So This Is Goodbye

“Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.”

-Patti Smith

Well, the world didn’t end after all. We woke up the morning after the 21st to find that the dust had settled and it was just another day. Life does go on, and aside from the exciting, exasperating highs and lows of political conflicts, social struggles and apocalyptic tall tales, life is mostly pretty boring.… [Read more]

Greetings From The End Of The World

If what all those unscrupulous “new age” authors and their acid-casualty devotees say is true, we are only a week away from the end of the world as we know it. As much as I want to believe that this nightmare known as civilization is about to get put out if its misery, I can’t quite convince myself of it.… [Read more]

Broadening the Dem’s Big Tent – Attention Liberals: You Blew It.

“In every political community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals. An outspoken group on many subjects. Ten degrees to the left of center in good times. Ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally.”

-Phil Ochs

 

As you might recall if you’re not new to my column, I feel so alienated from mainstream liberalism that I was reluctant to even drag my ass to the voting booth.… [Read more]

Sit Down and Don’t Be Counted

I stand by what I said in my last article: the electoral process in Amerika is “democratic” only for intents and purposes, not in practice. The idea that we as voters have a “choice” is a lie the government placates us with to prevent us from getting uppity and challenging them. And if the hippies and the ineffectual flash in the pan that was Occupy are the best we can do to fight back, they’ve succeeded.… [Read more]

Mock The Vote

Election day is just a few days away. Much ado has been made about remembering to register, and this is aimed especially at people like me: those who are young and not yet used to exercising their democratic privilege, and who are more likely to have moved from one voting district to another and need to get their info updated.… [Read more]

Getting Bent

Yesterday, I noticed a theme on my Facebook news feed; many of my ‘net friends were making posts about Straight-Edge. It soon became apparent that October 17th was Straight-Edge Day. I don’t know where the idea for this punk rock Hallmark holiday came from, but as with the Straight-Edge movement itself, everybody seems to have an opinion about it, and many maladjusted people looking for an excuse to get into an argument have found just that.… [Read more]

Aimless in America the 3rd

And so my tour continues further south. A day off in Orlando is pleasant but uneventful, like the city itself. I couldn’t find much to do but walk around aimlessly, occasionally getting engaged in conversation by questionable-looking people on the streets, including one dude with what looked like multiple stab scars all over his mid-section and arms.… [Read more]

Aimless in America 2

Florida’s a strange, strange place. It’s like America’s lost appendage, nearly severed but still hanging on by just a shred of skin, our southern-most point lost at sea, its tenuous connection to the mainland leaving it off in its own little world. Staring out of the train window for several hours at a time, the site of lush, brilliant-green tropical swamps punctuated by busted-looking trailer parks with the occasional Confederate flag flying high was a bit of a trip for this big-city liberal.… [Read more]

Aimless in America

James Michael Haitchwai is back in black and ready to talk smack once again. I just spent the past few weeks slummin’ it down south and a little ways out west, partly to take my crappy music on tour but mostly just to cut myself a break from the inhospitably expensive and divisive confines of post-gentrification D.C.… [Read more]

Rantings and Ravings of An Incurable Misanthrope

Maybe it’s just sleep deprivation, hunger pangs, and the stress of an impending eviction talking, but I think I’ve lost all faith in humanity. Not that this is anything new for me; in fact, it’s pretty much been my default state for as long as I can remember, a hellhound on my trail, my very own personal dark cloud following me everywhere I go, raining misanthropy down on my head in an unending torrent.… [Read more]

STRIKE

I really hate to second-hand my information, but sometimes that’s what it comes down to. When I’m racking my brain trying to figure out what to write about each week, and I’ve started to exhaust personal experiences that would be relevant, I have to resort to hitting the search engine. It feels like a cop-out to write about what’s already been written, to just filter other peoples’ research through my vocabulary, but it’s also an exercise in accepting my limitations.… [Read more]

Trash-Talkin’ ’bout The End Times

What do the inevitable demise of capitalism, Mayan calendar interpretations of dubious veracity, and yellow American journalism have in common? They’re all topics I’m quite fascinated by and would love to shoot my mouth off about here at BNV. You can imagine how excited I was when a friend hipped me to a story that’s got all of these elements rolled into one.… [Read more]

The New Oppression

The other day, a walk down the block went awry. While heading to the corner store, I passed a man standing on his front steps 3 or 4 doors down from mine and, trying to be neighborly, I nodded towards him and said “how you doin’?” He responded with an unfriendly glare and a barrage of questions about where I was going, where I’m from and the like.… [Read more]

Slave New World

Leaning back in comfy mechanical beds. Channel-surfing. Gorging on an unlimited supply of free food. Joking around until 4 or 5 in the morning with my friend John in our shared room at a medical research facility, recovering from a mild case of government-induced malaria. This is a highly unlikely scenario any way you slice it, but it’s downright surreal to think that it was under these circumstances that John and I had an epiphany about the harsh realities of globalization, free-market economics and the irreconcilable, inescapable rabbit hole of conflicted interests that it has wrought on the entire human race.… [Read more]

Out of Our (Gun) Control

In the aftermath of the Colorado movie theatre shooting, the gun control debate is in full swing, and it’s been a typically predictable battle of wills. Proponents of the Second Amendment are sticking with the “guns don’t kill people, people kill people” party line, and opponents are insisting that fewer guns would lead to fewer lives lost.… [Read more]

The Blind Leading the Blind?

Perhaps I came off as a tad snarky last week when I declared that the pending presidential election is meaningless and I’d rather watch President Obama and Mitt Romney duke it out in a bare-knuckle boxing match than show up to the voting booth. Perhaps people like me with their rotten attitudes who take their citizenship in a democracy for granted are as much a part of the problem as the corrupted state of our democracy.… [Read more]

Buck Wild Election Year 2012

As hard as it still is for me to believe, I am writer for a news website, and yet I have not written anything about the most pressing political issue in our nation today: the upcoming presidential election. That’s because I have NO INTEREST in it. Up until this morning, I’d barely even read about it aside from a few clips on my Yahoo news feed, which is about as informative as a celebrity gossip tabloid, and even that was more out of a kind of sardonic “hahaha look at these fuggin’ idiots” need for a quick laugh than any desire for information.… [Read more]

James’ America

It’s the morning after the 4th of July, and I’m surveying the wreckage. My back yard is spilling over with the aftermath of an all-day party featuring 20 bands, a root beer keg, plenty of “real” beer too, a kiddie pool located dangerously close to a power line that got knocked down by that vicious storm the other day, and a whole lotta people actin’ ignorant (we tried to get a Chuck E.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, The Final Chapter

Another semester goes by and I ought to be feeling great. I’ve gotten straight A grades and a national honors award that could earn me admission and scholarship to any 4-year program I choose. Teachers and classmates are heaping on the praise, certain that I will make a great therapist. My bosses say I practically am one already, because the clients I’ve been assigned are really enjoying their time with me.… [Read more]

Questioning My Sanity, Part Tres

Halfway done with a 2-year Mental Health certificate program, with another 4 years of undergrad and 3 years of grad school to look forward to after that (if I want to get a “real” career and not have to beg for a couch to crash on ever again), and I’m already burning out. The dull and dry reading and writing assignments, the suspect perspectives being voiced in class discussions, the skewed theories that raise more questions than they answer; this wasn’t what I had signed up for.… [Read more]