INTERNET — The popular alternate reality game, Pokemon Go, claimed ninety lives, Monday as Tokyo gamers flooded the Meiji Shrine Garden to capture the rarest of all Pokemon, Mewtwo. Reporters compared the grim scene of mangled pokemaniacs with the Bastille day terrorist truck rampage in Nice, France.
Pop star Suzuka Nakamoto, who barely escaped the carnage, said, “All of Japan will remember this catastrophe forever. The Japanese people ask Nintendo to please make it easier to catch Mewtwo so that this tragedy will never happen again.”
The unbelievable, shocking deaths have taken a spiritual toll almost as devastating as the human cost. The gardens, reportedly “raped,” by the stampede are a national treasure, often visited by the imperial family. “It looked like a battlefield, everything crushed and the ground torn apart as if by explosives,” said one witness, “Maybe the game should be suspended until its designers can make it less dangerous. They should pay to restore the park, as well.”
Raking in the sympathy accolades: honorable mentions for awards no one’s ever heard of from people who don’t know what the fuck this guy is on about but totally buy into the hype.
He went to prison and his girlfriend went over to Adrian Lamo and you wouldn’t believe the wild conspiracies. Who fuckin’ knows. Sounds about right for her. Said she was not only battered but we know for sure she was strung along into his obvious suicide-by-police. Self-swatting. That motherfucker wanted to die and he didn’t give a fuck about her. But you wouldn’t imagine the judgments everyone ran to. He’s a hero, you know. The rules change. This girl logs on to tweet even today and gets hate. Considering the hostile-ass reaction to her claims that he battered her, it ain’t no fucking wonder she didn’t worry about confirming their worst suspicions like she did. If Jacob Applebaum is any kind of a lesson for anyone, well fuck it. Shitlessons, Randy. Shitlessons.
While Biella Coleman is wringing her hands for the cameras, telling us that ‘faggot’ is just a fun thing Anons say, boy howdy them Anons is good little diverse liberals just standing up for the computers– Brown the admitted Randian fascist with an amoral dictate is working his name into “Anonymous” lashing out at anyone with concerns that he’s an FBI dupe. Biella, Biella. What the fuck.
Hatesec says, “Hey Barry, we’re a little concerned about the FBI logging all your chat rooms.” Flash forward: Barry screeches under his door in solitary again and again “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!”
“We think Sabu is kind of aligning himself with Federal motives.” Barry’s ‘ascreechin’ “Faggot! Faggot! Faggot! You ain’t Anonymous sweetheart. Huh huh. You’re lowercase anonymous.” Yeah fuckin’ right, and we call you a namefag. You’re so out of the fuckin’ loop you don’t even know who Nemelka is. He’s you, only more successful. Even more of an atheist although he hasn’t manspread his shitty little nineteen year old ass all over Fox News. Well, boy, was that the height of your career? Probably you will never attain half of Nemelka’s literary merit, although somehow your followers are even stupider. Nemelka Nemelka Nemalka. You don’t even know who he is. You’re a Nemelka. One day you will have a compound, but Nemelka already has one. He has Ida Smith’s grave. You can’t even dream beyond Nemelka. You are Nemelka.
Barry One, brought people into conspiracies to destabilize foreign countries, Two blah blah blah blah blah, you know. His writing goes to the depraved depths of the tabloid ideal of trash entertainment through secret documents. Yeah that ain’t journalism, but good trick. You fooled us for a minute. We all know the bad beach body of some celebrity ain’t the Truth and we know neither is their secret affairs. Sure it’s true but it ain’t the god damn end. Barry, Barry… you stupid little fucker. Lost your god damn mind in your little pile of Truth and it all collapsed in on you didn’t it? You probably still know everything. No wonder you were too goddamn happy to call the death squad in on you and your girlfriend. Too much of a coward to go out shooting like you said you would, though. Who would believe anything you write, now? All bark, no bite. You ain’t got nothin.
INTERNET — The THumP (Humanity Party) campaign is in full damage control after a real barn burner of a very special hour long Hate Radio podcast by Kilgoar ‘n Hatesec. Kilgoar’s research proved beyond a doubt that THumP is a political party controlled not by anyone previously connected with Anonymous, but rather by Nemelkite Mormon heretics who have sacralized sex and the taking of heroin. If only to address the Nemelkites, the only people who could possibly support such a movement, Hatesec spoke about its platform, indicating that printing infinite money would cause runaway inflation.
This morning THumP fired back with a dumb blogpost offering $10,000 to anyone who can prove that printing infinite money would not end all poverty on Earth within a single year. According to the very same blogpost, it is an “unchallengeable solution.” If that wasn’t obvious enough, the reward was upped to $100,000 within the hour. Nemelka’s fool’s gold of a reward directly references the Internet Chronicle’s Kilgoar ‘n Hatesec.
THumP® will pay $10,000.00 U.S. dollars (guaranteed) to any person upon earth, or any alien believed to be associated with Earthsmile emoticon, who can logically and clearly challenge the following solution to the world’s overpopulation and poverty problems.
Damn! Now we know readers may find this fake reward to be a totally unconvincing lie, a cowardly tactic that is meant to draw attention towards THumP’s politics and away from Nemelka at a crucial moment, but we see it as yet another hilarious folly. Party chairman Nemelka himself said, “Well of course it ain’t gonna fuckin’ work!” when questioned at the THumP party’s inaugural symposium. The patently false reward offered by the hand of THumP is much like its simplistic, impossible utopian solution to poverty. It is the “invisible hand” of the free market that has become visible. Through and through, the platform is either unoriginal or completely stupid, but talking about what’s wrong with THumP will show what’s wrong with the dominant perspective in general, as it is a simplification or distillation of many failed utopian ideas motivating the West presently as well as in recent history.
Consider the one terrifying given that all possible fake prize seekers must assume is no problem at all for THumP, “… the implementation of worldwide legal restrictions on inflation enforced by a powerful international anti-inflation law …” This implies that THumP — running only for president of the United States — will, within one year, come to dominate over all other geopolitical interests in the course of implementing its economic plan. The US President cannot obviously do this acting alone, restricted both by internal checks and balances as well as by incumbent geopolitical powers opposed to the US. Presidents have stretched their powers as far as possible towards the end, persistently, giving rise to endless neoconservative warmongering from both Republicans and Democrats.
THumP promises to give free money to people in poverty all over the world. In places where people live outside of the economics of the wider world, in “poverty” from a Western-centered point of view, similar benevolent gestures from already-existing philanthropists perpetually brings fresh people into servitude while destroying traditional ways of life and often causing unintended famines and social breakdowns that lead to violent upheaval. Simple notions of doing as much good as possible with the least amount of money have been done before, and the result is empire. This is roughly the model through which the British and American empires have sustained themselves. It is the friendly face of genocide and domination. Or in the case of THumP, a sinister mask.
While THumP’s simplification of the world’s problems to poverty not only underlines its commitment to an intransitive and unoriginal utopian scheme for empire, it is also predictably buttressed by the usual liberal concession that all people are to have fundamental liberties to pursue their individual idea of happiness. This is already the dominant point of view that animates the government of the United States! Again, THumP offers nothing new. And it’s an idea shot through with problems. Too often this universalizing attitude that we’re all equal, simply Humans, is an empty rhetorical gloss Conservatives in America use to justify existing iniquity. In THumP’s vision there are no rich or poor, no black or white, only humans. This is probably the worst lie of all, one that gives cover for existing racism and iniquity of all kinds. THumP’s campaign does not offer anything at all to women, LGBTQ, or people of color other than talk of basic human rights that erases their difference and only jabbers on and on about some rights they already enjoy too little. It is some #AllLivesMatter bullshit.
THumP offers nothing new, unless of course it is laughably impossible. When a presidential candidate offers a totally new constitution as part of the platform, anyone who took a high school civics course should know something is very awry. The campaign is run by someone without even a basic understanding of the office. A president just doesn’t have that power, even if he wears the Anonymous mask.
Christopher Nemelka is a slippery individual to begin to understand. He has “translated” holy texts that Joseph Smith withheld, and is now spearheading a utopian political campaign which has gained tremendous publicity by associating itself with Anonymous. None of the news media reporting on the so-called Humanity Party has connected it with Nemelka, with some even speculating it may be related to Donald Trump, although even the most shallow research shows Nemelka as the chief ideologue, motivator, and benefactor of the campaign. In understanding what he is attempting to do as well as what this may mean for Anonymous, it is worth investigating Nemelka’s recent ideological frame, a book called Human Reality. It appears to be a profitable change of costume for Nemelka’s previous hedonist-Mormon teachings. The majority of Nemelka’s four hour keynote at the Humanity Party debut was concerned with this book and its notions, while the Voice of Anonymous character made a relatively brief appearance. The campaign is likely a ploy to sell this book and gain more influence, but it is also likely he is selling something more shocking and illicit.
According to Nemelka, advanced humans exist in a layer of reality that is infinite and perfect, the advanced world. Our advanced selves enter a lower, finite world as a mortal avatar, which is necessary for the advanced human to play the game. Also referred to as the game of life, this is the everyday reality that human beings are aware of. When the advanced human plays the game there are certain conditions, such as forgetfulness of the advanced world. Nemelka calls himself the messenger, and his purpose in preaching is to reawaken people to their advanced selves and to tell them the goal of playing the game, which is to “take that hit of heroin.” Even the pleasure of sex is, to an advanced human, experienced as a hit of heroin.
As Nemelka says, “This is the most incredible revealing thing you’ll ever hear. The advanced human brain, every time its mortal avatar has an orgasm, it senses that orgasm like a hit of heroin. Exactly like it.”
Taking a hit of heroin is not used as an innocent metaphor, either. Nemelka promotes its use as an entheogen not for mortals, but for the advanced humans to take through mediation of the mortal avatar. An advanced human is in Nemelka’s words, “a heroin addict,” except that the advanced human is able to get more and more out of each hit until reaching Ultimate Sex. As Nemelka says, “Ultimate sex — it’s the incentive of the game, believe it or not.”
Advanced humans have some biological quirks that make them capable of extreme sensation, but incapable of injecting heroin or having sex, necessitating playing the game. In Nemelka’s words, “In an advanced human body, there’s no blood. No blood vessels. All nerves.”
You’re an advanced human. You’re around other humans that’re playing the game, and they’re havin these hits of heroin that you can’t get. I want one of those hits. Well the only way you can get it is you’ve got to enter the game. You gotta enter the game. The only way you’re going to have that massive hit, that massive hit that’s the ultimate human feeling, that none of you have experienced here. Ya haven’t. None of you have. None of you have experienced the orgasmic sensory feeling that an advanced human brain has the capacity to feel. You have not. It’s impossible, and you never will. Unless you’re an advanced human … How do you get that hit of heroin? How do you get it and be able to partake of that drug as an advanced human until it becomes the most ultimate feeling you’ve ever felt, so that each time you take that hit it increases, increases, increases. Until you don’t know, how the hell can this stop. That’s how a heroin addict is, and that’s how an advanced human is. Except for one thing, it stops. It stops. It can’t go on forever. It can’t become the type of hit in your advanced brain unless you become, you have an avatar, that has the sexual parts to have that type of orgasm.
An advanced human is capable of transforming their gender through the ritual of heroin injection as a mortal avatar, unlocking the dual advanced/mortal experience of ultimate sex.
During the Q&A section of the talk, Nemelka questioned an audience member he identified as his sister, “What was the reason why you took your first hit of heroin?”
“The first hit? The first hit was to feel… what advanced feeling. Because I wanted to know.”
“Wanted to know what it felt like. Oh — this is awesome … Why did you keep wanting more hits?”
“Because it was fuckin’ aweso– Sorry — it was awesome.”
Another audience member said, “I’ve never tried heroin — never — probably will, and I get it … But I get it now. From an advanced perspective, I get it.”
Nemelka responded, “That’s perfect, and anyone who has, I’m not going to ask for a raise of hands because if we have any undercover cops in here I don’t know what that’s gonna do.”
The advanced/mortal duality offers Nemelka’s adherents an imaginary realm where they enjoy total freedom and control over pain, pleasure, and even gender while delivering their mortal avatars into simplification and abjection — heroin addiction. It is the mortal world that is a fake, a mere “game” with nothing worthwhile except pleasure delivered unto the advanced selves. It is not curious that the Humanity Party, attached at the hip to this ideology, should be nothing more than a timid liberalism, a politics that shares in the simplified, cynical view of humanity as pleasure seeking masses.
The Humanity Party’s “Voice of Anonymous,” promises a utopia that Nemelka admits cannot be delivered, but it is still not merely a gambit for attention or a fake. It is a marriage and a continuity. Behind the Anonymous mask were advanced humans, even before Nemelka formulated the idea. Operators who play the game. Heroin addicts. As Barrett Brown wrote, Anonymous follows an “amoral dictate.”
After the debut of the Humanity Party, there has been little skepticism or outrage from the Anonymous community or from the news media, likely because this is so little out of the expected realm of behavior for Anonymous. Although the Humanity Party did break with some common expectations of Anonymous, such as their labeling hacktivists as cyberterrorists and promoting voting as the only acceptable method of revolution, Anonymous has always played the game. Wearing the mask is to be a bloodless pleasure machine, seeking that next hit of heroin and knowing a true reality no one else is aware of.
In a white leather, white-haired space alien suit the Guy Fawkes clad leader peppers us with a biblical and constitutional mix of propaganda in support of his presidential campaign. While claiming to be the only authentic “Voice of Anonymous,” sources show the Humanity Party domain was registered by Chrisopher Nemelka, a conman who admitted to writing his own additions to the Book of Mormon and crafted a cult of “Nemelkite” polygamist Mormons in imitation of Joseph Smith. Despite his prolific admissions of fraudulence and a reputation for criminality, Nemelka maintains a small following.
A blog posting written by a former Nemelkite roughly outlined Nemelka’s plans to launch the Humanity Party and use Anonymous imagery in January of 2015. A concerned insider wrote,
The Messenger [Nemelka] is the man behind the mask as he speaks to the inhabitants of the earth. All those who vote for Anonymous will be seeking a change to the current affairs in the Game of Life. The Messenger declares that Advanced Humans will return to the earth, and the Game of Life will be shortened if we vote for this new government.
Former Anons, both heroes and villains, are shown in the video and derided as counterproductive terrorists.
Few have “stuck their dicks in the beehive” in such an epic way, and this would-be L Ron Hubbard ought to make for a pretty good indicator of how active Anons still are.
INTERNET — In a startling and unexpected coup this morning, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “fired” his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, replacing him with his children. By the early afternoon, Trump announced on Twitter that he was naming his son, Eric Trump, as his running mate and tapped Ivanka as his future secretary of state. This marks the first father son presidential ticket in American history.
This unprecedented and startling move, which was made without approval of any Republican party officials, comes nearly a month after Trump “fired” top aide Rick Wiley, and the morning after father’s day. Sources say that Trump’s family honored him with a cake iced with gold, baked to contain photoshopped pictures of the family wearing the crown jewels of England.
INTERNET — Another suicidal man with assault weaponry went out in a blaze of infamy. Headlines stoked his epic kill streak and offered a vanishing thin narrative of the events as officials in law enforcement offered bare facts in ten second bursts throughout the day.
The next afternoon, survivors speak at length of the more grim truths. The blood sacrifice of innocents, their escape from the spontaneous perennial ritual. Slaughter as performance art with a mass audience and a mass appeal. No one is stunned anymore excepting the victims who are now, this time, unexpectedly in the arena.
Each mouth in the stands shouts solutions. They pass before whichever icon of the shooter is least appealing to them personally, disrespecting and dehumanizing it for refreshment. The show is now only a single journalist, perpetually stalling for the next expert’s opinion, yet the seats will be packed for another month at least.
The heckling and shouting intensifies. But I have a hopeful thought. Perhaps I am not imagining the shouts carry a little less conviction. They are as bored as I am of it all. Detached, seeing the bare mechanisms of the story and no longer at all committed to bringing it to an end. Is the tide going out? Probably not. But it has to, one day, doesn’t it? How many men must commit suicide in this now everyday fashion before the carnival of excess fails to generate a sensation?
GAIA, INTERNET — Sometimes I go barefoot. I wear a crimson lion mask and deal wrathful protection with a katana.
Before me is oceanic weeb, white noise chatter gathered around a fountain. This is Towns, a graphical chat in Gaia Online. It is IRC with the added benefit of chibi avatars. Gleeful neon pixies dance around cute and funny amidst a cloud of emoticons. Here and there cliques clump up all dressed in a theme. They refer to one another in familial terms — mother, father, brother, sister. It is all as harmonious and lightly joyful as the gentle synth music. Nothing here is evil in the least, and I think of that as I move towards the margins and away from the fountain. Just a few zones away there isn’t anyone at all, just empty neighborhoods where avatars reside.
Roleplayers gather in a small park, quite away from the masses, and are somewhat more reserved. They create roleplaying characters, not necessarily the same as their avatar, with most of the constructive activity taking place outside of Towns. They’ll write thousands of words, draw portraits, and put out comic strips as they constitute each character and their shared worlds. Often but not always they are members of guilds, clans, and families, and may set up duels and even full scale wars with one another. The mood isn’t tense, but clearly not all is serene. They are not this far away by accident.
Griefers are hanging out by a gigantic chessboard adjacent to the fountain. They have their own mangled dialect — a familiar and intentional development to enrage targets, identify one another, and possibly to make their enemies underestimate their evil potential. Being involved constantly in roleplay, if only in Towns, and if only to disrupt roleplaying for more serious players, their opinions on the topic are of course fraught, but they are totally candid,
“I love making fun of people that love it … I enjoy the writing aspect of it.”
Some griefers say they detest the very idea of roleplaying without any attempt to justify the contradiction of their presence, and still others blame the community at large for their own early move from roleplaying to griefing. Some who hang out at the chessboard appear to consider themselves elites in roleplaying. This confused group fights with itself as often as not, and there is some surprising jargon peppered into the chat: Doxing, booting, and swatting.
Zeeden stands at his post under the chessboard, surrounded by white haired bronze skinned beauties, the Regals, and a core retinue of Phantom Clan underlings. His skunk-like avatar is the epicenter of this pathetic activity, online so often and asleep so rarely rumors say he suffers chronic mental breakdowns because his addiction to Gaia is so extreme.
Standing across the entrance to the chessboard are the godmodders of Aeturnum, roleplayers whose creative faculties are impaired. They are dressed in spooky black clothes and perpetually roleplay as immortal supervillains who never lose. In the roleplay scene, this is called godmodding, a genre of writing that exists just to invent powers which keep a character perpetually alive.
In a typical encounter, a griefer will attempt to lure a godmodder or a new roleplayer into accepting a duel and then pull out at the last instant, leaving their target apoplectic. But it doesn’t always work.
Aeturnum has turned out, and Zeeden is shamed for his cowardice after he’s backed out of the agreed-upon duel with their godmodder. The members of Aeturnum, outnumbering Zeeden’s mostly afk crew, deal out accusations of pedophilia and pepper him with insults. The attempted troll has backfired about as badly as possible and Zeeden is completely humiliated. He will disappear for three days as his reputation is further degraded and his fellow clan members make empty, embarrassing hacking threats at Aeturnum. When he does return, it’s his clan that has been hacked.
The griefers of Gaia Online are so prone to rage and self-destruction that I wonder how long they can go on. But I do not expect anything to change suddenly, as much as I like to envision the chessboard in flames. As long as no one stands in their way, they’ll perpetually fuck around in Towns, getting ever greater joy out of the same childish bullshit.
INTERNET — Taryn Fivek is dressed in all black, backed by Marxist guru Molly Klein AKA RedKahina, who has some kind of Chinese hat and togas loosely knotted around her body. She chews on one and fiddles with it, staring at her internet device. Slavoj Zizek is sitting on the stage, sweating and psychoanalyzing the wild audience. A majority of them have left, including Democracy Now! anchor Amy Goodman. Those that are left are totally involved, cheering and jeering the Slovenian slobberer at each provocation. The Left Forum emcee, Kristin Lawler, is standing in for Goodman who was slated to question Zizek but left without a reason or statement of protest. So this emcee is taking the heat from Fivek like it’s nothing at all while some goon is doing some menacing darting in and out of their personal space. I paused this video for about five minutes and took a long breath. It was almost unwatchable with meaning, the most potent cringe vid on the internet. Who are all these people? Why am I watching this?
I first came across Fivek when perusing Molly Crabapple hatred. Crabapple is a socially engaged artist splattering watercolors that reflect on the horrors of war as often as personal stories of women getting abortions. Under the nome de plume EM Quangel, Fivek wrote a dystopian fiction, Spooks, which warned against Crabapple’s brand of politics. Also she wrote the non-fictional essay, Weaponized Naked Girls, which says of Crabapple’s breed:
Their support of imperialism, combined with their self-promotion as empowered savvy “burlesque dancers” or “naked girls”, combined with their self-portrayal as frightened women under attack, is effective in triggering silence from the left … it would be anti-women, certainly anti-female sexuality, to attack the media as using the nakedness as a screen for pro-NATO positions.
Very well. Absolutely. Actually it must be true because “anti-woman” was my knee-jerk reaction when reading Spooks without its non-fiction analog. Feminism is one of many politics deployed on the margins of neoliberal order as a weapon, there is no doubt. Also it is encouraged within, belonging as it does to hallowed liberal rights, those that cost capitalists nothing. Feminism can be so strongly hegemonic that the CIA funds feminists such as Gloria Steinem to operate in strategic areas.
Among Fivek and comrades, there seems no doubt whatsoever that Crabapple must be a CIA operative. The pseudonymity provided by the EM Quangel alias was necessary for Fivek because it allowed her to continue her work with a UN associated migration publication while speaking out against the western worldview and its propaganda. Molly Crabapple had knowledge of Quangel’s identity for years and deployed the dox strategically. The starving children making doe eyes, supplicating US drones for death, were too precious for any westerner to deny. Only a totally inhuman monster would not happily digest this base propaganda, and the outrage that sly Crabapple witch cooked up against Fivek in conjunction with the doxing likely put Fivek out of her chosen career path forever.
But now Quangel is maybe dead, and Fivek is even more ferocious than her pseudonym. And here she is on this vid, confronting Slavoj Zizek and the Left Forum, leaning the fuck in and insisting that the slobberer can’t use that n-word. And that may be enough to fry your egg on, but there’s more!
Standing behind Quangel is Red Kahina. The biggest name of all in Crabapple hatred on twitter. As a point of massive interest, she gave a talk against Zizek at Left Forum in 2014. It is described in its abstract:
Is Slavoj Zizek a US propaganda psyop? I want to ask my comrades on the left to consider the possibility. After years of research, I have come to the conclusion that Zizek is a charlatan posing as a “Stalinist” to both discredit communists by performing a caricature Bolshevik and simultaneously, to smuggle fascist ideas including old fashioned Aryan supremacism and 19th century race theory, back into public discourse disguised as radical left critique of liberalism.
The talk was entitled Zizek Delenda Est, butKlein later employs the gender corrected slogan “Zizek Delendus Est” so the name is not likely a clever joke for people who took a year or two of Latin in high school. I wish the talk was put together with more care than the title. I want to be convinced. Klein’s quavering voice often sprints off to the end of a statement, and indeed to the end of the talk. Was Zizek a far right agitator in Slovenia, pushing for annexation by the neoliberal order during the breakup of Yugoslavia? A racist nationalist? So little of the situation is explained, each loose connection hangs to the next without clear reference back to Zizek and his particular, specific involvement.
Kahina takes us down some old paths, common tales such as Nietzsche the proto-Nazi, all “French Post-Structuralists” as Heideggerian “cuckoos” and Nazis. During the talk she uses the politically incorrect word “gypsy” to reference Roma and I consider putting this in the “gotcha” sack. But nah, less of a gotcha and more of a meaningless false equivalent. But these things are adding up, and it is also a fair point by now to think to myself, “Why should I listen to her talk about this distant conflict if she cannot even name the people involved by their right name?”
But it is not actually a total flop of a talk. I continue to listen. I am interested now in Zizek’s former career. It could change my opinion of him or his sincerity. The accusations are so serious I cannot dispose them. Maybe Zizek has committed a genocide or been complicit in one. Maybe he is a right wing spook, but past that what can I say? These questions are just left hanging there. Someone in the audience pushes the panel, asks them if they will answer “yes” or not to the question posed by their abstract. Is Zizek a spook? The panel refuses. So much for that. I feel like my time has been wasted.
I stop hyperventilating from the cringe after several minutes and commit to the rest of the video.
Kahina holds her internet device as if a frog is dancing on top of it and smiles with the kind of satisfaction I’d get from seeing such a marvel. The moment the words “you blacks have a big penis” come out of Fivek’s mouth, Kahina looks out to the audience, grinning and holding the toga to her chin. The dwindled crowd erupts into passions and Kahina orders, “Patience!” The exasperated emcee gets her microphone back in the commotion. I am not sure when Fivek got a hold of it to begin with, but the emcee was upset about it. Fivek repeats the obscene Zizek quotation, and Kahina smirks at her internet device. Fivek declares Zizek’s misogyny and racism is now a given, as well as his hatred for refugees entering Europe. She demands that Left Forum organizers answer to this. How much did they pay Zizek and how can they justify it? The emcee answers that the Left Forum organizers considered the complaints against Zizek and that it is a kind of critique that takes his statements out of context. At this point, Fivek, the audience, and Zizek say “the N-word” all at the same time. That is, they are all shouting the euphemism and not the expletive itself. As the camera pans to Zizek, Kahina raises her voice, “You know the context! What about that context changes?” Fivek moves to the center of the audience shouting with the anti-Zizek leaflet raised, and everybody in the room begins to shout. Somewhere in the mix there is the word “Friendship!”
Zizek has been confronted, the smuggled goods are now on display. He answers to the leaflet’s accusations of misogyny, taking a grave tone to defend his position that trauma confuses the accounts of rape survivors, that incoherence should not discredit their testimony as the leaflet wrongly suggests. And he knocks down other critiques just as handily to applause and laughter. But here and there I hear a lone laughter at moments that seem wrong, carrying some kind of inscrutable, disturbing message. At times through the shoddy, echoing audio it sounds like a defeated, traumatized sob.
The smuggler is caught red handed in the open, and he empties his pockets. Inside are all the same old tricks that poke fun at “white liberal antiracism,” a phrase that gets the last big laugh of the night. The emcee Lawler thanks Zizek and ends the talk, but I want more. I still want more and I scrape twitter for every mention of Zizek, but nothing satisfies. I type tweet after tweet trying to wrap my head around the politics, personalities, and power dynamics at play at this mad talk. Kahina and Fivek are the underdogs, the heretics, the ones resisting a pleasant night with a talented and well-loved speaker and they’re raising a great alarm that is so urgent and compelling I want to know more. I have to know. I want to be able to explain it, understand it, and not stick to empty assertions that are so easily laughed off. I am still searching for this smuggled fascism and racism when I come across a pair of tweets from Kahina. I don’t want to believe they’re real. I hope they’re a joke. Kahina makes an admission of white privilege into white supremacy as neat as I’ve ever seen. Just who’s smuggling what, and why is a professional, expert young woman like Fivek with such explicit, strong views to the contrary an attack dog for this kind of white savior junk?
“Tall pale king man wears a dirt costume, my precioussss. Mean, tricksy. Wantses my precioussss but the Baggins has it! Thief! Liar!”
Aragorn struck Sméagol with the back of his hand and tightened the ropes cruelly.
With a screech, Gollum collapsed and wept. “It’s worse to poor Sméagol than Sauron. Gollum, gollum, gollum.”
Aragorn tied a kerchief to his face. “No troll, no rotting orc corpse, no pile of goblin shit on Arda stinks as badly as this worm.” He kicked Gollum.
“It hasn’t smelled the darkness has it, precious? Sméagol knows! Sméagol smells it now! Precioussss. My preciousssss.”
Gollum scampered alongside Aragorn, not tiring at the cruel pace or from starvation. As the black night paled in the first morning light, Aragorn halted, scanning the shadows on the skirts of Fangorn for enemies. Just outside the dense forest, two black riders passed.
“Finds the thief! Kill it!” Gollum shouted to the riders. He informed Aragorn, “It always findses the thief but it never findses Sméagol, does it precioussss? Sméagol knows where to hide. Sméagol hides the precioussss from it forever and then the thief Baggins–” Gollum choked as Aragorn gagged him with the kerchief. Muffled wails of, “Ollum, ollum, ollum” mixed with the fading, galloping hooves.
Aragorn despaired. He’d moved at night through Fangorn, walked backwards over soft ground, crossed the Anduin, put out false trails and even crafted two pairs of false deer feet in failed attempts to shake the riders. Gandalf’s warnings were all but proven true by this supernatural feat alone. That they made no move to kill him only increased his unease.
The words of Sméagol stuck in his conscience as he continued now, ponderously muttering aloud, “This creature is plainly no goblin, but it is twisted by evil in a similar fashion. It was once perhaps good, or at least not evil, but if it truly bore Isildur’s bane and evaded these same pursuers, perhaps–”
Removing the gag from Gollum in this contemplative mood, Aragorn received a deep bite on his hand, which Gollum released at once.
“The Baggins knows. He brings the preciousss to Sauron. It can’t hide, but it can run! Runs to Baggins with its big strides, but not big enough.”
Aragorn rinsed his ragged wound and wrapped it with the kerchief and did not become angry with Gollum. He removed a roll of cloth from his pack. Unfurling the fabric and revealing the shattered ancient sword, he spoke directly to Sméagol, “This is the sword of Isildur that is now mine. The ring was his and is rightfully mine, as well.”
“Precious!” Gollum croaked in recognition at the sword. “Precioussss! Maybe it once had the precious, but it is MINE! My birthday present!” Gollum squinted his lantern eyes and peered at Aragorn, “Maybe what it says is true, Sméagol. Sssssstrange. Will it die soon and become like the others, precious? The tenth? Gollum! Gollum, gollum, gollum.”
Aragorn wrapped the shattered blade and studied Gollum. Had an entire age of Arda passed in relative peace because Isildur’s bane had, by fortune, come to this despicable, evasive creature? His appearance and his speech seemed evil, and yet in deed no other could match Gollum’s good. Where Isildur failed, this creature had triumphed. Aragorn saw plain evidence now that he could never bear the ring, a route to peace only paid for through a will infinitely more enduring than his own.
In a quavering, shaken voice, humbled as if speaking to the great wizard Saruman, Aragorn said, “Tell me of the evil moment when you lost Isildur’s Bane, Sméagol.”
“The thief Baggins cheated Sméagol!” shouted Gollum. He paused, reflecting for a moment, “Baggins told Sméagol a false riddle and stole the precious. He wore the precious to chase and cut Sméagol, but Sméagol hid.” Gollum clenched a fist and swung at the ground. “Thief!”
“How did you come to possess your precious?” Aragorn asked, breathless.
“Tall mens in shiny shiny metals passed through my carrot patch, too tall and proud to stop and speak to little Sméagol. But Sméagol followed them and watched.” Gollum peered at Aragorn, “They were killed by orcses in their sleep. All dead.” Gollum smiled, recollecting past glory, “Ah, Déagol and Sméagol were tricksy and warned everyone about the orcses. We made an ambush. When the hungry orcses came for our sheeps, we were ready in the trees with the metal bows of the dead mens. We shot the orcses when they came, preciousss. All dead. Then Sméagol found precious in the captain’s pocketses. Preciousssss! Sméagol took preciousss because we shot the captain and it was our birthday. So it was the mens’ precious first, eh? Gollum, gollum. But Déagol wanted to steal precious. Everyone wanted to steal precious. Gollum, gollum, gollum. So Sméagol hid for a long time in the dark. Gollum.”
Aragorn blinked, thinking of the story related by Gandalf, as told from the hobbit Bilbo’s perspective, and the haughty histories that told of Isildur’s death. None now had the ring of truth, but rather the feel of twisted fairytales and imaginative fabulation. There must be large omissions, gross mischaracterizations, and fabrications on the largest scale, told in that way so as to avoid the pain and suffering that only the ageless steward and bearer of the ring, Gollum, could express. They were words that no other mortal could utter, and that Aragorn knew now he could never repeat or attest to. Yet he would still complete his task and bring Gollum to the prison in Mirkwood where Gandalf would interrogate him further, even though it was wrong and unnecessary to further persecute Sméagol. But Gandalf must hear it for himself.
Perhaps it was all a devious lie, given this worm by Sauron himself. But if it was false, the lie could only be in the details. Gollum was a mortal burdened with immortality, who had, in spite of his own selfish and mortal intention, prevented, or at the very least postponed more harm than any immortal. And Bilbo? If his tale was the truer one in its details, so what? Had he not, in spite of his good intentions, brought the ring out into the open, as was Sauron’s will? Had there not been a great battle to mark the passing of the ring from Gollum to Bilbo, with far worse consequences yet to pass? No matter what good or evil happened now, there would be death on an epic and ancient scale, long postponed and prevented by the devious works of this vile, stinking creature he’d hunted and hated for sixteen years.
Aragorn looked again for the black riders but saw nothing past traces of daylight filtering in through Fangorn’s mossy canopy. He loosened the ropes and Gollum cackled and danced. “Precioussssss. Precioussss. My Preciousssss thanks it.”