davidbrucehaiku: resist psychic death

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RESIST PSYCHIC DEATH

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Resist psychic death

Keep your creativity

Alive and active

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In Bikini Kill’s early songs, vocalist Kathleen Hanna tends to repeat lines many times. She had a reason for doing this. The sound equipment Bikini Kill played live with was very bad, and she worried that no one would understand the words, and so she repeated them over and over so that the audience would hear them. Some of the lyrics deserve to be heard over and over — for example, she repeated these lines from the song “Resist Psychic Death” over and over: “I resist with every inch and every breath / I resist this psychic death.”

In Bikini Kill’s early songs, vocalist Kathleen Hanna tends to repeat lines many times. She had a reason for doing this. The sound equipment Bikini Kill played live with was very bad, and she worried that no one would understand the words, and so she repeated them over and over so that the audience would hear them. Some of the lyrics deserve to be heard over and over — for example, she repeated these lines from the song “Resist Psychic Death” over and over: “I resist with every inch and every breath / I resist this psychic death.”

In 2007, while standing in line in Victoria station in London, a man named Gareth Edwards, who describes himself as a “big, stocky bloke with a shaven head,” noticed a well-dressed businessman cutting in line behindhim. (Apparently, Mr. Edwards is so big that the businessman did not want to cut in line aheadof him.) Some people politely remonstrated with the businessman, but the businessman ignored the protests. So Mr. Edwards asked the elderly woman who was behind the businessman line-cutter-in, “Do you want to go in front of me?” She did, and Mr. Edwards then asked the new person standing behind the businessman line-cutter-in, “Do you want to go in front of me?” Mr. Edwards did this 60 or 70 times, so he and the businessman kept moving further back in line. Finally, just as the bus pulled up, the elderly woman whom he had first allowed to go ahead in line, yelled back to him, “Young man! Do you want to go in front of me?”

In November of 2010, tens of thousands of students protested in England over cuts in funding for education and higher fees for tuition that could keep them from getting a university education. Some students in London even attacked a police van, but a group of schoolgirls stopped the attack by surrounding the van and linking hands. Guardianjournalist Jonathan Jones wrote, “Some who were at the student protests this weekaccuse police of deliberately leaving a solitary van in the middle of the ‘kettled’ crowd to invite trouble and provide incriminating media images of an out-of-control mob attacking it.” (According to <en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kettling>, kettling is “The practice of police surrounding a hostile mob (usually of protesters) and not letting them disperse.”) By stopping the violent students from attacking the police van, the schoolgirls helped prevent negative publicity about the student protests.

In 1977, future punk critic Steven Wells and some other punks wanted to go to a Mekons concert. However, the student rugby player who was at the door did not like the way that the punks were dressed and so refused to let them inside. The punks formed a picket line and informed everyone who came by what had happened and asked them not to cross the picket line. No one did. Twenty minutes went by, and the person who had organized the show came outside to find out why no one was going inside. The punks explained to him what had happened. The organizer then fired the rugby player and the punks enjoyed a good concert. (Rugby in England is class conscious. In the South, Rugby Union is played by the posh. In the North, Rugby League is played by the working class. The Mekons concert happened in the South.)

Near the end of his life, the heart of Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco grew weaker, and his cardiologist, Dr. Ignacio Chávez, recommended that he stop the strenuous work of painting huge murals and instead concentrate on the less strenuous work of creating easel paintings. However, Mr. Orozco refused to take this advice. Instead, he remarked to his wife, “I’m not going to do as the doctor says and abandon mural painting. I prefer physical death to the moral death that would be the equivalent of giving up mural painting.”

So how does one resist psychic death? Some ways include practicing an art, doing good deeds, paying attention to your soul as well as your body, staying angry at the things that should anger us, and being aware of the fabulous realities that surround us despite the presence of evil in the world.

Music Recommendation: The Pom Pom Girls — “Ow (Intro)”

Song: “Ow (Intro)” from the EP OW

Artist: The Pom Pom Girls

Mia Berrin – Vox, Guitar (head cheerleader)

Mari Alé Figeman – Bass (witch)

Shelby Keller – Drums (camp counselor)

Ethan Sass – Lead Guitar (token male)

Artist Location: New York, New York

Reviews:

“I love everything about this EP and everything about Mia Berrin — Love, Mom [Chantel Berrin]. Favorite track: ‘Again.’”

“Although I am biased, I can honestly say that this is one of the best albums of the year. I agree with what many others have said and what [many others] will say. That Pom Pom Squad is going to change the game. Love, Dad [Michael Berrin].”

Christopher Keach (a fan) commented, “Mia’s parents’ reviews are the only ones that matter. Favorite track: ‘Again.’”

Lyrics:

Is it worth crying at night 
If it sets my soul on fire? 
Reaching restless like a little kid 
I wish you loved me like you said you 
Did 

He says he wants what’s best for me 
You say you want what’s best for me 
They all say that they want what’s best for me 
But they never try to be the best for me

Written by Mia Berrin 

Price: $1 (USD) for song; $7 (USD) for seven-song EP

Genre: Alternative

https://pompomsquad.bandcamp.com/

https://pompomsquad.bandcamp.com/album/ow

David Bruce: The Coolest People in Comedy

Wit

• Wikipedia is completely written by its users — volunteers all. Of course, as you may expect, some users try to post incorrect information. Often, this is funny misinformation. For example, in late October 2006, this information appeared in the entry for Essex High School: “At EHS students are free to do whatever they wish in their time after school. This policy has led to the creation of the Zombie Killing Squad, the Pro-Zombie Acceptance Committee, the Zombie Hate Club and the Debate Team.” Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately), this misinformation was quickly noticed and quickly deleted.

• Back in the Vietnam War era, comedian Jackie Mason made fun of reports that we were winning the war. For example, to make fun of reports that we were bombing 500 bridges a week in Vietnam, he would say that he had recently returned from Vietnam, and there weren’t but eight bridges in the whole country. Does that mean that we should disbelieve military reports? Not necessarily. Mr. Mason said that apparently the military first airdropped the bridges in Vietnam, then destroyed them.

• David Letterman is known for his wit. As a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, he once talked a fellow fraternity member into shaving his head and painting it blue. Mr. Letterman then pointed out the fraternity member to other people and said that he was the world’s biggest ballpoint pen. And as a weather broadcaster in Indiana (early in his career), he once announced the temperatures of two cities — “Muncie, 42; Anderson, 44” — then said, “Always a close game.”

• Groucho Marx, master of insults, once toasted a socialite in this way: “I drink to your charm, your beauty, and your brains — which will give you a rough idea of how hard up I am for a drink.” Brother Chico was a master of chasing skirts. When his wife caught him kissing another woman, he explained, “I wasn’t kissing her. I was whispering in her mouth.”

Work

• Chris Rock became a comedian almost as a fluke. In 1983, he wanted to see in person Eddie Murphy — a comedian whom he “totally idolized.” While standing in line at Radio City Music Hall to buy a ticket, he read a local paper that included information about comedy clubs. Mr. Rock says, “I don’t know what it was, but something in my head said [to] walk away, so I did.” He walked to the comedy club Catch a Rising Star. Fortunately, it was audition night, and fortunately he drew a lottery number that allowed him to be one of the people who auditioned that night. While waiting to go on stage, he wrote some jokes, and he succeeded so well that he was offered work at the club. This was fortunate. Mr. Rock says, “I knew nothing. If he hadn’t told me to come back, I never would have.” Of course, Mr. Rock rose in the comedy ranks, and a big break came when Eddie Murphy saw his act and hired him to play the role of a valet in Beverly Hills Cop II. What would Mr. Rock be doing now if he had not listened to the voice in his head telling him to walk away? He says, “I don’t know, driving a truck, something like that. But happy. I’d be a happy guy doing that.”

• Some people are, quite simply, competent. In 1929, Laurel and Hardy made the short comedy film “Liberty,” for which a three-story building was constructed. At one point, the comedy team was working 200 feet above ground, but a wooden platform below them was supposed to provide them safety. Mr. Laurel expressed concern about the height the comedy team was in, so to prove that they were safe Mr. Hardy jumped down on the wooden platform. However, the wood was made of flimsy sugar pine, and he fell through the platform. Fortunately, a competent crewmember named Thomas Benton Roberts, who had unsuccessfully complained about the flimsiness of the safety platform, had gone to the trouble of putting up a safety net below the safety platform — something he was not required to do. Instead of falling 200 feet, Mr. Hardy fell only 20 feet. He was shaken by the fall, but he quickly went back to work.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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THE COOLEST PEOPLE IN COMEDY

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