Panic Express

The Jack Kerouac-Elvis Presley Show, 30-min pilot

819M; download time, 30 minutes at 186Kmps
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I lived in a town that was asleep at the world. Its Mayor was always giving press conferences saying: "We want to be just like the old Uniteda Statesa that you read about in history books."

"You mean free and democratic?" one of the journalists would always ask.

"No," the Mayor would reply, "Lazy, blind, self-righteous, and on lots of drugs."


Before they let you leave this town, they made you sit down and listen to the true story behind all the events you'd taken for granted in your life.

"Remember all those times you fell asleep driving a packed school bus through dense fog at night on a narrow, 1-lane, winding, mountain road?" they'd ask, rhetorically, "And how you always seemed to wake up just in time to avoid hitting something or driving off the cliff?

"Well, the truth is," they'd continue, "That all those times -- you actually did lose control of the bus and drive over the edge, killing everyone.

"And what you've been living, since then, has only been the flimsiest set of simulations -- designed to make you believe you could eternally glide through life unscathed, without consequence, no matter what you did or didn't do, or how badly you fucked up."

Then they'd make you take the cure for this, and let you go.

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When I finally left there, I was no longer pissed-off or bummed out, in any way -- but the only sounds I could hear were the sounds of forks and spoons tossed into a drawer together and/or dishes being stacked in a cabinet.


I went to some new town and bought an abandoned warehouse and started a storage business that took anything from anybody and catalogued it away forever.

This allowed people to get all the shit out of their lives and set themselves momentarily free to try again, without the suffocating web of people, ideas, values, crimes, tragedies, gains, losses, pictures, offspring, ancestors, stories, traditions, desires, heroes, idols, hatreds, resentments.

Then, when they gave up trying to be alive, they could come crawling back to my warehouse and retrieve all their old crap for some exorbitant fee.

This wasn't a business, after all. It was really a bet against freedom. A bet that people would always give it up and come running back and pay absolutely anything to possess their old bondage gear again. Regardless of what they actually said.


I went to see the man.

Finally, when it was his lunch break, he looked at me, ready to deal.

"OK," he said, "So you want to move into another dimension, right?"

He must have had me confused with somebody else, but I nodded and played along.

"Well, I only have a few minutes for my lunch," he said, taking a sandwich out of a paper bag and biting into it. It looked like Synthetic Blue -- on a shingle.

"OK," he said, "Close your eyes and imagine a point of light at the edge of the universe.

"Imagine you are hanging out there at the end of a string, and you are placing palm-sized units at random, on tacks throughout space.

"Some of the units work and some don't. You are trying to connect them with coaxial cable. Then the universe hiccups and all the units drop off. Now, none of them work."

He paused for a moment to pick a piece of lettuce or rindgy out of his teeth.

"Now just relax and wait for a new light to appear in the distance and let yourself float to it. When you get there, you will be back where you started, but in a different dimension.

"Of course, there is no guarantee that this dimension will please you any more than the one you've just left."


Then I was back in Toshibaland, caring for the sick and feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless and loving the unloved and flattering the ugly and warming the cold and educating the ignorant and soothing the angry and resurrecting the dead and re-invigorating the tired.

But this was all just, you know, like one big cover-up -- for being, like, just soooooo utterly fucked.


It got so bad, I ran for Governor on the Midnight Accident ticket. This was the party that had won the CanaMex-NicaRican War by parachuting their most vicious convicts, psychopaths, and action heroes onto enemy soil and then just letting Nature take his course.

Unfortunately, this course had also led to a complex and interconnected series of national economic collapses which, ultimately, affected everyone, even assholes.

And, now, we were stuck with the unfortunate agenda of cleaning it up.

--By Robert Schamm and the Pharaohs

Robert Schamm is lead singer and plays keyboards for the Pharaohs, an R&B-Doo Wop group outta Nutley, New Jersey. His deconstruction of the categories of misuse of the word "deconstruction" is a classic in the field and his analysis of everything slimy and moldy will be a weekly feature of STALL during the election season.

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