SoHum Town Attempts Bold Makeover

SoHum Town Attempts Bold Makeover

Gargleville Merchants to Hold Auditions for Classier Townsfolk


In an effort to spruce up the image of the small rural Northern California town, the Gargleville Chamber of Commerce has decided to hire a completely new set of townspeople and shoppers.

“We were really sick of all of the skuzzy dirty hippies hanging around Gargleville.” Lake Blamin of the Gargleville Chamber of Commerce said this morning in a press conference at the Gargleville Chamber today.

“They’re missing teeth, have terrible complexions, smell bad and they’re disheveled. That’s not the image that we want to project. We’d really like to cash in on what’s happening in Wine Country, and we’d like that upscale clientele to feel more at home here.”

Blamin continued, “So, we’ve decided to hire people to pose as shoppers, park patrons and restaurant goers in Gargleville. Each day they will have to pass inspection before they report to work. They will have to be clean, dress fashionably and smell nice. They will spread out through the town, posing as urban professionals,

well-to-do retired people,

and college students.

The kind of people we’d all like to see shopping in our stores, eating at our restaurants and enjoying our parks.

This town employs very few professionals, has no college, and our old people look grizzled and haggard. We realized that Gargleville would never live up to our dreams unless we took drastic action.”

Blamin explained, “So, now we will pay 200 actors to play the parts. We’ll give them a clothing allowance, comp their meals, and provide a nice lounge with restrooms and showers. Because, you can’t expect someone to spend all day in town without letting them use the restroom. Also, it’s often very hot or very rainy in Gargleville, and we want them to look their best.”

Won’t that get expensive for a small rural town with a remote location, few employment opportunities and all the charm of a suburban strip mall?

Blamin responds, “Look, half of the residents of Gargleville subsist on Social Security, SSI or veteran’s benefits. They don’t bring in the big piles of cash that have made our registers ring for the past 25 years. We’ve grown accustomed to having large quantities of untraceable cash dumped in our laps by the marijuana industry thriving in the hills from Blocksburg to Whale Gulch.

Now, we take those piles of $100 bills for granted, but we’ve never liked the people we take them from, especially the people who bring the money into this area. These lowlife, dirt-wad street and mid-level pot dealers often hang around town for days or weeks before they work out a deal. And in general, an underground drug based economy attracts problems like addiction, exploitation and lawlessness. But that’s not my problem.”

Isn’t Gargleville already pretty crowded?

Blamin explained, “From now on all traffic coming towards Gargleville on Bedwood Drive will feed directly onto 101 North. That way, all the traffic from Bedway and points West, and Boulder Point and points East get funneled North to Eureka. Chamber of Commerce Police Officers stationed on 101 at Leggett will direct all Northbound: hippie buses, dusty pickup trucks, vans, old RVs and cars with bumper stickers to use Usal Road. Officers at Salmon Creek will direct the same miscreants through Honeydew. This way we can enjoy the benefits of a thriving underground industry without inviting it in through the front door.”

How will Gargleville merchants continue to benefit from the underground industry if you divert all of their business to Eureka?

Blamin is optimistic, “For years Gargleville merchants have charged more money for less goods and services than anyone in the area. Considering that history, I don’t think it will be difficult to make them hand us piles of cash, and in return, we’ll give them nothing at all. That’s the next logical step really. And this way, we won’t even have to look at them.”

On The Money, Too Much Information

On the Money,

Financial Advice for the Working Class

Too Much Information

The average human eyeball measures about one and a half inches in diameter. The population of the earth stands at about seven billion people. If we plucked the eyeballs out of every living human being on earth, we would have enough eyeballs to fill the Rosebowl, the Superdome and Wriggley Field with enough left over to supply three major driving ranges with a ten year supply of organic biodegradable golf balls. Of course many of these newly blinded golfers might lose interest in the sport, but my point is…well… My point is that there are some things we just don’t need to know.


Many say “Thank God for the computer, because now we can solve problems like this without actually blinding everyone. I think computers have blinded everyone anyway, at least to what’s going on in the real world. The computer gives us access to so much information, in fact, we can indefinitely delay any decision by continuing to gather and analyze data ad nauseum.


Take the Climate Crisis for example. By now, we’ve studied that problem long enough to know that its too late. We’ve blown it. Thank God we have all of those powerful computers, huh. The computers tell us that we can expect sea- level rise, polar ice-cap melting, and more extreme weather around the world. The computers tell us that millions of people and thousands of species will perish as a result. So what? Are we going to do anything about it? Fuck no! We know this is an insane way of life. We know we are ruining the planet. We’ve known that for a long time, and we didn’t need computers to figure it out.


Has any of this information improved the quality of our decisions? No. Did I have to Google anything to figure this out? Fuck no! I remember. Twenty years ago people could decide between whole wheat and seven grain bread without making a phone call.


Then, as now, most of the stupid decisions we make involve buying stuff we don’t need. Then, as now, we buy stupid crap we don’t need because most of the information we receive comes from people trying to sell it to us. Twenty years ago, we paid $5 a minute for someone to talk dirty to us. Today we pay $100 a month to look at porn on our phones. We call these “informed decisions” if we’ve seen ads for competing products and compared prices. That doesn’t make the decision any less insane!


Clearly, without this ocean of information gushing into our lives, we would buy a lot less stupid crap, and we wouldn’t miss it one bit. We would have never even imagined 90% of it in a million years, and we would have never wanted it, except that it seemed to make that sexy woman in the ad so happy. We can do without the information just as easily as we can do without the products.


Some see the internet as a great research resource. Hogwash, I say. Ultimately, facts really don’t matter that much in the great scheme of things. There’s nothing wrong with being wrong once in a while, and a little self-confidence will get you farther than all of the right answers in the world.


You don’t need Google, Lexus Nexus, or Wickipedia. Instead, rely on your best guess, eenie-meanie-miney-moe, or just make shit up. Remember that humans survived for thousands of years without the Internet, and most of what they thought for all of that time turns out to have been wrong. That didn’t stop them from infesting the whole goddamned planet with their wretched spawn.


Besides, look at how we treat people who were smart and right, like Galileo, Socrates, Jesus and Wilhelm Reich. Take it from me, smart and right are nothing more than character flaws that everyone would like to see snuffed out of the gene-pool.


Today, we remain every bit as stupid and wrong as our ancestors, and computers have only made us dumber. Information fetishists may quibble, but no matter how smart our phones become, we remain as stupid and wrong as ever. Stupid and wrong is our natural condition, and we’ve done just fine that way for millions of years.


So, If you want to make smart decisions in the information age, stay away from computers. There’s a view of “The Information Age” that’s On The Money.

Grateful Dead Soundman, Dan Healy, Talks Sound and Technology on KMUD

Grateful Dead Soundman Talks Sound and Technology on KMUD

On Thursday September 1st at 5pm on KMUD, the SoHum Amateur Radio Club, or SHARC and KMUD present pt 2 of a two part interview with Dan Healy. Dan worked for many years as sound engineer for the Grateful Dead, built the first commercial radio station in SoHum, and is a member of SHARC.


In part 2 Dan talks about his pioneering work building the “Wall of Sound” sound system for the Grateful Dead, some of the challenges of providing high quality audio at very large venues, and why speakers are like radio antennas. You can hear the SHARC Report, a radio show all about radio for radio lovers like you, on the first Thursday of every month at 5pm on KMUD.


You can also listen to the show online at this links to the KMUD Archive

Poem, Please Vote For This Blog

 Please Vote For This Blog

Please vote for this site as Humboldt’s best blog

Even if, in this fight, you don’t have a dog

Perhaps you are one who lives far away

And you’ve never seen Humboldt or the NCJ

It’ll just take a minute to complete the survey

So just copy the text and do what I say

If you’re one of the folks who lives around here

Then voting for me can earn you free beer

If this blog wins that contest, through the votes of my readers

Then I’ll throw them a party with beer by the liter

So, let me buy your vote by the mug or the Stein

That beer will be yours when the contest is mine

If you are under 18 or perhaps 21

I still need your vote even though you’re too young

To partake legally of the beer that I’ll buy

So, I’ll bring a few joints so you still can get high

So fill out that ballot while you are right here

And by this time next month, I’ll owe you a beer


OK, now get out the vote!!!

copy this text:

This link will take you to the ballot

don’t waste your time voting in the other categories, just click through to the page for “Local Media” then scroll down to “best blog” and paste the text you just copied. Continue on to the end of the ballot and press the button to submit your ballot. Please do this at least once before Sept, 7 If we win, we’ll have the party in October in Garberville, and all you’ll have to do is show up thirsty. Thank you!

Free Beer!

Free Beer!


Today, I need your help.

Please copy the following text:

In a moment I will ask you to click on a link that will take you to the website of The North Coast Journal’s “Best of Humboldt” Page. When you get there, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  There you will find a link to the official ballot.  Click that link.  Then skim past all of the categories until you get to “local media” then scroll down to the blank labeled “Best Blog”. Then, paste the text you just copied, into that blank. When you see the text appear in the blank, click through the rest of the pages til you get to the end of the ballot.  Then scroll down to the bottom of the page and press “Submit Ballot” or whatever the button is that submits your vote.

Ok, now click on this link and get started!

Thank you, you just voted for this blog as the “Best Blog in Humboldt Co.” I really appreciate your support.

Of course if you live here in Humboldt Co., you probably like other blogs more than this one. You probably rely on Kym Kemp’s excellent Redheaded Blackbelt for breaking news and the pot farmers perspective. If you follow the machinations of our county government or the bland platitudes that pass for national debate, you might read Eric Kirk’s SoHum Parlance2. Lots of people read Hank Sims blog now that he no longer edits the NCJ. I’ve never read it, but I bet a lot of people vote for it, just to say “in your face” to the NCJ. The 70Heaven blog is always good for a laugh, but they publish that strip in the NCJ, and those NCJ bloggers really should be disqualified from this contest anyway.

Everyone knows about those blogs because they’ve all gotten ink in newspapers around here dozens of times. So, why waste your vote on any of them? But, if you vote for this fresh, young upstart blog, and it wins, or even places, it will be the first time a newspaper has ever mentioned this blog. This will raise the profile of this little endeavor greatly. So, put your vote where it can actually do some good. Vote for for “Best Blog in Humboldt Co.” in the NCJ readers poll.

If you live outside of Humboldt Co., say in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New York, or Ohio, you probably don’t read any other Humboldt based blogs. So really is your favorite Humboldt Co. blog. Tell those guys at the NCJ so, by voting for as “Best Blog” in the “Best of Humboldt” contest!

And why shouldn’t this be your favorite blog. I mean, besides the fact that I kind of led you on about the beer. Look at all you get at this blog. You get comedy, poetry, philosophy, financial advice, local commentary, international events, interviews and reviews, and it improves your language skills.

So, go ahead, copy the text, go to the link, and paste the text into the blank next to “Best Blog”. Then scroll to the end, and press “submit ballot” Don’t forget to press “submit ballot”. Be sure to do this at least once before Sept. 7, 2011.

Now, if wins the NCJ’s Best Blog in Humboldt award. I will throw a party in Garberville, for readers, where there will really be FREE BEER.

Thank you very much for your help and support.

On The Money, Why Can’t We All Just Get Along

On The Money

Financial Advice for the Working Class

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?


Of course we all know that capitalism only works because the coercive nature of capital, and that it only survives by destroying and enslaving everything in its path, but do you ever wonder why communism never works either?


Humans have a peculiar survival adaptation. We don’t survive in the world for very long as individuals. Instead, we rely on a cohesive group, with an inherited culture to survive. This is not unique in the animal world. Many creatures, from honeybees to prairie dogs share this trait. Like honeybees and prairie dogs themselves, honeybee and prairie dog culture, or group behavior, has evolved over millions of years, shaped by the physical needs and abilities of the creatures themselves, and the challenges of their environment. The fact that we see honeybees and prairie dogs alive today, testify to the time-tested success of honeybee and prairie dog culture.


So it goes with humans. We rely on our culture for survival at least as much as we rely on our large brains or dextrous fingers. Without a cohesive group, and an inherited culture, you have no humans, and that inherited culture makes humans possible. Much as we pride ourselves as “bold individualists” we’re much more like honeybees and prairie dogs in this regard, than say, tapeworms or mountain lions.


As human beings evolved and spread around the world, human culture evolved and adapted to the new environments in which they found themselves. This lead to the tremendous diversity of indigenous human cultures, and explain why the Inuit people, of the arctic north live very differently from !Kung Bushmen of the African Kalahari desert. This tremendous diversity of cultures has allowed humans to spread all over the world and adapt to nearly every ecosystem on the planet.


One characteristic of human beings, that we do not share with honeybees or prairie dogs, has driven all of this cultural diversity. That is, the fact that human beings really don’t get along with each other very well. While many thousands of honeybees share a hive, and many hundreds of prairie dogs share a colony, you generally (not always, but generally) find indigenous humans in groups of 15-40, with occasional large gatherings of several groups. When groups get larger than this, disagreements and fights become more common, leading groups to split up.

These separated groups tend to keep their distance. So, the newly split off group has an inherited culture, but will find a new territory, not that far away generally, and will adapt to the subtle differences of this new environment. In this way, our inability to get along with each other, fuels cultural diversity.


At the same time, as human children grow up, they tend to fall in love with people from other groups, because they get kind of sick of the people in their own group. Thus, humans produced a strong gene-pool of bright, healthy, disagreeable people, rich with cultural diversity, and continued to spread out and inhabit the world.

Yes, our natural tendency to be stubborn, petty, and to not speak to each other has made human beings successful as a species. Far from being a character flaw, our inability to get along with each other has been our saving grace.

While we need to get along with each other well enough to form the groups we need to survive, not getting along with each other has served us equally well, by keeping us strong, and teaching us to survive, and thrive, under all kinds of conditions. It testifies to the genius of evolution, that we have evolved to get along with each other just well enough, but not too well, and that this delicate balance has produced the thousands of distinct indigenous human cultures around the world.


As “civilized” humans, we don’t really value that rich cultural heritage. We should! We have an astounding indigenous heritage that we should be proud of, and fascinated with. In fact, we mostly seek to obliterate it, in favor of a mass culture of mass production, mass media, educational standards and a “standard of living”.


We “civilized people” either believe that everything beautiful, useful and good on the planet should be happily sacrificed for the completely unsustainable, hegemonic homogeneity of the “global economy”, or we believe that the only way to stop the completely unsustainable, hegemonic homogeneity of the “global economy” is with an equally hegemonic and homogeneous “global movement”. So, we “civilized people” are always asking this same silly question: Why can’t we all just get along?


The truth is, not getting along with each other made us who we are. Not getting along with each other made us successful as a species, and not getting along with each other makes us strong. That’s why we all can’t just get along, you idiot! And if you don’t agree with me, then just go fuck yourself!

What’s the Point?

What’s the Point?

The Professor asked me a question recently. It’s something I’ve wondered about myself, and I even posed the same question to him. Perhaps you’ve wondered about this yourself.

What’s the point? Specifically, what’s the point of this blog?


The point is the sharp end of a thumbtack, placed upward on teacher’s chair. I put it there for cheap laughs, and to disrupt class. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not very funny. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not very funny. But, I have a tack, and I try to put it where it will be most effective.

While I’m not particularly funny, I am one to notice abundant free resources.  I make a good living by turning discarded tin cans into lamps and chandeliers. Today I see an even more abundant resource that piles up in great heaps everywhere I look. Absurdity. Our world has become so thick with absurdity that it chokes out the light. Its time to cut it down and make something out of it.


Our economic system strikes me as little more than a very cruel joke, and yet people take it so seriously. Everyone is so afraid that the economy will collapse. I’m afraid it will survive. Our global economy destroys habitat, enslaves people and constantly expands, consuming everything in its path. Its only going to make life worse for everybody, but god forbid that it should ever slow down by even a percent or two. That’s a crisis.


Climate change, not a crisis. Ecosystem collapse, not a crisis. Nuclear power plant meltdown, not a crisis. A 2% slowdown in the destruction of the planet for profit, now that’s a crisis.


They tell us that environmental regulations are really holding back production, and that wages, benefits and pensions make them less competitive. Then they want to stop the people they hurt and kill, from suing them. If we just make these concessions, they promise they can return the economy to strong growth.


In return, they offer us what? Jobs, maybe, but no paychecks, no health coverage, no retirement, no workman’s comp, just something to occupy our time until we die. Are we really that fucking bored? Don’t we have something better to do?


So, that’s why I sarcastically titled the blog “Like You’ve got Something Better To Do”, and why I offer financial advice to people who have no money. We inhabit a bubble of absurdity where nothing makes any sense anymore, it should at least be good for a few laughs.


And now I pose a question for the Professor:

What’s the Deal?