I can’t believe we let a guy called Rupert fuck up the world this badly. That's not a serious name. Rupert. That’s an elephant with a hat’s name.
And yet he did. He really and truly did.
Rupert Murdoch announced yesterday that he's stepping down as the head of the Fox Corporation and News Corporation. And at only 92 years old. His also evil son Lachlan will now be in charge of finishing the rest of us off.
Naturally the news reminded me of this old Hell World classic about how Fox News has torn so many families apart.
If you never read it there are a lot of testimonials in there that will make you feel like absolute shit. Here's part of one:
He became addicted to the anger. He thought if he was angry at all the “injustices” Fox News presented to him he must be righteous. He grew more irritable. He banned watching any news other than Fox News in his presence and failure to adhere would lead to abusive emotional outbursts. Soon he lost his sense of humor. Everything became about punching down at gays and minorities. Then he started making derisive comments about Democrats during family functions when it was considered inappropriate. He declared his favorite show was “The Five”, which then led to it being required viewing at our dinner time. If any real life occurrence interferes with him viewing “The Five” our family would be subjected to hours of screaming and cursing. He then became more paranoid, claiming that power or cable outages were a plot by the Democrats (who secretly control everything).
My mother had enough. Out of the blue, she filed for divorce. He was crushed, couldn’t understand why, and took comfort in drinking while watching his friends on TV. She is happier than I have ever seen her and he is sad and angry living in the basement of a rented house, still watching “The Five”, Tucker Carlson, Jeanine Pirro, etc.
Rupert Murdoch ruined my family and my country. If a genie gave me wishes I would hope his private plane crashes into the sea and every single person that works for Fox News gets trapped in the building and burns alive.
My dad, an immigrant, has had brain poisoning for years and years through this whole shit. He listened to Limbaugh in the nineties and it only got worse when he got Fox News. He used to think Trump was a dipshit but is now all in on the idiot's cruelty. He and my mom separated last November. There were other reasons but one of the big ones was his Fox addiction. I went down to help him get set up in a new apartment. He cried a lot. We found an apartment and furniture and I got the utilities set up but I did not sign up for cable TV. He did that after I left, before he got a job.
The thing that makes me maddest about this is that it's about money. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a year ago. It's the cancer that doesn't matter if you catch it and he's seventy six so it's probably not what's gonna get him. It did make him start thinking about his mortality though. He's on all the email lists and I guess Mike Huckabee has been selling his email to fucking everybody, including one list I noticed when I was getting his email set up called "Beyond Chemo."
They are selling him his own anger and a bunch of mushroom pills for all the money he doesn't have anymore. He's gonna die destitute because of this shit and people belong in prison for seeing this as a business opportunity.
Here are a couple of the responses I got when I shared the article again yesterday:
- My grandmother ended her relationship with her son, my uncle, who is an offline Dem. Really no aggressive opinions. She says she is not proud of him because he wants America to not be the number 1 country and it's people like him who will be responsible for China nuking us. I have not talked to her in 2 years outside of updating her on my mom's health because she always grills me about my politics when I just want to update her about her great granddaughter learning to ride a bike etc. Family doesnt matter, only politics.
- The last few years of my dad’s life he became really paranoid, convinced of a societal collapse. This was ‘10-12. He was working nights and would come home in the AM and fall asleep in his recliner with Fox News blaring. For years after he died my mom and I found guns hidden in the house. This guy voted for Al Gore and was convinced Bush stole the election. He thought John Kerry was a stand up guy. When Bush was campaigning against gay marriage my dad would yell at friends for being homophobes. Then he started watching Fox News, and man, it got bad! It’s weird to have good memories of those times and also to remember the awful shit blaring off the TV while he was asleep in front of it, just knowing that it was affecting him.
- Friend’s dad was dying of ALS. Wheelchair just parked in front of the TV, Fox on all day. Love to spend my last days on earth getting redassed about kids having to piss in a litter box at school because they identify as cats.
- I've lost my Mom to Fox News and Facebook as well. She was never interested in politics until Trump. Then her entire world view warped. I mean maybe he gave her permission to express her true feelings but she's lost all empathy. Everything is a conspiracy. It's exhausting. I knew I was in trouble when I lost my dad to the same thing. He was always right of center, we didn't agree on the finer points of governance, but in general it was civil. I texted him on Jan 6, assuming he was disgusted as well. He told me antifa was attacking the capital. My dad isn't some rube. He's an engineer with high level security clearance in the nuclear field. He's always been a "moderate." Now I'm pretty sure he'd turn me in for reeducation. I've known these people all my life, and now know nothing about them. It's wild.
Oh well what are you gonna do!
Down below Ann Deslandes writes about the recent decriminalization of abortion in Mexico. Previously she wrote on efforts to push through decriminalization in the state of Guerrero.
You'll need to be a paid subscriber to read that though so please chip in if you can. I'm fucking floundering over here buddy. Floundering.
It's the 30th anniversary of Nirvana's In Utero this week so Leila Brillson asked me and a bunch of other fine writers like Jeb Lund and Parker Molloy to write about our favorite song off the album for her newsletter Night Creeps.
Here's what I had to say about Pennyroyal Tea:
It was going to be the third single off In Utero but the B-side was “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” and I guess the record company didn’t want to put a message like that out into the world. You wouldn’t want to capitalize on a famous person’s pain and anguish. You wouldn’t want to do that.
Kurt thought it had a lot of potential as a single, he said. As big as their other hits, he said. They re-recorded and remixed it a number times to get the final version. He was right about that. His instincts were right on that matter but not on some others.
I literally just ate some cherry-flavored antacids before I sat down to write. I’ve been eating them for a few months now. I didn’t even ever think about the lyric until I just put the song on for the first time in years. CVS brand. They keep breaking in half when I go to poke them out the back of the tinfoil.
It’s weird when a song is one of your favorite songs of all time and you avoid it. Like avoiding your parents at Christmas.
I’m not up to the task here I’m afraid. I write regularly about beloved musicians that have taken their own lives or died from substance issues all the time—Elliott Smith and Jason Molina and David Berman and Chris Cornell and many others. But I’m not up to the task here. I regret trying.
Please make that my epitaph: I regret trying.
Sitting down to write about this song feels all of a sudden like when you first meet a new therapist and you want to convey everything that has ever happened to you and everything you have ever thought all at once because going through each distinct aspect of your whole deal week by week would take too much time.
Or maybe it’s talking to someone you all of a sudden love in a way you’ve never loved someone you just recently met before.
As if you want to scream into an overdriven and ungrounded microphone instead. Feeling the electric shocks because the fucking sound guy is nodding off in the booth and you’ve got nothing in the monitor.
But not letting go. Still screaming.
There. That is what I think.
“Give me Leonard Cohen afterbirth.”
Ok, man. No idea what that meant at the time. Kurt and Michael Stipe trying to get me a dumb fuck kid from suburban Massachusetts—and not the liberal part—to listen to Leonard Cohen. What did I know about mortality?
“I’m so tired I can’t sleep.”
That line fucked me up when I was in high school. I also didn’t have any idea what that meant. Not one single idea. I slept well when I was a teenager and into my twenties until eventually I found drugs and alcohol. And then I knew how to not be able to sleep.
Many years later, this line was like when someone in a movie is trying to crack a safe and they have to put their ear up to it and listen so closely and you can hear the internal machinations and it finally slides into place and the vault door is opened.
I don’t do drugs anymore, although I did the other night for the first time in a year or two and after I laid there twisting and writhing in bed and then later still on the floor in my little blanket fort punching myself in the face trying desperately to go to sleep. Trying to do anything to go to sleep.
Read the rest here it's really a punch in the gut. In a nice way.
All that thinking about Nirvana had me go back and look at this piece which is one of the first real Hell Worlds. "One of the good ones" as they say.
When you hear about someone who struggles with depression and addiction and talks about it openly it’s surprising when they die young but not that surprising. When you struggle with depression and addiction you think about being dead a lot which is something I can attest to because I’m addicted to everything. Also my best friend is an addict and depressed and tells me he wants to be dead a lot and I have tried a lot of different things to get him to stop thinking that but sometimes I think I’m maybe not the best person to present the case because I tell him things like Yes, bitch, I want to be dead too but you can’t do it. You have eternity to be dead so just wait like everyone else there is no point in rushing to be dead.
Ok next up is Ann writing about abortion in Mexico. Please subscribe to continue reading and to get access to everything in the archives. It's a nice thing to do!
Let the Tide Rise
by Ann Deslandes
"I just found out I am pregnant …. things aren’t good with my partner… anyone know how I can get hold of ‘caramelos’ in Morelia?"
That anonymous post on a Facebook group this week could have been from any given day on any of the hundreds of such groups in Mexico where people share information and give advice and support on getting an abortion wherever one happens to be in the country.
In just this way, people with uteruses across Mexico’s 32 states have organized for years to help each other safely access abortion care. "Caramelos," or candies, is code for misoprostol pills, which are sold in pharmacies throughout the country and can be used to end a pregnancy.