Sunday, August 11, 2019

I Was a Red Flag Kid

Middle school sucks for everybody. But its harder for some people than others. After nearly a decade at a small, conservative, K-8 Catholic school, I was beginning to chafe beneath the cross of my mental illness. I had suffered from depression and anxiety since early childhood but as I entered the maelstrom of my teens, these issues became too turbulent to conceal. I didn't feel like the other kids and my awkward individuality felt far from welcome among the pious adults. Even beyond my ability to cope with the basic everyday stress of being an active human being, I felt strange and detached from what passed as normal in this stifling environment. My body felt like a mistake and I couldn't shake the fear that these feelings were evil. I had never heard of words like transgender or genderfluid. This was the Nineties and the only people who looked the way I felt were Dennis Rodman and Marilyn Manson, and the generally excepted wisdom at my church was that these freaks were going to hell, and so was I.

I was terrified. Terrified of myself. Terrified that if I ever let people in, that if people ever really truly saw me, they would either burn me at the stake or run screaming for the hills. So I retreated and found ways to cope. I lost most of my friends but I found shards of myself through the awesome power of punk rock music and radical politics. George W. Bush dropped bombs on Baghdad when I was in 8th grade and the very next day I came to school with a peace sign strapped to my arm. In early post-9/11 middle America, this mild gesture of resistance was tantamount to burning a pentagram in your forehead and declaring allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

I spent the proceeding weeks and months engaging in all out verbal combat with nearly every student and teacher I crossed. It was exhausting, but for the first time in a very long time, I wasn't scared, I was proud. I had declared my independence from "normal" and stood my ground and it felt empowering. So I dressed in all black, stopped standing for the pledge of allegiance and gave up on trying to please the normal people who occupied my life. I decorated my backpack with badges emblazoned with the portraits of my new saints; Kurt Cobain, Che Guevara and Joey Ramone. Then the wolves came in and normal bit back.

My poorly trained principle called me to her office and informed me that the whole school; students, parents and teachers, had been talking behind my back and they all agreed that my worst fears were true. I was a monster. I was accused of a litany of fictional offenses, from dressing like a criminal to plotting another Columbine. My hysterical principle had even gone so far as to contact the archdiocese for advice. All of this lunacy, the entire witch hunt, built on little more than small town rumors and soccer-mom hearsay to back it up. The only facts these adults needed to know to demonize a frightened child was that I was different and I was mentally ill. Up to that point, I had never even considered violence of any kind, I was a goddamn pacifist for Christ's sake. But after being ostracized the way I was by "concerned adults", I felt like burning that school to the fucking ground. I held high hopes that a secular public school would be different. But the very next year, the same thing happened all over again, this time over a graphic short story I wrote as a nonviolent alternative to arson. I've been broken ever since.

I was a red flag kid, dearest motherfuckers. The kind our truly psychotic president has been demonizing on social media, like some self-loathing preteen troll. The result of these experiences continue to haunt me. No one should ever be made to feel like monster when they're only 14 years old, especially not someone who was very clearly emotionally fragile. But as traumatizing as these experiences were, they would have been ten times worse in today's police state climate. After a seemingly endless string of mass shootings in the heartlands of the most violent empire the world has ever trembled beneath, everyone seems desperate for a quick and easy government solution to a very complicated socio-cultural problem. If I had been 14 in 2019 or, even worse, 2020, the predatory adult authority figures in my life would have been empowered to use police resources to restrain me.

With frantic calls from war-mongering politicians and alarmist talking heads to crack down on the mentally ill like a human virus with the revocation of our constitutional rights and even draconian measures like involuntary confinement, what we're talking about here isn't addressing the very real problem of mental illness, it's weaponizing it. We are talking about giving the state the downright Stalinesque ability to police an entire class of people numbering in the millions, not on their actions but on certain authority figure's fear of crimes that have not yet been committed, gutting due process like a fucking trout in the process. Well, this is one crazy person who won't fucking stand for it.

I do not own a gun, but as a mentally ill person, I am far more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator. And as a trans person, I do not nor will I ever trust the police to keep me safe. I should have every right to both my Zoloft and my revolver. The Constitution doesn't come with asterisks. But with today's rapidly expanding red flag laws, all the state would have to do to disarm me of my Second Amendment rights is point to my online activity as a radical anarchist with connections to both the far-left and the far-right and tell the public that my mental illness and social media extremism makes me a threat to myself and others. And if I resisted this blatant violation of my basic human rights, it would only give them the moral green light to throw me a Ruby Ridge Chivaree.

I honestly don't have all the answers to America's epidemic of mass shootings and though I think our countries war addiction is a much more likely culprit, I don't deny that mental illness and gun culture are part of the problem. But turning this country into a giant goddamn gulag is not the solution. As I mentioned above, millions of Americans suffer from mental illness and even more millions of Americans are discontent with the derelict state of our dying empire, I honestly suspect the latter informs the prior rather than the other way around. Vilifying these people, especially when they're young, will only push them deeper into the shadows where they can fall prey to violent parasites like ISIS, the Alt-right and the US Army and maybe that's the point. My point is that the problem isn't the mentally ill, it's the society that alienates and stigmatizes us for not fitting their tight definition of normal in these pathologically abnormal times.

When I was a scared, lonely, confused adolescent, all I really needed was for someone to fucking listen to me, and that's the one thing I do have in common with these shooters. We're all too goddamn busy with our fears and hang-ups to just sit the fuck down and fucking listen to one another. We need to fight the stigma. We need to put down the fucking phones, turn off the fucking news and stop turning to the police state to raise our fucking children for us. The violence doesn't stop until we shut the fuck up and start listening to these kids before they have to start a fire just get our attention.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Toy Soldiers by Martika
*  Kerosene by Big Black
*  Everybody Does by Julien Baker
*  Sin by Nine Inch Nail
*  Old Friends by Pinegrove
*  I Wanna Be Sedated by the Ramones
*  Heart Attack by Slaughter Beach, Dog
*  Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode
*  Get Your Gunn by Marilyn Manson
*  I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats
*  Everything Is Embarrassing by Sky Ferreira
*  Blank Generation by Richard Hell & the Voidoids

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Who's Afraid of Tulsi Gabbard?

Elections are different for anarchists. We've already made our peace with the basic fact that representative democracy is a sham even when it's not rigged by moneyed oligarchs. So when we do actually take part in the process, it's usually for purposes of propaganda and/or Machiavellian strategy. One thing Trump was right about is the influence of the deep state, though it's hardly the shadowy coalition of dope smoking lesbian Bolsheviks the Alex Jones-set imagines them to be (I wish.) Rather, they're more of a loose coalition of rich old white men who travel back and forth between unelected positions in the federal government and the numerous industrial complexes of the Fortune 500. At the risk of sounding like a member of the tinfoil hat brigade, these are the people who really run this country. Elections, especially at the presidential level, are largely just theater, a glorified reality TV show designed to feed the masses the illusion of living in a democratic society beneath the steel boot of a rapidly decomposing empire.

I personally subscribe to the Murray Rothbard philosophy on elections, which basically goes that since the state is defined by it's monopoly on the use of force, the best we the people can do when we're not loading rifles is to support the most antiwar candidate available. To me, this school of thought is made doubly relevant by the fact that theoretically the only thing the president has direct authority over is the armed forces. To say that this philosophy has brought me to some strange places is an understatement. I have personally changed political parties no fewer than three times and counting. And I've found myself openly backing everyone from Jurassic goldbugs like Ron Paul to New Age hippie vaxxers like Jill Stein (who's 2016 campaign sticker continues to haunt Hillaryites from the bumper of my Ford Taurus.)

The DNC's bottomless clown car of milquetoast morons doesn't exactly provide a lot of options for the Rothbardian voter. Most of the candidates seem to come from the Oprah School of social democracy, chumming debt besodden millennials with the promise of an endless procession of free shit, payed through taxing super-villains without offering to cut a single missile. The only solidly antiwar candidate was 89 year old former senator Mike Gravel, but since Mike has called it quits after essentially being banned from Cable TV and screwed out of his rightful place in the latest debates, that only leaves contrarian powder-keg, Tulsi Gabbard.

An active duty National Guardsman who has recently become one of Washington's last critics of the American regime change addiction, Tulsi is kind of like a young Hawaiian Smedley Butler, only with way better tits (What? I'm a feminist, not a monk.) Aside from good Old Man Gravel, she is the only candidate running a campaign centered on peace, denuclearization and detente in an age when the Cold War is back with a bipartisan vengeance. And with our dear old empire lurching closer to nuclear holocaust than it has since the Cuban Missile Crisis, this candidacy has become a necessity of existential proportions. Tulsi, as I will later address, is far from a perfect peace candidate. But her willingness to take on her own parties derelict leadership and throw partisan horseshit to the fan makes what may have previously been a rather mild candidacy downright revolutionary.

So then why has the congresswoman become persona no grata across the spectrum of the left-wing zeitgeist? Whether she's being banned on Google, ambushed on CNN or skewered by every progressive organ from the Nation to the Jacobin, it appears to be open season on the only underdog candidate not allergic to peace. But why? What is so damn dangerous about this woman that even the anti-establishment left finds her too toxic to touch with a twelve and a half foot pole? Well, lets unpack some of the most common gripes from my comrades and see if we can't come up with an answer to this conundrum.

An early arrow in Tulsi's tire is the idea that she is some kind of raging homophobe. On this I have to concur that Tulsi Gabbard's views on queer folk like myself were repulsive, in the fucking Nineties! Tulsi is the daughter of a wack-job, fag-bashing, zealot named Mike Gabbard who has long served in the Hawaiian State Senate. The bastard has earned an unsavory reputation as a kind of Fred Phelps of the South Pacific. The fact that Tulsi actually managed to climb out of that familial cesspool of hate and has still gone on to recieve a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign on queer rights issues speaks volumes about her character, all of it good. Who the fuck wasn't an asshole when they were 23? I was a goddamn Leninist suffering under the delusion that my penis made me a man. The fact that Tulsi may still hold some social conservative values related to her devotion to Hinduism is rendered further irrelevant when you consider that she has very openly voiced her belief that these values should not be a matter of public policy, a decidedly libertarian position that she adopted upon seeing what her father's brand of mass theocratic skulduggery leads to during her service in the Middle East.

Another popular swipe taken at Tulsi is the theory that her foreign policy is motivated primarily by latent Islamaphobia. I held this position myself at first, stemming largely from my uncomfortability with her past relationships with some pretty blatantly anti-Muslim Hindu nationalist organizations. But if you listen closely to Tulsi's positions in regards to 'Islamic Terrorism', you quickly realize that she's not anti-Muslim but anti-Wahhabi and there is a strong difference between the two. Islam is a huge and diverse collection of Abrahamic philosophies that are largely peaceful and anti-authoritarian at heart. Wahhabi Salafism is a pseudo-Islamic death cult propagated by our clients in Saudi Arabia in order to spread violence and instability across a population with a totally rational disdain for western-style capitalism. It's an inherently imperialist and supremacist philosophy just like Zionism and American Exceptionalism. I believe that Tulsi's position could benefit greatly from re-branding 'Islamic Terrorism' as 'Wahhabist Terrorism' but I'm not about to cut my support for a candidate based on something as petty as politically correct semantics. At the end of the day it really doesn't matter what motivates Tulsi's foreign policy, be it the troops or Wahhabism, as long as that policy is peace.

None of this is to say that Tulsi Gabbard is some kind of spotless dove. She may be among the last of the McGovern Democrats, but she's no Ilhan Omar. Her views regarding the genocidal apartheid state of Israel remain alarmingly inconsistent and her connections to arch-Zionist creep-a-zoids like the Addelson's are nothing short of disturbing. Her positions on torture and drones are also disconcertingly opaque. But her overall values still speak to the experience of a grizzled warrior who would rather break bread with the enemy than to pick back up the sword. Her short comings are part of the reason I had hoped that Old Man Gravel would find a way to hack the debate stage and hold Tulsi's feet to the fire. Tulsi's inconsistencies remain very bridgeable in light of the fact that they're contrary to her overall world view and this is what makes the left's concession to the radical center's demonization of her so infuriating.

Tulsi's independent streak has earned her a very diverse cheering section, including not only libertarian lefties like myself, but so-called 'Sputnik Leftists' and even a few lapsed Trumpsters who feel cheated by a president who promised them detente with Russia and an end to the endless circus of suicidal regime change wars. The diversity of Tulsi's appeal should be considered a strength in a country that has grown dismally weary of our long outdated left-right partisan paradigm. But this very appeal to diversity appears to be exactly why even the ostensibly antiwar left remains allergic to her campaign. The left in this country has become infected by a bitter strain of bigotry that views any interaction between their rank and file with the white trash deplorables in Trump Country as tantamount to treason. This isn't just offensively closed minded, it's cripplingly counter-revolutionary and precisely what the cretins of the deep state rely on to keep poor and disenfranchised people of every color divided against each other.

What makes a truly successful campaign in a hopelessly corrupt empire? Is it some safe vanilla centrist poster-boy for banality who we can hope against hope grows a spine in the Oval Office for just long enough to have it severed by a sniper's bullet from some foggy grassy knoll? Does anyone remember what Humphrey stood for? How about John Kerry? That's what I thought. But people remember the wildcards like George McGovern, Ron Paul, Ralph Nader and Ross Perot. Not because they won, but because they lost with dignity on their terms and succeeded in changing the national conversation. And right now, Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate pushing that conversation towards peace. I don't know if that's enough to earn my vote but it sure as shit is a good start.

Lets have that conversation, dearest motherfuckers. Let make some goddamn noise for peace.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley
*  Monkeywrench by Foo Fighters
*  Broken Face by the Pixies
*  What's My Age Again? by Blink 182
*  Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival
*  North American Scum by LCD Soundsystem
*  See No Evil by Television
*  Freedom of Choice by Devo
*  Forever Half Mast by Lucy Dacus
*  Power to the People by John Lennon

Sunday, July 28, 2019

I'm a Little Bit Ilhan, and I'm a Little Bit Tucker Too

As something of a radical contrarian, I often feel like my life is comprised largely of coming out of an endless procession of closets, often without even realizing I'm stepping through the doorway. What? You didn't know I was a pro-life feminist? You've never heard of a libertarian socialist? I genuinely can't keep up with all the peccadillos you partisan pussies find indigestible. All in all, with this experience of casually shocking boring people, it's little wonder I took to being queer like a fish in a frying pan.

But some closet doors are heavier than others and at this hybrid moment of Republicrat hysteria, they don't get much heavier than the simple fact that I have a great deal of respect for both Ilhan Omar and Tucker Carlson, which is a bit like being a unicorn that everyone hates for a different reason. How could this be possible? Well, for one thing, I've long held a soft spot in my bleeding heart for both shocking people and, well, shocking-people. As a kid, I couldn't seem to decide whether I wanted to be Mother Teresa or Marilyn Manson when I grew up. But more than any idiosyncratic character flaw, my respect for these two highly demonized figures stems from the fact that I am and will always be an anti-imperialist above all else. And regardless of their many many flaws both Ilhan and Tucker have been fairly consistent advocates for world peace.

I never expected to like Tucker Carlson and, for the most part, I still don't. His demonization of immigrants and trans people like myself is nothing short of revolting. But like most paleocons, with Mr. Carlson you take the good with the disgusting. Regardless of how you or I may feel about the bastard's social cluelessness, you have to be pathologically apoplectic to deny his post-partisan devotion to anti-interventionism. Where Tucker's beloved pseudo-isolationist Caesar, Donald Trump, has faltered, Carlson has remained courageously resolute.

Since taking the prime time slot of pandering grope-a-holic Bill O'Reilly, Tucker Carlson has delivered some of the most breathlessly eloquent prose in defense of peace that this country has seen since MSDNC had Phil Donahue fired for speaking out against the war in Iraq, often going against the very president he rebuilt his career on defending in the process, and it's effect appears to be profound. Donald Trump seems to have only reversed his decision to commit mass murder in Iran after a brief phone call with his favorite Fox News host. With an impetuously impressionable man-child in the Oval Office, this xenophobic, binarist dick may have literally saved lives by sticking to his guns on America's existential need to drop hers. Hate the fucker for who he is, but game recognizes game, and Tucker is looking pretty damn familiar to this tranny peacenik. Crucify me for being big enough admit it.

Perhaps the only thing more enjoyable than seeing a neocon network hijacked by a modern-day Charles Lindbergh has been watching mighty little Ilhan make those same pigfucking giants sweat. While, as an anarchist, I may find Mrs. Omar's pseudo-socialist, big-government-solves-everything approach to domestic policy nauseatingly tiresome, she has proven herself to be the Lower House's most doggedly consistent critic of empire since Ron Paul.

She has been inspiringly fearless in her near unprecedented stance against the malign influence of the Israel Lobby, braving outrageous accusations of antisemitism from her own party to tell an increasingly Hitleresque Bibi Netanyahu to go fuck himself and the president he rode in on. She's called out Democratic sacred cow Barack Obama for his own war crimes, thrown her support behind Orange-Man-Bad's empty promises to pull out of Afghanistan and Syria and has led the charge in Congress to end our countries unforgivable involvement with the Saudi genocide in Yemen. All of this, however, is just gravy on top of her ruthless televised roast of Elliot Abrams. Nothing has ever gotten my unwanted cock harder than seeing that woman make that serial-child murderer belly crawl like the gutless invertebrate he is. It's the closest thing I've ever seen to anti-imperialist revenge porn and it was fucking divine. For that alone, Ilhan Omar has earned her place in paradise just next door to Malcolm X.

So why the fuck cant these two iconoclastic peaceniks just get along? Why does Tucker feel the need to further stain his reputation by dragging a woman who stands for many of the same things he does through the mud with ludicrous, xenophobic, conspiracy theories? Why do Ilhan's devoted Twitter followers waste their precious time trolling the private residence of the one talking head daring enough to speak out against both parties insatiable lust for war? Why can't radicals just get along?

The answer essentially comes down to the kind of garden variety bigotry that the status quo has relied on for centuries to keep people serious about peace divided. For Tucker and his audience, this bigotry is pretty obvious. The world is getting browner and queerer and they can't stand the idea that becoming a white minority may be inevitable. For someone in coach like me, it's more than a little hard to feel sympathetic for a bunch of old white men in first class bellyaching about getting only one side with their Salisbury steak. Which leads me to address the less obvious form of bigotry at play here, coming from the left, which essentially amounts to a bigotry against bigotry. I know this sounds absurd, but you can't expect every social group to evolve at the same pace. Sometimes we have to pick our battles, and dead children in Yemen is just a little bit more dire than being misgendered by MAGA hat wearing hicks.

This doesn't mean the left should lose its values. On the contrary, I think these values of tolerance and acceptance only benefit from finding common cause with those who stubbornly appose them. I've seen it first hand. I can't tell you how many times I've encountered hostility towards my gender identity from the right, only to see it neutralized by sharing a comradery for apposing violent globalism. I've become many a paleocon's one trans friend this way and I've gotta believe that that is a step in the right direction.

Both the far-left and the far-right have never been more visible in this country. We both appose many of the same things, namely the forever wars which have starved both our movements of the financial attention they so rightly deserve. If the radical center can find common ground in strengthening the warfare state, then why cant we on the fringe find common ground in destroying it. There will be plenty of time to claw each others eyes out over domestic policy once the troops come home. For now, I say we prioritize ending the killing. Lets build a contrarian coalition for peace.

So, yeah, dearest motherfuckers, I'm a little bit Ilhan, and god help me, I'm a little bit Tucker too. Aren't we all? Consider that closet door obliterated. I have no more room for shame when it comes to my lust for peace.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Hatebreeders by the Misfits
*  The KKK Took My Baby Away by the Ramones
*  Personal Jesus by Johnny Cash
*  Obsessed by Hatchie
*  Hybrid Moments by the Misfits
*  Rock 'n Roll Nigger by Marilyn Manson
*  Good Ones by Slaughter Beach, Dog
*  Rebels by Tom Petty



Dedicated in loving memory to Dino Zakarya. Another proud Muslim rebel who couldn't be bothered to follow the rules. Rest comrade, we'll carry your gun.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Smash All the Camps (Or Sympathy For Willem Van Spronsen)

I sympathize with Willem Van Spronsen. Maybe that's a bad way to start this post but it feels like the most honest way to start this post. A mentally ill anarchist, not unlike myself, Willem wanted to end his life but he wanted to end it for a cause. So he attacked an ICE detention center with pipe bombs and let the cops do the rest. I've never made my disdain for Antifa a secret, I've befriended too many right-wing anti-imperialists caught in their crossfire, but god help me, this struck me as a move in the right direction for Pacific Northwest anarchists, who have lately been far too busy bombarding alt-right imbeciles to confront our growing police state.

My sympathy is not exclusively political however. My sympathy comes from a place of very personal outrage and my outrage comes from a deeply traumatic childhood. I can usually retain a pretty jaded gonzo snark with my writing, stemming from my misanthropic drag queen sense of humor. But when you've been fucked with by role-crazy adults as a child, part of you will always be that child. So when I see kids in fucking cages, I see myself brutally misgendered in a confessional waiting for hell. And that's when I flip my proverbial shit and get downright histrionic. The only reason why I haven't gone full Kaczynski like Willem, aside from the fact that my meds are working and I generally appose initiatory violence, is because I'm usually too livid in these moments to handle anarcho-home-ec projects like IED's. I'm also probably too pissed off to write a completely lucid blog post, so this time I decided to wait a week and take a closer look at the issue of the camps.

It's very tempting to drop the lion share of the blame on a loud-mouth bully like Trump. He's certainly made the immigration issue more personal by declaring entire classes of people war criminals and encouraging his beloved gorilla juice-heads in ICE to get their Gestapo on. The harsh reality that the media has chosen to ignore however is that there is nothing particularly new about Orange-Man-Bad's persecution of pint-sized undocumented line-crossers. In fact, the bastard still comes in fourth behind the last three presidents in mass deportations. The modern militarization of the boarder actually started decades before Trump with another sanction-happy rapist named Bill Clinton (I believe the two may have met once or twice at one of Jeffrey Epstein's Pretty Baby-Eyes Wide Shut Parties) which was just one small part of his fascistic war on children, the hallmark of which was his draconian Biden-approved crime bill which essentially declared black childhood to be a felony. And this is where we meet the concentration camp question.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez generally puts me to shame in the histrionics department (the bitch also looks way better in heels) but she hit the nail on the head when she had the ovaries to call our countries desert tiger-cage day-care centers concentration camps. No single race of people owns the rights to that specific genre of inhumanity. This country had concentration camps for Indians long before Germany was even Germany. A concentration camp is anywhere where large groups of people are concentrated against their will behind bars and concertina wire. You don't have to be a limp-wristed open-borders loving panarchist like me to find that concept repulsive, especially when it involves children. Ankle bracelets are cheap and locking up toddlers is terrorism. But why are we picking favorites here? When it all comes down to it, aren't all prisons concentration camps?

There are millions of people in cages across this country, more than any other country, not just in general but per capita. We make China look like fucking Burning Man for Christ's sake. And what does all this barbarism achieve? Nothing. Not rehabilitation. The American prison system is a factory that gobbles up the children our equally heinous public schools fail and spits out hardened criminals, pathologically incapable of existing anywhere but prison. It's an emotional crippling machine. Recidivism rates are through the roof and a huge portion of this countries permanent prisoners suffer from untreated mental illness. That just leaves us with some hideously arcane Hobbesian sense of frontier justice where we essentially throw people's lives away who hurt us because it makes us feel better about creating a society that makes this pain inevitable. Forgive my bluntness, but this is fucking stupid. We're kicking the dog for biting us because we kicked the dog. Maybe if our schools weren't glorified prisoner factories we would have learned that two wrong don't make a right, two million wrongs makes a catastrophe and concentration camps are never right.

So I welcome Willem's rage, but I also welcome it to be put in the proper perspective. If you appose the camps on the boarder, you should appose their northern supermax cousins. Tribes managed to effect restorative models of justice centuries before the relatively recent invention of the modern prison. There is no reason why our communities, towns and neighborhoods can't do the same. When a society becomes too modern for mercy, it has ceased to evolve into anything worth protecting. Maybe we can get back on track by spending less time and money on violently reacting to societies ills and more time fixing them. The best way to prevent the proliferation of violence in society is to prevent child abuse. Let's start by letting them out of those goddamn cages. Until then, I will continue to have more sympathy for the Willem Van Spronsen's of this country than the comfortable state terrorists they assault. Make of that what you will.

Smash all the camps, dearest motherfuckers, from Yuma to Attica. Either we all get free or nobodies free. No justice? No peace.



Piss, Vinegar & always Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Rusty Cage by Soundgarden
*  Excitable Boy by Warren Zevon
*  Drunk II by Mannequin Pussy
*  Suedehead by Morrissey
*  Daddy Was a Bank Robber by the Clash
*  Waiting Room by Fugazi
*  Suspect Device by Stiff Little Fingers
*  Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash
*  Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Warren Zevon

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Nukes For Peace?

Surrounded by trigger happy Tonkinesque gunboats and drowning in debt, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made the risky decision to play the last card left in their deck; to defy the P5+1 Deal in order to save the P5+1 Deal. It's a hell of a gambit but it already has those pussies in the EU clamoring for new talks with the embattled nation. Under the circumstances, I would argue that Iran's decision to enrich Uranium past the amount allowed in the deal but still far short of anything potentially lethal isn't just tactically savvy, it's the right thing to do.

Iran offered Europe and the US everything but a weekly colonoscopy with that deal and we've given them jack shit in return for their patience. While Trump shredded the agreement in a reckless Israel-friendly hissy fit, Europe has sheepishly reneged on their promises to stand up to Orange-Man-Bad and ease their own sanctions. Their indecision isn't just an embarrassing display of geostrategic cowardice that would gag Charles de Gaulle like a gimp, it's a brazen violation of the very deal they claim to remain committed to. In this dire situation, for Iran to continue to sit on their hands, would be a betrayal of both international diplomacy and their long suffering citizenry who these values are supposed to protect.

But this move also begs a bigger and rather uncomfortable question for peaceniks like me. Could Nukes be good for peace? Just typing those words feels blasphemous on my fingertips, but history speaks for itself. Iraq and Libya both forfeited their own nuclear weapons programs for the sake of self-preservation and both ended up brutally mugged for their efforts by the world's preeminent nuclear superpower. Further more, international law on this regard, is little more than a sick fucking joke. Iran has been hounded for decades by an illegally nuclear armed Israel and the only nation to ever use one of those goddamn things while even the intelligence agencies of these very rogue states admits that this program is a total fiction. Meanwhile, India and Pakistan continue their own flagrantly illegal arms race while being bathed in buckets of western aid. And evil Iran should what, be the last boy-scout while they get ransacked? It clearly doesn't make any fucking difference whether they actually have the bombs or not, so why not arm up?

This has essentially become the policy of North Korea, who originally sought little more than to update their dusty moribund nuclear program for the use of hard-water power to help them weather the post-Cold War winter. When confronted by an increasingly belligerent Clinton Administration on the issue, they decided that they might as well double-down and go back to making bombs until Jimmy Carter went rogue on the White House and cobbled together a peace deal that held until Bush decided to follow in Clinton's imperial footsteps with more baseless dick-wagging and saber-rattling. North Korea simply flipped that New England hick the bird and diligently returned to their nukes, braving power both soft and hard, until being offered another equally precarious deal with our current Schizophrenic-in-Chief. North Korea didn't exactly come out of this thing unscathed. Millions of their citizens have starved beneath the weight of our crippling sanctions. But they're still standing and without the taste of Uncle Sam's cock in their mouth. So why not Iran?

This is a question the western world will have to answer as Iran has chosen a middle ground, between Iraq and Korea, to throw the ball in our court. Expecting exposed third world nations to embrace nuclear dovery runs as patronizingly hollow when all the rich countries singing Cat Stevens songs are armed to the fucking teeth. Iran has never invaded a single sovereign nation and yet its expected to play Gandhi to a gang of colonialist bloodhounds who've left rotting carcasses on nearly every continent they've ever raped with a flagpole. In what hopped up universe is this mindset anything but atrociously racist and downright rude? I still think sticking to that deal as long as they did showed the world a lot of class on Iran's part. But class wont cure kids with leukemia or keep food on the table. When it comes to Iran's nuclear weapons program, whether it ever becomes more than fictional or not, don't hate the player, hate the game.

You want peace, dearest motherfuckers? Me too. In fact I wage to bet even those dastardly Mullahs do. But the cowboy in the red, white and blue hat is gonna have to drop his pistols first. After all, he's the only one who's been caught using them.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Imagine by John Lennon
*  Peace Sells by Megadeth
*  Peace Train by Cat Stevens
*  Reign In Blood by Slayer
*  International Small Arms Traffic Blues by the Mountain Goats
*  What About Us by Ministry
*  Shinny Happy People by REM
*  Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana
*  Museum of Love by Daniel Johnston
*  Andre by L7

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Revolt Against Adulthood

Why don't you grow up, Nicky? That's the tried old refrain that never seems to get older than I do. It seems like I hear it from pretty much all the token adult figures in my life; my parents, my therapist, my government. And maybe they've got a point. I am over thirty, unemployed, painfully single and I still live at home. To be fair, I'm also certifiably mentally ill. As a slowly recovering shut-in, my lingering agoraphobia makes it damn near impossible to hold down even a part time job. But If I'm to be 100% honest to a gut-shiving fault, which is pretty much my whole shtick, my aversion to adulthood is far more complex than my inability to properly regulate good and bad stress.

 I was raised in the wrong fucking gender by an establishment of adults who I was led to believe held the mandate of god himself, the ultimate adult figure. By in large, growing up, the adults in my life were cruel, petty, two-faced zealots who had their way with my trust until it quite simply ceased to exist. There is a very firmly moralist part of me that yells at the top of her deeply closeted preteen lungs, WHY THE FUCK WOULD I EVER WANT TO BE LIKE YOU!

 I've talked about this disembodied voice before. The invisible girl who's tired of suffocating beneath the biological trappings of manhood. She wants to come out and play with matches but she's not particularly intrigued by the late capitalist banality of modern adulthood. And, in 2019, she's not alone.

It seems like I come from an entire generation of kids who are downright allergic to adulthood. We are a lost generation that has chosen in overwhelming numbers to stay single, unemployed and live at home. We also seem to be a culture that is defined by our collective nostalgia. We've somehow managed to make washed-up boy bands and thirty year old cartoons a downright viable industry. we've gathered on the Internet into rabid cults devoted to everything from anime to My Little Pony. In the process, we have also become the butt of an endless barrage of jokes from older generations for refusing to conform to what their interpretation of what adulthood is. But isn't that precisely what adulthood is? An interpretation, not unlike other equally subjective concepts like normality and sanity, of what constitutes a successful existence in a collapsing society running on fumes?

So what is an "Adult" in 2019. What earns one that cherished class distinction in the waning hours of the American Century? According to postmodern western society, an adult is someone who pays their taxes and votes for sensible centrist warmongers.

 An adult is someone who works their fingers to the fucking bone for some half-lit cubicle despot who treats them with all the respect of branded cattle.

 An adult cuts their hair and dresses like a goddamn ventriloquist dummy just to fit in with the other miserable fakes in the herd.

 An adult builds them self an oversized suburban prison cell over virgin forests with granite counter tops and cathedral ceilings on the ocean floor of a raging sea of debt.

 An adult gives into the peer pressure of competitive monogamy and pumps out two and a half kids before pushing their demons on them and punishing them for not being properly spoiled and jaded by the shining success of our empty neoliberal existence.

 An adult beats their spouse after the home team loses and then sauces them self to sleep on a cocktail of hard alcohol and sleeping pills.

 An adult is a faceless, spineless, living corpse who does as their told. And this is the "success" my generation of missing children should aspire too? Let me speak for all of us right now and tell the mincing successful adults in the room to go fuck themselves. Even the purgatory of delayed adulthood is better than the hell of their empty existence. Enjoy the Beamer and the fake tits, champ, you've earned it.

And my generation's search for something meaningful in what this toxic society deems meaningless is hardly an anomaly. Many lost generations living in moribund societies pregnant with their own demise have chose to play hide and seek among the wreckage of their ancestors. In the final days of Weimar Germany and the Roman Empire, whole generations chose to abandon the responsibility of keeping their rusted hulk states alive in favor of indulging in the fantasy of burlesque houses and post-pagan orgies. Perhaps these are more than just contractions before the miscarriage. Perhaps there is something hardwired deep into our primordial lizard brains that still thirsts for a return to the natural world when the modern one is in shambles. One only capable of sustaining life in the years before we had been so thoroughly subjugated and assimilated by those gulags of adulthood called schools and the workforce.

There was an age in which we were all children, or primitive as the condescending gatekeepers of history in the Ivy Leagues call it. Before agriculture and property and adulthood, we hunted and gathered our collective resources and spent the lion share of our time engaging each other, irrespective of age, in meaningful play. I've known some much maligned folk who continue this tradition deep in the hollers of Appalachia. They receive the same amount of disrespect from academia as our primitive ancestors and they give same amount fucks about the adult world as I do. It's easy to typecast those who embrace absurdity in absurd times, be they hillbillies or millennials, but maybe, just maybe, we're all responding to something we've been robbed of by the progress of modern adulthood. And maybe it's time we took it back.

This isn't to say that my generation has it all figured out. We just know that the world is fucked up and it doesn't have to be this way. Sadly, some of the decomposing adults are wise enough to acknowledge our discontent and shrewd enough to harness it to consolidate their own plush positions in a crumbling kingdom of shit. Ageing scions of malignant adulthood like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have offered us the faulty illusion of safety beneath their condescending guardianship. These toxic father figures have offered us a candy store of goodies like free healthcare, free tuition, great big walls and even bigger battleships to turn this desperate land into one big safe crib as long as we agree to play nice and let them rape mamma with factory farms and smart bombs.

Well, I don't know about the rest of you kids, but this is one (wo)man-child who's not falling for the stranger's candy again. I say we sneak out after dark and run amok on their wrinkled asses. I say we give the adults a taste of their own fucking medicine.

I say we stop giving the bullies our lunch money and use our would-be tax dollars to buy PlayStations, dope and electric guitars. I say we turn the census into a colossal game of Madlibs. I say we decorate every government building we can find with toilet paper and rotten eggs. I say we all show up to jury duty in blackface except the blacks who show up dressed as white powdered judges. I say we throw a gigantic water-balloon fight on the graves of Arlington with one red-nosed clown for every tombstone. I say we jam up the tailpipes of every police cruiser from Queens to Ferguson with Twinkies and bananas. I say we dose Washington's water supply with homemade moonshine. And I say we all play hooky with a nationwide collective strike and gather at the National Mall to eat fluffer-nutters, make out and play Dungeons and Dragons until the adults step down and give us back our goddamned democracy.

More importantly, I say we stop saying 'Yes mam' and 'No sir' to people who don't treat us with the respect to earn such knee-jerk platitudes. I say we take care of our parents, even if they are condescending dicks, instead of shoving them into homes. I say we tell our friends that we love them before they're gone. And I say we make those friends and family a higher priority than making money to hand over to government thieves. I say we start doing what makes us happy rather than what makes us and the government rich. I say we stop dropping bombs on people for not playing the right games. And I say we start treating all children, young and old, with the kindness and respect we wish to be treated with. No more patriarchy. No more ageism. And no more second class citizens, shamed into the conformity of adulthood. No more invisible girls.

To put it frankly, fuck adulthood, dearest motherfuckers. It's an overrated concept crafted by the dying to enslave the living. Our only responsibilities should be to each other and against the systems that divide us. Let the Nickelodean revolution begin and let it begin with me.



Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Essentially by Japanese Breakfast
*  Teenage Dirtbag by Phoebe Bridgers
*  Our Secret by Beat Happening
*  We're Going To Be Friends by the White Stripes
*  1979 by Smashing Pumpkins
*  Wake Up by Arcade Fire
*  Superbike by Jay Som
*  Come As You Are by Nirvana
*  I Go Home by Daniel Johnston
*  Drunk Walk Home by Mitski
*  In the Garage by Weezer
*  The Concept by Teenage Fanclub

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Godspeed Justin Raimondo, You Brilliant Son of a Bitch

The son of a bitch promised he wasn't gonna go. That's what goes through my grief wrenched mind tonight, as I learn that Justin Raimondo, easily the greatest writer of the Paleoconservative Movement and total unapologetic son of a bitch to the bitter end, has passed after a white knuckle brawl with lung cancer, at 67. He can't be dead. Their has to be a catch. He was so certain that he could kick that bastard disease back to hell where it belonged that he made you believe it too. Justin Raimondo, America's own Yukio Mishima, an abominable twin-fisted fag who punched mountains just for the exercise between cigarettes is dead? No. No fucking way. Not possible.

To those of you who don't know Justin and his work, I have no words to give you. There is simply no way to possibly describe to the uninitiated how massive he was to the Antiwar Movement. But I grew up, a pissed off anti-imperialist queer in my own right, enthralled by the Old Testament grade power of his sublime diction. It made little difference that he was a Buchananite isolationist and that I was a lefty-Yippie-anarcho-punk. He was radical. His enemies were my enemies, Kristol, Horowitz, Hitchens, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and he cut them down mercilessly like a shogun vigilante who's katana thirsted only for the blood of chickenhawks. I had never seen somebody so antiwar be so cruel and it was fucking beautiful. He was brilliant, cunning, merciless, and he was on our side. Those neocon pussies didn't stand a chance. He was our secret weapon, an action movie style wringer for the Peace Movement and he and Eric Garris' antiwar.com remains the finest viable resource in any die hard peacenik's arsenal.

This isn't to say that the old bastard couldn't piss me off. He could make my blood boil like bacon grease, especially when he became a seemingly unshakable defender of our current foul Caesar and refused to admit that the revolution had gone sour after the Donald began racking up war crimes like the politician Justin assured us he wasn't. I raged over this hypocrisy, not because I hated Justin but because I loved him so goddamn much that I couldn't bare to see some slick corporate welfare queen make a fool of my sensei, simply because he wanted so badly to believe that this orange bulldozer could pave the way for the antiwar revolution that we both ached for.

But it's important, for me as much as anybody else if not more so, to remember that Justin came from the Murray Rothbard school of anti-imperialism. With every position he took, right or wrong, he put peace first, no matter how much it hurt, whether this meant endorsing Che or the SDS or Nader or Trump. Justin could care less about Trump the candidate. What he saw was an opportunity for Trump the movement. He saw barns full of Southern Baptist crackers chanting America First and he saw an opportunity to push anti-imperialism into the mainstream zeitgeist. I still, quite violently, disagree with this M.O.. Frankly it smacks of the kind of ends-justify-the-means style tyranny that turned me off of Leninism. But, much like Lenin, Justin was a complicated beast who sometimes let his bleeding heart drown out his enormous brains. And even for this mortal sin, I can't help but to love the old bastard a friend of mine once aptly described as the gay Sicilian Archie Bunker.

Never the less, Justin never stopped fighting like bloody fucking hell for all the right reasons. He vehemently apposed all war, every war this twisted wretch of a country ever invested blood and treasure into. He made no exceptions. Justin took Washington to task for crimes no one else even bothered to cover. No one did finer coverage of the NED sponsored Color Wars which would form the bedrock of the current Second Cold War. No one spoke more eloquently about the collective hunger of the Korean people for reunification which has only recently blossomed into once unthinkable peace talks between those divided nations. His mind was a veritable encyclopedia of world history. A weapon of mass destruction that even the feds failed to contain during their Bush-era witch hunt against antiwar.com. The powerful feared Justin and rightly so. He saw their demise coming back when Trump was still groping teenagers at their fundraisers. Justin had a vision for imperial blowback that was 80/20. He could see certain disaster from miles away. Except for his own.

Justin's furious fighting spirit extended to his own personal health. When faced with a death sentence after smoking half the tobacco in Virginia, he looked the reaper deep in the socket and snarled bring it on like a Spaghetti Western cowboy. Like peace, Justin fought for his life to win, even when the odds were insurmountable. He was one of the greatest writers of his generation, a head on my Mount Rushmore right between Hunter Thompson and Gore Vidal, and he helped light a fire in me when I had all but given up on the art itself. My own personal Renaissance from an agoraphobic has-been/never-was to a literary fire-starter began on the message boards beneath his columns on antiwar.com. After flaking out of college with a nervous meltdown, I was ready to give up my lifelong dreams of becoming the genderfuck Raul Duke. Justin proved to me that you didn't need a newspaper to burn down the Pentagon. All you needed was the grit to look power deep in the socket and snarl bring it on.

The son of a bitch promised he wouldn't go. And if this lefty-Yippie-anarcho-punk has anything to say about it, that promise will be kept. Justin's war is my war, and that war doesn't stop until every American war does. Someday, on the grave of this crumbling empire you will find "Justin was here!" scrawled in my lipstick and that's another promise I aim to keep.

As the good Doctor Gonzo would say, there he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. Godspeed Justin Raimondo, you brilliant son of a bitch. We'll keep the fire burning for you until it catches on.


Peace, Love & Empathy- CH



Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  You Cant Put Your Arms Around a Memory by Johnny Thunders
*  All Apologies by Nirvana
*  Left of the Dial by the Replacements
*  Knockin' On Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan
*  A Better Union by Titus Andronicus
*  Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones
*  Stuck Between Stations by the Hold Steady
*  Make You Better by the Decemberists