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Shannon Maney - WRITE CLUB - Receive, 12/22/10


Bilal Dardai - WRITE CLUB - 12/22/10


WRITE CLUB - Wisdom, 3/15/11

If the human mind was a… bikini area, Wit would be like a genital wart.

Wisdom would be the balls.

Wisdom, like balls, is needful. Wisdom, like balls, is a part of who you are, and constitutes some of your legacy in this world. If the wisdom you gather and impart is sharp enough, and apt enough, then your mind might in some small way live on after you are gone. Just like if you empty your balls, with a little luck, you shall not perish from this earth.

Wit dazzles when it first arrives. With concision and exactitude, Wit can extract the essential from experience. At first blush. At first blush, this is what Wit seems to do. Confronted by the confounding miasma of conflicting information that comprises human experience, it is tempting to suppose that Wit can provide tidy resolutions to the insoluble. But that’s not true. Is it? Of course not.

Smirking has it uses. But it does not sustain us. It cannot. Wit has as its main virtue the capacity to surprise. It’s a non-threatening form of ambush. Confronted by wit, there is a little frisson of excitement at having encountered a neat idea deftly expressed. What Wit does to your brain is like a mild form of shaken baby syndrome. Nothing more.

Has anybody read any Oscar Wilde lately? Or Shaw? Wilde and Shaw are celebrated as two of the great Wits of English letters. And another quality they share? They are totally insufferable. I defy you to read more than I couple pages of their stuff without going: “All RIGHT. I GET it. Upper crust hypocrisy – you’re against it. Bold fucking stand.”

And maybe you’re like “What about Twain?” Fuck you. Shut up. Different category. And maybe you’re like “Well isn’t TWAIN lauded for his Wit? HMMM?” Yeah. No doubt. But two things: 1) don’t say “lauded”, cause you sound like a douche, and 2) what separates Twain from dingleberries like Shaw and Wilde is that he was fucking FUNNY. And maybe you’re like “Well aren’t ‘witty’ and ‘funny’ the same thing?”

OK, yeah. Sure. “Funny” and “witty” are the same thing in the same way that a Wet Willy is the same thing as a fucking water cannon. They both involve moisture. But one of them will knock you flat. And it will knock you flat every fucking time. Along about the third or fourth Wet Willy, how novel is the experience? Yeah. I thought so. Sit down. And if you fucking compare Mark fucking Twain to George Dickface Shaw one more time, I will instruct you on the difference with brass knuckles.

If I to compose the wittiest comment ever yet conceived in all of human history – if you all were to erupt in spontaneous and sustained applause to commemorate the uncommon achievement it was your privilege to witness; and you were to quote this comment widely to your friends, you would begin to notice something immediately – your pleasure in this comment diminishes with each telling. You rapidly stop telling of it. And if you happen to overhear somebody quoting this comment, we begin to hate them a little.  

Wit expires. Wit goes rancid. Wit is freshness dated. That date is iron clad, and once it is past, the smell is overpowering.

Wisdom is the door of a cathedral – it was wrought with skill; it fits into and works within a much larger structure; it has purpose; it has beauty. It can have personal meaning, civic meaning, spiritual and historical and symbolic and a hundred other meanings – all at once.

If Wisdom is like a cathedral door, then Wit is a Jack-in-the-Box. And you know what makes a Jack-in-the-Box amusing? Being two or having head trauma. Wit is like those pop-open panels on that show Laugh-In – delightful at first, but after a while, you want to smash Goldie Hawn in her vapid fucking face.

You can contemplate Wisdom. Wit is a distraction. You are humbled by a Wisdom. Wisdom demands of you. Wisdom urges you to become more than you are.

What does Wit ask of you? Nothing. Wit’s most ardent wish is that you find it adorable, because Wit is a suck-up little shitbird that wants gold stickers. When life comes at you with knives drawn, Wisdom will dig in while Wit puts on a little show. Wit will do a soft shoe and die choking on its own blood.

When you are embattled, Wit will abandon you. When you are beleaguered, Wit will fail you. Wit will not only fail you, Wit’s fucking feelings will be hurt because you didn’t praise it for failing you.

Listen: I been going through some shit lately. But do you think Wit will help me? Fuck no. Wit’s been wicked busy composing its latest quip about Charlie fucking Sheen. Whereas Wisdom will look Charlie Sheen in the eye and tell him: “If you tweet about Japan, I will chop your fucking hands off.”

Wisdom is lacing up its boots and kicking ass while Wit is still applying mascara. Wisdom will take up its axes and halyards, its shields and its flails, and it will advance with you. Wisdom will face what comes, while Wit is back in the tent, regaling the lazy and afraid.




Paper Machete - 3/5/11 - Plasticware is Back

“…after an absence of four years, foam plastic coffee cups have made a comeback in the basement coffee shop of the United States Congress building after Republicans began reversing a series of in-house green initiatives undertaken by Democrats.

The about-turn was announced by a press aide to John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, who tweeted on Monday morning: ‘The new majority – plasticware is back’.”Guardian UK, 28 February, 2011.

The GOP is on a tear of late. A quick rundown of the towering victories of the past two weeks:

  • 2012 Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee reminded us that President Obama was raised in Kenya, despite what certain so-called facts would have us believe.
  • The Arizona bill to allow Governor Brewer to create an armed state militia to use for any purpose she sees fit. Good for you, Arizona – if there are uniforms and chain of command, this will obviously be what the Second Amendment calls a “well regulated militia”. And we can finally get to work on the intractable problem of all these… non-locals.
  • Governor Rick Scott of Florida continues to oppose the Affordable Healthcare Act, but has directed the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration to accept a $35.7 million grant from the program. And just to keep Democrats on their toes, he REFUSED the $2.4 billion in funding for high-speed rail in his state. This is precisely the kind of rope-a-dope that will outfox those syllogism jockeys in the Democrat party every time. Because, I mean, seriously: how can you not hate these nerds with their glasses and their books, reeking of tea. 
  • A unanimous party-line vote this week to renew tax-payer subsidies for Big Oil to the tune of $53 billion, despite industry insiders like the former CEO of Shell Oil John Hoffmeister declaring flatly that these subsidies are unnecessary. It seems past time to go on record to say that Hoffmeister has long been a socialist agitator. I told him as much while hunting with him on exotic game preserve. He shot an albino tiger in the face that day. It was glorious. And while John is a former friend, it feels important that beneath the surface of millionaire petroleum executive with decades of experience, beats the heart of an agitator intent on vilifying an industry that is a cornerstone of our economic prosperity. As if you need any further proof, after leaving Shell, he founded a NON-profit called, get this: CITizens for AfFORDable Energy. I mean. Come ON. Plus, it’s worth reflecting: “Hoffmeister” is a… German name, is it not?
  • Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, whom I think we can all agree is one of the last heroes of fiscal discipline, for ascribing his state’s budget woes – which are DWARFED by those in Illinois, btw – to the workers who provide the services without which there would be no… state, per se. Governor Walker is doing more to usher in the post-societal hellscape in which the GOP, enjoying as it does, as considerable edge in gun- and bunker-ownership, can finally and fully thrive.
  • Governor Walker, who took a principled stand against the civil service thugs who have unlawfully descended upon the capitol. “Unlawfully” should here be taken to mean “technically covered by the Constitution, maybe, but by Christ I hate them so MUCH”. I swear to GOD, there’s not enough tear gas and rubber bullets in the WORLD to deal with scumbags – but I digress. While the ONLY tactical adjustment I would have advised the governor would have been to welding the windows of the capitol building shut to prevent supporters from passing food into protesters inside, but he did that four days ago. I would also have urged him to order the state senators who fled the state arrested, but he did that yesterday. I mean, honestly, how awesome is this guy? 
  • When governor Walker was unfairly ambushed by a journalist posing as his corporate benefactor David Koch, rather than censuring the governor, state legislators moved to criminalize prank calls. Bravo, Wisconsin GOP. For having the vision to see that drawing the governor into a brainstorming session about the violent suppression of dissent under false pretenses is – REALLY, if you think about it – a form of hate speech.
  • Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin, who put forth a bill in the legislature to criminalize miscarriage. Now, there are those in the utero-stapo that will try to convince you that these miscarried fetuses have all jumped to their deaths and that we need to increase spending on fetal mental health clinics, and fetal stress reduction programs, and fetal tuition subsidies, when it is past time that these fetuses stop looking for handouts and start pulling themselves up by their fetal bootstraps and start contributing, instead of feeding at the trough of Big Placenta. If these fetal freeloaders cannot handle the pressures of pre-life in a market economy, then isn’t it right, really to blame the parents? And more particularly the mothers, who, let’s face it, were ignorant and self-destructive enough to have been born women. The facts just don’t support this decision, ladies. But if you INSIST upon remaining women, you should content yourselves to the fetus-farms the party needs you to be, and stay on bed rest until you bring these future voters to term. 

I could go on. Suffice to say it’s a great time to be a member of the GOP.

That comes with an important caveat, however: if events in Wisconsin and Ohio, and now Indiana teach us anything, it is that working people would appear to have retained some capacity to reason. It is this latent capacity to reason – which, just to refresh your memory, is to have a rational underpinning for one’s belief and action – that is the sleeping giant we must defeat if we are prevail in this ideological battle for the soul of this nation.

On the one hand, the vestiges even in the face of our generations-long assault upon – a campaign, by the way, which is without historical precedent in terms of its effectiveness. If Josef Goebbels had been able to achieve anywhere near this level of ideological purity in contravention to the evidence, they’d be speaking German in St. Petersburg today. Which brings me to my first recommendation:

Party operatives must stop comparing opposing policies to those of the Nazis. Not because it is wrong, but because it makes us seem old. Many voters today don’t know what Nazis are, per se. Suggested substitute: anything with Charlie Sheen and tiger blood. 

But to return to the importance of the reintroduction of Styrofoam cups in the congressional commissary, and its value as a tactic in the coming conflict with these gay, urban, elitist, egghead socialists and their Chinese puppet masters. The reason Styrofoam cups are a valuable weapon is not that it reasserts the use of the kind of single-use, non-recyclable petroleum-based products God intends for Man to use – though this is a happy byproduct of this approach.

The REAL value of Styrofoam cups in congress is that they MAKE DEMOCRATS BERSERK. By any standard you could name, there is not a rational reason on earth why we would urge a return to them. They use more resources, deepen our dependence on foreign oil, cost more, and make coffee taste shitty. But they ALSO represent an unexpected, unwarranted dick slap to the smug and pasty face of the Democrat Party. And isn’t that worth any sacrifice?

I would argue that the Party need to see more of this kind of misdirection. Here are a few thoughts: 

  • Introduce legislation requiring members of the House and Senate not only to stop using compact fluorescent bulbs, but to use only coal-fired lamps.
  • When debating a female member, try the following: “I would remind our friend from New Hampshire that we find you broads adorable.”
  • Refer to all members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as “Spanish”.     
  • If an opponent asks a question about a bill you have put forward, answer that question with a question. Examples: “Well, why do YOU keep raping monkeys?” Or: “Do you deny that there is a caged rape monkey in your office right now?” Or: “Do you dispute that even Charlie Sheen draws the line at monkeys?” It really plays on C-Span if you produce a giant photo of a listless-looking monkey who may just have been raped.

Again: these are only suggestions. Get creative. If we drive Democrats insane, we cannot help but to keep on winning. Tiger blood, everybody.



WRITE CLUB - Marriage, 2/15/11

Lot of people hear the word “marriage”, and think of weddings. Likening a wedding to a marriage is like saying that getting a blowjob on a roller coaster is the same as tearfully beating off in a hospital bed.

Marriage is not the ACT of being wed – it is everything that comes after. A wedding is an event. Marriage is a condition.

I have been married for thirteen years. I am domesticated.

[Show wedding ring]

As you see, I have been banded. So even if I’m returned to the wild, I can be identified. If I roam too far from my habitat, researchers will collect me and return me to my den.

There is a conception of marriage as a sexless grind of obligation and worry – a concoction of compromise and diminishment, spiced with acrimony and neglect.

I am not here to dispute this. In fact, I will go further:

Marriage is a kind of slaughterhouse where the blood of your initiative and drive and appeal will be drained from you the moment the meat hook of your vows pierces your ankles and the blade of consummation passes over your throat.

The balance of your life – that period spent waiting while you hang by your ankles, trussed by habit and custom and law, as the blood of your individuality and purpose drizzles congealing from your throat – this is marriage.

What swine are able to make good their escape from this abattoir report as they squint in the daylight that they are really so much happier, now. Really so much. And after these liberated pigs drink in this hard won freedom – they will wash the blood from their trotters, they will hit the gym, and they will try to attract a new mate.

By the way, I’m talking here about real marriage – I do not mean the “oh, snap. You got pregnant,” or the “we got married. It’s what people do,” or the “dear Oksana, I would be honored to pay your way from Ukraine to become my bride”. Not celebrity marriage, either – the Brad Co. and Angelina Corp. brand alliance or the Britney conspicuous international display of mental illness – I’m talking about REAL marriage.

And while it is true that marriage is the hanging of the self by a meat hook to be drained, in a REAL marriage, you then get taken down off the hook, and folded at the ankles, and rolled like a tube of toothpaste and squeezed until everything has left you. In a REAL marriage, you are extruded.

You are extruded like the Mold-O-Rama machine at the Field Museum. However, your molten fluids are not poured into a mold that is awesome, like a dinosaur or a tractor, they are poured into the mold of a featureless pear-shaped biped wearing sweats and a pair of Crocs, as if to say “You know what? Fuck it.” You emerge from your mold smooth as a Ken doll, and no matter what direction you head in, you are always in retreat.

This is not done TO you, though. In a real marriage, it is not your spouse constricting the life out of you. You are a party to your extrusion – you consent to it. You assist in it. You flatten yourself and curl into it.

Here’s why: your partner is hung from a meat hook right next to you, draining themselves into the same dish. And folding and squeezing the dregs of themselves onto your shared platter.

Here is the sad news, children: we all of us get extruded, but if you are alone in this life, your platter is that much smaller. And you must guard well your platter.

When you marry and are together extruded, this is the platter of your strength – and you will feed like Bedouins around a roasted goat, passing pieces from hand to hand, or Hawaiians scooping poi from a shared bowl.

This platter holds your supply – your lifetime’s supply – of resolve and tenacity and fortitude. Which you will need. Life being life, you will encounter death and defeat; you will know grief and perplexity; you will have loss and fear, mayhem and duress.

And when you do, you must go to the platter of strength, and dip in your fingers to eat what you need. If fortune smiles upon you, the supply of your strength will outlast the time you have left.

When your mother grows infirm and insane, you will feed; when your children are ill, you will feed; when your house is destroyed, you will feed. You will feed when the floodwaters rise and when lightning strikes. You will feed when death claims a neighbor and when the downturn swallows your job. When the pipes burst, when the truck clips your dog, when the prognosis is grim, you will feed.

THIS is REAL marriage. Food in time of greatest need.

So not only is marriage the best chance you’ve got in the trench warfare that is this life – long shot though it may be – marriage has the opposing idea of love nested inside it.

And the fact is, marriage – REAL marriage – cannot exist without love. Let’s face it: it is EASY to have love without marriage – easy and cheap. But you CANNOT have marriage without love.