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Years drowned in whiskey ago, Autumn painted red, her invisible ego; “This’ll feel fine and this’ll be blessed”, is what she had said as she slashed her own neck, and off to nowhere did she go;

Earlier this year, I had to get my jaw disconnected so that a dental surgeon could dig out the hooked root of a broken wisdom tooth therein, an experience which approached with such dread as to instill actual nightmares. A month later, I turned 40. Mortality has been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve walked so much that I am losing a second toenail in as many months. In tinkering with three sets of clothes washers and dryers I’ve fractured a knuckle-bone in my hand, walloped the side of my forehead and unnaturally pierced the side of my face, so that together with a yet-to-heal jawbone I am looking and feeling like a corpse. I am not allowed to sleep, not in this life.

I care for my bed-bound mom round the clock, barely surviving the insanity of day to day living. Our maintenance man hung himself not too long ago. And though long-affiliated with The Rake & Herald, I have opted to call it quits, as the editor in chief would rather hide offline than confront the disdain his other contributors feel for my beliefs. Contributors refusing to contribute as long as I remain a part of the team, yet who don’t provide much offerings themselves to begin with. I’ve requested repeatedly for the editor to remove my content, though he evidently refuses for lack of any other articles to attract hits for his online shop. Years of various contributions myself and literally all I walk away with is a fucking t-shirt. I’m also leaving USA Really. Their editors are the worst I have ever dealt with, totally incommunicado and self-contradictory. While it was nice to be affiliated with a portal offering ranging viewpoints, the larger they grow the more irrelevant those views become when 90% are merely on par with prolonged YouTube comments in terms of illiteracy and cringe-worthy ignorance. Call it taking back the means of production.

I also made a recent voyage into Twitter territory, to assert myself into the comicsgate hysteria, but also because there are just too many persons increasingly refusing to communicate by any means outside of social media. But their thoughts are just not worth the trouble of it all. I wound up launching a discussion thread with a number of persons whom I have respected at different points in the past, about how my principles cast me aside the norm at expenses far worse than any monetary concern. Noted writer and artist Howard Chaykin had made a post on another site regarding comicsgate, making the same points as me but receiving far more attention for it. As with big media or comics journalism, the bigger platforms hate hate hate to be scooped by the no-names, and will often downplay or full-on suppress a story out of spite at getting outclassed. I was a comics journo from the start of 2007 to maybe a couple of years back, and in that time I reviewed thousands of comics but never one for either of the two mammoth publishers. Likewise, I conducted well over 400 interviews, but never one to promote a big ticket item project. I’ve never pitched a project myself in my life. I’ve never been fired from a writing or editing gig in my life. During this thread where I tried to make these points, the great artist Norm Breyfogle passed away. He was an old friend, and a truly one of a kind spirit. It was sweet to see the public displays of concern from Marvel/DC people when he’d felt abandoned by their publishers for the past dozen-plus years. The whole reason the Hero Initiative exists is because those companies specifically have always been maintained by wannabe mobsters. Yet to blockade them, or the Diamond distribution system which forces irrational benchmarks but with blatant exceptions for the right politics, casts one aside down the left-hand path of the damned. By not bowing before the established gods am I rendered invisible, intangible. Failure to pretend that dishonesty is honesty is career suicide. After a fashion this is the same as with Breyfogle’s loneliness, and that of other old friends like Sandy Plunkett or Mike Netzer. The egoless are always strangled by the ego-maniacals, in that same way I’ve been describing in past essays of how hero-status is rewarded to the most self-serving while the most self-sacrificing are vilified or disowned.

No matter the intricacies of our correspondence they are notes from underground. By neither selling or buying anything, the masses are dumbfounded, programmed to exist for no other purpose than to service or to be served. After all, comicsgate is perfectly emblematic for general politics at the national level today, for when self-aggrandizing fascism competes with self-aggrandizing fascism, then fascism alone endures. The numbers of people unwilling to play either victim or proponent of fascistic selfishness dwindles. In real life we have secret handshakes, but online we do not exist. Nobody does, because online is the unreliable narrator of this age and nothing more.

Social media voices can pretend they are anti-establishment, yet their continuous presence in those portals plainly shows them to be the most malleable voices on the planet. Seeing the rerun once again, it made me wish to withdraw again. Seeing so many people so blatantly, so worthlessly and pathetically empower their own problems time and again, makes me want to withdraw off and away.

So, many endings, with the grandest ending of all flirting less and less erratically. I will be stepping away from here for a time, too, to read more, and to work more on matters which simply do not and never will have virtual components of any measure.

Whether for personal or business matters I encourage interested persons to reach out directly, privately. Just know in advance that I fucking hate you.