FUNGUS MAN

Excerpt from Fungus Man by David Arthur Walters

Apple in Decadence by Darwin Leon

A MAN OF SUBSTANCE
The Power Elite may be liquidated by Fungus Man

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FUNGUS MAN
"Jim, you've got to excuse Virginia's road-rash hang-up," Manny said. "She's allergic to the indigo dye in some blue jeans. She actually shops for them now. You see, she was given some balm to put on her rash when she was a kid, and that was her first experience…. Okay, you know the routine, Jim, bend your knee, let’s put it across your body, like this, yes, that's right, take a deep breath, relax, that’s it, relax...." "Aha! That felt good," said I. "It's been awhile since my last adjustment." "Doctor Retardo Culo was right, you know," Manny articulated authoritatively as he fingered my spine, "You need a regular course of adjustments, at least two each week." "Right, I'll bet that would be good for the chiropractic economy," I responded, flipping off a Bush Junior smirk. "One must lead a dignified productive life. I personally cut the trees and made the logs for this house." "You're kidding." "I could have bought a prefab log house and brought a contractor in, but I did the most of it myself, for the exercise, to keep my weight down, and I also made the furniture." "Curious furniture," I said, and then corrected myself. "It's very handsome....." "I made it from hemp. As for the logging, I got the idea from something I read on the Internet about Kaiser Wilhelm II. He abdicated at the end of the Great War and retired to Doorn, in Holland, where he cut down forty-thousand trees to stay in shape." "Good grief, what a monster! That sounds more destructive than productive." "The area was cleared, and it did him a lot of good, as therapy for the loss of his power as Kaiser. You know, he could have built a fleet of ten wooden battleships with the right kind of trees." "He was into the metal ships, the dreaded ones, right?" "Yeah, the Dreadnoughts. Actually, England built the first one, launched in 1906, I think, christening it 'Dreadnought'… Okay, Jim, roll over, lie face down on the table and put your face in the hole." I glanced at Manny as I rolled over. The man was huge, around three-hundred pounds. Damn! With that beard, the face with the slightly mad-looking eyes, and his serene composure, he sure reminded me of a fat John Brown.

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FUNGUS MAN
"Wait," he said, "I see you are looking at my belly. Sit up for a minute. Okay, punch me in the belly. Don't worry, my friend. Go ahead now. Punch me as hard as you can, you won't hurt me." I punched him to please him, but not as hard as I could have. His belly was harder than a punching bag. "Surprised?" he asked. I responded with an affirmative nod. "Things are not what they seem," he continued. "I went on a special diet and exercise regimen when I got out of the pen, including playing the trumpet and taking dance classes - I danced with Arnie Zane and Bill T. Jones for a season. “Okay, now," Manny had resumed adjusting my back, "face down in the hole. Just relax..." "Ahhh! Holy Smokes! That felt good! "It felt like you really slammed me!" "The movement is only a tiny fraction of an inch… No, Jim, no need to get up, just relax there for a few minutes." "I'm really impressed at how productive you are, what with dancing, chiropractic, logging, building this house - how many square feet is it?" "Shhh, relax," Manny instructed softly, and sat down on the bed. "I've got around twenty-thousand square feet in the compound, not counting the mushroom cellar, the bomb shelter and security barracks. It's a ramshackle affair, most of it back in the trees, as you shall see when I give you the tour. I made it, it's mine, I did it myself, and it was hard work. I'm a firm believer in the dignity of the worker, you should know, no matter what the work might be. I heard the president speak on the radio about work-fare the other day. He said it was the best way to get people off well-fare and impress upon them the 'dignity of work.’ He didn't say anything at all about the dignity of the worker, or mention the fact that most of the workers in this country, who have never been on wellfare, are engaged in make-work already, and are already, therefore, on work-fare, for they must waste their lives churning out garbage, trash and junk, just to survive, just to have the basic necessities of life, a pot to piss in and a crib to crash in...." "Manny, excuse me," I said, and rolled over on my back. "Could you hand me the recorder from my bag over there, and elaborate some on what you've said? I might be able to work some of the political stuff into our interview for What’s New in Drugs."

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FUNGUS MAN
"Sure," he said, reached over and handed me the recorder, which I, in turn, turned on. "It's all about politics." "Even your thing with the spores?" "That, my friend, will dissolve the propaganda being vomited by the Establishment! At least I hope so. Today's established Power Elite, like the ancient elite, rely not only on violence but also on the magical power of words in the form of propaganda to propagate their will and to render their subjects docile and obedient. The postmodern Power Elite, however, have at their beck and call a more efficient and effective means of mass terror as well as the means of direct communication with the masses. Since the Power Elite control the massive political-economic apparatus, and therefore have the ability to determine whether a man works or whether or not he is able to buy a house or a car, and so on, and also has the ability to determine the relative value of money itself by manipulating its supply, they can usually keep their instruments of mass murder concealed, at least domestically, relying more on economic means to terrify the masses, with the prospect of abject poverty and the indignity of homelessness. Under the current regime, keeping the people intimidated in mass production and consumption lines both virtual and real means keeping them preoccupied with officially defined work whether that work is meaningful or not. The Power Elite's propaganda is intended to make the production and consumption of vast quantities of garbage, trash and junk somewhat meaningful or at least unquestionable. But there is little genuine dignity in such production or consumption." " "Go on, please, go on, you talk like a leftist professor. How'd you get so academic?" "I can go into this mode at will. I could pose as a professor with ease and be enormously successful too, but I would have to bring myself to perjury and prostitute myself as a parasite on the Establishment. I cultivated my ideological line alongside a subspecies of 'shrooms I developed while smoking Lebanese and reading Marx on the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation, and Lenin on the incapacity of the bourgeoisie for managing modern productive forces. It just comes up natural now. Before, it was dormant, underground." "Underground?" "Later. Turn that thing off. Let's go downstairs, see what Doc's cooking up, and soak in the hot tub with Virginia for a piece." "Alright, I'll put my pants on. Say, Manny, you mentioned the Power Elite. Some say they don't exist.

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FUNGUS MAN
"And some people are fools. They definitely exist. They are the fascist forces of darkness underlying corporate board tribalism. They can be named and located, and they can be liquidated by Fungus Man." "Who?" "Never mind. Zip up them pants. Let's get downstairs."

--To Be Continued--

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