SLACKJAW by JIM KNIPFEL
July 16, 2017

Almost Everything I Hate (July 18, 1989)

 

Author’s Note: Some point in mid-July marks the thirtieth anniversary of “Slackjaw.” Three long decades, over half my life, of writing about myself week after week after week. What an unfathomable waste of everyone’s time. Given that with only a small handful of exceptions, none of the columns prior to 2006 exist anywhere except my own files, I thought I’d mark the occasion by dredging up a few vintage “Slackjaws,” just for the hell of it. This one was also reasonably early during my days at The Welcomat. While these days I certainly would excise a few things from the litany below while adding dozens more, it represents a fairly accurate summation of my mindset at that particular moment in history. Also, the lingering influence of “How to Build a Cheap Bomb,” reproduced here two weeks ago, is evident.

I was talking to the Crippled Lord on the phone the other night, as he was planning his trip to the New Music Seminar in New York. I’ve done my stint there, it made me feel cheap and nauseous, and I vowed never to return to that vile parade of ass-licking, brown-nosing know-nothing scraggly haired bumfucks who have nothing to say, but keep on saying it.

            “I think I’ll hate it,” he told me.

            “Yeah, you probably will. The people are just as dead and boring as everyone else, it’s cramped, people keep giving you things—obnoxious people keep giving you things you don’t want. Despicable little toadies, all of ‘em. Dumber ‘ana bag a wet mice.”

            “God, I think I’d wanna kill them.”

            “All of ‘em! Every last one!”

            “I’ll bring a gun--”

            “You can get one real quick, real cheap and real easy in Delaware--”

            “—and kill them all. I’d become famous that way.”

“And probably get a record contract out of it, too.”

            “Yeah.”

            “I hate people. I hate people and dogs and hippies and children and folk singers and jazz and punks and people who just discovered Roy Orbison with David Lynch and David Lynch with Twin Peaks and Twin Peaks with Entertainment Tonight . . .”

            Oh, shit, here I go again. It’s been happening with greater and greater frequency lately. I no longer have the ability to stop myself in time.

            “I hate frat boys and sorority girls and Young Republicans and whiny-assed liberals and anybody who professes any politics of any kind and trekkies and Doctor Who fanatics and college students and college radio and Sonic Youth’s new album and Sonic Youth’s last album and Shinehead O’Connor and the new easy-listening “soft-rap” and rock critics who are rock critics because they don’t have the talent--musical or otherwise--to do anything but slobber and masturbate and Brahms and Shostakovich and Ayn Rand and summer movies and art films and Bette Davis (yeah, I’m glad she’s dead) and Bob Hope (I wish he were) and Red Skelton (is he or isn’t he?) and Eddie Murphy and, Christ, James Brown -- goddamn I hate James Brown and fundamentalist religious zealots and those more heinous, subtly simpering liberal sheepbrains like . . . oh . . . Presbyterians and Episcopalians and Smurfs and any cute thing and when you just catch the end of a fingernail on something and bend it way back and Joni Mitchell and Laurie Anderson and talk shows (except the really sleazy ones) and . . . grrrrr . . . Tracy Chapman and Marmaduke and Family Circus (I’ll give ten bucks to anyone who will kill Bill Keane with a rusty machete) and the fact that Dunkin Donuts isn’t open on Sundays here and people who don’t think that the war in the Middle East is just a little bit funny and Shakespeare (he wasn’t so great) and weakness and cowardice and falseness and stupidity and anybody who would ever want to hold public office and rednecks and white collar workers and cops and movies and TV shows that want to force me to cheer for cops and art students and “model-turned-actresses” and liquor stores that don’t sell half pints because of the bleatings of a bunch of old shits who are gonna be dead soon anyway and Sammy Davis, Jr (I’m glad he’s dead, too) and Fitzgerald and Camus and Sartre and those sad, pathetic souls who answer personal ads and Johns Cheever, Updike, Irving, Sayles, and Steinbeck (and all the rest) and Joyce Carol Oates and Rita Mae Brown and Maya Angelou and Joan Didion and The Bell Jar and those pretty, bubble-headed young things who don’t quite get The Bell Jar and Henry Rollins and Boz Scaggs and Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan and underground music and above ground music and contemporary literature and Mark Kostabi and Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther and Tennyson and Don Quixote and small literary magazines and the word “wymyn” and poetry about fruit and Minneapolis and Madison and Los Angeles and New York’s Lower East Side and Cherry Hill and the Cherry Hill Mall and nouvelle cuisine and “blackened” food and health food and Italian operas and stupid liquor laws and cars and pedestrians and bicyclists and hip attitudes and Helmut Jahn and One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place and Chestnut Street and South Street and Chicago’s State Street and Madison’s State Street and useless, boring peaceful protest marches and boring chants (“a slogan/exhausted/should never be repeated!”) and businessmen (I sort of already mentioned them) and titty bars with ugly dancers and performance artists like Robin Rice and people who are offended by the likes of Mapplethorpe and 2 Live Crew and the whole gallery scene and those well-meaning, ill-minded sort who want to create a dictatorship of the most easily offended and people incapable of hating and laughing about it and high-topped sneakers and baseball caps and Simpson’s T-shirts and the lottery and Atlantic City and anti-smokers and anti-drinkers and the MPAA and the solo careers of former Beatles and nightclubs and dance and Erica Jong and Brit Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney and what’s happened to Norman Mailer and what’s happened to Mojo Nixon and Rite Aids and Wawas (and the way they all smell the same) and biographers and ghost writers and westerns and Alexander Solzhenitsyn and paying a lot of money for a 3-pack of porno magazines only to find that the one in the middle (the one you couldn’t see) is something like “Girls Over 40” and marxists and anarchists and neo-situationists and the fact that almost all of Emily Dickinson’s poems can be sung to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and the outdoors and that goddamned sun and boring people and Psychic TV and every last thing about WXPN and Wax Trax records and plexiglass windows and neighbors with terrible taste in music and my neighbor’s uselessly loud fucking (the sound of which filters down through my ceiling, right above my desk) and bosses and motherhood and people who talk about flag burning without understanding the first thing about semiotics and Brion Gysin and cut up theory and the addition of fucking condominiums to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum and bosses and Cal Thomas and--and anything at all that deals even remotely with New Age “philosophy” (like John Waters said, “if the Klan came out against the New Age, I’d join up in a minute”) and some names too obvious to mention here because I’ve mentioned them too many times already and the Immaculate Hearts (that was cheap--I gave them a bad review once two years ago and they’re still fuming about it. They claim that if I come to another one of their shows, they’ll cornhole me. Some people will do anything to get a good review) and mirrored sunglasses with fluorescent frames and when, y’know, you cough up a big wad of phlegm, and you keep sifting it back and forth through your front teeth, only to find an eyelash in the middle of it all and Mike Nichols films and weather taking up seven minutes of the local news and sports taking up ten and the ever-shifting shape of Beverly Williams’ hair and Beverly Williams herself and every DJ in town and animal rights activists and people who wear fur and people who tell me not to eat meat and people who make up rules and people who....(This is just the beginning. I’ll be back)

(Composed in 17 minutes flat, Saturday, July 14, 11:40-11:57 p.m.)

 

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