By Matt Saccaro
Each community thinks itself superior to all others.
I was once seriously into weightlifting. I frequented a popular forum for the topic daily and even made a personal log of all my progress for my fellow forum members to comment on. To all of us, weightlifting was sublime. It was the activity of the gods. All those who didn’t do it were lesser human beings, lazy and unaware of what their bodies were truly capable of accomplishing.
I also trained in MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a time. From my experiences on various MMA forums, I learned that the MMA community bore stark similarities to the weightlifting one. Both believed that only their chosen hobby/activity was the best way for a person to spend their (spare) time. Those who knew nothing of fighting were mocked relentlessly. How could they truly be confident and happy if they knew in their heart of hearts that, when confronted with a real fight, they’d be as helpless as an infant? How could they be content with themselves if they were just abhorrent, lazy couch potatoes who never threw a punch in their entire lives? How could they say they were well-versed in life if they’d never been punched in the face? People who didn’t train in MMA were inferior because of these reasons and more.
By CP Hunter
I am beautiful. That’s what he told me right before he left. He said that he was no good for me so he had to leave. He said that he wanted me to find myself a good man who would treat me right. Then he said that he didn’t want to waste no more of my time. He didn’t even ask me if I mind at all. I would have told him that I did. I would have told him not to leave because I love him and he isall I need. I would have said that he was all I ever knew and all that I wanted to know. I would have told him that if he leaved I would never find another cause no one would want me around for too long. I would have said he was all I had and that he really was good enough for me. I would have let him know that maybe I wasn’t good enough for him. I would have told him that no one would ever again tell me that I was beautiful. I would have told him that he didn’t have to lie about loving me; it wouldn’t have stopped me from loving him. I would have told him that I wouldn’t survive too much longer without him. I would have told him the truth but he didn’t give me a chance. Perhaps he knew that he could do better. Perhaps he was waiting for the right moment to leave. Maybe I was just part of a cruel joke that lasted for seven years.
By Joe Sonnenblick
Her skin is sallower in the sunlight of the funeral parlor
I loved my wife/ Stinking of peanuts and cheap wine from the track
The morning here brings me grief because I am burying my heart
And I am missing the first race at Calder,
In the audience is a bunch of well wishing jackals that couldn’t stand her living, now they love her dead
A payphone is ringing off in the distance as little beads of sweat run down my back
I am reminded by my kids that I probably had something to do with this
That’s a low blow to a man who’s been a gelding for quite some time.
The priest is late.
The funeral director is holding out his hand he wants his money, I ain’t got it.
By Joe Sonnenblick
Inspired by bitter swill
The light of lives
Coffee, fervent marijuana use
Drinking in public
Urinating in public.
Fighting demons in barbershops
Depressions while smelling beauty
Uninspired by, the two catechisms
Fires on the brain.
People that live.
The lack of passion.
Thinking about paradise.
By Joe Sonnenblick
Sells narcotics from a book bag
Traveling pharmaceutical circus show
Blowin minds upside down
Tired from all thought,
Scrambled words on your plate
With a side of satire
I would never butter you up
So juiced up, talkin pulp
Lover of the arts
And somewhat of a bullshit artist
By Matt Saccaro
It took Hurricane Sandy to teach me that the Internet means nothing.
I thought I had the Internet figured out. I thought the “information super-highway” that connected millions was the end-all and be-all of human communication; the essence of humanity’s culture taken to its (ill)logical extreme.
I was wrong.
Ten days without power due to the Hurricane showed me the light—or the darkness as was the case.
Before the storm, I thought the Internet was almost some kind of god. It was nigh omniscient (how many people’s information doesn’t show up on a Google search?), a cornerstone in modern society, and a crucial part of the modern western person’s psychological makeup. The Internet was a massive ocean that we all lived in or at least swam in from time to time.
I was more attuned to the forces of the Internet than most, perhaps, having two Internet-centric occupations at the time. I also consumed massive amounts of internet content daily.
This constant exposure to the web influenced my views on the peculiar series of tubes. I spent nearly all day on it, like many people.
By Joseph O’Connell
He got a good one in clear across my chin before I could get my hands up. But when I hit him back, I heard the bones in his nose break and Catherine, Susan, Cheryl and the all of the guests stepped back as he spiraled, and then fell to the ground.
It was funny putting a beating down onto a man who was just days ago my friend, and as he tumbled off of his feet, I thought for a second on how we had come to this moment in time.
The man whose nose I have just shattered is named Bill Bradley. Bill and his lovely wife Catherine run a local bed and breakfast just outside of Denver, and up until about five-minutes ago, I was there newest hardworking summer employee.
I got to Denver in Late May with the plan to work the summer season for the Bradley’s as their night attendant and handyman. I had come in just behind two others; Susan and Cheryl, who had arrived a week before me. Susan was an older lady from Wyoming and she would be cleaning rooms and doing dishes at the Inn. Cheryl was juvenile 20-something from Nebraska who was brought on to serve the guests and tend to their needs during the days. As dashing as these two ladies were, it was Catherine Bradley that burned herself into the memory behind my eyes.
By Hannah Aronoff
Now, before anyone tries to engage in some pseudo-intellectual debate over the politics or the morality surrounding human response to homelessness, I’d just like to say: I’m not into that shit. Not today Internet avenger. Spread your, albeit heroic, meaningless personal agenda jargon on someone else’s blog, or better yet, the YouTube comments section.
Right, glad that’s out of the way. Since my arrival to “the city” a fateful eight full moons ago (I enjoy using the lunar calendar), it has been hard to ignore homeless people. And I don’t mean because of some made up statistic (there are five homeless people per block in New York), or some personal philanthropic complex (I’m a good person, I swear), no I mean I literally have a hard time not glancing at the urine stained homeless man that stumbles down the Subway car singing “Hips Don’t Lie.”
For some reason it seems to be New Yorker protocol to abstain from looking at the homeless–come on people, don’t you see the man gyrating on the pole next to you? And I just can’t do it. Maybe I’m a starer. Maybe it’s a sick form of voyeurism. Either way, I just can’t stop; I look. I feel bad. I don’t stop looking.
By Matt Saccaro
The world stops when a famous person dies.
The news of their death maintains a stranglehold on Twitter and Facebook feeds for hours, if not days.
“Rest in peace to the athlete. They inspired me to get in shape and believe in myself.”
“Rest in peace to the actor. Their work touched my life.”
“Rest in peace to the singer. Their music is bringing joy in heaven.”
And so on.
People write about how sad they are that a person they never met is gone. They write that a valuable life was taken from the world, about how it’s such a tragedy. And it is. Any death is tragic. Every person has people who love them, and a person being robbed of their loved ones is heartbreaking.
But a larger tragedy is that the people composing these tweets and status updates ignore the deaths of countless millions (or billions) of people every single day. People cry for every celebrity in the world, but not for their fellow commoner.