Manifesto: The Sequel
I DON’T DO SEQUELS.
The name of my band is Negative Capability and I write the songs that make the whole world sing. I write the songs of love and special things. I write the songs that make the drag queens cry, I write the songs, I write the songs. And I don’t take fucking requests, so don’t ask. The first issue was pretty good, but am I concerned at all about the so-called “sophomore slump”? Uh, no. This time, I am going to try something new by way of forming segues. In this age of CDs there are some, like Ritual de lo Habitual by Jane’s Addiction, where some of the different songs flow into each other, distinct but connected. Confused? Don’t be. The overall structure isn’t important, what the kids want to know is: Can we see some bush this time? Well, I don’t find it necessary, and any bush that I might show would upset my mom so, if you need that, can I recommend Barely Legal? You might think that it is quite pussy of me not to show pussy, but let me tell you something, son: Ideas are much more frightening than pictures. Next time you open your dirty mouth to criticize me, I am going to wish that you get AIDS and bleed into your kids’ cereal. How about them apples, bitch?
The first time out I wrote a lot of stuff and ended up only putting in those pieces that I felt were really finished. I mean, I have some material that is really awesome, you’d pay extra just for a taste, trust me. But I will sell no wine before its time, and that means: no half-baked openings and no tacked-on endings just to get product out of the factory. I really want to run the serial killer story because it’s good and creepy and because I promised. But I want you to know that it just worked out that I am publishing my two angriest stories first. I have some nice, sweet stories that are more elaborate and mean more to me, but I feel morally obligated to do exactly as promised. I did go to the trouble of writing a kick-ass intro and a sweet ending because that’s what you deserve, honey.
I have to be careful not to repeat myself, but I know that I am capable of living up to my potential, and for the first time in quite a while, I know I am doing just that. To me, the greatest sin I could commit as a zine publisher would be to continue doing it when my heart is no longer in it. There are many shitty zines that exist solely for the purposes of getting free record company crap or to trade for other zines. Lots of times you’ll see people coasting on fumes or trying to make it more corporate or more advertiser-friendly, just so they can continue the charade that the zine has a point of view. And even worse than those whores are the people who establish a good reputation and then continue publishing long after they’ve become tired and irrelevant. It’s better to quit while you’re ahead. Personally, I would prefer to publish just one a year that totally fucking rocks and puts me into debt rather than whore out my pretty mouth just to get another issue under my belt. And I mean it.
Even though this will always be my show and I will never sell out or change for anyone, there are a few people who can write and I’m sure I’ll give them a shot in a future issue. Except for a few things that my lovely wife did, this one you’re now holding is all me, again, because I can do it all by myself. It gives me a great sense of pride looking at my NC folder and seeing it filled with stuff for the zine. I also have plenty of great material in my personal archives, so the longer I do this, the more interesting it will get. I haven’t let you down so far, so you should continue to trust me and have faith in my abilities. My reasoning is quite simple: No one ever gave me a goddamn chance, so I did it all myself. Don’t tell me how to do my job because you know for a fact that I never come down to where you work and knock the dog dicks out of your mouth, right?
I know some people think they have a style that might work very well in my zine and they may well be right. But the thing is, the way I write and the way I am are the same thing and it’s not a “style,” it’s how I actually am. This is no pose. You are not me, luckily for both of us, so you can’t write for me. If you think I should care about your submission, and I’m telling you in no uncertain terms that I don’t, and you still have to see it in print, start your own fucking zine.
I remember an occasion that someone promised to publish a story of mine and for all I know, he did but he never paid me or sent me a copy. Richard Haffner, who was the publisher of something called Over the Hills and Far Away, offered me $100 for “Bureaucracy,” a short story that I’m incredibly proud of and that I have recorded with music and sound effects for Misfit Toys, the audiozine. That prick must’ve promised me that his magazine was coming a thousand times. Hey, Dick, wherever you are, I hope, uh, I wish that, um, I hope your mom, uh, your wife, hey, you dick! You’re not very nice and I was very disappointed by your rude and hurtful behavior. And I hope you get that flesh-eating bacteria on the inside of your ass and you shit blood for a month and then die in a disgusting, bloody, fecal soup in the bathroom at Grand Central Station during rush hour. That’ll do, pig, that’ll do.
I also want to lodge a complaint against a lot of other writers whose work I have suffered through recently, especially in professional magazines and newspapers. I think that everyone should write like a clearer, slightly more articulate version of the way that they speak. I could very easily read everything in this zine aloud because it sounds just like I do when I talk. Run on sentences, comma splices, dangling dependent clauses, you name it, I can do it. And I can read it with a familiar cadence and rapid speed, and not only would every word sound perfectly natural, it would make you question how exactly what I’m saying would be written out. So, to any writer who thinks that they’re impressing people with obscure references, pointless foreign phrases and words that haven’t been in usage for decades, please, give it a rest, okay?
Some people have written to say that they think I am trying to sound scary but they’re not buying it. I’m not scary at all. I mean, some of the stuff I say might be a little scary, but not me, the person. I’d like to think that I’m not scary, even though I know if pushed, I really believe in my heart that I would be able to kill if I had to. I’d prefer not to be tested because I really don’t know what would happen. I do know that if someone were to hurt my wife or anything else that I loved, hoofah. I would have nothing left to live for and I would spend the rest of my time, before going to jail, slowly and painfully killing your entire family, burning down their homes and writing your name in their blood, as a reminder. Please don’t try me.
Last time, I gave the impression that I didn’t like the retarded and I wanted to amend my statement, and clarify, if I may. My exact words were, “If you like the retarded, bully for you. I find them annoying and I am allowed to feel this way.” My point was threefold: 1) I think, of all the people to make fun of, why not choose people who won’t actually be hurt by my words?; 2) I am tired of people who tell the rest of us that retards are equal to other people because they’re not; they’re RETARDED; and 3) I was trying to be funny. The thing is, for the most part, I have absolutely no problem with anyone who is handicapable, I just like making fun of people because it’s funny and because I’m cruel. I treat everyone the same; no one is above or below ridicule. I think that people that treat the retarded differently are the ones that are fucked up. How often are the retarded on TV or in the movies? How often do the retarded even get press at all? I’m mentioning them, and now you’re thinking about them, and probably even thinking nice things about them as your way of defending the weak from sadists like me.
The truth is, my feelings about retards is quite different than you might think. I just think it’s fair to make fun of everyone, regardless of who or what they are. There are a few retarded guys who bag groceries at the local supermarket and if by some stroke of misfortune you were shopping with me, you’d see that I was, without question, the nicest human that ever lived. When I am dealing with the nice man who bags groceries, I always speak politely, thank him profusely and call him “sir” often. It’s bizarro, man. And I act the same way toward all the slow kids, retarded adults and big-headed Americans that I encounter, especially the entire staff at the local Post Office. I want them to think that what they’re doing is good, because I think other people are rude to them all day. I bet no one but me has ever called them “sir,” and I’ve done it dozens of times. Goddamn. What’s wrong with me? I want them to think that there are people who actually like them. The people who work with them goof on them, but I would never do that. That’s fucked up. It’s like putting bags on a cat’s feet and laughing or like my friend the junkie who gave a cat Valium just to see what would happen. Assholes, the whole lot of them. I’m gonna be St. Jøsh, honey. After I’m dead, though.
It’s only fair to tell you that since the last issue, I had a job and then lost it. It’s a long, ugly story and I prefer to make only oblique references to it because I don’t want to start a war. If I’m provoked, however, I’m ready to go to fucking war. I just think that if everyone involved keeps their fucking mouths shut, we’ll all heal and move on. I also want you to know that all the praise and especially the criticism have been very helpful to me. I’ve learned that I really did know what I was doing. None of what I’m saying is an act or a pose. Just because other zines like mine are frauds doesn’t mean that mine is. [As my readers may note, I was deliberately provoked by Bonaduce, which forced me to write Karoshi in NegCap #4. The story that I am referring to is in the section called "The Bonaduce Beatdown." Since that stupid asshole couldn't let it rest after that, even more payback is coming his way in the story, "Beating the Horse That Has Already Died" in NegCap #5. If he keeps getting up, I am going to have to start digging out all of his old letters to me so I can hang him with his own words. Fuck you, Bonaduce.