Nostalgia for an Age Highly Unlikely to Come

Well, the modern world is not so bad, not like the students say, and there’s sex in the sunny day, but I should know that gambling just don’t pay, and looking up in the sky and reminiscing about the future ain’t what it used to be…

There are those who think we’re going through some kind of 1968 (but without the good music.) Or maybe it’s 1917, without the good music, or even 1848 without the good… music.

I’m still surfing on a wave of nostalgia for a rather unlikely world yet to come, though, a future where everyone just gets tired of the continuous moral panicking from every which-way and we all collapse in redemptive exhaustion.

When we get up and shake our heads clear, we decide to cut it out. We stop the rote over-reaction that turns every single thing that happens into a 72-hour crisis that we forget about completely as soon as the time’s up and we’ve moved on to the next 72-hour crisis. We stop glorying in the misery of the poor sap who said the wrong thing about the thing and reaped the online hate-storm. We stop attacking each other for trivial things and trying to censor everybody and get each other fired for petty lapses of etiquette; we stop torching everything in sight and interfering with arts and letters and arts and sciences, and burning books and messing with everybody’s jokes. You know, in favor of tending to our own garden and leaving everyone else’s garden alone. We live, and let live. Mobs and recreational cruelty become unfashionable and disreputable and kind of embarrassing, and everybody shies away from that type of thing simply because they’d prefer not to be associated with it. We enter a calmer, more boring time.

But even better, maybe we’ll decide, as a final act, to set one last thing on fire, just for old times’ sake, and burn it to the ground, and that thing is: Twitter.

And we’d still have 1968’s records to listen to. It could happen. It won’t, of course, at least not all the way. But it’s a future I’d really enjoy looking back on.

And now, on to the weak what was and what will be...


— The Lookout Zoomout!: it’s one of those online shows, a Zoomed hangout thing featuring Jon Ginoli of Pansy Division, Lisa Marr of Cub, Raf Classic of the Crumbs, the Queers, and me, hosted by Grant of the Smugglers and poster by Chris Appelgren.

As you can see, it’s billed as a “Lookout Records Virtual Reunion.”

This is the first time I’ve participated in something like this. I’ve always declined when it’s been proposed. I’m too nervous, too shy, and I don’t have the greatest “facilities” for this type of thing, plus I am very, very lazy. But I found I couldn’t say no to Grant. So we’ll see what happens. Should be a good time. We’ve all got great songs.

You can sign up here.


— If you don’t end up drunk, broke, and naked, you’re playing it wrong.

Important mess from Sounds Radical, Ministry of Gimcracks and Geegaws:

Hey kids! Want all of the action and excitement of being in a real punk rock band? MTX “forever” the game that is sweeping strange areas of the Internet. Get your copy that includes two LPs playing songs you probably never heard of! It’s a hoot!

The game inside the Mtx forever gatefold jacket is actually playable and even kind of fun if you take the right attitude and follow the instructions precisely. I’ve done it.

Mtx forever: still a thing, as the saying goes.

— ON TOUR! The Mr T Experience and the Groovie Ghoulies: this great artwork by Pat Hynes on an old label tour poster, ca. 1997 sure brings back memories. (via the FB Lookout page.)

And here’s yet another of these, from our pal Arjan. (Pic at left.)

I believe I still have a stack of these somewhere — whether I’ll ever manage to dig them out is another story entirely, of course.

— Sean’s Alcatraz: just a nice picture of the record on a turntable (posted on the FB Lookout Records page.)

— In stores Jan 10: of 1996, that is. I remember these cassettes (though I don’t think I have any.) That “in stores” seems rather… optimistic and/or exaggerated though! (From the Lookout Rex FB group.)


— Book tour set list, six years back: during the the King Dork Approximately book tour I appeared at a Portland bar called the Sandy Hut, backed by a band called (if I’m remembering properly) Faster Housecat. As usual, when we were arranging things, I told them to learn half a dozen or so songs, choosing what they liked best. (On the well-founded theory that it’ll be easier that way.)

These guys liked the “early stuff” best, particularly the Making Things with Light album, so it was an unusual program. (That’s the set list at left, on a chalk board at the side of the stage.) ’Twas a good night as I recall.

— ODIN: this week’s Song for Odin was yours truly playing “We’re Not No One” at 1234Go! Records in 2013, captured by our friend Franz Barcella from Bergamo.

It was another unusual set, memorable by definition (because I remember it) which you can read about in the “minor secrets.” It’s one of my favorites among my songs. The Songs for Odin playlist is here. And this is my YouTube channel, to which I’d be grateful if you’d subscribe.

— John Lennon on the collapse of the Third Reich: So yes, I know it’s a common accent and I’m sure to this guy it just sounds like regular talking. However, I cannot listen to this interview without hearing John Lennon being interviewed about his book on “The Hitler Years” and the result is the most purely hilarious thing I’ve heard in ages. I tried to listen to it as I was falling asleep and had to switch it off because I couldn’t hear it over my own unquellable gales of laughter.

Me and my old guitar: I mean, it’s old now, though it’s the newest one I own. Thanks again Jason Ingrodi you really made a good one.


— Good morning world: just Toyah and Robert Fripp clowning around over Metallica and an exercise bike.


— Roman calendar: Saint Marciana of Mauretania; Cusco Feast of the Holy Family, literally; Saint Hyginus; Ælred_of_Rievaulx, illuminated; Saint Remigius and the miraculous barrel of wine; Saint Hilary of Poitiers, illuminated; Habakkuk feeding Daniel in the lions’ den

— Behold the SFW and the Not So SFW: After Six Formal Wear can guarantee rather than only hint at sex (because you’re wearing it when you get married — that’s the gag); the sure-footed Britt Ekland; strawberry blonde with leaves in her hair by Aslan; vacancy at the No-Tel Motel; What Went Wrong: consulting the old probability machine; Kim Novak posing in front of The Belly Button in a promo still from the vastly under-rated Billy Wilder film Kiss Me Stupid; I prefer pornography

— …and:

Liz Hudson, 1968


— News you can use: how to survive being buried alive.

—The Sword of Conan: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s video statement following the Capitol attack may contain ill-chosen analogies and a great deal of sentimentality, but it is also a sincere and heartfelt plea for peace and rationality, and a declaration of love for America by a guy who really and truly does love America. Plus he takes out “Conan’s sword,” explaining in some detail how you forge and temper a carbon steel blade to make it stronger. Right and/or wrong, I can’t help loving the guy, and he’s not wrong about the sword either.

(Though to be fair, there’s no way that particular “Conan sword” was literally forged that way.)


And that’ll wrap it up for this week’s Weakly Reader. But for those who’ve made it this far down the page, here’s Hedy Scott (1965):

See you next week.




I am Dr. Frank. I write books and songs. Mtx Forever.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Feb. 22: Can’t lie about these GenX birthdays

February 14: Today in Dance

The Boomers And Other Generations of Our Times: 1901–2024

Ch. 18: My George Costanza Moment

Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue in front of the castle at Disneyland

Shredding Debord

16 Halloween costumes celebrating diversity

24 Hours of a Woman’s Life by Zweig

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Frank Portman

Frank Portman

I am Dr. Frank. I write books and songs. Mtx Forever.

More from Medium

Social Media vs. Print Journalism.

My (vulnerable) story so far

My online stalker almost ruined my name.

donotreply feels like talk to the hand

Frustrated woman at laptop