Monday, July 9, 2018

An Agoraphobic's Guide to Surviving the Summer Heat

Once upon a time, summer was magical. Free from the oppression of the school year, those three months between May and September seemed like an endless procession of endless days ruled by nothing but unfettered freedom. Afternoons at the community pool, Pumpkins on the jukebox, Frito's always tasted better with chlorine. Day long adventures deep into the cool forests that hugged my neighborhood, discovering new species beneath massive boulders, throwing rocks into the quarry just to hear them bounce and echo off the limestone walls. Spending firefly sparkled evenings roasting marshmallows over crackling orange embers, leaving just enough room for dangerously overbuttered popcorn at the local theater.

But all good things come to an end and even semi-idyllic childhoods fall prey to that soul crushing godless beast called adulthood. The community pool becomes cracked and cold. The forest is overtaken by heartless developers and disease swollen ticks. Fireflies drop dead in the oppressive heat. And family run theaters are run out of town by corporate megaplexes that saturate nubile brains with weapons grade Hollywood horseshit. The summers of my youth were devoured long ago by climate change, late capitalism, Lyme disease, and crippling agoraphobia. But with the whole goddamn planet slowly boiling to death like a longusta lobster, there's plenty of misery to go around.

But never trip, dearest motherfuckers. There are still many ways to waste away the summer heat in the cool first world comfortability of your very own domestic prison cell and who better to give you tips on surviving the great indoors than a recovering shut-in who somehow managed to survive six goddamn years in her parents basement without going completely stark-raving berserk (key word; completely). So here's a short list of a few things that keep me from swallowing my own tongue during this heatwave hostage season.

Filthy Foreign Flicks

The most obvious thing to do while trapped inside by the oppressive summer heat is to jerk off, right? What? We're all thinking it, there's no reason why this can't be a sex-positive apocalypse. But mainstream porn bores the absolute shit out of me and that's not the bodily fluid I'm looking to expel. There's always the wonderful world of amateur fetish porn but you can only watch so many Japanese co-eds shave their pussy and piss the scum down the drain before it becomes monotonous.

Call me a hopeless romantic but I honestly prefer trashy European art films. The French and the Italians in particular seem to have an knack for turning fucking into a high art (the Curious Swedes get an honorable mention). It all depends on what you're looking for. If you're down with unshaved armpits and great big round asses (and who isn't?) then check out the works of that boorish perv Tinto Brass. If you're in the mood for a more feminine and downright gynecological perspective than you can't do much better than the David Cronenberg of pussy herself, Catherine Breillat. My personal favorite is the tumultuous lesbian romance Blue is the Warmest Color by Abdellatif Kechiche, but be forewarned, it's a heartbreaker, so you'll need those tissues for more than one reason. It's kind of like the Notebook, only the fingers go in the pussy instead of down your gagging throat.

Adult Swim

The official channel of twenty-nothing stoners and solipsistic insomniacs isn't actually a channel at all. It's a children's network that somehow got hijacked after hours by a tribe of smarmy post-grads in that forest city of smack-hounds known as Atlanta. Best known for being a hub of network adult animation reruns like American Dad and Family Guy as well as primo high-concept cartoons like Venture Bros. and Rick & Morty, If you can stay up late enough it's also actually home to some of the most avant garde television ever created. Batshit surrealist programming like Off the Air, Joe Pera Talks With You, and Check It Out! with Steve Brule push the envelope to the fucking edge of what can even be considered television. It's the kind of cracked genius that can only be tapped into under the influence of dangerous amounts of high-powered psychedelics. And its on expanded cable! Andy Kaufman and Hunter S. Thompson would be proud. We've come a long way, weirdos.

Speak of the devil, after masturbation, the second obvious option for solitary indoor summer depravity is getting ripped to the tits on mind bending recreational pharmaceuticals. What better way to take the edge off the fact that the anthropocene is doomed to the fate of the dinosaurs. I personally take way too goddamn many prescription drugs to risk mixing them with anything fun. But as said above, a lot of the art that I love was birthed under the influence of something or other, so my suggestion to you, dearest motherfuckers, is get fucked up but get educated first. The Erowid Center hosts the largest online library of legal and illegal controlled substances, over 63,000 documents on over 350 psychoactive substances, including accounts of personal experiences (good and bad) and helpful advice on safe tripping and harm reduction. Being the weirdo that I am, I just read it for kicks, but if you're feeling truly sinister try something completely bonkers. Chew some khat, drink some ayahuasca tea, or lick a Colorado River toad. The dark net is a great big land of endless opportunity. Just get educated first. And keep a notebook handy for new ideas about late night television pilots.

Celebrity Skin by Hole

Once you sober up from a long evening of toad licking, pick a warm cloudy afternoon, get a full tank of gas, pick a long country road, role all the windows down, and listen to Courtney Love's post-widow phoenix album, Celebrity Skin, from start to finish. With it's clear blazing guitar riffs and songs about forgiveness and redemption and blowing Edward Norton, it just fucking sounds like summer should feel and for about forty minutes on the open road it does. Back when I was at my worst, it was the one thing that could get me out of the house. Cruising down Purdue Mountain with the wind in my hair and Malibu blasting from my shitty old Ford Taurus was about as close to heaven as I was biologically capable of experiencing. Even the mushroom clouds looked angelic in the rear view mirror. It's the perfect summer album for our apocalyptic era.

Disinfo Guides & Amok Dispatches

Do you love obsessively researching bizarre arcane cultural phenomena but hate spending hours and hours and hours online? Is the caustic tyranny of that bright white screen slowly drilling into your brain like a fucking power drill? Well open a fucking book you junkie, you know, those things made of dead trees that you keep on your coffee table so your hipster friends will think you're an intellectual. The best alternative to the gonzo smorgasbord of internet are the Guides published by those masters of literary esoterica at the Disinformation Company. With unforgettable titles like You Are Being Lied To and Everything You Know Is Wrong, Disinfo Guides are thick, well researched, compendiums on a wide range of fringe topics from the occult and bizarre conspiracy theories to psychedelic drugs and obscure sexual fetishes, all written by a rogues gallery of professional freaks like Paul Krassner, Genesis P-Orridge, and Timothy Leary. Sadly, like many great works of bizarro non-fiction, they are out of print, but still available used on Amazon (my copies aren't for sale).

If you're looking for something even more esoteric (love that word), try hunting down one of the legendary Dispatches released by Amok, the proto-Disinfo, back in the halcyon days of guerrilla print media, the Nineties. These phone-book size tomes read like a Sears Roebuck catalog for perverted bibliophiles. It's a colossal reader of manuals, zines, pamphlets, and manifestos you'll wish you could get your hands on. If it had just a little more porn it would be even better than the internet. But if you're done jacking off and ordering experimental Chinese tryptamines on the dark web, then unplug, crash on the couch, and check one out. The more you know!....

The Boys by Garth Ennis

I've gotta be real with you, dearest motherfuckers, I fucking despise superheroes. I find the whole concept to be absurdly contrived and unbearably jingoistic. All powerful do-gooders saving the world from, well..., the world, just sounds like organized religion with tights to me. During a season drowning in these brightly colored Hollywood cliches, the best respite is the brilliantly iconoclastic comics of Garth Ennis, the anti-Stan Lee, and if you're a comic book buff who despises superheroes like me, it doesn't get much better than his twelve volume anti-supe magnum opus, the Boys, where the superheroes are all hedonistic psychopaths engaged in a corporate conspiracy to take over the military industrial complex. The Boys are a rag-tag gang of their victims payed by the CIA to keep the supes under control. It's gory, it's sexually explicit, and it's absolutely fucking hilarious. Wonder Woman is a drunk, Superman is a serial killer, and the X-Men are a harem for a Vatican-grade child molester. It's the comic that got Ennis fired from DC and it's a fantastic excuse to stay home and avoid the cinematic abortions being performed by Marvel at your local megaplex.

Brad Neely Videos

Probably best known for his criminally underrated and short lived Adult Swim experiments in animated absurdity like China, IL and Brad Neely's Harg Nallin' Sclopio Peepio (you heard me), crazed Dada cartoonist extraordinaire Brad Neely's finest works, in my humble opinion, are still his bonkers Lo-Fi internet series' I Am Baby Cakes and The Professor Brothers, the first being the whimsical philosophical ramblings of a gigantic thirty year old man-child (please, save your jokes until after class) and the second being the seemingly improvised revisionist history lectures of a pair of fraternal community college teachers. My personal favorites are the bro's insane takes on Bible history in which a motorcycle riding Jesus rises from the dead to to take the Apostles out for ribs and the perverts of Sodom and Gomorrah ("named after an even weirder move") fuck boulders painted to look like god's face. It's still the funniest fucking shit online and it's my go to whenever the world makes me feel like eating a shotgun.

Norwegian Black Metal

Miss the dark coldness of winter? Me neither. But sometimes, when the sky is on fire above the triple digit blacktop skillet that has become our dying planet (Thanks Republicans!... Oh! And Democrats), I like to shove my head in the freezer and crank some Darkthrone or Burzum and imagine that I'm freezing to death in an ancient pagan pine forest, surrounded by hungry wolves and ten foot icicles. With all the distorted buzz-saw feedback and impossibly inhuman cave screeching you can practically see the dancing green specter of the aurora borealis just behind the Trader Joe's mac and cheese. Sure their a bunch of church-burning satanists but goddammit if they don't make some deliciously scenic racket. More refreshing than a Popsicle. Hail Satan.

Dazed and Confused

There exists no better summer flick than Richard Linklater's 1993 coming of age cult classic. Set on the last day of school, 1976, in the Texas suburbs, the kids in Dazed aren't appealing because they're beautiful (though Parker Posey's deliciously frosty ass definitely is), we keep coming back to cruise with them because they're just like us and the losers we grew up with, bored, stoned, scared, horny, and just seeking to belong somewhere, even it's for just one night before adulthood crashes the party and we have to go back to working for the city. Take it from my old friend Dave Wooderson, dearest motherfuckers, no matter how depressingly hot it gets out there in the real world, you just gotta keep on livin man, L-I-V-I-N.

Take it easy and stay out of that stupid fucking sun.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

* I Touch Myself by the Divinyls
* Star Spangled Banner by Black Lips
* I Wanna Get High But I Don't Want Brain Damage By Flaming Lips & Lightning Bolt
* Heaven Tonight by Hole
* Jesus Built My Hot Rod by Ministry & Gibby Haynes
* Superman by R.E.M.
* Jesus Etc. by Wilco
* Transylvanian Hunger by Darkthrone
* Slow Ride by Foghat


  1. How is the thing with the reporter coming along? If you don't mind me asking.

    1. Not great. She hasn't been getting back to me. I've been distracted too, trying to keep my weekly support/therapy group from falling apart. I've talked with several people in the system about my legal options and they look pretty much non-existent. Doctor Dawood seems to be too slippery to nail on anything substantial. She plays the fence expertly. It's all micro-aggressions and innuendo. I haven't given up by a long shot. I just can't afford to make her my number one priority right now. She's on the back burner.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Yeah sounds tough. Leaving bad reviews is always an option if you wanna do that :P

      The way you describe her actions makes her sound like a possible sociopath, lol. Power issues, craftiness, seeming lack of remorse or accountability. Do you think that's possible, or more just a personality and ego thing? Or subconsciously replicating her Northwestern advisor? Since I've heard of some grad students basically turning into their advisors. And I don't know the case either way, just going by you. I guess it doesn't really matter, what matters is the poor behavior regardless of motive

      Did you ever request your records? As I said before, you have every right to and it would be illegal for them to deny them to you.

      I'm sorry she was like that to you, and sympathize with how frustrating and powerless the grey area/playing fence must feel. Though, if she demonstrates a pattern (ie with other people), then it could become substantial.

    4. She remains an opaque mystery to me. I have really bad vibes that she could be up to something truly sinister. But she hasn't made it easy to confirm these feelings. The things that I know she's done are more than enough to be repulsed and I've warned every queer person I know to stay the hell away from her. Eventually Karma will ketch up. She can't hide forever. I'll keep pounding on peoples doors until that day.

      I haven't inquired about my records but that is something I plan to get around to, if only to freak her out. :-) I would still love the opportunity to have a one on one conversation with her to see her attempt to explain herself but her past cowardice makes that scenario appear to be a pipe dream.