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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Preview of 'Dittobabe'

My superhero novel. It's probably a year away from being written. Or so I think.

Kent walked down the block in Times Square, staring at his feet and the garbage-strewn sidewalk. He found New York amazingly scummy, so it was perfect for him. The trash, he suspected, mostly appeared spontaneously when no one was looking, as if some set designer striving for realism had decided that every square inch of the city had to have at least one piece of trash, gum or dogshit on it.

He ignored the people, viewing them mostly as obstacles to maneuver around. In his nine months in NYC, he had failed to meet a single individual that he felt was worthy of his friendship. Sure. he had high standards. But he was also an excellent judge of character.

Fifteen years in foster homes had left him more than a little detached.

He'd been bounced around long enough to know that most families were bullshit. So a few months before he had the option of applying for emancipated minor status, he forged an impressive set of identification papers and credentials, and took off for the city.

Why? Because he had bought into the Hollywood premise that the city was a vibrant, exciting place, full of interesting and colorful people. It wasn't. But for his purposes, it still suited him well.

He passed a man in the street and the thought came to him, "murderer".

Kent didn't know how he knew, but he did. He also knew the information was passed on to whoever dealt with such matters. He passed a pair of rapists soon after, and the scenario repeated.

He only concerned himself with rapists and killers. When he'd first become aware of his unique ability, he also monitored for thieves. But that's not exactly true. When he'd first become aware of his powers, he was sure he had gone insane. After a period of adjustment, he marked off the city's thieves, murderers and rapists. It was too much work, as virtually everyone showed up as a thief of some sort. He learned to tune them out.

One of the reasons Kent was in such a funk was that he'd just viewed the latest X-Men film. The entire premise bugged him to no end. A school for mutants? As if. Unless your mutant power was recognizing other mutants, there was absolutely no reason in Kent's mind that they should all be aware of each other, much less work together.

He gritted his teeth, and the ground trembled slightly. He really needed to work on that.

That was something else that bugged him about superheroes in general, they were all too perfect and selfless. And for what? To protect a bunch of norms that were unappreciative at best,. and at their worst, hostile and malicious.

Kent only helped them out because he couldn't stop. While he could crank it down to a degree, he had found that there seemed to be no way to shut it off completely. So he embraced his role as best he could, and just sort of tried to get on with his life. Being a mutant was lonely work. He had to assume he was a mutant, having rejected all other possible explanations. There was simply no one on Earth he could relate to, as far as he could tell.

He had stopped on the corner to wait for the light to change when he first saw her. He was absent-mindedly scanning the crowds on the opposite corners when his eyes came upon a girl roughly his own age. She stood out in sharp relief from the others, as if he were zooming in on her. It was something he hadn't experienced before.

She glowed and sparkled like a damn Hollywood vampire.

He shook his head and dismissed her, focusing his attention on another corner. And there she was again, smiling an impish grin that was clearly directed at him. He looked back at the other corner, and she was still there, as well.

Kent looked to the third corner to test a theory that was rapidly forming in his mind. She was there, also. Three of them. The thought came to mind that he would probably be happy with just one of them.

Without thinking, he reached behind himself and his hand closed around a slender wrist. Then he felt it disappear, along with the other three of her.

Damn.

###

Joy couldn't resist. She'd been tailing him off and on for a week before she decided to show herself. He was cute! And clearly an alien. She couldn't tell what his abilities were, but she sensed power there. But he wasn't from her planet. Wherever that was. As far as she could tell, she was entirely unique on Earth. The thought made her lonely.

So he made for a delightful new diversion from work. They had a lot in common.

But that name! She had stalked him in various guises until she felt she knew him completely. Or at least she knew his secret identity really well. So contrived. She wondered if he thought he was from Krypton.

At least he wasn't a reporter who wore glasses. His day job was middle-grade web programmer in one of the Soho boutiques or salons or whatever the current trendy term for office was there this month. Although he was a blogger, which was close.

But it was his blogging that was so attractive to her. They shared similar interests. It was a good thing, because he otherwise seemed to lead a pretty boring and routine life. If he ever did any superheroing, Joy didn't see it.

Kent ran a website called LetsKillSomeMotherfuckers.com. It was basically a news aggregation site, but he wrote regular Friday columns that really connected with her. He hated humans with a passion.

The site automatically gathered news articles about convicted rapists and murderers, listing their full names, crimes and cities of residence. In some cases, their home addresses. There was a disclaimer on the bottom of the page in eight-point type: "Parody site. Not to be taken seriously. Don't kill any of these motherfuckers."

But Joy knew that was just cover-your-ass. What it really was was a hit list. And she knew this because she had already used it twice since she shoulder-surfed him while he was updating the site at a Starbucks. It was sort of funny. She approached him in the form of a dumpy latina barrista, complete with dark moustache. She wiped down a few tables, then began wiping around his laptop, shaking the table and spilling his coffee.

He stood up and cradled his apparently precious Mac Air to his chest as she half-heartedly mopped the tabletop. All she needed was the URL, and she had it.

When he was angrily stuffing his gear into his bag, she disappeared. Before he left, he complained to the manager, and was informed that no such employee existed. He bit his tongue and left. Thinking about it, she did seem to be in violation of their Beautiful People policy. He put it out of his mind. Pondering imponderables was a waste of time.

Joy was on her phone within minutes, looking up his website. When she realized what it was about (as if the domain name wasn't enough), she felt a small chill. Not of revulsion. It was like he knew her too well already. She'd found a convicted rapist in the city who had received probation. Outrageous.

One of her projections knocked on his door, seduced him, and then summarily castrated him. It was far from her first, but it was the first time she did it with help. Like they were a team.

She didn't know the specifics. Her projections had no feelings, and the details were blocked to her, but she knew she got results. She also knew something else happened, because she had never read a news report about convicted rapists found with their balls cut off. 

She did think about it, though. It was impossible not to. Did they cut them off? Bite them off? Dentata action? She knew when she wasn't watching and actively controlling them, her holograms were capable of anything. She was pretty sure at least one had transformed into a fierce black dog and bitten them off.

Joy was a little jealous of her projections. Not so much for the killing part, but because she knew they were enjoying the seduction aspect, if it were possible. She thought of them enjoying the sensation of warm, wet lips crushing their own, strong hands grabbing and groping them.

She signed, and black smoke streamed from her mouth. A passerby saw it and did a double-take. But she didn't care if people saw her projections or not, anymore. What could they do about it, anyway?

Back at home, she counted up her take from the Starbucks.


Chapter Two

The encounter with the girl had left Kent shaken, stirred, and drained. He was ordinarily in complete control of his thoughts. Now his mind pendulumed back and forth between paranoia and eroticism.

Who was she? What was she? She was hot! There were four of her! What did she know about him? How much? What should he do? Would he see her again? How? Did he want to? Yes!

She had been completely shielded to him mentally, until he touched her. Then he understood what an anomaly she was. A murderer, much like the ones he routinely tagged and dispatched. But a good murderer. His kind of girl.

He had encountered such situations before, on occasion. Sometimes he would note a murderer, and then receive a vision of their justification. A few follow-ups on his part revealed that these people were never taken away. There was such a thing as justifiable homicide.

His normal detection range was a square mile or so, and not limited by speed. He could work just as well at forty miles an hour as standing still or walking. So at least once a month, he took the train randomly around the city, or took a cab ride across town.

Kent never had a specific destination in mind. He considered it a form of garbage collection. But on each jaunt, he would encounter a feeling along the way that told him it seemed random, but wasn't. There was a bigger, specific target that he had been led to.

This had the unintended outcome of grouping criminals geographically, as those that remained beyond his areas of influence were more or less safe. Unless the bumbling police managed to get one right for a change. It happened occasionally.

He had even considered joining the police force, or hiring on in some administrative fashion, to access the unsolved cases and pending investigations. But he'd dispatched more than his fair share of dirty cops already. Enough to turn his stomach and mind away from such thoughts. Any organization that was corruptible wasn't worth having. Joining one that was already corrupt was ludicrous. He disliked the absurd, much as Hitler despised surrealism.







George Orwell on Janique Turner

"If you want to know the future, imagine Janique's stiletto heels walking all over bitches. Forever." - George Orwell, via Chris Turner.

More from 'Ultimate Hustle'



Chris sat, stunned, and pondered the imponderable. Janique had walked out on him. He rubbed the stubble on his jaw and debated making another pot of coffee. In a moment of non-clarity, he wished he had gone forward with his proposal to develop a coffee pot that determined in advance exactly when it should make more.

"Your brain gives off an 'I want coffee' signal when you want coffee, right?" he remembered asking her.

"Sure," she said.

"So, the electroencephalograph monitors for that signal. The thing is, you don't instantly want coffee, the urge develops over time, and at certain times. You determine what that point is, electromagnetically, and work your way backward from there for the amount of time it takes to make a cup."

"Sort of like a built-in caffeine gauge."

"Exactly!" he said, elaborating. "So it can also use fuzzy logic based on past instances to more or less predict when you'll want coffee, like in the mornings. Between the two methods, you should always have hot, fresh coffee whenever you realize you want some."

"Impressive," Janique said. "With the unintentional side-effect of sometimes making coffee when you didn't know you wanted any."

"Well, you don't have to drink it," he offered up sheepishly, smiling.

"Right. And such is the price we pay for convenience. So what would something like that cost?"

"I could probably put it on the shelf for fifty thousand, with installation costs."

"Installation costs?" she asked, ignoring the ridiculous price tag.

"Sure. That's actually cheap for an EEG machine. This is sort of a mini version, so you can wear metal around it. Pretty powerful electromagnets, ordinarily. And this way, it doesn't require any implants."

Janique beamed. "Because we all know Ultimate Hustle rule number four," she said.

"No implants!" they said together and laughed.

"Chris, I think we should do it. We have the money to fund the research. It's a good idea, if it'll work."

"Oh, it'll work."

"Well, a fifty-thousand dollar coffee pot is stupid, but if you can introduce new functions with the same hardware, and I'm operating under the assumption that you can..."

"Of course," he said. "I guess I was a little fixated on the coffee pot aspect."

"You do have sort of a one-track mind," she said, giving him her Academy Award-winning smile. "My question is, can you find the engineers to do something like that?"

"Oh, I've got the engineers," he said. "Not to mention the fact that most of your techie types tend to gravitate toward young, beautiful women."

Janique excused herself with a kiss on his cheek, and left with his latest scripts and concept pieces.

###

Chris had gotten pretty deep into the tech once UH was on autopilot. The films he still appeared in were rare, and always unplanned for in advance. Janique (or someone else, he thought distractedly) arranged "scenes", as they called them, seemingly randomly. Unbeknownst to him, they were largely based around his own movements throughout the world.

No one, they agreed, wanted to see more films of Chris Turner going off on some frightened yet blase' starlet in the same old locations. He had become so reclusive, he rarely left his lab. The trouble was, no one used the locations he selected, and no one told him of any particular place he should visit. He had no real sex drive anymore, apart from Janique.

Chris was high on the act of creation. He considered the scripts and scenarios he released into the wild little art viruses. They always mutated from his notebooks to the store shelves and digital archives, but some core of her personal truths managed to slip through, regardless.

Inevitably, the end result was better than if he had struggled to maintain tight control over every aspect of production.

But there was so much more to it than that, and it couldn't be shared with anyone. It was difficult to express alphanumerically, but rather incorporated runic figures, ideograms and symbology. He sent ideas out into the ether, and the universe responded in kind.

No one would believe or understand anything he said, so he said nothing.

Instead, he got high, wrote a little, occasionally evaluated audition tapes of second stringers the company sent him, and poured his earnings into new and secretive tech projects. He funded a cadre of like-minded researchers and developers who pursued faster than real-time processing and rendering.

So far, they had broken through to the extent that they gained the ability to diminsh or remove blemishes, so even the demo reels showed the girls in an idealized form. This led to dissatisfaction on Chris's part, so they began the more intensive work of developing the technology that would instead let them augment skin surfaces with tattoos and interesting scars. It was starting to feel too sterile, otherwise.

Their current pursuit beyond that was actually enhancing the figures of the actresses, so that the cameras showed them as even more curvacious and ripe, adding that big extra to Ultimate Hustle productions, allowing them to further outpace any other production houses in existence.

Chris became lost in thought, seeing a point where they would actually have the ability to artificially make someone (women), appear younger or older. He didn't fund development for actors. It was an entirely new set of costly problems, and they could instead go to a gym or something.



Intro to 'Star Hustle'

The Ultimate Hustle series is as follows:

Radar Love (published)
Penultimate Hustle (written)
Ultimate Hustle (plotted)
Superlove (plotted)
Star Hustle (?)
Dark Hustle (?)

Star Hustle will be the merger of the Perfect Me and Ultimate Hustle universes. I actually developed Prail as a character to counteract Janique, and then they started working together...


Chris and Janique Turner stood poised on the edge of the building, high winds whipping at their hair.

"Here goes nothing," she said, looking into her man's eyes.

They, like many other rich celebrities, had been visited in their dreams. They were promised Paradise. All they had to do was go along with the plan. The World Trade Centers were packed to the brim with world leaders, criminals, evildoers. The planes were loaded with movie stars and musicians, artists and poets.

Stephen King and Peter Straub piloted them.

It was going to be the most spectacular piece of interactive performance art the multiverse had ever known, second only perhaps to Prail and Project X's political scheming. And Chris and Janique held the positions of honor, as the beacons to guide the planes in.

It was Chris's idea to jump. The ultimate romantic act.

At the approach of the planes, Chris held Janique's delicate face in his hand, turning her to face him.

"I just love you," he told her.

"And I, you," she replied.

They jumped, hand in hand. As the ground rushed up to meet them, wind rushing through their hair and clothes, they held each other in a final, eternal embrace. They heard an unfamiliar tune as they fell: "Meet me in outer space /  I will hold you close, if you're afraid of heights".

At the last possible instant, two superheroes swept in to grab them out of the air, Jason and Johnnie Christie.

"Superlove, bitches," Jason said, laughing.

Walter Midi

I wrote this in 2008. Matthew Broderick will star in a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty this fall.



I spend my days killin' grays
Hidden by a RAID arrary
Motherfuckers try to game me
But I still don't play
Now the ways I slay
Are my dirty little secret
Don't speak it
If you do I'll have to tweak shit
The secret life of Jake, Zakk and Randy
Some motherfuckers can't stand me
Because I tell 'em that they're pansies
Nancy drew boys in the name of Freddy
I stay ready
For whatever comes next, see?

I'm all about the Blitz Basic
     Just face it
The last time I flipped I put a hole in the matrix

It's a fact that I'm back and I'm mad as hell
I took the bass and turned it up because you don't hear so well
I'm Bartleby the Scrivner, I'm also one of the Watchmen
Fuck around? I'll have to go Tex Watson
Both flotsam and jetsam
Alpha dog, straight omega
ATL are the ones
Who played you like Sega
Valentine Michael Manson
Pooh Bear to my friends
And like Mike Patton said
It just never ends

I'm all about the Blitz Basic
     Just face it
The last time I flipped I put a hole in the matrix

Like Carol Anne
I went into the TV
It kinda makes it hard to see me
But it's easy
Once you finally know the formula
I cool out
Once I know that I'm warmin' ya
But I'm warnin' ya
You're never gonna be me
I'm too leet
Like Corpus Christi
Nice try
Bitch, you fuckin' missed me

I'm all about the Blitz Basic
     Just face it
The last time I flipped I put a hole in the matrix



Intro to 'Ultimate Hustle'

Yeah, yeah, I haven't published Penultimate Hustle yet. Sorry. Working on it now. In the meantime, here's the first part of the sequel.


Chris Turner checked his watch a final time and opened the motel room door. There she was. Right on time. Blonde. Petite. High heels. He put his hand over her mouth and dragged her inside with an absence of effort that comes with years of practice.

He closed the door behind them and rolled her to the end of his arm like Gene Kelly, releasing the hold he had on her mouth. He looked her up and down, nodding approvingly to himself. Janique knew how to pick them, that was for sure.

"Mister, I'm only sevent-" was all she had time to say before Chris popped a ping-pong ball in her mouth and covered it with a strip of duct tape. Janique's latest kick was a series with household objects as sex toys. People didn't need expensive bondage gear, she said. It was all around the house.

He considered removing the tape and lecturing her on current federal statutes pertaining to the adult film industry and decided he'd talk to her afterward and let them fix it in the edit. Right now, he wanted to unwrap this latest bundle.

The thin white blouse tore right off, revealing a white silken bra and pert B-cup breasts. Chris regretted that Janique wasn't there to enjoy this with him. He spun the girl around roughly and pushed her toward the bed, forcing her to face away from him and brace herself with her arms.

He pulled down the brass zipper of her skirt with one hand, and pulled the skirt off with the other, leaving it bunched around her ankles. Chris then turned her to face him and saw a look of genuine fear in the girl's eyes.

Nice. It was one of the many details of Janique's work that he appreciated. Whenever possible, she demanded acting skills, and went to far as to teach classes on the art. She had several worthy understudies, but so far, none could match Janique's ability to appear terrified during a scene, much less that magical animal quality she exhibited when she got deep into her role.

Chris produced a wad of old clothesline from the dresser and considered his options. The girl had a real damsel-in-distress quality about her that begged for a classic pose. He folded her arms behind her back and tied her wrists together, then bound her upper arms tightly. He began to get excited by her obvious discomfort.

When he turned her around on the bed to tie her legs, he caught a glimpse of her obviously unshaven pubic hair through her, naturally, plain white panties. That was also a refreshing new twist from Janique. Most of the Ultimate Hustle girls favored Brazilian waxes.

In this poor girl's case, it increased her desirability. Chris bent her legs at the knees and tied them individually, doing his best to imitate the style Janique liked, with wide bands of tightly constricting rope. It took longer than it should have due to her thrashing about and resisting him, once getting him so aggravated he slapped her across the face. After that, she acquiesced, moving her legs or shifting her body weight to accommodate his demands.

When she was at last utterly helpless to move, Chris began kissing her inner thighs. Soon he had his mouth on her panties, kissing her there, rubbing his mouth against her. The girl's body responded of its own accord, and she began to thrust forward toward him as best she could.

His tongue began to work its way under the edges of her panties. Soon, he was sucking on her pussy from the sides, pulling her lips beyond the confines of her underwear. He made a commendable effort, considering he had yet to use his hands. Chris had just made first tentative contact with her clit when he decided to rip her panties off.

He rolled her onto her side and the sight of her quivering ass and snatch became too much to bear. Chris dropped his pants and climbed onto the bed behind her. He leaned over to kiss her face and neck, and she arched her back to him and moaned. The touch of his lips to her neck appeared to drive her wild. Just as he prepared to enter her for the first time, he stopped.

She didn't have an Ultimate Hustle tattoo.

In a panic, Chris pulled the strip of tape from her mouth. She stared at him for a moment and then spit the ping-pong ball at him.

"Who are you?" he said.

"Who are you?" she replied.

"I think I made a mistake."

"Well, don't stop now."

Chris eyed her intently.

"What? I'm on vacation."

"How old are you? Wait, don't tell me. I don't like grape."

At their request, Brad had designed a circuit that sat between the cameras and recorders and listened for Janique's unused safe word. Upon recognition, it killed all recording.

"Grapes? What?"

"Nothing."

Despite his worry, he never lost his erection. At that point, Chis realized he'd have to go through with it. The girl who lay before him helplessly bound was now dominating him, instead. If it wasn't for Janique, he doubted that he would have adjusted to the BDSM lifestyle. The balance of power shifted so fast at times, it was like having sex on a see-saw. Which, thinking about it, they had never done before.

"Hurry," she said. "My parents will be looking for me."

Resigned to his fate, Chris crawled back onto the bed over her.

"I can't wait to tell my friends I was raped by Chris Turner."

Outside on the balcony, an upstart Ultimate Hustle actress from the Ukraine named Milla dialed Janique.

"He's not here," she said.



Prefect Me

A preview of my secretly-titled offshoot of Perfect Me, featuring Project X, Prail Abraxis's brother... This is actually an 'experimental' short story that won't be included in the novel, but gives you some indication as to how wild it will be. I had to reel it in a lot to write the actual book.




Jack, as played by Pex, really thought he blended.

"The soul of a poet on my desk - it's where the jar is."

Somewhere, Sylvia Plath died.

"That's it, bub. Uh, Bob's your uncle," the charitable gentleman said, in what would become the opening salvo in an epic battle.

Pex was sure he was going mad. Their voices filled his brain.

"Um, now may I have something to eat?"

The director looked at him momentarily. He blinked - reblinked - swept poetry from his head. He said, "Here's some vouchers, wot? Golden Arches down the street. The lot here closes at nine - remember not to drink."

Pex looked down into his hand. His hand said, "Your name's Jack. You don't need this chit. This marker. This voucher."

He ignored it. Prail said, "Jason, please stop now. I'm sorry."

He was all about the burgers. There was a rumbly in his tumbly as he passed Stadium Wembley and Shining Time Station.

###

Johnnie: "Fucking British!"

O.D., sent by High-C, bumped off some more "poets". Information society. Needed. Was hiding.

###

Jack walked into the lobby, a wobblie from the sticks. A bubba (Oh, shit.). He placed several of the gift certificates, ten pounds sterling each (yearling, Rod Serling), onto the counter.

"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"

He spoke standardized American.

"Uh, yeah. Gimme two number ones. Fuck the Yes Men." 

He greenlit the sequel.

"And one fish sandwich - for here or to go?"

"I'll stay," he said.

He ignored the fact that the restaurant was haunted. It's what they wanted.

"Bing," said Eve and Gwen Stefani.

Sherman's wife came to help. He was working. 

"Dismal euphony?"

They screamed, "Her fucking name is Johnnie!"

Pex wrote it down. He probably wouldn't forget it. She was right, he thought. Fucking British.

But the girl who took his order tried to look...familiar. Hmmm. Their Turing Tester was busted - they wanted him to fix it. He and Prail played Pong for hours, and both texted Johnnie back: "Tell him to write one for you."

Ignored her. And smiled.

She paused.

"Look at all those extras littering your set."

Resumed.

I wonder what I should do now, he wondered. Consulted the script. Improvised munitions. Bit, chewed, swallowed. Smiled. Sighed.

"I guess I need a job."

It occurred to him that all of his knowledge was theoretical. Andy Kaufman walked off the set of Fridays.

"Oh, Mr. Grant!" cried Mary Tyler Moore.

Back at her new office, Janique and Prail assayed the date Pex relayed.

"Fuck!" they yelled. 

One-time pad. His patented encryption. (Write her a poem!)

Janique blinked. "Praline, do you see what I see?"

"Afraid so. Shit."

The cheeky bastard had scrambled decades of data and arranged it out of sequence to spell "Political Schemer".

Johnnie had a frank discussion - greenlit The Feederz. It was a codeword for endgame, but from Jason to her.

"Alyssa Milano will pay for this!" Janique swore.

"And Tiffany, too," Suzanne added.

Prail said, "Did you hear that?"

"Yeah, but they heard it yesterday," Janique answered.

"So now what?"

"Pull him out."

###

Pex was on the run. He thought it was a game. 

"USL," he said. "Remember this?"

He looked down, creased his brow.

"Payback is a bitch."

And drank. Filed the information away for later. Conveyed it to his homeboy.

###

He thought he heard the goddesses.

They screamed at once, "You did!"

###

Who was fucking with who, Prail wondered. At that point, she thought she'd test his mettle. Her brother was such a method actor. Man. Well, fine, she thought. If he wants to pretend to be an Earthling so bad, I'll teach him about resistance.

"Om," Pex said to the counter girl.

"Slaw?"




Monday, July 30, 2012

When the Levee Breaks



Why did I do it? I had to do something to make you people recognize my genius. I realize you probably lack the cognitive ability necessary to empathize with me, but could you possibly imagine what it would be like to live as a wage slave when you had ideas worth millions bubbling to the surface in your head?

Of course you can't.

But, still. I showed you bastards, didn't I? Worst fucking disaster in the history of the United States. Fuck, maybe the world. This made the Chunnel cave-in look like a leaky pipe, eh?

You know what's the funniest thing about it? You idiots gave me the idea in the first place. Right before you kicked me out of school, no less. In Honors, we were assigned a book about the Mississippi River flood of 1928. Little did I know when I read it that I would be recreating the whole thing in less than two years time.

People write and ask me, reporters ask me, hell, my mom asked me, "What do you have against New Orleans?"

Well, aside from it smelling of piss, being home to a disproportionate number of low-lives, and having the most corrupt police force on Earth, nothing. I don't have anything against the people of New Orleans. They got the treatment for the same reason Hillary climbed Everest: it was there. But it does make a rather dramatic point about the failures of urban planning, does it not?

That's the problem with you people. You fail to recognize and bow to your mental superiors. If I (Or someone like myself. I am far from unique.)  tell you that I can revolutionize television, or plumbing, or whatever the hell it is that needs improvement, you should listen. Otherwise, things continue going along as they are. That is to say, badly. And you gain a disgruntled social architect with a taste for dramatic revenge.

It's really simple, when you consider it. How did we come into a situation where the fucking illiterates have control over the intelligentsia?

In a little over two hundred years time, this country has gone from a burgeoning hotbed of inventive ideas to a lifeless intellectual quagmire. Were the bread and circuses really worth it? Nowadays, it doesn't matter if you did cure cancer. You still have to wait five years for an FDA hearing so they can reject it. Living here is like being in Lilliput, tied down by a thousand ant-like creatures.

It's a wonder more people don't snap. In retrospect, I probably should have done some gene splicing and come up with a virus to kill stupid people.

The other thing everyone seems to be fascinated with is how I did it. It really wasn't that much of a finesse job, but rather a display of brute force coupled with more than a little cunning. Crude, but effective. The average person's tendency to bow to anyone in a uniform, even a fucking oilfield worker's jumpsuit, made it really easy for me.

The hardest thing to do was getting the money together for the drilling equipment. I can't stand working for idiots and assholes. That's ninety-five percent of the business owners in this country. The explosives themselves came from a recipe right off the ole Internet. My enhancements to the formula did increase the yield fourfold, of course. The electronics weren't much more complicated than a child's remote controlled car.

The brilliant part was the detonator.

I burned a CD with an encoding of the signal required to set off the charges interwoven into a four-track recording I made myself. I was surprised at how receptive they were at the radio station. Funny thing is, they liked it so much, they almost broadcast it on the spot when I dropped it off. If I hadn't asked the guy to wait and play it Friday at five P.M., I would have been as screwed as the rest of you people.

I wish I had a video of it. Four miles of Mississippi River levee collapsing to the tune of Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks".

Friday, July 13, 2012

Promised Land



"You got the shit, nigga?"

"Motherfucker, I got the shit. You got my money?"

"Twenty Gs."

"We said twenty-two."

"So you dip a few ounces."

"Yeah, aight. We do this at my spot."

"Fuck that shit. Muhfukkin' Pirus would do me on sight, money or not."

"I tole you that gang shit was weak. Entangling alliances and shit.  Look at me. I stayed solo, and I'm doin' keys."

"I'm doin' keys."

"You WANT to do keys. But you also got motherfuckers who don't know you that want to kill you. My game is tight. Anyway, I'ma do this for you. Come to the parking garage on Slausen tonight at eleven."

"Crenshaw?"

"Don't sweat it. It's safe. I do it all the time."

"Aight."

"And I know you ain't even thinkin' 'bout bringin' somebody..."

"No, I wasn't."

"Aight, then. I'll see you at eleven. Don't fuck me."

He hung up the telephone and smiled an evil smirk. Stupid fuckin' kid. He couldn't believe how easy it was. Literally candy from babies. But in this case the candy was Colombian crack or shopping bags full of small bills.

He formulated his plan while incarcerated in California for a murder in the early eighties. In a fit of rage, he had shotgunned an acquaintance in Oakland. Didn't even get out of the car, never realizing what a trendsetter he was. He stayed in San Quentin for six years, until the notoriously liberal California justice system decided he was "reformed" and released him. On his own recognizance, as they say.

Things were simpler, then, within prison and without. In lockdown, things were strictly divided along color lines: white, black, hispanic. No real orientals to speak of. The Samoans were motherfuckers. They had allegiance to themselves, and traveled in all worlds equally well, being diplomatic or snapping necks as the situation warranted. Jail was a tense, uneasy experience, but the loose-knit unity and the protection it provided made it bearable. He'd never had to kill in prison.

A few years into his sentence, he began to hear about L.A. Fourteen year-old kids buying Benzes with cash. Kilos. Gold. Women. He wanted it all. So why not just take it?

He decided to do just that.

Now that he had goals and aspirations in life, he literally had years to work toward them before setting them into motion. He immersed himself in urban legend and lore. He listened to the real O.G.s. He actually studied gangsterism from the 20s to the present. He started listening to hip-hop.

In his day, rappin' was disco shit. Party shit. Sugarhill Gang was just funk like Parliament or Rick James. But nowadays, rap was large, and it wasn't disco shit. It was gangsta shit. Ice-T, N.W.A., Above the Law. Rap truly was a black CNN, and he heard the message loud and clear: L.A. was the land of blood and money.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pet



You bring out the fascist
In my jeans
Runaway slave
Returned
Of her own accord
Imprisoned
By a love that binds
A bird
In a room without walls