Archive for February, 2007

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‘Bad Coverage’ from the upcoming collection (’09?) Crass Menagerie

February 8, 2007

     As promised to my Big Words bimonthly email newsletter group (which you can subscribe to for free by emailing me at: bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading), here is a brand new rant that I wrote for my 6th book about cell phones.  After my guest apppearance on The Pissed Off World Of Uncle Hal, I was inspired to pound this one out.  I’ll be going back on the show next Wednesday (Valentine’s Day) and the show should be up on the Monday following, so keep checking the official Hal site at:

 www.powunclehal.com

     If you haven’t heard it yet, my blind rant on Episode 21 was a rollercoaster ride of expletives and psychotic fury.  The listener response has been fantastic so far, so don’t miss out.  My segment comes on somewhere around the 90th minute, but the rest of the show is fantastic, too.  It’s a great podcast with top notch production values chock full of hilarious segments, so don’t miss the boat on this one.  I like the Uncle Hal show better than Opie and Anthony at this point.  Believe it.  Anyhow, here’s the new rant:

Bad Coverage

     People need to stop using cell phones right this instant. They’re unnecessary, they’re annoying to everyone in public, they’re a danger when people use them without mandated headsets behind the wheel (which is all the time), and in less than a full life cycle of interaction, results are inconclusive as to whether or not they promote cancerous growths in the human brain. I can’t stand cell phones. Could you tell? Cell phones have single-handedly destroyed public etiquette over the last fifteen years along with the baseball cap, chewing gum and unruly children. All four instances in public should be exterminated on sight.

I will never own one because on the rare occasion three or four times a year when I need to talk to someone right away while I’m out and about, I’ll just turn to the person next to me and borrow theirs. This is amusing to everyone involved as it takes me an inordinate amount of time to figure out a)how to flip the contraption open, b)where to dial the numbers and make sure that they actually got punched in, and c)how to send the message and hang up when I’m done. I can never tell how loud I am on a cell phone so I end up screaming into the mouthpiece and deafening the person on the other end, and the technology is still so bad that I can’t bear to listen to the feedback and the echoes that reverberate through the call.

Nothing in anyone’s life is important enough to warrant talking out loud to someone else in public, be it in a grocery store line, walking around in a store, at a club, during a concert, or otherwise. Ninety five percent of the cell phone conversations going on in the world at any given time are completely moot and revolve around inane small talk that shouldn’t be taking place anyhow, so save your breath, your minutes and my patience and stop now. If I see another couple that’s too impersonal to shop together sharing list notes in tandem grocery/hardware/houseware aisles on their cell phones when I’m shopping, I’m going to wrench the phone out of their hand and bomb a pass down the cereal aisle with it. How rude can you be? Why don’t you take the rest of the world into consideration when you’re shooting your mouth off about nothing in particular and the rest of us have to put up with it? If I have to listen to one more pampered college kid chuckling to himself and recounting the previous evening’s events to one of his homeys when I’m out and about, I’ll rip the baseball hat off their head, punch the phone onto the floor and pop them in the face. Try chuckling when you’re missing the top half of your teeth, tough guy.

Wanna take a picture? Buy a goddamned camera so that your shots don’t look like they were taken with a half mega pixel piece of shit. Nobody wants to see the worse resolution possible. If I wanted to see some crappy, hazy picture, I’d do two doubles of whiskey and look at you, not a half inch muddy screen on somebody’s cell phone. Take your cell phone pictures and shove them up your ass. Wanna listen to music? Buy an Ipod and join the legion of teenage idiots who are incapable of listening to an album from start to finish. Cell phone companies want us to believe that they’ve created a swiss army knife of convenience when in actuality they’re selling us a jack of all trades and a master of none. Why buy one item that works proficiently when you can buy a cheap plastic piece of shit that performs twenty eight tasks poorly? For three dollars a month and another fifty seven in state and local taxes, you can have an awful cell phone with bad reception that dumps out in tunnels, a horrible camera that takes pictures that are blurrier than your aunts glaucoma, an mp3 player that stores up to and including four and one half songs, and a video player that crashes every five minutes?

If I see you in a fancy restaurant shooting your mouth of to someone who’s not there, you get a free punch in the head. It’s a promotion I’m running for Tom Wireless. For five dollars a month, you get no cell phone, no hidden fees and no other obligations for each successive month. If you want to talk to someone, you’ll have the good sense to invite that person out with you or call them from the comfort and privacy of your own phone without bothering me. The first three hundred people to sign up will get an extra punch in the head for each additional cell phone call they make within earshot of what I’m trying to do. Don’t bother other people with your nonsense, your shitty anecdotes, your awful syntax and enunciation skills, or your lack of an indoor voice. Take it outside like every other tactless moron who goes to Buffalo Wild Wings. Every time I drive by one of those places, there’s a small herd of bad businessmen and spoiled college kids in baseball caps standing outside, pacing and running up their minutes on their cell phones. You know what, though? I prefer that over having to listen to it right next to me when I’m having a good time.

When I go out, I talk to the people who are with me or if I go out alone I make new friends and strike up a conversation with whoever’s around. I prefer live conversation. I guess I’m old fashioned that way. I don’t get together with people in restaurants and bars so that I can ignore them for twenty minutes at a clip running my mouth to some idiot on the other end of a mouth piece. I don’t disrupt the natural flow of an evening’s concert or movie by holding a phone aloft and showing the people who didn’t show up what a great time I’m pretending to have while ignoring the evening at the same time. Fuck cell phones and fuck the people who depend on them. That’s my ruling, it’s all encompassing, and it’s final.

In ten year’s time, I will literally be the last man on earth without a cellular device, be it a text messenger, a cell phone, or a hybrid all in one device. If someone wants to talk to me, they can talk to my answering machine at home and nine times out of ten I won’t call back. If they need to text me, they can do so via email and that’s my fastest response time. My favorite conversations are the silent ones that I control on the internet and respond to when I get around to them. In ten years, everyone will have bloated, malignant cancer heads lending the general public an elephant man type visage, and I’ll be cancer free because I haven’t had a cell phone spot welded to my head constantly. I would rather have no friends than a symbiotic relationship with them via a wireless device. If you can’t have the good manners to talk to me in person, then leave a message in my mailbox. It’s located in the pouch directly below my penis. Due to unusually high volume, the response time is three to four years. Thank you for calling Tom Wireless.

Knocking down coverage towers under cover of night,

Tom ‘analog’ Waters

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Acid Logic Update: The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone

February 7, 2007

It’s the head start to a new month, which means that there’s a brand spanking new issue of Acid Logic out online!  My beloved editor Wil Forbis decided to run my interview with the legendary Gregg Sansone this month (‘The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone’), so click on over and check it out at:

 http://www.acidlogic.com/gregg_sansone.htm

For some reason, he included the ee cummings quote I’ve been using on my email sign-offs.  I’m assuming that he thought it was one of my regular essay sign-offs, which it wasn’t.  Gregg and I had a great interview and I remain a big fan of his work and his performances.  Hopefully this will drive more fans to his shows and boost awareness nationally regarding this career.  God knows that some of my other interviews have been a real springboard for artists from all walks of life. 

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Monday Update! Week 12 on Stands, Week 11 Right Here, Tom Does Florida!

February 5, 2007

So anyways,

Monday has arrived and the new print issue of ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ is out in the new issue of Night Life magazine.  Continuing with a my February triple shot of driving aggravation you’ll find Part One in my two part ranting rampage, ‘Cool Hand Highway Superintendent’ from ‘If They Can’t Take A Joke’.  No one will be left unscathed by the time they’re done reading it as I attack just about every single person behind the wheel in Buffalo in this one, so scoop it off the stands!  Since I wrote last week’s column, ‘Morning Traffic Retort’ with the print column in mind, I’m reprinting it here for your enjoyment.  For various legal reasons, Night Life never runs my frequently peppered F-Bombs.  On the Big Words sight, I can drop the F-Bomb with abandon, so fucking enjoy it! 

Also, I’ll be leaving for Florida this Wednesday to spend a week with my parents, who have a home down there.  If you subscribe to the free bi-monthly email newsletter, I’ll be sending it out earlier in the week than usual.  If you don’t subscribe, feel free to email me at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

-with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  I generally premier a lot of stuff there long before anyone else sees it, so find out what you’ve been missing out on! 

This’ll be my first time in Florida so I’m really looking forward to getting the hell away from this freezing goddamned weather.  Have a great week and a half in the arctic tundra, suckers!  Sincerely,

Tom Waters

Morning Traffic Retort

The major roadways in this town are an abomination. I don’t know much about town procedures, department of transportation bi-laws or anything else, but something needs to be done. The Kensington expressway, Walden Avenue, Genesee St., Sheridan Drive and Main Street are a fucking catastrophe from the hours of 7-9 am and 4-7 pm. Like most Buffalonians, I live in the suburbs and commute downtown for work. It takes me an hour to get downtown when it should take twenty minutes thanks in large part to congestion, road construction, poor driving, closed off lanes and other bureaucratic nightmares that could be easily provided if anything got done properly, intelligently or efficiently. If road workers weren’t union employees who sat around on their ass, collected a paycheck, waved flags and took their sweet time getting the job done, everyone’s commute would be a lot easier.

Half the reason why people drive like such douche-tools in the city is due to the fact that we need more lanes. The roads are outdated, overcrowded and just plain aggravating to navigate. Instead of ripping up the same stretch of Genesee leading onto the Expressway, wouldn’t it be a brighter move to widen and multiply lanes so that we’re not wearing them down at the same interval? I’m getting exceedingly sick of seeing the never-ending road construction in progress on Genesee at all times. It’s inconvenient and unacceptable. The city is growing in population and we have a number of major universities that students commute from off-campus to. There’s no reason why Genesee shouldn’t have three or possibly four lanes of traffic especially when you consider that the Buffalo Airport is smack dab in the middle of this monstrosity.

When school is in session at Buffalo State and Medaille, I’ll often skip the Kensington altogether and like a lot of other people, I’ll take Sheridan Drive back to the suburbs. This is also a train wreck under sluggish construction. It shouldn’t take six months to get any stretch of pavement done and we’d all be better served if it the work was performed at night when traffic volume is down. God forbid that people making a minimum of fourteen dollars an hour have to make a lifestyle adjustment for a contract paying job, but that’s the best solution. The situation as it stands is retarded. The stretch of Sheridan from Harlem all the way to Youngs Rd. is a fucking mess, and I’m sick of tooling along bumper to bumper because this city can’t have the foresight and good sense to plan ahead.

And don’t tell me that there’s no room in the budget! For a city that ranks among the highest in state, local, property and school taxes, you’re losing on all counts of that argument, you nepotistic fucks. Cut a nephew, a brother in law’s or a intern/steady bang’s salary for one year and throw it into the pavement. I’m good friends with numerous people who turn a profit in the paving business and they’ve covered a lot more black top in a much smaller amount of time and they’ve done it to the degree that it doesn’t have to be redone every single calendar-buggering year. There is no logical excuse you can give me for this mind-roasting cluster-fuck we also sometimes refer to as a road-way. It’s only going to get worse with the winter weather and then we’ve got crater-sized pot holes that take eons to get fixed. Do your jobs and do them faster. I am telling you how to do your job because you’re doing it wrong and you’re doing it piss-poorly. When the majority of our populace lives in one place and works on the polar opposite of the city, conditions need to improve. This might be one of the reasons why college graduates smarten up and then get the hell out of town, because they don’t want to have to deal with the completely avoidable psychotic-inducing condition of the traffic congestion. Sure, there are stupid drivers who do stupid things in the morning because they’re not awake who get into accidents and even stupider people slow down to check out the bloodbath and gum up the whole works, but that’s a small fraction of the big picture. Fix our roads yesterday. Maybe if people can get around faster than the speed of paint drying they’ll actually be able to drive into the city, buy houses, support local events and increase revenue and tourism. As it stands, we’re screwed, and this is another reason not to live, work, consume, our support the city. The dozers from Fraggle Rock make a better think tank than the fly-by-night construction clowns we have working now. Figure it out.

One of the legions of drive time road ragers,

Tom ’assault due to commute’ Waters

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Appendixitis (excerpt from Breathing Room: attic-rhymes & relics

February 4, 2007

In the process of hand selecting some of the best poems from my last four collections for the second volume of rhyming verse and archival material for the Breathing Room project, I came across this old favorite from 2001).  Re-typing all three and a half pages was a bitch, but so was the girl.  I can still remember reading this at an open mic at a lesbian bar on Allen St. (Joey’s on Allen) on a Tuesday during the winter of 2001/2002.  The girls loved it.  If you live in Buffalo, you might be able to figure out who this free-form rant was pointed at.  Let’s just say it’s an Oldies but goody.  Feel free to post your guesses below.

                                         Appendixitis

The way I felt for you, the time we spent together, your body of work, and you yourself, my darling, are a footnote 1.

________________________________________________________________________

1)We spent three weeks together. Well, physically. All told, I knew you for four weeks, and I was impressed. You had a beautiful figure, a picturesque face, boundless libido, and an intelligence that betrayed your maturity (or lack of it). Your pretentious reading voice and condescending poetry were amusing to me. It attracted an appalled me, because until I met you, I never believed in disclosing the intimate details of my relationships with other people. That seems to be the only thing you write about, your little ‘fictions’. Self-important monologues about your sexual misadventures disguised as legitimate writing. I thought you’d make a suitable companion (maybe a power couple); we could type together, take turns in free hand (but God knows there was some of that), and share all of our favorite authors (you with your structured Nabakov and me with my meticulous and perverted Nicholson Baker). How was I to know that the 21 pages of prose that you ran into the ground were the sum total of your creativity? Writing never was your calling, was it? Just another phase to meet interesting people whose names you could drop in the company of friends in the hopes of making yourself look more important. Name droppers always did bother the shit out of me. I just ignored it during the first blush of our romance. Can you classify a 3-week sting, though? Break it into segments and analyze it? I’d like to think so. Yes. Let’s start with your propositioning me via email after that reading. How fitting that our relationship began and ended inside of a word processing program. Maybe we were just better on paper. You were in a relationship for a year with this clown that you glommed onto at work and wondered if I wanted to have sex? It was forward, I’ll give you that. I respected your honesty. You cheated on the first man you gave it to with me, and left him and his engagement ring in a heartbeat. 20 is a bit late to surrender a flower, but then again, who am I to say? It set a few warning bells off when we got involved. You were in college, you had a late start, and you wanted to whore things up a bit; see as many men as you possibly could at once. Itold you after you broke up with him that you could take as much time to recover/cope as you desired, and you dismissed the idea, jumping head first into us. It was a wonderful first week. We couldn’t get enough of each other. Sleep and work were the only variables to interrupt that sprawling week of getting to know you. You were almost as good in bed as you perceived yourself to be, too. But I remember that your ex had a thing for pillows, so I suppose (next to that competition), that anybody would look like Cleopatra. I dropped every friend, speaking engagement and obligation I had just to see you, and you did the same. Not that you actually do much. Sure, you’ve got three pretty jobs with pretty pay and pretty hours, but they add up to about 15 hours in, don’t they? And but of course there was the overblown beauty school that you were attending your last semester at. You slept with your (married) English Professor, so you didn’t really need to attend every class. He was married, if I remember. I got to meet your friends and do the things you wanted to do, I got to watch you sing Karaoke at a dive bar and shake your tits at the crowd, blowing kisses at the drunks. I didn’t min. I thought it was cute. Always in need of an audience, darling. Daddy was a musician, so I guess that’s how he raised you. I’d venture that you blew your way into radio so you could be sort of a musical person yourself. There are a lot of barnacles in circles of creativity (who have none), like for example Sandra Bernhard, Bette Midler, Traci Lords or Ethan Hawke. They do a lot of things, but they don’t seem to do much of anything. Rather, they havea lot of projects, but none of them have any substance. Mostly women. Is that a coincidence? Should I cite that? Your friends all played up to your behavior; they allowed you to be the Karaoke superstar that you know you are at all times, whether we were at your house, out having coffee, or anywhere else. You hung on me like I was a set of monkey bars on a playground whenever we went out, as if I was going to float away on you. I was happy for a while there, and I just may have. And you like to talk. Especially afterwards. You could blather on about yourself indefinitely. There were times, in conversation, when I noticed that it didn’t matter if I was responding to what you were saying, or even listening. That’s pretty amusing in retrospect. You were like that space shuttle launch you were so high and mighty about going to for your job, loudly blustering away on a set course. ‘I met James Cameron’, you dropped over the phone. Good for you, baby! Maybe if you meet enough famous people, you just might evolve into someone who…meets famous people. Is that what you saw me as? ‘I met Lenny Kravitz’, is what you told my best friend within five minutes of meeting her. Is that why your rhyme schemes are either terrible and trite, or nonexistent? I wish we had Christmas to spend together. I could buy you a rhyming dictionary. Do you up your popularity when you float about the in-crowd, babe? Then we went out for your Big Birthday Night, so you could have and do everything your heart desired. Actually, that’s how you always wanted things, wasn’t it? We talked about your ex-boyfriend over lamb chops, and how much better your friends liked me rather than him. I didn’t think I need an approval rate up until that point. Most people who have lived one or two dozen years know enough not to babble about ex-lovers during a romantic dinner out, but I guess you were too into your own unique, womanly, quirky creative flux, weren’t you? That’s one of the two thousand annoying things about you that I overlooked. I thought (pompously) that you might become a better writer, that I’d get to be a better writer as a result of our pairing. I was wrong. I’m just a bit more cynical. I was an idiot for getting involved with someone five years younger than me. Call it a character flaw, if you know what that is. Go look it up between your dark room work, your radio do spots, your hectic speaking engagement every 2 months schedule. Whoops! I forgot. You slept with the co-host at one of the open mics. For the sake of teaching him a lesson, right? And you despise your firend Erica for doing the same things you do, for latching onto local ‘talent’. Forget going through the looking glass, try looking at the looking glass, gorgeous. The second week, though, I went out for drinks with someone and you were certain that I’d behave myself. I did. I’m a one-woman man, fo the most part, and you’re a one woman-woman. As for guys, though, well, you really couldn’t care about fidelity. You’re too busy lying to everyone in a five mile radius to ‘fess up for even something so inconsequential as where you went after school. I was nervous about cheating after hearing your torrid stories, but I trusted you. I didn’t want to be one of those controlling boyfriends who show up at your doorstep if you don’t call them back instantaneously, I tried really hard with you. Tried not to do all of the things that usually destroy a good starting relationship scenario. And it still didn’t work. But it’s not my fault. You’re wrecked in the head. I could tell at your family birthday party, when I noticed, coincidentally, that every woman in the family had a big mouth and nothing interesting to say with it. And a short fuse. I was hoping you were the recessive gene. Wrong again. You’re the dominant one. Aside from your violent fantasies that I refused to play along with in bed. I may be experimental, but I’ll only go so far. Maybe it’s a do thing, I don’t know and really couldn’t care. Such nice parents and you still turned out the way you did. I know Catholic girls end up being the biggest freaks to walk the earth, so I’m sure it’s got something to do with that. Maybe it’s one of those high school reminiscent popularity things that I never quite got, where you wish you were one of the cheerleaders, or the main star during the school play. I like figuring lovers out. I can’t believe I bought a Britney Spears CD because of you, you bitch! And speaking of love, who drops the L-bomb after two weeks with anyone? You told me you loved me, and it made me a bit nervous. You also told me some time before that, bragging really, about how well you lied to your parents and your friends on a regular basis because it was easier than having to face a momentary conflict, but you didn’t really say it in such a way. Honesty was a big stumbling block for you. You were too busy being fabulous to let me see the really vicious side of you until you couldn’t hold her back anymore. It was nice for a day or three after you told me you loved me. Displaced emotions, perhaps? I went along with it, though, even though I didn’t feel it. And then when I put up some resistence, didn’t give you everything under the sun for one split second, and it was over. The moment I emailed and complained about your inconsistencies, your capacity to make plans and break them at the last minute, you tweaked. Went from lady to bitch in about 2.5 seconds. And I just figured, if that’s the way she’s going to act during our first fight, then it might as well be the last, too. You were proud of all the guys you ruined in your wake. It’s not going to happen with me. I’ve had better, and I’ve had worse, and three weeks just isn’t enough time in to inflict any damage. I’m over you after three days, princess. You’re a ghost of a memory. Like dead radio air. The really poetic (or so we’re told) pause between stanzas in a beat poem. Or the haze in the background from a black and white photograph. It does take a severe effort to pen your little tell-alls, though. I was always better at footnotes.

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