Do you like reading? You’d better like reading, cos this blog is crammed full of words, laid out one after another – words upon words upon mu’fuckin words. Sure, there’ll doubtless be a few image memes thrown in along the way (for no EU blog would be complete without a gratuitous Bateman pic), but for the most part, words are my stock in trade, so words are what you’ll be getting. Soz.
Given the choice, I know you’d rather not be wading through oodles of words on a webpage. Given the choice, you’d rather be watching Gangnam Style or loling at lolcats. Today’s words are a little bit special however because I didn’t write them. And for Ed Uncovered, that’s a first. As a break from the usual routine, my literary voice has been silenced. In its place, I’ve curated works from four writers who sound an awful lot like me – only much better. It’s a simple formula, but it’s one I think you’re going to enjoy.
Confession time: for a guy who purports to be a writer, I’m not very well read. Of Time’s Top 100 Novels, I have read precisely seven titles – four of which I was forced to read at school. Don’t get me wrong, there are numerous writers who I admire or mean to admire when I get round to checking out their work – Bukowski; Poe; Palahniuk – but right now they’re just names at the bottom of a non-existent to-do list.
Some novels I’m grateful never to have opened (50 Shades of Grey), while others are being saved for when the drug trafficking lands me a 30-stretch and I’m endowed with over 9,000 days to kill. Right now though, writing comes first. On my desktop, there is a document filled with ideas for future Ed Uncovered blogs. It currently stands at 8,000 words – a figure so high it’s almost memeable. First I’ll clear the backlog, then perhaps I’ll sit down with a good book.
The Faptastic Four
Much as I can’t wait to ctrl+c and ctrl+v some of my favourite writings into this blog, it’s also been composed as a cry for help. We’ve already established that I’ve read less books than Katie Price. (Sadly I’ve also written less too.) That being the case, who else should I be filling my head with? If you’ve ever dipped into Ed Uncovered, you’ll already be aware of the values and ethics I ascribe to: none whatsoever. IRL, I’m a good guy who rescues stray cats, studies the bible religiously (as opposed to secularly) and rarely strangles hookers. OTI however, I write like my literary heroes: as pruriently and scatologically as possible. After all, they’re just words on a page, right? As a white guy, it is my prerogative to write whatever the hell I like – provided I don’t drop the N-bomb it’s all good.
If there are any writers you reckon I’d enjoy, hit me up in the comments below or tweet me your recommendations. Alternatively, stash your fave novels/pornos/ex-girlfriend’s n00ds on Calton Hill and @ me the GPS coordinates. If there’s one thing that’ll motivate me to open a book, it’s knowing there’s a polaroid of some random’s chebs inside.
Public Health Warning
Before we go any further, there’s something you should know: this isn’t the sort of blog you read casually on your lunch break, nor is it the sort you scan while the boss is distracted by the intern’s cleavage – it’s more a piece you digest in bed with a cup of cocoa shortly after wiping the semen stains off your chest and closing 32 tabs.
So here’s the deal: this blog is going to run for the exact length of longcat. Like the loveable feline who accompanies these writings, long blog is loooooong. Stick with me till we reach the tail however and I’ll reward you with some Gangnam Style action.
We’ll start with a disgustingly good extract from – appropriately – page 69 of Kill Your Friends, John Niven’s scathing satire of the music industry.
Kill Your Friends
Every day piles of CVs tumble into the office. Fresh-faced young girls with excellent qualifications, all hungry to get a job where, in return for working twelve-hour days, being sexually harassed from dawn till dusk, having to cope with all manner of coked-up, coming-down, hung-over, flaky, irrational, abusive, demanding behaviour from people like me, they will be rewarded with maybe fifteen grand a year, the odd backstage pass and occasional glimpses of pop stars in the building.
In toilets, offices, broom cupboards, hotel stairwells and on the chill leather seats of BMWs, Saabs and Mercedes coupés, they will suck cock and take it up the arse. Their twenties will flash by in a holocaust of parties, hangovers, semen and bad champagne until, one fine morning somewhere down the line, they wake up to find themselves thirty-five years old with sagging tits, a cancerous, shrivelled womb, tired, fucked-out eyes, and a complexion battered by late nights, drugs and cocks. A lucky few of these girls will, through a combination of low cunning and viciously skillful fellatio, manage to marry one of the executives they serve and hang on to him for – at best – a decade, raising his children and decorating the house while he works late nights at the office pumping his way through her successors. Eventually, either she will put her foot down or (more likely) he will upgrade to one of the Sophies or Samanthas who replaced her. They will get divorced somewhere in their mid-forties and she will find herself standing in the kitchen of a big house somewhere in Buckinghamshire with two nasty, pre-pubescent monsters whingeing at her as she haplessly uncorks her second bottle of white wine at half past four in the afternoon.
Well, wasn’t that beautiful? Where do we go from there? We go to the internet of course, and to a kid who – for a few short weeks in 2011 – was the epitome of everything the internet stands for. As regular readers will attest, I have something of a hard-on for Topiary (no homo). All four featured writers make me jelly, but Topiary makes me especially jelly because he wrote this stuff when he was only 18. Dick.
Since being v&, LulzSec’s mouthpiece has been prohibited from venturing OTI, but here’s his so-called Last Message to the Internet, which was typed up and posted to Parmy Olson for her book We Are Anonymous (an engrossing read which can be enjoyed here, if you’re the cash-shy type).
Hello, friend, and welcome to the Internet, the guiding light and deadly laser in our hectic, modern world. The Internet horde has been watching you closely for some time now. It has seen you flock to your Facebook and your Twitter over the years, and it has seen you enter its home turf and attempt to overrun it with your scandals and “real world” gossip. You need to know that the ownership of cyberspace will always remain with the hivemind. The Internet does not belong to your beloved authorities, militaries, or multi-millionaire company owners. The Internet belongs to the trolls and the hackers, the enthusiasts and the extremists; it will never cease to be this way.
You see, the Internet has long since lost its place in time and its shady collective continues to shun the fact that it lives in a specific year like 2012, where it has to abide by 2012’s morals and 2012’s society, with its rules and its punishments.
The Internet smirks at scenes of mass rape and horrific slaughtering followed by a touch of cannibalism, all to the sound of catchy Japanese music. It simply doesn’t give tuppence about getting a “job,” getting a car, getting a house, raising a family, and teaching them to continue the loop while the human race organizes its own death. Custom-plated coffins and retirement plans made of paperwork…the Internet asks why?
You cannot make the Internet feel bad, you cannot make the Internet feel regret or guilt or sympathy, you can only make the Internet feel the need to have more lulz at your expense. The lulz flow through all in the faceless army as they see the twin towers falling with a dancing Hitler on loop in the bottom-left corner of their screens. The lulz strike when they open a newspaper and care nothing for any of the world’s alleged problems. They laugh at downward red arrows as banks and businesses tumble, and they laugh at our glorious government overlords trying to fix a situation by throwing more currency at it. They laugh when you try to make them feel the need to “make something of life,” and they laugh harder when you call them vile trolls and heartless web terrorists. They laugh at you because you’re not capable of laughing at yourselves and all of the pointless fodder they believe you surround yourselves in. But most of all they laugh because they can.
This is not to say that the Internet is your enemy. It is your greatest ally and closest friend; its shops mean you don’t have to set foot outside your home, and its casinos allow you to lose your money at any hour of the day. Its many chat rooms ensure you no longer need to interact with any other members of your species directly, and detailed social networking conveniently maps your every move and thought. Your intimate relationships and darkest secrets belong to the horde, and they will never be forgotten. Your existence will forever be encoded into the infinite repertoire of beautiful, byte-sized sequences, safely housed in the cyber cloud for all to observe.
And how has the Internet changed the lives of its most hardened addicts? They simply don’t care enough to tell you. So welcome to the underbelly of society, the anarchistic stream-of-thought nebula that seeps its way into the mainstream world — your world — more and more every day. You cannot escape it and you cannot anticipate it. It is the nightmare on the edge of your dreams and the ominous thought that claws its way through your online life like a blinding virtual force, disregarding your philosophies and feasting on your emotions.
Prepare to enter the hivemind, motherfuck.
Next up is War Tard, an enigmatic Irish blogger who lives in LA. Like the rest of the internet, I don’t know who War Tard is; I’m just grateful that he exists to sporadically churn out lengthy treaties that are packed with more wit and win than the average blogger produces in a lifetime. What follows is an extract from the snappily-titled Man wakes up from decade long coma and figures he’s living in an Orwellian dystopia… asks if he can be a Viking instead. Put the kettle on and get comfy. You’re in for a treat.
In the new sci-fi dystopia, the police state starts with the cop on patrol who is expected to “feed the system” with suspicious stuff that might flag someone as a terrorist. The problem is, Main Street USA isn’t exactly a target-rich environment for towel-headed mullahs waving AKs and yelling “Allah Ackbar” every time the local 7/11 runs out of pita bread. In order to justify the billions being spent, the DHS must continually see ‘enemies’ everywhere. The enemy morphs into the citizenry itself, be it activist, protester or anyone with a beef against the prevailing narrative. The primary weapon of the average cop is the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR), which includes activities like taking pictures, reading maps, driving while looking out the window a lot; pretty much anything about you the average donut guzzler doesn’t like. Cop cars are being equipped now with license plate scanners that not only read every infraction of every passing car but also relay this info along with GPS data to the centralized database; something that makes every unpaid parking ticket a shit brick offense.
In the sci-fi dystopia, everyone is a suspect.
It’s no surprise that most of the headline-making F.B.I. busts of terror plots in the US are perpetrated by a bunch of dumb fuck wannabe al-Qaedas who end up sleepwalking into an F.B.I.-produced trap, like stars in some twisted episode of MTV’s Punk’d where the G-men supply fake explosives, blasting caps and a party van while co-opting some dip shit Bin Laden fan to drive into the middle of the sting. The mark gets zip ties instead of cameras and there’s no explosion except for the thud of the perp’s skull against the cell wall of a SuperMax as he tries to figure out why he trusted the ‘knowledgeable chemical guy’ at Home Depot who turned out to be a bomb tech narc. After you get showcased nabbed, it’s a simple matter for the F.B.I. to go on Fox News and tell all their viewers how they are winning the war on a noun. Just recently, we learned the evil doers (still operating under the al-Qaeda franchise) are hiding their ‘secret plans’ for mayhem inside porn images which is the funniest thing I’ve heard since that idiot tried to blow up a plane with his boxer shorts.
What ever happened to the smart terrorists?
There are currently 72 DHS “fusion centers” planted all around the US collating and indexing every bit of HUMINT about everyone, trying to sniff out who might want to hijack a cruise ship, blow up a bridge or chuck a flaming shit bomb into an Olive Garden. There’s been a ten-year building boom going on around Washington D.C. too as drab-looking four-story buildings sprout up like whack a moles. Beneath these nondescript Cold War commie-looking structures are up to ten subterranean floors of who knows what. Nobody knows how much they’ve cost – including the US government – because everything is a semi state/ corporate hybrid of melded privatization and black hole money pit contracts hidden under a rug of secrecy in the name of national security. The monitoring of information (SIGINT) between the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand (ECHELON) is well known but the US seems to be hitting it out of the park when it comes to total communications monitoring of its population. This of course comes in the form of the recently reported super structure under construction in the Utah desert, the Stellar Wind server farm that will basically be ‘downloading’ the entire Internet every second and sniffing through yottabytes of our emails and faxes and cellphone GPS data searching for the bad guy with a plane ticket to New York and a pipe bomb up his hole.
In the sci-fi dystopia, everyone is a suspect. And your privacy is the price of your security because what do you have to hide?
Sometimes you need to be a decade out of the loop to truly see the extent of what’s gone down. History happens gradually and things only gain context when historians hammer events into a coherent narrative usually long after the fact. Meaning emerges further down the road. For instance, a Weimar Republic German in a similar coma in say 1926 who woke up a decade later would wonder why so many of his countrymen were buying into the crazy bullshit of the angry guy with the mustache. First it was a beer hall putsch followed by goose-stepping militarism and a power-grab later, the Reichstag burned down mysteriously and in no time the German Army were partying on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées thinking “this is awesome but possibly a bad move in the long run if shit doesn’t play out well”. The nature of history is that it unfolds gradually enough that nobody notices the emergent narrative because they’re too busy living in it. By the time the story emerges in context, Army Group South is surrounded by Zhukov at Stalingrad and the Wehrmacht is screwed.
The one thing about the mass surveillance society we’re building that would fry Orwell’s brain is the nature of information in the Internet age. Sure most governments these days see 1984 as an operational tech manual but we’re not just living in an age when just Big Brother is watching; we ourselves are watching each other with the intense fascination of zoo chimps fapping at the banana delivery man. The camera culture is so prevalent and everyone’s face so buried in a cellphone that nobody knows what’s going on in his or her immediate vicinity. Except of course when there’s a car wreck and then everyone’s phone is uploading footage to YouTube or, if it’s really awesome and messy, LiveLeak.
Part of the sci-fi dystopia is the willingness of the population to be watched. To be a minor celebrity in the ongoing movie of your own life.
I’ve often wondered what it’d be like to live in other eras. Personally, I’ve always fancied a stint as a Viking, you know, sailing around with your mates in a bad ass longship, raping and pillaging in a consequence-free environment but I was born too late for this and missed out on all that awesome Valhalla action. And it looks like I was born too soon to hyperdrive around the galaxy on seed ships discovering strange new worlds and… and raping and pillaging them in a consequence-free environment. Christ, if we humans ever advance to the level of a space-faring species the galaxy is screwed. It’ll never happen though because we upright apes will self destruct before we get that far. The technological adolescence hurdle of “fission before fusion” is like a universal failsafe to keep the riff-raff out of the star gate club. Any civ must prove they can live 100 years with nukes and not red button each other back to the Stone Age before they gain access to free energy and ‘warp drive’. Right now, we ain’t gonna be passing that test.
Let’s face it, we just might be the scary bad guys in our own dystopian sci-fi novel that leaves us all wondering…
Who wrote this book?
Everyone is suspect.
OK, let’s move swiftly on before my countenance approaches Jolly Green Giant levels of envy.
Our final literary hero is Bret Easton Ellis, or more specifically Patrick Bateman, Ellis’s alter-ego. American Psycho is the only Bret Easton Ellis novel I’ve ever read, and it’s the only one I’ll ever need to: when you’ve created a character as brilliant as Patrick Bateman, it doesn’t matter if the rest of your oeuvre consists of absolute turkeys (not that I’d know; like I say, American Psycho is the only novel I’ve read). Rather than reproduce a chunk of AP however, we’re gonna end this blog with something a little different: a piece of fan fiction.
‘Fan fiction’ is one of the dirtiest phrases ever conjured, eliciting images of maudlin Twilight prequels penned by angsty goths batting for Team Edward. I’m not selling this very well, but bear with me. What follows is a sadistic romp through the mean streets of Aberdeen as a downmarket Patrick Bateman wreaks his revenge on the local riff-raff. I published this piece a decade ago in a blog that served as the predecessor to Ed Uncovered. Much of my writing from back then makes me cringe, but this attempt at fan fiction (urgh!) still raises a smile. Whether or not you concur will hinge largely on the extent of your Patrick Bateman infatuation.
When I proclaimed earlier that you wouldn’t have to suffer my literary voice today, I lied. Technically, however, this is the me of ten years ago, and what’s more it’s the me of ten years ago writing in the style of Patrick Bateman, so it doesn’t count as Ed Uncovered – it’s officially The-Entity-That-Pre-dated-Ed-Uncovered-Emulating-A-Character-Created-By-A-Different-Writer-Altogether. Got that?
Allow PB to carry us through to the tip of longcat’s tail…
An American Psycho in Aberdeen
At precisely 11:43 on a Friday morning in July that is more like April, I step off the X18 bus beside a store that used to be called Cycling World and, side-stepping a pushchair parked badly on the sidewalk by a teenage mum pitted with acne, bury my hands deep inside the pockets of the reversible trousers I am wearing. ($60 from Hot Topic.) Today, I have the black side facing out. A drunk in a piss-stained raincoat hobbles out of the All-Days 7/11 twenty yards ahead of me, refused alcohol for the third day in a row I imagine, yet still he keeps coming back. Panning across to the Chinese takeaway on the other side of the road, there’s a group of pigeons fighting over the congealed contents of a Styrofoam container and I immediately think chicken fried rice, though it could just as easily be shredded beef or sweet and sour. The fastest way to kill someone is to slit their throat. Sharp blade, deep incision just above the Adam’s apple. Always use a sawing motion. Death occurs in under four seconds, not even time to scream. The blood doesn’t spurt, it pours like water from a vandalised fire hydrant. Köhl kitchen knives. My personal favourite. They have a groove in the blade to allow the blood to drain out.
A young man wearing a Hundred Reasons t-shirt and rectangular glasses (non-designer) waves to me as he approaches. He has not shaved in several days and, had I not known better, I would have dismissed him as yet another drunk clogging up the pores of George Street. “Hi Chris,” I say as he approaches. Chris frowns, and for a moment I wonder if I have mistaken him for someone else. “Hi Terry,” he replies and then, as an afterthought, “It’s Dave.” Chris or Dave has mistaken me for Terry who plays in the same band as me and has a similar hairstyle. I could have forgiven Dave for such an oversight, had it not been so patently obvious that my clothes are of a much better cut than Terry’s, and my tan slightly darker. I briefly consider engaging Dave in conversation, but there is nothing I wish to say to him, and in any case I have a power brunch at McDonald’s in fifteen minutes. I made the bold decision not to reserve a table, and I have no wish to queue for a seat when it fills with screaming schoolkids.
Did you know that there are 2,961 varieties of felt-tip? Once, when I was feeling unusually artistic, I carved my initials into the chest of a cheap whore I had picked up on Shore Lane and then gouged her eyes out with a permanent marker. Her sockets were black and yet red at the same time, and I proceeded to blacken her face with the marker so I could savour the sight of my cum splashing onto her. The thought of this arouses me slightly, and I quickly brush a hand across my crotch to disguise the erection that is forming. The Hutcheon Street traffic lights always favour the motorists crossing George Street. Perhaps they too possess a hatred for this desolate mile. I cross quickly before a fish lorry can make its turn and barge my way past an old couple who are stooping to pick up a quarter that one of them has dropped. Their feebleness sickens me and, had it not been broad daylight, I would have toyed with the idea of unsheathing the Opinel penknife that is nuzzled against my thigh and plunging it into the pair of them. I pat it reassuringly and vow that I will be wiping the blade clean before this bleak day is over.
Outside Haddows, a homeless man who reeks of vomit asks me if I have any change and I ask him if he does cashback. He laughs nervously and I retract my leg in readiness to kick his tin onto the road, but at that moment a police car drives past and, scowling, I keep on walking. A grey sports car passes soon afterwards, a Mazda X2-i with blue alloys, blaring out the latest Fischer Spooner single, and the four occupants, who are all wearing identical Teddy Smith baseball caps, laugh and point at me. I ignore them and look the other way, my attention focussed on the billboard outside the newsagents that reads MAN JAILED FOR PUPPY CRUELTY and I wonder if he skinned it alive or just starved it. Creativity. Killers have no imagination these days. This country needs another Fred West to capture the imagination – and the lives – of the public. I notice the bird shit on the wheelie bins outside the Dim Sum Inn and my reflection in the tinted glass as I walk past. (The Flubber hair gel I am trying out seems to be holding well.) I notice the ‘Best Pint’ plaque on the wall of The Northern Bar. I even notice that, the closer I get to the Bon Accord Centre, the uglier the people become. Round here, the hardbodies are few and far between. What I fail to notice, until it crashes into me, knocking me against the wall, is the ned who has dashed out of the bakery with the charity box under his arm. I turn just in time to see him disappear down an alleyway, much to the consternation of a fat woman in a maroon smock (Dickies workwear) who is shouting and waving her arms. Spittle flies from her mouth as she reels off a string of profanities, and for the first time all day, I manage a thin smile. I care about this woman as much as I care about the delinquent who has just robbed her, and I find myself wishing he had assaulted her before fleeing. It dawns on me that I am the sole recipient of the irate woman’s diatribe as the sidewalk seems to have emptied in a matter of seconds. I am not interested in helping her, yet the ridiculousness of the situation and the opportunity it presents has not escaped me. Brunch can wait, I decide. “Stay here,” I command, “I’ll take care of this.”
Without waiting for a response, I vault the wall effortlessly, my muscles rippling as I grip onto the granite stones, and I find myself on the other side staring down a dimly-lit passageway between two tenements. Rubbish bags are piled everywhere. The ned is nowhere to be seen, but I know that the narrow corridor ends in a cul-de-sac, and there is no way he can have escaped. I imagine him squatting behind a mound of refuse sacks, dirty change scattered all around. He will not be expecting me, but I creep forward stealthily nevertheless, gripping onto the Opinel that stands erect in my pocket. I round the corner in one smooth motion and find the ned as predicted, squatting in the dirt, his fists full of copper and silver shrapnel. The brief flicker of excitement I feel as I thrust the blade into his skull vanishes the moment his Yankees baseball cap and the shattered head within it slumps to the floor and his warm essence trickles towards my feet. I tear at his shellsuit with the knife, exposing an arm littered with tracks and I can’t help but feel cheated. This man was going to die anyway; all I had done was hasten the inevitable process.
I wipe the blade across his forehead, leaving behind a red smear that is reminiscent of the poster paint I used to play with in kindergarten, and return the knife to my pocket. Upon rejoining George Street, the fat woman is nowhere to be seen, but as I enter the Bon Accord Centre I hear a siren, and I know it is only a matter of time before the ned and his stash of stained coins is discovered. I wonder whether they will wash the change before returning it to the charity box. I also wonder whether they will have mayonnaise sachets at McDonald’s. I complained to the manager last time and he assured me they would order more. Ketchup just isn’t as good with fries.
It is not until I am adjusting my hair in the men’s room after eating that I notice the blood spattered across my face. Could the AIDS virus be passed on through dermatological contact? I am not sure, but I wash my face with soap anyway just to be safe, and vow to treat myself to a facial when I get home. I received an antibacterial tea-tree sampler from Olay in the mail, and I am anxious to try it out. I think I may be developing a small wrinkle below my left eye, and I am not prepared to take any chances.
If you enjoyed any of the extracts featured in this sensationally long blog, here’s where you can catch more literary goodness from the fab four:
★War Tard: Everyone should keep a browser tab open on War Tard. Short of fapping to hentai tentacle rape porn, there’s no better way to spend an hour in bed with the laptop.
★Kill Your Friends by John Niven: Available from all good bookshops, plus a few bad ones. Alternatively, this being the internet and all that, try downloading that shit for your Kindle or tablet.
★American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis: Read the novel online, or you may prefer to stream the equally awesome movie. Christian Bale is Patrick Bateman.
★Bret Easton Ellis on Twitter (the closest thing to an IRL Patrick Bateman).
★Topiary: LulzSec’s twitter account. (Now dormant of course but still a great read.)
★We Are Anonymous by Parmy Olson (Chapter 1, detailing some of Topiary’s finest work, is particularly good).
★LulzSec 1000th tweet statement.
★Topiary trolls Westbro Baptist Church (video).
★LinkedIn Hacked, World Laughs: An Ed Uncovered blog which meanders onto the topic of the HBGary hack in which Topiary served Aaron Barr his ass on a plate.
Follow @whisperednothin ⇦ Ed Uncovered on Twitter.