What are you thinking

She complimented my beard and said it reminded her of Karl Marx. I told her I’d just trimmed it down. I guess not enough. She was fat, black, with huge hair and kind eyes. She was nice so I didn’t mind her mentioning Marx.

After a sleepless night I wandered the early morning streets of northwest DC and found my way into a diner. Slim’s, in petworth, a hip neighborhood with plenty of POC’s, radical bookstores and dog meat cafes. In my last few days in DC I’ve been going out. I’ve been squeezing in some sight-seeing and socializing after months of locking myself away in my room.

Last night I went to a stand-up comedy show in Dupont Circle. I don’t get comedy. I don’t think they tell jokes anymore. There were seven or eight comedians. At least they only had a few minutes each.

Can they be funny without talking about beating off? If we banned beat-off jokes then stand up comedy would collapse.

When they’re not straight white males, their entire act is about not being a straight white male. When they’re straight white males, their entire act is about beating off. They’re either having lots of sex or not having sex at all and they don’t feel good about it either way.

A sullen asian woman who dresses like a teenage boy talked about being a sullen asian woman who dresses like a teenage boy.

There were bits about Trump, about the south and statues of Jefferson Davis. Courageous comedians risked their reputations and professions to mock rednecks and christians in front of a soft liberal audience in washington dc.

At what point are you not punching up anymore? And if you’re punching up now, what makes you think you’ll stop punching when you’re the one that’s up?

There was a guy who told a joke about renting out his house during Trump’s inauguration. Allegedly a white trash family agreed to stay in his basement and when they arrived in DC, the comedian took the room off airbnb and left the family without a place to stay. First, that didn’t happen. And second:

well played, dipshit. You showed them what it’s like to be stranded. Now they know what it’s like to be a refugee. Those bigots. You taught them a lesson in compassion.

Have you ever read Karl Marx, she asked me when she came back to see if I needed more coffee. I have; I used to read him when I was in school. She wanted to say more about Marx. I told her that I had problems with him. But I said it with a light tone that suggested I was sympathetic.

She looked down. Oh. I’d disappointed her. And then she said something about how Chomsky had also criticized Marx. She got up and walked off. I’m in an anarcho-syndicalist diner in radical black petworth and the fat black waitress wants to talk to me about Chomsky.

Saying something about my beard is one thing but I don’t want to talk about left wing politics. I bumbled into slim’s diner for pancakes, not agitation. I wanted to raise my blood sugar, not my revolutionary consciousness.

Marx and Chomsky will not free you, sweet pancake waitress. You have a good heart but these schemes have murderous, enslaving aims. Stop reading that garbage, I want to tell her. For her own good. If I wanted to destroy someone I’d tell them to become a marxist.

I don’t say anything else about it. She says I should read Marx again. My appearance reminds people in communist cafes of the theoretical grandmaster of communism. I wonder if this is how I appear to everyone.

When I shave my head and face I look like a curbstomping skinhead, and when I let my hair and beard grow out I look like a jewish communist. Now that I think of it that’s true of most people. That’s probably why they don’t shave their heads or give up on their hygiene. It would make them look like extremists.

These are extreme times and this is an extreme environment. My last day of work is tomorrow.

Author: The Empty Subject

Born curmudgeon

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