Crisis Actors

SIVELL WAR
A Blog by Jeff Sivell

Monday, October 29, 2018
The Tree of Life shootings in Mr. Roger’s [sic] town on Saturday were as real as the Neighborhood of Make Believe, no doubt about it.  President Ku$hner must really want gun control.  The 11 crisis actors playing the ventilated Jew$ did such a good job, they’ll probably appear in the next $pielberg flick.  Then—

“I read your post today,” Denton said.

“And?” Jeff asked.  They stood outside their office building, vaping.

“Congratulations, dude.  You’ve officially gone insane.”

“Why, because I told the truth?”

“That’s what you call it?”

“Yeah.  Sorry it’s not all pretty and comforting.  Sometimes the optics have to look bad.  In fact, screw your optics, ha ha ha.  Then go screw your buddies in the alt-lite”—what some far-rightists derisively call the alt-right.

“At least people take me seriously.  You believe in that Nazi shit.  In case you didn’t know, the Nazis lost World War Two.  I like winners.”

“They are winners, Rabbi.  Their philosophy has reshaped American political culture for the better.  Now the cucks and snowflakes have to—”

Zoning out, Denton puffed on his e-cig.  Mmm, menthol blast, his favorite flavor.

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Matthews

 

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The Whole Cake

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette promised me it would print the following letter but never did.

October 7, 2018

To the Editor:

Despite controlling all three branches of government, the majority of governorships and statehouses, and the mass media, right-wing Republicans (as if any other kind exists) never tire of depicting themselves as powerless victims of a vast left-wing Democratic conspiracy.  Brett Kavanaugh, for instance, complained about the “calculated and orchestrated political hit” directed against him, a hit involving “revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.”

Those unnamed, pro-Bill and Hillary opposition groups must not have spent wisely.  Or maybe they had no serious intention of stopping him.

The Democrats—a centrist-right, neoliberal party since the Bill Clinton era, but Marxists when compared to the GOP then and now—have much in common with the anti-worker, anti-abortion Kavanaugh.  If Hillary had truly cared about supporting the non-rich, she would have done so running in 2016 instead of accepting tens of millions of dollars in corporate campaign donations.  Of course, if she had won in the Electoral College, she might have ended up giving the non-rich a few crumbs but the rich the whole cake; major donors usually expect something major in return from candidates they help elect.

Also note how little, if any, support she and almost every other mainstream Democrat have offered for reproductive rights, civil rights, voting rights, demilitarization, drug legalization, and other progressive causes.  The upper class, which controls both main parties, has zero interest in changing the status quo, considering how well the military-industrial and prison-industrial complexes have done over the past few decades.  Plus that class could afford the best in illegal abortions post-Roe v. Wade.

In short, Justice Kavanaugh and his right-wing buddies on the Supreme Court will help the #Resistance grow even wealthier, but at least the Resisters, unlike the Republicans, drive hybrids and never publicly trash racial minorities.

David V. Matthews

 

Times x 3: Three Articles from The New York Times, Sunday, April 1, 2018

Devorah Blachor, “Gen-X Activism: An Oral History,” p. SR-2

As a Generation-Xer (born in 1965, one year after the baby boom had ended), I can chuckle at my demographic cohort’s foibles and obsessions.  (Marcia Brady hit in the nose with a football!  Ha ha ha ha!)  However, this essay’s supposedly-humorous promulgation of the apolitical, socially-apathetic X-men and -women stereotype, as a way to remember “what came before” today’s Millennial/Generation Z/whatever activists, irritates me.  During the Eighties and Nineties, many Xers involved themselves in fighting racism, sexism, militarism, economic inequality, and other societal ills, though you wouldn’t have known that from the corporate-owned, establishment-friendly news media, including the Times, which has always found the status quo profitable.  (I myself wrote myriad letters to newspapers—published letters—during my younger days.)

Anyway, allegedly quoting members of my generation (“Patrick Bateman wasn’t available”), Blachor disses the heck out of us—well, the more well-off members; one guy contends that Xers eschewed voting because “we were all very busy going to law school and trying to get through ‘Infinite Jest.’ ”  Another guy had a different educational experience: “Sometimes I’d skip school to show how much I rejected, like, completely everything.”  (No mature, serious, politically-minded person would want to skip school for any reason.  School’s always an enlightened place.)  A woman says “Girl power!” and nothing else.  Yet another guy, when asked about social change, replies “Social what, now?”  Oh, and let us not forget Donkey Kong Jr., flannel shirts, Carrie Bradshaw shoes, and Starbucks.  What would a satirical Xer retrospective look like from the viewpoint of African-Americans (the Eighties-Nineties wars on crime and drugs decimated the black population) or gays (ditto with AIDS for their population during that period; even Mike Brady himself was HIV-positive) or radical feminists (bye-bye, reproductive rights, starting with Reagan)?

I did like this line: “In those day [sic], there were no red pills or blue pills. There were just chill pills.”

 

Frank Bruni, “Beware the Former Trumpers,” p. SR-3

The Times, which epitomizes liberal bias according to right-wing critics, rarely interviews any left-wingers or progressives or even left-of-center centrists.  Instead, no matter which political party occupies the White House, we see endless column space devoted to red (not as in Communist) personages sharing their deepest thoughts on why Caucasians, the wealthy, and turning certain countries into radioactive parking lots freakin’ rule, man.  Times columnist Frank Bruni thus interviews the extremely non-blue political commentator Ann Coulter, one of the most prominent of disillusioned Trump supporters.  A yuge influence on his anti-(brown)-immigrant proposals, she praises that “coarse vulgarian” for ignoring “the opinions of Manhattan socialites” by depicting Mexico as the source of all crime and degeneracy during the campaign, then laments that “something switched Nov. 8. Suddenly it was: ‘Please like me, Goldman Sachs.’ ”  However, she thinks Trump can save his presidency by fulfilling his biggest campaign promise: building The Wall®, never mind that Mexico will never pay for it: “His voters absolutely do not care. It was just a fun chant.”  Anyway, “In 10 years, if we just stopped giving Mexico foreign aid, we’d pay for it.”  Of course Coulter, who considers racist sentiment “fun”, doesn’t mind slamming Mexico’s economy and harming its citizens; respectable American pundits always show blithe disregard for non-white foreign lives if those lives interfere with military and corporate objectives.

By the way, I recommend reading the expanded on-line version of this interview, where she contends she’d advised Trump not to let Jared and Ivanka advise him: “[W]hen J.F.K. made Bobby his attorney general, the press pulled its nose out of J.F.K.’s butt just long enough to criticize him for that.  We don’t like nepotism.  We’re Americans.  This is third-world behavior.”  Ah, the butt-slash-Third-World reference—talk about shithole countries, right?  Coulter and her (former?) hero, Trump, always return to that golden oldie, racism.

 

Claire Almand, “It’s Now or Never for a 30-Year-Old Virgin,” p. ST-5

The Times’s Styles section occasionally prints somewhat grim essays from twentysomething and thirtysomething women bemoaning their prolonged virginity; examples of this genre include “Does My Virginity Have a Shelf Life?” and “My Virginity Went from Choice to Burden.”  Not every gal has enjoyed the privilege of sexual healing, the Times apparently wants to remind its well-adjusted (as in schtupping) readers as a public service laced with but-for-the-grace-of-that-pimp-daddy-God flattery.

Claire Almand herself lost her virginity at age thirty to “a middle school teacher” she “didn’t even particularly like”, because she thought she would die.  “Born with congenital heart disease, I had five major heart operations before I was 10 and have five minor heart operations since.”  Now a mysterious condition has sapped her of energy and caused her to lose “12 pounds”, making her look “awful”; fortunately, the teacher who would de-hymenize her thought she “looked thin and hot.”  All right, that line’s sort of amusing, in an ironic way.  Unlike the other virginity chronicles, Almand’s contains intentional, self-deprecatory humor, something welcome to alleviate the mental and emotional pain, at least for the reader; e.g., after telling us how she’s fallen for so many unattainable guys, Almand drily writes “So what I’m saying is I have impeccable taste in men.”  Also, during her first date with the teacher, it turned out “he didn’t know what a poached egg was.”  (“Poached,” ha ha ha ha, sincerely.)  And the essay sports one of the greatest concluding sentences in Times history (SPOILER ALERT): “And now I’m just like every other woman who’s had a penis inside her.”  Butt and penis, yes, in the same issue.

Also, the essay features a drawing of a woman with a giant circular hole in her chest, from the shoulders to the navel, providing a clear view right though to the other side.  I assume the drawing refers to (ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT) Almand’s condition, “a significant hole” in her heart, though the idea of a significant hole, in this instance, takes on sexual connotations.  (Ask Courtney Love—another Gen-X reference.)

Copyright © 2018 by David V. Mattthews

April 1, 2018 (revised April 2, 2018)

 

JQ

Sluggerz Sports Bar:

“You wanna know why I didn’t come to work today?” Jeff asked.

“Sure,” Denton said.

Jeff took a swig from his beer bottle.  “My grandma died last night.”

“Damn.  I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Thanks.  She was admitted to the hospital just a few hours earlier.  She died before I could visit her.”

“That sucks.”

“Yeah.”

“So what did she die of?”

“Pneumonia, allegedly.”

“Allegedly?”

“The doctor they gave her was named Marla Rosenberg.

“Oh.”

“Guess I shouldn’t’ve posted that JQ stuff, huh?”  (JQ meant Jewish Question in alt-right argot.)

“Yeah, ha ha.”

No response.

“You serious?”

No response.

“Come on, Jeff.  Old people die of pneumonia all the time.  And your grandma was old as hell, no offense.”

“Thanks, rabbi.”

“The Jews aren’t behind everything.”

Shalom, rabbi.”

“That paranoid crap hurts our cause.”

“Shalom!”

Neither man said anything for a few moments.

Then:

“At least it wasn’t Dr. Apu for a change, in the hospital,” Denton said.

Jeff smiled.

“There we go.  Your grandma would have wanted you to smile.”

“I guess.”

“To her.”

“To her.  And to paranoia.”

Denton hesitated a moment.

“What the hell—to paranoia,” he said.

They clinked their beer bottles together.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews
July 8-9, 2017 (revised July 16, 2017)

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #20: Free Helicopter Ride

Denton’s supervisor, Ms. Birch, caught him posting on his alt-right blog as she walked past his cubicle.  She told him to get back to work and left.

“Ms. Bitch needs a free helicopter ride,” he told his coworker Jeff later in the break room, using alt-right argot.  (South-American dictatorships used to eliminate their political opponents by dropping them from helicopters into the sea.)

“No, you should give her Ebola instead,” Jeff replied.  “Maybe she’d infect a bunch of snowflakes.  More cost-effective, in other words.”

What a true friend, Denton thought as he reached for a cruller.  True friendship rocks.

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews

 

Flash Fiction (a Hundred Words or Fewer) #18: Literally Hitler

Over dinner at her favorite Greek restaurant, Denton’s girlfriend of six months dumped him because he’d “grown too fucking right-wing,” as she told him in that low, affectless manner he used to find seductive for whatever reason.  (They’d met in 2016 on a pro-Trump dating site.)  “Have fun with your alt-Reich buddies,” she said, getting up to leave.

“I will, bitch, ’cause I’m literally Hitler, ha ha,” he said, quoting an alt-right meme that spoofs whiny libtard bullshit by facetiously comparing someone or something to you-know-who.  (Denton thought the shrimp Santorini he’d just eaten ranked a little higher than Stalin.)

Copyright © 2017 by David V. Matthews (revised March 15-16, 2017)