The Flesh

The Flesh
Bite my lip and close my eyes. Take me away to paradise.

A raven-haired woman seized his hand and led him to the hot tub overlooking the City of Angels. Her bare feet fell silent on the polished travertine tile of the outdoor patio. The lazy, midday sun reclined in the heavens, casting warm, gentle light on the frothing surface of the water. Perched high above the magnificent sprawl of the City, the secluded patio was a private oasis amidst the encroaching Desert.

The woman eased herself into the water and rested her arms on the edge of the hot tub. Tepid foam bubbled to the surface, caressing the ample surface of her breasts. She cocked her head and stared directly at him with quizzical, Byzantine eyes. Golden hoops clung to her ears, bobbing erratically with the motions of her head.

Come inside, darling. Don’t be shy.

He searched for a response but nothing came to mind. His legs began to twitch. She continued to stare at him, bemused.

What’s the matter, baby? Don’t tell me you haven’t done this before.

His chest grew heavy and it became difficult to breath. He felt as if he were about to fall over.

It’s okay. There’s a first time for everything.

The woman reached behind her back and began to toy with the clasp of her purple bikini top. With the clasp undone, she started to raise the top off her chest, centimeter by agonizing centimeter. Her supple flesh revealed itself to him and the entire world went dark.

God damn it.

He sprung up from his tiny mattress and couldn’t see a thing. He waved his hands in front of him until he felt the cold plastic of the VR headset affixed to his face. With a deft motion, he flung the headset off and onto the mattress beside him. He stumbled to his feet and tore open the drawer of the adjacent nightstand. The charger wasn’t there.

He made his way down the stairs of his apartment building and into the dim lobby. The walls of the lobby were filled from floor to ceiling with bright orange lockers. A central kiosk with a touch display sat in the middle of the rows of lockers. The queue for the kiosk stretched out the door and around the corner of the building.

He took his place in the back of the queue, some two blocks from the lobby. Another queue, a mirror image, could be seen across the street. The people stood silent with their eyes affixed to their mobile devices.

An hour passed. Then two hours. The queue didn’t seem to move. Above, small orange drones flitted between the towering apartment buildings. Some carrying bright orange boxes wafted into the lobby of his building. Others emerged from the lobby and disappeared into the grey sky.

Another hour passed. The line began to move. He looked up from his mobile device and turned around. The queue stretched as far as he could see. A meek, mousy looking girl stood behind him staring at her mobile device. She looked young and had a dull brown color to her hair. She didn’t look up.

He thought of saying something to her, maybe even asking her name. She was cute in a bookish sort of way. Nothing that inspired ravishing lust but cute enough. He thought for a long time what it would be like to talk to her. Would she like him? Would she laugh? Would she cry? An orange drone buzzed by his ear and he turned around and inched forward in line.

He couldn’t stop thinking about the girl behind him. She hadn’t looked up from her mobile device. He turned his head around again and looked at her. He wanted to say something, anything. He would ask her how the weather was. That would work. It was always cold but it would at least get her to respond to him.

He turned around fully and began opening his mouth. She didn’t seem to notice. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a rainbow colored police cruiser careen down the street. He turned back around and pulled out his mobile device. The cruiser rolled by the expanding queue outside of his apartment and down the street.

It was time. He reached the front of the queue and typed into the touch screen his order for a new VR charger. An orange drone drifted into the lobby carrying a small bright orange box. He keyed the code into his personal locker and procured the bright orange box. He walked with great haste up the apartment stairs to his room.

His door wouldn’t open. He entered his code again but the door was stuck. He could hear hideous, inhuman noises emanating from his room: a grotesque cacophony of yelling, screaming, and moaning. He pushed the door to his room once more and it swung open.

Writhing, shrieking flesh poured out from his apartment. A horrible homunculus of squirming reproductive parts bound together in an ungodly mound of oozing, reeking anatomy emerged before his virgin eyes. The abomination groaned in both male and female voices, pulsating on the carpet before him. Its fleshy tendrils of diseased genitalia, undulating orifices, and putrid skin screeched and creeped forward.

He tried in vain to shut the door but the thing had escaped. He sprinted down the hallway for the stairs and threw open the door. The stairs had turned to flesh. Slamming the door, he turned around and came face to face with the hulking monstrosity. He screamed and the entire world went dark.

Catapulting up off the tiny mattress, he reached into the darkness in front of his face and cast off the VR headset. He sat in the darkness alone for quite some time. Hours went by and his nerves were beginning to calm. He looked through the drawer of the nightstand but could not find his charger. He got up and started for the door. The door swung open and on the carpet before him rested a small bright orange box.

The BRAWN Initiative

BRAWN Initiative
I want a perfect body. I want a perfect soul.

STEM is dead and women have killed it.

For much of my adult life there has been unwavering support in the media for STEM education. The democratization of the university degree, a product of greed and affirmative action, has flooded the labor pool with low-skilled STEM graduates with little hope for a full time career. We were told the only way to succeed in life, nay the only way to find work, was to study Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. However, upon graduation none of this was true.

The research laboratory is where you will inevitably wind up with your prestigious STEM degree. Those outside of STEM fields have a false conception of what research actually entails. Research is not traveling to remote islands and collecting dead finches with disparate beak shapes. Research is not mixing chemicals to create gold. Research is not testing the atom bomb in a remote New Mexico desert.

Research is monotony. Research is sitting at a computer for hours on end staring at data on Excel. Research is adding Red Liquid A to Red Liquid B with a broken pipette manufactured in 1988. You will never discover anything. You will never invent anything. You will never produce anything of value.

Science is so compartmentalized nowadays that you have no idea what you’re working on. A part of a part of a part of some larger part. You’re given a set of instructions to follow and repeat until you find a different lab. There is no room for creativity or innovation. The grant rules everything around you. Sitting in a fume hood under nauseating fluorescent light all day makes you no better than the lab rats you test boner pills on.

STEM is well-suited to people who follow the rules. People who don’t think big. People who don’t challenge the status quo. Women thrive in this type of environment, as do H-1Bs from the Philippines. The former tends to move up quickly into management. If a woman doesn’t already manage your lab, the impotent, old Boomer male who does will happily change that.

The old Boomers of STEM are dinosaurs. They are replacing themselves with a cohort of strange mystery meat women with names you can’t pronounce. I’m told there’s a shortage of women in STEM but there’s really a shortage of people who aren’t first-generation immigrants. People who don’t ask The Big Questions. People who are more than willing to be the worker ants of the seething hive of Industrial Civilization.

Technology has longed ceased to improve lives. The latest dick pic apps from Silicon Valley let us Keep Up with the Kardashians, but otherwise tether us to an inescapable virtual hellscape. Engineering, too, has failed us. We set foot on the Moon and that was about it for technological progress. Advancements in robotics promise us a future in which no one will have to work. But we’ve been told that for a long time. Work isn’t bad as long as it’s dignified. There is nothing dignified about receiving a UBI check from the government after watching your mandatory twelve hours of targeted mobile ads per day.

Mathematics serves as the body of the STEM hydra, and remains to an extent the least corrupted of the four fields. Notoriously difficult, higher level math serves as an obstacle many students cannot surmount. Life science undergraduates tap out after differential & integral calculus, something of which should be mandatory to graduate high school. I am told that in China all university students regardless of major must pass linear algebra and differential equations. This could be a good filter for a better education system in the future.

It is clear by now that STEM is a meme propagated by big business to drive down wages in highly technical disciplines. The supposed STEM shortage is nothing more than a hoax to flood the labor market both with underpaid recent graduates and H-1B Filipina waifus for the enjoyment of middle management Boomers. STEM is on its way out and its death invites us to ponder what should replace it.

I would like to propose my very own BRAWN Initiative. The technical disciplines have for too long been filled with nerds lacking a sort of vital spirit necessary for innovation and discovery. Worse, the rote nature of contemporary STEM has attracted insect people content to memorize and repeat soundbites from their college professors. The BRAWN Initiative will make them all submit to the will of the New Man.

One cannot have a healthy mind or soul without a healthy body. Thus, Broscience is the first of the five core components of BRAWN. By selectively drawing from ancient wisdom, biostatistics, and esoteric bodybuilding forums, Broscience represents all that is good and pure in regards to health and well-being. To paraphrase a famous bodybuilder, “Are you going to listen to somebody who studied the body or somebody who built the body?” With all this talk in the media about healthcare and the impotence of the government, the Age of DIY Healthcare cannot come soon enough. Look after your bros as they would look after you.

Religion is the second component of BRAWN. The health of the soul is criminally overlooked by modern science. Some of these lab coat-wearing neckbeards even say the soul doesn’t exist. We enlightened few know this isn’t true. Choose a faith and follow it. It doesn’t matter if it ‘isn’t real’; the Truth lies in the stories and parables regardless if they actually happened.

The third core component of BRAWN is Aesthetics. As I have written before, your appearance is literally the only important thing about you. But Aesthetics goes beyond this: we must teach students to appreciate Beauty in all forms, from art to architecture to Nature. A respect for Beauty translates into a respect for Life itself. Life is not and should not be a race to the very bottom. Through Broscience and Religion (body & soul) we will elevate ourselves and our civilization into the realm of the Aesthetic.

Will to power is the fourth and foundational force of BRAWN. Will to power is your vital spark, your inner flame, your essence. Will to power is a rebellion against the overwhelming force of entropy that threatens to consume us all. By cultivating will to power through intense physical training, endurance exercises, and mandatory nude Greco-Roman wrestling, we will be able to overcome the pervasive nihilism of post-modernism.

The last core component of BRAWN is Natural philosophy, the original science. Natural philosophy concerns itself with the mathematics that underpins all physical phenomena. We must learn from the Ancients by reading the foundational texts of this field and expand on it in our own ways. It is an atrocity that public schools teach mathematics, physics, and biology without having students read the works of Pythagoras, Archimedes, and Aristotle. An experiment is of no use if you do not understand the fundamental reasons behind natural phenomena. Many people can do calculus but few know why and how it was developed over millennia.

Thus, let us cast STEM into the trash heap of post-modernity. Let BRAWN be the future of total human development. Let us be stronger, smarter, and more introspective. Let us ask The Big Questions and know how to answer them.

PEP Squad

PEP Squad

An iridescent glow reflected off of his mirrored aviator sunglasses. He exhaled a plume of white vapor and studied its ascent into the clear, black night sky. The wharf was cold this time of year, too cold. A writer, one of those many conventional men no longer studied in schools, once wrote that the coldest winter of his life was the summer he spent in San Francisco. Some things refuse to change.

A wall of fog inched across the bay. It was late and the streets were empty aside from a few tired tourists meandering back to their hotel rooms. In his three years on the force, Officer G. knew the city well. Nightlife was restricted to a few well-known locations and it was rare to see a native San Franciscan wandering about after dark.

Officer G. leaned on the door of his squad car. The infamous pier stretched out before him and faded into the swirling black depths of the bay. An observant tourist could still see the shrapnel scars left on the outer walls of the adjacent buildings.

A wedding. A bloodbath. Thick smoke from the ensuing fire billowed for hours. Some type of bomb. The bride and groom were consumed in the blast at the moment of their eternal vows. Until death do you part. That was the old saying. While the rest of the country mourned, the people of the city saw it as a new beginning.

Later that evening, they stormed the office of the mayor. The mob, in its insatiable frenzy, tore through the corpulent bureaucrats with ease. The government had given them everything but their own lives. A familiar multicolored banner of every visible hue, ubiquitous around these parts, ascended and the mob cried out in prideful joy.

The vibrant standard ushered in an untold era of progress for the city. Subsequent weeks of looting and pillaging gave way to a nascent new order, an order founded on true equality. San Francisco became once again the shining beacon of light in the medieval darkness of the nation. Likeminded individuals of all breeds flocked to the golden city.

Fog crept onto the pier and Officer G. sauntered to the water’s edge. In the distance stood a foreboding island fortress. Churning, icy currents surrounding the fortress provided a formidable deterrent to any who dared escape internment. Citizens apprehended for reeducation were whisked away in the middle of the night and brought to the solitary island. Little was known about the curriculum, but educator positions attracted some of the brightest minds from nearby universities.

Officer G. glanced back at his squad car. The tourists had cleared the streets and a persistent silence fell upon the wharf. Behind him stood glimmering skyscrapers, graven monoliths of progress against the unbearable cruelty of nature. Tiny shards of light adorning their edifices housed the denizens of the proud city. Officer G. strolled back to the vehicle.

The car started with a meek electric hum. Officer G. backed out of his parking spot along the wharf and turned right onto Embarcadero. Night patrol was routine. Few emerged from their well-lit domiciles on these cold nights. Fewer still emerged during the day.

Since universal basic income had been signed into law under Governor Mark Z., there was little reason to leave one’s apartment. A living wage, thanks to the philanthropy of Silicon Valley benefactors, could be earned by viewing one dozen or so hours of targeted ads per day on a smartphone or tablet. Violent crime had dissipated throughout much of the state. However, San Francisco maintained a sizeable task force.

A shrill, crackling static noise from the car radio split the silence. Officer G. jumped in his seat and fiddled with the radio. A deep female voice filled the car.

Dispatch. Officer G., do you copy? Over.

Copy. What’s the situation, Captain? Over.

Battery in progress. Suspect was last seen on foot heading north on Hyde. Exercise extreme caution. Over.

Copy. Over and out.

***

A lanky, awkward man was climbing a steep slope somewhere around Russian Hill. At his side was a squat, rotund girl panting in strenuous effort. The two had been walking together for several minutes after deciding to leave the bar where they met that night. The man arrived at the door to his apartment and waited for the girl to catch up. She spoke to him in a hushed tone.

Thanks for bringing me out tonight. I really had fun.

Y-you too.

The girl giggled and stared into the man’s eyes. She moved closer and embraced him. He craned his neck, and with a great deal of nervous apprehension, brought his lips towards hers. Right before their lips met, the horrible cacophony of screeching car tires caused them both to snap their gaze up the street.

Officer G. slammed on the brakes, and flinging the door of his vehicle open, drew his Glock 22.

Freeze!

The man stumbled away from the girl in shock and raised his hands. In the confusion, the girl ran with surprising speed down the street from the scene.

I said freeze!

The man placed his raised palms on top of his head but it was too late. Officer G. double tapped the trigger of his Glock 22, sending two .40 S&W rounds square into the groin of the suspect. The man keeled over, clawing at his crotch in agony before losing consciousness. Officer G. lowered his weapon and produced a portable radio from the pocket of his hot pink squad uniform.

Captain. Officer G. reporting. Suspect is down. Over.

Copy. Report to HQ for debriefing. Over.

Officer G. strolled back to his squad car, its standard issue rainbow paint job sparkling under the bright light of the nearby streetlamp. Slamming the door, Officer G. started the vehicle and pulled out from the curb. He switched the car radio on and tuned into his favorite music station. The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” started playing and he drove off into the dark San Francisco night.