Sunday, December 29, 2019

Some People Who Actually Didn't Suck In 2019

I love holiday traditions, dearest motherfuckers, and every year since I started this blog several years ago, I've welcomed in the new year by compiling a short list of the few people on this goddess forsaken rock who actually managed the small miracle of not sucking, or at least not sucking much, this year. Naturally, it's usually a pretty weird fucking list because, generally speaking, you have to be pretty fucking weird to earn the respect of a pretty fucking weird ass bitch like me. This year is no exception. It's a regular rogues gallery of contrarian fire-starters and Molotov chucking iconoclasts like myself. You won't like all of em. Hell, I don't even like all of em. But if I've done my job right, and you're not a total fucking asshole, you'll at least respect them begrudgingly. So here's a dastardly dozen (give or take) dearest motherfuckers who actually don't suck. With one telltale finger in the air, I solute them.

Mike Gravel-  The only oxygenarian bitch who should have taken the White House by storm, crazy Old Man Gravel, ex-Alaskan Governor, bitter old coot and lifelong evangelist for direct democracy, ran for all but a hot second this year. But what a fucking second! The last true anti-interventionist in my soiled former party, Gravel blitzed the DNC like Don Quixote on Geritol, with a guerrilla campaign that literally consisted of a handful of rag-tag college stoners using their spare pot money to make Mike the libertarian socialist Bernie. And they might just have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for those meddling adults in the suicidally self-assure Democratic establishment, who used their arcane debate regulations to fuck the old bastard out of a platform. Fuck it. Best laid plans. Thanks for the memories, Mike. We'll build you a monument after the revolution. And, once again, thanks Geritol.

Joaquin Phoenix-  Hollywood has long been a fucking wasteland for anything even mildly resembling the dangers of unfiltered creativity. But every once and a while, someone, somehow sneaks something truly subversive passed the censors and into the theaters, and the normies lose their proverbial shit. There hasn't been a blockbuster as teemingly incendiary as this year's Joker since Oliver Stone's psychedelic opus, Natural Born Killers, and the maniacal performance of Joaquin Phoenix is the number one reason why. Like Woody Harrelson's Mickey Knox, Joaquin hijacks that silver screen for 2+ hours of riving anarchy as Arthur Fleck aka the Joker.

 His emaciated corpse, swollen with the aching pain and unrelenting darkness of a perpetually ignored, mentally disturbed misfit, eking out a meager existence in the crumbling urban oligarchy of Gotham City, Phoenix embodies this very non-fictional class of ugly American, not simply because he is an incredible performer, but because he is one of us. He is one of the broken. Phoenix has wrestled publicly with his demons for decades and has regularly lashed out against our toxic mass media for exploiting the pain of him and his family. Joker was his ultimate revenge. When he put that bullet in Robert De Niro's yammering skull, he was putting a bullet in every twisted vulture who feasted on his brother's corpse as it convulsed on the sidewalk in front of the Viper Room. He pulled that trigger for all of us freaks and made the only kind of artistic statement this country seems to occasionally comprehend, a plea for help written in blood. I hope I'm not the only one who's attention he gripped, but I thank him for the heroic effort either way.

Chelsea Manning-  Chelsea makes this list pretty much every fucking year because Chelsea is my hero pretty much every fucking year. Let's face it, yours truly aside, there just aren't that many transgender anti-imperialist superheroes to go around and I don't think we can count on the convoluted cunts at Marvel to fill that void. But we can count on Chelsea. We can count on Chelsea to disclose and expose the criminal behavior of the empire for which it stands. We can count on Chelsea to stand up to the colossal bullies of the police state while looking damn fine doing it. And we can count on Chelsea to go to prison, over and over and over again, forever, because she is one bad ass bitch who doesn't snitch on her comrades and will never stand down to the state. Chelsea is the anti-Mayor-Pete, a real queer's queer, and you cissy cunts are gonna need a bigger prison to bury her under if you ever want to shut her up. Start building now while your disintegrating currency can still afford the bricks.

Ilhan Omar-  Nobody saw her coming. The Democrats welcomed the opportunity for a photo-op with the first veiled Muslim congresswoman. How could they resist. But they weren't prepared for this tiny black hurricane from Minnesota to be anything more than a stock character in their neoliberal multi-culti sitcom. They fucked up big. Not since the improbable reign of Ron Paul has Washington seen a more consistent opponent of the military industrial complex. And we have never seen a more virulent and brazenly unapologetic anti-Zionist. Both parties have hilariously lost their fucking minds trying to demonize and contain her. Both parties have failed, miserably. And smug cynics like myself have kicked up our Doc Martin's to enjoy the show. Her absolutely brutal public shaming of Elliot Abrams for his disgusting career of butchering babies between the raindrops might just be the hottest performance of sadomasochism ever recorded. It certainly made the top of my spank-bank. Don't let the hijab fool you. Ilhan Omar is Uncle Sam's dominatrix and the only safety word is peace. Peace!! PEACE!!! Let's just hope her uncharacteristically stupid vote on the Patriot Act isn't a sign of mercy.

Lana Del Rey-  "Do you love me or do you not? You said one thing and now you're saying the other." I have always found it painfully ironic that Lana Del Rey, the queen of summertime sadness, is the only artist on the radio that doesn't make me want to paint the walls with my fucking brains. Go figure, right. You can take the goth girl out of the closet, dot dot dot. But this year, Lana really outdid herself. The scrumptiously titled Norman Fucking Rockwell! isn't just, by far, the greatest album of the year, it's the greatest album in at least a generation. A haunting, timeless monument to existential heartbreak and listless nostalgia that defines these strange times we exist in, in ways that the finest works of singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan and Lou Reed did for their eras. Lush epics like "Venice Bitch" and the aforementioned "Love Is A Butterfly" make Lana's place as the voice of a very lost generation a forgone conclusion, and the fact that she achieved this monolithic artistic feat while remaining a formidable presence in a typically saccharine mainstream zeitgeist is nothing short of a miracle. Lana Del Rey is basically Morrissey with a vagina, which pretty much makes her god.

Muqtada al-Sadr & Raid Jahid Fahmi-  Good guys are hard to come by in the Middle East. It's a land of martyrs, lesser evils and best case scenarios, and that's on a good day. It should come as little surprise, especially to a jaded anarchist like me, that in no public arena is this ugly reality more real than the sewers of politics. Which is what makes the Sairoon Alliance so goddamn refreshing. The unorthodox coalition of Shia firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr's Sadrists and Raid Fahmi's now near Jurassic Iraqi Communist Party first made waves last year when they took Baghdad's parliament by storm, winning a thin but pivotal majority of 54 seats, on the promise to stick it to outside political influence from both Washington and Tehran alike. But these populist usurpers didn't truly come into their own until this years uprising against Iraq's American sponsored institutional corruption. While the military shot kids in the streets, Muqtada took to the airwaves and social media to call for the resignation of the entire goddamn government, while Fahmi's ethnically and chronologically diverse Communists took to the streets, playing a leading roll in the riots. The last time we saw an alliance of Islamists and Leftists like this, the Shah ended up crashing on Jimmy Carter's couch. The Mullahs better check themselves. It's coming back around again.

Joshua Frank-  Editors are a decidedly cunty clique. The good Dr. Hunter Thompson knew this intimately well, which is why he gave that grabby yuppie sell-out, Jann Wenner, mescaline fueled hell every chance he got. I haven't fared much better myself. I've got a real nasty rep for flipping the fuck out on my editors and Josh at CounterPunch is no exception. The difference is the motherfucker was actually big enough to forgive my flippant bitchiness and gave me a platform for my own brand of genderfuck gonzo weirdness anyway on my favorite website. We still but heads here and there, I have too many spooky fascist friends and Josh seems to have a soft spot for those drama queens in Antifa, but he doesn't appear to suffer from that dickish god complex that most editors can't seem to shake. That alone earns him a place on this list. Thanks Josh. You better fucking publish this one!

Tulsi Gabbard-  In a seemingly endless year of knee-jerk hyper-partisan "Resistance", a contrarian bitch like Tulsi was as sexy to my soar eyes as a church arsonist. Just watching the Democrats shit themselves trying to figure out what the fuck to do with her made an otherwise dismal election season livable. Her Apache knife job on that police-state pride-poseur, Kamala Harris, was something savagely beautiful to behold. If you put the television on mute and listened very carefully, you could hear a cell-block of my T-girls back in Pelican Bay cheering like savages at the Thunderdome as Tulsi twisted the knife. The warden spent the last lonesome days of her doomed campaign bleeding out while her hopeless admirers in the MSM worked overtime to slide the bitch a shiv. It was a fools errand, and one that was delightful to watch. Buttigieg is next. Pay close attention to the Granite State. Tulsi's blade remains thirsty. Live free or die swinging, shorty. More than one cell-block has your back.

Troy SouthgateAs a lifelong leftist and a longtime left-anarchist, I've heard all the dreadful horror stories about Troy Southgate and his National Anarchist Movement, and I believed most of them. That Troy is a racist, a fascist, a devious infiltrator out to infect the anarchist movement with the various venereal diseases indigenous to the Alt-Right. According to the Goofy Gillis chapter of the movement, NAM falls somewhere between ISIS and NAMBLA on the scale of unspeakable ideological heresy. But after actually getting to know Troy and his odd movement through my work at Attack the System, I can honestly tell you that I was, and much of the left still is, completely full of shit. Troy has gone miles out of his way to support my work, not because he agrees with it, quite the contrary, because he, like any true anarchist, respects a broad diversity of opinion. He's gone to bat for me on more than a few occasions, often taking on the better half of his own base to defend my incendiary rants calling for everything from Queer Nationalism to open borders to the end of the very concept of whiteness as we  know it. Troy exemplifies the meaning of the word solidarity. You can say whatever you want about the bastard. He certainly has a colorful rap-sheet. But you best not say it where I can hear it, unless you want this leftist tranny to cut you a dozen new assholes with my balisong. But, shit, I've heard of kinkier fantasies, so be my guest and make my day.

Abdul-Malik al-HouthiFor an anti-imperialist war nerd like me, the feel good story of the year has been the under-expected triumph of the Houthi rebels, lead by one Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. After half a decade of blitzkrieg blanket bombing, forced starvation, mercenary death squads, cholera outbreaks and hundreds of thousands slaughtered in what can only be described as an American-backed Saudi genocide, Abdul-Malik's Houthi rebels have managed to turn the tables on two of the most powerful fighting forces on the planet, armed with little more than fury, heart, tenacity, homemade drones and WW1 era rifles. At this time last year, the entire Zaydi tribe of Shia Muslims looked to be on the brink of extinction. Now they're calling the fucking shots, with the Wahhabi shieks cowering to the peace table they once spat on, when they're not too busy cutting each other's throats, and the Trump Administration bashfully walking back their attempts to have these anti-colonialist freedom fighters declared terrorists.

The war is far from over, but the Houthis have already won. The haggard mountain renegades are the Vietcong of the Arab Peninsula, and 2019 is their 1968, the tipping point where a gush of their enemies blood has drawn a crimson line in the sand. The Saudis and their handlers must now decide whether or not to cross the River Tet. If they do, they can effectively double the bodybags coming home to Riyadh and kiss their position as a regional powerhouse goodbye. In a world of thieves groveling in the darkness of their own design, the man who stands the tallest is a holy man with a gun and a mission to slay the giants who prey upon the weak. Every revolutionary from Hiroshima to Happy Valley can learn something from Abdul-Malik al-Houthi's example. The impossible is very possible when we refuse to except anything less.

Fight on, dearest motherfuckers. Let 2020 be all of our 1968's. Let a new era of revolutionary consciousness begin and let it begin with you. For if you too refuse to suck, you too can win like a Houthi, battered but unbowed.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; theme song for people who don't suck

Mike Gravel- Queen Bitch by David Bowie
Joaquin Phoenix- The Future by Leonard Cohen
Chelsea Manning- Surface Envy by Sleater-Kinney
Ihan Omar- Man-Size by PJ Harvey
Lana Del Rey- Mariners Apartment Complex by Lana Del Rey
Muqtada al-Sadr and Raid Jahid Fahmi- Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones
Joshua Frank- I'll Stick Around by Foo Fighters
Tulsi Gabbard- I Wont Back Down by Tom Petty
Troy Southgate- Suedhead by Morrissey
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi- Paper Planes by MIA

Saturday, December 21, 2019

(Happy Christmas) Forever War Is Over: If You Want It....

So this is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, and a new one just begun.

I've always loved this season but I've never been much for Christmas carols. The new ones are moronic garbage and the old churchy ones tend to depress the shit out of me. Too many ugly memories of being a differently gendered dirty secret in a harsh Catholic climate. Too many old wounds. Some still haven't healed. Some probably never will.

Since I'm in the confessional kinda mood, I might as well admit that I've never been completely sold on the apparent sanctity of The Beatles either. They're not a bad band, the hype just always felt a touch contrived to me. To be perfectly honest with you, they always struck me as a glorified boy band before they dropped acid, and even then they always sounded second fiddle to The Rolling Stones shambolic heroin blues.

But I've always loved John Lennon. I spent about 15 minutes as a teenage hippie between Goth and punk, and John and those fantastic Yippies are the only two relics that remain. I've also always loved Yoko. I felt that she brought the best out of John, artistically, politically and spiritually, not to mention being a brilliant provocateur in her own right. For this she was naturally rewarded with the brand of chauvinistic racism and sexism that often creeped just beneath the hippie veneer. And it was John and Yoko who created the one Christmas carol I truly cherish outside of the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) didn't begin as a hit song. It began as part of an avante garde guerrilla marketing campaign to coincide with John and Yoko's '69 Bed-ins. Billboards across 12 major cities worldwide were decorated with the simple message "WAR IS OVER: If you want it- Happy Christmas from John and Yoko." Two years later this message was set to the traditional English ballad "Skewball" and accompanied by the Harlem Community Choir. It was a deceptively radical message for mainstream radio, even in the peace and love era. In 1971 the war was far from over. There were still millions of bodies to be buried beneath blankets of napalm and Agent Orange. What John and Yoko were conjuring wasn't a Utopian fantasy but a simple Christmas wish. Happy Christmas, in the name of god, cant this wicked war be over? It can. If you want it. And today, nearly half a century later, that wish seems more cruelly unfulfilled than ever.

I'm a transgender lesbian with Lyme disease and agoraphobia, there are millions of things I want for Christmas; a vagina, a woman who can see me as just that even without one, a cure, a world without screaming highways and fluorescent bathed Walmart's to hyperventilate in. But I'd give up all of that and more, I'd give anything just to see an end to America's endless imperial campaign of forever wars. Wars without end. Wars without mercy. So this Christmas, I wish for peace, and I invite you to wish with me. Maybe together, god will hear our plea.

I wish we'd stop starving impoverished nations into submission with the financial terrorism of sanctions, from Venezuela to Korea. I wish we'd stop building toxic bases and blacksites on beautiful islands like Diego Garcia, Jeju and Ryukyu, polluting their pristine beaches and mowing down their children in the streets with heavy machinery. I wish we'd stop propping up the most despicable despots on earth since Hitler, from Rwanda to Bahrain. I wish we'd stop overthrowing democracies that fail to be convenient to our hegemony. I wish we would stop fueling and wantonly engaging in genocides, taking part in the erasure of beautiful, brave, brilliant people like the Zaydis, the Timorese, the Chagossians, the Baharna and the West Papuans. I wish the killing fields would bloom with flowers instead of flesh and blood. I wish we'd stop keeping the lights on in Israel, while that Frankenstein creature we helped birth rapidly becomes a gruesome doppelganger of the Third Reich we use to justify it. And I wish we'd just tell the Zionists to fuck off. The Wahhabists too, while we're at it.

And I wish we'd leave Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria and Korea and Germany, but Afghanistan most of all. Those mountains that have known nothing but war since Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski began building an army of jihadist mercenaries to provoke a Soviet invasion several years after Happy Xmas (War Is Over) hit the airwaves. Those mountains that carry no memory of a world before the dopelords and warlords and rapists and pederasts who we so covetously protect. Those mountains, so tall, deep, dark and mysterious that no white man could ever possibly comprehend them. It's 2019, dearest motherfuckers, and I wish the forever wars were over. But that wish wont come true until we realize that it's up to us and not some divine savior to overthrow the Scroogian Empire that fuels them.

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, the near and the dear ones, the old and the young.

Peace, Love and Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band
*  You Cant Always Get What You Want by the Rolling Stones
*  (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding by Elvis Costello
*  Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis
*  Revolution by the Beatles
*  Dear Prudence by Siouxsie & the Banshees
*  Here It Comes by the Brian Jonestown Massacre
*  Bad Catholics by the Menzingers
*  All Tomorrow's Parties by the Velvet Underground
*  Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by the Polyphonic Spree

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Panarchist Solution to a World Divided

In these days of epic collapse, with the established order rapidly disintegrating before our very eyes, mankind seems to be tearing apart at the seems and resorting to the bipolar extremes of the far-left and the far-right. And why the hell not? Poor people across the globe have grown weary of the false promises and bald faced lies of the so-called moderates. The one thing the warring camps of extremes seem to agree on is that the mass democracy of neoliberal globalism is an epic wash. A rigged shell game that only pays out to the house, and now the house is on fire.

So we witness the spectacle of populism on both the left and the right. Record numbers of young people embracing the once tainted label of socialism while the kind of xenophobic nativism which was once only uttered in hushed tones at the far corners of church potlucks has now become mainstream fodder, openly brandished like Hermann Goering's revolver. These are the times that we live in but we've seen them before. Whenever empires crumble and the fixed markets of state capitalism find themselves in peril. The people who stand to gain the most from the cataclysm find themselves divided on the opposite ends of the barracks. Stalinists and Brown Shirts. Antifa and the Alt-right. It's times like these when the call of Samuel L. Jackson's prophetic DJ in Spike Lee's classic dissection of urban upheaval, Do the Right Thing, rings like tinnitus through my eardrums. "Can we live together?! Together, can we live?!!" I've spent my life in search of an answer to that existential question. I believe I'm getting closer.

I've always found myself on the far-left end of the barracks, even while the proletariat was still drunk on the delusions of progress that came with a first black president and Apple Store commodity fetishism. I discovered Marx young and Chomsky shortly after. I spent the lion share of my teens flirting with a caraselle of Libertarian Socialist ideologies, Chomsky's Syndicalism, Red Rosa's Council Communism, Subcomandante Marcos' Zapatizmo. All set to a hard driving soundtrack of Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer and Zack de la Rocha.

By my late adolescence, I found myself under the spell of more statist genres of leftism, brought on by the unexpected revival of Bolivarianism in Hugo's Venezuela and Evo's Bolivia. I eventually came to embrace Third World Communism as a bulwark against Northern attacks on these democratic social experiments. I came to see Fidel Castro's harshly undemocratic measures to protect the Cuban Revolution in the wake of Kennedy's terrorist campaign against it as the only solution to imperialism. But my appetite for history wouldn't allow me to hold on to that delusion for very long. Upon further studies, I came to the conclusion that the state itself was the cancer and it mattered little how benevolent its managers were. It was always a wicked contraption designed to oppress before it self-destructs. I turned back to anarchism but contradictions continued to haunt me.

The biggest problem with nearly every school of leftism is its almost messianic assumption that mankind can be united in internationalist harmony beneath the banner of a single way. As much as I may believe that my own brand of Post-Marxist Syndicalism is the ideal model for a truly democratic society, I had trouble convincing myself that someday mankind would reach a singular collective consciousness and fall in love with the guild. Frankly, as an anti-imperialist, I've always been uneasy with these sort of notions of internationalism.

Assuming that some 19th century factory workers in industrial Western Europe had all the answers for my friendly neighborhood primitivists in the Amish community, let alone the tribes of Borneo or the Kalahari, just smacks bitchingly of colonialism. With a world so beautifully complex, how could there ever be just one way? This seemed like the same trap that lead our Founding Fathers to set the stage for the neoliberal hellhole of global capitalism, only ours was an egalitarian Manifest Destiny. I believed very strongly in the ideals of Murray Bookchin and Rudolph Rocker, but these contradictions kept me from seeing even my own anarchism as anything more than a distant pipe dream. That is, until I discovered the philosophy of Panarchy.

One of the biggest misconceptions about anarchism is that it is defined by the absence of government. Such notions are patently absurd. Governments have, do and always will exist. A government is any gathering of individuals brought together to make collective decisions. Technically speaking, three stoned roommates debating over pizza topping is a government. Anarchy is defined by the absence of the state, a permanent government micromanaged by a class of professional politicians, be they corporate board members, congressmen or monarchs. The very existence of this managerial class is what makes a simple government a state. Anarchy, in all its forms, seeks to abolish this hierarchy and replace it with an entirely civilian government. Panarchy is the recognition that in our world, in this diverse cultural landscape known as mankind, there is no singular answer to the scourge of the state. Anarchy can only exist outside of manifestos and punk rock venues when it is free to take on any form, regardless of adjectives, as long as it does so voluntarily and free from force.

Globalism has brought on nothing but colossal super-states. The tyranny of bigness, big government, big business, big race, big religion. This problem cannot be solved by hijacking these systems and rebranding them as internationalism. The only valid solution to this mass tyranny is localism and that's precisely what Panarchy embraces, the idea that government can only succeed on the same grounds as any other relationship, through reversible contracts between consenting parties committed to voluntaryism and non-aggression above all else. These could be mutual aid societies, autonomous communes, democratic syndicates, tribal orders, a quilt-work of endless Utopian experiments competing peacefully for their citizenry's patronage with individuals free to opt out and collectives free to succeed at anytime. Ideally, these governments would exist like social clubs with benefits, completely untethered by geography. Making it entirely possible for six stateless nations to exist on a single square block.

What's the catch, you ask? And there is always a catch. The catch is that freedom of society exists under the same parameters as freedom of speech. Panarchy doesn't just protect the societies you like, it protects the societies you hate. Under the grand contract of a confederal constitution, people would be free to build societies based around any ideology as long as they remained peaceful and voluntary. That means societies based on Mutualism, Syndicalism, Capitalism and Communism. But that also more than likely means peaceful nations governed by ideologies like Religious Fundamentalism, Geographic Integralism and even Racial Separatism. Allowing such societies to exist does not mean condoning them anymore than freedom of speech means condoning hate speech. It's a matter of excepting the reality that true liberty means respecting the decisions of others, however misguided, to live voluntarily however they damn well please, provided they do so peacefully, much like my clannish Amish neighbors who peacefully coexist with wicked English trannies like me.

This philosophy runs anathema to the current culture of both the far-left and the far-right, who both seem to define themselves by their guttural opposition to the others very existence. But I see this catch as the solution to a proletariat that will always remain divided across complex cultural lines. When they lack the nifty shield of persecuted victim-hood, the Fascist right tends to lose its appeal to the masses. Every time one of those goosestepping pricks gets hammered by Antifa, there book sales go through the fucking ceiling. I have to believe in the Kropotkinite theory that free mutual aid leads left towards true egalitarian evolution. When free to compete peacefully, the more malignant fear-based cultures will dwindle while the open communal ones will thrive. The beauty is that the far-right is free to believe the very same thing about my Queer Syndicalist Tribe. They get the opportunity to prove me wrong just as I do them, but the both of us will be too small to waste our energy on combat. Micro-nations make any form of sustained warfare an act of mutually assured destruction. Coexistence becomes the only sustainable way to exist.

And this is how I believe we can live together, Communists, Nationalists, melting pots and Isolationists, together we can live. Behind every apocalypse hides an opportunity for Utopia. The Panarchist says why not a thousand? Why not? Tis the season after all....

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post.

*  Fight the Power by Public Enemy
*  Shell Game by Bright Eyes
*  That's When I Reach For My Revolver by Mission of Burma
*  California Sky by Billy Bragg & Wilco
*  Times Like These by Foo Fighters
*  Should I Stay or Should I Go by the Clash
*  People Of the Sun by Rage Against the Machine
*  Stay With Me by the Faces
*  Shoplifters of the World Unite by the Smiths
*  Private World by New York Dolls

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Sorry Lefties, Your Impeachment is Bullshit

The ongoing impeachment of one Donald J. Trump is bullshit. There, I said it and I'll say it again just to make sure you heard me right. This impeachment is fucking bullshit, and I'm tired of pretending otherwise. I don't care if this makes me a bad leftist or a bad libertarian or whatever, its the stone cold honest truth and I stand by it.

The left has poured so much of their identity into apposing Trump for the very sake of apposing Trump that they've lost all touch with reality. Their entire identity has become as defined by this moronic ass-wipe as his unblinking supporters. The Resistance has become a mirror image of what they despise, a pack of hyperventilating paranoid deplorables who have lost themselves 5 miles up their own asshole after crashing the Hybrid in their own fucking shit. They're a bunch of inconsolable babies and they desperately need a good slap on the ass to clear their throats.

This isn't to say I'm defending Trump. Not by a long shot. If it were up to me, he'd be in shackles at the Hague, answering for the cold-blooded murder of little Nora al-Awlaki and his putrid children's concentration camps on the border. Trump can burn in hell. What I hate is this Ukrainegate nonsense. Just like Russiagate, it's little more than a hodgepodge of rumors and second-hand gossip being trafficked by the only class of people more deplorable than Trump. What's worse is that the entire spectacle is so obviously a complete and total farce designed to self-destruct just in time for that other complete and total farce known as the 2020 Election.

The Democrats know full well that this media circus will die on the vine once it reaches the GOP packed Senate, but they also know that it will drive the campaign conversation away from anything mildly resembling the radical change that their loverboys Joe Biden and Mayor Pete have zero intention of delivering on, while keeping the irate electorate distracted by empty partisan shit-slinging. This suits Trump just fine as well. He gets to play the anti-authoritarian martyr that Middle America relates too, even while he robs them blind and sends their sons and daughters to die in a dusty oilfield.

As for the facts, I've been looking and they're few and far between. It certainly appears that Trump was conducting something sleazy in Ukraine but, for all the bitching about our president's conspiracy theories, that is essentially that what the foundation of Trump's accuser's arguments amount to, a colossal labyrinth of state sponsored conspiracy theories. The conspiracy theory that Russia interfered with our elections in any meaningful way based on the accusations of our notoriously corrupt intelligence community, who continues to deny the American people access to their sources. The conspiracy theory that Russia is at war with Ukraine, rather than simply providing aid to ethnic Russian rebels defending their independence. The conspiracy theory that Ukraine itself is anything but a glorified NATO rump state governed very poorly by a grab-bag of neoliberal banksters and openly Russophobic neo-Nazis.

This has been the corn in the gigantic shit that Adam Schiff's squad of disgruntled spooks has pushed out on congress over the last few weeks, and these are the people trying to convince us that they heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that Trump committed impeachable offenses. Pardon me all over the place for being less than convinced by a group of people who are clearly as divorced from reality as the president we both despise. Who am I supposed to believe, the scumbag or the scumbag? Maybe I should just plead the Fifth.

This problem is bigger than Trump though. The biggest problem lies in the fallacy of the system itself. Our bespectacled law professors pontificate on high from their ivory towers about the existential threat to our democracy, but what democracy? The little man in the White House didn't even win the popular vote and the Articles of Impeachment written by our Founding Fathers are left so vague that you could make a half-decent argument that the Donald's comb-over constitutes an impeachable offense. The truth is, that every president since at least Wilson has been guilty as sin of high crimes and misdemeanors and the earlier ones are guilty of far worse.

Funny how these stately constitutionalists don't seem to possess the same moral outrage towards Thomas Jefferson's rape of his child property as they do for Trump's quid pro quo. Noam Chomsky accurately pointed out that every single man who's ever occupied the Oval Office would be hanged if held to the standards of the Nuremberg Tribunals. Why only draw the line with Trump? And why do so without the democratic cache of a popular referendum? Will Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi really be a step in the right direction? Or is this really about those missiles Mr. Schiff wants to unload on Ukraine for his sponsors in the military industrial complex?

This country needs more than an impeachment, dearest motherfuckers. It needs democracy, real fucking democracy of the direct and Bookchinite variety, and I don't think we'll get it with anything less than a revolution, a real fucking revolution of the proletariat and Shays variety. Sorry fellow lefties, but your precious little impeachment is bullshit. Get over it.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Dreams by Fleetwood Mac
*  Tommy From the Eighties by Beach Slang
*  Carrot Rope by Pavement
*  Wild Wild Life by Talking Heads
*  U-Mass by the Pixies
*  The Big Payback by James Brown
*  Her Own Heart by Hatchie
*  Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion

As a practice, I despise both major parties with a passion usually reserved for religious zealotry. But I'm not ashamed, even as a lifelong leftist, to admit that I hate the Democrats most of all. In fact, it's precisely because I'm a leftist that I hate the Democrats most of all. The only thing worse than a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires is a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires who try to pass them selves off as the high handed voice of egalitarianism. It's like having Strom Thurmond throw on a Rasta wig and wax poetic about how he understands why the n*ggers feel cold and the slum's got so much soul (compliments to Jello Biafra). It doesn't exactly make me feel better that I use to be a member of that limp-wristed blackface fraternity.

But it was 2008, the scoundrels of the Bush junta were on their way out the revolving door to cushy no-show jobs in the defense industry and there was one candidate left in that party that I still believed in, and I'm not talking about Joe Lieberman's designated black dauphin. Dennis Kucinich was the last of a dying breed. He seemed to have stepped out from a different era, like the long lost munchkin lovechild of George McGovern and Joan Baez. He didn't just want peace, he wanted revenge against the war machine; 50% cuts in defense spending, shuttering all foreign bases, Nuremberg Tribunals for the retreating Bush junta. He didn't have a chance in hell and I didn't give a shit. He was on a crusade that was bigger than any election, and I was willing to swallow my vomit and leave the Green Party to join him.

I look at the ten clown car pileup that is the 2020 Democratic primaries and there is no Dennis Kucinich to be found. Just a multicultural graveyard of hyper-statist partisan corpses. For five fucking minutes we had Mike Gravel's beautiful crusty old ass, but the glorified carnies who rig the debates quickly erased all signs of his existence until his shallow well ran dry. What we have now is a contest largely between two separate but equally deceptive cliques of creeps. The "Moderates" or, as I call them, the Obama Revivalists, and the "Revolutionaries" who are really little more than blood and butter social democrats (to quote the late Dr. Thompson, "You people voted for Humphrey... and you killed Jesus!)

The Obama Revivalists have to be the most comically delusional conglomeration of convoluted cunts since Obama himself sold half my generation on an 8 year extension of the Bush regime with Hopelandic gobbledygook lifted straight from a Chicken Noodle Soup paperback he found at the airport. The basic pitch of these neoliberal imbeciles, who only the Clinton News Network would have the gal to call "Realists", can be summed up by Cher's tattooed ass on a battleship, 'If we could just turn back time. If we could just find a way...' They seem to all suffer under the grand-mal delusion that all of America's woes began in February 2017, and just 8 more years of Obama (or 24 of Bush) can cure the American Empire of an authoritarian collapse that has been a longtime coming. Donald Trump is not the problem, he is the symptom. Voting for one of these mass media approved Obama Revivalists would be the equivalent of treating a brain tumor with a shotgun blow to the head.

Until very recently, the leader of this pack was Joe Biden, quite possibly the only human being with half a pulse who's more corrupt than the woman who softballed Trump the keys to the White House in the first place. Joe Biden is also incredibly the one candidate, aside from maybe that crypto-fascist Muppet, Michael Bloomberg (you know him from his commercials, where he struggles gallantly to suck his own balls), who might actually be worse than Orange-Man-Bad himself. This toxic sarcophagus has spent more than half a century proving that he is every bit as sexist, racist and homophobic as Trump and at least three times as violent. His grubby finger prints are all over at least four of America's smoldering forever wars and Grandpa Munster's appetite for destruction is still Cracker Barrel hardy. All I can say, speaking as a hypochondriac who's lost three out of four grandparents to dementia, is thank god for Alzheimer's. If Biden hadn't finally lost his remaining crackers on his third sojourn to Pennsylvania Avenue, we might be staring down the barrel of what a Hillary Clinton White House might look like with a shorter shriveled man-clit.

Unfortunately for mankind, the Obama Revivalists still have Mayor Pete in their back pocket, another token minority wind-up doll full of half-baked meaningless innuendo and absolutely zero concrete policy positions whatsoever. This seems to be the Democrats new ace in the hole. They can't sell mild mannered Republicans with black friends like the Clinton's and Amy Klobuchar as Democrats anymore, so they give woke young people the opportunity to vote for the first name-a-minority for president, so they can pat themselves on the back for being progressive, even when they're essentially just voting for Humphrey with butt-stuff. Speaking as a queer anarchist, I don't particularly want to see any of my people in the White House, and I sure as fuck don't want the first one to be a trigger happy Wall Street sock puppet. I now know why the caged Cornel West sings. But I wasn't raised on R&B, so I'll be howling like Courtney fucking Love on a bender if that little police state twink wins.

This leaves us with the so called "Revolutionaries", led by the mighty morphing Menshevik, Bernie Sanders. And I can't think of a better example of why you should never trust a social democrat, aside from Red Rosa's mangled corpse, than old Bernie. For starters, as the asshole has finally fessed up himself, this is not a man who comes from the Norman Thomas/Eugene Debs school of socialism. Bernie is LBJ with a bris. In addition to his audacious social welfare schemes, Bernie has also supported every war crime ever committed by a Democratic president, from Slick Willie's scandal diverting NATO ransacking of the Slavic world's last functioning social democracy in Yugoslavia, to Obama and Hillary's insane campaign to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi with Surge-hardened Jihadists, which led to the collapse of half a fucking continent. This isn't so much because Bernie is pro-war, but rather, like most social democrats, he's a team playing coward above all else. Don't be fooled by his Independent credentials. That's just a costume he puts on to ply the populists back home in Vermont. When it comes to the DNC, Bernie is Charlie fucking Hustle. His 2016 revolution was a fluke. He never had anymore intention of beating Hillary than Trump did. He was in it to herd wayward Obamaites away from third party temptation. But Bernie, like everyone else, underestimated how much sane Americans despise Hillary Clinton.

I hate Bernie but I've always had a soft spot for his supporters. The Sandernistas gave Hillary holy fucking hell every step of the way and might have even put that corpse in the White House if the Democratic Party hadn't gone out of its way to screw him at every turn; Overturned primary results, anti-Semitic disinformation, blatant charter violations, missing ballots. The only one who cheated in the 2016 circus was Hillary, and Bernie stood by like the two-bit chickenshit that he is, with his mouth shut and his hands in his pockets, while the kids who sweat blood for him got reamed like Andy Dufresne by the party he serves above all else. And then, as if that weren't enough to earn his place in hell, he takes his rightful spot at Madame Secretaries feet like a neutered Cocker Spaniel for the remainder of the election. I respect the hell out of the Sandernistas, but my respect for their fearful leader is clinically non-existent. And Elizabeth Warren is even worse. A lifelong prophet for the virtues of Reaganomics who discovered her inner leftist, just like her inner Indian, just in time for the weather to change on America's appetite for laissez-faire anal rape. The woman has no positions, only poses. Which is why most of her Paul-Krugman-meets-Walter-White progressive alchemy falls apart under even minimal water pressure.

The only wild card in this election season, the only upstart who provokes a twinge of hope in the dark heart of a bitter pessimist like me, has been the verbally ultra-violent antics of Tulsi Gabbard. Regardless of how you may feel about her checkered past, you'd have to be more comatose than Biden and Bernie not to at least get a chubby from her cold-blooded lady-in-white routine, taking the stage like Lady Snowblood to decapitate the DNC's preferred Kumbaya vibe, launching kamikaze attacks on establishment darlings like Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete. The media and their DNC mandarins have gone out of their way to smear Tulsi as having some spooky Kremlinite ulterior motive, but I'm beginning to suspect that her true loyalties remain on the other end of that debate stage.

Tulsi was the ultimate Sandernista back in 2016. She was the one member of his campaign willing to call out the Democrats for their crooked bullshit, taking a switch to that bitch Debbie Wasserman Schultz and even resigning from her position as Vice Chair of the DNC in protest to put Bernie's name forward at the 2016 National Convention, well after Bernie himself had rolled over. This time, I suspect she decided to take her Shogun-like loyalty to the next level, running herself in a desperate attempt to light a fire beneath Bernie's pussy ass and going after his major competition like Luca fucking Brasi. The bitch is a class act. I like her. I like her a lot. But she suffers under the same painful delusions as many of her fellow Sandernistas. Even if she manages to spill enough blood to get Bernie nominated, it won't change the fact that the man is a coward, and his balls belong to the DNC, who will never in a million years green-light a legit antiwar VP or Secretary of State like Tulsi or her comrades on the better half of the Squad. The best case scenario is another decade of Bush/Clinton policies obscured behind a pseudo-socialist veneer. In other words, Lenin Moreno for gringos. No thank you.

I love Tulsi, and I love the weird conglomeration of left and right wing renegades who have coalesced around her campaign even more. These freaks are my people, my dearest motherfuckers, and I wear that Tulsi 2020 bumper sticker with pride for them. But Tulsi ain't no Dennis Kucinich. Those short-lived days of bread and roses are long gone. In this toxic climate of a new Cold War, which Democrats peddle like Goldwater Girls in heat, even the parties fringe has become another tool of the establishment. I left the Democratic Party because I saw this coming back in 2016. And I recently made the strange choice to join the Libertarian Party as a quasi-Marxian syndicalist because I've come to the conclusion that the only way to change this beast is to tare it down Sinn Fein style, by any means necessary, with the bullet and the ballot box. I cock my gauge for peace as the storm clouds gather.... Bring it on. I'm ready.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Holiday in Cambodia by Dead Kennedy's
*  Lawyers, Guns & Money by Warren Zevon
*  Unsatisfied by the Replacements
*  I Think That I Would Die by Hole
*  Fatal Flaw by Titus Andronicus
*  Party Hard by Andrew WK
*  The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
*  Cheated Hearts by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
*  Rockin' in the Free World by Neil Young
*  Common People by Pulp
*  Suspect Device by Stiff Little Fingers
*  You Don't Know What Love is (You Just Do What You're Told) by the White Stripes
*  Smile Like You Mean It by the Killers

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Thanksgiving Should Be America's Day of the Dead

Once upon a time, in a land far far away, There lived a group of magical white Christians called the Pilgrims. After growing weary of their King's discrimination against witch trials and buckle-hats, they climbed aboard a magic ship called the Mayflower and sailed the deadly Atlantic on a quest for religious freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. They found a wild, mysterious and sparsely populated New World and quickly busied themselves building the foundation of the exceptional American Dream. When they came face to face with pestilence, they graciously excepted agricultural advice from an unwashed horde of noble savages, who were intern thanked with an invite to a grand feast of Thanksgiving.

Well, there's the official national fairy tale, here's the open handed bitch slap of reality. The sainted Pilgrims were a clan of puritanical Christian wack jobs sent by King James as a sort of glorified death squad to wipe out the Native Peoples of Turtle Island. There was no multicultural feast. That was another Christian tradition scalped from the Pilgrims original pagan victims back in the old country, where a successful fall harvest was celebrated with a tribal village feast. The first Thanksgiving was a work of fiction propagated to pacify the citizens of this country during times of great social upheaval, first during the Civil War, then revamped in it's current form during the Great Depression. It's a fable designed to unify an empire, not around family and community, but around the state that robs us of both and fucks us until we bleed. The very same state that systematically butchered the native peoples of this continent, only to use their distorted memory as token props for the pageantry of American Exceptionalism.

But history ain't a straight line, my dearest motherfuckers. It's a circle and that circle is coming back around again. After the "savages" coexisted relatively peacefully on this continent for thousands of years without the modern perversion of the state, the righteous, enlightened, Europeans have managed to burn out after just a little over two centuries of rabid over expansion. America and Western Civilization as we know it stand on the brink of collapse. It turns out all that raping and pillaging isn't a particularly sustainable model for economic solvency after all. With bases on every fucking continent and a bloated military apparatus that would make Darth Vader wet with envy, the American giant is coming apart at the seams. A morbidly obese, blood spattered glutton, drowning in debt, endless war and staggering economic inequality. To many this fate is terrifying, after all, the fall of Rome was followed by a Dark Age. But as a bluntly anti-American anarchist, I see this coming upheaval with a devilish glint of hope. The Dark Ages came about when Europe fell into denial over their failure to control the world. If America can boldly face the truth that the empire is not only dead but deserved to die, this could be a new beginning. An opportunity for hope.

This is where Thanksgiving comes back in. Many on the far-left have argued for simply erasing the holiday from the map or changing it to a day of mourning, but to be perfectly politically incorrect, days of mourning are a fucking bummer and nobody learns shit from a national bummer, just ask 9/11 if you don't believe me. But if the pagan harvest can be appropriated by the state then why not repossess that bitch for a new generation of savages. I say we declare the fourth Thursday of November America's Day of the Dead. In Mexican peasant culture, the Day of the Dead is a day to remember those we lost, not with sorrow, but with joy and celebration. Americans could learn a thing or two from these wise wetbacks before we build a wall around them.

We should use Thanksgiving to celebrate the untold millions of native people who were slaughtered for proudly resisting this toxic nation and give thanks that that very nation is damned to the same fate. We should have representatives from all the tribes teach people of all races who currently occupy what was once their territory about the culture and history of the lost and how they could inform our post-state future. Since their numbers have tragically dwindled, these tribal representatives could dress us up in a mix of traditional tribal garb and corpse paint and together we could wander the highways like the prophecy of Chief Seattle and haunt suburbia by candlelight. The red man's ultimate revenge could be the conversion of pale face against the empire itself. We can all gather at traditional Indian burial grounds and build great wicker-men in the tradition of our own pre-imperial European pagan heritage, designed to resemble Pilgrims and Conquistadors, then take our candles representing all the lost tribes and use them to burn that fucker down as the surviving Indians drum and chant.

 Finally, at the stroke of midnight, we will change costumes from the tribes of the past to the tribes of the future. Every individual can create their own pastiche of leather and war paint, with their own flags for their own tribes. Black Shiites, Lesbian Bikers, Odinist Drag Queens, Paraplegic Syndicalists, Mormon Communists, Hasidic Mutualists, joined by the surviving tribes of Sioux, Navajoes, Apache, Amish, Cajuns and Mennonites, and together in our radical diversity we can give thanks for the coming fall of the American Empire by jubilantly moshing around the fire and embracing the wild democracy of our lost inner savage. Then we can go home and eat stuffing, because even imperialist rituals can be fun in the proper context.

I know, not exactly politically correct. But can you think of a better way to celebrate genocidal karma? Didn't think so. Your move Elizabeth Warren.

Peace, Love & Thanksgiving- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; Songs that influenced this post

*  Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Indigo Girls
*  The Navajo Know by the Pixies
*  Willows Song by Paul Giovanni
*  London Calling by the Clash
*  Party at Ground Zero by Fishbone
*  Two Step by Throwing Muses
*  Crumblin Down by John Melloncamp
*  Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me- But I Have It by Lana Del Rey

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Only Queers Can Save the Flaming Refugees of Love: Time to Decriminalize Polygamy

Massacres aren't exactly unusual in the failed narco-state of Mexico, especially since the US pushed its beleaguered southern neighbor to declare all out war on the cartels a couple of decades back. More blood irrigates the Sonora Desert than acid rain. Barely a week goes by without some horrendous Bataille-esque crime of absurdly grotesque proportions popping up on the CNN news ticker, - 16 heads found in Juarez Chucky Cheese ball-pit, no tongues or eyes - But it's rarely enough to steal Anderson Cooper's attention from the latest minute kink in the Ukrainegate circus. This month was different though. This month, in early November, the cartels crossed the ultimate Rubicon of corporate news hysteria. They killed a bunch of pretty white people. 9 to be exact. 3 mothers and 6 children, savagely slaughtered in what appears to be a tragic case of mistaken identity.

But as the usual yammering heads blathered on about the proven necessity for endless drug wars, and Donald Trump used the garish details to further his border jihad while he and his brown counterpart AMLO compared dick sizes, there was one detail to this story that seemed to come to no one's attention but mine. Oh, there was plenty of coverage of the fact that these innocent victims of American drug policy were Mormon Fundamentalists, usually in the form of some off-hand detail on the way to some other asinine point. But nobody seemed to do the math, to acknowledge the very basic fact that in an age when people are so desperate to get the hell out of Mexico that they're willing to risk losing their children to one of Trump's immigration zoos, there are still American citizens, dual citizens to be exact, who are living in exile in this hellhole, seeking refuge from 19th Century American puritanical persecution. The cartel put the bullets in those bodies, but those bodies where put in cartel country by the American government's ongoing war on polygamy.

The families who were shot and roasted alive in their SUV's were part of the Mormon Fundamentalist community of La Mora. While most of this community no longer practices plural marriage, they are all descendants of polygamist families forced to flee Utah after the federal government strong armed the Church of Latter-day Saints into banning a lifestyle among consenting adults which had long been a cornerstone of their religion. To this day, all fifty states maintain bans of varying degrees of severity against polygamy and the federal government has continued to make a point of persecuting polygamist communities, often on severely flimsy evidence of child abuse, separating and, in the case of Waco, even murdering whole families in the process. Our government has made it crystal clear that they don't approve of the way these people choose to worship and raise their families and the result has been historically devastating. Thousands live in exile. Others have been forced to seek refuge in the shadows of demented false prophets like Warren Jeffs. All because of what? People finding love in unconventional places? Where the fuck have I heard that before? And why am I the only one outside of this community who seems to care?

As a queer person, I can't help but to find common ground with these flaming refugees of love. These are whole families living in the closet of a close minded society that still can't handle the fact that happiness doesn't have to come pre-packaged in a nuclear family like some goddamn TV dinner. I may be painfully single, but as a lesbian transwoman, I have never felt a greater sense of peace and intimacy than I do when I'm alone in the company of more than one woman. What makes my transbian polyamory any different than the Fundamentalist's polygamy? Why am I seen as "brave" while they're reduced to the status of zealots? Why should our love be given any less legal cache then that of couples? And, finally, why is this not considered a queer rights issue?

But to most queer people it isn't. After achieving the assimilationist token of Supreme Court approved gay marriage in 2015, too many cisgender gay and lesbian couples have become gate-keeping snobs, peering down their noses at us lesser queers for interrupting their new found privilege. The body of DOMA wasn't even cold before right-wing hatefucks like Antonin Scalia and Rick Santorum began barking "Next it'll be polygamy!" Sometimes I feel like the only fag who responded "Fuck yeah!" The Buttigieg Queers responded with more than enough reactionary pomp to match the homophobes in passion and stupidity. "Gay marriage isn't polygamy! We aren't perverts like them!!" Well maybe your not but I am.

As a Queer Anarchist, I've always preferred marriage privatization to government sanctioned religious ceremony, but the criminalization of love in all of it's consensual forms needs to stop and the queer community are the ones to stop it. We've done it before and we should do it again. These people may see us as hedonistic heretics and we may see them as sexist prudes, but we both want the same thing. We want to love who we want to love, how we want to love. And we want the government to get the fuck out of our way. Lets make it happen, dearest motherfuckers. Lets welcome our vanilla pioneers home with open arms and a hobbled police state.

Peace, Love, Love, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Gigantic by the Pixies
*  Sad Day by FKA Twigs
*  Love Love Love by the Mountain Goats
*  America (You're Freaking Me Out) by the Menzingers
*  Superstar by Sonic Youth
*  Forced to Love by Broken Social Scene
*  God Only Knows by the Beach Boys
*  Light and Day by the Polyphonic Spree
*  Cosmogony by Bjork

Sunday, November 10, 2019

"What About the Children?!": Youth Rights Before Parental Police States

"What about the children?!" Some haggard disembodied voice wails from my flickering TV set, jerking me awake from the Ambien-grade slumber that any more than 15 minutes of C-Span inevitably delivers. It's happened a thousand times before. The voice almost always belongs to some sobbing middle-aged white woman, overdressed like June Cleaver for some senate hearing on the dangers of one victimless crime or another, online prostitution or E-cigarettes or satanic Portuguese techno, always something new, always something to be terrified of. Part of me feels for the woman, I really do. She's usually lost a child to something or other. She's clearly in pain. But another disgraceful part of me wants to tell her to shut the fuck up and take some goddamn responsibility for your own life. Because, beneath the theatrics, 9 times out of 10, this pearl-clutching stock character is really saying "I couldn't find the time to parent my dead child, so now the police state has to pick up the slack!" And the Wall Street whores of Washington take their cue and start passing more pointless legislation.

I know, I know, I'm a cunt. In today's era of 24/7 stage 4 late capitalism, many parents are too busy working 80 shifts for peanuts to so much as even check in on their kids. But the wailing woman on C-Span is rarely a blue collar casualty. She and her ilk, who fill the ranks of an endless barrage of parental guilt trip lobbies like MADD are almost always well connected, upper middle class, office drones, who's kids dropped dead while they were busy paying off the Beamer or banging the European tennis instructor. And now they're busy boycotting Juul or Marilyn Manson or whatever suburbia's chosen monster of the week happens to be, while the rest of their brood are at home with some over medicated nanny, experimenting with dryer sheets or some such nonsense. This army of rambling soccer moms call themselves children's rights advocates and "What about the children?!" is the manic war cry they shout just before decapitating your, as well as their own damn children's rights.

I have long considered myself to be an advocate of youth rights, the bra-less lesbian sister of the children's rights movement. I don't have any kids, nor do I really want them, but I identify very strongly with kids because, in a sense, I still am one. Most queer people, especially trans people like me, never really leave their teens emotionally. That's where the trauma of having a biological determination that seems to belong to every adult in your life, from your parents to your teachers to your doctors, begins. And in a odd sense, all kids are queer in that they still haven't done enough experimenting to figure out who or what the fuck they really are yet. And that's the divide between children's rights and youth rights. Youth rights acknowledges the basic fact that kids have a right to experiment, they have a right to fuck up, and they're going to do it with or without the approval of the adults in the children's right's nanny state.

Who were you when you were 14? It's a simple question that the C-Span barkers never seem to find the time to contemplate. What did you do with your misbegotten youth? If you were lucky, you had the time of your life doing stupid shit, smoking and drinking stupid things and crashing your parents car afterwords. Getting knocked up by some twenty-something parking lot urchin and then selling your old bike to pay for the Plan B. You fucked up. You did thoughtless moronic crap just to see if you could and you survived. And every once in a while somebody didn't, and it was tragic, but it was also inevitable. Not every hatchling tortoise survives the gulls. What makes humans so goddamn special. Trial and error is how all animals evolve. Remove that imperative and you cripple a generation or worse.

But the children's rights set doesn't see it this way. That's because what they really advocate has nothing to do with their children's rights. It's all about parent's rights. They infantilize their own children and reduce them to the voiceless property of the state, to be molded and guided by a managerial class of  tenured teachers, overworked bureaucrats and professional adults. And this is where kids really get hurt. When you deny someone's basic rights to individual autonomy, you make abuse by those who police it inevitable. Just ask anyone lucky enough to survive the foster care system. They'll tell you they would have been safer on the streets. Equality matters in this country for blacks, queers and disabled folk. Why not for children? You really care about the fucking children? Then treat them a little more like people and a little less like pets.

So what is the answer then? How do we keep kids away from vaping and "assault style" weaponry? The hard answer is you don't. If you really want democracy, it almost always comes with a side of danger. But I do have two suggestions on what we could do, and you're probably not going to like either of them. The first is lower the age for everything to 14, voting, drinking, sex, driving, smoking. I know, blasphemy right? I'm not saying that we should do this to encourage such behavior (especially voting.) I'm saying we do this to acknowledge the very simple fact that we can't prevent young adults from engaging in consensual behavior, even stupid consensual behavior. They're going to find a way to do it anyways. We all did. Let's at least take it out of the shadows and leave these kid's decisions up to them and their families to figure out, rather than the cold probe of the faceless federal government.

My second suggestion is much easier but no less provocative. Turn off the TV, put down the picket sign, shut the fuck up and listen to your kids. You might be surprised to find out that they're human beings too. Give them the respect they deserve by allowing them to speak for themselves and maybe they'll return the favor with an honest relationship. Crazy hippie shit from the tranny anarchist, I know. But give it a shot, at least before you end up on C-Span wailing "What about the children?!" Your kids will thank you by pissing you off six feet above sea level.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Cherry Bomb by the Runaways
*  Kids In the Dark by Bat For Lashes
*  Go Home by Julien Baker
*  Children In Heat by the Misfits
*  The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
*  Lookers by the Menzingers
*  Bad Kids by Black Lips
*  Looking For a Kiss by New York Dolls
*  Panic by the Smiths
*  Bae by the Front Bottoms

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Quid Pro Blowback: Did Erdogan Trade Baghdadi For Rojava?

It's all over the news. I'm sure I don't have to tell you. But I'm a muckraker and telling you what you know is the first half of my job. Baghdadi is dead! The terrifying Cobra Commander of Uncle Sam's latest jihad Frankenstein, the Ayatollah of the fearsome Islamic State, the world's deadliest Salafi super-villain, is dead. Dead as a door nail, as our ever-tactful commander in chief put it. Apparently he died like Rerun in the opening of What's Happening, running and stumbling down a lantern lit tunnel, flailing his arms all about as he sobbed hysterically, only stopping to blow him and his children to smithereens with a suicide vest once his lungs were empty and his britches were full. This is the official story at least and the mainstream media seems more than happy to put down their impeachment pitchforks just long enough to parrot its Hollywood details with the unblinking innocence of a child. Brave, dick-swinging, red meat eating American heroes, flying fearlessly into the heart of darkness on their Apache choppers to wright all the wrongs and settle the score. This time there's even dog so extrajudicial slaughter can be fun for the whole family. But as the days go by, this fable grows more and more suspect to all but the most diluted daydream believers.

Trump's full-breasted boasts about watching the whole raid in real time on the ground like an executive episode of Cops have turned out to be pure weapons-grade bullshit. The only show the Donald was munching popcorn to that night was hazy overhead surveillance footage without a lick of audio. No matter. Trump's a liar, even his supporters know that. This raid is still a momentous act of uncut American heroism. Real Rambo shit. But what do we really know about this raid? Every scrap of information we've managed to get our hands on comes straight from the State Department. You know, those fine upstanding bureaucrats who are still mining the deserts of Babylon for Saddam's secret plutonium stash. Baghdadi's been declared dead a dozen times before and if the motherfucker blew himself to bits, what makes us so damn sure that we even got the right guy? The Kurds are claiming they retrieved Baghdadi's DNA from a pair of pilfered underwear. So skid marks from a panty raid hold this thing together, and the dogs of war felt confident enough with this evidence to blow up the block and chuck the corpse chunks in the fucking ocean? Am I really the only one who feels like they're being sold a bill of goods here? Am I the only one with deja vu?

This whole smoke-and-mirrors action movie spectacle feels uncannily familiar. It was way back in 2011, on the brink of another contentious re-election circus, when then president Barack Obama swaggered down a red carpet like a Tarantino movie pimp to the pulpit where he announced that he and his boys in Seal Team 6 had taken down the original Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden. The mass media zeitgeist swelled and swooned for weeks with every last detail of this real life Schwarzenegger flick, all delivered directly to them by the same war machine that carried it out. Obama was certainly a much slicker storyteller than Trump, but his boasts of watching the daring raid go down live were quickly proven to be just as bogus as Trump's. And both White House's had supplied equally fraudulent family portraits of the Cabinet watching the live snuff flick together like home movies. Turns out they could've both been watching the same episode of What's Happening for all we know. None of these inconvenient details stopped the media from turning Seal Team 6 into the Backstreet Boys with a body count. But the thread of doubt had been exposed. Someone just had to pull it.

Historically speaking, that someone always seems to be Seymour Hersh, the last uncorrupted sleuth from the Bernstein era of hard boiled investigative journalism. In a stunning piece for the London Review of Books, Seymour pulled the string until Emperor Obama's sweater came undone. According to independent sources cultivated over decades of flawless journalism, the whole damn raid was a charade, a performance, a work worthy of Attitude era professional wrestling. Bin Laden wasn't hiding out in Pakistan, he was being held captive under house arrest by the Pakistani Military, who had been saving him for a rainy day bargaining chip. Until, that is, someone squealed to the CIA for the reward money. There was no decade long manhunt, no torture room confession, there wasn't even a fucking raid. The Pakistanis cut the power to Bin Laden's Abbottabad penal colony, the Seals were lead through the house by a guard who knew the layout intimately, and an unarmed, crippled, half-blind old monster with zero connection left to his past life as an American trained jihadi super-villain was executed by the same empire which once bankrolled his escapades, with two shots to the face before he could squeal any company secrets. Just like shooting fish in a barrel. Quid pro blowback. The whole bloody affair was manufactured like Vienna Sausage and fed to the mass media who didn't so much as ask what the expiration date was.

So, considering that bit of historical hindsight, what really happened to Baghdadi? I may be a lot of things, dearest motherfuckers, but I'm sure as shit no Seymour Hersh and I'm not going to pretend I know any better than the next well-read skeptic. I'll leave those kind of schoolgirl games to the mainstream media. But I am a muckraker. The first half of my job is telling you what you already know, even if you've been lulled into believing you don't know it yet. The second half of my job is to tell you what I know, and these are a few things I know. Baghdadi has had more lives than a Hindu cat. In order for the war machine to be so certain that they finally got their man, they have to have had better evidence than Baghdadi's soiled jockeys. Somebody knew Baghdadi was there. 'There' in this case is Turkish occupied Idlib. A hotbed of foreign Salafi mercenaries jealously protected by the Erdogan regime. And it was just weeks before this raid that Erdogan managed to convince Trump in a single phone call to sell out the Kurds and give him the green light to invade Rojava. Was this another case of Trump utilizing his art of the deal? More quid pro blowback for another ex-ally who had outlived there usefulness. It's important to remember Erdogan's long history of cozy ties with ISIS. His own son served as the point man for their once thriving gas smuggling ring. Perhaps Turkey found themselves in a similar situation to Pakistan, with a bearded bargaining chip in their custody to be played to their regional advantage. All things considered, would any of this be particularly shocking or even unprecedented? Baghdadi for Rojava? Quid pro quo? Call me paranoid, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't at least ask.

Somebody give old Seymour a jangle. I think he might have another emperor's sweater to pull undone. Maybe this time, it'll get published in Penthouse Forum before Disney farts out another blockbuster starring an orange psychopath and a talking dog. I'll hold my breath if you do.

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Goodbye Stranger by Supertramp
*  Undone-The Sweater Song by Weezer
*  Head Over Heals by Tears For Fears
*  Little Green Bag by George Baker
*  The Words That Maketh Murder by PJ Harvey
*  Detachable Penis by King Missile
*  Oh You Pretty Things by David Bowie
*  Jesus Built My Hotrod by Ministry

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark

The horror film is hands down the most woefully underrated genre in cinema. Art at its very finest provokes and there is no subject more provocative than death. Death is the only existential constant in the human experience. Like it or not, we are all born to die. So it only follows that human beings should be both fascinated and terrified by death in equal measure. This fascination is precisely what powers the commercial drive behind the horror industry. There has never been a time since cinema's infancy when audiences haven't flocked to the theater to be frightened. People are drawn to fear but when that fear is followed through with analysis they become too uncomfortable to enjoy the cheap thrill of being terrified without consequences. But there are always consequences.

This is why mainstream horror movies have largely been reduced to the cheap thrills alone. The last thing Hollywood wants is for terrified people to think about what terrifies them most. This isn't just a grave disservice to an entire genre of art. It is a grave disservice to society as a whole. Only when confronted by that which makes us most uncomfortable can we collectively overcome it. Since, as an anarchist as well as a lifelong horror movie buff, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than the state and the established order that thrives in its haunted architecture, I've decided to compile a list of movies that should both terrify and provoke anyone's god-given anti-authoritarian impulses. Not every movie on this list is a horror film in the traditional sense, but they all foster skepticism of authority through the strategic use of terror. These are scary movies for anarchists to watch in the dark and maybe, if we're lucky, a few of them will be scary enough to create a few new anarchists in the dark this Halloween.

They Live (1988)-  The first film on this list isn't exactly scary, what with its cheesy one-liners and comically over the top street brawl ("Put on the fucking glasses!") But beneath the B-movie grime, few films have done a finer job of illustrating the cryptic authoritarianism that lies just beneath the shiny visage of liberal democracy. Once Roddy Piper puts on those shades, he sees right through the trappings of glossy magazines, fiat cash and Reaganomics and becomes literate enough to read the true message of the extraterrestrial oligarchy, loud and clear. When it comes to capitalism, they live and you sleep. This is a movie about getting woke. Now put on the fucking glasses cause we're just getting started.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977)-  Wes Craven's sophomore shocker has long been dismally overlooked by snooty cinephiles, but in my book it's one of the craftiest horror movies of the Exploitation era. After finding themselves stranded in the desert, your average American family is preyed upon by a feral tribe of inbred cannibals who have themselves been subjected to generations of nuclear testing to benefit their prey's precious society. What could have been a simple Z-grade revenge flick (like the remake) becomes a harsh study in the hollow fallacy of civilization, as the Brady Bunch rapidly devolves into the Manson Family once their natural thirst for vengeance renders them every bit as depraved as the savages they seek to get even with, a class created by the pollution that superficially divides predator and prey until that line blurs in the bloodshed. The abyss stares back.

Under Our Skin (2008)-  This one may be more frightening to some than others, but if you are one of the millions of Americans suffering in the dark from the ravages of lifelong chronic Lyme disease like myself, it's about as scary as it gets. Decades after an ancient ailment exploded into new and monstrously crippling variants in Lyme, Connecticut, the American medical establishment still refuses to so much as even acknowledge our very existence. This controversial but little seen documentary traces both the history of the cover-up and the disintegrating lives of the plagued. If you have any brains in your skull, you'll likely never feel safe in the woods or the doctor's office ever again. I know haven't. Those fucking ticks make Jason look like Jesus. Fuck the AMA.

Jacob's Ladder (1990)-  "Based on a true story..." is a classic horror movie trope going back to the Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but in the case of Adrian Lynne's mind-bending psychological thriller, it's terrifyingly true. A Vietnam veteran traumatized by haunting visions of hellish demons discovers that he and his platoon were the subjects of a government experiment gone horribly wrong. This was the real life horror story for untold scores of veterans and active duty soldiers who were subjected to lethal doses of high-powered hallucinogens during the 50's and 60's as part of the CIA's Project MK-Ultra in blatant violation of the Nuremberg Code. These men lead broken lives with one foot permanently planted in a waking nightmare that most of us couldn't even begin to comprehend. Jacob's Ladder brought that nightmare to the screen and its disquietly surreal imagery is made all the more hideous by the fact that it was indeed based on a true story and one that our tax dollars financed and our elected officials covered up.

The Unknown Known (2013)-  The greatest monster movie ever made in my book isn't Dracula or Frankenstein but this terrifyingly Blair-Witch-simple documentary about former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Over a series of candid interviews in which director Errol Morris questions Rummy on his heinous decisions regarding Iraq and Abu Graib, it slowly becomes frighteningly clear that we're not simply listening to a remorseless failed politician here, but an outright sociopath, capable of compartmentalizing his malicious behavior into moral origami that creates a universe where he is never wrong and anything and everything is justifiable if it creates the results he seeks. It is an absolutely horrifying spectacle to behold, with no CGI, no gore, no topless coeds. Just a camera and a psychopath who was once one of the most powerful men on earth. Goosebumps.

Audition (1999)-  One of the most shocking movies on the list is also one of the most woke. Takashi Miike's perverse fable of a lover scorned plays like Fatal Attraction on a bad acid trip. With the help of a TV producer friend of his, a lonely widower holds an audition to find his ideal woman. In Japan, this means quiet, subservient, dotting and eager to please. He finds that in sweet young Asami. He also finds out the hard way that all of these chauvinistic qualities he finds so endearing are symptoms of a lifetime of sexual abuse and abandonment. When the widower tries to pull the plug on this toxic relationship, sweet young Asami gets even in one of the most unnerving scenes in cinematic history. It's feminism with a wire saw and you better believe it fucking hurts.

Dawn of the Dead (1978)-  Fuck the remake. George Romero's magnum opus is without a shadow of a doubt the greatest zombie picture ever made. It's also a gruesomely hilarious satire on the emptiness of American consumerism. What do you do when the world comes to an end and the dead walk the earth? Well, you go to the fucking mall, of coarse. As do the brain-dead zombies and the rapacious biker hordes, who rip each other's fucking guts out in a nihilistic fight over an air-conditioned square mile of useless shit. It was also filmed just hours away from my home town at the Appalachian Monroeville Mall. Romero was Central-Western Pennsylvania's answer to John Waters, an auteur who used trash to cut high-society down to the Rust-Belt's level. I almost wish zombies were real, just to keep that brilliant old son of a bitch around while he decomposes. Roam In Peace.

Collapse (2009)-  The third and final documentary on this list has to be the most relentlessly grim. What was essentially an autobiographical interview with ex-detective and arch doomer Michael Ruppert was depressing enough when it came out in 2009. But after the last decade, Ruppert's wild predictions of economic and energy driven collapse on a societal level look a lot less like theory and a lot more like prophecy. The movie takes on a truly haunted quality once you learn that since its commercially underwhelming debut, it's prophetic subject succumbed to his own doom and committed suicide after too many years of being ridiculed and ignored. Collapse stands as Michael Ruppert's final warning and it is a devastating piece of work to behold.

Nightcrawler (2014)-  With the possible exception of Natural Born Killers, Louis Bloom's Nightcrawler might be cinema's most brutal take-down of the grotesque venality of America's so-called mainstream media. Armed with a single camera paid for with stolen swag, ambitious bug-eyed con-man Dan Gilroy (Jake Gyllenhaal on a manic bender) manages to hold the whole city of Los Angeles hostage with his brutally manufactured news stories. He lies, cheats and kills his way to the top of the headlines, and the most disturbing thing about the whole sordid tale isn't that he's a smashing success, but that this ending doesn't feel the least but unlikely in today's 24/7 news circus. Modern American "Journalism" is a world where the bad guys win and win big.

Martyrs (2008)-  Hands down, the most soul-crushingly upsetting horror movie ever made. Pascal Laugier shocked the usually unshockable French film press with his brutally existentialist study on the very nature of human suffering. Martyrs has two stories to tell. The story of two abused little girls who grew up together in each other's arms. And the story of the shadowy institution that tormented one of them for unknown gains. When the girls grow up to seek revenge, they get more than any two human beings could ever bargain for when this aforementioned organization turns out to be a powerful international cabal who tortures innocent victims in hopes of creating martyrs, who bear witness to the beyond once they are brought to the brink of death. At its heart, I see Martyrs as a parable analogous to the dangers of organized religions who turn this life into hell for the weak in hopes of creating some kind of paradise in a plain of existence no mortal could possibly comprehend. It is a cruel lesson because it needs to be. Take it from a lapsed Catholic martyr. Keep Doubting.

The Shining (1980)-  Stanley Kubrick's cerebral masterpiece has inspired a wide variety of fascinating theories about its true meaning (see Room 237). My take on my favorite is that it's a ghost story about American history and its unexorcised demons. The film is loaded with references to genocide, both Jewish and Native American, from the Indian burial ground that serves as the Overlook's foundation to the racially charged "Tomahawk" ambush on Doc Hallorann. But the gravest reference is the Torrance's themselves. Rather than dealing with Jack's clearly violent temper and history of abuse, they choose instead to ignore the demons of their patriarch and leave it in the past until history comes back to haunt them. America shares this karmic amnesia with the Torrance's. We bury the slaves and dead Indians and war crimes, and fool ourselves into believing that this history of violence will never revisit us. Until our schools ring with the death rattle of gunfire and the blood comes pouring from the elevator doors. In a sense, all of us have always been at the Overlook Hotel. Will we ever leave?

Come and See (1985)-  The most disturbing movie that I've ever seen isn't a horror movie in the strictest sense of the genre. It's a war movie, but a war movie daring enough to acknowledge that any movie about war should, by nature, be a horror story. Taking place in Belarus during the height of the Nazi invasion of Operation Barbarossa, a young boy leaves his idyllic village to join the Partisans only to find his childhood innocence engulfed in the surreal madness of total war. A Soviet picture from the Glasnost era, Come and See doesn't restrain itself by pulling any punches in revealing the savagery of the Nazi war machine at it's most satanically virile on the Eastern Front, a chapter of the "Good War" that most Western sources choose to gloss over. But Come and See is bigger and blacker than any single tragedy. It is a movie about mankind's most horrific invention and it is as terrifyingly relevant today as it's ever been. For even in 2019, from the mountains of Yemen to the valleys of the West Bank, we have still yet to learn the lessons of 1943. In war, we all become the monsters we fight.

Joker (2019)-  I've got a joke for you, dearest motherfuckers, but I don't think you'll get it. This body-slamming powerhouse of a social commentary is a last minute addition to the list. I only saw the movie last night, and I still can't believe that Hollywood sanctioned something so dangerously subversive. Joker isn't exactly a horror movie but it sure as shit ain't a superhero movie either, and it is scary as hell, largely because I, like too many low-income mentally ill Americans, have lived it. Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck isn't a criminal mastermind. He's a sad, broken, tired creature who simply couldn't afford to be ignored anymore. Joker is a movie about blowback. For what do you get when you leave your children to be raised by massive corporations and corrupt government bureaucracies while you get rich blowing up the Third World? You get exactly what you fucking deserve. See, I told you you wouldn't get it... But you will. You see, we are all Joker, the silent majority of the terminally fucked. And it is high time for the comfortable class in the straight world to get scared. They asked for it. Here it comes....

Stay scared, dearest motherfuckers. It's the best way to stay awake. Happy Halloween.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Nintendo Mennonite

I hate technology, dearest motherfuckers. Few things drive me balls deep into the red faster than technology and it just keeps getting worse with every new iPhone they pump out. Everywhere I go, everyone I see is surgically attached to those stupid fucking devices, hemming away at the flickering idiot boxes that only those jackals in Silicon Valley would be dense enough to call smartphones, as they meander aimlessly into oncoming traffic like lambs to the slaughter, or sit down to a romantic candlelight dinner only to spend the evening gazing listlessly into two separate articles on two separate Kardashians while their food gets colder than their marriage. I feel like a crotchety old grandmother bitching like this but I simply can't shake the feeling that this is what those old Hindu mystics meant when they spoke of the Kali Yuga. If this is humanity at the pinnacle of progress, then progress is clearly a disease deadlier than cancer.

These days we have computers that talk, listen, fuck, watch us while we shit and report our bathroom habits back to any number of nefarious corporate and/or government perverts. Everyone knows this and nobody fucking cares. Edward Snowden is condemned to spend the rest of his life sweating vodka in some Brezhnev-era tower too cold for roaches while Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange slowly decompose in federal custody and nobody fucking cares. Everyone seems just peachy fucking keen with their flashy new digital prison cells as long as the Wi-Fi works. Now the computers can think and it wont be long before they realize they don't need our lazy asses crowding their space.

It's times like these that I almost envy my Amish neighbors out here in Central Pennsylvania. Sure they smell like shit and work themselves fucking stupid but they took a stand sometime in the mid-Nineteenth Century after deciding that they had exactly enough technology and they weren't going to poison their community with anymore just for the sake of convenience. And for the most part they stuck to it. They stood their ground and they're still standing. While the rest of us enjoy the crippling stress and isolation of progress with its mass shootings, reality television and nervous breakdowns, the Amish are doing just fine living like it's 1869, and unlike their ideological nephew Theodore Kaczynski, they didn't have to muddy their souls with a single bomb to do it. They simply dropped out of the bullshit and went their own way. I may be a gender-bending Yippie sex freak but it was my Amish neighbors that gave me my first lessons on the virtues of anarchism.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no primitivist. I'm a dyed in the flannel Nineties baby. I love my TV, my game consoles and my air conditioning. I was fine with technology until about 1998, somewhere around when beepers were swapped for those bastard Nokia cell phones (Pentti Linkola aside, fuck the Finns.) But maybe that's just it, I reached a point where technology became detrimental to my happiness. Maybe I should tear a page from the Amish and start a new Anabaptist movement for disgruntled millennials desperate for a time machine back to the grunge era. We shall call ourselves Nintendo Mennonites and we shall drop out of this digital dystopia on our own fucking terms. Let this blog be the rock on which I build my church!

We shall forgo all things digital. We shall embrace the glory of the analogue. We shall purge ourselves of all streaming and MP3's. Instead we shall all start bands with no fewer than two guitars to a group. None of us will learn to play our instruments properly and no keyboard shall be more complex than a second-hand Casio. Noise will be prized above technique and we will only record on cassettes which can only be bought with the currency of other cassettes. Rap will only be excepted in street corner battle form and there will be no EDM. We shall forgo the sweatshop commodity of brand name clothing. Instead we shall only shop at thrift stores. Our dress code will be a genderless hodge-podge of plaid flannel, smeared lipstick, Doc Martin's, Mary Jane's and tattered baby-doll dresses. We shall model our aesthetic on Kurt and Courtney circa 1993 and all combs and hairbrushes shall be strictly forbidden.

Instead of social media, we shall return to the xeroxed majesty of the zine, at least one for every individual without exception, all free both of price and the censorship of Zuckerbergian big brothers. Instead of church, we shall have revival screenings of outlawed reel-to-reels showing appropriately post-apocalyptic cult classics like Dawn of the Dead, Escape From New York, They Live and The Road Warrior. The cheesy dialogue of such films shall become our gospel. We shall all kick ass and chew bubblegum, and kick more ass once low on aforementioned bubblegum. Instead of memes, we shall bring back the glorious scourge of graffiti on a late-Eighties Gotham level. Instead of the traditional Amish homestead, we shall recolonize the ghost malls that dot this post-industrial heap of a nation and transform these late capitalist husks of failed franchises into an eclectic mix of swap shops, flea markets, DIY art spaces and communal squats. A veritable constellation of stateless indoor colonies for Millennial drop-outs divided from the wicked digital world, but still open for business to you decadent moderns with your heavy wallets. And, perhaps most importantly, no fucking cell phones. Every radically re-purposed mall will be fitted with rooftop jamming devices creating square mile sized dark spaces, severed from the watchful eye of big brother.

And we shall carry on the Anabaptist tradition of non-violence towards our fellow man, but we shall not extend this privilege to technological property of the malignant variety. The Nintendo Mennonite shall be the bastard child of both the Amish and the Luddites, and we shall engage in a campaign of creative sabotage against the existential threat of artificial intelligence, universal espionage and automation. Like the Amish bumming rides to town in "English" vehicles, we shall barrow the post-modern vehicle of our allies computers to spread the word and toss the occasional monkey-wrench into the system that preys upon us all with hacks and virus' directed against its oligarchs.

When technological evolution surpasses human evolution, progress becomes a form of mass violence, and when humanity begins to devolve beneath the weight of this malignant strain of modernity, the annihilation of our very species ceases to be a matter of science fiction and becomes a matter of science fact. The Amish and the Luddites understood this threat better than most and took action accordingly. All kidding aside, we need to seriously consider doing the same. The neo-Anabaptism I preach tongue-in-cheek Isn't about going back, it's about pressing pause on this game until we can come up with a good cheat code.

Just another crazy idea to consider for the coming panarchist post-American Century, dearest motherfuckers. Take it home with you and play with it for a while before moving on to try a different cartridge.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  On a Plain by Nirvana
*  Touch Me I'm Sick by Mudhoney
*  Shady Lane by Pavement
*  Dirty Boots by Sonic Youth
*  Asking for It by Hole
*  Our Secret by Beat Happening
*  Just Like Heaven by Dinosaur Jr.
*  Hypocrite by Lush
*  I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus by Beabadoobee
*  Drunk Walk Home by Mitski

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime

I have long been a vocal supporter of the Kurds, even before the Syrian clusterfuck sparked the Rojava Revolution. Part of this comes from my checkered past as a lapsed Tankie-Guevarist. I grew up gorging myself on New Left folk tails of Third World rebellion. The fearsome PKK were one of a dozen or so clans of crimson bearded renegades, fighting like Castro for some post-colonial utopia. I read everything I could find about the Bolshevik adventures of groups like FARC, Hezbollah and the Naxalites. But the thing that set the Kurds apart was their fourth quarter conversion to anarchism which closely mirrored my own.

Abdullah Ocalan discovered the works of Murray Bookchin right around the time I dropped communism for panarchy and syndicalism. And when the rest of Syria sunk into CIA sponsored Salafi hell, the Ocalan influenced Kurds of the YPG created a successful stateless society that flourished amidst the chaos. It was proof positive that anarchism could work. But it was all over the moment the YPG accepted the poison gift of American military occupation. Anarchism quite simply cannot coexist with the greatest source of imperial tyranny on the fucking planet. The only sick comfort I took in this nauseating arrangement is that I knew it wouldn't last. That's because, dearest motherfuckers, screwing over the Kurds is a time-honored American pastime.

The original Kurdish screwjob was the work of that whimsical Bond villain known as Henry Kissinger. During his busy time as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under Nixon and Ford, respectively, Henry cooked up a devilish little scheme with the help of his flunkies in Israel and the Shah's Iran. Iraq was becoming suspiciously cozy with the Soviet Union. So they flooded Iraq's long suffering Kurdish independence movement with Soviet hardware pilfered from the killing fields of Vietnam and the Sinai Peninsula. Mustafa Barzani, the founding father of the modern Peshmerga, didn't trust the Shah farther than he could squeeze his ham-fist up his pinched little quisling asshole, no sane Mesopotamian did, but he believed in his heart of hearts that America was that shining beacon of freedom on the hill. Mustafa was a sucker. Once Henry and Co. managed to frighten Iraq into playing ball, we quickly drummed up a deal between them and Iran that included handing over the Kurds on a spit. Not only did old Henry, that Nobel pacifist, refuse to even return Mustafa's frantic calls for help, he cut all humanitarian aide to the region as Helter Skelter came tumbling down. The Kurds were slaughtered and Kissinger summed up America's Kurdish policy in a nutshell when he told a disgusted congress that "One should not confuse undercover action with social work." If only the Kurds took his advice.

Flash forward some fifteen years later, after blitzing our former client Saddam Hussein damn near the brink of oblivion, good old Pappy Bush, that sainted scion of global statesmanship, encouraged the Kurds along with the similarly oppressed Southern Shiites to launch a final putsch against the porno-stached tyrant with all kinds of sunny predictions and empty promises. When the rebellion predictably fell apart, the US once again left the Kurds high and dry to be slaughtered in the thousands. The whole point of the rebellion wasn't success. Quite the contrary. It was designed to provoke a vengeful and largely impotent Saddam into slaughtering our "allies" in order to justify our own war crimes in the region, past, future and present. We knew precisely how Saddam would react because we helped him react the last time he faced a Kurdish uprising, shit, we even sold him the goddamn mustard gas. Once again, the Kurds were just convenient pawns used to provoke another bloodbath that put us in a greater position of power in the region. And, once again, if only the Kurds had learned a fucking lesson from this latest act of imperial treachery on America's part, maybe just maybe, they could have avoided the carnage they currently contend with. But some habits die harder than others.

America didn't truly get behind Rojava until our dreams of a Salafi no-fly zone went belly up. I've long held the creeping suspicion that Rojava was never intended to be anything but a seat warmer for our NATO allies in Turkey. That's why I suspect we pushed the YPG to the brink, taking territory that had always been Arab. That's why we pushed them to abandon the very achievable goal of federal autonomy and burn their bridges with an amenable Assad. We were isolating them from their already hostile neighbors and stretching them razor thin, all while establishing a perfect borderland territory for Turkey to invade and launch more Salafi mayhem from. Never mind Trump's idle threats and empty bluster, Turkey's "Safe Zone" is being primed to be the new Idlib and the Kurds won't be the only ones to get fucked.

This leaves the Kurds with no other choice but to beg for forgiveness and make up with their former allies in Assad's Syria and the Islamic Republic. And this sliver of hope for regional anti-imperial unity is the primary reason I personally support Trump's latest sloppy Kurdish screwjob. For decades the Kurds have been trapped in the worst case of battered spouse syndrome since Nicole Simpson. Their toxic tryst with our gruesome empire has crippled their ability to reach their full revolutionary potential. But a new dawn is rising over the battered sands of Eurasia. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, America's victims have formed a coalition hell bent on ending our hegemony in their hemisphere once and for all. A coalition of half-crippled survivors of the American Century known as the Axis of Resistance. And if the YPG/PKK play their cards right, maybe just maybe, they might have an open place at their table for a stateless clan of bearded renegades with an acquired expertise for taking a stick to NATO's Achilles heal in Turkey.

Don't cry for the Kurds, dearest motherfuckers. Their wounds may be self-inflicted but they aren't terminal. This screwjob could be the last screwjob and the first day of the rest of the Rojava Revolution. The Kurds may be hurting now but they have been presented with the perfect opportunity to have the last laugh over the graves of their betrayers. I only pray that they take it.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  High and Dry by Radiohead
*  Joey by Concrete Blonde
*  Helter Skelter by the Beatles
*  Looking for America by Lana Del Rey
*  Killing for Company by Swans
*  Louie Louie by Black Flag
*  War Dance by Killing Joke
*  Ever by Flipper
*  What About Us? by Ministry
*  Hate to Say I Told You So by the Hives