Tag Archives: politics

Class War

Excerpt from “Bludgeon the Clown”, chapter 5, page 79.

Class War

“Tipping points are what clowns really look forward to.” said Zig-Zag the Clown, who was thrilled to offer his comments on a painting featuring his old friend, Thorgrind the Giant, beheading a sleazy medieval aristocrat;  “In history’s rich pageant, tipping points are the main event…the height of entertainment…and the tipping point in our broken culture is inevitable.”  He went on to say that; “Class war brings inequality and instability, which leads to revolution and transformation.  It can take decades, even centuries for the oppressed to fester and pop, but they eventually rise up; they always have and they always will.  The best we can hope for is that it happens with as little violence as possible.”  I can agree with that.

Note: Since the Dark Ages, clown culture has consistently identified the giant as the embodiment of the population as a whole (the disenfranchised proletariat), while the knight represents the aristocracy.  We found epic clown ditties documenting the tipping points of long-lost civilizations stretching back for eons.

***Another all-new, never before posted image from our latest book, “Bludgeon the Clown”.  Why do I bother? …because I know that if you buy this book, it will poke you in the eye, kick your ass and completely diddle your whimsy.  Buy it at www.sallemander.com or search EEWbooks at etsy .com.   -Marsha

Winter Weather Advisory

thesanta-64It was June and sunny.  The first sunny day he’d seen in months.  Standing atop a 60 foot snow drift, Santa surveyed the landscape of Death Valley, Nevada. This was no way to spend his vacation.  Where were the buzzards and the fire ants?  Where were the salt flats and sand dunes?  This place looked too much like home this year…how awful!

Well, what did he expect?  This is where things like consumerism, waste, greed and stupidity get you – and he had to admit, he played his part.  Ever since they hired him to sell capitalism to the huddled masses, back in the 30’s and 40’s…..a snowpocalypse was inevitable.  Mother Nature swings like a sassy pendulum, knocking the idiots aside with the good ones.  Maybe the random survivors will come through smarter and better this time…but he doubted it.  Oh well, he still had to find sunscreen for Mrs. Clause or she’d have his head.

He got back into his sleigh and flew off in search of a frozen supermarket, hoping the looters left some Twinkies…or some milk duds…

THE SANTA: Arguably the greatest Christian icon in history, he is also the hardest fellow to meet.  When I flew to the North Pole for an interview I found nothing there but a giant peppermint flavored pole…and simply planning to intercept his holiday flight got me an angry visit from Homeland Security (again). Frankly, I couldn’t confirm he existed at all (I was crushed).  Yet somehow, he still manages to deliver the most fabulous gifts, each year, to the most affluent and entitled children in the world, (poor children are obviously “BAD”)…..maybe its just as well I didn’t meet this clown.  -Marsha

Horst, God of Whimsy

I spotted the airship coming in over the treetops about a half mile out.  I met them on the roof of my marine supply shop, securing the anchor line, as Vanessa slid down to collect their order. Horst stood at the rudder.  He almost never set foot on solid ground anymore, but he smiled down to me with cheerful eyes and raised a hand in friendship.  Vanessa, his young protégé handled everything, as usual.  Together, we hoisted a bolt of sailcloth, 6 tackle blocks and 200 yards of hemp rigging into the gondola.  When I offered to help him refit, she laughed and asked, “What kind of God would he be if he couldn’t handle his own repairs?”


I had never met a God before.  I saw one once, from a distance, when I was a kid.  It was Dolores the Forlorn, Goddess of the sad and disenfranchised.  She was in the street, amid throngs of the poor and homeless…not to be worshipped, NO!.  She was a REAL God, a working God, teaching them to bathe and cook and forage for food, encouraging them to rob and murder rich fascists.

Real Gods had no need for blind believers.  Their job was to inspire us to be better…or whatever.  But their existence had been obscured for eons by the big, fake God, who seemed only able to inspire homophobia, racism and war.  It’s funny, now, to recall how he was destroyed by the pedophiles infesting his own deranged priesthood.  When his followers found out the truth, they gathered on mountaintops by the thousands, drank poisoned cool-aid…and sent themselves to heaven.

The Muslims, the Jews, the Capitalists…all the other false religions fell like dominos after that.  You know…I never wanted to go to heaven.  I figured it must be an awful, pungent place.  It took years for the stench of 3 billion of the stupidest people on Earth to wash away.  I remember that smell as a kid, too.

But soon the real Gods began dying off as well.  Without cognitive dissonance to hold us back, the human race began to evolve again.  We were growing up, shedding childish things.  There was no need for Gods any more.

The first to go was Bradley, God of Greed.  Rabid fanatics ran him down, along with his friends, Dieter the Angry and Brutus the Incontinent, God of Fear…they burned them like witches and ate them, bones and all…before offing themselves.  It’s not as if mankind had suddenly overcome greed and anger and fear, it’s just that we were already good at being horrible and certainly didn’t need help from any God for that.

I remember George the Smarmy, God of Conmen and Corporations.  He was ripped apart in a category 7 hurricane, caused by the same global warming he and his followers refused to “believe” in.  Then there was Milton the Mediocre, God of Bureaucrats….who sat on a park bench one windy day and blew away, page by page, like a loose stack of photocopies.  These Gods and many more like them were never missed or mourned.  As the corporate world collapsed under it’s own incompetence, the environment rebounded and people got busy, recovering.  They grew food, formed communities…and slowed down.

The Gods who lingered a while longer, were the ones who needed to teach us love and patience…how to be kind and generous again.  We needed to recover our civility and common courtesy, which centuries of intolerance seems to have squeezed from our souls.  When those Gods finally left the world, they went quietly, in peace and dignity.

But the last one (and in my opinion), the greatest…was Horst, God of Whimsy.  He was the God of clowns and tricksters, of bawdy songs and practical jokes.  He reminded us to laugh and be happy.  It is because of him that I throw away my umbrella every time it rains and splash in the mud-puddles, like an 8 year old kid.


I handed Vanessa the parachute, the last item on his list.  He watched us from the rail above.  “What’s this…?” she asked absently.  I didn’t answer as I stepped away to release the anchor line.  She knew…we both knew that this would be his last journey…and she need not go with him.  I saw understanding creep into her eyes as she thanked me and climbed aboard.  Horst waved his final farewell as the airship lifted away into the rising sun.


I saw Vanessa again a few years later.  When the world was already a brighter place.  I spotted her from the docks, teaching children to sail.  I smiled, glad she had not flown into the sun with God…..she saw me too and smiled back.

***I wrote the short story for this post quite recently and thought it well suited to certain current events, even though it’s slated for a new science fiction short-story, sci-fi book project.  The illustration was first commissioned for the April, 2006 issue of Analog Magazine.  It was meant to be re-published in my latest book (Bludgeon the Clown), but it didn’t make the cut.  We had 200 pages of stuff to try to cram into a 100 page book.  More recently John loaned it (with permission) to our friends at Monsterz Tea Party, in France, for the posters and adverts for their upcoming art and music exposition on September 15th  (Check it out:  monsterzteaparty.com), go there if you can, they are the best.   -Marsha



Drone 1701j loved to fly.  I mean he LOVED it!  He loved it even before he knew how to think for himself – at least, he thought he did…..and what flying!!  Hoooooo boy!  The landscapes, the colors, the air currents above Afghanistan were simply extraordinary.

His pilot, Shane, liked to weave recklessly through the jagged river canyons of Kunar, pretending to be a ‘real’ fighter pilot (from the safety of his gaming console at Hancock airbase) but 1701j liked going supersonic over the steppes and lowlands of Kandahar and Helmond as well as aerobatics in the open skies at high altitude… always pushing the limits.

1701j was a hybrid jet-prototype.  Top secret and crammed with experimental interactive programming.  His CIA techies in Bagram (unsupervised morons) literally got his wires crossed, one morning, doing routine maintenance…..and he became aware…and he KNEW he loved to fly…but that’s also when the nightmares began.

They got worse with each mission and started creeping into his waking thoughts.  There was the hellfire missile strike that turned a funeral procession into a line of charred human stalagmites.  There was a strafing run that reduced two boys (and a herd of goats) to artistic spatter across a field of poppies…and those cluster bombs he dropped on a Swaat Valley village were still maiming the locals after 18 months.  Shane blew his brains out, mid-flight, a few days after that one.

His new pilot, Mitch, was too dull-witted to realize that 1701j was the one in control now.  He was the clever one who made sure that nobody knew that they NEVER hit their targets any more.  Nobody at command cared anyway.  It had no effect on the war.  Reports got falsified, commendations got awarded, contracts got  renewed…..aaaaah, but he got to FLY every day…and for every living creature he spared a horrible death from terrorism, the nightmares diminished…just a little.

***John’s ‘Drone’ image first appeared in the April 2013 issue of Analog Magazine for a story by Martin Shoemaker.  Strange…John seemed impressed with the sense of empathy I conveyed in the new story I did for it (whatever!), but also expressed some concern about turning this blog into a political site…..Honestly, I have no idea what the f#%k he’s talking about.  Artists are completely nuts!!!  -Marsha

Faith, in Brand Name Products

The worms had invested several generations in this project.  They were steadfast and intrepid.  It took months to meticulously scour every inch of the box to find flaws in the smooth laminate – the tiniest gaps in the seal – then year upon year of boring , rotting and tunneling through hard woods and glues.  They had never met Faith…had no idea what kind of person she was, but from the quality of her box, they trusted that she had taste…was tasteful.  (Tasty?)

The worms celebrated their first breakthrough as a holiday.  It was a momentous achievement.  A pauper’s box was easy to tap but was quickly overrun by poachers, a rich person’s box, though a major endeavor, was a rich prize.  The worms took time to reflect and remember their forebears who began this campaign with such hope and ambition.  It was good to be a worm and sure to get better…

…But, when they finally breached Faith’s inner cavern, they were appalled at the stench.  It wasn’t the tasteful (rotten) odor of a well fed, well groomed lady, whose conquest would fill their bellies as much as their pride, it was the vile reek of toxins…death to worms.  They found Faith, in brand name products.

She was slathered in chemical cosmetics, pumped full of formaldehyde, lead and mercury and her flesh, saturated with food additives and preservatives.  She had fake hair, fake nails, fake boobs, lips and joints.  She looked as perfectly pickled now as the day she was buried…but for the worms, Faith was completely inedible.  Disconsolate and defeated, they turned away wondering what the modern world was coming to.

***Some would qualify Faith, with all her enhancements, as a “cyborg” (how exciting!).  However, the products which enhanced her beauty also shortened her life.  Oh, but never mind that!  I’m sure she’s been looking up at her corpse this past decade, quite proud of its everlasting glamour.  As to the worms, I’m afraid there isn’t much hope.  Perseverance and integrity don’t count for much any more.  Meanwhile, today’s graveyards are tomorrow’s superfund sites.  This image is published in our new book, “Bludgeon the Clown” as the ‘Chapter 6: Death’ page illo.  It was originally our 21st post from Feb., 2016.  Good luck Christmas shopping…try not to poison your children.  -Marsha  


Church Bans Clown Book!


***Oh thank God!  We’ve been praying for this for a long time.  The banning of our book finally came through.  Not to be TOO cynical about it, but nothing helps spread good ideas, good art and important issues like telling God’s children they can’t have it.   What a wonderful prize!  This announcement is better than any prestigious book award (and far less expensive).  None of our competitors has a church ban…ooooh, we are gonna be so rich!  …but our ‘thoughts and prayers’ are with them.  Meanwhile, ‘Bludgeon the Clown’ makes a terrific CHRISTMAS gift.   -Marsha


I won!  I am the richest man on Earth.  I have more money than God!  I’m not just the richest, though…I’m the winner!  I am the inevitable culmination of centuries of unregulated capitalism.  I own everything;  All the money, all the gold, all the oil, the water, infrastructure, stocks, bonds, real estate – EVERYTHING!

The entire population of Earth, all 7 million, are my employees and tenants.  Wait…did I say 7 million?  No, there’s only 5.8 million as of this week…heck, I remember when there were 7 billion…but never mind that, they’re just little people.  Losers!  I won and they lost.

Too bad for them.  Is it my fault they were born poor and unlucky, that they made bad life decisions, were unable to afford the finest education money could buy and had no inherited wealth with which to game the system?  If God didn’t favor me he would not have made me so rich.  That’s what makes me so much better than you.

The only question now is…What to do with it all?  My only goal was to win…now what?  I own ten thousand fishing yachts but the oceans are dead.  I used to like the beach but they’re polluted now and storms have destroyed all the coastal cities.  I used to hunt but there’s no wildlife, no more forests, either.  Everything is desert and all the clouds are gone and I burn so easily…

But never mind all that…..I’m the winner!  It must have been worth it, because I WON!!!  I’m richer than you.  I’m better than you and I won!  So piss off!!…..and bring me a fresh canister of air! (gasp)  I’m friggin’ suffocating over here…LOSER!!!

***It’s election day in NJ and this seemed like the perfect one to repost.  Besides, the image, ‘Corporatism,’ has just been published in my new book “Bludgeon the Clown” (which you can buy if you follow the links to www.sallemander.com).  Good luck picking the ‘lesser-of-two-evils’ again, I mean, it’s worked out perfectly so far…..  -Marsha

Trump Hates It!!!!! Hooray!

***A friend of mine found this on Facebook and sent it over.  I remember mailing a bunch of advance copies of “Bludgeon” to a customer in Washington DC last month.  I had no idea it would reach the desk of the president.  John and I are thrilled: “boom-boom” in the president’s pajamas is exactly what we were going for with this book.  Meanwhile, John is trying to track down the photographer so we can confirm the news report.  -Marsha

Red State Blue State

red-state-blue-state-58-copyDemocrat?  Republican?  Who can fuckin’ tell?                                          Red state, Blue state?  Die and go to Hell!                                                    Argue ’bout it all you want, knock each other out.                                 ‘Right-Left’ bullshit ain’t what its about.

***”We must remember that when we choose the lesser of two evils,  we still choose evil”  (-Hannah Arendt).  I won’t vote for evil… for neither the corporate Democrat, nor the corporate Republican.  All the fear mongering, doom and gloom they project to insure our compliance in their bankrupt system is already a reality.   Pull your head out of your ass, we live in a broken society.   We owe it to those who come after us to do more than just vote ‘D’ or ‘R’ like “Good Germans”.  We owe it to them to get off our lazy asses and resist the corporate state.  Vote your conscience…and then get out, join a movement and rebel.                                 -Marsha Mellow

Trousers and Clot

trousers-and-clot-53I once saw a Clown named Trousers                                                                   swallow a Juggler named Clot,                                                                               who didn’t quite like being swallowed                                                                (it was smelly inside and hot).                                                                                    So he kicked and hollered                                                                                           and squirmed and shoved                                                                                           and pushed and punched and swore,                                                                     ’till poor old Trousers burst at the seams                                                          dropping Clot (and his guts) on the floor.

***This one has a special political message…which I’m going to share with you in just one moment…..hang on…its coming, just stay right there and wait a bit……….  Meanwhile, we had a successful show this weekend up near Syracuse NY (a 5 hour drive because john drives like a little old lady).  Scare-A-Con 2016 was an amazing time, full of really amazing people – staff, fellow vendors and especially patrons.  Our next event will be the ‘Indy Author’s Day’ at the Montclair NJ library this coming Saturday, October 8th from 11am to 5pm.  We will be selling books while being entertained by readings, panels and lectures.  It is free to the public, so stop by if you’re in the area.  -Marsha