Most humans die into that absence of memory which leaves no traces, a namelessness that harbors little more than the epithets of a despair without end. Half believing in the myth of nothingness this thing I am (a series of memories, words, absences?) seeks nothing more than to leave just that: nothing. Let my grave go unmarked, the earth above my cremated body be covered over in acorns like a smile lost within tears. Why should we seek to escape oblivion? Why muster physical or mental attributes to contest the Void? In the end we (whatever “we” is or is not!), will all die the death of stars, nothing will remain but the darkness and the abyss. Should we accept that or dream of an Outside where everything remains in amber, like a string of butterflies dancing in the last sun’s dying embers?
“Life is will-to-live, will is a lack, lack is pain, all life is pain.”
― Carlo Michelstaedter, La melodia del giovane divino: Pensieri, racconti, critiche
So the blind and mute pain of all the things that, in wanting to be, are not, will be farsighted and eloquent for the one who has taken on its persona, for in gray pleasure, in the finite pains of all things that, for fear of death, always repress it, he will hear it speak and see it… watch in anticipation,’ a good that those things do not have the courage to want. He will see that what men suffer for is not hunger, thirst, disease, or misfortune. Nor are food, drink, apparent health, what is in their hand but is not theirs (for they do not possess its power) what can make them content. He will see that obtuse pain suffers in them in every present, equally empty in abundance or privation. He will suffer at one and the same point of his deficiency and theirs: speaking the voice of his own pain, he will speak to them the distant voice of their own pain. Just as in his intense activity he will be close to satiating his own pain, so he will place near them a life by which they will see the weave of what presses and distracts them gradually unravel; they will find themselves being stable without the fear of instability; they will see the walls of the tiny room of their misery torn asunder at a stroke and their tiny light grow dim when he appears like the dawn of a new day and the outside darkness is no longer there to press them with its terror. Freed from what they believe indispensable, from cares, from the weight of the myriad little things in which their life always dissipates and around which it always turns, from all the misery of their pettiness, they will taste the joy of a fuller present in the impossible, the unbearable. They will see that there is nothing to fear, nothing to seek, nothing to flee from—hunger is not hunger, bread is not bread; for they will experience their hunger in another manner, and other bread will have been offered to them. No longer will they feel cold or fatigue, pains here and desires there; nor will they be frustrated by need but will feel their life gathered in the present, for at one point they will have been made participants in a vaster and deeper life.
from Persuasion and Rhetoric by Carlo Michelstaedter
Michelstaedter killed himself in 1910, at 23. The reason for his action, as is often the case with suicides, remains purely speculative. Yet he left enough material to give some support to conjectures on the existential crisis that brought him to his precocious end.
In a letter to his sister Paula, who, like the Paolina of Leopardi, was also his confidant, Carlo made a lucid diagnosis of his illness:
It is in part an individual condition, in part the illness of the age [la malattiad ell’e poca] insofar as moral balance is concerned, because we are presently living in an age in which changes in society seem to go hand-in-hand with a dissolution of all bonds . . . and the pathways of existence are no longer sharply drawn . . . and it depends upon personal initiative to create the luminous path through universal chaos.
- Michelstaedter, Carlo. Persuasion and Rhetoric. Yale University Press (September 10, 2004)
If such a Being really existed, if our weaknesses vanquished our resolutions and our depths our deliberations, then why go on thinking, since our difficulties would be settled, our questions suspended, and our fears allayed? Which would be too easy. Every absolute—personal or abstract—is a way of avoiding the problems, and not only the problems but also their root, which is nothing but a panic of the senses.
—Emile Cioran, A Short History of Decay
Black Friday by David Goodis is one of those sleepers that very few probably read anymore unless you’re into his works, but to me it gives you that sardonic wit and humor in the character of Hart that just seems to hit me every time I read it. A sort of punch in the kisser that says: “Yea, you’re fucked. So? What of it? Get on, boy; it’s not the worst thing that could happen. There’s much worse… if you know what I mean.” Fatalism – or, comic fatalism; there is a difference. Fatalism is a resigned passive acceptance of doom; comic fatalism is an active participation it it’s dark futurial madness and delirium; knowing the necessity of each moment’s dark portent is a contingent act in the event.
Caught in the movement of necessity one either resists and fails; or, one actively pursues the doom ridden joy of its dark pain as if in pushing it to its limits one might fail and fail better. It’s the turn that says “Stay down, boy, you’ve had enough.” And, you get up, just because that’s who and what you are; undefeated to the end you’re neither a heroic pessimist, nor one of those decadent pity mongers; rather you’re just a creature who – neither stoic nor cynic, meets the eye of death with equanimity and absolute indifference that is not mere asceticism, but is the power and force of a being who has seen into the darkness – and seen it looking back.
“Black Friday” is the epitome of this, following a man on the lam who washes up in Philadelphia without a dollar on him and the cops closing in. The early stages are quite engaging, as Hank drifts around the freezing streets and has to steal an overcoat. But in one of those circumstantial devices that the reader has to roll with, he stumbles across a man who’s just been shot and has $10,000 in his wallet. This brings Hank into the orbit of a gang of burglars, whose safe house proves a good place for him to hide out. But of course, the confined quarters make the hoods cranky and quarrelsome, and the menace of violence lurks under the surface of their communal meals and nightly poker games. Hart’s sardonicism as a self-defense is edgy, but often titters on the ridiculous as it backfires and intensifies the insanity.
Like most of his works there is the twisted movement of his women, too. In this one the stock stereotype of the Madonna and Whore rotate between the two women in the house who after a time fall for Hart and begin that slow dive down into the abyss which is Goodis’s trademark. Doom ridden and eager all of Goodis’s characters move to the beat of some malevolent puppet master whose strings are none other than the dark secret of human consciousness itself; the blind necessity of knowing and being known by the dark force at the heart of existence: what Nietzsche in a better moment would term: “The dark laughter of the gods!”
Where I’m at is that having plunged for years and drunk from the well of nihilist and pessimist thought I realize that yes… we are that accident of things… the universe is as both nihilists and pessimists stipulate: is absolutely indifferent and unaware of our existence… but, that’s the point: we aren’t, we are very aware of our difference and consciousness… so do we passively sit back and accept that indifference or do we take our accidental difference as something unique and new in this universe of absolute indifference and nullity and thereby act on it: do we in other words invent the possibility of accepting the absolute indifference as the ground zero of thought, and work or think from that indifference and unknowing? Is there a path that absolutizes nihilism and pessimism, works through it and radicalizes it? And thereby opens up that circle of our difference to something new?
Most extreme nihilists argue we are an ‘error’ that the universe will sooner or later eradicate. But this is to impute a telos and god-like invention-creational powers to the universe as if it were aware and definitely concerned rather than indifferent to our plight. Too believe the universe has allowed an ‘error’ to take place in the invention of consciousness is to impute a power of knowledge and foresight to a supposed non-entity and non-agency. So to me the very bedrock of most extreme pessimists from Mainlander, Bahnsen, Zappfe, Cioran, and Ligotti have imputed a notion that has nothing to do with the indifferent universe which knows nothing of errors, and all too much human-all-too-human diagnosis of the pessimists themselves. So do we accept this notion of ‘error’ as if along with Fermi’s paradox and the Great Filter we will be eradicated because of some hidden form either in the universe or ourselves that is in-built leading toward total annihilation? Or, should we radicalize the extreme pessimists even further and strip even them of their all-too-human forms of thought, and thereby break the circle of their still too human negations into a more inhuman philosophy yet to be reckoned?
Mainländer sees this process of cosmic death taking place all throughout nature, in both the organic and inorganic realms, and he goes into great detail about how it takes place everywhere in the universe.
—Frederick C. Beiser, Weltschmerz: Pessimism in German Philosophy, 1860-1900
The new genre of supernatural horror fiction had its roots in Gothic literature, but it evolved as a specific response to the pressures of modernity. Suddenly it was essential to ask new questions about human nature and our place in the world. Horror fiction was both a wake for Christianity and an attempt to generate new myths—or a new kind of imagination—that could deal with the new realities.
—Joel Lane, This Spectacular Darkness: Critical Essays
In many ways pessimism was a reaction to the influx of texts on Buddhism, Gnosticism, and Egyptian metaphysics during the early Nineteenth Century. This Western reception of these notions would spawn a typical misreading of these ancient peoples thoughts, but one that would invent a new secular negativity against all the Idealist and Socialist Utopianism that were part of the mainstream culture of the era.
For the past year I’ve plunged through most of the works on pessimism I could find, along with original source material (Philosophers and Literary forms, etc.), and secondary works during that era and through decadence, modernism, post-modernism, and our own era of speculative philosophies.
What I mean to say is that to inhabit my landscapes one must, in no figurative sense, grow into them.
—Thomas Ligotti, The Strange Design of Master Rignolo
If the world is so terrible that human extinction is desirable, so the thinking goes, then why do so many people seem fine with being alive—some of which are themselves, presumably, pessimists? Pessimists provide a variety of answers to this question. Schopenhauer posits an almost metaphysical “will-to-live,” which he thinks overcomes human judgment and bends us to the purpose of extending life. Cioran explains humanity’s generally pro-life (or at least nonextinctionist) views in a variety of ways, from general naiveté to the prominence of Hegelian ideas about progress. Some even lay the blame on evolution, arguing that as a means of facilitating propagation, natural selection has resulted in certain adaptive psychological mutations that prevent an accurate evaluation of the world’s terror. Still another recurrent explanation pessimists give for their small number is that society, culture, and even language itself work to obscure the grim reality of the world. Crawford, for instance, argues that society enacts “self-delusion” through cult-like brainwashing; Benatar describes these forces as an incorrect “paradigm,” one that biases individuals toward life, applies “peer” and “social pressure” to reproduce, and “pathologiz[es]” pessimism. Anticipating Crawford and Benatar, Zapffe similarly argues that “most people manage to save themselves by artificially paring down their consciousness.” Perry simply claims that people tend to agree with those around them and since most people are not pessimists, pessimism as a specific cultural meme has a difficult time gaining a foothold.
Whereas Ligotti describes such counterpessimistic forces as a “conspiracy,” Michelstaedter refers to them as “rhetoric,” arguing that rhetoric as a structure of thought displays any number of anti-pessimistic, or optimistic, biases.
—Joseph Packer, A Feeling of Wrongness
No thanks, I think we’ve done enough to change the climate already! Why corrupt it more? It’s on its on now and could care less about our petty political squabbles: the Universe has an agenda of its own that no longer includes humans, if it ever did. We’re just one more failed effort in the struggle for survival and propagation, a vanishing species whose time for niche transgression has overstretched its welcome. The absolute indifference of the Universe is obvious to those who have eyes to see, and ears to hear; yet, so many optimists seek to create a different more hopeful narrative as if the Universe was the mere footprint of some anachronistic God whose eternal verdict is an Apocalypse awaiting its final end game. Such myths will go by the wayside like all myths have, emptied of their message as of their emissaries…
Each of us comes across certain thinkers who put into words things that people think and want to hear, but are either unable to articulate or unwilling to admit to. Most of the time as these thoughts penetrate our sleeping mind we believe the author has stolen them from our own private menagerie of twisted being, not realizing that thought, all thought, is a collective enterprise; and, in the moment we realize that another has already thought our thoughts, articulated the form of our mental dementia, clarified the desperation of our dark transports then, and only then, do we realize we do not exist. Only thought exists, and it exists without us or our miserabilist opinions to the contrary. We even begin to hate the one who awakened us to reality, to our own reality; this emptied vastation we call our lives. Failure is the sum of this realization: that another has lived out the thoughts we could not attempt nor invent for ourselves.
We are not the sum of our thoughts, we are only the shadows of other’s inventions.
Living in an indifferent cosmos the pessimist’s only comfort is the absolute indifference of pure cold intellect. This is the pessimist’s only triumph: to have a developed keen sense of the reptilian power of mind over the interminable stupidity of the human stain.
The Universe is nothing else than a suicide machine created by a blind and fugitive monstrosity, whose veritable death throes generated the body of this universal catastrophe we now live in as fragments or shards of its dying embers, ash of its black light.
-©2016 S.C. Hickman, The Infernal Journals of Thaddeus Long
Thomas Ligotti will offer a surmise onto the strange necrotheology of the German philosopher Philipp Mainländer (born Phillip Batz), echoing a strain of Gnostic or Buddhist thought underpinning much of 19th Century Philosophy, saying: “Perhaps the Blind God was an unreliable narrator of weird tales. He did not want to leave a bad impression by telling us He had absented Himself from the ceremonies of death before they had begun. Alone and immortal, nothing needed Him. Yet, He needed to bust out into a universe to complete His project of self-extinction, passing on His horror piecemeal, so to say, to His creation.”1 He’ll comment on this amalgam of Catholic, Gnostic, and Pessimist speculation of Mainländer’s – remarking,
No one has yet conceived an authoritative reason for why the human race should continue or discontinue its being, although some believe they have. Mainländer was sure he had an answer to what he judged to be the worthlessness and pain of existence, and none may peremptorily belie it. (CHR,
The inability to posit an optimistic or a pessimistic reason for the continuation of the human species has left humanity in a quandary, oscillating between two poles like dark divers from some infernal picture show; members of a cult of death that keep on keeping on, only because of the ennui and the lack of vital thought or action necessary to decide one way or the other. So instead we have ritualized our world around certain age-old fetishes that our desires can grasp onto to maintain the status quo – if nothing else. As Ligotti delightfully relates: “Ontologically, Mainländer’s thought is delirious; metaphorically, it explains a good deal about human experience; practically, it may in time prove to be consistent with the idea of creation as a structure of creaking bones being eaten from within by a pestilent marrow.” (CHR, 38)
1. Thomas Ligotti, The Conspiracy against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror. Hippocampus Press. Kindle Edition. (CHR)
China Miéville writes that “[w]e need utopia, but to try to think utopia, in this world, without rage, without fury, is an indulgence we can’t afford […] we cannot think utopia without hate.”
A Near Future post-cyberpunk “Grunge” or “Salvagepunk” Noir: bleak and pessimistic, yet full of hope for all that. A broken world full of our own world’s dark truths, dreams, and nightmares. Schizoanalytic psychoscape of tears done up in dark humor and cataleptic laughter. An anti-hero you can hate and love at the same time. A sort of Warren Ellis Spider Jerusalem reject bound to a anti-consumerist / anti-corporate media-scape slippage. It goes against consumerist society and fights for our rights to be free from the ownership of corporations, media and society.
Grunge is about freedom, pure and simple. It’s stepping away from self-absorption and starting to care about the people around you. It’s protesting against the fixation of beauty and perfection and letting us know that appearance doesn’t matter. Ugly is the new beautiful. It’s realizing that happiness doesn’t come from fortune and fame, rather the opposite: the guttersnipe dreams of fools and madmen, lovers and old hags, children and mothers. The punk of salvagepunk is what makes it revolutionary.
Punk is not the commodified and commercialize image of Mohawked teens with pins through noses. It is certainly not the PVC slick technological wet dream of cyberpunk with its Deleuzian ‘intense’ nomadic multitudes and immaterial labour. Nor is it the “false dream image” of steampunk, where “its falseness lies in it being the wrong dream image, the ideological blind that is the dream image proper to the liberal escape plan for the contemporary crisis and its envisioned fall-out”. Punk is thus the “deep fidelity to its historical moment and the fact it no longer believed in a future – the present is already the hollowed out present of that future”.
Now on Wattpad: Visit me!
Woke up with a savage hangover, my head throbbing like a viral strum from a Nachtmystium bass-drum. We’d partied down hearty last night, and I was paying plenty for it. Oh well… serves me right for drinking that Klos’rek Wine Beau brought back from the Serengeti Folds. The liquid scarlet looked more like the blood of Limbonic Selptura. Don’t even ask.
Slapped Betsy on the ass. She looked up at me with her one good eye cocked and ready, and the other – a purple and pink syntech eye rotated in its socket like a twisted nanctopus, twitching feverishly with a warped anti-life all its own. Both eyes eyed me closely as if she might infest me with virulent dose of mutagens: the whizzing and buzzing around the black pits of her irises were screaming a loud “fuck you and the horse you rode in on,” but on second thought she just punched me in the shoulder, rolled back over and started to snore again.
Yea, never wake your lady up too early.
Problem was I had to be gone soon. She knew it, too. Hell she’d been the one kept telling me to come home last night. So it goes, I’d probably never learn. So I reached over and this time gently bit her on the ass. She laughed. “Jess, why you up so early? Can’t a girl get a little shut-eye these days?” Yep, she was alive alright, and I knew if I didn’t pop out a bed and into the commode she’d wallop me right back… and soon.
Couldn’t quite say the same for me self, though. Looked in the fractured mirror in dilapidated bathroom and saw death staring back at me like a broken toy somebody left out in the mud for a little too long, all caked and mutilated. Reminded me of an on old black vinyl record I’d once had, got stuck in a rut playing some black metal tune from Infernal Paradise’s last album – the one just before they were shot down over the DMZ – till I thought I’d entered Pandemonium and winged things were pulling me apart piece by piece. Not a memorable site to say the least. Standing there scratching myself I studied the twisted gunk in the white-enamel basin, something running around the black hole, creeping listlessly like a rusty bot-slug – hungry as all get out, waiting to feed. It wasn’t going to be on me. I lifted Betsy’s toothbrush out of the coffee-stained mug, her burnt orange lipstick traced around its rim, and watched as a cockroach popped its head up and over the squiggly teeth of the brush. It sat there a second wheedling its antennae as if to say, “Hey, sucker, put me back down and get the hell outta here.” I obliged him.
Instead I walked over to the bedside, grabbed a fifth of Jim Beam and my cigs off the end table, took a long slug, gurgled and chugged it down clean as a whistle. Reminded me of my Old Man’s favorite drink: Napalm Sally, a mixture of Beam and dirty juice from Joe Kragen’s rusty gin still down by Smith’s Hill. Something about the mix of juniper berries and corn mash churning in me belly was sick, but it worked just fine, and I just loved the after-bite. I felt like a dead man warmed over, one who’d been given a reprieve, a short respite from the Day of Worms or Judgment Day. That was alright with me. Hell was a fine place to visit but you wouldn’t want to live there.
By the time I’d gotten my jeans on Betsy was already at the hotpot skittle cooking us up some eggs and bacon. She liked to cut a hole in the center of the wheat bread and pop those eggs right down in the middle of it. Sweet stuff. A little butter and yolk goes a long way. Slabs of raunchy bacon dripping out of the package to the side, smelled like a bad day in the sewers; kind of yellow and buttery, slimy to the point I could imagine those Salmonella or E. Coli mating with each other on that hot skillet, happy suckers, singing to themselves that they’d soon be crawling around in my intestines scrummaging through my life like a bad dream.
My iGalaxy ripped an old Tom Waits tune on the uptake, vibrating across the floor like a squig yelping on the getaway. I could see Betsy thinking about reaching over an popping it till I said: “Don’t!”
I grabbed it off the crusty floor and walked out the front door and down the rickety stairs, almost stumbling over my neighbor Joey Qix’s youngest son’s freaking scooter. Stubbed me toe. Kicked it across the chipped asphalt, it fell into a sink hole and down into a mud pit. That’d teach that fat boy a lesson or two. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t be such a bastard, but sometimes I just feel like being mean. Can’t help myself. Comes with the territory.
I pried the slip-case, peeled back the facing, and I slid the ampule in till I could see a wormy face jut into view, a slithering voice came out of its pod on the screen: “Yeah, what the freck you up too Bobby Lee?”
“Com’on Jessie,” his voice squirmed down the electric flyways like a scared rabbit in heat. “I need your help, Jessie; real help.” A slight chill came over that cold tube-light. I grinned, it was like a blessing seeing someone else in so much pain. I’d had enough of it myself for a lifetime.
“You’ve always needed frecking help, Bobby Lee: How has that changed?” His face went blank, turned a little yellow, almost rancid; then white as a sheet. I asked: “So what happened, did that dipshit screw-girl you hang with slip you? Run off with your last wad?” Bobby Lee was a natural born loser, one of a kind screw-up. They didn’t make his kind anymore. No. He was a reject before rejects were a bad name.
“Nah, man… it’s not like that at all.” His voice was cracking. “It’s my little sister, Talia.” Tears flowed down his grimy cheeks like the coal black treads on an old 64 Pontiac muscle car; couldn’t fart so he bled it thick and hot from those bloodshot eyes. He choked.
Dam! I’d heard she was having a bit of trouble with the gang down on Hollis Avenue. Bad crowd there. Bunch of sorb-biker types always shaming the gals as if they were just meat puppets. Slice and dice bitches. Dead Girls with trodes and bleeder fangs. She’d hooked up with Wolf Davidson. Mean son-of-a-bitch. Ran the Choko Vagars between Meat Town and Grunge City. Low life’s, one and all. But hey, what could I say, people had to survive. Frecking U.S.A.’d become Dog Bone Nation soon after the Civil War. Yea, the one between the U.S and Mexico. Not pretty. All that low-tech Biomech. Brain food. Neuroservs. Bangers and Neurocaine drug-sliders. Gave me the chillies just thinking about it. Freck it I was a made man, one of the Changu Hitters (short for sinrunner… run the Bog to ShaTau run so many times they’d finally had to slipfeed ‘plants in my neuralnet relays to keep from becoming a full tilt zomb).
“Okay, Bobby, meet me down at Drake’s, hear me?” He shook his head like dead fish, up and down. “Yea… yea, man… I’ll be there.” Heard tires screeching in the background. The amp tooled out. Flicked the screen shut. Took another drag. Sky white and deadly. Ozone world circling above, empty, refined to merciless radiance. Silence.
I looked at the time. Scaped-eyed the lot and streets for signs of movement. Nothing living out there for sure. Made me remember things…
I’d gotten lucky after the war, caught a Neocorp gig with SynTech Global, worked the pac-rim NGO Circuit, oceanic partials mainly; none of those quick feed-packs either, no – this was legit, had the code for egregore intakes that would sink a Sec-Corp AI without even cracking an electrosweat. Could turn a whole Zomb-Unit into pus against its own CEO in jig time. Easy money. That is if you didn’t mind squeezing the fryboys on the GovPol vessels. International Police. Global Governance. Dickheads. By the book skinheads. Fascists. Everything had gone fine till I slipped up and lost a package in Tokyo. My Shagen Director told me to patch it or die. I patched and went under for good. Heard the SynTech AI took down Tokyo’s Yakuza’s mainframe in Okado for laughs. Deadly. Couldn’t get the bitch back in its cage after that. I was cooked. A wanted man without a way out. They took my SecCard offline, I went rogue. Black market shave, stapled pass. Cost plenty, too. So now I was slippage for the outworlds, an excluded man; exile. A man without a name, and most of all without Security SimCity implant. No clearance, meant no city life within the enclaves. I’d been a bad boy. Stuck out here in the cold wastes with everyone else.
But I had a plan. I always had a plan.
I went back upstairs. Betsy had finished cleaning up and was sitting on the bed brushing her long auburn hair, cute as a pixie; her grin and her strange eyes. She was the kind of gal a guy could marry someday. She’d stuck by me for two years. Seen the rugged tumble with me in the Grunge. I didn’t love her, and she knew it. Didn’t bother her much. She’d seen too much death to worry about love. No. She just liked having a warm body next to her in the night, a hug here and there. She liked sex but it wasn’t a priority, she’d had a hysterectomy at the age of sixteen. A rape gone bad, hurt here real bad. She’d never really gotten over it, either. Too bad for us both, I wasn’t the marrying kind. She was a good woman, and I tried my damnedest to keep her healthy and happy best I could. What the hell else could you do in this dead world? I reached down and gave her a peck on the cheek, she grabbed my crotch, said: “Why don’t you pull those off and come here to mama?”
We both laughed at that knowing why that wouldn’t happen. War. What else should I say. Shrapnel. You get the idea.. “You know I’d love to baby, but I got business to attend too.” She shrugged.
“Hell, you always got business. What about me? I’m not going to sit here all day waiting for your sorry ass to show up. No, siree.” She grinned, saying: “I’m goin’ find me a good man, that’s what I’m going to do.” We always did this, a sort of ritual so the pain between us wouldn’t come out.
“Good!” I said, smiling. “Maybe he’ll bring in enough dough for us both.”
She kicked me in the chin, laughing. “Okay, get your ass outta here before I change my mind.” Nudging me… “But remember you’re taking me to Chou Ling’s tonight… or, did you forget that?” Dang, she had me there. I’d forgotten all about that.
“Uh huh… you know I wouldn’t forget a thing like that honey.” I gave her one of those looks.
She frowned. “Well, if you come in late just don’t expect me to be sitting here with food on the stove.”
Nada. I knew better than to think that. She was fiercely independent. I sometimes wondered if she were my sidekick or I was hers, everything being copacetic. “I know,” knowing I better have something for her, a gift or I’d be sleeping on the floor, too. “You know me better than that.”
“Uh, huh…” she grinned again. “I sure do!”
I grabbed my satchel and my gun, slipped my cap on, patted her on the ass again, and reached down and gave her my tongue this time. She squirmed, then punched me again, lovingly. Didn’t need to say anything else. She knew. We both did.
* * *
I found Bobby pacing the cracked water pipes down on SimCity Blvd. Eyes bloodshot. Hands shaking, he was about to sit down on the steps outside Drake’s when I drove up in my old Chevy truck. Sad. I grabbed him and we took off down toward Chabin Beach, about the only freezone left in the Grunge.
* * *
(Note: Comments welcome! Just the opening sequence in a new work cross noir and grunge – a Salvagepunk – Necropunk novel… thanks!)
– Steven Craig Hickman ©2016 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited.
Future Updates on Wattpad – I’ll be adding a chapter per week:
China Miéville writes that “[w]e need utopia, but to try to think utopia, in this world, without rage, without fury, is an indulgence we can’t afford […] we cannot think utopia without hate.” Working a new Near Future Grunge Salvagepunk noir: bleak and pessimistic, yet full of hope for all that. A broken world full of our own world’s truths. Schizoanalytic psychoscape of tears done up in dark humor and cataleptic laughter. An anti-hero you can hate and love at the same time. A sort of Warren Ellis Spider Jerusalem reject bound to a anti-consumerist / anti-corporate media-scape slippage. It goes against consumerist society and fights for our rights to be free from the ownership of corporations, media and society.
Grunge is about freedom, pure and simple. It’s stepping away from self-absorption and starting to care about the people around you. It’s protesting against the fixation of beauty and perfection and letting us know that appearance doesn’t matter. Ugly is the new beautiful. Evil is Energy unleashed, creativity from the bottom-up, gutwise. It’s realizing that happiness doesn’t come from fortune and fame, rather the opposite: the guttersnipe dreams of fools and madmen, lovers and old hags, children and mothers. The punk of salvagepunk is what makes it revolutionary. Punk is not the commodified and commercialize image of Mohawked teens with pins through noses. It is certainly not the PVC slick technological wet dream of cyberpunk with its Deleuzian ‘intense’ nomadic multitudes and immaterial labour. Nor is it the “false dream image” of steampunk,where “its falseness lies in it being the wrong dream image, the ideological blind that is the dream image proper to the liberal escape plan for the contemporary crisis and its envisioned fall-out”. Punk is thus the “deep fidelity to its historical moment and the fact it no longer believed in a future – the present is already the hollowed out present of that future”.
Active Nihilism” an ideal of the highest degree of powerfulness of the spirit, the over-richest life— partly destructive, partly ironic. …
Modern pessimism is an expression of the uselessness of the modern world — not of the world of existence. …
The concept of decadence. — Waste, decay, elimination need not be condemned: they are necessary consequences of life, of the growth of life. The phenomenon of decadence is as necessary as any increase and advance of life: one is in no position to abolish it. Reason demands, on the contrary, that we do justice to it.
……….– Fredrich Nietzsche