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Archive for September, 2012

Last month I was out at a dinner with a presenter. The Russian rock group Pussy Riot came up in conversation. You probably know this is the group of young women who went into a church and recorded a video of their song protesting the Putin government’s connection with the Russian Orthodox Church. You also probably know that they got sentenced to two years in jail for the escapade. You also probably know that there was an international firestorm of support for them, and that many people across the Western world had a hard time saying the words “Pussy Riot” – especially news anchormen.

I said to her, “What a great thing to write a song about – their name is so great!”

The presenter, who runs a great family series, looked at me and said, “Don’t you dare sing a song about Pussy Riot at my concert.”

I understood, but I got an idea. It got me thinking about words – what you can and can’t say. Corruption is okay, but the name of a rock group presents problems.  So I wrote this song, which I probably could sing anywhere (except in Russia). Since they’re a punk band, I plugged in the electric guitar and pushed the distort pedal. It needs a caffeinated drummer. And if ANYONE wants to make a video of it, capturing pictures from the internet of the band and the ensuing madness, let me know.

Here’s the song –

If you like the song, you can download it here: billharley.bandcamp.com/track/puddy-wiot

Here’s to Puddy Wiot. Cwazy guwls.

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I have a contest on my web page related to my new book Lost and Found.  It’s to identify this critter that showed up in the twisted mind of Adam Gustafson and on the pages of the book:

This is all well and good, but what is really astounding to me is the variety of responses I’ve gotten about what the critter is. For example:

As a veterinarian, I can certify that this animal is a most excellent example of a partially albino Badgerterrierius wingedcorvidium.     What’s quite interesting about this particular individual is that it JUST might be one of the few leaders of the radical animal liberationist group, International Chimeras Unite!, which you can tell by the position of its right arm and paw, preserved in the very typical greeting of the group: the outstretched (and outraged) claw.
Given the fine quality of this specimen, I can only surmise that it must be one of the few honored and revered leaders of this group.  Here’s why: International Chimeras Unite! has long been known to, upon the untimely death of one of its leaders (HBC–hit by car, RTA–road traffic accident, SBH–shot by hunter, ARG–ate rotten garbage), skin, stuff, and preserve their leaders, on a lovely wooden base.   Historians of ICU tell of one particular leader, Marcus “Skunk-face” Multipartzum, who was known for his fierceness in battle, his bravery in the face of all things putrid and stinky, and his short-but-lovely flowing tail.  His preserved body was known to be stolen by the arch enemies of ICU, National Organization of Female Sheep and Deer with Normal Taxonomy (NoEweDoeNT) during their infamous ‘Abolish Body Diversity!’ crusade.  I suspect that this might be that very same statue, and leader.

At that’s only one of them. Many more you can read here. At first, they were all so good, I suspected that some insanely creative writer, like Salman Rushdie or a back-from-the-dead Italo Calvino, was bored and spending his time writing on my off-the-beaten-tracks web page. But no, Michele, our office manager reassures me, these are coming from all over. More depravity than I ever imagined. I am terrified and comforted at the same time!

It’s hard to admit that someone is funnier and more creative than I am, but my insight from this is that you all are a lot weirder and smarter than I ever imagined. I bow in your general direction.

And if you haven’t entered, it’s not too late to get weird with us. Contest ends on the 24th. Go here.

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