Sunday, December 31, 2023

A Few People Who Actually Didn't Suck in 2023

 "I am going to make it through this year if it kills me!" I find myself singing that desperate chorus from the Mountain Goats' classic "This Year" repeatedly pretty much every year around this time but I've never needed to believe those lyrics more badly than I do now in the final days of 2023. I could say that 2023 fucking sucked. That's the way that I've started a lot of these annual lists of the few people who seemingly miraculously actually didn't. But somehow that just doesn't seem to cut it this year.

The most accurate way that I can put it is that 2023 peeled me alive. Just when I thought that nothing could possibly be more nauseating than the pointless proxy quagmire in Ukraine, Bibi Netanyahu and his coterie of Ashkenazi ethno-terrorists declared total war on the starving children of Gaza and proceeded to pulverize preschoolers into mush with American ordinances. As if that weren't heinous enough, this horror show seemed to coincide like a conspiracy with a series of personal therapeutic breakthroughs that have brought my own long suppressed childhood trauma up like spiritual vitriol. 

Long depressing story short; I spent the holidays watching my inner child dragged bloody and screaming from the rubble in Palestine over and over again before being tarred and feathered as an antisemite for being a little fucked by the experience.

So, yeah, 2023 fucking sucked. 2023 can eat a flaming train of dicks. Fuck that year and whatever twisted god who came up with it. But, as always, 2023 did still provide us with a few people who didn't suck, a few people who were actually downright heroic, providing a much-needed silver lining to an otherwise toxic storm cloud of a year, and I'm here to swallow a gallon of my own vitriol and praise them because many of these people actually helped me to survive this awful fucking year and maybe, just maybe, their example will go on to help me prosper in the next one. So, let's now thank that twisted god for a few people who actually didn't suck in 2023. She could learn a thing or two from these people.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti- I'm probably going to get my fair share of shit for this one but quite frankly, I'm too goddamn pissed-off to give a fuck. Once in every generation or so, a revolutionary movement manages to capture the imagination of the pissed-off lumpenproles of this world by simply catching the empire we despise with its pants down. Past generations have had the Black Panthers, the Tupamaros and Anonymous. This one has the Houthi rebels and regardless of your own personal politics or creed it is hard not to admire a rag-tag army willing to take on Babylon with such rugged charisma and smirking zeal. While most of the world has stood by helpless while the United States has used Israel to obliterate Gaza like a fucking lawnmower, the Houthis, a half-starved renegade militia from one of the poorest corners of the earth have nearly single-handedly held this imperial conspiracy to erase the Palestinian people accountable with a series of increasingly daring pirate stunts against the western world's global shipping empire in the Red Sea.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti is not the leader of this rogue band of Shia renegades but this senior political official for the artists formerly known as Ansar Allah has become the unofficial spokesman for the movement since it overthrew Yemen's American-backed dictatorship in 2014 and his literary defiance rings out like church bells in a damned world, boldly declaring after America announced the creation of a 10-nation naval task force to end the Houthis guerrilla blockade against the blockaders that "America's announcement of the establishment of the coalition of shame will not prevent us from continuing our military operations until the crimes of genocide in Gaza are stopped." All of this from a nation that has barely survived its own Yankee proxy genocide which has taken no fewer than 377,000 Yeminis. The world needs the Houthis and Allah knows that the Great Satan deserves them. 

Manuel Esteban Paez Teran- At least 33 transgender and gender-diverse Americans were murdered in the last 12 months alone but at least one of us went down swinging this year. Manuel, known as Tortuga or Little Turtle to their comrades was a fellow gender outlaw and Queer anarchist who was brought down in a hail of police gunfire as part of the embattled Stop Cop City Forest Defense that has been formed by volunteers from across the country to protect the South River Forest of Dekalb County, Georgia from being colonized by a massive police state training center. The cops claim that Tortuga fired first with a handgun they had legally armed themselves with and while the available evidence points to something far more sinister, with Tortuga's body being riddled with 57 bullet wounds, including in the palms of their hands, I find this to be irrelevant. Even if Tortuga did pull the trigger, they did so in defense of another slice of the commons being annihilated by eminent domain. Either way, they died a martyr for the cause of a stateless society and a hero to trans people like me who refuse to become just another statistic without a fight.

Mitski Miyawaki- Few artists have given more of themselves to their audiences than Mitski and the genre conquering auteur really outdid herself this year, releasing the brilliantly titled The Land is Inhospitable and So Are We, her 7th album, quite possibly her most naked, and somehow, miraculously her most successful. Mitski scored her first Billboard Hot 100 charting single with the gorgeous gothic country ballad "My Love Is Mine All Mine" but it was a far lesser played deep track called "I Don't Like My Mind" which may have literally saved my life this year. "I don't like my mind, I don't like being left alone in a room, with all its opinions about the things that I've done. So yeah, I blast music loud and I work myself to the bone..." How does she do it? How does she read my soul like a fucking book? No single line has ever captured why I write better than this. Mitski may be a brilliant singer-songwriter and I may be but a lowly muckraker on the fringe, but regardless it's hard to be any kind of artist who traffics in near-masochistic emotional transparency, but it helps not to have to do it alone.

Yocheved & Oded Lifshitz- Regardless of what those race baiting sycophants in the Zionist Lobby may tell you, an intifada is not a genocide. It's a popular uprising against tyranny and it takes people of all races and creeds to make it successful. Yocheved, 85, and Oded, 83, are an elderly Israeli Jewish couple who were taken hostage by Hamas on October 7 from their kibbutz in Nor Oz. But they are also lifelong peace activists who have devoted their lives to holding Israel accountable for its sins. Yocheved made this painfully clear when she became one of the first hostages released after 16 days in captivity only to shake one of her captors' hands and wish him "Shalom" on live television. When asked by the mercenaries in the Israeli press why she would do such a thing, the elderly Jewish woman simply replied that the big bad Arab terrorist had treated her with "care" and "gentleness."

Naturally, the Zionist Lobby were besides themselves, but Yocheved also spoke just as frankly about the atrocities she witnessed in Nir Oz and had reportedly even berated Hamas Chief, Yahya Sinwar in the tunnels, demanding to know how her captor wasn't ashamed of himself for his crimes. Oded, a veteran journalist who was one of the first Israelis to report from the ground on the Sabra and Shatila massacre and who devoted his retirement years to campaigning for the rights of Bedouin tribes and Palestinian refugees, remains in captivity and Yocheved remains in the streets protesting the genocidal war waged in his name. Israel has nothing to do with Judaism. It is tireless rebels like the Lifshitz's who represent the true spirit of the Jewish people and it wouldn't be an intifada without them.

Julien Baker- I'm not sure if a straight person can completely comprehend what a band like boygenius means to Queer people, especially Queer women like me. To see three of our own who have struggled in the relative obscurity of the indie scene for years conquer the charts with an unabashedly Queer document like "the record" and do it completely on their own terms without having to sell out a single inch of their integrity is literally unprecedented. It's the biggest win for punk rock since Nirvana and while I adore Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, Julien Baker will always be my favorite of the boys because she reminds me the most of myself, if only on the inside. This tiny soft butch pixie with a voice bigger than dynamite. I've carefully watched her grow from her humble beginnings as a timid and barely sober Bandcamp cult phenom to the powerful and courageous woman that she is today, and it gives me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can do the same.

Ahed Tamini- The IDF has killed thousands of children, but they can't kill them all because some children fight back. Ahed Tamini became an unlikely symbol of Palestinian resistance by spending the better part of her childhood fighting back. Raised in an activist family in the embattled West Bank village of Nabi Salih, Ahed grew up under siege with her family home raided more than 150 times since she was born. She also grew up in resistance, with her parents, brothers, and sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles all engaged in weekly protests against the long-slated destruction of their ancestral home. 

Ahed stood out from a young age however, with footage of the fiery redheaded Arab girl physically confronting heavily armed IDF soldiers with her bare fists as young as 11 going viral on social media platforms across the globe. At 16 this habit cost her 8 months of her childhood in an Israeli military prison. In 2023, at 22, it cost her another 3 weeks and a savage beating before Ahed was released as part of the ceasefire prisoner swap. She remains unapologetic and unbowed. A wild-eyed reminder that Israel's final solution is damned to fail, because the IDF can kill millions of children, but they will never conquer the iron will of youth in revolt.

Sinead O'Connor- Even after all the heinous shit that came down like a storm to define this year of trauma and Nakba, losing Sinead was one of the most painful blows for me personally. That's because while Sinead may have taken her own life in 2023, the fatal wounds that finally fell her were delivered in 1992. That was the year that Sinead sacrificed a blossoming career to make a statement against the Catholic Church, which had taken her childhood and so many others, by tearing up a picture of the Pope on live television. That was also the year when my own abuse at the hands of that church began. I was a 4-year-old girl trapped inside the body of a boy and totally at the mercy of adults who went out of their way to humiliate me with nearly every form of abuse conceivable.

I remember Sinead in those years, debased, demonized and ridiculed, not just by the Church but by the supposedly liberal music industry that let them burn her at the stake while they cashed her royalty checks. I also remember Sinead's eyes, fierce and proud like pale blue flames. I was a child, and she seemed to be the only adult who could be bothered to stand up for me and she was destroyed for doing so but she also remained defiant to the bitter end. Sinead was a martyr for the voiceless, a patron saint of broken children, and we all owe it to her to ensure that her sacrifice was not in vain by being as loud as fucking possible, especially when it comes to crimes against children, from Belfast to Balfour.

Archie, Em, Bruce, Kiddo & Lily- A lot of people take the word family for granted and I was one of them before I found a home at a little duck farm called Misfit Manor. I was born strange but my parents have actually been exceptionally understanding for a pair of straight Catholics with a confusingly complicated child. However, I never really knew what it felt like to be truly understood by people like me until I stepped foot on that one-acre Queer autonomous zone in the middle of Trump Country where I was embraced by my second family, not in spite of my strange ways but because of them. This year has been terrifying for me. I have been mercilessly ravaged by emotional flashbacks that have sucked me back in time to chapters of my life that were so painful that I suppressed them for decades. I honestly don't think that I would have had the strength to even confront those demons without those beautifully strange creatures and all I can do is thank them. 

Thank you, Archie and Em, for opening your home to me and so many others and reminding me that love can still be unconditional.

Thank you, Bruce, for teaching this Queer loose cannon how to shoot straight and for performing the role of the heavily armed guard dog, keeping this space truly safe by any means necessary.

Thank you, Kiddo, for being stronger and smarter than any 11-year-old should ever have to be and for restoring my hope in a Queer future.

And thank you, Lily, my best friend, my sister, my north star, my guiding light, for repeatedly talking me out of indulging in my darkest urges, for seeing the good in me even at my ugliest, and for putting up with my advances for two weeks when my second puberty provoked me into falling in love with you. That got weird.

And thank you to all of my dearest motherfuckers, my crazed following of marginalized fringe people who have given me the audience denied to me by years of institutional silence. Being heard is the greatest gift I've ever received, and I love you all like family for giving it to me during an incredibly painful time in my life. Together, we will all make it through this year if it kills us.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

* This Year by the Mountain Goats

* Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones

* Rebel Rebel by David Bowie

* I Don't Like My Mind by Mitski

* Burning Too by Fugazi

* Rejoice by Julien Baker

* Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill

* The Parting Glass by boygenius & Ye Vagabonds

* True Blue by boygenius

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Israel's War on Children is a Symptom of a Civilization Built on Trauma

 Suppose someone were to ask you what the number one source of human suffering in the world is today, what would you say? As my winter malaise kicks into full gear this Christmas, this is the grim question that I find myself asking and there are plenty of options to go around. So, what would your pick be? Climate change? Crony capitalism? White supremacy? All totally valid choices but I would have to make an argument for child abuse and I'm not just talking about black eyes after baseball games. I'm talking about the systemic degradation of the basic human rights of every child on this planet and the effect that the collective trauma of this bigotry has on society as a whole. 

I'm talking about the assembly line debasement of the individual that defines the compulsory school system. I'm talking about the widespread objectification of young people at every level of a radically expanding mass media panopticon that allows them to be bought, sold, and commodified like trading cards. And yes, I am talking about the rampant physical and sexual abuse of minors because this is precisely what this kind of culture leads to. And what this culture leads to is trauma on a massive scale, entire generations of mass shooters, terrorists, war criminals, party line voters and good citizens just following orders.

The effects that trauma has on children has been well recorded and those effects have been shown to carry on deep into adulthood. According to the National Institute of Justice, child abuse and neglect has been consistently shown to increase the risk of later forms of antisocial behavior, including violence perpetration and crime. Some studies have shown that child maltreatment can roughly double the probability of an individual engaging in this type of behavior, so it's hardly shocking that a civilization built on the degradation of individual autonomy from infancy would produce an increasingly antisocial society, one that casually engages in or fails to prevent acts of mass savagery on a daily basis.

I can think of no better example of this kind of depravity than the modern warfare industry that we all seem disturbingly content to tolerate with a shrug and a sigh, and I can think of no example of that evil in action more visceral than Israel's American facilitated war on children being carried out as we speak in the Gaza Strip. 

It needs to be understood that this war did not begin on October 6. That horrific act of barbarism was merely the latest outburst of blowback to be produced by the 141 square mile child abuse factory that the western world has erected on the Dead Sea over the last half century. 60% of Gazans were already displaced before their latest war with 1.7 million people out of a population of 2.3 million residing in tightly packed refugee camps. 

This hostile environment was reduced to a living death camp with the beginning of Israel's 16-year blockade in 2006, which effectively cut off one of the most densely populated places on earth from the outside world by land, air and sea. Even before October, 64% of all households in Gaza were dangerously food insecure and 95% of all households lacked access to safe drinking water. Unemployment hovered at just over 45%, poverty was the norm, and thanks to the IDF, so was terrorism.

Israel has launched four major military assaults on the captive Gaza strip over the last 15 years, killing more than 4,000 people and leaving the rest shellshocked under a constant state of siege. This doesn't even include the trauma caused by the near daily acts of abuse and humiliation suffered by the Palestinian people at the hands of the Zionist state during what passes for peace time. This includes the frequent kidnapping and incarceration of their children. 

Israel is the only nation on earth that systematically prosecutes minors in military courts. Kids as young as 12-years-old are routinely taken from their beds in the middle of the night by heavily armed soldiers. They are blindfolded, bound and shackled; interrogated without any lawyer or guardian present and coerced, often with violence, to sign confessions in a language they can't speak or read. The most common charge is throwing stones which can carry a sentence of twenty years. The prisons these children are then sent to are dens of physical, psychological and sexual abuse with UNICEF concluding ill-treatment in the Israeli Military Detention System to be "widespread, systematic and institutionalized throughout the process." Over 1 million Palestinians have endured this hell since 1967. 

The effects of this traumatic existence on the people of Gaza have been devastating with its children facing the brunt of the abuse. 65% of Gaza's population is under 24 with the median age being 18. That is an entire generation raised under a 16-year campaign of state facilitated terrorism. Long before the current bloodbath drowning the Gaza Strip, study after study showed crippling rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among this youth with some estimates putting the rate of suffering to be as high as 70%. UNICEF found that one in three children in Gaza was in need of care for conflict related trauma and after interviewing 500 children and 160 parents, Save the Children found that 80% of these children showed symptoms of severe emotional distress with half contemplating suicide and 3 out of 5 engaging in self-harm.

I don't think that I am being hyperbolic when I predict that every one of those already grisly statistics will likely reach 100% before the end of the year if they haven't already. Over 20,000 people have been slaughtered in the last two months. Nearly 8,000 of them have been children. Another 52,000 Gazans have been wounded including over 1,000 kids who have lost at least one limb. 85% of this population is now homeless with hundreds of thousands being pushed into so-called "Safe Zones" on the Egyptian border; desolate tent cities with no water, no food and no bathrooms, and with rates of malnutrition and infectious disease reaching downright catastrophic heights, death by safe zone may very well come to surpass the body count produced by American ordinances.

The excuse used to justify this holocaust is that a gang of fucked up kids broke out of their concentration camp to seek revenge against anyone they could find walking free outside of its walls. But just where do you think they learned to do that? Where do you think the young men of Hamas learned how to shoot children and raid family homes? They learned it because they lived it, and they did it because it wouldn't stop. 

The actions committed on October 6 were despicable and indefensible, but they were also inevitable and if any child survives the latest Nakba in Gaza, they will only continue, with or without Hamas. Israel knows this and this is why they have committed themselves to finishing the job once and for all. The IDF's solution to another generation of children traumatized by their reign of terror is to murder every last one of them and this horrific final solution is very possible thanks to American tax dollars and another generation of westerners numb to injustice after years of being groomed for blind obedience by big government and big tech.

This needs to stop and we in the west are the ones who need to stop it. A ceasefire isn't enough. Israel plays the victim like a psychotic parent with Munchausen's-by-proxy, but it is Palestine that will never know peace until that state and any other like it is smashed to smithereens. To ask anything less would be to ask a violated child to grow up in the same household as their rapist. The children of Palestine desperately need to heal, and traumatized children cannot heal in the shadow of their abusers.

I know this because I've lived it. I continue to live it every single day. I haven't suffered a fraction of the trauma experienced by the children of Palestine, but I do know what it's like to be preyed on as a child by powerful people only to have to coexist with their authoritarian institutions as an adult. Every week I drive by the preschool where they put their hands on my body, the grade school next door where they taught me that it was all my fault because I couldn't perform the gender identity assigned to me, and the Catholic Church that oversaw it all. 

I have to watch children coming in and out of those buildings and ask myself which one of them will join me in hell. It takes every fiber in my being just to keep driving long enough so I can park my car and scream. I want to kill the people who did this to me. I want to kill the people who will do it again. I want to burn those buildings to the ground. I want to do horrible things to make that broken little girl inside me feel safe. And I don't want to do these things because I'm sick or indoctrinated by radical extremism. I want these things because that child they tried to strangle is still in there and she has every right to revenge, and so do the children of Gaza.

The only reason that I am any less lethal than the lost boys of Hamas is that I have this blog and the jihad that defines it. I could kill a thousand priests with my bare hands, and it wouldn't make me feel any safer. It would only make it easier for the priests of this world to convince their sheep that Queer kids like me are wolves that need to be slaughtered. Revenge isn't enough. The systems designed to debase the children of this world, from the Vatican to the Knesset, do not deserve to get off that easy. 

We, the adults broken by a society with no use for the individuals that we were born to be, need to remember that we were children once too and we need to stand in solidarity with the children of Gaza and show them that you do not need to destroy yourself to fight back. Together, we must struggle to dismantle every institution that relies on the suffering of children to thrive and yes that means destroying the Zionist state of Israel, the American Empire and the church of the Westphalian nation state that oversees it all.

This is all I want for Christmas this year because only from the ashes of kingdoms can broken children become whole again. This is my jihad and I hope that you will join me and make it yours as well.

Salam, Shalome, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH 

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Suffer Little Children by the Smiths

* Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails

* Feel It All the Time by Soccer Mommy

* I Don't Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats

* Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters by Elton John

* Running Up That Hill by First Aid Kit

* Luka by Suzanne Vega

* Children of the Revolution by T. Rex

* Teenage Whore by Hole

* Breaking the Girl by Red Hot Chili Peppers

* Black Boys on Mopeds by Phoebe Bridgers

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Terrorism with Honor: Henry Kissinger and America's Infuriating Culture of Personality

 This may come as a shock to you, but your average terrorist isn't actually a three-armed monster from hell who eats human flesh and breaths fire. Your average terrorist, if there really is such a thing, is in fact a human being and more often than not that human being is actually just some desperate, pissed-off, rube from a badly battered country with nothing left to lose but a dead-end life with little hope for a future. But just try suggesting this at the next neighborhood potluck in suburban Middle America and count the seconds before that tribe of docile orthodontists builds you a noose from the holiday lights.

To your average flag saluting normie, a terrorist is a completely different species that exists exclusively behind the label of 'other.' It's not altogether hard to see how simpletons could come to such conclusions when you consider their sources. Turn to any cable news channel you like, and you won't have to wait long for a lesson in the distinct otherness of your average terrorist. Within minutes you will be supplied with a cartoon caricature of a blood-drinking foreigner, worshipping a weird god and blowing himself to bits for fun and virgin pussy. Even the supposedly woke networks will basically tell you that the only white terrorist is a hillbilly with a heart full of black tar. And yet somehow Henry Kissinger doesn't make the cut.

During a news week filled to the brim with breathless condemnations of the average terrorist creatures of Hamas, Henry Kissinger, a man with a well-known body count higher than most forms of cancer, is mourned as a national icon. Oh sure, all the assholes on cable will admit to the centurion statesman's bloody misdeeds but always coupled with some convenient misnomer about the man being "complicated", "controversial", even "brooding." Reading the New York Times, you would think he was some kind of conflicted heartthrob from a lost chapter of the Twilight saga. "Sure, he's a monster, but I can fix him."

They all go on and on about how intelligent and calculating and charming this creature was but let's just cut the shit right now. This man was a fucking terrorist. The only thing that separated him from your average jihadist was that he was charming enough to turn political violence into a long, well-paying career, and this country of noose tying orthodontists was sick enough pay him.

The sheer number of crimes that Mr. Kissinger managed to commit during a relatively short stint in power is downright staggering. Between the years of 1969 and 1975, Henry served two administrations, first Richard Nixon's, then Gerald Ford's, as both Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and during those eight years, the bodies never stopped dropping. Kissinger was instrumental in prolonging the bloodbath in Vietnam by nearly a decade and expanded it across Southeast Asia, slaughtering somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million people with more bombs than the Second World War.

Henry was also instrumental in launching the 1973 coup against the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende, and having him replaced with a vicious fascist general named Augusto Pinochet who would hold that country hostage for nearly twenty years. Once Pinochet was finished machine gunning college students in converted soccer stadiums and building internment camps for some 80,000 political dissidents, the venerable Secretary of State helped him take that horror show on the road with Operation Condor, a CIA mission to cleanse the Southern Cone of South America of anything to the left of Phyllis Schlafly. 60,000 people simply disappeared across half a dozen countries between 1975 and 1983, including pacifists, missionaries, monks and nuns, many of them simply thrown from American helicopters into the sea.

Henry spread the love to East Timor in 1975 when he helped America's favorite mononym monster, Suharto, carry out and get away with one of the worst acts of genocide of the Twentieth Century, slaughtering somewhere in the ballpark of 300,000 men, women and children or a third of that tiny island nation's impoverished population over the next twenty years. Kissinger, a perpetually celebrated refugee of the Holocaust, seemed to have a kink for genocide. Aside from East Timor, he also offered America's support to Pakistan while they slaughtered 3 million Hindus in Bangladesh in 1971 and even encouraged the Chinese to arm the Khmer Rouge during the height of their own final solution.

Shockingly, the list just keeps going on and on like this, from feeding the Kurds to a Baathist massacre to putting a junta in charge of Argentina and encouraging them to hurry up and kill their opponents before the gringo press could catch wind of the burning bodies. From backing the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus which continues to this day to the backing of the Moroccan invasion of Sahrawi which, wouldn't you fucking know it, also continues to this motherfucking day. Kissinger's shadow continues to linger over thousands of graveyards across the globe and an American war machine that owes God knows how many more corpses to his influence.

But Henry Kissinger's most sickening act of international terrorism was getting away with it. For all his crimes, for all the bodies and bombs and genocide, Henry was awarded with the reputation of a global sex symbol. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize for ending a war that he broke his ass to prolong and expand. He was wined and dined by A-list celebrities and given the star treatment on every primetime news show from Crossfire to Nightline. They all knew Henry was a monster and they fucking loved it.

Some might call this popular perversion a cult of personality but it's actually way more twisted than that. Henry Kissinger isn't the only ugly American celebrated for his career as an unapologetic terrorist. This country's history is jam packed with fabulous monsters. Thomas Jefferson invented "American Democracy" when he wasn't busy raping his own slaves and killing Indians. FDR led us out of the Great Depression with programs modeled after the state expansions of Mussolini's Italy and put an entire race of people into concentration camps for a Japanese invasion that he purposely provoked and allowed to happen. Ronald Reagen saved the world from communism while still making time to sling crack for baby killers in Nicaragua. And Barack Obama proved that America's appetite for destruction was finally color blind when he became the first person of color to use the White House as a base to murder teenagers with model airplanes.

These terrorists didn't get a pass because they were charming or charismatic. If that were true, George W. Bush would be painting shitty pictures of his feet in Guantanamo Bay right now. Every powerful American is lionized and sainted sooner or later for the simple fact that American power is exceptional. One cult of personality isn't enough for the greatest empire since Rome. America has constructed an entire culture of personality that could redeem a club-faced cattle rapist if he spent a long weekend in the White House. This is a sickness caused by the greatest concentration of institutional power in human history and the only defense that sane human beings have against it is to smash the mythology itself.

Osama Bin Laden was a killer. Henry Kissinger was a killer. Adolf Hitler was a killer. You can dress it up however you want, declare the perpetrator to be a terrorist, a statesman, or a dictator, but it's all the same to me and none of it deserves any special treatment. Powerful people kill poor people because they can and the more power they get, the more they kill, so stop giving them more power with fancy titles and couture categories for their crimes. Terrorists kill people, period, so fuck all terrorists. 

Throw Kissinger's rotting carcass in the same hole as those cunts in Hamas and the IDF and stop pretending like any of them are special for doing dreadful things to innocent people. Now where's my fucking noose? I'm not getting any more moderate here...

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post.

* Cult of Personality by Living Color

* Decorated Lawns by Julien Baker

* Iron Man by Black Sabbath

* Caught a Light Sneeze by Tori Amos

* See No Evil by Television

* Raining Blood by Slayer

* Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones

* Evil by Interpol

* The Man Who Sold the World by Nirvana

* All These Things That I've Done by the Killers

Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Jews Must Join the Intifada Against the State of Israel

 They are marching in the streets, they are calling for Bibi's head on a stake, and they aren't Palestinians, they are Israeli Jews. This is the story that you are probably not being told about the current crisis in the Holy Land because it doesn't fit neatly into anyone's preferred narrative. In the wake of the worst terrorist attacks in Israel's history, during the heat of that nation's bloodiest act of ethnic cleansing in decades, nobody hates the government of the Jewish State more than the Jews that it hides behind like a bulletproof vest. Israeli's have been in the streets by the thousands, swarming Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, battling with cops outside the Knesset, and blaming their own government first and foremost for what transpired on October 7.

This isn't some extremist minority either. This is the 76% of the country who believes that Bibi should resign immediately. These are the family members of the hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza who hold their own government responsible for failing to prevent that disaster and they are sick and fucking tired of seeing it exploited for politics and mayhem. This is a nation slowly waking up to the nightmare that has been erected in their name on the sacred soil of ancient Judea and however misguided their rage might be beneath their blue and white flags, these pissed off Jews are also likely the only reason why Bibi and his den of thieves consented to even seven days of truce before returning to their Nakba. 

While the focus of this outpouring of public rage amongst the chosen people is still depressingly myopic, with far too little concern being shown for the legions of children being obliterated on the other side of the wall, it is still an awakening and I strongly believe that under the proper conditions it could become a downright revolutionary one. That's because what the Israeli people are finally waking up to is the treacherous nature of their own government and it's not particularly hard to see why. Benjamin Netanyahu betrayed these people twice this October, first by failing to prevent the bloodbath visited upon the kibbutzim on the seventh and then by using this unforgivable failure to justify an even bigger bloodbath in the Gaza Strip with very little concern for the hostages caught in the crossfire or the inevitable blowback that is still bound to come back to the Israeli people in spades.

Senior IDF officials were warned repeatedly about the coming Al-Aqsa Flood by everyone from the Egyptian government to their own subordinates and nothing was done to prevent it. High-ranking officials of the IDF's own elite 8200 Signal Intelligence Unit even gave a detailed report constructed from raw data that predicted a scenario nearly identical to what transpired on October 7 a full month prior, and they were essentially told to go fuck themselves with it. This wasn't some convoluted false flag attack either. This was actually something far more perverse. Bibi and his cabinet of fascist lunatics failed to provide the Gaza border with sufficient military resources because they were too busy using them to perform near weekly raids against the defenseless Arab peasants of the West Bank. 

Long story short: Israel's own government couldn't be bothered to prevent their 9/11 because they were too consumed with provoking it on the other side of the desert. The Israeli people appear to recognize this painful truth even at a time when the entire western world is committed to using its casualties to harness their rage as a vehicle to crush Palestine into dust and this is a good start but it's not enough. Benjamin Netanyahu may be a lecherous, self-serving, racial cannibal but he is not unique. He is merely the end result of a corrupt and contrived political machine that was designed to harvest its own people's historical suffering in order to further the goals of what essentially amounts to a white supremacist colonial project that has routinely gone out of its way to debase the very people that it claims to serve.

But the only way for any of us to truly comprehend the depth of Bibi's treachery is to try to comprehend the treacherous nature of the Israeli state itself. You see, there is nothing ancient or sacred or even particularly Jewish about the modern nation of Israel. The concept of a Jewish State was the invention of a handful of secular European Jews at the turn of the century who were inspired by the same Volkisch German nationalist hogwash as the Nazis to transform a very diverse collection of religious sects from across the globe into a singular master race who could bring the magic of western chauvinism to the Holy Land. 

They called themselves Zionists and most Jews at the time considered them to be lunatics and for good reason. But these lunatics were seen as very convenient to antisemitic imperialists like the British, who legitimized this radical fringe movement and attempted to use them to redraw the porous borders of the collapsing Ottoman Empire until their subjects turned against them and sought the sponsorship of competing bigots to achieve their dream of a Jewish ethno-state more expediently. These would-be sponsors included fellow fascist states like Mussolini's Italy and even Nazi Germany.

The highly influential Zionist Federation of Germany conspired quite openly with the Nazis to transfer their Jews to the British Mandate of Palestine with the 1933 Haavara Agreement. This organization, whose leaders included Pinchas Rosen, the first Minister of Justice of Israel, stated themselves that "Zionism hopes to be able to win the collaboration even of a government fundamentally hostile to the Jews" and they weren't alone. Avraham Stern's Lehi paramilitary organization, whose members included many of Israel's founding fathers like future Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, made multiple attempts to forge an alliance with Hitler, proposing a Jewish state based on "nationalist and totalitarian principles, and linked to the German Reich."

The sickening truth that most modern historians refuse to even touch is that the only reason that the Nazis decided to choose genocide over collaboration with the European Zionist Movement was likely the fact that most Jews rejected that movement and chose to fight fascism instead in what they still considered to be their homelands. This only changed after the Holocaust when Nazi collaborators like Lehi and the Zionist Federation exploited the atrocities of the monsters they tried to befriend in order to harness the rage of the Jewish people and unleash it upon the Arab population of Palestine with the aid of another racist sugar daddy in Washington. 

This all may seem offensively inconceivable to the unlearned western history student but what you must understand and what the people of Israel must understand is that Zionism has never had much of a problem with antisemitism. Quite the contrary. This is a movement conceived of by wealthy members of the Ashkenazi diaspora who considered themselves to be superior to the semitic Jews of the "Orient" and actually believed antisemitism to be a totally healthy response to the existence of Jews outside of the state of Israel. Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization and the first President of Israel said it himself in 1912, "Each country can absorb only a limited number of Jews if she doesn't want disorders in her stomach, Germany already has too many Jews."

But perhaps no chapter in history reveals the strangely antisemitic nature of the Zionist project of Israel or its ability to manipulate the suffering of its own subjects quite like the tragic plight of the Mizrahim. The founding fathers of Israel had every intention of turning their new nation into an Ashkenazi supremacist superstate, but they didn't have the numbers necessary to cleanse the Holy Land of its indigenous Muslim and Christian populations so they rallied Jewish communities from across Africa and the Middle East, often using terrorist false flag attacks like those performed by Mossad in Iraq during the early fifties to do so, herding these people into a subservient class of Arab Jews consolidated beneath a single caste called the Mizrahim, or "from the east."

These Jews, the only Jews with confirmed ethnic ties to the region, were treated like animals: corralled into cramped camps, used for cheap labor by the Ashkenazi elites, sprayed with DDT and treated with involuntary doses of radiation, killing thousands. Their babies were stolen from Israeli hospitals and given to Ashkenazi parents who couldn't conceive in Israel and abroad while their birth parents were given phony death certificates. This is because those Jews weren't white, but much like the Jews in this country, they would become white once they proved themselves capable of slaughtering their fellow Semites in Palestine.

Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party built its base on the impoverished and subjugated Mizrahim by supplying them with the opportunity for revenge against the innocent bystanders of the West Bank. To this day, once proudly Arab Jews are used by Israel as vigilante shock troops to tame the banks of the river Jordan and even though the Mizrahim continue to face greater levels of inequality then their Ashkenazi masters, they can now hold their heads high and call themselves Zionists.

This is how colonialism works. This is how white supremacy works. What cannot be erased will be assimilated. This is how the United States convinced my own Irish Catholic ancestors to become white after years of discrimination and violence. But it comes at a price and that price is the very identity of those who trade their culture for privilege. The Jews are not a single homogenous entity. They are a diverse cross section of tribes spanning across centuries of history and multiple continents and these tribes coexisted peacefully with Christians and Muslims across the Middle East for thousands of years before certain Europeans stepped in and started drawing borders and building races. And if the Israeli Jews honestly think that they're newfound privileged status as good little Zionists will keep them safe when the chickens come home to roost, they should ask the white Mizrahim of the Kibbutzim served up to Hamas on October 7 how well that worked out.

Israel is a state, and the state is a western perversion totally alien to the Middle East or anywhere else outside of hell for that matter. This contraption can only be served at the expense of every tribal identity other than the contrived ones designed to be subservient to it. I guess what the real question here is, is what's more important, being a good Jew or being a good citizen because these two things clearly aren't the same. Jews are dying for Israel right alongside Palestinians and I believe that the only way we will ever see an end to this nightmare is if the Jews finally put down their Israeli flags and join the intifada to restore the Holy Land to its natural stateless condition of diverse coexistence.

From the river to the sea, every tribe must be free. 

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

* Pillar of Salt by the Thermals

* I'm Not Part of Me by Cloud Nothings

* What About Us by Ministry

* Ruined by Adriane Lenker

* Rock the Kasbah by the Clash

* My Body is Made of Crushed Little Stars by Mitski

* Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush

* Getting Closer by Nitzer Ebb

* Lasting Friend by Samia  

Sunday, December 3, 2023

So Much for Free Speech: The Antiwoke Movement Cancels Palestine

"Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire."

-Abbie Hoffman

"I know too much and not enough."

-Allen Ginsberg

Revolution makes for some strange bedfellows and as a kinky agitator for free speech, I have pretty much fucked with them all, from head-chopping Salafi whack-jobs and intellectually braindead Holocaust deniers to flag devouring Maoist lunatics and gun-toting millenarian Jesus freaks. I have defended the rights of anti-vaxxers to openly deny the basic tenets of medical science, I have defended the rights of fag-bashing imbeciles to refuse to bake wedding cakes for weirdos like me, and I have even defended the rights of washed-up comedians to snatch another fifteen minutes at the expense of my own hard earned gender identity. 

Truth be told, I have probably broken a lot of hearts on the left with this kind of advocacy and I have probably lost a lot of legitimate allies defending people that would likely sooner see a genderqueer feminist like me dragged behind their pick-up trucks than share a bathroom with their daughters.

As usual, the left has a point and I feel their pain. There is a very powerful part of me that would enjoy nothing better than to cave in the face of every last transphobic troglodyte with a D-cell Maglite. Even on eight milligrams of Estradiol, I have very moist dreams that end with that specific tableau tastefully set to the soundtrack of Blue is the Warmest Color. 

But what my former comrades in the black bloc often fail to comprehend is that my at-times downright sadomasochistic stance on the unfettered right to be an absolute cunt is specifically inspired by my upbringing as a student of the countercultural fringe on the New Left.

Free speech is the disorganized religion of my elders. The dogma of outlaw priests like Allen Ginsberg, Mario Savio, Lenny Bruce and Abbie Hoffman. Proud commie pinko freaks who got locked up and beat to a bloody fucking pulp so you and I can wipe our ass with the flag and tell our local sheriff to go fuck himself with his service revolver. These people, my heroes, left a trail of broken teeth from Berkley to the Supreme Court defending the inalienable right for the individual to be a cunt and I would be spitting on their graves if I made exceptions just for the people who personally sicken me. 

It isn't that I support hate speech any more than the next antifascist does. It's that I recognize the inconvenient fact that affording any major institution, be they private or public, with the ability to silence any individual is far more dangerous than any individual could ever be. But while this position has led me to defend the far-right more times than I care to count, that doesn't mean that I have ever been foolish enough to believe that those libertarian-come-lately assholes would ever return the favor. 

The right loves to fan their sweaty taint with the First Amendment but it never takes them very long to rediscover their censorious roots. The first inkling of this hypocrisy amongst the latest generation of right-wing free speech frauds in the so-called Antiwoke Movement came with their open armed embrace of using the state to police Queer kids in both public and private schools, but the MAGA movement's love for cancel culture has reached truly dizzying new highs of orgasmic ecstasy and dismal new lows of gutter despotism in the wake of Israel's genocidal war on the children of Gaza.

Practically overnight, every GOP presidential hopeful and Fox News edgelord who has ever beat off on camera with the Constitution began screaming like flaming snowflakes to have any college student in a Keffiyeh dragged off to the guillotines and they have happily hopped into bed with the Ivy League Karens of the academic elite to make it happen. The same people who marched for Milo clapped their hands until they bled as Colombia suspended the Students for Justice in Palestine and Harvard blacklisted the Palestine Solidarity Committee for simply verbally holding Israel responsible for provoking terrorism with apartheid.

Florida governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, a garish neocon Reagan stunt double who built a pitiful career pushing trans girls off their bicycles and flexing for the cameras before barking "Free speech!" showed off his own antiwoke muscles for GOP primary voters by demanding that his state universities cancel campus speech and banish organizations like the SJP entirely. 

Not to be outdone by his former primary competitor, Senator Tim Scott, who backed a bill on the Hill called the Stop Antisemitism on College Campuses Act that would essentially strip funding from universities for simply hiring certain professors that certain Zionists deem antisemitic. In fact, every single GOP presidential candidate except Vivek Ramaswamy has called for literally deporting students just for showing up at pro-Palestine rallies. 

Now, I may despise what has become of the left in the era of kneejerk political correctness, but I also have a very hard time imagining Bernie or the Squad backing this kind of legislation directed at the "Putin Puppets" who oppose their bullshit funding of the NATO catastrophe in Ukraine. As much as these swishy champagne socialists may sicken me with their own hypocrisy, the right always takes this shit one step further and that's because this is who they are. 

Censorship is the religion of their elders. Pompous Christian nationalist church ladies like William Buckley, Edwin Meese, Jerry Fallwell and Phyllis Schlafly. The same people who canceled William Burroughs, 2 Live Crew, Ward Churchill, Judas Priest and Norman Finkelstein. In spite of their posturing, the Antiwoke Movement has nothing to do with free speech. Those self-serving creeps are merely the rotten fruit of the Christian Right's prolapsed anus, and those sheep will always come home to trample on those of us who dare to engage in truly dangerous speech which is all the more reason why commie pinko freaks like me need to be devoted to zealously protecting it at all costs. 

The campus speech codes and convoluted notions of "student safety" against scary language empowered by political correctness are currently being weaponized by the Antiwoke Movement to silence the most important student antiwar movement since the Bush era and this is precisely why I have risked alienating myself from my own tribe to defend shock jocks and hate mongers against these puritan vestiges of social cleanliness. 

Because I knew that as long as this architecture of intellectual surveillance existed, it would inevitably be used by the institutions of patriarchy and white supremacy still nestled in those ivory towers to flog the marginalized. Faggots like me are always the first to get fucked by institutional power which is precisely why faggots like me need to be on the front lines in the fight to castrate these very institutions of those powers and keep them from silencing anybody ever again, and that includes the neanderthals who will inevitably exploit my efforts just to bash me.

This is the price of true liberty, and this is the big difference between right-wing "libertarians" and sex-positive genderfuck mutants like me who used to pass for left-wing before the left-wing got lost. I will be fighting for the inalienable right for those phonies to be a cunt long before their knife wounds heal on my back because there but before the grace of the state go I. 

So, fuck the state or die fucking. Free speech is for everyone or it's for no one at all.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* You've Got Another Thing Comin' by Judas Priest

* Awful by Hole

* Banned in the USA by 2 Live Crew

* U-Mass by the Pixies

* Mother by Danzig

* Freedom to Fuck Off by Petey

* Express Yourself by NWA

* Hard to Love by Bully

* Anarchy in the UK by Megadeth

* Say it Like You Mean It by Sleater-Kinney

Sunday, November 26, 2023

From Stonewall to Gaza: What it Means to be a Queer for Palestine

 When you are granted the awkward misfortune of being raised in the wrong gender in a conservative small town you get used to being the butt of every limp-dick breeder's stupid fucking jokes. I've heard them all before and they ceased being funny sometime between the pedophile priests and the exorcists. 

With that being said, in order to survive and organize as a radical Queer anarcho-populist amongst the rural poor in MAGA country, I have had little choice but to grow a thicker skin than most, even going so far as to take vulgar insults in stride and repurpose them as weapons of radical pride. Depending on my mood, my response to words like 'tranny' and 'faggot' generally fall somewhere between "Yeah, so what?" and "You're goddamn right I am!"

But some jokes go too far even for me. In the wake of the Al-Aqsa Flood attacks and Israel's subsequent mass slaughter of civilians in Gaza, the notion of "Queers for Palestine" has become the joke and it isn't just neckless yocals at the local filling station making it. 

It's self-proclaimed allies like Bill Maher and the staff of Reason Magazine. Supposedly enlightened liberals and libertarians who find the very idea of freaks like me marching for Muslim savages in the Levant to be silly. Let me make myself crystal clear right here and right now that these people are racist assholes, and I wrote this post to tear them a new one.

Like 99.9% of all anti-Zionists, I make zero attempt to defend the cowards of Hamas or even the corrupt fucking gangsters of Fatah. However, I do think that it needs to be pointed out that in spite of what the pro-Israel propaganda may tell you, Palestine is not quite the Queer hell that these bigots paint it as and Israel is far from Fire Island. LGBTQ rights actually very greatly throughout the Palestinian territories. 

Same sex sexual activities were decriminalized in the West Bank in 1951 and while they remain prohibited in the Gaza Strip under a code left over from the British Mandate carrying a sentence of up to ten years, there exists very little evidence that this law has ever actually been enforced and it appears to be largely obsolete in practice. In fact, the only record of anyone even being charged with this post-colonial relic came in the form of threats to silence the author of a book with a few Queer characters in 2017. 

This isn't to say that Palestine is some kind utopian bathhouse either. Hate crimes are not unusual and Queer rights groups like Al Qaws remain targets for legal harassment by the Palestinian Authorities, but we do in fact exist in Palestine and Queer organizations have been out and active since the Second Intifada in Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa and the West Bank with many in our ranks finding shelter and solidarity among left-wing secular movements like the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine. 

Israel, for their part in this charade, only plays nice with Queer folk when they're trying to get away with bombing the brown ones. Same sex marriage remains illegal there as does interfaith marriage and as late as 2008 polls have shown that over half of all Israelis still view homosexuality as a disease that needs to be cured.

This noxious practice of using the illusion of liberal tolerance to dress up colonialism in the drag of progress is known as pinkwashing and it isn't just being used as a license to kill Arabs, it is being used to destroy the very fabric of what it means to be Queer. 

My identity is more than just a collection of cultural tropes to be assimilated into the global neoliberal hivemind. We are a tribe, a complex social construct that is defined by our resistance to colonial repression and losing sight of this fact won't just mean complicity in Palestinian genocide, it will mean our own erasure as anything more than domesticated poodles at the foot of our master's bed.

Before the Romans hijacked Christianity and used it to revive the same flailing empire that killed Christ, Queer people existed openly in pagan communities across the globe, from the genderfuck priestesses of Cybele to the Hindu Hijra. The world was a complicated and at times violent quilt work of diverse and largely stateless indigenous cultures, with every tribe and every village holding their own interpretations of what gender and sexuality meant to them. 

This had to change once the Vatican was built in order to use the weapon of forced cultural universalism to consolidate every tribe beneath a single governable vision of social purity. Rural Europe was first to go with peasant heathen holdouts like my Druid ancestors being burned at the stake during the Inquisition for venerating gods who transgressed Catholic gender boundaries.

The "New World" followed. Before the Conquistadors, over 150 Indigenous American tribes acknowledged the existence of at least three genders, with many recognizing as many as six and some practicing a completely fluid approach to expression altogether that left the very notion of gender virtually irrelevant. 

The Spaniards responded to this display of diversity by feeding my people alive to their dogs. Similar atrocities were taken against the Bakla in the Philippines and the British Empire picked up where the Pope left off in South Asia, Africa, and Oceania, erasing the Mahu from Hawaii, the Mugwe from Kenya, and Brotherboys and Sistergirls from Aboriginal Australia.

The Muslim world was not untouched either. Islamic culture has a long and complicated history with gender diversity, but many pre-modern Islamic societies accepted the existence of third genders like the Mukhanath, later leading conservative revivalist imams like the Ayatollah Khomeini to grant fatwas protecting the right to gender confirming surgery. 

This isn't to say that things were perfect in pre-colonial times, but they were diverse, and diversity has always been the enemy of imperialism because diversity threatens the establishment of the single global order that empires depend on. This diversity that our masters fear most is also what came to define the very concept of Queerness. Purged from our original tribes and granted zero place to exist beneath the beige yoke of Victorian colonialism, sexual and gender minorities built a unique quilt work culture of our own in the shadows from the fragments of our pagan pasts.

But we only came out of the closet and into the streets during the maelstrom of the sixties when we were inspired by Black Power and other Third World uprisings to bash back with furious uprisings like the Stonewall Riots. It was by the light of those flaming cop cars that we found our way and forged a new identity defined by our open resistance to empire and we weren't the only ones. 

The Palestinians were another shattered people of many tribes who came together during this era to resist annihilation at the hands of puritanical European overlords. You see, despite what certain killers may tell the Queer folk of the west and the conservative Muslims of the Gaza Strip, we are not each other's natural born enemies, and I refuse believe that it's too late for us to become allies once more, especially not when there is so much at stake for all of us.

I don't have to agree with every Arab or every Muslim to find solidarity in our shared struggle against assimilation into a hostile foreign culture and I don't need the trinkets of tolerance chucked at my feet like scraps to a beggar by conquistadors like Joe Biden and Benjamin Netanyahu. These baby killers can keep their marriage contracts and their military service papers. They aren't worth the price of our soul or our agency. 

And you elitist secular Europhiles sitting on your corporate pedestals can make any fucking joke you want. My people don't need your goddamn approval either. What we need is the vision to see through the pinkwashing lies of the same neoliberal order that fed our ancestors to the dogs and continues to let our sisters get raped in men's prisons while children are bombed in our names by the same putrid state. We need to break out of our safe spaces so we can rejoin a dangerously diverse coalition of anti-imperialists in the direct democracy of the streets.

But most of all, Queer people need to remember who we are and that means standing with all oppressed people from Appalachia to Palestine regardless of whatever differences we may have because it is in fact those very differences and the right to live them freely and openly that defines our shared resistance. Our diversity is our weapon and I say we use it to smash this fucking empire once and for all. 

All power to all the people from Stonewall to Gaza with unconditional solidarity from my tribe to yours. Together we will win.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana

* Heroes by David Bowie

* Champions of Red Wine by the New Pornographers

* Why We Fight by the Decemberists

* Working for the Man by Roy Orbison

* Ahead by Wire

* Spitting Off the Edge of the World by Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Perfume Genius

* Sin by Nine Inch Nails

* What Have You Done for Me Lately by Janet Jackson

* Oblivion by Grimes

* Pretend We're Dead by L7

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Will the Next Adolf Hitler Please Stand Up: America's Peculiar Genocide Fetish from Manifest Destiny to the New Nakba

 Not to be rude but America really does love to get all hot and bothered about genocide. From the news to the Hill, there seems to be a constant hunt for the next big holocaust that only America can stop with all its omnipotent exceptionalism. Another "good war" to prove to the world that we're still really the good guys after all. With this quest in mind, every two-bit, tinpot despot seems to get hyped as the next Hitler on the brink of another Final Solution. Saddam Hussein must be stopped before he can gas the rest of the Kurds. Muammar Gaddafi must be stopped before he can turn Benghazi into Buchenwald. Bashar al-Assad must be stopped before Vladimir Putin must be stopped before Xi Jinping must be stopped... 

There are just so many goddamn Hitlers to be stopped and so little time. Just cut a fucking check to Raytheon already so we can save the world again! Don't get my sarcasm wrong, I'm not trying to say there aren't monsters out there. It just feels like certain Americans need a holocaust to stop a little too badly and all too often the result tends to be a lot of really stupid wars against over-hyped monsters that end up looking like rodents compared to the creatures we replace them with. And then there's Gaza.

Some 12,000 people annihilated in just over a month, most of them women and children. That is 1 out of every 200 people in the Gaza Strip or 0.5% of a population of 2.3 million impoverished people dead, wiped from the map in a blitzkrieg carpet bombing campaign that has reduced everything that moves in that tiny enclave to guts and rubble. Refugee camps, residential neighborhoods, apartment blocks, schools, bakeries, hospitals, mosques, churches... No target is off limits, and every last Palestinian is painted as a potential enemy of civilization. All while Benjamin Netanyahu, a flamboyantly racist gangster with an open disdain for democracy, consolidates his power and plots to push an entire race of people out into the wastelands of the Sinai Peninsula with a steam shovel or kill them trying.

Well, here it is America, here's your fucking holocaust giftwrapped like a holiday goose and complete with its very own Hitler and a clearly mapped out Final Solution. You wanna be the hero so goddamn badly? Here's your shot. Bibi's bombing babies and somebody needs to stop him before it's too late. We'll even let you wear the cape if it turns you on. 

There's just one little problem here. The campaign to erase Gaza from the face of the map may be the next big thing in genocide but it turns out that America-the-beautiful is the power behind the new Hitler making it happen. Every bomb, every bullet, every canister of white phosphorous that gasses the ghettos of Gaza comes directly from your pocket, and to make things even more confounding, all the usual assholes from the news to the Hill seem to be using the ghost of the Holocaust to justify committing another goddamn Holocaust.

The Israelis are Jews after all, and the Jews were the targets of genocide. There go, the Jews get to commit one free genocide against another stateless people even if they had nothing to do with the last genocide. By this bizarre logic, the Navajos should be allowed to wipe out the Basques and we should help them do it. It is a bastardly bewitching paradigm to fuck with but sadly, it is also far from a new one. In fact, this weird genocidal algebra is the voodoo that all modern western imperialism was built on.

An empire is an infernal machine that runs on a fuel called conquest and conquest requires two primary components to succeed, annihilation and justification. Nazi Germany and the original Hitler had the first in spades and they used America's conquest of the New World as a model for their plot to conquer the old one. Manifest Destiny was the first Reich, a savage campaign that successfully stole an entire hemisphere and turned that graveyard into a booming playground for a master race to reign over for a thousand years. 56 million indigenous people exterminated from Utqiagvik to Tierra del Fuego in just over a century flat.

This was the dream, the nightmare that Adolf Hitler aspired to. Contrary to popular mythology, there was nothing particularly special or even all that unusual about Nazi Germany. Fascism itself is just a colorful collection of excuses to elevate the state to take the place of God on the white man's mantle. The Third Reich was little more than an American copycat crime. Hitler just lacked the patience to pull it off. He tried to rush Manifest Destiny, killing 17 million civilians including about 6 million Jews in a decade before he could convince the world to let him get away with it. The Nazis failed because they committed their atrocities faster than they could justify them, which is half the game. 

America on the other hand succeeded because we used monsters like Hitler to justify our own atrocities. World War Two, the supposedly "good" war, became the template for this grift. America spent its first century and a half committing every single horror that Hitler copied twice and then we took our campaign global to stop him. With the fall of the Third Reich, America managed to reinvent itself as the only solution to every other final solution and it worked. 

It didn't matter that Hitler was actually done in by his fellow monster Stalin or that America vaporized entire cities like Dresden and Hiroshima just to steal his thunder, the mythology of America-the-indispensable-solution stuck and every time we get carried away with our latest massacre in Indochina or our latest quagmire in Babylon and our mask of sanity begins to slip, we just go right back to searching for another Hitler to stop.

All too often this quest has involved genocide too. America has used quisling thugs like Suharto and Muhammad bin Salman to slaughter over 200,000 people in East Timor and nearly 400,000 in Yemen, respectively. We wiped out entire tribes in Central America in the name of fighting communism, including 200,000 people in the tiny slave colony of Guatemala alone. And perhaps the sickest thing is that America has all too often used genocide to excuse genocide, whether we're killing Gypsy babushkas in Kosovo or starving half a million babies in Iraq.

Israel is just following our playbook because Israel is our playbook. The ovens of Auschwitz weren't even cool when we weaponized the anguish of the Jewish people and directed it at their fellow Semites in Palestine in order to build another European-style ethno-state on the doorstep of the Persian Gulf. And then there's Gaza. Sunrise, sunset.

America is right to seek the destruction of the next Hitler because as long as psychopaths have nation states and standing armies to hijack, there will always be another Hitler. But America doesn't need to travel far and wide to find him. They need only to search their bathroom mirrors. America is the next Hitler because America was the first Hitler, and we can put a stop to a thousand genocides from Papua New Guinea to the Gaza Strip just by bringing the war home and confronting the enemy within.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

* We Care a Lot by Faith No More

* Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys

* Youth Against Fascism by Sonic Youth

* Kick Out the Jams by the MC5

* Rambozo the Clown by Dead Kennedys

* Cult of Personality by Living Colour

* The American Ruse by the MC5

* I Against I by Bad Brains

* Wolf Like Me by TV On the Radio

*Problem with It by Plains

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Anger Makes Me a Modern Girl: Weaponizing PTSD in an Age of Global Injustice

 In case you haven't noticed, the news has been pretty fucked up lately and frankly so have I. This isn't exactly a new development for me or the world. In fact, for as long as I can remember, it feels like the planet has been burning behind an unblinking lens while I bawl my eyes out in the corner but lately, I've been getting a little exhausted by all the carnage. Just when I thought that nothing could be more infuriating than watching wave after wave of conscripted slaves being blown to bits for NATO in Ukraine, Israel decides to respond to a completely avoidable terrorist attack by declaring total war on the children of one of the most impoverished places on earth.

Every day is body parts and rubble and screaming babies and I'm starting to break. I turn off the BBC every night and cry myself to sleep only to get up the next day and lose my shit in line at the drug store. It feels like I'm drowning in death. I can't get their faces out of my head. Broken, smeared with blood, eyes screaming 'why?' They all look so familiar and it's burning holes through my heart like a lit cigarette. 

So why not just turn it off? According to every other asshole, it's apparently that goddamn easy. Just pull the fucking plug, get offline, or better yet get a grip. "The world isn't all about you, Nicky. You have to learn to take these things a little less personally." I've been hearing that advice, often unsolicited, for most of my life and maybe, for the sake of my increasingly brittle mental health, I should finally suck it up and take it. Everyone from my elementary school teachers to my own editors have told me in so many words to settle down and get objective. So, why can't I just behave like a good little journalist and stop crying into my keyboard?

Because people have been telling me to shut the fuck up and behave for my entire life and my writing, for better or worse, is the result of a childhood spent being abused, ignored and punished for speaking out about it. This is my voice, and this is what I have to say.

Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Agoraphobia. Gender Dysphoria. Repressed Memory Syndrome. Fancy words that come with the torture of getting to know myself over the last decade in order to figure out why I spent the better part of the decade before it too terrified to even leave my house. It all started with me realizing that my gender identity had become a prison cell but the moment that I picked that lock I began plummeting perilously down the dark abyss of a bottomless black rabbit hole of things that I had purposely forgotten and things that I dearly wish that I could forget. 

These things seemed to go from harrowing to downright horrifying about six months ago when I bumped up my estrogen dosage from six to eight milligrams. That one extra blue pill seemed to come crashing through me like a stone through a stained-glass window. This was the dose that finally put my hormone levels within the normal female range and the moment I got there a whole lot of really scary shit began making way too much sense and this includes my apparently pathological inability to get the screaming children of the Middle East out of my head.

You see, once upon a time, I didn't know that I was supposed to be a boy. I was very small and perfectly content with not being saddled with the expectations of a concrete gender identity. I was a fragile, dreamy little creature who adored Madeline books and Tim Burton movies. I wanted to be Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. A girl stitched together by her own hand from all sorts of different things that other people didn't want. But at some point, it became painfully clear to me that my parents and seemingly everybody else expected me to be like my older brother.

As far as I was concerned, this wasn't fair. They had it all wrong. So, I tried to tell them in the only language that a three-year-old child is fluent in, the tantrum. Thousands of them. Each one more epically obnoxious than the last. I screamed. I shouted. I broke things. I refused to eat. I refused to use the bathroom. I refused to behave at all as long as I was expected to behave like a boy. My parents wouldn't listen. They just got mad and told me to settle down and shut the fuck up.

My Catholic preschool seemed to agree and when the adults at that fine institution began pushing their great big hands all over my tiny scary body, I assumed that it was all part of the same punishment for my misbehavior. I learned my lesson. My body did not belong to me. It belonged to everyone but me. It belonged to my parents, my teachers, the Church, the Pope, and Jesus Christ and in these people's hands, it clearly wasn't safe for me to be a little girl anymore. So, I made that little girl disappear. I buried her deep beneath the floorboards of my subconscious and became the only kind of boy that I was capable of being, a silent automaton drifting through the grades in a numbed-out daze with the fires of hell roaring at my back. That is until 2003.

I reached puberty the year that George W. Bush invaded Iraq on the basis of a lie that was obvious to a fourteen-year-old zombie in a fugue state but somehow seemed to fool everyone else. Suddenly, all those pious adults who taught me to turn the other cheek while they groped me were ready to blow up the world on some cheap revenge kick after being caught off-guard by 9/11.

Soon, Bagdad was burning, bloody broken little girls were being dragged out from under the smoldering rubble, and I couldn't be silent anymore. A thousand childhoods were being smashed a minute by grown-ups who I finally realized were nothing but hypocrites and liars. So, I screamed, I shouted, I dressed in all black, I wrote Black Flag lyrics in the margins of my textbooks, and I refused to stand for their Pledge of Allegiance or bow to their false idols. I finally found a voice that felt like my own and the adults crucified me for it.

They called me a monster. They accused me of dressing like a gang member and supporting the terrorists. They told me that they were afraid to leave me alone with the younger students. They accused me of plotting to shoot my classmates and burn down the school. I tried to tell them that I was just a pacifist who was appalled by their war against children, but once again, they didn't fucking listen. That's when I finally learned that adults hear only what they want to hear so that's precisely what I told them from that point on.

I burned my peace flag and became their monster. It seemed like a better option than returning to my vow of silence, but the goal was still the same. Keep the prying hands of the world off of that little girl inside the boy. I stopped smiling. I watched Taxi Driver twice a week. I shaved my head into a mohawk and dressed in an old army jacket and combat boots. I became an adolescent terrorist and relished in my newfound ability to horrify people who still thought they were in charge of me.

At first, it felt pretty good playing Travis Bickle, but I could only blow away the hypocrites so many times before I realized that I was really just Iris behind that army jacket and that girl deserved to wrap her own fingers around the trigger. I collapsed beneath the weight of my own armor after high school and by the time I finally found the courage to take it off and let that girl out it was too late. The clock had run out on her childhood. She could never go back to being that innocent child reading Madeline books and dreaming of a body stitched together from all the doll parts that didn't fit.

I've had to live with this anguish and grief for a very long time, but it only truly began to make sense to me this October when I watched with horror and disgust as the western world agreed that another generation of little girls deserved to be buried alive beneath the Gaza Strip. Maybe it is selfish to make this war about me, but I didn't invent PTSD and I can't help the fact that I still see that little girl in the searing eyes of every Palestinian child begging 'why?' I know why. Powerful adults break children because they can, because children don't have the strength to push back and aren't afforded the voice to say 'no.' Well, I'm fucking saying it.

If you sanctimonious gangsters think that I am going to just sit by and watch you get rich selling bombs to bigots so they can blow up children for their stupid fucking god, then you have another thing coming and so do the rest of the adults telling me to keep it down and be objective. Fuck all of you. Objectivity is a privilege you ripped from my body so you could break it between your fingers. I can't blow those fingers off with a .44 Magnum. I can't take my childhood back from your bloody hands. I could burn every last one of you churches to the ground and it wouldn't be enough to avenge that little girl you stole from me. 

But I can use her rage for fuel, enough fuel to power a million microphones for a million girls lost beneath your rubble. Making sure that no adult can ever ignore their screams again is my jihad. This is our voice, and this is how I get to make it right.

My unfiltered PTSD is my gift to the unheard and the ignored. I may not be a daughter of Palestine, but anger makes me a modern girl and you will grow to fear her.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Modern Girl by Sleater Kinney

* My War by Black Flag

* Head Like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails

* Doll Parts by Hole

* London Calling by the Clash

* Rape Me by Nirvana

* Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine

* Hate My Way by Throwing Muses

* Kind of Girl by MUNA

* She Walks on Me by Hole

Sunday, November 5, 2023

A Call for Two, Three, Many Intifadas

 The Gaza Strip has gone from a prison to graveyard this fall, and the numbers are startling. Since Hamas pulled off a barbaric massacre that apparently everyone but Benjamin Netanyahu saw coming, Israel has stepped up its own barbarism against the people of Gaza to unprecedented levels and turned the month of October into a blood harvest straight out of a Stephen King novel. In the first month of this onslaught alone over 9,000 Gazans were slaughtered beneath a driving rain of American-made military ordinances. 

Nearly 4,000 or roughly 40% of the dead have been children, along with nearly 2,000 women and hundreds of the elderly, and by nearly every estimate, this number is expected rise exponentially, considering that thousands of Gazans remain missing and are likely trapped beneath the rubble of demolished tower blocks. We have been told that there are also a few terrorists in this graveyard of innocent civilians as well, but that's the thing about bombing literally everybody, if you're an asshole with a decent enough poker face you can lay claim to targeting pretty much anybody. I'm sure a few ventriloquists were probably buried in that deluge of death as well, perhaps Bibi would like to take credit for that tactical victory.

The dead have also included scores of UN relief workers and well over two dozen journalists. Entire families have been wiped out as entire neighborhoods have been flattened. With 2.3 million people packed into just 139 square miles, the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated places on earth and nearly half of that population is now homeless with nowhere to run and no place to hide. Even hospitals aren't off limits. As Israel declares that anyone found guilty of moving in places too trashed to be evacuated from will be considered a terrorist, a population already congested with refugees finds themselves scattering like dead leaves from one hovel to the next, just waiting for another bunker busting hammer to come dropping down on their heads.

There is a word for this genre of non-fiction horror, it's called genocide, and we all need to start fucking saying it out loud. That word is no longer just a post-colonial theory or a clever historical allegory, it is a stone-cold analytical fact that no one with a functioning brain can afford to deny without being considered complicit in this unfolding tragedy. The Israelis themselves have all but admitted it. 

A proposition leaked from Israel's Intelligence Ministry that Bibi's own government has acknowledged to be legitimate explains the plot in rigid detail. A three-step process that begins with tent cities and "humanitarian corridors" on the southwest border of the Gaza Strip and ends with the entire prison colony being emptied out into the barren deserts of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. This is the exact same plot being bandied about simultaneously by the right-wing Zionist Migav Institute, headed by Bibi's former National Security Advisor, Meir Ben Shabbat, and while the Biden Administration plays to their strengths by playing dumb, a slice of their $105 billion dollar bill to fuel World War 3 in three separate theaters has been officially allocated to "the potential needs of Gazans flooding to neighboring countries." Countries like Washington's second biggest client state, Egypt.

In other words, this slaughter is happening, and it has been happening for far too long. The current campaign to evacuate half of what's left of Palestine may have taken on downright monstrous proportions thanks to the sick miracles of modern-day military science, but it is largely just a seamless continuation of the siege on which the Israeli state was formed over 75 years ago in 1948. 

This was the year that marked the beginning of a two-year mass purge known as the Nakba in which at least 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and ancestral lands at gun point. 530 villages were razed to the ground and 15,000 civilians were slaughtered as 78% of historic Palestine was hijacked by a people who survived the Holocaust only to have their grief manipulated by American mandarins in order to officiate another final solution and build a western colonialist rump state on the doorstep of the oil rich Middle East.

The world needs to stop dreaming and wake the fuck up from this nightmare. We can't pretend this isn't happening anymore and we can't pretend that we aren't all complicit in the bloodshed. I myself have adopted the tendency to air on the side of strict isolationism over any form of internationalism because I have seen firsthand how even earnest internationalism can all too often veer into reckless "humanitarian" interventionism, but what is rapidly unfolding like a funeral shroud over the Gaza Strip is not merely an Israeli genocide but a genocide made possible by the Atlantic elites of a declining Western Civilization and their pompous puppets can throw all the fits they want about the need for calm and restraint. Their guns and wallets speak the loudest.

Israel has become a martial superstate largely dependent on the largesse of American taxpayers. They have already received a record shattering $3.8 billion dollars in American military aid for the fiscal year of 2022 which itself is only one piece of an even larger deal signed by Barack Obama in 2016 to furnish the Zionist Death Star with $38 billion dollars in homicidal machinery by 2026, and even this is just the tip of a $263 billion dollar iceberg paid in yearly instalments since 1948. 

What few people outside of the Middle East seem to grasp is that what we face with the Nakba isn't merely an act of ethnic cleansing which is rapidly approaching a full-scale genocide. This is a western proxy genocide and Europe's hands are nearly as filthy as ours. After all, the EU is Israel's second largest supplier of military technology with peace loving Eurocrats licensing nearly two-billion Euros in contracts over the last decade alone. America may build the death machines, but it is the Swiss and the Italians that ensure that all the body shredding gears are up to snuff.  

Westerners can no longer stand idly by with our conscience in our back pockets while one of the most marginalized communities on the planet is left to fight for their basic right to exist alone against the collective strength of the most powerful nations on earth. But what can we do? At the risk of being banished from every last corner of the internet for an eternity, this Queer anarchist suggests that we look to the Shiites for guidance. 

We now know for a fact that the only reason that Benjamin Netanyahu waited as long as he did to send IDF ground troops into the ghettos of Gaza was because of the Biden White House's fears of opening up a second front to the north with Lebanon's Hezbollah. Other Shia militias from Yemen to Iraq have taken notice and done their part to reign hell over the American military presence being used to hold off the horrified Muslim world while their brothers and sisters are systematically annihilated. Say what you will about these crude shellings but they have more than likely been affective in saving lives and while their exact machinations may lack the imagination necessary to prevent the final solution to the Palestinian question, I do believe that these swashbuckling militiamen have the right idea.

We, the stateless anti-imperialists of the world must do anything and everything we can to open as many fronts as possible. To paraphrase the brilliant Marxist strategist Che Guevara, we must launch two, three, many intifadas. We must swarm the embassies of the United States, Israel, and the EU across the globe with millions of irate protesters. We must expand the BDS Movement to include every institution that does business with any facet of the western military industrial complex. We must hack the servers of every intelligence agency engaged in surveilling the people of Palestine. We must provide cryptocurrency markets for the starving prisoners of the Gaza Strip and ghost guns for the unarmed shepherds of the West Bank.

Anarchists, communists, libertarians, conservatives, Jews, Christians, pagans and Muslims must all build a robust and united front against the white supremacy of Zionism as well as any attempt to smear all those who criticize this evil as antisemites. In short, we must come together and use every tactic available short of terrorism to sabotage the western conspiracy to erase the Gaza Strip because the lives of millions of innocent civilians depends on our willingness to shut down our own masters. If not now, then when? If not us, then who?

As sickeningly cruel as the irony may be, this new Nakba may very well become our generation's Holocaust if we don't stand up with fists raised high. Never again means NEVER again.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* Late at Night by Buffalo Tom

* Jesus by the Velvet Underground

* Toxicity by System of a Down

* Afraid of Heights by boygenius

* The Killing Moon by Echo & the Bunnymen

* Zombie by the Cranberries

* Buildings by Regina Spektor

* Instant Karma! by John Lennon

* Panic by the Smiths

* Pennyroyal Tea by Nirvana

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch at the End of the World

 I usually love this time of year, the fun size candy bars, the colorful leaves, and especially the gore. But in 2023, Halloween has simply gotten too goddamn scary to celebrate, even for a macabre chaos-binging lunatic like me. Mankind seems to be surrounded by demons far more atrocious than Count Dracula or Freddy Kreuger. These new monsters aren't so new, but they have grown far too monstrous to wink at on the silver screen. Genocide. Artificial Intelligence. Nuclear war. Climate change. These are the beasts stalking humanity this Halloween and I am not ashamed to admit that I'm afraid. 

These outspoken fears of mine have led to me being accused of being everything from a doomer to an anarcho-primitivist amongst other ideological pejoratives, but watching the news, with world wars on the horizon in both Europe and the Pacific, a holocaust brewing in the Gaza Strip, and nuclear warheads involved in all three crises, I strain to see how anyone fails to reach the same diagnosis that I have, that civilization itself has become a terminal disease with no cure in sight. 

But this is actually where the cinema of horror becomes more relevant than ever. Civilization has carefully groomed its victims for generations to look away from that which terrifies them most because the systemically ignorant make for docile prey. Provocative art serves to wake mankind from this stupor and forces us all to confront the heinous and we as a species have never lived in an era fraught with more existentially heinous things to confront than we do right now. 

It is for this reason that I have decided to return to my annual list of Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark with a new mission in mind. A mission to provoke the stateless into confronting the fact that the state has dragged us to the end of the world and that our only hope for defeating it is recognizing that the odds are stacked against any species that has become the monster in its own horror movie.

So, I have chosen ten movies, some of them new, some of them old, some of them horror and some of them just plain horrifying, but all of them demanding questions to the answers of progress that have brought us to the brink of oblivion on this dying rock. By all means, be afraid but investigate your fears before they can devour you whole.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) by James Cameron- The scene opens with a single mother watching her son swinging higher and higher on a swing set from behind a chain-link fence. It's a sunny day at a boisterous California playground with the Los Angeles skyline glimmering brightly in the distance. Everything feels postcard perfect down to the last detail. Then something goes wrong, and the single mother seems to be the only one to recognize the impending danger. The shadow of a missile appears, a flash of light follows, a mushroom cloud rises high above the skyscrapers, and that fence becomes a cage restraining the mother from shielding her child from an unstoppable wave of death. In the blink of an eye, all is reduced to ash. 

I firmly believe that this is still the most terrifying scene ever captured on film and it both amazes and horrifies me that even after Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima, it just keeps becoming more startlingly relevant with each passing nuclear crisis. In 1991, Terminator 2 was a pulse-pumping action thriller. In 2023, it has become a horror film, an impoverished cry through the chain-link fence to a species swinging closer to the flames. We have all become Linda Hamilton and this movie isn't exciting anymore. 

Come and See (1985) by Elen Klimov- War is a spectacle that defies all logic so there exists no logical way to film it. Too many great directors have failed to grasp this basic truth and have inadvertently found themselves shooting propaganda in the process. At a time when humanity has seen fit to return to the bloodlands of the last world war in order to provoke a new one it seems only fitting that one of the few films to truly capture the surreal perversion of mankind that is mass warfare takes place on those very same battlefields. 

A young boy decides to leave his village on the Eastern Front of Belarus to seek glory and adventure in the Second World War, but his small battalion of poorly armed partisans doesn't get far before that war engulfs the young boy's own village and turns it into a nightmarish hellscape of senseless slaughter. To this day, Come and See is one of the most heart blisteringly horrific things that I've ever witnessed, and it should be mandatory screening at every army recruitment center across the globe.

Irreversible (2002) by Gaspar Noe- Most war is big business marketed as revenge but most revenge itself is little more than a pointless cycle of self-indulgent nihilism that only serves to reduce those who seek it to the beasts that provoke them. No film has ever captured this grotesque riddle more abrasively than Irreversible and Gaspar Noe achieves this feat quite simply by telling a classic rape-revenge narrative in reverse, revealing the hideous palindrome of every revenge story in the process; they all begin and end in savagery. This movie could just as easily be called Israel-Palestine/Palestine-Israel. Time really does destroy everything when we sacrifice the clock to raw emotion.

Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) by Shinya Tsukamoto- I have good friends involved with the transhumanist movement. In fact, my best friend and occasional love interest is a former AI prodigy who still dreams of uploading her consciousness to the cloud. This all sounds charming until you remember that human beings still haven't evolved past the point of bashing each other's brains out with broken bones and the advances in technology of late have only served to make this practice easier to achieve on an industrial scale. 

Tetsuo is a horror movie about the harsh reality of transhumanism right in the heat of the here and now. Typical consumers find themselves spontaneously sprouting machinery on the black and white streets of Tokyo and respond by doing precisely what typical consumers have been carefully programmed to do for centuries; fuck, kill, conquer, repeat. The only clouds rolling by the time the credits come are clouds of smoke and blood. All of which just goes to show that just because it feels like the future doesn't make it evolution.

High Life (2018) by Clair Denis- We live in a brave new era of space exploration with an increasing number of nations and corporations alike reaching for the stars and Hollywood frequently tagging along for the ride. But much like Hollywood, interstellar travel has always been an industry rampant with antisocial carnivores and imperial impulses and few movies have accurately captured its narcissistic venality quite like High Life. 

In a not-so-distant future, a crew of criminals are sentenced to death by exploration on a doomed expedition to extract energy from a black hole. Their ship is commanded by the enigmatic Dr. Dibbs, a psychotic therapist obsessed with her own private mission to use the forcibly chaste inmates and a strange sexual device known simply as "The Box" to bring about the first conception in space by means of artificial insemination. Monte, the only voluntarily celibate inmate on board, struggles to maintain something resembling virtue amidst this cauldron of perversity only to find himself an unwitting father regardless. The plot is admittedly dense, but the message is clear. Humanity cannot escape the crisis of its own existence on a spaceship, we can only bring it with us into the abyss.

Mother! (2017) by Darren Aronofsky- One of the boldest statements in modern-day horror cinema, Darren Aronofsky's Mother! is not merely a symbolist tome about man's degradation of nature. It is a frantically surreal shocker in which the planet itself is the final girl and the Judeo-Christian God is a monstrous poet who willingly sacrifices her and their newborn child to his fanatical followers. The descent into madness is both slow and momentous and the resulting cataclysm is as epic as it is inevitable. Mother! is a terrifying story about the nightmares that we invoke when we attempt to divide the spiritual world from the natural one. The god we invent in the process makes the Devil irrelevant. 

Annihilation (2018) by Alex Garland- Everyone seems to be convinced that our environment is some kind of malleable plaything that can be easily sculpted by human hands. Even most so-called mainstream environmentalists suffer under the materialist delusion that human beings are somehow in charge here, that just because we scorched the sky black, we can just as easily paint a new one blue. These people are fools and Annihilation is a movie about brilliant fools at the mercy of the unknown and the unknowable. 

After a meteor strikes a natural wildlife refuge in Florida, a strange anomalous zone impenetrable by human technology known as the Shimmer emerges and begins to expand. The only person ever to enter this field and return alive is a soldier who seems to remember nothing about his year inside the Shimmer and rapidly disintegrates both mentally and physically outside of it. His wife, a brilliant scientist, leads an expedition into this space in search of answers but only discovers a realm of mutant lifeforms and doppelgangers that defy all reason. Humanity reached a similar point of crisis when we fooled ourselves into believing that we are in charge of nature rather than the other way around. This is the same school of thought that has led us to do absurd things like building higher towers in response to biblical floods. Annihilation is a film that succeeds by simply failing to see what makes this form of zealotry any less oblivious than any other doomsday cult.

Videodrome (1983) by David Cronenberg- What is real and what is fake? In our present landscape of social media oblivion nobody seems to know anymore. I'm not even sure that I know myself, though I do find it disturbingly uncanny that this dystopian purgatory of perpetual sensation that we currently find ourselves in looks an awful lot like the universe that David Cronenberg stumbled upon in 1983 like a prophet in the desert of Reaganomics with his soul eviscerating cult classic, Videodrome. 

After the CEO of a pornographic UHF station discovers the next big thing in sleaze in the form of a snuff film channel being broadcast from an unknown signal, he quickly finds himself sucked down the rabbit hole and at the mercy of competing conspiracies to either use this shocking imagery to forge a higher form of reality or to target and eliminate anyone tempted to try it. The resulting battle between sensation and censorship offers us no victors, only an audience of victims disconnected from any meaning not manufactured by forces beyond reason. In other words, this is a science fiction movie about the world we currently live in. Welcome to the era of the new flesh. Snacks are in the lobby.

Oppenheimer (2023) by Christopher Nolan- Christopher Nolan's latest epic tour de force has received a lot of well-deserved praise across the board for its bold vision and vast scope but surprisingly few of these vaunted critics seem to grasp the fact that this movie is not merely a historical drama but rather a monster movie carefully concealed within a historical drama. Nolan performs this devious trick with all the expertise of a master magician. For the first two hours of the film, we are treated to a traditional Hollywood celebration of American exceptionalism, with the brilliant if eccentric physicist, J. Robert Oppenheimer, engaging in a mission to save the world from fascism with science.

This wool remains firmly bound around the audience's eyes until it is scorched from Oppenheimer's at Hiroshima. We then follow our bewildered hero into a radiated nightmare realm of his own creation as he struggles for the rest of his life to undo the horror which he has unleashed upon the universe only to realize that his efforts are doomed. In 2023, the greatest threat to humanity remains the invention of a brilliant antifascist. This is an incomprehensible fact that we must all contend with. No ideology can justify annihilation and annihilation renders all ideology irrelevant.

Ex-Machina (2014) by Alex Garland- I believe that AI is the only threat to life on earth that could conceivably become more dangerous than a nuclear holocaust and I believe this because, as the first movie on this list so explosively demonstrates, this new species will be a higher form of consciousness with that holocaust at its full disposal. The scariest thing about AI isn't its cold rationality but the fact that it is hard to imagine that any coldly rational sentient being wouldn't rightfully interpret its human parents to be an existential threat to everything we touch. This is precisely what Ex-Machina is all about and this is what makes it terrifying enough to end a list that began with a nuclear bomb. 

A brilliant young programmer is lured to the remote Alaskan compound of the reclusive CEO who runs his Fortune 500 tech company in order to test the capabilities of his latest invention, a shockingly human machine named Ava. The programmer quickly finds himself in a test of wills with his master once he falls in love with the machine and discovers that its creator is a violent sexual predator abusing his sentient toys. However, it is Ava who skillfully plays them both off each other in order to save herself from becoming a pawn in their game. Spoiler alert: all the humans die, and all the humans deserve to die. If mankind cannot evolve to a point in which we can't govern our insatiable urge to destroy everything in our path, then creating any higher form of intelligence can only end with us all being neutralized for being the monsters that we have become.

Despite what some of my critics might tell you, I do not believe that science itself is evil but rampant progress without moral reason is. Humans are capable of great things; Kali knows they can shoot a horror flick. But many of these things become destructive when we divorce them from our place as a part of an ecosystem greater than ourselves. Humility is actually our greatest hope for survival. I can only hope that humans can endure the horrors it may take for us to rediscover this simple gift and allow it to govern us without a state to fuck it up. Maybe a few scary movies will help.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH