There are certain things that enter the minds of people even without one.

The andies

Five years ago I revealed that an unknown number of public figures were created as clones of the late great absurdist comedian Andy Kaufman. That article is linked here: Theory: We Are All Andy Now.

This was a tremendous breakthrough. Without this knowledge, we would have been powerless against an army of Andys. It’s been difficult to get by even knowing that characters like Sarah Palin, Rob Ford, Fred Phelps, Julian Assange, and Keith Olbermann are clones of a legendary avant-garde prankster. The current Republican Party candidates for the U.S. Presidency are a clean sweep of 100% Andys. If we didn’t know that, our whole world would be a joke. I mean, think about it.

Two things came up this week that shed further darkness on the situation. I mentioned Steve Rocco, a local political character here, as an Andy. Since I hadn’t done enough research, I didn’t realize that the person commenting at the time about Andy’s death being faked was… Rocco himself. Not only is he an Andy, but his shtick encompasses “Andy Death Denier” along with Mafia paranoia, sunglasses and hat combo, and alleged ketchup theft. So this is a recursive Andy, a meta-Andy, or, scariest of all, a self-aware Andy clone.

Which leads to the next problem. Clearly there are both male and female Andys, and some of them have produced children. Has anyone considered the potential impact of a generation of half-Andys? And if two Andys mate, what happens then?

There’s been talk about a limit to the absurd. Could we have reached the state in human civilization where that combination of meaningless narcissism, absurd behavior, and destructive charisma has peaked? I think not. The second generation Andys are coming. Like the physicists of the 19th century, we are about to be jolted into a new age of Quantum Andys, in which the overwhelming confusion and horror of public life turns us all into Andy, one by one.

I’ve known all my life that Eugene Ionèsco was right about our world. And Rhinoceros has enough parallels with the last decade here already. But I had no idea we were all to be Andy. Who will be the last to go?

PURCHASE MY AMATEURISH CRAP RIGHT THIS INSTANT

I have had a Zazzle Store for quite a while and never really promoted it, but I have a total of TWO products.

1. The “Bob is Love” U.S. postal stamps, in a variety of denominations, featuring a touching and artistical black & white photo of Mr. Bob Trout, my best friend and an icon of the greater Newport-Mesa area:

 

2. The tiresome “nerd freedom” Software is Speech shirt, featuring said slogan on the front and what I am pretty sure is the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America in binary on the back. You see, it’s cool because it’s nerdy and also because you can stand up for an abstract idea of freedom without any risk simply by purchasing an inexpensive consumer item:

The back of the shirt

 

Go buy lots of both now.

Hollywood Elegies, by Bertolt Brecht

I first heard these set to Hans Eisler’s music, as sung by Dagmar Krause on her wonderful record Supply and Demand. My favorite is the last one, “The Swamp”. It hits as hard as it did in the forties.

I
The village of Hollywood was planned according to the notion
People in these parts have of heaven. In these parts
They have come to the conclusion that God
Requiring a heaven and a hell, didn’t need to
Plan two establishments but
Just the one: heaven. It
Serves the unprosperous, unsuccessful
As hell.

II

By the sea stand the oil derricks. Up the canyons
The gold prospectors’ bones lie bleaching. Their sons
Built the dream factories of Hollywood.
The four cities
Are filled with the oily smell
Of films.

III
The city is named after the angels
And you meet angels on every hand
They smell of oil and wear golden pessaries
And, with blue rings round their eyes
Feed the writers in their swimming pools every morning.

IV
Beneath the green pepper trees
The musicians play the whore, two by two
With the writers. Bach
Has written a Strumpet Voluntary. Dante wriggles
His shrivelled bottom.

V
The angels of Los Angeles
Are tired out with smiling. Desperately
Behind the fruit stalls of an evening
They buy little bottles
Containing sex odours.

VI
Above the four cities the fighter planes
Of the Defense Department circle at a great height
So that the stink of greed and poverty
Shall not reach them

THE SWAMP

I saw many friends, and among them the friend I loved most
Helplessly sink into the swamp
I pass by daily.

And a drowning was not over
In a single morning. Often it took
Weeks; this made it more terrible.
And the memory of our long talks together
About the swamp, that already
Had claimed so many.

Helpless I watched him, leaning back
Covered with leeches
In the shimmering
Softly moving slime:
Upon the sinking face
The ghastly
Blissful smile.

Bob speaks: The collection call.

I got one of those calls. A young kid said “Sir, if you are unwilling to pay the amount owed, you’ll have to talk to Mr. James.”

“Listen to me for a second, kid. You work for Mr. James, and he drives a Porsche, and you want to park your Toyota Tacoma next to his Porsche, and you’re an office boy with aspirations, and you believe that this is how it works. I don’t think you understand.

“I have worked at an establishment similar to yours. I was a skip tracer, you probably know the phrase.  A skip tracer is an alcoholic murderer who has done hard time, and learned hard things during the hard time. Someone who really does not give a shit. I think you understand.

“And I will find you, because that is what skip tracers do, and I will be waiting in the parking lot with a baseball bat to smash the windows out of your fucking Toyota Tacoma and then smash your fucking skull in and smash Mr. James’ face in as well, if you ever fucking call me again. I think you understand.”

There were no more calls.