Bizarro Charity

Before you click the link listed at the end of this passage, I must defer to the sensibilities of the audience for whom I usually produce material, and offer my sincerest warning that if you are offended by foul language, racial slurs, violent and/or sexual imagery, possible discussion of a scatological nature,  inappropriate use of grammar and things that are rude, foul and “not funny”, then don’t click the link. I offer this to you, my polite society. Don’t get all Victorian and act like your shit doesn’t stink. I’m just saying I promise not to go there in this blog entry, but if you want some tawdry thrills, click it. But first, I’ll offer an explanation.

When I was a kid I used to play Mad Libs. I also had a friend living close by who had Tourette Syndrome, and during my early school years, I was driven by taxi from my elementary school in a nice, white, suburban neighborhood full of fat little college-bred dumplings to a Boys Club of America – day care for poor people – where I and my brother and three other kids were the only white kids. It was like two hundred black kids and five white kids. Having already spent a year living in an Hispanic ghetto in Texas, I was inured to the chaos and bravado I gleefully, secretly craved. I developed a kind of double-consciousness, a Wigga. The aforementioned white people found the mannerisms and speech my brother and I acquired during our four years there horrible and frightening. The black kids at the Boys Club summarily rejected us, so we kind of lived in an interzone of violence and civility difficult to conyey. My after-school education was about fighting, cussing, learning to play games well, boasting, and disrespecting authority. Then, when I went home, I was expected to be servile, well-behaved and obedient, a little clockwork orange in Fruitville. The torsion eventually ripped my brother and I apart and we developed lifelong patterns of social disobedience and questioning of authority. We’re always gaining perspective from “the outside” and seek shallow relations because people don’t really like the chocolate in our peanut butter. So, the link below is a portal unto poor taste. I just wanted to shock people from their apathy. I probably just make it worse. Whatever.

Be it ever so foul, I am still unable to proceed unfettered. I’m a hand-wringer aware of the duplicitous nature I present to the public. Yes, I like nice things and appreciate the wisdom of my age and great artistry arrived at through honing of rare talent, yes. I build upon the masters, yes. But, I have found a way to describe the project I created, this monstrosity in every sense of the word, this bizarro charity. There is, in fact, an entire genre of literature devoted to the devolution of works of such childish and miscreant ends, called bizarro fiction. From Wikipedia:

Bizarro fiction is a contemporary literary genre, which often uses elements of absurdismsatire, and the grotesque, along with pop-surrealism and genre fiction staples, in order to create subversive works that are as weird and entertaining as possible. The term was adopted in 2005 by the independent publishing companies Eraserhead Press, Raw Dog Screaming Press, and Afterbirth Books. Much of its community revolves around Eraserhead Press, which is based in Portland, Oregon, and has hosted the BizarroCon yearly since 2008. The introduction to the firstBizarro Starter Kit describes Bizarro as “literature’s equivalent to the cult section at the video store” and a genre that “strives not only to be strange, but fascinating, thought-provoking, and, above all, fun to read.”[1] According to Rose O’Keefe of Eraserhead Press: “Basically, if an audience enjoys a book or film primarily because of its weirdness, then it is Bizarro. Weirdness might not be the work’s only appealing quality, but it is the major one.”[2]

In general, Bizarro has more in common with speculative fiction genres (such as science-fictionfantasy, and horror) than with avant-garde movements (such as Dadaism and surrealism), which readers and critics often associate it with.[3] While the genre may place an emphasis on the cult and outre, it is not without critical praise. Books by authors who have identified or have been identified as Bizarro have been praised by Lloyd Kaufman,[4]Michael Moorcock[5] and[6] Bizarro novels have been finalists for the Philip K. Dick Award,[7][8] the Bram Stoker Award,[9] and the Rhysling Award.[10] A book of Bizarro criticism and theory was named Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2009 by 3:AM Magazine in Paris[11]

So, like Thich Nhat Hahn, rather than remain in the safe temple while the bombs fell and the children ran naked and burning in the streets of Vietnam, I went into the maelstrom to retrieve grace. I go into the hinterlands of rage and vendetta, of negative landscapes where hope is all but forgotten, and the negative legacy grown in the gardens of sorrow have blossomed into cynicism and apathy. I go into the tar sands of grief, digging tunnels into the junkyards of poetry to collect the incomprehensible distillation of garbage dreams lying asunder, into the catacombs of forgotten realms underneath cities of good taste. I will miss the clean air for a while, the purity of innocent and goodly things, but there is much sadness and terrible pain in the world, and sometimes people feel the need to connect on the most raw and uncouth levels. I am like an astronaut going not into sterile space, but into the wastelands of life and rogue sciences, among the casualty and uselessness of our medical edifice to find survivors of the industrial illusion of order and consumerism, an explorer swimming through apathetic sludge, a garbagenaut of social justice. This is the link. No apologies. Your choice.

My Bizarro Fundraiser.



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