Sunday, November 27, 2016

Godspeed Comandante Castro

I write this post to you, dearest motherfuckers, with a heavy heart. I write this post early because another one of my heroes has died. On November 25 in this year of the devil twenty-hundred and sixteen, Fidel Castro- revolutionary, lawyer, freedom fighter, dictator and all around contrarian bad-ass motherfucker shuffled off this mortal coil into the pantheon of oblivion at the age of 90. I know what some of you must be thinking. That I'm fucking nuts or, even worse, a hypocrite. An outspoken genderfuck anarcho-transfeminist defending a crusty old Leninist strongman. And you're right to judge me this way. Castro has done some horrible things that I wont even attempt to defend. He locked up his critics and followed the homophobic Soviet company line of sending queer people to the sanatoriums. I wont pretend like he was an angel. He wasn't. He could be a real cunt. He was an undeniably flawed human being. But these facts don't change the other facts. The fact that Fidel devoted his life to his people and to poor and maligned people across the globe. The fact that his lifetime of service to these people far overshadows the heinous mistakes he made in their name. And, perhaps most importantly, the fact that this simple son of a school-teacher went toe to toe with the most ferocious empire the world has ever known for over half a century and won. History may or may not absolve the good Comandante Castro but this is one queer anarchist who will be caught trying.

Fidel began his life pretty square. The son of middle-class landowners, he excelled at sports and academics. After a failed attempt at a pro-baseball career, he became a lawyer and then a moderately reformist politician before Yankee backed strongman, Fulgencio Batista liquidated what was left of Cuba's banana democracy and pushed young Fidel into a lifetime career as a revolutionary agitator. In 1953, Fidel led a failed revolt at the Moncada Barracks. After his arrest, the former lawyer chose to represent himself and electrified a nation with his unbowed and unapologetic defense of his crimes against the state and his thunderous condemnation of the very system that he had found himself at the mercy of. He was fearless. The Batista regime and their American handlers didn't know it then but Castro had already one the revolution before it even began. Fidel served two years in prison before being released as part of an amnesty. He fled to self-exile with his brother Raul and a handful of comrades in Mexico City where he plotted his next move.

The Castro Brothers returned to Cuba in 1956 with Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara and 79 others on a rickety old fishing boat known as the Granma. After a crash landing the tiny army found themselves the victims of an ambush. Only 12 of the original members of the 26 July Movement survived the onslaught. Fidel led them limping into the Sierra Maestra Mountains where for the next two years they led a popular rebellion that somehow snowballed into one of the centuries greatest and unlikeliest triumphs against tyranny. By 1958, Fidel and his movement road into the capital of Havana to a heroes welcome. But these brave sons of the Southern Hemisphere had pissed on a wasps nest. Their whole country would have to pay a heavy price for their courageous stand.

The moment that it became clear to the Mandarins in Washington that Castro would not allow himself to be perverted like Batista it was decided that the new Cuban Revolution would have to be strangled in it's cradle before it could gain the strength to take its first step. As Castro ordered that the wage-slave-plantations be returned to their rightful owners, the peasant farmers who toiled in them, and that the nations oil wells should belong to its citizens rather than the American conglomerates who stole them. As he shuttered the Mafia's Casinos and whorehouses and returned dignity to the streets of Havana, the United States gathered the Batista's disgruntled thugs along with a melange of fascist mercenaries and together they launched a reign of terror upon the tiny island nation that would last for more than half a century.

Fidel wasn't always a communist. Far from it. His original intention for Cuba was to hold popular elections once the last remnants of the Batista dictatorship had been thoroughly decimated. But before he could make this happen, Fidel found his nascent revolutionary government under siege by foreign funded terrorists and saboteurs. Trains were derailed. Harbors were mined. Crops were torched and scores of innocent civilians were slaughtered in cold blood. Once it had become abundantly clear that Uncle Sam was the source of this wave of madness, Castro was left with nowhere else to turn to but East towards the Soviet Union. The Bay of Pigs Invasion was the final straw. Castro had selflessly joined his own soldiers in personally thwarting off that American siege. He returned to Havana a very shaken and changed man. He came to the hard conclusion that democracy would have to wait until the threat of American Imperialism subsided. Sadly this day never came. Cuba joined their allies in the USSR in becoming a stifling state capitalist bureaucracy. The once bright and vivacious Cuban Revolution had been rendered to a permanent warfare state.

This was America's aim all along. The boys in the Beltway decided that if Castro couldn't be bought off or overthrown, he would be pushed by the threat of violence into suffocating his own revolution under a wartime dictatorship of the proletariat, Just as the Bolsheviks had. You see, the Americans didn't fear Castro for his nationalism or his flirtations with socialism or even his close friendships with Marxists like Che. They feared Castro's dream of a a successful anti-capitalist, post-colonial democracy. They were scared shitless of the prospect of Cuba becoming an example of hope to Uncle Sam's other banana republics in the Western Hemisphere and beyond. So they goaded Fidel into sabotaging his own revolution in order to defend his people from a greater tyranny. Tragically, it worked. Sort of.

Cuba's revolutionary democracy may have never came to fruition and the nations savior may have been pushed into the unwanted position of dictator, but Castro refused to let all of the revolutions promises die the same death. In spite of being shackled by the most brutal international blockade in world history, Cuba managed to develop healthcare and education systems that rivaled that of the First World. As illiteracy and infant mortality went the way of the Dodo, Fidel sought to export his nations hard gained bounties. Sending doctors to the poorest parts of the globe and trained revolutionaries to the most oppressed. Castro supported Nelson Mandela's fight for freedom while Washington still backed apartheid. He sent troops to aid Angola in fighting off a South African invasion. He gave a helping hand to the Sandinista's Nicaragua and Maurice Bishop's Grenada when the Soviet Union couldn't be bothered to give a damn. He even offered to send a thousand Cuban doctors to New Orleans after Katrina. Bush said no thanks. He preferred to let poor people drown as long as their floating bodies were black.

Most importantly, though the US succeeded in turning Cuba into a dictatorship, albeit a decidedly benevolent one, they ironically failed to prevent Fidel Castro's greatest threat of a good example. The children of the South, who watched in awe as this bearded mestizo defied the greatest empire on earth, dodging assassination attempts in the hundreds, grew up to lead the kind of revolutionary democracies Castro had failed to create in his own country. Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil. One after another, nearly fifty years after the Cuban Revolution, a Pink Tide of Latin American nations declared their independence peacefully and Democratically from their Northern overlords. In a strange way, Fidel Castro had to sacrifice his own revolution in order to save Latin America from greater American imperial tyranny.

Perhaps inspired by its radical progeny, Cuba didn't turn out so bad either under the circumstances. Decades after the Soviet Union fell, they stand proud. Poor but free, at least from foreign domination. Most countries in the Third World  can't say the same. And they've even come a long way in the formerly dismal department of queer rights. Several years back, Cuba made history by becoming one of the first nations in the Global South to offer free sexual reorientation surgeries for their trans community and has also repealed their deplorable anti-gay laws. Speech is becoming more free, small business is thriving and the dreaded embargo fell before Castro did. Proof positive that it's never to late to change the world and good things can still come to those who go down swinging.

Was Castro a perfect man? No. But he was a courageous leader in the global fight against imperialism until his dying breath. He continues to stand tall as a hero to the poor and oppressed and ignored across the globe, from Columbia to Palestine and even right here in Happy Valley. At a time in my own life when mental illness and gender dysphoria made me a prisoner of my own home, heroes like Che Guevara and Fidel Castro gave me the courage to persevere over the oppression of my own demons. I read volumes about the guerrillas of the Sierra Mastra and it gave me hope, not just for myself but for my own seemingly hopeless country. I may not consider myself to be the hard line Marxist-Leninist that I considered myself to be back then but I will always be a Castroite at heart.

Godspeed Comandante. This is one queer anarchist who salutes you.

Peace, Love and Solidarity- CH

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trump's Hybrid Moment

"If you're gonna scream, scream with me. Moments like this never last." Those were the first words, lyrics from an old Misfits song, that came crashing through my skull like a Katyusha rocket the moment I learned that our next president would be reality TV rapist and spray-tan enthusiast Donald Trump, followed shortly by "what the fuck?!" I, like most of the rest of the known universe* didn't see this coming. Not that I was hoping for a Killary win, far from it. I've long been one of the few leftists to take the decidedly politically incorrect position that a Trump presidency, while undeniably loathsome, would be far less dangerous than a reign by the self-anointed queen of chaos. But I had prepared for this outcome, both emotionally and pharmaceutically. Shit, I literally swung by my shrink's office on my way to the ballot box to stock up on Valium so I would have something to dull the shrill sound of the victory speech Killary has been rehearsing since preschool.

In case you folks aren't aware, old Comrade Hermit is just a tad bit agoraphobic. Which means I don't exactly handle change very well and as far as change goes, a Donald Trump presidency lands somewhere between an alien invasion and Tupac showing up for Thanksgiving dinner. I'm still not sure how exactly I should feel about all this mass hysteria, about Trump's hybrid moment, the strangest end to the strangest movie I've ever lived. The million dollar question on everybody's lips seems to be, how the fuck did we get here? And more importantly, who do we blame?

The Democrats and their loyal surrogates in the media already have the second part covered. The blame-game has become a cherished pastime for these malignant twats. Every time one of the Dem's sacred cows gets slaughtered in a presidential election they go on a finger-wagging shaming spree, blaming everyone but themselves for their own shortcomings. Naturally, with their queen dethroned by a moron, this year was hardly an exception to the rule.

This year the shouting heads have a veritable rogues gallery of malicious villains to shout about. Blame Wikileaks! They yelp, for picking up the mainstream media's slack and reminding us what real fucking journalism looks like. Blame Jill Stein! For giving lefty-peaceniks like me a non-violent alternative to Trumpizmo. Blame James Comey! For finally caving to feds sick of giving the Clintons a lifetime pass for every fucking crime in the book (before chickening out again, naturally.) And blame Putin! It's always his fault somehow, isn't it? Yeah, that's right shitheads, blame everybody! Everybody but yourselves, that is, for trying to pass a trigger-happy, Wall Street, oligarch off as an agent for desperately needed change.

The stone cold truth of the matter is, and neither side wants to hear this shit but they both need to, Trump didn't win the election, Killary lost. In spite of all the bullshit about Trump's great white surge, Clinton lost the white vote by virtually the same margins that Obama did to Romney in 2012. Trump got 1.5 million fewer votes than the viciously thrashed Mitt-ster, period. This should have been an easy win for the Dems and it would have been with almost any other candidate. But Killary got a whopping 5.4 million fewer votes than Obama did last election. The reason for this is clear, or at least it should be by now. To put it bluntly, the bitch is simply unelectable.

She's unelectable to working class whites who watched her husband sign their futures away to NAFTA. She's unelectable to blacks, five percent fewer voted for her than Obama, who have had to sit through decades of her patronizing pseudo-Baptist revival bullshit while she sold their kids out as "super-predators" to the prison industrial complex. She's unelectable to queer people like me who aren't buying her conveniently timely bromides about tolerance after years of DOMA. She's even unelectable to Trump's favorite scapegoats, Latinos, six percent fewer voting for her majesty than Obama, who, surprise, surprise, were paying attention when the latter wiped his ass with their votes and shipped their loved ones back over the border in record numbers.

When it all comes down to it, in spite of all of Trump's bigoted bullshit, this election wasn't about race or gender or the identity politics that Killary invested as much time into divisively exploiting as her competition did. It was about class and even next to an obnoxious, old money, slime-ball; poor folks could still smell Killary's elitist bullshit from a mile away. Apparently, we're all fucking deplorables now ("Jesus Christ and my mother too!"). So if you're going to blame anyone for this mess, high-holy-liberal-people, try taking a look in the fucking mirror. You blew it, not us.

As much as I may fear and loath the new president elect, a deep, sick, twisted part of me has no choice but to salute this hybrid moment, if for no other reason than that it insures that, after a lifetime of getting away with one crime after another, the last line of Queen Killary's obituary will undoubtedly read, "Finally put out of power by reality TV star." Yes karma certainly is a mean bitch and so am I.

If your gonna scream, scream with me, dearest motherfuckers. Just let me pop a few more pills before we start this terror ride.

* The only person that I know of who even came close to predicting the election results is my friend Tom Knapp over at who called every state that Trump won except for two, back in fucking June and got a mountain of shit for it. Apparently he's some kind of libertarian wizard and he runs the second best blog online.

Peace, Love, Empathy and Anarchy- CH

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Madness Of The American Way

As I scratch out this latest post on a crumpled piece of white computer paper at my local psych-rehab, it is less than one week until election day and this emotionally unstable blogger is desperately fighting the urge to swallow his/her own tongue. Yes dearest motherfuckers, after what feels like a century in this foul election season, your favorite genderfuck anarxist is finally fucking losing it or at least whatever's left of 'it' to lose. I'm seriously considering upping my Valium dosage, shit, I'll try fucking Thorazine at this point. Anything to calm the demons in my head. Only they're not in my fucking head. Their on my phone and my machine and the radio and YouTube and every motherfucking goddamn TV channel and sweet zombie Christ!

 I feel like Ray Liotta in the last scenes of Goodfellas. Coked up, freaked out, searching for helicopters from my speeding Cadillac as Harry Nilsson caterwauls "We can make each other happy!" in the background. Be cool. Maintain. I can just hear my inner Raul Duke trying to coach me through this hell like a trip sitter preaching the gospel of calm to an audience of jimsonweed addled Mansonites, "Never mind these sick visions of American apocalypse. In spite of the rapidly growing mountain of evidence to the contrary, Helter Skelter is not in fact coming down." Oh but it is Dr. Duke. It most definitely is. And the most fucked up thing about it is that I don't even give a shit anymore. Go ahead and nuke the globe you goddamned oligarchs. Anything to end this fucking circus ride. Cause I just can't fucking do this shit anymore.

I can't watch Donald Trump yelp his way through another white pride rally, denying that he ever fucked that sexy endangered aardvark at the Bronx Zoo. Not because he wouldn't but because his day-glow orange dick is clearly too YUUUUGE! to fit inside that poor, raped to death critter. Plus she was a fatty. Never mind the tiny claw marks on his baby-doll hands. Just focus on the hate speech.

And I can't listen to Killary wretch about James Comey being Putin's latest puppet for committing the high treason of caving to his own agent's refusal to drink another gallon of lukewarm Clinton piss and bury yet another of their skeletons in the fucking basement next to Jimmy Hoffa and J. Edna's evening gowns. As for the latest child prostitute covered in Bill's jizz, well clearly she's also a part of the vast Russian right-wing conspiracy to deny Queen Kill-em-all's coronation. Aren't we all at this point.

And I can't stomach seeing another ostensibly liberal celebrity that I once admired pretend to be inspired by the prospect of voting for America's preeminent neocon chicken-hawk just because she's technically a Democrat and just because she happens to possess a vagina, even if it is loaded with scatter-bombs. If World War 3 is the price trendy people have to pay to break the glass ceiling than so be it. World peace is so 2008 anyway.

And I can't watch the "liberal media" make all of Roger Ailes bullshit lies true by openly campaigning for their beloved Clinton's and against Trump. Not because he's a race-baiting career con-artist or a knuckle-dragging malignant narcissist but because he's committed the unspeakable atrocity of using the podium they gladly gave him (Ratings! Ratings! Ratings!) to suggest MAYBE calling off the new Cold War to make nice with Russia. A crime apparently worse than rape in today's mass media zeitgeist.

And I will literally fucking die if I have to read one more deluded softcore Trump puff piece from my former favorite paleolibertarian muckraker, Justin Raimondo, trying to convince himself as much as anyone else still listening that the Donald is the second coming of the Old Right just because he accidentally sounds vaguely antiwar in every fifteenth sentence he barks out. Apparently even our renegades have gone batshit fucking mad.

I just can't fucking do this anymore. Voter fatigue is one thing but when you mix it with the host of other festering mental ailments I'm already infected with you get something that resembles psychological mustard gas, scarring the lungs of my imagination. What makes it even worse is that regardless of which megalomaniacal psychopath happens to win next Tuesday, they will undoubtedly be the worst president this already wretched nation has ever seen. No matter what there will be more war, more death, more innocent blood drowning the howitzer cracked streets of planet earth's poorest cities. My heart feels like it could vomit hydrochloric acid right now. My brain feels even worse. And of coarse election day has to fall just days after the end of daylight-savings plunges my universe into months of seasonal affective darkness. If this sick fucking charade qualifies as democracy than I have officially had enough of it. It's times like these that made me desperate enough to look towards despots like Castro and Lenin for hope during my youth. And maybe that's the point. The same way that public schools murder free thinking by making "learning" an insufferable chore. The American election season spoils whole generation's appetites for true democracy by turning it into a mental illness. That's the sick, twisted madness of the American way. Is it really any wonder that the majority of Americans don't even fucking bother showing up at the ballot box?

But not this basket case. For me voting amounts to an almost sadomasochistic act of protest. A sort of electoral propaganda of the deed, if you will. The more people that vote for legitimate, renegade, third party candidates, the clearer it becomes to those poor souls who don't vote that the tyranny of the two-party cartel is nothing more than a demented illusion. We can opt out. We can tear it down. So next Tuesday, I aim on dragging my fat fatigued carcass out of bed. Driving down to my designated voting place, in a fag-bashing baptist church, naturally, and voting for Jill Stein and Amaju Baraka and any other third party candidate I can find on the ballot. Then and only then will I return to the relative safety of my basement to pop Benzos, light candles and hyperventilate.

Stay sane if you can, dearest motherfuckers, it's already too late for this twisted bitch but it's not too late to vote for real change. If I can do it, anyone can.

Peace, Love and Empathy- CH