Posts Tagged ‘colonialism’

American Style!

June 24, 2021

soundtrack
(Dedicated to Elvis Gratton)

Love, Love American Style!
Truer than the Red, White and Blue-hoo-hoo-hoo!
Lo-ve, American Sty-y-y-yle!
That’s me and you!

Theme song for “Love, American Style”
Lyrics by Fox and Margolin
(altered by author to reflect what they sounded like to a very young child)

Hobbies – American Style!

It’s 1972. The Limits to Growth has just been published – the end of industrial civilization is nigh. I read it, and as a boy, was impressed by the science of computers that lead to its conclusions.

But way out in suburbia, we’re watching TV and have no time for non-commercial food for thought like this. In the burbs, our information diet is mainly fast food-based – TV and radio.
Watching TV and calling it “family life” is as convenient and American-Style! as eating hamburgers in a crowded car while listening to car ads.

We were always careful to remove the chewing gum before eating our vegetable-oil-infused sandwiches and potato by-products.

We just received some Nielson’s Rating forms to fill out. I feel so grateful our suburban family has been selected to represent ordinary Canadian TV viewers. Already ten years old, I’m thrilled to be recognized for my average TV-viewing habits, which means: seven hours per day. That is how much TV the average suburbanite watched.

Of course, I’m going to lie on the form and write that we’re watching Canadian TV programs (like Front Page Challenge) while in reality we’re watching commercial crap like Love American Style. This was my favorite program when I was a young child with no close friends – only favorite shows.

One thing that TV has taught me is to lie and misrepresent in order to get what I want. Even if *what I want* is just something that someone else’s lies and misrepresentation made me desire in the first place. I’ve heard on Canadian media that Canadian media is a good thing, so I am willing to lie for this cause, though this cause is probably a lie anyways.

(By the way, there is no Love-Canadian Style. But I do remember Love-French-Canadian style from my grandparents, and it was something that happened in real life, and not on TV shows)

.

Socialization – American Style!

It appears to me that many of my family, neighbors and schoolmates have only experienced, in their previous televison-less lives, a kind of lack-of-Love…Canadian Style. So, to remedy our tragic pre-TV condition, we all watch lots of American TV to learn a better way. A way to find *the love* that comes with following *this style*. Plus, what choice do you have when there’s nothing to do in your bungalow because every activity is so far away.

A pathetic attempt at a Love-Canadian-Style is represented by Canadian TV of the era – a series of boring government-funded TV shows that are guaranteed to drive you into the arms of ABC-NBC-CBS. Game shows about newspaper headlines, a show that gives you lightbulb-buying advice, sitcoms about normal people in Ontario that contain one forced laugh every 23 minutes.

For newly-bored suburban Canadians, Love-American-Style was The Television Show on a hill – an RGB beacon – a flickering light among the nations… where the stars came out every single night – Sonny and Cher, the Vietnam War, Superman and Lite Brite! They will save us! They will know what to do!

We watched and learned the ways of American-style Love: punchy sarcasm, fast one-liners, softcore porn moments that make you giggle, and the eternal search for new consumer products. All enjoyed from the isolation of a pre-fab bungalow.

And we heeded the American-style call-to-arms – to follow every trend, or risk dying of sadness and loneliness on a lawn in the middle of nowhere.

.

.

Oligarchy – American Style!

The actors on Love American Style will, for decades, show up on other hit shows – along with their brothers and children. The lead actor’s sister does the soundtrack, his wife is the daughter of the casting director, and so on.

The casting normalizes nepotism, in the same way that the shows themselves normalize infidelity, cars and suburban products. The end credits of every production whisper things to the audience that very few can decode. The shows tell them not to even bother trying to decode them.

Tribalism American Style or the global village – are two ways to describe this incestuous, peasant-like hiring policy. And all of this incest-produced narrative-management is punctuated with car, processed food, and oil company commercials.

As we fled to suburbia to escape all the easy female polygamy opportunities in the as-seen-on-TV city, we never really experienced the free love that this show titilated its audience with, but we got car culture imprinted in our brains – psyc-op style.

The sitcom-style sarcasm was another useful skill to learn from TV. Trapped suburban peasants often feel so bitter in their incestous suburban alienation, that we had lots of occasions to use sarcasm and irony on one another. As heard on TV.

.

Community – American Style!

We learned to put on sitcom smiles by watching TV shows full of smiling, frolicking suburban kids. The instant recognition of sitcom smiles is very handy when the only time you run into people is while you’re driving and only have a few seconds to communicate community-belongingness.

(Stopped at traffic lights)
“Look, it’s Henry and Marge.”
(rolls down window)
“Hey Henry, Hey Marge! How are you enjoying your new ski-doo?”
(traffic light changes, sitcom smiles, gotta go! drive away)

Love-American-Style showcases a life made of soundbites and signalling. And suburban social contact is also mostly soundbites and signalling because, um, that’s about all you have time to do when you are always inside a motor vehicle, alone in a suburban bungalow, or inside a private facility like a mall, surrounded by a moat of parking lots.

There is no community in suburbia, only soundbites and sitcom smiles.

.

Elvis – American Style!

My father’s generation decided, when they were young commercial radio fans, that they would forget their Acadian and Francophone culture and become true American-Style! As heard on the radio.

To be more like the the Shadow, they refused to speak French with their parents or relatives. They learned to smoke cigarettes, chew gum, talk back to their parents, eat hot dogs, to play baseball and to drive cars. The commercials for American products were like commandments they followed to get to Heaven-American Style!

My father and all his brothers listen to American radio dramas in the car alone, and marry anglophone women who speak no French – only the language of the Shadow. These women are all trying to be Donna Reed or that witch on Bewitched.

Boomer couples made up of one Shadow and one Donna Reed will – en masse, like sheep – move to car-dependent suburbs, and let American television act as the main socialization tool of their kids, who rarely see their own father’s shadow – he”s always gone in the car like the Shadow, while Donna beats her kids over the head with reeds.

Elvis Gratton is the result – obese dummies with no roots anywhere. American cities are the model to follow, and so are American actors and pop stars. We will all be fatter and more naive than our grandparents, and have fewer social contacts. We will sing American songs alone in our ugly and cheap bungalows. We will be bored and anxious all the time, and suffer from lack of community or social activities.

We grow up with television as our primary teacher and guide. American Commercial media is also our primary babysitter, just like morphine-brands like laudanum  were the primary babysitter a century before TV was invented.

To imitate the Shadow, we will live in the shadows of our own lives in the burbs. I wonder if my father’s generation ever figured out that these sainted icons like the Shadow and Donna Reed really didn’t know or care about their millions of viewers’ lives at all. That these icons were just part of a manipulative gang who only wanted viewers for their money.

.

.

Lawn – American Style!

Our house is a 40 minute walk from a shopping mall, where all you can do is shop. It’s not a great place to hang around, and you cross paths with no one when you walk there. The sidewalk in front of it is just skinny enough to waddle towards the sliding door into an individual shopping unit (“store”).

The mall has a parking lot that extends all the way to the river, eliminating any kind of wetland transition or publically accesible trail. This is the largest infrastructure in our town – a parking lot.

The entire population of Rust River (3000) would fit in three-story housing in the parking lot of our mall. But we all spread out, cut down all the trees and wasted lots more land, with massive lawns which also dilute any urban proximity.

There is nowhere to walk as there are only bungalows and ugly lawns for an hour’s walk (on the road at times) in every direction. And people who walk are made to look like losers in all our TV shows and magazines. The same media that are filled with car ads…

All the children in my suburb watch too much TV, and grow up lonely and socially awkward. The nastiest people in North America can be found in spread out suburbs, and not in the poorest inner city ghettos.

Failed-Urbanism-American Style! (the car-dependent suburb) has eliminated *a life-fulfillment necessity* that mammals took for granted since they left the oceans – walking around and finding interesting things to see and do.

.

Zombies – American Style!

My mother, myself and my sister are walking towards Walmart, when we see Davy Kass, a neighbor, walking towards the mall from a different parking place. We stop in the middle of the asphalt, and my mother initiates smalltalk.

Ma: “Hey, Davy. I hear Brian got a job at the plant. Not easy with all the lay-offs.”

(Steel City has been in a depression since before I was born. Rust River-style suburbs were a way to escape the depressed housing stock and social problems of the inner city by staring at a TV or lawn)

Davy: “Yes, I know about the lay-offs. They say our economy is in trouble, but just look at all the new cars!” he says as he waves his arm at the parking lot – Vanna White style – with a huge sitcom smile on his red, round face.

Seconds later, a white Ford Bronco almost crushes my sister as it spins around a row of parked cars. This is obviously no place to be talking to a neighbor, it turns out – in front of a store. (Facebook still hasn’t been invented so we’re still stuck with face-to-face).

My mother angrily grabs my sister’s arm, sneers at her, and then smiles shamefully (but sitcomfully) at Davy, as we say bye and walk towards the Walmart entrance. She’s angry that my sister’s almost-getting-killed ruined a rare social moment of free conversation.

So we aren’t going to get an ice cream because little sister ruined the small talk by almost getting hit by a truck. As children, we have learned (by watching lots of TV) that getting hit by a vehicle is a huge mark of failure for a child and their parents. Later, in high school, we will find out that Darwin said the same thing – that losers walk and freedom rides around in a Trans Am.

I don’t know why Davy was so happy about all the cars in the parking lot. The main industry in slowly dying Steel City is rails for railroad tracks. Steel City (and Rust River) need to sell railroad track parts or we will not have jobs, or eventually, a reason to exist in the capitalist economy.

Cars and trucks are eliminating the need for rails. All those cars! means that our town is going to die a slow, painful death. – American style.

Why was Davy so Vanna White – so sitcom smile – about this sad fact?

.

.

.

Fences – American Style!

Our streets have no sidewalks, and it takes about 45 minutes to walk anywhere. I don’t know much about any of our neighbors, but I know what kind of car they drive as they drive by me.

One of our neighbors – Mrs. McTall – is a young mother who recently moved to our subdivision. She knows no one. When she passes by me as I walk to the top of the street, she always offers to give me a lift. But I have never accepted because I like walking. I like my autonomy and find it awkward to sit right next to a stranger in an enclosed metal box.

After 20 years of living next to her, I still only know that she drives an Oldsmobile 98. I know most of my neighbors by the cars they drive, and very little else.

I think Mrs. McTall died a few years ago… I’m not sure. But what I do know is that the Oldsmobile division was discontinued in the year 2000. I don’t miss either one, though Mrs. McTall may have been an interesting person. Who knows. I only knew her car.

.

MK Ultra – American Style!

Virtually everything in commercial media is trying to sell the audience products. When athletes aren’t joyfully consuming fastfood in ads, car sponsors are providing the heroes on the Action Series they fund.

And so it is with Love-American Style. During the 50s and 60s, the meta-product that commercial media is selling is suburbia. By getting people to move to suburbia, car sponsors, oil sponsors, media itself, and a whole series of corporations… are creating a captive audience for their products and marketing.

So in every episode of the show, the majority of gags are set up as a woman cheating on her husband. For married men watching this show, the message is that you can never trust women left alone in urban environments. By moving to suburbia, a male can *entrap* his wife in a situation that limits her opportunity to meet sexable men in parks and other urban settings.

I first saw this show when I was three, but my father didn’t like when my mom and I watched it because every second gag is about a woman cheating on her husband, or mocking marriage in some other way. A lot of men seem to be frightened of losing their wives to some dark-haired man in a city park. I guess this show is one reason why.

Love, love, love! And lawnmowers and station wagons and TV sets. Normalization of these products. A new normal in suburbia where your wife is safely locked away, and everyone needs the products that the sponsors sell you as you gawk at boredom-reducing entertainment products for hours on end.

Never underestimate the power of psychology when it is used against you.

Love, Love American Style!
Truer than the Red, White and Blue-hoo-hoo-hoo!
Lo-ve, American Sty-y-y-yle!
That was me and you!

“Speak White” – Michèle Lalonde

.

(Note. Any resemblance to real human beings is unintentional. This story – like other Steel City Fruit stories – is purely fictional.)

click for fruit

Towards A Gay Homeland

July 31, 2009

Gay Politique template

national anthem

gay homeland map

Why a homeland?

Gays have been discriminated against since the beginning of organized heterosexual religions. Forced to live scattered among the world’s violent heterosexualites, a diasporaed Gay Nation has nonetheless thrived by cultivating enriching international relationships and by setting up parallel societies within the hetero cultures in which the Gays find themselves trapped and repressed.

But if the Matthew Shepard Tragedy/Iranian Hangings have show us anything, it is that the time has finally come for a Gay Homeland – a nation-state where Gay culture and values can thrive and evolve with the needs and desires of its loyal Gay citizens.

Why this amazing piece of beachfront real estate?

The traditional Gay lands of Sodom and Gomorrah have been inhabited by members of the Gay community since before the age of religions and nation-states. Throughout the region, there are stone-age cave drawings depicting Gay acts which pre-date the Sodom/Gomorrah period by over 400,000 years. There have actually been Gays living in the area continuously for over 6 billion years, long before the Akadians, the Sumerians, the Arabs or the Zionists.

The biblical story of the tragic genocide of the Sodomites demonstrates the extent of state-sanctioned persecution the Gays have been subjected to since the beginning of heterocentric religions and nations. The events of the last few years in Wyoming and Iran point to a pressing need to provide a safe haven from homophobianism, and the Levant is the most significant region on earth for Gay History. With a thriving and successful Gay nation in the Holy Land, Gays all over the world will benefit from the presence of a pied-a-terre at the center of world politics and oil production.

gay map 2

Our phones are standing by

It is time for the Gays to return to their Ancestral Homeland (as has been recently promised in an email signed by Barack Obama). The current heterosexualist “states” of Lebanon and Palestine are their ancestral home. The current inhabitants are opportunistic heterosexualites who could live comfortably in any other part of the world. There are over 200 heterosexualite nation states, and NOT ONE Gay state. The absence of a Gay political entity is the reason for Gay suffering, and the Gays will only know freedom when this situation has been remedied – when the earth has at least one rock-hard Gay nation state.

Lubeland and Phallus-stein (their original names) are the natural provinces of the Gay Homeland. Together, with Sodom and Gomorrah as their undivided capitals (one for gay men, the other for lesbians), this new state will be a beacon for Gay Culture that shines out all over the world – a safe place to live out the Gay Dream. It will also provide a model of what can be accomplished when the earth’s crust is divided into various thematic tribes, when some of them just have more fashion sense and irony than the others.

1-888-gayland

It’s time for the Gay Nation to rise to the occasion in the beauty pageant that we sometimes call civilization! It’s time for the Gays to return to their Gay Homeland!

MADD Kuwait

July 2, 2009

Fake History Kuwait

soundtrack

The unprovoked invasion of poor, innocent Kuwait by Saddam Hussein’s totalitarian regime in 1990 was an evil deed in itself. The mental picture of babies being thrown from incubators gave a generation of media-viewers nightmares and rekindled their desire to improve the human condition via military campaigns in resource-rich Arab countries.

But what many media outlets at the time missed (or ignored) was the troubling story behind the story: the sick ideological plans of Elsa Hussein – Saddam’s equally totalitarian sister – for the future of their shiny new state.

First a bit of fake context: In the summer of 1954, Elsa Fatima Jamilla Hussein was hit by a car while biking home from volleyball practice at The American Elementary School of Tikrit at the tender age of eight. Though confined to her bed for several months with broken bones, she quickly re-learned to walk. Her doctor said it was a miracle.

After several months of torturing lower-class males, road-sweeper Saleem Foukhar confessed to having ruined the beautiful young heiress’s Olympic dream by driving while drunk (it came out, after his hanging, that he had never actually driven a vehicle and didn’t drink alcohol). For the rest of Elsa’s youth, she participated in no sports, cloistering herself in the basement torture room of her parent’s 45-bedroom condo reading huge volumes of victim literature.

Many years later, at the summer Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, Elsa and big brother Saddam watched the Iraqi woman’s volleyball team lose a close match for third place against the Israeli team. She would never forget this moment.

Later that evening in a South Korean tea room, she suggested to Saddam that he should invade Kuwait and turn the entire nation into a theme park with a Mothers Against Drunk Driving theme. At first, Saddam and his CIA advisers thought her nation-building idea had too many logistical problems. Abstract causes are rarely sufficient to garner popular support for nation-building and war. Also, an ideologically-constructed anti-car theme park might hurt the oil industry, and that would be bad for everyone – Iraqi officials and multinationals alike – they wisely concluded.

But Elsa Hussein and her small army of like-minded car-accident survivors were unstoppable. Their poison-tipped emails and hordes of post-its on the family fridge finally paid off when, in August of 1990 –  only two years after that fateful volleyball game – the Iraqi army were in Kuwait setting up breathalyzer checkpoints and burning effigies of Dean Martin.

lady di museum

The winning entry in the Lady Di Centre competition of 1990. Many MADDians feel that the building’s lavish structure is an inappropriate symbol for the state’s common, shared victimhood.

The decision to limit the new nation’s death penalty to driving offenses provoked some infighting among the new sober commuting inhabitants who immigrated to the new land from Iraq and the United States. Another scandal for the new nation state was the  selection of Daniel Libeskind as the architect to design the Lady Di Museum of Car Atrocities. According to Al Jazeera, the Hussein family were the sole jurors for the competition. Libeskind’s five-hundred million dollar high-tech temple was to feature special effects that would make each visitor feel as if he was being crushed in a car tunnel as he entered the lobby and gift-shop.

Things moved very quickly for the earth’s new nation. Only one week after the invasion, Elsa Hussein was shown on Arab TV triumphantly holding up an oxygen-deprived blue baby she had just torn from an incubator and yelling, “This is a great day for pedestrians all over the world!”

But Elsa Hussein’s ideological project would be short-lived. Saddam’s army would be taken out just like the Nazis were before it, and for the very same reasons.

Click for fake history

Fashion Parachute

June 8, 2009

fashion parachute B

soundtrack

Cynthia grabs Jesus by the leather epaulette and spins him around.

Cynth: “What’s with this fax I just got from my friend Arial in Beirut? You actually asked the Phoenician government — the one you’re accused of owning —  for a 700-trillion shekle bailout, and you’re asking the government you own for this money while you’re on trial for extortion, criminal negligence leading to genocide, entrapment, and just generally being a thoughtless CEO?!! You even went so far as to threaten to shut down their water filtration plant if they don’t contribute to your non-existent recovery plan?!!

You know that closing that plant would lead to another million dead plaintiffs, and worse than that — another class action suit which I just don’t have the resources to take on right now, in the middle of my botox-reduction treatments. And those poisons in the water are from your own organ disposal plants which — while highly profitable — are now public domain.

Offering your own government of Phoenicia inc. the “choice” between poverty or death isn’t really the image we’re trying to cultivate here, Mary. Extortion isn’t marketable right now and I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable representing you if you give the tabloids any more reasons to put hidden cameras in my toilet.”

FMJ: “Cynth, of course I’d never do something insensitive like kill a million people by poisoning their water just to get my own way on something like this. It’s just not my style. I’m not an ideological monster, I’m a people-person.

And by the way, I own those tabloids that put those cameras in your toilet. I love people so much that I’m in the people-industry. And since the tabloids seem to make the people such happy shoppers, who am I to judge what common trash want.

…Remind me to tell Mark to tell Bernie to turn off the bathroom-cams tomorrow. And don’t ever tell Moe Silverberg or his shadow army of bloggers anything about them. He’s got such a constitution-obsession. As if the best-and-brightest can’t update their own texts once in a while. ” (eyeroll)

Jesus pauses to text for a sushi delivery, and notices Cynthia sizing up his freshly-dyed jet-black hair and Born to Rule leather motorcycle jacket.

FMJ: “Why are you gawking at my ear plugs and hair, Cynth? This jacket was a gift from the the president of the Federal Reserve of Phoenicia. It’s not some constructed rebellion statement, it’s just meaningless style!… Oh, fuck you, Cynth! Fuck Phoenicia and extreme fuck this trial!”

Jesus scrapes black nail-polish residue off the index finger of his left hand.

Cynthia resents that Jesus is resorting to working-class vocabulary and gothic fashion to make himself look pathetic. She has taken a night-course called Class Bias in The Language of Politics and senses that he’s just trying to manipulate her – his gorgeous and super-intelligent legal guardian — by situating his bored bourgeois grief in the ramshackle company houses of late 19th-Century England.

She looks up at his Rolex-themed terrycloth head-band and smiles.

Cynth: “Trying to look athletic for Jamil, are you, Mary? And after trying to sound so weak and pathetic for me just a few minutes ago. And all in one cigarette break. I guess it’s all those drama classes you took in college.”

She picks a piece of glitter off her velvet skirt.

“You know, I bet your pent-up sexual frustration is where all this recent aggression has been coming from.”

Free Market Jesus blinks in slow-motion and then speaks slowly and ironically.

FMJ: “I wonder how aggressive you’d be if you were being sued by the entire common-trash planet for some trumped-up celebrity crime. Like the biggest scapegoat in history, maybe?

Why is my re-financing of Phoenicia’s debt even an issue in this fashion trial? I bought that country fair and square! No wonder those people have no freedom or democracy. They chafe against the very thing they need when it struts there way in an Italian leather jacket and Dolce and Gabanna ear plugs.”

Her gaze fixed on the protruding buttocks of a male in his sexual prime, Cynthia opens her take-out sushi and then tips the half-naked Algerian delivery boy 5 billion shekels – 5 billion units of joy.

Click for more FMJ

Farfour Meets the Borat Jews

May 16, 2009

Borat NFLD 3

soundtrack

“What brings you to North Sydney, Mr. Farfour?”

Shona McIsaac has the most charismatic voice of any hostess on Island Television. She’s been interviewing celebrity tourists for the daytime lifestyle show “Northside Today” for the last five years on a voluntary basis.

Farfour likes the affable glee in Ms. McIsaac’s Irish eyes. “I’m still waiting for my flight to Beirut, and I’m not supposed to leave Canada for a few weeks,” he says beaming from ear to shiny ear. “I really like the people here in Cape Breton. They remind me a lot of my friends back home in Palestine. Do people call women lassies over here?”

“Oh no. They only use that word in Scotland, not in Nova Scotia. Though there are some people here who still speak Gaelic out in the countryside. I guess the English couldn’t get rid of them all . Haha

But back to you and your exciting trip, Mr. Farfour… I hear that you’ll be traveling with a family of Borat Jews. How in the world did you meet up with them?” She smiles and holds out a large, furry mike.

Farfour has been advised in an email from his lawyers that he ought to keep away from political discussions.

“Well, Ms. McIsaac… (his smile is back) they’re Muslim just like me, and it’ll be a blast praying together on the ferry.

Just then, a faux-wood-paneled Caravan arrives carrying one of the two families of local Borat Jews.

“Farfour! Farfour! How ‘s she goin’? The kids have been right excited knowing we were gonna be traveling with the one and only Farfour!” says the father of the family – Omar Kazhaki. Four years earlier, he was a television writer from Staten Island. Then – like many other Borat Jews – he converted to Islam and changed his name to sound Kazakh after reading about the phenomenon in People magazine while waiting in line at his unemployment office.

“You must be Omar, bye. And these boys must be Abdallah and Marat. And… oh. Aren’t you the sweetest little dear. Julia. is it? I watched your gymnastics routine and your school pageant on Island Television.”

Farfour looks at his swatch. “Hey, it’s almost five o’clock and the ferry leaves in a half hour. Where’s your sister at?”

Omar silently points to another faux-wood-paneled Caravan arriving behind Farfour.

bj on board

Omar’s older sister Gyuzyal is driving, while her husband, Yerzhan sits in the backseat with their twin sons who are only two and need to be attended to every few minutes.

Farfour walks over to greet them along with Omar and the kids.

Gyuzyal immediately asks: “Hey, Omar. Where’s Nikole? Did she fly up alone on Monday so she doesn’t get sea sickness like she said she was gonna?”

Omar replies: “Yeah, when it’s her own health, my wife will gladly send the rest of the world to hell. But other than that, everything’s nice, al hamdulilah.” He knocks on the faux wood of the van.

They all laugh as a reflex, and then join Farfour and the kids and shuffle into the ferry terminal to buy their tickets and get their vans weighed.

Farfour likes to talk while waiting in line. “So why are you guys going to Newfoundland? Is it your first time there? Are you excited about going to see the new Sacha Baron Cohen Museum of Jewish Humor in Gander?”

Gyuzyal answers: “We decided to look around for somewhere else to live. Seems like the entire Anglosphere called the big witch-hunt on Muslims – it’s no friggin’ place for Borat Jews likes us. The Wasps say we’re radical Muslims. The Jews call us traitors right to our faces. The comedy writer’s guild called us flakes and lice in a full-age advertisement in the New York friggin’ Times. Upstate New York was hell those last years. North Sydney’s nice and everything, but it’s too small for us . We want our kids to get away from all the Hollywood shit here on the mainland.”

Farfour looks at them, “This isn’t really the mainland. But is that why you’re moving to St. John’s? For the culture?”

“Yeah. Dat and for the freedom. They gots the great sense of humor down there, and that friggin’ comedy guild has no influence down there neither,” answers Gyuzyal while changing the twin’s diapers on a folding IKEA Loorstenoll table. ”

Down home in Newfoundland, people makes their own jokes, and hopefully there, our ethnic group won’t always be the friggin’ butt.”

“Hey, byes!” shouts enthusiastic Yerzhan as he gets back with their tickets. “Youse is gonna be taking the HMS Demi Moore that leaves in two hours so we got time to do some last-minute shopping at the Galilee Shopping Centre. More, more, more! Haha!”

Farfour grabs Yerzhan by the collar and speaks softly but with some force: “We’re not going to that mall. We’re getting on the boat. We don’t have time for More, more, more. Do I make myself clear?”

The younger children are frightened by Farfour’s sudden change of mood and aggressive eyes. But then their mom talks to them about the evils of shopping and gives them each a Quran-themed pacifier.

After Farfour finally sets a wrinkled Yerzhan back onto the floor, the whole gang gets onto the ratpack-dedicated ship and heads off to Newfoundland.

Kentucky’s Lips

April 6, 2009

kentucky 2

soundtrack

Waves of ambient heat from the spotlights are burning the skin on his furry forehead. Still, Farfour is glad to have been chosen to judge this year’s Miss America contest, even with all the media controversy. That Miss Palestine was allowed to participate – with the Geneva Conventions as justification –  strikes many pundits as an example of blatant tokenism. Some would add that it’s an example of blatant tokenism in bad taste.

That being said, he is only one of the four judges, and the others were all chosen the traditional way – by who they know and how much money they control. Farfour is the first Miss America judge to be appointed using Nevada’s new MAVC law – Minority Advancement Via Culture – approved in a state ballot referendum as Proposition 208. So here he is, standing beside three North American media moguls – trophy brides at their sides, face-lifts ready to explode under the glittering TV lights.

Robert Iger leans over to tell the other judges that Miss North Carolina – a crowd favorite – is about to perform in the talent part of the pageant.

As the notes of Miss Carolina’s brand-name plastic recorder fill the sound studio with the pleasant chords of Pop Goes the Weasel, Farfour wonders if pageant-noob Miss Palestine has remembered to put vaseline on her lips so her smile is as large and natural-looking as the others.

Miss North Carolina’s song is over, so it’s time for her to drop the recorder and put on her thinking cap to answer a question from one of the judges. Her question is about maps and education, and Farfour tunes in near the end, just in time to hear her say, “…could really help America grow!” to thunderous applause from a crowd of retirees and visiting soldiers from Iraq and other recalcitrant colonies.

Now it’s Miss Palestine’s turn.

A performance artist who has studied at the London School of Economics, Fatia Pharoan – twenty-year old Miss Palestine – hopes that her thoughts and talent will compensate for her lack of cosmetic surgery enhancements or blond Aryan hair.

“Tonight, America, I want to talk about cup-holders,” she opens, as she mounts a unicycle suspended on a wire string about 30 meters above the glamorous stage.

As she rides the unicycle across the tightrope juggling flaming model cars, she recites her slam poetry: “America needs cup-holders because we are a bored and dehydrated people. Our cup-holders are never close enough or plentiful enough anymore. Our coffee is never strong enough or close enough not to spill. We are drinking ourselves to death in our glass bubbles….”

As she stops suddenly at the word “bubbles,” she jumps from the tightrope and a small parachute made of Afghan silk opens, softening her landing. Momentarily frozen – as if in pain – Fatia suddenly rises from the stage, smiling and radiant. The performance is over and another success.

“I didn’t like the amateurish bikini wax,” comments Canadian mogul Leonard Asper, as he prepares to give her a 3 out of 10. “Christ, if you’re gonna be on Miss America, you get a decent professional wax job. Know what I mean, mouse?”

“You’ve been judging these contests for a number of years,” Farfour respectfully remarks, as he writes his ‘9’ in black felt-tip marker. “Who do you think is going to win?”

“Well,” Leonard scratches his chin, “Miss Kentucky’s got nice lips.”

Why Organs, Superstar?

April 3, 2009

Why Organs B

soundtrack

The dry courtroom air has taken some of the bounce out of FMJ’s famously curly hair. Cynthia looks into his wrinkle-free eyes and speaks to her own reflection in his colored contact lenses:

Cynth: “Mary, they’re for sure going to ask how you got into the organ-trading business from textiles. It’s an obvious talking point so we’d better have a non-rehearsed-sounding answer we can stop that line of questioning with.”

FMJ: “I can’t believe I have to answer to those nobodies out there in non-designer pret-a-porter. Those icky people are just jealous that I’ve been more successful than any of them could ever have hoped to have been in a thousand of their worthless lives. Their idiotic jealousy fills them with hate, and that hate gives them incredible bitch energy. This is what scares me: all that misdirected hate being pointed at an innocent corporate success-story like myself. I’m just a glamorous lightning rod for all their loser frustration.” Jesus reaches into his Gucci satchel and takes out a baroque hand mirror with rubies and designer logos encrusted in its gold-leaf frame. “Sometimes I even hate myself, Cynth. But then I realize that I too may be jealous of my own success.”

Cynth: “Jeez, that makes no sense. But you know what, I don’t care about sense. Let’s just go over what we’re going to present as our explanation for how you evolved from textile success to organ-trading success.”

FMJ:“Alright. On with the trial!” He takes a drag from his tenth menthol cigarette since the trial began. “I started trading organs because people kept dying at my textile mills. It started with old people who would just slouch over and stop breathing on company time. But then even the kids started keeling over after the new accountancy team rationalized our air-supply equipment. Getting rid of their bodies would cost me up to three weeks of their wages, and their families rarely had that much money saved. So I ended up paying to dispose of their bodies myself even though it was them who were doing all the dying. It just wasn’t fair. Something had to change. Why did I have to suffer because of their inadequacies.”

Cynth: “That’s horrible, FMJ. Why didn’t you stop them from dying by punishing them? Or you could have put up signs telling them to go home if they felt sick.”

FMJ: “I tried whipping them, but once they were dead, they rarely noticed the pain, so it didn’t actually bring any of them back to work… uh… back to life, I mean.” FMJ takes a sip of a glass of Perrier and ginger ale. “So, I had to figure out a way to make back all the money that I was shelling out for cardboard boxes and backhoes.”

Cynth: “Do you have any receipts for the backhoes? Some actual numbers might make our case more compelling to the judge and make our story even more tabloid-friendly.”

Jesus ignores Cynthia’s suggestions and emerges from a cloud of his own cigarette smoke as he applies pancake makeup to his forehead and temples.

FMJ: “So then I was reading the personals in a gay porn magazine, about some older gay man who needed to buy a bladder, and I thought, ‘How can I make money from all that need?’ And then I remembered that my textile mill employees sign waivers giving Passover Textiles the right to their internal organs if they die while on Passover Textile property. Next thing you know, my organ trading affiliate is grossing more than the textile mills. I mean, where is the incentive to improve worker safety with those kind of economics?”

Jesus snickers and then stubs out his cigarette on the stuffed carcass of an extinct bird.

FMJ: “So mine was a pretty common rags to riches story.”

Cynthia looks down at her perfect breasts:

Cynth: “Now I’m worried these implants are actually recycled bladders.”

Free Market Jesus places his hands on top of hers on the mahogany desk between them.

FMJ: “Let’s not forget which one of us is the drama queen here.”

And with that remark, he finishes dabbing his makeup, shakes his hair, and walks out into the courtroom to sing the first number of his trial. His ex-boyfriend and former employee – Jamil Tericho – sits in the courtroom that has been rapidly transformed into a concert venue with flashy colored lighting and a hidden rotating stage that comes gliding out of a hardwood floor-panel in front of the judge’s bench.

FMJ emerges centre-stage, the spotlight catching a plastic tear that he has glued onto the pancake makeup of his face. He begins to sing directly to Jamil:

Well I guess what you say is true,
I could never be the right kind of girl for you,
I could never be your woman.

It will be the best-selling fashion-trial video-clip compilation of all time.

Click for more FMJ


fr fmj sig

The Meme Police

March 26, 2009

meme police 2

soundtrack

(Please note that this story has been tagged by Mice Media Watch for inaccuracy, inappropriateness, and political bias)

Hungry Farfour is waiting for a vegetarian falafel platter at a cafe in Nablus, when Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky notice a giant mouse eating alone, and decide to finally meet their most famous Palestinian fan.

“Hi, you must be Farfour,” Naomi says, trying to break the ice like Julie on the Loveboat.

“Oh my gosh. You guys are both famous  writers, aren’t you? Would you like to have lunch and chat a bit?” Farfour does his best to hide his excitement, but he has been out of work for over a year now, his tiny little mouse home has been demolished to make way for a rat colony, and 400 members of his immediate family have been forced to live in an Israeli-funded lab that tests pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

A Mossad spy – Agent Greenwash – notices the bookish celeb duo chatting with Public Cartoon Enemy Number One, and the spy discreetly plunks himself down at the table next to theirs, disguised as a plant.

Farfour looks perplexedly at Noam, and asks: “Has that potted plant been sitting at the next table for a long time?”

Noam, sensing a bit of tension, quickly makes a joke:  “It’s probably an Israeli news reporter manufacturing dissent, Farfour. Get it? I said dissent instead of consent. Am I clever or what?”

Farfour decides that it is best not to speak loudly as their safety may be in danger, and the group spend the rest of the working lunch silently passing text to each other on napkins.

After a few hits on their table-side bong, he forgets that he has been using the napkins as manuscripts, and wipes some delicious garlic humus off his mouth with an entire conversation about controlling public opinion through media filters.

Noam and Naomi later drove home together with paparazzi following close behind in a black Volvo  SUV – a “We Support the Kiss Army” sticker positioned right above the rear kangaroo bar.

Luckily, the minor kerfuffle with an Israeli spy didn’t stop these two smart kids from North America from posting eye-opening articles for the alternative press about their meeting with this “brave refugee from children’s TV.”

A Tribute to Milton Friedman

March 11, 2009

A loving tribute to Milton Friedman, my favorite modern philosopher.

Featuring the sounds of Stevie Wonder!!!

Friedman tribute

Wikipedia: “Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist, statistician and public intellectual, and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. …”

Friedman was a great modern philosopher whose currency-velocity-seeking Enlightenment “argument” places him somewhere between Machiavelli and Bob Barker.

He was the kitsch, Jewish-American version of  Sayyid Qutb who sabotaged the colonizing escapades of the modern liberal West with bad advice cleverly branded in the dialect of soundbite manifesto.

soundtrack 1

stevie wonder

Sir Milt

Money is a world within itself
With a language no one understands
With unequal opportunity
For some to sing, dance and clap their bloodied hands

But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
Which philosophers get the loot

Makes them suffer all over
Makes them suffer all over, sheeple
Makes them suffer all over
Makes them suffer all over, sheeple

soundtrack 2

stevie wonder

Isn’t He Money

Isn’t he money
And isn’t he log-i-cal
Isn’t he science
With truth that is quickly sold

I never thought through math we’d be
Making some lives so heavenly
But isn’t he money, made of gold

The guru speaks.

Milton Friedman was an impressive spokesmodel for greed. The glasses, the shortness, the round, bald face… all were surely chosen by the marketing team because they read as complex and yet affable genius to the average American businessman.

His marketing people knew that his most loyal supporters would be more interested in the ends of his sizzling “theories” than the means, because his clients were the ends themselves.

Friedman’s bold new interpretation of common sense demonstrated that lack of smartness doesn’t have to prevent an idea from being well received.

Or perhaps his irony wasn’t blatant enough for his time, and the people who  “didn’t get the joke” ended up ruling the world with Colonel Klink by their side.

milton friedman sig

Friedman and dumb-ox-cracy

Aqua Phoenicia vs. FMJ

March 10, 2009

Phoenician Water B

soundtrack

Stubbing out a half-smoked cigarette on the wall, the judge reads aloud the first charge:

Judge: “Free Market Jesus, you and your mother corporation – 107844 Nazareth Inc. – are accused of polluting the groundwater in Central Phoenicia with waste products from your organ-disposal installations. This is a class-action suit being filed by Aqua Phoenicia on behalf of a million Phoenician plaintiffs. How do you plead?”

Jesus has just applied organic aloe-hazelnut moisturizer to his hands and is in no hurry to answer. This particular charge seems like a trivial affair better suited to non-designer-wearing working-class lawyers – in the kinds of no-holds-barred trials that the families of murdered labor organizers are always staging to spin their insignificant stories into conspiracy theories.

FMJ: “Your Honor, before I answer this proletariat lawyer’s questions, I’d like to have five minutes to consult my astrologists and color consultants.”

As far as FMJ is concerned, it’s always the right time to look your best, and that means astrologers and the right colors. His new collagen lip injections aren’t going to go unnoticed at his own celebrity trial.

The prosecuting attorney – Abdul Bouq Emmisayar – furrows his brow and flares his nostrils as he crosses the court to approach a nonplussed Jesus, grinning with his already-open Versace cellphone clamped to his surgically-enhanced ear.

Abdul: “Your Honor, I would ask the defendant to please put down his cellphone.”

He turns toward FMJ and his attorney:

“I would like to remind Ms. Popovic and her client that this is a very serious charge. There have been over 1000 deaths directly attributed to one of Mr. Christ’s organ-disposal factories in Sidon. And this is to say nothing of the various cases pending against him for suspicious organ purchases involving children as young as three.”

The glamorous courtroom goes silent and Moe Silverberg – sitting behind the huge pink wig of a drag queen to hide from arch-nemesis FMJ – types something into a no-name laptop with a library sticker on the back.

Blinking for half a second, Jesus rolls his eyes, and crosses his legs as he begins:

FMJ: “Oh please. Those selfish orphans all signed legally-binding contracts. Those who couldn’t write their names were assisted free-of-charge by my legal staff. It’s all perfectly legitimate.

And Phoenicia’s water problem is a government problem, nothing to do with me and the Free Market, may it continue to thrive. I pay my corporate taxes to the Phoenician government just like any other respectable numbered corporation.

If Aqua Phoenicia can’t keep its water clean, then they are the ones who need to change. Not me. Passover Organs has been around longer than most of the plaintiffs have. Your Honor, my representation and I feel that Aqua Phoenicia is just another citizen action committee looking to make a quick buck by attacking a celebrity.”

Abdul leans into the judge and speaks to the entire courtroom:

Addul: “But didn’t another one of the defendant’s affiliates – 87553 Nazareth Inc. – buy the government in a hostile takeover only a few months before the organ-disposal site was approved?”

FMJ stops filing his nails and asks an ungrateful world a little question:

FMJ: “And how am I supposed to know what all my little baby Free Market children are doing? The big picture: they got a lot of jobs out of the deal, and I contribute hundreds of shekels in taxes. Even more than I collect in subsidies, some years. It’s win-win for everyone, and trickles down like mercy from the market’s rain gutters.”

The jury are awestruck by the beauty of his prose as his hair glistens with the special celebrity lighting that was a pre-condition of his personal appearance at the trial

Click for more FMJ


%d bloggers like this: