PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral

You always wanted to see this hardcore punk band, only to discover that it doesn’t exist. Makes you want to start a hardcore punk band just so you can call it Artic Sea Ice Death Spiral. Sorry, too late. I just formed my own hardcore punk band with that name.

The opening track on our debut album Out of Control is going to be called “Permafrost?” Notice the question mark. Believing that there is such a thing as permanently frozen anything on earth requires a person to ignore the long and fiery history of our planet.

I’m also planning to have the tracks “Reflective White Ice” and “Absorbent Blue Sea” listed side by side to provide contrasting moods. The album will end with the taut little gems “On the rocks” and “Greenhouse Gas Station.”

Since you can't use Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral, why don't you try Executive Takeout Order?

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Unbelievably Bad

That phone call you and I had today? That was the worst. I mean it was a real stinker. I just wanted you to know that.

By the way, I’ve been hearing about this Eleanor Roosevelt, and I have to say, she’s doing a great job! This is what happens when people, women even! roll up their sleeves and get to work. And I think we should all be very very proud of that last sentence I just wrote. I know I am.

Look, we’re gonna do deals, believe me, so don’t get so uptight just because of a little snipe here or there via Twitter.

And by the way, I’d lose those shoes.

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Crampy

I find that the best way to connect with the youth of today is through punk classics of yesteryear. For example, The Cramps are a band that you can enjoy with your own son or daughter. You don’t remember The Cramps because you were busy listening to The Carpenters in the 1970s and 80s, but they were out there whether you were aware of them or not. I was introduced to the Cramps by my friend Roy way back when he was my friend Roy. (Yes, that Roy!). As Roy had a superb sense of humor, he loved The Cramps, a band that had a superb sense of humor. Take their stupendously funny song “Chicken” and the lyrics it contains:

Yeah Chicken

I said, boiled chicken

Any kind, any kind of chicken

Boiled chicken, fried chicken, cotton-pickin’ chicken

oh my baby-baby-baby

she fixes fixes chicken for me.

Alas, you and I will never see The Cramps, as their lead singer, Lux Interior, has been playing in that great punk/rockabilly band in the sky since circa 2009, but of course, you can always enjoy a smattering of their live act on Youtube, as I often do.

 

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Daily Lamentation

Have you a favorite lamentation? Personally, I enjoy Lamentations 2:10, where the elders gird themselves with sackcloth, which is still in great supply today. At this time of year, my friend Mark is always exhorting me to gird myself – specifically my loins – for the battle ahead, so that I may prevail against the enemy. Currently, the enemy is the Pittsburgh Steelers (or, as the Brits would say, are the Pittsburgh Steelers), and they themselves are busy girding loins left and right, possibly also with sackcloth.

Of course, I’m not involved in the battle, except that I’m watching with great interest.

This happens to be an excellent time in the history of our great nation for lamenting. Who doesn’t wake up these days and immediately think, For the love of Pete, look at everything there is to lament!?: our bee colonies are collapsing; you go to the mall to buy something you probably don’t need and someone decides to spray the place with bullets; the latest of the crazy North Korean dictators has the bomb and one of these days is bound to make an ICBM that won’t drop into the ocean. And worst of all, you have to look at that stupid haircut for the next four years.

I’m sure some of you would prefer not to lament, so you’re hoping the NFL games this weekend will provide sufficient escapism to take your mind off all the negative, but the fact is every few minutes you’re bound to wonder if you just witnessed someone’s brain being jostled inside his skull. Talk about a lamentation!

This is why I weep:
The enemy has prevailed
With a blow to the head
of a defenseless receiver.

I actually spent some time recently not lamenting when I saw Slim Jim and the Mad Cows do their country-fried rock thang (you gotta see them do The Immigrant Song). It was the perfect antidote to daily lamentations of girding with sackcloth. Maybe if I see more bands, the next four years will be less painful. It’s definitely something I’m willing to try.

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