Thursday, January 11, 2001

History's great rejection letters

I have finished my review of your portfolio, Mr. Schicklgruber. Your passion for art is evident. But passion, alone, is not talent. Inanimate objects are your strong point: buildings, rocks, hills and so forth. Dare I say that your people do not convince me that they are people? That your people, in fact, seem like objects? It strikes me, further, that your line is very tense, that you grip your pencil or brush too tightly. You need to loosen up, Adolph! Art is not a question of control; you must let your hand go free to fly like a bird across the page! If you find your freedom, you will find your artistry. As it stands, I see only the WILL to be an artist, and not the talent. Come back to me when your art takes wing, and I will consider admitting you into the academy. Until then, I remain ...

Yours in service of the protean "nebeninander"
-- Professor Emeritus, Sol Herschberger

PS: If considering a career in art, please consider a change of name. "Schicklgruber" is not so much as a signature, hmm?

As requested, I have listened to your demo reel. Your songwriting talent is indisputable, and I appreciate your driving sense of rhythm. Yes, you've mastered the rock "idiom." But that in itself is not enough. You have yet to find your own voice, Charlie. The material submitted sounds too much like Charlie Manson doing a Jim Morrison imitation. Yes, it is a VERY GOOD imitation. But you are not Jim Morrison! I need to hear your voice, Charlie. And you need to find your own voice. Please, take a year off from "the music biz," and find yourself, Charlie. Perhaps a stint in the desert away from "the madding crowd" will do you good! Come back to me when you sound like you, Charlie. Then we'll talk about that killer album.

Terry Melcher 

Thank you for submitting your manuscript. Unfortunately, it does not meet our needs. Due to the volume of submissions, Interview Magazine cannot promise to return all editorial materials. In the future, please send S.A.S.E. and copy of your work only.

Andy Warhol


I hate Jonathan Edwards

I hate Jonathan Edwards. In case you don't know, he's this so-called psychic who talks to the dead on the Sci-Fi channel. Big deal. Anybody can talk to the dead.

EDWARDS: Hey, big guy. (tapping on coffin) How's it feel in there? S'awright? (throwing voice) S'awright.

Talking to the dead is easy. Persuading the dead to talk back? That's the hard part.

Edwards makes out he's chatting with spectres and shades with a series of stochastic* Barnum statements. The audience buys it because they want to. It's sad.

His act goes something like this. Edwards finds some needy, weepy-eyed person in the audience who's lost somebody. Usually, it's a woman. He does a little small talk, then goes into his act. The woman looks up at him with big eyes.

EDWARDS: I'm picking up ... an enemy? A stranger? A friend? A distant relative? A close relative? One of your parents? Or both of them?


EDWARDS: There's been a death. Or deaths. Recently. Or a long time ago.

She sobs.

EDWARDS: Don't cry. I'm ... there's a message for you. It's very strong. I'm definitely picking up on it.

WOMAN: What's the message?

EDWARDS: "The pain is gone. It's a better place. Please don't cry."

She sobs more.

EDWARDS: I hear ... yes, I hear something. That's very unusual, but ... Yes. I'm definitely hearing a very strong sound. It's ... A tone. A note. I'm seeing ... some sort of string instrument. Your parents were musicians? Professional concert violinists?

WOMAN: Both my parents were deaf.

EDWARDS: Yes. That's what's coming through! I can see ... hands! American sign language! (he gestures) "No sound. Deaf. Stupid."

She sobs.

EDWARDS: The sound ... is more like an image. An image of a ...

WOMAN: A color?

EDWARDS: Yes! A color. Blue.

She shakes her head.

EDWARDS: I mean green. Purple. Violet. Mauve? No. More like red, yes, I see red, definitely red ... red ... a woman in a red dress. Your mother?

WOMAN: My mother's not dead.

EDWARDS: A man in a red dress. Was your father a transvestite?


EDWARDS: He was a professional Santa Claus?

She shakes her head no.

EDWARDS: A Satanist?


EDWARDS: He had a red vest because he worked as a cashier in a gambling casino?


EDWARDS: And when I say "red vest" what I mean is a red tie. Your father spilled ketchup on his tie. He had a red handkerchief?

WOMAN: Yes. My father DID have a red handkerchief.

EDWARDS: And...yes... your father has a message for you.

WOMAN: What's he saying?

EDWARDS: He's saying ... I mean he's signing: "Blow your nose when you have a cold. Don't use a handkerchief like I did but use a Kleenex and throw it away. And drink plenty of fluids and watch your health." Your father was very concerned with your health...

WOMAN: Yes, he was!

EDWARDS: And...and he wants you to get a flu shot.

WOMAN: That's amazing!

The woman cries. The audience applauds.

I hate Jonathan Edwards.

*Educated guesses narrowing down from the specific to the general. Is it bigger than a breadbox?

Death to Humans - the musical

"Death to Humans"
(to the tune of "Up with People")

It was .07 chrono units when my saucer skipped a beat
I abducted a bus driver and ground him into meat
He was just one human burger -- when there could be billions more.
I had never really noticed that before

Refrain (all)

Death, death to humans, kill them wherever you go
Death, death to humans, the worst species that I know
If more aliens would kill more humans, all humans everywhere
There’d be a lot less humans to worry about and lot less humans who care.

Peace in the Middle East

Idea for peace in the Middle East ...

Goddamnit, I'm tired of this shit. It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys with towels on their heads and/or beanies. Fuck it. I don’t care who’s right or wrong. It’s boring. Not only that, consider the shitloads of money spent to keep the Jews and Palestinians from killing each other. What we need is a quick and dirty solution.

I propose interval ownership.

Hear me out, OK?

Six months of the year it’s Palestine, the other six months it’s Israel. When it’s your time out of the country, the UN puts you up in a four-star hotel of your choice at any spot on the planet, just so long as it's outside “Holy Land.” The decadent enjoy Vegas-style sleaze, drugs and whores. The morally upright enjoy family entertainment in places like Disney World and Universal Studios. And EVERYBODY gets free room service!

And, speaking of “entertainment resort complexes,” the “Holy Land” itself would be turned into a vast amusement park called, well, “Holy Land.” During your six months, you’d work as an “entertainer” for tourists around the world — lotsa bigheaded Jesuses walking on water, signing autographs, etc. (And, of course, the film industry would also provide employment via constant documentaries.) Jews could plant trees. Six months later, Palestinians could dig them up. The Jews could ask for mony to plant more trees.

I think it could work.