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Jan 2011 28

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who recently x-ed his GF (Katya), ventures out for his first major post-break up night on the tiles with the boys. Unable to cut the ties completely, and with reminders in the form of text messages still causing his phone and his emotions to vibrate, in this flashback Mikhail recalls his first breakup with Katya a year ago after temptation moved into the next cubicle at work.

***
Please Use Rear Exit: Chapter 8 – Slow Jam Filly

Despite the constant typing, the Office of Emailing People (OoEP) was a cushy job for anyone who didn’t give a fuck about words. The entire gig was built around brainstorming sessions in the morning that tried to discover new loop-holes in the legal language surrounding spam. Equally as time-consuming, the afternoons were spent circumventing the morning’s laid-out illegalities with clever scams. Some days, Mikhail was writing persuasive paragraphs about the financial benefits of a perverted pyramid scheme. Other days, he was a Nigerian prince. And then there was the completely non-sensical part of his job.

But the OoEP paid pretty well and was a significant setting in his relationships with Katya and Saffron. And he was really, really good at the work.

[..]

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Jan 2011 21

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who has recently x-ed his GF (Katya), ventures out for his first major post-break up night on the tiles with the boys (Chevy and Jayson). After kicking off the night’s drinking spree at the #720’s main terminal, Mikhail gets separated from his buddies thanks to his bladder’s need for relief. The evening will subsequently take an unexpected turn after an encounter with an Internet Goddess – but first Mikhail must reunite with his friends…

[..]

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Jan 2011 20

by A.J. Focht

Technology is advancing all around us, and it’s not always easy to be for it when it continually changes so many facets of everyday life. I recently purchased a Kindle, after several days of convincing myself that it was ok. You see, I have complained about them for years, never intending to buy one. The concept of getting rid of my paper books was more than appalling, and the English major inside me died a little every time I saw someone with one.

Then things began to happen that made me reevaluate the idea of a handheld reader. Kindle announced its 3G Wireless model with access to Wikipedia from anywhere (little did I know it was actually full internet access). Soon after this announcement, I moved into my current apartment. It didn’t take me long to realize that I have too much stuff. My book collection takes up its own case as well as three other shelves. As I tried to shove all of my books into the tiny living space, I found myself considering the advantages of a handheld reader for the first time.

[..]

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Jan 2011 19

by Brett Warner

The first copy of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger I ever saw was an aged, ominous looking mass-market paperback sitting gravely at the top of my mother’s bookshelf. Its cover was a very solemn looking burgundy with gold font announcing its title and author. No picture on the front, no plot summary on the back – this book just simply existed. My mother, having passed on her uncanny hunger for books of all types and sorts, once shared the story of how my grandmother lost her shit when she found out her daughter was learning about this filth in school. I knew then I had to read this book right away.

For six decades, The Catcher in the Rye has been both the most ardently taught and fervently banned book in American literature. Along with James Dean and rock & roll, Salinger’s stream of conscious tale of angst and alienation invented the American teenager and, by extension, changed the way we create and market everything from clothes to music and movies. Its hero is a sixteen year-old, anti-social fuck up named Holden Caulfield, who has been kicked out of at least three private schools, has no qualms about going to New York for the weekend to have a few drinks and pick up some girls, and sees through all the insincere, “phony” bullshit that constitutes ninety-nine percent of our sad, pathetic adult lives.

Caulfield’s attitudes and viewpoints remain evocative of their time and place, when the ever-increasing gulf between childhood and adulthood had nearly imploded and the infuriating restraints of proper society threatened to strangle an entire generation. Yet, his anger and his fear resonate more than half a century later, those immortal words echoing through the dividing, massively constructed social schematas in which we live and breathe with little alternative. Is The Catcher in the Rye still meaningful in 2011? If anything, the book’s message is more imperative now than ever before.

[..]

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Jan 2011 14

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who’s recently x-ed his GF, ventures out for his first major post-break up night on the tiles with the boys at the #720’s main terminal. We rejoin Mikhail as he realizes he’s reached that dreaded part of the evening when he’s forced to make use of the terminal’s cooty-laden n’ crusty public restroom…
[..]

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Jan 2011 10

by Nicole Powers

“The spirit of Tank Girl runs like a wild horse.”

– Alan Martin

Hollywood nearly killed Tank Girl. Dodgy movies have a way of doing that to people. Tank Girl’s creators, writer Alan Martin and artist Jamie Hewlett, would be the first to say the 1995 big screen incarnation of the cult comic strip character, which they had zero control over, wasn’t all that it should have been. Indeed they might even say it was a “shit sandwich” (well, actually, Martin did). Fortunately, Tank Girl’s superhuman, and her fuck you spirit would never allow a bunch of scummy film execs and industry cheese weasels to have the last word. Down but not out, after a hiatus of over a decade, she put her Tank Boots back on, and kicked, screamed and farted her way back from near oblivion, with a little help from Martin.

[..]

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Jan 2011 07

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, recalled exactly why he’d just broken up with his GF Katya for the second – and final – time. Now ready to move forward in life, and on the #720 Brown BTWN bus route around which his life is centered, he ventures out with the boys for a night on #720’s main terminal tiles – which is dangerous territory given that it’s a smoking space Mikhail used to visit with Katya…

***
Please Use Rear Exit: Chapter 5 – Avoiding Katya

The boys walked silently through the bar’s heavy plaster doors and Mikhail braced himself for his first encounter with the #720’s main terminal in several months. Turning the corner past Low was always Mikhail’s cue to turn his charms up. The party was around that corner. Each step had the potential for conversation. The light was harsher there. Bars and clubs, big and small, would clamor for his attention from both sides of the corridor. In their flat-screen-sized windows, blinding neon signs advertised anything a man could want, unless he wanted to see inside the club; that part of the screen was tinted. Along the path a slew of freestanding and rotating advertisements, mis-planned garden plots, fake plastic trees, and other such “city betterments” would stand in his way or distract him from whatever goal was at hand at that moment. And the ceiling would loom over everything. It was all familiar to Mikhail, but it was still something that he had to mentally prepare himself for.

[..]

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