Thursday, January 29, 2015


It has been fifteen years since the skies caught fire and blasted a civilization far too many were far too proud of to ash. The raceways and ampitheatres became scorched columnated hollows that serve as either crude shelter or ironic reminder to survivors. Their campfires struggle upwards in the irradiated air, painting a thin gray finger accusingly at the heavens.

This is the world The Fieri walks in.
Those who have met the man, those who have actually listened to his words, instead of being struck deaf by suspicion as they clutched their filthy belongings and polished keepsakes to their chest, will tell you that he set out from a land untouched by calamity shortly after the fires ceased to burn. They will tell you that the gifts and wisdom he brings are given freely and selflessly. They will tell you that The Fieri is a good man.

The Fieri eyes a blasted out book store about a hundred yards away from the main road. A small fire burns and something is cooking. Squirrel from the scent of it. The Fieri allows the just the whisper of a smile to cross his face before whistling to his faithful Spice Squire.
The Spice Squire has no name. He is broad-shouldered and carries The Fieri's belongings. Some say he was the first man The Fieri met after beginning his journey. Others will say that he was with The Fieri when he left.

Audrey Slip has made the bookstore her shelter for a while now. A handful of other survivors share the space and tonight's feast: squirrel on a spit.
It is Audrey that first notices The Fieri headed her way.
"What is it?" hisses one of the survivors.
"Shhh," Jessica stares past the campfire light, "two men. One of them is from the Painted Flame clan."
"We should run," a small survivor mutters.
"And go where?" Jessica returns. "Best to see what they want."

The Fieri steps into the campfire light, the tattooed flames across his broad belly flickering and glistening in the firelight.
"Hey, hey, hey! What have we got here, folks?"
"Dinner," Audrey says, her words devoid of hunger. "Are you here to kill us? If so, get on with it."
"Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow that boat down! We're cool! I just wanted to know if I could help you make that dinner a little more extreme!"
"I'm The Fieri," he says extending his hand. Audrey clasps it in greeting and then the other survivors follow suit.
It's different here, thinks The Fieri, the handshakes last a little bit longer, the smiles seem to linger an extra moment. A desperate human instinct perhaps, to find some shred of permanence in the fleeting. Yes, The Fieri thinks, things are indeed different this far from Flavortown.

"Spice Squire! Unload the bags!"
What tumbled out onto the filthy floor of the bookstore that evening would ensorcel the dreams of the desperate for the remainder of their lives....      

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


An Elseworlds treatment by Fred Seton

Batman is still fighting the good fight. He is older but not DKR older. He still keeps in touch with some of his old meta-human friends but mostly in a consulting role (no matter how big the threat or how much the world has changed, when faced with a plot to decimate humanity it's a good thing to have the World's Greatest Detective on your side.)

So, yes: Batman is in Gotham and he tackles new foes that have sprung up as well as his old ones.

But one old foe has been conspicuously absent for five years...

The Joker.

In five years there have been no escape attempts from Arkham Asylum.
In five years there have been no murders of guards and/or other prisoners orchestrated by The Joker.
For the past five years he has spent his time with a talented, if naive, therapist originally from Evansville, Indiana: Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel.

Harleen isn't from Gotham.
She did not grow up there.
All the stories she heard about Gotham she got from the media and, of course, the media has reason to exaggerate.

And so, after five years of silence...

...The Joker is considered rehabilitated.
He is released into the community.
Top plastic surgeons and dermatologists have altered his pigmentation and rictus grin...but the public does not know this. There are several decoy cars and patients with white skin and green hair that leave Arkham on the same day he is set free.

No one knows.

Not even The Joker.

Yes: part of his rehabilitation, part of his "cure" is that he resembles an amnesiac. He knows that he was put away for awhile in an institution because he did "very bad things" but he has no memory of what they are. He is transported to a small apartment and given a job at a movie theater that works with Ex-Convict OutReach.
He can't remember his name so they give him one: "John Whims."

No one knows.

Except Batman.

"John Whims" likes his tiny apartment. He likes his job. He buys a little cat he calls "Babs" that he dotes over. Although he is confused about who he is and who he was, all John Whims cares about now is Who He Will Be. Or, more to the point, What He Wants To Be. And all he wants is to be happy.

Batman tails the man that used to be The Joker.
He flashes by the windows of his apartment.
He scares the fuck out of Babs.
He scares the fuck out of John Whims. 

And one night John Whims is walking back from his job at The Gotham Cinema 12 when he is attacked by three muggers.
They have his money. They have his valuables. John Whims pleads to them, "Just let me go! You have everything!"
But they want more. They can't take the chance that he'll identify them later on. And so as the man that used to be The Joker is about to have his throat slit...

...Batman swoops down from the rooftops and kicks the shit out of them (and when he does there is absolute RAGE in Batman's face. Something has been eating at him.)

John Whims turns to the Dark Knight after the muggers are dispatched.

"Oh my God! Thank you! Th-thank you so much! They were going to kill me!"

Batman turns to him, "Just be sure you--" and then recognition flashes in him.

Batman grabs him by the shirt collar and forces him against a brick wall.
"What's the game this time, Joker!?"
"Joker? What? Why? You--you're hurting me."

Police sirens wail in the distance and are getting closer.
Batman lets the man that was The Joker go.
"I'll be watching you."
Batman zip-lines out of sight before he hears John's reply, "Why?"


*Harleen Quinzel becoming Harley Quinn (in a way she cured Joker by siphoning the madness out of him and taking it on herself but that's something to be inferred not described.)

*Batman becomes obsessive about the man that was once the Joker. He can't sleep. He can't talk to people outside of his mask. He starts to grow mad.

*The madness over The Man That Used To Be Joker not doing anything wrong leads him to hit other criminals harder. More and more cases are being thrown out of court because of excessive abuse and a reasonable doubt that the evidence Batman provided the GCPD was fabricated.

*Harley Quinn trying to make John Whims the Joker that she fell in love with.

*The entire city of Gotham (the good and the evil) fearing Batman.  Even Commissioner Gordan himself, has to wash his hands of him.

The 3RD ACT goes like this...

*John Whims, The Man That Was The Joker, is thinking of leaving Gotham. His major concern is that wherever he goes next will allow him to have pets.

*Harley Quinn recruits The Penguin, Two-Face, and several other organized crime bosses (maybe Intergang related) to confront John Whims and, if necessary, beat him back into being The Joker.

 (Their reasoning is quite logical, actually: without The Joker to force Batman's mind into the irrational, he becomes a dedicated tyrant against outlaws. A dedicated Batman without a crazy wild card means that illegal profit in Gotham City slows to a crawl.)

*Batman finds out about an organized unit of Gotham's worst criminals that is about to do a "special job." He has no idea that this is regarding John Whims. Why? Because he's been stalking the shit out of John waiting for him to "Joker It Up" instead of believing in the rehabilitation process like he always said he did. 

*So Batman crashes the Harley Quinn/Penguin/Etc. gig and is surprised to see them assaulting The Man That Was Joker. For a brief moment it seems as if Batman is going to let them finish the job. Scum killing scum. But then Batman remembers Bruce. He remembers seeing two innocents die before his eyes. And for all of his obsession and madness and outrage at the System for letting Joker go free...he will not see another die in front of him again.

*Batman has an epic battle with the assembled criminals. He fights tooth and nail to save John Whims' life. Even as he is beaten and bloodied he still fights them until there is just Harley Quinn and Two-Face. Batman's right arm is broken. He his bleeding profusely from his neck from a bullet wound. The cowl stopped the first one. The second one blew it open. He stares defiantly at a crazy and pissed Harley.

HARLEY QUINN: Why are you even fighting, you moron!? We weren't going to kill him! Tell him, Harvey!

TWO-FACE: We weren't going to kill him. We just...

Two-Face pauses to flip his coin. It comes up on the scarred side.

TWO-FACE: ...we just wanted him back.

Batman looks over at John Whims. John is terrified and cradling his cat. Both of them are injured. But John doesn't care about his pain. He just keeps whispering to Babs the cat, "It'll be okay. It'll be okay, sweetie. I just want us to go home. We'll go home. Sshh. It'll be okay. Oh, God, let it be okay...

In this moment Batman sees the truth: The Joker IS cured. He spits a tooth onto the ground and makes a fist with his good hand.

BATMAN (to Two-Face): That WOULD BE killing him.

Two-Face regards Batman's words and takes out his coin yet again. He is about to flip it but then puts it away...

TWO-FACE: Fuck the coin.

Two-face whips out a custom-made revolver with only two chambers. In a blur he shoots Batman in the already exposed area of his neck.

Then Two-Face points the gun at John Whims.

TWO-FACE (to John): Thanks for the laughs.

John turns his back to Two-Face, protecting his cat.

The trigger is squeezed.

Batman in a SUPER AWESOME BATMAN MOVE takes the bullet and knocks Two-Face unconscious with a devastating punch to the scarred half of his face.

Batman collapses to the ground. He does not move.

Harley comes to John.

HARLEY QUINN: Is it true? You ain't comin' back, Mister J?
JOHN: Doctor Quinzel?

She looks at him and despairs.

HARELY QUINN: No. You ain't. I can see it. You ain't comin' back at all. That purple and emerald fury you had went from going to gone to Lost forever. And there ain't no hatch is there, Mister Locke?

JOHN: Please, I just want to go home. Wherever that is. I was leaving tonight. Please. Leave us alone.

John cradles his bleeding cat.

Harley pulls out a tube of green lipstick and applies it.

HARLEY QUINN: I'll make you a deal, Mister Not J. One kiss. You give me one kiss and I'll let you go.

JOHN: I...I've never kissed a girl before. Not that I remember. I..I don't know if I' it right.

HARLEY QUINN: No one's judging you. There ain't no point system. Just one kiss and you and your pussy are free to go wherever it is people go to when they're free.

John looks at his cat and looks back at Harley's green lips.

JOHN: Promise?

HARLEY QUINN: Is a Joker wild?

JOHN: I...I guess.

John moves his lips to Harley's and then THUNK!

A Batarang lodges halfway into Harley's skull.
She falls down dead.

Batman is still on the ground but awake. His hand outstretched from hurling the projectile.

BATMAN (weakly): it..was....poison...i...had to...the lip...stick...poison...murder.

John looks at Harley's body and then back to Batman. He saved his life again.

John goes to Batman with his cat and crouches down.

JOHN: Do you have a phone?


JOHN: You're hurt! We need an ambulance!

BATMAN: I'm not hurt. I...I'm..I'm dying.

JOHN (screaming out): HELP! HELP!

BATMAN: Shhhh. Just....ssshhh. Two pints gone already. I...I know how much lose I lost lose ssssh..xhhhur rn ahrr....blood....mite... hey pal... Ace? You were...a...good dog...

JOHN: You're not making any sense! (screaming) HELP!

BATMAN: Hey...hey...I'm...I'm proud of you...

JOHN: What? Why?

BATMAN: What's your... I've been...wanting to know this...for a while.... What's your real name?

JOHN: I don't know.

BATMAN: HaHaHaHaHa!!! Ha! Heh! Hh.... mine's Bruce.

A convulsion.
A mist of blood erupting from his mouth.
And then a calm, cold smile.
Batman dies.

The Man That Was The Joker holds his cat and weeps.


*Alfred Pennyworth visits John Whims in Colorado and simply hands him a piece of paper.

*Funeral service for Bruce Wayne (media and paparazzi litter the perimeter of the church.)

*The turnout for the funeral service is surprisingly small given the anti-Batman crusade that has escalated since his killing of Doctor Harleen Quinzel. Yes, the usual suspects are there: the Clarks, the Hals, the Dianas, the Ollies, etc. But the supes in attendance are disproportionate to the everyman. Even the Commissioner watches the service from the high organ loft.

*Brief snippets of people reading to the congregation about Bruce and Batman. VERY brief. A fraction of a paragraph at a time (i.e., one panel for Dick Grayson, one for Superman, one for Selina Kyle, etc.)

*And then John Whims steps up to the podium.

JOHN: I, uh, I don't even know why I'm really here. But an old friend of his said he wanted me to say something.

No one in the church knows that this is The Man That Was The Joker.

JOHN: And, uh, the directions were to be honest. So, okay. I can be honest.  He saved my life.

The people in the congregation nod in agreement.

JOHN: He saved my life twice. I didn't even know him. But he did. He saved my life times 2. He was a life-saver. But if you sucked on him I bet you wouldn't get a nice cherry flavor. They'd have to make some grim grape to really get the taste of him.

Some chuckle.
John feeds on it.

JOHN: And he scared the shit out of me too!

More people chuckle.

JOHN: He did! He totally did! I mean, one time he swung past my window and I thought 'Goddammit! I'm never gonna have a normal bowel movement again because all the crap I had in me? THE GODDAMN BATMAN JUST SCARED IT OUT!"

Now there is laughter.
John is more confident than ever.
This is now a stand-up routine...

JOHN: And another thing! Have you ever noticed how Batman...

*Outside of the church John is looking up into the sky and smiling.
Oliver Queen comes up to him and puts a hand  on his shoulder.

OLIVER: Thank you for that.
JOHN: For what?
OLIVER: For making us laugh at a time like this. Thank you.
JOHN: I didn't mean to--
OLIVER: You're pretty funny, man. You should get into comedy. I know a few people that could help you out.
JOHN: Really?
OLIVER: Anyone that can make me laugh on a day like this has something special. Here take this...

Oliver hands him a card.
John looks at it and hands it right back.

JOHN: No, thank you. But, thank you.

OLIVER: Sure. No worries. Keep in touch, man.

Oliver walks away to join Clark, Hal, Diana, Arthur, J'onn, and Barry.

JOHN (to himself): How?

*John in his apartment with Babs the cat. They have a nice view of the Colorado rocky mountains in the distance.

JOHN (to his cat): I told you we were going home.

He flips on the television: "World's Funniest Criminals"
A smirk comes over his face.
It quickly vanishes.
The television clicks to a History Channel Program: "The Life Of Saint Augustine."

BABS THE CAT: Meorrrrow?
JOHN: My name isn't "Meeorrrow" sweetie.

John grabs a small packet of popcorn.

JOHN: It's Bruce.


"Murders committed by The Joker: 1,756"
"Murders committed by Batman: 1"
"Murders committed by John Whim: 0."
"Crime rates in Gotham City as of this date have been at their lowest in 25 years."


Thursday, September 18, 2014


If the success of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" has taught us anything it is that audiences are ready to embrace action-oriented and comically peppered space opera. It also proves the viability of "second string characters" in the Marvel comic book universe to headline their own film whereas DC/WB seems to prefer to relegate its B-listers to television and save the Big Guns for theaters. 

Warner Bros. may be hesitant to venture out into space again after the failure of Green Lantern but they shouldn't be at all. For those that have seen GL, only a tiny portion of the film actually takes place away from Earth. The key is to find a hero for a sci-fi space opera that can navigate exotic extraterrestrial worlds while at the same time maintaining an anchor in the Earth we know and serving as a lens for the audience.

And that brings us to Adam Strange.

The concept behind Adam Strange and his adventures is relatively simple. Adam is an archaeologist on Earth. While exploring ruins in Peru a beam of blinding light hits him and he is teleported hundreds of light years away to the planet Rann. It is there that he meets the beautiful Alanna and her super scientist father, Sardeth. He explains to Adam that the beam that hit him, the Zeta Beam, was an aggressive version of what our own SETI project is like; except instead of listening for alien life, it reaches out and brings it back. 

In short time, Adam becomes Rann's protector and fends off threats to the peaceful planet. He also falls deeply in love with Alanna. But there is no "happily ever after" for Adam Strange.

After a while the radiation of the Zeta Beam in Adam's body begins to dissipate. When it is completely gone he will vanish back to Earth. But all hope is not lost. Sardeth is able to compile a series of coordinates and dates on when and where the Zeta Beam will strike earth again.

When Adam returns to Earth he has no time to relax. He begins traveling the world consulting the journal Sardeth gave him to find the next Zeta Beam hit that will take him back to his adoptive home world and the woman he loves.

With the background complete the next step is using broad associative leaps to convince an executive that this is both a good and lucrative idea. We start with Adam himself.

ME: "He's an archaeologist! Like Indiana Jones!"
EXEC: "Nice, nice. Keep going."
ME: "But he's in space! Indiana Jones in space!"
EXEC: "It's like Indiana Jones meets Star Wars?"
ME: "Exactly!"
EXEC: "Got a little bit of a boner here. You sure you don't want Linda to get you something? Diet Coke? Spring Water?"
ME: "I'm good."
EXEC: "So what are his super powers?"
ME: "Get this...he doesn't have any! But he has all these futuristic gadgets. He's like Batman!"
EXEC: " Indiana Batman meets Star Wars?"
ME: "Yep."
EXEC: "You sure Linda can't get you anything? Some grass? Cocaine?"
ME: "I'm good. Really."
EXEC: "Love story anywhere in this?"
ME: "Yes. A literal 'star-crossed' love story between Adam and the chief scientist's daughter, Alanna."
EXEC: "Okay..."
ME: "But they keep losing each other."
EXEC: "Like misunderstandings or nonsense like that?"
ME: "No. The thing that brought him to her planet wears off and sends him back to Earth over and over again. When he's with her he has no idea how long the Zeta radiation will last. They have to live every moment--"
EXEC: "Like it's the last time they'll ever see each other!!"
ME: "Yep."
EXEC: "I've got a rager in my pants. You sure Linda can't get you anything? Heroin? Hallucinogenic toads? I keep a small aquarium by the Tassimo machine."
ME: "I'm really fine. Honest."
EXEC: "Who's the big bad?"
ME: "I can't tell you."
EXEC: "Can't tell me?"
ME: "Nope. All I can say is...Granny won't let me."

Friday, September 5, 2014


Mosul, Iraq, September 5th

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, largely acknowledged as the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), vowed yesterday that the group's bloody march to the establishment of a new caliphate will not cease unless ABC resurrects their sitcom "Phenom" for the 21st century.

"Phenom" was a rather unremarkable situation comedy aired by ABC from 1993 to 1994 that featured Angela Goethals as a teenaged tennis wunderkind. The series lasted one season before being cancelled.

The cast also included Judith Light and William Devane

"As muslims we know that there is no other God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger," he addressed a group of supporters Thursday before continuing, "...but 'Phenom' runs a very tight 3rd place." The assembled group appeared slightly confused by Baghdadi's words then began slowly nodding their heads in agreement as if to shamefully say, "How could we have forgotten?"

"The rising tide of the infidels and the perverters of Mohammed's teachings will be purged from our land and their blood will mark the dawn of a new age under Almighty Allah! Unless, of course 'Phenom' returns to Tuesday nights at 8:30pm. Then we will lose ourselves in the struggles of an exceptional young teenager attempting to balance her God-given talents with the social life so many young people cherish."

Baghdadi expressed his outrage at ABC in a rather incisive and penetrating manner when he questioned, "why the infidels at ABC would cancel a program that kept 95percent of 'Full House's' lead-in audience! It makes no sense! The systematic forced conversion and/or indiscriminate murder of those we deem Godless seems downright tame in comparison!"

When reached for comment the president of ABC Television, Anne Sweeney said that there are no plans for "Phenom" relaunch and that "ABC Television does not negotiate with terrorists."

Sunday, July 7, 2013

GENRE: Business Horror

Carrot Hands

Chapter 11

And now, virtually penniless, battered by the stress of insane interviews, a promiscuous admin, a gun wielding friend, and dizzy from the fumes of shock pickles, here was Vegetable Man battering him with what could only be called “luxury knowledge.”

“It’s NOT ‘Luxury Knowledge’, Lettuce Wedge! This is the key, the key to the entire Master Plan for TitanTech’s conquest.”

Hearing Carrot Hands, Wedge then remembered something stupid that Latch had once said: “A confirmed drunk is a person who has the courage of his derelictions.” Carrot Hands was drunk; there was no other explanation. He wasn’t mad; he was drunk. Only a drunk would decide to barge into someone’s apartment and extol the merits of an esoteric branch of mathematics.
“You must learn it, you must know what Tensor Calculus can do; you are The One!”
Wedge had stopped crying. He slowly raised his head and looked at the tip of Carrot Hand’s nose, a technique more effective for eye to eye contact than gazing into someone’s pupils.
“Do you have any money? I need money. I need a job. I need a fucking job.” How many times had he begged? How many times had he pleaded? I need a fucking job.
“Let me teach you Wedge, let me show you the majesty of the TC and money will be no exception.”
“Do you have PhDs Mr. Dons?”
Carrot Hands paused, then pulled away.
“Of course. Davids told you I suppose; so what?”
“And that’s actually a carrot?” Wedge stared at the right hand carrot that replaced Carrot Hands' right hand. It wasn't so much a question now. Wedge knew the truth. No, not a question at all--instead a fragile prayer to the Abyss. interrogative or prayer, Carrot Hands answered all the same. 
“It’s not bacteria. It’s actual carrot vegetable stuff.”
Carrot Hands pointed his orange stick in Wedge’s face, “Yes, this,. . this, . . . monstrosity is actual vegetative matter. I could eat it and it would provide me with nutrition.”
“And this was the plan of the Black Greens to feed the world’s poor?”
“You’re so na├»ve . . . “
Dons cloaked his carrot hand and looked away. He then turned back to Wedge.
“This was the plan of TitanTech to make money!!! And what you don’t see is that the Tensor Calculus is what makes it all happen.”
Carrot Hands pulled off the cloak and again shoved his orange dagger in Wedge’s face with a grand flourish;. Carrot Hands was nothing if not a Drama King: a terrible monarch of Life's stage demanding absolute gravitational fealty of all satellites.
“Yes: the Tensor Calculus is the computational scientific infrastructure that makes this transformation, no, thistransmogrification, possible. And you have understood IT Strategy and how the precious information of thousands of formulae can be harnessed, weaponized, on behalf of Genetic Fascism. When TitanTech gets Cole Slaw as its CEO and the right IT Strategy nothing can stop their plans for global biological domination.”

Wedge was coming to. He saw an opportunity. Dave Dons apparently had no idea what IT Strategy really was. Somewhere at some convention, probably in Texas, probably in the Fall, he had been beaten senseless by an avalanche of buzz words and sexy acronyms that had no useful connection to reality. This beating so severely weakened Dons already hyper-stressed brain that he began to view IT Strategy as some cheery chain of business/technical incantations that would constitute a solution for business, a business solution, and could supercharge the agenda of, ah, . . . to . . . .to ?
“Lettus Wedge . . .”
Firmly with just the right hint of unanticipated hostility, Wedge replied. “You’d be doing me a big favor if you called me ‘Lettuce’ or ‘Wedge’, . . . not both”
“Alright then, ‘Lettus’”
“Actually, let me make this easy: call me ‘Wedge’ I really, really don’t like being called ‘Lettus’ because it sounds exactly like ‘lettuce’ and I am not a nutritionally worthless vegetable, I disapprove of its very existence.”
“Wedge, let me explain.”
Wedge needed this explained to him, yes, yes indeed. Yes. . .
“Wedge, have you ever heard of Junk DNA?”
He had.
“Well, Wedge, Junk DNA is data. Regular DNA is instructions. Junk DNA is modified by a control virus that exists in almost every living thing on this planet and probably in the things we deny live out there on other planets. It’s like COBOL, the third generation programming language. There was a Procedure Division and a Data Division. Hell, I was horrible at programming with COBOL, a language for bureaucrats and bozos.”
Wedge interrupted, “It was invented to support the Polaris missile program way back in the late 1950s. It was a breakthrough. You could write computer programs like writing prose. There were Sentences, Paragraphs and such…”
Dons looked appreciatively at Wedge, sensing once more that he was The One. Wedge seemed to be nearly preaching as he continued, “. . . and it was chaos. Everyone soon began writing COBOL the same way they had written FORTRAN and other languages, hell, even Assembler. One line meant one instruction. It became kind of like a To-Do List for the computer. However, the notion of periods, commas and the rest were the cause of millions of computer errors over fifty years. And then structured programming came on the scene and COBOL struggled with capturing the designated flow of control forms inherent in it. ”
Wedge then stopped, dumbstruck as he remembered the what Dons, what Carrot Hands hat uttered only moments before; an utterance that now struck him as profound, "And so, what you’re saying is that Tensor Calculus is the tool that is used to manipulate Junk DNA, the data that Instruction DNA uses to . . . "

“. . . yes, Wedge, program Life Forms. It’s the basis for what has been called ‘Evolution.’ Only, it doesn’t really work by natural selection – the Bible nuts are actually sort of right about this --- it works by sub cognitive adaptation, environmental morphing, dynamic somatic change. The sensory experiences of the organism are data collectors, stored in memory, and periodically empowering the Bravo Zulu Virus to mutate the genetic data base. Every life form has the Bravo Zulu virus. Without the virus you can’t be life. Call it a Beneficent Cancer that changes the organism in its next generation to more effectively deal with its experiences in an environment. Organisms that are successful in their environment have no need to morph to the next release, the next step in evolution, and thus our world is the accumulation of loser organisms that have escaped extinction by genetically modifying their offspring. If they can’t morph faster than the environment demands they are doomed to die out.”

Wedge was impressed; the was some heavy fucking shit; Dons did have a PhD after all. Dons continued,
“Here in this hand, the carrot hand, we see the results of not having the right IT Strategy to control the outputs from all the calculations of the Tensor Calculus. But, with the right IT Strategy, we will have the power to transmute organisms for whatever purpose we want. We can cure lethal cancers, all illnesses and create Perfect Persons, Omega People and Transhumans to achieve Paradise. We can adapt humans to pollution and aging.”
Wedge's head swam. The possibilities flit past his mind and imagination like a school of glittering goldfish that numbered in the infinities and yet, and yet, and yet...
Wedge still wanted the fucking job. He'd been through too goddamn much already to lose sight of the fucking job. Mission Control was back in business.

Wedge pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. When he opened them again they were sure and focused. They were business eyes. They weren't eyes that had had sex with horror the past week (month? year? eternity?) They were professional orbs. Business eyes.
Wedge scratched the back of his neck, “I understand, Mr. Dons. And I assure you, my IT Strategy will fully integrate all the data from all Tensor Calculus operations and form a single data base of record, effortlessly accessible through an intuitive web based user interface and obtainable with sufficient encryption to download safely to all mobile devices. Let’s form a team to map out exactly how we collaboratively tackle getting a good business process in place to make IT not only an enabler but a transformer. I think we can get to work the first day I’m on board. IT Strategy is the foundation for powerful and transformative business solutions: solutions for business.”
Carrot Hands was mad, quite mad; who wouldn’t be after your hand turned into a mass of bacteria or. . . a carrot. But as he looked upon Wedge he appeared a happy child, awash in the warm soothing assurance that caring adults were now present, Dons exclaimed, “Wedge, you ARE The One!”
“I hate ‘The One’ more than ‘Lettus’ "

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Commentary on Rick Santorum Spam Mail....

Donate Now Button

There's no denying it. We are living under one of the most troubled administrations of the past century.
It now appears that the Obama administration deliberately LIED to the American people about the tragic terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya last September.
Ricky: Hillary shot all four diplomats using the Clinton Rifle.
And, after three years of secrecy, Barack Obama's IRS just admitted to targeting and harassing conservative grassroots groups because of their political ideology!
Fraudulent right wing political groups pretending to be social interest groups moron. 
In addition, we have now learned that the Obama administration's Justice Department secretly obtained phone records of Associated Press reporters.
An over-reaction to 9/11 fever any time there is a perceived threat, in this case a leak. Julian Epstein made mincemeat of this issue. Dial up MSNBC’s interview with him this afternoon and learn something.

In one sector of this administration after another, Barack Obama's political spin masters think they can outsmart the American people.
We are pressuring Congress to hold full Congressional hearings, get to the bottom of these inexcusable debacles, punish those responsible, and make sure they never happen again.
The American people deserve to know the truth about the tragic murders of the four Americans in Benghazi - and the lies that Barack Obama's White House used to cover them up.
I told you jackass: Hillary Clinton shot each one of them herself
And, conservative Americans must be assured that the IRS won't harass and intimidate them just because they adhere to the Constitution!
Plus, journalists carrying out their First Amendment rights need to do so without fear of government oversight.
And that's why, more than ever before, they are standing up to demand some answers.
The Obama administration must think it's above the American people. Why else would they lie to our faces?
Why else would they blame the terrorist attack in Benghazi on a YouTube video?  Because that’s what caused the riots in other Middle East countries. Why else would White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claim that "only one word" had been changed in the administration's talking points, when in fact they had undergone twelve revisions? Carney never specified which revison had the one change.
Why else would the IRS lie, blaming the targeting of conservative grassroots groups on "lower-level staffers," when in fact the head of the department had known of this illegal harassment for nearly a year?
Because a lower level Bush appointee was responsible, soup brain. Steve Miller was busy with his band when this all happened and they made him resign.
The Obama administration along with their bureaucratic allies seem to have been caught red-handed lying to the American people. And now it's time to hold them to account.
Yeah, like your father worked in a steel mill in Western Pennsylvania. Your father was a clinical psychologist ! Are your pants on fire from the blast furnaces or your prevarications?
This bold initiative is already underway, but we urgently need your help to get through to the politicians in Washington.
We launched a massive online petition late last week to pressure Congress to formally investigate the Benghazi tragedy. It was already investigated you closed minded cretin.Can’t  you read?And in just the past five days, we've already gathered thousands of signatures! Probably a legion of illiterates signing with an “x”
This effort is off to a great start - but there's so much more to be done. I can't do this on my own.  What? Too busy running Dead Baby Corpses As Grief Therapy seminars? We have to reach hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens, show them just how far the Obama administration has gone to hide the truth from them, and mobilize them to demand answers.
The Campaign for Truth will be our biggest push yet to return power to the American people.
Together, we will pressure Congress to find the truth about Benghazi, the AP records seizure and the IRS investigations, hold the guilty parties accountable, and promote true transparency for the American people.
But we can't do it without your help. Please make your most generous contribution today.
I wouldn’t give you money if they water boarded me.
Rick Santorum signature 
Rick Santorum

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Father & The Fangs

So I had this idea for a novel years ago that would be written as a pitch for a novel. Very clever and meta and all that stupid shit that's super dick-erecting when you're 27yrs old. Just found this and am throwing it up for the fuck of it....

Idea for Book.
The Father And The Fangs
(A Broken Novel)

1.) Priest named Fitzwilliam Ferriski—fortyish, chainsmoker, can’t stand still, his legs always shuffling a little bit to the retro-soft-punk band in his head. Bald, with wings of hair over his ears—too young to look that old, to be that bald. An ugly man, pockmarked face, tinted nicotine complexion and overweight. Trying to grow a beard, has been for the past two years but even the hair on his face is against him; there’s just these lines of hair crisscrossing lightly over cheek, chin, under his nose. Teaches English Literature at St. Dymphna’s Prepatory School For Girls. Every day before class he takes his notebook out and writes a new way to kill himself. He’s been teaching for fifteen years. He’s on his twenty-first notebook.

The warning bell rings and the first five girls shuffle into room number 15. Lord, look at them: they’re tit-less. Just these little small mounds. Not like the public school girls. Not like them at all. Gigantic. Frikkin’ huge, Lord. Especially the black children with their gelatinous fun bags flopping soft under designer shirts or thrift store dresses. Father Fitzwilliam casts a baleful stare at Emily Dayton, this little goth chick with too much free time, too much eye-liner and not enough tit. His eyes move from the plane of her chest to the clock on the wall. Three minutes till class starts. He picks up a short stubby pencil riddled with teeth indentations and brings it scratchingly down on notebook twenty-one:
“Eat the raw lung of a mad cow. Vomit it up in
front of Miss Dayton. With your right hand holding
a pistol horizontal to the back of your head at a slight downward angle, pull the trigger and blow your face
all over her chest. Her chest that is not there. Her
anti-chest. Blow your eyes, nasal cavity, teeth and
brain all over her shirt. Make sure your underwear
is very tight so you can die as you lived: full of fecal

Father Fitzwilliam does not smile. There is frustration and thoughtfulness on his face: didn’t I write something similar to that a year ago? He crosses out “fecal matter” replaces it with “shit”: he abhors unnecessary alliteration. More students, more girls with their thin ankles or fat ankles or no ankles at all click their way into class in a giggling blur of white and argyle. Knee-high socks. Thin watches. No earrings. No make-up. Sara McCaffery believes lip balm is allowed. Miss McCaffery is wrong. But let Mrs. Hitch deal with her, he frowns. The second to last girl, Mirror Williamson walks slow into class and takes her seat in the back. She has a chest. She’s got fun bags. She’s a protestant. Prods know chest. Before his vows, he only ever banged protestants. Work ethic. Zero Tolerance. No Catholic girls. No JAPs. No coloreds. Just WASPs. Prods knew how to bang. They banged out a nation, banged out a schism, they used to bang Fitzwilliam. They could bang and bang without any fear of going to hell…at least that’s how it seemed. And they were so slow to fall in love. I wonder—no I don’t; he does this a great deal: interrupts his own thoughts. What he was going to think was “I wonder if Miss Williamson will be just as slow to fall in love?” Such good skin, is the thought that supplants it, you Prods always had such good skin. Though their parents are given to naming children something ridiculous. Like Mirror. Or January. Or Splash.
The final bell rings. Father Fitzwilliam picks his nose, rubs the half-blooded booger under the desk and doesn’t give a fuck if they see him. There’s freedom in the priesthood. Freedom in an existence that’s had sex amputated. It’s empowering. When you don’t care about banging broads, or little girls, you can let yourself go. Become a monster. Don’t bathe unless the mood strikes you. Same with brushing teeth. Toothpaste aftertaste gets in the way of his morning tea; it makes it taste like iron. To hell with brushing teeth. The bristles always bled his gums anyway. Laundry? Ha! To hell with laundry as well. Not that he has a diverse wardrobe. His black shirts, jackets and pants, his collars…aside from a few t-shirts, some old sweatpants from when he believed working out was worth the while, that’s all he has. To hell with laundry. With washing and drying and folding. Cologne’ll take care of everything. It’ll keep him from smelling just a bit too ripe. It’ll keep him from getting fired.
Allison DeLuca, Amanda Riley and Jennifer Garcia all blanch in disgust. They’ll never get over Father Fitzwilliam depositing boogers from nose to desk. It’s their own over-achieving fault, Father Fitzwilliam thinks, they chose to sit in the front row. The girls rustle to silence as he opens up his Norton Anthology of English Literature.
“Alright ladies. Today we’re going to learn why Samuel Taylor Coleridge is in hell. Open your books to page 455 and gaze upon the abomination that is Christabel.”

2.) Maybe there’s Father Fitzwilliam teaching the class and dropping some interesting tidbits about Christabel for the reader. Maybe not. Class lets out. Miss Williamson asks if she can have some extra credit. Father says no. Says he doesn’t believe in extra-credit.
3.) Then we have Father Fitzwilliam eating his lunch later on. The cafeteria is in a basement. It’s only a short fifteen steps to the showers and locker room. He doesn’t sit with the other priests. Doesn’t sit with the lay teachers. He sits at a back table populated with fat girls, ugly girls and girls with learning disabilities. They gave up on trying to engage him in conversation a long time ago. He eats tuna. Washes it down with coffee. Eats slimy Philly pretzels that Lunchlady Hawkins picks up every afternoon on Roosevelt Boulevard. She buys them from a latino named Cecil who has a birthmark on his cheek in the exact likeness of Alfred Hitchcock’s profile. She buys them from Cecil on a stretch of Roosevelt Boulevard right in front of the shutdown Byberry Hospital for the mentally firmed. She buys slimy pretzels for catholic schoolgirls from a slimy man who hangs out in front of a closed insane asylum. And Father Fitzwilliam eats them. Eats two a day with his plaqued mouth—a mouth that’s a wildlife preserve for rot and decay, a biodome for simple organisms, a furnace of filth all lava-ed with coffee. And the girls sit in silence. Afraid to speak to him. Afraid to speak to eachother. Father Fitzwilliam doesn’t care. Isn’t sorry. These girls, even Melanie who approaches early Blake with the tear-trembling anxiety and horror of a normal girl asked to perform brain surgery on her mother or her mother will die; you either operate or your mother will die…these girls are Saint Dymphna’s best students. Father Fitzwilliam believes its because he sits with them. Sometimes he’ll say something out loud, more to himself than the girls, something like “Toni Morrison is a bitchy little cooze of a writer” and the girls will nod emphatically or take out a notebook and write it down. None ever respond. And Father Fitzwilliam will go back to his tuna, his coffee, his slimy pretzels and the comfort of being surrounded by the infirmed and unnattractive.

TRANSITION to Father Fitzwilliam talking to the headmaster outside St. Dymphna’s in the little stone gazebo Fitzwilliam used to smoke in all those years ago when the school was Saint Brendan’s Prepatory School for Boys. The headmaster is Father Bullwink, only slightly older than Fitzwilliam. Bullwink has all of his hair and teeth that glow an ungodly white. He is not ugly. His face is tanned. His hands are pink with short little sausage fingers. He’s also thin. [mention earlier that FF is kinda fat, not large, but fat enough. Put it in the freedom of celibacy section. List meat-lover’s pizzas and milkshakes and chips.] He’s also a prick.

Father Fitzwilliam can’t wait to get through this cigarette so he can smoke another one and then maybe another one before lunch lets out and he has to teach the senior girls the art of paralipsis in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. He likes to savor each inhalation, every exhalation—the smoking’s eventually going to kill him after all, he needs to enjoy it: it’ll make it worthwhile. Father Bullwink’s ridiculously deep voice isn’t making him enjoy smoking at all.
“Lesbian vampires, Father? Don’t you rather think that’s rather inappropriate subject matter for Saint Dymphna’s?”
“All due respect, Father Bullwink, but Dymphna of all the saints would find some humor in it.”
Father Bullwink does not smile.
“It’s an acceptable interpretation of the text, Father. I’m teaching Christabel from a moral reading of that text. I’m showing the students why Coleridge is an overrated hack.”
“I’m going to have to ask you to abandon the poem, Father. Find something else to teach your class.”
Father Fitzwilliam inhales deeply, the cherry’s ember flares and spits a tendril of smoke into his eye. He doesn’t flinch. He says, “Who told you about this, Father?”
“The who doesn’t matter, Father. You know that.”
“It was that DeLuca girl wasn’t it?”
Father Bullwink says yes without saying anything at all.
“Filthy little bitch!”
“Father Fitzwilliam!”
“She is, you know. Oh, she looks clean, but her soul is filthy. I can smell it on her, you understand. I can smell the marijuana and semen feeling up her immortal soul.”
“Father Fitzwilliam! Enough! Dear God! What is wrong with you?”
“I’ll show that little succubus. I’ll give her a face of hell next class that no one’ll see coming. Rat me out, will she? Fine! And I’ll respond with a face of hell! Jane Austen. Mansfield Park! She’ll claw her goddamn eyes out!”
“I’m placing you on leave. Effective immediately.”
“God, it’ll hurt me just as much, Fanny Price is an insufferable little—what did you say?”
“I’m placing you on leave, Father Fitzwilliam. You’ve obviously been under a great deal of stress.”
“No, I haven’t.” And this is true. He hasn’t. He is stress free. He is a stranger to stress.
“You are on leave, Father. I’ll shall take over the rest of your classes for the remainder of the week until—”
“You can’t do this to me, Scott! You can’t—”
“I am, Will. I can’t have you here when you’re like this. Not now. After that business with Father Edmund, we’re one complaint away, one news article away from disaster.”
“Fine! I’ll drop Christabel. I’ll teach them innocuous drivel from Browning.”
“It’s more than that, Will. You know that.”
“Why are you being such an asshole, Scott? Those girls are my life. You can’t just take them away from me like this!”
“You’re taking two months off, Will. I’m not firing you. Go somewhere quiet. Work on your poetry. Finish that Mansfield biography you always used to talk about. Just go away for a while. And if you think I’m being an a-hole, it’s only because those girls are my life as well.”
Father Fitzwilliam curls his hands into fists, breaking his cigarette. He stares deep into Father Bullwink’s blueish eyes and lets his mouth do a quivering grimace. He unclenches his fists, says “Asshole” then stalks off to collect his things.

*.) He collects his things. This takes a long while. As he picks through the items there are memories attached to them. There’s a brief catalog of these memories. He doesn’t get sad. Just exhausted. Midway through, Jenny Williamson comes into his office. She says she overheard Father Bullwink talking to Father Joe about what happened. She says she’s sorry and that he was her favorite teacher ever. She says she thinks Father Bullwink is a shithead. Father Fitzwilliam lets himself give just the faintest smile. He says something to her that’s not exactly sweet and inspiring, yet not exactly not sweet and inspiring. He tells her to go back to class. She’s the only one to come and say goodbye. By six o’clock he has cleared his office of everything he’ll need. On his way out, he stops by the front desk and writes up an infraction slip for Miss Williamson. “Cursing: Called Father Bullwink a ‘shit-head’.” He drops the paper in the infraction box and heads to the parking lot.

PLOT starts HERE.
Night out. He carries the last box to his car. His car’s parked in the furthest space, right by the woods. He runs over in his head stuff about teaching. And memory. And how long he was with St. Dymphna’s. After lengthy prose on this, it appears as if he’s going to break down. Then a vampire leaps out from the woods and bites him on the neck.
“Arrgh!” or something to that extent is his scream.
The scream of the vampire, that is.
The crazy lunatic that had just tried to bite him is hunched over and spitting out Father Fitzwilliam’s blood, “Yuck! Owshit! Dammit! Fehluck!”
Father can only clasp his neck hard and stare at the man.
“Priest blood! I am such a doofus!”
Example: “I’m a vampire.”
      “You’re crazy. Vampires don’t exist.”
      “Scout’s honor. I’m a vampire.”
      “Thou art mad.”
      “Nay, Father, I be one from god shunned. I am nosferatu, wampyre.”
    “Dude, you are so not.”
    “Dude, I sooo am.”
Better written of course. It ends up with Father Fitzwilliam believing Elliot (Elliot’s the vampire.) He’s three-hundred years old but doesn’t look a day over thirty. He’s got purple eyes, short brown hair, pale (not white) skin and isn’t very attractive. More attractive than Father Fitzwilliam, of course, but that’s not saying too much. He managed to run away from the ugly stick after about twenty years of being beaten, Father Fitzwilliam is still being thwacked as we speak—look!—another pockmark just appeared. Elliot’s full name is Elliot Arden. He enjoys drinking the blood of anything human—he’s an equal-opportunity night stalker. He’s been hanging around Philadelphia for the past ten years. He likes the live music scene, likes the food (he does more than just drink blood). He’s also quite mad. Well, not really. He has multiple personality disorder. He flips between idiot and suave count…but the body stays the same, you know, the body stays ugly.
He moves into Father Fitzwilliam’s small apartment, promises not to bite him and all that. Somehow Fitzwilliam is able to reconcile all of this.
Two or three chapters about their odd-couple relationship, some embellishment of Elliot’s past.
Father Fitzwilliam sits in gray sweats watching television. Reality programming. Elliot sits cross-legged on the floor, reading aloud:
“Fill a baby pool with gasoline and rubbing
 alcohol. Cover body with rubber cement.
Arrange toys from your childhood: stuffed
bears, dolls, etc. in little seats facing the pool.
This is your audience. Light yourself on fire.
Dive into pool. Maybe arrange thirty or forty
nails in the shape of a swastika at bottom of
baby pool. ‘Good luck.’ You’ll need it. The
pain will be exquisite.” 

Elliot smiles, his distended canines catching the light of the television.
“Man! That is what I be calling the poetry, my friend.”
“I was always rather fond of that one. The idea of martyring yourself to the past, or rather, to objects of the past always intrigued me.”
“You a good writer man. You a bad priest, though. We got any chili dogs left?”
“I’m an excellent priest. I fear and love God so much I’m afraid to pray to him. Afraid to ask anything of him…for myself or others.”
“Pray me a chili dog, Fitz.”
“Oh, yes. The alpha and omega would be pleased beyond imagination with such a petition. ‘Dear Lord, it is I, your humble servant Fitzwilliam. Pray Lord, could you see it in your infinite wisdom and powers to magic me up a chili dog for my friend the vampire? He finds hot chili and pork cleanses his palate of prostitute blood far more efficiently than a Big Mac. Thank you, Lord. Amen.’ You see the problem, Elliot?”
“When do I get the chili dog?”
Fitzwilliam sighs. He tells Elliot to check the fridge again: “this time look in the bottom drawer.” When he cared about art, philosophy and the universal, when he let his natural ironic cynicism and egotism run wild into imagining the world in terms of popular fiction, Fitzwilliam always believed he was just one oddball supporting character away from being one of history’s greatest protagonists. And now he wonders—no, he doesn’t wonder. He doesn’t want to think about it. He doesn’t want to know if he’s a paragon of pulp or in over his bald head.
Elliot squeals with delight. He leaps from refrigerator to directly in front of the television with preternatural agility and speed. Shaking the last chili dog he shrieks, “God rocks!!!”
Yes, yes, yes is the answer Fitzwilliam’s nodding head and waving hand give. Then he says, “Out of my way. I simply have to know if that twit Harmony will survive another week on the island.”

She doesn’t.
Fitzwilliam makes himself sick with victory: he hated that twit. Always complaining about everyone else not doing enough work while se spends five hours every afternoon sunning herself on the beach. As the credits roll, Elliot showers. He’s become quite fond of showers, of cleanliness. Though undead and always giving off a rather unbecoming odor of dead meat and earth, Elliot has shaped himself up into the semblance of a gentleman. If he douses himself in Father’s cologne, even the death stench is tolerable and at times even pleasant.
Elliot comes out of the shower wearing red socks, a pair of Fitzwilliam’s black dress pants and a white turtleneck. His hair is combed back hard. He looks kinda like Mickey Rourke in Angel Heart…or Barfly. When he opens his mouth, Fitzwilliam can tell he’s now his erudite self.
“Bloody hell, Ferriski. You’ve been letting me eat chili dogs again, haven’t you?”
Fitzwilliam says nothing. He’s channel changing.
“Excuse me? Ferriski? Dammit man, listen to me! You can not, I mean, you simply can not allow this to happen one more time. I loathe those damn things. It’s such an obvious flavor, such a crude piece of food…I dare say it’s pornographic, Fitzwilliam, and I wonder how a man, a priest no less, could allow such a thing into his residence!”
“You have the strength of thirty men, Elliot. If you really desire a chili dog, there’s little I can do to stop you.”
“That’s utter nonsense and you know it, Fitzwilliam. There’s plenty you could do.”
“Enlighten me.”
“You could explain to me when I’m…when I’m him, why chili dogs are wrong to consume on so many different levels. Start with aesthetics then work your way down, man.”
“You have the attention span of a mayfly when you’re him, Elliot.”
“Ha…very clever. Mayflies only living twenty-four hours. Cheers. You know, I always—dammit, you’re distracting me!”
Fitzwilliam says nothing.
“Shoot me in the face!”
“That’s right,” Elliot lunges at his shoes and begins putting them on hurriedly, “we’ll get a gun right now. Grab your coat. And when I decide I want a chili dog, you shoot me right in the face.”
“I’m not going to shoot you in the face.”
“Nonsense. Of course you are. Don’t worry, it’s happened before, I rather enjoy it. But he, he bloody hates it! What are you sitting around for, man? Up n’ at ‘em! Firearms await!”
“Listen to yourself. He hates it.”
“Elliot…has it occurred to you that he might hate it so much that as soon as he gets his wits about him—”
“That he’ll kill me?”
Elliot rubs his chin, quits tying his shoes. “You have a point.”
Fitzwilliam goes back to channel changing.
“The host! Yes! Brilliant! Downright Pavlovian!”
“Hear me out. We go out and buy a basket of chili dogs. Then you bless some wafers and secret them betwixt chili and bun. Oh! I dare say he’ll think twice about eating another chili dog after being scourged by the love of the Lord!”
“Won’t that hurt you as well?”
“Dreadfully. But it’ll be worth it just to see the look on my face!”
“You’re mad. There’s no way on earth I’m using transubstantiation to housebreak a vampire.”
“Oh! But why not?” Elliot cries.
Fitzwilliam ignores him, flips channels, lands on ESPN2.
“Dammit, man! You’re being completely unreasonable! I need your help, I need—my god,” Elliot’s eyes are drawn to the television, drawn to an ovoid track over which high powered metal monsters compete in a speed ballet, “my word…it’s beautiful…I never dreamed…”
Father Fitzwilliam slowly turns his head to Elliot. He needs to know if what he hears in his voice is true.
It is.
The vampire is crying.
“…Fitzwilliam…I shall live that dream…”
Dear God, don’t let him say it, Fitzwilliam prays, please Lord, this is already too absurd; we passed too absurd a while back, please God, don’t let it be true…
“…I shall become a NASCAR driver.”
Father Fitzwilliam Ferriski never had a crisis of faith because God never got tired of fucking with him.