Sunday, November 17, 2019

Only Queers Can Save the Flaming Refugees of Love: Time to Decriminalize Polygamy

Massacres aren't exactly unusual in the failed narco-state of Mexico, especially since the US pushed its beleaguered southern neighbor to declare all out war on the cartels a couple of decades back. More blood irrigates the Sonora Desert than acid rain. Barely a week goes by without some horrendous Bataille-esque crime of absurdly grotesque proportions popping up on the CNN news ticker, - 16 heads found in Juarez Chucky Cheese ball-pit, no tongues or eyes - But it's rarely enough to steal Anderson Cooper's attention from the latest minute kink in the Ukrainegate circus. This month was different though. This month, in early November, the cartels crossed the ultimate Rubicon of corporate news hysteria. They killed a bunch of pretty white people. 9 to be exact. 3 mothers and 6 children, savagely slaughtered in what appears to be a tragic case of mistaken identity.

But as the usual yammering heads blathered on about the proven necessity for endless drug wars, and Donald Trump used the garish details to further his border jihad while he and his brown counterpart AMLO compared dick sizes, there was one detail to this story that seemed to come to no one's attention but mine. Oh, there was plenty of coverage of the fact that these innocent victims of American drug policy were Mormon Fundamentalists, usually in the form of some off-hand detail on the way to some other asinine point. But nobody seemed to do the math, to acknowledge the very basic fact that in an age when people are so desperate to get the hell out of Mexico that they're willing to risk losing their children to one of Trump's immigration zoos, there are still American citizens, dual citizens to be exact, who are living in exile in this hellhole, seeking refuge from 19th Century American puritanical persecution. The cartel put the bullets in those bodies, but those bodies where put in cartel country by the American government's ongoing war on polygamy.

The families who were shot and roasted alive in their SUV's were part of the Mormon Fundamentalist community of La Mora. While most of this community no longer practices plural marriage, they are all descendants of polygamist families forced to flee Utah after the federal government strong armed the Church of Latter-day Saints into banning a lifestyle among consenting adults which had long been a cornerstone of their religion. To this day, all fifty states maintain bans of varying degrees of severity against polygamy and the federal government has continued to make a point of persecuting polygamist communities, often on severely flimsy evidence of child abuse, separating and, in the case of Waco, even murdering whole families in the process. Our government has made it crystal clear that they don't approve of the way these people choose to worship and raise their families and the result has been historically devastating. Thousands live in exile. Others have been forced to seek refuge in the shadows of demented false prophets like Warren Jeffs. All because of what? People finding love in unconventional places? Where the fuck have I heard that before? And why am I the only one outside of this community who seems to care?

As a queer person, I can't help but to find common ground with these flaming refugees of love. These are whole families living in the closet of a close minded society that still can't handle the fact that happiness doesn't have to come pre-packaged in a nuclear family like some goddamn TV dinner. I may be painfully single, but as a lesbian transwoman, I have never felt a greater sense of peace and intimacy than I do when I'm alone in the company of more than one woman. What makes my transbian polyamory any different than the Fundamentalist's polygamy? Why am I seen as "brave" while they're reduced to the status of zealots? Why should our love be given any less legal cache then that of couples? And, finally, why is this not considered a queer rights issue?

But to most queer people it isn't. After achieving the assimilationist token of Supreme Court approved gay marriage in 2015, too many cisgender gay and lesbian couples have become gate-keeping snobs, peering down their noses at us lesser queers for interrupting their new found privilege. The body of DOMA wasn't even cold before right-wing hatefucks like Antonin Scalia and Rick Santorum began barking "Next it'll be polygamy!" Sometimes I feel like the only fag who responded "Fuck yeah!" The Buttigieg Queers responded with more than enough reactionary pomp to match the homophobes in passion and stupidity. "Gay marriage isn't polygamy! We aren't perverts like them!!" Well maybe your not but I am.

As a Queer Anarchist, I've always preferred marriage privatization to government sanctioned religious ceremony, but the criminalization of love in all of it's consensual forms needs to stop and the queer community are the ones to stop it. We've done it before and we should do it again. These people may see us as hedonistic heretics and we may see them as sexist prudes, but we both want the same thing. We want to love who we want to love, how we want to love. And we want the government to get the fuck out of our way. Lets make it happen, dearest motherfuckers. Lets welcome our vanilla pioneers home with open arms and a hobbled police state.



Peace, Love, Love, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Gigantic by the Pixies
*  Sad Day by FKA Twigs
*  Love Love Love by the Mountain Goats
*  America (You're Freaking Me Out) by the Menzingers
*  Superstar by Sonic Youth
*  Forced to Love by Broken Social Scene
*  God Only Knows by the Beach Boys
*  Light and Day by the Polyphonic Spree
*  Cosmogony by Bjork

Sunday, November 10, 2019

"What About the Children?!": Youth Rights Before Parental Police States

"What about the children?!" Some haggard disembodied voice wails from my flickering TV set, jerking me awake from the Ambien-grade slumber that any more than 15 minutes of C-Span inevitably delivers. It's happened a thousand times before. The voice almost always belongs to some sobbing middle-aged white woman, overdressed like June Cleaver for some senate hearing on the dangers of one victimless crime or another, online prostitution or E-cigarettes or satanic Portuguese techno, always something new, always something to be terrified of. Part of me feels for the woman, I really do. She's usually lost a child to something or other. She's clearly in pain. But another disgraceful part of me wants to tell her to shut the fuck up and take some goddamn responsibility for your own life. Because, beneath the theatrics, 9 times out of 10, this pearl-clutching stock character is really saying "I couldn't find the time to parent my dead child, so now the police state has to pick up the slack!" And the Wall Street whores of Washington take their cue and start passing more pointless legislation.

I know, I know, I'm a cunt. In today's era of 24/7 stage 4 late capitalism, many parents are too busy working 80 shifts for peanuts to so much as even check in on their kids. But the wailing woman on C-Span is rarely a blue collar casualty. She and her ilk, who fill the ranks of an endless barrage of parental guilt trip lobbies like MADD are almost always well connected, upper middle class, office drones, who's kids dropped dead while they were busy paying off the Beamer or banging the European tennis instructor. And now they're busy boycotting Juul or Marilyn Manson or whatever suburbia's chosen monster of the week happens to be, while the rest of their brood are at home with some over medicated nanny, experimenting with dryer sheets or some such nonsense. This army of rambling soccer moms call themselves children's rights advocates and "What about the children?!" is the manic war cry they shout just before decapitating your, as well as their own damn children's rights.

I have long considered myself to be an advocate of youth rights, the bra-less lesbian sister of the children's rights movement. I don't have any kids, nor do I really want them, but I identify very strongly with kids because, in a sense, I still am one. Most queer people, especially trans people like me, never really leave their teens emotionally. That's where the trauma of having a biological determination that seems to belong to every adult in your life, from your parents to your teachers to your doctors, begins. And in a odd sense, all kids are queer in that they still haven't done enough experimenting to figure out who or what the fuck they really are yet. And that's the divide between children's rights and youth rights. Youth rights acknowledges the basic fact that kids have a right to experiment, they have a right to fuck up, and they're going to do it with or without the approval of the adults in the children's right's nanny state.

Who were you when you were 14? It's a simple question that the C-Span barkers never seem to find the time to contemplate. What did you do with your misbegotten youth? If you were lucky, you had the time of your life doing stupid shit, smoking and drinking stupid things and crashing your parents car afterwords. Getting knocked up by some twenty-something parking lot urchin and then selling your old bike to pay for the Plan B. You fucked up. You did thoughtless moronic crap just to see if you could and you survived. And every once in a while somebody didn't, and it was tragic, but it was also inevitable. Not every hatchling tortoise survives the gulls. What makes humans so goddamn special. Trial and error is how all animals evolve. Remove that imperative and you cripple a generation or worse.

But the children's rights set doesn't see it this way. That's because what they really advocate has nothing to do with their children's rights. It's all about parent's rights. They infantilize their own children and reduce them to the voiceless property of the state, to be molded and guided by a managerial class of  tenured teachers, overworked bureaucrats and professional adults. And this is where kids really get hurt. When you deny someone's basic rights to individual autonomy, you make abuse by those who police it inevitable. Just ask anyone lucky enough to survive the foster care system. They'll tell you they would have been safer on the streets. Equality matters in this country for blacks, queers and disabled folk. Why not for children? You really care about the fucking children? Then treat them a little more like people and a little less like pets.

So what is the answer then? How do we keep kids away from vaping and "assault style" weaponry? The hard answer is you don't. If you really want democracy, it almost always comes with a side of danger. But I do have two suggestions on what we could do, and you're probably not going to like either of them. The first is lower the age for everything to 14, voting, drinking, sex, driving, smoking. I know, blasphemy right? I'm not saying that we should do this to encourage such behavior (especially voting.) I'm saying we do this to acknowledge the very simple fact that we can't prevent young adults from engaging in consensual behavior, even stupid consensual behavior. They're going to find a way to do it anyways. We all did. Let's at least take it out of the shadows and leave these kid's decisions up to them and their families to figure out, rather than the cold probe of the faceless federal government.

My second suggestion is much easier but no less provocative. Turn off the TV, put down the picket sign, shut the fuck up and listen to your kids. You might be surprised to find out that they're human beings too. Give them the respect they deserve by allowing them to speak for themselves and maybe they'll return the favor with an honest relationship. Crazy hippie shit from the tranny anarchist, I know. But give it a shot, at least before you end up on C-Span wailing "What about the children?!" Your kids will thank you by pissing you off six feet above sea level.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Cherry Bomb by the Runaways
*  Kids In the Dark by Bat For Lashes
*  Go Home by Julien Baker
*  Children In Heat by the Misfits
*  The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
*  Lookers by the Menzingers
*  Bad Kids by Black Lips
*  Looking For a Kiss by New York Dolls
*  Panic by the Smiths
*  Bae by the Front Bottoms

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Quid Pro Blowback: Did Erdogan Trade Baghdadi For Rojava?

It's all over the news. I'm sure I don't have to tell you. But I'm a muckraker and telling you what you know is the first half of my job. Baghdadi is dead! The terrifying Cobra Commander of Uncle Sam's latest jihad Frankenstein, the Ayatollah of the fearsome Islamic State, the world's deadliest Salafi super-villain, is dead. Dead as a door nail, as our ever-tactful commander in chief put it. Apparently he died like Rerun in the opening of What's Happening, running and stumbling down a lantern lit tunnel, flailing his arms all about as he sobbed hysterically, only stopping to blow him and his children to smithereens with a suicide vest once his lungs were empty and his britches were full. This is the official story at least and the mainstream media seems more than happy to put down their impeachment pitchforks just long enough to parrot its Hollywood details with the unblinking innocence of a child. Brave, dick-swinging, red meat eating American heroes, flying fearlessly into the heart of darkness on their Apache choppers to wright all the wrongs and settle the score. This time there's even dog so extrajudicial slaughter can be fun for the whole family. But as the days go by, this fable grows more and more suspect to all but the most diluted daydream believers.

Trump's full-breasted boasts about watching the whole raid in real time on the ground like an executive episode of Cops have turned out to be pure weapons-grade bullshit. The only show the Donald was munching popcorn to that night was hazy overhead surveillance footage without a lick of audio. No matter. Trump's a liar, even his supporters know that. This raid is still a momentous act of uncut American heroism. Real Rambo shit. But what do we really know about this raid? Every scrap of information we've managed to get our hands on comes straight from the State Department. You know, those fine upstanding bureaucrats who are still mining the deserts of Babylon for Saddam's secret plutonium stash. Baghdadi's been declared dead a dozen times before and if the motherfucker blew himself to bits, what makes us so damn sure that we even got the right guy? The Kurds are claiming they retrieved Baghdadi's DNA from a pair of pilfered underwear. So skid marks from a panty raid hold this thing together, and the dogs of war felt confident enough with this evidence to blow up the block and chuck the corpse chunks in the fucking ocean? Am I really the only one who feels like they're being sold a bill of goods here? Am I the only one with deja vu?

This whole smoke-and-mirrors action movie spectacle feels uncannily familiar. It was way back in 2011, on the brink of another contentious re-election circus, when then president Barack Obama swaggered down a red carpet like a Tarantino movie pimp to the pulpit where he announced that he and his boys in Seal Team 6 had taken down the original Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden. The mass media zeitgeist swelled and swooned for weeks with every last detail of this real life Schwarzenegger flick, all delivered directly to them by the same war machine that carried it out. Obama was certainly a much slicker storyteller than Trump, but his boasts of watching the daring raid go down live were quickly proven to be just as bogus as Trump's. And both White House's had supplied equally fraudulent family portraits of the Cabinet watching the live snuff flick together like home movies. Turns out they could've both been watching the same episode of What's Happening for all we know. None of these inconvenient details stopped the media from turning Seal Team 6 into the Backstreet Boys with a body count. But the thread of doubt had been exposed. Someone just had to pull it.

Historically speaking, that someone always seems to be Seymour Hersh, the last uncorrupted sleuth from the Bernstein era of hard boiled investigative journalism. In a stunning piece for the London Review of Books, Seymour pulled the string until Emperor Obama's sweater came undone. According to independent sources cultivated over decades of flawless journalism, the whole damn raid was a charade, a performance, a work worthy of Attitude era professional wrestling. Bin Laden wasn't hiding out in Pakistan, he was being held captive under house arrest by the Pakistani Military, who had been saving him for a rainy day bargaining chip. Until, that is, someone squealed to the CIA for the reward money. There was no decade long manhunt, no torture room confession, there wasn't even a fucking raid. The Pakistanis cut the power to Bin Laden's Abbottabad penal colony, the Seals were lead through the house by a guard who knew the layout intimately, and an unarmed, crippled, half-blind old monster with zero connection left to his past life as an American trained jihadi super-villain was executed by the same empire which once bankrolled his escapades, with two shots to the face before he could squeal any company secrets. Just like shooting fish in a barrel. Quid pro blowback. The whole bloody affair was manufactured like Vienna Sausage and fed to the mass media who didn't so much as ask what the expiration date was.

So, considering that bit of historical hindsight, what really happened to Baghdadi? I may be a lot of things, dearest motherfuckers, but I'm sure as shit no Seymour Hersh and I'm not going to pretend I know any better than the next well-read skeptic. I'll leave those kind of schoolgirl games to the mainstream media. But I am a muckraker. The first half of my job is telling you what you already know, even if you've been lulled into believing you don't know it yet. The second half of my job is to tell you what I know, and these are a few things I know. Baghdadi has had more lives than a Hindu cat. In order for the war machine to be so certain that they finally got their man, they have to have had better evidence than Baghdadi's soiled jockeys. Somebody knew Baghdadi was there. 'There' in this case is Turkish occupied Idlib. A hotbed of foreign Salafi mercenaries jealously protected by the Erdogan regime. And it was just weeks before this raid that Erdogan managed to convince Trump in a single phone call to sell out the Kurds and give him the green light to invade Rojava. Was this another case of Trump utilizing his art of the deal? More quid pro blowback for another ex-ally who had outlived there usefulness. It's important to remember Erdogan's long history of cozy ties with ISIS. His own son served as the point man for their once thriving gas smuggling ring. Perhaps Turkey found themselves in a similar situation to Pakistan, with a bearded bargaining chip in their custody to be played to their regional advantage. All things considered, would any of this be particularly shocking or even unprecedented? Baghdadi for Rojava? Quid pro quo? Call me paranoid, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't at least ask.

Somebody give old Seymour a jangle. I think he might have another emperor's sweater to pull undone. Maybe this time, it'll get published in Penthouse Forum before Disney farts out another blockbuster starring an orange psychopath and a talking dog. I'll hold my breath if you do.



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp
*  Undone-The Sweater Song by Weezer
*  Head Over Heals by Tears For Fears
*  Little Green Bag by George Baker
*  The Words That Maketh Murder by PJ Harvey
*  Detachable Penis by King Missile
*  Oh You Pretty Things by David Bowie
*  Jesus Built My Hotrod by Ministry

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark

The horror film is hands down the most woefully underrated genre in cinema. Art at its very finest provokes and there is no subject more provocative than death. Death is the only existential constant in the human experience. Like it or not, we are all born to die. So it only follows that human beings should be both fascinated and terrified by death in equal measure. This fascination is precisely what powers the commercial drive behind the horror industry. There has never been a time since cinema's infancy when audiences haven't flocked to the theater to be frightened. People are drawn to fear but when that fear is followed through with analysis they become too uncomfortable to enjoy the cheap thrill of being terrified without consequences. But there are always consequences.

This is why mainstream horror movies have largely been reduced to the cheap thrills alone. The last thing Hollywood wants is for terrified people to think about what terrifies them most. This isn't just a grave disservice to an entire genre of art. It is a grave disservice to society as a whole. Only when confronted by that which makes us most uncomfortable can we collectively overcome it. Since, as an anarchist as well as a lifelong horror movie buff, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than the state and the established order that thrives in its haunted architecture, I've decided to compile a list of movies that should both terrify and provoke anyone's god-given anti-authoritarian impulses. Not every movie on this list is a horror film in the traditional sense, but they all foster skepticism of authority through the strategic use of terror. These are scary movies for anarchists to watch in the dark and maybe, if we're lucky, a few of them will be scary enough to create a few new anarchists in the dark this Halloween.


They Live (1988)-  The first film on this list isn't exactly scary, what with its cheesy one-liners and comically over the top street brawl ("Put on the fucking glasses!") But beneath the B-movie grime, few films have done a finer job of illustrating the cryptic authoritarianism that lies just beneath the shiny visage of liberal democracy. Once Roddy Piper puts on those shades, he sees right through the trappings of glossy magazines, fiat cash and Reaganomics and becomes literate enough to read the true message of the extraterrestrial oligarchy, loud and clear. When it comes to capitalism, they live and you sleep. This is a movie about getting woke. Now put on the fucking glasses cause we're just getting started.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)-  Wes Craven's sophomore shocker has long been dismally overlooked by snooty cinephiles, but in my book it's one of the craftiest horror movies of the Exploitation era. After finding themselves stranded in the desert, your average American family is preyed upon by a feral tribe of inbred cannibals who have themselves been subjected to generations of nuclear testing to benefit their prey's precious society. What could have been a simple Z-grade revenge flick (like the remake) becomes a harsh study in the hollow fallacy of civilization, as the Brady Bunch rapidly devolves into the Manson Family once their natural thirst for vengeance renders them every bit as depraved as the savages they seek to get even with, a class created by the pollution that superficially divides predator and prey until that line blurs in the bloodshed. The abyss stares back.

Under Our Skin (2008)-  This one may be more frightening to some than others, but if you are one of the millions of Americans suffering in the dark from the ravages of lifelong chronic Lyme disease like myself, it's about as scary as it gets. Decades after an ancient ailment exploded into new and monstrously crippling variants in Lyme, Connecticut, the American medical establishment still refuses to so much as even acknowledge our very existence. This controversial but little seen documentary traces both the history of the cover-up and the disintegrating lives of the plagued. If you have any brains in your skull, you'll likely never feel safe in the woods or the doctor's office ever again. I know haven't. Those fucking ticks make Jason look like Jesus. Fuck the AMA.

Jacob's Ladder (1990)-  "Based on a true story..." is a classic horror movie trope going back to the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but in the case of Adrian Lynne's mind-bending psychological thriller, it's terrifyingly true. A Vietnam veteran traumatized by haunting visions of hellish demons discovers that he and his platoon were the subjects of a government experiment gone horribly wrong. This was the real life horror story for untold scores of veterans and active duty soldiers who were subjected to lethal doses of high-powered hallucinogens during the 50's and 60's as part of the CIA's Project MK-Ultra in blatant violation of the Nuremberg Code. These men lead broken lives with one foot permanently planted in a waking nightmare that most of us couldn't even begin to comprehend. Jacob's Ladder brought that nightmare to the screen and its disquietly surreal imagery is made all the more hideous by the fact that it was indeed based on a true story and one that our tax dollars financed and our elected officials covered up.

The Unknown Known (2013)-  The greatest monster movie ever made in my book isn't Dracula or Frankenstein but this terrifyingly Blair-Witch-simple documentary about former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Over a series of candid interviews in which director Errol Morris questions Rummy on his heinous decisions regarding Iraq and Abu Graib, it slowly becomes frighteningly clear that we're not simply listening to a remorseless failed politician here, but an outright sociopath, capable of compartmentalizing his malicious behavior into moral origami that creates a universe where he is never wrong and anything and everything is justifiable if it creates the results he seeks. It is an absolutely horrifying spectacle to behold, with no CGI, no gore, no topless coeds. Just a camera and a psychopath who was once one of the most powerful men on earth. Goosebumps.

Audition (1999)-  One of the most shocking movies on the list is also one of the most woke. Takashi Miike's perverse fable of a lover scorned plays like Fatal Attraction on a bad acid trip. With the help of a TV producer friend of his, a lonely widower holds an audition to find his ideal woman. In Japan, this means quiet, subservient, dotting and eager to please. He finds that in sweet young Asami. He also finds out the hard way that all of these chauvinistic qualities he finds so endearing are symptoms of a lifetime of sexual abuse and abandonment. When the widower tries to pull the plug on this toxic relationship, sweet young Asami gets even in one of the most unnerving scenes in cinematic history. It's feminism with a wire saw and you better believe it fucking hurts.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)-  Fuck the remake. George Romero's magnum opus is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest zombie picture ever made. It's also a gruesomely hilarious satire on the emptiness of American consumerism. What do you do when the world comes to an end and the dead walk the earth? Well, you go to the fucking mall, of coarse. As do the brain-dead zombies and the rapacious biker hordes, who rip each other's fucking guts out in a nihilistic fight over an air-conditioned square mile of useless shit. It was also filmed just hours away from my home town at the Appalachian Monroeville Mall. Romero was Central-Western Pennsylvania's answer to John Waters, an auteur who used trash to cut high-society down to the Rust-Belt's level. I almost wish zombies were real, just to keep that brilliant old son of a bitch around while he decomposes. Roam In Peace.

Collapse (2009)-  The third and final documentary on this list has to be the most relentlessly grim. What was essentially an autobiographical interview with ex-detective and arch doomer Michael Ruppert was depressing enough when it came out in 2009. But after the last decade, Ruppert's wild predictions of economic and energy driven collapse on a societal level look a lot less like theory and a lot more like prophecy. The movie takes on a truly haunted quality once you learn that since its commercially underwhelming debut, it's prophetic subject succumbed to his own doom and committed suicide after too many years of being ridiculed and ignored. Collapse stands as Michael Ruppert's final warning and it is a devastating piece of work to behold.

Nightcrawler (2014)-  With the possible exception of Natural Born Killers, Louis Bloom's Nightcrawler might be cinema's most brutal take-down of the grotesque venality of America's so-called mainstream media. Armed with a single camera paid for with stolen swag, ambitious bug-eyed con-man Dan Gilroy (Jake Gyllenhaal on a manic bender) manages to hold the whole city of Los Angeles hostage with his brutally manufactured news stories. He lies, cheats and kills his way to the top of the headlines, and the most disturbing thing about the whole sordid tale isn't that he's a smashing success, but that this ending doesn't feel the least but unlikely in today's 24/7 news circus. Modern American "Journalism" is a world where the bad guys win and win big.

Martyrs (2008)-  Hands down, the most soul-crushingly upsetting horror movie ever made. Pascal Laugier shocked the usually unshockable French film press with his brutally existentialist study on the very nature of human suffering. Martyrs has two stories to tell. The story of two abused little girls who grew up together in each other's arms. And the story of the shadowy institution that tormented one of them for unknown gains. When the girls grow up to seek revenge, they get more than any two human beings could ever bargain for when this aforementioned organization turns out to be a powerful international cabal who tortures innocent victims in hopes of creating martyrs, who bear witness to the beyond once they are brought to the brink of death. At its heart, I see Martyrs as a parable analogous to the dangers of organized religions who turn this life into hell for the weak in hopes of creating some kind of paradise in a plain of existence no mortal could possibly comprehend. It is a cruel lesson because it needs to be. Take it from a lapsed Catholic martyr. Keep Doubting.

The Shining (1980)-  Stanley Kubrick's cerebral masterpiece has inspired a wide variety of fascinating theories about its true meaning (see Room 237). My take on my favorite is that it's a ghost story about American history and its unexorcised demons. The film is loaded with references to genocide, both Jewish and Native American, from the Indian burial ground that serves as the Overlook's foundation to the racially charged "Tomahawk" ambush on Doc Hallorann. But the gravest reference is the Torrance's themselves. Rather than dealing with Jack's clearly violent temper and history of abuse, they choose instead to ignore the demons of their patriarch and leave it in the past until history comes back to haunt them. America shares this karmic amnesia with the Torrance's. We bury the slaves and dead Indians and war crimes, and fool ourselves into believing that this history of violence will never revisit us. Until our schools ring with the death rattle of gunfire and the blood comes pouring from the elevator doors. In a sense, all of us have always been at the Overlook Hotel. Will we ever leave?

Come and See (1985)-  The most disturbing movie that I've ever seen isn't a horror movie in the strictest sense of the genre. It's a war movie, but a war movie daring enough to acknowledge that any movie about war should, by nature, be a horror story. Taking place in Belarus during the height of the Nazi invasion of Operation Barbarossa, a young boy leaves his idyllic village to join the Partisans only to find his childhood innocence engulfed in the surreal madness of total war. A Soviet picture from the Glasnost era, Come and See doesn't restrain itself by pulling any punches in revealing the savagery of the Nazi war machine at it's most satanically virile on the Eastern Front, a chapter of the "Good War" that most Western sources choose to gloss over. But Come and See is bigger and blacker than any single tragedy. It is a movie about mankind's most horrific invention and it is as terrifyingly relevant today as it's ever been. For even in 2019, from the mountains of Yemen to the valleys of the West Bank, we have still yet to learn the lessons of 1943. In war, we all become the monsters we fight.

Joker (2019)-  I've got a joke for you, dearest motherfuckers, but I don't think you'll get it. This body-slamming powerhouse of a social commentary is a last minute addition to the list. I only saw the movie last night, and I still can't believe that Hollywood sanctioned something so dangerously subversive. Joker isn't exactly a horror movie but it sure as shit ain't a superhero movie either, and it is scary as hell, largely because I, like too many low-income mentally ill Americans, have lived it. Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck isn't a criminal mastermind. He's a sad, broken, tired creature who simply couldn't afford to be ignored anymore. Joker is a movie about blowback. For what do you get when you leave your children to be raised by massive corporations and corrupt government bureaucracies while you get rich blowing up the Third World? You get exactly what you fucking deserve. See, I told you you wouldn't get it... But you will. You see, we are all Joker, the silent majority of the terminally fucked. And it is high time for the comfortable class in the straight world to get scared. They asked for it. Here it comes....


Stay scared, dearest motherfuckers. It's the best way to stay awake. Happy Halloween.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Nintendo Mennonite

I hate technology, dearest motherfuckers. Few things drive me balls deep into the red faster than technology and it just keeps getting worse with every new iPhone they pump out. Everywhere I go, everyone I see is surgically attached to those stupid fucking devices, hemming away at the flickering idiot boxes that only those jackals in Silicon Valley would be dense enough to call smartphones, as they meander aimlessly into oncoming traffic like lambs to the slaughter, or sit down to a romantic candlelight dinner only to spend the evening gazing listlessly into two separate articles on two separate Kardashians while their food gets colder than their marriage. I feel like a crotchety old grandmother bitching like this but I simply can't shake the feeling that this is what those old Hindu mystics meant when they spoke of the Kali Yuga. If this is humanity at the pinnacle of progress, then progress is clearly a disease deadlier than cancer.

These days we have computers that talk, listen, fuck, watch us while we shit and report our bathroom habits back to any number of nefarious corporate and/or government perverts. Everyone knows this and nobody fucking cares. Edward Snowden is condemned to spend the rest of his life sweating vodka in some Brezhnev-era tower too cold for roaches while Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange slowly decompose in federal custody and nobody fucking cares. Everyone seems just peachy fucking keen with their flashy new digital prison cells as long as the Wi-Fi works. Now the computers can think and it wont be long before they realize they don't need our lazy asses crowding their space.

It's times like these that I almost envy my Amish neighbors out here in Central Pennsylvania. Sure they smell like shit and work themselves fucking stupid but they took a stand sometime in the mid-Nineteenth Century after deciding that they had exactly enough technology and they weren't going to poison their community with anymore just for the sake of convenience. And for the most part they stuck to it. They stood their ground and they're still standing. While the rest of us enjoy the crippling stress and isolation of progress with its mass shootings, reality television and nervous breakdowns, the Amish are doing just fine living like it's 1869, and unlike their ideological nephew Theodore Kaczynski, they didn't have to muddy their souls with a single bomb to do it. They simply dropped out of the bullshit and went their own way. I may be a gender-bending Yippie sex freak but it was my Amish neighbors that gave me my first lessons on the virtues of anarchism.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no primitivist. I'm a dyed in the flannel Nineties baby. I love my TV, my game consoles and my air conditioning. I was fine with technology until about 1998, somewhere around when beepers were swapped for those bastard Nokia cell phones (Pentti Linkola aside, fuck the Finns.) But maybe that's just it, I reached a point where technology became detrimental to my happiness. Maybe I should tear a page from the Amish and start a new Anabaptist movement for disgruntled millennials desperate for a time machine back to the grunge era. We shall call ourselves Nintendo Mennonites and we shall drop out of this digital dystopia on our own fucking terms. Let this blog be the rock on which I build my church!

We shall forgo all things digital. We shall embrace the glory of the analogue. We shall purge ourselves of all streaming and MP3's. Instead we shall all start bands with no fewer than two guitars to a group. None of us will learn to play our instruments properly and no keyboard shall be more complex than a second-hand Casio. Noise will be prized above technique and we will only record on cassettes which can only be bought with the currency of other cassettes. Rap will only be excepted in street corner battle form and there will be no EDM. We shall forgo the sweatshop commodity of brand name clothing. Instead we shall only shop at thrift stores. Our dress code will be a genderless hodge-podge of plaid flannel, smeared lipstick, Doc Martin's, Mary Jane's and tattered baby-doll dresses. We shall model our aesthetic on Kurt and Courtney circa 1993 and all combs and hairbrushes shall be strictly forbidden.

Instead of social media, we shall return to the xeroxed majesty of the zine, at least one for every individual without exception, all free both of price and the censorship of Zuckerbergian big brothers. Instead of church, we shall have revival screenings of outlawed reel-to-reels showing appropriately post-apocalyptic cult classics like Dawn of the Dead, Escape From New York, They Live and The Road Warrior. The cheesy dialogue of such films shall become our gospel. We shall all kick ass and chew bubblegum, and kick more ass once low on aforementioned bubblegum. Instead of memes, we shall bring back the glorious scourge of graffiti on a late-Eighties Gotham level. Instead of the traditional Amish homestead, we shall recolonize the ghost malls that dot this post-industrial heap of a nation and transform these late capitalist husks of failed franchises into an eclectic mix of swap shops, flea markets, DIY art spaces and communal squats. A veritable constellation of stateless indoor colonies for Millennial drop-outs divided from the wicked digital world, but still open for business to you decadent moderns with your heavy wallets. And, perhaps most importantly, no fucking cell phones. Every radically re-purposed mall will be fitted with rooftop jamming devices creating square mile sized dark spaces, severed from the watchful eye of big brother.

And we shall carry on the Anabaptist tradition of non-violence towards our fellow man, but we shall not extend this privilege to technological property of the malignant variety. The Nintendo Mennonite shall be the bastard child of both the Amish and the Luddites, and we shall engage in a campaign of creative sabotage against the existential threat of artificial intelligence, universal espionage and automation. Like the Amish bumming rides to town in "English" vehicles, we shall barrow the post-modern vehicle of our allies computers to spread the word and toss the occasional monkey-wrench into the system that preys upon us all with hacks and virus' directed against its oligarchs.

When technological evolution surpasses human evolution, progress becomes a form of mass violence, and when humanity begins to devolve beneath the weight of this malignant strain of modernity, the annihilation of our very species ceases to be a matter of science fiction and becomes a matter of science fact. The Amish and the Luddites understood this threat better than most and took action accordingly. All kidding aside, we need to seriously consider doing the same. The neo-Anabaptism I preach tongue-in-cheek Isn't about going back, it's about pressing pause on this game until we can come up with a good cheat code.

Just another crazy idea to consider for the coming panarchist post-American Century, dearest motherfuckers. Take it home with you and play with it for a while before moving on to try a different cartridge.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  On a Plain by Nirvana
*  Touch Me I'm Sick by Mudhoney
*  Shady Lane by Pavement
*  Dirty Boots by Sonic Youth
*  Asking for It by Hole
*  Our Secret by Beat Happening
*  Just Like Heaven by Dinosaur Jr.
*  Hypocrite by Lush
*  I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus by Beabadoobee
*  Drunk Walk Home by Mitski




Sunday, October 13, 2019

Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime

I have long been a vocal supporter of the Kurds, even before the Syrian clusterfuck sparked the Rojava Revolution. Part of this comes from my checkered past as a lapsed Tankie-Guevarist. I grew up gorging myself on New Left folk tails of Third World rebellion. The fearsome PKK were one of a dozen or so clans of crimson bearded renegades, fighting like Castro for some post-colonial utopia. I read everything I could find about the Bolshevik adventures of groups like FARC, Hezbollah and the Naxalites. But the thing that set the Kurds apart was their fourth quarter conversion to anarchism which closely mirrored my own.

Abdullah Ocalan discovered the works of Murray Bookchin right around the time I dropped communism for panarchy and syndicalism. And when the rest of Syria sunk into CIA sponsored Salafi hell, the Ocalan influenced Kurds of the YPG created a successful stateless society that flourished amidst the chaos. It was proof positive that anarchism could work. But it was all over the moment the YPG accepted the poison gift of American military occupation. Anarchism quite simply cannot coexist with the greatest source of imperial tyranny on the fucking planet. The only sick comfort I took in this nauseating arrangement is that I knew it wouldn't last. That's because, dearest motherfuckers, screwing over the Kurds is a time-honored American pastime.

The original Kurdish screwjob was the work of that whimsical Bond villain known as Henry Kissinger. During his busy time as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under Nixon and Ford, respectively, Henry cooked up a devilish little scheme with the help of his flunkies in Israel and the Shah's Iran. Iraq was becoming suspiciously cozy with the Soviet Union. So they flooded Iraq's long suffering Kurdish independence movement with Soviet hardware pilfered from the killing fields of Vietnam and the Sinai Peninsula. Mustafa Barzani, the founding father of the modern Peshmerga, didn't trust the Shah farther than he could squeeze his ham-fist up his pinched little quisling asshole, no sane Mesopotamian did, but he believed in his heart of hearts that America was that shining beacon of freedom on the hill. Mustafa was a sucker. Once Henry and Co. managed to frighten Iraq into playing ball, we quickly drummed up a deal between them and Iran that included handing over the Kurds on a spit. Not only did old Henry, that Nobel pacifist, refuse to even return Mustafa's frantic calls for help, he cut all humanitarian aide to the region as Helter Skelter came tumbling down. The Kurds were slaughtered and Kissinger summed up America's Kurdish policy in a nutshell when he told a disgusted congress that "One should not confuse undercover action with social work." If only the Kurds took his advice.

Flash forward some fifteen years later, after blitzing our former client Saddam Hussein damn near the brink of oblivion, good old Pappy Bush, that sainted scion of global statesmanship, encouraged the Kurds along with the similarly oppressed Southern Shiites to launch a final putsch against the porno-stached tyrant with all kinds of sunny predictions and empty promises. When the rebellion predictably fell apart, the US once again left the Kurds high and dry to be slaughtered in the thousands. The whole point of the rebellion wasn't success. Quite the contrary. It was designed to provoke a vengeful and largely impotent Saddam into slaughtering our "allies" in order to justify our own war crimes in the region, past, future and present. We knew precisely how Saddam would react because we helped him react the last time he faced a Kurdish uprising, shit, we even sold him the goddamn mustard gas. Once again, the Kurds were just convenient pawns used to provoke another bloodbath that put us in a greater position of power in the region. And, once again, if only the Kurds had learned a fucking lesson from this latest act of imperial treachery on America's part, maybe just maybe, they could have avoided the carnage they currently contend with. But some habits die harder than others.

America didn't truly get behind Rojava until our dreams of a Salafi no-fly zone went belly up. I've long held the creeping suspicion that Rojava was never intended to be anything but a seat warmer for our NATO allies in Turkey. That's why I suspect we pushed the YPG to the brink, taking territory that had always been Arab. That's why we pushed them to abandon the very achievable goal of federal autonomy and burn their bridges with an amenable Assad. We were isolating them from their already hostile neighbors and stretching them razor thin, all while establishing a perfect borderland territory for Turkey to invade and launch more Salafi mayhem from. Never mind Trump's idle threats and empty bluster, Turkey's "Safe Zone" is being primed to be the new Idlib and the Kurds won't be the only ones to get fucked.

This leaves the Kurds with no other choice but to beg for forgiveness and make up with their former allies in Assad's Syria and the Islamic Republic. And this sliver of hope for regional anti-imperial unity is the primary reason I personally support Trump's latest sloppy Kurdish screwjob. For decades the Kurds have been trapped in the worst case of battered spouse syndrome since Nicole Simpson. Their toxic tryst with our gruesome empire has crippled their ability to reach their full revolutionary potential. But a new dawn is rising over the battered sands of Eurasia. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, America's victims have formed a coalition hell bent on ending our hegemony in their hemisphere once and for all. A coalition of half-crippled survivors of the American Century known as the Axis of Resistance. And if the YPG/PKK play their cards right, maybe just maybe, they might have an open place at their table for a stateless clan of bearded renegades with an acquired expertise for taking a stick to NATO's Achilles heal in Turkey.

Don't cry for the Kurds, dearest motherfuckers. Their wounds may be self-inflicted but they aren't terminal. This screwjob could be the last screwjob and the first day of the rest of the Rojava Revolution. The Kurds may be hurting now but they have been presented with the perfect opportunity to have the last laugh over the graves of their betrayers. I only pray that they take it.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  High and Dry by Radiohead
*  Joey by Concrete Blonde
*  Helter Skelter by the Beatles
*  Looking for America by Lana Del Rey
*  Killing for Company by Swans
*  Louie Louie by Black Flag
*  War Dance by Killing Joke
*  Ever by Flipper
*  What About Us? by Ministry
*  Hate to Say I Told You So by the Hives

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Climate Cthulhu: A Post-Modern Horror Story

It is October 2019, dearest motherfuckers, and we are living in a horror story. To say that these are apocalyptic times seems to be a gross understatement. The Biblical notion of Armageddon, what with the gnashing of teeth and pillars of salt, seems almost quaint in our age, like some new attraction at Disney World where the Dipping Dots are served up to the kiddos by friendly leather-clad catamites. The Thunderdome looks like a goddamn jungle gym when compared to the Lovecraftian horrors of climate change. Mankind itself is being stalked by a colossal beast of our own creation with tentacles reaching far and wide across the globe.

From the sinking islands of the South Pacific, which are being swallowed whole like pills by the sea, to the frontiers of Alaska, where the once long frozen tundras are being set ablaze in massive god-size funeral pyres. From the tropical jungles of Central Africa, being erased from the globe by a tidal wave of rapidly expanding Saharan dunes, to the urban jungles of South Asia, where the sun burns so hot that the pavement of the streets themselves melts like ice cream in an oven and the sadhus shrivel up like burnt jerky on the blistering sidewalks. This beast has killed millions. This beast has slaughtered whole civilizations, liquidated glaciers the size of continents and murdered entire seasons in cold blood. Spring and Fall have been burned from the fucking calendar and Winter is next. This beast is just getting started and soon the dog days will last forever, or at least until forever too falls victim to this environmental Cthulhu. Howard Philips shrieks as Mother Nature wails. Ladies and gentleman, we are fucked. The killer has us cornered in the attic and their will be no final girls in this slasher nightmare.

This beast of which I speak, call it climate change, call it global warming, call it whatever the hell you like, is the bastard creation of a Doctor Frankenstein which too goes by many names; globalism, capitalism, neoliberalism, consumerism, industrialism, imperialism. All just different genres of that fickle vice known as modernity, a fork in the road of human evolution where the brightest monkeys fooled themselves into believing that their self-serving technology made them superior to the rest of the living world. As usual, Marx was right and Marx was wrong. Marx was right to observe that capitalism, one of modernity's more garish offspring, thrived on the nihilistic, almost vampiric thirst for constant expansion. He was wrong however to assume that capitalism's insatiable hunger would inevitably lead to its own demise. There is another, far more unsavory, end game for the capitalist beast besides the karma of popular revolution, and that is a mass murder-suicide by expansion itself. Marx never imagined, even in his most fevered dreams, that humanity could be so ruthless as to destroy itself with toxic pleasure and use the old Kraut's beloved industrialism to do it. It took mad men like Theodore Kaczynski to see that coming. Now Ted sits in his concrete tomb in Colorado, too sickened by his own vision to even snarl "I told you so!" to the once smug guards who's homes are now on fire in the Rockies.

I avoided writing on this topic for years. Not simply because it is incredibly unpleasant. I've spent my life in the shadows of exceptable human behavior, cross-dressing and burning flags just for kicks. Unpleasant is a second language to me. I've avoided writing on the Climate Cthulhu largely because I felt I lacked the proper vocabulary to capture it truthfully. Like many Americans, I know little of science. I can grasp the importance and meaning behind the terminology but I lack the basic right-brain skill set to properly explain it. But as I find myself entering the thirty-first October of my short existence, I realize that climate change is not merely a scientific story, but a horror story for the post-modern era. That is the kind of story I can tell. And the most truly horrific detail of this grisly tale is the simple, almost unpalatable, fact that it is likely too little too late for a happy ending. We have taken our greed and our vanity and fucked the earth herself. Now the earth must correct us before we can rape her to death with our "progress." Our best case scenario as a species is that billions will die, society as we know it will collapse and a few pockets of humanity will adapt and survive.

There are people who don't want you to believe this. Powerful people offering us the opium of hope. But let there be no question that this is a poison gift delivered by the fathers of the beast themselves. That global virus of big business and big government created this nightmare. Trusting them to fix it, especially by awarding there institutions like the United Nations and the American Federal Government more power, more money, more expansion, is a tragic fool's errand and we can't afford to be the errand boys of the bourgeoisie anymore. The UN and the Davos set will not save us. They wouldn't even if they could. They will take our money and our sovereignty and our dwindling resources and use them to save themselves. They will live out a Caligulaesque post-apocalyptic existence in fortified bunkers and space colonies while the rest of us suffer and toil and disintegrate in the fires of the hell their greed made possible.

So, is there any hope? Perhaps, but very little. The monster of climate change was birthed in the cesspool of imperial mass society. Our best hope, our only hope, is to unite beneath a drop-out culture of total retreat from this modern monstrosity we dare call civilization. We must look inwards, towards our own communities, embrace the communalism of our tribal heritage and reject the poison fruit of bigness. We must take care of each other by taking care of our own. Only radical localism can combat radical globalism. However, in order for this strategy to have any impact beyond that of a suicide mission, we will require mass grassroots mobilization. The children of the climate resistance movement have shown us that the possibilities of decentralized global revolt can still shake the towers of the elites.

Sadly, the learned helplessness driven into the subconscious of these kids by statist institutionalism has rendered their otherwise admirable actions impotent. It is a heart-wrenching lesson in the power of manufactured consent that now even our youth revolts have been rendered to the status of begging the adults of the global elite to save us from their own tyranny. I weep at the feet of Greta Thunberg. In any other era she would have been a pubescent warlord like Joan of Arc, bringing the big men of this world to their knees to beg her sword for mercy. In the sickness of our current age she has been reduced to the roll of a glorified dominatrix. The powerful wait in line to be scolded and humiliated by her razor tongue before posing for a fist-bumping selfie and returning to their private jets as they pat themselves on the back and quip "I deserved that." 

Well they deserve worse. We need to step it up and stop begging for scraps at the master's table. We can no longer afford to be their dogs. If these are the last days of human existence then I say we go down biting the hand that feeds. These kids need to realize how dangerous they are. They should take their boycotts to the next level and stop engaging in the fascism of compulsory schooling altogether. They shouldn't settle for flight shaming. They should lay their bodies across the tarmac and slash the tires of the private jets of glad-handing climate charlatans like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio. And we the adults should do our part by doing more than just wallowing in our guilt. We should boycott the beast itself by refusing to pay the taxes that feed it. We should chase the multinationals from our neighborhoods, villages and cities with pitchforks and torches. We should use those torches to burn down our SUVs and suburbs, and we should use the insurance money to by dirt bikes and tepees in the woods. We should hurl toxic waste in the faces of the developers and bankers and lobbyists and oilmen so even they cant hide from the monstrosity of their deeds. These are the do-or-die times and we need to become fucking savages again.

But we also need to prepare ourselves for the worst, dearest motherfuckers. The rich are already in survival mode. They are using the specter of the beast they built to consolidate their power. We need to stop wasting our time on the circus of electoral pageantry and impeachment hearings erected to distract us from a burning world while the arsonists loot from the ashes. We need to direct our attention not just to crippling the beast but to protecting our families, our communities, our tribes, our people. We need to gather with those who mean the most to us and map out a strategy for survival and foster the sense of communal responsibility that progress robbed us of when they began this horror story many years ago. This may not be the happy ending we want but, if we're lucky and we fight like hell for what really matters, it may be the bittersweet ending we deserve.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs to burn and rive too

*  Baby's On Fire by Brian Eno
*  End of the Line by Sleigh Bells
*  I Wanna Be Your Dog by the Stooges
*  The Future by Leonard Cohen
*  Lonely Planet Boy by New York Dolls
*  The Hand That Feeds by Nine Inch Nails
*  Monkey Gone To Heaven By The Pixies
*  Man Size by PJ Harvey
*  I Think That I Would Die by Hole
*  Sappy by Nirvana
*  This Tornado Love You by Neko Case
*  Our Town by Iris Dement