kid lived in the suburbs. And I mean, all the way in the suburbs.
Planned houses, new-planted trees, no city. Just this kind of …outpost.
A development, out in the desert. Now, because it was so far out of
town, the place was really kind of beautiful. You could see the whole
sky, especially in the morning, and even though there wasn't any river
around, or pond, every yard had a sprinkler, administered by the
development. They mowed the lawns, too, I think. Either way, it was
really nice. I made sure to correspond with this young man's mother and
tell her I was coming, so when I arrived one day a little after noon,
she was expecting me. The shitposter's room, she said, was upstairs. So
I went up to see him.
"The kid's room was a mess. He was
lying on a bed surrounded by candy wrappers and plastic jugs which he'd
filled with pee. I don't think he'd had a shower in weeks, and I know
what that's like, so it didn't shock me. It did, however, tell me
something about his state of mind.
"I saw he had a poster
tacked to his wall; a promotional half-sheet for Agents of
S.H.E.I.L.D., distributed at comic book stores in Fall of 2013. The
show, as you probably know, was a collaboration between the
complimentary industries of film and network television; a spin-off of
Disney's 'Avengers' property designed and budgeted for the prime time
crowd. As a result its viewership skews older than streaming shows like
Daredevil or Luke Cage and the show itself attempts to duplicate the
structure of something like C.S.I. or N.C.I.S.. It's plotty but it
makes money for somebody and I have no problem with it. The kid's
poster was hanging upside down.
"'You watch this show?' I asked. 'I watch it too. I try to watch everything. Lotta time to kill. What do you think of it?'
"'lol,' said the kid. 'watching the electric jew.'"
I should explain that I expected the kid to say this. The word
"jew" is a powerful thing. It inspires intense identification, and
intense antipathy. The kid wasn't strictly speaking protestant, his
family certainly didn't attend church, but the way he used the word
'jew' reminded me of Martin Luther, and he -- believe me -- he was one
of the truest and most unique assholes in the world. When I saw what he
was doing to Germany I went south for a few hundred years and ended up
spending the entire renaissance getting drunk in Italy with the Comte Saint-Germain. I don't like
assholes, exactly, but I do respect them. Assholes usually end up
"When the kid said 'electric jew' he was borrowing
a phrase from a cartoon by A. Wyatt Man, who is famous for racial logos
like the big-nosed 'merchant' and the famous "around blacks, never
relax" cartoon. 'Man' is an alias, of course, but his stuff has a wide
circulation. And he has a cartoon about the 'electric jew' that goes
"There's a picture of a kid, like five or six, and
he's got Stars of David in his eyes, like he's been hypnotized, and he
says 'mommy, I want to racemix like the cool rappers on T.V.'
"Only he says it slower. 'Mommy … I …Want …to .…racemix like the cool rappers on T.V.' See?
him, there's a television -- and it's playing music videos. And there's
a black guy with a white woman on the screen, and the announcer is
saying something like: 'That's the newest chart-topper by big jungle
jim, it's all on pink on the inside, brought to you by Morry Shekelberg
of the Finkelstein label.' So the idea is that television is lying to
you; it's been made by alien interests, and it's putting the whammy on
children. This is a deeply suspicious attitude, but I think it's
basically right. I've already explained about the whammy.
When I was born, I didn't have "Judaism" the way
people talk about it today. I made shoes, and the jews were my people.
Jesus was a jerk, but he was jewish, at least as far as I was concerned. But everything
changes when one generation dies and their kids get old enough to
succeed them. People don't see it, because they're too busy dying, but
me and Melmoth and everybody out here: we see things just fine.
far as I'm concerned practically the entire population of the planet is
a jew; that's how far some version of our thing has spread, but none of
them are jews either, really. They just don't think of it the same way I do.
"To the kid, 'the jew' was something to be
distrusted; an exploitative interest, hiding in media technology. You
can be disgusted, you can disagree. But that's how the kid saw it, and
that's how he used the word. When you can't be killed it takes more than that to offend you. I kept goin:
"'I only asked
because I saw you had the poster,' I said. 'They gave that poster
away at comic book shops. Is that why you have it? Do you like comics?
S.H.E.I.L.D…Originally that's Jack Kirby, right? Then Jim Steranko?
I've met them. Kirby was an mensch.'
"'lol,' said the kid. 'reading the sequential jew.'"
art,' I said to him, thinking. 'That's interesting. So I guess you've
read Scott McCloud? That theoretical stuff?”
"'lol,' said the kid. 'wasting time on the wood-pulp jew.'
that going too far?' I asked him. He had a shelf full of dog-earred
paperbacks, mostly science fiction and critique. 'I see you like books.
Do you really think anything printed on wood pulp is part of some
mind-control scheme? You like language, obviously, you're a writer.'
"'lol,' said the kid. 'deciphering the significant jew.'
you're a semiotician, then. A structural linguist. Your objection to
language is that at a certain point the signifier is arbitrary, and its
signified too conceptual to be considered strictly real. You don't
agree with Charles Sanders Purse, who posits the existence of a
"'lol,' said the kid. 'falling for the linguistic jew.'
I said, sitting down in the kid's computer chair. It had wheels, like
something you'd find in an office, and there were a bunch of pictures
of little anime girls open on his desktop.
"'I'm beginning to think you only operate by negating things,' I said. 'What do you think about God?
"'lol,' said the kid. 'denying the divine jew.'
interesting,' I said. 'You believe in God, but you think he's trying to
trick you and control you, along with the rest of it.' I paused here.
I'll admit – for dramatic effect. 'You might be right,' I said.
'If you believe in the God – do you have any kind of text that you do
respect? Do you read the Bible?'
"'lol,' said the kid. 'trusting the biblical jew.'
"'Maybe you don't have to trust it,' I said. 'Maybe it's a record of profound feeling.'
"'lol,' said the kid. 'indulging the neurochemical jew.'
don't buy it,' I said. 'Just because our feelings can be understood
as chemical reactions does not invalidate living. I know spirit is
a reality. I know there's something of us outside the body. We
have a collective existence, as a species. Men and women -- together.
We participate in this spirit when one generation raises its successor.
It's powered by birth, and death. That's the world, the spirit, the
"'lol,' said the kid. ''3D women are not important.'
"I thought about that.
you deny everything,' I said, 'If you deny not just writing and the
idea of language but also your body and your soul, what claim can you
possibly have to a sincere perception of God? What do you believe in,
really? What believes in you?'
"'lol,' said the kid.
“And that was all."