The nicest guy at the racism store

I don’t know about the Parable of the Sower man

Every morning my idiot goldfish brain reboots to factory settings and I wake up thinking to myself I don’t know man people are basically decent overall aren’t they? then I spend 19 consecutive hours on Twitter unlearning that lesson and I will never stop going in.

This morning I woke up at 7 am with a refreshed brain and the ambition to write a really good Hell World for you nice people then I started fucking around with a top 25 emo songs of 2010s list and then it grew to over 100 and it sapped all my creative energy into a pointless diversion but I guess I’ll throw the list in here at the end of the post because who gives a shit. If you’re here for the emo content you may appreciate this post from a while back featuring interviews and essays from Dan Campbell of The Wonder Years, Geoff Rickley of Thursday, Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die and more.

Sometimes people say to me they’ll go Luke writing a newsletter where you compile the most devastating shit over and over again building a fruitless indictment against the unchecked cruelties of capitalism and on top of that smuggling into it your own struggles with addiction and depression seems like it should be a guaranteed hit why wouldn’t ten million people sign up to read that type of shit every day and I say I don’t know buddy.  But nonetheless well around 7,200 of you brain perverts are here and I am thankful for that. Now if I could just convince more of you to pay for it… I may despise capitalism but I am nonetheless still as of yet suffering under it so one has to make do.   

I'm doing a reading in Brooklyn at Dekalb Market Hall, DeKalb Stage on Monday 11/4 by the way and a book party type thing at Great Scott in Boston on Friday 11/8 so mark your calendars or whatever. Please don’t come and assassinate me. No refunds on Hell World subscriptions if I die.

If you’d like to read a chapter of the Hell World book in French you can do so here and in Spanish here.

I just read a story from ABC News about a man in Japan who was arrested for stalking and sexually assaulting a young pop star and apparently they say one of the ways he figured out how to find her was by studying the reflections in her pupils in the selfies she posted to see which train station she was at.

I’ve been trying to find a good dystopian or sci-fi or horror novel to read this week and I’ve tried samples so far of Ice by Anna Kavan and The Separation by Christopher Priest and Ship of Fools by Richard Paul Russo and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler and I’m not sure why I even bother with that type of shit.

I don’t know about the Parable of the Sower man it’s bleak even for me and I write this newsletter. It’s set in what probably seemed like the impossible future year of 2024 at the time and it’s about Los Angeles after climate change and there’s no water and working people live in walled communities and the poor live naked and feral in the streets and the rich treat them all like disposable dirt and I guess there’s a fascist presidential candidate who I shit you know runs on the platform to “Make America great again.”

Here’s a passage from it when the protagonist a teenage girl and her family venture outside of their walled town to go be baptized in a church:

We rode past people stretched out, sleeping on the sidewalks, and a few just waking up, but they paid no attention to us. I saw at least three people who weren’t going to wake up again, ever. One of them was headless. I caught myself looking around for the head. After that, I tried not to look around at all.

A woman, young, naked, and filthy stumbled along past us. I got a look at her slack expression and realized that she was dazed or drunk or something.

Maybe she had been raped so much that she was crazy. I’d heard stories of that happening. Or maybe she was just high on drugs. The boys in our group almost fell off their bikes, staring at her. What wonderful religious thoughts they would be having for a while.

The naked woman never looked at us. I glanced back after we’d passed her and saw that she had settled down in the weeds against someone else’s neighborhood wall.

A lot of our ride was along one neighborhood wall after another; some a block long, some two blocks, some five. … Up toward the hills there were walled estates—one big house and a lot of shacky little dependencies where the servants lived. We didn’t pass anything like that today. In fact we passed a couple of neighborhoods so poor that their walls were made up of unmortared rocks, chunks of concrete, and trash. Then there were the pitiful, unwalled residential areas. A lot of the houses were trashed—burned, vandalized, infested with drunks or druggies or squatted-in by homeless families with their filthy, gaunt, half-naked children. Their kids were wide awake and watching us this morning. I feel sorry for the little ones, but the ones my age and older make me nervous. We ride down the middle of the cracked street, and the kids come out and stand along the curb to stare at us. They just stand and stare. I think if there were only one or two of us, or if they couldn’t see our guns, they might try to pull us down and steal our bikes, our clothes, our shoes, whatever. Then what? Rape? Murder? We could wind up like that naked woman, stumbling along, dazed, maybe hurt, sure to attract dangerous attention unless she could steal some clothing. I wish we could have given her something.

My stepmother says she and my father stopped to help an injured woman once, and the guys who had injured her jumped out from behind a wall and almost killed them.

I usually do most of my book reading before bed and I’m not sure I want to read too much more of that type of shit my dreams are bad enough as it is.

Splinter which was one of the only popular left-of-liberal news sites in existence was shut down out of nowhere this week by the latest in a series of finance ghouls who have been conspiring to ruin what was once Gawker for the past few years. I don’t know why they did it and they don’t either these equity vultures keep stepping on the same bag over and over and selling it on to the next dumbass who steps on it until it's nothing.

It reminded me of this piece I wrote a couple years ago about the future of journalism we have to look forward to:

Here is how it will go. Men with no fewer than four boats and at least as many divorces, whose monetary interests are best served by going entirely unreported on, will continue to purchase existing media properties, either gutting them, running them into the ground, or rendering them effectively toothless, as we’ve seen with numerous alt-weeklies and newspapers throughout the country in the past few years.

Sometimes we won’t even know whose hand it is pulling the lever on the guillotine. The publications who would’ve reported on who bought the publications won’t exist anymore.

Ah we offered like $400k of some bank's money that we definitely don't have for an Arrested Development model home looking ass condo in Salem next to a hospital an hour plus commute to Boston and it wasn't enough for the people selling it who don’t live there and never did. Guess we'll go fuck ourselves. I worry sometimes it’s going to make it seem like I’m rich on here because I’ve been talking about trying to buy a house but it’s not like we have the money for a house we just have to take out a loan that is the equivalent of paying to go to Harvard for ten years in a row.

Amber Guyger a former Dallas cop was sentenced to ten years in prison for shooting Botham Jean to death inside his own apartment earlier this month. A neighbor named Joshua Brown was one of the witnesses to testify against Guyger and weirdly he was shot to death himself about a week later outside his building. The Dallas police got to the bottom of that shit real fast though because they said they had a suspect in custody a couple days later who admitted that he and two friends had driven all the way to Dallas from Louisiana to purchase weed from Brown. Brown’s alleged past as a drug dealer never came up from either the defense or prosecution who used him as a witness against Guyger but never mind.

So Brown did the deal out in the open near where he lived and it went wrong somehow and he shot one of the guys during the giant weed deal he was conducting after being all over the news for testifying against a cop and the dudes took the gun off him and shot Brown and then took off. They dropped the one who had been shot at the hospital where he immediately copped to all of this.

Meanwhile the cops showed up and found a bunch of cash and twelve pounds of weed in Brown’s apartment that — again — he was selling drugs out of a few days after a trial where he was one of the most famous witnesses against a police murderer in recent memory. Seems real as hell.

That same week there was what I guess was a meeting of Dallas’s new Community Police Oversight Board and apparently they didn’t want to open up comments to the public at first so things sort of got hectic and you can watch it in videos here in this thread.

People were naturally upset about what’s going on with the Dallas cops there in the aftermath of the Brown shooting. The reason I bring it up is because in one of the videos you can see this cop pushing around a guy who’s like I’m an elected official get your hands off me and at one point you can see that the cop has a Punisher skull on his hat.

If you’re unfamiliar the Punisher is a comic book vigilante who murders at will whomever he considers to be the bad guy in any given situation based on the whims of his PTSD derived psychopathy and paranoia and cops and troops everywhere just fucking love putting the scary skeleton drawing he wears on his comic book tights on their equipment and cars and that would be funny if it weren’t a perfect illustration of how professional gun havers perceive what their job is. Only way it would be weirder is if we lived in an alternate universe where cops decided for some reason to start wearing the Spider-Man logo on their shit. Ay I’m Spider-Man over here don’t disrespect me.

Speaking of comic books I finally saw the macabre twisted nightmare film we all know about and it instantly short-circuited my brain like I was a racist in a Lovecraft story.

jk I thought it was fine overall. Phoenix was predictably excellent and it was tense throughout most of it and it looked good but ultimately it just seemed like a dull guy’s idea of what a smart film is supposed to be like or maybe more like a cynical guy’s idea of what a dull guy who thinks he’s a smart guy thinks a film should be like?

Sometimes when I think about having children I know that I would love them more than anything else in the world obviously but then I think about how it takes like twenty years of intense labor all to just send some random putz out into the world and it doesn’t seem worth it. You spend two decades paying for them to stay alive every single day and the rest of your life being shaken down to your very bones about the wellbeing of what in the best case scenario is gonna turn out to be some fucking nerd and worst case is a total chode.

Yesterday I filed this piece to the Guardian about how criticism of Trump from Fox News and other rightwing outlets like Drudge seems to be increasing and my genius thesis was hmmm maybe the right is starting to hedge their bets by floating out post-Trump trial balloons to their audience of red-assed Uncle Coaches and yard sale nanas whose 9 and 1 have been worn off their phones from overuse.

“As fractures within the Fox network have grown, and many of their news anchors have become more stridently critical of Trump following the revelations of the impeachment inquiry, it may well be that Fox News, and other conservative media, are starting to wonder if it might be wise to make plans for a post-Trump future,” I wrote and then literally less than an hour after it was published Shep Smith was apparently pushed out because he twisted Tucker Carlson’s bowtie sideways too many times and I guess I should just go ahead and shut the fuck up forever now when it comes to trying to divine the political winds in the Trump era.

In any case RIP in peace to Shepard Smith the nicest guy at the racism store.

Ok here’s the list of my personal favorite 118 emo(ish) songs from the 2010s. A couple things to keep in mind:

I probably forgot like ten obvious bands and I’ll go ahh fuck and add them in later.

Lists like this aren’t real and outside of say the top 25 nothing matters. Obviously there is not much of a measurable difference between song 74 and song 75 for example. Some of these aren’t technically emo or even what we mean when we say emo now but everyone who likes emo likes or will like all of these songs so leave me alone. I was gonna make a Spotify playlist of all these but then I remembered I didn’t feel like it.

Mostly this is just a list of a lot of great shit you should listen to if you’ve never heard of a lot of these bands. If I’m being honest my real top 30 is basically everything off of Koi No Yokan and Diamond Eyes by Deftones and Body Talk by Robyn.

120 Take Me Home – Blis

119 The Sunshine Bus – Prince Daddy & the Hyena

118 You Just Won’t Be the Same – Stars Hollow

117 Life – awakebutstillinbed

116 Thread – Now, Now

115 Always Hazy – Macseal

114 Heart of Gold – Field Mouse

113 Distant – Like Pacific

112 Mr. C’s Amazing Trip – Save Ends

111 Brilliant Dancer – Lemuria

110 That Kind of Girl – All Dogs

109 Teen Challenge – Great Grandpa

108 Shit Twins — Dads

107 Southern Comfort – Michael Cera Palin

106 Fed Up – Gouge Away

105 Nearer My God -- Foxing

104 Tire Swing – Dad Punchers

103 Kill My Compass – Daytrader

102 Untitled – Half Hearted Hero

101 Collector – I Kill Giants

100 Disdain – Knuckle Puck

99 Don’t Need to Be Them – The Sun Days

98 Wut I Liek ABt U – Jank

97 I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore – The Menzingers

96 Pash Rash – Jeff Rosenstock

95 Creature – It Looks Sad

94 Words That Rhyme With Different, Etc. – sports.

93 Resevoir – PUP

92 Cinco De Mayo Shitshow – Marietta

91 Smother – Frameworks

90 In Colour – Departures

89 Luck Has A Name -- Crash of Rhinos

88 Unless – Pentimento

87 Most of the Time – Turnover

86 Time Capsules – Misser

85 In Love Or Whatever – Future Teens

84 No Below — Speedy Ortiz

83 Serenity – WATERMEDOWN

82 Scotty Get the Van, I’m Moving – Cayetana

81 Still Into You – Paramore

80 Killin It – Polar Bear Club

79 Skipping Stone – Transit

78 War – Brutus

77 Tail Whip, Struffle – Free Throw

76 I Was Sixteen Ten Years Ago – Joi De Vivre

75 Tough Love – Forth Wanderers

74 Edward 40Hands – Mom Jeans

73 Always Focused – Tiny Moving Parts

72 Sister Cities – The Wonder Years

71 So I Shotgunned a Beer and Went To Bed -- Snowing

70 Two Year Plan – Such Gold

69 Real Thing – Turnstile

68 Smooth – Tiny Moving Parts

67 Flicker, Fade – Taking Back Sunday

66 Apology Not Fucking Accepted – Dikembe

65 Zero Day – Nothing

64 Youth Cars – Secret & Whisper

63 Montrose – Man Overboard

62 Scud Running – Prawn

61 Aftermath – Rolo Tomassi

60 Dead Wrong – Somos

59 Something About Lemons – Chumped

58 ~ -- Touche Amore

57 Catalina Fight Song – Joyce Manor

56 Irrevocable, Motherfucker – Glocca Morra

55 DVP – Pup

54 Whatever – All Get Out

53 Overly Verbose Email Series Pt. III – Pool Kids

52 The Downfall of Us All – A Day to Remember

51 Safety, Football, Etc.

50 We All Float Down Here – Four Year Strong

49 Your Clothes – Can’t Swim

48 Their/ They’re/ Therapy – Their/ They’re/ There

47 Dizzy On the Comedown – Turnover

46 Be Here Now – Basement

45 Head in the Ceiling Fan – Title Fight

44 Let’s Talk About Your Hair – Have Mercy

43 I’ve Given Up On You – Real Friends

42 Saturday – Remember Sports

41 Uncomfortably Numb – American Football

40 Lost (Season One) -- Camp Cope

39 An Introduction to the Album – The Hotelier

38 The Silver String -- Saosin

37 Asleep – Makthaverskan

36 I Tore You Apart In My Head – Balance and Composure

35 No Good – Knuckle Puck

34 A Thousand Miles Away From Here – Hostage Calm

33 Award of the Year Award – You Blew It!

32 Passing Through a Screen Door – The Wonder Years

31 Quitting – Donovan Wolfington

30 Scott Street – Phoebe Bridgers

29 Map Change – Every Time I Die

28 Roam – The Story So Far

27 Guardian – Tigers Jaw

26 In On It – Superheaven

35 Daydreaming – Paramore

34 Ambulance – Eisley

33 The Knock – Hop Along

32  Architects – Rise Against

31 Be Here Now – Basement

30 Say Nothing – Pianos Become the Teeth

29 Your Graduation – Modern Baseball

28 Sleepless Nights – Turnover

27 There, There – The Wonder Years

26 Twin Sized Mattress - The Front Bottoms

25 Plane Vs. Tank Vs. Submarine – Tigers Jaw

24 Rapture – Touche Amore 

23 Repine – Pianos Become the Teeth

22 Reindeer Games – Oso Oso

21 Storm och längtan -- Vi som älskade varandra så mycket

20 Right Back At It Again – A Day to Remember

19 Lost Your Name – Balance and Composure

18 A Satisfactory World For Reasonable People – Pity Sex

17 The House That Heaven Built – Japandroids

16 Reach Out To You -- Adventures

15 The Sun – Tigers Jaw  

14 The Summer – Citizen

13 Save That Shit – Lil Peep

12 Dirty Laundry – Cayetana

11 Covet -- Basement

10 Quicksand – The Story So Far

9 Two Beers In – Free Throw

8 Funny You Should Ask – The Front Bottoms

7 Your Deep Rest – The Hotelier

6 Came Out Swinging – The Wonder Years

5 Hiding – Pianos Become the Teeth

4 Au Revoir – The Front Bottoms 

3 Archie, Marry Me – Alvvays

2 If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will – Pup

1 Constant Headache – Joyce Manor