Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 2: Panic On the Streets of Tehran

There's panic on the streets of Bellefonte, panic on the streets of Lancaster, I wonder to myself, could life ever be sane again? Barely two weeks into Pennsylvania's largely mandatory shutdown and I'm already paraphrasing lyrics from vintage Smiths songs. I can't deny to anyone, much less myself, that I'm not handling this shit particularly well. Quite frankly, I'm losing my proverbial shit. Flipping out on fucking trashcans and stalking the halls like Jack Torrance in lipstick, dragging an ax called 'Nervous Breakdown' behind me. I'd say I'm just a few loose screws away from chopping my family up into three neat stacks and hammering out "All business and no play make Nicky a dull girl" for volume three of this fucking thing. I'm an agoraphobic for shit's sake. How the Christ did I do this for six years straight without committing a single homicide? I had sixty minutes with my shrink over the goddamn phone this week and she stopped my yammering no more than three times to ask me if I was suicidal. So, yeah, dearest motherfuckers, I'm not exactly doing well. At least I'm not alone.

This whole damn country is a fucking madhouse. It's like dropping the razor blade and realizing, covered in blood and teeming with childhood trauma, that somehow, by the grace of Beelzebub, you're the sanest motherfucker in the room. The entire country seems to be divided into two equally deranged bipolar camps of hysteria; People who take this virus way too goddamn seriously and people who don't take it nearly seriously enough. You're either jacking off to 28 Days Later in a hazmat suit or you're hitting Rehoboth Beach with the bros for heavy petting and butt-chugging. Sometimes I feel fairly certain that I'm the only one caught somewhere between the two.

While every 25/8 news circus from CNN to ESPN7 is filling the atmosphere with a toxic fog of worst case scenarios and wildly speculative graphs with their tsunami red curves, our shithead president waltz's to the podium every afternoon whistling the theme to Happy Days, talking up the huge beautiful Easter we're going to have, choking up blood while the Grim Reaper serves the ham and the Donald watches the Nasdaq pull his orange ass over the finish line to a second term. Every afternoon I wake up with that imbecile blaring at my half-senile mother on Fox News, flanked by his task force of professional adults who pat our president's back and try like hell not to think about the fact that they're illustrious careers have been reduced to playing the Funky Bunch to a psychotic man-child and if they fail to nail the choreography, their ass could be grass before tomorrows jamboree, replaced by Dr. Oz or Ralph Macchio.

This may seem like some sick surrealist fever dream out of a bad David Lynch knock-off, but this really is plague time America in a nutshell. The media goes bugfuck nuts about every bump in the road and the government tries to look busy while they do jackshit. The only time when this role ever seems to reverse is when America is savagely tormenting a Third World scapegoat while the typically hysterical talking heads shrug their shoulders and check their phones. This is the situation, once again, with Iran, for the ninetieth fucking time. It's like Uncle Sam is some hard-luck bully who desperately needs to get laid, but will settle for giving the class hemophiliac another wedgy instead. Iran seems to be the one place where the plague has legitimately reached almost baroque proportions of devastation. There is literally no point in me giving a body count because it will have quadrupled before I finish typing this sentence. Someone dies there every ten minutes and fifty people are infected every hour. And unlike those chain smoking geezers in Italy's Salo Republic, the median age in Iran is thirty. Fucking thirty! Persia is a baby on fire, and Mike Pompeo says we better throw her in the river.

With everyone from the Mullahs to the EU begging our diseased empire to show a shred of compassion and remove the sanctions that make ventilators rarer than dildos on the streets of Tehran, Trump's response is to toss on a few more, and he's the merciful one in that White House. Pompeo's West Point Mafia is trying their damnedest to pressure our dearly demented dear leader into dropping bombs on a nation that has become a glorified leper colony, all over a few rockets launched by Christ knows who at coalition soldiers illegally occupying nearby Iraq. And our frantic media covers exactly none of this! Even as I rock gently in the corner and try not to swallow my own tongue, my mentally ravaged mind boggles violently at the sheer absurdity of this spectacle, and my bleeding heart shatters over another theatre of cruelty we are once again performing in a country that has never once attacked us or even invaded a single sovereign neighbor.

Adding insult to a litany of injury, as we throw dress rehearsals for a land invasion with those rabid jackals in the United Arab Emirates, we offer a pocket full of aid to our victims as long as they crawl for it, like a rapist offering his victim lube before round two. Is there really any wonder why the Islamic Republic is so fucking paranoid? After the unforgivable crime of replacing one of our dictators with one not sponsored by Pepsi, we have thrown everything at these people; Poison gas attacks, proxy wars, downed civilian airlines, crippling sanctions, and now, as they stare down the sawed off barrel of a plague, they hear us laughing like Dylan Klebold behind the trigger. Have they gone mad? Of coarse they fucking have. We make them look sane after half a month of living the way they have for nearly half a century. What is an embargo after all but a militarized government shutdown. So they blame us for the plague and they're not far off. We may not have cooked this thing up in some Zionist super-lab but we made the impact it had on Iran, and by proxy, the greater Middle East, a savage inevitability in a twisted game we won't even call off when it's raining blood.

And so there's panic on the streets of Baghdad, panic on the streets of Tehran, Caracas, Havana, Sevastopool. Our only hope for things to be sane again may be to burn down the empire and hang the Great Satan ourselves. Until then, dearest motherfuckers, I'll be here sharpening my ax. I've literally got no place else to be.



Peace, Love & Insanity- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Panic by the Smiths
*  Baby's On Fire by Brian Eno
*  Loosing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
*  Reign In Blood by Slayer
*  Stuck In the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel
*  Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis
*  I've Been Tired by the Pixies
*  Hit So Hard by Hole
*  Godstar by Psychic TV
*  War by Sinead O'Connor



This post is dedicated, in loving memory, to Genesis P-Orridge. Another strange genderfuck alien who very briefly made me feel less alone on this savage planet. Godspeed Godstar. Hopefully you now burn brighter in a finer universe than this. You picked a hell of a time to leave us.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland

Being a certifiable agoraphobic basket case, you would think someone like me would be almost preternaturally suited for the stone blind isolation of fever fucked pandamania. And you would be completely fucking wrong. I spent six years in self imposed isolation as a twenty-something shut in. I spent another six desperately clawing my way out of that hole and slowly building what has only just begun to resemble a life, and in less than six days, covid-19 has torn this intricately constructed matrix of groups, volunteer jobs and therapy down to the ground and reduced me to the shambled debris of ground zero. I'm a little bit pissed, but mostly I'm just fucking scared. If I'm going to write about something like this, I'm going to write about it with the naked ferocity that defines my writing. A strange, vaguely haunted cobweb of Gonzo muckraking and navel gazing confessionals that I've come to refer to as Emo-Gonzo. I am the genderfucked bastard bitch of Hunter Thompson and Sylvia Plath, humped together in the dizzy oven of some bored press junket cafeteria, and today, this is my story. George Romero eat your heart out.

Blasting out of the toxic armpit of Chinese sweatshop country like a fart from hell, this strange toxic beast called coronavirus has violently rampaged across the globe with an evil ferocity that makes Godzilla look like Gumby. It has crippled virtually every continent on the planet and reduced places as far-flung as Tuscany and Ohio to scenes straight out of an Edvard Munch painting. No one appears to be safe. Even in my quietly suburban spider hole in central Pennsylvanian Amish country, this fucker is circling, taking county by county, waiting to pounce. I may be only thirty-one years young, but me and my mother have both suffered from the ravages of a much less publicized plague called chronic Lyme disease for just over half my life. This means that I'm among the few lucky millennials who could actually fucking die from this thing. So I don't have the luxury of taking chances with the very real possibility that this monster is just another tabloid gagoo of a news cycle that feeds on panic. I have to take these fuckers at their word because my life quite literally depends on it, and I have far too many normies left to upset to drop dead now.

The only thing I can be absolutely certain of is that this coronavirus pandemic is a plague designed by globalism. It's existence, at least in current form, would be unthinkable without this colossal multinational architecture designed by the Faustian marriage of world government and crony capitalism to allow profit at the speed of light from one piss-reeking sweatshop to another. This manufactured "free market" is anything but. It is a Byzantine-esque empire, so colossal that only the super-rich and their bureaucratic counterparts in the halls of power can possibly afford to traverse it. It's the ultimate colonialist hoax. World domination cleverly disguised as a border evaporating, Kumbaya baying, global village love-in. And now it is literally making us sick. Truth be told, there is nothing particularly novel about the novel coronavirus. This pandemic is just the latest symptom of that plague most epic called progress. Other symptoms may include climate change, global terrorism, forever wars, and naturally, the loss of liberty.

That is the other, quite possibly greater, threat posed by this capitalist plague. Across the globe, desperate measures are being undertaken by heavy-handed governments empowered by fear. Entire cottage industries are being shut down, populations quarantined and streets emptied of all life not wrapped in a NATO tank, as traumatized sheep gleefully applaud them from the open windows of their domestic prison cells. We must remember that, in times like these more than any other, fascism is the panic button plutocracies hammer when they begin to loose control. This virus is the invention of massive factories, goosestepping armies and carefully coordinated global finance. We would be fatally foolish upon the brink of insanity to believe that these very toxic institutions could save us from the hell they created, even if they wanted to.

After 9/11, another cataclysmic ritual made possible by the perversions of globalism, our Constitution was rendered  largely symbolic by the man-eating wood-chipper known as the Patriot Act. All acts of tyranny were made virtually legal if they met the vague standards of a "national security threat." The only thing that kept the Bush Junta (and the Obama one) from flipping the switch to full-tilt Luftwaffen uber alles was the specter of one more Reichstag Fire. I look out my window and see nothing but smoke as far as the eye can see. Black plumes drifting from every village across the farmlands. We live in very dangerous times indeed. Perhaps in 2020, it only follows that Anne Frank would be a thirty-something genderqueer trans-woman living with her parents, with a blog instead of a diary.

The only thing I have left to ask is, are you scared yet? Good. Welcome to my world. It's a weird fucking place but someone has to live there. Stay tuned, dearest motherfuckers. Something haunting tells me this wont be the last melodramatic dispatch from Coronaville. In Kali's name we pray, amen.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs to hyperventilate too.

*  Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones
*  Nausea by Beck
*  Touch Me I'm Sick by Mudhoney
*  Shut-In by Strand of Oaks
*  School by Nirvana
*  The National Anthem by Radiohead
*  Asshole & Gretel by Babes In Toyland
*  Eighties by Killing Joke
*  All Tomorrows Parties by the Velvet Underground
*  I've Been Tired by the Pixies

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Art of the Phony Peace Deal

Well, it only took a million years but peace has finally come to Afghanistan, sort of. Or at least so it appears. I'm not one of those hyperventilating liberal opportunists, bursting at the seems to piss on any peace parade led by a dayglo elephant. I have genuinely made an effort to put my best foot forward when Trump has made his occasional isolationist noises. Hell, I'm probably the only one to the left of Sebastian Gorka who cheered as he told the deep state to sit and spin from Helsinki with Putin at his side. But even in the wake of all the reactionary chaos of a flip-flopping Pat Buchanan wannabe, I've begun to notice another trend of vain opportunism which makes me feel less than easy about Orange-Man-Bad's latest peace deal with the Taliban.

There are huge sections of this deal which remain off-limits to the eyes of American citizens, with word of annexes big enough to stow an army of corpses in. Even the stuff we know isn't ironclad. A vague troop reduction over the next nine and a half months that can be reversed on the president's whim, making it completely possible for Trump to run as a peace candidate and renege completely on his non-commitment just in time for the inauguration. This, coupled together with Trump's photo-op friendly game of negotiation hokey-pokey with a still starving North Korea, makes me more than a little hesitant to pop the cork and sing "Power to the People." Once again, the temptation here is to chock this all up to the unprecedented chaos of Trumpism, but this assumes that anything about Trump is unprecedented, a foolish schoolgirl lie that the Resistance repeats to itself in the mirror like a mantra every night before bedtime.

The only thing unprecedented about Trump's foreign policy is his gal, everything else is standard imperial boilerplate. America has a long and storied history of phony peace deals, though your textbooks and PBS docudramas probably frame them a little differently. When Nixon opened up the West to Chairman Mao's China in 1972, he was really making a deal with the daughtering old sociopath to fuck over Vietnam for the next couple decades, cutting arms to Charlie while undermining his efforts by financing the racist Khmer Rouge and joining us in flogging the newly liberated Vietnam when they tried to intervene and pull the plug on the Cambodian bloodbath. This ended with the long forgotten bizarro spectacle of both Reagan and Deng propping up Pol Pot in exile while they starved what remained of Kampuchea with sanctions.

Liberal Darling and real life Methuselah, Jimmy Carter has long been sainted for starting the endless peace talks over Israel-Palestine with his Camp David Accords. The sick sad reality however is that all Jimmy really did was offer Anwar Sadat and his pissant flunkee Hosni Mubarak a shit ton of American military hardware, along with the Sinai Peninsula, if they agreed to fuck over Gaza, setting a long hideous precedent of openly anti-Semitic Arab leaders willing to sit on their hands as the Nakba continues, just as long as they got the cruise missiles necessary to protect their thrones from their own people, many of whom turned from secular Arab Nationalism to violent Wahhabism in response to such savage hypocrisy.

This trend continued with the blessed Oslo Accords, where Yasser Arafat himself agreed to segregate his nation into the twin islands of eternal desperation now known as Gaza and the West Bank, just as long as he got to play president for a few years before his old buddy Ariel Sharon poisoned his scheming ass. The result wasn't just the diplomatic destruction of the still inevitable One State Solution, but the reduction of any hope for democracy in Palestine to a corrupt glorified apartheid state, duty bound by "peace" treaties to oppress their own people on Israel's behalf. Latter-day post-Zionists like Bernie like to piss and moan about the open racism of Kushner and Bibi, but Democrats like Bernie set the stage for Trump's frankly genocidal Israel peace farce with decades of sleazy photo-ops at Camp David.

Even Barack Obama's nearly universally celebrated nuclear peace deal with Iran was little more than a farce designed to be destroyed overnight on the whim of the executive office Barry helped fortify. Iran gave us access to everything but the Ayatollah's colon and got nothing but empty promises of sanctions reduction for their trouble. All for dismantling a nuclear weapons program that even our own CIA testified they didn't have. And I see this same cruel prank of gangster diplomacy all over the Taliban deal. Best case scenario; we reduce our military footprint in the Hindu Kush to CIA torture chambers and black-ops death squads, and swap out the Northern Alliance for the Taliban as our new dope pushing militia of choice. Worst case scenario; nothing really changes and what few troops we actually rotated out of that carnivorous death trap are back getting their shins blown off before their kids can blow out the candles on their next birthday cake.

Look, dearest motherfuckers, I don't like to be the killjoy here, I really don't. But when you cut deals with an empire that runs on perpetual violence, you're really doing little more than shaking hands with the devil, and that fucker can give you way worse woes than the coronavirus. The only deal you can make with a bully state as colossal as the one I exist in that can possibly lead to anything remotely resembling peace is the kind that says get the fuck off my lawn or your Yankee ass is grass. This kind of peace only happens when American anti-imperialists assist their comrades overseas by putting our knee on Uncle Sam's throat like we did to get out of Nam. Anything else is just an inevitable imperial shakedown.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Lay Lady Lay by Ministry
*  Delete Forever by Grimes
*  Closer by Nitzer Ebb
*  Describe by Perfume Genius
*  Fire by Waxahatchee
*  Power to the People by John Lennon
*  Peace Sells...  but Who's Buying? by Megadeth
*  I'm Afraid of Americans by David Bowie & Trent Reznor
*  Violence by Grimes
*  Just One Fix by Ministry

Sunday, March 8, 2020

You Don't Need Putin to Undermine American Democracy

With the 2020 election heating up, there is a stiff wind methodically weaving through this fierce desert of geriatric combat, something evil and relentless, sending haunted tumbleweeds rocking back and forth over fractured highways. No, I'm not talking about the winds of March, dearest motherfuckers. I'm talking about something far more sinister blowing our way. I'm talking about the return of the invisible Russian meddling menace. If you peer through the blinds, things may appear woefully normal at this glorified nursing home we call a primary, but we have it on the good authority of anonymous intelligence sources and retired sleazeballs like John Brennan and James Comey that it's anything but, and our corporate media takes them at their word.

And why shouldn't we all? After all, wasn't it this same collaboration of scumfuck geniuses who led us to victory over the equally transparent nuclear warheads of Saddam's Iraq. Proof is so overrated. Fevered speculation is the new proof. Anything else is just fake news. Speculation that Darth Putin stalks our every move with a rapist's eye for detail. Speculation that the Kremlin lurks behind every social media account that doesn't jibe with the New York Times interpretation of reality. And finally, bat-blind and batshit speculation that the Russian menace has taken hold of not one but two presidential campaigns, corrupting both ostensible frontrunners, Donald and Bernie, for some kind of weird populist Manchurian candidate showdown that will split this country in twain like a Babylonian atom.

The savage irony in this latest round of unverified Russophobic nonsense is that it now targets a candidate who gleefully indulged in the last round. Bernie Sanders was pivotal in legitimizing the Russia hoax among the once skeptical minds of the far left. But this seems to be a common theme in Bernie's century long political career. He offers blind unmitigated servitude to his masters in the DNC and they flog him stupid like a disobedient bottom bitch for his trouble. Bernie just smiles that goofy grin and offers the other butt cheek for punishment. After being informed by the Washington Post that "people familiar with the matter" had it on sound authority that he was Putin's pick for the primary, Bernie willingly offered up those internet mean girls, the Bernie Bros., as sacrificial lambs, rather than pointing out the dangerous absurdity of our intelligence community interjecting themselves into another active election with more baseless rumors. This appears to be the new normal. Americans get pumped about making some minor change through our derelict electoral system and the agents of the status quo swat it down like a gnat and declare our reengagement with democracy to be a piece of some gigantic conspiracy that our plebian proletariat minds simply don't have the grey matter to comprehend. Maybe we should all just shut the fuck up and stick to farming. That's all us working folk are good for, after all.

This is precisely what these silly Russian conspiracy theories seek to achieve. It's so obscenely ironic, it's downright Freudian. The deep state seeks to undermine our participation in democracy by convincing us that this very participation is undermining our democracy. They seek to silence truth telling journalists exposing their fake news by having our work arbitrarily declared fake news. I don't believe they do this because they fear pseudo-revolutionary blowfish like Bernie. They do this because they fear the populist movement he represents.

Trump's first term in office has more than proven the war machine's ability to manipulate even the most unruly man-child into doing their bidding. In 2016, Trump was singing Kumbaya in broken Russian. By 2020, he's ripping up nuclear treaties and sending rocket launchers to the Azov Brigade. The deep state doesn't fear Trump or Bernie because they know from first hand experience that democracy in this country is nothing but theatre. But if that theatre gets the audience riled up enough, you run the risk of empowering them to take to the stage themselves. These people don't fear the delegitimization of American democracy. Quite the contrary, they are deathly afraid of the charade being exposed by legitimately dangerous people empowered by these populist campaigns like Rand Paul and Ilhan Omar, who are trying to limit the powers of the Executive Office to make unilateral war crimes without anyone's consent. And they fear little monsters like you and me perhaps most of all.

Whenever you press these military industrial flakes on what the actual endgame for Putin is with this increasingly elaborate plot against our precious bodily fluids, they usually sputter a bit like a busted rumba before tossing out some played out soundbite about delegitimizing American democracy, as if we need Putin's help with that. At the end of the day, what fucking difference does it make even if the Russians do throw a couple Rubles into our election circus when the entire thing is blatantly manipulated everyday with more money than Russia's worth from oligarchs right here on Park 5th Avenue? What makes Putin and his wild wild east gangsters any less legitimate than say Jeff Bezos who has more money than god and owns papers, like the Washington Post, who make up news with as many verifiable sources as a tween gossip girl that benefit his preferred old white guy? We suspect Russia interfered in 2016. We know that Sheldon Adelson did. Trump gave him Jerusalem. What the fuck has he given Putin? But all of those points are irrelevant, because I'm undermining our corrupt democratic process by pointing out the simple fact that we don't need Putin to lower the bar when we're already damn near as low as it goes.

This fact, believe it or not, is the silver lining of this story. If the American Empire was truly a healthy plutocracy, they would welcome voices of dissent like mine rather than removing them from social media. The illusion is cracking. Americans are finally waking from their long slumber to realize that their delusional dreams of America the beautiful have been the power source for the greatest matrix of global violence in the history of existence. If we're seeing technocrats from the intelligence class coming out from behind Oz's curtain to scold us plebian dirt farmers for forgetting our place, you better believe that they're fucking scared. Fascism is the last stage of the capitalist lifespan. It usually starts with buying off big papers and glorifying chickenhawks in gaudy uniforms. But it usually ends with those merchants of death strung up like wild game from a light post. It's gonna get worse before it gets better. But it is gonna get better. Americans just need to realize that their true power exists in the streets, not the ballot box.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post.

*  End of the Line by Sleigh Bells
*  Lilacs by Waxahatchee
*  Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
*  Bluebell by Babes in Toyland
*  Toy by Chromatics
*  Wake Up by Arcade Fire
*  Surrender by Cheap Trick
*  Ironic by Alanis Morrissette
*  Hit So Hard by Hole
*  Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon
*  Rocket U.S.A. by Suicide
*  No Matter What by Badfinger

Sunday, March 1, 2020

...Now Can We Celebrate Some Dangerous Black People?

Another Black History Month comes and another Black History Month goes. The 29 dreary days of the year when we reduce the history of the people who built this country beneath the weight of the whip to extra crunchy peanut butter. I'm not a black person, so every word of this rant may very well come across as politically incorrect and racially insensitive, but I am a history nerd, and as quite possibly the queerest person on this side of the rainbow, I do know what it's like to have my tribe's history hijacked and commodified by the same capitalist cunts who once conspired to have us annihilated. Truth be told, growing up as a freak, I often found it a hell of a lot more easy to relate to black historical figures than white ones. Malcolm X may have peed standing up but something tells me he knew more about being the straight man's faggot than the Kennedy's.

But Brother Malcolm isn't an official fixture of Black History Month. Oh sure, you'll see a picture of him here or there, but he's always seen but not heard. That's because Black History Month has less to do with black people and more to do with white guilt and jingoist propaganda. The entire ark of black history is reduced to crass pop culture and a constellation of events designed to prove the ultimate benevolence and superiority of the American system. According to Black History Month, black people were freed by the white establishment with the Emancipation Proclamation, made equal by the white establishment with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, and officially accepted into the white establishment with the election of Barack Obama. And that's where history just sort of ends. According to this narrative, black history is defined almost entirely by the state, the same state that brought these people over here in chains. You would think Abe Lincoln was a fucking negro himself, rather than a well established racist who used a group of people he didn't even believe were human to justify consolidating his power with a bloodbath.

Sure we celebrate black people in February, but we prefer to the celebrate the safe ones, and when they're not safe, we make em safe. One would be forgiven for suffering under the delusion that Martin Luther King was some roly-poly statist push-over rather than a pistol-packing anti-imperialist who was so frightening to the feds that they devoted thousands of manhours to see him ruined and more than likely got him and his comrade, Brother Malcolm, killed. It's telling that we only celebrate the pacifists, and even then, only the most passive aspects of said pacifists get celebrated. The message being, just keep your hands in your pockets and sing about Jesus and the state will come around to recognize your right to exist once they can capitalize on it to prove their benevolence to those bastard commies. And the rest is just peanut butter. As a kid, this month was a fucking bore, and I'm pretty sure that was the point. I found it hard to reconcile the banality of my history books with the wild images of gloved fists, M1 Carbines and afros that tantalized me in the pages of those old magazines in my mom's vintage clothing shop. There's nothing wrong with Booker T. Washington  or George Washington Carver, but if you're going to spend a whole month celebrating safe black people cant we spend another one celebrating the dangerous ones?

We can start with the father of dangerous negroedom, Nat Turner, a seemingly well behaved preacher who used his status as an Uncle Tom to organize the greatest slave revolt in American history, lopping off the heads of some sixty white devils and setting the table for the Dixieland uprisings which gave Lincoln's Civil War some much needed street cred. While we're celebrating Rosa Parks, why don't we also celebrate the equally courageous Lucy Parsons? A triracial anarcho-feminist born into slavery who went on to help create the most dangerous arm of the Labor Movement in the International Workers of the World and was once described by the Chicago PD as "More dangerous than a thousand rioters." And how about the Black Power Movement that terrified racist shits like LBJ into signing off on civil rights with one hand and arming J. Edgar Hoover's glorified Klansmen with the other?

It was the Black Power Movement that taught a frightened little girl like me to reject her body and embrace her status as a Rock N Roll Nigger. It was Robert F. Williams building black militias and advocating a Dixie uprising from a radio station in Havana during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was Huey Newton policing the police in Apartheid Oakland with the black leather clad spectacle of the Black Panther Party. It was Ahmed Evans who saw the pigs put a bullet in a black man's back just like Michael Brown and responded by taking on the entire Cleveland Police State single handedly in the Glenville Shootout. It was a queer Panther named Kuwasi Balagoon who got so good at busting out of the white man's prisons that he turned it into a calling and helped free Assata Shakur, who's still sitting free and pretty as we speak in Cuba long after the AIDS virus claimed her brother and millions of others. It was his fellow black anarchists Martin Sostre, Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin and Ashanti Alston who fused black nationalism with stateless resistance long before anyone had even heard of the concept of national anarchism that would inform my own brand of radical queer tribalism. It was wild cards like John Africa who survived the ableist  confines of compulsory schooling and the mental health industry to advocate a return to primitive values back when Will Shatter was still porking John Zerzan's mistress at the Mab. It was Storme DeLarverie and Miss Major who defined black femininity on their own damn terms while throwing the first brick in the police state's face at Stonewall.

These were the dark skinned heroes who gave me the strength to take the razor blade from my wrist and put it to Uncle Sam's throat. And that is precisely why most of you here have probably never even heard their names. Dangerous people of color have always lead the fight against the American Empire. It's in their blood. The same blood that watered the crops on the Founding Fathers' plantations. This is why armed white men tremble at the sight of unarmed black children. This is why an entire industrial complex had to be built to contain them. As Vladimir Lenin and J. Edgar Hoover alike observed, if America has a revolutionary class, it is the dangerous negro. Men like Huey and Malcolm inspired a thousand tribes, from the queens of Stonewall to the Young Patriots of Appalachia, to take up arms and define themselves by resistance rather than assimilation. The least we can do is take March to remember these revolutionaries that February forgot.



Peace, Love & Solidarity- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post.

*  We Got That Attitude by Bad Brains
*  The Payback by James Brown
*  Void by Algiers
*  Rock N Roll Nigger by Patti Smith
*  List of Demands by Saul Williams
*  You're a Prisoner by Death
*  Where Do Ya Draw the Line by Dead Kennedys
*  Satisfaction by Ottis Redding
*  Digital Witness by St. Vincent
*  The National Anthem by Jimi Hendrix

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Socialism Without Anti-Imperialism: A Different Flavor of Tyranny

Well dearest motherfuckers, socialism is back and it only took about a century, or at least so it appears. Nearly half the country has polled as being down with Debs. In spite of the worst efforts of his party's trenchant neoliberal leadership, Bernie Sanders, who splays his socialist ID loud and proud, is now the undeniable frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic Primaries and even his moderate competition are aping his modus operandi. For the first time in ever, formerly far left positions like single-payer and free tuition have become so mainstream that they're downright boring. Even beyond America's official "left-wing" party, the socialist renaissance is in full bloom. At over 50,000 members, the once flimsy Democratic Socialists of America is now the largest American socialist organization since the height of the Labor Movement. More young people self-identify as proud socialists than ever before. So why the fuck am I so bummed?

Like America, my own relationship with socialism is a long and complicated one. A big part of the reason for our country's conflicted relationship with the S word has to do with the fact that it's loaded like a shotgun. This is why, while some 40 something percent of Americans are horny for socialism, another 50 something still find the word itself to be utterly terrifying. The reality is, if you really break it down, socialism is just some system of governance which affords some form of social ownership over the means of production. Democrats and Republicans alike have almost always supported some variant of socialist policy when it suits them. I myself follow a decidedly purist strain of this philosophy often referred to as libertarian socialism.

While in the past I've danced with the devil of full-tilt Bolshevism and I continue to stubbornly defend the legacy of Third World state socialists like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro, I've come to the hard fought conclusion that the only way for truly empowered social ownership of basic human rights like healthcare and education to exist is for it to be wholly decentralized, voluntary and operated from the bottom up. The idea of Bernie's Medicare for All just sounds like swapping masters to me, from corporate bag munchers to federal bag munchers. I'm already experiencing Medicare for Some as a legally disabled agoraphobic and let me tell you, there is exactly nothing empowering about it. I feel like shit being barely strung along by the very same folks who brought us Waco, Ludlow and My Lai, and that brings me to the biggest bug I have up my ass about millennial socialism.

While America's last great socialist era was defined by diehard peaceniks like Eugene Debs and Norman Thomas, socialism 2.0 seems to have little to no room for the leftist cornerstone that brought me to socialism in the first place, Anti-Imperialism. Oh sure, Bernie pays lip-service to broad notions of peace, love and understanding, but the most left-wing class in modern Democratic Primary history can't seem to be bothered to give a fuck about war for longer than two debate questions and a soundbite. Tulsi Gabbard, the only candidate who dared to make the issue a priority, has been run off the reservation like a feral goat.

When you dig deeper into this phenomena, things only get more sinister. Bernie Sanders has strongly endorsed every massacre ever thrown by a member of his surrogate party, including downright genocidal ones like Clinton's baby-killing sanctions regime in Iraq. In fact, the Democrats new found infatuation with seemingly radical leftist state programs like the Green New Deal has coincided ominously with a wave of open liberal imperialism defined by the Russophobic New Cold War of militarist creep-a-zoids like Adam Schiff. Turn on MSDNC and you'll hear an earful of pro-war cheerleading that is eerily reminiscent of Bush-era Fox News. So what the fucking is going on here?

We've seen this specific perversion of leftism before, dearest motherfuckers, and it ain't got dick to do with Debs. It's a sick cousin of Bernie's other roll models, FDR and LBJ. A form of pro-war socialism that essentially amounts to blood and butter payola. In times of extreme upheaval like the Great Depression and the radical end of the Civil Rights Era, members of America's elite parties and institutions have often conceded to light-weight genres of social democracy as a matter of staving off more revolutionary socialist impulses. The New Deal and the Great Society weren't fantastic advancements in workers rights. They were top-down mechanisms designed to pay off the reasonably pissed proletariat to clear the fucking streets while our version of the left nuked Hiroshima and gassed Indochina. It's fucking hush money and it worked. The mighty Labor Movement which earned us weekends and the 24-hour work week was affectively assimilated into the federal beast by FDR, and LBJ managed to castrate the Black Power Movement with welfare checks just when militants were taking whole cities back from the pigs in post-MLK urban meltdowns. And here comes Uncle Bernie with a pocket full of hard candy.

Don't fucking fall for it, dearest motherfuckers. Like any political science, there are many schools of socialism and not all of them are benevolent. Any form of socialism which doesn't put anti-imperialism front and center can best be described as a variant of national socialism. One that fattens up the proletariat on the spoils of conquest. I don't know about you kiddies, but that is not what I signed up for.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post.

*  Lover, You Should've Come Over by Jeff Buckley
*  In Bloom by Nirvana
*  White Riot by the Clash
*  The Underside of Power by Algiers
*  California Uber Alles by Dead Kennedys
*  Candy Sam by Ty Segall
*  1969 by the Stooges
*  Camouflage by the Front Bottoms
*  Pretend That We're Dead by L7
*  The Walker by Christine & the Queens
*  (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding by Elvis Costello

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Hillary, Donald & Bernie: Three Who Would Make a Catastrophe

America is a country that both loves and hates its conspiracy theories. On the one hand, our popular culture is lousy with them, from cinema to the president's goddamn Twitter account. On the other hand, we host an academic elite which not only views such cultural trends with disdain, but seems to see our history, their history, the "official story", as some kind of irrefutable biblical fact. Few people make the connection between these parallel trends, the likelihood that the overly presumptuous and at times downright jingoistic orthodoxy of our ivory tower elites is precisely what drives pedestrian America to search for alternatives to their "truth". That old adage, consider the source. The reality is that history in and of itself is not black and white science. At its most accurate it is a collection of narratives, different perspectives from the ground floor that could easily be described as conspiracy theories. What appears to be a conspiracy theory from Arlington or Manhattan, looks a lot more like bad memories from Hiroshima or Tuskegee. Any true revisionist historian must become a collector of conspiracy theories, viewing all available narratives with a healthy grain of salt.

Few modern historical phenomena have created a greater volume of conspiracy theories than the 2016 Presidential Election, a downright cataclysmic event that the entire nation is still reeling from, even as we approach the next election in 2020. 2016 didn't just shake the unwashed proletariat, it shook our intellectual bourgeoisie to its very core. As the 2020 Primaries grind away, they, more than any others seem to be grasping blindly for answers. How can an insider's insider with such impeccable credentials like Hillary Clinton fall so devastatingly short to an irate babbling imbecile from the tabloid gutter of the 1%? They still haven't figured it out and they know it, and they know that victory will elude them until they do. So what did happen in 2016? Lets take a second look at the crime scene through the lens of three conspiracy theories. The first two, my own, and the last one, the product of our sacred elites, all admittedly equally presumptuous.

Hillary Clinton, regardless of how you feel about her vapid moral integrity, is a stone cold player, a sort of post-feminist supervillain. She accepted at a young age that if she was going to achieve the level of power she sought, she was going to have to game the system. So she married a dope-smoking hayseed with a fraction of her intellect and micromanaged his political career to put herself in the White House. Even as First Lady, Hillary clearly ran the show. She played Dick Cheney to Bill's Dubya, pushing an agenda of international hegemony while silencing the women her silver-tongued hubby groped.

But Hillary was not content to remain behind the curtain. She thirsted to become Oz in both title and reality. So she parlayed this twisted open marriage into a career in the Senate and then a go at the Oval Office. But Hillary had a problem, a major one that many elites share. She was almost pathologically unelectable. She was a master ventriloquist, but without a dummy to play, the public could smell her rank sociopathy from a mile away. In 2008, she suffered a humiliating defeat to a first term senator, a sweet talking minority, no less. If she was going to achieve her goal of becoming the First War Criminal with interior genitalia she would have to get crafty. She would need two ventriloquist dummies this time, not just one. She would need two conspiracies. The kind of soft power manipulations she mastered meddling in other countries affairs.

The first was Bernie Sanders, who already made a career of pulling off the impressive feat of playing two seemingly diametrically apposed rolls at once, the wild eyed socialist idealist that got him elected in bucolic Vermont, and the consummate party loyalist that kept him elected in Washington. He was perfect. From day one of the primary campaign, Bernie sent all the right signals high and clear that he was running to lose. He spoke at great length of reinvigorating the Democratic Party and a revolution that didn't weigh victory with his nomination. He handed the first debates to Hillary on a silken pillow with his declaration that "We are sick of hearing about your damn emails!" as she laughed mincingly, while "we" most certainly were not sick of learning the goddamn truth. In a single off-the-cuff comment, Bernie rendered Hillary's most recent act of Beltway corruption a moot point. Meanwhile, he gathered the disaffected wayward leftists who had already chosen a lesser evil over Hillary once and groomed them to view the party of neoliberal austerity as somehow revolutionary, while refusing to take so much as a swipe at his opponent. But one conspiracy wasn't enough, not this time around. Hillary needed one more dummy to guarantee she wouldn't suffer a repeat of 2008.

Donald Trump had been idly threatening to run for president for nearly two decades. It had become a cornerstone of his whole sideshow, along with a dizzy cocktail of corporate welfare and reality TV. But he had never seen it fit to actually waste his time and energy on an actual campaign. Not until 2016. Whatever could have changed the Donald's mind? His little game of presidential footsy had garnered him all the rewards of a real presidential run, but none of the headaches. Something drove this bit player to take a leading roll in 2016. Is it really so far fetched to consider the possibility that some savvy media tycoon like Haim Saban in the orbit of Trump's old friends the Clintons could have convinced him that this time actually taking the plunge could earn him even richer rewards?

Bafflingly, Trump launched his strange campaign by diving head first into an issue that was far more of a sour point for Democrats than it was for the GOP in 2015. Before Donald descended those golden escalators to infamy, no one with any heft on the right was even talking about tightening immigration laws. Quite the contrary, after two dismal presidential campaigns in a row, the GOP was openly playing with the notion of doing the unthinkable and reaching out to minorities, Buckley be damned. The Democrats were the ones busy trying to reverse the damage done to the long neglected but increasingly pivotal Latino vote by Obama's record shattering deportation regime, handing out tokens like DACA like fun-size candy bars on Halloween.

Then the Donald took to the airwaves, proclaiming immigrants to be killers and rapists, and calling for the construction of a flaming border moat complete with landmines and crocodiles. He seemed like a gift from hell to the Hillary Campaign and for a while he was. Clinton's devoted allies on CNN and MSNBC gave Trump's race-baiting horror show 24/7 coverage, while "serious" GOP contenders were treated like disposable tarts on the Bachelor. It was so perfect, how could it possibly go wrong? The leftist youth vote that had long eluded Hillary was being corralled and pacified by Bernie the grateful loser, while Donald Trump alienated Latinos by turning the GOP into an episode of Jerry Springer. It was the perfect soft power play. But like all of Hillary's experiments with regime change, from Libya to Ukraine, this one too would blow up in her fucking face with the force of a thousand Benghazi's. It turns out that the only bitch bigger than Hillary is blowback.

In spite of all his limp-wristed bromides to party unity, Bernie's revolution grew revolutionary. It turns out that the left didn't just distrust Hillary, they despised her, and in an election that was packaged to them as a forgone conclusion by the same pricks who helped Hillary sell them on the Iraq War, even a charismatic cripple like Bernie was ripe to warp into a cult of personality. Bernie was about as dangerous as unscented Lubriderm, but he came to symbolize something obscenely radical. He came to symbolize upheaval. And so Hillary found herself married to the task of sabotaging her own puppet's primaries, while the upheaval on the right that her backers fostered with round the clock coverage became equally unruly. What had started as a sort of blue collar shock comedy tour with the Donald stocking the stage like a dayglow Andrew Dice Clay, taking swipes at every sacred cow from cripples to POW's, had tapped into something primal. In spite of all the blatant race baiting, at its core, the Trump jihad was essentially an elder cousin of the Bernie revolution. People had become so disgusted by the daily corruption of the status quo that they were willing to vote for a human Molotov cocktail just to burn that fucker down. This shit was out of control. Hillary needed one more conspiracy to tame it.

What she came up with is the only theory here to become a part of the official American intellectual canon, in spite of the fact that it's far more convoluted than the theories I propagated above. I speak, of coarse, of Russiagate. A gigantic Byzantine-esque plot to deny Hillary her rightful place in power with a twelve-dimensional campaign of trolls, proxies, pop-ups, honeypots, hacks and other sundry ballyhoo, all orchestrated directly by the evil Vladimir Putin like a cat-stroking Bond villain. It all seemed like idle nonsense from a woman adept in the artform until the unthinkable happened, a racist reality television circus clown won the fucking White House. That's when the Russiagate hoax grew fangs. It was given unblinking verification by Hillary's allies in the media and the intelligence community without offering so much as a crumb of verifiable proof. And just like that, a conspiracy theory becomes history and this entire piece becomes "fake news" for questioning its logic.

So it's 2020, dearest motherfuckers, and what have we learned? Well I don't know about you but the Democrats haven't appeared to learn a goddamn thing. With Hillary's 2016 contemporaries, Trump and Bernie, launching campaigns that they actually intend to win for once, the DNC is still lost in the Russophobic spy thriller that they seem to have legitimately forgotten they forged, all while once again pimping another pathologically unelectable Washington dinosaur that everyone clearly hates as the hero of their story. These imbeciles appear to have every intention of repeating their 2016 tricks to put Biden or, god forbid, Bloomberg in the nomination, which will only accomplish another seemingly impossible catastrophe that they'll no doubt blame on god knows who. Putin? Assad? Tulsi? Santa? Anyone but the only people who can possibly make Trump a two term president, themselves.

I may very well be a conspiracy nut, dearest motherfuckers. Guilty as charged. But I pale in comparison to my own fucking government and at least I can admit I don't have all the answers. The truth really is out there. In more ways than one. Keep digging and you might just find it.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

*  Just by Radiohead
*  Radio Free Europe by REM
*  Freak On a Leash by Korn
*  Toyota Man by Neon Indian
*  Margin Walker by Fugazi
*  Walking Backwards by Throwing Muses
*  Rangerover by Porches
*  Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger
*  Suspect Device by Stiff Little Fingers
*  Monkeywrench by Foo Fighters