Wednesday, October 29, 2008

serious thoughts on socialism: booooo! hissss!

location middle america

statistics 3 (forms of government that are, in reality, pretty different)
1 (states I live in which Obama is going to, against all odds, actually win)
1 (really odd pictures of Yao Ming I found and couldn't resist posting)

I had an Irish friend ask why Americans are so afraid of the word socialism. Here was my answer:

Why Americans Hate Socialism

I would say that America's aversion to socialism is four-fold: one, we don't get it. Too complex a concept for a born-capitalist mind to digest. That is the simplest reason.

Second, we supposedly fear big government, which is unavoidable under a socialist government.

Third, in our schools and in our zeitgeist, fascism, totalitarianism, and socialism are often implicitly linked, and these are systems that have been actively stomped on through government propaganda since at least World War I. So when we hear 'socialism,' some part of our brains thinks of Mao, Hitler, and poor Russians waiting in bread lines.

But the most complex reason is ingrained in the American dream. Immigrants (today and my grandparents) come to America hoping for, in many cases, riches, or at least a bright economic future. In a true socialist system, from what I understand, one can be wealthy but not extremely, wildly rich. So when the average America cheers when McCain derides 'redistribution of wealth,' they are really impassioned by the prospect of the protection of their own future (and thus imaginary) wealth.

Or maybe we're just selfish assholes.

In other news, I just got a call from Danny Glover asking me to vote for Obama. As long as we've got Roger Murtaugh on our side, we're going to be okay!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How Little Boys Learn to Masturbate

How Little Boys Learn To Masturbate

Who is teaching all the little boys to masturbate? Because for me, it was not intuitive. Someone needed to “alert” me to the process. I am sure I’m not alone, so this means that there are hordes of people running around out there teaching little boys how to masturbate. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with this knowledge. I think CNN (or someone) should have an interactive map that shows all the masturbation teachers in my area- little red blinking dots or something- so that we can all keep tabs on their movement. Imagine the horrible revelation of such a map! The masturbation teachers swarm our communities undetected by the naked eye, like bed mites on a sleeping body.

I didn’t masturbate until 8th grade. For the first ten years or so of my life it never occurred to me. I asked a friend today how he came up with the idea, and he wrote back: bathtub. Another friend blamed a hot tub. So showering had something to do with it, apparently. Then from about 11 to 13 I didn’t masturbate because Phil Rannieri convinced me that you get a year in purgatory each time you did it. He said he did it anyway, and one day he felt so guilty about it I watched as he stepped on his right-hand fingers and then tried to break them by lifting up his hand real fast. Can you believe this! You should have seen it. Nuts.

But then I moved away from Phil and his masturbation lovefear, and out of his semi-psychotic influence I found new clarity. It was in 8th grade and I was talking to a friend we’ll call ‘Smeff’ on the phone. Apropos of nothing he asked, ‘You know that hand motion people make when they think something is lame?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Try it on your dick.’ It was that simple. I guess before that I’d never considered the logistics. I hung up, locked the door, and got down to business.

You know what? That rascal Smeff was right. It felt good… real good. Until the end when a horrible thing happened that I couldn’t stop. It was like when you’re balancing a couple plates of food as you walk to the living room, then something happens and you have that moment when you know they’re going to fall but there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s how it felt. ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Stop the bus!’ Except the bus has already passed your stop and is now in the middle of the intersection. Pointless.

But the army of Smeffs out there… how many are there? In 2005 there were about 6.5 million 10 to 12-year-olds in America. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that all boys learn to masturbate within this age range. If only, say, 15% are ‘teachers ,’ that means that at any given moment there are nearly a million red dots scampering about, for some godless reason encouraging their friends to whack off. Why would they do this? What do they gain, honestly? If you found out your son was a teacher, do you spank him? Praise him? Force him to keep frozen peas in his underpants while around his friends? I have no idea the proper response to this.

And what do these conversations sounds like? I asked my South African friend Giles. He said, and I quote, ‘My friend said you must rub your cock real hard until you get tbe feeling, and you can best believe I shot into my bedroom like a bullet (to try it).’

See, I wish I never asked Giles. I don’t like that little boys talk like this. What happened to trading baseball cards? Sheesh! I asked my childhoodfriend Mike who told him about masturbating and he said- get this- Smeff.

‘He brought a porn to my house. “Fashion Passion.” I’ll never forget it.’

Come to think of it, Smeff made me steal a porn from my dad. It was called “The Raw Raw Girls.” It was about cheerleaders who were apparently fairly misguided about appropriate means of encouraging the quarterback. But that’s not the point. The point is, Smeff taught me how to masturbate, and then he convinced me to time it while watching “The Raw Raw Girls.” Isn’t that crazy and weird? What else is a mind that deviant capable of? Isn’t the oddness of that enough that I’ve convinced you that CNN should have a webpage devoted to those little deviants? I’d put that widget on my iPhone in real time. I hope that in the future we are all sort of like Terminator creatures, where we can see a room and it turns into a 3-dimenional grid and all the aliens turn a different color. If/when society reaches that point, you can rest assure I will be sending a scientist an email making a much more useful suggestion that aliens.

Because, no matter what you think of aliens, surely they will not come to teach our little boys to masturbate. At least.

I'm serious about this! I still haven’t convinced you? Two last rhetorical points:

1. Enjoy purgatory.
2. So Smeff timed himself too. You want to know who won? Him. I didn’t and still don’t know what ‘winning’ meant. He just declared himself the winner and that was that. The madness of it all!!! So just on that point alone, I rest my case. And if you’ll excuse me, per the advice of another friend, I will now go jack off into a sock.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a serious poem... Booo!

location America

statistics 150,000,000 (clean dollars donated)
1 (inspiration, seen at left)
a lot (of fire left in my belly that I didn't know was there

For Fall 2008, Onward

The man who has claimed hope parades
streets of blue states, bleeding red
with a newsprint catastrophe
a calamity bestowed upon us like swirling lollipops
to children weeping weeping weeping
On the Joint Resolution (H.J.Res. 114 )
vote is 77 Yeas (what are they cheering for?)
23: Nay
the Senators jump into tiny laps and are coddled by the weeping children
and I weep too
back of hand brushes morning stubble
the man who will save America with parades

"We are the change that we seek"
magnifying glasses, oblong rectangles, size of Constitution Avenue
November, when the instasweat weatheranger internlovebreed of Spring
forgotten, the condoms weep, Republican babies born in Diet Coke cans
wait for the cherry blossoms
Cherry Blossom Coke, weeping of hope
Ty Ziegel sits weeping, too,
will he bother to vote?
germane?: voting machines make no sound of recognition
when you left your ears in Iraq

The Candidates Vie For Pieces of Changing Map
the blackbird, go, whisper same to mountains
the weeping rivers we create
the nothing from our eyes
binary tears, currents of 0-1-1-1-0-0-1, feet wet with numbers
anesthetized fingertips
Mac mainframes are born and die every breath
my heart can't officially break
until Oprah agrees to televise it

Oh madness!
Oh acceptableness!
Oh the holiness in the complete lack of holiness!
the snake dips its tail in Botox, insert in mouth
the weeping rivers are parades of hope
that lead, a New America, Soul Alive, ah, oh, my, It's easy.

October 18, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Roommate Check List

A List of Things I Have To, For Ethical or Practical Purposes,

Inform A Roommate of Before I Move In With Them

By Jesse Scaccia

1. I am a vegetarian, but I'm not all preachy about it.
2. I don’t smoke, but I am “420 friendly.”
3. I’m straight but have some gay friends, so if you’re not cool with that I’m not cool with you.
4. I might from time to time ask you for certain favors, like water my plants while I’m away, drop this envelope at the post office if you’re going there anyway, or put me in your mouth.
5. I like to listen to opera, usually in the evenings, bound to a chair with my eyes taped open, while time lapse photography of rotting corpses is projected on a bed sheet nailed to the wall.
6. For all practical purposes your feet are my feet (but not vice versa, of course).
7. You won’t want to sit on that chair, at least not in your white chinos, or if a new, frisky strain of venereal disease is something that “bothers” you.
8. My skin tends to get dry and flaky in the winter, moldy in the summer, and stigmatas in the ‘tween seasons.
9. When I’m feeling moody I might nag you about things like how you fold the towels in the bathroom, or I may threaten to have you sent to the Tower of London, where your head will be cut off.
10. I moonwalk in my sleep.
11. My favorite way to spend a lazy Sunday is opening all the windows up wide, putting on old Elton John records, applying a full face of make-up (the way Delta Burke used to wear it on Designing Women), weeping for invented memories of the antebellum South, then calmly taking the make-up off, and playing a spirited game of Ping-pong.
12. The documentary about birds Winged Migration is my “jam,” and if we are roommates it will be requested that you get your damn hands up while it’s onscreen.
13. I recommend that you back-up everything on your computer. No big deal, but if I happen to kill someone during the course of the lease, the Feds totally legally have the right to take your Dell.
14. I’m not myself until I have my coffee in the morning.
15. Even though I know that technically the Underground Railroad isn’t necessary anymore, and probably no longer exists, I respectfully request that we spend Tuesdays chanting Negro spirituals, just to keep up on the latest clap codes, and what not.
16. It’s sort of a family tradition of mine that on the 14th day of each month we should take some blood and place it on our doorposts and on the beam above the door of our condo. But I mention this more in passing, a conversation starter of sorts, because I can’t imagine you having a problem with this.
17. I shit everywhere.
18. Like, everywhere.
19. That bobcat you will see roaming around the kitchen is my pet, my love, my inspiration, my soul mate, my partner in becoming conversationally fluent in French, and one day it might eat me, so I should probably give you my mother’s phone number and you should keep it in a safe place, far away from the bobcat.
20. What’s mine is yours as far as groceries go. Just leave me the last beer, a glass of milk for my Special K, and enough Teddy Grahams to fit between all my fingers and toes in case it’s just “one of those days.”
21. As far as the bathroom goes, it’s all yours. I don’t want it, I don’t need it, and the God-honest truth is I have no idea what it’s there for.
22. You might find me in your bed when you wake up, but that’s only on opposite days, and what are you doing there, anyway? It’s opposite day, buddy!

Norfolk: The Poem

Note to Readers from me, Jesse:
As much as it kills me to leave a disclaimer, I feel I need to with this one. This is a satirical poem I wrote in grad school. It's purpose is to challenge and deflect certain Northern prejudices against the South.
It also exists to lovingly mock a certain genre of poems that aims to shock with its brutal honesty about societal norms, expectations, and personal bias.

In other words, it's fun. Chill out. Y'all know I love Norfolk. 

statistics1 (poems that should be read all serious and ornery like Maya Angelou)

I am from
the Northeast,
which means
that I am
and that places like
bring forth images
of used condoms on lawns
and ignorant whites
and unrefined blacks
on their porches
drinking moonshine in 40 bottles
and sliding condoms off their
giant Southern black dicks, only to fling them
on the lawns
of their homes.

I also picture
jade green fields of swaying, bursting white cotton buds
but such a beautiful image
goes against my theme
so I will
ignore it.

I also think of iced tea.
Which is sort of neutral
because sometimes iced tea is great
and sometimes not
so I'll leave that out

In any case.

I moved to Norfolk
expecting a bunch of boring, ignorant, artless,
couthless, physically deformed,
possibly with one leg shorter than the
other, many fat, many who have sex
on the perilous leather curves
of tractor seats
and then also some black people
condomed and otherwise,
but on my first night in Norfolk I met Malcolm
a black poet
a brilliant guy
who actually has
one leg shorter than the other
so shows what I know.

I stood on the hood of a car and yelled
(because don't Southerners do such things?)
'But where are the gays?!'
and who should appear but Marco,
not only gay but Mexican,
and not only gay and Mexican
but some sort of pharmacist,
three things that don't fit well in my
forcing me to later masturbate into a book at the public library
like a confused middle school

If all this
wasn't enough
to sell me on this place,
this Nor-
(get it?)
(did you really get it?)
(there's nothing)
(to get)
(I'm trying to fool you)
(with senseless line breaks)
(you jerk)

Like I was saying
on top of all this
I met a cool Filipino girl
who could actually read
which is hilarious
when you think about it
because Asians
are better known
for math.

Finally my roommate
a buxom Virginia native
told me she used to be a madam
for Super Sexy Strippers
and Norfolk was okay by me
because even though I didn't feel safe
or accepted
or warm enough
or well fed
now at least I found a place
where there's a buffer between me and the hookers
because too easy access is dangerous
when you're a lonely Northerner like me

and now I fling my condoms
out the window
and watch them fall
like jelly fish throbbing, breathing through the atmosphere
onto my lawn
and I am
a Norfolkian.