Issue 41 – August 2023

Looks and speech have enforced group dynamics past antiquity. One must not only look the same but sound the same. Any detectable difference meant a forthright casting out.

Perhaps anti-social personality disorders (ASPDs) are a working evolutionary strategy, since they are so quick to pass and to adapt. Blank and emotionless, the only thing they are capable of feeling is the rush that comes from power. Thus that is what they seek and it carries them to the top of government and business. ASPDs find it easy to slip into malevolence if just so they can feel. They become experts at making consequence fall elsewhere.

Lacking emotion, they are handicapped, and disability societies should welcome them as kin. Of course dignified disability societies should not have to deal with them anymore than humanity should. Put ASPDs in places they can do no harm to people, animals, and the environment. Keep them far from any leadership. How would fare the human beans, the mass of us who live for peace, who want to stop global warming, without this form of handicapped increasing it, ignoring evidence, treating us all like frogs in a not-so-slowly heating pot of boiling water?

A portion of the species does not care if we all die. In fact they act to do it. How to stop them without becoming fascist and evil? What if scientists classify ASPDs as a subspecies? Then they need not have the rights the mass of us are born with. Then there come utilitarian decisions.


Ten college kids are tied up sitting lined up on a curb. They have plastic round their wrists. Their freedom is restricted but they share the air with the obese cop looming over them. The cop is sad he only got to play with mustard gas that once. The government has given this brainwashed, emotionally fragile, probably bullied man live ammunition and a bottle of concentrated capsaicin. Stuff’s so strong it hurts worse being sprayed on the genitals than it does in the eyes. Application causes begging for things that are not there, like guarantees.

We need men who are gonna carry this platform over the mountain and to the promised land. How little they’d have to contribute otherwise. They were born along the shortest path to the end of conversation. They weren’t terrible at finding exactly what they wanted. The tassels hanging off of them were always getting tangled. Many a pardner’s ridden far in a knotted mess. Family formulas for reproduction have determined them, as well as which fluid valued identity construct will define their go-team options. They wish to be swallowed up by Worsted Avenue as an expression of their adult anxiety.

They got along by going with a group. It ended most originally with none of them learning anything. It wasn’t much, and yet it echoed through the ages. It was a ballet of idiocy in the only direction that there is, forever.

Mini-puddles of capsaicin on the ground reflected huddled collegians clawing at their eyes and screaming. The air turned thick as the streetlights came on and the fat cop left them there. The planet blurred with every momentary blink. Everything was as the sickly brained intended.


To really describe our feelings with precision would require a whole new alphabet. Indeed a character-based writing system would be the better engine. Jealousy mixes with self-destruction but one can’t say where. We need gradients of insecure aggression! We cannot care for mental health without better definitions.

There should be a ceremony every time a child expresses new emotion. Treat it like a leveling up. She will see the significance of taking a step away from being a child toward becoming an adult. It may be difficult to register the change, which is what the ceremony is for.

The obscene gesture of a shipwreck is all the parts left floating in the oily sea. Count them as they undulate and scatter. With favorable patterns the parts could link again; it’s possible. Then the bodies would heal and rise back up to the waterline. Breath would enter their lungs in the violent rush of anti-coagulant. They’d look about like they tossed their stomachs up some time ago.

One dog and a few chickens have reconstituted at the scene of the accident. The chickens are shitting themselves in the sea continu’lly; the sharks have smelled it and are coming. People cling to hollow steamer trunks. A dozen activated a life raft and steered it out of swimmers’ reach. They’re wafting yonder, watching the drowning dip beneath the waves, one by one. Whenever someone starts complaining, the others threaten to catapult them. Their eyes sting saltily so they can barely hold them open. They spend most of their chatter repeating to themselves that they aren’t craven, that there is still hope, that they will be rescued any minute. One is stuck in a loop asking if that’s a helicopter that they hear. Narrator: it isn’t.

Now the re-all pressure’s felt; they much dream up a good alternate excuse to party. This is only one version of the tale. A number of sources claim that time is generally less of the essence than is thought to be. One day rolls smoothly to the next. In fact as they occur only as demarcations of an unbroken spin, it can be said they do not exist at all, except conceptually. Well, we can assign a concept to anything, and often have!

Entire lives are spent viewing nothing but the scheduled programming. Authentic power is something the drowning do not have, only something they can keep at bay. But they can’t forever. Nothing perfect in this world, not even their old plans for perpetuity. Something exists over there that could have changed them. Questions of good or ill aside, would the subject have made profound change to their life if they’d known of this existence? Answering yes makes the question moot. It’s enough that missing knowledge would have mandated change.

Thoughts are quickened, gel-like. Chemicals attach to them and are propagated. Someone must be allowed to survive the gun guy massacre in order to tell. Now we spend most of our work days talking to the empty text boxes that connect to databases. Screens are the displays of distant servers. How very nice to be so well cared for. Yes my dear you simply must visit again. If only we could separate thought, then those dratted psychos could not access our humanist wisdom and use it against us. If only we were as good at separating thought as we are at separating people.


For as long as he’d worked in the dry cleaners, our hero was nowhere near full salary, meaning the bosses didn’t think enough of him to want to take advantage of him more. They could find another one just like him to rent just down the hall.

Oh fiddlesticks! The yeoman has placed the wrinkle wraps at the incorrect angle to low tide. There will be no bonus this year. Complain, and we all start getting rabies. What it says about us can be found in pile-on reviews of the service industry.

Thoughtless, dignity-leeching sentients are path blockers. They have signs on their faces that say Cûl de Sac. Someone did it to them so now they go around doing it to everyone. They are downhill slopes, speeding all into cross traffic. It’s not a matter of being careful to avoid an accident. The accident is unavoidable. It’s just a matter of how quick one can recover. The goal in everything we do preservation; there is no happenstance to an actuary.

The overmind delights in each bowel movement as it gives its brainwashed agents places to work and play. It’s infuriated every time we flush, sending that microsystem to be sterilized or what, who knows? It retaliates with cancer. We are the keepers of its cycles. Whether we judge them morally or not, we have to keep them moving along. Eighty percent of our locomotion is automata.

When someone says “remember when” they invite you to be happy. Go ahead, remember with them. But don’t just watch the same film again and make it over and over. The main job is stacking. Start with a stout foundation. Upon completion, thoroughly inspect. If flaws are found, tear down and begin stacking new again. Change locations, materials, whatever’s necessary. Do not build on a flawed foundation, even if there’s special deals, even if the money’s running out.


Our heroine was on a mercy kick. She went into conflicts intending to lose. It was strangely freeing. Her idea was to make her opponents feel better. They would carry this feeling through the day. Someone they are always in a fight with would be spared this time because they’re in a good mood because they put a young attractive woman in her place. All it cost our heroine was a scuffed ego. But when she concentrated on how she helped a stranger, a warm feeling spread over her that ASPDs would never understand (being handicapped). For it to work she had to pay attention. Once she was locked in, it was easy to let her ego go unprotected, to twist in the wind and take shots from dullards. There were a few things she always said that made her win. One was, “You’re a hundred percent right and I’m a hundred percent wrong.” Men did not know how to respond to that. It was a shock but did not break them from their track. They kept on. They didn’t have anything to say after; they won, she said so herself. They were writ-large sperm, the first to their banal destination.

Our heroine would never know how far she’d have gone, and how quickly, if she spent her life in male limitation. She’d never have bartered with the weirdo at the all-night copy shop for free photocopies. She’d never have mixed up some wheat paste. She’d never have taken that and her stack of flyers and a brush and stuck every one to every post, sign, and pole in forty-five square blocks, ten hours in the sun, and then performed the same that night. She’d never have driven to the next city afterwards, at one in the morning, crashed on someone’s floor, and then spent the whole next day doing the same thing.

This was on no money. Money was for gas, not for food. Food comes wherever it was found, in dumpsters with hands coated in wheat paste. Getting sick was no option. Equipment failure, traffic fines, general entropy — none of this was acceptable. It simply will not do, said with a Victorian stamping of the foot.

She had found the act that made her more important than what the broader world, and in particular her friends, thought. She was in the lower acts where harming herself to preserve fashion was the thing to do. Cigarettes, cocktails, antique footwear, all borne with passive stoic pride. Neck problems, back problems, armchair psychosis — many new and entertaining challenges were coming to her life. She would try to skip this aging world and slide right into the infinite. All she needed was a self-created reeling tragedy, a base conflict, the projected life versus the occurring life.

On the whole she preferred her younger life before then. This is another instance of something everyone can agree on, regardless of brainwashing. It sounded like a stout foundation.

Our hero conceived events that then did not happen. Children do this. It’s a trick of memory that works in two directions. It goes back into the past, keeping us from repeating catastrophic errors by frankly terrorizing our endochrinic system with ’em. And all our joys and mehs are latticed in that structure. But reverse memory is what allows us to conceive of the future. Neither deal with reality as it happens unobserved. Studies show our most cherished memories are unreliable. Our conception of past events does not match how they in fact went down. Still it overlaps more than just our expectations. Our lives are reactions, and what we’re reacting to is our inability to fit into a world generated by novae and a flawed society built on accumulation, survival, and endless ego gamesmanship. A child cornered him, yelling this emphatically.

He was really stirred by this world he hadn’t asked to be born into. He felt existence itself was laughing at him. It heaped problems on him everyday. It made him less physically equipped to deal with them. The proffered solution was get tougher, harden. Write those emotions to NULL. Become like an anti-social personality disorder, the most dégoutasse thing of all.


Sex is love, is it not? At least a form of it. A bodied stiffness is an intimate correction. It hits the secret parts we keep from other people. Not organs but organelles within the myriads of consciousness. The things we do but do not talk about.

Our primal instincts are at the ready to volunteer to enforce the minor differences between us. Ah, purpose without manual. Our instincts despise the chain dance we hold them in. They’re not just ravenous, they’re calculating. They don’t sit there bound in peaceful contemplation. They’re making their resentful plans for what they’ll do when they get loose. Cunning, they cannot be trusted. A light passes over them in their moonless cells every time the greater ego’s hurt. That’s when the instincts’ bars are brittle. They raise a brow, determine if it’s time to strike. They do not have our best interests at heart. They spring into attack without a notion of consequence or preservation. They’re like an ivy that strangles its tree until it kills it, thus killing itself. Primal instincts can get their body killed in a drunken instant. The more they are repressed, the stronger they grow in terms of long-term damage. They’ll increase stress hormones and blood pressure, shortening the body’s life. In extreme cases they can generate autoimmune diseases, senility, the garment of unpleasantness that makes corporate healthcare bully goodtimes in the land of the free. The instincts will get what they want or they’ll punish their body for it, painfully unto the end. They are the scurviest of nihilists. The organelles’ expression is the destruction of the self, and ASPDs are primal instincts organized to consciousness.

The tables are stacked, legs folded, leaning against the hall wall. The earth begins to shake. First there’s a slam, a loud boom, that sounds inside the hall. It’s like nothing ever heard in there before. It’s not like the sound of something falling over. It’s different. Combined with the noise it’s immediately alarming. Everyone inside freezes. Next there’s a vibration underfoot. The soles of the feet tell the brain that electricity is coursing through the floorboards. The sudden sound’s uncertainty provides the shock. There’s a buzzing, but it’s unclear if it’s coming from the walls, the ground, or if the brain is filling in an expected sound that does not actually exist.

Then the shaking begins in earnest. Terra does its belly dance, rolling its abdominals in an odd, revolting way that makes it appear as though it’s devouring its own outsides. It is horrendous viewing. Everything in the building that’s not nailed down vibrates, and since the only things that are nailed down are the baseboards and cabinets, they’re the only things that remain intact. Hinges open, glasses fall. The cascade from shoulder height to worm’s eye view is imposant. Pictures hanging on the walls rock like flat-bottom boats. The lower left corners compete with the lower right to define a zenith. Anything with cushions turns into a massager. In fact this is the best way to ride out a quake. Park it in a comfy chair and let the cushions’ vigorous rubbing deliver a relaxing calm. It slips the silt of cares away.

By now most everything that was going to fall has. But don’t go walking under ceiling fans just yet. Newton hasn’t had his say until the reactions kick in. If the city hasn’t checked its electric and phone poles for dry rot lately, be ready for them to give in to gravity. If they haven’t buffed the gas lines with a rust remover since the ’50s, be ready for big boom. Backyard decks on hilly streets will give skiing a shot. Fences between houses will flatten Mamie’s garden. The scene goes up on blocks and the weeds will rule again. The bees return to pollinate our open, cooling maws.



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