Monday, December 30, 2019

2 0 1 9

I didn't live up to my self-designated theme song for 2019, "Wig in a Box" from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, but I initially tried.  Releasing VISION BENT (half-blind poems) was the best way that I've found to be the best you've ever seen.  Then being interviewed by a fellow blogger was like tasting a hint of fame or, at least, notoriety.  ( To experience my 15 minutes... )   

I faltered through the remainder of the year.  I could blame life, but I throw the responsibility onto my own shoulders.  I allowed a negative perception of myself and my surroundings to eat away at me and what I accomplished early on this year.  It was a deep rabbit hole that I'm still crawling out of. 

Guess that's why I feel "The Jig is Up" by Jill Sobule is the song that ultimately sums up my year.  Especially the lyric...Maybe I'm just in a bad mood and I need to change my attitude.  The final lyric also speaks to me...The story needs another twist and I have had enough of this.  Hopefully any twists in 2020 will be positive or at least I will hopefully be able to find the elusive silver lining.

I'm not going to make a ginormous, insurmountable New Year's resolution for 2020.  I just want to go for more walks, listen to more e-books and focus more on writing, with concentrated effort on this blog and A STUDY IN ORANGE.  

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

I will see you next to speak. 

Freak Out, 
John L. Harmon 

P.S. A post from this year that I'm kind of proud of because my words may have changed the minds of a few people...
My books & blogs...

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

freakboy muses music: HAVE YOURSELF A SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS (Tales from the Crypt)

'Twas the fright before Christmas 
And all through the crypt 
Not a creature was stirring 
'Cept those being whipped 

('Twas the Fright Before Christmas) 

              (The Right Stuff Records}

For someone who doesn't really celebrate Christmas in a traditional way, I seem to have lots of Christmas traditions involving films, television and music.  Being a fan of E.C. Comics (even though I can no longer read them), who also enjoys potentially offensive festive offerings, this Christmas album was destined to be in my life.

The Crypt-Keeper 
a self-promoting cadaverous whore after my own decaying heart.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT was a notorious 1950's horror comic book that would, several decades later, be turned into an HBO anthology television series.  The Crypt-Keeper, literally a decaying corpse, would bookend each episode with morbid puns and ghoulish fun.  In hindsight, it's no stretch of the imagination that a sly, clever, gruesome Christmas album would happen.  

          Lizzie Borden lost her folks 
          Gave'em 40 whacks 
          She wants a brand new mom and pop 
          And, of course, an axe 

          (Christmas Rap) 

HAVE YOURSELF A SCARY LITTLE CHRISTMAS finds The Crypt-Keeper singing festive, ghoul-tide ditties to lift your holiday spirits from the dead.  That old bag of bones charms us with songs about decorating with body parts, poisoning his family, a horror-filled wish list and a New Year's Eve party for the recently and long-ago deceased, to name a few cheerful tuneful topics.  It's a heartwarming album for the entire Manson family and yours, if you're not part of the P.C. Police.  

Stockings stuffed with ears and fingers 
Fa-la-la-la-la La-la-la-la 
           Chopped from all those caroling singers 
Fa-la-la-la-la La-la-la-la 

(Deck the Halls with Parts of Charlie) 

This album is not for overly sensitive 21st Century ears.  Consider this your five-alarm trigger-happy warning.  With a few Santa fat jokes and one sly cross-dressing jab at J. Edgar Hoover, there is plenty of material for internet bots to be outraged over.  I could get on my soapbox in the town square to rant about how the human race is censoring itself into oblivion, but it's cold outside.

Anyhoo, before I bury my blog six feet under....Have a Merry Cryptmas and Horrific New Year!  

The champagne flows 
And bubbles pop 
Capote hugs Babe Ruth 
While Lincoln does the bunny hop 
With actor John Wilkes Booth 

(Should Old Cadavers Be Forgot) 

Thank you for reading or listening to my potentially offensive half-blind words.

Freak Out, 

P.S. Ho Ho Ho...

(a modern take on gothic romance) 

The perfect gift for the soap nut in your life! 🎁😉 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Dystopian Future Paranoia (or how The Handmaid's Tale made me the town nutter)

I broke down and purchased a cell phone in June because I needed to be able to stay in touch while dog-sitting in July.  I decided to go with VERIZON because the store is near my home.  I chose the cheapest phone, which was still expensive in my opinion, and the cheapest pre-paid plan, $30, which seemed reasonable.  

The cheapest phone meant limited storage, so I could only choose one extra app and the winner (or loser) was Twitter.  The cheapest pre-paid plan meant limited mobile data, which has been sufficient until this month.  My plan is due on the 14th and I was tweeting a lot over Thanksgiving weekend.  So, I've been rationing out my remaining mobile data over this week.  

Since its December, the month where we celebrate the beloved birth of consumerism, I decided to give myself a gift.  I was going to upgrade my phone plan to the next tier, which is only $5 more, so I'd gain more mobile data.  In my deranged mind, I rationalized it as a business investment.  If I tweet more about my books, maybe I'll consistently find new readers.  Well, it sounded plausible in my head. 

The morning that I walked a few blocks to the VERIZON store, I had finished listening to THE HANDMAID'S TALE by Margaret Atwood.  It's a brilliantly stark, bleak novel that makes the Hulu series seem melodramatic and overly satirical with its goofy music choices.  Anyhoo, the novel really made me reflect on how we are inching closer to some version of a dystopian future.  This was fresh in my mind as I entered the store.

I sat down at the counter and inquired if there would be additional charges if I changed my plan to the next  tier.  The woman behind the counter informed me of the obvious, because I must look like a complete moron, that my monthly payment would increase.  I told her that I knew that, but I wanted to make sure there were no extra fees.  She said there wasn't, so I asked for my plan to be upgraded to the $35 tier.  

She then informed me that the $35 tier was only for customers who have an automatic payment system set up.  The next tier for someone who comes into the store to pay would be $40.  I declined to upgrade and then stated that it's crappy to punish people who pay cash.  That's how I was paying and the clerk knew it because she was there last month and had, at that time, off-handedly stated how she has all of her bills set for automatic withdrawal.  Now she responded with how it's difficult for them to do cash transactions because that means they have to go to the bank and worry about counterfeit bills.  

"I guess The Handmaid's Tale is really going to happen." 

The potentially crazy, conspiracy theory words fell out of my mouth before I could stop them.  She made a confused noise and this inspired my lack of self-censoring to continue. I said that's how it begins.  Forcing us into a cashless society so they can control access to bank accounts on a whim.  

The clerk didn't respond further to my potential crazy.  So, I paid my usual amount and left feeling like a nutter.  This didn't stop me from imagining the clerk as a future Aunt Lydia, believing she knows what's best for everyone.  She would work in a brainwashing center, extolling the virtues of her personal automatic payment beliefs onto the perceived moronic masses.  

As of writing this post, I'm listening to the sequel, THE TESTAMENTS, also by Margaret Atwood.  I probably should have taken a break in between because I slipped down a paranoid rabbit hole when telling my sister about this recent experience...and she didn't disagree and added her own views.  We carried on about our nearing dystopian future, where we will be forced to go cashless and then we will be maneuvered into a single government or corporation banking system.  How would this happen?  It's already started.  

AMAZON is currently silencing the voices of low income individuals.  Customers can no longer leave reviews unless they spend a predetermined amount per month or year with a credit or debit card.  While you can still use AMAZON gift cards, they don't count towards the predetermined amount.  Much like my cell provider, this is how it's going to be accomplished.   Punish the consumer in small, legal ways until we are forced to fall in line.  In a cashless society, stores and sites could start adding surcharges or placing limitations if you're not paying through this bank or that system.  The excuse will be that the stores and sites are protecting our accounts and making payments through a single banking entity would be more convenient for all of us.  We will comply because there will be no choice, having, over time, systematically and freely given up our little freedoms and control to the big corporations.

Crazy talk, right...or is it?  Maybe my concerns are based on a burgeoning reality.  Maybe we are careening towards The Handmaid's Tale future.  Maybe I'm turning into a conspiracy theorist.  Maybe I need to listen to a light, fun e-book.

In conclusion...
I know we can't go back, but we should be more aware going forward. 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words.  If I fall silent after this post, you will probably find me on the Wall for either being a gender-traitor or a payment-traitor.  Just sayin'. 

Freak Out, 

P.S.  This is not my first future paranoia post...
My books (which are hypocritically available through AMAZON) & blogs (which are through GOOGLE)...

Friday, December 6, 2019

NIGHT BIRD (a poem)

Night bird descend 
With a beginning 
And an end

Night bird call 
A summer's love 
And bitter fall 

Night bird cry 
A faded laugh 
And tears run dry

Night bird sing 
A winter's death 
And diminished spring

Night bird depart 
With broken eyes 
And a shattered heart 

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 

P.S. A poem about a last time...
It was three years ago this month when I lost a chunk of my vision.

Perhaps it's time for you to see what I can no longer perceive.

an inspiring journey that won't make you puke.



(The perfect gift for that weird friend who actually enjoys poetry)