Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Cover from the forthcoming Plankton Wat album...

More info * Thrill Jockey

Regarding paraslavery in China, The New York Times' gadget columnist David Pogue attempts to locate conscience, fails *

"What we’ve seen over the last 30 years is a war on the human imagination" — Author/anthropologist David Graeber on debt, morality, ways of being *

If you're thinking about really shutting stuff down, not just talking about it, here's a successful technique: "Nearly 40,000 students from across Southern California staged walkouts, blocking traffic on four freeways. Youths marched down Sunset, Melrose, Laurel Canyon, the Hollywood Fwy in downtown Los Angeles and two sections of the Harbor Freeway. The protests appeared to be loosely organized—mass e-mails, fliers, instant messages, cellphone calls and postings on myspace" * LATimes

DIY MAGIC by Anthony Alvarado is being published by Floating World Comics next month. The book expands on Anthony's columns for Arthur's online presence in 2009-10, and features design work by the brilliant Lord Whimsy and lotsa illustrations by cartoonist folk like Ron Rege, Jr and Kevin Hooyman. My blurb: “Few books are as immediately useful as this delightful, inspirational tips ‘n’ tricks tome. I’m having a backyard betel nut party in five minutes and everyone’s invited!”

More info, pre-order * floatingworldcomics

A C60 of Peter Lamborn Wilson reading from his "Ec(o)logues" is now available from Sloow Tapes. Here's the cover:

"Wilson’s ‘Ec(o)logues’ is a collection of bucolic poetry proposing an anarcho-surrealist Temporary Pastoral Zone, abolishing monetary, electrical and other mediations in favor of a direct experiencing of Paracelsan tantra practices with sylphs and faeries." * Tape is via Sloow Tapes, book Ec(o)logues is available at Amazon.

Earth's Dylan Carlson chooses 13 of his favorite albums * thequietus

Dave Tompkins rolls a big one regarding one of his favorite films, the genuinely bugfuck "The Hellstrom Chronicle" * grantland

Rammellzee in the New York Times. Make sure to check out the slideshow. * NYTimes

D’Angelo and The Testimony – live in Paris, 2012 *

One from way back: my 2005 conversation with Ralf Hutter of Kraftwerk. *

OK Go guy confirms: "I am making a record for Lavender Diamond. Our label hopefully will be putting it out this summer" *

Sweet pics of THE GROWLERS recording at Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville last year for their new album, produced by DAN AUERBACH of the Black Keys * alyssegafkjen

Congratulations to my friend Mike Mills, writer-director of Beginners, for Christopher Plummer's Oscar win for best supporting actor. I am very happy for them both.

A talk by eco-political sensible radical and science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson that I'm checking out...

Video description: "Climate change and population growth will combine in the twenty-first century to put an enormous load on humanity's bio-infrastructural support system, the planet Earth. Kim Stanley Robinson argues that our current economic system undervalues both the environment and future human generations, and it will have to change if we hope to succeed in dealing with the enormous challenges facing us. Science is the most powerful conceptual system we have for dealing with the world, and we are certain to be using science to design and guide our response to the various crises now bearing down on us. A more scientific economics—what would that look like? And what else in our policy, habits, and values will have to change?"

Barney Rossett, legendary publisher of Grove Press and the Evergreen Review, died last week at 89. I was lucky enough to spend an hour or two in his presence a few years ago. Obituary for Barney by Douglas Martin * New York Times

Photographer Stacy Kranitz and I did a short piece on the rather remarkable Dick the Butcher of Joshua Tree...

Check it out at Learning to Live Here

Stephanie and I have made some Defend Joshua Tree t-shirts, featuring a design by Arik Roper. They're available for $20 each plus postage. *

I have a twitterer:!/jaywbabcock

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Here's one from way back. Not an especially well-written or well-structured piece, but of historical interest for the KSR quotes & info. I think this may have been my first piece of writing for Sci-Fi Universe, which at that time (1996) was a print magazine edited by Mark A. Altman and published by Larry Flynt. I've given the piece a new title.

A Kim Stanley Robinson interview
by Jay Babcock
Published in Sci-Fi Universe magazine, 1996

"It's a near-future science fiction story, a sort-of environmentalist thriller."

Award-winning science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson is speaking about the
origins and the writing of his next novel, tentatively entitled Antarctica, due
sometime in late 1997.

"I thought that in the next century, given the population problems and the resource depletion, that since there is probably oil down there, and since there are several nations that are not in the Antarctic Treaty that really don't care about environmentalism very much -- they've already done some preliminary investigations down there that are technically illegal--like Pakistan, who are not treaty countries, it would be easy to concoct a plot that's sort of oil research versus radical environmentalism of the Earth First! variety."

While some writers stick to the hackneyed writers' workshop adage of "write what
you know," Robinson has taken a more unique (and occasionally adventurous)
approach with Antarctica, perhaps best summed up in the mantra of "Research what
you write."

"Antarctica's a nice continent to write about, in that you can read five or six
books and have a really solid sense of what's down there," says Robinson. "And I
read those, and had some notions, and was sort of looking around with the idea
of pursuing these notions in my story.

"Then I found out that the National Science Foundation has an 'Artists and
Writers' program where they send you [to Antarctica] and allow you to go where
you want to do your research, as long as you promise to write or photograph
something directly about Antarctica," Robinson explains. "So I promised them a
science fiction novel set down there. They accepted me into the program, and I
went down to Antarctica last November and December.

"It was like another planet. That flight south from New Zealand was the most
amazing thing I've ever done. The interior of these old Hercules prop planes is
all Star Wars-antique looking- they look ridiculously antique, like over-art
directed stage setting at a Spielberg-type studio, all dinged up. You're trapped
inside this vibrating tin can without much of a view out. The plane just came to
a stop and I realized that we must have landed-a very sweet touchdown,
particularly considering that the flaps had frozen shut and weren't operating.

"I ended up spending six weeks down there, basically tagging along with a
variety of scientific teams doing their research in the field — geology,
meteorology, climatology, astronomy, paleontology, all the dinosaur stuff."

Research—whether it be of the primary or secondary variety—has become an
integral element in Robinson's writing during the last decade. While writing the
just-completed epic "Mars" terraforming trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue
Mars), Robinson seems to have done everything short of actually visiting the the
red planet itself.

"There are some very evocative stereopticon pictures of the [Martian] surface
taken from the Viking landings," says Robinson. "The first time I got one of
those pairs of photos to resolve [into a 3-D image by unfocusing the eyes], I
was amazed because there was a surface all filled with humps and hollows to the
nearby horizon, which is very close...

"The history of the Martian surface is different from Earth's, because nothing's been worn down by water or plate tectonic movement. It's just an ancient surface that's been hammered by meteors.

"[Then] I went to Meteor Crater with my family down in [Near Flagstaff] Arizona
and that affected me very much, because that is a well-preserved meteor crater
[like those that pock the surface of Mars]."

Robinson also had at his disposal a loose group of Mars experts.

"There's guys at the Smithsonian Institute in the Air and Space Museum who were
involved in mapping with Mars, and there's an expert on terraforming in Britain,
who's basically an amateur scientist, who's done a whole lot of work on it, and
he and a few other writers in Britain were always on call as well," says
Robinson. "This topic was ripe for someone to tell a story about it because the
real science that's been done about it had never been unleashed before. So I was
in a good situation in that regard."

Perhaps most helpful to Robinson was NASA planetologist Christopher McKay.

"Christopher's a very friendly, helpful guy," says Robinson. "I could always
call him up and ask him totally strange questions that a normal person would
never ask-like, 'If you're down in the middle of the Valis Marinaris, can you
see the canyon's walls on both sides because of the curvature?' For him, it was
always very provocative. He's say, 'Oh well, that's very interesting, let's work
on that...'"

During the seven years that Robinson was writing his Mars trilogy, he never
stopped researching.

"It was a sort of a feedback loop [between researching and writing]," he says.
"I learned more, and between the publication of Red Mars and Green Mars, there
were some very important books that came out. McKay himself published a cover
article in Nature on the terraforming of Mars that really transformed that into
a scientifically respectable question.

"It was a heavy routine of reading, researching and writing. It's what I like to
do with my days. It's my work. I spend every day writing, devoting some part of
the day to writing, and once I get in the groove, it's what I like to do.

"It was supposed to be a three-year project, so it basically doubled. But there
was no helping it; I'd taken on a lot more than I'd thought. When I started
writing it, I'd wanted it to be a big novel, a door-stopper, a thousand-page
book. I'd gotten about 200 pages in and they hadn't even arrived on Mars yet! I
talked it over with my wife at that point and some other friends, editors, and
my agent...[and I realized that] 'Well, we're looking at a science fiction
trilogy,' which is something I've always resisted writing."

In fact, Robinson's Mars trilogy was preceded by the "Orange County Trilogy" of
The Gold Coast, Pacific Edge and The Wild Shore. But Robinson argues that though the
Orange County trilogy was a planned trilogy, "It didn't have the usual structure
of a trilogy. There were some recurring types and situations, there were some
recurring harmonic overtones, like a musical chord. It was more like a musical
chord than it a trilogy in a narrative sense. It's three major notes in a
movement that relate to each other in different ways: alternative histories,
alternative futures, all about 50 years in the future, and all taking place in
the same area, Southern California. And that still strikes me as a neat idea,
and one of the few original ideas I've had in terms of structure."

Robinson's self-appraisal in this regard seems a bit harsh...until you remember
that he holds a PhD. in English from the University of California at San Diego,
and is extremely well-versed in approaches to writing modern fiction. Still,
despite being educated in a hotbed of postmodern literary theory that tends to
elevate obtuseness, Robinson has developed a writing style that simultaneously
features easy-to-understand prose and relatively complex hard science, economic
theory and political ideas.

"From my education in the literary tradition, what I liked the most was a
certain clarity of expression," comments Robinson. "The obscurities of certain
modernisms I never appreciated. There's a certain power to clarity of
expression. I think of it as a personal preference, but it also does speak to an
audience that doesn't have to have special training in literature. They don't
have to be English majors.

"I think of [author] Gabriel Garcia Marquez in that regard, because [25 years ago] American novels were very convoluted and difficult and there were people like John Barthes and Vladimir Nabokov talking about the death of literature and the exhaustion of literature and that there were no stories to be told anymore. I think when the translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude hit [in 1973], it just knocked the stuffing out of these guys. It's obvious from Garcia Marquez that you can still tell a story in straightforward language that is incredibly powerful."

It was also at UCSD that Robinson first encountered the Marxist theory that,
coupled with Robinson's ecological concerns, would inform the thematic and
political content of Robinson's work.

"Frederic Jameson was one of my academic advisors in school," says Robinson. "He
comes from a more traditional '50s Sartrean existential Marxism that has to do
with politics and personal freedom. He taught me a lot about political theory,
because that's his angle on literature. He tends to subsume the environment
underneath the notion of a socialist or Marxist government--that if you truly
want to be an environmentalist, you have to end up being a socialist anyway in
order to get there."

Robinson himself is less decided on the issue, and this is a conflict that he
has played out in the Mars Trilogy.

"I've been thinking about utopias for a long time now and looking at the world
that we live in and the discrepancy between the two is fairly acute. So I think
about politics a fair amount, as much as anyone can stand to, but I think the
environmental concern... It's sort of a chicken-and-the-egg argument: Which is
more important? Although it seems that the environment is the real reality that
we have to adjust to, and the political systems that we make up are there to get
us in a right balance with the environment. So I don't think I have the same fix
on it as Jameson does."

Robinson admits that the political viewpoints of the central characters of the
Mars trilogy represent different aspects of himself. Ann and Sax, Robinson
says, are "me wrestling with my own thoughts on the matter. It's very easy for me to
flip-flop back and forth between the Ann and the Sax points of view, because
depending on what I'm focusing on at that moment, I can really believe in one or
the other of them pretty enthusiastically. But this is what makes me a novelist,
rather than a preacher or a philosopher. Incoherence is not an altogether bad
thing in a novelist if you can sort out the strands and express them clearly. It
means you can be even-handed towards characters and let them speak their own

"And at a certain point, Ann and Sax take on these lives of their own... Working
hard on these books, I could get to a state where it was like taking down
telephone messages and being a medium about it. And I feel that Ann and Sax have
their own integrity at this point. And that's a lovely feeling, and that's part
of what makes novel writing so nice."

Kim Stanley Robinson:

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Jesse Jacobs blog *

Diamanda Galas's statement on Whitney Houston's handlers is damning, righteous & true, as is her custom: "Whitney was put back onstage before she was ready to perform - by the colossal pig Clive Davis..." *

Who knew Mike Kelley was the nefarious grand wizard overlord that sentenced rock n roll to death by excess conceptualism? The Wire magazine's Tony Herrington knew, that's who. But he waited til Kelley was dead to denounce him? Coward.

Dr. Cornel West: "People cannot live on arguments. They might be influenced by them...but they live on love, care, respect, touch, and so forth."

Paul Krugman: "Cornell University’s Suzanne Mettler points out that many beneficiaries of government programs seem confused about their own place in the system. She tells us that 44 percent of Social Security recipients, 43 percent of those receiving unemployment benefits, and 40 percent of those on Medicare say that they 'have not used a government program.'"

"Canyon Cinema Filmmakers’ Cooperative Sees Grim Future" * [Get a projector, rent a film from Canyon, show it in your house. Wonderful way to be.]

"The world’s most perfect paper" *

"The cigar tobacco was a lot stronger back then—the amount Jack Kirby smoked would send someone into an altered state" *

Beautiful photos of present-day Arcosanti *

Just received: my copy (779 of 1000) of new SWANS "we rose from your bed with the sun in our head" 2xcd, a fundraiser for future Swans recording activity. Features live Swans, new demos and a direct, verbal plea to the listener from Swans leader Gira to not share the music online. Ever.

David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker): "Record labels and artists don't need to re-invent their business model to match the new reality. THEY ALREADY DID. THE NEW BOSS in the new model is iTunes and Amazon (also indirectly Google). And THE NEW BOSS is actually more greedy than the old boss." *

Alan Moore on big-biz cultural wasteland: "The only things left are breakfast cereal mascots. In our lifetime, we will see Johnny Depp playing Captain Crunch.” *

Here's Dana Gould as Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius as Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain...

'Zazen' author Vanessa Veselka: "At lunch every kid said they believed in Jesus. This is Portland! The adults play kickball in knitted kitten caps. Why all the Jesus? Are we really going to be the first generation that thinks they’re too cool to be seen with their kids?" *

"Anti-German sentiment is on the rise in Greece, where memories of the Nazi occupation are still vivid." 82-year-old Greek woman: “This is worse than the ’40s. This time the government is following the Germans’ orders. I would prefer to die with dignity than with my head bent down.” *

"[Goldman Sachs] alumni hold sway in almost every Euro nation, as they have in the US thruout the financial crisis" *

Artist Arik Roper and musician Ethan Miller (Comets on Fire, Howlin Rain) discussing how the "Russian Wilds" cover artwork came about...

Arik Roper's design for our DEFEND JOSHUA TREE T-shirt ($20 plus postage; order info here)..

Photos of Mike Kelley's art pieces based on Kandor, the Krypton city miniaturized by Braniac and kept in a bottle by Superman *

And a video from that show...

That is all for now. You can follow me on Twitter at!/jaywbabcock.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Ed Sanders - Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts 1962-1965

Opening Party, Reading & Book Signing - Thursday February 16 - 6-9PM - RSVP
Closes Thursday March 8th - Open everyday 11-6


Boo-Hooray invites you to a book signing and reading by Ed Sanders to commemorate the publication of Fug You: An Informal History of the Peace Eye Bookstore, the Fuck You Press, the Fugs, and Counterculture in the Lower East Side (Da Capo Press). The event will take place Thursday, February 16th from 6-9PM, and coincides with the reception for the companion exhibition, a comprehensive collection of publications from Ed Sanders' Fuck You Press, including a complete run of Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts. Copies of Sanders' memoir will be available for sale.

"In February of 1962 I was sitting in Stanley's Bar at 12th and B with some friends from the Catholic Worker. We'd just seen Jonas Mekas's movie Guns of the Trees, and I announced I was going to publish a poetry journal called Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts. There was a certain tone of skepticism among my rather inebriated friends, but the next day I began typing stencils, and had an issue out within a week. I bought a small mimeograph machine, and installed it in my pad on East 11th, hand-cranking and collating 500 copies, which I gave away free wherever I wandered. (...)

"Fuck You was part of what they called the Mimeograph Revolution, and my vision was to reach out to the "Best Minds" of my generation with a message of Gandhian pacifism, great sharing, social change, the expansion of personal freedom (including the legalization of marijuana), and the then-stirring messages of sexual liberation.

"I published Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts from 1962 through 1965, for a total of thirteen issues. In addition, I formed a mimeograph press which issued a flood of broadsides and manifestoes during those years, including Burroughs's Roosevelt After Inauguration, Carol Bergé's Vancouver Report, Auden's Platonic Blow, The Marijuana Review, and a bootleg collection of the final Cantos of Ezra Pound."

- Ed Sanders

The run of Fuck You Press publications that blazed through New York City's underground scene between 1962 and 1965 still resonates with an almost supernatural vibrancy, urgency and what the Greeks coined asenthusiasmos. There were 13 issues of Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts, printed from 1962 through 1965. In addition, Sanders published a multitude of mimeographed poetry titles during these years, alongside broadsides, manifestos and handbills.

Fuck You was founded by Ed Sanders-Beat poet, Fugs band member, and proprietor of the East Village underground Peace Eye Bookshop. Ed Sanders' editorial voice and execution resulted in a poetry 'zine that was fearless, sexually provocative and experimental. Contributors included Sanders, Tuli Kupferberg (also of the Fugs), Carol Bergé, John Wieners, Andy Warhol, Ray Bremser, Lenore Kandel, Charles Olson, Joel Oppenheimer, Peter Orlovsky, Philip Whalen, Allen Ginsberg, Herbert Huncke, Julian Beck, Frank O'Hara, Leroi Jones, Diane DiPrima, William Burroughs, Gary Snyder, Robert Kelly, Judith Malina, Carl Solomon, Gregory Corso, Robert Duncan, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, Gilbert Sorrentino, and many others.

Fuck You / A Magazine of the Arts was a mimeographed journal, printed on a Speed-o-Print and later an A.B. Dick stencil duplicator (mimeograph), in an edition size of roughly 500 copies.

Printing on a mimeograph was a cumbersome labor: All the gathered texts needed to be transferred to stencils, the illustrations cut meticulously by hand-held metal-tipped styli into the page of text, the sticky, awkwardly shaped stencil then attached to the drum of the mimeograph which supped on ink and spat some back. If one multiplies the paper sheets needed for an issue of the publication, (36 x 500 = 18,000 sheets), that needed to be collated and stapled to complete one issue, it truly baffles that this was a one-man operation.

This 'zine was dedicated to free expression, defying taboo subjects, celebrating sexual liberation and the use of psychedelics years before the Summer of Love. Sanders and his collaborators bridged the Beats of the Fifties and the counterculture of the late Sixties, and helped define many of the differences between the two-the latter building on the breakthroughs initiated by the former.

Boo-Hooray is an exhibit space dedicated to 20th/21st century counter-culture ephemera, photography and book arts. We publish catalogues, books, artists' books and LPs regularly, as well as arrange readings and performances.

265 Canal St, 6th Floor, Chinatown NYC

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Listen to full abum:

2.14.12 Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA !!
2.15.12 Casbah, San Diego, CA !!
2.16.12 Echo, Los Angeles, CA !!!
2.17.12 SoHo, Santa Barbara, CA !!
2.18.12 TRW ALBUM RELEASE SHOW at The Independent, San Francisco, CA
2.19.12 Audie's Olympic, Fresno, CA
2.21.12 Humboldt Brews, Arcata, CA $
2.23.12 Biltmore, Vancouver, BC
2.24.12 Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA < 2.25.12 Doug Fir, Portland, OR 3.6.12 Cellar Door, Visalia, CA >
3.7.12 SLO Brew, San Luis Obispo, CA **
3.9.12 Harlow's, Sacramento, CA **
3.10.12 St. James Infirmary, Reno, Nevada **
3.11.12 Crystal Bay Casino, Tahoe, Nevada
3.12.12 Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, UT **
3.13.12 Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO **
3.15.12 SXSW at Maggie Mays, Austin, TX
3.15.12 SXSW at Valhalla, Austin, TX
3.16.12 SXSW at Waterloo Records, Austin, TX
3.16.12 SXSW at Cheer's, Austin, TX
3.17.12 SXSW, Austin, TX
5.27.12 Sasquatch!, George, WA

!! w/ Allah-Las
!!! w/ Allah-Las + Neal Casal
$ w/ Radio Moscow
< w/ Whalebones, Wayfinders > w/ Blitzen Trapper
** w/ The Shrine

howlin rain on facebook

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Join in the restoration of magic, a return to a world of spirits"; HELP FUND DYLAN CARLSON OF EARTH'S NEW PROJECT

text at kickstarter:

Dylan Carlson is creating his first major solo project outside of earth. There will be a limited edition lp/dvd/book and cd/dvd/book(500 of each format) and a special pressing of 150 copies(lp only) with personalized ex libris by Simon Fowler (Who will also do the cover and end papers). The illustrations will be by Kiyo Lappalainen. The limited edition books will be pop-up style. There will also be an open edition with regular flat printing in a cd booklet and flat lp printing. The recording will combine field recordings from various megalithic and other sites of human/fairy encounters across the UK, also the use of ritual and folkloric magical practices. The expedition will be filmed by Clyde Petersen.

These recordings will be layered with Dylan's interpretations of classic Scotch-English ballads about human/fairy encounters from early modern England and Scotland(15th-18th century). It will also feature guest vocalists to sing the songs. This is not being done through a label, as earth's output has, but is a labor of love/obsession of Dylan's. Being primarily of Scotch-English descent, this is an historical journey to his personal and cultural past, embracing music/folklore/the occult dimension and history. This is also result of personal experience's of 'the other side'. His blog, has details, if interested.

The field recordings will be accomplished in April-May of 2012. The rest of the recording/mastering will be finished in summer and early fall, the artwork is an ongoing process, already begun. Dylan is planning to have it all done for a May 2013 release.

Join in the restoration of magic, a return to a world of spirits. Where all objects have a will of their own and a language they speak in, and we have learned how to speak with them again. It will be titled "Coleman Grey presents 'Falling with a Thousand Stars and Other Wonders from the House of Albion'."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


February 3, 2012 NYT - "On the Vodun Trail in Benin" by Joshua Hammer


We returned to Ouidah and its main attraction, the Temple of Pythons, in the sleepy main square across the plaza from the soaring Basilica. An Italian couple and a couple from Nigeria joined us on a tour conducted by the vodun priest, a young man who led us to the temple, a concrete building with a clay roof. Five steps led down to a pit where at least a hundred serpents lay in tangled piles.

Vodun adherents regard pythons as manifestations of the serpent god Dangbe. “We let them out of the temple at night, so they can wander through the town,” the priest said. “They eat chickens, mice, and then they return.”


We were driving through the back alleys of Ouidah, a sultry former slave port in the West African nation of Benin, when we spotted him: a figure in robes and leather gloves. His face was hidden by a burlap hood studded with beads and cowrie shells. A teenage boy carrying a wooden stick was leading him past peach-colored houses shaded by coconut palms and mango trees.

The figure cowered against a wall, and began babbling in an eerie metallic voice. The teenage protector raised his stick and I retreated back to the car.

The man was a revenant — an important figure in the indigenous, animist religion known as vodun. Also called Egunguns in the local Fon language, these hooded men, whose identities remain a secret even to their neighbors, are believed to be intermediaries between the living and the dead and often parade through villages, summoning the spirits of departed ancestors. Touching a revenant during a trance, it is believed, can be fatal...

Photos accompanying NYT article:
A priest at the Thron voodoo temple and devotees handle a wrapped object whose contents are only revealed to Thron voodoo practitioners.
At the entrance of the Thron voodoo temple in Ouidah is a small hole where the package will be placed. The package is known as "The Source.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ow ow ow ow ow ow ouch ow argh oh ah ow ow ow ow, etc.

fyi, fwiw...

I am still dealing with this case of shingles that started maybe 10 days ago. Really hurts.

There is a vaccine, but most people don't get it until they turn 60, because until then they have to pay out of pocket for it.

I wish I had done it. $200 or whatever to avoid this amount of pain and distress (and the consequent burden to caregivers) strikes me as the bargain of all time.