On September 5, The New York Times’ David Brooks published a communiqué from an internet extremist. On the same day, the Prospect also received a message from this same individual. We have chosen to publish it below.
I am alone. I am in a basement. I am in a house. I am alt-right. I am alt-left. I am left yet wrong. I am wrong yet right. I hate myself even though I listen to Eckhart Tolle all day long in my car with avocado toast points and freshly squeezed orange juice.
I have a loaded shotgun pointed at any website I choose to comment on. I do jigsaw puzzles of hate while watching 60 Minutes. I only watch 60 Minutes for 10 minutes. I have no concentration: per my generation. I take Adderall to tie my shoes. I take Molly before watching This Is Us. I am prone to bouts of Nutella while watching Ballers.
I am alone. Did I say that? I have no moral center but I do have caramel swirls of viciousness with regard to my enemies. My enemies are mostly sea creatures like Moby and his veganism, which is so extreme it makes me cry for the human race. I seek out vengeance in a terry cloth robe and a Red Bull. I have shotgun casings and copies of The New York Times strewn across my cardboard box underneath the overpass that I live under.
I define everything politically and see everything through the lens of a lonely old man in a gray suit swiveling in a leather chair on a moral descent into hell, I mean America. I am a narcissist who bellows loudly when my cupcake store has a prohibitive line out the door and I have to come back later.
I am a disenchanted connoisseur of the white wine of polarization. I lash out at the people who brought me up for they are dead and can’t help little old me. I don’t coddle the homeless, I play tennis with them. I have a golfing partner, a sewer I swim in, a tub full of blood, and a PlayStation.
I am confused. I am alone. Did I say that?
I need validation. Not just parking. I need it from my boss who I reduce to an evil entity by not doing background work on him. I need to see everything as good and evil. Häagen-Dazs is good. Hard work in the blistering sun that builds character is bad. This world I see is a carnival of disappointment because I need to see things as black-and-white. The carnival barker turns out to be myself and I’m telling myself to step right up and guess my weight.
I’d rather not as I put a lot of weight on railing about the injustices on my computer from a place of moral purity. I use Flonase yet I don’t know why or even what it is. I have a heating pad that I inherited from a father who disapproved of me, yet my back is hurting from a lack of love in my binary universe. I do not see the complexities of economics as I have cataracts of the soul. A soul nurtured on a divisiveness so strong that I won a two-week vacation to Hawaii from a game show because it was so divisive.
I am split like a split-level house, like a split lip, like a split doubleheader, like a banana split. I am divided into two because it’s easy and gives me comfort as I rail against men of wealth who have tremendous problems that I know nothing of. Men of great character who find themselves with billions of dollars while the rest of the world is envious and lousy with poverty of pocket and spirit.
Most poor people I find repugnant, with their love of sport, their affection for their pets and vile vitriol for the captains of industry. After all, when one can reduce an entire category of billionaires, who have the lion’s share of the world’s wealth, into heartless pricks then one can proceed to the ballgame or dog park or All You Can Eat contest or Las Vegas for a night of low-level debauchery involving small amounts of methamphetamine and ladies of ill repute.
I feel so alone. Did I say that? Women ignore me even though I’ve taken to using Axe body spray and doing a New York Times crossword in front of attractive people. I am at loggerheads with my sexuality because I cannot be intimate (except when coaxed with a bottle of a robust Beaujolais and hot body oil that I get at Target).
My inability to get close to anyone mirrors my lack of self-esteem, ironically created by being a malignant presence wherever I go in order to build a wall. Ah, the Wall! I’m for it! I’m against it! I’m from the Left! I’m from the Right! I’m ready to lock up anybody who doesn’t look and speak like me. I’m ready to defend anybody who comes over the border.
I recently bought a new shirt with a logo of Sisyphus pushing a bottle of pills into his mouth. That is who I am. I am meds that numb me and eventually lead to rage. Morally, spiritually, and financially challenged, I peer into the abyss with a telescope, a rifle, and a thunder shirt.
I am ruin. I am hypocrisy. I am America. I am alone. Did I say that?
I am happy, contented and sated.
I am America.