A Quick Quiz

My latest newmatilda article...and comments.

Now, having read said article and said comments, a quick quiz for readers to take, to win big!

1. In what sense can "motherlode" (however you spell it) be construed as a religious reference?

2. What is the average IQ required to grasp the difference between ridiculing someone who IS a Catholic, and ridiculing someone for BEING Catholic, with no other reason?

3. Is there any particular reason anyone's religion should be immune from ridicule?

Highest scores win a specially autographed essay on the links between anonymous abusive internet warriors and virulent anti-Semitism.

Old Man (from See What I'm Talking About, performed in September)

The idea was to come up with three pieces, each responding to a different photo. This piece was in response to this photo:


Old man, staring at me from across the room
Old man, your face lined with such experience and wisdom
Your back bent from a life well-lived
Your unpleasant smell hiding a noble heart
Old man, your eyes shining blearily
As my grandfather’s once did
Are you anything like him?

He who was always there for me, no matter how many friends abandoned me, no matter how many bullies taunted me, no matter how many mothers set me on fire
He was always there
I remember when I was eight, having a nightmare,
And that was the first time I woke in the middle of the night, to find my grandfather there, spooning me
I’ve never told anyone about it before
Because he said he’d kill me if I did

Are you like him, old man?
Do you, like my grandfather, know what it’s like to kill 16 Germans with a bayonet and a hand grenade?
Of course, that was a long time ago – the early 90s
But now, when I look at you, old man,
Your eyes have that same look I remember from my grandfather as he reminisced about his colourful life and hate crimes
That look I knew so well…
Stern yet caring
Strong yet tender
Loving yet violently misogynistic

He would say to me, is it a crime to hate women?
I told him it wasn’t, but he wouldn’t take my word for it, and insisted on asking a solicitor
We didn’t know any solicitors, so he took me along to abduct one
3 weeks later, as I stood in our cellar, listening to the sirens outside and watching grandfather taunt the sobbing lawyer with a marionette carved from his own arms, giggling at the gasping pleas for mercy, not for the first time I marvelled at how much this gentle man had to teach me

What can you teach me, old man?
What lessons from your life are you eager to pass on?
Can you teach me how to bake?
Your enormous chef’s hat says yes, but the placard around your neck reading I AM A MENTAL PATIENT says, tread warily
Because only 2 kinds of people wear enormous chef’s hats – chefs and mental patients
And only 2 kinds of people wear signs saying I AM A MENTAL PATIENT – mental patients and people who want others to think they are mental patients but have little idea of the best way to go about it

Are you one of those, old man?
Are you trying to convince me of your dementia in a clumsy and inept way?
Like my grandfather, when he attempted to dodge charges of treason and bigamy with an insanity plea based entirely upon his supposed inability to pronounce the word “lackadaisical”
I learnt a lot about life in those three days in court – about the indomitable nature of the human spirit
About the majesty of the rule of law
About the inadequacy of courtroom metal detectors

My grandfather died some time ago
But while he lived, he taught me one very important lesson: cherish the elderly
When he died he one hundred and twenty six years old and could communicate only by vomiting in suggestive patterns on the floor
But he retained the childlike wonder at the world around him that he had since he was just a lad
And it’s that childlike wonder I see in you, old man
Staring at me across the room, as if I were your long-lost son, or the ghost of your long-dead best friend, or the man who molested your granddaughter
Perhaps, in a way, I am
Because no matter how time may separate us, we are all one
The young, the old, the healthy, the infirm, the fun to be around and the repellently liver-spotted
Take my hand, old man
I lost the man who meant the most to me
Perhaps you have lost someone too
Perhaps we can be each other’s comfort in these times of sadness
Perhaps we, too, can spoon
Because if nothing else remains of my grandfather on this earth – not his collection of unidentified hair; not his multiple screenplays about suicidal babies; not his many incinerated wives; there is always a little piece of him that will live on,
In my deep-seated and utter inability to achieve sexual arousal except from contact with extremely old men

Old man, I see it in your eyes
Be my grandfather, just for tonight

Who's Gonna Drive You Home...Tonight?

There but for the grace of Cthulhu...

I used to LIVE in this house.

That was 10 years ago, but my mother and sister lived there up until June this year.

Of course, THEY knew how to keep the place in good order. Unlike these new owners, who seem to think they can leave their trash lying about any old place, park wherever they please etc.


So anyway I was on Twitter, and I was commenting on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, because we were watching it, and it's like, hey, I have a lot of things to say and I need to EXPRESS MYSELF. So I put my thoughts on Twitter because I was under the impression that that is WHAT IT'S FOR.

But then, I get halfway through the movie and Twitter tells me I have Twittered too much and I have to stop.





SO I can't finish my comments because the movie keeps going and Twitter has cut me off and made me wait till later.

And then a couple of people unfollow me and tell me it's because I was Twittering too much. Seriously? Fuck you, man, fuck you right to hell.


So anyway my next LJ post is going to be my thoughts on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, cruelly truncated by Twitter's totalitarian attitude to volume.

Performed at Liner Notes, Michael Jackson's "Thriller", 27/8/09

My assignment was Track 7, "Human Nature"

I'm looking out at the night
And every star, Every constellation reminds me of her
Virgo the virgin
Andromeda the princess
Sagittarius the passive-aggressive slut

We used to sit together and listen to Michael Jackson
The song Ben came on, and she laughed and said, this is about you!
And I laughed and said no it's not
And she laughed and said yes it is
And I laughed and said no it's not
And she punched me in the face and said yes it fucking is
And I smiled and agreed with her, feeling safe and warm in the cosy cocoon of my battered wife syndrome.
Why? Because heartwarming anecdotes about domestic violence, that’s human nature

And I can’t help but wonder, What is it to be human?
What does it mean to be part of this maddeningly contradictory race?
What does it mean to be human?
As a human, how is it I can spend my days teaching English to refugees, and my nights wandering the streets stabbing random Indians?
It’s human nature

How is it that one man can devote his entire life to fighting for democracy and freedom
While another devotes his entire life to making long incisions in the carcasses of sea bass for the purpose of sexual gratification?
How is that these two seemingly dissimilar men can later discover, at the age of 42, that they are identical twins, separated at birth, when they meet by chance on a bus, and when they catch each other’s eye, with mutual looks of haunting familiarity, the bus suddenly brakes hard, causing them to stumble, pitching them into each others’ arms, from where they succumb to some mysterious, irresistible impulse, melting into a passionate kiss that initiates a torrid sexual relationship that will end not only in tears, but in murder?
How is it that this happens?
Because Erotic encounters between long-lost identical twins? That's human nature

She once told me her favourite Michael Jackson song was Off the Wall
I asked her why choose Off the Wall?
And she said because when I was little, we had a wall, and one day I fell off it
And I said that’s not much of a story
And she said, well, did I mention I fell on top of a GREYHOUND?
And I said no you didn’t, but that detail doesn’t possess much explanatory power.
And she burst into tears and said, you never let me be me!
And I had to admit she was right
I never let her be her
I was always forcing her to be someone else
Usually I was forcing her to be automotive pioneer Karl Benz
Because using coercive means to satisfy the desire to see your girlfriend disguised as 19th century German engineers
That’s human nature baby

I never expected her to stay
I never asked her to stay
I was actually pretty irritated when she stayed
But after about six months I could say she was growing on me
And two months after that I realised that I had mistaken her for a cyst
And isn’t that human nature?
Isn’t having cysts what being human is all about?
No, not really
There’s so much more to life than cysts
There’s boils, and tumours, and goitre
And that’s what I loved about her
She was the first person in the world to suffer from goitre of the crotch, but she never let it get her down
She was always cheerful
She wasn’t perfect
She wouldn’t be human if she was perfect!
She’d be some kind of magical talking horse!
She had her flaws
The short temper, the indecipherable lisp, the elaborate nightly duck-hunt mimes
But you couldn’t deny she was cheerful
And if you did deny it, I’d probably disagree
Not in an aggressive way, not in an angry way, but respectfully
We wouldn’t have to fall out over it, or end our friendship
We could agree to disagree, and decide not to bring the matter up again
There’s no need to sever all ties between us just because of a petty disagreement over the level of joviality of a woman with whom I am no longer in a relationship
There’s so much more to talk about
Having lots of things to talk about – that’s human nature
Michael Jackson knew that!
He knew what it was to be human
That’s why he WROTE Black or White
He knew that as long as you’re human, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white
It only matters if you’re Dutch
Because hating Dutch people – That’s human nature

And that’s why I can’t help but think about Michael Jackson while I’m sitting here, looking out over this city, wanting to take a big bite
Just take a big bite out of the city!
And I know it’s impractical, and nutritionally unsound
But unfeasible dietary ambition – that’s human nature

And so I’m still looking out over the city, thinking about love
Thinking about hate
Thinking about the final season of Head of the Class when Billy Connolly played the teacher
Because pointless non sequiturs and gratuitous 1980s sitcom references – that’s human nature

I’m looking out
I’ve listened to countless hours of Michael Jackson’s music
Trying to figure out what happened to that woman
The woman I let go (she’s out of my life?)
And I’ve been on this planet for 30 years
And still I don’t think I really know what it is to be human
But if I had to take a guess…

I’d say it has something to do with opposable thumbs
And I hope that someday, all the people of the world can get together, and admit that
It’s a crazy dream
But someday it’ll come true
It’ll come true

Performed at 9/11 Slam

If I were a terrorist
I'd be the nice kind
The kind that realises that sure, you're flying a plane into a skyscraper
But that's no reason to be pushy
You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
Rather than hijacking the plane, why not try asking nicely?
You'd be surprised how helpful people can be when you're polite
Instead of threatening the pilot with a boxcutter, how about offering him a backrub?

The nice kind of terrorist
The kind who forces his women to cover themselves head to toe in the traditional burqa
But who encourages them to spruce it up with a nice brooch or some wacky stickers

The nice kind of terrorist
The kind who doesn't walk into a Jerusalem cafe and detonate his vest
But who sits down and buys everyone pastries
Because a well-fed Israeli
Is an obliging Israeli

Instead of firing home-made rockets over the border
Why not try a nice muffin basket?
With a note:
"Dear Neighbour/Please stop building your settlements/Love, Palestine"

It's like my own situation at home
I had a next-door neighbour who constantly played his music very loud
But I didn't get violent and blow his house up
I went over there and made friends, said, "Hey, let's talk and reach a compromise on this noise pollution issue"

Of course, in the end we couldn't and I was forced to decapitate him live on the internet
But the point is, I tried
That's what I want all terrorists to do, TRY
Because sure, you're fighting the infidels who want to crush your people and wipe your religious culture from the earth
But there's no call for rudeness

So remember, you can't spell "Jihad" without "H"
Think about it

More before I forget

Jesus, he's the number one Hebrew
And let me tell you, Hebrewin' up something special

Some people say Jesus, he can't do what he pleases
Let me tell you, Jesus CAN do what he pleases
JESUS can do anything as long as it rhymes

Some people they praying to others
The prayin to Vishnu, they prayin to Buddha, they prayin to Mohammad
Well, you know what Jesus does to Mohammad
He bends him over and fucks him like a little bitch

Cos he's JESUS

Already preparing

I'm here to talk about JESUS!
He's not just for mental patients anymore
The imaginary friend who keeps on giving
I'm telling you about JESUS, the push-up bra on the breasts of my soul

If you show your love to Jesus, he will show his love to you
Can't you feel Jesus's love showering down upon you, like bull semen on the face of a cowhand?

Because Jesus takes away the blues
Jesus takes away the jazz
Jesus takes away the light opera
Jesus takes away all archaic musical forms, and he bring us...HAIR METAL
But not just any hair metal, Jesus brings us hair metal for the HEART
Yes, if Jesus were a hair metal band, he would be Van Halen crossed with Poison with bits of Motley Crue sticking out the top
If Jesus played guitar it would be the most heavenly solo you ever heard
If Jesus sang it would be with the voice of thunder and the voice of sunshine
If Jesus played the drums it would be far-fetched

I'm telling you about JESUS, and asking him to come to us tonight and aid us
Lay your healing hands on us, JESUS
Here is a young man afflicted with poetry
Please, Jesus, heal this young man of his affliction
Drive the poetry from this young man, Jesus
Cast out the poetry demon that has entered him
I want you to come to this young man Jesus and help him get a real job
Please Jesus, come down to this earthly plane and FILL this young man with the sweet sweet spirit of your practical training in IT skills!

When I say Jesus, you say Fuck yeah!

Because if Jesus were a spaceship he would be the Millennium Falcon, covered with sugar and crewed by dancing pirate robots
If Jesus were a 1960s cartoon he would be Roger Ramjet
If Jesus were a naked woman he would be on your face TWENTY-FOUR-SEVEN

And that's why we pray to Jesus today, we pray to him to save us from our own sin, we pray to him to save us from our own depravity, we pray to him to save us from cannibal mutants hiding in the hills

Jesus won't you come bring your light to bear on we poor sinners and drag us up to heaven by the scrags of our necks like the dirty whores that we always hoped we would become

Jesus won't you tell us the mysteries of life and the secrets to happiness so that we can be as joyous as you are as you sit upon your banana lounge rubbing honey into your nipples

Jesus won't you tell your father to stop giving us cancer


Explosive Revelations

There are three kinds of explosive revelation:

1. The literal - "I am going to blow this house up"

2. The figurative - "The honourable member has been accepting cash donations in exchange for granting special favours to Nazi people smugglers from the ethanol industry"

3. The romantic - "There's a time bomb in my pants and it's set to detonate at half past you"