Wayne Michael Reich

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Wayne Michael Reich
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Month: January 2020

The Phantom Trollbooth (The Celibacy of Cowardice)

“To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.” -Tina Fey

 Hello Blogiteers!

I have been busy as all Heck lately, my time being equally divided between writing, forming a definitive legal plan aimed at successfully suing both my former employer Engelsen Molding who operate out of Michigan, and my former supervisor, Antonia “Tomi” Ramirez, who operates out of a sense of hubris and obese ineptitude.

Am I looking forward to this sure to be epic skirmish? You betcha. This valid reckoning is long overdue, and where before I was fine with just delivering a catty bitch-slap and walking away, now I’m looking to legally add two empty skulls to my human cereal bowl collection. Metaphorically of course, since a human skull is completely undersized and way too wobbly to hold my standard portion of Apple Jacks, but you get where I’m going with this.

Currently, I’m enjoying the ripples emanating from the dropping of my last two screeds, as it’s been a fairly productive month, so I can’t really complain in the fashion that I and my readers have all grown accustomed to. This situation can present itself as being both good and bad, depending on how mercurial my existing mood is at that moment. But this is me after all, so there will have to be carping, and it will be shared.

Lucky, lucky you.

Recently, I celebrated my 51st birthday, which has served as a reminder the unsettling statistic about diabetics tending to die at the age of 65. This unwanted knowledge has led to some fairly dark inner monologues where I’ve pondered about how much longer the metaphorical sands in my personal hourglass are going to smoothly run. Forgive the inclusion of morbidity, but after twenty years of ceaseless combat with my old bloodborne adversary, I sometimes get a little worn out, both mentally and physically. Even with my new insulin pump, it’s still an uphill battle, and yes, that does include the best of days.

At times, I openly wonder if I’ll hit all my planned benchmarks before this damn disease or the decrepitude of old age finally takes me out. Interesting aside: diabetes and depression occur together approximately twice as frequently than by chance alone, so maybe that’s why I happen to find myself feeling that I should drag out my old Goth wardrobe, smoke a pack of clove cigarettes, and go full nihilist.

Fortunately, when it comes to the act of creative writing, these mood swings haven’t limited my output- if anything in fact, it’s forced me to expand on what topics I choose to cover, and I for one, think it’s helped advance my range rather significantly. While I will always have a focused interest regarding the world of Art, I’ve found myself as of late, covering what might be considered much “heavier” issues, which to be quite honest, I’m really kind of enjoying getting into more so than at any other point in my career thus far.

Savagery, sarcasm, and statistics are seemingly the foundation of my writing, and after fifteen years, I think I’m finally getting a handle on how to use them effectively and brutally, If the amount of virulent email I receive from time to time is any kind of indicator. And yes, sometimes acts of pure unbridled hatred directed squarely at you can be regarded as a good thing, believe it or not, as at the very least, it confirms your hope that people are paying attention. Especially the ones who need to hear it the most.

As John Lennon once said; “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it’ll always get you the right ones.” Besides, there’s really nothing more helpful that my disparagers can do than assist me with whittling down my Christmas card list, and you have no idea how much I appreciate that. At this rate, next year I’ll like have only two cards to send out, and the remainder of my mad money can go to what’s really important- buying Star Wars toys and art reference books. A man has got to have his priorities, as you well know.

So, exactly why do I enjoy the venom so much? Well, most people would tell you that the mirror opposite of Love is Hate, but that’s not even close to being accurate. The true contrarian of Love is Indifference, and for a Creative, that’s an absolute hellish land to find yourself exiled to. When someone loves what you do, that’s great. When they hate what you do, that’s even better, given the fact it costs them a tremendous amount of energy to stay focused on you. But when someone could care less either way?

Well, at that point, you should probably just go find a truly serene and economical place to inter your artistic corpse, and accept the fact that your career is over. I’ve often half-joked that I’ve had more comeback tours than KISS, but that’s only because when it comes to what I do, you’re only as good as your last set of accomplishments. It’s kind of hard to sit on your laurels when they fall apart faster than a pair of shoes from Payless, and you can only use the excuse that you’re “in the process” before people start realizing you spend most of your time watching Scooby-Doo cartoons and posting angry reviews on Yelp.

On a related note, screw you Papa John’s, because that cardboard circle slathered with ketchup that you like to advertise as an actual pizza, absolutely sucks.

However, when I do find myself walking down a morose and self-pitying path, I remind myself that things could always be worse- after all, I could be dead, I could have lost more than just a part of my left foot, or in the ultimate horror show, I could be one of those mouth-breathers that looks to Kid Rock for political advice.

Sure, “Bawitdaba” is a kick-ass song, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to take voting cues from a guy who looks like he deals skunk weed out of the trunk of a faded 1983 Pontiac Fiero. Just saying. And no matter what is happening in my life, at least I try to use my innate anger and sense of acidic cynicism to highlight the issues that I think need to be addressed, whether there’s a receptive audience for my opinions or not.

When it comes to what I do, the first person who I aim to satisfy is myself. Always. And if I can entertain a few road-weary travelers along the way who appreciate that, so much the better.

But there’s one demographic in this country that is never at peace, never content to be one with their fellow humans, and whose offered solutions for the things that supposedly vex them border not only on the ludicrous, but the sheerly psychotic.

I’ve written about these nonsensical nimrods before, but it seems that every time I think I’ve hit the rock bottom of this topic, I discover that it has a sub-basement crammed full of pork rinds, unopened Bibles, Confederate flags, dog-eared copies of The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion, Chinese-made pro-Trump bumper stickers, hats, and T-shirts, along with a collection of guns, ammo, and XXL camouflage fatigues, for when they want to play soldier, but are still too craven to join the actual military.

This festering fellowship of morons, malcontents, faux patriots, whiners, hypocritical Christians and boycott-addicted simpletons who as a collective, cluster under the internet’s bed, feebly harass the online citizenry with an obsessive passion seen hitherto only in middle-age men who collect My Little Pony dolls.

I am of course, referring to the cravenly scourge known as Trolls, who roam the shadowlands of the Web, engaged in a dark quest to find both relevance and a definable personality. Defined as a noun, the word Troll presents as: A dwarf or giant in folklore which inhabits caves or hills.” And here I was, assuming they all had mortgages for a nice spot under a bridge. Damn. Fairytales have totally lied to me my entire life. Next thing you know, I’ll find out that the witch in Hansel and Gretel was actually a Florida retiree that two German kids proceeded to mug after they finished eating her house.

However, the modern-day definition of Troll as a verb is what I’m most interested in for this particular screed: “To harass, criticize, or antagonize by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts.” In essence, this is a really diplomatic way of stating that the type of person you’d report to HR if they were a co-worker, spends most of their time surfing the web in the manner of a modern Thugee, waiting for an unsuspecting traveler.

As someone who’s more than familiar with this subclass that spends most of it’s free time lurking in the pixelated murk, I can attest that they all tend to follow the same script, which is at it’s best, no more than a craven’s compendium of post-it notes suggesting the repetitive slurs, threats, and translucent deflections, they require to bolster their unfounded belief that they possess some relevance in the first place.

When one dissects this singular populace, they’ll notice it’s an inane cross-section of persons who are socially and politically marginalized, and to some degree, sexually frustrated as well, given how consistently the slithering alongside Incel community attempts to brand itself as noble martyrs to the fight against the current feminist movement. I for one, wasn’t aware that you could take such a fierce pride in being involuntarily celibate, but at the end of the day, anything that helps keep the makers of Fleshlights in business, can only be regarded as a win.

Rarely can one stay the course when these leeches of logic attach themselves to what was once a previously focused debate, due to their dependence on a panacea so addictive that they have to hijack non-related conversations as a means to attain a transitory sense of personal influence that they lack in their otherwise hollow lives. When their attempts to disseminate falsehoods or their failures to defend cherry-picked statistics force these individuals inevitably backed into a corner, they only have one fail-safe option to exploit, that being the capacity to weaponize the Internet’s shroud of anonymity to an almost terrifying degree.

I once wrote that the Internet was a lot like Tombstone in the 1880’s, in the sense that it had no rules, no truly enforced laws, and the odds were pretty good that the person you were dealing with was functionally illiterate. And I still maintain this POV is accurate, especially when it comes to the framework of personal accountability for one’s online actions and commentaries, which the Web at the moment, finds itself in severe lack of.

I’m not suggesting that regulating or censoring our citizenry’s right to free speech should be considered, but I will firmly take the position that dialogue targeted to harm my fellow humans doesn’t even come close to deserving the same afforded protection. In all the years I’ve been writing social criticism, I’ve found myself dealing with more than my share of people who possess an almost childlike sanguinity that presenting one’s viewpoints anonymously is a contemporary variance of a medieval castle keep, but let me assure you, this assumption is only partially correct.

To quote Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known and illuminated.” And despite the fact this insight hails from the pages of a Bronze-age book of fairytales, it’s still exceedingly apt when applied to the corruption of what should have been the most lauded repository of all the world’s knowledge.

Instead, when you’ve removed the usefulness of Google, cute cat videos, and the access to free pornography, the Internet is really no more than an extended virtual Thanksgiving dinner at which everyone of your ignorantly racist relatives show up unannounced, drunk, and wearing a pro-Trump T-shirt. So it’s just like real life, but the level of idiocy you’ll have to experience is dialed all the way up to 11, and you never get the peace and quiet present when your Uncle Frank is shoveling your Aunt Hilda’s world famous marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes down the pipe that serves as his neck.

To be fair, it’s quite easy to want to dismiss these disturbingly-comfortable-with-Nazis-outside-of-an-Indiana-Jones-movie lunatics, and that’s understandable, if not the life goal that many would like to eventually achieve. But if I were to offer a small caveat, it would be this- worrying concerns that are blindly left unsupervised in the dark tend to become emboldened and dangerous as time moves on, and this faux brain trust is no exception to that rule.

While a majority of trolls just spew their acidic bile optimistically believing that they’ll compile enough hit-points to merit a re-tweet from the man-child Mussolini they slavishly worship, this is not the case for all, as some go far past the line in the sand that an ordinary malcontent would normally believe should never be crossed, as the 24/7 news cycle has proven over the last three years.

According to an *article published in The New York Times in March of 2019, hate crimes have hit a 16-year high, with a noteworthy increase in violence directed at Latinos, according to the FBI. And while the sense of vehemence focusing on Muslims and Arab-Americans has seen a downturn, physical assaults have spiked, accounting for 61 percent of the 7,120 documented incidents that were reported to law enforcement officials nationwide. *[https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/us/hate-crimes-fbi-report.html]

Keep in mind, these stats are drawn only from the known data, as some experts have noted their belief that possibly more than half of all victims of hate crimes never file a complaint in the first place. Disgracefully, state and local police forces are not required by law to report hate crimes to the FBI, which to be fair, has a limiting impact on the range of the conclusion that can be ascertained from the collective data.

A hate crime is defined as: “A criminal offense against a person or property, motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity, as well as ethnicity.” Under this definition, the classification of hate crime victims can also include established institutions, religious organizations and government entities.

One odd factoid for review is that in areas where Trump has held his Nuremburg-style Ego rallies, there has been a statistical jump in hate crimes, although it’s not anywhere near the absurd 226% rate claimed by certain meme-posting individuals on Facebook. This is not to suggest that there aren’t unsavory characters prowling the streets of our cities causing havoc, but the assemblies of these mental midgets only really started appearing consistently on the social radar after being emboldened both by Trump’s rhetoric and his seemingly tacit approval of their current activities and recruitment outreach.

Far beyond the pale of rational thought, these people tend to be hiding in plain sight among the good people of the virtual realms, shedding avatars and profile pages quicker than a high-schooler tries out new personalities. This, for no other purpose than to stay several steps ahead of the social consequences they so richly deserve and have truly earned.

As with all cowards, the level of threat presented differs on a case to case basis, but coalesced into a teeming mob with a singular targeted mentality, that’s when this horde is arguably at its most dangerous, if not its most unpredictable. To quote comedienne Tina Fey regarding the murder of Heather Steyer at what was supposed to be a peaceful protest against the White Power Movement in Charlottesville: ”Who drove the car into the crowd… Hillary’s E-mails?” I

n public, these Trumpflakes not only crave the companionship of their fellow Red Hat brigade members, they require it, since without this mass of sheer numbers, these twerps would be stomped flatter than a narc at a Hells Angel BBQ. However, when they’re sitting around in their underwear in the embryonic warmth of their Mom’s basement, their disconnection from their brethren causes a sense of rapidly fading hubris and faux bravery which can only be rejuvenated by donning their well-worn and tissue-thin, cravens’ cloak of Internet anonymity.

Now, when you note that their profile/page/opinions are made wholly out of air and arrogance, the invariable response that you’ll normally receive is that they’ve purposefully set it up that way to “protect themselves” from the evil intentions of the “Alt-Left”, a non-entity who apparently, wants nothing more than to turn their children into atheistic soymilk latte drinking transgender drag queens who practice witchcraft while demanding free abortions as they set fire to the American flag.

I don’t know about you, but that is one argument that’s really hard to disprove, when you don’t have immediate access to a mobile lobotomy kit. Just an observation. Nevertheless though, the reality of this ham-fisted approach to online social interaction is rather self-evident, no matter what fantastical theory they wrap it in. In essence, these paranoid and pathetic rationalizations highlight a far sadder issue than just what they claim to believe.

What all of this subterfuge represents is the true innermost struggle that they face- holding dear a set of values so dishonored, that they can’t openly share them with the populace at large, Whether you want to lay the blame for their reluctance at the feet of PC culture, or for accuracy’s sake, the advance of common sense and/or logic, it’s just not socially acceptable in this, an era of dawning diversity, to be proudly and willfully racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, elitist, homophobic, vulgar, and ignorant.

It is however, still okay to admit that you think Xanadu is a perfectly fine 80’s movie, since it’s soundtrack more than makes up for the act of portraying Gene Kelly as eager to co-own a roller disco. Not to mention, you also have Olivia Newton-John running around in leg-warmers, and who in their right mind doesn’t appreciate that? Communists. That’s who. And to a lesser degree, persons who think that the “Renegade Cut” of Highlander 2 makes it twice as good. Spoiler: it does not.

But as I noted earlier, it would be remiss to deride the lone individuals whose sole purpose in life is to find proof of their own relevance, unfounded as it may be, as harmless. These people are spoiling for conflagration, and all they lack is the spark to set their limited world aflame. And when you’re faced with souls that lack basic humanity, this cults’ penchant for embracing hate filled strangers they only see at circle-jerk rallies as their only true friends, starts to make a whole lot more sense. I may not be an actual psychologist by any stretch of imagination, but even I know that’s a fiercely f**ked up mindset.

Speaking of f**ked up… 

For all of their posturing as being “victims” of the non-existent “Alt-Left” movement, the Red Hat Brigade is always seemingly discovered squarely dead center when it comes to the numerous incidents of politically-inspired violence, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, ballot fraud, voter roll purging, and let’s not overlook the fine art of doxxing that they do with a maniacal fervor not seen since Glenn Close had her star-turn in Fatal Attraction.

Doxxing, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term, is the act of publishing personally sensitive information online, of which it can be pertained to a corporation, or stereotypically, a private citizen, Processes utilized to obtain this targeted data can range from the absurdly easy, such as searching the standard social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for previously  posted information, to the more serious undertaking of illegally hacking web-based accounts to ferret out what has been intentionally kept from the prying eyes of the public.

The end goal of this immoral acquirement is not to use the data uncovered for the purpose of doing good, as the hacker collective Anonymous has been known to do from time to time, but instead to use the compiled material as raw ammunition in order to shame and/or harass the object/s of their obsession. The purveyors of these vile acts of anonymous cowardice seek to inflict some form of harm against people that they don’t know, which is as close as you can get to being a full-blown psychotic without having to wear a tin-foil suit to identify you as such, in my humble opinion.

And not too surprisingly given my political leanings and inability to be intimidated by the Hot Pocket horde, this has happened to me more than once. I’ve had my previous addresses and phone numbers posted, my website and social media pages attacked, and in one weird instance, my work history as well. Strangely, whomever posted this list of my former employers actually did me a favor, since I had accidentally deleted my resume master file, and all of my work stubs were inaccessible at the time, so it was great resource when I needed to update my resume. So, I owe one at least, to the gloomy compulsive who took the time to inadvertently do me a neurotic solid.

Overall, most of these acts of worthless retaliation fell flat, and were about as effective as their so-called boycotts tend to be. I swear to God that if I had to make a cartoon-related analogy regarding these hapless hackers, I’d compare their rate of successful efficiency to the luck Wile E. Coyote has had using the fine products that ACME makes, in his endless attempts to catch and eventually eat, the Road Runner.

Dude, if you’ve got the scratch to consistently purchase a giant hitch-hiker thumb, rocket-powered roller-skates, vats of guaranteed slippery grease, jet-propelled tennis shoes and pogo stick, anvils, a box of dehydrated (just add water) boulders, triple strength leg muscle and super-speed vitamins, a do-it-yourself tornado kit, a bottle of earthquake pills, suction cups, both an iron carrot and iron bird seed, several giant rockets, a bow and arrow set, a smoke bomb, multiple crates of dynamite, a sweet “jim-dandy” wagon, and a score of oversized slingshots, then you can just as easily text DoorDash, and tell them to bring you a grilled Roadrunner sandwich on Sourdough, el pronto.

Just saying.

Out of all the trolls I’ve dispatched and sent swiftly to the pits of Abaddon, there is one that stands out from all the rest, mainly due to the fact that when one is full of sewer gas, it’s inevitable that they’ll rise to the surface. This virginal viper however, went further than most of his inane ilk, and decided to show some truly obsessive aggression, despite his lacking any physical semblance of a detectable spine.

The disturbing discovery that several of my professional contacts, friends, and weirdly, Instagram fans, had been contacted via his numerous fake profiles, was something that instantly infuriated me, after it was revealed that they too, had been threatened or “warned about me” as well. To clarify, I wasn’t mad because I was concerned for myself, because online cowards are the equivalent of a mentally-challenged kitten forever chasing the red dot, but I was truly livid that this neutered schizoid was now attempting to terrify those people I care about, because he was and still is, too craven to show his real face.

Oh yeah… this guy’s a winner at Life. And that applies to his wretched existence, the cereal, and the classic board game, of which I am convinced is the next logical step after you’ve mastered the mosh pit that is Chutes and Ladders. On top of that, my sexless stalker took several additional steps in order to try and cause some consternation, which I am happy to admit, sort of blew up in his Vaseline coated hands, due to his amateurish overkill in regard to what he was attempting to achieve.

And yes, there will be examples, because as a Creative, I’m all about the visual, and I cannot thank Odin enough for how much unintentional comedy this *zölibatär verliererin has provided.
*[It’s a German descriptive. Feel free to Google it,]

To start, let me present some context first, if only to show today’s impressionable children what really happens when a person lives on a diet consisting of bargain-brand diet soda, pizza rolls, and joyless, if not angry, masturbation. Like many modern Creatives, a good chunk of my life is centered around the Web. But just like when I have a show of my figurative work, the perpetually blue-balled incels arrive as if they were remoras on the backs of a shiver of sharks sensing a bleeding debutante in the water.

The main similarity of course, being that if it wasn’t for the scraps left behind by the actual top of the food chain, they’d have all starved to death by now. If there is one hilariously predictable trait that every Trump-strumpet share in common, it’s the inability to work without a script. This intellectual flaw, exposed when any of them attempts to debate without using their preassigned so-called talking points, generally turns into a litany of slurs and threats, due to their “winging it” ability being somewhere along the lines of a drunken penguin.

They don’t like being challenged, They don’t like their *seelenlos feigling being mocked. And they sure as hell don’t like facts, no matter how they are presented. I’ve actually come to believe over time that every validity that begrudgingly enters their empty heads, must hurt like a razor-studded Q-tip that’s being hammered in with a five-pound sledge, given how vitriolic their responses to a measured debate tend to be. By way of example, I present the following screencaps from the aforementioned Vaseline aficionado. *[Soulless coward in German]

First, we open up with how I’m a “loser”, and how he’s going to pay me a visit to receive his face to face apology, which presents as an almost adorable and highly optimistic outlook, given the fact he would never have the stones to show up. And to think… I went out and bought that veggie party tray for nothing. What a waste of some perfectly good Ranch dressing. Not cool, dude.
Next, since the apology he didn’t deserve was never delivered, he slithers right into what I guess he considers a series of “threats”. First, he tries to attack my age and vanity, which as a rule, tends to fail miserably, since I already have a face so full of fault lines, I could be a mountain range, and I’m looking forward to my Sam Elliot craggy phase.

Trying to bolster that weak-ass opening gambit, he then charitably lets me know that not only will I need to make my Instagram page “private”, because… (reasons?), but that I’ll be also spending all my free time looking “it my window” as well.  I assume he meant “out”, but then again, when you’re stuck inside the virgin’s closet past your early thirties, your view of the world has to be somewhat limited in scope, since the only things you ever whisper sweet nothings to are your hands and the occasional apple pie.
And here come the inevitable dick size and sucking jokes. Or in other words, insults that didn’t work in 5th grade, and sure as hell aren’t going to work now. I love how these cowards never realize that in order to insult someone, they have to value your opinion first. And as you can see, I handle these slurs with modesty and gentleness. As someone who grew up in the 80’s, I have never thought that having someone imply I was gay was ever an insult, I always took it to mean I was incredibly culturaally hip.

As a middle-aged white man, when it gets hurled at me now, I regard it as a nice compliment that my houses property value is stable, my sense of fashion is dead-on, and that it’s obvious that I work out, because you don’t get a ghetto booty like mine watching TV. I think it’s pretty transparent what he’s really mad about here- the fact that I could still pull tail on either side of the sexual fence, and the only thing he’s ever gotten to pull is himself.
Having failed to intimidate me or kill me by making me laugh so hard that I hacked up my own kidneys, he then switches to a grab-bag of projection and threats, none of which are even worth commenting on past the point that he really needs a role model other than a man in his seventies who incessantly melts down like a binky-denied toddler.

I don’t mean to be egotistical here, but if you’re going to stalk me like my 3rd ex-girlfriend, show some love for the craft at least. That wench invested like 60 bucks in a professional quality baseball bat when she decided to try and expose my brain to daylight, so step up your game, bro. I’d expect and demand nothing less.
Now, let’s see just how desperate this guy is to score some points, by his claiming that I sexually abuse women. Weird that in a 20+ year career, that’s never been presented anywhere as fact, huh? Better still is his admitting the number of fake accounts he runs, thereby proving not only his lack of an actual life, but that he also possesses in spades the lack of personal bravery that separates Trump’s male fans from actual men.

He then goes on to openly threaten an IG fan of mine, which was followed up later by a menacing email, sent from yet another one of his many fake accounts. That’s why these people have to strike at you online, if they were forced to have to face you in person, it would be almost damn impossible for them to effectively hide their mother’s gut-girdle under their Trump T-shirts.

Regarding that SEO fallout he smugly mentioned, since his slander was posted, it’s basically led to a zero-sum career impact. Zip. Nada. Zilch. No cancellations. No model blowback. In fact, I got two jobs out of it. Citing the fact that if I pissed off a Trumplethinskin loser like this so bad that he went to all of this trouble to try and harass me, my new clients took it at face value that my critical writing must be top notch.

So, I guess I’m on the hook to send him a fresh case of Vaseline and a case of Kleenex as a thank-you gift, so that his Friday nights will be booked for quite some time, at least. It’s true what you’ve heard- I give because I care.
A further listing of some more of his impotence, via IG’s notification feature. I particularly like the projection form an actual loser and coward that I’m one as well, along with the assertion that now I was going “to feel it”, which given the context, almost comes off as dialogue one might not want to hear inside a prison shower. Considering this guys gear couldn’t go past the molars of the hooker he’d have to hire, I don’t know if this statement is based on a sense of blind optimism, or an act of full-on delusion. Most likely, it’s both. So let’s hear it for multi-tasking!

I don’t even know how to personify the true wretchedness of this losers psyche any better than this flaccid falsehood he also threw out there as yet another limp-wristed attempt at besmirching my unblemished professional reputation, This is supposedly a posting he placed on a message forum for the high school I graduated from in, wait for it… 1987.

Yes. You did read that right. As far as I can tell, Captain Emptypants here thinks that my business model depends on contacting strangers from a time period when people thought plaid parachute pants and British flag t-shirts were a fashion go-to. I literally laugh myself into a state of hypoxia every time when someone I know, and who’s usually laughing at it too, brings this to my attention.

But this posting is a perfect example of what occurs when sheer stupidity believes it’s disguised as sheer genius, since this could serve as potential evidence of a serious crime. This captured moment, forms the base of a still open case whereas the Arizona Department of Public Safety finds itself concerned.

This is due to the fact that for some strange reason, they take a rather dim view of anyone falsifying a public notice, and even when you remove the ineffectively pathetic slander aspect, this takes his wanton idiocy up several notches to a place with some outstanding serious consequences- even if, as far as I can tell, he never actually went through with it. I have a well-developed sense of humor. The police generally aren’t known for theirs, as a rule. And to be quite honest, I have no idea how he thought this plan designed by his celibate Incel support group would work smoothly in the first place.
The reality is that if any of my then-neighbors would have received one of these, the police, and postal authorities would have gotten involved, and the focused sole resources of each agency would never have been directed on me, past the peripheral. But, I am pretty sure that when he’s found out, and he eventually will be- he’ll have some, in the words of 50’s Cuban heartthrob Ricky Ricardo, some “splaining to do.” And I’m also equally confident that when he does, the courts won’t accept his declaration that “Trump is your king” as a legitimate defense.

During this time period, and it may be just a coincidence, but my main website was also hacked… sort of. Basically, someone redirected it’s address to a vitamin wholesale website, where I wound uo scoring a great price on some B-12, so in the end, all’s well that ends well, for it only took less than five minutes for my webhost provider to fix the issue.

And when it comes to that sweet case of B-12? Well, my red blood cell formation is off the charts, and my *Homocysteine levels have never been better. So thanks to this minor annoyance, I’m going to live forever. *[Homocysteine is a common amino acid that has been rumored to be a factor an increased risk of heart disease, so always eat animals, and wash it all down with a tall glass of milk.]

There is one consistent trait that all bullies have in common. Their threats always read as if they cribbed them from a straight-to-DVD cop movie they skimmed on Netflix. In this exchange sent to the IG fan of mine I referenced earlier, our profile in cowardice believes that repeating the name of the innocent he’s trying to harass as he mentions specific details, passes for badassery, when all it does is recertify what an absolute sniveling coward he actually is. Fake name. Fake Email, Fake bravado.

Factor in that this person he’s failing to intimidate is also a disabled veteran, and the level of dense depravity he willing to wallow in makes itself clear. And as for the wholly laughable hard-nosed gumshoe persona he’s pushing, based on nothing more than his luck at managing to dig up a few easily accessed details, this wretch has more in common with Scrappy-Doo, than he ever will with Nancy Drew.. This is the type of man-boy that owns ten Harley-Davidson shirts, but still depends on his Mom to drop him off for his shift at Taco Bell
Granted, while his falsifying of an official public notice was an epic fail, this photoshopped faux message may be the stupidest one he attempted to foist, and I’ll explain why. First, if such a message had ever been sent out like this, my account would have been immediately suspended, without question, and this real-model-and-not-a-fake-person-at-all would have most certainly spread the word around.

Second, even if you don’t know me personally, a simple look at my bio would prove that this in no way “sounds” like me, one iota. And third, all any model would have to do to check out my rep would be to contact the “models I’ve worked with” list that’s listed RIGHT UP FRONT on said bio page. This gaffe is the end result of what happens when someone spends way too much time seething over the failure of their life versus learning how to make peace with that failure. And third, you’d think that if any of what he fabricated so poorly was true, it would have come out at some point over he last 20+ years, don’t ya think?

After all, I’m not famous, I’m not wealthy, and I don’t have Harvey Weinstein level type friends. But I do appreciate him giving me the alleged status of a kingmaker, even if he erroneously thinks that the newspaper industry is somehow even remotely relevant to the current world of professional modeling.. Unquestionably, this is not a guy well-versed on how any aspect of my professional world works, but then again, he doesn’t seem to have the hang of how this one operates either.
I gotta give some props here- this wacko is so obsessively angry with me, you’d think he and I had dated at some point. Something tells me however, that when this hapless hobbit is found and put on the chopping block, he’s most definitely going to look exactly like the type of person those police officers in your grade school told you on Stranger Danger Day to never take candy from.

I can’t think of a better and more apt compliment to my effectiveness at vexing the Trump trolls, than this impotent lunacy he labored to throw up on YouTube, Vimeo, and Ebaum’s World, to absolutely no avail. If anything, this has really only helped my street cred among my fellow liberals, and helps me skewer the Trumptards who try to use it as a ”gotcha” point. He literally and figuratively, helps to sink his own cause every time this randomly pops up, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
Looking at this past mass of nonsensicality as a whole, I can’t for the life of me, wonder why these paste-eaters aren’t given the proper amount of respect they think they’re due. A mystery for the ages, I guess. So, a recap- in order to soothe his candy-assed and bruised Ego, our resident Man of La Moron decided to prove all of my initial conceptions about him and his ilk by not only living up to the Trump cult stereotype, but surpassing it.

For my part, I’d like to think that in a corner of his studio apartment, there exists a Memento style Polaroid display, and that he’s covered in all sorts of home tattoos depicting the conspiracy theories he‘s swallowed wholesale. You know… to offset the ones on his fat gut depicting his love for Hello Kitty?

But there will come a time in his life, when his actions, much like his erectile dysfunction, will catch up to him, and when that day arrives, he’ll spend the rest of his miserable life literally paying for his civil transgressions, both far and wide. Mainly, since I can’t be the only one he’s tried this crap with, and while he may feel untouchable at the moment, all digital excursions leave behind a traceable path.

And one day, he’s going to piss off a hacker who really knows his craft far better, and this boy will get f**ked like a Kardashian at an NBA mixer. And while there exists several laws and statutes this cur will eventually be charged and sued under; most police agencies are still essentially clueless on how to handle these cases properly in the first place. This take of mine is highlighted clearly by how differently the law enforcement agencies in Arizona handled my initial outreach regarding his targeted attempts at neurotic harassment and slander.

First in line, the Phoenix Police Department, or as I’ve always regarded them, the equivalent of a school crossing guard recruitment program that hires well-armed, if not undertrained, racist thugs. If that sounds a bit harsh, it’s well-deserved, as in my opinion, the PPD is one of the most openly corrupt and incompetent agencies in Arizona, if not the country, and I’ve been to New Orleans more than once.

And the cops there make less than a worker at Popeye’s Chicken. A close friend of mine who’s now retired from the NYPD, once joked that Arizona cops come in three designer models: Rogers, Careers, and Desks. According to my buddy, Rogers are named after the late and genial kid show host Mr. Rogers, because they’re the cops who haven’t become jaded with the job quite yet, and still believe they can make a difference. These are definitely the cops you want to show up on the call you made.

But the other two archetypes? F**king useless at best.

You may ask why this is. Well, in his esteemed opinion, Careers only care about themselves and their professional trajectory, making crucial decisions based solely on what may harm that and them, versus what may affect the citizenry they’re supposed to serve, and Desks can only follow the simplest of orders- the relevant analogy being a worker bee. The reason he refers to them as “desks” is because in his estimation, they do nothing but ride one. Damn… even I winced at that description, and I’m known for being sarcastically savage on my nicest day. Because regardless of whether it’s a perfect world or not, somebody has to do the eventual heavy lifting, and they should have the same respect as the people who oversee the process, in my opinion.

However, that vibe and charitable feeling soon evaporated when I filed my report regarding the threats I was receiving, and the beat officer they sent was not only a “desk”, but also possessed the intellect and personality of one as well. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t there some standard of physical prowess that one must retain in order to be an active duty police officer? Because if so, this sweet potato of a man needs to get his oversized load back to the gym, el pronto.

With no due respect, I don’t expect any officer to look like Tatum Channing does in Magic Mike, but I also have the belief that he shouldn’t require a greased-up doorway to be able to enter a room. If this guy ever had to chase down a suspect on foot, it’s almost a certainty that his quarry could design and build his own house, find a wife, raise a family, send the resulting kids to a good college, and comfortably retire, before this lump of law lard would catch up to him.

This rather acidic assessment stems from the fact that after my detailed describing the doxxing, the threats, and the slanderous harassment my simplistic stalker was issuing, he opined that (A) he wasn’t “even sure that a crime had been committed”, and (B) that this was similar to “guys in high school going behind the gym to settle it out”, which even a hockey puck on meth would assure you it is not. I’m starting to think this so-called cop either found his badge inside a box of Cracker Jacks, shining like a jewel, or that the PPD has an annual hire the mentally handicapped drive, and he was that year’s blue-ribbon winner.

Adding insult to injury, he then also informed me that if said wackaloser did show up at my house, and I was forced to defend myself and mine, I’d be the one arrested, because… I had stated openly that no one was going to be allowed the sole chance to hurt me, my friends, or my loved ones. True story. To protect and serve, my ass.

Can you only imagine what Dudley Do-wrong must be like on a domestic violence call? “I’m sorry lady, but he claims that you ran into his fist multiple times on purpose, so it sort of seems to me that despite all the witnesses and proof you provided to the contrary, that you were kind of asking for it.”

And if I were to be even harsher, I’d also suggest that he’s the type of idiot who’d hand out his personal phone number to a sexual assault victim, because he’d guess she’s already down to f**k. That joke is why I’m not listing his name here, as I think it’ll be more fun to read about him when he gets fired for inadvertently assisting the criminals he was supposed to stop. Oh hell, who am I kidding? To quote Sean Connery in The Untouchables: “There goes the next Chief of Police”.

But when it came to the Arizona Department of Public Safety? Night and day type of difference across the board, both in tone and professionalism. Two detectives met with me, took copies of all the screencaps, the various fake profile pages, and that email message I posted above, and went straight to work opening a case file.

And shockingly, they were of the dual mindset that possibly several crimes had been committed, of which one was most definitely a felony. I guess when you spend more time with a law book than the menu at Dunkin’ Donuts, you actually know what your responsibilities to a community are. Imagine that. So what’s next? Well, eventually this wielder of a disturbingly sticky keyboard will overstep both his limited intellect and the concrete  boundaries of the law yet again. After all, he’s already left enough of a trail for a competent hacker to follow, and even better?

Despite his success at hiding within the murk of the Web so far, that pond of brackish pixels gets smaller and smaller every day, thanks in part to active citizen groups like Anonymous and the state laws which are playing an efficient game of catch-up. Not to mention, this guy’s obviously got an easily bruised Ego, and he won’t be able to stop himself from launching even more attacks against the people he’s too cowardly to face offline.

It’s literally the drug he mainlines, and like most addicts, if he doesn’t get a regular fix, he’ll implode. And that need to take his steady fix will ultimately lead to the authorities or worse, a private citizen with the means and the motivation to go far beyond what the law might prescribe, to get their fix on him. Either/or.

Best of luck, dude. Truly, I hope that the hole you’re currently inhabiting is deep enough to bury the burden of your earlier sins, because when you finally cross the wrong person, and you will, that past weight is going to crush you flatter than your sex life.

“I’ve come to realize that the most critical of the social media accounts are the least verbal in real life and I can assure you that most social media trolls have no physical troll land to dwell.” – Aysha Taryam

 


Bridge over the River Cry (Sieg Heil Snowflakes)

“Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so.”- Robert A. Heinlein

Hello Blogiteers!

In regards to my last screed, I discovered that publicly expressing the hope that the jackleg along with the judge who f**ked you over regarding your AZIC case wind up in a prison shower scene where all of the convicts are wearing sandpaper condoms, will not endear you one iota to the church group unfortunately sitting right next to you at your part-time writers garret and town’s watering hole, but it will increase the amount of prayers directed your way that aim to rehabilitate your soul, and quicken the pace of their lunch, so that’s a plus of sorts.

Speaking of serious soul-searching, are you tired of “winning” yet? I know I am.

I never had a definitive reference point for what can be constituted as emotional fatigue, until the Mango Mussolini who masquerades as our current President somehow managed to gaslight his corpulence into securing the most powerful job in the land. A walking, twittering, sniffling corpus of every vulgar human characteristic that was ever freed from Pandoras Box, Herr *Pilz-Penis is without doubt, the least redeemable person I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.

Keep in mind that I grew up during the Evel Knievel years, and that guy was a stone-cold bastard, covered in a piquant son-of-a-bitch-sauce. But at least he had a few qualities Trump will never be able to buy at any price, that being style, guts, and the ability to rock a white leather jumpsuit with a sense of swagger not seen since Elvis walked this Earth. Say what you will about his fashion sense, but Evel never backed down from a fight fair or not, and at least his hands were man-sized.
*[“Mushroom” in German.]

Other than his ass and ill-fitting off the discount-rack suits, everything about Trump is petitely underdeveloped- this includes not only his intellect, but his empathy, sympathy, loyalty, and sense of patriotism as well. More embarrassingly, according to professional schlong connoisseur Stormy Daniels, he’s also not packing anything between his thighs that Liz Phair would ever write a truly rocking song about. Sad. Bigly. If not covfefe beyond compare.

Granted, I myself could never present as a tangible challenge to say, Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi, but at least my gear extends past the molars, and I don’t have to cut a check for 130K every time I want to play a game of hide the Vonnegut. Just saying. In the end however, he’s really no more than the end dish of a corrupted kitchen that mixes racism, narcissism, homophobia, misogyny, and a stunning pride in being willfully ignorant, into a meal so noxious that the selection at Taco Bell comes off as if they were the ala carte Lounge Menu at Le Bernardin in New York.

And just like most things that prove to be inedible, he’ll eventually be tossed out like the trash he is. The same thought cannot be held however towards both his slavish base of cultists and willing enablers, sad to say. This now firmly-entrenched demographic, which has already proven itself to be a truly dire problem facing this country, can only be expected to ramp up both their rhetoric and threats of violence as they find themselves being forced back into the natural marginalization  they had previously occupied by a despised majority they wish to see exterminated, and that right quick.

I have to be upfront here, as it’s kind of hard for me to fear people who think that by just owning a surplus of XXL-sized camo and ammo, that they’ll be able to commit a successful act of sedition, when they’ve already shown that as a rule, they can barely spell the word in the first place, and have no idea what it actually means, in the second.

MENSA candidates these people are not, but in-bloom sociopaths they have proven to be, given both their posted and public actions over the last few years. Whether it’s championing ludicrous and debunked conspiracy theories, praying for the next great “Civil War”, or espousing that former (and far better President) Barrack Obama is overseeing a shadowy governmental cabal known as the Deep State in between producing shows for Netflix, the list of unintended and inane comedy seemingly never ends.

And neither does the continually venomous ichor broth that these erroneous views produce. If it weren’t for their ability to mindlessly parrot the propaganda they glean from t-shirts, bumper stickers, Chinese-made hats, FOX “News”, and the unresearched memes these persons swallow as if they were free pork rinds, we’d all be blessed with a far more peaceful world, as their political arguments tend to be as strongly fortified as their combined intellect.

I’ve often taken the firm position that I honestly don’t care that others think differently, as long as they’re actually THINKING in the first place. When somebody open up a debate with me using any of the bottom-rung talking points that this ilk holds in such high regard, the odds are that I’d rather eviscerate them than engage in a pointless and circular argument with these barely sentient hockey pucks.

I’ve touched upon this subject before, but in essence, I barely scratched the surface. As far as topics go, this one not only possesses an almost perpetual motion momentum as it’s theoretical underpinning, it also lends itself to a wide variety of approaches as to how one can write about it, and so far, this wellspring has presented as an inexhaustible source of literary inspiration. No matter which way you want to tackle the subject of this self-lampooning cult, you seemingly can’t go wrong, and for a dedicated writer like myself, that’s mental manna straight from the perfectly defined zombie-killing arms of Milla Jovovich.

Okay, it’s nothing like that, but it’s been at least ten minutes since I mentioned her online, and I have a daily quota to meet. By way of example, when one looks at Trumpism dogma, most of the horde that trusts it tends to post ideas and beliefs so mind-numbingly stupid that one has to wonder if the majority of their nutritional intake as children was comprised solely of lead paint chips.

But this is just the natural side-effect of when one deeply supports a man so widely despised that the best he can hope for when he dies, is to have his body interred in secret, so as not to have his grave violated. There’s a previous Artbitch honoree, a faux wannabe politician from Chicago by the name of *Frank Coconate, whose unwavering devotion to Trump despite the harshness of all the information that has come out, highlights my main point as if it was born to do so.

Amusingly, even though Senor Coconuts wound up eventually blocking me on the ol’ Facebook, due to my forcing him to rely on weak rationalizations versus hard facts to serve as his defense, I still have a more than a few sources who send me random screencaps of his stuff, mainly so I can mock it. There’s an old saying that goes; “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

By the way, this is truer than you know, especially when you look forward to correcting inanity in the same way a four-year old regards Christmas. And because he’s the perfect shining example of why we so desperately need to fund public education in this country like never before, I’d like to gleefully share some of his recent postings and ramblings about current events, if for no other reason than that they make me smile.

First up, here’s Frankie whining about being held responsible (yet again) for violating Facebook’s Community Standards- apparently, the guy who stalks the free website he trolls on like a politico version of The Zodiac, also lacks a basic understanding of how the clearly stated rules are applied to everyone who signs up for the service. But in his very limited defense, I’m also willing to bet he’s never read the Constitution either, which when you think about it, does explain a lot.

And if you missed it, he slurs whom ever turned him in as a “coward”, yet his role model is a cravenly shell of a man who needs a rally every three weeks because he can no longer sustain an election:Here, we see Frank parade out his longtime girlfriend, that being a diseased skank who goes by the name of Overt Racism. She’s not much in the looks department, but she’ll never fail to tell you that your baseless bigotry is damn sexy, no matter what that bitch Reality says. I could note that new immigrants are the number one demographic for entrepreneurship creation in this country, and that compared to his fellow native-born Americans, they also commit less crime, not that facts matter to Frankie in the first place.

Also, if as Frank and his ilk like to claim that true racism is a fraud, then why would he worry about being relegated to becoming a minority? In a city that according to the 2010 census, was charted as 45.3% White, 32% African-American, 5% Asian, 3% Mixed-Race, and 31.7% Non-Hispanic White, he should be just fine. Unless of course, minorities have a history of being treated bad in this country…Frank switches gears here, and showcases the hypocrisy that has infected the Christian faith as of late, by ignoring not only the “true” story of Jesus, but all of his teachings as well. Granted, I’ve never met the Dude, but he strikes me as the sort of guy who loved everyone, no matter what their skin color was, which in his case, was more likely closer to a shade of olive wood, rather than that of a Massachusetts WASP. And as a past Catholic,

I do have it on fairly good authority that he wouldn’t be cool with allowing kids to be put in cages or allowing them to die on concrete floors, either. Also, he’s not that big a fan of Christmas, because it doesn’t actually have a damn thing to do with him, and he has no idea who started that rumor in the first place.

And Frank, when you’re done fellating your never-opened Bible as a means to justify your own vile intolerance, take a moment to look up the following verses: Deuteronomy 26:5 & 27:19, Exodus 22:21 & 23:9, Galatians 3:28, Deuteronomy 10:19, Hebrews 13:2, Leviticus 23:22, Leviticus 25:35, and my favorite, Matthew 25:35. As the saying goes, “Y’all need Jesus.” And if you’re not even going to pretend to do what he says, then stop pretending you and he were ever tight.Oh boy… I always assumed that if I ever had an Uncle who while watching FOX had a stroke, it would sound a lot like this. Frankie ignores the numerous differences between the consensual skin-flute hum-job that Bill received and Donnie’s conspiring to obstruct justice, due to the fact he obviously doesn’t know what either is.

As an added bonus, he’s kind enough to let us all know that the phrase “African-Americans” is another way to identify people sometimes referred to as “Blacks”. It’s that kind of obscure educational trivia I’m sure we all find truly fascinating. And here I was, thinking there’s no way I was learning a new fact today. Man, is my face “Scarlet”. (“Red”)

A few things to dissect here. One, most of us do have a “dark side”, but unlike Bill Cosby a convicted rapist, it usually doesn’t center around willfully sexually assaulting vulnerable and drugged into unconsciousness women. Two, while accidentally mistaking a TG individual for the opposite sex at 4 in the morning, may be personally embarrassing for some, it hardly constitutes as being equivalent to the heinous act of committing multiple rapes.

And Three, considering he still thinks that a thrice-failed husband and reality TV show host is an actual President, I’m going to have to take his advice regarding African-American comedian placement with about a pound and a half of vanilla-laced salt.Can anyone else taste the ironic pretense here? She’s not qualified to talk about world affairs despite being surrounded by a cadre of qualified advisors, but a former reality TV show host who thinks that windmill noise causes cancer, that hurricanes can be stopped by the use of nuclear weapons, and who somehow bankrupted four casinos, while failing to successfully sell vodka and steaks to Americans, is?

A man so stupid that he can’t operate an umbrella, gets caught on a hot mic bragging about sexually assaulting women, and once said of his election coverage, “That was one hell of a night. I think it was maybe, you know, there are those that say one of the most extraordinary and exciting evenings in the history of television and the history of anything.” I really don’t even need to try and make a relevant joke here, as Frank’s unintentionally comedic hypocrisy is far funnier than anything I’d come up with on my best day.

Sigh… yes boys and girls, the King of POP was murdered by “greedy Globalist”, which is the singular, not the plural of the word. Grammar is unimportant when you’re overlooking the fact he might also have been a serial pedophile, and was addicted to a drug routine that eventually killed him, but there’s no reason why you can’t tack a ludicrous spy-novel take onto his tragic end, am I right?

The definition of a globalist by the way, is defined as such: “a person who advocates the interpretation or planning of economic and foreign policy in relation to events and developments throughout the world”, which naturally, make all of us not only think of the music business, but obviously Michael Jacksons’ career as well.

So, let’s take a rough tally here, shall we? Frank thus far, has shown us his affinity for racism and Christian hypocrisy, downplayed Bill Cosby’s rapes as him just having a “dark side”, and just opined that MJ was murdered by a lone and apparently greedy, globalist. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I will say it again, but you have to stop pushing when the Q-tip you’re using to clean out your ears meets resistance, Frank.

Ok… I’ll give Frank partial credit here, even though his analysis as usual, is severely flawed. What would be more accurate for him to have stated, would be that major corporations scheming under the umbrella of a Globalist agenda, have leveraged their political and financial clout against the common citizen, to the detriment of some of our most cherished institutions. I do like however, that even when he’s on the right track, his innate hypocrisy still demands a seat at the adults table, nonetheless. The Democrats are bought and paid for, but the Republicans are not?

That is a truly full-on brass cojones kind of take on the current situation at hand. The one party that has in the last few years openly and proudly defended Nazis, pedophiles, murderers, drunk drivers, wife beaters, sexual predators, Confederate monuments, and outright treason, are somehow in Frank’s narrow estimation, wholly immune to being corrupted. This point of view is what develops when your TV only has one channel, kids. Take note, and invest in a good streaming service.

Some free advice Frank- if your personal attorney has told others of a credible threat to your person long before he informed you, it might be time to either up his retainer quite a bit, or start the process of getting yourself a new attorney. You know, one that doesn’t want to see your internal organs on the outside of your body? Just a thought.

As for the “threat” itself, I’m of the mindset that if an unsavory element in Chicago truly wanted you hurt, you’d either already be in the ICU, the river, or made into one of those deep-dish pizzas you guys do so well. Look upon this as a personal teaching moment, Frankie. It’s only a matter of time before your history of making arrogantly empty threats guides Karma to your doorstep and settles your account as a matter of principle.

But look on the bright side- you’ve been playing the wounded martyr card for so long,  it would be almost a Godsend of sorts for it to actually be justified for once. And as for “feeling like Jimmy Hoffa”, while his head is almost certainly stuffed inside an oil drum, yours is just so far up your own ass, that you can see out your bellybutton.

And finally, we can see from this posting that Frank has managed to blame both the Democrats and the entertainment industry for Iran’s logical counter-reaction to the wag-the-dog distraction his Fanta-colored man-crush greenlit. Call me crazy, but I can’t give any semblance of credence to the theory that an industry which has produced 12 Friday the 13th movies are in any way, shape, or form, partially at fault for inciting a possible war with Iran.

And you really can’t lay blame on the Democrats either, since the Fanta Fascist decided that rather than inform them of his brain-dead idea to launch a military strike, he needed to have his idiot son Eric tweet about it first. This is why when Trump talks about the Constitution, I feel the need to point out that maybe we need to as a country, explain to him what his powers actually are, using flash cards as a teaching aid

If there’s one thing we can all take away from this assemblage of abject paranoiac density, it’s that the Right’s often repeated disparagements of the Left being the “intolerant” side is at best, truly and exceptionally, disingenuous. I’ll be the first to admit and this willingly, that I myself, have a zero-bulls**t policy in place in regards to my interactions with what now tries to pass itself off as the modern Republican Party. I’m all for a measured and logical debate, but I’ll happily draw the line in my opponent’s blood if the core of their so-called argument is based on nothing more than racism, misogyny, homophobia, egotism, jingoism, xenophobia, and willing ignorance- you know, the things that as functioning human beings, we’re all supposed to not tolerate in the first place?

This does not even remotely equate to what the Right has tirelessly presented as a poisonous disregard for opposite points of view, because that’s a transparent deflection from what the actual issue is. One side promotes tangible values and fights to protect them, and the other consistently searches for scapegoats to blame for problems they themselves created in the first place. Does there exist a number of organizations on the Left who can be just as violent and intractable as some of the more extremist groups we’ve seen on the Right? Most certainly.

Monkeys are going to monkey, and all that, but the key difference is that you never see the Left at an ego-stroke rally comfortably aligning itself with White Nationalism, home-grown Militia groups, and small-tackle paranoiacs who need to strap on a gun to go get coffee, now do you?

And there’s other observations backing up my point of view that I can note here, and so I shall, if just for the sake of annoying the Trumplethinskins who send me physical threats as if they were handing out supermarket samples. Note the statistics when it comes to gerrymandering, political intimidation, voter ID laws, and the illegal purging of registered voters- it’s almost exclusively a standard go-to Republican tactic.

In addition, the conservative demographic has a solid track record of harassing sexual-assault victims who dare to come forward, are constantly attacking women’s reproductive rights, marginalize the LGBTQ community as they directly and obsessively try to legislate lawful discrimination against them, go after poor people and immigrants as if they have a hunting license to do so, and are perfectly okay ripping asylum-seeking families apart, all  for the sake of massaging their vulgar presidents petty and candy-assed Ego.

Truthfully, who are the ones always leading the charge against logical gun reform, student debt reduction measures, funding education, forcing corporations to pay their fair share of taxes, fixing the rigged medical care system, and any social program that benefits the poor, the elderly, and our veterans, who unlike many of the GOP Warhawks, have served with brave distinction? What party beats the over-funded war drums non-stop, but can never find any money to finance truly clean energy, fix our failing environment, feed the hungry, or house the homeless?

On top of this, let’s also call focused attention who’s usually instigated the violent incidents that have occurred at what should have been peaceful protests over the last three years. Shockingly, a political party that is seemingly okay with modern Neo-Nazis marching down American streets while chanting anti-Semitic slurs, doesn’t really have a moral leg to stand on when the subject of who’s really personally intolerant comes up for a serious societal discussion.

And when they crow about being Pro-life, know what they really mean is that they’re Pro-birth. If they weren’t, no one in this country would be hungry, sick, homeless, uneducated, have gone bankrupt from medical bills, or be watching the Kardashians for any reason. And at the rate these geniuses are ineffectively boycotting companies for (GASP!!!) acknowledging that their fellow humans have the same rights as they do and should be treated with respect and dignity, they’ll have to eventually learn how to grow their own food and coffee, brew their own beer, and make their own designer clothes and original movies, so that their faux morality isn’t triggered.

Look at it from the view of one who lives on Sesame Street, as in one of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong. One side shows up with hand-made signs, glitter, pink crocheted vulva hats and Pride flags, the other comes armed to the metaphorical teeth with guns, bats, paramilitary garb, riot helmets, and tear gas, all while waving the badly defeated flags of treason and racism.

And for once, I’m not talking about the Police, even though at times, they seem to be operating in coordination with these Sieg Heil goose-stepping faux patriots. For all of their propensity for spewing bile about the violence yet to come, this demographic is at the core of their candy-assed hearts, lowly cur spawns of cowardice at best. The same people who brag about how they’ll teach us “libtards” some manners sooner than later, are also the very same ones who’d rather play “I’m a Militia” in the woods, than join the real Armed Forces.

Anytime you see an American flag serving as somebody’s Facebook or Twitter avatar, it’s almost a certainty that you’re being challenged by someone too stupid to understand how a book works, and is also probably befuddled by the mechanics of bubble wrap as well.

But that’s not to say that we should ever feel completely comfortable turning our backs on these walking punchlines, though. Individually, this squad of boorish bullies are as dangerous as a glass of warm milk. En masse however, they can rapidly coalesce into a serious threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of Truth, which is exactly what their puppet masters strive so hard to achieve. The standard modus operandi for people not cunning enough to attain their goals using logic, is to naturally fall back on their primate intellect, and threaten some form of harm.

Either to others, or to the System itself, which in their warped worldview, must surely be corrupt, due to the fact it occasionally holds them and their shameful ideals accountable.

And don’t even get me started on how these FOX-schooled Internet academics interpret what the Constitution of this amazing country truly embodies. The assurances contained within apply to everybody and all situations across the board, no matter how they’d like to misrepresent the pure context of what it actually says. Freedom of Speech and Religion also means the autonomy to not agree with either, something the faux Christian arm of the Trumpslugs have never seemingly been able to understand, even when it’s explained to them using hand-puppets.

They demand the right to use both freely to harass, but expect no blowback when they do, as they claim they’re the real victims. The concrete reality is that in this country, you’re allowed to pretty much believe (and say) almost anything you want, but even this has certain set parameters in regards to certain situations.

For instance, saying out loud that you prefer tea over coffee is acceptable, but conversely, the act of standing outside your local synagogue brandishing multiple weapons as you assert that you’re there to make tea from the bones of the Jews you’re about to savagely murder isn’t. It’s not rocket science. Hell, even the densest of Kindergartners gets this, and those adorable munchkins eat paste as if our planet is running out of it.

The challenge ahead is that after we finally rid ourselves of this self-bronzed stain on our History, we’ll still need to fix all of the damage that he and his cult of personality have enabled. Mind you, the Jinn of ignorance is out of its bottle, and there’s no benign way that we’ll be able to contain its rage, as these mentally flatulent firebrands will not just agree to go away quietly and swiftly. They’ve had a taste of authority and political power, and much like my love for Ding Dongs, that’s a hard addiction to lose the taste for, even if you’re forced to go cold turkey.

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as the sage riposte states.

Keep this terrifying thought in mind, if you would- these people are not ethereal boogeymen, nor are they the mythical Übermensch that they prefer to view themselves as either. They are in fact, much worse. They’re doing their best to hide in plain sight among our doctors, lawyers, teachers, judges, police, military, co-workers, neighbors, relatives, friends, and as one can easily observe, our politicians as well.

They may also be our lovers too, but in the end, I’m hoping we’re all collectively better than that, no matter how good the sex is. Even coming from a position of pure cynicism, I still think some of these people are salvageable, once we gradually wean them off the Orange Kool Aid they’ve been bathing and sleeping in for the last three years or so. The rest however, may have to be written off as the resultant fatalities for their engaging in deliberately planned acts of self-inflicted madness, sad to say.

One thing is clear above all other considerations though, and that’s this: it took time to unweave the collective conscience of our society, and it’s going to take quite some more to mend it back into a cohesive whole. Whether the repair helps to make us communally stronger or even more brittle, is still anybody’s guess, but this nation will never be what it once was, that’s for certain.

All we can hope for is that it makes us better, not bitter.

“Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

 

 

 


A Time to Shill (The Politics of Posturing)

“Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke.”- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Hello Blogiteers!

What a day for a daydream, eh? And also a nightmare, if my early morning a couple of days ago was any indicator, for that was when I got to partake in a pointless video conference with not only the jackleg who represented both my former employer and their unethical as a Sith Lord business insurer, the Hartford, but with a “judge” of the AZ Industrial Commission as well. The reason why that descriptor has been placed within the confine of quote marks, is because in my personal opinion, this self-alleged impartial overseer came off as a neutral magistrate in regard to my case very much in the same way that Dr. Pepper presents as a qualified medical professional.

A heads up for you, my loyal readers- if one finds themselves complaining about this particularly  succubustic Legalzilla who clearly made up their mind about a case before hearing any details, and bluntly suggest that an act of metaphorical fellatio was performed on the opposing side’s  latrine lawyer to their immediate supervisor, be aware that said administrator is going to get very flustered with you, and suggest that you’re possibly not a nice person. Interestingly however, they also will not deny the validity of what you said, and while this doesn’t prove your personal opinion correct, it doesn’t disprove it either.

Just know that in the end, these bloviating bureaucrats will close ranks to shield their own long before protecting the public whom they claim to serve. It does make me wonder though, if the judicial staff at the AZIC have to provide their own knee pads, or if there is a general fund from the state for that sort of thing.

A question for another time, I guess.

There’s an old axiom among photographers that the camera adds ten pounds, and I have found this to be the case within certain situations, but when I saw the physicality of my legal adversary on my phone screen, the first thought I had was possibly inquiring about how many cameras were currently being pointed at him, because he looked like he could produce his own gravity. I’m not being flippant, but I gave seriously thoughtful pause to the wonderous notion that if he accidently dropped a Mc Donald’s ketchup packet into his lap, it would circle his beltline of its own accord.

And no, I’m not trying to body-shame, as I myself currently look like what might happen if James Hetfield ever falls into a dehydrator head-first, but I’m also not going to lie when the thought that came into my head after “Jesus, put down the fork, dude”, was that if I ever found myself between him and an open crate of Chocolate Twinkies, I’d be a dead man walking. And with that series of playful jokes, I smugly display the sense of advanced maturity I’ve been working on with great intensity for at least the last twenty minutes or so.

In my earlier days of writing, I might have voiced the acerbic and erroneous conviction that these so-called professionals career path was the natural choice for persons far too unattractive to work in porn, but who’s innate ethics proved way too strong to allow them to freely sell counterfeit Ecstasy to Kindergartners.

See? Those are the kind of clearly obvious jokes I would never even think of making these days.

I guess what legendary sci-fi author H.G Wells once stated in his novel Love and Mr. Lewisham is accurate, regarding the development of one’s personal maturity, that being; “There’s truths you have to grow into.” This lone concept by the way, has proven itself to me more than once, but as someone who like the majority of us, grew up among so-called adults, one of the truths I’ve held rather tightly to as I’ve aged is that too many of them are supreme moral failures within the lives they were gifted.

The foremost career demographic that always comes to mind concerning this assessment are naturally politicians, as you might expect, but running a close hair-gelled second would be the practitioners of the carrion fueled industry known as the legal profession. And in third place? That honor falls to any person who works in one of those annoying theme restaurants in Las Vegas where the wait staff sing and dance while you’re trying to eat your overpriced and underdone cheeseburger.

No, “Corky-not-your-real-name”, I actually don’t want to hear you mangle yet another Buddy Holly song, as the plane crash he died in skillfully did that quite some time ago, but thanks for the shrill reminder to all of us why college, if not trade school, is so damn important. Speaking of which, my personal experience with law school graduates has always been uniformly unpleasant. Whether it’s seeing just what level of shameless odiousness one person can achieve in the pursuit of an unethical buck, or the fact that most seemingly have an inner compass that guides their moral path very much in the manner that a catholic priest would of a Boy Scout troop, if he were still allowed to be in charge of one.

It brings to mind the classic joke that goes; “Q: Why did New Jersey get all the toxic waste and California all the lawyers? A: It’s because New Jersey got to pick first.” Which is still one of the best decisions NJ ever made, in my humble opinion.

Well that, and the interesting factoid that no matter where you decide to gas up your car, an attendant will always be on hand to go and pump petrol for you. Remarkably, New Jersey is the only state that doesn’t allow drivers to pump their own gas. This is because of the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act and Regulations that was passed in 1949, which states that the unusual prohibition is for the safety of motorists.

From the text of the act: “Because of the fire hazards directly associated with dispensing fuel, it is in the public interest that gasoline station operators have the control needed over that activity to ensure compliance with appropriate safety procedures, including turning off vehicle engines and refraining from smoking while fuel is dispensed.” Given how much I’ve grown to dislike the act of filling up my own tank, due to certain physical limitations I now suffer from, I can get 100% behind this.

In fact I’m so impressed by this that I won’t even mention how New Jersey is totally responsible for giving us Bon Jovi all those years ago. Oops… do me a solid, and just ignore that faux pas, will you? I have no real grievance with Mr. Bon Jovi, but I’ve always felt that the master-tape for his song “Living on a Prayer” needs to be burned and then buried in a salt pit, because that’s how you truly eradicate the purest of evil ear-worms as a rule. Coming back from that unanticipated tangent, my morning before the unanticipated clusterf**k to come was fairly typical- I awoke, had my two bowls of Apple Jacks and a cup of Earl Grey, and sat patiently on my living room couch in  New Mexico, cruising my social media with no expectations whatsoever.

There was one concern I had been anxious about for the last month or so, however. This of course, was the uneasy feeling that the jackleg of obesity I was about to soon face was going to attempt derailing my case using not hard facts, but soft technicalities.

Just one time. That’s all I want. Just one time, it would be really nice if my gut instincts could finally be wrong about something. Anything. I’d really look forward to this new experience, if it meant that I’d finally witness people being held truly accountable for their actions. But as Fate would have it, we live in a pre-rigged world where the hardscrabble populace is routinely abused and discounted by the very people who were tasked with protecting them in the first place.

I’ve previously written about my interaction with the impotent Civil Rights Division of the AZ Attorney General’s Office and its intrinsic failure to do the heavy lifting that was required, so it almost feels like I’m trapped in its hastily produced sequel, but with a far lower budget, and a cast nobody’s ever heard of, save for Kevin Sorbo.

For those of you who mercifully don’t know who Kevin Sorbo is, he’s an American actor with a dramatic range regarded as somewhere between that of a urinal cake and a slice of Provolone cheese. He’s best known for starring in two B-Grade TV shows, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, and Andromeda. These television studio tax write-offs should be noted for their respective cultural benchmarks- Hercules exhibited weekly why its spinoff show Xena: Warrior Princess was far superior, and Andromeda proved that the normally reliable Star Trek lightning doesn’t always strike the same success twice. Sorbo, who’s wackadoo political views are just as wretched as his films, may also be one of the main reasons I received a lifetime ban from Twitter due to my consistent postings on his page that if it weren’t for the discount bins at Walmart, there would be no existent archive for his straight-to-DVD career.

Sorry. I went off track yet again. My sincerest apologies. Mainly for making you aware of who he is. Close your eyes and think of a far better actor, and you’ll be right as rain in no time. I promise.

Normally, when I’m challenged by those I consider to be soulless, I like to do it from inside the secure confines of a demon-repelling circle of salt, but to be quite honest, it’s really hard to lay one of those out on a whim and get it just right. Plus, I’m also not sure how such old-school tactics might work against entities who aren’t even in the room with you to begin with. After all, when it comes to the governmental agencies within Arizona, the only one I’ve ever seen do their jobs correctly is the DMV, and those overwhelmed people get all shades of undeserved crap from it’s customers.

You hate waiting 45 minutes to get your tags? Try waiting almost two years for the justice you deserve, only to watch it get sodomized with a razor-studded strap-on, who’s owner then dares to lecture you on the finer points of why you should have appreciated their modern interpretation of a *Tijuana donkey show.
*[A donkey show is the descriptive term for a type of live sex show widely considered as an urban legend, in which a woman performs an act of bestiality with a donkey. These shows were rumored to be located in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, and while one can easily find both women and donkeys there, it’s quite rare to see them being anything other than very close platonic friends.]

But before I get into delivering yet another well-earned Artbitch exsanguination, some necessary past context must be presented. When I first filed all the appropriate paperwork with the AZIC, there was a portent of what was to come. Unfortunately, I relied on my sense of cynical optimism, rather than just going ahead and outright suing both my ex-employer and former supervisor, for shirking the dual responsibility of my medical bills and the callous violation of my civil rights due to an act of discriminatory firing. Go big, or go home, as my macramé coach was fond of saying.

Like most government offices, the AZIC has a front desk person whose sole purpose is to either direct you or answer your questions, and the one AZIC had as their point person was very nice and capable, but also sadly cursed with a massive stutter. One that could have made King George the VI come off smoother than Benedict Cumberbatch wearing a smoking jacket, reading a wine list. Once again, I’m not being a jerk, just remarking on the fact that certain afflictions need to be taken into consideration when one chooses a career path.

Since my hands have a tendency to shake as if I have Parkinsons Disease on the best of days, I shouldn’t be the first person you’d tap for performing acts of microsurgery or a bris, and I’d submit for your perusal that a public contact person probably shouldn’t have to take almost five minutes to eventually spit out the phrase “How may I help you?” It’s the same reason as to why I wouldn’t trust a proctologist or urologist who had steel hooks for hands. Sure, they might be able to do the job fabulously, but that crucial first impression isn’t going to set my confidence in stone concerning their abilities anytime soon.

Just my two cents.

So, I filed the paperwork, and eventually they got a hold of me to get the ball rolling. Except that’s not what happened. In fact, my filing languished for close to a month, and I only found this out after physically going back down to the agency’s office to see why I hadn’t heard anything in regards to my claim. Turns out, I needed to list the date of my injury, which I could not do, due to the fact I didn’t actually recall the specific day it had happened on to begin with.

What I mean to clarify is that while I knew the time frame in which it had occurred, the exact day on which it had was unknown to myself, so I was forced to pick an arbitrary date within said range. When I asked why nobody had bothered to contact me about the problem, as this truly was a time-sensitive issue, I was met with a lazy shoulder shrug, an eye-roll, and a response of “I don’t know”, which as far as my personal experiences have shown, is seemingly the official motto of almost every

so-called citizen protection agency located within the state of Arizona.

As I hope I implied earlier, I will never criticize any employee of the DMV ever again, since those poor bastards work within a Mad Max Thunderdome, and yet somehow, still get the job done with the limited resources they possess. This tax-dollar wasting agency on the other hand, couldn’t seemingly hire any employees that know how to do a competent follow-up using a phone, email, smoke signals, or cuneiform, so I can only imagine what their collective brain trust upstairs must be like. Oh wait, I do know that. And it’s just as disorganized as you’d think.

For instance, even though there was over a month of prep-time for what I believed was to be a tele-conference, AZIC contacted me no less than five minutes before the hearing was scheduled to start, and informed me that it was in all actuality, supposed to be a video-conference. Other than the fact I was still in my Avenger-print pajamas, the real issue was that where I live, the internet can be as reliable as the wedding vows of Donald Trump

You can see the problem, but these slack jaw simpletons didn’t. After all, a lead of several weeks to make sure the kinks are worked out beforehand is hardly enough time to work with when you willingly spend most of it playing grab-ass with the very same people you’re chartered to keep in check. In order to combat their glaring, if not incompetent oversight, I was forced to download a Google app now removed, which demanded access to all of the data on my phone, because I need to have even more of my life violated due to the actions of morally corrupted overseers.

Granted, that’s only my take on the situation in relation to individuals whose only interest in seemingly doing their jobs, is to try and collect the steady paychecks that in my opinion, they don’t deserve and don’t truly earn.

To be fair, the first twenty minutes of this farce were what you’d expect, with my answering the standard boilerplate questions, but soon it became obvious that the deck was purposefully stacked against me. In retrospect, I don’t even know why I bothered to participate, because from my POV, I had the feeling I was no more than a third wheel on someone’s first date. Why do I hold this personal opinion, you ask?

It rests on the fact that despite the Hartfords’ established history of shady obstruction, their multiple unresolved consumer complaints, and a purposeful failure to notify me of my valid claim being denied, none of this was EVER taken into any form of serious consideration. The latter issue by the way, was the causation of why I missed the ninety-day window in which I had to file an appeal,

Also ignored was the myriad of my health issues, which had kept me sadly bedridden for close to five months, and It was also implied that my not being expertly versed in the laws regarding workman’s comp in the state of AZ was solely my fault as well. Apparently, that sort of innate knowledge is something one should just know instinctively as a rule. One other thing I found interesting, was that rather than say “excuse me” or “may I interrupt” when I was answering a question, whenever the judge felt the need to interject, she’d start waving her arms spastically as if she was doing the Wave at a Steelers football game.

While that by itself was fairly insulting, it paled in comparison to having to watch this falsely neutral judge bend over backwards to shield the opposing attorney from bearing any responsibility.

At no point did he state that my injury claim was invalid, he just whined that I had taken “too long” to present my case, which by the way, I’ve been F**KING DOING FOR THE LAST TWO GODDAMN YEARS. When at one point, I accidentally misstated this jacklegs name, I was informed rather snottily what the correct pronunciation was immediately. Not by him, but by her. I’ll tell you right now, if I had known that the persons assigned to assist me were going to gleefully hold me down as I was run over by two combined well-funded and unethical entities, I would have forgone this bulls**t and just sued the life out of the responsible parties involved, which is now what I am going to have to do.

I could honestly care less about the actions of my employer’s jackleg, since scumbags are gonna do scumbag things for other scumbags, but the magistrate who in my opinion, did everything they could do to make sure he did so unimpeded?

I can only assume from my POV that being bought and paid for must come with one hell of a comprehensive dental plan for somebody to justify renting out their ethics. To clarify, I’m not threatened by any woman who’s smarter than me, more capable at being truly ruthless, or can throw down an arrogant front just as hard as any dude. I do however, have more than a few bones to pick with anyone I find to be unethical, uncaring, and totally incompetent at grasping the basic tenets of Humanity, which the rest of us seem to find as natural as breathing.

At the end of the hearing, which I signed off on by cutting my video feed and commenting on open audio that the duo who had wasted my time were “f**king idiots”, for which, I will only utter the traditional “sorry, not sorry”, as a capstone. It’s pretty well known if I feel that I’m going to crash and burn at warp-speed, I’m going to enjoy riding the bomb like Slim Pickens did so happily in Dr. Strangelove. Not too surprisingly, I did run through a brief and very angry mental litany of what I felt were appropriate words to describe the persons I had just dealt with. And as you might well imagine that when it came to the jackleg, I blazed through every obesity joke I knew first, because as someone who has German relatives who both personify and tell them, it’s a shallow pond to begin with.

Sadly however, when it comes to derogatory names or terms for women, there seems to be no end to how deep that well goes. It’s been quite clear to me for a while now that online at least, there are a lot of very angry anti-feminists out there. While a man of lesser words if not intellect, might use some gender-specific terms to render an opinion about the female judge in his case, I’d like to think I’m better than that. I’m not, but I definitely like to think that I am. In that aspect, it’s just like when I talk about how good my microwaving burritos game is. It’s not that impressive overall, but I can still bring it when necessary. I try very hard not to be marginalized as your ‘typical guy”, and unlike most of my gender, I don’t view fraudulent chivalry as a means to get on a woman’s good side.

In person, I tend to be quite respectful to both sides of the human coin, and it’s extremely rare that I use the type of language to describe someone publicly that one might overhear while lounging inside a New Orleans cathouse. But in this instance afterwards, you would have thought I was auditioning for the main role in a Tarantino movie. After hissing out a half-dozen combinations, most of which rhymed with some variant of “brother-sucker”, I came back to the most vile of all the feminine-targeted insults, that being the dreaded, last-resort, and apocalyptic one that begins with, and is noted with great and fearful trepidation as, “The C Word”. And no, it doesn’t stand for “condescending”, or “churlish” in this case, but it could. Breathing room is always nice, but it doesn’t apply here.

Nope. It stands exactly for what you think it does, and for once, I really don’t feel too bad for thinking it.

But as I said, I’d like to think I’m better than that, and besides, it’s also not really that accurate of a description to begin with. If I were forced to look at it fairly, she lacks the warmth, the depth, and the visual interest required in order to carry that assessment forward with full honors, so there is that in her general favor. Once again, that’s just my personally held opinion for whatever it’s worth. And I will happily acknowledge that her supervisor deemed my POV to not only be highly inappropriate, but correspondingly, right on the razors edge of being a tad bit too caustic for him to comment on past a few weak-ass excuses.

What can I say? I’m a people person, and I think it shows. A small side note: when you call the AZIC and inform them that you wish to file a formal complaint against one of their judges, don’t be too surprised that there is no definable path to accountability whatsoever. I claim this, because when I attempted to lodge such an action, the front desk clerk had no idea how to complete my request. He had no knowledge of a form, or website, or any governing division of the AZIC that was in charge of resolving such an issue.

Sigh… what cabal of meatheads writes policy for these agencies? Is it that group lobotomies are a thing now, and I’ve just never noticed? Speaking of which, after being placed on hold for no less than ten minutes as the front desk clerk scrambled to find me the right route to take, I found myself on the phone with what was yet another disingenuous AZIC official, who hemmed, hawed, and deflected the concerns I was voicing.

And while my tone was exceedingly sarcastic, it was also focused on the issues at hand. In retrospect, I probably should have started off this soon to be worthless conversation using flattery, rather than observational cynicism, because there was no way this person was going to do anything but duck reality and cover for his employee, unless his pompous ass was being kissed like a Popes’ ring first. Once again, just my opinion.

When I noted the stunning lack of an easily accessible public forum in which to formally hold his staff member accountable, I was informed, (and that rather tersely) that I could write a letter to him, and he would “look into it”. Oddly, that answer didn’t lend any additional credibility to his platitudes that my concerns were going to be rectified or even dealt with at all. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s probably a good thing that no one owns the royalty rights to the vulgar phrase “go f**k yourself”, because if they did, I’d currently be working four jobs just to cover the usage check I would have had to cut over the last few days.

And while I’m not proud of it, that is exactly how I ended our conversation, because after close to two years of being crudely jerked off by people wearing sandpaper gloves with no happy or remotely tolerable ending in sight, I finally have hit my personal zenith for dealing with the piles of other people’s bulls**t. Maddening as this has been, what’s truly galling is that I’m expected to be the only one who‘s not only civil, but overly grateful, for the graciousness so-called, of being mocked, lied to, and discounted by the agencies who were supposed to help me settle this to its perceptibly logical conclusion.

To quote Nick Fury of SHIELD: It’s stuff like this that gives me trust issues.

So, what’s the next step? Now shocking as it may seem, despite the love I have for hollow volcano lairs, along with dreams of possessing both a jump-suited army of minions, and a reasonably priced Death Ray, and even factoring in my penchant for hiring racially ambiguous yet earthily sexy, female secretaries who keep sleeping with dispassionate but heroic British secret agents, I’m still not a Bond villain. I’m not going to announce the minutiae I plan to utilize to legally bring to bear the full force of equitable justice to those who’ve shirked its glare for far too long.

But this is me we’re talking about, so my approach has to have a touch of the creative, to say the very least. I’d feel like phoning it in otherwise, and Odin knows I can’t get down with that. Sure, the usual machinations are to be expected, since my case will have to be settled in the cubicle peoples’ court, and I’m pretty sure that demographic of the judiciary wouldn’t appreciate me bringing in my personal Harkonnen Capo Chair, no matter how well it fits both my persona and wardrobe.

I’m  sure why, but for some strange reason, furniture with skulls as part of its structure really freaks out the straights, but if it helps remind my former employer and supervisor that they’re not above the law, then I guess it will be energy well spent. And if I don’t win in the end, because Life isn’t always fair, at least I’ll have it within the public record of who and what, I went up against. I once wrote that there are hills to die on, and hills to avoid, and a lifetime of experience will tell you which is which.

So, if this is the hill I metaphorically expire on, then I’m going to make sure that everyone will know why. SciFi writer Isaac Asimov once observed that Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” What I take away from this sage advice, is that at the end of all things, one finally gets the opportunity to truly rest. But until then?

Stand for what’s right. Raise Hell as often as possible. Make the unjust weep at the mere mention of your name.

And always leave more scars on them than on yourself.

“The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, and wretches hang that jurymen may dine.” – Alexander Pope

 

 

 

 


 

Do The Write Thing (An Artbitch Primer)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Hello Blogiteers!

I dare say that ol’ Benji was right on the nose with his observation, and I try to follow the first with some consistency whenever possible. Unfortunately, the latter can encompass a wide swath of questionable activities, and some of them aren’t necessarily the most virtuous paths that one should undertake. And due to both social and legal judgements that may be waiting for you at the end, the bitch that is Karma tends to show up with the biggest attitude-adjusting paddle it has, just before the random guests it invited watch the epic reckoning that is about to occur.

In other words, if I had the option to do specific things all over again, I’d definitely sleep with Elizabeth, but not Deborah, avoid at all costs getting engaged to she-who-will-not-be-named, tell at least two of my former employers to go anally pleasure themselves with a razor-studded pineapple, and open up a dialogue with God in order to strike a preemptive bargain not to hold my Mardi Gras trip back in 1993 against me. And if he eventually does, it would totally be worth the eternal damnation- one knows deep inside that you’ve set a personal best for morality stretching when Satan himself not only sends a letter of congratulations, but a fruit basket as well.

Interesting note, he’s still really into apples. Old school is the best school, and all that.

Getting back on track, I will be discussing if not dissecting in this screed, the process of how and why I write- this is actually an area of questioning that I get asked about quite frequently, as if I’m a practitioner of the blackest of linguistic voodoo. Granted I am, but not in the way that most people would ascribe to me. I’ve been told by more than a few people that if you’re going to have a voice, you’d better be damn careful what that voice says, a piece of advice that I tend to reference only occasionally when it suits me or the situation at hand.

By way of example, I have a tendency to be much more cautious when I’m taking swipes at a multi-million-dollar corporation then when I’m going one-on-one with a person who proves by their very presence alone, just why it’s so vital to fund both birth control and public education in this country.

For fairly obvious reasons. I’m also a devotee of knowing what hills are worth dying on, and which ones should be avoided at all costs. Think of it as if your flight got grounded in New Jersey- the odds are that you’re going to be just fine, but why tempt cruel fate by eating the vending machine sushi in the first place?

One of the best things (if you could say that) about being afflicted with a disease that’s nearly killed me twice, is that it offers up a unique perspective in regards to life, and the eventual tallying of your mortal accounts. When my card gets punched, I’d like to think that I would check out fighting on my feet, rather than begging for mercy on my knees.

And if all goes to plan, with my dignity intact as well. But one of the most prominent side effects that comes from knowing that your life path is shorter than most people, is that it really reinforces your tendency to not really give a f**k a about following the established rules of decorum as your hourglass runs out.

It’s rare that I ever apologize for what I write, and I’ve never pulled a piece due to savage criticism, physical threats, or the fact it may not be the majority viewpoint at the time. If I could ever cash in all the free rent that certain individuals granted me in their heads when I was writing about the Phoenix Art Scene, not only would I have my own hollow volcano lair complete with jump-suited henchmen by now, but I’d also have at least one auditorium-sized bouncy castle room, complete with a fully stocked NERF-gun armory.

As far as my compiled literary output goes, between 2005 and now, [December, 2019] I’ve written fifty-nine My Space blogs when that was still a thing, one critical art review for the now-defunct website PhoenixArtSpace.com, eight articles for PHOENIX Magazine, seven that covered local art and one regarding Phoenix’s bike share program, produced one script for a fully-realized video collaboration project with noted filmmaker Douglas Proce, three recent articles for New Mexico’s ZIA Magazine, and at the moment, the Artbitch blog has an archive of eighty stand-alone pieces

As to what the full word count is in relation to all of this effort, I honestly have no idea. The last tally that was taken back in 2014 summed up as the equivalent of writing four full-length novels, which I find astounding to this day. To put this into a relatable perspective, a written piece of mine is remarkably similar to what being trapped in an elevator with me for two hours would be like, but with better seating and access to a good cup of Chai. It’s analogous to how every year a new Adam Sandler movie gets released- you and everyone else may not want it, but it’s going to happen anyway, so just relax, and it’ll all be over before you know it.

The ironic thing however, is that my developing into a writer wasn’t part of the game plan when I found myself released upon the world right after college. Albeit to a somewhat limited degree these days, I was then, and still am now, engaged in what my dad always enjoyed disparaging as not being a real job, that being the vocation of a professional artist. In a somewhat ironic twist, I had zero interest in writing, even going so far as to let other people craft my artists statements and my press releases, because let’s face it, I had far more important things to do.

Like dressing all in black, picking up the random art groupie, going to parties, and occasionally, making some art to keep my chosen lifestyle going. You know. Like you do. And sometimes, when the coast was clear, I’d also sneak out plates of food from the refreshment table laid out at my art openings, because I was both starving and broke as f**k.

To this day, I still maintain that a stash of Tupperware in your trunk and a cheap roll of aluminum foil on your person, can be a total life saver. Not to mention, it really cuts down on the overall cost of your grocery shopping if you do it right, so that’s just a tip from me to you, free of charge. These days however, I find myself happily living the life of a suburbanite in the bucolic Zen that is Southern New Mexico, and despite all the changes that come with a major relocation, it was definitely a long-overdue move for the better.

And while I miss certain aspects of my former life, such as my peeps, particular restaurants, and the retail conveniences that come with living in a major city, I definitely do not miss the pettiness, insipidness, and general marketing incompetence of the art scene that I left behind in my wake.

Now before anybody gets their palette twisted, if you’re familiar with my very public POV, whether that’s through a personal relationship or my previous writing, you’ll know exactly who and what I’m referencing when I say this. After 25 years+ in the arts & advocacy game, I’m enjoying not feeling like I’m pounding my head into a wall of detached ineptitude, and that position only gets more armored every time I see what’s currently going on in the so-called Phoenix Art Scene, (AKA: the PAS) a little over a year out from my departure.

While it is uplifting to see some local stalwarts doing breathtakingly great work, it as equally annoying, if not outright pathetic, to see how many human speed bumps remain who are continually poisoning the metaphorical well of what could be an amazingly creative mecca. These pretentious dilettantes serve as the main evidence as to why a creative scene overseen by hobbyists with a nebulous agenda will never achieve any form of relevant critical mass, no matter how good the intentions behind it may be.

It’s bad enough that the PAS has suffered with a wide range of wholly impotent advocacy groups over the years, but the grave issues afflicting it are compounded when self-proclaimed creatives who can’t envision their way out of a circle drawn in chalk, are allowed to set the tone, pace and standards for the real professionals.

You know the type- the Instagram “influencers”, the I-phone “photographers”, the unqualified if not wholly clueless “art curators”, and my personal favorites, those being the visual artists who recycle other people’s truly innovative ideas, and remarket them as either “homage” or an attempt at “reinterpretation”, which is the most diplomatic path one can undertake as a means towards committing intellectual hypocrisy without actually admitting to it.

Thankfully, this clusterf**k is no longer something I have to deal with, and its absence has not made my heart grow fonder. I still find if funny, if not ironic, that the very same people who used to criticize and mock me for addressing these issues publicly are now the ones who email me regularly, asking for an opinion an opinion regarding the scene I no longer serve, past the randomly occasional show of support for the people I still respect.

They know who they are, since it’s a by invitation only kind of club to begin with. But all of this drama is the main reason as to why I started writing in the first place… sort of.

When I first started blogging on the ol’ MySpace, it was really nothing more than a narcissist extending his normal day-to-day kvetching, and my personal take was that anyone who might bother to read my rants could take it or leave it. No worries, and with no real concerns regarding what people might think about what I was saying, one way or the other. In that regard, not much has changed- I write for myself as always, and hope that what I eventually craft triggers a feeling of amusement, entertainment, anger, enlightenment, joy, or introspection in whomever winds up perusing it.

And it goes without saying, although I’ll say it anyway, that if they don’t like it, they’re cordially invited to take a brief pause and f**k off in whatever direction they feel might be the most advantageous. On those rare moments, when I dare look back upon that very early writing, circa 2005 or so, the glaring wretchedness of my literary inability is truly soul-crushing. It’s an almost impossible temptation that after close to 15 years of writing, to not go back and “fix” all the huge mistakes that I now can see within my past work.

Fortunately, I can also track my learning curve over the years, as I developed my own distinctive voice and style, and while it’s true that you can’t please everyone, as long as I’m happy, that’s really the only person that counts, so far as I’m concerned. Well, me and Milla Jovovich if she ever decides to read my stuff. As noted, I started scribbling down my thoughts starting in 2005, but even back then, the career path was about chasing art, and the idea of working with words in the same way I worked with paint and film, was as far removed from my thoughts as anything could have been at the time. So what changed?

Easy answer. My Diabetes decided it needed to crank our relationship up to eleven, in a full-on attempt to flat out kill me. So in a lot of ways, it’s a lot like my ex-fiancé, minus the lying, blame-shifting, and adultery. Come to think of it, that’s actually a pretty decent upgrade, so I guess I can’t really be mad about it in the end.

in 2009, I suffered a severe attack of *ketoacidosis, which put me into a diabetic coma for four days, and kept me in the ICU for a week and a half. When I left, I was thirty-five pounds lighter, and cursed with two additional free gifts- a severe case of **neuropathy, and extensive nerve damage in both my hands. The nerve pain as you can imagine sucked, but the nerve damage which over time has gotten worse, led to uncontrollable tremors and muscle weakness. This in turn, pretty much ended the drawing/painting aspect of my career.
*[Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening problem that affects diabetics. It occurs when the body starts breaking down fat at a rate that is much too fast. The liver alters the fat into a form called ketones, which causes the blood to become acidic.] **[Neuropathy is a result of damage to the peripheral nerves. It often causes weakness, numbness and pain, usually in your hands and feet. It can also affect other areas of your body.]

But if there is an upside to having hands that from time to time don’t work the way they should, it’s that at least nobody asks me to hold their screaming newborn anymore, so that’s an unforeseen plus. Ok, some people still do, but usually, once is all it takes for them never to do it again. On a related note, did you know that most babies have a natural ability to bounce like a Superball? Nature is truly fascinating, when it gets right down to it.

So, there I was, a few months after my hospitalization, attempting to downplay the destruction of the skillset I had spent twenty years plus perfecting, and wondering what the Hell I was going to do, if I couldn’t make art in the same way that I used to. That by the way, is a rough conversation to have with yourself, when your psyche has a really bad habit of playing Devil’s Advocate, and as a rule of thumb, tends to consistently take the wrong side.

No inner monologue, I really don’t want to think about pursuing a career in the highly competitive and fairly lucrative field of veterinary medicine or big-rig driving, but thanks for your suggestions anyway. Sure, I could have always gone back to stripping, but nowadays that job market is exclusively dominated by single moms, and I really can’t compete against that. Plus, I have no idea what my stage name would be, since I’m also pretty sure “Dick Steele” is most likely being utilized as an avatar name by some anti-gay conservative preaching hypocrite for his Grindr profile.

That’s just a guess, of course. But the odds are probably on my side here, given how often that sort of thing seems to happen as of late. Originally, I started this new batch of personal writing as a means to silence an inner argument I was having with myself in regards to issues I was sick and tired of observing within the PAS. If you know my past work, I won’t rehash it here- if you don’t, go make a sandwich, slip into your coziest jammies, and hit up the archive in order. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better being in the loop like the rest of the cool kids.

As my random narratives of thought disseminated into the art river slowly gaining fans and critics alike, it inspired the now former editor of the Phoenix New Times Amy Silverman, to target me with a pathetic and weakly transparent online “hit-piece” in retribution for my chronicling of her numerous editorial failures in reporting on the PAS, and her inability to competently pass for an actual functioning human.

In the one face to face and highly unpleasant meeting I had with her, I came away with the firm conviction that if boiling water was ever poured down her throat, she’d be spitting out ice cubes mere seconds later, for which I will give her some begrudging praise. After all, not everyone can chill a six-pack of Pepsi just by briefly holding it in their hands, and no matter how you slice it, that’s still a cool party trick, even if it’s unholy as Hell. Now, I don’t know what she was hoping to achieve with her gambit at yellow journalism, but I’m pretty sure her endgame wasn’t planned to give me an unintended audience literally overnight, which it ultimately did.

I once had the notion of showing my appreciation for her inadvertently doing that with a really thoughtful gift, but had to reconsider when I realized it was going to be damn near impossible, if not costly, to acquire an entire basketful of puppies for her to eat.

I’m kidding of course, as I’ve been told she’s really more of a cat person, and there’s no way I’d ever spend my own money trying to make her feel valued. But even given this cravenly veiled attack, I was still undeterred from what I was trying to accomplish overall- that being real change within the scene itself.

I wrote at length (of course) about seriously marketing both the artists and the scene itself proficiently, noted why consistent self-promotion was a vital key to one’s plan of long-term success, and publicly called out the people and organizations I believed were cutting the throat of artistic progress and financial stability within the scene itself. Looking back over that ten-year span, I have to ask myself, was it worth all the hate mail, the snidely delivered arrogant slurs, and the sense of limited, but still unswervingly focused ostracization I suffered?

Well… FUCK YES.

Let me type that again: FUCK YES. And once more for those who to this day, are still mad at me for my fittingly harsh and wholly valid assessment of their character and inherent worth to the hot-mess that was/is the PAS: FUCK YES. Other than the one and only time I have ever apologized to someone for getting it wrong, I can honestly say that I don’t regret one damn thing I’ve ever written about the PAS, humility and charity be darned. Concerning the numerous moments of personal confrontation, the fourth-hand whispered threats uttered behind my back, and the emails sent by curs of cowardice who wouldn’t or couldn’t, face me eyeball to eyeball, I will not offer any future apologies.

No matter the vitriolic acid and venom directed at me for speaking my mind, it was still minus the one retraction, something I would do exactly the same way, note for note.

Sadly, most of what I’ve predicted has come to pass sooner than later, and a good chunk of it with almost no seriously organized resistance presented by the community it most directly affects. The process of Gentrification may not be a team sport, but you’d never know that from some of the crowd that so easily continues to go along with it.

To be fair, there’s very little a community can do when it lacks capital and political power, but it’s not like there wasn’t the time or foresight to acquire both, and therein lies the seeds of the ultimate failure to protect what was once claimed as so important. The reason why I am beating this dead hoarse (misspelling intended) hopefully one last time is to reference what originally inspired me- the failures of the art scene that I had poured almost 25 years of my life in various incarnations.

In retrospect, that should probably be listed as 24, given the fact that for the last year before I left Phoenix, I was only intermittently participating within the scene. This was largely due to a growing sense of personal burnout mixed with a rising disgust for the direction that the PAS was quickly and seemingly going towards. I was done with hearing the same old complaints, seeing the same work retooled over and over, and I was most definitely finished with observing the ineffective approaches regarding the marketing and promotion of the scene by agenda-driven carpetbaggers who cared for nothing, save for their own glorification.

There’s truly nothing more maddening than those who seek your counsel, agree that the advice you’ve given is correct and on point, and then who right in front of you, do the exact thing that you advised against. And as they return to you, beaten and bloodied, rest assured that they will invariably ask with zero sense of irony, what they should have done differently. Repeat this cycle of inanity a few dozen times, and then you’ll understand why I now have a zero-tolerance policy in place for continuous idiocy. At the end of it all, I was more than happy to rid myself of what was starting to feel like a thankless, and pointless, never-ending job.

Don’t misunderstand, while it is nice at times to have a pot of spicy controversy a-bubbling on the metaphorical stove, eventually you’ll get sick and tired of eating it night after night. Plus, it’s also quite a caustic meal to begin with, and no amount of seasoning it with personal creativity can ever take the edge off of that. But two years prior to my leaving Phoenix, a literary exit-plan of sorts had presented itself, and it was a direct result of my Vonnegut meets Ricky Gervais approach to creative writing.

A now-former editor at PHOENIX Magazine whom I knew from within my social circle, tapped me to write more than a few art-related articles for the publication after I asked them to review my work in regards towards a creative grant, and thus- a new career was born. Sadly, my newest vocation arc was temporarily sidetracked, when a middle-aged compulsive who runs a fan club for a Phoenix-based TV show that nobody save for him, gives a damn about anymore, wrote a wholly slanderous email which he then sent to all the editors claiming he had been mocked publicly on Facebook by yours truly.

Allegedly, I had made fun of a disability he claims he suffers from, but the reality however is that he also has had a long-established history of making public threats and stalking, and was banned from an artist community page I still co-administer for (surprise!) repeatedly harassing fellow members and abusing the “report violation” feature. Seriously. How pathetically hollow is your life when obsessing over a Facebook page ban and fan-girling over a defunct kids’ TV show forms the nucleus of your day-to-day activities?

While this was annoyance was akin to the impotent buzz of a mosquito trapped inside a sealed tent, the real fury came from knowing that I was not informed of this activity by anyone at the magazine in the first place. Granted, while certain editors within this unknown to me loop of knowledge were clearly adept at structuring and presenting the best distillment of the lexicon, they seemingly didn’t know the true meaning of the descriptive noun “professionalism’.

It’s always nice to find out you’ve been delicately blacklisted due to the actions of someone who’s entire history of bizarre behavior could not only be found using the ol’ Google, but was also fairly well-known among several respected members of the local journalistic community as well. And after learning via a trusted back-channel source that ostensibly, no actual evidence supporting his fabrication was even asked to be presented, I’d suggest almost as an act of foresight, that none of those in-the-know individuals should openly brag about their keen investigative skills or sense of professional loyalty to their journalistic fellows at the next AZ Press Club Award dinner.

Just a thought.

There’s a quote I’ve always liked that states; “If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.” This has been consistently (and erroneously) accredited as being found within the pages of The Art of War tome authored by the Chinese philosopher, general and military strategist Sun Tzu, but variations of the phrase have existed within the realms of modern pop culture for decades. Regardless of the actual source, I’ve always personally interpreted it as a statement urging patience during difficult and trying times. Truth will always carry the day in the end, no matter what may be thrown in its path.

So, when I refer to something being water under the bridge, just know that the Karma that somebody earned has already been delivered, and I’m just sitting on the riverbank, enjoying the passing Schadenfreude. And there’s been plenty of that for me to sadly enjoy, let me tell you. What was once a gritty and interesting scene to write about in PHX, has willingly gone out of its way to self-castrate for no other reason than to seek the approval of people who buy art to match their couch or their man-bun-inspired décor.

To quote the bad-ass character of Dillon from Aliens 3: “You’re all gonna die. Only question is how you check out. Do you want it on your feet…or on your fucking knees…begging? I ain’t much for begging and nobody ever gave me nothin’. So I say, “Fuck that thing! Let’s fight it!” This in essence, pretty much sums up how I feel when anyone assumes that my values can be had for a quick, yet hardly easy buck. Especially when it has to be grovelingly collected from the hands of people who regard what I do with the same disdain that they have for drinking an inexpensive nonvegan-kale-cherry smoothie that hasn’t been certified as GMO and cruelty-free first.

And no, I’m not going to listen to your rant about how meat is murder either, since in fact, the odds are pretty good I’ll commit an act of one if you get between me and my bacon, whether it’s literal or metaphorical. As someone who makes his living as both an artist and a writer, let me just give you this cautionary advice: If you are rudely dismissive as to what I do and how I do it, your life options and sense of self are going to be truly and exceedingly damaged beyond repair when I get done responding to you.

Count on it.

That being said, while it was no longer my problem to face, it was still an issue when I relocated to New Mexico, as I found myself facing what for most critical writers might be considered a true nightmare, which is that almost everyone who lives where I do is so damned nice. And respectful. And damn friendly. And dependable. And are the type to occasionally pick up your Diet Coke tab at your local watering hole and regular writers garret, just because you complimented their truly adorable kids.

It’s almost as if I live inside a Norman Rockwell calendar page these days.

You can’t continue to call yourself “Artbitch” if there’s truly nothing that causes you to bitch, now can you? I literally am surrounded by friendly dogs, cute kids, 49 Ford pick-ups, and saintly Grandmas who bake cookies, so naturally, I was at first, quite terrified I’d have nothing to write about. Mainly because up until that point, my raw material was wholly dependent on patiently waiting for the PAS poltroons to willingly offer up their throats for slicing.  

Fortunately, or not, depending on your POV, it was yet another unforeseen medical trauma that forced a shift in my writing once again. This time it was having to go through what the hipster medical kids call a “Minimum-incision metatarsal ray resection”, which is a super-fancy way of saying: If you don’t mind, and even if you do… we’re going to amputate the little toe on your left foot, along with a section of the side of it.” By the way, I DID mind, and the next to craptastic part of it was that it occurred less than two weeks after moving here. But it was either that, or the sad option of facing Death (again) or worse- becoming a discount-bin *Oscar Pistorius.
*[Oscar Pistorius is a South African former professional sprinter. In 2015, he was convicted of the 2013 murder of his girlfriend. Both of Pistorius’ feet had been amputated when he was 11 months old due to a congenital defect, so if this proves anything, it just highlights how little effort I put into trying to appear more impressive than I really am.]

So, after spending a week and a half in the hospital, I spent the next four months or so in a forced convalesce of sorts. Stuck on either my couch or in bed with my left leg elevated, I was stuck, as if encased in amber. I did all the usual stuff one does when you can’t leave the house- watched a ton of Netflix and Amazon Prime, caught up on my Summer reading, finally balanced my checkbook, organized the DVD rack, and my dead clown crawlspace, and finally settled all of my outstanding accounts with the infernal demon/fallen angel, known as Azazel.

Whom, according to the parable 8:1-3 which is to be found within the Book of Enoch, a tome that predates the Bible; “Azazel taught the men how to make swords, knives, shields and breastplates. He made known to men the metals of the earth and the art of working them and made bracelets, ornaments and the use of antimony (a brittle silvery metal used in alloys), the beautifying of eyelids, all kinds of precious stones and coloring tinctures. There arose much godlessness and the angels committed fornication. Men were led astray and became corrupt in all their ways.”

Obviously, you can see why he and I hit it off right from the start- access to knives, custom jewelry, and the chance to chronicle the multiple sordid stories of angels playing the ultimate game of halo ring-toss? Sign me up, el’ pronto.

There were three things I didn’t know at the time when I initially pledged my well-used soul to his dark cause, however. The first being that I shouldn’t sign legal documents while riding out a Ding Dong bender, the second is that when playing Monopoly, he cheats like a son-of-a-bitch, and the third was that apparently, my older and devout Christian sister is worth at least six of me when it comes to trade-in value.

Sorry Denise, but the only other relatives to possibly exchange in my place were Mom and Dad, and they’ve been working for him since before we were born. But don’t fret, because I managed to close the deal on a reasonably-priced condo with an excellent view of the Lake of Fire for you. And no… you don’t have to thank me. Just knowing I won’t be eternally consigned to Satan’s middle-management team is reward enough.

Coming back to center, there’s only so much reading, movie watching, web-surfing, and darkly blasphemous spell casting you can do before you start feeling like you’re imprisoned inside a Beds Bath and Beyond store, albeit with better entertainment options. Combine this with the reality that every time you take a shower, you have to wrap your foot in a Wonder bread bag first, due to the fact your several-inche long surgical incision is still healing, and can’t get wet under any conditions.

No matter how you slice it, there’s no way to write off the experience as being either pleasant or tolerable. But attempt to write it off I did. In the time I was flat on my back, I wrote no less than six new pieces, totaling 28,569 words. And some of my fans said I couldn’t make my amputation work for me? They stand corrected, methinks.

One person stands alone, however. The shallow jackleg who is representing both my former employer and their shady as f**k insurance carrier however, who at one point, and none too subtly either, opined that I  could have spent some of that time better, because as you might have guessed, my priorities should have been focused on soothing the Hartford’s grifters versus concentrating on getting better and back in tune with the Darkside of the Farce.

But I’ll focus more on that in the next piece I’ll be writing, since it’s kind of involved. When I did manage to get back on my one and ¾ feet, I started compiling story ideas, which led to the subsequent publication of three separate articles for Zia Magazine back in October, and is currently fueling both my seeking out of possible future assignments, and the development of a short-story compendium.

Whether I want to admit it or not, stepping away from the bloated and impotent carcass that the PAS has devolved into was a career gambit I should have set in place quite some time ago. That’s the beauty of hindsight- it’s always 20/20, and confident that it’s take is the right one. So, what’s slowly overcooking inside the Artbitch Easy Bake oven? Well, I’m looking forward to being far outside my previous comfort zone, and I’m equally excited about having some of my more developed literary concepts being liberated from my overcrowded mental filing cabinets, and translated into legible and hopefully perused pixels.

The metaphorical plan as noted above, will concentrate on not only getting accepted for assignments, but varying the type that they are in the first place. Will this new approach work? I have no idea, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, as my Dad always liked to say.

Okay, he might have actually been talking about his upcoming divorce from my Mom at the time, but it still translates into a definitive plan of action quite well, I think. The motivators that initially fueled me as a writer, that being a targeted mix of anger and acidic sarcasm, still come into play obviously, but it’s the need to feel that I’m producing good, if not relevant, work that truly drives the prose Pinto these days. People tell me I’m a good writer. My Editors have told me I’m a good writer. My critics call me an arrogant, self-righteous and over-opinionated son-of-a-bitch, which just goes to prove that sincere compliments can take many forms, and that my Mom’s reputation extends far beyond my own.

And I wasn’t saying that editors aren’t people by the way. I’m just noting that they’re the type of people who will let you know as honestly as possible how much you are (or aren’t} sucking at the time. It’s like when you have close German relatives, the main difference being that they’ll be the ones who don’t want to ruin your life.

So here I find myself, at the beginning of a new decade, with a new chapter to still write. The challenge ahead is to make it worthwhile to do so. And in order to do that, I take to heart what lauded SciFi Author and personal writing hero Ray Bradbury once wrote in his book “Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You”. That being: “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” And Odin knows, if there one thing Reality has been doing consistently over the years, it’s attempting to destroy me whenever it can. But things could be worse in the long run.

After all… I could still be writing on MySpace.

“Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”- Neil Gaiman