It’s GOOD to be the king.

It’s GOOD to be the king.

Plays: 20

I Had a Truly Horrible Dream Last Night - The Misery of Genius: Hunter S. Thompson


(They laughed at Thomas Edison.)

It has been raining a lot recently. Quick thunderstorms and flash floods…lightning at night and fear in the afternoon. People are worried about electricity.

Nobody feels safe. Fires burst out on dry hillsides, raging out of control, while dope fiends dance in the rancid smoke and animals gnaw each other. Foreigners are everywhere, carrying pistols and bags of money. There are rumors about murder and treachery and women with no pulse. Crime is rampant and even children are losing their will to live.

The phones go dead and power lines collapse, whole families plunged into darkness with no warning at all. People who used to be in charge walk around wall-eyed, with their hair standing straight up on end looking like they work for Don King, and babbling distractedly about their hearts humming like stun guns and trying to leap out of their bodies like animals trapped in bags.

People get very conscious of electricity when it goes sideways and starts to act erratic…eerie blackouts, hissing, and strange shocks from the toilet bowl, terrifying power surges that make light bulbs explode and fry computer circuits that are not even plugged in…The air crackles around your head and you take a jolt every time you touch yourself. Your lawyer burns all the hair off his body when he picks up the cordless phone to dial 911.

Nobody can handle electricity run amok. It is too powerful…Ben Franklin was never able to lock a door again after the day lightning came down his kite string and fused that key to his thumb. They called it a great discovery and they called him a great scientist; but, in fact, he bawled like a baby for the rest of his life every time he smelled rain in the air.

I find myself jerking instinctively into the classic self-defense stance of a professional wire wizard every time I hear rain on the roof. That is an atavistic tic that I picked up many years ago in my all-night advanced intelligence electronics class at Scott AFB, on the outskirts of east St. Louis — where I also learned about pawnshops, oscillators, and full-bore lying as a natural way of life.

The stance was the first thing we learned, and we learned it again every day for a long, crazy year. It is as basic to working with serious electricity as holding your breath is to working underwater….

Lock one hand behind your back before you touch anything full of dissatisfied voltage — even a failed light bulb — because you will almost certainly die soon if you don’t.

Electricity is neutral. It doesn’t want to kill you, but it will if you give it a chance. Electricity wants to go home, and to find a quick way to get there — and it will.

Electricity is always homesick. It is lonely. But it is also lazy. It is like a hillbilly with a shotgun and a jug of whiskey gone mad for revenge on some enemy — a fatal attraction, for sure - but he won’t go much out of his way to chase the bugger down if ambush looks a lot easier.

Why prowl around and make a spectacle of yourself when you can lay in wait under some darkened bridge and swill whiskey like a troll full of hate until your victim appears — drunk and careless and right on schedule — so close that you almost feel embarrassed about pulling the trigger.

That is how electricity likes to work. It has no feelings except loneliness, laziness, and a hatred of anything that acts like resistance…like a wharf rat with its back to the wall — it won’t fight unless it has to, but then it will fight to the death.

Electricity is the same way: it will kill anything that gets in its way once it thinks it sees a way to get home quick….


Right straight up your finger and through your heart and your chest cavity and down the other side.

Anything that gives it an escape route. Anything — iron, wire, water, flesh, ganglia — that will take it where it must go, with the efficiency of gravity or the imperative of salmon swimming upriver…. And it wants the shortest route — which is not around a corner and through a muscle mass in the middle of your back, but it will go that way if it has to.

Some people had to have their loose hand strapped behind them in a hammerlock with rubber cords, just to keep their hearts from exploding and their neck nerves from being fried like long blond hairs in a meat fire when the voltage went through. But sooner or later they learned. We all did, one way or another.

One night — perhaps out of boredom or some restless angst about the fate of Caryl Chessman or maybe Christine Keeler — I connected a 50,000-volt RF transformer to one end of the thin aluminum strap on the Formica workbench that ran around three sides of the big classroom; and then I grounded the strap to a deep-set screw in a wall socket.

Severe shocks resulted when the generator jumped its limiter and began cranking out massive jolts and surges of RF voltage. A 50,000-volt shock ran through my stomach, just below my navel, burning a long, thin hole that I can still pull a string of dental floss through on wet nights.

It was horrible, and still is, but it was also a massive breakthrough; and I will never forget the warped joy I felt when the first surge of electricity went through them. They squawked at each other and flapped their arms like chickens….

My own pain was nothing compared to the elation of knowing that I had just made an unspeakably powerful new friend — an invisible weapon that could turn warriors and wizards into newts, and cause them to weep.

Washington, DC, 1989

The Best Written Words For The Worst Shitty Days: “Bowery Blues”

Bowery Blues by Jack Kerouac


The story of man
Makes me sick
Inside, outside,
I don’t know why
Something so conditional
And all talk
Should hurt me so.

I am hurt
I am scared
I want to live
I want to die
I don’t know
Where to turn
In the Void
And when
To cut

For no Church told me
No Guru holds me
No advice
Just stone
Of New York
And on the cafeteria
We hear
The saxophone
O dead Ruby
Died of Shot
In Thirty Two,
Sounding like old times
And de bombed
Empty decapitated
Murder by the clock.

And I see Shadows
Dancing into Doom
In love, holding
TIght the lovely asses
Of the little girls
In love with sex
Showing themselves
In white undergarments
At elevated windows
Hoping for the Worst.

I can’t take it
If I can’t hold
My little behind
To me in my room

Then it’s goodbye
For me
Girls aren’t as good
As they look
And Samadhi
Is better
Than you think
When it starts in
Hitting your head
In with Buzz
Of glittergold
Heaven’s Angels


We’ve been waiting for you
Since Morning, Jack
Why were you so long
Dallying in the sooty room?
This transcendental Brilliance
Is the better part
(of Nothingness
I sing)


I’ve seen the future, brother; it is murder.

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen is the man I want to be.

I dunno, but I think he’s sending out a subliminal message here.

The Best Written Words For The Worst Shitty Days: “Fear”

Fear by Raymond Carver 


Fear of seeing a police car pull into the drive.
Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I’ve been told won’t bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children’s handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they’ll die before I do, and I’ll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.

I’ve said that.

Is this Morrissey hanging out with you-know-who backstage at the BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’ back in 1989? Fancy that!
It’s strikingly admirable to see them both grinning like good old chums here.
Has the world change or have I changed?

Is this Morrissey hanging out with you-know-who backstage at the BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’ back in 1989? Fancy that!

It’s strikingly admirable to see them both grinning like good old chums here.

Has the world change or have I changed?

Plays: 20

Song of the Day: ‘Satellite of Love’, Morrissey

Here’s Morrissey paying tribute to Lou Reed with a breathtaking live version of ‘Satellite of Love’.

I guess genius does herd with genius after all. 

Without luck you can’t even eat ice cream. You’ll end up choking on the cone or being run over by the ice cream truck.

Nelson Rodrigues

Get in, get out. Don’t linger. Go on.

Raymond Carver

all write is a blog by alex ferreira. it is in fact a continuation of his why write? blog.