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FOLK SINGERS, SKINHEADS, AND BEARS by Alistair McCartney

Folk Singers

We have never enjoyed folk songs. In fact, we had a profound dislike of folk singing—all that plaintive strumming did not agree with us—that is, until the other evening, when we reluctantly attended a smoky folk club in downtown Los Angeles and the sleepy folk singer with the pair of lips tattooed on his neck sang the lines Ravage me, tattoo me, I’m a window, put your wrist in a soft bag and smash right through me as if he were singing directly to us.

Ever since that evening, we have been huge fans of folk singing, folk singers, and folk songs. We are always talking about it, always thinking about it, always finding ourselves in situations that remind us of the lyrics of our favorite folk songs.

For example, the other morning, when the bus driver was rude to us, and the businessman blew smoke in our face, we sang the lines under our breath, I’m bright and trapped and staunchly unoriginal, a parrot in your cage, and we felt markedly better.

We constantly fantasize about bashing our number one folk singer over the head with his guitar made out of wood that is paper-thin, taking him back to our house and keeping him prisoner, in a cellar, in chains, and making him sing to us whenever we need a little pick me up. We feel so good it seems like everything is an acoustic guitar and it logically follows that we are all folk singers.

Skinheads

Due to the heat, the skinheads have decided to go shirtless. They are standing in the front-yard, idly gossiping about Hegel. Beware of young white men with shaved heads and a passion for Hegelian absolute idealism. One holds a dog eared copy of Elements of the Philosophy of Right in his left hand.  A flag flutters gently above them.  Can you help me identify the symbols on the flag? Is it the Union Jack or the Stars and Stripes or the Saint George’s Cross or the Confederate flag?  Is it the Nazi flag or the German Imperial Flag or the Italian Fascist party flag or the short-lived flag of the Italian Social Republic or even one of the infinite variants of Neo-Nazi flags? The skinheads are wearing their jeans very low on their hips. One has a small tattoo at the base of his spine, Sein und Nichts sei dasselbe.  Is there any aesthetic affinity between the bald head of a cholo and that of a skinhead? If we were to place two cheap whorish synthetic wigs upon the head of each skinhead, would it lessen the sinister effect of their skulls? If the skinheads were just skeletons they would be less menacing. The skinheads will turn out to be actors in a gay porn flick called Aufhebung featuring all bareback sublation; the actors are from the Ukraine, their Cockney accents are terrible. F(f)ascism of the upper case and lower case variety is once again very popular in the 21st century, it is unclear if we can come up with an effective counter-strategy. The heat is expected to linger for the next few days, the flag has since faded to a state of transparency.

Bears

The bear wanders through the forest, and comes across a young male hiker, lying unconscious on the forest floor. The bear notices the millennial hiker is wearing very short shorts. Those pine needles must be prickly. Let there be no confusion: the bear is an actual bear, one of those large flesh-eating animals that look bigger than they are because of their loose skin and long, coarse hair, not one of the imitative homosexual members of the so-called bear community. The bear thinks to himself: this is my forest and I have these awesome claws, I should probably fuck the kid up. Though there is the question of morality. From our vantage point behind a big tree, it is unclear if this bear is a black bear genus Ursus, species americanus, or a grizzly bear, genus Ursus horribilis. The hiker lies there, or lays there, the bear always trips up on that verb tense, a temptation that is both amusing and dangerous. The bear is suddenly distracted by a beehive dangling from a nearby tree. Unbeknownst to him, the hive is a victim of CCD, Colony Collapse Disorder, most of the bees have disappeared, to who knows where. Helpless and sexy male hiker or beehive, which one to go for? Structurally speaking, there is no difference between the two forms: both are honeycombed, complex, enclosed, exposed. The bear goes for the beehive, it’s more predictable, more reliable, disfigures the dripping thing, totally forgets the hiker who is still unconscious, dreaming of being ravaged by sun bears and spectacled bears and blind bear cubs who got no teeth, the bear gets stung 1001 times, doesn’t care.

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