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National Obituary Review

DPD – B.B. King

No Comments 15 May 2015

Enthusiasts,

We lost a good one yesterday. I was up late stretching and listening to Charlie Mingus when the fax came through. As soon as I read the message my blood ran cold – “The King Is Dead”.

I was spooked. I didn’t know what to do so I reached for the Laphroaig (15 year), flipped the Mingus record and laid down on the floor.

I didn’t sleep a wink. I couldn’t shake the feeling that things were slipping away. When Mingus had finished I tried to put on Singin’ the Blues but when the needle hit the sound was too jarring, the wound too raw. So I put on The Birth of Cool hoping Miles would numb the pain. Then it hit me.

Back in the 1950s the lifeblood of American culture pulsed through juke joints, country dance halls and back alley nightclubs. In such locales B.B. cut his teeth and made his contribution. King plugged into the current spawned from 1957′s release of The Birth of Cool. It was a different flavor but it all tasted similar. Coltrane was in that recipe. So was James Brown, Otis Redding, George Clinton and Michael Jackson (pre all that weird shit).

Hell, as a country we’ve been wading in this current for the past half century. Now the stream is dry and we’re out of ideas so Ryan Seacrest fills the void. Sure, we’ve had ebbs and flows since. Vogues in-and-out of style. But every so often you’d see B.B. (or Muddy Waters or Howlin’ Wolf) and it was like an omniscient face smack reminding you where it all came from.

By his own admission, King could not play chords well and always relied on improvisation. In a time where curriculums and career paths are over curated it makes you wonder if true creativity can still thrive.

The flag is flying at half mast today at The Shade HQ.

Not surprisingly those quacks over at the NYTs contributed a steaming poop for a memorial to The King. So do yourself a favor and read the Chicago Tribune’s.

 

Features

The Greatest People Ever – The Shade Staff Fantasy Draft

No Comments 27 September 2012

Fans,

Great News! The people that bring you The Shade have a brand new thing to stick in your face.

In light of fantasy football season we’ve done a similar type of thing. Each staff member was asked to choose 5 people – living or dead – that they would choose to start a new nation. All creatures (alive or dead) were fair game. Staffers had weeks to prepare, thousands of documents were poured over and many, many dirty looks were exchanged while fighting tooth and nail for our picks. We all feel that our teams represent our true selves and what we would deem as essential in building a nation.

Now we turn to you to vote on each team. In the following posts you’ll be able to view the teams and vote on which you like best. YOUR votes will help choose which staffer receives a box of Wheat Thins and unfettered access to the handicap bathroom for an afternoon. So choose wisely.

The Shade Management

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Owner – J. Kennedy Toole The Third
Team Name – Leviathan’s Legacy

Philosophy -  We have the most fertile woman humankind has ever known and the most sexually perverse, incestuous Roman emperor ever to rule.  Together, with an enlightened philosopher known for his witty way of taming kings, and the father of geometry and music theory as a spiritual guide, this nation is destined to succeed.  Finally, we have a medic-explorer who has faced the harshest conditions on earth to save his fellow man.  There is a reason why people in 15 states lined up to see his funeral procession – and that reason is the glue that holds our new civilization together.

Mrs.  Feodor Vassileyov: According to a 1783 issue of The Gentleman’s Magazine (Volume 53), Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev holds the world record for being the most fertile female ever to inhabit this wonderful earth.  She gave birth to 69 children from 1725-1765, so it can be implied that she was really into giving out, and wanted nothing to do with pulling out.  Progeny will not be a problem in this new society.

Pythagoras of Samos: This mathematical genius, who was so musically inclined he could literally tune an anvil, will also give spiritual guidance to our new nation.   His belief in metempsychosis, a state in which the soul reincarnates until it becomes immortal, will give citizens respect for nature and the past.  Plus, with the Pythagorean theorem already at hand, carpentry will be a no brainer, and algebra is only a few centuries away.

Francois-Marie Arouet (Voltaire): One of the most brilliant figures of mankind, Voltaire was famous for his wit, his writings, and dressing like a bum.  He was a huge fan of freedom, and once told the king  of Prussia that he was a “nasty monkey” because he was sick of reading his awful poetry.  Along with his ideas of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, this idea will drive our new world: “let us read and let us dance – two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.”

Caligula: The most misunderstood Roman emperor, whose history was written by the same court that assassinated him.  It is true that he was a sexually perverse party animal, who spent the Roman bank on good food and loose women, but he also had a knack for civil engineering that gave Rome new roads, aqueducts, and buildings.  It will be important to keep his temper under control (he once ordered an entire section of the crowd at the Coliseum to be thrown to the lions), but he was also really into incest (google his sisters), which will be vital in the first decades of civilization.

Elisha Kane: This guy had the largest funeral train in history, second only to Abraham Lincoln.  Why did so many people show up?  Kane was a badass military medic who saved the lives of troops, generals, and explorers.  There weren’t many wounds he couldn’t help heal.  In fact, he was chosen to take off to the Arctic to find the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin. He then proceeded to go farther into the Arctic Circle than anyone else in the 19th century–twice.  He knew how to vacation too – he died in Havana, Cuba trying to get rid of a  bout of scurvy he caught while spending what should have been his golden years camping in the frozen tundra
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Owner – Youth of Tomorrow
Team Name – Nation of Tomorrow

Philosophy – The Nation’s existence is built on the necessities — food, shelter, and defense; it’s character is narrated into existence by satire and sex.

Jonathan Chapman: Who better to sow the seeds for the new nation than, Mr. Chapman, colloquially known as “Johnny Appleseed”? Every nation must be able to feed it’s people, and Chapman’s selection with The Nation’s 2nd pick ensured that an agricultural society would indeed flourish.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Shelter, brought to The Nation by the brilliant Frank Lloyd Wright. Not only does Wright posses the vision to challenge our notions of the space we inhabit, but he has the experience to lead construction on our first settlement, integrating it with the landscape itself for a more harmonious living.

J. Robert Oppenheimer: Defense, from the man who unwittingly brought nuclear weapons into our collective conscience. Mutually Assured Destruction ensures that The Nation is never attacked by another nation and keeps defense spending down.

Mark Twain: Who better to document and add insight into the character of The Nation? We made a conscience effort to steer clear of politicians when building our foundation, and with any luck, brilliant, rational individuals like Twain will be at the helm of whatever system of governance springs forth.

Marilyn Monroe: The American female sex symbol — someone to carry into our culture all of the fetishism/perversity that makes procreation such an appetizing dish on the buffet of life.
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Owner – Norman P. Orlando
Team Name – VHS: Versatility, Heart & Sack (as in nuts)

Philosophy – VHS is innovative, versatile and has a sense of longevity. We keep one eye on the future, another on the past and still yet another on that apple pie cooling on your window sill.

Ben Franklin: Statesman, philanderer, brewer, publisher – these are just a few of the words to describe our head of state. He’ll navigate our ship forward and brew the ales to calm our souls when we get crabby.

Black Elk: Medicine man & mystic – Black Elk is plugged into the cosmos in a way that no other human before or since has been. He’ll help us keep perspective define our vision and he’s really good at putting band-aids on scrapes on the knees (ouch!)

Sun Tzu: Secretary of Defense – Shit is going to be poppin’ in our nation. People are going to want in. Although we’ll foster an open door policy to outsiders this will inevitably attract riff-raff so we’ll need protection (and at times aggression) – and this guy literally wrote the book on it. He was also well known in the underground gambling ring of Shanghai where to manufactured and distributed opium and the earliest known form of PEZ.

Mary Elizabeth Bowser: A northern slave whom defied all odds and became a spy in the Confederate White House. Bowser supplied vital information to the Union and eventually played a key role in their defeat. Her cunning, courage and female parts will be essential for success and progeny.

Abigail Adams: The right blend of feminine sophistication, pioneering grit and sexiness (hoo-ahh). The second first lady of the US played a vital role in advising John Adams in both foreign and domestic affairs. The letters they exchanged show her wit and intellect plus hips that have the capacity to birth six children will be an asset.
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Owner – T.W. Snicket
Team Name -  Fortune favors the Bold

Philosophy – Through out humanity we continue to find ourselves in the same predicaments of our forefathers.  When one dares to break the cycle or take a hard reassessment of what is right or good they tend to be broken down and made a fool.  To break the cycle and move humanity forward you must be bold. It is our actions during our lives that are either forgotten or remembered throughout the ages.  “Heroes get remembered but legends never die.”

Leonardo Da Vinci: The Renaissance man. – He is the most talented person who ever was or every will be. His imagination held no bounds and his ability to perceive, visualize, and create will never be matched.

James Cook: The Explorer – For every great frontier there is bold man that looks out and says:  Fuck that.  I know we can.

Nikola Tesla: The Dreamer of Reality – He is the man who brought us power. He dared to progress by devoting his life to an endless search for something far bigger then anyone ever dreamed. Be it not for the Alternating Current we would arguably never have moved into the modern world, and if that douche bag Edison didn’t get in the way we damn well could be living in a future that one could only dream about.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Musician – To hear Mozart is to be at the edge of time then turn around and see the endless possibilities humanity is or was capable of.

Ernest Hemingway: The Storyteller – What would a journey be without someone to document and then tell the tale.  “Courage is grace under pressure.”

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Owner – Reins Hagglemeyer
Team Name – Reins Hagglemeyer

Philosophy -  Reins Hagglemeyer

Ghengis Khan
Teddy Roosevelt
Amelia Earhart
Rodney Dangerfield,
Harriet Tubman
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Owner – Ry

Team Name – Ry

Philosophy -  Ry

Howard Stern,
Optimus Prime
Steve Harvey
Jean Claude Van Damme
Jenna Jameson

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PLEASE VOTE – 6 Stars for your favorite and 1 Star for worst.

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Shades of Gray, Visuals

Don Martin Artwork

No Comments 06 January 2012

Even though Don Martin didn’t take the DPD honors his artwork still warrants a mention on The Shade. One has to wonder how Martin didn’t take the honors. Mad Magazine was an amazing, grotesque, despicable and brilliant publication. I’m glad its making a comeback. Although I’m always left wondering why Mad TV was so lackluster? Anyways I hope you enjoy some of Don Martin’s work as much as we did.

 

Shades of Gray

Ask Norman!

No Comments 28 November 2011

Hi Norman, I recently moved to San Diego and I’ve been encountering some problems with my nostrils.  Lately my boogers have been so sticky they don’t come out with the normal nose blow.  I’ve tried the tissue over the finger thing and have been experiencing some problems with this method.  Some times the tissue rips and sometimes the tissue particles cause this allergic reaction and I end up sneezing for hours.  I fear that until nose picking becomes socially acceptable I’m going to be in a lot of trouble.  Are you aware of any nostril cleaning spa treatments or can you provide any other suggestions?

 

They’re stuck up there in San Diego

 

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Stuck,

If nose picking isn’t socially acceptable its news to me. I find any type of conquest thrilling and that particular endeavor ripe with manliness. But I’ve been behind the times before so just in case….for any type of nasal build-up I always go with Peruvian hot sauce and Forrest Gump. If one doesn’tget it done, the other will. I don’t know what it is but that movie always makes me cry sometimes!

Thanks for writing Stuck and watch out for all those sailors down there.

Norm

 

Shades of Gray, Top Ten

Top 10 List – Things you never want to hear

No Comments 23 September 2011

Top 10 things you never want to hear:

10. Alarm clocks

9. Are you done yet??

8. Did you need that?

7. Whoops

6. We’re out of toilet paper, but you can use my sock if you want

5. I’m late

4. Girls farting

3. Promise you won’t get mad

2. We need to talk

1. Your parents having sex

 

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