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The Big Stupid Review


American Dream Serialization (Early Chapters)
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Maurice Stoker
Introduction to Jim Chaffee's Studies in Mathematical Pornography by Tom Bradley
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: American Dream Title Page by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 1 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 2 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 3 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 4 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 5 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 6 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 7 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 8 by Jim Chaffee
Studies in Mathematical Pornography: Chapter 9 by Jim Chaffee
Modern Tragedy, or Parodies of Ourselves by Robert Castle
Totally Enchanté, Dahling by Thor Garcia
Hastini by Rudy Ravindra
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 5 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
Unexpected Pastures by Kim Farleigh
Nonviolence by Jim Courter
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 4 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
The Poet Laureate of Greenville by Al Po
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part VI by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 3 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part V by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part IV by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 2 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part I by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part II by Thor Garcia
The Apocalypse of St. Cleo, Part III by Thor Garcia
The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter Volume 1 Translation by W. C. Firebaugh
DADDY KNOWS WORST: Clown Cowers as Father Flounders! by Thor Garcia
RESURRECTON: Excerpt from Breakfast at Midnight by Louis Armand
Review of The Volcker Virus (Donald Strauss) by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
Little Red Light by Suvi Mahonen and Luke Waldrip
TEXECUTION: Klown Konfab as Killer Kroaked! by Thor Garcia
Miranda's Poop by Jimmy Grist
Paul Fabulan by Kane X Faucher: Excerpt from the forthcoming Infinite Grey by Kane X Faucher
Operation Scumbag by Thor Garcia
Take-Out Dick by Holly Day
Patience by Ward Webb
The Moon Hides Behind a Cloud by Barrie Darke
The Golden Limo of Slipback City by Ken Valenti
Chapter from The Infinite Atrocity by Kane X. Faucher
Support the Troops By Giving Them Posthumous Boners by Tom Bradley
When Good Pistols Do Bad Things by Kurt Mueller
Corporate Strategies by Bruce Douglas Reeves
The Dead Sea by Kim Farleigh
The Perfect Knot by Ernest Alanki
Girlish by Bob Bartholomew
The Little Ganges by Joshua Willey
The Invisible World: René Magritte by Nick Bertelson
Honk for Jesus by Mitchell Waldman
Red's Dead by Eli Richardson
The Memphis Showdown by Gabriel Ricard
Someday Man by John Grochalski
I Was a Teenage Rent-a-Frankenstein by Tom Bradley
Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Fred Bubbers
Believe in These Men by Adam Greenfield
The Magnus Effect by Robert Edward Sullivan
Performance Piece by Jim Chaffee
Injustice for All by D. E. Fredd
The Polysyllogistic Curse by Gary J. Shipley
How It's Done by Anjoli Roy
Ghost Dance by Connor Caddigan
Two in a Van by Pavlo Kravchenko
Uncreated Creatures by Connor Caddigan
Invisible by Anjoli Roy
One of Us by Sonia Ramos Rossi
Storyteller by Alan McCormick
Idolatry by Robert Smith
P H I L E M A T O P H I L I A by Traci Chee
They Do! by Al Po
Full TEX Archive
Side Photo for The Big Stupid Review

Selection from The Vicious Circulation of Dr. Catastrope

By Kane X. Faucher

Ok, so I didn't go too far…a few hundred miles south and west…It called itself a city, but that's all als ob…more like a rural hub, an agglomerate of farms that traded in its pastures for insurance towers and dilapidated housing…at least on the east side where I held office…The downtown was deserted, all the businesses folding up like umbrellas, either permanently defunct or making tracks for those uber-malls and box-stores out in the burgeoning suburbs…Nothing left downtown but strip clubs and pawn shops…Undesirable elements that make the bourgeois stew awful …And in the north all the mansions, the university a bit south of that…The streets all broken cookie crumbs, the buses rickety jalopies one would find in Ethiopia with a thousand people clinging to with pigs hanging from the sides…The mayor a bible zealot, a corrupt city council that sponsored neo-Nazi gay bashing “family values” festivals in the park next to City Hall. In my end of town, everyone looking like a Dickensian character, a Tom Waits song…so many abnormalities, deformities, displaced aboriginals, dipsos and schizos, crack junkies and battered women…I worked twice a week at the methadone clinic, and once a month at the recovery house…real down-and-outers…I worked at the emergency emotional disturbance ward, too…On top of my already fat list of patients, most of them needing the same care I was providing at those shelters, wards, houses…Circumstances had beaten them all to a pulp…Middle-aged people looking 85…No longer the joking drink binges of college kids, but real serial alcoholics, a career in crack and everything else…It begins to weigh down on you after a while.

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Since I lived on the east side, I'd run into my patients all over…Always trying to bum a cigarette, forgetting that I don't smoke…or a few dollars to buy booze…Maybe stopping me at the corner store to roll up a shirt and show me a lump…Not here, in my office, I'd say…I'm not working right now…They didn't listen, and so I was always working, in or out of the office. If Jesus got tired with the mob of the sick and infirm, think what a overdrawn and tired mortal like me must have felt…Absolutely exhausting! Wretchedly hot summers, so I had to keep the windows open…the stench of failure, vomit, the sounds of the lumpens from the decrepit pubs where it was "cash-only"…Missions and cheque-cashing joints and Salvation Armies dotting the landscape, the whole of it a gurgling sewer of devastation and hopeless despair…Like a Romanian ghetto!…The pharmacies shuttered and locked tight every night…gangland graffiti tags here and there, a passed out cluster of bodies sleeping in a bank vestibule…The vortex of human misery. I cannot understand how so many people do not realize that places like this exist in their own cities, or it must be complete indifference…Forget the have-nots, don't exists…I have my car and my job and I can't save the world…How many complicit with it all, disgusting! And no money in treating them…always voluntary…I barely made enough to keep my broken apartment where the toilet and sinks rarely worked the way they ought to…a landlady expropriating rent monies…fixing nothing, doing nothing, sitting on her fat ass, smoking cigarettes and counting her crowns! Some of the junkies had more cash on hand than I ever did! How does that work?…

Well, junkies have the best work ethic on earth…they can pull in thousands of dollars a week if need be to support their habits…If they were to channel that energy into the stock market, they'd be barons in no time! I met quite a few in treatment…Wearing stitched-together rags, yet finagling from every conceivable corner enough money to purchase a fleet of BMWs…scams more effective than Amway and the Roman Catholic Church …It wasn't encouraging, but it demonstrated the zeal of human endeavour, the will to survive at all costs…Things were hard at the clinics, we had to put up signs asking the patients to not bring weapons on the premises…Imagine a sign like that! Here, in a city less than 300 000! In Los Angeles or New York, for sure…wouldn't blink an eye to see that…Expected! But here?

I have to say, this city was a crumbling southern ruin…a rotten cavity lodged sorely along the dentition of the highway map. Who would even bother to extract it when it was just so much easier to ignore it…like how my patients constantly ignore my advice that they quit smoking, drink and eat less…Kind of like that! But even though this place was a world unto itself of dilapidation, failure, and ruin, like some spin-off Baudelaire poem, I still managed to find love here…How, you may ask…Philosophers of the French persuasion call it a fortuitous encounter, a kind of scene straight from Nighthawks, or perhaps just all the rotten luck in the world compressed so tightly as to implode and convert to its opposite…You have to understand that this place did have some winsome traits…A university, for one, even if it was mostly populated by robe-Barbie sluts and frat-boys in the belfries! An opulent university, founded by dementedly rich protestants…Buildings raised on cheap labour and the finest masonry, sky pinchers! Bell towers everywhere, and ornate doorjambs…porticoes, marble lintels, roughly hewn sandstone facing with no facades--the genuine article through and through! Like Cambridge or Oxford!…Very well-funded, replete with corporate sponsorship…Buildings named after every conceivable business pontiff…a building named after the local-global brewery…In fact, if you were not in university, chances were that you either worked for one of the insurance conglomerates in what was left of downtown or at the brewery…All other industries died long ago, but still the rails criss-crossed through the whole city…the neighbourhoods growing all around them…Murder during rush hour when a five kilometer train is slowly inching across all the major traffic arteries…Never occurred to the city planners to build overpasses, bridges, underpasses…Perhaps no one meant for this place to grow. Anyway, the woman…

By this time, I had had my fill of crummy relationships that always ended up in sour regret, lack of sex, or psychoanalysis…All one and the same! Younger women by the barrelful…so tiresome! One has to wait patiently for them to come around, to figure and find themselves out…I was already pretty much finished forming by this point…I had dibs on a future and was moving toward it. The flaky years were well behind me…Medical school really cleared that up, and the practice, and responsibility and the terrifyingly necessary realization that no one really gives a shit about anyone else…Nothing and no one to fall back on…You fuck up, too bad! Next in line, please! You don't get a second shot! Poverty? Bankruptcy? Unexpected pregnancy from too long a stay at the bar? Again, too bad! Drinking and driving make you lose a leg, a life? Shucks! Flunked out of school, evicted, and developed a dependency on narcotics? Sucks to be you, but the crowd moves on! It's like the Exodus…You don't find the manna, you lag behind, you're left to rot in the sun and sand!…Here comes the pharaoh to put you back to work after a long and solid beating! Moses waits for no one! Hup-two! Get in step with the others or be vulture-kibble! Many of those other women hadn't figured out that hard iron lesson of life…Because they were younger, and their experiences never seemed to wander past the cattle gate! So I fell for someone ten years my senior, which was fine!…Experienced in matters of existence and sex…No fooling, no coquetry or whimsical little emotional dances…no games! Right to the point! Time is short!…You get to know someone pretty quick when you know how to inspect the other…And when you know what you want…or, better yet, what you don't want!

She was a tall, thin Danish woman…timeless features. You couldn't place her age so well because people from the north have their own biorhythms…their own way of aging so unlike the white mutts that landed here centuries ago from England-France…The northerners, like the East Indians, never seem to age as fast…or they age differently, always much more interesting…Never looking dowdy! More ravishing over time! A grace! And they know the meaning of keeping fit, eating well, not letting go of the body like so many of the clumsy oafs here: "Whoops! There go my thighs! Plop goes my ass! My implant-tits are swinging like dandy sacks of potatoes! My neck is fusing its fat with my collarbones! What a klutz I am! Hand me that crate of candies!" So many of the women here get ugly and fat so quickly…By the time they hit late twenties, the flub is showing…by their thirties, the hands and face start getting that melted candle look…and by the forties it's all downhill…It's because they look so "pretty" so soon…By fourteen or eighteen they hit their beauty peak, like recently manufactured dolls with their tits like a solid shelf sticking out so proudly…Whereas the northerners of Europe, they ease into their beauty, take their time…No rush! And they keep it up…The Danish woman's name was Gretel, as Aryan as all that, I suppose…long blonde hair, grey eyes accentuated with a blue ring…high cheekbones, long athletic legs…not too muscular nor frail. You could tell that she was strong in her way…She looked like she could hold her own against an aggressor, that wiry scrapper look…Doesn't take shit from anyone. Stark features like hers, any half-intelligent attacker would just walk away…If need be, she could make her countenance look cold and murderous…This was important to me because I hated worrying about those times when my girlfriend was alone…I wanted to know that she could take care of herself when I wasn't around…Perhaps even better! Weak little girls exasperated and disgusted me…frail little dolls that want to be pampered and carried, who whine a hair is out of place, a broken nail…who take to shopping for shoes like therapy…who do girly things like do each other's hair or have girl's nights out where they gossip about boys…Who expect chocolates and flowers and all the pointless things…Who want to be treated like princesses and have everything bought for them, who use pouting as a way of getting what they want…I truly detest that sort of woman, if one could call that a woman! I despise equally across genders: those who spend an inordinate amount of time negotiating the right colour of blush and those who glue their minds to televised sports…fuck it all! Mundane rubbish! Mind-pap! Turns one's brain to sour pulp…I like a woman who doesn't fret over the pointless details…I like someone who looks fit and healthy, not one who tries to combat aging with an alchemist's pharmacopoeia of ointments, powders and paints! I can see right through that lacquer job! It's body-hatred and insecurity, and I despise above all those anxiety-ridden insecurity cases who always need constant confirmation that they are beautiful…Insecurity is what makes ugly, and self-hatred just crowns the whole thing! I don't mind jealousy…within limits. When it becomes borderline psychotic, then it needs to be rectified with therapy or pills…A small, cute kind of jealousy is okay, nothing too serious…We are, after all, wild beasts in civil clothing, and it is healthy to be wary of the other…Self-preservation, the way I see it. When someone is jealous with me, I take it as a form of flattery…as long as it is partially rooted in jest.

So Gretel and I had met at the university. I was giving a guest lecture on my specialty, epidemiological techniques in the hospital…I had written a thesis on the subject and a few articles. We bumped into each other when the department took me out for something to eat at the graduate bar…She knew one of the profs, some kind of romantic history years ago. Everyone was introduced…As the drinks flowed, people got chummier, as is the case. She and I were sitting side by side on the patio, a real crowded situation. I was getting visibly cold and she let me rub up a little on her arm, a fine big-knit sweater that seemed to be as long as a dress. Seeing her in profile, I couldn't pin her age. As the night wore on and people slowly faded away, it was just her and I having found some conversational common ground…Actually, it was much more than just a ground, but was like an entire planet. We were completely at ease in conversation, enjoying ourselves. That she and I went somewhere else after that, and somewhere else even after that, is none the matter…details like that I leave to the satyrs and pornographers and romance novelists…She and I were a great match in many ways, in mind and body…That suited me fine…It suited her fine, too. We weren't much for the games, and so we just spoke openly on that impromptu first date what we expected, what we were willing to do and not do…We found that our demands were in accord, and so began those first two weeks where lovers are extremely selfish in wanting to be just with one another, fuck everyone else…And entire days were spent lounging around in bed, talking, etc…Things were like a dream…and every once in a while, I let down my guard and believe the whole shebang!…Like an idiot! I cannot help it…Hopeless romantic, hoping for the best…If it's too good to be true, chances are it wants your wallet or has plans to decapitate you. Big, damn heavy heart! I'm not like that anymore for good reason!…Had my heart tinkered with by the pros!…the real parasites of the age!…master manipulators that would make Stalin smile beneath that communist cookie duster! Every "lover"--just a scummy real estate agent in disguise! A crook with a smile! Ratbags! Deyes! Finks! Dolts of the Liliput Order! Claqueurs and jongleurs at all the new guignols! Idolaters of the pyrite calf and the presidential chimpanzee! Brutish louts on a stroll through sludge!…Romance? Romance is for the doped and numbed!…Romance is synonymous with suffering…with suckerism! Fraught with dissembling and dementia start to finish!…I no longer have time to chase the targets of the heart…You just end up growing old and bitter, getting angry at your heart and your dick for wasting your time!

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