Friday, September 26, 2008

He's Troubled ... But I Can Save Him. Part III : What Is With This Guy and Lawn Ornaments?


Large amounts of rice wine can make a man do strange things.
It can lead to excessive politeness and bowing.
it can lead to really disturbing animation and overzealous work ethics.
Or it can lead to the kidnapping, repainting and subsequent return of a neighbours' yard decoration in a fit of self-righteous anger.

In my defense (not Slappy's - I have barely enough defense for myself) the lawn jockey was pretty damned offensive -- 1940's Warner Bros. cartoon offensive, in fact.
And we were quite drunk on the aforementioned sake. We were going through a pretentious phase. We wanted to get loaded but we had to set ourselves apart from all the other drunken man-children populating Central Ontario. No Black Label for me and Slappy, it had to be sake.
Don't judge. Drinking strange alcoholic beverages is just part of growing up. How do you think The Dr. McGillicuddy's Peach Schnapps Empire stays in business?
It stood to reason that we would steal a lawn jockey from the next door neighbour. We were two crazy non-conformists. We were drinking for SOCIAL JUSTICE! We were drinking for RACIAL EQUALITY! We were drinking because WE DIDN'T HAVE ANY POT!
What else were we going to do? Support our local sports team?
I'm not sure if we had the idea of painting this symbol of oppression -- whom we affectionately dubbed Jonathan Smythe-Davies Sr. -- when we emancipated him. We likely just wanted to keep property values artificially high ... but the binge continued. Barbara was surprisingly well disposed to our cries of "Fetch us more Japanese hooch from a licensed distributor of said beverages, wench." She's a trooper.
Especially since we were wearing her sun dresses at the time.
Slappy, being of an artistic persuasion, had some white paint lying around, I, being of a rockin' persuasion, had some Public Enemy discs lying around. One thing led to another ... and a political statement was born.
The thing that stood out most about Slappy's whitefication of Jonathan Smythe-Davies Sr. was the detail he put into the job. I tend to do non-work related things in a half assed manner. Slappy veers more towards the hilariously triple assed. He didn't just slap on some white paint. He changed the eyes. He changed the lips. He used texture and shading to change the cheek bones.
The man is a god damned artistic genius - although I doubt this made it into his portfolio.
We painted an 'X' on his cap (as was the style at the time) and "It's a black thing ... you wouldn't understand" on the back of his jacket. We put him back facing the neighbour's front door two nights later.
The next morning, Barbara, Girl Detective, was outside trying to corral the cat when she noticed a police car at the curb. She looked around the hedge and saw two officers talking to the aggrieved home owners. From this point on, all quotes are approximated.

Probably Racist Lady Next Door: "We wouldn't have called you but we thought it was part of something larger."
Police Officers "Larger? What do you mean larger?"
PRLND: "Well, we thought it might be gang related."
PO: (trying not to laugh) "Well, I don't know about that but they certainly did a good job."

At the time, there may have been fifteen people of African descent in Orillia. Slappy makes me look like Malcolm X and I am generally the whitest guy in any room I walk into.
Still, I was proud to be the vanguard of Afro-Canadian gang activity in Central Ontario. With apologies to The Simpsons writers, I'd have called us the Christ Punchers.

I worked at the local weekly newspaper at the time. It didn't make it into the police blotter but I was tempted to interview the bigots next door for a story about escalating gang violence in Orillia. Sadly, I lacked the follow through (or the cojones, your choice) and the story died.

J. Smythe-Davies was ultimately repainted black and placed behind a padlocked fence.
We should have freed him. Repainting him was a definite sign our neighbours were douchebags.
Unfortunately, Slappy and I eventually sobered up. It is one of my life's largest regrets.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I, Sarah Palin, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

God help us all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Excerpt From The Aging Hipster's Failed "Asian Adoption" Essay

Wait a minute. Don't judge me. You guys do worse to your cats?
Am I right?
I don't even know why I included this photo but... if you know a better way to keep your cat from meowing incessantly, please let me know.

I have to cater to this fuckng cat. I make sure someone (not me - I can't stand the smell) feeds him.

I give him affection (when I'm loaded).

I make sure he can go in and out the front door (which Barb is usually closest to) every five minutes, but still...

You're damn right I get him drunk every once in a while.
If not for me, how would he ever raise his little kitty cat self esteem?

I'm doing him a favour. If it were not for me, he'd be stuck in some little kitty cat rut. He'd spend most of his life thinking he will never achieve his little kitty cat dreams.

Without me getting him loaded, he'd never dream of writing the Great Kitty-American Novel.

If I didn't get this cat drunk, he'd never get any pussy! Get what I mean there? You see the pun I included?
You did? Good.

If I didn't feed him liquor he would never dream of being the first kitty cat rock star - those fucking cats who meow Christmas jingles don't count.

Fucking sell-outs!

You think so too?

Well ... Good. Please consider my request to give me one of your excess children. I will even take a girl. I promise I'll raise her to be an obnoxious socialist busy-body.

Gimme an Asian Baby,

Yours in Christ,

The Aging Hipster

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Fall Fair Baby Competition is Decadent and Depraved

(Editor's note: The following crossed our desk after being rejected by all of the major media outlets in the Orillia-Barrie-Midland Triangle. While we have yet to locate the author, billed only as Hunter S. Thompson's non-union Mexican equivalent, The Aging Hipster felt his story needed to be told.)

It was somewhere around the sheep display when the drugs began to take hold.
Damned good thing too -- all that hay was kicking the hell out my allergies.
The air was full of foul carnival music and barkers promising Def Leppard mirrors and giant combs to any man who could knock over three ill-weighted milk bottles with a softball. I elbowed my way through a sea of ugly hillbillies and their spawn getting their annual compulsive infusion of cotton candy and blue ribbon quilts. I was already late for the baby photo contest and I needed to be there for two reasons. First - it was an important story. Second - one of the mothers was paying me to heckle the other babies.
I arrived in the converted roller skating rink -- where these babies were to be judged -- and scanned the area for a bar. After five minutes I found a snack bar in the corner that sold domestic beer and boxed wine in plastic cups. I took one of both and thanked the Gods I'd brought a thermos full of mint julep for emergencies.
An odd mixture of yokels and soccer moms were gathered around a booth - the back lined with pictures of lily white babies. Most of the photos seemed professionally taken. Clearly against the rules, but it seems parents who hold their infants up to public scrutiny for their own personal gain have little regard for rules. The pictures were numbered and each had a corresponding Pringles can. The numbered can with the most money took home the prize. It seems my client's money could have been better spent but it was too late for that. I'd already spent the money on mint, bourbon, powdered sugar and a thermos.
Still, I had a job to do and I am nothing if not a professional. "Good Lord," I yelled. "The one on the left looks like he was chewed up by a rat terrier." Stifled laughter from all but one of the soccer moms and outright guffaws from the yokels.
"Does baby nineteen look drunk to you? What kind of monsters get their baby drunk ... AND TAKE PICTURES OF IT?" Even the well-heeled ladies weren't bothering to hide their laughter.
Some kid was dressed in a cowboy hat and bandana. "I'll wager he's never roped a calf in his life," I yelled in a thick southern drawl
"God damn buddy, you a funny guy." said some farmer, slapping me hard on the back, spilling half of my drink on my American flag Chuck Taylors.
"Fuck off BUDDY," I murmured. "I'm working here."
At this point the story becomes very slippery, with many loose ends and dark shadows. I continued taunting infant children to the amusement of the growing crowd until the pageant organizer arrived and pulled me aside. Forty-years-old, paunchy with glasses - he looked like an elementary school vice principal. He looked like something a six-year-old would draw if you asked him to illustrate the concept of humourless.
"What in the name of HOLY FUCK do you think you're doing?" he hissed. "Making fun of all these children who've yet to do you any harm?"
"Just doing my job, sir."
"Do you know what we are going to do to people like you when Stephen Harper gets his majority. Your kind will be locked in cages and forced to fight each other with machetes on the CBC. Now shut the fuck up."
I was shaken. This was a bit heavy to lay on a man with a head full of Benadryl and mint julep. I reacted the only way a reasonable man could.
"Baby 42 has the beady eyes of a paedophile." I yelled.
That's when the rousties came.

I woke up in a ditch on Hwy. 12. I was badly beaten and missing one thermos. I never found out which kid won but I'd bet it was that little bitch dressed up as a pumpkin.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nonsense 101: To The Moon and Way Fuckin' Beyond Alice!

It's rare that you find a rocket scientist and an occult enthusiast in the same room.
It's downright weird to find them in the same person.

Jack Parsons was just such a weird, weird man.

Born in 1914, Parsons was a college drop out who hated authority. His diary claims he visibly invoked Satan at the age of thirteen. He also had a deep, abiding love for science fiction stories and blowing shit up.

Pretty much the same as myself - except I never got around to putting a man on the moon.

Fast-forward to 1939. Parsons was a member of the not-so-affectionally dubbed Suicide Squad - named for their series of increasingly alarming explosions caused at CalTech while trying to create stable, usable rocket fuel. Their goal was simple: put the human race into outer space.

This was also the year Parsons discovered the writings of famed English Satanist Aleister Crowley. He started invoking the god Pan before every rocket launch. Silly bugger.

Around this time, Parsons also found a new buddy and fellow Crowely enthusiast named L. Ron. You may have heard of him. He and Parsons started a boat dealing company named Allied Enterprises.

Parsons wasn't yet getting far with his rocket fuel experiments - things kept unexpectedly blowing up. He wasn't hurting for money though. In 1942, Parsons' estranged father died leaving him a mansion in in the nice part of Pasadena. Parsons rented out the rooms to "only atheists and those of a Bohemian disposition," according to his newspaper ad.

A man after my own heart, if it were not for the stupid occultism.

Noisy parties and police raids ensued. Parsons was able to win over the cops with his charm, good looks and reputation as a rocket scientist. But, from all accounts, things got plenty weird - lots of nakedness, magicks and substance abuse - over at the Parsons' spread.

An excerpt from a Parsons poem published in an occult magazine in 1943?

"I hight Don Quixote, I live on peyote, marijuana, morphine and cocaine, I never know sadness, but only a madness that burns at the heart and the brain."

As I said, a man after my own heart -- if not for the stupidity and bad poetry. But what the fuck does 'hight' mean?

Parsons started becoming more successful with his rocket fuel experiments. He had a fulfilling relationship with his ex-wife's half sister Betty.
If you listen to devotees of this sorta crap, he was becoming more successful with his magicks. He and Hubbard allegedly completed the Babalon Working spell which ushered in a goddess who led the way to world peace and free love.

Recent events suggest this spell wasn't as effective as Parsons' acolytes may suggest.


His life was finally starting to work out, huh?
Uhh, No.
In 1947, L. Ron Hubbard buggered off with a boat, all the cash from Allied Enterprises and for good measure, Betty - Parsons' girlfriend.
L. Ron Hubbard eventually married Betty and started Scientology with the stolen money.

The official Scientology line is that Hubbard was instructed to 'infiltrate a black magic ring' by the U.S. Navy.
Horseshit! Go ahead and sue me Mr. Cruise.

As the '40s wound down things kept getting worse for Parsons. He was stripped of his security clearance and almost prosecuted for treason since he gave classified documents to the Israeli government, with whom he was negotiating for a rocket guru gig. Parsons was reduced to working for Hollywood movies, making tiny explosive squibs that mimicked a man being shot. But his rocket fuel eventually worked. Ex-Nazi/Future Upstanding American Citizen/Full Time Rocket Scientist Wernher Von Braun cited Parsons as the most influential rocket scientist in history.

Parsons never lived to see his dream of landing a man on the moon, but his rocket fuel discovery was instrumental in putting one there. Jack Parsons blew himself up in 1952.

One newspaper wrote that, "The explosion blew off his right forearm, tore a gaping hole in his jaw and shattered the other arm and both legs."

Some say Jack was killed because he had become an embarassment to the American government.

Some say Scientologists had Jack killed to cover Hubbard's shameful behaviour.

Most say Parsons liked fucking around with explosives and was far too sweaty and high. One friend noted in a Parsons' biography that "Jack used to sweat a lot and [a coffee can in which he was mixing Mercury Fulminate] just slipped out of his hand and blew him up."

Jack Parsons is rarely mentioned inside the rocket scientist community these days but the Parsons Crater on the far side of the Moon has been named after him.

Rest In Peace, you Delusional Genius!