Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Adulthood Fairy

The man turned in surprise at the gang of teenagers, and drew back his lips to reveal sharp eel teeth.
“Yo man, you sell drugs or what?” they said.
“I’m actually the adulthood fairy,” he said. “I go around granting adulthood to the children of the world.” His moth-eaten leathery wings extended and trembled in the wind ripping through the alley.
“Sick, dude.”
“I also sell drugs.”
“Sick, dude.”
“So, are you all ready to become adults?”
“I mean, we were just after some molly, but, yeah, what the fuck.”
“I have to warn you, there are pros and cons to being an adult.”
“Like what?”
“Like, you’ve got to work a job, and some of you get hemorrhoids. And you, you lose two fingers at a Guatemalan zoo.”
“Damn.”
“And that’s not even the worst part of the trip.”
“Damn. I don’t want to be an adult then.”
“But, also… no homework.”
“Sick, dude.”
“And you get to have sex.”
“Awesome!”
“Most of you at least. Not you. Or you. And you will have sex, but it’s with an elderly and semi-lucid Casey Affleck.”
“Not sure how to feel about that.”
“No one is. Much of adulthood is learning how to feel about that.”
“Anything else?”
“Yeah, you know when you were a little kid, and you were super excited for Christmas, and you couldn’t wait for it to come? Well, when you’re an adult, all that anxiety and expectation gets moved to Election Day. And, while on Christmas, there’re always presents waiting under the tree, and family and eggnog and cookies and all that shit, and lo, what wondrous joy—on Election Day, half the time, the results will be so completely horrible that they will fill your soul with terror for the fate of the human race, and challenge your faith in the universe and your fellow man, and you will find yourself poisoning your brain with whatever chemical you can find in liquid form to somehow scrub the afterimage of that Lovecraftian horror called the American democratic process from the halls of your memory. And the other half of the time the results will be slightly less bad.”
“Whoa." The teens exchanged quizzical looks. Then one, eyebrows furrowed, spoke up. "Like how often do I get to have sex?”

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Works Cited

Yes, there are a hundred, and a thousand voices crying. But what does one do, when one cries this thing, and one cries another? Who knows how we shall fashion a land of peace where black outnumbers white so greatly? Some say that the earth has bounty enough for all, and that more for one does not mean less for another, that the advance of one does not mean the decline of another. They say that poor paid labour means a poor nation, and that better-paid labour means greater markets and greater scope for industry and manufacture. And others say that this is a danger, for better-paid labour will not only buy more but will also read more, think more, ask more, and will not be content to be forever voiceless and inferior.

Who knows how we shall fashion such a land? For we fear not only the loss of our possessions, but the loss of our superiority and the loss of our whiteness. Some say it is true that crime is bad, but would this not be worse? Is it not better to hold what we have, and to pay the price of it with fear? And others say, can such fear be endured? For is it not this fear that drives men to ponder these things at all?

Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

Friday, October 23, 2020

Works Cited

He was grave and silent, and then he said somberly, I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.

Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Works Cited

I always used to think I'd like to stay seventeen or eighteen if I could. But not anymore. I'm not a teenager anymore. I've got a sense of responsibility now. I'm not the same guy I was when we used to hang out together. I'm twenty now. And I have to pay the price to go on living.

Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Monday, June 01, 2020

Works Cited

Fifteen years after Independence, in 1975, a group of Senators called the Church Committee took it upon themselves to look into the secret operations that had been brought to bear on the Congo. The world rocked with surprise. The Church Committee found notes from secret meetings of the National Security Council and President Eisenhower. In their locked room, these men had put their heads together and proclaimed Patrice Lumumba a danger to the safety of the world. The same Patrice Lumumba, mind you, who washed his face each morning from a dented tin bowl, relieved himself in a carefully chosen bush, and went out to seek the faces of his nation. Imagine if he could have heard those words-dangerous to the safety of the world!-from a roomful of white men who held in their manicured hands the disposition of armies and atomic bombs, the power to extinguish every life on earth. Would Lumumba have screamed like a cheetah? Or merely taken off his glasses, wiped them with his handkerchief, shaken his head, and smiled?

On a day late in August, 1960, a Mr. Allen Dulles, who was in charge of the CIA, sent a telegram to his Congolese station chief suggesting that he replace the Congolese government at his earliest convenience. The station chief, Mr. Lawrence Devlin, was instructed to take as bold an action as he could keep secret: a coup would be all right. There would be money forthcoming to pay soldiers for that purpose. But assassination might be less costly. A gang of men quick with guns and unfettered by conscience were at his disposal. Also, to cover all bases, a scientist named Dr. Gottlieb was hired to make a poison that would produce such a dreadful disease (the good doctor later testified in the hearings), if it didn't kill Lumumba outright it would leave him so disfigured that he couldn't possibly be a leader of men.

On the same August day, this is all I knew: the pain in my household seemed plenty large enough to fill the whole world. Ruth May was slipping away into her fever. And it was Rachel's seventeenth birthday. I was wrapping up green glass earrings in tissue paper, hoping to make some small peace with my eldest child, while I tried to sponge the fire out of my youngest . And President Eisenhower was right then sending his orders to take over the Congo. Imagine that. His household was the world, and he'd finished making up his mind about things. He'd given Lumumba a chance, he felt. The Congo had been independent for fifty-one days.

Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Works Cited

In a rencontre of this kind, having left my antagonist for dead, I was wise enough to make my retreat into France; and a few days after my arrival at Paris, entering into conversation with some officers on the subject of politics, a dispute arose, in which I lost my temper, and spoke so irreverently of the Grand Monarque, that next morning I was sent to the Bastille, by virtue of a lettre de cachet. There I remained for some months, deprived of all intercourse with rational creatures; a circumstance for which I was not sorry, as I had the more time to project schemes of revenge against the tyrant who confined me, and the wretch who had betrayed my private conversation. But tired, at length, with these fruitless suggestions, I was fain to unbend the severity of my thoughts by a correspondence with some industrious spiders, who had hung my dungeon with their ingenious labours.
“I considered their work with such attention that I soon became an adept in the mystery of weaving, and furnished myself with as many useful observations and reflections on that art, as will compose a very curious treatise, which I intend to bequeath to the Royal Society, for the benefit of our woollen manufacture; and this with a view to perpetuate my own name, rather than befriend my country; for, thank Heaven! I am weaned from all attachments of that kind, and look upon myself as one very little obliged to any society whatsoever. Although I presided with absolute power over this long-legged community, and distributed punishments and rewards to each, according to his deserts, I grew impatient of my situation; and my natural disposition one day prevailing, like a fire which had long been smothered, I wreaked the fury of my indignation upon my innocent subjects, and in a twinkling destroyed the whole race. 

Smollett, The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle

Monday, November 26, 2018

Works Cited

Ah hate cunts like that. Cunts like Begbie. Cunts that are intae basebaw-batting every fucker that's different; pakis, poofs, n what huv ye. Fuckin failures in a country ay failures. It's nae good blamin it oan the English fir colonising us. Ah don't hate the English. They're just wankers. We are colonised by wankers. We can't even pick a decent, vibrant, healthy culture to be colonised by. No. We're ruled by effete arseholes. What does that make us? The lowest of the fuckin low, tha's what, the scum of the earth. The most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat intae creation. Ah don't hate the English. They just git oan wi the shite thuv goat. Ah hate the Scots.

Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting