At Large: To The Editor Of Flake News
The Office of Jim Trainer
New Orleans Division
c/o CC’s Mid-City
New Orleans, LA
Moe Flake, Chief Editor
Our mother has been absent, ever since we founded Rome
but there’s gonna be a party when the wolf comes home…
—The Mountain Goats
Greetings from the Big Sleazy. It’s hard to argue with the way natives of this city live but fighting about anything down here could get you murdered. It’s grisly in the Easy. New Orleans has maintained one of the 5 highest murder rates for American cities for the last 10 years. If I keep my wits I’m sure I won’t get shocked or got, but—I hail from Hostile City, where they shoot you for your shoes and even Santa gets pelted with snowballs. Bernard Pearce, born and bred here, says you can’t treat people like dogs and expect them to be civil and not kill you over some (expletive redacted) in the deathly heat on Decatur Street, when the cops are running interference and pulling over tourists at Crescent Park. I can’t complain, this town’s been good to me. It’s kept me fed and in roses. I’m flush with cash, drink dark coffee all day at CC’s in Mid-City and bump & grind at the Saturn Bar to the raucous goodness of King James and The Special Men late into the greasy night.
I wanted to get this off to you before me and Bernard leave the mainland—in thanks and for luck & prescience. I know the ink you gave me in The Flake News didn’t come easy, nor would any argument about why the Personal Journalism of an ex-Pat punkrocker should appear on its pages, but—why not, as Dr. Thompson used to say. Why shouldn’t I perpetrate truth and call it journalism, and why can’t we get our hard news from a satire site and divine our fate in pubs that make light of the extinction event stakes of living in our time, that poke at the Godhead and attempt to shock the squares in a post authentic world? It makes perfect sense to me and besides bi-weekly thrusting nine hundred words into your inbox, I thought I’d approach you personally, with gratitude and gravitas.
I appreciate journalism for the urgency of its language. The hard deadlines of this business prompt me to be informed. I couldn’t even watch the news for a year after the election. I couldn’t (expletive redacted) either, which should come as no surprise—tension, anxiety and dread are your bedfellows when a grifting ponce who lost the popular vote by 3 million becomes the most powerful man in the world. Perhaps that could explain why I fell out of circulation this month, got out of town and pocket and took to a saltwater pool off Dumaine in Murder City. By the time I rented out my garage in Wilshire Wood, loaded up the Element and headed east, Donald J. was the last thing on my mind. The news caught up with me, though, and not long after I landed I got word from poet Brown Thought, who wrote while visiting some poor, non-English speaking folks holed up in Taylor, TX by the authorities. I’m sleeping in a kid’s bunk in the meantime, at a housesit in New Orleans, and I only got caught up with current events in time to leave.
An American dollar won’t get you a Euro but that says nothing about what it takes to make it here since the Great Recession. Murder and gun deaths are grim realities we’ve acclimated to living in the America, and the only thing more shocking is that we can go on living this way. I’m not in the business of getting my hopes up, but even living on luck can lose its charm when it takes 2 months for a contusion on my left foot to heal and without 8 hours of sleep I feel all 43 of my years like a weight and bane, and besides—it’s time to GTFO, know what I mean Chief? You got to rattle your chains. Leave the homeland, go abroad, become the dark Other your country fears, lurk like a stranger in the shadows and see how they do in other climes and hemispheres whose doors aren’t darkened by American hegemony. Our destination is The Republic of Bulgaria. We leave America on the 4th of July. There are eco villages filled with ex-Pats in the mountains and they are not without WiFi in the Balkans. $11 a night sounds good to me, Brother, especially after getting brutalized for $140 a day hauling freight in the America. We’ll hit AMS in the meantime, and Brussels because it’s cheaper to fly to and from these hubs, and we’re in no rush. We’re not on a schedule at all, and will probably fly out of Warsaw—the cheapest flight being around $300 to JFK in the first half of August. My partner is well known in the Arts. He’s hoping to hang his lantern over there, buy or rent a barn or bungalow and offer space to artists around the world. Spending money makes me nervous but if I’m writing it won’t feel a total waste and, besides—who knows what will be waiting for me back in the States this Fall as the wretched Year of the Cock winds down?
I’m taking a mirrorless with me, too, lest readers think my column at The Flake News is only bluster and jest. This country is over. I’d like to file with you and The Flake News some of the chronicles of being at large in a wide world and among swathes of people who don’t give a fuck about America but will gladly take its dollars. This long-winded and rageful post is simply in thanks and warning: I should like to submit and hope you are onboard. I know we waited for the humor, the site is satire, and I appreciate it, I feel like it could come, eventually—if and as soon’s I pick up and maintain the healthy habits of a daily writer. I know we discussed a column and I know I’ve told you to look out for some not-at-all-sane correspondence (check). I’m spitballing here, am open to suggestion and at large on a shoestring with an anger addiction and caffeine problem, desperately in need of ink and drawn to hard news only if I have to write about it, and, as always