Keep-a-Walkin’

Once again it’s time to move. The Smokin’ Chicken Shack will no longer be updated here at the WordPress site. Seeing as how the written word is more or less a dead language, I needed to move into the 21st century of communication – podcast. So if you mosey on over to http://jv.spotlightcooperative.com you can actually surround yourself in the sights and sounds of the Chicken Shack. Remember folks. old JV says, “keep your peanuts in your hand when the circus comes to town.”

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Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Johnny V’s Birthday/Valentines Day Gift to YOU!

There's Someone Sleeping in My Head


Four decades ago I plopped down from the aethers and into this hot meat sack called John Valentine. To celebrate my entrance into this fifth decade of my existence I decided to give you all a little piece of me.

Over the last ten years I’ve written about 60+ songs. In my continual state of procrastination I keep saying I’m gonna do something with this music one day. Having reached 40 I can’t be too sure how much longer I can afford to procrastinate. So I decided to record a handful of songs to GIVE AWAY on my 40th birthday. I originally started with about 25 songs that I thought I might record but time, like life, runs short. So I decided on 14 songs for the 14th of February.

These songs were recorded with cheap instruments and a cheap microphone. I mixed them and mastered them myself on my Mac using Logic Express. I am still tempted to edit and try to refine them but the fact is my voice is never gonna be that good and my cheap bass and guitar will always have bad intonation. So what the hell, here they are for better or worse.

Each individual song file is free if you download them one at a time. The whole album cost $5.00 to download all at once. This gives you the option of free (I really do want you to have these songs) but if you want to give me a tip just download the whole album. The money will go directly into my PayPal account so no record label will benefit from your hard earned cash. It’s all between me and you. GET IT HERE!

Published in: on February 14, 2010 at 4:16 am  Comments (1)  

It’s Halloween?

Well, here I am. Back at The Chicken Shack after a six month summer run doing loads of work and soaking up as much life in the warm weather as possible. It seems like only yesterday Em and I were putting together our May Day party and planting the beds that have delivered us such good eats over the last two months. Even now we are eating Pumpkin Pie that I made from one of the pumpkins we grew in the back yard. And all these pumpkins that we’ve harvested over the last couple of weeks remind me that once again it’s Halloween.

So I’ve put together a gift of obscure Halloween songs for your enjoyment to make up for all the missed posts. It’s a collection of 23 mp3 files that runs about 63 minutes. It should get you in the mood for scarring the shit out of young children and drive your inner weirdness to the point that you actually want to eat brains.

Get It Here.

A side note about track number 5, “I’m a Mummy”, by Douglas Byng, many people have accused The Kids In The Hall from stealing their cross dressing bit from Monty Python, which they did. But most people don’t know that Python took that bit from Douglas Byng who was a hold-over from early vaudeville. Example:

Of course, none of them have quite the sexy style of The Old Rugged Cross Dressers.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vignette III – The Bridge

By the time I got to the bridge I was too tired to cross it. Exhausted with a glass of wine stuck in one hand and a nail in the other. She told me that the battle for the mind of America would take place in the video arena. I knew better… “America has no mind,” I told her. The bats flew out of her mouth filling the room with an awful fluttering noise. She smelled of mice in your grandmother’s couch. It was pointless to try and stop the bats. The more you fought the louder the bats would stir.

Her friend Peter was a rock. Totally unbreakable. In complete denial. A great place for me to start my church. It would be a real work of art. And this art would never die no matter how many times you killed it. So I stuffed a loaf of bread in her mouth that I made from my very own flesh. I gave Peter the glass of wine which he got wasted on and started ranting all sorts of crazy bullshit to anyone who would listen. I crossed the bridge and said I’d be back later to get them. It was a lie. I was never coming back to this place again.

extracted from a 2007 notebook.

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Solvitur Ambulando – “It is solved by walking”

Here in the western world we live in biblical times.  We have for quite awhile and will continue to do so until we have reached our apocalypse.  It’s an unfortunate position to be in for a Taoist such as myself who prefers The Way filled will the myriad creatures as opposed to being sold an investment in the next life for the mere sacrifice of the one I already have.  It’s the hustle of the money changers offering the shill one set of useless symbols for another set of useless symbols.  

Abbracapocus!  

Your worthless dollars are now a worthless piece of magnatized plastic with its beastly number scawled across it.  As you hold it in your hand with it’s number burned into your head do you ever get the feeling its just some kind of infernal joke?  Of course it is, it’s the classic “give ’em enough rope joke.”  I like to think of it as living in the punch line of history’s long yarn.

Oh sure, it can be a little hard to keep your sense of humor about it at times.  As Philip K. Dick wrote when his girlfriend was dying of terminal cancer.  “The worst part of it is I’m beginning to lose my sense of humor about cancer.”  Dick was a real maverick in his thinking.  Most dicks are.  But you have to be a maverick, or a least think like a maverick, to make any sense out of the times we live in. After all, we live in a world where the leaders are so bodacious as to start the G20 Summit, during a time of total economic catastrophe that they engineered, on April Fools Day.  

YO!  I think Jesus said it in Matthew 24:28 – “For wheresoever the corpse is, there will the vultures be gathered together.” And Yada Yada Yada says the Hebrew.  Lets face it.  You can whine about the New World Order power elite all you want but it was the common rube who took the rope that they are now hanging by.  And THAT, dear friends, is what brings me to my new motto, “Solvitur Ambulando.” Frater Perdurabo liked to answers his students questions with this reply.  It means to solve by walking.  What he meant when he said this was that to know how to do something one needs to do it.  Put country simple, if you want to know how to make cornbread, you need to start making cornbread.

And this is where the Joe Americans failed themselves.  In the best case scenario they’ve spent years working and SAVING their money for retirement only to find their money is vapor.  Of course, it always was vapor but while the rope was being doled out they fell for the illusion because it made them feel safe in a non-existent future. Come to think of it, that’s not a very good best case scenario but its what a lot of decent, hard-working folks did.

Even worse, however, were the fools who thought they themselves would become like their gods the money changers.  Leasing cars they would never own to drive to the mall with their credit card to change their image. Buying houses with nothing to flip for a future profit.  Not caring at all how it would really work.  Never asking where does value come from.  They wanted to make something from nothing using the hocuspocus.

Ha, now they want to rail against Wall Street for taking what they never had in the first place.  It seems going broke causes people to lose their sense of humor about money.  And while they put their hope in a game of Three-card Monte played by the hacks in Washington they still don’t seem to understand that the money they are playing with is all part of the grand illusion. 

In the end, with the entire world leveraged beyond its ability, the powers that be will be forced to overturn the table.  They will lose all sense of control, blasting the old order to bits to bring about their New Order of the Ages. Just like in the Old Testament, their tower reaching to the heavens will be swept away. Those of us who survive will be forced to solve our problems by walking.

Those who wish to embody the Tao should embrace all things.
To embrace all things means first that one holds no
anger or resistance toward any idea or thing, living
or dead, formed or formless.
Acceptance is the very essence of the Tao.”
– Lao Tzu

Published in: on March 31, 2009 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

What’s in Your Third Eye?

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste, and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you didn’t think you could do before.” – Rahm Emanuel

A country’s attitude is formed by it’s leadership and I took this Rahm Emanuel quote to heart last weekend when the main hard drive in my Power Mac mothership decided it was time to leave my cold, cruel world of hacking the matrix to the best of my God given abilities. It came with a weeks worth of pre-amble that I was able to recognize as the death rattle of a hard drive past its prime. The Macintosh spinning wheel of death with the audible, cyclical click of a hard drive repeating the same read function over and over. After the first episode and the subsequent forced restart I started backing up the lab to external hard drives at a furious pace. Then, last Saturday it happened. The spinning wheel of death and the clicking noise just kept going and going and going… it was over. Just like that. One day you’re here and the next day you’re gone.

So alas, it was indeed time to create a new order of the ages. And the elderly 150 gig main drive of yore had long since become the retarded step child that you tolerated because the consequences of open rejection would be too much to overcome. So I scored a 1 terabyte (yea, 1000 gig) Seagate Barracuda drive for $109 bucks at Best Buy, upgraded to OS X 10.5 and have backed up and emptied the second drive bay so that I can now install another terabyte hard drive.

Meanwhile, the Good Lord saw fit to bestow upon me a 62 hour work week at the exact time my hard drive failed. The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. It’s been a hell of an opportunity and with the weather breaking just right tomorrow Em and I will build raised beds for our vegetable garden that we plan on growing food to traffic illegally to our friends and family.

It’s a good time to get to know the Earth. Came from it – going back to it. Seems like it’s best to be close friends with it. We’re habitually feeding the squirrels again too. Em buys them peanuts and every morning we stand in the door and toss them to the little tree rats. If you’re patient with just the right Dr. Dolittle vibes you can actually get the Blue Jays and the squirrels in a peanut fetching competition. Making the small creatures fight over peanuts gives me a sense of understanding and relationship to Washington Politicians and Wall Street Bankers that I think few Americans ever really understand.

Power is Fun. So what’s stuck in your Third Eye?

“In my case, there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things.” —Russell Tice, Former NSA SIGINT Officer

Published in: on March 21, 2009 at 4:44 am  Leave a Comment  

How the Sausage Gets Made – Stories for Friday 13th

It’s Friday the 13th again and there is a new Friday 13th movie coming out today for all those unlucky enough to spend the $9.00 to see such non-sense. After all, the idea of somebody’s dead, drown boy rising from a lake and hacking you apart with an axe just doesn’t seem all that scary when compared with what’s happening in the real world today. And so as a good Samaritan and a public service I thought I would point out some juicy news items for your Friday 13th scare fest.

Where should I begin? Maybe with the 69 computers missing from Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons lab. Where could these missing computers be? Maybe they misplaced them with the army’s missing VX gas. You know the gas featured in the movie The Rock with Nick Cage. A miniscule one drop will cause the muscles in the body to contract so violently that bones can actually snap and your esophagus eventually chokes you to death. The type of stuff Saddam used in the 80’s thanks to this guy-

Now that’s more Friday 13th like. But lets keep digging. Did you hear the one about the Russian satellite that crashed into an Iridium satellite 100 miles up in space. An accidental collision they say… what are the odds? Two passenger car size satellites run into each other in 100s of millions of cubic miles of outer space. Don’t ask me because I don’t know but I do know the odds are really freaking low (RFL). But how is this unlucky mishap supposed to be scary when it happens way up in outer space? Well first we must know more about this Iridium company…. In November 1998, Motorola activated the Iridium communications network, a constellation of low-earth orbit satellites that provides wireless telecom and data services to any location on the planet. The cost to build the system? About $5 billion. By August 1999, unable to sign up enough customers—because of extremely high handset costs and per minute usage fees—Iridium was facing bankruptcy. I remember reading this in Wired magazine at the time. But them the story just dissappeared. Why? Because the whole thing got bought up by private investors for 25 million dollars. That’s right, a 5 BILLION dollar state of the art communications network bought for 25 MILLION dollars. I live in a $150,000 home, This deal would be the same as me selling this house for $750. What a freaking bargain! So who were these private investors? Some were companies ran by “ex” CIA and Navel Intel types. Nothing surprising there until USA Today informs us that “In an odd twist, the new Iridium is 24% owned by an investment firm controlled by Prince Khalid bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman of Saudi Arabia.
The prince used to own a minority chunk of the old Iridium in partnership with the Saudi Binladen Group, the company run by Osama bin Laden’s family.” It should be noted that this deal was sealed the same week of December 2000 that the Supreme Court put Bush in the White House. Uh, OK, now that we’ve followed this rabbit down this hole lets keep going. The whole deal was so shady at the time that the GAO wanted to investigate as of Jan 8th, 2001. But the investigation was shut down from above after Bush took the White House. But we do know for a fact that the Taliban is using Iridium communications. How? The UK is giving the phone systems to them. Also on an unlucky side note, the weapons we’ve been giving them with this state of the art communications network are missing. And all this brings us back to the Russian satellite the crashed into the Iridium satellite over Siberia…. it’s just damn unlucky.

Ok, Ok, I know. Too esoteric and the Bush-bin Laden thing is soooo yesterday. How about them banks? Did you hear the one about the $550 Billion electronic run on the banks last fall. On CSPAN, congressman Paul Kanjorski of PA let it slip out. You can watch it here.

There was also a secret run on October 10th of Britons banks. “Hours away from financial disaster” due to a secret run. It all just so unlucky.

And then this morning, Friday 13th, no less, Beverly Eckert, whose husband was a 9/11 victem, the co-chairwoman of Voices of Sept. 11 who declared “my silence cannot be bought”, died in a plane crash in Buffalo, NY.

All I can say is remember the words of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs – “I’d rather be lucky than good any day.”

Published in: on February 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

2009 & the Brave New Yes-We-Can KoolAid Cult Meet Cthulhu

As the winds of change blow a sweet breeze of deep freezing arctic air across my door, I pause to remember that which has passed and that which is to come with this dawning of the year of our Lord 2009. Stocked up on firewood, with a warm, glowing fire illuminating the house, pipes wrapped and home winterized, I sit with my shotgun next to me awaiting the full on arrival of 2009 proper. For those of you who were foolish enough to drink more than just a polite taste of the Balack Koolaid let me remind you of this little quote from fellow brother in arms Colin Powell: “There’s going to be a crisis come along on the 21st or 22nd of January that we don’t even know about right now.”

Well, you just know it’s going to be that kind of year when History Channel starts it out running “Armageddon Week.” I mean is this timing your programming or what? Armageddon Week theoretical end of the world scenarios running over a back ground haze of real world genocide in Gaza. It all just seems… I don’t know… so planned? One has to wonder during such a procession of the equinoxes and the proverbial changing of the guard, is there really a plan or has the human race just blown the engine of this high-powered dragster we call civilization. The New World Order is definitely calling in the chips and laying down the big take over card.

I think the word for this year will be destabilizing. This invariably means that my mantra for this year will be I will adapt. All institutions necessary for the economic vitality of the Empire will now be under the directorate of the Ministry of Commerce. But take comfort in the words of Johnny V, your only real economy is local which is great because the people who are going to be most willing to help you are the ones closest to you. So see, post apocalypse life is already looking better. What’s more, with the total collapse of the economy this year, we’ll all finally have the time to finish that pet project, write that novel, finish recording that album (assuming there’s still electricity), paint that masterpiece… In fact, when we quit struggling to keep this worthless machine alive we’ll suddenly have options again, albeit options dusted with a coat of toxic clouds, terrorism and jack boot storm troopers taking away the others in the middle of the night.

Also, as 2012 is steadfastly approaching, pay attention to the synchronicities. If your mash potatoes suddenly turn into a mountain with a UFO base hidden behind it, it probably means something. For the signs are truly everywhere and the power of prophecy is pretty much a dated technology when the end arrives. But if you can make it through 2009, I think the complete unhinging of the Earth in 2010 will seem almost like a vacation. I base this prediction on the belief that the spin doctors will have totally melted down by then. The seemingly endless horror combined with the openly psychotic lies of the New World Order will cause pundants and policy puppets to finally crack. Most of them will at some point start sobbing openly on television. Things should start looking up shortly there after with law and order out of the way and only the the total polar realignment of the Earth to deal with.

Yes, change is in the air. And let’s face it, everyone I know has said they could use some change in their lives. Well, here it comes. I suggest you take full advantage of it.

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” -Kurt Vonnegut

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 7:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Vignettes II: The Asshole

He pickled his brain in a vat full of unfinished ideas, alcohol and various chemical concoctions provided to him through the years by friends, foes or flat-out theft. The drivel that came out of his mouth on an average night reeked of the foul thoughts he’d let sour in his head over the years. He fancied himself an artist, part of an invisible college, confusing a brain crashing through too many thoughts, like an out of control locomotive, with intellect. He was neither intelligent nor an artist. Like so many others he was simply an asshole who was full of shit.

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 5:35 am  Leave a Comment  

The Cruel Radiance of What is!

The desire to truly create comes from the muses. Like any group of crazy bitches you gotta be patient and attentive to get in their pants. Of course, once you do its all tits up. It’s that subtle addiction that draws me to create. And the first thing to know as a seducer of the muses is to write; for “in the the beginning was the word and the word was God.”  My first excursion into writing came through music because the world sounds like music. And song is the simplest way to tell a story. Writing a song is like giving birth to a baby. It’s awesome to look at and say “WOW, look what I did!” But then, for me, playing a song over and over is like getting a kid dressed for school every day. It’s a sacrifice whose reward is far in the future and you’ll most likely never see it.  I like to think of my songs as something I’ll leave on the doorstep of another and maybe they’ll raise it to be a symbol for all man kind or maybe it will die in the cold.  Either way, like a chicken dropping an egg it gives me a moment to cluck out loud.

I write about 1 worthy song or so a month.  Here’s a free one from the last two months called Summertime Ends Again.   Mr. Bob gave me the last few lines in a moment of weakness.

Anyway,  I have been writing what I call vignettes or short-short stories for the last few years.  They are just thoughts and exercises.  I will publish them them over the next few weeks.  Enjoy.

AMERICAN GOTHIC

The past was collapsing behind him so he ran into the future to avoid being crushed by the moment he left behind.  

The stain on her cheeks were left by the drip, drip, drip of the tears fed from the spring of her pain.

They made a cute couple. Nothing to complain about, every option was available to them and yet they had no momentum.  Together they would just stare at things like a deer stares into the oncoming headlights.

He was a writer – she a photographer. He had nothing to say.  She was blinded by the infinity of angles.  Overwhelmed by the fact that every moment was the perfect picture.  THEIR SILENCE WAS GOLDEN.

Published in: on December 22, 2008 at 6:35 am  Leave a Comment