MESSAGE BOARD WHORES by Noah Buschel

“Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling,” Winston Smith’s torturer tells him in 1984. “Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty.”

Dystopia has come. Like Huxley and Orwell said it would.

Hypnotized by brainless movies and stupid TV shows and endless Internet idolatry and shit talking—we’ve become a nation of no one. But we’re not even nice, hedonistic, blank zombies. Everyone has an opinion, more than ever. I know I do. Like feral dogs locked in combinationless codes, badgers trapped in circular mazes. The opinions on the Internet, in the newspapers, on the news have a nasty depraved air to them—and yet they mean nothing. Like Maureen Dowd talking out of her confused, bleached asshole about Bob Dylan’s lack of patriotism. Nothing means anything anymore really. We know the corporate state will just do what it does. The extra sideshow is just more bad movies. A black president? So what. Three wars at once? Yeah, whatever. Sex trafficking kids, lack of education, and all the other shit Oprah covers on her half-assed new age show—it don’t really get through to us. Not when we know Oprah’s main message is POWER. Sunny faced, concerned, sweet, spiritual… get real. The Big O is about POWER. She don’t give a shit. Except ‘bout POWER. And she seeks power entirely for her own sake. Winfrey ain’t interested in the good of others—she’s interested in power. The object of the power is not so she can create some utopia in the future. The object of her fucking power is her fucking power. It’s the end, not no means. To have her opinion count more than anyone else’s. To rule. One TV Channel to rule them all.

On the message boards of the Internet one runs into millions of little Oprahs. Millions of uninformed people talking shit and having it backed up by frauds like Dr. Phil. We are the first oligarchy that has no intention of some sorta future glory and freedom for all. Even the Nazis pretended they were killing for humankind. But not us. I suppose there is a certain nobility in our honesty. But I have a feeling it’s just that we’re too dense to even bother pretending. We’re too busy coming out of Zach Snyder flicks and throwing up Taco Bell on our grandmothers. Yeah, America today is simply the slow-witted superpower that wants to stay the slow-witted superpower. Like the Yankees, we’ll do anything to reside on top. Even if everyone in the world knows we’re drowning in the sweat of our own nightmares. Nightmares with dollar bills and Brian Cashman and dead innocent Afghan civilians. And our own troops laughing around burning children of “the enemy.” America has become too crooked to want a fair game. Just pay the best free agent the highest amount and win. We didn’t seize power to make everyone in the world equal. So what the fuck are you gonna do about it? We’ll blow you the fuck away. We don’t think none ’bout revolution, except for maybe those old hippie fucks too stoned and damaged to act on it. See, the object of power is power. Like good ol’ Charlie Sheen says: “Uh, Winning.” Go watch Top Gun twenty thousand times and come back to me when you understand the beauty and simplicity of sheer Don Simpson supremacy.

Art has been banned in America. Oh, not officially for the most part, unless you’re Maplethorpe in Cincinnati. But art has been banned. The movies, about 99.9 percent of them, suck. The last great movies I saw in a theater almost all came from faraway. Waltz With Bashir, Rabbit Proof Fence, Lights in the Dusk, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days… Here in The United States the studio movies are worse than ever and the indies are more lifeless than ever. Why? Because almost everyone in America just wants power. Fuck quality, integrity, truthfulness. No, POWER. FAME. ZEUS! Zeus. Thunderbolts thrown down for a quick box office score and a big Beverly Hills house and a trip to The White House to meet the ultimate puppet actors of them all. And shit, Michael Bay should live at The White House with the rest of those cocksuckers. Same mass-produced goods brought to us by the same people who make the wars and make the news shows that bring us the wars, and make the toys of the soldiers, and the movies about the toys. We’ve been seduced and manipulated through sensual gratification, porn robots, fear, gossip, mindless pleasure, and Donald Trump amusement. While we’ve been entertained and complicit, the corporate powers Snooki-punched Ben Franklin and stole his key. Now they just laugh in our face. We’ve woken up from the mindless Will Ferrell marathon to find out that unregulated capitalism, by nature, exploits human beings and the natural world until death.

And all those mind-numbing, uneducated, message board whores. They’re irate. They’re malicious. They’ll eat your baby for lunch, Missy. And they want more! Ah, shit. I guess I’m pretty much just one of ‘em sluts on this blog here. Just a glorified message board whore. Blinded like the rest of them by the glitter noise of this, our fucked consumer society. What are you gonna do today, it’s Sunday? I’m gonna go try and get a deal on those new Derrick Rose sneakers. He’s my favorite, ya know? Ok. Sounds great! (But does it?) Hey, after that, wanna go see the new Vince Vaughn movie. I mean it looks terrible, but who don’t love V. Vaughn? Word ‘em up, slick. Let’s meet at the Cineplex at 9:30.

Everyday millions of American men and women fight on the message boards like they’re pitbulls and Mike Vick is watching. They argue if Boardwalk Empire is a shitty show or not. They argue over where Michael Jackson’s bones are. They argue over Lady Gaga’s outfits. But the entertainment industry is just a smokescreen for the corporate state. The corporate state runs and produces everything that comes out of the entertainment world. There are exceptions of self-empowered giants like Julian Schnabel and Francis Ford Coppola… but no one sees those movies anymore really. Those movies are not made for materialism like, say, The Departed or Minority Report. And the directors who don’t wanna be part of the smokescreen, like David Lynch… I mean it’s sad to write about this. Most of the greatest filmmakers can’t get their movies made or supported in a way that they could affect the mass culture. It’s a totalitarian state. Oprah talks a lot about obesity on her show. I wish she would mention that we’re feasting upon our own corpse.

Message board whores can scream, like I am. They can dance and throw bones. But they have no faces. We’re all just where they want us to be. Sitting, faceless, at our computers. Tools of “communication” isolating us more and more, bolstering tyranny. Anonymity—we don’t have to be held responsible for our rants—we’re just a bunch of ghosts in the dark, like they want us to be. And meanwhile we think there are some good guys in the entertainment biz who are against the corporate powers. But look again. George Clooney, Brad Pitt… what do these fucking guys really stand for? Sure they have a liberal bent, but ultimately they just serve to quiet us and make us think there are some people who are upset who aren’t just message board whores. Some people who have power not just to have power. But Clooney and Pitt ain’t revolutionaries. They are movie stars. Corporations hire attractive spokespeople. The liberal movie stars are just playing their role for the corporation. They cool everyone’s tubes. Even Sean Penn is just playing into the corporation’s hands. He’s an extremist, a member of the radical left who likes to lionize himself a little too much. That’s no threat to the corporations at all.

These days I’d rather listen to Osama than Obama. Well, maybe not—but at least give me some Lenny Bruce. Or Nader, Mike Gravel, or Chomsky, or Bill Hicks. But we need the new version, the living version, the young version. Give me someone who will stand up and see through the b.s. and save our minds, if for only a moment. It can’t be Joan Baez and Pete Seeger no more. It’s gotta be a fresh group. Man, if all us goddamn message board whores would just get off our goddamn computer asses for a little while—maybe we could do something.

I got a very popular and demented friend in real estate in Nevada and he has some of Owsley’s last batch and he’s made a bunker in his mansion where he plans on taking all the politicians and owners that come to his famous parties and he’s gonna tell everyone to go down to “the wine cellar” and drink the old bottles. Only they’ll be drinking liquid LSD out of the bottles. Then he’s gonna lock up all them senators and governors and prehistoric golfers and he’s gonna just play endless loops of The Dalai Lama chanting the heart sutra for five days. So that’s happening.

But we gotta do more. We gotta take down Dr. Drew, and Rush Limbaugh, McCain, Palin, Roger Birnbaum, Paula Deen, Nancy Grace, and those people who keep saying Coca-Cola: Life Begins Here. We gotta deboot them, reprogram them. Not to mention all the real motherfuckers who are ruining this country. The ones as anonymous as us message board whores. Thems the ones we gotta get to. But first we tie up Nancy Grace and Paula Deen in a room together for a long time—we might find out all kids of shit. Shit about apple pies and molestation and menstruation, and maybe—just maybe—who’s running things around here. We’ll have to go back to Paul Revere-ish ways of communicating, as our e-mails and phones are all being monitored by the government. We are the most monitored and spied-on citizenry in human history. Funny, huh? But don’t let that get you so down that you give up and go watch The Hangover 2.

Things are not gonna get better unless the message board whores and moviegoers and TV potatoes get together and start chopping off some heads. Literally. The good-paying jobs are not coming back. Soon we will have no Social Security. We need to start killing some people. No guns, samurai style—swords (I know most of you have them on your walls, bought from Ebay, so take ‘em down). And it’ll just be a few heads—the right ones. But that time has come. A little less MLK, little more X. We can’t comply with the dictates of the war on terror. The war on terror will never end because it comes out of the mind of some crazy fucking white man in his hunter’s hat scared to death of the world, watching a VH1 Behind The Music marathon. We move in when Lars Ulrich starts going on and on.

All you experts and specialists can get the fuck out of my face. I don’t need to be told anymore about limits and parameters. If the foundation of the corporation’s delineations of reality are based on dualistic concepts and actually believing in borders—they’re no experts at all and everything they come up with will be off. Because countries are just made up. No one owns nothin’. And we’re all the same body and one consciousness. And we’re all Jesus and Buddha and Allah and there’s no such thing as life or death—all one body and mind.

I’ve lost two friends to war in the last year. (But you just said death isn’t real and we’re all one. Well, trying holding two opposites evenly up at once, it’ll make you wise.) I’ve also lost a lot of friends to TV and societal conformity—buying products to keep them young, to keep them from being freaks. And me, writing crap like this essay—I’m just an irrelevant crank, lost in more ways than I can count. I’m just playing my role in this whole corporate scheme. Just another message board blog whore, frustrated, probably recently fired, probably recently left by fiancée, probably just out of a mental facility. Just another whore stripped of rights, crying in the wind. But… but—If you take away the people’s influence, they will get mad. And right now it’s just a bunch of mostly aimless whore mobs raging on comic book message boards about Frank Miller selling out and how he shamed the legacy of Will Eisner. And I use the word whore because there’s very little self-respect or poise among most of the message board scribblers. They will lick assholes, sell out their mothers, just to win an argument over Patrick Ewing’s relevancy on the post positions as we now know them. Still the energy is there. If we could just shift the energy from the message boards to the streets. If we could all meet, face to face, and start something good. It can’t be done on the computer.

Then again, I don’t know shit. See, I’m on these meds. And I get quick flashes of what’s going on, but then I’m told I’m paranoid and I gotta take pills. Pills so I can be more beautiful and nicer and more successful in this society. Pills so I can be like people on TV. Antidepressants. Sleeping pills… on and on and ya don’t stop. It’s not Gestapo style, it’s Gelato style. Life’s just ice creamy cream—why not enjoy? Enjoy turning into a vegetable. America: We Break Spirits As Well As Bodies!

The other day I was walking down the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I was in an Alprazolam fog. Drifting out of Starbucks was Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. I barely recognized it, but my body walked towards the music. I went and sat down on a dirty leather chair inside. A homeless man slept across from me in the other leather chair. The place was a real mess. It was hard to imagine that it was ever new or clean. Copland kept going, ignoring it all, or maybe seeing it all. And I started thinking of the America I knew when I was a kid. The America of baseball, and oceans, and poetry and art, and school crushes, and running, and my brother, and my parents, and our dog and two cats. Then Copland went into that part of Applalachian Spring where it goes:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

For a second I forgot everything and felt safe. America. My home. Maybe it was all those pills, but I fell asleep with that thought. My home. My home. My home.

— Noah Buschel

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