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It all begins and ends with Doctor Dream. He starts with the first punk screed, called Deus Ex:
Come with me
I know the way
Through these chrome and yellow corridors
That end in cul de sackcloth and ashes
Of the blueprints you plagiarized
Disfigured with fatal slashes
Then letter bombed to bits.
That’s his first stanza. The Lounge Conversations are part of the sum.
WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE PUBLICATION OF “THE LOUNGE CONVERSATIONS” BY ROBERT LAIRD.
A print book you can buy at Amazon right now. For the hideously expensive price of $6.99. You all know that in my years of blogging I have never ceased to beg, piteously, at almost half decade intervals, for tips in my jar. Now I’m doing it yet again. Erick Erickson thinks I’m an extortionist. Oh well. Buy the damn thing. I’m the real thing. Wait till you see the next book. That’ll be more.
A short book, about a guy careering through the subway system of a place very much like hell, or where we have somehow gotten to today. That’s why we’re publishing it. It’s almost exactly a quarter century old, and the conversations the infamous Daniel Pangloss has with bartenders and drinkers in the subway lounges of Shuteye Town seem as if they could have happened just this afternoon.
You can find it here at Amazon.com. For just under $7.00. But if you ever thought no one could have anticipated the America of Obama in 2015, you are very much mistaken. This is a path we’ve been jogging — or skateboarding — along for a very long time. And this slender volume proves it.
Not all doom and gloom. Daniel Pangloss is actually funny, in the way that only optimistic pessimists can be. Oxymorons are contradictions, which is the simplest definition of comedy.
But. As Daniel Pangloss says, “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.”
The acknowledgment is to Voltaire. His real name? Francois Marie Arouet. Anagram. There’s a select club of the mean ones. They cross borders. Voltaire. Bierce. And me. I’ve experienced the Interdict twice. Crossed Candide and redone the Devil’s Dictionary. Destined to die like most of them, unknown, unrecognized and unloved. And, as Max Smart would say…
To hell or to Hadleyburg. Know where I’m going.
My iPad isn’t working today. So what. I cannot be silenced. Hackers. Can’t make an argument on their own. Just screw with people over code. Mechanics with no real intellect. Want to show your brilliance? Contend with the ones you disagree with. Use no obscenities. Use logic, learning, love of debate.
Losers. Shut me down here and I will publish more print books than your limited minds can read.
He was on the western front in World War I. In the Rainbow Division. When he retired as a plant engineer, he made himself a woodworking shop in the cellar and produced works of art. His wife was as old as he was and couldn’t make it into the basement. Why I learned what naked women looked like from my grandfather rather than stolen Playboys. Secret? Esquire Magazine. Back when it had something to do with men rather than metrosexuals.
Doesn’t matter how young you are. Naked women are just terrific. What better gift can a grandfather give to his grandson? Oh. Yeah. He taught me how to use all the tools too.
Obviously we have to wait for the administration to tell the media what the narrative is. I’m thinking a love quadrangle among right wing survivalists that went wrong and resulted in workplace violence.
A One Act Icelandic Play called “Arnika”
[Arnika and Ligisnurd sitting on a dock of the bay, whittling whalebone.]
Do you hear that foghorn?
What are you? Deaf?
Now I hear it.
What happened between us? You don’t love me anymore.
I do. I was just distracted by the foghorn.
Which you didn’t hear.
You always bring this up. I never loved her.
[A bunch of people enter carrying foul smelling fish carcasses in a net.]
You probably think I was after your sister, but I wasn’t.
Just because this whole place stinks of foul fish.
Stinks? I like the smell.
I knew it.
You always liked her best.
We have to talk. We have to talk about so many things.
[Men enter to chop the heads off the fish..]
Talk about what? My uncle sexually abused me and you saw and went to scandinavian playwright school instead. My mother became a prostitute in Paris and sent home flowers. My father had three hundred mistresses and never smiled once in his life. How do these things happen? You’re my brother Ligisnurd. Explain it to me.
I guess we have to have sex to fix everything. This is Iceland, after all.
You got that right, bro.
[Fishermen sweep the offal off into the sea.]
Arnika and Ligisnurd embrace and have lots of sex. Close curtain.
The bay. Where they would have lived happily ever after except for being doomed Scandinavians.
Yeah. Sitting on the dock of the bay. we all do it.
Thing is, I couldn’t find a birthday candle in the kitchen. There were these green things that look like fuses but I didn’t want to blow up her cake. So I put a flag in it and rewrote Irving Berlin.
God bless Patricia
Wife that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With the light from above.
From the Greyhounds
To the marshlands
To the seashore
Her Jersey home.
God bless Patricia
My home sweet home.
What could I do. She didn’t want me to get her a gift, not even my best offer: