Shut Up, Little Man!

“I Know How to Use Any Weapon There Is” : Some Notes Toward a History of Shut Up, Little Man!

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“I Know How to Use Any Weapon There Is” — The new Shut Up Little Man comic book

art from comic book, m flinn
Art from the comic book

And, the gospel of Peter and Raymond continued to spread. Another play opened in Minnesota, more Shut Up Little Man samples on records, and constant airplay on morning shows like “The Drew and Mike Show” on WRIF in Detroit and the Spud Bros. Show in Boise, ID. The San Francisco Weekly did an eight page cover story on Shut Up Little Man just before Peter died. Ira Glass did a segment on NPR’s “This American Life” featuring the recordings. Even though Raymond and Peter had passed away and gone off to the big liquor store in the sky, their arguments carried on and on in plays, puppet shows, on stereos and radios, on webpages and in comic books, and in people’s heads, especially when those people had been drinking.

These “notes toward a history” have gotten as long-winded as one of Peter’s drunken tirades after being let out of the jailhouse at 4 AM. Considering that this phenomenon stemmed from a lot of sleepless nights, psychic terror, and a few death threats, it is some strange poetic justice that the wretched excesses and abusive diatribes of two individuals could lead to so many positive things. Fortunately, the Shut Up Little Man recordings have brought a lot of crazy pleasure to a lot of people over time. They have inspired a host of artists to make visual art, theater, film and music. And, thankfully, Mitchell and I have made a lot of friends along the way. It has been overwhelming sometimes and just plain fuckin’ weird most of the time. But, it has been fun. Peoples’ enthusiasm has verified that Peter and Raymond did not appeal merely to my own or to Mitchell’s twisted sense of humor. There seems to be something about the dynamic between Peter and Raymond that taps into some elemental, perhaps archetypal, level in human beings. It has been suggested that their dialogues reflect something about the present state of the human condition. Raymond himself had once proclaimed: “I am the human race!” With all that said, I say unto you, as Peter once said to Raymond in an attempt to get him to shut his dirty little mouth: “Good night, sweet prince!

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