ASK DR. HAL! SHOW is still FREE July 26th at The Dark Room

July 22nd, 2013

by Flentley Budd
SAN FRANCISCO– Returning from X-Day, the harrowing Church of the SubGenius TM festival
in the Ohio Valley, and from sojourning in upstate New York with a side trip to Manhattan’s stone
canyons, Dr. Howland Owll, chewed by insects, stricken with back pain and dental difficulties
and struggling with a deteriorating hard disk in his computer, nonetheless springs into action this
Friday “as springs the trampled herbage of the field.”
Yes, a spanking brand-new show, in which, to the best of our knowledge, no actual spanking
shall transpire (this time) is about to go on the boards at San Francisco’s Dark Room Theater.
A show that will be simulcast on RadioValencia.FM– and thus available in audio form as a
downloadable, listenable podcast.
Once again, as before, the July 26th iteration of the award-winning Ask Dr. Hal! Show in its
newest home at The Dark Room, San Francisco’s enduring temple of wit and unpretentious
entertainment, will present a complex, multi-tieredperformance unprecedentedly FREE of charge,
harking back to the old-time days of the Odeon Bar, when none paid to cross the threshold.
Or how about at 12 Galaxies, Robert Levy’s place. That used to be free, too, eh?
There is precedent, that’s what we’re saying.
It will start with an animated cartoon selected by KrOB. This will probably be a better cartoon
than you have seen in a long time, perhaps even better than you’ve ever seen.
RUSTY REBAR will launch the programme with a brief poetic invocation, characteristically terse,
playful and mordant. Mr Rebar’s work appears in the new book,
HEARTFIRE: the 2nd Anthology
of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, edited by Jack Hirschman and Agneta Falk.
RICHARD MORRISON III will then take the stage with his sitar.
The instrument descended
from Central Asia to North India during the time of the Delhi Sultanate. The first prototypes
were invented in the 13th and14th Centuries, when the Persian patrons of music and poetry
encouraged innovation in Indian art. It is actually named after a Persian instrument called the
seetar (meaning “three strings”). It is said that the great Sufi, Hazrat Amir Khurso, whose genius
fountained forth in music and poetry, created the arena for its development. The sitar flourished
in the 16th and 17th Centuries and arrived at its present form, more or less, in the Mughal period
of the 18th Century. And for many of us, its sound will always be associated with thoughts of the
Beatles, Ravi Shankar and LSD.
JAMES ZEALOUS will join Mr. Morrison and directly connect us with the tradition initiated by
Hazrat Amir Khurso, by speaking the verses of Mawl n Jal l-ad-D n Muhammad Rumi, also called
Mawl n Jal l-ad-D n Muhammad Bal, but known to the English-speaking world simply as Rumi. A
13th century Persian (Tadjik) poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. Rumi (a descriptive name, to some
pejorative, even, in his own time, meaning “the Roman,” since he’d lived in Anatolia, which had
been part of the Roman Empire until the Seljuq conquest two centuries earlier) was a Sufi also, a
mystic exponent of metaphysical Islam. Just like Hazrat Amir Khurso back in the Middle Ages of
ancient Persia, Morrison and Zealous will bring to you, in the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the
Compassionate, a poetic embodiment of Sufism gilded with the glory of the ancient harmonic
support of the sitar. About 10 minutes.

JIM FOURNIADIS then appears, to perform the opening monologue and host the show. He will
start things rolling by introducing our specialist in Science and Astronomy– time for Space News.
PETE GOLDIE will present us with tales of new worlds, previously unknown and unsuspected.
Have you heard about a new moon of Neptune being discovered the other day? An actual moon–
not a Shepherd Moon? Maybe you haven’t been tracking on this? Well, you’ll hear about it here.
We don’t choose to wallow in unrelieved ignorance at Ask Dr. Hal! Come in, and for FREE, learn
about something. To learn is self-transformative. It infuses life with meaning. Intellectual growth
means growth into a newer person. People who don’t, or won’t do that are finished– by definition,
old. If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying, after all. And you won’t just hear about it–
KrOB will be making sure that you see it, flashed on our screen. KrOB, throughout Ask Dr. Hal!
will be curating the sonic and visual landscape for your delectation and amusement. He’ll also
provide the mind-shattering Monster Movie Footage we all riff on at Ask Dr. Hal! There isn’t space
here to delineate everything KrOB will do. And despite this there’s another image displayer who
will be at work in tandem with KrOB throughout the evening. We also benefit from her services.
SHERILYN CONNELLY will illustrate what Dr. Hal says with adroit precision and droll vision.
Because Dr. Hal is next. Following Pete Goldie, he’ll come out and answer your questions.
DR. HOWLIN’ OWLL is going to perform. Amazing, astounding. SEE a moderately well-educated
person. HEAR him quote poetry, which until quite recently was something most literate people were
able to do. MARVEL at his uncanny ability to give rational answers to questions hurled from the
audience, even those whose meaning may be unclear to the asker, even those which are intended to
be deliberate jamming of intelligible discourse. ENJOY his curious mien of grief-stricken horror,
stemming from having to walk down the street and look into the faces, if they raise them from their
personal electronic Distraction Boxes and devices, shuffling along with heads bent over them, of
people who have never read Alice in Wonderland. Dr. Hal might even recite something from Alice–
you never know.