DAVID GREGORY — SEBASTIAN NEEDS A REAL JOB — 2016
Don’t believe the author. It is not a funny book, even if it is at times hilarious. But it sure is a pleasant and attractive depicting of a millennial that is not able to find any footing in his society.
But think how sad his life is, how low his lot is, how miserable his self-pity sounds, etc. He is fat and 32, which means nothing is not going to improve. It is strange because since he is living under the kitchen table it has to be — due to his middle age chubbiness — a very big kitchen table or he is telling us some tall tale. Frogs from a certain far away county definitely spring high and leap far. And what’s more he does not have a car. He has a bicycle but one tire is flat and he uses the girly bicycle of his mother. Speaking of his mother, he does not seem to have one any more since she died one day in her bathtub. It is dangerous to go to sleep in one’s bathtub, at least when there is water in it.
He sure has a father who is a rogue and a beast. He forces him to sleep under the kitchen table and to go to church with him every Sunday. What’s more he spanks him with a paddle when necessary from his — the father’s — point of view. And he enjoys spilling anything he has under his hand or in his fingers onto the head of his son when he is still asleep under the table: honey or maple syrup as if he were a pancake, milk as if he were a bowl of cereals and anything else. Ketchup, why not, to turn the poor Sebastian into a bloody Dracula.
Speaking of Sebastian, he of course has the proper name of this saint who was the outcast in his Roman Legion unit because he was a Catholic and he refused to service his officer or some of the men who all found him juicy and delicious. He will end up pierced by half a dozen arrows and left to bleed and die in the sunshine. That’s the lot of this poor modern times Sebastian; remember you all have your future written in your name.
And that’s not all. He is totally demotivated in his life, working life I mean, though he has an MA probably in some fancy subject and he tries to blind us completely about his incompetence with some powerful catchphrases like Jesus who preached unconditional love “was killed by those he tried to love.” And his great modern mind enables him to set Harry Potter at the same level as Jesus Christ, both make miracles. Can you imagine HP equals JC? HP, an office printer, compared to JC, the Savior of these life and world?
He manages to get fired from his job in some underpaying miserably rich catering fast food service that carries the divine name of Kangaroo, as if it were some simple friendly animal serving us fresh and wild meat and the boss is the only one who has the Australian touch because he uses the whiplash of the famous Kangaroo series every day, every minute even, with his enslaved employees. Then our Sebastian is under pressure from his girlfriend and his father to make something with himself and get a job. He tries everything and particularly sales and ends up trying to sell cell — stop stammering — phones in a derelict dilapidated neighborhood of his urban area.
He fails totally and finally begs his old boss to take him back again on his Kangaroo. And that is the final mistake that can be committed, but not by Sabastian who already has many arrows in his quiver, arrows he has recuperated one after the other as they were shot at his vast body and as they pierced his triple layer of fat. The mistake was his boss’s because Sabastian managed to find his way, his light, his bliss in some moment of ecstatic enjoyment of his bath and his phantasmagoric “fly me to the moon” excitement.
He found his way in the concept of union, not as unity, but as trade-union and he decides to unionized his co-worker and start a campaign for a decent minimum wage, normal benefits and acceptable working conditions and schedules. But a union all by itself is an easy waste of time. So he gets a Facebook page and a Twitter account and with the Internet he manages to create a lot of buzz in the airs and in the wings of the restaurant and to gather a lot of people in support of their initiative that takes off in no time and with social networks bosses are dead. It is well known. We all know how effective they can be since Trump was elected with them and by them. It is amazing how millennials can be experts at using these means and yet they are so dissatisfied and disorganized and demotivated, though they are NOT disciplined at all, in everything personal or professional.
Even Sabastian’s sex life was floating half way to the bottom of the river and sinking? Rock bottom in no time at all and he is simply let go by his girlfriend, dropped, dumped actually by her and it takes him some time to understand that love is not carnal fleshy meaty intercourse, between the amuse-gueules and the dessert as inter-course means in his mind, what comes between two courses on a menu. But he gets back to life when he has vomited his hangover in his bath and is saved by his father who finally tells him he loves him and he will never kick him out of the house, just under the table, you dog. Love is so difficult after all that only a few can have that pleasure that does not leak nor slobber nor drool from the mouth though it may spill some red blood on the floor when the confrontation with the boss becomes too intense.
And that’s how this poor Sebastian finds his epiphany in social action. He has finally been able to “sell me this pen” (Ah! The dirty wolf of Wall street) to some public and he sold it a hefty price to his boss. His real job is a union. Some may find it a little bit passé, déjà-vu, ignis fatuus in a world of ever changing circumstances. But some basics are at times interesting even if they are funny. And with Trump and his cabinet of bi/millionaires we might need a lot more of these unions even if right now they support Trump, as if a blizzard could bring some beautiful roses to the wedding of water with fire.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
ROBERT CLARK YOUNG — ONE OF THE GUYS — 1999
Robert Young has just published his first novel, One of the Guys. An amazing book. He tackles two American institutions and shows that they both are Satan incarnate. The first one is pornography. It has its adult bookstores, with cubicles and glory holes. It has its prostitution circuits and routes, where a woman, or a man, is nothing but either a piece of meat, or a cannibalistic customer.
The tone of the author is there harsh, brutal, ruthless, and he shows how the money of the customers creates the customized goods those customers want and consume. Our sexual consumer’s society reduces myriads of women and men, boys and girls to slavery, a degrading, alienating and neurotic slavery. A slavery of the body and of the mind to the most twisted phantasms of money-loaded customers, the form of the prostitution depending only on the amount of money the customer has and on the amount of money the prostitute of hustler can ambition to get.
The second institution is essentially the US Navy, but also the US Armed Forces. There the book becomes a satire and is full of humor and irony, even if the subject is serious. He shows how these Armed Forces are divided in hostile and jealous corps. He shows how these Armed Forces are unfit for battle. He shows how these Armed Forces are totally based on alienating the free will of the soldiers or sailors in order for the officers to dominate them and manipulate them into doing what they are expected to do and do not need to understand.
To boost up the morale of the troops, those officers use methods that are un-human, and that represent some kind of cattle herding policy, reducing soldiers and sailors to nothing but animals that are sent to the slaughterhouse of a battle, filled with hatred, alcohol, cheap sex and a little bit of fake religion. What’s more he shows how the whole network of US military bases in the world are nothing but a cobweb where young girls and boys are trapped by the dollar spiders for the only benefit of the soldiers, the sailors, and their officers.
It is by providing these with that big perambulating brothel that US Armed Forces are able to perform their supposedly patriotic and humanistic duties. The hero is the constant proof of that absurdity of a system that creates evil in the name of good, though that good is nothing but the interests of a few powerful people who pull the strings, be they politicians or anyone who has some interest in providing those Armed Forces with goods, including the rotten dictators here and there who accept a village to be destroyed by a lost shell in maneuvers, provided a fair number of millions of dollars can fatten their bank accounts here and there in some paradise that is not lost at all, even if it is prospering on the hell in which millions of people are forced to live.
So, in front of such a powerful book, we can forget about the fact that Miles, the hero, has officially died in a fire at the beginning of the book and reappears — resuscitates — at the end of the book, with no question asked.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU