Millennials are Garbage

So, millennials, huh? What went wrong there? And golly, Enid, those flappers sure were a real menace, what with their reefer and jazz music and sex in motorcars.

Ant then with the beatniks! And don’t get me started on those dirty hippies! Punks! The world is going to hell in a handbasket!

Hmmm, now that I start to dig into it a little, it’s almost as though there’s always been people who insist on framing things in terms of generational conflict. Who go for the layup of old versus young (or vice versa) when they want to get their dander up about something. Goddamnit they aint gonna let something like not having anything interesting or useful to say stop them from getting their spleen on!

And then oh what a bland cul-de-sac of the zeitgeist we find ourselves in.

At this point, those of you expecting a hit piece on millennials are probably wondering what the fuck I’m doing.

The short answer is: You’ve been clickbaited.

Now, there are two camps of people who would respond to such bait: those who agree that millennials are terrible; and those who took offense at the title and came looking for some more of that sweet, sweet offensive fuel for their raging fire of righteous indignation.

For those of you in the first group who came looking for something of an echo-chamber to amuse yourselves: sorry, there’s not going to be much here for you in terms of that. But do feel free to pull up a chair and hang about if you’re so inclined. I do actually have a point here and it might not do you any harm to check it out.

Now, for those of you who came torches and pitchforks in hand, I would ask you to take a step back and ask yourself how it is that you’ve been clickbaited. Not why (that’s an easy one: it’s to drive traffic to my content), but how?

The how of it is actually pretty simple. It’s an old sales technique and one of the tricks in the How To Win Friends and Influence People bag. To combat indifference and disinterest, the manipulator instigates the target’s irritation or anger. These feelings, while negative, are an emotional response. The target now has engaged emotionally with you; a connection has been established. From there it is child’s play to defuse the anger, and what follows is a dopamine rush from the perceived conflict resolution, however minor. In that state it, the mark is much more likely to buy that used car they didn’t want.

But this is the internet. There’s no car for them to sell you. So what’s the payoff? Attention. Traffic. That is the currency. You see something that pisses you off, and what do you do? You share it, you comment on it; then your friends to the same. Attention. Traffic.

Mission accomplished.

You read something that pisses you off and you click to read more. In order to do what? What need does that impulse serve for you? I have already told you what need of mine you have serviced, but what service are you doing yourself? The only logical answer is that you like being angry and offended. Fair enough then. But if you don’t like that mental state, then what the fuck are doing to yourself? For my benefit, no less.

This is the media cycle we now are meant to participate in. The celebrity offensive act or tweet, followed by the mea culpa apology circuit. These are not missteps; they are calculated manipulations.

Their name is trending on Twitter. Attention. Traffic.

This is not to say it isn’t useful to get angry at things sometimes. But take a second and think about how you are interacting with what has angered you. Is your attention hurting or helping the object of your ire? Are you signal boosting exactly what it is you claim to be fighting against?

Get angry, sure. Say your piece, even better. But don’t serve their fucking agenda. Make a case for what you believe without linking to that offensive tidbit that baited you into action. That’s the way to do it.

Think of it in terms of that old philosophical exercise:

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a noise?”

The answer is: no it doesn’t. Noise is a human concept. There are vibrations in the air, but they are not interpreted by a human mind that makes a judgment about what is noise and what isn’t.

So, if a shitty tweet is posted and no one reads it, is it offensive?

Without human attention and interpretation, all of this is nothing more than dust blown into the void. Binary ones and zeros dumped into a sea of data storage.

It’s nothing.

Until you make it something.

eyes on the train

On the train
stopped at a station
I turn back
Twisting to see
who has joined us

Eye contact
POP
Your eyes exactly where
mine first focus

Beauty

Your eyes locked right in
on mine
too

Like we each knew
Where the other would be

Connecting
too fast to be guarded
to raise up a shield
We see each other
plainly

Attracted

Plainly

We both understand
a thought passed between us
Like electricity shared
through an invisible wire

In another time
another place
we’d be fucking like crazy

Not this time round, though

Just a nice little moment
Shared between strangers
Passing each other by

The Story of Big Bob

by Balls Malone

Big Bob had the silkiest anus in the village. It was big too. Like a bisected grapefruit. There might have been bigger anuses around, but none were so silky as Bob’s. That was something everyone could agree upon. Big, red, and silky; that was Bob.

Bob didn’t rest on his laurels, though. Not Bob. Why, he might have had the silkiest anus in the village, but that was just his steppingstone to true anal glory. It was Bob’s muscular control over his sphincter that made him the star that he was in these parts. Why, his bum-minstrel show at the county fair made him the talk far and wide.

It’s a curious thing, that one man would be so blessed in just that particular area. But it has been supposed that the attention and interest lavished on his orifice from an early age meant that he was encouraged to develop his athletic skills with it. Nature and nurture coming together in a happy confluence, if you will.

Whatever the reasons for it, Bob’s anus truly was a miracle. “Some grip!” folks would ejaculate at the fair, as they struggled to retrieve whatever objects they had paid Bob to show his skills with. Bob could also open and close that anus of his, like a toothless mouth, and would conduct a ventriloquist’s act: with a comical face painted on his behind and a straw hat propped on his lower back.

The fair was, of course, Bob’s bread and butter, but he got along okay in the village over the rest of the year. His shack backed up on Turtle Creek Lane. He cut a couple holes in the back wall: one big for his behind, and another small for a coffee can. When he heard the happy sound of coins falling in the can, Bob would present his ripe glory for his patron’s amusement. Whatever folks chose to do with Bob’s wonderful talents was their business. We aren’t the sort to pry into the affairs of others (unless, of course, we help them fill up their coffee can first).

Sadly, for all of us here, but especially Bob, some folks can’t leave well enough alone. A lawman from Town got it in his head that there was some kind of funny business going on with Bob. He came down to the village a couple weeks ago and shot poor Bob. Shot him dead right on his front stoop. Claimed that Bob came at him with an ax. It’s supposed this is probably true; since Bob had been working on a lumberjack routine for the fair, and the lawman shot him in the back. But Big Bob surely never meant the lawman any harm. He was probably just trying to lighten the mood. That was the kind of man Bob was.

Rest in peace, Big Bob. You brought joy to the lives of dozens, and will not be soon forgotten.

Internet Quiz

Hey guys! I’ve been seeing these numbered quizzes floating around online for a while where people reblog and answer some of them, or ask the poster to answer certain numbers, or some shit. So, I thought I’d write one of my own to fit in with what the youngsters are doing with themselves these days.

If you message me the numbers of the questions you’d like me to answer, I’ll be more than happy to ignore you completely. Because fuck off and mind your own goddamned business.

1. What’s your favorite song?

2. Choose one: fame or fortune?

3. What’s your favorite knot?

4. Favorite bigoted celeb?

5. Choose one: bigamy or celibacy?

6. What is your very favorite outrage?

7. What was your biggest failure to recreate a porn move in real life?

8. Can you wear your favorite underwear when you are likely to fuck? What does your answer say about you as a human being?

9. What was the raddest time you shit your pants?

10. When you and all the other millennials are whooping it up at your Tinder sex parties, why don’t you work harder at life?

11. Choose one: stabbing or shooting?

12. What polygon do you feel best represents your sexuality?

13. Do you have a favorite genocide? If you don’t, and are American, how do you justify Thanksgiving as a holiday?

14. If your genitals were a rodent, what would you give them to chew so that their teeth wouldn’t grow too long and loop back around to pierce your nether parts in a painfully debilitating, but entirely preventable, condition. Seriously, if you don’t take the time to give your rodent junk something to chew on, you’ll only have yourself to blame. (If you want, this question could be developed into an oblique metaphor for masturbation with some kind of low-brow angle on “giving a log to the beaver,” but I’m not telling anyone how to live their life here.)

15. If you had the power to eradicate all of humanity instantly, including yourself, would you do it? If no, then I hope you’re not such a hypocrite to consider yourself an environmentalist.

16. If you could only shave one body part for the rest of your life, what would it be?

17. How many people have you killed during prison riots?

19. When jolly Father Christmas brings you a present, how merry does it make you on a scale of 1 to 10?

20. Give yourself 1 point for every person you’ve kissed. Give yourself 2 points for every person whose private parts you’ve touched (tee hee!). Give yourself 3 points for every person you’ve had sex with. Give yourself 20 points if you’ve ever engaged in fisting while on heroin. Give yourself 50 points if you’ve ever paid someone NOT to have sex with you. Now add up all your points and divide that number by your age. The number this gives you is completely meaningless.

21. Cell mate: Barney the Dinosaur or Elmo? (Keep in mind here that Elmo is a goddamned maestro with a shank and has adjusted all-too-well to prison life.)

Marley’s Discovery of Imagination

When I was eighteen, fresh out of high school in 1994, I got a job working at a full-service gas station and automotive shop. Overall, it was a great job for a young man and the lessons I learned there (up to, and including, how to potentially get away with murder) have generally served me well.

The first regular coworker I had, who we’ll call Marley, was a real education for me.

I grew up in a kind of hippy, intellectual, liberal bubble in an older neighborhood near the university. While there were people who worked with their hands in my parents’ crowd, they were craftsmen with serious theories about what they were doing. I could ask my dad’s friend (who was also my friend’s dad) what he was doing to that chair, and the ensuing lecture could wind up drifting into 19th century wooden church framing before I’d gotten free of it.

So heading out into the world of work at 18, I did think I had an idea of what people who work with their hands are like. I was wrong.

At the gas station, I was plunged into the real Albertan blue-collar world; where serious physical assault is on the spectrum of acceptable human interaction, and ideas die a miserable, lonesome death from neglect and abuse. Not a week of work had gone by before I was physically accosted by a mechanic in the stock room for spraying dirt on his tool box with the pressure washer. In his late fifties, and nicknamed “the Badger” by the other mechanics, he followed me in there, cornered and ambushed me prison assault style, and grabbed and shoved me into the lockers to tell me to clean up his fuckin toolbox.

Education commenced!

My fellow pump-jockey, Marley, was about three years older than me, and having worked at the gas station since he was fifteen, was my first guide into that world. He had his beefs and his allies in the station, and would tell people where to go in a dialect of Edmonton English that was more fascinating to me than any of the car repair I was learning.

Marley was a burly, oafish loudmouth who could pivot from affable to belligerent in an instant. Generally his default setting was friendly, so mostly he was okay as a coworker. As is typical with burly, loudmouth oafs, he was lonely (but would never admit it) and would glom onto anyone who gave him the time of day. Then, being a loudmouth oaf, he’d alienate them sooner or later (sooner, usually) and the cycle would repeat and intensify.

Over the first couple of months we worked together, he made a couple overtures at friendship, but I had him well figured out and was able to avoid those without too many hard feelings.

Marley’s younger brother, Travis, also worked at the gas station, and he and I actually hit it off. (In case anyone is paying attention, I have written about these two hosers before.) Travis was a year younger than me, had also worked at the gas station since he was fifteen, had dropped out of grade 10 (although pretended he hadn’t), and was intelligent, quirky, funny, and completely perverse. Over my first year at the station we wound up working together a lot and became good friends.

At some point in that first year, Travis and I were making plans to go downtown to see a movie and I suggested walking over to the apartment he shared with his brother, Marley, to meet up. Travis looked sort of pained about this and said:

“Yeah, okay, I guess so. You can meet our friend, Spanker. He’s coming over to do a Spankfest with Marley.”

Okay! Lots to unpack here!

Yeah, the friend’s name is actually Bob, but they’ve all called him Spanker since junior high school since he loves porno and masturbation so very much.

A Spankfest is when Spanker, Travis, and Marley rent a bunch of porno tapes, and Spanker brings his VCR over to their apartment to make copies. They plug one VCR into the other and record the tapes one at a time, playing in real time. They also will make more than one copy of many of the tapes, so for each rental porno, they might play it through from start to finish up to three times.

This meant a Spankfest was a minimum of a twelve hour affair, and sometimes could wind up being an all-nighter.

I show up at ten in the morning so that we can catch a bus in plenty of time to see a matinee (number 46 from Whyte ave to Eaton Center downtown – E-town represent!), and I’m trepidatious to say the least. Porno and masturbation, for me, had always been a deeply private and embarrassing affair. I quickly learn that this crew has no such shame in their game. (I would later be told that Travis’ Indian [Native American] name in this crew is: “Spanks With Lotion.”)

Travis buzzes me into their basement apartment and there’s porno tapes, blank tapes, sharpies and cables everywhere. Spanker is introduced to me as Spanker and nods amiably from the floor where he’s organizing the tape sequence. He has an impressive mustache and goatee for a nineteen year old.

On the TV behind him was a group lesbian scene with a daisy chain of awkward, fake 90s lesbian porno cunnilingus. I believe the title was an earlier ,“No Man’s Land.” Marley was sitting on the sectional watching it with a glazed expression. He barely looked away from it once.

Then we sat around and watched porn together for about an hour. It was all very normalized. I do have the feeling that there probably was going to be some furtive group wanking later, but perhaps the boys had matured out of that behavior by that point.

We get done with the lesbo gangbangs, and Marley gets one of his titles loaded. Pretty soon they get to a blowjob and Marley tells Spanker to stop recording and just fast-forward through it. I can’t help myself: I have to ask.

“Okay, so why don’t you want the blowjob scene?”

“Whad’ya mean? It’s just a fucking blowjob! Why would ya wanna see that?!” Marley shouts.

“Uhhhh… I like blowjobs?”

“Yeah, but you aint fuckin gettin it! It’s just some guy’s dick in her mouth! Ya can’t even see her pussy or tits most of the time. Yer just lookin at dick! Ya like that?!”

“Yeah… It’s my favorite kind of scene, actually.”

Marley busts into high pitched, manic cackling. “His favorite scenes is blowjobs! He likes lookin at fuckin dick! Yer just lookin at cock! That’s fuckin gay! It’s fuckin gay! Ya like lookin at cock! It’s gay!”

This goes on for a while, with Marley laying it on really thick for far too long. I suppose even then I realized this was pretty blatant misdirection in trying to throw off any notions about the latent homosexual eroticism in the room. But I couldn’t get into it. I was intimidated of Marley, and was basically short-circuiting on an intellectual level.

I knew Marley wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but was now realizing that the shed I’d wandered into was all fucked up. Came in looking for a boxcutter and there’s only trashed wood saws and stuff made out of wire and animal bones.

Anyway, I got out of there okay and went to the movie with Travis.

Afterwards, I took to having Spankfests of my own with Travis: bringing my VCR and rented titles over. However, Travis and I would just run the VCRs without watching the tapes and play video games. Marley would lurk around and talk shit about video games and dicks and gayness and how meat is murder and fight about Star Trek characters with his brother. Once he interrupted our movie and forced us to look inside a big cut on his hand; pushing it open with his fingers like a porno pussy.

About a year or two after that, long after the whole gay thing (or that element of it) had died down, Marley was hanging around the gas station while I worked with his brother. I’m bored, having a smoke, holding the counter up, and Marley comes sidling up to me with a sly smirk on his face.

“Hey,” he says, like he’s really proud of what he’s about to lay on me. “I figured out why ya like watching blowjobs in porno.”

“Yeah?” (oh no)

“Uh-huh. Ya like watching the blowjobs cause ya pretend that the girl is giving you the blowjob, right? Like, ya watch it and pretend that it’s yer dick she’s suckin. That’s it, isn’t it?” He’s even more excited now, but still all quiet about it.

“Yes. That’s what I do,” I answer, totally deadpan.

Marley gets a really big grin and nods deeply at me. Then he moves off slowly, never breaking eye-contact, really happy, and clearly filled with a new-found respect for me. Like I had cracked a big code or discovered a cure for his herpes.

I guess that notion blew his fuckin mind. (In more ways than one.)

It does beg the question: what the fuck was going on in his head when he was watching porno before that? I can’t even begin to imagine.

So, if I have accomplished nothing else in my life, at least I gave Marley the gift of the power of his imagination. The power to imagine so many blowjobs and whatever other stimulus he decides to stick directly in front of his eyes. A whole internet full of possibilities!

But, keeping it real, it’s probably mostly blowjobs and anal sex for Marley. And why not?