Friday, October 10, 2014

ON THE 35th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF LOWELL GEORGE (6/29/1979) costarring Van Dyke Parks and Harry Nilsson

Almost certainly in no one’s mind but my own, there is an alternative universe in which Harry Nilsson’s last album, Flash Harry, had a song on it by Michael Dare, catapulting me into a new career path as songwriter deluxe because what on earth could be fucking cooler than Harry Nilsson covering one of your songs. I would have been on a very short list of songwriters including Fred Neil, Randy Newman, and John Lennon. Once again, you’re going to have to trust me on this one, and once again, it’s a pathetic tale of how I coulda been a contender. I’m as sick of them as you are, and yet when people ask me Mr. Dare, you were born in Beverly Hills, how did you end up in subsidized housing in Seattle, one of the answers that invariably pops to mind is Well, Lowell George could have lived at least an hour longer. And by the time you’re done reading this, that last sentence will make perfect sense.

Before I became a journalist in the 1980s, I spent the 1970s doing nothing but theater, sometimes acting, sometimes as a musician, and sometimes as a composer. One day Alice Cooper hired me to score a musical called Ward 22 that took place in an insane asylum. I was given a complete libretto, wrote a score, and the production reached the point where they asked me who I’d like as an arranger. The first name that popped out of my head was Van Dyke Parks, my hero at the time. Go get ‘em, they said, and that I did.

It turned out Van Dyke Parks lived around the corner from me in West Hollywood. I played him the songs, he said yes, and we started hangin’. So what if the play didn’t happen. Nothing in Hollywood ever happens unless it magically does.

We remained pals. We hung out backstage with Steve Martin and the Blues Brothers. I was the photographer at his wedding.

Tony Martin Jr., Van Dyke Parks, Sally Parks, Harry Nilsson, Jack Nicholson, plus two ladies and a bishop.

One day I played him a chorus for a song I’d written called Small Favors. He liked it. A couple days later, he brought by Martin Kibbee, Lowell George’s songwriting partner on Rock ‘n’ Roll Doctor and Dixie Chicken, both Little Feat classics. He asked me to play him the chorus. Martin went into a corner with a pad of paper and 10 minutes later, magically, had two verses that worked perfectly. We had a song that ended up in the queue of songs for Little Feat to potentially cover.

Then Van Dyke advocated for me in the most amazing possible way. He had produced Randy Newman and Ry Cooder’s first albums, both of which tanked, presumably because neither could sing very well. Van Dyke introduced Randy Newman to Harry Nilsson, who could sing VERY well. The result was Nilsson Sings Newman, one of the greatest albums ever.

On June 29, 1979, 35 years ago today, Van Dyke decided to do something similar for me. He showed up unannounced and said “I’m on my way to do some recording with Harry Nilsson. Wanna come?”

My brain exploded. Harry Nilsson never did a concert. Not one. Ever. He appeared on some TV shows and made some movies himself, all of which you can see in the excellent documentary Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?), but as far as seeing him at the Troubadour, unless you were there the night he was thrown out with John Lennon (I was.), impossible. He did not perform in public. The only way to actually see him sing in person was to be there in the recording studio with him. A dream was about to come true.

On the way over, Van Dyke just said to play it cool, we were there to work with him, and if the timing was right, he would ask me to play a few songs for him.

I’m pretty sure it was Wally Heider Studios but I may be wrong. A small studio, a piano and guitar but mainly a mike. Today was for vocals. Harry was recording his version of Let’s All Look on the Bright Side of Life from Monty Python’s Life of Brian when we stepped into the control room. He finished, took off his headphones, and switched rooms. Van Dyke introduced us, I pulled out a joint, and we sat back to listen to playback.

We had just started talking when the phone rang and Van Dyke answered it. His face went pale. Lowell George was dead. I had never met him but that didn’t make me any less depressed than Harry and Van Dyke. Harry pulled out a bottle of cognac and we started drinking. They told their Lowell George stories but I had no stories to share other than my love of his talent.

I can only explain it like this. Let’s say you had been there with Paul McCartney the instant he found out John Lennon was shot. It would not have been the time to say Hey man, listen to THIS.

The timing was not right and it would never be right. To the best of my knowledge, that was Harry Nilsson’s last recording session, and the album, Flash Harry, wasn’t even issued in the United States until 2013, years after his death. He just fucking gave up.

Years later, I was covering some Science Fiction Award show for the LA Weekly, got bored, went outside to smoke a joint, and found myself alone on the roof of the Hollywood Palace with Harry Nilsson. I asked him what he was doing there. Turned out he produced the show. Why? Why not? I asked if I could take his picture. He said no. We had a nice talk but I didn’t sing him any songs and I’m pretty sure he didn’t remember me from the recording session. I wasn’t going to bring up the last time I saw him.

Can you blame my psychiatrist for diagnosing me with delusions of grandeur when I mention there could have been an album called Nilsson Sings Dare? How many people ever got close to a shot at such a thing? Nobody, so I guess I should be grateful for having the memory, for knowing that Van Dyke believed in me, but still, it’s like a brain worm, considering how fucked up my life turned out to be, there was a moment when that dream was in my grasp. If only Lowell George had died at least an hour later.

Here are some of the songs I might have played for Harry, performed 35 years later on pianos in public parks in Seattle.

Have a Happy Childhood


The Pick of the Litter

Cannabis Rising

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

New Facebook Problem

I click on SHARE on ANY posting. This comes up

I don't want to post to my own timeline, I want to post to a page I manage.

The first in the list shows up, along with a NEW choice, "Posting as," which has pre-chosen the first in the list.

I scroll down to choose the page I DO want to post to.
When I choose it, the "Posting as" remains the page that was on top of the list.

I try to change it but it doesn't allow me to choose anything else, including myself.

Which means I CAN'T POST to my own page.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Worst Movie Ever Made (The Turkish Wizard of Oz)

Yes, it's just what it says it is, a Turkish remake of The Wizard of Oz. How bad could it be? The Turkish Wizard of Oz answers the age old question "Whatever happened to all that hash the Turks took away from Billy Hayes in Midnight Express?" They used it to make this movie, and you'll need some to watch it. Let's just say that at some point it's sure to remind you of Apocalypse Now as you shave your head and fall to the floor going "The horror. The horror."

You may think you've seen bad. You may think Plan 9 from Outer Space was as incompetent as it gets. Your horizons are about to be expanded. Ed Wood Jr. is Orson Welles next to whoever made this. As with Citizen Kane, it's impossible to separate The Turkish Wizard of Oz from the story behind the making of The Turkish Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way they lost the original press kit explaining the origin of the film, so we'll never know, but I can guess it went something like this...

A CARE package with a motion picture camera was accidentally dropped out of a cargo plane somewhere in Turkey. It fell in a town fountain where it was retrieved by the village idiot who decided to use it to make a movie. The only movie he had ever seen was The Wizard of Oz ten years earlier, so he decided to do a remake despite the fact he barely remembered it and that the camera didn't come with instructions. He badly exposed the film while loading the camera, causing a red streak along the right side of the picture that we're not supposed to notice. There was no sound equipment, so he just shot anyway, later adding dialogue and songs from his scratchy record collection of old showtunes and roller rink organ music, making this the first film badly dubbed from Turkish INTO Turkish.

There are no subtitles, making this the ideal film to talk through and make fun of. Since you can't understand what they're saying anyway, at some point you're sure to discover your fast forward button, though you'll inevitably have to stop and rewind to examine something that just doesn't make any sense no matter what language it's in. If you watch it with your kids, as I did, you can play a great game of "What the hell is going on?" while the film speeds ahead. You'll also get the unique opportunity to hear your kid say "Dad, if I have to watch this one more minute, I'm going to shoot myself."

It does indeed bare SOME relation to the original film, even though both Kansas and Oz mysteriously look exactly like Turkey. There's a little girl from a farm, a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodsman, and a Cowardly Lion. And other than the fact that it's not yellow, not made out of brick, or even, strictly speaking, a road, it's EXACTLY like the yellow brick road, and they dance down it. The Munchkins and the Good Witch of the West have been mysteriously replaced by seven dwarves/midgets/children dressed like a marching band from The Music Man. They appear and disappear at will while laughing hysterically at absolutely nothing.

Remember the scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where they finally see the castle and one of them says "It's only a model?" They stole it from this, only no one says "It's only a model" when they finally see Oz. Irony is not a word in the Turkish dictionary.

Some of it bares no relation to the original film in any way whatsoever. The scene with the cavemen is clearly there for no other reason than they had the opportunity to shoot in some cool looking caves, relieving us from the monotony of the endless scenes of the hapless four dancing through colorless meadows to bad Turkish music.

In the original, the trees throw apples at the gang. One wonders what Freud would make of the scene in this one where a tree actually attacks Dorothy, only to have his limbs chopped off by the Tin Woodsman. And the lack of subtitles will have you wondering for the rest of your life exactly what it was that the Scarecrow was saying when Dorothy was sewing his butt together. My favorite scene? The one where Dorothy throws water on the witch and she doesn't so much melt as use the water to wipe off her make-up.

The best thing about The Turkish Wizard of Oz is that it allows you to play a fun trick on your grandparents. Invite them over for dinner, spike their drinks with acid, take them to the living room, tell them you're all going to watch The Wizard of Oz, then put this on and pretend nothing's wrong.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Chicken Coops of Madison County

This treatment for an episode of "Steven Spielberg presents Animaniacs" was purchased by Warner Brothers Animation but the show was cancelled before it was produced.

Carolyn and Michael, a brother and sister in their 20s, sit at a large table. They are listening intently to a pompous lawyer.

...and to my darling two children, I leave the contents of my safety deposit box.

Carolyn and Michael try to look casual as the lawyer brings out the box, then they both grab at it and pull it open. Michael reaches in and removes several pictures of their mom standing in front of a chicken coop, plus a book called “The Chicken Coops of Madison County.” The music swells. They open it up. A letter falls out. Carolyn opens the letter and starts reading.

What is that?

It’s from mom.

Well read it.

“I suppose I shouldn’t be telling you this, but by contract, I must. I have kept it inside for too long. Once in a lifetime, you find something so rare, so tender, so juicy that it changes your life forever. It started when daddy took you to the fair, leaving me alone for four days.”


Francesca is a statuesque farmer’s wife standing on the porch watching her family drive away. The wind blows through her dress. The music swells. The clouds part as golden celestial light falls on a beaten old truck pulling up the driveway. The truck stops and Boo gets out, though he is so heavily backlit you can’t tell it’s him.

The first day...he showed up. He told me he was lost, that he was looking for a chicken coop, one of those old wooden covered coops that made Madison County so famous. There was something about him, maybe his smile. I could tell he wasn’t from Madison. I asked his name.

Buck Buck BcGaw...

Buck BcGaw? That’s an interesting name.

Boo points to the side of his truck, which has his logo painted on - “Buck BcGaw - Professional Photographer.”

He was on assignment from Frequent Fryer Magazine and he needed a guide. He caught me in his spell. I was so transfixed that for one moment, I forgot to do my Italian accent.

Boo drives while Francesca points the way.

They arrive at a dilapidated old chicken coop. Boo takes Francesca’s picture in front of it.

Michael and Carolyn look at the picture. She puts down the letter. Michael picks up the book and starts reading.

She reminded me of ancient times and distant music. Her dress was as florid as my squirrelly prose.

LOVE MONTAGE as Michael and Carolyn alternate reading.


He felt feathery, oh so feathery. I know you think I’m an adulteress but it’s not true. I’m more of a poultress. He was my first fling, my flirt with foul, and I don’t regret a thing. Now that I am dead, I can finally tell you the truth. I know it will have a profound effect upon your lives.

The wind blows. The music swells. We leave her crying on the porch.


Michael and Carolyn are cracking up laughing. Michael puts down the book.

Hoo boy, mom. What a card.

She always did have a weird sense of humor.

That was the worst thing I’ve ever read.

What should we do with it?

I’ve got an idea.


Michael and Carolyn set fire to the one and only copy of “The Chicken Coops of Madison County” by Buck BcGaw. The violins swell as the ashes scatter into the wind. The world is spared.

I’m hungry.

What do you feel like?

How about Popeye’s?



One Boo Over the Cuckoo's Nest

This treatment for an episode of "Steven Spielberg presents Animaniacs" was purchased by Warner Brothers Animation but the show was cancelled before it was produced.

An ambulance screeches up. Two MEN IN WHITE COATS remove CHICKEN BOO, who is in a straight jacket.


The MEN IN WHITE COATS take CHICKEN BOO to the front desk where there is a NURSE and a DOCTOR.

Can I help you?

Yeah. We want you to admit this guy.

What’s wrong with him?

He thinks he’s a giant chicken.

The NURSE looks at the doctor, who shrugs his shoulders. She looks back at the MEN IN WHITE COATS.

But he IS a giant chicken.

The MEN IN WHITE COATS look at each other. They look at the DOCTOR, who nods.

They quickly take the straight jacket off CHICKEN BOO and put it on the NURSE. They drag her down the hall.

What are you doing? Stop. There’s nothing wrong with me. He is a chicken, I tell you. HE IS A CHICKEN.....

CHICKEN BOO and the DOCTOR are left alone. BOO looks at the DOCTOR, who shrugs. BOO clucks and walks out the door.


An American Warner in London

This treatment for an episode of "Steven Spielberg presents Animaniacs" was purchased by Warner Brothers Animation but the show was cancelled before it was produced.

Two very proper British Gentlemen are sitting at a bus stop. 

GENT #1 
Glorious, day, glorious. 

GENT #2 
Quite, quite. 

A bus pulls up. The Warners disembark. They are all wearing Hawaiian shirts, shorts, and backpacks - looking like typical American tourists. 

GENT #1 
Look, how cute. 

GENT #2 
Yes, quite cute. 

What a dump. Let’s get out of here. 

He tries to get back in the bus but WAKKO stops him. 

Oh no you don’t. We’re spending a week in London and we’re going to find me Aunt Gladys. 

They ask the gentlemen for directions. The gentlemen tell them where to go. 

The Warners are creeping down a dark dripping alley. 

A-a-a-h I don’t think this is Picadilly Circus. 

Where are the animals? 

There’s a forlorn Ho-o-o-o-o-wl. 

That’s one, but I don’t think it was an elephant. 

Dot peeks behind a trashcan. 

Look, it’s a little baby poodle. It’s cold. Poor thing. 

She reaches out but the little puffy furball nips her on the hand and runs away. 

Owwwww!!!! It hurts. I need a bandaid. 

A door suddenly opens. There’s raucus laughter from inside. The Warners enter. 

There are mugs of broth, darts, and general gaiety that stops as soon as the Warners enter. 

Hello mates. 

Silence. The Warners look around and notice strange things about the bar. There’s a pentagon on the wall made out of milkbones. Everyone is staring at them in silence, even the dogs playing poker in a picture on the wall. There are candles surrounding a doggy bowl full of garlic. 

Excuse me, but has anybody got a bandaid? I was just bitten by a poodle. 

The pub door swings open and the Warners come flying out. 
They hear another howl. They start running. Suddenly, they’re on a busy street. A woman struts by walking her poodle. 

Look, how cute. 

The poodle gives her a knowing glance. 

They find Wakkos’ Aunt Gladys, who lets them in, fixes Dot’s wound, and tucks them into bed for the night. They each get their own rooms. 

Midnight. A full moon peeks out from the clouds. 

Dot is asleep. She gives a short yap and wakes up. She looks at her hands, which are turning into paws. Her snout grows longer. Little puffs of fur appear at her shoulders, elbows, and knees. She turns pink. Little bows appear in her hair. She looks in the mirror. She has turned into the most horribly cute poodle on earth. She leaps out the window and yaps. 

Doctor Hirsch is talking to a patient. 

I’m afraid I have bad news. You have what we call adorabilitis, which gives you an intense allergic reaction to cuteness. You can lead a normal life as long as you never come in contact with anything adorable. If you do, well, there’s no telling what will happen. 

The doctor leaves. The patient looks out the window and sees a giant pink poodle peeking in. The patient shrieks and falls back in the bed. 



Dot wakes up in a dog pound. She can’t convince them that she’s not a dog and they refuse to set her free. 

Wakko and Yakko search for their sister. They go back to the pub where they hear the horrifying tale of the curse of the werepoodle. Only one thing can break the curse, but I don’t know what it is. They continue their search for Dot. 
That night at the pound, the full moon shines through the window. The other dogs back off in disbelief as Dot goes through her transformation. She breaks open the bars and sets everyone free. 

Dot terrorizes the town again through unbearable acts of cuteness. Wakko and Yakko catch up with her. Silver bullets don’t work. Garlic doesn’t work. Nothing works except the plot contrivance I haven’t come up with yet. 

Wakko, Yakko, and Dot are waiting at the bus stop with the same two gents. Dot slaps her arm. 


What’s wrong? 

A mosquito bit me. 

Everybody runs away in terror. 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

REPUBLICANS WORST NIGHTMARE: Man buys lobster with food stamps.

"It was on sale," said Michael Dare. "I mean look at this sign..."

"If my local Red Apple goes to all the trouble of having this sale once a year," Dare continued, "I can certainly go to all the trouble of buying one for the sole purpose of being John Boehner's worst nightmare."

"There was only one left when I got there. It's like the world was telling me that as long as I was going to steal from the rich, I may as well do it in style." Mr. Dare also stated that he considered spending his cash allotment on a crack whore but decided instead to spend it on rent, storage, a bus pass, and toilet paper. "Maybe next month," said Mr. Dare, "now where's the butter section?"


Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Childhood

I'm the product of a government experiment called the public school system.

I suppose you should know this about me. It explains a lot. I've never told anyone because it's so ridiculous you'll assume I'm making it up. That's the price of satire - no one believes you when you're telling the truth.
I was born a rich kid, Beverly Hills, north of Santa Monica Blvd., big house, tennis court, Cadillac in the driveway, all needs met. One neighbor had an Oscar I played with (I.A.L. Diamond, for writing The Apartment), another had a lavish vomitorium for those really GOOD parties with endless courses of too much food. I'd go to a friend's house after school only to discover they actually had their own house behind their parent's house. When my dad died, we started a gradual descent, moving to a smaller house, then a smaller house, then to an apartment in the slums of Beverly Hills below Santa Monica Blvd., all to keep me in what was supposed to be the best school system in the world.
None of this stopped me from being a holy terror in class. I was thrown out of the fifth grade at Beverly Vista Elementary in BH, sent to military school as a "disciplinary problem," sent back to the sixth grade at Horace Mann Elementary in BH, thrown out, sent to another military school where I advanced to the rank of corporal, sent back to the seventh grade at El Rodeo Elementary in BH, and finally declared "emotionally disturbed" and thrown out of the entire Beverly Hills Unified School System.
How did this happen? In 1960 or thereabouts, the Beverly Hills Unified School District decided to be the very first to give every single one of their students one of them fancy new standardized IQ tests in order to scientifically analyze the entire student body. Officially they weren't supposed to tell me, but afterwards I found I got fourth highest in the entire district. All the other students with high IQs were the top straight A students except me. I had Cs and Ds and Fs so I became a case study. How could someone as bright as me be doing so poorly academically? They sent me to UCLA Psychiatric Institute where I was tested and observed for weeks, test after test, observation after observation, drawing, piling blocks, answering endless questions. They had to figure me out because if the problem wasn't me, it would have to be them.
I was actually surprised I did so well on the IQ test because I had such difficulty answering certain questions, particularly the ones showing a list of words saying "which one doesn't belong." The list would be something like...
a) banana
b) potato
c) petunia
d) candle
One might think the obvious answer was d) since it's the only one that isn't a form of vegetation, but I'd be able to come up with a rational reason why every single word didn't belong. Each word has an "a" but banana is the only one with three. Potato is the only word with an "o." Petunia is the only word that isn't six letters. I'd sit there not trying to figure out which was the right answer, they all were right, but trying to figure out which right answer the jerks who came up with the test were expecting.
The same problem crept into my studies. Teachers didn't know how to handle me. I figured if they had the right to test me, I had the right to test them. I noticed they used a template for grading tests. I'd reorganize my answers so they couldn't use it. For my answer to question 1, I'd write "see answer #6," where the correct answer would be found. I got Fs on tests where I got every answer right, just not in the expected order. I used this technique from the first grade, elementary school arithmetic, if the question was "What's 3 + 8," I'd answer "5 + 6." Correct, but not the answer they were looking for. When did Columbus discover America? 320 years before the War of 1812.
It never occurred to anyone that the reason I was acting like this was because I was bored out of my skull. Anything to pass the time. I managed to learn absolutely everything they were teaching, just as reliably as their finest students. I just wasn't mirroring it back to them properly, thus, Cs and Ds and Fs.
Teachers were warned about me before I ever met them. They kept their eye on me from the first day so I couldn't get away with anything. I was the first to be blamed if anything happened, and half my time was spent exiled to the hallway for insubordination.
When I got my first history book, I drew a little B-52 bomber in the lower left margin of the first page, along with a little city on the far right. On the next page, I drew the bomber a little bit to the right, closer to the city, continuing on each page until eventually, if you flipped through the book, the bomber would fly across the page till it dropped a big one on the city, causing a mushroom cloud to go up the right margin.
When my teacher saw this, were they impressed by the fact a seven-year-old had seemingly invented animation? Animation wasn't the day's lesson. Did they simply ask me to erase it? Did they encourage my creativity by handing me a pad of blank paper and asking me to use it for my animations instead of the textbook? Nope, they suspended me for defacing school property.
How do you get thrown out of the 5th grade? I was bored with what they were having me read. One day during a PE period where I was excused for some medical problem, I had nothing to do, so I started reading a paperback I saw at the student library, Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, the first book I ever read so it was the best book I'd ever read, way better than Dick and Jane. I couldn't stop reading so I took it with me to class. Nobody had ever explained that school books had to be checked out. I left school on my bike and got chased by two bigger kids who threw me to the ground, searched my backpack, found the book, and dragged me back to the school office for stealing school property.
Upon finding a fifth grader caught trying to read a tenth grade book, did they advance me to another grade? Nope, it was the final straw, they threw me out of the whole system.
Despite this particular moment of idiocy, it turned out the BH school system really was better then the rest, which caused a very strange problem. They'd get rid of me, I'd end up in a school in the LA system that was teaching what I'd learned the year before, I'd get straight As, they'd say to Beverly Hills "what's the matter with you, this is a fine student," BH would take me back, I'd be a year behind, learn everything but fail, they'd throw me out, send me to another LA school where they were teaching everything I'd just learned, I'd get straight As again, and end up right back in BH.
Finally I found myself at Beverly High for four years, class of '69, WAY before Beverly Hills 90210, with a theater department headed by the magnificent John Ingle, and a separate parking lot just for students, full of much better cars than those in the faculty lot. I took swim lessons in the "swim gym," the pool under the slide-away basketball court made famous in the film It's a Wonderful Life. Hung with Patricia Cummings - daughter of Bob (You don't know who Bob Cummings is?), Cathie Amsterdam - daughter of Morry (C'mon, Morry Amsterdam, from The Dick Van Dyke Show. Who's Dick Van Dyke? Jesus!), and Phil Ritz, son of Harry of the Ritz Brothers (they replaced The Three Stooges in Blazing Stewardesses when Moe died before filming, but you knew that). 
When Ella Fitzgerald moved to Beverly Hills, her son Ray Brown became the very first black in the school system. We went out of our way to treat him as an equal. For many of us, he was the first black we'd ever met. I directed him in the school production of Marty.
One day I was called to the office where Dr. Morgenstern, an official with the school system, now the school psychologist, told me he'd read my file and wanted to talk. He told me I was still one of the smartest students in the system, that they were proud to have someone so brilliant at the school. He sincerely apologized for the way I had been treated so far. He couldn't understand why they didn't realize the problem wasn't me, it was their inability to cope with anybody challenging the status quo. Dr. Morgenstern followed my career as a journalist and wrote me decades later with pride at how I had turned out.
Though I went through the ceremony with my classmates, I was given a blank sheet of paper instead of a diploma. I never actually graduated BHHS because I was lacking 2 grade points. I learned absolutely everything they were teaching without having to bother with crap like homework, which I never handed in, or daily quizzes, which I inevitably failed. I aced my finals, proving all the other stuff was unnecessary, but not to one teacher who flunked me anyway. I'd already been accepted to LACC so who cared.
Time went on and the story continued. It was a gradual descent from uptrodden to downtrodden, from all needs met to most needs met to some needs met to few needs met to no needs met, from Paris Hilton to Motel 6, from hobnobbing with the got-alls to scrounging with the rest, but the gravity of life can tend to run downhill.
I always intended to move back to Beverly Hills to see how my own kids would fare in the same system that had such problems with me, but that ship has either sailed or never docked. Now my kids are the products of completely different bad school systems.
Dr. Morgenstern's apology was nice but I really hope they learned their lesson and they're not still creating people so fucked up.
Maybe telling me my IQ wasn't such a hot idea, but how else could they explain what they were doing? I never bragged about it and fifty years later, this is first time I've ever mentioned it. It was too traumatic for me to consider it a plus. I can't think of any circumstances in my childhood where knowing I was supposed to be so smart did me any good. On the contrary, the guys watching me with clipboards only instilled the belief there was something wrong with me, a belief I apparently still hold to this day.
Thanks for reading this. Now I don't have to pay for a therapist.
"The past is our definition. We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it."
- Wendell Berry -

Letters about My Childhood from Issue #216 of Disinfotainment Today
Amazing story. 
- Jeff Crook
My Childhood is a fabulous read. Life is a trip. Thanks. Do more of this.
- Frank Cavestani
If you were a stand-up, I'd stand in the back and watch you. 
- Larry Hankin
Mr. Dare,
    I don't know what are your plans for an autobiography, if you have written the full scale of it or intend to promote your writings as such, but I was completely captivated. Surely, this is the premise of a memorable screenplay, at the very least.
    One of life's insults that perplexes me most is how truly brilliant minds of creative genius so often seem to be perpetually at odds with realizing their full potential and the ability to lay claim to greatness, primarily in the form of significant recognition and cold hard cash.
    I, for one, would pay the price of a hardcover to read it - a new hardcover from one of those expensive hotel book shops with organic bagels and espresso served in porcelain demi tasse. In other words, surely the story of your life would sell well.
    I have been in that position a few times at school, seen the kid who is obviously gifted on a level far beyond his peers and instructors, stuck in the corner, struggling with the strictures of cookie-cutter education, doodling ideas that speak of talents the rest of us can only marvel. And I have seen what just a few words of encouragement and understanding can do to help them see that those years coming of age are such a small part of the great expanse of destiny. It staggers the imagination what those kids could accomplish if only more of their educators had the wisdom and resources to cultivate their abilities.
    Thank you for sharing your personal struggles. Few biographies, in my opinion, prove more interesting than a life lived in full pursuit of breaking free from the status quo.
- Kristen Twedt
This is a wonderful piece you've written and should be a chapter in a book of your life. You don't need a therapist, you just need to continue to believe in how smart you are, how well you write, and how someday, someone is going to realize this and do something for you.