“Low Road”: Chapter 17

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Low Road is the only story I’ve completed. The first draft was awful. But out of respect to the only novel I’ve finished, I’ve always felt compelled to complete it. Hopefully it’s presentable, albeit much, MUCH shorter.

Recap: Rod Townshend is 25-year-old low life that hops from one grift to another.  His relationship with fellow scumbag Jack Schilling, a burned out writer, has dissolved. As Rod prepares to leave town, he gets some unexpected news….

Chapter 17

I was done with Oklahoma. I should have ignored Jeanne’s text

When I arrived at her place, she sat down and told me to remain standing.

“How did Phillip get cocaine?” she asked.

“Oh shit” I thought.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I told her

“Yes you do. I know it was you. You don’t have to lie. You gave Phillip drugs. He told me as much.” She replied

“So fucking what?”

“Phillip and Angel got into a little driving accident last night. Philip was higher than a fucking kite. They’re fine but are hospitalized. Now he faces a DUI and drug possession charge. His military career and whatever dreams he had are gone.”

“Okay, so I supplied him the drugs. How is it my fault that he did something stupid while on them?”

“Angel was pregnant.”

“Was?”

“The accident killed the child inside of her. When I confronted Phillip about this, he told me that he never had sex with her. How do you explain that, Rod?”

I suddenly became ill. My knees started to buckle. The world fell silent.

I had two choices: I could either run or lash out. I chose to lash out.

“How do I explain what? You want me to take the fall for your son’s failures? You know that you’re such a terrible mother that you feel the need to blame me? Take responsibility for your own fucking actions. Don’t throw around accusations at me. You raised a loser son who fucked up his future. Deal with it!”

She took amusement in my anger. She lit up a cigarette and said:

“I don’t want to see your face again. Not around here. You see, I know everyone. I know the police chief. I can tell him you’re a drug dealer and you’re off to jail. If I do see you again, that will be the last time. So leave. Don’t look back.”

I didn’t look back.

I went directly to Taryn’s place.

“Come on. Pack your things. I’ve got the money. We’re going to California!”, I told her
She was hesitant.

“What about my friends?” she asked.

“There’s friends everywhere! Are you talking about your share of the rent? Here’s $200. Just leave a note.”

It took more convincing. I threw her stuff into the bed of the truck. She just stared at me.

“I don’t know, I told my friends that I was going to stick around. I feel bad for them.” She said.

“Look, fuck em. You have an opportunity right now! There’s nothing going on here. Your friends are adults that can take care of themselves. Seize the fucking day!”

Taryn reluctantly agreed. We were California-bound.

Man Without A Nation

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I was going 9-0 down some backroads when my boss called.

“You fucked us over.” he said

“Pardon?” I asked

“You fucked us over when you didn’t change out the canisters. Do you know what a pain in the ass this is? How did this happen?”

“I guess it got overlooked, sir.”

I have few talents. None, actually.

Scratch that…there is ONE thing I’m good at: walking around and pretending that I’m capable. Having two bullshit degrees from two bullshit schools on a bullshit resume is helpful. It lets employers know that you’re capable of bullshit. I look the part. Sound the part. And occasionally I play the managerial ass-kissing game. Those are the only skills you need.

But I don’t actually know the part.

Know what I mean?

Which is why I occasionally get calls like this one. I mean, that’s what happens when you place unqualified people into unqualified positions.

I’m an actor. I’m a pretender. I don’t actually know anything.

That should have been my career.

But I joined the Army instead. Then I got talked into going to college. And worse yet, I got talked into attending ROTC. Thankfully I never became an officer, but it did help me in one regard: it helped me transfer my great “pretending” skills into something useful.

At least seemingly useful.

It introduced me to concepts like HONOR, INTEGRITY, and BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT, and BULLSHIT. Because if people believe that you take that shit seriously, then they’ll believe you’re a capable person. Or better yet, they believe that you’re capable of something much higher: middle management.

So I took my diploma. Went out into the workforce. Shook some hands. Smiled. And worked on my drinking habit.

But I just wasn’t there.

“What do you want to be today, Wes?”, I’ll occasionally ask myself.

Nothing. Not an Army officer. Not a canister-changer. Not a writer. Not a man. Not a woman. Not American. Not Canadian. Not human. Not of this earth. Hell, I don’t even want to write this blog. Nothing.

But we’re all in a rush to be something.

We are all going 90mph down a shitty backroad to nowhere.

 

I disown most of the things I’ve said here…

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I don’t know if I’m depressed.

Maybe I’ve run into a wall.

Maybe I’m just an idiot.

Perhaps it’s all of the above.

But I just can’t muster up the energy to give a shit. I realized this today when I saw Jim Carrey’s shitty painting of that girl from Kent State.

“Jesus fucking Christ”, I thought.

It’s a dark day when you realize that all of your ideals are bullshit. I’m not saying that we’re facing the death of humanity, but we are stuck in a paradigm that will one day that spin out of control and collapse the entire system.

There’s no stopping it.

But in this collapse will rise a new paradigm. It might be a utopia of peace and equality. A totalitarian order. Or a complete collapse of society and government as we know it. There’s no telling.

But what I do know is that my ideals and philosophy will have no bearing on the direction of this new paradigm. We are living in the era of hopelessness.

The only choice we have is which side we’ll be on. Will we be vanguards of Love? Or champions of hate?

So I choose the abstract and I’ll-defined concept of Love.

But I’ve been forced to reevaluate some of my philosophical musings. I did not like what I read. The problem is that, here in America at least, we have the armchair anti-intellectual “intellectual” movement known as the “Intellectual Dark Web”. It certainly is dark. And unfortunately I can’t help but think that I’m engaging in what they’re doing: I’m an unqualified expert using definitions and arguments that  I don’t understand to affirm my worldview.

I don’t want to do that anymore. Whatever truths we seek are out there, it’s just arrogant to believe we’ve found them. There’s nothing left to be said.

Additionally, I’ve found myself out of place. I don’t know if I’m an old fart. Or maybe I spent too long being a drunk. But the Internet moves faster than I can keep up.

I only learned today that @dril is a thing….with a fucking Wikipedia page.

Perhaps the pace of information will bring us closer to a new paradigm in our own age.

I’ve been unabashed in my Marxist/Leftist views and support of the DSA. But the ceiling to this is all too apparent. The contradiction in capitalism is the championing and development of innovation while maintaining loyalty to the employer. Marxism too holds a contradiction: it must “sell” itself. It must mimic it’s capitalist overlords if it’s to gain any traction. The only meaning this world knows is that of material gain. It’s been accepted and internalized. If there’s to be a revolution, it has to start internally, cooperatively. Controlling the means of production is good and well, but one cannot find meaning in material production alone. Modern, Internet-dwelling Leftism is terrible at identifying and explaining this.

Demonizing the opposition is fun and gets the views, but is not a substitute for rigorous thought. Sure, I despise everything that conservatives and members of the alt-right stand for. But that’s my problem. If they want to hold onto their bullshit views, that’s their problem. But my ideals involve everyone coming together to make things right.

What kind of utopia would it be if thousands, or millions, had to be imprisoned or killed just to bring about a desired society?

Of course, American individualistic machismo is baked into the walls here. There’s no undoing that.

So we’re all fucked.

On “Bullshit Jobs”

There’s a book out called Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.

Haven’t read it. Probably never will. I’m sure it’s a fascinating read, but I’ve got too much on my plate. Plus, I’m all too aware of this problem anyway.

The meaninglessness of our life’s purpose: to fight our way through traffic, to become a meaningless cog in a bullshit machine, to look at a shiny screen for 10 hours a day, to come home only to be burned out…this has been the story of my life.

It’s probably the story of YOUR life.

You, and me, have a bullshit job. Our lives revolve around something that has no purpose.

Why aren’t people rioting in the streets over this?

I guess we’ve bought into this neoliberal myth. Why have gods when we’ve got Elon Musk and Bill Gates? You are what your master says you are, and you are your job.

You are nothing if you don’t have a career.

So bow down…pay your bills, buy that house in the burbs, buy that Honda Civic, enjoy it while you can. There’s no time for pursuits of passion. Your boss needs you at work tomorrow.

To do what?

Well, my dear boy, somebody’s got to shred those papers!

So congratulations! Society brought you up only to become a glorified paper shredder for a rich fat cat on the top floor.

Unfortunately, we see few alternatives. Marxism has long been neutered into a toothless predator by the capitalist machine. This order, littered by “bullshit” jobs, is in no danger of being thwarted. Our identity, our notion of self, has been tied into our careers.

Work is the only meaning we know.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about David Graeber before this book. Despite his Occupy Wall Street-cred, he still seems like a kook academic with a smidgen of disdain for the working class. Nevertheless, I’m glad he brought this up.

It might be a worthwhile read.

 

San Juan

Sometimes I look at the notes on my iPhone and wonder: “what the hell?”

I thought that Low Road was the only story I’ve completed. But then I found this weird poem/story thing in my notes.

I don’t know what it means, but it was exactly what I needed to read.

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San Juan

I picked up smoking again

Driving westward down I-10

I needed something to do.

I took a familiar exit. Went down a familiar road.

The thick of the day, the heat wore me like a sweater.

I pulled over. Lit a cigarette. Then leaned against the car.

When I was young, I’d get high. Friends would say “I’m going to San Juan.”

I doubt they ever made it.

But I’ve got my car. I’ve got my cigarettes.

“I’m going to San Juan”

I don’t know if God exists. But Satan does.

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Honestly, I’m tired of this blog.

I’m tired of writing.

I just want to be left alone. Kept away from all the troubles of this god-forsaken world.

That’s why I put it on private, with the intention of deleting it…to scrub it altogether from the face the Internet.

But it was a shitty day. Another high school gets shot up. More plane crashes. More insanity that’s pushing us closer and closer towards the precipice.

And like a drunken, unshaven cop from an 80s action film, I was called back into action.

But I’m not here to rescue you. There’s no saving us. We’re fucked.

So enjoy the shit show. Embrace the madness. It doesn’t get better.

God’s not going to save us. You want to make the world a better place? That’s up to you, BUCKO!

The Necessity of Power

I can visit coffee shops. Walk around college campuses. Take a stroll in the park…and no one will bat an eye.

But not everyone is afforded the same luxury…

In my last episode of It Gets Worse, I briefly mentioned that the nature of conservative thought is to bolster the old regime…or to suppress any new order. So it’s no wonder that white guys are wondering into coffee shops and yelling at people for speaking Spanish.

This shit’s been going on for ages.

No one likes to lose power. Whenever there’s the appearance of a loss of power in exchange for a new order (in this case, the appearance of a “white order” being replaced by a Spanish-speaking one) these sorts of violent or inflammatory exchanges are inevitable. But here in the States, the white order still very much controls the cards.

There is no state-sponsored organization that’s out to get whitey. The criminal justice system still overwhelmingly prosecutes minorities. ICE operates as a Gestapo-like force against immigrants. The worst that white men have to put up with is going online and watch everyone talk shit about them.

“But illegals are living here under my dime!”, boo fucking hoo. When I hear that shit, I think of a child: “The United States is mine damn it! MINE! NOT YOURS!”

Since I don’t do research, I’ll take everyone at their word when they say the demographics of the United States is changing. And of course it’s causing people like that guy in the video to shit himself. So the reactionary forces against the political power of non-whites (or the potential thereof) is growing louder.

Political elites have long enlisted the poor white working class as foot soldiers in their crusade….keeping them stupid and ignorant of the fact that they too are being ripped off in the pursuit of the American Dream. But they keep them in line by telling them: “America is yours.”

It’s a ridiculous notion.

I did nothing to become American. It was given to me. I didn’t earn it.

Immigrants, on the other hand, did more to become American than I ever did. So the dipshit in the video must be jealous that they’re more American than he is.

 

“It Gets Worse” Episode 3- Incels and Feminists: Why Can’t We All Get Along? (Amended)

5/17/18

When reflecting on this episode, I misspoke on several things. When we consider the vitriol that feminism is exposed to, most of the hate undoubtedly comes from men and Incels. If you don’t believe me, spend 2 minutes on Reddit. It does not come from women as I stated. What I was trying to covey is that conservatives and anti-feminists seemingly affirm the worst of Incel nightmares by continuing to believe and promote antiquated notions of masculinity and femininity. Unfortunately, I chose to use a handful of conservative women to highlight this point. That just looks bad on my part.

To further clarify, Incels created their own mess. My point was that feminists offered a way out, but are told in general to reject it in favor of traditional ideals of masculinity… an ideal that they themselves feel  unable to measure up to. So Incels and anti-feminist men are trapped in this cycle of bullshit, a cycle that they’re unable to break.

Like I said, this is a bullshit problem. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with it.

Additionally, I’ve taken down the  episode. I’ll explain some of that next week.

My apologies to those that listened to it.

There are days when I look out the window and wonder “why am I not exploring the world?”.

I could have been somebody. Anybody. Instead I’m doing a podcast about sexually frustrated men.

Perhaps the world will thank me later.

But the world won’t. Because talking about incels have broke my will. They broke my will to do this podcast. And they almost broke my will to blog. 

If the world should thank me for anything, it’s reminding them to live their life. Explore the planet. Be kind to others. And love unconditionally. 

We’ve seen the Internet. Use it responsibly. 

Don’t lose your sanity.

 

 

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“Let’s Get Sober” Ep. 6: More Drunken Nonsense

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This was recorded in May of last year.

I don’t remember if I posted this one before.

If I have, listen to it again.

Of course, I must remind you that I was likely drunk while recording this. And that’s what I’ll blame all my leaps in logic on. As usual, I don’t know what I was talking about. But that’s not the point. This is what alcoholism sounds like.

If you choose to listen, have fun with that shit.

“Make the World Your Bitch!”

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Over Mother’s Day, I had to talk to my family.

How horrible.

And I keep getting asked the same questions: “How’s your job?” and “When are you getting promoted?”. My replies are always the same: “Fine” and “I’m happy with where I’m at.”

Those sentiments are the anathema to our neoliberal world.

In Bettany Hughes’ Genius of the Modern World, she discusses three thinkers that shaped our current era: Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. Since most people don’t give a shit about philosophy, I figured that she chose these three because they’re the only guys most people have heard of. But people have heard of them for good reason: they did shape the modern world. Bettany Hughes was dead fucking right.

Marx was influential for obvious reasons, Freud because of psychoanalysis, and Nietzsche…well….I’ll be honest, I’ve never read Nietzsche (or Marx or Freud. Yes, I’m largely a Marxist but this isn’t a fucking religion. You don’t have to read the source material to understand it). When you’re a nerd like me, the only philosophers fellow nerds read are Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. He was always too “in” for me to take interest. But as we can stereotypically think of Nietzsche, his “existential angst” and “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” have been largely influential among neoliberal apologists.

Of course, Nietzsche has been misused and misunderstood since his death, notably by the Nazis. I have no idea what he was actually trying to conclude. In his defense, particularly in his description of the ubermensch, his ideal man (or person) is someone that embraces the ugliness and beauty of the world…he doesn’t necessarily envision some billionaire in the Ayn Rand universe. But go read him if you want to know. Yet again, our stereotypical perception of him has led us into justifying our angst and alienation in the world. Existence has become a battleground, a place where we must impose our will.

Life’s a Wagnerian Opera. We must slay the dragons.

So individualism has become our new religion (post-“God is dead”). And our objective is to dominate the world, or “make it our bitch!” Now we conceive of ourselves as some being independent of the society that raised us. Society, in effect, becomes the prison that holds us in.

I echoed this sentiment last year with the bullshit “static identity”. But there’d be no identity without society.

We are not, of course, born blank slates. But I’m missing one massive step. We need more than the Kantian a priori concepts if we are to understand ourselves. We need sensory content from the outside world. Without content and conceptions, there is no self.

We’re not locked within a prison. WE ARE the prison. Becoming the neoliberal individual, cut off and wholly independent this society, and heroically imposing the self onto the universe (by making the world your “bitch”) is, frankly, horseshit. It’s just finding an excuse to be an asshole. The world isn’t something to be conquered. You’re a part of it. To recognize that is the only method of liberation. Jumping down the rabbit hole of Westernized individualism creates the prison…one that you’ll never escape.