I had grown up in a wretched scumhole -- starving, naked,
covered with excrement, raised by pigeons, desperate,
So when the crisis of world hopelessness gripped all
threatening even the subtle dominance of bureaucratic
and peer group sanctimonies, I immediately became
first choice to head the new World Peoples' Council, set up
try to fix it.
To make sure I couldn't refuse, the most secret and supreme
power brokers of the ruling world cabals, all came crawling
naked across fields of broken glass and land mines, to beg me
please, please take over their wet dishtowel of leadership
non-stop, raging ego.
But I was just a little too busy, at the time, dealing with,
know, all my own personal bullshit and didn't really give
flying fuck about the plight of their pukeball world
"Ain't my fuckin' planet!" I said, in response to
endless, whining appeals -- only hinting at how I really
But they persisted, because they knew I was their only hope.
All their sharp, slick, well-trained, caring,
tireless, hardworking, personable, brilliant, driven,
insightful, powerful, charismatic professional people had
already stepped up to the crisis -- and failed miserably,
making everything worse with each attempt.
It was clear to everybody, by now, that they needed someone
more fucked-up than life itself, in order to actually solve
problems of life.
Someone so fucked-up, she'd brazenly drive around town all
with an "I'd-rather-be-cleaning-up-some-ancient-nuclear-
accident-on-the-South-Side-of-Jupiter" bumper sticker, taped
to her windshield, across the driver's line of sight.
Somebody capable of going to war at the mere mention of the
state bird of the country whose dominant ideology maintained
that "the pen is mightier than the cigarette."
Eventually, they wore me down, and I grudgingly accepted
pitiful offer -- with the stipulation that my title had to
something like "Eternal Supreme Emperor-Commandante of the
Cosmos and Time." Or, "Supremo Zero," for short.
Obviously, I could have asked for, and gotten, much more, but
was not in this for fame and power and ego and sex and
and control of the universe. I was in this strictly in the
hopes of dying at it, in a most stupid and fundamental way.
I was installed as Presidente Supremo or whatever, and my
act was to make the entire population of the world learn, by
heart, all the songs I'd written during my many
and (failed) rehabilitations.
Though there were hundreds of these songs, each was highly
focused and highly thematic and, together, they laid out my
program for saving the huddled, humbled masses of mankind --
if they learned them now, they wouldn't have to ask
Then I passed the Universal Education Reform Act, so that
child, regardless of class, would be taught the story about
bats and the hornets, rather than the old wives' tale about
birds and the mosquitos.
Then I gave every nation 100 new colonies, distributed
in tiny pockets across all continents and latitudes. 50
pre-ordained usages like: simulation colony, test colony,
writers' colony, plumbers' colony, space cadets' colony, etc.
And 50 that could be anything.
Then I de-partitoned Central North America and re-established
homeland there for all the refugee Americans scattered
the world, living under the guise of another race. A place
where they could return and simply live, with no questions
asked, and no longer be shot on sight.
Then, I instructed World Peoples' Police to cease all
of adults riding over bridges, hanging out their car
screaming, "Earthquake! Earthquake! -- C'mon! C'mon!
I made everybody carry a home drug testing unit that had to
positive for the other person, before any interaction could
place between them.
And I publicly threatened all peoples and all nations with
pre-emptive pharmacological strikes, if, or whenever, I just
fucking felt like it. Period.
The 2nd day of my Presidency of the Cosmos, I got up early
hired a crack team of quantum geneticists to produce, from
scratch, and totally in vitro, a pure, native
that just might serve as the standard for the
future of all
organisms -- but maybe not.
I amended the Education Reform Act of the previous day, so
children would no longer be taught about the bats and the
hornets, but instead, they'd learn about the turkeys and the
I banned the manufacture and sale of microprocessors made of
protein or DNA and let all the stores know that "Tales of
and Pleasure" had to be off the shelves by the end of the day.
I revised the streetmap of the world, so it no longer
Missinapoli Minneola, or Missiapolis Mindiana, or anything
I eliminated the subsidies that allowed the disenfranchised-
but-non-vagrant populations of the world to still have
their lifehistory videotapes done in blood.
I had Francisco Bizarro publicly discredited as the inventor
the tin can telephone and the rubber sex doll.
I disbanded all world cabinets and legislatures and replaced
them with a team of about 10 or 12 people who could
mimic modem sounds enough to be able to hum any sequence of
bitmaps into any transmission line anywhere in the world, at
BAUD rate, and using any compression algorithm whatsoever.
And, of course, as promised in my inaugural address, I
reality from ever again being used as a crutch by people
to hide or escape from drugs or being free.
A few months later, as lives and infrastructures continued
crumbling even faster than before, I called a press
to let the people know that they fucking better not try to
me for any of this.
"I realize," I said, addressing them via interlink, "That,
despite all my best and most heartfelt efforts, things still
seem to suck more than ever.
"So, I'm here, to say to you tonight: --» 'Hey! Just shut
fuck up and mind your own business!'"
Then I left the mike and let my Secretary of Defensiveness,
Johnny Mattress, finish up the address, and lay out for the
people, the even more draconian measures I'd devised for
one day, out of total boredom with even the most supreme
authority over matter and energy and human will.
"Hello," he began. "My name is Johnny Mattress, and I hope
won't get all pissed about the following directives which
made, after all, with nothing but your best interests at
-- even if their roots do lie deep in the filthy soup of
unmitigated, primordial vengeance:
1: All offers of drugs claiming to be the best and strongest
ever, must be accepted and then sent immediately to the
Presidente-Supremo's office, for further testing.
2: Whatever is fucked about the world can no longer be
on the nervous system which is structured so as to be able
perceive it in no other way.
3: A bell-shaped curve can no longer be considered the only
correct response to questions about mankind, whether it
is or not.
4: Bars on windows must always be spaced just far enough
so a squadron of highly-trained, 4-year-old girls can swarm
one night and carry out any necessary governmental mandate.
5: Bars on windows must always be spaced just close enough
together, so as to prohibit the entrance of any team of
highly-trained, 5-year-old girls, such as those that
carry out the atrocities of various non-governmental, and
anti-government sympathy groups.
6: Performances of the play Romiette and Julio, and
of the film Alzheimer's Fever, can not occur within a
either way of a National Kamikaze Tea Ceremony.
7. Wildcat splinter groups espousing total world
but without access to their own motivations, may not demand
the motto: "No penalty for any kind of withdrawal
be written on a small card and placed over everybody's doorway.
Then he put the mike down on the table and walked away, and
this address to the people -- was over.
Meanwhile, lives became closer and more intertwined, and
individuals became, simultaneously, more isolated, more
and more technology-based.
Soon, only the lowest of the lower classes still had to
physically interact with each other in order to survive, and
that point, theirs were the only real stories left in the world.
Normally people just got massive stomach aches when they
to me, but for a brief period during my presidency, their
friends and loved ones died, instead.
I had always accepted my responsibility for earthquakes,
wars, and people falling off bicycles at stop signs, but it
wasn't easy trying to fix the cosmos, with all your cabinet
members and advisors, always tearfully rushing off to
funerals, or holding their stomachs and rushing off to
bathrooms for extended periods of time.
My therapist, Dr. Our, told me not to take it personally.
"These people," he said, "Bring these destructive events on
themselves, subconsciously, in order to be able to absolve
themselves of any guilt over the way they feel about you."
Eventually I was forced to leave this job for,
the same reasons that had forced me to leave all my other
schools, prisons, religions, families, nations, and hovels.
And, with all my imperial exemptions and perks gone, I was
immediately drafted into World Peoples' Militia.
In those days, the Militia was used exclusively to protect
people from any possible occurrence of extra-sensory
or paranormal events.
We were trained to move in at the first sign of
telepathy, or psycho-kinesis and, if necessary, break some
heads. Even if it was only just a weather forecast that
somebody'd gotten half right.
As part of the discipline that solidified our group
the only newspaper we were allowed to read was the one with
headline: "Man Empties Restaurant With Threat of
Explosive Device in Cow's Stomach."
I had been in the Militia for about a week and had just
shining my shoes, one day, and was sitting at the edge of my
bunk, staring down at them.
I had reached an equilibrium that I couldn't explain. Not
living, not dying, not pissed off. This state had no name.
We were to go on a corporate sweep at 0300 hours, and I was
getting ready to get myself mentally prepared for it.
Whenever we went out on a mission, there'd always be a final
rally, where the entire squadron would jam itself into a
room, and everybody'd just start calling everybody else "You
fucking asshole, you fucking scumbag, you fucking piece of
as violently and aggressively as possible, for a full hour.
Then we'd all high-5 each other and rush out the door
all hopped up, ready to take on whatever (fucking) piece of
population or infrastructure got in our way.
Just before it was time to move out, I started hearing this
distant, tinny sound in my ear, like a high-pass filtered,
short-wave transmission -- but it didn't come from anything
around me, and no one else in the barracks noticed it.
The sounds could be distinguished as a human voice or voices
speaking, but the words could not be understood. Obviously
was coming from some other dimension or time. Or from some
charged up conversation of the present, occurring billions
When I finally complained about this to the commander, he
over his desk and softly confided in me that he'd been
it too and, the next day, I was transferred.
I was moved to a barracks where, across the street, an old
screamed out her window in Ukranian, non-stop, for 2 hours at
time, randomly, 4 to 6 times a day.
She was often given as the reason why this barracks had the
absolute lowest morale of any unit, anywhere, at any time,
all human history.
At night, some of the recruits met secretly in the boiler
and tried to hammer out the conditions of a new Democratic
Fascist Manifesto, while an old hit single of mine, "Girl
Another Species," played softly, over and over again, in the
"Fortunately, they all want to be just like us, and we are
fucking up worse than anybody," was usually the only
we'd have reached, when the meeting broke up, early the next
Out of probably fear or pain, one day, our commanding
Commandante Our, decided to take an independent police action.
Meetings were held at the squadron level to prepare us.
First, we were instructed not to wear the kind of clothes
had moving neon arrows pointing at the crotch or mouth.
"We may land on a day that is not the day when anybody has
needs or desires," our group leader warned.
One of the guys said something about this from the audience,
The group leader smiled, but made a motion for them to quiet
down and take things seriously.
"Some of you may not come back," he said, getting very
"So what!" I called out, from the back of the room, "I've
already not come back -- and more than once -- and it's
And I was instantly kicked out of the service, for good.
Then things got so slow, you had to call Emergency two years
Having fucked-up at the supreme presidency of the universe,
having fucked-up prison and military service and daily life
work and school and childhood and death row and on the road
off the road and on trains and planes and in stadiums and
and airports and apartment buildings and having even
in busses and bars, and with no longer any possible hope
whatsoever of anything ever, anywhere -- I decided it was
to play the last remaining card in my tragic deck:
I went to see Fabian.
He was out washing his XK-E as I pulled my Alzheimer's into
driveway, but he didn't seem to recognize me at first. He
stared suspiciously, and gently released the handgrip of the
hose so it stopped spraying.
"Fabian," I called out the window before coming to a full
He did a double take, then broke into a broad smile. He
his arms open wide as I got out of the car, and we embraced
"It's really you," he said. "I can't believe it."
"I'm pretty fucked-up, Fabian," I said, trying to sound
but my voice cracked.
He looked worried and finished rinsing off the car in a
so he could come right back to me and show his concern.
"Let's talk about it," he said.
He put his arm around my shoulder, and we walked into his
"Don't worry about me, Fabian," I said, nobly, "How are
I sat down in his spacious, sunlit living room, as he went
and poured us both a stiff beta-blocker and tonic.
He came back and sat across from me on a large white sofa
handed me the drink. "Old times," he said, holding up the
for a toast.
I smiled weakly, then broke down.
He stopped drinking and reached over and hugged me. "C'mon,
man," he said, "Tell me about it. You know, it can't be
bad. I can help you work something out. C'mon. Is it money?
Sex? Your health?"
"It doesn't have a name or category, Fabian," I said, in
heaves, "I'm just fucked up -- beyond all reconciliation
I could see he was really right there, at that moment, and I
appreciated it. The phone started ringing, but he let it
through so his machine took it.
"Please," I said, "Let me never have lived."
"I'm afraid I don't have that power," Fabian said.
We went for a ride in the hills in his Jag, but that didn't
Despite my fucked state, I was still conscious enough to
that this wasn't the same Fabian I used to know 5 years ago,
when we were selling desktop thermonuclears together in
Territory 13, Sector 9.
"Maybe you should just do something to take your mind off
he said. "They're holding tryouts for the Olympics of Being
Fucked-Up, next month. Why don't you JUST GO FOR IT! Go
He started getting all worked up into a motivational frenzy,
suddenly remembered who he was dealing with, and cut it off.
My best Olympic event was the one where you got into a big
laundry supply truck and drove to the top of a long, narrow,
one-way street on a steep hill, and waited for somebody else
come along in another big laundry or plumbing supply truck.
Then you'd both release your brakes and start to barrel down
hill, at top speed, the wrong way, jockeying side by side
position, trying to push each other off the road, up onto
sidewalk and through the ground floor window of some
-- killing 4, injuring 3, and doing maybe 6 or 700,000
I was also quite skilled at driving cars uphill, in the dark,
the wrong side of the road, with no headlights.
So, in a Pentathlon that included these 2 events, I was
I could quickly learn to do the other 3 well enough to win
least a silver, if not gold, medal or shower.
I took Fabian's advice, dropped all thought and pretense,
settled into a gruelling workout schedule that took every
of my time and every joule of my energy and every cc of my
matter and every bit of my information.
And, of course, I was pretty disappointed when, without any
warning, the World Peoples' Olympics Organizing Commission
suddenly cancelled that year's event, simply because no
earthquake could reliably be predicted for its opening day.
But, then, I really couldn't complain -- since I'd always been
staunch supporter of the idea that, if there's not gonna be
8.0 earthquake somewhere nearby, that day, why even bother
I closed down my training camp and got back to thinking
how fucked-up I was -- instead of embracing it and acting on
and following it and eating-and-sleeping it and worshipping
and cashing in on it.
Then I thought, "Maybe I'll just join the Erasers."
The Erasers was a group that went around the world, erasing
piece of culture or infrastructure that was based on any of
4 big lies of the species, or on any of the 8 big lies of
desire, or on the 6 big lies of nature, or the 4 big lies of
social order, or on any of the lies that emanated from the
vocabularies of purported attempts at understanding
consciousness and history.
"Soulless ego, empty labor, fearful sex -- are the secret
of the stories told to cover up what is really just the play
sunspots across a field of hormones," was their motto.
The leader of my unit was Captain de la Tourette. He had
written the best-seller, "Dimensions of Normalcy," and been
"Today: Serotonin -- Tomorrow: the World" when they recorded
their hit single "Personal Biochemical Warfare."
But those days were behind him now, and like me, he'd come
as the absolute last resort -- after Fabian.
The first exercise we did, during my probationary period,
the one where we all put on our Velcro suits from head to
and walked in endless circles through the bee swarm room.
Then, after an hour of this, we were shown out the back
where a van was waiting to take us to a live taping of the
TV show, "Designing With Carrion."
These and similar operations were supposed to "separate the
animals from the assholes," and as soon as I learned this, I
quit the Erasers and started a Fast Bush-Food franchise.
Everything on our menu was picked or killed fresh out of the
bush, and our 2 most popular offerings were termites on a
and semi-conscious baby field-lizard.
Our patrons could even go out to the trees themselves and
off their own bark, or wait over a little hole for hours, with
stick. And we didn't charge them any extra.
When business started slipping, we went to The Bank of
looking for some relief, but they just laughed and told us
first law of marketing -- about how an idea or product can't
become world-popular until long after it's become stupid or
Then they suggested we'd be better off going to Commerce
Hospital for help, since our only collateral was in illegal
One day, when I was trying to hide, Sting spotted me anyway,
my table in the corner, facing the wall, and came over and
down, all smiling and upbeat and aggressive and acting like
we were close friends, even though we weren't.
"Just the person I'm looking for!" he said, as though he
it. "See, I've got this idea...."
He was always getting people involved in some high-stakes
project and then, once they were in too deep to back out,
suddenly call them lame assholes or something, and the whole
deal would collapse -- leaving everybody with massive debt
neverending lawsuits -- except, of course, Sting, who just
skipped merrily off to do some world tour or cut some cameo
background vocal, or fly some beat-up old space-shuttle
round-trip to Pluto to exploit its unique acoustics for a
2-second clarinet riff that might get mixed into some
"You see," he began, "One of my offshoot companies is
a new vid show. But it's not just another new vid show
It's a whole new concept in vid shows.
"It's called Undercover," he continued, getting more excited
he spoke, "...and it works like this: First we get a bunch
losers -- almost anybody'll do -- and we give 'em each a
transmitting camcorder, a flashlight, and an infinitely
re-usable, open airline ticket to anywhere in the world,
"These losers then travel to the exotic or stupid places of
their dreams, but are not provided living expenses so,
they go, they have to sleep under stairways and eat out of
"All we ask of them, in return, is that they spend at least
hours each day in some dark corner or makeshift
broomcloset-studio, with the camcorder and flashlight
tight on their faces, while they struggle to dredge up the
deepest, most honest and ugliest personal truths from the
of the pit of their wretched spleens.
"No bullshit, no hype, no acting, no lies -- just the most
heartfelt, purest word, straight from the gut. No image
enhancement, no post-dubbing, no special effects -- just
raw, unmitigated data, direct from the depths of
"And all done with nothing but a camcorder and a flashlight
a blanket and the soul," he finished, ethereally,
staring into the sky, floating on his own ecstasy. And I
already hear the sounds of the unit he had warming up for
outside in his car.
"But, what if...," I asked, when he came back down from the
stars, "...What if the experiment fucks up and you
save the world from its own sanctimonious hypocrisy? Then
I got out of there and walked down the street, past a Psycho
Shack. I would have gone in to buy some drug surrogates or
Psilocybin Helper, but the line of drooling wannabes,
for the next tepid fix, stretched all the way around the block.
These days, the market for drug replacements was more
than the market for actual drugs had ever been. The name
the most important thing, and then the package design.
seemed to care that the stuff didn't really get you high
And if the placebo effect had been outlawed, only outlaws
have felt anything at all.
Eventually I got picked up for drunk and disorderly on a
"But it's the only thing I know how to do!" I screamed, as
dragged me off, and then again, at my trial.
"OK," I said to myself, once I was locked up. And I resolved
do my best now to try to get back on the glidepath to some
least simulated) human spirit or human condition -- like I'd
read about in the Classic Comics' "History of Consciousness."
But my second day there -- before I was even settled in --
warden suddenly called me into his office, looked me dead in
eye, and said "Get the FUCK out of my prison!"
He told me I was being kicked out because I'd been much too
genteel in committing the most mindless and repulsive
brutalities -- but I knew that wasn't the real reason.
Then he handed me a little black ball.
"This is the symbol of your non-existence," he said. "It
that no prison or jail will ever take you in again, no
what you do. No matter how many cops and Presidents and
and Popes you kill in a week with a hot soldering iron up
ass or a road drill."
Other people, of course, had been barred from prison before,
being things like innocent or dickheads -- but no one before
had ever been barred from prison for life, more than
Unfortunately, I did not realize this at the time and so
not having thanked the warden for helping place me, once
in the record books of lazy, good-for-nothing high-achievers
murderous, coked-up Bodhisattvas.