary Pompeo, thanks for coming on MSNBC.”

“Hi, Katy. I thought I was on NPR today.”

“You were, but the idiot who writes this has a crush on me.”

“Understandable. You’re hot enough to be on Fox.”

“Thank you.”

“God, I wanna wash your hair.”

“Inappropriate.”

“Not in the shower. A salon-type setting. With the sink and the chair that leans back. I got strong fingers, Katy. I’d get a good lather going.”

“I’m moving forward. Secretary Pompeo, what is the plan in regards to Iran? Is there any serious thought about reopening diplomatic channels?”

“Every thought President Trump has is serious, Katy. Even his jokes. He’ll tell one and then later on you’ll think, ‘Wow. There was a lot of truth and heart in there.’ For example, any time someone brings up Puerto Rico, he’ll say, ‘They steal hubcaps, those people.’ And we all laugh, but there’s some real food for thought in there.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I answered a question.”

“Diplomatic entreaties to Iran, sir. Have any been made?”

“We’re building a coalition to deal with the Iranians, Katy. We have Israel on board, and the Saudis. Imagine how evil a regime has to be to get those two countries to team up against you. And Britain. They’re with us all the way. Apparently, they’re gonna have a whole lot more unemployed young men soon, and a good war would be perfect for them right now. They’re champing at the bit.”

“Secretary–”

“Chomping? Chomping at the bit?”

“Secretary–”

“I can never remember which one is right. Anyway: the Brits are in favor of nuking Tehran.”

“Is that on the table?”

“It’s not not on the table. Maaaaaaybe Tehran gets nuked, and maaaaaaaybe it doesn’t. America operates from a position of strength. Lemme wash your hair, Katy.”

“No.”

“I’ll nuke you.”

“Stop it. Secretary Pompeo, since the President pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal, Iran is actually closer than ever to achieving their nuclear ambitions. They have more centrifuges. They have built more facilities. They have stockpiled more uranium.”

“Says who?”

“Independent verification.”

“Well, there you go. The Trump Doctrine does not include verification. Remember how Reagan said Trust, but verify? We just do the trust part. And we trust that Iran is full of demons and creepshows and ladies with blankets where their faces should be.”

“Right, but–”

“Katy, Iran has been warned by President Trump to behave themselves, and that’s what they’ll do. The Iran deal wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. I mean, it was signed by a black guy! If it was an NBA contract, then we’d be good, but not a nuclear pact.”

“–my God.”

“Iran won’t develop nukes.”

“Right. That’s your goal, but what is the strategy?”

“Not letting them.”

“How?”

“Strongly!”

“Let’s change the subject. Do you feel you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?”

“FUCK YOU, CUNT!”

“Whoa.”

“I owe that split-tail nothing! NOTHING! No one treats their team better than Magic Mike!”

“Magic Mike?”

“I CALL MYSELF MAGIC MIKE!”

“Okay.”

“Why would I owe anyone an apology? I didn’t apologize when I ran my wife over with the Suburban, so I’ll be damned if I apologize to Weird Al Yankovic or whoever.”

“You ran your wife over?”

“She’s a darter. She’s here, then BAM she’s there. Quick woman. Plus, she was wearing black and we just had the driveway resurfaced.”

“Back to Marie Yovanovitch.”

“FUCK HER!”

“Secretary Pompeo–”

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in Ukraine. We’ve made huge strides in wiping out the corruption so endemic to that nation. Obama didn’t care about it. Obama sent Hunter Biden. We sent Rudy Giuliani. Case closed.”

“–a senior State official recently testified that he resigned over your unwillingness to defend Ambassador Yovanovitch against Mr. Giuliani and his associates, all of whom are now facing federal criminal charges.”

“That didn’t happen.”

“Yes, sir. Your advisor Michael McKinley testified to the fact before Congress.”

“No, he didn’t.”

“Why are you waving your hand at me? Are you trying to Jedi Mind Trick me, Secretary?”

“No one resigned from anywhere.”

“Knock that off.”

“Katy, the simple fact is that no one gives a damn about Ukraine. You’ve never been there–”

“I have.”

“–I’ve never been there–”

“You absolutely have.”

“–so maybe Ukraine isn’t really a place? Maybe the real Ukraine was the friends we made along the way?”

“Ukraine is a place. It is real. It is a country. 40 million people live there.”

“Oh, you’re an expert now? You’re, like, the Ken Jennings of knowing that Ukraine exists?”

“What?”

“If you’re so smart, then point out Ukraine. Here, here’s an unlabeled map. I want you to point it out.”

PAPER BEING PRODUCED NOISE

“Secretary Pompeo, that is a photograph of the Jonas Brothers.”

“So it is. Fine. Point to the Ukrainiest Jonas. In every group dynamic, someone’s the Ukraine. Which Jonas is Ukraine, Katy? Is it Nick? Is it Joe? Is it the other one? Choose correctly, or you have no credibility in international diplomacy.”

“Sir, this is beneath both of us.”

“HOW DARE YOU SPEAK TO MY PENIS THAT WAY, WHORE?”

“We’re gonna take a break.”

Happy Birthday, Warren

Some of us actually did drink up all the money in a Hollywood bar.

So long, Norman.

Garcia: The Folk Years

Hey, Young Garcia. Whatcha doing?

“Being hep, man.”

Cool. Are you at a hootenanny?

“More of a sing-a-long.”

God, folk music is dorky.

“Don’t knock it, man. These tunes are the American canon. Europe has Beethoven and we have Woody Guthrie.”

Oh, just buy an electric guitar already.

“I like what I’m doing.”

Uh-huh. Who are your friends?

“Well, the fellow’s name is Peter Paulenmary.”

Sure.

“And I don’t know the girl’s name, man. She’s kinda freaking me out.”

There’s an Amish intensity to her.

“Right?”

Uncut Gems: The Screenplay (Partially)

EXT.  DIAMOND DISTRICT, NYC -MORNING

The JEWIEST JEWS you’ve ever seen in your life SCREAM AT ONE ANOTHER. Every car is HONKING its horn. RADIO RAHEEM is blasting his HIPPITY-HOP BOOM BOX. There are ETHNICS in a HURRY. It’s all just so incredibly New Yorkish, like the filmmakers said “I want the city to be a character in the movie” a lot during pre-production.

SCHMUCKY BLATNER (played by Adam Sandler) walks down 47th Street. He is accosted by LIPPY LIPSCHVITZ (played by The Ghost Of Fyvush Finkel).

LIPPY
Fuck you, you gonif motherfucker!

SCHMUCKY
Fuck you in your ear! Right in the ear?

LIPPY
Not my ear! Your ear!

SCHMUCKY
Egg creams and knishes!

 

INT. FANCY RESTAURANT

SCHMUCKY (now played by Kevin James wearing a fake nose that is quite honestly offensive) meets with his bookie, BOB ABOOEY (played by Gary Dell’Abate).

SCHMUCKY
Bob, you fuck, I got fifty grand in cash and I
wanna make the dumbest bet possible.

BOB
Guess what color I’m thinking of.

SCHMUCKY
Lime fucking green!

BOB
No. Blue.

SCHMUCKY
Fuck!

Schmucky hands over the money, and walks outside.

EXT.   DIAMOND DISTRICT 

Schmucky (now played by David Spade) is met by ERIC BOGOSIAN’S WHITE AFRO (played by a Sabrett Hot Dog Stand) and THE KRAY TWINS (both played by Tom Hardy).

EBWA
Where’s my fucking money, Schmucky?

REGGIE KRAY
You ‘eard the guv’nor. Produce the slash, me lad.

RON KRAY
Would you like to do homosexuality?

SCHMUCKY
I think you two are in the wrong movie.

REGGIE KRAY
Regardless. We’re ‘ere to be gangsters.

RON KRAY
And homosexual. And insane.

SCHMUCKY
Seriously, I don’t think you fucking guys…
(to EBWA)
Where did you find these two?

EBWA
Just get me my fucking money!

INT.  SYNAGOGUE – EVENING

Schmucky (now played by Adam Sandler’s stunt double, Cliff Booth) sits with his wife ADELE DAZEEN (played by Idina Menzel). Sitting next to them is JIMMY “J.J.” WALKER (played by Jimmy “J.J.” Walker).

J.J.
Why am I in this movie?

SCHMUCKY
Don’t fucking worry about it. I’ll bet you
ten grand that the cantor’s voice cracks
on the Hatikva.

J.J.
That sounds like the bet of a desperate and
not-very-bright man! Makes it tough to root for
you!

SCHMUCKY
That’s pretty fucking perceptive, Jimmy “J.J.”
Walker.

J.J.
It seems like you’re creating all your own problems!

SCHMUCKY
Also correct. I’m not in any way a victim of chance.

J.J.
It’s almost like you’re arranging events to ensure you
can’t make it out of the script alive.

SCHMUCKY
Are we doing the meta thing? I thought this was a
70’s-style character study. I mean, I’m wearing a
black leather blazer. That means 70’s-style character
study.

THE BEMA

The CANTOR (played by all four members of Goose) sings Hatikva. Voice does not crack.

J.J.
Dyno-mite!

SCHMUCKY
Fuck!

INT.   THE LOCATION FROM WHICH YOU, THE VIEWER, ARE WATCHING THE FILM.

The movie CRAWLS OFF THE SCREEN like THE CREEPY GIRL IN THE RING and begins SHOUTING in your ear, FLICKING your genitals, and PRODUCING OBJECTS OF A PERSONALLY PHOBIC NATURE from magickal pockets. The movie then PLACES DRINKING GLASSES REALLY CLOSE TO THE TABLE’S EDGE. Just does everything it can to make you jittery.

INT.   DIAMOND DISTRICT – NIGHT

Schmucky (now played by a yarmulka openly begging for an Oscar) walks up to a THREE-CARD MONTY game in progress. The DEALER (played by the robot Paulie was fucking in Rocky III) is shuffling the cards.

DEALER
Find the Queen. Find the Queen and
get the green. Find the Queen.

SCHMUCKY
I know where the fucking Queen is. I got eight
hundred grand says I know where the fucking
Queen is.

He lifts a DUFFEL BAG FULL OF CASH onto the table.

DEALER
What the fuck is wrong with you, man?

ERIC BOGOSIAN’S WHITE AFRO and the KRAY TWINS appear. The Krays shoot everyone, including Schmucky and EBWA, and steal the money. They walk away and we FOLLOW them.

REGGIE KRAY
Hefty piece of work, Ron.

RON KRAY
Mum’ll be titched.

They WALK OFF and the camera FINDS the FORMER MAYOR OF NYC DAVID DINKINS (played by David Dinkins).

DAVID DINKINS
Schmucky was right. Those fellows really were
in the wrong movie. Don’t let what you’ve just seen steer you
wrong: New York City is safer than it’s ever been and
ready to greet you on your next vacation. See a show!
Eat a food! Whatever the fuck it is you yokels do when you
come here. All right then. Movie’s over.

FADE TO BLACK

A Live Shot From Fillmore South

FUN FACT: When you only put your heat on once a year, it smells like a camel’s asshole.

Unless It’s Stephen Stills

I have cued the show up to Love The One You’re With, as it is the highlight of the evening. The band is familiar but not intimate with the song’s changes, and Stephen Stills is doing Stephen Stills-like things, such as braying, and being on cocaine; you can hear him sweating. Rest of the show’s got a (too-short) H>S>F and a (just right) Throwing Stones>NFA. You could do worse by your ears.

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