It’s humiliating enough just being ambiently enslaved by these guys

It’s humiliating enough just being ambiently enslaved by these guys

Under Kentucky law the gun used in the mass shooting at a bank in Louisville on Monday will be auctioned off.

"The assault rifle that was used to murder five of our neighbors and shoot at rescuing police officers will one day be auctioned off," mayor Craig Greenberg said. "Think about that. That murder weapon will be back on the streets one day."

In New York City mayor Eric Adams unveiled a pair of the NYPD's cutest little toys.

“Digidog is out of the pound,” Adams said.

The two robot dogs reintroduced yesterday will cost the city $750,000 he said but don't worry they're using money that cops stole from citizens through civil asset forfeiture to pay for it.

For more on asset forfeiture in Hell World go here or here or here.

In other NYPD news:

I have a riff on these fucking robot dogs in the new book:

I looked out over the front patio where a handful of guests were seated on the Adirondack chairs drinking more than usual and I had this embarrassing feeling like when you were a kid and you’d see your teacher at the grocery store buying cereal and it all of a sudden occurred to you for the first time that things happened in the world when you weren’t looking.
On the TV in the bar there was a big college football game one of the guests had made us put on and they had one of those robot dogs prancing around and doing shtick like a little asshole on the field at halftime and the cheerleaders were all dancing behind it waving black and gold pom poms and the band was playing a jaunty rendition of “Jungle Boogie” and everyone was having a grand old time including the robot.
I wondered if someday they’ll stop having the troops schlep down onto the field to march about and wave giant flags and just station a newer bigger robot in the corner of the endzone and it will serve the same purpose for the fans implications-wise.
There was a commercial for a new cute little droid Amazon was rolling out and I felt a visceral disgust looking at its dumb face like I wanted to kick the thing sixty yards through the uprights. Everyone cheering for me. Bill Belichick and all of them shaking my hand.
I never used to understand in dystopian stories why people seemed to be racist against robots very early on in the narrative like before they had even switched to being evil but then I realized that in their fictional world they probably had some odious billionaire that everybody had long already hated for exploiting them by the time he invented the robots so then I got it. It’s humiliating enough just being ambiently enslaved by these guys I can only imagine what it feels like when the transaction becomes literal.
Now there were all kinds of news helicopters loitering in the vicinity and then a more muscular helicopter bullied its way over into the proximate sky from the base not far from here and the rest all sort of scattered out of the way like tiny little fish when a bigger fish swims through and this one dipped its nose down and hovered just over the pylons not getting too close mind you and it made me think of an owl in the low sky sizing up a sickly coyote calculating whether or not it could pull it off. Hungry and scared at once like that.
Whatever the bartender’s name was which I may have mentioned earlier I forget now was looking at the TV and laughing like a cartoon witch because the robot dog had run onto the field run on to the field run unto the field during the game and some guys from the robot company were chasing it around with their tablets out trying to turn it off like clumsy nerds and they did look pretty funny to be fair. One of the players went to kick the thing and it stopped faster than anything has ever stopped and turned and reared up at him and the kid was like fuck this and ran to the sideline pissing himself I’d assume then there was a hammering that I thought must have been the boys in the kitchen out back tenderizing meat maybe but we didn’t do that kind of preparation. It was like chunk-ah chunk-ah like someone getting his ass kicked rhythmically or like a tenacious boxer punching a side of beef hung on an ice hook and I looked out at the water and the helicopter was unspooling its gun at the red pylons or monuments I forget what they were called.

Oh by the way the book actually exists. A Creature Wanting Form has achieved the form that it itself was wanting this whole time.

The ebooks have already been sent out but the print copies should be in your dirty little hands soon. Thanks so much to everyone who got one and for all the people who said nice things about it. I have fully mortgaged my entire sense of self and emotional well-being on its forthcoming reception. Certainly there's no way that could come back around to bite me in the asshole.

For the next five people who sign up for a yearly full price subscription I'll send you a signed copy of the book. Plus some Hell World stickers and pins.

The operator of a Comfort Inn in Tennessee is being fined a grand total of $21,658 for having children under the age of twelve working at the hotel. Surely that's enough to dissuade anyone else around the country from trying the same gambit right?

Let's check in on where the WSJ stands on the matter real quick.

"The reality is that opponents of these state laws are carrying water for Big Labor," Jason Riley writes on the spate of laws loosening restrictions on child labor conditions around the country.

"The goal is not protecting children. Rather, it’s protecting the pay of current employees by restricting the supply of labor. To the extent that unions can limit employment opportunities, they can command higher wages for existing workers because employers have fewer alternatives."

Not wanting kids to work is selfish actually.

NPR has announced that it will no longer be using Twitter. That seems like it's bad for Musk you would think in terms of the usefulness of the platform going forward but maybe this sort of thing is what he was after all along.

In other assault on information news Missouri House Republicans have voted to defund all of the libraries in the state. The move came as a response to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Missouri after 300 books were removed from libraries there many of which were about LGBT issues and racial equality.

Don't want us to ban books? Ok fuck you how about no libraries at all then?

"They don't gotta burn the books they just remove 'em" as the fella sang.

This is also happening in Missouri.

If I may I would like to submit a few of the better quote tweets concerning Rep. McMullen I just read.

1) damn that's surprising you look like a dude whose only legislative agenda would be legalizing IPAs for your 13 year old girlfriend

2) Brother took this selfie on the Titanic

3) shut the fuck up you look like the lorax

4) You look like you're about to give the worst side mission in Red Dead Redemption 2

5) So he cannae accept transgender people but weve all got to indulge Mr Pringle here is that it

6) If it doesn’t pass he’ll do his backup plan, which is tie transgender surgeries and blockers to train tracks

7) This dude looks like if Guy Fawkes tried to blow up parliament by starting a podcast

8) Why does he look like he’s about to serve me a $22 drink with smoked mezcal

9) Ahh sonic your too late! I’m going to stop people from changing genders!!!! Ahhahahahhah! I’ve got all the gender emeralds!

Meanwhile House Republicans like Matt Gaetz are moving to establish stringent work requirements for people who receive Medicaid and SNAP benefits. People who Gaetz has referred to as "coach potatoes."

Over ten million people and four million children will risk losing their nutrition assistance under the Republicans' proposed bill according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Harvard is renaming its entire graduate school after a billionaire hedge fund ghoul and big time DeSantis-backer Kenneth Griffin after he donated $300 million. Despite it's roughly $50 billion endowment Harvard has been suggesting to grad students that they should look into signing up for food stamps.

Speaking of Harvard I bartended at a spot near there back in the 2000s that used to host a spoken word poetry slam so these Rupi Kaur videos going around right now cannot hurt me.

Please do not ask me at this time if I ever "went up there" to "give it a try."

Not everything is bad though. At least some things are still funny.

Someone got pissed off in his car is how this next one started. How a lot of things start actually. So now he was going to teach the other guy a lesson.

You ever feel that way? This fucking guy.

Not me I'm normal and calm all the time but probably you have your own thing going on.

That reminds I started that show Beef the other night and I don't think I want to stick with it. I can get invested in a show about a mafia boss or a meth kingpin or – even worse – a right wing news media family but I don't think I can bring myself to watch the story of people who would get road rage like they do in the opening scene of that one. It's indecent.

It's unclear exactly who the first asshole was on the day in October of last year because these sorts of things always have an escalating chain of minor roadway transgressions but a witness said a driver named William Hale was trying to run another car off the road in Jacksonville. Hale is said to have thrown a water bottle at the second car which was being driven by a man named Frank Allison. One thing lead to another from there and next thing both men had shot each other's daughters riding in their respective cars.

Here's where it gets especially Floridian though. Despite the fact that Allison shot first hitting Hale's five year old daughter in the leg he will not be criminally charged. Instead only Hale who hit Allison's fourteen year old daughter in the lung is being charged with "seven counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and shooting or throwing deadly missiles" according to First Coast News because he threw the first punch so to speak by throwing the water bottle.

These fucking lawyers man they're so dramatic. "Throwing deadly missiles." Get out of here.

Both of the girls are reportedly recovering thankfully.

I loved how guy after guy lined up this weekend to announce unprovoked that much like the billionaire Nazi-memorabilia collector who runs Clarence Thomas that they too collect all manner of evil shit.

Certainly there's nothing wrong with having a room set aside to display all your Hitler stuff right? Whom among us doesn't collect and treasure Hitler stuff. To remind ourselves that Being Hitler is not good.

People were rightfully aghast at this post from Some Tech Dipshit the other day.

By the end of the year you say? Sounds good man.

It inspired me to republish this piece of mine from a few years ago on how our devices affect our ability to mourn.

I finally erased it because I felt it was time
They’re boxes we carry around that store our conversations with ghosts
Even after all of these interviews and the hours I’ve spent thinking about my father’s texts it’s not entirely clear what they mean to me or if they even mean anything at all. Contending with the digital endpoint of a relationship with a person who was a constant and loving part of your life for a long time is a lot different from when it is a reminder of someone who was absent. I can no longer call my father on the phone but that was true for most of my life anyway. Perhaps I should have done so more often. Perhaps he should have. Every text I have now is a glaring reminder that neither of us bothered to. I feel guilty about that. In part that’s because he had the foresight to die before my loving stepfather thereby hogging all of my weepy “my dad died” writing before the man who actually raised me could get the chance. I wonder if he was capable of thinking about any of this stuff in the last week or two he spent in a medically induced coma at the hospital as his children and exes reemerged to say goodbye one final time. It was like a dress rehearsal. We were talking to him but he couldn’t talk back. I guess I’m doing the same thing now.
Although we still cannot speak directly to the dead these days they can call back out to us. And what they say whether it’s in a voicemail or a text or a tweet is the most important message any of us will ever be able to convey: I was here. I am gone now but I was here.
I just went back and looked at one of my last text messages to my father sent shortly before he stopped responding. “Hi dad was planning on calling soon,” I wrote. “Glad to hear you’re well.” I wonder how long he saved that one from me? Probably right up until the end.

A couple touching responses I got to the piece yesterday:

  • I’ve got pics of my mom but for some reason a voicemail of her just saying “Mom” means more to me than all of that. Probably because it feels more like she’s still there. That’s how she always would leave a voicemail: no “call me back” or long message. Just “Mom” it’s her.
  • This struck a chord because I am really fixated on our total lack of ability to translate the grieving process digitally. I lost my father and 3 months later his phone number got repurposed and suddenly ‘Dad left the chat’ appeared in the family group chat and it never left me. It was one of those weird things that is extremely rough but also very novel, so you end up being like ‘damn i guess he really did leave the chat lol’ trying to lean on the absurdity as a comfort.
  • I'm sorry - a similar thing happened to me. It's weird and painful. I accidentally texted a group text with my sister and brother a few months after losing my brother. I got a message can't be delivered reply. I forgot he was gone for a second while sending the text. The reply was so hard to see.
  • Feel this deeply. One of my best/oldest friends passed away last year. She was someone I talked to frequently. Anytime I type the first letter of her name, she’s still the first contact/account that populates. I spend a lot of time re-reading and sometimes I still send a message. It’s especially easy to be in denial because after high school, we often lived far apart and went long periods of time without actually seeing each other in person. Feels like an endless loop I may never get out of sometimes.

I know I shouted out the new record the other day but I wanted to highlight this one from Rat Saw God.

Rusty old can opener neglected in the drawer
Reminds me of the ones you did off of the diving board
Bird flies into the window every day at the same time
It'll never learn, but it also wouldn't die

I took this one from last week out from behind the paywall. It's also about birds crashing into things. I really liked it and I think you will too.

Sorry I'm all over the place today I don't know what that's all about.

Indicting the entire expanse of the world
The goddamned birds had come back.
All of that amounted to a certain degree of blueness in my core roughly a 7 out of 10 in blueness but I breathed in big bales of house oxygen until it was all stabilized and my blood pumped safely and went to check on the status of the birds I mentioned earlier. Here they came again assembling a more concise jury. The bulk of them still nipping around and lollygagging and playing grabass in the trees. Disturbing certain yard improvements I had been working on as far as beautification. There was Raymond too within spitting distance. Still agitated about the sex pests in our midst I wagered.
Somewhere in the neighborhood a drummer was practicing solid snare thwacks like a heartbeat.
Then like an unspooling machine gun.
Raymond let me ask you a question briefly if you don’t mind I said. Do you have a staircase in your home that makes you just a little uneasy to walk down?
Not that steep at first but looking steeper of late than it ever had cause to appear previously I mean. Kind of a toothsome beckoning at the foot of it type of thing.
He thought about it for a moment then had a look on his face like he was trying to determine if I was some kind of Pervert myself.
Haha never mind I said.
I could tell that offbook maneuver was going to come back to rip my ass one way or the other.
All around us the drummer going duguhduguhduguhduguh. Killing everyone with his striking. Heaving waves of freshly shaved boys in their little war hats into the burning hole.
But not scaring the shit out of the birds strangely. The assault on my sloping tiles continuing apace.
You remember this right?
Well I mostly live on the first floor now Raymond said at last. So I’m not confronting the stairs as much as I once might have had to he said.

Ok I gotta go man. Here's another nice song for the road.