Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 2: Panic On the Streets of Tehran

There’s panic on the streets of Bellefonte, panic on the streets of Lancaster, I wonder to myself, could life ever be sane again? Barely two weeks into Pennsylvania’s largely mandatory shutdown and I’m already paraphrasing lyrics from vintage Smiths songs. I can’t deny to anyone, much less myself, that I’m not handling this shit particularly well. Quite frankly, I’m losing my proverbial shit. Flipping out on fucking trashcans and stalking the halls like Jack Torrance in lipstick, dragging an ax called ‘Nervous Breakdown’ behind me. I’d say I’m just a few loose screws away from chopping my family up into three neat stacks and hammering out “All business and no play make Nicky a dull girl” for volume three of this fucking thing. I’m an agoraphobic for shit’s sake. How the Christ did I do this for six years straight without committing a single homicide? I had sixty minutes with my shrink over the goddamn phone this week and she stopped my yammering no more than three times to ask me if I was suicidal. So, yeah, dearest motherfuckers, I’m not exactly doing well. At least I’m not alone.

This whole damn country is a fucking madhouse. It’s like dropping the razor blade and realizing, covered in blood and teeming with childhood trauma, that somehow, by the grace of Beelzebub, you’re the sanest motherfucker in the room. The entire country seems to be divided into two equally deranged bipolar camps of hysteria; People who take this virus way too goddamn seriously and people who don’t take it nearly seriously enough. You’re either jacking off to 28 Days Later in a hazmat suit or you’re hitting Rehoboth Beach with the bros for heavy petting and butt-chugging. Sometimes I feel fairly certain that I’m the only one caught somewhere between the two.

While every 25/8 news circus from CNN to ESPN7 is filling the atmosphere with a toxic fog of worst case scenarios and wildly speculative graphs with their tsunami red curves, our shithead president waltz’s to the podium every afternoon whistling the theme to Happy Days, talking up the huge beautiful Easter we’re going to have, choking up blood while the Grim Reaper serves the ham and the Donald watches the Nasdaq pull his orange ass over the finish line to a second term. Every afternoon I wake up with that imbecile blaring at my half-senile mother on Fox News, flanked by his task force of professional adults who pat our president’s back and try like hell not to think about the fact that they’re illustrious careers have been reduced to playing the Funky Bunch to a psychotic man-child and if they fail to nail the choreography, their ass could be grass before tomorrows jamboree, replaced by Dr. Oz or Ralph Macchio.

This may seem like some sick surrealist fever dream out of a bad David Lynch knock-off, but this really is plague time America in a nutshell. The media goes bugfuck nuts about every bump in the road and the government tries to look busy while they do jackshit. The only time when this role ever seems to reverse is when America is savagely tormenting a Third World scapegoat while the typically hysterical talking heads shrug their shoulders and check their phones. This is the situation, once again, with Iran, for the ninetieth fucking time. It’s like Uncle Sam is some hard-luck bully who desperately needs to get laid, but will settle for giving the class hemophiliac another wedgy instead. Iran seems to be the one place where the plague has legitimately reached almost baroque proportions of devastation. There is literally no point in me giving a body count because it will have quadrupled before I finish typing this sentence. Someone dies there every ten minutes and fifty people are infected every hour. And unlike those chain smoking geezers in Italy’s Salo Republic, the median age in Iran is thirty. Fucking thirty! Persia is a baby on fire, and Mike Pompeo says we better throw her in the river.

With everyone from the Mullahs to the EU begging our diseased empire to show a shred of compassion and remove the sanctions that make ventilators rarer than dildos on the streets of Tehran, Trump’s response is to toss on a few more, and he’s the merciful one in that White House. Pompeo’s West Point Mafia is trying their damnedest to pressure our dearly demented dear leader into dropping bombs on a nation that has become a glorified leper colony, all over a few rockets launched by Christ knows who at coalition soldiers illegally occupying nearby Iraq. And our frantic media covers exactly none of this! Even as I rock gently in the corner and try not to swallow my own tongue, my mentally ravaged mind boggles violently at the sheer absurdity of this spectacle, and my bleeding heart shatters over another theatre of cruelty we are once again performing in a country that has never once attacked us or even invaded a single sovereign neighbor.

Adding insult to a litany of injury, as we throw dress rehearsals for a land invasion with those rabid jackals in the United Arab Emirates, we offer a pocket full of aid to our victims as long as they crawl for it, like a rapist offering his victim lube before round two. Is there really any wonder why the Islamic Republic is so fucking paranoid? After the unforgivable crime of replacing one of our dictators with one not sponsored by Pepsi, we have thrown everything at these people; Poison gas attacks, proxy wars, downed civilian airlines, crippling sanctions, and now, as they stare down the sawed off barrel of a plague, they hear us laughing like Dylan Klebold behind the trigger. Have they gone mad? Of coarse they fucking have. We make them look sane after half a month of living the way they have for nearly half a century. What is an embargo after all but a militarized government shutdown. So they blame us for the plague and they’re not far off. We may not have cooked this thing up in some Zionist super-lab but we made the impact it had on Iran, and by proxy, the greater Middle East, a savage inevitability in a twisted game we won’t even call off when it’s raining blood.

And so there’s panic on the streets of Baghdad, panic on the streets of Tehran, Caracas, Havana, Sevastopool. Our only hope for things to be sane again may be to burn down the empire and hang the Great Satan ourselves. Until then, dearest motherfuckers, I’ll be here sharpening my ax. I’ve literally got no place else to be.

Peace, Love & Insanity- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

* Panic by the Smiths
* Baby’s On Fire by Brian Eno
* Loosing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
* Reign In Blood by Slayer
* Stuck In the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel
* Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis
* I’ve Been Tired by the Pixies
* Hit So Hard by Hole
* Godstar by Psychic TV
* War by Sinead O’Connor

This post is dedicated, in loving memory, to Genesis P-Orridge. Another strange genderfuck alien who very briefly made me feel less alone on this savage planet. Godspeed Godstar. Hopefully you now burn brighter in a finer universe than this. You picked a hell of a time to leave us.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.