Guest editorial

My Public Hell

by Mahalingam Bernie Moskowitz, legendary songwriter/lead guitarist of The Mahalingam Orchestra

Songwriting is an intensely solitary affair, a private communion between Artist and Muse. On a spiritual level, the transporting joy evoked by that communion ought to be sufficient recompense for the fierce, typically exhausting mental effort demanded by artistic creation. Public adulation, that seductive and corrupting distraction, is ultimately of no importance. Sadly, no one can survive upon spiritual sustenance alone: it takes cold, hard cash to put a roof over one's head, a burger in one's belly, and a baggie of weed in the guitar case. I don't know what kind of deal you've cut with your Muse, but regrettably, mine don't pay shit, so I have to play roadhouse gigs at least six nights a week in order to keep body and soul together. It's no exaggeration to say that, existentially speaking, I need an audience. I'd like to believe that at least on an emotional level, my audience reciprocates that need, that we've established a symbiotic relationship of Mutually Assured Salvation. However, years of experience and observation, climaxed by last night's affaire scandaleuse, have confirmed to me that audiences of popular music are, universally and without exception, the most dumb-assed, skankiest, sheep-fucking-est, syphilitic-mucous-slathered, ebola-infested-feces-eating, dick-headed bunch of brainless shit-fucking lemmings on fucking planet Earth. You can quote me. I was just listening to a recording of last night's gig on my new Zoom H4n (cool toy!), and am so overwhelmed with stomach-churning emotion that I don't know whether to punch a hole in the wall or make sweet, sweet love to my old lady. As a compromise, I will punch a hole in the wall with my dick.

The reason for this tormenting ambivalence (and I say the following with all due humility, recognizing the fact that I am not the source of my genius, but merely a conduit of exalted inspiration channeled directly from the Godhead) is that the guitar solo I played last night onstage at The Out House was, and forever will be, THE GREATEST FUCKING GUITAR SOLO EVER PLAYED IN THE HISTORY OF ALL GENRES OF GUITAR MUSIC. And those shit-faced, THC-addled, Kardashian-brained cocksuckers wouldn't SHUT THE FUCK UP FOR A GODDAMN FUCKING MINUTE AND LISTEN TO ME:

(Crank it up.)

I repeat: THE GREATEST FUCKING GUITAR SOLO EVER PLAYED IN THE FUCKING HISTORY OF ALL FUCKING GENRES OF FUCKING GUITAR MUSIC. No disrespect meant towards Hendrix. No, man, Jimi was unquestionably the greatest of his generation, a mid-to-late-20th century Superman on the axe, and I deeply love and respect the dude. That goes double for Eric, Eddie, Steve, Stevie Ray, Joe, Jeff, Carlos, and Yngwie as well, huge, huge talents in their way (and that Spanish or Mexican classical guy, Andrew, André what's–his–face was pretty bitchin' too, unplugged-wise). But evolution, dear reader, E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N is the LAW of the UNIVERSE. Time marches on, and we march with it or perish, like the fucking trilobite. (That meagerly endowed, sediment-sucking arthropod surfed the brown wave to extinction because he couldn't hack it against the tree-swinging adaptability of the ring-tailed lemur.) Nature has thus dictated that I tread triumphantly upon the supine carcasses of my musical ancestors. So bite me.

life is horror
life is bliss
nothing in the world's amiss

the stars collide
the flesh decays
we stumble toward the end of days

our tongues are mute
our eyes struck blind
truth evades the conscious mind
and everything you know is wrong

And don't tell me that Born to Run is the greatest goddamn song in rock-and-roll history. Fuck Born to Run. Some goddamn arena anthem about the New-fucking-Jersey hinterlands? Fuck rock-and-roll. Fuck history. Fuck you AND your mother.

time's a prison
space is real
mind is time and space revealed

but time is fluid
space is void
mind is empty, self-destroyed

the self's a phantom
the mind is weak
of where it comes [from], we cannot speak
and everything you know is wrong

My lyrics are more profoundly spiritual, more passionate, more philosophically astute, complex, and truthful than that faux-naïve, blue collar Asbury Park horseshit. Who gives a fuck about a mob of quasi-simian assholes and their Harleys? Where will those assholes and their skanks and their bikes be in another 60 years? Fouling a Jersey landfill, that's where, like the rest of us. We're all going to die. We don't know why we're here, why we have to suffer, or what's for lunch the day after tomorrow, so fuck your mother's mother's mother.

god's absconded
god is near
god commands your love and fear

she claims your heart
she can't exist
she justifies your pain and bliss

she grants you life
awaits your death
you raise your voice and draw your breath
but everything you know is wrong

And one last thing. Don't fucking tell me that I stole the lyric “everything you know is wrong” from Weird Al Yankovic. Weird Al did not, I repeat, DID NOT fucking originate that phrase: it was coined back in 1974 by the fucking Firesign Theatre when Weird Al was only 15 fucking years old and his 1996 album Bad Hair Day wasn't even a gleam in his fucking beady little adolescent parodist's eyes. HE stole the phrase, not me. My culpability in borrowing the phrase “everything you know is wrong” extends to me being, at worst, the recipient of stolen goods, a trifling misdemeanor. So I say unto you,“Not guilty, your honor.” And fuck you, too.