YOU'RE WRONG An Irregular Column by Mykel Board We drink, or break open our veins- solely
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
We drink, or break open our veins-- solely to know, solely
Take a yellow pencil. A Mongol number 2 or its equivalent.
Hold it in front of your face. Now close one eye. Move the
pencil so that the eraser end faces your open eye. Adjust it so
the only thing you can see is the eraser and the little metal
ring around it. Now move your head up and down, side to side.
But as you do, move the pencil at the same time, so you still
only see the eraser and the metal band. Every time you move your
head say pencil.
Imagine that during your entire life, whenever you heard the
word pencil, you would have seen the same image you're seeing
now. You would not know any different. Yellow? You're crazy.
Pencil's are pink-- with a touch of silver on the edges. Write
with the thing? What a joke! It's not even as big a your pinky
tip. Sharpen it? How could you sharpen something that's just a
You know what a pencil is. You've seen it hundreds of
times. You've turned your head and looked at if from all
positions. A pencil is a pink dot surrounded by a piece of
metal. Anyone who says different just doesn't have a grasp of
reality. Weird, huh? But that's how you see the rest of the
I was gonna call this How To Think Part 3, but it's not as
systematic as part one or part two. As a matter of fact, the
system is what I want to get away from now. Let's try How To
Think Part 2 1/2 or maybe How To Live.
By the time you read this I'll be in Thailand with Ms.
Lilly. Maybe I'll be dead. The plane leaves on my birthday and
It's Korean airlines. Sometimes they crash. This time in
Thailand, I wanna go to the hills to see the folks with all those
rings around their necks. I want to smoke opium with a tribesman
and hold hands with a monk.
I can brag. You already know I've been to forty nine states
and cities from Anchorage to Istanbul. That's a lot of points of
view and life perspectives. Some people can't do that. They're
stuck-- one way or another. They're too young or too old. They
have no credit cards or are otherwise mobility impaired. But
that's not the only way.
It's 1969. Beloit College, in Wisconsin. I'm drinking
Everclear. Ninety five percent alcohol, mixed with Thunderbird
wine. Nasty stuff. I've finished my sixth glass.
It suddenly occurs to me that I should take my clothes off.
Clothes bind us. They destroy our naturalness. Humankind was
meant to run naked. Freedom is that ability. The Constitution
doesn't make us free. Freedom only comes when you exercise it.
Someone has to be first. Set an example. That someone will be
I stand in the hallway in front of the open door to my
dormroom. I lift one leg to take off my boot, but the hall
suddenly shifts under the other leg. I fall. Deciding this is
an easier position anyway. I take off my boots and throw them
into my room. Next come the socks. As I pull my shirt off, the
buttons ricochet against the floor. T-shirt, pants underpants.
There I am, naked and free in the hall.
"I'm free! I'm free!" I shout. "I'm a human-- not like you
Doors open. Faces peer out. The doors quickly close again.
Sometimes somebody laughs.
"Cowards!" I scream at them.
Using the wall as a crutch, I pull myself nakedly to an
upright position. I've got to make them face the truth, rather
than sit behind closed doors giggling in their cloth chains.
Slowly, I navigate the spinning corridor. Shouting Live
free or die! I pound on a door. They'll never open it-- the
cowards. I'll knock on 'em all.
"Let me in!" I yell, "I want to make you human."
The first door I knock on opens. That's not supposed to
happen. Don't these guys read? It's the third door that should
open. Like the third wish, the third try in horror movies. Don't
these people have a sense of timing? Being completely
unprepared, I fall on the floor of the strangers room.
"Er... Mykel," says a young male voice somewhere in the
vortex above me. "Did you want something?"
I lay on my stomach on the floor. My cheek presses against
the institutional rug. I open my mouth, but I don't speak.
Instead, the wine and Everclear rise up from my belly. A warm
sticky liquid covers the side of my face where it lies against
A pair of hands kneads my naked back.
"Mykel get up! You got to get out of here! I'm gonna call
Get up? I don't know where up is! I do, however, know what
security is. I slowly crawl backwards, out of this guy's room,
dragging a thin sheet of vomit between the side of my face and
the floor. Somehow I end up in my own room. The next morning, I
don't feel so good.
Was I embarrassed the next day? You bet I was. I hid for
the entire week. Every time I heard laughter, I imagined they
were laughing at me. Do I regret getting so drunk? No! For that
moment, I saw the world in a way I hadn't seen it before. It was
a way no less valid than the way I see it every day.
Another time: I feel the third chill. There's always three
of 'em before I get off. It's a warning. I can put myself
someplace where I won't be a pain. Where I won't embarrass
myself. I learned my lesson.
It's not my first LSD time, but it's one of the first dozen.
Strong stuff, I think to myself, as the flyspecks and cracks in
the wall begin to organize themselves into a coherent pattern.
Mom! What're you doing in my wall? I never noticed you there
There's a knock on the door. It's Joey. He's from
Nashville. He's the one who told me the dooji was heroin. He's
also the one who brought me this acid. He's taken it too.
"You know," I tell him, "I just thought of a plan to save
"Sure you did," he says, "lets hear it, but I bet it won't
"Of course it'll work," I tell him, "It's easy. First we
decide why things are so fucked up..."
He looks at me, then traces a question mark in the air with
his index finger. I follow the trail of the finger as it strobes
through space. It's the most beautiful finger I've ever seen.
"Differences," I say, "all the problems in the world are
caused by differences. Whites against blacks, Arabs against
Jews. The only way that people know who to hate is by how they're
different. If everyone was the same, then you could never figure
out who to hate."
Joey has taken out a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. I watch in
amazement as he removes the paper wrapping, then opens the
tinfoil, pulls out the gum, puts it in his mouth, and chews on
it. He throws the paper and tinfoil in the wastepaper basket. I
immediately fish out the tinfoil, deciding it's too beautiful to
just throw away.
"Listen," I continued, rolling the metallic foil between my
fingers, "here's the plan: We make everybody the same. Exact
duplicate sets of boys and girls. No races, no size differences,
nothing. Everyone is exactly like everyone else. Then there'll
be no one to hate."
Joey starts to say something.
"I know what you're going to say," I interrupt. "What about
pimples? When somebody gets a pimple he'll be different. I got
that figured out. As soon as people hit puberty, we give 'em
chocolate. Tons of it. Everybody will eat the chocolate and
break out at the same time. They'll still look like everybody
Joey has another objection. I anticipate it.
"You wanna know how things'll get done." I say, "You wanna
know how folks can work and get stuff done if they all look
alike. They can slack off. Nobody will know who's working.
It'll lead to wearing different clothes. Then there'll be
individuals and they'll start fighting again. Well, I got the
answer. Five weird guys."
Joey smiles and nods. Taking one eye from its socket. He
puts it in his shirt pocket.
"See," I continue, "there are five weird guys who look
different from everybody else. Nobody knows it, but they are
running things. Whenever anything goes wrong, they take the
blame. Since people need someone to hate-- they've always got
the weird guys. Once a month, the weird guys go on TV and tell
everybody all the bad stuff they've done. People hate them
instead of each other.
"In order to get out this hatred, everybody has a button in
his pocket. The weird guys ask them not to push the button.
They tell them that doing so will cause them immense pain.
Everyone who pushes their button will give them the weird guys an
"At any one time, millions of people will be pissed off and
pushing those buttons. Those buttons, of course, don't shock
anyone. They are harnessed to huge turbines. The massive thumb
energy drives those turbines and provides power for the entire
world. No more fossil fuels. No more radiation. Just hate
turned into pure useful energy."
I reach for the telephone.
"What are you doing?" asks Joey.
"I wanna call the president." I tell him. "I've just
solved the world's problems. He should know about it."
Joey puts his finger on the phone button.
"Ummm," he says, "don't you think you should wait. There
might be some problems with the plan you didn't think of. The
president may not be ready for it."
I smile at his naivete.
"I thought of that," I tell him. "That's only Plan A. If
it doesn't work, I have Plan B. In that one, everyone looks as
different from one another as you look from a tree. That way,
we'd all be living in our own worlds-- no one could bother us..."
I never got through to the president, at least not before
the drug wore off.
Were these just stupid incidents? Were they humorous
examples of how people loose their rationality while under the
Maybe it was embarrassing to be naked and puking in a
stranger's room. But I got a glimpse of a world of freedom I
would never have known otherwise. I saw the world, repression,
fear, in a way I never had before. The perspective was worth the
Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to call the president with
my five weird guys plan. But I gained an insight into hatred and
conformity that I would never have had if I weren't taking those
S&Mers tell me how having a fist up their butt or fishhooks
in their testicles lets them experience worlds they would've
never imagined otherwise. Maybe someday I'll see those worlds. I
Am I saying you should let someone put their hand into your
butt? Am I advocating drugs use beyond the point of incoherence?
Am I telling you that you have to sleep in your own vomit to
understand the world? Yes! That's exactly what I'm saying. You
cannot be a complete human being until you sleep in your own
vomit. You don't have to go to Istanbul. There's an Istanbul at
the bottom of every forty ounce bottle of Colt 45.
Until you visit it, moving beyond your own narrow concept of
reality, you're mistaking the eraser for the whole pencil. Until
you believe in more than you can measure, calculate or reason,
you will have no concept of the depth of the universe. Until you
can drink or drug yourself into mindless unconsciousness, you'll
have no idea what it means to be conscious.
-->I forgot to write about this last month, but it's one of my
favorite stories. 3 Ohio State grad students were faced with
disciplinary action in December when they solicited money at a
shopping mall dressed in Santa suits. They were asking for money
for Arm The Homeless. That organization aims to give guns to
homeless people to help them protect themselves on the cruel city
streets. Of course it was a prank-- with a message about money
and priorities. But the local papers believed it and people
commented on how "sick" it was. The university deserves to hear
from folks who appreciate the action. You might try writing to
the President, Ohio State University, Columbus OH This act of
genius deserves to be complimented, not punished.
--> A buncha folks got the contest right. Only the first one won
the prize. The answer: Them are ducks. Them are not. Oh yes
they are. See them wings? Well I'll be, them are wings!
-->I Wish I Thought of That Dept. A greeting card company called
Brazen Images [269 Chatterton Parkway, White Plains NY 10606]
makes cute greeting cards with naked people on them. Nothing out
of the ordinary there. BUT on the back of each card there is a
little notice: Send us your naked & nasty picture with a model's
release and we'll notify you if we can use it! Can you imagine
the stack of nudies these guys have!!! Wowie zowie. Not only
that, but they can use 'em in any way they want. Once the
suckers sign a model's release, they've lost all rights. I think
I'm going into the greeting card business-- hmmm how 'bout
"greeting videos." I bet they've got a better collection than
Aaron at THE PROBE (who, by the way, slammed by band and my zine
in his last issue-- and better make up for it by sending me
copies of some of HIS videos I've heard about!)
--> A special kiss and a hug to MRR's own Eric Bradford who knows
how to put on a show. ARTLESS just played in Vermont in 8 degree
weather. We played with THE FAGS (a great punkband fronted by a
Ukrainian!) and Eric's band JAZZIN' HELL. Eric paid us $200 in
advance. Plus he put $40 toward our car rental-- and paid for a
motel room! Of course, I still managed to loose $200 on the
show, but that's ARTLESS.
--> Is it illegal to ask for bootleg computer programs?
Nowadays, everything is illegal. So I'll just mention I read
about this program called The Humor Processor. It's an automatic
joke writer. The promo stuff says: You start off by selecting
one of eleven proven joke formulas. Then, the program helps you
brainstorm, presenting combinations of joke "building blocks"
related to the topic you're working on. You'll be amazed how
quickly you can create your own original humor. Mmmmm boy, did
you hear the one about the guy who got drunk and took all his
--> Because I have a business registered with NY State, I get all
kinds of fine mail from folks who buy the state's mailing list.
Among these, are various seminars that promise to teach me
everything from how to package my mail to how to avoid harassment
suits from my employees. This week came an ad for a seminar
called How to Handle Difficult People. In its promotion, they
mention ten difficult types: The Fox, The Stone Wall, The Time
Bomb, The Know-It-All, The Fake-Know-It-All, The Bump-on-a-Log,
The Whiner, The Bull, The Procrastinator, The Ultra-Agreeable. I
thought I was a perfectly difficult person. I'm not. I've never
--> I guess I should comment on the Alternative Tentacles fiasco.
Tim's wrong on this one. First, I like the Biafra record and it
scores up there on the punkiness meter. It's only slightly
Second, that's besides the point. Things like friendship,
loyalty and history count as much as inflexible principles.
There would be no punk rock as we know it today if it weren't for
Biafra and company. He's got enough historical credentials, as
far as I'm concerned, that if he crooned America the Beautiful it
should be reviewed and advertised in these pages.
--> Hustler has started a new magazine called Barely Legal. It's
for those who like it young, but on this side of the law. The
zine is gonna have a column called 'Hey, Girlfriend!' It's a
parody of something you'd see in Sassy. The editrix of that
column is the famous Ms. Itchie. She wants you to send her bios
and pictures of your band if you're either girl band or a sex
positive band-- or both! Write her at PO Box 770, Sherburne NY
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank