A man of the people

American Prospect, a liberal leaning magazine, is offering a two year writing fellowship to budding journalists. They are giving the winners of the fellowship 33,000 dollars a year, as well as a full package of benefits, including vision and dental insurance. Writers for American Prospect have gone on to write for The Atlantic and other pap and gruel, quaker oats left of center publications I couldn’t give less of a shit about. These magazines are staffed by yapping sardines in suits who write cotton candy articles spun of the finest vaguely liberal sentiments. Every edition comes cram packed with loosely wound reasoning and reporting passed through the sieve of pseudo objective language, with just a teeny touch of personal, moral concern, a little drapery of indignation atop the furniture of neutral observation. I want to write for them, because if there is one thing that is blindingly obvious about me, it’s the lack of fellowship in my life.

I don’t know what I’m talking about, ever. I hate doing actual research, checking sources, and keeping track of dates and numbers. I’d be an extremely irresponsible and venal journalist. Bold misrepresentation is my style,  caricature and perverse satire are the brooks in which I babble. Every article of mine would be a hit piece, a sniper shot takedown of every dog in the fight, whether it’s over or under. Corporations destroying natural habitats to manufacture plastic dolls with obscene, alien proportions that give little girls eating disorders, politicians getting their rectums reamed with fistfulls of hundred dollar bills held by pharmaceutical giants, tobacco and soda magnates, government officials in collusion with mafias and gangs trafficking drugs and preteen sex slaves, getting coke line kickbacks and olive oil rubdowns from kidnapped cuban boys in steamy backrooms in celebration of another greasy deal.

But the vigorous, rude, ruddy imbecility of the common man would not be spared or justified either. I would unsympathetically, condescendingly cover the tumorous masses, the protuberant, swollen, cancerous social body lurching and heaving to the polyphonic hymns of demagogic delirium, following and describing its every twist and turn, even as it fractures along the multifarious fault lines of identity politics and niche marketing,  and the hair splitting segmentation of aspirational lifestyles and branding images congeals every atomized individual together in a grimy collective soup of jerk off dreams. Every stereotypical player gets a nod and a feature, from the unseasoned, grub bodied man boy burrowing deep in the digital hole of role playing games and extreme anal porn, to the desperate, scorched earth womb of a woman crying out for life sustaining sperm while its owner ignores her true biological destiny to pen tawdry erotic chronicles from her impossibly priced, hauntingly lonely manhattan studio apartment. Not to mention the ham headed, outmoded working man griping about the gutting of the manufacturing sector by corrupt elites, unable to admit that his dull, rote conditioned ass never deserved 40 dollars an hour to fasten bolts 12 million times a day in the first place.

I don’t really stand on the left or the right. I don’t hate anyone, and I don’t feel much allegiance to anyone or anything, even myself. I can barely manage my own life, and feel unqualified to participate in public debate for or against any policy or position. I constantly regret my decisions, my actions and the things that I say, even, and maybe especially, when I am joking.This is why I write repulsive vignettes with no real direction or purpose. My writing is a gallery of grotesque portraits, a sordid slice of life, a shit stomping tour through the back alleys of an imaginative, thoroughly  redundant soul. I labor in true obscurity, the most popular and provocative writer that no one reads.  Causes, agendas, coalitions, movements, fund raisers, public policy, self help, other help, the people, the party, the earth, the one true god; they all make me queasy.

I’d better get started on my application for American Prospect. I need money and dental insurance.


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