RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Monday, June 27

Confederate Mack Issue 48 Hype

This is my stupid zine, which is better, by far, than my stupid haikus. It's available for $3.50 per copy thru paypal (raven mack @ earth link . net sans the spaces) or $3 in cleverly concealed cash per copy thru my mailbox (PO Box 569, Scottsville, VA 24590) or if you have to, I'll take a money order made out to S. Stone. Here's the content listings for this issue...

Mindstate Nitty Gritty - an introduction to this issue of sorts, where I explain why I hate you most likely.
Building The Perfect Jukebox: Part A - Highly tangentized accounts of how I'm filling my jukebox up, slowly but surely, with seven inches.
Stolen Zine Content (New Footnoted Style) - a long-ass article on DJ Screw I got off the evil internet, that I added footnotes which end up being slightly longer than the original piece, thus making it a completely new piece of sorts, that's highly difficult to sort through being I don't use page numbers, because page numbers are Yacub's way of limiting your reading insight.
Building The Perfect Jukebox: Part B - same as the above, with Dukes of Hazzard related tangents.
Building The Perfect Jukebox: Part C - continuing with the theme.
Exit Ramp #48 - an outro, only a paragraph, but contains my favorite line of maybe the last five issues.

Friday, June 24

IMMORTAL: Han Shan

So this "blog" is basically full of all these haiku I've written, and that project is a much larger and bizarre project than just writing haiku, which was completely inspired by Han Shan.
First off, Han Shan aka Cold Mountain, was this Chinese hermit in the Tang Dynasty who only came down to beg food and get drunk. He carved his "poems" on cliffs and rocks and trees, and it wasn't until his legend spread and some prefecture or something tried to find him, only to see Han Shan and his sidekick Shih Te disappear into a cave, that the prefecture decided to send people out to collect up whatever poems they could find. So what we have is probably nothing.
Anyways, from this I told myself last year I would write a 1000 haiku. Somewhere along the way, I started saving old 12-pack boxes from beer I bought and drank as well. I have also for years cut pictures from magazines that were the perfect size for this little sketchbook I had, just to fill with random blasts of image which I was originally gonna then have one rap lyric per page typed into it from famous songs (or at least ones I knew of), then leave the book somewhere. Of course, I never finished that, but it left me with hundreds of these same size pictures cut out from magazines. Well what I did was pick four haiku per 12-pack box, and five magazine pictures, I arrange the bullshit, lay it out glue it and then polyurethane that shit. I just started accumulating them (I'm actually up to like fifty-some), then came across a big stack of hearty plank scraps at a couple of jobsites, which is perfect for cutting to a certain length to give the boxes a spine, which I can then put a screw and some scrap speaker wire on and it'll hang - pure bizarre folk art.
Now motherfuckers are telling me I should do an art show with this shit, because they look so fucked up, but I expect art people wouldn't understand, and I wonder if that doesn't compromise my integrity as well. Although I wouldn't mind taking some people's money off their hands.
Han Shan would never do that, but at 32 with two kids and a wife who only works part-time to be home with the kids, I lose more and more moral high ground every week. Stupid world.

Tuesday, June 14

LOUNGE PLAYER: Red Headed Stranger


This album is perfect for easy Sunday mornings, getting drunk while the kids dance around the kitchen with you. The door is open and the grass needs cutting, but you can get to that later in the day. "Hands on the Wheel" comes on, and you think to yourself, "I think after this side of the album, I'm gonna set the kids down in the living room with a Care Bears cartoon or something, and me and the ol' lady are gonna go upstairs for a few minutes." The windows upstairs are open and there's a breeze blowing over your naked asses, and the kids don't get upset over anything and come yelling up the stairs about this or that. And then if your wife tries to steal your horse, you can shoot her, because you can't blame a man for shooting a woman who's trying to steal his horse.

Monday, June 13

IMMORTAL: Clarence 13X

Positive black nationalist hip hop of the early '90s, as well as conspiratorial white horse beholding black nationalist hip hop of the late '90s both are heavily filled with people claiming 5% Nation of Islam. Most people don't know shit about it, and you'll hear people being all like, "How's he a Muslim when he's drinking 40s and shit?" But they don't know. I worked with a dude called Biship the Bigheaded Scientist a few months ago, and he laid a lot of this shit on me, and I think that wack-ass (I'm guessing it is) RZA book for the whiteboy hip hop marks out there has some mathematics stuff in it as well. But the dude who founded the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths, an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, was born in run-down shithole Danville, Virginia, long before it was just a drug-filled town and back when black people were lesser humans. Clarence wandered into NYC, got hooked up with the Nation of Islam, but found their bullshit rules to pretentious, and came correct with the knowledge that every man is God. We are. I'm currently working on some texts for Quarter Percent Nation, which is 5% of 5% - those who are pre-ordained righteous but stuck in this unrighteous world where false gods call each other god and dunn. You don't need dark skin to be True God, you need dirty-faced dark soul, yet one that's unstained by the sterility of our modern manly bullshit. Clarence 13X, when he founded 5%, changed his name to Allah, and his mathematics (which is about analyzing words, not actual numerical bullshit) reasoning for all men being God is that A was for arm, L for leg, and H for head, so God, or Allah, was arm, leg, leg, arm, head - in other words man. It's logic like that that makes so much sense to a guy like me it's ridiculous.

Tuesday, June 7

IMMORTAL: Jimmy Valiant

Wrestling has always been in my life, for better or worse, but no one has ever spoke to me within its bizarre confines more than Jimmy Valiant. He was the most like people I grew up around looking up to. The whole point of the stupid wrestling is to trick you into thinking it's real, even if for a quick second of suspended logic. Valiant's promos and behavior and even the clothes he wore and the way he shucked his legs made me think he was more real than anything else I've ever seen in wrestling. He lived just like the crazies sitting around the kitchen playing Spades on a Friday night with my folks lived.
And the cycle perpetuates itself. Partly from the way I was raised, and I'm sure partly from the influence of things like Jimmy Valiant, now I'm a 32-year-old freak with long beard and dreadlocks who regularly goes around wearing t-shirts with iron-on letters. I try not to put stupid shit that's too hipster or ironic or anything, and instead vague nonsense like "BIRD DOG". Too much more and it becomes a message, and messages require reading, and reading makes you self-pretentious.
Jimmy Valiant is retired from wrestling mostly and has a goat farm outside of Christiansburg, plus a wrestling school. People who have goats tend to be professional loungers, mostly because you've made the decision to have animals but you're too broke to have anything expensive. And you probably can't have chickens because you're dog would kill them. So you get goats. If you ever can find The Best of Handsome Jimmy Valiant Volume 1 or 2, you should check it out. Don't buy bootlegs, because if you order it from Boogie himself, you're putting food right inside his belly, direct. And it'll be worth it. Or he might rip you off, because he's a wrestler and they tend to do that. Either way, he's still the human embodiment of Boogie Woogie.

LOUNGE PLAYER: Fire on the Mountain


You can't really find LPs as much anymore for cheap because of stupid ebay. If ever there was an argument I could wrap my head around against globalization, it would be buying used records and ebay. It used to be shitty college towns had shitty record stores that were independent and you could find your crappy Pavement and Moby CDs there, plus they would have all these great records for sale that heroin junkies would sell for cheap, and you could accumulate entire genres of great music for relatively cheap. But now with ebay, these motherfuckers go online and see what the actual going rate for something is, and they try to charge astronomical prices for a goddamned record. Fuck those people. And then you look for it on ebay, find it for $7, which is too high as it is, then it's like another $15 to ship and handle it. Fuck those people too.
There are still loungers out there, the straggler stores that no one remembers where it only stays open because the guy teaches guitar lessons to high school kids in the back room, and when you go in, there's a wall of vinyl and some 16-year-olds jamming out a rough version of "Sweet Home Alabama" in the back room. In was in a place just like that I found my latest copy of Fire on the Mountain.
I grew up with this record, in an area where rednecks and hippies sort of morphed into this super-sub-species of dirtbag white people who were working class and all got high all the time. "Longhaired Country Boy" off this record is the anthem for these people, far more so than "Freebird". But it's also got "Trudy" which is a great love song about being in jail and knowing your goddamned girlfriend is gonna run around on you. And "Feelin' Free" is a better Allman Brothers song than anything Greg and Duane could come up with - pure biker rock sunshine head full of things that alter it happiness.
Ol' Charlie Daniels is most known for "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", but saying that's his best song is like saying Metallica's greatest jam is "Enter Sandman". I'm sure if I do more than one of these Lounge Player listings, a few more CDB records will get in the mix as well, but this is the one I've been playing the most today. I have no beer and no money and haven't paid mortgage, so I found a bottle of wine somebody gave us a few months ago, and put it in the fridge to cool down. In the gatefolds of CDB records, ol' Charlie would write little things on each record - redneck poetry of sorts, and the one in Fire on the Mountain says, "Hungover, Red Eyed, Dog Tired, Satisfied - It's a long road and a little wheel and it takes a lot of turns to get there. Thank You, Damn It." [Note the bizarre applications of capital letters.]
No, thank you Charlie Daniels, because I too like to get stoned in the morning and drunk in the afternoon. And in about twenty minutes, when I'm sucking on a free bottle of chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon or whatever the fuck it was I put in the refrigerator and pumping Fire on the Mountain, you will help enable me to not hate everything so much. I will wake up tomorrow, hungover, and happily go scrape at lead paint on some rich dude's porch, with lounge in my heart.
If you do not have this record, and don't have a record player even, don't get it on CD. You can't digitize lounge; it's just not possible. It won't be the same. So save your money and buy a turntable.

Friday, June 3

IMMORTAL: Oscar Zeta Acosta

Happened to be at the farmer's market in town when there was a protest about some stupid pipeline for water bullshit, which was a great thing to protest, but the protest itself seemed so sterile to me. A bunch of white people standing around blah-blah-blah-ing, wearing cheap t-shirts, and feeling all good about themselves for standing up against something, then jumping into their Audis and Volvo and Benz stationwagons or Jeep Grand Cherokees, and rushing home to their comfortable world. Very masturbatory, which is what most protest seems to be, whether it be against local water pipelines or international corporate globalization.
Dr. Raoul Duke HST was suicided recently, and everybody ooh and ahhed about his style of writing, which was more extension of his living than a separate entity, which was stupid because people love to gush about the dead when they don't give half a shit about them when alive. All this'll mean is a second crappy movie starring Johnny Depp. But a co-conspirator in that whole Gonzo journalism was Oscar Zeta Acosta, or the attorney in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (or Benecio del Toro if you're a young buck and that's your only reference). Acosta's The Revolt of the Cockroach People is one of my few Bibles, and I've given away probably ten copies of it in my lifetime already. I find it a much more proper primer on protest. One of my favorite images, which may actually be an HST memory rather than in the book, is Acosta standing in front of some judge's house after having set the guy's yard on fire, laughing maniacally while holding a jug of wine as the judge opens the door to see his well-manicured yard burning. Motherfuckin' awesome. Now that's a protest.