Dueling Echo Chambers

I would like to start this piece with a one man play entitled:

“Using Facebook.”

Me: “Hmm, lets see what’s going on in Facebook.”

Me, literally ten seconds later and three swipes into my feed: “I immediately regret this decision! What the fuck is wrong with you fucking people? How could I know this many stupid people? Is it because I’m stupid? Gaaaaaa!”

Me: *loses will to live *

The End

I hope you enjoyed the play. I certainly did not, but that is kinda its point.

Now, you might think, “why follow these people if being exposed to them and their ideas is that upsetting to you?”

This is a good question. I’m glad you asked.

I do this because I think it is important to remind myself that people like this, and their ideas, exist. It is far to easy to forget about them. And then when things like QAnon rear up and actually affect the world political stage, we get completely blindsided by it.

So to the anti-vaxxers; the conspiracy theorists; the Trumpists; and the Canadians going on about gun rights with Second Amendment arguments:

Thank you! Your stupidity has inoculated me (quite ironically, in some cases) against the full-blown infection of toxic stupidity the last four years has become. Thanks to your earnest showcase of the nightmare that is your thought process (or lack thereof). You have helped me survive. Thank you.

Even when you don’t agree with them, it’s good to make oneself aware of other modes of thinking, from time to time. This can help mitigate the dangers of getting trapped in an echo chamber. If you don’t know what that is, then you’re somehow new to the internet (welcome!), or are not very bright. (Check it out, if need be: Echo Chamber)

The internet is full of echo chambers. It is a perfectly crafted engine for them. If you enjoy this kind of thing, then far be it from me to tell you it isn’t good. How you enjoy wasting your time is entirely your business. But I am here to tell you that if you are engaging in these kinds of communities, then what you’re up to is about as productive as a circle jerk. Don’t kid yourself that you’re fighting the good fight, or educating the people. You’re simply entertaining yourself and a bunch of other people who think just like you do.

Now, for those who are busy actively generating content for their chamber’s community, it is common to venture out into the “world” (comment threads) to take the fight to the enemy. This also can be a great way to generate new content.

In this endeavor, there is a tendency to find the worst morons from the opposing camp, and then to use their shittiness to paint their whole group with. I’m sure this is fun. Just do not forget when doing this that you are essentially picking a fight with the village idiot of your enemy town. You may as well be eating cheezies and making your genitals orange for all the good you are doing your cause. As well, it is very likely that you are the village idiot of your town and simply have not realized it. Bird of a feather, and all that.

Like I said, if you enjoy wasting your time this way, that’s your business. But if you engage in a lot of this kind of behavior, I’m going to make certain assumptions about you. (Not that you should care.)

I will assume that you are someone who feels the need to craft an identity out of a cause. This may be one step up in maturity from doing so about the kind of movie, book series, or music you like, but you certainly have not cleared adolescent thinking either. You have the desire to communicate and be perceived, but not the ability to articulate your own thoughts. You don’t yet understand the deeper thinking and philosophy inherent to your own cause, and neither can you think critically to properly dissect the position of an opposing one. So you hunt about for examples of the worst kinds of offenders to make fun of. Little shared tidbits of wit and cleverness are compiled over endless circuits around your favorite echo chamber.

This is the, “I don’t really understand what I like/am yet, but I know fucking well what I hate,” stage of thinking. That’s fine; it’s a normal stage of intellectual development. Just don’t expect to be taken too seriously.

When I’m the target of abuse from folks at this kind of level, it’s like I’m enjoying a walk on a fine day and some some genetic mistake of a teenager with rotten teeth calls out to inform me that my fashion is lame. It is really not a big deal.

You should never assume that anyone you meet, online or otherwise, knows how to think. Least of all if they rely on political talking points or echo chamber reblogs for the bulk of their “personal” narrative. If you operate with the assumption that everyone can’t think, until they prove to you otherwise, you’re going to be a lot happier.

“Oh, what’s this blog? Why, it is someone saying that all blacks/whites/hispanics/gays/breeders/men/feminists/cis gender should be deported/killed/cancelled. Do I need to take this person seriously? Let me think. Hmmmmmm… Oh! Wait a minute! No. They’re an idiot! Problem solved.”

See? Easy. No muss, no fuss.

A bunch of tattoos and an alternative lifestyle (be it Christian fundamentalist, gun-loving militia, or whatever else) do not magically imbue intelligence or infallibility. Nor do they make someone more interesting (but that’s another essay).

Of course, perhaps getting angry at idiots is a favorite hobby of yours. If that’s the case, if you want to try to level up your thinking, I suggest sitting yourself down and asking yourself the following question, in all gravity:

“Am I an idiot?”

If you can answer no, you’re probably lying to yourself. But, maybe it’s simply that you like slumming with idiots on occasion, which means you’re probably just a troll.

When you wander into someone else’s club house to stir up shit you are either trolling or saying implicitly that their thoughts and ideas have merit; essentially, that you are at their level.

Let me go on the record here that I basically agree with about 70% of the feminist and other “social justice” material that I see on my feed. (Do keep in mind: that number is probably as high as it is because I don’t follow idiots; this doesn’t mean I agree with 70% of that kind of material on the internet as a whole.) Then there’s that last 30% where I’m, “uhhh… you lost me there.”

And guess what? It doesn’t fucking matter. Beyond it simply not mattering to me, why would I assume that my thoughts about it would matter to those who are circulating the idea? Is it my job to fix these people? To set some nonexistent record straight? Or, in getting into it, would I simply be imposing my entitled ass into where it doesn’t belong?

If I had to grow up being dominated by dipshit white men, I’d be ornery too. (Hang on… I was. And I am. Aha.) Especially when so many white folks have pissed away every advantage they’ve been given by their psychopathic ancestors, and do nothing but bitch and moan about other people’s malfunctions without ever examining their own.

When people make themselves a community to hate on white people or men or white men, or whoever the fuck, just leave them be. Whether you are a target of their ire or not. They have made it abundantly clear that your voice and perspective is unwelcome. So why impose? Do you honestly think that the one thing missing in every human interaction is hearing your opinion?

Of course if they come into your house with their shit, then do what you will.

I may get pretty opinionated here, but this is my place to give vent to my internal world. Essentially, I’m yelling and throwing whisky bottles at a brick wall in my own house. When folks decide to come to the window and listen, that’s their business. Enter at your own risk.

I have no doubt whatsoever that there are plenty of, say, lesbian people of color who (if they were somehow made aware of me) would like nothing more than to chop me up into little pieces, starting with my genitals, to send me back to Germany and England. That’s okay. If I ever meet one and they try it, I’ll defend myself to the best of my ability. Until then, have fun ranting about it.

Glad to be of service.

Taints on Ice

By Balls Malone

When you think about it, figure skating is really based on who is able to showcase their taint in the most grandiose way.

I suppose you don’t have to think about it this way, but it makes it a lot more entertaining. Particularly when you’re watching in Japan and don’t really understand what the commentators are saying.

Announcer 1 (male), yelling:

“Ohhhhh!! Subarashi!” (translation: “Wow! What a taint!”)

Announcer 2 (female), breathlessly:

“Hai! So desu ne.” (translation: “Indeed! Nothing much left to the imagination in that play, Bob.”)

But we really should not allow the spectacle of the whole event distract us from just how much work these world-class athletes have put into preparing themselves for the competition. All those long, early mornings spent stretching out and limbering up their taints. All the hard falls on that unforgiving ice that have bruised those taints.

So I salute you and your taints, you intrepid purveyors of your intimate, inter-orifice treasure.

It really is a wonder of the modern age, this taints on ice.

End Times

If we all discovered that the world was going to end in 24 hours (say because a meteor was coming, or the President of the United States had a bad prostate exam), I think there would be a lot of men who’d be like:

“Well, that’s it! I’m emptying the kids’ college funds and blowing it all on hookers!”

And then the hookers would be:

“What the fuck, doods? We all have one day left to live and you think I’m gonna spend it blowing you for money? Get fucked! Somewhere else, I mean. Scoot!”

And the hookers would be right. Those men should have got a bottle of scotch, baked a cake, and sweet talked their wife.

Good luck getting her to blow you now, buddy. There you are, all ruddy with unpleasant lust, clutching your useless money like an asshole.

Ending your time on Earth pretty much the same way you lived it.

This right here, my friends, highlights the fundamental flaws of capitalism.

Create

It’s like a coin. You can’t have one face without the other. As much as you might love looking at heads, sooner or later tails is going to turn up.

On the one side there’s the marvelous exhilaration of the creative burst after a long period of inactivity. The satisfaction of solving a problem that has been plaguing you for years.

It’s really, really good.

And then, when that washes out, the coin flips over. We suffer the realization that all our productivity, hard work, and sacrifice has had no tangible effect on our life. Nor, most likely, will it ever.

Your creative output leading to some kind of big payday or widespread celebration of you as an artist is a fantasy in the same realm as winning the lottery.

Here we are, gazing at tails.

The key is to keep working. Sooner or later, that coin will flip over again. Now, if we persist, we may realize the real purpose of creativity. It is not achieving that fantasy of a successful outcome.

It is having those moments where we flip that coin over through our productivity, hard work, and sacrifice. It is having this to hold onto when we are adrift and questioning who we are.

That’s all there is.

Bad Dream

Had a bad dream a few nights ago.

In it, my companion and I were fugitives trying to get to safety through a convoluted mess of urban landscapes. My companion was a woman who never did anything useful, but comforted me with her mere presence as she followed me about. We finally got into the countryside, bleak and barren, with a few run-down buildings amidst the tumbleweeds. Everyone was starving, but helped us with directions to a place to catch a train. From there we could catch a train to another place. It would be safe there.

It wasn’t a train station, where we went. The train tracks were elevated high above the land, on giant pillars, like the Japanese bullet trains. Unlike Japan, this infrastructure was not concrete, but covered with machine stamped, painted metal panels; falling apart, with flaking paint and dents, showing rusting guts beneath. We bought tickets for the train by inserting our tears into a small computer terminal on a post at the intersection of two dirt roads. My companion and I had to pinch each other to get the tears.

We were excited to be on our way, but the villager who brought us there watched us sadly. I thought it was because she was jealous of our escape. Turns out she knew better than us.

Our tear purchased tickets were inserted into another terminal, this one in one of the huge support pillars for the railway tracks looming above. An elevator door opened and we stepped in.

As soon as the doors closed on us, I knew we had made a huge mistake. The computers had identified us by our tears, and we were going to be arrested, I was sure of it. Like the exterior, the elevator was constructed of stamped metal, all coated with grease and grime, and the dirty walls pressed into us as the elevator climbed. Then we were in the train.

More stamped metal. No widows, only vents, oozing horrifying sludge down the walls. The train car had no seats: it was vault-like, but there were a few places to lie down: raised beds all formed of the same dirty metal, like prison cots. There was blood and shit everywhere. Some of it fresh, most of it old: pooled and heaped on the floor, and sprayed up the walls right to the ceiling. Then I noticed our fellow passengers. Everyone was naked. A heap of corpses filled one corner, and in another a starving, skeletal person was being attacked by a group: maybe being raped, maybe eaten.

Looking either way, the train cars stretched out before us, as far as we could see. There were more groups of people. Some babbling to themselves softly, lost in their own worlds. Some were helping others, trying to calm them down, to keep them from bashing their brains out on the walls; some simply comforting the dying. All trapped.

I realized then that we hadn’t been caught in a trap because we were wanted and pursued. We were not important enough to chase, that was all in my head. We were trapped then just because this is what the train does: it circles the land endlessly and sucks people up, collecting all those who buy a ticket hoping to find a better place. I supposed there was some manner of economy on that train; that by feeding more tears into a computer terminal, some food must be issued, so that there was some way to continue surviving, to continue feeding the machine your precious sorrow.

That’s what the train operators want, you see: the tears of the damned.

As I realized this, I looked to my companion, and really felt her for the first time. She was not afraid. She was in that world but not of it, as I then was. In her smile I realized the train was no more real than I was. To escape it, I need only let go of the illusion of myself. As I realized this, she grew into a light that melted me into light myself; then the train and everything around all became the same light; and I was lifted up and out of that world.

And I woke up.

Normally I have to wake up from this sort of affair by screaming and leaping around the room in my sleep. These are my night terrors. This time, I guess I figured something out.

So why do I write this now? Mostly to figure it out for myself. To do something with it.

But if you’ve read this far, maybe ask yourself: what train are you on? What about our society? Are you your mortgage? Your job that pays it? Your car, cell-phone, tablet, or blog? Or are we all simply feeding on each other and putting our tears into a machine that goes around in circles endlessly, for the benefit of some unseen masters?

Let go.

Cherish Your Anus

This is no joke, you fuckers.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have an anus. Think on that when you’re knuckling into yours after a some sweet itch. Cherish it! When you have one of them scratchy poops that hurts so good, you need to really be in that moment and treasure every last nuance of it.

When I was 14, or some shit, I met a guy in Mumbai who was cut off at about the fucking navel. He was getting around on some plank of wood with casters on it. Scooting about with blocks of wood in his hands.

And when I say “met,” I mean he and a bunch of lepers grabbed me on the street to try to get my dad to give them money. Dad went full on apeshit and flailed and yelled a lot to scatter them and we ran for it.

True story.

I remember looking at that cut in half beggar, thinking: “How does this guy shit?” It still bothers me.

Being fondled by lepers was also kinda memorable.

So, yeah. Don’t take your asshole for granted. One day cancer may chew it right out of you. So give it a scratch and then sniff your finger. That’s the heady musk of your humanity at its finest right there.

Or don’t, if you think you’re so fucking special. Fuck you.

Star Wars Fan Fiction

It was not long after Senator Palpatine declared himself Emperor that he took his revenge on Jar Jar Binks. It was but a simple matter to force persuade Jar Jar into performing the most degrading acts imaginable on him right in the senate for all to see. What better to way to end democracy in the galaxy than to treat himself to a thorough rimming by the Naboo senator?

Once he and then all comers had taken their fill of Jar Jar, the Emperor sold him into sexual slavery to the Huts. You may be unaware that Gungans have a prehensile colon, making them some of the most satisfying butt sluts in the galaxy (for those not aesthetically particular). Once he was all trained up, Jar Jar was put to good use satisfying clone troopers right here on this very space station.

Those interested in watching him work can visit with him if they want. The cue starts back there.

On your left, guests are welcome to enjoy a diorama showing many of the other splendid attractions available for your amusement.

The End.

WTF, Luke?

Just watched Return of the Jedi again. It has its moments.

However, I have to say the “there’s good in him, I feel it,” theme that runs through those movies about Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker is some real bullshit. I mean, what the fuck, Luke? That’s your answer, is it? Fall back on the last desperate refuge of every abuser defending beaten wife and Stockholm sydroming hostage, and then just give up. Some hero.

“I won’t kill you! Oh no! You got me mad and I actually did something useful for once and I almost beat you, so I guess it’s time to give up like a pussy. Aaaaagh! OUCH! Save me daddy! Save meeee!

“Wow! Thank the force that you were here to have a change of heart and do my dirty work for me, killing the Emperor in an act of violence that somehow redeems you while it would have damned me to the dark side had I done it. Thanks, dad!”

Good thing for Luke though that Vader kicked the bucket then. Can you imagine how awkward it would have been for everyone had he dragged Vader back alive?

“Uhhhhh… that’s swell that you had a touching moment with your *cough* father, Luke, but there’s this whole war crimes trail for, you know, genocide we’re going to have to put him through.”

Then Luke and Vader would to have to force persuade their way out of there and live out their days hiding out together in some remote location. Daddy Anakin would still be a total dick, of course. Force throwing empty whiskey bottles at Luke’s head from his wheelchair and constantly berating him for all his many, inevitable failures (this is Luke Skywalker we’re talking about, after all).

You can’t fix someone like him, Luke. He’s never going to stop force raping every sentient creature that gets within range of him. The Judeo-Christian infused, cretinous “philosophy” of your world notwithstanding, killing the psycho who spent two decades reaming out his ass does not redeem your father of any of the evil shit he did.

Fuck you, Luke, and your stupid fucking Ewok funeral for the man who destroyed your sister’s home planet just to be a dick. You think Leia was down with you paying tribute to the man who tortured her and then murdered her entire adopted race?

And people go on about what a finely crafted character vehicle the original trilogy was. Yeah, maybe if you’re in elementary school.

Vader was so cool in the first two movies! You had one of the best movie villains of all time and you go and piss him away with this weak bullshit. Shame! Shame on you, Lucas!

Have that badass own his evil! “Luke, get your funky little white ass over to the Dark Side. Together we’ll rule this groovy universe, and if you want to fuck your sister, that’s cool with me. Because that’s how I roll. Fuck the haters.”

That’s a villain. Not this weak ass “redemption,” daddy-never-loved-me pathological horseshit.

Fuck you.

On Noah’s Ark

I have an itch to stick with this whole Noah’s Arc thing, since the story had a lot to do with me repudiating Christianity at a fairly young age. Having never received any religious indoctrination from my parents or grandparents, either positive or negative, I suppose it could be said I had a pretty open mind about the whole affair. I remember in grade 2, talking with kids in my class about going to church, I thought it sounded pretty interesting. I asked my dad if I could go to church with some kid’s family and he said that was fine, so long as I didn’t ever expect him to go. However, when I learned that I would need to be picked up at 8 in the morning, I bailed on the whole thing. Getting up at 7 on a weekend for church? Fuck that. That is just uncivilized.

It was around that same time, when I was about seven or eight years old, that I had my first run in with old Noah. My mother was involved with some kind of hippyesque commune in a big-ass used bookstore downtown, where my sister and I would go to play with all the other hippy spawn in a mostly unsupervised free-for-all. Those were pretty awesome times. At some point we were told that, if we were interested, a lady was going to come to read stories to us. I was always down for stories, so bring it on, lady!

Unfortunately, the lady pissed me off right from the get go since she wasn’t making with the stories properly. It turned out this was the first step of some kind of Christian indoctrination, where they tell you all the pretty Bible stories. She had all these fascinating picture books, with Roman legionaries, giants, and pyramids and shit, but she was sitting there yakking on about fuckin dogma. Make with the stories, bitch! I remember thinking that if I could just get my hands on one of those story books for myself, I could cut that cunt loose. Man, she was pissing me off!

I had already pretty well sussed out by that point that adults bearing reading materials were almost always full of shit. Holding that shit up like some kind of talisman, while they piss in your ear about this or that. When I learned how to read for myself, about 90% of the adults in my life ceased to be necessary. Shut the fuck up, leave the reading material with me, and fuck off already; I’ll get back to you when I need some more.

Anyway, Christian-storyteller-lady finishes with her preamble and trots out Noah’s Arc. Oooo, look at all those cute animals lining up to get on the arc, nice as can be! Doesn’t it look cosy inside? Isn’t it lovely?

Whoa. Whoa! Hold up, lady. I’m still processing that bit right at the start, can we go back to that? Yeah, that bit where God got mad and decided to kill everyone. I know they were wicked, you said that already. How were they wicked? Just bad, huh. What did they do, exactly? What about their kids? Were they wicked too? The babies? What about all the animals that couldn’t get on the boat. Just, fuck them? If my parents are wicked, which I know they are by your standards, does that mean I’m fair game for God to murder me whenever he gets into another fit of spleen?

The parable/historical fact of Noah’s Arc is a such lightning rod because the story is so fucking stupid. It belongs in a kids’ storybook alongside Hansel and Grettle and the Gingerbread Man. The only reason that I can see why Christians don’t quietly hit the whole episode in the back of the head with a sledgehammer and bury it out behind the shed (along with such gems as stoning your daughter to death for premarital sex and David collecting hundreds of Philistine foreskins as kill trophies for the king) is that the imagery seems to make for such compelling propaganda for kids. It is a lovely image, all those animals on a big, cozy boat. With the Patriarch at the tiller while the rain lashes down outside.

Critics tend to focus on the impossibility of the whole story, and that is fun. It’s fun baiting cretinous fundamentalists; forcing them to double-down on their moronic horseshit. But from a kid’s perspective that kind of nonsense isn’t a deal-breaker. We’re reading stories about talking animals and all manner of magical stuff. A tardis boat isn’t a big stretch. It’s the heart of the story that’s important; the message that it is intended to impart.

And just what is that message again?

God gets mad and kills everyone. Everyone. Children and babies and kitty-cats and doggies are all punished for the sins of others, regardless of their own behavior. They all die and there aint shit they can do about it. Noah watches them drown. Because fuck them, that’s why.

Now, stop asking questions, submit, and blindly accept what I’m telling you. Not because it makes sense, but because I say so. You want I should rain a flood down on your ass?

Bible Stories For Today’s Youth

Noah’s Ark

So one day God was all like, “Yo, Noah, this shit is fuckin whack now. Imma flood this bitch out and kill all these trifling hos.”

So, like, Noah was all, “Dooood, that is a serious bummer, man. Can’t you just, like, stomp the worst of them bitches out and let all the kids and babies live? I mean, like, they’re all innocent and shit, right?”

And God was all, “Shut the fuck up, bitch! Are you my ho or are you a dead ho? That’s what I thought, slut. Imma kill every motherfucker on Earth, babies and kids and all. I made this cocksucker, so I can flex on it when I want. But we cool, cause you give it up just how I like it, slut. Now, what I want you to do is build a big motherfuckin boat and put your family and two of every animal on it, so’s you can repopulate this bitch once I’m done fuckin it up.”

So, Noah’s all like WOAH! God must be tweaking on some wicked ass shit. But he can’t even. So he’s like, “God, you the man! That’s shit’s the bomb! But you sure it’s possible to put two of every animal in one boat? I mean, we haven’t even invented a number for how many different kinds of animals there are. And isn’t it gonna get all fucked up when the animals have to start fuckin their sisters and shit? And my grandkids have to marry their cousins? I mean, that’s a bit off, aint it? I ask with straight up respect, Lord.”

So God’s all like, “Oh no you didn’t! You didn’t just question my all powerful might and shit! Bitch, I am God up in this motherfucker. This shit works because I say it does. Watching animals fuck their sisters is what busts my nut these days. That shit is off the hook! Your boat best be fuckin rockin when I come a knockin. You hear me? Now get on it, slut, before I decide to replace alls you with some six tittied ape bitch that can fuck itself with its tail. I’m not even joking, son. In fact, Imma whip some of them sluts up on Mars to see how I like it. You don’t even know what that shit means, yer such a stupid shit. Just get on making me my incest animal bangboat and I’ll check in later. Peace!”

And so it was. That’s just how God rolls.