Oct 19

A new American Holiday–VLADIMIR PUTIN DAY!

We just had Columbus Day, in celebration of a guy who enslaved and brutalized natives. If we’re going to do that, why not have Boston Strangler Day, or, I don’t know, Jim Jones Day? But actually, here’s one that could get White House approval: Vladimir Putin Day.

Why not? Clearly our nation’s administration is closely allied with the Putin Regime. We remember that cozy, babbling meeting he took with Russian diplomats, and a Russian spy master, in the White House itself. We remember the three hour conference he had with Vlad, behind locked doors, alone but for a translator whose notes Trump confiscated. We recall Trump was elected at least partly due to Russian interference. The Washington Post reminds us: “There were, according to the Moscow Project, ’101 contacts between Trump’s team and Russia linked operatives,’ and ‘the Trump team tried to cover up every single one of them.’”

Trump works hard to undermine the FBI, and our intelligence services–an undermining that is very useful to the ex KGB official Vlad Putin. Trump derides and undermines the European Union and NATO–which must be very pleasing to Vlad. Trump gushes praise for Putin. Trump endorses pro-Russian leaders in Eastern Europe. Trump was going to support the rebellion in Venezuela with troops–then backed off when it turned out that Russia didn’t want them supported. And as WaPo points out “Trump has effectively done nothing in response to the Russian attack on Ukrainian ships in international waters, thereby encouraging greater Russian aggression.”

Trump has taken a number of other actions helpful to Putin–most recently, withdrawing all troops and American military support from Syria. Which is exactly what Putin wants.

The new holiday should please a certain large segment of Americans. Putin is far-right, neo-fascist in style. So are Trump followers.

So why not a new holiday in the USA? VLAD PUTIN DAY! Everyone gets a day off–so it’ll be popular. We’ll make it the Winter Solstice, which is either the 21st or 22nd of December, depending, so that the holiday is on the shortest day of the year. That is, the day with the least sunlight.

Vlad doesn’t like sunlight. Not the kind that gives us truth.

See you at the bar for vodka next Vladimir Putin Day everyone!

   –thanks to Micky Shirley for the idea of having Vlad Putin Day–


Sep 19

My One-Paragraph Review of AD ASTRA

I think it’s a good, very worthwhile, science fiction movie. Does it really show “what space travel is really like” as they boasted? I don’t think so, not fully. Is all the scientific rationale so tossed off quite believable? I doubt it. (I will defend the relatively short trips to Mars, and only 76 days to Neptune — I infer, though they were really trying to avoid any explication along those lines, that there are faster vessels in this future, and indeed faster ones are being planned, fast enough to make this work). I’m not at all sure about the antimatter repercussions from one position on Neptune having a big effect on Earth. There is one journey through the rings of Neptune that seems a little…well, fortuitous if not wildly improbable. But jeez, if you just don’t get too persnickety about such things, the human side of it is so well done. The journey to Neptune is both an adventure tale and a metaphor for a journey into solitude meant to end solitude. Poetic and true. They were bold too, with their lunar raiders. Fine acting, especially from Brad Pitt. Good dialogue.Much powerful imagery, some of it reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Homage?) Lots of eye candy. Sharp directing.

Sep 19

Forgotten ReverbNation Yields Secret Cache of Early Shirley Recordings!

Yes ReverbNation is still online! High quality John Shirley band recordings, three from studio, one live with SadoNation.


Sep 19


It’s an art installation in Austria, but as far as I’m concerned, this should happen to all football stadiums.











Aug 19

My novel WETBONES is now an AUDIBLE BOOK

Clive Barker on WETBONES: “John Shirley is an adventurer, returning from dark and troubled regions with visionary tales to tell. Wetbones is a wild and giddy ride, confronting the reader with marvels and horror in equal measure.”

The WETBONES audiobook is one click away at:


Aug 19


There are so many canaries in so many coal mines.

This summer, I’ve noticed only a small fraction of the butterflies we used to have. Last year, experts said butterfly populations have dropped by fifty per cent. Half. Around here it seems less than half. Honey Bees also–very few here. There used to be a grand summer buzz of bees. Not now. Down 40% since last year, the experts tell us. Even the hardy, ubiquitous wasps are few. I’m not fan of wasps but it’s spooky when they vanish. Frogs are vanishing from creeks. I could quote dire statistics on sea mammal deaths. Whales, dugongs, sea lions. Salmon are dying from the  heat increase in northern seas. Here’s the latest headline from the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences: “Neonicotinoid insecticides cause rapid weight loss and travel delays in migrating songbirds”…What do you suppose that augurs for songbirds? Well I’ll tell you.

All this is caused by habitat loss, anthropogenic climate change, pesticides, too much land given over to industrial agriculture and meat mega-ranches, herbicides –which harm more than weeds–and other wonderful innovations of humanity. A new giant plastic garbage patch has turned up in the North Sea. Oceanic Dead Zones proliferate. Recently rain and snow has been found to be suffused with tiny plastic particles. Plastic particle pollution is found  in “extreme concentrations” in the Arctic, I read. NINETY PER CENT of fish stocks are used up. “Bird population in steep decline in North America” the headline says. Today the Washington Post reports that North America has lost three billion songbirds. That’s got bird numbers down 29%. Scientists blame habitat lost first, then pesticides, then cats.

It’s all the same cause–humanity. No, more specifically, human greed.

Greed! Greed is behind the mindless use of pesticides, and herbicides; it’s behind the fires in the Amazon destroying the forests needed to clean the air, and destroying the animals, the butterfly and bird habitats there; it’s behind denial about greenhouse gases causing climate change; it’s behind over-fishing and the over-production of plastics and the destruction of habitats needed for …butterflies.

We humans are interconnected with the animal world. I wonder who’s next?

Me? You?

You may as well take another Prozac and turn on the latest tragic superhero fantasy. What else would you do?

Aug 19

Climate Change? Ha ha, they said, most amusing.

 “A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.”

Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or pt. 1 

(Thanks to Jim Baldwin for the quote).

Aug 19

You Can Buy Your Way Into Seemingly Respectable “News Articles”

First, let me say that, generally, CNN is all right with me. It gets crap for hasty pieces, at times, and it’s not the deepest news source in the world, but I think it’s doing a service in exposing–through legit journalism–the bizarrities and the malfeasance of the Trump administration. Maybe that effort was galvanized when CNN was widely criticized for giving this dangerous buffoon too much exposure, and thus helping him get elected. Fine.

But they and other formerly legit sources of what should be objective data seem to be selling advertisements disguised as news articles without one hint that they’re not real, apart from the obvious puff-story content of the articles about some consumer product. Did I say seem? It’s almost certain–and seems obvious they’re going too far with monetizing their news site. Check out this article: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/12/us/chick-fil-a-mac-and-cheese-trnd/index.html – headline is: “Chick-fil-A adds mac and cheese to the menu”. And the article says, “America’s favorite restaurant chain just added to its menu for the first time in three years. As of Monday, Chick-fil-A offers macaroni and cheese as a side option nationwide.” That’s what the whole damn article is like. There’s also a remark about the fine customer service at the restaurant. There are a few rosy statistics about the company to help disguise the puff piece as a news article. And that’s it. NOWHERE does it say that this is paid-for, that this is advertising. I assume it’s paid for with a fee, or with lots and lots of ad buys or both. Either way, this appears to be a paid ad, pretending to be a news article. Now…

Here’s a phrase you might not know. We seldom hear it now: Journalistic integrity. It’s supposed to be a mainstay of American journalism–the line you don’t cross. You don’t write puff pieces; instead, you write objective news articles, objective reviews, objective journalistic copy. That helps America stay healthy.

We’ve lost touch with that. The other day CNN had an article entirely about Wal-Mart having changed the color of its employee vests. Oh the wide-eyed wonder of that information!

John Oliver just reported that the Guinness Book of World Records–once a legit form of journalism–now quietly takes big fees, up to the millions, to say that this or that country has the world record for something. And he observed that many of these cash payouts to the Guinness Book company are from murderers who just happen to be the dictators of countries known to have no appreciable human rights. Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, among them. The leaders of those countries have people “disappeared” when it suits them.

The old, fun book of world records, which did have integrity, is now a thing of the past. Because they had to monetize it to the point of insane greed. To the point of being utterly free of ethics and decency.

How long before CNN takes money from wealthy dictators for puff pieces? They’ve opened the door to dishonesty, so it could happen.

Aug 19


As of August 9, 2019, 538’s calculation of polls reveals that 42.1 per cent of Americans approve of Trump.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump boasted in a published memoir that he seduced his friend’s wives.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump boasted to People Magazine that he was having affairs throughout his early marriages and intimate relationships.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump author of “The Art of the Deal”, lost more than a billion dollars in ten years, and had four of his companies declare bankruptcy.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump’s companies have been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump was sued 3500 times, or that hundreds of the lawsuits were for refusing to pay contractors and employees.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump has a long history of personal racism including refusing to rent to black tenants and lying to black applicants about whether apartments were available.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump set up a fake university and had to pay a 25 million dollar settlement for defrauding students.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump partied with Jeffrey Epstein, a man who’s been convicted of multiple counts of sex with underage girls and who is being prosecuted for sex trafficking and rape.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump was notorious for insisting on coming into the dressing rooms of beauty pageant contestants to ogle them while they were undressed.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump can be heard on tape saying, “…when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump illegally paid off a porn star with campaign funds, to cover up his casting-couch sexual tryst with her.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump has a white supremacist on his staff , that he said many of the neo-Nazis at protests were “fine people” and that he said Mexican immigrants were “rapists”.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump instituted a policy of tearing immigrant children, including toddlers, away from their parents and jailing the parents and children separately, in bad conditions.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump has been caught baldly lying literally thousands of times while President.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump has been clearly shown to have lied about the nature of immigrants who were in the caravans coming to seek asylum in the USA.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump has expressed admiration for dictators who’ve had people brutally killed.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump was cheerfully elected with the help of a foreign power.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump chose cabinet members whose stated desire was to destroy the agencies they were appointed to head.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump’s campaign chairman was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for financial crimes, and that four other close Trump associates have pled guilty to federal charges.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump is being investigated regarding accusations he directed an illegal hush-money scheme to silence other women who said they had sex with him while he was married.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump is being investigated in light of increasing evidence that his companies have been actively laundering money for Russian oligarchs.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care that Donald J. Trump has cancelled our nuclear arms treaty, giving Russia a free pass to build up nuclear weapons.

42.1 percent of Americans don’t care about the hypocrisy of Donald J. Trump’s companies continuing to hire undocumented workers at construction sites, despite the workers being here illegally.

Aug 19

Why the uptick in Shark Attacks? Why the Increase in People Losing Limbs from Flesh Eating Bacteria?

“Two people bitten by sharks minutes apart at Florida beach” – that’s the headline. Well here’s another headline: “Thousands of whales are dying”. What’s the connection? Because we, humanity, are overfishing the ocean, and taking away the creatures sharks and whales normally feed on? Partly. But there’s more. We are all the sponsors, the promoters, the cultivators of climate change which causes widespread death amongst sea creatures, wrecking their normal ecosystems, reducing populations even more than overfishing. Climate change, which displaces and kills sea lions and seals and other prey of sharks and orcas. We’re also killing whales and other sea mammals with plastics flushed into the oceans.

More and more people are stricken by flesh-eating bacteria. Necrotizing Fasciitis. Their limbs are rotting off them because a deadly quick-acting antibiotic-resistant bacteria got into them, sometimes through a break in their skin during a visit at the beach or a lake. Some of it is spread by mosquitoes, carrying pathogens normally restricted to the tropics, moving North because of climate change–climate change caused by greenhouse-gases pumped out by human beings. Dangerous bacteria are encouraged in increasingly warm seas and beaches and in the wild; pathogens cultivated by the heat of climate change.

As for the sharks–they have to feed on something. Mother Nature apparently thinks it’s only fitting that she nudges sharks to feed on the causes of their famine.

Swimmers, surfers, more than ever attacked by sharks. Rotting whales piling up on our beach.  People are getting sick as never before from ordinary contact with the wild.  We get the oceans and the beaches we deserve. And today, a new headline. This is for real, from KHOU 11 in Crystal Beach: Shark bite victim is now fighting flesh-eating bacteria.