The Modern Corsair Issue #6

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Through the internet and space and time, we bring you the March issue of The Modern Corsair. This month we tackle science fiction. A treat for all you time travelers out there, even for those who are traveling forwards in time, slowly, at the rate of one year equaling a single year.



Hey Buddy! Yeah you.
If you’re one of the regular Modern Corsair readers and or subscribers welcome to another issue, but before the party starts- we need to talk. No, you did nothing wrong. We want you to know that we are looking to bring on a new bunch of writers into the fold. Now if you’re a creative sort you may be wondering what took us so long to invite you. Sorry about that. It got lost in the mail. We thought we mentioned it at the thing your sister held. Regardless we want you. We want submissions from you, and here’s how this can work: do you write fiction, poetry, essays, non-fiction, reviews, or have you ever in general organized words so that on lookers might drive meaning from these shapes? If so you can submit work to: [email protected] and we’ll get back to you about if and when you can expect to see your labor of love in our magazine. You can also feel free to send us comments or questions any time. Just put what you’re submitting in the ‘subject’ line of the e-mail. You can also contact or keep up with Modern Corsair goodies on are Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts. We’ll be posting the next month’s themes and deadlines along with prompts. We hope to hear from a lot of you.

You may now continue with the normal entertainment.

Editor in Chief ................................................................................................ Ian Adams Editor/Design .................................................................................... Aaron Rosenberg Editor ..................................................................................................... Katie Lee McNeil Editor...................................................................................................... Amanda Galindo Press Relations .........................................................................................Jazmin Lucero Head Photographer ........................................................................... Frankie Concha Master Illustrator ................................................................... Mauricio Bustamante Commander Illustrator ................................................................. Lawrence Alfred Philosopher .................................................................................................... Oscar Valle

The Fate of Norns - Christopher Vasquez Safe Sex - Staff Piece Cartoons On Lucus’s THX 1138 - Josh Craft Fooly Cooly: Reviewed - Ian Adams Two Poems - Katie Lee McNeil A Poem - Paulina Ruiz 5 12 18 20 25 29 32

Christopher Vasquez
Fuck it’s cold…Where am I? On that note who am I? Okay calm down, just need to remember my training. Training… ahh, I’m a soldier for… the United States Army, standard infantry platoon one twenty Corporal Roland Hod. Why is it pitch black? Am I blind? No, just have iron caps on my eyes. They peel slowly; bands of light peek through and reveal a ruptured boulder in front of me, gray except for the reddish brown stain slightly above me. I push myself up. “Gahhh! Shit!” I collapse. My arms and legs are working but my head… well, now I know where the stain came from. My face plants itself in a red slush and I absorb the surroundings. I am at the edge of an opening surrounded by a forest so thick it does not matter that the trees are leafless. My hands clasp onto the boulder to the point of my knuckles turning white and lurch myself up. The bones supporting me almost creak and strain as I collapse on top of the boulder. Mounds of flesh riddle the land. Comrades and enemies (God I don’t even remember who I’m fighting) taint the otherwise pure whiteness of the snow. I trudge through the graveyard, the pain not even registering, only the cold and how it is rising. My path takes me through the uniforms, for they all are in the same white camouflage and they only thing differentiating one body from the next are the different types of mutilation each one suffered. Even then, you are not quite sure which limb belongs to whom. I try not to think about it, but in reality there is nothing else to think about. Then the flashbacks come in: Lightning cracks whizzing above and the booms of explosions and the ringing that follows. That part is subtle; it’s the war and death cries, the screams and moans of the dying, that deafen the ears. The smoosh of snow that follows as the bodies collapse in a heap. I see all this bounce in front of me as I alone dive short in front of the boulder that greeted me, the rest of the platoon charges ahead, leaving me alone to yellow the snow. While trying to peer over my cover my hand slips and the rest is dark. After the flash back I collapse to knees and listen to my shallow breathing and sweat plop onto the snow. That is when I see him. I did not even notice him as I collapsed, but in all fairness I do not think I’ve ever seen him before. Other than the fact that his headgear is off he is just like the rest of the grunts. I gingerly pull him up and caress him in my arms. It is hard to tell where his skin ends and the snow starts, even the hair that I am sure is blond, is short and blanketed with snow. I notice at that point it is not just sweat that accompanies the moisture on my cheeks… His name. I need to know his name. I pound his uniform until I find the dog tags wrapped in a photo. The photo stays in shape as it comes off. John Balder. The photo reveals a beautiful woman and two adorable kids standing next to John. His dog tag says he lives in a small town somewhere in Kansas and he is only twenty-seven. So young, a full fifteen years younger than me… Blades chop the air and stop before I realize that someone is getting off the Apache that landed a few yards away from me. The bird goes undetected by the last of the platoon. I don’t remember what she said, nor do I even care. I just knew two things in that moment: I was being picked up,

not rescued, and that it was only early December. Winter is just beginning. “Hey look alive soldier! The Commander in chief is speaking!” The Colonel nudges me and looks dead forward, heroic, and trained. The kind of stare only an army can teach, always at attention, always ready. But it is just that, a look. A soldier can be daydreaming or worst: paying attention, frightened still, and fooling everyone. I know this better than anyone. The Colonel (I forget his name but it’s fine) gives me another harsh whisper to sit at attention and I do, for the appearance. How long was I blanking out? It was only the one thought over and over again and it is the first thing I am going to say when I go up to the podium. The government is bestowing my entire platoon a Medal of Honor for participating not only in the bloodiest war to date, but the most tragic engagement of the war. My entire platoon erased from the face of the Earth in a couple of hours, and I the sole survivor. “Brave, badass, lucky” the public calls me. I disagree with them and want to vehemently display it, but I don’t. But now is my chance. I will walk up there with my head held high and say with pride that I do not deserve the honor. They will know that I am a coward and deliver me the punishment due. When the president presents, I will not accept the award; the only people in my platoon deserving this award are the dead ones, not the living. “And now, without further ado, a true hero and warrior walking among us, please welcome Roland Hod!” Thunderous applause lifts me from my seat and my confidence of giving this particular speech pushes me through the aisle. This lasts for a grand total of five seconds, and then I get to the main aisle. The planners of this ceremony believed it to be a wonderful idea to sit me towards the back so that the whole crowd could take me in as a symbol. That out of the ashes of war America will rise and walk the long mile towards greatness and honor. A load of crap spewed from starry-eyed unpaid interns trying to make themselves noticed. No one is going to notice that unless it is explained. They will only wonder why they are forced to watch a man who obviously should have been seated in the front to, at the very least, save some time. The five seconds of prideful nirvana halts and eternity begins. All of a sudden one huge swoosh of cloth grinding against plastic slaps me across the face. The crowd, they all turn in unison and glare with beaming spotlights of approval. They just won’t stop. They keep smiling… staring. Oh God, why won’t they stop looking? Not one person is even a little distracted by a phone or something; they are just staring at a lie! Whisper’s of “Such a brave man,” “Not that bad on the eyes huh?” “That’s a man I need to have a drink with,” barrage me. Shut up! For fuck’s sake shut up and stop looking! I don’t deserve this, can’t you see?! They deserve this! They are the heroes! Oh god stop staring! Just stop! None of this is conveyed to anyone. All they see is a middle-aged man walking down an aisle. A true display of army training and discipline. His slightly discolored face is the only flaw in the otherwise immaculate form, but who would not be nervous meeting the president. I finally reach the stage and let out a small sigh without skipping a beat. The president (a man who has worked hard his entire life, at least according to the bio, and earned his position of power and honor) clips the medal onto my uniform. He asks me if I have any words to which I simply state that I do. I gaze unto the crowd with an empty, trained stare. “I do not deserve this at all. I know it is a cliché but believe when I say that I am nowhere near the greatness of my fallen comrades, my brothers. They died a warrior’s death and gave their life bravely. As for me, I am still here, undeserving of their honor. Thank you.” I messed up. The crowd explodes into applause and whistles. Tears gush from the families of my murdered brothers and they stand with pride. Why are they saluting me? Do they not agree? Their cheers and thank yous strip the flesh from my weak vessel. The sight of my parents grinning from ear to ear, applauding and crying with pride dump the salt on my exposed muscle. Later on I tell them I am moving from my temporary stay at their house. They beg me to stay but

I have to move on. They ask me where will I go and I say in a rush Kansas. I leave with a feeble good bye. I am not lying when I say I have to move on, but I don’t think I will.

My arrival to John Balder’s reminds me so much of Rambo’s arrival in First Blood: an army vet still dressed in a green jacket with a standard issue satchel to carry his only possessions arrives in a Midwestern town too visit a fellow soldier’s family. The only difference is that I drove myself to the house, which was easy to find once I knew the name. The house could at one point be called picturesque, something couples visit on their second honeymoon when all they need is each other and a bed and breakfast. You can almost see the old people sitting on the porch sipping iced tea as the sun sets over the wheat farm. Now, if the house were alive at one point, it is in its dying stage. The shutters are hanging on one or two screws and are crowded by a plethora of cracks and mold. Almost all the little buttresses that are supposed to be supporting the banisters on the patio are either cracked or missing entirely. It is as if the house is going to give one last sigh before deflating like an old cartoon. The farm is completely barren, though little surprise there since it is still winter and snow speckles the land. Anyway I think the place is abandoned. I turn to leave but then I hear a rush of footsteps, followed by the creak of a screen door. “Wait!” She is a young, pretty woman. Long brown hair runs down the length of her back in a single ponytail. She is dressed in the standard farmer girl attire: brown boots, jeans and longsleeved shirt that, while by all means conservative, still showed she was well proportioned. The only thing I notice about the face, astride from the tan that follows the hard work of a farmer, is that it is tired. Bags that almost rival mine sag beneath her blue eyes to the point where her forced smile does not do its job any more. “So sorry! I saw you arrive and thought you were somebody else. Uh, who are you?” Weird, no accent. “ Roland, Roland Hod of United States Army platoon one twenty. I am a comrade of John Balder and I came to pay my respects.”

“And I am Nanna, Nanna Balder of 265 Hermod street. Widow of John Balder, now won’t you come so we can discuss the issues.” I know that I am being made fun of and my face shows the embarrassment. She giggles softly and beckons me to come inside. As I walk onto the patio and to the door I realize what is bothering me about her. Yes she was making fun of me but it seemed so…forced. Like she is trying to make everything seem all right even though she just mentioned she is a widow. Anyway I walk into the house, which is in much better shape than I expected. It is an old fashion typical farmhouse while just being a little rundown. To my left I notice two children in the living room: the boy watches the TV (surprisingly modern) while the little girl reads in the corner. Both are adorable to the point of child stardom, in fact the little kid looks like the boy from The Shining except blond while the girl has the quirky glasses with a floral dress and red shoes. She hands me a cup of coffee as I sit at her small, two chair table in the kitchen. She asks with sincere curiosity, “So, how did you know my husband John?” “He ah… we were part of the same platoon. I did not know him; all I know about him is that he is a really nice guy, which I heard at the ceremony, which honestly bothered me. I really wish at one point someone will say about a person that they are a jerk or something. You know, not that ‘He was a wonderful person,’ that can mean anything and it is subjective. Or even worse: ‘He loved to laugh,’ god, that is barely a step above ‘He hungered for food.’” I chuckle, and then immediately catch myself, “ Not that I’m saying that he is a jerk! I am sure he is a wonderful person. I mean, only a nice…wonderful guy could get someone as lovely as you! And he must be a terrific father to raise those two beautiful kids!” I hope she doesn’t notice the cold sweat on my brow. She smiles slightly and gazes into her cup and at the clouds of cream swirling around in it. “Like every man he had his flaws, but he was perfect to me. He had stars in his eyes and always wanted the best for the kids and me. In fact it was his idea that we move out here from Chicago. He told me ‘Babe, we will move to the country. The kids cannot just play on the steps outside. They need a wide-open field where they can fall, scrape their knees, skip rocks, go on an adventure!’ I wasn’t sure if he was right, I mean I just got a job at the bank around the corner and, while not rich, we were comfortable. But a shooting (well…it wasn’t really a shooting, I mean it sure didn’t look like a shooting but that’s what the paper said) took place just two blocks down from our home a week after John proposed the idea. I was walking home from my job when I passed by that yellow tape. The police did their best to cover the bodies, but I guess one of the tarps slipped off. He was a teenage kid with a single hole in his forehead, but that is not what bothered me. He had these pits in his head that seemed to go on forever as blood poured out. It took me a second to register the details but then I realized his eyes had been ripped out. I got home that night, John by my side, not being able to drink my coffee because it was shaking to violently, I told him simply, ‘Let’s go.’” The coffee in her hand sloshes violently, almost spilling over the edge. She notices that I notice, but the shaking does not stop. “I’m sorry,” is all I can say. “Thanks I guess, you’d think I’d be used to it. You know, death and all.” Snow starts falling again outside, gently padding the Earth one snowflake at a time. We just sit at the table, the sipping of coffee rivaling a thunderstorm. But we ignore the interruptions and keep drinking, but never finishing. Then all of a sudden I hear the kids yell with all the might children can muster “I have the power!” “Aren’t your kids a little too young to be watching He-Man?” “Hmph. Their father loved that show so much as a child that it carried over into his adult life. His favorite past time was to just sit and watch that cheesy show with his son and daughter.

Now the kids watch the show so they can talk to dad about it when he returns. Even though the kids were at the funeral service, they keep thinking their father is like He-Man, that he can overcome impossible odds, even death. Both of them have watched the entire series three times now since John left for the war.” “Why did John join? It sounds like you guys were well off. Is it the classic ‘serve your country?” She smiles shyly, “No, we weren’t well off at all. All of our savings went into the move. Farming is just not a profitable business, especially for small ones. Plus our girl has asthma, so she has to take treatments regularly every six hours. I’ve stopped calling my parents a long time before the move; I don’t even know where to begin trying to contact them. A single, wonderful mother raised John, he always felt like he owed her. She passed away a short while before John’s left. So he joined the army and sent all the money home. I still remember that day, his bag over shoulder with the kids sniffling and I was not doing any better than them. He turned in the doorway, looked at us, and said, ‘This is the first step in overcoming our seemingly impossible problems.’ He kneeled down, gently caressed our kids’ heads, and smiled. ‘Dad is gonna be like He-Man, just you see. Everything will be better.’ He turned and walked into that glaring winter sun.” Tears rolled down her cheeks as she choked up. “I’m sorry; I don’t know why I am telling you any of this. I mean, all I have to go off on about you is that you’re a fellow comrade of John. But that was enough. Plus, I have been so afraid of stepping outside, that our house will not belong to us anymore, that it will be taken away by the bank. That is why I didn’t come down at first. I thought the time had come…” I don’t know what to do. I just stare at the top of her head as she tries to no avail to choke her tears. “Well, thank you for everything, but I should…” She lunges over the table and grabs my arm as I twist out of my chair. We lock eyes, mine of confusion, hers of sadness and desperation. She lets go as her eyes fall to the side, her cheeks radiating red. “Sorry…let me get the door for you.” She leads me to leave the house as I notice the double-barrel shotgun hanging above her door while also avoiding eye contact. Didn’t I see a gun shop on the way over here? If I did, I can get another job finished hopefully by tonight. “Thanks.” As I walk through the door I notice her trashcan overflowing with incriminating envelopes featuring red stamps on the front. I don’t say anything as I get in my car and take off. From the rear view mirror I see her shrink as she stands on the porch. She did not ask for help, but I could not even if she did. I’m useless. The candles are all lit in my bathroom; no electronics are on in my minimal motel room. I take the gun that I bought out of its case. Pat said that this is a fine handgun that will meet my requirement: one that will get the job done. I had also asked him about Nanna and John. He told me that very little of the town’s residents know them. They never socialize and when they did they never truly made a friend. Pat tried to pass this off with a sense of non-caring that would match his burly persona, but I could tell he loved gossip. So Nanna is truly on her own. I try to feel the same sympathy as earlier, but I don’t truly care. I’ve done enough on this planet for a lifetime. I place myself in the bathtub, so that the mess would be easy to clean. I place a single bullet into the chamber and cock it. I swing it around and place the barrel onto the side of head that is opposite of the white linoleum wall. I’m done living as a coward; all I have to do is pull. I pull out the picture from my green jacket’s pocket. I stare into the picture of John’s smiling family. I have no doubt that they were truly happy at one point. Oh well, sorry man.

Click. Huh? I pull the gun away. I take it apart, find nothing wrong and put it back together. It is a fine piece of machinery and everything seems to be working. I put another round into the chamber, cock it, and place it in the same spot. Click.

Shit! I repeat the process. Click. No. Click. Click. Click, click, click. Fuck! I swing it to the opposite wall and fire. Bang! My ears ring as white shards explode and rain down onto the egg white floor. The only sound after the rain is my heavy breathing. I fully load my gun with eight rounds while trying to see through my bangs. Goddamit work! Click click click click click click click no click click click No click click NO click NO click NO click NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! My arm swings and straightens as I squeeze. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Shards explode and rain sideways towards me, I don’t not feel them but I do see the cuts. I throw my gun out of the restroom and hear it chip the nightstand. I am left alone in a trashed, pathetically lit bathroom with my heavy breathing. It just won’t end will it? I can’t even kill myself. I have to keep suffering. Rivers gush down my cheek and cascade onto the white tub, barely leaving a mark. Fuck, what am I supposed to do? I can’t keep going, not like this. I’ve tried to change but nothing else does…goddamit. My head sinks between my knees as I hug them. Something smells. Oh crap something’s

burning! I jerk my head towards the smell and realize one of the candles has fallen next to the picture of John. The corner closes to John curls inward slowly before burning. The edge is slowly darkened and eaten away. The destruction grows bigger and creeps through the photo, consuming it. I can’t stop staring at it. * * * Sheriff Chapman is not exactly having the best of days. He slept through the alarm clock and tried to get out of bed quietly only to realize that there was no wife or dog to avoid waking up. He took a cold shower because the price of a hot one is out of the question. The last drop of toothpaste had crusted over since Chapman forgot to place the cap back on and his razor cut him while shaving (see the cold water above). The uniform reeked of scotch and formed a new hole once he put it on. Now he has to answer an anonymous call about a foul odor that seems to be “terrorizing” the locals. In Kansas, a smell of that nature is probably some dead, bloated cows. He slowly draws up to the house and spikes his coffee with more scotch. He takes a long drag of the mixture and relaxes his shoulders. Now he can start his morning. He got out of the car and the first thing that jumps into his mind is that the place is abandoned. He steps onto the porch and opens the door. “Gahh! What the hell?” A wall of putrid stink rams Chapman and sets him off balance. He pulls his shirt over his nose and draws his sidearm out of instinct. He notices a small group of flies swarming a doorway. As he slinks closer the group slowly turns into a swarm. Then he sees what they are feasting on. On the couch a boy and girl rest. Both have a single hole in their foreheads with tiny streams of dried blood running down and clothes that would crunch and snap due to the blood. The mustard wall behind them is splattered with gray matter, chunks of skull (still coated in scalp and hair), and brown crust. To the right of the decaying couch lies a fairly beautiful woman with two bullet holes, one in the shoulder and one in the throat. Her skin is as pale as snow and a red waterfall, frozen in time cascades down her porcelain neck. On the opposite side of the room under the window, the only source of light in the scene, lies a middle aged man in a green army jacket slumped against the mustard wall. His gut appears to have exploded from a shotgun blast and his guts spill over his legs and the carpet like rotting tentacles. The flies must have been here long for there were already fat little maggots feasting on intestines and the cavities of his body. Only one of his eyes is closed and a smirk gushing with crusted blood is frozen on his matted face. Chapman is not ready for this. He holsters his gun, grabs his radio and turns it on. “Hey Mike?” The radio sparks to life. “Yeah, what’s up?” “I’m uh, gonna need your assistance with that call we got earlier from the anonymous tip. We got a uh… Jesus man, just get over okay. I mean I guess it’s a murder, maybe a suicide pact. I honestly can’t tell right now. Just…just get down here okay? Jesus fuck.” “Okay. Stay cool, I’m on my way.” Chapman knew he had to wait about ten minutes since Mike is at the donut shop. That man is fulfilling too many cop stereotypes, but at least he is a capable cop. Dudicoff exits the house, steps onto the porch and stares out onto the barren fields. As a trained sheriff, chapman eventually pushes out the thoughts of what is inside the house. The only thing running through his mind during that short moment is the hope for a good crop season. The town needs a fresh, good start and what better time to start than the first day of spring?


Ian Adams Nathan Liclan Amanda Galindo Aaron Rosenberg
Those present at the February Modern Corsair Live may recall a late night segment about safe sex. Where are editor and chief managed to cajole two majorly recognized cinema celebrity writers into helping out on the topic of safe sex. This was presented as merely a freak chance, the one in a million situations that actual internationally renowned script writers would aid a fledgling magazine such as the Modern Corsair. This was not the whole truth. In fact this scarily scrapes the surface of what truly transpired. We at the magazine, those named above in particular, found a way to a secret underground laboratory run by one secret quantum physicist: Eugene Mirman, who explained with her highly offensive accent that with this highly sensitive equipment that she would let only strangers use, one could alter the universe in ways that hold little significance in the broad scheme of things. And so, blind to the peril of what we did in that underground lab/ Restaurant supply shop, we writers went about opening a tear in space-time. In this fissure in reality, we found there a parallel world. It was strange and wondrous. Health care was a widely supported idea as a matter of national pride. Vladimir Putin stood on the grand steps of St Petersburg outside the kremlin as he wed his lifelong love Nikolay Alexeyev. Also: Pluto is still a planet there. What could be gained in this strange, strange land? We found the realities in which Kevin Smith and Aaron Sorkin never earned recognition but lived as a humble comic shop clerk and coke whore respectively. So they were more than happy to write this for us. Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a madman happily willing too write up his personal experiences. Pulled back, we later learned of others who had abused this forbidden technology the madman Mirman had offered to us. One man had retrieved a lost album recorded by The Beatles from a timeline in which they had not split up in (free download on the Reddits). One young woman took a photo of herself and president JFK Junior. We also went on a high flying adventure with parallel universe versions of ourselves, found evil doubles and gender swapped versions and there was even a cowboy universe. Anyhow, this was a good use of the effort in this staffs opinion. If you didn’t see the live performance of theses sketches come to the Modern Corsair’s upcoming shows where we may just dust them off, but until then read the printed word and try to imagine how rad the live show would be. I don’t know, we’ll talk about writing down that multiverse adventure we went on to discover our true selves by meeting all possible versions of ourselves.

Christopher Vasquez
Two middles age, middle class men slouch at a convenience counter. It is well into a slow day separated by a sparse collection of dreadful characters. Calvin: They could make it work. Felix: When he got a cold in the Phantom Zone he blew the goddamn barn door off its hinges. Lois doesn’t stand a chance. When he busts inside her Lois Lane is going to be shredded like a basket of old tax returns. Superman is mopping up as she’s falling as a shower of cum-fettie. C: Unless there’s some, like, kryptonian super condom. F: It can contain an atom bomb and the speeding bullet jizz Kal-El shoots? C: Right. F: Did I ever tell you the cautionary tale? C; What? F: Kal-El condoms—they reminded me of the cautionary tale my brother told me. C: That actually means nothing to me. F: Wanna hear about it? C: I can’t live in suspense forever. Tell me. [uninterested] Please. F: Okay—listen. So my brother tells me this in middle school one day during Pokemon--apropos of nothing. So Steph’s cousin’s best friend was a girl who went to State. Good schoolgirl, trying to break out of her freshman dorm, nothin’ different. She starts dating this new guy-- a Culinary Arts major, Torvald— big, brawny fucker from [Russian accent] Mother Russia. When he’s not in the kitchen, he’s in the gym working off the comfort food. C: I’m picturing blond, crew-cut—real Ivan Drago type, right? F: Nah, strong teddy bear type. Sensitive and the only eating out he does is on his girlfriend. C: Regular gentleman. F: So this Russian guy and his girlfriend— [A customer approaches and begins to ask a question] Customer: Do you carry any nausea medication? C: Aisle 4—between the Pringles and the trail mix. F: So this Russian guy and his girl—who mind you is eager to shed the preppy reputation she’s got, start dating. On the third date, they sleep together and, get this; they shack up in an old-fashioned fuck cocoon.

C: Fuck cocoon? Customer: It’s that thing college kids do. Skip out on family, friends, work and just screw for hours. You guys got digestives? C: Digestives are at the end of aisle 6 on the rack, under the Nutterbutters. [Turns to Felix] Felix, as you were. F: They set up a fuck cocoon in his dorm and skip a week of class—seven days, only leaving to take a dump. C: What about to eat? Or is Ivan Doggo satisfied by a strict diet of pussy? F: Left a pantry of supplies in the bedroom; mini-fridge in the corner so they never had to leave bone-town. So a few days into the fuck cocoon, they try the weird stuff. She’s on the pill so they raw dog, superman, ass to mouth, the whole nine. So the Russian grabs one of those Foster Ann Honey Bottles. C: The racist one that looks like Harriet Tubman full of honey? F: It is an elderly African woman full of honey. And the guy says, “I want to squirt this out and suck it off your tits.” The girl says yes and they get to it. Now like I said before, this girl—Steph’s cousin’s best friend has done your basic stuff. Given head, got fingered at the movies, bust she’d never done sploshing. C: I can Urban Dictionary that on my phone. F: Sploshing— Customer: [shouting] Ginger ale? C: Far back, left freezer! F: As in being turned on by a sexual act with food, like ice cream on a blow job. C: Or whip cream ass? F: Yeah—so they do it. They get more adventurous and hungry. She wants to seem so adult and stops him making a post-bang BLT. “Why not use that?” She scoops out mayo and rubs it downstairs and invites him to “fuck her wet pussy.” C: Does this story have a point? Don’t waste miracle whip? F: I’m getting to it! So like a month later, she’s in econ or bio or who actually gives a fuck, and gets a tingle down there- a good tingle. Thing’s get worse- or better. Soon she’s wet all the time. And she’s cumming for no reason. So she goes to the doc. Normal tests on her blood and body. It all seems fine. Great health. X-ray good. Then she sits in the stirrups. That mayo lube- she sis not clean it all out. And she’s got bugs. Not herp or nothing. Literal bugs. A nest of cockroaches are living in her vagina. Customer: [in the middle distance vomits violently.] C: Sick!

[To man] I’ll be with you in a moment, sir! So then what?! She rented out the ol’ cave of wonders as a terrarium? F: No- worse a fate than any. My brother went out with her. C: Why would he do that? F: BecauseC: Is your brother some sick thrill seeker? X-games of banging? F: My brother didn’t know he story. And… she hadn’t got anything fixed. Well, all the treatment is just managing. He got her at the house alone. Put it in and there was a crunch… Customer: [on the floor] Oh GOD- I think I’m actually dyeing! {Gag} C: So dark. That’s Marvel reboot dark. F: Anyway that’s how my brother taught me to always use a condom. C: And use water base, F: Yeah- [beat] good thing we’re gay. C: Yeah, it’s way better.

Aaron Sorkin

A pair of attractive professionals tumble through a door, pawing madly at each other. Finding breath: Karin: Do you have a condom? We have enough time for a quick one. Daniel: We are in the Vice Presidential office. K: And? D: And, the seats of power confuse my erection. K: You’re a sophomore Hose representative hooking up with Johns Hopkins head of Neurology, you must lead a frequently confused existence. Here: put this on. The Veep can’t talk about tort reform before something less than vaguely misogynistic slips. D: I thought smooth talkers don’t need rubber. K: Smooth? Say something smooth. Flirt. But watch the clock as I unbutton. D: Hum- (long pause) What’s up? K: My womanhood is left a tingle.

D: I thought you did those fertility suppressors? Aren’t those better than a condom? K: More expensive too. D: Karen. K: And they make me feel like I’m getting baked in a Turkish bathhouse. D: They don’t feel as good. Can’t we do a pull out? That’s what my Catholic parents would approve of—the way God intended. K: I see where this is going. D: Don’t button up! K: Then disabuse yourself of the theory that I’m having a debate with you. You should be eager to have sex with a beautiful accomplished woman where the vice president pretends he has a job to do. D: [muttered] Like brain surgery’s that hard. You ever heard of a rain coat in a shower? K: Alright, listen to this. 10,000 years ago when we are all cave dwellers and used every part of the buffalo and then we drew pictures with what we did with its parts. We cook the meat, wear the skin, turn the horns into a tasteful armchair, and with the guts—intestine—men sheathed their dicks and had a fine time not making extra people. Condoms are a part of the human progression—evolution. Condoms to mapping the genome. It was our first tool in controlling our destiny. D: Yeah, but we aren’t in caves now— K: You’re right, now we have even more reason to wear protection. I won’t, by the by, forget that raincoat comment. Both your parents were part of the pre-hippie age—full scale industrialization and gentrification of urban environments was a shift of the age. Those suburbanites in rows of ticky-tacky boxes were the first generation to whom having 10 or 12 kids made no sense. No more farmhands needed to sustain agriculture, Polio, Tetanus, Rubella, and Dysentery were all but done away with in the United States. Condoms came into the highest use in the 1920s and there was

still a baby boom. And lest I forget, Daniel, consecutively for the past four Olympics, condom orders have increased by 75%. 700,000 condoms were ordered during the London Olympics and by the end the US and the UK together sent an extra 25,000. D: People at their physical peak forced to cohabitat for weeks on end… [sarcastically] A-doy! There’s going to be a lot of sex. K: The champions of earth fuck each other’s brains out with rubbers on. I ask, is that now good enough for you? D: Well… K: [lingering] Also, the VP’s press conference ends in 25 minutes. D: Give that to me and get on the desk.
H.P. Lovecraft

To submit one’s self to pleasure is to totally consume one’s physical body in absolute weakness, and at the same time, it is to take revelry in the greatest insidious drive of humanity. I saw no reason to restrict my mortal needs, whilst at the same time, I was swayed in my decision making by the most grandiose of persuasions; a women’s pleading. To my dismay, I was forced to restrict the pulsing thing at my hip, turning it into a glorified tool rather the weapon and extension of my body that it is under normal circumstances. I imagined the world forcing us to restrict our legs in latex, and then our arms, until the simple art of touching were a taboo. Next, our breaths restricted to horrible bubbles around our heads, and eventually each human, inhumanly built upon to create a gibbering blob, no longer recognizable or worthy of such a title as human. I shuddered, and proceeded to half-heartedly join my body with hers.


Josh Craft

Contextualizing George Lucas’s Electronic Labyrinth: THX-1138 4EB within that realm of art which employs a utopian or dystopian vision to display a particular ideology, one finds a uniquely abstracted extrapolation of the present, in which we are not so much presented with a probable, cohesive articulation of an eventual world, but rather a impressionistic emission of the mentality that might forge such a world. The underground labyrinth functions as a kind of personification of this consciousness in question; one that is totally uprooted by technological invasion, and one in which natural perception—and thus the human experience of phenomena—is comprehensively mediated at every literal and figurative turn. Lucas exemplifies this theme of corrupted human sentience through the clinical derangement of language, time, space, and the very subversion of his own filmmaking technique in order to convey a theoretical future in which the immaculate computerized Objective has completely obliterated the human Subjective, and appears close to absorbing the essence of natural Objective reality itself. Firstly, the first minute of the film consists solely of darkness marked by the score’s broad thrum. Gradually, a few barely chromatic blurs appear, and onward commences the first image we see—the first of many recurring raw, denim-textured televisual incantations which will ensue for the work’s duration. The film’s ominous initial unwillingness to totally produce itself rustles our perception back behind the barrier of disbelief and invites a realization of an essential conflict between the sensibilities of the viewer and the unyielding ambivalence of the medium’s technology. We remember that we are watching a film and that this form is necessarily indebted to certain technological efficiencies. The curious protraction of the film’s pre-credit void also indicts the intrinsic antagonism between human invention and human faculties, or at least in the regard that with much concern and unease, our calibrated need for an ensuing narrative occupies our experience

of the film’s inaugural seconds. This is because the artificial construct of the narrative as a property is subjugated to the inexplicable whim of this particular film’s insistence upon being an autonomous machine, rather than a participatory service or an expressive agency of cerebral coherence. What occurs hence furthers this glacially indifferent, devoutly incidental narrative—the scenes of which seem to be selected with an algorithmic purity of bland chance, lending itself to traditional drama only by the complete coincidence that a human would find it interesting, let alone thrillingly apt or immersive. The motorized and chemical technology of cinema and the aesthetic and geometric technology of narrative

are therefore revelatorily objectified far past the point of deep alienation from the human sensibility. The viewer is at odds with the difficult functionality of these artificial forms, and is then transplanted into an adversarial dynamic against the film which will eventually come to approximate the busied but blank-eyed plight of the protagonist. It perhaps also allows us a conduit through which we can donate some semblance of the human empathy

and warmth the robotic storytelling mode brutally forbids (not unlike the authoritarian technocracy portrayed in the film). The other primary means by which Lucas renders the viewer’s perception into its own expression of the film’s themes is his direction. From the first shot, almost every image is fraught with the half-inference that what we are seeing is the perspective of a machine not mounted on late sixties USC-granted equipment, but something fixed in the sterile enclosures of our hero’s halogen styx. Not only are the angles either in the stationary panorama of closed-circuit surveillance or charged with the cool solipsism of newsreel footage seeking pure space rather than people (the faces incidental; the men simply a biometric variation of the antiseptic landscape—often dressed in tones which further this), but the majority of the shots are rife with imposed codes of Latin alphabet adjoined with digits. Again, the fact of mediation is emphatic. This is not the reality of the events, this is a recording of the events—to the extent that we are almost never certain our perspective is truly ours to lay claim to, excepting perhaps the final shot. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to consider this modified, militaristic and omnipotent speech on its own intertextual terms. This is the set language furnishing the world, and it is simply the parasitic mission of the robotic objective consuming the human subjective form of language by obsolescing it with the absolute, infinitely codifiable order of numbers. The alphabet is too subject to question, variation, mutation, ambiguity. What we presently see in the film is the aural morphology only partially commenced, its logic in the context of the film’s themes indicating that the language the audience (still) speaks, and that the characters in the film mostly speak, will eventually succumb to the symmetries of the digit, or some amalgamated solution thereof. The reactive and dialectical techno-chatter absolutely permeates the soundtrack as a sort of rattling brainwave—doubtlessly linked to its appearance upon the footage, and its designative residence on the foreheads and uniforms of the labyrinth’s people. Given this circulatory motif, which is augmented by the often nebulous compositions which frequently let the forms of the humans (considering their aforementioned, accordingly coldtoned attire) coalesce with that of the circuitry and panels which surround them—either in color, texture, or the pure seemingness of mechanical posture or behavior, there is the substantive implication this entire vista is either subject to, or perhaps the impressionistic illustration of a kind of cybernetic noosphere infinitely referring to and feeding itself. Our hero, then, enters into such a distinction through his distension with the mass consciousness of the labyrinth, which is certainly greater in its sum than its parts—its operatives, which are docile and rigidly needless, radically dehumanized, as opposed to THX 1138, who has misstepped into the anathema of singularity. Of variation, incalculability—of nature, and therefore at great odds with this outpost which aims to cleanse itself of

such a burden. This is the logic of the world of the film, through it is difficult to say if it is anymore the logic of the characters, a discernment which makes the assumption the characters are even capable of embarking the moral volition attendant on value judgments, and thus, ideology. They don’t seem to have ideology even—at least not the majority of the persons we encounter. They only have whatever remaining consciousness is necessary to maintain the machinery. Once again, the human component is usurped by its own conceptions—this, however, is the ideology of the film. The allure of technology and its superstitious promise to better the grievances nature assures is an essential instance of Ernst Bloch’s “fraudulent hope.” The promise of the silvery rumbling future—halcyon in syn-

thesized time and space, and ostensibly evermore merciful to the burden of freewill, what with all the slack it picks up—is a direct negation of Bloch’s notions regarding daydreams. That is, while what is commonly referred to as the spirit of innovation would seem to require and exalt the notion of “harvesting” one’s daydreams, it is not cohesively so. Lucas world presents an apocalypse vested by logistic deism. When the world is passionately arranged into systemic practicalities, it can only survive on those same terms—and, of course, that world is not ours (and excepting some wildcard innovation that can reliably and utterly alter the very physiology of our persons and the planet, never will). Our daydreams were only harvested halfway, only up to the glorification of utility over substance. The daydream then ultimately infects all others. Nature is, in this world, seen as an obstacle rather than a pathway, and so our plans horrific lack in accountability for its facticity. The god of the labyrinth is a modal logic attuned to inhuman melodies. It is then no wonder the human bends eventually to an untenable submission—when nature is replaced,

the old species is confronted with natural selection, and the avid lifelessness of Lucas’s vision seems to urge us to admit that we cannot totally adapt to such an environment. Or more to the point, that we should and do not want to—life being richest in its awful and delirious wholeness—the feral contour of the desert and a raging sun. The yearning for natural liberty is, in short, the representational essence of our hero, and more expansively, the nature of the film’s dystopian concerns. The film employs a narrow, abstract scenario to exuberantly personify the extrapolated moral sensibility of the time—the film’s vision thus being possible, though not particularly probable, since it doesn’t draw off of much of a societal or specific technological insight, and anyhow is concerned with philosophy before these things. And on that note, Lucas is offering a cautionary cry regarding the unchecked technological impulse to innovate without full sentience; an errand which will end in creating a world unfit for whole persons (say, the labyrinth). In such a world, the subjective (that of the daydream, of aesthetics) is devalued and gradually erased, and the natural objective (the rational eye) is greatly challenged. We have, of course established this, through the consideration of Lucas’s elliptical technique, which ultimately speaks to a even more terrifying prospect yet. The violation of the classical, formalist pact to which the viewer and the audience agree regarding the objectivity of the camera demands a collapsing of the collectivist space of cinema (in which the communal eye assures at least the initial solidity that the shot is a conditional kind of gospel) ultimately implying a kind of savage fascism inherent in the stilted technological mind. What the machine needs is what is sacrificed. The human is abused into a secondary tier of importance. Lucas’s frames map out the ideological grievance and the dystopian warning. The human is not of note, the human is now the happenstance instrument, the transparent specter shrouded in the camera’s positional consciousness. Perhaps the idea of cutting to the perspective of a human would be as incongruous here as that of a common film opting to haunt the POV of a table leg, hard at work holding up a table, decidedly being wood— just as the dismay and motion and tousled consciousness of THX 1138 seems an incredulous anomaly—a terrible error, in fact, within the skittering prison of his occupancy. And, of course, it is precisely that fiery will to autonomy which propels the sore form toward the heat of dying day for which Lucas is, mostly through its harrowing negation, declaring a wary hope.

Incomprehensible, Incomparable, and Ideal
Ian Adams


FLCL (フ リクリ ) was the first anime I watched. And when I say watched, I should say saw. Fooly Cooly, as I called it, first aired in the sates on the late night [adult swim] block on Turner’s Cartoon Network channel in the winter of 2002. This is where great swarms of otaku gained their passion for Ginex and other Jap-

anese animation programing. At this point in my life, anime had this quality of the pornographic to me. It was mysterious and forbidden, and just a touch adult. I knew there was nudity and that there were shows that had no children in the main cast. This was all new and made me bashful about even daring to watch

on this new adult programing block of cartoons. The first image if thought to try and take in was of this: An alien man’s naked body turned from me. In a flash of red blush I switched off the television and went to bed. But the image stayed with me. It lingered. And the next time I found the nerve to turn on FLCL I found a rousing action scene with robots fighting and a funny girl on a moped. I spent my first pay check on a box set of shows like Inuyasha, or Fullmetal Alchemist, but through it all, Fooly Cooly was my favorite and I what I believe to be the best anime series made. The series is comprised of six half hour episodes that are so densely packed I’ll not have time to unload them all. Packed to the rafters, not only with jokes, but references to other shows, books, and pop culture, this show is also packed with deep and thoughtful meaning on themes such as adulthood, isolation, and finding a way of defining one’s self without others. Then it just packs in a lot of fun youth things: baseball, electric guitars from the glory days of rock, robots, sexy girls, cute boys, and a lot of double ententes. The show is directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki who was best known as the assistant director to Hideaki Anno creator of the famed Neon Genesis Evangelion. He’s gone on to actually direct segments of the new Neon Genesis Rebuild film series. And FLCL is wonderfully written by

Yōji Enokido who has worked on many loved anime such as Evangelion, Ouran High School Host Club, and Star Driver. More or less in media res we as the audience are dropped into the city of Mabase. Where 12 year old Naota Nandaba studies on the riverbed with his older brother’s girlfriend Mamimi Samejima (17) who are both in a lull since said brother left for America to play baseball. Before Naota can confess some shattering news his brother just mailed from overseas, the Vespa Woman Haruko Haruhara (who goes by several aliases throughout the series) bashes the boy’s head with a Rickenbacker bass guitar model 4001. Bandaged he makes it home to his grandfather and his baker/ muckraker father Kamon, who makes a rapid fire monologue of anime references. This is just one aspect of this series’ re-watchability. The dialog comes fast and gives you very little time to process or

totally react to what you’ve just heard or seen. There are jokes to Hayao Miyazaki changing Lupin III’s signature red jacket to lime green and to John Woo movies having too many pigeons in the shot. There are a plethora of referential jokes throughout the series beyond anime or manga or Japan like Crystal Pepsi or American TV. Naota soon realizes the bump on his head is becoming a horn. It’s embarrassing, rather than being horrifying to him. As a young boy he’s not yet accustomed to bits of him jutting up at an angle. He later finds Mamimi on the bridge, overlooking the place they had sat earlier. She describes the loneliness she is feeing at the loss of his older brother. Progressively we see just how isolated she is from family and other classmates. Naota is not so much as a person but is a link to her one love Tasuku, who served as her one comfort in her loneliness. She is despondent, looking out at a horizon she cannot understand. As things go on she begins to look even more alone when young Naota stands beside her.

Naota then choses to let Mamimi know that her pining is in vain as Tasuku has found an American girlfriend. He hopes that this act will free her from this gloomy state. Instead, it crushes her, and as she is about to collapse to weep, the bump on Naota’s head opens up as a

bridge to another point in spacetime where in two robots burst forth and fight to the death (and or deconstruction as it may be). And so the boy who is the bridge survives when that Vespa Woman saves him and Mamimi with her guitar that is not really a guitar. In the moment when he opened up, he became most vulnerable because anything could have come from out of him. I find it interesting that many only read the sexual subtext present in that the bump is erection-like and this is the physical transition to manhood. It is unknown and dangerous with the physicality of two robots bashing each other to death, but also there is a psychological subtext. The “magic door” in Naota’s head that allows robots and odd things through are set off by emotional triggers. It is the

idea that adulthood comes with emotional intelligence that is not required in childhood. His feelings and being honest with them is the danger he perceives, not his sexuality, though that is written in as well. FLCL is an astounding work of Studio Ginax. The animation and color is beautiful. The mix of humor, drama and sci-fi is amazingly done to address themes under-examined in other coming of age tales. One thing that would be a foolish act would be to not mention the soundtrack. Several musicians contribute and the Anno influence on Tsurumaki is evident in the classical music present in some of the battles. But the stars of this musical score are The Pillows. Formed in 1989, they have a brash punk or indie sound that caries through several segments of all six episodes. They can go

from bounding and happy to pensive and moody. They were just another thing I fell in love with as a boy and still adore to the present. The closing credits song “Ride on Shooting Star” is played over a live action Vespa going through the Japanese streets. Science fiction, romance, comedy, drama- there are so many slots that FLCL fits into. And that is what makes it great: its inability to be clearly defined. The show becomes even more complex and bazar past the first episode that I’ve described some here. I didn’t even touch the Russian political scandal with the mayor of Mabase, or the cat-radio, or the Pirate King, or the secret X-Files-ish police agency, or space rock stars, or replicates or… how about this. I’ll stop talking and you all go watch? Enjoy it.

Mint in March
Katie Lee McNeil
March- a confused month. Which season to turn, it does not know. But, I can recall my mother’s mint, not quite ripe, like she warned me before I stepped out to the dense blue, shivering night. The yard seemed darker, wider, and even bigger than before, as I tip toed and hopped quickly, determined to pick the promising herbs. They were all huddled together, sharing their own body heat to survive. I moved passed the ever growing lavender, basil, thyme, dill, oregano... or maybe it was the rosemary with the unknown spring flowers. Whatever they were, all seemed dead exceptthe coupled child mint leaves, proving yet another sun would come, with you following gently along.

March 22, 2012
Katie Lee McNeil
I lay down today, risking itches of the sweet, filthy grass. Flattening the ripples inside, Contemplating depths of the scrutinized, what is, should, could, not be a chance. Let me bury the face in my hands and burn dreamily under the yellow ash, knowing I’m almost alive, at last, I could care less if you see pass the sentimntal vast.

Just a girl
Paulina Ruiz
As the earth keeps rotating she stands still She doesn’t see it It’s surreal Life passes by oh life Catching fire Burning heartache Of a girl who didn’t know Cry in deep low Burning fire deep inside Waiting to subside Just by someone’s side Mist of joy is what she wants Mist of joy is what she needs Mist of joy is deep beneath Yet she asks yet she bleeds She doesn’t understand what is deep beneath her scars she shows Her scars she hides Her scars just glide And won’t subside

The Modern Corsair for March 2014 Issue Number 6 We hit the half-year mark! This issue was: Science Fiction. Your great-great-great-great-great-great-grandaughter called, asking about that mistake you haven’t made yet in the year 1862. You know, that one time you shattered that non-euclidean coffee mug and an infinite amount of coffee began to fill the universe. She’s purchased the never-ending pancakes from Denny’s. Your infinite breakfast will span for an infinite amount of time, starting tomorrow. Have fun! The next issue will be Censorship. Don’t read this sentence! That sentence was outlawed years ago. How’d it get all the way over here? Don’t worry, I’ve called the sentence police to round it up and send it back to sentence jail. I’ll be stricter next time-wouldn’t want any of our readers reading banned sentences, would we? Check out our subreddit at Send all entries, comments, or suggestions to [email protected] We’d be happy to hear from our readers. Special thanks to: Brandon Mendez Vivian Ortega The Stay Gallery And the biggest thanks of all to: You. Not you as the reader of this magazine, specifically you as the human reading this text in this moment. Keep on reading, beautiful person.

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