July 23, 2008

Living Dead (Ten)

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If you asked John Ashcroft, he was lured against his will into a darkly lit space that was half rustic wood shed, half seedy porn fantasy. The redhead heifer whose pimp had sent her to him approached without the least bit of grace or common courtesy and asked him how he wanted it. Ashcroft had three basic choices: fully clothed, tits out, or naked. Nothing good as far as he could see could come from her complete nudity. On the other hand, he did want to stick his face into those two soft pink flesh pillows of hers, so he split the difference. What Ashcroft remembered was her crudely grinding her ass into his crotch to no avail. Besides, the last thing he wanted to do was cum in his shorts. The sheen of erotic physical sweat on her exposed chest was what got Ashcroft going. But it wasn’t just the smell of BBQ’d pork sandwiches and sliced watermelon that made her special. More importantly, it was the strong waft of bad perfume, nicotine, alcohol, and more bad perfume mixed in with the other sensual smells the body gives off when it’s turned on that finally got him hard.

If you asked The Decider-in-Crook what happened that night: Anne Colture walked down the stairs and made a mime of knocking on a door. It was the signal the meeting was on. The only problem was she kept miming the same movements all night long. In fact, according to the Decider everyone at the bar seemed to go through the same motions over and over again. To Dubya, the whole evening at the strip club was like a spastic version of a cocktail party. Everything happened rhythmically in straight time, but for some reason everyone’s movements and actions seemed to be off-key and out of synch. Wherever the President looked it was as if he watched a disjointed mini-play. The speaker on the podium said, “I wish to turn my thoughts to a favorite topic: The Supernatural Occult Influence of the Dark Side.” A distinguished looking older gentleman whispered to his companion, “Germs can pass through the telephone.” His friend nodded in agreement, “That’s how I got sick. I answered the phone.” The whole thing was like the dream sequence right out of Brian de Palma’s movie from a year before Phantom of the Paradise, called Sisters (1973). Margot Kidder plays the Siamese twins Danielle Breton and Dominique Blanchion. Heavily drugged, hypnotized and made to remember her childhood in an experimental mental hospital, she painfully recalls her drug-induced visions from that time: Three men in white jumpsuits stood side-by-side and danced a little jig; beside them some nuns in Dutch habits played cricket; four devout rabbis in black frocks who adamantly discussed theology behind them; reporters walked about with microphones extended and camera people flashed pictures.

Now if you happened to ask Darth Cheney what happened that night, his experience was even more difficult to believe. He described a futuristic police-state in which star NBA athletes were made to fight to the death in a game not unlike the one in which Inca gladiators had to shove a ball into the narrow hole on the opposing team’s end of the court in order to survive certain death. The fate of the losing team was written in stone, but The Vice President had the power to decide who on each side could live in the meantime. Rules varied: even minor fowls could warrant harsh punishments. Right away Cheney killed off all the team role-players. Then he started executing the major players. When he was done with basketball players, he started asking for the heads of well-known NFL athletes. Nothing could stop him. In the end he was holding football league MVP quarterback Tom Brady’s bleeding severed head by the hair, and berating the kneeling New England Patriot coach Bill Belichick for the cut-off sleeves on his “raggedy-ass” hoody. In the future distopian fantasy of Darth Cheney, stadium seats rose high above the court and each one was filled with an enthusiastic audience spectator. Every time Cheney made a deadly ruling on the floor the crowd went wild. He could simply do no wrong. No matter what he decided, they stamped their feet on the metal bleachers and cheered: “Blood on the wall, blood on the wall! U-S-A! U-S-A!” They absolutely adored him! And at the end of the game when only one warrior still showed any signs of life, and the Vice President finished him off with a sharp dagger blow to the heart, Darth Cheney was showered, like a self-satisfied god, with thousands of multi-colored synthetic flower petals.

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Living Dead (Nine)

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Every night Cordwainer Smith wished the cycle of total- and self-destruction would finally end. Every morning he would start the cycle up anew. Leonard Cohen’s laconic way of seeing the good in everything from disaster to love wasn’t far from his thinking. There’s a quote from “Master Song” which comes close to Cordwainer’s truth: “He was starving in some deep mystery / Like a man who is sure what is true.” Cordwainer Smith’s trailer was decked out based on another quote. This one from Tim O’Brien’s short story “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” in The Things They Carried: “Across the room a dozen candles were burning on the floor near the open window. The place seemed to echo with a weird deep-wilderness sound — tribal music — bamboo flutes and drums and chimes. But what hit you first, Rat said, was the smell. Two kinds of smell. There was a topmost scent of joss sticks and incense, like the fumes of some exotic smokehouse, but beneath the smoke lay a deeper and much more powerful stench. Impossible to describe, Rat said. It paralyzed your lungs. Thick and numbing, like an animal den, a mix of blood and scorched hair and excrement and the sweet-sour odor of moldering flesh — the stink of the kill. But that wasn’t all. On a post at the rear of the hutch was the decayed head of a large black leopard; strips of yellow-brown skin dangled from the overhead rafters. And bones. Stacks of bones — all kinds. To one side, propped up against the wall, stood a poster with neat black lettering: ASSEMBLE YOUR OWN GOOK!! FREE SAMPLE!! The images came in a swirl, Rat said, and there was no way you could process it all.” Outside of his own trailer Cordwainer Smith stabbed his meatloaf and potatoes nervously, like some kinda hick redneck. One of his favorite writer pals, Thomas M. Disch, (probably best known for Camp Concentration), had just shot himself in the head. It was on Independence Day. Disch was 68. Cordwainer Smith definitely didn’t want to go out like that. It was another Cohen quote that kept him going: “It’s hard to hold the hand for anyone / who is reaching for the sky just to surrender.” Maybe Disch had too many voices in his head? Smith sure as hell knew he had too many GOD DAMN voices kicking around in his head — too many voices, too many DAMN quotes!

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July 13, 2008

Living Dead (Eight)

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“There’s that scene in Terry Southern’s Blue Movie when the starlet Angela Sterling comes on set, but the director (loosely modeled on Stanley Kubrick to whom the book is dedicated and who at one time seriously considered making it into a picture) won’t FUCK her,” George Tenet spit out with his usual lisping, morbid rasp, as if the words had withered and dried up before they could escape his mouth and were still stuck on his desiccated and shriveled tongue. “The scriptwriter character is worried that if Angie doesn’t get laid, and fast, something bad is going to happen, so he tries to reason with his friend. His argument goes something like: She’s got a HOLE between her legs, doesn’t she? Well girls get very nervous when they don’t have something in their HOLE!” The RAT-PRICK CIA director had followed Rummy, Karl Rove, and Darth Cheney down to the morgue like a ghoulish little schoolboy trying to gain favors from senior class bullies and unconvincingly tried to puff out his chest when he delivered the punch line. The attempt at an aggressive posturing was, however, ill advised. His beef jerky zombie flesh was so cracked and full of gaping holes the air escaped instantly the moment he took his breath in and the end effect was more pathetic than anything else, as the air weakly billowed through the disintegrating fabric of his filth stained torn shirt and caused him to choke on the stink from his own decomposed rotten lungs. More dead soldier cadavers had just come in from overseas, and the Defense Secretary liked to have a go with the bodies personally before the official military autopsy. (This was before the Bushreich Administration's run-up to Iraq, before Abu Ghraib, torture, warrant-less wiretaps, economic collapse, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, and no one, not a single sharper, had noticed all the flies in the window of the Oval Office, and the deathlike putrid stink generally coming out of the White House). “Fucking Sid Krassman’s punch line right outta the gate, at the very top of the first fucking page,” Rummy leeringly rejoined: “Cracks me up every time. Get this: Who do I have to fuck to get off this picture?!?!” He said it again, more to himself than to anyone else, his attention now trained on the neat rows of body bags before him. They still had not been put in the refrigerators. Rummy unzipped a couple of the ones closest to where he was standing, pinched the sides of the first bag between his thumbs and forefingers like it was the thin neck of a wineglass he was holding in each hand (QUEERPANTS-fashion), peeled back the black vinyl plastic with gruesome anticipation, and peered inside. “But the best part,” Karl Rove said, “was when the head studio exec comes out to check on the picture and gets one of the studio hands to make arrangements with the local undertaker — strictly on the QT — to let the CORPSEFUCKER have at it with a couple of recently deceased local young girls!” Rummy and Rove looked at each other and together let out an uncharacteristic lusty diabolical laugh. There’s scary and there's SCARY! Few things are, for example, harder to watch than your favorite rock’n’rollers growing old. Legend has it back in the day The Rolling Stones optioned the movie rights to Dave Walles’s 1964 Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s one of those stories where the old fogies all suicide and roving bands of kids are left to run the world on their own; lots of gang fights, sex, and motorcycle action, a fine vehicle for a young fresh-faced Mick Jagger and the boys. Imagine if they made the picture today! The long-haired prune-faced geriatrics hobbling around the British countryside in gypsy spandex, all aches and pains. How scary is that?!? Well, let me tell you straight out, it pales in comparison to how frightening these CRYPTO-FASCITS-ZOMBIE-COCKSUCKERS looked going about their sordid business down in the Pentagon Morgue. All four of them looked like the late Keith Ledger’s version of Frank Miller’s Dark Night Joker, like their tortured hate-filled clown maniac faces were slowly melting off. “My favorite Terry Southern character is Old Hack, the old-school publisher and editor-in-chief in ‘Blood of the Wig,’” Darth Cheney said, now focused on the BLOODLESS squirming RAT-PRICK CIA Director. Rove and Rummy were otherwise busy elsewhere among the corpses. “When Old Hack throws out an idea at an editorial board meeting he likes to say, ‘Let’s stroke it a while and see if it gets stiff,’ AND,” Darth Cheney continued, “when the old man is pushing an idea he really likes he says, ‘Let’s stroke it a while and see if we get any jism.’ Get my meaning?!?” Darth Cheney had a way of standing at an angle to you when he told a story, braced and hunched over, like he was standing at the ready at the start line of a 10K, and when he wanted to punctuate a thought, he would rear up and face you, as if he was brushing aside an invisible black cape. “Or do I need to spell it out for you? S-a-d-d-a-m I-n-s-a-n-e!” he let off with his usual upward swing of the shoulders that revealed his serpent smile, and malevolently poked the zombie Tenet in his protruding exposed ribs so hard the miscreant RAT-BASTARD actually coughed up a chunk of moldy lung.

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July 12, 2008

Living Dead (Seven)

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“You spend the first half of your life trying to get into your head,” Cordwainer Smith thought, “and the whole rest of your life trying to get back out again.”

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July 06, 2008

Living Dead (Six)

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DARTH CHENEY: “Hitler was a CUNT!”
RUMMY: “The Eleventh-century Pope Joannes Anglicus was a chick. It’s not like it never happened before. The charade was only discovered after she got pregnant and when she fell off her horse she gave birth. Pope Joan, they call her now. They stoned her to death, but afterwards legend has it that the Papacy instigated a ceremony whereby the Pope-in-waiting would have to sit on a special chair with a round hole cut in the seat so one of the chosen cardinals could reach up and feel his hairy nuts.
DARTH CHENEY: “There’s that Angry Samoans song called ‘They Saved Hitler’s Cock’, but I think they got it wrong. The lyrics should have been ‘Hitler’s Cunt’, ‘They Saved Hitler’s Cunt’.”
RUMMY: “Bruno Ganz does such a great job as Hitler in Downfall (2004), but my favorite was Eva Braun’s bunker fever scene when she decides they should have a party and everyone goes upstairs to the ballroom and gets smashed on caviar and Champaign while the Russians blast away at the palace with heavy artillery. There’s the sequence when Eva is dancing on a banquet table and they take a direct hit!
DARTH CHENEY: “The Angry Samoans sing ‘If Hitler’s cock could choose its mate / It would choose Sharon Tate”, but I think the lyrics should be: ‘If Hitler’s CUNT could choose it’s mate / it would choose Pope Benedict the XVI’.
KARL ROVE: “The Nazi Pope!"
RUMMY: "Someone's gotta lick the crack of the New World pussy.”
GENERAL BETRAYUS: “But it doesn’t even rhyme.”
DARTH CHENEY: “Who cares. It’s TRUE. Ratzinger was in the SS and we know SOMEONE at the Vatican felt his balls.”
RUMMY: “When asked, ‘What’s the best gift a fan has ever given you?’ filmmaker Quentin Tarantino recently said: ‘Pussy!’”
GENERAL BETRAYUS: “He said, ‘It’s a gift that doesn’t stop giving: There’s pussy, and there’s the memory of pussy.’ I read the same quote.”

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Living Dead (Five)

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Cordwainer Smith was cruising the men’s room at the Minneapolis Airport on his way back East. Sometimes you have to visit the scene of a crime for yourself. He was trying to get a better sense of what happened to Sen. Larry Craig just before he was snared in the sting by the under cover cops. When CRYPTO-FASCISTS go out in public it usually gets ugly fast. Agent Smith liked to inspect the premises himself, get a real feel for the little things. He wanted to breathe in the mix of urine, feces, and pine scented industrial strength antiseptic bleach cleaner. If you’re game, you can even count the bathroom tiles from the floor to the ceiling, or from the door to where Sen. Craig’s head must have been. Afterwards, these details only help you remember better what happened. You can linger on the parts you liked best as if you were fondling a trophy you are particularly fond of. Your memory will come back to you anytime you want it to with a velvety, finely nuanced grain of clarity. Smith took some pictures to throw in the incidental file, made some notes on his hand-held electronic device, and reread the police transcript from the sting in a loud theatrical voice to get a feel for what Sen. Craig’s whimpered pleading sounded like delivered in the merciless echo of a cold, metal toilet stall. Smith was careful not to spend to much time on this last bit of reasearch. He knew he was out of his element and didn't want to draw the attention of the local heat. When he wasn’t a government spook, Cordwainer was an accomplished writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Under various pseudonyms he had already amassed a number of well respected volumes, including the preeminent black-ops manual Psychological Warfare: International Propaganda and Communications still used by the Pentagon and the CIA. He held the degrees of A.B., M.A., Ph.D., Certificate in Psychiatry (Applied), and Litt.D., but, like his father, he had cut his teeth in the Foreign Service, and what he knew best about human nature he had learned on the killing fields of Cambodia and Vietnam. In fact, the strange, brutal, and beautiful world of his imagination was probably better known in the Far East. (To the familiar eye, there are no shortage of cryptic references to his science fantasy stories like “Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons” and “The Dead Lady of Clown Town” in Manga comics and Anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the Serial Experiments Lain series). The detail he brought to his writing came directly from his work in the field. That was why he took such meticulous notes in the men’s room stall. Smith wrote Science Fiction, but the lines between fantasy and reality were becoming more and more blurred to him. He was having a harder and harder time telling fact from fiction, keeping his lived-life separate from his imagined one — Cordwainer Smith the agent, from Corwainer Smith the author of weird, beautiful, terrifying stories of the far future. In his mind's eye the graceful birdlike ships that plied the spaceways, human-alien hybrid mutant slave creatures who toiled in deep dark mine shafts on asteroids, and superhuman galactic absolute rulers had become hopelessly and irredeemably confused with those CRYPTO-FASCIST-ZOMBIE-SHITPANTS in the White House.

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July 05, 2008

Living Dead (Four)

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Robert Harris’s novel Fatherland, from 1992, considers a world in which The Third Reich won the Second World War. There are a number of books that take on the same subject, not least of all, The Man in the High Castle. In Phil Dick’s book the United States is split down the middle. The West is under Japanese rule, and the East is Nazi territory. The main character comes to realize that these divisions are a false consciousness. We are all living a surreal existence, blindly accepting of symbolic authoritarian suggestions, but in reality we have not lost the war. We take on face value that the rules by which we are governed are ascribed to the hateful ideologies of our enemies, when they are only a convenient smoke screen our own government has contrived to secretly carry out its repressive policies. Fatherland is far less cerebral. The Nazi victors guard a terrible secret. In the years that followed German victory the brutal reality of the Holocaust has been totally repressed by the Nazi Government. The world has no idea about the atrocities Germany committed during the war. It is a guarded State Secret. Most of the documents have been carefully destroyed. Only a hand full of Hitler’s innermost circle knows the truth, and they are starting to die off under suspicious circumstances. The story begins innocently enough: a drowning is caught by a dogged SS officer who starts to have serious doubts about the official explanation of suicide. All it takes is some little thing like that, some unexpected event that comes out of nowhere, to fell the empire. The cover-ups come one after another, cover-ups to cover-up the cover-ups in quickening succession, and before you know it the conspirators come unglued, indisputable facts emerge, and the game is up. Even under the best conditions there’s no way to stop it, but with this COCKSUCKING Administration of ours all you had were a bunch of mindless zombies. Take the Chief of Staff. He groped around his office in a daze of anger and confusion, and usually ended up cowering in a corner, shades drawn, wearing sunglasses in the dark. If you walked in on him unannounced he would cover his face with one arm, and should the unwelcome interloper turn on the light in the room by mistake, the CRYPTO-FASCIST-ZOMBIE-CORPSFUCKER swiped at the air and hissed loudly. The Chief of Staff, like everyone else at the White House, was incapable of any expression other than the most cynical parody of human behavior, and even under the best of circumstances that usually amounted to nothing more than a blank, hungry, stare, one eye rolled up in its socket, as he clawed and scraped along the wall of his office to turn the light back off before anyone could see the nasty sore that had developed on his cheek. It was becoming more difficult to conceal his increasing incontinence. It wasn’t so much that he had what Mark Shields famously called a single-minded “pathological hatred” of “democratic government.” The undead are totally unconscious that there exists any such thing as law, or love, or anything remotely resembling them. It was the zombie version of the Wild West at the White House. Undead men in the Administration groped around their offices with shit in their pants and the women were all whores! As Executive Producer and Creator of the revisionist Western Deadwood, David Milch pointed out that “reason” was in the neighborhood of 17th on his list of motivating psychological factors that drove the story of the show, and if it were up to him it would have been even lower on the list. Milch might as well have been talking to the Chief of Staff. There is nothing less rational than a bunch of zombies who’ve all shit themselves and are running the United States of America! Milch defends the use of gutter language in Deadwood as in some kind of symbiotic accord with fancy talk. Speech was all there was in the absence of law in the territories. It had two functions, according to Milch. As an expression of civilization, on the one hand, and of the crudeness that was the undeniable reality of the situation. The difference is that most of the time the Chief of Staff SHITPANTS growled and moaned with absolutely no discernible meaning. Language had no greater purpose for him than as a convenient way to clear the black phlegm from his rotten throat, which invariably ended up dripping from his chin. “The light hurts my eyes,” the sick zombie SHITPANTS managed to cough out when the room was dark again and he was back behind his gore stained desk, totally unaware of the ghastly impression he made. You never fully appreciated how stupid and vicious these Administration officials were until you got stuck in a room alone with one of them.

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July 04, 2008

Living Dead (Three)

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John Polidori’s villainous vampire, Lord Ruthven, was the basic archetype for the BLOODSUCKER administration as a whole, the lousy COCKSUCKERS! But Darth Cheney in particular took the cake. He was furnished with every one of the SCUMBAG’s most outlandish evil attributes. Totally distracted, he didn’t speak to you as much as he made statements, and if you were stupid enough to answer, you invariably ended up talking to the back of his head. The Democrats were hushed when he entered the room, like some forgotten tropical parasite wrapped around their spines after an eternity of dormant sleep had just awakened and constricted with fear. “Those who felt this sensation of awe,” Polidori wrote of Ruthven, “Could not explain whence it arose: some attributed it to the dead gray eyes, which, fixing upon the object’s face did not seem to penetrate, and at one glance to pierce through to the inner workings of the heart; but fell upon the cheek with a leaden ray that weighed upon the skin it could not pass.” Ruthven was: “A man entirely absorbed in himself, who gave few other examples of his observation of other objects, than a tacit acceptance of their existence, implied by the avoidance of their contact.” And exactly the same could be said for Darth Cheney. They even shared the same caprice of cruelty. Polidori’s vampire is a man of misbegotten means who the needy constantly beg for alms, but he goes out of his way to scorn and embarrass those with the best intentions, or the most earnest need for the money, while he lavishes his gold coins on the most odious unrepentant common criminals. No subtlety of interiority got in the way of nastiness. Like Ruthven, the Vice President was dead to affection, and, to borrow a couple more phrases from Polidori, as “unconscious to pain,” as he was to “objects around him,” and nothing but gore and murder raged in his SICK COCKSUCKER brain when he entered the House Speaker’s chamber like some rabid automaton. For a moment they just looked at each other, then Nancy Pelosi’s white hand was finally mechanically extended to him. You could see the SCUMBAG shake with wild maniac frenzy as he reached his arms out and grabbed the Congresswoman by the throat! But that wasn’t nearly the worst part. No, the worst part was the mocking shriek let out by the House Speaker. “He grabbed me, he grabbed at me, and tore at me, he tore at my clothes!” she sarcastically screamed, just like the shocked and hysterical Barbara who has just seen her brother eaten alive by zombies in George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead (1968). Then she went as still as the Vice President, like someone had mistakenly pulled the plug on both of them. That’s when the Senate Majority Leader came into the picture, like some kind’a PINKO-COMMIE-FAIRY, dressed in little girl drag, the FREAK hummed some Tubeway Army song under his breath. Darth Cheney lunged for Pelosi again, his hands clutching her thin neck in a looped deadly embrace that always ended with her crying, “He grabbed me, he grabbed at me, and tore at me, he tore at my clothes,” and, after a short pause, start right up again from the beginning, like the busted electronic mind behind the whole GOD DAMN thing got hopelessly stuck and could only repeat the same IDEOTIC fragmented sequence over and over again. “Can you see her little eyes?” the Majority Leader sang more loudly then and fixed his wig. “Can you see her little hands? Don’t you think she looks just like me? Can you hear her little scream? Can you hear her little cry? Don’t you think she sounds just like me?”

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