Friday, November 20, 2020

2 Minutes. GO!

You ever see a group of kids split up a windfall? Doesn't matter what it is. Candy. Games. Most of the time, the kids will find a way to split it equitably. Sure, maybe one little asshole kid wants to take it all, but they shame that kid. I've watched kids split ice cream cones they didn't have to. I've watched them include every kid in the game so no one gets left out. Around age nine or ten, we start conditioning kids to be competitive. Then, we encourage the kids to exploit opportunities. To look out for themselves. We set them against each other and sit back and watch the breakdowns. The suicides. Some of these kids will make it through high school. Some will rebel. Some will go about accumulating as much as they can, even at the expense of others. 

Ain't that a damn shame. 

A lot of folks go to churches, put money in the offering plate. They feel good about it, this kind of sanitized charity. You don't actually have to get involved. Don't have to actually smell any homeless people. Don't have to see any old women crying. You just put a fiver in the plate and leave pure. Maybe twenty. I don't know. I ain't been in a church to worship in thirty years. I guess I should account for inflation.

All those ruthless CEOs making money for their shareholders and feeling good about it. Surely, that trickle down goodness gonna work. Surely. Doesn't matter anyway. The shareholders don't know about the dirty shit, and the CEO feels good as long as he is creating profit. That's a side-run around morality if I've ever seen one. 

But go ahead and keep letting hate lead the way. Keep separating yourself from your actions and your neighbors. Keep smiling, Jack. This is all about you. Pay attention. That's what they're telling you.

Fuck everyone else. YOU matter. 


  1. This is such a great intro:

    "You ever see a group of kids split up a windfall?"

    And then its only gets better. Bravo, my friend. Keep speaking so eloquently and with such visceral poetry to the inequities.

    1. Man, I love this. That first sentence. Kids are so great. Until the world fucks them up.

  2. “A dream of dark and troubling things.” — David Lynch

    When I’m dead you’ll find a scar on my left wrist and maybe you’ll follow it like topography and logic and think I tried much earlier, but no, it wasn’t what it looks like, and I’m a lefty, so no. It remains a mark of shame, I admit, the legacy of an instant of stunned outrage wrought in my skin, tracing through accidental glass with eerie precision a family providence and a full blue vein by a millimetre.

    “Where are you, my love?”

    You might discover one day that I was listening to “Situation: Relation” by Rainer Maria at the very end, and you might be correct in that (and even want to go find it and listen to it, which you really should), but the reality is we’re always absorbing, always broaching new things, and endings are often pale echoes of all that comes before.

    “Let’s head out, grasp our moment, live this thing.”

    Florida and freedom, we yelped our adrenalized excursion, never sparing a thought for how our return would look. Demoralized inside a pandemic, pelicans and perplexity vying until the panhandle, at least until then.

    “Ugly folks in an unlovely place uttering ugly things.”

    Did you keep it all to yourself? Head west? Walk miles into canyons, hoping for a retort, to shake something loose from million-year sedimentary rock? You fucking dreamer. I love you almost.

    You goddamned cougar ghost, you starfish tramp, you cephalopod tryst. Will you ever grasp the foaming stream, the seething flow, the knock-kneed rocks at the source? Is this our time at last? The end of everything?

    “Well, hell, if it is, let’s at least give it some fucking dignity.”

    1. Beautiful. The power. My favorite paragraph: You goddamned cougar ghost, you starfish tramp, you cephalopod tryst. Will you ever grasp the foaming stream, the seething flow, the knock-kneed rocks at the source? Is this our time at last? The end of everything?

  3. The Council: The Intervention Edition

    Forty-four never wanted to have this meeting. It was the wrong message to send, that the incoming president needed their kind of assistance. But when Michelle finally looked at him in that way she had, and said “Just call the damn meeting already, I’m going back to sleep” that he took to his laptop.

    He slugged down coffee as the various windows winked to life, revealing backdrops of living rooms and dens and home offices and bookshelves he’d become all too familiar with over these last few months. “I apologize for the short notice and the unholy hour,” he began, “but given the circumstances, and with Joe’s blessing, it’s incumbent upon us, as unofficial stewards of American democracy and those who have known a peaceful transference of power, to act.”

    Hillary brightened. “We’re locking him up? Wait.” She fumbled through her desk drawer. “I’ve already got the handcuffs. I had them custom-made back in 2016…they’re around here somewhere. Bill. Did you take them again?” The forty-second president’s naturally florid cheeks turned redder as Forty-three chuckled.

    Thirty-nine’s soft voice flowed over them. “No disrespect meant, but can we please continue? I have an online prayer group to lead in twenty minutes, then I got some houses to build.”

    “Noted.” Forty-four took a deep breath and said, “We’ve had little success with our other initiatives. Putin won’t take our calls. I think it’s time we stage an intervention.”

    Forty-three’s eyebrows shot up. “What, just bust into the Oval and tell him it’s time to get his ass to a meeting?”

    He paused. “Well, not exactly like that, but essentially, yes.”

    “You think they’re actually gonna let us in?” Forty-two said. “Have you seen that wall?”

    Forty-four tented his fingers under his chin. “Tell me something he is in dire need of at the moment?”

    Hillary jumped in. “Sanity? Intelligence? More Adderol?”

    “A friend.”

    “I kinda thought that was the Adderol,” Hillary said.

    “A friend with money,” Forty-four added. More silence. “He wants a next act.”

    “That would be prison,” Hillary said.

    Forty-four fought a smile. “If there is any justice in the world, yes. But we can’t count on that happening immediately. We need to give him an incentive to get off the dime. He wants a post-presidential media presence to feed his voracious ego, and that requires major funding. And someone friendly to his cause.”

    “Murdoch,” the Texan said. “Of course. But will he listen to any of us?”

    “I think he might listen to me,” Forty-four said. “He’s been amenable in the past. I’ll offer a simple deal: give Forty-five the money he needs if he’ll concede and start a peaceful transfer of power.”

    “If you need to give Rupert a nudge, I can help,” Hillary said. “His wife backed my campaign, maybe I’ll have a chat with her.”

    “She’s that model, right? Maybe I’ll have a chat with her, too.” Forty-two grinned and Hillary shot him a dirty look.

    “See you at the inauguration,” Forty-four said, and the meeting adjourned. He sat back in his chair. The sun cast blind-shadowed rays across the carpet. Through the crack in the door, he caught the scent of fresh coffee brewing. For a reason he couldn’t pinpoint, a quote came to mind, from an oft-satirized Reagan campaign commercial: “It’s morning in America.”

  4. Brilliant. Thank you for sharing.


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