Monday, August 27, 2018

Notes From a Sputnik Leftist

Russophobia has become America's new favorite form of bigotry. You can't jaywalk in this goddamn country without being accused of first degree Putin puppetry. This cold borscht of xenophobia has been brewing for some time but it has taken on a whole new spiciness with Robert Mueller's blockbuster witch trials and the alleged pervasive Putinist conspiracy to subvert our so-called democracy. The shocking thing, to me at least, is that even stalwart elements of the radical left have been effected by the fumes of the latest Red Scare. One of my favorite writers, CounterPunch's Jeffrey St. Clair, has taken to referring to Russiagate critics such as myself as the Sputnik Left. It's cute. I kinda like it, but then again you are talking to a non-binary person who takes tranny as a compliment. I've never been particularly hesitant to embrace the role of the villain. After all, who else is going to blow up the system? But there are still bones to be picked and I'm just the bitch to pick them.

The general stereotype of the Sputnik Left is that we're a bunch of bitter, Putin loving, conspiracy theorists who ingest RT like cheap caviar and maintain a decidedly myopic view of Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 election among other nefarious acts of Rusky skulduggery. Jeffrey recently described us as "political activists who rigorously apply Chomsky's lens to the NYT, WashPost, and the Guardian, but regurgitate as gospel whatever they read or hear on RT or Sputnik", and like even the least of Jeff's work there is a grain of truth here. I have friends who fit that description to a tee but it's an awfully broad brush for a diverse crew. I can't speak for all of us but I figured one of us might as well attempt a rebuttal.

First off, Putin: I am not nor have I ever been a Putin puppet. As a genderqueer anarchist, I'm sure that Vlad wouldn't think twice about chucking my radical faerie ass into a gulag. Like all politicians, Putin is greedy, vain, stupid, and shallow. People in his country starve while he hobnobs with the kind of cruel oligarchs that were rightfully strung from the lamp posts during the Revolution. But the western notion that Putin is the worst thing to happen to Russia since Stalin is just fucking silly. The man may be a greedy egomaniac (and likely closet queen) but he has shown an enormous and at times downright shocking amount of restraint when confronted repeatedly by western aggression. My and others recognition of this fact doesn't make us Putin apologists anymore than the critics of the Second Gulf War were Saddam apologists.

When America's quisling state in Georgia violated international law by attacking civilian Russian nationals in South Ossetia, Putin could have easily ran over that tiny, belligerent, den of gangsters called a country like a bug. Instead he took the measured response of throwing the Georgian Army out of the contentious autonomous republic while safe-guarding another, Abkazia, from likely reprisals. We saw a very similar display of restraint in Ukraine after the NED aided a flock of skinhead hooligans in overthrowing the democratically elected government in Kiev. If Russia had aided a similar coup with the Zapatistas in Mexico (I wish), the US would have tanks in Mexico City faster than you can say Operation PBSUCCESS. Putin chose to secure the Russian population in Crimea and Novorossiya and then sat on his hands. Syria is a clear case of overkill that I won't attempt to defend but considering the proximity of their oldest Arab allie to Russia's already hostile Caucus region and that the alternative to Assad was another NATO assisted black hole clusterfuck like Libya, even Putin's cruel overreaction can be seen as an attempt, however flawed, to prevent another garbage fire from spreading in his neighborhood, rather than a Stalinist land grab.

As for conspiracies: You have yours and I have mine. The state department approved narratives on MH17, Skripal, and Syria's gas attacks all have more holes than Swiss cheese and smack of past "mainstream" fables of mobile WMD labs and VC gunboats in the Tonkin Gulf. Can I tell you for sure who downed that airline and poisoned those people in England and Syria? No. But neither can you and I can tell you who stood to benefit from these nefarious acts and it sure as fuck wasn't Putin. NATO has a long and proven history of fostering terrorism and performing false flag attacks. Just Google Operation Gladio or ask Aldo Moro's ghost, I'm pretty sure he still haunts our embassy in Rome with Pier Pasolini.

As for Russia Today, I wont pretend that they're a bastion of journalistic integrity. It's a station devoted to exposing the flaws in western society and they have an ugly tendency of providing platforms to crackpots and nut-jobs. But they also have an equally storied history of providing unprecedented platforms for some of this country and many others finest dissidents from Adam Kokesh to Christopher Hedges. Compare this to the milquetoast neoliberal dreck pushed out by Radio Liberty and you'll forgive me for not clapping like a trained seal for the over the top demonization of the prior organization. I try to look at sources like RT and Sputnik as being a bit like the Upside Down in Stranger Things. You may only be getting a demagorgons view of reality, but if you compare and contrast that view with the equally skewed vision of the western press, you may just come a little closer to fully grasping the reality that both sides obscure.

And the reality of Robert Mueller's Russiagate investigation is that we're over a year in, with every other intelligence organization and their media parrots blaming Russia for the election of one Donald J. Trump (a dick by any measure), and there remains no empirical proof beyond anonymous hearsay of anything more nefarious than a couple of B-grade Russian oligarchs attempting to play the orange bastard for a chump in hopes of getting off of America's economic shitlist. You can mock me if you want but my sources include Princeton professor Stephen Cohen and veteran CIA whistle-blower Ray McGovern, while your's are yellow schlock artists like Michael Wolff and treasonous spooks like John Brennan. Like I said before, you can believe what you want to believe, but that is precisely what you're doing when you feed into salacious tall-tails like Trump's golden shower party and mock people like me for calling bullshit. You're believing precisely what you want to believe.

I can begrudgingly respect the agnostic nature of "truth" in a post-truth era. Can you? Put up or shut up. Publish this piece and prove it. And, yeah, I know that's a cheap ploy for attention. But what do you expect? I'm a Sputnik Leftist. Das Vadanya, dearest motherfuckers. See you at HUAC 2.

Peace, Love, & Nostrovia- Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post

* Back In the U.S.S.R. by the Beatles
* U-Mass by the Pixies
* Party At Ground Zero by Fishbone
* What's Up? by 4 Non Blondes
* Do You Wanna Dance? by the Ramones
* Rockstar by Hole
* Happiness is a Warm Gun by the Breeders
* You Have Killed Me by Morrissey
* Atmosphere by Joy Division

Monday, August 20, 2018

Who Cares About Dirty Brown Genocide?

The scene was apocalyptic, like something out of a George Romero movie gone horribly wrong. Tiny bodies littered the shattered concrete, stained pitch black with soot and blood. Some of them were as still and stiff as calcified ventriloquist dummies, breathing nothing but smoke. Some of them rived in agony, mangled limbs throbbing and kicking, eyes rolled back in their battered little skulls as they screamed in horror to an indifferent god. The landscape that surrounds them is a bleak, smoldering, landfill overpopulated by a seemingly random collection of twisted metal and charred body parts; Arms, legs, heads, jagged fragments of bones and bubbling molten globs of shredded viscera, and every here and there a haunting sign of the casualties battered innocence; A doll with a heat warped plastic face, the busted half of a pink plastic lunchbox, and at the center of it all, a boy no older than 7, sitting upright, covered in his playmates blood, with an oversized UN-blue backpack still strapped to his bony shoulders, staring a thousand yards into an abyss that no one that young should ever see. They were children. They were all just children. And they were obliterated by an American bomb.

This was the latest chapter in the endless horror story called the Yemen Civil War. But it's not a civil war. A civil war requires two sides on the same playing field. Whats going on in Yemen ceased to be a war at all long ago. This is a slaughter, a genocide, a holocaust. It's latest victims were children on a school bus, coming home from a picnic, miles away from anything resembling a military installation. Over 40 dead, scores injured, many if not most of them under 10. This was a deliberate act of terrorism perpetrated by our "allie" Saudi Arabia with the full aid and support of these fine United States. We supplied the weapons. We fueled the planes. We provided the precise logistics that told our proxies exactly who they were murdering. We did everything but pull the goddamn trigger. And as usual nobody in this timezone or the next could be bothered to really give a shit.

The sickest thing about this grotesque display of collective imperial cruelty is how normal it's all become. With civilian casualties creeping near the six digit range and many more yet on the way, the only thing unusual about this slaughter is that the news bothered to cover it....    For all of five fucking minutes. The day it happened. Apparently American assisted genocide just isn't juicy enough for our self-sainted martyr press to cover. More than once. For longer than five goddamn minutes. But, shit man, being a journalist is hard. You have to make tough choices. Some stories take precedent over others. After all, what's more important, a flaming school bus full of dead children or the latest salacious details about the president who makes it happen's tawdry sex life, "My heart breaks for those kids, it really does, but this is Stormy Daniels we're talking about here! Sacrifices have to be made for the greater good! If those kids wanted more airtime they should have grown double-D's." Bernstein would be so proud.

Trump was right about one thing, these fucking gutless bastards are the enemy of the people, just not the ones he gives a fuck about. America's corporate mass media is the enemy of poor brown people who don't serve as convenient props to support their advertiser's neoliberal world order, even if those dirty brown folks were slaughtered by their best frenemies in the White House. The irrelevance of the suffering of the Yemeni people is the one thing that can bring all these heartless, ego-starved, star fuckers together like a satanic Christmas miracle. And it just gets worse and worse every single day.

As the Saudis zero in on the port city of Hodeidah, the last port held by the rag-tag Houthi rebels, literally millions of lives hang in the balance. Soon the American-backed Saudi blockade that has pushed the poorest nation in the Arab world to the brink of mass starvation will be complete. The noose around countless tiny throats will be tightened and who will even bother to realize they're gone? How many bodies will it take for more than five goddamn minutes from those morally vacant jackals of the foul estate. I've got the terrible creeping feeling that we'll soon find out the hard way. It won't be the first time. They still haven't noticed the 300,000 East Timorese that vanished after Gerald Ford signed off on the liquidation of that tiny impoverished nation in 1975. Trump has already announced his intention to just ignore the provisions of his deficit shriveling National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 that request that he simply assess the gravity of the slaughter he makes possible everyday. His enemies in the "free" press responded with a shrug. They can all fucking go to hell.

I've got nothing cute to add this week, dearest motherfuckers. Call me sentimental but dead children make me sad. I pray I'm not the only one. I pray America opens it's ears to the screams their tax dollars produce. And I pray for what's left of the Houthis and I don't care who fucking hears me do it. May their aim be true or at least better than the ghosts of East Timor. And may their bullets pierce the black hearts of the beasts who target their children. I throw them an unapologetic fist of solidarity just as I would Fretilin, the Sandinista, or the Vietcong. This bitter faggot stands with you against my own country and the "free" press that covers their tracks. Lock and load.

Peace, Love, Fear, & Loathing- CH

Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post

* A Pillar Of Salt by the Thermals
* Idylls Of the King by the Mountain Goats
* Fight For Your Life by the Casualties
* Decorated Lawns by Julien Baker
* No Fun by the Stooges
* War by Sinead O'Connor
* What About Us by Ministry
* War Pigs by Black Sabbath

Monday, August 13, 2018

First They Came For the Douche-Bags

Censorship has never been more hip. All the kids are doing it, all the cool ones anyway. Someone tweets something spicy and they go running to Big Brother to set things straight. And why not? The adults are doing it too, or at least the people who call themselves adults in the legacy media do. After centuries of covering civil wars, Red Scares, and Nixonian scandals, our gilded Fourth Estate has rendered themselves to the status of a bunch of snot-nosed, apple snitching kids crying foul whenever some pedestrian steps on their feelings or questions their inalienable right to zeitgeist supremacy. I speak of coarse of the latest Stalinist purges being undertaken on social media juggernauts like Facebook and Twitter in the name of protecting our precious bodily fluids from a dastardly Slavic midterm conspiracy that everyone is apparently too terrified to prove exists.

So far the victims of this purge have mostly been douche-bags like that rambling boil with teeth, Alex Jones. But that's how it starts and we've already gotten a taste of how it ends. After verbally spanking one too many corporate news jackass (some chickenshit stringer from the New York Times), State Department whistle-blower and fifth degree black belt smart-ass, Peter Van Buren was given the Twitter death penalty and permanently removed from the sites recorded history, just as easy as clipping Yezhov from a photograph. In a rampant spree of crypto-fascist overkill a couple of other fine upstanding civil libertarians, Scott Horton who still refuses to publish me at (not that I'm pissed about it!) and Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute, where slapped in the purgatory penalty box just for coming to the poor bastards defense.

This all suites the virtue signalling martyrs of the "free" press just fine. Guys like Peter have devoted their lives to debunking their bullshit. At the time of his expulsion Peter was crashing the pity party being thrown by those self-fellating imbeciles in the wake of our techno-Tourette's stricken president's latest tweet lashing the mainstream media as the "enemy of the people" (Stalin's wraith seems to be quite active these days). Peter was not-so-politely reminding these perpetual victims that our dear leader made one accurate point- that you motherfuckers start wars with your propaganda. The righteous indignation of these very war-whores, caught with their hand in the hypocrisy jar, was almost laughably absurd. As was their total stone-blindness to the fact that this kind of obnoxiously clueless behavior is precisely what allows morons like Donald Trump and Alex Jones to prosper from its blowback. I'd probably still be fucking laughing if a hadn't read 1984 in 8th grade.

This kind of shit is fucking dangerous to democracy. I really feel like I shouldn't have to say that but apparently I do. The coy excuse that behemoths like Twitter and Facebook are private companies falls flat when you consider what this really means. The fact that those companies are private corporations (though they're not above corporate welfare) who answer to the bottom line above all else only proves that this kind of knee-jerk fascism sells. In fact, by all appearances, it seems to be a hit with the same #Resistance that pretends to be the last line of defense in the fight for liberal democracy (whatever the hell that means anymore). If these yuppie lumpenproletariats truly gave two fucks about democracy they would be protesting the silencing of dissident voices on both the left and the right by their favorite vehicle for "free speech".

I also shouldn't have to tell people that the First Amendment doesn't protect the speech you like, it protects the speech you hate. It's so damn cliche that I feel like I'm guest starring on a very special episode of Different Strokes, but it's true. Alex Jones may be a colossal flapping anus but is he really that much more hysterical than Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity? At least his nonsense is mildly amusing and quite possibly avante garde performance art ala Andrew Dice Clay. Reptilian sodomites make for much more interesting boogeymen than yet another Red Scare. One of my childhood heroes Marilyn Manson once mused that you can't sedate the things you hate, but in today's day and age a transgressive artist like Manson or Abbie Hoffman ("The only dope worth shooting is Nixon") or Lenny Bruce (no stranger to the N-word) wouldn't last three seconds without being corralled into Google reservations. When did our once rebellious youth become so goddamn domesticated. Democracy is supposed to be messy, hell, it's supposed to be downright upsetting, anything but "safe". Just ask a marginalized person like myself about it. If I can handle having alt-right jar-heads threaten to rape me for being non-binary than I think you cissy Whole Foods honkies can handle cohabitating with a few libertarians with inconvenient truths to tell. If you're having trouble growing a pair you can have mine. God knows I don't need em.

Jello Biafra, another childhood hero of mine, once said, "Don't hate the media, become the media." The internet has made this anarchist dream a fantastic reality. The World Wide Web didn't invent fake news, it gave we the people the opportunity to correct it. Now the original fake newsters in the Fourth Estate are biting back against the medium that has rendered their propaganda obsolete. They paternalistically pretend that their overt flirtations with fascism protect people like me. But people like me were invisible until social media gave us the opportunity to be seen. If they think I'm going to be silent while they clip my wings and use me as a bullet proof vest for their tyranny then they clearly don't know who they're fucking with.

So this ones for the douche-bags, dearest motherfuckers. If we let them be silenced then god knows who's next. Big Brother can pucker up and kiss my tranny ass.

Peace, Love, & Liberty- CH

This post is dedicated in loving memory to my friend, Lisa Calderwood, another bitch who never learned her place, and Richard Russell, a fellow broken creature who went out in a blaze of glory. This blog will always champion the outcasts that the fake news vilifies and ignores. Godspeed and dos vedanya, comrades. You are not forgotten.

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

* Cake and Sodomy by Marilyn Manson
* Holiday In Cambodia by Dead Kennedys
* Panic by the Smiths
* Raise Your Voice Joyce by Fucked Up
* Rape Me by Nirvana
* I Feel Free by Dilly Dally
* Why We Fight by the Decemberists
* Rat Fink by the Misfits
* My Monkey by Marilyn Manson
* See No Evil by Television

Monday, August 6, 2018

Call Me Nicky

Most of you know me as Comrade Hermit, muckraking shut-in extraordinaire, but my slave name, my name in the straight world, the one on my birth certificate, is Nicholas Adam Reid. Growing up, most people called me Nick and for the most part that was never really a problem. Being a fluid dyke like me is tricky because there are no Barbie dolls or frilly dresses to tip you off that I'm trans. For a long time even I didn't know. There were no people on TV that looked the way I felt so I just figured that I was a freak and that became my identity- Nick the Freak.

And in many respects I am a freak and I take great pride in that. I'm a Rothbardian-Freudo-Groucho-Marxist-Syndicalist with a library that includes everything from Che Guevara to Ernst Junger. I'm a sado-masochist power bottom with a fetish for quite literally everything. I'm a politically incorrect sex-positive transfeminist who loves nothing better than shouting theater in a crowded fire. I've never owned a cellphone. I'll never own a credit card. I hate social media with a passion leftists usually reserve for Kulaks. And I've never eaten a green vegetable. I also have an odd affection for gangsters, outlaws, serial killers, revolutionaries of every stripe, and histories misunderstood super-villains in general. I'm a freak alright. I live for the fringe. Society is just a classy word for totalitarianism and I wan't nothing to do with it. But my gender identity has nothing to do with my freakdom. I didn't choose to be a mostly female butch lesbian in a mountain man's body. Believe me, I've tried not to be. I've tried to be male. I've tried to be female. Both fit me like a leash. I am who I am and Nick just doesn't feel like an accurate label for that anymore.

Being Comrade Hermit has afforded me the freedom to express myself in ways that would have quite frankly terrified Nick. But it's also empowered me to evolve beyond Nick. It's been a slow gradual evolution that will probably last my entire life and part of the next. I've trimmed my trademark beard to a fine stubble, grown my hair out and dyed it aqua blue (the warmest color.) I'm still a slob who's naked without my sweats but I've taken to wearing oversize black t-shirts the length of Lisa Loeb cocktail dresses and I've introduced fluorescent blips of color to my goth-black canvas with nail polish and gaudy costume jewelry. Nick is still there but Nick is my past, my future is Nicky.

I first fell in love with the name Nicolette in grade school. I couldn't have been older than 8 when my Catholic school took in a 13 year old throw-away named Nicolette. She was unlike anything I had ever seen before. She swore, she smoked, she died her hair weird colors, and wore piercings in provocative places. She didn't take shit from anyone. They tried to tame her. They failed miserably and shipped her off to charm school. I never found out what became of her. I never even learned her last name. But she was my hero. A vibrant splash of neon chaos in a pleaded plaid universe.

But I'm not femme enough for Nicolette. The compromise of Nicky was inspired in part by two of my favorite characters played by two of my favorite actresses; Big Love's Nicki Grant played by Chloe Sevigny and Orange is the New Black's Nicky Nichols played by Natasha Lyonne. Both characters seem radically different on the surface, the first being a steely-eyed polygamist bitch and the second being a wisecracking jailhouse pussy-hound. But both struck me as decidedly unconventional feminist anti-heroes in decidedly un-feminist environments. The dichotomy felt like a perfect fit. So I've slowly began to inject myself into the universe as Nicky. At first I toyed with the idea of going by Nick &/Or Nicky and forcing people to say the whole goddamn thing like A Tribe Called Quest. I figured I might as well make my gender identity as confounding to everyone else as it is to me.

But the joke got old to me before it got annoying to anyone else. So I found myself going back to Nicky and the more I used it, the more I liked it. Nothing was more exciting to me than seeing the name Nicky Reid published on Counterpunch. So I've made a decision, Nicholas is dead, call me Nicky, shit, she's the cunt that killed him. I'm not a name Nazi, family and friends will probably continue to call me Nick and I can live with that. I'm also going to continue to run this blog as Comrade Hermit, my genderfuck nom de guerre. But when I take that lingerie costume off and go back to my regular old dikey self, I'm Nicky Reid, the Hunter Thompson to my Raul Duke.

That's my name, dearest motherfuckers, wear it the fuck out. This world needs a genderqueer Dr. Gonzo and I'm just the bitch for the job.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post.

* That's Not My Name by the Ting Tings
* Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill
* Call Me by Blondie
* Credit in the Straight World by Hole
* Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest
* Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
* 4th of July by X
* List of Demands by Saul Williams
* Heat Wave by Snail Mail
* Saints by the Breeders