Monologue #14


What to say about this piece of work? Fuck if I don’t find myself without the right words. Me, as gifted a golden throat as any of you cocksuckers, being loose from religion, are ever likely to hear. What can I say about the dearly departed? I mean really? Shut up. It’s coming to me. He was the black sheep. The permanent pariah. He asked no quarter of the bosses and none was given. He learned no lessons. He acknowledged no mistakes. He was as stubborn a Mick as ever stumbled out of the Northeast parishes to take a patrolman’s shield. He brooked no authority, he did what he wanted to do and he said what he wanted to say and, in the end, he gave you the clearances. He was natural police. And I don’t say that about many people, even when they’re here on the felt. I don’t give that one up unless it happens to be true. Natural po-lice. But Christ, what an asshole. And I’m not talking about the ordinary gaping orifice that all of us possess. I mean an all-encompassing, all-consuming, out-of-proportion-to-every-other-facet-of-his-humanity chasm. If I may quote Shakespeare, he was the last barman poet. I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make. Americans getting stinky on something I stir or shake. The sex on the beach. The schnapps made from peach. The velvet hammer. The Alabama slammer. I make things with juice and froth. The pink squirrel. The three-toed sloth. I make drinks so sweet and snazzy. The iced tea. The kamakazi. The orgasm. The death spasm. The Singapore sling. The dingaling. America, you’ve just been devoted to every flavor I got. But if you want to get loaded, why don’t you just order a shot? Bar is open.

X-mas XIII


Happy National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day! Here, as usual, is my annual National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day mix of seasonal music. It kicks off with Sammy Kaye’s “Goodbye, Mama (I’m Off to Yokohama)” and frankly, gets kind of racist from there. I’ll put it this way: A lot of Uncle Sam’s dirty little foes are going to get slapped.

Fortunately, we now live in an era of peace without fear of sneak attacks by foreign enemies, so in this spirit of universal concord and collegiality, I’m making this a Christmas mix instead. On the one hand, this one is a little late, as I’d figured on throwing up the download link around the first of December. On the other hand, it’s extremely early, as I’ve had it finished for months and it’s been on heavy rotation in my house for weeks. In fact, the first half of it was done way back in the spring.

(I said all this last year, but when I make a mix, I keep it to 80 minutes or less, since this is what fits on a CD, and the trick to making a mixed CD, I finally realized after the technology became obsolete, is to sequence it like you’re dealing with an even more obsolete technology—vinyl—and pretend you’re making a double album. That means coming up with four “sides” and an opener and a closer for each one. So in this case, this means that if you want to turn off the music after the tenth song, know that you’re staying true to my vision and that it’s a good place to stop. Just like a good place to stop reading this post would have been before you saw an opening parenthesis. Sorry about that. Wow, this was boring!)

Anyway, the point is that my 2015 Christmas mix has been done for ages. In fact, it’s been done so long that I’ve actually completed my 2016 Christmas mix. But you don’t get to hear it. You get this one.

  1. Los Campesinos! – When Christmas Comes
  2. Younghusband – I Don’t Intend to Spend Christmas Without You
  3. Cafeine – Love Disease
  4. Dum Dum Girls – On Christmas
  5. Owl Stretching – F@#k You It’s Christmas
  6. Rosie Thomas – Why Can’t It Be Christmastime All Year
  7. The Both – Nothing Left to Do (Let’s Make This Christmas Blue)
  8. Slow Club – Christmas TV
  9. Cake – The Winter
  10. Grandaddy and Band of Horses – Hang an Ornament
  11. The Rocket Summer – Christmas Madness
  12. The Hopefuls – Holiday
  13. Liz Phair – Ho Ho Ho
  14. Toad the Wet Sprocket – It Doesn’t Feel Like Christmas
  15. Dent May – I’ll Be Stoned for Christmas
  16. Mulled – A Perfect Christmas
  17. Coldplay – Violet Hill
  18. Damien Jurado and Kyle Zantos – Kalla Hus
  19. Dean & Britta with Sonic Boom – He’s Coming Home
  20. Serenades – Come Home
  21. Hey Rosetta! – Carry Me Home

Download it here. Oh, and I was just kidding about the 2016 playlist. Here is that one too.

Previous mixes:
2003 X-mas I
2004 X-mas II
2005 X-mas III
2006 X-mas IV
2007 X-mas V
2008 X-mas VI
2009 X-mas VII
2010 X-mas VIII
2011 X-mas IX
2012 X-mas X
2013 X-mas XI
2014 X-mas XII

Wife: Can we pick up those dirty old beanbag chairs off the side of the road? My students will love them.

Me: No.

Wife: You never give me anything I want, and you crush all my dreams.

Me: Fine.


Wife: I can’t in good conscience let my students sit on those dirty old beanbag chairs. Can we put them back?

Me: Even though it’s a half hour out of our way and I’ll probably get a dumping fine, may get shot by the homeowner, and certainly be humiliated?

Wife: Please?

Me: Yes.



Forty one years, you chumps.

Forty one years, and I just keep on keeping on, outliving creeps and jerks and stupid idiots like an unstoppable juggernaut of continued existence. All these losers just barely entered their fifth decade, looked around and said “Nope, not for me. Forty years is where I stop.” Quitters.

I suppose some might argue it’s better to burn out than fade away. Of course, you might disagree, astronaut Gus Grissom and cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, what with you both having died screaming while consumed by flames in grisly accidents during the early days of the space race. What a sick burn.

That actually reminds me of the terrible tragedy that took place when future Republican strategist Lee Atwater was five years old: As Lee looked on helplessly, his younger brother Joe was scalded to death when he pulled a deep fryer full of oil onto himself. The terrible tragedy, of course, is that this happened to Joe and not you, Lee, since you lived 35 more years and squandered almost every one of them using racist and homophobic dirty tricks to get Republicans elected to high office. While you may have lacked a heart, Lee, you certainly had a brain, and happily, where you had a brain, you had an incurable brain tumor.

Speaking of weird cranial growths, there’s outsider recording artist Wesley Willis, who developed an enormous forehead callus from his habit of headbutting people by way of greeting. His music, which can be described charitably as music, and which can be slightly more accurately described as a fusion of electronic keyboards and paranoid schizophrenia, included such titles as “I Whipped Spiderman’s Ass,” “I Whipped Batman’s Ass,” and “I Whipped Superman’s Ass.” You know what song is missing from your discography, though, Wesley? “I Whipped Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia’s Ass,” because you didn’t.

And speaking of outsider recording artists, there’s you, Falco. Well, it’s not fair to dismiss you as a one-hit wonder when, in addition to your number one single “Rock Me Amadeus,” you had an even bigger hit: a fatal head-on collision between your Mitsubishi Pajero and a speeding bus in the Dominican Republic. Hey, did you know that pajero is colloquially translated as “wanker” or “tosser” in Latin American Spanish? Well, isn’t that just adding insult to injury, you wanker or tosser.

Everyone focuses on how Paul Walker’s death in a car crash eerily mirrored his role in the Fast and the Furious street-racing franchise, but I think it nicely bookends the very appropriate way he started his career: in a very special two-part episode of Highway to Heaven. For the sake of further symmetry, since Paul Walker died while driving, I hope Minnie Driver dies while walking. I feel like we could all milk some good “why do we drive on parkways but park on driveways?”-type bits out of that.

It’s kind of weird that we don’t really know exactly how author Jack London died or why we shall see Edgar Allan Poe nevermore. It’s kind of ironic that while London was the one who wrote about wolves, it’s Poe, who according to one theory, may have died of rabies. I don’t believe it, if only because the laws of the universe would’ve demanded that London be bricked up in a catacomb, or sliced up by a giant pendulum, or pecked to death by a raven.

How about you, jazz legend John Coltrane? Did you die of embarrassment because you somehow knew you’d end up being name checked by Bono on the critically panned Rattle and Hum? Or was it to avoid having to appear as a long-lost uncle on The Cosby Show? Or was it liver cancer? It was liver cancer.

Jim Reeves, it’s hard to believe you died at 40. Because you looked at least 50, you square. Why, after all the gospel songs you sang praising Him, did God send youand I’m not making this upthe same flying instructor as the pilot of Patsy Cline’s airplane? I bet it’s because He looked at your 1940s-looking mug, figured you missed going down in the same plane crash as Glenn Miller two decades earlier in some accounting error, and decided, “He’ll have to go.”

Hey, Family Feud host Ray Combs, how’s it hanging? Oh right, sorry. Moving on.

Hey, Chris Benoit, how’s it hanging? Benoit was, in addition to being a champion professional wrestler, also pretty good at family feuding, what with his fatally strangling his wife and seven-year-old son before hanging himself from his home gym. Forty years old is actually a pretty good run for a professional wrestler, Chris, and what’s more impressive was that your brain was 85 years old, thanks to years of self-inflicted brain trauma caused by moronically using a diving headbutt from the top rope as your finishing move. Not that I condone your switch late in life to fatal strangulation as your new finishing move, but whatever.

Let’s move on to someone who was merely gasping for airtime. You were a groundbreaking figure in Saturday Night Live history, Danitra Vance: the first black female regular cast member, the first lesbian, and the first who couldn’t read. But you were on a season Lorne Michaels doesn’t like to talk about so it was basically like you never existed. And now you literally doesn’t exist anymore, which is fine with Lorne. You’re like the Chris Benoit of SNL: almost completely written out of the organization’s official history.

Ray Sharkeynow you were a guy who had “ruthless killer” written all over you. For one thing, your name was “Ray,” as in “death ray,” and “Sharkey,” as in “shark-like.” For another, you were most famous for your portrayal of mob boss Sonny Steelgrave in the television show Wiseguy. And for yet another, you knowingly had sex with one hundred women after contracting HIV from intravenous drug use. Why couldn’t you just kill yourself the quick way with an overdose like Jean Seberg and Lenny Bruce, you piece of human garbage?

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane! Lenny Bruce is not afraid! Nope, Lenny Bruce, you were definitely not at all afraid of accidentally overdosing on morphine, because that’s exactly what you did. “There’s nothing sadder than an aging hipster,” as a policeman supposedly quoted you at the scene of your death. But you know what ages even worse than hipsters, Lenny Bruce? Your comedy.

Hey, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, line up next to Chris Penn there. Take off your shirt. You too, Penn. Look at each other. You both died of heart failure. Think about that. Think of all the work you did to look like a chiseled Adonis instead of a fat, out-of-shape Santa Monica sweathog like Chris Penn, Rude. Was it worth it? Of course not. That’s why I don’t do it, and look at that: I’ve outlived you both.

Know who else died of heart failure? “Pistol” Pete Maravich. For such an accurate long-range basketball shooter, you sure were way off in the nickname department, but I guess “Congenital Heart Defect” Pete Maravich doesn’t exactly capture the imagination.

Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. No John Lennon to eternally fry. Look, I don’t endorse murder, but if you absolutely have to kill a Beatle and hate phonies as every good Catcher in the Rye fan does, “Pistol” John Lennon was the absolute correct choice. The worst thing about your death, John, was that it made you a martyr, when you were a huge phony; after all, you sang about divesting oneself of one’s possessions while living in a palace in the Manhattan sky and sang about giving peace a chance while putting the “beat” in “Beatles” by beating your wives. And because you died young, revisionist history paints a picture of Saint John as being the true creative genius in the Beatles and carrying a dead-weight hack like Paul McCartney, yet it’s a stone cold fact that Paul wrote the very best solo “John Lennon” song, “Let Me Roll It” from Wings’ Band on the Run album.

Wait. That’s not the worst thing about John Lennon’s death. The worst thing is that Yoko Ono was right there. Were you only packing a derringer or something, Mark David Chapman? I could have avoided listening to the Jackie Kennedy of Utter Nonsense for the last 35 years, and now I’m going to have to live well into my eighties to outlive her.

Well, you know what? I’m up for it, and I’m going to do exactly that. I’m already halfway there, and I’m only getting older. Look out, chumps!

Well, there goes another annus horribilis, which is Latin for “horrible asshole.” And speaking of which, the Rob Ford mayoralty finally came to a merciful end, after that fat cancer on the city of Toronto was literally diagnosed with fat cancer. Jailbird plutocrat Conrad Black was stripped of the Order of Canada this year, the greatest indignity since Mad Magazine satirized him as “Conrad Blecch.” (Mad didn’t let his wife, Barbara Schlemiel, off any easier.) And it’s ironic that Bill Cosby’s most recent stand-up special was named Far from Finished; it might as well have been named Rape Allegations Will Never End My Career. But, hey, at least these horrible assholes are still alive, which is more than can be said for the following people, the very deadest people who died in 2014.

10. Robin Williams

Robin Williams was a master of improvisation. He shorted out a bomb with a paper clip. He plugged a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate. He made a rocket out of a flare gun and parachuted to freedom. And all of that happened in just the pilot episode of Mork from Ork. He was an improvisational genius, one who hated guns and loved science. And he was pretty funny too. Probably the funniest thing Williams ever did was show up on the set of Happy Days in a karate gi to fight the Fonz. “Wait,” you’re probably saying. “Wasn’t that Tom Hanks?” Well, we’re not talking about an episode of the show. Williams used to do a lot of cocaine. But all that manic energy masked some real djinns, er, demons. Williams battled depression. He may have never gotten over his idol Jonathan Winters’ death; no man should ever have to bury his child. And suddenly, he was gone, leaving behind only a suicide note seemingly cowritten by a stereotypical gay guy, a stereotypical black guy, a Baptist preacher, and John Wayne. But every comic everywhere who goes onstage, know this: Robin Williams is watching over you. And he’s stealing all your best jokes.

9. James Garner

We all remember James Garner as likable and charming. But was he really? For instance, in the pilot episode of The Rockford Files, he flat-out calls a thug “queer” to provoke him. And anyone claiming part Cherokee ancestry, as he did, is a blowhard at best and a douchebag at worst, right? And did you know he did cocaine with John Belushi? Is it at least possible that the secret of his supposed likability was a matter of cleverly positioning himself to stand in contrast onscreen with, at various points, the smarmy David Spade, insane anti-Semite Mel Gibson, and black hole of charisma Ryan Gosling? The answer to this is no, it is not possible. James Garner learned to act by watching Henry Fonda, but he must not have been as good an actor as Fonda, because while Fonda could, in contrast to his nice-guy public image, be cold, aloof, and angry offscreen, Garner just had to go ahead and be the most likable, charming son of a gun who ever lived all the dang time.

8. Ariel Sharon

Great Sid Caesar’s ghost! A lot of folks went to Jewish heaven this year (notably including Sid Caesar). There was also schlock merchant Menahem Golan, who, along with Glen A. Larson, essentially produced much of the 1980s. Saul Zaentz couldn’t dance, couldn’t successfully sue John Fogerty for ripping off John Fogerty (though he tried), and couldn’t secure the necessary rights to make The Hobbit trilogy before The Lord of the Rings, but he did give us One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, and The English Patient. And there’s Eli Wallach, the “ugly” from The Good, the Bad and Ugly, who should have died three different times during the filming of that movie, first accidentally drinking a bottle of acid, then getting caught on a runaway horse with his hands tied behind his back, and finally nearly getting decapitated by a train while lying on the track; instead, he lived to be 98. But it’s hard to imagine a world without Israel’s “Little Mermaid,” former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who died this year at the age of 85. But it was really more like 78, to be honest, as he’d been in a coma for the last eight years. When he was last sensible, Chris Brown’s “Run It!” was riding in the #2 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100, with the young singer’s image still squeaky clean. He never found out about Matisyahu shaving off his beard and shedding his yarmulke, or about Lil’ Wayne going into and coming out of his own coma. Ariel Sharon would have been frankly disgusted by the state of modern hip-hop, and you know it.

7. Harold Ramis

Well, well, well. It seems the Ghostbuster has become the ghost. Harold Ramis’ death left fans of the spook-hunting franchise heartbusted (except those who always preferred Tracy the Gorilla). Even in the late stages of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, bustin’ made Ramis feel good; perhaps it was the only thing that did. But Ramis was more than a mere Ghostbuster; he was also an acclaimed writer and director. With Groundhog Day, Ramis gave us arguably the finest film in the “Bill Murray failing to murder a rodent” genre (the others of course being Caddyshack and Garfield: The Movie, with an honorable mention to EPA agent Walter Peck in the TV version of Ghostbusters). Without Ramis around to direct, however, it’s starting to look like his planned adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces starring John Belushi and Richard Pryor is doomed. But maybe Dan Aykroyd will find a way to squeeze a tribute to Ramis into his long-hyped Ghostbusters sequel, the same way Slimer was the ghost of Belushi. On the other hand, given Aykroyd only wanted to make the first movie as an excuse to receive ghost fellatio, maybe it’s best to leave well enough alone.

6. Jan Hooks

It’s heaven! With! Johnnn Belushi! Chris Farley! Phil Harrrtman! Gilllda Radner! Featuring! Charles Rocket! Danitra Vance!
When ancient Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo finally died this year, it was appealing to imagine him bellowing these words in his now-even-more-quavery ghost voice. But it was far too soon to add Jan Hooks to this all-star lineup. Who would’ve thought that bulimic heroin addict Laraine Newman would age better than Hooks and finally outlive her? And that Victoria Jackson is alive when Hooks is dead is proof either that there is no God or that there is one, depending on whom you ask. Hooks was, as Jon Lovitz put it, like a female Phil Hartman; they weren’t flashy, but they anchored the show, and they could do anything and do it well. It’s just that Hartman is almost famous for being underrated, perhaps due to his tragic murder (forget about killing Hitler; if you ever get a time machine, go back and introduce the future Brynn Hartman to Dennis Miller first), while Hooks was just plain underrated. On the other hand, while both went on to voice Simpsons characters, Hooks also became a cast member of Designing Women (one of two to die this year) and, unless you’re cancer, you do not mess with a Sugarbaker woman.

5. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman was perhaps the greatest three-named actor who never took a shot at a president. Now he’ll never get to. When Hoffman was discovered in his apartment’s bathroom, he left a syringe in his arm and many questions. What would this mean for the Hunger Games franchise? The Capote franchise? The Master franchise? The Charlie Wilson’s War franchise? No one took Hoffman’s untimely death harder than sensitive rapper Drake, who was downright pissed off that Rolling Stone gave away his scheduled cover story to the late actor. But the real tragedy was with Hoffman gone, we lost the perfect guy to play the late Jay Bennett in a film about the making of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. (Yes, Jay Bennett himself actually appeared in the documentary about the making of that album, but Hoffman would have been better.) No wait, the real tragedy is that with Hoffman gone, the title of “greatest living actor” now belongs, by default, to Shia LaBoeuf.

4. Joan Rivers

One of Johnny Carson’s favorite stand-up comedians and Tonight Show guest hosts passed on this year. But enough about David Brenner. Can we talk about Johnny’s former favorite, Joan Rivers? One of the most intriguing questions about the Johnny Carson sex tape that hit the market this year was whether it would show Johnny screwing Joan out of appearing on the network for decades after she took her own short-lived talk show. Forget guest hosting ever again; Johnny isn’t even going to let Joan join the heavenly host. But she persevered. She went from the blacklist to the red carpet. She was fearless—almost; the only thing she feared was not working, and so she never stopped working. It always seemed like Joan Rivers would be around forever. And it still does seem that way, since plastic doesn’t decompose.

3. The Ultimate Warrior

“Every man’s heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath,” the Ultimate Warrior once said. Perhaps he meant to say “in one day,” because he died of a heart attack the day after he said that. As usual, many names were crossed off the Alive Wrestlers List, including Mabel, Viscera, and Big Daddy V, to name just a few. There’s also Mae Young, George Scott, Sean O’Haire, and Ox Baker, who once memorably appeared on The Price Is Right and killed Bob Barker in a fit of rage after losing with his signature heart punch. (You can tell the replacement Bob Barker apart from the original because of his white hair.) But the former WWF champion stands above them all, the longstanding rumors of his death now finally not exaggerated. Was he really “the ultimate warrior”? No, that title belongs to someone more like WWII hero “Wild” Bill Guarnere, who was described by commanding officer Dick Winters with reverence as a “natural killer” and, after being shot off a stolen motorcycle by a German sniper, was court-martialed and demoted for putting black shoe polish all over his leg cast, rolling down his pant leg, and walking out of the hospital in extreme pain to rejoin his band of brothers in Easy Company. But he was certainly the ultimate maniac—he did legally change his name to “Warrior,” embark on a short-lived career as a crazed, far right-wing commentator, and urge Hulk Hogan in a (thankfully pre-9/11) WrestleMania VI promo to murder two pilots, hijack a plane, and crash it into SkyDome—and he in fact now rejoins his tag-team partner in the Ultimate Maniacs, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, in the great ring in the sky.

2. James Avery

Many civil rights giants of the small screen died in the past year. There’s Designing Women‘s Meshach Taylor, widely remembered as a groundbreaking gay character on a network sitcom. (He wasn’t actually one, but he’s widely remembered as one anyway.) There’s everyone’s favorite Huxtable grandmother, Maya Angelou, who was deeply involved with the civil rights struggle of the 1960s and was so emblematic of the black female experience that when she passed on, the cosmos had to delete its whitest male, blues guitarist Johnny Winter, simply to maintain its balance. And then there’s James Avery, better known to everyone but Don Everly’s children as Uncle Phil. (“Bye, bye, Phil,” crowed Don Everly, clinking glasses with fellow big winner Olivia de Havilland after their hated siblings died.) Sure, Will Smith’s rapidly not-so-fresh uncle may have lived in a fancy mansion in Bel Air, but whenever someone made the mistake of calling him a rich fat cat, the black Cliff Huxtable would get self-righteous and huffily announce, “I marched with Dr. King!” And now he’s with him again. Smell you later, Uncle Phil.

1. Fred Phelps

And speaking of civil rights, there’s Fred Phelps, believe it or not. The Westboro Baptist Church founder going from celebrated civil rights lawyer to gay-baiting, Jew-hating piece of human garbage was almost as big a heel turn as Jim Phelps turning out to be the villain in the film version of Mission Impossible. It’s tempting to think part of the reason Olympic swimming hero Michael Fred Phelps II (and—Jesus—you see why he doesn’t go by his full name) reportedly dated a trans woman this year was to prove definitively that he was no relation to this homophobic scumbag. (The rest of the reason? Well, why not?) And it would have been tempting to protest Fred Phelps’ funeral, the same way he and his followers protested the funerals of soldiers and school shooting victims, but that would have been giving him the attention he craved. He didn’t get a funeral anyway; his family booted him out of his own church and declined to hold one. But what Fred Phelps really deserved was to have his ashes divided up and anonymously flushed down the urinals of every gay bar in America. That and maybe eternal damnation for good measure.

X-mas XII


On the twelfth year of Christmas compilations, your true love (yours truly) gave to you the same thing that he did the previous eleven years. I’m a little later than usual, although I already threw the link out there a couple of weeks ago on Twitter, where I spend most of my social media time these days. But for your convenience and my reference, here it is, laid out more fully.

As usual, this is a CD-length compilation because you have to stop somewhere, and if you’re setting an arbitrary limit, it might as well be at a length that doesn’t exceed the limit of what can be burned to physical media. Physical media isn’t quite dead yet, not as long as my wife lacks an auxiliary input in her car stereo and my in-laws play all their music through the little CD player in their kitchen. Burning this to CD is also a good way to stay warm on a cold winter night as well.

As an aside, it’s not until the CD is on the way out that I think I’ve truly figured out how to sequence a mixed CD. The secret is to imagine you’re making a double LP with four sides. So, on the off chance you listen to this as a digital playlist or as a burned CD instead of pressing it to vinyl, you may want to imagine that side A is tracks 1 to 7, side B is tracks 8 to 14, side C is tracks 15 to 19, and side D is tracks 20 to 25. That’s how I conceived it, anyway, and it should make sense that way. If you want to just listen to the first fourteen tracks as a single album and then finish the rest of it later, that is a compiler-approved method of consumption that should satisfy everyone. If you want to listen to the whole thing at once, it should not prove tedious! It is meant to work that way too!

Anyway, here are tracks 1 to 7, 8 to 14, 15 to 19, and 20 to 25:

  1. Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
  2. Kate Nash – I Hate You This Christmas
  3. Jonathan Coulton and John Roderick – 2600
  4. !!! – And Anyway It’s Christmas
  5. Gruff Rhys – Post-Apocalypse Christmas
  6. The Boy Least Likely To – The First Snowflake
  7. Palace Songs (Bonnie Prince Billy) – Christmastime in the Mountains
  8. Saint Etienne – Come On Christmas
  9. The Killers ft. Ryan Pardey – I Feel It In My Bones
  10. Piney Gir – Christmas Time
  11. Sea Wolf – Winter’s Heir
  12. Tracey Thorn – In the Cold, Cold Night
  13. Telstar Ponies – I Still Believe in Christmas Trees
  14. Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler – (Don’t Call Me) Mrs. Christmas
  15. My Morning Jacket – Santa Claus Is Back in Town
  16. The Raveonettes – Christmas Ghosts
  17. Summer Fiction – Christmas Eve for Two
  18. The Be Good Tanyas – Rain and Snow
  19. Nick Lowe – Christmas at the Airport
  20. Glasvegas – Careful What You Wish For
  21. Wye Oak – Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day
  22. Frightened Rabbit – Cheap Gold
  23. Sufjan Stevens – Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  24. The Pearlfishers – Winter Roads
  25. Julie Crochetière – It Won’t Be Christmas (Till You’re Here)

Here is the download link. You will find that listening to the music itself is even more satisfying than merely reading a list of the songs’ titles. And here is a link to all twelve of my holiday compilations from this and previous years. Happy holidays, lucky listener.

Monologue #13


You don’t seem to want to accept the fact you’re dealing with an expert in guerrilla warfare, with a man who’s the best, with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. A man who’s been trained to ignore pain, ignore weather, to live off the land, to eat things that would make a billy goat puke. In Vietnam, his job was to dispose of enemy personnel. To kill! Period! Win by attrition. Well, Rambo was the best. And you probably didn’t know, Marjorie, that Rambo was not just any Miss Georgia; he was the Miss Georgia. He didn’t just twirl a baton; that baton was on fire. And when he threw that baton into the air, it flew higher, further, faster than any baton has ever flown before, hitting a transformer and showering the darkened arena with sparks! And when it finally did come down, Marjorie, he caught that baton, and 12,000 people jumped to their feet for sixteen and one-half minutes of uninterrupted thunderous ovation, as flames illuminated his tear-stained face! And that, Marjorie—just so you will know, and your children will someday know—is the night the lights went out in Georgia!

You people,” sneered the old southern sheriff.

“What do you mean, ‘you people’?!” demanded the big-shot New York City detective.

Black people,” blinked the old southern sheriff. “Sorry, was I unclear? Not a fan.”

“Well, I personally like ’em,” shrugged the big-shot New York City detective. “Of course, I’m biased.”

Biased?” exclaimed the old southern sheriff. “Now you hold on there! Only thing I hate more than a black person is a bigot!”

“Whoa,” pleaded the big-shot New York City detective. “Why don’t we just work together to solve this crime, meanwhile developing a grudging respect for one another?”

“Fine,” harrumphed the old southern sheriff. “You people with your grudging respect.

All right, this one time I’ll let
you ask about my affairs, one last

Is it true?

She looks directly into his eyes, he returns the look, so directly that we know he will tell the truth.

(after a very long pause)

KAY is relieved; she throws her arms around him, and hugs him. Then she kisses him.

(through her tears)
We both need a drink.


She moves back into the kitchen and begins to prepare the drinks. From her vantage point, as she smilingly makes the drinks, she sees behind Michael a MAN, dressed in a dog’s costume, kneeling at the foot of a bed. He leans back and looks towards her. Another MAN, in evening dress, leans forward and looks at KAY. CAMERA ZOOMS IN on them.

The smile fades from KAY’s face.





This is a hard one.


Lordy, lordy, guess who’s forty? That’s right, it’s me. And it certainly isn’t these non-milestone-celebrating idiots. Perpetually thirty-nine, you dead losers? Jack Benny called, and he wants his bit back. Also, his life. Like you.

Like you, Dylan Thomas. “Do not go gentle into that good night/rage, rage against the dying of the light?” Big talk, considering you were lying comatose in your deathbed while your wife was the one threatening to murder people and eventually getting put in a straitjacket and committed to a psychiatric institution. Maybe we should just make “I’ve had 18 straight whiskies. I think that’s the record!” your quotable quote, although apparently you were lying about that one too.

¡Oye! Che Guevara! You know which other Cuban icon got riddled with bullets and ended up postered all over dorm room walls everywhere? Tony “Scarface” Montana. Weird how Al Pacino is worth over $200 million today and enterprising capitalists have made at least that much marketing your image to college freshmen, huh? Isn’t it ironic how you ended up doing about as much for the Communist cause as a picture of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue?

And you, Clyde McPhatter of the Drifters: Well, I guess you proved that McPhattery will get you nowhere. You know drifters are supposed to murder other people, not end up dead themselves, right?

Amelia Earhart … well, maybe you don’t belong on this list at all. I mean, there’s a chance that there’s a 116-year-old crone hobbling around a remote Pacific Island right now. If that’s the case, Carmen Sandiego, isn’t now the time to come out of hiding and start adding something to CNN’s incessant coverage of disappeared Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370? Get on it, Dora the Explorer.

Trivia: “Stonewall” Jackson believed all his life that his left arm was longer than the right and usually held it up in the air to equalize his circulation. Until the Battle of Chancellorsville, when he had to have his left arm amputated due to injuries. Congratulations, “Stonewall” Jackson! Your left arm is no longer longer than your right! Also, it was buried separately from the rest of you and no one knows where it is now, or if they do, they aren’t saying, which is where we get the verb “stonewall.” True story.

Speaking of stonewalling, I’ll give you this, Georges Vézina: You had a hell of a glove hand. Heck, you even caught tuberculosis. What a cool customer you were, Chicoutimi Cucumber. L’Habitant silencieux. But you were never cooler and more silent than the 1926 NHL postseason, when you put in a Vezina Trophy-winning performance as deadest goaltender.

Anna Nicole and Davey Boy Smith: What a lovely couple you make. Anna Nicole used to take drug injections in her buttocks, and the British Bullcrap used to drug his wife before bed so he could give her a hot beef injection in the butt. You’re a match made in heaven, where you probably aren’t.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X: What a lovely couple you make. No, I actually mean that one. I mean, King was a serial adulterer and Malcolm X was a pimp. Despite your philosophical differences, you were both men of God who were kind of dicks to women, weren’t you?

But hey, speaking of God, let me see if I’ve got Pascal’s Wager right. Basically, you can choose to believe in God or choose not to believe in God. If you choose not to believe in God and you’re right, it doesn’t matter because you won’t exist either by the time you’re in a position to find out. If you choose not to believe in God and you’re wrong, you’re also going to learn about the existence of the Devil pretty quickly. On the other hand, if you choose to believe in God and you’re wrong, well, no harm done; you still lived a virtuous life. But, if you choose to believe in God and you’re right, well, jackpot—eternal bliss. And you used this as a proof of God, Blaise Pascal? Sounds more like a proof of your cowardice, insincerity and self-interest, which you’d think God would see right through. How is it working out for you these days anyway? Did you know that bearded homophobe from Duck Dynasty is going around parroting your argument? This is the same guy who said “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. … There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. … But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.” This is the fellow logician with whom you’ve aligned yourself, Pascal you genius. Stick to math.

Whoa, that ran long. I guess I had a lot of anger stored up. But who’d have guessed I’d be doing more with my undergraduate degree in philosophy at 40 than Blaise Pascal? Modern medicine, I guess. Okay, rapid fire now:

Bartholomew Roberts? More like the Dead Pirate Roberts.

Uday Hussein? More like “You dead, Hussein.”

Frédéric Chopin? More like Frédéric Show-Panned-by Critics. (They were talking about your funeral. It sucked.)

Klaus Nomi? More like Klaus No-More. More like Klaus Nobody-Likes-Me, because I’m a creepy fey weird-ass singing clown. Turns out we’d rather our mimes keep silent. Not a problem now!

Dennis Wilson … you know what? I still miss Dennis Wilson. Dennis Wilson’s was the first celebrity death where I still remember exactly where I was when I first heard about it. I was nine years old. My parents were newly divorced. I’d always loved the Beach Boys and had spent many an hour reading their personal notes to fans on the back cover of my dad’s LP of Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). One always stuck out: “They say I live a fast life. Maybe I just like a fast life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. It won’t last forever, either. But the memories will…” That was from the handsome one who later became a bearded drunk, the one with the same first name as my dad. And with his passing, another little piece of my childhood died.

Whoa, paging Dr. Freud! Jesus, I need therapy! Forty years old, and on some level I’m obviously still thinking of a drug-addled pin-up boy who wrote songs with Charles Manson as my dad. I am messed up.

But you know what else I am? Forty. Unlike all these dead idiots! See you next year, folks! See you in hell, dead idiots!