All My Troubles

Nov 14, 2020


I was a Harvard Lampoon fan at Clemson in the mid-sixties and I enjoyed John Lennon’s word play books. I was supposed to be in Electrical Engineering, but I was hanging out with guys at The Tiger and The Chronicle, the architecture department, and getting booted out of ROTC, so it seemed only natural to be engaging hoaxes, pranks, and other forms of anti-social engineering.

I found poetry in obscure news stories tucked as filler among the lingerie and food ads. I remember one that simply fell out of a newspaper and onto my typewriter, only in need of a title and the elimination of punctuation.

Water Defiant

water travels upward
in defiance of gravity
so strongly do water molecules adhere
to one another when one evaporates
from the leaf of a tree
it pulls up those behindlike links of a chain
this molecular attractons forms
the surface film
on which water bugs race
without wetting their feet

And the obverse was also true. I found the news itself to often be unsupported by the facts, which seemed so wrong somehow. How could I dismiss so much respected journalism as subversion designed to divert attention from reality by replacing critical thinking with knee-jerk jingoism? 

So I began writing short pataphysical pieces about the same widely circulated facts and rumors while presenting purely fabulous explanations that seemed as plausible as the commonly held opinions of the “liberal media.”

There is no liberal media. You know that, right? Never has been. The media is just a business, like any other business, where good and bad people work for good and bad bosses, and lording over them all is some soulless scumbag or an entire board of scumbags who ran out of fucks to give a few generations ago.

This section of Cognitive Dissident collects material that occasionally has appeared in print, looking every bit as professional and factual as the advertising near by.

Some of these stories go back 50 years and were written in South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, Arkansas, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Florida, Wisconsin, Ohio, California, Washington, and Oregon. 

As President Turd Tulip likes to say: Enjoy.