I'd rather be alone.



& links

Nov. 27, 2022

I am lactose-intolerant. If I have even a single yogurt or glass of milk, I'll be farty in a few hours. If I have lots of dairy — a large helping of ice cream, say — I'll be farty all night long, some of the farts might be sharts, and my poop will be lumpy and float.

Yesterday, I had too much ice cream, but it was lactose-free ice cream, or so said the label. My intestines and anus disagree. Either my Kroger-branded lactose-free cherry cordial ice cream had all the lactose and none of the lactose-free, or I've become lactose-free-intolerant.

Dean's day-after-Thanksgiving dinner was fine, I guess. Oddly, for a guy who brags endlessly about what a great cook he is, what tasted best by far was the store-bought and microwaved mashed potatoes. Other than that it was roast beef and fancy green beans (kinda blah). One bite of the beef tasted wrong to me, and I discreetly spat it out. The rest of it tasted OK.

The conversation was as blah as the beans. Dean told us about his long career as a chef, and about how ruined his home town has become. Robert talked about football and World of Warcraft. I participated, slightly and uncomfortably.

I respect Dean's Thanksgiving gesture, and I've had worse meals and worse flatmates. I like Robert, and I'm getting used to Dean, and of course I'm too damned snarky when I write about them.

But I'm not good with people, and tired of trying. It was all conversation we've had before, and little of it was of interest. I would've rather been alone in my room, in my recliner, watching an old movie, or farting around on the internet like I'm doing right now.

Here's the news you need,
whether you know it or not

Biden Administration lifts sanction against Venezuelan oil drilling allowing Chevron to import oil to US 

Change the rules to benefit one corporation that's bigger than you can imagine, over other corporations also bigger than you can imagine, in order to drain the world's limited oil supply a few months faster, which maybe, if it's OK with Chevron and the rest of the cartel, might lower gas prices in America by 1½¢ per gallon. 

Rich nations have promised to pay for the climate crisis – but will they? 

Of course not. What a stupid question.

What can Democrats push through Congress in the lame-duck session? 

It's pointless to ask what Democrats can or could push through Congress before the Republicans' circus begins in January. Most Dems in Congress are content with the status quo, so what they will push through is jack, and shit.

Fears for all Ukraine's nuclear plants after emergency shutdowns 

Greta Thunberg sues her native Sweden for failing on climate 

US federal judge denies 19-year-old's request to attend her father’s execution 

Study: Climate change is increasing the frequency and temperature of extreme heat waves 

And it never stops, never stops...

"Officer shuffle": Some ousted cops find jobs at new departments in Massachusetts 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops, never stops...

What it's like to be the child of a January 6 insurrectionist 

And it never stops, never stops, never stops...

Links I liked

We are living in Robert Bork's America

Everything you wanted to know about pronouns (but were afraid to ask) 

Fanta was created for Nazi Germany 

Unaired pilots 


Mystery links
"Like life itself, there's no
knowing where you're going"




♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

• "Crimson and Clover" by Joan Jett 

• "God Must Be Doing Cocaine" by Charlotte Lawrence 

• "Mad Shirt Grinder" by Quicksilver 

• "Red Right Hand" by Nick Cave 

• "Veneno" by Chuy Flores 

The End

Michael Pertschuk 

Bao Tong


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...


  1. I see Nick Cave made your playlist. I encourage you to check out "Higgs Boson Blues" and a track from his first solo album From Her to Eternity, made after he left the brilliantly chaotic Birthday Party, called "A Box for Black Paul." I've read that it's actually his requiem to his old band (BP= Birthday Party/ Black Paul), but I much prefer to imagine it as Nick sitting at a piano, drunk and at a wake, singing out loud the random thoughts in his inebriated head. At first, it can be a tough slog at just under ten (10!!) minutes but if you let it roll off your back and look up the lyrics while you listen (to make his Australian accent a bit clearer), you should be able to pick up the vague melody and the anguished sentiment.

    When I used to play this song on my college radio station in 1986 (the album came out in 1984), I would often get calls begging me to turn it off and play more conventional "alternative" music or orthodox punk music (ah, the irony). My girlfriend at the time hated it, initially, and then did a 180 and loved it. It might have helped that she saw a picture of Nick in the interim.

    I know you won't be swayed by his looks or magnificent/pretentious '80s hair and you may hate it since punk, post-punk, dissonant music isn't one of your interests, but you MIGHT lock into it, you might get a kick out of its adventurousness and its sly sense of humor and power of negative thinking. If you play it once every day for a week, just going about your day, you might find it opens up to you in a meaningful way. Or you'll consider it one of the worst pieces of music you were ever asked to endure.

    Maybe one of your loyal readers/commenters will find a use for it.

    I'm sincere in my love for the song. I look forward to its odd twists and turns. No auto-tune, no programmed drums, no drums! Just a cry into the universe. -- Arden.

    1. Arden,

      My favorite Nick Cave song is "Into My Arms", which he originally recorded with The Birthday Party, and continued to perform after the breakup. I couldn't find a video that I was entirely happy with, so I'll include the lyrics and a link to a video that's not bad. It's almost six minutes long, so get comfortable.


      I don't believe in an interventionist God
      But I know, darling, that you do
      But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
      Not to intervene when it came to you
      Not to touch a hair on your head
      To leave you as you are
      And if He felt He had to direct you
      Then direct you into my arms
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms

      And I don't believe in the existence of angels
      But looking at you I wonder if that's true
      But if I did I would summon them together
      And ask them to watch over you
      To each burn a candle for you
      To make bright and clear your path
      And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love
      And guide you into my arms
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms

      And I believe in Love
      And I know that you do too
      And I believe in some kind of path
      That we can walk down, me and you
      So keep your candle burning
      And make her journey bright and pure
      That she will keep returning
      Always and evermore
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms, O Lord
      Into my arms


    2. Hi John,

      I know the song as the lead-off cut on The Boatman's Call but have never heard a Birthday Party version. Is there one that's been officially released? Is it on a Bootleg? Or is this known only because either Nick said so or a journalist claimed it so. Obviously, I'd take Nick's word on it, while would be more suspect of a random journalist's take, since once something is reported in error, someone else will cut and paste and claim it for fact. Journalism standards are low in music journalism -- and arguably as it should be, since we're talking about a fan driven enterprise that should make allowances for shit being wrong. It's the phony 'professionalism' of places like Rolling Stone et al that go against the ephemeral nature of this stuff.

      I love Into Your Arms. I haven't gotten around to listening to the version on Idiot Prayer. I find the solo piano thing done over the course of 22 songs to be too much to chew at once.

      I don't think I'll ever grow accustomed to the idea that Nick is standard fare for the NPR crowd. People know his name now who would've rolled their eyes at me when I was ranting and raving back in the '80s. -- Arden

    3. Hi Arden,

      I credited it to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds because The Boatman's Call is a studio album credited to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. There aren't many Bad Seeds audible on the album nor on Into Your Arms, but the whole group gets the credit. I have heard versions of Into Your Arms in which I can hear a bass, either acoustic or electric. There's at least one on YouTube, but that's only one seed, and I just assume he is bad.

      I have not heard a version of the song in which all the Bad Seeds go crazy as they do in early albums. It's possible that credit on The Boatman's Call goes to Nick and all the Seeds, good and bad for contractual reasons. But no, no wild 80s Bad Seeds version.

      A brief story: Within a year of The Boatman's Call being published, Nick Cave was asked to voice the Old Testament of the bible for an audio book. I've always wondered whether Into Your Arms got him that gig. I suppose it goes without saying that the Bad Seeds weren't in on that deal either, although the OT contains enough mayhem to satisfy any Bad Seed.



    4. Sorry about the NPR crowd. Genius creates strange bedfellows and, for that matter, bedwomen.


    5. Correction: Obviously the name of the song is Into My Arms. Jeez, I know all the lyrics and spaced on the name of the damn song. It is four in the morning, but that's a bum excuse for a Nick Cave fan.


    6. Arden, we all have our favorites. I've been an enthusiastic fan of Leonard Cohen since his first album, with The Stranger Song and Sisters of Mercy, and his second album, Songs From a Room with Story of Isaac and Seems So Long Ago, Nancy. Brilliant stuff, and he kept it coming. So what does he get remembered for? Yup, that song with eighty verses that hundreds of people have now recorded. It's not a bad song, but I'd take Chelsea Hotel #2 any day of the week.

      We love the things we love for what they are.


    7. I know that song, "Into My Arms," from the soundtrack of a movie. Very nice indeed. I switched the playback to my movie-PC, for better sound.

      Gotta say, though, Mr Cave misses a few notes singing it live. That's why I almost always prefer a studio version, where they can make every element exactly right.

      I welcome any arguments or insults.

    8. He's not missing the notes. Since Nick wrote both the lyrics and the music, and since Nick famously gets bored easily, he's rewriting a note here and there. He's said he never wants to give the exact same performance twice. Since we don't have to sing the same songs 50 times in a typical tour, we probably don't understand Nick's problem with boredom.

      I read books about music and the people who make it. In its own way, it's a dreary business. If you ever manage to get a record made, and if you then get radio play of your record, and if enough people hear it, like it and buy it, you might get to tour with an established headliner and two or three supporting acts. If you only have one or two cuts that are played on the radio, the promoter will insist that you play your "hits" and get the hell off the stage. You will soon come to detest your "hits" and want to spice them up for your own entertainment. If you do this, you'll probably not be invited back on tour. This is the curse of the hit.

      See also, Santo and Johnny, the poor bastards. At least they had their own TV show for a short time -- in Italy.

      In some ways success sucks more than failure in the music business. You think your office jobs were repetitive and boring? Try singing the same song with exactly the same arrangement night after night, then getting ripped off by the promoter because the box office was 10% short.

      It's a dirty, bloody business. Thus the "incorrect" notes from Nick.


    9. "Play 'Free Bird'" is what people shout at Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts. I enjoy hearing that song once or twice a year, but oy, the drudgery it must be for them to perform it every time there's a guitar in the room.

      Point taken and understood.

      I'm not complaining that Nick Cave played around with the arrangement, though. To my aluminum ear, in the live version Arden originally URLed, Mr Cave simply hit a few notes flat, or maybe with mucus clogging his throat. It happens to me in the shower, and apparently it happens to very good professionals.

      In the studio, he'd get a second take.


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