Profits from Barn Again and The War on Xmas Going to RAICES

Update from the author of Barn Again and The War on Xmas

By Alan Good

This is a small thing, but until the end of the Trump presidency all profits from copies of Barn Again and The War on Xmas purchased through this website will be donated to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. Learn more about RAICES here. It costs me about $5.50, with shipping, for a wholesale copy of Barn Again, and a little over $4 for The War on Xmas. Whatever you pay above those costs (not including shipping) will go to RAICES. You will receive an email receipt for your purchase and another one when the donation has gone through. Should you choose to purchase an electronic version of one of the books, we’ll donate half the cost to RAICES. Currently BA and Xmas are only available, electronically, as PDFs, but they might be available in epub form soon, as well.

As always, you're welcome to use one of the discount codes on any order. (See way below for codes.)

Feel free to request for your donation to go to the LEAF Project for Universal Representation for Unaccompanied Children or to the Bond Fund to help immigrants get released from detention on bond.

I don't do as much as I'd like, I don't do as much as I should, for my community, for my neighbors, to stand up for the people who need the most support, to fight injustice and all that shit, and I use all the same excuses we all use:

  •  I'm exhausted.

  • I'm overwhelmed.

  • I'm busy with work and my family.

  • All my money goes to my kids.

  • I don't want to get run over at a fucking protest.

  • Etc.

This isn't something to make myself feel better; I feel like shit all the time, and donating to important causes isn't going to change that. But it's something. I will revisit this policy when Trump is gone; should he not finish his term, I will still consider a Pence presidency a Trump presidency, and this policy will not change.

The unit price for Barn Again is $5.58. For The War on Xmas it’s $4.86. Whatever you pay above the unit cost of each book will go to RAICES. So far we’ve raised $22.98. (Screenshots of donation confirmation emails will be uploaded at the bottom of the bookstore page. So buy some books.

The Ten Books I'd Take Along If Somehow I Knew in Advance I Was Going to End Up Stuck on a Desert Island

By Alan Good

In order to drum up book sales*, the online book seller One Grand Books invites "celebrated thinkers, writers, artists, and other creative minds" (by the way, I'm quoting from the "About Us" section of their website) to "share the ten books they would take to their metaphorical desert island, providing the audience a window into . . ." oh fuck it—it's fine—they want to sell books. I want people to buy books. I'd rather people bought books from One Grand over Amazon, but do we have to hear this "windows into the mind" bullshit? Here, this person you think is cool thinks these ten books are cool and maybe you will too so buy them! I think it's the phrase "metaphorical desert island" that annoys me so much. The most recent celebrated writer (as of this writing) to list ten desert-island-reading books is Roxane Gay. I know this might be an unpopular opinion, but I don't really give a shit what books she would take on a desert island. I honestly don't think we should take survival advice from Roxane Gay. Anyway, I apologize if any of the following jokes have been made before; some of them are fairly obvious. I just figured that since no one is ever going to ask me what books I'd take if I knew I was going to be stranded on a desert island (the phrase "desert island" meaning a deserted island, or an uninhabited island, not necessarily an island that's a desert) I'd just ask and answer myself.

*I'm not being critical; look, I'm about to do the same thing. See the links to all the books I'm mentioning? If you buy one of these books via these links Malarkey Books will get a few pennies.

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1. Celestial Navigation: A Complete Home Study Course, Second Edition, by David Burch. $39.

I haven't read this one, but I'd want to take it along to a desert island so I could get off the fucking island one day. I have a family, after all. Yes, I could use a break from the kids sometimes, but I'd want to get back to them. Seriously, anyone whose top-ten-desert-island books doesn't include this one, or something similar, is a fucking idiot. 

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2. The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants. $12.95 

I'll admit that I'm very prone to depression, but I also don't want to die. This book was originally produced for the U.S. Army and seems to cover plants from across the globe.  

3. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

It's long, so it would provide a lasting supply of tinder. Easy joke, but seriously, Ayn Rand is pathetic. She was a cheap propagandist promoting a ridiculous, authoritarian philosophy. Stop taking her seriously. Stop voting for people who take her seriously, especially people who were named after her.

Note: I'm not linking to Atlas Shrugged because it's a piece of shit written by a piece of shit and enjoyed by pieces of shit and I'm not trying to take money from pieces of shit. Randerthals fuck off.

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4. The Bible. $18.95

It's big, and I could cut out the pages like Pablo Escobar and hide a gun or some survival tools inside it. 

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5. National Geographic Family Reference Atlas of the World. $70.

Seems pretty useful.

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6. Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere - Alive, by Les Stroud. $19.99.

I have seen every episode of Survivorman, and I wish it would come back on instant on Netflix so I can watch it with my children

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7. Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival, by Dave Canterbury. $16.99

I've seen most of the episodes of his survival show, as well. Not as good as Survivorman, but you can't have too many survival skills books. Plus "bushcraft" is a funny word.

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8. How to Build and Sail Small Boats, Canoes Punts & Rafts Etc., edited by Tony Read. $25.99

The book about celestial navigation wouldn't be much use without this one.

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9. U.S. Army Survival Manual. $13.95

A classic.

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10. The Complete Works, Michel de Montaigne. $35

I bought this a few years ago after reading a review in The New Yorker. Seems like a good opportunity to finally read it.

Magiography: Buff Dick God

Note: This profile in ass-kissing was originally published on September 18, 2017, in a different section of the website. I've moved it here to make room for other stuff.

Ben Garrison made this picture. Think about that the next time you do something stupid. You'll feel better immediately.

Ben Garrison made this picture. Think about that the next time you do something stupid. You'll feel better immediately.

Here's my caption: "You're a 10. It's time to let God into your heart. Or your mouth. Your mouth works too."

I don't need to mess with much analysis; I mainly just want to make fun of this shit. If you want analysis, try this:

The picture above is a screenshot; I'm having trouble finding the original cartoon on Ben Garrison's website, but I will update if I ever track it down. The point is that God is in Trump's junk. Or Trump wears a Speedo with the word "God" on it. If Trump's dick is God, then what happens when Trump dies? Is God dead again then? Is Old Testament God hard and New Testy God limp? So many questions!

Garrison has made some bizarre Trump-worshipping cartoons, but what fascinates me about this image is that if I could draw I would make this exact cartoon as a parody of the way Trump people view their magnificent leader, as a way to say they care very little about policy, they mainly just want a buff dick god who will tell everybody what to do. (Everybody except them.) Liberals are too free sometimes with the Fascism label, but Trump is clearly an authoritarian figure and his sycophantic supporters clearly want an authoritarian figure, a strong man who will protect them and come in their mouths. They don't see Trump as a person but as a god, and his pudgy earthly form is just an illusion, and only true believers can see his true Herculean physique. Such would be the implications of my caricature; yet here is Garrison presenting what I would intend as mean-spirited parody of Trumpers as his earnest view of Trump. See, I would be saying, this is what Trump looks like to these fucking people; see, says Garrison, this is what Trump looks like to me.

For the record, this is what Trump looks like:

I ripped this image off the website  Know Your Meme: .

I ripped this image off the website Know Your Meme:

I try not to make fun of people's weight or bodies, but since the cartoon is so much about Trump's body, I have to point out that he is not in great shape. He's certainly not ripped. If Trump is your image of masculinity, I think you should Google William Howard Taft. 

Two things I love about this cartoon: the detail of Trump's glutes, and that heterosexuality and truth are in Trump's armpits.

I liked Obama well enough, but I never thought he was some dick-god savior. He was the best president of my lifetime, but I've lived through some duds. I'm also aware of his flaws and failures. I've got it easy now, since I'm more comfortable in opposition, so it's easy for me to say that if Hillary Clinton was president I wouldn't be running around saying "Rah-rah Hillary, she of the mystical vagina which has the power to destroy racism and John Birch paranoia," but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be doing that. I hate hero worship in all forms, but I especially hate it when the hero being worshipped is a special level of piece of shit. Maybe I'm stupid, but I've always thought political cartoons are supposed to be satirical, not public brown-nosing.

I've never felt so useless. My only skill is in making fun of people, and every time I come across another person who is just a human caricature I become less relevant.

©Alan Good 2017

For a more thoughtful/scientific analysis, read the essay “Understanding Trump,” in which George Lakoff writes about the buff dick god complex, which he refers to more politely as “conservative moral hierarchy.”

How Barack Banned Christmas

A FOX NEWS Christmas Tale

Every host
Down at Fox News
Liked Christmas a lot . . .

But Barack,
Who was never on Fox News,
Did NOT!

Barack hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Which hosts at Fox News all regarded as treason.
It could be, they hinted, that his head’s not on right.
It could be he hates Christmas cuz he’s not White.
Aha!, said the hosts. He’s an Atheist or ‘e
Is MUSLIM—O Glory—we just broke the story!

Whatever the reason,
His skin or his views,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating Fox News.
“I need a plan,” he said, “to ban Christmas so
I’ll hang pretty lights and I’ll hang mistletoe!
I’ll say Merry Christmas—I won’t say Holidays!
I’ll say Merry Christmas in so many ways!
MERRY Christmas! And so it don’t sound like mockings
I’ll say it while hanging up Christmas-y stockings!
I’ll say it on TV! To improve the optics
I’ll say it to Christians from Baptists to Coptics!”

The Fox Newsian hosts knew his plan was a ploy,
A dastardly plot for Barack to deploy
Liberal agendas such as Death Panels and . . .
A BAN on Christmas in this Christian-y land.
“Not,” said the Foxer who got paid the most highly,
“On my watch,” proclaimed the great great Bill O’Reilly.
That night while good children did dream in their beds
Of opening up toy guns to shoot pretend Reds
Bill O’Reilly was plotting a plot of his own,
A plot to save Christmas, which O’Reilly alone
Of ALL of mankind could hope to ever ever
Achieve or accomplish or even endeavor.

And so to save Christmas from anti-God PC
Culture he flew in his jet down to DC.
He sneaked into the White House, with its phony cheer,
And said, “No, sir. Not here. No no NO! Not this year!”
And then he enacted his masterful plan,
A plan to discover Barack’s Holy Quran!
He looked in the cupboards, he looked in the drawers,
He looked in the bathrooms while down on all fours.
He looked inside offices round, square, and oval.
He was tiring and bored and growing less hopeval,
But then from outside and just all of a sudden
He heard a loud BUMP and a CRASH and a THUD in
The famously famous and rosy Rose Garden.
His nerve he did steel and his heart he did harden—
He looked, he saw, lying there in red pajama
S, Mr. Barack Hussein “Osama” OBAMA!
However, Bill learned, when he looked a bit closer,
That Christmas-hater was a Santa Claus poseur.
Obama looked up and said, “Oh, hey there, Billy.
Lend me a hand up. I sure do feel silly.
I was trying to climb down with this sack of presents.
I’m ever so grateful for your Foxy presence.”
Bill O’Reilly was outraged, and irked, mad, and vexed!
If this travesty stood—O good Lord! O what next?
This was mater’al for his next No-Spin rant, a—
Who’d ever have thunk it?—a damn BLACK man Santa?!
Bill flew from the White House in righteous ‘dignation
And flew back to New York to inform the nation
That Christmas was ruined and forever tarnished.
He spoke with a truth raw and real and unvarnished.
So Christmas was canceled, so Barack got his ban,
But Jesus came down and He installed a White Man
Back inside the White House, thus returning honor
To this re-great country. Barack . . . was a goner.

Bill was a hero, but he came out a victim,
For PC enforcers fought back and they licked ‘im.
They invented the rusiest, sleaziest ruse
To gotcha O’Reilly, get him BANNED from Fox News
By spreading—NO not cheer, but cruel yet true tales
Of harassment by Bill and his owner, Rog Ailes.

O’Reilly’s forgotten, might even be dead now—
Shhhhhh! White Santa’s coming so get off to bed now!
Give thanks to who vanquished that Barack-ly Grumpus,

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! (‘cept for Muslims and gays,
Dems, fems, and heathens who say Happy Holidays).
But to conservytive Christians—and certain Jews—
Merry MERRY Christmas from your friends at Fox News!

©Alan Good 2017

Tips for Trump Supporters Who Want to Pretend to Themselves They're Still Christian

It may seem like an oxymoron and no doubt it will be used as an example by all the major dictionary publishers under their definitions of “oxymoron,” but you can be a Christian Trump supporter!

"Donald Trump is a fucking oxymoron." —Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

"Donald Trump is a fucking oxymoron." —Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

However, in this new political climate of amoral leadership and blatantly phony religious faith, your standard variety of cognitive dissonance will only get you so far. Trump supporters who want to identify as Christian are going to need a little extra help in order to get through this presidency without feeling like pawns of Satan and crumbling like the foundations of our moribund democracy under the weight of the unavoidable guilt stemming from their blind support of a racist, narcissistic, heretical sexual predator for president. Trumpers, when the truth comes rushing at you in a tidal wave of sorrow and regret, just use whatever combination that works of the following tips to shove those inconvenient feelings back into the vacuum of your soul.

  1. Make “I did it for the babies” your mantra. You can’t pretend like Trump didn’t cause a bunch of abortions—actually you totally can pretend that Trump didn’t cause a bunch of abortions or rape teenage girls and throw abortion money at them because we live in an age where whatever you want to believe is the truth can absolutely be the truth and anyone who contradicts you can be dismissed with the phrase “Fake News” so it really doesn’t matter how many times he’s been divorced and remarried or how many times he cheated on his wives or how many women he abused, assaulted, and raped because Trump claims he’s against abortion and that makes him a moral figure!

  2. Absolutely do not think about the babies that aren’t getting conceived because decent people don’t want to bring new life into the nightmare reality Christian Trump voters helped create.

  3. You might feel racist for supporting him sometimes if you pay attention to anything Trump says or does but just remember that while racism is bad and definitely un-Christian it’s not racist if you don’t even regard whatever group you’re being racist against as human so you’re good.

  4. Even if global warming turns out to be true and we could have done something about it instead of electing a fucking moron who thinks science is a hoax, the sun is still going to die one day and that will be the end of life on Earth anyway, assuming the Yellowstone supervolcano doesn’t kill us all first.

  5. Even if Trump gets us into a nuclear war with North Korea that all but destroys life on Earth, global warming was going to do that anyway.

  6. When Trump goads North Korea into firing missiles at the U.S., take comfort in the knowledge that they’ll strike major cities first and most of the people—even the babies and the preborns—who die will be pro-choice.

  7. Tell yourself that if Trump should resign, be impeached, or die because the power tie he uses during autoerotic asphyxiation is just too damn powerful, then Mike Pence will become president and the nightmare reality will only really harm gay people.

  8. When Congress does fuck-all to protect Dreamers and Trump tells ICE to start rounding up and deporting people who were brought to the United States at a young age and have known it as their home for their entire lives even if they’re not technically citizens, you might feel some pangs. You might even hear a voice, the voice of decency and compassion you can usually drown out with talkradio, quoting these words that Jesus Christ spoke two thousand years ago and that are memorialized in Mark 12:31: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Just say, “I’d sure love myself a free trip to Mexico!” and turn up Laura Ingraham.

  9. So Trump, with your help and support, is emboldening white supremacists and alt-nazis, using his presidential power to benefit his business and reduce his tax burden, undermining attempts to protect our air and water and natural resources and mitigate the coming horrors of climate change, attacking public lands and sacred sites, sabotaging our democratic institutions, amplifying disinformation in order to create a propaganda state, retweeting Fascists, turning Americans against each other, ruining football, and increasing tensions with the only world leader more dangerous than himself—at least we’re allowed to say “Merry Christmas” again and that’s all you ever wanted.


©Alan Good 2017

A Real American's Guide to Knowing When to Believe Allegations of Sexual Assault

Disclaimer: this guide is satirical. If you actually follow this formula you're a piece of shit and you probably think "MAGA" is a word.

With all these allegations of sexual assault floating around like the creepy debris in The Upside Down it can be difficult to know what to think, whom to believe, whom to hate. That's why I've come up with a handy formula that red-blooded Real Americans can use to verify the legitimacy of sexual abuse allegations. It's simple: if a woman accuses a Democrat or a Hollywood figure you dislike or some other elitist of the cultural or coastal (but not the economic) variety of sexual assault, believe her. If a woman accuses a Republican of sexual assault, the bitch is lying out her whatever.

Of course, not everything is black and white. Some situations will fall in the gray area, which is why I also created the following thought experiments because you shouldn't have to feel conflicted when people you admire are accused of being abusive perverts.

Let's start with an easy one: a woman accuses a Democratic senator of pinching her buttocks without her permission. He claims to remember the incident differently but apologizes because in hindsight what he did was still inappropriate. Whom do you believe? Easy: the woman is a hero and the libcuck rapist pedophile needs to resign!

Also easy: a dozen underage women accuse a Republican senator of molesting them. First off, it's best to assume any accusation against a Republican is just a smear campaign coordinated by Nancy Pelosi, Satan, and the man-hating Mainstream Media, but for form's sake we'll still work out the solution logically. So what do you do? Ask yourself this question: does he deny it? If he denies it it didn't happen. Ergo, the bitches are lying! They're just mad because Hillary lost the election. Plus age of consent should be left to the states. My dad had a saying when I was growing up: "Old enough to bleed, old enough to breed." Mother nature always knows more than some bureaucrat, so let’s let biology and not Big Government regulate sexual relations.

You hear allegations that a celebrity has groped a number of women and used his size to block them from leaving a room so they can't avoid his unwanted penis display. He's probably an elitist but you still want to like him because he has a new movie coming out that you really want to see. What's the right call? Tough one. In this situation, I recommend you play it by ear. Are the feminazis on Twitter piling on him? It might be safe to still watch his movie because he's probably on your side now. The Republican Party has made it clear that sexual assault will be not just tolerated but glorified, so look for a healthy number of accused men to migrate to the GOP, where they will be worshipped instead of shamed. I would also make sure to get your buddies together and go see the movie on opening weekend. Just to send a message to all these lying bitches.

A famous Jesus-loving, gun-worshipping, flag-waving, Trump-voting country music singer has been accused of inappropriately touching a child. What do you do? You don't want to come across as pro-child-fucking, but you also can't cede moral ground to the libs, so the smart call here is to share a bunch of articles about how John Podesta and Hillary Clinton are child molestors.

A public figure you greatly admire has just been accused of a rape that occurred more than thirty years ago. The woman has lived with the pain and guilt and shame of the attack since she was a teenager, while the man has gone on to achieve great success and to be regarded as a fine family man and moral leader. Is the accuser a brave woman or a lying bitch? It's a hard call when you don't necessarily know the political leanings of either party, but it's always safer to err on the side of lying bitch because that lying bitch had thirty years to come forward with these allegations and she's clearly only doing it now because she wants her fifteen minutes of fame as well as to be doxed by an anti-feminist internet troll so she can receive hundreds of death and rape threats from rage-filled nihilists and professional masturbators.

What if both the accuser and accused are Republicans? This is a pickle, but tie goes to the runner, the runner being the man.

Here's a curveball: someone accuses you of sexual misconduct. Do you take responsibility for your actions, apologize to your accuser, reflect on your actions—or do you tell everyone she's a lying bitch? Trick question: repeat after me: "I was a Democrat when I did that."

It's important that women feel heard when they come forward with their tales of being groped, abused, assaulted, raped, intimidated, disrespected, yadda yadda yadda. But there are two sides to every story. We can't allow unfounded allegations to ruin the lives and reputations of pro-life sexual predators. Remember, not all rapists are Clinton donors.

©Alan Good 2017

Malarkey Books: A Playlist

These notes accompany a Spotify playlist called Malarkey Books. I've tried to include every song or artist mentioned in my books, plus a few that didn't get mentioned but are still there under the surface.

50 songs. 3 hours, 20 minutes.

Side 1: Barn Again: A Memoir

1. "Special Death," Mirah.

The first song on the list is not mentioned anywhere in my books; nor is the artist. However, Mirah is one of my favorite musicians. "Special Death" is probably my favorite song of hers. I listened to it nearly every day for two years when I was still in college, especially in England. It was on the playlist I made for myself to accompany the book I was working on through those years, a book that wasn't any good, that I gave up on, thankfully. The book was called Malarkey. It was shit, but I liked the name so much that I used it as the title of Johnny Barnard's first book in Barn Again: A Memoir, and it's also central to my website and imaginary publishing company, so there is a connection.

2. "Fuck Tha Police," NWA

The first musical allusion in Barn Again comes in the author's preface.

3. "A Horse With No Name," America

I don't hate America as much as Barn does, so even though I don't like this song I'm still including it on the playlist, mainly for the contrast with "Fuck Tha Police."

4. "Rocky Mountain High," John Denver

I've never been a fan of this song, but it is mentioned in Barn Again in the Unabombinator chapter, when Barn is driving around, on the run from Fate, who has been stalking him with plane crash movies as he anticipates flying to Spain. He's listening to the radio in the car, and the DJ queues up a set of plane crash music: John Denver, Otis Redding, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

5. "Cigarettes and Coffee," Otis Redding

6. "Texas Flood," Stevie Ray Vaughan

7. "Johnny's Gonna Die," The Replacements

This song comes on in the coffee shop, another message from Fate.

8. "London Calling," The Clash

One of Barn's stall wall poems alludes to this one.

9. "I've Been Everywhere," Johnny Cash

He takes the title of his projected collection of latrinalia from this song.

10. "La Bamba," Richie Valens

You can't sing "La Bamba" in an airport.

11. "Gimme Back My Bullets," Lynyrd Skynyrd

Plays on the stereo of a stolen Hummer.

12. "Pay Me My Money Down," The Weavers

From chapter twelve (you have to know Samuel Beckett's most famous quote and some banjo terminology in order to get the "Frail Better" joke):

I was in a few atrocious bands in my youth, and I could never decide whether I wanted to be a post-punk rocker or a folk player. I earned drinking money in England playing songs by Pete Seeger and The Clash on a cheap Chinese banjo, as described with very little fictionalization in chapter twelve of Malarkey, a chapter I proudly named “Frail Better.” In a life filled with puns, that was my best. I’m a member now of a roguish band of strings players. We call ourselves The Prairie Dawgs. We’re a lot like The Weavers, if The Weavers were a bunch of tattooed, bearded anarchistic environmentalists. I don’t have any tattoos; I do have an on-again, off-again beard. We play a few old folk songs and a very few standard bluegrass tunes, but mostly we write our own songs. We all contribute to the music, but I write most of the lyrics. Songwriting satisfies my yen for rhyme. One of my favorites is a standard-sounding country tune that starts off like this: “This morning I got born again, again, / A new lease on life, a refund on my sin.”

13. "Robin Hood Theory," Gang Starr

The footnote to the part where Barn's making fun of music videos:

I don’t want to leave the reader with the impression that I am some smug white guy who thinks that hip-hop is not real music. On the other hand, a list of all the hip-hope artists I enjoy and admire, such as Gang Starr, De La Soul, and Blackalicious, might appear as over-trying. Any writer who isn’t at least mildly enamored of hip-hop is probably a poseur, his purported love of language just a front to compensate for lack of skill and soul. Believe me or don’t; I quite like hip-hop, but there’s a subgenre within it I don’t care for, and that is hip-hop of the MTV bitch-ho variety.

14. "Oooh," De La Soul, featuring Redman

15. "Release," Blackalicious, featuring Saul Williams, Lyrics Born, and Zach de la Rocha

This one's long but worth the time.

16. "Tom Sawyer," Rush

The undercover officer who tries to bust our fuckup hero at the end of the book seems to be doing an impression of Geddy Lee, the singer of Rush.

17. "Stereo," Pavement.

No reason to include this, other than I love Pavement and this song includes a solid Geddy Lee reference.

18. "The Donald," A Tribe Called Quest

I set up a Spotify account just so I could listen to the new Tribe Called Quest album. This song's on here for the two paragraphs on Trump toward the end of the book.

Side 2: The War on Xmas

19. "Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down," Kris Kristofferson

The introduction ends with an allusion both to this song and The Handmaid's Tale.


20. "Barracuda," Rasputina.

I recycled the name "Melora" from one of the characters in that abandoned novel; I took the name from the singer of Rasputina, which was my favorite band for a few years. I saw them play in Lawrence, Kansas. Rasputina is a cello-driven gothish band. The covers album, The Lost and Found, is probably my favorite, probably their most accessible. This track comes off a live album. I was pleased to discover that they've put out several albums while I wasn't paying attention.


21. "Let's Get Fucked Up," Tech n9ne

This happens to be the only song I know of KC rapper Tech n9ne, who is just under SuperChad in the hierarchy of Kansas City heroes. 

"Paris (When I Die)"

22. "Fancy," Reba McEntire.

"I might have been born just plain white trash, but Fancy was my name."

23. "Texas (When I Die), Tanya Tucker.

I prefer the altered lyrics in "Paris (When I Die)," but this is still a great song.


24. "La Juala de Oro," Los Tigres del Norte

The unnamed narrator of this story is drinking beer with a guy named Miguel, who is an undocumented immigrant who hates norteño music but listens to it out of solidarity.

25. "Life on the Border," Piñata Protest

Sort of a stretch, as it's not mentioned in the story; I'm just including it for fun. This is norteño punk.

"In the Penile Colony"

26. "Summer Babe," Pavement.

My favorite band. Herb, the narrator of the last three stories in the book, was in a band called The Magic Skinflutes, "a hillbilly noise group out of Stillwater, sort of Slanted and Enchanted-era Pavement blended with Ray Wylie Hubbard." The band is called The Skinflutes in the version of the story that appears in Word Riot. I took the name from a fake band I was in for a couple days in high school. We were going to perform at the talent show until our religion teacher took us aside and told us what the term "skinflute" means. We acted shocked and soon after disbanded, since we'd only formed in order to perform as the Skinflutes. After "In the Penile Colony" was accepted I found out there was a real band called Skinflutes, so I updated to The Magic Skinflutes.  

27. "Conversation with the Devil," Ray Wylie Hubbard

I could have chosen any Ray Wylie Hubbard song, but I probably enjoy this one the most: "What you won't find up in Heaven are
Christian Coalition Right Wing Conservatives, / Country program directors, and Nashville record executives."

28. "Something Happen Always," Preston School of Industry

Here's an excerpt of the fictional review of The Magic Skinflutes album Ghetto Palm:

We had a modest following but never made it big, even though, maybe because, our only full-length album was reviewed in Pitchfork: “If Scott Kannberg raped an inbred Appalachian, and their offspring recorded an album while simultaneously being waterboarded and trying to pass a gallstone, the result would sound exactly like Ghetto Palm.”

It was inspired by actual Pitchfork reviews of Kannberg's music. (Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs, was in Pavement. He formed Preston School of Industry after Pavement broke up and has a new album out, simply as Spiral Stairs.)

29. "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," Otis Redding

In jail, Herb wonders who's going to sing this to his children every night. I sing this one to my children. At least once a day for the last four years. Never get tired of it.

"One Man's Trailer Trash"

30. "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," John Prine

One of my favorite songs. Herb moves into a trailer park, next door to America Joe, who looks like the narrator of this song.

31. "Mr. Banker," Lynyrd Skynyrd

People in the park lose interest in Herb's musicianship when they find out he doesn't know any Skynyrd. Most people don't know this song. Fuck "Sweet Home Alabama." Listen to this one instead.

32. "Ghost Rider," Suicide

Herb tells someone his favorite band is Suicide.

33. "Colorado," Paper Bird

Herb gets replaced and The Magic Skinflutes get a track played on Open Air, Colorado Public Radio's new music station, so here's the first song ever played on Open Air, on Halloween of 2011.

34. "No Deal," Townes Van Zandt

One of my favorite songs. Herb records a solo album in his trailer: "My album was called, naturally, One Man’s Trailer Trash, and it had sort of a punk/post-punk singer-songwriter aesthetic, Townes Van Zandt with Descendents and Hüsker Dü influences."

35. "Suburban Home," Descendents

36. "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely," Hüsker Dü

One of their more well-known songs.

37. "Gin and Juice," Snoop Dogg

Herb sings this one (with different lyrics) to his kids: “Rolling down the street blowing bubbles, sipping on Naked Juice, / laid back, with my mind on my bunny and my bunny on my mind.”

38. "Karma's Payment," Modest Mouse

Herb describes one of his guitars as "a claptrap-looking guitar with an old hubcap for a body. It looked like something the people from The Hills Have Eyes would play, but it had style. Its sound was a paradox, bright and clean but also dirty, like Carlos Santana and the young Isaac Brock were playing at the same time, competing for control of the guitar’s soul." Brock is the singer and main guitar player for Modest Mouse.

39. "Black Magic Woman," Santana

40. "Angel from Montgomery," Bonnie Raitt, John Prine

Herb plays this song, in a duet with Ryann, at his concert in the trailer park.

41. "Enter Sandman," Metallica

Herb only knows this song because he used to sing it to his son.

42.a. "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave," The Butthole Surfers

Writing lesson: Herb could have said, "I woke up with a massive hangover." Instead, he went with "I woke up with the worst hangover of my life. It felt like The Butthole Surfers and the Art Ensemble of Chicago were using my empty head as practice space, but it was just Jen. I had rigged 'The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave' as her ringtone."

42.b. "Combat Rock," Sleater-Kinney.

It's not that I don't like The Butthole Surfers, but very few people are going to want to listen to this song. This playlist has a lot of great songs. Most of them are by men. That wasn't intentional. It just worked out this way; the ring-tone/hangover thing only makes sense with two dissonant groups like The Butthole Surfers and Art Ensemble of Chicago. I could make it work with My Ruin, who I saw perform in Brighton, England, many years ago. But the reference would be even more obscure. I'm taking the opportunity to just sneak in a couple tracks by female artists, songs that I like from musicians that I like but haven't alluded to in the books.

43.a. "Backyard Scuffle Shuffle," Art Ensemble of Chicago

43.b. "The Greatest," Cat Power

I've tried to like Art Ensemble of Chicago. I just can't do it. I've tried to listen to this playlist with The Butthole Surfers and Art Ensemble of Chicago right next to each other. I just can't do it.

44. "Skinny Love," Bon Iver

This song signals the hipster invasion.

45. "Anarchy in the UK," Sex Pistols

Not a Sex Pistols Fan, but Herb's new band The War on Xmas sings a cover of this song before the riot breaks out.

"The Magic Member"

46. "The Preacher and the Slave," Utah Phillips

The War on Xmas performs an impromptu version of this song.

47. "Box Elder," Pavement"

One of my favorite Pavement tunes, sometimes covered by The War on Xmas.

48. "Gone Daddy Gone," Violent Femmes

Herb notices his ex-wife, Jen, is wearing his old Violent Femmes shirt, which probably means something. (The t-shirt is the exposed part of the iceberg.)

49. "Marquee Moon," Television

Last song reference in The War on Xmas, special to Herb because he was listening to Television while he was redoing the floor in the children's room before they were born. 

50. "This Land Is Your Land," Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

This one's not mentioned in either of the books, but it's my playlist, I can do whatever I want here, and I love this version. The bastards are always trying to take our land away from us, by the way. Don't fucking let them. 

©Alan Good 2017

Curse of a Betrayed Fan

"Damn! Damn! Damn your black souls down to HELL!
You spoiled 'kneelers' of the NFL.
Beware! O beware!
I'm sendin' ya there!
Soon as I light this damn flag—oh well."

Here's the full video, in case you're interested in unintentional self-parody:

Please note: I don't know this person. I don't know anything about her. I don't enjoy making fun of her. I'd much rather take the piss out of a monstrous, attention-seeking public figure, but when you upload a ridiculous video to the internet, you open yourself up to ridicule. I'd like to hope she regrets making this video. She should certainly regret posting it, although judging from a Facebook post boasting about how many views it's gotten, she doesn't seem to regret it. She doesn't offer much in the way of argument or thoughtfulness in the video, but she seems sharp enough to have absorbed Donald Trump's First Rule of Social Media Dominance: it doesn't matter if seventy-five percent of the people sharing your content are mocking you; you still get big numbers. I don't want to say she is racist, or Racist-racist, because I don't know enough about her, and reducing her to racist status gives her an opportunity to deflect legitimate criticism by saying no, she's not racist, and how dare someone say that about her! While I don't see how anyone could separate racism from the nationalist fervor that some NFL fans have been displaying since Trump declared war on black athletes in order to distract us from more important matters, I want to acknowledge that "racist" is the term used by the person who uploaded the video, which was originally posted on Facebook, to YouTube. The first time I watched this video, I laughed, I thought it was better satire than anyone at Funny or Die or Saturday Night Live could have created, but more than anything the video makes me feel sad. Maybe I feel bad about making fun of her, but not bad enough not to do it. She deserves it. Fortunately for her, we live in a country, a culture, in which millions of people will watch her halfassed rant against the Steelers and her Chaplinesque fumbling with the team flag, which appears to be impervious to fire, and only three or four people will read any of this.


©Alan Good 2017

Trump's DACA Strategy

There once was a merkin-haired cocka
lorum who rescinded DACA
to force the hands
of congressmans
who couldn't co-work to kill ACA*.

*The point being, how are Congressional Republicans who, with full control of the legislature and a Republican of sorts in the White House, failed to pass legislation to get rid of their least favorite thing, the Affordable Care Act, going to work together to pass DACA-like legislation to protect the thousands of young people who risked their futures by putting their faith in the government and coming forward to register for the program? These people, brought to the U.S. when they were very young, raised in the U.S., could be deported if Congress doesn't pass legislation. The GOP couldn't work together to get rid of the thing they hate the most, but they can use that same strategy to get rid of the thing they hate second-most, immigrants. There's no way the right-wingers will be unified on protecting young immigrants, so the only way this succeeds is if there are enough Republicans willing to work with Democrats. 

Note on pronunciation: nobody says "ah-kuh"—they say "the ay-see-ay"—but ah-kuh is the only way it works so go with it.