28 January 2015

The Unknown God

"You think Hardin is dead or alive?" Sig asks.

"I don't know," I say.

We're standing by a trash barrel in the back.  I look around.  The family, friends and gawkers are standing in little huddles, or seated at tables.  I don't see any other co-workers.

"Anything could have happened," I say.

Sig nods.

"Anything could have happened," I repeat.

Sig stares into space.

There must be at least a hundred people here.  We're in a banquet room at the Boardwalk Sheraton.  They call the thing an *Awareness Raiser.*  I guess the family is afraid nobody cares much about finding out what happened to Hardin.

It's hot in here, and you'd think I could get a cold drink.  And I could get a cold drink, but I'd have to pay for it.  You'd think if I took the time to come and support them and all that, at least I could have a cold drink, it's so hot in here.  But I'd have to buy a Diet Coke.  There's nothing free here.  The *Awareness Raiser* seems to double as a fund raiser, also.  There are fishbowls on the tables, where you can drop cash, or checks made payable to *The Hardin Family Fund.*

"Which one is his wife?" Sig asks.

I scan the room.

"The fat one standing by the table next to that big photo board thing."

"Which fat one?"

"The fat one with the fat red hair."

"A cow," he says.  "But there are worse.  But no, anything could not have happened."

Why did I come to this?  I suppose I hoped to see somebody cry.

"When Hardin was here," I say, "when he was known and accounted for, did anyone give him a second thought?  We worked with him for almost six years.  Let's say we worked the same shift two or three times a week.  Sixteen to twenty-fours a week, for six years.  That's a lot time to be around somebody. . .but he made absolutely no impression, am I right?"

"He was a boring cunt.  He'd stick a cell phone in your face and make you watch videos of his kid's baseball.  'Look at that swing!'  Bragging about his kid's single in a little league game."

"But now that he's unknown, he has substance."

"The Unknown God."

"He's no longer a human zero.  He's distinguished by being extinguished.  He used to be a nothing that nobody would think twice about.  Now everybody wonders about him.  That's all people talk about at work.  He's no longer human.  He's mythic."

But after saying that, I look more closely at all the people in the room.  They really don't seem. . .anything.  Some people paid for food and/or drink and they stuff their faces.  One guy is yawning.  Others talk. . .nod. . .scratch. . .wander around.

"Actually, this all seems kinda blah, you know?"

"What?"

"I mean, for all the hype, all the talk, the drama, the big mystery, there's no. . .there's nothing here.  No special psychic energy, you know?  Might as well be a meeting of the zoning commission."

"It is what it is," Sig says.   "A fat woman's husband has gone missing.  It's not the Empty Tomb."

Sig is staring at the wife.

"Would you fuck her?" he asks.

"I don't know.  Maybe.  If she cried a lot."

We don't talk.  Nothing happens.  I don't even see anything.  We're just here, stuck.  It lasts thirty seconds, a minute.  If life is the ability to relate to the environment, then we are dead.

It is Sig who comes back to life, first:

 "Why are we standing by this garbage can, anyway?  Let's sit down, already."

I follow Sig to a table where a man and a woman are already seated.

"These chairs taken?" Sig asks.

"No, go ahead," the man says.

We sit.

I notice there's a check in the fishbowl.  I wonder if it's from these people.  I can't see the amount.

Sig stares at the man and woman.  They seem a little uncomfortable.

"Uh, Mark Gibbs," the man says.  "And this is my wife, Emily."

"Hi," the woman says, with an obviously forced smile.

"Emily Gibbs?" Sig says, as if he knows the name.

"That's me," she says, straining to hold the smile.

"Did you go to Scott High School?" Sig asks.

"Scott High School?  No.  I mean, I don't even know where that is."

"I knew an Emily Gibbs at Scott.  I don't remember faces, but I remember names.  I can remember the name of everybody I went to school with.  No idea what any of them look like, but I remember their names.  There was an Emily Gibbs."

Sig is now staring just at the woman, this Emily Gibbs person.

"There was a girl named Emily Gibbs at Scott High," Sig says to her.

"Oh.  That's--"

"Gibbs is her married name," the man, the husband, cuts in.  "She wasn't Gibbs in high school."  He seems a little irritated, for some reason.

The table falls silent.  The woman, this Emily Gibbs, has a beverage, which she sips at.  After each little sip, she looks up and forces a smile.

I see the wife--the cow, Hardin's wife, not Emily Gibbs.  She's making the rounds of the tables, stopping and chatting briefly at each.  She's got three tables to go before she hits us.  There's nothing particularly troubled about her appearance.

"What was your name in high school?" Sig demands of the woman.

"What?  Oh."  A quick glance at the man, the husband.  "Driscoll.  I was Emily Driscoll."

Sig shakes his head.

"Nobody named Emily Driscoll at Scott."

"Oh gosh, wouldn't that have been a crazy coincidence!" she says, trying to be agreeable.

"There are no coincidences," Sig tells her.

"There aren't?"

"No.  Everything is what it is."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" the man, the husband, asks disagreeably.

Sig sighs, exasperated he has to explain something so obvious.

"Coincidence can only occur in a universe of possibilities, where one thing can happen as easily as another.  But as we all should have observed from an early age, we live in an impossible universe.  Only one thing ever happens, and so. . ."

I tune out.  Not out of disrespect to Sig, but because I want to focus my thought on poor Emily Driscoll.  I want to telepathically broadcast my sympathy.  That she has to suck this Gibbs fellow's cock, has had to choke down his ejaculate.  Victimized.  Tricked, or so beaten down she settled, or for whatever reason, she finds herself chained to this Gibbs.  And yet she can still summon a smile, however artificial.  I haven't smiled in decades.  God bless Emily.

[I will not describe her appearance, which would only prejudice the reader.]

Yes, it's true, Gibbs is also a victim.  Just as we are all victims.  Yet instead of seeking to console Emily Driscoll, he has only further victimized her.

"Mark!  Emily!  It means so much to see you here!"

The cow is at our table.

"Oh Caroline!" Emily Driscoll says.  "I can't imagine.  I just can't imagine."

"Everybody says it," the Gibbs fellow says, "but if there is anything we can do.  Really.  Anything at all."

The cow closes her eyes, nods her head.  "Thank you.  Thank you, both."

"You got a warm pair of gloves?" Sig asks.

"Gloves?" the cow asks.  She seems puzzled.

"If you need some gloves, just say so.  I can get you a pair."

"Well. . .thank you.  But. . .it's the middle of summer, so. . ."

"Summer doesn't last forever," Sig reminds her.  "Nothing lasts forever.  It will be cold and dark, soon."

"Excuse me?" the Gibbs fellow says.  He seems to be getting upset.

The cow cocks her head, squints at Sig.  "Do you know Martin?"

"Who's Martin?"

"That's Hardin," I tell Sig.  "Martin was his first name."  I address the cow.  "We worked with your husband.  Everybody there pretty much just goes by last name."

Nothing happens, again.

The cow, suddenly looking old and tired, stands behind the Gibbs fellow and Emily Driscoll.    Gibbs has a frown.  Emily is staring at her drink.  Some clear liquid with ice in a clear plastic cup.  It's so hot in here.

"Martin never really liked to talk about work," the cow says softly, so softly.

"Because the fucking place sucks," Sig says.

"What is your PROBLEM?" the Gibbs fellow says.

"Mark!" says Emily Driscoll.

The Gibbs fellow glares at Emily Driscoll.

"What?  This guy is. . .you don't talk like that. Not in this kind of situation.  Are you stupid?"

All of Emily Driscoll's pretend smiles and good cheer melt away as her face reddens.

The cow looks done in.

"We've met before," I say to her in an attempt to advance the conversation.  "I'm sure you don't remember, but it was at Erskine's retirement party."

"You went to that asshole's retirement party?" Sig asks.

The Gibbs fellow bolts from his chair, grabs Emily Driscoll's drink.  "Come on.  We're moving to another table."  He turns to the cow.  "Caroline, I think you should join us."  The cow nods.  Emily Driscoll rises in obedience.

"That guy thinks he's better than us," Sig says as the Gibbs fellow, the cow and Emily Driscoll walk away.

"Uh, he only thinks he's better than 'us' if I am guilty by association."

"That bastard wouldn't give you the time of day even if you were standing next to a sun dial."

"Huh? That doesn't--"

I don't even bother to finish the thought.  I don't care.  It's hot in here.  And this *event,* whatever it is, has been a real dud.  What was the point of it?  A man has been missing six weeks, and so a bunch of people meet in a hotel and do nothing?

Sig reaches into the fishbowl, removes the check, looks at it, laughs.

"Twenty bucks!  Mr. Better Than Us is only good for twenty!"  Sig laughs again.  "What's Hardin's old lady gonna do with twenty bucks?"

Sig's right about that.  A check for twenty dollars.  But a man or a woman will turn to his or her god in a time of trouble.

Poor Hardin.  A life disappeared.  By either death or desperation.  One little life.  What value?

"What value did Hardin's life have, anyway?" I ask Sig.

He drops the check back in the fishbowl.

"What value? Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing?  And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

27 January 2015

Shitskin American Sniper

27 January 2015: On Tuesday’s broadcast of the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch,” host Tony Perkins asked guest Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) about Muslims and the threat of radical Islam.  “One of the great things about America is it doesn’t matter if you’ve been here five minutes or a hundred years, we have folks that come here, want to be Americans,” Jindal said. “They join our military, they start companies, they work to create a better community. And that’s wonderful. What’s not acceptable is people that want to come and conquer us. That’s not immigration, by the way, that’s colonization. If someone wants to come here and change our fundamental culture and our values. If they want to come here and they want to set up their own culture and values that’s not immigration, that’s really invasion — if you’re honest about it. This is a particular threat we face.  And if we’re not serious about this we’re going to see more lone wolf actors. We’re going to see more folks come into our country just like you’ve seen in other countries — the horrific shootings in Paris.”

Ha ha ha. . .

You know America has gone totally *American Sniper* when even the shitskins start demonizing the others!

Unable to reconcile her failures in the *Middle East* with her grandiose manifest destiny, America becomes even uglier and more sanctimonious. . .

14 January 2015

Living Bodies

Sitting.  Trying not to stare at the clock.

Observe my surroundings:

The *customer lounge.*  Ten chairs crammed together in a dingy waiting room.  Two little tables piled with unreadable magazines like Motor Trend.  An ancient gumball dispenser.  Scuffed black-and-white floor tiles.  The only thing shiny and new: a flat screen bleating the *news.*

Been here two hours-and-fifteen minutes, already.  Waiting for some repair on my '97 Civic.  Carbon build-up.  Fuel Induction something or other.  I don't know what.  The yellow check engine light came on, and here I sit with a handful of other sudden-pedestrians.

Look at these people.  God.  Thank God I can't see myself.

Look at squirrels.  You never see an ugly squirrel.  Look at deer.  You never see an ugly deer.  Look at bears or tigers.  Not one of them ugly.  Crows.  All handsome.  Never seen an ugly crow.  But look at people.  Look at us.  So many ugly bastards.  I'm sure the squirrels in Eden looked just like the squirrels we got now.  But Adam and Eve?  No way they looked like us riff-raff sitting around here.

Sin.  Generation after generation of human sin, eating away beauty.  Adam and Eve would shudder to see their descendants.

Sin causes death.  Everything dies, including beauty.  Sin alters brain chemistry, sin engineers genetic mutations, etc., etc.  Thousands and thousands of years of human sin, the human body marred.  I mean, look at that lizard sitting over there.  Forty and her face rough as sandpaper.  When Eve was three hundred she probably looked twenty years younger than this bag, with her straw hair.  Look at her, her mouth hanging open while she stares at the television, her gray teeth pointing every which way.  Listen, if this crocodile were the one who offered Adam fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we'd all be fine today. . .

Failure.  The collective failure of mankind.  There's a noble thought to ponder.  I don't think people think enough about their failure.  I mean, they really don't seem that embarrassed by the garbage dump of a world they've created.

How did I end up here?  Adam and Eve could probably fly, and here I sit, waiting for a car repair. Sitting in a waiting room.  That's life.  That's this life.  Life is a waiting room.  A waiting room for death.

Stuck here, removed from the distraction of the routine of life, I feel exhausted.  Almost fifty-five years of fake living.  These others go about their lives.  Two of them thumbing madly on their smartphones, another fiddling on a laptop, the lizard staring in rapture at the television, the television titillating her with crash porn, an airplane wrecked in a far eastern sea.

But me?  I just sit here, stopped.  Nothing to do but compare my life to a car.  A broken-down car.  A junker that sputtered along, then ended up in a ditch by the side of the road.  That's my life.  All that's left is to test faith.

"Excuse me!"

It's the lizard.

We all look at her.  She points at the television.

"Does anyone know if they found any living bodies?"

What?  Living bodies?

"I don't think so," the laptop guy says.

"All dead?  All the bodies dead, all dead. . ." the lizard shakes her head, rather mournfully.

"It's so horrible.  Can you imagine anything more horrible?" one of the smartphoners says.

They are all shaking their heads, in that slow, mournful fashion.

"Examine the wrecks of our own lives," I say.

They all look at me.  Not with friendly looks.  I am regarded with offense and incomprehension.

"Well," I say to the smartphoner, "you asked if I could imagine anything more horrible."

They still don't seem to understand.

"I mean, let's be honest.  We're all adults here.  All the ugly shit we've done.  The ugly things, little ugly things, big ugly things.  All the ugliness done hours, days, weeks, years and years ago.  So many ugly things. . ."  Here I pause and offer my own mournful head shake.  "No, no, what is a plane falling out of the sky compared to our own ugly lives?  A trifle.  A mere trifle."

From the looks of them, they still don't get it.

"Speak for yourself!" the lizard barks.  "Actually, don't speak at all!  God!  What a sicko!"

The others nod their assent.

That's fine.  Let them have their little club.  I don't have some electronic toy to play with.  I have to sit here and think about life.

They babble on for a minute about the airplane crash, then one asks if they believe the mechanics here are honest, and they go on discussing that.  They are a community, now.  I've brought them together.  Good.

Me?  I'm in a ditch by the side of the road.  Nothing to do but wait.  That's the test of faith.  To resist trying to save myself, and to wait for Jesus to pull me out at the End of Time. . .

08 January 2015

A Clash Of Freedoms In Gay Paris!

Daily Mail, 7 January 2015: Twelve people were killed today when gunmen carried out a massacre at the offices of a notoriously anti-Islamist newspaper in Paris - including a police officer who was executed as he begged for mercy on the pavement. Masked attackers brandishing Kalashnikovs burst into the Charlie Hebdo headquarters, opening fire on staff after seeking out journalists by name. Clad all in black with hoods and speaking flawless French, the militants forced one of the cartoonists - who was at the office with her young daughter - to open the door. Witnesses said the suspected Al Qaeda gunmen were heard to shout 'the Prophet has been avenged' and 'Allahu akbar!' – Arabic for 'God is great' – as they stalked the building. They headed straight for the paper's editor and cartoonist, Stephane Charbonnier, killing him and his police bodyguard, who is believed to have been recruited to protect him following earlier threats. They also killed three other renowned cartoonists – men who had regularly satirised Islam and the Prophet Mohammed – and the newspaper's deputy chief editor. Horrific footage emerged showing an injured police officer slumped on the pavement as two of the gunmen approached him outside the office minutes later. In an apparent desperate plea for his life, the officer is seen slowly raising his hand towards one of the attackers, who responds by callously shooting him in the head at point-blank range. Despite a shoot-out with armed officers, the 'calm and highly disciplined' men were able to escape in a hijacked car and remain on the loose.

The rather breathy article goes on to state:

President Francois Hollande described the bloodbath as a 'barbaric attack against France and against journalists' and vowed blah blah blah. . .

After the shooting, hundreds of comments were posted on the Charlie Hebdo Twitter page, with one user, David Rault, writing: 'A sad day for freedom blah blah blah. . .

Charlie Hebdo's editor-in-chief Gerard Biard escaped the carnage because he was in London. He told France Inter: 'I am shocked that people can have attacked a newspaper in France, a secular republic. I don't understand it. I don't understand how people can blah blah blah. . .

A visibly shocked French President Fran├žois Hollande, speaking live near the scene of the shooting, said: 'France is today in shock, in front of a terrorist attack. This newspaper was threatened several times in the past and we need to show we are a united blah blah blah. . .We have to be firm, and we have to stand strong with the international community blah blah blah. . .We are at a very difficult moment following several terrorist attacks. We are threatened because we are a country of freedom blah blah blah. . .We will punish the blah blah blah. . .

Anyway, you know the drill. . .

Though I did find President Barack Obama's remarks strangely untoward when he was asked to comment on the *senseless tragedy:*

President Obama says he would be "pretty aggravated" if he were a Detroit Lions fan after the team lost an NFL playoff game to the Dallas Cowboys following a disputed penalty call. . .Obama said he watched the game and that he couldn't "remember a circumstance in which a good call by one of the refs is argued about by an opposing player of the other team with his helmet off on the field, which in and of itself is supposed to be a penalty. The call is announced and then reversed without explanation. I haven't seen that before. So I will leave it up to the experts to make the judgment as to why that happened, but I can tell you, if I was a Lions fan, I'd be pretty aggravated."

Uh, perhaps the President got his senseless tragedies mixed up?

But anyway, something buried deep inside the otherwise hoary *terror* story did catch my eye:

Mr Biard said he did not believe the attack was linked to the newspaper's latest front page, which featured novelist Michel Houellebecq, who has previously sparked controversy with comments about Islam.

Houellebecq!  Thank God he wasn't in the Charlie Hebdo office! A national treasure!  The quintessential *French Novelist.*  I mean, just try to picture *French Novelist.*  You know, effete, dissolute, unkempt, pencil-necked, chain-smoking.  You would picture this guy:
Thankfully Houellebecq is unharmed, and will be able to continue his rather uneven literary career:

Whatever: A thin Bret Easton Ellis knockoff in which the disaffected wanker hero's drug of choice is nicotine, not cocaine.  

The Elementary Particles: A major step forward, a history of Western decay since the 1960s, told through the broken lives of Narcissus-and-Goldmundesque half-brothers.  


Platform: A step backward, a tedious combination of porn and Houellebecq's first jump onto the islam-bashing bandwagon.


The Possibility Of An Island: Houellebecq bottoms out with this silly sci-fi apocalypse, loosely based on the Raelian cult.


The Map And The Territory: A return to greatness. . .vintage Houellebecqian cranky discourses on art, consumerism, existence, alienation, death, houseflies. And in a masterpiece of self-parody, Houellebecq himself appears as a character in this, his finest novel.


All right, but anyway, so about the shooting. We have the usual blather about *Freedom.*  So let's talk about *Freedom:*


You have white Westerners who believe they have advanced beyond menial labor and who lured darkies to their Utopia to clean their restrooms, pick up their garbage and do their laundry, crying today in Gay Paris! because hot-headed elements of their darky lower class got tired of scrubbing godless Western toilets and then, while riding the Metro green line to their slums, had to read condescending cartoons about their beliefs inked by the master class *exercising* one of its precious *freedoms.*  Well, today two or three of the islamic underclass decided to exercise one of their precious freedoms, the freedom their religion gives them to kill the infidels. . .ha ha ha!
  
What we had today in Gay Paris! was a clash of freedoms. . .nothing more, nothing less.

*Freedom!*  The great scam of the rich!  The ultimate something-for-nothing swindle.  While picking the pockets of the poor, the rich distribute a few dirty magazines and stage a meaningless vote, and then lecture the poor on how privileged they are to be *free,* while laughing all the way to the bank:

The World's Richest 85 People Are As Wealthy As The Poorest 3 Billion

That's right. . .the richest 85 people in the world own more wealth than the bottom half of the entire global population.

Unfortunately, the only *Freedom* most Westerners have is the freedom to be in bondage to vulgarity.  Real freedom, the ability to direct the course of one's own life, is beyond the overwhelming majority of Westerners, white or colored, who are under control of the Great Master, The Bank.

And now another round of Western huffing and puffing on the House of Terror. . .

The real lesson on *Freedom* from Gay Paris! will go unlearned.  And it goes above and beyond earthly inequality.  Even the Great are not Free.  They profit. . .but only in the here and now.  

When you watch mankind divided and at war, you see an enslaved creation, subject to the higher powers.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

But neither side in the sorcerer's *war on terror* will be able to see through the lying vanities of the world, and all things continue as they were from the fall of creation. . .