Posts Tagged ‘qatzelok’

Inside the Box

January 4, 2016

sad pet boxes header

soundtrack

1998

Zack is walking ahead of me talking to Zozee, a hairdresser from Martinique who owns five miniature dogs. We’re in his cave-like hair salon even though it’s a sunny day outside. I don’t want to hang around too long, but I understand the importance of seeing friends’ pets. Plus, Zozee’s partner-of-9-years just dumped him, abandoning him in the Gay Village like a dog in a city park.

We go into the undecorated storage half of Zozee’s huge double-roomed basement studio and in the futhest corner from the window, he opens the wooden door of a big, clunky armoir. From the deepest recesses of the armoir, Zozee pulls out a box where five tiny dogs live out their lives in complete darkness, with the rare exception of these occasional visits and daily feedings and  grooming.

sad pet box 200

Entertainment

The dogs seem thrilled to see new life forms and to be able to wobble around aimlessly a bit.  I ask if they’re puppies, but no, they’re not. These adult dogs never leave the box. Their pathetic imprisonment and miserable life of darkness and isolation reminds me of my suburban childhood, and I need  to go outside and feel the sun on my skin.

Around other people.

Now.

I pull on Zack’s shirtsleeve, and when he looks at me, I sneer for a second and then look longingly at the window. Exasperated, Zack apologizes to Zozee and says that he needs to “take the boyfriend outside for a walk before he scratches me.”

For the rest of the afternoon, we argue about every aspect of this visit. It starts out being about how ownership and capitalism make us do unnatural things. Then this morphs into a debate about whether pethood is a form  of cruelty. And finally, it’s about whether a boring sex life is what causes most couples to break up.

I believe all these arguments we’ve been having lately are related in some way.

click for sad pets

 

 

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Towards A Gay Homeland

July 31, 2009

gay pol header

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!

Little Bear Authors

July 7, 2009

little  bear authors

soundtrack

..

Ranger and Bronc have decided to avoid Old Bear Roger. His terrifying stories are making sleep difficult, and Ranger has started picking the fur off his inner thigh because of what his beariatrician calls Generalized Environmental Anxiety.

“Bronc, until we get our Internet and games back, let’s make our own stories instead of getting Old Bear Roger to come over and creep us out with his,” suggests Ranger. “This way, we can stop them just before they get too scary. Or slap on a happy ending.”

Ranger nods. “That’s a great idea, Bronc! I already have an idea for a story. I wanna tell about how airbags were a form of military-industrial propaganda back in the human days.”

“How’s that, Range?”

“Well, airbags were supposed to save human lives after they slammed their SUVs into telephone poles, right? Well, in this way they’re sorta like the douce axe machinia that always saves everybody at the end of a scary movie or TV show. No matter how badly the good guys screw up, the airbag saves them from paying the price. With the airbag, you don’t have to assume adult responsibility for your own actions. It’s empowering in a way. It lets you do some pretty violent and dangerous stuff.”

“I think it’s called “Deus Ex-machina,” Range. What does it have to do with airbags? Try to frame your answer using a critical vocabulary. Don’t just rely on folkloric cuteness and terrifying punishments to tell your story, like Roger does.”

Ranger straightens up. He has just written a mid-term test on Critical Polar Bear Discourse. “Well, the airbag acts as a commonly shared metaphor. This symbolic saftey-net manipulates the general public into feeling that automakers and governments will always come up with solutions to whatever damage their previous products cause. ‘In an interstellar burst, they come back to save the universe,’ as that miserable human being Thom Yorke used to sing. This is a type of spin.”

airbag prayer

..

Bronc smirks. “So car-makers use a comforting historic symbol that is taken from a commonly shared mythology? Are you arguing that airbags – and perhaps all technology – are miracle signifiers? And that humans treated them as if they were actual miracles from a special magical messiah corporation?

If humans were so good at saving lives with miracles, where did they all go? And how did such smart creatures end up believing in magical miracles in the first place?”

They look up at the black-light Star Wars poster on the bedroom ceiling and start chuckling at the airbag cupidity that was so socially accepted just before humanity’s endtime.  “He’ll save us. The airbag will save us!” Ranger laughs so hard that he drops his Spiderman doll.

Bronco continues. “I think it’s a great idea for a story, Range. And why don’t you include the Radiohead song by the same name?”

“I would, but I can’t get the copyrights, Bronc. And anyway, it might be overkill to use a song called Airbag in a story about airbags. Maybe I’ll  just root through Roger’s old record collection to find an obscure Australian techno track, and quote some of the Radiohead lyrics in my story…”

In an interstellar burst

I am back to save the universe.

MADD Kuwait

July 2, 2009

fake history header 2

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.

MADD Elsa 2

A great day for pedestrians?

 

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.

MADD Libeskind 2

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.

Prophet Air

July 1, 2009

fmj prophet air

soundtrack

FMJ nonchalantly balances a Kool Menthol between his ear and euro-gelled hair.

Tracing a line in the dust of the bulletproof window with a finger, Judas looks puzzled: “But Jeez, you already own 400 learjets. Why buy another one you’ll never use?”

FMJ: “Why not buy one more is just as good a question, Judas Buzzkill!

Jesus doesn’t like it when Free Market Judas tries to interfere with the natural rhythms of His Shopping. This is a crisis, and with all the celebrity trials and union mutinies, it’s no time for Consumer Interruptus.

FMJ: “Look Jude, if I don’t buy a learjet every few months, I get depressed. And when I get depressed, entire continents can starve – the entire economy can come down with me. So stop biting the invisible hand.

You’re supposed to be my press attache at this staged confrontation between me and the union-president, Free Market Earl – my second cousin. I’m not paying you to tell me how to live my life – what to buy and sell.”

FMJ rolls his eyes and pops a yogurt-covered date into his gaping mouth.

Judas: “I just think you ought to put off buying photogenic big-ticket products until your trial is over, Jeez. Think what Moe or Bernie Silverberg could do with a pic of this. It could make you look like a bit of a prima donna.”

Free Market Jesus inhales deeply, flaring his nostrils as he exhales.

FMJ: “I haven’t bought any private lakes or polo fields in five years. Jude, I’m not sure I want to live in a world where it’s not safe to buy a learjet when you’re feeling under the weather.”

A tinny electronic remake of Daft Punk’s One More Time blurts out of Judas’s white leather belt as he lifts a razor-cell to his ear.

Judas: “Mary, I have to take this call.”

Jesus flirts with his reflection on the metallic gas cap of the plane as he applies organic lip-balm to his collagen-laden lips. Finally, he finds himself face-to-face with tangible proof of his value as a human being in the form of a gift to himself from himself.

Amen.

Click for more FMJ

fmj tag

Greed: It’s the original ideology !

Tourne la page !

June 25, 2009

soundtrack

tourne la page

June 24 is Quebec’s national holiday – Saint Jean Baptiste Day. Like a lot of other national holidays, it’s a time for fireworks, parades, alcohol and…franco-rock.

At my job, we listened to trance music and lounge on that day,  like we always do. It keeps the customers calm as they reach for their wallets. But the staff is pretty well 100 percent Quebecois, so we ended up talking about Quebec music, and which songs and artists we like.

For me, what really stands out in the world of franco-pop and franco-rock are the silly commercial ballads that are fed to empty-headed look-alike pop stars. Shotgun marriages between vapid, small-scale celebs and superficial, lowest common denominator pop craft says more about consumer society and the texts that spawned it than any sincere and whiny folk song about whales and women named Suzanne.

One of my favorite mind-worm songs from franco-AM radio is the soundtrack – a last-gasp of celebrity backwash from the brother-sister team of Nathalie and Rene Simard.

Let’s ignore the sexual abuse from Nathalie’s manager (a star’s gotta do), as well as brother Rene’s post-boyband media whoredom, and take a quick glance at the lyrics’ subtexts and the hidden meanings that can be discovered using only a microscope, an atom-smasher, and a bit of imagination.

First the title: Tourne la page. This is a French expression that means, literally: turn the page. But its connotative meaning is more like: move on, or carry on, or even keep moving. This refrain, like the refrains of so many other pop songs from this era and every other era, urges the listener to continue on his trajectory no matter what the consequences. It is manifesto for zombiehood.

While this may at first seem encouraging and empowering, it is more accurately the voice of an industrial Leviathon telling workers to continue on their suicidal and life-denying course no matter what their instincts say. Just keep on working – turn the page – nobody’s gonna break-a my stride – I will survive – carry on our wayward son… etc. However it’s phrased for whatever market, it always boils down to Back to your cubicle, you survivor you.

I’m sure the foremen on Egyptian pyramid-building teams had similarly encouraging words for their worker bees as well. “What happened? Your foot got crushed by that massive brick? Just turn the page!”

So it was a slave-creating text the Simards delivered to the Quebec people. And they belted out this soul-stifling message in their naturally-occurring angelic voices just so they could stay rich and famous for five more minutes.

The only interesting thing about their horrible lyrics is how they discreetly underline the relationship between slavery and text. For the Tourne la page narrative to work, the listener has to imagine that personal experience is no more valuable than a book with pages that can be quickly turned and forgotten whenever you don’t like the content. Of course, we all know that life is more serious and more complicated than a page of a novel (even novels are more complicated than Tourne la page makes them sound), but the Simard’s have ingeniously interpreted this parasitic relationship of text-preying-on-reality as a kitschy, throw-away pop song. They have spoken the unspeakable by disguising it as trite, disposable garbage. Landfill memes for better social health.

And for this reason – on the day immediately after this very important day – we thank this incestuous singing duet for their hollow and stupid words. Merci, les mercenaires!

Tourne la page

(René:) Un oiseau d’acier raie l’horizon de la plage
Griffe les nuages avion sauvage
Il trace à la craie la dernière ligne de l’histoire
Sur tableau noir comme au revoir

(Nathalie:) Un avion déchire le soir
(René:) Emporte quelque chose de moi
(Nathalie:) Un signal dans ta mémoire

Tourne la page…
(René et Nathalie:) Tourne la page

rest of lyrics

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

Bears Running

May 31, 2009

bears running 2

soundtrack

Bimmer and Tracker stop running from the mobile oil-drilling rigs to catch their breath. They are barely surviving on a light sushi breakfast and two boxes of Cracker Jacks.

Tracker: “What kind of name is Bimmer?”

Bimmer: “I’m named after the Annette Bening character’s SUV in American Beauty,” he replies.

Tracker:“I’m confused. You were named after a celebrity?”

Bimmer:“Her SUV wasn’t a celebrity, it was a product placement, you silly cub.”

Tracker: “But… why would a rich Hollywood writer make a product so important? Doesn’t this take away from the characters and the story? Aren’t the people and the morality of their actions in the movie supposed to drive the plot?”

Just then, the Coca Cola delivery van drives by and Ronald McDonald – the new driver – waves at the running bears. He is driving a brand new, high-end Mercedes T680-X truck.

Bimmer: “I guess he hasn’t seen the oil mercenaries yet.”

They both snicker.

snickers 2

A few minutes later, Bimmer notices Tracker is running a lot more slowly.

Bimmer:“Hey, you wanna take a break and go get some snacks from that Shell station, Track?”

Tracker nods silently – he can’t even find the calories to make complete words.

The Shell station has a food store called a “Snack Shack” attached to the cash where you pay for your gasoline.

Bimmer heads right for the food aisles.

Bimmer:“Hey, where’s your bread and milk, Shell guy?”

Shell guy: “Sorry guys, we’re completely out of food.”

Tracker: “Um… Milk isn’t technically food. Where’s the dairy section? I’d even settle for chocolate milk about now, Shell guy.”

The Shell guy looks all around the store as if he is trying to find bread and milk in the air molecules between the shelves.

Shell guy:“Sorry guys,” he weakly sighs. “I don’t have any more bread or milk or anything edible. Just gasoline and oil and scratch lottery tickets. Oh, and my name is Randy, and not Shell Guy.”

So the bears starved to death, and died even sooner from drinking a bit of gasoline when they got really dehydrated. The end.

—–

Ranger: “What a miserable story, Old Bear Roger!”

He finishes his bedtime Evian water.

OBR: “Well at least you won’t be having nightmares about giant hands tonight,” he reminds everyone as he turns off the light.

In one more week, Old Man Roger will be back at the Senior’s Residence and the bears will be able to return to their virtual lives.

hungry bears 2

One Claw

May 25, 2009

one claw 2

soundtrack

Ranger: “What do you mean, ‘No more Internet until we start getting better grades in the real world?’ And who are we setting a bad example for? We’re the only two kids in the family,  me and Bronc!'”

Ranger’s strategy is to plead for leniency when faced with punishment. It’s as if his primary purpose in life as the elder cub is to forever defend the little bear against any possible abuse by adult hegemony. He sees himself as the fruit roll-up-eating citizen’s lawyer to smaller siblings –  when he isn’t in trouble with the law himself, that is.

Momma Bear always plays the good-cop, which means she pretends to be ‘the sane one’ while Daddy acts like he’s going over the edge. She waits for bad-cop Dad to walk away fuming, then utters her final word:

Mom: “You both got D’s in reading and history this semester, so no more Internet or games until I see some good grades.”

As soon as she shuts the door, Bronc, who is only six and a half, starts to tear up and breath irregularly: ”

Bronc: What are we going to do to kill time, Ranger?”

Their parents finally gone from their room, the two boys huddle next to a battery-powered 101 Dalmatians candle and try to come up with some kind of media strategy for the semester. Two months without Internet or Wii. No castle rescues or war-winning. Just analog reality twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Ranger: “I know! Why don’t we get Old Bear Roger to tell us stories. He says they used to tell car accident stories to keep from getting scared during the Bear-o-caust.”

suv with ice

Old Bear Roger shows up a half hour later, his round-rimmed glasses steamed up from the Arctic air.

OBR: “Well, how’s about I tell you the story of the Grizzly Claw? Now, you all better get real close because it’s kinda scary and all.”

Old Bear Roger learned to talk like this at drama camp, where loud rhetorical speech was used for therapy. The two cubs squeeze together like the wet patties of a child’s Big Mac as Roger begins to storytell.

OBR: “There was once a giant Grizzly Claw in the sky, and His name was Allen Goodman. (Roger’s stories often feature pointlessly bland human names like this).

Now two little bears, much like yourselves, noticed the Giant Claw-in-the-sky one day, and they asked It what Its function was. Allen – the Grizzly Claw – answered that He could grant them any three wishes they wanted.

But before He could even show them some daily special wishes from the menu, the older bear – Cecil – was asking him to make the world warm and sunny every day. So, the Claw flipped around a few times, and the chemicals in the atmosphere changed so that it was exactly 22 degrees and sunny everywhere. This lasted about five minutes. Then the ice caps melted and a giant wave destroyed civilization.

That’s when the other bear – let’s call him Brandon – asked for his second wish which was to dry up all the flood waters.

So the Claw flipped around and around, again changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere – until this time, all the liquids on earth dried into solids or gases. This killed virtually all the lifeforms that had survived the flood.

Desperate, both little bears asked that their third wish be granted, that everything go back to the way it was before.

But Allen Goodman explained that this wasn’t possible, and that they had already exhausted the wish-granting power of the Claw and would have to live (or die) with the consequences of their original wishes.

And with that, the middle finger of the Claw pointed upwards, flipping a bird in the sky over which the wishes of mankind could never cross.

And that’s the end of my story, boys”

The boys would miss the Internet more than they ever imagined.

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.

Bear Chaps

May 14, 2009

bear chaps 2

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Fast forward, a million years, you walk into a gay bar made of ice blocks…

“CJ, where can I get a fresh one of these?”

CJ dangles a long empty beer bottle in front of his Dodge Power belt buckle, taunting Rusty with a dumb smirk.

Rusty and CJ have been buds for years. They met while attending an Ice Flow Regeneration seminar here in Iqualuit a dozen years earlier. And now, here they are at their tenth seminar on the same subject, still swinging empty bottles.

They’re both husky and strong-looking bears, so neither one of them suspects the other one of being a furry piston, and they both have the professional grace of inventing absentee girlfriends to fill in gaps in personal conversations. Rusty calculates, incorrectly, that CJ is just being a man-pig right now, and not a flirt.

“CJ, are you sure you want another beer? You’re going to go extinct tonight – if you know what I mean.”

“I know my limits…”  CJ stumbles against the white leather bar as he fails to finish his sentence, forgetting that he is in the middle of one.

“That’s it, Ceej. You’re coming back to the hotel right now.”

Rusty calls a taxi with his cell.

When the cab arrives, it’s a pink Cadillac driven by a model wearing green plastic spiked heels.

“Hey, since when does Barbie drive a cab?” CJ asks as they’re whisked off to the Conference Center at the Royal Kinderlesse Hotel.

U.S.S. Enterprise

May 13, 2009

uss enterprise 2

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Farfour and Bananarama have been standing on hot asphalt for over an hour waiting to get onto the USS Enterprise ride at Canada’s Wonderland.

A young boy eating a clodhopper ice cream notices the smiling mouse and his three female companions, and slowly approaches them, eying Farfour carefully. The celebrity mouse seems to be the only one who is dressed age-appropriately.

“Excuse me, aren’t you that activist mouse on Palestinian TV?” asks the little tike as he clutches a yellow Tonka truck in the kangaroo pocket of his name-brand hoody.

“Yeah! You must be Nourdine, the boy from the embassy. Am I ever glad to see you!” Farfour had called the Palestinian Embassy in Ottawa as soon as he found out his flight to Hebron with Bananarama had been diverted from London Heathrow to Canada.

“So,” Nourdine asks between licks of the nougat in the candies that punctuate his cone, “why are you in Toronto and not in Hebron for the concert?”

Bananarama’s North American corporate connections have already dispatched an army of emergency PR people to Toronto to clear up the spin mess that came out of their flight being rerouted. The No-fly lists are getting out of control; Bananarama find themselves on it for scheduling a charity concert in the same venue that Hamas holds its annual karaoke night.

“Well, they told us there were technical problems on the plane, and that we’d be safer coming to Toronto for a special routine maintenance check up. In a few days, we’re gonna fly directly to Beirut, and then connect to Hebron and do the concert a week later than scheduled. So far, there’s only been a 5% cancellation rate,” Farfour calmly explains. He hasn’t heard about the political reasons for the rerouting of his plane, and blissfully imagines that things are happening exactly as they should.

Meanwhile, the girls are signaling for Farfour to hurry up and get his furry little mouse ass onto the friggin’ ride! Sara is sitting in the front, while Siobhan and Keren sit behind her, patting the second-place spot for Farfour, as if he were a dog. Time for the shy little mouse to ride the Enterprise with his celebrity girl-singer heroes from England!

The USS Enterprise is a vintage amusement park ride that has been recovered from the CNE’s old fairground when the CNE was closed down to free up some prime downtown land for more metallic condo towers.

This thrill-ride is composed of a flat, horizontal wheel, with hinged missiles hanging along its circumference, each missile holding three or four passengers.

coaster 2

As the wheel accelerates, the missiles swing outward until they are in a completely horizontal position, held there by centripetal force. Then the entire 20m-diameter wheel begins to slowly rise until completely vertical. When it is at its vertical apex, the missiles at the top are completely upside down. They call this part of the ride “the change loosener” and it brings big tips to attentive carnies. The entire ride usually lasts 2 to 3 minutes.

Farfour and Bananarama spin around and around for their three minutes of total acceleration in the vertical wheel position. But as the wheel begins to make its decent back down to horizontal, something snaps and the entire wheel, loaded with dozens of spinning-upside-down passengers flying around in circles at high speed, suddenly slips a few meters off its decent with a loud and jerky thud. Scared riders begin to scream loudly and constantly, and the operators below scramble with cellphones and monkey wrenches to raise the wheel back up to the vertical position so they can – maybe – repair it and spare the lives of Bananarama, Farfour, and the regular schmoes in the other missiles.

The girls are in hysterics. The ride isn’t stopping! Ever! They’re just going around and around and around… Siobhan’s stomach gives out, and she projectile-vomits all over Farfour’s ears and Keren’s freshly permed black hair.

If they ever get off this thing, Sara swears, there’ll be no more carnivals and zaniness for Bananarama, no more decadent thrill-seeking and silly videos full of half-naked dancers. They’re off to Palestine to belt out a few disco tunes and maybe – just maybe – to bring some sunshine into the lives of a few unhappy children.

Feline Cuteness Hegemony

May 5, 2009

Unpacking the Qaturday narrative

_______________________________________________________

das qat header

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michel foucat
Michel Foucat

What others are saying about
Feline Cuteness Hegemony


The intentional spelling mistakes.

And then we are all its slavez.

– Walt Whitman, I Download the Kitty Electric

fgh psa

Beware the lulz of Caturday.

– Anonymous_27

hard luck kitty

L’arnaque (The Swindle)

“I not cheezburger!” cries the Caturday star, as he is projected into the limelight, a feline endtime sacrifice with added anaesthesia/cuteness.

He is not cheezburger, nor does he really want a cheezburger. It is viewers who long for the cheezburger, the cuteness, and the lulz. It is viewers who are being swindled (arnaqué(e)s) by hegemony-encoded cat macros that hijack natural altruistic instincts. The swirl of multiple meanings and vulnerability of the featured cat enslave the viewer through a juxtaposed power-seeking guilt discourse.

– Jean Baudrillard, The Impossible Furball

nostalgia

What Qatzel Ok is saying about
Feline Cuteness Hegemony


The Caturday Dialectic

The Caturday Dialectic has us “frozen in the headlights.”

The Post Caturday Condition (Qatzel Ok, March 2009) explained – in gay postmodern layman’s terms – how this process works. It is totalitarian and irresistible. You don’t need to own a cat to understand Caturday, after all!

Most of my ancestors were holocausted by superpowers. I am the progeny of many survivors. Under every leaf of my family tree, there is a gas chamber and a smiling Nazi patriot. And yet, where are the Caturdays that empower me? Where is my propaganda industry?

Feline Cuteness Hegemony freezes you in its headlights. The audience waits to be hit by the genocidal eighteen-wheeler of hegemony. Relax, and take it easy, for there is nothing that we can’t do (Caturday thinks itself invincible).

Where is that magical entitlement that can put me behind the wheel of that large vehicle?

Blinded by Feline Cuteness Hegemony

We are unable to react rationally or to respond naturally to FCH. We have been enslaved by a hegemonic Caturday industry that offers us memes that short-circuit our (normally) altruistic instincts. These instincts are triggered by symbols that have been whored by commerce for many years to help them concentrate their kitty power. Just look at these cute and helpless abominations in your mediascape – the ones that you build your “reality” around. Aren’t they adorable? Aren’t you adoring them?

Cuteness and “the Beast”

The Caturday aesthetic is a situated product of a hegemonic Western Elite culture and upper middle-class commercial values.

“Zaniness,” “fluffy,” “cute,” and “frivolous” are the operative topoi that create the consumer narrative structure. These situated coping strategies (in a boring, commerce-run society) give Feline Cuteness the legs it needs to kick the common good with.

It is in addressing these images of feline cuteness that the Western consumer beholds the “beauty” to which he must then play “the beast.” Western aggression is a necessary condition for maintaining both cultural and military supremacy over other cultures that do not maintain the same manufactured social prompts. Likewise, the Western Elite depends on these hijacked instinctive responses to build an army to protect their privilege with.

In conclusion, the “beast” that the consumer evolves into while witnessing the pussycat narrative is essential for maintaining Western Elite hegemony all over the world. So, post more cute little kitties!

college

From the Feline Cuteness Hegemony Mail Room

Here’s an email I received from a recent inductee into the FCH Resistance Movement:

.

I am momentarily returning to the Internet to thank Qatz for making postmodern thought accessible to “the little guy” like myself.

Prior to his paradigm-shattering essay “The Post-Caturday Condition,” I was far too close to the Caturday text. But now, thanks to the vocabulary tools that the Qatz text has given me, I am able to deconstruct this product of Western Hegemony.

I no longer respond to this kitty’s semiotic blackmail. I am finally free.


– Big Evil

.

Why thank you, Big Evil. It’s always nice to hear that these difficult-to-pigeonhole Caturday essays are making a difference in somebody else’s life.

Meow.

>”<

click for more das qaturday

_________________________________________

http://www.resistfch.org

Pax Barbie

April 23, 2009

pax barbie header 2

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Cher and Tundra are still working the Barbies after all these years.

Tundra: “Cher, let’s hop into the Jeep and go to the beach!”

Cher: “That otta be easy now that the beach is way much closer than it used to be.”

Polar Bear culture takes Barbies seriously. After floods drowned mankind and destroyed most human artifacts, the plastic, hollow Barbies survived for centuries because they floated to the surface in islands of plastic rubble like New York and London. Plastic takes several generations to bio-degrade even under the best weather conditions, and you could hardly call the non-stop freezing rain of the last few centuries “ideal.”

The irony of plastic Barbie’s Darwinian survival doesn’t escape their furry post-apocalyptic owners.

Cher is usually the instigator in their Barbocentric Consumer dramas, so she dramatically turns to Tundra in mock horror.

Cher: “Oh no! The Jeep is being fire-bombed by GI Joes! Quick, Silvie, swerve!”

Tundra takes on the same pretend-fearful tone.

Tundra: “I can’t swerve, Cher! Eco-terrorists have cut the brake cables and the steering controls!”

And then, staring at each other ecstatically, they yell:

Both bears: “Oh my God! They’re suffocating on the badly-designed air bags!”

It’s the same ending every time – the Barbies always end up suffocating in their own battery-powered toys.

The two furry she-bears collapse into a ball of laughter and Arctic friskiness. Once again, their Barbies have died of acute Consumerism. This ending always feels good – it’s like homeopathic medicine.

Then Cher flares her nostrils and thinks aloud.

Cher: “I can smell pot downstairs. Let’s run down and try to freak out Rav and Bronco.”

india bear

Meanwhile, downstairs in the living room, Bronco fondles his girlfriend while they smoke a massive cone joint together.

Rav: “Bronco! What are you doing! That’s my scrotum!”

Bronco: “Scrotum? But it said you were my GIRL-friend in the prequel.”

Rav: “Well then, the prequel got it half right.”

Rav is a visiting exchange bear from Madras, India. Because of the very different polar bear customs in his part of India, many of the residents of Veggie Hamlet think he’s a girl. With polar bears, the difference is, at most, pretty subtle. Sex between them is usually a blur of ecstatic muscular sensations and white fur – so gender roles are often put aside in the name of efficiency.

Bronco: “Rav, can we still fondle even though we’re both he-bears?”

Bronco’s voice trembles a bit as he looks at Rav’s big, meaty gym arms.

Just then, Tundra and her friend Cher come tearing down the stairs, waving blond plastic hair.

Tundra: “Our barbies say they want to go for a drive in the beach bus again! But the airbags aren’t up to EU standards. What should we do, Bronc?”

Bronco and Rav quietly chuckle. Will these girl-bears ever learn the difference between play and reality?

Rav coughs up a bit of pot smoke as he looks up at Tundra’s  face.

Rav: “Dude, they’re just barbies. Do their hair, dress them in green plastic boots and a princess dress, and take them to a ball. That’s all they really need.

Leave the beach bus with G.I. Joe.”

 

Stay-Awake Chewing Gum

April 15, 2009

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gum

When I was five, I couldn’t stay awake late enough to watch some of my favorite TV shows. This sucked, but what can you do when you’re five years old. I yearned, and I suffered.

Sure, we had normal chewing gum. But there was still no product on the market that could make your breath smell fantastic, give your jaw a good workout, and also keep you wide awake so you could watch adult TV shows with bad words and the occasional inappropriate sexual situation.

Luckily, aspartame and caffeine are part of our chewscape now. So are chemical mint flavors, and – importantly – names with Xtreme in them. This superlative suggests that sugarless chewing gum has advanced to the next level – has become a product with a mission: to push the gum-chewer to their absolute limits.

Sexism is a by-product of chewing gum

The girls who chewed gum in my high school would all have to endure being called sluts, and the guys who chewed gum were expected to suck everyone else off… eventually… when they got over their self-conscious homophobia.

Was it like this in your high school as well?

Now, I’m not suggesting that there’s a link between promiscuity and chewing gum – sugarless Xtreme or otherwise. But what I am saying is that commercial advertising constructs this link by plopping busty models into their ads, often blowing large, breast-sized bubbles.

And yet, gum is so unsexy – at least, to the gay mind that’s inside my head.

Fake History of Gum

Gum appeared in the American diet just as the worker found himself working too many hours a day, and in too high-stress a social situation, to brush his teeth regularly.

I am always surprised at how few people brush their teeth at school, on the job, and in other social situations. A toothbrush and toothpaste don’t take up that much room, and it only takes five minutes to brush your teeth.

People spend hours looking for cheap parking for their cars, but they can’t seem to find the place for a toothbrush in their pocket or purse. And it is into the illusion of time-poverty that falls the miraculous product that is Stay-Awake Chewing Gum.

The Model

gum chart

I think this graph really says it all.

Chewing gum is all about forgetting the important things, and concentrating on the most trivial: the sound of your own mouth muscles. But you can always refer to this graph when you start to feel like chewing gum is just meaningless consumption.

The math is where all the meaning lies, and this chart captures that math really well.

Stay-Awake Chewing Gum has math on its side, and that’s like having God standing right behind you with a big smile on His face, isn’t it.

Zion Motors

April 12, 2009

Zion Motors B

soundtrack

Cynthia can’t help noticing that FMJ has missed his Vidal Sassoon organic cucumber eye-treatment and Fiji Island laser-guided pedicure. What could be bothering him so much that he would miss a weekly self-focusing ritual like this one?

She lay there on the Corbusier massage table staring up at the Second Empire chandeliers when Free Market Mark comes whisking into the private clinic in a tasteful brown leather shirt and metallic-silver culottes.

Mark: “Cynth, Mary is skipping the trial today to resolve some middle-management ickiness at his Zion Motors affiliate. Apparently… (he looks at his nails) …Caucasia’s newly-elected socialist government wants to nationalize “their” share of our multinational.

We  need to figure out how to deal with this heresy. Perhaps a ‘Free Market excommunication’ – wink-wink – might help open their minds to the sacredness of the shareholder-holdee relationship.”

Instantly panicking, Cynthia pulls the cucumber slices off her botoxed eyelids.

Cynth: “Oh,Mark, no! Not another civilian bombing campaign! How can I look the jury in the eyes tomorrow?

We just had FMJ’s favorite astrologist on the stand yesterday as a character witness. You heard what they said, Marcia dear: Saturn-in-Libra is not the right time to seek out new challenges. Guess what? Bombing a foreign country is a new challenge, and Saturn will be in Libra for another four weeks. This is really bad sun-sign karma.”

Mark pauses to grab a canapé from the pewter tray next to the fireplace. As he turns around, his backless shirt reveals a large tattoo at the centre of his back, with the words libido dominandi inscribed in the middle of a rainbow-colored heart.

Mark: “Oh, it’ll be over in a few days, Cynth. Caucasia hasn’t even invented gunpowder yet. Anyway, Zion Motors needs to be saved. No one else still offers 8-passenger chariots at a family price, and if Caucasia nationalizes it, how can we be sure they offer the same Free Market personal luxury vehicles? It could hurt the entire brand.”

Cynthia ties a knot in her Laura Ashley towel while looking around the clinic:

Cynth: “I’m not worried about him winning his war, or getting his motor company back. I’m worried about winning our celebrity trial. What if we lose?

We almost lost his last trial – Remember that, Marsha? Those Druid women smuggled some of his sperm from the Club Zero Health Club, and then tried to sue him for child support to feed a hundred of “his own” children.

Then, in the middle of his trial, FMJ bombed Phoenicia.

We almost ended up signing away a full one percent of his after-tax profits because of that intervention. I know his heart is in the right place, but there is a time to bomb, and there is a time to pose. And this is a time to pose.”

She strikes a pose while clasping a maraschino cherry which has been glued to a whole-wheat cracker with cream cheese.

Mark bites into a piece of roasted broccoli wrapped in bacon and Havarti:

Mark: “Yes, but you won in the end, didn’t you, bitch. If I recall, you even won a counter-suit against those women – for theft. How in the world did you get their welfare boards to pay those massive fines? I didn’t know the Phoenician government even had an extra hundred-trillion sheckles to give away like that. Guess it helps to own their government.”

He swallows the broccoli spear, and then takes a sip of lemon-grass mineral water from a fair-trade bamboo mug.

Cynthia gets up from the table and walks toward the Provençale bay window.

Cynth: “Yeah, it was a lot of money. But we spent half of that settlement on two huge Free Market Pain museums. It was the only way to fight off the bad press. Who would have thought that a couple of photos of CEOs selling their mansions would change public opinion so much.”

He grins.

Mark: “Never underestimate the power of a good art director, Cynth-Pop.”

Click for more FMJ

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

Tundra Visits the Climate Institute

March 31, 2009

climate institute 3

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Little girl-bear Tundra has just finished walking her little boy-bear neighbor Forester home from school like she does every day.

Now that humanity has been extinct for a few hundred years, the atmosphere is starting to get back to normal, the ice sheets are getting thicker, and smalltown bearlife is returning to pre-Anglo-Exxon-War normalcy.

Tundra is really kind to Forester. She’s kind to mostly everyone she knows. At Bear Camp last year, Tundra volunteered to stay up all night with the smallest bears who were afraid of the dark, and read them stories about car accidents to help them sleep.

But today, little Forester has an errand to run at his uncle Sonoma’s house way over top of ANWR Hill. It will only take a few minutes, so would Tundra mind? Pretty please?

She says “Forester, of course I don’t mind,” and they skip up to the top of the hill.

But as they get there, Tundra spots a large human building that has somehow survived the catastrophic wars and climate changes.

As they approach, they fall into a deep, ominous silence as they read the brass sign over the Mies van der Rohe door. This is the infamous Climate Institute – the last great temple of Anglo-Exxon spin.

Tundra slowly pushes open the over-sized door and, after pausing to prudently remove her sugar-free gum, goes completely berserk. Slicing her extended claws in all directions in the lobby, she dices and claws her way through filing cabinet after filing cabinet of mock reports and doctored studies.

Driven to acute,  sudden insanity by her extinction-evoking surroundings, Tundra can only see her own blood. She shreds papers, over-turns tables, and gleefully shreds the portraits of money-changers hanging on the marble-clad walls. She yells out:  “Spin this, fucktards!” as she rotates a dozen paintings into confetti on her middle finger.

Meanwhile, Forester swallows his gum and tries to think about car accidents.

The Meme Police

March 26, 2009

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(Please not 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.”


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