the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


California, Here I Come!

(This is an amazing video! Can you believe that the first time ABBA sang on television it was to belt out “California Here I Come!” on some lame Swedish TV show!)

Finally, men, our chance is here!   Like the women in Aristophenes’ Lysistrata, it is time to band together as a gender and make changes to society.   Today, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples DO have a constitutional right to marry.  We now have the unique opportunity to put an end to the tyranny of women, with their living room “design” ideas, their need to watch “The Bachelor,” their pricey shoes and most importantly, their selfish refusal to give oral sex to us while we drive down the Santa Monica Freeway.

The answer is clear.  We must marry each other.  Man to Man.  Legally.  May I suggest that you board a flight to Los Angeles or San Francisco immediately?  We will be waiting for you. 

Don’t worry about those pesky rumors of high housing prices in California.  There are TONS of foreclosures on the market.  Because of the Iraq War, the economy is sinking fast.  And since men usually make more money than women, it is economically SMART for two men to marry each other.  Why settle for a mate who only makes 77 percent of what a man earns?   Think about it.  Until now, men have been a bunch of suckers, working our asses off at shitty jobs, holding up the fort for a bunch of female slackers who fool us by smelling nice, like modern day Mata Haris.

Think how simple life can be – man and man.  No more fighting over doing the dishes.  We just won’t do the dishes!  We’ll eat at Taco Bell every night.   All this eating out will also have a positive influence on the economy! 

The only hurdle, and it is a slight one — is that most men find each other rather repulsive when the clothes come off.   As someone who married into a Russian family, I offer a unique solution for this issue — vodka, especially the really cheap brand that tastes like unleaded gasoline.  Of course, since we will also be in two-male-income family units, most of us will also have enough expendable income to bring in the hookers.

Thank you, California!

Note:  It has come to my attention that this ruling mostly applies to same-sex GAY couples, and was not intended as an easy way for straight men to avoid dealing with the craziness of neurotic straight women.  My apologies.

All ABBA, All The Time


Have you ever found yourself feeling like you’re going a little insane? I don’t usually talk about these things, but you’re all my friends and Google doesn’t spider everything so it remains on the internet forever, so I’m safe, right?

On Mother’s Day, I posted a video of ABBA singing “Mama Mia.” I thought it was a cute idea. Today, I apologized to the mommybloggers by posting another ABBA music video, “Does Your Mother Know?”

Now, I remember ABBA as a youth, but their music means little to me, unlike that of Bruce Springsteen or Prince.

But something strange and magical happened today. After posting those two videos on my blog, I have became ABBA obsessed. I spent all night reading about and listening to ABBA. I even downloaded a documentary about them — in Swedish! I saw them win Eurovision in the seventies with “Waterloo.” I listened to their hits. I learned from Wikipedia that the name ABBA is the combined first letters of the four group members — Agnetha, Anni-Frid “Frida,” Benny, and Bjorn. I’ve become fascinated by the behind-the-scenes romances — the marriage of Frida and Benny, the breakup of Agnetha and Bjorn. For several hours, ABBA has become my life.

Why has this happened? What is going on with me? Is it stress? Sexual frustration? Is it because I got turned on by Frida bouncing on the piano bench in “Does Your Mother Know?”

Actually, no. I know this sounds weird to you, but the ABBA songs were “speaking to me,” as if they were written especially for me — as if they had some inner meaning beyond their silly lyrics. And honestly — no pot was involved, real or virtual. Could it be Trader Joe’s veggie gyozas?

I was especially taken by the lyrics of “Dancing Queen” —

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the musics high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance…

And guess what — it is FRIDAY NIGHT right now, as I listen to the song! How did they know? Tears were filling my eyes as I heard this. And how do Agnetha, Frida, Benny, and Bjorn know that I’m “looking for the place to go… where they play the right “music?”

I could be that guy.
I can have the time of my life.
I am in the mood for a dance
I am the dancing queen!

Or maybe I should just go out and rent Muriel’s Wedding.

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