Of Covid, Coney, and Cutting Out Cancers

We just heard from Troma’s Amanda Flowers the sad news that Alan Merrill, who co-wrote Joan Jett’s hit “I Love Rock and Roll” has died of Covid-19. As the noose tightens here in New York, several people who’ve acted in my plays have contracted it, as has Serpentina of the Coney Island sideshow. She is one of the strongest people you will ever meet, an Amazon, and she reports that it has her totally laid out, struggling for breath. Anyone who tells you not to take it seriously — and anyone who has EVER told you that — needs to be cut out your life like a cancer, placed in a box like a bio-hazard, and buried in a toxic waste dump. They should be treated as PART of the disease, and removed from civilized society in much the same fashion. It’s now hitting other big cities as it hit us about 10 days ago. We’re swamped and we have facilities better than any other city. When grandma dies, please make sure grandpa knows that this might have been nipped in the bud two months ago. It’s not about placing random blame on political adversaries, it’s about holding those responsible accountable and removing them from power so they can no longer destroy the lives of Americans.

Some guy wrote to me yesterday after I made similar comments in my post about Philip Loeb, “You’re off the charts”, he wrote,  “I just want to read about stars”. Anyone who thinks that’s what I or Travalanche are about (avoiding controversy and burying our heads in old time show business) can’t have followed this blog or my social media accounts too closely or for very long. Let me disabuse anyone who reads this blog of such notions right here and now. Trump is a canker on this country. His values are the opposite of everything this blog stands for and I don’t care how many racists, sexists, homophobes, Fascists, or ethically deficient sociopaths I lose as readers as an outcome of expressing that truth. You’re irritated that I seek the removal of a monster who kills Americans and has single handedly ruined the modern world’s first democratic republic? Then TAKE A FUCKING WALK. I can’t lose someone like you fast enough.

For those who remain, whew. Now that they’ve left the room, and while we pray for Serpentina (and ourselves), Coney Island’s Dick Zigun shared this awesome clip this morning: This is Coney Island USA’s side show around the time when I first saw it, shortly after it was launched. This local news piece is easily the best piece of historic video I have ever seen on CIUSA. You’ll find articles about several of the cast members (Otis Jordan, Melvin Burkhart, Michael Wilson) here on Travalanche — as they, too, have sadly passed into history. As you shelter in place, you honestly won’t regret the couple of minutes you spend watching this over your Sunday morning coffee!