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I Hate it Here: The New Scum Plot

It’s been a good while since we’ve talked, hasn’t it? Or, rather, since I’ve sat down and committed the fruits of my well-poisoned mind to tender electrons for your sheeplike eyes to ingest. Lo and fear not, my New Scum Friends, for Spider remains in the wainscoting. A dung beetle on the new millennium, I thrive in the dark places of our society’s underbelly, consuming the output of my own industry when all other means of support fail. Mouth latched firmly to my own anus, ingesting the shit of the American Media for sustenance, I will filter it through the baleen of my hard and murderous mind for the delectation of all.

I am struck by the inability of certain political parties to produce adequate chess forks for their incumbent opponents. It may be that they are weak, as their traditional enemies like to brand them. It may be that they are too noble, as they like to believe in order to excuse their pathetic ineffectiveness. It may be that it just hasn’t fucking occurred to them. Who knows? Regardless, since my only entertainment down here in the City while watching the shitheap that is America slide down a luge track to fascist Disneyland (a redundancy if ever I heard one) is Thinking Shit Up, I proffer the following.

A common thread amongst the complainers on the Left (or what passes for the Left in this castrated landscape of the political process) is that it’s impossible to nail the actual Bastards behind the scenes because despite a plethora of evidence, the American People have been conditioned to only accept ‘Bold Statements’ from their ‘Leaders’ – and since the Party in question isn’t ‘Leading’ then nothing they say will have the desired effect. A neat self-excusing Moëbius excuse. How’s this for a thought experiment? Let’s marry two or three of the current complaints together and see if we can build a tripod that will support the poker they’d like to ram up the Smirker’s tight-pinched ass. Let’s write a story.

Laws? Prattle not to me of laws, fucker. How are you going to consider yourself a bastard if you worry about these little distractions? This is JOURNALIS…er, FICTION.

Let us take a fictional advisor who is the bête noire of many on the Left. Let us name him, oh, Adolf Wander. He steadfastly refuses to comment on, much less admit to, having anything to do with various and sundry despicable schemes to disenfranchise minority voters; to capture American politics through completely capitalist merchandising of the process to radical religious fringe parties; to smear candidates through propagation of known falsehoods and catchy slanderous slogans; to funding telephone campaigns based on random telephone call blitzes to certain less-than-liberal districts reminding them of opposing candidates’ (gasp) minority adoptee children!

Fair enough.

The Smirker seems to think that America is not safe without his ability to listen in indiscriminately on the conversations of others; to resort to ‘harsh interrogation methods that nevertheless are not torture’ and which are ‘critical to maintaining the safety of America.’

What if, in our piece of fiction, someone were to abscond with Mister Wander and subject him to said harsh interrogatory methods in an effort to develop a complete and clear picture of the methodologies used to win elections? Certainly, the methods utilized to choose the President of the United States is of critical national importance; certainly, there is cause for suspicion that that process may have been corrupted. Various parties involved with that process have already been indicted. If the only thing shielding Mr. Wander and his cronies are the fruits of success in that process, we are at a terrible disadvantage in securing our political system – much like the United States is hampered by weak laws in securing its borders from the THREAT of EVIL PEOPLE as the Smirker tells us daily!

Very well. Suppose in our fiction, a cabal of concerned professionals were to take Mr. Wander and subject him to those same techniques that our President assures us are Not Torture, in an Undisclosed Location outside the jurisdiction of American Courts, in an attempt to determine if he and his associates still at large had, or plan to, subject the American Polity to severe damage? Perhaps, even, with the threat of over three thousand deaths – such as those already suffered in a country which even the Smirker admits now had nothing to do with those horrid events he is trying to protect us from?

I’m sure there would be an outcry! He is an American Citizen! They would shout. So was Jose Padilla, could come the answer. He is innocent until proven guilty! Easily dispensed with. Habeas corpus! Same deal. He had not caused the death of three thousand Americans! Whoops; he and his President might have, in our story, caused the deaths of three thousand American combat troops on a mission which turns out to have been based on two justifications which at the time were known by certain parts of the government to be untrue.


Of course, he may not crack! He may, even more likely, simply tell our fictional interrogators whatever they want to hear, in order to nobly make good his escape and inform the law enforcement community of their evil plot and bring down righteous justice upon them.

Er, but what about those detainees we’re supposedly getting information from, then, what about the information they’re giving us?

Er, um, well.

Of course, there’s always the idea that’s been floated on the net, that of building a driver’s license out of plastic explosive and watching the TSA’s collective little head explode. ”Check all of your ID! Er, no, wait…”

It’s still fucking depressing here in what was once America. Curled up in protective little balls, eating the shit that our government doles out here in the rat tunnels, those of us able to still think despite the flood of crap flowing from those ‘in charge’ and the mindless lowing of those that accept it grimly get on with surviving. The New Scum; we’re like cockroaches. This too shall pass, and when it does, some motherfuckers are going to pay. We don’t know what it’ll look like when it does, but you’re not going to get all of us.

I'm Spider Jerusalem, and I hate it here.

Many have asked but few have been able to produce even a partial answer to our most fundamental question: What is Everything2? Most of the ideas that get bandied about focus more on what E2 is not. E2 has movie reviews, but it is not the Internet Movie Database. E2 has factual articles written by volunteers, but it is not Wikipedia. E2 has fiction, non-fiction, humor, and drama, but it isn't a place to drop off your work just to get reviews and encouragement. It's not a journal, it's not a BBS, and it's not a place to hang out and chat, although it seems like it sometimes.

What Everything2 is, is a writers' site. But that definition in itself is pretty meaningless. There are many writers' sites on the internet and most of them have very little in common. Some have no standards for submission. Others only accept a certain genre or specialize in a general type of writing, such as creative writing or fan fiction or pornography. Conversely, everything except fan fiction can be found here and even that is mostly because of "fair use" guidelines and the difficulty in tracking it down to remove it if, say, Anne Rice decides she doesn't want anybody doing that.

I've come to realize that Everything2 can be best defined as a place to improve your skills as a writer. You are free to write just about anything you want here, but what you do write must be good, and if you're using the site correctly you will get better the more you use it. That's really what this whole place has been engineered for. The votes, the C!s the feedback, the editors, all of it can only be centered around one purpose: to make you a better writer regardless of your chosen genre. That's why E2 can be everything. More than that, E2 is the some of the best of everything.

When I found this place I thought it was a user-written encyclopedia. I used it to look up information and was surprised at what E2 did and did not cover already. I joined to add my knowledge of electronics and engineering. And I did, but E2 has given me much more in return. I just didn't realize that was the point at the time.

Since those early days I've become focused on XP and level and merit. These things are all well and good but what they are intended for is to reward you for improving. I haven't been improving lately. I've been missing the point. I've stagnated as a writer in an effort to maintain my merit, playing to my strengths and avoiding my weaknesses. As a result I haven't been getting much in the way of feedback. Oh sure I've gotten votes and C!s and the occasional "Good job!", but I haven't been getting any constructive criticism.

I am embarrassed about that. It means I haven't been taking enough chances. I've been afraid of losing my merit. All a high merit means is that you've gotten good at what you've been doing. It's time to try something else.

If you don't think E2 has any more to teach you then you're finished here. Go publish something if you're so good. We'll get to say "we knew him when" and raise a glass to you at the next nodermeet. Just leave behind your body of work for us to enjoy so we can show the new users "This is how to play the game, son."

In the mean time, the rest of us should be taking chances, doing things we haven't done before, trying out new techniques and new voices, expanding into genres we haven't written in before. Lie. Tell the truth. Make up the parts you forgot to fill in the gaps in the story. Learn something new and share it with the rest of us.

E2 will benefit from your work, but that's a side effect. The main idea is that you've gotten better at doing it.

Are you doing your part? Do you send feedback messages, even just to say "good work"? Do you vote? Do you give out your C!s? Do you participate?

Take a chance. It won't hurt. I promise.

first | second | the one before this one

The Late Night at the Bowling Alley with Dom as He Tells Old Stories and somesuch, with Shitface a few lanes down
Guess Starring Ex Treme

Ah, the bowling alley. Nothing quite like it. The loud hum of the balls rolling down the lanes, the crash of the pins, the ubiquitous chatter of the other players, the stinging scent of the cigarette smoke, the pungent odor of all those sweaty feet as they make the trip from their usual homes to the beautiful, multi-colored rentals. I was there last night with Dom, another good buddy of mine that you haven't met yet.

Dom is one of those people who have lots of stories to tell. It makes sense that he does, given how long he's been on this lonely little planet we like to call Earth. Anyway, Dom, he is quite old, his hair reduced to whispies of white and grey on a freckled, shiny cranium. The bags under his eyes are mostly hidden by his gigantic pair of glasses, the lenses so thick they make his eyes really, really big. He can be positively scary, like to little girls - the kind that run from him screaming when he smiles at them and offers them candy. And for some odd reason, chihuahas also do anything they can to get far, far away from him.

But I can get past the huge eyes, the brown spots all over his skin, those big, blue veins on his legs clotted by spots of purple, those wrinkled and deflated testicles that hang almost down to his knees that fortunately I only see at the gym, and I have learned to enjoy him for his wisdom, his kindness, and his storytelling.

"Oh my," he said in his trembly voice, looking a few lanes over at a woman who was bending down to grab her ball, "I wish she was grabbin' one o'mine, lemme tell ya sonny! Hee hee!" He stopped chuckling to gag and hawk one some loose phlegm in his throat, then continued. "Lookit the titties on that one. My God, what a glorious view she's giving us. I could suck on them alllll night, I tell ya."

"Very nice," was all I said. I was actually more interested at that moment in getting my finger out of one of my ball's holes. I knew it when I grabbed that one that it'd probably be too small. "Hey you got any Vasoline in your bag of creams and ointments?"

"Oh yeah," he said, still looking at the woman as she chalked up her hands, a trickle of drool appearing at the corner of his mouth, "Vasoline. Yes, that's a good idea, oh yes, me and her, we could have some fun with Vasoline..."

"ELEPHANT COCKS!!" yelled a familiar voice a few lanes to our left. I looked over. Why, it was Shitface! There he was, in his tattered, urine-scented attire: an old faded Megadeath tee shirt and worn out jean shorts. He was wearing a diaper on his head for some reason. It was probably some statement about how no matter how hard you try, you can never contain the genius that is always leaking out of his head, as if his brains were the bladders of a baby.

"Thanks for the compliment, my good man!" Dom said, waving to Shitface. "You must have been talking to some of my former lovers. But I only have one!"

"Didn't you once say that all your former lovers were dead?" I grunted, still trying to get my finger out of that hole. It was beginning to turn purple. I hoped that that didn't mean anything was terribly wrong with it.

"But not the current ones, sonnyboy!" he pointed out. "I had a nurse last week at that hospital. Oh yeah, she was a bit manly, but when she stroked my..."

"No, that was a man, I thought," I interrupted, "and wasn't he cleaning the cheese out from under your foreskin for you?"

"You don't know anything about it, boy!" he yelled. Then he turned and picked up his ball. Actually it was more like picking it up an inch off the.. the, um, ball thingy, and letting it slip through his fingertips back down.

"Get lighter balls," I suggested to him.

"LIGHTER BAAALLLLZZZZ!" Shitface yelled as he tossed his bowling ball. It hit the wood surface halfway down his lane with a loud crash then it careened through all his pins for a strike.

Shitface then promptly dropped his drawers and proceeded to mock the defeated pins by mooning them. "Eat my ass, you hairy cocksmackers!" he yelled at them. Then he grabbed his buttcheeks and and began flapping them rapidly to further his point.

"Man," I said to Dom, "this guy never ceases to amaze me."

"Who?!" Dom said as he was getting his Vasoline out for me. "Lou?!"

"Well, yeah," I said, a little startled that he referred to him by his real name, the first time in a long time I'd heard anybody call him anything other than Shitface, "lookit his ingenious statement about how we all like to turn our backs on our accomplishments in this postmodern increasingly politically correct and homogenous society. The man is brilliant and..."

"He's a raving lunatic!" Dom interrupted, looking at me all incredible-dously-like. "What the hell's the matter with you, boy? D'ya know why they call him Shitface?"

"I was never quite sure," I admitted.

"Looks like I don't need to explain it, lookit him now!" Dom said, pointing to Shitface.

"He's putting some brown war paint on his face," I said, "possibly declaring war on the bowling pins."

"It's shit!" Dom exclaimed.

I was shocked. "You mean all this time I thought he was putting brown paint on his face, it was actually feces?" I applied the Vasoline to my finger and it did the trick, it popped right out.

Dom sighed and turned around to grab his ball. "Boy, you aren't so bright are ya? Tch tch. You know, he wasn't always like that." He proceeded to roll his ball down the alley. He cursed when he got a 7-10 split.

"What was he like?" I asked.

"Well," Dom said as he waited for his ball to return, "me and him, we go way back. I'm still quite a bit older than him, though. We met in the summer of 1975. He was a young whipper snapper then. We cruised around in his Monte Carlo - when it was new - at night, the top down, cruising for chicks. I had just divorced my third wife. Oh yeah, sure I was gettin long in the tooth by then but I still had most of my hair and it was just a little grey, I could still turn plenty of heads. His hair, though, it was jet black and cropped neatly, not the stringy, dirty, long and greying mess he has now.

"Anyway that was the summer he met his ex wife, Clara. Those two, and this broad I'd met named Nancy, we went to the clubs, parties, generally had a grand time. I acted like a teenager! Being around Lou really got me feelin young again.

"You know, when I was young, back in 1943, I had some fun. It was overseas, though. As you know I was in Dubya Dubya Two, a sailor on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Saginaw Bay. One time while docked at Thailand for some much-needed R&R, I found this little Taiwanese whore, boy I tell you what, she had these juicy little titties that you'd just like to take a bit out of. Oh I fucked the shit out of her, used a Hershey's chocolate bar for payment. Sure I used the first one I'd gotten a hold of for months, but it was well worth it..."

"Well, back up," I said, not interested in tales of sexual debauchery, "whatever happened with Lou and Clara?"

"She left him," Dom said as he rolled his next ball down the lane, "in... 1983 I think." He only got the pin on the right. "Took his toddler daughter away from him, moved to New York City, hooked up with some doctor making a lot more money. That's when he started to go nuts."

We looked over at Shitface. He was leaned over, licking his ball while it sat on the ball... thingy.

"I don't think he's nuts," I said, "he's probably just doing that for good luck or something."

"Are you nuts, too, boy?!" Dom exclaimed.

Shitface tossed the ball down the lane while yelling "Elvis Tittylicker fucked your mother!" CRASH! Another strike.

I could not immediately divine a deeper meaning from that statement like I usually could. "Elvis Tittylicker fucked your mother" turned out to be quite vexing.

I rolled my ball. It supsensefully rolled right along the edge the whole time, at the very last second pulling out of it to hit one pin. "Yes!" I yelled. My previous eleven attempts had all been gutterballs.

"I think, boy, the only reason I bowl with you is so I look better!" Dom said as my ball returned.

I looked over at Shitface. He was hopping on one foot, holding the other and wincing in pain. His ball was careening down his lane. STRIKE! He must've kicked it!

"Was he as formidable of a bowler then as he is now?" I asked as I pitched another gutterball.

"Oh yeah," Dom sighed. "We used to bowl in a league together. He still scores about the same, the difference is, the crazier he gets, the more unconventional his methods. Somehow that son of a bitch still knocks 'em down!"

Shitface had dropped his pants again and was fanning his genitals at the knocked-down pins in triumph. Then he yelled "TWIG AND BERRIES! TWIG AND BERRIES! COCKBAAAAALLLZZZ!"

"Extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeme!" I heard a voice bellow a few lanes to our right. I looked to see that Ex Treme had arrived with some of his extreme friends. They were all young like him, spiked hair, pants falling down, and very elastic faces.

"Extreeeeeeeme bowling!" Ex Treme yelled to them. Then they all began shouting "Whooooooooooooooo hooooooooooo!"

"I hate those god damn kids," Dom grumbled right before he picked up a spare. "Put a pussy right in front of 'em they'd probably not know what to do with it. Extreme! Pah! The only thing extreme about them is the amount of unused cum they have!"

Ex Treme shotputted a bowling ball down the alley. It hit so hard it caused me to jump. He didn't get a strike but knocked most of them down.

"Extreeeeeeeeeeme!" they all yelled.

Me, my next turn wasn't so extreme. I got a total of eight pins with both tries. It was my best turn all night.

"I think I'm gonna break 30," I declared proudly as I noticed Shitface on the floor with a ball. He was lying on his side, panting and was moving the ball up and down, around and around his crotch area.

Dom looked over at Shitface, too. He turned away, slowly shaking his head. He was about to bowl again when a slightly chubby, fortyish red headed woman waved to us from the lane to our immediate right.

"Excuse me, anybody using this one?" she asked us.

"Not at the moment," Dom said, brightening up, grinning from ear to ear at her. He pointed to his crotch. "But honey you can use it whenever you like."

The woman blushed, then grinned at him.

I ended up driving home even though we'd gone in Dom's car. He was busy in the back seat with the woman he'd met at the bowling alley doing a lot of heavy breathing. I don't quite know how Dom does it. I never do. I smiled as I looked at her bare ass in the rearview mirror. No wonder he was voted "Most Likely To Have Sex Before The Next Party" at his retirement community's annual get-together last spring.

As for me, I did break a 30 that night - a 32 to be exact. Dom got 180, which was typical for him. Shitface... well, he was a few strikes away from a perfect 300 but unfortunately some bowling alley employees took exception to his humping the balls and urinating on the ball returner and they chased him out.

Yes, that's what it's called. A ball returner. I think.

For Wordmongers' Masque

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