Thoughts On The Dead

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

Facts About Iowa Without Research

  • Along with Oahu, appears in many crossword puzzles.
  • As does Ames, which is a city in Iowa.
  • Circles within circles, hombre.
  • Currently, one out of every seven individuals in Iowa is running for the Democratic nomination.
  • This is because Iowa has the first Presidential primary in the nation, and that is because Americans has a farmer fetish.
  • There is a sickness in our soul, and it wears overalls and gets up at four in the morning.
  • One day, we think, we’re gonna leave this stinking city.
  • Go back to nature.
  • Till the land.
  • Till the fuck out of the land, man.
  • But we’re not; none of us are ever going to do that because any amount of thought at all will reveal that farming is an incredibly shitty job.
  • It’s literally shitty.
  • Being a farmer means dealing with doody every single day.
  • And lifting heavy shit before dawn, and fixing tractor engines, and dealing with them damn bankers, and hiring seasonal labor, and keeping your daughter from fucking all these salesmen who keep getting flat tires in front of your house.
  • It’s dangerous, too.
  • Every piece of machinery on a farm wants to eat your arm.
  • I own no technology that is capable of amputating any of my limbs.
  • Maybe my teevee could fall on me.
  • That fucker’s heavy.
  • But there’s nothing in my home that would require me cutting my own leg off with my penknife to escape from.
  • I don’t even own a penknife.
  • Do not farm.
  • What was I talking about?
  • Iowa.
  • For fuck’s sake, why?
  • This post is–secretly, I guess–a recommendation for 8/10/82 at University of Iowa Field House.
  • Killer Stranger opener.
  • Killer, braj.
  • More about Iowa:
  • The primaries I mentioned?
  • They’re not primaries.
  • They’re caucuses.
  • What is the difference?
  • The spelling, for one thing.
  • And the pronunciation.
  • Just say you don’t know.
  • Caucuses are stupidly complicated: Iowans don’t stop by the local elementary school gym and fill out a ballot like normal humans; instead, they have this byzantine horse-trading party that takes place in private homes all over the state.
  • Enthusiasts, I like to think of myself as conversant with our country’s system of governance.
  • I could name the articles and amendments of the Constitution and only get three or four wrong.
  • I know how a bill becomes a law, and that’s without singing the song.
  • But I have no fucking idea how the Iowa caucus works.
  • Soon, one of the publications I enjoy will print an “explainer” article about them, and I will read that, and then I will immediately forget the information for another four years.
  • (If we’re still doing the democracy thing four years from now, obviously.)
  • And when you’re in Ceder Rapids, stop on by Barry Cootigan’s BBQ and Toenail Removal; 20% off if you mention TotD.


  1. I am reading this title (not yet the post) at 5am in the Des Moines airport, having gone to the Iowa State Fair yesterday, where we saw several of the Dem Prez Candidates, Big Boar (look him up), ate fried food on sticks, and shook our heads over the fact that the longest lines we saw were at the Slipknot Interactive Trailer. I love the good metal, man, but not the way they do it . . .

    Okay. Now to read the Thoughts.

    • My addled memory of the caucus is you’re in someone’s living room, someone mentions a ‘topic’ and depending on which candidate’s name is mentioned you move to one side of the room or the other. A scribe records the numbers (not the names). So it’s like a ballot box with eye contact…and since it’s Iowa and these are your neighbors and winter can kill you, it works.

  2. Favorite fun fact about Iowa: 8-10-82 is the greatest Baby Blue ever performed.

  3. I think you’re magic. Ames, Iowa is an answer in yesterday’s NYT Crossword.

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