July 8, 2014

a CITIZEN JOURNALIST takes stock of Obama’s America, this time from his front porch (part 2)

Does anybody know exactly what “scabbies” looks like?  Also, is it possible to contract whatever that is from  having inadvertently shared your porch with the eleven teenagers you found sleeping there this morning when you went outside to drink your coffee — only one of whom could speak any English, and even then, could only manage to say “which way to food stamp place?” and “why you so hate the immigrants, gringo racist”?

— Which was odd, I thought, because I was offering them toast and jam at the time.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 4:26pm

Comments (101)

  1. “crusted scabies” is the more prestigious variety if you’re the kind of diseased urchin what’s into status symbols

  2. That can’t make a comeback here fast enough.

    Although personally I’m hoping for swine flu and maybe some variety of Dengue fever. Just cause it’s so fun to say.

  3. My band The Bureaucrats opened for Iron Lung in 1980.

  4. Most you folks are older/wiser than myself so I’m wondering why I’m not hearing more about the similiarity to the Mariel thingamajig during a failed presidency.

  5. Mariel = 1st act of Scarface.

  6. this is the same media what’s disappeared that bergdork piece of shit like he never existed

  7. commie news

    Mariel boatlift

  8. Ehhh, it’s the same pseudo-libertarian instinct on the right what helped with Bergdahl et al.

    Search antiwar.com or a random Dr. Ron Paul fan site.

  9. ron paul hates black people

    this is why his dippy son is overcompensating so hard

    it’s understandable

    but it’s not even a little presidential

    just sad

  10. >ron paul hates black people<

    stick to little debbies about what peeps think oh allan

  11. I reckon Dr. Ron Paul doesn’t hate anyone. He just really, really loves selling newsletters to knee-jerk contrarians.

    His son isn’t wrong to indulge himself here. There’s some decent money to be made by gulling the rubes.

  12. > so I’m wondering why I’m not hearing more about the similiarity to the Mariel thingamajig during a failed presidency. <

    well the losers that sold the loser ain't talking

  13. Mariel was more overt and virtually all criminals. Like Cuba flushed it’s toilet into Florida. Still, there are parallels.

    My brother was a driver at Eglin AFB when Mariel hit. He spent a lot of time driving buses for that one. Interesting times.

  14. “I see [Bergdahl] as more of a victim,” he said. “But all of the military are victims to a degree.”

    there’s two kinds of military people anymore i think

    those what signed up before america became a loathsome anti-freedom fascist cuntstate

    and those what signed up after

    generally speaking I’m rather appreciative of the former and i try to be sympathetic to the latter though I think they could probably have made Better Choices

    but bergdork is on his own

    and my understanding is he enjoys solitary pursuits like backpacking and such

    so if I ever take up backpacking and run into him, my plan is to pretend like i have no idea who he is so it won’t be awkward

  15. My brother was a driver at Eglin AFB when Mariel hit. He spent a lot of time driving buses for that one. Interesting times.

    I’d really love to hear some of those stories.

  16. >Mariel was more overt and virtually all criminals.<

    yea the "fast and furious" folks aren't involved or that baracky didn't have a hand in honduras.

  17. >so if I ever take up backpacking and run into him, my plan is to pretend like i have no idea who he is so it won’t be awkward<

    you go grrrl

  18. I reckon Dr. Ron Paul doesn’t hate anyone. He just really, really loves selling newsletters to knee-jerk contrarians.

    you’d think so, and I used to think that too

    but Rand is acting like there’s a good dozen-and-a-half more skeletons to fall out of the family closet on this subject

  19. but Rand is acting like there’s a good dozen-and-a-half more skeletons to fall out of the family closet on this subject

    Dude published a Bircheresque newsletter for decades. It seems to me that it’s common knowledge by now.

    I mean, shit, how many appearances can one make on Alex Jones’ show before it’s not in the closet anymore.

  20. Still though, I don’t think it actually means he hates anyone. Do hack used car salesmen think that lemons are majestic motor carriages of great resplendence just because they’re successful in selling them?

  21. then Rand needs to take the overcompensating down a notch or ten

  22. Seems to me that he’s not overcompensating. He’s pandering.

    I can find a video clip of his old man talking about how we could have universal health care by now if we didn’t have to spend so much on killing Arabs. Said it on Bill Maher’s show and the crowd loved it.

    It’s what they do.

  23. >ron paul hates black people<

    i hate peeps who do the polar bear gig, who see grifters like sharpton/jjackson as a spokespeep, who see all their probs as yt's fault.
    you clowns use a dildo in your anus.

  24. ick

    ron paul used to be my congressman btw, back before i could vote though

    mom and worked for him on some campaigns

    but then things got redistrictered

  25. mom and *dad* worked for him on some campaigns

    is what that should say

  26. Hell, lots and lots of people in his district loved him, not just your folks.

    He was a master of pork barrel spending. He brought home that damn bacon. And that’s how you win votes while simultaneously arguing for the complete dismantlement of the federal government.

  27. for president these days I’m partial to Mr. Governor Walker

  28. me: fauxcohauntess good and hard demoncracy

  29. Walker will play the part of Mitch Daniels this next cycle, I’m guessing.

    Rather remarkable achievements as an executive but unacceptable to the base during the feeling out phase of the primaries because of somewhat midwestern personality traits.

  30. >Walker will play the part of Mitch Daniels this next cycle,<

    depends on "common commie" his relation to the "ruining class"

  31. (As an aside, I have a quick and dirty rule for judging Midwestern Republicans. Do they support subsidized ethanol or ever even agitate against it while actually holding an elected position? I figure it’s not a bad proxy for judging them by way of public choice theory.)

  32. why i love him so much is cause he has no college degree

    he’s a post-american version of the unsullied, as they say in that throney thrones show

    Ted Cruz is just self-promoting harvard trash what markets himself in the same calculated way all the rest of the harvard trash market themselves

    but Mr. Walker is precisely who he seems to be because it’s who he is

    and even if he’s a lifeydoodle gay-basher, which, I don’t think these are the biggest mostest definingest things about him

    but even if

    he’s one of the few of them ones what retain a smattering of integrity i think

  33. Yeah, I probably disagree with a couple of those characterizations a little itty bit.

  34. we will see what we will see

  35. Forget the college/no college tribalism or the lifeydoodle-ism for a second.

    Doesn’t it give you a moments pause to call a man a gay-basher though? I don’t recall the man ever bashing gays. Do you?

  36. I mean, if the man has never actually bashed gays then it’s probably immoral to assert that he has by way of rhetorical flourish, isn’t it?

  37. i’m being charitable

    in truth, he’s dangerously un-bashy

    but you can’t tell anyone or he has no chance whatsoever to be nominated

  38. Since when has that stupid f*cking pikachu ever let facts interfere with his misogyny and conservative bashing?

    It’s the “if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it” method of politics (e.g., “I can see Russia from my house”). Although it probably sounded better in the original German.

  39. we are family i got all my sisters and me except for Mr. Drumwaster

    who is surly

  40. but you can’t tell anyone or he has no chance whatsoever to be nominated

    This is why it’s impossible to disagree with Drumwaster’s assessment of conservative bashing, of course.

    Take Dick Cheney, for instance. When people assess his pros and cons as VP I don’t ever, ever, ever hear about his stance on this set of issues come up. This isn’t theoretical anymore. Conservatives are perfectly fine with supporting politicians who’ve never said a single negative word about gay folk.

  41. Blow me.

  42. Truth hurts, doesn’t it, SFB?

    If you weren’t such a peckerhead, people might take you seriously. As it is, well…

  43. that’s a whole different enchilada than running for president

    plus Dick threw the dyke under the bus lickety-split when he thought it would help Liz

  44. gay folk

    is this a mid-west thing?

    i’m seriously curious

  45. Yellow.

  46. “Folk” is. Probably more dominant around Wisco than the entire midwest because we’re Germanic kinda sorta.

    We use it for everything. I heard a lady say “fisher folk” this week by the docks and we’ll call people from different areas that all the time like “Milwaukee folk” or “downstate folk”. You’ll still hear “lady folk” and “men folk” fairly often as well.

  47. Recall how Sarah Palin got bashed for not having an Ivy League pendant. She was not worthy of calling the shots for Team USA, said all of the left and most of the Ivy League suits in the Groveling Overtimorous Plutocrat. Party.

    I’d vote Gov. Walker over any other that’s been trotted out yet, including Rand Paul, forever known as the Junior Paul, son of that weird fellow who has always hated the military.

  48. i couldn’t go to wisco last time round cause of the snowflakes were so cumbersome

    but house on the rock at christmas is a bucket list item

    for no rational reason

    also i want to see those mail girls what jump off the boat and run run run with the mail and then scamper back quick as a bunny

  49. Probably more a German thing than a midwest thing. But then a lot of Germans settled in the midwest.

  50. so that would be more of a summer trip i guess

  51. Folk is Southern. Fry me up a folk-salat sammich, beotch~!

  52. Peter Lucas: Obama’s ‘Mariel boatlift’

  53. Gay folk music.

  54. Gay-bashing is not Southern. We could care less who packs who’s backside. That’s between them and the virus and other botanicals found in that shithole.

    Just keep it away from the chillens, or there’ll be hell to pay.

  55. but house on the rock at christmas is a bucket list item

    for no rational reason

    ok it might be cause i read almost this whole book

    but that’s complicated cause later i waited in line to get a book signed by this twat and i looked in his eyes and i was repelled by his…


  56. Cheers, Geoff!

    I’ve read that book, btw, hf. After reading Neverwhere and Anansi Boys, I had to give it a shot. His painting of The House on the Rock is pretty spot on regardless of the overall merits.

    If you really, really needed to visit the idea of the place from the book you’d probably do better to drive across South Dakota looking at the road signs for that weird Wall Drug tourist trap and then taking the Frank Lloyd Wright tour in Chicago. It’s a better amalgamation of that little slice of Americana than The House on the Rock.

  57. I went to Burger King and used 2 for 1 coupons to order five Whoppers (with four drinks and fries) and told them to pack them in a chicken sandwich wrappers just to annoy them. I made a point of staring at the people making them. THEY thought it was funny.

    Gave the burgers to folks at work and did not comment on the proud vs. chicken wrapper thing and still got some laughs (after some “why would you get the chicken? Oh!” . But I’m skirting the thin line now.

  58. i did the SD thing with Wall Drug and corn mansion or whatever

    i have some really cool photos

    it was christmas day so nobody was there

    it was also colder than god ever intended

    in chicago i once did the architectural river tour

    but not the Frank LW one

    i feel like my whole life i don’t need to go back to Chicago though

    it’s even more stale than LA

  59. You know what actually bugged me about American Gods? He spends so much time painting this somewhat interesting, melting pot version of America where the various old world gods are dying off against the new gods of technology and commerce and then he falls right into a third act of the innocent man dying on a tree and being reborn idea at the end.

    It made no thematic sense.

  60. yeah i never finished – i left it on a plane

    and i never rectified that

    but this part…

    If you really, really needed to visit the idea of the place from the book…

    i already know this one

    you spend weeks and weeks in Georgia

    it’s the heart and soul of America so far as i can tell

    it’s dismayingly beautiful

    and quintessentially southern in a way nowheres else holds a candle to

    and so so ridiculously easy to tromple through like a retarded tourist and miss 99% of what god put there for you to see and know

  61. There’re places to go in Chicago that are still worth a look. Albany Park is still amazing. I hear (just recently by email) that the area just a couple train stops north of the U of C is having a bit of a revival with some insane hole in the wall joints serving dollar beers with some sort of new music scene popping up.

  62. you spend weeks and weeks in Georgia

    Never did this. You pitch it quite well though.

  63. you blunder across those southern military academies there

    just sitting there


    in the woods

    gothic and austere

    we didn’t have those where i grewed up

    and you see one and you think maybe we should’ve

  64. Have you ever considered applying for work at the Georgia Department of Tourism?

    I’m sold.

  65. someday maybe for reals

    it would be such a nice switch to sell something you believe in

  66. I don’t mention it that often but I do thoroughly enjoy these posts from Jeff that invite such weird wandering.

    Sure, the text is there, the sub-text is there, the over-text is there… but there’s also this weird space left where we’re implicitly directed to wonder about porches, scabbies and America.

    Have you guys ever read the little bit of Jeff’s fiction where there is a trout stream running down the stairs (across astroturf?)? It’s sort of a thing he does. He’s a stylist. But a deeply twisted one.

  67. “Have you guys ever read the little bit of Jeff’s fiction where there is a trout stream running down the stairs (across astroturf?)?”

    EPA don’t cotton to that. If a finger gun is a weapon then they ought to have the power to regulate imaginary wetlands.

  68. Did you ever piss in your yucca bed in your back yard? Wetland.

  69. It’s a great imagist moment, I’m redescribing to you guys. It really did remind me of Pound (you know, petals on a wet, black bough) but it was oddly mated with Tom Robbins.

    Weird shit.

    You guys should start hectoring him to release his fiction. Do it.

  70. Speaking of porches, I need to scrape mine before I repaint it, and I’m wondering what would be cheaper to do, buy one of those oscillating tool thingamajiggers, or hire a couple of central American yutes fleeing war and parental abuse and drugged up sex traffickers (or is it sexed-up drug traffickers) newly arrived to the upper midwest, courtesy of, of… of whoever the hell it is that shipping those people around the country like the catch-of-the-day?

    Also, if I am better off hiring an illegal undocumented refugee just looking to make a better life, where do I go to find him?

    Or her. I wouldn’t want to run afoul of the EEOC when I hire my day laborer.

  71. Maybe in novella form for $.99 a pop on Amazon.

    I don’t know. Don’t know that Jeff even wants to release those writings. Maybe they were structured in a larger set because I was getting a Delillo mega-novel feel but who knows.

    It’s good though. Really, really good.

  72. To give you an example of what I’m talking about you can look at this very post.

    Note the full dash that starts the very last paragraph. Writers like Irvine Welsh will use such grammatical marks to signify a new person speaking like an open quotation mark. Jeff just throws it in here because he’s shifting to a more direct 1st person and he’s assuming you’ve learned to read his notation by now. (I could be wrong!)

    Which, that’s how he told me to read Gravity’s Rainbow. He’s teaching you how to read the novel, he said.

    I guess I mean to say that this blog is sorta fascinating in these little ways.

  73. As long as I’m being verbose, I may as well go for it.

    Possibly the most striking feature of Jeff’s work on this blog is how syntactically dense he’s made it. Think of the number of imbued phrases, the use of all-caps as either earnest and ironic by context, the thematic signaling of long-used post titles to inform the following text, etc, etc, etc.

    It’s a bit of origami that keeps folding up more and more. At some point this blog will simply become too information dense for the ascii characters being used and it will collapse in on itself.

    That’s… cool, is what it is.

  74. Brautigan, Revisited – an American love story

    Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4. For a tasty taste.

  75. Excellent, Geoff!

  76. clearly bh is brown-nosing for a free year’s subscription

    once the paywall goes up, that is.

  77. If you queer this deal for me, Ernst, I gotta tell you, I’m gonna be pissed.

  78. Anyways, as long as I’m being verbose, you guys know how you hear about Jeff being a control freak and looking over the comments to… act nefariously.

    I swear to God that I haven’t spoken with Jeff for months now. And I can still log in as an administrator. Shit, I’ve been bleeding money with my business endeavors for months without paying my fair share as a reader and I can still fix my misspellings at any time.

  79. yo lkucy bstard yu

  80. yo lkucy bstard yu

    Indeed. Also, Jeff really doesn’t give two shits about random commenting issues. Not even a little.

  81. Or even systematic commenting issues.

    You know who I’m tallking about.

  82. palaeomerus says July 8, 2014 at 11:52 pm
    Did you ever piss in your yucca bed in your back yard? Wetland.

    I have an abandoned railway spur in my back yard. It is lower than the rest of the yard. I own exactly 61.5 feet of it. Right to the middle of where the track would be. Because it gets damp when it rains it is considered a wetland. I cant build anything on it. So I dump all my yard waste there.

  83. I sometimes go out there and wizz. It feels like I’m pissing on the EPA.

  84. If someone can locate the rest of those chapters, maybe I’d finally finish the thing. I lost it on one of my many hard drive crashes and two kids later I don’t know where any of it is, really. I thought maybe I had it linked on my about page, but I remember getting emails from people telling me I was a no talent hack who probably shouldn’t put shit out for public consumption. So maybe I pulled it.

    At any rate, the novella was a kind of re-imagining — or better, a re-considering — of the America that existed when Trout Fishing in America was written, particularly in the context of the life Brautigan’d missed since his suicide.

    His daughter wrote a wonderful book about him. And if you Google him you can hear him reading some of his own poetry, which was intentionally doggerel and obscenely interesting. At least, I thought so. For such a little monograph, Trout Fishing in America became an enormously important cultural document for a while. The literary version of Deep Throat, where porn went mainstream for a bit. TFIA isn’t porn, but its structure and cadence and maneuverings between the real and surreal inform helped give rise to people like Tom Robbins.

    For what it’s worth, though he was always tied to the hippie movement, Brautigan was far more of what we would today consider libertarian. I like to think that he killed himself because he saw the counterculture, which always amused him, turning into the very things they claimed to hate as they grew up and began to assume adult roles.

    On the other hand, it may just be he was fucking crazy.

    I’d be open to the idea of doing an Amazon thing — but only if people here could convince ten others, and they tell others, and so on, so that I don’t wind up with a .99 chapter read by 2 people and pissed on by one. That would be too depressing.

    Plus, I have no idea how to do it. I’m sure McGehee could help me.

    Thanks for the kind words by the way, bh. I do sometimes feel like I started off as a bit of an iconoclastic teacher in blogland and wound up discarded when the stuff I started became widespread and finally dumbed down to the point of, I don’t know, a lesser Seth Rogan movie.

    At which point I was both a bother and irrelevant by comparison.

  85. By the way, funny story: Adam Baldwin used to follow me on Twitter. That stopped soon after the Frey stuff, and was in keeping with the Great Purge. I have as yet not had a single Tweet referenced on Twitchy, despite having had some pretty widely disseminated Tweets, largely through a grass roots following. Probably just an oversight, but I think that puts me behind Iowahawk and Treacher just slightly — say, 170000 – 0, give or take.

    Then the other day Will Ferrell, of all people, followed me. I must have written something amusing. I’m guessing that he stopped following me after about 6 new Tweets.

    And my wiki page is evidently being challenged for neutrality. Whether that’s by the left or right is up for grabs. Which is why it’s so deliciously ironic.

    I am who Iyam.

  86. Let me be clear, all you potential Popeyes out there, I’ve got my finger on my button.

  87. *the*

  88. Plus, on the pulse of the nation.


  89. I just entered “Brautigan, Revisited” in the PW search box and found 23 chapters…

  90. I remember getting emails from people telling me I was a no talent hack who probably shouldn’t put shit out for public consumption

    The sources of those emails were likely people too stupid/ignorant to get what you were doing, too precious to enjoy it, or jealous because they wanted to do something similar and failed miserably.

    The latter are legion.

  91. blockquote fail.

  92. I think an armadillo may have made his debut in this piece.

  93. At this moment in time I think Geoff has supplied the necessary chapter links (let’s give him a round of applause).

    I’m no editor so I’ll just play one in terms of linking them together in a document and suggesting some series of serial breaks. (Though, I figure it’d be better for Jeff to do so right off the bat).

    Perhaps our friend McGehee will give us further advice just slightly down the line.

  94. Geoff sent me the compiled .rtf file of Brautigan, Revisited by email. Yeah, he is a legend. You all knew this already, of course.

    Reading it over the last couple days I wonder how it works best because there aren’t commercial breaks (like a serial) built in to parse them perfectly.

    Maybe it’s a $2 novella followed by another $2 novella.