F**k Donald Trump: The Revolution Begins Today

Don’t be surprised Donald Trump won the White House. You acted surprised when he swept the Republican primaries. But deep down you knew he was going to fare better than fupa lord Chris Christie or water sippin’ Mark Rubio in the West Virginia primaries. Yet you feigned this shock. This disingenuous disgust like “No! Not my America.”

Well sadly, that is your America. The America where 77% of adults believe in fucking angels and at least one of your uncles casually used the N-word at Thanksgiving. And these prized hogs of democracy came out in deplorable droves in their Hoveround wheelchairs to elect Donald J. Trump to be the next president of the U.S of fuckin’ A. FOX News actually became a human and your uncle that re-posts transphobic Milo memes on Facebook made damn sure FOX News won the election.

Or wait… the election is rigged, right? No. Trump won. It’s okay. Democracy works. Life isn’t House of fuckin’ Cards. I remembered.

But you already knew this would happen. You already knew a lot of people were like your uncle that shouts “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT” when faced with an opinion he disagrees with. You already knew there were people out there that had HILLARY FOR PRISON sticker on their Ford Ranger with a busted clutch. You must have known that 40% of citizens don’t believe a woman should be president, That 77% of America is white. That 83% is Christian. And that 99% of Americans own at least one TV. You must have known that Donald Trump — a reality show celebrity with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame who promises manufacturing jobs and a country where it’s okay to be a little prejudice against Muslims and Mexicans — was a real possibility. 

You must have been privy to the uphill battle Hillary Clinton would face. After fighting a bloodying primary that (according to Wikileaks) was pretty much rigged from the start, Hillary “broke the glass ceiling” but jagged shards got stuck in her pantsuit and her dirty laundry never really had a chance to hang out and dry. Even though Bernie was “sick and tired of hearing about her damn emails,” the rest of white America wasn’t. You couldn’t be so naive to think that the director of the FBI doesn’t have a vested interest in electing the “law & order” candidate. Or that the media doesn’t have the ability to distract large swatches of uneducated voters with sensationalized headlines and trumped up national security threats.

Hillary was a shitty candidate. Yes, she’s qualified as FUCK. But qualifications aren’t what get people to the polls. It’s why a young black senator from Illinois named Barack Hussein Obama could beat a fucking P.O.W only a few years after 9/11. It didn’t matter if the guy’s middle name was Hussein. He created a grassroots revolution. People felt proud to cast their ballots for the first black president. It felt like you were making history. Sadly, the whole “electing the first female president” thing kind of wears off when you’re backed by Wall Street elites that have bankrupted Main Street. When your party pulled strings for you to be the nominee. When you’re arguing with a man who believes in “much worse than waterboarding” over who supported the failed Iraq War. Clinton could never really get the ghosts of Barry Goldwater and Monica Lewinsky out of her closet. She was viewed as unfavorably by the American people as a man who uttered the phrase “grab them by the pussy.” Don’t tell me Hillary Clinton’s qualifications outweighed her baggage.

In an alternate fucking reality that we all can’t seem to wake up from, Trump created the same groundswell as Obama in 2008 this time around. He created the movement. He rallied the part-time clan members drinking at your local Moose Lodge. He engaged the unemployed coal miners who only satisfyingly climax watching Vanna White on The Wheel of Fortune. And he gave a fucking microphone to that one fucking uncle who is always being creepy as FUCK to your girlfriend at Christmas dinner. That is the revolution we are left with on November 9th. The alt-right has become the hippies of 20-fucking-16. We knew America was racist, don’t act so shocked. But I’m not sure we realized it was this sexist. How could we have been so blind to not see the splinter in our own eye?

THIRD PARTY: THE WASTED VOTE

Don’t blame Jill Stein. She isn’t why you can’t have your first female president. The Green Party just validated the Bernie or Bust voting block who couldn’t “sell-out” and support $hillary. Stein was the feel good vote. She gave people the option of participating in democracy without having to sell their soul to the oil lobby or silently consenting to the myriad war on terror.

Not only did it allow roughly a million additional “I Voted” sticker selfies to clutter your Instagram feed, a vote for the green party was a protest. Not in the “WE’RE HERE AND WE’RE QUEER” kind of protest you’re used to on the quad of your local college campus. This is more of a political temper tantrum. A defiant refusal to entertain the two-party duopoly while also admitting you don’t understand how voting or the electoral college works. But whatever helps you sleep at night. This protest obviously didn’t do shit. But stop taking third party votes and adding them to Hillary’s count in order to justify your disbelief in the results of this election. Clinton wasn’t somehow owed those votes. They were already lost when the democratic establishment sided with everything that is wrong with a bought-and-sold political system. Democrats put their faith in oligarchy while the people begged for economic and social justice like peasants asking the royalty to loosen their purse straps.

As hard as it is to admit, Julian Assange wasn’t just trying to throw the election for Russian investments or whatever bullshit Podesta cooked up with his creamy risotto. Wikileaks was showing you that your “liberals” aren’t so god damn liberal after all, America. They acted as the black mirror. In reaction, Hillary Clinton supporters jumped to McCarthyism. It was more convenient to abandon the cause of transparency and honesty in politics and blame Putin, than it was to admit that your candidate was kind of shady. This further created a rift between the center-right democrats who like Dianne Feinstein and the young democratic socialists who like Elizabeth Warren.

It was no fluke that Bernie Sanders won 23 primary contests. But, again, you saw this coming. He woke people up in the same way Obama did in 2008, but the DNC already picked their pony early on in the race. They weren’t going to allow some kinda-Jewish, kinda-atheist guy to let the young leftists of America know that socialism is that fix they wanted. Not this watered down Democratic party bullshit that masquerades as liberalism in the US. Obama bombed twice as many countries as Bush, but only one was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. Bernie reminded us that our left wing ideology was on auto-pilot and after gay marriage became a federal right. We stopped taking to the streets for social justice after Obamacare was enacted. When the first lady of an impeached president became the establishment’s choice for the democratic nominee, we all shrugged and said “meh, I guess we’ll go with what we got.” It’s cool Tim Kaine speaks Spanish and all, but he doesn’t exactly look like a guy you’d exchange Twitter follows with at an #NoDAPL rally. It didn’t feel revolutionary voting for Hillary Clinton. Maybe it didn’t even feel that revolutionary voting for Jill Stein or writing in Bernie Sanders. But for many people, it did feel revolutionary voting for Donald Trump.

I must also add that Gary Johnson ran for president. I think he was a libertarian, but the Ron Paul guys really never got on board. His entire candidacy will be canonized by the stupid fucking look on his face when he uttered the words “and what is Aleppo?” Fuck you if you voted for him. You’re a dumbass. Even his own vice-president Bill Weld thought he was a jackass. Wash that Guy Fawkes mask, you fucking smell like Cheetos, jizz and your mom’s cavey ass basement.

But now with Donald getting the keys to the White House, you may be pointing the finger at third-party voters. News flash! They’re not your enemies. You should have won them over. You should have had their support. The DNC fucked up. You fucked up. You can’t fault someone who voted third party. They voted their conscious. You just voted against a neo-fascist, misogynistic, scumbag who owns a string of failed real estate ventures and hates brown people.

I’M MOVING TO CANADA

Don’t move to Canada. Don’t move to Mexico, or New Zealand, or Ireland, or some deserted island in the South Pacific. America has had a rowdy 240-year history, but we always pull through. We always fight back in the face of adversity. Just because our neighbors to the north have universal health care and the most adorable way of saying “sorry” and “about,” it doesn’t mean you should apply for citizenship. American political structures ebb and flow. For every step forward we take, it seems we take two steps back 4-8 years later.

Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. It was one of the most important pieces of social justice legislation in our nation’s modern history. It desegregated schools and public places and allowed America to slowly start to crawl out of the Jim Crow Era. But just 4 years later, the “silent majority” rose up and the “law and order” Republican Richard Nixon won the election. Does that sound familiar?

The election of 1968 was very similar to 2016 in many ways. LBJ decided not to run after poor poll numbers in an early primary against anti-Vietnam War candidates like Robert F. Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy. He passed the torch to his hawkish vice-president Hubert H. Humphrey, disenfranchising the anti-war left and creating a tumultuous primary election. The Democratic National Convention was marred by brutal crackdowns of protesters by police. This almost became symbolic of the suppression anti-war democrats felt when the DNC ultimately chose Humphrey to be at the top of their ticket. Much like 2016’s primary, the shady establishment dealings of the democratic party fractured the left’s core support, handing over the electoral college to the Republicans who promised to reign in the radicals and “the others” and the dope smokin’ hippies to restore conservative American values again. That’s why we were left with “I can’t believe Nixon won, I don’t know anyone who voted for him” in the 70s and “Holy shit, Donald Trump is president” in 2016. This isn’t new for America.

However, not all doomsday scenarios end in a bomb shelter with John Goodman. Despite what seemed like a step back for America, Nixon’s presidency in the late 60’s / early 70’s gave birth to the anti-war, pro-legalization, left-wing Wood Stock generation that sparked a national dialogue around topics of race, sex and religion. That progressively liberal movement of counter-culture aggression against the war machine, the man, the pigs, was what made Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign possible. It’s the same renaissance spirit that can make the 2020 elections historic, except this time for the right reasons.

NEXT STEPS

Now, the real work starts. Time to build. Time to plot. Time to make change and seek a way to become organized again. Time to be revolutionary and not let democrats be the party of the status quo or of perpetual war or of Wall Street or of Anthony Weiner’s dick pics. As liberals, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Trump came from the shit-stew of racist, working class white America and bit into the Achilles Heel of democracy. His supporters took a look at the Republican party and said “nope, that doesn’t reflect me.” They blamed NAFTA and globalization on why they lost their jobs. They blamed Mexicans and Muslims and Blacks for crime. They molded the party of small government to be a party that would support building a billion dollar wall across multiple state lines using eminent domain. Now the GOP looks like them. The Republicans are a reflection of the basket of deplorables who now have a reason to wear their favorite white sheet and the conservatives who silently nodded while their party adopted extremely far-right ideologies into their official platform.

What will WE make the democratic party look like? Right now, its image is tattered. It’s worn out like Obama still promising to shut down Guantanamo Bay. We are splintered on the issues between age groups, genders, and races. We lost middle America. We lost the radical left. But we have an opportunity to bring everyone’s voices to the table and focus on the future, or whatever is left of it after one term of President Trump.

I watched the last of the news I could handle for the night as Donald Trump offered his half-assed victory speech, awkwardly thanking the same RNC establishment that he ran his entire campaign in opposition to. He went down the line of his daughters and his son’s wives and Omarosa from Celebrity Apprentice kissing their cheeks and doing that awkward thumbs up to the camera. As he gave one last shit grin to the American people, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones began to blare from the speakers. Maybe Trump wasn’t what we wanted, but he was what we needed to wake up. The revolution begins today.

BY EVAN PONTER
RAD POLITICS

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Vacation days

Jim woke up next to Eloise like he had for the past thirteen years to an alarm blaring at an alarmingly loud decibel. 7:55am always seemed a bit too early, Eloise thought, as she rubbed sleep from her green eyes. Eloise’s green eyes always reminded Jim he was a fool.

Jim walked straight into a walk-in shower and lathered his salt and pepper hair in organic tea tree oils. Four days until vacation, he thought as he rubbed moisture into his scalp. Eloise hummed show-tunes through the froth of Crest extra-whitening toothpaste. She imagined she was Marilyn Monroe as she combed curls into her blond hair. He was a fool, Jim thought, as lukewarm water squirted from the shower head.

Eloise watched the morning news on an annoyingly loud decibel on the kitchen set, chomping red lipstick stains into a Slim Fast protein bar. Her empty blond curls reminded Jim he was a fool as she passively received the weather report from a portly weatherman. Jim ate soy nut butter on rye bread and read through the local obituaries on an iPad. Neither spoke a word, but Eloise appeared to Jim to be as happy as Fourth of July fireworks. Four days until vacation, he thought.

Jim never quite clocked in at his office at 9:00am. That’s because Eloise would take at least two commercial slots worth of radio time removing her pencil skirt from the leather passenger seat of their hybrid mini-van. The morning sunshine always sizzled orange juice orange on Eloise’s french tips as she rummaged through the center console looking for extra-whitening chewing gum. Her french tips always reminded Jim of his college years sipping macchiatos in Paris. He was such a fool then, he thought, as he clocked in at his office at 9:02am.

Jim trotted to his cubicle on Lacoste dress shoes. Four days until vacation, he thought. Eloise never had a lunch packed for Jim. But she always made sure to have a text message wishing him a “productive work day” waiting on his iPhone. Jim never read it. Her definition of “productive” always reminded Jim he was a fool. Eloise was across town explaining the difference between squares and circles to four-year-olds at the local charter school, while Jim was being “productive” in the constraints of his cubicle.

“You late this morning, boy? The old lady rattlin’ the head board like a cougar again, ‘eyy Jimmy boy?”

Fluorescent light tubes buzzed like bug-zappers over Jim’s boss’s bald spot.

“‘Eyy Jimmy Boy? Between the legs of every great woman is a great man, how ‘bout her? Anyway, you going on vacation soon, ‘eyy Jimmy Boy?”

If Jim stared hard enough through his boss’s bald spot he could make out Eloise’s empty green eyes. Drawing simple geometric shapes on a green chalk board. Making him feel like a fool.

“Four days until vacation, sir.”

SYNDICATED FOR NAKID MAGAZINE, BY EVAN PONTER (ORIGINAL)

I’m quitting alcohol (lol jk)

I’m not in college anymore. I can’t keep pretending that it’s okay to be drunk all of the time. Living in Los Angeles, my weed is my medicine. But I’ve been using my prescription every other day to deal with “insomnia: trouble falling asleep or staying asleep through the night.” Not to mention the procrastination of Netflix, my under-appreciated acoustic guitar, porn on my iPhone 6.

I’m slipping to be honest. I told myself I was in the city of angels to be a writer, but I’ve been flirting with demons and not doing a shit’s worth of writing. I’m worthless to be honest. I have a moleskin in my pocket, but the beer in my hand is too heavy to find the pen in my pocket. I still love the first girl that I gave multiple orgasms. And I call my grandma on a regular basis…when I remember…when I’m waiting for the bus.

Hangovers have become my mornings. Not just on Saturdays after celebrating a successful week. Every morning is a hangover and every hangover is a morning. I’m trapped in the monotony of spending every paychecks on well-vodka and Red Bull. And dead set on the idea that what you do when you’re 23 is spend your paychecks on well-vodka and Red Bull. I eat Clif Bars to settle the stomach pain. I smoke cigarettes after coffee to stop from shaking when I’m getting more coffee from a Keurig. I masturbate in a Denny’s bathroom where I order the grand slam with an orange juice. I spike the orange juice with vodka.

Being alive is too boring. Being blurry and irresponsible is the best. Except when it means parking tickets and ignoring warrants in envelopes and selling your favorite watch for rent checks. But when I am overpaying for old fashions at a rooftop bar with a guaranteed fuck, I am happy to be drunk…and poor….and in fact I embraced it. It becomes part of who I am. It is my story and my dad’s story. Someone to put blame on. A reason to be unable to be my dad in the mirror.

I sometimes I think I’m living in a dream. Up until this point in life, everything was like a fantasy. The world my stage and those around me, my supporting actors. The illusion that my reality was a reality show seemed to be working out fine. I guess that’s how I wound up in LA. Entangled like marionette strings in a puppet show. The ever-present sun simply a key lighting that is always capturing my good side. When I realize this. That I am starring in my own movie that I write, produce & direct in my head. I think I’m living a nightmare.

The hours drag on. I still shake from fear. Still telling myself I deserve a DUI as I scratch my car tires against the curb in a questionable parking spot in a questionable part of town. As I turn the keys in the ignition to stop the engine, I speak to myself in the third person. Asking myself questions like my mother would. Thinking of my mother with blue-and-red lights spilling on her face as she drags my body from a cop car. The cops drove away and now I’m okay. I’m not okay, I say to myself out loud.

I don’t know when neon signs became my new nightly ritual. When happy hour was really happy. The only happiness I will feel for the rest of the week. Weak. So weak that one drink turned into two and four. My hand turned to bloody rags. A messy mass of cartilage through a glass door. One glass and I’m done. It only takes a one glass, and then I convince my fake friends that I’m fun. My stories turn into a blur. But it’s fun.

It’s sad to say, but I should be dead. I’m betting my days on shots of Fireball that go down smooth and come up like fire balls. Black vomit in kitchen sinks. I’m sinking into a new low as I take my cigarettes from the elastic bands on my skinny jeans pockets. I breathe in deep through a kinked nostril as powder jump starts my consciousness. Substances make me feel alive even though I’m dying.

Not dying in the literal sense. I’m too much of a pussy to shoot myself. Too much of a light weight to dig drugs in my arms with a needle like burying the family dog in the dirt. I’m too afraid to hang myself because I hate the idea of not being able to inhale. But I inhale from a blunt just enough to feel okay with being alive. That’s the point, isn’t it?

There’s much worse than dying. Living so fast that each night you convince yourself it’s the last is much more sinister than a burial ceremony and a life insurance payout. The idea that dying young is glamourous. Your face on some tee shirts in a head shop next to Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse means that you lived every day to its fullest. That’s the worst drug of all. Because you’re dead set on the idea that living isn’t worth it unless your bottle is full of whiskey and there is a fresh pack of cigarettes every time you tap your front pocket.

I say, “I’m quitting alcohol.” I’m done. I’ll never be afraid of LAPD slamming me on my car hood again. I’ll never take that girl home from the bar who has never met herself. I’ll never pay for a round of shots before my electricity bill is squared off. I’ll never max out another credit card. I’ll never go to another funeral and say goodbye to a best friend. But I know I’m lying to myself. I know sobriety is a lie that requires faith in some bullshit god to accept. A twelve step program that preaches addiction to the Bible rather than addiction found on the chalkboard of your regular watering hole. The only difference between a nightclub and an AA meeting is the shitty coffee and donuts are replaced with lines of cocaine and bottle service.

“Another whiskey sour,” I say to the bartender as I scribble an inaudible manifesto into a notepad full of shitty poetry. “And another for the lady.” My line feels cheap like the half-off mimosas and table bread. She doesn’t even look at me. It doesn’t bother me. I can’t even look at me.

I shook away the shadows with another sip. I can’t complain. No one can complain in Los Angeles. I mean, everything is beautiful when you’re fucked up. Los Angeles is as beautiful after a few drinks as a shy girl at the bar who still orders appetizers with gluten and refuses to get contacts. Fucking Hollyweird. Everyone is just stuck in thinking they will be the next big thing. It’s this illusion that the shit of today is enough to hope for bigger in the future. Overpaying for an apartment with a view of a parking lot is justified because you’re full of shit and really believe that one day you’ll have a view of the Hollywood sign. Things get worse before they get better. You have to earn, not even happiness, just the feeling of content. Some days I pretend that this is what I’ve always dreamed of. Some days I remember that I’m living a lie. Today was like the latter.

I say: “I’m quitting alcohol.”

I polish off a can of Budweiser before pissing on the porcelain rim of a toilet. I spit a viscous bile like motor oil or a cheap moonshine onto a pink urinal cake. I talk to myself in the mirror like you always do when you’re drunk.

Don’t lie.

I know you do it.

“I’m quitting alcohol.”

Actions speak louder than words. And right now I have a cold Modelo sending condensation between my fingertips. It’s not my first and it won’t be my last. I feel okay with knowing that this drink will never be my last.

I’m quitting alcohol. LOL JK.

SYNDICATED FOR NAKID MAGAZINE, BY EVAN PONTER (ORIGINAL)

Is street art still relevant?

As art evolves, the question is worth visiting: is street art still relevant? In a world where Andy Warhol pop art knock offs are prolific, the scope of creativity behind the craft of spray paint on concrete seems to be limiting. I mean, come on, how many wheat pastes of Marilyn Monroe can one city have?

In a hollowed out warehouse in the arts district of downtown Los Angeles, a group of street artists gathered to relinquish the fear of incarceration for the night for a gallery called “The Streets Will Never Be The Same” hosted by Cartwheel Art. Their work stood in protest of the idea that street art is dead. While masturbatory celebrity worship was obviously present, the majority of artists in attendance brought something fresh to the scene.

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Pop culture unfiltered is the best way to describe Trust. iCON. Absurd juxtaposition that makes a statement.

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“Become the art” isn’t just some cheesy catchphrase used by high school ceramics teachers. For Morley, he is inseparable from what he creates. That’s because each of his pieces feature a self portrait. The real Morley exists in the art he makes.

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In fact, Morley himself said that he’s less afraid of being arrested for his street art. He’s more worries someone is going to draw a dick in his mouth. That’s as real as it gets.

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More 90’s than a Gameboy Color, Lucas Raynaud cleverly stuck Biggie Smalls in a blender with Calvin & Hobbes to create nostalgia that seeps from the canvas.

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The question “is street art still relevant?” remains to be unanswered. However the artists on the front lines turning banal urban walls into works of art refuse to let the craft die.

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SYNDICATED FOR NAKID MAGAZINE, BY EVAN PONTER (ORIGINAL)