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written, compiled, and plagiarized by Jen Nugent
James Nugent, Donald Rumsfeld, Walter Benjamin, President James Carter, Slavoj Zizek, and several other anonymous contributors
This threat is invisible in ordinary ways. It’s a crisis of confidence. Without confidence in the future we threaten to destroy ourselves. Confidence in the future defines our course and purpose. We believe in something called progress. As I lose confidence in the future, I begin to close the door on my past.
I was in my car at a gas station and this guy was standing in front of the car and he wouldn’t move. So I pushed him out the way - with my car, then I got out and stood up and said you wanna go? He said no, man, i don’t want any trouble. but then you know, i felt bad so i got out and went into the store to apologize to him, but when i opened the door he sucker punched me. And we fought right there in the doorway and man we were killing each other - this was the longest fight i’d ever been in, i mean, this guy he just would not let up and we were both getting punches in and eventually, i got tired and you know said ok, i can’t, i mean, ok I’m out, i’m done man, you can have this one. and he looked at me and he shook my hand and he said that’s the best fight i’ve ever been in, thanks man. and you know by then the gas station guy, clerk or whatever was right there yelling at us and so we both went to the bathroom - and man - we were both covered in blood - but we were in the bathroom and this woman walks in and we both knew her - in fact - i had been in another fight about a week earlier, i was at her house with a woman, and this woman said the woman that i had brought over stole 20 bucks from her, or accused me of distracting her or something like that, so these guys that were there started a fight with me and then she took this lamp and swung it at me while i was fighting off these guys, oh and we were at a garage sale and they started throwing rocks at me so i had flipped up this table in the front yard -to guard against these guys throwing rocks - but she hit me in the leg with this lamp and it shattered and it cut deep -oh and so here's the thing, if you’re ever in a fight and there’s a woman around, you hit her first because she’ll kill you. Anyway though, Brad and I we were both in the gas station bathroom and she walks in and starts yelling at us and we both told her to fuck off, and I got outta there. But - just a week later - the same guy - same gas station - he gets in a fight with three guys - and he kills them all. he kills all three of them with his bare hands - only one week later. and he and i were in prison at the same time, i saw him in the lobby or the entrance or whatever its called and we nodded at each other but you know, we didn’t talk, i mean we couldn’t say anything to each other then. but it was a triple homicide, really, you can look this one up.
We were driving back from Tampa with two vans, the one we just bought had a blown head gasket so we needed to pull over every half hour or so and add water to it because it kept overheating. it would’ve been a two hour drive but it took maybe six? i don’t remember. one of the times that we were pulled over though i started to see smoke coming from the other van. The engine had caught on fire - so one van was overheating and the other one was on fire - and we were taking back roads in the middle of nowhere. The whole thing was filled with house painting equipment and chemicals so the fire was huge. we waiting on the side of the road, i don’t even remember if we had cell phones then - maybe we had one. but the whole thing burnt to the ground and we had to have both vans towed back, it was like an hour and half tow truck ride. I do remember though that I hadn’t even gotten my driver’s license yet.
I’ve been lonely before but this is crazy. I’m just so damn lonely in here. They’ve got the damn air conditioning turned up so high in here. I don’t know how anyone can stand it. And I’m starving, I’m starving all the time.
So ok, here’s the thing about places like that - they need to break you first. They take away everything, everything - until your broken, completely - you’ve got nothing - but then they build you back up, in a way that’s you know, somehow productive to society. whatever that means. And it works, it really does work. I’m just not willing to give up that - pride isn’t the right word, maybe self-worth is more what i mean. but it’s institutionalized you know? You could probably make an argument for any institution working this way, it’s just when you’re on the outside for too long - you can’t just get back into the swing of things - when you’re so far gone - you need to be completely broken first.
He was trying to get from Florida back up north. It’s kind of funny. Him, a guy named Red and a 17 year old pregnant hippy girl whose parents abandoned her. He said they got out of Florida by stealing a car, okay. Him and red were at a gas station waiting for someone to go into the store and leave their car running. Red was to jump into the driver seat and drive the car and James was going to be the one to strongarm the guy if he tries to get back in the car. Okay now it gets funny. Someone pulls up and leaves the car running and walks into the store. Red pulls through and gets into the driver seat. The owner of the car comes running out and James grabs him and throws him off a car. Now, the car they took had a boat attached to it. So they stole this car with a damn boat on it. James was telling me they were driving down the road and they had to get the boat off. So instead of stopping he climbed out the passenger window, onto the hood of the car, crawled to the back and released the boat. It’s funny because he doesn’t know what happened when he unhooked the boat cuz he never looked back. We laughed about it because he doesn’t know how it is even possible to do something like that. I thought it was funny.
-Red got arrested in georgia when they tried to steal another car. James and the girl did not get arrested. Never saw Red again. James just met him. Wasn’t a close friend
-They sold the car they got in Florida to a scrapyard in georgia for $40
-James and the girl hitchhiked the rest of the way up north.
-Up north James bought a Chevy Chevette for $200 and it was only two to five years old and he drove back to Florida with the girl.
-He got the $200 from his dad. His dad gave the money so he would just leave town.
-The 17 year old pregnant girl he ended up getting legal custody of her because her parents didn’t want anything to do with her. They fell out when they got back to florida because James used to drink a lot and was mean and they both went their separate ways. He doesn’t know if she had the baby or not.
-The girl’s name was AKA Sissy
After the fight with the guys with the rocks at the garage sale - I was unconscious, they knew they won, I was playing possum. I broke my hand, had a cast on it and five stitches in my head. But the cast only lasted three days because I fell in the river - But anyway, I was in that fight with Brad at the gas station with a broken hand with no cast.
We fell asleep after drinking on the beach. Two police officers woke us up in the middle of the night. I started to get upset after they put us in handcuffs and my boyfriend leaned his head on my shoulder and kissed me on the cheek and you would not believe the racist shit that came out of this woman cop’s mouth. She was yelling at us and I think that was the first time I had ever really seen someone act like that - it was terrible. She took him to get fingerprinted and booked right after that. But this guy cop was lazy or tired or nice so he ended up driving the rest of us back to the beach and we went back to sleep because we were still drunk from the night before. I split the bail money with his mom and we waited downtown outside the jail for eight hours until they released him - people get released in shifts, so we were waiting, hoping he’d be next. She was so cool, I loved her. We talked the whole time and I wish I could remember everything because I know it was one of those times that sort of makes you who you are you know. I remember being so angry because there were so many fucked up things about that entire situation and now that I think about it maybe she was trying to explain it all to me - race and class and police and the world outside - and I was angry and she was probably angry too but what were we supposed to do I mean I don’t know. Before that moment I think to me it seemed like we were young and could somehow shed this sort of historical baggage.
if being an intellectual means anything today, it means you are not an expert. because what does an expert do? an expert solves the problems which are formulated by others, those in power, basically. you are supposed to provide solutions. i think the basic feature of a true intellectual, is first you question the the problem itself - like, is this really a problem? the first question to be raised here is what is it in the dynamic of global order which generates fundamentalism? fundamentalism is not immanent. inherent dynamics of today’s global order generate fundamentalism, it isn’t something generated by the past, and so on, it’s something generated by today’s global dynamics.
I know exactly how you feel when you want to just walk away from some stupid issue and never think about it again! Yet, escape is only temporary. You will always have to face your problems sooner or later. I’m going to give you something to think about and I ask that you think hard about it because this question is not to be taken lightly. *How do you defeat death?*
When I was younger I heard people say - you leftist students… you live in your ivory tower while real people suffer and blah blah… but i claim that today, these rhetorics - that say real people are suffering against some ivory tower of academia - i claim this is one of the most efficient rhetorical devices of those in power. because what happens here is that basically you reduce message to this: millions are dying, people are suffering (and so on), why don’t we forget all our stupid ideological struggles, capitalism, socialism, who cares, why don’t we all, people of good will come together? government, world bank, capitalists, movie stars, etc. and just do something
the message is: do something - don’t think too much, just do it. which is why I believe that now, it is a totally radical thing precisely to keep a distance.
say no. i want to do some totally useless thinking.
fuck off - i don’t care if all the orphans die in Somalia, i want to finish this book on Hegel
what happens is this: very real suffering is manipulated - which is why I think charity is emotional blackmail.
When I got your letter I decided that I would to lop off your testicals and feed them to you like the whoremongerer you always try to be. I just fucking hate you so much. I feel that I may not send this letter so I can trade it for a peanut but I guess that will depend on how hungry I am when I feel like sending it. You were always a bitch. I hate your hair. I hate your family for some reason except your brother he’s cool. I hate corrections. I hate your truth, I hate your lies, but mostly I hate you. I wish I could leave you on some back road like the whore you always made me think you were you fucking bitch. the black stallion that I am, with long flowing blond hair ending in beautiful curls, I am beast foraging through the wild like so many lost dogs, foraging for the world’s everlasting fountain of youth and beauty butty. Jail is fun, my basketball coach says that I am getting better and after this 5 year sentence is up I will probably be an ace at the lay-up shot. As a great philosopher once said “I miss plenty, I miss you not, but mostly I miss getting deez nuts off” So just so you know that I will come looking for you when I get out, and you better be there dammit. I will hunt you down and find you. jk jk
In my dream… I was out of prison, I was free, and I was walking on a college campus and I saw all kinds of college students walking with backpacks on. I saw a guy who looked exactly like me but older as if he was in his 20’s. He looked great and happy, he was a college student. I felt inside myself that I knew him and that he must be my brother. So I approached him but he said he already had a little brother. I started telling him all about myself and my mom and convinced him I guess. It freaked him out! He brought me to his house where his family lived. The house was beautiful and huge. I went inside and started looking in all the rooms. I entered the first 2 rooms of the house but they were empty. The 3rd room I opened and I saw you there and you were wearing a sexy “santa’s little helper” costume. You were wearing green elf shoes that curl at the end and a green hat.
I later realized that the guy in the dream wasn’t my brother, it was me, in the future. I’m getting out of here someday. I won’t be locked in here forever.
A few days before this boy’s death we were at a party. We were drinking cheap wine coolers at someone’s dad’s beach apartment. My friend had a ziplock bag of weed - maybe $200 worth? He was playing this game with me: if he could burn a hole through a dollar bill with a cigarette onto my hand, then I could keep the weed. I tried for a while, but I couldn’t or didn’t care to follow through. The fact that I didn’t do it is surprising to me because when I was younger I had this unrelenting need to prove my grit whenever possible. A couple days later he called me, my best friend was spending the night and we were both on the phone with him. He was really upset and not making a lot of sense. This was the summer after eighth grade, we were thirteen and it was only a few days after that phone call that I started seeing the news reports about how he had beaten this kid to death with a baseball bat after he had stolen some cash and that same bag of weed.
We wrote for a while but stopped around the time I went to college. Once he sent me some official piece of paperwork from the prison with his name and he had circled the expected release date printed at the bottom - 9/18/9999. I always thought that it was a really tragic accident, I think I needed to see it that way because otherwise I would have lost all trust and faith in people.
I was twenty-four, it was my second time in prison, most people go when they’re young. There was this kid looking for someone to with knowledge - he asked me for help reading his sentencing paper. The out date was 2066, he didn’t understand, he was nineteen years old. He couldn’t understand that it meant he wouldn’t leave. There were lots of kids like that, they used to call this place gladiator school. Kids would fight all the time.
There was this street commando - that’s what you called a club of kids who were too young to get driver’s licenses or motorcycles - I knew I these twins Danny and David Sanders. Danny wanted to fight me because of something I said or something he thought I said or whatever. I was at the Pizza House, we all used to hang out at the Pizza House and Danny was the president of this street commando, they were called ‘the sinners’. So all these guys were coming to fight me and I knew it or I saw them in the parking lot and went outside but on my way out I grabbed a coke bottle from somebody’s table and hid it underneath my jacket - and Danny was out in front of everybody else and when I saw what that bottle did to his face - no one saw the bottle, no one saw it hit the ground - so they thought it was just my fist. He had a one and a half inch gash across his face and I didn’t realize he was unconscious because he was still standing so I still hit him and then he just sort of fell on me and I said you guys better get him to the hospital and they took him and went. A while after I was out in the woods camping and decided to hitchhike back into town - and my friend Randy picked me up. he was 6’5” 220 lbs and mean. man. but I was one of the only ones he was afraid of - he had seen a fight between me and Doug once and was impressed by it. But when I got in the car I was sitting in between David and Danny Sanders - and I said Randy, what are you doing? and he said It’s fine, they don’t care. and the three of us actually became really good friends after that. I ended up joining ‘the sinners’. The twins were Indians. Actually I used to hang around with these other Indian twins, Gary and Jerry - Once Gary sucker punched me and put a tooth through my lips but later I realized that I had told him to do it when I was drunk just to prove I could take it. It’s amazing what you’ll do when you’re drunk. stupid. This must have been around 1969. It was before I joined the army so I must have been 17 years old. I had this other good friend, Johnny Gilman, he died at 22 - OD’d. and so did Bobby Sullivan, jesus. I was in another street commando with Johnny Gilman called ‘the unlimited few’ - it’s stupid, it doesn’t mean anything, they just wanted to sound cool.
I think something happened to me in my childhood that I’m not aware of. I told my sister this and she thinks the same thing - that there was abuse or violence but she doesn’t know what it was.
It was 1964. He was eleven years old. I laughed at “eleven years old” because I didn’t see that age coming. Anyways, he was eleven years old when he and three of his friends, one was twelve and the other two were 14. They had stolen four cars. Three of the cars they had already totaled so they were down to the fourth car. It was a 1964 Chevy Impala which he said was easy to steal back in the day. The were driving south. They came from Michigan to Ohio almost to the Kentucky border when they were pulled over by an Ohio state trooper. He was driving. He was sitting on pillows when the cop came up to the window. As soon as he rolled down the window the cop laughed and said “how old are you?” he said “eighteen” The cop said “Can I see your license,” but he didn’t have one. So the police officer took them all to jail. Since it was his first time getting in trouble he wasn’t charged with anything. He and his three friends were smacked on the hand and their parents were called. That was the end but I feel there is one more thing about this I need to say. I asked him “Have you ever had a grand theft auto charge?” He looks at me with the most serious face and said “12 times as a kid.” I laughed so hard. I just needed to say that.