Mushrooms for Breakfast … Life in Hell (When in Rome) … How Many Authentic Man-Balls Does Alex Jones Actually Have?

Hello my name is Frankie and I’m an alcoholic, a sex-addict, and a smoker; I have regular manic-depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (although the depression often cancels that one out), a possible disassociation disorder, and probably a few other things boring and expensive drugs are sold for. But that’s not the hard part, that’s the easy part, even the fun part sometimes – the hard part is making sure your scars don’t stand out while trying to reconcile a drug-culture life with living in a world of door-to-door proselytizers, censored nipples, and Americans pissed off at what I can only assume they believe to be some sort of goddamned liberal media. Well, I guess I’d be pissed off too if I lived in the bible-belt, just imagine your wife has some incurable cancer and you’re in a hospital with her (paying hundreds, if not thousands or more a day because for some stupid reason you’re a capitalist), and between rerun episodes of the Bachelor the inevitable commercials play on a CRT TV from 1988: boner pills, baldness cures, and bulk-up protein, and you think hey, that might make consensual sex in the missionary position with the wife more interesting, for a night, maybe. For the right price, doctors these days can even set you up with prosthetic balls if you don’t have those either, and it stands to reason that if one man feels emasculated by the missing family jewels then surely another feels emasculated by his relatively smaller jewels, and goes out and gets bigger prosthetics, and of course upon learning all of this, a man with already large testicles suddenly feels like maybe they’re not large enough anymore, so he goes out and gets himself a third testicle, then a fourth and fifth until finally he starts to look like he has a misshapen coin purse full of marbles tucked under his dick, but hey, he has the most marbles so he wins.

prostheticballsFinally, time to get coked up and rape sluts.

It’s hard getting along with people who are so damn… bland. I can understand people with literally no personality given the boring dystopia we live in, but do even their vices have to be so fucking boring? I mean, coffee and netflix? Really? Why are these people so obsessed with living so goddamned long for anyway? Do they really need to make someone go through the process of peeling the skin off a Florida orange (picked of course by the migrants they seem to dislike so much down there) because their shaky hands and gummy mouths simply can’t maneuver their way around a fruit anymore? Lord where are your zealous mormons now? If you want to put them to good use, how about putting some of these people out of their misery? Fighting with a fruit is not a dignified way to live, I hope I die before an orange becomes an ordeal. Then there are some people who actually choose to live like this as early as their 20s: risk free, drug free, fat and gluten free, and mom’s home-cooked meals every other weekend. If that’s what normal life is like, I’m glad I’m broken. Scarred recognize scarred and every once in a while you meet other (crazy) people like you, it’s often something as simple as the ability to be completely detached from most situations, the eyes can give away things like rapes and beatings and whatever else our pieces of shit parents and so-called caregivers threw at us. It’s a confidence in certain people that only develops under certain extreme circumstances, like when a 350lb man decides to beat the shit out of you when you were just trying to watch some Pokemon so you’d have something to talk about with the cute freckled girl at school the next day, somehow after something like that it’s hard to take life’s whey-protein and gatorade douchebros seriously, I mean, what are they gonna do? Hit you? It’s fucking pathetic, behold your five-balled Adonis, no longer chiseled from stone but a modern concoction of silicone, electrolytes, and anabolics, probably a dash of bulimia too.

I guess if the monster was under your bed and mostly didn’t bother you, you’d probably be afraid when you one day cross paths with an actually evil person, but when the monster uses the door freely – you already live in Hell, and well, when in Rome. There’s definitely a certain allure to the normal life when you wake up not knowing if you’re going to be happy or considering killing yourself again when lunchtime rolls around, stability starts to tempt. The thing most don’t want to admit is that people from that world have a hard time with people from Hell. Some people really can’t understand how refreshing a good depression can be, how being detached from a consumer culture isn’t a bad thing, and why it’s not nihilism to understand that things are generally not going well. Have you ever been depressed because it hasn’t been raining? Have you ever made it all the way to the subway, only to suddenly feel crushed by the weight of the world and turn around and go back to sleep until something, anything happens? How do you explain that to someone who thinks they’re saving the world because their lightbulbs have green stickers on them? Nevermind the brutal irony of people like Beyonce utilizing literal slavery to produce ’empowerment’ clothing and the tools who buy into that sort of bullshit, these people swallowed the capitalism pill so hard Alex Jones is starting to make sense – though to be fair it stands to reason that if you’re religious, you almost certainly hate gay people, therefore you’d at least be somewhat concerned with the advent of gay frogs too.

somefatassholeNote: He doesn’t look different because this photo doesn’t show the seventeen new prosthetic balls he had surgically implanted after hearing about a man with five balls, but the real question is still unanswered: how many authentic man-balls does Alex Jones actually have?

People have a tendency to act strange when their masculinity or righteousness is threatened, they’re über-sensitive to it because it doesn’t actually exist, it’s gone as soon as the Old Spice deodorant needs a refill, or a young boy is alone with a Catholic priest – and Lord where are your zealous Christians now? Even the Manson family didn’t rape children, and hell, if they had Scientology money they probably could’ve even legitimized their cult in the Land of the Free™. Anyway, the point is there’s no inspiration in a dull life of PTA meetings and being stuck in traffic 8hrs a week, there’s no feeling of being alive on a treadmill, it’s no wonder they can’t make sense of normal human emotions like sadness, lust, fear, or contempt – total sedation is the only way to make peace with Dick Cheney’s America. That is unless you’re a broken person of course, even better if you’re a Dr. like me, then you prescribe magic mushrooms for breakfast over two joints in the morning, start with the rum over lunch and fuck all afternoon, work your way to the heavier downers as the trip starts to wind down and you don’t feel ten feet tall anymore, then it’s time to find a high place and get that adrenaline going: it’s not the fear of falling that makes the heart beat so fast, it’s a fear of having lived for nothing. Frankly I’m surprised anyone can live in this world without drugs and adrenaline, seems like you’d have to constantly ignore pretty much all the suffering happening around you, or be genuinely too stupid to understand it, and I feel like god would only forgive one of these things.

 

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All My Friends are in Marketing and Research (Take it Slow)

Imagine you’re a complete hack with no discernible talent, naturally you end up in a marketing position. Your name (in plain text, you’re not quite bold name material and you know it) is soon available at will on plain business cards hovering above the world’s most ambiguously vague job description at a company that’s been dissolved to evade taxes so many times it’s running out of friendly-sounding simple yet professionally corporate names, it’s something like Caleb Umguzzler – Marketing and Communications, the Smart Solutions Company – but if you’re a bold name man, the kind who can afford Häagen-Dazs vanilla for his wife and kids, it might be more like Rick Steele – Market Solutions, Research & Trends, the Happy Monk Research Company. Twenty years ago when going digital was all the rage and businesswomen wore padded shoulders and nobody called them female entrepreneurs yet, you probably would’ve worked for AnaComp (originally named Analcom, an amalgamation of Analysis and Computer), or DigiMax (originally named AnalMax, an amalgamation of Analysis and Maximum), or the Analog Drilling Company (originally named Tight Teens Take Anal Cocks, an unfortunate copy+pasting error by a man in his late 40s with absolutely no idea how to use a computer). Anyway, the important thing is that you’re meek. Then one sunny day you’re tasked with putting together some music that appeals to as broad a spectrum of the movie-going public’s taste as possible, but since you’re not a bold name man, you hand in a list of the first twenty songs you hear on the radio, telling yourself there’s no need to take any risks, “let’s not make any waves here Caleb, let’s just do our job so we can get home and finish catching up on Game of Thrones. Then! Then we’ll have something to talk about with Karen in accounting, slow and steady Caleb, you’ll win her yet.” So in a way you can blame Karen the accountant for the soundtrack to Suicide Squad, but in a much more realistic way it’s Caleb’s fault, all of it. The producers almost certainly asked for something with broad appeal, but Caleb could’ve played with it a bit, Caleb has no imagination, also he’s a complete wreck when talking to women and Karen’s married, and even if she wasn’t she only goes for bold name men, girl knows what she’s worth and good for her. If she had taken up Caleb’s offer to watch Game of Thrones last week, it would be followed by awkward hand touching and a playlist of the following songs: Animals – House of the Rising Sun –– AC/DC – Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) –– Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil –– Rick James – Super Freak –– Kanye West – Black Skinhead –– CCR – Fortunate Son –– Black Sabbath – Paranoid –– White Stripes – Seven Nation Army — and of course Bohemian fucking Rhapsody, which Caleb heard in high school (the last time he ever listened to new music) and has since believed is the single greatest human achievement in music.

cumguzzler
You vs. the Marketer she tells you not to worry about.

Well the good news for Karen is that wasn’t Caleb’s playlist, Caleb doesn’t even have a playlist because he doesn’t listen to music or do other normal human things, he’s a marketer. Those songs are actually from the soundtrack to Suicide Squad, an avant-garde film project by David Ayer which asks viewers exactly how many montages can you fit into a 2hr movie? You could forward this movie to any random point and Vegas wouldn’t give you better than 50:50 odds you’ll land on a montage, the other 50 is Harley’s butt or Stereotypically All-American Military Guy Shouting in a Leadership Role and ohmygod He’s Even Wearing a Baseball Cap, but I’m not here to complain about Harley’s butt. The marketers must’ve had the utmost faith in Margot Robbie’s butt because they didn’t accidentally leak her nudes – Disney didn’t even have enough faith in Emma Watson carrying Beauty and the Beast to release it without accidentally leaking her nudes too. In fact Disney had so little faith in Beauty and the Beast they actually manufactured a fake controversy in Malaysia to ensure a commercial during the evening news. Isn’t it totally efficient how much labor is spent on marketing shit?

harleysbuttLeft, Assassin’s Creed (Clockwise): Dust. Dust. Dust. Dust.
Right, Suicide Squad (Clockwise): Butt. Butt. Butt. Butt.

Releasing Suicide Squad without the controversy of a nude photo leak represents a big leap of faith for a major movie studio these days, market research considered, which makes it somewhat ironic that Assassin’s Creed (a movie literally about leaps of faith) took no leaps of faith, creative or otherwise and was a pretty shitty movie. At least whoever edited Harley’s butt into every other scene in Suicide Squad knew well enough how to frame the butt properly and arrange the action around different shots of her butt. Assassin’s Creed on the other hand had no butts, which is ironic for a movie where the word ass appears twice in the title. I honestly have my doubts it even had a budget for special effects. If I was less lazy I’d do some sleuthing, this movie seems a lot like a Brazilian government contractor: “I know my price is $5M more than the other guys, but you take $2.5M and I take the other, or you can die, your choice” except when the project is finished instead of an award-winning journalist asking why the water is too dirty to swim in, it’s just me wondering exactly how much of your budget will the studio believe you blew on dust before they start asking where the money is really going.

A Greek Goddess in Waco, Texas … Raging Against the Machine through the act of Self-Immolation … Trendy Ways to Kill Yourself

Waco, Texas is sort of like a Michael Bay movie, it’s reputation precedes it. An American historical biography about David Koresh would be a Neil Armstrong leap for the Armageddon director however, it might even end up in the Library of Congress next to Top Gun if he does it right. But Waco isn’t all about sieges, there’s a building near the center of the town called the McLellan County Courthouse and outside that courthouse there used to stand three different statues: Lady Justice, Lady Liberty, and Themis. One June summer night in 2014 Themis took a beating from particularly bad wind gusts: county workers found her left arm the next morning on the courthouse lawn missing a thumb, the scales of justice were found nearby in a magnolia tree. It was the sort of interesting story that happens in a small town and gets picked up as page fillers for a dozen or so other small town newspapers in neighboring satellite towns, but is better suited for Kent Brockman’s It’s Funny When It Happens to Them file in the city they all orbit. Imagine you’re a journalist covering hard-hitting stories for small towns, asking front page questions like ‘will the new Wal-Mart run our town’s mom and pop shops out of business?’ while ‘overabundance of coffee and donuts at town hall regarding proposed development for massive, paved area with direct access to highway and main street as only six people show up’ is relegated to page 28 with the ‘international’ news. Then one day suddenly the scales of justice have quite literally tipped over, and that’s an interesting story, most people read it, but then the very next day you hear about this guy Charles Moore, a Methodist minister from one of those other small towns who drove almost a hundred miles that morning so he could set himself on fire in front of a Sophiztikutz in a strip mall as an act of protest of racism in the town. If you’re from deep in the heart of Texas you might write an article called ‘Madman or Martyr?’ and quote your police chief as saying “today we are a community of different ethnicities and racial makeups” and follow it up with the raw racial stats for every small town in the area, showing that the small town of Grand Saline, population ~3,000, is home to twenty black people, so technically, the police chief was right, there are definitely at least some different racial makeups in the town.

statue

First Themis and now my appointment at Sophiztikutz, fuckin’ Mondays.

What’s interesting about Charles Moore is that he was apparently one of only two people to self-immolate for political reasons in the United States for over a decade, the other was a man named Tom Ball, who set himself on fire outside of the Cheshire County Court House because he was (according to his suicide note) tired of “being bullied for being a man” by the family court system, it’s worth mentioning that Mr. Man also slapped his four-year old daughter and likened being labelled a domestic abuser in America to a “Jew in Germany in the 1930s” idiotically missing the one event in his life he could have actually likened to Jewish persecution under the Nazis. Later that same year, Themis was on display at an open house, having been under repair for most of the year – actually there’s a great article out there from a small town newspaper that reports a crowd of dozens of soda and water-sipping people showed up but fails to mention how many of them were black – to be fair that was 2011, it’s entirely possible that those twenty people simply hadn’t moved there yet.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control published a study in 1995 of the over 350,000 suicides in the United States between 1980-1992. The study makes absolutely no mention of burning of any kind. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has it’s own updated resources online however, and it’s interesting to note there is a category marked fire/burn. Is that burning flesh or the scent of a new fad? Is it time for apathetic trend-setters to trade in their half-shaved haircuts and converse shoes and fashionably classic hemp nooses for a can of gas and a box of matches? Obviously it’s not just for martyrs anymore. In 2013, 124 men and 29 women tried out self-immolation (presumably, ‘fire/burn’ could also mean jumping into a volcano or building a giant microwave and frying your brains from the inside out), in 2015, it was up to 131 men and 45 women – if you’re the chief of police in a small town, you might say that today the United States is a community of people who kill themselves in diverse ways. None of the available resources provide much details on the other suicide methods however, so far all we know in 2015, 95 people literally hammered the bullets into their heads as an act of protest and the government doesn’t want you to know, or more likely though probably something equally stupid like letting Jesus take the wheel. You have the admire the dedication of people who set themselves on fire have to killing themselves, with any luck most of them set a fire large enough that the carbon monoxide is what actually killed them, those unfortunate others took one of the most unbelievably painful ways out. As those numbers rise, it might not be something that just happens to townies for much longer, then the rest of us will have to start to worry about it showing up in our news too. Don’t forget to turn the flash off the next time you see someone lugging a jerry can around, oh and something something something reach out to someone in need.

 

Good Drugs for Bad Times

Finding good drugs in big cities doesn’t seem as easy as it used to be, in the West I mean, I have no doubt an eight-ball can be found with relative ease in Rio, or whatever they’re calling Formosa these days, though admittedly I haven’t had the chance to try my luck. I’m not talking about the kinds of drugs high school girls do before they’re inevitably raped by some meathead over a toilet as a busted stall door with swastikas scratched into it trembles, and who the hell does rohypnol for fun anyways? This baby et al. have mean tempers but they’re dim bulbs, the type who fetishize books but couldn’t tell you the last one they read. No, I don’t mean the ecstasy and ketamine easily available at any club you might find yourself in, it doesn’t matter which one, they all play the same color-by-numbers techno as you yell across the counter at the bartender “what else is for sale?” and he raises his eyebrows and dips a well-placed index finger into a tip-cup, you should have bought the lube in the vending machine by the toilet when you took that piss, because if you want to get past the gatekeeper in a strange city – you’re in for penetration. So what’s a traveler to do? You could always roam the urban landscape, that jungle of projects and low-income crackheads, with any luck a Caddy might pull up in the dim light of an all-night convenience or liquor store and a pimp-ass looking homie, with a little grease of course – $50 seems enough to suggest you mean business and are in possession of what economists call purchasing power, just may give you the address of a run-down crackhouse with less selection than a white college kid just out for a show on a friday night. But what about opium? Heroin? Even coke at times. The types of drugs those yuppie hipsters with their styled ‘lumberjack’ beards and plaid shirts and $699 shoes and clean white socks tend to shy away from, and of course they would, drugs are bad for business, and one mustn’t make the mistake of confusing these poseurs for anything other than what they really are: the latest generation of used car salesmen. Who can reasonably expect these baristas and so-called entrepreneurs to run cafes and hip new craft breweries, flip houses, go spelunking for true romantic love in the barren caves of apps and Christian dating sites only to find chicks who dick-ride until the next shiny thing comes along, and keep up with a vicious addiction? It’s too much, for them anyway.

Have you ever wondered why it’s ok to tell a smoker to quit smoking when they cough, but it’s quite a different situation to tell a fat person to go easy on the calories when they inevitably develop sleep apnea, diabetes, or can barely move around because the cholesterol has started clogging the nodes in their brains? It’s because you’re dealing with an addict. Gone are the days of smoking in well-decorated rooms while overzealous Asian businessmen offer you their best girls, that changed with Formosa and the onslaught of child sex-trafficking, and by the way, be wary of anyone who travels to the Asian parts of the pacific rim with glasses and white Nike shoes and a $20 haircut. Jesus, it’s a bad repeat of the 60s and 70s – they’re going there to fuck those people. It’s almost a shame the police forces over there are so corrupt, there’s no special treatment for pedophiles in those countries, they’d be thrown to the dogs, or fed to them more likely, I guess also be wary of any man who keeps dogs. But most western kids don’t get into that kind of trouble, they’re too fashionable, and 80s drugs are out of vogue, depression is in, hysteria is out, if they actually knew anything about mental illness they’d know the two are married and no good depression comes without hysteria, it’s like these self-proclaimed eastern philosophers haven’t even read the I Ching. You don’t see a doctor about depression, unless you want a result that takes 12-24 $100/hr sessions to ‘get to the root of’, no, you self-medicate or burn out, law of the jungle baby. But what do you do if the jungle is too fast for you? A tinch too furious? You go on safari with an armed guard of course, you don’t self medicate your crippling depression because what if those drugs are tainted? What if you catch AIDS from some junkie bitch who’s so fucked up she can’t keep track of which needles she’s stuck between which toes? Why chase expensive and dangerous thrills when there’s a faint feeling of being alive in valuum and xanies, highly-specific pornography, and the worst offender: sugar. More than a third of Americans are overweight, and the most abused drugs are painkillers, what the hell happened to drug-addled rock stars? Who are these fat fucks and their ugly disassociated kids and what happened to the Hell’s Angels that beat the shit out of Hunter Thompson? Actually, I can answer that, HA is still pretty active, at least in Canada, moving most of the weed grown in BC over to Montreal, it’s a long trip, but there’s money to be made and somebody had to step up.

If you’re not a trust-fund yuppie though, or you didn’t pull yourself up from your bootstraps with a small million dollar loan like President Pussygrabber, or you’re not a rich Arab kid who can’t stand this country anyway, you’re probably like the rest of us with mainly poor people problems, the least of which is finding better drugs to cope with it all. Raising rents, shitty phone plans, ugly fat kids, and have you seen how many commercials they run during a football game these days? And they want $140 a month for this steaming pile of marketable, safe for work, child-friendly horseshit? Those swine can kiss the hairiest part of my ass. Maybe some scum in marketing and advertising can explain why violence is acceptable for wholesome family-values American homes, but nipples are obscene? And how does dad’s trip to Taiwan last summer fit into all of this? Or maybe they’re all just symptoms of something else, like some cultural disease perhaps. Being a Dr. only in the loosest sense, it’s not for me to say whether gentrification is a symptom of changing attitudes and less hard drugs is another side-effect, or (more likely I believe) gentrification is the disease and less hard drugs is merely a symptom of sheltered yuppie kids moving in. The neighborhood has to be made safe and clean, the poor must be tamed or cleared out, Manifest Destiny 2: Electric Boogaloo. You have to wander out ever further to keep away from the new, sterile world they’re building, and if you want good crank you have to deal with the nazi pieces of shit outside biker bars, but hey, maybe pushing poor people into desperate places while leaving the drugs in the hands of nazis is one reason nationalism and disdain are steadily rising, what did you think those people were funding themselves with anyway, cookies and bake sales?

Francis Dashwood Founds the Hell-Fire Club, Not-So Secret Societies, my friends the Capitalists, and Herbert ‘Daring’ Dashwood Shacks Up in Tenpenny Tower

Sometime about 1755 Francis Dashwood, an English politician, founded the Hell-Fire Club in Buckinghamshire, it was almost two-hundred years before William H. Russell would form Skull and Bones at Yale, which was fifty-three years before Russell would rupture a blood vessel and die in defense of a bird, but around the time Peter the Great had an entourage known as the Jolly Company. Dashwood’s Hell-Fire Club was known for parodying religious rites, in this case Franciscan, and drunken debauchery much like Peter’s Jolly Company, which so offended the orthodox church in Russia with similar rites some even believed he was the antichrist. The Hell-Fire Club, much like the Jolly Company, didn’t survive the 18th century, the Jolly Company eventually became known as the All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters. They drank, they gave each other titles like Cock of the East and Archdeacon Fuck-Off, they drank some more, they rode sleighs and caroled on Christmas, they continued drinking, and like any good secret society its members tended to yield perks like political favors and influence. It was true for the Jolly Company, it’s true for Skull and Bones, and if the Illuminati exist, it’s probably true for them too. Of course the Jolly Company wasn’t really a secret society, but it was a notable society, and that generally means the society in question isn’t very good at the secretive aspect of being a secret society. It stands to reason that ‘secret’ societies like the Freemasons are either: the prima donnas of secret societies, somehow the secret societies that attract the people least capable of keeping a secret, or simply the worst secret societies out of an unknown number of actually secret societies. It wasn’t a very big secret for example during the 2004 U.S. election that Bush and Kerry were both Bonesmen, in fact there are some who believe that Skull and Bones is part of a global conspiracy for world control, as if it’s some big secret that Bush did in fact become the U.S. president, or that he wasn’t even the first Bonesman to become president. Apparently it’s a conspiracy to suggest that people of immense wealth and influence might generally wish to gain more wealth and influence, in the case of Skull and Bones who can count among its members: presidents, senators and U.S. diplomats, supreme court justices and judges, even a postmaster general, it seems safe to say its members are well-to-do. Maybe capitalists just struggle with believing the wealthy are anything but paragons of pure, undistilled, Christian American virtue.

Who are these capitalists, and why do they all want to be Facebook friends? If they were that cool to begin with, wouldn’t one willingly see how they’re doing from time to time and possibly inquire about grabbing a drink sometime and ‘how is the wife’ and ‘that’s nice, me too?’ That little blue f logo can be spotted now with the greatest of ease on hot dog and tampon packaging, on local ads and event listings in daily and weekly papers, not even the laundry room is safe from the unwanted corporate facebook friend request anymore, yes even your laundry detergent can now become your facebook friend. And with the recent popularity of craft breweries and a generation of millennials learning that red wine is like, really good with dinner on a friday night, a pack of cigarettes is about the only product that won’t ask to be your facebook friend, technically it’s not allowed to ask, but that only makes it seem cooler than that try-hard Big Mac, who has to constantly spam your phone and interrupt your other, less clingy apps like some annoying nice guy who just doesn’t get that it’s just about the meal really, and nothing more. If corporations are people, it’s pretty safe to say the people who have to buy their friends with $0.50 coupons and can’t even get a date, just saying, are losers. McDonald’s, the informal person would have the most inoffensive secret society anyway, based not around men of science, wealth, and politics, but safe corporate spokesmen like Jared Fogle Coca-Cola Proudly Presents Disney’s Wolverine: “Winners don’t do Mexican drugs kids, have a coke!”. There’s an alternate universe somewhere out there where McDonald’s is actually kind of a cool friend, and its secret society made Grimace an honorary High Priest of McDonaldsism and it really pissed off the Christian right-wingers in power, but we’re stuck in this shitty timeline. That, or Grimace knows how to keep his mouth shut and followers of McDonaldsism really do meet up every other thursday in Bob’s rumpus room to offer sacrifices of pickle relish and month-old mayonnaise to the God of Secret Sauce, we may never know the truth.

patented

You’re at home quietly enjoying a book and an earl grey, suddenly you hear the doorbell, it’s McDonald’s again, third time this week, but did it see you through the windows? Maybe if you sit perfectly still for a minute or two it’ll just go away, hopefully. The doorbell rings again, this time accompanied by a knock on the door, you’re afraid to move, you notice your dog Cooper looking at you as he crosses the room, your eyes meet and you try to whisper ‘shh’ but it’s too late, he starts barking at the door. McDonald’s knows the dog would be crated if the house was empty, it’s creepy just how much McDonald’s somehow knows about you when you’re not even that close. “I brought ice cream for everyone,” says the voice on the other side of the door, it’s warm, friendly, and inviting. You put down your book and stand up, thinking to yourself ‘ice cream does sound nice, now that you mention it,’
“What kind did you get?”

In 2207 another Dashwood is born to the Wasteland, Herbert ‘Daring’ Dashwood’s exploits will be broadcast on GNR radio and heard throughout the D.C. ruins. By the time of the show, Dashwood himself would have bought his way into Tenpenny Tower with his amassed fortune. Years after he inadvertently betrayed Rockopolis to slavers, it would seem Dashwood may find himself very comfortable among the likes of Alistair Tenpenny, who cradles his sniper rifle day and night, often shooting at unsuspecting ghouls. The tower itself was a resort for the wealthy and powerful before the great war of 2077, and two hundred years later would again become a bastion for the post-armageddon elite. Even in the future, you can’t get something for nothing, but it never hurts to know the right people, for example if you meet Mr. Burke in Megaton you have the option to detonate the nuke and blow up the city, which yields a key to a suite in Tenpenny Tower where you can always find a fresh, cold Nuka-Cola. Fallout presents a bleak outlook on the future, but there’s one thing you can be sure of, the capitalists will always want to be your friend, of course without the secret password, the handshake or the knock, a friendship can only go so far. The Hell-Fire Club gradually faded back into obscurity, Francis Dashwood almost caused a riot when he raised a cider tax, the All-Drunken Synod didn’t really survive Peter, and Tenpenny Tower’s fate isn’t sealed, the ordinary folk are still missing out on the political favors and influence, and what would they do with political favors anyway? Build a wall? At least in this day and age in the west, which is to say not a time of Christian sharia and prohibition, you don’t need to know someone to get that bottle of chianti on a friday night, and your weed dealer is probably already your facebook friend anyway.

 

On the US Election, the Corporatocracy, and War-Profiteering on Judgment Day

About a year ago I wrote that it really shouldn’t surprise anyone if ‘Small-Hands‘ Trump does well come election season, and now, well it’s all still looking very confusing. This last year has seen old-school Americans who actually understand the basics of American civics cling to hopes that their precious electoral college will do the right thing (ie not elect Trump) as if two Bush’s out of the last four presidents is somehow a good track record, while most others seem to be collapsing into childish name-calling and Reddit-quality conversation. The honest thing of it is, when all’s said and done, it’s really not all that bad, even the nightmare scenario of President Trump. You have to consider one very important thing, there are people in America who believe their Bible is the literal word of god, that Jesus was a white guy, that the apocalypse part at the end is going to happen and that when it does they’ll be rewarded in heaven, presumably because of what paragons of virtue and morality they all certainly must be. The problem with people like this, well one of the many problems with people like this is that heaven part, if you believe you will be rewarded after the apocalypse you become invested in bringing about that apocalypse, and sometimes these people have their fingers on nuclear buttons, and that’s scary. Say what you want about Trump, but it’s sort of a baby-step in the right direction for most Americans, if only for the fact he’s at least not overtly religious. A slowly developing democracy with basic freedoms will always be more appealing than fast, radical change (even if it’s liberal) because that change almost always comes with a free dictator, and not even a good one.

doom

You wish you had a leader that could declare Doomsday whenever.

Lately there’s been a trend in the western world with radical groups and ideologies becoming more popular, particularly fringe far-right beliefs. People who (rightfully) feel helpless are rejecting what they see as an establishment that doesn’t represent their interests, which interestingly enough happened to be homeless war veterans during the Syrian refugee crisis, but I haven’t heard a peep about helping ‘our own people‘ (by which the far-right means white people) since they were successfully assimilated into Canada and nothing blew up, but knock on wood. Ironically enough, the people on the far-right benefit from a corporatocracy that has reduced control of American media from 50 companies forty years ago to 6 today, it’s not that there aren’t reputable news sources out there or that people don’t have access to them, it’s that the vast majority represent the same interests and core beliefs, run the same advertisements, and most importantly only exist to create value for shareholders. In Hollywoodland, USA, violence is always out of control even though crime rates have been on a steep decline for the last half century, a crazy person’s doomsday predictions are national news, and ‘debates’ look like this because it creates that shareholder value.

Most people are not misinformed, most people understand two parties nominate someone and then there’s a vote, most people understand the basic policies as presented by the candidates and how they affect them, but even stupid people realize politicians all eventually start to look and sound the same. The major candidates fund their campaigns via the same corporate donors, they take centrist stances (or right-wing, as they’re known in the rest of the world) on most every issue, and sometimes even the same election headlines appear (a la Bush/Clinton) but with completely different people. Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, yes, bad, however, Obama authorized drone strikes (which have had an estimated non-military mortality rate of 20%), even Clinton sent troops to Yugoslavia and that’s not even the bad stuff, Eisenhower can add toppling democratically elected governments to the list. When the military-industrial complex smells blood, it doesn’t matter who’s in charge, blood means money, most people understand this.

value

Source.

From the outside it looks like a circus on fire, but there’s an undercurrent of progress, a confident zen. Have things ever really been worse from one generation to the next? Sure student loans blow and you have less play money than your parents used to, but to be fair they didn’t spend it on Iphones and Xboxes with monthly fees. The States doesn’t have a universal health plan for its people, but they’re moving closer, more people have access to these services than ever before. It’s definitely not a pretty picture yet though, the candidates are still owned by giants that have no loyalty to any country, the war machine must keep lumbering forward, and income inequality has never been worse, but, but – at the very least, if nothing else, we should be happy Americans aren’t rallying behind someone who believes the voice in their head is God. When the apocalypse comes it will be brought on because it made a very rich person slightly richer, and that’s what America is really all about.

Some Thoughts on Voter Apathy and Donald Trump

The year is 2017…

A crowd is gathered outside the White House, the streets are lined with police in military gear holding riot shields, though it’s worth pointing out a riot isn’t expected. Someone far from the White House, Matt, a twenty-five year old high school dropout who lately felt disillusioned with the politics he didn’t understand, is the first to notice it, the faint echoes of ‘I Am A Real American‘ playing in the distance, growing louder as the motorcade drives slowly towards 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A veritable Hulkmania grips the crowd, thousands cheer as the Hulkster passes by like this is his Roman Triumph, flexing his muscles on top of a limousine, bright flashes like fireworks reflected in his sunglasses. Cameras ahead of the SUVs and limos document every movement, Fox already owns the rights to produce a movie based on these moments, they want footage not for some boring documentary, but for their actors to peruse in preparation for the action-comedy ‘American Patriots, an American Story about Americans Living in America.’

american patriot

American audiences felt the movie wasn’t patriotic enough.

Well if you believe that could ever happen you’re just an idiot, right? Well, hold on there a second, let me explain something about politics in the United States: Almost half of eligible voters usually don’t show up on election day. Take a look at some past elections:

2012: 58.2% turnout of eligible voters
2008: 61.6% turnout of eligible voters
2004: 60.1% turnout of eligible voters
2000: 54.2% turnout of eligible voters
1996: 49.0% turnout of eligible voters
1992: 55.2% turnout of eligible voters
1988: 50.2% turnout of eligible voters
1984: 53.1% turnout of eligible voters

Obama won the 2012 election with 51.1% of the popular vote, while Mitt ‘Mighty Mormon Power Ranger‘ Romney claimed 47.2%. If you got ahead of me with the numbers here, you know that means only about 30% of eligible voters actually voted for the guy who won! Now, to be fair, voter apathy is hardly an exclusively American thing, in Canada, the current Prime Minister Stephen Harper won the 2011 election with 39.6% of the popular vote, the majority of the rest of the votes were split between two other parties – even though only 61.1% of Canadians cast a vote, the majority of those that did voted directly against the guy who won!

It’s scary to think about the kind of people who would show up to a Trump rally, of course some of them are actors, but he’s actually polling comfortably ahead of Jeb Bush and Ben Carson. To be fair, you do have to wonder about a guy who uses this as his campaign logo like he’s some ultra user-friendly website looking for investors, still, it beats the hell out of this.

alex2016

☭  Workers Unite! Eradicate Capitalism! ☭

Think for a minute about that large portion of voters that don’t show up for many different reasons, could it be that not having a very good understanding of politics is one of those reasons? I think so. You have to wonder about who exactly Trump is trying to appeal to with comments like these:

“Is our country still spending money on the global warming hoax?”
-Pfft, scientists! What do they know?

“They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”
-Trump learned about Mexicans from Special Agent Paul Blart.

“I have a great relationship with the blacks.”
-Unless ‘the blacks‘ are some family he gets along with, it’s pretty dehumanizing and shitty not to use words like people when referring to people.

It makes me wonder about that portion of Americans who don’t vote, imagine if they all showed up one day, imagine if they were all wearing Trump/Hogan 2016 shirts. Is it really so crazy? Jesse Ventura is a governor. Jerry Springer and Clint Eastwood were both mayors. Arnold Schwarzenegger had the nickname Governator. Celebrity politicians aren’t really that far-fetched.

facts are stupid things

Ronald ‘Facts are Stupid Things’ Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.

So does Trump have a chance? I think anyone who claims a definite answer to that question is talking out of their ass. Just imagine though, what if Donald Trump is what finally gets that other almost-half of the States to vote? What an irony that would be for poking those non-voters and telling them how important it is to do their civic duty! Would you still support democracy if you lived in a mental institution? I’m sure a lot of those voters don’t feel represented, don’t see the appeal in yet another Bush/Clinton campaign, or refuse to vote as a protest of their choices, but maybe democracy doesn’t really work outside of a highly enlightened society, maybe it’s time to consider Alex ☭ 2016.