Sunday, May 11, 2014

"It Came from Cleveland" Opening Reception Rambling

It was a night of savagery. the Shrewdness Of Apes (SOA) Gallery in Covington Kentuckee or as some would call it, Kentucky or as still yet others would deem it Greater Cincinnati... Our mega-beast is stronger than your mega-beast... When those mega-beast go to battle, entire zones are destroyed... But let's let that be it's own seperate story.

T-Wray and I evade all savages in their multiple forms. Their aautomobiles are their steed, weapon and armor in one package. After all, we are a nation at war on multiple fronts. It's Friday evening and there's heavy traffic round the surviving liquor houses--which is sort of sad, beautiful and downright funny t timed. The remaining liquer stores which were much more in abundance then than they were thesedays. Looks like the gladiator pits have been busy and bloody too. 

Surviving is the new ________________

Eventually though, we find the  gallery... actually, we  passed it up a couple times... Inner Covington strikes me to be similar to Dayton Ohios Oregon District. Hey, there's Sugarcube Rcords! A loud screeching train comes by via elevated track about every 20 minutes or so like some form of ancient Aztek god of 'the end.' They call it Quetzalcoatl which isn't an item on Taco Bells Dollar Menu...Yet

I get drawn into the moment I suppose...

"Will we make it out of this labyrinth of gentrification alive?" I ask T-Wray. Let it go on the record that I believe in T-Wray and asking this question was not to doubt his ability or his skill, because , like I said, I believe in T-Wray.

"Yeah, I think so." He responds.

T-wray drops my crippled ass of in front of the gallery. I stand in n automotive grease spot while he parked the car we enter the gallery together. It was a small gallery packed with art of greater magnitude than SOA or the whatever gallery across the street could hold. Irony was thick. It was a clash of cultures. They the across the street carried their plastic glasses and entered SOA more than once too. I tried to worry them from the chair that T-Wray dragged out of SOA "There's a lot of Terror-art in there! You need anything, you just scream"

I heard no screams. Unfortunately.

So, me hat I'm trying to say is: the It Came from Cleveland show at SOA was amazing. I felt verily strongly that I had to be there despite my multiple reasons why good bruddies like T-Wray dragged a chair around for me. This was my first 'gallery' show not to diminish a 24 hour display at The 40 Watt Zoo (Electric Company) circa 2001...

I highly endorse the future efforts of the SOA Gallery.nit was packed wall-to-wall with something interesting everywhere you could turn. The room voted as if an orbiting solar system with the tub of canned booze as it's sun, the viewers as it's planets and the art as a universe. I believe SOA are still working to evolve more and more into a bohemian center of art and creativity. I asked to be included in more shows an I was assured a spot... SOA was about what art is all about, they were screaming the secret aloud; Art is what you want it to be so go and do it.

 L-R Timothy "T-Wray" Combs, Some street vagrant. photo by AB1

Gallery Window picture by AB1

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Flesh and The Devils Take You Under

Flesh and The Devils
"You Can't Take Me Away" b/w "Riptide" 

Hailing from Cincinnati, Granado Records brings you the newest reason to turn up the volume. FLESH AND THE DEVILS are packed full of Cincinnati punk-rock who's who centering on The Legendary Kevin Donahue (vocals) whose name is usually associated with THE PARIAHS, the band in Cincinnati that would verily much be the band with the most revolving line-up--or at least in the top three...

This 7" is hot right  from the start. Side-A's "You Can't Take Me Away" is quite the anthem! It's empowering even! This song is a snarl verses/against the powers that be!   The B-Side is called "Riptide" but dont think your safe one itty bitty bit... Those that aren't killed by the A-side won't make it out alive during "Riptide." The song will grab you, take you under and not let you go. I'm hoping to see what happens when the Cincinnati Psyche Fest hits and how Flesh and The Devils are handled. They could play well with that scene and maybe even be a feature...

The members of this band all come from other Cincinnati punk-rock bands and are what I would call "lifers" In many ways Flesh and The Devils has an all-star line-up dream band. On this b/w big-hole 45rpm, you get just a taste of this band that I hope is just a beginning.

RIYL:Deadbolt, DMZ, Cynics, Garage Punk with a touch of surf-rock, Doc and The Pods,

MFJD: "You Can't Take Me Away"
Phoo credit? Not sure,

Thursday, May 1, 2014

We Already Won (Short Story) Conclusion part two

"Well, I pick up my axe and fight like a bomber.
Hey! And your Bullets keep knocking me down"
From "Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix

(part two)

Read part one here:

Oscar snapped out of his intricate but various pathways of possibilities concerning the deep thought involved with creating his new lunch routine.

The paper towel Oscar used to dry his now clean hands-- from an economically green machine that the plant manager earlier boasted about how it could 'pay for itself over and over'-- was thrown toward the waste receptacle as the last co-worker exited the bathroom.

The wadded up paper towel bounced off the garbage cans rim and came to rest on the floor.

Oscar caught the closing bathroom door with his right foot as opposed to his hand. The door was nearly black with dirt and grime in the spot where countless dirty hands pushed open the door. A moments realization quickly pulled his foot away letting the door shut. He bent down to pick up the paper towel and dropped it squarely in the trash. Momentarily he stood there motionless. A quick glance had shown that all the bathroom stalls were empty.

He was alone. In a factory of 100+ full-time employees working MoreFasterBetter, Oscar found an area of solace away from everyone. The employee bathroom at lunchtime! As a sort of side-meaning to the mans gotta shit rule, no one wanted to spend their 20 minute faux-lunch doing something they could do on company time! So for the next 15 minutes (at least) this bathroom would only be occupied (in theory) by him. 

Only him.

No pesky co-workers prying into his business or looking over his shoulders in the cafeteria, the outside picnic table or otherwise. It was easy enough to just deliver a lie to anyone asking or peeping about what he was doing, but it was morally better not resorting to a lie to explain his actions.

He reached deeply into his 'clean pocket' which was the left-hand pocket of his work trousers. The pocket he never placed his machine-dirty hands or tools into... This was the pocket that held his mobile phone. He retrieved it and went into the bathroom stall and closed the doors.

The new routine Oscar was creating was birthed from his unwavering devotion to the Central African Conflict on more than one front. He not only put in five or six days and 11-12 hour workdays in the factory with only a 20 minute faux-lunch break in the un-air conditioned and sparsely heated factory running machines as a way for him to sustain himself, but in his free-time he held a position as part of the most decorated civilian reconnaissance units (CRU) the Central African Conflict had yet seen. His unit was designated as The Party's Over. 

He didn't bother with unbuckling his pants and making it seem he was really using the bathroom. Instead Oscar choose to sit directly on the toilet seat fully clothed. He checked his phones reception. The reception was good, and after a successful log-in to AF-COMM he awaited his mission.

AF-COMM was the shortened form of saying 'African Command'--the uniformed military leaders that were in charge of all military operations in the African Theatre, a place that currently included the bloody Central African Conflict. Uganda, True Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan... Oscar was doing his part for his countries interest. It was feared this conflict ound spread to involve the entire African continent. As if things couldn't get worse! Sometimes it seemed that there wasn't enough bullets or napalm for all of Americas enemies and/or interest.

After activating the application, his phones screen went all-black except for the word processing and a rotating silhouette of the African Continent with the AF-COMM logo to visualize that something was both happening and about-to-happen.

It had been nearly four months since he qualified for one of the Civilian Reconnaissance Units, or as they were more commonly known in their common form, the CRU's. The CRU's were a civilian based, all-volunteer private contractor military-like unit of men and women that reported via their smart phone application for service. The CRU program was maintained by several different private companies. Oscar reported to a company called EAS and his squadron was called The Party's Over. CRU members passed a series of rigorous proficiency test and attained certification to run real-time drone reconnaissance missions or, in other select cases (if their scores were high enough) members would also be allowed to operate armed clone strikes. Clandestinely of course.

The Party's Over was supposedly composed of 10-30 rotating members-- or that's what the pamphlet said. Oscar didn't know for sure because as part of the program the participants were not ever to talk about their participation on a public or private level. Oscars only person-to-person contact was with his handler at EAS who was only addressed as Party-1.

The CRU program members never knew who their unit mates were. Oscar and the others signed confidentiality agreements with their private contractor company to keep their known involvement in the CRU program secret. Upon 'graduation' via e-mail,  Oscar was awarded the privileged use of a smart phone application which would patch him and other CRU members directly into drones already launched and in-flight to carryout missions from afar.

Exploits from the Central African Conflict and the CRU program were regularly featured on evening news and enjoyed high ratings in the televised Public Poles as 'positive actions.' The Party's Over and other CRUs were seen as honored civilians volunteering for their countries benefit. After all, the CRU's were primarily promoted as a non-lethal reconnaissance 'information gathering' units or deliverers of supply drops which included humanitarian aid/or soldier re-supply plus  and other, various reconnaissance missions.

On his phone, Oscar knew he was securely linked into the AF-COMM system when the greeting appeared: Welcome O-1-4 you qualify for the following missions:

O-1-4 was Oscars identity call-number. His choice was between COOL or HOT.

The COOL choice was a run-of-the-mill reconnaissance mission or supply drops. No killing, just cameras gathering intel for AF-COMM to analyze or supplies for soldiers and desolated populace. The HOT option was a combat mission.  You get orders, targets and commands from AF-COMM and within 12 hours, a report would be sent to your e-mail with your BPA (Body, Property, Asset) figures. These figures then translated to Patriot Points. Points that you could use in any variety of ways... Gift cards for stores or restaurants, Income Tax credits, vacations...   The choices were endless and all donated from CRU booster companies. Personally, Oscar was saving up his points for a four days/three night stay at a Florida resort. 

As it was designed most of Oscars squadron were just given one option upon signing in and only a very small percentage had the second option that now faced Oscar. Oscar, as usual, chose the second option that scored more points.


The AF-COMM logo and continent silhouette reappeared. In less than 30 seconds he would be in the air in a fully armed drone with weapons pre-chosen for mission parameters with the bathroom stall as his cockpit. If no combat missions were available, he would still run a COOL mission if one was available--if that's all they had. Per Oscars CRU initiation pamphlet there were approximately 25 known CRUs spread apart by several different private companies so sometimes, there wasn't a mission. You still got some Patriot Points just for logging in. Oscar got the approval

You are GO for a HOT mission O-1-4!

Oscar smiled and quickly read the mission parameters and weapons load. Oscar was given, per usual, one final way out if his mind about his mission choice. ACCEPT or DENY.

Oscar chose ACCEPT and soon found himself piloting a heavily armed drone, flying due west in the skies over True Congo. His weapons load consisted of antipersonnel and anti-armor missiles with an accompaniment of four .50 caliber guns and ample ammunition. Basically Oscars drone strike load featured all air-ground weapons. His mission was to search for a column of reinforcements heading to re-supply True Congolese Government soldiers that were currently locked in savage hand to hand combat with African Allied troops dug in on the Uganda border... Then destroy them.

The Central African Theatre was eight hours ahead of Oscars time zone. In the Congo it was 5pm...  Using his phone, it was only a few minutes until his targets entered his radar and registered as a red triangle on his phones combat operations screen. Oscars phone began beeping coinciding with the flashing red triangle of which would increase in volume as he got closer to his kill zone.

At that time someone walked into the bathroom that Oscar thought was going to be his private area for lunch. The person took the stall next to him. Oscar turned the volume down on his phone as the beeping got closer and louder. Oscar took his eyes of his mission to try and identify who it was by glancing at the stall occupants shoes.

"Hey Oscar. What's up man? What game you playing?" One of Oscars co-workers, 'Tone' whose real name was Tony, noticed his shoes and addressed him by name.

"Uh... Yeah Tone. You guessed it!"

"I was trying to save this dump for company time but it couldn't wait"

Oscar got a visual on his target. The reinforcements were mobile in converted civilian trucks, cars and busses. Everywhere someone could sit was being sat upon. You could barely see the vehicles under the scantily clad troops that barely had any article of clothing that made them look like they were anything except soldiers. They were (at best) local militia. Probably drug-mercenaries-- men and boys alike riding, fighting, and even killing for their next fix.. Oscar noticed the flashes of small arms fire as they noticed the drone. Oscar lowered his altitude to come into striking range fitting the quad barrel .50 caliber weapons in a strafing run. He could see soldiers jumping from the vehicles running for cover. They knew what was about to happen.

"How's that set-up going on D-4 man?" Shit thought Oscar. Good ol' Tony being Tony... Even at lunch he talked about work. Oscar was pre-occupied. His answer was a brief generalization.

"I'm getting ready to finish it up." It was a bullshit reply because conceptually, as soon as anyone starts a project of any sorts, they are getting ready to finish it up.Oscar let loose the drones armament of propelled munitions bringing hell down upon the reinforcement column. The screen of Oscars phone turned into a swarm of explosions. Oscar switched to the drones rear camera as he pulled up from his drop.

Flashes and large explosions enveloped the whole phones screen. The entire mission was a success. Mission Accomplished blinked on Oscars screen. As he turned the drone around for another low flyby and follow-up strafe run he would survey the damage, Oscar seen that every vehicle in the column was ablaze. There appeared to be no movement from the scattered infantry either. Oscar fired the remaining munitions for the .50 Calibers. Oscar pulled the drone out of it's lower altitude flyby and instantly AF-COMM assumed the controls signaling that his mission reached a second level of affirmative success.

Oscars phone went back to the AF-COMM logo. Next to him Tony was having a loose bowel movement with all of it's associated sounds and smells.

"Fuck... Fire-hole!... Those wings I had last night are tearing me up!" Oscar didn't acknowledge Tone's awkward statement. Any answer Oscar thought of as a reply seemed just as awkward as his initial statement. After-all what could be said in reply?

The AF-COMM logo gave way to a new message KILL TOTALS PENDING...

So another reconnaissance drone mission would be dispatched to survey the damage and send kill totals back through AF-COMM. A message would be sent back to Oscar translating the whole ordeal into patriot points..

Tony had another bowel blowout next to him and the oder became unbearable. Sal became more vocal.

"Oh man! I'm really blowing it out today! Whew!"

Then Oscar heard the familiar rustle and opening of a potato chips bag. It was followed by a loud crunch and Tony holding the opened bag of chips under the stall partition shaking the bag for appearance asking Oscar if he wanted one.

Oscar turned off his phone, placed it in his clean pocket and then exited the stall without acknowledging Sal's bathroom potato-chip offer.

"Didn't mean to run ya out buddy" Tony laughed loudly and added "See ya on the battlefield." 

Tony was referring to their company department as a battlefield. It was a common thing to say among department staff. Oscar was certain Tony knew nothing about his involvement with the CRU program but it did cause a momentary pause for Oscar. Oscar took oaths and confidentially agreements seriously. Did Tony hear the missions bleeps and blips and recognize them? Was Tony part of the CRU program and was testing the water with his dual purpose chatter?

"Yeah man... See you on the front-lines." Oscar said while exiting thinking of his completed mission and wondering how many patriot points it would translate into. He would like to get enough to get that Florida vacation... 


Story by Shawn Abnoxious 
Editing by Shirley Hoover 
Graphics: Fuxter Schittly

Thanks: Julie, Olive, Juice, Fuxter and the best mother-in-law a guy could have, Shirley.

We Already Won (Short Story)

"Near the Village, the quiet village, the lion sleeps tonight"
 From "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)" Performed by the Tokens

(part one)
The people worked harder and longer because there was a conflict to solve and everyone needed to do his or her part for the conflict’s resolution. A conflict isn't necessarily a war; it’s a conflict. War was bad for business, so the stuff going down wasn't called a war. Governments, their associated generals, armies and economic analysts knew that, so they marketed wars as conflicts; which in turn was good for business. Besides that, real war held too much of a commitment and connection to winning. There is always a way out of a conflict. Upon entering hostilities, declaring something a conflict kept the definitions of solving that conflict loose to interpretation. Conflicts had easily accessible back doors-- an instant escape if military involvement came under heavy public criticism or if, by chance, the conflict’s original estimation of solution wasn't available. Wars are to be won or they are lost. Of course, no one wanted to lose. Losing was bad for morale. Bad morale was bad for business. Conflicts were resolved or not resolved; left open for the use of the Love'em & Leave'em clause. This provided a relatively quick way out if either side can't, or doesn't want to continue. Good regular pep talks helped to keep up the morale of the war-machines gears... oiled them ... kept them (the workers) well lubricated and focused. A conflict was easier to just leave. Something unresolved could, eventually, still be resolved as opposed to lost. Losing led to guilt and that does little to create or maintain the patriotic fervor currently needed to see the Central African Conflict.
The loud lunch tone sounded. It was 10am. It was five hours through another twelve hour day of a six day work week. The lunch break was really just a 20 minute faux-lunch break that passed as a real lunch break. The factory personnel-- many of whom had a 45 to 90 minutes ride home-- decided to forgo an additional 30 minute lunch break, the official lunch length, in turn to leave a half-hour earlier for their trip home.
Quickly, Oscar turned his third and final machine off. Every day it amazed him at either quitting time or faux-lunch time, that when machines got turned off, how lifeless and quiet a factory could be. His regular routine was to go to the centrally located restrooms to wash up before eating his lunch. As he washed his hands at the deep troughs designed to accommodate multiple people washing their hands at the same time, he also thought of how incredibly dirty he got every day. Industrial solvents and lubricated machines made the factory's work stations perpetually dirty. The reality that the factory made components used in remote drones of all types in the Central African Conflict surrounded him all-day long. Flags, banners and stickers spurring the idea of patriotism with catchy slogans and pictures of eagles invaded every line of sight. Every asset of the factory fed directly upon sentiments of the Central African Conflict. The footing of the conflict justified running everything as hard as it could. Machines, employees... Doing it for your country meant you can always do more, better and faster. This workplace attitude gave birth to the MoreFasterBetter (MFB) work mantra promoting itself as justifiable manipulation of the American workforce.
No one said you had to wash your hands before you ate, it was just the sort of thing that you felt you should do. Even though Oscar was washing up for faux-lunch break, he had no plans to actually eat his lunch. He could eat faux-lunch in between dirty machines and their reloading. Factory work made factory workers learn to eat fast; especially when you only had 20 minutes. Eat fast then go have a cigarette, make a phone call. Sometimes it helped to just put your head down on the lunch table to rest. The concept of MFB was a true product of the people, the workers... It took attitudes they already had and focused that mentality into a movement for their country.
Everybody had their own routines during faux-lunch. Oscar was working on a new routine himself; a routine that he had not yet perfected.

Oscar would decline heading to the lunch room to eat. As planned, he decided he would find time to eat between machine loads or maybe even during the afternoon’s 10 minute break.  A third option consisted of a taboo subject to Oscar-- eating in the bathroom stall during a restroom visit. One unspoken rule of factory work was you didn't go take a shit on your own time. You waited until just the right moment, when your machine loadings synchronized, and then you took a shit on the company's time. Also though, counteracting this Anti-Bathroom Eating issue was one of his own personal morals which prohibited not only the combination of eating and having a bowel movement in one act, but also forbidden food of any sort being near public or private facility bathrooms. Although it was hard to not be vocal about this heinous act when he witnessed it-- which happened in this filthy factory bathroom more often than he liked to admit-- he succeeded in looking the other way.
The sound of a rustling snack bag had become a sickening sound to Oscar. That bag sound attributed directly to the act of people eating inside the factory restroom and also would become the defining memory for his entire stint of employment at the factory. It became 'that fucked up place where the workers ate while they pooped'. Even though realistically, only a small percentage of his work associates actually did the act, time and jadedness would amplify the sparse accounts. In the years to come, hearing the crunching of potato chips--no matter where Oscar was-- he was instantly back in that next stall having a bowel movement shaking his head, mouthing insults and dispensing single-finger hand gestures to an audience of none through the stall’s partition.
However, the bathroom stall was also the one place in the factory where you could go and for the most part, no one would bother you. It was another unspoken rule of the If a man’s gotta shit, then a man's gotta shit rule. In his time at the factory, he heard almost every manner of ludicrous bathroom 'stall life' as possible... Eating, sleeping/snoring (aka 'slopping'), mobile phone conversations and the rustling of newspapers being read... One time, wicked stories from the demented shit-house told the tale of a co-worker who reportedly did a first wipe of his shit-ridden ass-crack and then shown the result, unexpectedly, to another workmate in the stall next to him under the stall partition! This turned out to be the same guy (the one wiping his ass) that after affirming who was next to him (again) by recognizing his shoes (again) and proclaimed loudly he was 'choking his chicken'...  Oscar didn't know whether to believe this tale or not. It was a new level of pondering and railing against shit-room etiquette.
Still, the allure of the man’s gotta shit rule allowed Oscar an opportunity he may be able to use to his advantage with only a small bit of contradiction being utilized.

Read part two:

Story by Shawn Abnoxious 
Editing by Shirley Hoover 
Graphics: Fuxter Schittly

Thanks: Julie, Olive, Juice, Fuxter and the best mother-in-law a guy could have, Shirley.