Do It, Billy Joe

In which Your ‘Umble Satyrblade has had his fill of Trump-humping racist dolts.

Upon seeing a post about Trump’s insistence that his faithful will begin civil war if and when he’s finally impeached, some name-withheld-fuckstick with his own right-wing radio show posted the following response:

>America would be all out war! Me and millions of us would personally kill every idiot liberal alive. If You against making your country great your a terrorist

>I SAID WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY. I WILL KILL TO DEFEND MY COUNTRY AND ALL IDIOTS WHO ARE A THREAT TO MY GOD AND MY COUNTRY AND THIS INCLUDES A THREAT AGAINST OUR SOLDIERS AND PRESIDENT

Some folks tried to reason with him. I… didn’t:

nazi trumpers
_______________________________________________
Y’know what, Billy Joe RebelYell? DO IT.

Go ahead. Make some bombs. Blow up a few kids. Kick off that race war y’all have been masturbating yourselves sick over since President Scary Colored Dude dared to offend your delicate sensibilities by being Black In Office, and rack up a few kills.

See that blood on the ground. Smell the intestines and spilled shit. Orgasm yourself into orbit to the screams of people who have not lost the humanity you’re so proud to give away when the bodies on the ground are just “idiot liberals,” scary dark-skinned folks, or both.

Fucking do it.

Maybe then, the cops supported by all of our tax dollars – yes, even the taxes paid by liberals, queers, and other people you’d love to see purged from “your” country – will stop taking selfies with Nazi ratfucks like you.

Maybe then, people will finally stop making excuses for you and your kind.

Maybe then, when you expose yourself for the American Taliban you are, when you step up to your bent idea of patriotic manhood and leave actual bodies on the ground – actual children, actual parents, actual neighbors and living people and fellow-citizen human beings instead of the zombie-survival-game cutouts you and your fellow jerkoffs like to pretend we are – folks will finally stop acting like you have anything worth listening to, or defending, or considering “a legitimate political difference.”

Maybe if and when you and your fellow Russian dupes finally start pulling a few triggers and aping your idol Tim McVeigh, America will finally wake the fuck up and see you for what you truly are:

Not modern-day Minutemen, but terroristic ratfucks who think you have the right of life and death over your fellow human beings Becuz YeeHaw Jesus ‘Murrikh.

I’m so fucking sick and tired of seeing people like you afforded a platform to speak, commenting on social-media threads, hosting radio shows and publishing books like your ignorant hateful ravings are worthy of anything other than a quick trip to prison, a mental ward, or both.

I’m so fed up with having to witness you perverted fucksticks fantasize in public about mowing people down like digital sacrifices to your own shriveled, pathetic, willfully ignorant sad lack of manhood. And far beyond fed up with watching politicians and pundits play redneck blackface in order to score your votes, your money, and your loyalty.

You want a war? Go ahead, dude – raise your bugle and your gun and start one.

Show us all what you and your kind really are, the threat you are to everyone around you, and the diseased reality behind your fantasies of greatness.

Then maybe we can finally get rid of you for good.

PS: Wanna be great? Learn to fucking spell.

nazi gif-downsized_large

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“You Fit the Description”

“You fit the description.”

You Fit the Description

The description of a people taken from their homes and families and lives and worked to death for other men’s profits.

The description of a people denied legal human rights even after the chains had been removed.

The description of a president lots of white folks still cannot bear to have had representing “their” country.

The description of a people imprisoned far more than any other sort of American citizen.

The description of a people who come out of the womb preemptively declared Guilty Until Proven Innocent – And Probably Guilty Even Then.

The description of a group of citizens who die under police gunfire no matter who they were, where they were, or what they might or might not have been doing.

“You fit the description.”

All too often, an epitaph for men who had done absolutely nothing wrong but who spent their entire lives Guilty As Charged in the eyes of America.

____________________________________

Here’s the initial post my essay refers to, written by Professor Steve Locke, pictured above:

“This is what I wore to work today.

On my way to get a burrito before work, I was detained by the police.

I noticed the police car in the public lot behind Centre Street. As I was walking away from my car, the cruiser followed me. I walked down Centre Street and was about to cross over to the burrito place and the officer got out of the car.

“Hey my man,” he said.

He unsnapped the holster of his gun.

I took my hands out of my pockets.

“Yes?” I said.

“Where you coming from?”

“Home.”

Where’s home?”

“Dedham.”

How’d you get here?”

“I drove.”

He was next to me now. Two other police cars pulled up. I was standing in from of the bank across the street from the burrito place. I was going to get lunch before I taught my 1:30 class. There were cops all around me.

I said nothing. I looked at the officer who addressed me. He was white, stocky, bearded.

“You weren’t over there, were you?” He pointed down Centre Street toward Hyde Square.

“No. I came from Dedham.”

“What’s your address?”

I told him.

“We had someone matching your description just try to break into a woman’s house.”

A second police officer stood next to me; white, tall, bearded. Two police cruisers passed and would continue to circle the block for the 35 minutes I was standing across the street from the burrito place.

“You fit the description,” the officer said. “Black male, knit hat, puffy coat. Do you have identification.”

“It’s in my wallet. May I reach into my pocket and get my wallet?”

“Yeah.”

I handed him my license. I told him it did not have my current address. He walked over to a police car. The other cop, taller, wearing sunglasses, told me that I fit the description of someone who broke into a woman’s house. Right down to the knit cap.

Barbara Sullivan made a knit cap for me. She knitted it in pinks and browns and blues and oranges and lime green. No one has a hat like this. It doesn’t fit any description that anyone would have. I looked at the second cop. I clasped my hands in front of me to stop them from shaking.

“For the record,” I said to the second cop, “I’m not a criminal. I’m a college professor.” I was wearing my faculty ID around my neck, clearly visible with my photo.

“You fit the description so we just have to check it out.” The first cop returned and handed me my license.

“We have the victim and we need her to take a look at you to see if you are the person.”

It was at this moment that I knew that I was probably going to die. I am not being dramatic when I say this. I was not going to get into a police car. I was not going to present myself to some victim. I was not going let someone tell the cops that I was not guilty when I already told them that I had nothing to do with any robbery. I was not going to let them take me anywhere because if they did, the chance I was going to be accused of something I did not do rose exponentially. I knew this in my heart. I was not going anywhere with these cops and I was not going to let some white woman decide whether or not I was a criminal, especially after I told them that I was not a criminal. This meant that I was going to resist arrest. This meant that I was not going to let the police put their hands on me.

If you are wondering why people don’t go with the police, I hope this explains it for you.

Something weird happens when you are on the street being detained by the police. People look at you like you are a criminal. The police are detaining you so clearly you must have done something, otherwise they wouldn’t have you. No one made eye contact with me. I was hoping that someone I knew would walk down the street or come out of one of the shops or get off the 39 bus or come out of JP Licks and say to these cops, “That’s Steve Locke. What the F*CK are you detaining him for?”

The cops decided that they would bring the victim to come view me on the street. The asked me to wait. I said nothing. I stood still.

“Thanks for cooperating,” the second cop said. “This is probably nothing, but it’s our job and you do fit the description. 5′ 11″, black male. One-hundred-and-sixty pounds, but you’re a little more than that. Knit hat.”

A little more than 160. Thanks for that, I thought.

An older white woman walked behind me and up to the second cop. She turned and looked at me and then back at him. “You guys sure are busy today.”

I noticed a black woman further down the block. She was small and concerned. She was watching what was going on. I focused on her red coat. I slowed my breathing. I looked at her from time to time.

I thought: Don’t leave, sister. Please don’t leave.

The first cop said, “Where do you teach?”

“Massachusetts College of Art and Design.” I tugged at the lanyard that had my ID.

“How long you been teaching there?”

“Thirteen years.”

We stood in silence for about 10 more minutes.

An unmarked police car pulled up. The first cop went over to talk to the driver. The driver kept looking at me as the cop spoke to him. I looked directly at the driver. He got out of the car.

“I’m Detective Cardoza. I appreciate your cooperation.”

I said nothing.

“I’m sure these officers told you what is going on?”

“They did.”

“Where are you coming from?”

“From my home in Dedham.”

“How did you get here?”

“I drove.”

“Where is your car?”

“It’s in the lot behind Bukhara.” I pointed up Centre Street.

“Okay,” the detective said. “We’re going to let you go. Do you have a car key you can show me?”

“Yes,” I said. “I’m going to reach into my pocket and pull out my car key.”

“Okay.”

I showed him the key to my car.

The cops thanked me for my cooperation. I nodded and turned to go.

“Sorry for screwing up your lunch break,” the second cop said.

I walked back toward my car, away from the burrito place. I saw the woman in red.

“Thank you,” I said to her. “Thank you for staying.”

“Are you ok?” She said. Her small beautiful face was lined with concern.

“Not really. I’m really shook up. And I have to get to work.”

“I knew something was wrong. I was watching the whole thing. The way they are treating us now, you have to watch them. ”

“I’m so grateful you were there. I kept thinking to myself, ‘Don’t leave, sister.’ May I give you a hug?”

“Yes,” she said. She held me as I shook. “Are you sure you are ok?”

“No I’m not. I’m going to have a good cry in my car. I have to go teach.”

“You’re at MassArt. My friend is at MassArt.”

“What’s your name?” She told me. I realized we were Facebook friends. I told her this.

“I’ll check in with you on Facebook,” she said.

I put my head down and walked to my car.

My colleague was in our shared office and she was able to calm me down. I had about 45 minutes until my class began and I had to teach. I forgot the lesson I had planned. I forget the schedule. I couldn’t think about how to do my job. I thought about the fact my word counted for nothing, they didn’t believe that I wasn’t a criminal. They had to find out. My word was not enough for them. My ID was not enough for them. My handmade one-of-a-kind knit hat was an object of suspicion. My Ralph Lauren quilted blazer was only a “puffy coat.” That white woman could just walk up to a cop and talk about me like I was an object for regard. I wanted to go back and spit in their faces. The cops were probably deeply satisfied with how they handled the interaction, how they didn’t escalate the situation, how they were respectful and polite.

I imagined sitting in the back of a police car while a white woman decides if I am a criminal or not. If I looked guilty being detained by the cops imagine how vile I become sitting in a cruiser? I knew I could not let that happen to me. I knew if that were to happen, I would be dead.

Nothing I am, nothing I do, nothing I have means anything because I fit the description.

I had to confess to my students that I was a bit out of it today and I asked them to bear with me. I had to teach.

After class I was supposed to go to the openings for First Friday. I went home.”

 

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This Must be the Final Line

When white people endure heroic journeys against impossible odds, Hollywood makes heartwarming action films about them.

When people with darker skins do the exact same thing, we fire tear gas at their children.

Trump Final Line Tweet

This must become our Kent State moment. Our Trảng Bàng napalm girl. The moment all decent Americans declared “NO MORE!” and stopped making excuses draped in patriotic trash.

If this outrage, this grotesquerie, this shrieking abortion of a presidency, becomes just another day of Trumpmerikan “greatness,” then everything we ever hoped to be as a nation is forsaken.

GASSING. CHILDREN. Forcing a woman who wears a licensed fairy tale from Corporate America’s feel-good lie-factory to haul her barefoot children from a cloud of poisoned torture-smoke. Turning a Hollywood-style epic journey into a nightmare of casual brutality… this MUST NOT STAND.

Share it. Scream it. Demand the end of this era, or everything we love is lost.

To anyone and everyone who voted for this atrocious presidency and the horrors it enjoys:

You have no right to celebrate Christmas.

You have no right to call yourself a Christian.

You have embraced the very opposite of Christ’s teachings.

Your behavior is literally Satanic, and Jesus condemns you to hell. (Matthew 25:41-46)

You’ve lost the right to boast about (*) your “deeply held spiritual beliefs.”

And you have no right whatsoever to consider yourself my friend, my family, or my fan.

___________________

PS: See also, Matthew 6:1-5.

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A Thunderstorm Inside

CW: Politics, and sexual and emotional violence:
THIS POST IS NOT FOR PUBLIC SHARING.
_______________________________________
Thunderstorm Inside

I feel like a thunderstorm inside, today. I want to lash out and burn everything to the ground.

Because we are literally, as a nation, this week, being raped.
“Rape” means “to steal; to snatch; to carry off.” To take something from another person just because one can.
I don’t want to take anything away from the women in this discussion, and gender/ sex is a vital element of the current situation.
I’m simply saying this publicly because I have seen so many people, including one I considered to be at least friendly until last night, dismissing the accusations against Brett Kavenaugh.
So take this, or not, as you will:
Speaking as a rape survivor (who had also been non-genitally molested by a casting director during my teens), I feel a level of fury today that I had hoped never to feel again.
This entire experience is like a vicarious rape of America.
And I know I feel like I am being raped again myself.
Kavanaugh defenders and apologists keep asking, “Why didn’t she/ they come forward until now?
Why not?
 
BECAUSE IT FUCKING HURTS.
Because of people like you all.
Because we know we will be attacked if and when we speak up.
Because we know we will not be believed.
BECAUSE WE STILL FEEL IT.
I was raped by people I trusted almost 20 years ago. I cannot tell you the date and time, but I could vividly tell you how it felt BECAUSE I STILL FEEL IT NOW.
I have made whatever passes for closure with two of the people involved…
but…
 
…that…
 
…does…
 
…not…
 
…stop…
 
…me…
 
…from…
 
FUCKING FEELING THIS WAY.

I could tell you details, but I won’t. This happened almost two decades ago, but I still feel what that night felt like to me. As vividly as if it was happening right now.
And time and date are pretty much the last things I was thinking about in that moment.

I eventually confronted two of the three people involved, and they apologized and took responsibility for their roles in it. One told me she was “essentially checked out of herself back then” and doesn’t remember much about that time of her life at all. The other has accepted their part of it. The third I have no desire to speak to again, ever.

I didn’t even realize at the time that it was rape – just thought it had been a night of really terrible sex that led to me feeling “vampirized“… the word I used when I broke up with those people the following morning – until a female friend of mine had a similar experience in which it clearly was. When I told her about my own experience, and the many aftershocks it created in my life for many years to come, she was like, “If you can reverse the genders involved and see it as rape, then yes – it’s still rape.”

So, to those of you on the fence: Get the fuck off of it.
To those who dismiss this mess, or toss it off as “just another trick the Dems use to keep people they don’t want from getting appointments” (an actual quote from an argument last night), y’all can burn in hell for all I care.
Gods damn the Republican Party for putting us through this.
Gods damn the people who vote for this.
Gods damn this swirling human sewer.
I hate the way I feel right now.
And I hate that so many others feel so much worse.
And I hate, at a level that frightens me, the people responsible for putting us through this shit. Again. And again. And again. Because they fucking can.
Thank you, those who’ve come forward. Thank you for speaking up.
Let’s lance this thrice-damned boil and purge this sickness in our society.
I don’t want to feel like this.
And I don’t want anyone else to feel like this either.

Stop fucking raping us.

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“Resisting” All the Way to the Bank

This fuckstick wants a goddamn medal.

To hell with with said fuckstick and every fuckstick like him… and you know damned well, too, that it was a “him” who wrote this shit:

>… there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.

You fucking jackass, IT’S NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS WHEN THERE IS LITERALLY AN AMENDMENT IN THE CONSTITUTION TELLING YOU TO DO IT.

It’s a fucking constitutional crisis when you DON’T.

Crisis Tweet

It’s a constitutional crisis when a bunch of unelected, anonymous functionaries are covering for, and sabotaging the Constitutionally established governmental process in the name of, a president WHO LOST THE GODDAMNED POPULAR VOTE TO BEGIN WITH and who has the lowest approval ratings in the history of American presidential ratings. A president that his own people feel is dangerously deranged.

This is not preserving the Constitution. It is shitting all over it, wiping your ass on it, and declaring publicly that it does not matter if you do so long as you get to pursue your agenda of:

> “tax reform”

Translation: “Eat it, suckers – we pay nothing, you pay for everything, and we’re the only ones who benefit.”

>“deregulation”

Translation: “Corporate citizens are God, and you have no rights whatsoever to stop them from doing whatever they damn well please.”

>…and “a robust military”

Translation: “Defense contractors are making mints, and the vets are on the damn street – oh, and we’re preparing to privatize the VA, too.”.

May all gods holy and unholy alike damn these people to whatever passes for a hell where they eventually wind up.

>We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

No, fuckstick, we were “stripped of civility” for the eight years that Fox News, the Republican Party, and its rabid electorate were allowed to figuratively and sometimes literally shout the N-word at President Obama… a behavior that, might I remind all the fucksticks out there in Fuckstickistan, IS THE STRATEGY THAT BUILT TRUMP’S ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

And then, we have the kicker: Invoking the dead hero McCain, whose decision to treat Sarah Palin as viable presidential material opened the door of the clown car Trump fell out of in the first place.

>All Americans should heed (McCain’s) words and break free of the tribalism trap

“As long as all you queerz, Muslims, Latinos, blackz, wimminz, libotards, immigrants, and other-than-our-brand-of-Christian non-citizens realize that we are going to put you all back in your place under our boots where you belong…”

>…with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation...

“…as long as it’s not some Black Democrat First Family telling us to do it.”

“Resistance,” my ass. How fucking dare these people try and co-opt yet another phrase from Progressive America while they prop up a dictator while committing a treasonous coup against the Constitution?

The fuckstick wants a big thanks from the American people?

Well, I want five minutes in a room with this person, a tire iron, and immunity from prosecution.

I guess neither of us gets what we want.

We get Trump, and yet another day of shitting on whatever is left of the rule of Constitutional law.

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Seattle Summer, 2018

It’s so unnaturally still and quiet outside right now. No birds, no kids, no barking dogs, no people walking and talking. Nothing.

20180821_093727

 
The usual sounds of summer in our neighborhood are gone. Even the whir of fans has been muted by closed windows. The only sound outside our house right now is the distant hum of traffic several blocks away. Normally, the crows outside are croaking up a storm this time of day. Right now? Silent.
 
The summer air smells like winter fireplaces. The sky is dusty red.
 
This is the new normal.
 
Greatness in America.
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I Can’t Hear You: Autism and Perception

Spectrum Perceptions

Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I can focus decently in one-on-one conversations in quiet places, and I have no idea why they stuck the rude joke on at the ending – it detracts from the video’s validity.
But the way in which the background noise drowns out the conversation and overlaps into my perception of what people are saying? Absolutely accurate.
People who’ve met me in person know that I focus very intently on folks when talking with and listening to them. Some people find it attractive, others find it disconcerting. For me, it’s necessary. Otherwise, I literally cannot understand what you’re saying.
This is especially true at conventions, clubs, festivals, and so forth, where the amount of background stimuli is intense. That word, “intense,” has been applied to me a lot (both as a compliment and as an insult), and after seeing this video I figure that has a lot to do with the amount of focus I have to put on someone in order to remain coherently engaged in our conversation.
Folks who’ve talked to me in conventions and restaurants know I usually bend one ear in their direction. That’s to screen out the ambient sound so I can hear the words you’re saying. Otherwise, it’s all just noise.
Coyote Ward, an austistic-spectrum activist, was adamant that I am on the spectrum too. When someone first suggested that to me about 15 years ago, I felt deeply offended because I didn’t know what that actually looked like. I’d heard of Aspies and autistic people before then, but it was always in a very negative fashion, and as someone who grew up hearing the word “retarded” a lot and being applied to me, I felt pretty defensive about the idea that I was mildly autistic myself.
The more I have learned about the condition – in very large part thanks to Coyote – the more I’m convinced she was right.
I have social savvy, but it’s mostly learned. Reading people and analyzing social behavior has literally been my job since high school. First as an actor, then as a model, now as a writer, that’s what I do and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
When I recall my childhood, though, and the way I was before I’d honed those skills… let’s just say that if the diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (I prefer the term “condition” over “disorder,” but that’s the clinical name for it) had been common knowledge in the United States during the 1970s, I totally would have received that diagnosis. As it was, my parents were told I suffered from “minimal brain dysfunction” – a tactless but not inaccurate description. Friends who’ve known me since high school can attest that I was socially awkward even by teenage standards, and that the person I am now acts radically different than the person I was back then.
For over 20 years, I’ve ascribed my difficulties with perception to dyslexia and dyscalculia. And that’s still true – I DO have those conditions. But the brain is not a discreetly partitioned entity, and sensory-processing conditions are related anyway. So it’s entirely possible I have them all. SPDs run heavy in my family, and while I’m certainly on the lesser end of the spectrum if I’m there at all, this video captured my social perceptions with disturbing acuity.
Watching this will help you understand better why I might have a hard time understanding you in a social situation.
Thank you, Derek Burrow, for posting the video where I could see it, and thank you beloved Coyoteness for helping me understand myself a lot better than I had before I knew you.
And for everybody else, thanks for understanding.
Cheers!
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RPG Sourcebook Writing 101

My friend Lee remarked that they’d love to see someone post a RPG Supplements Writing 101 course. Here was my response:

Powerchords Arrived

Rule #1: Find a premise that gets you going, “I would spend money on THAT!
Rule #2: Outline the book you would spend money to buy.
Rule #3: Constantly ask yourself, while writing it, “If I had spent money on this, what would I expect to see in this book?
Rule #4: Get some people who have bullshit detectors and who are willing to tell you if and when you’ve screwed it up.
Rule #5: Pay attention to them.
Rule #6: Keep your ass in that damn chair even when you hate every word of This Fucking Book… and trust me, you will. Every time.
Rule #7: Keep viewing the book from the perspective of someone who paid money for it, not from the perspective of someone who can’t wait to finish the damn thing.
Rule #8: Keep checking in with your bullshit-detector group.
Rule #9: Don’t give up even when you wish you could.
Rule #10. Print it out, check your work, fix it where necessary, and get yourself a Good-Me present when you’re done.
Repeat as necessary… and remember this:

Anytime you do something many other people have not done, some of them will worship you for doing it when they didn’t, and others will throw shit at you for doing it when they didn’t. Make sure the first group doesn’t go to your head, and that the second group isn’t right… and then keep doing what you do, because you’re the one who’s doing it when many other people are not.

And always remember the core commandment of any media:

KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE ENGAGED.

For more about this topic see the linked post here.

 

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TREASON

Call it what it is: TREASON.

Trump Treason Turkey

 
The Republican congress is complicit.
 
Fox News is an active party to it.
 
The Fraternal Order of Police defends it.
 
The so-called “patriots” who spent eight years screaming for the blood and soul of President Black Dude have been exposed on a daily basis as active partners for the fire-sale sellout of our nation to its historic enemy state.
 
Our system of constitutional government has been broken by the fact that a dominant political faction has demonstrated – through thought, word and deed – that the law means nothing when those who are tasked with enforcing it choose not to do so.
 
Our media, by valorizing a sociopathic con-man as “presidential” and treating him as anything more than the buffoonish caricature of American hubris, has facilitated the annihilation of verifiable facts.
 
Citizens who employ their First Amendment rights to protest incursions by corporate invaders are beaten down and imprisoned by militarized police forces. Republican partisans who perform open, armed rebellion against the previous president are pardoned and flown home in the vice president’s private jet.
 
Amendment 1 has been weaponized to counter its original purpose. Amendment 2 has been used to arm that faction’s partisans. Amendment 14 is ignored except in cases where it allows “corporate citizens” an ever-increasing degree of power. Amendment 4 might as well not even exist, thanks to the Supreme Court’s endless exceptions to it. Let’s not even talk about Amendments 9 and 10, whose protections have been reserved only for those who seek to overthrow the entire system and replace it with their own.
 
We stand at a Zero Hour in American history.
 
And the response to this willful destruction of the nation and its laws is a cascade of excuses and the jeering cry of “libotard.”

By every definition of the word, this is treason.

 
Now what will we do about it?

More to the point – in the face of the most powerful military in human history, a militarized police force that has thrown in with the traitors, and a deeply divided populace for whom no crime is too great if it pisses off their fellow citizens – is what can we do about it which will leave anything left after the catastrophe that follows?

Riot Cop

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Personification of Complexity: Harlan Ellison, 1934-2018

For a brief time, I was here. And for a brief time, I mattered.”
– Harlan Ellison, 1934-2018HarlanAmong the most polarizing figures in American literature, Harlan Ellison epitomized not giving a shit while deeply giving a shit.

He could be charming, yet reprehensible. Generous, yet infuriating. A champion of the oppressed, yet abusive and predatory. He marched with MLK and spent time in jail for civil-rights agitation at a time when that was not a common thing for young white dudes to do. He was an infamous womanizer with a penchant for harassment in the name of a joke. Harlan was among the most eloquent voices in the history of American letters, and he published some godawful shit in the name of getting paid.

Harlan Ellison was one of my favorite writers, a wellspring of cantankerous rage, and among the most influential people in my life. During Reagan’s reign of errors, Ellison’s books – most especially An Edge in My Voice and Stalking the Nightmare – were always close at hand for me. He taught me that fury is creative fuel, that we must fight oppression even when it hurts us to do so, and that we can and must be better than we so often are.

(He also showed me how much fun you could have with the English language, and that words like “bugfuck” made for perfectly acceptable literature, provided you could use them intelligently in a sentence.)

I was fortunate enough to meet him in person several times. Despite his ferocious reputation, he was always polite, funny and kind at those times, even when – as on a panel at some convention I can’t recall offhand, where we disputed the value of publishing online – we disagreed.

Harlan was a living personification of “complex.”

He’s had a lot of shit to answer for over the years, but we are fortunate to have had someone like him – however flawed he was as a person – to light the fires and call accounts and show us just how bad things COULD be and how grand they SHOULD be if we get off our asses and refuse to take the darkness laying down.

Thank you, you cranky bastard.

Your words live on on me.

Harlan Ellison

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