we come to, blink a few times, and remember there’s an outside world

Art by David Mack

Every once in a while, Edward does something irresponsible, and before the National Evil knows it his writing has appeared in some other forum. Over time the National Evil has learned not to make a big deal of this—however much he claims he doesn’t need her anymore, Edward will soon come crawling back, clawing at the door and sobbing pitifully to be let back in.

Here’s a rant Edward wrote for Flagpole, Athens, Georgia’s weekly music/arts/politico rag, regarding the sad state of rock music. He would like to note that the new R.E.M. album flies in the face of just about everything he said here. At least the old guys are still kickin’ it.

Enjoy the weekend. If possible, eat a brat.


it’s wednesday already, and not ONE thong-related post?

The Ohhh-Bama Thong can be yours at CafePress.com . . .

The National Evil stands above the political fray. Envision the current presidential fracas as two luxury cars (yes, yes—one red, one blue) fighting over a single parking space; the National Evil is the crow perched on the power line directly above that space, ready to evacuate its bowels with messy glee all over the winner’s freshly-waxed hood.

That said, this blog has been remiss—perhaps even criminally negligent, though that’s for the courts to decide—in denying its (surely legions of) desperately frustrated readers any thong-related tidbits whatsoever. Not one! This blogger hangs his bloghead in shame.

To make amends, here’s a link from Time’s Swampland blog to some news with the potential to rock both the presidential race and relationships nationwide. A preview:

There’s about 1,000 different thongs created by buyers using John McCain’s image. And if that isn’t creepy enough, Obama edges out Clinton in the thong primary with nearly 10,000 thong designs, including the website favorite the “Ohhhhh Bama’ thong.” (courtesy/Swampland)

Enjoy. Or be skeeved out. Or both, like me.

icebergs calving from that great bovine vagina we call “antarctica”



NOTE: The National Evil is all over global warming and its sticky presence in our increasingly sweaty-necked lives. Our Nauseous Earth is a continuing discussion of that which afflicts our dear mama planet and what we can do to aid her, hopefully short of the utter obliteration of mankind.

Today let us consider one of the vilest, yet underreported, effects of global warming: the constant news of icebergs “calving” off the rim of Antarctica.

Have you ever seen a calf being born? I have. And it’s not something I care to think about.

Some might respond: Well, global warming isn’t something anyone cares to think about either, Chuckles, but it’s in your face whether you like it or not. Fair enough—I’m willing to face unpleasant truths. But the “calving” of icebergs doesn’t make me set my jaw and pledge my eternal carbon neutrality. What it does is make me think of blood and birthgoo and spasmodically lowing cows—and then think of anything else, anything at all, to distract me from all that.

Now. I’m sure Ernest Shackleton and his men, a-sailing for the South Pole, saw many an iceberg liberate itself from continental bondage. And I’m sure some farm-savvy member of the crew was struck by how much a sluice of ice splooshing into the Southern Ocean resembled the birthing of a calf. The spectacle of shellshocked penguins raining down from the rupturing ice probably called to mind the aforementioned spray of blood and birthgoo he’d witnessed hundreds of times. And I imagine he said, “Looks jes like a heifer calving, don’t it?”

English is a beautiful language, endlessly supple in its descriptive capacities. But there are some descriptions that are too perfectly evocative. Fireworks might explode like bursting pimples, but you don’t have to ruin everyone’s Fourth of July saying so.

Did the title of this post disgust you? Just a little? Good. That’s how I feel about icebergs “calving.” And you should too.

. . . Besides, the image falls apart as soon as the birthing ends. A calf emerges from the womb a stick-legged, staggering thing, whereas an iceberg floats off with malign purpose. Like the ghosts in Pac-Man.

Icebergs don’t “calve.” They plop from the proud ass-end of the planet we call “Antarctica” and drift off, sovereign in our toilet-bowl sea. Doesn’t that sound better?

april’s movie pitch


“The Pitch: A down-on-his-luck primatologist, Joe, trains an elite cadre of aye-ayes (the world’s largest nocturnal primate, native to Madagascar) to commit crimes so he can pay off his crippling subprime mortgage. With their arboreal skills, middle fingers up to three times longer than the other fingers, and diminutive size, the aye-ayes pull off an escalating series of audacious diamond heists that befuddle the police.

“The Catch? Joe falls in love with Carmen, the daughter of Cesar De Beers, nefarious diamond overlord. Cesar plans to show the fabulous Screw You, Dig Harder Diamond (its name derived from his famous riposte to the virtual slaves who labor in his diamond mines) at the Museum of Natural History. Joe needs that diamond to save his home, but will he ruin the career of his beloved’s father to get it?

“Featuring death-defying monkey stunts, a love story ripped from the very beating hearts of hopeless romantics, and adorable aye-aye antics, Subprimate is sure to be a hit spawning a series of sequels, beginning with Subprimate 2: Flingin’ Poo.”

Subprimate and the Screw You, Dig Harder Diamond copyright 2008 Zombie Mafia Productions.

. . . How about it? Think I can pull a three-picture deal out of this one?

5 reasons you may talk to me during a movie

No! No! Don’t skip the previews!

I recently endured the trauma of watching a movie with a group of people who couldn’t shut the hell up. I suppose this happens because movie-watching is classified as a “social experience.” But that doesn’t clear you to crack wise, offer advice to the characters, or loudly wonder what’s going to happen next (which will be apparent within 30 seconds anyway) while the rest of us are straining to (a) suss out the dialogue or (b) figure out why Bruce Willis didn’t just shave his head 15 years earlier.

So, in the spirit of promoting good manners, envision this situation: we’ve rented a movie, you and I, and have settled into our comfy barcaloungers with our dark & stormies. Here are the 5 reasons you may talk to me during the movie.

1. We’ve both already seen it.

2. You need me to pause the movie so you can visit the restroom, get a fresh beer, or bring me cookies.

3. You are an attractive woman offering me sexual favors.

4. You spot a knife-wielding murderer who, unbeknownst to me, is closing in on me for the kill.

5. You spot a palmetto bug that, unbeknownst to me, is crawling up my shirt. (This has actually happened. Gotta love Georgia in the summer.)

That’s all I can come up with. But I’m willing to consider other reasons, though I find the likelihood of their existence spurious at best. Ideas, anyone?

so r.e.m. has a new album, and

surprise! It actually rocks. Hearing a good R.E.M. album for the first time in 10 years gave me just a hint of the thrill the Baby Boomers must feel each time they shell out $400 for Rolling Stones tickets . . . it’s the quivering heartbeat of still-breathing (if barely) cultural relevance!

More significant than the release of good music by R.E.M. is this: would anyone ever have guessed a time would arrive when Michael Stipe was the most normal-looking member of the band? It’s true; take a look at the press for this new album. Stipe has aged gracefully into the emaciated, bald, 50-year-old man he was at 30. Maybe they all played rock-paper-scissors back in ’93 for who got to adopt the aging/possibly homeless/eventually dignified look and Stipe won. And now it’s paying off.

(Under that scenario, Bill Berry tried the old “dynamite” maneuver and was forced to leave the band within 5 years.)

Paper wins! Paper wins! Mills and Buck ALWAYS go rock!

So it’s good. Go buy it. Accelerate, that’s the name. Kind of a Lifes Rich Pageant-Monster lovechild. But that messy kind of love that ends in a lot of late-night calls to the police after lamps and plates are thrown.

zombie mafia

“Get ready for the doit nap.”

Cesar “Dirt Nap” Lucero shambled toward me. “Wormsy” Scapini guarded the door to the speakeasy proper. I sat in the middle of the storeroom, tapping my fingers on my knees. They’d tried tying me to the chair, but their fingers, now little more than tendon and bone, couldn’t handle knotwork.

“We want the money, see?” Mr. Lucero rasped. “And you’re going to give it to us. See?”

“Or what?” I retorted. “You’re going to eat my brains? How? Your teeth rotted out of your skulls years ago.”

“Why you—! Punk!” Mr. Lucero’s lips drew back in a snarl, his lips splitting from nose to chin. “I’ll moidalize you!”

“Get ready for the doit nap,” “Wormsy” gloated.

Mr. Lucero reached for his tommy gun. The weight of it tore his arm off at the elbow.

Rolling my eyes, I stood and elbowed past “Wormsy” into the speakeasy. He tried to block me, but at this point he weighed little more than a small child. “See you in hell,” I sighed.

The lesson here? I’ll make it short if not sweet: Never double-cross the Zombie Mafia. It just isn’t worth the aggravation.