Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Time is a Burden

I used to loathe the conventions of how we delineated our days. Morning, noon, and evening always seemed to be a sham. I hated how we're only supposed to eat, think, and feel certain things at certain times of day. To me, these were arbitrary distinctions manufactured for our control.

But then I discovered drugs and alcohol. At some point, cannabis made me appreciate this structure a little more. If not for the sake of the structure itself, but for the variations and rebellion that could occur from within, I started to appreciate mornings as the time for breakfast. I'm no fan of cereal, but I'm a huge fan of cooking and eating breakfast. However, of course, I am steadfast in my belief that this meal is appropriate at all times of day. What's more fun than waking, baking, and bacon?

Why would you eat something in the morning that you wouldn't eat at night?

What if I'm awake all night? What is breakfast? What is morning? If I'm awake all night, there is nothing to wake up to. I've just essentially life hacked my day into being twice as long. But, you know, I can't be nearly as productive with it. The entire point of adding time to your day should be for the sake of productivity, no?

The television is different at different times of day, as is the traffic, and the according radio.

Life is what you make of it, and I'd argue so is every individual day. So we're human beings. We need water, food, shelter, etc. to survive. We organize our own collective survival in accordance with ancient calendars. To help us along, collectively, we have different time zones. Our time zones insure that everyone has a morning, afternoon, and evening at the same hours of the day, but obviously all relative to our own daylight. Why? Why does my afternoon always have to be somewhere around 12 pm? The sun is going to be where the sun is going to be regardless of my need for it to be at a certain place at a certain time of day.

I say we abolish time zones as the arbitrary, antiquated bullshit border that they are. We've already decided that Greenwich Mean Time is THE default time zone upon which all other time zones are related. Just make that the time.

"Oh, but old people will be confused."

When the cunting fuck aren't they? Oh, you mean people may resist change? Is that supposed to stir up some empathy in me? You mean the same confused, closeted old twats who've ruined everything and raped the earth MIGHT have something to say to oppose a good idea? That's your fucking argument?

If that's your argument, you are not a person. Instead, you are the weakest possible crossbreed between a parrot and literally anything lacking a spine. Fuck yourself and fuck your meaningless existence.

And fuck time zones. Especially, emphatically, fuck time zones. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

World Cup Reaction: Day 4

This is getting weird, isn't it? For the first time ever, Argentina, Brazil, and Germany all failed to win their opening matches in the same World Cup finals.

I have been staggeringly wrong about most of my predictions thus far, which is why I'm glad I haven't shared too many of them. I'm also glad I'm not a gambler, but I've always felt this way. Look, I have enough demons. Allow me to be thankful for avoiding a common, pervasive one. Besides, even when money is not involved, when it comes to placing bets, I'm abysmal. I'm sure if I knew more about sports betting and how it is viewed in our popular culture, I could insert a relevant reference here to make this funnier. Alas, all of the cards have been dealt. I've shown you my hand and I must fold. What happens in Vegas, etc. 

The results have been surprising from a statistical and historical perspective, but they've hardly been cruel or unfair. Australian fans may feel they could've gotten at least a point against France if not for the ruthless VAR, but I still think France deserved to win that contest. I was also pretty gutted for Peru when they couldn't find an equalizer against Denmark. They played well, and in that instance, football was simply a cruel mistress. 

Otherwise, today was no exception to the trend of fair results. Serbia bossed Costa Rica and accordingly earned their first three points of the tournament. I wasn't expecting much out of either team this World Cup, and I only use past tense here because I'm trying to shed the weight of all these damn expectations. However, if I'm recalling my own predictions accurately, I probably would have said that either team could win that match. One of them definitely did. Another expectation I probably would have had is that Costa Rica will not represent CONCACAF very well. That remains to be seen. 

Mexico, on the other hand, are definitely making Landon Donovan proud. Hirving Lozano scored his first World Cup goal, while Memo Ochoa and a stout back line kept a clean sheet as Mexico defeated the reigning champions. Not to take anything away from a solid team performance by Mexico, but Germany defended with the pace of a pub league team after a coked out bender. Germany's midfield was so sluggish to track back, you'd have thought they won the 2014 World Cup just last night. 

Germany's poor performance is only surprising because it's Germany. However, their final tune-up match against Saudi Arabia before the start of the Cup, in hindsight, probably should have served as a much larger red flag. Germany only managed to beat a pretty desperate Saudi side by a score of 2-1. Compare that to Russia's comfortable 5-0 victory against the same Saudi Arabia in the opening match of the tournament. Alarm bells should have been ringing from Rhineland to Bavaria and beyond. Granted, friendlies have absolutely nothing on the real deal, but the reigning champions should make both look equally easy. 

Germany has such an insane amount of talent, depth, and discipline, it's impossible to imagine them not bouncing back from this. But if there were ever a year when the word "impossible" ceased to mean anything, it would surely be this one. 

Meanwhile, Brazil are no strangers to crushing disappointment and embarrassment on the world stage (thanks in no small part to Germany). Brazil were expected to come into this tournament highly focused, with more experience but no shortage of talent. Against Switzerland, they looked stuck between gears. They dominated the first half, and probably should have scored more than one goal. Switzerland are a team I enjoy poking fun at. They're predictable, and by that I mean they're boring. They're not bad, just utterly mind numbing to watch. Someone must have told them they were putting me to sleep, so they came out in the second half and did this crazy thing where they scored a neat goal. I'm not convinced they'll score many more, but I did jump up and cheer when it happened. 

What was even crazier was that they did definitely try to score more goals IN THE SAME MATCH! Brazil were struggling in the final third, and this was best personified by a limping, frustrated Neymar. Despite his new "spaghetti head" haircut, he had evidently not gone Super Saiyan. I will say I still enjoyed watching Neymar play. He catches a lot of flack for diving and theatrics. But he does get fouled an awful lot, and he gets fouled a lot because he's really, really good. Hopefully he'll be able to walk off the knock that he took, because it would be a massive disappointment to the entire planet if he weren't fit. 

And with that, I will spend the rest of the day praying to every available deity for Mohamed Salah's full recovery. I have a feeling Allah's my best bet, but I'm open to learning more about the Ancient Egyptian pantheon, and we already talked about how I'm not very good at betting. 

Alisson Becker stomps on the hopes and dreams of a Russian child.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Joey Gibson Chokes on Proud Boy Baby Balls

When Joey Gibson protests on behalf of "free speech," he protests against being labeled a Nazi. That's it. It's not really more complicated than that.

What Patriot Prayer wants is the "freedom" to demand what Nazis demand, and to stand side by side with Nazis, without the attached historical and moral baggage of being labeled a Nazi. They want to be Nazis who don't get punched. Once punched, they always magically transform into "innocent Trump supporters." Gibson himself has admitted what his critics and opponents have been saying all along, “How happy do you think they would be if I came out and I disavowed the Proud Boys? Huh? How happy would they be? Because that’s what they want. They want to divide us.”

Yes. We want Gibson to disavow the far right elements of his movement. He should probably want that for himself as well. But he can't do that, because his supporters don't want him to do that.

Joey could coddle a crying SS officer-wannabe, wipe the tears from his sickly white face, whisper the German equivalent of "there, there," and "I'm so sorry the intolerant left stole your Iron Cross pendant. Your pendant can be replaced, but no one will ever replace you" into his ear, follow it up with an old fashioned sieg heil, and if you even so much as acknowledge the details of the situation, his supporters would still scream, "YOU JUST CALL EVERYONE YOU DISAGREE WITH A NAZI!"

Yeah. You're not really leaving us a lot of other options.

Technically, white supremacist Jeremy Christian was removed from a Patriot Prayer rally for sieg heiling in front of cameras. So, I guess as long as there are cameras, the sieg heil really is where they draw the line. Christian went on to murder two people, wounding a third, around this time last year, because they had the audacity to challenge his "free speech" as he drunkenly shouted Islamaphobic slurs at two terrified black girls on a MAX train.

This is the perfect microcosm of the Patriot Prayer movement: a drunken criminal screaming at non-white teenagers, acting like a scared, cornered animal when confronted, and attempting to absolve himself by claiming "free speech" and "self defense" after the fact. We could zoom out even farther and see how this applies to the American far right as a whole. The idea of provoking someone to the point of violence and then claiming self-defense was discussed in the "Unite the Right" organizational Discord chats, and is a common tactic utilized by fascists at rallies and protests.

The bottom line is that Joey Gibson and the Patriot Prayer movement aren't even being disingenuous about sympathizing with fascists. They want to continue to "Unite the Right" and take advantage of that union for their own purposes. As Gibson is running for Senate, Washington state Republicans need to take a long, sober look at who and what they're endorsing if they do not challenge him. I mean, they shouldn't have to take a long, sober look at it, the dude is a fucking fascist, but here we cunting are, ain't we?

A "Proud" Boy in Seattle.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

An Alt-'Righter' Responds to His Editor

What do you mean it's "She and I" and not the other way around? I'm the one talking from my apparently oh-so-offensive perspective. You liberal snowflakes are obsessed with putting women first, even if it doesn't make any rational sense.

In the sentence, "Me and her went back to my dorm and even though she initially just wanted to use the bathroom and leave I convinced her that she should stay and watch an episode of The Office which should have obviously meant to her that I wanted to have sex and she obviously was consenting," I don't understand why I need commas. I'm just giving you straight and honest talk. Commas are for what? Taking a break? I don't need to take a break at any point in that sentence. I'm an alpha male speaking the truth and sentence breaks are for beta language cucks. If you're offended by the lack of sentence breaks, that's your problem and not mine. Your need for commas is reverse-oppression.

And yes, I'm using commas now. I can do what I want. My contradictions are what make me brilliant and edgy. You can't see that because you've been indoctrinated by the media.

Your globalist AP and MLA style guides restrict true free speech.

And I know you didn't explicitly say in your notes that you think I'm a racist, but it was implied by the way you're forcing me to put a tilde over the "n" when I quote her as saying "I need to get back home right now, Storm. Tengo sueno." And you're right, she didn't actually speak Spanish when she said it. I know that's not necessarily believable. But I needed to convey in a subtle PC way that she was Mexican or something, which she definitely was, so by the way how can I possibly be a racist? It's because people like you won't just let me introduce her as a Mexican or something, I had to try to be subtle.

But, no, I will not put the tilde over the "n." What's next? Why not translate the entire piece into Spanish? Why don't I just stop writing altogether?

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Best Places in St. Augustine to Take a Shit

St. Augustine, Florida is a city of lists. Seriously, it's on so many lists. Naturally, there exist numerous lists of sights to see, cocktails to chug, and coffee to consider within the Ancient City.

Speaking of coffee, do you feel your tummy a-rumblin? What are the odds that you are out and about, prowling St. George Street, or tripping over the bricks of Aviles, far from your hotel, and you have to take a massive dump? Did the odor of the horse manure seduce your colon into surrender? Is that Pizzalley's cardboard they call pizza not settling well in your otherwise iron kettle of a bread basket?

Fret not, aging adventurer. I have, after exhaustive research, concluded that the following locations are the best places to drop the unwanted kids off at the pool.

Bear in mind, I am a man. I am unsure of the status of the women's equivalents in cases where the restrooms are segregated, as this is Florida, and Florida is part of the South (despite just how much the South doesn't even want to claim Florida, and these very same people claim Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas...the god damn South), so I cannot go inside of women's restrooms for research.

1. Flagler College, Ponce de Leon Hall

Before you even make it to the toilet, you're treated to a stunning view of both the courtyard and the rotunda of what was once the luxurious Ponce de Leon Hotel. But you can appreciate the architectural artistry later, because, Jesus fucking Christ, you're going grey over here just trying not to blast your own briefs.

Henry Flagler, the railroad tycoon who essentially birthed the tourism industry in Florida, was probably psychotic. You can empathize with this condition as you try to avoid birthing a food baby all over the rotunda floor. His psychosis and wealth lends itself to a cavernous men's room that I've never seen crowded, as well as completely private stalls, and, of course, fun asymmetric patterns tiled into the floor. It's always clean, and it's historic. You're literally pooping into history. What a fun way to interact with the Nation's Oldest Continuously Occupied European Settlement.

2. Casa Monica Lobby

This hotel, unlike the last hotel, is still a hotel, and as it was built to compete with (and totally fuck with) Henry Flagler and his two hotels, it's bourgeois. In order to gain access to the restroom facilities at this hotel, you need to walk in with the confidence of a hotel guest. You need not appear affluent, just don't be covered in mud or talking into a baseball hat or anything noticeably bizarre like that.

Most of the qualities that make Ponce Hall appealing are present here. You have privacy, cleanliness, and aesthetic loveliness, but of a more symmetrical variety. Once upon a time they had cotton towels as opposed to the paper kind. Perhaps one day they will again. St. Auggie is mysterious like that.

3. Stogie's Cigar Bar

Do you have trouble "going" in public? The Stogie's bathrooms offer the cozy confinement of an airplane water closet, with the added encouragement of a bunch of ghosts that haunt the building. They'll scare the shit out of you. Don't believe in ghosts? Surely the second-hand nicotine will brine those bowels into tenderness. Additionally, no one will smell the abomination you've left behind.

If you go at night, you have the added privacy of a loud, jazzy, funky live band playing inside on the first floor. In fact, you should stay a while. Grab a brew and chat with some locals by the fire pit. Tell them about the fun you've had shitting all over their little city.

4. Mission of Nombre de Dios

Perchance you're a little pooped out from all this crap. Did you have a too much fun watching football at Mardi Gras? Head south on San Marco Avenue. You've already left the bar and you've definitely already broken the seal. But it's too late to turn back. That would be rude. Fortunately there are sprawling acres of trees and green grass for you to take a leak on.

During certain times of year (Easter? Maybe?), the Mission park grounds are covered with tiny crosses. These are meant to symbolize the loss of fetal life to abortion in America. They are not meant to symbolize the unexpected, brutal, or totally tragic deaths of any actual people, as those people get actual gravestones. See how many tiny crosses you can soak after sucking down all those cocktails and light beers.

You probably shouldn't actually poop here. There is not a lot of privacy.

5. Any Local Rant and Rave or Business Review Group on Facebook

I'm not going to encourage you to troll the St. Augustine Business Rant and Rave group on Facebook (or any similar group). What I merely suggest is that you join these groups to witness the massive shits people give about any petty grievance they can conjure. You'll see shit along the lines of, "We eat at the 312 Applebee's two meals out of four, five nights a week, but never again. Not after last night. They got my shitty order A LITTLE BIT WRONG! RANT!"

Or, if you absolutely must shit all over poor service or a lack of professionalism, it's safe to just let it all go in the confines of these groups.

Ponce Hall Rear

Research on the best places to shit in Portland, Oregon has yet to conclude.

Yo. Where's the best place to shit in America? Leave me a hot, steaming comment below.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I Tried Reasoning With a Nazi

SPOILER: It didn't work. Now he's a popular, important Nazi. So there's the TL;DR.

Elliott Kline and I played football together at Wilson High School in West Lawn, PA. I was two years his senior, and at the time my high school housed grades 10 thru 12, so we only really knew each other for one year. However, I remember him fondly, because he wasn't a total dick to me.

There is something to be said for high school football players who aren't total dicks. No man should have to receive a participation trophy for not being a complete and utter monster, but it seems like that's what Elliott has probably become.

After high school, we kept in contact via Facebook. Like a handful of other people who I went to school with, I probably interacted with him online more than I ever did IRL. He normally wouldn't comment on anything unless it was to argue with me. But that was okay. We shared a dark sense of humor.

I can't remember exactly when it happened, but it couldn't have been more than two years ago. His level of vitriol toward myself, my friends, and my beliefs had increased tenfold. Bear in mind, these interactions were exclusively via Facebook. He never threatened or harassed me, but dealing with his anger, circular arguments, deflections, and proud ignorance had become a real chore. It started to appear as if my former teammate had become kind of a racist jerk.

When I shared a Shaun King post about why people should stop defending Bill Cosby, Elliott said he agreed but chastised me for supporting a "racist" journalist who lies about being black. If you're not already familiar with these attacks on Shaun King's integrity, as I was not, you're probably thinking, "well, that's an awfully weird, tangential position to take." At the time, I thought it reeked of some Breitbart-esque bullshit. Upon minimal additional research, it became clear that Breitbart itself was the official source of this slander.

On another occasion, he asserted that placing Harriet Tubman's image on the $20 bill was a form of "affirmative action," and he was tired of it. Then there was the time that he essentially argued no one on the internet should ever be shamed for anything ever, because free speech. I agreed that sometimes internet shaming gets out of hand, and I will always recommend that you read Jon Ronson's "So You've been Publicly Shamed" if you want a wonderfully nuanced and humorous perspective on the issue. However, we're allowed to use our free speech to tell people we disagree with to fuck off.

Appropriately enough, this is exactly what he did to me after Donald Trump won the 2016 general election.

I was relieved to see this is what he had commented, upon receiving a notification from him, as I expected a polemic screed to end all screeds. I wish I had more screenshots like this, so that I could substantiate my paraphrasing of his other comments, but he has since either deactivated his account or blocked me.

Anyway, before he unfriended me (which he did before his account disappeared from my view), I encouraged him to message me privately rather than spew his verbal diarrhea all over my already admittedly unclean Facebook page. If he was genuinely interested in a dialogue with me, rather than the spectacle of an online argument, he should just talk to me. Normally when I encourage trolls to do this, they back down, because they are not interested in dialogue. But Elliott begrudgingly began messaging me. His demeanor was much more chummy. I was pleasantly surprised. 

It was through these exchanges that I began to form a more coherent view of the alt-right. Elliott encouraged me to check out popular "alt-lite" figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Sargon of Akkad, and Dave Rubin. Publicly, Elliott would condemn me as a "lost cause," and assure me that I was "not an intellectual" but an "idealogue" whom he only kept around for the lulz. Privately, we shared how our experiences shaped who we believed we'd become. He offered to help me write a stronger CV, and I agreed to participate in a YouTube channel he was considering starting. 

At the time, I assumed Elliott's public criticisms were projections of his insecurities. However, I've come to believe that they may have been more insidious than that. I now suspect he was not interested in maintaining any kind of friendship, but was trying to recruit me. Perhaps it's narcissistic of me to think of myself as useful to anyone other than my own damn self, but these insecurities are openly and routinely exploited in alt-right adherents by the respective leaders of its various contingencies. 

I'm pretty sure the election marked the end of his efforts with me. Several months ago, One People's Project published something of a dossier on him. His public pseudonym, "Eli Mosley," is inspired by infamous Hitler-loving British fascist, Oswald Mosley. I already figured Elliott for a fascist, but hot damn. In the time since his disengagement with me, he quickly ascended the alt-right ranks, appearing on many far right podcasts, becoming best bros with antifa's favorite punching bag, Richard Spencer, and organizing both of the alt-right's events in Charlottesville, VA. He can be seen multiple times in the viral Vice News documentary on the Unite the Right rally, though he is unidentified in the piece. My favorite moment in the documentary is at around the 9:00 mark, when he threatens the police.  

"Eli" is currently the leader of Identity Evropa. When he isn't throwing Jason Kessler or Chris Cantwell under the bus, he's defending himself from trolls against claims that he's Jewish. What a fun coincidence considering his earlier perpetuation of racist slander against Shaun King. No matter how deftly Elliott attempts to squirm around the legalese of Virginia or federal law, he has blood on his hands. 

I'm writing this not necessarily to attack Eli Mosley, but to demonstrate to my liberal or centrist friends the futility of dialogue with some of these people. I don't entirely believe that Elliott Kline is irredeemable. More dedicated white supremacists have recovered and gone on to speak out against their past lives of hate. However, I understand that I am ill-equipped to facilitate this rehabilitation. Unless you can provide for me an alternative, and I am very much willing to listen, I will continue to support direct action against fascist threats. Specifically, with regards to my former football teammate, I will resume watching him stumble down his current path with equal parts repulsion and fascination. 

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I Was a Twenty-Something Anarchist

The title is misleading, but I love Against Me! too much not to use it.

I'm going to try to keep this as concise as possible. However, some information may appear either vague or poorly cited (well, "poor" relative to my usual happy-go-lucky non-standardized bullshit blog citations). This is for the sake of security. You're just going to have to trust me.

Antifa are more visible right now in the United States than ever before. I've seen a lot of misconceptions regarding their goals, tactics, and structure in both the media and among my friends and followers. It's probably really dumb that I'm doing this. But it can't be dumber than telling a room full of strangers about all of my flaws in the hopes that they laugh at me.

Following the 2016 presidential election, I contacted Rose City Antifa. It's not hard to do. Seriously. You should try it sometime. Several months later, when it was still as cold as David Huckabee toward a dog, I met with them. Not all of them. That probably would have meant I'd done something very wrong. After I'd been fully vetted, I'd been taken from one coffee shop to another, where I met a group of them, unmasked, and in full view of the public.

Perhaps the comedy scene has jaded me, but these were some of the most sincerely friendly people I've met in Portland.

So there's a good jumping off point. If you find yourself on the receiving end of antifascist fists, you're probably a gargantuan piece of shit. If you're not a gargantuan piece of shit, by god, what are you doing fighting alongside gargantuan pieces of shit? I've had a few conservative, capitalist friends reach out to me with concerns regarding their perceived ideological opposition to some antifascists on some issues. Would they be targeted by antifa? The bottom line is that antifa can be just about anyone. They predominately appear, at least in Portland, to be anarchists, socialists, and communists. I understand why that kind of coalition may feel unwelcoming to liberals and conservatives.

The prevailing attitude among antifascists is that we can save our economic arguments for other times and/or other places, provided we can agree that we have a common enemy in white supremacy, Nazis, and their modern day umbrella, the alt-right.

Rose City Antifa have been fighting white supremacy in the streets of Portland for over twenty years. They tend to avoid taking credit for their own victories. If you personally consider them to be terrorists, they're at odds with pretty much every other terrorist organization on the planet in their attitude toward not publicizing victories. Security culture is as important to antifascist organizing as their non-hierarchical anarchist structure.

Antifa target known, active white supremacists (and other kinds of fascists, but this is the whitest city in a majority white country, so the white ones are the archenemy at home). Their goal is to defend their communities by isolating fascists and stopping their activities before they start by engaging in direct action. Violence is not an antifascist's first choice, but it's never off the table. Self-defense is often violent. Rose City Antifa offer activists self-defense training, security training, and legal, political, and historical education.

A former racist skinhead was recently interviewed on Fox News alongside a former antifa organizer. I can't believe it either, but I highly recommend checking it out. However, Frank Meeink, the former racist, illustrates an important misconception regarding the goals of antifascists when he recalls, "...people would throw bottles at us and stuff. And I never ducked a bottle once, and thought, 'whoa, I better rethink my beliefs here.' It doesn't work that way. It makes me more stronger in what I was doing." Frank probably speaks for most white supremacists when he argues that violent opposition won't change their minds. But antifascists are not in the business of winning hearts and minds. Antifascists seek to stop white supremacy from harming their communities by any means necessary.

Antifascists are often most visible at protests and marches. They're recognizable collectively by how unrecognizable they are individually, as they show up clad in all black, or "black bloc." Not all antifascists are black bloc, and not all black bloc are organized antifascists. Their immediate function in these circumstances is to defend peaceful protesters, and to make their presence felt by the community.

Every time I've marched, when the cops started getting violent, black bloc rushed to the front lines. They always bore the brunt of the state's aggression. During the June 4th "Patriot Prayer" rally and counter-protest in downtown Portland, it was black bloc who surrounded the "Proud Boys" upon their pitifully anticlimactic arrival, lest they attempted to harm the unionists or the socialists. It was a black bloc protester who pulled me from the street when I left my foot straggling, scolding me, "that's how you get arrested, man." I bristled a bit, but later learned that the cops were beating and arresting people who'd made my exact mistake.

And when I left Portland International Airport, after a day of nationwide protests against Trump's immigration ban, it was black bloc who ultimately dispatched some handsy, loudmouthed bigots.

You can also find Rose City Antifa singing and chanting in the North End of Portland Timbers home matches, drinking, waving their flags, and raising their scarves and banners. Despite their omnipresence at protests, this was truly how I first encountered them.

If you're still struggling to separate friend from foe in this ongoing sociopolitical conflict, I recommend doing as I did, and reaching out to local antifascists. Show up to protests. Pay attention close to what you see and hear. Compare your own experiences to what the police say, and what you hear and read on the news. Compare your experiences to those of corporate, citizen, and politically motivated journalists. Make up your own mind in the flesh, and not just in an internet forum. If you can't make it to a protest, a rally, a town hall, or a reading, support those who do, and listen to them.