The apocalypse game-show, show-reels of the bizarre. In a Democracy... Terrible tales. Or: Behold my penis!
by Simon Field

'I do not agree that the dog in the manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.'
Winston Churchill. 1937.

Something horrible has happened.

I have run for office.

And I have won.

It all started out innocently enough, with heavy drinking and prescription painkiller abuse at a mellow little speak-easy come topless doughnut joint conveniently located beneath the main city overpass, obscured from any unwarranted spy satellite observations. This made the place a popular hang-out for what I like to refer to as 'my kind of people'.

My lawyer, a man possessed of dubious morals yet a curiously highly developed dress sense, was talking about anal sex with teenage junkies and how that related to the governments operational budget for tackling the Gila Monster infestation problem in the city sewers. No, I don't know either, but it seemed to make a lot of sense at the time.

Oh yeah, many things made a lot of sense that night. It was one of those nights. You know, the ones where you get married at a hundred and twenty miles per hour to some girl you met outside the gas station forty-five minutes ago, and you're not even absolutely sure that she is a girl because she's got one hell of an adams apple on her for a chick, and things are almost guaranteed to get interesting later on. It was a king-hell bender of a night. Which is why, when my lawyer said:

"Say, Spider. You should run for office one day."

I didn't immediately leap over the table and beat him to death with a giant rubber dildo-doughnut. Instead, I said this:

"Office? What sort of office would let somebody like me run for it?"

Now, Count Leo Francisco the Third has been my lawyer for almost twelve years now. And in that time, he has not once had a quick answer for me. Which is why I was mildly surprised when he said, right off the bat:

"I was reading something recently, and it turns out they never abolished the local statutes regarding the right of a legally defined township to elect their own sheriff. Your neighbourhood used to be a township, before it was swallowed up by the conurbation. And technically, it still possesses the right to hold an election for the post. Should a candidate so present themselves."

With the benefit of hindsight, I should have realised that listening to the advice of a man who puts away enough meta-amphetamine each day to kill a herd of angry rhinoceri twice over, was probably a bad idea. But instead I leant over that table, brushing aside the dangling interruptions of the go-go dancer, and told him with a terrible glint in my eye, to Tell Me More.

I should also have remembered that my lawyer cannot read, and that his seemingly innocent suggestion was actually part of some larger and inevitably more hideous plot into which I was about to be unwittingly drawn.

But do not worry my voraciously sexual readers, I shall wreak a suitably terrible revenge. For I am Spider Jerusalem.

And there is a new Sheriff in town.


When I got back to my apartment, the Filthy Assistant was doing something with her hair. She was fully clothed, so I didn't pay all that much attention. Instead I headed for the shower, I needed to wash the stink of cheap booze from my skin in order to plan my cunning challenge for political power.

There is no such thing as subjective journalism, in order to understand the beast, you must delve into its stinking rotten belly, examine the system from the inside out. I had been writing about politics for years, without ever even bothering to stand for the chairmanship of my gun collectors club. I felt like a porno writer who had never been in a Mongolian clusterfuck: A cheap fraud. There are insights that come from direct experience that simply cannot be understood from the position of traditional journalism. This is because all other journalists are weak cowards and cannot be trusted. Only I, Spider Jerusalem am worthy of your trust. And your vote. Trust me. I am a doctor.

"AAAARRRRGGGGHHH!" I scream, as I open the cubicle to the shower.

"JESUS FUCK SPIDER! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!" The Filthy Assistant moves quicker than I imagined she ever could as she lunges from the shower and grabs a towel, wrapping it around her body.

"AAARRRRGGGGHHH!!" I scream again. Pointing, first at her, then at the door. Something doesn't make sense. "How can you be in here and out there AT THE SAME TIME!"

"Spider. That's Yelena out there."


"Your assistant."

"But you are my assistant!"

"I'm Channon. That's Yelena. We both work for you now, remember?"

"NO! But in the interests of an easy life I shall magnanimously let this one slide if you remove that towel."

"Fuck off Spider." She shoulders past and heads outside. "I thought I locked this door?"

"You did. But I have programmed all of the doors in this apartment to open at my approach."

"You are a sick, sick man."

"No, a sick man would broadcast live the images from the 23 micro cameras he has implanted in strategic locations around his apartment. But I do not do that. For I am not a sick man." I step into the shower. It might just be the drugs talking, but I think I am in love with my Filthy Assistant.

My line of thought is interrupted by the start of a niggling thought. I am not a political animal. Said the thought. Only, it wasn't so much a thought now, it was a voice, whispering in my ear that this grand and glorious plan to overthrow the establishment and demonstrate once and for all the power of the freak, was most likely to end up in disaster. You see, I have a finely honed survival instinct.

But there comes a point my sweet and kinky readers, when we have to stop listening that voice. To cry havoc and sniff that line of coke. Are you ready? Were you born ready? Do YOU have what it TAKES?

I think you might. But you'll have to prove it to me. Show me you love me.

"We are going to run for office!" I announce boldly to my assistants. Channon and Yelena seem unimpressed. Actually, they hardly seem to notice, for they are too busy braiding each others hair. I try again naked. "WE ARE GOING TO RUN FOR OFFICE!"

That's better, always gets their attention.

"We're going to what?"

"Run for office. I will be Sheriff."

"Oh god. Not again."

"No, I mean it this time. Genuine down to earth one hundred percent legitimate law-enforcement, my lawyer tells me that not only is the position vacant, but also that having a prior criminal record does not automatically block a candidate from standing. And considering this is a one-horse race, I am confident that I, and my elite political team, can secure a victory. A victory for freedom, and the right to be naked!"

My reverie is interrupted by somebody coming to the door. I thought I'd taught people not to do that when I was having a moment of reverie. I make a note.

I open the door.


There is a strange young man wearing robes standing there.

"What do you want?"

I enquire politely.

"Jesus saves."

I look at him for a moment. "AND GRETZKY GETS THE REBOUND! HE SHOOTS HE SCORES!" I scream and wave my arms in the air.

The poor man looks at me, all confused. So I shoot him in the face with my bowel disrupter and close the door.

I can live without that particular vote.

"Spider." The Filthy Assistant sighs.


"We're going to have difficulty garnering grass-roots support if you keep doing that."

"Why? Maybe he enjoys the sounds and sensations of the entire world falling out of his backside? I happen to know there are people who would pay good money for that. Just listen." I tilt my head to the strange and curious cacophony of sounds coming from outside the door. "If he is not having the very best time of his life, then I'll give him his money back."

Besides, a policy of active assaults upon cold-callers is almost certain to win me a landslide victory in the polls.

Shit! Did I say that out loud? I can't remember. And now the paranoia is starting to kick in. I'd say I need a shower, if I hadn't just had one. I feel suddenly dirty, but I must keep my eyes fixed upon the greater goal, the pot of gold, the Grail. I shall demonstrate this horrible truth to you all - In a democracy, decisions are made by the people who can be bothered to turn up.

And I'm turning up.

Are you scared yet?


And so my cute and perky readers, we set off down to City Hall to fill in the appropriate paperwork. With hardly a care in the world I continue with the realisation that our tenses here in this article are totally shot to hell, but frankly it doesn't matter. So how about something that does matter? Mhmm?

Lesley Stahl: 'We have heard that half a million children have died in Iraq. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?'

Madeleine Albright: 'I think this is a very hard choice, but the price? We think the price is worth it.'

Dark and crazy times. Sure, estimates vary, as may your mileage. Uncle Joe said of the matter, 'One death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic'. He understood the game. That type of person does. They all sound the same, like bullets to the back of the head. That crump and crack, the slow folding of flesh, the rapid pooling of blood.

Half a million, that's around about the estimates for children killed in Nazi death camps. Oops, shouldn't have mentioned the Nazis, must invoke article death clause Number One - any discussion must be brought to an immediate end the very second it invokes Nazi Germany and/or Adolf Hitler, as clearly the bottom of the barrel has been reached. But that's okay, they were clearly The Bad Guys, with their kinky leather boots and caps, shiny-buttoned uniforms and their obsessive worship of the flag.

It's all about perception. And belief.

Under the benevolent Spider Regime, things will be different. Oh yes. Very different indeed.

And a whole lot more naked.

But I digress, I am soap-boxing to you yet again, my beloved and hopefully naked readers. You are naked aren't you?

How ugly this becomes. Uglier still. Pot shots for everyone. How angry I am.

Somebody with a much smaller penis than me once said, if voting changed anything, they'd ban it. And that the classic communist style one-party state is superior to western style democracies for this very simple reason - western style democracies are decided by money. Ruled by money. Owned by money.

Now, don't worry. Old Spider isn't about to turn into a crazy ass communist on you. I like having a regular electricity supply and fresh food too much. And those mindless rutting socialist monkeys are just as bad as the zombies you watch on Republican Party Reservation every Thursday night just before you switch over to Sex Puppets and start trying to work out at which point you should have started masturbating.

Zombie Sex Puppets. Jesus, that was a horrible dream. I thought they wanted to eat me, but it turned out all they wanted was to be petted. Horrible oozing flesh, and bright button eyes. It reminded me of the Convention. Stroke me. Suck me. Take me.

Horrible. Just, horrible.


Registration of my candidacy turned out to be easier than I thought. Although just about as boring as I had feared. Fortunately my lawyer handled all of the details, and I was left to my own devices and compounds. By the time we left I was heavily into the ether, having long since run out of the really good genetically engineered mescaline. I knew something was wrong, I could smell it. Again with the senses. Smell, taste, touch. Everything is heightened when you are in the grip of a really good drug binge, and then when you dump the ether on top, ye gods. There was a very good chance something unexpectedly awful was about to occur. By now the powers that be in our petty jealous tiny little civilisation were surely starting to work out what I was up to. And surely they would not react kindly when they finally understood my latest ploy to bring the world crashing down around their limp erections.

Registration of my candidacy was going to be tough. I was expecting a fight, so I took along some heavy artillery. Quite literally. The assistants lead the way. My lawyer and I. And we are followed by a tramp we picked up on the way I'm not sure what the tramp is called, but I think it might be 'Jim'. Or 'Claire'. I can't be sure. And anyway, it doesn't matter. What does matter is this: There are no really good stretches of Interstate Highway leading out of Los Angeles.

Registration of my candidacy. Christ. Who cares.


The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.
-Robert Maynard Hutchins, educator (1899-1977)

Talking about the ambush, here's one for you. The whole point of this damned rambling article spelt out in one simple sentence for you, no pre-amble, no build-up. We've thrown away grammar, we might as well toss out pacing for good measure.

In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.

That's about it folks. All my anger directed towards politicians? Hell, what a tired old dog that one is. No point in exposing them, take Churchill as an example, does anyone remember him as anything other than The Greatest Briton To Have Ever Lived? No. And why? Because of us. Stupid old mindless rutting shit-for-brains short-memoried us.

Yeah. We vote for them. And this is the greatest trick of our 'democracy', we vote for them, we give them our approval, so when they turn out to be utter psychopaths, it's all our fault. Our elected representatives. There is a reason we feel personally responsible for all of the evil in the world. Because we ARE responsible! Fact is, we should vote with more wisdom. And if you hang around, I might even tell you how.


'Like all members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.'
Major General Smedley Butler.

Old Smed Butler was a marine, described by General Douglas MacArthur as 'one of the really great generals in American history'. He was twice awarded the Medal of Honour. Then he went and retired, and started having thoughts of his own. Writing books. He was clearly a dangerous subversive.

'War is just a racket. A racket is best described , I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the very few at the expense of the masses...'

He went on.

'It may seem odd for me, a military man, to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it.

I helped make Honduras 'right' for American fruit companies in 1903. I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American Sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.'
'War as a Racket' - Smedley Butler

This is a monotheistic culture we have spawned. Yes, there is variety. A million different religions clamour for your attention. Countless tastes. Endless experiences. But really, it's all the same. Times change, and it used to be that things changed with them. But not anymore.

A striking feature of the present is that no mainstream political party, anywhere in the god-damn world, even bothers to pretend that they want to change anything significant anymore. The New Left, the Old Right, Republican, Democrat, The Party In Power, The Party In Opposition. They are all the same, united in their firm belief in the status-quo. Don't rock the boat, don't change a thing. Do you see our system working out so well for us we don't have to fundamentally change our approaches? Thought not. But you're not looking for the same sorts of systems that they worship. All hail the Free Market.

It is said that History and Democracy were born as twins in Ancient Greece. Our glorious monotheistic culture has virtually outlawed History. Hell, screw history, have another burger, mhmm, look at that lovely fat drip off, wouldn't you like to gobble that down and then have a blow job, isn't that so much better than thinking? Who cares what happened yesterday, tomorrow is another day, another burger, another empty discharge of your seed into the meaningless void.

And as for Democracy? Yeah, right. What's the point in voting when they're all the same as each other. Democracy has become a farce.

The result? Well, I think you all know the result. Despair. Cynicism. Escapism. Precisely the sort of things that encourage us to spend spend spend, and keep spending, because maybe then we can fill that hollow place inside. You know the place I'm talking about. We all do. We are all beautifully unique in our similarity.

Our culture has been designed to nurture irrationalism, designed to keep us permanently off-balance. Insanity is the new black, and it ain't never going out of fashion.

And so the vote. I think I knew what the result was going to be before the ballot even went out. One name on the paper, one candidate, one sheriff. I can barely bring myself to think about it. Three votes cast, one spoiled paper (that one was mine). And I won. The Filthy Assistants both voted for me. And so I became sheriff. I'll tell you what happened next with that some other time.

But for now I was going to tell you how you can change things. See, in a Democracy, you have the power. You really do. But not when you throw your vote away. And remember, people have died, given their lives, so that you have that vote. So I think it deserves your respect. But when you vote for the Party In Power, or the Party In Opposition, or hell, any of the damned parties, all you are doing is throwing it away. Supporting the system that has effectively strangled Democracy into submission.

So one day, why don't you try this: Vote for the independent. That'll screw the party-political system over if you all start voting for real people instead of faceless pawns of the Industrial sector.

Or even better, spoil your ballot paper. Think about it. If every single one of us turned out to vote, and ninety-six percent of us spoilt our papers thus essentially voting for 'None Of The Above'.

How glorious the destruction of the political system would be.

My name is Spider Jerusalem: Witness my democracy.


I was sitting with my Lawyer in a small club down in New Mexico.

"Hey man."

He said.

"Lend me some money!"


I said.

"What in gods name do you want money for!? They can track us through our money! If you've hidden a credit card up your anal passage, I will personally burn your body into dust with napalm!"

"No man!"

He said.

"I want to go watch the show in the backroom!"


I asked.

"There is a show?"


He grinned.

"Some girl and a donkey!"

"Have you lost all of your perspective!"

I shouted.

"We have no time for that! This is important business! Besides, what do you want to watch something like that for?"


He said.

"It makes me feel."


I asked.

"No man."

He said.


There was a throbbing sensation at the back of my head, I could tell this bender had gone on for far too long now, even though I wasn't entirely clear on the precise duration. I remembered renting a car, and ditching the Filthy Assistant. I can't remember what happened to the tramp. But I think she turned out to be an ex-Special Forces bodyguard and assassin. I certainly remember pressing a large sum of cash into her hands and whispering manically, 'Make sure the hit goes down tonight!'

And I'm fairly convinced this sorry tale wound up someplace I never intended it to go.

And now we were in New Mexico. And between you and me, I'm not entirely sure if my Lawyer isn't the fevered by-product of some deep mescaline fuelled nightmare hallucination that has been following me around since this whole terrible story lurched underway.

"Are you for real?" I asked him, glaring at him, my eyes bulging, my tongue swollen, my brain not entirely equipped to handle the consequences if he grinned and said 'no' before metamorphosing into a giant Gila monster and attempting to eat me. "ARE YOU FOR REAL!!!" I screamed, which was maybe a bad idea, because now everybody in the dingy backstreet bar had turned and was watching me and my lawyer, or alternatively, me and nobody at all. This was a bad scene and my instincts were right, something unexpectedly awful was going to happen.

"Yeah man." My Lawyer nodded sagely, "I'm real." He paused. "Are you?"

Oh god.

How did the great rivers and seas get their kingship over the hundred lesser streams?
Through the merit of being lower than they: that was how they got their Kingship.
Therefore the sage, in order to be above the people,
Must speak as though he were lower than they.
In order to guide them
He must put himself behind them.
Thus when he is above, the people have no burden,
When he is ahead, they feel no hurt.
- Tao Te Ching.


Silverlake: Authors / Mediums / Titles / Links / List / About / Plain Style / Fancy Style