Legion. An amalgamated journal.


An article we wrote for The Blue Line vol. 1 no. 1, the magazine to which we are the estranged, liquor-swilling grandparents:

In case you’re having trouble reading that, it’s Bob Dole singing:

What up G’s. Bob Dole in the hizzouse.
I’m packin’ policies to incentivize ownership of small bizznouse.
We stackin’ the Supremes to protect every fee-touse.
We smackin’ down the liberals who never pray to Jeez-ouse.
The gays and the lesbians be sayin’ “I deserve a spizzouse,”
But marriage, it be jus’ between a mistah and a mizzouse!
Yeah, Represent. Pfizer, Inc. Word.

Now, three years later, the Grand Old Party is going through an “off the hook” makeover to boost Republican street cred in “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”

If there are any other beleaguered political parties out there who want some great ideas, we’ve got plenty more.

Garrett Dash Nelson, Maryellen McGowan and Markus Kolic

February 21st, 2009 | No Comments

Chance albums

In New York, when I was setting out to write the orchestral parts of my Concert for Piano and Orchestra which was performed September 19, 1958, in Cologne, I visited each player, found out what he could do with his instrument, discovered with him other possibilities, and then subjected all these findings to chance operations, ending up with a part that was quite indeterminate of its performance. After a general rehearsal, during which the musicians heard the result of their several actions, some of them — not all — introduced in the actual performance sounds of a nature not found in my notations, characterized for the most part by their intentions which had become foolish and unprofessional. In Cologne, hoping to avoid this unfortunate state of affairs, I worked with each musician individually and in general rehearsal was silent. I should let you know that the conductor has no score but has only his own part, so that, though he affects the other performers, he does not control them. Well, anyway, the result was in some cases just as unprofessional in Cologne as in New York. I must find a way to let people be free without their becoming foolish. So that their freedom will make them noble. How will I do this? That is the question.

John Cage, Indeterminacy, Story 17

With that, I would like to introduce my latest alt-rock masterpiece, hailed by critics as “a bold and emotional call in the darkness of the adult alternative mainstream”:

Garrett Dash Nelson

February 21st, 2009 | No Comments

Kids don’t know shit

Every once in a while, some eminence grise in a particular field swings back into town to remind everyone how the kids are just fooling around. Like when Habermas rolls into town and is all “this is how we did secularization in my day, bitches.”

So, dear little precious indie rock weenies: meet Robyn Hitchcock.

Robyn Hitchcock — “Goodnight Oslo”
Buy Goodnight Oslo from iTunes

Garrett Dash Nelson

February 20th, 2009

Spam artist or puritan?

1. Settable Q. Chair
2. Howlong Fenner
3. Remarkable Pettibone
4. Shriven Hotheadedness
5. Justus Forward
6. Portsmouth Dangle
7. Afforested Brim
8. Recluse Layette
9. Wrestling Brewster
10. Hunchback Abundances
11. Increase Mather
12. Nicholas Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon
13. Peaceable King
14. Eduardo Watches

1. Spam artist
2. Puritan
3. Puritan
4. Spam artist
5. Puritan
6. Spam artist
7. Spam artist
8. Spam artist
9. Puritan
10. Spam artist
11. Puritan
12. Puritan
13. Puritan
14. Spam artist

Garrett Dash Nelson

February 13th, 2009 | No Comments

Hearts they race

You have heard it (my Friend!) as a common Saying, that Interest governs the World. But, I believe, whoever looks narrowly into the Affairs of it, will find, that Passion, Humour, Caprice, Zeal, Faction, and a thousand other Spring which are counter to Self-Interest, have as considerable a part in the Movements of this Machine. There are more Wheels and Counter-Poises in this Engine than are easily imagin’d. ‘Tis of too complex a kind, to fall under one simple View, or be explain’d thus briefly in a word or two. The Studiers of this Mechanism must have a very partial Eye, to overlook all other Motions besides those of the lowest and narrowest Compass. ‘Tis hard, that in the Plan or Description of this Clock-work, no Wheel or Balance shou’d be allow’d on the side of the better and more enlarg’d Affections; that nothing shou’d be understood to be done in Kindness or Generosity; nothing in pure good-Nature or Friendship, or thro any social or natural Affection of any kind: when, perhaps, the main Springs of this Machine will be found to be either these very natural Affections themselves, or a compound kind deriv’d from them, and retaining more than one half of their Nature.

Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

Garrett Dash Nelson

February 10th, 2009 | No Comments

Re: Previous Post

Abolish the Hoopes Prize, Harvard.

“A system of this sort is liable to the vice of substituting the love of the reward for the love of that for which the reward is conferred; to induce study for the mere love of the emoluments of scholarship instead of the love of intellectual improvement.”

-Francis Wayland
Thoughts on the Present Collegiate System in the United States. 1842.

Darius Weil

February 10th, 2009 | 1 Comment


The love of pleasure is commonly in young persons, too strong to be controlled by the love of knowledge, or by the remote prospect of professional success. Nay, even the principle of duty too frequently requires to be strengthened by the hope of present advantage; and hence the kind and the degree of stimulants, entering into a College course, deserves a portion of our attention.

-Francis Wayland
Thoughts on the Present Collegiate System in the United States. 1842.

Darius Weil

February 10th, 2009 | No Comments

Olly olly oxen free

GEORGE. Olly Olly Oxen Free! (Breathing heavily.) I won! I won! God, I love this game. (GEORGE reaches behind the couch and grabs Simmon and Gogen and puts the puppets on his hands.)

GOGEN. (The Giraffe) He cheats. I won’t play with him anymore.

SIMMON. (The Bunny) I’m not cheating. I happen to have hiccups. (He hiccups.)

GOGEN. Then don’t hide where I’m hiding.

Charles Richard Johnson, Olly Olly Oxen Free: A Farce in Three Acts (Samuel French, 1988).

Bishop Allen — Dimmer
New album, “Grrr…”, due 10 March

Garrett Dash Nelson

February 8th, 2009

Ars Punica

“Punning is an Art of Harmonious Jingling upon Words, which passing in at the Ears and falling upon the Diaphragma, excites a titillary Motion in those Parts, and this being convey’d by the Animal Spirits into the Muscles of the Face raises the Cockles of the heart.”

Thomas Sheridan (1687-1753), Ars Punica, 1719.

Darius Weil

February 7th, 2009 | No Comments

Media happenings

The Warble, which I have previously plugged here, has released their fourth issue. Bear through the rather clunky flash interface—the content is quite good.

Elsewhere, Prodigal Son Dylan Matthews has assumed full prelate power over Perspective, the long-slumbering liberal monthly. Take a look at their new site for some interesting commentary.

Garrett Dash Nelson

February 6th, 2009