Nihilism Revised is a Small Press with Big Ideas

nihilism

The opening pages of S.C. Burke’s The Weird: A Strange Novella tell you exactly what you’re dealing with. “THIS IS NOT MEANT FOR YOU. THIS IS DANGEROUS.”

While that kind of caveat might run the risk of coming off like a cheap throwback to 70’s slasher movie posters, it couldn’t be more true. This is NOT a book for most people, it’s a book for a select few who can wade in the mire and brave the miasma with their maw curled into a crooked smile and their eyes darting about full of lust.

It is fitting that the small press that put this book out is called Nihilism Revised because Burke’s book is just that. At once despairingly existential and crudely pornographic, ‘The Weird’ dares you to “swallow the swell” while contemplating hell, a hell very much located on earth.

The world is burning and we’re all bathing in the ashes. The rustic rivers and Dodge Rape-O-Rama vans of Burke’s novella may seem ultra-bizarro at first blush, but the more one meditates on the alternately sickening and fantastical imagery of this tome, the more familiar it becomes. This is us…and not in a NBC dramedy sorta way.

The speed tremors and spud guns are stacked haphazardly beside the serpents and soul suckers of this mighty tapestry of malevolent nature particles and it all comes brought to you in frenetic fashion by a negligent narrator who wants to fuck life like life has fucked him.

Sound like something you’ve seen before?

Not even close, bud.

This one might be greeted by some as little more than a Naked Lunch rip-off, but those patient and keen enough to brave its murky waters will discover something darker and, somehow, more transcendent than anything in the history of experimental fiction.

It should come as no surprise to me that I’m diggin’ this one as Nihilism Revised has been rising like gold fish to the top of the indie scumpond for some time. Last year’s Eat Your Keyboard by Zak A. Ferguson put their particular brand of petulant punk rock avant-garde on my radar and their anthology, Strange Behaviors, further fucked me in the mind.

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Full of lurid and laughable short stories from the likes of the aforementioned Ferguson, the artist formerly known as M.P. Johnson, Dynatox Ministries’ Jordan Krall and Ben Arzate, Strange Behaviors blends raw emotions with ribald humor and demented visions of hermaphroditic space koalas and technological atrocities.

A standout is Dani Brown’s story, “Satan’s Yeast Infection,” whose content is more of a gag-inducer than its title could even suggest. Brown may be the first author to use the phrase “butt weasel” and, considering the role she’s cemented for herself here, she may also be the last.

By the time you’ve made your way through Shaun Avery’s “Mime-Town Midnight Massacre,” you’ve experienced boundless reinventions of the rules of literature. Avery’s story in particular plays with structure in an exciting way that reminds one why reading can be such an adventure in the first place.

Nihilism itself may be characterized by a belief in meaninglessness, but many of the tales that Nihilism Revised’s writers weave have plenty of inherent meaning. And if you’re anything like me, they will mean a lot to you.

Eat Your Keyboard – Book Review

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This blog has never hosted a review before. I’m not in the habit of writing books reviews. Back in the day when I was a journalist for magazines like Kotori and Creem and the Long Island Press, I wrote album reviews, I wrote movie reviews, I interviewed vapid pseudo-punk rockers and called Jello Biafra’s hotel room at the scheduled interview time…and then called it again when he didn’t pick up…and then called it again when it continued to ring without an answer…and then told his publicist to send him a message for me: “Fuck off, you silly punk!”

No, I’ve never written a book review. But I’m writing this one because Zak Arthur Ferguson’s “Eat Your Keyboard” seems to send a similar message to the foppish wannabes, has-beens, never-weres and dilettantes of the modern world.

“Eat Your Keyboard” is a spirited tribute to a long-dead genre of writing, an homage to the automatic writing of William S. Burroughs that throws a cinder block through the plate glass notion that freewheeling writing can no longer exist in the digital age.

Ferguson gleefully toys with the people who would say that such writing is dead and does it in the sort of spastic, mental, balls-to-the-wall way that the Beats would’ve gotten a real boot out of. A boot to the head, that is.

Whether it’s talking tumors or cryogenics, the ebb and flow of the human mind, money, drugs or social media desperation, Z.A. Ferguson offers us an exploded view of what it really looks like as a disgruntled spectator. He writes with the eye of a true Gonzo journalist—sad, wired and angry.

His exploration of homophobia, class hatred and perpetual illness echoes what so many of us are feeling in the 21st Century–the emotions and impressions of a power-bludgeoned race of defeated palookas pressed into action only when mammon and money and status bray for us to toil.

It’s an ugly text, one that many readers will have a hard time with. But like Burroughs’ classic “Naked Lunch,” Eat Your Keyboard’s ugliness is delivered in beautiful, poetic words that resonate. Ferguson has done what so many others have attempted but failed at—to capture the voice and style of Burroughs without sacrificing the hypnotic prose and imagery that made his stuff worth reading.

And imagery it has in fits and starts, both in the writing itself and in the potent, in-your-face collages of Ferguson’s cohorts S.C. Burke and Max Ardron.

If you’ve got the spine and the testis to take your brain to the max, mark this one on your to-buy list. Its dark and demented vignettes may be the perfect tonic to the swill the mainstream press rams down our throats. It’s a saucy marriage between the literary and the bizarro with room for the intellectual and the profane.

And this ain’t ass-licking because we know how much Ferguson would abhor sycophancy. As his Acknowledgements page proudly blurts, “Acknowledgements are pointless. Why name drop? Why fuel someone else’s ego? Why give them that only one reason to buy this book? Why attract varied observations?

“Social climber. Moron. Wannabe. Familiarisation. Delusion. “They are my friends.

“No.”

No, indeed. So in keeping with Ferguson’s acknowledgements and the spirit of Eat Your Keyboard, I say, “Fuck off, you silly punk!”

****

Champagne Evil & Caviar Deals: Moving and Shaking With The Big Shark

sticky living adj., Slang

            1. Informal. an unhealthy, unorthodox or otherwise fringe lifestyle.

            2. the chaotic state of the world or the deplorable actions of its leaders, taste-makers or citizens.

“Money may go to bad people, but it

never goes to bad ideas.”—Kevin ‘Mr. Wonderful’ O’ Leary

Not here, pal! Not that trash. What Mr. Vuunderbra is saying right there is what New Yorkers call “breaking the devil’s dishes.” That means it flies in the face of reason. And when you hear him say it, you feel like turning him upside down like a newborn and spanking some sense into his flabby ass. Money may go to bad people, but it never goes to bad ideas? Then how do you describe the Pentagon asking for !fifteen billion! doll hairs to fund wargaming and to further their developmental efforts to turn America’s military into the Skynet debacle from the Terminator franchise with a battlefield overrun by A.I. killing machines? Or, for that matter, what about the Iran-Contra scandal of yesteryear or even, say, the raw skull-fuck that is this country’s gross outstanding Federal debt?

No, I have long believed that money is made on the backs of better men and, in Shark Tanker Kevin O’ Leary’s case, that may be more true than with damn near anyone else.

“One cannot suppress a certain indignation when

one sees men’s actions on the world-stage and finds,

beside the wisdom that appears here and there among

individuals, everything in the large woven together

from folly, childish vanity, even from childish

malice and destructiveness.”—Immanuel Kant

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Sharks generally feed on mollusks, crustaceans and other bottom-feeders. Kevin O’ Leary is one of them and he shares their diet, taking the little guy out at the blood vein and attacking the poverty-stricken, dining on their desire to live. He is a great white who swims in brackish waters with blood on his hands if not his teeth.

The self-proclaimed d-bag (O’ Leary has famously said, “Assholes get rich because they’re not afraid to ask for what they want.”) has publicly stated that the 85 richest people on the planet having as much money as the poorest 3.5 billion people on earth is “fantastic” and inspiring.

Three point five mil…it’s an interesting figure, perhaps most interesting because Mr. So-Called Wonderful (read: I need that nickname because my dong is smaller than the percentage of my buy-ins on TV) sold his first company to Mattel for 3.65 billion. That’s dollars, not poor, pathetic plebs. And before the deal was even completed, the company started showing unexpected losses. Did O’ Leary stick around to try and turn shit around? Sure he did…for all of a month before bouncing with his business partner. He didn’t see the Mattel cats again until he showed up in court to dispute the lawsuit they’d filed against him for his alleged accounting tricks, tricks, they charged, that were designed to overblow quarterly revenues and conceal losses.

Instead of conceding to any malfeasance, O’ Leary counter-sued…and the ballsy prick actually succeeded—you know, because the dude’s an achiever, after all—and came away with a $122 million settlement from the toy boys.

I first heard of Mr. Wonderful when BAE gave me the shitty choice of watching one of two shows. It was a soggy wet afternoon and a fog was thick in the cold air. There was nowhere to go and fuck-all to do besides hunker down with a case of Natty and watch Netflix…I said watch Netflix because I refuse to acknowledge that “Netflix and chill” is, has been or will ever be a thing. I’m a grown-up and, whether guzzling cheap beer and chain-smoking or rockin’ an ugly sweater, this is not fucking Spring Breakers.

“All right, you can either watch Mom with Anna Faris or Shark Tank,” she said. “What’s it gonna be?” It seemed like an obvious choice at the time, seeing as how I knew nothing of the latter and everything about the former.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I asked. “No poor, unrepentant male alcoholic wants to sit here and watch Allison Janney Twelve-Steppin’ it in granny panties. I didn’t like 2 Broke Girls and that had sweater meat for days, I damn sure don’t like network shitcoms when they’re tits-free and chock-a-block with tired AA humor. If I wanted second-hand Bill W. advice and weak kitchen sink humor, I’d just go to a fucking meeting.”

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In that moment BAE knew that her man had fucked up royally. The look in her deceitful, black little eyes said that she could tell I got it all wrong…I thought I was about to watch some Shark Week shit, maybe a SyFy original akin to Croctopus 3D. Definitely not what I was actually getting into.

The show came on and I choked on the foamy ass of my Natty can. This was another one of those godforsaken reality challenges, only this time it was that much worse—It was a show about the not-quite-idle rich parading their fucking checkbooks in front of a bunch of pitiful small-time troglodytes just stupid and desperate enough to get laughed off the stage, on live television, after sharing their addle-brained ideas for how to improve the Q-Tip.

I lasted through the episode and then through five more, for the same reason anyone would and everyone does—Because Mr. Wonderful is a supremely entertaining shit bird. He’s the cat you see yelling at some unfortunate and underpaid workman on his cell phone while he holds a fat finger up in the face of a cashier who’s asking him what he wants while a massive line of angry consumers forms behind him. And, as I’m sure Mr. Wonderful would gleefully agree, it is worth noting that those self-same consumers are doubtlessly buying something produced by one of Mr. Wonderful’s many portfolio companies.

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As we watched him talk smack with the contestants, the many lowly innovators pimping their piecemeal inventions, suffering through a litany of his advice phrases—lines as wacky as, “You have to be myopic and completely focused and unbalanced in every way.”—I wondered aloud: “Whose balls did this guy tongue to get here? Who died and made him King Shit?”

It wasn’t long after that when I thought I got my answer. I still don’t know who died, but I think I know whose nuts he had in his mouth when he was handed the golden chalice.

As we burned through episodes and I began doing independent research online, his body language began to look familiar and strange. There was something uncanny about the way the big, balding dick-in-a-suit moved.

“Of course,” I said to BAE. “I can’t believe we didn’t catch it sooner.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“That, what he’s doing right there?”

“Right where?” she said.

I pointed at the screen on her iPad where Mr. Wonderful had finally agreed to partner up with a contestant and was shaking his hand. “That’s the Grip of the Entered Apprentice. It’s the fucking Boaz! He’s got his thumb pressing on homeboy’s knuckle. Holy shit balls! He’s practically making the kid kneel and promise to conceal.” I shook my head vigorously. “Do you understand what this means? Mr. Wonderful’s a goddamn Mason!”

“Yeah, I know,” BAE blurted tiredly while trolling Buzzfeed on her phone and virtually ignoring my ire. “He does shit like that all the time. Haven’t you noticed the way he positions his hands, almost at all times? It’s the Illuminati pyramid, Bobby.”

It all became blisteringly clear after this—The Mephisto gaze, that sneering, smirking, condescending grill the dude wore. Mr. Wonderful had the eyes of an imp and the constitution of a high-tier demon.

Ever since then we’ve been watching the show religiously…very religiously. And I’ve been studying Mr. Wonderful and his impressive wealth and power, so that one day, when I grow up…I, too, can be a big-time succe$$ $tory. A-B-O-Z—Esto Perpetua.

Stabbing The Dog: A Lesson in Security

security1

sticky living adj., Slang

            1. Informal. an unhealthy, unorthodox or otherwise fringe lifestyle.

            2. the chaotic state of the world or the deplorable actions of its leaders, taste-makers or citizens.

It’s been awhile since I’ve touched this accursed thing. I’ve been hunkered down in self-seclusion, trying to deny that Christmas happened and that another year of turbid shit is in front of us. The world scene has scared the pants off me and I’m not taking any chances. If some poor, puny prick like Freddie Grey can get himself killed by cops, for no logical reason, and the first pig on trial gets his ass acquitted, then I’m not about to go outside in my Zombie-USA Obama T-shirt and my marijuana leaf dog tag necklace with a tall boy of Natty Ice held high. The world doesn’t reward individuals, after all, and now they’re putting them down like dogs.

In short, I’m feeling very insecure, and for a variety of reasons.

About a month ago, shortly after I’d lost my day gig as a fast food delivery driver and found myself plunged into financial uncertainty, I signed up for a course to become a security guard. The pre-assignment security certification program sounded like it was going to be legit, but all that changed when I slept through my alarm the morning of my scheduled class.

I leaped out of bed like a shark chasing chum and frantically dug through the pockets of my pea-coat, rifling around for my phone. When I found it I speed-dialed the phone number provided in the program’s confirmation email. The voice that picked up was that of a junkie on the nod. The lazy monotone droned into my ear: “Yyyello?”

Yeah, I was scheduled to come in for the course today and I’m having some car trouble.”

Radio silence.

Um,” I continued. “I was wondering if there was any chance I might be able to reschedule for next week’s class?”

I heard the junkie clear his phlegmatic throat, but not much else.

Hello?”

After a beat, he finally managed, “What’s your name?”

Bob Freville,” I said.

He said nothing for another minute, then he replied with, “Do you already have your license?”

The license he spoke of was the license you receive after taking the pre-assignment course, the very course I had signed up for. What this meant was that Barry Booger Sugar on the other end of the line didn’t have a clue what I had signed up for. What kind of operation doesn’t even note which class a student is coming in for? I wondered.

No,” I told him. “I’m scheduled for the pre-assignment course…the one you cats were holding this morning.”

So…you’re not a security guard,” Booger Sugar said.

No, I’m not.”

It went back and forth like this for a while until, finally, he agreed to mark me down for the following Saturday class. By the time I peeled my jaw off the receiver, my morale had taken a blow. This program did not instill a sense of security in me, not about the organization’s abilities nor about the money order I’d be handing over to them or the certificate I was supposed to be receiving from them at the ass end of eight long hours in a hard plastic chair.

When I arrived that following Saturday at the address they’d provided, I found myself in the rear car park of an industrial complex. The little sign they’d told me to look for, advertising them not as a security outfit but as a sports outfitters, was nailed to the side of a laser tag place frequented by ankle-biters and geeted pederasts.

I texted my girlfriend at once. “Wowwwwwww! What kind of backwards-ass thing did you get me into here?”

What’s the problem?” she responded.

This is the jankiest shitshow I’ve ever been to in my life!”

Which was the God’s honest; Greg, the man in charge, looked like a puffy lesbian in combat boots. He wore a purple scrunchie on his wrist, for no apparent reason (the man’s frumpy George Harrison ‘do was hardly long enough to pull into a pony nub). The walls were lined with amateur Inkjet posters that said incomprehensible things like, “You Laughed…Then I Laughed. Never Give Up! Never Quit! Stay Strong And Train With [Name of Program Redacted]!”

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The laser tag place was part of a larger amusement arena whose theme was zombies. In order to reach our class room you had to come through a pair of cracked glass doors with bent metal trim, pass a homemade wooden sign that read BEER with an arrow inexplicably pointed at the doors we’d just come through, and wind around corridors with concrete walls painted up to look like they’d been touched by the bloodied hands of juvenile victims.

We were only seated with our instructor, that oddly effeminate ex-cop with the purple scrunchie, for ten minutes of bogus talk time, before class attendees began to leave for the bathroom. It got so bad so quick with Greg’s lame and outdated banter about flash mobs and drones that he dismissed us for a ten-minute smoke break.

Outside the attendees, mostly bearded Right Wing couch potatoes, bull-dykes and desperate black men hungry for work, ambled about in disbelief. They muttered things like, “What is he talking about? How the fuck you gonna be a security guard, a security guard instructor, a part-time park ranger and a motherfuckin’ karate instructor?” All things Greg had claimed to be…and all of which he very well might be. All but one. Not long after I arrived I got a text back from homegirl, saying she’d looked Greg up online and found a post about his license getting revoked in 2013.

After two hours of not learning thing one about being a security guard, the people pretending to go to the bathroom didn’t even bother to come back. They took the sixty dollar hit and left for good. Nobody wanted to suffer this guy’s bullshit. The overall consensus in the room was a whispered, “Is this for real?”

As Greg talked to us about “verbal Judo” and pissed off the sole Muslim attendee by referencing the “dirtiness of Jihad,” he was regularly interrupted at fifteen-minute intervals when little hard plastic balls would shoot over the open ceiling of the play area and hit the metal grading over the class room door.

Just the kids on the obstacle course with their guns,” he’d say in the way of an apology and we’d all cringe.

What sort of blind and ignorant faith would we have to have in this dude’s ability to teach us how to be competent security guards if he couldn’t even secure his own class room from a volley of attacks by armed children on Ritalin?

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Security is a damn hard thing to come by these days. We’re living in an age where everything seems to be bat-shit crazy and upside down. People in Beijing are so desperate for clean air that they’re snatching it up in bottles from a pair of Canadians. Condom dispensers are killing petty thieves. The other day, an Aussie chick boarded a train with an apparent thirst for segregation between the sexes, and threatened a dude with a chisel, shrieking, “I’ll stab you, dog!” People are turning strange all over.

chisel

Our celebrities are under fire for making spare scrilla by entertaining Angolan dictators, our own president is licking the ass of a Russian monster, and all the news points to a world on the brink of such irreparable collapse that we’d have to have a fully-stocked fortress and computer chips in the balls of our feet to survive in any other way than on the balls of our ass.

The religious zealots are even going so far as to say that, very soon, the End Times will arrive in the wake of a “giant breach in our magnetic field.”

When Scrunchie Greg wasn’t making strange remarks about the lack of intimacy in porn, spitting out statements like, “You can’t make love to hard plastic,” he was showing us videos of how a kid in Australia jeri-rigged his toy drone to blow up wooden dummies and tear apart a jungle with fiery red blasts of machine gun fire.

The fundamentals of Greg’s program were simple enough, at first blush, or at least sounded that way. The nuts and bolts consisted of the following: Your job as a security guard is to a) Detect, b) Deter, c) Report, d) Prevent and e) React (on incidents already in progress).

Sadly, Greg also informed us that we wouldn’t be allowed to use brass knuckles, chukka sticks, billy clubs, blackjacks, bludgeons or police batons to defend ourselves, our employers or our employers’ property. We were also informed that we’d have to procure a pistol permit and sit in his janky class for an additional forty-eight hours worth of classes if we wanted to become armed guards.

So there you have it: Detect, Deter, Report, Prevent, React. When I heard him say it, it reminded me of that recording that comes over the speaker at train stations and subway stops. “If you see something, say something.”

Well, it’s easy enough to detect a man hacking another man’s head off in broad daylight and even more noticeable when a middle-aged woman tries to reason with the madman. It’s tougher, however, to think you can reason with other people’s crazy, including the kind of crazy belonging to a woman who’s bugfuck enough to think she’d change homeboy’s mind. Deterring something’s not easy to do when you’ve got hot sauce in a spray bottle and your enemy’s standing there in Kevlar with a machete.

The problem, as I see it, is that security does not truly exist. It’s an illusion. We believe that law enforcement officers are there to protect us, only to open a news website and find that a group of them have brutalized a kid or power-bludgeoned some drunk bitch into blowing them to get out of a parking ticket. We believe our insurance will protect us, only to come down with some terminal disease and come to find that our premium doesn’t cover the requisite surgery.

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In America, as in other parts of the world, the 99% have no financial security. We labor under student loan debts, credit card debts, and mortgage payments, and some of us live in municipalities where the local town and village halls hike up annual taxes on the reg. Rental and land prices have gone up so much in New York that we’ve seen a mass exodus of 154,000 people during the twelve months ending in July of 2015.

The proof is in the proverbial Jello pudding—we’re all getting raped.

BAE waited to ask me how the course went after I’d had time to drink off three beers. She could tell from my bleary, bloodshot blues that I was exasperated. It had been a hard day’s night of watching Scrunchie Greg argue with the Muslim over the true meaning of Jihad, which the Muslim gentleman translated as “the struggle,” and I felt like ignoring our instructor’s twenty-one foot rule and rolling up to a cop with a pellet gun in one hand and my balls in the other, shouting, “I’ll stab you, dog!” I figured that would perplex the pig just long enough for me to drown his face in that hot sauce. Then I’d have his ear and I could talk to someone in the know about the absolute lack of security in this country and in parts unknown.

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The state we’re all in, that is the true Jihad, the bona fide Struggle. And no pubic safety official or beefy blue balls patrolman is going to save us from that information. We can be secure in the knowledge of this and only this: The Administration will lie, innocent people will be accosted completely unfairly, your landlord will cut off your water when your check bounces, and the fit will always hit the shan.

Sitting through eight hours of weak jive about speech sensitivity, analysis of access control and extinguisher station sites did fuck-all to make me feel like I’d be comfortable working in a place that could, for any strange reason, burn down, fill up with water, get sold off to third party interests–thus leaving its employees terminated–or get attacked, either by foreign parties or by a military quarantine.

When BAE got her balls about her and inquired about the class, I decided to practice a bit of that verbal Judo. Greg had stressed the importance of speaking in familiar short-hand, deflecting your opponent’s abuse and stripping phrases to their bones. I told her what I would have told that phantom police officer. “I ‘preciate what you’re doing, but it would be great for both of us if you just wouldn’t.”

Sticky Living With James Deen

“I did not care for what is known as ‘pleasures of the

flesh’ because they really are insipid; I cared only for

what is classified as ‘dirty.’ On the other hand, I was

not even satisfied with the usual debauchery, because the

only thing it dirties is debauchery itself.”—Georges Bataille

This one’s gonna be extra sticky. Okay, here are the raw balls. We all awake to the same grim headlines: “Diabolical Terrorist Plotting,” “Man Accused Of Raping Couple Day After Shooting Student In Stomach,” “Relatives Arrested After Woman Dies In Exorcism,” “New E. Coli Strain Terrifies Scientists,” “Asteroid Heading Toward Earth,” “No Media Permitted Within Jade Helm Military Training Exercise,” “El Chapo Vows To Destroy ISIS,” “ISIS Vows To Dominate Syria.”

It’s such a pervasive part of our everyday lives that we’ve become all but completely numb to it. The lousy, vicious news comes with such violent frequency that it’s gotten so that we’d only really be disturbed if a day went by and we didn’t hear about any shootings or bombings or general bedlam. No news is good news? Bullshit on that! No news would be scary. Radio silence. It’s deafening.

I expect certain things as part of the New Status Quo; it’s a given that the government will be spying on me and mine, that we will always be at war, that someone will always be trying to kill me and my fellow countrymen and that, in the immortal words of Jim Morrison, people are strange. I anticipate my neighbors turning cray-cray and trying to collapse my skylight and cave my head in with a ball peen hammer. I’m ready for the day someone tries to stab me with a dull knife to get their hands on my iPad or because they disagree with my opinions on Pitbull and the like. It’s business as usual.

Which is why I was shaken out of my terminal desensitization when women began to go public with allegations that porn star James Deen had raped them. There are a select number of things that one holds as sacred and porn has always been one of mine…even though I’ve always secretly known it was as shady and corrupt as any other form of entertainment in this country. You expect porn stars to be like demi-gods or protectors, officers of a sort who are there to be your vicarious Supermen, constantly restoring your faith in the fantasies that you know, in your heart, will never come true…not for you and not for any other guy or girl you know.

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They are there to produce impossible orgasms in their co-stars, they are there to be your sexual surrogates. So what does it mean when your sexual surrogate is a sadistic hartebeest, a drooling, fanged monstosity with hairy palms and grimy appetites? And what does it say of modern man and his moral core if contemporary porn has bred rapists?

My slavebitch Trixie and I have not bumped uglies since the James Deen quagmire began. And I don’t suspect we’ll be screwing again any time soon, for no other reason than guilt—if we do our thang our way, engaging in our personal, preferred forms of strange, will we be perpetuating something wrong?

The answer, of course, is no. Everyone is entitled to their private sexual quirks. Fetishes are for everyone, so long as they are healthy and discreet and don’t damage someone else’s life or psyche. But the fact remains, the morale and the genitalia wither like raisins in the wake of our modern role models being revealed as human garbage.

Whether or not Deen proves out to be a rapist makes little difference since shit like this, and the Bill Cosby situation, have already broken something in the American consciousness. It’s too late to turn back once you’ve gazed into the proverbial abyss and seen your reflection as little more than shit.

I’ve known, at least since attending 2013’s Exxxotica Expo in Edison, New Jersey, that the porn world is a sketchy one. Walking down the dank corridors of that event and coming face-to-face with cannoli stands conjured images of Deep Throat producer Damiano, the classic picture of a Mobbed up industry backed by criminals and thugs and a cast subject to doing everything from fucking dogs—as Linda Lovelace did in her infamous loop—to getting it on with a bottle of carbonated cola dumped in their cooch (if you’re a young lady unfortunate enough to find yourself in one of those old Max Hardcore joints).

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Anyone alive during the golden showers or golden age of the Internet knows that there is a positive and charitable side to adult entertainment as well. No doubt, you’ve got your Fuck A Fans and your Hump The Bundles and even Pornhub Cares with their Annual Pornhub Scholarship (a program that offers $25,000 for a legal age college student to use toward tuition). And, of course, the industry takes care of its own by testing them regularly for sexually-transmitted diseases. But for every Sydnee Steele or Sara Jay, there’s at least one slimy grundleworm like Ron Jeremy, himself an alleged rapist and the slovenly hedgehog that lead the way for such gnarly and unspeakable things as The Minion to be visited upon pretty and desperate little girls.

And that’s where the bedrock skullfuck of this situation starts—in porn itself. Gone are the days of Emmanuelle and Deep Throat or even something as seemingly decadent as Caligula. The world of sex films has changed so much from its initial, classical form of art film-meets-fuck-flick that it is hardly even recognizable if held up to what came before. Narratives are non-existent, dialogue is all but completely improvised, mostly consisting of dudes laughing and yolking each other to make fun of the girl who’s wearing their sperm worms on her eyebrows and in her nostrils, and music no longer matters; the only noise you’re gonna notice in these things is the grimy shit the male actors have to say about the chicks they should realize they are beyond lucky to be nailing.

And it’s not just the chicks who are sinking to new lows on the small screen, receiving loads directly on to their eyeballs and drinking punch bowls full of spunk for the sake of satisfying some demented cat’s idea of comedy through humiliation. It’s also the gentleman or what passes as gentlemen in contempo-erotica. The aforementioned Minion spends as much time making William Hung look like a scholar as he does doing the poor ladies he lures to his ramshackle crib.

Sites like Kink, which have now severed ties with James Deen after the rape allegations reached a total of ten, appear to be manufactured specifically for the sickest fucks who walk these sullied streets. Homegirl showed me a video from their page that, like all others, took place within the dark, damp confines of their dungeon-like building—the former-San Francisco Armory—and all I could think after watching just ten minutes of it was, “This has to be evidence in a monstrous legal case.” The men tore apart the actress’s clothes, whipped her, kicked her, chased her and choked her, all the while she cried and begged for them to stop in a way too convincing to not be at least somewhat real. There are very few porn actors, after all, who could hand in a performance worthy of Laura Dern and fewer still that wouldn’t be doing straight acting with that kind of talent.

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In a hideous stroke of irony, the one time my girl and I ever discussed James Deen, prior to Stoya’s initial allegations of rape, was after she had watched one of his videos online and insisted I should see it too. She loaded it up for me and marveled at how attentive Deen was to the girl with whom he was performing. She noted the almost romantic way he worked with her, both verbally and physically, despite the aggressiveness of his spanking her and flipping her around like a new pillow.

And therein lies the difference, if it really needs to be said, between rough sex and rape. My girl and I can choke each other, we can slap each other, we can pee in each others’ mouths or decide we want to throw food at each other, if that’s the kinda kink that gets our jollies. But there’s a massive parcel of land between consensual BDSM and some fruitcake disregarding a co-star (or lover)’s safe word. If we go on the word of Stoya, Deen is one of those fruitcakes, a sociopathic slime who shits on your safe word and, according to Ashley Fires, sticks it in your shit chute without you asking for it.

'The Canyons' Premiere - The 70th Venice International Film Festival

VENICE, ITALY – AUGUST 30: Actor James Deen kisses his girlfriend Stoya at ‘The Canyons’ Premiere during The 70th Venice International Film Festival at Palazzo Del Cinema on August 30, 2013 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

A select few have come to Deen’s defense, such as pop modernist author Bret Easton Ellis who says Stoya’s accusations come from an unstable person fueled by jealousy. But not many. His advice column was yanked faster than you could pull out your prick and homeboy’s a pariah among the porn sites and organizations. Perhaps because even the lowliest of smutmongers knows that rape is not supposed to be something we scoff at in America.

When it happens on campuses, outfits like Rolling Stone are so fast to get the scoop that they don’t even bother fact-checking. And when it happens to a group of black women, at the hands of an Oklahoma City pig, the people look for blood or, at least, incarceration for life and then some. We chemically castrate people in this country and, in those areas that we don’t, most chi-mos and rape-happy offenders get their choads hacked off by fellow inmates. Because even common criminals know the difference between what’s subject to a short bid in lock-up and what’s righteously unacceptable.

There have been places and times throughout history when folks turned a blind eye to sexual abuse or even celebrated it. Sartre sucked Georges Bataille’s asshole in affectionate blurbs for Bataille’s classic tale of conjugal horrors Story of the Eye, and the Marquis de Sade is venerated less for being a philosopher or a satirist than he is for producing Juliette and similar volumes of buggery and barbarism. But not us. America is a society of violent people with violent tendencies and an appetite to watch violence, on TV and in movie theaters as well as in our daily news. It is not, however, a society opposed to people’s personal and civil rights. Not on the whole anyway.

Daniel Holtzclaw

FILE – In this Sept. 3, 2014, file photo Daniel Holtzclaw, center, arrives for a hearing in Oklahoma City. Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer, is accused of sexually assaulting 13 women while on patrol. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

There are laws in this country to protect people against a stranger coming in off their fire escape and teabagging them with a gun to their tits, just as there are laws in this country that say you can get a fair trial if someone should falsely accuse you of the same. And, naturally, there are laws against libel, slander and defamation of character. Which is where this really gets interesting.

The ten women who have come forward with these hideous things to say about James Deen could, in all fairness, band together for a class action lawsuit against him. They could demand punitive damages for what he’s allegedly done to them or on them or in them. But they haven’t. This fact makes it plain that these women are not looking for attention—except, maybe, for that desperate Reality prat Farrah Abraham—or, in the very least, not digging for gold. It doesn’t seem that it’s money they seek, rather it looks like they want others to be warned of what Deen is capable of.

On the flip side, you’ve got Deen brushing off the allegations as being bogus but doing nothing in the way of an innocent man (,i.e.: no lawsuit for defamation or slander). For a guy who claims he didn’t hurt anyone, he doesn’t come off as more than mildly miffed that these chicks are damaging his rep.

I talked to a drunken asshole the other night after exiting an all-night bodega. As I left the store with my usual vices tucked under my arms and the collar of my peacoat held together at the neck against the chilling midnight wind, I saw the haggard fuck sitting on an overturned shopping cart. He looked like he was on the nod, but out of nowhere he began shouting at a chick in skintight drawstrings that came out after me.

“You shouldn’t harass a woman like that,” I said.

“Nah,” he said, waving a callused hand at me. “That ain’t hasslin’ a bitch. You heard about that James Deen dude?”

I told him I had and, after a mercifully short conversation, I asked him what could compel a guy who can fuck all these hot women and get paid for it to commit the act of forcible sodomy. Without raising his eyes from the brown paper bag in his fist or so much as scratching his chin, the scruffy little shitheel said, “Man who can get all the pussy he wants on the reg? That’s a dude’s gotta find new ways to get it up and feel powerful ’bout himself. Pussy’s just like every damn thing. Nuff of it and your ass gets bored real quick.”

There are the raw balls right there, I thought. Case closed…before it’s even been opened.

That leaves only confusion, a confusion that will, sadly, end in the inevitable way so many scandals do—by the whole thing losing the limelight to the next scandal in line. Nobody’s mentioning the Pudding Man much these days, except to call James Deen “The Bill Cosby of Porn.” The story of Deen’s diddling the unwilling and choking girlfriends out in their sleep will fade from the headlines, but the cheap, nauseating feeling that comes with knowing that we’re the kind of people who could think about raping someone and then, one day, finding ourselves doing it, is a feeling that won’t fade…or, at least, shouldn’t.

Let Them Live Mas or Why We Need To Dump Trump

I came home to our crummy apartment, on the night of the latest Trump rally, with the wrong beer. My girlfriend was faced with a difficult decision: Under one arm I had a case of our signature Natty Ice. Full bodied rocket fuel with a bitter kick that never quits. 5.9% alcohol. Under the other, looking pitiful, was a case of Natural Light, a watery swill with just 4.2% that I had purchased out of desperation when I discovered all our neighborhood stores were out of the Ice.

I told BAE that she should bite the bullet and settle for the Light, but she wasn’t having it. Instead she burned gas and midnight oil driving balls deep into the Boonies to find an all-night bodega that had another case of Natty Ice in stock. This meant two things: 1) We’d be late for The Donald’s appearance at the rally and would have to watch it later online, and 2) BAE doesn’t buy into what’s easiest or most convenient; she is not going to vote for Trump just because we are firmly opposed to Hillary and Bush. She’s not gonna vote for him. Period.

If she wants a Twinkie, she’s not gonna settle for an expired Jamaican beef patty. Sticky living or no, we are people with standards, and what that means is, we won’t settle for the shittier of two shit sandwiches.

We knew Trump would be a front-runner before he curried favor with anti-immigration wingnuts and we knew he’d be a front-runner before he promised to fund Social Security instead of slicing and dicing. We knew this because we own televisions and we’ve stayed in swank hotel rooms, because we’re Americans and we love and respect money and power and success and trophy wives and tailored suits and the kinda cool kids who can shoot their cuffs and comb their merkins and terminate people’s employment on televised events, all at the same time, with impunity.

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But we also knew we wouldn’t be voting for him. We knew this long before he became the patron saint of ethnocentricity and started babbling about banning all brown people who don’t call God by his proper name from entering these Divided States of Amerika. Hell, we knew it before he started miming the erratic movements of a spastic and sending poor handi-capable journalists into fits of helpless sobbing.

We knew this because we’re burrito people. BAE and Bobby don’t believe in chuck beef hamburgers and flagsucking haters. We’re more elegant than that. We operate on the notion that in a truly free country nobody has to scarf down Freedom Fries and suck the toes of a billionaire madman who decides to become the Leader of the Free World because he’s conquered every other avenue of commerce and come out the other end bored. In our America we enjoy things like having Mexicans to do the dirty jobs we were born too lazy to do. We get off on living in a world where people like us, stoned for sleep and sucking down the ass of a Natty Ice case, can zip over to Taco Smell and order a Fourth Meal.

Burrito people are a special breed. We sleep late and believe in “conspiracies” and refuse to accept every well-coiffed talking head at face value. We Live Mas and when bureaucrats come knocking, squinting and grinning and trying to shake our hand, we assume they’re Jehovah’s Witnesses and we slam the door in their faces and scream, “No mas! No bueno!”

There are other burrito people too, such as the Mexican criminals in Juarez who have gone on record as saying that they’re not at all afraid of Trump’s fist-wringing about walling them out of the US.

Yes, we are the burrito people, and if someone like The Donald has his way, we may become an endangered species. But not yet…not before we at least spread the word about what a wretched, spurious candidate and human he really is.

Trump is the anti-Kennedy, a man who built an empire with borrowed money. He’s the privileged kid whose father loaned him a “small” amount of money to get started…a small !MILLION DOLLARS! A sum The Donald was apparently not pleased with. “It has not been easy,” he said at a New Hampshire town hall meeting in October.

No, it hasn’t been easy, not in America where things are tough all over. But for Donald, a cat who can allegedly pay off actors to cheer him on during a presidential campaign announcement or demand (and fail to receive) five mil to participate in a GOP debate, it’s been pretty fucking smooth sailing.

If the Kennedys were the guys that went to school in hand-me-downs and built their empires brick by brick by slaving and saving, Trump’s the cool kid who zipped into the faculty lot and parked his daddy’s Beemer in the principal’s spot…and paid the Hall Monitor to tear up his demerit.

Donald Trump Holds Rally In Manassas Virginia

MANASSAS, VA – DECEMBER 02: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally December 2, 2015 in Manassas, Virginia. Trump continued to campaign for the Republican nomination for U.S. President. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It’s not just the spoiled brat background, the obnoxious antics or the gestapo-style posturing on wall-building immigration that makes this cocky shit-weevil such a monstrous scumbag of the deep. Perhaps the scariest thing about the creature with the Stepford offspring and the sexy child wife is that he might WIN. Nothing is more terrifying than the realization that the people you share physical space with, the dudes standing right behind you in line in a dimly lit all-night bodega, might be capable of voting for such a THING.

Burritos can cause heartburn and they may betray you gastronomically, sending you off to the shitter to spend forty five agonizing minutes in intestinal distress. They may lead to anal prolapse or scorch your ass cheeks with molten lava. But, unlike the All-American hamburger, they’ll never pretend to be something they’re not. Burritos aren’t cut with meal worms. They’re not maggots, and they’re not frozen, at least not at a genuine Mexican restaurant. They also never turn anyone away because they don’t speak their language.

STICKY LIVING AT THE DEBATE: EVIL PARROTS & THE ARC OF INSTABILITY

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I urge you all to avoid the polling places this year and save your vote for when it might actually, one day, count toward anything whatsoever. I say, “Don’t vote!” And before you lose your shit and start an online lynch mob, aimed at tearing me apart verbally, if not physically, I ask that you hear me out…

BAE and I were balls deep into a 30-pack of Natural Ice when the Democratic National Debates came on her tablet and power-bludgeoned us out of our inebriated psychic inertia. Our morale had already grown sour after I’d asked her what exactly it means for Stop N Shop to be selling drones at the affordable price of $79.99.

“It’s not enough that the government’s taping our phone calls, recording our texts, and you’ve got Facebook policing us for the purpose of selling our personalities to ad agencies, but now our own neighbors, some of them chi-mos or violent guttersnipes, are gonna be able to launch these fuckers in the air and watch us as we sleep with froth in their mouths and razor wire around their cocksicles?!” I took a long, thirsty swig off my can, adding, “And how hard is it for these Smartphone-wielding punks to outfit these things with armed weapons or blinding lasers? If some junior high shittter can find a way to hack the CIA, how am I to feel secure while cranking one off in the privacy of my own crib?”

BAE fixed me with swimming eyes and zero fucking patience and said, “It’s just a fucking toy.”

“Ho!” I couldn’t believe the chick I called BAE was being like that, let alone that I had sunk to the level where BAE was an acceptable term of daily endearment. “Really?” I said. “Lemme tell ya a coupla three things. One: They’re all toys. You think Ash Carter doesn’t like to play with his toys?

“And how about Putin. Or Un! Aren’t they all just itchin’ to try out their toys on the peasants and piss-ants of their respective shitholes?”

A night of binge-watching network television shows had made us soft but ill-tempered, leading to a tempestuous fight about what constitutes a “stupid” television show and where the American attention span is left in the wake of YouTube and Instagram.

But none of these bones of contention, none of these idle conversations about the culture, could prepare us for the bone in the throat that was this year’s Democratic Debate. Nor, for that matter, could the Republican Debate we’d watched in its entirety earlier this year, despite the fact that it was, by and large, the same three-ring circus of evasive rhetoric and bogus posturing as this one would prove to be.

A pus-colored anal gland or sac yanked straight out the wrong end of a beaver (the kind that live in murky water, not within the drawstring cookie pants of your personal BAE) is a key ingredient in French Vanilla ice cream, fruit-flavored drinks and even yogurt. You’ve been gnawing on beaver sacs your entire life, but you never knew it, and the reason you didn’t know it is because Breyer’s Ice Cream and Dannon Yogurt aren’t about to throw that information on the front of their containers. This is the same reason why hearing politicians take to the pulpit is about as educational as staring at a box of Dove bars—you’re not going to learn anything you didn’t already anticipate them saying and you’re sure as shit not about to find out any of their nausea-inducing secrets.

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The candidates on stage at Drake University, on November 14th, weren’t some gourmet gluten-free non-GMO luxury item at your local Whole Foods, they were your typical 60% Less Fat, 99.9% Full of Shit junk food superstore specials…just like they always are.

“This is gonna be bad,” I told BAE as soon as the sweeping logo had shot off the screen, replaced by the unfortunate visages of the night’s moderators.

“I know,” she spat begrudgingly. “Remember John Kasich? He actually expected everyone to believe the shit he said about gays at the GOP debate? It’s gonna be that shit all over. I can taste it.”

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BAE’s tongue was white with the viscous film of grime that comes off the screen in waves at things like this. I wondered how long into the proceedings before one of us lost our dinner. Television viewing like this was guaranteed to produce several quarts of bile.

The first thing I realized was that Bernie Sanders, a decrepit dude who looks like some Arthritic pederast, perpetually grinning or grimacing, because he’s gotten this far without getting caught, has emerged as the Democrats’ equivalent to Ben Carson. In short, he’s more educated than his peers and makes more sense than his adversaries, but he’s only being carted out and paraded around as a sort of runners-up prize, in lieu of winning. Sanders is to the upcoming election what Fred Thompson was to the 2008 campaign, a glorified court jester for the true winners in this game.

He looked like a front-runner up until now, for no other reason than he hadn’t had a forum to really say anything of substance. Now that he has, the polls agree that the carnivorous former-First Lady is the king bitch of the ball, having blown Bernie’s balls to bits…even though all three speakers were really just saying the same shit. This was an inevitability, since Sanders cuts a figure akin to a lecherous grandfather who shouts when he speaks and spits food remnants at you. But it’s an inevitability that not everyone saw coming.

In fact, as the record will show, Ole Bern was the only cat who had anything interesting or unique to say and, no doubt, the only of the three candidates on display with a seemingly earnest interest in reforms that will actually help people. It’s for this very reason that Ye Olde Sandbag Sanders has screwed the pooch; he’ll never win now that he’s expressed a more Radical agenda. I could almost hear the people behind the scenes bleating at the old booger, “Corrupt campaign finance system?! The government doesn’t belong to us, it belongs to the one per what?! Credit unions are the future of America?!! Really, Bernie? Really?! We don’t pay you to think!”

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While She Who Is Haunted By The Ghost Of Vince Foster [Hillary Clinton] prattled on about Radical Jihadist ideology, in terms that oddly echoed the speeches of Duh-byuh, and everyone else, including Lady Pant Suit herself, leaped at their chance to take a strong stance on the issue of ISIS, Bernie made plain that he had more on his mind.

“These invasions have unintended consequences,” he said, at one point, refusing to go into more detail.

But later he got into the real shizz he wants to see happen: Reform on how we spend our money, full fiscal responsibility, and the real kicker—redistribution of wealth.

“Trillions of dollars have gone to the one percent,” Bernie said, adding that they pay zero in income tax, stashing their money away in the Cayman Islands.

And the crux of his redistribution plans would start with the lower-middle class where he says he believes that everyone should be making fifteen dollars an hour as minimum wage.

It was, at this point, that I burned a hole clean through the leg of my leisure pants while I collected my lower mandible from the floor. It sounded too good to be true and, of course, it probably was. Waxing philosophical about the Marxist school of thought, Foucault famously said that we labor under the unfortunate delusion of an earnestly well-meaning authority or, in his words, a “longing for a form of power innocent of all coercion, discipline, and normalization. On the one hand, a power without a bludgeon and, on the other hand, knowledge without deception.” This longing is just a longing and my addled brain highly doubted it was any different in the case of this dusty hominid Sanders. Any grocer’ll tell ya, it’s basic Supply and Demand. Bernie seems to be little more than the latest model on the market. We’ll know, for sure, after Election Day next year.

In the meantime, I looked over and found that BAE had drifted off in the driver’s seat. The debate wasn’t underway for more than fifteen minutes and already she’d had enough, the sting of it had gotten her.

Raising my bloodshot blues back to the tablet’s screen, I could see Bern jumping on that oyster-sucking suit O’ Malley’s bandwagon, saying we can’t turn our backs on our troops. And Martin O’ Malley, with his puff piece vanilla prayers for Paris hokum, promising “fresh approaches,” but failing, as all candidates on both sides of the coin typically do, to address exactly what those approaches will be.

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“They’re all saying the same goddamn things!” I shrieked as I bit straight through the aluminum rim of my Natty can. But BAE was not roused to action by my outburst, just as I was not roused to action by the words of the candidates on CBS. Just like the Republican Debates before it, the whole shit show was nothing but demoralizing in its monotony and predictability. Like watching a demonic possession movie and only halfheartedly expecting it to break new ground.

Clinton: We will support those who take the fight to ISIS. [But] this cannot be an American fight.

O’ Malley: We’re best when working with our allies.

And Sanders for the truly bizarro bath salts take on things with his braying about climate change being directly related to International terrorism. All of ’em taking every opportunity to make the entire night about ISIS, instead of pitching their vision for the country.

It was a classic case of the D.D.O.’s. Digression, Distraction and Obfuscation.

Clinton shot off at the mouth about “people of color,” and her coming from the Sixties “School of Activism,” and O’ Malley said that [place hashtag here] “black lives matter” and that he has the most experience with urban issues. No one mentioned the attack on Beirut, nor did the mainstream press which, needless to say, rubbed Beirut the wrong way, as we’d see two days later, when the NY Times ran a piece about the Lebanese’s lament.

As expected, Clinton was the most prepared, on fire for the whole night, and almost prescient in the way she anticipated what Bernie was gonna say. But there appeared to be a hushed mass head scratching when she claimed that Libya reached out to the US for help and installed moderate leaders. I couldn’t believe it myself since I could clearly remember, despite my intoxication, the sneak attack we launched back in 2011. A quick search online yielded evidence that we, in fact, had reached out to Libyan opposition groups earlier that same year, but the Amerikan government didn’t get the answers they wanted. What she was talking about now eluded me.

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But there was no time to dwell on this confusing statement because everyone was eager to start squawking that old marching band Superpower ballad “Boots on the ground.” Everyone except O’ Malley who seized the opportunity to advance himself by countering with, “My son is not a pair of boots on the ground.”

It’s all rigged, of course, and in no time, the network itself was setting the poor Maryland mook up for failure by throwing up a title card that read: IS O’ MALLEY’S LACK OF EXPERIENCE WITH FOREIGN POLICY A PROBLEM?

The overall sense that one got after walking away from the broadcast was that all three candidates were, much like the monstrosities representing the Right, a clusterfuck of clueless, privileged half-wits with too much money and not enough imagination.

O’ Malley: I’d want us to take our place among the people of the world.

Naturally, nobody ever bothered to ask him what he meant by this, but by the second stretch of the debate, it was all too obvious why: Exasperation. Debates, like Catholic masses, are arduous, tedious and attended more out of guilt than a genuine desire to hear what those on the soapbox have to say.

For my part, I had heard it all before, which is really the point here. Like the aforementioned demonic possession movies and Hollywood’s constant backing of the same, a Presidential campaign is about formula. It comes down to the grinning automatons on stage spoon-feeding Joe Middle Class Fuckface a familiar flavor of gruel, knowing that he will lap it up like an amature in a bukkake video.

And, for his part, Joe Fuckface not only swallows it all but, inevitably, as the candidates expect, goes out and regurgitates it into the faces of all his fuckwit friends and family members. That’s how you get an electoral college, my dear fiends. And that is surely what Clinton, Sanders, O’ Malley, Trump, Jeb!, Huckabee, Christie and the rest are banking on.

Programming tells ’em to keep it nice, to pander and, if all else fails, say something that sounds smart to throw them off. After all, how is Billy Jean from Bungtown, Nebraska supposed to know that the “Arc of Instability” alluded to by Clinton is a fancy schmancy way of saying, “We want to build a chain of interconnected nations that are unstable.” And the townies of Bungtown certainly wouldn’t be able to fathom why.

“New World Order, you say? Ain’t that an ole rasslin’ term? Yeah, I seen it on the back uh uh tee-shirt once upon a time, I did.”

Perhaps it was an innate hunger brought on by all the gagging I’d done throughout the debate, but as I slammed my last can of suds, I began thinking about garbage foods from a grocery store again. Microwave dinners, cellophane-wrapped crap, sugary shit from the sweets aisle. But then my thoughts turned back to what I was thinking about at the start of this thing. All politicians that make the cut to go on the campaign trail are themselves shrink-wrapped artificially-sweetened lumps of easily digestible but utterly unhealthy fecal matter. And not one of them can really advertise, on their surface, what they truly are or where they’ve come from.

Trump is fast to tote his business acumen but you won’t hear him bragging about his sundry bankruptcies. And you’re breaking the devil’s dishes if you think he’s gonna stage a fireside chat about his friendship with a white-collar thug with ties to [REDACTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH OMERTA]. Clinton rappin’ about Vince Foster or all them sticks of furniture her and Slick Willy “allegedly” wiped clean outta the White House during Bill’s reign? No bueno. Not gonna happen.

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But I will. Shit, I just have. And now, maybe, it’s your turn. But don’t bother. Because nobody wants to hear it. The deaf and dumb and myopic make up the voting pool in this country. So the only question we really need to ask, as Patriotic Americans, is: ARE WE PART OF THAT POOL?

I asked myself this question as I sat there, crying into my beer and wondering what the point of it all was. I’d voted for Junior when I was at an impressionable (read: stupid and easily mislead) age and watched as he ripped the Constitution to shreds and pissed on it, not only shitting on his citizens’ privacy with the Patriot Act but giving the sadists their druthers with detention centers, establishing the National Defense Authorization Act to make brutal batshit like Gitmo perfectly acceptable.

Then I voted for Obama when his platform was CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN. And all I got for my efforts was the sugary shit inside that CHANGE box, the stuff that should have been labeled SHAME YOU CAN COUNT ON. I watched as BAM did his part to renew and expand the NDAA, proving that it doesn’t matter what color you are, anyone can be a lousy leader of the free world and anyone can piss on our Nation if they BELIEVE in their CHANGE.

When I got the chance to vote Obama out of office I took it…only to see the sonovabitch win again. What I’ve taken away from the debates, along with everything I’ve seen in the last fourteen years, is that the system is hopelessly and maliciously rigged. And all of O’ Malley’s eloquent words about our image being the Statue of Liberty, “not a barbed wire fence,” all of Sanders’ self-aggrandizing about being the first to bust the American cherry on going over the border for birth control, even all of the queen bitch’s pledges to set minimum wage at twelve bucks doesn’t make me feel any better.

Twelve dollars won’t do, madame. Because everyone knows that freedom cost a buck o’ five. And it’s a truly cheap and devalued world we’re living in. So Bernie can flap jaws about the six financial institutions of the GDP in America and how the late, great Teddy Roosevelt would call to break them up. But if he’s elected, I’d wager my non-existent twelve dollar an hour paycheck that that’s not what we’ll see. If we counted up all of Obama’s campaign pledges and combined them with all of his predecessor’s campaign pledges then subtracted those pledges that were fulfilled, we’d likely have less than that one point five.

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All of this is to say nothing of the Green Party, the Anarchist Party, the Tea Party, et al. Where are they? Nowhere. Population: Them. But as I sat there, despising my electoral choices and dreaming of Hot Pockets and the Insurrection Act and 60% less fat Cheese Doodles, I alighted on a solution: Don’t bother. Just…don’t vote.

Let’s force America to fulfill the flimsy promise they’ve been pretending to make all these years by allowing third party candidates to run—all the while knowing full well that these more progressive prospects didn’t stand a chance, due to lack of clout or competitive campaign monies—and leave them with no choice but to do away with the Two-Party System and, maybe, give us a shot with someone who isn’t made from 100% Grade A Chuck Beef Bullshit. If your lack of votes makes no difference, and the monster still wins the seat, in the very least, you’ll have proven, unequivocally, that the entire system was rigged from the start.