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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Blackout Fun

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Power failure — no lights, no nothing, no fun?  Jersey Joe has an incredible idea that will keep your family and friends entertained for hours!

THE 411

What: power failure

Reaction: Jersey Joe offers these tips for family fun

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

These are my immediate suggestions.  I grew up in the country.  In a big winter snowstorm or a summer thunderstorm, it was no uncommon for the power to go out.  My grandparents taught me that it was up to you to make it either a pleasant or horrible experience.  They simply planned ahead and were always ready.

Our family always had a back up heating source (both coal furnace or Kerosene heater), plenty of canned goods in the basement, and lights operated by batteries or kerosene.

Bottom line — it’s up to you to take a few seconds and plan for the worst.  Because, unfortunately, it will happen.

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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe LIVE] What Is Your Favorite Game Show?

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What do you think is the best TV game show?  Join Jersey Joe and Patch Frasca as they chat live from downtown Jersey City in this special rebroadcast of a live show.

 

 

THE 411

What: TV game shows

For: allows contestants to win big money for playing a game on televisio n

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

What is your favorite game show?  There are so many that I didn’t get a chance to talk about on this live show, that I want to do another episode!  I love Family Feud… but, Match Game is still the best!

[TRENCHES] Failure

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Hello, children. I’d like to tell you a story.

Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s begin.

This is a story about failure. This is a story about well-meaning people who have committed their lives to doing spectacular things, only to fall horribly short in the critical moment of execution. This is a story about how trying is more important than success.

THE BEGINNING

Once upon a time, someone had an awesome idea. It was a lovely, pure thought. It made sense and everybody got decently excited about it. It was revolutionary. It captured a flavor of life that was dangerously unappreciated, like some sort of lychee chocolate, only not horrible.

It was the very thing this time and age needed.

THE PROCESS

So off to the races we went. People did stuff to make a thing. Talented people. People near enough to the top of their game to bother with unfamiliar territory. Big risks, big pictures and blue skies. The thing really looked to be shaping up to be A Thing. It may even be worthy of the definite article. Careers are built on definite articles. Signpost moments of spectacular convergence, where all mortars fire in glorious harmony and collide in a shower of brilliance.

THE REALIZATION

But it wasn’t.

The first clues that The Thing would never deliver on the promise it made for itself lay in the first few meetings. What was written off as exuberance is revealed to be naivete. What was forgiven as passion is recognized as a furtive desire to accomplish that which has not yet been accomplished. What was mistaken for moxie is exposed as a tissue of breathless half-lies. We all wanted the best, but we were incapable of facing the impossible reality of the situation we found ourselves in.

THE RALLY

The blinding realization well-heeded, we doubled down. Sacrificing sleep and good health for the sake of making a loose collection of stuff into A Thing, The Thing that Deserved To Be, a motley crew of tactful, clever folks attempted to elevate the work from an arduous trial to be survived to the transcendental experienced we had promised ourselves. By the sheer will of our bloody-mindedness, we would force into being this essential Thing. All due attention was paid and all due wisdom applied, not to mention the carnival of favors called to cover the shortfall.

THE FALLING SHORT

And short it indeed fell. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a collection of rad people hoping to accomplish something that should be, by all rights, impossible, will be in want of an unknown quantity of resources to accomplish the increasingly impossible Thing. However little known the feelings or views of such a group of creative individuals may be on their first entering a project, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding players, that they are considered as the rightful property of some one or other of those dependent upon their brilliance. Such a classical view, endemic to the pathological dreamers amongst us, causes the truly brave to redouble their efforts when up against the wall. Which, in nearly all cases, results in a group of people meandering at the back of the room, looking at the fruit of the horrors we have wrought.

This in-depth example of the process of crafting new work is painstakingly sourced from years of experience. Let it be a guide to you through your darkest hours; many have walked this path before. It is your sworn duty, against all odds, to succeed.

What are some of your experiences with failure? Please share in the comments.

[Citizen Filter] Things to Scare You This Halloween and Halloween-Adjacent Days

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I was going to do another post of omphaloskepsing at my past, but it was too scary and awkward, and I couldn’t find any pictures of the Infamous Orange Hair. So instead, some fun thoughts to scare you (you being people are who are also in their mid-twenties and somehow got lost on their way to Buzzfeed to feel nostalgic about products that marketers told them were important) because thanks to Tim Burton and Henry Selick, Halloween doesn’t end until Christmas:

Yes, I know. I was such a tortured teenager I liked a movie that strictly adheres to the Hero Cycle. How innovative.

Yes, I know. I was such a tortured teenager I liked a movie that strictly adheres to the Hero Cycle. How innovative.

Street Harassment

That video that’s floating around is a) totally normal and b) kinda racist, because they edited all the white people out. How do I know white people catcall? Because they do it basically every time I’m outside and not with a man or group. Woman alone in public=property of men in public. That’s also secretly why women go to the bathroom in groups. It’s not to judge you and add our judgements to the Worldwide Women’s Conspiracy Database (although we do that too) it’s to avoid the men who may or may not talk at you, follow you, and/or grope you on your way in to the bathroom. Being a woman in public is fun!

College

Going to college is not going to get you a job, not even if you go for math and science. There is a lot of education out there, and if you want to do some post-high school training specifically for the purpose of getting a job, become a welder, plumber, electrician, cosmetologist, or septic tank specialist. Mike Rowe even has a scholarship for you. If you go to college, go because you feel that the learning and education you earn is worth upwards of 30 grand in debt, and make that debt fucking worth it by actually going to class and learning things. Your entry level office job that does not pay enough to cover all your bills is probably not going to be that interesting, if you are even lucky enough to get a single full-time job instead of many part-time jobs. A rich inner life keeps you from being bored and boring. And if you do end up avoiding a four-year degree, read a book for fun sometimes. I don’t care what book, just a book. On something that interests you.

Holidays

They are never going to be as magical as you remember them being as a kid or as they are portrayed on ABC Family. You are now too worldly to really believe in your heart of hearts that Santa is real, oil lasts eight days, peace on earth is a possibility in our lifetime, and snow will look pretty for more than a couple of hours in a big city. Holidays now are for running up debt buying stuff no one wants, fighting with your family about who is bringing what for Thanksgiving, and drinking your sorrows away at the local watering hole with all the other drunks late into the night. And on that note…

Buying Stuff

Buying stuff will never be as fun as it was when you were poor. Or young. Buying stuff when you’re a child is amazing, because it seems so magical. Give money, get wanted thing. And you had to wait sooooo long to get something, because birthdays and gift-giving holidays were always far away, and when you finally got The Thing You Wanted it the culmination of so much want that you are essentially an addict getting a fix. Same thing happens when you’re poor, except you know exactly how long it took to earn enough money to get The Thing You Wanted and you feel super guilty about spending money at all. But for realsies, nothing will ever taste as good as that tiny wedge of medium-grade brie did when you were working seventeen jobs and still couldn’t afford three meals a day. Never was a $2.31 purchase so beloved and enjoyed.

Your Opinions on Pop Music and Fashion Are Irrelevant

If you’re reading this, you’re probably older than 19. If you’re older than 19, you have no idea who is popular in music, fashion, YouTube (the new Young Hollywood) and Tumblr. Yes, Tumblr is a big deal now and people make careers off of it. I know. We’re old. We might as well be dead. The good news is that marketing agencies and PR reps have no idea what’s going on anymore either, and the current generation of young uns are slightly less exploited than we were.

It's not his fault you didn't believe him. HOMER.

It’s not his fault you didn’t believe him. HOMER.

We’re All Doomed

Partisan politics, climate change, fracking, overpopulation, food waste, aliens, Game of Thrones enthusiasts, beloved arbiters of culture being outed as sexual abusers, street harassment murders, gaming culture, tech culture, One True Scotsman arguments, cable news, streaming television, internet monopolies, Net Neutrality, abortion rights restrictions, New Jim Crow voter ID laws, Ferguson, the Detroit Institute of Arts collection sell-off, gentrification, drugs cartels murdering their way through Central America and Mexico to supply Americans with cocaine, MRAs, shrinking middle class, growth economies, terrorist regimes, attempted genocides, the creep of nationalist aggression, ebola, AIDS (still), anti-vaxxers.

Happy Monday, everybody. We’re all going to die.

[TRENCHES] Calibration

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I just started teaching (and, consequently, stopped writing). I find the process of calibration to be similar to beginning a show with a mostly new array of cast and crew. Please, allow me to elucidate.

The first day of class is a meet-and-greet table read of the script which, in this case, is a syllabus. After delving into the cast of characters and basic setting, everybody gets a solid feeling for their roles, character arcs and expectations. They’re always higher than the encumbrance of reality should allow. This, of course, will change with time.

After a session or two, it’s time to get deep into a core concept. Analyses of various depths will ensue, almost guaranteeing a breakdown in communication at some point. Unfortunately, out of a desire to maintain harmony and progress, every effort will be made to prevent this from being disclosed. The train of further development trundles on, building up steam toward problem track.

Eventually, a common language develops and everybody reaches the first big deadline: the midterm, when all the design drawings and basic paperwork are due. These are always a little shaky, depending on how much everybody paid attention to the details. Pesky things like obvious concepts, subtleties, and specific numbers – like budgets – seem to fly away quickly. Everything seems a little dull and requires some revision.

After some arduous tutoring, everybody winds up back on the same page in time for the major project of the semester: tech week. This is often ambitious at the outset, before the difficulty of assembling what is necessary to complete the task is fully understood. As fevered moments tick onward to the last conceivable moment, every effort is made to cobble together the assignment as best fits the expectations. Without extending more than the minimal effort, of course.

This brings us to Finals Week: opening night. Sometimes, it seems like you’re never going to get there. You might even have assumed as much and forgotten to prepare for all the specific demands. You might stay up all night and power through, but everything eventually comes together.

There’s usually a moment when you look back on the experience and tease out the highs and lows. You may even take a moment to think back about the laughs you had along the way. Hopefully, you’ll keep in touch with the friends you made, and maybe even see them again over many other projects the future.

Whatever the outcome, who cares; you’re probably not going to have to repeat it anyway.

[Citizen Filter] A Brief Guide To Grieving With Dignity

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I’m going to tell you a joke:

 

My dog’s dying!

 

Heyo!

 

Well, I tried. No, but really my dog is dying, and not my second or third dog, but my first dog, my childhood dog, the dog that made my father ruin innumerable photo prints and led my mother to discover the joys of buying chicken necks from the butcher, my dog who is beautiful and perfect and once chewed up an amazing pair of leather sandals when I was thirteen and she was still a puppy.

My mom texted me last weekend (hey, that’s why this is a week late! I HAVE REASONS FOR THINGS) with an adorable photo of my 16-year-old dog and the message the she has 25% kidney function and about two weeks to live, because she had stopped eating. That was my Saturday. Doggy suicide via hunger strike. Can’t even tell you how great that was. Can’t. Even. (Sidenote: Let us all take a moment to appreciate that my mother now knows how to send a group picture text. A moment of silence for her lost innocence, and a moment of laughter because anyone who thinks previous generations were innocent clearly has never seen a statistical chart teen pregnancy over the last century, nor have they read Shakespeare.)

So here’s my handy guide to dealing with your dog’s imminent demise:

1. Cry at the wheel while you’re driving to get gas on the way to your boyfriend’s mom’s birthday party.

2. Call your mom while you’re getting gas and cry on the phone with her. Marvel at her calm attitude. Realized that your mascara is running but you’re also running late so screw it, you were going for a smoky eye look anyway and how the fuck are you going to get through a party with a bunch of people who ask how you are and with whom you usually tell the truth?

3. When your boyfriend tells you that he is definitely driving the rest of the way, concede gracefully and climb over the parking brake, exposing your underpants to the whole gas station and (this is very important) Don’t Give A Damn because you are Grieving and No One Understands.

4. Sniffle all the way to Hipster Neighborhood, where your boyfriend is practicing a song to sing for his mother.

5. When you get there, ask your boyfriend’s brother for bourbon. Drink a healthy amount. Touch up your mascara.

6. Realize that they took your suggestion of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, a suggestion you made pre-dog-dying text. Realize that it is the Wrong Song to listen to when you are saying goodbye to an old friend. Sob quietly in the kitchen, using up all the eco-friendly paper towels to blow your nose. Wobble unsteadily to the living room when they’re done, finish your bourbon, and touch up your lipstick.

7. Cry when the roommates come home with their adorable dog.

8. Cry in the car on the way to the party.

9. Touch up your mascara again. You are going to run out of mascara.

10. See your boyfriend’s sister’s new puppy, who looks a lot like your dying dog, fenced in the yard. Hold back tears and pretend the last two hours didn’t happen.

11. Spend the whole party with your boyfriend’s brother-in-law’s brothers, who don’t talk much and mostly to their mother, in Spanish, when they do. Finally be grateful you forgot most of your Spanish.

12. Drive home. Debate going out. Decide against going out, go to the 24-hour Mexican and breakfast food place and get a burrito. Get teary-eyed because they are out of pickled carrots and radishes, and you don’t even eat those.

13. Eat your burrito. Drink a beer. Sleep.

14. The next day, text all the friends you have left in your hometown and strongarm them into going to your parents’ house and petting your dog. Succeed in annoying your parents, your friends, and your dog, who just wants to sit in the yard and sample the olfactory delights on the breeze. Hope your dog hasn’t learned to text in her old age, although that would be an amazing miracle that might compel God to keep her around a little longer, but would also make you the worst person ever because you annoyed your dying dog so much that she learned to text.

This is my dog. She is the best. This is her sniffing the breeze for interesting smells, including but not limited to: Squirrel, Other Dog, Bird, Milkman, Mailman, Delivery Man, School Children, Sad Lost Deer in an Urban Setting

15. Put up a weepy Facebook status, including the fateful first picture of your dog.

16. Get a barrage of concerned texts from your older sisters, who are channeling their grief into worrying about you. Thank the Lord for the consistency of the world, in which there is a time for life, for death, for change, and for always getting so much goddamn attention when your family members are trying to forget their own feelings. It is your duty to accept their worry graciously. It is your right to bitch about it to your boyfriend. It it your fate to be simultaneously happy that you are surrounded by Loving Concern and grumpy because all that Loving Concern is Stifling.

17. Cry. Drink a beer. Cry.

18. Watch cute dog videos on YouTube. Cry.

19. Get a text from your mother the dog has started eating again. She’ll be fine for awhile. Cry.

20. Realize that your bathroom is leaking water from the ceiling, walls, doorjamb, and windows. Cry, then eat a Bay Cities sandwich.

See how you too can dealing with the crippling sadness of losing a beloved pet and de facto family member in 20 easy steps! Fill your larder with booze and Kleenex and you’ll be just fine.

But don’t forget about the crippling guilt for moving away from your hometown to find education, love, and happiness! There is nothing more reproachful than the eyes of a dog who is old and sick and sad that you’re leaving, and that was last January, when we thought she had at least another year.

Happily, I’ll back in ye olde homesteade in a couple of weeks, and I’m hoping she holds out long enough for me to say goodbye. Because the only thing worse than your dog dying is when you miss saying your farewells by a day or two!

[Citizen Filter] Hold My Drink, It’s Wedding Season

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Situations described herein may be fictionalized or dramatized because I damn well feel like it, that’s why.

One of the things that happens as you emerge from your college years are the many warnings from slightly-older friends and family members: “Wedding season is coming,” they say, shaking their heads. “Soon you’ll spend all your money and vacation time on weddings.” Sure, you believe them, but in your heart of hearts (oh, you cute little ball of naivete), you believe that they will be Fun, you will have a Good Time, and you will celebrate the joining of hands in holy matrimony with the light heart and joyful spirit of one who will soon be enjoying an Open Bar. Amen, hallelujah.

Both these things are true.

The tone of the season changes somewhat, when you are a participant in these occasions. Mostly, it changes from “love is amazing!” to “oh, God, I am so poor and this is so expensive!” to “I have no money left for basic necessities, but I am now the proud owner of many satin dresses” to “love is amazing and I’m drunk!” Mostly the last one happens after the ceremony and before the maid of honor pukes on your shoes.

And I am actually truly happy and so honored to be invited to stand up with the bride and groom and support them on their day of commitment, but before that day, as a bridesmaid, I also get to run the gauntlet of dressing myself. It used to be that the bride would pick a dress that flattered no one and send you to the local bridal chain store for purchase, but in this enlightened and Pinterested age, bridesmaids are supposed to express themselves. This is kind and thoughtful, and completely terrible.

For one of the approximately seven hundred weddings that I’m in this fall, we were give a color, a fabric, and dress length, and send to everyone’s favorite national bridal chain to pick dresses. Within those parameters, we choose anything we wanted. This means that you end up in the wilderness of a chain of a thousand emails, comparing links to various dress styles that may or may not fit in those parameters so none of the two dozen bridesmaids pick the same dress (oh the horror!) and then realizing the one you like is regular satin instead of stretch satin and then realizing that you just have to go to the damn store to see if you can even try any of those on, because short legs are the curse of your gene pool and apparently completely unknown to bridal party designers.

So imagine yourself in a beautiful and quiet blush-colored salon, trying to zip yourself into samples that either look and act like sausage casings or feel like tent and fall off in the “fancy old fashioned powder room” themed waiting area, and of course you’re wearing an old grimy bra and ripped underwear, and of course there’s someone’s little brother running around, right at the age where they become fascinated by women’s bodies, and of course you haven’t even shaved your legs because why would the experience afford you, the lowly bridesmaid, contractually obligated to make the bride look gorgeous at the expense of your own shallow vanity, any dignity at all?

bridesmaid

This is that dress. What you can’t see are the clips holding the damn thing on.

So imagine that, then pull out your credit card and pay many dollars for the privilege of wearing the least unfortunate of those dresses, and then when you stop by the grocery store on the way home, text your significant other that you are going to drink “ALL THE WINE THEY HAVE” and impulse buying deep fried bar food that warms conveniently in the toaster oven.

This is mitigated when you get home and the bride texts you happy emoji and tells you how excited she is to have you as a friend.

Then you get online to scour all your go-to dress sites for dresses, because at least one bride gave you the parameter of “don’t show up naked” but you have to coordinate with everyone else or at least the theme so you don’t ruin the pictures, but then you start considering whether it should be a one-time deal or if you should look for investment pieces. It’s at that moment when you’re skulking designer discount sites in the seedy part of the internet that you realized all your clothes are from Forever 21 because investment pieces are really fucking expensive and who in their right mind spends three digits on shoes?

It’s at that point you switch from wine to scotch start buying household gadgets that you don’t need and will never use, and you wake up the next morning with invoices for dresses and shoes and slap-chops, and as you nurse your hangover through each ping of new store e-newsletters and each transaction draining more of your hard-earned cash (“there goes my student loans” you think), you hide under the covers and get a text from the bride “I’m so glad you’re coming for the wedding, I might kill myself planning this bitch”, and you think, “this is why we’re friends”. And suddenly being broke and looking like shit doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day your friend is getting married to someone who adores her, and they are taking some rad steps towards creating the life they want.

(Congratulations, gorgeous friends. Kelsey, Betsy, and Therese, I really couldn’t be happier for you.)

[LefthandedJeff] Ah Inhumanity, So Human

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It strikes me that the things we think of as inhumane are, in fact, totally human. As history and prehistory have shown time and again. The holocaust. Slavery. Jack the Ripper. Ted Bundy. The Cultural Revolution in China. Stalin’s tens of millions killed. The Killing Fields of Cambodia. When the Crusaders took Jerusalem, they killed every man, woman and child in the city. That was pretty much Standard Operating Procedure for European war in the Middle Ages—throw in raping all the women, of course.

I read an account in Empire of the Summer Moon about the Commanche, who routinely raped, tortured and killed captives. They cut a guy’s arms and legs off, then threw him onto a bonfire, still alive, and watched his trunk wiggle in the fire and laughed at it. Then of course there’s the drawings and quarterings, if we stop back on by Middle Ages Europe. The Spanish Inquisition, with its rack, its Iron Maiden, its burnings at the stake. Vlad and all of his delightful impalings.

But these are just the obvious examples. There’s also the garden variety exploitation we tolerate that goes on all over the world. The human trafficking. The near slavery conditions under which most of our clothing and electronics are manufactured. Even refusing to renew unemployment benefits even though there are more unemployed than there are open jobs seems a touch inhumane if you ask me. The bullying that happens every day in countless schoolyards and countless offices across this great land of ours.

Look at the Stanford Prison Experiments, where everyday college students morphed into sadistic guards with no prompting other than arbitrary power and boredom. Look at the Stanley Milgram obedience experiments, where people were willing to shock total strangers to the point of screaming just ’cause some guy with a clipboard said so. Look at lynchings. Stonings. Clitorectomies. Honor killings. Videotaped beheadings. Back on the mass level: the Roman games of gladiatorial blood and death. It seems that wherever and whenever throughout history and, one imagines, prehistory, one group of humans is able to grab and maintain real power over another group–usually a small group over a larger one–the former will exploit the latter up to and including slavery, torture, ritual and/or mass killings. A bit o’ the ol’ apartheid, anyone? Maybe a little genocide while we’re at it? So many options along that smorgasbord spectrum from common gore to deluxe degradation.

If we’re honest with ourselves, is there really anything more human after all than man’s serial inhumanity to man, woman, child and all sentient beings great and small?

[TRENCHES] The Seven Deadly Songs Pt. 2

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Back to the formidable list of the Seven Deadly Songs. Read the first part here.

4. Bohemian Rhapsody

In the second century, ancient Celts wielded powerful magic to craft a small, second moon called “New Bohemia” from asteroidal debris stolen from Druid standing stone sites. It is said inhabitants of this paradise were sustained purely by music, the “sweet wind which blows any way, like fate itself.” It was not uncommon for residents to live for hundreds of years, speaking a now-lost tonal language that relied on conversational harmony.
Not having any of this, in the fourth century, the demon Aeshma ascended to spread wrath and fury to the slender, bardic ponces. Perverting New Bohemia with a bloody citadel, the demon forced its new subjects to suffer in prisons where music was outlawed for hundreds of years. Once a century, the demon Beelzebub would visit to cast a curse upon the prisoners, causing them all to speak in unison, a favorite gift Aeshma called the “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
In the seventh century, a descendant of the prophet Zoroaster was born and ordained as an avatar of Ahuramazda, the Brilliant Wisdom. Tasked with slaying the demon Aeshma and returning the inhabitants of New Bohemia to Earth, where their music and ability to speak in harmony instead of cruel unison could be restored. After a pitched battle, Aeshma fell, but not before the demon Beelzebub infected the great hero with a terrible curse that bound his soul to a bowl of burning cinders for over a thousand years.
A great time later, after the New Bohemians were returned to their moon and set adrift throughout the solar system to later orbit a planet with far fewer demons, Ahuramazda took pity on the hero and re-incarnated him as a human child. The child’s name was Farrokh Bulsara and displayed the prodigious gifts of the New Bohemians from an early age. One day, the Brilliant Wisdom visited Farrokh and gave him a vision of New Bohemia’s history, from the horrible battle to its new home in orbit around the planet Mercury. Rising to his feet, the man declared it his life’s work to commemorate the great work that had been done so long ago, taking the mantle of Freddie Mercury.
The first time “Bohemian Rhapsody” was ever heard, it was performed in its entirety by Freddie Mercury, alone. The strain of recounting such a story – as well as singing the complicated harmonies a capella and alone – put enormous stress on Freddie’s vocal cords, an injury he would never fully recover from. He would continue to sing of great heroes and their feats until his mortal body’s death.
Invoking the tantalizing power of the music of ancient Celts opens a portal to war-torn New Bohemia. The demon Aeshma reaches through this to all those who listen to the saga, causing them to thrash about in wrathful rage, only to be slain again by the rich harmonious refrain.
There are some who suggest that, if one is not cautious enough to finish the song – or worse, play it backwards – Aeshma may rise from the distant past to steal the rich voices of us today, much as it does to anyone foolish enough to attempt this song on their own.

3. Sweet Caroline

On the 7th of December in 1913, a powerful Oni demon from Japan awoke from exiled slumber in the middle of an exhibition match between the White Sox and Giants. Furious, yet grateful for its release, the Oni attached itself to the strongest player from the winning team, the White Sox. The pesky demon rode back to the United States with the team, taking up residence at Comisky Park and wreaking minor havoc, mostly in latrines.
In 1919, after the “Black Sox” loss to the Cincinnati Reds, the demon lost interest in the team and wandered the streets of Chicago, making mischief here and there, waiting for a powerful “red” victor to haunt.
All was more or less well until Game 3 of the 1932 world series. After a spectacular display by a somewhat celebrated player by the name of George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr., the demon became enamored of the mystical energy surrounding the Bambino, drinking deep from a gypsy curse placed upon him by the frustrated girlfriend of a theatre producer. In the demon’s twisted understanding, the combined strength of the “Red” and its treasured symbol, the “Sox,” presented an opportunity to rain misery on a scale it had dreamed of since being so rudely awakened nineteen years prior.
The demon – now referring to itself as the Bamboni – relocated itself by its own means to its new shrine, Fenway Park, where it proceeded to utterly ruin the career of the Red Sox for many decades to come.
That is, until a powerful wizard who rose to prominence as a musical entertainer recorded a powerful binding charm in 1969. Calling his power from precious stones, Neil Diamond reached into the future and crafted the spell with the knowledge that it would one day be played at the park, thwarting Bamboni’s mischief by incremental measures until the demon was beat back in 2004.
As a desperate attempt to remain a troublesome (if no longer corporeal) force, the demon left Fenway and sought refuge in the spaces between the binding words of the song’s chorus and refrain. To this very day, anywhere the song is played amidst groups in revelry (of which only one need have blood of Bostonians), the Bamboni calls the crowd to chant in the quiet spaces of the song so that it may sneak out and work its terrible mischief on all those gathered.

And if nothing else, it’s a fucking great way to rile up a crowd of Massholes, which is reason enough to leave it alone.

2. Don’t Stop Believin’

An anthem of broken hearts pieced together from the travelogue of a band of wayfaring holy men doomed to an interminable quest, most people sing this as a tribute to the 2003 movie “Old School.” They do not realize that this fable of near-loss and woe is a talisman against the endless tricks of Satan himself. Causing the lovelorn and faithless to doubt their convictions for decades, the mighty necromancer Steve Perry used the power of his enchanted voice to bind the parade of hopeless souls to the strength they feel lacking in every low moment.
Singing this song in a bar is relatively easy, because you don’t have to sing a single word. The power in the verses is strong enough to summon the voice from anyone who hears it, united in defiance of the Devil’s perverse will. Try humming bits of it to yourself while walking down the street; you may frighten those who walk in the Dark Prince’s shadow. The enchantment brings peace and contentment to all those stuck on a fruitless journey, except perhaps the Filipino dude they got to replace Steve Perry. I promise I’m not bitter because, after a disappointing audition, they decided not to take me.

1. The Unknowable Horror

The last and most powerful song is a peculiar beast. The Assyrian demon Pazuzu seized upon the upstart Karaoke backing track company known as “Sunfly” and imprinted its likeness in the minds of those working there. Pazuzu lurks in the intro to every song, waiting to find the piece most resonant to the assembled company and strikes out with the fury of the southwestern winds. He brings drought and storms hiding in the most-played (and subsequently often most-butchered) piece from any establishment.
This could be a little-known yet oddly well-appreciated 80s synth-pop hit, or Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.
The warning signs that Pazuzu is attacking are a pronounced dryness in the throat, a desire to leave the bar immediately and possibly a massive brawl breaking out somewhere in the bar. If three comely lasses of uncertain virtue begin to dance in revelry before the stage without their shoes, this can also indicate the thrall of the Scourge of the Southeast.

Go with peace, and know that dark things sleep beneath. I have to back and watch all of Buffy and Angel in sequence.