Las Vegas is getting the Raiders. Can it get the mass-casualty slum fires, too?

The Oakland city government, one of the most troubled in California, spent decades being extorted by its football team, the Raiders (heh, I initially wrote “the Raders”), for special concessions at the expense of police services for the citizens of its violent ghettos, until this year, when the Raiders finally extorted a better competing suite of old boys’ gibs from the governments in Clark County, Nevada, which claimed to be too insolvent to fund the public schools under their jurisdiction.

This will allow city and county governments whose constituents live in storm drains to cater to what is probably the most execrable fan base in the NFL. Raiders Nation is a raging white trash fire. A sports league that fields both of its New York teams at the most famous entertainment venue in New Jersey had the discourtesy to charter a football franchise expressly representing the East Bay practically straight across the Bay from a much more widely beloved existing franchise at Candlestick Park, with predictably awful results. Oddly for a region where so many people wouldn’t put up with a B+, nobody gives a shit about the A’s. The Raiders, on the other hand, are overtly trashy enough in their iconography and geographically specific enough to a reputedly downmarket sector of the Bay Area to serve as a lodestone for every unwashed shithead from Fremont to Stockton to Crescent City. Having lived in Philadelphia and listened to Phillies fans all but call Ryan Howard Butterfingers for his fielding skills at times when he was hitting homers every game, I can say that what I’ve seen of Raiders fans is worse than what I’ve seen of any Philly fan base. And forget Chicago: da guys rootin’ for *DA BEARS* may have been idiots, but they were good-natured idiots. The Raiders manage to be the auspices for cholo shorties who look like they’re of a mind to shank you right here, right now and whitey meatheads who look ready to grab a length of scrap rebar from the nearest building demolition site and bludgeon you to death in the parking lot for looking at them sideways (or at their women, but of course). One of the last games played at the late Candlestick before the Santa Clara Forty-Niners moved to their whatthefuckular new digs over by Great America was a friendly (sic), if I’m not mistaken, against the Raiders, which resulted in a transbay tussle in the stands bad enough for the league to cut the game short and cancel repeat performances for the foreseeable future.

The Bay Area stands out among American urban areas for having had its football fans geographically cleaved into one that is mostly kinda sorta respectable and another that perpetually nurses grievances for being misunderstood by condescending elites just because it’s a bunch of overtly trashy caterwauling thugs. To add injury to insult, the latter team, whose presence has encouraged every sauntering dipshit with a deliberately untreated anger management problem to style himself as a viking marauder, spent decades extorting or trying to extort massive, lavish handouts from a city government that is notoriously unable (or unwilling) to provide adequate police, fire, and social services to its constituents. Requests by sports teams for free anything from the Oakland municipal or Alameda County governments are scandalous. In less than half a year, Oakland has had two mass-casualty fires in illegal residential rentals. The first was the Ghost Ship Fire, which killed 36 people who were doing an extra-seedy Rent LARP in a postindustrial deathtrap owned by the “poverty of self worth” shithead. Just this week, another three people were killed in a fire at their “transitional housing” flophouse, a property in such extreme disrepair that neighbors had been filing code complaints against it for years and a fire inspector had ordered its landlord to repair immediately within the preceding week. The identity of the owner, Keith Kim, suggests that Community-Korean relations are bad in the ghetto (in the ghetto) for reasons tending to justify the non-Reginald Denny aspects of the Rodney King riots. A minister who knew tenants at the transitional flophouse mentioned that it was a crucial stepping stone for ex-cons coming home to Oakland, implying (who could have guessed?) that the CDCR has been releasing its inmates with utterly useless reentry services. Ex-cons of which race, for the most part? Hint: rhymes with “shack.”

Now that Las Vegas has bought out Oakland’s fin-dom concession to the Raiders, Clark County’s citizens can look forward to the same callously deficient public services that the residents of Alameda County’s poorer areas have heretofore enjoyed. I don’t envy the civic-minded or vulnerable among them at all; they’ve just been screwed raw by a noisy and influential minority of their worst neighbors. Hell, Clark County government services are already spotty enough to compete with Oakland’s for civic dereliction, as the storm drain crew can attest, but a fresher hell awaits those living aboveground, too, as their governments raid (heh) the treasury for circus money at the expense of such things as bread. Johannes Mehserle was never the one running the Kwesi Millington for Sheriff committee; it was always the assholes who were the only ones to turn out to vote, along with the elected officials who never saw the need to appeal to anyone who wanted something other than sports subsidies from their governments. So now I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the Bay, watchin’ Rundel do his thang all day, but Fish Man ain’t worth shit in a city that still doesn’t have Benjamin Montgomery “Sauce Boss” Robinson in its Uber driver pool. White Lives Matter, too, friends.

What’s that? It stops being funny when bougie lives are the ones at risk? Why, yes, do go to the bad parts of Oakland to preach your word. Yes, do go forth and #CommunicateToCreate your own safe space with that message.

I believe the children are our future. Teach them STEM. Walk them around downtown Alexandria on a chain gang.

If you’ve loafed around these pages much, you won’t be surprised to hear that yuppie eugenics are a self-regenerative damnation upon America and that Jeremiah Wright’s prayers are superfluous. America is officially too woke for hard eugenics post Carrie Buck, that Austrian pest with the excessive interest in military stuff, and so forth. Soft eugenics is another matter, but not a much less appalling one. This is a fucking vicious country, and matters of hearth and kin are especially easy excuses for our violent outbursts of parochialism. The worst among us were already itching to hunt down the poor and brutalize them; “good neighborhoods” and “good schools” for our precious snowflakes are convenient justifications for terror campaigns, frequently racially coded, against the marginalized and the vulnerable that were on the agenda long before and irrespective of family formation. This way, the evil gets a pass because all the nice bitches at the HOA demand it on behalf of rugrats who are probably too resilient to need or expect communal interference against their integration with the local poor trash.

The kids are all right. No. They would be all right, or right enough, if their parents and their parents’ peers weren’t insane. There’s a billboard at the King Street Metro Station in Alexandria advertising STEM immersion classes for toddlers. This billboard raises a bunch of questions: Why does it exist? Why does the market for what it’s advertising exist? Why does anyone think it’s anything but pathological to force preschoolers into formal scientific training? They can hardly make it to the potty. Why does anyone think that little Madison gives a shit about STEM? I have a bachelor’s degree in geology and I think it’s a goddamn scam. Are the self-important shitheads who take that billboard seriously because they seek vicarious aggrandizement through their desultory, belated broods really crazy enough to expect their precious snowflakes to know what they want to do for a living before they’ve matriculated to kindergarten? In spite of all the bad things that the US workforce is, we do not live in a society of astronauts, marine biologists, and princesses. When trailer park boys (TM) tell their landladies (in the traditional feudal sense) that they’re “gonna collect a check, just like mamma did,” that’s just the preemptive triumph of realism over aspiration. If we want them to aspire to a more edifying reality, maybe we should make a justly compensated one possible for them instead of constantly berating them for not staying in school until they’re in debt for life.

There could be jobs for the native poor, but we give them to Mexicans. I simplify, but I don’t mislead. There is something else that I saw in Alexandria, even worse than the toddler STEM billboard. I saw a line of–I believe it was sixteen, although I was too floored to make a definitive count–toddlers tied by the wrists to a length of rope, staggered on alternating sides barely a pace apart, with a young Mexican lady in a daycare T-shirt tugging on the rope from their front, a second young Mexican lady pushing the line from the rear, and a third mamacita sheepdogging the line from the right. The lady in the front was pulling hard on this line of mostly unhappy and barely ambulatory tykes.

In retrospect, I don’t think it would have been wrong of me to call 911. Legal or not, that’s the kind of thing that ought to trigger a child abuse investigation. Cops ought to be called out to make sure that stunts like that don’t go one toe over the line into an actionable offense. What really floored me about it, in addition to the child abuse/neglect angle (like, who thinks a 5:1 brat:adult ratio is adequate for a toddler field trip, and where the hell are the parents?), was the Dixie angle. The Mason-Dixon Line, commemorated by Tom Lehrer in coarse, coarse song, is one formal frontier of the South, but Maryland isn’t wholeheartedly Southern. These assholes just had to deploy their children’s chain gang on the Washington & Lee side of the river. I immediately, of course, had vivid images of antebellum slavery. It didn’t matter that there was only one noticeably black child on the rope. One just doesn’t fucking do that in–dear God–Alexandria. Marse Bob himself wasn’t much of a racist, and certainly not a bigot (much like George Wallace). Dat Confederacy, tho. Or, perhaps, one does fucking do that in Virginia. It’s for Lovers. Loving (heh; look, I hardly slept last night) one’s children must be less convenient than hiring Mexicans to neglect and incidentally abuse them on public streets. This was happening on King Street in Old Alexandria, in a very ritzy neighborhood. I have to assume that the parents have significant financial resources to pay for daycare. They, of all people, should not have children being tied into a tug rope like prisoners and bodily jerked around by negligent Mexicans. If American migrant workers were doing that to Mexican children in Mexico, I’d be equally scandalized and even more furious at the gringos because, as their compatriot, I expect them to have better ethics than that in their dealings with small children.

That Kwesi Millington for Sheriff feeling surged through me, electrically (how else?), as I watched this scene. Every American who isn’t too retarded for the sixth grade should immediately and viscerally understand the implications of putting anyone in physical bondage as part of a group in the Tidewater South. George Washington stole teeth from slaves for his dentures not an hour by horseback downriver. Robert E. Lee, as I said, was a local boy done good, or bad, depending on taste. Mercy Street is filmed there, but its target audience is too busy with Downton Abbey reruns to watch it. These are, shall we say, ties that bind us to our history in the worst possible ways. Donald Trump was right about the slave chains: they’re not good, really not good. We should all agree with him on that much. And we should be absolutely sure that there is a compelling public safety interest in putting anyone into anything even resembling chain-gang bondage before readying the rope. Being too cheap to hire more Mexicans doesn’t cut it.

Especially in the fucking plantation South. What in God’s name is wrong with these people? Did they elect Jeff Sessions mayor? NoVa leans left, and to the extent that it leans right, it doesn’t lean mercy me and shut my mouth, I do declare the General Lee is late right. Looking at that toddlers’ chain gang, I’d sooner expect dandies and their ladies to don their Sunday best for a public slave whipping than Loudoun County libertarianism. If there was a consensus not to normalize the ugliest parts of the Old South for young children, it must have gotten lost in translation into the Spanish. Chicas: no es bueno. Comprende? No bueno. Madre de Diós. It’s like the gardener not understanding how you wanted the hedges trimmed, except it’s also child abuse, and we’ll be lucky if Neil Young doesn’t write another whiny song about old-fashioned Dixie bigots when he hears about this shit. #CanadianContent #CommunicateToCreate!

#NeverMind

Alienating the citizenry from the means of production is certainly a Tidewater classic. Here we can’t find Americans to watch their own countrymen’s kids, so we also can’t find enough Mexicans. Or Hondurans or whatever. Probably Mexicans, though. Do I sound like I give a shit if some campesino takes me for a Canuck because the gringos all look alike? A skeleton staff of foreign women who don’t so much speaka the English are hired to acculturate toddlers into felon work-release culture so that the toddlers’ parents can make a killing for, just a hunch, the Pentagon and its institutional sugar babies. National defense my fat white ass. We can’t find American girls to do that. What the hell is wrong with us? What the hell is wrong with our women? Judging from the staff at our massage parlors, we can’t even find American women to work as whores. Childrearing and whoring are basic as fuck. Most women will have an inclination to one or both, probably focusing on the former but not mutually exclusive. It would be like having a nation of men who are unable to do basic commercial yard work.

Oops. We have that, too, apparently, judging from the Mexican guys in the matching uniforms who got off the Metro at Pentagon City. We can’t rake a damn pile of leaves. Proficiency in English seems like a worthwhile secondary qualification in a gardener, but what do I know? I’m not in a position to lord it over my Mexicans, since I haven’t any. Proficiency in English definitely seems a worthwhile skill for a whore catering to American customers, but maybe I’m just old-fashioned for wanting to have a language in common for communication during casual trysts, for wanting the opportunity to cohere dates with prostitutes into a broader social context than a dozen badly mispronounced words, including “sucka” and “ooh, bigga cock!” These dates usually involve massage, allowing for even worse nonunderstandings having nothing to do with sex. Seriously, I’ve hired masseuses who couldn’t understand basic sentences immediately pertaining to their practice and who didn’t seem to understand a full dozen words of English.

It’s absurd, but come to think of it, what else should we expect as a society for not generally agreeing that proficiency in English should be a qualification for customer service positions? Do you expect your day laborer to speak any more English than “Home Depot?” Do you expect the staff at Panda Express to have souls?

This has been little more than a list of working stiffs that we don’t want to recruit from or integrate into a cohesive citizenry. It’s cheaper when the help doesn’t expect the privileges of citizenship. The way it treats children in daycare is certainly cheaper, in any event. The yuppies need to train little Parker to be the next Fleming right now, but they also must loot the federal treasury during entirely overlapping business hours, so I guess little Parker will have to ride that rope again, no matter how much it hurts his wrist. If that brat pack came from poverty, it would be under the watch of neighborhood aunts and grandmothers, not mercenary Mexicans in matching T-shirts. NoVa toddler STEM immersion and NoVa toddler chain gang forced marches are intersectional. They come from the same dark recess of the heart, and it ain’t a school recess, dawg.

More Filipina nurses should moonlight as hookers. We instituted English instruction in the Philippines and the government kept it up after independence (sic?), so it would be more culturally congruent than China’s bottomless surplus of women who avoided sex-selective abortion in utero. Lynn Majors may be the sexiest nurse, but he is not the ONLY sexy nurse. I got, like, an hour and a half of sleep on a train to Philadelphia just before dawn this morning, so of course that was inevitable. But who am I kidding? Most of you still come here for Dubai Porta Potty. Why do we keep getting non-English speaking massage whores from a largely industrialized country with a severe structural shortage of marriageable women? Organized crime has to play a role, but more in a stay quiet and I’ll smuggle you to the Promised Land sense and less in a Nick Kristof-engorging kawaii damsel-in-distress sense. (It’s easier to keep a kidnapping victim silent in a garment factory full of Fuzhounese women than in a whorehouse where most of the customers speak English and know how to call 911.) As badly as medicine has been corrupted, we still seem to expect more of nurses than that. They have to be able to say things like “just a little prick” (heh) and, like, know what insulin is.

What do we do to get English speakers into landscaping? I’ve already double-scheduled the Filipina nurses (again, I’m running on fumes), but our boy Lynn would look damn good mowing the lawn in a mullet. Chains or no chains, rope or no rope, only Joyce Mitchell would let Cullen out on furlough to tend the grounds.

Don’t go around saying that the foregoing was tasteless. I said Jesus Kristof’s name, but I had the restraint (okay, the computer-stupid) not to link to his work.

Whitey’s Last Stand

Ásotthalom is a minor border township in Hungary which stumbled into the international news for a few months as a point of entry into the European Union for thousands of refugees/migrants/Ottoman revanchist invaders/take your pick who had amassed in Serbia, waiting for their chance to steal into the Promised Land of Schengen to do what ever the hell it was that they were planning to do. This mass migration, whatever its true causes and purposes, alarmed the Hungarian government badly enough to provoke its emergency construction of a border fence topped with barbed wire, the general idea being to ensure that the foreign gentlemen became some other Schengen country’s problem first, not Hungary’s. Given the practically nonexistent evidence that these travelers wanted a thing to do wanted a thing to do with Hungary, other than to pass through it en route to the Anglo-Saxon-Scandic good stuff, this fence seemed like reasonably wise and effective national policy. The gentlemen in question have not, for example, backtracked into Hungary from the Teutonic heartland and mass-raped Budapest.

The geopolitical context of this mass migration, or whatever it really is, is a fucking mess. A number of countries in the Middle East have been in states of war provoking genuine refugee crises. Saudi Arabia and the various postage-stamp kingdoms of the Gulf have significant capacity to absorb Arab refugees from their destabilized neighbors and enough in common with them culturally and linguistically to integrate them, but they have no interest in providing for the welfare and safety of trashy poors from trashy countries when they can dump them onto Western enemies-cum-benefactors instead and sow even more chaos abroad. Nice steel beams you have in those towers there; shame if some jet fuel happened to them. At the same time, the surge of legitimate refugees gave cover to dirtbags and intelligence assets, if I may risk repeating myself. Some of the supposed refugees, meanwhile, may be economic migrants trying to better themselves and their families whose circumstances back home fall into a gray area between a true threat to their survival and a more prosaic but still very real threat to their ongoing welfare.

Where does a prospective host country draw the line for such people? How does it balance humanitarian considerations for the welfare of the foreign poor with the welfare of its own constituents? These are legitimate questions without easy answers. The dirtbag hordes are another matter. Unattached young men, well-dressed, well-nourished, and showing no signs of emotional distress, showed up en masse in a bunch of major European cities, including Budapest, and spent hour upon hour hanging around railway stations and town squares, flirting with the local girls. When they moved on, they left behind piles of trash, some of them cleaned up on a volunteer basis by disgusted private citizens. The dirtbags gave off a strong “who baby daddy this is?” vibe. It was classic alpha fucks and beta bucks: foreign deadbeat shitheads looking for all the world like they were about to get the local maidens pregnant and skip town while little bitches walked behind them, cleaning up their messes and not getting any action for their trouble. Of course, allegations against Middle Eastern refugees from the other side of the Hajnal Line are even worse, but no sexual consent can justify the way the deadbeats behaved on their way through Budapest, or the way the local girls behaved around them. It was antisocial.

The incentives were totally fucked. The foreign gentleman callers weren’t totally unacculturated, as they immediately conformed to the worst Eurotrash social norms. But somebody has to keep civilization running, and if that somebody isn’t getting any pussy while antisocial layabout slobs are, that somebody may stop showing up to work. It was bad enough that parasitical migrants were monopolizing the public companionship of local girls; anything more intimate that can be inferred or confirmed is only worse.

Ásotthalom is back in the news, this time because its municipal government has proclaimed a safe haven for Whitey and invited a Pan-European medley of proud honkies from across the EU to homestead under its jurisdiction. This invitation has been complemented with posted bans on public displays of same-sex affection and Islamic dress. These bans have upset the woke international diversity crowd by being insensitive and shit, a darkly amusing turn of events for a liberal movement that has had an excruciatingly impossible time, especially in Northwestern Europe, reconciling gay liberation and Sharia.

I suspect, though, that if this Whitey Rez proclamation isn’t just a passing troll stunt, the signs warning the fruits and nuts to behave themselves are mainly for show. If Ásotthalom can in fact create a safe space for Christendom’s beleaguered breeders, it won’t need petulant outbursts of positive law to nurture traditionalist white European natalism because it will have natural law firmly on its side. And frankly, it’s hard to see how that wouldn’t be an improvement over the current childrearing situation in Europe, in which a great many of Europe’s scant children are being born to marginalized, embittered, resentful Muslim extremists in deeply troubled ghettos and raised with atrocious socioeconomic prospects. A cohesive community of enterprising young people raising families under a supportive local government has to be an improvement over the barren ennui that has consumed much of Europe (including Hungary) and over the thirty-year shit show of the banlieue. It would be a huge improvement over deadbeats hanging around train stations and flirting with naive, impressionable local chicks. It would reassert a healthy masculinity that cherishes and lives by values of responsible fatherhood and community engagement. It would allow one small corner of Europe, at least, to suppress the moral hazard that encourages shitheads to clown around for sexual access to bimbos in a society reluctantly stewarded by jaded incels. The explicit racial angle of Ásotthalom’s campaign is over the top, but there’s nothing frivolous about its assertion of community stability and cohesion as virtues worth restoring.

Ironically, if this campaign is successful it will turn Ásotthalom into one of the most mongrelized gentile communities in Hungary since the time of Genghis Khan. If its native stock showed up in some steel town around Pittsburgh, they’d be hunkies, meaning that in Carnegie’s time they absolutely would not have been admitted to Whitey. That shit would have been off limits to them. Similarly, in a Europe not overrun by Muslim aliens crowdsourcing a recreation of the Battle of Vienna, Hungary’s nationalist extremists would not want a grab bag of Germans, Frenchmen, Britons, and so forth diluting their already diminishing Finno-Urgic native stock.

Pan-Africanism was dead on arrival. This Pan-European campaign may not be. Here we have Hungarian nationalist leaders who would clearly rather see Hungarian identity be expanded to include assimilable non-Hungarian Europeans than watch Europe’s indigenous ethnicities die off in meaningless dead-end hedonism and be replaced by aggressive, deliberately fertile newcomers with religious axes to grind. Of course, the notion of Hungarian ethnic purity is pretty laughable in the first place, given how much of the national family tree can be traced back none too distantly to Mongol rapespawn. The consensual dicking of natalist wives by generically white husbands who give a shit about their families and communities is an improvement over that, too. As they say in Sacramento, this regime would finally reward niggas who have something to do with their kids.

There are self-consciously woke elements that will get severely butthurt if the Ásotthalom Whitey Rez project succeeds. In the modern European context, an above-replacement birthrate among gainfully employed, prosperous, assimilated citizens would definitely be a success. I don’t like the idea of banging on about how Europeans have too many cats and too few brats, since I’ve wrung my hands enough about this situation vis-a-vis my own country, but getting butthurt about the one fertile community out of ten or twenty in an otherwise barren society is fucking pathetic. What’s that? The Mormon Utards have too many fucking rugrats, and they’re going to cow us all into submission to their false gods? Please, do allow me to recommend a cheese to pair with your White Whine. Forgive me if I’ve said this before, but I suggest a Manchego fuck yourself. Europe’s Muslims, on the other hand, have had dire trouble assimilating, and they keep taking their anger out violently on their host nations. Fertile center-right Christian communities may actually be all that stand between Europe and swordpoint conversion to an extremists’ creed. They may actually be the bulwark. I’m not trying to go all Charles Martel Breivik on a cracker’s ass, but the reports of Muslim communal intransigence do not look good at all.

Europe cannot or will not defend its external borders. Frontex is a pitiful joke. Arab governments show no political will to discourage their populations from breeding like rabbits in a time of war and increasing food shortages. Europe has borne the brunt of the consequences, for the geopolitical reasons described earlier. “Saudi Arabia” is like “Corleonean Sicily,” but with Sicily occupying a useless slice of Libya. That’s arrogant even by Muammar Qaddafi’s standards. I recall something about him renaming months of the year or some shit, but he didn’t rename the fucking country after himself. Or maybe that was Turkmenbashi. Family-level antisocial narcissism isn’t necessarily any better. In any event, Europe doesn’t deserve the geopolitical blowback of demographically feckless parts of Asia Minor just because it’s come to be populated by metrosexual bachelor faggots and unsatisfied birth-control spinsters and what-have-you. These dead-enders weren’t the kinds who abused the imperial subject populations and made off with their national wealth. Sure, God may help those who help themselves, but if there’s a grand moral justification to dump an assortment of refugees, landless emigrants, spooks, and dirtbags on a country not their own, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates are surely stronger candidates than Germany and Sweden.

One country stands out for keeping immigrants at bay in a time of demographic contraction and virtual waifu. I refer, of course, to Japan. God only knows who the Yakuza have been using to clean up Fukushima (that is, the parts that aren’t radioactive enough to fry robots within two hours), but that’s one country where management isn’t allowed to import foreigners willy-nilly to do long-term scab labor. Me newspapeah The Economist regularly concern-trolls Japan to hell for not getting with the program already. It’s striking that so many internationalists with credible or proven Rothschild connections seem so eager to watch Japan implode into a national social catastrophe as punishment for its xenophobia, aka its national cohesion. These creeps are itching to be vindicated by the collapse of a specific foreign nation. They don’t wear it well.

It’s worth considering the possibility that Japan has a chronic labor surplus in spite of its ballooning honored citizen population and its misallocation of its youth to hikikomori bullshit. Similarly, it’s worth keeping in mind that Japan is a country where grandfather often is not feeling well enough to receive visitors from the local council today on the occasion of his 105th birthday, nor has he been feeling well enough for some decades, but he never was one to begrudge his children and grandchildren his own pension. #TeshTips: The authorities don’t mind disbursing payments to pensioners whose apartment buildings were demolished years ago; what they don’t know can’t be their administrative responsibility to update in the database. It’s a great place to get money for being dead.

I offer a more intelligent white nationalism than chugging milk by the gallon on Times Square, and I’m not even a white nationalist.

No more excuses. It’s time to start throwing Travis Kalanick into the Bay.

A sleazy outfit called The Penny Hoarder has been plastering my Facebook feed with exceptionally offensive promoted content ads under the teaser, “No more excuses. It’s time to start adulting.” The headline for the linked article says, “41 Hustlers Show Us How To Make Extra Money in 2017.” Oddly, I can’t locate the original article at The Penny Hoarder or find the original ads on Facebook. Maybe the originals were memory-holed. Or maybe they were just recycled. The Penny Hoarder is absolutely shameless about plagiarizing itself; it constantly copies and pastes paragraphs from old articles into new articles under barely modified headlines.

The Penny Hoarder is a very sleazy, almost creepy organization. To my surprise, but not really to my surprise, it’s based in Florida. The advice I’ve seen it give includes making an extra hundred dollars by participating in these medical studies (pimp your Crohn’s Disease) and selling surplus breast milk on the open market. Get stoked, America! You have a bright future as wet nurses and prophylactic blood donors for the Thiel family! It’s also, inevitably, an affiliate marketing scam for Uber. Every fucking article that claims to have even a tangential relationship to jobs tells readers to drive for Uber. Woot woot! Most of these jobs don’t even require you to get up off your couch! 8: Drive for Uber. Its tips on saving money on food, including ways not to be “hangry,” imply that a significant portion of its readership, or at least its target readership, is food-insecure, i.e., actually hungry, not like OMG Burger King is venting its fryers and that’s making me so frickin’ hungry.

Is this how a once-stable middle class stumbles into generational penury? Am I really watching this happen in real time? Observers warn that the United States is turning into twentieth-century Argentina (Fabius Maximus), late Renaissance Spain and Holland (Kevin Phillips), and Late Imperial Rome (all of them). I don’t see why you can’t get you an overextended military empire and carceral state that can be all four at once. Middle-class thrift stops being middle-class when coupon-clipping turns into selling breast milk over the internet to pay for diapers. There’s something very, very wrong here.

Of course the kids are afraid of “adulting” these days. They’re afraid that they won’t be able to make ends meet without selling their own bodily fluids. Whack off at a sperm bank every few weeks to stop your roommates from pestering you for rent and accidentally initiate your own legion spawn into the Inferior Order of the Most Consanguineous High Priesthood of Muhjizzidik. God. An accident with a woman one actually knows, in both senses, wouldn’t be that kind of trouble.

What the hell world are we inheriting here? This is the setup for a civil war. Young people are graduating with six-figure debt, not dischargeable in bankruptcy thanks to Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., and shit for job prospects. Simultaneously, other young people are coming back from our endless wars in the Middle East with festering grievances and the military training to demand their redress in manners of which Clausewitz would not particularly approve. We just had that Alaska National Guardsman shoot up the Fort Lauderdale Airport after telling G-Men in Anchorage that he was being brainwashed by ISIS and getting himself an official shrinking at the local nut shop. We’ll be lucky if we don’t end up with our own FARC. Rugged individualism may sound like an improvement, but remember, Andrew Kehoe was a good rugged individualist, too.

This live Dickens production, featuring Major Dr. Nidal Hasan on light percussion, could turn into a Robespierrian romance with awfully little warning. Does anyone seriously want to argue that taking refuge with socioeconomically secure parents is anything but utterly prudent under the circumstances? Believe me, the alternatives can be scary. Hiring authority has increasingly been relinquished to imperious, meddlesome blowhards who make candidates jump through hoops and humiliate themselves just because they can. The job market in many areas remains saturated with immigrants, legal and illegal alike, who cultivate exactly the ties to kin and community that the native stock has been propagandized to forsake for its own individual betterment. If there’s ethnic discrimination in hiring (and there absolutely is), people with strong community and family referral networks will have an easier time working around it than those with weak networks. This is especially true when the discrimination is against the native stock, not in its favor, as is the case in much of the menial job market. The housing stock has been stolen by the worst sorts of institutional landlords, who have their own suite of ugly prejudices that they assert over fair housing laws because hardly anyone tries to stop them. This is why the poor end up living out of hotels run by managers who act like prison wardens towards their own tenants.

The problem here isn’t with adjustment to adulthood; it’s with adjustment to a lawless dystopia of atomized poverty. There was much less of this in the midcentury. It existed, but it was much more marginal, and it was easier for someone who wasn’t totally profligate to save up enough money from menial jobs to break the cycle and get into something more prosperous and stable. The rent-seeking had been toned the hell down. There was strong social pressure across the board against kicking a man when he was down, either for fun or for profit.

Things have gone to hell even since I graduated from college a bit over a decade ago. I graduated in 2006, two years before the full onset of the fourth-turning secular depression of 2008. In retrospect, I don’t know whether I was lucky or unlucky in this regard. It might have been better to start out from rock bottom and not get my initial hopes dashed. I don’t believe the news stories of the economic recovery. We’ve made economic progress as a nation, but the severe disruption of ca. 2008 has not been entirely resolved. I believe, for one thing, that I’m still personally suffering from unresolved ramifications of the crash. We still have stagflation in housing costs, and now in costs for not only medical care but for mandatory health insurance as well.

People who can’t get jobs, especially young and youngish people, can easily blame themselves for their own inability to find work. They have no way to control for all the external variables. I got my first job in 2001, when many people first entering the job market today were infants or prepubescent children. I’ve watched the stated minimum qualifications get more and more absurd. My experiences wasting my time and money on fruitless open calls for minimum wage food service positions in Southern California suggest that the popular culture and popular lore about showing up in LA and getting a job in the eighties are closer to the actual job market in LA in the eighties than the job market today is. Things have genuinely gone to hell. A whole lot of people are arbitrarily getting shut out of the labor and housing markets. It’s impossible to say what the hell is really happening in many of these situations. If hiring managers were honest about their motivations, their companies would get sued into bankruptcy. What I’ve been able to piece together indicates systemic discrimination on the bases of sex, race, and national origin, but I’ve never found a smoking gun that would have been admissible in court. Most of it is either hearsay or freelance Kremlinology. Still, “I kicked her out because she couldn’t keep her legs shut” says more about the actual housing market than Scott Pelley’s gravitas smirk about the latest numbers on housing starts.

The way the successful have been acting about these circumstances is disgraceful, of course. The rest of us are antediluvian bigots for agreeing with Donald Trump that it’s time to bring back the factory jobs. We aren’t actually looking to restore an industrial economy that works for the working class; we really just want to put our wives in Leave It to Beaver tract-house purdah and crack skulls on the Edmund Pettis Bridge. Fuck. I have black relatives by marriage now. Do I sound like I want to immiserate them and their friends for the heartwarming feels? I don’t even want to immiserate Joe Dirtbag, just stop him from abusing landlord authority over Tobacco Road and baiting me into feuds with random cops, and that motherfucker ran me into homelessness.

There’s a long history, almost entirely hidden, of integrated labor unions in the United States, even in Jim Crow Alabama, but for some reason, we’re always hearing about how Southie micks, Milwaukee mill Pollacks, Bull Connor cracker cronies, and the like hate the hell out of colored folk, unlike the fancy-pants WASP’s, who never had a problem with the ethnics or the Negroes and certainly never barred Jews from their hotels or universities. These deeply pedigreed Anglo-Dutch fusspots never looked down their monocled noses at anyone or set up any sort of divide-and-conquer ethnic strife among the orders inferior to their own. The officer class never had anything to do with the Klan. It was always just the salty crackers who were into that shit.

It’s so funny how I keep saying that I support a more equitable and robust industrial policy benefiting the working classes of all races, allowing their desperate members to stop hustling all the time, like hustling is unambiguously good thing and not also the name of a very dirty magazine, when what I mean to say is that I just want to march around Washtenaw County in a sheet, carrying a cross and a can of gasoline. Maybe I should let my betters speak for me again. Maybe we all should. Why should we keep confusing people who hear us saying one thing on our own behalf and another, totally different thing being said on our behalf by sleazy third-party marketeers?

#TeshTips: All kinds of backsass comes to those who speak on behalf of the voiceful. Avoid this by speaking on behalf of the voiceless instead.

Putting the “turd” into Small Business Saturday

Within about two hours this afternoon, I smelled and then laid eyes on two stout turds that someone had left on the sidewalk just around the corner from the Santa Fe Depot, took a trolley ride through some of the closest neighborhoods that San Diego has to a ghetto with a medley of hood rats and wiggers and also a grown Middle Eastern man (nationality indeterminate, IMO, but I don’t keep track of all nationalities) who was accompanied by his parents because he has a combination of upper-body palsy and severe mental retardation that causes him to make animal noises and spasmodically smack himself on the face (mom: “Shhhh!”), and got the bum’s rush from a pretentious, overpriced coffeeshop in downtown La Mesa for not being a paying customer. The last item is the only one that’s bothering me. I had in fact paid the woke phonies at Public Square Coffee House three dollars for a goddamned cup of coffee, notwithstanding the owner/manager/whatever-the-fuck telling me, “You didn’t buy that here. I’ve been watching you the whole time. I’d let you hang out here if we weren’t really busy, but we’re really busy. I’m being really nice about it.” Counterpoint: “No, you aren’t.” He offered to let me hang out in front of the building, like that was somehow a generous gesture to a paying customer who had a computer plugged into an outlet, so I told him, verbatim, to leave me the hell alone.

Thank God for Starbucks. This bullshit went to show that heterosexuality wouldn’t have fixed Coffee Queer. I suspect that this shithead at Public House (whom I absolutely will dox if I come across a credibly identified photo of him) booted me because I was carrying a small pile of luggage including a rucksack, like a bum, and he didn’t want my kind on his premises like I was a reputable paying customer or something. I had taken care to clutter as little of his floorspace as possible and had left space on the tabletop for at least two other customers to sit down comfortably at the same table. I wasn’t trying to make a statement by humping pack around San Diego; I would have left the lion’s share of my gear at the front desk where I stayed the last two nights or wherever I was planning to stay tonight if the logistics of doing so had seemed reasonable. It’s a huge pain in the ass to hump pack all over hell, especially when it doesn’t all fit into a single pack. No, that doesn’t mean that I should have gotten a rental car, a cab, or, fuck you very much for asking, an Uber. MTS offers superior styles of ride, especially on the light rail, which operates in the ghetto (in the ghetto).

Well, not really the ghetto, because San Diego doesn’t really have one on this or anny other cold Chicago morning, but there are San Diegans, or at the very least people who have spent too much time in San Diego to get a mulligan for their ignorance, who do not concede the existence of non-Aryan populations in San Diego. Hmm. I know one guy who moved to PB or some shit from the redneck-yuppie interface in suburban Philadelphia and came back east on breaks with stories denying the existence of San Diego’s brunettes, some of whom are responsible for the constant intrusion of fish tacos into his diet, to his great annoyance. It’s the damnedest thing, how the Mexicans all look like Pamela Anderson. All I can conclude is that we must give Kevin Vickers a Green Card immediately, not because he’s white, but because we’ve been getting all the wrong Canadians, and Alex Trebek is too busy influencing the culture of people who don’t leave the house to influence the culture of those who do.

The fuckers at Public House Coffee who told me to go back out on the sidewalk, where I belonged, operate under the slogan, “Coffee. Culture. Cause.” God help us. We must all be living in an episode of Black Mirror. These self-esteeming, sanctimonious phonies actually think they’re doing good in the world by serving overpriced coffee to flaming nellies who don’t look like they’d function for five minutes in half the neighborhoods I had just ridden through on the trolley. I was the problematic one, I guess for not having a receipt to prove that I had just bought their fucking coffee. Or maybe for traveling heavy and not buying one of whatever the hell panini and salads they’re hawking to Bougie. I can’t say for sure, because that shithead was not leveling with me.

This episode neatly, fearsomely encapsulated a lot of what’s wrong with America today: a perpetual security state whose hypervigilance and paranoia somehow cannot yield accurate profiling assessments informed by accurate facts; smarmy, disingenuous asswipes who kick peaceable, utterly harmless members of the public out of their very profitable businesses for arbitrary, ill-explained reasons, all using attitudes so vile and malignantly false that they ought to get smacked on the spot for having the nerve; a small business community that savors the smell of its own flatulence while using however much positive law it must to expel from its premises and even its neighborhoods those it unilaterally deems riffraff and blames for interfering with its painstaking marketing efforts; high-end restaurants and clubs where the influential can preempt other customers’ reservations by waving around tacit promises of increased patronage and exposure. Millennial entrepreneurs are celebrated in business journals for founding and operating hip indy shit like Public House. When there are people living in a wall-to-wall tent encampment and defecating on the sidewalks ON THE SAME TROLLEY LINE, something is badly, scandalously wrong. Coffee is not the cause that will fix that culture, dumbass.

Everyone living in urban San Diego County broke it and bought it. The homelessness problem is theirs. That shithead broke it anew by profiling me as an undesirable and booting me from his lobby. It isn’t just about me and my feelings. In retrospect, I should have gone straight to Starbucks, since I knew where it was, it isn’t run by assholes (unless someone like Coffee Queer is on duty), and it turned out to be cheaper anyway. The problem is that assholes who run good cop/bad cop games on whatever they construe as the riffraff and contrive artificial scarcity while pretending to be as charitable as their circumstances will allow personally drive the homelessness problem in places like San Diego. If they were actually charitable, they’d be serving coffee to bums at some rescue mission. If I were so charitable, I’d be serving coffee to rescue mission bums, too.

We have too many assholes talking the story of their own virtue in this country, and it’s worse in San Diego than it is some places. The church scene here is fucking horrible, for similar reasons to those that drive all the bougie status-whoring in the Gaslamp Quarter, the nice beach neighborhoods, and, as it turns out, La Mesa. Everyone at the evangelical churches around here seems to indulge in psychosexual fun time about the pervasiveness of human trafficking, i.e., sexual slavery. It must be more fun than trying to minister to their fellow San Diegans who are actually living in poverty on the streets, because that would involve listening to people who speak fluent English and use it to talk back, or talking to Tijuana streetwalkers and confirming that they’re about as bored as they look.

Getting naked and jackin’ it would be an improvement. So would riots by the homeless, I’m afraid. The meek aren’t inheriting a damned thing around here that I can see.

The Education of Heywood Jablomie

This pile of slop made the cut as a “Class Note” in the Fall 2016 issue of Dickinson Magazine:

Neil Weissman, who is now serving as our interim president, is a stalwart Dickinsonian. He began his Dickinson career in 1975 and has served our beloved alma mater in several senior leadership positions. His institutional knowledge will help foster a smooth transition for the next president. Another notable leader was Charles Nisbet, who was asked to be Dickinson’s first president by founders John Dickinson and Benjamin Rush. A scholar who spoke nine languages, Nisbet traveled from Scotland to take the reins in 1785. A few months later, Nisbet resigned due to professional and personal reasons but was re-elected to the post in 1786 and laudably served for the next 18 years. He also was a professor of moral philosophy and taught several courses (Source: Dickinson College Archives & Special Collections). In today’s complex world of higher education, it is hard for a president to simultaneously teach courses every semester while serving as the chief executive officer. Though it is important to be a published scholar, a president has many roles, including fundraising. During the search for the college’s next president, it is imperative that we alumni continue to financially support Dickinson. Our new leader will have 233 years of success to build upon while shaping the college’s vision for its next phase of development.

Source for paragraph formatting: Dickinson Magazine, Fall 2016. Kevin Vickers is a great Canadian. Another great Canadian was Tommy Douglas. What in the Land of Rape and Honey and Keith Morrison they have to do with one another is beyond the American mind’s capacity to grasp. In today’s complex world of Canadian Forces base command, a commander has many roles, including modeling your daughter’s underwear in her bedroom, posing in handcuffs for fundraisers, flight attendant disposal, and fuel procurement. A few years after taking command of CFB Trenton, Colonel D. Russell Williams was discharged due to personal and professional reasons but was reassigned to Port Cartier and laudably served there for the next 25 years to life. Though it is important to have a neighbor who will share information about his favorite hunting spots and wonder in horror and confusion why the OPP is interrogating him about a murder, a base commander is also responsible for coordinating air and ground transportation for visiting heads of state. One of these was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A wartime driver and motor pool mechanic, Elizabeth returned to London to marry the most uncouth man in Christendom and stoically raise a disgraceful brood of boors, leches, and wastrels. She also was an annual lecturer at Parliament who according to secondhand reports “very much enjoyed the tikka masala” and visited a number of German footballers, notably asking them, “Oh. Do you come from Germany, do you?” (Sources: Like, Some Stuff I Saw on the Internet & Also PBS*). (*Diagnosis: subversive monarchist rubbish; recommended treatment: defund immediately.) During the search for the base’s next commanding officer, it is imperative that we international CBC viewers continue to tastelessly meme Colonel Underpants. Our new target for canucksploitative ridicule will have 233 years of intercession by St. Jean de Bréboeuf to build upon while shaping the base’s vision (which should be better than the good missionary’s was by the end on account of the Indians) for its next phase of mentally disordered sex crimes of the sort that any sensible Humor in Uniform reader would sooner expect of an NCO.

As it happens (TM), I know the dude who wrote the sycophantic hot mess that I excerpted above, or used to know him, in any event. But first a point of clarification: who forgot to turn “Off” the 24/7 Tim Hortons supply to Carol and her mullet buddy Jeff? Those two friends don’t need help from an officer and a gentleman to go flying. Radio that will make you choke so hard that Big Ears Teddy will turn himself around! Shit, guy, that’s bad even for the CBC. The problem is that Canada doesn’t try to brainwash me for money, so it’s less disgusting than my old school and hence a more appealing abyss to ogle. Joint Pablo Cruz/Vince Li memes of the heart are an improvement for you, since you probably came here for Dubai Porta Potty. On second thought, they might be nothing more than a new frontier of disturbance, but they’re definitely an improvement for me, since I’m the one who’s mixed up with Pot-o-Shit Friend, Dickinson College, and a colony of winery rats. I’m the one who knows the twit who wrote that horseshit about Neil Weissman, Charles Nisbet, and the imperative need for a homeless, sporadically employed college graduate to give Alma Mater, Tried and True his money.

No, we weren’t taught the critical thinking skills to engage a world that includes surplus liberal arts graduates. Nor were we taught to imagine that I have been more productive by any objective measure in my sorry career than our twit from above has been in his. He brownnosed the everloving shit out of Bill Durden, too, in spite of Durden’s crude fraudulence as a Scholar, because none of this was ever really about education, learning, or the life of the mind. I know this crowd all too well. It uses its studied conceit of scholarly excellence as an organizing myth to justify its own rightful position in the natural aristocracy. As a practical matter, this means that you’d have to be an absolute fucking genius with a pitch-perfect, Leon Bridges-smooth reading of the Eastern Seaboard’s highbrow social norms to get the time of day from these assholes if you’re an autodidact or you’ve been taking some courses at HACC as your schedule permits. I’m pretty sure, in fact, that Bridges knows more about boats from singing about his very loose Dallas Metroplex conceptual theory of excessive ladings maybe having something to do with a vessel’s seaworthiness than these twits do from their parents renting the same shore house every month, and again, some dude from Dallas who’s on heavy rotation on 92.5: The Krush as part of the smooth, smooth soundtrack for the Central Coast’s winos is not the first person I’d flag down to take a look at my parents’ pontoon boat and see if he can’t tell what’s wrong with it. They aren’t quite that highbrow.

Maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe they have a chip on the shoulder and feel like they’ll always be arrivistes. It’s clear enough that some of them are overcompensating. Mind you, this still doesn’t explain why they’re so pig-ignorant about so many things that a college graduate might be expected to know. Like, when the child of a practicing lawyer and grandchild of an ordained minister is at a total loss to pronounce “Kyrie Eleison” when it’s displayed on the car radio and has no idea of what it means, maybe that betrays a half-assed liberal education. “I never thought of the library in terms of books” could be a red flag, too. In Post-Soviet America, Highway of Night School must travel YOU!

Frankly, I’m able to relate well enough to some profoundly ignorant and downright stupid people. The retarded we will have with us always, whether we call them intellectually disabled or feebleminded or moronic or *TIMMEH*. Some of us travel the highway in the night at a slower pace than others. Some of us can’t even tell that it’s night. Being ignorant is not the same thing as being stupid, and being stupid is not the same thing as having delusions of education overpowering one’s much more limited education. I doubt that ten percent of Dickinson’s students and alumni could articulate a decent layman’s overview of Scottish intellectual history, or that a third of the student body is aware that Scotland ever had one. Pennsylvania is not part of Scotland, so under normal circumstances I wouldn’t give a shit, but these particular circumstances are abnormal. What we have is an obscure junior university administrator using an alumni rag to pompously intone about some kind of C-List Scottish Enlightenment figure he read some shit about in his alma mater’s archives as part of a self-directed project to badger his schoolmates for money and bask in the glimmer of any institutional glory he could possibly spot. If he can’t coherently and accurately summarize Scottish politics today from memory on demand, he’s a fraud.

What makes this spectacle even weirder is that this dude is actually pretty damn intelligent and well-read. He’s no dummy; he just sounds like one. The aesthetic, organizational, and intellectual embarrassments of his run-on paragraph aren’t anything that I’d want to earnestly publish under my own byline. But that’s what cults do. They trash the intellects of otherwise intelligent people.

It isn’t a novel insight that cults are mentally poisonous. Well, around Dickinson, I guess it would be. It’s the easiest thing to learn from just about any material on the sixties or seventies. The Boomers were down with shit like Synanon and Jonestown, and damned if it wasn’t a horrifically captivating mess. The object lesson is unmistakable: for the love of God don’t go there. Cults ruin the mind and the spirit. This is like saying that if you jump into a pond you’ll get wet.

The standard term for unlearning all of this is brainwashing. *Very Jezebel Voice* It happened to me: I went to school in Brain Washington. It could happen to you, too.

I’m basically in the position of telling grown-ass, college-educated adults not to stick that fork in an electrical outlet, and their response is to condescendingly make fun of me for being the kind of humorless killjoy who believes in electricity. It’s like dealing with the mentally ill, except that the mentally ill sometimes know that they’re crazy and don’t usually expect the reality-based communities around them to live in their particular alt-reality communities. Far be it from them to expect everyone to live in the same universe when they hardly know which ones they’re passing through from hour to hour on their own pilgrim journeys. A crook like Bernie Madoff is easy enough to understand: he dry-labbed a bunch of absolutely bogus accounting and Madoff with a bunch of money, and now he’s a valued member of the Jewish Gentlemen’s Kaffeeklatsch at Butner. It doesn’t really start getting scary until the active membership of an entire association starts becoming disoriented by its own gaslighting campaign. How the hell does anyone establish a safe space for reality then?

If you got the feeling that the author of that bullshit about Weissman and Nisbet is a strange ranger, you felt me right. Dude dwells in an uncanny valley between insufferable earnestness and Cheshire Cat Sarc 10 cynicism. He comes from an eccentric wealthy family deep in Deplorable Country, and I’ve been told that he eats french fries with a napkin. So of course Dickinson would give this Fauntleroy, of all people, a bully pulpit. I don’t get the same consideration for having a shitty dating life and hanging out with people my parents’ age because I don’t scurry around shoving my nose into the most prominent asses within my line of sight.

I’ve known even worse around there. One of the nastiest bro-ass shitheads on campus got Durden to all but suck his cock on the steps of Old West in exchange for a donation or pledge of something like $2,000 during the fall semester of his senior year. Bro and I had mutual drinking buddies, some of them pretty nasty in their own right, and I wasn’t aware of anyone else on campus who was such a pointlessly vicious piece of shit. At the time, I gave Durden the benefit of the doubt and figured that maybe he didn’t realize he was publicly celebrating possibly the most meanspirited individual in a community of about two thousand. These days, I doubt he could have been bothered to care.

Dickinson supposedly has admissions standards. It supposedly screens out unfit applicants. What the hell these standards actually are is impossible to say for sure. It was hard to believe how little social acumen many of my schoolmates had, and not just the nerd-savants. I’d look at or hear about some of these people and wonder how on earth they’d be able to function appropriately in a white-collar workplace. I knew a guy who was caught dangling from a tree like a fucking lemur, his much prettier but spergier girlfriend with a habit of smiling in all circumstances, most of them inappropriate, people who cursed at the top of their lungs indoors, and a guy who always smiled at his food on the way to his seat in the cafeteria. Just today, while I was rummaging through my storage unit for the title to my car, I found an old fundraising letter from my class reunion committee listing all the classmates who had duly tithed to date, along with exhortations to do likewise and make US News & World Report love us longtime. (It sounds like accounting fraud because it is a sort of accounting fraud.) What cracked me up about this donor list was that it included a girl who had offended the hell out of one of my roommates on either their first or second date. This roommate was preternaturally charming but weird in his own right (a mutual friend, normally reticent about such things, once aptly blurted out, “[Weirdo in question] is fucking bizarre!”), but he sounded like he was quite reasonable to take offense. He had her over to his room and played for her an Australian mourning ballad dear to him about a group of pearl divers who were killed by the bends when they were forced to surface abruptly during an emergency. This chick’s response to this song was to stand up and do a sort of Irish jig.

I wasn’t the only person with social deficiencies around there. God. What’s next: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, featuring Riverdance? And that doesn’t even account for all the alkies and druggies, or the guy who mailed in the anthrax threat and got to do his year abroad at Ray Brook. At least he got us free meals for a week while the FBI did its thing. Quite a bit of carryout pizza, I recall. These fuckers couldn’t seriously have been a prime recruiting pool for anything. Why, then, is the laconic preppy clotheshorse who got punched out by the hothead in the laundry room for stealing everyone’s shirt working in some kind of midlevel policymaking position at the FDA? What gives? Point: “Oh my God, that’s my Lacoste shirt! He’s wearing my shirt!” Counterpoint: “What Lacoste shirt?”

The chick who got ridiculed as “Emily Bailout” after her parents bought her a bottom-level graduate sinecure with a $50,000 charitable (sic) gift to the college looked normal enough compared to these freaks. That is, I never took a look at her and immediately got the inchoate but unshakable feeling that HR wouldn’t want to deal with her social problems or have her mental health history in its insurance risk pool.

It isn’t a meritocracy that’s hiring and promoting this crew. It just isn’t. If it were, I wouldn’t be the only graduate trying to establish a work-life balance between menial farm jobs, please God bless me this day with deposit bottles, and the Starbucks lobby. Not in a shit job market like we’ve had since 2008 I wouldn’t. It’s funny, though, that the news about medical residencies and veterinary practices comes so quickly, while the news about PhD’s in the hard sciences holding down gas station clerkships for years on end never gets two lines in the alumni rag because some fuckjob with a master’s degree in bation needs all seven inches for his Nisbet nonsense.

Ain’t no fancy-pants Cumberland cracker suppressing MY alumni updates. Dickinson bitch this still is not, and neither is WordPress. Suck on that if you get tired of Nisbet’s little nisbits.

Vineland: a different kind of crash

Note: In the day since I started writing this, I got in touch with my parents to tell them about my car crash, and my dad gave me a huge amount of help by collating information about body shops and AAA offices, contacting an extremely reputable relative in Eureka who is exceptionally engaged with the local community for information about repair shops he’s used, and helping me work out some viable step-by-step plans to get out of the worst of this mess. That said, I’m still dealing with the extreme dysfunction and chaos surrounding Joe Dirtbag lurking in the background, liable to erupt again whenever I head back inland, and I still haven’t figured out how to profitably discuss it with my parents. There are still aspects of the situation I’m about to describe that scare the hell out of me, and I think I’m wise to be scared. Situations like these can very literally be deadly, especially without prompt socioeconomic support. There but for the grace of God go a great many of us. 

By the grace of God I’m still alive and bodily intact tonight. I was involved in the nearest thing to a head-on collision this afternoon. An oncoming pickup truck drifted halfway into my lane as we both rounded a blind curve on US 199 in the redwoods a few miles east of 101, leaving me hardly any room to swerve away from him without skidding down an embankment into some of the widest, sturdiest tree trunks on earth. The other driver and I both swerved barely far enough out of the way to oliquely clip one another by the side panels instead of colliding head-on at a combined fifty miles an hour. My car was operable after the crash, but not safely so; the driver’s side door is dented too far out of alignment to fully close, and the driver’s side view mirror was shorn off in the crash, shards of glass and plastic littering the highway and a remnant of the housing dangling from the wires that fed the adjustment motor. The truck that clipped me got a flat tire from my glass debris.

We’re ever so lucky that we weren’t badly hurt or killed. The other driver looked a bit stunned but fine physically, and I came away with nothing worse than some very mild whiplash. I felt bad for the kid, honestly. He was newly licensed, driving a truck that his dad had just bought for him, with his dad trailing him in another truck. I really can’t fault him for leaving it to his dad to make the first contact with me after the accident or for not needing his dad to prompt him to do what the driver’s ed manual told him to do after an accident, although I figure his dad is blaming him plenty. I would have been completely beside myself and barely functional if I’d been the driver at fault in an accident like that at his age. What else can I say? The kid made a mistake. I’ve made a number of mistakes as a driver that were technically as bad as his, or maybe even worse, but which didn’t result in accidents, and again, the accident today could have been a lot worse than it was. I think I owe my life, or at least my physical health tonight, to this kid for swerving away from me in the nick of time. I know I owe a separate debt of gratitude to dumb luck.

We were just as lucky that the Chippies who investigated our accident handled it as well as they did. The first one on the scene was a family friend and a pretty chill dude. He handed the official lead off to a probie who arrived on scene with a training officer twenty minutes later. The probie was one of the mellowest cops I’ve ever met, especially for a newjack who was stuck riding shotgun with a sourpuss lifer who looked a bit too eager to bust the new guy’s balls. The family friend who had conducted the real investigation basically dumped me on the probie as field training fodder. As a failed San Diego Police recruit, I was glad, almost honored, to be of service, but I did not envy Probie. He was sputtering and flubbing canned lines that he couldn’t quite keep straight, and he kept getting a sort of “Highway Patrol: What is it all about?” look in his eyes. There’s way the hell worse in law enforcement than any of these three cops, but Lifer Dog’s soldier-of-the-law act wasn’t necessary. The Red Bluff PD didn’t need prolonged parade-rest-ass shit to calm down the Polynesian bruisers when I called them to investigate a possible assault in progress.

Again, having one guy who’s maybe a little off out of a squad of three isn’t bad when dealing with cops (SDPD Recruiting was more like five out of six), and a few indulgences in needlessly pompous paramilitary bullshit, mostly in private conference at a distance from the civilians, is a lot better than going to the emergency room with life-threatening injuries. I dodged a bullet—or, as Yakov Smirnoff might more accurately say, truck dodged ME! And you’ll never guess the make.

What’s gnawing at me now is what the hell I can make happen next. I have extended AAA tow coverage, but if I get the car towed back inland, I’ll again be homeless in an area where one of my main contacts is an abusive relative who harasses his tenants, but this time without an intact and safely operable car for shelter. That car was making it possible for me to make ends meet. Every night I slept in it I saved dozens of dollars on lodging, even after accounting for gas to run the heater. I need a social support network now as much as ever, but the most developed one I have on the West Coast these days is centered around a bully with criminally antisocial proclivities who serially exploits the vulnerable, the same guy who drove me into homelessness in the first place.

I’ve spent enough money on airport parking fees in the past two years to replace my car, in large part because JD had allowed Mixups in my Mind to squat on the farm and repeatedly vandalize the vehicles in his life in fits of psychotic rage. He wouldn’t do anything to run the neighborhood rowdies off his property, and I did not want some uncontrollable derelict trashing my car. Airport parking was, in a very real sense, a ten-dollar-a-day insurance policy against theft and vandalism. Joe Dirtbag would probably counter that I didn’t have to do that, but he lives on another property, miles away from these losers and way the hell up in the mountains, where he can store his own vehicles away from these volatile losers.

That’s exactly the kind of bogus Monday-morning quarterbacking I’m always afraid Joe Dirtbag will spit at me. Why am I at the coast this week? Aside from it being none of his fucking business as a nosy creep I can always report to the police, it’s generally been above freezing here at night. I feel safer sleeping in a car in lows of 36 or 42 than 20. As scary as the crash was, it could easily have happened in much less clement, i.e., safe, weather. When that sleazy, uselessly officious bastard won’t offer me a place to shelter that isn’t riddled with cracks in its walls and infested with feral rats, he can shove his ideas of local living up his ass. If he thinks I could or should have done something different to avoid that accident, he can explain why the hell he drinks behind the wheel on the fucking Interstate. The kid who clipped me on 199 yesterday wasn’t trying to get his jollies by being an antisocial fuckjob on public roads. He wasn’t trying to do anyone wrong. JD is the one who has weaponized his own driving for predatory effect just because he can. Yes, Virginia, process and intention matter. He’d be a piece of shit to make light of that kid for being irresponsible, but I doubt not wanting to be a piece of shit would stop him from using a third party he’s never met against me any more than it stopped him from trying to bait me into his feud with Busboy and the bikie cop.

My safety absolutely depends on doing what I can to protect myself from the bad seeds of my own kin. This is no exaggeration or joke. Joe Dirtbag will get people sickened, injured, or killed if they let him. He has been living in his own head at my expense, and at the expense of others as well. I’ve been living in my car because I offended him and the Family Shrew four and a half years ago, and because he won’t provide those who aren’t on the best of terms with him accommodations that are inhabitable. Instead he offers us pigsty shacks and conceives of that as hospitality. This is how Pot-o-Shit Friend happened. He tried to bait me, Busboy, and the bikie cop into a feud this fall, and he lured Straight-Shot Luke into a feud with Captain Flimflam several years ago by willfully setting them up in a land dispute on his property. He allowed Captain Flimflam to crowdsource a foreshadowing of Pot-o-Shit Friend by not having the portapotties replaced when they filled to the brim with human waste. He allowed Lady Pisspan to wrap her shit in newspaper and toss it into the weeds. He allowed Mixups to frighten women and children and to vandalize various people’s property. He nearly got my arm broken in one industrial accident on account of his defective equipment and both of us crushed under a wine barrel that he was filling on a table he suspected to be structurally unsound in another.

He obviously thinks this shit is cute. Sometimes he admits as much. It isn’t fucking cute. Nearly getting oneself and one’s employee killed in an industrial accident isn’t goddamn cute. Baiting other men into let’s-you-and-him-fight situations is not cute. He’s a derelict geezer refusing to keep his property minimally safe and orderly and using his vicious attitude problem to intimidate anyone who tries to force him to act like a responsible adult. Meanwhile, he’s effectively paying his laborers in scrip valid at the company store, if even that, and the company store is a dangerous pile of rat-infested clutter. Then I get smeared as a fuck-up for not having a job, even though it’s been well established that he won’t pay me for any of the work I’ve done for him, either helping him run his property or taking the initiative to clean it up.

This may sound opportunistic or overwrought, but I’m seeing serious parallels with the mass-casualty warehouse fire in Oakland over the weekend. I came across the Sunday issue of the San Francisco Chronicle a few hours before the highway accident, which had several articles about the Ghost Ship fire. One of these described the landlord, who had been warned about the fire danger, going on Facebook after the fire to whine that it was “as if I have awoken from a dream filled with opulence and hope….to be standing now in poverty of self worth.” This was what he thought to express at a time when there were dozens of people missing and feared dead on his property, due in part to his own negligence as their landlord.

Even richer, so to speak, this “poverty of self worth” was a ramification of his renting out unsafe living quarters to people who were bodily living in what might be called a poverty of money, or a poverty of poverty. Homeboy’s transcendence of the needs of the flesh didn’t keep him from putting his own wife and kids up in a hotel that night, though. The conditions at the Ghost Ship went beyond mere illegal occupancy: some dipshit had hammered together a makeshift staircase from scraps of old shipping pallets and put it into heavy use as a main access and exit route for the second floor.

It sounds rather like the barrel table hammered together from old fence pickets. If the fire department had evacuated the Ghost Ship and burned it down, it wouldn’t have had to respond on an all-alarm emergency call and haplessly try to stop it from burning down with dozens of bodies inside.

Narcissism doesn’t always have consequences, but it doesn’t always not have consequences, either. Now we get to listen to tenants who barely escaped with their lives insist that their illegal occupancy at the Ghost Ship was about art, not about poverty and unafforable housing, in much the same way that Busboy and his woman act like their paying rent to live in a short bus without access to a toilet is about local organic agriculture and shit. Every twit who’s moved into a tiny house since the start of the current depression acts like it’s about the rediscovery of a minimalist aesthetic, not about severe structural problems with the housing market that make it impossible for average Americans to afford not-tiny housing.

Beyond a certain point, the only adult course of action is to live in the material world and preach it. Madonna is no prophet; she’s just an honest observer. The CHP wouldn’t have such a high rate of recreational boat ownership if its union weren’t run by materialists. What I’m specifically saying is that I was buddies with this one lady whose husband is a Chippie and I learned from Facebook that they bought a motorboat. Generalizing this story in the plural takes more faith than fraud.

If that’s a waste of tax money, not getting Busboy and fam into non-bus public housing is also a waste of tax money. Besides, opposition to the social safety net has historically been driven by local elites who are known to have tenants living in squalor and shitting in open pits. Piping up against public-sector gibs for Chippies doesn’t help them make their case. Barring a Scott Walker problem (which Moonbeam V. 2.2 is not), unionized public employees are bae as fuck with the kind of private-sector employees who turn out to vote. Let’s face it: America’s realtors, insurance agents, car dealers, and restaurateurs don’t really want some grandstanding crook rampaging through the public sector in a night of broken rice bowls on behalf of private equity shysters; they’d have too much business to lose. Local economies have to be on the skids much bigly to change that. Even if the CHP isn’t doing as much business at the Truckee Starbucks as it appears to be doing at first glance (those of us with long dwell times aren’t the ones keeping that joint afloat, lol), it’s still pumping consumer money into a shitload of local economies across the state, even ones that are otherwise ruined, and regardless of your hard-earned tax dollars or whether I stipulate that it’s equitable to extract lodging and meals tax out of me when I’m so close to broke, the revenue stream funding this redistribution is still one that is generally weighted against Charlie Sheen on behalf of East Porterville, for whatever good it actually accomplishes. A system like this has to go superfubar for a critical mass of the citizenry to abandon all hope that it might possibly level themselves, too, up.

I always thought buses were for transportation, sheds were for yard tools, and warehouses were for storing stuff. Didn’t they have, like, episodes of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers about this shit? Why do I feel like Don Quixote for wanting to restore any of these lost folkways? Why do I feel like Vaclav Havel for saying that living in a bespoke shed on wheels is honestly fucking shabby any way you cut it?

There was another article in the issue of the Chronicle that I picked up before the accident (and sometimes I think these things happen by design) about a guy who got into a couple of bad car accidents, was left too sick to work, and went from being a successful engineer to huddling in tents and homeless shelters all over the Peninsula for several years, until a social worker finally got him into low-income housing. The engineer admitted that he was too pigheaded to ask for help, and that he ended up living in hell on the streets for years as a result, under the care of a junkie for part of that time.

I could end up like that engineer. I’m not too arrogant to believe otherwise for a second any longer. This is why I frankly don’t give a shit about indepdence, and certainly not about shows of independence. Joe Dirtbag and the Family Shrew use their proud cracker act to gaslight everyone, I suffer for it, and they are provably dependent on everyone around them who will part with some money or some sweat. If I’m reading this situation right, their narcissism doesn’t leave room for my dignity.

At some point, it becomes reasonable to tell a shithead that the free market doesn’t allow him to rent out Tobacco Road and that the Chronicle might be interested in hearing that he does. I’m the one who could crash from warm homelessness into cold homelessness if that bastard fucks with me again. He’s the one with Social Security, a farm, a woodlot, and an electrician living in his yard shed.

I understand that making an effort not to be a total derelict is construed in some circles as a form of “adulting.” Millennials have been reputed to be having difficulty adulting since approximately the turn of our Millennium (which sometimes seems a mercilessly unbiblical one), often by Boomers who have been having their own trouble adulting since the False Dawn of Aquarius. The only reason Bryan Adams was so mature in the summer of ’69 was that he wasn’t yet ten. Some of those who came before him have been indulging their own malignant immaturity since before I was born. Why would they be embarrassed that marginalized youngsters like me, Busboy, Pot-o-Shit Friend, Mixups in my Mind, and Psychotarp have stumbled into their social ecology to serve as sources of narcissistic supply, and sometimes also labor or rent supply, while marginally attached to the housing and labor markets? Whaddaya mean “we” ain’t kids no more? Do tell, Kemo Sabe, who “us” this is?

George Orwell said something about civilization being preserved by rough men ready to violence on its behalf. That certainly sounds better than Captain Flimflam being a threatening punk to Straight-Shot Luke because Joe Dirtbag feels like having a psychosexual glad watching them duke it out. As a square-ass code snitch who gets fed up with the rat filth and sick of being homeless, I guess I would prefer to take my masculinity nontoxic and not mind if it’s also sworn. It takes a certain level of privilege, even if that privilege has been clawed away from the more vulnerable in one’s orbit in a zero-sum jungle game, to think that Kevin Vickers whipping Chris Brown’s ass to stop one of his domestic batteries cold would somehow be a bad thing.