July 1998

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're trying to be so quiet. We sit here stranded, though we all do our best to deny it.

-Bob Dylan

Life is like trying to commit suicide with a toothbrush. You're all geared up to do it but decide to brush your teeth first. You know I ain't making any sense anymore. You know this is just some cheap form of therapy. People write in all the time and ask me all these questions about it. Some people even get angry, like I'm supposed to be taking some kind of black and white stand just because that's what they'd do if they had the opportunity. I'm not saying that my true goal isn't to inject my own thoughts and views into these things. Some people just get confused with all the babble in-between. If you look hard enough you'll probably figure it. Contradicting myself is just the fun part. You see, I'm just as full of shit as everybody else. Maybe more so.

The time has come and gone. Things used to look clear, simple, discernible. There were sides to take, words that connected, people that said them and meant it. But to make it work you've got to have some form of unification. To make it work you can't half believe. You can't hold on to something else just to make sure that if the whole thing goes to shit you've got your ass covered. Thus is today, kids. Cover that ass.

I'm not as cynical as I appear to be. Not even close. But I have come to the conclusion that without pressure there can be no cause for resistance. Without criminality there can be no justice. Without evil there can be no good. Ethics define our intentions against those things, but without them our ethics change and their definitions do as well. To suit a purpose, nothing more. In the absence of conformity goes conformity, in the wake of perfection swims beautiful imperfection, us. Like half-shark, toothless carnivores.

Full of shit indeed. It gets easier, I find. Being full of shit, that is. Sometimes you choose what it is that you want to do. Sometimes what you do chooses you. Sometimes you don't sleep right. Sometimes you pace around battling three hour long panic attacks trying to calm yourself down. You talk to yourself in that little voice of yours, cracking jokes, making it seem silly. Everything gets blurry and eventually your hands stop wringing because they hurt, you've just noticed. You collapse on to the couch and sit there, inhaling and exhaling. The most primary of functions. And then you fall asleep. Tomorrow night you get to do it all over again. The funny thing is, you don't know why it happens. You've never been able to figure that out. It just does. And it continues to. From your childhood, when you used to sleep walk and then start screaming so uncontrollably that they put you on medication, to yesterday which was just another link in the chain. The night brings you things to say that are all part of a big inside joke, your destruction, your creation, the people that fit together inside you like a puzzle to make up your memory. It's the day to day business of making sure that there's a mess to clean up and then another mess to take it's place. So you come to like it. It begins to make sense. Maybe it always did. And from that comes all that defines you in a deal-with-the-devil package. Maybe not so good. Maybe good enough to be passable. Years later you can't remember when you had a choice in the matter. You just do. And are.

Everything else is window dressing. Just question marks in questions that never have good, tangible answers. Unlike rock and roll, unlike most things in this day and age, maybe not knowing is a good thing. Maybe leaving that sheet blank is the best thing for it. Everyone finds their own answers to those questions anyway. The problem has always been trying to unify billions of them. People are inherently proud of their ability to think and believe what they want. Full of shit or not. Maybe, in the end, that ability is the unifier. Maybe that's too dangerous. Fear, unlike all other mediums, will always throw a shadow over the other big words. Words like faith, right, wrong, good, evil. Fear is the great equalizer. In the face of fear everything else is unreliable. That's why they all exist in futility, or at all. Because fear allows them to. End of story.

A Moment of Silence Please!

Dave asks that everyone observe two minutes of silence for Jerri because she left the Spice Girls. Dave is quite distraught, understandably.

Your Questions, My Answers. Dial 1-900-Idiot Savant.

1] Jeff. I'm done for. Save yourself.

2] The b-sides release will probably be available in early July Ash.

3] Concerning my ATARI shirt. It's mine!! The only other place I've seen it is in NYC. Maybe one day I'll auction it off for Children's Hospital or something, but I'm still using it, okay.

4] Julie. I'll check them out. I've never read any of them. Thanks. Your bicep request has been taken care of.

5] Tracey in Denver, thanks. The record will be out August 25th down there. As for shirts, keep checking the web-site, they're working on a merch page.

6] Angela the Angel. Thanks. That makes it worth while.

7] Hey there BEATA. Satisfied?

8] Bryce. Yes, it's a graduation photo. You can figure the rest.

9] Apple-ritions. That's funny.

10] Little people? Keta, how tall are you exactly?

11] Lyndsay. That is a weird dream. I'll see what I can do. Don't kill me if I forget though, okay.

12] Where do I get my ideas for these diatribes Debbie? I dunno.

13] Coat hangers. Really!

14] Hey Fred, what's up from Ian.

15] Yes. Matthew Good Band does suck. I agree. Hacks, all hacks.

16] Jewl. That's a tough question. See above.

17] Rachelle. It's depends on which band member. Big Rock, Heinies, Theakston's Old Peculiar, Miller Lite. It depends really.

18] Meghan. Why are you in Hell. There are no saunas there.

The Onslaught Continues...

Forward: Ivo would like to point out to everyone that 'bare arms' in last months manifesto should have been 'bear arms'. He's correct, it's a typo. But as to what's wrong with 'super high powered sun block', I'm not sure. Ivo: say hi to Andy and everyone for us.

1] Jill Whitten. I'm thinking about it.

2] Wes. To answer you question: The Partridge Family.

3] Ericka. You know, there's supposed to be a mailing list, but the geniuses that are supposed to be handling all that stuff sort of forgot about it 9 months ago. We're sacking everyone and rectifying the situation.

4] Netu. What was it you heard? You know, it could have been my evil robot double. Then again, like 99% of the planet is allowed to, I could have just been having a bad day.


6] Tricia. For you - I'll wear the spice girls shirt. Okay. Though I might forget so you can give me shit if I don't. There, now you have a reason.

7] I would be R2 D2, Jennie. For the simple fact that no one understands what he's saying and no one seem to care.

8] Irelande and Bonnie. I was all happy there for a minute. Now I'm sad. I'll have to have a smoke now.

9] Meg, Petri is a good word.

10] Kelly. Yes, you do have to provide the proper materials. I can't go changing the rules now, can I?


August 2nd is Ariel Thomas's Birthday!

Everyone who can find the time, please e-mail her on this special day at and wish her a happy birthday, as I will be traveling around amusing the masses. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARIEL!!!