Tuesday, November 21, 2017

My Best Friend

I met my best friend 18 years ago. I was 11 years old and suffering from my latest pubescent identity crisis. Somehow, I had convinced myself that getting a dog would fill the vacancy in my soul that I would later come to know as gender dysphoria. My parents, not exactly being dog people, decided against it but let me pick our next cat. So we went to PAWS, which is kinda like the ESPCA without the gas chambers, and that's where I met Killian, a scrawny black and white holstein who hid in the bathroom whenever someone new walked in the door. But the moment I held her in my arms, I knew she was mine and I've loved her like my child ever since.

For 18 years Killian was my best friend, my closest and truest friend. She was right there with me through the best and worst years of my life, through the laughter and joy, through the heartache and pain, through the depression and anxiety and Lyme disease and nervous breakdowns. She was always by my side. Always. Always. Always. But now she's gone and I don't really know who I am without her.

That's not to say that she couldn't be a royal pain in the ass. She was a chip off her bad-ass bearded mamma's old block. Once Killy got past her shyness she was a mischievous little hellion with the raw energy of a Serbian soccer riot. She climbed up Christmas trees, jumped from one piece of furniture to another like a fucking ninja and chased any cat who dared to enter her territory half a mile down the street. She could scream louder than any cat I've ever heard in my life and she could bend her voice into audio origami like Bjork on a Brennivin bender. She always got what she wanted and would give Christ himself holy fucking hell if she didn't. She was a bitch. And I love her, unconditionally, because she loved me, unconditionally, even when I didn't love myself. She never let me forget that I had value. That I was worth while.

I was crazy about her and I couldn't for the life of me stay mad at her, no matter what she did. Even when she got old and senile and too def to hear her own incessant screaming. Even when she had both thyroids removed and pissed and puked everywhere like a double ended bilge pump. She drove everybody fucking nuts, and for good reason, but not me. I defended her to the hilt, no matter how wrong she was. Like I said, she was a bitch and a brat and a drama queen and I loved her madly and I still do. I can't even bring my self to Febreze the spot next to my chair where I sit typing this, where she use to sleep, because it still reeks of her.

Last Wednesday, on my grandmothers 82nd birthday of all days, my Killy passed away. After years of hyperthyroid her tiny little heart finally gave out. I've lost a lot of people in my life, family, grandparents, but somehow losing that three pound piss factory hurts the worst. I just can't get used to the fact that she's not there anymore, sleeping at my feet, that her voice no longer pierces every empty space of silence. It's too goddamn quiet here now. I miss the noise. I miss my baby. But my babies gone and all I can do is write.

In case you haven't noticed, dearest motherfuckers, 2017 fucking sucks, what with Trump and Charlottesville and demented grandparents and Trump and transphobic shrinks and Trump and shooting sprees and failed revolutions and friends moving to fucking England and dead cats and did I mention Trump? This year sucks even worse than the last one and the last one was a total fucking shitbox fire. I'm sorry for being such a fucking downer, dearest motherfuckers, but I'm more than a little short on shit to feel up about and phoning it in isn't exactly my style. You asked and I told.

I'd say they can give 2017 back to the Indians but I think the Indians have had their fill of our toxic laundry. Maybe they can give 2017 back to Trump and in another seven years the IRS can reposes it like everything else King Midas turns into gold flaked shit. All I have left to say is godspeed and goddess bless, Killian. You were too goddamn good for this fucked up place. Mamma loves you and I always will.



Peace, Love & Empathy- CH



Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post.

* Hyperballad By Bjork
* Videogames By Lana Del Rey
* And I Love Her By Kurt Cobain
* Hallelujah By Jeff Buckley
* Laura By Bat For Lashes
* Fake Plastic Trees By Radiohead
* Something In The Way By Nirvana
* The Whole Of The Moon By The Waterboys
* Beautiful You By Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
* Long Time Ago By Concrete Blonde

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Comrade Hermit vs The Tranny Whisperer

Me and therapy have a long, storied and generally cantankerous relationship. I've been in and out of therapy my whole life and hated most of my therapists. Part of the reason behind this is a lifelong knee-jerk aversion to anything vaguely resembling authority. But mostly, I think it's the fact that I've never really chosen therapy. It was always chosen for me or pushed on me for one reason or another. That is until very recently.

After spending over half a decade in self-imposed exile do to a series of crippling nervous breakdowns, I've finally come to terms with my various mental ailments as well as my complicated gender identity which I've come to see as one of the primary impediments to fully embracing mental health. For most of my life I've suffered under the delusion that my biological gender defined me. This disconnection with my true self has fostered a mentality in which I simply didn't value myself because "myself" was largely a performance, like therapy, fostered for the benefit of everyone but me.

Since coming out as queer I've adopted a number of labels to describe my identity; non-binary, genderqueer, transfluid, gender fluid, bearded lady, undecided, free agency, all of which describe a complicated identity which is blanketed in shifting layers of both masculinity and femininity that all fall under the wide tent of trans. I've taken great pride in the new found sense of community I've found in this tribe. It's given me a deep sense of empowerment that I've been searching for my whole life. But that doesn't make me feel any less confused by the fact that I feel too feminine to be male even when I have beard.

My favorite ID is bearded bull-dyke with a dick and not just because it's the funnest one to say but because it's the most accurate. I'm not pretty or girly in any traditional kind of way but it feels far more natural to describe myself as butch than male. The agoraphobia doesn't exactly help either. For a person pathologically terrified of change, what could be more terrifying than having a gender like a kaleidoscope, constantly shifting and swirling and changing color and shape. So for the first time in my life I went searching for a shrink for me and no one else. I ended up getting way more than I bargained for.

I was recommended a therapist by my psychiatrist of nearly twenty years, whom I was told was an expert in the field of gender identity. Her name is Khytam Dawood, she teaches at Penn State but I was more impressed by the fact that she got her PHD from Northwestern, the alma mater of my favorite record producer, Steve Albini, of In Utero fame. After discovering that she didn't take my crappy medicaid insurance, I spent a couple of months searching high and low for anyone who knew anything about gender who accepts medicaid in Centre County. But I kept going back to Dr. Dawood, who my transman bestie, back in England, and I took to calling the Tranny Whisperer do to her elusiveness, impeccable credentials and Jedi sounding name. I ultimately decided to fork up the two-hundred-plus bucks in disability the state gives me to live off of and made an appointment to see the Tranny Whisperer.

The appointment started out fine, great even. She seemed kind, accommodating and even held a lot of the same political positions as me; pro-Palestine, antiwar, etc. Things didn't get uncomfortable until the subject of gender came up, which only happened after she came across the fact that I was having trouble with gender dysphoria in her notes. She confidently thought out loud that that was clearly a typo given my less than feminine presentation without even asking me about it. After politely correcting her I was treated to a decidedly gentle barrage of passive aggressive micro-agressions that left me feeling confused and woozy. My feelings of isolation and disconnection didn't seem to matter to her. She only seemed to be interested in my sexuality. By the time the session was over my head was spinning. She diagnosed me with something called autogynophilia. The word sounded dated but familiar and made me somewhat uncomfortable but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was or where I had come into contact with it.

I tried to shake off my feelings of unease and chocked them up to my issues with social anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. I told myself I was worrying over nothing. I even told myself that I would convince her I really was a woman trapped in a mans body during the next appointment. But over the next 48 hours my sense of unease only grew thicker.

When I finally looked up the word autogynophilia I was shocked and appalled to learn that this woman who I liked and trusted had reduced my gender identity to a sexual perversion that was one half of a transphobic theory known as Blanchard's transsexualism typology. A ripe piece of junk science that divides trans people into two forms of mental derangement based largely on our sexual appetites. Lezbo's like me are paraphilic fetishists in the same wheelhouse as necrophiles and horse fuckers while the rest were simply "homosexual transsexuals" who mutilate themselves in order to snag hetero-males and trick them into fucking them. I was beyond shocked to learn that someone as intelligent and well educated as Dr. Dawood could buy into something so childishly reductionist and over simplistic. But as I dug deeper it only got worse.

The current leader of this little movement that has been near universally rejected by both academia and the trans people that those fucks aim to "treat" is a foul little imbecile by the name of J. Michael Bailey, a professor who single-handedly ruined his reputation with a disgusting transphobic manifesto called The Man Who Would Be Queen. Everything from the snide name of the book to its cover, a photograph of a grotesquely muscular mans leg crammed into a stiletto heeled pump, made it abundantly clear that this crap wasn't literature. It was a goddamn weapon. The Bell curve of gender studies. A pseudo-scientific expose based on the good professor's late night conversations with a handful of uninformed queens at a gay bar, one one of whom he took the time to fuck but none of whom he took the time to inform that they were guinea pigs for his little study.

Like the rest of the members of his deluded little cult, Dr. Bailey is a cissy cunt who knows too much about us trannies to take our opinions into consideration after happy hour. And when the trans community showed our teeth and gnashed back at his mass character assassination, Bailey, naturally, played the part of the victim. The poor rich white cis-breeder at the mercy of the most maligned and ostracized community in the country. Poor baby can't push out a steaming hate-dump without suffering the indignity of the splash back. Like all bigots, he's just another victim of the scourge of political correctness.

And where does the good Doctor Hatefuck teach? None other than Northwestern, where he taught my tranny whisperer, Doctor Dawood everything she knows and she's returned the favor, singing his praises to anyone who'll listen and poisoning a whole new generation of would-be shrinks with his bile at Penn State University. By the time I had found all this shit out, I was well on my way to another nervous breakdown. I felt physically ill. I felt used and objectified. I have never felt more like killing myself. I had taken the unprecedented risk of putting myself out into the total unknown and trusting a stranger only to be told in so many words that I was a monster. I wanted to crawl beneath a rock at the bottom of the ocean and never come out again. The only thing that kept me from falling apart was my anger. My rage. My fury. The fury of a genderfuck woman scorned.

As soon as I stopped crying and yelling, I started trying to get Doctor Dawood on the phone. I wanted to hear it from her. I wanted her to tell me in her words with her mouth that my gender is a fucking mental illness. But like most cowards she dodged me like a fucking bullet. Telling me through her therapist like a hostage negotiator that she couldn't honor me with a simple explanation of her basic philosophy unless I gave her another hundred-and-fifty bucks for another appointment. I said know way. That fucking hack will never see another dime of my money again.

I called Dr. Dawood for another reason. I cried and yelled for another reason. I needed to know if she saw children. The thought of her telling little girls that they're sick just because they had the misfortune of being of being born with the wrong plumbing horrified me. I still haven't gotten an answer to that question and it keeps me up at night. If Khytam Dawood treats children then Khytam Dawood is a child abuser and I will be goddamned if I let that hack lay a claw on my little sisters. No fucking way. Which is the primary reason I wrote this painful post. Kids kill themselves because of people like Khytam Dawood and I need to make sure that the next person who Googles the words Khytam Dawood and Transgender gets an earful from yours truly. I wrote this post to warn people that this woman is a malignant predator violating people with her disgusting half-baked theories. The Tranny Whisperer fucked with the wrong bitch. Now she has to contend with the Tranny Screamer and she will never shut me up.

So what did I learn this week? I learned that Khytam Dawood is a fucking cunt. I usually reserve that word for cis-men who cross me but Khytam is not my fucking sister. Khytam preys on my sisters and she's not the only one. I also learned that when it comes to mental health a queer person quite simply can't trust an outsider. I learned that coming out as trans has made me a stronger person than I've ever been before. I learned that I need to find my tribe. I need to be with my people. And I learned how important the people in my life are to me. If it wasn't for just a handful of friends and family, my unwaveringly supportive Catholic mother, my exiled bestie James and my mentor Angela, just to name a few, reminding me who I am and that I matter, I might have let that stupid twit knock me back down to rock bottom again. They are my shield and I love them more than words can convey.

I honestly don't know where I'm going, dearest motherfuckers, but I know where I've been and I'm never going back again.



Peace, Love and Empathy- CH



Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post.

* Home By David Byrne & Brian Eno
* Candy Says By The Velvet Underground
* You Oughta Know By Alannis Morrisette
* It's Different For Girls By Of Montreal
* Miss World By Hole
* Creature Comfort By Arcade Fire
* Rape Me By Nirvana
* I Bet On Losing Dogs By Mitski
* Hood By Perfume Genius
* Rockstar By Hole
* Road To Nowhere By Talking Heads
* 333 By Against Me!
* Androgynous By The Replacements

Monday, November 6, 2017

October's Gone

This October marked the centennial of Lenin's October Uprising and the foundation of the Soviet Union. Kind of a big deal for commies, young and old and even ex-Bolsheviks like myself. While I've long parted ways with my girlish notions of a Soviet worker's paradise, the more I look into it the more I realize that October really marked the demise of the Russian Revolution, it's still hard not to let my old Soviet nostalgia get the best of me this fall.

Say what you will about those old Bolsheviks but their little uprising still stands apart as the first successful workers revolution since the Black Jacobins took back Haiti for the slaves who built it. It was a cataclysmic moment in modern history that in many ways defined the Twentieth Century and in others defied it. One of Europe's great empires reduced to cinders by its poorest denizens in a revolt against that crumbling empire's involvement in a corrupt world war. The Soviet Union may have welched on their promises, banishing the very worker's unions that it was named for, in favor of a rather shallow interpretation of Marx's Dictatorship of the Proletariat (never intended to be an actual dictatorship). But their victories over the Czar and the Atlanticist cabal, who launched the White Terror in his name, inspired oppressed people from Havana to Hanoi to rise up and take their fate in their own hands. The Soviet Union may have been a failure but, as far as failures go, it was a rather grand one before it got gross.

This October came with its own triumphant revolutionary failures. Kurdistan and Catalonia. Two long oppressed nations who chose the Bolshevik Centennial to finally declare independence before they crashed and burned tragically. Unlike the Bolsheviks, the Kurds and the Catalans chose to wage their respective revolutions through the ballot box. In both would-be-nations their people voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from their captors, in Baghdad and Madrid respectively, in popular referendums. And in both cases they found the peoples will crushed violently while the "free" world sat on their hands and watched in deafening silence. Both the Kurdish Regional Government and the Catalonian Cabinet are in shambles. There are still people in the streets but a grey pallor of November doom seems to hang just above their skulls.

The question on everybody's lips is what went wrong? The answer is almost shamefully simple, the state. Much like the Bolsheviks, the Kurds and the Catalans chose to rely on the central machinery of an organized state, believing in vain that their was strength in structure. The reality is, the more central a democracy is, the less democratic it becomes and a revolution short on democracy really only has three possible fates, to be corrupted, co-opted or overthrown, often all of the above.

The Russian Revolution was corrupted by the defensive heavy handedness of the Bolsheviks, co-opted by Stalin's red nationalism and overthrown by its own people, fed up by decades of bureaucratic corruption and the endless western siege of the Cold War.

The Iraqi Kurds were corrupted by the thuggery of the Barzani cartel, co-opted by Israel's inflammatory influence and overthrown by the Iraqi government with the tacit backing of the Kurd's supposed allies in Washington.

Catalonia was corrupted by the empty promises of the European Union, co-opted by the center-left establishment and overthrown by the neo-Francoist government of Madrid while their precious Eurocrats stood by and applauded like white-gloved ladies at a dressage concert.

The only true pathway to freedom and self-determination is a grass-roots revolution, built from the ground up, democratically run and ending in a stateless permanent autonomous zone. If their's no one in charge then their is quite literally nothing to overthrow. The only remaining option for state suppression is genocide which, as the Vietcong proved, isn't as easy as it looks. The KRG's neighbors in Rojava and the Zapatistas in Chiapas are living proof. Freetown Christiania and my Amish neighbors are two more. My own ancestral homeland of Ireland required a popular revolution before it could be truly independent from Cromwell's grip but even now the Dail's hands are too tied by Euro-bureaucracy to support our longtime allies in Barcelona. Proof positive that the only truly free state is a truly smashed state.

October's gone, dearest motherfuckers. Their's no point in crying over spilled blood. But we can learn from it. Revolutions are born in the streets but they die in the Politburo. My suggestion? Keep it in the streets and don't stop fighting until the battle's won. Viva La Revolucion!



Peace, Love and Solidarity- CH



Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post.

* Heroes By TV On The Radio
* Tuesday's Gone By Lynyrd Skynyrd
* Take Me To The Riot By Stars
* Down In The Streets By The Stooges
* Keep The Car Running By Arcade Fire
* Dot Dash By Wire
* We All Go Down Together By The Decemberists
* We Are The Champions By Queen
* Keep Yourself Alive By Queen

Monday, October 30, 2017

....If You're STILL Craving Something Truly Sinister

I love movies. I love movies more than I love most things. I love movies more than I love grilled cheese sandwiches. I love movies more than I love Valium. I love movies more than I love stray cats and late night people watching at Walmart. I probably don't love movies more than I love girls with tiny feet and unshaved armpits unless, that is, they're movies about girls with tiny feet and unshaved armpits (paging Tinto Brass). Either way, odds are, I love movies more than you. You see, dearest motherfuckers, I'm a token member of that pretentious little clique of insomniac geeks known as cinephiles which is really just a more literate way of saying I love movies more than you. I love all kinds of movies; Neo-noir, spaghetti western, French new wave, Wuxia, documentary, avante garde. But, unlike most self-respecting cinephiles, I probably love horror movies the best. Which pretty much puts me at the bottom of the cinephile totem poll and is made doubly ironic considering my well established antiwar tendencies.

But horror movies get a shit wrap, largely because most of them suck. But when thy're done right I think they can tell us more about ourselves, as human beings, than most genres. They can often tell us more about ourselves than even we want to know. After all, the only certainty in life is death. So exploring our fragile mortality in gruesome detail can actually be quite cathartic, particularly if you're someone who's life comprises largely of suffering. I know, I'm kind of a bummer but that's just who I am and who I've always been. I've spent much of my short dreary existence drawn to the darker fringes of the human experience. It's the only place a genderfucked head-case like me can feel halfway normal without feeling like an impostor. Which is probably why I love Halloween. The one time of the year that my own quirky brand of macabre antisocial behavior is embraced with open arms and fun-size candy bars. The one time of the year when everyone's a horror movie buff. Which is why last year I compiled a list of ten of my favorite horror movies. I enjoyed it so much I decided to pick another ten this year. I give you fair warning dearest motherfuckers, none of this shit is for beginners. You won't find Freddy or Jason on this list. But if you're STILL craving something truly sinister I've got your fix right here for ya.



* Ichi The Killer (2001) by Takashi Miike

The few regulars to this blog are probably painfully aware that I'm among the blogosphere's foremost Takashi Miike evangelists. At least one of his movies shows up on nearly every list I right. Ichi the Killer is the mad maestro of J-horror at his most aggressively unhinged. Audition may be his scariest and Visitor Q may be his best But Ichi is by far his most gruesome. The savage saga of one sadomasochistic Yakuza enforcer's hunt for his missing beloved boss/top only to find himself on the shitlist of a brainwashed teenage killing machine with razor blades in his boots known simply as Ichi. It's a complicated mindfuck of a bloodbath that ends in what has to be one cinemas strangest roof top showdowns high above the sticky neon streets of a Tokyo that could only exist inside the mind of a madman. Ichi will rip your fucking guts out and leave you begging for more before you ask yourself why. I still haven't found an answer to that existential question but I keep asking.

* The Tenant (1976) by Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski directs and stars in one of the most psychologically unpleasant films ever made. After moving into an apartment previously occupied by a disturbed woman who attempted suicide by jumping from her room to the courtyard below, Polanski's tenant quickly finds himself surrounded by menacing neighbors who slowly drive him to lose all sense of identity in his claustrophobic bourgeois prison cell. The tenant's struggle with madness is our own in a world haunted by isolation and random acts of human cruelty. Say what you will about Mr. Polanski but few men have spent more time staring into the abyss of human darkness and even fewer have found a way to harness this horror into the kind of fearlessly empathetic art that Polanski achieves with the Tenant. With the Tenant, the abyss stares back.

* Wolf Creek (2005) by Greg McLean

Not since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer has a film captured the raw nihilism of mass murder with more unglamorous and unrepentant honesty. Wolf Creek is a slasher film stripped down to the bone. There are no sex scenes. There is no comic relief. There are no final girls. There are no happy endings. Just three young tourists caught between the savagery of the untamed wilderness and a barely human creature who could only exist in such a void of inhumanity. John Jarrat's portrayal of the deceptively charming Mick Taylor is both mesmerizing and revolting. Like looking the devil himself in the eye just before he kills you, you know your damned but you can't turn away to save your life. Wolf Creek is the anti-slasher film.

* Dawn Of The Dead (1978) by George Romero

Dawn of the Dead isn't a zombie movie, it's THE zombie movie. Every conversation about the genre begins and ends with this post-apocalyptic masterpiece which could only be made by the late great master of gore, George Romero. George had a hell of a mountain to climb trying to outdo his 1968 cult classic, Night of the Living Dead, which nearly singlehandedly reinvented the horror genre. It took him a solid decade but Romero climbed that Mount Everest of blood and guts with this brilliant tale of four castaways who take refuge in a rural shopping mall while the world descends into the hell around them. Aside from being a gory thrill ride, Dawn is also a jet black satire on male chauvinism and American greed that remains as relevant today as it was during the Carter administration. Don't even think about wasting your time on that half-baked remake. The original is a peerless masterpiece that can't be beat.

* Inside (2007) by Julien Maury & Alexandre Bustillo

Please believe me when I tell you with the authority of a lifelong horror geek that Inside (À l'intérieur in France) is the most violent movie ever made. But that's not what put it on this list. The story is fairly simple, a recently widowed pregnant woman plans to spend a solemn Christmas Eve alone with her unborn child only to have her tranquility violently interrupted by a strange unnamed femme fatale hell bent on removing and retrieving the widows baby by any means necessary. What ensues is a night long, white knuckle, battle royale between two women biologically driven to survival, not their own, but that of the fetus that floats between them. They punch, gouge, stab, burn and tear each other apart and obliterate anyone else who stands in their way, all to lay claim to it. And that is what makes Inside truly unique. It's a story about motherhood and motherhood is one messy, knife swinging bitch. You've been warned. This ain't no baby shower. Unless that shower is a fountain of blood. Inside cuts deep.

* Get Out (2017) by Jordan Peele

The only movie made this year on this list is the only movie made this year that belongs on this fucking list. The terrifying story of a young black man who travels with his white girlfriend to meet her wealthy suburban parents only to find himself the latest victim of a cabal of rich liberal roaders seeking to literally appropriate black culture by surgically hijacking their bodies. Everything about this movie makes me think of the Clintons. Hard to believe that motherfucker from Key & Peele hit this grand fucking slam. Color this honky bitch impressed. Keep it coming Peele.

* Funny Games (1997) by Michael Haneke

The most savagely brutal film on this list doesn't include a single drop of blood. Only a cinematic auteur like the great Michael Haneke could achieve such a feet. A chipper family of three take a lovely vacation in the picturesque Austrian countryside only to find themselves the victims of the cruel games of a pair of handsome young psychopaths who joyfully make the audience complicit in the torment by routinely breaking the third wall and inviting us to do the one thing we can't do, look away. Haneke's cruel experiment in sadistic cinema holds the odd distinction of being both one of the greatest horror movies ever made and being one of the most convincing critiques of the very genre. Funny Games belongs in a fucking museum.

* Jacob's Ladder (1990) by Adrian Lyne

One of the most terrifying movies ever made is made all the more terrifying by the fact that it's based on the real life crimes of our own government. A Vietnam veteran, haunted by nightmarish flashbacks and hallucinations, discovers that he and is platoon may have been the unwitting victims of a top secret government experiment in mind control using a dangerously powerful hallucinogen. There is no way of properly explaining the horror of the imagery used in this film. It's as if Francis Bacon and David Cronenberg had a baby and raised it on bad acid and war documentaries. The events of the film are fictional and largely symbolic of Biblical themes of guilt, Purgatory and redemption but the government experiments portrayed are based on the all to real CIA operation MKUltra which used American GI's as guinea pigs for drug fueled mind control experiments. Fact really is more terrifying than fiction and the state is one hell of a twisted fucking storyteller.

* The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) by Jonathan Demme

Not only one of the best movies on this list but one of best movies ever made and the only movie to do Thomas Harris' brilliant Hannibal novels the justice they so richly deserve. The direction and cinematography are Kubrick grade spotless but the three things that truly make Silence of the Lambs a cut above are Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Ted Levine. Three incredible actors all giving the finest performances of their careers. Jodie Foster exudes strength through fearless vulnerability as the tough but sincere FBI agent in training, Clarice Starling, sent like a canary in a coal mine to coax the infamous cannibal psychologist, Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins in a mesmerizing powerhouse performance, into giving desperately needed insight into the mind of a serial killer who may have been involved with one Dr. Lecter's former patients. Foster and Hopkins get most of the praise and their back and forth is undeniably captivating but in my mind it was the little known Ted Levine who really stole the show as the gender bending skinner, Jame Gumb aka Buffalo Bill. Most people in my community took great offense to what they considered to be a derogatory stereotype but I've always thought of Billy as a kind of genderfuck anti-hero. He may have made trans people appear somewhat monstrous but he also made us look like a force to be reckoned with. A kind of queer boogeyman to scare the straight folks for a change. When he hollers at the top of his lungs to one of his victims, "You don't know what pain is!", I can't help but feel like he speaks for all of us or at least some deep dark hidden piece of us who wishes the uncaring world could taste a spoonful of our misery for once. To this day, whenever I find myself feeling intimidated in a public men's room, I whistle a few bars of 'Goodbye Horses' to myself and stand just a little bit taller. Maybe it's just me, but I'll take queer panic over being a panicked (and assimilated) queer any day of the week. RIP Jame Gumb. At least one sister mourns you.

* High Tension (2003) by Alexandre Aja

Why not end this years list with a high octane gorefest that nearly single-handedly exported the revolution in French shock cinema that those Atlanticist pussies in the Amerikan and English film press have derisively labeled the New French Extremity. High Tension was hardly the first (that honor goes to Catherine Breillat's explicit coming of age tale A Real Young Girl, made in 1976 but banned until 2000) but much like the Beatles, High Tension was the first to really hit the States and it hit like a fucking Mack truck. A fast paced slasher film with a neck snapping twist that would make M. Night Shyamalan shit a fucking brick, High Tension is a gruesome cat and mouse game between a young coed and the brutish psychopath who kidnapped her bestie and secret crush after slaughtering her entire family. I wont give away the ending but lets just say it gives the term Last Girl a whole new meaning. It's a bloody stick of cinema dynamite but High Tension blew down a lot of doors for the horror genre that allowed filmmakers the ability to push the medium to the extremes it needs to remain valid in a world that has evolved from a Shakespearean stage to an Artaudian Theatre of Cruelty populated by armed drones and jihad Frankensteins. It has become all to easy for the Western World that birthed these creatures to hide from them in the cool darkness of their local megaplex. Thanks to sadistic frogs like Alexandre Aja those privileged safe spaces are just a little less safe. Some people need to be shocked. Thank god that the French are still up to the task. It's messy thankless job but somebodies gotta do it.



Happy Halloween dearest motherfuckers. Look out for that bookshelf....



Soundtrack: Songs for a season of cruelty.

* Wave Of Mutilation By The Pixies
* Paint It Black By The Rolling Stones
* The Cutter By Echo & The Bunnymen
* Losing My Religion By REM
* I Think That I Would Die By Hole
* Run Rabbit Run By Flanagan & Allen
* Bonehead By Naked City
* White Rabbit By Jefferson Airplane
* Goodbye Horses By Q Lazzarus
* If You're Feeling Sinister By Belle & Sebastian

Monday, October 23, 2017

Gun Control As Class Warfare

I've been a card carrying leftist going back to the eighth grade. The adjectives have shifted here and there and probably will continue to (anarcho-this, Marxist-that) but I've always been a bleeding heart. There is one thing about the left in this country however that I'll never fucking understand and that's it's knee-jerk affection for all things gun control. For me leftism and gun control have never gone together. I was introduced to the movement by unwavering gun nuts like Karl Marx, Subcomandante Marcos and Huey P. Newton. To me gun rights have always been about empowering the poor against the state. But to most of the self proclaimed left in this country gun control is synonymous with leftism and every time some wack-job goes postal they don't waste any time trying to guilt trip us out of our rights.

With this latest bloodbath in Las Vegas, the cause celebre of the anti-gun left has become bumpstocks. A relatively simple little device that rigs semi-automatic weapons to simulate (key word; SIMULATE) automatic fire. The moment my would-be comrades heard of the existence of this little gizmo their reaction can essentially be summed up as "Ooh! Ban that!" Never mind the fact that bumpstocks are essentially the car hydraulics of the gun world, allowing that semi-auto hoopty to bounce while greatly decreasing its functionability aka accuracy. And never mind the fact that these devices are so easy to jerry-rig that any hillbilly with a tool shed can build one. Is creating more government regulation really going to save anyone or is it just going make the Champagne socialists feel a little better about living in a dangerous world aka democracy?

Most of this gun control shit is little more than self-serving, do-gooder, pussy stroking. The Liberals always harp about the glory days of the Assault Weapons Ban but they all fail to mention that, statistically speaking, that ban didn't do dick. They also often fail to mention that while gun ownership in this country has skyrocketed, gun violence is near an all time low. These mass shootings are the one exception to the rule but their rise can largely be tied to the rise of 24/7 cable news and the failures of white privilege in the age of world trade and constant war. While middle-class white men (the majority of mass shooters) watch their economic security crash along with their once flourishing empire, the terror mills like Fox and CNN have turned mass shooters into celebrities with their non-stop wall to wall coverage. Basically, people shoot up concerts and movie theaters for the same reason they vote for wildcard politicians like Trump, they're scared and pissed and willing to blame anyone but themselves for their sudden lack of total control.

And why shouldn't they resort to insane ultra-violence to solve their problems? That's what their government does. America bombs civilians in a half dozen dirt-poor countries a day and we're surprised when some honky slot-jockey does the same thing with an AR-15? They learned it from you, Uncle Sam, OK!

The mainstream left in this country doesn't like to think about these complexities because they don't come with an easy fix. They also don't come with the added benefits of a gun policy geared towards class warfare. Who are the most vocal gun control nuts but upper middle class cis white metropolitans? The only guns these petite bourgeoisie pricks are at risk of encountering are either in the hands of ethnic youth or the police who hunt them like animals and nobodies asking to disarm the cops in spite of the fact that they're murdering unarmed civilians at a startling rate. The limousine liberals on the coasts fane support for Black Lives Matter but their true sympathies are laid bare by the fact that they openly advocate disarming the poor while keeping the protectors of their privilege armed to the fucking teeth.

The stone cold reality, dearest motherfuckers, is that America is a violent ass country and the reasons behind this violence have far more to do with the people who appose guns (and the state they love) than they do with the people who carry them. If we really want the madness to stop in this country we need to reign in the mad men who run it. Increased and educated gun ownership may not be the solution to this problem but it's a good fucking start.



Peace, Love & Empathy- CH



Soundtrack; Songs influenced by this post.

* Disarm By The Smashing Pumpkins
* Gimme Gimme Gimme By Black Flag
* The Mess Inside By The Mountain Goats
* Me And A Gun By Tori Amos
* Fuck Tha Police By N.W.A.
* What About Us? By Ministry
* Killing In The Name By Rage Against The Machine
* Eat The Rich By Motorhead
* Who We Be By DMX
* Idylls Of The King By The Mountain Goats

Monday, October 16, 2017

My Shitlist 2017

Well dearest motherfuckers, it's that time of year again. That time for me to purge another years worth of excess vitriol onto the people who have devoted their lives to making mine just that much more unbearable to cling to. In other words, its tooth for tooth time. It's time for my third annual shitlist. Some of these names will be familiar. Some of them wont. Some have even been here before. But all are more than deserving of a thoroughly ruthless tongue lashing from yours truly. So without further ado, I proudly present you with twelve assholes who won't be missed, this is my shitlist....



Rachel Maddow- Believe it or not, I use to actually find Rachel's style of smug, wonky, propaganda to be somewhat amusing. However ass-backwards her conclusions may have been, at least she got all the names and dates right and provided a unique way of delivering her otherwise predictable Clintonian proverbs to the liberal masses. I was occasionally even tempted to respect her but then came Tuesday, November 6, 2016. The day Rachel's beloved Hillary got her pantsuit wearing ass handed to her by a shaved orange orangutan's asshole named Donald Trump. The day sweet Rachel lost her goddamn mind and any remaining shred of journalistic credibility she once had along with it. Since that fateful evening last Fall Rachel has devoted every square second of her media existence to blaming the results of Trump's election on a vast, ever-expanding, labyrinthine, Russian conspiracy. In the process she has transformed herself from a pillar of neoliberal respectability into a shit-slinging, Russophobic, neo-McCarthyite, tabloid monger.  Naturally the ratings are through the roof but is that really worth the price of dignity? For Rachel, I suppose it is. She's become the blue state answer to Alex Jones. Congrats Rache, you're a successful fucking joke. Maybe Glenn Beck will give a spot on the Blaze once the wheels fall off the Trump gravy train.


Kid Rock- For the better part of the last three decades Robert Richie aka Kid Rock, a spoiled rich kid from the plush burbs of Detroit, has devoted his pathetic existence to passing himself off as poor white trash thus watering down the brand for the rest of us. Think Larry the Cable Guy with abs and an embarrassing hip hop phase. Now this bumpkin poseur wants to represent us in Washington? Sure, fuck it, why not? First Trump, then Rock, by 2024 we'll be electing Foghorn Leghorn. And poor white folks wonder why we don't get more respect. THIS! It's this fucking shit, you twats! Learn to know when you're getting fucking played by the carpetbaggers and maybe the black kids will teach how to pop that gat sideways, provided your aiming it at honky minstrel artists like Mr. Richie. Represent!


Nikki Haley- Ever wonder what it would be like if Shannen Doherty was raised by wild Cheneys? Well, wonder no longer dearest motherfuckers, with Nikki Haley at the U.N. every day is like Heathers with WMD's. The neocon heartthrob (with her share "liberal" fanboys) gives Trump a run for his money in the retard bombast department. Blaming Iran for our Middle East woes, calling for a fresh new Cold War with Putin's Russia and generally breathing fire on the very notions of reason and diplomacy. Those wild Cheneys must be so proud of there pretty little nightmare.


Justin Raimondo- I really, really, really didn't want to put Justin on this list, especially considering that the poor fuck is in the hospital right now. It wasn't so long ago that I put the patron saint of antiwar.com on my first annual list of People Who Don't Suck. But, much like Rachel Maddow, Justin has lost his goddamn mind over Trump. As if it wasn't enough that my former hero ignored all 50,000 of the warning signs to the contrary and endorsed the Orange Fuhrer as the answer to the antiwar movements long unanswered prayers, he also continues to humiliate himself and the rest of us on a near daily bases by repeatedly jumping through his own asshole trying to come up with excuses for every new war crime his blessed man-child commits. He's beginning to sound like the battered bride of a serial rapist, shouting at the cameramen from the courthouse steps, "You just don't know him like I do! Donny wouldn't hurt a fly!!!". Please get well soon Justin, then get a fucking grip before I lose my composure and send you right back to the I.C.U. for injuries related to me getting a grip for you. And if my beloved frenemy drops dead on us before you read this, dearest motherfuckers, I'll do my penance by putting my own bitchy ass at the top of next years shitlist. It ain't easy being a cunt like me but somebodies gotta do it. Hopefully Justin can understand that.


Hillary Clinton- Poor Hillary. She just can't win and it's everyone else's fault but her own. Apparently the entire Rust Belt that I call home is now part of that vast right wing conspiracy that has come to include everyone from Vladimir Putin to Bernie Sanders. Maybe we really are all just one sexist basket of deplorables. I mean, why else do we all hate her so much? It couldn't be all those damn emails or the fancy SOHO cocktail parties with the wolves of Wall Street or her roll as a serial enabler to her hubby Bills rapacious appetites or all those filthy trade deals that swapped whole American cities for access to third world child labor or that little bloodbath of hers in Libya that ended in her publicly cackling over a snuff film or the fact that she has generally devoted her entire adult life to the callous pursuit of unlimited power by any means necessary.... Naaah! It's probably just the vadge. Otherwise, the person most responsible for the election of Little Lord Fuck Pants is Hillary herself. Which would pretty much officially make her the worst person on earth....


John McCain & Lindsey Graham- Neocon Wonder Twins activate! Form of!.... Carcinogenic desert knuckle dragger! Form of!.... Mincing bloodthirsty dandy! Yes, these two trigger happy twats have had quite a time on our watch. Wooing the arms industry. Fellating the Saudis. Ripping the Middle East a few dozen new assholes filled to the rim with dead brown children. Chumming it up with fellow terrorists from Donetsk to Damascus. All while maintaining a steady menage a trios with the "liberal" media. But all gross things must come to an end. Oh well. Might I suggest something along the lines of a Thelma & Louise-style double suicide. Just keep driving, Neocon Wonder Twins, just keep driving. Hand in unlovable hand. Form of!.... Fiery car crash! No survivors.


Wonder Woman- The first fictional person to make this list really shouldn't be on it. A leggy dominatrix dreamed up by a polyamorous psychologist to be a less agro alternative to the violent sausage fest of mainstream comics, Wonder Woman conquered powerful men with love and bullwhips. How could a kinky tranny peacenik like me not be all about that shit? The only problem is that from the very beginning DC Comics has manipulated the character to sell war to women, a demographic statistically averse to such nonsense. From World War 2 propaganda to that thinly veiled blockbuster peon to Clintonian Soft Power that everybody seems to be shitting their collective britches over, A character designed to empower the better angels of the feminine spirit has been reduced to a flying billboard for "humanitarian" aka politically correct mass slaughter. Just like Hillary, she proves that little Susie can smash foreigners faces into glass just like the boys. Somehow, I don't think that's what Simone de Beauvoir had in mind.


Mohammad Bin Salman- All hail Satan! The Crown Prince and heir apparent to that bloody desert terror factory known as the House of Saud. In the span of his 32 years on this wretched planet, Mohammad has done it all and done it all wrong- He's served as his countries youngest Defense Minister, partied on yachts the size of city blocks, stabbed the backs of too many siblings to count, launched body stacking holocausts in Syria and Yemen, sealed Faustian deals with his nations former Zionist enemies and formed the worlds creepiest manage a trios with the Donald's favorite daughter and her Patrick Bateman-esqu husband. Mohammad is the happening psychopath to watch in the Middle East (Bibi is soooo 2015). His wrap sheet reads like a Melrose Place knock-off produced by Wes Craven. The swarthy young prince surfs the devils waves on an ocean of blood and this little cunt is just getting started. Hail Satan, indeed.


Bill Cosby- Some of us on the left have known there is something deeply despicable about the good Doctor Huxtable for some time now. The way he spat on up and coming young black comedians for not minding their manners while the white folks were listening (and he was losing his edge.) The way he gave those same white folks an easy out by blaming the poorer members of his own community for their own subjugation, as if pulling their pants up would have taken the bullets from Trayvon's chest. But none of us were prepared to learn that Ghost Dad was a body count shy of Ted Bundy in the psychopath department. And the worst part is this classist motherfucker got away with it. Go back to your mansion Doctor Hux, here's hoping you choke on your fucking pudding pops.


Barry Manilow- I have no rational reason to add Barry to this list. I mean, sure he fucking sucks but he seems like a nice of enough guy. The reason I put the king of elevator dreck on this list is because over the last few miserable fucking years alone we've lost Lou Reed, Prince, David Bowie, Chris Cornell, Chuck Berry and Tom Petty to name just a handful of the beautiful souls the Reaper has seen fit to tare from our headphones. Heaven has become grossly over populated with artistic genius. It's like fucking Hong Kong for guitar gods up there. All that talent and brilliance, gone, but Barry fucking Manilow lives. Barry fucking Manilow sells out Vegas daily. Barry fucking Manilow plays nonstop in the screaming chambers of nitrous fogged dental drilling galleries 24 motherfucking 7. Fuck Barry Manilow and fuck god too for that matter. If that bitch exists she's got a lot of fucking explaining to do. Yes, doctor, I'll take another Tylenol with Codeine please. In fact, make it a double.


Donald Trump- And why not top off this list of cunts with the day-glow Doofus In Chief himself, a knuckle dragging malignant narcissist who has devoted his entire empty existence to taking the hopes and fears of the downtrodden and converting them into glimmering trash with his name stamped all over it so the IRS will know which tower of crap to repossess. And the Donald's latest steaming tower of crap is none other than these hallowed United States of Hysteria (TM). Speaking exclusively as an unrepentant anti-Amerikan-Tran-archo-bull-dyke (TM), I can't help but to see this hellish marriage as karmic justice. Rome had Nero, Germany had Stalingrad, and the United Plantations of Amerikkka (TM) has Donald J. Trump. But that doesn't make it any less horrendous to watch poor people, both inside this country and out, get raped up the ass by that morally derelict caudillo. Fuck him and the rented elephant he rode in on. With any luck, Putin will be ridding both of them for his Tom of Finland style shirtless propaganda picks by 2020. Nostrovia.


Well that's it, dearest motherfuckers. All the vitriol I can stand to cough up this year. I don't know about you but I feel much better, at least ten pounds lighter. And if I've managed to offend anybody, please let me know. I'm sure I'll enjoy that. Until next time....



Hate, Rage and Apathy- CH



Soundtrack; Twelve theme songs for twelve malignant cunts.

* Rachel Maddow- Flagpole Sitta By Harvey Danger
* Kid Rock- Common People By Pulp
* Nikki Haley- Darling Nikki By Prince
* Justin Raimondo- Stand By Your Man By Tammy Wynette
* Hillary Clinton- It's My Party By Leslie Gore
* John McCain/Lindsey Graham- International Small Arms Traffic Blues By The Mountain Goats
* Wonder Woman- Miss World By Hole
* Mohammad Bin Salman- Sabotage By Beastie Boys
* Bill Cosby- Family Man By Nitzer Ebb
* Barry Manilow- Golden Shower Of Hits By Circle Jerks
* Donald Trump- Beat Down By Mister Heavenly





Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Patriotic Kitsch

About 15 years ago, back when Comrade Hermit was just a lonely, self-absorbed, goth kid at a tiny Central Pennsylvanian Catholic middle school, a president named Bush dropped a shit-ton of bombs on a city called Baghdad for reasons that just didn't add up for yours truly. I had never been particularly political aside from a dedication to the Consistent Life Ethic I had inherited from my devout mother, but watching that beautiful, ancient city get reduced to rubble live on CNN that Sunday night in March, 2003 broke something deep inside of me. It broke my patriotism. It never mended.

The following day I came to school with a peace sign strapped to my right arm and not long after I chose to stop standing for the Pledge of Allegiance. I just couldn't bring myself to salute a flag that flew over the corpses of innocent children like flies. I could no longer muster pride for a nation that condemned terrorism with one hand and committed it with the other.

Needless to say, my minor insurrection didn't rest well with the Vichy jingoists who ran the St. John the Evangelist gulag. I was already on their radar for the high crime of being a sexually confused loner with people problems, this was the straw that broke the camels back. One day I was called into the principals office and accused of everything from Satanic cattle slaughter to planning the next Columbine but what it really all came down to was my treasonous lack of patriotism in those trying times. In their eyes this moral stand against war made a 14 year old kid dangerous enough to the status quo that they felt the need to call the arch diocese to figure out what should be done with me.

All things considered, I got off rather easy. I ended up with a slap on the wrist after they found out I was on anti-depressants. They decided to chock up my civil disobedience to mental illness rather than calling in an exorcist but the damage was done. Word spread of my indiscretions and soon all those fine Christians at the church I grew up in had reduced me and my whole family to leper status, including my devout mother who makes Mother Teresa look like a syphilitic lot lizard. I never trusted another person over thirty again. So much for the 9th Commandment.

A decade and change later, Colin Kaepernick, arguably one of the ten best quarterbacks in the NFL today, is trapped in the veritable Purgatory of free agency because he dared to take a knee during the National Anthem in protest of this countries trigger happy police state. They blame it on the fans in flyover country but the reality is that the One Percenters who own these teams are scared shitless of an inner city black kid with something to say and the brains to back it up. The last thing those Scrooge-y cunts want is another Mohammed Ali on their hands.

Their attempts to silence Kaepernick backfired badly as his stand inspired the better part of the League to take a knee. The spectacle was so great that our Moron In Chief, Donald Trump couldn't help but to pour gasoline on the fire, insulting the players mothers and suggesting they should be fired. It served as a convenient distraction from his smoldering dumpster fire of a presidency, at least until the next mass shooting. But Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed. All because of his principled refusal to genuflect at the alter patriotism. So much for the First Commandment.

I'm not trying to compare myself to Kaepernick. He's clearly payed much more dearly than I did, at least financially, and he runs a far greater risk, as a black man, of getting capped by the pigs than I ever did, as a sullen white teenager, of getting drone striked by neocons (then again....). But the principle remains the same, as does the question- What the hell is wrong with our country? We're talking about pendants and jingles here. Tokens of patriotic kitsch. Is this shit really worth firing talented athletes and traumatizing at-risk teens over? And For what?

Yeah, yeah, I know, "People died for them there flags!" right? Well does that really make it better? As far as I'm concerned that makes it ten times worse. People DIED for that FLAG, literally millions of people, both American soldiers and their victims, died for a fucking rag. A piece of fabric with stars sewn to it that symbolizes undying obedience to a nation founded on the twin pillars of slavery and genocide. These rituals, the Pledge and the Anthem, are designed to sanctify authority the same way the Romans used the cross to justify the crusades and the Germans used the swastika to justify the Third Reich. Patriotism is just a classy word for fascism and fascism always fucking sucks.

So do me and Kap a favor, dearest motherfuckers, burn a flag and take a knee. Lady Liberty could use a good punch in the tits every once in a while.



Peace, Love and Empathy- CH



Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post.

* B.O.B. By Outkast
* American Girl By Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
* School By Nirvana
* Police Truck By Dead Kennedys
* Policy Of Truth By Depeche Mode
* I'm A African By Dead Prez
* Paper Planes By M.I.A.
* Get Up, Stand Up By Bob Marley & The Wailers
* Rockin' In The Free World By Neil Young
* Minor Threat By Minor Threat