Gotta take either more of it or less of it #32014

Taking public transportation to and from the City every day affords one a unique perspective on fellow travelers. Buses are, by nature, pretty big, but maybe because they’re so damn ubiquitous—like the proverbial elephant in the room—no one sees them. The casual glance out the window and down rewards even the mildly curious (or bored) rider with a veritable cross-section of humanity—a good portion of whom at any time will be engaged in every type of ill-advised behavior for a person operating a motor vehicle.

In the year and change since I started leaving the truck back in the holler, I’ve witnessed “drivers” texting, shaving, cutting their hair, doing their makeup, eating cereal, reading the paper, reading a book, and exchanging pleasantries with their passenger(s). If you know what I mean.

This morning, however, took the cake. While rolling through the tony enclave of Ross, a driver pulled alongside the bus and started smoking dope off a piece of tinfoil with a blowtorch. Really. I couldn’t tell what he was smoking, or which way he was headed—up or down—but he was actually driving better than 80% of the folks on the road, so I’m guessing some kind of animal tranquilizer cut with raspberry ketones. It was Ross, after all.

Amazing X-Men #3 — Aaron/McGuinness — March ’14/Marvel Comics

Amazing3With things dreadfully serious in existing X-books such as Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men, and even Uncanny Avengers — which, with the Apocalypse Twins making things no fun for anyone is more of an X-book than not right now — the field was ripe for a rip-snorting, swashbuckling adventure through, well, anywhere. The realms of the afterlife? Sure, why not?

Enter Marvel’s latest X-offering, borrowing its title from one of the alternate Age of Apocalypse books (after all, it’s not like Spider-Man is using the adjective right now). From the beginning, Amazing X-Men teased the return of everyone’s favorite two-toed teleporting mutant, and with this issue, we get it, in spades.

With the latest issue, writer Jason Aaron and penciler Ed McGuinness have offered up the single-most crazy fun comic I have read since the last issue of Bad Dog. In short, Nightcrawer’s dad, the red devil Azazel, has a pirate ship and is plundering both heaven and hell for … who cares? Pirates. With cannon and swords. In Hell. If that doesn’t sound like the best idea for a comic book, I’ll eat my tricorne hat.

Especially refreshing is Aaron’s treatment of Dr. Hank McCoy, the Beast. For a character who has spent the past year moping his way through All-New, dreadfully sorry that he displaced the Original Five in time, it’s great to see him swinging from the ropes, talking shit, doing math, and kicking ass.

I’ll admit I was originally on the fence, but after this issue, I’m headed down to Blue Moon and adding Amazing X-Men to my pull list.

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 5)

This is the distillation of what I’ve learned in 47 years, call ’em “life squeezin’s” for the lack of a better term. Personal application may cause serious rash and/or burning. Contents may have settled. Objects are much, much closer than they appear.

#26 Sweatpants are for sweating. Wearing them away from home for any other reason sends the signal that you’ve completely given up or are ill. Go change.

#27 Coffee is magic.

#28 Never trust a man who wears shoes with no socks, unless in the tropics, then avoid sock-wearers at all cost.

#29 If asked to leave a job, do not burn it down on the way out; all parties may become desperate enough to revisit this relationship.

#30 Do not, under any circumstances, return. This rule applies to women and bands* as well, only more so.
*Unless you’re Ozzy, but you’re not.

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 4)

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 3)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 2)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 1)

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 4)

More helpful hints I’ve stumbled across in 46 years of lurching about. These suggestions may or may not work for you. Contents may have settled. Objects are much closer than they appear. Don’t turn your back.

#21 Stairs are nature’s Stairmaster. Use them whenever possible.

#22 Always carry some cash, hidden even from yourself. Something between $20 and $50. Although nothing bigger than a $20, you won’t be able to break it when you need to.

#23 Choose a day—Sunday’s a good one—and every week get rid of 10 things. Give them away, recycle them, set them on fire; it doesn’t matter. Live like the plane is going down. It’s time to jettison cargo.

#24 A grown man needs a muffin like he needs a heart attack. Have some fruit you fat bastard.

#25 Don’t be so hard on yourself.

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 3)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 2)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 1)

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 3)

The minute you stop learning, you start getting stupider; I think Bob Dylan said that. I don’t know about you, but I can’t really afford that. Here are some more things I’ve figured out during the last 46 years kicking around this big blue marble. These suggestions may or may not work for you. Contents may have settled. Objects are closer than they … Watch out!

#16 Admit when you are wrong. Eat crow, it will not kill you (although it could use some hot sauce).

#17 Always carry a bottle of hot sauce.

#18 Don’t subscribe to negativity. Bear witness to others’ pain but don’t make it your own, and—for fuck’s sake—don’t spread it around.

#19 If you need to be somewhere out of your range at a particular time, bring a map. Don’t rely on technology or the kindness of others; they’re both fine but flawed.

#20 If you have time to kill—get lost.

One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 2)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 1)

Charges

I wandered back to
the shop, gunpowder
and cement dust in
my hair, ’grabbed a cup
of burnt coffee and
listened to old Ben
Greenwood jaw a while.

He was tomcattin’
with some poor fool’s wife
in Meridian,
Mississippi, back
in the tarpapered
days of roadhouses
built on dirt levees.

I listened awhile
and nodded in all
the right places then
left him still talking
to grab cartridges.
Green ones have the punch
of a .22.

McElroy, he had
a partner in ’Nam
who would collect ears,
which didn’t bother
Mac till after work when
his wine would whisper
how fucked-up that is.

Acceptance is part
of pressing a gun
up against a rock
wall and pulling the
trigger. Sometimes nails
hit buried rebar
and come shooting back.

Or a big charge can
shatter the concrete
like a bomb. Most times,
however, they stick
in the rock like an
exclamation point.
Or a memory.