Last night I went to the this book launch party with my friend T. There was a lot of meat, and even more meat-themed tattoos. It was fun. During the lecture/demo, I was standing next to a woman who had brought her sons with her, one of whom was conscripted to be a human meat model.
Jessica Applestone, one of the authors, asked us, “Does anyone know where the tenderloin is?” To demonstrate, she gestured to the boy’s back. “It runs along both sides of your spine. Right there–” she pointed “–and on us, that’s a pretty tough muscle, because it holds us upright. But on cows, who stand on four legs, it’s very tender.”
Naturally my immediate thought was, “I wonder what the most tender cut of meat on a 12-year-old is.” And then I felt vaguely monstrous.
The 12-year-old asked her, very carefully, “What would be the most tender cut of meat on a cow if they walked on two legs?”
“Hm,” she said. “That would be the brisket.” And she patted her pecs. He looked satisfied with that answer. I know I was.
So, basically, I am mentally a 12-year-old boy. But not as polished.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Is it a sign of deeper mental illness manifesting that I’m beginning to wonder whether current world events are indeed a sign of the coming apocalypse? Are we indeed in the End Times? I hate myself for suggesting this during earthquakes and tsunamis. There are more important things that we should all be considering. But this here I’ve been thinking about for awhile. Please forgive me. All I know is that I go to Twitter or my tumblr dashboard or Facebook and it’s about 1/3 Serious News and 1/3 Charlie Sheen and 1/3 Other Legitimately Upsetting Social Things. I feel like a dilettante trying to comment on any of those topics. But it’s not because I’m uninterested. The Internet is full of experts. I’ll let them be the experts.
But seriously. Have you seen TV lately? The fact alone that two Jersey Shore cast members have books right now is a sign of…something. There are still bird and fish kills going on. (I really expected that to die out before the elections.) And seriously: Has anyone watched the Real Housewives franchise critically? Because those harpies are harbingers of Dark Times, mark my words. I can’t watch. It’s too hard. Anyhow: We’re all gonna die. Enjoy.
So. I feel effete saying so, but beyond making vague gestures at TV and pointing drunkenly at easy targets, I can’t make a better argument than HOLY WALKING FUCK WHAT IS WRONG WITH US. Seriously, though. We’re doomed. Start stocking up on canned goods, kerosene, wool blankets, and firearms. Because in 10 years…well, just trust me. Maybe five years, even.
My new shrink (not the old one, who did the “you-can’t-fire-me-I-quit” dance with me this past fall, and I am fortunate she ditched me when she did) is an amazing mix of Zen calm and Texan laidbackitude and he looks like a cross between Anderson Cooper and John Corbett and I don’t ever suspect that when we meet he’s eager to google a Robert Mitchum film while we’re talking. Anyhow, he laughs at my jokes, and I suspect that’s part of the therapy, but I mentioned that I went to the Karlheinz Weinberger show at the Swiss Institute and he was all like oh, you mean the photos of the Halbestarke?
Which of course it’s because he’s familiar with because he spent a few years growing up in Zurich. Because that’s how unexpectedly cool he is.
We talked about the show, and various Swiss subcultures, for a bit. Their subcultures were far more interesting than ours are. I remarked that the Halbestarke seemed a lot like a cargo cult in some way — or to paraphrase LCD Soundsystem, full of false nostalgia for unremembered eras. He laughed, as I expect him to do. But you look at a photo of a guy who has a hubcap-sized belt buckle with a picture of Little Richard pasted to it, with TEXAS and MEXICO written in bleach lettering on his jeans, and you think, “This happened in somewhat of a vacuum, didn’t it.”
Which makes it all the more amazing. And of course, the later photos reveal that the cool weirdo rockabilly Halbestarke kids grew into neo-Nazi biker dudes. (But isn’t that what happens in all underground movements? Look at that Friends Stand United dude getting thrown in jail. Thugs are thugs. I bet if half those FSU kids liked Oi music better, they’d be neo-Nazis instead of antifa.)
Anyhow, we talk sometimes about compassion. And how compassion for others has to start with compassion for oneself. Lately I’ve noticed that I’m not feeling a lot of compassion for other folks. Like, in the morning when I’m on the subway I look at little kids who are asleep on the train at 9 am and I’m like WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING YOU SHOULD BE AWAKE YOU ARE A LITTLE BALL OF ENERGY AND THIS IS PRIME TIME FOR YOU. That’s pretty hateful, I acknowledge that. In fact, I acknowledge that I’m fairly judgmental of anyone sleeping on the train at 9 am. And I acknowledge that I’m hateful for that. My point is that I’m NOT COMPASSIONATE.
Speaking of, we’re heading down to Florida for a few days to see my mom. She had cancer a few years ago, and it’s come back. So she has to go in for surgery this week. And regardless of what I may say about her, you know what she asked me a few days ago when I called to give her our arrival time?
“What kind of wine should I get for you guys?”
This is how blood-related people talk to me. We may not fully get along, but we speak the same language.
Anyway, I told her the truth: “Don’t worry, we’ll drink almost anything.”
We’ll be out of town for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve never been a fan of the holiday myself, but I will say that one of my favorite live shows ever was the Pogues on St. Patrick’s Day a few years ago — N and I went with a friend who had extra tickets and we spent the night on the floor with a bunch of NYFD. The only thing that would make it a bigger stereotype would be me drinking from a flask, which yes, I did.
Prematurely, then, Happy St. Patrick’s Day:
So this is crazy. How often does my name get to be on Esquire.com’s home page? Answer: Not often. And somehow I got to write about romance, which is pretty much the thing I am least qualified to write about (other than cap and trade and taxidermy). An excerpt:
So who are the victors on Valentine’s Day? The purveyors of Red Lobster, shitty chocolate, oversize teddy bears holding normal-size teddy bears holding tiny little teddy bears, middlebrow jewelry, and Tawny Kitaaen-inspired lingerie. (Which, incidentally, makes most of us feel like cats wearing costumes. Or surgical cones. I’m sure not every woman has run around in a backwards, drug-addled circle in an attempt to escape a frightening undergarment, but it’s not unheard of.) If women had no input on what constitutes an appropriate Valentine’s Day present, the output would resemble a Spencer’s Gifts collection co-curated by Anton Le Vay and David Lee Roth.
Somehow, what was penned as a bitter jeremiad was massaged into advice. God help anyone who follows it!
Ed note: I posted this over at my tumblr but I’ve been following this case for over a year now and I’m getting angrier and angrier that the media isn’t doing its friggin’ job.
I’m really surprised* that so few people are familiar with Shawna Forde, the leader of Arizona’s Minutemen American Defense vigilante group who murdered Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia, in their house.
So here is some long-winded, rambling background on Shawna Forde, murderous right-wing sociopath.
Shawna Forde had by all accounts a lousy childhood, raised in foster homes in Everett, WA, and, as a teenager, became a prostitute and thief.** Somewhere along the way, she married and divorced four times, had a child who died from SIDS, raised some fucked-up children, ran for Everett city council, possibly murdered someone in 1997, reinvented herself as a charismatic (if not uniformly accepted) leader of various Minutemen organizations, was disowned by said organizations, lied about being shot and raped by Mexican drug dealers, moved to Arizona to start her own movement…the story is convoluted and practically endless.
The FBI was told of Forde’s plans to raid Flores’ house and rob him of money, drugs, and guns (they believed he was a drug dealer — which, incidentally, has not been proven***). The FBI chose to do nothing. Then, on May 30, 2009, Forde and two of her henchmen, Albert Gaxiola and Jason Bush, murdered a man, wounded a woman, and shot a 9-year-old girl point blank in the face.
Where did she go?I am lazy. If you're bored, go visit my tumblr, updated daily with other people's witticisms and erudition.
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