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How Hipsters Taught Me The Beauty of The World

Scientists say that complaining is a part of life. It’s unavoidable, because it’s a necessary part of existence. It’s chemical, people MUST complain about things. If you have nothing to complain about, life ends, so you must find whatever tiny irritant exists to have something to complain about.

Now, we’re supposed to hate hipsters, despise them in fact. We’re supposed to call them shit stains on the underpants of humanity and complete wastes of space for being the total shit stains on the underpants of humanity and complete wastes of space that they are. BUT WAIT! Just hang on a moment, give me a few minutes of your time and let me tell you about how Hipsters changed my mind about life, the universe and everything.

In 2008, Polaroid (or what remained of it) announced it would no longer be making instant film. The hipsters, true to their rather worthless form, treated this as the sign that the apocalypse had begun. They rushed to LiveJournal and tumblr and bitched and moaned about how unfair it was. Oh the howls, oh the moans, of the gnashing of teeth and wailing into the wind my dears, my darlings.

“Oh shut the fuck up!” cried many a denizen of this fine internet.

“First World Problems!” Declared others in a firm and steady voice.

BUT! If I may, allow us to examine this from another angle, I think you may see that actually these hipsters carry with them the promise of heaven.

YEAH! I said it. Promise of Heaven.

Think about this for a moment, if you will. Or rather, dig if you will the picture…

This life is a sad veil of tears, yeah? But there are, in mythology, beings called messengers or envoys. These beings enjoy a more joyous and perfect life. In Greek, the word used to describe such perfect creatures is ángelos. They bring us glad tidings, they bring us hope. We can look towards these creatures, some beautiful, some hideous, some both, and know that perfection can be achieved.

Now consider this for a moment. There are mortals who enjoy lives so encapsulated by bliss, so crystalline and flawless, so utterly and completely perfect that the only thing, THE ONLY THING, that they have to complain about is that an economically unviable product, from a bankrupt company, was no longer going be to available for their use. The rest of their time is spent liking things before they were cool, buying albums they bought on itunes a months ago on vinyl, and growing their facial hair. We’re still complaining about pain, physical pain. We complain about crippling depression, bigotry, sickness, and the simple basic difficulty of getting over the betrayal of loved ones. We are too much of this earth, every too much in the sun.

While we concern ourselves of these base and low concerns, these… these… these plaid clad angels with ugly horn rim glasses and handle bar mustaches walk among us. Yes, you might argue that there is a reason people stopped having handle bar mustaches, but they disagree and besides it took her so much effort to grow. Who are we to disagree? They are, as I said angels, walking abroad among us in this world.

YES! Brothers and Sisters! I say unto you, that these angels are a promise of a better world! One where the only thing we have to worry about is Polaroid film and someone, somewhere, liking something before we liked it. They are a PROMISE my dears, my darlings. They live in a world of unutterable beauty, of inexcusable perfection. They are our angels.

In point of fact, they’re better than angels. Real Angels are like… Wheels of Fire! With a giant eye looking out from the middle. If one of those showed up, you’d think Sauron had just showed up and you’d just sit there trying to scream, but no words would come out. At least with a Hipster you know the reason you’re not saying anything is because you’re biting back a lot of comments.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this is satire, that I’m being comical. That’s a reasonable supposition, particularly if you’ve read me before, but no! I’m being serious.

The world is a beautiful and glorious place, and all I had to do was to look at it like these mindless creatures, who are so far above that even thought is beyond them. They live in a jewel of perfection of a world, and we just need to work hard and achieve that level for everyone. There is a place so beautiful it causes rancor and endless cynicism for its inhabitants. Don’t you see? We no longer need the gods, we don’t need to look forward to heaven. We, and these beautifully hideous creatures, we can form such a place.

My dears, my darling, do you know what that’s worth? Heaven can be a place on earth. They say in Heaven, love comes first. In 2010, The Impossible Project started producing new lines of Polaroid Cameras and film for the old cameras. Heaven, my dears, my darlings, is a place on earth.

I will forever find comfort in these beautiful, mad, frightfully stupid bastards. You can too. Maybe you were afraid before, I’m not afraid anymore.

It should be said, when I explained this to Syd she opened a browser and brought up this image…

So, maybe it’s not a universal theory.

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July 3, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Why Do You Still Need Feminism?

We sat at the counter and ate and drank. “Did you make the spaghetti sauce?” she said.
“Yeah. A secret recipe I got off the back of the tomato paste can.”
“And the salad dressing? Is there honey in it?”
“Yep. Got that from my mother.”
She shook her head. “Fighter, lover, gourmet cook? Amazing.”
“Nope. I’ll take the fighter, lover, but the gourmet cook is a sexist remark.”
“Why?”
“If you’d cooked this no one would say you were a gourmet cook. It’s because I’m a man. A man who cooks and is interested in it is called a gourmet. A woman is called a housewife. Now eat the goddamned spaghetti.” I said.
She did. Me too.

Promised Land – By Robert B. Parker (1976)

There is something you are taught in therapy, I have been told. I myself have never had more than a brief fling with therapy (it becoming obvious quite quickly that it actually wasn’t me that had the problem the one time I went in for real) but I have been told and I have read a lot. You’re not supposed to make “You Statements” when you talk about something bothering you, but rather “I Statements”. It’s not supposed to be “You do this to annoy me!” but instead go for “I am annoyed by this.” which brings charges that therapy makes people selfish, because they talk more about themselves than other people. I’m often thrown by this, because the complaint often becomes “She just talks about herself and doesn’t want to gossip anymore.” or “They won’t just sit and listen to me anymore!” and I check out of the conversation from there. As a result, I’m going to try to use a lot of I Statements here, because I want to talk about how a thing effects me as well as others.

I’ve listened to a lot of Men’s Rights stuff over the last few years, and almost agreed with some of it. The problem is that they often loose me the more they talk, see if you can see where I’m going with this little playlet.

MRA – Men aren’t allowed to be what they want in this society!
Me – Okay, you’ve almost got something of a point there. (Let’s see what you do with it)
MRA – We’re as trapped as women by the expectations of modern life.
Me – Here! Here! (Why can’t a man wear a dress?)
MRA – Which is why feminism needs to go away!
Me – I’m sorry?
MRA – Women need to get back into the kitchen and remember their place!
Me – Wha-Huh?
MRA – And then men can be MEN again!
Me – What in the seven levels of hell are you talking about?
MRA – Bitches won’t date me! I’m Unwillingly Celibate!
Me – Um….
MRA – I mean, I open doors and everything.
Me – Okay, you need to shut up now or I will beat you to death with this small decorative elephant that a relative gave me as a memento of their trip to Mexico. Why a brass elephant from Mexico, I’ve always wondered, but I will kill you with it.
MRA – You’re just saying that because *URK*!
Me – *thump* Muthafucka! *thump* I did say. *thumpthumpthump*

NOW! Why was I even listening to this person at the start? It has to do with the quote I started with. A person starting with that phrase can go one of two ways, you can either go towards some idea of gender equality, or towards the idea that you should be handed “hot bitches” free with every oil change. I am not going to go into the whole argument here, but if you shower and if you open doors because you’re polite (instead of making a speech about chivalry and how now people OWE YOU for being a decent person) then things will actually go easier for you. It’s not that women love jerks, if they did, they’d go for some of you self-professed Nice Guys.

That’s not even what I called you all here to discuss!

I cook, I have always cooked, ever since I was a child I have cooked. When I have cooked, there have always been people who have treated this like it’s some kind of magic. As if I stood back away from the stove, rolled up my sleeves and yelled “Ala-ca-muthafuckin-ZAM!” and with a brilliant yellow flash (which would mean there was sodium in the mixture) there was suddenly food. Even people who themselves knew how to cook treated this mystical skill of mine like something I learned at the foot of Wong Fei Hung. Because I was a male, cooking, it was regarded as an odd and noteworthy event.

I was quite old before I realized that I actually could cook quite well, enviably well in fact. That it wasn’t just people reacting to the notion of a male-child applying the mystic roots and ancient flames to ingredients in order to create food from non-edible matter. The concept of a male cooking has become less noteworthy over the last twenty years or so, but well into my early twenties it was still an odd and interesting thing to talk about. That I was basically the only one in our house that did the cooking, was often seen as weird and frankly wrong.

Now, Syd can cook some. In that she can cook some things, when she puts her mind to it. I suppose if she had to cook all the time, she would probably be good at it, but she doesn’t need to. Holly could just about toast bread and spread peanut butter on it without burning the house down. She was more than happy to let me do the cooking, because she had no interest at all. In fact, most the women I’ve dated haven’t had much use for the notion of cooking, allowing someone else to do it as much as possible. Just a thing, like so many others. Women I have dated have many a similarity. ANYWAY. I get annoyed at the idea though, that because I cook I am performing magic. It’s bad enough when I actually do something magical, like make a marshmallow. It’s doubly annoying when someone treats any application of heat to food like I’ve performed some kind of goddamned miracle and should have statues erected in my fabulous honor. (Note, I’m not saying cancel the statue, it’s a great statue, but honor my skills as a world-class lover, not as someone who can cook.)

The latest kerfuffle Penny Arcade got into actually reminds and prompts me on this. The problem with all gender issues boils down to the cooking thing for me. Sexual identity means something to me, because all identity issues mean something to me. How you identify yourself is important, because without self-identity where are you? What you decide to be, who you are, how you act, how you present yourself to the world, it all has an impact. Sometimes it’s changing everything about you (even fixing physical errors you were stuck with by the cheap dvergar laborers that the gods hire for people construction) and sometimes it’s just doing what you feel most comfortable with.

Cooking should not be considered some kind of transsexual affair, and I should not be considered a hero for doing it. And yet, I was by people who thought they were admiring me. I often got treated like I was some brave pioneer, throwing off the yoke of gender identity roles while… I dunno, cooking without an apron. I have never worn an apron, I don’t tuck a towel into my belt either. I just keep a hand towel on the stove and this isn’t important. I was actually called “Pretty Brave” by someone who was well meaning and thought they were delivering a compliment. When asked to elaborate, they said some people would “call you queer for doing that” and that “it’s kinda gay for a guy to cook” but that I made it “look masculine”. I almost felt bad killing that person and leaving their body in a peat bog but it was the only way people will learn! Now remember, that was supposed to be a compliment. It didn’t feel like one at the time, and the person began to see how I felt about it as the interview continued.

No one has ever tried to insult me, or threaten me because I canoodle in the kitchen (cooks have VERY big knives) but they do belittle the event with this notion of gender normativism. It’s deeply insulting to think that only a woman is really supposed to cook, and it harms both me and the woman not cooking to say so. That, if I may conclude where I intended to begin, is why I still need feminism. Yeah, it’s not as big as other people’s, but I’m a cis-gendered middle class white male. If I don’t like something you do or say to me, I’m still legally allowed to burn your house down (unless you are an upper-class white male) because, you know, privilege. That’s just it though, as a therapeutic tool, this has to be about me, not about you. Still though, it’s a sign, one that comes even up to the cis-gendered middle class white guy level that says “Shit’s still broken!” and asks us to fix it. The deeper we go, the more problems we’re going to find, and if this one made it to the surface…

When I’m still being applauded for being a man that cooks, and rape culture is still a thing that people pretend doesn’t exist, and gender stereotypes are still rigidly enforced… can any of us say we’re truly free? There are eight million stories in the Naked City Internet, this is one of them.

June 28, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

BULB!

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June 23, 2013 Posted by | Photo, Photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Windows

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May 31, 2013 Posted by | Photo, Photography | , , | Leave a comment

It keeps getting harder

This space, that space, they keep looking at me.
And I keep not writing anything.
I want to.
I have thoughts,
Ideas.
Things I want to say.
The longer I go without writing things down,
The harder it is to put things down.
And then it takes longer to put things down
And then it gets harder.
And the cycle continues.
Ands nothing gets out and nothing gets put down and one day we’ll talk about why there are never any people in my photographs…

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May 15, 2013 Posted by | Photo, Photography | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twins in Death: Chapter Four – Part Four

Twins in Death

A Tale of The Weirdo

By Brett N. Lashuay

 

 

Chapter Four: The Red Twin

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:11 p.m.

 

            The father had been done quickly, a clean cut across the throat as he approached the invader. The blood sprayed into the attacker’s face, bits of gore landing on his tongue. The endorphins exploded in his brain at that moment, adrenaline began to rush, and the amygdala began to work full force. He continued to move into the kitchen, his eyes caught by the curly blonde hair mommy had. He’d grabbed the mother by her hair and threw a plate at the eldest of the two children. She dodged, but a piece of the broken plate cut a piece of her cheek.

 

            “Now you watch this.” He lifted the mother by the hair and threw her bodily across the table.

 

            “Oh god no!” The woman screamed as his hand tore her skirt away.

 

            “Oh yes darling.” He said as he began to violate her.

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:12 p.m.

 

            “Where did he go?” Max asked after looking up from a magazine rack where there was still a copy of the Death of Omega special of Time. A current copy of Newsweek had a picture of The Blue Ray and caption asking if superheroes were the wave of the future.

 

            “Hmm?” Tommy said as he looked around.

 

            They saw The Weirdo already beginning to cross the street, towards the five young men and the single old man. The two of them watched as he walked towards the group, moving with the sort of arrogance only a top predator can manage.

 

            “Shit.” Tommy sighed and made a motion with his entire body that stated he was too tired for this.

           

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:13 p.m.

 

            Mother had struggled, and they had ended up on the floor. He had smacked her head on the floor to try and keep her from fighting until he was finished with her, but she was making it so difficult. He had slipped out of her twice and was about ready to leave her for the little girl curled up on the floor when he felt the end coming.

 

            He yanked the phone cord from the wall and looped it twice around her neck, and he yanked. Some small sound escaped her as he pulled on the cord. Her tears were cut off suddenly as the cord went taut. Her face turned a bright red and veins appeared all over her face. Her two children looked into her eyes as her tongue began to protrude from her mouth and the life left her face. She fell limp long before he stopped strangling her. He felt himself going limp while still inside her and tried to thrust himself more forcefully to get his member into the spirit again.

 

            She hadn’t been able to finish him, and now he was standing with his dick shriveling up in her. He wanted to keep at her but it was no longer working. In a final moment of frustration with her, he pulled the carving knife from the leg of lamb they’d been having for dinner and hacked and slashed at her neck. The head wouldn’t come off though, not in the quick fashion he had expected. He cut and cut but it was not the easy thing movies made it look like. He took hold of the head, twisted and finally ripped it from the neck, throwing it across the room.

 

            “Now.” He said panting, closing his trousers. “For you two.”

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:14 p.m.

 

            There were five of them. They were young, agile, strong, and white. He was one bent old Korean man. They were trying to block his way, insulting him, and soon they would get to the shoves. They were just a pack of small-minded bullies, trying to make themselves feel big. Their victim was nothing more to them than an instrument to tell them they weren’t the lowest rungs on the ladder. The Weirdo had been a small child, always the runt. One does not forget the image of all the bigger stronger kids deciding to beat up on the runt. Of course bullies rarely forgot him after he was done, so it was an even trade.

 

            Jack was following at a discreet distance, his hand read to go for the Browning pistol he was still sporting in those days. This handgun was a remnant from the days before he began buying all his firearms from Heckler and Koch. His left hand sank into his back pocket and touched the extra clip of ammunition just to be sure it was there. He looked behind him and Tommy and Max put the groceries in the trunk of the car, trying to be nonchalant. You’d have to have been as close as Jack was to see Tommy hand Max the small MP5 machine gun. It was easier to see Tommy pull out the large shape of the Thompson sub machine gun, but he knew what he was looking for. It might not come to that, but best to be prepared.

 

            The Weirdo didn’t have any weapons in his hand, but they would be there when he needed them. There wasn’t a lot of natural light left, not at this time of year, the sun had already slunk most of the way to the west and in the city darkness descends faster any way. The street lights had not yet started to flicker on, so there was a line of sight down this street to where the sun was though, an a few red streaks of light slashed across the pavement. The Weirdo walked deliberately around the light, as if he had decided to walk in shadow as penance for some crime. The light did shine on one of the young men, and The Weirdo decided to talk to him.

 

            “Excuse me.” The Weirdo said approaching them.

 

            He took his sunglasses off, folded them, and slipped them into a pocket. He moved with the sort of grace that can only be achieved after a lifetime of learning how to look cool. The light helped, the way it shone down on him, it was dramatic. One could say he looked like a knight of old, or a gun fighter, or a superhero, it was that kind of light. It was hard for people not to get impressed when the setting sun is at your back.

           

            “What the fuck is this?” One of them who was harder to impress asked.

 

            “Profanity.” The Weirdo said, shaking his head sadly. “Bad way to start.”

 

            “Fuck you.” The talkative one amongst them said.

 

            “You know, I could ask what exactly you think you’re doing.” He said, walking slowly towards them. His voice sounded friendly, like a friend trying to teach something.

 

            “Go mind your own fucking business.” Another of the group, this one a dark haired genius, said getting very close to The Weirdo. “This is private business.”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said his voice so cold that it could induce mist. “Why don’t you boys go away? Before something bad happens to you?”

 

 

October 23rd, 2002

6:15 p.m.

 

            “You’re next you little shit!” The still unnamed villain said as he grabbed for the six-year-old. 

 

            His older sister already lay dead on the floor; a large lamp had smashed the small body. He watched as the man frustratedly mounted his dead sister, as he had his mother. Blood was already congealing into patterns on the hardwood floor that would be snapped later by a crime scene technician. Something was clearly wrong with the man. He looked like he couldn’t make something work. The blood had soaked into the carpet as well and oddly enough, the killer noted, had made the shape of Nevada. The lamp lay on the floor, bits of hair and brain still sticking to the side of it. The man picked the lamp up and smashed it again and again across the girl’s buttocks, ripping the flesh away in large gashes. The narrator wishes to point this out because it is important to understand that this was a brutal and terrible crime, and thus was not pretty.

 

            “I’ll get you anyway.” The killer said grabbing at the boy.

 

            “Help!” The six-year-old screamed.

 

            “No help for you.” He finally grabbed the boy and smashed his head against an end piece for the large banister on the stairs. The small head split open, the man let the child’s body slide down the banister, head first. “No help for anyone.”

 

            He sat back against the blood-splattered banister and drew a design in the blood. It wasn’t any particular design, just something to do. Had he known about profiling, or hypno-therapy or post-hypnotic suggestion, he might know why he did this. It felt random to him, and he would forget that he’d done it right after doing it, but it was carefully planned. Without becoming too paranoid, it can be revealed that someone was tracking him through actions like this.

 

 

 

© 2012 Autumn Knight Productions

September 8, 2012 Posted by | Fiction, Photo | , , | Leave a comment

Large Photos

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Continue reading

August 10, 2012 Posted by | Photo | , , , | Leave a comment

the hell?

I just saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, I thought we were doing zombies today.

June 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Do people not understand what is going on?

No, I mean it as a serious question. We’re not supposed to kill the children, because they’re just children. Yes, four of them got together and took down that lawyer from Pontiac, but we mustn’t hurt the little darlings. I mean, they only stalked, tumbled and killed a two hundred and eighty pound man and they’re just ripping his still steaming guts from his carcass and eating them raw as we speak. I’m sure if we give them a stern talking to they’ll cut all this Lord of the Flies bullshit and behave.

I’m thinking, and I might be crazy here, that those kids are unreachable and that perhaps whatever is motivating them is beyond our ken. Just a thought, one I had when the nine year old yanked his eye out of the socket ad popped it in her mouth. I can out run them, which is why we got away far enough to discuss the issue while still being close enough to hear the slippery sound of intestines being yanked from a body and scoffed into a mouth and swallowed whole. A sound, by the way, which it’s going to take a lot of booze to ever even come close to forgetting for even a few moments.

Yes, I am advocating putting the little monsters down. I don’t like the idea of them coming for us during the night, their little fingers working through whatever barricade we make and slowly pulling at the cracks until the larger ones can get in and help.

We are talking about the end of the world here. This isn’t a situation where we can skip off into the sunset, if for no other reason than because we are heading east.

June 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

No, what’s wrong with YOU?

You know, I really resent the phrase “What the hell is wrong with you?” particularly coming form someone who’s life I saved twice in two minutes. First, I save them from that second walker who came along while they were watching the lunatic. Then, after the lunatic had smashed the skull open, and started talking about how awesome the brains looked on the ground and wondered aloud about how fresh meat might look before swinging his rifle butt. When you decide to go all Platoon and try and see if you can get brains to splatter “more pretty” than you already have achieved, and you decide to kill a person to do it, then you’ve crossed the line.

Yes, I cut his legs off at the knees. Yes, I then cut his arms off at the elbows when he started picking himself up. I didn’t want him changing and being able to chase anyone. And I let him bleed out because he needed to understand that there are rules and there are limits. Also, I’m not going to directly kill anyone today. At least, not anyone who still is a person. Even that lunatic was a person. If he bled out from his wounds, that’s his problem. I didn’t try to kill him, I was just trying to defend people.

And what thanks do I get?

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

What’s wrong with me? I’m alive and intend to remain so? That seems to put me in a distinct minority, and one that everyone seems to be dead set against.

June 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment