Negative Capability

No ads, no compromises, no kidding

Negative Capability

No ads, no compromises, no kidding

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Misfit Toys Audiozine

The audiozine contains twenty-eight tracks, ranging in time from under 10 seconds to over nine minutes. I have recently remastered it, deleted a few tracks and added some news ones. It is difficult to describe the content, but it's a tour-de-force full of complexity, depth and humor. Some of the tracks are simply me reading pieces that were published in NegCap #2, some are short stories set to music with sound effects, some are original songs by Peter and there is also a very interesting interview with serial killer Ed Kemper that was the basis for the short story Sole Provider, which also appeared in NegCap #2. There are lots of samples wedged in the beginning, middle and end of certain tracks as well as funny reactions from my friend Peter (who engineered and recorded it), funny things that I did while reading and embellishments from the printed page. It's also seamlessly edited and sounds very professional. It was recorded, mixed and edited digitally in Pro Tools. I used to sell it but now I think I'd rather just give it away. Download link is here but you can read it to see what you are getting. It would probably help to read the stories in NegCap #2 first but you do you. As a bonus fact, gamers may recognize that the crate Herbie is being bent over is a check point crate from the game Crash Bandicoot. My wife got me a Crash figure that also came with a red gem and the check point crate. I thought about cutting off Herbie's book for the photo but I felt like he would never part with his book on dentistry.

What Is On Misfit Toys?

1. The Right to Remain Silent. The sample from Cops where a drunken hick decides not to exercise his right to remain silent with a barrage of profanity, hostility and humor that is still funny the tenth time you hear it.
2. Introductions Are In Order. Peter and I introduce the CD and each other, briefly, and prepare you for what is coming up. We recorded this last, the day we mastered the CD and only did one, live, unrehearsed and unscripted take. As a result, it's very funny and live, which is a perfect way to start the CD.
3. The Island of Misfit Toys. The origin of the name of the CD is explained elsewhere, but here's the original cast of the original show explaining what it all means in song.
4. Life is a Drudgery. A short introduction from Howard Stern where he gives his philosophy of life while making a few jokes that are offensive to almost everyone. It's priceless, so please don't sue us.
5. The Lorax (Dr. Seuss as if Written by F. Scott Fitzgerald). When I was forced to read F. Scott Fitzgerald, I hated it. He writes like a pretentious twit, full of lofty ambition and archaic phrasings. I love Dr. Seuss, especially his story of "The Lorax" because it was one of the simplest and most effective pro-environmental stories ever written for children. I decided to rewrite the story of the Lorax, while at the same time viciously mocking the writing style of F. Scott Fitzgerald. So, even though it's a little tough to explain, this story will inspire you, move you and probably break your heart. I read it and Peter wrote some haunting and beautiful music to go behind it and illustrate some of the ideas in the story. There are also a ton of sound effects, musical cues and lots of other things that all work together to make a fascinating and immersive tale of loss and redemption. You'll also get to hear Peter playing the Lorax and me as the narrator and the Once-ler. One of the richest and most entertaining things on the whole CD. It is a masterpiece, I swear.
6. OCD? NOT ME! Introduction. From NC2, this is me, on herbal speed, reading the introduction to this piece so fast it's scary.
7. Corpse Sculpture. A brief OCD from NC2.
8. A Can of Whupass! This is a very funny OCD because a little white guy shouldn't be making threats to open cans of whupass, at least to hear my wife tell it. It's also great because Peter's reaction to hearing it is wicked funny.
9. Sperm King. Another OCD from NC2.
10. Piss Take. This OCD features a great sample as the intro, my excellent fast read and another great sample as the outtro. If you ask me, this track is worth the whole price of the CD because it's so goddamn funny.
11. Yours Truly – The Manifesto. If you're a fan of any of my manifestos, this is the one that started it all. I wrote this two years ago and is the longest piece on the whole CD. It is packed to the brim with samples, musical and comedy interludes, lots of Peter doing all kinds of odd sound effects and impressions (including Elvis) as well as the answer to a Keeping It Hard for an Hour question from the NC2 trivia quiz. This took the longest to make because there's so much going on.
12. Noble Failure. A very short OCD about how I am working hard to be a noble failure, not previously available anywhere.
13. Stapled to the Chicken. The silliest OCD ever, also a new addtion.
14. Negative Capability. The final OCD from OCD? Not Me? which was cut from the original CD because it was too long but after cutting some other stuff, there’s just enough room.
15. Getting Personal. A parody of an NPR interview with some jerkoff you've never heard of. Only this time it's Peter interviewing me, interspersed with lots of faked background noise, samples, odd shit and more. This is funny and entertaining because there are a few screw ups, lots of real people talking about real things and Peter did a really funny song to start the CD. Peter also does a great impression of a DJ from NPR and reads the questions like they're the most important things he'll ever ask. Not only that, but if you've ever pondered questions like, "What happens when you die?" "What is the purpose of life?" and "Who would you kill if you could get away with it?" you'll be delighted to finally get good answers.
16. Kill the Septuplets. An OCD so vicious it upset Peter. Afterward, he has started to agree with me, but this first time he ever heard it, he was audibly upset.
17. Meat Whistle. Short and sweet, especially for an OCD.
18. The Jesus Myth. My personal fave of all the OCDs because I'm right. There's no such thing as Jesus, you dope.
19. Never Get My Way. As part of our discussions about music, I wanted Peter to put at least two of his original songs on the CD. This is the first one and it's a distorted, funny, electrifying thrash song that he wrote, produced and played all the instruments for. One of my favorite things on the whole CD and it's even made its way onto one of my mix tapes. It's that good. Peter is also working on a CD of his music and this is a good introduction. When he's finished his CD, I'll help him sell it because he's a very talented guy and I know people will love his music as much as I do.
20. Manifesto: The Sequel. The angriest piece in NC2 gets a fierce, funny and fast read by me, on herbal speed, sounding as angry as I should. We added some great background music to the whole piece to give it a nice rhythm. Then Peter added his interpretation of penguins being thrown into a furnace because it's so upsetting. Now I think it sounds funny, but the first time I heard it, I was getting really freaked out. There is also one of the funniest and most ironic of my fuckups during the read as well as Peter's shocked reaction when I finished reading it for the first time. All in all, the centerpiece to the CD and excellent thing to listen to if you're feeling fucked over by the world.
21. Coprophage. One of the funniest OCDs that I cut from the print edition just to put on the CD.
22. Boner Spit. The shortest track on the CD and Lurky's personal favorite OCD (besides, "Lurky, the Best Thing Ever in the Whole Goddamn World"). It is also a CD-exclusive.
23. Fecal Bulk. More OCD-related shit humor for the juveniles in the crowd. A personal favorite of mine and CD exclusive.
24. Game Over. The last of the OCDs, perhaps the most personal and yet another CD-exclusive.
25. Sweetronic. This is Peter's second song and totally different in style and tone from his other song. It's a haunting instrumental utilizing the most current technology and though it has a techno feel to it, its warmth and depth are more than human.
26. Bureaucracy. A short story I wrote a few years ago that has been published a few times. This story is the centerpiece to my book of short stories (called Path o(f) Logic) and one of the most exciting, visceral and entertaining things I've ever written. I've always wanted this to made into a short film that I could direct, but due to the complex nature of the action, I doubt it would be physically possible to pull it off without expensive special effects. Rather than keep it locked up forever, Peter and I have done something so awesome with it that it will take three listens just to absorb it all. It's a fictional piece about the afterlife, but it's about so much more. At turns funny, scary, brutal, moving, sad, ironic and finally, in a twist worthy of O. Henry, a classic ending that will leave you breathless. One of the longest pieces on here featuring great music, a ton of sound effects and me doing one of the best reads of my life. It also features Peter's parents and sister playing characters in the story, to give it more depth. It is the one track that I'm proudest of because I gave it my all and then Peter kicked it up notches unknown to man.
27. I'd Rather Be A Killer Than A Victim. A lengthy interview with serial killer Ed Kemper. It also features a few experts, some spooky-as-fuck recreations of events and Ed's descriptions of his own crimes and motivations. One of the most haunting and moving things I've ever heard and the one thing that got me into serial killers. It also upset Peter more than I could ever express and my wife doesn't even want to listen to it. I have decided to make that track streamable, so click here to listen to an interview with Ed Kemper.
28. Last Will and Testament. This is my will, done in one take and I mean every goddamn word of it. A perfect way to end this amazing CD.

What Did the Critics Say?

All of the following testimonials come from people who have actually paid good money for the CD and come unsolicited. If the person quoted is online, I'll be sure to add an e-mail link for any doubters out there.

Saitz's zine is a perfect example of the new OK-ness, which allows for shocking—some would say offensive—statements followed by half-assed disclaimers, in the style of Howard Stern, Bill Maher, and even Jerry Seinfeld. They kid because they love, and if you take offense it's because you don't have a sense of humor; there's something wrong with you. Despite the irksome nature of NegCap, its companion piece, an audiozine on CD called Misfit Toys, is surprisingly enjoyable. Hearing Saitz read his own work gives it a human edge. He leaves in his own amusing blunders and includes a section explaining, in his usual pompous tone, that he writes as he speaks: "I can read it with 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." However, when he reads the passage in Misfit Toys it sounds awkward and forced. He even flubs that sentence, laughing and saying how funny it is that he can't actually do it. Saitz' rendition of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax as it might be written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is lovely. "Bureaucracy," a Saitz short story (admirably set to music by Peter), relies on clichéd ideas but the writing, the intensity of the author's reading, and the twist at the ending make it very engaging. The feature "I'd Rather Be a Killer Than a Victim" is effective in both printed and spoken form; the printed version consists of a nicely written short story from a serial killer's perspective, while the CD offers a creepy interview with serial killer Ed Kemper. Not everything on Misfit Toys is a gem but it's a novel approach to zine publishing, and it effectively re-creates the zine genre in audio form. The different medium makes Saitz' message more powerful and engaging. — Baltimore’s City Paper

The zine (as I believe I've said before when I was just reading it off the web) is great. Funny, honest and WAY to the point. I love your writing cause it sounds like you're talking, not writing (which I believe you even mention somewhere - that you write like you speak). I even passed on issue 1 to Jimmy Pop and he won't give it back now (bastard!). The CD was just as funny, but it was weird for me to have a voice to match the writing. I've spoken to you through e-mail and suddenly... POW!... there you are talking through my radio. Weird. Proves that e-mail makes the world a different (at times odd) place. The Dr. Suess/F. Scott Fitzgerald bit had me laughing like mad and my roommates wondering what the fuck I was listening to (since my typical listening pleasure is Slayer, Sepultura, and Quicksand... a bit heavy compared to your CD, haha) — Lupus Thunder, from one of my favorite bands, Bloodhound Gang

Some of the wit is very good - in fact some of the funnier parts reminded me of Sean who does Craphound, which is compliment indeed. Perhaps you share the naming/listing thing too. The personal stuff is the most interesting. Misfit Toys is quite good, perhaps better than the paper version. — Iain Aitch, London, UK

Wow, you talk fast. The CD is intriguing, as I imagined it would be... #1. Most folks can't come up with one good idea or great line in their entire lives. You spout off thought provoking, incredble lines NON STOP. It's like information overload... or something like that... Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is your way of arranging words beats the shit out of most everyone. Keep up the swell work... babysue

I did receive the CD of Misfit Toys. Listened to most of it in one sitting. Congratulations on having the brass balls to put this together. Like your initial review of Steve Martin's Pure Drivel, which is also an audio adaptation of essays writen for a magazine, some sections work better than others. I enjoyed the piece where you were reading your own praises, stumbled and laughed at yourself. A moment of truth. As the audience, I enjoyed the way some of the longer pieces (like the confessing the new dramatic bits, examinations of accent, dialect, slang, slurring, pacing or inflection rants seem appropriate for audio. Even original and incidental music (your camp band if no one else) flies farther. You covered a lot of ground and I have to go back and listen again. Anyway, I should be so prolific. More when I'm more coherent. I try to find something clever or insightful, but my best response right now is familiar: Thanks for bothering to try, making me laugh, think and get inspired. Upon my second listening of MT (derogatory homophonic term for MTV is "Empty V," don't know who said it first, maybe me) I have more assorted feedback, not an actual review. Like the magazine, I like to flip around the CD and enjoy the mix. I let my mood dictate my path. I realize that what I liked most about hearing the new material is its pacing feels most appropriate. "Yours Truly," Fitzgerald's Lorax, Peter's song "Sweetronic" and even "Right to Remain Silent" (from an uncensored Uber Cops tape?) [Yes, that's from Cops! - Ed.] were much more enjoyable upon second listening. If you do a second volume, I hope it's leaner and meaner. The determination is there, the content is provocative. Even though it has a different title, and isn't NC: the Audio Zine, it does share half of the tracks (albeit only 10 minutes) with your printed work. What's the difference? Well, humor, parodies (self and social) and reviews. Sounds like you and Peter Lopez had a blast. — Andrew, Los Angeles, CA

Negative Capability is the work of New Yorker Jøsh Saitz, and he doesn't let you forget it. Endlessly self-referential, this zine could easily put off the first time reader. Look a little deeper though and there is a lot of interesting and amusing material in here. Saitz is at his best when he is relating personal experience rather than trying to be controversial, but if you are a fan of the style of Crank or Answer Me! there is plenty of here that may at least interest you. In this issue he lets fly on language, TV, food and his obsession with naming things. Misfit Toys is an audio (CD) version of the zine, and a lot of the material works better in this format. You get a feel for Saitz' character, and some of the humour is far more immediate. There is a lot of material on the CD that is not in the print version (and vice-versa) such as Dr Seuss's The Lorax in the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald, various sound samples and even a couple of songs. It runs to 74 minutes, though you get the feeling that not all the material would have made it on had Saitz not been a New Yorker on herbal speed. — Fringecore

[Note: This person discovered my zine from a friend and sent in money for NC1, NC2, NC3 (which was still in production at the time) and Misfit Toys all at once. Here is his response, in ebonics.] I'd hafta say, having read two of them and listened to a third, that I like your fiction a great deal. YO! That Bureaucracy shit is TIGHT! The way you linked up the background music (which was very tasteful, I might add) with the reading of the text... ultra-smooth. You gotta do more stuff like that, ma' man. The serial killer stuff (text & audio) was really chilling. Scary. Personally scary. Rock on. Usually, I don't give a fuck about the story of how people met, but for some reason, I found myself reading 'I am a Gay Homosexual' and enjoying it. Congrats. That's something else, I gotta hand it to you. — Benjamin, Virginia

[Note: This person actually sent $23 in cash and only wanted one copy of the CD. He said the rest of the money was because he loved NC2 so much and wanted to give something back to me and Peter. Because I was so happy and delighted that someone I didn't know was so into it, I went overboard. I made him a tape of all the outtakes and then threw in a bunch of cool things. I also sent it out by priority mail the next day as my way of saying thanks for the enthusiasm. You are all welcome to follow his lead.] Thanks so much for the excellent audiozine, not to mention the cool extras. I wanted to send you a letter because my Midwestern mommy always told me to be polite by sending thank you letters. So, I love Misfit Toys. I think "Yours Truly" is my favorite track but I'm not sure because I haven't had the chance to experience it fully in a controlled environment. I thought you'd like to know that I brought the CD into work today so I could play it really LOUD in a pathetic attempt to disturb the S.U.V.-driving assholes in my office. [This is cool because he works for a Christian fundraising/social services organization and even noted on the envelope that the "U.S. postage was paid by Jesus."] Your audiozine certainly lives up the hype. Good luck with it all. — Jay, San Francisco, CA

Your comments, either positive or negative, could appear alongside these. All you have to do is buy the CD, listen to it, and send me your comments! That's all there is to it!!

Web Exclusive Bonus

Here's a gallery of photos from the Misfit Toys photo sessions done entirely by me and my friend Peter. At the time I strongly identified with Herbie, the elf that wants to be a dentist and Peter was more pragmatic and had a beard, like Yukon Cornelius. This was all shot on the floor of my apartment on East 31st Street in Manhattan. Click here to view the gallery of outtakes.

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