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 Who Killed

The Covert Comic?


Nothing reminds a person of his own mortality like being killed.

- The Covert Comic


If you've ever been killed, you probably have some idea of just how life-altering an experience it can be.  Being killed frequently results in profound changes in a person's behavior and relationships, and can fundamentally transform the way that person views his or her place in the world.  While each individual responds to being killed in his or her own unique way, everybody who is killed agrees on one thing: being killed changes a person forever.

In the case of John Alejandro King, a.k.a. the Covert Comic, semi-celebrated CIA research manager, poet, and covert activist, being killed clearly seems to have awakened a greater appreciation of the transitory nature of this material existence, as well as a recognition of the need to more deeply examine his life – and death – in order to better understand the meaning of his killing (not to mention how he might hopefully avoid being killed again in the future).

The following manuscript contains eyewitness testimony along with insights from various persons intimately familiar with the killing of the Covert Comic a.k.a. John Alejandro King.  I can officially neither confirm nor deny that, in the event a bestselling book and/or major motion picture is produced about his death and/or life, the Covert Comic has requested that a significant portion of his share of any resulting royalties be transferred to charitable organizations dedicated to the reanimation of deceased persons (including but not not limited to the Covert Comic).

Somewhere near Washington DC



Who Killed the Covert Comic?

My theory: because he worked for the US Intelligence Community and therefore wasn't very well known outside government circles, the list of suspects can be limited to anyone who ever attended one of his intelligence briefings, visited his web site, or had lunch with him in the CIA cafeteria.

... In other words, at this point I'm thinking The Covert Comic probably committed suicide.

- Unidentified CIA official



Whatever kills me makes me funnier.



Einstein said that asking oneself a question is a sign of intelligence, but answering oneself is a sign of madness. 

Einstein also developed the theory of relativity.  How?   By asking himself how a beam of light behaves, and then answering.



Attending a top secret CIA briefing on international terrorism can be a sobering experience.  

Especially when the liquor runs out.

- Closing joke, Homeland Security Agency briefing



What do you hope to get out of this meeting? - CIA Counterintelligence official, polling the audience before the start of a briefing on CI

That's what I hope to get: out of this meeting. - The Covert Comic



Philip K. Dick: Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

The Covert Comic: Reality is that which, as soon as you start believing in it, goes away.



If you're not speaking and your mute button is off, please stop breathing. - During a recent teleconference briefing for the White House 



Secret 639.125.  The Law of the Conservation of Spookiness: The value of an intelligence asset X your degree of control over that asset is always equal to √-1.



They say the greatest danger is to do nothing.  And I live for danger.



Charles Schultz: Don't be afraid the world will end today.  It's already tomorrow in Australia.

The Covert Comic: I’ve been calling Australia all morning, and there's no answer.


"The Covert Comic ... I officially don't want him killed."



Why Was the Covert Comic Killed?

One thing we can know with certainty: The Covert Comic wasn't killed because he knew too much.

- Unidentified CIA official



I assume God isn't constantly depressed at the thought of those souls suffering eternal damnation for denying Him.

On the other hand, I assume God doesn't just forget about these people either. 

... Probably God is sort of mildly bummed out all the time.



Human shields: you'd think that would be a good thing.



They say sleeping with the 20-year-old CIA intern daughter of your station chief isn't career enhancing.

I say: how much more enhanced could my career possibly get???



The only difference between "leader" and "dealer" is where you place the letters.



: How did he die?

The Covert Comic: Natural causes.

: Natural causes???  Looks like a bullet hole in his head there, wouldn't you say???

The Covert Comic: ... Well, to die if you get shot in the head, that's natural.



Nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan.  Therefore, always plan to fail to fail to plan.



Hey! Oil!

- Kidding around during excavation of a suspected mass grave near Mosul, Iraq



Other Historic Events That Occurred on September 11th

September 11th 1902 was the last known date in which one full second passed without a person somewhere in the world tripping and falling.



Some parts of the Bible I find a little troubling.  For example, if Jesus really believed in nonviolence, why did He destroy the Death Star?



When I was a kid, I never knew where my next meal was coming from.  Restaurant, delivery, catered – it seemed like every meal came from a different place.



The universe is 9% helium.  We're all talking in a squeaky voice all the time.



He who neither confirms nor denies confirms and denies.



Secret 1581.71.2.  When fortune smiles on you, check to see if she's licking her chops.


Covert agents in mourning



How Was the Covert Comic Killed?

By definition, he must have been killed while giving an intelligence briefing.  I mean, those jokes he used to tell!  He didn't just die, he died and was buried six feet under the conference room table. 

... Only time I ever witnessed an audience at a CIA briefing throw vegetables.

- Unidentified CIA audience



Being overrated is underrated.



 All my memories seem to happen to music.  Memories of my mother and father; waking up early on Christmas morning; the little apartment we lived in above the disco.



Secret 8086.  If physics are the universe's operating system, then National Intelligence Estimates are life's core dump.



They say character is what you have left after you've lost everything else.

I say: if you've lost everything else, how much character could you have had in the first place???



How come urban climbers never start at the top of the building and climb down?



If we would just lose the War on Drugs, I’m certain we could win the War on Terror.



One technical term I think needs clarifying: is it up the wazoo, or out the wazoo?

- Extremely near the State Department




- When asked by his first grade teacher to name an animal that lives in Africa



It's said that nothing succeeds like success. 

In fact, for all practical purposes the two are interchangeable.



If life gives you Dalai Lamas, make Dalai Lamanade.

- Consoling a friend who'd been assigned to work the Tibet desk at CIA



"Bond.  James Bond."

Corny?  Sure.  But you have to admit, it does sound better than: "Fleming.  Ian Fleming."



Have you ever noticed that, about the same time born again Christians started showing up, movie monsters began coming back to life after the hero killed them?

- After being killed again



Whoever thinks Operation Iraqi Freedom wasn't funny never watched the documentary on fast forward.



In the Islamic Republic of Iran there’s no formal process for becoming an Ayatollah.  A cleric is proclaimed an Ayatollah by popular consensus of the faithful.

… Not unlike the way a woman in the West attains the title of Supermodel.



Traditional Eastern saying: A painting of a rice cake does not satisfy hunger.

Traditional Western saying: Unless the painting is on rice paper.



The Super Bowl has become so commercialized, its religious meaning is in danger of being lost completely.



They say the worst isn't so bad when it finally happens.  But the best is.


Anonymous expression of solidarity

Berlin Wall Memorial, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia



When Was the Covert Comic Killed?

... You mean, when wasn't The Covert Comic killed, right?

- Unidentified CIA official



Secret 868036359.  Oh what a tangled web's resultant, when first we hire a weaving consultant.



My conscience is so clear, it's practically invisible. 



I used to wonder why Europeans were so critical of American food, American films, and American music.  Then I went over there and saw the problem: Europeans are confused - they've been eating American films, listening to American food, and watching American music.

- To a major hottie in St. Pete



A dressed pet is its own revenge.



It’s not a matter of principle, it’s a principle of matter.

- Explaining to management why he gave an intelligence asset two days off after the asset had worked 72 consecutive hours



I'll believe in nanotechnology when I don't see it.



In order to send a more positive message, instead of smashing their guitars at the end of a concert, maybe rock stars could reconstruct guitars out of broken parts and play a song on them.



I've never quite been comfortable with the fact that lionesses raise the young and do all the hunting, while the lions lay around all day in the shade.

... I mean, shouldn't the lionesses be fanning the lions?

- To an impressionable young case officeress



"Never laugh at a clown with a gun?"  Shouldn’t that be: Always laugh at a clown with a gun???



He was well liked, but he wasn't liked.

- Unidentified CIA official



I disagree that Voltaire wrote "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it," but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

- After reading Evelyn Beatrice Hall



Michelangelo, and a guy named Guido, both obtained their marble from the same Italian quarry.  But what each man saw in that marble made the difference between a statue gathering dust in a museum, and the calcite nano-compounds that saved our galaxy from the dreaded Venusian Hell-Beam.

- In a cosmos near a bar



 Wait a minute.  This woman isn't a Goth ... this woman is dead! -



I read this quote by Aleister Crowley: "I do not want to have anything to do with a conventionally minded person any more than I want to eat canned salmon."

Talk about a wake-up call; I was eating canned salmon when I read this.



Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger.

Not lifting weights doesn't kill me.

Therefore, not lifting weights makes me stronger.

- Near the CIA Headquarters gym



Sure, the Big Bang probably could have been bigger, but I still think God did a pretty good job.

- In a bar near the cosmos



Secret 77910981.  Never compromise your principles.  Maintain their cover at all times.


Inside CIA Operations Center: classified intelligence cables, television news updates, and a makeshift shrine



What Were You Doing when You Learned that the Covert Comic Had Been Killed?

Officially not killing The Covert Comic, of course.

- Unidentified CIA official



Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.  Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Walk all over me; I like it.



Remember, human shields shield humans.  



You are entitled to your opinion.  The consequences of your opinion are entitled to you.



Socrates was killed by a committee.  So it's not as if committees are totally useless.



Not only are the most important things in life not things, they're not even all that important. 



Karl Marx: Philosophy is to the real world as masturbation is to sex.

The Covert Comic: No way.  Philosophy can't possibly be that much better than the real world.



Secret  A good backstop is the better part of discretion.



The first time I ever really thought about homophobia, to be honest, I felt kind of apathetic.  But later, as I thought more about homophobia, I felt angry.

I guess I'll keep thinking about homophobia you know, to see how I feel next. 



The last day of camp, Jim took me aside and commended me for the work I had done that summer not only on the team projects, but on myself. 

I looked down, kicked a pebble and said "I never could have done it without your help isolating those restriction endonucleases, and showing me how to use ligases to join together the strands of my newly recombined DNA." 

Then I guess I got too embarrassed to talk anymore, so I flapped my ganglia and bounded over to the bus.  But I could tell by the look on several of his faces that Jim understood.



Friends and lovers may come and go.  As long as they go.



Actually, I don't mind being treated like a number, as long as it's a big, important number.



In my opinion, a woman doesn't deserve the title of 'supermodel' until she proves she can actually fly.



If there's one prediction we can safely make about the future, it's that guarding the self-destruct mechanism will continue to be a remarkably low-paying job.



W. E. B. DuBois: The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

The Covert Comic: I hear the government is putting repression on sale.



I read a quote attributed to the Beatles.  What did they do, speak it in unison?  



If Dr. Moreau had owned a vacuum cleaner, he'd probably be alive today.



Ivan Stang said: "We all know how stupid the average person is.  Now realize that, by definition, fifty percent of the population is dumber than that."

Bad news for Ivan Stang: he's actually referring to the median person.



Fleetingness is here to stay.


"I can neither confirm nor deny it's a miracle."

- Unidentified CIA cleric, Northern Virginiastan



Recently I made an interesting discovery: if you remove the last word, or several words, of a celebrated quotation, then replace them with the name of the author, the resulting passage is often at least as insightful as the original saying.

I've tentatively named this transformation of a famous quote a halforism.  Several examples of halforisms are presented below.  Readers are encouraged to apply the halforist method to additional quotations (including and especially quotations about halforisms).


Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat … George Santayana.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is … Edmund Burke.

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for … John F. Kennedy.

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from … Albert Einstein.


Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is ... Ian Fleming.

The only thing we have to fear is … Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's … Bertrand Russell.

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for … Albert Einstein.


Give me liberty, or give me … Patrick Henry.

Between two evils, I always pick … Mae West.

Everything in the world may be endured, except for … Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for … Albert Einstein.


A woman without a man is like a fish without … Gloria Steinem.

I believe in God, only I spell it … Frank Lloyd Wright.

I would have made a good … Richard M. Nixon.

God may be subtle, but he is not … Albert Einstein.


The difference between pornography and erotica is … Gloria Leonard.

It is better to be quotable than to be … Tom Stoppard.

Everything is funny, as long as it happens to … Will Rogers.

If I had only known, I would have been … Albert Einstein.




How Will the Covert Comic Be Remembered?


- Unidentified CIA official



They say dead intelligence assets disclose no secrets. 

... Maybe that's the problem with my intelligence assets.



Sometimes I think our dog understands me better than my wife does. 

But then I remember that my wife understands our cat better than I do, so I guess it kind of evens out. 



After my accident, the doctors told me I shouldn't be alive. 

It wasn't a medical opinion - they were expressing a deeply held personal belief.



I tried writing for the public, but the public ignored me. 

So then I tried writing for the critics, but the critics ignored me.

Now I write for myself.  And now myself ignores me.



You shall know the truth, but the truth shall pretend not to recognize you at diplomatic functions.



Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance?  There's another thing I didn't know!


Alleged post-death apparition near Fallujah, Iraq



It's a good day to live forever!

- Shortly before being killed



The future is now!  As for now, it should be arriving shortly.



If I'd known I was going to live this long, I wouldn’t have taken such good care of myself.

- Shortly after being killed



He who laughs last thinks slowest?

How do you know he isn’t laughing first???



Out of context?!  But I just filled up with context this morning!

- The Covert Comic



FBI counterintelligence official: You'll never work in this town again.

The Covert Comic: I'm a Federal employee - when the hell did I ever work in this town???



Jack Handey: I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it.

The Covert Comic: I hope life is a big joke, because I get it.



That one.

- On being posed the query: "If you could ask God just one question, what would it be?"



(Note: I can neither confirm nor deny that the term "standup comic" in the following intelligence briefing refers to a certain unnamed CIA official delivering a Top Secret comedy monologue.)



A Standup Comic’s Perspective


According to numerous comedians who have experienced the phenomenon first hand, when a comic "dies" on stage, he or she often leaves his or her body and rises above the audience, the stage, and even the building.  Many comedians who find themselves in this situation report a sensation of heightened understanding and awareness; others claim that being out of their body is extremely disorienting – sort of like getting paid.

At some point following clinical death, the comedian finds that he or she is moving along a dark passage or tunnel - not unlike a typical corridor leading from the comedy club dressing room onto the stage (or vice versa).  Almost immediately afterward the comic senses the presence of an all-knowing, all-loving, all-giggling light.  According to these comedians, the light gets all their jokes and considers their material to be extremely funny and commercially viable.  Moreover, the light assures them that it isn’t just saying this to make them feel better.

In this phase of the process of dying, many comedians experience what is frequently referred to as a "career review".  During the career review the light shows the comedian his or her entire career, often within the span of a second or less (indeed, the career review may actually last longer than the career of that standup comic); the light then offers friendly, non-judgmental observations about how the comedian might improve his or her material.  Many comics report that this experience helps them better appreciate that any joke – no matter how weird or self-referential – can be funny, provided it’s told in a spirit of loving, good-natured prankishness ... and/or if the audience has consumed sufficient quantities of alcohol or other mind-altering substances (or if they work for the National Clandestine Service).

Following their career review, most comedians report finding themselves being drawn irresistibly toward the light.  Despite their intense desire to go into the light and stay there, the light informs these comedians that they must return to the stage and complete their performance.  Within less than a second the comedians find themselves suddenly back on stage, in front of a completely mystified – and often very hostile – audience.  However, inspired and profoundly strengthened by their encounter with the light, these comedians are able to complete their monologue, and even win over the audience on occasion, or at least not feel so badly about being booed out of the room.


The Hall of the Presidents



The Covert Comic died never knowing he would someday be famous.  Today, the whole world knows the Covert Comic will someday be famous.

If you've ever become immortal, you probably have no idea whatsoever regarding how life-altering an experience it can't be.  Becoming immortal rarely results in noticeable changes in a person's behavior or relationships, and almost never fundamentally transforms the way that person views his or her place in the world.  While each individual responds to becoming immortal in his or her own unique way, everybody who becomes immortal agrees on one thing: becoming immortal is definitely no big deal.

Speaking of immortality, the following is an excerpt from an article that recently appeared - almost like a miracle - on a major US Intelligence Community (USIC … pronounced "You sick" for short) web site.


In the Valley of the Presidents




I was on vacation, hiking in the Valley of the Presidents in the ancient Washington Desert, when I noticed a small object brightly gleaming under the blazing midday suns.  It lay at the base of a rock formation about a hundred meters above the sand dune on which I was standing. I scampered up the side of the steep rock cliff until I came to the source of the light.  It was a sphere, about the size of a modern intelligence joking device, hovering about a meter and a half above the surrounding terrain.  Except for the clean, shiny portion which had reflected the sunlight into my eyes, the sphere was crusted over with the sand and dirt of a thousand centuries.

Gazing at this curious piece, I wondered how it had thus far avoided discovery by the trillions of other tourists and archaeologists that had walked these venerable sands before me.  I considered the possibility that it had only recently been uncovered by one of the intermittent rainstorms that occasionally transform this parched and arid land.  Or perhaps one of the ubiquitous indigenous scavengers, looking for some ancient trinket to sell in nearby Alexandria, Virginia, had unearthed it.  He might be back at any moment with several of his kinsmen; they wouldn’t take kindly to seeing one of my genus there.  I felt in my pocket to make sure I had my Truth Blaster.  If any natives came and wanted a fight, I didn’t intend to think twice about it.  I wouldn’t even set my Truth Blaster on Reverie – nope, I’d set my weapon all the way on Enlightenment and make those aborigines see reason and love science whether they were existentially prepared for it or not.

As the twin suns beat down on the back of my necks I stretched my consciousness around the small floating sphere and examined it more closely.  Faint outlines on the clean part of the surface reminded me of something I had seen in one of my posthuman anthropology classes.  The problem was, I couldn’t remember whether this was an ancient universal warning sign, or an ancient universal indicator that something indescribably wonderful was near.

"What the heck," I told myself, "I’ve still got four and a half lives left."

With that I closed my eyes and cupped two of my hands around the sphere, the way we've all read about in history class.  It took less than a second for me to realize that I wasn’t going to lose one of my lives.  No, with the knowledge that Universal Mind was about to obtain from this experience, I was going to get at least three quarters of a new life out of it.  At least.

Here’s what happened.  I opened all my eyes and found myself in a dark, cool chamber approximately two kilometers underground.  There was another small sphere floating above and just in front of me, this one had a palely lit blue dot in the center.  With a rush of excitement I recognized the construction of the chamber as belonging to the Late Single Body period.  The sphere itself had been manufactured when, well, when "things" were "manufactured!"  This was going to be a major archaeological and anthropological find, no doubt about it.

Smiling at the quaintness of it all, I followed the blue light as it silently floated around a corner and into a room on my right.  I entered the room and saw characteristic Late Single Body period soft lighting and a hallway which seemed to go on forever (as I subsequently learned, this hallway does in fact go on forever, which definitely makes it classic LSB).  On the wall to the right there was absolutely nothing.  On the wall to the left, however, was a set of thought portraits.  Immediately upon my entering the room a thought came into my mind, one which could only have been Late Single Body.  The thought said:


Welcome to the Hall of the Presidents.  The exhibit begins with the thought portrait directly in front of you and continues left to right.  Please feel free to think questions, and God Bless.


The Hall of the Presidents!  The existence of this ancient wonder had long been known, but there was serious disagreement as to how many and which space-time regions it was located in.  And then, of course, there was the problem that the Hall of the Presidents might be everywhere, in which case a whole different kind of consciousness would be needed in order to actually experience it.

… But here I was, in the Hall itself.  And what else should I do but take the tour, for crying out loud?  So I started walking. 

The first display I came upon was the portrait of the original President, George Washington.  In his portrait he was wearing a wig, if you can believe that.  After George Washington came portraits of several other wig-headed Presidents, until at some point (I don’t remember when) the Presidents stopped wearing wigs in their portraits and started showing their own hair (usually long).  After that the Presidents started having short hair and beards or mustaches in their portraits, after which they had short hair and no beards and no mustaches.  Then there was a President with almost no hair on his head at all.

Not long after this the Presidents appeared to become more varied in skin tone and gender (at first each President still appeared to have only one gender, though).  Naturally there were the Presidents with machine eyes, brain attachments, etc.  I walked alongside these portraits fascinated by the primitiveness of these early beings, yet also admiring them.  I mean, their bodies were so old-fashioned, yet they just as obviously had souls and were persons (usually more than one). 

Finally, and with great anticipation, I came to a portrait I had been waiting to see.  There it was: the first true Nanopresident.  As I had learned in anthropology class, the dynasty of the Nanopresidents was rather short-lived, though generally admired by presidential historians (or at least by nano-presidential-historians).

The thought portraits of the Nanopresidents were followed by a portrait of the enormously popular President Boobs.  Then, sure enough, came the Squid.  Her presidency in this region of space-time had been relatively lengthy.  Of course the thought portrait was only able to depict the Squid symbolically; in this case the creator of her portrait had decided to convey the thought ‘The Squid’ along with a stylized depiction of eight tentacles, symbolizing her overarching presence in the eight major existential realms.

After the Squid came a throwback President, known as President Throwback.  With its finite number of genders and opinions, clearly a late example of nostalgia and "speciesism."  Can we really blame voters of this period, though, for wishing to "get back to their roots" after a couple of hundred generations of living under the Squid?

Next came thought portraits from the series of Presidents known as the Presidents with Bodies Made of Living Worlds.  After this (just like we all read in anthropology class) came the Presidents with Worlds Made of Living Bodies.

"Only ten thousand years ago!" I thought to myself while gazing at the images, "Almost within my most recent lifetime!"

I began to hurry through the exhibit.  I couldn’t help myself.  I knew what was coming, and I was eager to get to it as quickly as possible.

I passed by the portrait of The President Who Can Feel Almost Everything, and found myself looking at the second to last likeness.  There it was, sitting unassumingly in a frame just like the others.  It was an infinitely multidimensional passageway that went straight into the wall.  In the middle of the passageway floated an angelic being who seemed to beckon the viewer to follow.  This being was enveloped in, and was one with, a brilliant, all-seeing, all-loving light.  Every believer, of course, knows that light like they know themselves.  For this being was (and is, and always will be) President Angel.  And as everybody knows, President Angel’s time in office can never really end.

I moved along to the last portrait, which means, of course, that I simultaneously went ‘into’ the portrait of President Angel.  There I saw the final thought portrait, the portrait of the thought of all things.  This thought created everything, including the Hall of the Presidents.  And this thought is created by everything, including the Hall of the Presidents.  As if I have to tell you, the name of the President in this final thought portrait is ... I am.


I am the true President

Whoever learns to love

And loves so as to learn more deeply

Is the true President

For they are as I am


Immediately upon having this thought, I once again found myself standing in the cool, dark interior of the entrance chamber to the Hall of the Presidents.  My feeling of exhilaration was indescribable.  I turned and carefully walked back the way I had come previously.  Returning to the spot where earlier I had been transported from my point above ground, I instantly found myself on that same sand dune in the Washington desert, the suns blazing down just as before.  I noted that there wasn't a single life form anywhere around me, and according to my space-time piece only a few nanoseconds had elapsed.

Most readers, of course, are well aware of what happened next.  Within moments of my channeling the authorities, numerous archaeological teams, along with hundreds of millions of journalists and curiosity seekers from across the cosmos, had arrived on the scene.  Thought signs were placed to direct tourists and researchers to the site, and toll booths and non-handicapped parking spaces installed.  I received an honorary doctorate in posthumanoid archaeology, and the rest, as they say, is future.

Naturally, I claim no credit for finding the Hall of the Presidents.  As for how such an important artifact could have eluded our consciousness for so long on a world we thought we knew so much about, I for one tend to accept the view of those scientists who conclude that it’s probably a covert CIA operation.  Most likely the Hall suddenly materialized in its current space-time configuration when the Agency altered the fabric of existence as part of its ongoing effort to reverse the reversal of the killing of intelligence research officer, and potential inventor of the "covert intelligence joke", John Alejandro King.  



The Covert Comic.

Kill him while you still can!