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I’m an assiduous reader of the Star, the best-selling journal in the nation-state that squats on my watershed.

I put the ass back in assiduous every morning as I work my way through a stack of 2008 Stars from my neighbor’s recycling, squatting in my turn as I do my business in the business section, then wrapping it neatly for the humanure pile.  As a business man, I mean business.  I’m a hipster, a Lolster, and I b2b with other like-minded 2b or not 2b beasts, yo.  I’m writing the fecesbook of social utility, check it.

In the half-second before the feces2faces drop obliterates salient features, I discovered recently that the lead-dog nation in the empire has a new executive.

So how’s that workin’ out for you guys?  Did that really shake things up for you?  The guy looks, well, not black, but not as white as some, you know?  Did he get rid of that racism y’all had going there up till 2008?  I’ll bet all those black guys in the prison gulag were happy for him.

And what about killing all those colored babies in Iraq and Afghanistan, did he put a stop to that?  And did he put a halt to all those give-aways to rich bankers, and order a cease-and-desist on them knocking the tops off mountains in the sacred groves of my beloved old—and I mean old—West Virginia to make money for JP Morgan Chase, and stop that IRS and those assorted sheriffs of Nottingham from exacting tribute from the poor to pay for the killing machine—car culture in cities—to help the people who are too lazy to walk and take subways?

Are 40,000 children still dying every day within spitting distance of the more than 700 Battlestar Galactica-sized military bases around the world, which I’m guessing this guy’s now in charge of?

Well, my neighbor’s going to be coming out with the 2009’s soon, so I’ll hope great things, though when it comes to paid journalism it’s hard to forget that even Kenneth Rexroth got his paycheck from the Hearst machine.

What I’m mostly up for this morning by way of taxing your half-million earballs is this virgin I nearly did the nasty on a few minutes ago.  Sweet thing, legal eighteen I guess but looks like my dad used to say, ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’.

Well, I’m no prude, but I have to say that the level of offense this advertisement (alas, an ad it is, and the girl’s putting out for the West Toronto Kia at 2445 St. Clair West) generated in me is so intense that my outrage is—and here I wish to be very precise—literally inexpressible.

I mean that in a legal sense.  I’m not even allowed to hint at what I think an appropriate response would be for people who run an ad depicting a virgin, a Rio automobile, and a price in such filthy juxtaposition here in the midst of the killing fields.  And I’m committed to non-violence.  “You never forget YOUR FIRST,” says the ad, which is how we know that, until the deal is sealed, virginity’s for sale.  “Why settle for used?  Drive new for the same price.  2008 RIO5.  We have a fresh one for you…just call us for a pick-up.”  Turns out that we don’t have to settle for a “beater,” since the new Rio is “sweet.”

For my part, I’ve never forgotten my first.  Guy swerved right and caught me between his car and a parked one.  Luckily I’d been doing that proto-parkour stuff and I leapt up and over and landed on the sidewalk.  My bike didn’t fare so well.  The guy stopped and prostrated himself with apologies and all, but I couldn’t help thinking that without that bit of self rapture I’d have been between a rock and a hard place.

Rio, eh?  I live in ’rio, a province of small rivers and big lakes, so the name kind of stands out.  These Rios are one of the many eco-friendly cars friendly for the backside of cyclists in the killing fields of the city.  We are the cyclists killed every year by eco-friendly cars, hybrid “electric” buses with not one but two powerplants (echo, echo: both powerplants running on energy from fossil fuel), fuckers in leanly carbureted Volvos and their all-wheel-drive brethren, and so on.  All the ‘good’ drivers and their clean green killing machines.  Leprechaun terrorists.

Us?  We are the ones pulled out of our beds in the dark of night—literally out of the beds where we are sleeping with our children—to be deprived of sleep and then offered sleazy deals in prisons where the guards are beating up other prisoners, sleazy deals to avoid ten-year sentences for non-existent crimes, because we have made the mistake of speaking our minds.  We live in the cracks in the pavement that your treads somehow missed, and there are thousands of us, and no one pays us in dollars or attention.  But we’re thinking things.

I’m going to look into ordering a book of clichés and I’m going to patch together an article for pay, find the clichés-per algorithm that’ll kick back some irony-rich bucks.  In the meantime, we have squatters rights, even as the empire slides its complacent buttocks over our watershed, and we feel the nausea of being against the empire, literally right up against its tumescent exhaust-fetid flesh, propositioned and prepositioned: pressed.

Are we impressed by the free press, free because paid for with the sacrifice of virgins and the bloody limbs of cyclists?  Yes, impressed.  We feel the impress here, and here, the imprimatur of death, the imprint of bumpers, the tread of the great trucks.  Not one but two Wheels section in the Star, and we feel the impress of that in our graves, where the earth lies lightly on our war dead.  And I salute here, too, the dust of my nephew lying in Spain, though he was killed in America, crowned by a Crown Victoria.

Perhaps you’re stupid enough to think that the articles that show up in the free press are all the ones that have been thought or written.  Perhaps you can’t even imagine what else needs to be said that can’t be said here.  Enjoy your witless hegemony.  Go to the cracks in the pavement, and study wisdom.  You have dragged us away in the night.  Do you think we have forgotten such a vicious rapture?

We have invoked the first of our squatters rights as true, deep squatters, and it is this: to turn the other cheek.  But that has not exhausted our stock.

We still have plenty of cheek to show you.

DAVID Ker THOMSON lives in the Dufferin Grove watershed in a city in the time-drained bed of Lake Iroquois in the province of ’rio in the country of ’nada. He can be reached at:   dave.thomson@utoronto.ca




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