Every year since I started this blog I've written a Shitlist of all the cunts who drive me to near homicidal ideation. And every year since I started this blog I've countered that poison pen cocktail with a more altruistic list to bring in the new year, a list of people that miraculously don't suck (I know, right?). It's often a hard list to write because so few people deserve to be on it. I often have to struggle not to put the same damn people on it every year. This year I've decided to leave out my holy trinity of repeat offenders, the patron saint of the Fifth Estate, Julian Assange, and my online mentors, Angela Keaton and Thomas Knapp (consider this sentence an honorable mention), and try to put nothing but first timers on this list. I came up with twelve, and like my shitlist, not everybody is going to agree with my choices. But with me, someone is always going to have to go fuck themselves. Like it or loath it, these are the holy handful of dearest motherfuckers who have kept the proverbial pistol out of my mouth in 2018, and I feel duty bound to salute them.
Ahed Tamini- In a time when things have never looked bleaker for Palestine, it took the fury of a child scorned to reignite a movement. At the tender age of 17, Ahed Tamini has seen everything taken from her little West Bank village of Nabi Salih, their land, their water, their dignity, and all to often their lives. She has seen her brothers arrested, beaten, and tortured. She has seen her uncle murdered in cold blood. And she has seen her families tiny property routinely violated by unwelcome intruders. But Tamini never learned how to lie down. She made a name for herself in her tight-knit community for violently confronting the heavily armed Israeli gestapo who police her young existence culminating with the bitch slap heard around the world when the then 16 year old Ahed physically assaulted a pair of cackling IDF storm troopers loitering on her families property after their comrades had put her cousin in a coma with a rubber bullet to the head. The fiery young red head earned the ire of the increasingly despotic Zionist regime when footage of the beat down went viral. But she also earned a heroes welcome at her village once she was released from the klink. Her act of righteous heroism gave her besieged village their pride back. Ahed stared down the barrel of her oppressors gun and she didn't flinch. And at 17, this Palestinian firecracker is just getting started.
Peter Van Buren- Perhaps the first innocent victim of Twitter's third red scare, Peter, a Bush-era whistleblower with a gift for bitching out hypocrites, was banned permanently from the platform after crashing the latest pity party thrown by the press over our dick president's latest accurate description of their general grossness. Peter inconveniently brought up the wars these poseurs lied us into along with a few salty barbs about hypothetical MAGA zombies eating their face. The liberalazzi dimed him out to big brother and Peter's entire body of work on the site was erased in a techno-Stalinist purge. Seven long years of weapons grade snark down the drain with the click of a mouse for the unspeakable crime of "dehumanizing" gutless scum with politically incorrect humor. But somebody had to be the canary in the tweet-mine and Peter's sacrifice to the gods of free speech will not be forgotten. Like Lenny Bruce and Robert Mapplethorpe before him, history will absolve him and we here shall salute him. Great job taking the trash out, Peter. We'll drag the cans down to the curb for you.
Janna Jihad- Peter isn't the only undersung social media warrior on this list and Ahed Tamini isn't the only girl crusader for Palestinian peace. Her cousin and bestie Janna is the worlds youngest journalist at 12 years old with over 270,000 followers on Facebook. The pint size muckraker began covering the Israeli conquest of her and Ahed's West Bank village with her mother's iPhone at 7 and in less than five years she's achieved more than grizzled gonzos like me have in thirty. The fucking whipper-snapper, she deserves it. America's blubbering journalists could learn something from this kid if they ever stop bitching about the scourge of free speech, oops! I mean 'Fake News'. Janna is a bad-ass riot grrrl with a camera and, along with her cousin, proof positive that the next generation of Palestinian women are gonna give Leila Khaled a run for her money. Buckle up, Bibi, the next intifada is coming.
Caitlin Johnstone- To call Caitlin a kindred spirit is probably an understatement. She's more like a Siamese twin separated by generations and continents at birth. Do you know any other foul mouthed Yippie bitches willing to break bread with the radical right? Didn't think so. Lately Caitlin has become a sort of online Courtney Love, a loud mouth punching bag who gets degraded largely for being the smartest thing with a vagina in the room. Caitlin may be too classy to play that card but her tranny sister is shameless. Justin Raimondo and Joshua Frank are scared little boys afraid of the big bad bitch stepping on their fragile little pricks. A pox on both your houses! Caitlin is a legit underground journalist. Fuckers like you use to know what those words meant. We don't play by your stupid fucking rules. Solidarity!
Joe Pera- To call Joe an acquired taste is also probably an understatement. Truth be told, no comedian since Andy Kaufman has managed to harness the surreal soft power of subtle awkwardness quite like Mr. Pera. The result is something so 'normal' it's downright unnerving. For those of you who aren't familiar with this endangered species of performance artist, he's kind of like an odd hybrid of Chance from Being There and Mr. Rogers on mescaline. And his late night Adult Swim series, Joe Pera Talks With You, might be the strangest and most wonderful new thing on TV in 2018. Playing a semi-fictional version of himself against the backdrop of a small town on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that has clearly grown bored with his supine antics, middle school quire teacher Joe Pera hosts a series of public access style introductions to such esoteric topics as Nineteenth Century Canadian pest control, the proper way to dispose of a jack-o-lantern, and becoming the last white man alive to discover the Who's Baba O'riley. Somewhere along the way the show morphs into a strange love story between the painfully single Pera and a closet survivalist band teacher. The result is the perfect anecdote to the often stagnant existence of small town life in a dying empire. It's sort of like a good Ambien trip. Once you get past the initial wave of unnatural calmness, the normal becomes strangely beautiful and the beautiful becomes downright ridiculous in the best kind of way.
Father John Misty- Every generation requires at least one great bard of blunt sarcasm. A smirking cynic with a guitar who wraps his barbs in such fluffy layers of melodic pop that their audience doesn't even realize they're bleeding internally until it's too late. In the past we've had Dylan, Lennon, Waits, and Oberst, to name a few. Today we have Mister Father John Misty, who's smoochy soft rock ballads thinly veil some of the sharpest critiques of western society in years. The title of his latest masterpiece, God's Favorite Customer, says it all; 'I'm a rock star, look at me, who fucking cares.' Something tells me both Sartre and Kurt Cobain would approve. The only thing more refreshingly bitter than the good Father's lyrics are his hilariously flippant interviews with the press where he dismisses their tired pretensions like a drunken whore turning down the advances of a penniless john. There is no point denying that Mr. Misty is a fucking dick, but god do we need him, now more than ever.
Muqtada Al-Sadr- Don't call it a comeback, Muqtada has been here for years... You remember, the dude who looks like a jihad garden gnome and kicked America's monkey ass up and down post-Saddam Iraq with his crafty Shia Mahdi Army. I'm pretty sure he's responsible for at least half of Dick Cheney's sixteen heart attacks. Muqtada pulled a JD Salinger after the (partial) American withdrawal but he came back with a vengeance in 2018, reinventing himself as a kind of Islamic Ralph Nader. He took on all the major parties and the corruption of foreign influence from both the US and Iran in this years parliamentary elections and against all the odds he won, proving once again that the bullet and the ballot box is still a viable option for revolutionary change. I don't know Sadr's take on queer folks but this is one tranny who fucking loves him. Solidarity!
Mitski- The only exception to my no repeats rule. I had to put Miss Mitski Miyawaki on this list again because, with Be the Cowboy, she once again recorded the best album of the year. Mitski has transcended from indie darling to a full blown phenomenon. With her songs about cultural isolation and sexual frustration, she has become a welcome voice for a whole generation of lost children who have awoken to a crippled adulthood in a hemorrhaging civilization where the American Dream has become a dystopian nightmare. We're broken hearted and we're all pretty fucking pissed too. Mitski continues to create the perfect soundtrack to this Faustian existence and I'm not the only one grateful for the sacrifice. I am part of a growing fan base of women, Asians, and Queers who find solace in her music. Together, we are not alone. Mitski is our champion.
Keith Preston- When I first discovered that one of my posts had been published on a place called Attack the System, I asked a friend of mine who the hell Keith Preston is. His response; "He's the left-libertarian that left-libertarians love to hate." My response; "Sounds like my flavor of motherfucker." It was the perfect beginning to what has become a strange and wonderful friendship. I've never considered myself to be a national anarchist and I still don't. I mean, shit, I've been called a social justice warrior more times than I can count and I rarely deny the charge. But the core of my philosophy has always been a kind of 'come as you are' open mindedness that I've found strangely unwelcome on many leftist sites. But that really is what best sums up the philosophy of AtS as well. In spite of all the cat calls from the increasingly shrill antifa-left, Attack the System is the most open minded place in the radical blogosphere and that seems to be the main problem the supposed open minds on the left seem to have with it. Keith takes intersectionality to its natural conclusion. If we're all getting fucked by the same system then why are we wasting our time attacking each other? Freaks of the world unite and take over. I can't thank Keith enough for creating such a place or letting me be a part of it. In hindsight, I'm surprised it took me this long to get there.
Clare, Lily, & Chantal- You don't know these girls but trust me when I tell you, you wish that you did. I came into this past year reeling from a nasty run-in with a quack shrink who tried to convince me that my gender is a perverted mental illness, something the Catholic Church had already burned into my frontal lobe in grade school. Once I decided that cunt wasn't worth the price of the hollow-points I would need to convert her face into a toilet bowl full of blood, I sought out help from my tiny Appalachian hamlet's single queer therapy group and I met the three sisters that god had denied me by blood. These girls, my girls, aren't just my friends, they're my family and they, more than anyone else, have taught me the importance of belonging to something bigger than yourself. Before them, I was half a girl without a tribe. Less than a year later, I'm a veritable force to be reckoned with. These connections are why I remain so committed to the struggle for liberty and voluntary collectivism. They're also the number one reason I get out of bed in the morning.
You see, dearest motherfuckers, at the end of the year, it doesn't matter how many cars run you over or how many tumors you find on your tits. It doesn't matter how many people the empire kills or how many ice caps they melt doing it. As long as we have each other to fight for, it's all worth it, it's worth every drop of blood. These are the people I bleed for and the people who bleed for us all. And they've collectively made one of the most fucked up years of my life one of the best. Stay tuned and keep the faith, dearest motherfuckers, we're just getting started.
Peace, Love, & Empathy- CH
Soundtracks; theme songs for people who don't suck
* Ahed Tamini- Cherry Bomb by the Runaways
* Peter Van Buren- I Fought the Law by the Clash
* Janna Jihad- Modern Girl by Sleater-Kinney
* Caitlin Johnstone- Awful by Hole
* Joe Pera- Baba O'riley by the Who
* Father John Misty- Bored in the USA by Father John Misty
* Muqtada Al-Sadr- Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J
* Mitski- Your Best American Girl by Mitski
* Keith Preston- Come As You Are by Nirvana
* Clare, Lily, & Chantal- My Girls by Panda Bear