An Irregular Column
Column number 298
by Mykel Board
"Anytime you find you're right, you should be wrong.”
-- Richard Ford
Jesus, what is that? I've been feeling it all day. Like a pinprick. Finally, in the privacy of this stall I can poke it out. Right in the fold, the brown wrinkled part. I've got just enough nail left to scrape around a bit. Ah, ah, there it is, plucked from the sphincter. An anal booger. I bring it up to my nose. Smells like everyday shit. I take a closer look. It's a seed. Some kind of little seed, like the outer sprinkling of a sesame bagel. I'd thought those things were metabolized, became part of my body, like how fish turn into brains and ice cream becomes fat and heart disease. I had no idea they pass right through you. POW! From the mouth to the toilet. I'd never have known if one hadn't gotten stuck where it hurt. Who wudda thunk it? Knowledge is a pain in the ass. But I guess it's good for you.
I don't know when you'll be seeing this. It doesn't matter. You only need to know that I'm writing it in December. In that quiet period between Christmas hell and New Year's drunken debauchery. It's a year-end column-- for me. A summation of what I've been trying to tell you. A list of how you-- like me with my misbelief about Sesame seeds-- are wrong.
Time and space prevent me from telling you every way you're wrong. But here are a few important ones-- a recap.
Recycling is bad for the environment. You think the opposite. You think that every time you drop your Mountain Dew bottle in that round holed container by the park, you're doing a good deed. You're wrong.
It's Thursday morning-- real early. The exhaust-belching recycling truck winds its way through city streets. Stopping every half block, some poor shlub lifts plastic bag after plastic bag of old soup cans, shredded stock reports, Coke bottles. He throws them into the truck.
“OK! Next one!” he shouts.
Somewhere around 10AM, they're done. Then it's off to the recycling plant. At the plant, dozens of workers tear open each plastic bag, empty the contents, and throw the bags onto a mound of unrecyclable plastic. They separate the contents. Then ship them to other recycling plants using other gas-powered, exhaust-belching trucks.
Let's follow the paper to the plant. When it arrives, electrically powered machines soak the paper. Gallons and gallons of precious water. Then more electric machines mulch the wet mixture and turn it into paper soup.
After mulching, the paper is electrically dried and pressed. All that electricity uses resource-depleting turbines or radioactive timebombs.
After that, still other machines wrap it in still more paper and ship it to a Staples warehouses. Staples stamps the paper RECYCLED, puts on a higher price, and then ships it to their own outlets.
You think this uses less energy than cutting down a tree? Yeah, right.
Then what do we do? Nothing?
How about not using the paper in the first place? How about sending an email and NOT printing it out? How about giving a phone call? Buying a used book? Calling the catalog company to ask them to take you off their lists?
Recycling lets you consume guilt-free. That's its real destructive nature. Recycling tells people “everyone can help. Just do a little bit. Separate your garbage and we'll be all right.”
It lets the big guys off the hook. Hey don't worry about G.E. buying water and reselling it to impoverished Africans (get rid of comma, use the period, you did both). Don't look at Exxon sucking out the earth's belly like giving a giant blowjob. I bet G.E. and Exxon recycle. So it's all okay.
Vegetarianism causes hunger: You think the opposite. You think that every carrot you eat feeds a starving child in Darfur. There's more on the bottom of the food chain than at the top. If you eat at the bottom, you use fewer resources. You're wrong.
In case you missed the publishing event of 2007: The Official Punk Rock Book of Lists by Amy Wallace and Handsome Dick Manitoba came out in November.
In that book, I list nine ways in which vegetarians are destroying the earth. The fundamental reason-- the one that underlies all the other-- is that cattle already exist. If we don't eat them, they live longer.
Here's Bossie. She eats her hay, blinks the flies away from her eyes. Shits. After 3 or 4 years, farmer Joe leads her off to the house of horrors.
PLOW! Blood spattered, she's torn limb from limb. Her doe-eyes gouged out. Body cut into thousands of pieces, patted into thousands of Big Macs, and shipped off to Mickey D's.
Now imagine a world of increasing vegetarians. There aren't enough people to take care of all the Bossies at three or four years old. Farmer Joe has to wait. In the meantime, Bossie shits more, eats more food, drinks more water. Then what?
If the average cow lives four years and then is slaughtered, that cow consumes four years worth of resources. If there are more vegetarians, then the average cow lives eight years, instead of four. That means the cow consumes twice as many resources. Plus, the vegetarian also consumes her own resources, competing with the cow, creating even more scarcity.
Take responsibility for your food. Eat cows raised humanely, outside the factory. Use the evil marketplace against itself. Encourage farmers to give cows more space. Feed them better food. Buy organic so farmers will GO organic. Buy humane so cattlemen will see humane sells. But vegetarianism only makes the problem worse.
Smoking is good for you: You think the opposite. You think big tobacco companies are evil. Worse than Nike, Wal-Mart or Microsoft. You think smoking causes cancer, emphysema. You think people are at risk from Second Hand Smoke. You're wrong.
A little internet research is all you need. Except for The Bahamas, the United States has the lowest men's smoking rate in North America, 28.1%. (I use men only, because in some cultures, women just don't smoke.) In cancer, America is number one. But how about lung cancer?
The U.S. has the highest lung cancer rate of any place in North America, South America, Oceania, and all of Asia except Seychelles. (Where?) In Japan, more than half the men smoke (59%). The lung cancer rate there is 47.9 per 1000 people. In the U.S. it's 85.9. Looks like smoking PREVENTS lung cancer.
What's up with all the TV commercials? In New York, we have a commercial with a guy talking through an artificial voicebox, swabbing his neckhole in the shower, telling people how cigarettes wrecked his life. Yeah, who speaks for the other dead? Where are the commercials showing the agricultural workers breathing pesticide? Where are the pictures of the throatholes of coal minters slowly strangling from Black Lung disease?
Hey buckaroos! It's a trick! Tobacco companies are the sacrificial lambs for corporate America. Never mind the shit that goes in the water you drink. Never mind the crap spewed into the air-- or the radiation from depleted nuclear weapons, used in Iraq, stored in Kansas. Oh no. If an American gets sick, it's smoking!!
Smoking in 2008 takes balls. Lighting up means you're not falling for the ruse. It means, you've seen through the deception and aren't buying it. If you smoke, you're showing the world you KNOW. Of course, I recommend American Standard or some other indie non-pesticided cigarette. But even a Marlboro is better than nothing. Don't allow yourself to be bullied into thinking if you get sick... you did it. Bullshit.
THEY did it.
Science is not god: You think the opposite. You're an atheist. No God, so what do you believe in? Science. If only people would look at the world in a scientific way, you say. The world would be a better place. Trust science to find truth. The scientific method will analyze the problems and give you the right answers. You're wrong.
Scientists can tell us what will happen to a bog if ATVs roll across it indiscriminately for a decade or two, What scientists cannot tell us is how to weigh the relative importance of mechanized joyrides through the bogs, a healthy water table, the preservation of bird habitat-- and the will of the majority... These are moral and political issues, not scientific ones. There is a certain implicit conceit that if you attach the word scientific to anything, then that makes it more important or more valid. And that's really metaphysically wrong; it's not true.
--John Toren in Macaroni Zine.
Yeah, I hate religion as much as the next guy... or at least as much as the next guy should. But science is one of the best arguments FOR religion. At least Catholics take a moral stand-- even if it is the wrong one.
You're dying. In the hospital. A new drug could save your life. It hasn't been approved yet, but it looks promising. It works a new way, targeting disease cells without damaging the tissue around them.
Breathing is hard. You've got tubes up your nose, forcing air into your lungs. The effort of expanding your chest hurts so much you just want to pull them out.
Yet you cling to life. Maybe this one last drug. This last chance will help you pull through. You've agreed to be a guinea pig. This is your last chance.
HAH HAH! Fooled you! You got the placebo! You're the control group! Someone else got the real medicine. See you in hell!
Science demands a control group. It demands a neutral test. It demands that people die. Science has no ethics. Scientists make medicine, cluster bombs, computers, napalm all with equal morality... or lack of it.
Scientists are interested in proof. They want to know how and why. They're not interested in SHOULD.
Of course, some scientists have ethics. Just like some religions are tolerant. But science itself has no more ethics than a TV set. Like monotheistic religion by its nature is intolerant, science by its nature is amoral.
Religion is ethical totalitarianism. Science is no ethics at all.
GW Bush is not evil incarnate: You think the opposite. You think the man is Mr. Evil. You think that even Hilary Clinton would be better for America and the world. You think George is only a tool of the right. An idiot with no principles... or at least no principles you share. You're wrong.
Dubya has appointed more Negroes, Hispanics, and other minorities to more high offices than any other president. Two colored secretaries of state. One of them, a woman. Was it for show? Check out his former Hispanic attorney general... an old pal. His secretary of state... they went way back. Who else can say that? G.W. has been the most principled, least racist president the U.S. has ever had.
During his lame-duckedness what does he do? Pardon his friends like Clinton did? No! He vetoes child-insurance because it's “too socialist.” Sure he's wrong. It's harder to be “too socialist” than to have too much nookie. And that's hard! But he's stuck to his principles. More than any politician since Jimmy Carter. You've got to admire that.
OK, that's a summary of the most important ways you were wrong in 2007. Hope you had a drunken New Year. Next year's election should be as easy as ABC (Anybody But Clinton). It's better that you don't vote at all, than vote for Hillary. I'll explain why in a future column. In the meantime, remember you can improve your life-- and the world-- by eating meat, smoking, distrusting science, not recycling, and putting in a nice word for G.W. Bush.
Yeah, changing the way you think is, like a sesame seed caught in your anal fold, a pain in the ass. Trust me, it's good for you.
-->If I wanted to donate to sweatshops, I'd buy Nikes dept: I get this letter from SOHO partnerships asking me to contribute. This group pays local homeless people to clean sidewalks, empty garbage cans, do stuff no one else wants to do. Many of these people are required by law to work. In an amazing Catch 22, New York law says homeless can't live on the street in the winter. BUT, in order to use city homeless facilities, they have to work. Who'll hire people with no address and no references? You guessed it, good ole SoHo partnership. And the wages? $6 an hour!! I don't know where you work. In New York, $6 an hour doesn't pay for lunch. PLUS! They have to use another 2-3 hours of non-wages to pay for the shelter they don't want to stay in. Er... who was it that abolished slavery? When did that happen?
-->But in This Case Dept: Usually I think it's lame to put down someone because of spelling mistakes. Most geniuses, including Einstein and me, are bad spellers. But my jail-pal Kyle sent me this ad for merchandise from The Racial Nationalist Party of America. You've got your Mussolini videos, your “KKK with Blood drop” flag, and Storm-trooper Marches CDs. Want something punker? Well, you can buy a ton of CDs by Screwdriver. Yep, that's how they spell it in the catalog. You'd think they, of all people, would know!
The website corrects the error, but still entertains with their description of payment method:
The RNPA has taken itself out of the Jewish banking system so do not send checks or bank originated money orders. Send only postal money orders. Make payable to Karl Hand. Send cash only at your own risk. All orders are considered as a donation to the Racial Nationalist Party of America. Include 10% shipping and handling.
-->Running business like a government dept: After all, the hideous Bloombergs of the world talk about “running government like a business.” You now have Google, planning to run their business like a government-- the American government.
According to The National Coalition Against Censorship, Google is “developing ambient-audio identification technology” that turns on the microphone in personal computers to listen in on what's going on in the room. According to Google, the purpose of this is to “monitor what television channels Americans watch.” Yeah, right.
-->Running education like a government dept: F.I.R.E., a libertarian Free Speech site, issued a report that shows nearly ¾ of the surveyed colleges have “speech codes” already ruled unconstitutional. These include:
Northeastern University in Boston, which prohibits students from using the university’s network to “transmit or make accessible, material, which in the sole judgment of the University, is offensive…”
Florida Gulf Coast University which prohibits “expressions deemed inappropriate.”
Ohio State University which instructs students in the residence halls: “Do not joke about differences related to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, ability, socioeconomic background, etc.”
There are tons of other examples. Go through the supporters of such stupidity and you'll find a pantheon of liberals who believe in “freedom of speech”-- as long as it doesn't offend anybody.
-->Running governments like governments dept: The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks the U.S. sixth among jailers of journalists. That puts us just behind Uzbekistan-- tied with Burma.
--> A touch of inspiration dept: Many of my readers have attended the Brian Deneke memorial shows around the country.
The average MRR reader was still nursing when a Texan jock killed Deneke, 15 years ago. The reason? The 19 year old was a punk-rocker. He had a mohawk. He listened to the same music you do.
Every year, there are memorial benefits around the country in his memory. I attended the one in New York. Valerie aka Xena, who organized it, is a goddess of the highest order. All the bands were great. (Especially a new kiddie band from Staten Island called Lucky Fucks ... and they are! I saw the teen-aged lead singer making out with this hot girl in front of the show. I was jealous of BOTH of 'em!)
The atmosphere was terrific. People of all ages, genders, persuasions, in the pit and out of it. Friendly as a Dominican whore! Wow! Find out about the memorial at the MySpace website
or just Google. You'll find a ton of links!