Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.

Hurricane Kills 7, Harasses 3, Before Downgrading to Tropical Storm in an Effort to Elude Police

Forming in a seedy section of the North Atlantic, Hurricane Mel has churned up a devilish trail in his wake. "He got hooked on thermals and warm ocean water, he’s been spinning out of control ever since," explains his mother, Hurricane Edna.  Mel’s meteorological mother admits to her own sordid past which includes a long string of tidal surges, heavy winds, and prostitution (mostly blow jobs).  Apparently, the apple did not fall far from the uprooted tree.

Who’s Looking Out for “True”?

Mick Zano

How do we really know what’s going on?  Truth seems harder to find than an Obama supporter on the Appalachian Trail.  These days, how can anyone parse out the truth in politics, culture, or even science?  Yes, even science is suspect.

Take my recent MS in Psychology, which focused on addiction and psychopathologies.  (I actually majored in literature; the MS degree was merely an exploration of my booze problem and uncontrollable urges to kill.  What can I say?  I have issues.)

Research into addiction is funded by pharmaceutical companies seeking scientific validation.  Lo and behold, the researchers’ findings typically “suggest” exactly what their sponsors are looking to confirm.  These endless “beer-reviewed” studies are self-serving and often suspect.  (This is not a slam on scholarly journals; I’m just usually drunk when I read them.)  The point being, science itself now borders on “scientism,” which is almost a religion in its own right.  Richard Dawkins is the perfect example—a brilliant man, but philosophically felonious.  Forget history, throw out spirituality; instead, everyone must focus on his version of evolutionary psychology and let the best “meme” win.

This is nothing new for science; I think it used to be called logical positivism, but I’m not positive about the logical part.  Each scientific or psychological breakthrough is always the answer. Remember when behaviorism could explain everything?  Great job, Watson and Skinner.  You’ve really curbed my uncontrollable urges to kill.  Thanks.  I’m reminded just how well behaviorism works each time I shovel the human remains from my carport.

Limited funding provided by the same dubious sources—pharmaceutical companies, medical grants, and the military—results in a uniformity of thought that impedes genuinely significant research.  Case in point: What ever happened to the research into Jell-O-kinesis or remote spewing?  (I won’t go into detail on these subjects for fear of losing readers).

Speaking of Jell-O, politicians take the cake.  Our foreign policies have become simultaneously draconian and juvenile.  We invade and take over Afghanistan, and the world opium supply suddenly quadruples?  I’m partial to coffee and cocaine, so please sign my petition encouraging the U.S. to start bombing Columbia immediately.

And speaking of drugs, the only people who can’t seem to get any these days are the terminally ill.  Even my own use of medical marijuana (a pound a day for glaucoma in my left eye) is under heavy scrutiny.  Psychedelics like Ibogaine may prove to be the best combatants of addiction; but since that would not fit into our current paradigm, the research remains ignored.

Education has become a business.  In fact, virtually everything has shifted into a business—except our businesses, of course.  They’ve just shifted overseas.  Detroit should be grateful for its status as “Hockeytown,” because innovative and well-engineered cars are beyond its manufacturers.  The puck stops here, people.  I’ve owned seven vehicles in my life: six American-made cars and one “rice burner.”

I miss the rice burner. 

Public education has become a farce.  Remember that annoying little child Bush refused to leave behind?  Well, the rest of the class is now waiting for him.  He’s in an extended time-out right now and won’t stop spitting his Ritalin pills at the teacher, so the rest of his classmates may be waiting for quite some time.  Give him another study hall—that should do the trick.  In the meantime, children, try sitting next to someone of Asian or Indian persuasion during your PSSAs.

Overall quality in healthcare is collapsing as social services and medical clinics focus on billable hours instead of quality treatment.  Managed care, HMOs, and the proposed national healthcare system are all part of the problem, not the solution.  Insurance companies focus their resources on avoiding claim payments, while our personal and national debt accelerates faster than a monkey on methamphetamine.  (Don’t try that, by the way. It pisses off the PETA people, not to mention the monkey.)

Since 1950, the average sperm count in the US of A has dropped 75%.  I repeat: seventy-five percent! I suppose it explains how I got through college without a single “oops.”  (Alas, I can’t say the same for nether-region rashes.)  The FDA allows massive piles of shit in the guise of “food” to be sold in various shapes and sizes via homedelivery, 24-hour drive-throughs, and buffet-a-ramas.  Enjoy variety and shapes while you can, folks, because soon all Americans will be uniformly round and sterile.

America: If the only one looking out for you is Bill O’Reilly, then do the honorable thing, young samurai, and fall on your loofah.

So, what are the answers? 

We must seek the truth.  We must speak impeccably in all endeavors.  We must take back America, blog by blog.  Our journalism and our politics must change—they must become more than empty slogans pushed by campaign managers. Remember, with crises comes opportunity.  Moderates around the globe: Continue sharing your ideas and pierce the ever-thickening wall of bullshit passing as discourse.

For years, I have championed a more parliamentary style of government.  Not enough of us fit under these two big dysfunctional tents, if we ever did.  The current administration has magnified the flaws in our system, so “revampage” is imperative.  Revamapge is tidier than a revolution, so let’s get cracking.

Smithers, release the flying meth monkeys!

Luckily, we don’t have to worry about damaging the Constitution or the Bill of Rights; Bush and his cronies took care of that.

We at the Discordare advancing the agenda of a new, emerging party known as the Transcosmetic Party.  You will hear more and more as we start wearing our cute little arm bands and marching in goose-step fashion from sea to shining sea.  I’m kidding, of course; we’ll probably take the bus.  We are, after all, fat, middle-aged, monkey-drugging, coke fiends.

Now, let’s start our assault on reason by systematically rating the journalists, column-writers, and cable news anchors of our time.  Exposing the flaws of our peers is not meant to slander or attack.  This report card is necessary.  We will be mercilessly non-partisan (MNP).  After all, we’re not prejudiced; we hate everybody. We will hold each individual up to Ken Wilber’s four quadrants to determine their overall integral scores.  This should be fun, although in no way does Wilber approve of what we are doing.  We are the “barely integral,” damnit!  And you know what they say about an ounce of knowledge: It’s for medicinal purposes only.  I have glaucoma in my left eye!

Palin Faces Ethics Panel

In a potential scandal, Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin recently tried getting her former brother-in-law fired from the state police. She will soon face an Alaskan ethics panel to determine if she abused her powers. We at the Discord believe the interrogation should be led by Michael Palin of Monty Python fame. She should face both the rack and/or the comfy chair…because ‘nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.’

Cheney: King of the Damned?

Mick Zano

Warning: To the casual reader who is blissfully unaware of the darker goings-on within the current administration, the contents of this article may prove deeply disturbing. To those with weak constitutions: consider Ron Paul’s candidacy.
Dick Cheney at 1939 World’s Fair

Something sinister has happened to Vice President Dick Cheney. My suspicions were aroused after viewing a video clip, circa Desert Storm, wherein Mr. Cheney alludes to the insanity of a regime change in Iraq. He prognosticates that if Saddam Hussein were to be toppled, pieces of Iraq would “fly off,” ultimately leaving us stuck in a “quagmire.” (His words; my quotations; Jack Handey’s Deep Thoughts). Equally stunning is the conclusion of the video, wherein Mr. Cheney is seen licking an ice cream cone and petting a small dog—possibly a pug—while warning of the dangers of global over-industrialization.

Since then, yours truly did some digging…and oh, what macabre truths have been unearthed. I believe that President Bush is simply a human ghoul guarding Cheney’s lair back at his ‘undisclosed location.’ If the opportunity arises, move in as close as possible to the VP, then whip out a shard of mirror or some other reflective surface to see if he casts an image. Sadly, our own roving reporter, Skippy Morowitz, was gunned down within inches of the VP while attempting this very feat.

Cheney’s former chief assistant, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, apparently played a more Renfield-like role. During his obstruction hearing last year, Libby sent this enigmatic message to New York Times reporter Judith Miller: “They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them.” What you may not know is that the postscript read: “Send juicy centipedes.” More intriguing was Cheney’s response to Scooter’s pardon. “It saves me the trouble of deciding whether to visit his jail cell in the form of a wolf or a greenish vapor.”

Some disbelievers may ask why most Cheney sightings continue to occur during daylight hours, but I’ve got two words for you skeptics: Adobe Photoshop. Speaking of which, perhaps the most compelling proof is the completely doctored photo seen at the right.

Several other theories have surfaced regarding Cheney’s atypical behaviors. These include, but are not limited to, alien abduction, Australian-rules cloning, mutant werewolf ninjas, and, perhaps least credible of all, the emergence of a Dormant Evil Gene (D.E.G.). Some of these theories may seem fantastic, even made up, but they do beg the question—is Dennis Kucinich a UFO?

Although the particulars remain up for debate, a growing truth is becoming apparent: Dick Cheney is a supernatural entity. If not a vampire then perhaps he’s a pod-person or possibly a zombie clone of some sort. How else could any administration pull off the most heinous expansion of executive powers since Howard Taft discovered marzipan?

The current administration is unimpeachable, unsympathetic, and, quite possibly, undead. Mounting evidence suggests Cheney is amassing Sauron-like powers in his de-Googlefied mountaintop fortress. That’s right, folks: his residence has been removed from Google satellite images, so even Tom Tom can’t find Dick Dick.

The final nail in the coffin is this: weeks before Skippy Morowitz’s tragic death, he secretly obtained this picture of what is believed to be Cheney’s new and improved residence:

Cheney's new and improved residence
Cheney’s new and improved residence

Vice President Cheney and his underlings can listen to our phone conversations, read our emails, and imprison and torture us without provocation or due process. But even he went too far when he added the following to his list of approved interrogation techniques (Christmas edition):

1. Such “enhanced techniques” may consist of the following, among other things, according to circumstance:
Deprivation of sleep
Stress positions
Waterboarding
Impaling (suspected terrorists only)
Draining of blood (on second thought, just send them to the VP’s office)

Ultimately, we must discover a way to destroy the seat of Cheney’s power: his sacred book, the Neo-Necronomicon, which is believed to be buried deep within his cadaver-sized safe along with Machiavelli’s The Prince, two missing CIA torture tapes, and the only known copy of Nixon: The Musical. We must recover and destroy these items…well, all of them except for the CIA tapes. We’d better hang on to those to defeat an equally diabolical monster: Frankenbush.

Restore Habeas Corpus: Then Explain It to Me

Mick Zano

Why is the recent Habeas Corpus Supreme Court decision so important? The writ of Habeas Corpus is the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights. Habeas Corpus is the right of any individual unlawfully placed in detention to receive legal council, a fair hearing, or Circus Peanuts. (Oh, that stale marshmellowy goodness.)

"Habeas Corpus secures every man here, alien or citizen, against everything which is not law, whatever shape it may assume."

— Thomas Jefferson (that left-wing, terrorist lover).

One can assume that Jefferson meant even if the ‘shape’ comes in the form of the aforementioned Circus Peanut.

If your government can pick you up, detain you indefinitely without trial or charges, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are moot! In fact, if someone tries to permanently suspend Habeas Corpus, our forefather encouraged us to run around in circles, flailing our arms. While this advice has raised my metabolism considerably—allowing me to indulge on the occasional Circus Peanut—it has done nothing to restore our rights. Frankly, we’ve dressed as Indians and held wild tea parties for much less offenses. Today, just ‘offending’ the government could book someone a one way ticket on the Gitmo express.

You might be saying, “But they would never do that!”

Did you ever take a civics class, theoretical question person? Do you huff paint thinner, per chance?

With Harris v. Nelson (1969) the Supreme Court determined the “writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.” If recent government proceedings have not been arbitrary, I don’t know what is. The ‘great writ’ has been undone by the ‘great twit.’ The fact that John McCain is complaining about the restoration of Habeas says a lot about this presumptive president and his priorities. Next he’ll be telling us he doesn’t use the Internets.

Our forefathers actually borrowed this ‘great writ’ from the Magna Carta of 1215. Such rights aren’t pre-9/11 thinking, they’re more accurately pre-1215 thinking. Do you know what happened in 1214? I don’t, but I’m reasonably sure it was before the Bushes or the Clintons held office (by a month or two). 1214, people! Even longer than Bush rolled back those EPA regulations (by a month or two).

You might be saying, “Why do enemy combatants need rights?”

Look, paint-thinner boy, your government can declare anyone an enemy combatant and is therefore no longer burdening itself with providing any pesky evidence or proof. The rule of law has not only broken down, but it has been stripped to the block and the parts sold on fucking E-bay! Can I make this any clearer? That is why this decision to restore it is so important.

It is not good enough to say, “well, our president would never abuse such powers”; the point is, no one should ever wield such power. That’s what checks and balances mean. That is why Gandalf, Galadriel, or Mr. Fabulous would not accept Sauron’s ring of power. There was a Mr. Fabulous in Middle-Earth, wasn’t there?

I’ll never forget watching C-span in my underwear with a bucket of vodka (the Monday night special) as some senator asked Alberto Gonzales, “Aren’t you concerned that these expanded powers in the wrong hands might be abused?”

He responded, “Yeah. Like I hope the next dude is, like, righteous,” or something equally inane.

You might be saying, “Well, all I can say is, it hasn’t affected my life.”

Are you serious, theoretical question person? Put down that magic marker, this instant.

Let me use an extreme example: it’s a little late when you’re on the train to Auschwitz to start tapping the SS officer on the shoulder. I’m talking to you Sean Hannity. Although, I do approve of your recent Hannity-Youth Movement. I think it’s patriotic and well-grounded in rationality. In fact, anyone would be an ‘enemy of the state’ not to join this wholesome brand of governmental programming.

To heck with waterboarding; only three countries have ever officially condoned stress positions during interrogations: the U.S., Turkey, and Nazi Germany…or—as the pharmaceutical companies call them—the Axis of Advil. I have been following Andrew Sullivan’s blog, and, like him, I believe “Sane and civilized societies do not give permission for such things. And they do not make excuses for them. And when they discover they have been done, they investigate and prosecute those who broke the law.”

Remember in the movie Cloverfield, when the monster ripped the head clear off the Statue of Liberty? I believe that was a metaphor. Clover = Bush and field = failed; erog, Bush failed. Crimson and clover, over and over. OK, it’s getting late and the hallucinations are starting again. Circus Peanuts, Circus Peanuts. Need more Circus Peanuts.

They’re coming for me again. It’s just that I’ve been in this same stress position for so long, and they don’t let me sleep anymore…

Opinions such as these have led to my being whisked away in the night, denied a lawyer, and formally charged. They even cut off my access to medical marijuana. I have pre-glaucoma in my left eye, for god’s sake! Worst of all, they keep denying my request to be waterboarded with beer. The monsters!

Come hell or high lager, glug-glug, I’m going to write my next compelling article, It’s Hard to Enjoy the Chicken Pilaf Chained Naked to the Wall, glug-glug. Oh, god, here comes the bitch with the leash. Well, this part isn’t so bad. Could someone please call the ACLU? Better wait until the bitch with the leash is finished, then call.

Signed,

Sleepless in Syria

(I think…well, I know I’m sleepless, but the Syria part is an educated guess)

Below is a Discord original recipe. Not like one of those Cindy McCain original recipes—the real thing. For god sakes, man, don’t let them get their hands on this!

The Circus Peanut:

  1. One shot of Banana-Red Maddog
  2. Top off with a whisper of Southern Comfort

On the Road: Off the Track?

Mick Zano

Who were these Beatniks, exactly, and what legacy did they leave behind? This article is an attempt to clear up Pokey’s ramblings – in a fuzzy-muddled, hallucinogenic, toad-licking kind of way. History is fraught with such movements that attack societal conformity, but why exactly do such movements feel the need to fly so far from the establishment’s coop? Before we delve into the Beat movement, let’s take a moment to explore the life of the Beat generation’s reigning eschatological poster-child, Jack Kerouac-ac-ac-ac-ac, you outta know by now.

In 1954 Jack was 29 years old, divorced, essentially unpublished, and still living with the folks. Life was indeed suffering. Reportedly, his mother mimicked this belief, often dropping hints like, “Time for work, bitch,” and “Beatniks? How about the F’n Couch Potatoes?!”

In a turn of events that some deem fortuitous, this soiree into Professional-Couch-Potatodom (PCP) sparked Kerouac’s fascination with Buddhism (coincidentally, so did phencyclidine). Apparently, requiring a much-needed sojourn from his more domestic sojourn, at 31 Kerouac committed to the ascetic life for 40 days. During this time, he grew his own food, meditated frequently and vowed “no alcohol and no sex.” By day three, however, this was modified to “no light beer and no fat chicks.”

How did the unusual marriage between Beatism and Buddhism fare, you ask? Well, let’s see … out of Buddha’s eight-fold path, six were pitched, one was deemed voluntary, and the last became mostly optional. Perhaps the largest affront to Buddhism came when the “four noble truths” were reduced to the “three groovy suggestions.” Oh, and Jack’s contribution to Buddhist terms didn’t help matters: Dharma = truth law, Bodhisattvas = beings of great wisdom, and Jack’s contribution, Trainbumbeatattvas = poets who bitch-slap hobos.

This random hobo abuse theme reappears again and again in Kerouac’s work. A lost chorus from Mexico City Blues captures the profound irreconcilable differences between Beatnik and Buddhist philosophies:

  • Bitch-slapp’n dat hobo – oh shit! Harm none!
  • Find nirvana at the next stop, upon tomorrow’s fiery tip
  • But for today, what the heck, just keep bitch-slapp’n dat hobo

You know, I really set out to do an informative article. Whereas some liberties may have been taken with the details of Kerouac’s life and works, I believe I have captured the essence. The question remains, what were these free-spirited wander-lusters driving at? How did these ragtag hipsters impact our culture so profoundly for decades to come? Certainly parts of On the Road tugged at my very psyche, urging me in the mid-nineties to consider getting into a black Mazda Protégé for three months with a guy known only as Shag – a protégé in his own right – to traverse this groovy jumping wasteland (a misadventure worthy of at least a footnote in the annals of stupid and superfluous road trips: sorry Flagstaff). Still other parts of Kerouac’s epic adventure made me want to draw the shades and curl up under the covers with a good book (even Bill Clinton’s autobiography: shudder).

Ginsberg tells us these “desolation angels” were trying to “resurrect a lost art or a lost knowledge or a lost consciousness,” and to this ends some credit is clearly due. The Beats seemed to believe that through absolute hedonism, and an almost Pythonian knees-bent-running-about-advancing-behavior, they could reach some higher ineffable realm – piercing that Fine Linen, as it were. The Beats did awaken something inside of us, something dark, naked and howling – something that not only captured the collective zeitgeist but also plied it with alcohol and did inappropriate things to it.

In the end, however, this Beat Generation got lost along “the Road” somewhere between nihilism and nirvana (or in our case, Nebraska: same thing). They exited stage left of this noble odyssey, and were perhaps trapped, at least metaphorically, in the timeless cave of that one-eyed giant Cyclops.

Where did the Beats blow it? How could drinking and screwing to bluesy jazz rifts ever be wrong?

If that’s wrong, I don’t want to be right

My turn on the zeitgeist, bitch.

Folks like Ken Wilber might suggest that the Beatniks fell victim to something called the pre/trans fallacy. Whaaa? (Just be careful when you Google this, that’s all I’m saying.)

Basically, the pre/trans fallacy involves mistaking regressive or magical thinking with transpersonal, post-rational stages of development. Whaaa? Essentially, too much of the Beat movement stressed impulsive obsessions at the exclusion of all else. This, incidentally, translates to three separate child support checks for three different women (yes, by the way, the checks are in the mail).

How should we integrate the lessons of the Beat Generation? For starters, we drink only one adult beverage, not eighteen, we hit on only one slinky chicky-wik, not 18, and let’s make sure when the police arrive that they are all 18. Otherwise, at some point, we need to put on our clothes, shake Chris Hanson’s hand, and go home to pay the mortgage…if they let us leave at all. And, if we long to head out On the Road again, we think twice before quitting our jobs and entering black Mazda Protégés with dubious characters known only as Shag (which wasn’t all that bad, save some dicey moments in Utah). Let’s consider creating without destroying, tuning in without dropping out, and, whereas we should not be slaves to our social structures, nor should we outright torch them amidst these youthful flits through ego-driven waters. Like that time in Utah…sorry Utah.

Time Traveling Prankster Tells Aztecs the Sun Will Extinguish Without Human Blood.

“Having a Time Lord for a son has its challenges,” admits Jimmy’s mother. “He has always been a jokester—always putting a whoopee cushion on your seat, propping a bucket of water over a doorway, or setting your bed on fire while you sleep. Such a goof, that boy.” Jimmy’s father had this to say about his son’s recent Aztec hijinks, “Well, it’s better than that time he shot the Archduke Ferdinand.”

Viagra Warns: Number of Uncontrollable Erections Set to Rise

Viagra spokesperson, Dale ‘Stiffy’ O’Tool, admits that priapism, an erection that could last for upwards of fourteen hours, is going to be an even bigger problem in the future. “Conducting laboratory studies on this subject has been touchy,” admits O’Tool, “but not in a good way.”

Hope Wanes of Ever Finding Amelia Earhart Alive

“The last vestiges of hope have been snuffed out by the fact that she would be 121 years old if she were alive today,” says great, great grandchild Sparky Earhart. “So if she were alive today, she would most certainly be dead,” clarifies Sparky. When asked to speculate on his great great grandmother’s demise, Sparky had this to say, “I like to think that she was eaten alive by cannibals, because that would mean …no wait, not eaten alive by cannibals.”