Ackee Way

July 2, 2022

And just like that I feel rejuvenated. All it took was a new project and an overcast morning. I’m excited again for the first time in years. Probably, truthfully, since the beginning of the pandemic.

I’ve got coronavirus for the second time now. Apparently in animal studies the limit is something like 8-15 repeat infections before all the rats die. I’m not a rat though, so hopefully I have more than 6 more rounds of corona before my innards seep out of me. It would be a shame to die of corona several years after the pandemic ends, when you don’t even get the hero’s exit of a mocking tabloid story about your anti-medical convictions.

I usually despise the summer, but I think I’m finally reaching an age where even the seasonal mood shifts are imperceptible to me. The weather has changed but it’s been circumstantial; I haven’t seen winter or spring since the end of 2020. Now it’s all truly flying by. It’s just been the same rot for a year and a half. If I had to pick the most identifiable block of time with which to measure this mood I’d call it um, you know what, it’s been about the same amount of time it took my friend to die of brain cancer. It’s been 14 months or so, it’s been a slow death.

And it’s as simple as feeling stagnant. And the older you get and the faster time goes the quicker that feeling of stagnation compounds. I used to know when I did nothing in a day and it felt bad, and now I miss all those days, and I wake up and say Jesus Christ it’s already July.

But not anymore, and not today. And I have only the Bodega Bro to thank for that.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I’m a lucky guy or not. Often, I feel incredibly lucky, as if I’ve just Mister Magoo’d my way through a very dangerous world and the comfort I experience can’t just be chalked up to privilege alone. It’s like if I were born into wealth but then for some reason, I also just won the lottery every day. But I’m also just predisposed to whining and it’s difficult to maintain any kind of positive outlook on anything. If I were Mister Magoo, I’d get home after a long day of walking through construction sites and dangerous animal enclosures, take off my hat and say, man I wish I wasn’t fucking blind.

I’ve never really had to worry about “cancel culture” because it’s never really affected me. I don’t really have an opinion on it. I’ve been banned from a bunch of websites and lost jobs, but often that was either explicitly my goal prior to doing whatever it was I did that resulted in the termination, or in the long run the termination wound up being a benefit to me. And a lot of this cancel shit started reaching a fever pitch right around the time I was able to find work doing exactly the kind of things that would get people cancelled.

This Bodega Bro firing coinciding with the willing removal of whatever safety net I’ve had for the last couple of years from the podcast (and that’s not to say I will suddenly become destitute, but my future income is in question unless The Adam Friedland Show can become its own, unique thing that is also fun) made me realize for the first time that if my career as not only an entertainer but specifically one that occupies some kind of cancel-proof space (meaning, a troll) were to disappear, I likely could not do anything.

And I mean like nothing. I used to think I’d be able to at least go back to working retail or get a job at a Jiffy Lube or something, but I don’t even think you’re allowed to be poor anymore if you’ve said the wrong thing. I can’t operate in a world where “you’re not allowed to disrespect a type of convenience store,” is not only a rule by an implied rule. I had enough trouble smiling at customers and remembering to say Thank You.

And this is all good. That’s a good thing. For me, I mean, not for the world. RIP Bodega Bro, at least you have your youth. Now I know I must go back to being blind and wandering through constructions sites like an old oblivious dumbass.

Mister Magoo has one of his flappy old eyelids peeled back so he can see the I-beams nearly clipping his head, and he knows if at any point he had ducked or sidestepped, he wouldn’t have been so lucky. He should be happy to be blind.

Gut Feelings

June 8, 2022

I’m on the back end of a panic attack, trying to restore my gut flora. Work begins the same way every day, with whatever emotional balancing act is necessary to make it seem like something I want to do rather than something I have to do. It’s neither and both, and I’m not interested enough in what that means to expand upon it.

That round of antibiotics left me fucked up. I don’t know where the science is yet on microbiomes but I’m convinced killing all the little colonists in your stomach has a distinctly negative effect on your mental health. I feel incredibly overwhelmed, like there’s a lot bearing down on me. And, while I do have external stressors like everyone else, there’s nothing unique about the last couple of weeks. I feel a sense of loss, like I’ve had a miscarriage. I keep clutching my stomach, “my baby…” and my words fade out like the heartbeat of an embryo.

So I’ll drink my Kefir and eat my Kimchi and take my 50 dollar pills from the Vitamin Shoppe and if that doesn’t do it I’ll have to call the psych and get back on Lithium.

I love the Vitamin Shoppe. Reminds me of my mom and all her kooky New Age beliefs, the very same ones I thumb my nose at in times of stability and then crawl towards for salvation when I just can’t keep it together. I’ve watched her put herself in the hospital with bleach and heavy metals but her resolve and determination to find some alternative solution prevents me from feeling pity or even shame. I know vitamin C can’t cure cancer but should I ever be handed some kind of terminal diagnosis I know for a fact I will be at the Vitamin Shoppe, loading up, trying to bring myself closer to something familiar despite understanding the inefficacy of the treatment. In a lot of ways the Vitamin Shoppe is closer to a church than a pharmacy, holistic medicine is just transubstantiated optimism. I’ll take the useless herbs and find myself in communion with the folks that prioritize faith over knowledge. Because with death as an inevitability, ultimately the goal for anyone should not be to not die, but to not die alone.

And I guess you can find that at both New Age end of life retreats or in the ICU, in the drum circles, dictating the rhythm, or listening to the sounds of the other heart monitors while you count your last breaths in the emergency room. I think that process sort of works itself out and it’s relatively easy to look around at the very end and say, we’re all here. Smile, and at the very least, testify to your audience that when it’s their turn, they’ll be okay.

But life is a misnomer, everything is at least in the physical sense, an entropic process, and you’re always “dying”. How do you go about not dying alone when you’re on the subway? In line at the bank? And the very worst of all – sitting on your phone, staring at a bunch of grotesque social interactions mediated by secret algorithms?

It seems almost impossible. Everything is too individuated. Death in the most simple terms is a little pencil eraser that goes around the boundaries of a person, both physically and spiritually, and erases the lines and allows the colors to bleed out over the rest of us and into the material world. The most powerful repudiation of death is to assert the validity of those lines, to affirm the individual, and keep the eraser at bay. Healthy people don’t want to share death with you, nor find commonality in fragility and impermanence. The closest they’ll get is seeking overlap in values or interests, or principles or beliefs, and this works in the short term, but ultimately leads to further conflict. Fragility is the only universal commonality.

I don’t know how to do it, and it’s time to take my prebiotic pill and wash myself, pack up and fly to another town in an attempt to find the answer.

Likely I’ll start shitting normally again and just write the question off as mental illness. Otherwise it’s time to pay someone 300 dollars an hour to be a private audience to these thoughts, get a prescription, and then take a lonelier but more effective pill.

Damn Ouch

May 18, 2022

Well it took three doctors and two appointments and $500 but I finally got some oral antibiotics. Very cool that I had to wait for my eye to become completely swollen shut before I could get medicine, and now I’ve got preseptal cellulitis and I’m told I gotta go to the ER if it gets any worse at all.

I have this little routine I do in my head where I worry about losing my eye, then I start thinking about how cool I’d look with an eye-patch and feel a bit better, and then I land on the most likely outcome which is that the oral antibiotics that I knew I needed a week ago will likely do the job and I’ll potentially have some residual damage to my eyesight. Then I get pretty mad.

I don’t understand how there’s big debates about the best way to do things; I guess you know, “issues,” (like healthcare or abortion, etc) and we somehow end up with the worst combination of ideas. Nobody gets what they want and we end up with some dog shit middle ground that only benefits a very small group of people. Is that just some kind of inefficiency or is democracy just a bad idea?

I don’t fucking get it.

I had to pay for a telemedicine appointment, they refused to prescribe me the thing I need. Then I had to pay to see a specialist. They didn’t listen to me or even really examine me, just gave me some ointment. I had to pay to go back and point out that they did not diagnose the issue correctly. Now I have to pay for the medicine, and now there’s the possibility that I still gotta go to the fucking ER even though I tried to take care of things early. I gotta pay for all this shit and tell these motherfuckers what I need and even then this still would have cost me a lot more if I had health insurance. So I’m on my own and have to look out for myself. But if that’s the case then deregulate the whole fucking thing and let me call in my own prescription to the pharmacy.

What’s the worst that could happen? People just call in their own prescription for opiates? Yeah probably. So what? They might overdose and die? And then what, they lose a customer? It’s not like they actually give a shit about anyone. I don’t get it.

I know I’m being dramatic with regards to my own personal circumstance right now, it’s just an eye and 500 bucks is not a big deal and I’ve been very lucky in my life that I can cover the costs of these things. But I was already mad about healthcare before I had a lemon sticking out of my eye socket and it’s just like this all the time. Every single day people have to deal with this and it’s just absurd how fucked up this system is.

I think about that movie John Q, which, I don’t remember when it came out exactly but I’m pretty sure it was the years leading up to the ACA when healthcare costs were going through the roof and people were desperate. And the whole movie is about a father who does what he needs to do to get a heart transplant for his son. And it turns into this Dog Day Afternoon thing where the public sides with John. And the cops and especially the health insurance companies are the bad guys.

But what I don’t like about the movie is that it’s gotta be about a father trying to save his son, with a heart transplant no less which is like, yeah of course that shit’s going to be expensive. Like they have to make John Q a man with a more noble cause than just the everyday desperation that people experience. You could make that same movie and it’s just a guy who works at CarMax and he made the mistake of going to the emergency room to get stitches. If that guy went into the ER with a gun in real life and demanded 5 dollars worth of thread to get his leg closed up without being charged thousands and thousands and winding up in debt I’d be on his side and a lot of other people would as well. John Q is like making a movie about a woman who kills her rapist but it’s like, “oh but the rapist like REALLY deserved, it. This wasn’t just your day to day normal rape that everyone can and should put up with.”

They can’t do that though, because that would just be a mean-spirited movie. Critics would hate it. They’d say John CarMax is a bad person and its a bad person movie for bad people. Nevermind that movies aren’t supposed to be moral instruction and criticism isn’t supposed to be ethical hall-monitoring, but even in their dumb good-guy bad-guy world they’d be wrong about John CarMax. I know it’s a hypothetical movie, but look at the way retards talk about Falling Down. Which, by the way, is not a very good movie (mainly because the entire thing is built around repeated My Fair Lady puns), but the problem with it isn’t that the protagonist is a cranky white man. For whatever reason it gets written off as some kind of Family Court guy MRA revenge fantasy. Just because its about some white egghead that’s mad about traffic and false advertising. The protagonist isn’t enough of a noble victim and the problems he’s dealing with aren’t serious enough injustices, so it’s invalid and Actually Bad.

The closest thing we’ve ever had to a real John CarMax (I haven’t checked) is the Killdozer. That was just a regular guy trying his best to run a muffler shop and he followed the rules and played along and City Hall pulled some zoning bullshit and literally fucked around and found out. That’s real life. Everyone cheers for Killdozer.

But if Killdozer had just been a movie? Then it would be an exploration of toxic male masculinity or white rage or some moronic idea like that, because Killdozer wouldn’t be noble or heroic enough to express the kind of quotidian frustration everyone is subjected to.

I’m too stupid to understand why that frustration can’t be reflected in media. I think there’s an obvious thing there about dividing people based on identity, etc etc but I think it’s more than that. I think there’s a deeper psychological cause that doesn’t necessarily have to do with some top down form of control wherein the stories we are told to believe and accept are only the ones where a noble victim gets noble justice.

Either way my head hurts and I can barely see the screen and I’m very dizzy. It just frustrates me to know this all could have been avoided if I could just gotten what I needed when I needed it, or barring that, not touched my eye after going to the bathroom. I guess when u consider it that way, maybe it is just my fault after all.

Haircut Day

May 15, 2022

I need a haircut and I just remembered that people made a big deal over celebrities and politicians going to salons during the pandemic. Instinctively I understand the frustration – we were all told to stay home, by these same people, while they’ve got a different set of rules for themselves, but now I feel differently.

Of course the only reason I feel differently is because it’s nice to know there’s likely still human feces left on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, fucking up the expensive manicure she got after that guy who couldn’t button his shirt took a shit in her office.

Like most people I also got a different kind of haircut over the last couple of weeks. The nice thing about having already lost money “investing” is that when it inevitably happens again like it has this month, I get to act like I saw it coming and that it’s just part of some process. I get to step out of a little time machine and console myself and say, “heh, don’t worry kid, we’ve always been a loser.” And then I bend over and show my weathered ass. My worn out, leathery loose ass hole. I’ve been fucked before. I know how it feels. Hell, at this point, it’s just a pleasant memory.

Or something like that. I don’t know. It’s gay to lose money. It feels bad.

What’s funny though is the same thing happens every time crypto or stocks shit the bed. Every dickhead in the world can’t wait to get online and gloat about people’s losses. And, like, you know, me personally – I’ll be fine. I’m not so stupid that I invested so much that I can’t still get PS5 should the opportunity arise, but there’s a lot of people that are outright destitute now because they got fleeced by monkey pictures, and I really don’t understand the posturing towards these folks as if they got what they deserved.

You gotta be really fucking stupid to think a picture of a monkey is worth 200 thousand dollars. Like incredibly fucking stupid, retarded even. And I mean that literally. I think a lot of these folks are literal retards and regardless if the like, I dunno, computers or whatever the fuck makes the monkey pictures is destroying the environment, I just don’t understand how you could feel anything but sad for some guy who’s wife is walking out with the kids and all he has to his name is a cartoon ape.

And at the same time the same folks gloating about the market crashing turn around and demand student loan forgiveness. Isn’t buying a monkey picture and taking out a massive loan to get a degree the same dumb kind of purchase? At least, aren’t they rooted in the same kind of desperation?

I’d also like to see the carbon footprint of four years of college. The rape kits alone have to be rivaling an Ethereum transaction on how much computer power it takes to do all that DNA sequencing.

I think a lot of the anger stems from some hidden desire to see the monkey picture retards succeed. If there weren’t a time when they were above water – if we didn’t have six months where it was possible to change your life buying a stupid jpeg – people wouldn’t be so mad. You want them to prove theres a simple way out, that you shouldn’t need the degree or the job. You want them to prove you can just gamble on a drawing and win. But they gave you hope and took it away and you’re mad at the victim. It’s like being the guy that cleans Nancy Pelosi’s desk and cursing the brave man that smeared his feces on it instead of being mad at the woman that necessitated turning her office into the people’s toilet.