How Synthetic We’ve Become

Samantha tells me I sweat too much and I know this is true, it’s August and when I walk to my car after work the drips run right down my sides, and if I wipe my brow my eyes sting. But there’s a fix for this, Johnson & Johnson makes a bodywash – for men – with aluminum zirconium tetrahydrochlorate, an antiperspirant that forms gel-like plugs in all of my sweat-ducts. My morning routine is shower, then brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush and use teeth-whitening mouthwash. I know there’s fluorosilicic acid in the water to keep our teeth white, but even so. I keep my appearance top-notch, because Samantha and I are moving up in the world.

We work out at the same gym. At different times though usually. I take creatine supplements infused with 4-hydroxy-isoleucine and another pre-workout supplement that dilate my cardiovascular system so that my muscles receive more oxygen and blood. Samantha has been taking the new ‘Viagra for women’, to match my own enhanced libido. I’ve elected to receive monthly testosterone treaments.

Samantha and I eat healthy. No McDonald’s. We buy enriched cereals containing almost all of the vitamins and minerals we need each day. We don’t worry much about folic acid though, because it’s required that all bread is already folic acid enhanced. We take Centrum as well, and go to Whole Foods for other more specific dietary supplements.

We save money where we can (we’re looking into flats downtown). When we purchase produce we look for the fruits and veggies with the thicker coatings of wax. The wax contains the presevatives and pesticides that keep our produce fresher, longer. When we’re home and have unpacked our groceries, we additionally spray our produce with Difenoconazole, a common agricultural fungicide, to further prevent decay.

On the weekends we scrub our townhouse with triclosan-based cleaners and Clorox, and use Lysol disinfectants to clean the air. We are expecting a baby soon in a month, and would like the baby not to get sick. We’ve even planned to accelerate the recommended vaccination plan – 128 shots by the time he (she?) is 18 months.

Samantha and I tan three times a week.

I’m prescribed a mixture of Aderol and Welbutrin to keep me focused at the job I love. These worked well when I was diagnosed with ADD in elementary school, and continue to do so. I take Oxycontin for my constant migraines, an incurable disorder caused by dilated blood-vessels near my brain – that, or because I’ve had the misfortune of twice (twice!) catching a ‘super-bug’, though I regularly take antibiotics so I don’t get the flu. I also eat lots of poultry.

I work in politics for a company called ConAgra. My job is to help make the food-supply more resistant to insects, diseases, drought, synthetic herbicides, and direct sunlight. The goal is to make food more affordable. I understand this a lot, because Samantha and I too are on a budget, which is why we’ve been using formaldehyde instead of skin lotion.

I’ve also been keeping up on the markets. I have a bluetooth I listen to financial news on. Siri reads the news to me, and when I don’t understand a word Siri explains the definition. I can’t say I’ve retained much. But I am looking forward to economic recoveries. The central bank is going to re-manipulate the interest-rates, the economy is finally going to be overhauled by Congress, and new incentives are going to encourage borrowing and spending and money-creation. I am hopeful these new things will get society back to its natural balance.


Happy In-Dependence Day

Mister President, do you swear to uphold the economic prosperity and national security of these Great United States? I do.

Madame Speaker, do you swear to uphold the financial security and safety of these Great United States? I do. Then let us join hands in our singing of Hymn 64.

O say can you see

By the dawn’s early light

What so proudly we hailed

At the twilight’s last gleaming.

I am Student Code 3118946C, and I am at my desk, facing the altar. The altar two stories above looks down at the Great Hall filled with student desks, and in the depths the desks begin to fade, shadows folding into a darkness veiling the extent of this religious delusion – how has this cathedral justified its tithes?

The Emcee of Services, Fox News Model in a primpy suit jacket, rises on the altar and lifts her hands, cue the lifting of heads. The choir continues:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

Through the perilous fight

Will the Class of 2016 step forward. This includes myself, shuffling into small aisles filing to the foot of the altar of Our Savior. We kneel, looking up at an alter two-stories too high for us to see the elected clergy.

Overhead is a darkness of chains clanging, belts whirring, gears clunking, engines churning. You can see the first few layers of conveyors, of mechanical arms and processes rising up and quickly veiled in the darkness and no one is said to know how high the darkness goes.

We subverient are gathered here today to accept our diplomas stipulating debt-repayment plans – I can choose the 20yr plan, the 30yr plan, the 50yr plan, but the debt-collection agency who has purchased me is going to get their gold, they hold my credit score and life-dreams as collateral.

We subservient are gathered here today at the foot of the alter, kneeling with our heads raised, DHS troops patrolling aisles and windows with M16s and riot-gear and night-vision goggles equipped with facial-recognition technology and retina scanners – poor luck if you have a nervous twitch.

O’er the ramparts we watched

Were so gallantly streaming

I will be ushered to another desk. I have graduated from this desk, owned by The Ohio State University LLC., led by hand to this next desk, property of Halliburton Financial Services. I am told Halliburton even has fluorescent lighting. The choir continues its low-key hymn while the Fox Model Arbiter of Democracy continues the ceremony.

Let us bow our heads and recite Prayer 649:

We pledge allegiance to the flag

Of the United States of America.

And to the financial stability

for which it stands

one nation, under surveillance, defended,

With comfort and money for all.

And the rockets’ red glare

The bombs bursting in air

I have been corralled into this school. I will spend the next thirty years paying off loans they sold to a debt-collection agency, and boy do I thank everyone for teaching me how to obey my bosses and file forms and itemized deductions, for helping me pay for the pharmaceuticals I needed to sit still at my desk. I will faithfully spend the rest of my life making payments to an insurance corporation, in the name of a basic human need. I will watch wars on CNN, monitor frightening stock-market dips on Fox Business, learn about The Benevolent Ones on MSNBC. My children will grow up idolizing Disney brats in ritzy hotels and cruiseliners, I’ll ignore civic duty while watching Disney’s ESPN NFL play-offs Super Bowl Sponsored by AIG Countdowns Rundowns Best Plays Ever. My children will follow corporate careers into newer sub-divisions 3000sqft houses in 3500sqft lots, and I will depend my old infirmity on the caprice of a capitalist hegemony that’s made retirement an ideal I need a PIN and good faith credit in the Corporate Federal Government for.

Screens on the back of the altar show videolink to a marble hall, long mahogany table of men and women who may be hedge-fund managers or Joint Chiefs or Senators or CEO’s – no, I recognize the names of The Unelected Masters of Mankind, bankers for the institution that might be public or private in DC or Manhattan or Riker’s Island London Hong Kong, Live From Baghdad the World Bank Free-Trade Geo-Political Positioning it’s all for our Safety and Wealth, it’s what these people are here to defend, for us.

The video-link speaks: It has come to our attention that Student Code 3118946C did not complete Geology 101, prerequisite for the Corporate Finance track. The student’s degree is invalid. Student Code 3118946C, step forward.

The politesse of proper etiquette requires, when being spoken to, to keep my head down, hands folded in the front. Supplicate. Serve. Masturbate Your Masters.

They have been monitoring me. Processing me. Indoctrinating me.

Student Code 3118946C, are you aware that without us you would not find a career? That you would not be able to afford your car, your TV, your tablet, your vacations, your clothes, your debt if it weren’t for the benevolence we serve you with? Do you understand that, without us, you would suffer and die without a doctor to treat you, without a savings account in your old age? Is that what you want, Student Code 3118946C? Do you understand that without us you are nothing?

O say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave

There are sounds of fawning, crawling at the feet of the Masters of Mankind because our neighbors are hungry and poor and we want someone to do something, because we might lose our jobs, be unable to afford the aisles of our favorite supermarket chain. There are sounds of drones screeching, bombs falling, catastrophe. People shouting in a crowded mall because their neighbor looks suspicious. But we are saved by the benevolence and altruism of Humankind’s Dominant Hegemonic Power, the most Powerful Human Beings history has ever seen, watching after us, feeding us, curing our ailments and concerning themselves with our mental well-being.

O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

Happy In-Dependence Day.


Servitude Sine Qua Non Capitalism

The daily sweat burning August sun into the red of my neck, head bent day long placing pavers up a driveway to a three car garage. Exhaustion is when limbs get numb, dehydration underestimating the volume of a gallon water jug. When the lightpost by the cascading stoop comes on, lights an orb with edges dissipating into a night hiding the house’s upper-floors… there is something I’ve missed. I am supposed to be home and I am still laying bricks. The stars in the sky out-competed by the porch lights deck lights driveway lights garage lights lawn lights of the much-acheived sub-division. I stand up from the bricks and turn a confused circle. I am pushing a brick-loaded wheelbarrow back down to the pick-up, curb parked. The pick-up has accrued at some point several tickets beneath the wipers. The wheelbarrow catches an unevenly-laid brick and the weight is a moment tumbling free of my hands. I was supposed to be home. There is something I have missed. My kid is asleep and my wife on her one night off is waiting up for me. It wasn’t supposed to be this. Suburban lights have lawns glowing green, surreally, past the windows of the pick-up. I must have made a wrong turn. The GPS doesn’t plug in anywhere and my flip-phone isn’t receiving 2G. Somewhere in a cul-de-sac I have become lost. I am sweating needle-pricks from my goosebumps and I don’t know where I am. In the windshield are memory-versions of myself sitting in college classrooms, studying in the library, taking rum from my empty pockets sleeping nowhere, and in a mindless storm of impulse rocketing my future down a highway away from school, towards towns I’d yet to explore. And needed. And desired. A life not spent bent supplicating paychecks from the boss’s desk. I am on my own. And I am crushed. And my family has no future in a townhouse past the gentrified edge. And I am sinking in debt and insurance and credit scores I refuse to check. And I am told to hire a crew. If I’d just stayed in school a degree and then ten people working under me. I must have become confused. Or corrupted, with some sick ideal a dozen people shouldn’t work beneath me. I am a fuck up. The windshield a translucent reflection bloated to dimensions of pathetic ethics, face pallid stained with blood sinking into a gut that won’t climb itself a single capitalist rung. Idealistic refusal and the delusion my children will be better off. That I work for no one and I run no one, and I am confused. It is four in the morning in a cul-de-sac and the pick-up still a mile down the driveway. There is something I have missed. I am placing the bricks back in the wheelbarrow and this is the day beginning. I was supposed to be home.

Disengaged The World

College is three years behind down the road left lingering the paper-trail of an aborted degree. I have turned my facade into a quarry chipping away Doc Maartens and Oakley’s, peeling skin off TV screens and masturbating to Fox News anchors. Instead of two more years on an Art History major I am the animal-rights terrorist blowing open zoo cages I peer deep inside my self to see. I am the bathsalt nightmare flinging shit at alley walls; I am the molly nakedness supplicating gay bears at who brush across me; I am introverted by confusion not neatly parsing dreams from waking life. Wander into house parties stealing fridges for the day’s last meal. There are ghosts avoiding eye-contact on city streets and drug corners. Pallid skin cracks dehydration of bingeing month-long hangovers. There are childhood dreams folded into realistic goals, folded into consumer excess, folded into financial stability, folded into a college degree, into a part-time job, a decent apartment, into a shit-hole mattress on the floor. Repulsion and rejection folding further in, tear off the vapid and burn the social expectations burn and rot and burn and rot suburban sprawl wrapped in 10,000 count thread, ever further in. Gouged the eyes of every expectation indiscriminately, left dangling from the wire-strand lightbulb of this abandoned housing.