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by D X Stone

I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

Millions are Horrified!!!

Selected Vintage 2000-04

The GWinch Who Stole Election Day


The Last Words of Dick Cheney's Dying Heart!


Nothing Wrong With MY Gag Reflex


Some Folks I Profoundly Distrust


A Little Clarity


2001 in Review: DEFINITELY NOT as Good as the Movie


How It All Works


 Ted Kennedy Conspiracy Theory


 Polls Indicate Incredible Stupidity


 My Terrorist Conspiracy Theory


 More Mere Foolishness & Frivolity


How The Beatles Saved My Ass


 The Worst Addiction


 Not All That Funny, Actually


And more to come...
































































































































 The Worst Addiction

Dan Stone - 10/04/01


When I first conceived of the idea for Millions are Horrified!!! I had no intention of writing a strictly political column--far from it! I'd meant it to be more of a general ongoing madcap rant at just about every aspect of these apocalyptic times we live in, as mirrored in the popular culture of tv, film, literature, with all that political crapola serving as the cherry on top of the delicious confection that results from the mix of my natural charm, affability and an especially tender and gentle humor that I've become famous for, the kind that makes children beam and click their heels, and small dogs do amazing flips and jumps and endless tricks spontaneously for my delighted amusement... but politics has been the pervasive focus of the column, and that's just not my fault, that America is now being led by a semi-sentient eggplant in an expensive suit who cannot repeat the phrase "semi-sentient eggplant" without screwing it up completely... and that behind that seemingly harmless eggplant lurks a conspiracy of forces so vast and powerful and obvious that no one dare say its unholy name aloud... and this has been part of the problem for me, trying to get over the colossal horror of the goofy sock-puppet we've been given to interact with, to stop giggling, get past all that and face the hideous demon that lies behind the curtain... for we must understand the nature of the creature if we are ever to face it and survive.

(I'm not allowed to say anything against Bush now anyway, that much is becoming obnoxiously obvious as the man himself... that Bush, he's such an analogy... and sooo, I've decided to say something even more verboten...)

And what is the face of this demon who besets us?

It is a human face, and all too familiar to us all.

It is the face of the Worst Addiction.

To which one might ask, "Do you mean smoking? Or drinking? Sex? Drugs? Rock n' Roll? Excessive flossing?

"How about tv, or football? Video games? Computers? 1-800-HOT-HOT!-lines?

"Psychic friends? Too much food? Not eating enough? Chewing your nails? Or other people's nails? Or roofing nails?"

Jesus, gimme a chance to answer here, will ya?

First, let me just say that ALL are problematic... we humans are creatures of habit, through and through... we don't always think very deeply about this obvious fact, but when you consider the simple example of muscle memory (experienced most noticably by musicians or typists, whose fingers learn to handle all sorts of complex maneuvers without much thought or mental effort), it gives one an interesting insight into the fact that our addictive impulses are capable of a momentum all their own, and very strong at that...

We in America, those of us 37 or older anyway, are all aware of the old maxim that too much of a good thing is almost always a bad thing, that no matter how wonderful or desirable the temptation may be, too much of it always results in terribly destructive consequences. For the most part, we humans understand this as a universal truth, from which no desire is exempt.

All but one.

No, I'm not talking about miming, though that is the second-worst of 'em all, bar none. Even Freud and Jung agreed on that (though they were both blissfully unaware of this, as neither would hear a word of it... the best they could do was to agree to disagree about something they both agreed about, a compromise foisted upon them by well-meant relatives but one which they both found unutterably disagreeable in the extreme, which was doubly ironical again... at which point Freud, the older of the two and unable to handle the strain, exploded, and Jung went to India, whistling a happy tune all the way.)

Now where the hell was I?

Oh yeah... I'm speaking, instead, of the unspeakable Worst Addiction Known to Man.

And it's so bloody basic and simple and utterly obvious a point, and it is this:

If you breathe too fast and too deeply, you hyperventilate and pass out... and nothing kills brain cells deader than an overabundance of oxygen in the blood supply... not even Pauly Shore movies.

If you eat 'way too much, you can get trapped in your own house and one day have to be taken to the hospital by crane, after they take a whole wall out... and the tragedy is, while you're gone, looters will come and steal all your Sara Lee...

If you smoke too much dope, you can become a much different sort of zombie than the one you were hoping to become. If you smoke too many cigarettes, you can be incarcerated simply for demonstrating to some idiot in a bar the none-too-subtle difference between sharing a little second-hand smoke and an actual assault on another person. If you smoke both, simultaneously and constantly for years and years, you could end up just like me...

If you do too much heroin, say one of those $1000 a day habits ya used to hear so much about?... if this is the case, wake up, ya silly fuck! If you can somehow manage to pull down that kinda bread consistently, just what in the hell are you escaping from anyway? Sounds to me like heaven on earth, jackass!

If you drink too much, you act like an asshole... and yes, I'm talking to everyone who ever lived... but especially to those alive and reading this right now: Yes, I mean you... every time, too...

(...okay, and me too...)

If you watch too much tv sports, or talk shows, or Cops, or daytime dramas, or if you play too many video games, or have any interest in golf at all... never mind, I just realized: I don't even wanna talk to you.

If you do too many things at once, you're just asking for trouble... talking on a cel phone while eating a Big Mac and getting a bj, all while you're driving?... see what I mean? Sam Kinison did...

(All those warnings about drinking... but honestly, what kind of friend would let a friend read and drive?)

(And if you're driving right now as you're reading this, all I can say is: Watch those fries! You're gonna get grease all over my article... oh, that's not grease... eww!... hey, that's kinda cool, come to think of it...)

If you run too much you get shin splints. If you sit too much you get a rare ass virus. If you talk too much, and are a Republican, you get your own radio talk show--which is great for you, but terribly destructive of culture generally.

If you have too much sex, amazing earth-shaking sex with the hottest babes, day in and day out, everyone will hate your guts-- but this one really doesn't count, cuz you'd never give it a second thought, now would you?

We know this stuff, we all understand it. Too much of a good thing. Any good thing, always. Anything at all.

Anything but power.

We all recognize the need for those limits, everytime.

Except when it comes to the Worst Addiction. The Greatest Addiction.

The dirtiest little secret of them all.

Thru the nineties, as I watched Bill Gates climbing to the dizzying heights of 60+ billion dollars, I seemed to be the only one concerned about this up-til-then truly mythic concentration of wealth in the hands of a single human being... it was at least ten times anything seen previously, and I feared, not without reason I think, that the precedent this single event established was the beginning of the end for our global economic system and a speedy return to a New Dark Ages that will make the old Dark Ages look, well... old... old and tired and not terribly creative, really... Imagine for a moment being one of the super-rich, living safe and secure in your ivory tower, balancing your relationships with your enemies and your allies, experiencing the ebb and flow of everyday living as we all do, but feeling for the most part fine and fat and happy and not terribly concerned for the future, which seems like a constant promise, an ever-brightly-shining beacon of hope... when suddenly, upon a darkening horizon arises a new behemoth, a living nightmare of such size and fury that it casts an immense shadow over all before it, blotting out the once-warm sun... all view this new god with slack-jawed awe, and in that moment of helpless terror and sudden confrontation with that which is not truly the unknown, but certainly more foreign to this group than most, every incredibly rich person, habituated over long years to always feeling powerful and confident and ever at the advantage, is immediately reduced to a tiny, squalling, helpless infant...

And this is why today every insanely rich person in the world feels that they MUST attain at least some similar level of personal wealth as Gates, or they will NEVER feel safe and secure again.

Which is why, I guess, corporate bigwigs everywhere have been firing hundreds of thousands of people in droves, and giving themselves fat raises while they're at it, ever since Bush & Co. started that squatting thing they've been doing up there on PA Ave... even after the country's recent tragedies, we witness truly unexplainable phenomena such as airlines being given billions in bailouts while simultaneously laying off and letting go workers left and right, the very people who were instrumental in creating all that wealth and power through their collective work... if I was layed off by the airlines, I'd be struck by the irony of my tax dollars being used to give bonuses to the very guys ganging my ass, instead of it being used to defend me and keep my contribution to that company respected...

For me, Sept. 11 was just another in a series of dark days in America... the world changed, but it did so very slowly, by degrees, and no one seemed to notice... for some time now I've been aware that people who were once just greedy powerful ignorant uncreative morons are now desperate and terrified greedy powerful ignorant uncreative morons... and I don't mean to be mean, but they all seem to be missing the bigger picture...

I know what you're thinking: This is such a funny column that you don't want it to ever end... but space dictates we continue next time... otherwise we all risk being overwhelmed completely by too much truth.

Too much of a good thing, y'know?


Next Week: I explain this stuff in greater detail, completely overwhelming most readers with the sheer horror of it all, and we do the math together (nearly losing our lives in the mere attempt.)

Or: I just get killed in the most surprising and mysterious circumstances sometime before my next deadline, and everyone else goes about their business as if nothing untoward has happened.


Millions are Horrified!!!

by Dan Stone --10/11/01


The Worst Addiction Part II:

Running the Numbers, Then Running Like Hell


In last week's column, I identified the Worst Addiction Known to Man, the really terrible and destructive one before which all others pale, as power. Money, connections, access to the media, the ability to control the entire environment from which others perceive you... power, man. Grease, guts, wampum, the Stuff. I pointed out that we recognize the concept of too much of ANY good thing as the universal law it is, in all matters except this one, which is never EVER questioned.

I spoke of the mega-super-filthy-rich, noting that when Bill Gates broke every record for personal wealth in existence back in the nineties, roughly by a factor of ten, it made all those other Gods Who Walk as Men feel as weak and inferior as we generally understand these people to actually be... cuz really, what sort of pathetic geek needs such huge reserves of leverage to hold over the heads of their own brothers and sisters, constantly and continuously?

And I spoke of the anomaly peculiar to this addiction alone, in that it is self-expanding and self-empowering... and if given enough rope, what a fantastically confusing and dangerous scenario becomes evident.

So many columns I was gonna write before the Attack... I was gonna do one on the administration's stepped-up Wars on Drugs, and Bush's personal War on Words... then there was the War on Welfare and the Poor, and the War on the Environment, and the War on Math... and education and free speech and all these swell new things to attack or bomb or levy fines against... I was going to write a piece on the unveiling of the Republicans' new Twin Wars on Peace and Human Reason... but now it's not a joke anymore, and therefore much less funny.

Long before Sept. 11, 2001, a lot of us knew there was a secret war going on, in America and all over the world... and it's a war about money, as always. Every war in history has been an economic war hidden behind a lot of talk of religious ideology and insignificant cultural differences and meaningless code words such as 'values and pride', and a million other red herrings... people argue at length about the minutiae of the moment, ignoring the unassailable fact that depraved social conditions are always the end result of poverty, and that long-term lack and limitation can create some frightening monsters out of perfectly decent people, and that we, the human race, are all in it together, all sharing this spinning place together, and for only a brief time at that.

Several months ago, when everyone was arguing about the tax cut, it seemed to me an incredibly lopsided proposition... we'd had these fantastic glory days economically, the fat were fatter than ever... it seemed to me they shoulda just stopped taxing anyone who was still making less than $15 an hour, and give 'em all two weeks off and a grand to go blow in Vegas, let all of us share a little in all this incredible prosperity we were reading so much about... the rich had ten or twenty straight years of phenomenal profits and easy sailing, why shouldn't the poor and lower-middle class in this country, the people who do all the actual work, have one? (putting aside for the moment the plight of the world's poor, as we seem to have made that our national policy anyway--just looking at how we treat each other here)... but instead, the rich fought tooth and nail for more, more, more, ending up negotiating tax cuts that are really just huge rebates on all those titanic profits that came to them during this last of those unbelievably plentiful golden years (read Plenty: quite enough, as much as one could need or desire--Oxford-American Dictionary)-- and even as the rich gave themselves gift upon gift in a roaring gushing rush of near-infinite largess, they continued fighting as one against a living wage for the masses (The War on Life) and stalling on every front when it came to making common-sense sacrifices or investments for the sake of the larger environment (The War on the World-- this world they do not seem to know they are located in, and depend upon...)

But it seems pretty pointless arguing with these guys, given we're dealing with the Worst Addiction here... ever try talking sense to a drunk?

And how can we expect ANYONE at these levels to manage ANY semblance of good or reasonable judgement, when those who are actively shaping world policy and designing the future we will all have to live in are, to the last man, ALL as drunk as Siren-struck sailors, giggling and plastered on the Wine of the Gods, experiencing a reality as foreign to most of us as the world of The Matrix, unable to mentally conceive of or even physically count anywhere near the very numbers that measure those insane disproportions that divide Them from Us? How can you expect anyone as rich as Bill Gates to NOT go insane with power eventually, when he's like a tiny little man no bigger than an inch tall strapped into the driver's seat of a fully-fueled 747, and though he can't reach the controls he's got a little remote unit, but he can't see where he's going at all... AND he's doing EVERYTHING else too, all of it 'way too much, cuz he can afford to, man... and ALL AT ONCE, he's mixin' EVERYTHING together and ridin' the peak of this crazed and dizzying experience like the furious hurricane of blind fortune that it is, and his ego keeps telling him, "It's ok, Bill... God is your copilot!"... cuz he's always been the lucky type, y'know?

God save us from these creatures.

Mr. Gates, it's nothin' personal... this is really to ALL you billionaires everywhere, you sick sick puppies you, and I'm tellin' ya for your own good... that's just too much shit to expect ANYONE to keep together.

I have never heard these words spoken in a voice other than my own, not to mention agreed with publicly, or seen them printed anywhere... most people seem to think I shouldn't even be allowed to say them.

A lot of 'em don't understand. It's so easy to say the word BILLION... but it's actually a pretty inconceivable figure for the average human mind to deal with, ya can't even run these numbers, it's just too big... and then ya add in the War on Math factor (no, not the War on Max Factor, that's a different war) and an army of really well-paid 'economists' to propagate fantastic and specious superstitions and confabulations as fact (in the last place you'd look for 'em, the utterly rational and unassailable universe of math itself, in which they can't actually exist, meaning that all economists should be in agreement about basics such as poverty equals crime, not the other way around), and you end up with an equation nobody understands...

We should all wake up right now, especially the insanely-rich, and recognize that this is the Worst Addiction there could ever be... because it is the only addiction that actually enables you to protect and empower your addiction further and further til it reaches out and savages others' lives effortlessly, sometimes without any awareness of the damage it does... it empowers itself and furthers the addict's ability to also indulge in every other possible desire to ever flit across their hungry, curious, passionate and all-too fallible human minds, creating a latticework of mutually supportive addictions that are in one important way stronger than the sum of the parts, creating greater opportunities for further imbalance and consequences of the most serious and far-reaching and insane and chaotic and mindlessly evil sorts...

Power is the Worst Addiction, and so it follows naturally that it is the one we MOST need to agree to set sane limits upon, for the shared sake of every living thing on the face of this planet.

Imagine that! Sane limits on individual wealth! A system of rebalancing those imbalances of power that ultimately are the root cause of all the endless war and suffering and discord throughout the vast majority of mankind's miserable history.

Yeah, I know: Sounds lahk kommyounism ta mee!

Look, how's this for simple?: How about if you couldn't make more dollars per week than you could actually count up to, out loud, in the same period of time?

But it's gotta be consecutive... if you get tired and fall asleep before the week's up, you only get the number you got up to til you passed out...

I know that sounds terribly harsh and cruel to some, but hey, life's not supposed to be perfect, is it?

When I make this argument, people tell me that life doesn't work that way.

That's funny. As I've just pointed out in these last two columns, EVERYTHING ELSE works exactly that way.

And maybe that's why, in the larger sense, nothing else is working very well in this whole confused mess of a world right now.

All Evil Toons, All The Time!

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