The Secret Chord

It is the eve of All Hallows’ Eve, and we’ve already escaped the clutches of doom. Standard Halloween scares don’t seem so spooky when you’ve seen your uncertain future dangling by its own umbilical cord. I think we’ll be weathering this one with our porch light off.

We checked into the Northeast Arkansas Baptist Memorial Hospital last Wednesday night. Gina’s protein levels were elevated past normal in her last screening and we’d been informed via telephone that she was in the early stages of preeclampsia. In retrospect, it must have been pre-preeclampsia, because the other hospital staff kept expressing disbelief that she actually had preeclampsia. I trust that our physician wasn’t being overly cautious and that the early delivery was warranted, but I also know nurses usually Question Everything. I saw this quirk save my father’s life back in 2008, but I also cannot tell you how many times I’ve had to listen to “well, the doctor” tirades.

The torture began shortly after Gina disrobed and climbed into her adjustable bed. It was hard and lumpy, designed with delivering babies in mind, not comfort. Everyone was kind and sympathetic as they performed their duties, which was appreciated because the onslaught of needle sticks and delivery of chemicals would have seemed like an assault otherwise. I’m not completely ignorant of modern medical practices, but the things we do to people every day, while miraculous, are simultaneously brutal in application. I always think back to Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy saving Chekov from 1986-style brain surgery in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Thirty years later, we aren’t so removed from the “Dark Ages” and “medievalism” that the 23rd century physician denigrated.

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Thursday morning got rolling early with a pitocin drip, which a nurse would come in and crank up periodically. Gina’s answer to the often-referenced 1-10 pain scale question crept up as the day wore on. Four. Five. Six or seven. Seven.

Our OB-GYN attempted to break Gina’s water at midday. I held her hand as he jabbed at her placenta with a dull plastic stick. She weathered this intrusion heroically, which even he noticed and pointed out after deciding the procedure wasn’t going to be effective. He upped the pitocin. I waited while she contracted. Seven or eight. Eight.

I became very aware that my position on this field was waterboy. Gina was the star quarterback and the doctor and nurses were coach and team. I held her hand and watched the monitors, I reminded her to breathe, when necessary, and I told her everything was going to be okay, whether I believed it or not. When the OB-GYN came back later, observed no progress, and asked if she wanted him to perform a cesarean section, she looked at me and said, “What do you think we should do?”

I told her that I couldn’t tell her that because she was the one doing it. “It’s your body,” I said. The OB-GYN said that was the correct answer. She opted for him to try piercing her again. He did.

I held her hand and stroked her forehead while he ripped through. He was simultaneously apologetic about the pain and impressed by her tolerance. We were elated that perhaps now we’d be on the road to a delivery after almost 24 hours of being told that her extreme duress “wasn’t really labor” simply because she wasn’t dilating. I was in awe of her. I always have been, but I felt I was witnessing something extraordinary, as if some caped person had flown down and lifted a bus.

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The contractions were hellish without the cushion of an unbroken amniotic sac. She rode it out for hours and I stood by her, hands squeezed until our knuckles turned white. I shifted my weight from foot to foot because I could not move from that spot. I thought of standing on the deck of the Tia Rose and staring at the horizon as the ship pitched in the sea. The monitors. The mountains. The chart. The waves.

Our RN that shift, a travel nurse whose name I unfortunately do not recall, checked Gina’s dilation again at our request. She was still barely three centimeters, which apparently wasn’t enough to get an epidural. The OB-GYN wanted her to be at least four before she was medicated. As I’ve spoken to people about this strategy over the past two days, I’ve received mixed replies. Some have said it’s necessary in order for labor to progress safely, and some were horrified at the barbarism of it all. Experiences vary from medical facility to medical facility, but in our case, the RN on duty intervened and said it was close enough. She called the anesthesiologist, who arrived a gut wrenching 45 minutes after she said they would. Nine.

Gina’s relief was delivered and I felt comfortable enough to take a break. I reclined on the couch and promptly lost consciousness. I was intermittently aware that people were coming and going but I was mostly out until I heard our new shift RN, Sara, say that dilation was five centimeters, and that she had a hand full of umbilical cord.

I put my glasses on. She was on the gurney, big eyed and wrist deep. “Cord,” she said. People started moving fast. She shouted towards the door for someone. I sat up slowly and put on my old, worn-out running shoes, and my heart was already hammering like I’d attempted a half marathon. Sara quickly explained to Gina that this meant she was going to have an emergency c-section. Game time.

I walked to the head of the bed. Gina was hyperventilating. “Breathe,” I said. “Everything is going to be okay.”

Yeah, that was a fucking lie. It is my job now, I thought, to be stoic and lie. I am the greatest liar. I tell wonderful lies.

Gina asked if I was going with her. I told her that she’d go down the hall and I’d be separated from her momentarily while they got her prepped, but then I’d be by her side. I could see the cord bulging like sausage casing in Sara’s hand. She said, “We need to get something wet. This doesn’t need to dry out.” Sara held Willie’s blue lifeline away from his head and through Gina’s cervix unbent and unbound. I stared at it, knowing that a kinked hose stops delivering its contents. I kept telling myself he was alive. She adjusted the sensor strap and repositioned Gina’s leg with her other hand. His heart rate kept dipping. Sixty-eight. Fifty-four.

Someone gave her a shot to help stop the contractions. Someone made her drink something bitter. I held Gina’s hand with my left hand and pulled my phone out of my pocket with my right. I SwiftKey swiped “labor umbilical cord” into Google with my thumb and hit the first link. Someone asked if they’d called the doctor. Someone said, “I hope he has his flashers on.”

I am a pessimist by nature, so part of me had expected this. They started to roll her out and I followed her down the hall thinking, “This is it. This is the thing that destroys me. This is the thing I will never get over.” Sara was riding on the bed, flying, holding everything in place like a jet pilot. She was a steely-eyed missile woman.

They pushed Gina through the operating room doors and a nurse began to hand me gown outfit pieces from a supply cart. I got my right shoe covered, but I couldn’t find the hole for my left slipper. “My hands don’t work,” I said. She said, “Here,” kindly, and did it for me. We got the other pieces on in a few more seconds and I sat on a plastic chair, ensconced in a wall depression between the two supply carts.

She stood back and looked at me. I was staring, silently. “Come here,” she said, and bent down to put her arms around me. My chest hitched a few times and I hugged her back. “I’m okay,” I said. “I’m fine. I just need a minute.” She nodded, and I dried that shit up fast because I knew I was in it now.

The hall cleared and I was sitting alone. I briefly considered prayer but decided against it. It felt hollow. I switched to singing, but the first thing that came to mind was Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” because the last song I’d heard was the solidly mediocre Pentatonix cover. I was also annoyed at myself because it still felt like praying. Oh well. I opened my mouth and croaked. My voice shook as my vocal cords refused to cooperate. I gave up and exhaled. A moment later, our OB-GYN rounded the corner.

“Well, I guess we’re doing a c-section after all,” he said as he retrieved gloves from the supply cart. I sat and considered a response along the lines of “I believe in you,” or some other sappy shit, but I settled on a stern, staccato, “Good luck.” He paused mid-step, and it looked like he was going to reply, then he turned and strode into the OR. I didn’t blame him any more than I’d blame a coach for a fumble, but he’d definitely had a part in calling the plays.

A small dude in blue scrubs came to retrieve me. I entered the room and moved to my place at the head of the bed. I didn’t notice her at the time because she was under a sheet, but Sara was still on the gurney holding everything in place. Gina had her arms tied out at her sides, crucified, and she was shaking like a leaf. Her breaths were hitching, unproductive. I leaned down from above, took her face in my hands and put my forehead on hers. “Breathe,” I said. “It’s your job to breathe. Everything is fine. Everything is going to be okay.” Her oxygen mask fogged. I was still convinced that I was lying. It was my job to lie.

I peered over the sheet that had been lifted to block Gina’s innards from her view and watched the operation in progress. They were already getting out the big metal shoehorn they use to pry out a uterus full of baby. How long had it been since the Titanic had hit the iceberg? Fifteen, twenty minutes? Our OB-GYN worked away while handing out criticism to his assistants. “That should have been open when you handed it to me,” he said. “That should be within reach so you don’t have to let go of the bladder to get it.”

I was looking at Gina and spinning more sweet lies when they wrenched him out. “Happy birthday,” the OB-GYN said. Willie was already in the warmer when I heard him cry out for the first time, and I looked up again. It was 11:32 pm on October 27, 2016, and life, as it does, had found a way.

“It’s him,” I said. “Do you hear him? He’s okay.” The fates had forgiven my lies and made them retroactively true with swift hands and sharp blades.

“Yes,” she said. “I want to see him.”

I fetched him as soon as they would let me and put his face next to hers. He looked just like her, and I told her so. She kissed him over and over. “Hello Willie,” she said, “I love you.”

Things were routine after that. We experienced a flurry of texts, messages, calls, and visits. There were other petty frustrations that I will not mention in detail here because childbirth ain’t Disneyland, folks. We got out of the hospital with a living infant. I can handle some interpersonal conflict. A wonderful older RN, Kaye, matronly as all get out, spent the night giving us breastfeeding tips and finally got Willie to latch. Sara stopped in and checked on us a couple more times. We thanked her repeatedly. She was beaming.

Gina and I processed our ordeal deep into the night. She wondered if there were such a thing as divine influence. I told her I thought it was more like Captain Sullenberger landing his plane in the Hudson. He had specifically studied that situation previously and if he hadn’t been in the right place at the right time, all those people probably would have died. “That’s Sara,” I said. “She’s the Captain.”

I relayed some of these events to my good friend Scott, which prompted him to ask me what it feels like to be a dad. “Great joy and absolute terror,” I wrote. When he wondered if that was because of uncertainty about the future or financial woes and asked me to elucidate, I did, and he suggested I post it verbatim.

More like, “Will they die today and destroy me forever.” Yeah, what you said, to an extent, but to me it’s more like they are the external representation of your existence. It feels that way, as well, like there’s a piece of me outside my body. It’s wonderful to think that they’ll have their own lives and adventures, but it’s a double-edged sword. I recognize at this point that the key to immortality is mortality, living, making more people, and dying. Then, the big all-encompassing fear is that you outlive them.

There are countless contributions to humanity that have nothing to do with creating more people, and you can certainly “make people” without literally making people, but if you decide to do that, you’re entering a new dimension of pain. There’s nothing more wonderful to us raging narcissists than filling the world with little snippets of our DNA then wringing our hands about their survival. The worry is the human part, but when we obsess over our young instead of dumping a clutch of eggs and swimming away, we’re expressing the very thing that makes us superior.

Whether it’s all hormones, qualia, or je ne sais quoi, we’ve got that shit locked down. We’re homicidal techno-apes with the feels. Sometimes I think it might be better if we don’t get off this rock, but then, wow, kids. We gotta ravage those stars.

Worry is a hurdle, not a finish line. We’ve leaped this one, but as my girls proved by surviving a harrowing car wreck last July, it’s never over. It won’t be over until my heart explodes, which will probably be much sooner than I’d like, but them’s the breaks, kid. So it goes, as Vonnegut used to say.

We live, we love, and we seed the world with little folks and hope that someone gets there, wherever that is. Maybe we’re only there while we’re going there, but that’s okay too.

Come on, Willie. Let’s get going.

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Up With Downticket

Today one of my Top Men privately suggested that my particular brand of Space Communism may have dissuaded people from voting altogether. Nothing can be further from the truth. Your Chairman fully recognizes the value of having the workers rise and stand in line for up to 12 hours (or 12 minutes in a Republican majority district) in order to press buttons. Studies have shown that the mere implication of political influence, real or imagined, prevents the proletariat from engaging in pyromancy and livestock buggery. No dictator, benevolent or otherwise, would be wise to remove this option.

I have spoken frequently about the value of voting for Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY, but I haven’t expressed the necessity of voting on downticket elections and ballot measures. For your convenience I will list suggested choices for Arkansas, which you may print out and distribute at your leisure. (If a local candidate or measure is not listed here, use your best judgement and then vote the opposite because everything you believe is decidedly shit. Unless it’s weed. Vote for weed.)

If you are one of the 99% of Americans who do not reside in Arkansas, stay home and burn one. Your liberators will soon arrive.


BALLOT ISSUES

Issue 1: Can I fuck a bear? – NAY.
(The wording here is grammatically unclear. The state has no place deciding whether or not you have the ability to fuck bears. We support a full relaunch next cycle under “May the people of Arkansas engage in consensual sexual relationships with bears.”)

Issue 2: When the Governor is out of state, may we go to their house and watch their Blu-Ray? – YEA.

Issue 3: To create a separate but equal civil union recognizing human-ursine relationship bonds. – NAY.
(We will not rest until the legal institution of marriage is extended to bears, but only after required cybernetic enhancements, which would allow proper communication, are researched and developed. Communication is the bedrock of healthy relationships.)

Issue 4: To create a system for betting on gladiatorial combat between infants under 6 months of age and adults age 18+, whereas the adult must use both hands to hold the infant up to their face and may not strike or headbutt or otherwise harm the infant in any way, and the infant must box or paw at the adult’s face as long as the adult combatant is able to hold the infant up without tiring, all proceeds going to the world class Arkansas Children’s Hospital – YEA.

Issue 5: Some shit no one understands, in order to raise or lower something badly worded and receive the standard distribution of random votes from confused citizens except the few who are previously informed of the measure who will inevitably sway the outcome in their favor – YEA.

Issue 6: To legalize the huffing of paint fumes from standard authorized containers to be distributed at sanctioned places of worship and bowling alleys – NAY.

Issue 7:  To legalize the huffing of paint fumes from any container only on the premises of a licensed paint dealer or within 20 yards of any privately owned dumpster – YEA.

Issue 8: To permit sentient sand sculptures to be licensed as cosmetologists. – YEA.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Arkadelphia Alderman Ward 6: Merle Hobbs – HAIR CARE USA PARTY

Batesville Mayor: Sandy “Sand” Sanderson – LITERALLY MADE OF SAND PARTY

Bay City Meth Disposal Supervisor: Jim “Snorty” Mays – UNAFFILIATED

Bentonville State Representative District 91: Fred “Not That One” Durst – I AM NOT THE GUY FROM LIMP BIZKIT PARTY

Conway Alderman Ward 1: Sandal Sandstone – HAIR CARE USA PARTY

Hoxie Dogcatcher: Rex Bella Missie – THREE DOGS IN A TRENCHCOAT PARTY

Jonesboro Mayor: Chairman Bob “The Merchandise” Talbot – FULL COMMUNISM, BABY

Little Rock Alderman Ward 4: Sando “Sandman” Sanders – LITERALLY MADE OF SAND PARTY

Mountain Home Mayor: Tex “Bear Fucker” Hendershot – FURPENETRATION NOW

Newton County Sheriff – Grghhhg Rhhghhhn – RGHRHH ROARGHHH

Pine Bluff Alderman Ward 2: Charles William “Rerun” Washington – IS THIS THE PART OF THE FORM WHERE YOU LIST PARTY [ILLEGIBLE SCRIBBLING] WHY AM I ASKING A FORM A QUESTION [MORE SCRIBBLING] TURN PAGE OVER HEY I TRIED TO START A PARTY BUT I WAS UP AGAINST THE DEADLINE AND I JUST GOT OUT OF [CHARACTER LIMIT]

Stone County Sheriff: Will “I Fuck A Bear” Yessman – LITERALLY MADE OF SAND PARTY

Texarkana City Clerk: Wendy Fenster-McGill – SPORTCLIPS UNION

Trumann Teen Pregnancy Mascot: Alexis “Octomom II” [last name withheld under state juvenile privacy law] – SIXTEEN AND PREGNANT PARTY

Underground Herget Dome Comptroller: Maximillian Xanth – MOLEMAN ALLIANCE 

Walnut Ridge Mayor: Jim “Sandbear” Wallace – RGHRHH ROARGHHH

West Memphis State Senator District 24: Write-in Damien Wayne Echols.


Remember, kids: Vote early and vote often!

 

I’ve Been Waiting

I just worked three overnight shifts to complete the holiday setup. It ended up being more like two-and-a-half shifts, which was a relief. Lynn brought her sound system and we listened to 1980s pop all night. The awkward hilariousness of the lyrics was not lost on us. After the fourth or fifth time through “Jessie’s Girl” I wondered aloud when Rick Springfield was going to kill Jessie. The discussion quickly went down the rabbit hole of Rick planning the murders of subsequent boyfriends and, ultimately, the titular Jessie’s Girl.

Why is 1980s music so fucking creepy? The lyrical content is stalkery and often describes borderline illegal activity, if not outright condoning it. The Police alone (and I’m talking Sting, not the guys who choke you to death for committing the terrible crime of living in America) have enough songs about unconventional relationships to give me this vibe, and they were one of the most popular bands in their day.

Throw in “Jessie’s Girl” and we’re developing a trend. When I was a kid, I thought Rick Springfield was Bruce Springsteen’s shitty little brother. It initially makes little sense, even with the similar names (that’s not how surnames work, Bobby), but I assume it’s because my child mind somehow recognized all the other celebrities and their less talented siblings. Sylvester and Rick Stallone (see, there it is. The S-name, the “Rick”, the shittiness), John and Jim Belushi, Patrick and Don Swayze.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler isn’t so bad on its own, but I’ve seen the video. In those days you couldn’t divorce the MTV extravaganza from the tune itself. It was an important part of the presentation, and since this particular one featured the singer lusting after young schoolboys I’m going to put her down in the “set sail for prison” column.

Perhaps this is me at my most Tipper Gore, and I’ll accept that criticism. Thing is, I’m not saying it’s necessarily bad or that it should be loaded onto a rocket and fired into the sun (that’s ska. Build the ska rocket now – we have the technology). I’m only telling you it makes me feel kinda funny, and not like climbing the rope in gym class, Garth.

Lyrical content aside, 1980s pop has always sounded haunting. Even as a child I was creeped out by it. “Thriller” by the late King of Pop was supposed to be scary, but “We Built This City” by Starship (no Jefferson here) and “Out of Touch” by Hall and Oates are equally unsettling. The synthesizers are ethereal and unreal, existing in the uncanny valley of musical production. Earlier prog rock situations have this effect on me as well, but that shit was supposed to be weird. When it’s appropriated for club music, everything sounds like a funeral.

I’ve always been haunted by it in the same way that 1930s and 1940s big band music sends a chill down my spine. Other genres don’t do this to me. Rock ‘n’ roll in the 1950s and 1960s, hard rock in the 1970s, that shit is alive. Motown, funk, and psychedelia, they still move after all these years. Tears for Fears, however, sounds like a dirge. I know I was just a little guy, but it seemed that way then.

I hear the freakiness in other places, though. There’s something chilling about gritty old blues, country and western recordings. Warbly 1920s jazz crooners send a shiver down my spine. Hell, Kurt Cobain sounded like a dead man before he decided to do a little at-home dentistry. Radiohead? All of it.

If we’re talking about an entire era, though, holy shit. You could make the Haunted Mansion at Disney a whole lot freakier by piping in 1980s Top Forty Hits. Goddamned electric organs, sadness, and lyrical threats of spying and molestation. Instead of hitchhiking ghosts the exit mirrors would reflect everyone with shoulderpads and bad hair. Hell, a lot of those songs were what was cranking while Dad helped set up the Trumann Jaycees Haunted House in the early 1980s, so I’ve experienced it in person. That could also be the cause of my bias.

If I’m going to engage in introspection, there may be other reasons I associate 1980s music with death, but I’m certain I have something concrete here. Crank up Foreigner’s “Waiting For A Girl Like You” on an overcast autumn day and tell me that shit isn’t spooky. Halloween is coming. I’ll be waiting for you down at the motel in a plywood maze that smells like spray paint. Jessie’s dead, kiddo.

It’s just you and me now.

A Saturday Shart From Your Chairman

Once upon a time, Bob Talbot wanted to change the world.

I was a tryhard. A seriousposter. Life decisions and circumstances choked it out of me. It has you in its grasp as well. I see you very well, former anarchists. I’ve noticed how you slide so comfortably from, “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,” to subservient gratitude for what you will have to endure.

Some of you have dug your filthy nicotine-coated fingernails into the pavement and started yelling for real. There was a time, not too long ago, when everyone wanted the curtain pulled back on Oz the Great and Powerful. Now the curtain has vanished, and still the people’s eyes are transfixed on the giant floating head before them, bookended by horrid flames. The booming voice echoes our instructions. I see the few, the undefeated, screaming, “Turn your heads.” Toto runs in and pulls on the Wizard’s pant leg, a situation that would have tickled everyone to their core even six months ago. Now some of them only mutter, “Euthanize that mongrel.” They all continue staring forward, unmoving.

When the time comes for you to believe in a lie, I implore you, believe in the lie of Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY. Believe in star empires, robot bodies, post-scarcity and the Hyperloop. Dream of Tomorrow-morrow Land, for it dreams of you.

If you have to cast a vote not worth casting, don’t cast it well. Cast it for Bob Talbot 20X6: FULL COMMUNISM, NOW AND FOREVER.

When you hold your grandchildren on your knee and they ask, “What did you do in the great election of 2016,” you won’t have to say, “Well, I fear-voted for a millionaire backed by billionaires because I was afraid of a lousy, foul-mouthed clown.”

You’ll say, “I voted for Little Bobby Talbot,” and gesture out at the Martian plains.

Never stop fighting. They’ll stomp it out of you soon enough. Make them do the dirty work.

Back to the Past, Part II

I posted this one year ago today, which already seems like a thousand years, but that is the nature of time. I’ve added some notes in brackets. Enjoy.


Great Scott!

As you are probably aware, tomorrow, October 21, 2015, will be the day that Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future II, and I’m not ready.

By “not ready” I don’t mean I can’t handle it. I mean it in the sense that it’s like the Halloween costume I haven’t planned. It’s the exam I didn’t study for until the last minute. Years ago I would have said, “It’s an Interview and I didn’t shave,” but that may not make sense anymore.

It’s highly possible that some of you haven’t even seen this film, and I implore you to drop everything and go watch all three right now. The first film, as 1980s adventure/comedies go, is right up there with essentials such as Ghostbusters or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The much awaited sequel, which lent tomorrow’s often-Internet-hoaxed-but-still-hallowed day, came out on November 22, 1989, the day before my birthday. The third film, while arguably the weakest of the three, still holds up to repeat viewings and features an anxiety inducing locomotive race-against-time. Some of you may have seen that train sitting next to a tarnished DeLorean at Universal Studios. I have. It’s a mock-up with Alan Silvestri’s score pumping out of it, but I must admit that I got chills when I stood beside it in the 95° Florida sun.

I don’t want to make this some long screed about what the future should have been, because that’s not what the movies were about anyway. They were about how our decisions affect our lives and, repeatedly, about how those decisions, when made out of blind greed or anger, have long lasting repercussions for not only us, but the people around us. We can post all the clickbait articles in the world about what the films got wrong but I think we might be missing what they got right, and it’s not the Cubs’ chances at the World Series. [This is relevant in 2016 for more reasons than the Cubs being in the World Series again.]

Maybe this only means something to people over a certain age, and that’s okay. I’m glad that I experienced something that I hold dear first hand, with precious people, some of whom are no longer with us. You Star Wars guys know what I’m talking about, and I hope that trailer last night brought back some of that wonder. It did for me, and it’s about damned time. [So far your future is looking bright, SW fans. ST is all weird and we’ve gone almost a year without Doctor Who (don’t yell at me, greybeards). At least there’s Marvel and DC television. Nerds will survive.]

That’s the wonder I try to hang on to, through the scary and the ugly and the mundane. I think we all need a wonder injection from time to time but they can be hard to come by. I think of my children being born, of Sam Neill whipping off his sunglasses in Jurassic Park, of a whale breaching right behind our fishing boat in Bristol Bay. Things real and unreal. This is how we keep going.

On the day after tomorrow, we’ll have traveled one day further than Marty did. Then another, and another. Behind us will be not a day unprepared for, or a party gone off half-cocked, but a milestone. One of many. What lies before us?

Well, if my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour you’re gonna see some serious shit.

[Oh my. We have, and we are. Godspeed.]

A Message From the Chairman

The Scoundrel Billy Joel once wrote, “We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning.” As a beneficiary of Late Capitalism’s questionable taste in entertainment, he would fucking say that.

Paupers have always been shovel-fed offal while Kings insist the worm-infested shit tubes that sustain them are top sirloin.

The commoners will argue the nature of this meal. Is it edible? Must we consume it? Our children will starve without! Some will point out what wriggles within, but most end up choking it down regardless.

The people riot and the King gives them a holiday. The scrap heap teems and festers. Soon that day, originally meant to placate those disgruntled workers, is a celebration of spending and excess.

The people cry out for health care and the King presents a salve for their Syphilitic lesions. “No,” some say. “We need penicillin. Single payer. What you provide is a less-than-half measure, infected with the disease itself.” The King says, “Take this poultice. You’re in so much pain. Ease your suffering. It won’t be long now.”

The weary public accepts this and returns home. It hurts too much to continue.

That’s why Bob Talbot 2016 pledges to drill a hole into the center of the earth with the specific purpose of tossing The Wretch Billy Joel into it.

Long have we suffered under his tyranny. He creeps into our darkened hallways and croons through cracked doors in hoarse whispers when our children have been particularly bad. It is no matter that their behavioral issues are caused specifically by the constant broadcast of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger, and The Crone Joel himself, into their heads through tiny amplifiers installed in their rotting teeth by Capitalist Dentists in collusion with Sugar Barons.

We speak to the young now, his terrors fresh in your mind. You, the 18-21 demographic, can only vote now because of a series of mistakes involving American Warlord Henry Kissinger and his child soldiers (#GetKissinger) demanding equal rights as citizens. Even the risk-averse car rental industry won’t do business with anyone under 25. Fulfill your destiny and vote Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY. The Scourge William Joel will be emtombed in a Hell of our making and you will be rightfully disenfranchised until you pass a comprehensive battery of examinations or you turn 30, whichever comes first.

Read our platform.

Gaze into our vision for the future.

Vote early and vote often.

Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY. We’ll be here when you need us.

Bob Talbot 2016: TIMELINES

It’s time to reframe this debate in a way you can understand.

There’s always someone trying to sell you immortality. When Dr. Oz or David “Avocado” Wolfe presents the new way to beat cancer with poppy seeds and New Balance shoes, your chancrous heart splinters with joy at the prospect of living forever.

The sales pitch of political necessity is the uglier cousin of that beast. If you were only able to pull off what a particular narcissistic sociopath wants you to do (and please, don’t listen to that other narcissistic sociopath over there. They have no idea what they’re talking about!) then your life, the lives of your offspring, and the very world itself may be saved.

Bob Talbot 2016 submits that you’re being sold a lie. It’s in italics so you know it’s true. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Humans are visual creatures. Bring on the charts.

Font - Huxtable. Closest thing to "Bill Clinton" I could find.

 

This is the narrative you’re currently being sold. Looks pretty accurate, right? The obvious choice is to vote Clinton and save the world, so you might as well hit that button even if you live in an 85% Red State, correct? WRONGO. Allow me to pull back the curtain.

 

TIMECUBE
TIMECUBE

 

As you can see, the shoes aren’t going to put your lymphoma into remission. You gonna die. Furthermore, your children are going to die horribly and the grandkids (if you’re childfree4lyfe, imagine we’re just talking about the human race here), if they survive (and that’s winning the lottery at this point) are going to be great Australian desert mechanics. Even then, because of your specific Gary Johnsonesque failure to plan ahead, the sun will expand and reduce our fetid shitpile to a smoldering husk. The cinder of your hopes and dreams will fall through the frigid void, forever.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Vote for Bob Talbot 2016 now and receive these valuable prizes!

 

trump003If you’re not familiar with our platform, read it now. You don’t have anything to lose but everything. We’re going to get all that done, then we’re going to start working on interdimensional travel. The other candidates will distract you with fart noises and doom. I’m going to present you with your inescapable mortality and then I’m going to fuck its shit up.

Any vote not worth casting isn’t worth casting well.

Take off and write-in Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY.

It’s the only way to be sure.

Bob Talbot 2016: It’s Happening

Let’s cut the shit. You don’t have time to read. This is already way longer than a tweet and there aren’t large white letters at the top and bottom. Sweet Christmas, I’ve already lost half of you. This is by design. I need to reduce my core followers to the curious and the patient.

Aaaand I went too far. Now it’s just Mom reading. Hi, Mom. I’ll repost again tomorrow.

Aaaand we’re back.

Do you live in a solidly blue or red state? Feeling disenfranchised? Can’t decide which fringe candidate to rage-vote for? Well I have six words for you (or seven or more depending on how you count a year as words, because I am pretty sure that one number is one compound word regardless of the individual units it comprises but you could certainly get into a philosophical argument about the semantics of that):

Bob Talbot 2016: FULL COMMUNISM, BABY.

This is all you need to know.

Platform, go:

A giant fucking waterslide. NASA is now the National Astronomically-huge Slide Administration. Elon Musk is at the head. I don’t mean he’s the Secretary of Waterslide I mean he’s literally the guy at the top who pulls the lever. We’ll start in the Rockies to save time. The waterslide decapitates everyone who rides it. Sorry. This is the price of progress.

We’re going to do Hyperloop, guys. It’s going to be everywhere and it’s going to take so many people to run it that everyone’s going to have a job. Cars are outlawed. Fossil fuel is out. Fission is in until we can get Fusion going. I just saved over a million lives a year. Thank me later.

The Space Program is now outsourced to North Korea. We will promise them Venus if they can get there. Chairman Kim has not disappointed us yet. We’ll ship the test pilots in from Wall Street. Godspeed.

Cuba is in charge of health care. The entire island will become a hospital with miracle vaccines for cancer, which will be mandatory. Everyone gets the Concorde to the island. Yep, we’re bringing back the Concorde. We’re also flying fast and low, fuck your windows.

The Statue of Liberty will be melted down and recast as a statue of The People’s Majesty Chelsea Manning, whose steely eyes will watch over the rubble of Manhattan for all time.

Edward Snowden will be Minister of the Archives and instead of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, schoolchildren will sit through a 15 minute broadcast where he reads emails exposing past corruption and delivers a moral lesson about how Capitalism poisons everything it touches.

OH AND YOUR SHITTY HOMESCHOOL IS CLOSED, EZEKIEL. THANK ME LATER.

In our gratitude to the Ecuadorian embassy, Julian Assange will be made God-Emperor of London, which will become a protectorate of Ecuador.

The UK will otherwise be free to fuck up their own shit, except the BBC, under threat of nuclear annihilation. Poldark is renewed forever.

Thank. Me. LATER.

Honestly the justice system is pretty fucked up yo so we’re going to open all the prison doors, clear the books (criminal and civil) and start over. There will be a year long “purge” period while we install civilian review boards, fire all law enforcement, and train new ones hired from a pool of citizens who pass a rigorous psychological examination and have a undergraduate degree.

Which is fine because education is FREEEEEEEE THIS SHIT IS FREE PEOPLE WE CAN AFFORD IT NOW BECAUSE WE CANCELLED ALL THE WARS. Every war, cancelled. It will be easy after we pass out the books for state-sanctioned religion. You’ll love it. Reader’s Digest versions of all the classics, and some new ones. Then we just pull back, turtle up, and wait for the glory of STAR RAVAGING.

We’re going to get into space, guys. You can get your own asteroid, whatever. Start your stupid fascist colony there. There’s a giant frickin’ laser beam pointed at you. Have fun.

The Bobolonian Star Concordance will stretch across the vast reaches of the cosmos. We will bridge the gap from squishy meat bodies to robot bodies to robot brains. We will harvest materials from the nebulae. We will become one with the universe.

Rewind for a second and seriously all you white people have to go back to Europe. In lieu of reparations just fucking get on a boat. No planes for you. We’re naming them all Titanic-A, Titanic-B, Titanic-C, and so on, so good luck with that. If there’s any question about where you belong, it’s up to the Congress of Remaining Americans to decide. There’s a waiting list.

Anyone who gets their panties in a bunch about that goes on the slide.

I will survey the earth from my mountain fortress in Switzerland. We’re going to fix Julie Andrews’s voice with highly advanced Cuban medical technology and she’s going to sing The Sound of Music every morning when the sun rises.

THANK ME LATER.

The National Anthem is whatever I decide it is that day. It is not, nor will it ever be, Mr. Big Stuff.

My Vice President will be Terry Gene “Hulk Hogan” Bollea. We’re going to Mars, people. We’ve got a big fucking slide and the Cubans are curing cancer. If you have a problem with this, go ahead, let those without sin cast the first stone.

Then you get the slide.

This is it, guys. This is your chance. Why stand in line for twelve hours to vote for nothing when you can really embrace the nihilism of your futile existence and write in Bob Talbot for President?

A vote not worth casting isn’t worth casting well.

Get your dicks out and thank me now.

WWF Beatdown Beat

By Mean Gene Okerlund
March 11, 1990

The fans were raging Sunday night when the Brooklyn Brawler faced off against the Ultimate Warrior at the Hoboken Arena, and let me tell you folks, it was a sight.

The Warrior was there to defend the Intercontinental Championship Belt that he’d snipped from the greasy clutches of Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake just last week, but the attendees weren’t so sure he’d be up to the challenge.

“Sure, Brutus hit Randy Savage with a chair while he was being distracted by Shawn Michaels, but he held that title for a record three weeks and defended it with honor,” said Sally McMasters, 12, of Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Losing it to the Ultimate Warrior was almost a right of passage. Maybe not a step in the right direction, but the Brooklyn Brawler? That scumbag? It can’t happen.”

“I’m not sure what will happen,” said Frank Henderson, 47, of Flint, Michigan. “That Brawler, he’s always dirty. He hangs out in trashcans. I saw him grab a cat and fling it out of the ring and, while I’m sure there was a guy on a mattress under there to catch it, I mean, come on, I’m an adult here. Whoa, whoa wait, don’t get me wrong. I’ve loved some wrestling since small times but there’s showmanship involved and-”

The Warrior had just come off a 37 bout undefeated streak and he was looking mean and ready to roll. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“FRIENDS. WARRIORS. KNOW THIS: MY POWERS ARE OVERWHELMING TO YOU, EVEN NOW, THROUGH YOUR TELEVISION SETS. YOU CAN FEEL THE HEAT. SUMMER SLAM APPROACHES, AS DOES THE HOT SUN OF MY PROWESS. THE BROOKLYN BRAWLER IS A TINY ASTEROID IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM OF MY MIGHT. WATCH HIM BURNNNNNNNNNN.”

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Brawler had prepared by smoking cigars, drinking copious amounts of root beer and rolling around in garbage while wearing torn New York Yankees garb. He had this to say:

“Yeah *burp* I’m ready to give Warrior the ol’ Brooklyn beatdown. I got this bat here, and a spare cigar in case he breaks this one. It’s going to be great. Just great. I’m gonna be huge, America. You just wait. Move over, Hulk Hogan. There’s a new hero in town. I can wave that flag just as well as you can, only *burp* dirtier.”

Fans all over America were split on who would take the title. A recent poll in WWF Magazine clocked the opinion at 45% Brooklyn Brawler, 50% Ultimate Warrior, and 5% “A large previously unknown Western mortician-wrestler interrupts the match to make his debut.”

Commentator Jerry “The King” Lawler had this to say:

“Hey man, don’t count me out of this thing yet, heh heh, but my money is on the Brawler. He represents real American values. Fighting, dirt, rats, you know, the things that made this country great. Oh, and baseball, I think his outfit has something to do with that. The American pastime, you know, behind wrasslin’.”

Then, it was fight night. The Brooklyn Brawler won the coin toss and opted to start out in the ring, leisurely taunting the audience and chewing on an old cigar stub. He’d decided to forgo the baseball garb and donned a mashed porkpie hat, jeans, and an oily, torn “Brooklyn, NY” t-shirt.

The Ultimate Warrior’s music began and he sprinted down the aisle at full tilt like a charging gorilla. He jumped into the ring and slid under the bottom rope in a blur, a rippling meat torpedo. The Warrior sprang into the arena air and it was almost as if time slowed down, his painted visage reflected against the camera flashes from the darkened rows of screaming fans. One massive beefy arm collided with the Brooklyn Brawlers unshaven maw and popped his cigar out into the stands like a Patriot missile. He was down! Both of them, down, and the Warrior on top. The referee slid over with all the grace his lumpy physique could afford and the count began! One! Two! THREE!

It was over, folks. The Ultimate Warrior had defended his title against the Brooklyn Brawler, defeating him in a WWF record seven seconds. What a show! What a sport!

Tune in next week, folks, when Warrior defends his title against the Red Rooster in Dyersburg, Tennessee. We’ll be on the edge of our seats. There’s no telling what will happen in this zany, no-holds barred world. There’s just no telling!