Sunday, March 27, 2011

Commander Bunny's true identity revealed!

"Murdered by pirates is good..."
--The Princess Bride

RP's sooper sekrit network of oh-noes-ninjas! infiltrated the Furry Rodent Nuthuggers and discovered the true identity of infamous shortwave pirate radio legend Commander Bunny.

Those who closely follow the U.S. shortwave pirate radio scene know the myxomatosis carrier is a legend in his own mind (and, to be fair, in troof), whose heritage gains another decade with each retelling. In the early 2000s he claimed to date back to the 1990s. By the mid-2000s he claimed WBNY was born and bred not in a briar patch but in the 1980s. By 2011 his lineage had scurried down a rabbit hole in the Tardis and pre-dated itself to the 1960s. While we fans of the bunnyman (yes, we are one, sarcastic bastards though RP may be) pondered the riddle of rabbit-time, a gift fell into our filthy beer-stained laps, in the form of a lulzy screencap.

Turns out behind that careworn furry mask Commander Bunny is none other than (drum roll, pl0x)... Dread Pirate Roberts!!1one!!11eleven!!

"Good night, Commander Bunny. Good work. Sleep well.
I'll most likely kill you in the morning."
--Dread Pirate Roberts

Sekrit Skwirrel managed to snatch this copy of a rabbity rant fresh off the Vines, just before someone thought better of it and vamoosed the evidence back into the vault.

Feast your jaded peepers on this gen-you-whine document salvaged from the FRN, guaranteed to be hardly shooped at all. (Max rez version for download.)

An excerpt from the now-deleted thread tells all:

"The other BS floating around the internet is that I'm not the "real" Commander *****. Seems I have to explain this every 5 years to the newbie monkeys over 9000 penises who think they know it all! I AM THE REAL COMMANDER ***** YOU DUMB ASSES!

"There have been 5 Commander *****'s over the years. Commander ***** dates back to the 60's and has been passed along to only the most deserving and meritorious Rabbits. You know like the Phantom (oh ghost who walks).

"I am the latest incarnation of Commander *****. Unquestionably the most inventive, intelligent and prolific, and whomever the Rabbit is that takes it over from me, has big paws to fill!"

--Commander Bunny bunnifesto, 3/18/11

He seems... I don't know... grumpy.

But how f*****g awesome is that! Even with the cryptic asterisks, the f*****g awesomeness provokes me into yet another spasm of metafictional bliss. I'm betting the original Commander Asterisk must have been William Goldman himself!

Buttercup: You're the Dread Pirate Roberts, admit it.
Commander Bunny: With pride. What can I do for you?
Buttercup: You can die slowly, cut into a thousand pieces.

We're guessing the original Commander ***** must have been loitering in the Saigon whorehouse room beneath Dave Rabbit's when Radio First Termer was oddcasting. The RFT mojo seeped through a rabbit hole in the floor and splooged all over the first poor fellow whose destiny it was to become the progenitor of a long line of talented, entertaining and increasingly curmudgeonly harecasters.

We note that ComBun is still struggling with the concept of "free". Free pogey bait from WBNY = good. Free speech on IRC or by "competitors" on radio = EVIL, GO DIE IN A FIRE!!! Ohh, the lolocaust.

Now, you didn't actually think we'd really expose ComBun's real identity did you? FFS, we may be trolls but we're not snitches. We leave that job to the bunny mafia. (More about that in an upcoming article.)

"Dread Commander Bunny had grown so rich, he wanted to retire.
He took me to his Montana cabin and he told me his secret.
'I am not the Dread Commander Bunny' he said. 'My name is ****...'"

"His name was 'asterisk' too?"

"Yes, well, never mind... I inherited the FRN from the previous
Dread Commander Bunny, just as you will inherit it from me.
The man I inherited it from is not the real Dread Commander Bunny either.
His name was **********. The real Bunny has been retired
15 years and living like a king on the Outer Banks.'"

Got any lulzy or informative screencaps or HTML copies to share? Drop RP a line. We don't pick on the FRN exclusively (at the moment we're just way behind on so much FRN hilarity it only seems like we're picking on them - hey, when you're the best, as you always affirm, ya gotta be ready for bushwhackers like RP). If it's radio-related and srsly funny we wanna hear the juice. We'd prefer unedited copies or screen shots - we'll do the shooping around here, varmints.

And only a moron would drop docs on anyone in the pirate radio scene, including people you think are "only" listeners - some of them are also ops. First of all, it violates the Prime Directive. Second, we don't give a shit. The real identities of most people in the pirate radio scene are irrelevant. As veteran FRN leader Pat Murphy often reminds us, much of pirate radio is a magic act - we don't need or even want to know how it's done. Only a very few people in pirate radio (for example, commercial broadcast media figures or those with political connections) might be considered "public figures" by most news media standards and cannot expect the same degree of privacy and anonymity. If we spot sockpuppets we'll check 'em for holes ourselves laugh. We're not here to fuck up people's real lives. But having fun with online shenanigans is fair game. And if you are so wrapped up in your pirate persona that you think it's real life, umm... it's not that important. Go take some food to a struggling family. Drive an elderly or handicapped neighbor to their doctor's appointment. Masturbate. All these are more important than pirate radio. Unless you're Lad, in which case masturbating while on air is probably a priority.

Until next time... have fun stormin' da castle! And stay tuned for the wrap-up of the Fester Trilogy, to be published as soon as BNtP comes out of his Jenkem-induced coma. Not fer nuttin' is he called Brown Nose the Pirate.

And for bumfuzzled lurkers, Commander Bunny is among the most talented and prolific shortwave pirate radio figures. Also occasionally rather too fond of the smell of his own farts, but aren't most creative people furries? (Actually his sockpuppeting nuthuggers are more pestiferous than ComBun hisself since they occasionally manage to f4g up the FRN so badly there isn't a facepalm in the world large enough to contain the samef4ggotree.) You can nibble from his garden by downloading or streaming audio from his various shows hare or hare, and friend him grovel to his majesty hare. He also offers excellent QSL packages for confirmed signal reports. RP has none since our unfunny efforts at degassing the lagomorph prolly don't endear us to his hareness. But we might ask for some pogey bait after we're safely behind seven maildrops.

Brown Nose the Pirate: Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.
Commander Bunny: Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make a wonderful Dread Commander Bunny.
BNtP: Really? You think so?
ComBun: No. You're a troll. You're ruining pirate radio. Burn in hell.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Serious Business

"Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live."
- Hamlet

"Blogging is FAR from dead. If you have the slightest hint of a personality and you can write, then it's a great way to attract new prospects."
- Keith Baxter ("Is Blogging Dead?" - Affiliate Radio)

"I don't care how many hits your shitty blog gets a month. Fuck Google Analytics. And besides, bloggers aren't real writers. Sorry, I just don't respect you."

- Anonymous, FTW

While RP waits for BNtP to recover from grazing through Evil Elvis's psychefarm (i.e., rehab) and finish that damned Fest report, we're pondering the significance of yet another blog about radio, particularly one dealing, at least in part, with a niche hobby - pirate, clandestine and radio oddities.

However, because some influential folks take this niche hobby very seriously and may misinterpret the intent of this blog, I want to take this opportunity to procrastinate a little longer before committing to a mission statement because the combined effects of a muscle relaxer, pain killer, chamomile tea, Gershwin's American In Paris and two hours of fuzzy static while trying to catch an ID on 6925 AM are... zzz...

(Note for the benefit of our tiny handful of early lurkers: Yes, the original version of this post sucked and has been completely revised. It still sucks but in a less sucky way now.)

Favorite mashup of the now: Megadeth Vs Katy Perry - Peacock Of Destruction (Mashup Mix), (ArtQuakedoom95)

Blog of the now: Hipstercrite, natch, for Lauren Modery's SXSW 2011 jibber jabber. I started reading Hipstercrite during last year's SXSW and she's a good read, just the right mix of self-deprecating humor, compassion and snark.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fester, Part 2

As we resume our tale, RP remembers why we seldom approve per diem for Brown Nose the Pirate's freelance DXpeditions.

The ICOM elevator stops, but we're between the sixth and seventh floors. I can hear a garbled, whining voice coming from the hallway. I'm reaching for the emergency phone when the Jay-Kracker hybrid calmly raises a hand to indicate I should wait. "Our destination is between the sixth and seventh storeys," he explains.

With one hand he gently pats the Kracker-shaped lump under his tent-sized t-shirt and mutters "Shhh... shhh... my little feejee mermaid." With the other hand he slides open a hidden compartment on the control panel to reveal a tuning knob labeled "Jog Storey." He turns the dial slowly and the digital display reads 6.300... 6.350... 6.400... "This old ICOM elevator is slow," he says. "The internal backup battery died last year and the software was screwed up. We're hoping for an upgrade from ICOM by next Fest."

"You should get a software defined elevator," I suggest.

He glares at me. "Those things without real knobs? No, thanks."

The shrill voice outside the door is still mostly garbled and unintelligible, but seems familiar.

"You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a few stations. That is not the case!"

I tilt an ear toward the elevator door, trying to recognize the voice. It seems familiar.

"Yes," Jay replies, "it's him. But no one ever hears him clearly until we reach nearly the seventh storey." He continued fine tuning "6.900... 6.915... 6.925..." and the voice snapped into sudden clarity.

"...have taken over frequencies, and now they must give them back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! These are the enemies. There are no pirates but me! There are to be no slack-jawed, lip-drooling, knuckle-draggers! You will serve as vice president at my pleasure! Don't tell me about your Bowling League. Did you really believe they'd have any say in this? There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion...

The elevator door slides open, obscuring the shrill keening for a moment.

"...of me!"

I look up. We're on floor 6.925, a hidden storey between the 6th and 7th. I step toward the hall but Jay urgently waves me back. It's only been a few minutes since my last shot of Cuervo and Mickey's chaster but I'm getting antsy. And that suckling sound under Jay's carnival sideshow of a t-shirt is grating my nerves.

"Wait!" he hisses. "Listen!" And I do. The oddly pitched voice careening down the hall toward us is scouring my ears like a steel wool Q-tip dipped in Comet cleanser.

"My QSL packages will determine the totality of life on this planet! That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE! Am I getting through to you, Kracker? You get up on your little 10 watt Corsair and howl about Bozo and Fansome and asshats and free speech and how you won't QSL and then you play Grateful Dead songs that nobody gives a crap about. There is no Bozo! There is no Fansome! There is no free speech! There is only WBNY and our affiliates and our mighty 8-watt International Relay Service!" (The voice is like Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, when he was dissolving in Dip. Only more annoying, if that's possible.)

"But people will think I'm an asshole."
(I'm hearing another voice... like Kracker's voice... but it can't be... he's in here, under Jay's shirt...) "I mean, just this week I accused Mr. Announcer of being a sockpuppet for Radio Ronin Shortwave and I fucked up. I forgot that Mr. Announcer is the op for CYOT. So I had to delete my post to cover my butt. Maybe he'll quit, I don't know. He seems so polite. I shouldn't be such an asshole all the time..."

"You are an asshole! Never forget it! It's what you do best! As my vice president your job is to troll my enemies, flame them, discourage them, chase them away from my Furry Rodent Network, For Rabbit Nuthuggers only!"

"But Pat always told us to never attack another pirate..."

(Came the shrieking voice.)

"I guess not. But why me?"

"Because you're on the radio, dummy. Six people listen to you every time you broadcast.
Consider yourself lucky that you're not one of my designated nut polishers. That job is for Mosby and Thumper."

"I have seen the face of God."

"You're goddam right. Never forget it. Now get the fuck out of here and sell some of my t-shirts. Take plenty of extra large. The lobby is full of overweight middle aged DXers."

Jay motions me out of the elevator. A door slams open and shut again, toward the end of the hall where the shrieking voice seemed to be. A haggard 40-ish guy wearing aviator sunglasses shuffles past, shaking his head. Suddenly I recognize him - it's Kracker. "Fuck you, Bozo," he mutters without enthusiasm as he passes.

"Love you more," Jay replies gently.

Fuck me again, I'm thinking, and nearly swivel my head off spinning around to look at the lump under Jay's shirt.

Jay chuckles, bitterly. "You thought this thing suckling from my belly was Kracker? No. It's a clone, one of Dr. Benway's experiments gone horribly awry. Benway made it for me after culturing bits of spittle from Kracker's roaches and beer bottles and droplets of bile from his vomit. I suppose Benway thought I would punish and torture it as the real thing has tormented me." He paused for a moment, deep in thought.

"It's as cruel as the real thing, and even more effective at manipulating me into feeling sorry for it and putting up with its abuses." Jay looked down and rubbed the squirming lump. "My little homunculus. My little bit of revenge." He looked up sadly and muttered "Be careful what you wish for."

Benway, I'm thinking... I should have known he'd be mixed up in this. I watch the real Kracker shuffling dejectedly down the hall where he raps out a coded knock on a door. A few muffled words are exchanged and the door is opened. After Kracker enters the room a lank-haired guy peers out into the hallway with nervous, ferretlike energy. He looks like Robert Crumb. I'm half expecting Fat Freddy to show up next. He catches my glance and vanishes like his head was yanked back on a leash, leaving a cloud of smoke and Ozium behind.

"Cosmikdebris," Jay says, behind me.

I nod my head. "Sure, makes sense."

"This way," he says, indicating the room from which the shrieking voice had come. The coniglio di tutti conigli. I'm thinking of my Sheridan Blue Streak .20 cal. pump back home. One pill to the head always did the trick on lagomorphs. But this one had a serious mean streak. It had survived several assassination attempts and seemed to thrive on venom, bile and spite. Only the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch would do, and the nearest armory was in Pittsburgh at Our Lady of Perpetual Hostility.

I'm thinking back to my days as a covert anti-therapist/debriefing specialist for Benway, back when major medical insurance covered T.D, Total Demoralization. That was before Kaczynski, before the media found out what we really did. I remember Benway's theory:

"An agent is trained to deny his agent identity by asserting his cover story. So why not use psychic jiu-jitsu and go along with him? Suggest that his cover story is his identity and that he has no other. His agent identity becomes unconscious, that is, out of his control..."

Yeah, I'm thinking, why not. It might work. Rumor had it the bunnyman was a spook in a former life. Rumor had it he'd broken, lost the veils between his multiple cover aliases and his true identity... if there ever was one. Probably already primed for a post-hypnotic suggestion. All I needed was the key word or phrase. I mentally sorted through the triggers we'd been using to provoke predictable rages. Had to be one of those... maybe an offhand mention of a Canadian pirate radio station was all it took.

Jay rapped out a peculiar pattern on the door: .-- -... -. -.--

I'm looking down and see a shadow break across the green light under the door. The door cracks open. An acrid odor wafts by... old cedar shavings, urine and something hellish that seemed familiar.

Jay gestures for me to go in. For a moment I'm transfixed by the growing wet splotch on his t-shirt where his little Kracker-homunculus is suckling on... what? I shake my head, take a deep breath and move toward the door.

"Be careful what you wish for!" Jay hisses sharply, then turns and stalks away.

(To be continued.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Fester, Part 1

RP couldn't make the Fest this year and began worry we'd have no story at all. We'd heard certain veterans behind the interminable rabbit hype machine were invigorated by last year's SWL gathering (the hangover from which was certainly evident throughout 2010), but would not be attending this year. Didn't seem like we'd miss much so our friend and confidant Brown Nose the Pirate promised to attend in our stead and fill us in on anything interesting.

When we didn't hear from BNtP by the usual Wednesday filing date we assumed he'd flaked out again and prepared some filler dredged from HF Underpants. Nice folks but let's face it, looking for rumors on HFU is like gossiping with an accountant who moonlights as a pastor.

Turns out Brownie detoured through Disgraceland to and from the Fest. Lord knows what sort of reality altering experiences occurred after exposure to Evil Elvis's back yard psychefarm.

BNtP files this report:

"First of all, buddy, after grazing through EE's garden I'm lucky to be sane enough to write at all. I'm not sure any of this stuff I think I remember even happened. Talk about down yer rabbit hole. This is down yer rabbit hole, through the looking glass sideways, skin the rabbit with a jagged piece of looking glass and smoke it.

Ennyways, sometime late Friday night, the 4th, I'm in the Doubletree bar downing Cuervo Gold and Mickey's chasers tryin' ta clear my head. I feel this tap on my right shoulder, guy says "I got a message for you" in this baritone pro radio guy voice. No surprise, joint is full of radio guys. I look up. In the mirror I see this guy Jay S., everbody calls Bozo. But sumpin' ain't right, I don't know what. Then I put it together. Not only does the voice not match what I've heard on the radio, but his gut is missing. He's got the same sideshow tent sized white t-shirt as always, but it's baggy where his ginormous gut should be. And this creepy feeling crawls up my neck like that feeling you get when a WBNY QSL package of pogey bait arrives, but you never sent in a signal report, and the package is ticking.

"Fuck off," I suggest and toss down a fourth Cuervo. I'm curious what he wants, especially after the coin drops that the whole Bozo act is a sham. But I need a minute to think because his eyes ain't like in the photos I've seen, the kind where the lights are off and nobody's home. Nah, this guy's eyes, not only are the lights on but whoever's home, I don't wanna know.

"You want to hear this message," he intones with great precision. "It's from the bunnyman."

Yeah, he's got my attention now. I'm trying not to show it. But I feel my throat tense up as I chug half a pint of Mickey's and it makes this ploink! sound like the echo of a dry turd hitting the deep end of the bowl. And I'm pretty damn sure he's heard it too.

I'm studying my thumbnail to buy another moment. Sudden like, I feel this sharp gnawing pain on my left ankle. I look down from the bar stool. It's Kracker. Fuck me, I'm thinking, he's a goddam leprechaun. Guy can't be more than three feet tall, and most of that is head.

"Listen up, pally," he insinuates with that too-familiar nasally whine. "Boss wants to see you. Now."

Just when I'm thinking Kracker can't get any more annoying, he deftly dodges the swipe from my Herman Survivor size 11. I swivel around looking for another shot, just in time to catch him shinnying up Jay's legs. In a flash he's under Jay's baggy t-shirt and wraps himself crossways just above the waist. And sudden like the infamous Bozo gut is there... the Kracker-shaped gut. I'm staring, slack-jawed, suddenly aware of the irony of an all-too-familiar Bunny rhetoric about slack-jawed, lip-drooling, knuckle-dragging fill-in-the-blank for whatever or whomever the AnthropoMorphyBunny is pissed off about this week.

"Shall we?" says the Jay-Kracker thing. I can tell from his voice it's not a question. I slug down the fifth shot of Cuervo, finish the 40 of Mickey's and slide off the barstool. I fish a twenty tip out for the bartender. He seems genuinely surprised. I want him to remember my face, in case I need some sort of assurance later than any of this shit really happened.

On the elevator ride up I'm hearing this slurping sound. It's coming from underneath Jay's t-shirt. I'm tryin' not ta look but outta corner of my eye I notice this wet spot forming on the t-shirt. That last pint of Mickey's and fifth shot of Cuervo is gaining traction toward my throat and actin' like it's gonna skeedaddle. I grab a chaw of Juicy Fruit and give silent thanks to Current Time Radio as my gut settles. The elevator and my stomach both lurch to a stop."

(To be continued...)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

3's & 7's at the FRN

So much abuzz on the shortwave pirate radio scene over the past few weeks it's not easy to choose a starting point between the just completed Fest, wars, rumors of wars, friends getting knocked up and leporidae dissembling. Let's begin with the bumbling bunny, shall we?

Our old friend BNtP tells us that despite Billo fronting a show of bravado on the Furry Rodent Nutwork ("Ah ain't skeert" declares Billo, from the Ted Kaczynskiesque Montana one-holer he calls home, "ain't been no FCC busts since nigh unto nineteen ought '98!"), secretly the rabbit is running scared over rumors of FCC enforcement actions... as many as four ops getting The Knock within a year. We're told that Commander Bunny is frightened out of his fur, begging listeners not to log WBNY shows until after the broadcast is complete... but not frightened enough to curtail the usual confident self promotion for logs of his QRP signal (fortunately his usual crew of leg warmers will pitch in with assurance that, yes, his signal can be heard outside the confines of his hutch).

So, Fabulous Rodent Nuthuggers, which is it? What are you hearing privately about the FCC that has fallen on deaf ears on the For Rodents only Network? According to sources, ComBun has been privately warning pirate ops since February 24 that real-time logs might endanger WBNY, while as of February 27 Billo and Pat* publicly declared "All is well"?

We also hear the myxomatosis carrier is spreading one of his favorite diseases - hysterical slander - north of the border, in an attempt to infect our Canadian friends. Is that the smell of Beans burning? Moron that... pardon, more on that later.

What happened to that spirit of camaraderie and pirates looking out for one another... oh, wait, this is the rabbit we're talking about. And it's all about the rabbit, isn't it? As the song goes:

"Lie, lie to my face
Tell me it ain't nothing
That's what I wanna hear
Take the lie to the grave
That's what an old friend told me
Look what it did for him"
3's & 7's - QOTSA

*Oh, BTW... your socks are showing.