Sunday, October 25, 2020

More Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark

 It has been one supremely horrific year since I wrote the virgin instillation of this list last October, what with apocalyptic plagues, dystopian police death squads, and collapsing empires. In many ways life has come to resemble many of the movies on it. Some might argue that horror movies are gratuitous at this point, I mean, haven't we had enough? No, dearest motherfuckers, not by a longshot. The fact that everyday life has come to resemble a George Romero flick is just proof of his unsung brilliance. No genre in cinema gets dumped on like horror movies. Yet no genre of cinema is more stunningly prophetic. That's because horror movies, good horror movies anyway, are perfect vehicles for social commentary. They seek to illuminate that which makes us uncomfortable and force us to actually fucking deal with it. And that is what 2020 needs now more than ever. We realize that we're living in a goddamn zombie apocalypse, but how do we deal with it? That is the ultimate question that anarchists wrestle with. How do we create a new society amidst the collapse of the old? And that's also what great horror movies strive to figure out.

So I made another goddamn list. A dozen more scary movies for anarchists to watch in the dark, and it's as eccentric and idiosyncratic as the last. I have a love for both foreign arthouse shockers and overlooked grindhouse pulp. They both take the necessary measures to punish the audience into thinking about shit that scares them. Like last time, many movies on the list are not horror movies in the traditional sense, but they are all movies that seek to terrify their audience into challenging authoritarian institutions. Spoiler alerts abound. Read at your own risk.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)-  A movie about a black guy who tries to save a bunch of fucked up white folks during a plague and gets shot for his trouble? How the fuck was this thing made 50 years ago? George Romero's iconic budget shocker that practically invented the zombie genre was made to be a gruesome allegory for the times. Vietnam and urban upheaval inspired this terrifying story of plague induced braindead cannibalism. But its protagonist, Ben, played brilliantly by the Sorbonne trained Duane Jones, is much more George Floyd than Martin Luther King. After all, Ben wasn't trying to lead a movement, he was just some hard luck son of a bitch trying to get home without getting wasted. But the movement found him and his martyrdom made him a revolutionary hero of outlaw cinema. George Romero was a visionary.

28 Weeks Later (2007)-  While in many ways inferior to Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, this sequel feels far more relevant to the Corona Virus, mainly because it addresses the horrors of authoritarian overreaction to such a crisis. In other words, it's a lockdown movie. 28 weeks after the original, the Rage Virus has been contained by NATO, and its survivors have been safely quarantined. But the moment their armed and sanctimonious overlords begin to lose control, they become the one thing more monstrous than plague; fighting one with a police state. The results are as terrifying as they are inevitable.

The Wicker Man (1973)-  One of the greatest horror movies ever made, the frightful tale of a doomed Christian police sergeant investigating an alleged human sacrifice on an insular heathen island in Northern England has enjoyed a strange and wonderful second life as a cult favorite of traumatized post-Christian heathens like myself, who not only enjoy the sights and sounds of a neopagan utopia, but relish in seeing an openly bigoted cop get his comeuppance in the sacrificial inferno of the wicker man. For sick kids like us, The Wicker Man is one horror movie without an innocent victim, just a joyous celebration of sanctimony in flames, DJed by the great Christopher Lee as a fantastically weird neofolk Willy Wonka named Lord Summerisle. Buck up, love. After all, aren't all cops bastards?

Revenge (2017)-  With the establishment-fixed rise of pussy-grabber Joe Biden, 2020 was the year #MeToo died. Making it a perfect year for a wicked spin on the long maligned Rape Revenge subgenre. After being lured to her powerful married Wall Street boyfriend's desert bachelor pad and raped by one of his sleazy hunting buddies, Jen wants nothing more than to get on the next chopper out of hell. But her cheating hubby has other plans and casually shoves her off a cliff rather than dealing with the inconvenience of another mouthy mistress. What is all too typically the end of tragic stories of sexual violence among the socially privileged is just the beginning of Jen's gruesome revenge saga, as she crawls from her grave and rises up as a survivor, taking bloody justice into her own hands. It may not be politically correct, but after the merciless railroading of Tara Reid, all a pissed off feminist really wants to see is another slick sex criminal getting his black heart blown out of his chest with a 12 gauge. Metaphorically speaking, of coarse.

Irreversible (2002)-  ....Then again, vengeance has a flipside. The brilliantly transgressive Gaspar Noe turned the Rape Revenge genre on its ear by simply playing it in reverse. By starting the movie with the hero getting taken away in cuffs for committing one of the most brutal murder scenes in horror history, the audience is deprived of a convenient conclusion to violent crime, and our whole moral code is called into question. Irreversible makes the perfect critique of any justice system based on reactionary vengeance by showing us that its consequences are often every bit as savage as what inspires them. Thug life attorneys like Kamala Harris should have to watch this film 16 times in a row. The ends rarely justify the means, they just make us all a little more guilty.

Waco: The Rules of Engagement (1997) & Let the Fire Burn (2013)-  I put the two documentaries to make this year's list together because they're both about essentially the same damn story. The Branch Davidians and MOVE were both experimental communities trying in their own peculiar ways to drop out of the toxicity of modern society. Both were attacked by the police state for daring to live differently. And both were cowardly burned alive for defending themselves. The fact that the Branch Davidians were mostly white Jesus freaks and MOVE was a mostly Black Anarchist commune didn't make any difference to the pigs or the state they represented. They said 'No!', so they died. The only silver lining to this cloud of black smoke is that they both died fighting with their heads held high. Sadly the same can't be said for their children. The state is the ultimate monster. Only bottom unity among the peculiar class can slay it.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)-  Half a century later and people remain incensed by Stanley Kubrick's stylishly vicious little farce. Debates rage on about the real meaning behind the story of the charismatic young psychopath named Alex, played by the heinously charming Malcolm McDowell. The teenage hooligan rapes and kills for fun before being corrected by an equally sadistic method of state psychiatric torture which renders the victimizer a victim before becoming a cause celebre and being summarily returned to his smashing old predatory self. I see it as a parable about what society becomes when it leaves all its values up to crass consumer culture and authoritarian institutions. The American public school system makes droogs every day, and droogs make for equally good prisoners as they do police. God help us all.

Man Bites Dog (1992)-  From brutal satire to grizzly satire. Man Bites Dog took Stanley Kubrick's challenge and raised the bar with something far more heinous and far more hilarious, a Belgian mockumentary about a sadistic serial killer who slowly drags the film crew following him into becoming active participants in his increasingly brutal crimes, all in the name of journalism of coarse. Man Bites Dog is essentially CNN and NBC's coverage of  Donald Trump's tumultuous 2016 campaign in black and white. The crew knows they should just turn the fucking camera off and get some help, but they just have to get one more kill on camera for the ratings, and then another, and then another, and then another, until it's too late to turn back and we're all fucked.

Videodrome (1983)-  David Cronenberg's body horror magnum opus about a TV producer infected both sexually and mentally by the hypnosis of right wing snuff footage is essentially Manufacturing Consent with a stomach cunt. It's shockingly gruesome psychosexual nightmare imagery serves to underline the awesome and all too often savage power modern day information technology wields upon both witting and unwitting consumers alike. Anyone who has ever lost a loved one to the toxic sway of Fox News or MSNBC should be intimately familiar with the rise of the new flesh. Kill your television before it can retaliate.

Hostel (2005)-  The original torture porn flick has never gotten a fair wrap as far as I'm concerned, especially in the US. Critics got so lost in the buckets of gore and graphic nudity that they lost all site of what Eli Roth was trying to say with those salacious mediums. Hostel is a movie about imperialism and its post modern cousin tourism. The bros come from the West to Eastern Europe to rage and fuck local whores for sport only to find themselves the sport of an even higher class of libertine tourists who pay good money to torture and kill. Rich kids come to poor countries to get laid while their parents come to kill anyone with enough of a conscience to give a fuck. But eventually the adults just keep coming to kill, even if it means killing their own children. Sex sells. Murder will cost you double.

Funny Games (1997)-  What would any truly woke horror movie list be without at least one savage critique of the genre itself? Michael Haneke's Funny Games may be the cruelest film on the list and they barely need a drop of blood to get there. The story of a happy family being tormented on vacation in the Austrian Alps by a couple of handsome young house guests makes the audience complicit in their cruel games by routinely breaking the fourth wall to directly engage us and encourage us to participate. At one point one of the victims even manages to get his hands on the shotgun to make a climactic stand against us, only to have one of our fellow killers literally pick up a remote and rewind the scene to replay it in his favor. Funny Games asks us the ultimate horror movie question, did you come here to learn or are you just here to wallow? The harsh reality is probably a little bit of both, and we probably should be at least a little ashamed of ourselves.

The Road (2009)-  This stunning adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel is both incredibly depressing yet movingly inspiring. Just a man and his son struggling to make it to the shore through a poisoned planet teeming with clans of murderous cannibals. Viggo Mortensen plays the unnamed protagonist who does whatever it takes to keep him and his son one step ahead of the danger that always seems to be stalking them just one step behind. It's only after he succumbs to his wounds that his son realizes that they were actually being followed by another family who had been looking out for them the whole time. It's a harshly moving film about faith and mutual aid in horrific times, and I'm not ashamed to admit that it moved me too tears. Something tells me Tolstoy would approve. We need this too. We really do.

Thelma (2017)-  Thelma is a lonely girl from an isolated Christian family in her first year away from home at college in the big wicked city. She begins to suffer from fits of uncontrollable telekinesis whenever she finds herself near her classmate Anja. These powers turn out to be the ghosts of her long repressed childhood trauma, as well as her long dormant homosexuality. Thelma could easily be called Nicky. I spent my early twenties crippled by a powerful mental illness that turned out to be the result of my suppressed gender identity and the childhood trauma that came with a religious upbringing that robbed me of the ability to confront it. Thelma is a horror movie about being Queer, and it leaves us with the seemingly cliché but totally valid message that love can conquer anything, even ourselves, and at the end of the day isn't that anarchism is truly about, demanding the impossible and courageously fighting to make it a reality? Maybe that's what horror movies are about too.

Take care of one another this Halloween, dearest motherfuckers. Only together can we survive this horror show. That's what anarchism really means, not chaos and flaming cop cars, well ok, maybe a little of that too. But at it's heart, anarchism is about empathy, putting other people above laws and leaders. That's what movies like these inspire in me. Hopefully, I'm not the only bleeding heart psycho to find strength in gore.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Gretchen Whitmer Goes Boogaloo Catfishing

 The news broke like something straight out of a cheesy 90s blockbuster. Whisked away to an undisclosed location, we were greeted in primetime by the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, like a heavily Botoxed Bill Pullman commanding the troops. With the shades drawn and the lights low, she carefully but forcefully wove us a harrowing narrative. She and her family, now in hiding, were the unwitting victims of an elaborate plot by crazed neo-Nazi militiamen to kidnap the brave governor and try her for crimes against liberty before an armed civilian court. At least a dozen men were in on the plot and it was all Donald Trump's fault for inspiring them to "Liberate Michigan" with his saucy social media banter and his blasé "Stand by and stand down" public demeanor. The bad men had been wrestled into submission for now by the selfless deeds of the brave men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. But for how long? How long would it be before more came to attack the figureheads of our precious democratic institutions? How long before the dreaded Boogaloo?

As at it turns out, as compelling as this carefully constructed network TV narrative was, there were more than a few things wrong with it that haven't been brought to the cable news watching public's attention. The primary one being that it was largely bullshit. Madame Whitmer's command performance as a humble public servant addressing a nation under fire was as badly scripted as the daytime soaps she interrupted. The governor was never in any real danger and she had been kept abreast of the details of the investigation for weeks if not months, being secretly shuttled about by the feds from secure location to secure location accordingly.

The men allegedly hunting her had been the subjects of a carefully arranged sting operation. No fewer than four FBI agents and/or informants had taken part in the dastardly plot from its earliest stage as chatroom heavy breathing on social media. It had all the markings of a classic FBI entrapment scheme. A dozen good old boys were picked out, infiltrated, and egged on by agent provocateurs to take their macho locker room talk to the next level. The Feds had been coaxing these bitter gun nuts for months, since the beginning of the year. God only knows how much of the plot was constructed by the feds themselves but I'm fairly confident that it probably never would have made it past the bullshitting stage if it wasn't for the hard work of our heroes in the FBI, the one gang in blue that the liberals agree matters.

I'm smugly confident in this theory because it conforms so perfectly to that crooked organization's well established modus operandi. The FBI has maintained it's questionable relevance for decades by establishing itself as a veritable cottage industry for entrapping wannabe radicals of every plausible stripe of the rainbow. We've seen it over and over again. They find themselves a weak link in the radical chain, usually some emotionally unstable blowhard, then they introduce him to one of their readymade radical informants who pushes, prods, and encourages this hapless sap into taking their heavy breathing to lengths they never would have even been capable of achieving on their own, often providing all the weapons and technological expertise themselves. Then a massive bust is launched and the compliant town criers of the mass media are fed the juicy details of an elaborate plot that the heroic feds wrote themselves before saving us all from its satanic powers. 

The feds have been at this for years with the primary purpose of justifying their own bloated tax funded budgets by creating stories that they can write themselves in as the heroes of. They've done this with isolated disenfranchised Muslims whom they've sold down the river to Gitmo. They've done this with tree-hugging environmentalists whom they've coaxed from minor monkeywrenching to full blown arson. They did this with a couple of starry eyed leftists named Bradley Crowder and David McKay back during the 2008 Republican National Convention when a motormouthed FBI crowd exciter named Bradley Michael Darby talked the two hapless Occupiers into turning their protest into a Molotov cocktail party.

The far left is fully aware of this history but they routinely choose to look the other way when these same twisted techniques are used to railroad right-wing hillbillies like the backwoods fruit loops in the Hutaree Militia, who were ultimately acquitted on all major charges and even had their guns and property returned to them well after the media had lost interest in their own sensationalized narrative. Or Randy Weaver and his two young daughters who won a lawsuit of $3.1 million after one of these stupid fucking schemes got Randy's wife, dog, and 14 year old son murdered in cold blood. The FBI has been stoking the militia movement for decades, and why not? Personal differences aside, they are essentially anarchists, aren't they? Anything to keep a stateless motherfucker down.

And just who were these 13 men arrested for plotting against Governor Whitmer? According to that Helter Skelter eyed gubernatorial batfucker, they were a bunch of white trash Nazi lunatics answering to the commands of their fearless orange leader. But the available facts paint a far more complicated picture. Sure you had your sundry connections to Infowars conspiracy theories and Vaxxer hoopla, but these were not MAGA supporters and there remains zero evidence of any kind of neo-Nazi or Alt-Right affiliation. They were members of a pretty basic libertarian constitutionalist militia, one of many in rural Michigan, called the Wolverine Watchmen, and amongst the ranks of this assorted lot were self-proclaimed anarchists who openly denounced Further Trump as a tyrant for his savage law and order police state, and at least one intersectionalist who attended both anti-lockdown protests and handed out bottled water during Black Lives Matter marches.

Perhaps more importantly, these were working class schmucks, many of them left unemployed and deeply in debt by Governor Whitmer's often arbitrary and downright unconstitutional lockdown that made peaceful assembly, in public or private, an arrestable offense. At least one of them was literally homeless. Another thing many of them shared was a history of military service and the PTSD that came with it. Much like Timothy McVeigh, they were given a hands on education in how the American Government approaches conflict resolution. Is it really that shocking that these vets would fall back on this training when they found their livelihoods at risk by a runaway police state that thinks nothing of murdering its own citizens in cold blood?

These weren't just garden variety gun nuts, they were Boogaloo Bois. A new subculture in the American Militia Movement that takes a decidedly millennial approach to liberty. The ones I know support Black Lives Matter and defunding the police. I can tell you for a fact that the feds wouldn't have a hard time catching us joking about revolutionary action. It's how we shoot the shit, some pun intended, and it would be very easy for one of those feds to jump in on one of these irreverent conversations and push us to take things from blowing off steam to blowing up bridges. I imagine me and my friends would likely laugh them offline for such reactionary hyperbole. But I'm not a homeless vet with battle worn PTSD. Gore Vidal once described his pen-pal Timothy McVeigh as a man with an "Overdeveloped sense of justice." He was deeply saddened that this pathological burden went to waste on more bloodshed. I feel the same way about these federally catfished Boogaloo trout. A heartless crook like Gretchen Whitmer isn't worth it.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs influenced by this post

*  Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd

*  I Blame Society by Titus Andronicus

*  Rebels by Tom Petty

*  Hey Joe by Jimmi Hendrix

*  Waiting Room by Fugazi

*  Affection by the Lost Boys

*  Vacation Town by the Front Bottoms

*  Tommy Gun by the Clash

*  Here Comes a Regular by the Replacements

*  Fairbanks, Alaska by the Front Bottoms

Sunday, October 11, 2020

AMERIKA!: The Horror Story

 No one seems to be quite sure where this creature first lurked from. What foul crypt lays claim to the title of the beast's cradle? Most trembling fingers point towards Europe, to the land of Caligula and Vlad Tepes. In a haunted stammer they say Rome, Athens, London. But there is evidence of it's existence going back thousands of years and stretching from the peaks of the Andes to the shores of the Orient. Perhaps it has always been with us. Perhaps it clawed its way from the loins of our darkest nightmares. From the fevered visions of landless peasants who in their weakness starved and thirsted for unspeakable power. A thousand whispers screaming 'more' like a howling wind. We may never know, and if we did, we may very well wish we hadn't. But regardless of the womb of such a wicked force for human havoc, whether it gestated beneath the English thrown or nursed itself upon Vatican wine, its name stands tall and unobscured. The beast called Imperialism. It's shadow stretches across the entirety of this savage planet. But today it stands tallest, perhaps taller than it ever has before, upon the shoulders of purple mountains majesty and the graves of Wounded Knee. Today, imperialism is pronounced AMERIKA!

Empire's deadliest incarnation was born from the deeds of self-righteous wicked men. This thing that would someday colonize the earth was a colony itself. The great empires of Europe had sent their deadliest killers to the stony shores of the New World in search of treasure to plunder. They found a strange new hemisphere ripe for rape and honey. The English soon established the colonies that would serve host to a new Rome. They had no idea what evil they had unleashed. Centuries of savagery, of genocide and slavery, had created an insatiable hunger in the men who would be declared this new nation's founding fathers. They wanted more. They wanted so much more. And they weren't content to share their spoils with the Queen. They wanted their own crown. London realized that their greed had given birth to a monster more wicked than their wildest dreams. Terrified, they rushed to pull the plug on their Amerikan murder machine, but it was already too late. After attempting to hobble it's march to power by curtailing the slave trade and granting recognition to the Indian Nations still standing on it's frontier, the Founding Fathers launched a successful coup against their English overlords and declared the fitful farce a revolution. These psychopaths perverted the name of democracy much the way Rome and England had Christianity, and used its hollowed out title to justify the greatest killing spree in the history of mankind. 

Possessed by the demons of Manifest Destiny, Amerika wasted precious little time after defeating their English masters on anything remotely resembling peace. There was simply too much killing to do, too many brown bodies to throttle and mutilate with steam howling trains and cackling Gatling guns. Amerika spread like a disease from sea too shining sea, smashing anything that stood in its way. It chased the remaining European empires from its continent and slaughtered entire races of indigenous people in a holocaust that would one day inspire Hitler. But the North American continent wasn't enough. Nothing was. Once the empire had tasted flesh, its hunger became insatiable. It took the southern half of it's hemisphere with gunboats and caudillos, and cast its chains across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines where the Indian massacres continued. When given the opportunity to take Europe in the waning days of the empires that birthed it, Amerika jumped like a jackal at the opportunities afforded it by two world wars. At the end of the Second, devices capable of annihilating entire nations in seconds were constructed and dropped on the shattered shoulders of a crippled and surrendering Japanese Empire that dared to fondle our slaves in their seas. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a message to the world, all your empires are now ours. The Amerikan Empire wanted to make it crystal clear. There was a new killer on the loose. No one was safe and nothing was sacred.

The last 80 years have essentially been one never-ending world war launched by a beast addicted to conquest. Bodies stacked higher than the skyscrapers they financed as Manifest Destiny went global. Bridges and dikes were demolished in Korea. A monsoon of napalm and Agent Orange drowned Indochina. Highways of death were paved across the deserts of the Persian Gulf. Bloody coups, depraved dictators, and merciless death squads proliferated at our fingertips across the darker nations of the Third World we created to feed the First. An empire unlike any the world had ever seen was unleashed, stretching its massive claws to every corner of the earth. Rome looked like Disneyworld in Washington's gargantuan midnight shadow, and we the people all became complicit in its never-ending crime spree, even as it imprisoned us as well.

All across Amerika and the other First World quisling nations where the dollar reigned supreme, a massive and impossibly elaborate prison was constructed, only it wasn't built with concrete walls, armed towers, and concertina wire. It was built with gaudy McMansions, mile-high skyscrapers, and name-brand pharmaceuticals. The people of the First World were given two choices, they could comply with the great Amerikan imperial machine and live high as a kite in gilded cages decorated with the jewels of the Third World, or we could join them in the gulags and ghettos often found within walking distance of palaces and shopping malls. We were given a choice to wake and suffer or sleep and dream. Many chose to sleep, but their slumber didn't last long. In all it's glorious bloodshed, our dear empire failed to recognize that it too was bleeding out.

Empires never last because endless expansion is simply unsustainable. Eventually every imperial beast, no matter how fearsome, comes to rely on carefully coddled colonies to run it's global ship and those very colonies have a long wicked history of devouring their hosts once they've had a taste of the gore of the good life. London, Madrid, and Lisbon were all done in by their fabulous Amerikan Frankenstein. As Amerika stretches itself razor thin trying to gobble the coming Eurasian Century in it's cradle, its own Frankensteins are beginning to feast upon its buckling limbs. Our colonial outposts in Jerusalem, Riyadh, and Ankara have become vicious little circles of despair in their own right and those circles are rapidly expanding. Meanwhile, China has taken full advantage of our greed and now stands to economically surpass us. All the gunboats in the South China Sea can't stymy the growth of this great red dragon clothed with the sun, and the gilded bars of NATO and the EU are beginning to rust. 

With an insane clown in the White House and a senile one on his way to save our delusional plutocracy, the image of exceptionalism that our master class has carefully constructed is coming undone. As the palaces burn, the ghettos expand, and the shopping malls are abandoned, the choices seem frightfully clear to any horror story buff willing to open their eyes. We can either give the monster what it wants, our very souls, and wait for nuclear Armageddon in the prison cell of the empire's attic. Or we can live to fight another day and get the fuck out of that haunted house by revolting against the imperial two-party monstrosity that built it upon Indian burial grounds, not merely at the ballot box, but in the streets paved with skulls. We must all become the Indians now and embrace the ghosts of our past to exorcise the demons that hold our future over the flames.

The choice is yours, dearest motherfuckers, but I can't be a prisoner of this imperial slasher flick anymore. If you want me, you can find me in the streets manically battling demons, yours and mine.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Babies On Fire by Brian Eno

*  Piggies by the Beatles

*  God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols

*  I'm Afraid of Americans by David Bowie & Trent Reznor

*  The Land of Rape & Honey by Ministry

*  Frankenstein by New York Dolls

*  Killer In the Streets by the Raveonettes

*  Butcher Baby by the Plasmatics

*  Wake Up by Arcade Fire

*  My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) by Neil Young 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Joe Biden, Multiple Miggs, and the Horrors of Lesser Evilism

 As surely as the moon wanes and the dead leaves tumble, once every fourth October, it becomes downright chilling to be an American. That's because every four years, like clockwork, Americans prove every flamboyant third world boogeyman we've ever high roaded right by openly flaunting our casual embrace of evil in the highest echelons of imperial power. I speak of course of the autumnal American tradition of choosing the lesser of two evils from this foul nation's two-party oligarchy to run our horror show of a globalist menace. I feel like I talk about this subject a lot, but I never feel like I talk about it enough. That's because words consistently fail to express how uniquely revolting I find this twisted mindset to be. The lesser of two evils. The lesser evil. Nothing exposes the cruel charade of liberal democracy like the fact that what is commonly excepted by the general public to be our most cherished democratic right is commonly excepted by that same general public as a choice to openly consent to nothing less heinous than pure evil.

I don't feel like I'm being hyperbolic here and I don't see the concept of the lesser evil as being merely symbolic. We are literally advocating choosing evil. One has to look no further than any two major party candidates in the last century. Hell, one has to look no further than Joe Biden and Donald Trump. We are taught that it is perfectly morally acceptable to choose between a man who served as an architect of the modern day slave trade that is the post-Clintonian prison industrial complex and a man who imprisons children at the border in glorified concentration camps. These are both clearly evil human beings. Your average American recognizes this fact, and yet it remains perfectly mainstream to not only advocate giving one of these beasts a popular mandate for their crimes but it's downright traditional to bully and humiliate anyone with enough of a conscience to refuse to play along.

What kind of sick fucking message does this send to the world? What kind of sick fucking message does send to our children? Can you imagine using this logic in any other scenario? "Well, all the kids are getting high, so I guess huffing kerosene is morally preferable to shooting bath salts into my junk. I mean, its not like I can just not get high. What kind of a party guest would I be then?" Or maybe, "Well I have to go to prom, it's my moral obligation as a student, and even though Marcus does beat me, at least he's not a confirmed date-rapist like Ben." And I'm the irresponsible radical for voting for Jill Stein? If you still have to wonder how the terrorists justify murdering American civilians, go to your local Baptist church this November and count the American civilians shrugging their shoulders and casually consenting to brutality. Thank god most of this country still has the moral fortitude to stay home and get high.

But it always comes down to the same damn thing. Every time I write one of these posts on America's business-casual relationship with the Faustian bargain of two-party voting, it's always, "...Well, OK, but who is the lesser evil?" And as much as I want to scream at you dearest motherfuckers, at the top my fucking lungs, "IT! DOESN'T! FUCKING! MATTER!" As I punctuate each word with a frying pan against my skull, I can't fucking help myself but to ponder the stupid question. I'm a total geek for hypothetical moral dilemmas. It's why the only thing I love more than the evils of politics is horror movies and true crime literature. I have to know the worst. I have to see the last frame of the snuff film so I can study the light in the killer's eyes. The best way I can answer your stupid fucking question is to explain to you why I am still one of those insufferable leftists who maintains that Hillary would have been worse than Trump. It goes back to my symbiotic fascination with horror, to something I call the Multiple Miggs Defense.

I am a huge fan of Thomas Harris and his Hannibal Lecter series. The only movie to ever do the books justice was Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs. In one of the movies first scenes, young FBI intern Clarice Starling is sent to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane to interview the infamous psychologist turned cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, about a recent rash of brutal murders that could be connected to a former patient of his. After making it past the hospital's morally depraved director, Clarice makes her way down a long dungeon-like hallway of prison cells. At the very end of the row she is confronted by two hideous creatures in adjacent cages. The first is a teemingly foul, wild eyed beast, known only as Multiple Miggs, pacing, glaring, and hissing foul obscenities. The second monster, in a neat and tidy, brightly lit cell, is Dr. Hannibal Lecter himself, calm, congenial, and completely still among the madness of his surroundings. After being carefully torn apart emotionally by the good doctor, Clarice leaves him to make her way out of the catacombs only to be horrifically assaulted by the semen hurling Multiple Miggs. The cruel doctor next door is beside himself with disgust for his neighbors barbaric manners. He apologizes to Clarice profusely for the "unspeakably ugly act" and finally consents to look over her notes 

I always found the juxtaposition between these two monsters to be quite fascinating. Which one is more depraved? Who is the lesser evil? Who knows. Who cares. But it quickly becomes readily apparent which one is more dangerous when Dr. Lecter manages to convince Miggs overnight to swallow his own tongue, murdering a beast with whispers. In 2016, I couldn't think of a better analogy to Trump and Hillary than Miggs and Hannibal. On the surface, it seemed obvious that Trump was the fouler of the two. A maniacally unhinged, race-baiting, demagogue, aping for the cameras like George Wallace on black beauties as he filled his tiny orange fists with filth and hurled it in our faces. Hillary by comparison appeared perfectly rational and collected, but that's just it, what kind of creature can remain so sedate amongst the semen crusted dungeons of Pennsylvania Avenue? Trump may have been unhinged but Hillary was the clear sociopath, laying wake to entire regions of the globe like North Africa and the Balkans with a permanently perfect camera-ready smile on her mask of sanity. I have no doubt that Hillary would have launched a full-blown ground invasion of Syria and a successful coup in Venezuela by now, had she been elected, and she would have done it all with whispers. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, our Covid ravaged Multiple Miggs in chief has been too busy jacking off his ego to overthrow anything bigger than CHOP. 

So what about this year? Is Biden the Hannibal Lecter to Donald's Multiple Miggs? Four years ago I would have said yes without hesitation. Biden has spent decades manipulating the gears of power to starve, bomb, and imprison children for profit. But I've had three grandparents fall beneath the cruel scythe of dementia. I know Alzheimer's when I see it and I suspect much of the rest of this country does too. So while the media does its damnedest to straighten Biden's tie, its become painfully clear that this year's race is a sticky contest of Miggs vs Miggs. But that doesn't mean it's a tie. The very fact that two thirds of our so-called journalists in the corporate media have unabashedly committed themselves to cleaning up Biden's trail of mess has revealed two very terrible truths about 2020. The first is that, unlike Trump, Joe Biden is a lunatic with a well-oiled machine behind him, ready to kill. Expect four gross years of second-term Reagan before Kamala comes in for the kill to play Pappy Bush and blow up the Gulf, a far more frightening prospect for world peace than four more years of the regime who couldn't shoot straight. The second and quite possibly most terrifying truth is that the American Empire has reached a stage of lesser evil so feverish that even it's puppets have become deranged. The machinery of the status quo had a dozen viable choices this year to put up against Trump, but they stubbornly stuck to forcing their silver-haired neoliberal favorite down our throats even after it became obscenely clear that he was completely unhinged.

Brace yourselves, dearest motherfuckers, come Trump or come Biden, the empire has gone full Miggs.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

*  Goodbye Horses by Lazarus Q

*  Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden

*  American Nightmare by the Misfits

*  Falling to Pieces by Faith No More

*  It's No Good by Depeche Mode

*  Crazy by Patsy Cline

*  If I Ever Leave This World Alive by Flogging Molly

*  Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden

*  Holiday Song by the Pixies

*  Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers